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Their music frightful as the serpent's hiss,
And boding screech-owls make the concert full!
All the foul terrors in dark-seated hell! -Henry VI.
O Hope! sweet flatterer, whose delusive touch
Sheds on afflicted minds the balm of comfort;
Relieves the load of poverty ; sustains
The captive bending with the weight of bonds,
And smooths the pillow of disease and pain;
Send back the exploring messenger with joy,
And let me hail thee from that friendly grove.-Glover's Boadicea.
Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle:
I am no traitor's uncle; and that word, grace,
In an ungracious mouth, is but profane.
Why have those banished and forbidden legs
Dared once to touch a dust of England's ground?
But then, more why, --why have they dared to march
So many miles upon her peaceful bosom,
Frighting her pale-faced villages with war,
And ostentation of despised arms?
Coms't thou because th' anointed King is hence ?
Why, foolish boy, the King is left behind,
And in my loyal bosom lies his power.
Were I but now the lord of such hot youth,
As when, brave Gaunt, thy father, and myself,
Rescued the Black Prince, that young Mars' of men,
From forth the ranks of many thousand French,
0, then, how quickly should this arm of mine,
Now prisoner to the palsy, chastise thee,
And minister correction to thy faults ! - Richard II.
0, I could play the woman with mine eyes,
And braggart with my tongue. — But, gentle Heavens,
Cut short all intermission ; front to front,
Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself;
Within my sword's length set him ; if he 'scape,
Heaven forgive him too!- Macbeth.
Alive! in triumph! and Mercutio slain!
Away to Heaven, respective lenity,
And fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now!
Now, Tybalt, take the villain back again,
That late thou gav'st me; for Mercutio's soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company:
And thou, or I, or both, must go with him.--- Romeo and Juliet.
REPROACH WITH WANT OF MANLINESS.
0, proper stuff!
This is the very painting of your fear:
This is the air-drawn dagger which, you said,
Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts
(Impostors to true fear) would well become
A woman's story at a winter's fire,
Authoriz'd by her grandam. Shame itself!
Why do you make such faces ? When all's done,
You look but on a stool.-Macbeth,
TERROR BEFORE DREADFUL ACTIONS DESCRIBED
Between the acting of a dreadful thing,
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream :
The Genius, aud the mortal instruments,
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection. -Julius Cæsar.
HORROR AT A DREADFUL APPARITION.
How ill this taper burns! -Ha! who comes here?
I think it is the weakness of mine eyes
That shapes this monstrous apparition.
It comes upon me.
-Art thou any thing?
Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil,
That mak’st my blood cold, and my hair to stare?
Speak to me, what thou art.-- Julius Cæsar.
Seems, madam! nay, it is ; I know not seems
'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected 'haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, modes, shows of grief,
That can denote me truly: these, indeed, seem,
For they are actions that a man might play;
But I have that within, which passeth show;
These but the trappings and suits of wo.- - Hamlet.
FEAR OF BEING DISCOVERED A MURDERER.
Alack! I am afraid they have awak’d,
And 'tis not done:—thattempt, and not the deed,
Confounds us.—Hark! I laid their daggers ready;
He could not miss 'em.- Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done't.--Macbeth.
GRIEF CHOKING EXPRESSION.
Macd. My children too?
Rosse. Wife, children, servants, all that could be found.
Macd. And I must be from thence! My wife kill'd, too?
Rosse. I have said.
Mal. Be comforted :
Let's make us med'cines of our great revenge,
To cure this deadly grief.
Macd. He has no children.--All my pretty ones ?
Did you say all?-0, hell-kite ! --All?.
What, all my pretty chickens and their dam
At one fell swoop?
Mal. Dispute it like a man.
Macd. I shall do 80 ;
But I must also feel it as a man:
I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most precious to me.- Did Heaven look on,
And would not take their part ? Sinful Macduff!
They were all struck for thee. Naught that I am!
Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
Fell slaughter on their souls.- Macbeth.
BOASTING INDIGNANT CHALLENGE.
'Swounds! show me what thou'lt do:
Woul't weep? woul't fight? woul't fast? woul't tear thyself?
I'll do 't. — Dost thou come here to whine ?
To outface me with leaping in her grave ? ,
Be buried quick with her, and so will I:
And, if thou prate of mountains, let them throw
Millions of acres on us, till our ground,
Singeing his pate against the burning zone,
Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou'lt mouth,
I'll rant as well as thou.- Hamlet.
VEXATION AT NEGLECTING ONE'S DUTY
0, what a rogue and peasant slave am I !
Is it not monstrous, that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit,
That, from her working, all his visage wann'd;
Tears in his eyes, distraction in 's aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing !
For Hecuba ?
What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her ? - Hamlet. .
Shakespeare has most exquisitely touched this fearful situation of human nature, when he draws Cardinal Beaufort, after a wicked life, dying in despair, and terrified with the murder of Duke Humphrey, to which he was accessory
K. Hen. How fares my lord ? speak, Beaufort, to thy sovereign
Car. If thou be'st Death, I'll give thee England's treasure,
Enough to purchase such another island,
So thou wilt let me live and feel no pain.
K. Hen. Ah, what a sign it is of evil life,
Where death's approach is seen so terrible!
War. Beaufort, it is thy sovereign speaks to thee.
Car. Bring me unto my trial when you will. .
Died he not in his bed? Where should he die?
Can I make men live, whe'r they will or no?
0, torture me no more! I will confess.-
Alive again ? then show me where he is;
I'll give a thousand pounds to look upon him;
He hath no eyes, the dust hath blinded them.
Comb down his hair: look! look! it stands upright,
Like lime-twigs set to catch my winged soul.-
Give me some drink; and bid the apothecary
Bring the strong poison that I bought of him.
K. Fen. O, thou Eternal Mover of the Heavens,
Look with a gentle eye upon this wretch!
0, beat away the busy meddling fiend,
That lays strong siege unto this wretch's soul,
And from his bosom purge this black despair.
War. See how the pangs of death do make him grin.
Sal. Disturb him not, let him pass peaceably.
K. Hen, Peace to his soul, if God's good pleasure be.
Lord Card'nal, if thou think'st on Heaven's bliss,
Hold up thy hand, make signal of thy hope.--
He dies, and makes no sign. O God, forgive him !
- 2d part Henry VI.
The bare situation of the characters, the pause, and the few plain words of King Henry, “ He dies, and makes no sign !” have more of the real sublime in them, than volumes of the labored speeches in most of our modern tragedies, which, in the emphatical language of Shakespeare, may be said to be - full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
For envy, yet, with jealous leer malign,
Eyed them askance, and to himself thus plain’d.
Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two,
Imparadised in one another's arms,
The happier Eden, shall enjoy their fill
Of bliss on bliss; while I to hell am thrust,
Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire,
Among our other torments not the least,
Still unfulfill’d with pain of longing pines.- Paradise Lost.
ENVY AMOUNTING TO HATRED.
How like a fawning publican he looks !