Imatges de pÓgina

Its vanishing at the crowing of the cock is another circumstance of the established superstition.

Young Hamlet's indignation at his mother's hafty and incestuous marriage, his forrow for his father's death, his character of that prince, prepare the spectator to sympathize with his wrongs and sufferings. The son, as is natural, with much more vehement emotion than Horatio did, addreffes his father's shade. Hamlet's terror, his astonishment, his vehement defire to know the cause of this visitation, are irresiftibly communicated to the spectator by the following speech.

HAMLET. Angels and ministers of grace defend us ! Be thou a fpirit of health, or goblin damn’d, Bring with thee airs from heav'n, or blasts from hell, Be thy intents wicked or charitable, Thou com'st in such a questionable shape, That I will speak to thee. III call thee Hamlet, King, father, royal Dane: oh! answer me; Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell, L 4


Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cearments? Why the fepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee qutetly in-urn'd,
Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws,
To cast thee up again? What may this mean,
That thou, dead corse, again, in compleat steel,
Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous ?

Never did the Grecian muse of tragedy relate a tale so full of pity and terror as is imparted by the ghost. Every circumstance melts us with compassion ; and with what horror da we hear him say!


But that I am forbid

To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could a tale unfold ; whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,

Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood.


All that follows is solemn, sad, and deeply affecting

Whatever in Hamlet belongs to the præternatural is perfectly fine; the rest of the play does not come within the subject of this chapter.

The ingenious criticism on the play of the Tempest, published in the Adventurer, has made it unnecessary to enlarge on that admirable piece, which alone would prove our author to have had a fertile, a sublime, and original genius.

Τ Η Ε ,





Μ Α C Β Ε Τ Η.

« AnteriorContinua »