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CVII. SCENE FROM HAMLET.
The following extract forms a portion of the second scene of the first act of the tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The place is Elsinore. Hamlet has been meditating, in no gracious mood, on the recent death of his father, and the marriage of his mother to her brother-in-law, Hamlet's uncle. His soliloquy is interrupted by the entrance of three gentlemen. See in Index, CAP-À-PÉ, EXEUNT, SHAKESPEARE.
HAMLET, HORATIO, MARCELLUS, BERNARDO.
Hor. Hail to your lordship!
Ham. I am glad to see you well:
Horatio, or I do forget myself.
Hor. The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.
Ham. Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name with you. And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio? Marcellus?
Mar. My good lord!
Ham. I am very glad to see you. Good even, sir.
Ham. I would not hear your enemy say so;
Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
I think, it was to see my mother's wedding.
Hor. Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon.
"The words, Good even, sir, are evidently addressed to Bernardo, whom Hamlet has not before known; but as he now meets him in company with old acquaintances, like a true gentleman, as he is, he gives him a salutation of kindness." HUDSON.
Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral baked meats Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven, Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio! My father, methinks I see my father. Hor. O! where, my lord?
Ham. In my mind's eye, Horatio!
Hor. I saw him once he was a goodly king.
Ham. He was a man
I shall not look upon his like again.
Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
Ham. Saw? Whom?
Hor. My lord, the king, your father.
Hor. Season your admiration for a while
Ham. For heaven's love, let me hear.
Hor. Two nights together had these gentlemen, Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
In the dead waste and middle of the night,
Been thus encountered. A figure like your father,
Within his truncheon's length, while they, distilled
Stand dumb, and speak not to him. This to me
And I with them, the third night, kept the watch;
Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
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 answer made it none; yet once, methought,
Ham. 'Tis very strange.
Hor. As I do live, my honored lord, 't is true;
Ham. Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
Mar. My lord, from head to foot.
Ham. Then saw you not his face!†
Hor. O, yes, my lord, he wore his beaver ‡ up.
Hor. A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.
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. Stayed it long?
Hor. While one, with moderate haste, might tell a hundred.
Mar. Ber. Longer, longer.
Hor. Not when I saw it.
Ham. His beard was grizzled?— no?
*Here Hamlet breaks off from his last question, and refers to the apparition, Do you say it was armed?
† A mark of interrogation is usually placed here, but I have ventured to make it a mark of exclamation. Hamlet snatches at an apparent inconsistency in the story of his friends, as if he would say, "Then you could not have seen his face, and there is no proof of his identity!" ‡ That part of the helmet which may be lifted up.
Hor. It was as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silvered.
Ham. I will watch to-night;
Perchance 't will walk again.
Hor. I warrant 't will.
Ham. If it assume my noble father's person,
Hor. Our duty to your honor.
Ham. Your loves, as mine to you : [Exeunt all but HAMLET.
My father's spirit in arms! All is not well;
CVIII. PHYSICAL EDUCATION.
See in Index, DEFENSE or defence, protEST, SPENCER.
1. PERHAPS nothing will so much hasten the time when body and mind will both be adequately cared for, as a diffusion of the belief, that the preservation of health is a duty. Few seem conscious that there is such a thing as physical morality. Men's habitual words and acts imply the idea that they are at liberty to treat their bodies as they please.
2. Disorders entailed by disobedience to nature's dictates they regard simply as grievances, not as the effects of a conduct more or less flagitious. Though the evil consequences inflicted on their dependents, and on future generations, are often as great as those caused by crime, yet they do not think themselves in any degree criminal.
3. It is true, that, in the case of drunkenness, the viciousness of a purely bodily transgression is recognized; but none appear to infer that, if this bodily transgression is vicious, so, too, is every bodily transgression. The fact is, that all breaches of the laws of health are physical sins. When this is generally seen, then, and not till then, will the physical training of the young receive all the attention it deserves.
4. Nature is a strict accountant; and if you demand of her in one direction more than she is prepared to lay out, she balances the account by making a deduction elsewhere. If you insist on premature or undue growth of any one part, she will, with more or less protest, concede the point; but that she may do your extra work, she must leave some of her more important work undone.
5. In primitive times, when aggression and defense were the leading social activities, bodily vigor and its accompanying courage were the great desiderata; and then education was almost wholly physical; mental education was little cared for, and, indeed, was often treated with contempt. But now that muscular power is of use for little else than manual labor, while social success of nearly every kind depends very much on mental power, our education has become almost exclusively mental.
6. Instead of respecting the body and ignoring the mind, we now respect the mind and ignore the body. Both these attitudes are wrong. We do not yet sufficiently realize the truth, that as, in this life of ours,