Abbildungen der Seite

the hearse among the flowers that "sad fact to him, and most facts do interembroidery wear." A second point est him. When he is contemplating to notice concerns the lines that are the death of Duncan he appreciates marked “nugatory.” Both Shake thoroughly and entirely all that is inspeare and Milton had the instinct to volved in that death:see that just as, on the one hand, a flower passage must not be a mere

He's here in double trust: catalogue, so, on the other, each item First, as I am his kinsman, and his

subject, must not be unduly emphasized. And

Strong both against the deed; then, as so we find that, while Milton has his

his host, "tufted crow-toe and pale jessamine,"

Who should against his murderer shut and his "well-attir'd woodbine" to

the door, make up the bunch, Shakespeare also Not bear the knife myself. Besides, has his

this Duncan

Hath borne his faculties so meek, bath Bold oxlips, and

been The crown-imperial, lilies of all kinds, So clear in his great office, that his The flower-de-luce being one!


Will plead like angels, trumpeta “nugatory” passage which Mr. Rus

tongued, against kin omits from his quotation. So The deep damnation of his taking-off. much, then, for the contrast of Imagination and Fancy.

So he goes from point to point, realIn resuming what has been said izing as he goes. Even more striking about the two great characteristics of is the way in which he is moved after the poetical mind, its passion and its the murder by Duncan's untroubled imagination, it may be useful to il- condition, thoroughly appreciating lustrate from the picture that our it:great dramatist has drawn of the poetical character in the person of Mac

Duncan is in his grave; beth. Macbeth, indeed, was a poet After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well; without a conscience; but that circum

Treason has done bis worst; nor steel, stance is to the advantage of our il

nor poison,

Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing, lustration, since we shall not be able

Can touch him further! to confuse his morality with his poetry. There are several points that

Or consider the passage, at the end may be noticed.

of the play, where he is contemplat1. First, though on this much stress

ing his own deserted state:-must not be laid, we observe Macbeth's power of summoning up, and vividly

I have liv'd long enough; my way of objectifying impressions of sense. He

life sees an air-drawn dagger. He hears Is fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf; a voice say, “Sleep no more."

And that which should accompany old 2. Secondly, and this is fundamental,

age, we remark the passionate intensity

As honor, love, obedience, troops of with which he realizes

friends, whatever

I must not look to bave; but, in their comes before him, his own states of

stead, mind, or events that happen, and sees

Curses, not loud, but deep, mouththem in all their attendant circum

honor, breath, stances and consequences. No fact that Which the poor heart would fain deny, at all interests him remains a barren

but dare not.

Especially characteristic here of the ample, in such sayings as "False face poet seems to me the pause on the must hide what the false heart doth idea of curses, to realize them, before know;" more curiously in his specugoing further, “curses, not loud, but lation why he could not say “Amen" deep."

when the groom he was about to mur3. In the third place, we remark der said, “God bless us;" most curithat, as Macbeth realizes with such ously in his irritation at ghost-walkvividness and such emotion the quali. ing:ties of everything that appeals to him, so one thing always suggesting an

The times have been other with similar qualities:

That, when the brains were out, the

man would die, Then comes my fit again; I had else

And there an end; but now they rise been perfect;

again, Whole as the marble, founded as the With twenty mortal murders on their rock,

crowns, As broad and general as the casing air;

And push us from our stools; this is But now I am cabin'd, cribb'd, con

more strange fined.

Than such a murder is.

When the ghostly voice that he bears, 5. Finally, though in this I am tresthe echo of his own imaginative mind, passing on a subject which I hope to suggests to him the terrible thought discuss in a second paper, we cannot that he has murdered not the king Lut observe Macbeth's extraordinary only, but Sleep, the greatest friend of talent for expression. I will give but man, he is at once absorbed in the one instance. Shakespeare, whether thought of all the wonder and mys- by design or chance, has reserved for tery of sleep, which he draws out into him, perhaps the most remarkable a long string of images; forgetting all presentment in literature of the pheabout the business he had been en- nomenon of falling nightgaged in, and the bloody daggers in his hand, until his practical wife in

Light thickens, blank amazement breaks in with. “What do you mean?" No one, again, an expression which gives not only the is likely to forget the desolate images fact of growing darkness, but also its under which he sums up his idea of qualities. the worthlessness and meaningless- The picture of the poetical nature less of human life:

that Shakespeare has given us in

Macbeth is considerably heightened Life's but a walking shadow; a poor if by the side of it we add for con. player,

trast his Richard II. Without workThat struts and frets his hour upon the

ing out the parallel in any detail, it stage,

will be enough to call attention to two And then is seen no more; it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and

points. In the first place, Richard has fury,

no imagination in the sense which we Signifying nothing.

have seen reason to give to that term;

he has no intuition into the scope and 4. I would point out further, as a meaning and consequences of events. frequent trait of the poetic nature, Compare, for instance, with Macbeth's Macbeth's simplicity; shown partly by picture of old age, Richard's picture his interest in his own moods; for ex- of a dethroned king:

[ocr errors]

I'll give my jewels for a set of beads, was an end in itself, and is moved by My gorgeous palace for a hermitage; a curious phrase so as almost to forMy gay apparel for an almsman's get his troubles. In the coronation gown;

scene, after Richard has cast down My figured goblets for a dish of wood;

the looking-glass with the words,My sceptre for a farmer's walking

stafr, My subjects for a pair of carved

How soon my sorrow hath destroyed saints;

my face, And my large kingdom for a little

Bolingbroke, with all a practical man's grave, &c.

contempt of play-acting and rhetoric, The points in the picture which rouse satirically replies:Richard's emotion, and which he sets out before us, are all merely super- The shadow of your sorrow hath deficial; never once does he touch the stroyed real heart of the matter. The other

The sbadow of your face, noticeable thing is that Richard is much less interested in persons

whereupon Richard is at once

rested:events than in his feelings about them, and then only in such as are

Say that again! lamentable; and perhaps, it would be

The shadow of my sorrow! ha! let's true to add, less in the lamentable feel

see! ings than in the pathetic language in which they can be expressed. He Could there be a truer portrait of the "hammers out” a simile as though it "minor poet” or sentimentalist? The National Review.

A. 0. Beeching.




Go, faithful heart; be his again once more!

How brief the space of parting! Oh, be free,
Be glad again, where on the further shore

He waits to welcome thee.

Mind conquers mind, and wit, a subtle spark,

Grows dim, and eloquence is soon forgot,
And warriors die, and moulder in the dark,

And men remember not.

Thou hadst no thought for greatness; it was fame

Enough for thee if one was reckoned great;
Enough to keep from fiery shafts of blame

One head inviolate.

God gave thee love whole-hearted, love to thrill

The colder, harder world that girt thee round,
A silent speeding ripple, widening still
To life's extremest bound.

Arthur 0. Benson.
The Spectator.


The Alps! Amongst fairly well-to projecting rock cropped out of the do English men and women, are there snow; in a hollow a little soil had any whose hearts do not beat a little accumulated, and this was cushioned faster at the word, either in memory with this lovely plant. of happy days of long ago or anticipa- Saussure studied geology in the Alps tion of such to come? The early start, with a purpose, and other men of scithe toil and vicissitudes of the day, the ence have left behind them far-reaching cozy inn, the well-dressed dinner to results from researches in the same beaumeet a raging appetite, the social even- tiful mountains; but studies of this ing, and then those crisp, clean sheets, kind need a long and laborious previous altogether make it just a luxury to live training. There is, perhaps, nothing and move and feel. It is a glorious thing that will enable ordinary people, who to conquer the Jungfrau, to look down have neither time nor inclination for from the summit of Mount Blanc on a deep study, to taste a few drops of the subject world of snow and ice and sweets of science with such pleasant crevasses. These are amongst the accompaniments, as an intelligent study things that brace the nerves, harden the of botany. sinews, and make the Anglo-Saxons The adjective is intentional, and who delight in them a dominant race. should be emphasized; for there is a

But it is only to the few that this large class of persons, chiefly young high privilege is given. The vast ma- ladies, who go abroad furnished, at jority of men, and still more of women, best, with “Wood's Tourist Flora,” and must perforce content themselves with a dictionary of botanical terms. Their humbler joys, with less boastful con- brothers bring them in large handfuls quests. And yet I know not but that of flowers from their walks, and they the memory of a week at Zermatt, of spend laborious evenings identifying the like at Mürren, or, to travel south, these; but to some it never seems to at Monte Generoso, may not have occur that it is worth inquiring as to sweeter memories for these than for the function of the stamens which they the conquerors of peaks.. To this end, count SO conscientiously; why the however, it is essential that they should blossom of one flower is of gorgeous have some pursuit which will replace hue while another is insignificant; why the use of the ice-axe; nor have we some emit their scent by day and others much difficulty in determining what by night; why one droops its head and this should be for the majority of edu- another holds it erect; why one is bare cated people. Next to its glorious in the throat and others covered with peaks and snowfields, the great beauty hairs; or why in some species these of the Alpine chain is its flowers. No hairs point upwards and in others one who has once seen a field of Gen- downwards;—with a hundred similar tiana verna in the Engadine in June, or questions. Nor is it only in the study of Primula farinosa in the lowlands of botany that such knowledge comes about the same time, can ever forget in usefully. How pleasant it must be them. To me the memory will ever be to the geologist when he comes across green of my first introduction to Andro- a fragment of what once was wood, sace carnea. It was high up with but, probably millions of years ago, was little visible all round but snow. А converted into flint, to be able to tell


at a glance whether the tree of which capable of locomotion and the it was a part belonged to the endoge- other fixed to the soil; or if it be a nous or the exogenous order of plants; higher class in a board school, you will to that family of which the palms are probably hear something about exhalnow the most noted examples, or that ing respectively carbonic acid gas and to which most of our forest trees be- oxygen, or about consuming organic long; and how much such a knowledge and inorganic matter as food; and yet may suggest of the natural history of one and all of these characteristics can the country at the time, of its climate, be shown to belong to some species its fertility, its fauna!

only, not to all. I humbly apologize! I am afraid that The truth is that there is no clearly I may be misunderstood as speaking defined division between the animal disrespectfully of the

young ladies

and vegetable kingdoms. It is often aforesaid. Nothing could be further difficult, if not impossible, to declare from my thoughts or intentions. I have of some that are just on the borderland spent too many delightful evenings in to which kingdom they belong. The assisting such investigations with the most up-to-date definition is that about microscope to speak lightly of them. food attributed above to the objectionThe object of this paper is, not to dis- ably precocious infant at the head of courage botany of this kind, but to a board school; and yet how far it is suggest to those who practice it how from being a true definition will be seen much more delightful their study would from the following examples. be if they would pursue it little To begin with ourselves. We and deeper.

many other animals make salt, a pure Few things could conduce more to mineral, a constant article of food, this than a previous study of Kerner's while not a few plants are as truly most interesting work on “The Natu- carniverous as a tiger, catching their ral History of Plants,” admirably trans- prey, converting their structure for lated by F. W. Oliver, profusely illus- the time being into a stomach, and ditrated (a great help to the beginner), gesting the nutritious parts just as we and published in four half volumes, do our dinner. Our bogs and mouncomprising about 1,800 pages. When tains are studded with the attractive we learn from him how it is that the little sundew (Drosera rotundifolia and instant the snow has melted from a longifolia). From a loose rosette of spot, there the Soldanella is found in battledore-shaped leaves rises the panifull bloom we shall look upon its grace- cle of somewhat inconspicuous flowers. ful, fringed bells with a quickened The leaves are thickly sprinkled with interest.

bright red tentacles, each crowned with If you ask a class of children what a tiny drop of sticky mucilage, which is the essential difference between glitters in the sun and gives the plant themselves, as representatives of the its name. But woe to the ily that is animal kingdom, and a cabbage, as attracted by its beauty! Once let him representing the vegetable kingdom, light upon it and there is no escape, the you will at least if the children are mucilage holds him fast. There is a Irish, as all my little neighbors are) story somewhere of an Englishman receive a number of answers more or who won a large sum at a gambling less intelligent. You will be told that house in Paris. Unwilling to walk the one is alive and the other not; that one streets at night with so large a sum can feel, see, hear, taste, smell, about him, he was persuaded to enand the other not; that

is gage a room in a lodging-house next


« ZurückWeiter »