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Lady Macbeth. Allez, prenez de l'eau, et lavez cette tache qui souille vos mains; ce serait un témoin. Pourquoi avez-vous emporté ces poignards ? Il fallait les laisser là bas: allez, reportez-les, et teignez de sang les deux serviteurs endormis.

Macbeth. Je n'y retournerai plus, je suis effrayé en songeant à ce que j'ai fait. Je n'ose pas le regarder de nouveau.

Lady Macbeth. O homme faible dans ses résolutions! Donnez-moi ces poignards. Ceux qui dorment et ceux qui sont morts, ressemblent à des images, et c'est l'œil seul de l'enfant qui peut avoir peur

d'un diable en peinture. Si le sang de Duncan coule, j'en rougirai la face des deux serviteurs, car il faut que le crime leur soit attribué.

Elle sort, on frappe au dehors. Macbeth. Qui frappe ainsi ?-que se passe-t'il en moi que le moindre bruit m'épouvante? quelles mains j'ai là! Ah! elles me font sortir les yeux de la tête! Tout l'océan du grand Neptune pourra-t'il laver ce sang et nettoyer ma main ? Non; ma main ensanglanterait plutôt l'immensité des mers, et de leur nappe verdâtre ferait une nappe rouge.

Rentre Lady Macbeth. Mes mains sont de la couleur des vôtres; mais j'ai honte d'avoir un caur si blanc. (On frappe.) J'entends frapper à la porte du sud. Retirons-nous dans notre chambre, un peu d'eau va nous laver de cette action; voyez comme cela est facile! votre courage vous a donc abandonné ?-—(On frappe.) Ecoutons; On frappe encore: Prenez votre robe de nuit de peur que ce ne soit nous qu'on demande; il ne faut pas qu'on nous surprenne éveillés et debout à cette heure. Allons, ne restez pas ainsi misérablement perdu dans vos réflexions.

Macbeih. Connaître ce que j'ai fait, il vaudrait mieux ne pas me connaître moi-même. Duncan, réveille-toi à ce bruit ! Plât au ciel

que tu le pûsses encore !

(Ils se retirent.)

MACBETH. Acte II. Scène II.

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"She is unfortunate ; indeed distract:

Her mood will needs be pitied.” The tragedy of Hamlet is universally admitted to be one of the finest productions of dramatic genius. The characters are all highly wrought; and the chief, that of HAMLET, embodies so many of the noblest qualities of human nature, as to make its successful representation on the stage, one of the highest tests of the capabilities of a tragedian. Throughout the entire play, a high moral tone is evinced; and some of the soliloquies are unsurpassed in the literature of any country, for grandeur and pathos.

HAMLET's father, the late king of Denmark, has recently died. His widow, with unseeming haste, marries her deceased husband's brother; and HAMLET, himself, is not without suspicion of his father having been the victim of foul play. Whilst pondering over past events, the Ghost of his father appears to him, and conveys intelligence which convinces HAMLET of the truth of his suspicions; he learns, in fact, that his father's death was caused by poison.

In the first act, OPHELIA, as the young and loving maiden, is introduced. To her HAMLET has made overtures of love; and LAERTES, her brother, who is about to depart for France, with fraternal solicitude, affectionately warns her of the danger she may fall into by encouraging his advances-

“Fear it, Ophelia ; fear it, my dear sister :

And keep you in the rear of your affection." Polonius, her father, joins in the same strain; and the filial obedience of Ophelia is beautifully shown in her reply, signifying entire compliance with her father's wishes.

HAMLET is supposed, by all around him, to be suffering in his reason; and the King and Queen, professing great anxiety, consult POLONIUS, who hints that love for his own daughter is the cause. For the purpose of tes

of testing this, OPHELIA is placed in the way

of HAMLET, and the King, Queen, and POLONIUS, agree to watch the result of their interview. This gives occasion to that splendid soliloquy, in which HAMLET weighs the wisdom and results of suicide. OPHELIA appears as he concludes, and tenders him the return of presents which he had already made her as love-tokens. HAMLET curtly denies having given them to her; and, at last, the truth bursts on her mind, as she poignantly exclaims

"O what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!

* *

() woe is me! To have seen what I have seen, see what I see !" The Players next appear, and, by a representation of an old tragedy, force on the minds of the King and Queen a deep sense of their guilt. HAMLET sits at the feet of OPHELIA, watching them. In the interview afterwards with his mother, he slays POLONIUS; and this is followed by a most pathetic scene, in which OPHELIA strews, as she thinks, her father's grave with flowers; bereft of reason

“A document in madness.” The death of Ophelia, by drowning, is declared to LAERTES by the Queen. At her burial, HAMLET and he meet near the grave; and when LAERTES would have slain him as the cause of his sister's death, Hamlet thus pays a last tribute of affection to her memory :

“I lov'd Ophelia ; forty thousand brothers
Could not, with all their quantity of love,
Make up my sum.”


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