« PreviousContinue »
Start up, and stand on end : O, gentle fon!
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience: whereon do you look?
Ham. On him, on him! look you, how pale he
His forin and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones
Would make them capable: do not look on me,
Left with this pīteous action you convert
My stern effects ; then what I have to do,
Will want true colour, tears, perchance, for blood,
Queen. To whom do you speak this?
Ham. Do you see nothing there?
[Pointing to the Ghost. Queen. Nothing at all; yet all that is, I see. Ham. Nor did
you nothing hear? Queen. No, nothing but ourselves. Ham. Why, look you there! look how it steals (33)
My father in his habit as he liv'd !
Look where he goes, even now, out at the portal.
Qucen. This is the very coinage of your brain,
This bodiless creation, ecstasy
Is very cunning in.
Ham. What ecstasy?
My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time:
And makes as healthful music : 'tis not madness
That I have utt ed, bring me to the test,
And I the matter will re-word; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace, «
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul,
That not your trespass, but my madness, speaks ;
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen: confess yourself to heaven,
Repent what's past; avoid what is to come.
иесі. (33) Steals--Some are for reading Aalks, and in some later edi. tions I find that word : he uses this word before, speaking of the Ghoft: however, jeals, is very justifiable.
Queen. O, Humlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twaine
Ham. Then throw away the worser part of it,
And live the purer with the other half.
Good-night, but go not to my uncle's bed;
Affume'a virtue if
have it not.
That monster custom, who all sense doth eat
Of habits evil, is angel yet in this,
That to the use of actions fair and good
He likewise gives a frock or livery,
That aptly is put on : refrain to-night,
And that shall lend a kind of eafinefs
To the next abstinence, the next more easy;
For use can almost change the stain of nature,
And master e’en the devil, or throw him out
With wond'rous potency. Once more, good-night,
And when you are desirous to be blest,
I'll blessing beg of you.
Queen. What shall I do?
Ham. Not this by no means that I bid you
Let the fond king tempt you to bed again,
Pinch wanton on your cheek : call you his mouse;
And let him for a pair of reeky kisses,
Or paddling in your neck with his damn'd fingers,
Make you to ravel all this matter out,
That I effentially am not in madness,
craft; 'twere good you let him know.
Queen. Be thou assur’d, if words be made of breath,
And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
What thou hast said to me,
Ham. I must to England, you know that?
Queen. Alack, I had forgot,
'Tis fo concluded on.
Ham. There's letters seal'd, and my two school,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd,
They bear the mandate, they must sweep my way,
And marshal me to knavery : ler it work,
For 'tis the sport to have the engineer
Hoist with his own petar, and't shall go
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow 'em at the moon.
Hamlet's Reflection on his own Irresolution. How all occasions .do inform against me, And Ipur my dull revenge? What is a man, If his chief good and market of his time Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more. (34) Sure he has made us with such large discourse, Looking before and after, gave us not That capability and god-like reason To rust in us unus'd: now whether it be Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple Of thinking too precisely on th'event, (A thought which quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom, And ever three parts coward;) I do not know Why yet I live to say this thing's to do,
(34) Sure he, &c.] This, says Mr. Theobald, is an expression purely Homeric;
Αμα προσσω και οπισσα
Turns on all hands its deep discerning eyes,
Sees what befel, and what may yet befall,
Concludes from both, and best provides for all.
Pope, B. 3. 156. And again,
Ο γαρ οιoς oρα προσσω και οπισσω.
Skiil to discern the future by the past.
Pope, B. 18. 294. The Mort scholiast on the last passage, gives us a comment, that very aptly explains our author's phrase: For it is the part of an understanding man to connect the reflection of events to come with such as are patt, and so to foresee what shall follow. This is 2s our author phrases it, boking befor. a:id ater.
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do't. Examples gross as earth exhort me;
Witness this army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit with divine ambition puft,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal and unfure
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an egg-shell. 'Tis not to be great,
Never to stir without great argument ;
But greatly to find quarrel in a ítraw,
When honour's at the stake. How stand I then,
That hath a father kill'd, a mother itain'd,
(Excitements of my reason and my blood,).
And let all sleep, while to my shame I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men,
That for a phantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? O then from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth !
SCENE V. Sorrows rarely single.
(35) O, Gertrude, Gerirude!
When sorrows come, they come not single spies,
But in battalions.
Scene VI. The Divinity of Kingsa,
Let hin' go, Gertrude : do not fear our person :
There's such divinity doth hedge a king
(35) 0, Gertrude, &c.] Doctor Youn“, in his Night Thought (Night the 3d) has plainly borrowed this thought;
Woes cluster, rare are folitary woes :
They love a train, they tread each other's heels.
(36) That treason can but peep to what it wou'd,
Acis little of its will.
SCENE X. Description of Ophelia's Drowning.
(37) There is a willow grows aflant a brook, 'That shews his hoar leaves in the glaffy stream,
(36) See Winter's Tale. So, in the Maid's Tragedy it is said;
As you are mere man,
I dare as easily kill you for this deed,
As you dare think to do it : but there is
Divinity about you, that strikes dead
My rising passions, as you are my king, &c.
See Act 3. in the Two Noble Kinsmen.
(37) There is, &c.] The character of the jailor's daughter is
as beautiful and every way comparable to this of Ophelia: it may
be no disagreeable entertainment to any reader to compare them
together: I shall only subjoin the following account given of her
by her woocr.
As I late was angling
In the great lake, that lies behind the palace,
From the fair thore, thick set with reeds and fedges,
As patiently I was attending sport,
I heard a voice, a thrill one; and attentive
I gave my ear, when I might well perceive
'Twas one that sung, and by the Smallness of it,
A boy or woman, I then left my angle
To his own kill, came near, but yet perceiv'd not
Who made the found, the rushes and the reeds
Had so encompass”d it: I laid me down
And listen'd to the words she sung, for then
Thro' a small glade cut by the filherman
I saw it was your daughter.
She sung much, but no sense ; only I heard her
Repeat this often ; Palamon is gone,
Is gone to th' wood to gather mulberries,
I'll find him out to-morrow.
His shackles will betray him, he'll be taken,
And what shall I do then? I'll bring a beavy
A hundred black-eyed maids, tbat love as I do,
With chaplets on their heads, with daffadillies,