Page images

Th'at/, like an eagle in a d'ovecot, I
Fluttered your Vols'cians in Coʻrioli ;
Alo'ne/ I did-it :-Booy !_B'ut/ let us part;
Lest my rash ha'nd/ should do a hasty de'ed
My cooler th'ought forbi'ds.

Auf. I court
The worst thy sword can d'o; while tho'u from moel
Hast not'hing/ to exp'ect/ but sore destru'ction ;
Quit th'en/ this hostile camp: on'ce more/ I tell' thee,
Thou art not h'ere one sing'le-hour/ in sa'fety.

Cor. O, that I had thee in the field,
With si'x-Aufidiuses, or m'ore, thy tri-be,
To us'e my

la'wful-sword !



SHAKSPEARE. Oh that this to'o, too so'lid-flesh/ would m'elt, Tha'w, and resolve itself into a de'w ! O'r/ that the Everla'sting/ ha'd-not fixed His ca'non/ 'gainst se'lf-slaug'hter ! How w'eary, sta'le, fla't, and unpro'fitable, See'm to moe/ all the u'ses of this wo'rld ! Fie o'n't! oh fi'e ! 'tis an unwe'eded gar'den, That grows to see'd ; things ra'nk, and gro'ss in n'ature, Posse'ss-it me'rely. That it should come to thois ! But two months de’ad ; na'y, not so mu'ch ; not two; So excellent a kin'g, that wa's, to thios ! Hyperion to a sa'tyr : so lov'ing to my mother, That he permitted not the winds of He’aven Vis'it her face/ too rou'ghly. Hea'ven and ea'rth ! Must I reme'mber !- Why, she would han'g-on-bim, As if increase of ap'petite/ had grown By wha't it fe'd-on ; y'et, with in a month, (Let me not th’ink) ;-—Fr’ailty, thy naʼme is Wo'man !-À little month ! o'r/ er'e those shoes were oʻld, With which she fol'lowed my poor father's boʻdy, Like N'iobe, all te'ars ;—wh’y, sh'e, even shoe(O He'aven ! a bea'st, that wants discourse of reason,

Would have mourned lo'nger-) ma’rried with mine un'cle,
My fa'ther's brother; but/ no more lik'e my fa'ther,
Than I to Her'cules. Withi'n a mo'nth !
(Ere yet the salt of most unri'ghteous-tears
Had left the flush'ing/ in her galled ey'es)
She mar'ried !—0, most wicʻked-speed,
It is' not, nor it ca‘npot-come to go'od,
But bre'ak my he’art, for I must hold my tongue.



Oh what a wr'etch and peasant sla've am I' !
Is it not mons'trous, that this player he're,
(B’ut in a fiction, in a drạeam of passion,)
Could force bis sou'l/ so' to his own conce'it,
That, from her working, all his vi'sage warm'ed,
Tea’rs in his ey'es, distra'ction in his asp'ect,
A broken voi'ce, and his whole fu'nction/ suiting
With form's to his conc'eit ? and a'll for no'thing !
For Hecuba!
What's He'cuba to him, or he' to Heocuba,
That he should we°ep-for-her ? Whaît-would-he-do,
Had he' the mo'tive, and the c'ue for pas'sion
That I have ? He would drown the stage/ with t'ears,
And cleave the general e’ar/ with horrid spee'ch ;
Make ma'd the gu'ilty, and app'al the free ;
Confo’und the ig'norant; and amaʼze, inde'ed,

very faculties of ey'es and e’ars.*

* The insertion of the grand and terrible adjuration of Macbeth, beautifully illustrative of the “ Commencing Compound Series,” having been neglected in “ the Introduction,” (its proper place) is apologetically given here ; the quality of the sentence ending at “ears being somewhat analagous to an example of the Commencing Compound Series.

“ I conjure you, by that which you profess,
(Howe'er you come to know it,) answer me ;
Though you untie the winds and let them fight
Against the chu'rches; though the yesty waves
Confound and swallow navigation-up ;
Though bladed corn be lodged, and trees blown do'wn;

But I am pi'geon-livered, and lack gall'
To make oppres'sion b'itter; or', ere thi's,
I should have fatted all the region kites'
With this sla've's o'ffal !_*I have heard
That guilty creatures, sitting at a play,
Ha've (by the very cuînning of the sc'ene),
Been stru ck/ so' to the s'oul, that/ pre'sently/
They have procla’imed/ their malefac'tions :
For mu’rder (though it ha's no toʻngue) will speak/
With most mira'culous organ. I'll have these pla’yers
Play som'ething/ like the mu'rder of


fa'ther Before my un'cle. I'll observe his looks : I'll ten't-him/ to the qu`ick. If he do blen'ch, I know my cou'rse. The sp'irit/ that I have se'en May be a de'vil ; and the devil/ hath po'wer/ To assuʼme a pleasing shape.—I'll have the grounds More re'lative than th’is. The Pla'y; the plaîy's the thing Wherei'n/ I'll catch the conscience of the king.


To b'e, or no't to b'e ?- Th'at is the que'stion.-
Whether 'tis n'obler in the mind to suffer
The st’ings and ar'rows of outrag'eous foʻrtune,
Or/ to take arm's/ against a se'a of tro’ubles,
And, by opp'osing, en d-them ?- To die—to sle'ep-
No mo're ; and/ by a sle'еp to sa'y we e’nd
The hear't-ache, and the thousand natural sho'cks/
That fles'h is he'ir to ;—'Tis a consum'mation/
Devo'utly/ to be wis'hed.—To di'e—to sleep-

Though castles topple on their warder's he'ads ;
Though palaces and pyramids do slope
Their heads to their founda'tions ; though the treasure
Of nature's germins tumble altoge'ther,
Even till destruction si'cken, answer me

To what I ask you." * The tone and manner are here changed into a less bitter and more meditative cast, which, with but little variation, continues to the end of the soliloquy

notone. *

To sle°ep ! perch'ance to dream ! a'y, there's the r’ub;
Fo'r/ in that sleep of de^ath/ wha't dreams may co'me,
(When we have shuffled o'ff this mor’tal-coil,)
Must giv'e us pa'use.—There's the resp'ect/
That makes cala'mity of so long li'fe :
For wh'o/ would bear the whi'ps and sc'orns of the tim'e,
The oppr'essor's wro'ng, the prou'd-man's co'ntumely,
The pan'gs of despis'ed-love, the la'w's dela'y,
The in'solence of o'ffice, and the spurns Spoken in a mo
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he' himse'lf/ might his quietus make
With a bare boodkin ?+ Wh'ol would fardels bea'r,
To groa'n and swe'at/ under a weary li'fe ;
But, that the dread of so'mething/ after de'ath
(That undisc“overed-country, from whose bourn
No tra'veller retur'ns) puʼzzles the wi'll ;
And mak’es us/ rather b'ear/ tho‘se i'lls/ we hav'e,
Than fly' to oʻthers/ that we kno'w not o'f?
Thus con'science/ does make co'wards-of-us a'll :
And thu's/ the native hu'e of resolu'tion
Is sicklied o'er/ with the pale cast of tho'ught;
And enterprises/ of great pit'h and m'oment
With this rega'rd/ their currents turn awr'y,
And lose the na'me-of action.


O! my offence is ran'k, it sm'ells to He^aven,
It hath the pri'mal, el dest-curse up'on 't;
A brother's-murder- -Pr'ay/ I can'not :
Though inclina'tion/ be as sharp as 'twi'll,
My stronger gu'ilt/ defeats my strong int'ent;
An'd (like a man to double business bou’nd)
I stand in pa'use/ where I shall first beg'in,
And boʻth neglect. Wh'at ! if this cursed hand/

* This turn of the voice, usually expressed by a horizontal line (see * Introduction”) may be used with great effect to illustrate a mixture of irony and contempt. Thus, in the "Appeal of Brutus,” page 102, “ Hād you rāther Cāēsar were living, and die all slāves,” &c.

† I have given “ bodkin” the emphatic rising slide, because I think it is capable of expressing the most contempt.

Were thicker than itse'lf/ with brother's blo'od ;
Is there not rain enough/ in the sweet He’avens,
To wash it wh'ite as sn'ow? Where'to serves mercy,
But to confront the vis’age of offe'nce ?
And what's in pra’yer, but this two fold foʻrce,
To be for'esta'lled) ere' we come to fall',
O'r/ par'doned/ being dow'n ?- The'n I'll look u'p;
My fau'lt is passt. But, О', wh`at-form-of-prayer
Can serve moy-turn ? Forgiv'e-me my foul mu’rder ! -
That can'not be, since I am still poss'essed
Of those e'ffects/ for which I did the mu’rder,
My cro'wn, mine own ambi'tion, and my qu'een.
May one be pa'rdoned, and reta'in the offe’nce ?
In the corrup'ted-currents of this world,
Offence's gilded ha'nd/ may shove by Jus'tice;
And oft ’tis se'en, the wicked prize itself/
Buys ou't the law's. But 'ti's not so abov’e.
There is no sh'uffling; theîre/ the action lies/
In its tr'ue na'ture, and we ourse^lves comp'elled,
(Even to the te'eth and fore'head of our fa'ults,)
To gi've-in e'vidence. What the'n ? what re'sts ?
Try what repen'tance ca'n: what can it noît ?
Yet what coan-it, when one can no't repe'nt ?
O wretched sta’te! O b’osom/ black as dea'th !
O limed so'ul, tha't, strugg'ling to be free,
Art mo're engaged! He'lp, a'ngels! ma'ke assa'y!
Bow, stubborn kn`ees; and hea'rt, (with strings of st'eel,)
Be s'oft as sin'ews of the ne'w-born-babe ! and
All'/ may y'et be w'ell !


SHAKSPEARE. SPEAK the speech, I pra'y-you, (as I pronoun'ced-it-to-you) tri'ppingly on the ton'gue. But/ if you moouth it (as many of our Players d'o) I had as lief the town cʻrier/ had spoken my lines. And do not saw the air too much with your hand, thous: but/ use all gently; fo'r/ in the very toʻrrent, tem'pest, a’nd, (as I may say) wh'irlwind-of-pour-passion,* you must acq'uire and

* “Whirlwind of your passion ” may be regarded as one rhetorical word, with the emphatic rising inflexion upon “whirl.”

« PreviousContinue »