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What said he? Oph. He took me by the wrist, and held me hard; Then goes he to the length of all his arm; And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow, He falls to such perusal of my face, As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so; At last—a little shaking of mine arm, And thrice his head thus waving up and down,He rais'd a sigh so piteous and profound, As it did seem to shatter all his bulk,* And end his being: That done, he lets me go And, with his head over his shoulder turn'd, He seem'd to find his way without his eyes: For out o’ doors he went without their helps, And, to the last, bended their light on me.
Beshrew my jealousy!
HAPPINESS CONSISTS IN OPINION. Why, then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so; to me it is a prison.
REFLECTIONS ON MAN.
I have of late, (but, wherefore, I know not,) lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises: and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why it appears no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like
a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me, nor woman neither; though, by your smiling, you seem to say so.
HAMLET'S REFLECTIONS ON THE PLAYER AND
0, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! Is it not monstrous, that this player here, But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, Could force his soul to his own conceit. 'That from her working, all his visage wann'd; Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect, A broken voice, and his whole function suiting, With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing! For Hecuba! What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, That he should weep for her? What would he do, Had he the motive and the cue for passion That I have? He would drown the stage with tears, And cleave the general ear with horrid speech; Make mad the guilty, and appal the free, Confound the ignorant; and amaze, indeed, The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I, A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak, Like John a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, And can say nothing; no, not for a king, Upon whose property, and most dear life, A'damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward? Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across? Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face? Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i’th
throat, As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this? Ha! Why, I should take it: for it cannot be, But I am pigeon liver'd, and lack gall To make oppression bitter; or, ere this, I should have fatted all the region kites With this slave's offal: Bloody, bawdy villain! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, hindless villain!
Why, what an ass am I? This is most brave,
The spirit I have seen,
0, 'tis too true! how smart
SOLILOQUY ON LIFE AND DEATH.
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune;
Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.
A DISORDERED MIND.
0, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown! The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword: The expectancy and rose of the fair state,
* Stir, bustle. + Consideration. Rudeness. § Acquittance. || The ancient term for a small dagger. T Pack, burden. ** Boundary, limits.
The glass of fashion, and the mould* of form,
HAMLET'S INSTRUCTIONS TO THE PLAYERS. Speak the speech, I pray yo', as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus: but use all gently: for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to hear 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, and noise: I would have such a fellow whipped for out-doing. Termagant; it out-herods Herod. $ Pray
Play. I warrant your honour.
Ham. Be not too tamne 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 modesty of nature: for any thing 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, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. T Now this, overdone, or come tardy off,
* The model by whom all endeavoured to form themselves.
† Alienation of mind. * The meaner people then seem to have sat in the pit. & Herod's character was always violent. | Impression, resemblance.
you, avoid it.