Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

Devoutly to be wished. 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 of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's con-
tumely,

The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns-
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But the dread of something after death
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turns awry
And lose the name of action!"

Ophelia at the suggestion of her father and the other conspirators, comes in at this juncture and sounds Hamlet as to plighted love and gives back the gifts he gave her.

Hamlet pretending to madness still talks double and asks Ophelia if she be honest, fair and beautiful.

She says: "Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with beauty?"

Hamlet replies: "Ay, truly, for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd, than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness; this was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once."

Ophelia says: "Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so."

""

And then the fickle Hamlet says: "I loved you not," and with supercilious advice, exclaims:

"Get thee to a nunnery!

Why would'st thou be a breeder of sinners?
I am myself indifferent honest;

But yet I could accuse me of such things
That it were better my mother had not borne me.
I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious;

With more offenses at my back
Than I have thoughts to put them in;
Imagination to give them shape,
Or time to act them in.

What should such fellows as I do
Crawling between heaven and earth?

We are arrant knaves all, believe none of us—
Go thy ways to a nunnery!

If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry.

Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow!

Thou shalt not escape calumny!

If thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool;

For wise men know well enough what monsters women make of them!

Go! get thee to a nunnery!"

Hamlet thus plays the madman to the eye and mind of Ophelia, that she may report his lunacy; and believing her former lover deranged, after his exit utters this wail of grief:

"O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's eye, tongue,
sword;

The expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
The observed of all observers, quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That sucked the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
That unmatched form and feature of blown youth,
Blasted with ecstacy: 0, woe is me,

To have seen what I have seen, see what I see.”

The instruction of Hamlet to the players is the most conclusive evidence that William Shakspere was not only the greatest dramatic author, but an actor and orator of matchless mould.

There was no character that his soul conceived in any of his plays, fool or philosopher, that he could not act better than any man in his company.

In the first rehearsal of his plays he usually read the lines to his men and gave them the cue and philosophy of the character to be enacted.

A few days before the play of Hamlet I heard him deliver this speech for the edification of the whole troupe, that they might know how to render their lines in an effective and oratorical manner:

"Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced
It to you, trippingly on the tongue;
But if you mouth it, as many of your
Players do, I had as lief the town-crier,
Spoke my lines. Now do not saw the air too
Much with your hand, thus; but use all gently;
For in the very torrent, tempest, and,
As I may say, whirlwind of your passion,
You must acquire and beget a temperance,
That may give it smoothness. O, it offends
Me to the soul to hear a robustious
Periwig-pated fellow, tear a passion
To tatters, to very rags, to split the
Ears of the groundlings, who for the most part
Are capable of nothing, but inexplicable
Dump-shows and noise, I would have such a fellow
Whipped for overdoing Termagant;
It out-herods Herod; pray you avoid it.
Be not too tame neither, but let your own
Discretion be your tutor; suit the action
To the word, the word to the action;
With this special observance, that you o'erstep
Not the modesty of nature; for anything
So overdone is from the purpose of playing,
Whose end, both at the first and now, was and is,
To hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature;
To show virtue her own feature, scorn her
Own image, and the very age and body
Of the time his form and pressure.
Now this, overdone, or come tardy off,
Though it make the unskilled laugh, cannot but
Make the judicious grieve; the censure of
The which one must in your allowance
Overweigh a whole theatre of others.

O, there be players that I have seen play,
And heard others praise, and that highly,
Not to speak it profanely, that neither
Having the accent of Christians nor the
Gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so
Strutted and bellowed, that I have thought
Some of nature's journeymen had made men,
And not made them well, they imitated
Humanity so abominably!"

In all the troubles and vicissitudes of Hamlet's life, young Lord Horatio remained his unfaltering friend; and this tribute to friendship is one of the best in Shakspere. Hamlet says:

"Horatio, thou art even as just a man
As e'er my conversation coped withal,
Nay, do not think I flatter;

For what advancement may I hope from thee,
That no revenue hast but thy good spirits,

To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flattered?

No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee
Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou

hear?

Since my dear soul was mistress of its choice
And could of men distinguish, her election
Hath sealed thee for herself; for thou hast been
As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing;
A man that fortune's buffets and rewards
Hast taken with equal composure; and blest are
those

« PředchozíPokračovat »