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would shock us in our waking and sane moments. We brave imagined dangers, which we should shudder but to read of when awake; and in dreams all reasonable caution seems to forsake us.
Nothing can be more naturally nor more forcibly conceived than the character of Lady Macbeth in her horrific sleep-walking scene. She not only revels in the sight and repulsive odour of the blood she has shed, but betrays aloud the hideous secret of her crime. They who are old enough to recollect the representation of this scene by Mrs. Siddons, in her meridian, will probably recall it above all the noble scenes of all she ever played. It had in it throughout, what stage and tragic representations very rarely have, the fearfulness of reality. Notwithstanding, however, her being unapproached in Lady Macbeth, I cannot help remembering her peculiar action when going to seize the taper, and that I thought at the time, and, since reading Doctor Macnish's Essay, I am still more decided in my opinion, that the great actress committed a fault as a somnambulist. She continued to glare with unearthly eyes on the house, or on vacancy, while she, as it were, felt for the lighted lamp. The sleep-walker, I apprehend, experiences no incertitude as to the exact place of the ohject supposed to be seen.
Somnambulism is anything rather than dreaming : in that state everything is real; in a dream nothing. But in both cases, the person influenced is insane. If otherwise, the sleep-walker would avoid doing the very acts which he does in sleep; nor would the dreamer reconcile himself to the most astonishing incompatibilities. An extravagant instance of the vagaries of the brain in dreams may be mentioned.
A sleeping person imagined that he lay dead on a couch within a closet; that it was requisite that he should walk past the place in which he was then lying a corpse ; and that he did this with slow and stealthy steps, in order not to awake his deceased self!
Page 164. Some of the writer's remarks on the passage in the Æneid, book ix. line 715, (not 710, as quoted by Addison,) having undergone much opposition on account of the translation given of the epithet alta, I applied to two most distinguished scholarsthe late highly learned Doctor Thomas Falconer, and another gentleman now living and well known in Bath—for their opinions, and had my own confirmed by the answers they gave; viz. that
must be interpreted, Prochyta trembles to her lowest depths ;” or deepest foundations.” “I do not,” says Addison, see why Virgil, in this noble comparison, has given the epithet alta to Prochyta ; for it is not only no high island in itself, but is much lower than Ischia, &c.”
He appears to have forgotten that alta means low down and deep, as well as lofty: “Manet alta mente repostum,” &c. for instance.
* London, Tonson, &c. 1753.
As to General Ludlow's inscription over the door of his retreat at Vevay,
“ OMNE SOLUM FORTI PATRIA QUIA PATRIS,"
(see page 264 of the Travels); it has never, I imagine, been satisfactorily explained. Doctor Parr, to whom, at my request, it was submitted by his correspondent, Doctor Falconer, confessed that he could make nothing of it. Doctor Falconer conjectured that the expression, quia patris, the only difficulty, might refer to a term of endearment applied by Germans to their native country, which they tenderly call Faderland ; so Ludlow might mean that any soil would become, as it were, father-land to the exiled brave.
Addison says of the inscription in question, “the first part is a piece of a verse in Ovid, as the last is a cant of his (Ludlow's) own.”
This is either disingenuous or absurd in Addison. If he understood the passage, (which he did not,) he should have translated it: if not, he had no right to stigmatize the two words as “ cant” of Ludlow's. I have sometimes thought the meaning to be, every land is the brave man's country, because every soil belongs equally to God, our common father. The original board on which the inscription appears, was brought away from Switzerland; and it is said, is now preserved by a descendant of General Ludlow's, at his seat in Wiltshire.
Page 118 of the Travels, Addison translates a passage from one of Martial's epigrams,
“ Where silver lakes with verdant shadows crown'd;"
but this is a slip. Shades was the word he wanted, and then his verse would have been lame; so he chose the dissyllable shadows. He was probably led astray by Milton's “ shadows brown,” in the Penseroso, (which is wrong, though it be Milton's,) and ventured on green shadows. But although there may be shades of colour, which Locke admits, a shadow can be only blackness; the result of light intercepted by an opaque body.
Page 196. “But the great magazine for all kinds of treasure, is supposed to be the bed of the Tiber.” This seems to have been an erroneous conjecture. A search in the profound mud of the Tiber, by a society of British residents, under the patronage and encouragement of the Duchess of Devonshire, in 1821, &c. was unproductive.
Addison has, on the whole, had an undue share of popular applause. In the “Spectator," the basis of his reputation, the best papers are not by him, though the most sentimental are, but by Sir Richard Steele, who planned that work. His prose style, excelled by several older writers,-Lord Bacon and James Howell, for example,-while admired for its ease by his friends, might have been impeached by his opponents for feebleness and prolixity. His renowned
tragedy, Cato, is, in fact, a very heavy performance ; perhaps not quite so faulty as Dennis, in his acrimony of criticism, would make it; but still exceedingly declamatory, high-flown, unimpassioned and ridiculous in many of its scenes. Party-storms raged with violence when Cato appeared, and, for a time, the gales of faction kept the play afloat; and the swingswong enunciation and the pomposity of Booth, the actor, helped it on. Yet, now-a-days, one can hardly conceive anything more ludicrous than must have been the figure of the tragedian, groaning out the solemn nothings put into the mouth of Cato, and representing the antique Roman in the costume of one of Louis le Grand's master-cooks or tax-gatherers.
I have a print of him, in which he is portrayed dying in a carved French arm-chair; surrounded by weeping beaux attired in Parisian perukes, skirt coats, and with high heels, but cross-gartered on the lower leg, to signify classical times; and by belles in Maintenon head-dresses and hoops : he himself wearing square-toed shoes, little paste buckles, roll-up stockings, an embroidered vest with immeasurable pockets, a night-gown of flowered damask, and a huge toupee wig with flowing curls. And all this went down with our tasteful forefathers as the lively counterfeit of a scene in republican Rome!
The habiliments of the dramatis personæ in Cato, were, however, not more vicious than some of the poet's maxims. The following, for example, was, we