Imatges de pÓgina

To cast into my teeth. There is my dagger,
And here my naked breast- -within, a heart
Dearer than Plutus' mine, richer than gold;
If that thou need'st a Roman's, take it forth:

I that denied thee gold, will give my heart.
Strike as thou didst at Cæsar; for I know,

When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov'dst him better

Than ever thou loy'dst Cassius.

Bru. Sheath your dagger,

Be angry when you will, it shall have scope,
Do what you will, dishonour shall be humour.
O Cassius! You are yoked with a lamb,
That carries anger as the flint bears fire ;
Who, much enforced, shows a hasty spark,
And straight is cold again.

Cas. Hath Cassius liv'd

To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
When grief and blood ill-temper'd vexeth him!
Bru. When I spoke that, I was ill-temper'd too.
Cas. Do you confess so much?

me your hand

Bru. And my heart too.


Cas. O Brutus !

Bru. What's the matter?

Cas. Have you not love enough to bear with me, When the rash humour which my mother gave me, Makes me forgetful?

Bru. Yes, Cassius; and from henceforth,
When you are over-earnest with your Brutus,
He'll think your mother chides, and leave you so.


I.-Hamlet's Advice to the Players.

SPEAK the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you; trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier had spoken my lines. And do not saw the air too much with your hands; but use all gently: For in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness. Oh! it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious, periwig pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to

split the ears of the groundlings; who, (for the most part) are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise. Pray you avoid it.

Be not too tame, neither; but let your own discretion be your tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature; for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing: whose end is to hold as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure. Now, this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of one of which must, in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. Oh! There be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, that, neither having the accent of Christian, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.

II.-Douglas' Account of Himself.

MY name is Norval. On the Grampian hills
My father feeds his flocks; a frugal swain,
Whose constant cares were to increase his store,
And keep his only son, myself, at home.
For I had heard of battles, and I long'd
To follow to the field some warlike lord;
And heaven soon granted what my sire denied.
This moon which rose last night, round as my shield,
Had not yet fill'd her horns, when by her light,
A band of fierce barbarians, from the hills,
Rush'd like a torrent, down upon the vale,
Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shepherds fled
For safety and for succour. I alone,
With bended bow, and quiver full of arrows,
Hover'd about the enemy, and mark'd

The road he took; then hastened to my friends,
Whom, with a troop of fifty chosen men,
I met advancing. The pursuit I led,
Till we o'ertook the spoil-encumber'd foe.
We fought and conquer'd. Ere a sword was drawn,
An arrow from my bow had pierc'd their chief,
Who wore that day the arms which now I wear.
Returning home in triumph, I disdain'd
The shepherd's slothful life; and having heard
That our good king had summon'd his bold peers,
To lead their warriors to the Carron side,

I left my father's house, and took with me
A chosen servant to conduct my steps-
Yon trembling coward, who forsook his master.
Journeying with this intent, I pass'd these towers,
And, heaven directed, came this day to do
The happy deed that gilds my humble name.

III-Douglas' Account of the Hermit.

BENEATH a mountain's brow, the most remote
And inaccessible, by shepherds trod,
In a deep cave, dug by no mortal hand,
A hermit liv'd; a melancholy man,
Who was the wonder of our wand'ring swains.
Austere and lonely, cruel to himself,
Did they report him; the cold earth his bed,
Water his drink, his food the shepherd's alms.
I went to see him; and my heart was touch'd
With rev'rence and with pity. Mild he spake,
And, entering on discourse, such stories told,
As made me oft revisit his sad cell,
For he had been a soldier in his youth;
And fought in famous battles, when the peers
Of Europe, by the bold Godfredo led,
Against th' usurping infidel display'd
The blessed cross, and won the Holy Land.
Pleas'd with my admiration, and the fire

His speech struck from me, the old man would shake
His years away, and act his young encounters:
Then, having show'd his wounds, he'd sit him down,
And all the live-long day discourse of war.
To help my fancy, in the smooth green turf
He cut the figures of the marshall'd hosts;
Describ'd the motions, and explain'd the use
Of the deep column and the lengthen'd line,
The square, the crescent, and the phalanx firm;
For all that Saracen or Christian knew
Of war's vast art, was to this hermit known.

IV. Sempronius' Speech for War.

MY voice is still for war.

Gods! Can a Roman senate long debate,
Which of the two to choose, slavery or death!
No-let us rise at once, gird on our swords,
And, at the head of our remaining troops,
Attack the foe, break through the thick array
Of his throng'd legions, and charge home upon him.
Perhaps some arm more lucky than the rest,
May reach his heart, and free the world from bondage.
Rise, Fathers, rise; 'tis Rome demands your help:
Rise and revenge her slaughter'd citizens,

Or share their fate. The corpse of half her senate
Manure the fields of Thessaly, while we

Sit here, deliberating in cold debates,
If we should sacrifice our lives to honour,
Or wear them out in servitude and chains.
Rouse up, for shame! Our brothers of Pharsala
Point out their wounds, and cry aloud, To battle:
Great Pompey's shade complains that we are slow,
And Seipio's ghost walks unreveng'd among us.

V.-Lucius' Speech for Peace.

MY thoughts, I must confess, are turn'd on peace; Already have our quarrels fill'd the world With widows and with orphans: Scythia mourns Our guilty wars, and earth's remotest regions Lie half unpeopled by the feuds of Rome. "Tis time to sheath the sword, and spare mankind. 'Tis not Cæsar, but the gods, my Fathers! The gods declare against us, and repel Our vain attempts. To urge the foe to battle (Prompted by blind revenge and wild despair) Were to refute th' awards of Providence, And not to rest in heaven's determination. Already have we shown our love to Rome. Now let us show submission to the gods. We took up arms, not to revenge ourselves, But free the commonwealth. When this end fails, Arms have no further use. Our country's cause,

That drew our swords, now wrests them from our hands,
And bids us not delight in Roman blood
Unprofitably shed. What men could do,

Is done already. Heaven and earth will witness,
If Rome must fall, that we are innocent.

VI.-Hotspur's Account of the Fop.

MY liege, I did deny no prisoners.
But I remember, when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
Came there a certain lord; neat; trimly dress'd;
Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin, new reap'd,
Show'd like a stubble land, at harvest home.
He was perfum'd like a milliner;

And, 'twixt his finger and his thumb, he held
A pouncet box, which, ever and anon,
He gave his nose.-

And still he smil'd and talk'd:

And, as the soldiers bare dead bodies by,
He call'd them "untaught knaves, unmannerly,

To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility."

With many holiday and lady terms
He question'd me; among the rest, demanded
My prisoners, in your Majesty's behalf.

I then, all smarting with my wounds, being gall'd
To be so pester'd with a popinjay,
Out of my grief and my impatience,
Answer'd-negligently-I know not what-
He should or should not; for he made me mad,
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk so like a waiting gentlewoman,
Of guns, and drums, and wounds, (heaven save the marky
And telling me, the sovereign'st thing on earth

Was spermaceti for an inward bruise;
And that it was a great pity, (so it was)
This villanous saltpetre should be digg'd
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd
So cowardly; and but for these vile guns,
He would himself have been a soldier.
This bald unjointed chat of his, my lord,
I answer'd indirectly, as I said;
And I beseech you, let not this report
Come current for an accusation,
Betwixt my love, and your high Majesty.

VII.-Hotspur's Soliloquy on the contents of a Letter.

BUT, for mine own part, my Lord, I could be well contented to be there in respect of the love I bear your house." He could be contented to be there! Why is he not then? In respect of the love he bears our house? He shows in this, he loves his own barn better than he loves our house. Let me see some more. "The purpose you undertake is dangerous."-Why that's certain: 'tis dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to drink: but I tell you, my lord Fool, out of this nettle danger, we pluck this flower safely. "The purpose you undertake is dangerous; the friends you have named, uncertain; the time itself, unsorted; and your whole plot too light for the counterpoise of so great an opposition."--Say you so, say you so ? I you again, you are a shallow cowardly hind, and you lie. say unto What a lackbrain is this! Our plot is as good a plot as ever was laid; our friends true and constant; a good plot, good friends, and full of expectation; an excellent plot, very good friends. What a frosty-spirited rogue is this! Why, my lord of York commends the plot, and the general course of the action. By this hand, if I were now by this rascal, I would brain him with his lady's fan. Is there not my father, my uncle, and myself: Lord Edmund Mortimer, my lord of York, and Owen Glendower? Is there not, besides, the Douglasses? Have I not all their letters, to meet me in

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