ページの画像
PDF
ePub

from you. We coted them on the way; and hither are they coming, to offer you service.

Ham. He that plays the king, shall be welcome; his majesty shall have tribute of me: the adventurous knight shall use his foil and target. The lover shall not sigh gratis; the humorous man shall end his part in peace; (the clown shall make those laugh, whose lungs are tickled o’the sere ; ?] and the lady shall say her mind freely, or the blank verse shall halt fort.What players are they?

Ros. Even those you were wont to take such delight in, the tragedians of the city.

Ham. How chances it, they travel ? 3 Their residence, both in reputation and profit, was better both ways.

Ros. I think their inhibition comes by the means of the late innovation.

Ham. Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was in the city? Are they so followed ?

Ros. No, indeed, they are not
Ham. How comes it? Do they grow rusty ?

Ros. Nay, their endeavor keeps in the wonted pace. But there is, sir, an aiery of children, little eyases,

i To cole is to pass alongside, to pass by.

2 The first quarto reads :-" The clown shall make them laugh that are tickled in the lungs." The same expression occurs in Howard's Defensative against the Poyson of supposed Prophecies, 1620, folio:—“Discovering the moods and humors of the vulgar sort to be so loose and tickle of the seare."

3 In the first quarto copy this passage stands thus :-
Ham. How comes it that they travel ? do they grow restie?
u Gil. No, my lord, their reputation holds as it was wont.
Ham. How then ?

Gil. I' faith, my lord, novelty carries it away, for the principal pubLicke audience that came to them, are turned to private plays, and to the humor of children.”

By this we may understand what Rosencrantz means in saying “ their inhibition comes of the late innovation," i. e. their prevention or hinderance comes from the late innovation of companies of juvenile performers, as the children of the revels, &c.—They have not relaxed in their endeavors to please, but this (brood) aiery of little children are now the fashion, and have so abused the common stages as to deter many from frequenting them.

4 i. e. a brood.
5 i. e. young nestlings; properly young, unfledged hawks.

Ham. Ware they escother can sing

that cry out on the top of the question, and are most tyrannically clapped for't. These are now the fashion ; and so berattle the common stages, (so they call them,) that many, wearing rapiers, are afraid of goose quills, and dare scarce come thither.

Ham. What, are they children? who maintains them? how are they escoted ?? Will they pursue the quality, no longer than they can sing? - will they not say afterwards, if they should grow themselves to common players, (as it is most like, if their means are no better, their writers do them wrong, to make them exclaim against their own succession ?

Ros. Faith, there has been much to do on both sides; and the nation holds it no sin, to tarre 5 them on to controversy. There was, for a while, no money bid for argument, unless the poet and the player went to cuffs in the question.

Ham. Is it possible?

Guil. O, there has been much throwing about of brains.

Ham. Do the boys carry it away?

Ros. Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules and his load too."

Ham. It is not very strange ; for my uncle is king of Denmark, and those that would make mouths 7 at him while my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred ducats a piece, for his picture in little. 'Sblood, there is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out. [Flourish of trumpets within.

Guil. There are the players.

I Question is speech, conversation. The meaning may therefore be, they cry out on the top of their voice.

2 i. e. paid.

3 i. e. profession. Mr. Gifford has remarked, that “this word seems more peculiarly appropriated to the profession of a player by our old writers."

4 “ No longer than they can sing,” i. e, no longer than they keep the voices of boys, and sing in the choir.

5 i. e, set them on; a phrase borrowed from the setting on a dog.

6 i. e. carry all the world before them: there is, perhaps, an allusion to the Globe theatre, the sign of which is said to have been Hercules carrying the globe,

7 First copy,“ mops and moes;" folio, “mowes.”

Ros. Then is the world one.

Ham. A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons; Denmark being one of the worst.

Ros. We think not so, my lord.

Ham. 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.

Ros. Why, then your ambition makes it one; 'tis too narrow for your mind.

Ham. O God! I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.

Guil. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition ; for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.

Ham. A dream itself is but a shadow.

Ros. Truly; and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality, that it is but a shadow's shadow.

Ham. Then are our beggars, bodies; and our monarchs, and outstretched heroes, the beggars' shadows.' Shall we to the court? for, by my fay,? I cannot reason.

Ros. Guil. We'll wait upon you.

Ham. No such matter; I will not sort you with the rest of my servants; for, to speak to you like an honest man, I am most dreadfully attended.] But, in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore ? 3

Ros. To visit you, my lord; no other occasion.

Ham. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you; and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear, a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation ? Come, come; deal justly with me: come, come; nay, speak.

Guil. What should we say, my lord ?
Ham. Any thing—but to the purpose. You were

1 “If ambition is such an unsubstantial thing, then are our beggars (who at least can dream of greatness) the only things of substance, and monarchs and heroes, though appearing to fill such mighty space with their ambition, but the shadows of the beggars' dreams."

2 By my faith.
3 What do you at Elsinore ?

VOL. VII. 38

and iny daughter.—My honorable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you."

Ham. You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal; except my life, except my life, except my life.

Pol. Fare you well, my lord.
Ham. These tedious old fools !

Enter RosENCRANTZ and GuilDENSTERN.
Pol. You go to seek the lord Hamlet; there he is.
Ros. God save you, sir !

[To Polonius.

[Exit POLONIUS. Guil. My honored lord ! Ros. My most dear lord !

Ham. My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern ? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both ?

Řos. As the indifferent children of the earth.

Guil. Happy, in that we are not overhappy;
On fortune's cap we are not the very button.

Ham. Nor the soles of her shoe?
Ros. Neither, my lord.

Ham. Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favors ?

Guil. "Faith, her privates we.

Ham. In the secret parts of fortune ? O, most true; she is a strumpet. What news?

Ros. None, my lord ; but that the world is grown honest.

Ham. Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. (Let me question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither ?

Guil. Prison, my lord !
Ham. Denmark's a prison.

1 This speech is abridged thus in the quartos :

“I will leave him and my daughter. My lord,

I will take my leave of you." 9 All within crotchets is wanting in the quarto copies.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Ros. Then is the world one.

Ham. A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons ; Denmark being one of the worst.

Ros. We think not so, my lord.

Ham. 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.

Ros. Why, then your ambition makes it one; 'tis too narrow for your mind.

Ham. O God! I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.

Guil. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition ; for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.

Ham. A dream itself is but a shadow.

Ros. Truly; and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality, that it is but a shadow's shadow.

Ham. Then are our beggars, bodies; and our monarchs, and outstretched heroes, the beggars' shadows." Shall we to the court? for, by my fay,” I cannot reason.

Ros. Guil. We'll wait upon you.

Ham. No such matter; I will not sort you with the rest of my servants; for, to speak to you like an honest man, I am most dreadfully attended.) But, in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore ? 3

Ros. To visit you, my lord; no other occasion.

Ham. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you; and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear, a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation ? Come, come; deal justly with me: come, come; nay, speak.

Guil. What should we say, my lord ?
Ham. Any thing—but to the purpose. You were

1 “ If ambition is such an unsubstantial thing, then are our beggars (who at least can dream of greatness) the only things of substance, and monarchs and heroes, though appearing to fill such mighty space with their ambition, but the shadows of the beggars' dreams."

2 By my faith.
3 What do you at Elsinore ?

VOL. VII.

[ocr errors]
« 前へ次へ »