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2. HAMLET'S ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS.
. (FROM THE SAME TRAGEDY.)
Enter HAMLET and certain Players. Ham. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of your plavers do, I had as lief (I would as soon) the towncrier had spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too muchyour hand thus: but use all gently: for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget' a temperance, that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to see a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings;? who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows aud noise: I could have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant;' it out-herods Herod :4 pray you, avoid it.
1st Play. I warrant your honour.
Ham. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modestvo of nature; for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature? (shape), scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his (its) form and pressure (true
(1) Acquire and beget, 2.e. acquire in your mind, and beget or produce in others by your acting.
(2) Groundlings, those standing on the ground or in the pit. Only a penny was charged for admission to this part of the theatre, and no seats were provided.
(3) Capable. See note 3, p. 118.
(4) Termagant. “ Termagant, the god of the Saracens, and Herod, were characters in our old miracle-plays."-Collier.
(5) Modesty, fr. Lat. modestus, keeping due measure or limits, moderate. The modesty of nature is the exquisite equilibrium in which perfection consists.
(6) From the purpose-away from, inconsistent with.
(7) Fenture, fr. old Fr. faicture. “ The facture, workmanship, framing, making of a thing” (Cotgrave). Hence the framing or shape of the body or any part of it. Milton (" Paradise Lost,” x. 279) has“So scented the grim fenture (i.e. the shape or person of Satan) and upturned
His nostril wide into the murky air.” In mod. Eng. fenture in the sing. is a prominent or significant part of a thing, und in the pl. the component parts of the face.
impression or stamp). Now this, overdone, or come tardy off (whether overdone or underdone), though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of the which one (i.e. the judicious) must in your allowance? (approval, estimation) o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be players, that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it (call it) profanely, that, neither having the accent of christians, nor the gait of christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of nature's journeymen' had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
1st Play. I hope we have reformed that indifferently (tolerably well) with us, sir.
Ham. O, reform it altogether. And let those that play your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them : for there be of them, that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too; though, in the mean time, some necessary question (some critical point or situation of the play be then to be considered : that 's villainous; and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it (and who would ruin the performance rather than not have his own pitiful joke). Go, make you ready.
3. LADY MACBETH'S SLEEP-WALKING.
(FROM “MACBETH,” PUBLISHED IN 1606.) Doctor. I have two nights watched with you, but can perceive no truth in your report. When was it she last walked ?
Gentlewoman. Since his Majesty (Macbeth) went into the
(1) Allowance, fr. Fr. allmier, to praise, wh, fr. Lat. allaudare. The verb is in A.V. (Luke xi, 45), “Ye allow (approve of) the deeds of your fathers.” “Your allowance,” above, is the approbation which you are to gain; generally, your approbation means that which you are to confer. If this appears rather forced, we may interpret allowance by “estimation," which is justified by Shakspere's use of it in another passage (“Coriolanus,” iii. 2)
"Syllables Of no allowance" (estimation or value) (2) Journeyman, i.e. a journée man, a man who works by the day or in the daytime. A similar fancy to the above occurs in one of Robert Burns's songs,
“Her (nature's) prentice han'
She tried on man,
field, I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fuld it, write upon it, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.
Doct. A great perturbation in nature ! to receive at once the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of watching (waking)!-In this slumbery agitation, besides her walking and other actual performances, what, at any time, have you heard her say ?
Gent. That, sir, which I will not report after her.
Gent. Neither to you, nor to any one; having no witness to confirm my speech (what I say). Lo you, here she comes ! this is her very guise (manner, it is she herself); and, upon my life, fast asleep. Observe her: stand close.
Enter Laly MACBETH, with a taper. Doct. How came she by that light?
Gent. Why, it stood by her: she has light by her continually; 'tis her command.
Doct. You see, her eyes are open.
Doct. What is it she does now ? Look, how she rubs her hands.
Gent. It is an accustomed action with her, to seem thus washing her hands; I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour.
Lady M. Yet (still) here's a spot
Doct. Hark, she speaks : I will set down what comes from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more strongly.
Lady M. Out, damned (accursed) spot ! out, I say !-One; Two; why, then 'tis time to do 't:- Hell is murky! Fie, my lord (i.e. Macbeth), fie! a soldier, and afеard ? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?Yet who would have thought the old man (i.e. Duncan) to have had so much blood in him?
Doct. Do you mark that?
Lady M. The thane of Fife had a wife; where is she now ? - What, will these hands ne'er be clean fooNo more o' that, my lord, no more o' that:-you mar all with this starting.
Doct. (to the Gentlewoman) Gu to go to (come, come), you have known what you should not.
(1) Go to, a sort of interjection, like Lat. agedum, which is often used for, “come,” or “ come, come,” as, “ Come, come, that will never do." In A.V. (Gen. xi. 3), we have,“ Go to, let us make brick."
Gent. She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that: Heaven knows what she has known.
Lady M. Here's the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh! oh! oh!
Doct. What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely charged (loaded).
Gent. I would not have such a heart in my bosom for the dignity of the whole body (i.e. to be a queen like Lady Macbeth).
Doct. Well, well, well,
Doct. This disease is beyond my practice: yet I have known those which have walked in their sleep, who have died holily in their beds.
Lady M. Wash your hands, put on your night-gown; look not so pale :- I tell you yet again, Banquo's buried; he cannot come out on 's (of his) grave.
Doct. Even so ?
Lady M. To bed, to bed; there 's knocking at the gate.Come, come, come, come, give me your hand; what 's done, cannot be undone; to bed, to bed, to bed !?
4. SPEECH OF BRUTUS OVER CÆSAR'S BODY.
(FROM " JULIUS CÆSAR," FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1623.) Brutus. Romans, countrymen, and lovers ( friends)! hear me for my cause ; and be silent, that you may hear. Believe me for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe. Censure me (judge of me) in your wisdom, and awake your senses, that you may the better judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Cæsar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Cæsar was no less than his. If then that friend demand, why Brutus rose against Cæsar, this is my
(1) The intense conception of this wonderful scene scarcely needs pointing out. The wild storm of passion, made up of many elements, yet harmonised by the one intense feeling and consciousness of crime was probably never by mortal pen so strikingly represented.
(2) Lovers. This word, meaning simply “one who loves," was once applied, as were paramour, villain, and some others, to both sexes. So late as 1754, Dr. Craik tells us it was used by Smollett, who speaks of “a lover, of her delicacy and pride."
answer: Not that I loved Cæsar less (than that friend does), but that I loved Rome more (than that friend does). Had you rather? Cæsar were living, and die all slaves, than that Cæsar were dead, to live all freemen? As Cæsar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him; but as he was ambitious, I slew him. There is tears, for his love, joy for his fortune, honour for his valour, and death for his ambition. Who is here so base, that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude (barbarous, uncivilised), that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have 1 offended. Who is here so vile, that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.
Citizens. None, Brutus, none.
Brutus. Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Cæsar, than you shall do (ought to do) to Brutus. The ques. tion of his death is enrolled in the Capitol : his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy; nor his offences enforced (exaggerated), for which he suffered death.
Enter ANTONY, and others, with CÆSAR’s body. Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony; who, though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth ; as which of you shall not ? With this (this assurance) I depart, that, as I slew my best lover (friend) for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death.
(1) Rather, sooner, fr. an obsolete positive, rath or rathe (wh. fr. A.S. hræth, quick), meaning early; not found in Shakspere, but used afterwards by Milton, who speaks in - Lycidas” of “the rathe primrose.” Compare had rather with had lever, in note 1, p. 149.
(2) There is tears. This expression would now be ungrammatical, but was consistent with the usage of Shakspere's time, and may be justified on the general ground that the tears here were not to be considered as forming a plural. They are regarded as one thing, and therefore have the singular construction.
(3) Question, seems here to mean, as Dr. Craik remarks, “the statement of the reasons.” In modern phrase we might, perhaps, venture on the expression, much used, but not yet naturalised amongst us, “ pièces justicatives."