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scholars—and Greene was what is called 'learned'-purposely committed anachronisms and violations of geography and chronology. The novelist and the dramatist have a law of their own, which is different from the law of the lecture

Can we imagine that Scott knew nothing of the dates of Shakspere's plays or of Shakspere's life? And yet, Scott, in • Kenilworth,' makes Raleigh recite lines from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' at a period of Elizabeth's history when Shakspere was twelve years old ; and, further, gives a dialogue between Leicester and the poet a week before the memorable visit of Elizabeth to Leicester's castle, when, unquestionably, the boy Shakspere was at school at Stratford upon Avon. These are wilful inconsistencies, of which fiction gives hundreds of examples ;-but they are not what the world calls blunders.

The only hint which the reader may require, to form a true conception of the scope of this charming play, has reference to the character of Leontes; and Coleridge has furnished an explanation of this character, which leaves nothing to add:“ The idea of this delightful drama is a genuine jealousy of disposition, and it should be immediately followed by the perusal of 'Othello,' which is the direct contrast of it in every particular. For jealousy is a vice of the mind, a culpable tendency of the temper, having certain well-known and well-defined effects and concomitants, all of which are visible in Leontes, and, I boldly say, not one of which marks its presence in Othello ;—such as, first, an excitability by the most inadequate causes, and an eagerness to snatch at proofs ; secondly, a grossness of conception, and a disposition to degrade the object of the passion by sensual fancies and images; thirdly, a sense of shame of his own feelings, exhibited in a solitary moodiness of humour, and yet, from the violence of the passion, forced to utter itself, and therefore catching occasions to ease the mind by ambiguities, equivoques, by talking to those who cannot, and who are known not to be able to understand what is said to them,in short, by soliloquy in the form of dialogue, and hence a confused, broken, and fragmentary manner; fourthly, a dread of vulgar ridicule, as distinct from a high sense of honour, or a mistaken sense of duty; and lastly, and immediately consequent on this, a spirit of selfish vindictive

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