Obrázky stránek

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; lift, lift, oh lift!

If thou did't ever thy dear father love

HAM. O heav'n!

GHOST. Revenge his foul and moft unnatural murther,

HAM. Murther?

GHOST. Murther moft foul, as in the best it is ;

But this moft foul, ftrange and unnatural.

HAM. Hafte 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'ft thou be, than the fat weed
That roots itself in ease on Lethe's wharf,

Would'st thou not flir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear:
'Tis giv'n out, that, fleeping in my orchard,

A ferpent ftung me. So the whole ear of Denmark
Is by a forged process of my death
Rankly abus'd: but know, thou noble youth,
The ferpent that did fting thy father's life,
Now wears his crown.

HAM. Oh, my prophetic foul! my uncle!
GHOST. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beaft,
With witchcraft of his wit, with trait'rous gifts,
(O wicked wit, and gifts, that have the power
So to feduce!) won to his fhameful luft
The will of my moft seeming virtuous Queen.
Oh Hamlet, what a falling off was there!
But foft! methinks I'fcent the morning air-


[ocr errors]


Brief let me be Sleeping within mine orchard,

My cuftom always in the afternoon,
Upon my fecure, hour thy uncle ftole

With juice of curfed hebony in a phial,
And in the porches of mine ear did pour
The leperous diftilment.

Thus was I, fleeping, by a brother's hand,
Of life, of crown, of Queen, at once bereft ;
Cut off even in the bloffoms of my fin;
No reck'ning made! but fent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head!

HAM. Oh horrible! oh horrible! moft horrible!
GHOST. If thou haft nature in thee, bear it not;
But howfoever thou purfu'it this act,

Taint not thy mind, nor let thy foul contrive
Against thy mother aught; leave her to heav'n,
And to those thorns that in her bofom lodge,
To prick and fting her. Fare thee well at once!
The glow-worm fhews the matin to be near,
And 'gins to pale his ineffectual fire.

Adieu, adieu, adieu: remember me.

HAM. Oh, all you hoft of heav'n! oh earth! what else! And shall I couple hell? oh fie! hold my heart! And you, my finews, grow not inftant old; But bear me ftiffly up. Remember thee! Ay, thou poor ghoft, while memory holds a feat In this distracted globe; remember thee! Yea, from the table of my memory

I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,


All faws of books, all forms, all preffures past,
That youth and obfervation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live

[ocr errors]

Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix'd with bafer matter.





O be, or not to be ?-that is the queftion.-
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to fuffer
The ftings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a fea of troubles,

And by oppofing end them?-To die,-to fleep-
No more; and by a fleep, to say, we end


The heart-ache, and the thousand natural fhocks
That flesh is heir to ;-'Tis a confummation
Devoutly to be wifh'd. To die-to fleep-


To fleep perchance to dream?ay, there's the rub;
For in that fleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have fhuffled off this mortal coil,
Muft give us paufe.-There's the respect
That makes calamity of fo long life:

For who would bear the whips and scorns of th' time,
Th' oppreffor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pang of defpis'd love, the law's delay,
The infolence of office, and the fpurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes;
When he himself might his quietus make

With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To groan and fweat under a weary life;

But that the dread of fomething after death
(That undiscover'd country, from whose bourne
No traveller returns) puzzles the will;

[ocr errors]


And makes us rather bear thofe ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus confcience does make cowards of us all:
And thus the native hue of refolution
Is ficklied o'er with the pale caft of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lofe the name of action.




H! my offence is rank, it fmells to heav'n,
It hath the primal, eldeft curfe upon't;
A brother's murder-Pray I cannot:
Though inclination be as sharp as 'twill,
My stronger guilt defeats my ftrong intent;
And like a man to double business bound,
I ftand in paufe where I fhall firft begin,
And both neglect. What if this curfed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood?
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heav'ns
To wash it white as fnow? Whereto serves mercy,
But to confront the visage of offence?

And what's in prayer, but this two-fold force,
To be foreftalled ere we come to fall,

Or pardon'd being down ?- -Then I'll look up;
My fault is paft.But oh, what form of prayer
Can ferve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder !—
That cannot be, fince I am still poffefs'd

Of thofe effects for which I did the murder,


My crown, mine own ambition, and my Queen.
May one be pardon'd, and retain th' offence?
In the corrupted currents of this world,
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice;
And oft 'tis feen, the wicked prize itself
Buys out the laws. But 'tis not fo above.
There is no shuffling; there the action lies
In its true nature, and we ourselves compell'd,
Ev'n to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? what refts?
Try what repentance can: what can it not?
Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?
Oh wretched state! oh bosom black as death!
Oh limed foul, that, ftruggling to be free,
Art more engag'd! Help, angels! make affay!
Bow, ftubborn knees; and, heart, with ftrings of steel,
Be foft as finews of the new-born babe!

All may be well.





ESCEND, ye Nine! defcend and fing; The breathing inftruments infpire, Wake into voice each filent ftring,


And sweep the founding lyre!

a fadly-pleafing ftrain

Let the warbling lute complain :
Let the loud trumpet found,
Till the roofs all around
The fhrill echoes rebound:

« PředchozíPokračovat »