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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 wished. To die—to sleep-
To sleep!-perchance to dream!-ay, there's the rub;
For 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,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin ?4 Who would fardels5 bear,
To grunt6 and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,—
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns-puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all ;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
No more i.e. to die is no more than to sleep; this was Hamlet's first notion, which he afterwards corrects.
Coil-rope wound into a ring, hence, perhaps, from the noise made in coiling a rope-stir, murmur, tumult. " To shufflle off this mortal coil" is to get free from the entanglements and perplexities of life, or, in a secondary sense, from its busy stir.
Quietusma law term-final discharge, complete acquittance. 4 Bodkin a small sword. 5 Fardely-from the French fardeau, a parcel-burdens. 6 Grunt-lament loudly. This, and not groan, is the true reading.
? With this regard–i.e. from this view of the subject--in consequence of the check which conscience gives.
And dizzy 'tis to cast one's eyes so low!
The crows, and choughs, that wing the midway air,
Show scarce so gross as beetles : half-way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire_dreadful trade!
Methinks he seems no bigger than his head :
The fishermen, that walk upon the beach,
Appear like mice; and yon tall anchoring bark,
Diminished to her cock; her cock, a buoy,
Almost too small for sight: the murmuring surge,
That on the unnumbered idle pebbles chafes,
Cannot be heard so high :—I'll look no more,
Lest my brain turn, and the deficienta sight
Topple down headlong.
ANTONY'S FUNERAL ORATION OVER CÆSAR'S BODY.5
FRIENDS, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears !
I come to bury Cæsar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Cæsar! Noble Brutus
Hath told you Cæsar was ambitious;
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Cæsar answered it.
I “King Lear," Act iv, Scene 6.
These lines are generally considered as an actual description, but a reference to the connection in which they occur, will show that though suggested by the scenery of the Dover Cliffs, they only represent an imaginary picture. This consideration may serve to account for the discrepancy which is usually felt between the actual scene and this description.
Samphire-a plant used for pickling.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest-
For Brutus is an honourable man,
So are they all, all honourable men—
Come I to speak in Cæsar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me;
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill;
Did this in Cæsar seem ambitious ?
When that the poor have cried, Cæsar hath wept;
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.
Yet Brutus says, he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see, that, on the Lupercal,
I thrice presented him a kingly crown;
Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition ?
Yet Brutus says, he was ambitious ;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once—not without cause-
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him ?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason !—Bear with me;-
My heart is in the coffin there with Cæsar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.
But yesterday, the word of Cæsar might
Have stood against the world: now lies he there,
And none so poor to do him reverence.
O masters! if I were disposed to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honourable men:
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself, and you,
Than I will wrong such honourable men.
Lupercal-a spot at the foot of Mount Aventine, at Rome, where the Lupercalia, games commemorative of the founder of Rome, were annually celebrated. Perhaps “on the Lupercal” refers only to the day, and not to the place.
% None so poor, fc.-i. e. “the meanest man is now too high to do reverence to Cæsar:” Dr. Johnson.
But here's a parchment with the seal of Cæsar;
I found it in his closet, 'tis his will ;
Let but the commons' hear this testament
(Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read,)
And they would go and kiss dead Cæsar's wounds,
And dip their napkins in his sacred blood;
Yea, beg a hair of him, for memory,
And, dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it, as a rich legacy,
Unto their issue.
If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
You all do know this mantle; I remember
The first time ever Cæsar put it on-
"Twas on a summer's evening in his tent,
That day he overcame the Nervii-
Look! in this place ran Cassius' dagger through ;-
See what a rent the envious Casca made ;-
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabbed;
And as he plucked his cursed steel away
Mark how the blood of Cæsar followed it!
As rushing out of doors, to be resolved,
If Brutus so unkindly knocked, or no :
For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel:
Judge, O you gods ! how dearly Cæsar loved him;
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Cæsar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite vanquished him; then burst his mighty heart;
And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey's statua,
Which all the while ran blood,4 great Cæsar fell.
Oh, what a fall was there, my countrymen !
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourished 5 over us.
Oh, now you weep; and I perceive you feel
The dinto of pity: these are gracious drops.
| The commons—the common people or plebs Romana.
? To be resolved—to have the doubt resolved, to ascertain the point.
Statua—This word was once much used for statue.
All the while-i.e. “the blood of Cæsar flew upon the statue, and trickled down it:" Dr. Johnson.
5 Flourished—i. e. flourished or brandished the sword-triumphed. & Dint-mark, impression.
Kind souls! What! weep you when you but behold
Our Cæsar's vesture wounded ? Look
Here is himself, marred, as you see, with traitors.
Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
sudden flood of mutiny.
They that have done this deed are honourable :
What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,
That made them do it; they are wise and honourable,
And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts ;
I am no orator, as Brutus is;
But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man,
That love my
and that they know full well
That gave me public leave to speak of him.
For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
To stir men's blood; I only speak right on :
I tell you that which you yourselves do know ;
Show you sweet Cæsar's wounds, poor, poor dumb
And bid them speak for me: but were I Brutus,
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue
every wound of Cæsar, that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.
Related before the Senate of Venice.
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;
very head and front of my 'offending.
Hath this extent-no more. Rude am I in my speech,
And little blest with the soft phrase of peace;
There were, &c.—i.e. I would prove such an Antony as would ruffle, &c.
“Othello,” Act i, Scene 3. This simple and beautiful narrative affords many instances of the influence which Shakspere's phraseology has had upon our language.
His words and expressions, from their aptness and pithiness, have truly become “ household terms” amongst us, still keeping their sharp and fresh appearance, like ancient coins in high preservation.