Abbildungen der Seite

I am not mad; this hair I tear is mine ; .
My name is Constance ; I was Geffrey's wife ,
Young Arthur is my son, and he is lost :
I am not mad ;-I would to heaven I were !
For then 'tis like I should forget myself:
Oh, if I could, what grief should I forget!
Preach some philosophy to make me mad,
And, cardinal, thou shalt be canoniz'd;
For, being not mad, but sensible of grief,
My reasonable part produces reason
How I may be delivered of these woes,
And teaches me to kill or hang myself :
If I were mad, I should forget my son,
Or madly think a babe of clouts were he ;
I am not mad ; too well, too well I feel
The different plague of each calamity. Ibid. King John. ---

Grief mixed with Pity, assuming a Smile.

Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me;
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form,
Then have I reason to be fond of grief.


Grief approaching to Distraction. Thou canst not speak of what thou dost not feel ; Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love, An hour but married, Tybalt murder'd, Doating like me, and like me banished, Then might'st thou speak, then might'st thou tear thy

hair, And fall upon the ground as I do now, Taking the measure of an unmade grave.

Ibid. Romeo and Juliet.

Grief choking Expression.
Macd. My children too!
Rosse. Wife, children, servants, all that could be found!
Macd. And I must be from thence ! my wife kill'd too?
Rosse. I've said.

Mal. Be comforted.
Let's make us med'cines of our great revenge,
To cure this deadly grief.

Macd. He has no children!
What all my pretty ones ? Did you say all?
What, all ?

Mal. Endure it like a man.

Macd. I shall.
But I must also feel it as a man.
I cannot but remember such things were
That were most precious to me : did heav'n look on,
And would not take their part ? Sinful Macduff,

They were all struck for thee ! naught that I am!
Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
Fell slaughter on their souls : heaven rest them now.

Ibid. Macbeth


Remorse, or a painful remembrance of criminal actions or pursuits, casts down the countenance, and clouds it with anxiety, hangs down the head, shakes it with regret, just raises the eyes as if to look up, and suddenly casts them down again with sighs; the right hand sometimes beats the breast, and the whole body writhes as with self aversion. The voice has a harshness as in hatred, and inclines to a low and reproachful tone.

Keen Remorse for Drunkenness.

I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly; a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. O that men should putan enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains! that we should with joy, pleasure, revel, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts! I will ask him for my place again ; he shall tell me I am a drunkard : Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast ! O strange! every inordinate cup is unblessed, and the ingredient is a devil.

Ibid. Othello.

Remorse for Treachery and Ingratitude.

I am alone the villain of the earth;
And feel I am so most. O Anthony,
Thou mine of bounty, how wouldst thou have paid

My better service, when my turpitude
Thou dost so crown with gold ! This blows my heart;
If swift thought break it not, a swifter mean
Shall out-strike thought ; but thought wil do't I feel
I fight against thee !– No: I will go seek
Some ditch wherein to die ; the foulest best
Befits my latter part of life.

Ibid. Ant. and Cleo.

Reproach and Remorse for Murder of an innocent Child.

Oh, when the last account 'twixt heaven and earth
Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal
Witness against us to damnation !
How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds
Makes deeds ill done! Hadst thou not been by,
A fellow by the hand of Nature mark'd,
Quoted and sign'd to do a deed of shame,
This murder had not come into my mind,
But taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect,
Finding thee fit for bloody villany
Apt, liable to be employed in danger,
I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death;
And thou to be endeared to a king,
Mads't it no conscience to destroy a prince.

Ibid. King John.


Despair, as in a condemned criminal, or one who has lost all hope of salvation, bends the eye-brows downwards, clouds the forehead, rolls the eyes frightfully, opens the mouth horizontally, bites the lips, widens the nostrils, and gnashes the teeth. The arms are sometimes bent at the elbows, the fists clinched hard, the veins and muscles swelled, the skin livid, the whole body strained and violently agitated; while groans of inward torture are more frequently uttered than words. If any words, they are few, and expressed with a sullen eager bitterness, the tone of the voice often loud and furious, and sometimes in the same note for a considerable time. This state of human nature is too frightiul to dwell upon, and almost improper for imitation; for if death

cannot be counterfeited without too much shocking our humanity ; despair, which exhibits a state ten thousand times more terrible than death, ought to be viewed with a kind of reverence to the great Author of Nature, who seems sometimes to exhibit to us this agony of mind as a warning to avoid that wickedness which produces it.

Shakespeare has most exquisitely touched this fearful situation of human nature, where he draws cardinal Beaufort, after a wicked life, dying in despair, and terrified with the murder of duke Humphrey, to which he was accessary.

R. Hen. How fares my lord ? speak, Beaufort, to thy sove.

reign. Car. If thou be'st Death I'll give thee England's treasure, Enough to purchase such another island, So thou wilt let me live and feel no pain. - K. Hen. Ah, what a sign it is of evil life, When death's approach is seen so terrible !

War. Beaufort, it is thy sovereign speaks to thee.

Car. Bring me to my trial when you will,
Dy'd he not in his bed? where should he die?
Can I make men live, whether they will or no ?
Oh! torture me no more, I will confess.--
Alive again ? then show me where he is,
I'll give a thousand pounds to look upon him.-
He hath no eyes, the dust hath blinded them
Comb down his hair ; look! look! it stands upright,
Like lime-twigs to catch my winged soul !
Give me some drink, and bid the apothecary
Bring the strong poison that I bought of him.

K. Hen. O thou Eternal Mover of the heavens,
Look down with gentle eye upon this wretch ;
O beat away the busy meddling fiend
That lays strong siege unto this wretch's soul,
And from his bosom purge this blcak despair !

War. See how the pangs of death do make him grin.
Sal. Disturb him not, let him pass peaceably.

K. Hen. Peace to his soul, if God's good pleasure be !
Lord Cardinal, if thou think'st on heav'n's bliss,
Hold up thy hand, make signal of thy hope,
He dies and makes no sign : O God, forgive him.

Ibid. 2d Part, Henry VI. The bare situation of the characters, the pause and the few plain words of King Henry, he dies and makes no sign ! have more of the real sublime in them than volumes of the laboured speeches in most of our modern tragedies, which, in the emphatical language of Shakespeare, may be said to be “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” SURPRISE, WONDER, AMAZEMENT, ADMIRA.


An uncommon object produces wonder; if it appears suddenly, it begets surprise ; surprise continuing becomes amazement; and if the object of wonder comes gently to the mind, and arrests the attention by its beauty or grandeur, it excites ad. miration, which is a mixture of approbation and wonder; so true is that observation of Dr. Young, in the tragedy of the Revenge :

Late time shall wonder, that my joys shall raise,
For wonder is involuntary praise.

Wonder or amazement opens the eyes, and makes them appear very prominent. It sometimes raises them to the skies, but more frequently fixes them on the object ; the mouth is open, and the hands are held up nearly in the attitude of fear ; the voice is at first low, but so emphatical, that every word is pronounced slowly and with energy: When, by the discovery of something excellent in the object of wonder, the emotion may be called admiration, the eyes are raised, the hands lifted up, or clapped together, and the voice elated with expressions of rapture.

Surprise at unexpected Events.

Gone to be marry'd, gone to swear a peace !
False blood to false blood join'd! Gone to be friends!
Shall Lewis have Blanch and Blanch those provinces

« ZurückWeiter »