Page images

Oth. Not a jot, not a jot. Iago. Trust me, I fear it has s I hope you will consider what is spoke Comes from my love. But I, do see you're mov'd— I am to pray you , not to strain my speech To grosser issues, not to larger reach , Than to suspicion. Oth. I will not.

Iago. Should yovi do so , my Lord , My speech would fall into such vile success, "Which my thoughts aim not at. Cassio's my worthy friend.

My lord , I see you're mov 'd

Oth. No , not much mov'd—
I do not think but Desdemona's honest.

Iago. Long live she so land long live you to

think so! Oth. And yet, hownatiire'serringfromitself— Iago. Ay , there's the point !—as (to be bold with you) Not to affect many proposed matches Of her own clime, complexion , and degree, Whereto we see in all things Nature tends: Poh ! one may smell , in such, a will most rank y Foul disproportions, thoughts unnatural.. But , pardon me , I do not in position Distinctly speak of her \ though I may fear y Her will, recoiling to her better judgment, May fall to match you with her country forms , And , haply t so repent.

Oth. Farewel, farewel 'r If more thou dost perceive, let me know more i Set on thy wife t' observe. Leave me , Iago. Iago. My lord, I take my leave.

Oth. Why did I marry?

This honest creature , doubtless ,
Sees, and knows more, much more than he un-
Iago. My lord, I would I might intreat your
To scan this thing no further : leave it to time i

Altho''tis (it that Cassio have his place,
(For sure he fills it up with great ability; )
Yet if you please to hold him ofl a "while ,
You shall by that perceive him and his means:
Note , if your lady strain his entertainment
With any strong or vehement importunity:
Much will be seen in that. In the mean time,
Let me be thought too busy in my fears,
(As worthy cause I have to fear I am )
And hold her free, I do beseech your Honour.

Oth. Fear not my government.

Iago. I once more take my leave.



Hamlet's Soliloquy on his Mother's marriage.

[ocr errors]

"h that this too 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 1 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 two months dead I nay, not so much 4 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 appetite 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 followedmy poor father's body ,

Like Niobe , all tears Why , she , even she—

(O Heav'n ! a beast that wants discourse of reason, Would havemourn'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—O 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.


Chap. XXIX.
Hamlet and Ghost.

.fffl/n.XJLNGELS and ministers of grace defend us! B« 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, WTierein we saw thee quietly inurn'd, Hath op'd his pond'rous and marble jaws , To cast thee up again ? what may this mean? That thou , dead corse , again in complete steel, Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon , Making night hideous, 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 should we do?

Ghost. Mark me.——

Man. I will.

Glost. My hour is almost come ,
,W hen 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 lor the day confin'd to last 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 r«>ul , 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 didst 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 shouid'st thou be, than the fat 'Weed That roots itself in ease on Lethe's wharf,

Would'st thou not stirin this. Now, Hamlet, hear;
'Tis giv'n out, that, sleeping in my orchard ,
A serpent stung me. So the whole ear oi 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 lile ,
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, (0 wicked wit, and gifts, that hav« 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 scent the morning airBrief let me be : sleeping within mine orchard , My custom always in the afternoon , Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole With juice of cursed hebony in a phial , And in the porches of mine ear did pour The lep'rou9 distilraent.— Thus was I sleeping , by a brother's hand , Of life , of crown, of Queen , at once bereft; Cut off ev'n 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 shews the matin to be near , And 'gins to pale his ineffectual fire. Adieu , adieu , adieu ! Remember me.

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

« PreviousContinue »