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virtue; and show that the best empire is self-government, and that subduing our passions is the noblest of conquests.
Her. The true spirit of heroism acts by a generous impulse, and wants neither the experience of history, nor the doctrines of philosophers to direct it. But do not arts and sciences render men effeminate, luxurious, and inactive ? and can you deny that wil and loaming are often made subservient to very bad purposes?
Caul. I will own that there are some natures so happily formed, they scarcely want the assistance of a master, and the rules of art, to give them force or grace in every thing they do. But these favorec geniuses are few. As learning ilourishes only where ease, picity, and wild government subsist, in so rich a soil, and under so soft a climate, the weeds of luxury will spring up among the flowers of art: but the spontaneous weeds vond Tow more rank, if they were allowed the undisturbed possession of the field. Leiters keep a frugal, temperate nation from growing ferocious, a rich one "from becoming entirely sensual and debauched. Every gist of heaven is sometimes alused; but good sense and fine talents, by a natural law, gravitate toward virtue. Accidents may drive them out of their proper direction; but such accidents ara an alarming omen, and of dire portent to the times. Forif virtue cannot keep to her allegiance those men, who in their hearts confess her divine right, and know the value of her laws, on whose fidelity and obedience can she dependi? May such geniuses hever descond to flatter vice, encourage folly, or propagate irreligion ; but eszert all their powers in the service of virtue, and celebrate the noble choice of those, who like Ilercules preferred lier to pleasure!
Lord Baconl (ul. Skalspeare.e Shakspeare. Near to Castalia there bubbles a fountain of petrifyingi water, wherein the Muses are wont to dip whatever posies have met the approval of Apollo ;- so that the slender foliage, which originally sprung forth in the cherishing brain of a true poet, becomes hardened in all its leaves, and glitters as if it were carved out of rubies and emeralds. The elements have afterwards no power over it.
a Spon-ta-ne'ous, voluntary.
e Shaks'-peare, an English poet.
Bacon. Such, Mr. Shakspeare, will be the fortune of your own productions.
Shak. Ah, my lord! do not encourage me to hope so. I am but a poor unlettered man, who seizes whatever rude conceits his own natural vein supplies him with, upon the enforcement of haste and necessity; and therefore I fear that such as are of deeper studies than myself, will find many flaws in my handiwork to laugh at, both now and hereafter.
Bac. He that can make the multitude laugh and weep as you do, need not fear scholars.-A head, naturally fertile, is worth many libraries, inasmuch as a tree is more valuable than a basket of fruit, or a good hawk better than a bag full of game, or the little purse, which a fairy gave to Fortunatus, more inexhaustible than all t!ie coffers in the treasury. More scholarship might have sharpened your judgment, but the particulars whereof a character is composer, are better assembled by force of imagination than of judgment, whicli, although it perceive coherences,a canvot summon up materials, nor melt them into a compound, with that felicity wilich belongs to imagination alone.
Shak. My lord, thus far I know, that the first conception of a character in my mind, is always engendered by chance and accident. We shall suppose, for instance, that I am sitting in a tap-room, or standing in a tennis-court. The behavior of some one fixes my attention. I note his dress, the sound of his voice, the turn of his countenance, the drinks he calls for, his questions and retorts, the fashion of his person, and, in bries, the whole out-goings and in-comings of the man.--- These grounds of speculation being cherished and revolved in my faney, it becomes straightway possessed with a swarm of conclusions and beliefs concerning the individual. In walking home, I picture out to myself, what would be fitting for him to say or do upon any given occasion, and these fantasies" being recalled at some after period, when I am writing a play, sliape themselves into divers mannikins, who are not long of being nursed into life. Thus comes forth Shallow, and Slender, and Mercutio, and Sir Andrew Aguecheek.
Bac. These are characters which may be found alive in the streets. But how frame you such interlocutorsd as Brutus and Coriolanus ?
Shak. By searching histories, in the first place, my lord, for the germ. The filling up afterwards comes rather from feeling than observation. I turn myself into a Brutus or a a Co-he'-ren-ces, union of parts.
d In-ter-loc'-u-ter, one who speaks in diab Fan-ta-sies, conceits.
logue. C Man'-ni-kins, little men, dwarfs.
Coriolanus for the time; and can, at least in fancy, partake sufficiently of the nobleness of their nature, to put proper words into their mouths. Observation will not supply the poet with every thing. He must have a stock of exalted sentiments in his own mind.
Bac. In truth, Mr. Shakspeare, you have observed the world so well, and so widely, that I can scarcely believe you ever shut your eyes. I, too, although much engrossed with other studies, am, in part, an observer of mankind. Their dispositions, and the causes of their good or bad fortune, cannot well be overlooked, even by the most devoted questioner of physical nature. But note the difference of habitudes. No sooner have I observed and got hold of particulars, than they are taken up by my judgment to be commented upon, and resolved into general laws. Your imagination keeps them to make pictures of. My judgment, if she find them to be comprehended under something already known by her, lets them drop, and forgets them; for which reason, a certain book of essays, which I am writing, will be small in bulk, but I trust not light in substance. Thus do men severally follow their inborn dispositions.
Shak. Every word of your lordship’s, will be an adage to after times. For my part, I know my own place, and aspire not after the abstruser studies,-although I can give wisdom a welcome when she comes in my way. But the inborn dispositions, as your lordship has said, must not be warped from their natural bent, otherwise nothing but sterility will remain behind. A leg cannot be changed into an arm. Among stageplayers, our first object is to exercise a new candidate, until we discover where his vein lies.
Bac. I am told that you do not invent the plots of your own plays, but generally borrow them from some common book of stories, such as Bocaccio's Decameron, or Cynthio's Novels. That practice must save a great expenditureofthought and contrivance.
Shak. It does, my lord. I lack patience to invent the whole from the foundation.
Bac. If I guess aright, there is nothing so hard and troublesome, as the invention of coherent incidents; and yet, methinks, after it is accomplished, it does not show so high a strain of wit as that which paints separate characters and objects well. Dexterity would achieve the making of a plot better than genius, which delights not so much in tracing a curious connexion among events, as in adorning a fantasy with bright colors, and eking it out with suitable appendages.
6 Ste-ril'-i-ty, barrenness.
a Ad'age, an old saying.
Homer's plot hangs but illy together. It is indeed no better than a string of popular fables and superstitions, caught up from among the Greeks; and I believe that those who in the time of Pisistratus a collected this poem, did more than himself to digest its particulars. His praise must therefore be found in this, that he reconceived, amplified, and set forth, what was dimly and poorly conceived by common men.
Shak. My knowledge of the tongues is but small; on which account I have read ancient authors mostly at second hand. I remember, when I first came to London, and began to be a hanger-on at the theaters, a great desire grew in me for more learning than had fallen to my share at Stratford; but fickleness and impatience, and the bewilderment caused by new objects, dispersed that wish into empty air. Ah, my lord, you cannot conceive what a strange thing it was for so impressible a rustic, to find himself turned loose in the midst of Babel! My faculties wronght to such a degree, that I was in a dream all day long. My bent was not then toward comedy, for most objects seemed noble and of much consideration. The music at the theater ravished my young heart; and amidst the goodly company of spectators, I beheld, afar off
, beauties who seemed to out-paragon Cleopatra of Egypt. Some of these primitive fooleries were afterwards woven into Romeo and Juliet.
Bac. Your Julius Cæsar, and your Richard the Third please me better. From my youth upward I have had a brain politic and discriminative, and less prone to marveling and dreaming, than to scrutiny. Some part of my juvenile time was spent at the court of France, with our embassador, Sir Amias Paulet; and, to speak the truth, although I was surrounded by many dames of high birth and rare beauty, I carried oftener Machiavellic in my pocket than a book of madrigals ;d and heeded not although these wantons made sport of my grave and scholar-like demeanor. When they would draw me forth to an encounter of their wit, I paid them off with flatteries, till they forgot their aim in thinking of themselves. Michael Angelo said of Painting, that she was jealous, and required the whole man, undivided. I was aware how much more truly the same thing might be said of Philosophy, and therefore cared not how much the ruddy complexion of my youth was sullied over the midnight lamp, or my outward comeliness sacrificed to my inward advancement.
c Pron. Mac-e-a-vell'-ye, a learned author b Am'-pli-fi-ed, enlarged.
d Mad'-ri-gals, pastoral poems.
a Pi-sis'-tra-tus, tyrant of Athens.
The Nature of Eloquence. 1. WHEN public bodies are to be addressed on momentous occasions, when great interests are at stake, and strong passions excited, nothing is valuable in speechi, farther than it is comected with high intellectual and moral endowments.a Charness, force, and earnestly ss, are the qualities which produce conviction. True eloqucnee, indeed, uoes not consist in speech. It cannot be brought from far. Labor and learning may ioil for it, but they will toil in vain.
2. Words and phrases may be marshaled in every way, but they cannot compass it. It musi exist in the man, in the subject, and in the occasion. Afried passion, intense expression, the pomp of declamation, all way aspire after it; they cannot reach it. It comes, if it come at all, like the cutbreaking of a fomtain from the earth, or the bursting forth of volcanic fires, with spontancons, criginal, native force.
3. The graces taught in the schools the costly ornaments and studied contrivances of speech, shock and disgust men, when their own lives, and the fate of their wives, their children, and their country, hang on the decision of the hour. Then, words have lost their power, rhetoric' is vain, and all elaboratae oratory contemptille. Eren genius itself then feels rebuked, and subiuc, as in the presence of higher qualities.
4. Then, patriotism is elocuent; the self-devotion is eloquei. The clear conception, out-running the deductions of logic," the higlı purpes, the firm resolve, the dauntless spirit speaking on the tongue, beaming from the eye, informing every feature, and urging the whole man onward, right onward to his object,-this is eloquence. D. Webster.
The Perfect Orator. 1. IMAGINE to yourselves a Demosthenes, address'ng the most illustrious assembly in the world, upon a point whereon the fate of the mosi illustrious of nations depended.
a En-diox'-ments, funds, gifts.
CEI'-o-nato, finishel with exactness.