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Oh, with what pride I used
To walk these hills, and look up to my God,
And bless him that the land was free. 'Twas free —
From end to end, from cliff to lake 'twas free !
Free as our torrents are that leap our rocks,
And plough our valleys, without asking leave !
Or as our peaks, that wear their caps of snow
In very presence of the regal sun !
How happy was it then ! I loved
Its very storms. Yes, I have sat
In my boat at night, when, midway o'er the lake,
The stars went out, and down the mountain gorge
The wind came roaring. I have sat and eyed
The thunder breaking from his cloud, and smiled
To see him shake his lightnings o’er my head,
And think I had no master save his own!
On yonder jutting cliff — o'ertaken there
By the mountain blast, I've laid me flat along,
And while gust followed gust more furiously,
As if to sweep me o'er the horrid brink,
And I have thought of other lands, whose storms
Are summer-flaws to those of mine, and just
Have wish'd me there — the thought that mine was free
Has check'd that wish, and I have raised my head,
And cried in thraldom to that furious wind,
Blow on! --- This is the land of liberty !
Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
My very noble, and approved 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 speech,
And little bless'd with the set phrase of peace ;
For, since these arms of mine had seven years' pith
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
Their dearest action in the tented field;
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broils and battle;
And therefore little shall I grace my cause
In speaking for myself. Yet, by your 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 charged withal)
I won his daughter with. —
Her father loved me; oft invited me;
Still question’d me the story of my life
From year to year; the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I have pass’d.
I ran it through, ev’n from my boyish days,
To th' 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 in th' imminent deadly breach ;
Of being taken by the insolent foe,
And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence,
And with it all my travel's history:
Wherein of antres vast, and deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heav'n,
It was my hint to speak. — All these 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 distinctively. 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 said, in truth, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange;
'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 me,
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 loved me for the dangers I had pass’d ;
And I loved her, that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have used.
SHYLOCK MEDITATING REVENGE.
If it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me of half a million ! laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated my enemies! And what's his reason ? I am a Jew! Hath not a Jew eyes ? Hath not a Jew hands ? organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions ? Is he not fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same summer and winter, as a Christian is? If you stab us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die ? and, if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that! If a Jew
wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example ? Why, Revenge! The villany you teach' me I will execute ; and it shall go hard, but I will better the instruction.
SOLILOQUY OF RICHARD III.
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds, that lower'd upon our house,
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths ;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass,
I, that am rudely stamp'd and want love's majesty,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph ;
I that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable,
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to see my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine own deformity :
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair, well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence, and the king,
In deadly hate the one against the other :
And, if king Edward be as true and just,
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up,
About a prophecy, which says — that G.
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul : here Clarence comes.
MARCELLUS SPEECH TO THE MOB.
WHEREFORE rejoice ? that Cæsar comes in triumph!
What conquest brings he home ?
What tributaries follow him to Rome ?
To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels ?
You blocks ! you stones ! you worse than senseless things !
Oh, you hard hearts ! you cruel men of Rome!
Knew ye not Pompey ? Many a time and oft
Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops —
Your infants in your arms -- and there have sat
The live-long day, with patient expectation,
To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome ?
And, when you saw his chariot but appear,
Have you not made an universal shout,
That Tiber trembled underneath his banks,