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What players are they?

What players are they?
Even those you were wont to take such
delight in, the tragedians of the city.
How chances it they travel? Their residence,
both in reputation and profit, was better both ways.
I think their inhibition comes by the
means of the late innovation.
Do they hold the same estimation they did
when I was in the city? Are they so followed?
No, indeed are they not.
How comes it? Do they grow rusty?
Nay, their endeavor keeps in the wonted
pace. But there is, sir, an aerie of children, little
eyases, that cry out on the top of 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.
What, are they children? Who maintains 'em?
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?
Faith, there has been much to-do on
both sides, and the nation holds it no sin to tar
them to controversy. There was for a while no
money bid for argument unless the poet and the
player went to cuffs in the question.
Is ‘t possible?
O, there has been much throwing
about of brains.
Do the boys carry it away?
Ay, that they do, my lord—Hercules
and his load too.
It is not very strange; for my uncle is King of
Denmark, and those that would make mouths at
him while my father lived give twenty, forty, fifty,
a hundred ducats apiece for his picture in little.
‘Sblood, there is something in this more than natural,
if philosophy could find it out.

Act 2
Scene 2
Line 350

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