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The king of Denmark 's múrdered by his brother;
The brother dons his crown, marries his widow;
No one suspects the deed, till at deep midnight
The ghost, in suit complete of burnished steel,
From purgatory comes and fires sulphureous
To tell his son, young Hamlet, the whole story,
And rouse his youthful blood to similar deed.
The prince falls into a mighty, towering passion,
And hates mankind, and wishes he was dead,
And damns his uncle, and will surely kill him,
Not at his prayers, for not to heaven he'd send him,
Bút in the midst of some unfinished lust
Fall on him and direct to hell despatch him.
Slow on the hot resolve follows the deed
Límping, for wisely thus the youth bethinks him:
“Hów, if my wicked uncle kill me first,
Mé ere I hím ? where then were my revenge,
The credit and the glory of this deed,
The duty to my parent and my parent's
Unhappy ghost, my piety toward heaven,
- The example to the world, and to my mother
The lash of scorpions, wielded by her son ?
For 've no son to whom if I were murdered
Mý ghost might come to hie him on to murder
My murderer; and if I had such son,
How can I know he would believe my ghost?
Which gives me room to think: what if this ghost
I saw last night were not my father's ghost,
But some malignant spirit sent from hell
With lies to tempt me to my uncle's murder.
So charily, good Hamlet; softly tread;
Tést the ghost's tále, and take care of thy head.
And so most careful cautious of his head
Hámlet goes mad, for kings suspect not madmen,
And many a wise and many a mad thing says,
Wise at this moment, raving mad the next;
And, lighting by good fortune on a pack
Of strolling players, sets about to teach them
With such consummate skill their proper art
That you are tempted to accuse dame Nature
Of having by some blunder made a king's son,
When she had taken in hand to make a player.
Pláywriter, next, and manager become,
The versatile youth into his players' play
Intércalates the scene of his father's murder.
The uncle blenches; the ghost's credit 's stamped;
But, láck a day! the unlucky birdcatcher,
Júst as he thinks he has but to bag his bird,
Falls into his own springe and is bagged himself,
And off to England à la Bellerophon packed;
But not before in one of his feigned fits
He has killed his truelove's, sweet Ophelia's, father,
Táking him for the king, and her chaste ear,
His own Ophelia's innocent, chaste ear,
With ribaldry polluted and audacious,
Counterfeit madness, till he drives her mad,
And in a pond, poor soul! she drowns herself,
Singing lorn ditties, and one true heart adds
Tó the long count of trué hearts cracked by love.
Meantime not idly in his cabin chewing
The tedium of his voyage sits young Hamlet,
But, seizing occupation pat at hand,
The seal breaks of his uncle's missives – reads,
Ånd to the deep consigns, his own death - warrant,
And with a reády, fair, and clerklike hand,
Fór he 's a clérk too, writes out the death - warrant
Of his escort, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern;
Fórges the king's sign manual, and affixes
The royal seal; and, having scarce taken time
To palm upon his escort the forged packet,
Jumps into a boarding pirate and is carried
Sólus to Denmark back; bidding God speed
And safe return home, to the two brave youths,
The interesting Danish Siamese twins,
Good Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern,
Who, holding on their voyage, and delivering
To England's majesty the fraternal missives,
By England's majesty have their heads instanter
And without further ceremony chopped off -
Hurráh for England! more power to thee, Hamlet!
The first act of our story with a ghost,
A grisly ghost, began; come with me now,
Kind reader, that is if thou 'rt not afraid,
Ínto a churchyard where good Christians lie
Waiting the final trump to rise to glory.
Hére in his splenetic mood arrives young Hamlet,
And standing on the edge of the deep grave
That 's waiting for his injured, sweet Ophelia,
Begins to crack jokes with the base grave - diggers,
Make puns, say witty things, and moralize
At the expense of frail humanity's relics,
Till the corpse comes; then down into the grave
Leaps in the desperation of his sorrow,
And, collared on the coffin by the brother,
Blusters and tugs and spouts and wrestles hard
Till the crowd come between and part the mourners.
Adjourn we now to royal palace-hall,
And gay assembly met to adjudge the prize
To him who best knows how to wield the small sword,
Ophelia's brother, practised well in France,
Ór our dear néphew, all-accomplished Hamlet.
Look sharp now to thyself, thou that wouldst kill
With thine own hand thine uncle; for there 's poison
Upon thine adversary's rapier point;
And if, victorious, thou escape the point,
A poisoned chalice stands by to refresh thee.
- what is this already? in the name
Of heaven, and of the ghost and thy revenge,
Thy wisdom and thy mumming and thy madness,
The bloody arras, sweet Ophelia's pond,
And the two heads of thy once College friends,
Lopped off instead of thine by courteous England,
What 's this I see already? not thine uncle's
But thine own blood upon a poisoned rapier
And streaming down thy doublet: make haste, Hamlet; -
And there thy mother drinks death from the cup
For thee no longer necessary, who
Hast but five minutes' life — make háste, and wrest
Out of thy murderer's hand the poisoned point,
And turn it on him ; bravo! now thine uncle;
Bravo again! 'twere pity thou 'dst forgot him.
And now die happy; thou 'st at last achieved
This most magnanimous, meritorious deed;
And though, plain truth to tell, a little slowly,
And somewhat in the manner of a thing
A while forgotten then remembered sudden,
Yet with so little risk to thine own bones,
Béing thyself already in those clutches
Which from all further earthly harm protect,
I own thou 'st put me into a sort of puzzle
Which crówn first tó award thee; of hot valor,
ór of hot válor's base antipodes,
Sneáking discretion; I 'll e'en home and sleep on 't.
Meanwhile, inexplicable, unintelligible
Compound of incongruities, Good night.
DALKEY LODGE, DALKEY (IRELAND); April 28, 1855.
Brave, courteous, handsome, clever, gallant Romeo
With all his heart and soul loves Rosaline;
She is the pólestar of his longing eyes,
The haven of his hopes and aspirations,
His dream by day, his vision all the night,
The book in which he reads perpetually
The loveliness and excellence of woman.
Being fond of pleasure this same Romeo goes
A-masking to the house of Capulet,
Where for a Montague to be seen is death,
So hot the feud between the two old races,
And falls slapdash o'er head and ears in love
With fourteen-year-old Juliet, the host's daughter,
Whó with like passionate suddenness on him
Doáts on the instant, seeing behind his visor
The properest, fairest, and discreetest man,