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was not the man to mete out his payments in that fashion. Besides giving up other emoluments, Berkeley had such a dislike of non-residence, that, when he wished to retire into a life of scholarship, he petioned to be allowed to give up his bishoprick, valued at 1,4007 a-year; a request which so astonished and delighted George the Second, that he declared he should "die a bishop in spite of himself."-This great and good man was handsome, "with a countenance full of meaning and kindness," and of a temperament between sanguine and melancholy, strong in muscle, but what we should call delicate in the nerves. He had a happy death, expiring suddenly at the tea-table without a groan, while reclining on a sofa.
ROMANCE OF REAL LIFE.
LXI. THE MURDERER WHO WAS NO MURDERER.
[THE closing paragraph of this story (which is quoted from the Theory of Presumptive Proof,' in Cecil's Sixty Curious Narratives'), winds it up with a singular increase of dramatic interest,-if we may use terms of the stage in speaking of such frightful realities. It reminds us, though dissimilar in other respects, of an account we have read somewhere of a lady who dreamt that her maid-servant was coming into her room to kill her, and who, rising in her bed in the agitation of waking, beheld the woman actually entering the door for that purpose. Imagine the appalled situation of both parties!] JONATHAN BRADFORD kept an inn in Oxfordshire, on the London road to Oxford, in the year 1736. He bore an unexceptionable character. Mr Hayes, a gentleman of fortune, being on his way to Oxford, on a visit to a relation, put up at Bradford's; he there joined company with two gentlemen, with whom he supped, and, in conversation, unguardedly mentioned that he had then about him a large sum of money. In due time they retired to their respective chambers, the gentlemen to a two-bedded room, leaving, as is customary with many, a candle burning in the chimney corner. Some hours after they were in bed, one of the gentlemen, being awake, thought he heard a deep groan in the adjoining chamber, and this being repeated, he softly awaked his friend. They listened together, and the groans increasing as of one dying, they both instantly arose, and proceeded silently to the door of the next chamber, from whence they heard the groans; and, the door being a-jar, saw a light in the room; they entered, but it is impossible to paint their consternation, on perceiving a person weltering in his blood in the bed, and a man standing over him, with a dark lanthorn in one hand and a knife in the other. The man seemed as petrified as themselves, but his terror carried with it all the terror of guilt! The gentlemen soon discovered the person was a stranger with whom they had that night supped, and that the man who was standing over him was their host. They seized Bradford directly, disarmed him of his knife, and charged him with being the murderer: he assumed by this time the air of innocence, positively denied the crime, and asserted that he came there with the same humane intentions as themselves; for that, hearing a noise, which was succeeded by a groaning, he got out of bed, struck a light, armed himself with a knife for his defence, and was but that minute entered the room before them.
pleaded not guilty. Nothing could be more strong than the evidence of the two gentlemen; they testified to the finding Mr Hayes murdered in his bed; Bradford at the side of the body with a light and a knife; that knife, and the hand which held it, bloody; that, on their entering the room, he betrayed all the signs of a guilty man, and that, a few moments preceding, they had heard the groans of the deceased.
Bradford's defence on his trial was the same as before the gentlemen: he had heard a noise; he suspected some villany transacting; he struck a light; he snatched a knife (the only weapon near him) to defend himself; and the terrors he discovered were merely the terrors of humanity, the natural effects of innocence as well as guilt, on beholding such a horrid scene.
These assertions were of little avail; he was kept in close custody till the morning, and then taken Bradbefore a neighbouring justice of the peace. ford still denied the murder, but, nevertheless, with such an apparent indication of guilt, that the justice hesitated not to make use of this extraordinary expression, on writing out his mittimus, "Mr Bradford, either you or myself committed this murder." This extraordinary affair was the conversation of the whole county. Bradford was tried and condemned over and over again, in every company. In the midst of all this predetermination came on the assizes at Oxford; Bradford was brought to trial, he
This defence, however, could be considered but as weak, contrasted with several powerful circumstances against him. Never was circumstantial evidence more strong. There was little need left of comment, from the judge in summing up the evidence. No room appeared for extenuation! And the jury brought in the prisoner guilty, even without going out of the box. Bradford was executed shortly after, still declaring he was not the murderer, nor privy to the murder of Mr Hayes; but he died disbelieved by all.
Yet were those assertions not untrue! The murder was actually committed by Mr Hayes's footman; who, immediately on stabbing his master, rifled his breeches of his money, gold watch, and snuff-box, and escaped to his own room; which could have been, from the very circumstances, scarcely two seconds before Bradford's entering the unfortunate gentleman's chamber. The world owes this knowledge to a remorse of conscience in the footman (eighteen months after the execution of Bradford) on a bed of sickness; it was a death-bed repentance, and by that death the law lost its victim.
It is much to be wished that this account could close here; but it cannot. Bradford, though innocent, and not privy to the murder, was, nevertheless, the murderer in design. He had heard, as well as the footman, what Mr Hayes had declared at supper, as to his having a large sum of money about him, and he went to the chamber with the same diabolical intentions as the servant. He was struck with amazement he could not believe his senses !-and
in turning back the bed-clothes, to assure himself of the fact, he, in his agitation, dropped his knife on the bleeding body, by which both his hand and the knife became bloody. These circumstances Bradford acknowledged to the clergyman who attended him after
A FEW THOUGHTS ON LANGUAGE, BY EGERTON WEBBe. !
"Nos probabilia multa habemus, quæ sequi facile, affirmare vix possumus."-Cic. (Acad. Lib. ii. Edit. prim.)
therefore, on this subject, we may fairly take it for granted, that what with the living tongues, and the dead tongues, and "all the tongues that Babel cleft this world into," mankind has already witnessed the full development of the powers of language. But who will be so rash as to say that the mind of man has run its course? In a savage state, when the thoughts of men are limited to the mere objects of their appetite; or in a state of first society, where the mind, though of another growth, is still convers ant with none but objects of familiar contemplation, the resources of language are abundantly sufficient for all the purposes of communication; but in a highly civilized age, when bodily labour has ceased to be the inheritance of all, and many are thrown on meditation as their portion-when men begin to examine themselves more curiously, and to regard with attention the wondrous operations of their minds,-then begins the perplexity of language: then involutions, perversions, forced applications, contradictions, anomalies, thicken fast, and confess the original weakness that engenders them. Language is a garment that the mind outgrows; in the infancy of the human intellect, it covers and nurtures it, and gives it warmth, but, in the end, becomes a close and binding shroud that puts a mortal weight on all our aspirations, and from which we endeavour in vain to deliver ourselves. Is this too much to sayshades of Aristotle, Plato, Hartley, Locke? In your state of heavenly knowledge, declare-what evil hand withheld you from the perfect sight of the truth for which you toiled? Why did you do so much, yet do no more? Is it not that phraseology enveloped you like a fog, confounded your operations, and obscured your view? Does not the road to truth lie straight before us; while the labyrinth of words winds round and round, for ever returning to the same point, so that we make much ado but no way, and either become blinded and overwhelmed amidst an "inextricabilis error," or, at the best, escape to no better credit than to have ended where we begun? I do not, however, forget that there are other imperfections in our condition, other and more formidable obstructions besetting the paths of philosophical inquiry; nor indeed can I think it doubtful, that there exists in morals, as in physics, a gravitating principle, which must continue to all eternity to bring down, on the head of the projector, the Sisyphus stone of metaphysical speculation. But how much of this discomfiture, we may ask, rests with language? "These words," says Horne Tooke of his participles and adjectives in disguise, "these words, not understood as such, have caused a metaphysical jargon, and a false morality;" and so far he was unquestionably in the right; but he adds-" which can only be dissipated by etymology;" and here I confess I think him wrong-if, at least, he means that etymology is in itself a sufficient antidote against false morals, and that truth and virtue need only to be sought in the roots of words. Etymology, indeed, might ferret Sophistry out of some of her old holes, but she would only take refuge in new quarters where he could not reach her: though Horne Tooke reduces her allowance to a noun and a verb, she can extract from these quite enough of the spirit of falsehood to maintain herself in a flourishing condition. I think with Horne Tooke that an abuse of language is an abuse of reason, but I also think (a position on which I propose to argue hereafter) that language is—even in its healthiest and soundest state, and under every conceivable advantage, whether of ability in the writer or capabililty in the reader-an instrument naturally defective and full of flaws. At present, I only propose to consider some of the most obvious of these, and to show that if our ideas are liable to error, the vehicle of those ideas is still more commonly at fault. A man more frequently outrages the truth in speech than in thought; he more frequently talks than thinks wrongly. To be convinced of this, we have only to fasten on any ordinary remark that may be elicited in conversation, and compare the thing expressed with the thing intended; in nine cases out of ten it will be found that the latter is just, while the for
THE string that inclines the kite to the wind, limits its ascent; the water that floats the ship, surrounds it with a resisting power. Language is at once our liberator and our enslaver; our liberator from brute ignorance, our enslaver in the chains of conventionalism. It presents us with the only continuous medium of communication, yet invests it with such circumstances of form and manner as shackle the operations of the mind, and leave the subtleties of thought to be delivered in imperfect hints and halfdisclosures. None of our faculties are illimitable, but many of our faculties have very different degrees of extension, and there can be no question that while the imagination ranges over a kingdom only bounded by the circle of experience, speech is confined to a much narrower province."
It is difficult to imagine a system of language of greater scope and capacity than that which prevails in the world at this day; it is also difficult to conceive that any possible innovations or refinements that might be engrafted on that system, such as it is, could materially extend its compass; in reasoning,
mer is absurd. I do not here allude to certain conventional hyperboles and familiar idioms well understood, respecting which it might very properly be answered that particular instances of perversion can afford no ground for a general argument. But I refer to the character of our ordinary expressions, even when we seek to convey some obvious meaning in the clearest manner;-habit blinds us to half the absurdities we utter. Were I to indulge myself in copious illustrations, I should exhaust the Reader's patience before I exhausted my list of examples; a few, however, will be sufficient, and will lead to the apprehension of others.
our ideas turn-with more or less consciousness on our part-on some few general sensations, so it is natural that words, the interpreters of those ideas, should in like manner spring from a few simple roots. But that these should gradually bid adieu to all the family ties—cut their relations—and enter into foreign service, running a race to the utter confusion of common sense, and the infinite botheration of their patient historians the philologists, does seem a little
What shall we say to a "dry humour "*. a false verdict "_" a forgery of gold "—"an infamous notoriety "accustomed insolence"—"a sedentary "—"a weekly journal "-" critical judgment -"necessity of giving way,”- "—or to such expressions as " to lay down the law"-"an occasion arose" (and in the Latin, if I mistake not, "orta est occasio,"
"it rose up accidentally "-" he raised an impression -"the subject was not submitted "_"his pains were the cause of his indolence,"- —or such tautologies as “a substantial understanding "—“ a falling ruin ". "a common vulgarity "-" a despotic master "_" a hospitable host"-"a habit that he had "—" vivere vitam ""_" dare donum," &c.
Some of these, it is true, are such as a fastidious writer would not employ; but others are sanctioned by the example of all authors, and form part of the current coin of language. Here, then, is a choice dish of mixed metaphors, obscure figures, and palpable nonsense! And from this confusion-what page of what book is free? what five minutes of what conversation? If contradictions and anomalies of this kind were merely the result of a slovenly style of speech-an effect for which not language itself, but only the guardians of language had to answer, then the question might take another shape; but the truth seems to be, that the innumerable corruptions with which language is overlaid are no fortuitous blemishes induced by peculiar causes, but natural imposthumes on the surface of a body originally weak-a sort of cutaneous disorder-hereditary and incurable. So much so, that if we could conceive a people intirely composed of scholars and linguists going and settling themselves in some distant island, and carrying along with them a perfect pattern of a language which it was their sole care to preserve from contamination and decay, we might nevertheless safely predict that before many centuries had passed over the heads of this conservative colony, their treasure would no more resemble its original self, than the whiteness of the unsullied snow on the peak of Mont Blanc resembles the colour of a Cheapside thaw.-Nations may rise, and fall, and rise again; the character of a people may degenerate, and regenerate; we pass from liberty to licentiousness, from licentiousness to weakness, from weakness to slavery, from slavery to want, from want to rebellion, and so back again to liberty. But when language has once lost its primitive simplicity, which is pretty soon, it never recovers itself, it has no principle of resiliency in it as man has, and it continues to the end of the chapter to go along on a sort of hobby-horse of shifts and expedients.†
That a certain limited number of primitive words should beget the whole vocabulary, is all very well; no one will question their undoubted right to any extent of family they may choose to have. As all
That is to say a dry moisture-a false truth-an ironworking of gold-an infamous famousness-accustomed unaccustomedness-a sitting run-a weekly daily-judging judgment-unyieldingness of yielding (if I am right in deriving necessitas from ne negative and cedo or cesso)— to lay down the laid-down-a falling arose-it rose up fallingly he raised a pressing-in (and a pressing in is a pressing down)—that which was thrown under was not sent under-his pains were the cause of his absense from pain - an understanding understanding-a falling falling-a common commonness, &c.
What Horace says of words-that like the leaves of the trees they fall, but presently "flourish again with a new birth," is very true, but does not disprove what I have said; all he means by the simile is, that certain words go out of fashion, and by and by come in again; but this is no "new birth" for language-no return to first principles.
Let us consider for a moment that class of words which Horne Tooke says "compose the bulk of every language," and let us enjoy their perplexity a little. “Those,” he says, “which are derived from the Latin, French, and Italian, are easily recognised; " but he does not say that they are as easily reconciled to propriety. His business lay with the Saxon part of English, and he did not concern himself with these anomalous features to which I am adverting. Had he done so, he would no doubt, in his usual perspicuous manner, have rendered an account of them as nearly approaching to satisfaction as it is possible; nevertheless he could not have proved that obscurity was not a grievous evil, merely because he was able to grope his way through it. But, first of all, here are a few of the patriarchs; prithee, Reader, treat them with respect, they are all venerable old gentlemen, and nowise responsible for the vagaries of their offspring.
Of the innumerable derivative words flowing from these sources, the greatest portion are compounds, formed by the addition of various prepositions, which generally do import, and always ought to import, some qualification of meaning. But these derivatives not only supply qualifications of the original meaning, but furnish a multitude of figurative expressions for the service of the imagination and the reason. Now these figurative expressions generally do consort, and always ought to consort, with the association of ideas; -wherin lies the metaphysical part of language. If these two points of conformity had always been duly adhered to, so as to preserve unity and consistency throughout, which is impossible, language at this day would have been a comparatively simple machine, and have ailed nowhere, save only in those fundamental respects-which I propose to notice hereafter. But will anyone affirm that such is the case? Is the composition of words, whether in the languages of modern times, or in those from which they proceed, always such as the understanding, most readily embraces? Assuredly not. Take the word mitto to send (though I think it more frequently should be rendered to put especially in composition-a sense which the French seem to have preserved in their verb mettre). Because mitto has this signification, it is easy to recognise the propriety of such a word as c-mit, to send out (e from or out) applied to a matter of fact, or the word dismiss, as figuratively used when we say "he dismissed the subject from his mind," i. e. he sent the subject away from his mind. But what are we to make of admit? which, if we translate it literally, to send to, does not seem very well to justify our present employment of it. If you and your family have been standing for an hour at the door of the pit in Drury lane till you are half crushed, I fancy when it is at length opened you are not at that moment intent upon being sent to any place, but simply desire to be let in. To admit, therefore, instead of being used in the sense of "to suffer to enter," Johnson's definition, would be a much better word to mean "to send a man about his business" in short "not to suffer to enter." Yet the Latin admitto hardly exhibits more traces of its radical meaning than does its English relative. It is possible, I know, to give some account of this, but no apology can reconcile us to such prevaricating words-such conundrums. In the same way it may no doubt be explained by what process of torture VIXμ comes to mean I promise, or how promitto arrives at the same destination, or ETITEETW 1 permit, or how some words (and these not a few)
should mean in one language precisely the reverse of what they mean in another; why for example, elevated with us should mean raised up, while elevatus in the Latin means debased, why resolute should mean firm or determined while resolutus means relaxed-and by consequence feeble and undetermined.* All this may be explained-but so may the Chinese puzzles or the Egyptian hieroglyphics. We don't want language for a plaything to provoke our ingenuity, but for a steady and faithful friend to assist us in many a grave inquiry after truth. It is no satisfaction to know how words have been misappropriated, if misappropriated they are. If a man loses his hat and wig in a crowd, it is no consolation to him to be told that a thief picked them up and ran away with Nor does the original propriety of a word afford any redress for the absurdity of a subsequent application. John Long, in all probability, is a very
what does it make in favour of John
Long, that some remote progenitor had inches to justify his cognomen? Again, if the connection of certain verbs with certain prepositions to imply a certain sense, were a matter of unquestionable fitness in one language, we should suppose that the analogy would hold good as regards any other; it would be But if this were equally true of all, if true of one.
the case we should find all parallel words in corresponding situations. Пgos and prosto, gos and prosum, consto and withstand, supervenio and overcome, ὔποςρέφω and subverto, επικάθημαι and supersede, osaσis substantia and understanding—would only be various in sound, but would agree in expressing the same thing; whereas these words, we know, take all manner of different forms. We should not find suspicio, as well as its counterpart pogaw, signifying indifferently. to mistrust, or to honour; we should not be able, with impunity, to exchange withdraw for retract-overturn for subvert (under-turn)—overthrow for subject (under-throw)-supposition and hypothesis (a putting under) for surmise (a putting over), &c. &c.
What does all this prove?— original error —
subsequent perversion? Neither. But it proves this; that the image or figure that has reconciled such words to the understanding in any case, is so slight, so flimsy, so precarious, so easily exchangeable for any other image or figure, that no method or analogy can be maintained. It proves that the association of our ideas is of a nature for ever to forbid uniformity or universality in any system of language; that it is as impossible for there to be one diction in the world, as for there to be one mind, that each individual language is, and must remain, full of inconsistencies and incoherencies, whilst between one language and another there can be no more assimilation than between the manners, dispositions, and opinions of the people who use them.†
[To be continued.]
* The in intensitive, and the in privative, and the in redundant, of the Latin, are productive of many inconveniences in that language, which we have partly copied. Thus infractus either means very much broken, or not at all broken. Habitable and inhabitable with us mean the same thing; but the Latin habitabilis answers to our inhabitable, while in-habitabilis answers to our un-in-habitable. Inquisitus means either investigated, or not invesThe tigated; infranatus either bridled, or unbridled. game ambiguity belongs to the Greek επι; λυπη means grief, ETUTWs with great grief; udaw means to laugh, but a means to laugh slightly ;--but this diminutive seuse seems to be very rare. To improve is now used to mean-more than to prove-to make better, but in old English we find it used negatively-not to prove or approve to disapprove. Valuable and invaluable, estimable and inestimable, appreciable and inappreciable, one and the other are used to afirm value, but though in the latter words the in has the effect of an intensitive, it is not here through affirmation, but through negation; we mean by valuable that which can be valued, because it has value; by invaluable we mean that which can not be valued, because its value is beyond calculation.
+ Peculiarities, by the way, on which the phraseology of every country greatly depends. Gibbon, in a note on the 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,' suggests the idea of a work which would indeed be a valuable acquisition to our national literature; the object of which should be, to trace the character of different nations from their language -a scientific process. Horne Tooke was philologist enough but not philosopher enough for the task. Locke was philosopher, but not philologist enough. Yet Locke would
and skill as if he had had to depend on the execution alone for the success of his design. On the other hand, Desdemona and Æmilia are not meant to be opposed with anything like strong contrast to each other. Both are, to outward appearance, characters of common life, not more distinguished than women usually are, by difference of rank and situation. The difference of their thoughts and sentiments is however laid as open, their minds are separated from each other by signs as plain and as little to be mistaken as the complexions of their husbands.
The movement of the passion in Othello is exceedingly different from that of Macbeth. In Macbeth there is a violent struggle between opposite feelings, between ambition and the stings of conscience, almost from first to last in Othello, the doubtful conflict between contrary passions, though dreadful, continues only for a short time, and the chief interest is excited by the alternate ascendancy of different passions, the intire and unforseen change from the fondest love and most unbounded confidence to the tortures of jealousy and the madness of hatred. The revenge of Othello, after it has once taken thorough possession of his mind, never quits it, but grows stronger and stronger at every moment of its delay. The nature of the Moor is noble, confiding, tender, and generous; but his blood is of the most inflammable kind; and being once roused by a sense of his wrongs, he is stopped by no considerations of remorse or pity till he has given a loose to all the dictates of his rage and his despair. It is in working his noble nature up to this extremity through rapid but gradual transitions, in raising passion to its height from the smallest beginnings and in spite of all obstacles, in painting the expiring conflict between love and hatred, tenderness and resentment, jealousy and remorse, in unfolding the strength and the weaknesses of our nature, in uniting sublimity of thought with the anguish of the keenest woe, in putting in motion the various impulses that agitate this our mortal being, and at last blending them in that noble tide of deep and sustained passion, impetuous but majestic, that "flows on to the Propontic, and knows no ebb," that Shakspeare has shown the mastery of his genius and of his power over the human heart. The third act of Othellois his masterpiece, not of knowledge or passion separately, but of the two combined, of the knowledge of character with the expression of passion, of consummate art in the keeping up of appearances with the profound workings of nature, and the convulsive movements of uncontrolable agony, of the power of inflicting torture and of suffering it. Not only is the tumult of passion heaved up from the very bottom of the soul, but every the slightest undulation of feeling is seen on the surface, as it arises from the impulses of imagination or the different probabilities maliciously suggested by Iago. The progressive preparation for the catastrophe is wonderfully managed, from the Moor's first gallant recital of the story of his love, of "the spells and witchcraft he had used," from his unlooked-for and romantic success, the fond satisfaction with which he dotes on his own happiness, the unreserved tenderness of Desdemona and her innocent importunities in favour of Cassio, irritating the suspicions instilled into her husband's mind by the perfidy of Iago, and rankling there to poison, till he looses all command of himself, and his rage can only be appeased by blood. She is introduced, just before Iago begins to put his scheme in practice, pleading for Cassio with all the thoughtless gaiety of friendship and winning confidence in the love of Othello,
CHARACTERS OF SHAKSPEARE'S
BY WILLIAM HAZLITT.
It has been said that tragedy purifies the affections by terror and pity. That is, it substitutes imaginary sympathy for mere selfishness. It gives us a high and permanent interest, beyond ourselves, in humanity as such. It raises the great, the remote, and the possible to an equality with the real, the little and the near. It makes man a partaker with his kind. It subdues and softens the stubbornness of his will. It teaches him that there are and have been others like himself, by showing him as in a glass what they have felt, thought, and done. It opens the chambers of the human heart. It leaves nothing indifferent to us that can affect our common nature. It excites our sensibility by exhibiting the passions wound up to the utmost pitch by the power of imagination or the temptation of circumstances; and corrects their fatal excesses in ourselves by pointing to the greater extent of suf. ferings and of crimes to which they have led others. Tragedy creates a balance of the affections. It makes us thoughtful spectators in the lists of life. It is the refiner of the species; a discipline of humanity. The habitual study of poetry and works of imagination is one chief part of a well-grounded education. A taste for liberal art is necessary to complete the character of a gentleman. Science alone is hard and mechanical. It exercises the understanding upon things out of themselves, while it leaves the affections unemployed, or engrossed with our own immediate, narrow interests.- Othello' furnishes an illus. tration of these remarks. It excites our sympathy in an extraordinary degree. The moral it conveys has a closer application to the concerns of human life than that of any other of Shakspeare's plays. "It comes directly home to the bosoms and business of men." The pathos in Lear' is indeed more dreadful and overpowering: but it is less natural, and less of every day's occurrence. We have not the same degree of sympathy with the passions described in Macbeth.' The interest in Hamlet' is more remote and reflex. That of Othello'. is at once equally profound and affecting.
The picturesque contrasts of character in this play are almost as remarkable as the depth of the passion. The Moor Othello, the gentle Desdemona, the villain lago, the good-natured Cassio, the fool Roderigo, present a range and variety of character as striking and palpable as that produced by the opposition of costume in a picture. Their distinguishing qualities stand out to the mind's eye, so that even when we are not thinking of their actions or sentiments, the idea of their persons is still as present to us as ever. These characters and the images they stamp upon the mind are the farthest asunder possible, the distance between them is immense: yet the compass of knowledge and invention which the poet has shown in embodying these extreme creations of his genius is only greater than the truth and felicity with which he has identified each character with itself, or blended their different qualities together in the same story. What a contrast the character of Othello forms to that of Iago: at the same time, the force of conception with which these two figures are opposed to each other is rendered still more intense by the complete consistency with which the traits of each character are brought out in a state of the highest finishing. The making one black and the other white, the one unprincipled, the other unfortunate in the extreme, would have answered the common purposes of effect, and satisfied the ambition of an ordinary painter of character. Shakspeare has laboured the finer shades of difference in both with as much care
have been the man-or Locke-cum-Tooke-or Tooke-cumLocke. Why do our dictionaries refer Vis (force) to the Greek Six, and not its evident fellow, Via? Would it not be a good commentary on Roman violence, showing that they ever made their way by force, that via and vis were, with them, one and the same thing (a)-nay that their whole life vita (Corn) was but one season of barbarity and brute coarseness!
"What! Michael Cassio?
That came a wooing with you, and so many a time,
To your person. Nay, when I have a suit,
Othello's confidence, at first only staggered by broken hints and insinuations, recovers itself at sight of Desdemona; and he exclaims,——
"If she be false, O then Heav'n mocks itself: I'll not believe it."
But presently after, on brooding over his suspicions by himself, and yielding to his apprehensions of the worst, his smothered jealousy breaks out into open fury, and he returns to demand satisfaction of Iago like a wild beast stung with the envenomed shaft of the hunters. Look where he comes," &c. In this state of exasperation and violence, after the first paroxysms of his grief and tenderness have had their vent in that passionate apostrophe, "I felt not Cassio's kisses on her lips," Iago by false aspersions, and by presenting the most revolting images to his mind, easily turns the storm of passion from himself against Desdemona, and works him up into a trembling agony of doubt and fear, in which he abandons all his love and hopes in a breath,
"Now do I see 'tis true. Look here, Iago, All my fond love thus do I blow to Heav'n. 'Tis gone.
Arise black vengeance from the hollow hell;
From this time, his raging thoughts "never look back, ne'er ebb to humble love," till his revenge is sure of its object, the painful regrets and involuntary recollections of past circumstances which cross his mind amidst the dim trances of passion, aggravating the sense of his wrongs, but not shaking his purpose. Once indeed, where Iago shows him Cassio with the handkerchief in his hand, and making sport (as he thinks) of his misfortunes, the intolerable bitterness of his feelings, the extreme sense of shame, makes him fall to praising her accomplishments and relapse into a momentary fit of weakness, "Yet, oh, the pity of it, Iago, the pity of it!" This returning fondness however only serves, as it is managed by Iago, to whet his revenge, and set his heart more against her. In his conversations with Desdemona, the persuasion of her guilt and the immediate proofs of her duplicity seem to irritate his resentment and aversion to her; but in the scene immediately preceding her death, the recollection of his love returns upon him in all its tenderness and force; and after her death, he all at once forgets his wrongs in the sudden and irreparable sense of his loss,—
My wife! My wife! What wife? I have no wife. Oh, insupportable! Oh, heavy hour!"
This happens before he is assured of her innocence; but afterwards his remorse is as dreadful as his revenge has been, and yields only to fixed and deathlike despair. His farewell speech, before he kills himself, in which he conveys his reasons to the senate for the murder of his wife, is equal to the first speech in which he gave them an account of his courtship of her, and "his whole course of love." Such an ending was alone worthy of such a commencement. If anything could add to the force of our sympathy with Othello, or compassion for his fate, it would be the frankness and generosity of his nature, which so little deserve it. When Iago first begins to practise upon his unsuspecting friendship, he answers
""Tis not to make me jealous,
To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company, Is free of speech, sings, plays, and dances well; Where virtue is, these are most virtuous. "Nor from my own weak merits will I draw The smallest fear or doubt of her revolt, For she had eyes and chose me."
This character is beautifully (and with affecting simplicity) confirmed by what Desdemona herself says
see this, were they as prime as goats,' &c. • See the passage beginning, "It is impossible you should
"Believe me, I had rather have lost my purse
Is true of mind, and made of no such baseness,
As jealous creatures are, it were enough
To put him to ill thinking.
EMILIA. Is he not jealous?
DESDEMONA. Who, he? I think the sun where he was born
Drew all such humours from him."
In a short speech of Emilia's, there occurs one of those side-intimations of the fluctuations of passion which we seldom meet with but in Shakspeare. After Othello has resolved upon the death of his wife, and bids her dismiss her attendant for the night, she answers,
"I will, my Lord.
EMILIA. How goes it now? He looks gentler than he did."
Shakspeare has here put into half a line what some authors would have spun out into ten set speeches.
The character of Desdemona herself is inimitable both in itself, and as it contrasts with Othello's groundless jealously, and with the foul conspiracy of which she is the innocent victim. Her beauty and external graces are only indirectly glanced at; we "her visage in her mind;" her character everywhere predominates over her person..
"A maiden never bold:
Of spirit so still and quiet, that her motion
There is one fine compliment paid to her by Cassio, who exclaims triumphantly when she comes ashore at Cyprus after the storm
In general, as is the case with most of Shakspeare's females, we lose sight of her personal charms in her attachment and devotedness to her husband. "She is subdued even to the very quality of her lord;" and to Othello's "honours and his valiant parts her soul and fortunes consecrates." The lady protests so much herself, and she is as good as her word. The truth of conception, with which timidity and boldness are united in the same character, is marvellous. The extravagance of her resolutions, the pertinacity of her affections, may be said to arise out of the gentleness of her nature. They imply an unreserved reliance on the purity of her own intentions, an intire surrender of her fears to her love, a knitting of her self (heart and soul) to the fate of another. Bating the commencement of her passion, which is a little fantastical and headstrong (though even that may perhaps be consistently accounted for from her in ability to resist a rising inclination*) her whole cha racter consists in having no will of her own, no prompter but her obedience. Her romantic turn is only a consequence of the domestic and practical part of her disposition; and instead of following Othello to the wars, she would gladly have "remained at home a moth of peace," if her husband could have staid with her. Her resignation and angelic sweetness of temper do not desert her at the last. The scenes in which she laments and tries to account for Othello's estrangement from her are exquisitely beautiful. After he has struck her, and called her names, she says,—
"Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling winds,
As having sense of beauty, do omit
Their mortal natures, letting safe go by
"IAGO. Ay, too gentle.
OTHELLO. Nay, that's certain."
What shall I do to win my lord again?
The scene which follows with Emilia and the song
"EMILIA. Would you had never seen him.
That even his stubbornness, his checks, his frowns,
Not the unjust suspicions of Othello, not Iago's
One of his most characteristic speeches is that im mediately after the marriage of Othello:
Plague him with flies: Tho' that his joy be joy,
In the next passage, his imagination runs riot in the mischief he is plotting, and breaks out into the wildness and impetuosity of real enthusiasm :
The character of Iago is one of the supererogations of Shakspeare's genius. Some persons, more nice than wise, have thought this whole character unnatural, because his villany it without a sufficient motive. Shakspeare, who was as good a philosopher as he was a poet, thought otherwise. He knew that the love of power, which is another name for the love of mischief, is natural to man. He would know this as well or better than if it had been demonstrated to him by a logical diagram, merely from seeing children paddle in the dirt or kill flies for sport. Iago in fact belongs to a class of characters, common to Shakspeare, and at the same time peculiar to him; whose heads are as accute and active as their hearts are hard and callous. Iago is to be sure an extreme instance of the kind; that is to say, of diseased intellectual activity, with an almost perfect indifference to moral good or evil, or rather with a decided preference of the latter, because it falls more readily in with his favourite propensity, gives greater zest to his thoughts and scope to his actions. He is quite or nearly as indifferent to his own fate as to that of others; he runs all risks for a trifling and doubtful advantage; and is himself the dupe and victim of his ruling passion-an insatiable craving after action of the most difficult and dangerous kind.
cient" is a philosopher, who fancies that a lie that
"RODERIGO. Here is her father's house: I'll call aloud.
IAGO. Do, with like timorous accent and dire
As when, by night and negligence, the fire
This is probing to the quick. Iago here turns the character of poor Desdemona, as it were, inside out. could have preserved the intire interest and delicacy~ It is certain that nothing but the genius of Shakspeare of the part, and have even drawn an additional elegance and dignity from the peculiar circumstances in which she is placed. The habitual licentiousness of Iago's conversation is not to be traced to the pleasure he takes in gross and lascivious images, but to his desire of finding out the worst side of everything, and proving himself an over-match for appearances. He has none of "the milk of human kindness' his composition. His imagination rejects everything that has not a strong infusion of the most unpalatable ingredients; his mind digests only poisons. Virtue or goodness or whatever has the least "relish of sal- ́ vation in it," is, to his depraved appetite, sickly and insipid and he even : resents the good opinion affront cast on the masculine sense and spirit of his entertained of his own integrity, as if it were an character. Thus, at the meeting between Othello and Desdemona, he exclaims-“Oh, you are well tuned now: but I'll set down the pegs that make this music, as honest as I am "—his character of bonhommie not sitting at all easily upon him. In the scenes where he tries to work Othello to his purpose, he is proportionably guarded, insidious, dark, and deliberate. We believe nothing ever came up to the profound dissimulation and dexterous artifice of the well-known dialogue in the third act, where he first enters upon the execution of his design :
When you woo'd my lady, know of your love?
Why dost thou ask?
IAGO. But for a satisfaction of my thought, No further harm.
OTHELLO. Why of thy thought, Iago?
IAGO. I did not think he had been acquainted
OTHELLO. O ycs, and went between us, very oft-
OTHELLO. Indeed? Ay, indeed. Discern'st thou ought of that?
Is he not honest?
semble those of other men; but when excited by passion, when love, or patriotism, or the influence of nature kindles the soul, it becomes natural, nay, imperative to them to embody their thoughts, and to give "a local habitation and a name " to the emotions that possess them. The remarks of critics on the overflowings of poetic minds remind one of the traveller who expressed such wonder when on landing at Calais he heard little children talk French.-Lives
of Eminent Italians. (Vol. lxiii of 'Dr Lardner's Cyclopædia.')
The stops and breaks, the deep workings of treachery under the mask of love and honesty, the anxious watchfulness, the cool earnestness, and if we may so say, the passion of hypocrisy marked in every line, receive their last finishing in that inconceivable burst of pretended indignation at Othello's doubts of his sincerity.
"O grace! O Heaven forgive me!
Are you a man? Have you a soul or sense?
God be wi' you; take mine office.
That lov'st to make thine honesty a vice! O monstrous world! take note, take note, O world! & To be direct and honest is not safe.
I thank you for this profit, and from hence】
If Iago is detestable enough when he has business on his hands and all his engines at work, he is still worse when he has nothing to do, and we only see into the hollowness of his heart. His indifference when Othello falls into a swoon is perfectly diabolical.
OTHELLO. Do'st thou mock me?
The part indeed would hardly be tolerated, even as a foil to the virtue and generosity of the other characters in the play, but for its indefatigable industry and inexhaustible resources, which divert the attention of the spectator (as well as his own) from the end he has in view to the means by which it must be accomplished. Edmund the Bastard in 'Lear' is something of the same character, placed in less prominent circumstances. Zanga is a vulgar caricature of it.
SOLDIERS AND DRINKING.
It is the mode at present in use, of serving out the rations for the day all at one time; the allowance of meat and vegetables, being cooked in the course of "IAGO. How is it, General? Have you not hurt the forenoon, is, at twelve o'clock, together with the your head? bread, served out to each room or mess. being hearty and possessed of good appetites, perhaps just relieved off guard, or returned from drill or fatigue duty of some kind, frequently demolish the
day's allowance, with the exception of the bread, at one meal. It might be inferred from this that they had not a sufficiency of food, but it is not so; as far as quantity is concerned the allowance is amply suffi cient. But the rough and unpolished soldier should not be expected to possess more influence over his appetite than the wealthy glutton, who, devouring twice the quantity necessary for the nourishment of the body, is continually a prey to indigestion and disIn four or five hours after this meal the man's appetite returns; nothing being left but the plain bread, the public-house is resorted to, (in some measure as a matter of necessity,) for something to relish it. Once there, the probability is, that the inducements he there finds to prolong his stay are found to be irresistible, and the natural consequences, drunkenness and disgrace, too often follow. This evil might be in a great measure removed by making some alteration in the nature of the rations, which at present are intirely of a solid nature, nothing liquid being served out. If the officers were to encourage the formation of messes for making coffee or cocoa in the barrack-rooms on a certain hour, say five o'clock in the evening, by way of supper, the necessity of resorting to the canteen for "something to drink" would be removed, and the habits of good-fellowship among the men increased. Proposals for the introduction of "tea-slops" may excite expressions of ridicule from some persons, but let it be recollected that cocoa and tea have, for the last ten years, formed part of the provisions issued in the naval service; where their usefulness, in preference to the extra pint of grog formerly issued, is fully proved by the concurring testimony of many eminent naval officers. Besides, there can be no doubt but that these liquors equally answer the purposes of drink, are exhilirating, and far less injurious than either spirits or malt liquor.-[From a sensible and humane pamphlet just published, intitled Remarks on Military Flogging, its Causes and Effects,' &c.-Steill. Pp. 23.]
TRUE REMARK ON "CONCEITS" IN POETRY AND ON THE IMAGINATIVENESS OF PASSION.
Petrarch's Italian poetry, written either to please his lady or to relieve the overflowing of his heart, bears in every line the stamp of warm and genuine, though of refined and chivalric passion. It has been criticised as too imaginative, and defaced by conceits: of the latter there are few, confined to a small portion of the sonnets. They will not be admired now, yet, perhaps, they are not those of the poems which came least spontaneously from the heart. Those have experienced little of the effects of passion, of love, grief, or terror, who do not know that conceits often spring naturally from such. Shakspeare knew this, and he seldom describes the outbursts of passion unaccompanied by fanciful imagery, which borders on conceit. Still more false is the notion that passion is not, in its essence, highly imaginative. Hard and dry critics, who neither feel themselves nor sympathise in the feeling of others, alone can have made this acaccusation; these people, whose inactive and colourless fancy naturally suggests no new combination nor fresh tint of beauty, suppose that it is a cold exercise of the mind when
"The poet's eye in a fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to
WRITINGS OF CHARLES LAMB.
We have been highly gratified in seeing the following announcement in the current number of the New Monthly,' by the writer of the Confessions of Shakspeare:“ I may, perhaps, be allowed this opportunity of stating, that an edition of such of the late Mr Charles Lamb's writings as can be recovered by his executors, with a large selection from his correspondence, is now preparing under the superintendence of Mr Serjeant Talfourd, and will be accompanied by a notice from that learned and accomplished gentleman, of the life and genius of his deceased friend."-We are not aware of any man living, who, from the united circumstance of long acquaintance with Mr Lamb, and thorough subtlety of criticism, is so well qualified to do justice to him as Mr Talfourd.
As they with difficulty arrive at comprehending A looking-glass is a matter of great wonder to poetic creations, they believe that they were produced magpies. We once saw one placed on the ground, by dint of hard labour and deep study. The truth where two were hopping about. One of them came is the opposite of this. To the imaginative, fanciful up to it, stared at it in apparent wonder, hopped off to imagery and thoughts, whose expression seems steeped the other, and then both returned and spent at least in the hue of dawn, are natural and unforced; when ten minutes in nodding, chattering, and hopping the mind of such is calm, their conceptions re- about the glass.-Faculties of Birds.
Musical Library. No. XII. Charles Knight. AIR, with Variations.' Mozart. tiful instrumental piece; but has
A very beaunot a slow
movement been omitted at the end? Surely Mozart's music requires no curtailment. There are some fine passages in the fragment in Martini's trio; but they are disjoined, and few in proportion to the number of staves they are distributed over. In the adagio from Woelf's sonata, we can discern neither subject, object, nor connexion of any kind. It appears to us, under correction, a bit of solemn nonHaydn's canzonet, Piercing Eyes!' is very 'La Marmotte,' by Beethoven, graceful and sweet. is very pretty; so is Rossini's canzonet. Lord Mornington's madrigal is not very striking, but the effects are very pleasing. The song, 'Where'er you walk,' from Handel's Semele,' is a most majestic strain of enamoured compliment, more majestic than enamoured. Horsley's MS. glee is by no means calculated to increase his high repute as a composer.
FINE ARTS. Gallery of Portraits.
No. XXXIV. Charles Knight.
THE inauspicious countenance of Clarendon heads the triumvirate this month. It is a most unpleasant face, sceptical and cross-looking, with an air of ill-tempered surprise and petty-haughtiness; he looks as though he were resenting some impertinent and unexpected interruption on the part of an inferior. Reynolds has a more contented and humane cast of countenance. It is pleasant to have a portrait of a man like Reynolds, by himself, necessarily, too, in the very act of painting. There may be seen the peculiar expression, which is the habitual one of a painter at work, a look of pleased and fixed scrutiny; for painters are by profession an observant race, they seek their mind's food on all sides, and never find a scarcity of it; therefore they are also a contented race. The exceptions to this rule are in cases of disappointed ambition,-a feeling Reynolds does not appear to have suffered much. It may be remarked that the present portrait of Reynolds is a reverse, painted with a single looking-glass, as may be seen by his front being turned to the sinister side of the picture; if he had turned over his right shoulder, the body would front the other way, as any may see, who makes the experiment. The right hand too holds the mahl-stick, the left is employed in painting. By employing a second glass, and reversing the reflection in the first, the error may be corrected. Swift's face is more in character with some good-natured anecdotes that are told of him, than with his cutting satire or his suffering life. The engravings are well executed; but the first and last are rather tame in the effect. The portrait of Reynolds is a very fair representation of his style of painting, with the exception of his peculiar style of handling.
THE Editor must beg the indulgence of his Correspondents till next week. While now writing, his attention is demanded by the publication of the Poem alluded to last Wednesday, intitled ' Captain Sword and Captain Pen,' which will most probably be out by the time this notice appears. The poem is partly political; and so far nothing further will be said of it in the LONDON JOURNAL; which the Editor is determined to keep sequestered and serene from all sound of trouble and controversy, however conscientiously excited. Of other points in it, however, something will be said in a future number; and meantime he avails himself of this opportunity of letting the public know that such a Poem is to be had.
LONDON: Published by H. HOOPER, Pall Mall East, and supplied to Country Agents by C. KNIGHT, Ludgate-street. From the Steam-Press of C. & W. REYNELL, Little Pulteney-street.