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How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears; soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica; look how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold;
There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st,
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins;
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn :
With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear,
And draw her home with music.
Ham. Ay, marry is't:
But to my mind, though I am native here,
And to the manner born, it is a custom
More honoured in the breach than the observance.
This heavy-headed revel, east and west,
Makes us traduced and tax'd of other nations;
They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition; and, indeed, it takes
From our achievements, though perform'd at height,
The pith and marrow of our attribute.
So oft it chances in particular men,
That for some vicious mole of nature in them,
As in their birth, wherein they are not guilty,
Since nature cannot choose his origin,
By the o'ergrowth of some complexion,
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason;
Or by some habit, that too much o'erleavens
The form of plausive manners; that these men
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect,
Being nature's livery, or fortune's star,
Their virtues else, be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as man may undergo,
Shall in the general censure take corruption
From that particular fault. The dram of base
Doth all the noble substance often dout
To his own scandal.
Hor. Look, my lord, it comes !
Ham. Angels and ministers of grace defend us! Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd, Bring with thee airs from heav'n or blasts from hell, Be thy intents wicked or charitable, Thou com'st in such a questionable shape, That I will speak to thee. I'll call thee Hamlet, King, Father, Royal Dane; Oh, answer me; Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell Why thy canonis'd bones, hears'd in death, Have burst their cerements? Why the sepulchre, Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd, Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws, To cast thee up again? What may this mean, That thou, dead corse, again, in complete steel, Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon, Making night hideous, and we fools of nature, So horribly to shake our disposition With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls! Say, why is this? Wherefore? What should we do!
Hor. It beckons you to go away with it, As if it some impartment did desire To you alone.
Mar. Look, with what courteous action It waves you off to a removed ground: But do not go with it.
Hor. No, by no means.
Ham. It will not speak: then I will follow it.
Hor. Do not, my lord.
2d Cit. If thou consider rightly of the matter, Cæsar has had great wrong.
3d Cit. Has he, masters ? I fear there will a
Ham. Why, what should be the fear?
I do not set my life at a pin's fee;
And, for my soul, what can it do to that,
Being a thing immortal as itself?
He would not
It waves me forth again.-I'll follow it
Hor. What if it tempt you tow'rd the flood, my lord; Therefore, 'tis certain he was not ambitious.
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff,
1st Cit. If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
That beetles o'er his base into the sea;
2d Cit. Poor soul! his eyes are red as fire with
3d Cit. There's not a nobler man in Rome than
4th Cit. Now, mark him, he begins again to speak.
Ant. But yesterday, the word of Cæsar might
Have stood against the world; now lies he there,
And none so poor to do him reverence.
Oh, masters! if I were dispos'd to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honourable men.
I will not do them wrong: I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
Than I will wrong such honourable men.
But here's a parchment with the seal of Cæsar:
I found it in his closet; 'tis his will.
Let but the commons hear this testament
(Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read),
And they would go and kiss dead Cæsar's wounds,
And dip their napkins in his sacred blood;
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
And dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
Unto their issue.
And there assume some other horrible form,
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason,
And draw you into madness? Think of it.
The very place puts toys of desperation,
Without more motive, into every brain,
That looks so many fathoms to the sea,
And hears it roar beneath.
Ham. It waves me still.-Go on, I'll follow thee.
Mar. You shall not go, my lord.
Ham. Hold off your hands.
Mar. Be rul'd; you shall not go,
Ham. My fate cries out,
And makes each petty artery in this body
As hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve.
Still am I call'd. Unhand me, gentlemen-
[Breaking from them.
By heav'n, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me-
I say, away! Go on-I'll follow thee.
[Exeunt Ghost and Hamlet.
Hor. He waxes desperate with imagination.
Mar. Let's follow! "Tis not fit thus to obey him.
Hor. Have after. To what issue will this come?
Mar. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Hor. Heaven will direct it.
Mar. Nay, let's follow him.
I come to bury Cæsar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones:
So let it be with Cæsar. Noble Brutus
Hath told you Cæsar was ambitious;
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Cæsar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus, and the rest
(For Brutus is an honourable man,
So are they all, all honourable men),
Come I to speak in Cæsar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me;
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill.
Did this in Cæsar seem ambitious?
worse come in his place.
4th Cit. Mark'd ye his words?
take the crown;
When that the poor have cried, Cæsar hath wept;
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that, on the Lupercal,
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition!
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
[Mark Antony over Caesar's Body.]
Ant. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your It is not meet you know how Cæsar lov'd you.
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men ;
And, being men, hearing the will of Cæsar,
It will inflame you, it will make you mad.
"Tis good you know not that you are his heirs ;
For, if you should, Oh, what would come of it!
4th Cit. Read the will; we will hear it, Antony :
You shall read us the will; Cæsar's will!
Ant. Will you be patient? will you stay a while?
I have o'ershot myself, to tell you of it.
I fear I wrong the honourable men
Whose daggers have stabb'd Cæsar. I do fear it.
4th Cit. They were traitors. Honourable men!
All. The will! the testament !
4th Cit. We'll hear the will; read it, Mark Antony.
All. The will! the will! We will hear Caesar's
Ant. Have patience, gentle friends! I must not
2d Cit. They were villains, murderers! The will!
Read the will!
Ant. You will compel me, then, to read the will?
Then make a ring about the corpse of Cæsar,
And let me show you him that made the will.
Shall I descend? And will you give me leave?
All. Come down.
2d Cit. Descend. [He comes down from the pulpit.
3d Cit. You shall have leave.
4th Cit. A ring! Stand round!
1st Cit. Stand from the hearse, stand from the body.
2d Cit. Room for Antony-most noble Antony !
Ant. Nay, press not so upon me; stand far off.
All. Stand back! room! bear back!
The first time ever Cæsar put it on;
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke ;
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
Oh, judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason! Bear with me:
My heart is in the coffin there with Cæsar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.
"Twas on a summer's evening in his tent,
That day he overcame the Nervii.
Look! in this place ran Cassius' dagger through;
See, what a rent the envious Casca made!
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd;
1st Cit. Methinks there is much reason in his And, as he plucked his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Cæsar followed it!
Ant. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
You all do know this mantle. I remember
As rushing out of doors, to be resolv'd
If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no.
For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel;
Judge, Oh you gods! how dearly Cæsar lov'd him.
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Cæsar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite vanquish'd him; then burst his mighty heart:
And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey's statua,
Which all the while ran blood, great Cæsar fell.
Oh, what a fall was there, my countrymen !
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
Oh, now you weep; and I perceive you feel
The dint of pity: these are gracious drops.
Kind souls! What! weep you when you but behold
Our Cæsar's vesture wounded! Look you here!
Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, with traitors.
1st Cit. O piteous spectacle !
2d Cit. O noble Cæsar!
3d Cit. O woful day!
4th Cit. O traitors! villains!
1st Cit. O most bloody sight!
[Othello's Relation of his Courtship to the Senate.]
Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
My very noble and approv'd good masters;
That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter,
It is most true; true, I have married her;
The very head and front of my offending
Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
And little blest with the soft phrase of peace;
For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith,
Till now, some nine moons wasted, they have us'd
Their dearest action in the tented field;
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broil and battle;
And therefore shall I little grace my cause
In speaking for myself. Yet by your gracious patience
I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver
Of my whole course of love: what drugs, what charms,
What conjuration, and what mighty magic
(For such proceeding I am charg'd withal)
I won his daughter with.
Her father lov'd me, oft invited me ;
Still question'd me the story of my life,
From year to year; the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I have past.
I ran it through, ev'n from my boyish days,
To the very moment that he bade me tell it :
Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field;
Of hair-breadth 'scapes i' th' imminent deadly breach;
Of being taken by the insolent foe,
And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence,
And portance in my travel's history.
Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch
It was my lot to speak, such was the process;
And of the cannibals that each other eat,
The anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders. These things to hear
Would Desdemona seriously incline;
But still the house affairs would draw her thence;
Which ever as she could with haste despatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse: which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
But not intentively. I did consent,
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffer'd. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs;
She swore in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing
O then, I see queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
2d Cit. We will be reveng'd! Revenge! About-
seek-burn-fire-kill-slay! Let not a trai-Drawn with a team of little atomies,
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful
She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd
That heaven had made her such a man :-she thank'd
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story;
And that would woo her. On this hint I spake;
She lov'd me for the dangers I had pass'd,
And I lov'd her that she did pity them.
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep :
Her wagon-spokes made of long spinners' legs;
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;
The traces, of the smallest spider's web;
The collars, of the moonshine's wat'ry beams;
Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lash, of film;
Her wagoner, a small grey-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm,
Prick'd from the lazy finger of a maid:
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,
Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub,
Time out of mind the fairies' coach-makers,
And in this state she gallops night by night,
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;
On courtiers' knees, that dream on courtsies straight;
O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees;
O'er ladies' lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are.
Sometimes she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit:
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail,
Tickling a parson's nose as a' lies asleep,
Then dreams he of another benefice!
Sometimes she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then he dreams of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes;
And, being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two,
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night;
And bakes the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes.
Romeo and Juliet.
[End of All Earthly Glories.]
Our revels now are ended: these our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve;
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind! We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
[Life and Death Weighed.]
To be, or not to be, that is the question-
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them? To die-to sleep-
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to !-'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die-to sleep-
To sleep!-perchance to dream!-ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life:
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To groan and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death
(That undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns) puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not off?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment, With this regard, their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action.
[Fear of Death.]
Ay, but to die, and go we know not where ;
To lie in cold obstruction, and to rot;
This sensible warm motion to become
A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
In thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice;
To be imprison'd in the viewless winds,
And blown with restless violence round about
The pendant world; or to be worse than worst
Of those, that lawless and incertain thoughts
Imagine howling: 'tis too horrible!
The weariest and most loathed worldly life,
That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment,
Can lay on nature, is a paradise
To what we fear of death.
[Description of Ophelia's Drowning.]
There is a willow grows ascant the brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
There with fantastic garlands did she make,
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples
(That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them),
There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke,
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And, mermaid-like, a while they bore her up,
Which time she chaunted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element; but long it could not be, Till that her garments, heavy with their drink, Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay To muddy death.
Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
Wherein he puts alms for Oblivion,
A great-siz'd monster of ingratitudes :
Those scraps are good deeds past, which are devour'd
As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
As done. Perseverance, dear my lord,
Keeps honour bright to have done, is to hang
Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail,
For honour travels in a strait so narrow,
In monumental mockery. Take the instant way,
Where one but goes abreast: Keep, then, the path;
For Emulation hath a thousand sons,
That one by one pursue; if you give way,
Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,
Like to an enter'd tide, they all rush by,
And leave you hindmost.-
Or, like a gallant horse, fall'n in first rank,
Lie there for pavement to the abject rear,
O'er-run and trampled on : then what they do in pre-
Though less than yours in past, must o'ertop yours; For Time is like a fashionable host,
That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand,
And with his arms outstretch'd, as he would fly,
Grasps in the comer: Welcome ever smiles,
And Farewell goes out sighing. O! let not Virtue
Remuneration for the thing it was; for beauty, wit,
High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service,
Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
To envious and calumniating Time.
[The Deceit of Ornament or Appearances.]
The world is still deceiv'd with ornament.
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
But being season'd with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil? In religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it, and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple, but assumes
Some mark of virtue on its outward parts.
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false
As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars;
Who, inward search'd, have livers white as milk!
And these assume but valour's excrement,
To render them redoubted. Look on beauty,
And you shall see 'tis purchas'd by the weight,
Which therein works a miracle in nature,
Making them lightest that wear most of it.
So are those crisped, snaky, golden locks,
Which make such wanton gambols with the wind
Upon supposed fairness; often known
To be the dowry of a second head,
The skull that bred them in the sepulchre.
Thus ornament is but the gilded shore
To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf
Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word,
The seeming truth which cunning times put on
T'entrap the wisest: therefore, thou gaudy gold,
Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee:
Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge "Tween man and man: but thou, thou meagre
lead, Which rather threaten'st than dost promise aught, Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence, And here choose I; joy be the consequence. Merchant of Venice.
The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.
"Tis mightiest in the mightiest ; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal pow'r,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above the sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likeɛt God's,
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this-
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.
Merchant of Venice.
Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court!
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The season's difference; as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind;
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say,
This is no flattery; these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head:
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.
I would not change it!
The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll,
[Solitude preferred to a Court Life, and the Advantages And the third hour of drowsy morning name.
Proud of their numbers and secure in soul,
The confident and over-lusty French
For the low-rated English play at dice,
And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night,
Who, like a foul and ugly witch, does limp
So tediously away. The poor condemned English,
Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires
Sit patiently, and inly ruminate
The morning's danger: and their gesture sad
(Investing lank lean cheeks and war-worn coats)
Presenteth them unto the gazing moon
So many horrid ghosts. O, now, who will behold
The royal captain of this ruin'd band,
Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,
Let him cry praise and glory on his head!
For forth he goes, and visits all his host,
Bids them good-morrow with a modest smile,
And calls them brothers, friends, and countrymen.
Upon his royal face there is no note
How dread an army hath enrounded him;
Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour
Unto the weary and all-watched night;
But freshly looks, and overbears attaint,
With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty ;
That ev'ry wretch, pining and pale before,
Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks.
A largess universal, like the sun,
His liberal eye doth give to every one,
Thawing cold fear.
Amiens. Happy is your grace,
That can translate the stubbornness of fortune
Into so quiet and so sweet a style!
[The World Compared to a Stage.]
Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy-
This wide and universal theatre
Presents more woful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play.
Jaques. All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in his nurse's arms:
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress' eye-brow. Then, the soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel;
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with good capon lined,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side;
His youthful hose well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shanks; and his big manly voice,
Turning again towards childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion:
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
As You Like It.
[Description of Night in a Camp.]
From camp to camp, thro' the foul womb of night,
The hum of either army stilly sounds,
That the fix'd sentinels almost receive
The secret whispers of each other's watch.
Fire answers fire; and through their paly flames,
Each battle sees the other's umber'd face.
Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs,
Piercing the night's dull ear; and from the tents,
The armourers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation.
[The Blessings of a Shepherd's Life.]
O God! methinks it were a happy life
To be no better than a homely swain;
To sit upon a hill, as I do now,
To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes how they run:
How many make the hour full complete,
How many hours bring about the day,
How many days will finish up the year,
How many years a mortal man may live.
When this is known, then to divide the times:
So many hours must I tend my flock;
So many hours must I take my rest;
So many hours must I contemplate;
So many hours must I sport myself;
So many days my ewes have been with young;
So many weeks ere the poor fools will yean;
So many years ere I shall shear the fleece: