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1 0 I have pass'd a miserable night, So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights, That, as I am a Christian faithful man, I would not spend another such a night, Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days; So full of dismal terror was the time. Methought, that I had broken from the Tower, And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy ; And, in my company, my brother Gloster : Who from my cabin tempted me to walk Upon the hatches; thence we look'd toward England, And cited up a thousand heavy times, During the wars of York and Lancaster That had befall'n us. As we paced along Upon the giddy footing of the hatches, Methought, that Gloster stumbled; and, in falling, Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard, Into the tumbling billows of the main. 0! methought, what pain it was to drown! What dreadful noise of water in mine ears ! What sights of ugly death within mine eyes! Methought, I saw a thousand fearful wrecks, A thousand men, that fishes gnaw'd upon; Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl, Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels, All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea : Some lay in dead men's skulls; and, in those holes Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept (As 'twere in scorn of eyes) reflecting gems, That woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep, And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by....
Often did I strive To yield the ghost : but still the envious flood Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth To seek the empty, vast, and wand'ring air; But smother'd it within my panting bulk, Which almost burst to belch it in the sea. O, then began the tempest to my soul ! I passed, methought, the melancholy flood, With that grim ferryman which poets write of, Unto the kingdom of perpetual night. The first that there did greet my stranger soul, Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick; Who cried aloud,- What scourge for perjury Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence ? And so he vanish'd: Then came wand'ring by A shadow like an angel, with bright hair Dabbled in blood; and, he shriek'd out aloud, Clarence is come,-false, fleeting, perjured Clarence, That stabb'd me in the field by Tewksbury ;Seize on him, furies, take him to your torments ! With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends Environ'd me, and howled in mine ears Such hideous cries, that, with the very noise, I trembling waked, and, for a season after, Could not believe but that I was in hell; Such terrible impression made my dream.
I have done these things, That now give evidence against my soul. 24-i. 4.
3 Compunctious visitings of nature.
This is finely illustrated by the state of Macbeth just before he murdered Duncan.
But he, his own affections' counsellor,