« PreviousContinue »
Spring. When daisies pied, and violets blue,
And lady-smocks all silver white,
Do paint the meadows with delight,
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
Winter. When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
i Gerarde, in his Herbal, 1597, says that the flos cuculi cardamine, &c. are called “ in English cuckoo flowers, in Norfolk Canterbury bells, and at Namptwich, in Cheshire, Ladie-smocks."
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.? Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You, that way; we, this way.
1 This wild English apple, roasted and put into ale, was a very favorite indulgence in old times.
2 To keel, or kele, is to cool.
In this play, which all the editors have concurred to censure, and some have rejected as unworthy of our Poet, it must be confessed that there are many passages mean, childish, and vulgar; and some which ought not to have been exhibited, as we are told they were, to a maiden queen. But there are scattered through the whole many sparks of genius; nor is there any play that has more evident marks of the hand of Shakspeare.
The Merchant of Venice," says Schlegel, is one of Shakspeare's meat perfect works: popular to an extraordinary degree, and enlculated to produce the most powerful eflect on the stage, and at the same time a wonder of ingenuity and art for the reflecting critic. Shylock, the Jew, is one of the inconceivable masterpieces of characterization of which Shakspeare alone, furnishes us with examples. It is easy for the poet and the player to exhibit a caricature of antional techtiments, modes of speaking, and gestures, Shylock, however, is overy thing but a common Jew; he possesses a very detent and oral individity, and yet we perceive a slight touch of India for thing which h does. We imagine we hear a sprinking of the
con i the mere written words, as we sometimes
the lagune , notwithstanding their social refinement. In
ustid, what foreign to the European blood and Christian monimente, este able, but in passion, the national stamp appears more on worked All these inimitable niceties the finished art of a grotetor canalone properly express. Shylock is a man of information, eyes there is own way: he has only not discovered the region where he feelings dwell: li morality is founded on the disbelief in goodness and mentnimity. The desire of revenging the oppressions whil bumiliations 2014 fered by his nation is, after uvarice, his principal spring of notino. He hute is naturally directed chiefly against those Christians who postes truly Christian sentiments; the example of disinterested love of a neighbor seems to him the most unrelenting posetion of the Towa The letter of the law is his idol; he refuses to on to the voice of mercy, which speaks to him from the mouth of Portie with heavenly eloquence; he insists on severe and besible justice, and it at last recoile on his own head. Here he becomes a symbol of the genem history of la unfortunate nation. The melancholy and self-neglectful magamit of Antonio is affectingly sublime. Like a royal merchant, he is surrounded with a whole train of noble friends. The contrast which this forms