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Pol.

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.

OLD AGE.

Beshrew my jealousy!
It seems it is as proper to our age
To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions,
As it is common for the younger sort
To lack discretion.

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

Body.

*

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

HIMSELF.

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,
'That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
And fall a cursing, like a very drab,
A scullion.
Fie upon't! foh! About my brains! Humph! I have

heard,
That guilty creatures, sitting at a play,
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul, that presently
They have proclaimed their malefactions:
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players
Play something like the murder of my father,
Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks;
I'll tent him to the quick; if he do blench,
I know my course.

The spirit I have seen,
May be a devil: and the devil hath power
To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and, perhaps,
Out of my weakness, and my melancholy,
(As he is very potent with such spirits)
À buses me to damn me: I'll have grounds
More relative than this: The play's the thing
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

ACT III.

HYPOCRISY.
We are oft to blame in this.
'Tis too much provod,—that, with devotion's visage,
And pious action, we do sugar o'er
The devil himself.
King.

0, 'tis too true! how smart
A lash that speech doth give my conscience!
The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art,
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it,
Than is my deed to my most painted word.

SOLILOQUY ON LIFE AND DEATH.
To bc, or not to be, that is the question:-
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them?--To die,-to sleep,
No more;-and, by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ach, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to,- tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die;-to sleep;-
To sleep! perchance to dream;-ay, there's the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, *
Must give us pause: There's the respect,
That makes calamity of so long life:
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? || who would fardeiss bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life;
But that the dread of something alter death,-
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn**
No traveller returns-puzzles the will;
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of!
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn away,
And lose the name of action.

CALUMNY.

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,
The observ'd of all observers! quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That suck'd the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh:
That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth
Blasted with ecstasy.t

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.

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