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Note 5.

I was once under the impression that Hamlet's conduct to Ophelia was intended by Shakspere as one of the means of affecting madness. But I see clearly that whatever the Poet may, in his conception, have made the ground of the distracted appearance before Ophelia, of which she gives an account to her father (Act II. Sc. I.), he decidedly derives Hamlet's behaviour, beginning at his meeting her in the gallery, from a real suspicion of what was really true, yet without any degree of blame on the part of Ophelia—that she was acting as an instrument in the hands of Polonius and the King. The thought strikes suddenly when she wishes to return his letters or love-pledges.

"Ha, ha! are you honest," &c.

". . . . Ay truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd, than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness: this was some time a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once," &c.

The observation applies perfectly on the supposition that Ophelia was a willing instrument against Hamlet, in the hands of her father. Every thought which, in connection with his difficulties, passes through the mind of the perplexed young man, assumes, of course, a tone of rashness and exaggeration. The slightest suspicion is a full proof to him. Incoherence of language and wildness of thought is, of course, affected through the rest of the scene; and this takes place in consequence of Hamlet's first design. But his affection for Ophelia had begun to take ascendancy when he first addressed her as she was reading in her prayer-book. This feeling however vanishes, as soon as he suspects that she had been set upon him, and that she was acting a part. How could this suspicion not arise in a mind so harassed and sensitive; a mind which, at the first approach of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two intimate friends of early days, immediately perceived the whole plot connected with their coming. The unwarrantable freedom with which he treats Ophelia, during the play, becomes to a degree, excusable, on this supposition: he could not respect her. But, as he really had loved her, his passion revives with increased violence as soon as her death clears her in his eyes.

Note 6. "The pretended madness of Hamlet causes much mirth."—Johnson. One could hardly expect to find these words in an English edition of Shakspere; but they are in all editions as part of the oracular judgment of a supposed giant of literature! What a total want of feeling and taste is betrayed in that single sentence! Surely whoever can for a moment think of amusement on reading or hearing the wildness of Hamlet, or believe that the whole of his madness is assumed, must have read that striking and sublime composition in the spirit of a school-boy. It is not at random that Hamlet's character was cast together; it has a wonderful consistency throughout as a poetical conception. That most tragical personage himself is made to declare, at different periods of the Play, a consciousness of derangement, a perception of the distracting fever which devoured his heart. Can it be believed that Shakspere would make his kind-hearted, his generous Hamlet, tell a lie when he apologizes to Laertes—

"Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged;
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy."

Our great poet intended, unquestionably, that these words should be understood to proceed from the heart; it is impossible that the writer who, of all whom we know, was best acquainted with the mysteries of the human character, should have given such words to deceit and fiction. The ideal being so exquisitely delineated in the words of a mother,

"Anon, as patient as the female dove,
When that her golden couplets are disclosed,"

could not be degraded in Shakspere's conception to the utterance of such deliberate falsehoods.

It appears to me that Shakspere would not have attributed the design of feigning madness to any elevated and really heroic character, except under a kind of physiological perception that the malady itself suggested the fiction. Base indeed must be the spirit of that man who can have recourse to feigned madness for any purpose whatever; except a morbid tendency to that disease disturb his judgment. Shakspere was evidently aware of this; and hence the repeated fits of real madness—madness not to be mistaken for fiction, which he makes Hamlet fall into. His behaviour at the grave of Ophelia is the result not of design but of morbid passion. The conclusion of the dialogue with his mother is the same: in a word, the wisest speeches and observations of the unfortunate Prince, have a tinge of insanity which it is impossible to miss. We do not envy Dr. Johnson's "mirth."

J. B. W.

Art. VIII.—A DISCOURSE, DELIVERED AT THE DEDICATION OF THE CHURCH OF THE MESSIAH, IN BROADWAY, NEW YORK. By the Rev. Orville Dewey, Pastor of said Church. New York: 1839.

This Discourse is a true emblem of its Author's mind, rich, various, picturesque, eloquently fervent, eminently suggestive,— after these epithets it rather follows necessarily than as a modification of our praise, that we should add,—somewhat desultory. It is the overflowings of an affluent spirit, not seeking any very close connection among themselves, but all having an appropriateness to the occasion. We think that there are times, and that the opening of a Temple for the Worship of many generations is one of them, when this free flowing together of thoughts and associations not logically connected but called up by the interest of the occasion and the place, is the natural form for true feeling and eloquence to assume, and when the stricter order of one theme would be cold, unnatural, and stiff. The strict order of a discourse is not unfrequently too artificial to come without violence from a moved heart. The joinings and dove-tailings which appear to exhibit such natural connexions between consecutive topics are too often the results, not of Nature but of Art, which fervent feeling must dispense with and despise, if it would not grow cold whilst engaged in this mechanical rivetting of hot thoughts.

We cannot approve of the taste or the correctness of the designation, the Church of the Messiah. What would be thought of the synonyme, the Church of the Christ? It is impossible to take as a distinguishing name a universal property, and names when not distinguishing cease to be names. We had previously thought that " St. Saviour" was the extremest impropriety in Ecclesiastial nomenclature.

Mr. Dewey regards his Church as consecrated beyond all other Consecration, by the sentiment that reared it—the great sentiment of Religion, of which it is a sacred symbol.

"When I think of this spiritual consecration, all outward adornments, decent rites, visible prosperity—the thronged gates and the gathering of a multitude, sink to nothing before me, and I feel that the great and sacred intent for which we have built this structure, could make any place sacred and sublime. Nay, my brethren, I can well conceive of circumstances in which loneliness, and desertion, and danger, would ennoble and endear to us a scene like this. If this, instead of being a temple of prosperous worship, were the altar of a forlorn hope; if we edition of Shakspere; but they are in all editions as part of the oracular judgment of a supposed giant of literature! What a total want of feeling and taste is betrayed in that single sentence! Surely whoever can for a moment think of amusement on reading or hearing the wildness of Hamlet, or believe that the whole of his madness is assumed, must have read that striking and sublime composition in the spirit of a school-boy. It is°not at random that Hamlet's character was cast together; it has a wonderful consistency throughout as a poetical conception. That most tragical personage himself is made to declare, at different periods of the Play, a consciousness of derangement, a perception of the distracting fever which devoured his heart. Can it be believed that Shakspere would make his kind-hearted, his generous Hamlet, tell a lie when he apologizes to Laertes—

"Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged;
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy."

Our "Teat poet intended, unquestionably, that these words should be understood to proceed from the heart; it is impossible that the writer who, of all whom we know, was best acquainted with the mysteries of the human character, should have given such words to deceit and fiction. The ideal being so exquisitely delineated in the words of a mother,

"Anon, as patient as the female dove,
When that her golden couplets are disclosed,"

could not be degraded in Shakspere's conception to the utterance of such deliberate falsehoods.

It appears to me that Shakspere would not have attributed the design of feigning madness to any elevated and really heroic character, except under a kind of physiological perception that the malady itself suggested the fiction. Base indeed must be the spirit of that man who can have recourse to feigned madness for any purpose whatever; except a morbid tendency to 33 dLase7 disturb his judgment. Shakspere was evident^ aware of this; and hence the repeated fits o[real madness-madrSs no to be mistaken for fiction, which he makes Hamlet faU KeS behaviour at the grave of Ophelia is the result not oJ desirn but of morbid passion. The conclusion of the dialog Sh his mother is the same: in a word, the wisest speeches °T ^IrJTrtons of the unfortunate Prince, have a tinge of inZLf^T^Plos^ to miss. We do not envy Dr.

Johnson's "mirth." j fi w

Art. VIII.—A DISCOURSE, DELIVERED AT THE DEDICATION OF THE CHURCH OF THE MESSIAH, IN BROADWAY, NEW YORK. By the Rev. Obville Dewey, Pastor of said Church. New York: 1839.

This Discourse is a true emblem of its Author's mind, rich, various, picturesque, eloquently fervent, eminently suggestive,— after these epithets it rather follows necessarily than as a modification of our praise, that we should add,—somewhat desultory. It is the overflowings of an affluent spirit, not seeking any very close connection among themselves, but all having an appropriateness to the occasion. We think that there are times, and that the opening of a Temple for the Worship of many generations is one of them, when this free flowing together of thoughts and associations not logically connected but called up by the interest of the occasion and the place, is the natural form for true feeling and eloquence to assume, and when the stricter order of one theme would be cold, unnatural, and stiff. The strict order of a discourse is not unfrequently too artificial to come without violence from a moved heart. The joinings and dove-tailings which appear to exhibit such natural connexions between consecutive topics are too often the results, not of Nature but of Art, which fervent feeling must dispense with and despise, if it would not grow cold whilst engaged in this mechanical rivetting of hot thoughts.

We cannot approve of the taste or the correctness of the designation, the Church of the Messiah. What would be thought of the synonyme, the Church of the Christ? It is impossible to take as a distinguishing name a universal property, and names when not distinguishing cease to be names. We had previously thought that " St. Saviour" was the extremest impropriety in Ecclesiastial nomenclature.

Mr. Dewey regards his Church as consecrated beyond all other Consecration, by the sentiment that reared it—the great sentiment of Religion, of which it is a sacred symbol.

"When I think of this spiritual consecration, all outward adornments, decent rites, visible prosperity—the thronged gates and the gathering of a multitude, sink to nothing before me, and I feel that the great and sacred intent for which we have built this structure, could make any place sacred and sublime. Nay, my brethren, I can well conceive of circumstances in which loneliness, and desertion, and danger, would ennoble and endear to us a scene like this. If this, instead of being a temple of prosperous worship, were the altar of a forlorn hope; if we

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