Imagens das páginas

Queen Elinor.

“ – foul IMAGINARY eyes of blood"-One of the most of the word. “To assay, to prove, to try, to tempt one frequent confusions of shades of meaning, in our old to do evil.' (Baret, in v. prove.)"—SINGER. poets, which strikes the modern reader, is that of the

The Unowed interest"-i. e. Unowned interest; the active and passive significations, as delighted and de

interest which has no acknowledged owner. John's lightful; as here “imaginary eyes," for imagining, or

title being disputed and Arthur's sister, on whom his image-forming eyes.

title devolved, not in possession. SCENE III. The wall is high; and yet will I leap down." “Our author has here followed the old play. In what manner Arthur was deprived of his life is not ascertained. Matthew Paris, relating the event, uses the word evanuit; and, indeed, as King Philip afterwards publicly accused King John of putting his nephew to death, without mentioning either the manner of it, or his accomplices, we may conclude that it was conducted with impenetrable "secrecy. The French historians, however, say, that John, coming in a boat, during the night-time, to the castle of Rouen, where the young prince was confined, ordered him to be brought forth, and having stabbed him, while supplicating for mercy, the king fastened a stone to the dead body, and threw it into the Seine, in ordor to give some colour to a report which he afterwards caused to be spread, that the prince, attempting to escape out of a window of the tower of the castle, fell into the river, and was drowned." - MALONE.

O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones.In the old “

King John," after his fall, Arthur speaks thus:

Ho! who is nigh! Somebody take me up:
Where is my mother? Let me speak with her:
Who hurts me thus ?-speak, ho! where are you gone?
Ah me, poor Arthur, I am here alone.
Why called I mother ? how did I forget ?
My fall, my fall hath killed my mother's son.
How will she weep at tidings of my death!
Sweet Jesu! save my soul; forgive my rash attempt:

Comfort my mother; shield her from despair,
When she shall hear my tragic overthrow.

“ An empty casket ”—The most poetical lines of the old This fond recurrence of the dying youth to his mother

“King John” relate to the death of Arthur, of whom, is natural and affecting; and I can only account for

when his body is first found by the peers, it is said,

Lo! lords, the wither'd flower, Shakespeare's throwing it aside, upon the same reason

Who in his life shin'd like the morning's blush, that in Lear he has purposely avoided one or two touch Cast out a-door. ing incidents of the old play, as thoughts pre-occupied by his predecessors, whose works he had taken for the

“ — FORAGE, and run"—"Forage' here seems to groundwork of his plot, while it was his aim to give a

mean to range abroad; which Dr. Johnson says is its new and original poetical character to the familiar plot. original sense: but fourrage the French source of it


is formed from the low Latin foderagium, food : the Whose PRIVATE with me”-i. e. Whose private ac sense of ranging therefore appears to be secondary.”— count of the Dauphin's affection to our cause is much NARES. more ample than the letters.

SCENE II. Till I have set a glory to this HAND,

Return the PRECEDENT”-i. e. What we now call By giving it the worship of revenge.'

the draught of the instrument to be copied out. This is the original reading, giving the obvious sense of " till I have given renown to my hand, by bestowing

And not to spend it so unneighbourly." on it the honour of revenge." ." Worship" is thus taken To "spend " it, taking “ to” as the prefix of the infinifor dignity, honour, in its old use, still retained in the tive, is quite clear, and,

though not in strict grammatical title of your worship,” “the worshipful.” “Glory" congruity with the context, would hardly be considered is similarly used in TROILUS AND CRESSIDA:

as inaccurate in coloquial use. But Stevens and Knight - Let Æneas live,

print it to-spend, as used in the sense which to as an inIf to my sword his fate be not the glory.

tensive or augmentative adjunct anciently had; as in But many editions adopt the alteration of Pope, who the Merry Wives of WINDSOR, to-pinch the unclean thought that we should read “a glory to this head," knight"-pinch hin well, thoroughly. pointing to the head of the dead prince, and using worship in its common acceptation." A glory is a circle of

Between COMPULSION, and a brave respect !" rays, such as is represented surrounding the heads of “ This compulsion' was the necessity of a reformasaints and other holy persons. The solemn confirma

tion in the state ; which, according to Salisbury's opintion of the other lords may support this sense. Gray, ion, (who, in his speech preceding, calls it an enforced the poet, (says Dr. Farmer,) was much pleased with cause,) could only be procured by foreign arms: and this correction.

the brave respect was the love of his country."—WARDo not prove me so"—“ Dr. Johnson has, I think, mistaken the sense of this passage, which he explains * Acquainted me with interest to this land." • Do not make me a murderer, by compelling me to This was the phraseology of Shakespeare's time. So kill you; I am hitherto not a murderer.' By · Do not || in King HENRY IV., (Part II:)— prove me so,' Hubert means, •Do not provoke me, or

He hath more worthy interest to the state, iry my palience so.' This was a common acceptation

Than thou the shadow of succession.




Again, in Dugdale's “ Antiquities of Warwickshire :"*. He had a release from Rose the daughter and heir of Sir John de Arden, of all her interest to the manor of Pedimore."

“ VIVE LE ROY! as I have bank'd their towns ?" It is doubtful in what sense we are to take “ bank'd;" whether Lewis means to say that he has thrown up embankments before the towns, or whether he uses - bank'd" in reference to passing towns on the banks of the Thames, in the same way that we use the verb coast. In the old " King, John" Lewis thus mentions “ Rochesler" as having submitted, and he may here refer to that and other places on the river's banks :

Your city, Rochester, with great applause,
By some divine instinct laid arms aside;
And from the hollow holes of Thamesis

Echo apace replied, l'ire le roi ! The measure, which in this play has much regularity, requires Vive” to be pronounced in two syllables, sounding the final e; which I take to be the old Norman pronunciation, and perhaps the general old French mode. I recollect such a habit of sounding the final e, where it is now mute, among the old Huguenots of the second and third generations in America, who had spoken French from their childhood. In the old “ King John," Vive seems to be sounded in the same way. “ Bank'd their towns" may be either, “ as I have thrown embankments, or entrenchments, before them," or, as seems more probably the author's meaning, as I passed along the river-banks, on which they are built:'' in the sense of bank, as a verb, that we now apply to coast. The thought is from the old“ King John," where the language supports this last interpretation. There these salutations are described as given to the Dauphin, as he sailed along the banks of the river. This, perhaps, Shakespeare calls banking the towns. We still say to coast, and to flank; and to bank has no less propriety, though it is not reconciled to us by modern usage.

This UNHEARD sauciness”-So the old copies, without exception, and we adhere to the most intelligible text, notwithstanding Theobald's suggestion, that ** unheard” ought to be unhair'd, which modern editors have adopted and explained as beardless, and therefore boyish."

“ – and make you take the hatch"-i. e. Leap over the hatch of the door; in the sense in which sportsinen still say, to take a ditch, or a gate.

- at the crying of your nation's crow"-Malone thinks that this line refers to “the voice or caw of the French crow," but Douce contends that the allusion is to the

** crow" of a cock, that being the national bird of Frauce; gallus ineaning both a cock and a French

eye,' in the line before us, is the rough and dangerous passage of rebellion.'"-KNIGHT.

" RESOLVEth from his figure”-To resolve, of old. was the same as to dissolve. “ This is said (remarks Stevens) in allusion to the images made by witches.” Hollingshed observes, that it was alleged against dame Eleanor Cobham, and her confederates, “ that they had devised an image of wax, representing the king, which, by their sorcerie, by little and little consumed, intending thereby, in conclusion, to waste and destroy the king's person."

Awakes my conscience to confess all this." “In the old “King John' we find these lines, which forin part of a speech by Melun, of the same tenour as that in Shakespeare:

This I aver, if Lewis win the day, etc.
Two causes, lords, makes me display this drift:
The greatest for the freedom of my soul,
That longs to leave this mansion free from guilt;
The other on a natural instinct,

For that my grandsire was an Englishman.
In the old · King John,' there is previously a long scene,
in which Lewis takes the oath referred to by the dying
Melun :-

There's not an English traitor of them all,
John once dispatch'd, and I fair England's king,
Shall on his shoulders bear his hend one day,

But I will crop it for their guilt's desert, etc. Shakespeare has shown great judgment in the total omission of scenes which only served to lengthen out the old play, or to which, as in this instance, reference merely was necessary."-Collier.

SCENE V. - our TATTERING colours"-Here is another instance of the indiscriminate use, not uncommon in Shakespeare and his contemporarios, of the active and the passive participle—“ tattering” for tattered. Collier says that * tattering” and “tattered" were almost invariably spelled, in our old writers, tottering and tottered, as it would be easy to accumulate instances from Marlowe, Decker, Heywood, Munday, Chapman, etc. Stevens altered “ tattering," in the texi, to tatter'd, against all the authorities.



Their NEEDL's to lances"-So printed in the old copies of 1623 and 1632, to show that "needles” was to be read in the time of a monosyllable.

SCENE VI. “ thou, and ENDLESS night"_" Endless night" seems a natural expression of impatience at the long and tedious night. Many editors have adopted the suggestion that this word was a misprint for eyeless night.

The king, I fear, is poisoned by a monk," etc.

Not one of the historians, (says Malone,) who wroto within sixty years after the death of King John, mentions this very improbable story. The tale is, that a monk, to revenge himself on the king for a saying at which he took offence, poisoned a cup of ale, and, having brought it to his majesty, drank some of it himself, to induce the king to taste it, and soon afterwards expired. Thomas Wykes is the first who relates it in his • Chronicle,' as a report. According to the best accounts, John died at Newark, of a fever.” The incident answered the purpose of Bishop Bale too well for him not to employ it in his Kynge Johan."


SCENE IV. Unthread the rude Eye of rebellion—“ Theobald corrupted this passage into untread the rude way;' he turned, by an easy process, the poetry into prose. Malone, who agrees in the restoration of the passage, says Shakespeare' was evidently thinking of the eye of a needle,' and he calls this, therefore, an humble metaphor. Nothing is humble, in poetry, that conveys an inage forcibly and distinctly; and the eye of a needle,' by the application of the Poet, may become dignified. But the word thread, perhaps metaphorically, is used to convey the meaning of passing through anything intricate, narrow, difficult.

They would not thread the gatesin Coriolanus, and

One gains the thicket and one thrids the brakein Dryden, have each the same meaning. The 'rude


SCENE VII. Leaves them, INSENSIBLE”—The old editions have leaves them invisible," out of which it is difficult to extract a probable meaning. The meaning of invisible (says Knight) is unlooked at, disregarded." Collier interprets thus-i. e. invisibly. Death, after he has preyed on the outward parts, invisibly leaves them." To me it seems evident that invisible, for insensible," was an error of the press, or more probably of the copy ist of the manuscript used by the folio editors.



“ – upon that IndiGEST”—Used substantively, for annihilated. Causes and consequences, separated in disordered, or indigested state of affairs. The word is the proper history by long digressions and tedious epiinore commonly used as an adjective, as in the “Son. sodes, are brought together. The attributed murder of nets :"

Arthur lost John all the inheritances of the house of To make of monsters and things indigest,

Anjou, and allowed the house of Capet to triumph in Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble.

his overthrow. Out of this grew a larger ambition, and To thrust his icy fingers in my maw,” etc.

England was invaded. The death of Arthur, and the “ Malone quoted the following lines, under the suppo

events which marked the last days of John, were sepa

rated in their cause and effect by time only, over which sition that they were by Marlowe, and that Shakespeare

the Poet leaps. It is said that a man, who was on the had adopted one of them :

point of drowning, saw, in an instant, all the events of O! I am dull, and the cold hand of sleep Hath thrust his icy fingers in my breast,

his life in connexion with his approaching end. So sees And made a frost within me.

the poet. It is his to bring the beginnings and the ends This passage is found in a play called • Lust's Dominion,'

of events into that real union and dependence, which

even the philosophical historian may overlook, in tracassigned to Marlowe; but the historical portion of the

ing their course. It is the poet's office to preserve a incidents did not occur until five years after his death.

unity of action ; it is the historian's to show a consistenIn the • History of Dramatic Poetry and the Stage,' reasons are given for attributing Lust's Dominion to

cy of progress. In the chroniclers, we have manifold

changes of fortune in the life of John, after Arthur of Decker, Haughton, and Day; and in Decker's “Gull's

Brittany has fallen. In SHAKESPEARE, Arthur of BritHornbook' (1609) we meet with this expression: the

tany is at once revenged. The heart-broken mother morning waxing cold, thrust his icy fingers into thy bo

and her boy are not the only sufferers from double som.' Shakespeare's King John was indisputably writ

The spirit of Constance is appeased by the ten before 1598, and · Lust's Dominion' was probably

fall of John. The Niobe of a Gothic age, who vainly not produced until 1600; so that, although the authors

sought to shield her child from as stern a destiny as that of that play may have copied Shakespeare, there can be with which Apollo and Artemis pursued the daughter no pretence for saying that he imitated them."-Collier.

of Tantalus, may rest in peace!" “ — MODULE of confounded royalty—“. Module’and model were, in our author's time, different modes of

“– Nought shall make us rue" —A splendid, animaled, spelling the same word. Model signified not an arche

and poetical passage, formed from the concluding line type, after which something was to be formed, but the

of the old play, which are quite as patriotic, but without thing formed after an archetype ; and hence it is used

any poetic glow:by Shakespeare, and his contemporaries, for a represen

Let England be but true within herself,

And all the world can never wrong her state, etc. tation. So, in the London Prodigal,' (1605:)— Dear copy of my husband! O let me kiss thee!

[Kissing a picture.] How like him is this model !"


“The tragedy of King John, though not written with

the utmost power of Shakespeare, is varied with a very My liege! my lord !- But now a king, now thus." pleasing interchange of incidents and characters. The The tragic Poet has here brought the death of John lady's grief is very affecting ; and the character of the into immediate contact with his most atrocious crime,

Bastard contains that mixture of greatness and levity as the natural sequence and just retribution of his guilt

which this author delighted to exhibit.”—Johnson. towards young Arthur. The matter-of-fact commentators complain, with Mr. Courtenay, (“ Commentaries on

“ The present historic drama is pronounced, by John Shakespeare's Historical Plays,") that here is a long in son, to be . not written with the utmost power of Shake terval leaped over at once, in which “ foreign and cruel speare.' The truth is, the Poet had no utmost power.' wars had raged with varied success, and one event had

He has told us in this very playhappened of which, although it is that by which we

When workmen strive to do better than well, now chiefly remember King John, no notice is taken

They do confound their skill in covetousness. whatever. This event is no other than the signature of There were no throes, there was nothing spasmodic. Magna Charta.” The plain answer to this is, that the

in the genius of Shakespeare. He never (contounded Poet's design was not to turn the chronicle of John's

his skill.' Take any two of his plays written in his reign into dramatic dialogue, but to produce from the

maturer years, and if a well-judged preference is to be materials an historical tragedly; for which purpose given to either, it will be found to arise from the sul, Constance, Arthur, and the half fictitious Fanlconbridge,ject, not its execution. In his historical plays, he was atforded more suitable materials for his imagination controlled, and was content to be so. He might have than Magna Charta, and the political rights of English made King John a more striking character, with less men acquired under it. By the selection he made he

art and labour; but he spared neither, when he was to was naturally led to the exhibition of female character, | paint him as he lived."— Illustrated SHAKESPEARE. as intense, as passionate, and as overflowing with feel. ing, and with the most eloqnent expression, as his own

T. CAMPBELL, after remarking on the materials which Juliet, but with the same all-absorbing affection trans Shakespeare turns to his use, in the old play, which ferred from the lover to an only child. On the other

gives so little anticipation of the high painting of the hand, had he chosen the great political question for the

present King John, proceeds :turning point of interest in his drama-and it touched " It is remarkable that the Poet of England, and the on at all it must have been made the main and central

most eloquent Poet who ever summed up the virtues point of the action—it would have required all the of Brutus, should have dramatized the reign of John, Poet's skill to have avoided the too literal but unpoetical without the most distant allusion to Magna Charta. truth, which Canning has so drolly ridiculed in his mock.

Was he afraid of offending Elizabeth? I think not; for German play, when one of the exiled Barons informs

he brought out Julius Cæsar in the reign of King the other that,

James, whose petty mind was more jealous of popular The charter of our liberties received

principles than that of Elizabeth. His main object was The royal signature at five o'clock, When messengers were instantly despatch'd

probably to recast, with all dispatch, an old piece into To cardinal Pandulph, and their Majesties,

a new one for the stage. I regret further, that this After partaking of a cold collation,

mighty genius did not turn to poetical account another Returned to Windsor

event in King John's reign, namely, the superstitions Mr. Knight's remarks on this point are exceedingly | desolation of the English inind, which immediately fol. jast and eloquent:-" The interval of fourteen years, lowed the papal excommunication that was issued froin between the death of Arthur and the death of John, is Rome against England and her king. The shutting up

of the churches, the nation's sudden deprivation of all Gone to be married-gone to swear a peace! the exterior exercise of its religion, the altars despoiled

False blood to false blood joined-gone to be friends ! of their ornaments, the cessation of Sabbath bells, and if, I say, the mind of the actress for one moment wanthe celebration of mass within doors shut against the ders from these distressing events, she must inevitably laity;-all these circumstances have been wrought up fall short of that high and glorious colouring which is by Hume into an historic picture that is worthy of Livy. indispensable to the painting of this magnificent portrait. And what would they not have been as materials for a " The quality of abstraction has always appeared to poetical picture in the hands of Shakespeare? But let me so necessary in the art of acting, that I shall probaus be thankful for our Poet's King John, such as it is. bly, in the course of these remarks, be thought too freNo doubt it sets the seal as to the question about the quently and pertinaciously to advert to it. I am now, probability of good historical tragedies proceeding from however, going to give a proof of its usefulness in the the pen of the best poets, and a negative seal; for after character under our consideration; and I wish my Constance leaves the stage, Shakespeare's King John | opinion were of sufficient weight to impress the imporis rather the execution of a criminal than an interesting tance of this power on the minds of all candidates for tragedy. There are scenes, however, and passages in

dramatic fame. Here, then, is one example, among our Poet's King John, which may never be forgotten. many others which I could adduce. Whenever I was The pathos of Arthur's conference with Hubert is en called upon to personate the character of Constance, I tirely Shakespeare's, and so is the whole of the part of never, from the beginning of the play to the end of my Coustance, as well as that most appallingly interesting part in it, once suffered my dressing-room door to be of dialogues between King Jolin and Hubert, touching closed, in order that my attention might be constantly the m'ırder of young Arthur. In the old play Constance fixed on those distressing events which, by this means, has a good deal of the virago in her portraiture,-in I could plainly hear going on upon the stage, the terrible Shakespeare's she is the most interesting character in effects of which progress were to be represented by me. mture-a doting and bereaved mother. Those who Moreover, I never omitted to place myself, with Arthur find themselves, as I do, older than they could wish to in my hand, to hear the march, when, upon the reconbe, may derive some consolation from their age, in re ciliation of England and France, they enter the gates of collecting that they were born early enough to see Mrs. Angiers to ratify the contract of marriage between the Siddons perform the part of Constance.”

Dauphin and the Lady Blanch; because the sickening That great representative of maternal love and conr sounds of that march would usually cause the bitter age-of “proud grief and majestic desolation"--left be tears of rage, disappointment, betrayed confidence, bafhind her, in manuscript, her own analysis of the chief fled ambition, and, above all, the agonizing feelings of character of the tragedy; and we extract, from Camp maternal affection to gush iuto my eyes. In short, the bell's “ Life of Siddons,” this commentary of a great spirit of the whole drama took possession of my mind artist on the Poet:

and frame, by my attention being incessantly riveted to * My idea of Constance (she says) is that of a lofty the passing scenes.

Thus did I avail myself of every and proud spirit, associated with the most exquisite possible assistance, for there was need of all in this most feelings of maternal tenderness, which is, in truth, the arduous effort; and I have no doubt that the observance predominant feature of this interesting personage. The

of such circumstances, however irrelevant they may apsentiments which she expresses, in the dialogue between pear upon a cursory view, was powerfully aidant in the herself, the King of France and the Duke of Austria, representations of those expressions of passion in the at the commencement of the second act of this tragedy, remainder of this scene, which have been only in part very strongly evince the amiable traits of a humane dis considered, and to the conclusion of which I now proposition, and of a grateful heart.


“ Goaded and stung by the treachery of her faithless ** The idea one naturally adopts of her qualities and

friends, and almost maddened by the injuries they have appearance are, that she is noble in mind, and com

heaped upon her, she becomes desperate and ferocious manding in person and demeanour; that her counte

as a hunted tigress in defence of her young, and it seems nance was capable of all the varieties of grand and ten

that existence itself must nearly issue forth with the der expression, often agonized, though never distorted

utterance of that frantic and appalling exclamationby the vehemence of her agitations. Her voice, too,

A wicked day. and not a holy day, must have been propertied like the tuned spheres,'

What hath this day deserved ? what hath it done, etc. obedient to all the softest inflections of maternal love,

"When King Philip says to herto all the pathos of the most exquisite sensibility, to the

By heaven, lady, you shall have no cause sadden burst of heart-rending sorrow, and to the terri.

To curse the fair proceedings of this day.

Have I not pawn'd to you my majesty ?-fying imprecations of indignant majesty, when writhing under the miseries inflicted on her by her dastardly op

what countenance, what voice, what gesture, shall realize pressors and treacherous allies. The actress whose lot

the scorn and indignation of her reply to the heartless it is to personate this great character should be richly king of France? And then the awful, trembling solempudowed by nature for its various requirements; yet,

nity, the utter helplessness of that soul-subduing, scripeven when thus fortunately gifted, much, very much

tural, and prophetic invocationremains to be effected by herself; for in the perform

Arm, arm, you heavens, against these perjur'd kings !

A widow cries: be husband to me, heavens! ance of the part of Constance great difficulties, both Let not the hours of this ungodly day inental and physical, present themselves. And perhaps Wear out the day in peace; but, ere sunset, the greatest of the former class is that of imperiously Set armed discord 'twixt these perjur'd kings. holding the mind reined in to the immediate perception If it ever were, or ever shall be, portrayed with its of those calamitous circunstances which take place appropriate and solemn energy, it must be then, and daring the course of her sadly eventful history. The then only, when the power I have so much insisted on, necessity for this severe abstraction will sufficiently ap co-operating also with a high degree of enthusiasm, pear, when we remember that all those calamitous shall have transfused the mind of the actress into the events occur while she herself is absent from the stage ; person and situation of the august and afflicted Conso that this power is indispensable for that reason alone, stance. The difficulty, too, of representing, with temwere there no other to be assigned for it. Because, if pered rage and dignified contempt, the biting sarcasm the representative of Constance shall ever forget, even of the speeches to Austria, (act ini. scene 1,) may be behind the scenes, those disastrous events which impel more easily imagined than explained. ber to break forth into the overwhelming effusions of “ But, in truth, to beget, in these whirlwinds of the wounded friendship, disappointed ambition, and mater soul, such temperance as, according to the lesson of our nal tenderness, upon the first moment of her appearance inspired master, shall give them smoothness, is a ditti. in the third act, when stunned with terrible surprise || culty which those only can appreciate who have made she exclaims

the effort.

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“I cannot, indeed, conceive, in the whole range of hausts the frame which endeavours to express its agitirdramatic character, a greater difficulty than that of rep

tions." resenting this grand creature. Brought before the audience in the plenitude of her afflictions; oppression

Constance reminds the reader at once of Volumnia and falsehood having effected their destructive mark; the full storm of adversity, in short, having fallen upon deep maternal affection, and her energy of character

and of Juliet-of the Roman matron in her loftiness, ber her in the interval of their absence from her sight, the effort of pouring properly forth so much passion as past tion to the single object of her affection, her excitable

and of Juliet in her all-absorbing passion, her self-devo. events have excited in her, without any visible previous fancy, and her consequent vivid and luxuriant iinagers. progress towards her climax of desperation, seems almost to exceed the power of imitation. Hers is an

and passionate eloquence. Both these parallels har

been traced by Mrs. Jameson, with great taste and dia. affliction of so 'sudden floodgate and o’erbearing nature,' that art despairs of realizing it, and the effort is ing attributes of the character:

crimination, who thus states her conception of the lealalmost life-exhausting. Therefore, whether the majestic, the passionate, the tender Constance, has ever yet “That which strikes us as the principal attribute of been, or ever will be, personated to the entire satisfac- || Constance is porrer-power of imagination, of will, ut tion of sound judgment and fine taste, I believe to be passion, of affection, of pride: the moral energy, th: doubtful; for I believe it to be nearly impossible. faculty which is principally exercised in self-control, trach

" I now come to the concluding scene: and I believe I gives consistency to the rest, is deficient; or rather, to shull not be thought singular when I assert, that though speak more correctly, the extraordinary development she has been designated the ambitious Constance, she of sensibility and imagination, which lends to the charhas been ambitious only for her son. It was for him. acter its rich poetical colouring, leares the other quaiiaud hiin alone, that she aspired to, and struggled for, | ties comparatively subordinate. Hence it is that ilx. hereditary sovereignty. For example, yon find that, whole complexion of the character, notwithstanding is from that fatal moment when he is separated from her, amazing grandeur, is so exquisitely feminine. The not one regret for lost regal power or splendour ever weakness of the woman, who, by the very consciousescapes from her lips; no, not one idea does she from ness of that weakness, is worked up to desperation and that instant utter, which does not unanswerably prove defiance—the fluctuations of temper and the bursts of that all other considerations are annihilated in the sublime passion, the terrors, the impatience, and the grievous recollections of motherly love. That scene, tears,—are all most true to feminine nature. The en: (act iii. scene 4,) I think, must determine that maternal ergy of Constance, not being based upon strength of tenderness is the predominant feature of her character. character, rises and falls with the tide of passion. Her

“ Her gorgeous affliction, if such an expression is al- haughty spirit swells against resistance, and is excited lowable, is of so sublime and so intense a character, that into frenzy by sorrow and disappointment; while nethe personation of its grandeur, with the utterance of ther from her towering pride, nor her strength of intelits rapid and astonishing eloquence, almost overwhelms lect, can she borrow patience to submit, or fortitude to the mind that meditates its realization, and utterly ex endure."


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