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To be master of the sea is an abridgment of a monarchy. Cicero, writing to Atticus of Pompey's preparation against Cæsar, saith, "Consilium Pompeii plane Themistocleum est; putat enim, qui mari potitur, eum rerum potiri ;” and, without doubt, Pompey had tired out Cæsar, if upon vain confidence he had not left that way. We see the great effects of battles by sea: the battle of Actium decided the empire of the world; the battle of Lepanto arrested the greatness of the Turk. There be many examples, where sea fights have been final to the war; but this is when princes, or states, have set up their rest upon the battles. But thus much is certain, that he that commands the sea is at great liberty, and may take as much and as little of the war as he will; whereas, those that be strongest by land are many times, nevertheless, in great straits. Surely, at this day, with us of Europe, the vantage of strength at sea, which is one of the principal dowries of this kingdom of Great Britain, is great; both because most of the kingdoms of Europe are not merely inland, but girt with the sea most part of their compass; and because the wealth of both Indies seems, in great part, but an accessory to the command of the seas.
The wars of later ages seem to be made in the dark, in respect of the glory and honor which reflected upon men from the wars in ancient time. There be now, for martial encouragement, some degress and orders of chivalry, which, nevertheless, are conferred promiscuously upon soldiers and no soldiers, and some remembrance perhaps upon the escutcheon, and some hospitals for maimed soldiers, and such like things. But, in ancient times, the trophies erected upon the place of the victory; the funeral laudatives and monuments for those that died in the wars; the crowns and garlands personal; the style of emperor, which the great kings of the world after borrowed; the triumphs of the generals upon their return; the great donatives and largesses upon the disbanding of the armies, --were things able to inflame all men's courages. But, above all, that of the triumph amongst the Romans was not pageants, or gaudery, but one of the wisest and noblest institutions that ever was. For it contained three things; honor to the general, riches to the treasury out of the spoils, and donatives to the army. But that honor, perhaps, were not fit for monarchies, except it be* in the person of the monarch himself, or his sons; as it came to pass in the times of the Roman emperors, who did impropriate the actual triumphs to themselves and their sons, for such wars as they did achieve in person, and left only, for wars achieved by subjects, some triumphal garments and ensigns to the general.
* Abridgment (Fr. abréger, to abbreviate; Lat. brevis), compact form. – Cicero (B. C. 107-43), the most celebrated of the Roman orators. Atticus, friend and corre. spondent of Cicero. He committed suicide by starvation, B. C. 33.-Pompey's (B. C. 106-48). In some editions Pompey's is printed Pompey his. The old mode of indicating the possessive by adding his, appears to have originated in a blunder. The apostrophe with 8 comes from the old genitive (pos.) termination es (is or ys). The e being dropped the apostrophe takes its place, and the 8 is retained.--Consilium, etc. • The plan of Pompey is clearly that of Themistocles; for he thinks that whoever is master of the sea is master of the world.'-Actium, a sinall promontory at the entrance of the Ambracian (modern arta) golf, famous for the decisive naval battle between Augustus and Mark Antony, B. C. 31.-Lepanto, a seaport town of Greece on the north coast of the Gulf of Lepanto. In this gulf the Turkish fleet was annihilated, A. D. 1571, by the combined fleets of the Christian states of the Mediterranean under Don John of Austria.—That be strongest. Note the frequent use of be for are, by the old writers.--Final to the war. Modernize.-Set up their rest. Meaning :-Vantage, advantage.-Merely (A. S. mare, pure, unmixed ; Lat. merus), completely.-Compass, circuit. See Index.-Degrees, titler of distinction.-Escutcheon (Lat. scutum, a leather shield; Fr. écu), coat of arms.-Laudatives, panegyrics.-Style, designation, title.Triumphs, magnificent parādes. See Iodex. Describe a Roman 'triumph.'--Donatives, gifts.-Pageants (A. S. pæcean, 10 deceive by false appearances), pompous display.--Gaudery (Lat. gaudium, joy), ostentatious finery, gauds.
Are not merely inland = are not completely inland. Other equivalents?
To conclude: no man can, by care-taking, as the Scripture saith, “add a cubit to his stature,” in this little model of a man's body. But in the great frame of kingdoms and commonwealths, it is in the power of princes, or estates, to add amplitude and greatness to their kingdoms. For, by introducing such ordinances, constitutions, and customs, as we have now touched, they may sow greatness to their posterity and succession. But these things are commonly not observed, but left to take their chance.
. Except it be. Equivalent ? - Impropriate, appropriate, assume as one's own.-Caretaking: "Which of you with taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit " Matt. vi., 27; Luke xii., 25.---Touched (upon), treated of briefly.
Who did impropriate = who appropriated. Other equivalents:
As with the preceding essays, the student will do well to write out the leading thoughts, and recast them in the form of one or more essays. Write an argument to confirm or refute any of the doctrines here advanced by Bacon. Make citations from modern history to illustrate or overthrow them. Compare the coricentration of thought and languag: in Bacon with the diffusiveness of Spenser. Set forth in writing your views of irue national greatness. Write an essay on Bacon's moral character, as far as ii may be inferred from these exsays that we have read. Write another on his intellectual power as evinced therein. Write Reparate sketches of his life at different periods, as in youth, in early manhood, in middle age, while chancellor, and after retirement from active business. Has Macaulay treated him fairly? Who can you say of the Bacouian philosophy?
NorwITHSTANDING the investigations of scores of scholars and antiquarians, little is known of the early life of Shakespeare. No history records the successive steps by which he rose from the lowest depths of poverty and obscurity to the loftiest summits of intellect and fame.
His parents were illiterate, rarely, if ever, writing a word, but content to make their mark when called on for their signatures to any paper. His mother's name was Arden, a surname adopted by the Turchills, a family of some note that traced their lineage beyond the Norman conquest. Shakespeare is an old Warwickshire word. Lowell thinks that “one lobe of William's brain was Normanly refined, and the other Saxonly sayacious ;” but other scholars will have it that he was purely Saxon. If we may confide in the accuracy of the painter of his bust, which had been colored to the life before Edmund Malone stultified himself by whitening it in imitation of marble, his eyes were of a light lazel color, bis complexion fair, and his hair and beard auburn.
His mother had inherited some property. His father was a man of business; at various times, or perhaps all at once, farmer, wool-comber, butcher, and glover. In the little world of Stratford, he held successively the offices of “ale-taster," bailiff, justice of the peace, and chief alderman. At the age of thirteen, William found himself the oldest of five liviug children, two sisters, born before him, having died in infancy.
In the Stratford free grammar-school, open to William at the age of seven, he probably acquired some knowledge of Latin and Greek, in addition to the common English branches. His wonderful vocabulary, surpassing in blended fullness and accuracy that of any other writer in any age, proves him to have been a most diligent student of language; while his learning in metaphysics, literature, logic, art, law, medicine, navigation, history, politics, mythology, shows him unequalled in keevness of observation, and in power of acquiring, classifying, and assimilating.
Doubtless the first twelve years of his life passed happily enough amid the comfort and respectability of home. But clouds now gathered. The little property which William's mother had brought her husband, was slowly dissipated. Unable to support his growing family, the father sank decper and deeper in poverty. Though nominally an alderman, he for seven years dared not attend the meetings of the board, for fear of being arrested for debt. Skulking and hiding from constables, he was at length seized in 1587 and lodged in debtor's jail.
The distress of this once proud and respectable family must have been terrible. Mother and younger children naturally looked to the oldest boy, bright, strong, brave William, just entering manhood. Who knows but that the agonies of those nearest and dearest to him wrought in his sensitive spirit a determination to conquer all obstacles, and lift the family out of suffering and disgrace? The prodigious intellectual energies that he afterwards exhibited, must have had some great impelling force behind them, holding him to his work as with a giant's strength. Here may have been one source of his inspiration.
Traditions, seemingly well-founded, show that William was withdrawn from school in consequence of his father's reverses, and apprenticel to a butcher. Old Aubrey says, "When he killed a calf, he would do it in high style and make a speech"! Very likely. No distress could check the buoyancy of so elastic a spirit. The torrent, dammed by temporary obstacles, becomes irresistible. We recognize in Shakespeare, as in most men of the highest genius, a singular force and intensity. More than any other writer, he loads words with meaning till they sink under the weight; vivities nouns into verbs; injects his fiery emotion, incapable of cooling, through the rists of granitic thought; vitalizes and incarnates the shadows of tiction, till few historic characters seem so real.
Yet one blunder, great and almost fatal, stands out in bold relief. At eighteen, having no visible means of supporting a family, he marries Anne Hathaway, a woman of twenty-six. Before he is twenty-one, three little ones are dependent upon him for support.
To these embarrassments, which might have driven a small man to despair, a bad man to crime, a great man to sublime effort, there was, perhaps, a deeper shadow. His marriage brought him little comfort. At twenty-one, or thereabouts, he quilted his wife, and for many years afterwards he probably seldom visited her. Do we have a casual negative hint of his home-misery in Twelfth Night?
" Let still the woman take An elder than herself: so wears she to hini;
So sways she level in her husband's heart." However this may be, in his last will and testament he omits all mention of his wife at first, and finally, on second thought, interlines this "item,” “I give unto my wife my second best bed.” It is sad to lift the veil that hides this woe; but all mankind are probably the gainers. The love of this great soul, that might have blessed her alone, went to the drama instead.
"You have a wife already whom you love,
Your social theory," bays Aurora Leigh. Shakespeare was married, not to a woman, but “to immortal verse.
We are told by tradition that young Shakespeare became a school-master, a statement not likely to have been a sheer fabrication. Unfavorable rumors of one's conduct are easily generated, usually exaggerated, willingly believed, and safely transmitted to posterity. Not so with the good which men do. Alas, we do not like to hear Aristides called “ The Just!” We liug the aphorism, “No mau is wholly good, or wholly bad," for it brings down the lofty, and perhaps lifts us. But how could a report that Shakespeare was a school-master originate and gain credence in Warwickshire, unless founded on fact ? “He understood Latin pretty well, for he had been many years a school-master in the country," says Aubrey. Some confirmation may be found in the prominence which Shakespeare gives to school exercises, and in the grace and fluency with which he uses those words and illustrations which are the stock-in-trade of Latin school-masters.
But the hum of pedagogy by day, or the monotony of hard study by night, with the prosaic routine and inconveniences of the strictest enforced economy, is dull experience for a youth conscious of gigantic powers and determined to scale the highest hearen of thought. The bow forever bent will either break, or lose its clasticity. As he had probably been inveigled into matrimony, he is supposed by White and other critics to have been drawn by some of his wild companions into the robbery of Sir Thomas Lucy's decr park, three miles from Stratford. Caught in the act, William and his young fellow-poachers show fight. The story runs that they were arrested for the trespass, and that William was obliged to leave town. The first scene in Merry Wives of Windsor is supposed to be partially founded on this incident.
We find him next in London ; but for several years his history is a blank. Tradition fills it with vague reports of his joining the theatre, at first in a very humble capacity. It may have been.
After seven or eight years from the time of his arrival in the metropolis, be publishes what he styles The first heir of my invention,” the poem called Venus and Adonis. Brilliant and beautiful as much of it is, he should have burnt it; for “the trail of the serpent” is over it all. It ministers to the lowest appetite. A year later he publishes his second long poem, The Rape of Lucrece, dedicated to the same patron, Henry Wriothesly, Earl of Southampton, in language of remarkable significance : "What I have done is yours; what I have to do is yours; being part in all I have devoted yours.” The tradition is that Southampton had presented him a thouband pounds.
About this time we find him joint owner in the new Globe Theatre, perhaps investing here the money that the earl had given or loaned hiin. In 1594, too, the greatest of then living poets, Edmund Spenser, names him with high commendation, and speaks of the heroic sound of his warrior name, the only recognition of him by any illustrious contemporary, if we except Ben Jonson's encomium written many years after Shakespeare's death. Spenser's lines are,
“ And then, though last, not least is Ætion.
Doth like himself heroically found." This seems the place to mention his one hundred and fifty-four sonnets, though some of them were evidently written later in life. It is difficult, in reading them, to avoid the impression of a mysterious and profound sorrow, possessing his whole being. They contain few aspirations after anything noble ; but there are vivid pictures of earthly love, strange flashes of ambition, a boundless exuberance of faney, sublime premonitions of immortality; and revelations, too, it must be confessed, of conduct not creditable to any man's moral character. All of them are of love, and all of them could well have been omitted without damage to his fame.
He now (1587) entered upon his threefold career of dramatic author, actor, and manager. He wrote, or re-wrote (from 1587 to 1613), for it is not certain that he wholly originated any one of his plays, fourteen comedies, eleven tragedies, and ten histories. *
As to the seeds and sources of these plays, we find five comedies, Taming of the Shrew, Merchant of Venice, All's Well that Ends Well, Much Ado About Nothing, and Measure for Measure, Italian; two, Comedy of Errors and Twelfth Night, classical; two, Midsummer Night's and As You Like It, mediæval; one, Tico Gotlemen of Ve. rona, Spanish; one, Merry Wives of Windsor, English; one, Love's Labor's e-bi, probably French ; two, Winter's Tale and Tempest, unknown. We fiud, among the tragedies, four, Timon of Athens, Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra, classical ; two, Romeo and Juliet and Othello, Italian; two, Hamlet and Troilus and Cressida, mediæval; three, Cymbeline, Lear, and Macbeth, from the legendary history of Britain. The ten histories are called by the names of the English kings, Henry IV.(Parts I. and 11.), Henry V., Henry VI. (Parts I., II., II.), King John, Richard II., Richard III., and Henry VIII.
His earliest plays were probably Love's Labor's Lost, Comedy of Errors, and Troo Gentlemen of Verona. Between these youthful productions and the fruits of liis maturer genius, an amazing progress is evident. Hamlet, written in or about the year 1000, may be taken as the dividing point between the first half and the last half of his dramas. Composed at the age at which Milton wrote his Areopagilica, it may be con
* We omit Pericles and Titus Andronicus.