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as dirt." He may have “looked gen- headlong down the precipice, but, alas ! tler,” but the poison has done its work; not killed at once. The strong young and nothing but the life's blood of his life will not leave its tenement—the victim can, as he says, remove nor mortal agony is prolonged ; even the choke the strong conception which I do dagger's thrust, which is meant in mercy groan withal.'
The very serenity of that she may not “ linger in her pain,' her guileless soul makes against her. is not enough. The soul will not away “She must die, or she'll betray more until it asserts the purity of the sweet men." What a scene is this ! The casket in which it has been set. It powers of good and evil have met in lingers on in pain until the poor body mortal strife!
can speak, not, as before, to deaf ears My friends used to say, as Mr. that will not listen, but to those of a Macready did, that in Desdemona I was sympathizing woman. Then, with bit“ very hard to kill.” How could I be ter moans and broken breath, she stamotherwise? I would not die dishonored mers out with her last gasp of life—"A in Othello's esteem. This was bitterer guiltless death I die !" than fifty thousand deatlys. Then I When asked who has done this deed, thought of all his after-suffering, when she says, “Nobody-I myself." As in he should come to know how he had the Senate-house, before the Council
, mistaken me! The agony for him she took all the blame upon herself, so which filled my heart, as well as the here, once more, and with her dying mortal agony of death, which I felt in breath, she does the same. I'did it all imagination, made my cries and strug- _“I myself.” Blame no one else. gles no doubt very vehement and very Commend me to my kind lord. Farereal. My whole soul was flung into the well !” entreaty, but for “half an hour !" Commend me to my brave warrior ! “but while I say one prayer !"—which Of what higher heroism than this-of prayer would have been for him. Then, what nobler love-has history or rowhen she hears, for the first time, that mance any record ? Cassio is the supposed accomplice in her Mr. Macready was very fine in this guilt, it was as though I spoke for my- scene. There was an impressive granself in the swift rejoinder—"Send for deur, an elevation even, in his ravings : the man and ask him !""*
“ Whip me, ye devils, Oh that Othello had been so true a
From the possession of this heavenly sight! friend and husband as to do this before ! Blow me about in winds ! roast me in sulBut no; the poison still works, and all phur ! she says only serves to augment his Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire !
O Desdemona ! Desdemona !-dead! dead ! fury. When Desdemona hears that
dead !" Cassio has already lost his life, and that “his mouth is stopped,” she naturally As I lay there and I listened, he seemed weeps the loss of the innocent man, both to me to be like a soul in hell, whirling for his own sake, and because he could in the Second Circle of the Inferno. alone, she thinks, prove her guiltless. And there was a piteousness and a pathos All things conspire against her-her very in his reiteration of the loved one's name tears, her prayers, her asseverations, give that went to my very heart. Oh, how it countenance to her guilt. She is hurled ached, too, for Othello, when his eyes
were opened, and he could see and trace * It was a great pleasure to me, when, talk
the paltry threads by which his soul and ing with Mr. Carlyle in 1873 about Mr. Mac- body had been ensnared, and when I ready's revivals, which he spoke of very heard the broken accents of his shame at warmly, he referred in very glowing terms to having sunk so low as to conspire in my Desdemona. Amid much else, he said he had never felt the play so deeply before. One
Cassio's death! phrase especially struck me-" It quite hurt
And now the worst is past. The play him to see the fair delicate creature so brutally begins in night with hurry and turmoil ; used.” Would that I could give an idea of his in night, and what a night, it ends ! tone and accent, gentle and tremulous, as if a
There are glorious days of perfect happisuffering living creature were there before him! I quote from my Diary, November 24,
ness between, but they are few, and the 1873.
last of them overshadowed with clouds
" consulting for foul weather," and giv- keeps silence. Nothing can excuse that ing portentous presage of a terrible silence, not even her dread of her huscatastrophe. But not with storm and band, brutal as she knew him to be-this turmoil does the last night come. The “ honest, honest Iago !” She could deep blue sky is studded with chaste have told them of what metal he was stars,” not a breath is stirring, and the made. lapping of the Levant against the castle Still, she expiates her wrong-doing rock is alone heard through the stillness; with her life. With that last interview while “ the sweetest innocent that e'er of an hour back in her thoughts, the old did lift up eye" is cruelly done to death ballad still sounding in her ears, when by him that loved her best.
she next sees her sweet mistress it is to As we " look upon the tragic loading find her breathless-dying from a violent of that bed,” we are not without corn- and most unnatural death. Well may fort. Truly it is best so. The wrench she say, “Oh, this grief will kill me !" which had been given to the bond by But she has yet to learn what hand she which these two noble lovers were unit- herself has had in this dismal tragedyed could never be repaired on earth. to learn that the handkerchief she stole Life could never again have been to and gave to her husband, Desdemona them the same as in their brief days of had been accused of giving to Cassio. happiness. The delusion which made At last she speaks. Though late, she Othello nad has been rent from his will make what reparation she can, and eyes. He must rejoin her who died she does it unflinchingly. Her huswith a message for himn on her lips. No band's threats and his commands that fear that when they “meet at compt" she shall go home do not stop her. She her look will “hurl his soul from entreats of the others leave to speak. heaven.'' Her infinite love and pity “It is right that I obey him, but not will think but of his sufferings, and will Perchance, Iago, I shall ne'er go plead for the forgiveness he dares not home.
home.” No! there is no more home ask for himself.
of them. What has she more to Another victim lies near them, and live for? Better die, as she does by one who has become almost hallowed by Iago's sword, than drag out a life of reher death.
morse for disloyalty to her mistress. Whatever may have been Emilia's life That mistress is to her the one sole before, one cannot but feel for her now. creature of whom she can now think, She has truly loved and honored Desde- and with her dying breath she reiterates mona, all the more that to her common to Othello the asseverations of her innature, and with her rough experience nocence. “She loved thee, cruel Moor of the world, her mistress reveals a so speaking as I think, I die, I purity and elevation of spirit which she die ;' and her last words are a prayer had never before so much as dreamed that she may be laid by her mistress's of. We cannot forgive the part she side. plays in giving the dropped handker- We have learned from Gratiano that chief to her husband, instead of return- Brabantio is dead. No doubt when he ing it to her lady, knowing how she returned to his desolate home, Brabantio values it-how she keeps it " always by would become alive to the reality that his her to kiss and talk to." Although she daughter had been its very light and life. has misgivings as to the use her husband Self-reproaches would rise to fill her means to make of it, yet she gives it to place and embitter his loneliness, re"please his fantasy. She hears Des minding him of all he might have been, demona deplore its loss .
but had not been, to her. The maiden, should I lose that handkerchief, so tender, so unobtrusive, had a magic in Emilia ?" Yet she can answer, “I her presence not consciousìy known or know not, madam.” She hears the felt until lost, but which filled his home Moor's wild burst of passion when Des- and life with blessings, and without demona owns she has it not about which their charm was gone, and so the her ;" she sees that its absence has made old senator died quickly," pure grief him jealous ; she sees her mistress shore his old thread in twain. plunged in grief for its loss and yet Of Cassio what shall be said ? The
two creatures he most admired and loved will be one enskyed and sainted" have been brought to ruin, and chiefly above all her sex-one who will keep through hini ! By his own folly in the alive for him his faith in woman, his brawl with Roderigo he will be apt to hopes of the hereafter, when the mysthink he laid the ground-work for Iago's teries of this all-unintelligible world”. plot. He will remember that it was shall be solved ; and that one will beIago who first urged him to appeal to “the divine Desdemona." Desdemona to get him reinstated. Nor Adieu, my friend! I have told you, can he fail to learn how his importunity as you wished me, what I thought about and her kindness" Your solicitor shall the three important female characters in rather die than give your cause away !" Shakespeare to which you believed the -helped to bring about the woeful ca- least justice had been done. Would I tastrophe. If so, what unhappiness is had held your pen to write with ! before him! It will take long years to Adieu !-Ever affectionately yours, deaden the thought that, but for his
Helena FAUCIT MARTIN. fatal weakness, no intercession would have been necessary, and all might have
To Miss GerALDINE E. JEWSBURY. A great gap has been made in his life. He will never be quite the [Before this letter was despatched, I same man again, though he may be a learned that the dear friend for whom it better and a wiser one. Neither Cyprus was intended had sunk into a state of nor Venice will hold him long. He will unconsciousness. As it was written, get back, I think, to the books and however, so I leave it, again praying forstudies of his youth. Ever present with bearance for what in it is merely personal him will be the image of the victims of the trifles which would have given it a the“ misadventured piteous overthrow" special value in her eyes.--H. F. M., in which he had unwittingly played so 31 Onslow SQUARE, 12th Feb., 1881.] prominent a part. But for him there -Blackwood's Magazine,
MISFORTUNES IN METAPHOR.
BY HENRY W. LUCY, METAPHOR is perhaps at once the most negro, and above all the negro preacher, seductive and the most misleading form wallows in metaphor, invariably more or of speech.
To the average orator it less mixed. It was one of these who, has the same attraction that edged tools confessing his faults before his congrehave for children, and its use is as fre- gation, cried aloud : “ Brethren, the quently followed by lamentable results. muddy pool of politics was the rock on It is the earliest language of mankind, which I split.'
which I split.” It was another who ferand it is one which the average modern vently exclaimed : We thank Thee for man least successfully manages. When
When this spark of grace ; water it, good at the earliest epoch of our development, Lord.' Another prayed for grace metaphor was the ordinary form of that we might gird up the loins of our speech, this maladroitness was not ob- minds, so that we shall receive the latservable. In the Bible, for example, ter rain.
ter rain.” Mixed nietaphors grow luxwhere metaphor is constantly employed, uriantly on the fertile soil of the United it invariably adorns speech, and often States.
States. Only the other day I read an lifts it to the loftiest heights possible for article from the eloquent pen of Colonel prose. It is a lost art and not a new ac- John Forney, in which, speaking eulocomplishment we grapple with in these gistically of the mother of John Quincy degenerate days when we venture on Adams, he said, “She was a public metaphor.
woman all her life. Hence the remarkThe class of people who most fre- ably mixed character of her posterity.” quently use it claim kinship to past mas- This unhappy phrase is rather a mudters in the art, inasmuch as they are lack- dling of expression than a mixing of ing in what we call education. The metaphor.
Ireland has so long been looked upon Versailles. “No Austria, no Prussia !" as the home of mixed metaphor, that a said the inspired mayor; one only good deal of the fun has been rubbed Germany! Such were the words the out by the suspicion that specimens are mouth of your Imperial Majesty has almade to order. Of this class is doubt- ways had in its eye." Essentially Gerless the peroration attributed to an Irish man is a sentence from a learned critibarrister. "Gentlemen of the jury,” he cism on a book of lyrics which carries is reported to have said, “it will be for the signature of Professor Johannes you to say whether this defendant should Sheer. “Out of the dark regions of be allowed to come into court with un- philosophical problems," says the problushing footstep, with the cloak of hy- fessor, “the poet suddenly lets swarms pocrisy in his mouth, and draw three of songs dive up, carrying far-flashing bullocks out of my client's pocket with pearls of thought in their beaks." A impunity.” In this connection I will song with a pearl in its beak would be a quote a single illustration, which has at great attraction in the programme of a least the advantage of being authentic. popular concert. Early in last year, before the general We need not go far abroad in search election, Mr. Shaw, Member for the of mixed metaphors. 'This is a su County Cork, and at that time leader of premacy in which the House of Comthe Home Rule party, was addressing a mons holds its own, as it claims to do meeting held one Sunday at Cork, with in every other contest of life. It has the object of discussing the land ques- been my lot to hear a good many tion. Mr. Shaw is a sober-minded man, speeches in the House of Commons, who, on ordinary occasions, finds plain and I have from time to time jotted speech serve his purpose. At this time, down a few of the gems of metaphor however, the spirit of metaphor came strewed on this historic floor. Mr. upon him, and this is what it made him Shaw's chef-d'æuvre will find a fitting say : “ They tell us that we violate the parallel in the remark made by Mr. Sabbath by being here to-day. Yet, if O'Conor Power, another able speaker, the ass or the ox fall into the pit, we who caught Sir Stafford Northcote, then can take him out on the Sabbath. Our Chancellor of the Exchequer, tripping brother is in the pit to-day-the farmer in the matter of his resolutions in reand the landlord are both in it-and we spect to the business of the House. In are come here to try if we can list them his ingenuous manner, the Rt. Hon. out."
This similitude of the Irish Baronet had too plainly disclosed the landlord to an animal predestined to notorious fact that the resolutions, slaughter was bold but timely. The while professing to deal with the general other half of the analogy seemed calcu- conduct of business, were aimed directly lated to get Mr. Shaw into trouble with at obstruction. Whereupon, up jumped his constituency.
Mr. O'Conor Power, and with triumIn Germany, metaphors are evolved phant manner exclaimed: "Mr. Speakfrom the inner conscience with great er, sir, since the Government has let the success. There are one or two famous cat out of the bag, there is nothing to in the literary history of the country. be done but to take the bull by the Every one has heard of the speech of horns," which he forthwith did, deJustice Minister Hye, who, addressing bating the matter as especially dealing the Vienna students in the troublous with obstructionists. It was in a simtime of 1848, declared," the chariot of ilar access of passionate emotion that, the revolution is rolling along, and during a debate on the foreign policy of gnashing its teeth as it rolls.” On the Lord Beaconsfield's Government, Mr. other side, a democrat came very near Alderman Cotton solemnly declared that to this success by announcing that we " at one stage of the negotiations a will burn all our ships, and, with every great European struggle was so immisạil unfurled, steer boldly out into the nent that it only required a spark to let ocean of freedom.” Less known is the slip the dogs of war." It was on the address by the mayor of a Rhineland same night, and during the same decorporation, spoken to the Emperor bate, that Mr. Forster observed : “I William shortly after he was crowned at will, Mr. Speaker, sit down by saying,
etc. Mr. Forster has always been an pension of the Habeas Corpus Act would adroit politician ; but what new sort of merely leave the rotting sword festering manæuvre this is that enables a man to in the wound. “ sit down by saying” remains unex- Politics, like all engagements that plained.
heat the blood, lead largely to indulof the same class of mixed idea was gence in metaphor. During the general Sir Drummond Wolff's declaration dur- election Sir John Hardy, addressing the ing the debate Mr. Bradlaugh's East Staffordshire electors, assured them admission, that "if the member for that, if they sent him to Parliament, “it Northampton were to be admitted, he would be a pledge against the dismemwould vote with a millstone round his berment of the empire.” This was not neck”-an awkward appanage to a man nearly so good as the elaborate and dein walking through the lobby, more es- liberate metaphor with which Mr. pecially on nights when the Obstruc- Thwaites, one of the Conservative cantionists resort to the practice of re- didates for Blackburn, sought to recompeatedly challenging divisions. A mend himself to that electors. He was weighty argument somewhat akin to this speaking of the condition of the nawas used by Mr. Hopwood, in the Ses- tional finances, at that time in the hands sion of 1879, when talking in Committee of Sir Stafford Northcote. “ Unforof Supply on the subject of vaccina- tunately,” he said, “ the Government is tion. "Don't"-said Mr. Hopwood on the wrong side of the book ; but, impressively, addressing himself person- however, you have had a prudent Chanally to the lamented Admiral, who hapo cellor of the Exchequer, and he has pened at that moment to be the only done his best. He has done what I occupant of the ministerial benches-- would like you, my friends, to do. " Don't drive the steam-engine of the When you have laid an egg, put it by for law over people's consciences.” This
This a rainy day.'
Why electors of Blackillustrates a fatal association of ideas burn should be expected to lay eggs is a which often leads even practised speak- question that disappears before the ers into misfortune with metaphor. Mr. greater importance of the query, why Hopwood on his way down to the they should save them for a rainy day. House had probably seen a steam-roller In a different way, but quite in the in operation, and had watched its level- same spirit, is this sentence from a reling effect upon the broken granite. cent article by the Rev. Mr. Haweis on Hence the too ready allusion. In the an American poet. “Sublime singleness same session, during a discussion on the of purpose ! divine simplicity of heartMunicipal Officers Superannuation Bill, the little child is again set in the midst an Hon. Gentleman opposed the meas- of us by the dear Lord, and presently ure on the ground that it was opening he overcomes the mailed Goliaih with a the door for the insertion of the thin sling and a stone." This does not mean end of the wedge," a preliminary process anything in particular ; but surely such which should at least tend to make the a mixing up of the Old and the New work of the wedge easy. It was the Testament was never before perpetrated same member who paid a compliment to by a gentleman who must of necessity the Chambers of Commerce as “the in- have read both. A friend of the late telligent pioneers who feel the pulse of George Eliot, writing to one of the daily the commercial community." Here we papers on the private character of the have vividly summoned before the mind's great novelist, tripped only less grieveye a picture of a man--probably in the ously in attempting to adorn his text uniform of the guides, certainly with a with scriptural imagery. pickaxe on his shoulder-going about on sessed,” he writes, to a "marvellous the 'Change feeling the pulses of the degree, the divine gift of charity, and of merchants and brokers. On the fifth attracting moral outcasts to herself, night of the debate on the Address in the whose devils she cast out by shutting her current session, Sir Patrick O'Brien in eyes to their existence,'' – Belgravia a luminous speech declared that the sus. Magasine.