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With an attent ear ; till I
deliver This marvel to you.
Ham. For heaven's love let me hear.
Hor. Two nights together had those gentlemen,
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
In the dead waist and middle of the night,
Been thus encountered : a figure, like your father,
Armed at point exactly, cap-à-piè,
Appears before them, and, with solemn march,
Goes slow and stately by them : thrice he walked
By their oppressed and fear-surprised eyes,
Within his truncheon's length; whilst they, distilled
Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
Stand dumb, and speak not to him. This to me,
In dreadful secrecy, impart they did;
And I with them, the third night, kept the watch:
Where, as they had delivered, both in time,
Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
The apparition comes. I knew your father ;
These hands are not more like.
Ham. But where was this?
Hor. My lord, upon the platform where we watched.
Ham. Did you not speak to it?
Hor. My lord, I did;
But ănswer made it none. Yet once, methought,
It lifted up its head, and did address
Itself to motion, like as it would speak:
But, even then, the morning cock crew loud;
And, at the sound, it shrunk in haste away,
And vanished from our sight.
Ham. 'Tis very strange.
Hor. As I do live, my honored lord, 'tis true;
And we did think it writ down in our duty,
know of it.
Ham. Indeed, indeed, Sir, but this troubles me,
Hold you the watch to-night?
Hor. We do, my lord.
Ham. Armed, say you ?
Hor. Armed, my lord.
Ham. From top to toe ?
Hor. My lord, from head to foot.
Ham. Then saw you not his face.
Hor. O, yes, my lord; he wore his beaver up
Ham. What, looked he frowningly?
Hor. A countenance more
In sorrow than in anger.
Ham. Pale, or red ?
Hor. Nay, very pale.
Ham. And fixed his eyes upon you ?
Hor. Most constantly.
Ham. I would I had been there!
Hor. It would have much amazed you.
Ham. Very like, very like ;-Staid it long?
Hor. While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred.
Ham. His beard was grizzled ?—no?
Hor. It was, as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silvered.
Ham. I will watch to-night;
Perchănce 'twill walk again.
Hor. I warrant 'twill.
Ham. If it assume my,
noble father's person, I'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape, And bid me hold my peace.
pray you Sir, If you
have hitherto concealed this sight, Let it be tenable in
silence still ;
And whatsoever else shall hap to-night,
Give it an understanding, but no tongue;
I will requite your love: so, fare you well.
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,
Extract from the Essay on Criticism.-- POPE.
WHOEVER thinks a faultless piece to see,
Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be.
In every work regard the writer's end,
Since none can compass more than they intend;
And, if the means be just, the conduct true,
Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due.
As men of breeding, sometimes men of wit,
T' avoid great errors must the less commit;
Něglect the rules each verbal critic lays,
For not to know some trifles, is a praise.
Most critics, fond of some subservient art,
Still make the whole depend upon a part
They talk of principles, but notions prize,
And all to one loved folly săcrifice ;
Once on a time, La Mancha's knight, they say,
A certain bard encountering on the way,
Discoursed in terms as just, with looks as sage,
As e'er could Dennis, of the Grecian stage;
Concluding all were desperate sots and fools,
Who durst depart from Aristotle's rules.
Our author, happy in a judge so nice,
Produced his play, and begged the knight's advice:
Made him observe the subject and the plot,
The manners, passions, unities; what not?
All which exact to rule were brought about,
Were but a combat in the lists left out.
“What! leave the combat out?" exclaims the knight.
Yes, or we must renounce the Stagirite.
“Not so by heaven!” (he ănswers in a rage)
Knights, squires, and steeds must enter on the stage." So văst a throng the stage can ne'er contain : “ Then build anew, or act it in a plain.”
Thus critics of less judgment than caprice,
Curious, not knowing, not exact, but nice,
Form short ideas; and offend in arts
(As most in manners) by a love to parts.
Some to conceit alone their taste confine,
And glittering thoughts struck out at every line;
Pleased with a work where nothing's just or fit ;
One glaring chaos and wild heap of wit.
Poets, like painters, thus unskilled to trace
The naked nature, and the living grace,
With gold and jewels cover every part,
And hide with ornaments their want of art.
True wit is Nature to advăntage dressed,
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed ;
Something, whose truth convinced at sight we find,
That gives us back the image of our mind.
As shades more sweetly recommend the light,
So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit ;
have more wit than does them good As bodies perish through excess of blood,
Others for language all their care express, And value books, as women men,-for dress : Their praise is still,—the style is excellent : The sense, they humbly take upon content. Words are like leaves ; and where they most abound, Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.
False eloquence, like the prismatic glăss,
Its gaudy colors spreads on every place;
The face of Nature we no more survey,
All glares alike, without distinction gay:
But true expression, like the unchānging sun,
Clears and improves whate'er it shines upon;
It gilds all objects, but it alters none.
Expression is the dress of thought, and still
Appears more decent as more suitable :
A vile conceit in pompous words expressed,
Is like a clown in regal purple dressed :
For different styles with different subjects sort,
As several garbs, with country, town, and court.
In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold;
Alike fantàstic, if too new or old :
Be not the first by whom the new are tried,
Nor yet the lăst to lay the old aside.
But most by numbers judge a poet's song;
And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong.
In the bright Muse though thousand charms conspire;
Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire ;
Who haunt Parnassus but to please their ear,
Not mend their minds; as some to church repair,
Not for the doctrine, but the music there.
These, equal syllables alone require,
Though of the ear the open vowels tire:
While expletives their feeble aid do join,
And ten low words oft creep in one dull line :
While they ring round the same unvaried chimes,
With sure returns of still expected rhymes;
Where'er you find the “ cooling western breeze,
In the next line it “whispers through the trees :"
If crystal streams “with pleasing murmurs creep,”
The reader's threatened, (not in vain,) with "sleep :"
Then at the lăst and only couplet, fraught
With some unmeaning thing they call a thought,
A needless Alexandrine ends the song,
That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.
Leave such to tune their own dull rhymes, and know What's roundly smooth or languishingly slow; And praise the easy vigor of a line, Where Denham's strength and Waller's sweetness join. True ease in writing comes from art, not chănce, As those move easiest who have learned to dănce.
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence;
The sound must seem an echo to the sense :
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar.
When Ajax strives some rock's văst weight to throw,
The line too labors, and the words move slow :
Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o’er the unbending corn, and skims along the main.
Hear how Timotheus' varied lays surprise,
And bid älternate passions fall and rise !
While, at each change, the son of Libyan Jove
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love;
Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow;
Now sighs steal out, and tears begin to flow :
Persians and Greeks like turns of nature found,
And the world's victor stood subdued by sound.
LESSON CXCI. Dialogue :~GIL Blas* and the OLD ARCHBISHOP.-From
LE SAGE. Arch. WELL, young man, what is your business with me?
Gil Blas. I am the young man whom your nephew,t Dora Fernando, was pleased to mention to you.
Arch. O! you are the person then, of whom he spoke so handsomely. I engage you in my service, and consider you a valuable acquisition. From the specimens he showed me of your powers, you must be pretty well acquainted with the Greek and Latin authors. It is
education has not been neglected. I am satisfied with your
hand writing, and still more with your understanding. I thank my nepliew, Don Fernando, for having given me such an able your g man, whom I consider a rich acquisition. You trănscrib so well you must certainly understand grammar. Tell me, ingenuously, my friend, did you find nothing that shocked you in writing over the homily I sent you on trial ? some neglect, perhaps, in style, or some improper term ?
Gil. B. 0! Sir, I am not learned enough to make critical observations, and if I was I am persuaded the works of your grace would escape my censure.