« PreviousContinue »
But when 'tis past, that still and speechlese Hark! 'twas the death-bell's note! which, hour, full and deep,
Of the sealed bosom, and the tearless eye, Unmix'd with aught of less majestic tone, Then the roused mind awakes with tenfold While all the murmurs of existence sleep,
power, Swells on the stillness of the air alone ! To grasp the fulness of its agony ! Silent the throngs that fill the darkened street, Its death-like torpor vanished—and its doom, Silent the slumbering Thames, the lonely To cast its own dark hues o'er life and namart;
ture's bloom. And all is still, where countless thousands
And such his lot, whom thou hast loved and Save the full throbbing of the awe-struck heart!
left, All deeply, strangely, fearfully serene, As in each ravaged home th' avenging one
Spirit ! thus early to thy home recalled !
So sinks the heart, of hope and thee bereft, had been
A warrior's heart! which danger ne'er ap12. The sun goes down in beauty his farewell,
palled! Unlike the world he leaves, is calmly bright; Mellow those pangswhich now his bosom rend;
Years may pass on and as they roll along, And his last mellowed rays around us dwell, Lingering, as if on scenes of young delight.
And he once more, with life's unheeding
throng, They smile and fade-but, when the day is o'er,
May, tho' alone in soul, in seeming blend :
Yet still, the guardian-angel of his mind, What slow procession moves, with measured tread ?
Shall thy loved image dwell, in memory's Lo! those who weep with her who weeps
temple shrined. no more,
17. A solemn train! the mourners and the dead! Yet must the days be long, ere time shall steal, While bright on high the moon's untroubled Aught from his grief, whose spirit dwells
with thee, Looks down, as earthly hopes are passing Once deeply bruised, the heart at length may
But all it was-oh! never more shall be ! But other light is in that holy pile, The flow'rs, the leaf, o'erwhelmed by winter Where, in the house of silence, kings repose; There, thro' the dim arcade and pillaredaisle, Shall spring again, when beams and showers The funeral torch its deep-red radiance
The faded cheek again with health may glow, There pall, and canopy, and sacred strain, And the dim eye with life's warm radiance And all around, the stamp of wo may bear ; burn; But grief, to whose full heart those forms But the bright freshness of the mind's young are vain,
bloom, Grief unexpressed, unsoothed by them,-is Once lost, revives alone in worlds beyond the there.
tomb. No darker hour hath fate for him who mourns,
18. Than when the all he loved, as dust to dust But thou !--thine hour of agony is o'er, returns.
And thy brief race in brilliance hath been run; 14.
While faith, that bids fond nature grieve no We mourn—but not thy fate, departed One!
more, We pity but the living, not the dead ; Tells that thy crown-though not on earth A cloud hangs o'er us," the bright day -is won ! is done,”
Thou, of the world so early left, hast known And with a father's hopes, a nation's fled. Nought but the bloom of sunshine,--and for And he, the chosen of thy youthful breast, thee, Whose soul with thine had mingled every Child of propitious stars ! for thee alone, thought;
The course of love rau smooth, and brightly He with thine early fond affections blest,
free. Lord of a mind with all things lovely fraught, Not long such bliss to mortal could be given, What but a desert to his eye that earth, It is enough for earth, to catch one glimpse Which but retains of thee the memory of of heaven! thy worth. 15.
19. Oh! there are griefs for nature too intense,
What though as yet the noon-day of thy fame Whose first rude shock but
stupifies the soul, Rose in its glory, on thine England's eye, Nor hath the fragile and o'erlaboured sense
The grave's deep shadows o'er thy prospect Strength e'en to feel, at once, their dread
Ours is that loss and thou wert blest to die !
“ The bright day is done, And we are for the dark. SHAK.
* “ The course of true love never did run smooth."
may rise ;
Thou mightst have lived to dark and evil years, to understand or develope his language To mourn thy people changed, thy skies and sentiments. Guided by this clue,
o'ercast ; But thy spring-morn was all undimmed by forth the communications in two late
I receive the passage which has called tears, And thou wert lov'd and cherished to the last! numbers of your Magazine, verbatim And thy young name, ne'er breathed in ruder as it stands. To adopt the emendatone,
tion of your first correspondent, would, Thus dying, thou hast left to love and grief in my opinion, be to give a meaning alone.
altogether different from that which 20.
Shakspeare intended it should convey. Daughter of Kings ! from that high sphere In substituting the reading of J. H., look down,
I think we weaken the force, without Where, still in hope, affection's thoughts rendering the meaning of the passage
more obvious.—The latter emendation Where dimly shines to thee that mortal crown, Which earth displayed, to claim thee from certainly is, in my judgment, much the skies.
the less objectionable; and were there Look down ! and if thy spirit yet retain any necessity for exchanging fair for Memory of aught that once was fondly dear; frail, your correspondent is quite right Sooth, though unseen, the hearts that mourn
as to the sense in which he proposes in vain,
to use the word. It is the sense in And, in their hours of loneliness be near! which Shakspeare again and again Blest was thy lot e'en here—and one faint
It is the sense in which it is sigh,
still used. “ A frail one" is a phrase, Oh! tell those hearts, hath made that bliss I believe, perfectly well understood by Eternity!
F. D. H.
every one at the present day. But I Brownwhylfa, 230 December 1817. contend, that the passage does not re
quire any alteration to render it intelligible. I see not any difficulty as it
now stands :ON A DISPUTED PASSAGE IN OTHello.
A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife. « A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife.” Let us follow J. H. in his examina
tion of the contest. Iago is relating MR EDITOR,
to Roderigo the causes of complaint I PERFECTLY agree with your corres against Othello, in order to convince pondent J. H. that “ the commenta- him of his hatred towards him, and tor of Shakspeare will succeed but in- therefore of the improbability that he differently, who cannot identify him- should be privy to his flight with Desself in some measure with the person- demona. Foremost on the list is the age whose language and sentiments he circumstance of Cassio's appointment would develope nor can the cor- to the lieutenancy, whilst lago remainrectness of this observation be more ed an ancient. Next, the character of apparent than when applied to a char- the man thus put over him, stings acter such as lago,-a knave who was him as an indignity offered to his own always acting,—a wretch who per- superior military courage, skill, and formed his whole part, to the closing experience.
And what scene of his life, behind the mask of “Forsooth, a great arithmetician; integrity, so successfully, as to be one Michael Cassio, a Florentine.' styled, almost proverbially, “ honest This contemptuous account of Cassio's Iago,"
?-one who says of himself qualifications for the appointment he For when my outward action doth demonstrate has obtained, lights upat once all lago's The native act and vigour of my heart, hatred towards him as his successful In compliment extern, 'tis not long after, rival. For a moment he forgets his But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve, first object, that of convincing RoderiFor daws to peck at:-I am not what I am.
go that he was not privy to Othello's We do not expect a man such as this escape with Desdemona, and is hurried to speak as he thinks ; his words have away by the impulse of this more little to do with his real meaning ; and newly awakened feeling. After enit is only by endeavouring to discover deavouring to make Cassio appear rihis exciting motive to action, and to diculous as a soldier, by stating him trace the crooked associations of his to be a mere arithmetician, he suddepraved mind, that we are able at all denly recollects the account he has
heard of his intended marriage, and the mind. Under this conviction, his his malignant spirit joys in the recol- malignity found pleasure in dwelllection. 'Tis as if he had said, “ And ing for a moment on the idea, that why is this fellow thus put over me? Cassio was about to be damn'd in a A great arithmetician forsooth.” Then, fair wife--that he was all but marin the bitterness of his hatred, he exe- ried. It would be cause of rather crates him, “ D- -n the fillow !”
more exultation to him, that he was Then, recollecting the report of his on the point of marrying a custommarriage, he consoles himself with the er," because Cassio had not the credit reflection—but he is “ almost damn'd even of saving appearances; but whomin a fair wife.” To understand this soever he was about to marry, he was, perfectly, it is necessary again to turn in lago's opinion, about to damn himour attention to the sentiments and self;" almost damn’d,” almost maropinions we may expect to find in a ried. The word fair, I consider more character like lago. Completely de- as a term of derision probably in this praved himself, he seems scarcely to place, than any thing else. Had lago believe in the existence of goodness in said of Othello, that he was almost others; nor can we expect that he damn'd in a fair wife, I should have should think more highly of the fe- considered his meaning to have been, male sex than he does of his own. that his wife's uncommon beauty Many parts of the play will bear me would have so endangered her honour, out in the assertion, that he looks up- that the preserving it would be a task on them as most despicable. His con- of such difficulty as to render her a solation of Roderigo on his first as- curse to Othello; and so applied, I surance of the marriage of Othello and should have laid the emphasis on the Desdemona, beginning, “ It is mere- word fuir ;-applied to Cassio, I place ly a lust,” &c. ;-—the passage in which it on the word almost-"A féllow alhe tells Roderigo that Desdemuna is most damn'd in a fair wife.” in love with Cassio ;-his suspicion Such appears to me the meaning of of his wife's criminality with Othello, this controverted passage ; and so rewhich appears not to have excited in ceived, I think it perfectly intelligihim any other sentiment than that of ble as it has been handed down to us. revenge-no sorrow-no doubt-not All readers of Shakspeare, I fancy, one feeling that would have had place must meet with occasional difficulties in a better heart ;-the boldness with —with passages hard to be understood ; which he at once declares his doubts of but let us not make difficulties ; and Desdemona, as a Venetian, to her hus- when they do occur, let us maintain band ;-the fiend-like cruelty of his and explain the integrity of the text, conduct towards his wife, in making fixed by a collection of the most auher instrumental to the murder of a thentic copies. Let us endeavour to mistress whom she loved; and, lastly, dive into his real meaning, clothed his murder of his wife without one ex- in such language as we find it, before pression of remorse or feeling ;-all we give the reins to our fancy in conprove in what estimation he held the jecturing his meaning, and then alter
In his opinion, any wife would ing his language in order to adapt be a curse a necessary one, perhaps, to our own conjectures.
T. he might think ; but not the less a Leeds, 10th March 1818. curse on that account. He would consider her as a commodity difficult to keep, and not worth the trouble of keeping; the more difficult to pre- ON THE POOR LAWS OF ENGLAND; serve from falling if fair, for her beauty would increase her danger ; but, fair or not, still “ at heart a rake.
MENT, WITH A VIEW TO ASCERThe occasional and momentary distrust of the whole sex, by which the noble-minded Hamlet wounded the
MR EDITOR, gentle Ophelia, and which was forced The laws of England, for regulating upon him by a conviction of the worth- the support of the poor, are acknowlessness of one of the sex nearly allied ledged, on all hands, to be framed on to himself, was, in the depraved Iago, principles that are not only hostile to a settled and rooted conviction of the public welfare, but detrimental to Vol. III.
AND ANSWERS TO QUERIES TRANS-
TAIN THE SCOTTISH SYSTEM.
the real interest of that class of people er degree than at first sight may be for whose benefit they were originally expected. passed. The fruits of them serve to In the first place, -Let all the laws encourage idleness among the lower in force for regulating settlements be ranks, and to repress every desire to instantly repealed; it being enacted secure a provision for themselves when at the same time, that paupers should sickness and old age arrive ; whilst in future be assisted and supported by the rates, levied in consequence of these the parish in which they were domilaws, amount to a sum which far ex- ciliated, when public aid was solicited. ceeds that of the whole revenue of In this way, labour would at once be Great Britain about the middle of the set free, and left to find its own level, last century.
To remedy these evils, which is not the case at present; and the attention of the Legislature has long the workman who could not procure been excited, though hitherto without employment in his own parish, would the slightest avail , nor does it appear be at liberty to remove to any other that any good can be done by parlia- without any dread of the consequence. mentary regulation, unless it goes, in Besides, by an enactment of this kind, some measure, to the bottom of the the immense sums expended in litigaevil, and introduces a gradual, but tions, concerning settlements, and in radical change of system. . In this removing the poor from one parish to way, the evils of the present laws another, would we wholly saved. might be alleviated, though the exist- Secondly, As the evils of the present ing generation must be removed from system chiefly arise from the payers the stage, before the full benefits of of the rates having no control over any regulation can be enjoyed. their expenditure, let it be enacted,
Several English members of Parlia- that the manugement of the poor in ment, sensible that the law, or at least each parish shall in future be committhe practice, of Scotland, with respect ted to the clergyman, church-wardens, to the poor, is infinitely preferable to landholders, and tenants, together with the system adopted in England for such householders as are assessed to more than two centuries, have of late the rates. The utility of such an made inquiries concerning the Scot- enactment is evident; as, whilst the tish system ; and queries were last rates would be kept as low as possible, year circulated, by a respectable gen. care would always be used that the tleman, with a view of ascertaining sum given to paupers should not be so the mode adopted in this country for great as to tempt them to remain in supporting the poor. These queries idleness. are subjoined, together with the sub- Thirdly, As the poor-rates at prestance of the answers which were sent are chiefly paid by the occupiers given by me to them; and should of land, a measure which serves no they be viewed as worthy of a place useful purpose, but, on the contrary, in your Magazine, you are at full causes proprietors to be careless and liberty to insert them.
inattentive with respect to the admiBefore detailing the queries and an
nistration of the funds, let it be enactswers, it may not be improper to offered, that from and after a fixed period, a few desultory thoughts concerning the rates falling upon land, should, in the measures that ought to be taken every case, be paid by the proprietor for renovating and reforming the laws and tenant in equal proportion, as of England which relate to the sup- is customary in those Scottish counport of the poor. To do away all the ties where poor-rates are collected. evils which arise from these laws is To secure the interest of the proprieimpracticable ; because inveterate prac- tor, let it also be enacted, that the tice has given them such a deep root, proprietor's share of rates shall be that no attempt of the legislature to levied as additional rent, during the remove them can at once be attended currency of existing leases; or, which with success. Still, after all, I am is the same thing, the tenant may be morally certain, were the following held responsible for the whole rates, measures adopted, that the system for till these leases are at an end. supporting the poor would not only Fourthly, The amount of rates bebe considerably improved, but that ing, in numerous cases, greatly augthe amount of the rates would be mented by giving aid to working peogradually lessened, and that in a great ple, whose wages are supposed uş,
equal to the maintenance of their fa- Queries respecting the Maintenance of milies, let it be enacted, that no per
the Poor in Scotland. son shall be considered as a pauper 1. What have been the laws or who is capable of working ; under usages, relative to the maintenance of which enactment, assistance would be the poor, prior to the Union ? restricted to those who, from age,
sick- A. The law or usages of Scotland, ness, and bodily infirmities, are in- relative to the maintenance of the capable of supporting themselves. By poor, prior to the Union, were irresuch an enactment, the amount of gular and indistinct, and rather repoor-rates would at least be reduced lated to common beggars than to the one-half, whilst, after all, the case of industrious poor; as under them the every person who really stood in need poor who were in distress had seldom of public aid might be attended to as any other resource than the funds of well as formerly. No doubt the rate the kirk session. These funds chiefly of wages would be effected by the pro- arose from the weekly collections made posed regulation ; but this is just what at the church-doors; and whilst their should be, it being no more than fair amount in country parishes served, and reasonable, that the whole expen- in some measure, to keep the poor ses of labour should fall upon the per- from starving, no temptation was fure son for whose benefit it is performed, nished to apply for assistance unless without subjecting the public to pay a it was required by imperious necessity. part of it, as is the case under existing Previous to putting any person upon circumstances.
the poor's roll, the case of the applia Fifthly, As the overseers of the cant was strictly investigated by the poor, like the magistrates of our Scot- members of the kirk session, and it tish burghs, are not easily made ac- was the general practice to take an countable for their intromissions, it assignation to the furniture of paupers would be highly beneficial were re- before admitting them to a share of turns made annually to the Quarter the funds. From these circumstances, Sessions of the county in which the it rarely occurred that an improper parish is situated, of the sums assess- person was placed upon the poor's roll. ed and expended for supporting the Indeed, the relief bestowed was repoor. An enactment of that nature ceived as charity, in the real sense of should not be neglected in any bill the word, and the funds from which that
may be brought forward to amend it proceeded were considered as sacred, the poor-laws. The Quarter Sessions therefore as inapplicable to any other should also be invested with powers than charitable purposes. to investigate the accounts, and to fine 2. Have there been any legislative or censure those persons who are con- acts on this subject since the Union, victed of mal-practices; likewise, to as affecting Scotland? Or any munireceive appeals from persons who con- cipal and local regulations independe ceive themselves aggrieved by the de- ently of parliamentary authority? cisions of the parochial meetings. To A. There have been no legislative save litigation, the judgment of that acts concerning the management of court should be final in every case. the poor in Scotland since the Union,
I might have illustrated these seve- though some decisions of the civil ral heads had a lengthened discussion courts have, to a certain extent, in« been necessary, but, considering that troduced a new system of administrain doing so I might have been led to tion. The decisions alluded to have repeat some of the sentiments urged been given upon the principle of the when answering the queries that fole poor being entitled to support, and low, any thing of that nature seems that if their state is neglected by the unnecessary, at least in the present kirk session, the Judge Ordinary of instance. Under these impressions, the county may place them upon the it remains only to add, that the ad- poor's roll, leaving the kirk session to vantages which would attend the mean apply to the heritors of the parish for sures recommended, are stated in such necessary supply. From this cause terms that no person can be at a loss many parishes have been obliged to to comprehend them, even though levy money by assessment for supthey are presented in an abbreviated porting the poor ; and one half of that shape. I am, yours, &c.
assessment being charged against the A POLITICAL ECONOMIST. farmers, has occasioned the weekly