Imagens das páginas




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, d

The oppressor's wrong, the poor man's contumely, • despised, The pangs of disprizd * 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 ? (6) who would fardels bear,
To grunt (1) and sweat under a weary life;

But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, (8) puzzles the will;
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?


a when we have shuffled off this mortal coil] Coil is here used in each of its senses, that of turmoil or bustle, and that which entwines or wraps round. “ This muddy cesture of decay,” M. of V. Lor. V. i. Those folds of mortality that encircle and entangle us. Snakes generally lie in folds like the coils of ropes : and, it is conceived, that an allusion is here had to the struggle which that animal is obliged to make in casting his slough, or extricating himself from the skin, that forms the exterior of this coil. And this he throws off :nnually. must give us pause] Stop our career, occasion reflection.

There's the respect,

That makes calamity of so long life.] The consideration that makes the evils of life so long submitted to, lived under.

The whips and scorns of time] Those sufferings of body and mind, those stripes and mortifications to which, in its course, the life of man is subjected. Of the whips of heaven,” he speaks in Timon, V. 1. Poet.

The poor man's contumely] The slight, the spurnings, to which that condition subjects him. “ Ridiculos homines facit," says Juvenal, III. 153. The reading of the 4to is proud : and certainly that which the one, the proud man, offers, is more in the course of the idea, and a more natural form of speaking, than that which the other, the poor man, suffers.


[ocr errors]

awry, 4tos.

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 enterprizes of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn away,* b
And lose the name of action.—Soft you, now!

The fair Ophelia :-Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd. (10)

Good my lord,
How does your honour for this many a day ?(11)

HAM. I humbly thank you; well.

Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours,
That I have longed long to re-deliver;
pray you, now receive them.

No, not I;
I never gave you aught.
Oph. My honour'd lord, you know right well,

you did;
And, with them, words of so sweet breath com-

pos'd As made the things more rich: their* perfume

lost, Take these again ; for to the noble mind, Rich gifts wax poor, when givers prove

unkind. There, my lord. HAM. Ha, ha! are


Oph. My lord ?
HAM. Are you fair?
Oph. What means your lordship?

so 4tos. then, left, 1623, 92.


Thus conscience does make cowards of us all] A state of doubt and uncertainty, a conscious feeling or apprehension, a misgiving “ How our audit stands." III. 3. Hami.

With this regard their currents turn away,

And lose the name of action.] From this sole consideration have their drifts diverted, and lose the character and name of enterprise.

Soft you, now] A gentler pace! have done with this lofty march!

HAM. That if you be honest, and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your


beauty. (12)

[ocr errors]

OPH. Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty?

HAM. Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd, than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness;" this was some time a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once.

Oph. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.

HAM. You should not have believed me : for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock, but we

shall relish of it: I loved you not.

Oph. I was the more deceived.

Ham. Get thee to a nunnery; Why would'st thou be a breeder of sinners ? I am myself indifferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things, that it were better my mother had not borne me: I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious;

with more offences at my beck, than I have So 4tos. To thoughts to put them in,o imagination * to give them put them in shape, or time to act them in : What should such imagination

, fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven! 1633, 32. We are arrant knaves all ; believe none of us : Go

thy ways to a nunnery. Where's your father?


a his likeness] See “ The noble substance dout to his own scandal.” 1. 4. Haml.

binoculate our old stock, but we shall relish of it] So change the original constitution and properties, as that no smack of them shall remain. “ Inoculate our stock” are terms in gardening

c with more offences at my beck, than I have thoughts to put them in, &c.] "With more vitious dispositions, like evil genii at my elbow, and ready at a nod to start into act, than can distinctly bé conceived: for, " to put a thing into thought,” Johnson says, is “ to think on it." Much in the same manner Malcolm disqualifies himself. Macb. IV. 3.

[ocr errors]


Oph. At home, my lord.

HAM. Let the doors be shut upon him ; that he may play the fool no way* but in's own house. "where

* ; Farewell.

OPH. O, help him, you sweet heavens !

HAM. If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry; Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery; farewell: Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough, what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go; and quickly too. Farewell.

OPH. Heavenly powers, restore him !

HAM. I have heard of your prattlings too, well enough ; God hath given you one pace, and you make yourselves another: you jig*, you amble, • gidge, and you lisp, (+3) and nick-name God's creatures, and 1623. 32.

. make your wantonness your ignorance: Go to; I'll no more of't; it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages: those that are married already, all but one, shall live; the rest shall keep as they are.

To a nunnery, go,

[Exit HAMLET. OPH. O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue,

sword : (15) The expectancy and rose of the fair state, The glass of fashion, and the mould of form,

[ocr errors]






* make your wantonness your ignorance] You mistake by wanton affectation, and pretend to mistake by ignorance.

JOHNSON all but one shall live] One is the king: the folio of 1632 omits live.

. the expectancy and rose of the fair state] The first hope and fairest flower. “ The gracious mark o' the land.” Wint. T. IV. 3. Perd.

glass of fashion] Speculum consuetudinis. Cic. STEEVENS.

the mould of form] The cast, in which is shaped the only perfect form.


Have, 1623, 32.

The observ'd of all observers ! quite, quite down! • And 4tos. And I of ladies most deject and wretched,

That suck'd the honey of his musick vows, *

Now see that noble and most sovereign reason, * time, 4tos. Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune* and harsh

That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth,
Blasted with ecstasy : (16) O, woe is me!
To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

Re-enter King, and POLONIUS.

King. Love! his affections do not that way tend;
Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little,
Was not like madness. There's something in his

O'er which his melancholy sits on brood;
And, I do doubt, the hatch, and the disclose,
Will be some danger: Which for to prevent,
I have, in quick determination,
Thus set it down; He shall with speed to England,
For the demand of our neglected tribute:
Haply, the seas, and countries different,
With variable objects, shall expel
This something-settled matter in his heart;
Whereon his brains still beating, puts him thus
From fashion of himself. What think

Pol. It shall do well: But yet I do believe,
The origin and commencement of his grief
Sprung from neglected love.-How now, Ophelia ?
You need not tell us what lord Hamlet said;
We heard it all.—My lord, do as you please;
But, if you hold it fit, after the play,
Let his queen mother all alone entreat him

you on't?

• Musical, mellifluous.
“ Thomalin, my liefe, thy music strains to hear."

Phin. Fletcher's Purple Isl. 4to. 1633, p. 67. disclose] A term technical in the breeding of fowls, for their peeping through the shell. See V. 1. Queen,


« AnteriorContinuar »