"Ham Lett" by Wm. Shakespeare

Revu Revile Revill Reviw by Dave McCurdy
for the Tombstone Epitaff

People is allus sayin' whut a fine Playwrit this gent Shakespeare is.  But I'm here t' tell yuh, th' man is nuthin' but a damned Thief!

I paid 2 whole Nickels t' see th'aforementioned Production, namely "Ham Let", & after half an hour I was so mad I could spit nails!  & worst of all, when I commenced t' holler & demand my Money back, they threw me out!  Right in th' mud o' Texas Street, & yuh all know jist how filthy thet is!

Well I mean t' say!  Take thet "t' be er not t' be" speech.  Now I ain't no shiny-domed Eastern Perfesser, but I cain't count how many times I seen some ol' soak Actor do thet'un on stage.  & this varmint Shakespeare has th' nerve t' put it in his Play?  Get out th' tar & feathers, boys!

Or how 'bout thet line, "He was a man, I shall not see his like agin."  If'n yuh've bin to's many funerals as I have, yuh know thet'un gits sayed 'most ever time some high-rollin' pocket-liner er purse-mouthed pulpit-pounder goes t' meet his Maker.  (Jist betwixt yuh & me, it ain't never impressed me none when th' sky pilot drags it out, & I has my doubts it cuts no ice with th' Lord, either.)

Howsomever, th' point is, anyone who takes thet ol' chestnut & sets it in a Play has brass balls, & big'uns too!  & thin they charges good hard Money t' sees it!

Yuh want t' know jist how far this Polecat Shakespeare went?  How 'bout th' line, "Thar er more things in Heaven & Earth, Horatio, than er dreamt of in yer Philosophie."  Thet's right!  This unprincipled word-walloper put a feller in th' Play named Horatio, jist so's he could steal thet!

Now I'll allow as how th' Sets & th' Costumes was elygent.  Yessirree, mighty elygent.  & the Actors, 'specially thet thar Edwin Booth feller & Miss Henrietta Irving, performed so fine yuh could almost pertend yuh was watchin' a real Play.

But I didn't pay 2 hard-earned Nickels jist t' see purty Costumes & Sets, not nohow I didn't.  I paid t' see me a Play!  & if stringin' t'gether a bunch o' common sayin's thet yuh kin hear in ev'ry Bunkhouse, Saloon, & Church makes a Play, thin I'm a Blackfoot Injun!

Risspectfully submitted,
July 1, 1881

P.S.  Dear Marty: Be a pard & clean up my spellin' afore yuh prints this, will yuh?  I never could spell "Epitaf" less'n I had a copy in front o' me, & the Black Republicans in these hyar Parts mostly use it in thar out houses.  So I ain't seed a copy in weeks. — DM

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