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Compound and Radical Stress, Energetic Force, Orotund, Pure Tone, and Pectoral, Expulsive Form.

Scene from Hamlet. Act iii. Scene iv.


Pol. He will come straight. Look, you lay home to him: Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with;

And that your grace hath screened and stood between
Much heat and him. I'll sconce me even here.

Pray you, be round with him.

Queen. I'll warrant you—

Fear me not. Withdraw, I hear him coming.


Ham. Now, mother, what's the matter?
Queen. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
Ham. Mother, you have my father much offended.
Queen. Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.
Ham. Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.

Queen. Why, how now, Hamlet?
Ham. What's the matter now?
Queen. Have you forgot me ?
Ham. No, by the rood, not so ;

You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife;
And-would it were not so !-you are my mother.

Queen. Nay, then, I'll set those to you that can speak.
Ham. Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge;
You go not, till I set you up a glass

Where you may see the inmost part of you.

Queen. What wilt thou do?

Help, help, ho!

Thou wilt not murder me!

Pol. What, ho! help!

Ham. How now! a rat?

Dead, for a ducat, dead

Pol. O O! O! I am slain.

Queen. O, me ! what hast thou done?

Ham. Nay, I know not:

Is it the king?

Queen. O, what a rash and bloody deed is this!

Ham. A bloody deed; amlost as bad, good mother, As kill a king, and marry with his brother.

Queen. As kill a king!

Ham. Ay, lady, 'twas my word.—

Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!

I took thee for thy better.

Leave wringing of your hands: Peace-sit you down,

And let me wring your heart: for so I shall,

If it be made of penetrable stuff;

If damnéd custom have not brazed it so,

That it be proof and bulwark against sense.

Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'st wag thy tongue In noise so rude against me?

Ham. Such an act,

That blurs the blush and grace of modesty;
Calls virtue, hypocrite; takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there; makes marriage vows
As false as dicers' oaths. O! such a deed,
As from the body of contraction plucks
The very soul; and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words—

Ah, me that act !

Queen. Ah, me ! what act?

Ham. Look here, upon this picture, and on this;
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See, what a grace was seated on this brow-
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command;
A station like the herald Mercury,
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;
A combination, and a form, indeed,
Where every god did seem to set his seal,
To give the world assurance of a man:—

This was your husband. Look you now, what follows:
Here is your husband; like a mildewed ear,
Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,

And batten on this moor? Ha! have you eyes?

You cannot call it love: for, at your age,

The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble,

And waits upon the judgment—and what judgment,
Would step from this to this?

O, shame! where is thy blush?

Queen. O, Hamlet, speak no more ;

Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul;
And there I see such black and grained spots,
As will not leave their tinct.

No more, sweet Hamlet.

Ham. A murderer, and a villain :

A slave, that is not twentieth part the tythe
Of your precedent lord:—a vice of kings;
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule;
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And put it in his pocket!

Enter GHOST.

A king of shreds and patches:

Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings,

You heavenly guards!-what would your gracious figure? Queen. Alas! he's mad.

Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,

That, lapsed in time and passion, lets go by

The important acting of your dread command ?
O, say!

Ghost. Do not forget:-this visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But, look! amazement on thy mother sits:
O, step between her and her fighting soul.
Speak to her, Hamlet.

Ham. How is it with you, lady?
Queen. Alas! how is't with you?

That you do bend your eye on vacancy,

And with the incorporal air do hold discourse!

O, gentle son,

Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper

Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look?

Ham. On him! on him! Look you, how pale he glares!

Ilis form and cause conjoined, preaching to stones,

Would make them capable. Do not look upon me ;
Lest, with this piteous action, you convert
My stern effects : then what I have to do
Will want true color ; tears, perchance, for blood.

Queen. To whom do you speak this?
Ham. Do you see nothing there ?
Queen. Nothing at all; yet all that is I see.
Ham. Nor did you nothing hear ?
Queen. No, nothing, but ourselves.

Ham. Why, look you there ! look how it steals away!
My father, in his habit as he lived !
Look where he goes, even now, out at the portal !

Queen. This is the very coinage of your brain ;
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.

Ham. Ecstasy!
My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time,
And makes as healthful music : it is not madness
That I have uttered : bring me to the test,
And I the matter will re-word; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul,
That not your trespass, but my madness, speaks:
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place ;
Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven;
Repent what's past ; avoid what is to come,

Queen. O, Hamlet! thou hast cleft my heart in twain.

Ham. O! throw away the worser part of it,
And live the purer with the other half.
Good night!
And when you are desirous to be blessed,
I'll blessing beg of you. For this same lord,
I do repent.
I will bestow him, and will answer well
The death I gave him. So, again, good-night -
I must be cruel, only to be kind:
Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.

1. What is the element in this lesson ?
2. What the topic?
3. Define Compound Stress.
4. What the principle ?
5. Why do the passages marked require Compound Stress ?
6. What quality of voice should Hamlet use? Why?
7. What the queen? Wlıy?
8. What Polonius? Why?
9. What the ghost? Why?
10. Draw a diagram of this lesson.

[blocks in formation]

w, as in wit.


wise, wild,
weed, weld, wear.
1. Weep not for me.
2. Wild was the night.
3. Wise men will rule well.
4. When wisdom shall return.
5. Well have they done their part.

Thorough Stress. Thorough Stress is the application of the force of the voice equally to all parts of the word or sound. It can be given with both Effusive and Expulsive Forms.

ADVANTAGES OF THOROUGH STRESS. Thorough Stress is one of the most powerful weapons of oratory. Its effect, when judiciously used with Expulsive Form, Orotund Quality, Impassioned Force, is magical. It rouses the feelings, kindles the emotions,

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