Графични страници
PDF файл

to be gently entreated and coaxed, but tain that Shakespeare's case would have an enemy to be fiercely wrestled with and been given, as the doctor is very chary conquered. In common with most prac- of recording his failures. But who was titioners of his time, he had some very Shakespeare's apothecary or surgeon ? nasty and coarse medicines. He often A pocket-book of Hall's is said to have gave “juyce of goose-dung", and frog. once been in the possession of Malone, spawn water as tonics, and one of his fa- in which there was a statement that his vourite catalpasms was, “ R., a swallow's name was Nason, but in another place nest, straw, sticks, dung, and all.” Pow-corrected to Court. Now among Hall's dered human skull and even human fat patients we find both “ John Nason of are strongly recommended, and he fre-Stratford, Barber,” and “ Mrs. Grace quently prescribes a restorative made Court, wife to my apothecary.” In those from snails and earth-worms. Medicine days the lancet had scarcely been diat this period was in a state of transition, vorced from the razor, so probably both and the old remedies, based for the most names are correct, Court being the apothpart upon the doctrine of sympathies and ecary, and Nason acting as surgeon or correspondences, still held their own blood-letter. We are told by Ward, afagainst the new and better practice which terwards Vicar of Stratford, and also at acknowledged no authority but experi- the same time practising as a physician ment and observation. In turning over | - a not uncommon conjunction of offices the pages of this book we cannot fail to in the seventeenth century — that Shake. be struck by the great prevalence of fe- speare died of a fever, contracted at a vers and agues. Many varieties are men-merry meeting with his friends Drayton tioned by Hall, such as “the malign and Ben Jonson.* In that year (1616) spotted fever," "erratic fever," the “un- we find from the entries in the Parish garic fever," the “new fever," and ter- Register that the fever was unusually tians and quotidians of many kinds; and active in Stratford, and it is probable, as a result of these, probably, we contin-therefore, that we may acquit the feastually meet with cases of “hypochondriac ing of any share in the poet's death. melancholy.” If the cases in this book in the autumn of 1632 the fever again are to be taken as fairly representative, became terribly busy, in Hall's words, it follows that the popular ideal of the killing almost all that it did infect," and land of Shakespeare must be consider the doctor himself nearly fell a victim ably modified. Stratford was no bucolic to it. From the way in which his disorparadise of red-faced yokels, but a town der was treated, in the first instance by of lean and melancholy invalids : a very himself, and afterwards, as he grew nursery of Hamlets, Timons, and worse, by a friendly physician from WarJacques', scarcely ever free from — wick — and which was, in fact, the routine ... burning fevers, agues pale and faint;

practice of the period — we may gather a Life-poisoning pestilence, and frenzies wood; pretty accurate idea of the last hours in Surfeits, imposthumes, grief, and damn'd this world of that bright but saddened and despair.

world-worn spirit- inhabiter of that most

eminent of all “eminent English bodies," It is, perhaps, worth notice that no I which seventeen years before had lain great poet has so frequently employed burning and tossing in the same house, images derived from these diseases. probably in the same room. The battle The physicist of the future who, upon commenced in the usual manner, by some advanced stage of Mr. Buckle's bleeding: “8 oz. from the liver-vein ;' thesis, will expound to our grandsons the and was followed up by active cathartics, various causes which led up to that most Afterwards, at frequent intervals, they wonderful of all phenomena, SHAKE- gave him a strong decoction of hartshorn, SPEARE, will no doubt have much to say the effects of which naturally made him, about the influence of locality in produ- as he says, “ much macerated and weakcing the morbid melancholy which, in ened, so that I could not turn myself in place and out of place, seems to pervade bed;" and between the doses of hartsevery page of his writings. There is lit- horn he took an electuary, of which the tle doubt that Hall would be Shake- principal ingredient was the famous powspeare's attendant during his last illness, der of gems, then much in vogue, and although we have no account of it in this book, the entries in which unfortunately * Diary of the Rev. John Ward, Vicar of Stratcomposed of jacynths, smardines, rubies, I to the indifference displayed by his great leaf-gold, and red coral. At night he father-in-law, exhibits a laudable anxiety swallowed potions of diascordium and for his literary progeny. As for my syrup of poppies, and in the morning manuscripts, I would have given them to more cathartics to drive away the little Mr. Boles if he had been here, but foraslife still left. The heart gradually sink- much as he is not here present, you may, ing, a plaster of musk and aromatics was son Nash, burn them or do with them applied to the breast; and then, the what you please.” Such is the wondrous poor weakened brain wandering, and the diversity of human nature, Macbeth and troubled spirit ready to pass the thresh- Othello are dismissed without a word to old, a pigeon was cut open, and its raw the tender mercies of ignorant players, flesh applied warm to the soles of his feet, and still more ignorant printers, or, for in the expectation that the vital magnet the matter of that, to the chances of utter ism of the bird would draw away the hu- oblivion ; but Dr. Hall upon his bed of mours from the head. And then! In death, is troubled about his poor little Shakespeare's case, we know how it case-books. The way in which the presended; but Dr. Hall, who must have had ent book came to be published is detailed the constitution of a horse, recovered. by Cooke in an address to the reader pre

ford-upon-Avon. Edited by Severn. London, 1839.

Dr. Ward, like Hall, left behind him a number of MS. his death, although it is by no means cer-case-books.

The book entirely corroborates the fixed to the first edition, but omitted in well-known and persistent Stratford tra- | the succeeding impressions. At the bedition that the immediate descendants of ginning of the Civil Wars, probably in Shakespeare were Puritans, and there- 1642, Cooke, then quite a young man, was fore inclined to hold the writings of their acting as surgeon to the Roundhead troop illustrious relative in little respect. Dr. who were keeping the bridge at Stratford, Hall was certainly a Puritan of a very and quartered with him was “a mate pronounced type. The word “bodies 's allied to the gentleman who wrote the upon his title-page seems to imply a reser-observations." This young man invited vation as to souls which savours of this Cooke to New Place to see the books left school, and the book abounds in the pious by Dr. Hall. Mrs. Hall showed him the phrases which at that time were certain books, and then said " she had some shibboleths of the sect. Cooke, the edi- [other books left by one that professed tor, tells us that "he was in great fame physic with her husband, for some money. for his skill far and near; and this I take I told her that if I liked them I would to be a great sign of his ability, that give her the money again.” Mrs. Hall such who spare not for cost, and they then “brought them forth, amongst which who have more than ordinary understand there was this, with another of the auing, nay, such as hated him for his reli- thor's, both intended for the press. I begion, often made use of him.” When ing acquainted with Mr. Hall's hand, told Dowdall visited Stratford in 1693, the her that one or two of them were her hus. earliest pilgrim who has left an account of band's, and showed them to her. She his visit, he made friends with the parish denied, I affirmed, till I perceived she beclerk, who was then upwards of eighty gan to be offended, and at last I returned years old. While viewing the church, her the money." This is the only scrap the old man pointed to Shakespeare's of intelligence, save the inscription upon tomb, and said emphatically, “ He was her monument, which time has left us the best of his family”! This has always about Shakespeare's daughter, and it seemed to us the most expressive testi- must be allowed that it does not show her mony, and, from the old town gossip's in a pleasant light. Mistress Hall was point of view, speaks volumes, plainly certainly wise in a worldly sense, as well telling of a bright period of generous liv- as “wise to salvation.” We may, pering at the New Place, too soon followed haps, however, derive from the incident by a time of darkness, when cakes and a consolatary inference. The tradition ale were not.

mongers have always delighted to rack John Hall died in November 1635. By our imagination with visions of the burnhis nuncupative will, made on the day ing of Shakespeare's manuscripts at the of his death, he left his "study of books hands of a Puritanic and unsympathetic - and amongst these, unless they had kindred. The fair bargainer of the above undergone a similar sifting to that be- scene was not the woman to dispose of stowed upon Don Quixote's, would be the her father's manuscripts — if there were priceless Shakespeare Library – to his any — without a proper consideration, son-in-law Nash, to dispose of them as and the probability seems to be that you see good," and, in striking contrast' Heminge and Condell would get them all. But we must not be led into doing injus-terms, with an exordium on “the incon. tice to Mrs. Hall. It is quite possible veniences of plays being very seriously that Cooke may have been mistaken in considered of, and their unlawfulness, the inference which he evidently intends and increasing the penalty to ten pounds. us to draw. We know that it is quite Stratford also in those days was greatly possible for even the largest-hearted and troubled and excited about the enclos. most sympathetic of women to be a dead ures. Combe and Mannering, two of the hand at a bargain, and after all there is largest landowners, wished to enclose a no crime in desiring to change a number part of the common-field, and the small of musty little manuscripts into current owners and the townsmen generally, havcoin of the realm. Mrs. Hall's tomb- ing probably certain rights at stake, restone in Stratford Church asks us — sisted vigorously. A portion of ShakeTo weepe with her that wept with all

speare's estate would be injuriously af

fected by the change; and almost the That wept, yet set herselfe to chere

only morsel of information left to us Them up with comforts cordiall;

about his private life, except the will and which could hardly have been said of a the legal documents relating to his propnarrow-minded woman.

erty, has reference to this agitation. It We have endeavoured in vain to dis- lis a memorandum in the handwriting of cover some trace of Hall's parentage or the Town Clerk, to the effect that “Mr. extraction. His name does not occur Shakespeare told Mr. J. Greene that he upon the Register of the College of Phy- was not able to beare the enclosing of sicians, or upon those of the Universities, Welcombe," and is dated September 1, and, as Cooke tells us that he was a good 1615. a few months only before his death. French scholar and had travelled, it is in the same year an application to reprobable that his degree was from Leyden strain the enclosers was made to Lord or Paris. There was a John Hall who Chief Justice Coke, at Warwick Assizes, practised at Maidstone about 1565, and and some idea of the temper of the published a translation of Lanfranc's townsmen may be obtained from the orfamous Ars Chirurgica. This Hall also der of the Court, which censures Combe published some poetry of a religious cast, and his friends, and declares that the and was a very decided Puritan. Is it order is taken for preventynge of tupossible that our Dr. Hall could have

uld have mults, whereof in this very towne of late, been a son or nephew of his? There is upon these occasions, there had been certainly a curious intellectual relation- lyke to have been an evill begynninge of ship in the style of the two men.

some great mischiefe.It is amusing, how the real state of This was Arcadian Stratford. affairs at Stratford, during the last years

C. ELLIOT BROWNE. of Shakespeare's life, differed from that which has been pictured for us by the sentimental biographers who have surrounded the poet in his retirement with troops of admiring worshippers. The

From Chambers' Journal. truth seems to be that Stratford was !

COLOUR IN ANIMALS. a perfect hotbed of religious and do- ! THE variety of colouring in animal life mestic strife. The municipal govern- is one of the marvels of nature, only now ment was in the hands of a narrow Puri-beginning to be studied scientifically. It tan majority, who administered the local is vain to say that an animal is beautiful, affairs in the spirit of a Scottish Kirk ses- either in symmetry or diversity of colour, sion, pretending to a strict control over in order to please the human eye. Fishes the personal morals of the inhabitants. in the depths of the Indian seas, where In 1602 we learn from the town records, i no human eye can see them, possess the published from the originals by Mr. Hal- most gorgeous tints. One thing is reliwell, that amongst other attempts at markable : birds, fishes, and insects reformation they passed a resolution that alone possess the metallic colouring ; “ no plays should be played in the cham- whilst plants and zoophytes are without ber," and that any of the council who reflecting shades. The mollusca take a shall “ give leave or license thereto” middle path with their hue of mother-ofshould forfeit-ten shillings; and again in pearl. What is the reason of these ar1612, when their illustrious townsman rangements in the animal kingdom ? It was in the very zenith of his fame, they is a question which cannot be satisfactorepeated the resolution in still stronger i rily answered; but some observations have been made which throw light on the substances have it in themselves, owing subject. One is, that among animals, to molecular arrangement, but usually the part of the body turned towards the this is not the case ; the liveliest colours earth is always paler than that which is are not bound up with the tissues. Someuppermost. The action of light is here times they arise from a phenomenon like apparent. Fishes which live on the side, that by which the soap-bubble shews its as the sole and turbot, have the left side, prismatic hues ; sometimes there is a which answers to the back, of a dark special matter called pigment which is tint; whilst the other side is white. It united with the organic substance. Such may be noticed that birds which flv, as it is the brilliant paint, carmine, which is were, bathed in light do not offer the the pigment of the cochineal insect, and strong contrast of tone between the upper the red colour of blood, which may be and lower side. Beetles, wasps, and collected in crystals, separate from the flies have the metallic colouring of blue other particles to which it is united. and green, possess rings equally dark all Even the powder not unknown to laround the body; and the wings of many dies of fashion is one of Nature's beaubutterflies are as beautifully feathered tifying means. That which is left on the below as above.

hands of the ruthless boy when he has On the other hand, mollusca which live caught a butterfly, is a common instance ; in an almost closed shell, like the oyster, but there are birds, such as the large are nearly colourless; the larvæ of in- white cockatoo, which leave a white sects found in the ground or in wood powder on the hands. An African travelhave the same whiteness, as well as all ler speaks of his astonishment on a rainy intestinal worms shut up in obscurity. day to see his hands reddened by the Some insects whose life is spent in dark- moist plumage of a bird he had just killed. ness keep this appearance all their lives; The most ordinary way, however, in such as the curious little beetles inhabit- which the pigment is found is when it ing the inaccessible crevasses of snowy exists in the depths of the tissues, re. mountains, in whose depths they are hid-duced to very fine particles, best seen den. They seem to fly from light as under the microscope. When scattered, from death, and are only found at cer- they scarcely influence the shade ; but tain seasons, when they crawl on the when close together, they are very perflooring of the caves like larvæ, without ceptible. This explains the colour of eyes, which would be useless in the re- the negro: under the very delicate laver treats where they usually dwell.

of skin which is raised by a slight burn This relation between colouring and there may be seen abundance of brown light is very evident in the beings which pigment in the black man. It is quite inhabit the earth and the air; those are superficial, for the skin differs only from the most brilliant which are exposed to that of the European in tone; it wants the sun; those of the tropics are brighter the exquisite transparency of fair races. than in the regions around the North Among these, the colours which impress Pole, and the diurnal species than the the eye do not come from a flat surface, nocturnal ; but the same law does not but from the different depths of layers apparently belong to the inhabitants of in the flesh. Hence the variety of rose the sea, which are of a richer shade and lily tints according as the blood where the light is more tempered. The circulates more or less freely ; hence the most dazzling corals are those which blue veins, which give a false appearhang under the natural cornices of the ance, because the blood is red; but the rocks and on the sides of submarine grot- skin thus dyes the deep tones which lie toes ; while some kinds of fish which are beneath it; tattooing with Indian ink is found on the shores as well as in depths blue, blue eyes owe their shade to the requiring the drag-net, have a bright red brown pigment which lines the other side purple in the latter regions, and an insig- of the iris, and the muscles seen under the nificant yellow brown in the former. skin produce the bluish tone well known Those who bring up gold-fish know well to painters. that to have them finely coloured, they! The chemical nature of pigment is litmust place them in a shaded vase, where tle known; the sun evidently favours its aquatic plants hide them from the ex- development in red patches. Age takes treme solar heat. Under a hot July sun it away from the hair when it turns white, they lose their beauty.

the colouring-matter giving place to very The causes to which animal colouring small air-bubbles. The brilliant white is due are very various. ( Some living of feathers is due to the air which fills them. Age, and domestic habits extent of the chromatic scale. Whilst the changed for a wild state, alter the ap- humming-bird partakes in its colours of pearance of many birds and animals ; in the whole of the spectrum from the violet some species the feathers and fur grow to the red, passing through green, those white every year before falling off and of the butterflies prefer the more refrangibeing renewed ; as in the ermine, in ble ones from green to violet, passing spring the fur which is so valued assumes through blue. The admirable lilac shade a yellow hue, and after a few months, of the Morpho menelas and the Morpho becomes white before winter.

cypris is well known, and the wings of It would, however, be an error to sup- these butterflies have been used by the pose that all the exquisite metallic shades jewellers, carefully laid under a thin which diaper the feathers of birds and plate of mica, and made into ornaments. the wings of butterflies arise from pig- A bright green is not uncommon, but the ments ; it was a dream of the alchemists metallic red is rare, excepting in a beauto try to extract them. Their sole cause tiful butterfly of Madagascar, closely is the play of light, fugitive as the allied to one found in India and Ceylon. sparkles of the diamond. When the The latter has wings of a velvet black beautiful feathers on the breast of a hum- with brilliant green spots; in the former, ming-bird are examined under the micro- these give place to a mark of fiery red. scope, it is astonishing to see none of There is the same difference between the shades the mystery of which you the metallic hues of creatures endowed would penetrate. They are simply made with fight and the iris shades of fishes, of a dark-brown opaque substance not that there is between crystallized bisunlike those of a black duck. There is, I muth and the soft reflections of the however, a remarkable arrangement; the changing opal.. To have an idea of the barb of the feather, instead of being a richness of the fish, it is only necessary fringed stem, offers a series of small to see a net landed filled with shad or squares of horny substance placed point other bright fish. It is one immense to point. These plates, of infinitesimal | opal, with the same transparency of shade size, are extremely thin, brown, and, to all seen through the scales, which afford the appearance, exactly alike, whatever may only means of imitating pearls. It is due, be the reflection they give. The brilliant however, not to the scales, but to exlarge feathers of the peacock are the tremely thin layers lying below the scales same; the plates are only at a greater under the skin and round the blooddistance, and of less brightness. They vessels, which look like so many threads have been described as so many little of silver running through the flesh. mirrors, but that comparison is not cor- Réaumur first noticed and described rect, for then they would only give back them; sometimes their form is as regulight without colouring it. Neither do lar as that of a crystal, and of infinitesithey act by decomposing the rays which mal size and thickness. The art of the pass through them, for then they would makers of false pearls is to collect these not lose their iris tints under the micro-plates in a mass from the fish, and make scope. It is to metals alone that the me- a paste of them with the addition of glue, tallic plumage of the humming-birds can which is pompously named “Eastern be compared ; the effects of the plates in Essence.” This is put inside glass a feather are like tempered steel or crys- beads, and gives them the native whitetallized bismuth. Certain specimens emit ness of pearls. colours very variable under different Many observations have been made angles, the same scarlet feather becom- lately by our naturalists as to the deing, when turned to ninety degrees, a fence which colour supplies to animals : beautiful emerald green.

hares, rabbits, stags, and goats possess The same process which nature has the most favourable shade for concealing followed in the humming-bird is also them in the depths of the forest or in the found in the wing of the butterfly. It is fields. It is well known that when the covered with microscopic scales, which | Volunteer corps were enrolled, and the play the part of the feather, arranged most suitable colour for the riflemen was like the tiles of a house, and taking the discussed, it was supposed to bé green. most elegant forms. They also lose Soldiers dressed in different shades were their colour under magnifying power, and placed in woods and plains, to try which the quality of reflection shews that the offered the best concealment. Contrary phenomena are the same as in feathers. to expectation, that which escaped the There is, however, a difference in the ex-l eyes of the enemy was not green, but

« ПредишнаНапред »