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veneration, fell into the same mistake in the very same case," He could not bear," he said, "to look into the sermons wrote by the king of Denmark's jester."-Good my Lord! said I; but there are two Yoricks. The Yorick your lordship thinks of has been dead and buried eight hundred years ago; he flourish'd in Horwendillus's court—— the other Yorick is myself, who have flourish'd, my lord, in no court-He shook his head-Good God! said I, you might as well confound Alexander the Great with Alexander the Coppersmith, my lord 'Twas all one, he replied.
-If Alexander king of Macedon could have translated your lordship, said I, I'm sure your lordship would not have said so.
The poor Count de B**** fell but into the
Et, Monsieur, est il Yorick? cried the Count. Je le suis, said I.— -Vous? Moi- -moi qui ai l'honneur de vous parler, Monsieur le Comte Mon Dieu ! said he, embracing me-Vous êtes
The Count instantly put the Shakespeare into his pocket, and left me alone in his room.
COULD not conceive why the Count de B**** had gone so abruptly out of the room, any more than I could conceive why he had put the Shakespeare into his pocket.-Mysteries which must explain themselves are not worth the loss of time which a conjecture about them takes up: 'twas better to read Shakespeare; so taking up "Much ado about Nothing," I transported myself instantly from the chair I sat in to Messina in Sicily, and got so busy with Don Pedro and Benedict and Beatrice, that I thought not of Versailles, the Count, or the Passport.
Sweet pliability of man's spirit, that can at once surrender itself to illusions, which cheat expectation and sorrow of their weary moments! Long-long since had he number'd out my days, had I not trod so great a part of them upon this enchanted ground; when my way is too rough for my feet, or too steep for my strength, I get off it, to some smooth velvet path which fancy has scattered over with rose-buds of delights; and having taken a few turns in it, come back strengthen'd and refresh'd-When evils press
sore upon me, and there is no retreat from them in this world, then I take a new course-I leave it —and as I have a clearer idea of the elysian fields than I have of heaven, I force myself, like Æneas, into them—I see him meet the pensive shade of his forsaken Dido, and wish to recognize it—I see the injured spirit wave her head, and turn off silent from the author of her miseries and dishonours-I lose the feelings for myself in her's, and in those affections which were wont to make me mourn for her when I was at school.
Surely this is not walking in a vain shadownor does man disquiet himself in vain by it—he oftener does so in trusting the issue of his commotions to reason only—I can safely say for myself, I was never able to conquer any one single bad sensation in my heart so decisively, as by beating up as fast as I could for some kindly and gentle sensation to fight it upon its own ground.
When I had got to the end of the third act, the Count de B**** entered with my passport in his hand. Mons. le Duc de C****, said the Count, is as good a prophet, I dare say, as he is a statesman.
Un homme qui rit, said the Duke, ne sera jamais dangereux.-Had it been for any one but the king's jester, added the Count, I could not have got it these two hours. Pardonnez moi, Mons. le
Count, said I-I am not the king's jester.—But you are Yorick ?—Yes.-Et vous plaisantez ?—I answered, Indeed I did jest-but was not paid for it-'twas entirely at my own expence.
We have no jester at court, Mons. le Count, said I; the last we had was in the licentious reign of Charles II.-since which time our manners have been so gradually refining, that our court at present is so full of patriots, who wish for nothing but the honours and wealth of their country-and our ladies are all so chaste, so spotless, so good, so devout-there is nothing for a jester to make a jest of
Voila un persiflage! cried the Count.
S the Passport was directed to all lieutenantgovernors, governors, and commandants of cities, generals of armies, justiciaries, and all officers of justice, to let Mr. Yorick the king's jester, and his baggage, travel quietly along―I own the triumph of obtaining the Passport was not a little tarnish'd by the figure I cut in it-But there is nothing unmix'd in this world; and some of
the gravest of our divines have carried it so far as to affirm, that enjoyment itself was attended even with a sigh-and that the greatest they knew of terminated in a general way, in little better than a convulsion.
I remember the grave and learned Bevoriskius, in his Commentary upon the Generations from Adam, very naturally breaks off in the middle of a note to give an account to the world of a couple of sparrows upon the out-edge of his window, which had incommoded him all the time he wrote, and at last had entirely taken him off from his genealogy. 'Tis strange! writes Bevoriskius, but the facts are certain, for I have had the curiosity to mark them down one by one with my pen-but the cock-sparrow, during the little time that I could have finished the other half of this note, has actually interrupted me with the reiteration of his caresses three-and-twenty times and a half.
How merciful, adds Bevoriskius, is heaven to his creatures!
Ill-fated Yorick! that the gravest of thy brethren should be able to write that to the world, which stains thy face with crimson, to copy in even thy study.
But this is nothing to my travelstwice-twice beg pardon for it.