Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs;
The instant burst of clamour that she made,
(Unless things mortal move them not at all)
Would have made milch the burning eyes of Heaven,
And pallion in the gods.

Pol. Look whether he has not turned his colour, and has tears in's eyes. Pr'ythee, no more.

Ham. 'Tis well. I'll have thee speak out the reft of this soon. Good my Lord, will you see the players well bestowed? Do ye hear, let them be welt used; for they are the abltract and brief chroniclers of the time. After your death, you were better have a bad epitaph, than their ill report while you lived.

Pol. My Lord, I will use them according to their defert.

Ham. God's bodikins, man, much better. Use every man after his defert, and who shall 'scape whipping ? use them after your own honour and dignity. The less they deserve, the more merit is in your hounty. Take them in. Pol. Come, Sirs.

[Exit Polonius. Ham. Follow him, friends: we'll have a play tomorrow. Doit thou hear me, old friend, can you play the murder of Gonzago ?

Play. Ay, my Lord.

Ham. We'll ha’t to-morrow night. You could, for a need, study a speech of some dozen or fixteen lines, which I would set down and insert in't? could

ye not?

Play. Ay, my Lord.

Ham Very well. Follow that Lord, and look you mock him not. My good friends, I'll leave you 'till night: you are welcome to Ellinoor. Rof. Good my Lord.

[Exeunt. Manet RAMLET. Ham. Ay, fo, God b'w'ye. Now I am alone, Oh, what a rogue and peasant flave am I! Is it not monstrous that this player here, But in a fiction, in a dream of paffion, Could force his foul fo to his own conceit, That, from her working, all his visage warmed: Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect, A broken voice, and his whole function fuiting, With forms to his conceit? and all for nothing? For Hecuba ? What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, That he should weep for her? what would he do, Had he the motive and the cue for passion That I have? he would drown the stage with tears, And cleave the general ear with horrid speech, Make mad the guilty, and appal the free; Confound the ignorant, and amaže, indeed, The very faculty of eyes and ears -------

--- Yet I, A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak, Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, And can say nothing-----no, not for a King, Upon whose property and most dear life A damned defeat was made. Am I a coward ? Who calls me villain, breaks my pate a-cross, Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face? Tweaks me by th'nose, gives me the lye i’ th’throat, As deep as to the lungs? who does me this ? Yet I should take it...--for it cannot be But I am pigeon-livered, and lack gall To make oppression bitter; or, ere this, I should have fatted all the region kites With this slave's offal. Bloody, bawdy villain! Remorseless, treacherous, letcherous, kindless vila Why, what an ass am I? this is most brave, [lain !

That I, the son of a dear father murdered,
Prompted to my revenge by Hearen and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
And fall a curfing like a very drab—-(32)
A cullion,---fy upon't ! foh!-about, my brain !...
I've heard, that guilty creatures, at a play,
Have, by the very cunning of the scene,
Been struck so to the soul, that presently
They have proclaimed their malefactions.
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players
Play something like the murder of my father,
Before mine uncle, I'll observe his looks;
I'll tent him to the quick; if he but blench,
I know my course. This fpirit, that I have seen,
May be the devil; and the devil hath power
T'assume a pleasing shape; yea, and, perhaps,
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
(As he is very potent with such fpirits)
Abuses me to damn me. I'll have grounds
More relative than this: the play's the thing,
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King. [Exit.

(32) And fall a cursing like a very drab

A stallion.-) But why a stollinn? The two old Folios have it, a scullion; but that too is wrong. I am persuaded Shakespeare wrote as I have reformed the text, a vulliin, i. é. a stupid, heartless, faint-hearted, white-livered fellow; one good for nothing, but cursing and talking big. So, in King Lear ; I'll make a fop o'th' moonshine of you; you whorson,

cullionly bai bermonger, draw. 2 Henry VI.

Away, base cullions !--Suffolk, Ict 'em go. The word is of Italian extraction, from coglione; which, in its metaphorical fignification, (as La Crusca defines it) dicesi ancor cogliore per ingiuria in ferilo di talarda,of reproach to a stupid, good-for-nything blockhcad. Vol. XII.

G.

is faid by way.

[blocks in formation]

Enter King, Queen, POLONIUS, OPHELIA, ROSIN

CRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and Lords.

KING.

A

ND can you by no drift of conference

Get from him why he puts on this confusion, Grating so harshly all his days of quiet, With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?

Rof. He does confess, he feels himself distracted; But from what cause he will by no means speak.

Guil. Nor do we find him forward to be founded; But with a crafty madness keeps aloof, When we would bring him on to fome confession Of his true state.

Queen. Did he receive you well? Rof. Most like a gentleman. Guil. But with much forcing of his difpofition. Rof. Niggard of question, but of our demands Most free in his reply.

Queen. Did you allay him to any pastime?

Rof. Madam, it fo fell out that certain players
We o'er-took on the way; of these we told him ;
And there did seem in him a kind of joy
To hear of it: they are about the court;
And (as I think) they have already order
This night to play before him.

Pol. 'Tis most true :
And he beseeched me to intreat your Majesties
To hear and see the matter,

King. With all my heart, and it doth much conTo hear him so inclined.

[tent me

Good gentlemen, give him a further edge,
And drive his purpose into these delights.
Rof. We shall, my Lord.

[Exeunt,
King. Sweet Gertrude, leave us too;
For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,
That he, as 'twere by accident, may here
Affront Ophelia. Her father and inyfelf
Will fo bestow ourselves, that, feeing, unseen,
We

may of their encounter frankly judge;
And gather by him, as he is behaved,
If't b: th' amiction of his love, or no,
That chus he suffers for.

Queen. I shall obey you:
And for my part, Ophelia, I do with,
That your good beauties be the happy cause
Of Hamlet's wildness! So shall I hope, your virtues
May bring him to his wonted way aguin,
To both

your Oph. Madam, I wish it may, [Exit Queen. Pol. Ophelia, walk you here.-Gracious, lo

please ye, We will bestow ourselves. Read on this book; That shew of such an exercise may colour Your loneliness. We're oft to blame in this, 'Tiş too much proved, that with devotion's visage, And pious action, we do lugar o'er The devil himfeif.

King Oh, 'tis too true. How Imart a lash that speech doth give my conscience !

[ Afide. The harlot's chcek, beautied with plaistring art, Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it, Than is my deed to my moit painted word. Oh heavy burden ! Pol. I hear him coming; let's withdraw, my Lord,

[Exeunt all but Ophclia. G

honours.

« AnteriorContinuar »