Now I am alone. O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! (555) Is it not monstrous that this player here, But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, Could force his soul so to his own conceit That from her working all his visage wann'd, Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect, (560) A broken voice, and his whole function suiting With forms to his conceit? and all for nothing! For Hecuba! What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, That he should weep for her? What would he do, (565) Had he the motive and the cue for passion That I have? He would drown the stage with tears And cleave the general ear with horrid speech, Make mad the guilty and appal the free, Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed (570) The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I, A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak, Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, And can say nothing; no, not for a king, Upon whose property and most dear life (575) A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward? Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across? Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face? Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i' the throat, As deep as to the lungs? who does me this? (580) Ha! 'Swounds, I should take it: for it cannot be But I am pigeon-liver'd and lack gall To make oppression bitter, or ere this I should have fatted all the region kites (585) With this slave's offal: bloody, bawdy villain! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain! O, vengeance! Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave, That I, the son of a dear father murder'd, (590) Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words, And fall a-cursing, like a very drab, A scullion! Fie upon't! foh! About, my brain! I have heard (595) That guilty creatures sitting at a play Have by the very cunning of the scene Been struck so to the soul that presently They have proclaim'd their malefactions; For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak (600) With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players Play something like the murder of my father Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks; I'll tent him to the quick: if he but blench, I know my course. The spirit that I have seen (605) May be the devil: and the devil hath power To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps Out of my weakness and my melancholy, As he is very potent with such spirits, Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds (610) More relative than this: the play 's the thing Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
How all occasions do inform against me, (35) And spur my dull revenge! What is a man, If his chief good and market of his time Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more. Sure, he that made us with such large discourse, Looking before and after, gave us not (40) That capability and god-like reason To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple Of thinking too precisely on the event, A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom (45) And ever three parts coward, I do not know Why yet I live to say 'This thing's to do;' Sith I have cause and will and strength and means To do't. Examples gross as earth exhort me: Witness this army of such mass and charge (50) Led by a delicate and tender prince, Whose spirit with divine ambition puff'd Makes mouths at the invisible event, Exposing what is mortal and unsure To all that fortune, death and danger dare, (55) Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great Is not to stir without great argument, But greatly to find quarrel in a straw When honor's at the stake. How stand I then, That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd, (60) Excitements of my reason and my blood, And let all sleep? while, to my shame, I see The imminent death of twenty thousand men, That, for a fantasy and trick of fame, Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot (65) Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause, Which is not tomb enough and continent To hide the slain? O, from this time forth, My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!