1.Play. What speech, my Lord? Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was neuer Acted: or if it was, not aboue once, for the Play I remember pleas'd not the Million, 'twas Cauiarie to the Generall: but it was (as I receiu'd it, and others, whose iudgement in such matters, cried in the top of mine) an excellent Play; well digested in the Scoenes, set downe with as much modestie, as cunning. I remember one said, there was no Sallets in the lines, to make the matter sauory; nor no matter in the phrase, that might indite the Author of affectation, but cal'd it an honest method. One cheefe Speech in it, I cheefely lou'd, 'twas Aeneas Tale to Dido, and thereabout of it especially, where he speaks of Priams slaughter. If it liue in your memory, begin at this Line, let me see, let me see: The rugged Pyrrhus like th'Hyrcanian Beast. It is not so: it begins with Pyrrhus The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose Sable Armes Blacke as his purpose, did the night resemble When he lay couched in the Ominous Horse, Hath now this dread and blacke Complexion smear'd With Heraldry more dismall: Head to foote Now is he to take Geulles, horridly Trick'd With blood of Fathers, Mothers, Daughters, Sonnes, Bak'd and impasted with the parching streets, That lend a tyrannous, and damned light To their vilde Murthers, roasted in wrath and fire, And thus o're-sized with coagulate gore, With eyes like Carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus Olde Grandsire Priam seekes

Pol. Fore God, my Lord, well spoken, with good accent, and good discretion

1.Player. Anon he findes him, Striking too short at Greekes. His anticke Sword, Rebellious to his Arme, lyes where it falles Repugnant to command: vnequall match, Pyrrhus at Priam driues, in Rage strikes wide: But with the whiffe and winde of his fell Sword, Th' vnnerued Father fals. Then senselesse Illium, Seeming to feele his blow, with flaming top Stoopes to his Bace, and with a hideous crash Takes Prisoner Pyrrhus eare. For loe, his Sword Which was declining on the Milkie head Of Reuerend Priam, seem'd i'th' Ayre to sticke: So as a painted Tyrant Pyrrhus stood, And like a Newtrall to his will and matter, did nothing. But as we often see against some storme, A silence in the Heauens, the Racke stand still, The bold windes speechlesse, and the Orbe below As hush as death: Anon the dreadfull Thunder Doth rend the Region. So after Pyrrhus pause, A rowsed Vengeance sets him new a-worke, And neuer did the Cyclops hammers fall On Mars his Armours, forg'd for proofe Eterne, With lesse remorse then Pyrrhus bleeding sword Now falles on Priam. Out, out, thou Strumpet-Fortune, all you Gods, In generall Synod take away her power: Breake all the Spokes and Fallies from her wheele, And boule the round Naue downe the hill of Heauen, As low as to the Fiends

Pol. This is too long

Ham. It shall to'th Barbars, with your beard. Prythee say on: He's for a Iigge, or a tale of Baudry, or hee sleepes. Say on; come to Hecuba

1.Play. But who, O who, had seen the inobled Queen

Ham. The inobled Queene? Pol. That's good: Inobled Queene is good

1.Play. Run bare-foot vp and downe, Threatning the flame With Bisson Rheume: A clout about that head, Where late the Diadem stood, and for a Robe About her lanke and all ore-teamed Loines, A blanket in th' Alarum of feare caught vp. Who this had seene, with tongue in Venome steep'd, 'Gainst Fortunes State, would Treason haue pronounc'd? But if the Gods themselues did see her then, When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport In mincing with his Sword her Husbands limbes, The instant Burst of Clamour that she made (Vnlesse things mortall moue them not at all) Would haue made milche the Burning eyes of Heauen, And passion in the Gods

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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