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Enter ARTHUR on the walls.
Arth. The wall is high; and yet will I leap down •
Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not !-
There 's few, or none, do know me; if they did,
This ship-boy's semblance hath disguised me quite.
I am afraid ; and yet I'll venture it.
If I get down, and do not break my limbs,
I'll find a thousand shifts to get away:
As good to die, and go, as die, and stay
(Leaps down.) O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones :Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones !
(Dies.) Enter PEMBROKE. SALISBURY, and the BASTARD. Sal. This is the prison : What is he lies here?
(Seeing Arthur.) Pem. O death, made proud with pure and princely beauty ! The earth hath not a hole to hide this deed.
Sal. Sir Richard, what think you ? Have you beheld,
Or have you read, or heard ? or could you think?
Or do you almost think, although you see,
That you do see ? could thought, without this obiect
Form such another ? This is the very top,
The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest,
Of murder's arms: this is the bloodiest shame,
The wildest savagery, the vilest stroke,
That ever wall-eyed wrath, or staring rage,
Presented to the tears of soft remorse.
Pem. All murders past do stand excused in this:
And this, so sole, and so unmatchable,
Shall give a holiness, a purity,
To the yet unhegotten sin of time;
And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest,
Exampled by this heinous spectacle.
Bast. It is a bloody work;
The graceless action of a heavy hand,
If that it be the work of any hand.
Sal. If that it be the work of any hand ? -
We had a kind of light, what would ensue:
It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand ;
The practice, and the purpose, of the king :--
From whose obedience I forbid my soul,
Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life,
And breathing to his breathless excellence
The incense of a vow, a holy vow;
Never to taste the pleasures of the world,
Never to be infected with delight,
Nor conversant with ease and idleness,
Till I have set a glory to this hand,
By giving it the worship of revenge.
Bast. Knew you of this fair work?
Beyond the infinite and boundless reach
Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death,
Art thou damned, Hubert.
Do but hear me, sir.
Bast. Ha! I'll tell thee what;
Thou art damned as black — nay, nothing is so black;
Thou art more deep dained than prince Lucifer:
There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell,
As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child.
Hub. Upon my soul, —
If thou didst but consent
To this most cruel act, do but despair,
And, if thou want'st a cord, the smallest thread
That ever spider twisted from her womb,
Will serve to strangle thee; a rush will oe
A beam to bang thee on; or, wouldst thou drown thyself,
Put but a little water in a spoon,
And it shall be as all the ocean,
Enough to stifle such a villain up.-
I do suspect thee very grievously.
Hub. If I in act, consent, or sin of thought,
Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath
Which was embounded in this beauteous clay,
Let hell want pains enough to torture me!
I left him well.
Go, bear him in thine arms.-
I am amazed, methinks; and lose my way
Among the thorns and dangers of this world.
dost thou take all England up !
From forth this morsel of dead royalty,
The life, the right, and truth of all this realm
Is fled to heaven; and England now is left
To tug and scramble, and to part by th' teeth
The unowed interest of proud-swelling state. [Exeunt.
The next series of extracts is from HAMLET, Prince of Denmark. This is one of the most celebrated of Shakspeare's Plays. The extracts are so arranged as to make a connected story. Where they are not sufficiently continuous, a few words of explanation are inserted.
Enter KING, QUEEN, and HAMLET. Queen. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not for ever, with thy veiled lids
Seek for thy noble father in the dust :
Thou knowest 't is common; all, that live, must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.
Hamlet. Ay, madam, it is common.
If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thee?
Ham. Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know not seems.
Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected 'haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, modes, shows of grief,
That can denote me truly: These, indeed, seem,
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I have that within, which passeth show;
These, but the trappings and the suits of woe.
King. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,
To give these mourning duties to your father:
But you must know, your father lost a father;
That father lost, lost his; and the survivor bound
In filial obligation, for some term
To do obsequious sorrow : But to perséver
In obstinate condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornness; 't is unmanly grief;
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven;
A heart unfortified, or mind impatient;
An understanding simple and unschooled :
For what we know must be, and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sense,
Why should we, in our peevish opposition,
Take it to heart? Fy! 't is a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd; whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first corse, till he that died to-day,
This must be so.
[Exeunt King and Queen
Ham. O, that this too, too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God !
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fy on 't! O fy! 't is an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank, and gross in nature,
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead !-- nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr: so loving to my mother,
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: And yet within a month,
Let me not think on't; - Frailty, thy name is womak'..
A little month; or ere those shoes were old,
With which she followed my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears;— why she, even she,–
O heaven! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourned longer,-married with my uncle,
My father's brother; but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules : Within a month;
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears