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But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar-
I found it in his closet-'tis his will !
Let but the Commons hear this testament-
Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read,-
And they will go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds,
And dip their napkins in his sacred blood ;
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
And, dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it, as a rich legacy,
Unto their issue !-

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
You all do know this mantle? I remember
The first time ever Caesar put it on :
'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent-
That day he overcame the Nervii !-
Look! in this place ran Cassius' dagger through !-
See ! what a rent the envious Casca made !-
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabbed !
And, as he plucked his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Caesar followed it !
As rushing out of doors to be resolved
If Brutus so unkindly knocked, or no ;-
For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel !
Judge, ye Gods, how dearly Caesar loved him !-
This, this was the unkindest cut of all;
For, when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitor's arms,
Quite vanquished him. Then burst his mighty heart;
And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey's statue-
Which all the while ran blood-great Caesar fell !
Oh, what a fall was there, my countrymen !
Then, I and you, and all of us, fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourished over us !-
Oh, now you weep, and I perceive you feel
The dint of pity: these are gracious drops !
Kind souls !—what! weep you when you but hehold
Our Caesar's vesture wounded ? - look

you

here! Here is himself-marred, as you see, by traitors !

Good friends! sweet friends! let me not stir you up To such a sudden flood of mutiny! They that have done this deed are honorable !— What private griefs they have, alas ! I know not, That made them do it : they are wise and honorable, And will, no doubt, with reason answer you! I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts ; I am no orator, as Brutus is ; But, as you know me all, a plain, blunt man, That loves his friend ;—and that they know full well That gave me public leave to speak of him : For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth, Action, nor utterance, nor power of speech, To stir men's blood : I only speak right on!

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I tell you that which you yourselves do know;
Show you sweet Caesar's wounds,-poor, poor, dumb mouths !
And bid them speak for me. But, were I Brutus,
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue
In every wound of Caesar, that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny!

XIV.-HAMLET ON HIS MOTHER'S MARRIAGE.

FROM “HAMLET.”-SHAKESPEARE.

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H! that this too, too solid flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a

dew! or that the Everlasting had not fixed His canon 'gainst self-slaughter !~O God! O God! how weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable, see n to me all the uses of this world ! Fie on't! O fie! 'tis an unweed garden, that grows to seed ; things rank and gross in nature possess it merely. That it should come to this ! But two months dead !--nay, not so much, not two : so excellent a king; that was, to this, Hyperion to a Satyr: so loving to my mother, that he might not beteem the winds of heaven visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth! must I remember? why, she would hang on him, as if increase of appetite had grown by what it feed on : and yet, within a month,—let me not think on't !—Frailty, thy name is woman !-a little month: or ere those shoes were old with which she follow'd my poor father's body, like Niobe, all tears,—why she, even she,–0 Heaven! a beast, that wants discourse of reason, would have mourn'd longer,married my uncle, 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 flushing in her galled eyes, she married :-0 most wicked speed ! .. It is not, nor it cannot come to, good.—But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue !

XV.–POLONIUS TO HIS SON LAERTES.

SHAKESPEARE.

YET

ET here, Laertes! aboard, aboard,—for shame! The wind sits in the shoulder

of your sail, and you are staid for.—There,—my blessing with you! And these few precepts in thy memory look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, nor any unproportion'd thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel; but do not dull thy palm with entertainment of each new-hatched, unfledged comrade. Beware of entrance to a quarrel : but, being in, bear it that the opposer may beware of thee. Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice: take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgement. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, but not express’d in fancy : rich not gaudy; for the apparel oft proclaims the man. Neither a borower or lender be: for loan oft loses both itself and friend ; and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all,—to thine ownself be true; and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell; my blessing season this in thee !

XVI.-HAMLET ON THE EMOTION OF THE PLAYER.

SHAKESPEARE.

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H! what a rogue and peasant slave am I! Is it not monstrous that this play-

er here, but in a fiction, in a dream of passion, could force his soul so to his own conceit, that, from her working, all his visage wann’d; tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect, a broken voice, and his whole function suiting with forms

ears.

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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 amaze, indeed, the very faculties of eyes and

Yet I, a dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak, like John-a dreams, unpregnant of my cause, and can do nothing. Am I a coward ? who calls me villian ? breaks my pate across ? plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face ? tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i' the throat, as deep, as to the lungs ? Who does me this ? Ha! why, I should take it : for it cannot be but I am pigeon-liver'd, and lack gall to make oppression bitter ; or, ere this, I should have fatted all the region kites with this slaves offal! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villian !

-Why, what an am I! This is most brave, that I, the son of a dear father murdered, prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, must, like a fool, unpack my heart with words, and fall a-cursing, like a very drab, a scullion ! Fie upon't! foh! About, my brains !- -Humph! I have heard, that guilty creatures, sitting at a play, have by the very cunning of the scene been struck so to the soul, that presently they have proclaim'd 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 do blench, --I know my course ! The spirit that I have seen may be a devil : and the devil hath power to assume a. pleasing shape ; yea, and, perhaps, out of my weakness, and my melancholy, (as he is very potent with such spirits,) 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.

XVII.-HAMLET'S ADVICE TO THE PLAYER.

SHAKESPEARE.

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PEAK the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the

tongue : but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor 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 periwigpated 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 dumb show and noise : I would have such a fellow whipped for o'er-doing Termagant ; it outherods 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 unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one must, in your allowance, o’erweigh a whole theatre of others. Oh! there be players that Í have seen play—and heard others praise, and that highly-not to speak it profanely,—that, neighter having the accent of Christian, nor the gait of Christian, Pagan, or 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.

XVIII.-HAMLET ON A FUTURE STATE.

SHAKESPEARE.

To be, or not to be ?—that is the question :

Wether 'tis nobler, in the mind, to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune ; Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them ?- To die ?-to sleep, No more ;-and, by a sleep, to say we end The heart-ache, and the thousand 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 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 contumely, 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 migt his quietus make With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after DeathThat undiscovered country, from whose bourn 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 sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought And enterprises of great pith and moment, With this regard, their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action.

XIX.-SOLILOQUY OF KING CLAUDIUS.

SHAKESPEARE.

OI

H! my offence is rank, it smells to Heaven !

It hath the primal, eldest curse upon't ;
A brother's murder !--Pray can I not :
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 heaven
To wash it white 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 pardoned, 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 possessed
Of those effects for which I did the murder-
My crown, my own ambition, and my queen.
May one be pardoned, and retain the 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 law. But 'tis not so above-
There is no shuffling : there the action lies
In its true nature, and we ourselves compelled,
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give 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 engaged ! Help, angels !—Make essay :
Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart, with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe!
All may be well,

XX.-LADY MACBETH MEDITATING THE MURDER OF KING DUNCAN.

SHAKESPEARE.

GLAMIS thou art, and Cawdor ; and shalt be what thou art promised :—yet do

I fear thy nature ; it is too full o' the milk of human kindness, to catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great; art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly, that wouldst thou holily ; wouldst not play false, and yet wouldst wrongly win: thou’dst have, great Glamis, that which cries, “Thus thou must do, if thou have it ;” and that which rather thou dost fear to do, than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thine ear, and chastise with the valor of my tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round, which fate and metaphysical aid doth seek to have thee crown’d withal — The king comes here to-night !-Great news. The raven himself's not hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements. Come, come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here; and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood, stop up the access and passage to remorse; that no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between the effect and it! come to my wo nan's breasts, and take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers, wherever, in your sighless substances, you wait on Nature's mischief! Come, thick Night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell! that my keen knife see not the wound it makes; nor heaven peep through the blankness of the dark, to cry,

Hold, hold !"

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