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Ham. If it assume my noble father's person,
I'll speak to it, though earth itself should gape,
And bid me hold my peace.
It can hardly be too frequently impressed on the mind of the learner, that when the style of a writer is very suggestive, when his glimpses of character are very significant, when his expressions have reference to something presupposed to something unsaid, the true idea will not be developed by what is said independently of the manner in which it is said.
When the above dialogue is read, if the pupil should be allowed to utter the phrase, "Very like, very like," as if it were merely an assent to the declaration "It would have much amazed you," — the idea intended to be conveyed by the writer will not be expressed. — Hamlet suspected that his father had been murdered, and when Horatio detailed to him the circumstances respecting the appearance of the ghost, he became distressed and agitated, and said—“Indeed, indeed, sir, but this troubles me.”He then makes anxious and earnest inquiry relative to the dress, looks, and appearance of the ghost and learning that it resembled his father in every particular-that its countenance was pale and sorrowful, he must have been overpowered by the force of his feelings—and oppressed with the weignt of filial distress, he utters the words -"I would I had been there!"— in the manner of a soliloquy; and then pausing a moment, as one in deep thought, and without looking at Horatio, or even regarding the words "It would have much amazed you" — he gives utterance to the painful conviction that his father had been murdered, in the exclamation "Very like”—then after a moment's delay occasioned by the agony of his feelings, he reiterates the exclamation-"Very like "with increased force of expression. He then turns to Horatio, and with a suitable transition of voice —a tone indicating tenderness, grief, and sorrow, says, 11 "Staid it long?". It is conceded that the attitude of the reader and the cast of his countenance will aid somewhat in giving a full and vivid expression to the sentiment in this case; still, unless he fully understand such elocutionary principles as are arranged and illustrated in the Practical Reader, and also in the introductory portion of this book, he will, in most cases, utter merely words, sounds, not thought or sentiments.
75. Street Scene: Brutus and Cassius.
Cassius. WILL you go see the order of the course?
Cas. I pray you, do.
Bru. I am not gamesome; I do lack some part Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires;
I'll leave you.
Cas. Brutus, I do observe you now of late;
Be not deceived: if I have veiled my look,
Of late, with passions of some difference,
Which give some soil perhaps to my behavior;
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Forgets the show of love to other men.
Cas. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion; By means whereof, this breast of mine hath buried
Thoughts of great value, worthly cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
Bru. No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself,
But by reflection by some other things.
Cas. 'Tis just.
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no such mirrors as will turn
That you might see your shadow. I have heard,
Cas. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear;
That of yourself which you yet know not of.
That I do fawn on men, and hug them hard,
That I profess myself in banqueting,
To all the rout; then hold me dangerous.
Bru. What means this shouting? I do fear the people
Choose Cæsar for their king.
Cas. Ay, do you fear it?
Then must I think you would not have it so.
Bru. I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well.
But wherefore do you hold me here so long?
What is it that you would impart to me?
If it be aught toward the general good,
Set honor in one eye, and death in the other,
For let the gods so speed me, as I love
The name of honor more than I fear death.
Cas. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
As well as I do know your outward favor.
Think of this life; but for my single self,
In awe of such a thing as I myself.
I was born free as Cæsar; so were you;
And bade him follow; so indeed he did.
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
Is now become a god, and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his body
He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake. 'Tis true, this god did shake;
So get the start of the majestic world,
Bru. Another general shout!
I do believe that these applauses are
For some new honors that are heaped on Cæsar.
Cas. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonorable graves.
Men at some times are masters of their fates;
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Cæsar what should be in that Cæsar?
Why should that name be sounded, more than yours?
There was a Brutus once that would have brooked
Bru. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
1 would not, so with love I might entreat you, Be any further moved. What you have said,