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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; liit, lift, oh lift!
If thou did'st ever thy dear father love-

Ham. O heav'n!
Ghost. Revenge his foul and most unnatural murther,
HAM. Murther?

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

Ham. Hafte 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 ftung me. So the whole ear of Denmark
Is by a forged process of my death
Rankly abus'd: but know, thou noble youth,
The ferpent that did fting thy father's life,
Now wears his crown.

Ham. Oh, my prophetic foul! my uncle !

Ghost. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beaft,
With witchcraft of his wit, with trait’rous gifts,
(0 wicked wit, and gifts, that have the power
So to seduce !) won to his shameful luft
The will of my most seeming virtuous Queen.
Oh Hamlet, what a falling off was there!
But foft! methinks I'fcent the morning air-
3

Brief

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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 diftilment.--
Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand,
Of life, of crown, of Queen, at once bereft ;
Cut off even 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'it 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 fting her. Fare thee well at once!
The glow-worm fhews the matin to be near,
And 'gins to pale his ineffectual fire.
Adieu, adieu, adieu : remember me.

Ham. Oh, all you host of heav'n! oh earth! what else !
And shall I couple hell? oh fie ! hold my heart !
And yoy, my finews, grow not instant old;
But bear me stiffly up.

Remember thee!
Ay, thou poor ghoft, while memory holds a feat
In this distracted globe ; remember thee !
Yea, from the table of my memory
l'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All faws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there ;
And thy commandment all alone shall live

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Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix'd with baser matter.

SKAKESPEAR.

CH A P.

XXX.

HAMLET's SOLILOQUY ON DEATH,

T Obe, or not to be ? —that is the question.

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Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer The stings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a fea of troubles, And by opposing end them ?-To die,-to sleepNo more ; and by a sleep, to say, we end The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks That fieíh is heir to ;—'Tis a consummation Devouily to be wish’d. To die—to sleepTo sleep perchance to dream?-ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, When we have fh uffled 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 fcorns of th' time, Th’ oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pang 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 bourne No traveller returns) puzzles the will;

And

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.

SHAKESPEAR.

с н А Р.

XXXI.

SOLILOQUY OF THE KING IN HAMLET.

H!

my

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;
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 heav'ns
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 pardon'd being down? Then I'll look up;
My fault is paft.But oh, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder !-
That cannot be, fince I am still possess’d
Of those effects for which I did the murder,

My

My crown, mine own ambition, and my Queen.
May one be pardon'd, and retain th' offence ?
In the corrupted currents of this world,
Offence's gilded hand may shove by juftice;
And oft 'tis seen, the wicked prize itself
Buys out the laws. But 'tis not so above.
There is no shuffling; there the action lies
In its true nature, and we ourselves compelld,
Ey'n 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 engag'd! Help, angels ! make affay!
Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart, with strings of steel,
Be soft as finews of the new-born babe!
All may be well.

SHAKESPEARÓ

CH A P.

XXXII.

ODE ON ST. CECILIA's D AY:

D

ESCEND, ye Nine! descend and fing;

The breathing instruments inspire,
Wake into voice each filent ftring,
And sweep the founding lyre!

In a sadly-pleasing strain
Let the warbling lute complain :

Let the loud trumpet found,
Till the roofs all around
The shrill echoes rebound:

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