« PreviousContinue »
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her Laer.
Lay her j' the earth ;up :
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh, Which time, she chanted snatches of old May violets spring !-I tell thee, churlish tunes ;
priest, As one incapable of her own distress, A minist'ring angel shall my sister be, Or like a creature native and endu'd When thou liest howling. Unto that element; but long it could not Ham. What, the fair Ophelia ! be,
Queen. Sweets to the sweet: FareTill that her garments, heavy with their
[Scattering Flowers. Pull’d the poor wretch from her melo- I hop'd thou should'st have been my dious lay
Hamlet's wife; To muddy death.
I thought, thy bride-bed to have deck'd, Laer. Alas then, she is drown'd? sweet maid, Queen. Drown'd, drown'd.
And not have strew'd thy grave. Laer. Too much of water bast thou,
O, treble woe poor Ophelia,
Fall ten times treble on that cursed head, And therefore I forbid my tears : But Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious
yet It is our trick; nature her custom holds, Depriv'd thee of!-Hold off the earth a Let shame say what it will : when these while, are gone,
Till I have caught her once more in mine The woman will be out."
[Leaps into the grave.
Now pile your dust upon the quick and And lo! her funeral ! “ Enter Priests, fc. in Procession ; the Till of this flat a mountain you have
made Corpse of Ophelia, LAERTES and Mourners following i King, QUEEN,
To o'er-top old Pelion, or the skyish head their trains, &c.
Of blue Olympus. Ham. The queen, the courtiers : Who
Ham. (Advancing.) What is he, whose
grief is this they follow? And with such maimed rites ! This
Bears such an emphasis ? whose phrase
of sorrow doth betoken, The corse, they follow, did with despe- Conjures the wand'ring stars, and makes
them stand rate hand Fordo its own life. 'Twas of some es
Like wonder-wounded hearers ? this is I,
Hamlet the Dane." tate; Couch we a while, and mark.
And so vanishes for ever from our [Retiring with HORATIO. eyes, she whom Samuel Johnson Laer. What ceremony else?
tenderly calls “ Ophelia, the young, Ham.
That is Laertes, the beautiful, the harmless, and the A very noble youth: Mark.
pious." Laer. Wbat ceremony else?
Away! Away! with us, far, far 1 Priest. Her obsequies have been as from the courts of Sin and Suffering, far enlarg'd
to that Enchanted Isle, where MIRANAs we have warranty: Her death was
Da is walking on flowers or shells, and doubtful;
Ariel winnows the pure air around And, but that great command o'ersways her head with wings lovely as the the order,
rainbow. The Bermuda Isles, in She should in ground unsanctified bave which Shakspeare has placed the
lodg'd Till the last trumpet; for charitable by Sir George Somers, who was
scene of the Tempest, were described prayers, Shards, flints, and pebbles, should be wrecked there, as “a land of devils,” thrown on her:
a most prodigious and enchanted Yet here she is allowed her virgin crants, place,” subject to continual tempests Her maiden strewments, and the bringing
and supernatural visitings; and such bome
was the idea entertained of the “stillOf bell and burial,
vexed Bermoothes" in Shakspeare's Laer. Must there no more be done ? age. But later travellers, says Mrs 1 Priest.
No more be done! Jameson, describe them “as perfect We should profane the service of the regions of enchantment in a far difdead,
ferent sense; as so many fairy Edens, To sing a requien, and such to rest her
clustered like a knot of gems upon As to peace-parted souls.
the bosom of the Atlantic, decked
out in all the lavish luxuriance of flower beneath his eye,” we feel how nature, with shades of myrtle and happy Prospero must have been in cedar, fringed round with groves of watching the unfolding of her wocoral; in short, each island a living man's heart. Ignorant of how she paradise, rich with perpetual blos- came there, and often wondering, no soms, in which Ariel might have slum- doubt, at her own wondrous life, yet bered, and ever-verdant bowers, in had she never once asked her father which Ferdinand and Miranda might to explain the mystery. have strayed. So that Shakspeare,
“ Prospero. My dear one! thee, my in blending the wild relations of the
daughter! who shipwrecked mariners with his own
Art ignorant of what thou art, nought inspired fancies, has produced no
knowing thing, however lovely in nature, and of whence I am; nor that I am more sublime in magical power, which better does not harmonize with the beauti- Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell, ful and wondrous reality.”
And thy no greater father. There has been shipwreck - the Miranda.
More to know hurly-burly's done-and in the calm Did never meddle with my thoughts." before their Cell, lo! Prospero, the But as more-as all is told her-how Mighty Magician, and his daughter, her thoughts-her feelings rise acTue WONDERFUL.
cordant to all those of her beloved "O! I have suffered father! How beautifully she speaks With those that I saw suffer ! a brave ves- of her dreamlike remembrances of sel,
some other evanished life, when else. Who had no doubt some noble creatures where she was a child! How pity in her,
and grief and indignation alternate in Dashed all to pieces! Oh, the cry did her simple heart, as her father unknock
folds the story of his wrongs, his Against my very heart! Poor souls ! they perils, his escape, and his banishperished !
ment! Had I been any God of Power, I would Have sunk the sea within the earth, or
« Prospero. There they hoist us, e'er
To cry to the sea that roar'd to us; to It should the good ship so have swallow'd,
To the winds, whose pity, sigbing back The freighting souls within her!”
Did us but loving wrong! Already we love Miranda.
Alack ! what trouble trasted with the impression of her
Was I then to you ! refined and dignified beauty, and its
0, a cherubim effect on all beholders, is Miranda's Thou wast, that did preserve me! Thou own soft simplicity, her virgin inno didst smile, cence, her total ignorance of the con- Infused with a fortitude from heaven! ventional forms and language of 80 Miranda. How came we ashore ? ciety. It is most natural, that in a Prospero. By Providence divine. being thus constituted, the first tears Some food we had, and some fresh water, should spring from compassion, suf that fering with those that she saw suffer." A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo, With what intent interest do we lis. Out of his charity (who being appointed ten, all the while gazing on her mira- Master of this design) did give us ; with culous beauty, to her father's narra Rich garments, linens, stuffs, and neces. tive, then first told to her, of their
saries, strange eventful history !” The Isle Which since bave steaded much; so of is felt to be indeed enchanted, ere
his gentleness, we have a glimpse of Ariel, who, to Koowing I loved my books, he furnish'd answer his master's pleasure, is ready me,
From my own library, with volumes that To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride
I prize above my dukedom.
Would I might On the curl'd clouds."
But ever see that Man! Each touching sentence of the tale
Prospero. Here in this island we arbrings out some delightful trait of rived, and here nature in Miranda; and in the soli- Have I, thy schoolmaster, made thee tary place, as up grew that living more profit
66 to fly,
Than other princes can, that have more upon the winds, rode the curl'd clouds, time
and, in the colours of the rainbow, lived' For vainer hours, and tutors not so care- -Miranda herself appears a palpable ful.
reality, a woman,' breathing thoughtful Miranda. Heaven thank thee fort.” breath,' a woman, walking the earth in
her mortal loveliness, with a heart as Yes ! she has had a noble education. frail-strung, as passion-touched, as ever And she is grateful to Heaven for her fluttered in a female bosom. father's love. She is now-as we
“ I have said that Miranda possesses gather from the narrative - in her merely the elementary attributes of wofifteenth year-one year older than manhood, but each of these stand in her Juliet, “alike, but oh! how differ- with a distinct and peculiar grace. She ent” from that other “snowy dove !" resembles nothing upon earth; but do Never bad she seen a man but her we therefore compare her, in our own father. But she had read of her far- minds, with any of those fabled beings off kind, and when the ship went to with which the fancy of ancient poets pieces, she said, “ who had no doubt peopled the forest depths, the fountain,
or the ocean ?-Oread or dryad fleet, seasome noble creatures in her.” Much maid, or naiad of the stream? We canhad she pored, no doubt, over her not think of them together. Miranda is father's books, and the Lady of the
a consistent, natural, human being. Our Enchanted Isle bad bright ideas of impression of her nympb-like beauty, ber her own, sweet imaginings of all that peerless grace and purity of soul, has a breathed and moved in the great distinct and individual character. Not cities of the remote world beyond only she is exquisitely lovely, being what her own
Phantoms all ! she is, but we are made to feel that she yet dear as she looked on the silent could not possibly be otherwise than as letters to her human heart. But let she is portrayed. She has never bebeld one of her own sex draw her charac- one of her own sex; she has never caught
Had Shakspeare, she says, from society one imitated or artificial never created a Miranda, we should grace. The impulses which have come never have been made to feel how to her, in her enchanted solitude, are of completely the pu natural and heaven and nature, not of the world and the purely ideal can blend into each its vanities. She has sprung up into other.
beauty beneath the eye of her father, the
princely magician ; her companions bave " The character of Miranda resolves been the rocks and woods, the manyitself into the very elements of woman- shaped, many-tinted clouds, and the silent hood. She is beautiful, modest, and ten- stars; her playmates the ocean billows, der, and she is these only; they comprise that stooped their foamy crests, and ran her whole being, external and internal. rippling to kiss her feet. Ariel and his She is so perfectly unsophisticated, so attendant sprites hovered over her head, delicately refined, that she is all but ethe- ministered duteous to her every wish, real. Let us imagine any other woman and presented before her pageants of placed beside Miranda-even one of beauty and grandeur. The very air, made Shakspeare's own loveliest and sweetest vocal by her father's art, floated in music creations- there is not one of them that around her. If we can pre-suppose such could sustain the comparison for a mo. a situation with all its circumstances, do ment, not one that would not appear we not behold in the character of Misomewhat coarse or artificial when randa not only the credible, but the nabrought into immediate contact with this tural, the necessary results of such a sipure child of nature, this • Eve of an en- tuation? She retains her woman's heart, chanted Paradise.'
for that is unalterable and inalienable, as “What, then, bas Shakspeare done? a part of her being ; but her deportment, • O wondrous skill and sweet wit of the her looks, ber language, her thoughts man !'-be has removed Miranda far all these, from the supernatural and poefrom all comparison with her own sex; tical circumstances around her, assume a he has placed her between the demi-de- cast of the pure ideal ; and to us, who mon of earth and the delicate spirit of are in the secret of her human and pityair. The next step is into the ideal and ing nature, nothing can be more charmsupernatural, and the only being who ap- ing and consistent than the effect which proaches Miranda, with whom she can she produces upon others, who never be contrasted, is Ariel. Beside the subtle having beheld any thing resembling ber, essence of this ethereal sprite, this crea- approach her as a wonder,' as someture of elemental light and air, that ran thing celestial.”
Where is there in poetry any thing If now 'twere fit to do't:-At the first equal to the first scene between Fer. sight
[ Aside. dinand and Miranda ? Lured on by They have chang'd eyes :-Delicate Ariel, the invisible Ariel, playing and sing. I'll set thee free for this !-A word, good ing the wildest of songs, the noble Neapolitan approaches Prospero and I fear, you have done yourself some his daughter.
wrong: a word.
Asira. Why speaks my father so un“ Mira. What is't? a spirit?
gently? This Lord, how it looks about! Believe me, Is the third man that e'er I saw; the first sir,
That e'er I sigh'd for : pity move my It carries a brave form :-But 'tis a spirit.
father Pro. No, wench; it eats and sleeps, To be inclin'd my way! and hath such senses
O, if a virgin, As we have, such : This gallant, which And your affection not gone forth, I'll
thou seest, Was in the wreck; and but he's some- The queen of Naples. thing stain'd
Pro. Soft, sir : one word more.With grief, that's beauty's canker, thou They are both in either's powers : but might'st call him
this swift business A goodly person : he hath lost his fellows, I must uneasy make, lest too light winAnd strays about to find them.
I miglit call him Make the prize light.-One word more ; A thing divine ; for nothing natural
I charge thee, I ever saw so noble.
That thou attend me: thou dost here Pro. It goes on,
usurp As my soul prompts it :-Spirit, fine The name thou ow'st not; and hast put spirit! I'll free thee
thyself Within two days for this.
Upon this island, as a spy, to win it Fer.
Most sure, the goddess From me, the lord on’t. On whom these airs attend !-Vouchsafe, Fer.
No, as I am a man. my prayer
Mira. There's nothing ill can dwell in May know, if you remain upon this island; such a temple : And that you will some good instruction if the ill spirit have so fair an house, give,
Good things will strive to dwell withi't. How I may bear me here : My prime re- Pro. Follow me.- (To Ferd. quest,
Speak not you for him; he's a traitor.Which i do last pronounce, is, O you Come, wonder!
I'll manacle thy neck and feet together : If you be maid, or no?
Sea-water shalt thou drink, thy food shall be Mira.
No wonder, sir ; The fresh-brook muscles, wither'd roots, But, certainly a maid.
and husks Fer. My language ! heavens ! - Wherein the acorn cradled; Follow. I am the best of them that speak this Fer. speech,
I will resist such entertainment, till W I but where 'tis spoken.
Mine enemy has more power. (He draus. Pro. How! the best? Mira.
O dear father, What wert thou, if the king of Naples Make not too rash a trial of him, for heard thee?
He's gentle, and not fearful. Fer. A single thing, as I am now, that Pro.
What, I say, wonders
My foot my tutor !—Put thy sword up, To hear them speak of Naples; He does traitor; hear me ;
Who mak'st a show, but dar'st not strike, And, that he does, I weep: myself am thy conscience Naples;
Is so possess'd with guilt: come from tby Who with mine eyes, ne'er since at ebb, beheld
For I can here disarm thee with this stick, The king my father wreck'd.
And make thy weapon drop.
Beseech you father! Fer. Yes, faith, and all his lords; the Pro. Hence; hang not on my garments. duke of Milan,
Sir, have pity; And his brave son, being twain.
I'll be his surety.
Silence; one word more And his more braver daughter, could con- Shall make me chide thee, if not hate thee. trol thee,
An advocate for an impostor ? hush! too, have their share in her bosom, Thou think'st there are no more such for her father's anger seems kindled shapes as he,
against him who she thought might Having seen but him and Caliban : Fool- be" a spirit.” No tumult is in her ish wench!
veins-though her heart be beating To the most of men this is a Caliban, and when Ferdinand says, And they to him are angels. Mira. My affections
“ My prime request, Are then most humble; I have no am
Which I do last pronounce, is, O you bition
If you be maid or no?"
“ No wonder, sir;
So they are ;
But certainly a maid !” My spirits, as in a dream, are all bound
She says, indeed, “this is the up.
first man that e'er I sighed for !” My father's loss, the weakness which I But how gentle must have been that feel,
sigh! Its sweetness but made her The wreck of all my friends, or this man's pray—“ pity move my father to be threats,
inclined my way!” and at the close To whom I am subdued, are but light to of the scene, when she bids Ferdi
me, Might I but through my prison once a-day father's of a better nature, sir, than
nand be comforted, for that “ my Behold this maid; all corners else o' the he appears by speech,” her looks, no
earth Let liberty make use of; space enough
doubt, like her language, are those Have I in such a prison.
but of pitiful and sorrowful affecPro. It works :-Come on.
tion--all that yet she knows of Love, Thou bast done well, fine Ariel!_ Fol- “ Enter FERDINAND, bearing a Log. low me. [T. FERD. and MIR.
Fer. There be some sports are painful; Hark, what thou else shalt do me.
and their labour
[To ARIE... Delight in them sets off : some kinds of Mira. Be of comfort;
baseness My father's of a better nature, sir,
Are nobly undergone; and most poor Than he appears by speech; this is unwonted,
Point to rich ends. This my mean task Which now came from bim.
Would be as heavy to me, as odious; but Pro.
Thou shalt be as free The mistress, which I serve, quickens As mountain winds; but then exactly do
what's dead, All points of my command.
And makes my labours pleasures : O, she Ari.
To the syllable.
Ten times more gentle than her father's
crabbed Juliet is thrilled to the heart's core
And he's composed of barshness. I must by the first kiss of Romeo. Her Life is in a moment Passion. She must Some thousands of these logs, and pile , possess him or she dies. « If he be married, my grave shall be my wed- Upon a sore injunction: My sweet misding-bed !" Sleep flies her till she rest in Romeo's bosom. Yet is she Weeps when she sees me work: and says,
such baseness pure. His blood, too, is turned to Had ne'er like executor. I forget : liquid fire. And from transient bliss But these sweet thoughts do even refresh they are hurried on by fatalities at
my labours; tending their passion to death. It Most busy-less, when I do it. burns to the last—the full flame is
Enter Miranda; and PROSTER
ROSTERO at a extinguished all at once in the tomb.
Distance. Miranda as suddenly loves; but with
Alas, now ! pray you, her 'tis all imagination—save the Work not so hard : I would, the lightsweet impulse of innocent nature,
ning had passion there is none. Surprise, Burnt up those logs, that you are enjoin'd wonder, admiration, delight-in them
to pile! she finds a new being, and it all ga- Pray, set it down, and rest you: wben thers upon Ferdinand. Pity and fear, this burns,