« AnteriorContinuar »
And in the ealmest and the stillest night,
X.--Capt. Bobadil's Method of defeating an Army.——
EVERY MAN IN HIS HUMOR.
WILL tell you, Sir, by the way of private and under seal, I am a gentleman; and live here obscure, and to myself; but were I known to his Majesty and the Lords, observe me, I would undertake, upon this poor head and live, for the public benefit of the state, not only to spare the entire lives of his subjects in general, but to save the one half, nay three fourths of his yearly charge in holding war, and against what enemy seever. And how would I do it, think you? Why thus, Sir.-I would select nineteen more to myself, throughout the land; gentlemen they should be; of good spirit, strong and able constitution. I would choose them by an instinct that I have. And I would teach these nineteen the special rules; as your Punto, your Reverso, your Stoccata, your Imbroccata, your Passada; your Montonso; till they could all play very near, or altogether as well as myself. This done; say the enemy were forty thousand strong. We twenty would come into the field, the tenth of March, or thereabouts, and we would challenge twenty of the enemy; they could not, in their honor, refuse us. Well--we would kill them; challenge twenty more- -kill them; twenty more-kill them; twenty more-kill them too. And thus, would we kill, every man his ten a day--that's ten score: Ten score---that's two hundred; two hundred a day---five days, a thousand: Forty thousand-forty times five---five times forty---two hundred days kill them all up by computation. And this I will venture my poor gentlemanly carcase to perform (provided there be no treason practised upon us) by fair and discreet manhood; that is, civilly---by the sword.
XI-Soliloquy of Hamlet's Uncle, on the Murder of his Brother.--TRAGEDY OF HAMLET.
H! my offence is rank; it smells to heaven;
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent:
Or pardon'd being down? Then I'll look up. My fault is past. But, Oh! What form of prayer Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder, That cannot be, since I am still possess'd Of those effects for which I did the murderMy crown, my own ambition, and my queen. May one be pardon'd, and retain th' offence? In the corrupted currents of this world, Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice: And oft 'tis seen, the wicked prize itself Buys out the laws. But 'tis not so above. There is no shuffling-there the action lies In its true nature, and we ourselves compell'd E'en to the teeth and forehead of our faults, To give in evidence. What then? What rests? Try what repentance can. What can it not? Yet what can it, when one cannot repent? Oh, wretched state! Oh, bosom black as death! Oh, limed soul, that, struggling to be free, Art more engag'd! Help, angels! make assay! Bow stubborn knees-and, heart, with strings of steel, Be soft, as sinews of the new-born babe!
All may be well.
XII. Soliloquy of Hamlet on Death.---IB. or not to be that is the question;
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The flings and arrows of outrageous fortuneOr to take arms against a sea of trouble; 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 sleepTo sleep, perchance to dream- ay, there's the rubFor, 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,
That patient merit of the unworthy takes-
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
XIII.Falstaff's encomium on Sack.---HENRY IV.
GOOD sherris sack hath a twofold operation in it. It ascends me into the brain; dries me there, all the foolish, dull and crudy vapors which environ it: makes it apprehensive, quick, inventive; full of nimble, fiery and delectable shapes; which delivered over to the voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit. The second property of your excellent sherris, is, the warming of the blood; which, before, cold and settled, left the liver white and pale, which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice. But the sherris warms it, and makes it course from the inwards to the parts extreme. It illuminateth the face; which, as a beacon, gives warning to all the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then, the vital commoners, and inland petty spirits, muster me all to their captain, the heart; who, great and puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of courage---and this valor comes of sherris. So that skill in the weapon is nothing without sack, for that sets it awork; and learning a mere hoard of gold kept by a devil till sack commences it, and sets it in act and use.--Hereof comes it that Prince Harry is valiant; for the cold blood he did naturally inherit of his father, he bath, like lean, sterile and bare land, manured, husbanded and tilled, with drinking good, and good store of fertile sher
ris. If I had a thousand sons, the first human principle I would teach them, should be to forswear thin potations, and to addict themselves to sack.
XIV.-Prologue to the Tragedy of Cato.--POPE.
To make mankind in conscious virtue bold,
Britons attend. Be worth like this approv'd:
Such plays alone should please a British ear,
XV.-Cato's Soliloquy on the Immortality of the Soul.—
T must be so-Plato thou reasonest well!
This longing after immortality?
Or, Whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
[Laying his hand on his sword.
Thus I am doubly arm'd. My death and life,
XVI.-Speech of Henry V. to his Soldiers at the Siege of Harfleur.-SHAKESPEARE'S HENRY V.
NCE more unto this breach, dear friends once more,
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
But wheu the blast of war blows in our ears,