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EXTRACT FROM SHAKSPERE.
Act II.—SCENE I. Court within Macbeth's Castle.
Enter MACBETH and a Servant with a torch. Macb. Go, bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready, She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed. (Exit Serv Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand ? Come, let me clutch thee: I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling, as to sight? or art thou but A dagger of the mind, a false creation, Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain ? I see thee yet, in form as palpable As this which now I draw. Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going, And such an instrument I was to use. Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses, Oralse worth all the rest: I see thee still; And on thy blade, and dudgeon, gouts of blood, Which was not so before. There's no such thing. It is the bloody business which informs Thus to mine eyes.- Now o'er the one half world Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse The curtain'd sleep: witchcraft celebrates Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd murther, Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf, Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace, With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design, Moves like a ghost.-- Thou sure and firm-set earth, Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear Thy very stones prate of my where-about, And take the present horror from the time
a Dudgeon—the handle of the dagger.
Which now suits with it.-Whiles I threat he lives :
[A bell rings.
[Erit. Enter LADY MACBETH. Lady M. That wnich hath made them drunk hath made
me bold : What hath quench'd them hath given me fire:Hark! Peace! It was the owl that shriek’d, The fatal bellman which gives the stern'st good night. He is about it: The doors are open; And the surfeited groomis do mock their charge with snores : I have drugg’d their possets, That death and nature do contend about them, Whether they live, or die.
Macb. [Within.] Who's there?- what, hoa!
Lady M. Alack! I am afraid they have awak'd,
noise ? Lady M. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets cry. Did not you speak ? Macb.
When? Lady M.
As I descended ?
Macb. Hark! -
Macb. There's one did laugh in his sleep, And one cried, “ Murther!” that they did wake each other; I stood and heard them: but they did say their prayers, And address'd them again to sleep.
Lady M. There are two lodg'd together.
Consider it not so deeply.
Lady M. These deeds must not be thought After these ways; so, it will make us mad.
Macb. Methought, I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murther sleep, the innocent sleep; Sleep, that knits up the ravellid sleave' of care, The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, Chief nourisher in life's feast.” Lady M.
What do you mean?
I'll go no more:
Infirm of purpose!
Whence is that knocking ? How is 't with me, when every noise appals me ? What hands are here? Ha! they pluck out mine eyes!
a Sleave-unwrought silk.
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Re-enter LADY MACBETH.
ing: Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us, And show us to be watchers :-Be not lost So poorly in your thoughts. Macb. To know my deed, 't were best not know myself.
[Knock Wake Duncan with thy knocking; I would thou couldst !
ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
BERTRAM, count of Rousillon, had newly come to his title and estate, by the death of his father. The king of France loved the father of Bertram, and when he heard of his death, he sent for his son to come imme. diately to his royal court in Paris, intending, for the friendship he bore the late count, to grace young Bertram with his especial favour and protection.
Bertram was living with his mother, the widowed countess, when Lafeu, an old lord of the French court, came to conduct him to the king. The king of France was an absolute monarch, and the invitation to court was in the form of a royal mandate, or positive command, which no subject, of what high dignity soever, might disobey ; therefore, though the countess, in parting with this dear son, seemed a second time to bury her husband, whose loss she had so lately mourned, yet she dared not to keep him a single day, but gave instant orders for his departure. Lafeu, who came to fetch him, tried to comfort the countess for the loss of her 'late lord, and her son's sudden absence; and he said, in a courtier's flattering manner, that the king was so kind a prince, she would find in his majesty a husband, and that he would be a father to her son : meaning only, that the good king would befriend the fortunes of Bertram. Lafeu told the countess that the king had fallen into a sad malady, which was pronounced by his physicians to be incurable. The lady expressed great sorrow on hearing this account of the king's ill health, and said, she