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Ham. Make you a wholesome answer; my wit's diseased; but, sir, such answer as I can make, you shall command; or, rather, as you say, my mother; therefore uo more, but to the matter. My mother, you say —
Ros. Then thus she says: Your behavior hath struck her into amazement and admiration.
Ham. O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother! But is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's admiration? Impart.
Ros. She desires to speak with you in her closet, ere you go to bed.
Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have you any further trade with us?
Ros. My lord, you once did love me.
Ham. And do still, by these pickers and stealers! [Showing- his fingers.]
Ros. Good, my lord; what is your cause of distemper? You do surely but bar the door upon your own liberty, if you deny your griefs to your friend.
Ham. Sir, I lack advancement.
Ros. How can that be, when you have the voice of the king himself for your succession in Denmark?
Ham. Ay, sirs, but "While the grass grows" — the proverb is something musty. [Enter the Players with recorders.']* O, the recorders:—let me see one. To withdraw with you: — [To Guil.~\ Why do you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you would drive me into a toil ? f
Guil. O, my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmannerly.
Ham. I do not well understand that. Will you play upon this pipe?
* A kind of flageolet was once called a recorder.
t "To recover the wind of me" is a term borrowed from hunting, and means, to take advantage of the animal pursued, by getting to the windv ward of it, that it may not scent its pursuers.
Guil. My lord, I cannot.
Ham. 1 pray you.
Guil. Believe me, I cannot.
Ham. I do beseecli you.
Guil. I know no touch of it, my lord.
Ham. 'T is as easy as lying; govern these ventages with fingers and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops.
Guil. But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmony; I have not the skill.
Ham. Why, look you, now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass; — and there, is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak! 'S blood! do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me.—
Heaven bless you sir!
Pol. My lord, the queen would speak with you, and presently.
Ham. Do you see yonder cloud, that's almost in shape of a camel?
Pol. By the mass, and 't is like a camel, indeed.
Ham. Then will I come to my mother by and by.— They fool me to the top of my bent. — I will come by and by.
Pol. I will say so. [Exit Polonius.
Ham. By and by is easily said. — Leave me, friends.
[Exeunt Ros. and GuiL.
'T is now the very witching time of night;
When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out
Conlagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter bu.-iness as the day
Would quake to look on. Soft; now to ray mother! —•
O heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever
1 will speak daggers to her, but use none.
CXXVII. — THE FATE OF VIRGINIA.
In order to introduce without abruptness an extract from the ballad of Virginia from Macaulay's "Lays of Ancient Rome," we have added the eight lines of the first stanza. The story of Virginia is briefly this: Marcus, * vile dependent of Appius Claudius, to serve the corrupt ends of his master, laid claim to Virginia as his slave. The cause was brought before the tribunal of Appius. The wicked magistrate, in defiance of the clearest proofs, gave judgment for the claimant. But the girl's father, a brave soldier, saved her from servitude and dishonor by stabbing her to the heart in the sight of the whole Forum. That blow was the signal for a general explosion. Camp and city rose at once; and Appius escaped execution only by a voluntary death.
See in Index, Forum, Brake, Taunt, Yea, Macaulay.
"Why is the Forum crowded? What means this stir in Rome?"
"Claimed as a slave, a free-born maid is dragged here from her home.
On fair Virginia Appius has cast his eye of blight;
The tyrant's creature, Marcus, asserts an owner's right.
And Appius — convenient judge in such a cause — O shame ' —
Decides — against all proof decides — in favor of the claim.
Out upon Roman manhood! Was ever plot more clear?
But, look! the maiden's father comes! Behold Virginius here!"
Straightway Virginius led the maid a little space aside,
The house that was the happiest within the Roman walls, —
"The time is come. The tyrant points his eager hand this way 1
Then clasp me round the neck once more, and give me one more kiss;
And now, mine own dear little girl, there is no way but this!"
With that he lifted high the steel, and smote her in the side,
"O, dwellers in the nether gloom, avengers of the slain,
And writhed, and groaned a fearful groan, and then, with rapid feet, Strode right across the market-place unto the Sacred Street.
Then up sprang Appius Claudius: "Stop him, alive or dead!
Ten thousand pounds of copper to the man who brings his head!"
He looked upon his clients, — but none would work his will;
He looked upon his lictors, —but they trembled and stood still.
And as Virginius through the press his way in silence cleft.
Ever the mighty multitude fell back to right and left.
And he hath passed in safety unto his woeful home,
And there ta'en horse to tell the camp what deeds are done in Rome.
CXXVIII. — A PUPIL'S TRIBUTE TO HIS TEACHER.
The following account of a teacher by his pupil is interesting because of the touching sincerity of its tone and of the exceeding beauty of the brief extract quoted from one of the teacher's letters. Joseph Cottle was an English bookseller who died in 1S53, in his eighty-fourth year. He was the friend of Coleridge and Southey, by whom he was affectionately esteemed.
See in Index, Centre or Center, Sphere, Cottle.
1. John Henderson was born at Limerick, in Ireland, but came to England early in life with bis parents. From the age of three years he exhibited the pres'ages of a great mind. Without retracing the steps of his progression, a general idea may be formed of them from the circumstance of bis having professionally taught Greek and Latin in a public seminary at the age of twelve years. Some time after, his father commencing a boarding-school in the neighborhood of Bristol, young Henderson undertook to teach the classics; which he did with much reputation, extending, at the same time, bis own knowledge in the sciences and gen