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tue, a quality that had no existence in her mind. But even she deseribes him as rather fearing to do, than wishing to have undone, as wicked enough to do a deed of shame, but shrinking from the perpetration. When his wife first converses with him on the subject of the murder, he does not revolt from the idea as if new to him, but entertains the project as if long familiar: he agrees at once to “ look like the innocent flower, and be the serpent under it," and only wishes to confer further on the business. When alone, he has full opportunity to reflect on the enormity of the contemplated crime, and to repent of his wicked determination; and he does for a moment relinquish the idea. Not because conscience tells him it is wrong; her voice is never heard : not because he anticipates punishment hereafter; he disregards futurity: but because the assassination, which he considers nothing, will not trammel up the consequence. What consequence? the judgment here, but here, upon this bank and shoalof time:" and though he advances as auxiliary arguments, the rights of hospitality, and the meek virtues of this Duncan, yet they are merely brought in with a besides, after his mind has been operated on by its childish fears. On his informing Lady Macbeth that he will proceed no farther, she declares it to be his own project, which he first broke to her: and when assured that they cannot fail, he becomes immediately settled to the bloody deed.
Could a mind of innocence or virtue be actuated by feelings and so readily prompted to deeds like these? a moment of unbri. dled passion whether of love or hatred, may sometimes be the sea. son of the greatest crime; but when passion ceases, remorse ensues. Not so with Macbeth. His fears of discovery are the only forments he endures. If ambition be his excuse it was an ambition founded in corruption, not in virtue, and the superstition of his nature which induced him to believe the prediction of royalty might have rendered him satisfied to wait patiently until fate should crown him. This very superstition then forms an argument against his former virtue rather than in its favour. It is occasions that try men, and if no inducement had been offered to commit a crime, Macbeth would gain no credit by remaining to all appearance virtuous; it is in the resistance of temptation that merit appears triumphant.
The ensuing murders, and the various acts of unnecessary cruelty that his reign exhibited, may be considered the natural results of his regicide. I shall not therefore dwell upon them as evidences of the depravity of his mind, but proceed to the other part of his character his want of courage.
Macbeth has often been compared with Richard : and as the portraits were both executed by the same master it is but reasonable to collect an opinion of one, by a comparison with the other. But quantum distat ab illo. Richard is respectable in the midst of crimes; Macbeth is contemptible even on the throne. The one acts the tyrant, but he does it boldly; the other trembles under the weight of his dearly purchased crown. Surrounded by the trappings of royalty, he is in perpetual fear. A brave man it is said is never cruel, but when cruelty is necessary to promote his ambitious views: such appears to have been the idea of Shakspeare, for every step of Richard's was calculated to reach the golden crown, or to perserve it securely on his brow; but the massacres of women and children, are but the disgraceful evidences of an irresolute as well as a wicked heart. Macbeth is never for a moment at rest until assured that “ none of woman born shall harm him." Then, and not until then, pale-hearted fear is lulled to rest and slumbers only while his delusion lasts : As long he is invulnerable he has nothing to fear and of consequence fears nothing: but the moment he resumes an equality with other men, “then comes his fit again." He is ready to fly, his better part of man is cow'd, and fame and honour are sacrificed at the shrine of fear.
It was a rule of the ancient drama that actions and events exhibited on the stage should rather be impossible, if they approach to probability, than that they should be possible, if without the limits of probability. In the tragedy of Macbeth, the author has preserved this rule. Reason shows the scenes to be impossible, yet as to a vulgar mind they do not appear unnatural or altogether improbable, there is nothing abhorrent in their representation. The ghosts and witches are a pleasing machinery; they are the exuberant productions of a fertile mind. We forget their nature and admit them as familiar companions in the play.
MISCELLANY FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
I'll range the plenteous intellectual field,
UNFORTUNATELY for me, I am not blessed with any extraordinary placidity of temper. Trifles provoke me. But when vexations of more importance excite the tempest of my passion, I must give it vent; as I now do by uttering my complaints to you. I was sitting a few evenings ago, in a room-full of company, at the side of a charming girl, enjoying the delightful hilarity of soul, produced by my situation, and interchanging opinions with her on various interesting topics; when our attention was suddenly arrested by a pair of scrutinizing eyes most intently fixed on us, and apparently endeavouring to read the inmost thoughts of our souls. My fair companion immediately deserted her seat, and I was left like a disappointed Tantalus, enraged to see the delicious fruits snatched from my very lips. I muttered a half-formed oath, flew to my desk to prevent my blood-vessels from breaking, and now most generously bestow the ebullitions of my rage on you.
Now in truth, good Sir, nothing more completely deprives me of all patience, than the officiousness of certain busy, intermeddling people, who eternally pester society with their conjectural remarks, and significant shrugs to the dreadful annoyance of all honest beings, who, like myself, follow the dictates of their inclination, instead of consulting the sometimes absurd etiquettes of the world. You will be surprised, Mr. Oldschool, when I tell you, that there are very many of these prying animals, even in the most polished circles of this courtly metropolis. But it is a melancholy fact: in our most splendid ballrooms, where youth and beauty trip.it “ on the light fantastic toe of fancy," or at a pleasant converzatione, * where sympathetic souls indulge in the social converse, these dampers. of pleasure abound, and poison all our enjoyments. They resemble the little buzzing Summer-fly that intrudes upon our moments of repose, and by its incessant humming, destroys the possibility of rest. And let me tell these gentry, I should not condescend to take notice of them, were it not for the restraint they impose on society, and that Vice, when reflected in a faithful mirror, is sometimes frightened at its own deformity. It seems to be the business of their lives to pry into the secrets of others; and when
• Vulgarly called, a scald-or still more emphatically, a tea-fight.
their ingenuity has discovered, or invented anything unknown to the rest of the world, they open cry, and like yelping curs, proclaim it to every fool that will lend an attentive ear.
This disposition is not confined to eithe sex: but is as prevalent among the men, as among the fair beings of the softer mould. It is the mode of amusement resorted to by old bachelors, soured by disappointment: by young fops without brain enough to converse on rational subjects, their ideas never extending beyond the cut of a new coat, or the polish of the shining liquid blacking: and by indolent loungers, too lazy, or too ignorant to contribute to the entertainment of others. We find it very prevalent among coquettes of ancient date, who by dint of coquetry, have coquetted themselves out of all chance of a husband: among belles of declining fame, exercised towards the rising generation: and among pert misses, toward those women whose accomplishments of mind and manners have obtained them that distinguished rank of which their more youthful competitors would fain deprive them. These are the most prominent characters of the sect, but there are others of all ages, sizes, sorts, and descriptions, who occasionally indulge in this idle habit. Old people, more particularly, direct their remarks to the youthful and gay; and prove extremely troublesome to the lad of spirit, who sometimes sips the “ flowing bowl” at “ midnight's 'witching hour," or occasionally throws by the musty pages of Coke, for the more fair and legible characters stamped by the hand of divinity on the face of woman. They always remind me of my grandmother-good old soul-who, when I would come down to the breakfast table, at half past nine or ten, would boast that she had been up ever since six o'clock. Now, heaven knows, the old lady could not have slept one moment longer, had the state of the weather, or the fate of the nation depended upon it. But the memory after long service becomes weaker, and the maturity of age destroys the recollection of youthful feelings.
But a still more serious consequence results from the conduct I reprobate—the diminution of marriages. The ladies of Philadelphia are conspicuously gifted with beauty, both of person and mind; they are a very superior race of beings; uniting the vivacity of the French, with the excellent habits of the English. Their manners polished; their minds richly cultivated; in beauty unrivalled; possessing those indescribable graces which are only known by their effects; taking the judgment prisoner, and making their way direct to the heart; not devoid of those whims and caprices of their sex, which enhance their charms; increasing the brilliancy of the diamond, by adding to its points; and which have been well compared to “ shrubs which we would not plant in laying out an improvement, but, which it would be want of taste to root out, when fixed there by the hand of Nature." Such are the fair sex of our city. The young men are as numerous, and generally as accomplished, as those of any other metropolis. Yet, with so many circumstances inviting to domestic life, the temple of Hymen is almost deserted. Now and then, a solitary pair kneel at his shrine, and their extraordinary piety, is as much the subject of wonder, as a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, or a voyage to the Moon. Nor need we look far for the cause. The delicacy of a female shrinks from observation; and cannot bear the inquiring gaze, even of the insignificant being she may despise. The most amiable light in which we can view a lovely woman, is that of retiring modesty; how base then the conduct, which would put such modesty to the blush. Yet, we often see the bosom of youthful innocence, sensitive as the shorn lamb to the bleak and wintry wind, wounded by the remarks of unfeeling Impertinence. Should an ardent admirer attempt to whisper his soft tale of passion, the fair one mușt render her heart callous to the voice of humanity and love, or submit to feel her virgin cheek empurpled with the burning blush of indignation, excited by the most cruel observations.
Then come the congratulations of her dear good friends, the allusions and attempts at wit of her companions, and all the routine of smiling, shrugging, nodding, winking, and divers other modes of displaying superior wisdom; till the poor girl is fairly obliged to hate the man who adores her, and whom she could have tenderly loved, had she been permitted to follow the dictates of her own heart. Thus are nipped in the bud, a thousand incipient loves, that would crown each circling year with joy, give enchantment irresistible to the blooming cheek of beauty, and confer the blessings of domestic harmony on many, who are now condemned to the maddening glooms of celibacy.
TRANSLATED FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
The late Fair has proved that the war has not relaxed the activity of the German writers. It has only diverted their attention, in part, from objects of science to political and military events. There is no end to the books and pamphlets on Prussia; of which the catalogue of the Fair contains upwards of a hundred. Among them, the most distinguished are, the “ Observations on the Campaign,” by Colonel Massenbach, and an anonymous pamphlet, entitled “The Prussians at Dantzic.” There is a swarm too of political projects, and even