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made up her mind to be chaste." *** She has a dreadfully rectangular nature, is an accomplished and not very scrupulous dialectician, and thinks it proper to be benevolent only when she has the law on her side." * She is utterly without impulse." “No wonder,” Mr. White in his contemptuous bitterness can say, " that.Lucio tells her,
if you should need a pin, You could not with more tame a tongue desire it. But it is very questionable whether Isabella was womanish enough to need a pin, she probably used buttons,—or would have done so had she lived now-a-days. It may be uncharitable, perhaps, to accuse her of having an eye to the reversion of the points with which Claudio tied his doublet and hose ; but her indifference to his death looks very like it.” A sorry jest, but in keeping with the sorry argument of Shakspeare's Scholar. But again : she is a “ sheriff in petticoats,” of an “impassibility absolutely frightful” and “cold-blooded barbarity.” Her spirit is utterly uncompassionate," "pitiless," " inhuman, not to say unwomanly,” in her
” ” interview with her doomed brother, and the language she uses repulsively “ obdurate” and “savage.” She is Shakspeare's ideal of the “unfeminine, repulsive, monstrous,” in woman--of the too much brain and too little heart. “ Its unloveliness was not to deter him from the task. ... He drew an Iago and an Angelo among men; among women, why should he withhold his hand from a Lady Macbeth and an Isabella ?” As for her marriage with the irresolute laissez-faire-loving, eaves-dropping Duke, which Mr. Hallam calls one of Shakspeare's hasty half thoughts, Mr. White's only scruple, if any, is, that the poor Duke had too bad a bargain. “She, after having listened to his arguments, probably found him
guilty-not of love, that would have been unpardonable—but of preference for a female, under extenuating circumstances, and married him. He needed a 'grey mare;' and Shakespeare, with his unerring perception of the eternal fitness of things, gave him Isabella.” Such is Mr. White's interpretation of a character which we regard as Shakspeare's embodiment of noblest womanhood, in its religious phase--a creature so pure and intense in her heavenward aspirations, that she cannot conceive the possibility of utter baseness and renegade treason against Heaven, in one so near to her as her brother ; devoutly fixed as her own eye is on things unseen and eternal, not on things seen and temporal; immovably fixed as her affections are on things above, not on things on the earth: for she walks by faith, and not by sight; and because she loves her brother dearly, she would have him die at once, in penitence and hope, that, the once-for-all death past, the judgment after death may not leave him reprobate ; because she loves him, she is jealous of his honour, and her own involved in his,- and she could weep tears of joy to see him bow meekly to the impending fate, as the guaranty of his reconcilement with God, and of her union with him in spirit by ties the sweetest and most hallowed, though impalpable henceforth to gross and grovelling sense, rather, oh how much rather than tears of shame, such as must scald the saintly maiden's cheeks, to say nothing of the wasting and corroding thoughts that lie too deep for tears
, if her father's son make election of the life that now is, instead of the life which is to come. The shock she experiences as the humiliating truth dawns on her, is expressed in a
vehemence of emotion, stormy enough to prove that, pace Mr. White, Isabella is not " utterly without impulse.” But in good sooth, there needs but a certain gift of special pleading, and a steady one-sidedness of view, to do with any other of Shakspeare's women what Mr. White has done with the votaress already abused by Mrs. Lenox-to make Rosalind a mere prurient foul-talker, Perdita a forward minx, Ophelia an impureminded and double-tongued trifler, Hermione a harsh unforgiving piece of austerity, with no more of milk in her bosom or warm blood in her veins than the statue she finally and fitly represented.
THE DECISIVE CHÅRGE AT THE BATTLE OF THE ALMA.
BY NICHOLAS MICHELL.
The breeze hath blown the thick dun smoke aside,
And, through that riven pall,
A flashing, bristling wall!
The balls deep plough the ground,
Bold Albion lifts her standard high,
That long to fall on yonder hordes.-
Where wild goats scarce may leap,
Restrain their martial rage,
And up like lions bound.-
And ere a pulse can beat,
The Northmen's hearts to greet.-
A myriad deaths his crime shall be,
A movement-rush-a shout-a cheer-
groans swell panic-cries.
Are pouring down that crimson'd steep;
Echoes one sound prolonged and deep ;
It reaches each green mountain's head,
A NIGHT OF HORROR.
“No. 15, Castle-street," I called out to the driver, who was holding the door of the fly, threw my carpet-bag into one corner, myself into the other, of the wretchedly stuffed vehicle, and away we jolted over the fearful pavement from the railway station into the centre of the town—where I ought to have appeared long before in full evening dress and the very thought of it drove me nearly distracted—and with her, her on my arm, forget all-ball-room, earth, sky, the whole universe in my happiness. But no, there I was being still jolted in this wretched machine, among gloomy, stern-looking masses of houses ; for on this very day, just as if the engine could not do me the kindness to travel a little faster than a diligence, we had in the first place crawled along like snails over the frozen rails, stopped an immense time at every station, and finally, , as if to set the crown upon the whole, we had stuck fast for a good hour in a snow-drift. In consequence of all this, instead of arriving at seven o'clock, it was just half-past eight, and surely this will serve as my excuse for hammering upon the window at least a dozen times during my progress from the station, at one moment thundering curses in the driver's ear, and then offering him money to drive faster, until at last, in perfect despair, he lashed his astonished horse into full speed, and soon stopped before the house I had ordered him to drive to.
“I had given up all hopes of your coming!" exclaimed my friend, who had only received my letter the same morning, and had hurried down to the door when he heard me drive up;, “where have you been all this time ?"
But there was no time for explanations : I seized my carpet-bag, thrust the money
I had held in readiness into the driver's hand, and flew, rather than walked, up the stairs into Meier's room. Here I threw down my hat, and told my friend in a despairing tone-while searching all my pockets twice over for the key of the padlock, and at last finding it in the one with which I had commenced—how misfortune ever pursued me, and that I was such an unlucky beggar that nothing would turn out rightly with me. But on this occasion my whole life's fortune was at stake ; after two years' separation I was again to see her, without whom I could only fancy the world would be to me a desolate wilderness; this evening I might hope to receive from her the sweet confession of her love, or at least to read in her eyes what my fate would be: with her, life in its sunniest aspect-a perfect elysium ; without her
“What on earth have you got in your carpet-bag?" Meier exclaimed, just as I had opened the little padlock, without paying any attention, for I was lost in my dreams of future happiness or woe.
I had, equally unconsciously, thrust in my hand to take out my inexpressibles--my tail-coat I had put on before starting for fear of it creasing and I fancied I should be seized with a fit, when on the top I saw a pair of stays, a box of rouge, and with continually increasing fury dragged out a whole quantity of such feminine vanities, and hurled them on the chairs and floor around me. Meier's demoniac laugh first restored me to consciousness.
“Ha, ha, ha, ha!” he shouted; and the tears ran down his plump, swollen face in his eestasy-I could have strangled him as he stood “ha, ha, ha!--you've got hold of a wrong carpet-bag. That's exquisite glorious !"
“ There!" I shouted, and hurled the emptied iniquitous bag behind the stove,“ lie there and rot. What shall I do now? I really cannot enter a ball-room in my grey and blue stripes. Good Heavens! was not I right in saying that I was the most unhappy creature that walked on two legs beneath earth and heaven? Here I am - Emilie will be waiting for hours with her angelic patience for a man she believes false to her ; but, at last, will no longer be able to refuse the earnest prayers of the gentlemen, and will be engaged for the whole night.”
“But how was that possible?” Meier asked, after he had slightly recovered from his beastly convulsions of laughter. “Every one keeps his carpet-bag by him, and I cannot understand
"Understand-understand,” I growled, angrily, and paced up and down the room-I was then only twenty years old, and the ball was a question of life and death with me—“I understand it perfectly. At the last station, where
couldn't see your own hand in the carriage, a lady got in and pressed close to me, as in the opposite corner a confounded Polish Jew was seated, wrapped in his fur, and had not the politeness to make room for the new comer. From this moment I will be a devoted antagonist to emancipation. Of course I did not know she also had a carpet-bag with her, and when the train stopped, I jumped out in my hurry, afraid I might not be able to procure a fly, and without troubling myself any further about the lady and her luggage. Most probably I seized her carpet-bag and she has mine. By Heavens ! though, it is growing late! But where can I get a pair of black trousers? If I delay much longer, Emilie will be engaged for the whole evening, and I shall have to parade her fat aunt about in the ball-room.”
“Well, if there's nothing more the matter," Meier said, goodhumouredly, "I can perhaps help you. Make haste and perform your toilet here, and I'll go and see in the mean while whether I cannot discover a pair in my wardrobe. We are much about the same height.”
A good fellow, Meier. I pressed his hand cordially, and while he was gone I attended to the remainder of my costume, arranged my hair, which was in some disorder, and a few minutes later was prepared to jump into any pair of trousers that might be offered me. Meier, however, did not return so soon,, and I amused myself by opening and shutting the door twice every minute, or by examining the boxes and cases which malicious fate had brought in my path.
Ladies' rubbish—paint, powder, false curls, dirty gloves, and stockings.
“ Bah !” I cried, and threw away the things again. " Is it possible, then, that there are asses in the world who can be fooled by such devices? I am only twenty years old,, but I am pretty certain
“Good Heavens! what a smell of burning there is here,” said Meier, who at this moment opened the door, and walked in with the desired article of clothing. “Something must be smouldering."
I had also noticed the smell, but in my impatience had not sought the cause. Meier, however, drew the mysterious carpet-bag from behind the stove. One side of it—a white ground with red roses- I can remember