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pleaded truly that in all he did he had only yielded obedience to what Ulrici calls 'intrinsic necessity,' he must have silenced the accusing goddess. It was because, in the language of law, he felt conscious that the crime he had perpetrated was his own act and deed that he could put forward nothing to bar judgment, but on the torture of the mind to lie in restless ecstasy.' No babbling of weird sisters, no sophistry about jumping the life to come, no satisfaction derived from having placed on his brow the golden round of sovereignty, no brilliant memories of the past, no gratifications springing from the present exercise of power, no soothing influence of hope in the time to come, could scare away from his couch or from his brain those resistless ministers of vengeance that spring to life simultaneously with guilt. The tyrant was now able to appreciate the meed he had earned by his deeds:

I have lived long enough : my way of life
Is fall'n into the sere and yellow leaf;
And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath,
Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not.

If language could suffice to direct the current of human action, Shakespeare's would ; it is more potent and persuasive than a thousand homilies. He had weighed in the balance all places, positions, and honours, and found them, apart from personal worth, to be mere dross and chaff. It was said by a successful theologian that Shakespeare and the Bible had made him Archbishop of York; it were better still could students affirm the same influences had made them honest men.

We have already seen that nature effects different purposes through the agency of sleep : sometimes, as in the case of Banquo, stimulating to evil; more frequently, as in the case of Macbeth, inflicting chastisement for evil committed. But in Shakespeare, as in life, both ill-doers aud well-doers seek this balm of hurt minds as an asylum where, as in death, the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest. When, however, it is sought with this view by those who are stained with blood, it stands perseveringly aloof and will not be wooed to associate with them till it has been purchased by protracted agony. Henry the Fourth affects to be in doubt why this half-brother of death will not answer his prayers; whereas it was, in truth, a sceptred shadow whom he, to gain his place had sent to peace, that stood between him and the gate of sleep. When he put, therefore, the ensuing question his conscience muttered the proper answer :

O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?

Had anyone whispered in his ears the name of Richard the Second, he would have understood the real state of the case. He is not, however, in search of truth, but, with the habitual sophistry of a guilty mind, tries to shift off to the circumstances of his condition what in truth belongs to his own doings. Follow him in the review of those whom sleep visits, and note with what acuteness he points out the difference between them and himself :

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And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull'd with sound of sweetest melody ?
O thou dul god, why liest thou with the vile
In loathsome beds, and leavest the kingly couch
A watch-case or a common 'larum-bell ?
Wilt thou

upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads and hanging them
With deafening clamour in the slippery clouds,
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes ?
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,

Deny it to a king ? Could Henry have communed with himself in language such as this, it might have reconciled him to sleeplessness or to anything but the consciousness of guilt. But this idea he strives to keep far from him; it is the responsibility of his position that keeps him awake :

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. No! Henry, the fault is not in the crown, but in the remembrance of the murder that placed it on your head. An innocent king may sleep as well as any peasant in his dominions. Titus pillowed his head on the blessings of millions, which sent up at the same time a sweet-smelling savour to his soul, and made his dreams Elysium. Everyone spoke of him as the delight of mankind, and when he died there was not a dry eye in the empire. If you have bedabbled your couch with blood, you cannot expect to taste sweet sleep upon it, nor would you be the nearer enjoying it if you stretched your limbs on an uneasy pallet in some smoky crib:

The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.




CIVILISATION, it is admitted, moves in cycles, and as it touches in its progress certain points of its orbit, similar phenomena present themselves, and are denominated the characteristics of the age. When history comes to deal with us, it will probably enumerate among the most marked features of the period our communistic dreams, and wild agitations about women's rights. Ask Time to turn back his glass, and set us down in the Athenian agora four hundred years before Christ, and we shall find Lysistrata contending victoriously with the statesmen and orators, and Praxagora projecting a division of property and a community of women. Nay, if we take a turn in the Acropolis, we may contemplate the Graces sculptured by a philosopher who put on motley with the same Praxagora, and, like many great (female thinkers of the present day, pronounced marriage to be a mistake. But how do we find Shakespeare involved in these discussions ? By his practice, if not by his teaching-I mean his practice in the plays. He employs women in important negotiations of State, pits them against kings and princes, and shows how, in the management of public affairs, their subtle and delicate wits often prove more than a match for the cumbersome machinery of the


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