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LESSON LIX. Scene — Hamlet and his Mother. — SHAKSPEARE. [The father of Hamlet was King of Denmark, and was murdered by his own brother, who, within a short time after the murder, married Hamlet's mother. The ghost of Hamlet's father had in a previous scene informed his son of his uncle's guilt, and exhorted him to avenge the murder. Hamlet, doubtful of the relation of the ghost, and fearful that it might be only the tale of a wicked spirit, laid a plot to convince himself of his uncle's participation in the murder ; and the following scene occurs after the successful issue of the plot, and he becomes fully convinced that his uncle was the murderer of his father.]
Hamlet. Now, mother, what's the matter ?
Hamlet. No, by the rood, not so :
Queen. Nay, then I'll set those to you that can speak.
budge. You go not till I set you up a glass Where you may see the inmost part of you.
Queen. What wilt thou do? - thou wilt not murder me? Hamlet. Leave wringing of your hands : peace; sit you
down, And let me wring your heart : for so I shall, If it be made of penetrable stuff; If dam'ned custom have not brazed it so, That it is proof and bulwark against sense. Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'st wag thy
Hamlet. Such an act,
As from the body of contraction plucks
Queen. Ay me! what act,
Hamlet. Look here, upon this picture, and on this;
Queen. 0 Hamlet, speak no more!
Hamlet. A murderer and a villain :
Save me and hover o'er me with your wings,
Queen. Alas, he's mad!
Hamlet. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
Ghost. Do not forget : this visitation
Hamlet. How is it with you, lady ?
Queen. Alas! how is 't with you,
Hamlet. On him! on him! Look you, how pale he glares'
Queen. To whom do you speak this ?
Hamlet. Why, look you there ! look, how it steals away!
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
Queen. O, Hamlet! thou hast cleft my heart in twain.
Hamlet. O, throw away the worser part of it,
LESSON LX. Satire on Pretended Philosophers and Projectors. — Swift.*
[In the description of his fancied Academy of Lagado, in Gulliver's Travels, Swift ridicules those quack pretenders to science and knavish projectors who were so common in his day, and whose schemes sometimes led to ruinous and distressing consequences.]
1. I was received very kindly by the warden, and went for many days to the academy. Every room hath in it one or more projectors, and I believe I could not be in fewer than five hundred rooms.
2. The first man I saw was of a meager aspect, with sooty hands and face, his hair and beard long, ragged, and singed in several places. His clothes, shirt, and skin, were all of the same color. He had been eight years upon a project for extracting sun-beams out of cucumbers, which were to be put into vials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw, inclement summers.
3. He told me he did not doubt, in eight years more, that he should be able to supply the governor's gardens with sunshine at a reasonable rate; but he complained that his stock was low, and entreated me to give him something as an en• couragement to ingenuity, especially since this had been a very dear season for cucumbers.
* Dr. Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick's, and one of the keenest satirists of any age, was born in 1667, and died in 1745. In his most celebrated work, "Gulliver's Travels,' he keenly satirizes the propensity of travelers to tell marvelous stories, while, at the same time, he throws a sweeping lash at the follies and extravagances of mankind in general.
4. I made him a small present, for my lord had furnished me with money on purpose, because he knew their practice of begging from all who go to see them. I saw another at work to calcine ice into gunpowder, who likewise showed me a treatise he had written concerning the malleability of fire, which he intended to publish.
5. There was a most ingenious architect, who had contrived a new method for building houses, by beginning at the roof, and working downwards to the foundation ; which he justified to me by the like practice of those two prudent insects, the bee and the spider.
6. In another apartment I was highly pleased with a projector who had found a device of plowing the ground with hogs, to save the charges of plows, cattle, and labor. The method is this : in an acre of ground, you bury, at six inches distance, and eight deep, a quantity of 'acorns, dates, chestnuts, and other masts or vegetables, whereof these animals are fondest; then you drive six hundred or more of them into the field, where in a few days they will root up the whole ground in search of their food, and make it fit for sowing, at the same time manuring it.
7. It is true, upon experiment, they found the charge and trouble very great, and they had little or no crop. However, it is not doubted that this invention may be capable of great improvement. I went into another room, where the walls and ceiling were all hung round with cobwebs, except a narrow passage for the artist to go in and out.
8. At my entrance, he called aloud to me not to disturb his webs. He lamented the fatal mistake the world had been so long in, of using silk-worms, while we had such plenty of domestic insects, who infinitely excelled the former, because they understood how to weave as well as spin. And he proposed further, that, by employing spiders, the charge of dyeing silks would be wholly saved; whereof I was fully convinced when he showed me a vast number of flies most beautifully colored, wherewith he fed his spiders, assuring us that the webs would take a tincture from them; and as he had them of all hues, he hoped to fit everybody's fancy, as soon as he could find proper food for the flies, of certain gums, oils, and other glutinous matter, to give a strength and consistence to the threads.
9. There was an astronomer who had undertaken to place