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A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing!
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 ears.
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing; no, not for a king,
Upon whose property, and most dear life,
A damned defeat was made. Am I a coward?
Who calls me villain? 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?
Why, I should take it for it cannot be,
But I am pigeon-livered, and lack gall
To make oppression bitter; or, ere this,
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave's offal: Bloody, wanton villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain !
What an ass am I! ay, sure, this is most brave;
That I, the son of the dear murdered,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a wanton, unpack my heart with words,
And fall a cursing, like a very drab,
Fye upon 't foh! About, my brains! 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 proclaimed 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 but blench,
I know my course. The spirit that I have seen
May be the 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.
HAMLET'S SOLILOQUY ON HIS
How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good, and market of his time,
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.
Sure, he, that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before, and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on the event,
A thought, which, quartered, hath but one part wisdom, And ever, three parts coward,-I do not know
Why yet I live to say, This thing's to do;
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means,
To do't. Examples, gross as earth, exhort me:
Witness, this army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince;
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puffe1,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal, and unsure,
To all that fortune, death, and danger, dare,
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great,
Is, not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw,
When honour's at the stake. How stand I then,
That have, a father killed, a mother stained,
Excitements of my reason, and my blood,
And let all sleep? while, to my shame, I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men,
That, for a fantasy and trick of fame,
Go to their graves like beds; fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough, and continent,
To hide the slain ?-O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!
O, 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 will;
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,
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, 0, 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, mine 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 his 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 can not repent?
O wretched state! O bosom, black as death!
O limèd soul, that struggling to be free,
Art more engaged! Help, angels, make assay!
Bow, stubborn knees! and, heart, with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe :
THROUGH tattered clothes small vices do appear;
Robes and furred gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks;
Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw doth pierce it.
SHAKESPEARE'S "King Lear."
SATAN'S ADDRESS TO
O THOU, that, with surpassing glory crowned,
Look'st from thy sole dominion, like the God
Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminished heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
O Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious once above they sphere;
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down,
Warring in heaven against heaven's matchless King:
Ah, wherefore? He deserved no such return
From me, whom He created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with His good
Upbraided none; nor was His service hard.
What could be less than to afford Him praise,
The easiest recompense, and pay Him thanks?
How due! Yet all His good proved ill in me,
And wrought but malice; lifted up so high
I 'sdained subjection, and thought one step higher
Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
So burdensome still paying, still to owe,
Forgetful what from Him I still received;
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharged; what burden then?
Oh, had His powerful destiny ordained
Me some inferior angel, I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised
Ambition. Yet why not? some other Power
As great might have aspired, and me, though mean