The Ghost of Hamlet’s Father

HAMLET: Where wilt thou lead me? speak; I’ll go no further.
Ghost: Mark me.
HAMLET: I will.
Ghost: My hour is almost come,
When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
Must render up myself.
HAMLET: Alas, poor ghost!
Ghost: Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold.
HAMLET: Speak; I am bound to hear.
Ghost: So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.
HAMLET: What?
Ghost: I am thy father’s spirit,
Doom’d for a certain term to walk the night, 10
And for the day confined to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purged away. 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 porpentine: 20
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
If thou didst ever thy dear father love–
HAMLET: O God!
Ghost: Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
HAMLET: Murder!
Ghost: Murder most foul, as in the best it is;
But this most foul, strange and unnatural.
HAMLET: Haste me to know’t, that I, with wings as swift
As meditation or the thoughts of love, 30
May sweep to my revenge.
Ghost: I find thee apt;
And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear:

‘Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,
A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark
Is by a forged process of my death
Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father’s life
Now wears his crown.
HAMLET: O my prophetic soul! My uncle! 40
Ghost: Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,–
O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power
So to seduce!–won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen:
O Hamlet, what a falling-off was there!
From me, whose love was of that dignity
That it went hand in hand even with the vow
I made to her in marriage, and to decline 50
Upon a wretch whose natural gifts were poor
To those of mine!
But virtue, as it never will be moved,
Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,
So lust, though to a radiant angel link’d,
Will sate itself in a celestial bed,
And prey on garbage.
But, soft! methinks I scent the morning air;
Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon, 60
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,
And in the porches of my ears did pour
The leperous distilment; whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man
That swift as quicksilver it courses through
The natural gates and alleys of the body,
And with a sudden vigour doth posset
And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine; 70
And a most instant tetter bark’d about,
Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
All my smooth body.
Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother’s hand
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch’d:
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhousel’d, disappointed, unanel’d,
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head:
O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible! 80
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damned incest.
But, howsoever thou pursuest this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught: leave her to heaven
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once!
The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
And ‘gins to pale his uneffectual fire: 90
Adieu, adieu! Hamlet, remember me.

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Jane Austen (1775-1817)

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

In spite of her deeply-rooted dislike, she could not be insensible to the compliment of such a man’s affection, and though her intentions did not vary for an instant, she was at first sorry for the pain he was to receive; till, roused to resentment by his subsequent language, she lost all compassion in anger. She tried, however, to compose herself to answer him with patience, when he should have done. He concluded with representing to her the strength of that attachment which, in spite of all his endeavours, he had found impossible to conquer; and with expressing his hope that it would now be rewarded by her acceptance of his hand. As he said this, she could easily see that he had no doubt of a favourable answer. He spoke of apprehension and anxiety, but his countenance expressed real security. Such a circumstance could only exasperate farther, and when he ceased, the colour rose into her cheeks, and she said,

“In such cases as this, it is, I believe, the established mode to express a sense of obligation for the sentiments avowed, however unequally they may be returned. It is natural that obligation should be felt, and if I could feel gratitude, I would now thank you. But I cannot — I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly. I am sorry to have occasioned pain to any one. It has been most unconsciously done, however, and I hope will be of short duration. The feelings which, you tell me, have long prevented the acknowledgment of your regard, can have little difficulty in overcoming it after this explanation.”

Mr. Darcy, who was leaning against the mantle-piece with his eyes fixed on her face, seemed to catch her words with no less resentment than surprise. His complexion became pale with anger, and the disturbance of his mind was visible in every feature. He was struggling for the appearance of composure, and would not open his lips, till he believed himself to have attained it. The pause was to Elizabeth’s feelings dreadful. At length, in a voice of forced calmness, he said,

“And this is all the reply which I am to have the honour of expecting! I might, perhaps, wish to be informed why, with so little endeavour at civility, I am thus rejected.” — Pride & Prejudice (1813), Chapter XI of Volume II (Chap. 34)

Nosferatu

I don’t attach importance to sunshine anymore,
Or to glittering fountains which youth is so fond of.
I love the darkness and the shadows
Where I can be alone with my thoughts.

I am the descendant of an old family.
Time is an abyss, profound as a thousand nights.
Centuries come and go.
To be unable to grow old is terrible.

Death is not the worst.
There are things more horrible than death.
Can you imagine enduring centuries,
Experiencing each day the same futile things?

Forbidden Love and the Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

…Juliet rises.

Juliet: O comfortable friar! where is my lord?
I do remember well where I should be,
And there I am. Where is my Romeo?

Friar. I hear some noise. Lady, come from that nest
Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep.
A greater power than we can contradict
Hath thwarted our intents. Come, come away.
Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead;
And Paris too. Come, I’ll dispose of thee
Among a sisterhood of holy nuns.
Stay not to question, for the watch is coming.
Come, go, good Juliet. I dare no longer stay.

Juliet: Go, get thee hence, for I will not away.
Exit [Friar].
What’s here? A cup, clos’d in my true love’s hand?
Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end.
O churl! drunk all, and left no friendly drop
To help me after? I will kiss thy lips.
Haply some poison yet doth hang on them
To make me die with a restorative. [Kisses him.]
Thy lips are warm!…
…Yea, noise? Then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger!
This is thy sheath; there rest, and let me die.

Witches of Macbeth

MacBeth

ACT I SCENE I A desert place.
[Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches]

First Witch:

When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

Second Witch:

When the hurlyburly’s done,
When the battle’s lost and won.

Third Witch:

That will be ere the set of sun.

First Witch:

Where the place?

Second Witch:

Upon the heath.

Third Witch:

There to meet with Macbeth.

First Witch:

I come, graymalkin!

Second Witch:

Paddock calls.

Third Witch:

Anon!

ALL:

Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air.

Dear John Letter

Dear John

Dear John, I know you don’t want to see this right now, and I’m sorry if this isn’t the right time. The truth is – I just can’t take it anymore. I have loved you, and I will always love you, but there is something going on in my heart that I can’t explain. Because of this, I feel like I can’t move on with my life. Please don’t wait for me – I don’t know if I’ll ever be back. Love, Janice.

Note in hand, John let his arm fall as his head leaned back, mouthing the word fuck in the process. Then he shook his head, mumbling to himself, “I can’t fucking believe it.” He scanned the note again without really reading it, the curvy lines of Janice’s handwriting burning into his mind. Something going on in my heart? He crumpled it into a tight wad and tossed it into the garbage. Marmalade, the Shih Tzu they’d picked out together, looked at him from the floor, his tail wagging ever so slightly, as if he suspected something was amiss.

“What the hell am I going to do with you?”

Marmalade pierced him with his round black eyes, the redness of his tongue barely discernible through his furry face. John had to turn away. Looking through the window above the sink, he put his hands to his forehead and began rubbing his eyes with his palms. “This world is so lame,” he groaned, thinking about the day ahead, how everyone at work would probably notice something was up. Finished with his little moment, he turned to look at Marmalade again, who appeared ready for whatever was to come, like possibly a walk, or maybe a trip in the car.

“Things are about to get a little lonely around her bud,” John said, sympathizing. Marmalade cocked his head sideways. “What do I mean? Is that what you’re asking? It means mommy is gone my little friend.”

Marmalade’s tail wagging accelerated, and the little furry animal waddled over. John leaned over to pick him up and soon, a lick was felt upon his cheek. “If I find her, maybe I’ll mail you to her in a box.” The dog licked him again. “Alright, I guess you can stay.”

Chain Master

Chained

I’d finally gotten a half-way decent sleep last night, meaning that I was somewhat refreshed upon waking. I went out for some coffee and returned to plot breakfast. And can you imagine the sweet sound of birdsong, coursing on air, the fluttering of their wings as they shot, branch to branch, their lives so wrought with nature’s mystery of meaning? After eating I had business to attend to: the demons of student loan hell had been hunting me, looking to break my kneecaps or something. I had to try and plead, to beg for my life, since I hadn’t quite started making the money I thought higher education would bring.

I went to the grocery store later, to get some stuff for lunches. Don’t know why I felt agitated; possibly the medication, or the fact that I’d forgotten to bring the Red Box DvD with me for return. And I thought on the seasons past, when glittering stars would align while others, composing wondrous backgrounds, would shimmer soaring across the night sky, leaving behind their trailing streaks for me to wish upon. How did hope, and plans, and dreams, how did they feel so alive, thriving with vitality? When I got back, my neighbor asked if I could come over and help him with his computer. The guy’s a bit of an old fella, not too bright either, so you know how these things go; it was a pleasure to help.

The afternoon was spent slicing lettuce and fruit, listening to music on YouTube as I thought about the pending work week. Were the days really starting to blur into each other? After the troubles I’d gone through, and then making what life repairs I could, was it really the answer to all of my life questions, a full-time job? My how the clouds can gather, the plains below thick with their grasses and the mud, where the throng of life crawls like all those moments of confusion when you wonder as growing child, where am I going? Will everything be okay? I kept cutting the items at my cutting board until I realized I was done, and that I needed to make a decision as to what I should do afterwards, after my preparations for the work week were complete.

My place is so incredibly small that to complain is quite out of the question. I had thought to move when I had the chance but curiously enough, the chance never materialized. Eventually I had to come to terms with the fact that I live in a city where the wall between the rich and the poor towers, that there’s no way through. I know what side of the wall I’m on, and that’s okay. Life isn’t all about money. What I thought about doing, as I sat there, peering through the blinds of my one and only window, was confronting the man with the key to the chains. He keeps it bound up with all of his others, a ring of keys shiny and carefully guarded, for when he turns them fresh in their tumblers, he hopes with all of the power of his sardonic grin, that he won’t have to use them ever again.