King. Loue? His affections do not that way tend, Nor what he spake, though it lack'd Forme a little, Was not like Madnesse. There's something in his soule? O're which his Melancholly sits on brood, And I do doubt the hatch, and the disclose Will be some danger, which to preuent I haue in quicke determination Thus set it downe. He shall with speed to England For the demand of our neglected Tribute: Haply the Seas and Countries different With variable Obiects, shall expell This something setled matter in his heart: Whereon his Braines still beating, puts him thus From fashion of himselfe. What thinke you on't? Pol. It shall do well. But yet do I beleeue The Origin and Commencement of this greefe Sprung from neglected loue. How now Ophelia? You neede not tell vs, what Lord Hamlet saide, We heard it all. My Lord, do as you please, But if you hold it fit after the Play, Let his Queene Mother all alone intreat him To shew his Greefes: let her be round with him, And Ile be plac'd so, please you in the eare Of all their Conference. If she finde him not, To England send him: Or confine him where Your wisedome best shall thinke

King. It shall be so: Madnesse in great Ones, must not vnwatch'd go.


Enter Hamlet, and two or three of the Players.

Ham. Speake the Speech I pray you, as I pronounc'd it to you trippingly on the Tongue: But if you mouth it, as many of your Players do, I had as liue the Town-Cryer had spoke my Lines: Nor do not saw the Ayre too much your hand thus, but vse all gently; for in the verie Torrent, Tempest, and (as I say) the Whirle-winde of Passion, you must acquire and beget a Temperance that may giue it Smoothnesse. O it offends mee to the Soule, to see a robustious Pery-wig-pated Fellow, teare a Passion to tatters, to verie ragges, to split the eares of the Groundlings: who (for the most part) are capeable of nothing, but inexplicable dumbe shewes, & noise: I could haue such a Fellow whipt for o're-doing Termagant: it outHerod's Herod. Pray you auoid it

Player. I warrant your Honor

Ham. Be not too tame neyther: but let your owne Discretion be your Tutor. Sute the Action to the Word, the Word to the Action, with this speciall obseruance: That you ore-stop not the modestie of Nature; for any thing so ouer-done, is fro[m] the purpose of Playing, whose end both at the first and now, was and is, to hold as 'twer the Mirrour vp to Nature; to shew Vertue her owne Feature, Scorne her owne Image, and the verie Age and Bodie of the Time, his forme and pressure. Now, this ouer-done, or come tardie off, though it make the vnskilfull laugh, cannot but make the Iudicious greeue; The censure of the which One, must in your allowance o'reway a whole Theater of Others. Oh, there bee Players that I haue seene Play, and heard others praise, and that highly (not to speake it prophanely) that neyther hauing the accent of Christians, nor the gate of Christian, Pagan, or Norman, haue so strutted and bellowed, that I haue thought some of Natures Iouerney-men had made men, and not made them well, they imitated Humanity so abhominably

Play. I hope we haue reform'd that indifferently with vs, Sir

Ham. O reforme it altogether. And let those that play your Clownes, speake no more then is set downe for them. For there be of them, that will themselues laugh, to set on some quantitie of barren Spectators to laugh too, though in the meane time, some necessary Question of the Play be then to be considered: that's Villanous, & shewes a most pittifull Ambition in the Foole that vses it. Go make you readie.

Exit Players.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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