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another-and if so, then every part of space is an independent, all-wise, and almighty being; and instead of one God we shall have millions.
To conclude, if space be a substance, it must be THE ONE DIVINE SUBSTANCE of infinitely long and broad perfections; or else all the parts of it must be THE LESSER DIVINE SUBSTANCES united in one.
IS SPACE NOTHING OR SOMETHING? Space is long, broad, and deep; has measurable distances, real capacity, a power to contain bodies. If it be not something, if there be nothing between two bodies, say, our world and the moon, must they not lie close together, touch one another?
Do not these considerations prove space to be something?
It cannot be a mere idea, for we can form none of the infinite, which space must be, and besides, it must exist whether there were mind to conceive it or not.
Try to suppose all annihilated; you cannot conceive the annihilation of space.-Essays by Isaac Watts, D.D., Author of Hymns for Children, &c. &c.
(What is God. Is he something or nothing? If something, whether he is Space or not, by whatever name we designate our idea of him, the remarks applied to space may be applied with equal force to him.
But it will be said, God is a Spirit, is immaterial ; that is, if the word has any meaning, exists without substance or manner of existence. This is, like the assertion of a creative power, or first cause, mere assumption to conceal our ignorance. Of the things within our reach we doubt, examining into their truth ere we assent thereto; those, which from their remoteness are ineapable of proof, we believe; and with completest certainty we frame our theories for the darkness yet beyond. That which exists is composed of something or is in something, and we call that something immaterial only when we know not its material: If it is not composed of any thing to distinguish it from other existences; or, being a mere power or property, such as thought, &c., if it has not any thing wherein to exist, how can it have existence? It is not. We say that God is immaterial, yet hath powers and properties; that he is omnipresent, yet is no-where; invisible, intactible, uncognizable by our senses or thoughts : yet we endow him with powers and affections according with those senses, assert the method and ends of his existence, and make him in all respects, save degree, like unto the notions we have formed of our own souls, they too being immaterial because we have no idea of their materials. We assert that he sways and directs all things, and that in him all things consist; yet that he is independent of all things, and existed before all things.
-WHERE? WHAT DOING? AND HOW! Brooding through “an eternity of idleness” in the immensity of NOTHING.
This is the dogma of the Theist, That a Being exists per se and independent in toto, who was in Nothing from eternity; who from that Nothing made all things; who, before the beginning of things, foresaw and predestined all that has happened or that shall happen in his Creation; yet whose wisdom and power are still constantly requisite to direct and preserve his perfect machinery, Will not the whole of this quibbling attempt to reconcile incongruities and establish the truth of nonsense fall to the ground when, in the place of the all-absorbing yet independent God, we suppose the being of a Spirit co-existent with the Universe, which it directs and pervades yet is dependent on; a supposition, which in fact is but saying, that "Nature lives and moves and has its being; that Nature and the great Soul thereof are mutually dependent and subsisting—as the body were worthless without the soul, and the life were not without its substance.)
Her face so fair, as flesh it seemed not,
In her fair eyes two living lamps did flame,
Her yellow locks, crispéd like golden wire,
(MODERNISED FROM) Spenser's Faery Queene. * Apparel + Vermilion.
Without the bed her other fair hand was,
Shakspere :--The Rape of Lucrece.
THE LIFE OF SHAKSPERE. WILLIAM SHAKSPERE, before whose wonderful dramas, both tragic and comic, those of the greatest of other writers, of all ages and of all countries, pale away into secondary splendor, was born at Stratford-upon-Avon, on the 23rd of April, 1564, and died on the same day of the year 1616, at the age of 52, in his native town, and was buried in the church of that place. His father is generally said to have been a dealer in wool, and a magistrate; but some have asserted that he was a butcher, and a story is told of Shakspere, in the capacity of his apprentice, killing a calf with much grace and dexterity, and rehearsing an extempore poem in celebration of the feat. His mother was of the Ardens, an ancient family of the county of Warwichshire, and, we are assured (as if it were a matter of vital importance to the fame of the great dramatist !) " of undoubted gentility.”. He was the eldest of ten children, and only received the ordinary education of a country free-school. Whether it were as wool-comber, or butcher, it seems probable that he assisted in his father's business, after leaving school; but Malone, one of his commentators, is of opinion that he was placed in the office of an attorney of Stratford, and there obtained that knowledge of legal phraseology which is so conspicuously scattered throughout his plays. In his seventeenth or eighteenth year he married a yeoman's daughter, Ann Hathaway, who was eight years older than himself, from whom he soon separated, and by whom he had one son, Hamet, who died in his infancy, and two daughters, who survived him. Being compelled to leave his native town in consequence of a deerstealing frolic, he came to London in his 22nd year, and there met with a townsman, Thomas Green, a popular actor, by whose means he obtained a footing at the theatres. One tradition tells us that he commenced his theatrical career as a holder of the horses of those persons who attended the theatre without servants; another, that he first officiated as call-boy to the prompter. As an actor, he does not appear to have ever ranked very high: the characters he represented were such as the Ghost in his own “Hamlet," and old Adam in his " As you Like it;" and he is known to have performed the Elder Knowell in his friend Ben Jonson's comedy of “Every Man in his Humor.” He must have commenced his splendid career as a dramatist very soon after his introduction to the London players; in the successful course of which he very speedily became a theatrical proprietor and manager himself, and retired early in life to his native town upon a fortune equivalent in the present day to about £1000 a year.
A monument was erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey, in 1741. His elder, and favourite daughter, Susannah, was twice married, but left no issue. His second, Judith, was once married, and had three sons, all of whom died unmarried. Of Shakspere, therefore, there are no descendants amongst us, unless the divine poet himself, or one or other of his three grandsons, conferred upon some sweet child the honours of a generous “illegitimacy.”
The only record extant as to the personal appearance of Shakspere is that of Aubrey, who says “he was a handsome, well-shaped man;" and adds the very superfluous information, that he was “very good company, and of a very ready, pleasant and smooth wit.”
Shakspere's plays were only collected and authentically published seven years after his death ; a circumstance solely, we think, attributable to the nature of the arrangements usual in his day between theatre and author, and to its being considered that the publication of a popular play was injurious to its attraction on the stage: for, as to its being a consequence of his ignorance of their great literary value, or of his general modest estimate of his own powers, we must utterly repudiate the ridiculous and unwarranted notion. Such a mind could not, in the nature of things, be unaware of the relative greatness of its own most wondrous workings; and that Shakspere, in common with all other great poets, was imbued with a full sense of his own greatness, is evident from many passages in his sonnets. We will quote but one of these in proof:
" Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme." The entire sonnet which these two lines commence continues and concludes in the same strain; and several others comprise similar instances of exalted self-appreciation.
Shakspere, we may, in conclusion, aver, is the greatest and most universal of all human creators. Hamlet, Falstaff
, Ariel, Caliban, Beatrice, Lady Macbeth, Timon, Rosalind, Dogberry, Ophelia, the Fool in Lear, Mercutio, Falconbridge, Imogene—where, in the range of the incarnate idealisms of poetry, have we existences like to these? Where in poetry have we aught that approaches in human beauty, mirth, truthfulness, grandeur, and high nobility, to the love of Viola
and of Juliet, of Julia and of Helen, of Imogene and of Desdemona; to the wantonness of Cressida and
the gorgeous voluptuousness of Cleopatra ; to the wit and humor of Falstaff and his companions, and of the Clowns in Twelfth Night and All's Well that Ends Well; to the drolleries of Touchstone, and the stolidness of Dogberry, Verges, Aguecheek ; to the manly grace and vivacity of the Prince of Wales, of Biron and Mercutio; to the philosophy and wisdom with which the Troilus and Cressida is full tó overflowing; to the heroism of Hotspur and the valor of Coriolanus; to the supernatural terrors of Macbeth, the passion of Othello, the madness of Ophelia and of Lear; and to that continued consummately-wrought expression of “the burthen of the mystery of the Universe,” which constitutes Hamlet the one sole miracle of creative literature? We may search for ever in the works of all the poets of the earth, and find nothing comparable to these. As the “mere poet," too, in his Rape of Lucrece and his 'Venus and Adonis (the only works which he himself ever published) he is surpassed by none in beauty of imagery, and abundant grace and richness of expression; his Lover's Complaint is one of the most ceaselessly eloquent lyrics in the language; and among his upwards of one hundred and seventy sonnets, and other brief poems, there are many unapproached and unapproachable, in sweetness of feeling, profundity of thought and sublimity of imagination, by the very greatest of our other sonnet and song writers. They are brilliant spray-drops which the vast and ever-pouring stream of his genius seems to have sprinkled from its bosom in the course of its wondrous flow.
RECORDS OF THE WORLD'S JUSTICE.
BY A HARDWAREMAN.
“Here lieth the Body
of Digby Hall, in this Parish;
on the 18th of April, 1838.
and vast attainments,
A loving Husband,
A faithful Friend,
A considerate Landlord,
What an excellent custom is that among us, of allowing none but the owners of superlative characters to be honoured with a churchyard monument! What a proof of the slandered world's passing charity, that no ill is spoken of the dead! There, in the hallowed ground, they rest all forgotten save their virtues. What a pleasant business must be a tomb-stone cutter's! How delightful his “Meditations among the Tombs”! Exemplary wives ; patterns of husbands; money-tormented Jobs, the unmurmuring bearers of sore afflictions; hopeful Christians of all ages, from a few weeks, upwards; generous masters; faithful servants ;*—these are the monumented: but where are the bad folk, where the worthless ? God knows. He made all : and his
is infinite. Certainly they sleep not in consecrated ground. But how came Sir Francis there?
I had the honour of being acquainted with Sir Francis; not, to be sure, on equal terms, for I am but a poor tradesman, and he was a wealthy baronet; but I had sufficient opportunity of studying his character, and I cannot say think his Epitaph well expressed. In the first place, Sir Francis Digby died of apoplexy, occasioned by over-eating- -a mode of dissolution not very favourable to the exercise of cheerfulness. Yet it is possible that in his last moments he did find time to think of him who " came eating and drinking.”—Then, as to the Baronet's gentlemanly manners—Sir Francis was accustomed to receive the salute of a poor man without returning it: this is not gentlemanly: if he did return it, he took care to show that he considered his own superiority : and it is not gentle to tell another, you think him not so good as yourself—whether true or not.— I will not deny his intellectual acquirements; but I never heard of any, except himself, being the better for them: and a man's indolence or selfishness should not be prominently recorded by his "panegyrists."-I desire to know why mere external manners, or even intellectual attainments, should be classed first among a man's merits.
Let us look into the other items of the account. “A loving Husband :"That is to say, he never beat his wife, seldom swore at her, cared no more for any other woman than he did for her; and in his general behaviour acknowledged her to be a very useful domestic
, worthy to be the mother of his children, to sit at the head of his table, to wait upon him in health, without contradicting him, and, when he was ill, to think it her greatest happiness to be allowed to nurse him. She was not to expect to be burnt at his funeral.
“ An affectionate Father:"—Sir Francis proved this by the bringing up of his children. “He spared no expense in their education.” He could say
• The “ faithful Servant's" monument is a very plain, very unpretending stone, in a corner of the burial-ground, quite out of the way. It was erected by his MASTER, to reward tbe exemplary conduct of an attached domestic, who lived forty years in one service, without any desire of improvement, and who died “ in harness"-a most christian conclusion: