Malcolm:  I have debated in my soul what wrong, what shame, what sorrow I shall breed.  What wretched errors hath my heart committ’d, nay, not my heart, but my lust, for a heart I have not, and this I know for no man with a heart wouldst have committ’d the crimes I have.  What is a man if his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed?  A beast!  No more.  I have no great cause to desire the approach of day.  Th’expense of spirit in a waste of shame is lust in action, and till action, lust is perjured, murd’rous, bloody full of blame, savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust, enjoyed no sooner but despised straight, past reason hunted, and no sooner had past reason hated as a swallowed bait, on purpose laid to make the taker mad.  To slay the tiger that doth live by slaughter, clear this spot by death.  Die single and thine image dies with thee, and so dies my tyranny.  How wouldst god look upon he who would die for goodness and had liv’d for crime?  So that myself bring water for my stain, but my water need by drugs or poison, poison him that so fell sick of you.  My appetite never more will grind.  If it be poison’d, ‘tis the lesser sin.  What potions have I drunk of siren tears, distill’d from limebecks foul as hell?  Nay, poison is too passive a death for me.  O, that the world should know of the war that wages within me.  The world well knows yet none knows well, to shun the heaven that leads men to this hell and deliver this realm from despotism.  Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan for that deep wound it gives my friend and me; Is’t not enough to torture me alone, but slave to slavery my sweet’st friend must be?  Me from my self thy cruel eye hath taken, and my next self thou harder hast engrossed, of him, my self, and thee I am forsaken, torment thrice three-fold thus to be crossed: Prison my heart in thy steel bosom’s ward.  But alas, I myself am mortgaged to my will, but myself I’ll forfeit, so that this realm thou wilt restore, that I might be in turn less guilty of my faults.  For by betraying me, I do betray my nobler part to my gross body’s treason, but this is the only path mine eyes can see, eyes which have no correspondence with true sight, or if they have, where is my judgment fled, that censures falsely what they see aright?  If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote, what means the world to say it is not so?  Batter my heart, three-person’d god; for you as yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend; that I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.  I, like an usurp’d town, to another due, labour to admit you, but O, to no end.  Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend, but is captived, and proves weak or untrue.  Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain, but am betroth’d unto your enemy; divorce me, untie, or break that knot again, take me to you, imprison me, for I,  Except you enthrall me, never shall be free, nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.  Lust is my sin, and my curs’d, warp’d virtue hate, hate of my sin grounded on sinful virtue.  So now I run to death, and death meets me as fast.death  Despair behind, and death before doth cast such terror, and my feeble flesh doth waste by sin in it, which it t’wards hell doth weigh.  God, save me this final sin.  Crucify me, for I have sinned, and sinned, and only he who could do no iniquity hath died: but by my death can not be satisfied by sins, which pass impiety.  Oh my black soul!  Now art thou summoned by sickness, death’s herald, and champion.  Shall worms, inheritors of this excess eat up thy charge?  My sin?  To win me soon to hell my evil, tempteth my better angel from my side, and would corrupt my saint to be a devil: Wooing his purity with foul pride.  Be not self-willed for thou art much too cruel, so make thyself death’s conquest and make worms thine heir.  Thou shouldst not print more, let that copy die.  My name be buried where my body lies.  I forgive thee one more heinous crime, for this sin is your most just.  Soon my eternal winter shall fade.  Ah, if thou issueless shalt hap to die, the world will celebrate in being free of your tyrannical blood.  My life sinks down to death, oppress’d with melancholy.  The earth can have but earth, which is his due, my spirit is thine the better part of me, so then thou hast but lost the dregs of life, the prey of worms, my body being dead, the coward conquest of a wretch’s knife.  O, god, that your will should survive when I in earth am rotten.  I must 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 wish’d. 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 of time, the oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, the pangs of dispriz’d 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 these fardels bear, to grunt and sweat under a weary life, but that the dread of something after death, the undiscover’d 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 away, and lose the name of action.  May all my sins remember’d be, that none should stray so far again.  I am sick of this false world and will love naught but even the mere necessities upon it.  It is said, he that sleeps feels not the toothache, and so I should not feel the guilt of my cruelty.  The grave diggers presently prepare thy grave; lie where the light foam of the sea may beat the grave stone daily: make thine epitaph that death in me at others’ lives may laugh.  He is dead, not by public minister of justice, nor by hired knife, but that self hand which writ his dishonour in acts it did, hath with the courage which the heart did lend it, split the heart, for I should be judge of my own sins.  This is the knife I robb’d of her wound; she whose beauty I did steel,  behold it stain’d with his most noble blood, he whose family I did ravage.  Lord, I can nothing say, but that I am your most obedient servant, and through my conscience doth the your holy spirit speak to me.  I must put an end to what men may do, what men dare do!  What this man may well do!  What this man daily does even whilst knowing what he does!  Tell Scotland from me, she is rid her most malicious man; and exhort all the world to rise in celebration.  Christ, I shall crave of you your leave that I may bear my evils alone: it were a bad recompense for your love, to lay any of them on you.  The devil himself will have no shepherd.  I see yonder the beginning of the day, but I hope I shall never see the end of it.  This death rock me asleep, abridge my doleful days!  Why, then, let grievous, ghastly, gaping wounds untwine the woman four!  Come, Atroops, I say!  Would I were dead! If god’s good will were so; for what is in this world but grief and woe?  I would that I shouldsup with Jesus Christ tonight, but my sin is too great.  Can not a knife win the honour that is lost?  No, so if not in heaven, I’ll surely sup in hell, for I, have not pity, love, nor fear.  Nay, fear I do have, fear to live this life.  He that cuts off twenty years of life, cuts off as many years of fearing death, and as many years of suffering life.  The sun’s o’ercast with blood: fair day, adieu!   Which is the side that I must go withal?  I am with both: each army hath a hand.  And in their rage, I, having hold of both, they whirl asunder and dismember me.  I would that I were low laid in my grave.  A grievous burden was my birth to me.  Oh, dear mother, that she might have intercepted thee byfeotus strangling thee in her accursed womb, from all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done!  It would have been better to have been sold for food at a year, than to suffer through this perpetual scene of misery that is the epilogue of my life!  This life so filled with the noise of sin, but a man may live as quiet in hell as in a sanctuary, and nothing is his own except his death.  Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end.  Shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend.  *Malcolm raises the knife and hesitates.*  Where is thy conscience now?  I’ll join with black despair against my soul and to myself become an enemy, and by despairing, should though stand excused for doing worthy vengeance on thyself, that didst unworthy slaughter upon others.  As I thrust thy body in with this knife, so wish I, I might thrust my soul to hell.  I would that I could drag thee headlong by the heels unto a dunghill, which shall be thy grave, and there cut off thy most ungracious head, leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon.  Well then, go thee into hell!  *Malcolm thrusts the knife into his chest.*  Thou bitch-wolf’s son! Canst thou not hear?  Feel then! *Malcolm thrusts the knife into his chest again and collapses.  The lights go dark.*


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Rambler About Rambler

Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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