Abbildungen der Seite

A little month! or ere those shoes were old,
With which she followed my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears---Why she, ev'n the,---
(0 heav'n! a bealt, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourned longer---) married with mine

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 flashing in her gauled eyes,
She married ---Oh, most wicked speed, to poft
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.

Hor. Hail to your Lordship!
Ham. I am glad to see you well;
Horatio, ---or I do forget myself?
Hor. The fame, my Lord, and your poor fer-

vant ever
Ham. Sir, my good friend ; l'll change that

name with you :
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio ?
Marcellus !
Mar. My good Lord-----

Ham. I am very glad to see you; good even, Sir.
But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?

Hor. A truant disposition, good my Lord.

[ocr errors]

Mr Dryden has remarked, that this is the sharpest fatire it3 the fewest words, that ever was made on womankind; for both the adjectives are neuter, and animal must be understood to make them grammar. - 'Tis certain the designed contempt is heightened by this change of the gender ; but, I presume, Mr Dryden had forgot this paffage of Shakespeare, when he declared on the side of Virgil's hemistich, as the Tharpest satire he had met with.


graves stood tenantless: the sheeted dead Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets; Stars Thone with trains of fire, dews of blood fell; Disasters veiled the fun; and the moist star, Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands, Was almost fick to doomsday with eclipse. And even the like precurse of fierce events, As harbingers preceding kill the Fates, And prologued to the omened coming on, (2) Have heaven and earth together demonstrated Unto our climatures and countrymen.

Enter Ghost again. But soft, behold! lo, where it comes again ! I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion !

[Spreading his arms.
If thou hast any found, or use of voice,
Speak to me.
If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to thee do.ease, and grace to me,
Speak to me.
If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid,
Oh speak !------
Or, if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth, [Cockcrows.
For which, they say, you fpirits oft walk in death,
Speak of it. Stay, and speak--Stop it, Marcellus.--

Mar. Shall I strike it with my partizan ?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.

(2) And prelogue to the omen coming on.] But prologue and emen are merely synonymous here, and must signify one and the same thing. But the Poet means, that these strange phæno. meną are prologues and forerunners of the events prefaged by them; and such sense the flight alteration which I have ventured to make by a single letter added, very aptly gives.

[ocr errors]

Ber. 'Tis here----
Hor. 'Tis here.
Mar. 'Tis gone,

[Exii Ghoft.
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
To offer it fhew of violence;
For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
And our vain blows malicious mockery,

Ber. It was about to speak when the cock crew,

Hor. And then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and fhrill-founding throat
Awake the god of day, and, at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
Th' exravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine: and of the truth herein
This present object made probation.

Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say, that ever 'gainst that feafon comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning fingeth all night long:
And then they say no fpirit walks abroad;
The nights are wholsome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, no witch hath power to charm;
So hallowed and fo gracious is the time.

Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it,
But look, the morm, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill ;
Break we our watch up; and, by my advice,
Let us impart what we have seen to-night
Unto young Hamlet: for upon my life
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
Do you consent we thall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty ?
Mar. Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning

know Where we fhall find him most conveniently. [Exe. VOL. XII.


[ocr errors]

SCENE changes to the Palace. Enter CLAUDIU's King of Denmark, GERTRUDE the


King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's
The memory be green, and that it fitted [death
To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe;
Yet fo far hath Difcretion fought with Nature,
That we with wiselt sorrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of ourselves.

Therefore our sometime sister, now our Queen,
Th’imperial jointress of this warlike state,
Have we, as 'twere, with a defeated joy,
With one auspicious, and one dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,
Taken to wife.---Nor have we herein barred
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along: (for all our thanks.)
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
Holding a weak fupposal of our worth;
-Or thinking by our late dear brother's death
Our state to be disjointed and out of frame;
Colleagued with this dream of his advantage
He hath not failed to pester us with message,
Importing the surrender of those lands
Loft by his father, by all bands of law,
To our most valiant brother.---So much for him.--
Now for ourself, and for this time of meeting :
Thus much the business is. We have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,
(Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose) to fuppress

His further gate herein ; in that the levies, ,
The liits, and full proportions are all made
Out of his subjects: and we here dispatch
You, good Cornelius, and you Voltimand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway;
Giving to you no further personal power
To business with the King, more than the scope
Which these dilated articles allow..
Farewel, and let your halte commend your duty.
Vol. In that, and all things, will we ihew our

King. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewel.

[Exeunt Vollimand and Cornelius.-
And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
You told us of some fuit. What is't, Laertes ?
You eannot speak of reason to the Dane,
And lose your voice. What would'st thou beg,

That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more inftrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
What would'ít thou have, Laertes?

Laer. My dread Lord,
Your leave and fav our to return to France;
From whence, though willingly I came to Denmark,
To fhew my duty in your coronation ;
Yet now I must confess, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again towards France,
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
King: Have you your father's leave? what says

Polonius ? Pol. He hath, my Lord, by laboursome petition, Wrung from me my flow leave; and, at the lait, Upon his will I fealed my hard consent. I do beseech you give him leave to go.

« ZurückWeiter »