“Be this the hour of amateurs?”
Upon the stage our plays are oft a pearl,
Yet by my troth, this were a crock-of-shit
I prithee, stay and hear of my disquiet.
Upon these fair and bright ides of July,
we, the King’s Men, hath assembled here
to rehearse The Tragedy of Macbeth
Yet, the cause of my tremendous grief
’twas strangely not the fate of Cawdor’s Thane,
but the incompetence of them that play.
O! I would that my pages held as much
Of trag’dy in them as thine playing doth.
Thou hast missed more lines, surely than thou spoke,
as though entombed in thy skulls there to rot.
The witches hath ad libbed many things
Including “Finger of birth strangl’d babe”
Which hath given me pause and great concern.
Beseech you, learn your lines before the morr’w.
Act two, where was’t the dagger of Macbeth?
Hath Richard thus forgot to take his prop?
It hath been moved from its rightful place?
Fie on the knave who wouldest move a prop!
In truth, misfortune hath here smil’d on us
For I prefer the speech without the knife
Thus, speak the speech, I pray you, with no blade.
My Lady M, thy death scene stinks to Heav’n
Thy fits and quaking counterfeit more like
The throes of rapture than the maw of death
Aye, better we end with her madness scene
And have the doctor tell of her demise
Marry, let us give it no further thought.
As playwright and director of Macbeth,
I would my hands be thrust upon the fire
Than that our play, as you perform’d tonight,
should thus be thrust upon our audience.
It is my great sorrow to speak these words
Yet hold I such a strong belief in you
That to be silent would but do you wrong.
Go to! We’ll ply our craft upon the morr’w
And undergo to tread the boards anew
And tho rehearsal’s shame we will forget
In private, we’ll speak no more of “Macbeth”