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To be, or not to be, -that is the question :-
Whether 'tis nobler, in the mind, to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune ;
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them ?—To die, -to sleep-
No more; and, by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to ;—'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished !-To die-to sleep ;-,
To sleep? perchance to dream ;-ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause! There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life :
For who would bear the whips and scorns time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To groan and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after Death,-
That undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns,-puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of!
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all ;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought ;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

HAMLET TO THE PLAYERS.—(Shakespeare.) SPEAK the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand—thus—but use all gently ; for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. Oh! it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings: who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb show and noise! I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod : pray you, avoid it. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor : suit the action to the word, the word to the action ; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature, for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing; whose end both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure. Now, this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one must, in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. Oh! there be players that I have seen play-and heard others praise, and that highly,not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christian, nor the gait of Christian, Pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.


THE FOX AND THE CROW. “ The fox and the crowin prose, I well know, many boys and girls can rehearse; but perhaps it will tell pretty nearly as well, if I try the same fable in verse.

In a dairy, a crow having ventured to go, some food for her young ones to seek, flew up to the trees with a large piece of cheese, which she joyfully held in her beak. A fox who lived by, to the tree saw her fly, and to share in the prize made a vow ; for having just dined, he for cheese felt inclined, so he went and sat under the bough. “A very fine day”—not a word did she say. “The wind, I believe, ma'am, is south. A fine harvest for peas." He then looked at the cheese ; but the crow did not open her mouth. Sly Reynard, not tired, her plumage admired—“How charming! how brilliant its hue. The voice must be fine of a bird so divine! Ah, just let me hear it, pray do. Believe me, I long to hear a sweet song.” So the silly crow foolishly tries. But she scarce gave one squall, when the cheese she let fall, and the fox, he made off with his prize.

Too CLEVER. From Nelson's “ROYAL READERS,” No. II., by the kind permission

of the Publishers. FRED came from school the first half year as learned as could be, and wished to show to all around how

smart a boy was he. And so at dinner he began

Papa, you think you see two roasted chickens on that dish, now I will prove them three. First, this is one, and that is two, as plain as plain can be; I add the one unto the two, and two and one make three.” “

Just so," then answered his papa ; “if what you say is true, I will take one, mamma takes one, the third we leave for you."

FREDDIE AND THE CHERRY-TREE. (From AUNT EFFIE's RHYMES,” by kind permission of Messrs.

Freddie saw some fine ripe cherries

Hanging on a cherry-tree,
And he said, “You pretty cherries,

Will you not come down to me ?”
“ Thank you kindly," said a cherry,

“ We would rather stay up here;
If we ventured down this morning,

You would eat us up, I fear.”
One, the finest of the cherries,

Dangled from a slender twig ;-
“ You are beautiful !” said Freddie,

"Red and ripe, and O, how big !"
“ Catch me,” said the cherry; " catch me,

Little master, if you can.
" I would catch you soon,” said Freddie,

“ If I were a grown-up man.”
Freddie jumped, and tried to reach it,

Standing high upon his toes;
But the cherry bobbed about,

And laughed, and tickled Freddie's nose.
“Never mind,” said little Freddie,

“I shall have them when it's right;" But a blackbird whistled boldly,

“I shall eat them all to-night !"


(From the CHILDREN'S FRIEND,” by kind permission of

the Editors.)

Papa ! dear Papa ! we've had such a fine game !

We played at a sail on the sea :
The old arm-chair made such a beautiful ship,

And it sailed —O, as nice as could be !

We made Mary the captain, and Bob was the boy

Who cried, “ Ease her !” “ Back her !” and “Slow !" And Jem was the steersman who stands at the wheel,

And I watched the engines below.

We had for a passenger Grandmamma's cat,

And as Tom could not pay, he went free;
From the fire-side we sailed at half-past two o'clock,

And we got to the sideboard at three.
But O, only think, dear Papa, when half-way,

Tom overboard jumped to the floor! And though we called, “ Tom! come back ! don't be

drowned !”
He gallop'd right out at the door.
But Papa, dear Papa ! listen one moment more,

Till I tell you the end of our sail :
From the sideboard we went at five minutes past three,

And at four o'clock saw such a whale !

The whale was the sofa, and it, dear Papa,

Is at least twice as large as our ship ! The captain called out, “ Turn the ship round about !

0, I wish I had not come this trip!”
And we all cried, “O yes ! let us get away home,

And hide in some corner quite snug;"
So we sailed for the fireside as quick as we could,
And we landed all safe on the rug.

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