Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

Oph. What means this, my Lord ?

Ham. Marry, this is miching Malicho; it means mischief.

Oph. Belike, this show imports the argument of the play?

Enter Prologue. Ham. We fall know by this fellow : the players cannot keep counsel; they'll tell all.

Oph. Will he tell us, what this show meant ?

Ham. Ay, or any show that you'll shew him. Be not you

ashamed to thew, he'll not shame to tell you what Oph. You are naught, you are naught, I'll mark the play. Prol. For us, and for our tragedy,

Here ftooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently.

it means.

Ham. Is this a prologue, or the poesy of a ring?
Oph. 'Tis brief, my Lord.
Ham. As woman's love.

Enter Duke, and Dutchess, Players.

Duke. Full thirty times hath Phæbus' carr gone round
Neptune's salt wash, and Tellus' orbed ground;
And thirty dozen moons with borrowed sheen
About the world have time twelve thirties been,
Since love our hearts, and Hymen did our hands,
Unite commutual, in most sacred bands.

Dutch. So many journeys may the sun and moon
Make us again count o’er, ere love be done.
But woe is me, you are so sick of late,
So far from cheer and from your former state,
That I distrust you ; yet though I distrust,
Discomfort you, my Lord, it nothing muft:
For women fear too much, ev'n as they love.

And

And womens' fear and love hold quantity ;
'Tis either none, or in extremity,
Now, what my love is, proof hath made you know ;
And as my love is siz'd, my fear is so. (19)
Where love is great, the smallest doubts are fear j
Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.

Duke. 'Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too :
My operant powers their functions leave to do,
And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
Honour'd, belov'd ; and, haply, one as kind
For husband shalt thou-

Dutch. Oh, confound the rest !
Such love must needs be treason in my breaft:
In second husband let me be accurft !
None wed the second, but who kill the first.

Ham. Wormwood, wormwood !

Dutch. The instances, that second marriage move, Are base respects of thrift, but none of love. A second time I kill my husband dead, When second husband kisses me in bed.

Dzke. I do believe, you think what now you speak; But what we do determine, oft we break; Purpose is but the slave to memory, Of violent birth, but poor validity : Which now, like fruits unripe, sticks on the tree, But fall unshaken, when they mellow be. Most necessary 'tis, that we forget 'To pay

ourselves what to ourselves is debt:

(19) And as my Love is fix'd, my Fear is fo.} Mr. Pope fays, I read fiz'd; and, indeed, I do fo : because, I observe, the Quarto of 1605 reads, ciz'd; that of 1611 cizft; the Folio in 1632, fiz; and that in 1623, fiz’d: and because, besides, the whole Tenour of the Context demands this Reading: For the Lady evidently is talking here of the Quantity and Proportion of her Love and Fear; not of their Continuance, Duration, or Stability, Cleopatra expresses herself much in the same manner, with regard to her Grief for the Lots of Antony.

----Our Size of Sorrow, I'roportion'd to our Cause, mufl be as great As that which makes it.

What

What to ourselves in paffion we propose,
The paflion ending, doth the purpose lose ;
The violence of either grief or joy,
Their own enactors with themselves destroy.
Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
This world is not for aye ; nor 'tis not strange,
That ev'n our loves should with our fortunes change.
For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,
Whether love leads fortune, or else fortune love.
The great man down, you mark, his fav’rite flies ;
The poor advanc’d, makes friends of enemies.
And hitherto doth love on fortune tend,
For who not needs, shall never lack a friend;
And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Directly feafons him his enemy.
But orderly to end where I begun,
Our wills and fates do so contrary run,
That our devices ftill are overthrown;
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own.
Think still, thou wilt no second husband wed;
But die thy thoughts, when thy first Lord is dead.

· Dutch. Nor earth to give me food, nor heaven light
Sport and repose lock from me, day and night!
To desperation turn my trust and hope !
An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope !
Each opposite, that blanks the face of joy,
Meet what I would have well, and it destroy!
Both here, and hence, pursue me lafting strife!
If, once a widow, ever I be wife.

Ham. If he should break it now

Duke. 'Tis deeply sworn; sweet, leave me here a while;
My fpirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep.

[Sleeps.
Dutch. Sleep rock thy brain,
And never come mifchance between us twain! (Exit.

Ham. Madam, how like you this play?
Queen. The lady protests too much, methinks.
Ham. Oh, but he'll keep ler word.

[ocr errors]

King. Have you heard the argument, is there no offence in't?

Ham. No, no, they do but jeft, poison in jest, no offence i'th' world.

King. What do you call the play?

Ham. The Mouse-Trap Marry, how? tropically. This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna; Gonzago is the Duke's name, his wife's Baptista; you shall see anon, 'tis a knavith piece of work ; but what o' that? your Majefty, and we that have free fouls, it touches us not; let the galld jade winch, our withers are unrung.

Enter Lucianus.
This is one Lucianus, nephew to the Duke.

Oph. You are as good as a chorus, my Lord.

Ham. I could interpret between you and your love, if I could see the puppets dallying.

Oph. You are keen, my Lord, you are keen.

Ham. It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.

Oph. Still better and worse.
Ham. So you

mistake

your

husbands.
Begin, murderer.-Leave thy damnable faces, and begin.
Come, the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge.
Luc. Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time

agreeing :
Confederate season, and no creature seeing :
Thou mixture rank, of mid-night weeds collected,
With Hecate's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Thy natural magick, and dire property,
On wholsome life usurp immediately.

[Pours the poison into his ears. Ham. He poisons him i'th' garden for's estate ; his name's Gonzago ; the story is extant, and writ in choice Italian. You

shall see anon how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago's wife.

Oph. The King rises,
Ham. What, frighted with false fire !

Queen.

Queen. How fares my Lord ?
Pol. Give o'er the Play.
King. Give me fome light. Away!
All. Lights, lights, lights !

[Exeunt. Manent Hamlet and Horatio. Ham. Why, let the strucken deer go weep,

The hart ungalled play ;
For fome must watch, whilft some muft sleep;

So runs the world away. Would not this, Sir, and a forest of Feathers, (if the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me) with two provincial roses on my rayed fhoes, get me a fellowship in a cry of Players, sirs

Hor. Half a Share.

Ham. A whole one, I. « For thou dost know, oh Damon dear,

" This realm dismantled was " Of Jove himself, and now reigns here " A very, very,

(20) Paddock.

(20) A very very Peacock.] The old Copies have it Paicock, Paicocke, and Pajocke. I fubftitute Paddock, as neareft to the Traces of the corrupted Reading. I have, as Mr. Pope says, been willing to substitute any Thing in the place of his Peacock. He thinks a Fable alluded to, of the Birds chusing a King; instead of the Eagle, a Peacock, I fuppose, he must mean the Fable of Barlandus, in which it is said, the Birds being weary of their State of Anarchy, mox'd for the setting up of a King: and the Peacock was elected on account of his gay Featheis. But, with Submission, in this Passage of our Shakespeare, there is not the least mention made of the Eagle in Antithesis to the Peacock; and it must be by a very uncommon Figure, that Jove himself ftands in the place of his Bird. I think, Hamlet is setting his Father's and Uncle's Characters in Contrast to each other : and means to say, that by his Father's Death the State was stripp'd of a godlike Monarch, and that now in his Stead reign'd the most despicable poisonous Animal that could be: a meer Paddock, or Toad. PAD, bufo, rubeta major; a toad. This Word, I take to be of Hamlet's own subftituting. The Verses, repeated, seem to be from some old Ballad; in which, Rhyme being necessary, I doubt not but the last Verse ran thus;

A very, very, Ass. VOL. VIII.

H

Hori

« AnteriorContinua »