Now for the wonder of wonders, – when Mrs. Thrale, in a coaxing voice, suited to a Nurse soothing a Baby, had run on for some Time, – while all the rest of us, in Laughter, joined in the request, – two Crystal Tears came into the soft Eyes of the S. S., – and rolled gently down her Cheeks! – such a sight I never saw before, nor could I have believed; – she offered not to conceal or dissipate them, – on the contrary, she really contrived to have them seen by every body. She looked, indeed, uncommonly handsome, for her pretty Face was not, like Chloes, blubbered; it was smooth and elegant, and neither her Features nor complexion were at all ruffled; – nay, indeed, she was smiling all the Time.
"Look, look!" cried Mrs. Thrale; "see if the Tears are not come already!"
Journals and Letters, 2001, by Frances Burney, ed. Lars E. Troide: from a letter to her sister Susanna, dated 12 October 1779. 'S.S.' is Sophia Streatfeild, "a noted beauty," according to Troide's footnote, "called 'the Fair Grecian,' because of her knowledge of Greek. Able to cry at will." 'Chloe' is a reference to Matthew Prior's (1664–1721) poem A Better Answer, which starts with, "Dear Chloe, how blubbered is that pretty face!"
Official Communist critics, however, immediately branded Chekhov's interpretation as decadent and reactionary. Evidently, they could not endure the "suffering and deathly horror in his eyes" as he moved "with nervous, wavering steps to meet his doom." Although he emphasized his duty of revenge, "he appeared so crushed with grief and despair for himself and mankind that his consciousness seemed to disintegrate." After an outburst of activity in the last scene, culminating in the killing of Claudius, Hamlet accepted his own death peacefully, with a lucid mind, "as if laying carefully his body by." "The more impotent Hamlet's body became, the brighter and more all-consuming became his inner life, which was abetted by the stage lighting."
Shakespeare and Eastern Europe, 2000, by Zdeněk Stříbrný. 'Chekhov' is the actor Michael Chekhov (1891 - 1955).