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that the self-possession he displayed made him, or caused him to be considered, the original of Miss Edgeworth's portrait of Lord Oldborough pursued by the mob in Patronage.'
As Lord Castlereagh was stepping from his carriage to enter the House of Commons, a dead cat whizzed past him so close as to strike back the lappel of his coat. He turned, took off his hat, bowed to the populace, and walked in amidst thunders of applause. His fine person and distinguished air were an immense advantage ; and so early as May 18th in the same year Lord Cornwallis writes:
• Lord Castlereagh has improved so much as a speaker as to become nearly master of the House of Commons; and the gratification of national pride, which the Irish feel at the prospect of his making a figure in the great political world, has much diminished the unpopularity which his cold and distant manners in private society had produced.'
We need not dwell on the ensuing stages or details. On April 2, 1800, Lord Castlereagh was able to state, for Mr. Pitt's information, that in the Peers, out of 230, not more than 27 were hostile ; and that, on an analysis of the landed income of the supporters and opponents of the Union in both Houses, he found 1,058,2001. for, and 358,5001. against. On June 8th the Bill was read a third time and passed. The fatal sentence,' concludes Sir Jonah, was now pronounced. For an instant he (the Speaker) stood statue-like; then indignantly and with disgust flung the Bill upon the table, and sank into his chair with an exhausted spirit. An independent country was thus degraded into a province-Ireland, as a nation, was extinguished,
Grattan had already spoken her funeral oration:
• Yet I do not give up the country—I see her in a swoon, but she is not dead-though in her tomb she lies helpless and motionless, still there is on her lips a spirit of life, and on her cheek a glow of beauty :
66 Thou art not conquer'd; beauty's ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
And death's pale flag is not advanced there." While a plank of the vessel sticks together I will not leave her. Let the courtier present his flimsy sail, and carry the light bark of his faith, with every new breath of wind—I will remain anchored here—with fidelity to the fortunes of my country, faithful to her freedom, faithful to her fall.'
Lord Brougham in more sober prose deliberately awards Lord Cornwallis the praise of abating the greatest public nuisance of modern times, the profligate, shameless, and corrupt Irish
parliament.' He himself (June 7th) thus speculates on his exploit:
• This country could not be saved without the Union, but you must not take it for granted that it will be saved by it. Much care and management will be necessary, and if the British Government place their confidence in an Irish faction all will be ruined.'
In exact proportion to the extent or manner in which this sage suggestion has been disregarded or attended to, has Ireland ever since retrograded into agitation and adversity, or progressed and gained glimpses of prosperity and peace.
The subsequent correspondence betrays some unwillingness in the Ministry to perform the promises given in their name, or on their behalf, for places, pensions, and peerages; and when at last they consented (June 25th), Lord Cornwallis exclaims :—“There are too many in the Cabinet who meddle about the business of Ireland. Would to God I had done with them-Cabinet and all. But he had not the smallest intention of having done with them; and, notwithstanding all his longings for repose, he died as he had lived-in State harness.
On Mr. Pitt's retiring from office in 1801, because he was not permitted to secure what he deemed the full benefits of the Union by Catholic Emancipation, Lord Cornwallis resigned the Viceroyalty. When the French invasion was threatened during the same year, he was appointed to the command of the eastern district. As already stated, he negotiated the Peace of Amiens, and afterwards became once again the Governor-General of India, where he died. The interest of the Correspondence continues unabated, but we have exhausted all the space we could devote to it.
These volumes will ensure to Charles, first Marquis Cornwallis, a much bigher place in history than has been conventionally assigned to him. They prove him to have been a great deal more than a brave and honest general and administrator, of respectable talents, flung by the accident of birth and royal favour into elevated situations. He had large views, a cultivated and correct understanding, a keen insight into character, much energy, much enterprise, much fertility of resource, a chivalrous attachment to king and country, and unshaken resolution in doing or enforcing what he thought right. We have already spoken of his love of truth, and of his boldness in enouncing it. These are great qualities, and they were thoroughly tested by a long and eminently useful career. Capax imperii nisi imperasset, was exactly reversed in his case. It was because he had governed and commanded that he was required to govern and command
again. Nothing short of an exalted estimate of his capacity, founded on his former services, can account for his reappointment to be Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief in India in 1797, and again, after he had been tried on a different arena, in 1805. But there was nothing showy or flashy about him, and brilliant reputation is seldom acquired by moderate and prudent counsels, by the unassuming performance of duty, by undeviating rectitude of purpose, or by the quiet exercise of that most valuable of intellectual acquirements or gifts, good sense.
It has been plausibly contended that a man's success in life is not unfrequently retarded by his virtues and accelerated by his defects. This is equally true of fame. Lord Cornwallis would have been more (if not better) known, if his ambition had been turbulent and noisy, or if he had been endowed with a little of that demonstrative vanity which brings the popularity-hunter eternally before the foot lights. In most of those who obtain the privilege of being pointed at by the crowd, the envied quod monstrer digito prætereuntium—there is a spice of the charlatan. In him there was not a particle of it; and no thronging associations are kindled, no familiar chord is struck, no phosphoric light emitted, by his name. But there is providentially a self-adjusting, compensating principle in human affairs. The clamorous applause of the many may prove less durable than the calm approval of the few; and whatever outward marks of renown have been
; withheld from the meritorious public servant by contemporaries, will be amply made good by the discriminating judgment of posterity.
ART. II.— The Works of William Shakespeare. The Text revised by the Rev. Alexander Dyce. In 6 vols. 8vo. London, 1858. MINUTE examination has satisfied us that this is the best
text of Shakespeare which has yet been given to the world. Though our great dramatist never had an editor more careful than Mr. Dyce, there is no edition of his works, the product of original reflection and research, in which the labour bestowed upon it is put forward with so little ostentation. Not a single knot of comment breaks the thread of the poet's argument. We find, on examination, that a rare skill has been spent in the endeavour to set down Shakespeare's words with the least possible inaccuracy, but there is no suggestion of the vast amount of thought and reading by which the result has been attained. Over his own course the hero moves without impediment. He
is the knight, his editor the squire, who has spent many an hour in rubbing time-spots from the polished shield. But he does not therefore, on every occasion, demand attention to the leather and the brickdust. Nothing diverts attention from the poet's ideas to a discussion of his words until each play having been read to the end, we are at leisure to consider the verbal questions that arise out of it. The notes then given are few, brief, and to the point.
Shakespeare himself being thus clearly set before us, we are left free to think of his works as something else than a repertory of grammatical riddles. Not that we undervalue the minute research and criticism that have been spent during the last century and a half on his life and writings. In the midst of their contentions, Shakespeare's editors have, as a body, done fair justice to his works, and service to his fame. From Rowe downwards there is not one person of name among the number who has not furnished something towards the perfecting of that text which Mr. Dyce now seeks to give us in its purest state, and to dissociate, as much as possible, from the controversies through which it has passed. But there is another sort of homage due to Shakespeare than that which consists in the reverent endeavour to restore his text--the homage due to him from all scenes of Europe, and which Ben Jonson expressed when he said, 'I do honour his memory on this side idolatry as much as any.' Of this also Mr. Dyce is a worthy exponent. He opposes the saying of Hazlitt, that Shakespeare, amongst the dramatists of Elizabeth and James's days, was one of a race of giants, the tallest, the strongest, the most graceful and beautiful of them ; but that nevertheless it was a common and a noble brood.
"A falser remark,' Mr. Dyce observes, 'I conceive, has seldom been made by critic. Shakespeare is not only immeasurably superior to the dramatists of his time, in creative power, in insight into the human heart, and in profound thought, but he is moreover utterly unlike them in almost every respect,--unlike them in his method of developing character, in his diction, in his versification ; nor should it be forgotten that some of those scenes which have been most admired in the works of his contemporaries were intended to affect the audience at the expense of nature and probability, and therefore stand in marked contrast to all that we possess as unquestionably from the pen of Shakespeare.'
This sharp line of division between Shakespeare and · his fellows' is drawn for us by the student of our literature who speaks with the fullest knowledge of the men whom he seems to disparage; for Mr. Dyce was the first editor of Peele, Greene, Middleton, and Webster, and the first competent editor of Beau
mont and Fletcher, and of Marlowe, true men of their time, and foremost men in it. But Shakespeare had the spirit of all time contained within himself; and never did he make his independence of the taste and knowledge of his day more evident, than in his manner of fulfilling its demands. Kyd or Webster could not, in a play of a dozen persons, have done more for the groundlings than produce one as a ghost, kill eight in the course of the performance by sword, drowning, or poison, and leave the one character of any note among the three survivors, only biding the right time for suicide. Yet under one aspect this is a summary of Hamlet.' Which of Hazlitt's other giants could have written anything resembling Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' from such materials ?
In England it is generally understood that Shakespeare's plays are the first in which all the persons of the drama became, in the true sense of the word, its characters. This is the fact hat made him as fertile among poets after death, as Bacon has been fertile among philosophers. Before he arose, the habit of referring everything to an exact study of nature did not exist. Shakespeare and Marlowe are not more unlike than Bacon and Cardan. But it is not until we see the state of the drama both in this and other countries at the same period that we can perceive the true place and comparative greatness of Shakespeare. Indeed, the shifting influences exercised by the several nations of Europe upon each other are not less marked in their literature than in their politics. The writings of the Italian novelists, and the history of the stage in Spain and Germany, nearly concern the student of our Elizabethan drama; and the English stage in the days of the Restoration can be understood only by reference to the theatres of Spain and France.
Everywhere starting from the same point of connexion with the church, the drama made unequal progress in each country, moving always by like steps. The monks made use of the instinct of mimicry which they found blended among the people with their gayest sports. An infant begins life with mimicry : its first intellectual exercise is a dramatic effort. The priests, having a rude people to instruct, compiled of old that famous book of anecdotes and tales, the 'Gesta Romanorum,' which is a repertory of entertaining matter, classed, like the contents of a modern hymnbook, under such heads as “Of Love,' 'Of Fidelity,' 'Of Depravity,' Of Inordinate Pride,' and intended to be used for the enlivenment of sermons. Every tale was followed by its interpretation, duly beginning with the church phrase, My beloved :' _My beloved, the emperor is,'My beloved, the lady is,' or My beloved, the soldier is,'-—and so forth. In the like spirit the