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Compare with this the exorcism of Pinch in Act iv.

Sc. 4.

charge thee, Satan, housed within this man,
To yield possession to my holy prayers,
And to thy state of darkness hie thee straight ;

I conjure thee by all the saints in heaven.
To this I may add that in Pericles Prince of Tyre,
a servant at Ephesus, which was not far from
Colossæ, has the name of Philemon.

In King Richard III, we read these words of Gloster, who is speaking—first to Hastings, and then to the officers in attendance :

Thou art a traitor-
Off with his head! Now, by Saint Paul I swear,
I will not dine until I see it done.

Act iii. Sc. 4.

What are we to understand by this adjuration of S. Paul ? Is there an allusion in it to what we read in Acts xxiii. 12?

Certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.

And was there some confusion in our poet's recollection of the circumstances, or remembering them aright, did he still make use of the name of the Apostle on their account? It must be stated, however, that the same wicked king is made to use the same oath on other occasions ; for instance, in the scene before the Battle of Bosworth :

By the Apostle Paul, shadows to-night
Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard

H

Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers,
Armed in proof, and led by shallow Richmond.

Act v. Sc. 3.

Why this bath should have been assigned no less than six times to King Richard III., but to no one else, in this play, and yet should not be found so much as once in any other, I am unable to explain; nor am I aware that the fact has been noticed by any of the critics.

We know how S. Paul has ‘protested' of himself with reference to his daily life of mortification, of hardship and self-denial :

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The same character is given in Macbeth, by Macduff, to the mother of Malcolm, whom he is addressing:

Thy royal father
Was a most sainted king: the queen, that bore thee,
Oftener upon her knees than on her feet,
Died every day she lived.*

Act iv. Sc. 3.

Moreover, we know how the same great apostle has protested also, that neither in his own teaching, nor in the promises of God, through Christ, is there any uncertainty, any vacillation, any saying of both yea

* Compare the character of the saintly Queen Margaret, as given by her biographer and confessor, Turgot, Bishop of S. Andrews. Shakspeare seems to have confounded, whether purposely or not, the character of Margaret, who was Malcolm's wife, with that of his mother.

and nay.' 2 Cor. i. 17-20. And so King Lear, complaining of the treatment he had received from his unnatural daughter :

To say ay, and no, to every thing I said! Ay and no too was no good divinity.

Act iv. Sc. 6. In the same Epistle to the Corinthians, xi. 6, S. Paul speaks of himself as 'rude in speech. And so does Othello :

Rude am I in my speech.

Act i. Sc. 3.

Once more: Prospero says to Miranda, in the Tempest :

The direful spectacle of the wreck which touch'd
The very virtue of compassion in thee,
I have with such provision in mine art
So safely ordered, that there is no soul-
No, not so much perdition as an hair,
Betid to any creature in the vessel
Which thou heard'st cry, which thou saw'st sink.

Act i. Sc. 2.

And Ariel afterwards reports, Not a hair perished.' In a note upon this passage, it has been suggested, with good reason, by Mr. Holt White, that Shakspeare may have had in his mind the hortatory speech of S. Paul to the ship's company, where he assures them that, though they were to suffer shipwreck:

There shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.

Acts xxvii. 34.

CHAPTER II.

Of Shakspeare's Religious Principles and Sentiments

derived from the Bible.

AM now to enter upon that which is the most important, and I trust, will be

found the most interesting part of my undertaking I am to show how scriptural, and consequently how true and just, are the conceptions which Shakspeare entertained of the being and attributes of God, of His general and particular Providence, of His revelation to man, of our duty towards Him and towards each other, of human life and of human death, of time and of eternityin a word, of every subject which it most concerns us as rational and responsible beings to conceive aright.

SECT. 1. Of the Being and Nature of God.

To begin, then, with the titles and attributes of God. Among the names by which He is revealed to us in Scripture, are these: The Lord of Hosts, the King Immortal, the King of Kings.

In the First Part of King Henry VI, the Bishop of Winchester, Cardinal Beaufort, thus speaks of the deceased King Henry V. in the presence of his corpse, lying in state:

He was a king, blessed of the King of Kings,*
The battles of the LORD OF Hosts he fought.

Act i. Sc. i.

And, in the Second Part of King Henry IV., Prince Henry to his father lying on his death-bed :

There is your crown:
And He that wears the crown IMMORTALLY
Long guard it yours !

Act iv, Sc. 4.

Among the attributes of God, we have been taught by revelation that He knows all things; that He sees all things, even our most secret thoughts; that He neither slumbers, nor sleeps; and that His Providence is over all His works.

Accordingly our poet speaks of Him as “the High ALL SEER,' in King Richard III., Act v. Sc. I ; and even in Pericles Prince of Tyre, where the characters are heathen, we read of

Powers
That give Heaven countless eyes to view men's acts.

Act i. Sc. 1.

* See also Edward (Earl of March), in 3rd Pl. K. Henry VI., quoted below, p. 181; and King Richard III., quoted below, p. 192.

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