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living powers, have deeply sunk; and they will demand, for the sake of England, that honour should at length bu rendered where honour is due. They will demand it, not by vain menace nor by vainer violence, but by the greater force of example. They are about to subscribe their pennies, and will thus compel the children of Mammon to subscribe their pounds.
Meanwhile, what are the Government and Parliament doing? Awaiting the Voice of the People. Vox populi, vox Dei.
Shakspere as a sonneteer—The true theory concerning his Sonnets
His protest against celibacy, and his testimony in favour of the Reformation-His “Venus and Adonis"—“ Tarquin and Lucrece"Biological view of Shakspere's works—“The Two Gentlemen of Verona" — Shakspere travels to London - His first impressions, Mechanical arrangements in the structure of his plays—Shakspere's education and classical learning — “ The Comedy of Errors" — “Love's Labour's lost"-Claims of the revived learning advocated —“ Hamlet”—Thomas Kyd's “Spanish Tragedy"_" The Hystorie of Hamblet” — “ All's well that ends well” — The supernatural and causeless — “Romeo and Juliet” — Brook's poem — Books read by Shakspere—The Shepherdess Felismcna-Idealising the real.
EVERY man who has won an immortal name has a spiritual life in the world's memory, which is not only as real as the actual physical life of the best of his posterity, but exerts even more influence on the opinions and actions of mankind. He lives in his works, which, in their completed state, give the result of his mature thought; and that result, entering as a power into the minds of successive doers and thinkers, not only aids in their education, but modifies their character, colours their feeling, and directs their conduct. The actual man has passed away, but the ideal man exists in an imperishable medium, and from age to age gradually assumes proportions more and more godlike; so that at length it comes to pass, that he
sways our spirits from his urn, and verily reigns a monarch in a spiritual kingdom. Of the names that have thus become sacred, few maintain a place supe
rior to that of Shakspere. Like that of the greatest benefactors of the race, it has already become a myth; the little that is furnished by his biography having been augmented by the imagination of his worshippers, until countless volumes have developed themselves out of the small germ of fact with which mere history is compelled to rest contented. All that is known of William Shakspere may be stated in a sentence or two. That he was born at Stratford-uponAvon, married, and had children there; went to London, became an actor, wrote poems and plays, returned to Stratford, lived on the competency he had earned, made his will, and died,—is all that is certainly known. Even upon some, and the most important part of this, doubt has been recently thrown. The authorship of his works has been attributed to others, and nothing left to him but the temporary management of a theatre, and the occasional acting on its stage. The Shakspere, however, of whom I am about to discourse, is the man who was the Poet and the Dramatist; and, wanting in the detail of his outer life, I find refuge in his works, and therein trace his Inner Life, of which those works were the product and the symbol.
We know not where the poet was educated, nor how he was occupied in early youth; but we meet with mention of him as a sonneteer in 1598, when he was thirty-four years of age. Those Sonnets had then been in circulation for a considerable time, and other poems and plays (though the latter anonymously) had been published many years before; the