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C 22 277
Sh., Wm. (Plays)
To the Celestiall and my so_les Idol, the most beau
tifiedOphelia, that's an ill phrase, a vile phras_,
beautified is a vile phrase, but you shall heare: thus
in her excellent white bosome, these &c.
O deere Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers, I haue not art to rec
ken my groanes, but that I loue thee best, Oh most best be
leeue it! adew. Thine euermore most deare Lady, whilst this
machine is to him. (Hamlet.
For if the sunne breed maggots in a dead dogge, being
a good kissing carrion. Haue you a daughter?
How say you by that, still harping on my daughter, yet he
knew me not at first, a sayd I was a Fishmonger, a is farre gone,
and truely in my youth, I suffred much extremity for loue, very
neere this. Ile speake to him againe. What doe you read my
Slanders sir; for the satericall rogue saies here, that old
men haue gray beards, that their faces are wrinckled, their eyes
purging thick Amber, & plum‐tree gum, & that they haue a plen
Though this be madnesse, yet there is method in't, wil you
walke our of the ayre my Lord?
Indeede that's out of the ayre; how pregnant sometimes
his replies are, a happines that often madnes hits on, which reason
and sanctity could not so prosperously be dliuered of. I will leaue
him and my daughter. My Lord, I wi_l take my leaue of you.
You cannot take from me any thing that I will not more
willingly part withall: except my life, except my life, except my
Begger that I am, I am euer poore in thankes, but I thank
you, and sure deare friends, my thankes are too deare a halfpeny:
were you not sent for? is it your owne inclining? is it a free visita
tion? come, come, deale iustly with me, come, come, nay speake.
Any thing but to'th purpose; you were sent for, and there is
a kind of confession in your lookes, which your modestyes haue not
craft enough to cullour, I know the good King and Queene haue
sent for you.
That you must teach me: but let me coniure you, by the
rights of our fellowshippe, by the consonancy of our youth, by the
obligation of our euer preserued loue; and by what more deare a
better proposer can charge you withall, bee euen and direct with
mee whether you were sent for or no–
I will tell you why so shall, my anticipation preuent your
discouery, and your secrecie to the King and Queen_ moult no fea
ther, I haue of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth,
forgon all custome of exercises, and indeede it goes soe heauily with
my disposition, that this goodly frame the earth, seemes to mee a
sterill promontorie, this most excellent Canopie the ayre, looke
you, this braue ore‐hanged firmament, this maiesticall roofe fret
ted with golden fire, why it appearth nothing to mee but a foule
and pestilent congregation of vapours. What peece of worke is a
man, how noble in reason, how infinit in faculties, in forme and
moouing, how expresse and admirable in action, how like an An
gell in apprehen_ion, how like a God: the beauty of the world; the
parragon of Annimales, and yet to mee, what is this Quintessence of
dust? man delights not mee nor woman neither, though by your
smiling you seeme to say so.
To thinke my Lord if you delight not in man, what Lenton
entertainement the players shal receiue from you, wee coted them
on the way, and hether are the coming to offer you seruice.
He that playes the King shal be welcome, his Maiesty shal
haue tribute on mee, the aduenterous Knight shal vse his foyle and
target, the louer shal not sing gratis, the humorous man shal end his
part in peace and the Lady shal say her mind freely: or the blanke
verse shal hault for't. What players are they?
Do the hold the same estimation they did when I was
in the City? are they so followed?
It is not very strange, for my Vncle is King of Denmarke
& those that would make mouths at him whil_ my father liued,
giue twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred duckets a peece, for his Pic
ture in little: s'bloud there is something in this more then na
turall, if Philosophy could find it out.
Gentlemen you are welcome to Elsonoure, your hands,
come then th'apportenance of welcome is fashion and ceremo
nie; let mee comply with you in this garb: let my extent to the
players, which I tell you must showe fayrely outwards, should
more appeare like entertainement then yours? you are welcome:
but my Vncle‐father, and Aunt‐mother, are deceaued.
Hark you Guyldensterne, & you to, are each eare a hearer,
that great baby as you see is not yet out of his swadling clouts.
Happily he is the second time come to them, for they say
an old man is twice a child.
I will prophecy that he comes to tell me of the players;
marke it, you say right sir a Monday morning t'was then indeed.
The best actors in the world, either for Tragedy, Comedy,
History, Pastorall, Pastorall‐Comicall, Historical‐Pastorall, seeme
Why as by lot God wot, and then you know it came to
passe, as most like it was; the first rowe of the pious chanson will
show you more, for looke where my abridgment comes.
You are welcome maisters, welcome all, I am glad to see
thee well, welcome good friends, oh old friend, why thy face is
valanc'd since I saw thee last, com'st thou to beard me in Dēmark ?
what my young lady and Mistris, by lady your ladishippe is
nerer to heauen, then when I saw you last by the altitude of a
chopine, pray God your voyce like a peece of vncurrant gold,
bee not crackt within the ring: maisters you are all welcome,
weele ento't like friendly Faukners, flie at any thing wee see,
weele haue a speech straite, come giue vs a taste of your quality,
come a passionate speech.
I heard thee speake me a speech once, but it was neuer ac
ted, or if it was, not aboue once, for the play I remember pleasd
not the million, t'was cauiary to the general, but it was as I recei
ued it & others, whose iudgments in such matters cried in the top
of mine, an excellent play, well digested in the scenes, set downe
with as much modesty as cunning. I remember one sayd there
were no sallets in the lines, to make the matter sauory, nor no
matter in the phrase that might indite the author of affection,
but cald it an honest method, as wholesome as sweet, & by very
much, more handsome then fine: one speech in't I chiefly loued,
t'was Æneas talke to Dido, & there about of it especially when
he speakes of Priams slaughter, if it liue in your memory begin at
this line, let me see, let me see, the rugged Pyrhus like Th'ircanian
It shal to the barbers with your beard; prethee say on, he's
for a Iig, or a tale of bawdry, or he sleepes, say on, come to Hecuba.
Looke where he has not turned his collour, and has teares
in's eyes prethee no more,
Tis well, Ile haue thee speake out the rest of this soone,
good my Lord will you see the players well bestowed; doe you
heare, let them be well vsed, for they are the abstract and breefe
Chronicles' of the time; after your death you were better haue a
bad Epitaph then their ill report while you liue.
Gods bodkin man, much better, vse euery man after his
desert, and who shall scape whipping. vse them after your owne
honour and dignity, the lesse they deserue the more merrit is
in your bounty. Take them in.
Weele hau't to morrow night, you could for need study
a speech of some dosen lines, or sixteene lines, which I would set
downe and insert in't: could you not?
Very well, follow that Lord, and looke you mocke him
not. My good friends, Ile leaue you till night, you are welcome
That if you be honest and faire, you should admit
no discourse to your beauty.
I truely, for the power of beauty will sooner transforme ho
nesty from what it is to a baude, then the force of honesty can trans
late beauty into his likenesse, this was sometime a paradox, but now
the time giues it proofe, I did loue you once.
Get thee a Nunry: why would'st thou be a bre eder of sin
ners? I am my selfe indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse mee of
such things, that it were better my Mother had not borne mee: I am
very proude, reuengefull, ambitious, with mo_e offences at my becke,
then I haue thoughts to put them in, imaginatiō to giue them shape,
or time to act them in: what should such fellowes as I do crauling be
tweene earth and heauen? we are arrant knaues, beleeue none of vs.
go thy waies to a Nunry, Wher's your father?
If thou doost marry, Ile giue thee this plage for thy dow
rie, be thou as chast as yce, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape ca
lumny get thee to a Nunry, farewell. Or if thou wilt needs marry,
marry a foole, for wise men know well enough what monsters you
make of them: to a Nunry goe, and quickly to, farwell.
I haue heard of your paintings well enough, God hath gi
uen you one face, and you make your selfes another, you gig and am
ble, and you list you nickname Gods creaturs, and make your wan
tonnes ignorance; goe to, Ile no more on't, it hath made me madde,
I say we will haue no mo marriage, those that are married already, all
but one shal liue, the rest shall keep as they are: to a Nunry go.
Speake the speech I pray you as I pronounc'd it to you, trip
pingly on the tongue, but if you mouth it as many of our Players do,
I had as liue the towne cryer spoke my lines, nor doe not saw the aire
too much with your hand thus, but vse all gently, for in the very tor
rent tempest, and as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must
acquire and beget a temperance, that may giue it smoothnesse, O it
offends me to the soule, to heare a robustious perwig‐pated fellow
Be not too tame neither, but let your own e discretion bee
your tutor, sute the action to the word, the word to the action, with
this speciall obseruance, that you ore‐steppe not the modesty of na
ture: For any thing so ore‐doone, is from the purpose of playing,
whose end both at the first, and now, was and is, to hold as twere
the Mirrour vp to nature, to shew vertue her feature; scorne her own
Image, and the very age and body of the time his forme and pressure:
Now this ouer‐done, or come trady off, though it makes the vnskil
full laugh, cannot but make the iudicious greeue, the censure of
which one, must in your allowance ore⸗weigh a whole Theater of o
thers. O there bee Players that I haue seene play, and heard others
praysd, and that highly, not to speake it prophanely, that neither ha
uing th'accent of Christians, nor the gate of Christian, Pagan, nor
man, haue so strutted and bellowed, that I haue thought some of Na
tures Iournemen had made men, and not made them well, they imita
ted humanity so abominably.
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 quantity of barraine spectators
to laugh to, though in the meane time, some necessary question of
the play be then to be considered: that's villanous, and shewes a most
pittifull ambition in the foole that vses it: goe make you ready. How
now my Lord, will the King heare this peece of worke?
O God! your onely Iigge‐maker, what should a man do but
be merry, for looke you how cheerfully my Mother lookes, and my
father died within's two howres.
So long, nay then let the diuell weare blacke, for Ile haue a
sute of sables; O heauens, die two months ago, and not forgotten yet,
then there's hope a great mans memory may out‐liue his life halfe a
yeare, but ber Lady a must build Churches then, or else shall a suffer
not thinking on, with the Hobby‐horse, whose Epitaph is, for O, for
O, the hobby‐horse is forgot.
I or any show that you will show him, be not you asham'd
to show heele not shame to tell you what it meanes.
The Mousetrap, mary how tropically, this play is the Image
of a murther done in Vienna, Gonzago is the Dukes name, his wife
Baptista, you shall see anone, tis a knauish peece of worke, but what
of that? your maiesty and we shall haue free soules, it touches vs not,
let the gauled Iade winch, our withers are vnwrung. This is one Lu
cianus, Nephew to the King.
So you mistake your husbands. Beginne murtherer, leaue
thy damnable faces and begin, come, the croking Rauen doth bel
low for reuenge.
A poysons him i'th Garden for his estate, his names Gonza
go, the story is extant and written in very choice Italian, you shall see
anon how the murtherer gets the loue of Gonzagoes wife.
For some must watch whilst some must sleepe,
Thus runnes the world away. Would not this sir and a forrest of fea
thers, if the rest of my fortunes turne Turke with me, with prouinci
all Roses, on my raz'd shooes, get me a fellowship in a city of players?
O good Horatio, Ile take the Ghosts word for a thousand
pound. Didst perceaue?
Your wisedome should shew it selfe more richer to signifie
this to the Doctor, for, for me to put him to his purgation, would per
haps plunge him into more choller.
Nay good my Lord, this curtesie is not of the right breed, if
it shall please you to make me a wholsome aunswer, I will doe your
mothers commaundement, if not, your patdon and my returne, shall
be the end of busines.
Make you a wholsome answer, my wits diseasd, but sir, such
answere as I can make, you shall eommaund, or rather as you say, my
mother, therefore no more, but to the matter, my mother you say.
O wonderfull sonne that can so stonish a mother! but is
there no sequell at the heeles of this mothers admiration? impart.
Good my Lord, what is your cause of distemper, you do sure
ly barre the doore vpon your owne liberty, if you deny your griefes
to your friend.
How can that be when you haue the voyce of the King him
selfe for your succession in Denmarke.
I sir, but while the grasse growes, the prouerbe is something
musty, oh the Recorders, let me see one, to withdraw with you, why
do you goe about to recouer the wind of me, as if you would driue
me into a toyle?
It is as easie as lying; gouerne these ventages with your fin
gers, and the thumb giue it breath with your mouth, and it will dis
course most eloquent musique, looke you, these are the stoppes.
Why looke you now how vnworthy a thing you make of
me, you would play vpon me, you would seeme to know my stops,
you would plucke out the hart of my misterie, you would sound mee
from my lowest note to my compasse, and there is much musique ex
cellēt voice in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak, s_blood
do you thinke I am easier to be plaid on then a pipe, call me what in
strument you wil, though you fret me not, you cannot play vpon me.
God blesse you sir.
That I can keepe your counsaile and not mine owne, besides
to be demaunded of a spunge, what replication should be made by
the sonne of a King.
I sir, that sokes vp the Kings countenance, his rewards, his
authorities, but such Officers do the King best seruice in the end, he
keepes them like an apple in the corner of his iaw, first mouth'd to be
last swallowed, when he needs what you haue gleand, it is but squee
sing you, and spunge you shall be dry againe.
The body is with the King, but the King is not with the
body. The King is a thing.
Not where he eates, but where a is eaten, a certaine conua
cation of politique wormes are een at him: your worme is your only
Emperour for dyet, we fat all creatures else to fat vs, and we fat our
selues for maggots, your fat King and your leane begger is but varia
ble seruice, two dishes but to one table, that's the end.
A man may fish with the worme that hath eate of a King,
eate of the fish that hath fedde of that worme.
In heauen, send thether to see, if your messenger find him
not there, seeke him i'th other place your selfe, but if indeed you find
him not within this month, you shall nose him as you goe vppe the
stayres into the Lobby.
I hope all will be well, we must be patient, but I cannot chuse
but weepe to thinke they would lay him i'th cold ground my bro
ther shall know of it, and so I thanke you for your good counsaile.
There's Rosemary, that for remembrance, pray you loue re
member, and there is Pancies, thats for thoughts.
There's Fennill for you, and Colembines, there's Rewe for
you, & heere's some for me, we may call it herbe of Grace a Sondaies,
you may weare your Rewe with a difference, there's a Dasie, I would
giue you some Violets, but they witherd all when my Father dyed,
they say a made a good end.
A shall sir and please him, there's a Letter for you sir, it came
from th'Embassador that was bound for England, if your name bee
Horatio, as I am let to know it is.
Horatio, when thou shalt haue ouer‐look't this, giue these fel
lowes some meanes to the King, they haue Letters for him: Ere wee
were two daies old at Sea, a Pyrat of very warlike appointment gaue
vs chase, finding our selues too slow of saile, we put on a compelled
valour, and in the grapple I boorded them, on the instant they got
cleere of our ship, so I alone became their prisoner, they haue dealt
with me like theeues of mercy, but they knew what they did: I am to
doe a turne for them, let the King haue the Letters I haue sent, and
repayre thou to mee with as much speed as thou wouldst fly death.
I haue words to speake in thine eare wil make thee dumbe, yet are
So that thou knowest thine Hamlet.
High and mighty, you shall know I am set naked on your kingdome,
to morrow shall I begge leaue to see your kingly eyes, when I shall,
first asking you pardon, there‐vnto recount the occasion of my sud
Is she to be buried in Christian buriall, when she wilfully
seekes her owne saluation?
I tell thee she is, therfore make her graue straight, the crow
ner hath sate on her, and finds it Christian buriall.
It must be so offended, it cannot be else, for heere lyes the
poynt, if I drowne my selfe wittingly, it argues an act, and an act hath
three branches, it is to act, to doe, to performe, or all; she drownd her
Giue me leaue, here lies the water, good, here stands the
Will you ha the truth an't, if this had not beene a gentlewo
man, she should haue bin buried out a Christian buriall.
Why there thou sayst, and the more pitty that great folke
should haue countenance in this world to drown or hang themselues,
more then their euen Christen: Come my spade, there is no aunci
ent gentlemen but Gardners, Ditchers, and Graue‐makers, they hold
vp Adams profession.
I like thy wit well in good faith, the gallowes dooes well,
but how dooes it well? It dooes well to those that do ill, now thou
doost ill to say the gallowes is built stronger then the Church, argal,
the gallowes may doe well to thee. Too't againe, come.
That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once, how the
knaue iowles it to the ground, as if twere Caines iaw‐bone, that did
the first murder: this might be yͤ pate of a polliticiā , which this Asse
now ore‐reaches. one that would circumuent God, might it not?
Or of a Courtier, which could say good morrow my Lord:
how dost thou sweet Lord? This might be my Lord such a one, that
praised my lord such a ones horse whē a ment to beg it: might it not?
Why een so; & now my Lady wormes Choples, & knockt
about the maz er with a Sextens spade; heer's fine reuolution and
we had the trick to see't, did these bones cost no more the breeding,
but to play at loggits with them: mine ake to thinke ont.
There's another, why may not that be the skull of a lawyer?
where be his q_iddities now, hisquillities, his cases, his tenurs, & his
trickes? why dooes he suffer this mad knaue now to knock him a
bout the sconce with a durty shouell, and will not tell him of his acti
on of battery: hum, this fellow might be in's time a great buyer of
Land, with his Statutes, his recognisances, his fines, his double vou
chers, his recoueries, to haue his fine pate full of fine durt: will vou
chers vouch him no more of his purchases & doubles then the length
and breadth of a payre of Indentures? The vety conueyances of his
Lands will scarcely lye in this box, and must th'inheritor himselfe
haue no more? ha.
They are Sheepe and Calues which seeke out assurance in
that, I will speake to this fellow. Whose graue's this sirra?
Thou dost lye in't to be in't and say it is thine, tis for the
dead, not for the quicke, therefore thou lyest.
How absolute the knaue is, we must speake by the card, or
equiuocation will vndoo vs. By the Lord Horatio, this three yeares I
haue tooke note of it, the age is growne so picked, that the toe of the
pesant comes so neere the heele of the Courtier he galls his kybe.
How long hast thou bene a Graue‐maker?
Cannot you tell that? euery foole can tell that, it was that
very day that young Hamlet was borne: he that is mad and sent into
Why because a was mad_: a shall recouer his wits there, or if
a doe not, tis no great matter there,
Why heere in Denmarke: I haue beene Sexton heere man
and boy thirty yeares.
Faith if a be not rotten before a die, as we haue many poc
kie cors_s, that will scarce hold the laying in, a will last you some
eight yeare, or nine yeare. A Tanner will last you nine yeare,
Why sir, his hide is so tand with his trade, that a will keepe
out water a great while; & your water is a sore decayer of your whor
son dead body, heer's a scull now hath lyen you i'th earth 23. yeares.
Alas poore Yoricke, I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite
iest, of most excelent fancy, hee hath bore me on his backe a thou
sand times, and now how abhorred in my imagination it is: my gorge
rises at it. Here hung those lyppes that I haue kist I know not how
oft: where be your gibes now? your gamboles, your songs, your fla
shes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roare, not one
now to mocke your owne grinning, quite chopfalne. Now get you
to my Ladies table, and tell her, let her paint an inch thicke, to this fa
uour she must come, make her laugh at that.
To what base vses we may returne Horatio? Why may not
imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till a find it stopping
No faith, not a iot, but to follow him thether with modesty
enough, and likelihood to leade it. Alexander died, Alexander was
buried, Alexander returneth to dust, the dust is earth, of earth wee
make Lome, & why of that Lome whereto he was conuerted, might
Thy state is the more gratious, for tis a vice to know him,
He hath much land and fertill: let a beast be Lord of beasts, and his
crib shall stand at the Kings messe, tis a chough, but as I say, spaci
ous in the possession of durt.
Sweet Lord, if your Lordshippe were at Leasure, I should
impart a thing to you from his Maiesty.
Exceedingly my Lord, it is very soultry, as t'were I cannot
tell how: my Lord his Maiesty bad me signifie to you, that a has layed
a great wager on your head, fir this is the matter.
Nay good my Lord for my ease in good faith, sir here is newly
come to court Laertes, bele_ue me an absolute gentlemā , full of most
Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you, though I
know to devide him inuentorially, would dizzie th'arithmeticke of
memory, and yet but raw neither, in respect of his quick saile, but
in the verity of extolment, I take him to be a soule of great article,
and his infusion of such dearth and rarenesse, us to make true dixion
of him, his semblable is his mirrour, and who els would trace him,
his vmbrage, nothing more.
I dare not confesse that, least I should compare with him
in excellence, but to know a man well, were to know himselfe.
I meane si_ for this weapon, but in the imputation layd on
him by them in his meed, hee's vnfellowed.
The King sir hath wagerd with him six Barbary horses a
gainst the which he has impaund as I take it six french Rapiers and
Poynards, with their assignes, as girdle, hanger and so. Three of the
cariages in faith, are very deare to fancy, very responsiue to the hilts,
most dilicate carriages, and of very liberall conceit.
The phrase would be more German to the matter if wee
could carry a Cannon by our sides, I would it might be hangers till
then, but on, six Barbary horses against six french swords their as
signes, and three liberall conceited carriages, that's the French bet
against the Danish, why is this all you call it?
The King sir, hath laid sir, that in a dozen passes betweene
your selfe and him, hee shall not exceede you three hits, hee hath
layd on twelue for nine, and it would come to immediate tryall, if
your Lordshippe would vouchsafe the answere.
Sir I will walke heere in the hall, If it please his Maiesty, it
is the breathing time of day with mee, let the foyles be brought, the
Gentleman willinge, and the Kinge hold his purpose; I will winne
for him and I can, if not I will gaine nothing but my shame, and the
A did so sir with his dugge before a suckt it, thus has he and
many more of the same breede that I know the drossy age dotes on,
onely got the tune of the time, and out of an habit of incounter, a
kind of misty collection, which carryes them through and through
the most prophane and trennowned opinions, and doe but blowe
them to their tryall, the bubbles are out
My Lord, his Maiesty commended him to you by younge
Ostricke, who brings backe to him that you attend him in the hall,
hee sends to know if your pleasure hold to play with Laertes, or that
you will take longer time?
I am constant to my purposes, they follow the Kings plea
sure, if his fitnes speakes, mine is ready: now or whensoeuer, pro
uided I be so able as now.
The Queene desires you to vse some gentle entertainment
to Laertes, before you goe to play.
I doe not thinke so, since hee went into France, I haue bin
in continuall practise, I shall winne at the ods; thou would'st not
thinke how ill all's heere about my heart, but it is no matter.
It is but foolery, but it is such a kinde of game‐giuing, as
would perhaps trouble a woman.
If your mind dislike any thing, obay it. I will forestall their
repaire hether and say you are not fit.
Not a whit we defie augury, there is speciall prouidence in
the fall of a Sparrowe, if it be, tis not to come, if it bee not to come,
it will be now, if it bee not now, yet it will come, the readines is all,
since no man of ought hee leaues, knowes what ist to leaue betimes,
cat. 3 Jul. '17 B,