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CHAP. XXII.

HAMLET'S SOLILOQUY ON HIS MOTHER'S MARRIAGE.

Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! oh fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank, and gross in nature,
Possess it merely. That it should coine 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 permitted not the winds of Heav'n
Visit her face too roughly. Heav'n and earth!
Must I remember! Why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on; yet, within a month,
Let me not think- Frailty, thy nanie 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, ev'n she
(O Heav'n! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer-) married with mine 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, nost wicked speed, to post
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.

SHAKSPEARE.

CHAP. XXIII.

HAMLET AND GHOST.

Ham. Angels and ministers of grace defend us !
Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd,
Bring with thee airs from Heav'n, or blasts from Hell,
Be thy intent wicked or charitable,
Thou com'st in such a questionable shape,
That I will speak to thee. I'll call thee Hamlet,
King, Father, Royal Dane! oh! answer me!
. Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell,
Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in earth,
Have burst their cerenients! why the sepulclire,
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn’d,
Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws,
To cast thee up again? What may this mean? :
That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel,
Revisit’st thus the glimpses of the moon,.
Making night hideous, and us fools of nature
So horribly to shake our disposition
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls ?
Say, why is this ? wherefore? what should we do?
Ghost. Mark me.
Ham. I will.

Ghost. My hour is almost come,
When I to sulph'rous and tormenting flames
Must render up myself.

Ham. Alas! poor ghost !

Ghost. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold.

Ham. Speak, I am bound to hear.
Ghost. So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt het!
Ham. What?

Ghost. I am thy father's spirit,
Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confin’d to fast in fire,
Till the foul crinies done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purg'd away. But that I am forbid,
To tell the secrets of my prisonhouse,

I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotty and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine :
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood; list, list, oh list!
If thou did'st ever thy dear father love

Ham. O Heav'n!
Ghost. Revenge his foul and most unnat'ral murder !
Ham. Murder?

Ghost. Murder most foul, as in the best it is;
But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.

Ham. Haste me to know it, that I, with wings as swift
As meditation, or the thoughts of love,
May fly to my revenge !

Ghost. I find thee apt;
And duller should'st thou be, than the fat weed
That roots itself in ease on Lethe's wharf,
Would'st thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear ;

Tis giv'n out, that, sleeping in my orchard,
A serpent stung me. So the whole ear of Denmark
Is by a forged process of my death
Rankly abus'd: but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father's life
Now wears his crown.

Ham. O my prophetic soul! my uncle ?

Ghost. Ay, that incestuous, that adult rate beast,
With witchcraft of his wit, with trait'rous gifts,
(O wicked wit and gifts, that have the pow'r
So to seduce !) won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming virtuous queen,
Oh Hamlet, what a falling off was there!
But soft! methinks I scent the morning air-
Brief let me be: Sleeping within mine orchard,
My custom always in the afternoon,
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole
With juice of cursed hebony in a phial,
And in the porches of mine ear did pour
The leperous disfilment.-

Thus was 1, sleeping, by a brother's hand,
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once bereft;
Cut off ev'n in the blossoms of my sin :
No reck’ning made ! but sent to my account

. With all my imperfections on my head !

Ham. Oh horrible! oh horrible! most horrible!

Ghost. If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
But howsoever thou pursu'st this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught; leave her to Heav'n,
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once !
The glow-worm shows the inatin to be near,
And gins to pale his ineffectual fire.
Adieu, adieu, adieu! remember me.

Ham. O all you host of Heav'n! O earth! what else ?
And shall I couple Hell? oh fie! hold heart!
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee!
Ay, thou poor ghost, while mem'ry holds a seat
In this distracted globe ! remember thee!
Yea, from the tablet of my memory
I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain, "
Unmix'd with baser matter.

SHAKSPEARE.

CHAP. XXIV.

HAMLETS SOLILOQUY ON DEATH.

To be, or not to be that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The stings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them ? To dieto sleep
No more ; and by a sleep, to say, we end :-

The heart-ach, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to ;'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To dieto 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 hear the whips and scorns.o' th' 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 th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To groan and sweat under a weary life;
But that the dread of something after death
(That undiscover'd 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.

SHAKSPEARE.

CHAP. XXV.

SOLILOQUY OF THE KING IN HAMLET.

OH! my offence is rank, it smells to Heav'n,
It hath the primal, eldest curse upon't ;
A brother's murder. Pray I cannot:
Though inclination be as sharp as 'twill,
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent; .
1. And, like a man to double business bound,

I stand in pause where I shall first begin,

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