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To my Daughter KATHRYN

Why take the artistic way to prove so much?
Because it is the glory and good of Art,
That Art remains the one way possible

Of speaking truth, to mouths like mine at least.
How look a brother in the face and say

66

Thy right is wrong, eyes hast thou yet art blind,
Thine ears are stuffed and stopped, despite their
length:

And, oh, the foolishness thou countest faith!”
Say this as silverly as tongue can troll-
The anger of the man may be endured,
The shrug, the disappointed eyes of him
Are not so bad to bear-but here's the plague
That all this trouble comes of telling truth,
Which truth, by when it reaches him, looks false,
Seems to be just the thing it would supplant,

Nor recognizable by whom it left:

While falsehood would have done the work of truth.
But art, wherein man nowise speaks to men,
Only to mankind,-Art may tell a truth
Obliquely, do the thing shall breed the thought,
Nor wrong the thought, missing the mediate word.
BROWNING “The Ring and the Book."

FOREWORD

HIS little book is the fruit of sermons given from a city pulpit on the ethics of Shakespeare. The preacher has never seriously attempted a homiletic treatment of the great English master, whose works are replete with profitable lessons dealing with the simple moralities. Shakespeare makes his appeal to all men, the preacher not excepted. For the most part the response has been given by the theatre and the literary critic. Broader than any sect and independent of any school of theological thought, Shakespeare is peculiarly inviting to the student of ethics. Every tragedy, comedy amd drama is founded upon certain well defined principles of conduct. The universality of his searching thought, the striking application of truth to life, the dramatic situations which illustrate artistically his ethical ideals, afford an unusual field for the moralist. Shakespeare is a prophet-poet whose chief business is not to entertain, but instruct in the deepest things of life. These studies are given to the world with the hope that the lessons taught may create a new interest in the study of his works, and be profitable as a guide in the way of life.

CONTENTS

Macbeth-A Tragedy of Ambition...

9

Othello-The Drama of the Domestic Life.... 21 Hamlet-A Study in Revenge, Duty and Doubt 33 King Lear-Filial Ingratitude.

45

The Aspic in the Basket of Figs, or Antony

and Cleopatra. .

55 The Merchant of Venice and the Golden Rule. 67 King Richard III-the Satan of Shakespeare. 85

...

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