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a delightful play. Massinger is always entertaining; his plays have the interest of novels.

Alm. Were your bloods equal ?
Ant. Yes, and I thought our hearts too.
Alm. Then she must love.
Ant. She did — but never me; she could not love

She would not love, she hated; more, she scorn'd me,
And in so poor and base a way abused me,
For all my services, for all my bounties,
So bold neglects flung on me.

An ill woman!
Be like you found some rival in your love, then ?
Ant. How perfectly she points me to my story!

Madam, I did; and one whose pride and anger,
Ill manners, and worse mien, she doted on,
Doted to my undoing, and my ruin.
And, but for honour to your sacred beauty,
And reverence to the noble sex, though she fall,
As she must fall that durst be so unnoble,
I should say something unbeseeming me.
What out of love, and worthy love, I gave her,
Shame to her most unworthy mind ! to fools,
To girls, and fiddlers, to her boys she flung,
And in disdain of me.

Pray you take me with you. Of what complexion was she ? ANT.

But that I dare not

But, like most of his contemporaries, except Shakspeare, Massinger often deals in exaggerated passion. Malefort senior, in the Unnatural Combat, however he may have had the moral will to be so wicked, could never have actually done all that he is represented as guilty of, without losing his senses. He would have been in fact mad. Regan and Goneril are the only pictures of the unnatural in Shakspeare; the pure unnatural — and you will observe that Shakspeare has left their hideousness unsoftened or diversified by a single line of goodness or common human frailty. Whereas in Ed

Commit so great a sacrilege 'gainst virtue,
She look'd not much unlike — though far, far short,
Something, I see, appears — your pardon, madam -
Her eyes would smile so, but her eyes could cozen ;
And so she would look sad; but yours is pity,
A noble chorus to my wretched story;
Hers was disdain and cruelty.

Pray heaven,
Mine be no worse! he has told me a strange story.

(Aside.)" &c. – ED.

mund, for whom passion, the sense of shame as a bastard, and ambition, offer some plausible excuses, Shakspeare has placed many redeeming traits. Edmund is what, under certain circumstances, any man of powerful intellect might be, if some other qualities and feelings were cut off. Hamlet is, inclusively, an Edmund, but different from him as a whole, on account of the controlling agency of other principles which Edmund had not.

Remark the use which Shakspeare always makes of his bold villains as vehicles for expressing opinions and conjectures of a nature too hazardous for a wise man to put forth directly as his own, or from any sustained character.

The parts pointed out in Hieronimo as Ben Jonson's bear no traces of his style; but they are very like Shakspeare's; and it is very remarkable that every one of them re-appears in full form and developement,

and tempered with mature judgment, in some one or other of Shakspeare's great pieces.*

* By Hieronimo Mr. Coleridge meant The Spanish Tragedy, and not the previous play, which is usually called The First Part of Jeronimo. The Spanish Tragedy is, upon the authority of Heywood, attributed to Kyd. It is supposed that Ben Jonson originally performed the part of Hieronimo, and hence it has been surmised that certain passages and whole scenes connected with that character, and not found in some of the editions of the play, are, in fact, Ben Jonson's own writing. Some of these supposed interpolations are amongst the best things in the Spanish Tragedy; the style is singularly unlike Jonson's, whilst there are turns and particular images which do certainly seem to have been imitated by or from Shakspeare. Mr. Lamb at one time gave them to Webster. Take this passage, in the fourth act:“ HIERON. What make you with your torches in the

dark ? Pedro. You bid us light them, and attend you here. HIERON. No! you are deceived ; not I; you are

Was I so mad to bid light torches now?
Light me your torches at the mid of noon,
Whenas the sun-god rides in all his glory;
Light me your torches then.

PEDRO. Then we burn daylight.

Hieron. Let it be burnt ; Night is a murd'rous slut, That would not have her treasons to be seen ;

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April 7. 1833.



I THINK I could point out to a half line what is really Shakspeare's in Love's Labour Lost,

And yonder pale-faced Hecate there, the moon,
Doth give consent to that is done in darkness ;
And all those stars that gaze upon her face
Are aglets on her sleeve, pins on her train ;
And those that should be powerful and divine,
Do sleep in darkness when they most should shine.
PEDRO. Provoke them not, fair sir, with tempting

words. The heavens are gracious, and your miseries and

sorrow Make you speak you know not what.

HIERON. Villain ! thou liest, and thou dost nought But tell me I am mad: thou liest, I am not mad: I know thee to be Pedro, and he Jaques ; IU prove it thee ; and were I mad, how could I? Where was she the same night, when my Horatio was


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