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and apprehensions of others. Claudio is the only person who feels naturally; and yet he is placed in circumstances of distress which almost preclude the wish for his deliverance. Mariana is also in love with Angelo, whom we hate. In this respect, there may be said to be a general system of cross-purposes between the feelings of the differ. ent characters and the sympathy of the reader or the audience. This principle of repugnance seems to have reached its height in the character of Master Barnardine, who not only sets at defiance the opinions of others, but has even thrown off all selfregard,"one that apprehends death no more dreadfully but as a drunken sleep ; careless, reckless, and fearless of what's past, present, and to come.” He is a fine antithesis to the morality and the hypocrisy of the other characters of the play. Barnardine is Caliban transported from Prospero's wizard island to the forests of Bohemia or the prisons of Vienna. . He is the creature of bad habits as Caliban is of gross instincts. He has however a strong notion of the natural fitness of things, according to his own sensations-" He has been drinking hard all night, and he will not be hanged that day”-and Shakspeare has let him off at last. We do not understand why the philosophical German critick, Schlegel, should be so severe on those pleasant persons, Lucio, Pompey, and Master Froth, as to call them “ wretches." They appear all mighty comfortable in their occupations, and determined to pursue them, “as the filesh and fortune should serve." A very good exposure of the want of self-knowledge and contempt for others, which
is so common in the world, is put into the mouth of Abhorson, the jailor, when the Provost proposes to associate Pompey with him in bis office" A bawd, sir ? Fie upon him, he will discredit our mystery.” And the same answer would serve in nine instances out of ten to the same kind of remark, “Go to, sir, you weigh equally ; a feather will turn the scale.” Shakspeare was in one sense the least moral of all writers; for morality (commonly so called) is made up of antipathies; and his talent consisted in sympathy with human nature, in all its shapes, degrees, depressions, and elevations. The object of the pedantiek moralist is to find out the bad in every thing : his was to shew that " there is some soul of goodness in things evil." Even Master Barnardine is not left to the mercy of what others think of him; but when he comes in, speaks for himself, and pleads his own cause, as well as if counsel had been assigned him. sense, Shakspeare was no moralist at all : in another, he was the greatest of all moralists. He was a moralist in the same sense in which nature is
He taught what he had learnt from her. He shewed the greatest knowledge of humanity with the greatest fellow-feeling for it.
One of the most dramatick passages in the present play is the interview between Claudio and his sister, when she comes to inform him of the conditions on which Angelo will spare his life.
" Clrudio. Let me know the point.
Isabella. O, I do fear thee, Claudio : and I quake,
Than a perpetual honour. Dar’st thou die ?
Claudio. Why give you me this shame?
Isabella. There spake my brother ! there my father's grave
Claudio. The princely Angelo ?
Isabella. Oh, 'tis the cunning livery of hell,
Claudio. Oh, heavens ! it cannot be.
Isabella. Yes, he would give it thee, for this rank offence, So to offend him still : this night's the time That I should do what I abhor to pame, Or else thou dy'st to-morrow.
Claudio. Thou shalt oot do't.
Isabella. Oh, were it but my life,
Claudio. Thanks, dear Isabel.
Claudio. Yes.—Has he affections in him,
Isabella. Which is the least ?
Claudio. If it were damnable, he, being so wise,
Isabella. What says my brother?
Claudio. Aye, but to die, and go we know not where;
Isabella. Alas! alas!
Claudio. Sweet sister, let me live:
Wbat adds to the dramatick beauty of this scene and the effect of Claudio's passionate attachment to life is, that it immediately follows the Duke's lecture to him, in the character of the Friar, recommending an absolute indifference to it.
-“Reason thus with life,
For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork