Page images
PDF
EPUB

Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings,
You heavenly guards! What would your gracious

figure

I am thy father's spirit ;
Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night;
And, for the day, confin’d to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature,
Are burnt and purg'd away.

But, soft! methinks I scent the morning air;
Brief let me be.

My hour is almost come, When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames Must render up myself.

Blood hath been shed ere now, i' the olden time,
Ere human statute purg'd the gentle weal ;
Ay, and since, too, murders have been perform'd
Too terrible for the ear: the times have been,
That, when the brains were out, the man would die,
And there an end : but now, they rise again,
With twenty mortal murders on their crowns,
And push us from our stools : This is more strange
Than such a murder is.

Shew his eyes, and grieve his heart;
Come like shadows, so depart.
Thou canst not say, I did it : never shake
Thy gory locks at me.

Avaunt! and quit my sight ! Let the earth hide thee!
Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold;
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which thou dost glare with !

92

GHOST.

.-GIFTS.GLUTTONY.

Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too,-
If charnel-houses, and our graves, must send
Those that we bury, back, our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites.

Glendower. I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Hotspur. Why, so can I, or so can any man : But will they come when you do call for them ?

GIFTS.

Win her with gifts, if she respect not words ;
Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind,
More quick than words, do move a woman's mind.
Wear this for me; one out of suits with fortune ;
That could give more, but that her hand lacks means.
She prizes not such trifles as these are :
The gifts, she looks from me, are pack'd and lock'd
Up in my heart; which I have given already,
But not deliver'd.

Hamlet. I never gave you aught.

Ophelia. My honour'd lord, you know right well, And, with them, words of so sweet breath compos'd As made the things more rich: their perfume lost, Take these again; for to the noble mind Rich gifts wax poor, when givers prove unkind.

you did;

GLUTTONY.

Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits
Make rich the ribs, but bank’rout quite the wits.
Meke less thy body, hence, and more thy grace :
Leave gormandizing.

GOLD.

Tis gold

Which buys admittance ; oft it doth; yea, and makes
Diana's rangers false themselves, yield up
Their deer to the stand o' the stealer : and 'tis gold
Which makes the true man kill'd, and saves the thief;
Nay, sometime, hangs both thief and true man: What
Can it not do, and undo?
O thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce
Twixt natural son and sire ! thou bright defiler
Of hymen's purest bed! thou valiant Mars !
Thou ever young, fresh, lov'd, and delicate wooer,
Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow
That lies on Dian's lap! thou visible god,
That solder'st close impossibilities,
And mak’st them kiss ! that speak’st with every tongue,
To every purpose !

Why this
Will lug your priests and servants from your sides;
Pluck stout men's pillows from below their heads :
This yellow slave
Will knit and break religions ; bless the accurs’d;
Make the hoar leprosy ador'd; place thieves,
And give them title, knee, and approbation,
With senators on the bench.

This is it, That makes the wappen'd widow wed again ; She, whom the spital-house and ulcerous sores Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices To the April day again. For this, the foolish over-careful fathers Have broke their sleep with thoughts, their brains

with care, Their bones with industry.

That broker, that still breaks the pate of faith ;
That daily break-vow; he that wins of all,
Of kings, of beggars, old men, young men, maids ;-
Who having no external thing to lose
But the word maid, --cheats the poor maid of that.
There is thy gold ; worse poison to men's souls,
Doing more murders in this loathsome world,
Than these poor compounds that thou may'st not sell:
I sell thee poison, Thou hast sold me none.

How quickly nature Falls to revolt, when gold becomes her object !

O, I

cry your mercy : There is my purse, to cure that blow of thine.

GRATITUDE.

I have five hundred crowns, The thrifty hire I sav'd under your father, Which I did store, to be my

foster

nurse,
When service should in my old limbs lie lame
And unregarded age in corners thrown ;
Take that: and he that doth the ravens feed,
Yea, providently caters for the sparrow,
Be comfort to my age

!

GREATNESS.

O place and greatness, millions of false eyes
Are stuck upon thee! volumes of report
Run with these false and most contrarious quests
Upon thy doings ! thousand 'scapes of wit
Make thee the father of their idle dream,
And rack thee in their fancies.

O place ! O form!
How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit,
Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wiser souls
To thy false seeming.

0, be sick, great Greatness,
And bid thy ceremony give thee cure !
Think'st thou, the fiery fever will
With titles blown from adulation ?
Will it give place to flexure and low bending?
Can'st thou, when thou command'st the beggar's knee,
Command the health of it?

go out

O hard condition ! and twin-born with greatness,
Subjected to the breath of ev'ry fool,
Whose sense no more can feel but his own wringing !
What infinite heart's ease must kings neglect,
That private men enjoy ! and what have kings
That privates have not too, save ceremony?

O, it is excellent
To have a giant's strength : but it is tyrannous,
To use it like a giant.
Great men may jest with saints : 'tis wit in them ;
But, in the less, foul profanation.
That in the captain's but a choleric word,
Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.

Why, man,

he doth bestride the narrow world, Like a Colossus ; and we petty men Walk under his huge legs, and peep

about To find ourselves dishonourable graves.

This man

Is now become a god; and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his bcdy,
If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.

« PreviousContinue »