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of pathos and images of horror? Never was simplicity more sweet, never was pomp more magnificent. Beauty unfolds before us modest as the violet, fair as the lily, lovely as the rose: greatness rises up, fearful as the incantation, daring as the battle, terrible as the storm. He is every thing that he describes : wand could not wave more awfully from magician's hand, crook could not recline more easily on shepherd's arm, diadem could not rest more gracefully around monarch's brow, wing could not flap more buoyantly in spirit's flight. The mask is no portion of his tragic paraphernalia, and he but strikes, for his most touching and most stirring chords, the strings of the human heart.” 1
“He has a magic power over words: they come winged at his bidding; and seem to know their places. They are struck out at a heat, on the spur of the occasion, and have all the truth and vividness which arise from an actual impression of the objects. His epithets and single phrases are like sparkles thrown off from an imagination fired by the whirling rapidity of its own motion. His language is hieroglyphical. It translates thoughts into visible images. It abounds in sudden transitions and elliptical expressions. This is the source of his mixed metaphors, which are only abbreviated forms of speech. These, however, give no pain from long custom, they have in fact, become idioms in the language. They are the building, and not the scaffolding to thought. We take the meaning and effect of a well-known passage entire, and no more stop to scan and spell out the particular words and phrases, than the syllables of which they are composed."
VERSIFICATION.—“His versification is no less powerful, sweet, and varied. It has every occasional excellence of sullen intricacy, crabbed and perplexed, or of the smoothest and loftiest expansion—from the ease and familiarity of measured conversation to the lyrical sounds
Of ditties highly penned,
With ravishing division to her lute.' It is the only blank verse in the language, except Milton's, that for itself is readable. It is not stately and uniformly swelling like his, but varied and broken by the inequalities of the ground it has to pass over in its uncertain course.'
1 Dr. Hamilton. “Nugæ Literariæ," p. 233. 2 Hazlitt. “Lectures, &c.," p. 107.
4 Id. p. 108.
EXTRACTS FROM VARIOUS PLAYS.
and fears than wars or women have;
“ Henry VIII,” Act iii, Scene 2. Wolsey is here addressing Cromwell, Earl of Essex. * High-blown-puffed up and swollen like a bladder.
Rude stream-i.e. that which was a sea of glory has suddenly become a boisterous and hostile ocean of billows—that which before held me up buoyantly floating on its surface now overwhelms and hides me. New opened-i.e. now I see things as they are.
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in ;
, I charge thee, fling away ambition ;
At last, with easy roads, he came to Leicester,
Honesty-from the Latin honestas, honour, virtue- uprightness, integrity. 2 “Henry VIII,” Act iv, Scene 2. 3 Roads--as we now say, journeys.
The dark side.
He was a man
The bright side.
Henry VIII,” Act iv, Scene 2. Queen Katharine describes the evil, and Griffith, her gentleman-usher, the good, of Wolsey's character. 2 Stomach-in the old sense-arrogance, haughtiness.
By suggestion, f.—By secret influence ruled all the kingdom. 4 Simony—the buying or selling of church preferment; so called from Simon Magus. See Acts viii, 20.
5 l'th' presence-from the Latin in presentia, time at the present-to suit his immediate purpose; or perhaps it means, in the king's presence.
6 Ipswich and Oxford-Wolsey founded a college, which had a very brief existence, in his native town of Ipswich, as well as the noble college of Cardinal's, now called Christ Church, Oxford. That did it-that made or founded it.
So excellent in art, and still so rising,
So work the honey bees ;
LIFE AND DEATH.4
“Henry V," Act i, Scene 2. 2 King—king seems here used in the general sense of sorereign-the referencce is of course to the queen bee.
3 Make boot upon--despoil, feed on. 4 “Hamlet,” Act iii, Scene 1.
5 Sea of troubles-Pope proposed to alter this into “a siege of troubles," upon which Mr. Knight, in his Pictorial Edition, remarks, “Surely the metaphor of the sea, to denote an overwhelming flood of troubles, is highly beautiful.” This is unquestionable, the difficulty however lies in the expression “ to take arms against a sea,” which, strictly speaking, presents an incongruous image. If we consider the words “a sea," as unemphatic, and merely used for “a host” or great number, the whole will be harmonised.