« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
7. Byrne had brought with him from the wars a world of campaigning stories, of which he was generally the hero, and which he would deal forth to his wondering scholars when he ought to have been teaching them their lessons. These stories had a powerful effect upon the vivid imagination of Goldsmith, and awakened an unconquerable passion for wandering and seeking adventure. An amusing incident is related as occurring to Goldsmith, while yet a lad, in one of his journeys. He had procured a horse, and a friend had furnished him with a guinea for traveling expenses. He was but a stripling of sixteen, and being thus suddenly mounted on horseback with money in his pocket, it is no wonder that his head was turned. He determined to play the man, and to spend his money in independent traveler's style.
8. Accordingly, instead of pushing directly for home, he halted for the night at the little town of Ardagh, and accosting the first person he met, inquired, with somewhat of a consequential air, for the best house in the place. Unluckily, the person he had accosted was one Kelly, a notorious wag, who was quartered in the family of one Mr. Featherstone, a gentleman of fortune. Amused with the self-consequence of the stripling, and willing to play off a practical joke at his expense, Kelly directed him to what was literally "the best house in the place," namely, the family mansion of Mr. Featherstone. Goldsmith accordingly rode up to what he supposed was an inn, ordered his horse to be taken to the stable, walked into the parlor, seated himself by the fire and demanded what he could have for supper. On ordinary occasions he was diffident and even awkward in his manners, but here he was 66 at ease in his inn," and felt called upon to show his manhood and enact the experienced traveler.
9. His person was by no means calculated to play off his pretensions, for he was short and thick, with a pock-marked face, and an air and carriage by no means of a distinguished cast. The owner of the house, however, soon discovered his whimsical mistake, and being a man of humor, determined to indulge it, especially as he accidentally learned that this in
truding guest was the son of an old acquaintance. Accord ingly, Goldsmith was "fooled to the top of his bent," and permitted to have full sway throughout the evening. Never was schoolboy more elated.
10. When supper was served he most condescendingly insisted that the landlord, his wife and daughter should partake, and ordered a bottle of wine to crown the repast and benefit the house. His last flourish was on going to bed, when he gave especial order to have a hot cake at breakfast. His confusion and dismay on discovering the next morning that he had been swaggering in this free and easy way in the house of a private gentleman may be readily conceived. True to his habit of turning the events of his life to literary account, he dramatized this chapter of ludicrous blunders and cross purposes, many years afterward, in his comedy of "She Stoops to Conquer; or, the Mistakes of a Night." This has long held its place upon the stage as one of the most entertaining plays in the English language. By its success Goldsmith was placed for a time in a state of pecuniary ease.
WASHINGTON IRVING, 1783-1860.
SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.-Adventure: L. ad and ven'ic, ven'tum, to come. ... Affection: L. affectio; fr. affi'cio, affectum, to do to, to act on; fr. ad and fa'cio, I make. . . . Amiable: L. amicab'ilis; fr. ami'cus, friend; fr. am'o, I love; h., amateur, amorous, enamor.... Benevolent: L. benev'olens; fr. ben'e, well, vol'ens, wishing; fr. vol'o, vol'itum, to will; h., in-voluntary, male-volent (mal'e, ill), no'lens, vol'ens (unwilling, willing; noʻlens fr. no'lo, nol'le, to be unwilling), volition, volunteer, etc. ... Callow: A S. calo; L. cal'vus, bald. . . . Campaign: L. cam'pus, a plain. Cement: L. cœmen'tum, rough quarry-stone. . . . Charity: L. căr'itas; fr. ca'rus, dear. . . . Counterfeit: L. con'tra, against, fa'cio, I make. . . . Eminent: L. em'inens; fr. e, out, min'eo, I project; h., im-minent (projecting over), menace, pro-minent (jutting forward), etc. Fictitious: L. fin'go, fictum, to form, to feign; h., feign, feint, fiction, figure, etc. . . . Fortune : L. fortu'na (a protracted form of fors, for'tis, chance). . Identify: fr. L. i'dem, the same. . . . Occur: v. CURULE. . . . Heroic : Gr. hērō'ikŏs.. Lunar: L. lu'na, the moon. . . . Mirage (mi-räzh): F.; fr. L. mira'ri, to admire: v. ADMIRABLE.... Misery L. mi'ser, wretched. . . . Orphan : Gr. or'phanos, without parents. . . . Resurrection: L. resurrectio: fr. re and sur'go, surrec'tum, to rise; h., in-surrection, in-surgent, re-source, source, surge, etc. Sepulchre or Sepulcher: L. sepulcrum; fr. sepel'io, sepul'tum, to bury.
XXX.-SCENES FROM HAMLET.
The king and queen of Denmark, disturbed by Hamlet's real or affected insanity, send two of his former companions, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to visit him and draw out, if possible, the secret by which he seems to be oppressed. Polonius, an old man, and lord chamberlain of the palace, also tries to fathom him, and arrives at the conclusion that he is crazy through lovesickness. Hamlet baffles his inquisitors by such replies as may give them no light as to the true cause of his state of mind, namely, his discovery that his father was murdered by the present wearer of the crown. To verify his belief of this, Hamlet causes a play to be performed before the king and queen, in which a murder is represented; and the agitation of the false king at the show is such that no doubt as to his guilt is left on Hamlet's mind. The second scene of the following extract begins just after this play has been represented, and Hamlet has become confirmed in his suspicions in regard to the king.
POLONIUS, HAMLET, GUILDENSTERN, ROSENCRANTZ.
HAMLET is discovered reading a book; POLONIUS interrupts him. Pol. Do you know me, my lord? Ham.
Excellent well; you are a fishmonger.
Pol. Not I, my
Ham. Then I would you were so honest a man.
Pol. Honest, my lord?
Ham. Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.
Pol. That's very true, my lord.
Ham. Have you a daughter?
Pol. I have, my lord.
Ham. Let her not walk i' the sun: friend, look to 't.
Pol. How say you by that?* [Aside.] Still harping on my daughter:-yet he knew me not at first; he said I was a fishmonger. He is far gone, far gone: and, truly, in my youth I suffered much extremity for love: very near this. I'll speak to him again. [To HAMLET.] What do you read, my lord? Ham. Words, words, words.
What is the matter, my lord?
Pol. I mean the matter that you read, my lord.
* That is, What do you mean by that?
Ham. Slanders, sir: for the satirical rogue says here that old men have gray beards; that their faces are wrinkled; all of which, sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down; for yourself, sir, should be as old as I am, if, like a crab, you could go backward.
Pol. [Aside.] Though this be madness, yet there's method in it. [To HAMLET.] Will you walk out of the air, my lord? Ham. Into my grave?
Pol. Indeed, that is out o' the air. [Aside.] How pregnant sometimes his replies are! a happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of. [To HAMLET.] My honorable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you.
Ham. You cannot, sir, take from me anything that I will more willingly part withal; except my life, except my life, except my life.
Pol. Fare you well, my lord.
Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
Guil. My honored lord!
Ros. My most dear lord!—
Ham. My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both? 'What news?
Ros. None, my lord, but that the world's grown honest. Ham. Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
Guil. Prison, my lord!
Ham. A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards and dungeons, Denmark being one of the worst.
Ros. We think not so, my lord.
Ham. Why, then, 'tis none to you; for there is nothing
either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me it is a prison.
Ros. Why, then, your ambition makes it one; 'tis too narrow for your mind.
Ham. Oh, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams. But, in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore?
Ros. To visit you, my lord; no other occasion.
Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but 1 thank you; and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come, come; deal justly with me; come, come; nay, speak.
Guil. What should we say, my lord?
Ham. Anything; but to the purpose. You were sent for; and there is a kind of confession in your looks which your modesties have not craft enough to color; I know the good king and queen have sent for you.
Ros. To what end, my lord?
Ham. That you must teach me. But let me conjure you by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a better proposer could charge you withal, be even and direct with me, whether you were sent for or no? Ros. [To GUILDENSTERN.] What say you?
Ham. [Aside.] Nay, then I have an eye of you. [To them.] If you love me, hold not off.
Guil. My lord, we were sent for.
Ham. I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen moult no feather. I have of late (but wherefore I know not) lost all my mirth, foregone all custom of exercises: and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it