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was not the man to mete out his payments in that pleaded not guilty. Nothing could be more strong therefore, on this subject, we may fairly take it for fashion. Besides giving up other emoluments, Ber- than the evidence of the two gentlemen; they testi- granted, that what with the living tongues, and the keley had such a dislike of non-residence, that, when fied to the finding Mr Hayes murdered in his bed; dead tongues, and “all the tongues that Babel cleft he wished to retire into
a life of scholarship, he pea Bradford at the side of the body with a light and a this world into," mankind has already witnessed the tioned to be allowed to give up his bishoprick, valued knife; that knife, and the hand which held it, full development of the powers of language. But at 1,4001 a-year; a request which so astonished and bloody; that, on their entering the room, he betrayed who will be so rash as to say that the mind of man delighted George the Second, that he declared he all the signs of a guilty man, and that, a few mo- has run its course? In a savage state, when the should “die a bishop in spite of himself."- This ments preceding, they had heard the groans of the thoughts of men are limited to the mere objects of great and good man was handsome, "with a coun- deceased..
their appetite; or in a state of first society, where tenance full of meaning and kindness," and of a Bradford's defence on his trial was the same as the mind, though of another growth, is still convers temperament between sanguine and melancholy, before the gentlemen : he had heard a noise; he sus- ant with none but objects of familiar contemplation, strong in muscle, but what we should call delicate pected some villany transacting; he struck a light; the resources of language are abundantly sufficient for in the nerves. He had a happy death, expiring he snatched a knife (the only weapon near him) to all the purposes of communication; but in a highly suddenly at the tea-table without a groan, while defend himself; and the terrors he discovered were civilized age, when bodily labour has ceased to be reclining on a sofa.
merely the terrors of humanity, the natural effects of the inheritance of all, and many are thrown on medi5
innocence as well as guilt, on beholding such a hor- tation as their portion—when men begin to examine rid scene.
themselves more curiously, and to regard with attenROMANCE OF REAL LIFE.
This defence, however, could be considered but as tion the wondrous operations of their minds,—then
weak, contrasted with several powerful circumstances begins the perplexity of language: then involutions, LXI. THE MURDERER WHO WAS NO MURDERER.
against him. Never was circumstantial evidence perversions, forced applications, contradictions, ano[The closing paragraph of this story (which is more strong. There was little need left of comment, malies, thicken fast, and confess the original weakquoted from the • Theory of Presumptive Proof,' in from the judge in summing up the evidence. No ness that engenders them. Language is a garment • Cecil's Sixty Curious Narratives '), winds it up room appeared for extenuation ! And the jury that the mind outgrows ; in the infancy of the huwith a singular increase of dramatic interest,-if we brought in the prisoner guilty, even without going
man intellect, it covers and nurtures it, and gives it may use terms of the stage in speaking of such out of the box. Bradford was executed shortly after, warmth, but, in the end, becomes a close and bindfrightful realities. It reminds us, though dissimilar still declaring he was not the murderer, nor privy to ing shroud that puts a mortal weight on all our in other respects, of an account we have read some- the murder of Mr Hayes; but he died disbelieved aspirations, and from which we endeavour in vain where of a lady who dreamt that her maid-servant by all.
to deliver ourselves. Is this too much to saywas coming into her room to kill her, and who, Yet were those assertions not untrue! The mur
shades of Aristotle, Plato, Hartley, Locke? In your rising in her bed in the agitation of waking, beheld der was actually committed by Mr Hayes's footman ; state of heavenly knowledge, declare_what evil hand the woman actually entering the door for that pur- who, immediately on stabbing his master, rifled his withheld you from the perfect sight of the truth for pose. Imagine the appalled situation of both breeches of his money, gold watch, and snuff-box, and
which you toiled ? Why did you do so much, yet do no parties !] :
escaped to his own room; which could have been, more? Is it not that phraseology enveloped you like JONATHAN BRADFORD kept an inn in Oxfordshire, on from the very circumstances, scarcely two seconds
a fog, confounded your operations, and obscured your the London road to Oxford, in the year 1736. He before Bradford's entering the unfortunate gentle view ? Does not the road to truth lie straight be. bore an unexceptionable character. Mr Hayes, a man's chamber. The world owes this knowledge to fore us; while the labyrinth of words winds round gentleman of fortune, being on his way to Oxford, on a remorse of conscience in the footman (eighteen and round, for ever returning to the same point, so a visit to a relation, put up at Bradford's; he there months after the execution of Bradford) on a bed of that we make much ado but no way, and either bejoined company with two gentlemen, with whom he
sickness; it was a death-bed repentance, and by that come blinded and overwhelmed amidst an "inextrisupped, and, in conversation, unguardedly mentioned death the law lost its victim.
cabilis error,” or, at the best, escape to no better credit that he had then about him a large sum of money. It is much to be wished that this account could
than to have ended where we begun? I do not, In due time they retired to their respective cham- close here ; but it cannot. Bradford, though inno- however, forget that there are other imperfections bers,—the gentlemen to a two-bedded room, leaving, cent, and not privy to the murder, was, nevertheless, in our condition, other and more formidable obstrucas is customary with many, a candle burning in the the murderer in design. He had heard, as well as
tions besetting the paths of philosophical inquiry; chimney corner. Some hours after they were in bed, the footman, what Mr Hayes had declared at supper,
nor indeed can I think it doubtful, that there exists one of the gentlemen, being awake, thought he as to his having a large sum of money about him, in morals, as in physics, a gravitating principle, heard a deep groan in the adjoining chamber, and and he went to the chamber with the same diabolical
which must continue to all eternity to bring down, this being repeated, he softly awaked his friend. intentions as the servant. He was struck with
on the head of the projector, the Sisyphus stone They listened together, and the groans increasing as amazement !he could not believe his senses !_and of metaphysical speculation.
of metaphysical speculation. But how much of this of one dying, they both instantly arose, and pro- in turning back the bed-clothes, to assure himself of discomfiture, we may ask, rests with language? ceeded silently to the door of the next chamber, from the fact, he, in his agitation, dropped his knife on the
“ These words,” says Horne Tooke of his participles whence they heard the groans; and, the door being bleeding body, by which both his hand and the knife and adjectives in disguise, “these words, not under. a-jar, saw a light in the room; they entered, but it is became bloody. These circumstances Bradford ac
stood as such, have caused a metaphysical jargon, impossible to paint their consternation, on perceiv- knowledged to the clergyman who attended him after
and a false morality;" and so far he was unquestioning a person weltering in his blood in the bed, and his sentence.
ably in the right; but he adds~"which can only a man standing over him, with a dark lanthorn in
be dissipated by etymology;" and here I confess I one hand and a knife in the other. The man seemed
think him wrong-if, at least, he means that etymo
A FEW THOUGHTS ON LANGUAGE. as petrified as themselves, but his terror carried with
logy is in itself a sufficient antidote against false it all the terror of guilt ! The gentlemen soon dis
morals, and that truth and virtue need only to be covered the person was a stranger with whom they
sought in the roots of words. Etymology, indeed,
"Nos probabilia multa habemus, quæ sequi facile, affirmhad that night supped, and that the man who was
are vix possumus.”—Cic. (Acad. Lib. ii. Edit. prim.)
might ferret Sophistry out of some of her old holes, standing over him was their host. They seized
but she would only take refuge in new quarters Bradford directly, disarmed him of his knife, and
The string that inclines the kite to the wind, limits where he could not reach her: though Horne Tooke. charged him with being the murderer : he assumed
its ascent; the water that floats the ship, surrounds reduces her allowance to a noun and a verb, she can by this time the air of innocence, positively denied it with a resisting power. Language is at once our
extract from these quite enough of the spirit of the crime, and asserted that he came there with the liberator and our enslaver; our liberator from brute
falsehood to maintain herself in a fourishing consame humane intentions as themselves; for that,
ignorance, our enslaver in the chains of conventional- dition. I think with Horne Tooke that an abuse hearing a noise, which was succeeded by a groaning, ism. It presents us with the only continuous me
of language is an abuse of reason, but I also think he got out of bed, struck a light, armed himself with
dium of communication, yet invests it with such (a position on which I propose to argue hereafter) a knife for his defence, and was but that minute circumstances of form and manner as shackle the
that language is even in its healthiest and soundest entered the room before them.
operations of the mind, and leave the subtleties of state, and under every conceivable advantage, whe* These assertions were of little avail; he was kept thought to be delivered in imperfect hints and half- ther of ability in the writer or capabililty in the in close custody till the morning, and then taken disclosures. None of our faculties are illimitable, reader-an instrument naturally defective and full before a neighbouring justice of the peace. Bradbut many of our faculties have very different degrees
At present, I only propose to consider ford still denied the murder, but, nevertheless, with of extension, and there can be no question that while
some of the most obvious of these, and to show that such an apparent indication of guilt, that the justice the imagination ranges over a kingdom only bounded if our ideas are liable to error, the vehicle of those hesitated not to make use of this extraordinary ex- by the circle of experience, speech is confined to a
ideas is still more commonly at fault. A man more pression, on writing out his mittimus, “ Mr Bradmuch narrower province."
frequently outrages the truth in speech than in ford, either you or myself committed this murder.”
It is difficult to imagine a system of language of thought; he more frequently talks than thinks This extraordinary affair was the conversation of greater scope and capacity than that which prevails wrongly. To be convinced of this, we have only to the whole county. Bradford was tried and con- in the world at this day; it is also difficult to con- fasten on any ordinary remark that may be elicited demned over and over again, in every company.
In ceive that any possible innovations or refinements in conversation, and compare the thing expressed the midst of all this predetermination came on the that might be engrafted on that system, such as it is, with the thing intended; in nine cases out of ten assizes at Oxford ; Bradford was brought to trial, he could materially extend its compass; in reasoning, it will be found that the latter is just, while the for.
BY EGERTON WEBBE.
mer is absurd. I do not here allude to certain con- our ideas turn— with more or less consciousness on should mean in one language precisely the reverse of ventional hyperboles and familiar idioms well under- our part-on some few general sensations, so it is what they mean in another; why for example, elestood, respecting which it might very properly be natural that words, the interpreters of those ideas, vated with us should mean raised up, while elevatus in answered that particular instances of perversion can
should in like manner spring from a few simple roots. the Latin means debased, why resolute should mean afford no ground for a general argument.
But I But that these should gradually bid adieu to all the firm or determined while resolutus means rela red-and refer to the character of our ordinary expressions, family ties—cut their relations—and enter into foreign by consequence feeble and undetermined.* All this may even when we seek to convey some obvious meaning service, running a race to the utter confusion of com- be explained—but so may the Chinese puzzles or the in the clearest manner;-habit blinds us to half the mon sense, and the infinite botheration of their Egyptian hieroglyphics. We don't want language absurdities we utter. Were I to indulge myself in patient historians the philologists, does seem a little for a plaything to provoke our ingenuity, but for copious illustrations, I should exhaust the Reader's hard.
a steady and faithful friend to assist us in many a patience before I exhausted my list of examples; a Let us consider for a moment that class of words grave inquiry after truth. It is no satisfaction to few, however, will be sufficient, and will lead to the which Horne Tooke says "compose the bulk of every know how words have been misappropriated, if apprehension of others.
language,” and let us enjoy their perplexity a little. misappropriated they are. If a man loses his hat What shall we say to a “dry humour' -"a false “ Those,” he says, “which are derived from the Latin, and wig in a crowd, it is no consolation to him to be verdict " -"a forgery of gold "-"an infamous noto- French, and Italian, are easily recognised;” but he
told that a thief picked them up and ran away with riety " accustomed insolence” "a sedentary does not say that they are as easily reconciled to pro
them. Nor does original propriety of a word course "_"a weekly journal”_" critical judgment” priety. His business lay with the Saxon part of afford any redress for the absurdity of a subsequent —“necessity of giving way,”—or to such expressions English, and he did not concern himself with these application. John Long, in all probability, is a very
short man; what does it make in favour of John as “ to lay down the law”_"an occasion arose” (and anomalous features to which I am adverting. Had in the Latin, if I mistake not, “orta est occasio,”) he done so, he would no doubt, in his usual perspicu- Long, that some remote progenitor had inches to “it rose up accidentally”_"he raised an impression"
ous manner, have rendered an account of them as justify his cognomen? Again, if the connection of -“the subject was not submitted”_"his pains were
certain verbs with certain prepositions to imply a cernearly approaching to satisfaction as it is possible ; the cause of his indolence,”. -or such tautologies as nevertheless he could not have proved that obscurity tain sense, were a matter of unquestionable fitness in “a substantial understanding "_"a falling ruin
was not a grievous evil, merely because he was able one language, we should suppose that the analogy a common vulgarity "_"a despotic master
would hold good as regards any other; it would be to grope his way through it. But, first of all, here
equally true of all, if true of one.
them with respect, they are all venerable old gentle- the case we should find all parallel words in correi Some of these, it is true, are such as a fastidious
men, and nowise responsible for the vagaries of their sponding situations. Migonsinger and prosto, na goeijel writer would not employ; but others are sanctioned
and prosum, consto and withstand, supervenio and offspring Agw — capio — cado— cedo – duco — do -1o
overcome, ύποςρεφω and subverto, επικαθήμαι by the example of all authors, and form part of the
and supersede, ÜTOFAGIS substantia and undercurrent coin of language. Here, then, is a choice yoxwoxw — jacio – loquor - levo masyw —mitto
standing-would only be various in sound, but dish of mixed metaphors, obscure figures, and palhendo-premo—sum-sequor— solvo-sentio-sto
would agree in expressing the same thing ; whereas pable nonsense! And from this confusion—what page tego-teneo-voco—video— Qegw.
these words, we know, take all manner of difof what book is free ? what five minutes of what con- Of the innumerable derivative words fowing from ferent forms. We should not find suspicio, as well versation ? If contradictions and anomalies of this
these sources, the greatest portion are compounds, as its counterpartipogaw, signifying indifferently kind were merely the result of a slovenly style of formed by the addition of various prepositions, which to mistrust, or to honour ; we should not be able, with speech—an effect for which not language itself, but generally do import, and always ought to import, some impunity, to exchange withdraw for retract-overturn only the guardians of language had to answer, then qualification of meaning. But these derivatives not
for subvert (under-turn-overthrow for subject (unthe question might take another shape; but the truth only supply qualifications of the original meaning, der-throw)-supposition and hypothesis (a putting seems to be, that the innumerable corruptions with but furnish a multitude of figurative expressions for under) for surmise (a putting over), &c. &c. which language is overlaid are no fortuitous blemishes the service of the imagination and the reason.
Now What does all this prove ? - original error induced by peculiar causes, but natural imposthumes these figurative expressions generally do consort, and subsequent perversion ? Neither.
But it proves on the surface of a body originally weak-a sort of always ought to consort, with the association of ideas; this ; that the image or figure that has reconciled such cutaneous disorder-hereditary and incurable. So --wherin lies the metaphysical part of language. If words to the understanding in any case, is so slight,
that if we could conceive a people intirely these two points of conformity had always been duly so Aimsy, so precarious, so easily exchangeable for composed of scholars and linguists going and settling adhered to, so as to preserve unity and consistency any other image or figure, that no method or analogy themselves in some distant island, and carrying along throughout, which is impossible, language at this day can be maintained. It proves that the association of with them a perfect pattern of a language which it would have been a comparatively simple machine, our ideas is of a nature for ever to forbid uniformity was their sole care to preserve from contamination and have ailed nowhere, save only in those fundamen- or universality in any system of language; that it is and decay, we might nevertheless safely predict that tal respects—which I propose to notice hereafter.
as impossible for there to be one diction in the world, before many centuries had passed over the heads of But will anyone affirm that such is the case? Is the as for there to be one mind, that each individual this conservative colony, their treasure would no more composition of words, whether in the languages of mo- language is, and must remain, full of inconsistencies resemble its original self, than the whiteness of the dern times, or in those from which they proceed, always and incoherencies, whilst between one language and unsullied snow on the peak of Mont Blanc resembles such as the understanding, most readily embraces ? another there can be no more assimilation than bethe colour of Cheapside thaw.–Nations may rise, Assuredly not. Take the word mitto to send (though tween the manners, dispositions, and opinions of the and fall, and rise again; the character of a people I think it more frequently should be rendered to put people who use them.+ may degenerate, and regenerate; we pass from liberty especially in composition-a sense which the French
[To be continued.] to licentiousness, from licentiousness to weakness, seem to have preserved in their verb mettre). Because • The in intensitive, and the in privative, and the in refrom weakness to slavery, from slavery to want, from mitto has this signification, it is easy to recognise the dundant, of the Latin, are productive of many inconvewant to rebellion, and so back again to liberty. But propriety of such a word as C-mit, to send out (e from
niences in that language, which we have partly copied.
Thus infractus either means very much broken, or not at when language has once lost its primitive simplicity, or out) applied to a matter of fact, or the word dis
all broken. Habitable and inkabitable with us mean the which is pretty soon, it never recovers itself, it has no miss, as figuratively used when we say “ he dismissed
same thing; but the Latin habitabilis answers to our inprinciple of resiliency in it'as man has, and it con- the subject from his mind,” i. e. he sent the subject habitable, while in-habitabilis answers to our un-in-habiltinues to the end of the chapter to go along on a sort away from his mind. But what are we to make of ad- able. Inquisitus means either investigated, or not inves
The of hobby-horse of shifts and expedients. mit? which, if we translate it literally, send to, does
tigated; infranutus either bridled, or unbridled.
game ambiguity belongs to the Greek επι; λυπη τηeans That a certain limited number of primitive words not seem very well to justify our present employ- grief, stavNUTEWS with great grief; fh510aw means to should beget the whole vocabulary, is all very well ;
ment of it. If you and your family have been standing laugh, but £77ilasidaw means to laugh slightly ;--but this no one will question their undoubted right to any for an hour at the door of the pit in Drury lane till you
diminutive seuse seems to be very rare. To improve is extent of family they may choose to have. As all are half crushed, I fancy when it is at length opened now used to mean--more than to prove-to make better,
you are not at that moment intent upon being sent to but in old English we find it used negatively-not to prove * That is to say a dry moisture--a false truth-an ironany place, but simply desire to be let in.
or approve-to disapprove. Valuable and invaluable, estiworking of gold-an infamous famousness-accustomed un.
mable and inestimable, appreciable and inappreciable, one accustomednessa sitting run—a weekly daily-judging therefore, instead of being used in the sense of “ to
and the other are used to ajjirm value, but though in the judgment-unyieldingness of yielding (if I am right in suffer to enter,” Johnson's definition, would be a much
latter words thc in has the effect of an intensitive, it is not deriving ni cessitas from ne negative and cedo or cesso) better word to mean “to send a man about his busi- here through affirmation, but through negation ; we mean to lay down the laid-down-a falling arose-it rose up fall.
"not to suffer to enter." Yet the by valuable that which can be valued, because it has value; ingly-he raised a pressing in (and a pressing in is a presLatin admitto hardly exhibits more traces of its ra
by invaluable we mean that which can not be valued, ing down)-that which was thrown under was not sent
because its value is beyond calculation.
+ Peculiarities, by the way, on which the phraseology of -an understanding understanding — a falling falling-a possible, I know, to give some account of this, but
every country greatly depends. Gibbon, in a note on the common commonness, &c.
no apology can reconcile us to such prevaricating Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,' suggests the idea + What Horace says of words--that like the leaves of the
In the same way it may
of a work which would indeed be a valuable acquisition to trees they fall, but presently "flourish again with a new no doubt be explained by what process of torture
our national literature; the object of which should be, to birth,” is very true, but does not disprove what I have
trace the character of different nations from their language said; all he means by the simile is, that certain words fo UTIO XOHmo comes to mean I promise, or how pro
-a sc'entific process. Horne Tooke was philologist enough out of fashion, and by and by come in again; but this is no
mitto arrives at the same destination, or ETITEETTW but not philosopher enough for the task Locke was phi“ new birth" for language-no return to first principles.
I permit, or how some words (and these not a few) losopher, but not philologist enough. Yet Locke would
BY WILLIAM HAZLITT.
CHARACTERS OF SHAKSPEARE'S and skill as if he had had to depend on the execution Othello's .confidence, at first only staggered-by
alone for the success of his design. On the other broken hints and insinuations, recovers itself at
“ If she be false, O then Heav'n mocks itself::
I'll not believe it." by terror and pity. That is, it substitutes ima- usually are, by difference of rank and situation. The ginary sympathy for mere selfishness. It gives us
But presently after, on brooding over his suspicions difference of their thoughts and sentiments is howa high and permanent interest, beyond ourselves, ever laid as open, their minds are separated from by bimself
, and yielding to his apprehensions of the in humanity as such. It raises the great, the each other by signs as plain and as little to be nuis
worst, his smothered jealousy breaks out into open remote, and the possible to an equality with the
fury, and he returns to demand satisfaction of Lago taken as the complexions of their husbands. real, the little and the near. It makes man a par
like a wild beast stung with the envenomed shaft of
The movement of the passion in Othello is exceedtaker with his kind. It subdues and softens the ingly different from that of Macbeth.
the hunters. “Look where he comes," &e. In this
In Macbeth stubbornness of his will. It teaches him that there
state of exasperation and violence, after the first there is a violent struggle between opposite feelings, are and have been others like himself, by showing between ambition and the stings of conscience, al
paroxysms of his grief and tenderness have had their him as in a glass what they have felt, thought, and
vent in that passionate apostrophe, “I felt not Casmost from first to last : in Othello, the doubtful condone. It opens the chambers of the human heart. Alict between contrary passions, though dreadful, con
sio's kisses on her lips,” lago by false aspersions, and It leaves nothing indifferent to us that can affect our tinues only for a short time, and the chief interest is by presenting the most rerolting images to his mind, It excites our sensibility by ex. excited by the alternate ascendancy of different pas. Desdemona, and works him up into a trembling
easily turns the storm of passion from himself against bibiting the passions wound up to the utmost pitchsions, the intire and unforseen change from the fond
agony of doubt and fear, in which he abandons all by the power of imagination or the temptation of est love and most unbounded confidence to the tor
his love and hopes in a breath, circumstances; and corrects their fatal excesses in
tures of jealousy and the madness of hatred. The ourselves by pointing to the greater extent of suf.
revenge of Othello, after it has once taken thorough “Now do I see 'tis true. Look here, Iago, ferings and of crimes to which they have led others.
possession of his mind, never quits it, but grows All my fond love thus do I blow to Heav'n. • 'Tis Tragedy creates a balance of the affections. It stronger and stronger at every moment of its delay.
gone. makes us thoughtful spectators in the lists of life. It
The nature of the Moor is noble, confiding, tender, Arise black vengeance from the hollow hell; is the refiner of the species ; a discipline of humanity. and generous; but his blood is of the most inflam
Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne The habitual study of poetry and works of imagina- mable kind; and being once roused by a sense of his To tyrannous hate! Swell bøsom with tlry fraught; tion is one chief part of a well-grounded education. wrongs, he is stopped by no considerations of re
For 'tis of aspicks' tongues." A taste for liberal art is necessary to complete the
morse or pity till he has given a loose to all the dice character of a gentleman. Science alone is hard and
tates of his rage and his despair. It is in working From this time, his raging thoughts "never look mechanical. It exercises the understanding upon his noble nature up to this extremity through rapid back, ne'er ebb to' humble love," till his revenge is things out of themselves, while it leaves the affec
but gradual transitions, in raising passion to its sure of its object, the painful regrets and involuntary tions unemployed, or engrossed with our own imme- height from the smallest beginnings and in spite of recollections of past circumstances which cross his diate, narrow interests.- Othello' furnishes an illus.
all obstacles, in painting the expiring conflict be- mind amidst the dim trances of passion, aggravating tration of these remarks.
It excites our sympathy
tween love and hatred, tenderness and resentment, the sense of his wrongs, but not shaking his purpose. in an extraordinary degree. The moral it conveys jealousy and remorse, in unfolding the strength and Once indeed, where Iago shows him Cassio with the has a closer application to the concerns of human
the weaknesses of our nature, in uniting sublimity of handkerchief in his hand, and making sport (as he dife than that of any other of Shakspeare's plays. thought with the anguish of the keenest woe, in put- thinks) of his misfortunes, the intolerable bitterness " It comes directly home to the bosoms and business ting in motion the various impulses that agitate this of his feelings, the extreme sense of shame, makes of men.” The pathos in •Lear' is indeed more
our mortal being, and at last blending them in that him fall to praising her accomplishments and relapse dreadful and overpowering: but it is less natural,
noble tide of deep and sustained passion, impetuous into a momentary fit of weakness, “ Yet, oh, the and less of every day's occurrence. We have not the
but majestic, that “flows on to the Propontic, and pity of it, Iago, the pity of it!" This returning fondsame degree of sympathy with the passions described
knows no ebb," that Shakspeare has shown the mas- ness however only serves, as it is managed by Iago, in Macbeth. The interest in Hamlet' is more
tery of his genius and of his power over the human to whet his revenge, and set his heart more against remote and reflex. That of Othello'. is at once heart. The third act of Othello' is his master
her. In his conversations with Desdemona, the perequally profound and affecting.
piece, not of knowledge or passion separately, but of suasion of her guilt and the immediate proofs, of her The picturesque contrasts of character in this play the two combined, of the knowledge of character duplicity seem to irritate his resentment and aversion are almost as remarkable as the depth of the passion. with the expression of passion, of consummate art in to her ; but in the scene immediately preceding her The Moor Othello, the gentle Desdemona, the vil. the keeping up of appearances with the profound death, the recollection of his love returns upon him lain lago, the good-natured Cassio, the fool Roderigo, workings of nature, and the convulsive movements in all its tenderness and force; and after her death, present a range and variety of character as striking of uncontrolable agony, of the power of inflicting he all at once forgets his wrongs in the sudden and and palpable as that produced by the opposition of torture and of suffering it. Not only is the tumult irreparable sense of his loss, costume in a picture. Their distinguishing qualities of passion heaved up from the very bottom of the stand out to the mind's eye, so that even when
soul, but every the slightest undulation of feeling * My wife! My wife! What wife? I have no wife. are not thinking of their actions or sentiments, the
is seen on the surface, as it arises from the impulses Oh, insupportable! Oh, heavy hour!" idea of their persons is still as present to us as ever.
of imagination or the different probabilities maliciThese characters and the images they stamp upon ously suggested by Iago. The progressive prepara
"This happeng before he is assured of her innocence; the mind are the farthest asunder possible, the dis. tion for the catastrophe is wonderfully managed, from but afterwards his remorse is as dreadful as his retance between them is immense: yet the compass of the Moor's first gallant recital of the story of his renge has been, and yields only to fixed and deathknowledge and invention which the poet has shown love, of " the spells and witchcraft he had used,” like despair. "His farewell speech, before he kills in embodying these extreme creations of his genius from his unlooked-for and romantic success, the fond himself, in which he conveys his reasons to the is only greater than the truth and felicity with which satisfaction with which he dotes on his own happi.
senate for the murder of his wife, is equal to the first he has identified each character with itself, or blend- ness, the unreserved tenderness of Desdemona and speech in which he gave them an account of his ed their different qualities together in the same story. her innocent importunities in favour of Cassio, irri- courtship of her, and “his whole course of love." What a contrast the character of Othello forms to
tating the suspicions instilled into her husband's Such an ending was alone worthy of such a comthat of Iago : at the same time, the force of concep- 'mind by the perfidy of Iago, and rankling there to mencement. "If anything could add to the force of tion with which these two figures are opposed to
poison, till he looses all command of himself, and his our' sympathy with Othello, or compassion for his each other is rendered still more intense by the com
rage can only be appeased by blood. She is intro- fate, it would be the frankness and generosity of his plete consistency with which the traits of each cha
duced, just before Iago begins to put his scheme in nature, which so little deserve it. When Iago first racter are brought out in a state of the highest fin- practice, pleading for Cassio with all the thoughtless begins to practise upon his unsuspecting friendship, ishing. The making one black and the other white, gaiety of friendship and winning confidence in the
he answers the one unprincipled, the other unfortunate in the
love of Othello, extreme, would have answered the common purposes
• 'Tis not to make me jealous, of effect, and satisfied the ambition of an ordinary
“ What! Michael Cassio ?
“To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company, painter of character. Shakspeare has laboured the That came a wooing with you, and so many a time, Is free of speech, sings, plays, and dances well; finer shades of difference in both with as much care When I have spoke of you dispraisingly,
Where virtue is, these are most virtuous.
Hath ta'en your part, to have so much to do "Nor from my own weak merits will I draw have been the man--or Locke-cum-Tooke-or Tooke-cum- To bring him in ?-Why this is not a boon;
The smallest fear or doubt of her revolt, Locke. Why do our dictionaries refer Vis (force) to the
'Tis as I should intreat you wear your gloves,
For she had eyes and chose me." Greek B12, and not its evident fellow, Via? Would it not
Or feed on nourishing meats, or keep you warm: be a good commentary on Roman violence, showing that they ever made their way by force, that via and vis were,
Or sue to you to do a peculiar profit
*This character is beautifully (and with affecting simwith them, one and the same thing (Rice) nay that their To your person. Nay, when I have a suit,
plieity) confirmed by what Desdemona herself says whole life vita (Riotn) was but one season of barbarity
Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed, and brute coarseness !
It shall be full of poise, and fearful to be granted.” see this, were they as prime as goats, "&c.
• See the passage beginning, “ It is impossible you should
tal this first heir
nst Eng all
made of grapes.
of him to Æmelia after she has lost the handkerchief, Or that I do not, and ever did,
Plague him with flies: Tho' that his joy be joy, the first pledge of his love to her,
And ever will, though he do shake me off
Yet throw such changes of vexation on it,
As it may lose some colour.”
In the next passage, his imagination runs riot in
But never taint my love.
the mischief he is plotting, and breaks out into the As jealous creatures are, it were enough
wildness and impetuosity of real enthusiasm :
pray you be content: 'tis but his hu-
“ RODERIGO. Here is her father's house: I'll The business of the state does him offence. DesdeMONA. Who, he ? I think the sun where
LAGO. Do, with like timorous accent and dire,
As when, by night and negligence, the fire In a short speech of Æmilia's, there occurs one of of the “Willow,' are equally beautiful, and show the author's extreme power of varying the expression of
Is spied in populous cities.” those side-intimations of the fluctuations of passion
passion, in all its moods and in all circumstances. One of his most favourite topics, on which he is which we seldom meet with but in Shakspeare.
rich indeed, and in descanting on which his spleen After Othello has resolved upon the death of his wife, “ Emilia. Would you had never seen him. and bids her dismiss her attendant for the night, she Desdemona. So would not I: my love doth so between Desdemona and the Moor. This is a clue
serves him for a Muse, is the disproportionate match answers,
to the character of the lady which he is by no means
That even his stubbornness, his checks, his frowns, ready to part with. It is brought forward in the
first scene, and he recurs to it, when, in answer to his than he did.”
Not the unjust suspicions of Othello, not lago's insinuations against Desdemona, Roderigo says. Shakspeare has here put into half a line what some treachery, place Desdemona in a more amiable or inte- “ I cannot believe that in her-she's full of most. authors would have spun out into ten set speeches.
resting light than the casual conversation (half earnest, blest conditions.
Iaco. Bless'd fig's end! The wine she drinks is both in itself, and as it contrasts with Othello's
If she had been blest, she would groundless jealously, and with the foul conspiracy of takes place just before the last fatal scene.
never have married the Moor," which she is the innocent victim. Her beauty and
Othello had overheard it, it would have prevented external graces are only indirectly glanced at; we the whole catastrophe; but then it would have spoil- And again with still more spirit and fatal effect see-.“ her visage in her mind;" her character every- ed the play.
afterwards, when he turns this very suggestion arising, where predominates over her person.
Tlie character of lago is one of the supererogations
in Othello's own breast to her prejudice:of Shakspeare's genius. Some persons, more nice • Othello. And yet how nature erring from, “ A maiden never bold : than wise, have thought this whole character unna.
itselfOf spirit so still and quiet, that her motion
tural, because his villany it without a sufficient motive. Lago. Ay, there's the point ;-as, to be bold Blushed at itself."
Shakspeare, who was as good a philosopher as he was There is one fine compliment paid to her by Cassio, a poet, thought otherwise. He knew that the love Not to affect many proposed matches who exclaims triumphantly when she comes ashore of power, which is another name for the love of mis- & Of her own clime, complexion, and degree, &c.” at.Cyprus after the stormchief, is natural to man. He would know this as
This is probing to the quick. Iago here turns the well or better than if it had been demonstrated to "Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling him by a logical diagram, merely from seeing chil
character of poor Desdemona, as it were, inside out. winds,
It is certain that nothing but the genius of Shakspeare dren paddle in the dirt or kill flies for sport. lago could have preserved the intire interest and delicacy As having sense of beauty, do omit
in fact belongs to a class of characters, common to Their mortal natures, letting safe go by
of the part, and have even drawn an additional eleShakspeare, and at the same time peculiar to him; The divine Desdemona."
gance and dignity from the peculiar circumstances in whose heads are as accute and active as their hearts
which she is placed.— The habitual licentiousness of In general, as is the case with most of Shakspeare's are hard and callous. Iago is to be sure an extreme
Tago's conversation is not to be traced to the pleasure females, we lose sight of her personal charms in her instance of the kind; that is to say, of diseased intel
he takes in gross and lascivious images, but to his deattachment and devotedness to her husband. “ She lectual activity, with an almost perfect indifference
sire of finding out the worst side of everything, and is subdued even to the very quality of her lord ;" to moral good or evil, or rather with a decided pre
proving himself an over-match for appearances. and to Othello's “ honours and his valiant parts her ference of the latter, because it falls more readily
He has none of “the milk of human kindness in soul and fortunes consecrates.” The lady protests so with his favourite propensity, gives greater zest to
his composition. His imagination rejects everything much herself, and she is as good as her word. The his thoughts and scope to his actions. He is quite
that has not a strong infusion of the most unpalatable truth of conception, with which timidity and bold
or nearly as indifferent to his own fate as to that of ingredients ; his mind digests only poisons. Virtue ness are united in the same character, is marvellous others; he runs all risks for a triling and doubtful
or goodness or whatever has the least “relish of salThe extravagance of her resolutions, the pertinacity advantage; and is himself the dupe and victim of his
vation in it," is, to his depraved appetite, sickly and of her affections, may be said to arise out of the gen- ruling passion—an insatiable craving after action of
insipid : and he even resents the good opinion tleness of her nature. They imply an unreserved the most difficult and dangerous kind.
entertained of his own integrity, as if it were an reliance on the purity of her own intentions, an intire cient” is a philosopher, who fancies that a lie that
affront cast on the masculine sense and spirit of his surrender of her fears to her love, a knitting of. her kills has more point in it than an alliteration or an
character. Thus, at the meeting between Othello self (heart and soul) to the fate of another. Bating antithesis; who thinks a fatal experiment on the
and Desdemona, he exclaims_“ Oh, you are well the commencement of her passion, which is a.. little peace of a family a better thing than watching the fantastical and headstrong (though even that may palpitations in the heart of a flea in a microscope; this music, as honest as I am"-his character of bon
tuned now: but I'll set down the pegs that make perhaps be consistently accounted for from her in- who plots the ruin of his friends as an exercise for
hommie not sitting at all easily upon him. In the ability to resist a rising inclination*) her whole cha- his ingenuity, and stabs men in the dark to prevent
scenes where he tries to work Othello to his purpose, racter consists in having no will of her own, no ennui. His gaiety, such as it is, arises from the sucHer romantic turn is
he is proportionably guarded, insidious, dark, and prompter but her obedience. cess of his treachery; his ease from the torture he
deliberate. We believe nothing ever came up to the only a consequence of the domestic and practical part has inflicted on others. He is an amateur of tra.
profound dissimulation and dexterous artifice of the of her disposition ; and instead of following Othello to gedy in real life; and instead of employing his in
well-known dialogue in the third act, where he first
enters upon the execution of his design :-
OTHELLO. What dost thou say, Iago ?
We will just give
When you woo'd my lady, know of your love? has struck her, and called her names, she says, an illustration or two.
OTHELLO. He did from first to last.
? Why dost thou ask?
Lago. But for a satisfaction of my thought,
No further harm.
Laco. I did not think he had been acquainted
Inco. Call up her father:
Othello. O yes, and went between us, very oft-
Rouse him (Othello), make after him, poison his LAGO. Indeed!
OTHELLO. Indeed? Ay, indeed. Discern'st thou .
ought of that ?
Is he not honest?
“ Our an
WRITINGS OF CHARLES LAMB.
SOLDIERS AND DRINKING.
Iago. Honest, my lord ?
passion, when love, or patriotism, or the influence of Iago. My lord, for aught I know. nature kindles the soul, it becomes natural, nay, im
(Musical Library. No. XII. Charles Knight. OTHELLO. What do'st thou think? perative to them to embody their thoughts, and to
"Air, with Variations.' Mozart. A very beauIaco. Think, my lord ! give “a local habitation and a name" to the emotions
tiful instrumental piece; but has not a slow Othello. Think, my lord! Alas, thou echoʻst me, that possess them. The remarks of critics on the movement been omitted at the end ?
Surely As if there was some monster in thy thought; overflowings of poetic minds remind one of the tra
Mozart's music requires no curtailment. There are Too hideous to be shown." veller who expressed such wonder when on landing
some fine passages in the fragment in Martini's trio; The stops and breaks, the deep workings of treaat Calais he heard little children talk French.—Lives
but they are disjoined, and few in proportion to the chery under the mask of love and honesty, the of Eminent Italians. (Vol. lxiii of Dr Lardner's number of staves they are distributed over. In the anxious watchfulness, the cool earnestness, and if we Cyclopædia.')
adagio from Woell's sonata, we can discern neither may so say, the passion of hypocrisy marked in every
subject, object, nor connexion of any kind. It apline, receive their last finishing in that inconceivable We have been highly gratified in seeing the fol
pears to us, under correction, a bit of solemn nonburst of pretended indignation at Othello's doubts of lowing announcement in the current number of the
Haydn's canzonet, · Piercing Eyes !' is very his sincerity.
*La Marmotte,' by Beethoven, • New Monthly,' by the writer of the Confessions graceful and sweet.
very pretty; so is Rossini's canzonet. Lord Mor“ O grace! 0 Heaven forgive me !
of Shakspeare :'_“I may, perhaps, be allowed this Are you a man? Have you a soul or sense ? opportunity of stating, that an edition of such of the nington's madrigal is not very striking, but the effects
are very pleasing. The song, Where'er you walk;' God be wi' you; take mine office. O wretched late Mr Charles Lamb's writings as can be recovered
from Handel's Semele,' is a most majestic strain of fool,
by his executors, with a large selection from his That lov'st to make thine honesty a vice! correspondence, is now preparing under the superin- amoured. Horsley's Ms. glee is by no means cal
enamoured compliment, more majestic than enO monstrous world! take note, take note, O world! tendence of Mr Serjeant Talfourd, and will be accom
culated to increase his high repute as a composer. To be direct and honest is not safe.
panied by a notice from that learned and accomplished I thank you for this profit, and from hence! gentleman, of the life and genius of his deceased I'll love no friend, since love breeds such offence.” friend."—We are not aware of any man living, who, from the united circumstance of long acquaintance
FINE ARTS. If Iago is detestable enough when he has business
with Mr Lamb, and thorough subtlety of criticism, is on his hands and all his engines at work, he is still
Gallery of Portrails. No. XXXIV. Charles so well qualified to do justice to him as Mr Talfourd. worse when he has nothing to do, and we only see
Knight. into the hollowness of his heart, His indifference
The inauspicious countenance of Clarendon heads when Othello falls into a swoon is perfectly diabo
It is the mode at present in use, of serving out the the triumvirate this month. It is a most unpleasant lical.
rations for the day all at one time; the allowance of face, sceptical and cross-looking, with an air of ill-tem
meat and vegetables, being cooked in the course of pered surprise and petty-haughtiness; he looks as “ Iago. How is it, General? Have you not hurt the forenoon, is, at twelve o'clock, together with the though he were resenting some impertinent and unbread, served out to each room or mess.
expected interruption on the part of an inferior. OTHELLO. Do'st thou mock me?
being hearty and possessed of good appetites, perhaps Reynolds has a more contented and humane cast of Iago. I mock you not, by Heaven,” &c. just relieved off guard, or returned from drill or
countenance. It is pleasant to have a portrait of a The part indeed would hardly be tolerated, even fatigue duty of some kind, frequently demolish the
man like Reynolds, by himself, necessarily, too, in as a foil to the virtue and generosity of the other day's allowance, with the exception of the bread, at
the very act of painting. There may be seen the characters in the play, but for its indefatigable in
one meal. It might be inferred from this that they peculiar expression, which is the habitual one of a dustry and inexhaustible resources, which divert the
had not a sufficiency of food, but it is not so; as far as painter at work, a look of pleased and fixed scrutiny; attention of the spectator (as well as his own) from quantity is concerned the allowance is amply suffi- for painters are by profession an observant race,
cient. the end he has in view to the means by which it
But the rough and unpolished soldier should they seek their mind's food on all sides, and never must be accomplished. -- Edmund the Bastard in
not be expected to possess more influence over his find a scarcity of it; therefore they are also a con• Lear' is something of the same character, placed in appetite than the wealthy glutton, who, devouring tented race. The exceptions to this rule are in cases less prominent circumstances.
twice the quantity necessary for the nourishment of of disappointed ambition,—a feeling Reynolds does
Zanga is a vulgar caricature of it. the body, is continually a prey to indigestion and dis.
not appear to have suffered much. It may be reIn four or five hours after this meal the man's
marked that the present portrait of Reynolds is a appetite returns ; nothing being left but the plain
reverse, painted with a single looking-glass, as may TABLE TALK.
bread, the public-house is resorted to, (in some be seen by his front being turned to the sinister side measure as a matter of necessity,) for something to
of the picture; if he had turned over his right TRUE REMARK ON “CONCEITS
relish it. Once there, the probability is, that the shoulder, the body would front the other way, as any inducements he there finds to prolong his stay are
may see, who makes the experiment. The right Petrarch's Italian poetry, written either to please his
found to be irresistible, and the natural consequences, hand too holds the mahl-stick, the left is employed in lady or to relieve the overflowing of his heart, bears drunkenness and disgrace, too often follow. This evil painting. By employing a second glass, and rein every line the stamp of warm and genuine, might be in a great measure removed by making versing the reflection in the first, the error may be though of refined and chivalric passion. It has been
some alteration in the nature of the rations, which at corrected. Swift's face is more in character with criticised as too imaginative, and defaced by conceits: present are intirely of a solid nature, nothing liquid
some good-natured anecdotes that are told of him, of the latter there are few, confined to a small being served out. If the officers were to cncourage than with his cutting satire or his suffering life.
portion of the sonnets. They will not be admired now, the formation of messes for making coffee or cocoa in
The engravings are well executed; but the first and yet, perhaps, they are not those of the poems which
the barrack-rooms on a certain hour, say five o'clock last are rather tame in the effect. The portrait of came least spontaneously from the heart. Those have in the evening, by way of supper, the necessity of Reynolds is a very fair representation of his style experienced little of the effects of passion, of love, resorting to the canteen for “ something to drink” of painting, with the exception of his peculiar style grief, or terror, who do not know that conceits often
would be removed, and the habits of good-fellowship of handling. spring naturally from such. Shakspeare knew this, among the men increased. Proposals for the introand he seldom describes the outbursts of passion un
duction of “tea-slops " may excite expressions of ridiaccompanied by fanciful imagery, which borders on cule from some persons, but let it be recollected that
TO CORRESPONDENTS. conceit. Still more false is the notion that passion is cocoa and tea have, for the last ten years, formed part
The Editor must beg the indulgence of his Correnot, in its essence, highly imaginative. Hard and of the provisions issued in the naval service; where
spondents till next week. While now writing, his dry critics, who neither feel themselves nor sympathise their usefulness, in preference to the extra pint of
attention is demanded by the publication of the Poem in the feeling of others, alone can have made this acgrog formerly issued, is fully proved by the concur
alluded to last Wednesday, intitled • Captain Sword accusation; these people, whose inactive and colours ring testimony of many eminent naval officers. Be
and Captain Pen,' which will most probably be out less fancy naturally suggests no new combination sides, there can be no doubt but that these liquors by the time this notice appears
. The poem is partly nor fresh tint of beauty, suppose that it is a cold ex
equally answer the purposes of drink, are exhilirating, political ; and so far nothing further will be said of ercise of the mind whenand far less injurious than either spirits or malt
it in the LONDON JOURNAL; which the Editor is deliquor.—[From a 'sensible and humane pamphlet just termined to keep sequestered and serene from all “ The poet's eye in a fine frenzy rolling,
published, intilled • Remarks on Military Flogging, its Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to Causes and Effects,' &c.-Steill. Pp. 23.]
sound of trouble and controversy, however consciennearen.“
tiously excited. Of other points in it, however, some
thing will be said in a future number; and meantime As they with difficulty arrive at comprehending A looking-glass is a matter of great wonder to
he avails himself of this opportunity of letting the poetic creations, they believe that they were produced magpies. We once saw one placed on the ground, public know that such a Poein is to be had. by dint of hard labour and deep study.
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, those expression seems steeped the other, and then both returned and spent at least
LONDON: Published by H. Hooper, Pall Mall East, and in the hue of dawn, are natural and unforced; when
supplied to Country Agents by C. KNIGHT, Ludgate-street. ten minutes in nodding, chattering, and hopping the mind of such is calm, their conceptions re- about the glass. - Faculties of Birds.
From the Steam-Press of C. & W. REYNELL, Little Pulteney-street.
IN POETRY AND ON THE
IMAGINATIVENESS OF PASSION.