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too much : her human feelings and superhuman power are not sufficiently blended. Taking into consideration the different impulses which actuate Medea and Lady Macbeth, as love, jealousy, and revenge, on the one side, and ambition on the other, we expect to find more of female nature in the first than in the last; and yet the contrary is the fact: at least, my own impression, as far as a woman may judge of a woman, is, that although the passions of Medea are more feminine, the character is less so;

to require more feeling in her fierceness, more passion in her frenzy ; something less of poetical abstraction,less art,-fewer words; her delirious vengeance we might forgive, but her calmness and subtlety are rather revolting.

These two admirable characters, placed in contrast to each other, afford a fine illustration of Schlegel's distinction between the ancient or Greek drama, which he compares to sculpture, and the modern or romantic drama, which he compares to painting. The gothic grandeur, the rich chiaro



scuro, and deep-toned colours of Lady Macbeth, stand thus opposed to the classical elegance and mythological splendour, the delicate yet inflexible outline of the Medea. If I might be permitted to carry this illustration still farther, I would add, that there exists the same distinction between the Lady Macbeth and the Medea, as between the Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci and the Medusa of the Greek gems and bas reliefs. In the painting the horror of the subject is at once exalted and softened by the most vivid colouring, and the most magical contrast of light and shade. We gazeuntil from the murky depths of the back-ground the serpent hair seems to stir and glitter as if instinct with life, and the head itself, in all its ghastliness and brightness, appears to rise from the canvass with the glare of reality. In the Medusa of sculpture how different is the effect on the imagination! We have here the snakes convolving round the winged and graceful head : the brows contracted with horror and pain; but every feature is chiselled into the most regular and faultless perfection ; and amid the gorgon terrors, there rests a marbly, fixed, supernatural grace, which, without reminding us for a moment of common life or nature, stands before us a presence, a power, and an enchantment!

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