termination which could pursue to One crierl, God bless us,' and " Amen,' the end, regardless of consequences, the other, a purpose once resolved upon. Had As they had seen me with these hangshe been a good woman she would as

man's bands. easily, nay, more easily, have dis

Listening their fear, I could not say amen suaded him from murder, than, being

When they did say God bless us "" a bad one, she overcame all his doubts The self-accusing nature of crime, and his fears, and incited him to its and especially of murder, is shown commission.

in the subsequent fate of Macbeth. We come, then, to this conclusion, We are so constituted that although that the lesson intended to be con external circumstances may conspire voyed by Shakespeare in this drama to conceal our crime, yet retribution is not so much the plain and univer- commences immediately after its sally admitted fact that murder will commission. No sooner has the murinevitably meet with its retribution, derer accomplished his fell purpose, and upon which the stage emphasis than the agonies of an aroused accusis laid, as to present to our mind's ing conscience begin to torment bim. eye the working of the influence

of a Sleep forsakes his eyelids, the darkbad but strong-willed woman upon ness of the night is peopled with an irresolute, indifferent man. Truc, horrible phantoms. They crowd the retribution comes, and comes in around his pillow, and shriek the a mysterious manner, but it comes name of his dark crime into his ear. simply as a necessary consequence. Daylight brings no relief, for though The hero must be got rid of, and he go forth into the busy world, and Shakespeare was too good a drama- mingle with the bustling crowds of tist to let the chief villain escape. his fellow-men, though he try to lose The action, the working out of the himself in the distraction of guilt; drama was, as we can see, the conti- yet in all its scenes the phantom is nued exercise of Lady Macbeth's power at his elbow, gazing at him with its over her husband ; and as soon as the hollow eyes, appalling him with its deed is done, and he is started in the speechless accusations, and high above impetuous career of crime, which he the noise of many voices, the strains soon pursues without her help, she of music, the roar of cannon, or the disappears to make way for the pun- peal of thunder, the death-shriek of ishment of the murderer, which is his victim rings through his soul, for the natural conclusion, but certainly the powers of nature as well as the not the teaching of the play. If read hand of man are alike directed against in this way, it can be understood and him as against one common enemy; appreciated, but if read as a mere So it was with Macbeth; scarcely had elucidation of the fact that "murder he accomplished his crime, than the will out," it will appear to be a remorse of conscience began, his whole splendid overstrained attempt to il. character is changed; and be who lustrate a commonplace truth. We had often fought bravely on the field now come to the climax of the plot, of battle, had beheld men fall around and Marhath, stung into a criminal him, unmoved at the sight, now starts courage by the taunts of his wife, is at every sound, shrinks from every seen stealthily creeping along on his shadow, and red with the blood of murderous path; he disappears for a his slaughtered victim, becomes a moment, and then comes back with victim to himself

. What a fallacy guilt in his heart, borror in his face, is crime, seeing that it makes a brave the sin of nurder already weighing man fear life more than death. down his soul; a traitor-an assassin! " Had I but dind an hour before this chance, how vividly every incident connected I had lived a blessed tiine; for, from this with the deed is impressed upon his instant, mind, seared into it as it were There's nothing serious in mortality :

All is but tuye; rwa and grace is * There's one did laugh in his sleep, and dead; one cried Murlar!

The wine of life is drawn, and the mere Bat they did wake each other; I stood and heard them ;

L Ht this vault to bng of." But they did say their prayers and addressed them

And not only in this self-inflicted retribution attendant upon murder,

the highest of all crimes, but in a which will blight the fairest life and proportionate degree it accompanies blast the happiest hour. every infringement of the moral law. With the master - hand of a true We may commit crime without de- poet, Shakespeare has worked out all tection, but we can no more commit this in the subsequent stages of the crime without punishment than we drama; but there is one point upon can infuse poison into the blood with- which we wish to dwell before proout injury. It is one of the most ceeding further, and that is the supersubtle workings of our internal con. natural circumstances which prestitution, and is in strict keeping with ceded the murder and their nature. the analogies of nature. We expose We read that our physical constitutions to the “The night has been unruly. Where we action of forces inimical to it, whether

lay, of damp, cold, or heat, and we suffer

Our chimneys were blown down; and, as accordingly; and if we expose our they say, moral constitution to the action of Lamentings heard in the air : strange crime, we must entail upon ourselves, screams of death as an inevitable consequence, the And prophesying, with accents terrible, punishment of an avenging conscience

Of dire combustion and confused events, ---a moral palsy, a wounded self-re

New hatched to the woful time. The

obscure bird spect, a loss of that conscious recti. tude which can alone make a man

Clamoured the live-long night; some say

the earth decisive in action, bold in danger, and

Was feverous and did shake." generous and good in all things. Take a case in point. There is a man Then afterwards Rosse, addressing who has broken the laws of his the old man, says-country, has stolen, perjured, or

"Ah! good father, forged; the vengeance of social justice

Thou seest the heavens, as troubled with overtakes him, he is deprived of the man's act, rights of citizenship, and confined in Threaten his bloody stage; by the clock prison, whence, after an assigned 'tis day, period, he comes out, and we say his And yet dark night strangles the travelpunishment is over;- it is not so, his ling lamp. punishment is going on within, and Is it night's predominance or the day's

shame will probably go on as long as he

That darkness does the face of earth enlives. He has lost caste, has stabbed

tomb his self-respect; henceforth he will

When living light should kiss it?" never feel the same proud integrity amongst his fellow-men ; there is a Further on we are toldfoul brand on his forehead, a felon- "A falcon, towering in her pride of place, feeling in his heart, which will make

Was by a mousing owl hawked at and his lips falter when he pronounces killed. the words of probity and honour, for And Duncan's horses (a thing most they will fall from him like lies. strange and certain), Society may welcome him back, may Beauteous and swift, the minions of their honour him with her most distin- race, guished gifts; but in vain; he will

Turned wild in nature, broke their stalls, drag the fetid carcase of his moral

flung out, life through all the world's fairest

Contending 'gainst obedience, as they

would make scenes, and though men may bow be- War with mankind." fore him, yet the applause of honesty will be his most bitter reproof, for to Shakespeare is fond of introducing himself he will always be a lost this mysterious sympathy of nature ruined man. Such is the terrible with human actions, and evidently price of the departure from rectitude. believed that such occurrences as Human laws may assign punishment, he mentions, as well as such natural but it cannot atone for the loss of commotions as thunder, lightning, that feeling of spotless honour that and earthquake, which so often and consciousness of innocence which 80 strangely precede momentous or once gone can never be regained, and ominous occurrences, precede them that whispering of the accusing self by virtue of some mysterious sympathy - some electric link of union terrible calamity, nature manifests which pervadles all creation from its her mysterious sympathy, and utters highest to its lowest forms-a sym- her warning cry. There is, after all, pithy similar to that which agitates nothing so very unreasonable in such ani.nals before a thunder-storm, and an idea. Nature has always been that awful stiilness which precedes the subservient to man. Order came out terrible tornandos. It is impossible to de- of chans--the waters separated themfine what this sympathy is or by what selves from the dry lanil - the firmalaws it acts, but it is dithult to deny ment, studded with constellations and its existence when we reflect on how stars, spanned the whole vegetation many occasions it has manifested appeared with all the exuberant foli. itself and in such striking ways. Take age of the antediluvian Flora-the a few instances. It is said that when sun stalked forth in his majesty--the the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey was beautiful home was complete, and led by her ambitious father-in-law, then man- the viceroy of creation, an unwilling queen, to be crowned at for whom all was made, and to whoin the Tower, the weather, though it had all was placed in suljection--apbeen previously fine, became overrast, peared upon the scene. Is it, then, thunder burst forth, and the rain fell unreasonable to suppose that nature in torrents ; then, on landing at the should be strangely agitated when he Tower, a tremendous peal shook the for whom nature lives totters on the welkin, as though heuven itself were brink of destruction! The natural angry at the unjust usurpation. We is bounded by the supernatural as by all know what a cruel fate befell her- an atmosphere; all our researches Belf and her father-in-law soon after. into the causes of things terminate On the celebrated inauguration of the there. We set out upon an investi. New Constitution during the French gation : step by step we ascend from Revolution, which took place in the ininor. cause to minor cause, until Champs de Mars in the presence of at last we come to infinity, where we half a million of people, when all are lost -a something upon which that was left of French pride and the whole depends; that is, the Great glory was there, the elements broke First Cause the supernatural. We forth into thunder, lightning, and look into ourselves and ask why we rain, and the motley groups were did such and such a thing --how we compelled to seek a speedy shelter; were led from its first conception to for the inauguration was the forerun- its final accomplishment; and we ner of bloodshed, sacrilege, anarchy, may go back step by step to the first and scenes which laid the country gleam of light wheb streamed into desolate ; so that nature herself the mind and lit us on our way--but seemed to utter her most powerful there we pause, for how that gleam warnings in anticipation of the coming of light came we cannot tell, because evil. And last, but most potent of it cane froin Him who has His finger all, when that tragedy of tragedies upon the delicate tissues of the human was enarted on ('alvary, and the Son mind, and our investigation again, of Man*aled his testun ny with His after conducting us to the vestibule blood, are we not torid that "there of the supernatural, leaves us in darkwas a darkness over all the earth ness. It surely cannot, then, be ununtil the ninth hour, and the sun was reasonable to believe that He who darkened, and the veil of the temple has created all thins in order and by was rent in the midst ;" as though a systein a nyatem whuurh connects nature stori aghast at human crime, every ramstication of created matter and ahudilerred to her very crutre is with each other and all with Him-the death-try of Jesus rang through should have connected the natural the air. These instances and they with the supernatural by some subtie are only a few am must many which link known only to Hinweif, by wluch Inight be enumerated -sein to sig. He mught operate in His own wisdon gest that the world of man and the up-a human actions, and throu h world of nature are strung terter which He in.ght and, as through an by sone sensitive chord, and that electric current, the sunshine of His when the being for when all natu.emersy, the year of His displeasure, was created is threatened by any or the thunder of His wrath.


The next step in the tragedy reveals no longer shudders at the thought of to us another phase in the philosophy shedding it, but outstripping his of crime, and Shakespeare knew the partner in villainy, has already rehuman heart too well to omit it. The solved on a double murder; and now king removed by murder, Macbeth when Banquo and his son are coming, had accomplished his purpose and just as Duncan did, as guests to his was crowned; but the position was table, he gives his guilty wife, in unnot simply to be gained but fortified, wavering accents, the same counsel which could be done only by the he had received from her with so commission of new crimes.

much doubt and trepidation. The witches who had predicted so Alluding to the approaching festifavourably to Macbeth of his be- val, she bids her husband be jovial. coming king, had also told Banquo He replies :that his children should wear the

And so, I pray, be you. crown. Macbeth, confirmed in his

Let your remembrance apply to Banquo, belief of their predictions by the ful- Present him eminence both with eye filment of his own fate, remembers and tongue. this with anxiety, and believes the Unsafe tbe while, that we more firmly that Banquo will supplant Must lave our honour in these flattering him, since their prognostications have streams, hitherto been so strangely and so

And make our faces vizards to

hearts, strictly verified. From regarding him as the attached friend, he now begins

Disguising what they are.” to look upon him and his son, Fleance,

Further, no sooner has he accomas his most deadly enemies, and soon plished the murder of Banquo, his resolves upon their destruction. But son, Fleance, having fortunately esnotice-he requires no spurring on caped, than hearing that Macduff had now; the trembling, conscience- fled to England to seek assistance, he stricken, vacillating, Macbeth, who immediately resolves not on adopting needed to be goaded on in his first measures to repel invasion, but on the crime by the taunts and entreaties of cruel, purposeless, vindictive slaughter his ambitious partner, is changed, of Macduft's wife and children. This and appears now as the intrepid de- time he does not even mention the termined murderer. So far from re- fact to his wife, but acts promptly on quiring her assistance to encourage the instigations of his own cruel him, he does not even consult her on desires. To use his own words this new plot; nay more, when she ventures to suggest the possibility of

From this moment, its being necessary to get them out

The very firstlings of my heart shall be of the way, he, who has long ago con

The firstlings of my hand. And even ceived of the crime, resolved on its

To crown my thoughts with acts be it perpetration, and even arranged terms

thought done. with the hired murderers to waylay The castle of Macduff I will surprise ; them on their road and assassinate Seize upon Fife: give to the edge o' the them, endeavours to conceal it from sword his wife, and, strange to say, counsels

His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate her to use the very same dissimu- souls lation which she had counselled him

That trace his line. No boasting like a

fool, when about to receive Duncan as a

This deed i'll do before this purpose guest. Compare the passages. Dun

cool." can is about to come to dlacbeth's castle ; Lady Macbeth has resolved The man's whole nature is changed; on his murder, and thus addresses from being a loyal brave soldier he her husband :

becomes a guilty plotting criminal, . To beguile the time,

changed as only crime can change a Look like the time ; bear welcome in your man, which leads us on to notice more eye,

fully that second peculiar phase in Your band, your tongue; look like the the philosophy of guilt, to which alinnocent flower,

lusion has been made. We see in But be the serpent under it."

the case of Macbeth, in the terrible That murder perpetrated, Macbeth, pangs of conscience which he suffered who has steeped his hands in blood, after the murder, and further in that VOL. LXV.--NO, CCCLXXXVII.



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