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RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED TO “The Prettiest Girl y ever Saw,"

BY HER UNKNOWN ADORER.

I've seen pretty things in my day, —
Coal-black horses and trotters bay;
The first faint tinge on my pipe of spray;
The taper waist of a country fay;
And eyes-now demure—now never so gay,
Flashing about in a dangerous way;-
Lips where kisses and dimples play;
Shoulders that steal your heart away;
Jetty hair, nose retroussé,
Beautiful figures in suits of gray;
Children frolicking out in the hay,
Sunny days in the month of May,
Brooks that laugh as they flirt away,
Fireside-scenes—where our hearts still stray-
Lit as they are by memory's ray;
Warriors armed for deadly fray,-
And a thousand others ;-—but I must say
The prettiest thing of this many a day
Is the foot of that little quail over the way.

Not that it's light, though the trembling fly
But kisses the touch that has made it sigh,
And the roses, kneeling as she goes by,
Rise from her step in honor to vie ;-
Not that it's little,—though fives wont do,
And the sellers despair of fitting a shoe ;-
Not that it's high in the instep too,
Though water would flow, without wetting through.
It's not in the gaiter, or stocking of snow,
That makes one's heart like a hammer go;
Nor the dainty ankle and well-turned limb
-Nuns that seek cloister-yet loving a hymn;-
-No, none of these, nor the beautiful girl
Who graces the street like the child of an earl.
I can't tell what;—but it must be all,
-Face and figure, waist and curl,
Snowy neck, and arm and glove,
Stocking and gaiter and ankle—the love!
Limb's ne'er so molded, foot so petite,
Firm, yet elastic, high and fleet;-

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VOL. XXVII.

-These and more make the reasons why
That darling foot just fills my eye.

I dare not skate, for that glowing face,
Balmoral, skirt, and form of grace,
Crisp-cutting skate and foot so free,
Would soon prove the end of me.
I couldn't survive seeing strangers put
A skate with rude hands on that delicate foot,
Which I would give worlds to kneel down near
And tenderly bind with the cumbrous gear.
I dare not walk, for-where'er it be-
Those feet peep back 'neath the skirt at me,–
Those tiny heels seem to fly for joy
Of the precious burden they proudly convoy.
Yet when I'm at home, my heart will fail,
As I think of the foot of that pretty quail.
Ah! foot entrancing! here below, or I'm wrong,
Man wants you little, nor wants you long!
You are tripping past, now far behind,
Away from my sight yet near to my mind,
Good-bye, little foot, I plainly see
You'd captivate any one else but me.

K. F. J.

korin

Othello. It is the prominent characteristic of Shakspeare, that he shows no preference to any particular phase of character; but ranges without reserve over the whole field of human nature. Hence it is that we see him, at one time, soaring to the hights of virtue ; at another, descending to the depths of vice. While others have boasted that they have benefited the race by the production of a perfect man, Shakspeare thought it no less his duty to exhibit moral depravity than human perfection. He knew full well that the strength of virtue and the weakness of vice, could only be seen, when man could view them side by side. Such was his object, when, in those golden days of the "Maiden Queen," he bequeathed to mankind his Othello.

Othello received from nature a wonderful aptitude for the field, and inherited all the characteristics of the upright warrior. War, and not

the pleasant scenes of civil life, had been his school. If man ho had slain, it had been in open fight; and this is honorable. Manhood found him a warrior, skilled in the ways of war; but a child, untutored in the wiles and deceit of the busy world. In him at once we find the bravery of the chieftain, which decides the contest face to face, and that magnanimity, which noble souls alone possess. Little did this honest warrior think, that in this world villainy and deceit assume such inviting forms. In war, man was his enemy; but all that he desired in peace, was to make him his confidential friend. And this he did, only to work his own destruction. As manhood found him unskilled in the ways of men, so it found him a stranger to woman; except as he had been taught in song, or heard in romantic tale. With this partial and imperfect education, he saw, loved, and married Desdemona-as he thought, and as she really proved to be, his ideal of innocence, chastity, and perfection. Desdemona, in one respect, is the very counterpart of the Moor. I refer to her ideal of man. Othello was even more to her than she to tlie Moor, although possessed of the rarest order of transient beauty; flattery she scorns, and is insensible to her beauty in devotion to her lord. But a rarer beauty still was her's !—not that defined by graceful proportions, and features of delicate cast, but that beauty which, with the years, acquires more charms—a disposition of sterling worth; and this she retained from marriage till death. For Othello she lived; for him she died.

It is difficult to decide which displays the greater nobility of character. If we are to admire Othello, for not being "easily jealous," how much more praise is due to her who, in the humble capacity of the loving wife, never for a moment suspected the existence of a doubt in the mind of her Othello! Artless in the extreme, and wholly unsuspecting, she is slow to discover the doubt and unfounded suspicion of her husband. When the demon suspicion is at work, and has taken away Othello's

peace of mind, this good and faithful woman attributes the cause to State affairs, and in vain attempts to soothe him with the cheerfulness and affection of the wife.

Some bonest inquirer may ask, how came it that two so different in years, tastes, and habits, were united in marriage ? Otbello was the swarthy son of the desert; Desdemona was as fair as alabaster. He, advanced in years, had all the wisdom and dignity of old age; she, an undeveloped maiden, had all tho faults and imperfections of childhood. But Shakspeare dealt with principles, founded on the universal basis of human nature, and not with the unfounded prejudice of a fleeting age. He looked across the centuries, and saw man's nature, ever

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the same. He knew that generations might come and go, but what human nature once was, it would be again. He saw the green ivy of a season's growth cling all the more firmly to the sturdy oak, whose arms contained the pith of centuries, and inferred that man and wife were united by a principle independent of age or taste. Happily, the union of Desdemona and the Moor is no vain fabrication of the poet's brain. It is not the speculation of the past, but the reality of the present and the future. This theory goes not back into the years to find its advocates, but beholds them to-day, crowding the high places of the nations. Well has the present Poet Laureate expressed it in his “ Princess :"

“Woman is not undeveloped man,
But diverse: could we make her as the man,
Sweet love were slain : his dearest bond is this
Not like to like, but like in difference.”

Although Shakspeare would have done himself justice by either a Desdemona or an Othello, he has made Iago his crowning success. To say that he is a villain, would be doing injustice to the great dramatist, and to Iago himself. He was more than this. Not simply the villain that every community produces, but one of an exterior so inviting, that honesty and fidelity have covered up the blackness of his wicked heart. He is neither a Richard nor a Uriah Heep, with nature's deformity, to set the world on guard; but one who, being conscious of the great inconsistency between his outer and inner man, utters the significant warning, “ I am not what I am.” Only a Shakspeare was equal to the task of conceiving such a character. Had later dramatists made the attempt, some good would have been found amid his wickedness, and human sympathy would have shielded him from universal detestation. As he began this life he ended it, consistent throughout; a villain whose name is synonymous with hate and deceit.

Nor is he less coward than villain. Yet all villains are cowards, it may be said. This is only partially true. The ordinary villain may tremble in the sight of justice and the right, but still can strike home the fatal blow without a shudder. The mere fact that he stabbed his wife, does not shield him from the stigma of cowardice. A rat will fight when cornered; but not till then. Iago had the villain's bravery only when he could not run away, and had a woman unarmed as an antagonist.

Yet Iago is not a “two-faced” villain, in the ordinary acceptation of the term. He is “two-faced” in action, but not in words. This man of Italian intrigue was too wise to suppose that a secret is a mutual contract between two. Iago has taught the world this lesson : friendship, among men, is of such a nature, that it should be used as wine with moderation, or not at all.

The consistency of the arch-villain's plot, and its successive steps, are peculiarly worthy of notice. He has not only conceived of a plan, with its probabilities for success, but has adapted it to accident or failure. No place of attack has been left unguarded. If failure attend him at one time, it is only an incentive to a more stringent execution at another. His plot, and the skill with which he executes it, were it not impious, I would call divine. As workmen may be engaged in the manufacture of articles, which contribute to the formation of some final object, without their knowledge of the existence of such object; as the Creator carries out his divine plan, through agents who do their duty, and look not beyond this, so Iago uses his workmen : each attends to a particular part of the ingenious scheme, without knowing why he or she labors. Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, Emelia, and Beianca, really execute a plot, without being aware of any fraud or stratagem.

The most prominent feature of the play, however, is Iago's bearing toward the Moor. To Othello he appears the very personification of love and duty, while, in reality, he is his most bitter enemy. A man of ordinary deceptive powers, would have proceeded at once to the confirmation of suspicion. But Iago pursues a different course. From an honest interview between Desdemona and Cassio, he lays the foundation of a wicked accusation; and, as might have been expected, Othello doubts. Yet, Iago's course is not uniform; but, like the apparent motion of the planets, is at one time forward, now at rest, and now again retrograde. For this be has good cause. He would not prove Desdemona's guilt so soon; for this might lead to pardon, and then all were lost. He knows that suspicion, of a gradual growth, like habits contracted by degrees, is permanent; that suspicion thus formed, like those islands of the seas—the deposits of successive ageshas too deep a foundation to disappear with time.

At length suspicion is confirmed, love is discarded, and jealousy has done its work. Iago sees Desdemona and Othello glide down the troubled stream of life, and, through his instrumentality, plunge into the abyss of death. Iago has conquered! Yet who can call this the triumph of vice and wrong? It is rather a defeat. Many are the reformers who have died for principles which posterity might enjoy : many the champions who have died in the moment of victory; many

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VOL. XXVII.

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