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the rope. Johnson, who was murdered by Lord Ferrers, did not endeavour to run away-not because he was unaware of his danger, or indifferent to escape, but because he perceived that the attempt would be useless, and in this case a feeling of dignity, which cleaves to us to the last, forbids a useless act of fear. We are sure that our memories would supply us with instances of many who have suffered death by assassination without flying from the stroke; and we are confident that, escape being hopeless, pride suggests such conduct. What is the case of Pasta's Desdemona? She is shut up in the same room with a man who has the habit of command over her, who is armed with a dagger, and resolved to take her life. She runs about wildly to escape the danger; many women, most women perhaps would do so, and it would therefore be said to be natural to them; and some of the best, of the highest natures, would not do so, and the patient surrender would also be natural to them. The only question then is, which of the two descriptions is the more proper subject for tragedy. * *Shakspeare certainly did not intend Desdemona fairly to seize her petticoats and run for it; for he has, as if to preclude such pranks, taken her petticoats off, and put her to bed. In this predicament, Desdemona feels that she must not run about before a gentleman (not to mention the audience), let her be as much disposed to be fugacious as she may. It would be a great stroke of nature, if she were to kick the bed-clothes off when suffocating, but she does not even do that. Decorum prevails, and she dies with punctilious decency. Nevertheless, had Miss O'Neil knocked the counterpane and sheets about, and broken some articles of crockery, it might have been applauded by her admirers, and we could not have denied her right to struggle. It is not every horror that is dramatic-there are vulgar horrors as well as poetic horrors; and that in question is, we think, of the former class. In the stage directions of an old play, we remember to have seen it ordered, after an explosion, that heads, legs, and arms, should be scattered about the stage "as bloodie as may be " this might have been horrible, but it was not tragic. It was a vulgar machinery. Pasta's flight in Otello is, to our minds, of the same as-bloodie-as-may-be" order."




"We express this difference of opinion with every respect for a remarkably exact taste. No judgment is however so straight and strong as to defy the warp of partiality-except, of course, our own.”

We thank our brother-critic for the courtesy of this conclusion, especially after the " austere regard" of his commencement. But we are compelled to say, that we still think him wrong, and that his argument is wrong throughout. First, as to the ocular demonstration of his exordium:-there would have been something in it, had we said that Pasta was no fatter than a heroine ought to be. On the contrary, we think she is, and have often said so; though we differ with the writer, as to the mode in which such things ought to be said of women, especially of those who delight us and deserve our respect. We are more than usually called on to be considerate with regard to a woman like Pasta, because an actress of her sort must go through a great deal of emotion, and thus render herself


peculiarly liable to the temptation of counter-excitement, and of a little excess in the mode of renewing her strength; and when we reflect how the time of such persons is taken up, and in how many ways of late hours, and studies, and flatteries, they are diverted from recruiting their health in a better manner, we must not be too hard upon them if the nature of their temperament is such as to make them a little too fat and festive in appearance, where others, who indulge more, may be liable to no such betrayals. For this reason we have omitted as much of our critic's ungraciousness on that head as possible. We have also left out an allusion to a person said to be now living, who is charged with having hidden himself in an hour of peril, and to have been at the same time one of the last persons who ought to have set so unmanly an example. The humiliation which this unhappy individual must undergo, is surely enough for him; and need not be brought in to shew that the exhibition of fear is unbecoming on the part of a woman. is justly expected of a man that he should be brave, even should his individual nature be timid; but the question of fear and courage has, in truth, nothing to do with the subject. Inevitable death has nothing to do with it. Dignity has nothing to do with it. Desdemona is a young, fond, and innocent woman, suddenly threatened with death by the man she loves. Her natural impulse is to try and avoid the death, both in the horror that must be common to all such women, especially on such an occasion, and in the hope of avoiding it for the sake of both parties. We supposed, in our article on the subject, that Pasta, in her general performance of Desdemona, as well as in the particular passage here caricatured, adopted that mode of evincing her feelings, which is natural to womankind; but we drew at the same time a distinction, which the critic has overlooked, between her performance of the character as a mere, impassioned, unsophisticate woman, and what might be looked upon as a good, or perhaps still better personation of it by Mademoiselle Sontag as the lady. This distinction, if we mistake not (for we have not the article by us to refer to) followed upon the passage which our critic has quoted; and an attention to it, we conceive, would have overturned at once all necessity for his argument :-but unfortunately he is wrong also

respecting the Desdemona of Shakspeare. He appears to have had an inkling of this, when he says that Shakspeare seems to have put her to bed, purely to hinder her from attempting to run away. "Decorum," he says, "prevails; and she dies with punctilious decency." But what says Shakspeare?

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And see the whole scene. What a writer is Shakspeare! Reading onward, we came upon the following, and our eyes gushed with


Emelia. Oh, who has done this deed?

Des. Nobody; I myself; farewell:

Commend me to my kind lord: oh! farewell. (Dies).

This is delicacy, if you please; this is "dignity." Desdemona dreaded death, as a young and a tender woman; and she felt the greater horror of it, because it was to be inflicted by the man she loved; but having received it, she is still the tender woman; and dignity, which is the sense of worth, then speaks in its most generous language, and attempts to screen and to console the hand that harmed it.

We are not fond of giving ourselves airs of patronage, and indeed have no right to do so. We have also, in the days of our criticism, that is to say, of our youth and our want of thought, been great sinners in the article of severity. But assuming that our critic is young also in proportion as he is severe, and conceding that he may know a great many things better than we do, we would fain give him the benefit of our experience on what we do know; and accordingly we hope he will make haste to discover how much greater the delight is, as well as more honourable the difficulty, in finding out beauties than faults, and helping to create what he desires, as the sun does the flowers that it looks upon. In addition to evidences of talent, which we suppose have been long recognized, he gave one the other day (if we mistake not) of a capability of generous

feeling, far beyond the pale of talents in ordinary; and he who could do that, should afford to be differed with many times as well as once, and not mistake his dislike of objection for imaginary grounds of objection in others.


Continued from p. 288.

We now come to a specimen of the verses of poor Miss Vanhomrigh, who was in love with Swift. They are not very good; but they serve to shew the truth of her passion, which was that of an inexperienced and clever girl of eighteen for a wit of forty-four. Swift had conversation enough to make a dozen sprightly young gentlemen; and besides his wit and his admiration of her, she loved him for what she thought his love of truth. In her favour also he appears to have laid aside his brusquerie and fits of ill temper, till he found the matter too serious for his convenience.

"Still listening to his tuneful tongue,

and with a woman She discovered it,

But we have dis

The truths which angels might have sung Divine imprest their gentle sway, And sweetly stole my soul away. My guide, instructor, lover, friend, Dear names, in one idea blend; Oh! still conjoin'd your incense rise, And waft sweet odours to the skies." Swift, who was already engaged elsewhere, too whom he loved, should have told her so. and died in a fit of indignation and despair. cussed this matter in another place. The volume, a little farther, contains some verses of the other lady On Jealousy,-probably occasioned by the rival who was jealous of her. Poor Stella! She died also, after a longer, a closer, and more awful experience of Swift's extraordinary conduct; which to this day remains a mystery. We believe it has been conjectured that he might have doubted whether Stella (Miss Johnson, daughter of the steward of his early friend Sir William Temple) might not have been a daughter of his own. Perhaps he might have fancied her a sister,

if he had any notion (as some have had) that he himself was indebted to Sir William for his birth. But this will not exonerate him, for his conduct to Miss Vanhomrigh, nor lessen indeed the suspicions otherwise cast on him: for why, after all, did he marry Miss Johnson without living with her, and keep the secret from Miss Vanhomrigh if he meant nothing further? But we are getting out of our subject. The worst of it was, that both these ladies were eminently fitted for the enjoyments of an equal and genuine affection,-being young, pleasurable, liberal, clever, and sincere. One cannot help fancying, that there must have been two men, living somewhere, who ought to have had them for companions; and that such persons will meet in another sphere. Swift was not properly fit for either, had he been as young and fit in every other respect. He has recorded some witticisms of Stella, which shew that she was not uninfected with his coarseness. Some of the rest are altogether excellent. We are sorry we cannot refer to them; but we remember one, or the spirit of it. Steel medicines are reckoned good for melancholy. She was asked one day, in a game at forfeits, why melancholy was like an oyster. "Because," said she," it is removed by taking steel inwardly."

Mr Dyce appears to be mistaken in attributing the lines at p. 149 to Rachel, Lady Russell, wife of the famous Lord William Russell. The Lady Russell, who here writes verses to the memory of her husband, records him as having been named John. She was most probably Elizabeth, one of the learned daughters of Sir Anthony Cook, and widow of John, Lord Russell, who was called up to the House of Lords in the lifetime of his father Francis, Earl of Bedford, who died in 1585. The singular applicability of the last line to the mourning widowhood of Lady William Russell, seems to have misled Mr Dyce to overlook the name of the real husband. The concluding couplet is remarkable for shewing the effect to which real feeling turns the baldest common-places. Not that the words just alluded to are a common-place. They are a quintessence of pathos.

"Right noble twice, by virtue and by birth,

Of Heaven lov'd, and honour'd on the earth,

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