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A WAIL FROM THE DEAD.

TRANSLATED FROM CASIMIR DE LA VIGNE.

Beloved!—from this sojourn of tears
I come, o'erwhelmed with woes and fears,

To beg your prayers in Charitie.
You told me, bending o'er my bed-
(They were the last-last words you said-)
o Yea, if I live, I'll pray for thee.'

Ah, well-a-day!
Since, from your arms I died away,
I hear no prayers ascend for me.

Ah, well-a-day!
I listen-but you do not pray.

" Oh, may thy soul, to Lido's steep
Return,” you said, " to see me weep!”

How fearless, then, my soul took wing !
But, though, in pity for my doom,
The clouds drop showers upon my tomb,
No tear from you my sorrows wring.

Ah, well-a-day!
Heaven's anger reached me where I lay-
Let your remorse disarm its sting.

Ah, well-a-day?
I weep: but oh, you do not pray.

Oh, woe is me, what worlds of woe
Our passion's wild, but rapturous glow,

None costs me in the drear domain,
Where day, nor morn, nor evening feels;
And Time's mute finger ever wheels
O'er the blank Dial's hourless plane.

Ah, well-a-day!
To you mine arms instinctive stray,
I watch, in such a haunt, in vain.

Ah, well-a-day !
I watch, in vain ;-you do not pray.

Oh, 'ere my guilty course was run,
One sorrowing sigh had Mercy won

From bim whose judgments now are dealt,
Once and again repentance came,
When Death, to warn me, o'er my frame,
Breathed all unseen, but not unfelt.

Ah, well-a-day!
VOL,XVI.

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Whilst happy in my arms you lay,
No penitence my heart could melt.

Ah, well-a-day!
I suffer, but you do not pray!
Bethink you, love, when once our barge
At even by Brenta's sylvan marge

Lay-to, till morn his beams restored.,
Oh, call to mind those shadowy bowers,
The bank, the turf bestrewn with flowers,
Where oft you called me your adored.

Ah, well-a-day!
Death snatched me from your arms away.
With kisses flushed my spirit soared.

Ah, well-a-day!
I burn-but oh! you do not pray.
Fetch me, O fetch those jasmines sweet,
With which you strewed in that retreat

A pillow for my burning head!
Oh, fetch the lilacs blooming boughs,
That wept their freshness on my brows,
And my parched lips with moisture fed.

Ah, well-a-day!
Or place me 'neath their blossomy spray,
And let me quaff the dews they shed.

Ah, well-a-day!
I thirst—but still you do not pray.
In that same barge--my day gone by!-
Another charms you.-To her eye

My portrait needs must do despite.
Her jealous rage the relic threw
Deep in the waves-beloved !-and you-
You saw-and you allowed the slight!

Ah, well-a-day !
Why should my arms to-you-ward stray ?
I murmur not-'twas right !-'twas right!

Ah, well-a-day!
'Tis past and gone !--you do not pray.
Farewell !—no more returning here
My wail shall vex your listless ear,

Since now you prize a rival's charms.
Oh, may her lips be fond and true.
I died - I suffer now for you.
Live on :- be happy in her arms.

Ah, well-a-day!
But sometimes, 'mid your amorous play,
Think on the abyss's dread alarms.

Ah, well-a-day!
I go :-But come not you this way.

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THE CHARACTER OF HAMLET ELUCIDATED.

BY EDWARD MAYHEW.

(Continued from page 381.) This was the purpose we undertook at the conclusion of the paper which appeared in the Magazine of the foregoing month. To many, doubtless, the attempt will seem to have originated in a spirit that desired to gain applause by arrogating a power to look through mystery; but no inspiration is affirmed--a simple intelligence sufficient to interpret truth and to understand it, alone is presumed, and the faith of the reader only asked as his perceptions shall be satisfied. As in the previous paper all abstruse learning is rejected, we come to our task not to display what we have learnt, but to speak that which we know, and hoping attention but as such knowledge can be communicated. In this temper we begin our labour, forgetting all that has been written, and entreating our readers to do so also, that with unbiassed and clear minds we may proceed together, investigating a work which was published as a truth, and seeking in its pages, rather than in foreign aids, the clue to comprehend it in its singleness. Then, guided by our intelligence, and lighted by a sincere conviction that our author wrote, meaning his words to be intelligible, which, therefore, should be within our comprehension, let the reader candidly and trustfully join us, and proceed in company to enquire what good reason exists that this road should for so long a time have been declared inaccessible ?

Taking up the subject from that point where the last paper left off, we must begin with directing attention to the peculiarities of Hamlet's condition, so as to comprehend the precise nature of that distemper with which his actions have shown him to be afflicted.

Hamlet speaks of himself as mad; and because circumstances have partially restored his senses when he so describes his distemper, his evidence, rejected on every other occasion, is on this admitted ; yet that word which shall represent the deprivation of Lear and of Ophelia, the implacable hate of Timon, and the stupor of Pericles, may be misapplied if arbitrarily used to denote his calamity, which is accompanied by perceptions that enable him to dispute of his distemper, and even with a show of truth to deny its existence

“ It is not madness
I have uttered: bring me to the test,
And I the matter will record : which madness
Would gambol from.”

Act III. Scene 4. There is no reason to doubt the history of his father's death, and all the events connected with it were so impressed upon the mind of Hamlet as to enable him to recapitulate ; yet this is a peculiarity of that condition which it is advanced to deny-madness in its earlier stages or less virulent forms ever being most retentive of the facts on which it feeds. On other matters it may be questioned whether the memory could have borne a similar ordeal. Hamlet's memory during his resi

dence in the palace is by no means sure. In no case does he refer directly to any incident that occurs in the first four acts, though there existed reasons why he ought to have recalled every circumstance. Of space he has at the commencement of the drama a very imperfect recognition. Thus, in the first soliloquy, he contradicts himself-“ But two months dead-nay, not so much, not two ;" then he says, “ And yet within a month ;” and afterwards he fixes the limit as " A little month"-again to unsettle the point, declaring it to be " within a month.” Of any power to recall the past he gives no proof. The play he never alludes to-Ophelia's conduct he never refers to-her father's death he never explains-he forgets he has passed the King, and loses sight of his determined course of behaviour to his mother. After he quits the palace he regains in some degree the weakened faculty, which, however, seems never to be perfectly recovered. To the last he continues dreamy. His account of his escape in the second scene of the fifth act is characterised far more by the feeling than the mind at work, and this complexion is enforced by the reference he makes to Laertes's cause against himself, for the resemblance between their injuries was so remote as regards the fact, and so removed as regards the truth, that had the memory teen firm the comparison would never have been made, wherefore it may be doubted whether the test proposed, if fairly tried, would have given an answer of sanity. To Hamlet's opinion of himself, had he been calm when he pronounced it, no credit can be attached, as who has visited an asylum without being distressed by hearing parallel assertions uttered with every outward appearance of veracity ?

Hamlet is not so afflicted as to be past restraint. Even in his parosysms a sudden check will recall his reason, and sometimes these flashes of intelligence occur with a brilliancy which enables him to discover his own condition_dividing his being, as it were—that Hamlet sane warns of Hamlet mad. Thus, after he has leaped into Ophelia's grave, Laertes seizing him, the shock, he being a Prince, and holding his person sacred, affrights the impulse, and he says

“ I pray thee take thy fingers from my throat ;

For though I am not splenetive and rash,
Yet have I in me something dangerous,
Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand!”

Act V. Scene 1. Nor has his malady gained such confirmed strength but it can exhaust itself, for his caution to Laertes not being obeyed, Hamlet by resistance is wrought to a rage that burns to cope impossibilities, which distraction exploding, the defiance concludes with

“ Nay, an thou’lt mouth, I'll rant as well as thou.”

Act V. Scene 1. Which is not a sneer, as some actors deliver it, but an anti-climax natural to his condition, when, the phrenzy being spent, reason gleams upon his brain.

Thus, incapable of a sustained transport, and open to restraint when excited, of course in calmer moods a less powerful agency would operate to his recall; and in ordinary circumstances the sight of out

ward objects is sufficient to hold Hamlet's mind from grossly wander-
ing. The presence of any person brings him back to partial conscious-
ness, though not to perfect reason, for the symptom repressed does not
insist the disorder is removed. So to the King, to Rosencrantz, to
Guildenstern, to Horatio, and, indeed, to all others when not irritated.
Hamlet may be said to be to a certain extent sane. He remarks,
observes, and judges of their motives and their actious truly, yet with
a quickness that betrays a heated mind; but in his conduct he ever
displays a disregard of social customs, which a belief in his assumption
would not reconcile, as he is continually forgetting the character he
would personate, and still is in his behaviour strange. Nay, when in
his mother's presence, most anxious to repudiate his "antic disposi-
tion," he cannot then resume any regulated propriety of manner. His
distemper is a subtle madness of an ever-pervading nature, which
admits of no perfectly lucid interval. He is out of his senses through
the play, and yet in his reason, or using other words, he has lost con-
sciousness while he retains conscience, which last is even enlarged by
his distemper. There is but one place in the whole drama in which
the junction of those two great faculties needed to constitute a sound
mind can be said to be exhibited by Hamlet. When death is upon
him his mind is restored, and, for the first time, the Prince perceives
his own condition, in conjunction with the circumstances by which it
is surrounded :-
Hamlet. I am dead, Horatio :-Wretched Queen, adieu !

You that look pale and tremble at this chance,
That are but mutes and audience to this act,
Had I but time (as this fell serjeant, Death,
Is strict in his arrest), 0, I could tell you
But let it be :-Horatio, I am dead ;
Thou liv'st; report me and iny cause aright

To the unsatisfied.
Horatio.

Never believe it;
I am more an antique Roman than a Dane,

There's yet some liquor left.
Hamlet.

As thou’rt a man-
Give me the cup; let go; by heaven I'll have it.
Oh, God. Horatio, what a wounded name,

Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me?” &c. Here he contemplates his position and its consequences. He regards the world, and is solicitous about opinion, which is a reach of vision Hamlet during the Drama has not exhibited. He has been abstracted, removed from the world. In the heat of passion he sometimes for a moment has descended, but nowhere else does--he rest on earth, and calmly recognise the features that surround him. When passion does not stir, his malady is simply pourtrayed in eccentricity, which the high breeding of Hamlet insensibly controls; so, while as a Prince he was exposed to severest losses, therefore most likely to be stricken, he was also most refined, and, consequently, best suited to pourtray mental alienation on the public stage; and in this is perceived the delicate judgment exercised by the great master in the selection of his characters.

Remissness in deportment was consequent on a want of appreciation

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