Page images

And hold her free, I do beseech your Honour.
OTH. Fear not my government.

IAGO. I once more take my leave.

[ocr errors]




OH that this too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter!

How weary stale, flat, and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!

Fie on't! oh fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,

That grows to seed; things rank, and gross in nature,
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But too 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 permitted not the winds of heav'n

Visit her face too roughly. Heav'n and earth!
Must I remember!why she would hang on him,
As if increase of apetite had grown

By what it fed on; yet within a month,

Let me not think-Frailty, thy name is woman!
A little month! or ere those shoes were old,
With which she followed my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tearsWhy she, ev'n she

(O Heav'n! a beast that wants discourse of reason, Would have mourn'd longer-) married with mine 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
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married-Oh, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!

It is not, nor it cannot come to good.

But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Ham. ANGELS and ministers of grace defend us! Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd, Bring with thee airs from heav'n, or blasts from hell, ́ Be thy intent wicked or charitable,

Thou com'st in such a questionable shape,

That I will speak to thee. I'll call thee Hamlet,
King, Father, Royal Dane: oh! answer me!
Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell,
Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in earth,
Have burst their cearments? why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd,
Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws,
To cast thee up again? What may this mean?
That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel,
Revist'st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hiedous, and us fools of nature
So horribly to shake our disposition

With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
Say, why is this? wherefore? what shall we do?
Ghost. Mark me.-

Ham. I will.

Ghost. My hour is almost come,

When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames

Must render up myself.

Ham. Alas, poor Ghost!

Ghost. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing

To what I shall unfold.

Ham. Speak, I am bound to hear.

Ghost. So art thou to revenge when thou shalt hear. Ham. What?

Ghost. I am thy father's spirit ;.

Doom'd for a certain term, to walk the night,

And for the day, confin'd to fast in fire :
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature,
Are burnt and purg'd away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison house,

I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotty and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine:

But this eternal blazon must not be

To ears of flesh and blood; list, list, oh list!
If thou did'st ever thy dear father love-

Ham. O heav'n!

Ghost. Revenge his foul and most unnatural murther. Ham. Murther?

Ghost. Murther most foul, as in the best it is;

But this most foul, strange and unnatural.

Ham. Haste me to know it, that I, with wings as swift As meditation, or the thoughts of love,

May fly to my revenge.

Ghost. I find thee apt;

And duller should'st thou be, than the fat weed

That roots itself in ease on Lethe's wharf,

Would'st thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear;

Tis giv'n out, that, sleeping in my orchard,

A serpant stung me. So the whole ear of Denmark
Is by a forged process of my death

Rankly abus'd: but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father's life,
Now wears his crown.

Ham. Oh, my prophetic soul! my uncle!

Ghost. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
With witchcraft of his wit, with trait'rous gifts,
(O wicked wit, and gifts, that have the power
So to seduce!) won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming virtuous queen.
Oh Hamlet, what a falling off was there!
But soft! methinks I scant the morning air-
Brief let me be: Sleeping within mine orchard,
My custom always in the afternoon,
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole
With juice of cursed ebony in a phial,
And in the porches of mine ear did pour
The leperous distilment.

Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand,
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once hereft;
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin;
No reck'ning made! but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head;

Ham. Oh horrible! oh horrible! most horrible!
Ghost. If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
But howsoever thou pursu'st this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught; leave her to heav'n,
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once!
The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,

And 'gins to pale his ineffectual fire.

Adieu, adieu, adieu: remember me.

Ham. Oh, all you host of heav'n! oh earth! what else! And shall I couple hell? oh fie! hold my heart!

And you, my sinews, grow not instant old;

But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee!
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat.
In this distracted globe; remember thee!
Yea, from the tablet of my memory

I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix'd with baser matter.


[ocr errors]



TO be, or not to be ?-that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?-To die, to sleep-
No more and by a sleep, to say, we end

The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to ;-Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die-to sleep-

To sleep! perchance to dream!—ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause.- -There's the respect

That makes calamity of so long life:

For who would bear the whips and scorns o'th' time, Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's comtumely, The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,

The insolence of office, and the spurns

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »