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self, than you can with modesty speak in your own behalf. O, you gods, think I, what need we have any friends, if we should never have need of them? They were the most needless creatures living, and would most resemble sweet instruments hung up in cases, that keep their sounds to themselves. I have often wished myself poorer that I might come nearer to you. We are born to do benefits; and what better or properer can we call our own, than the riches of our friends?"

An opportunity is soon afforded to test their sincerity, for his estate is lavished away, and his creditors clamor at his gates. When his faithful steward weeps at his master's ruin, the confiding Timon exclaims :

"Canst thou the conscience lack
To think I shall lack friends? Secure thy heart;
If I would broach the vessels of my love,
And try the argument of hearts by borrowing,
Men and men's fortunes could I frankly use."

He sends out his servants to his most intimate comrades, whom he has loaded with a thousand benefits. They all evade his requests. The variety of their lying excuses illustrates their common treachery. The messengers return emptyhanded. The amazed Timon learns that, under the touchstone of his want, all his friends have proved base metal. Disgust, rage, and despair contend in his breast. His credulous prodigality, which was a weakness, though a kindly one, not based on discriminating principle, but on careless sympathy, leaves him exposed to the opposite extreme. He now loathes and hates as abundantly as he trusted and loved before. In his disaster and desertion, to his cynical view, all mankind present hearts of iron full of treason and malice; as in his prosperity, to his complacent gaze, they brought pure and lofty hearts full of disinterested friendship. He breaks into curses on these cap-and-knee slaves, time's flies, trencherfriends, mouth-lovers. Strangers, looking on Timon's ruin, and the heartless infamy of the parasites, feelingly express their pity for him and their scorn for them:

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His servants moralize among themselves:

“So noble a master fallen! All gone! and not
One friend, to take his fortune by the arm
And go along with him! — As we do turn our backs
From our companion, thrown into his grave,
So his familiars from his buried fortunes

Slink all away; leave their false vows with him,
Like empty purses picked; and his poor self,
A dedicated beggar to the air,

With his disease of all-shunned poverty,
Walks, like contempt, alone."

A powerful contrast is made by the extremes of magnanimous honesty and love in the faithful steward, Flavius, who would support his master in his calamity, and of detestable malignity in the ferocious dog Apemantus, who seems to cherish savage hate and contempt for their own sakes. Musing on the despised and ruinous state of his lord, a monument of good deeds evilly bestowed, the good Flavius breaks out:

"What viler thing upon the earth than friends,
Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends!"
"O, the fierce wretchedness that glory brings us!

Who'd be so mocked with glory? or to live
But in a dream of friendship?

To have his pomp, and all what state compounds,
But only painted, like his varnished friends?
Poor, honest lord, brought low by his own heart,
Undone by goodness! Strange, unusual blood,
When man's worst sin is, he does too much good!
Who then dares to be half so kind again?
For bounty, that makes gods, does still mar men."

Ere this man, who "never knew the middle of humanity, but the extremity of both ends," dies, he prepares his tomb on the hem of the sea, and sends word to the Athenians:

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When Alcibiades peruses the bitter epitaph which the unhappy misanthrope had left on his tomb, he says:

"These well express in thee thy latter spirits.
Though thou abhorr❜dst in us our human griefs,
Scorn'dst our brains' flow, and those our droplets which
From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit

Taught thee to make vast Neptune weep for aye
On thy low grave, on faults forgiven."

The penetrating melancholy and lacerating earnestness with which, in this whole play, and in oft-repeated instances in his other plays, Shakespeare portrays and denounces false friendship, unkindness, and ingratitude, compel the conviction that he must himself, at some period of his life, have undergone some most painful and indelible experience of the kind. Such heart-rending expressions, and so recurrent, could never have sprung from mere interpretative insight unquickened by revivescent motions.

Lastly, Shakespeare gives us, as a pair of friends, Hamlet and Horatio. The deep-hearted, metaphysical prince was of a make and mood that could not live without sympathetic confiding. From his heart to the hearts of his comrades led "the beaten way of friendship." How movingly he conjures his old schoolfellows, "by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a better proposer could charge you withal, be even and direct with me!" Fit communion he found with the accomplished companion whom he loved so well, the scholarly and thoughtful Horatio, who meets him in precisely the spirit adapted to soothe, encourage, and bless his o'er-fraught mind, a spirit at once of loving deference and of manly frankness.

"Ham. Thou wouldst not think how ill all 's here about my heart: but it is no matter.

"Hor. Nay, good my lord

“Ham. It is but foolery. ....

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“Hor. If your mind dislike anything, obey it.

"Ham. Not a whit; we defy augury. There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow."

And then what a soulful aroma breathes in the frank words, which one can hardly read without being made both sad and glad!

"Ham. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man

As e'er my conversation coped withal.
"Hor. O, my dear lord!


For what advancement may I hope from thee,
That no revenue hast but thy good spirits,

Nay, do not think I flatter :

To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flattered?
No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,

And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,

Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?
Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,
And could of men distinguish her election,

She hath sealed thee for herself; for thou hast been
As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing;
A man that fortune's buffets and rewards

Hast ta'en with equal thanks; and blessed are those,
Whose blood and judgment are so well co-mingled,
That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee."

The tragedy is closing. The envenomed point has done its work.

“Ham. You that look pale, and tremble at this chance,

That are but mutes or audience to this act,
Had I but time-O, I could tell you -
But let it be. Horatio, .....

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Report me and my cause aright.

"Hor. Never, believe it. Here's yet some liquor left.
let go,

"Ham. Give me the cup;
by heaven, I'll have it!
O God! Horatio, what a wounded name,

Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me!


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If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,

Absent thee from felicity awhile,

And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,

To tell my story.
O, I die, Horatio !
The potent poison quite o'ercrows my spirit.

The rest is silence.

"Hor. Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!"

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1. A Translation of the Syriac Peshito Version of the Psalms of David; with Notes, Critical and Explanatory. By the REV. ANDREW OLIVER, M. A. Boston: E. P. Dutton & Co. 1861. 12mo. pp. xiv., 331.

2. Zur Textkritik der Psalmen. Von EMIL FR. JUL. V. ORTENBERG. Halle Verlag von Richard Muehlmann. 1861. 8vo. pp. viii., 30.

IF the Psalms of David are not thoroughly understood, it is not from lack of critical aids. No age of the Church has failed to furnish its quota of illustration of these sacred lyrics. In version, and paraphrase, and emendation, and comment, exegetical, mystical, musical, and practical, ingenuity would seem to have found out all that can be known of the Psalter, were it not that every year gives something new. The "Songs of the Unity," a collection in use in one of our newer churches, show an originality in the arrangement of David's verse hardly less marked than that of the old Puritan Psalm-books. A century and a half ago, Le Long, in his "Bibliotheca Sacra," could number five hundred commentaries on the book of the Psalms, not counting those which made part of more extensive critical survey, or were monographs upon single psalms. Of these last, the number is very large. It seems to have been the delight of the painful preachers of the seventeenth century to exhibit these divine poems in endless changes and in all possible lights. A manuscript indorsement on the fly-leaf of a volume in our possession, by "that late faithfull and worthy minister of Jesus Christ, Mr. Arthur Hildersam," informs us that he spent six years and three months, from September, 1625, to December, 1631, in preparing "CLII. Lectures upon the LI. Psalme." A patient student would need more than six years and three months to read, mark, and inwardly digest the logic and the learning of his 830 folio pages.

If there were five hundred commentaries upon the Psalter in the early part of the last century, what a multitude now, since the revival of Biblical studies! What shall we say of the four volumes of Hupfeld, finished during the last year,

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