« ZurückWeiter »
And in the ealmest and the stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then happy, lowly clown!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
X.--Capt. Bobadil's Method of defeating an Army.--
EVERY MAN IN AIS HUMOR. WILL tell you, Sir, by the way of private and under
seal, I am a gentleman; and live here obscure, and to myself; but were I known to his Majesty and the Lords, observe me, I would undertake, upon this poor head and live, for the public benefit of the state, not only to spare the entire lives of his subjects in general, but to save the one balf, nay three fourths of his yearly charge in holding war, and against what enemy soever. And how would 1 do it, think you? Why thus, Sir.---- I would select nineteen more to myself, throughout the land; gentlemen they should be ; of good spirit, strong and able constitution. I would choose them by an instinct that I have. And I would teach these nineteen the special rules; as your Punto, your Reverso, your Stoccata, your Imbroccata, your Passada; your Montonso; till they could all play very near, or altogether as well as myself. This done; say the enemy were forty thousand strong. We twenty would come into the field, the tenth of March, or therea. bouts, and we would challenge twenty of the enemy; they could not, in their honor, refuse us. Well
--we would kill them; challenge twenty more--kill them; twenty more-kill them; twenty more kill them too. And thus, would we kill, every man his ten a day-- that's ten score : Ten score---that's two hundred ; two hundred a day.--five days, a thousand : Forty thousand--- forty times five---five times forty---two hundred day, kill them all up by computation. And this I will venture my poor gentlemanly carcase to perform (provided there be no treason practised upon us) by fair and discreet manhood; that is, civilly --by the sword.
XI.--Soliloquy of Hamlet's Uncle, on the Murder of his
Brother --TRAGEDY OF HANLET.
H! my offence is rank; it smells to heaven ;
A brother's murder! --Pray I cannot,
Though inclination be as sharp as 'twill-
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent:
And like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin-
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
Towash it wbite as snow? Whereto serves mercy,
But to confront the visage of offence ?
And what's in prayer, but this two fold force ;
To be forestalled ere we come to fall-
Or pardon'd being down? Then I'll look up.
My fault is past. But, Oh! What form of prayer
Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder,
That cannot be, since I am still possess'd
of those effects for which I did the murder-
My crown, my 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 seen, the wicked prize itself
Buys out the laws. But 'is not so above.
There is no shuffing--there the action lies
In its true nature, and we ourselves compellid
E'en to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To gire in evidence. What then? What rests ?
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 soul, that, struggling to be free,
Art more engag'd! Help, angels ! make assay!
Bow stubborn knees-and, heart, with strings of steel,
Be soft, as sinews of the new-born babe!
All may be well.
XII.--Soliloquy of Hamlet on Death.--- IE.
TO bemor not to be that is the question ;
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The flings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of trouble ;
And, by opposing, end them? To diem to sleep
No more ? And, by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thougand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to.-'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die--to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to dream, ay, there's the sub-
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 lise
For, who would hear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despis'd 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 groan and sweat under
But that a dread of something after death,
(That undiscover'd country, from whose bourne
No traveller 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 sickled o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprizes of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn away,
And lose the name of action,
XIII.---Falstaff's encomium on Sack.---HENRY IV.
GOOD sherris sack hath a twofold operation in it.
It ascends me into the brain ; dries me there, all the foolish, dull and crudy vapors which environ it: makes it apprehensive, quick, inventive; full of nimble, fiery and delectable shapes ; wbich delivered over to the voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit. The second property of your excellent sherris, is, the warming of the blood; which, before, cold and settled, left the liver white and pale, which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice. But the sherris warms it, and makes it course from the inwards to the parts extreme. It illuminateth the face; which, as a beacon, gives warning to all the rest of this little kingdom, man, io arm ; and then, the vital commoners, and inland petty spirits, muster me all to their captain, the heart; who, great and puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of courage---and this valor comes of sherris. So that skill in the weapon is nothing without sack, for that sets it awork; and learning a mere hoard of gold kept by a devil till sack commences it, and sets it in act and use.... Hereof comes it that Prince Harry is valiant; for the cold blood he did naturally inherit of his father, he bath, like lean, sterile and bare land, manured, husbanded and tilled, with drinking good, and good store of fertile sher
ris. If I had a thousand sons, the first human principle
I would teach them, should be to forswear thin pola-
tions, and to addict themselves to sack.
XIV.-Prologue to the Tragedy of Cato.--Pope.
wake the soul by tender strokes of art,
To make mankind in conscious virtue bold,
Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold;
For this the tragic muse first trod the stage,
Commanding tears to stream through every age ;
Tyrants no more their savage nature kept,
And foes to virtue wonder'd how they wept.
Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move
The hero's glory or the virgin's love :
In pitying love we but our weakness show,
And wild ambition well deserves its woe.
Here tears shall flow from a more gen'rous cause ;
Such tears as patriots shed for dying laws:
He bids your breast with ancient ardors rise,
And calls forth Roman drops froin British eyes ;
Virtue confess'd in human shape he draws,
What Plato thought, and godlike Cató was:
No common object to your sight displays,
But what, with pleasure, heaven itself surveys:
A brave man struggling in the storms of fate,
And greatly falling with a falling state!
While Cato gives his little senate laws,
What bosom beats not in his country's cause?
Who sees him act, but envies every deed ?
Who hears him groan, and does not wish to bleed ?
E'en when proud Cæsar, 'midst triumphal cars,
The spoils of nations and the pomp of wars,
Igrobly vain, and impotently great,
Shop'd Rome her Cato's figure drawn in state :
As her dead father's rev'rend image passid,
The pomp was darken'd and the day o'ercast,
The triumph ceas'd-tears gush'd from ev'ry eye:
The world's great victor pass'd upheeded by:
Her last good man, dejected Rome adorld,
And honor'd Cæsar's less than Cato's sword.
Britons attend. Be worth like this approv'd :
And show you bave the virtue to be mov'd.
With honest scorn the first fam'd Cato view'd
Rome learning arts from Greece, whom she subdu'd.
Our scene precariously subsists too long
On French translation and Italian song.
Dare to have sense yourselves; assert the stage:
Be justly warm'd with your own native rage,
Such plays alone should please a British ear,
As Cato's self had not disdain'd to hear.
XV.-Cato's Soliloquy on the Immortality of the Soul. ---
TRAGEDY OF CATO.
be seen Plato thou reasonest well!
Else, Whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality ?
Or, Whence this secret dread, and inward korror,
Of falling into nonght? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
'Tis the divinity that stirs within us :
'Tis heaven itself that points out an Hereafter,
And intimates Eternity to man.
Eternity !-thou pleasing, dreadful thought!
Through what variety of untried being,
Through what new scenes and changes must we pass !
The wide, th' unbounded prospect lies before me;
But shadows, clouds and darkness rest upon it.
Here will I hold. If there's a Power above us,
(And that there is, all nature cries aloud
Through all her works) he must delight in virtue ;
And that which he delights in must be happy.
But when? Or where? This world was made for Cesar.
weary of conjectures- -this must end them.
[Laying his hand on his sword.
Thus I am doubly arm’d. My death and life,
My bane and antidote, are both before me.
This in a moment brings me to an end ;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secur'd in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years ;
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth ;
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.
XVI.-Speech of Henry V. to his Soldiers at the Siege of
Harfleur.-SHAKESPEARE'S HENRY V.
NCE more unto this breach, dear friends once more,
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But wh the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tyger ;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard favor'd rage :
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect: