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present position renders him monarch over the destiny of Antonio inflates him; the fifth developes dormant ideas of morality, in which none, neither the savage nor the super-refined, is wholly deficient; the sixth moves his affections, for none are altogether callous.; the seventh summons into action whatever little veneration he possesses, and none are entirely void of it; and the eighth is the acme and noble deduction which must kindle any single spark of grandeur in the soul, and enforce to a coalescence of faith. Women are devotional ; and on none but religious motives does the inspired and elevated Portia dwell. The Jew forgave her all, in consideration of her pointed conclusion; and he spoke as the Israelites of old to the cowardly Pontius Pilate. Passion is as masterly an instruction of eloquence as talent : and Antonio is fluent in the tirade which haughty and unquenchable anger against Shylock induces, his being in such a vindictive man's power rendering him scornful and fretful when tantalised by his enemy's presence; and he deems himself licensed to give utterance to everything severe, as he has found, by experiment, ihat nothing conciliatory has the desired effect-a mixture of contempt points the arrows of invective. The
hot blood of Bassanio is hopeful, sanguine, and quick of big promise ; besides, there was a fearful, dull, death-like, drowsy drooping about Antonio, which appeared to demand the inspiration by his friends of treble coraggio.
upon the bond;" — Another
like the calm before a storm -a pause, during which thoughts multitudinous, and emotions varied and deep, swept across her brain, and furrowed the bosom of our heroine--a heaving up of the waters, as it were, before they splashed upon the shore. All her words until
“ Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh;
But, in the cutting of it, if thou dost shed,” &c. &c. are but the rippling of the smaller billows; until, after a succession of such, the mane of a leviathan wave erects itself in the air. “ There's thrice thy money offered thee;"—and here there is a tension of her nerves—a straining of her attention—a writhing last effort, before all chances are over—a beseeching that mercy should be granted, before the hour of demanding and affording the opportunity of bestowing, is for ever passed and an assertion of the benefit, instead of loss, to be incurred by compassionate acquiescence. She once more generously insists on Shylock’s right, that she may heighten the contrast of that kindness which she entreats, and render him more apt to leap the abyss, without plunging into it. Insignificant deeds we care not to execute; great acts we are proud to perform—the nearer the church the farther from heaven, is a proverb-we travel to view the marvels of strange lands, and we leave unvisited those of our own-on the smooth level road a horse stumbles, rather than on the stony boreen or slippery precipice, where he is on the alert, in a jog trot or ambling walk, rather than in a stirring gallop, when his metal is roused. “ Bid me tear the bond.” Had she, who was so persuasive, no influence ?-she, to whom his heart leaned, and his judgment inclined-she, who was so loveable and loving, so beautiful and beauty-breathing, inspiring goodness by sympathy-she, who was so strong in her purity, vigour, disinterestedness, and affection for the right; in talent and enthusiasm ! Shylock atones for his unyieldingness by a little praise and flattery of Portia, trying to fancy that nothing more was then due; he swears, knowing that she, who is so truthful, will not require him to gainsay his word; and, finally, he appeals' to the whole court to hurry the decision, of having which in his favour he is now môre certain than ever, since the clever Portia can say nought to counteract it.
And now the crisis approaches. Shylock has shown so little worthiness, that she regards every means of defeating him legitimate ; she deems it allowable to tantalise him by appearing to hasten his joys, while she leisurely proceeds to blight them; to torment with the shadow of success while the substance of failure is at his threshold; she may urge the penalty to extremity. Yet we pity the Jew; for his punishment is greater than he can bear. It is all meet and right, one would suppose, until a conversion to Christianity is suddenly and irrationally made the proviso of his safety. Portia developes his frailties to admiration ; she has a pleasant malice in doing so, since all her generous overtures have failed to excite corresponding emotions in his breast, since his heart' has been proved impenetrable, his humanity quenched and extinct. Antonio's affection goes so far as to lead him to discover reasons of thanksgiving in his melancholy fate, lest Bassanio should too bitterly accuse himself of having brought it about. His farewell is about as affecting as some of Catherine of Arragon's last words. Their situations are alike pathetic; they have each the same noble, touching character; and his love for Bassanio, in spite of all, may be likened to hers for Henry.
Such an overflowing of imagination as the first scene of the fifth act displays!--spontaneous and unforced; as if it could not be withheld. On such a night it was fit that Portia should be re-introduced. The garish day suited her first meridian splendour ; the chastened moonlight her matured and manifested worth : her pristine energy was no longer so much displayed in manner, because it had been testified by deeds. If, previously to having made the experiment, we desire and feel competent to perform great things, we are naturally and involuntarily louder in the proclamation of our intentions, and more eager to prove, by original thought and conversation, our competency, lest the contrary should be suspected: such restlessness ceases on the attainment of the desired goal, when the excitement of expectation is past, and the mellow, calm certainty of fruition arrived. Then, however, we experience, if not the aching disappointment attending the gratification of imperfect wishes, a dissatisfaction with the little we have done, with the poverty of our essays in comparison of the oriental riches of those of master-spirits, with our insufficiency to avail ourselves to the utmost of even those talents with which we have been endowed, and with the vast inferiority of these abilities to those of the nine-tenths who have established a name.
The only real source of happiness in success, and a much more amiable one than the egotistical profit of analysing and depreciating our capacities,
arises from a forgetfulness of self in the small good that we have obtained, or endeavoured to obtain, for others; from a pleasure in our intentions, if praisewortly, though deep humility in our acquirements ; and this frame of mind maintains a happy balance in triumph or defeat. It is impossible we should be elated by the former, or unduly cast down, except momentarily, by the latter ; we are raised by the former to a virtuous, thankful, and lofty tone of spirit; we are conscious of a noble self-satisfaction, accompanied by a feeling that that self is not our own, but another's; and from the latter springs a firm and generous resolve to overcome in futurity those difficulties which have now baffled us,—thus establishing the truth of that inspiration which men have dared to doubt.
N. R. Q.
BRIGHTLY o'er us beamed the lover's favourite star,
Fair in that garden bower, a star amid the night,
We needed not the mocking-bird, near singing in the tree,
It could not be the star, the flowers, soft darkness, odorous air-
Now like deserted Eden is that remembered spot ;
CHAPTER XII. LITTLE suspecting the existence of a plot against her peace, still less imagining the return to England of one who had long announced, like Bertram in the play, that “till he had no wife, he had nothing in” his own country–happy and happy-making, cheerful as Innocence and beautiful as Truth, Lady Lovell was enjoying, at Lovell House, the brightness of the opening spring. One day, roused from her slumbers by the reveillée of the hunting-horn and the mellow voice of the jolly old knight calling upon her to rise and accoutre; the next, renouncing her sweeping skirts for the tucked-up garments of the forester, she loved to follow Enoch Shum and his train of woodsmen, marking with her own fair hand the clearings that she selected to afford vistas for the embellishment of the estate. A third day the formal young steward had to attend her with plans, and pencils, and compasses, taking orders for the new plantations destined for the benefit of that far-off posterity in which Lady Lovell possessed no more than a philanthropic interest; while, on a fourth, she was to be seen in the pleasure-grounds, directing, with sparkling eye and glowing cheek, the sowing of the summer seeds, the raising of new bowers, and the pruning of old arbours ; resisting only, as in previous years, the proposals of her new-fangled gardeners for the embellishment of a certain terrace which, they protested, was a defeature to the place.—" Let neither stone · nor plant be displaced,” was ever her reply. “ Be the old quince tree looked to, lest its roots be injured by penetrating towards the water; and let the hedge of honeysuckle and sweet brier be carefully trimmed. But, beyond such entertainment, see that ye lay not a finger on the old terrace.”
It was, moreover, a noted thing in the establishment, that when my lady betook herself to her daily promenade on that uninviting spot, none were to approach her with molestation. Young Mistress Shum, a gentle but gay and happy creature, whose company and affections were highly valued by her patroness, never intruded there ; though privileged, she or her two fair babes, to approach with the freedom of friendship in all other times and places-nay, even Sir Richard, the joyous, daring, bantering, unforbearing Sir Richarıl, would turn away, and betake himself to the lawn or the shrubberies, if he beheld his fair niece direct her steps towards a spot which observation of the changes of her countenance assured him was consecrated to memories of the past.
So well was all this understood in the household, that Lady Lovell was startled with surprise-almost with displeasure—when, one glittering afternoon in April
, as she was inhaling the early fragrance of the brier-buds, and admiring that while the woods were still gloomy
1 Continued from p. 188.
and unclothed, her favourite spot was already green with the hardy shoots of the woodbine hedge, she saw advancing to meet her from the house her favourite page Edmund, the grandson of that dear old nurse who, as well as the venerable Gervas, now rested from her labours.
“ May it please your ladyship,” the boy began.
“ It doth not please me, Edmy, that you should so disregard my wishes as to interrupt my walk,” interrupted the lovely lady, attempting to frown; “ the terrace is a forbidden spot.”
“ I know it well, madam,” replied the boy; “ but Master Shum, though unwilling to break in upon your Jadyship's walk, thought it right you should be instantly apprized that a great lord from court was alighting with his train at the gate.” ... “Where is the general ?" cried Lady Lovell, turning very pale. “ Hie instantly to the fort, and entreat Sir Richard to visit me without delay.” “ It were a bootless errand, madam,” replied Edmund.
“ Your ladyship may remember that Sir Richard set off two hours ago for Oakham; to visit, as I believe, with Master Wright, your ladyship's farms in Rutland.”
“ 'Tis true, 'tis true !" cried Lady Lovell, growing more and more confused.. " That I should have chosen such a moment of all the year, to claim such service of my good uncle !"
“ May it please your ladyship," resumed the boy, gaining courage from her embarrassment, “ I heard one of the saucy grooms yonder, who escorted the coach of the stranger lord, cry aloud with an oath to his mates, that 'twas a fitting thing truly no greater respect was shown by a horde of Northamptonshire bumpkins to the retinue of the great Duke of Buckingham.”
.“. Buckingham!" ejaculated Lady Anne, who, at the moment of the boy's communication, was directing her steps towards the house, • ar't sure the fellow said the Duke of Buckingham ?"
And on receiving confirmation, from Edmund's account of the bearings and liveries of the equipage, that her visiter was no other than the man notorious for his excesses and insolence, she determined on regaining the house by a by-path branching from the foot of the terrace. Bidding Edmund return by the grand entrance, and despatch Master Shum to her dressing-room, she hastened her footsteps homeward.
On reaching her chamber, Lady Lovell found that her kind friend Hope had already summoned her, tirewoman to provide a change of dress.
“ Your ladyship will wear the tunic of pearl-colour satin, which was made for Sir Richard's last birth-day ?" demanded Judith, the elder of er maids.
“ And the pinners of Alençon lace ?" added Margery, the younger waiting-woman; “ or will your ladyship give me time to arrange your hair with pearls? The wind hath sadly discomposed the curls.”
“ For what, pray, am I to make all these splendid preparations ?” demanded Lady Lovell
, with a smile. “ Away with ye both! Hasten to Thomas Cellerer and Antony Cook, with my commands that nothing