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venge can have no place in his open and ingenuous mind; and in the last scene he particularly discriminates between murdering Desdemona and sacrificing her. But we think that the critic does not sufficiently consider, in his eloquent admiration of Othello's character, that though the intention of the latter is to punish crime, he has a wild way of doing it, and that the frightful tempests of passion which sweep over his mind, and hurry him into the commission of the deed, are characteristic not so much of a just man as of a noble barbarian, who mistakes the object of justice from the very fact that justice with bim

is a passion rather than a principle. We do not believe, as Mr. Hudson seems to do, that Shakspeare intended Othello as a model of manhood, but as an instance of the weakness of a noble nature, in being the victim of hot and treacherous impulses, when those impulses pointed in the direction of honor. The fact that he does not act from jealouşy, revenge, or any mean motive, but from passions noble and generous when properly restrained, does not vindicate his manhood from the reproach of folly in giving himself up to the excesses of his sensibility. Mr. Hudson praises the objectiveness of Othello's mind, and if we consider the Moor only in his calm moments, the praise is deserved ; but no person, who has ever felt the stir of a fierce impulse when he has thought himself wronged or insulted, need be told that passion not only blinds the best intellect, but draws the conscience itself into its boiling depths ; not only impels to act without a clear view of the case, but for the time sanctifies the impulse as right and just. Every true and great man, therefore, distrusts what his passions teach, and no person can be a model of manhood whose nature is their victim.

The most beautiful portion of the lecture is that devoted to the representation of Othello and Desdemona, in respect to their fitness for each other; and a triumphant answer is given to the many objections to the match on the score of color and character. Mr. Hudson calls it " the chaste union of magnanimity and meekness.” In his delineation of Desdemona, he develops the exceeding beauty of this most delicate and exquisite of Shakspeare's women, with uncommon refinement of sentiment and certainty of minute analysis, the same time a little injuring the effect by snapping his epigrammatic torpedos in the faces of the champions of woman's rights. We cannot refrain from extracting a portion

- at

of this part of the lecture, in illustration of the flexibility with which the writer adapts his style to the tone and character of his subject, and of his singular felicity in exhibiting the pathos of gentleness and the beauty of deep, strong, and quiet affection.

“ Desdemona's character may be almost said to consist in the union of purity and impressibility. All spirit, she yet appears all sense ; with her whole form perfectly ensouled, instinct with life in every part,

· The eloquent blood Spoke in her cheek, and so distinctly wrought,

That we might almost say her body thought.' Thus every organ of her life, her entire frame, seems receptive of influences and impressions from without: drinking in at every pore the inspiration of external objects, she lives so absorbed in those objects as scarcely to admit a sense of her own existence. We have a hint of this in her father's account of her;

"A maiden never bold,
Of spirit so still and quiet, that her motion

Blushed at itself'; as of a being with so many influences and impressions flowing in upon her, living so entranced amid a world of beauty and delight, that betwixt awe and joy her whole soul kept evermore looking and listening; and if at any time she chanced upon a stray thought or vision of herself, she shrunk back surprised and abashed, as if she had caught herself in the presence of a stranger whom modesty kept her from looking in the face. It is through this most delicate impressibility that she sometimes gets frightened out of her real character, as in her equivocation about the handkerchief, and her childlike pleading for life in the last scene, where her perfect candor and resignation are overmastered by impressions of immediate terror.

“But with this exquisite susceptibility of external impressions, she is nevertheless susceptive only of the good. No element of impurity can insinuate itself; her mind is closed not only against its entrance, but against the knowledge, and even the suspicion, of its existence. Her whole nature seens wrought about with some subtile, mysterious texture of moral sympathies and antipathies, which always selects and appropriates whatever is pure, without taking any thought or touch of the evil mixed with it; so Even Iago's moral oil-of-vitriol cannot eat a passage into her mind : from his envenomed wit she extracts the element of harmless mirth, without receiving or even suspecting the venom with which it is charged.” Vol. 11. pp. 342 - 344.

that

. Her life flows on a sacred stream,
In whose calm depth the beautiful and pure
Alone are mirrored; which, though shapes of ill
Do hover round its surface, glides in light,
And takes no shadow from them.'

Mr. Hudson, in these Lectures on Shakspeare, has made the analysis of every character the occasion of observations on a wide variety of subjects which its nature suggests. He has thus given his philosophy of life, in relation to the practical operation of the passions and beliefs of men ; and we think he has been especially successful in treating that important branch of ethics which refers to the passage of virtues into vices, through their connection with pride, vanity, or extravagant enthusiasm. As a large portion of the world's goodness is, like King Richard's frame, but half made up, and offends from its inharmonious and partial character where it is most impressive by its separate qualities, the field open to the ethical analyst is unbounded ; and as we have rather ungently touched on some of Mr. Hudson's digressions, it is but just to observe that he has evinced throughout a disposition to disconnect virtue from cant, fanaticism, and conceit; that he has detected with a sure eye, and whipped with an honest ardor, the excellence which is self-conscious, and the purity which is proudly malignant; and that he has exhibited with a fine union of sagacity and eloquence the beauty of that humble goodness which seeks to elude the eye, which “ vaunteth not itself and is not puffed up.” In a period like the present, when conscience rushes to the rostrum and explodes in fifthrate heroics, and every puny whipster” of morality mistakes his appetite for notoriety for a call from the seventh heaven to rail at every person wiser and better than himself, such lessons in ethics may not be without their effect, recommended as they are by a vigor and wit as inexhaustible as the folly and fanaticism on which they are exercised. We trust that the present volumes will not be the last in which the author's keen intellect and sturdy character will find adequate expression. He has not, as yet, touched the historical plays of Shakspeare, a sphere of investigation and interpretation where he may win additional honors. In choosing the world's great poet as the text for his inquiries into human nature, he has a subject which, however it may exhaust the resources of criticism, is in itself exhaustless. The present work we consider an evidence rather than the measure of his capacity ;

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and when we next meet hirn on the open field of literature, we trust to find some extravagances retrenched and some peculiarities suppressed, which now to some extent injure his style, and encumber the movement of his mind.

ART. IV. - 1. A Plea for Peasant Proprietors, with the

Outlines of a Plan for their Establishment in Ireland.
By William Thomas THORNTON, Author of “ Over
Population and its Remedy.” London : John Murray.

1848. 12mo. pp. 256. 2. Letters on the Condition of the People of Ireland. By

Thomas CAMPBELL Foster, Esq., of the Middle Temple, “ The TimesCommissioner. Second Edition. London : Chapman & Hall. 1847.

771. 3. Past and Present. Chartism. By Thomas CARLYLE. New York : George P. Putnam. 1848.

. 386.

8vo. pp.

12mo. pp.

The question respecting the distribution of property, which has hitherto been discussed only in the abstract by the political economists, has now become one of practical interest and of the gravest importance. The sacredness of the institution has hitherto been universally recognized. That the accumulation of wealth in the hands of individuals was necessary, was absolutely indispensable, in order that the aggregate property of the nation might increase, and for the maintenance of order, the prevention of endless disputes, the encouragement of industry and enterprise, and the promotion of all the higher interests of society, was a fact that no one thought of denying. The inheritor of an estate usually claims it even as a natural right; he seldom thinks of defending his possession of it merely on the ground of general expediency. He holds that he is indebted for it, not to government, or legislation, or the general consent of the community, but to those general principles of morality and natural law which protect his person and insure him the free use of his faculties and his time. Consequently, he invokes the aid of the law,

а

the assistance of society, whenever he is molested in the enjoyment of his property. His doctrine is, that government did not give it to him, but that government is bound to take good care that he be not unjustly deprived of it.

Yet nothing is more certain than that all inherited property is actually enjoyed by the gift of law and the consent of society. A natural right is not limited by the boundaries of states; yet a second son in France claims an equal share of his parent's estate, in the same manner, and for the same reason, that the eldest son in England claims the whole. An American is entitled to dispose of his whole property by will, according to his own judgment or caprice ; he

may

endow college or a cat with it, if he sees fit, to the total exclusion of his natural heirs. But this posthumous privilege, this post mortem enjoyment of wealth, is strictly limited in France ; if a testator has one child, he can dispose of but half of his property ; if he has two children, only a third, and if three, only a fourth, of his estate is subject to his own will. The respective shares of the sons and daughters are accurately determined, and a man cannot, even by gift during his lifetime, do any thing to contravene the effect of this law. Now, as all the wealth of a country, in the course of a single generation, must descend by inheritance or bequest, and as this descent is everywhere regulated by legislation, it follows that property is the creature of law ; its distribution is effected by government, or by the general consent of society, and is regulated by considerations of expediency alone.

alone. It sounds strange, but it is true, that the same authority which in England upholds the right of primogeniture, and in Scotland gives the privilege of perpetual entail, and in France deprives a testator of the power of giving away more than a small fraction of his property by will, might with equal justice decree that a man's whole estate on his decease should escheat to the crown, or come under the disposal of parliament, to be applied equally for the benefit of the whole nation. The legislative power does not enact that the whole people shall be equal and joint heirs of all property which is vacated by death, simply because it believes that it is more for the interest of the whole people that the estate should be inherited equally by all the children of the deceased, or should descend exclusively to the oldest

The law which disinherits five children out of one

son.

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