The Canadian Elocutionist
Anna Kelsey Howard
Part 4 out of 8
there to dull the pulse, to dim the eye, and to deafen the ear. Death!
stern, terrible, and with no soft hand, no gentle voice, to soothe his
fevered brow, and calm his troubled soul and bid it hope in God. _(Harry
sits down and covers his face with his hands)_ Death overtook him thus;
and there, in the midst of the mountain forest, surrounded by Indian
tribes, they scooped him a grave in the sand; and without a shroud or
coffin, prayer or hymn, they laid him down in the damp earth to his final
slumber. Thus died and was buried the only son of a proud father; the only,
idolized brother of a fond sister. There he sleeps to-day, undisturbed, in
that distant land, with no stone to mark the spot. There he lies--_my
father's son_--MY OWN TWIN BROTHER! A victim to this _(holds up the
glass before the company)_ deadly, damning poison! Father! _(turning
to the judge,)_ father, shall I drink it now?
JUDGE OTIS--_(Raising his bowed head and speaking with faltering
voice)_--No, no, my child! in God's name, cast it away.
MARION--_(Letting her glass fall and dash to pieces)_--Let no friend
who loves me hereafter tempt me to peril my soul for wine. Not firmer the
everlasting hills than my resolve, God helping me, never to touch or taste
that terrible poison. And he _(turning to Harry,)_ to whom I have this
night given my heart and hand, who watched over my brother's dying form in
that last sad hour, and buried the poor wanderer there by the river, in
that land of gold, will, I trust, sustain me in this resolve. Will you not,
_(offers him her hand, which he takes,)_ my husband?
HARRY--With the blessing of heaven upon my efforts, I will; and I thank
you, beyond expression, for the, solemn lesson you have taught us all on
JUDGE OTIS--God bless you (_taking Marion and Harry by the hand and
speaking with deep emotion_,) my children; and may I, too, have grace
given me to help you in your efforts to keep this noble resolve.
_One of the company_--Let us honour the firmness and nobleness of
principle of the fair bride, by drinking her health in pure, sparkling
water, the only beverage which the great Creator of the Universe gave to
the newly-wedded pair in the beautiful Garden of Eden.
_Dramatized by Sidney Herbert_.
* * * * *
ACT III. SCENE IV.
THE PARK AT FOTHERINGAY.
MARY. Farewell high thought, and pride of noble mind!
I will forget my dignity, and all
My sufferings; I will fall before _her_ feet,
Who hath reduced me to this wretchedness.
[_She turns towards Elizabeth._
The voice of Heaven decides for you, my sister.
Your happy brows are now with triumph crown'd,
I bless the Power Divine, which thus hath rais'd you.
But in your turn be merciful, my sister;
Let me not lie before you thus disgraced;
Stretch forth your hand, your royal hand, to raise
Your sister from the depths of her distress
ELIZ. (_stepping back_).
You are where it becomes you, Lady Stuart;
And thankfully I prize my God's protection,
Who hath not suffer'd me to kneel a suppliant
Thus at your feet, as you now kneel at mine.
MARY. (_with increasing energy of feeling_).
Think on all earthly things, vicissitudes.
Oh! there are gods who punish haughty pride;
Respect them, honour them, the dreadful ones
Who thus before thy feet have humbled me!
Yourself in me; profane not, nor disgrace
The royal blood of Tudor.
ELIZ. (_cold and severe_).
What would you say to me, my Lady Stuart?
You wish'd to speak with me; and I, forgetting
The Queen, and all the wrongs I have sustained,
Fulfil the pious duty of the sister,
And grant the boon you wished for of my presence.
Yet I, in yielding to the gen'rous feelings
Of magnanimity, expose myself
To rightful censure, that I stoop so low,
For well you know, you would have had me murder'd.
MARY. O! how shall I begin? O, how shall I
So artfully arrange my cautious words,
That they may touch, yet not offend your heart?--
I am a Queen, like you, yet you have held me
Confin'd in prison. As a suppliant
I came to you, yet you in me insulted
The pious use of hospitality;
Slighting in me the holy law of nations,
Immur'd me in a dungeon--tore from me
My friends and servants; to unseemly want
I was exposed, and hurried to the bar
Of a disgraceful, insolent tribunal.
No more of this;--in everlasting silence
Be buried all the cruelties I suffer'd!
See--I will throw the blame of all on fate,
'Twas not your fault, no more than it was mine,
An evil spirit rose from the abyss,
To kindle in our hearts the flames of hate,
By which our tender youth had been divided.
[_Approaching her confidently, and with a
Now stand we face to face; now sister, speak;
Name but my crime, I'll fully satisfy you,--
Alas! had you vouchsaf'd to hear me then,
When I so earnest sought to meet your eye,
It never would have come to this, nor would,
Here in this mournful place, have happen'd now
This so distressful, this so mournful meeting.
ELIZ. My better stars preserved me. I was warn'd,
And laid not to my breast the pois'nous adder!
Accuse not fate! your own deceitful heart
It was, the wild ambition of your house.
But God is with me. The blow was aim'd
Full at my head, but your's it is which falls!
MARY. I'm in the hand of Heav'n. You never will
Exert so cruelly the pow'r it gives you.
ELIZ. Who shall prevent me? Say, did not your uncle
Set all the Kings of Europe the example
How to conclude a peace with those they hate.
Force is my only surety; no alliance
Can be concluded with a race of vipers.
MARY. You have constantly regarded me
But as a stranger, and an enemy,
Had you declared me heir to your dominions,
As is my right, then gratitude and love
In me had fixed, for you a faithful friend
ELIZ. Your friendship is abroad.
Name _you_ my successor! The treach'rous snare!
That in my life you might seduce my people;
And, like a sly Armida, in your net
Entangle all our noble English youth;
That all might turn to the new rising sun,
MARY. O sister, rule your realm in peace.
I give up ev'ry claim to these domains--
Alas! the pinions of my soul are lam'd;
Greatness entices me no more; your point
Is gained; I am but Mary's shadow now--
My noble spirit is at last broke down
By long captivity:--You're done your worst
On me; you have destroy'd me in my bloom!
Now, end your work, my sister;--speak at length
The word, which to pronounce has brought you hither;
For I will ne'er believe, that you are come,
To mock unfeelingly your hapless victim.
Pronounce this word;--say, "Mary, you are free;
You have already felt my pow'r,--Learn now
To honour too my generosity."
Say this, and I will take my life, will take
My freedom, as a present from your hands.
One word makes all undone;--I wait for it;--
O let it not be needlessly delay'd.
Woe to you, if you end not with this word!
For should you not, like some divinity,
Dispensing noble blessings, quit me now,
Then, sister, not for all this island's wealth,
For all the realms encircled by the deep,
Would I exchange my present lot for yours.
ELIZ. And you confess at last that you are conquer'd
Are all you schemes run out? No more assassins
Now on the road? Will no adventurer
Attempt again for you the sad achievement?
Yes, madam, it is over:--You'll seduce
No mortal more--The world has other cares;--
None is ambitious of the dang'rous honour
Of being your fourth husband.
MARY (_starting angrily_) Sister, sister--
Grant me forbearance, all ye pow'rs of heaven!
ELIZ. (_regards her long with a look of proud contempt_).
These then, are the charms
Which no man with impunity can view,
Near which no woman dare attempt to stand?
In sooth, this honour has been cheaply gain'd,
MARY. This is too much!
ELIZ. (_laughing insultingly_).
You show us, now indeed,
Your real face; till now 'twas but the mask.
MARY, (_burning with rage, yet dignified and noble_).
My sins were human, and the faults of youth;
Superior force misled me. I have never
Denied or sought to hide it; I despis'd,
All false appearance as became a Queen.
The worst of me is known, and I can say,
That I am better than the fame I bear.
Woe to you! when, in time to come, the world
Shall draw the robe of honour from your deeds,
With which thy arch-hypocrisy has veil'd
The raging flames of lawless secret lust.
Virtue was not your portion from your mother;
Well know we what it was which brought the head
Of Anne Boleyn to the fatal block.
What human nature can support; farewell,
Lamb-hearted resignation, passive patience,
Fly to thy native heaven; burst at length
Thy bonds, come forward from thy dreary cave,
In all thy fury, long-suppressed rancour!
And thou, who to the anger'd basilisk
Impart'st the murd'rous glance, O, arm my tongue
With poison'd darts!
(_raising her voice_). A pretender
Profanes the English throne! The gen'rous Britons
Are cheated by a juggler, [whose whole figure
Is false and painted, heart at well as face!]
If right prevail'd, you now would in the dust
Before me lie, for I'm your rightful monarch!
[Elizabeth _hastily retires_.
MARY. At last, at last,
After whole years of sorrow and abasement,
One moment of victorious revenge!
* * * * *
SCENE FROM LEAH, THE FORSAKEN.
ACT IV. SCENE III.
SCENE.--_Night. The Village Churchyard. Enter Leah slowly, her hair
streaming over her shoulders._
LEAH--[_solus_]-What seek I here? I know not; yet I feel I have a
mission to fulfil. I feel that the cords of my I being are stretched to
their utmost effort. Already seven days! So long! As the dead lights were
placed about the body of Abraham, as the friends sat nightly at his feet
and watched, so have I sat, for seven days, and wept over the corpse of my
love. What have I done? Am I not the child of man? Is not love the right of
all,--like the air, the light? And if I stretched my hands towards it, was
it a crime? When I first saw him, first heard the sound of his voice,
something wound itself around my heart. Then first I knew why I was
created, and for the first time, was thankful for my life. Collect thyself,
mind, and think! What has happened? I saw him yesterday--no! eight days
ago! He was full of love. "You'll come," said he. I came. I left my people.
I tore the cords that bound me to my nation, and came to him. He cast me
forth into the night. And yet, my heart, you throb still. The earth still
stands, the sun still shines, as if it had not gone down forever, for me.
By his side stood a handsome maid, and drew him away with caressing hands.
It is _she_ he loves, and to the Jewess he dares offer gold. I will
seek him! I will gaze on his face--that deceitful beautiful face.
[_Church illuminated. Organ plays softly_.] I will ask him what I have
done that--[_Hides face in her hands and weeps. Organ swells louder and
then subsides again_.] Perhaps he has been misled by some one--some
false tongue! His looks, his words, seem to reproach me. Why was I silent?
Thou proud mouth, ye proud lips, why did you not speak? Perhaps he loves me
still. Perhaps his soul, like mine, pines in nameless agony, and yearns for
reconciliation. [_Music soft_.] Why does my hate melt away at this
soft voice with which heaven calls to me? That grand music! I hear voices.
It sounds like a nuptial benediction; perhaps it is a loving bridal pair.
Amen--amen! to that prayer, whoever you may be. [_Music stops_.] I,
poor desolate one, would like to see their happy faces--I must--this
window. Yes, here I can see into the church. [_Looks into the window.
Screams_.] Do I dream? Kind Heaven, that prayer, that amen, you heard it
not. I call it back. You did not hear my blessing. You were deaf. Did no
blood-stained dagger drop upon them? 'Tis he! Revenge!----No! Thou shalt
judge! Thine, Jehovah, is the vengeance. Thou, alone, canst send it.
[_Rests her arm upon a broken column.]
Enter Rudolf from the sacristy door, with wreath in hand._
RUD.--I am at last alone. I cannot endure the joy and merriment around me.
How like mockery sounded the pious words of the priest! As I gazed towards
the church windows I saw a face, heard a muffled cry. I thought it was her
LEAH.--(_coldly_.) Did you think so?
RUD.--Leah! Is it you?
LEAH.--Silence, perjured one! Can the tongue that lied, still speak? The
breath that called me wife, now swear faith to another! Does it dare to mix
with the pure air of heaven? Is this the man I worshipped? whose features I
so fondly gazed upon! Ah! [_shuddering_] No--no! The hand of heaven
has crushed, beaten and defaced them! The stamp of divinity no longer rests
there! [_Walks away_.]
RUD.--Leah! hear me!
LEAH.--[turning fiercely.] Ha! You call me back? I am pitiless now.
RUD.--You broke faith first. You took the money.
LEAH.--Money! What money?
RUD.--The money my father sent you.
LEAH.--Sent me money? For what?
RUD.--[_hesitating_.] To induce you to release me--to----
LEAH.--That I might release you? And you knew it? You permitted it?
RUD.--I staked my life that you would not take it.
LEAH.--And you believed I had taken it?
RUD.--How could I believe otherwise? I----
LEAH.--[_with rage_] And you believed I had taken it, Miserable
Christian, and you cast me off! Not a question was the Jewess worth. This,
then, was thy work; this the eternity of love you promised me. Forgive me,
Heaven, that I forgot my nation to love this Christian. Let that love be
lost in hate. Love is false, unjust--hate endless, eternal.
RUD.--Cease these gloomy words of vengeance--I have wronged you. I feel it
without your reproaches. I have sinned; but to sin is human, and it would
be but human to forgive.
LEAH.--You would tempt me again? I do not know that voice.
RUD.--I will make good the evil I have done; aye, an hundredfold.
LEAH.--Aye, crush the flower, grind it under foot, then make good the evil
you have done. No! no! an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a heart for
RUD.--Hold, fierce woman, I will beseech no more! Do not tempt heaven; let
it be the judge between us! If I have sinned through love, see that you do
not sin through hate.
LEAH.--Blasphemer! and you dare call on heaven! What commandant hast thou
not broken? Thou shalt not swear falsely--you broke faith with me! Thou
shalt not steal--you stole my heart. Thou shalt not kill--what of life have
you left me?
RUD.--Hold, hold! No more! [_Advancing_.]
LEAH.--[_repelling him_.] The old man who died because I loved you,
the woman who hungered because I followed you, may they follow you in
dreams, and be a drag upon your feet forever. May you wander as I wander,
suffer shame as I now suffer it. Cursed be the land you till: may it keep
faith with you as you have kept faith with me. Cursed, thrice cursed, may
you be evermore, and as my people on Mount Ebal spoke, so speak I thrice!
Amen! Amen! Amen!
[_Rudolf drops on his knees as the curtain descends on the tableau_.]
* * * * *
SCENE FROM LEAH.
ACT V. SCENE I.
RUD.--(_Leah comes down stage gently and sad, listening_). Think,
Madalena, of her lot and mine. While I clasp a tender wife, and a lovely
child; she wanders in foreign lands, suffering and desolate. It is not
alone her curse that haunts me, it is her pale and gentle face, which I
seem to see in my dreams, and which so sadly says to me,
"I have forgiven!" Oh, Madalena, could I but hear her say this, and tell
her how deeply I feel that I have wronged her--could I but wet her hands
with my repentent tears, then would I find peace.
MAD.--Rudolf, a thought! In yonder valley camps a company of Jews who are
emigrating to America; perhaps one of them may be able to give you news of
Leah, and if you find her, she shall share the blessings of our home. She
shall be to me a dear sister! _(Leah hastily conceals herself.)_ Ha,
that beggar woman, where is she? _(Looks around.)_ Perhaps she belongs
to the tribe; perhaps she may tell you of her.
RUD.--How say you? A beggar woman?
MAD.--Yes, a poor Jewess, whom I rescued to-day. She must now be in the
house. Oh, come, Rudolf, let us find her. All may yet be well! _[Exeunt
_Enter Leah from behind a hayrick._
LEAH.--Have I heard aright? The iron bands seem melting, the cold dead
heart moves, and beats once more! The old life returns. Rudolf!
_(tears.)_ My Rudolf. No, no, he is no longer mine! The flame is
extinguished, and only the empty lamp remains above the sepulchre of my
heart. No, Madalena, no, I shall not remain to be a reproach to you both. I
will wander on with my people, but the hate I have nourished has departed.
I may not love, but I forgive--yes, I forgive him. But his child. Oh, I
should so like to see his child!
_Child comes to doorway from house._
Fear not, little one, come hither.
CHILD.--_(coming towards her)._ Is it you? Father seeks you.
LEAH.--His very image. _(kisses her,)_ What is your name, my darling?
LEAH.--What say you? Leah?
CHILD.--Did you know the other Leah?--she whom mother and father speak of
so often, and for whom every night I must pray?
LEAH.--_(With emotion, kissing her, and giving her a withered rose-
wreath, which she takes from inside her dress)_ Take this, my pretty
LEAH--Take it, and give it your father. Say to him your little prayer has
been heard, and that Leah--_(emotion)_--Leah forgives. _(going,
returns again, kisses child, and with extended arms and choking voice.)_
Bless, you, darling! _(extending arms to house.)_ And you, and you--
and all--and all'. _(goes to fence, totters, and sinks down, endeavoring
_Enter Rudolf and Madalena from house._
CHILD--_(running to Madalena.)_ See, mother, see what the strange
woman gave me. _(showing wreath.)_
MAD.--_(not noticing child)_ Where is she?
CHILD.--She has gone away _(running to Rudolf with wreath.)_ See,
RUD.--_(taking wreath.)_ A rose-wreath. Great heaven, Madalena, it
must have been Leah; it is my wreath. Leah!
MAD.--It was she!
RUD.--Yes, it was Leah. By this token we are reconciled. _(Leah
moans.)_ Ha, what sound is that?
MAD.--_(going to the prostrate figure.)_ Quick, Rudolf! It is she.
_(they run to her, raise her up, and bear her to front.)_
LEAH.--_(feebly.)_ I tried to go, but my strength forsook me. I shall,
at least, then, die here!
RUD.--Die! No, no; speak not of dying, you shall live!
LEAH.--No; I am too happy to live. See, Madalena, I take his hand, but it
is to place it in yours. All is over. _(sinks into their arms.)_
SCENE FROM PIZARRO.
SCENE I.--A Dungeon.
_Alonzo in chains--A sentinel walking near._
ALONZO. (c.)--For the last time, I have beheld the quivering lustre of the
stars. For the last time, O, sun! (and soon the hour), I shall behold thy
rising, and thy level beams melting the pale mists of morn to glittering
dew drops. Then comes my death, and in the morning of my day, I fall,
which--no, Alonzo, date not the life which thou hast run, by the mean
reckoning of the hours and days, which thou has breathed:--a life spent
worthily should be measured by a nobler line; by deeds, not years. They
only have lived long, who have lived virtuously. Surely, even now, thin
streaks of glimmering light steal on the darkness of the East. If so, my
life is but one hour more. I will not watch the coming dawn; but in the
darkness of my cell, my last prayer to thee, Power Supreme! shall be for my
wife and child! Grant them to dwell in innocence and peace; grant health
and purity of mind--all else is worthless.
[_Enters the cavern_, R. U. E.
SEN.--Who's there? answer quickly! Who's there?
ROL.--(_within._) A friar come to visit your prisoner. (_enters_,
L. U. E. _disguised as a monk._) Inform me, friend, is not Alonzo, the
Spanish prisoner, confined in this dungeon?
SEN.--(c.) He is.
ROL.--I must speak with him.
SEN.--You must not. (_stopping him with his spear._)
ROL.--He is my friend.
SEN.--Not if he were your brother.
ROL.--What is to be his fate?
SEN.--He dies at sunrise.
ROL.--Ha! Then I am come in time.
SEN.--Just--to witness his death.
ROL.--Soldier, I must speak to him.
SEN.--Back, back--It is impossible.
ROL.--I do entreat you, but for one moment.
SEN.--You entreat in vain--my orders are most strict.
ROL.--Look on this wedge of massive gold--look on these precious gems. In
thy own land they will be wealth for thee and thine--beyond thy hope or
wish. Take them--they are thine. Let me but pass one minute with Alonzo.
SEN.--Away!--wouldst thou corrupt me? Me! an old Castilian! I know my duty
ROL.--Soldier!--hast thou a wife?
ROL.--Hast thou children?
SEN.--Four--honest, lovely boys.
ROL.--Where didst thou leave them?
SEN.--In my native village; even in the cot where myself was born.
ROL.--Dost thou love thy children and thy wife?
SEN.--Do I love them! God knows my heart--I do.
ROL.--Soldier! imagine thou wert doomed to die a cruel death in this
strange land. What would be thy last request?
SEN.--That some of my comrades should carry my dying blessing to my wife
ROL.--Oh! but if that comrade was at thy prison gate, and should there be
told--thy fellow-soldier dies at sunset, yet thou shalt not for a moment
see him, nor shalt thou bear his dying blessing to his poor children or his
wretched wife, what would'st thou think of him, who thus could drive thy
comrade from the door?
ROL.--Alonzo has a wife and child. I am come but to receive for her, and
for her babe, the last blessing of my friend.
SEN.--Go in. [_Shoulders his spear and walks to_ L. U. E.
ROL. (c.)--Oh, holy Nature! thou dost never plead in vain. There is not of
our earth a creature bearing form, and life--human or savage--native of the
forest wild, or giddy air--around whose parent bosom thou hast not a cord
entwined of power to tie them to their offspring's claims, and at thy will
to draw them back to thee. On iron pinions borne, the blood-stained vulture
cleaves the storm, yet is the plumage closest to her heart soft as the
cygnet's down, and o'er her unshelled brood the murmuring ring-dove sits
not more gently.--Yes, now he is beyond the porch, barring the outer gate!
Alonzo! Alonzo, my friend! Ha! in gentle sleep! Alonzo--rise!
ALON.--How, is my hour elapsed? Well, (_Returning from the recess_ R.
U. E.) I am ready.
ROL.--Alonzo, know me.
ALON.--What voice is that?
ROL.--'Tis Rolla's. [_Takes off his disguise._
ALON.--Rolla, my friend (_Embraces him._) Heavens!--how could'st thou
pass the guard?--Did this habit--
ROL.--There is not a moment to be lost in words. This disguise I tore from
the dead body of a friar as I passed our field of battle; it has gained me
entrance to thy dungeon: now, take it thou and fly.
ROL.--Will remain here in thy place.
ALON.--And die for me? No! Rather eternal tortures rack me.
ROL.--I shall not die, Alonzo. It is thy life Pizarro seeks, not Rolla's;
and from thy prison soon will thy arm deliver me. Or, should it be
otherwise, I am as a blighted plantain standing alone amid the sandy
desert--nothing seeks or lives beneath my shelter. Thou art--a husband and
a father; the being of a lovely wife and helpless infant hangs upon thy
life. Go! go, Alonzo! Go, to save, not thyself, but Cora and thy child!
ALON.--Urge me not thus, my friend! I had prepared to die in peace.
ROL.--To die in peace! devoting her thou'st sworn to live for to madness,
misery, and death! For, be assured, the state I left her in forbids all
hope, but from thy quick return.
ROL.--If thou art yet irresolute, Alonzo, now heed me well. I think thou
hast not known that Rolla ever pledged his word, and shrunk from its
fulfilment. And by the heart of truth, I swear, if thou art proudly
obstinate to deny thy friend the transport of preserving Cora's life, in
thee; no power that sways the will of man shalt stir me hence; and thoul't
but have the desperate triumph of seeing Rolla perish by thy side, with the
assured conviction that Cora and thy child--are lost forever.
ALON.--Oh, Rolla! you distract me!
ROL.--Begone! A moment's further pause, and all is lost. The dawn
approaches. Fear not for me; I will treat with Pizarro, as for surrender
and submission. I shall gain time, doubt not, whilst thou, with a chosen
band, passing the secret way, may'st at night return, release thy friend,
and bear him back in triumph. Yes, hasten, dear Alonzo! Even now I hear the
frantic Cora call thee! Haste, Alonzo! Haste! Haste!
ALON.--Rolla, I fear thy friendship drives me from honour and from right.
ROL.--Did Rolla ever counsel dishonour to his friend?
ALON.--Oh! my preserver! [_Embracing him._
ROL.--I feel thy warm tears dropping on my cheek.--Go! I am rewarded.
(_Throwing the Friar's garment over him._) There, conceal thy face;
and that they may not clank, hold fast thy chains. Now, God be with thee!
ALON.--At night we meet again. Then, so aid me Heaven! I return to save or
perish with thee. [_Exit_ L.U.E.
ROL. (_Looking after him._)--He has passed the outer porch--he is
safe! He will soon embrace his wife and child! Now, Cora, did'st thou not
wrong me? This is the first time throughout my life, I ever deceived man.
Forgive me, God of Truth! if I am wrong. Alonzo flatters himself that we
shall meet again! Yes, there! (_Lifting his hands to heaven._)--
assuredly we shall meet again; there, possess in peace, the joys of
everlasting love, and friendship--on earth imperfect and embittered. I will
retire, lest the guard return before Alonzo may have passed their lines.
[_Retires into the cavern._
SCENE I.--_A thick forest. A dreadful storm._ CORA _has covered her
child in a bed of leaves and moss,_ R. U. E.
CORA. (_Sitting on bank by child,_ R.)--Oh, Nature! thou hast not the
strength of love. My anxious spirit is untired in its march; my wearied
shivering frame sinks under it. And for thee, my boy, when faint beneath
thy lovely burden, could I refuse to give thy slumbers that poor bed of
rest! Oh, my child! were I assured thy poor father breathes no more, how
quickly would I lay me down by thy dear side!--but down--down forever!
(_Thunder and lightning._) I ask thee not, unpitying storm to abate
thy rage, in mercy to poor Cora's misery; nor while thy thunders spare his
slumbers, will I disturb my sleeping cherub, though Heaven knows I wish to
hear the voice of life, and feel that life is near me. But I will endure
all while what I have of reason holds. (_Thunder and lightning._)
Still, still implacable!--unfeeling elements! yet still dost thou sleep,
my smiling innocent! Oh, Death! when wilt thou grant to this babe's mother
such repose? Sure I may shield thee better from the storm: my veil may--
ALON. (_Without_ L.)--Cora!
CORA (_Runs to_ C.) Ha!
CORA--Oh, my heart. Sweet Heaven, deceive me not. Is it not Alonzo's voice?
CORA (L. C.)--It is--it is Alonzo!
ALON. (_Very loud_) Cora! my beloved!
CORA (L.) Alonzo! Here!--here!--Alonzo!
* * * * *
THE BATTLE OF AGINCOURT.
The King is reported to have dismounted before the battle commenced, and to
have fought on foot.
Hollinshed states that the English army consisted of 15,000, and the French
of 60,000 horse and 40,000 infantry--in all, 100,000. Walsingham and
Harding represent the English as but 9,000, and other authors say that the
number of French amounted to 150,000. Fabian says the French were 40,000,
and the English only 7,000. The battle lasted only three hours.
The noble Duke of Gloucester, the king's brother, pushing himself too
vigorously on his horse into the conflict, was grievously wounded, and cast
down to the earth, by the blows of the French, for whose protection the
King being interested, he bravely leapt against his enemies in defence of
his brother, defended him with his own body, and plucked and guarded him
from the raging malice of the enemy, sustaining perils of war scarcely
possible to be borne.
_Nicolas's History of Agincourt_.
During the battle the Duke of Alencon most valiantly broke through the
English lines, and advanced fighting near the King--inasmuch that he
wounded and struck down the Duke of York. King Henry seeing this stepped
forth to his aid, and as he was leaning down to aid him the Duke of Alencon
gave him a blow on his helmet that struck off part of his crown. The King's
guards on this surrounded him, when seeing he could no way escape death but
by surrendering, he lifted up his arms and said to the King, "I am the Duke
of Alencon, and yield myself to you." But as the King was holding out his
hand to receive his pledge he was put to death by the guards.
* * * * *
GLOSTER, BEDFORD, EXETER, SALISBURY, ERPINGHAM,
_and_ WESTMORELAND _discovered_.
GLO. Where is the king?
BED. The king himself is rode to view their battle.
WEST. Of fighting men they have full threescore thousand.
EXE. There's five to one; besides they're all fresh.
'Tis a fearful odds.
If we no more meet till we meet in heaven,
Then joyfully my noble lord of Bedford,
My dear Lord Gloster, and my good Lord Exeter
And my kind kinsman, warriors all--adieu!
WEST. O that we now had here
_Enter_ KING HENRY, _attended_.
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!
K. HEN. What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland?--No, my fair cousin:
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men the greater share of honour.
O, do not wish one more;
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian,
He that outlives this day, and sees old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say to-morrow is Saint Crispian:
Then will he strip his sleeve, and show his scars;
And say, these wounds I had on Crispin's day
Then shall our names,
Familiar in their mouths as household words,--
Harry, the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloster,--
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd:
This story shall the good man teach his son:
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd:
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers:
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England, now a-bed,
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here;
And hold their manhoods cheap, whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon St. Crispin's day.
GOWER. My sovereign lord, bestow yourself with speed
The French are bravely in their battles set,
And will with all expedience charge on us.
K. HEN. All things are ready, if our minds be so.
WEST. Perish the man whose mind is backward now!
K. HEN. Thou dost not wish more help from England,
WEST. Heaven's will, my liege, I would you and I alone,
Without more help could fight this royal battle!
K. HEN. Why, now thou hast unwish'd five thousand men;
Which likes me better than to wish us one.--
You know your places: God be with you all!
_Enter_ MONTJOY _and attendants._
MONT. Once more I come to know of thee, King Harry
If for thy ransom thou wilt now compound,
Before thy most assured overthrow:
For, certainly, thou art so near the gulf
Thou needs must be englutted. Besides, in mercy,
The Constable desires thee thou wilt mind
Thy followers of repentance; that their souls
May make a peaceful and a sweet retire
From off these fields, where (wretches) their poor bodies
Must lie and fester.
K. HEN Who hath sent thee now?
MONT. The Constable of France.
K. HEN. I pray thee, bear my former answer back?
Bid them achieve me, and then sell my bones.
Good God! why should they mock poor fellows thus?
The man that once did sell the lion's skin
While the beast liv'd, was kill'd with hunting him.
Let me speak proudly:--Tell the Constable,
We are but warriors for the working-day;
Our gayness and our gilt, are all besmirch'd
With rainy marching in the painful field;
There's not a piece of feather in our host
(Good argument, I hope, we will not fly),
And time hath worn us into slovenry;
But, by the mass, our hearts are in the trim:
And my poor soldiers tell me, yet ere night
They'll be in fresher robes; or they will pluck
The gay new coats o'er the French soldiers' heads,
And turn them out of service. If they do this,
(As if God please, they shall), my ransom then
Will soon be levied. Herald, save thou thy labour;
Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald;
They shall have none, I swear, but these my joints;
Which if they have as I will leave 'em them
Shall yield them little, tell the Constable.
MONT. I shall, King Harry. And so fare thee well:
Thou never shalt hear herald any more. [_Exit._
K. HEN. I fear thou'lt once more come again for ransom.
_Enter the_ DUKE OF YORK.
YORK. My lord, most humbly on my knee I beg
The leading of the vaward.
K. HEN. Take it, brave York--Now, soldiers, march away:--
And how, thou pleasest God, dispose the day!
* * * * *
THE QUARREL OF BRUTUS AND CASSIUS.
CASSIUS. That you have wronged me doth appear in this:
You have condemned and noted Lucius Pella
For taking bribes here of the Sardians;
Wherein my letters (praying on his side,
Because I knew the man) were slighted of.
BRUTUS. You wronged yourself to write in such a case.
CAS. In such a time as this it is not meet
That every nice offence should bear its comment.
BRU. Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemned to have an itching palm;
To sell and mart your offices for gold
CAS. I an itching palm?
You know that you are Brutus that speak this,
Or by the gods! this speech were else your last.
BRU. The name of Cassius honours this corruption,
And chastisement doth therefore, hide its head.
BRU. Remember March, the Ides of March remember!
Did not great Julius bleed for justice sake?
What! I shall one of us
That struck the foremost man of all this world
But for supporting robbers--shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes,
And sell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.
CAS. Brutus, bay not me.
I'll not endure it. You forget yourself
To hedge me in. I am a soldier, I,
Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.
BRU. Go to, you are not, Cassius.
CAS. I am.
BRU. I say you are not.
CAS. Urge me no more: I shall forget myself:
Have mind upon your health; tempt me no farther.
BRU. Away, slight man!
CAS. I'st possible?
BRU. Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
Shall I be frightened when a madman stares?
CAS. Must I endure all this?
BRU. All this! ay, more. Fret till your proud heart break.
Go show your slaves how choleric you are,
And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge?
Must I observe you? Must I stand and crouch
Under your testy humour? By the gods!
You shall digest the venom of your spleen,
Though it do split you; for from this day forth
I'll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter,
When you are waspish.
CAS. Is it come to this?
BRU. You say you are a better soldier:
Let it appear so; make your vaunting true;
And it shall please me well. For mine own part,
I shall be glad to learn of noble men.
CAS. You wrong me every way, you wrong me, Brutus;
I said an elder soldier, not a better.
Did I say better?
BRU. If you did, I care not.
CAS. When Caesar lived, he durst not thus, have moved me.
BRU. Peace, peace! You durst not so have tempted him.
CAS. I _durst_ not?
CAS. What _durst_ not tempt him?
BRU. For your life you durst not.
CAS. Do not presume too much upon my love;
I may do that I shall be sorry for.
BRU. You _have_ done that you _should_ be sorry for.
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats,
For I am arm'd so strong in honesty,
That they pass by me as the idle wind
Which I respect not. I did send to you
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me;
For I can raise no money by vile means.
By heavens! I had rather coin my heart,
And drop my blood for drachmas, than wring
From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash
By any indirection. I did send
To you for gold to pay my legions,
Which you denied me! Was that done like Cassius?
Should I have answered Caius Cassius so?
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous,
To lock such rascal counters from his friends,
Be ready, gods! with all your thunderbolts
Dash him to pieces.
CAS. I denied you not.
BRU. You did.
CA. I did not: he was but a fool
That brought my answer back. Brutus hath rived my heart,
A friend should bear a friend's infirmities;
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
BRU. I do not till you practise them on me.
CAS. You love me not.
BRU. I do not like your faults.
CAS. A friendly eye could never see such faults.
BRU. A flatterer's would not, though they did appear
As huge as high Olympus.
CAS. Come, Antony! and young Octavius, come!
Revenge yourself alone on Cassius,
For Cassius is a-weary of the world--
Hated by one he loves; braved by his brother;
Check'd like a bondman; all his faults observed,
Set in a note-book, learn'd and conn'd by rote,
To cast into my teeth. Oh, I could weep
My spirit from mine eyes! 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 Caesar; for I know
When thou didst hate him worst, thou lovedst him better
Than ever thou lovedst 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 man
That carries anger as the flint bears fire,
Who, much enforced, shows a hasty spark,
And straight is cold again.
CAS. Hath Cassius lived
To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
When grief and blood ill-tempered vexeth him?
BRU. When I spoke that, I was ill-tempered too.
CAS. Do you confess so much? Give me your hand.
BRU. And my heart too. (_Embracing._)
CAS. O, Brutus!
BRU. What's the matter?
CAS. Have you not love enough to bear with me,
When that rash humour which my mother gave me
Makes me forgetful?
BRIT. Yes, Cassius, and from henceforth,
When you are over-earnest with your Brutus,
He'll think your mother chides, and leave you so.
* * * * *
SCENES FROM HAMLET.
HAMLET _and_ GHOST _discovered_.
HAMLET, (C) Whither wilt thou lead me? speak!
I'll go no further.
GHOST. (L. C.) Mark me.
HAM. (R. C.) I will.
GHOST. My hour is almost come
When I to sulph'rous and tormenting flames
Must render up myself.
HAM. Alas, poor ghost!
GHOST. Pity me not; but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold.
HAM. Speak, I am bound to hear.
GHOST. So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.
GHOST. I am thy father's spirit:
Doomed for a certain term to walk the night;
And, for the day, confined to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature,
Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul; freeze thy young blood;
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted 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: List, list, oh, list!--
If thou didst ever thy dear father love--
HAM. Oh, heaven!
GHOST. Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
GHOST. Murder most foul, as in the best it is;
But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.
HAM. Haste me to know it, that I, with wings as swift
As meditation, or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge.
GHOST. I find thee apt.
Now, Hamlet, hear:
Tis given out, that sleeping in my orchard,
A serpent stung me; so that the whole ear of Denmark
Is, by a forged process of my death,
Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father's life
Now wears his crown.
HAM. Oh, my prophetic soul! my uncle?
GHOST. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,
Won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen:
Oh, Hamlet, what a falling off was there!
From me, whose love was of that dignity,
That it went hand in hand, even with the vow
I made to her in marriage; and to decline
Upon a wretch, whose natural gifts were poor
To those of mine!--
But, soft, methinks I scent the morning air--
Brief let me be:--sleeping within mine orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon,
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursed hebenon in a phial,
And in the porches of mine ears did pour
The leperous distilment: whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man,
That swift as quicksilver it courses through
The natural gates and alleys of the body;
So it did mine.
Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand,
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once despatched
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. It thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damned incest,
But, howsoever thou pursu'st this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught; leave her to Heaven,
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
To goad and sting her. Fare thee well at once
The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire.
Adieu, adieu, adieu! remember me. (_Vanishes_, L. C)
HAM. (R.) Hold, hold, my heart;
And you my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly up. (C.) Remember thee?
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee?
Yea, from the table of my memory
I'll wipe away all forms, all pressures past,
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmixed with baser matter; yes, by heaven,
I have sworn it.
* * * * *
HAMLET'S ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS.
HAMLET _and_ PLAYER _discovered._
HAMLET. 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 lieve the town-crier
spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your
hand thus; 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! I would have such a fellow
whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod
pray you avoid it.
1ST ACT. (R.) I warrant your honour.
HAM. Be not too tame, neither; but let your own discretion
be your tutor: suit the action to the word, and
the word to the action; with this special observance, that
you o'erstep not the modesty of nature: for anything so
overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both
at the first and now, was and 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, over done, or
come tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, can
not but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which
one, 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--not to speak it profanely,
that neither having the accent of Christians, nor
the gait of Christian, Pagan, or 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.
1ST ACT. I hope we have reformed that indifferently
HAM. (C.) Oh, reform it altogether. And let those that
play your clowns speak no more than is set down for
them: for there be of them that will themselves laugh, to
set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too;
though, in the mean time, some necessary question of the
play be then to be considered: that's villainous; and shows
a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make
you ready. Horatio! (_Exit 1st Actor_, L.)
_Enter_ HORATIO, R.
HORATIO, (R.)--Here, sweet lord, at your service.
HAM.--Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
As e'er my conversation coped withal.
HOR.--Oh, my dear lord!--
HAM.--Nay, do not think I flatter:
For what advancement may I hope from thee,
That no revenue hast, but thy good spirits,
To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flattered?
No, let the candid tongue lick absurd pomp,
And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,
Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?
Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,
And could of men distinguish her election,
She hath sealed thee for herself; for thou hast been
As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing;
A man, that fortune's buffets and rewards
Hast tae'n with equal thanks: and blessed are those
Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled,
That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please; give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, aye, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee. Something too much of this.
There is a play to-night before the king
One scene of it comes near the circumstance
Which I have told thee of my father's death.
I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot,
Even with the very comment of thy soul
Observe mine uncle; if his occulted guilt
Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
It is a damned ghost that we have seen,
And my imaginations are as foul
As Vulcan's stithy; give him heedful note.
For I mine eyes will rivet to his face,
And, after, we will both our judgments join
In censure of his seeming.
HOR.--Well, my lord.
HAM--They are coming to the play, I must be idle.
Get you a place (_Goes and stands_, R)
* * * * *
HAMLET AND HIS MOTHER.
HAMLET--Leave wringing of your hands, peace, sit you down,
And let me wring your heart, for so I shall,
If it be made of penetrable stuff;
If damned custom have not brassed it so,
That it be proof and bulwark against sense.
QUEEN--What have I done, that thou dar'st wag thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?
HAM--Such an act,
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Calls virtue, hypocrite, takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there; makes marriage-vows
As false as dicers' oaths: O, such a deed
As from the body of contraction plucks
The very soul; and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words: Heaven's face doth glow;
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
With tristful visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act.
QUEEN.--Ah me, what act,
That roars so loud, and thunders in the index?
HAM.--Look here, upon this picture, and on this;
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See, what a grace was seated on this brow:
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command;
A station like the herald Mercury
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;
A combination, and a form, indeed,
Where every god did seem to set his seal,
To give the world assurance of a man:
This was your husband.--Look you now, what follows:
Here is your husband; like a mildewed ear,
Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
And batten on this moor? Ha! have you eyes?
You cannot call it love: for, at your age,
The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble,
And waits upon the judgment: and what judgment
Would step from this to this? Sense, sure, you have,
Else, could you not have motion: but, sure, that sense
Is apoplexed: for madness would not err;
Nor sense to ecstacy was ne'er so thralled,
But it reserved some quantity of choice,
To serve in such a difference. What devil was't
That thus hath cozened you at hoodman-blind?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling, sans all,
Or but a sickly part of one true sense
Could not so mope.
O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones,
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax,
And melt in her own fire: proclaim no shame,
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge;
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
And reason panders will.
QUEEN. O Hamlet, speak no more:
Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul;
And there I see such black and grained spots
As will not leave their tinct.
O, speak to me no more:
These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears;
No more, sweet Hamlet!
HAM. A murderer, and a villain:
A slave, that is not twentieth part the tithe
Of your precedent lord; a vice of kings;
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And put it in his pocket.
QUEEN. No more.
HAM. A king of shreds and patches,--
Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings,
You heavenly guards!--What would your gracious figure?
QUEEN. Alas, he's mad!
HAM. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That, lapsed in time and passion, lets go by
The important acting of your dread command?
GHOST. Do not forget: this visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But look! amazement on thy mother sits:
O, step between her and her fighting soul,
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works,
Speak to her, Hamlet.
HAM. How is it with you, lady?
QUEEN. Alas, how is't with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
And with the incorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep;
And, as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm,
Your bedded hair, like life in excrements,
Starts up, and stands on end. O gentle son,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look?
HAM. On him! on him! Look you, how pale he glares!
His form and cause conjoined, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable.--Do not look upon me;
Lest, with this piteous action, you convert
My stern effects: then what I have to do
Will want true colour; tears, perchance for blood.
QUEEN. To whom do you speak this?
HAM. Do you see nothing there?
QUEEN. Nothing at all; yet all, that is, I see.
HAM. Nor did you nothing hear?
QUEEN. No, nothing, but ourselves.
HAM. Why, look you there! look, how it steals away!
My father, in his habit as he lived!
Look, where he goes, even now, out at the portal!
QUEEN. This is the very coinage of your brain:
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.
My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time,
And makes as healthful music: it is not madness
That I have uttered: bring me to the test,
And I the matter will re-word; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul,
That not your trespass, but my madness, speaks:
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
Whilst rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven;
Repent what's past; avoid what is to come;
And do not spread the compost on the weeds
To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue;
For in the fatness of these pursy times,
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg,
Yea, curb and woo, for leave to do him good.
QUEEN. O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain!
HAM. O, throw away the worser part of it,
And live the purer with the other half.
Good night: but go not to mine uncle's room;
Assume a virtue, if you have it not
Once more, good night:
And when you are desirous to be blessed,
I'll blessing beg of you.
I must be cruel, only to be kind:
Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.
* * * * *
ACT II.--SCENE I.
MACBETH. Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee--
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling, as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from a heat-oppressed brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshal'st me the way that I was going,
And such an instrument I was to use.
Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses
Or else worth all the rest: I see thee still;
And on thy blade, and dudgeon, gouts of blood,
Which was not so before,--There's no such thing:
It is the bloody business, which informs
Thus to mine eyes.--Now o'er the one-half world
Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
The curtain'd sleep: witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate's offerings: and wither'd murder,
Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl's his watch thus with his stealthy pace,
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, toward his design
Moves like a ghost.--Thou sure and firm-set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
The very stones prate of my where-about,
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it.--Whilst I threat, he lives:
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.
[_A bell rings_.
I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell. [_Exit_.
* * * * *
SCENE II.--_The same._
_Enter Lady Macbeth._
LADY M. That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold:
What hath quench'd them hath given me fire:--
Hark! Peace! It was the owl that shriek'd,
The fatal bellman which gives the stern'st good night.
He is about it: The doors are open;
And the surfeited grooms do mock their charge with snores:
I have drugged their possets,
That death and nature do contend about them,
Whether they live, or die.
MACB. [_Within,_] Who's there?--what, hoa!
LADY M. Alack! I am afraid they have awak'd,
And 'tis not done:--the attempt, and not the deed,
Confound us:--Hark!--I laid their daggers ready,
He could not miss them.--Had he not resembled
My father as he slept I had done't--My husband!
MACB. I have done the deed:--Didst thou not hear a noise?--
LADY M. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets cry.
Did you not speak? MACB. When?
LADY M. Now.
MACB. As I descended?
LADY M. Ay. MACB. Hark!--
Who lies i' the second chamber?
LADY M. Donalbain.
MACB. This is a sorry sight. [_Looking on his hands._
LADY M. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.
MACB. There's one did laugh in his sleep,
And one cried "murther!" that they did wake each other;
I stood and heard them: but they did say their prayers,
And address'd them again to sleep.
LADY M. There are two lodg'd together.
MACB. One cried, "God bless us!" and "Amen," the other;
As they had seen me, with these hangman's hands.
Listening their fear, I could not say, "Amen,"
When they did say, God bless us.
LADY M. Consider it not so deeply.
MACB. But wherefore could I not pronounce, "Amen?"
I had most need of blessing, and "Amen"
Stuck in my throat.
LADY M. These deeds must not be thought
After these ways; so, it will make us mad.
MACB. Methought, I heard a voice cry, "Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murther sleep,"--the innocent sleep;
Sleep, that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast.
LADY M. What do you mean?
MACB. Still it cried, "Sleep no more!" to all the house:
"Glamis hath murther'd sleep: and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more!"
LADY M. Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,
You do unbend your noble strength, to think
So brainsickly of things--Go, get some water,
And wash this filthy witness from your hand.--
Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there: go, carry them; and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.
MACB. I'll go no more
I am afraid to think what I have done;
Look on't again I dare not.
LADY M. Infirm of purpose!
Give me the daggers; the sleeping, and the dead,
Are but as pictures: 'tis the eye of childhood
That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,
I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal,
For it must seem their guilt.
[_Exit. Knocking within._
MACB. Whence is that knocking?
How is't with me, when every noise appals me?
What hands are here? Ha! they pluck out mine eyes!
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No; this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnardine,
Making the green one red.
_Re-enter Lady Macbeth._
LADY M. My hands are of your colour; but I shame
To wear a heart so white. [_Knock_.] I hear a knocking
At the south entry:--retire we to our chamber;
A little water clears us of this deed;
How easy is it then! Your constancy
Hath left you unattended.--[_Knocking_.] Hark! more knocking:
Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us,
And show us to be watchers:--Be not lost
So poorly in your thoughts.
MACB. To know my deed, 'twere best not to know myself.
Wake Duncan with thy knocking; I would thou could'st'
* * * * *
SLEEP-WALKING SCENE FROM MACBETH.
SCENE I.--_Dunsinane. A Room in the Castle.
Enter a Doctor of Physic, and a waiting Gentlewoman._
DOCT. I have two nights watched with you, but can perceive no truth in your
report. When was it she last walked?
GENT. Since his majesty went into the field, I have seen her rise from her
bed, throw her nightgown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper,
fold it, write upon it, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to
bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.
DOCT. A great perturbation in nature! to receive at once the benefit of
sleep, and do the effects of watching.--In this slumbery agitation,
besides her walking and other actual performances, what, at any time, have
you heard her say?
GENT. That, sir, which I will not report after her.
DOCT. You may to me; and 'tis most meet you should.
GENT. Neither to you, nor any one; having no witness to confirm my speech.
_Enter Lady Macbeth, with a taper._
Lo you, here she comes! This is her very guise; and, upon my life, fast
asleep. Observe her: stand close.
DOCT. How came she by that light?
GENT. Why, it stood by her: she has light by her continually; 'tis her
DOCT. You see, her eyes are open.
GENT. Ay, but their sense is shut.
DOCT. What is it she does now? Look how she rubs her hands.
GENT. It is an accustomed action with her, to seem thus washing her hands.
I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour.
LADY M. Yet here's a spot.
DOCT. Hark, she speaks: I will set down what comes from her, to satisfy my
remembrance the more strongly.
LADY M. Out, damned spot! out, I say!--One; Two: Why, then 'tis time to do
't!--Hell is murky!--Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier, and afeared! What need
we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?--Yet who
would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him!
DOCT. Do you mark that?
LADY M. The thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now?--What, will these
hands ne'er be clean?--No more o' that, my lord, no more o' that: you mar
all with this starting.
DOCT. Go to, go to; you have known what you should not.
GENT. She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that: Heaven knows
what she has known.
LADY M. Here's the smell of the blood still; all the perfumes of Arabia
will not sweeten this little hand. Oh! oh! oh!
DOCT. What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely charged.
GENT. I would not have such a heart in my bosom, for the dignity of the
DOCT. Well, well, well,--
GENT. Pray God it be, sir.
DOCT. This disease is beyond my practice: yet I have known those which have
walked in their sleep who have died holily in their beds.
LADY M. Wash your hands, put on your nightgown; look not so pale:--I tell
you yet again, Banquo's buried; he cannot come out on's grave.
DOCT. Even so?
LADY M. To bed, to bed; there's knocking at the gate. Come, come, come,
come, give me your hand. What's done cannot be undone: To bed, to bed, to
_Exit Lady Macbeth._
* * * * *
KING JOHN _and_ HUBERT.
K. JOHN. Come hither, Hubert. O my gentle Hubert.
We owe thee much; within this wall of flesh
There is a soul counts thee her creditor,
And with advantage means to pay thy love:
And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath
Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished.
Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say,--
But I will fit it with some better time.
By heaven, Hubert, I am almost asham'd
To say what good respect I have of thee.
HUB. I am much bounden to your majesty.
K. JOHN. Good friend, thou hast no cause to say so yet;
But thou shalt have; and creep time ne'er so slow,
Yet it shall come for me to do thee good.
I had a thing to say,--but let it go:
The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day,
Attended with the pleasures of the world,
Is all too wanton and too full of gauds,
To give me audience:--If the midnight bell
Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
Sound on into the drowsy race of night;
If this same were a church-yard where we stand,
And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs;
Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,
Had bak'd thy blood, and made it heavy--thick,
(Which else, runs tickling up and down the veins,
Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes,
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
A passion hateful to my purposes;)
Or if that thou could'st see me without eyes,
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, using conceit alone.
Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words;
Then, in despite of brooded, watchful day,
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts:
But ah, I will not:--Yet I love thee well:
And, by my troth, I think, thou lov'st me well.
HUB. So well, that what you bid me undertake,
Though that my death were adjunct to my act,
By heaven, I would do it.
K. JOHN. Do not I know thou would'st?
Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye
On yon young boy; I'll tell thee what, my friend,
He is a very serpent in my way;
And wheresoe'er this foot of mine doth tread
He lies before me: Dost thou understand me?
Thou art his keeper. HUB. And I'll keep him so,
That he shall not offend your majesty.
K. JOHN. Death. HUB. My lord?
K. JOHN. A grave. HUB. He shall not live.
K. JOHN. Enough.
I could be merry now: Hubert, I love thee.
Well, I'll not say what I intend for thee:
* * * * *
HUBERT _and_ ARTHUR.
HUB. Heat me these irons hot; and look thou stand
Within the arras; when I strike my foot
Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth,
And bind the boy, which you will find with me,
Fast to the chair: be heedful: hence, and watch.
1. ATTEND. I hope your warrant will bear out the deed.
HUB. Uncleanly scruples! Fear not you: look to't.--
Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you.
ARTH. Good morrow, Hubert.
HUB. Good morrow, little prince.
ARTH. As little prince (having so great a title
To be more prince), as may be.--You are sad.
HUB. Indeed, I have been merrier.
ARTH. Mercy on me!
Methinks, nobody should be sad but I:
Yet, I remember, when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Only for wantonness. By my christendom,
So I were out of prison, and kept sheep,
I should be as merry as the day is long;
And so I would be here, but that I doubt
My uncle practises more harm to me:
He is afraid of me, and I of him:
Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son?
No, indeed, is 't not; And I would to heaven
I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.
HUB. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
He will awake my mercy, which lies dead:
Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch. [_Aside._
ARTH. Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale to-day:
In sooth, I would you were a little sick;
That I might sit all night, and watch with you;
I warrant I love you more than you do me.
HUB. His words do take possession of my bosom.--
Read here, young Arthur [_Shewing a paper._
How now, foolish rheum. [_Aside._
Turning dispiteous torture out of door!
I must be brief; lest resolution drop
Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish tears.
Can you not read it? is it not fair writ?
ARTH. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect:
Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes?
HUB. Young boy, I must. ARTH. And will you?
HUB. And I will.
ARTH. Have you the heart? When your head did but ake,
I knit my hand-kercher about your brows,
(The best I had, a princess wrought it me),
And I did never ask it you again;
And with my hand at midnight held your head;
And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time;
Saying, What lack you? and, Where lies your grief?
Or, What good love may I perform for you?
Many a poor man's son would have lain still,
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
But you at your sick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think my love was crafty love,
And call it cunning; do, an if you will;
If heaven be pleas'd that you must use me ill,
Why, then you must.--Will you put out mine eyes?
These eyes, that never did, nor never shall,
So much as frown on you?
HUB. I have sworn to do it;
And with hot irons must I burn them out.
ARTH. Ah, none, but in this iron age, would do it!
The iron of itself, though heat red-hot,
Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears,
And quench his fiery indignation,
Even in the matter of mine innocence;
Nay, after that, consume away in rust,
But for containing fire to harm mine eye.
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron?
And if an angel should have come to me,
And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes,
I would not have believ'd him. No tongue but Hubert's--
HUB. Come forth. [_Stamps.
Re-enter_ Attendants, _with Cords, Irons, etc._
Do as I bid you do.
ARTH. O, save me, Hubert, save me? my eyes are out,
Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.
HUB. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
ARTH. Alas, what need you be so boist'rous rough?
I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
For heaven sake, Hubert, let me not be bound!
Nay, hear me, Hubert! drive these men away,
And I will sit as quiet as a lamb;
I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word,
Nor look upon the iron angerly:
Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you,
Whatever torment you do put me to.
HUB. Go, stand within; let me alone with him.
IST. ATTEND. I am best pleas'd to be from such a deed.
ARTH. Alas! I then have chid away my friend;
He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart:--
Let him come back, that his compassion may
Give life to yours.
HUB. Come, boy, prepare yourself.
ARTH. Is there no remedy?
HUB. None, but to lose your eyes.
ARTH. O heaven!--that there were a mote in yours,
A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair,
Any annoyance in that precious sense!
Then, feeling what small things are boist'rous there,
Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.
HUB. Is this your promise? go to, hold your tongue.
ARTH. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues
Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes;
Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert!
Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue,
So I may keep mine eyes. O, spare mine eyes;
Though to no use, but still to look on you!
Lo, by my troth, the instrument is cold,
And would not harm me.
HUB. I can heat it, boy.
ARTH. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with grief,
Being create for comfort, to be us'd
In undeserv'd extremes: See else yourself;
There is no malice in this burning coal;
The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out,
And strew'd repentant ashes on his head.
HUB. But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
ARTH. And if you do, you will but make it blush,
And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert:
Nay, it, perchance, will sparkle in your eyes;
And, like a dog that is compelled to fight,
Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on.
All things that you should use to do me wrong
Deny their office; only you do lack
That mercy which fierce fire and iron extends,
Creatures of note for mercy-lacking uses.
HUB. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine eyes
For all the treasure that thine uncle owes;
Yet I am sworn, and I did purpose, boy,
With this same very iron to burn them out.
ARTH. O, now you look like Hubert! all this while
You were disguised.
HUB. Peace: no more. Adieu;
Your uncle must not know but you are dead;
I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports.
And, pretty child, sleep doubtless, and secure,
That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world,
Will not offend thee.
ARTH. O heaven!--I thank you, Hubert.
HUB Silence; no more: Go closely in with me.
Much danger do I undergo for thee. [_Exeunt_
* * * * *
ROMEO AND JULIET.
ROMEO. He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
[JULIET _appears on the Balcony, and sits down._
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