« PredošláPokračovať »
shall I say, deluded ?-or rather, drawn away from ourselves to the music of noblest thought in harmonious sounds. Happy he, who not only in the public theatre, but in the labours of a profession, and round the light of his own hearth, still carries a heart so pleasure-fraught!
Alas for Macbeth! now all is inward with him ; he has no more prudential prospective reasonings. His wife, the only being who could have had any seat in his affections, dies; he puts on despondency, the final heart-armour of the wretched, and would fain think every thing shadowy and unsubstantial, as indeed all things are to those who cannot regard them as symbols of goodness :
Out, out, brief candle!
NOTES ON THE WINTER'S TALE.
LTHOUGH, on the whole, this play is ex
quisitely respondent to its title, and even in the fault I am about to mention, still a winter's tale; yet it seems a mere indolence of the great bard not to have provided in the oracular response (Act ii. sc. 2.) some ground for Hermione's seeming death and fifteen years voluntary concealment. This
might have been easily effected by some obscure sentence of the oracle, as.for example:
• Nor sball he ever recover an heir, if he have a wife be. fore that recovery.'
The idea of this delightful drama is a genuine jealousy of disposition, and it should be immediately followed by the perusal of Othello, which is the direct contrast of it in every particular. For jealousy is a vice of the mind, a culpable tendency of the teniper, having certain well known and well defined effects and concomitants, all of which are visible in Leontes, and, I boldly say, not one of which marks its presence in Othello ; — such as, first, an excitability by the most inadequate causes, and an cagerness to snatch it proofs; secondly, a grossness conception, and a disposition to degrade the object of the passion by sensual fancies and images; thirdly, a sense of shame of his own feelings exhibited in a solitary moodiness of humour, and yet from the violence of the passion forced to utter itself, and therefore catching occasions to ease the mind by ambiguities, equivoques, by talking to those who cannot, and who are known tot to be able to, understand what is said to them,-in short, by soliloquy in the form of dialogue, and hence a confused, broken, and fragmentary, manner; fourthly, a dread of vulgar ridicule, as distinct from a high sense of honour, or a mistaken sense of duty; and lastly, and immediately, consequent on this, a spirit of selfish vindictiveness.
Act i. sc. 1-2.
Observe the easy style of chitchat between Camillo and Archidamus as contrasted with the elevated diction on the introduction of the kings and Hermione in the second scene: and how admirably Polixenes' obstinate refusal to Leontes to stay
There is no tongue that moves; none, none i'the world
So soon as yours, could win me;prepares for the effect produced by his afterwards yielding to Hermione ;-which is, nevertheless, perfectly natural from mere courtesy of sex, and the exhaustion of the will by former efforts of denial, and well calculated to set in nascent action the jealousy of Leontes. This, when once excited, is unconsciously increased by Ilermione :
Yet, good deed, Leontes,
What lady she her lord ;accompanied, as a good actress ought to represent it, by an expression and recoil of apprehension that she had gone too far.
At my request, he would not:The first working of the jealous fit;
Too hot, too hot:The morbid tendency of Leontes to lay hold of the merest trifles, and his grossness immediately afterwards
Paddling palms and pinching fingers ; –
followed by hts strange loss of self-control in his
That thou betray'dst Polixenes, 'twas nothing;
And damnable ingrateful.-
I think the original word is Shakspeare's. 1. My ear feels it to be Shakspearian; 2. The involved grammar is Shakspearian ; — show thee, being a fool naturally, to have improved thy folly by inconstancy; 3. The alteration is most flat, and unShakspearian. Is to the grossness of the abuseshe calls him gross and foolish' a few lines below. Act iv. sc... Speech of Jutolycus :
For the life to come, I sleep out the thought of it. Fine as this is, and delicately characteristic of one who had lived and been reared in the best society, and had been precipitated from it by dice and drabbing ; yet still it strikes against my feelings as a note out of tune, and as not coalescing with that pastoral tint which gives such a charm to this act. It is too Macbeth-like in the 'snapper up
of unconsidered trifles.' Ib. sc. 3. Perdita's speech :
From Dis's waggon! daffodils. An epithet is wanted here, not merely or chiefly for the metre, but for the balance, for the æsthetic
logic. Perhaps, golden' was the word which would set off the violets dim.' Ib.
Pale primroses That die unmarried.Milton's
And the rathe primrose that forsaken dies.
Even here undone :
But milk my ewes, and weep. O how more than exquisite is this whole speech! - And that profound nature of noble pride and grief venting themselves in a momentary peevishness of resentment toward Florizel:
Wilt please you, Sir, be gone! Ib. Speech of Autolycus :
Let me bave no lying; it beconies none but tradesmen, and they often give us soldiers the lie; but we pay them for it in stamped coin, not stabbing steel;-therefore they do not give us the lie.
As we pay them, they, therefore, do not gire it