This is always good advice. Life is a stage. All self-respecting drama students read this. It's advice to the Players in Life. Amazing. how modern this advice is to all humanity. The earlier post reminded me. O share it ...
Speak the speech, I pray you, as pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue, but if you mouth it, as many of your 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, the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness.
O! it offends me to the soul to hear robustious periwig-pated fellow in tear a passion of 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 o'er' doing Termagant; it out herods Herod:`pray you, avoid it.
But not too tame neither; but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to action, with this special observance, that you over stepped not he modesty of Nature; for anything so overdone is from the purpose of Playing, whose end, both at first and now, was and is, to hold. as 'it where, the mirror up to Nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time is form and pressure.
Now, this overdone or come tardy off, though it make the unskilled laugh, cannot make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one must is your allowance o'er' weight a whole theatre of others.
O! 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 gait of Christian, Pagan, nor 'human' have strutted and bellowed that! have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made then and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
O! reform it altogether. And let those who Plat your clowns speak no more than to set down for them; for there be of them that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too, though in the mean time some necessary question of the Play be them to be considered;
O! that's villainous, and shows a most pitiful ambitious in the fool that uses it. Go make you ready. - Hamlet's Advice to the Players. W.S.