Page images
PDF
EPUB

CYMBELINE.

Act iv., sc. ii. Before the Cave. Re-enter ARVIRA

GUS, bearing Imogen, as dead, in his arms.
Bel.

Look, here he comes,
And brings the dire occasion in his arms,
Of what we blame him for!
Arv.

The bird is dead,
That we have made so much on. I had rather
Have skipp'd from sixteen years of age to sixty,
To have turn’d my leaping time into a crutch,
Than have seen this.
Gui,

Oh, sweetest, fairest lily! My brother wears thee not one half so well As when thou grew'st thyself. Bel.

Oh, melancholy!
Who ever yet could sound thy bottom ? find
The ooze, to show what coast thy sluggish crare
Might easiliest harbour in? Thou blessed thing!
Jove knows what man thou might'st have made:

but I,
Thou diedst, a most rare boy, of melancholy!
How found you him?
Aru.

Stark, as you see :
Thus smiling, as some fly had tickled slumber,
Not as death’s dart, being laugh'd at: his right cheek
Reposing on a cushion.
Gui,

Where?
Arv.

O' the floor;
His arms thus leagued : I thought he slept: and put
My clouted brogues from off my feet, whose rudeness
Answer'd my steps too loud.
Gui.

Why, he but sleeps : If he be gone, he'll make his grave a bed ; With female fairies will his tomb be haunted, And worms will not come to thee. Arv.

With fairest flowers, Whilst summer lasts, and I live here, Fidele,

I'll sweeten thy sad grave. Thou shalt not lack
The flower, that's like thy face, pale primrose; nor
The azured harebell, like thy veins; no, nor
'The leaf of eglantine, whom not to slander,
Out-sweeten'd not thy breath : the ruddock would,
With charitable bill (oh, bill, sore-shaming
Those rich-left heirs, that let their father's lie
Without a monument !), bring thee all this;
Yea, and furr'd moss besides, when flowers are none,
To winter-ground thy corse.

HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK
Act i., sc. iii. A Room in Polonius' House. Enter

LAERTES and OPHELIA.
Laer. My necessaries are embark'd; farewell:
And, sister, as the winds give benefit,
And convoy is assistant, do not sleep,
But let me hear from you.
Oph.

Do you

doubt that?
Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour,
Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood;
A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute ;
No more.

Oph. No more but so?
Laer.

Think it no more :
For nature, crescent, does not grow alone
In thews and bulk; but, as this temple waxes,
The inward service of the mind and soul
Grows wide withal. Perhaps he loves you now;
And now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch
The virtue of his will : but you must fear,
His greatness weigh’d, his will is not his own;
For he himself is subject to his birth:
He may not, as unvalued persons do,

Carve for himself; for on his choice depends
The safety and the health of the whole state;
And therefore must his choice be circumscribed
Unto the voice and yielding of that body,
Whereof he is the head. Then, if he says he loves

you,
It fits your wisdom so far to believe it,
As he in his particular act and place
May give his saying deed: which is no further

Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.
Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain,
If with too credent ear you list his songs;
Or lose your heart; or your chaste treasure open
To his unmaster'd importunity.
Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister;
And keep you in the rear of your affection,
Out of the shot and danger of desire.
The chariest maid is prodigal enough,
If she unmask her beauty to the moon:
Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes :
The canker galls the infants of the spring,
Too oft before their buttons be disclosed;
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Be wary, then: best safety lies in fear;
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.

Oph. I shall the effect of this good lesson keep, As watchman to my heart; but, good my brother, Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven; Whilst, like a puff'd and reckless libertine, Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads, And recks not his own read. Laer.

Oh, fear me not
I stay too long. But here my father comes.

Enter POLONIUS.
A double blessing is a double grace ;
Occasion smiles upon a second leave.

Pol. Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for shame, The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, And you are staid for: There-my blessing with

you; [Laying his hand on LAERTES' head. And these few precepts in thy memory Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportion'd thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel ; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware Of entrance to a quarrel : but, being in, Bear it that the opposer may beware of thee. Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice : Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy: For the apparel oft proclaims the man: And they in France, of the best rank and station, Are most select and generous, chief in that. Neither a borrower nor a lender be: For loan oft loses both itself and friend ; And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: to thine own self be true; And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell ; my blessing season this in thee!

Laer. Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
Pol. The time invites you; go, your servants

tend.
Laer. Farewell, Ophelia ; and remember well
What I have said to you.
Oph.

'Tis in my memory lock'd, And you yourself shall keep the key of it.

Laer. Farewell.

ROBERT SOUTHWELL.

1560–1595.

LOOK HOME.

RETIRED thoughts enjoy their own delights,
As beauty doth in self-beholding eye:
Man's mind a mirror is of heavenly sights,
A brief wherein all miracles summed lie;
Of fairest forms, and sweetest shapes the store,
Most graceful all, yet thought may grace them more.
The mind a creature is, yet can create,
To nature's patterns adding higher skill
Of finest works; wit better could the state,
If force of wit had equal power of will.
Devise of man in working hath no end ;
What thought can think, another thought can mend.
Man's soul of endless beauties image is,
Drawn by the work of endless skill and might:
This skilful might gave many sparks of bliss,
And, to discern this bliss, a native light,
To frame God's image as his worth required;
His might, his skill, his word, and will conspired.
All that he had, his image should present;
All that it should present, he could afford;
To that he could afford his will was bent;
His will was followed with performing word.
Let this suffice, by this conceive the rest,
He should, he could, he would, he did the best.

« PreviousContinue »