Page images
PDF
EPUB

Have stood against the world! now lies he there,
And none so poor to do him reverence.
O Masters! If I were dispos'd to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong;
Who, you all know, are honorable men.
I will not do them wrong-I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
Than I will wrong such honorable men.
But here's a parchment with the seal of Cesar;
I found it in his closet; 'tis his will.

Let but the commons hear this testament,
(Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read)
And they would go and kiss dead Cesar's wounds,
And dip their napkins in his sacred blood-
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
And, dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it, as a rich legacy,
Unto their issue.-

If you have tears, prepare, to shed them now.
You all do know this mantle: I remember
The first time ever Cesar put it on ;

'Twas on a summer's evening in his tent,
That day he overcome the Nervii—————
Look! in this place run Cassius' dagger through-
See what a rent the envious Casca made-
Through this the well beloved Brutus stabb'd,
And, as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Cesar follow'd it!
This, this was the unkindest cut of all!
For when the noble Cesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitor's arms,
Quite vanquish'd him! then burst his mighty heart,
And in his mantle muffling up his face,
E'en at the base of Pompey's statue,
(Which all the while ran blood) great Cesar fell.
Ò what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I, and you, and all of us, fell down
Whilst bloody treason flourished over us.
O, now you weep; and I perceive you feel
The dint of pity! These are gracious drops.
Kind souls! What, weep you when you behold
Our Cesar's vesture wounded? Look you here!
Here is himself-marr'd, as you see, by traitors.

Good friends! Sweet friends! Let me not stir you up To such a sudden flood of mutiny!

They that have done this deed are honorable!
What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,
That made them do it! They are wise and honorable,
And will, no doubt, with reason answer you.

I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts;
I am no orator, as Brutus is;

But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man,
That love my friend-and that they knew full well,
That gave me public leave to speak of him!
For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action, nor utterance, nor power of speech,
To stir men's blood-I only speak right on,
I tell you that which you yourselves do know-
Show you sweet Cesar's wounds, poor, poor, dumb mouths,
And bid them speak for me. But, were I Brutus,
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue
In every wound of Cesar, that should move
The stones of Rome to rise in mutiny.

O

XXII.-Falstaff's Soliloquy on Honor.-HENRY IV. WE heaven a death! 'Tis not due yet; and I would be loth to pay him before his day. What need I be so forward with him that calls not on me? Well, 'tis no matter-honor pricks me on.-But how, if honor prick me off when I come on? How then? Can honor set to a leg? No; or an arm? No; or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honor bath no skill in surgery, then? No. What is honor? A word. What is that word honor? Air; a trim reckoning. Who hath it? He that died a Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. It is insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it. Therefore, I'll none of it. Honor is a mere 'scutcheon-and so ends my catechism.

XXIII. Part of Richard IIId's. Soliloquy the night preceding the battle of Bosworth.-TRAGEDY OF RICHARD III. IS now the dead of night, and half the world

9

Yet I (so coy a dame is sleep to me).

With all the weary courtship of

My care tir'd thoughts, can't win her to my bed,

Though e'en the stars do wink, as 'twere, with over watching.
I'll forth, and walk a while. The air's refreshing,

And the ripe harvest of the new mown hay

Gives it a sweet and wholesome odor.

How awful is this gloom! and hark! From camp to camp

The hum of either army still sounds,

That the fix'd sentinels almost receive

The secret whisper of each other's watch!

Steed threatens steed in high and boasting neighings,
Piercing the night's dull ear. Hark! From the tents,
The armorers, accomplishing the knights,
With clink of hammer's closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation; while some,
Like sacrifices, by their &res of watch,
With patience sit, and inly ruminate,
The morning's danger. By yon heaven, my stern
Impatience chides this tardy gaited night,
Who, like a foul and ugly witch, does limp
So tediously away. I'll to my couch,
And once more try to sleep her into morning.

XXIV.—The world compared to a Stage.

AS YOU LIKE IT.

ALL the world is a stage w

And all the men and women, merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man, in his time, plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the Infant;
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms,
And then, the whining Schoolboy; with his sachel,
And shining morning face, creeping like a snail,
Unwillingly to school. And, then a Lover,
Sighing like furnace; with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow, Then a Soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard;
Jealous in honor; sudden and quick in quarrel;
Seeking the bubble reputation,

Even in the cannon's mouth, And then, the Justice;
In fair round belly, with good capon lin'd;
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut;
Full of wise saws and modern instances;

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon;
With Spectacles on nose, and pouch on side;
His youthful hose well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again towards childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second Childishness, and mere Oblivion:
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.

APPENDIX.

CONCISE PASSAGES, EXEMPLIFYING CERTAIN PARTICULARS, ON THE PROPER EXPRESSION OF WHICH, THE MODULATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE VOICE IN READING AND SPELLING PRINCIPALLY DEPEND.

I.-Examples of ANTITHESIS; or, the Opposition of Words or Sentiments.

1.

THE manner of speaking is as important as the matter.

Chesterfield.

2. Cowards die many times; the valiant never taste of death but once.- -Shakespeare.

3. Temperance, by fortifying the mind and body, leads to happiness; intemperance, by enervating the mind and body, ends generally in misery.. -Art of Thinking.

4. Title and ancestry render a good man more illustrious; but an ill one more contemptible. Vice is in famous, though in a prince; and virtue honorable, though in a peasant.- -Spectator. 5. Almost every object that attracts our notice, has its bright and its dark side. He who habituates himself to look at the displeasing side, will sour his disposition, and, consequently, impair his happiness; while he who constantly beholds it on the bright side, insensibly ameliorates his temper, and, in consequence of it, improves his own happiness, and the happiness of all around him.

-World.

6. A wise man endeavors to shine in himself; a fool to outshine others. The former is humbled by the sense of his own infirmities; the latter is lifted up by the discovery of those which he observes in others. The wise man considers what he wants; and the fool what he abounds in. The wise man is happy when he gains his own approbation; and the fool, when he recommends himself to the applause of those about him.- -Spectator.

7. Where opportunities of exercise are wanting, temperance may in a great measure snpply its place. If exercise throws off all superfluities, temperance prevents them; if exercise clears the vessels, temperance neither satiates nor overstrains them ;—exereise raises proper ferments in the humors, and promotes the circulation of the blood, temperance gives nature her full play, and enables her to exert herself in all her force and vigor; if exercise dissipates a growing distemper, temperance starves it.Specia

tor.

8. I have always preferred cheerfulness to mirth. The latter I consider as an act, the former as a habit of the mind. Mirth is short and transient, cheerfulness fixed and permanent. Those are often raised into the greatest transports of mirth, who are subject to the greatest depressions of melancholy. On the contrary, cheerfulness, though it does not give the mind such an exquisite gladness, prevents us from falling into any depths of sorrow. Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment: cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.- -Spectator.

9. At the same time that I think discretion the most useful talent a man can be master of, I look upon cunning to be the accomplishment of little, mean, ungenerous minds. Discretion poin's out the noblest ends to us, and pursues the most proper and laudable methods of attaining them; cunning has only private, selfish aims, and sticks at nothing which may make them succeed; discretion has large and extended views, and like a well formed eye, commands a whole horizon; cunning is a kind of shortsightedness, that discovers the minutest objects which are near at hand, but is not able to discern things at a distance.- -Spectator.

10. Nothing is more amiable than true modesty, and nothing more contemptible than the false. The one guards virtue; the other betrays it. True modesty is ashamed to do any thing that is repugnant to the rules of right reason; false modesty is ashamed to do any thing that is opposite to the humor of the compa ny. True modesty avoids every thing that is criminal; false modesty every thing that is unfashionable. The latter is only a general undetermined instinct; the former is that instinct, limited and circumscribed by the rules of prudence and religion.Spectator.

11. How different is the view of past life, in the man who is grown old in knowledge and wisdom, from that of him who is grown old in ignorance and folly! The latter is like the owner of a barren country, that fills his eye with the prospect of naked hills and plains, which produces nothing either profitable or or namental; the former beholds a beautiful and spacious landskip, divided into delightful gardens, green meadows, fruitful fields; and can scarce cast his eye on a single spot of his possessions, that is not covered with some beautiful plant or flower.- -Spec

tator.

12. As there is a worldly happiness, which God perceives to be no other than disguised misery; as there are worldly honors, which, in his estimation, are reproach; so there is a worldly wisdom, which in his sight is foolishness. Of this worldly wisdom, the characters are given in the scriptures, and placed in contrast with those of the wisdom which is from above. The one is the wisdom of the crafty; the other, that of the upright; The one ter minates in selfishness; the other in charity: The one, full of strife, and bitter envying; the other, of mercy and good fruits.-Blair.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »