To be—or not to
be!—that is the question.—
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind, to suffer
The stings and arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take arms against a siege of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them?—To die—to sleep—
No more;—and, by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to—’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die—to sleep—
To sleep—perchance to dream—aye, there’s the rub.—
For, in that sleep of death what dreams may come;
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil;
Must give us pause.—There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long a life
For, who would bear the whips and scorns o’ th’ time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes;
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To groan and sweat under a weary life;
But that the dread of something after death
(That undiscover’d country, from whose bourne
No traveller returns) puzzles the will;
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of;
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprizes of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn away,
And lose the name of action.
SELECT PASSAGES FROM DRAMATIC WRITERS, EXPRESSIVE OF THE PRINCIPAL EMOTIONS AND PASSIONS.
Then is Orestes blest!
My griefs are fled!
Fled like a dream! Methinks I tread in air!—
Surprising happiness! unlook’d for joy!
Never let love despair! The prize is mine!—
Be smooth, ye seas! and, ye propitious winds,
Blow from Epirus to the Spartan coast!
I’ll go; and in the
anguish of my heart—–
Weep o’er my child—If he must die, my life
Is wrapt in his; I shall not long survive.
’Tis for his sake that I have suffer’d life;
Groan’d in captivity; and outliv’d Hector.—
Yes, my Astyanax! we’ll go together;
Together—to the realms of night we’ll go.
Hadst thou but seen, as I
did, how, at last,
Thy beauties, Belvidera, like a wretch
That’s doom’d to banishment, came weeping forth,
Whilst two young virgins, on whose arms she lean’d,
Kindly look’d up, and at her grief grew sad!
E’en the lewd rabble, that were gather’d round
To see the sight, stood mute when they beheld her,
Govern’d their roaring throats—and grumbled pity.