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it supplies. In fact, it leares completely unnoticed some of the most specific points in which the modern art of advocacy differs from that of Greece, Rome, and the middle ages, and is so far defective as an expository science. If the theory here proposed were adopted, we should be able to include, as component elements of the eloquence of the bar, all needful arts of assuaging anger, tempering severity, producing leniency of judgment, and governing the passions by persuasion and forensic eloquence, and would require disquisitions in explanation of several matters not now included amongst the studies of professional pleaders during the course of their education. These might take various arrangements, but, perhaps, that suggested in the following table would afford the simplest and readiest practical form of exposition, viz.,
Outline of the Elements of Forensic Eloquence.
1. Clear statement of the case.
2. Plain exposition of the law.
4. Appeal in favour.
2. Careful induction of precedents.
3. Concise statement of statutes, &c., relied on. 2. The Judge
4. Logical consistency of argument.
1. Effective narration.
2. Popular statement of the worth of evidence.
2. Rapid conception in debate.
4. Ready retaliativeness and retort.
1. Careful and honest details.
3. Effects on social life.
5. Personal considerations.
As affecting Forensic Eloquence
From this mere tabular view our readers may perceive the richness and interest of the field opened up to the forensic orator, and may infer that the future consideration of this topic may not be destitute of sufficient attractions for the intelligent and thoughtful, even though unprofessional reader.
CAN MEMBERS OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES CONSIST. ENTLY TAKE PART IN THE SHAKSPERE TERCENTENARY MOVEMENT?
Not light them for ourselves; for if our virtues
Both thanks and use."- Measure for Measure. The belief in the genius and excellence of Shakspere is inherent in Englishmen. It has become a part of their creed to declare his superiority to any other poet or dramatist, ancient or modern. Much of this belief is, no doubt, but assent to general opinion, and an unhesitating reception of all the traditions
of their fathers respecting the greatness of Shakspere, and not a conclusion arrived at after a thorough perusal of his works. But setting aside this voice of the multitude, who praise Shakspere because others do so, and it is the fashion, we think there will still be left a large, a very large, number of the great and mighty, intellectually and relatively, of our land who have critically examined the legacy bequeathed to them; and, having done so, have recorded a verdict that the poet is entitled to the love and reverence of posterity.
This being so, and we think few will deny that it is, it may not be out of place to inquire what qualities in the poet have led to this decision. We think the chief is--and it is one which we adduce in support of the assertion that members of christian churches can consistently take part in the proposed demonstration—that Shakspere is a faithful and minute delineator of human nature. He has violated, in numerous instances, every rule of dramatic art. Unities of time and place are thrown aside or forgotten. He often violates good taste; and though we may not endorse the sweeping assertion of Voltaire, that he does not possess a spark of good taste," we must allow some of this writer's remarks to be just. In ‘Othello,' he obserres, " a most tender piece, a man strangles his wife upon the stage ; and though the poor woman is strangling, she cries out that she dies very unjustly. In 'Hamlet’ the two gravediggers are drunk, singing ballads, and making humorous reflections on the skulls which they throw up. The players have not even struck out the buffoonery of the shoemakers and cobblers who are introduced (in • Julius Cæsar') in the same scene with Brutus and Cassius." Therefore it is not as a rigid dramatist that we can admire him, but as a painter of man. “ His plays," as Dr. Johnson observes, are not, " in the rigorous and critical sense, either tragedies or comedies, but compositions of a distinct kind, exhibiting the min. gled good and evil, joy and sorrow, inseparable from this sublunary state.'
But instead of discussing his genius as a writer, we have to consider his teaching as a man, and see whether it contradicts or degrades that of Christianity. This is the standard—the only standard-by which members of christian churches can judge of their inconsistency or otherwise in hononring Shakspere. We assert, then, that the writing, reading, or acting of tragedy and comedy is not, in itself, necessarily opposed to the teachings of the gospel. Tragedy, as depicting the various conflicting passions in man's breast, and the terrible consequences in which they involve him, if not kept under proper control, ought to be a powerful moral teacher to all who read it, or witness its representation. It is, in a measure, analogous to the parable, and is capable of imparting quite as many moral lessons. The recognised preacher, who addresses his audience from the pulpit, has human nature as one side of the picture he continually sets before his hearers, and he will be most successful in healing its moral maladies who is best acquainted with it. But it is not only the recognised preacher who can advance Christianity, or minister to the moral well-being of the community. Every one may do so in his own sphere, both by example and precept. Writers have a great power over their readers; and he who faithfully depicts human nature, its noble and ignoble qualities, its virtues and its vices, showing the end to which the pursuit of each tends, is a great moral teacher, useful in his day and generation, and worthy of the respect and esteem of posterity. We consider Shakspere as a great moral teacher to his own and all succeeding ages, and, therefore, entitled to all honour. We think it impossible to peruse any of his great tragedies without becoming, if all feeling and sympathy have not been deadened, both wiser and better. This is not the opinion of a few, or of the unlettered. Dr. Warburton thus speaks of the productions of Shakspere : "Of all the literary exercitations of speculative men, whether designed for the use or entertainment of the world, there are none of so much importance as those which let us into the knowledge of our nature. Others may exercise the reason, or amuse the imagination ; but these only can improve the heart, and form the mind to wisdom. Now, in this science Shakspere confessedly occupies the foremost place; whether we consider the amazing sagacity with which he investigates every hidden spring and wheel of human action, or his happy manner of communicating this knowledge in the just and living paintings which he has given us of all our passions, appetites, and pursuits.” Dr. Young writes : “Whatever other learning he wanted, he was master of two books unknown to many of the profoundly read, though books which the last conflagration alone can destroy—the book of nature, and that of man." Dr. Johnson further observes, regarding Shakspere as a moral teacher, that a valuable system of civil and economical prudence may be collected from the plays of Shakspere; that they are filled with practical axioms and domestic wisdom; that almost every verse (as was formerly said of the writings of Euripides) is a precept; but that, at the same time, his real power is shown in the progress of the fable and tenor of the dialogue; and that he who tries to recommend him by select qnotations will succeed like the pedant in Hierocles, who, when he offered his house for sale, carried a brick in his pocket as a specimen.
We do not think there is any need to recommend Shakspere to the present generation by select quotations ; but, as still further corroboration of the assertion that Shakspere is a great moral teacher, whom all can and ought to honour, we may be allowed to point to the gradual progress of Macbeth in his career of guilt ; how the better part of his nature struggles with his ambition, and the dark and powerful insinuations and taunts of the tempter to which it at length succumbs ; how the assassination did not " trammel up the consequences,” but led on from crime to crime ; that, nevertheless, he had judgment here, and even-handed justice commends the ingredients of the poisoned chalice to his own lips. The soliloquies of Hamlet, Gloster, the passage on mercy, or this from King Lear, which we do not remember to have seen quoted before,-" This is the excellent foppery of the world! that when we are sick in fortune (often the surfeit of our own behaviour) we make guilty of our own disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains by necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion ; knaves, thieves, and traitors by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence ; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on,”—all prove Shakspere to have been a moral teacher. Many of our opponents may, perchance, admit all, or a great part of what has been stated, and yet maintain that they cannot take part, consistent with their christian profession, in any demonstration in his bonour. The only objection such persons can make is to the immoral and licentious passages which are strewn so thickly through his plays. In honour. ing him they think they would tacitly give their approbation to immoral and licentious writing. Far be it from us to weaken the conscientious scruples of anyone ; but we think it is in reality not so. Let us examine the matter a little. Shakspere has undertaken to paint human nature as a whole. This he has eminently succeeded in. To do this it was necessary to represent all classes of mankind; peasants as well as princes, clowns as well as courtiers, philosophers and shepherds, kings and subjects, ministers of state and of grace, queens and serving women, brave knights and fair ladies, the mean and the noble, the virtuous and the vicious; to depict them in their true colours, without any gloss; "Nothing to extenuate or aught set down in malice.” Hence it is we find those objectionable passages in the present day cannot be read or spoken publicly. That these passages are introduced to show men as they were will, we think, be evident to all who examine the clauses where they occur. The speech is almost invariably in harmony with the character depicted. Kings and courtiers are made to speak as kings and courtiers did speak; while the utterance of obscene and licentious language is left to clowns and waggoners, or to those whom it is the design of the poet to represent as immoral or vicious. Further, the plays depict the manners of particular countries at special epochs. The whole fashion and tenor of the dialogues and speeches, as well as the individual characters taking part in them, must be in harmony with the manners of the particular nation at this epoch. This distinction is in general carefully observed by our poet. Pope remarks that “ Shakspere is found to be very knowing in the customs, rites, and manners of antiquity. In Coriolanus' and Julius Cæsar,' not only the spirit but the manners of the Romans are exactly drawn; and a still nicer distinction is shown between Roman manners in the time of the former and of the latter.”. Of the latter play Dr. Johnson observes that “it is cold and unaffecting, compared with some other of Shakspere's plays; his adherence to the real story and to Roman manners seems to have impeded the natural vigour of his genius."
Again, the state of the morals of the Court and people, of their tastes and antipathies, must be taken into account ere we attempt to class Shakspere with immoral writers. Man, upon the whole, is possibly and probably better than in the days of Shakspere, and in the times of which he wrote; but there can be no question that there are still numbers who fully equal the most vicious and licentious he has drawn. In our days, however, though we still tolerate villains in our dramatic characters, the villany must be smooth, and deep, licentious speeches are not tolerated-at least, not in a plain and anglossed form. It is carefully concealed beneath the delicately-worded inuendo. We shut our eyes to the vice around us, or speak of it with bated breath and in involved and softened phrases. Whether we are any better for so doing may, perhaps, be doubted. In Shakspere's time it was different; things were called by their real names; the manners of the Court and people were different; courtiers garnished their speech with oaths; and it was not an uncommon thing for the Sovereign to swear. Hence Shakspere had no special inducement to retrench or gloss over any such passages, or to depict men other than he found them. In our own day, this plea for the insertion of oaths and other immoralities has been made by authors and authoresses, members of Christian churches, and accepted by the members of Christian churches to whom their productions were addressed. For instance, Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, in her preface to “Uncle Tom's Cabin," defends her