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stay behind.” But the Fool never appears again. It has been suggested that Lear's words, “And my poor fool is hang'd,” are literally applied to the Fool. But nothing can be more groundless. These words are said while examining the body of Cordelia.
“No, no, no life :
It is absurd to suppose that Lear could be thinking of the Fool. “Fool," as it is observed in all editions, was a word of endearment. It meant innocent, unoffending
Is Falstaff to be classed with the Fools - The question seems strange : but it is well-grounded.-Falstaff is Prince Henry's “all licensed fool.” He stands at the head of the class, Satirical fools. He is the true Momus of civilized life : he laughs and makes us laugh at the most solemn things,- at honour, at authority, at love, at virtue: he is a Mephistophiles. But why has he not a diabolical character ?-Because he acts from the most unaffected humour; not from system. His object is mirth, not vice. The treatment he receives at the hands of the young king, his former associate and familiar, is odious. The fear of censure must have misguided Shakspeare's goodnature and judgment. Falstaff should have been made comfortable for the rest of his life. With money at hand for his sack he would have ceased to do mischief, and continued to break his jokes to his last
moment. He ought not to have been made to die broken-hearted.
Falstaff's playful satire has himself for the principal scope. Who can be angry with a man so thoroughly convinced of his own worthlessness, and who, in spite of this discouraging conviction, hates nobody, and is totally free from malignity? But the most amusing touch in the character, is his almost sincere persuasion, that he is in himself good, but has unfortunately been spoilt by others. (See his own picture in the scene of mock judgment.) « Thou hast done much harm upon me, Hal.—God forgive thee for it! Before I knew thee, Hal, I knew nothing."
Two Gentlemen of Verona.—How are Speed and Launce to be classed—both clowns, but without a very decided character ? Launce is a simpletona caricature of sentimentality. The only object in the introduction of such personages was the amusement of the vulgar.-In Launce there is a consciousness of his own folly : he laughs at himself. Act III. Scene 1. "I am but a fool, look you; and yet I have the wit to think, my master is a kind of knave.”— The great resource is, “ your old vice still; mistake the word.”—16.
Twelfth Night, or What you Will.—Examine and compare Sir Toby Belch, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Malvolio, Fabian and Clown :—Sir Toby is not to be classed with the clowns and fools : nor is Sir Andrew : they are both satirical caricatures, which contrast admirably.
January 18th. Examined a considerable portion of the Poor Man's Preservative, and was convinced that it cannot be made useful. I wrote it in a state of surrender to Church prejudices. It is a mawkish production, of which I feel ashamed.
20th. Began a little work, Plain Dialogues on Religion ; * but was extremely fatigued. The Motto to the Dialogues is to be
“I only speak right on;
Jul. Cæs. Act III.
22nd. Slept better, but got up very ill. Mr. Burnett brought me a parcel of letters from Seville, Cadiz, and Madrid : i.e. from my brother, Lista, and Reynoso. Oh, for the world of the departed,—how vehemently I long to be in it! Few men enjoy more love and tenderness on the part of their early friends than myself. Yet this only adds to my pain.
To Professor Powell.
Jan. 28th, 1840.
[* See Appendix.]
eternal Curate? If he will submit to the condemnation of all the Bench of Bishops, and become Professor of Mathematics at the College lately translated from York to Manchester, I believe that, upon your recommendation, he might obtain that place, with a salary of from £200 to £250, with leave to have private pupils. He might give out that he wished to go as a Missionary in partes infidelium. Answer me with as little delay as possible.
I have been, and am still, suffering from rheumatism, in addition to my other miseries. I write in haste, else I would add a few words for your wife. I am in hopes of seeing you all when you pass through this for Dublin. I hope to gain the heart of your little daughter.
Yours ever affectionately,
J. Blanco WHITE.
February 2nd. A very restless night. Rose from bed in great distress, to which I gave vent by writing a Spanish sonnet. I myself did not believe, in former times, that actual distress could inspire verse.
Monday, 10th. The Queen's Wedding. May Heaven bless it to this country!
(Written about the time of the Ceremony.)
Yet, blowing with swelled cheeks, from his small nook,
14th. Very convulsed in the morning. Ferdinand's first letter arrived, which excited me still more.
Feb. 18, 1840. The Gloom of the prevalent Christianity. Soon after the appearance of that modified Judaism and Philosophy which obtained the name of Christianity, the melancholy state of the Roman world, combining with the enthusiastic notions of a future world, in which happiness is to be obtained by sacrificing that of the present, absolutely made pure joy to fade, wither, and die. There is nothing like it among us. Pleasure constantly assumes the appearance of Sin- a word which perverts every mind among us. The Hebrews had a sounder notion of the state of man upon earth. See the opinions and sentiments expressed in the books of Solomon. But our Divines give him the lie, and by dint of annotations make him say the opposite of his meaning. Oh, I am sick to death of Divines !