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HAMLET ON A FUTURE STATE.—(Shakespeare.)
To be, or not to be, -that is the question :-
HAMLET TO THE PLAYERS.—(Shakespeare.) SPEAK the speech, I pray you, 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. Oh! 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 show and noise! I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod : pray you, avoid it. 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 modesty 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, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure. Now, this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one must, in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. Oh! there be players that I have seen play-and heard others praise, and that highly,not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christian, 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.
HUMOROUS POETICAL SELECTIONS.
THE FOX AND THE CROW. “ The fox and the crow” in prose, I well know, many boys and girls can rehearse; but perhaps it will tell pretty nearly as well, if I try the same fable in verse.
In a dairy, a crow having ventured to go, some food for her young ones to seek, flew up to the trees with a large piece of cheese, which she joyfully held in her beak. A fox who lived by, to the tree saw her fly, and to share in the prize made a vow ; for having just dined, he for cheese felt inclined, so he went and sat under the bough. “A very fine day”—not a word did she say. “The wind, I believe, ma'am, is south. A fine harvest for peas." He then looked at the cheese ; but the crow did not open her mouth. Sly Reynard, not tired, her plumage admired—“How charming! how brilliant its hue. The voice must be fine of a bird so divine! Ah, just let me hear it, pray do. Believe me, I long to hear a sweet song.” So the silly crow foolishly tries. But she scarce gave one squall, when the cheese she let fall, and the fox, he made off with his prize.
Too CLEVER. From Nelson's “ROYAL READERS,” No. II., by the kind permission
of the Publishers. FRED came from school the first half year as learned as could be, and wished to show to all around how
smart a boy was he. And so at dinner he began
Papa, you think you see two roasted chickens on that dish, now I will prove them three. First, this is one, and that is two, as plain as plain can be; I add the one unto the two, and two and one make three.” “
Just so," then answered his papa ; “if what you say is true, I will take one, mamma takes one, the third we leave for you."
FREDDIE AND THE CHERRY-TREE. (From AUNT EFFIE's RHYMES,” by kind permission of Messrs.
G. ROUTLEDGE & Sons.)
Hanging on a cherry-tree,
Will you not come down to me ?”
“ We would rather stay up here;
You would eat us up, I fear.”
Dangled from a slender twig ;-
"Red and ripe, and O, how big !"
Little master, if you can.
“ If I were a grown-up man.”
Standing high upon his toes;
And laughed, and tickled Freddie's nose.
“I shall have them when it's right;" But a blackbird whistled boldly,
“I shall eat them all to-night !"
THE VOYAGE IN THE ARM-CHAIR.
(From the “CHILDREN'S FRIEND,” by kind permission of
Papa ! dear Papa ! we've had such a fine game !
We played at a sail on the sea :
And it sailed —O, as nice as could be !
We made Mary the captain, and Bob was the boy
Who cried, “ Ease her !” “ Back her !” and “Slow !" And Jem was the steersman who stands at the wheel,
And I watched the engines below.
We had for a passenger Grandmamma's cat,
And as Tom could not pay, he went free;
And we got to the sideboard at three.
Tom overboard jumped to the floor! And though we called, “ Tom! come back ! don't be
Till I tell you the end of our sail :
And at four o'clock saw such a whale !
The whale was the sofa, and it, dear Papa,
Is at least twice as large as our ship ! The captain called out, “ Turn the ship round about !
0, I wish I had not come this trip!”
And hide in some corner quite snug;"