صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

-

These short evasive sentences are at the word thought; that is the
subtly expressive of the state of answer to the question ; but he art-
Othello's mind ; but Fechter mis- fully adds the suggestion of harm,
represents them by making Othello which falls like a spark on the in-
free from all misgiving. He“ toys flammable mind of his victim, who
with her curls," and treats her as a eagerly asks, “Why of thy thought,
father might treat a child who was Iago ?”
asking some favour which could not

Iago. I did not think he had been ac-
be granted, yet which called for no quainted with her.
explicit refusal. If the scene stood Othello. Oh yes; and went between us

very oft. alone, I should read it differently;

Iago. Indeed ? but standing as it does between the

Oihello. Indeed ? Ay, Indeed: Dis. two attempts of Iago to fill Othello's cern'st thou aught in that? mind with suspicion, the meaning Is he not honest ?

Iago. Honest, my lord ? is plain enough. He has been made

Othello. Honest ? ay, honest ? uneasy by Iago's remarks ; very Iago. My lord, for aught I know. naturally, his bearing towards his Othello. What dost thou think? wife reveals that uneasiness. A

logo. Think, iny lord ? rague feeling, which he dares not It is difficult to comprehend how shape into a suspicion, disturbs any one should fail to interpret this him. She conquers him at last by dialogue, every word of which is an her winning ways; and he vows

increase of the slowly growing susthat he will deny her nothing. picion. If the scene ended here,

If this be the state of mind in there might indeed be a defence set which the great scene begins, it up for Fechter’s notion that Othello is obviously a serious mistake in should reply to the insinuation in a Fechter to sit down to his papers, careless manner, “playing with his perfectly calm, free from all idea pen as he speaks ;” but no defence whatever of what Iago has suggest- is permissible for one moment when ed; and answering Iago's insidious we know how the scene proceeds. questions as if he did not divine Othello. Think, my lord ? By heaven he their import. So clearly does Othello echoes me! divine their import, that it is he, As if there were some monster in his thought and not Iago, who expresses in

Too hileous to be shown. Thou dost mean

something; words their meaning. It is one of I heard thee say but now, thou lik’dst not the artifices of Iago to make his that victim draw every conclusion from

When Cassio left my wife : what didst

not like? premises which are put before him, And when I told thee he was of my counsel so that, in the event of detection, In my whole course of wooing, thou cry'dst, he can say, “I said nothing, I made Indeed? no accusation." All he does is to

And didst contract and purse thy Irow

together, lead the thoughts of Othello to the

As if thou then hadst shut up in thy brain conclusion desired. The scene thus Some horrible conceit. If thou dost love me begins:

Show me thy thought.
Jago. My noble lord-

Fechter will perhaps reply that this
Othello. What dost thou say, Iago ?
lago. Did Michael Cassio, when you seriously, but as the banter of

language is not to be understood wooed my lady, Know of your love?

Othello at seeing Iago purse his Now Iago perfectly well knew this, brow and look mysterious about for he had heard Desdemona say so

trifles. It is in this sense that he just the minute before.

plays the part. But how widely he Othello. He did from first to last : Why disturbed, may be read in his next

errs, and how seriously Othello is lago. But for the satisfaction of my speech :

thought; No further harm.

" I know thou’rt full of love and honesty,

And weigh'st thy words before thou giv'st Properly, Iago's answer should end them breath,

$

more;

[ocr errors]

a

Therefore these stops of thine fright me the Whereupon he replies, “My life For such things in a false disloyal knare

upon her faith.” And so he would Are tricks of custom; but in a man that's just reply to Iago, had not his mind alThey're close denotments, working from ready been filled with distrust. the heart

Fechter makes him careless, confiThat passion cannot rule.”

dent, unsuspicious, until Iago sugIs this banter? and when he bids Iago gests her deception of her father,

"Speak to me, as to thy thinkings, and then at once credulous and As thou dost ruminate ; and give thy worst of thoughts

overcome. This may be the art The worst of words,"

of the Porte St Martin, or the it is impossible to suppose that his Variétés; it is not the art of mind has not already shaped the Shakespeare. worst suspicions, which he wishes

It is unnecessary to pursue this Iago to confirm.

subject, or to adduce other illusHere, I affirm, the plain sense of trations of misconception, for I Shakespeare is not only too clearly have already declared my convicindicated to admit of the most in- tion that with the most perfect genious reading in another sense, conception Fechter could not adebut any other reading would destroy quately represent the character of the dramatic art with which the Othello; and for his own sake, no scene is conducted, because it would less than for ours, it is to be hoped destroy those indications of the that he will take warning in time, growth of the feeling, which feel- and not attempt tragic parts again. ing, being really founded on Iago's So accomplished an actor, with so suggestions and the smallest pos- charming a physique, will be a sible external evidence, becomes great gain to our stage, if a mispreposterous when the evidence guided ambition, similar to that alone is appealed to. Now, Fech- which makes all baritones try to ter so little understands this play, be tenors, does not lead him into after his twenty years' study, as not

such mistakes as this of Othello. only to miss such broadly marked Let him be assured of one thing, indications, but commits the ab- that the success of his Othello is surdity of making Othello suddenly due entirely to the reputation creatconvinced, and by what? by the ed by his Hamlet, and to the argument of Iago, that Desdemona scenery, dresses, and novelty of the deceived her father, and may there

'business," which excite a temfore deceive her husband ! But porary curiosity. If he suffer that argument (setting aside the panegyrists and flatterers to delude notion of a character like Othello him into the idea that his acting of being moved by merely intellectual Othello moved the audience, or saconsiderations) had already been tisfied the judgment of those whose forcibly presented to his mind by judgment finally determines an her father:

actor's reputation, he will rapidly “Look to her, Moor, havo a quick eye to lose the high position he has won.

This is the language of a sincere She did deceive her father, and may thee.” admirer.

[ocr errors]

see:

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

About the middle of last Sep health. We therefore determined tember we found ourselves at New to judge for ourselves what the conYork, with a few weeks' holiday in dition of things really was in “the hand. To stay there was impos- land of Dixie." sible. We had “ done” the Hud- Having been informed that crossson, visited the theatres (at all of ing the lines at Washington was out which, by the by, the English char- of the question, we applied for a acter was vulgarised and held up passport to go west, to ridicule), society was out of

“ Where roll Missouri and Ohio's flood town,” Broadway given up to the

Beneath the umbrage of eternal wood," tender mercies of “irregulars, dressed in every variety of costume, hoping we should obtain access to suggestive rather of the army in a the South through Kentucky. To transpontine melodrama, than of our dismay, when the precious passone enlisted to serve under the ban. ports arrived, we found upon them ner that “makes tyranny tremble.” the following endorsement, strongly

The New York Herald, a paper smelling of Fort Lafayette :which all Americans read, most

“ DEPARTMENT OF STATE, abuse, and none believe, daily re

WASHINGTON, 18th Sept. 1861. counted, in glowing terms, exciting

It is expected the bearer will not details of great battles fought,

enter any insurrectionary State. where generally one man was re

W. H. SEWARD, ported to have been killed, and

Secretary of State. two slightly wounded, on the side

WINGFIELD SCOTT." of the Federalists; while large bodies of the Confederates were We therefore returned the docudaily made to bite the dust.

ments whence they came. Another newspaper depicted the How we passed the Federal outmiseries which the Southern army posts, it is unnecessary to mention; was encountering from pestilence, suffice to say, that the first indicafamine, and rags. A third assured tion we had of our approach to the its readers that a strong Union feel- Secessionist army was finding a ing was growing up in the South. bridge, by which we had hoped to A fourth was authorised to state, cross the Green River in Kentucky, upon the authority of a “reliable burnt down to the water's edge, gentleman,” that the “arch traitor," and the débris still smouldering on Jeff. Davis, had “ really been dead” the banks. some weeks; while a friend of ours The country-people informed us informed us one morning after that a detachment of Southern breakfast, that he had gone to the troops had been encamped here for trouble of counting the number of some days, and had “done the job the enemy killed since the com- at the bridge yesterday.” From mencement of the war, and found the way in which these good folks it to be, according to a leading spoke of the soldiers, assuring us journal, 1,200,000.

that they did no harm, but paid On the other hand, we learnt for what they wanted in gold and that Lexington bad fallen; that the silver, it was quite plain that the Rebel army was nearer to the capi- allegiance of our informants was tal than it was two months pre- not given to Mr Lincoln's Governviously; that Kentucky was almost ment, and that we had fairly enterlost; that Missouri had passed an ed the forbidden "insurrectionary ordinance of secession; and that States." Moreover, we were rePresident Davis was in excellent minded by a slight incident that

[ocr errors]

a

[ocr errors]

here “property” has another mean- armed to the teeth ; forts crown ing beside that to which Blackstone her pleasant hills, and the smoke of has applied it.

the camp-fire curls over her dense Being obliged to stop for the oak-forests. In and around Louisnight at the cottage of a simple ville a large army of Union soldiers minded primitive old couple, we are quartered. Freedom of speech were sitting round a log-fire in the there is at an end, and arrests are room, which formed our kitchen, reported in the newspapers every parlour, and host's bedroom, when morning. a little black woolly-headed urchin At Bowling Green, a little to the made his appearance, and began south, there is a great Confederate diligent preparations for our supper. camp, commanded by a gallant "Smart lad that, ma'am," we remark- General, who certainly possesses ed to our hostess. “Yes, siree,” the undivided affection of his sol. replied the old lady. “ Wouldn't diers. In the west, another large take 700 dollars for my boy. There's corps threatens Peducat; while not such another in all the country General Zollicoffer, in the east, round. A gentleman offered me is organising an army to oppose 600 for him last week; but dear any movement that may be made me, 'twould break my heart to part from Frankfort. The forces of these with my boy. He goes with me to three commanders are daily increasmeetin' every Sunday—to mind my ing, and the arbitrary acts done horse and waggon.

at Louisville, Elizabeth Town, and Having reached a station on the elsewhere, have served greatly to Louisville and Nashville line, we swell the ranks. found the regular trains stopped, Yet Kentucky is not altogether and the “track” altogether devoted Secessionist. Her legislature is to soldiers and munitions of war. still strong for the Union. Whole A delay, therefore, of several hours counties are the same. Distinensued, which we passed most agree- guished men, opposed to the Govably at a small hotel in the com- ernment, still adhere to the stars pany of several gentlemen of Ken- and stripes. The mature and hontucky, whose opinions made it oured judgment of the venerable necessary for them to proceed south Crittenden is yet against “ the rein order to avoid arrest, and who bels ;” but where are Morehead, for some days previously had suf- Buchner, Preston, Breckenridge ? fered considerable privations in Our party at the little inn broke eluding the grasp of the Federal up on the arrival of a train, and we authorities.

found standing-room in a car crowdThis State, “the eldest daughter ed with soldiers. Few were dressed of Virginia," presented to the stran- in uniform, but all were well armed : ger an interesting, and at the same one beside us, not a bad sample of time painful spectacle. Her people, the rest, had a breech-loading cargenerally esteemed the bravest in bine slung over his shoulder, two the Union, strongly attached to the revolvers in one side of his belt, national flag, refused at first to and a bowie-knife in the other. secede, although a considerable num- What a contrast these men presented ber of her most distinguished states- to the soldiers we had hitherto men openly avowed their sympathy seen! Determination and reckless for the Confederate Government. daring marked every feature and Subsequently her neutrality was gesture. recognised by the authorities at “Do you think the Yankees are Washington, which the Confede- going to whip us, sir ?" inquired rates say was afterwards violated by our friend, looking like a walking the North—and the North declare infernal machine. was broken by the Confederates. “Well, they have a fine army, However that may be, she is now and will do their best, I think.”

[ocr errors]

)

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

so, by

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

sons.

[ocr errors]

"Don't care, sir; they can't do it. a Southern gentleman.
If they beat us in the field, we'll mounted a couple of hacks, we start-
take to the woods, and shoot them ed off through a large pine-wood, and
down like squirrels.” “Look here, soon arrived at a “clearing” of about
sir; see what they have done to me. 200 acres in extent, on most of
I am a shoemaker by trade. They which was growing an average
tried to arrest me in Elizabeth Town; cotton-crop. This was a fair sample
I got away, but they took my wife; of the rest of the plantation, which

I'll take five-and-twenty consisted altogether of 7000 acres.
Yankee scalps, or they shall have Riding into the middle of the field,
mine”!!

we found ourselves surrounded by. Being disappointed in finding any about forty slaves, men, women, of that Union feeling in the south and children, engaged in “picking.' of Kentucky of which we had heard They were all well dressed, and so much in New York, we proceed- seemed happy and cheerful. Wished to Nashville in Tennessee. More ing to know what time of day it camps, more soldiers, more drilling was, I asked Mr

the hour, Men, women, and children think whereupon one of the darkies by of nothing but the war. Fathers my side took out a gold watch and of large families are frequently informed me. seen serving in the ranks as pri- “Do your labourers generally vates, side by side with their wear gold watches, sir ?" I inquired.

Ladies make soldiers' coats “A great many of them have. and trousers, while children knit Why, sir, my negroes all have their their stockings. Trade is in a great cotton-plots and gardens, and most measure at a stand-still ; but the of them little orchards." rapidity with which the people, We found from their own testihitherto dependent upon the North mony that they are fed well, chiefly for every manufactured article, how- upon pork, corn, potatoes, and rice, ever simple, are beginning to supply carefully attended to when sick, their wants for themselves, receives and on Sundays dress better than at Nashville a curious exemplifica- their masters. tion. A few weeks ago a boy dis- Many of them had six or seven covered a method of making percus- hundred dollars of their own, which sion-caps, which the army was then they either lend to the banks or much in need of. A factory was hide in the ground. In the hot forthwith established, that now weather they begin work at six in turns out some millions per week. the morning, and go on till ten;

Amongst the dangers which we had they then go home till about three, heard at New York threatened the and when the sun declines, return South, a revolt of the slave popu- to their work till six or seven. In lation was said to be the most im- the cool weather they begin soon minent. Let us take, then, a peep after daylight, and rest for two or at a cotton-field, and see what like three hours in the middle of the day. lihood there is of such a contin- We next visited the “ Station," gency.

a street of cottages in a pine-wood,
On the bank of the Alabama where Mr 's “family” reside.
river, which winds its yellow course These we found clean and comfort-
through dense woods of oak, ash, able. Two of the men were sick,
maple, and pine, thickened with and had been visited that morning
tangled copse of varied evergreens, by a doctor ; in the mean time
lie some of the most fertile planta- they were looked after by the nurses
tions of the State. One of these of the establishment, of whom there
we had the advantage of visiting. were three to take care of the child-
Its owner received us with all that ren and invalids.
hospitality and unaffected bonhom- On the whole, it can fearlessly be
mie which invariably distinguish said, if this is a true type of the


VOL. XC.-NO. DLIV.

3 E

[ocr errors][merged small]
« السابقةمتابعة »