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There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip,
Nay, her foot speaks; hier wanton spirits look out
At

every joint and motive of her body. This Shakspeare has contrasted with the profound affection represented in Troilus, and alone worthy the naine of love ;-affection, passionate ndeed,--swoln with the confluence of youthful instincts and youthful fancy, and growing in the radiance of hope newly risen, in short enlarged by the collective sympathies of nature; - but still having a depth of calmer element in a will stronger than desire, more entire than choice, and which gives permanence to its own act by converting it into faith and duty. Ilence with excellent judgment, and with an excellence higher than mere judgmert can give, it the close of the play, when Cressida has sunk into infamy below retrieval and bencath hope, the same will, which had been the substance and the basis of his love, while the restless pleasures and passionate longings, like seawaves, had tossed but on its surface, - this same moral energy is represented as snatching him aloof from all neighbourhood with her dishonour, from all lingering fondness and languishing regrets, whilst it rushes with him into other and nobler duties, and deepens the channel, which his heroic brother's death had left empty for its collected flood. Yet another secondary and subordinate purpose Shakspeare has inwoven with his delineation of these two characters,—that of opposing the infe

rior civilization, but purer morals, of the Trojans to the refinements, deep policy, but duplicity and sensual corruptions of the Greeks.

To all this, however, so little comparative projection is given,-nay, the masterly group of Agamemnon, Nestor, and Ulysses, and, still more in advance, that of Achilles, Ajax, and Thersites, so manifestly occupy the fore-ground, that the subservience and vassalage of strength and animal conrage to intellect and policy seems to be the lesson most often in our poet's view, and which he has taken little pains to connect with the former more interesting moral impersonated in the titular hero and heroine of the drama. But I am half inclined to believe, that Shakspeare's main object, or shall I rather say, his ruling impulse, was to translate the poetic heroes of paganism into the not less rude, but more intellectually vigorous, and more featurely, warriors of Christian chivalry,—and to substantiate the distinct and graceful profiles or outlines of the Homeric epic into the flesh and blood of the romantic drama,-in short, to give a grand history-piece in the robust style of Albert Durer.

The character of Thersites, in particular, well deserves a more careful examination, as the Caliban of demagogic life;-the admirable portrait of intellectual power deserted by all grace, all moral principle, all not momentary impulse ;—just wise enough to detect the weak head, and fool enough to provoke the armed fist of his betters ;-one whom malcontent Achilles can inveigle from malcontent. Ajax, under the one condition, that he shall be called on to do nothing but abuse and slander, and that he shall be allowed to abuse as much and as purulently as he likes, that is, as he can ;-in short, a mule,-quarrelsome by the original discord of his nature,- --a slave by tenure of his own baseness,– made to bray and be brayed at, to despise and be despicable. 'Aye, Sir, but say what you will, he is a very clever fellow, though the best friends will fall out. There was a time when Ajax thought he deserved to have a statue of gold erected to him and handsome Achilles, at the head of the Vurmidons, gave no little credit to his friend Thersites!' Act. iv. sc. 5. Speech of Clysses :

(), these encounierers, so ylib of tongue,

That gire a couating welcome ere it comes Should it be accosting?' 'Accost her, knight, accost!' in the Twelfth Night. Yet there sounds a something so Shakspearian in the phrase-give a coasting welcome,' (* coasting' being taken as the epithet and adjective of welcome,') that had the following words been, ‘ere they land,' instead of ' ere it comes,” I should have preferred the interpretation. The sense now is, “ that give welcome to a salute ere it comes.'

6

CORIOLA VUS.

THIS

HIS play illustrates the wonderfully philoso

phic impartiality of Shakspeare's politics. Ilis own country's history furnished him with no matter, but what was too recent to be devoted to patriotism. Besides, he knew that the instruction of ancient history would seem more dispassionate. In Coriolanus and Julius Cæsar, you see Shakspeare's. good-natured laugh at mobs. Compare this with Sir Thomas Brown's aristocracy of spirit. ilct. i. sc. I. Coriolanus' speech :

Il that depends Iqror vor fiivours, swims will fins of lead, And hew's down oihs with rushes. llany ye! Trust ve? I suspect that Shakspeare wrote it transposed;

Trust ye? Ilang ye !
Ib. sc. 10. Speech of Jufidius :

Mine emulation
Hath not that honour in't, it had; for where
I thought to crush him in an equal force,
True sword to sword; I'll potch at him some way,
Or wrath, or craft may get bim.-

Ny ralour (poison'd
With only suffering stain by him) for him
Sball fy out of itseli: not sleep, nor sanctuary,
Being naked, sick, nor fane, nor capitol,
The prayers of priests, nor times of sacrifices,
Embankınents all of fury, shall lift up
Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst
My hate to Jarcius.

I have such deep faith in Shakspeare's heartlore, that I take for granted that this is in nature, and not as a mere anomaly; although I cannot in myself discover any germ of possible feeling, which could wax and unfold itself into such sentiment as this. However, I perceive that in this speech is meant to be contained a prevention of shock at the after-change in Jutidius' character. Act ii. sc.

1. Speech of Venenius:The most sovereign prescription in Gulen, dic. W'as it without, or in contempt of, historical information that Shakspeare made the contemporaries of Coriolanus quote Cato and Galen I cannot decide to my own satisfaction. Ib. sc. 3. Speech of Coriolanus :

Why in this wolvish gown should I stand here-That the gown of the candidate was of whitened wool, we know. Does' wolvish' woolvish mean “made of wool?' If it means ' wolfish,' what is the sense ? Act iv. sc. 7. Speech of Aufidius :

All places yield to him ere he sits down, &c. I have always thought this, in itself so beautiful speech, the least explicable from the mood and full intention of the speaker of any in the whole works of Shakspeare. I cherish the hope that I am mistaken, and that, becoming wiser, I shall discover some profound excellence in that, in which I now appear to detect an imperfection.

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