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shakespeare by Robert G. Ingersoll

shakespeare by Robert G. Ingersoll

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shakespeare by Robert G. Ingersoll
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IC-NRLF

lit,

baa

George Davidson

A LECTURE

BY

ROBERT
SHAKESPEARE.

G.
ocean, whose shores of thought.

An

intellectual

waves touched

all

the

C. P.

YORK. FARRELL, PUBLISHER,

NEW

N'OTICE!
For any and
ings, the
all

of COL. INGERSOLL'S writ

ONLY
to

authorized editions

printed
al-

from

his revised

and enlarged manuscripts,

ways send

w

C
When
print,

P.

FARRELL,
NEW YORK
CITY, N. Y.
is

your bookseller says a book

out of

drop a postal card to his authorized publisher and you will be sure to get the book you
are looking
for.

Col. Iiigfersoll's Note^to the Public.
Washington, D.
I

C.,

July so,

wish to notify the public that

porting to contain

my

lectures,

all books and pamphlets purand not containing- the imprint of

Mr. C.
rate,

P.

FARRELL
with

as publisher, are spurious, grossly inaccu-

filled

mistakes,

unjust thieves and pirates, and are obtaining

to

me.

The

horribly printed, and outrageously publishers of all such are simply literary

money from the public under false pretences. These wretches have published one lecI ture under four titles, and several others under two or three. take this course to warn the public that these publications are fraudulent; the only correct editions being those published by Mr.
C. P.

FARRELL.
R.

G. INGERSOLL.

SHAKESPEARE,
From
By
permission'of

the Kesselstadt Death Mask.

Wm.

Hegger, Esq.

SHAKESPEARE.
A LECTURE
BY

ROBERT

G.

INGERSOLL

Shakespeare.

An

intellectual

ocean, whose shores of thought.

waves touched

all

the

C. P.

NEW YORK. FARRELL, PUBLISHER,
1895-

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1894,

BY

ROBERT

G.

INGERSOLL,

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C.

THE

_

~f LLCKLER
i

y

SHAKESPEARE.
i.

He left to us the richest genius of our world. the treasures of the rarest legacy of all the dead soul that ever lived and loved and wrought of words
*

VyiLLIAM SHAKESPEARE *

was the greatest

the statues, pictures, robes and

gems

of thought.

He was
It is

the greatest

grain of sand and tear

,

man we

that ever touched this
call

the world.

hard to overstate the debt
of genius.

we owe

to the

men and women

Take from our world

what they have given, and all the niches would be empty, all the walls naked meaning and connection

from words of poetry and music would go back to common air, and

would

fall

fiction,
all

the

forms of subtle and_enchantingr Art would lose proencnanting /\r
i

M510347

4
portion and

SHAKESPEARE.

become the unmeaning waste and
is

shat^

tered spoil of thoughtless Chance.

Shakespeare

too

great a theme.

I

feel

as

though endeavoring to grasp a globe so large that the hand obtains no hold. He who would worthily
speak of the great dramatist should be inspired by " a muse of fire that should ascend the brightest

heaven of invention
for

"

he should have

"

a kingdom

a stage, and monarchs to behold the swelling
three centuries ago, the most intellectrace

scene."

More than
ual of the

human

was born.
his

He was
there

not of

supernatural origin.
celestial pyrotechnics.

At

birth

were no

His father and mother were

both English, and both had the cheerful habit of The cradle in which he living in this world.

was rocked was canopied by neither myth nor miracle, and in his veins there was no drop of royal
blood.

This

babe

became

the

wonder

of

mankind.

Neither of his parents could read or write.

He

grew up in a small and ignorant village on the banks of the Avon, in the midst of the common people of three hundred years ago. There was nothing in the
peaceful, quiet landscape

on which he looked, noth-

SHAKESPEARE.
ing in the low
fields,
hills,

i>

the cultivated and undulating

and nothing

in the

murmuring stream,

to ex-

cite the

nothing, so far as we can see, imagination calculated to sow the seeds of the subtlest and sub-

limest thought

nothing connected with his education, or his lack of education, that in any way accounts
is

So there

for

what he

did.

It

is

supposed that he attended
but of this

school in his native
certain.
all,

town
tried to

we

are

not

Many have
Some

show

that he was, after

of gentle blood, but the fact seems to be the of his biographers have sought to

other way.

do him honor by showing that he was patronized by

Queen
proof.

Elizabeth, but of this there

is

not the slightest

As

a matter of

fact,

there never sat on any throne,

a king, queen, or emperor

who

could have honored

William Shakespeare.
Ignorant people are apt to overrate the value of

what

is

called

education.

The sons

of the

poor,

having suffered the privations of poverty, think of wealth as the mother of joy. On the other hand,
the children of the rich, finding that gold does not

produce happiness, are apt to underrate the value of So the children of the educated often care wealth.

6
but
little

SHAKESPEARE.
for books,

and hold

all

culture in contempt.

The children of come writers.
Nature

great authors do not, as a rule, be-

is filled

with tendencies and obstructions.
limitations,

Extremes beget

even as a river by
itself.

its

own

swiftness creates obstructions for

Possibly,

many

generations of culture breed a

desire for the rude joys of savagery,

and possibly

generations of ignorance breed such a longing for knowledge, that of this desire, of this hunger of the
brain,

Genius
fallow,

is

born.

It

may be
idle

that the mind,
for

by

lying

by remaining

generations,

gathers strength.

Shakespeare's father seems to have been an orAbout the only dinary man of his time and class.
thing

we know
as far as

of him

is

that he

was

officially re-

ported for not coming monthly to church.

This

is

good

it

goes.

We

can hardly blame him,

because at that time Richard Bifield was the minister
at Stratford,

and an extreme Puritan, one who read
one time Catholic, but

the Psalter by Sternholcl and Hopkins.

John was Puritan, and in 1664, the Shakespeare's day year of Shakespeare's birth, they had the images of John defaced. It is greatly to the honor
it

The church was

at

in

SHAKESPEARE.

7

Shakespeare that
"

he
"

refused

to

listen

to

the

tidings of great joy

as delivered

by the Puritan

Bifield.

Nothing
tiful

is

known

of his mother, except her beauIn those days but
little

name

Mary Arden.

was given to the biographies of women. They were born, married, had children, and died. No matter how celebrated their sons became, the
attention

mothers were forgotten. In old times, when a man achieved distinction, great pains were taken to find
out about the
father
is

and grandfather

the

idea

being that genius

inherited from the father's side.
all

The

truth

is,

that

great

men have had

great

mothers.
fathers.

Great

women have

had, as a rule, great

The mother

of Shakespeare was, without doubt,

one of the greatest of women. She dowered her son with passion and imagination and the higher
qualities of the soul,

beyond

all

other men.

It

has

been said that a

man
in

of genius should select his an-

cestors with great care
to

be as much

and yet there does not seem heredity as most people think.
Pigmies

The
is

children of the great are often small.

are born in palaces, while over the children of genius the roof of straw.

Most of the great are

like

8

SHAKESPEARE.

mountains, with the valley of ancestors on one side

and the depression of posterity on the other. In his day Shakespeare was of no particular imIt may be that his mother had some marportance.
velous

and

prophetic

dreams, but Stratford was

unconscious of the immortal child.

He was

never

engaged

in

a reputable business.

Socially he occu-

pied a position below servants.

The law

described

him

as "

a sturdy vagabond."

He

was neither a
the
half-

noble, a soldier,
civilized

nor a

priest.

Among

people of England, he who amused and instructed them was regarded as a menial. Kings had
their clowns, the people their actors

and musicians.
It is

Shakespeare was scheduled as a servant.

thus

that successful stupidity has always treated genius.

Mozart was patronized by an Archbishop
the
palace,

lived in

but was compelled to eat with the
of divine melodies was not

scullions.

The composer

fit

to

sit

by the side of the theologian, who long ago would have been forgotten but for the fame of the composer.

We

know but
life,

little

of the personal peculiarities, of

the daily

or of what
it

may be

called the

outward
little is

Shakespeare, and

may be

fortunate that so

SHAKESPEARE.

9

known.
fools.

might have been belittled by friendly What silly stories, what idiotic personal rem-

He

iniscences,

would have been remembered by those who scarcely saw him! We have his best his
and we have probably
All that
is

sublimest
trivial

lost

only the

and the worthless.

known can be

written on a page.

We
to

are tolerably certain of the date of his birth,

of his marriage and of his death.

We think he went
years

London

in i586,

when he was twenty-two

old.

We

think that three years afterwards he was
Blackfriars' Theatre.

part

owner of

We

have a few

signatures,
uine.

some of which

are supposed to be gen-

We

know

that he

bought some land

that

he had two or three law-suits.
of his children.
able

We know the names
that this incomparall

We

also

know

man
world

so apart from, and so familiar with,
lived

the

don
ger
his

during his literary life in Lonthat he was an actor, dramatist and manaStratford,
his

that he returned to
birth,

the place of
to
negli-

that

he gave

writings

gence, deserted the children of his brain

that he

died on the anniversary of his birth at the age of
fifty-two,,

and that he was buried

in

the

church
his

where the images had been defaced, and that on

tO

SHAKESPEARE.
chiseled a

tomb was
epitaph.

rude,

absurd and ignorant

No

letter of his

found, and no line

any human being has been written by him can be shown.
to

And
taph.

here

let

me

give

my

explanation of the epi-

a disreputable Shakespeare was an actor but he made money business always reputable.

He came
land,

back from London a rich man.
built houses.

He bought

and

Some

of the supposed great

probably treated him with deference. When he died he was buried in the church. Then came a reaction.

The

profaned.
actor

thought the church had been They did not feel that the ashes of an
pious
to
lie

were

fit

in

holy ground.

began to say the body ought to
it

The people be removed. Then
Hall,

was, as^JM^eJie^e, that Dr. John

Shakes-

peare's son-in-law,
"

had

this

epitaph cut on the

tomb

:

Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbeare To digg the dust enclosed heare Blese be ye man yt spares thes stones,
:

And

curst be he yt

moves

my

bones."

Certainly Shakespeare could have had no fear that
his

tomb would be mind
to

violated.

How

could

it

have en-

tered his

have put a warning, a threat and But the ignorant peoa blessing, upon his grave ?

SHAKESPEARE.
pie of that

1 1

day were no doubt convinced that the epitaph was the voice of the dead, and so feeling they feared to invade the tomb. In this way the
dust was
left in

peace.

It great trouble for years. puzzled me to explain why he, who erected the intellectual pyramids, great ranges of mountains

This epitaph gave

me

But when I should put such a pebble at his tomb. stood beside the grave and read the ignorant words, the explanation I have given flashed upon me.
*****

TT

has been said that Shakespeare was hardly mentioned by his contemporaries, and that he was

substantially

unknown.

This
"

is

a mistake.

In 1600

a

book was published called England's Parnassus" and it contained ninety extracts from Shakespeare.
In the

same year was published the " Garden of the Muses" containing several pieces from Shakespeare,

" Chapman, Marston and Ben Johnson. England's " Helicon was printed in the same year, and con-

tained

poems from Spenser, Greene, Harvey and
in

Shakespeare. In 1600 a play was acted at Cambridge,

which

1

2

SHAKESPEARE.
:

" Why, here's Shakespeare was alluded to as follows them all down." our fellow Shakespeare who puts

John Weaver published a book of poems in 1695, in which there was a sonnet to Shakespeare. In
1

598 Richard Bamfield wrote a
Francis Meres,
"

poem

to

Shakes-

peare.
in

clergyman, master of arts

both universities, compiler of school books," was In this he the author of the " Wits Treasury"

compares the ancient and modern tragic poets, and mentions Marlowe, Peel, Kyd and Shakespeare.

So he compares the
tions Lilly,

writers of comedies,

and men-

Lodge, Greene and Shakespeare. He speaks of elegiac poets, and names Surrey, Wyatt, He compares Sidney, Raleigh and Shakespeare.
the
lyric

poets,

and

names
that

Spencer,

Drayton,

Shakespeare and others.
ing of Horace,

This same writer, speak-

says

Shakespeare and others,

England has Sidney, and that " as the soul of
live in

Euphorbus was thought to the sweet- wittie soul of Ovid
" If the

Pythagoras, so

lives in the mellifluous

and honey-tongued Shakespeare."
in

He

also says

:

speak

Muses could speak English, they would Shakespeare's phrase." This was in 1598.
John Davies alludes
in

In 1607,

a

poem

to Shakes-

peare.

SHAKESPEARE.

1

3

Of course we

are

all

familiar with

what

rare

Ben

Jonson wrote. Henry Chettle took Shakespeare to task because he wrote nothing on the death of

Queen
It

Elizabeth.
that he

may be wonderful
is it

was not better known.
and that twelve

But

not wonderful that he gained the reputa-

tion that he did in so short a time,

years after he began to write he stood at least with the first ?

III.

there

is

a wonderful fact connected with the
:

writings of Shakespeare

In the Plays there

is

no direct mention of any of his contemporaries. We do not know of any poet, author, soldier, sailor,
statesman, priest, nobleman,
king,

or queen, that

Shakespeare directly mentioned.
not marvellous that he, living in an age of great deeds, of adventures in far off lands and unknown seas in a time of religious wars in the
Is
it

days of the

Armada

the massacre of St. Bartholothe assassination of

mew
Henry

the Edict of Nantes
III.

the victory of Lepanto

the execution

of Marie Stuart

did not mention the

name

of any

/.

fi

A

/

.

14

SHAKESPEARE.
or

man

woman

of his time

?

Some have
:

insisted

that the paragraph ending with the lines
' '

The

imperial votress passed
free,"

on

in

maiden meditation fancy

referred to
for

Queen

Elizabeth

;

but

it

is

impossible
face,
lips,

me

to believe that the

daubed and wrinkled
nose, the thin

the small black eyes, the cruel

the bad -teeth, and the red wig of

Queen

Elizabeth

could by any possibility have inspired these marvellous lines.
It
is

perfectly apparent from Shakespeare's writ-

ings that he

knew

but

little

of the nobility,

little

of

kings and

queens.

He

gives to these supposed
in

great people great thoughts, and puts great words
their

mouths and makes them speak

not as they

really did

should.

but as Shakespeare thought such people This demonstrates that he did not know

them personally. Some have insisted that Shakespeare mentions Queen Elizabeth in the last Scene of Henry VIII.

The answer

to this

is

that Shakespeare did not write

the last Scene in that Play.

The

probability

is

that

Fletcher was the author.

Shakespeare lived during the great awakening of

SHAKESPEARE.
the world,
of the

1

5

when Europe emerged from the darkness Middle Ages, when the discovery of America

had made England, that blossom of the Gulf- Stream, the centre of commerce, and during a period when some of the greatest writers, thinkers, soldiers and
discoverers were produced.

Cervantes was born

in 1647,

dying on the same
undoubtedly

day that Shakespeare

died.

He was

the greatest writer that Spain has produced.

Rubens

was born

Camoens, the Portuguese, the author of the Lusiad, died in 1597. Giordano
in

1677.

Bruno
visited

greatest of martyrs

was born

in

1548
delivered
" the
in

London

in

Shakespeare's time

lectures at Oxford,

and

called that

institution

widow
1

of learning."
Galileo

Drake
in

circled

the globe

5 80.

was born

i564

the

same year
in

with Shakespeare.

Kepler

Michael Angelo died born he of the Three Laws

1563. i57i.

in

Calderon, the Spanish dramatist, born in 1601.
neille,

Cor-

the

French

poet,

in

1606.

Rembrandt,

greatest of painters, 1607.
in 1564.

Shakespeare was born

In that year John Calvin died.
!

What

a

glorious exchange

Seveni^L-Jtwo years after the discovery of

America
with

Shakespeare was born, and England was

filled

1

6

SHAKESPEARE.
Hakluyt,

the voyages and discoveries written by

and the wonders that had been seen by Raleigh, by Drake, by Frobisher and Hawkins. London had

become the centre of the world, and representatives from all known countries were in the new metropolis.

The world had been

doubled.

The imagination

had been touched and kindled by discovery. In the far horizon were unknown lands, strange shores be-

yond untraversed seas. Toward every part of the world were turned the prows of adventure. All these things fanned the imagination into flame, and
this

had

its

effect

upon the

literary

and dramatic

world.

And

yet Shakespeare

the master spirit of

mankind

in the

midst of these discoveries, of these

adventures, mentioned no navigator, no general, no
discoverer, no philosopher.

was reading the open volume of the sky, but Shakespeare did not mention him. This to me
Galileo
is

the most marvellous thing connected with this

most marvellous man.

At that time England was prosperous
power.

was then

laying the foundation of her future greatness and

When men
life.

are prosperous, they are in love

with
to

Nature

grows

beautiful,

the

arts

begin

SHAKESPEARE.
flourish, there is

1

7

work

for painter
is

and
and

sculptor, the
this life

poet

is

born, the stage

erected

with

which men are
forms.

in love, is

represented in a thousand

Nature, or Fate, or Chance prepared a stage fur

Shakespeare, and Shakespeare prepared a stage Nature.

foi

Famine and

faith

go together.
is

In disaster and

want the gaze of man

fixed

upon another world.

He
its

that eats a crust has a creed.

Hunger falls upon

knees, and heaven, looked for through tears, is the mirage of misery. But prosperity brings joy

and wealth and

leisure

and the beautiful

is

born.

One
for

of the effects of the world's

Shakespeare.
the

We

account for this

awakening was man as we do

highest mountain, the greatest river, the

most perfect gem.
((

We

can only say

:

He

was.

It

That he which

hath been taught us from the primal state is was wished until he were."

IV.

N
I

Shakespeare's time the actor was a vagabond, the dramatist a disreputable person and yet the
In spite of law,
social ostracism,

greatest dramas were then written.

and

Shakespeare reared the many-

1

8

SHAKESPEARE.

colored

dome

that

fills

and

glorifies

the intellectual

heavens.

Now
theatre

the whole

civilized

world believes
is

in

the

asks for

some great dramatist
is

hungry

for a play

worthy of the century,

gold and fame to any one who and yet no great play has been age upon the stage
written since Shakespeare died.

anxious to give can worthily put our

Shakespeare pursued the highway of the right. He did not seek to put his characters in a position

where

it

was

healthy to

do wrong. He was sound and It never occurred to him to the centre.
right to

write a play in which a wife's lover should be jealous

of her husband.

There was

He dom

blood the courage of his thought. was true to himself and enjoyed the perfect freein his

of the highest

art.

He

did not write according
rules

to rules

but smaller

men make

from what he

wrote.

How
at

fortunate that Shakespeare was not educated
that the

Oxford
to

winged god within him never

knelt
giant

the

professor.

How
tied

fortunate

that

this

was not captured,
was an
idealist.

and tethered by the
did

literary Liliputians of his time.

He

He

not

like

most

SHAKESPEARE.
writers of our time

19
in

take refuge

the real, hiding a All

lack of genius behind a pretended love of truth.
realities are

knowing.

not poetic, or dramatic, or even worth The real sustains the same relation to the
or that paint

ideal that a stone does to a statue

does to a painting. Realism degrades and impoverIn no event can a realist be more than an ishes.

According to the realist's philosophy, the wax that receives and retains an
imitator
copyist.

and

image

is

an

artist.

Shakespeare did not rely on the stage-carpenter,
or the scenic painter.
lines.

He

put his scenery in his

seas,
all

There you valleys and

will find
cliffs,

mountains and rivers and

violets

and clouds, and over
fire."

"

the firmament fretted with gold and
little

He
grow

cared
rely

for plot, little for surprise.
effects,

He

did not

on stage

or red

fire.

The

plays

before your eyes, and they

come
once.

as the

comes.

Plot surprises but
in

morning There must be
Plot in an

something
author
is

a play besides surprise.
that
is

a kind of strategy

to say, a sort of

cunning, and cunning does not belong to the highest
natures.

Shakespeare such a wealth of thought and such that the plot becomes almost immaterial
is

There

in

2O
is

SHAKESPEARE.

this wealth that
is

there

you can hardly know the play After you have heard it again too much.
it

and again,
forest.
.

seems as pathless as an untrodden
all

He
is

belonged to

lands.

"

Timon

of Athens
"

"

as

Greek
"

as
"

any tragedy of Eschylus.
"

Julius

Caesar
as

and

Coriolanus

are perfect

Roman, and

you read, the mighty ruins rise and the Eternal City once again becomes the mistress of the world.

No

play
"

is

more Egyptian than
fall

"

Antony and Cleoit,

patra

the Nile runs through

the shadows of

the pyramids

upon it, and from its scenes the Sphinx gazes forever on the outstretched sands. " " In " Lear is the true pagan spirit. " Romeo
"

and

Juliet

is

Italian

everything

is

sudden, love
is

bursts into immediate flower,

and

in

every scene

the climate of the land of poetry and passion.

The reason

of this

is,

that Shakespeare dealt with

elemental things, with universal

man.

He knew
in all

that locality colors without changing,

and that

surroundings the same.

human

heart

is

substantially the

Not

all

the poetry written before his time would

make
added

his

sum
all

not

all

that has

been written

since,
his.

to

that

was written

before,

would equal

SHAKESPEARE.

21

There was nothing within the range of human
thought, within the horizon of intellectual
effort, that

he did not touch.

He knew

the brain and heart of
superstitions,

man
fears,

the theories, customs,
hatreds, vices and

hopes,

virtues

of the

human

race.

He knew

the

thrills

and ecstacies of love, the sav-

age joys of hatred and revenge. He heard the hiss of envy's snakes and watched the eagles of ambition There was no hope that did not put its star soar.

above
that

his

head

no
its

fear

he had not

felt

no joy

had not shed

sunshine on his face.

He

ex-

perienced the emotions of mankind. intellectual spendthrift of the world.

He was the He gave with

the generosity, the extravagance, of madness.

and you are impressed with the idea that the wealth of the brain of a god has been
play,

Read one

exhausted

no more comparisons, no more passions to be expressed, no more definitions, no more philosophy, beauty, or sublimity to be put
that there are

next play opens as fresh as the dewy gates of another day.
in

words

and

yet, the

The
the
earth.

outstretched wings of his imagination

filled

sky.

He

was the

intellectual

crown

o'

the

22

SHAKESPEARE. V.

HE

plays of Shakespeare

show so much knowl-

edge, thought and learning, that
those
ity

many

people

who imagine
Bacon.

that universities furnish capac-

contend that Bacon must have been the author.

We

know

We

know

that

he was a

scheming politician, a courtier, a time-server of church and king, and a corrupt judge. We know
that he never admitted the truth of the Copernican

that he was doubtful whether instruments system were of any advantage in scientific investigation that he was ignorant of the higher branches of math-

ematics, and that, as a matter of fact, he
little

added but
he was

to the

knowledge of the world. and
dedicated
his

When
to

more than
to

sixty years of age, he turned his attention

poetry,

verses

George

Herbert.
If

you

will

author of

"

read these verses you will say that the " " Lear and " Hamlet did not write them.
his

Bacon dedicated

work on the Advancement of

Learning, Divine and Human, to James I., and in his dedication he stated that there had not been,
since the time of Christ,

learned in

all

erudition,

any king or monarch so divine or human. He

placed James the First before Marcus Aurelius and

SHAKESPEARE.
\

23

other kings and emperors since Christ, and concluded by saying that James the First had " the
all

power and fortune of a king, the illumination of a priest, the learning and universality of a philosopher."
This was written of James the
First,

described by

Macauley as a coward, whose

"

stammering, slobbering, trembling

writings

were

deformed

by the

grossest and vilest superstitions

witches being the

special objects of his fear, his hatred,

and

his perse-

cution."
It

seems

to

have been taken

for granted that

if

Shakespeare was not the author of the great dramas, Lord Bacon must have been.
has been claimed that Bacon was the greatest And yet in reading his philosopher of his time.
It

works we

find that there

was

in his

mind a strange

mingling of foolishness and philosophy.
pains to
tell us,

He

takes

and to write
"

it

down

for the benefit

of

posterity,
it

that

snow
spirit in

is
it,

colder

than

water,

because
is

hath more
all

and that quicksilver
it is

the coldest of

metals, because

the fullest of

spirit."

stated that he hardly believed that you could contract air by putting opium on of the weather

He

top

glass,

and gave the following reason

:

24
"
fly
I

SHAKESPEARE.
conceive that opium and the like

make

spirits

rather

by malignity than by cold."

This great philosopher gave the following recipe for staunching blood
:

Thrust the part that bleedeth into the body of a This will staunch capon, new ripped and bleeding.
the blood.

"

seemeth, sucking and drawing up by similitude of substance the blood it meeteth with, and so itself going back."
blood, as
it

The

The philosopher
"

also records this important

fact

:

Divers witches

among heathen and
flesh to aid, as
it

Christians

have fed upon man's

seemeth, their

imagination with high and foul vapors."

Lord Bacon was not only a philosopher, but he was a biologist, as appears from the following
:

"

As

for living

creatures,

it

is

certain

that their airy

vital spirits

are a substance

compounded of an
air

and flamy matter, and although
free will

and flame being

not mingle, yet bound in by a body that
will."

hath some fixing,

Now and
by analogy.
"

then the inventor of deduction reasons

He

says

:

As snow and
turn

ice holpen,

and

their cold activated
ice,

by
it

nitre or salt, will turn

water into

so

it

may be

will

wood

or

stiff

clay into stone."

SHAKESPEARE.

25
in

Bacon seems

to

have been a believer

the trans-

mutation of metals, and solemnly gives a formula for He also bechanging silver or copper into gold.
lieved in the transmutation of plants,
at such a height in world that " insects
It is

and had arrived

entomology that he informed the have no blood."

claimed that he was a great observer, and as evidence of this he recorded the wonderful fact that
"

tobacco cut and dried by the
"

fire

loses

weight

;"

that

bears in the winter
;"

they eat nothing
that " there
is

that

"

though tortoises have no bones ;"
sleep,
if

wax

fat in

a kind of stone,

water where cattle
milk
;"

ground and put in drink, the cows will give more
in

that "it

is

hard to cure a hurt
;

a French-

man's head, but easy in his leg cure a hurt in an Englishman's

that

it is

hard to
in

leg,

but easy

his

head
"

;"

that

easier to

wounds made with brass weapons are cure than those made with iron;" that
and that
"

"

lead will multiply and increase, as in statues buried
the ground
;"

in

the rainbow touching

anything causeth a sweet smell." Bacon seems also to have turned his attention to
" ornithology, and says that eggs laid in the full of the moon breed better birds," and that " you can

make swallows white by

putting ointment on the eggs before they are hatched."

26

SHAKESPEARE.

He

also informs us " that witches cannot hurt kings

as easily as they can

common

people

;"

that
"

"

per-

fumes dry and strengthen the brain ;" that any one in the moment of triumph can be injured by another

who casts an envious eye, and the injury is when the envious glance comes from the
eye."

greatest

oblique

Lord Bacon
and he
for

also turned his attention to medicine,

states that " bracelets
;"

made of snakes are good

curing cramps
colic,

that

"the skin of a wolf might

cure the

that " eating the roasted brains

because a wolf has great digestion ;" of hens and hares

strengthens the
to

memory

;"

that "

if

a

woman

about

become a mother
and that
"

eats a

good many quinces and

considerable coriander seed, the child will be ingenious,"

the moss which groweth on the

skull of

an unburied dead

man

is

good
"

for

staunch-

ing blood."

He

expresses doubt, however,

as to 'whether

you

can cure a

wound by

putting ointment on the

that caused the
self."
It is

wound, instead

weapon of on the wound it-

claimed by the advocates of the Baconian
;

theory that their hero stood at the top of science

and yet

"

it is

absolutely certain that he was ignorant

SHAKESPEARE.
of the law of the acceleration of falling bodies,

2/
al-

though the law had been made krhown and printed by Galileo thirty years before Bacon wrote upon the
subject.

Neither did

this great

man understand

the

principle of the lever.

He was

not acquainted with

the precession of the equinoxes, and as a matter of

those branches of learning in which, in his time, the most rapid progress had been
fact

was

ill-read

in

made."
After Kepler discovered his third law, which was on
the
1

5th of

May, 1618, Bacon was more than ever

opposed to the Copernican system. This great man was far behind his own time, not only in astronomy,
but in mathematics.
scriptio

In the preface to the
it

"

De-

Globi Intellectualis,"

is

admitted either

that

Bacon had never heard of the correction of the

parallax, or

was unable

to understand

it.

He comfor
"

plained on account of the want of
"

some method
;

shortening mathematical calculations
pier's

and yet

Na-

Logarithms

had been printed nine years be-

fore the date of his complaint.

attempted to form a table of specific gravities by a rude process of his own, a process that no one has ever followed and he did this in spite of the
;

He

fact that

a

far better

method

existed.

28

SHAKESPEARE.

We
call

have the right
it

to

compare what Bacon wrote

with what

claimed Shakespeare produced. I attention to one thing to Bacon's opinion of
is

human love. " The stage
of man.

It is this
is

:

more beholding
the stage, love

to love than the
is

life

As

to

ever matter of
in
life

comedies and now and then of tragedies, but it doth much mischief sometimes like a

siren,

sometimes

like a fury.

Amongst
is

all

the great and
that

worthy persons there
transported to the
that great spirits

not one

hath

been

mad degree

of love, which shows
this

and great business do keep out

weak
that.
It

passion."

The author
seems

of "

Romeo and

"

Juliet

never wrote

certain that the author of the

wondrous

Plays was one of the noblest of men.

Let us see what sense of honor Bacon had.

commentaries on certain passages of Scripture, Lord Bacon tells a courtier, who has committed some offense, how to get back into the graces
In writing

of his prince or king.

Among
;

other things he

tells

him not

to appear too cheerful, but to

assume a very

grave and modest face not to bring the matter up himself; to be extremelv industrious, so that the

SHAKESPEARE.
prince will see that
it is

29

hard to get along without
tell
;

him

;

also to get his friends to

the prince or king

how
all

badly he, the courtier, feels
"
failing,
let

and then he

says,

these

him contrive
but

to transfer the

fault to others."
It is

true that

we know

little

of Shakespeare,

and consequently do not positively know that he did not have the ability to write the Plays but we do

know Bacon, and we know
written these Plays

that

he could not have

consequently, they must have

been written by a comparatively unknown man that is to say, by a man who was known by no other
writings.

The

fact that

we do

not

know Shakesmakes

peare, except through the Plays and Sonnets,
it

possible for us to believe that he

was the author.

people have imagined that the Plays were written by several but this only increases the wonder,

Some

and adds a useless burden
in his

to credulity.
all

Bacon published
he claimed.
best.
Is
it

time

the writings that
his

Naturally, he
possible that

would have claimed Bacon
left

the wondrous

on the door-step of ShakesIs it peare, and kept the deformed ones at home ? possible that he fathered the failures and deserted
children of his brain

the perfect

?

3O

SHAKESPEARE.

Of course,
wonderful,
if

it is

wonderful that so
but

little

has been

found touching Shakespeare
has been found in

is it

not equally
line

Bacon was the author, that not a
all

papers, containing a sugor a hint, that he was the writer of these gestion,
his

Plays

?

scene

not wonderful that no fragment of any no line no word has been found ?
Is
it

Some have

insisted that
it

Bacon kept the authorto write Plays.

ship secret, because

was disgraceful

and This argument does not cover the Sonnets besides, one who had been stripped of the robes of
office, for

receiving bribes as a judge, could have

borne the additional disgrace of having written " Hamlet." The fact that Bacon did not claim to be
the author, demonstrates that he was not.

Shakes-

peare claimed to be the author, and no one in his time or day denied the claim. This demonstrates
that he was.

Bacon published his works, and said This is what I have done.
Suppose you found
in

to the world

:

a cemetery a ifionument

erected to John Smith, inventor of the Smith-churn,

and suppose you were told that Mr. Smith provided for the monument in his will, and dictated the inscription

would

it

be

possible to convince

you

SHAKESPEARE.
that Mr.
tive

3

1

Smith was
?

also the inventor of the locomo-

and telegraph

Bacon's best can be compared with Shakespeare's common, but Shakespeare's best rises above Bacon's
best, like a

domed temple above
VI.

a beggar's hut.

course

it

is

admitted that there were
before

many

and during the time of but they were only the foot hills of Shakespeare that mighty peak the top of which the clouds and
dramatists mists
still

hide.

Chapman and Marlowe, Heywood

and Jonson, Webster, Beaumont and Fletcher wrote some great lines, and in the monotony of declamation

now and
all

then

is

found a strain of genuine music

-but

of

them together constituted only a herald
In
all

of Shakespeare.
hint, a

these Plays there

is

but a

prophecy, of the great drama destined to revolutionize the poetic thought of the world.

Shakespeare was the greatest of poets. What Greece and Rome produced was great until his time. " Lions make leopards tame."

The
and

great poet

is

a great

artist.

He

is

painter

sculptor.

The

greatest pictures and statues

32

SHAKESPEARE.

have been painted and chiseled with words.
outlast
all

They
pic-

others.

All the galleries of the world are

poor and cheap compared with the statues and
tures in Shakespeare's book.

sounds.

represented by a dictionary of the mind, and the artist called the soul uses this diction-

Language

is

made

of pictures
is

The

outer world

ary of things to express what happens
less

in

the noise-

and

invisible

world of thought.
in the inner,

First a

sound

represents something in the outer world, and after-

wards something
is

and

this

sound

at last

represented by a mark, and this mark stands for a

picture,

and every brain
is

is

a gallery, and the

artists

that
statues.

to say, the souls

exchange pictures and

All art

is

of the

same parentage.

The poet

uses

words

makes

pictures

and statues of sounds.

The

sculptor expresses harmony, proportion, passion, in

marble

;

the composer, in music

;

the painter in form

and
in

color.

The

dramatist expresses himself not only

words, not only paints these pictures, but" he ex-

presses his thought in action.

Shakespeare was not only a poet, but a dramatist, and expressed the ideal, the poetic, not only in words,
but
in action.

There are the

wit,

the humor, the

SHAKESPEARE.
pathos, the tragedy of situation, of relation.

33

The

dramatist speaks and acts through others
sonality
is

his per-

lost.

The poet

lives

in

the

world of

thought and feeling, and to this the dramatist adds He creates characters that the world of action.

seem

to act in

accordance with their

own

natures

and independently of him.
springs of action

He

compresses

lives into

hours, tells us the secrets of the heart,

shows us the

how
will

desire bribes the

judgment
reason
is

and corrupts the

when

passion pleads,

how weak and how grand

the
it

is

to stand

for right against the world.
It is

not enough to say fine things,

great things,

dramatic things, must be done. give you an illustration of dramatic incident accompanying the highest form of poetic expression
:

Let

me

Macbeth having returned from the murder of Duncan says to his wife
:
'

'

Methought I heard a voice cry Sleep no more, Macbeth does murder sleep the innocent sleep
:

;

;

Sleep, that knits

up the

ravelled sleeve of care,
life,

The death

of each day's

sore labor's bath,
course,

Balm of hult minds, great Nature's second
Chief nourisher in
life' s

feast.

"

*

*

*

34
"Still
it

SHAKESPEARE.
cried
:

Sleep no more, to
sleep,

all

the house,

Glamis hath murdered
Shall sleep no

and therefore Cawdor
shall sleep

more
:

Macbeth

no more."

She exclaims
' '

Who

was

it

that thus cried ?

Why, worthy Tliane, you do unbend your noble strength To think so brain-sickly of things get some water, And wash this filthy witness from your hand.
;

Why

did you bring the daggers from the place?"
at his

Macbeth was so overcome with horror

own

deed, that he not only mistook his thoughts for the

words of others, but was so carried away and beyond the himself that he brought with him the daggers
the daggers that he should evidence of his guilt have left with the dead. This is dramatic.
In the

same

play, the difference of feeling before
is

and

after the

commission of a crime
is

illustrated

to

perfection.

When Macbeth

on

his

way

to assassin-

ate the king, the bell strikes,

and he
it is

says, or whis-

pers

:

" Hear

it

not,

Duncan,

for

a knell."

Afterward,

when
is

the deed has been committed,
:

and a knocking
"

heard at the gate, he cries
I

Wake Duncan

with thy knocking.

would thou couldst."

SHAKESPEARE.

35

Let

me

When
says
:
' '

give one more instance of dramatic action. Antony speaks above the body of Caesar he

You all do know this mantle The first time ever Caesar put

:

I
it

remember
on
his tent,
:

'Twas on a summer's evening, in That day he overcame the Nervii

In this place ran Cassius' dagger through See what a rent the envious Casca made
!

Look

:

!

Through

this the well-beloved

Brutus stabbed,

And

as he plucked his cursed steel away,

Mark how

the blood of Csesar followed it."

VII.

HPHERE

are men, and

many
that

of them,

who

are

al-

ways trying to show
attributed to the
really

somebody else
that the

chiseled

the statue or painted the picture,

poem

is

wrong man, and
subordinate.

that the battle

was

won by a

Of course Shakespeare made use of the work of others and, we might almost say, of all others. Every writer must use the work of others. The only question is, how the accomplishments of other minds
are used, whether as a foundation to build higher, or

whether stolen to the end that the thief may make a

36

SHAKESPEARE.

reputation for himself, without adding to the great structure of literature.

Thousands of people have stolen stones from the Coliseum to make huts for themselves. So thousands of writers have taken the thoughts of others with which to adorn themselves. These are plagiar-

But the man who takes the thought of another, adds to it, gives it intensity and poetic form, throb
ists.

and

life,

is

in

the highest sense original.

Shakespeare found nearly all of his facts in the writings of others and was indebted to others for

most of the

stories of his plays.

The

question

is

not:

who owned the quarry, who chiseled the statue ? We now know all the books that Shakespeare could have read, and consequently know many of
furnished the stone, or

Who

but

the sources of his information.

We

find in

Pliny

s
:

Natural History, published in 1601, the following " The sea Pontis evermore floweth and runneth out
into the Propontis
;

but the sea never retireth back

again with the Impontis."
rial,

This was the raw mate:

and out of
"Like
Ne' er

it

Shakespeare made the following

to the Pontic Sea, icy current

Whose

feels retiring ebb,

and compulsive course but keeps due on

SHAKESPEARE.

37

To

Even so
Till that

the Propontic and the Hellespont my bloody thoughts, with violent pace, Shall ne'er turn back, ne'er ebb to humble love,

a capable and wide revenge
'

Swallow them up.

'

Perhaps we can give an idea of the difference between Shakespeare and other poets, by a passage from " Lear." When Cordelia places her hand upon
her father's head and speaks of the night and of the
storm, an ordinary poet might have said
* ' :

On

such a night, a dog

Should have stood against

my

' '

fire.

very great poet might have gone a step further and exclaimed
:

A

11

On such a night, mine enemy's dog Should have stood against my fire.
:

' '

But Shakespeare said

" Mine enemy's dog, though he had bit me, Should have stood, that night, against my

fire."

Of all the poets
is

of

all

the writers
is

Shakespeare

the most original.
It

He

as original as Nature.
"

may

truthfully

be said that

Nature wants

stuff

to vie strange forms with fancy, to

make

another."

38

SHAKESPEARE.

VIII.

HPHERE is

in the greatest

poetry a kind of extravinfinite,

agance that touches the Shakespeare exceeds all others.

and

in this

You
"

will

remember the
in

description given of the
:

voyage of Paris
The
seas

search of Helen

and winds, old wranglers, made a
;

truce,

And did him service he touched the ports desired, And for an old aunt, whom the Greeks held captive, He brought a Grecian queen whose youth and freshness
Wrinkles Apollo, and makes
stale the

morning."

So, in Pericles,

when

the father finds his daughter,

he cries out
' '

:

O

Helicanus

!

strike

me, honored

sir

;

Give
Lest

me

a gash, put

me

to present pain,

this great sea of joys, rushing upon me, O'erbear the shores of my mortality."

The
to the

greatest compliment that

man
:

has ever paid
c-

woman he
"

adores
that

is this

line

Eyes

do mislead the morn."
poetic.

Nothing can be conceived more perfectly
In that marvellous play, the
"

Midsummer

Night's
in

Dream,"
literature

is
:

one of the most extravagant things

SHAKESPEARE.
* '

39

Thou rememberest
Since once

And

I sat upon a promontory, heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back

Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath That the rude sea grew civil at her song,

And certain To hear the
This
is

stars shot

madly from

their spheres

sea-maid's music."
it

so marvellously told that

almost seems

probable.

So the

description of
1

Mark Antony
his
in't

:

'

For

There was no winter

bounty an autumn t'was
.

Were

That grew the more by reaping. His delights they showed his back above dolphin-like

The element they

lived in.

' '

Think of the astronomical scope and amplitude of
this
:

" Her bed
Is

is

India

there she

lies

a pearl."

there anything
?

more intense than these words

of Cleopatra
' '

Rather on Nilus

And

let

mud lay me stark naked the water-flies blow me into abhorring.
:

' '

Or
11

this of Isabella

The impression

of keen whips I'd wear as rubies, And strip myself to death as to a bed That longing I've been sick for, ere I yield

My body

up

to

shame."

4O
Is there

SHAKESPEARE.

an intellectual
?

man

in the

world who

will

not agree with this

"Let me not
After

live
oil,

my

flame lacks
' '

to be the snuff

Of younger

spirits.

Can anything exceed the words of
parting with Cressida
"
:

Troilus

when

We two,

that with so
other,

many thousand

sighs

most poorly sell ourselves With the rude brevity and discharge of one.
Injurious time

Did buy each

now

with a robber's haste
;

he knows not how As many farewells as be stars in heaven, With distinct breath and consigned kisses to them,

Crams

his rich thievery up,

He fumbles up into a loose adieu, And scants us with a single famished

kiss,
'

1 Distasted with the salt of broken tears.

Take
"

this

example, where pathos almost touches

the grotesque.

O

dear
I

Juliet,

why

art

thou yet so

fair?
is

Shall

believe that unsubstantial death

amorous,

And
I'

that the lean, abhorred monster keeps thee liere

the dark, to be his

paramour?"

Often when reading the marvellous lines of Shakespeare,
I

feel that his

thoughts are

"

too subtle potent,

tuned too sharp

in sweetness, for the capacity of

my

SHAKESPEARE.
ruder powers."
write
all,

4!
"

Sometimes

I

cry out,

O

churl !follow

and leave no thoughts

for those

who

after."

IX.

OHAKESPEARE was an
He
of schools.

innovator, an iconoclast.

cared nothing for the authority of

men

or

He

violated the

"

unities,"

and cared

nothing for the models of the ancient world. The Greeks insisted that nothing should be
play that did not tend to the catastrophe.

in

a

They

did

not believe in the episode
of light and shade
in

in the

sudden contrasts

mingling the comic and the The sunlight never fell upon their tears, and tragic. darkness did not overtake their laughter. They believed that nature sympathized or

was

in

harmony

with the events of the play.
to be

When
to

crime was about

committed

some horror

be perpetrated -

the light
ered,

grew dim, the wind sighed, the trees shivand upon all was the shadow of the coming

event.

Shakespeare knew that the play had little to do with the tides and currents of universal life that

Nature cares neither

for smiles

nor

tears, for life

nor

42
death,

SHAKESPEARE.

and that the sun shines as gladly on
first

coffins as

on cradles.

The

time

I

visited the Place

de

la

Concorde,

where during the French Revolution stood the guillotine, and where now stands an Egyptian obelisk
a bird, sitting on the top, was singing with
might.
all
its

Nature

forgets.

One

of the most notable instances of the violation
is

by Shakespeare of the classic model, 6th Scene of the I. Act of Macbeth.

found

in the

When
in

the

King and Banquo approach
is

the castle
night,

which the King
falls

to be

murdered that

no
is

shadow

athwart the threshold.

So

beautiful

the scene that the
' '

King says

:

This castle hath a pleasant seat
' '

;

the air
itself

Nimbly and sweetly recommends Unto our gentle senses.

And Banquo
' '

adds

:

This guest of summer,

The temple-haunting martlet, does approve By his loved mansionry that the heaven's breath
Smells wooingly here no jutty, frieze, Buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird
;

Hath made his pendent bed and procreant cradle. Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed The air is delicate.
' '

SHAKESPEARE.

43

Another notable instance

is

the porter sqene im-

mediately following the murder. So, too, the dialogue with the clown who brings the asp to Cleopatra just before the suicide, illustrates my meaning.
I

know

of one paragraph in the Greek drama

" worthy of Shakespeare. This is in Medea." When Medea kills her children she curses Jason, using the

ordinary Billingsgate and papal curse, but at the " I conclusion says pray the gods to make him vir:

tuous, that he
that
I

may

the

more deeply

feel the

pang

inflict."

Shakespeare dealt in lights and shadows. He was intense. He put noons and midnights side by side. No other dramatist would have dreamed of adding
to the

pathos

of increasing our appreciation of

Lear's agony, by supplementing the wail of the

mad

king with the mocking laughter of a loving clown.

X.

T^HE
*

ordinary dramatists
is

the

men

of talent
talent

(and there

the

same
is

difference

between

and genius that there
a sculptor)
create

between a stone-mason and
that

characters

become
actual

types.

Types

are of necessity caricatures
are to

men and

women

some extent

contradictory in their

44
actions.

SHAKESPEARE.
direction

Types are blown in the one the one wind characters have pilots.
In real people,
all all

by

good and

evil mingle.
all

Types are
all

one way, or
wise or
all

all

the other

good, or

bad,

foolish.

Pecksniff was a perfect type, a perfect hypocrite

and

remain a type as long as language lives a hypocrite that even drunkenness could not change.
will

Everybody understands Pecksniff, and compared with him Tartuffe was an honest man.

Hamlet
and
for

an individual, a person, an actual being that reason there is a difference of opinion
is

as to his motives

and as

to his character.

We

differ

about Hamlet as we do about Csesar, or about Shakespeare himself.

Hamlet saw the ghost of
again his father's
voice,

his

father

and heard
he

and

yet,

afterwards,

speaks of

"

the undiscovered country from

whose
out-

bourne no traveller returns."
In this there
is

no contradiction.

The reason

weighs the senses. If we should see a dead man rise from his grave, we would not, the next day, believe that we did. No one can credit a miracle until
it

becomes so common

that

it

ceases to be miracu-

lous.

SHAKESPEARE.

45

Types are puppets

controlled from without

characters act from within.

There

is

the same differ-

ence between characters and types that there is between springs and water- works, between canals and
rivers,

between wooden

soldiers

and heroes.

In most plays and in most novels the characters
are so

shadowy

that

we have

to piece

them out with

the imagination.

One waking
foot of his

in

the morning sometimes sees at the

it bed a strange figure may be of an ancient lady with cap and ruffles and with the ex-

pression of garrulous and fussy old age

but

when

the light gets stronger, the figure gradually changes

and he sees a few clothes on a

chair.

The

dramatist lives the lives of others, and in order

to delineate character
tion but

must not only have imaginadelineated.

sympathy with the character
an individual.
in

The

great dramatist thinks of a character as an en-

tirety, as
I

once had a dream, and

this

dream
It

I

was

dis-

cussing a subject with another man.

occurred to

me

that

If this

sides

was dreaming, and I then said to myself: is a dream, I am doing the talking for both consequently I ought to know in advance
I

what the other man

is

going to say.

In

my dream I

46

SHAKESPEARE.
I

tried the experiment.

then asked the other

man a

question, and before he answered

what the answer was to be.
did not say

made up my mind To my surprise, the man

was
It

my

expected he would, and so great astonishment that I awoke.
I

what

then occurred to

me

that

I

had discovered the

secret of Shakespeare.
I

He
is,

did,

when awake, what

did

when asleep
it

that

he threw off a character

so perfect that

acted independently of him.
of character Shakespeare has

In the delineation

no

rivals.

He

creates

no monsters.

His characters

do not

act without reason, without motive.

lago had his reasons.
destroyed

In Caliban, nature

was not

woman
"

still

and Lady Macbeth certifies that the was in her heart, by saying
:

Had he

not resembled

my

father as

he

slept, I

had done

it."

Shakespeare's characters act from within.
are centres of energy.

They
by un-

They
are

are not pushed

seen hands, or pulled by unseen strings.
objects,
desires.

They have
real,

They
succeed

persons

living

beings.

Few dramatists

in

getting their characters

loose from the canvas

their backs stick to the wall

they do not have free and independent action

SHAKESPEARE.

47

they have no background, no unexpressed motives -no untold desires. They lack the complexity of
the real.

Shakespeare makes the character true to itself. Christopher Sly, surrounded by the luxuries of a
lord, true to his station, calls for

a pot of the small-

est ale.

Take one expression by Lady Macbeth. remember that after the murder is discovered
the alarm bell
is

You
after

she appears upon the scene rung wanting to know what has happened. MacdufT refuses to tell her, saying that the slightest word would

murder as

it

fell.

At

this

moment Banquo comes
to "

upon the scene and MacdufT cries out
''Our royal master's murdered.

him

:

What

does Lady Macbeth then say?
guilt.

She

in

fact

makes a confession of
terrible

The weak

point in the

tragedy is that Duncan was murdered in Macbeth's castle. So when Lady Macbeth hears what they suppose is news to her, she cries
:

"What!

In our house!"

Had

she been innocent, her horror of the crime

would have made her forget the place the venue. Banquo sees through this, and sees through her.

48

SHAKESPEARE.
expression was a light, by which he saw her

Her
guilt

and he answers
' '

:

Too

cruel

any where.

' '

No

matter whether Shakespeare delineated clown

or king, warrior or

maiden

no matter whether

his

characters are taken from the gutter or the throne

each

is

a

work of consummate
is

art,

and when he
is

is

unnatural, he

so splendid that the defect

for-

gotten.

When Romeo

is

told of the death of Juliet,

and

thereupon makes up his mind to die upon her grave, he gives a description of the shop where poison He goes into particulars and could be purchased.
tells

of the alligators stuffed, of the skins of ill-shaped of the beggarly account of

fishes,

empty boxes,

of

the remnants of pack-thread, and old cakes of roses

and while

it

is

hardly possible to believe that

under such circumstances a man would take the
trouble to

make an inventory
the

of a strange kind of
is

drug-store, yet
picture
is

inventory

so
that

perfect

the

so marvellously drawn
it is

we

forget to

think whether

natural or not.

of a great making the frame of a great picture scene Shakespeare was often careless, but the In

SHAKESPEARE.
picture
is

49

perfect.

he was negligent,
it

making the sides of the arch but when h placed the keystone,

In

burst into blossom.;;

Of

course there are

many

lines in

Shakepeare that never should have been
In other words, there are imperfections in

written.
his plays.

But we must remember that Shakespeare

furnished the torch that enables us to see these imperfections.

Shakespeare speaks through his characters, and we must not mistake what the characters say, for the
opinion of Shakespeare.

No

one can believe that

" a tale told Shakespeare regarded life as by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." That was the opinion of a murderer, surrounded by

avengers, and whose wife

partner in his crimes

troubled with thick-coming fancies
to her death.

had gone down

Most
lines

actors
"

and writers seem

to suppose that the
"

The Seven Ages contain Shakespeare's view of human life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The lines were uttered by a cynic, in contempt and scorn of the human race.
called

Shakespeare did not put his characters in the livery and uniform of some weakness, peculiarity or passion.

He

did not use

names

as tags or brands.

He

5O

SHAKESPEARE.
is

did not write under the picture, "This

a villain."

His characters need no suggestive names to tell us what they are we see them and we know them for
ourselves.
It

may be

that in the greatest utterances of the
in

greatest characters

the supreme moments,

we

have the

real thoughts, opinions

and convictions of

Shakespeare.

Of

all

writers Shakespeare

is

the most impersonal.

speaks through others, and the others seem to speak for themselves. The didactic is lost in the
dramatic.
pit to

He

He

does not use

the stage as a pul-

enforce

some maxim.
the

He

is

as reticent as

Nature.

He

idealizes

common and

transfigures

all

he touches

He was inbut he does not preach. He did terested in men and things as they were.
not seek to change them
Nature's mirror
herself.
r>

but to portray.
that mirror

He was

and

in

Nature saw

When
fornia

I

stood amid the great
lift

trees

of Cali-

that

their

the

clouds,

looking
I

spreading capitals against Nature's columns to like

support the sky,
speare.

thought of the poetry of Shake-

SHAKESPEARE.

5

1

XL
\ \
T

HAT a procession of men and women
men and
warriors

states-

kings

and clowns
!

issued from Shakespeare's brain.
Isabella

What women

in

whose

spotless

life

love and reason

blended into perfect truth.
Juliet

within

whose heart passion and purity
to suffer loss, rather than
lies

met

like

white and red within the bosom of a rose.

Cordelia

who chose

show her wealth of love with those who gilded
in

hope of gain. " " tender as who Hermione infancy and grace bore with perfect hope and faith the cross of shame,
and who
at last forgave with
all

her heart.

so innocent, so perfect, her love so anpure, that she was incapable of suspecting that other could suspect, and who with dying words

Desdemona

and with her last sought to hide her lover's crime faint breath uttered a loving lie that burst into a
perfumed
Perdita
lily

between her
violet dim,
"

pallid lips.

A

and sweeter than the

lids

of Juno's eyes

The

sweetest low-born lass that

ever ran on the green sward."

And

Helena

who

said

:

52
"
I

SHAKESPEARE.

know

I

Yet

in this captious

love in vain, strive against hope and intenable sieve
in the waters of
still.

I still

pour

my

love,

And

lack not to lose

Thus, Indian-like,
Religious in mine error,
I

adore

The sun that looks upon his worshipper, But knows of him no more."

Miranda
gives
its

who told her love as gladly as a flower bosom to the kisses of the sun.
whose
kisses cured

And
is it

Cordelia,

and whose tears
cried
"
:

restored.

And
?

to be false

stainless Imogen, "

who

What
:

And
"

here

is

the description of the perfect

woman
;

To feed for aye her lamp and flames of love To keep her constancy in plight and youth
That doth renew
Outliving beauty's outward with a mind swifter than blood decays. for

' '

^

Shakespeare has done more

woman
I

than

all

the other dramatists of the world.

For and

my
its

part.

I

love the Clowns.
Gobbo,

love^

Launce
and and

his

dog Crabb, and
lie

whose conscience
his

threw

arms around the neck of

heart,
;

Touchstone, with his

seven times removed

dear old Dogberry
as a king.

a pretty piece of flesh, tedious Bottom, the very paramour for a

And

SHAKESPEARE.

53
;

sweet voice, longing to take

tfye

part to tear a cat in

and Autolycus, the snapper-up of unconsidered
sleeping out the thought for the
life

trifles,

to come.

And

great Sir John, without conscience, and for that

reason unblamed and enjoyed and who at the end babbles of green fields, and is almost loved. And
ancient Pistol, the world his oyster.

Bardolph, with the flea on his blazing nose, putting beholders in mind of a damned soul in hell. And the poor

And

mad king, and went " to bed at noon." And the clown who carried the worm of " And Corin, Nilus, whose biting was immortal." the shepherd who described the perfect man " I am a true laborer I earn that I eat get that I wear owe no man aught envy no man's happiFool,

who

followed the

:

:

ness

glad of other men's good

content."

mingling in this motley throng, Lear, within whose brain a tempest raged until the depths were stirred, and the intellectual wealth of a life was given

And

back to memory storm and night
I

and then by madness thrown to and when I read the living lines
I

looked upon the sea and saw it wrought ,by frenzied whirlwinds, until the buried treasures and the sunken wrecks of all the years
feel as

though

were

cast

upon the shores.

54

SHAKESPEARE.

And
pearl

Othello

who

like the base

Indian threw a

away richer than all his tribe. And Hamlet thought-entangled
Macbeth
"

hesitating be-

tween two worlds.

And
crime

strange mingling of cruelty and

conscience, reaping the sure harvest of successful

Curses not loud but deep

mouth-honor

-breath."

And Brutus,
be
still.

falling

on

his

sword

that Caesar

might

And Romeo, dreaming of the white wonder of And Ferdinand, the patient log-man Juliet's hand. And Florizel, who, " for all the for Miranda's sake.
sun sees, or the close earth wombs, or the profound seas hide," would not be faithless to the low-born
lass.

And
"

Constance,

weeping

for

her son, while

grief

stuffs

And
good
as in

out his vacant garments with his form." in the midst of tragedies and tears, of love

and laughter and crime, we hear the voice of the
friar,

who

declares that in every

human

heart,

the smallest flower, there are
evil

encamped the

opposed hosts of good and
is is

and our philosophy interrupted by the garrulous old nurse, whose talk
as busily useless as the babble of a stream that

hurries

by a ruined

mill.

SHAKESPEARE.

55 us brain.

From every side the characters crowd upon the men and women born of Shakespeare's
They
the "
"

utter with a thousand voices the thoughts of

myriad-minded man, and impress themselves upon us as deeply and vividly as though they really

lived with us.

Shakespeare alone has delineated love in every has ascended to the very top, and possible phase
actually reached heights that
I

no other has imagined.
will

do not believe the human mind

ever produce

or be in a position to appreciate, a greater love-play

than "
all

Romeo and

Juliet."

It is

music seems to blend.

symphony in which The heart bursts into
a

blossom, and he

who

reads feels the swooning intox-

ication of a divine perfume.

In the alembic of Shakespeare's brain the baser

metals were turned to gold
tues

passions

became

vir-

weeds became

exotics

from some

diviner

land

and common mortals made of ordinary clay outranked the Olympian Gods. In his brain there

was the touch of chaos that suggests the infinite Talent is measured and that belongs to genius.
dominated by prudence and the thought of use. Genius is tropical. The creative instinct runs riot, delights in extravagance and
mathematical

56
waste, and

SHAKESPEARE.

overwhelms

the

mental

beggars

of

the world with uncounted gold

and unnumbered

gems.

Some
Wagner.

things are immortal

:

The

plays of Shake-

speare, the marbles of the Greeks, and the music of

XII.

OH AKESPEARE was the greatest of philosophers.
He knew
piness
other,

the conditions of success
that
all.

of hapto
tides

the

relations

and the duties of

men sustain He knew the
will,

each

and

currents of the heart
brain.

the

cliffs

and caverns of the
the soph-

He knew

the weakness of the

istry of desire
' '

and
more deaf than ad-

That pleasure and revenge have ears ders to the voice of any true decision.
' '

He knew
that flesh

that the soul lives in an invisible world
is

but a mask, and that
no
art to find the

"There

is

mind's construction

In the face."

He knew

that courage should be the servant of

judgment, and that

SHAKESPEARE.
' '

57
eats the

When

valor preys on reason

it

sword

It fights

with."

He knew
that he
is

that
to

man

is

never master of the event,
sport or prey of the

some extent the

blind forces of the world,
" In the reproof of chance

and that
lies

the true proof of men."

Feeling that the past
that which

is

unchangeable, and that

must happen is as much beyond control as though it had happened, he says
:
' *

Let determined things to destiny

Hold unbewailed

their

way."

Shakespeare was great enough to know that every human being prefers happiness to misery, and that

Looking in pity upon the human race, upon the pain and poverty, the crimes and cruelties, the limping travelers on the thorny
paths, he
' '

crimes are but mistakes.

was great and good enough
There
is

to say
' '

:

no darkness but ignorance.
is

In

all

the philosophies there
fills

no greater line. This

great truth

the heart with pity.

He knew
ness
fate

and power do not give happithat the crowned are subject as the lowest to
that place

and chance.

58
' *

SHAKESPEARE.
Within the hollow crown That rounds the mortal temples of a king Keeps death his Court, and there the antic

sits

Scoffing his state and grinning at his Allowing him a brief and little scene

pomp,

To

monarchize by fear and kill with looks, Infusing him with self and vain conceit
thus,

As if this flesh that walls about our life Were brass impregnable and humored Comes at the last and with a little pin
;

Bores through his castle wall

and

farewell king!

"

So, too, he
that death

knew

that gold could not bring joy alike to
rich

and misfortune come
:

and

poor, because
' '

If

thou art rich thou art poor like an ass whose back with ingots bows Thou bearest thy heavy riches but a journey,
;

For

And
In

death unloads thee.

' '

some

of his philosophy there

was a kind

of

scorn

a hidden meaning that could not in his day

You will and time have safely been expressed. remember that Laertes was about to kill the king,
king was the murderer of his own brother, and sat upon the throne by reason of his crime -

and

this

and

in

the

mouth of such a king Shakespeare puts
:

these words
"

There's such divinity doth hedge a king."

SHAKESPEARE.
So, in Macbeth
' '

5$

:

How

he

solicits

Heaven himself
pitiful to

best

knows

;

but

strangely visited people
the eye, The mere despairs of surgery, he cures ; Hanging a golden stamp about their necks.
All swollen

and ulcerous,

Put on with holy prayers

;

and

'tis

spoken

the succeeding royalty The healing benediction.

To

he leaves

With

this strange virtue

He hath a heavenly gift of prophecy, And sundry blessings hang about his
That speak him
full

throne,

of grace.

' '

Shakespeare was the master of the human heart knew all the hopes, fears, ambitions, and passions
that

sway the mind of man

;

and thus knowing, he

declared that
' '

Love

is

not love that alters
alteration finds.
' '

When
This
is

it

the sublimest declaration in the literature

of the world.

Shakespeare seems to give the generalization
the result

without the process of thought.
at the

He

seems always to be where all truths meet.

conclusion

standing

In one of the Sonnets

is this

fragment of a
:

line

that contains the highest possible truth

60

SHAKESPEARE.
"Conscience
If
is

born of love."

man were

incapable of suffering, the

words

and wrong never could have been spoken. If man were destitute of imagination, the flower of pity
right

never could have blossomed

in his heart.

We
we

suffer

we

cause others to suffer
conscience
is

those that
born.

love
is

and of

this fact

Love
autumn

the many-colored flame that
It is

makes the

fireside of the heart.

the mingled spring and

the perfect climate of the soul.

XIII.

TN

the realm of comparison Shakespeare seems to

have exhausted the
tudes of things,
' '

relations, parallels

and
:

simili-

He

only could have said
tale
' '

Tedious as a twice-told

Vexing
1 '

the ears of a drowsy man.

Duller than a great thaw. Dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage/'

In the words of Ulysses, spoken to Achilles,
find the

we
and

most wonderful

collection of pictures

comparisons ever compressed within the same number of lines
:

SHAKESPEARE.

61

"Time

hath,

my

lord, a wallet at his back,

Wherein he puts alms

for oblivion,

A great-sized monster of ingratitudes
Those scraps are good deeds passed which are devoured As fast as they are made, forgot as soon As done perseverance, dear my lord,
; ;

Keeps honor bright

:

to have

done

is

to

hang

Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail In monumental mockery. Take the instant

way

;

For honor

travels in a strait so
;

narrow
;

Where one

but goes abreast keep then the path For emulation hath a thousand sons

That one by one pursue

;

if

you give way,
all

Or hedge

aside from the direct forthright,
tide,

Like to an entered

they
:

rush by

And

leave

you hindmost

Or, like a gallant horse fallen in first rank, Lie there for pavement to the abject rear,

Tho'

O'errun and trampled on then what they do in present, less than yours in past, must o'ertop yours
:

;

For time is like a fashionable host That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand, And with his arms outstretched as he would fly, Grasps in the comer Welcome ever smiles,
:

And

Farewell goes out sighing.

' '

So
speaks
:

the

words of Cleopatra, when

Charmain

' '

Peace, peace

:

Dost thou not see

my

baby

at
'

my
'

breast

That sucks the nurse asleep

?

62

SHAKESPEARE.

XIV.

JVTOTHING
light.
' '

is

more

difficult

than a definition
it

a

crystallization of

thought so perfect that
:

emits

Shakespeare says of suicide
It is

That ends

great to do that thing all other deeds,

Which

shackles accident, and bolts up change.

' '

He

defines
' '

drama

to be

:

Turning the accomplishments of many years Into an hour glass."
:

Of death
' '

This sensible

warm motion

to

become a kneaded
'

clod,

To

lie in

cold obstruction and to rot.
:

'

Of memory
Of the body
' '

"The warder
:

of the brain."

This

muddy

vesture of decay.

' '

And he
' '

declares that

Our

little life is

rounded with a
:

"
sleep.

He

speaks of Echo as
' *

The babbling

gossip of the air

"
is

Romeo, addressing
take, says
:

the poison that he

about to

SHAKESPEARE.
"

63

Come,

bitter conduct, come unsavory guide, Thou desperate pilot, now^at once run on The dashing rocks thy sea-sick, weary bark. "

He

describes the world as
' '

This bank and shoal of time.

'

'

He
It

says of rumor " That it doubles,

like the voice

and echo. "

would take days to
comparisons

call

attention to the perfect

definitions,

and

generalizations

of

He gave us the deeper meanings of Shakespeare. our words taught us the art of speech. He was
the lord of language

master of expression and

compression.
put the greatest thoughts into the shortest made the poor rich and the common royal. words

He

Production enriched his brain.
him.

The moment

his

Nothing exhausted attention was called to any
metaphors and
for utter-

subject

comparisons, definitions,

generalizations filled his

mind and begged

ance.
in

His thoughts like bees robbed every blossom " the world, and then with " merry march brought

the rich booty

home

"

to the tent royal of their

emperor."

Shakespeare was the confidant of Nature.
"

To

him she opened her infinite book of secrecy," and " " the hatch and brood of time. in his brain were

64

SHAKESPEARE.

XV.

HPHERE

Shakespeare the mingling of laughter and tears, humor and pathos. Humor is the
is

in

rose, wit the thorn.

an efflorescence.
from the heart.

Wit is a crystallization, humor Wit comes from the brain, humor
is

Wit

the lightning of the soul.

In Shakespeare's nature was the climate of humor.

He saw and
"

felt

the sunny side even of the saddest

things.

You have

seen sunshine and rain at once."
fell oft

So Shakespeare's moments of peril
there

tears

upon
that

his

smiles.

In

on the very darkness of death
falls like

comes a touch of humor

a fleck

of sunshine.

Gonzalo,

when

the ship

is
:

about to sink, having

seen the boatswain, exclaims
*
'

I

have great comfort from this fellow Methinks he hath no drowning mark upon him His complexion is perfect gallows.
;
'

;

'

Shakespeare is filled with the strange contrasts of While poor Hero is supposed grief and laughter.
to be

dead

wrapped

in the

shroud of dishonor -

Dogberry and Verges unconsciously put again the
wedding wreath upon her pure brow.

The

soliloquy of Launcelot

great as Hamlet's

offsets the bitter

and burning words of Shylock.

SHAKESPEARE.

65
in

There

is

only time to speak of Maria
in the

"

Twelfth

Night," of Autolycus
parallel

"Winter's Tale," of the

drawn by Fluellen between Alexander of Macedon and Harry of Monmouth, or of the mar-

vellous

humor of

Falstaff,

who never had

the faintest

thought of right or wrong

or of Mercutio, that or of the grave-

embodiment of wit and humor
diggers

who lamented
in this

that

"

great folk should have

world to drown and hang" themo selves, more than their even Christian," and who

countenance

reached the generalization that " the gallows does well because it does well to those who do ill."

There

is

also an

example of grim humor

an exI

ample without a parallel in literature, so far as know. Hamlet having killed Polonius is asked
:

11

' '

Where' s Polonius?" At supper.
' '
' '

At supper where ? " Not where he eats, but where he
' ' !

is

eaten."

Above

all

others,

Shakespeare appreciated the

pathos of situation.

Nothing
"

is

more

pathetic than the last scene in
his

Lear."

No

one has ever bent above

dead who
king,

did not feel the words uttered by the

mad
:

words born of a despair deeper than tears

66
"

SHAKESPEARE.
Oh, that a horse, a dog, a And thou no breath!"
rat

hath

life

So

lago, after he has been

wounded, says
"

:

"I

bleed, sir; but not killed.

And Othello
remnant of
' '

answers from the wreck and shattered
:

his life

I

would have thee live For in my sense it is happiness
;

to die.

' '

When
cries
:

Troilus finds Cressida has been

false,

he

' '

Let

it

not be believed for
!

womanhood
' '

;

Think

we had mothers.

Ophelia, in her madness, "the sweet bells jangled

out

o'

tune," says softly
' '

:

I

would give you some violets But they withered all when my
;

father died.

' '

has reaped the harvest, the seeds of which were sown by his murderous hand, he exclaims,

When Macbeth

and what could be more
"I
'gin to

pitiful ?

be aweary of the sun."
feels

Richard the Second

how

small a thing

it

is

to be, or to have been, a king, or to receive honors

SHAKESPEARE.
before or after

67
so, of those

power

is

lost

;

and

who

stood uncovered before him, he asks this piteous
question
"
:

I live

with bread, like you
grief,

;

feel

want,

Taste

need friends
to

;

How can
Think of the
Caesar
:

you say

me

I

subjected thus, am a king ? "

salutation of

Antony

to the

dead

" Pardon me, thou piece of bleeding earth."

When

Pisanio informs
to

ordered by Posthumus neck and cries
: ' '

Imogen that he had been murder her, she bares her

The lamb entreats the butcher Where is thy knife ? Thou art too slow To do thy master's bidding when I desire
:

it."

drops are falling from his selfinflicted wound, utters with his dying breath to

Antony, as the

last

Cleopatra, this
"
I

:

here importune death awhile, until
kisses the
' '

Of many thousand
I

poor

last

lay

upon thy

lips.

To me,

the last words of Hamlet are

full

of pathos
*

:

"I die, Horatio. The potent poison quite The rest is silence."

o'er crows

my

spirit

68

SHAKESPEARE.

XVI.

OOME have insisted that
been a physician,
for

Shakespeare must have the reason that he shows

such knowledge of medicine of the symptoms of disease and death was so familiar with the brain,

and with insanity in all its forms. I do not think he was a physician.

He knew

too

much

his generalizations

were too splendid.

He

had none of the prejudices of that profession in his time. We might as well say that he was a musician,
a composer, because

we

find in

"

The Two Gentle-

men
in

of

Verona

"

nearly every musical term

known

Shakespeare's time. Others maintain that he was a lawyer, perfectly acquainted with the forms, with the expressions
familiar to that profession

yet there

is

nothing to

show

was a lawyer, or that he knew more about law than any intelligent man should know.
that he

He was

not a lawyer.

His sense of justice was

never dulled by reading English law. Some think that he was a botanist, because he

named

nearly

all

known

plants.

Others, that he was

an astronomer, a

naturalist,
all

because he gave hints
discoveries.

and suggestions of nearly

SHAKESPEARE.

69

Some have thought
sailor, for

that Jie

must have been a

the reason that the orders given in the
"

" opening of The Tempest were the best that could, under the circumstances, have been given to save

the ship.

For
to

my

part,

I

think there

is

nothing

in the plays

show

that he

scientist.

He
all

was a lawyer, doctor, botanist or had the observant eyes that really
thoughts, logic as unerring as

see, the ears that really hear, the brain that retains
all

pictures,

light,

the imagination that supplies defects and builds the
perfect from a fragment.

And

these faculties, these
for

aptitudes,
did.

working together, account
all

what he

He

exceeded

the sons of

men

in the

splendor

of his imagination.
tribute,

To him

the whole world paid

and nature poured her treasures at his feet. In him all races lived again, and even those to be

were pictured in his brain. He was a man of imagination that is to say, of genius, and having seen a leaf, and a drop of water, he could construct the forests, the rivers, and the
seas
fall

and

in

his presence all the cataracts
rise,

would

and foam, the mists

the clouds form and

float.

7O
If

SHAKESPEARE.

Shakespeare knew one
its

fact,

he knew

its

kindred

and

neighbors.

Looking

at a coat of mail,

he

instantly imagined the

society, the conditions, that
in turn,

produced

it

and what

it,

produced.

He saw

the castle, the moat, the draw-bridge, the lady in the tower, and the knightly lover spurring across the
plain.

He saw
life.

the bold baron and the rude retainer,

the trampled
feudal

serf,

and

all

the glory and the grief of

He lived the life of all. He was a citizen of Athens in the days of Pericles. He listened to the eager eloquence of the great orators,

and

sat

upon the

cliffs,

and with the tragic poet

heard

" the

multitudinous laughter of the sea."

He

saw Socrates

thrust the spear of question through

the shield and heart of falsehood.

He was

present
the

when

the great

man drank hemlock, and met

night 01 death, tranquil as a star meets morning.

He

listened to the peripatetic philosophers,

and was

He watched Phidias as unpuzzled by the sophists. he chiseled shapeless stone to forms of love and
awe.

He

lived

by the mysterious

Nile,

amid the vast

and monstrous.

He knew

the very thought that

wrought the form and features of the Sphinx.

He

SHAKESPEARE.

7

1

heard great Memnon's morning song when marble He laid him down lips were smitten by the sun.
with the

embalmed and waiting dead, and
expectation of another

felt

within

their dust the

life,

mingled

with cold and suffocating doubts
of long delay.

the children born

He

walked the ways of mighty Rome, and saw
field.

great Caesar with his legions in the

He

stood

and motley throngs and watched the triumphs given to victorious men, followed by uncrowned kings, the captured hosts, and all the spoils
with vast
of ruthless war.

He

heard the shout that shook the
walls,

Coliseum's
gladiator's

roofless

when from
fell,

the reeling

hand the short sword

while from his

bosom gushed

the stream of wasted
life

life.

He
life

lived the

of savage men.

He

trod the

forests' silent depths,

and

in

the desperate

game

of

or death he matched his thought against the in-

stinct of the beast.

He knew

all

crimes and

all

regrets,

all

virtues

and

their rich rewards.

He was

victim and victor, pur-

suer and pursued, outcast and king.

He

heard the

applause and curses of the world, and on his heart had fallen all the nights and noons of failure and
success.

72

SHAKESPEARE.

He knew the

unspoken thoughts, the dumb

desires,

the wants and ways of beasts.

He

felt

the crouch-

ing tiger's thrill, the terror of the ambushed prey, and with the eagles he had shared the ecstasy of

and poise and swoop, and he had kin with sluggish serpents on the barren rocks uncoiling
flight

slowly

in

the heat of noon.

beneath the bo-tree's contemplative shade, wrapped in Buddha's mighty thought, and dreamed
sat
all

He

dreams that

light,

the alchemist, has wrought from

dust and

dew, and stored within the

slumbrous

poppy's subtle blood. He knelt with awe and dread at every shrine he offered every sacrifice, and every prayer felt
the consolation and the shuddering fear

mocked
heavens,

and worshipped all the gods enjoyed and felt the pangs of every hell.

all

and through his blood and brain there crept the shadow and the chill of every death, and his soul, like Mazeppa, was lashed naked to the
lived
all lives,

He

wild horse of every fear and love and hate.

The Imagination had
brain,

a stage in
all

whereon were

set

Shakespeare's scenes that lie between

the

morn

of laughter and the night of tears, and

where

his players bodied forth the false

and

true, the

SHAKESPEARE.

73

joys and griefs, the careless shallows and the tragic C\ deeps of universal life.

From Shakespeare's brain there poured a Niagara H.e of gems spanned by Fancy's seven-hued arch. was as many-sided as clouds are many-formed. To
him giving was hoarding sowing was harvest and waste itself the source of wealth. Within his
thought past, a drop of dew contains the image of the earth and sky, so all there is of life was mirrored forth in Shakespeare's brain.
the seeds of
all

marvellous mind were the
to be.

fruits

of

all

As

Shakespeare waves touched
which were
will
;

was an
all

intellectual

ocean, whose
;

the shores of thought

withint

all

the tides and waves of destiny and.
all

over which swept

the storms of

fate,

ambi-

tion

upon which fell the gloom and darkness of despair and death and all the sunlight of content and love, and within which was the inverted
and revenge
;

an intellectual ocean sky lit with the eternal stars -towards which all rivers ran, and from which now
the isles and continents of thought receive their

dew

and

rain.

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Bulwer's History of a False Religion and BROUGHAM'S ORIGIN OF EVIL. Preface by Peter Eckler. Cloth 50 cts.; paper 25 cts. In Press.
Paine's Religious and Theological Works Complete. $1.00 Paine's Political Works Complete, in 2 volumes, illustrated, $2 oo. Paine's Principal Political Works, in i volume, illustrated, $1.00. Common Sense, Paine's first and most important political work. Paper 150
Pailie'S Crisis. The sixteen numbers complete. Cloth 50 cts.; paper 30 cts. Rights Of Man. A work almost without a peer. 279 pp. Cloth 500. paper 300. The Age Of Reason. For nearly one hundred years the clergy have been vainly trying to answer this book. 186 pages. Cloth 50 cts.; paper 25 cts. life Of Paine, with many portraits and illustrations. Cloth 750; paper 500.

ARQLJJVEENT
BY

ROBERT
TRIAL OK
"

G.
IN

INGERSOLL
"

THE C. B. REYNOLD'S
FOR

^Blasphemy,
AT NKDR.RISTO\VN,
Handsome
8vo,

NEW

Stenographically reported, and revised by the Author.

Price, cloth,

86 pp., 5O cts.

;

beautiful type, fine paper, paper cover, 25 cts.

In this Argument MR. INGERSOLL again shows his great All his heart and brain are in it. It is one forensic powers. It is in his chosen field of intelof his greatest productions. lectual combat, and we see him as the splendid champion of

eloquence, legal learning, logic, pathos, poetry and patriotism is not often poured out in a Court of Justice. The many calls for this Argument in complete anoT accurate shape have led to this publication, as revised by MR. INGERSOLL himself. All other publications are the merest fictions

and the rights of man. His love of freedom and hatred of tyranny and chains, sympathy for the opjustice, pressed, misguided and enthralled, his courage and candor, have in this Argument full scope of expression, and he makes of grand use of the opportunity. Such a flood of light

human

liberty

meagre and misleading newspaper references. Lawyers and advocates will find this the model of an address to a jury statesmen and politicians a clear exposition of Conand intelligent, patriotic and free stitutional rights and powers men and women everywhere, a Magna Charta of their rights.
reprints from
;
;

Address C P.

FARRELL,

Publisher. 400 Fifth Ave.,

New York

City.

A

New

Rdition.

Just Published!

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE BIBLE:
BEING AN ACCOUNT OF THE FORMATION

AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE CANON.
BY

BRONSON C KEELER.
Price, Cloth,

75 cents.

Paper, 60 cents.

This book should be read by every Clergyman, Layman, Scholar and Liberal.
have read Mr. Keeler's book with great pleasure and profit. He my opinion, a clear and intelligent account of the growth of He shows why books were received as inspired, and why they were rejected. He does not deal in opinions, but in fads and for the correctness of his facts, he refers to the highest authorities. He has shown exactly who the Christian fathers were, and the weight
I

gives, in the bible.

;

that their evidence

is

entitled to.
;

The

first

centuries of Christianity

are filled with shadow most histories of that period simply tell us what did not happen, and even the statements of what did not happen
are contradictory. The falsehoods do not agree. Mr. Keeler must have spent a great deal of time in the examination of a vast number of volumes, and the amount of information contained in his book

could not be collected in years. Every minister, every college proand every man who really wishes to know something about the origin and growth of the bib*e, should read this book. R
fessor,

Q

INGERSOLL.

A

Grand Book

:.

as interesting

and entertaining as any novel!

INGERSOLL'S
Interviews on Talmage
These Interviews were
called out in

answer

to

a series of

theological discourses by Mr. Talmage. Three of originally given to a reporter of the daily press, but wards revised and enlarged and three others added.

them were were after-

The

three

newspaper reports being immediately pirated by so-called enterprising but unprincipled publishers, were put upon the market in " flimsy paper covers and heralded as the genuine Ingersoll InIt is sufficient to say that in no other terviews." shape than the " " Interviews to be had in present complete volume are these their accurate and authorized entirety.

As to the subject-matter it is essentially polemical, although not bitterly so. The foolish as well as serious phases of theological ignorance and assumption are exposed to merited ridicule, and the weapons of good-natured wit and sarcasm are employed to laugh and shame religious superstition and arrogance out of " " In the Talmagian Catechism court. especially, which sums up the six interviews, are shafts of wit and satire as keen and
polished as ever sped from human brain. They go straight to the mark, and remind one of Voltaire's pointed though not poisoned
In the at the priestly pretensions of his day. graver and more serious statements and arguments, the facts and figures are splendidly marshalled and bear down with resistless form upon the theological foe, breaking his ranks and scattering his forces like chaff before a gale. There is not in literature another such book. It is^ a free-

arrows aimed

thought library in itself, and especially timely just now when bibles and creeds are being overhauled and ''revision and division are in the air." No collection of Mr. Ingersoll's books is complete that does not include this in some respects his most remarkable work. A handsome 8, 443 pages, gilt top, beveled edges, good paper, bold type, $2.00. From same plates, plain cloth, $1.25. Paper, 500. Sent post-paid upon receipt of price.
C. P.

FARRELL,

PUBLISHER,

New

York.

INGERSOLL'S LECTURES,
-UN

ONE VOLUME.^
CONTENTS:

THE GODS.
THOMAS

PAINE,

HUMBOLDT, INDIVIDUALITY, HERETICS AND HERESIES.

THE GHOSTS. THE LIBERTY OF MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD, THE CENTENNIAL ORATION, OR DECLARATION OF
INDEPENDENCE,
July
4,

1876.

WHAT
THE PAST

I

KNOW ABOUT FARMING
IN

IN ILLINOIS.

SPEECH AT CINCINNATI

1876, nominating James G. Blaine for the Presidency.

RISES BEFORE ME; OR, VISION OF WAR,
at the Soldiers

an extract from a Speech made

and Sailors

Reunion

at Indianapolis, Indiana, Sept. 21, 1876.

A TRIBUTE TO EBON C. INGERSOLL. SOME MISTAKES OF MOSES. WHAT MUST WE DO TO BE SAVED? SIX INTERVIEWS WITH ROBERT G. INGERSOLL ON SIX SERMONS BY THE Rev. T. DEWITT TALMAGE, D. D. to which is added a
;

TALMAGIAN CATECHISM.
And FOUR PREFACES, which
wittiest

contain

some of Mr.

Ingersoll's

and brightest sayings.

has had the greatest popularity,

This volume contains a fine steel portrait of the author, and is beautifully bound in Half
rriottled

Morocco,
small. 8yo.

edges, 1,300 pages,

good paper,

large type,

Price, post paid, $5.00.

14 DAY USE RETURN TO DESK FROM WHICH BORROWED

LOAN
This book
is

DEPT.
date stamped below, or
recall.

due on the

last

on the date to which renewed. Renewed books are subject to immediate

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