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to any mystical union and transmission of feeling through different states of being to account for the romantick enthusiasm of youth; nor to plant the root of hope in the grave, nor to derive it from the skies. Its root is in the heart of man: it lifts its head above the stars. Desire and imagination are inmates of the human breast. The heaven « that lies about us in our infancy” is only a new world, of which we know nothing but what we wish it to be, and believe all that we wish. In youth and boyhood, the world we live in is the world of desire, and of fancy: it is experience that brings us down to the world of reality. What is it that in youth sheds a dewy light round the evening star ? That makes the daisy look so bright? That perfumes the hyacinth? That embalms the first kiss of love? It is the delight of novelty, and the seeing no end to the pleasure that we fondly believe is still in store for us. The heart revels in the luxury of its own thoughts, and is unable to sustain the weight of hope and love that presses upon it.—The effects of the passion of love alone might have dissipated Mr. Wordsworth's theory, if he means any thing more by it than an ingenious and poetical allegory. That at least is not a link in the chain let down from other worlds; purple light of love” is not a dim reflection of the smiles of celestial bliss. It does not appear till the middle of life, and then seems like another morn risen on mid-day.” In this respect the soul comes into the world “in utter nakedness." Love waits for the ripening of the youthful blood. The sense of pleasure precedes the love of pleasure, but
with the sense of pleasure, as soon as it is felt, come thronging infinite desires and hopes of pleasure, and love is mature as soon as born. It withers and it dies almost as soon !
This play presents a beautiful coup-d'ail of the progress of human life. In thought it occupies years, and embraces the circle of the affections from childhood to old age. Juliet has become a great girl, a young woman, since we first remember her a little thing in the idle prattle of the nurse ; Lady Capulet was about her age when she became a mother, anu old Capulet somewhat impatiently tells his younger visitors,
" I've seen the day,
Thus one period of life makes way for the following, and one generation pushes another off the stage. One of the most striking passages to shew the intense feeling of youth in this play, is Capulet's invitation to Paris to visit his entertainment.
“At my poor house, look to behold this night
The feelings of youth and of the spring are here blended together like the breath of opening flowers. Images of verpal beauty appear to have floated before the author's mind, in writing this poem, in pro
fusion. Here is another of exquisite beauty, brought in more by accident than by necessity. Montague declares of his son smit with a hopeless passion which he will not reveal
“But he, his own affection's counsellor,
This casual description is as full of passionale beauty as when Romeo dwells in frantick fondness
" the white wonder of his Juliet's hand.” The reader may, if he pleases, contrast the exquisite pastoral simplicity of the above lines with the gorgeous description of Juliet when Romeo first sees her at her father's house, surrounded by company and artificial splendour.
“ What lady's that which doth enrich the hand
It would be hard to say which of the two garden scenes is the finest, that where he first converses with his love, or takes leave of her the morning after their marriage. Both are like a heaven upon earth : the blissful bowers of Paradise let down upon this lower world. We will give only one passage of these well known scenes to shew the perfect refinement and delicacy of Shakspeare's conception of the female character. It is wonderful how Collins, who was a critick and a poet of great sensibility, should
have encouraged the common errour on this subject by saying—"But stronger Shakspeare felt for man alone.”
The passage we mean is Juliet's apology for ber maiden boldness.
“ Thou know'st the mask of night is on my face ;
In this and all the rest her heart fluttering between pleasure, hope, and fear, seems to have dictated to her tongue, and calls true love spoken, simple modesty.” of the same sort, but bolder in virgin innocence, is her soliloquy after her marriage with Romeo.
“Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds, Towards Phæbus' mansion; such a waggoner As Phaëton would whip you to the west,
Ånd bring in cloudy night inmediately,
We the rather insert this passage here, in as much as we have no doubt it has been expunged from the Family Shakspeare. Such eriticks do not perceive that the feelings of the heart sanctify, without disguising, the impulses of nature. Without refinement themselves, they confound modesty with hypocrisy. Not so the German critick, Schlegel. Speaking of ROMEO AND JULIET, he says, “ It was reserved for Shakspeare to unite purity of heart and the glow of imagination, sweetness, and dignity of manners, and