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Leon. If he do fear God, he must necessarily keep peace; if he break peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear and trembling.
D. Pedro. And so will he do, for the man doth fear God.
IBID., p. 143. In reference to the doctrine of Fatalism, I cannot forbear adding that it is Cassio, when he is no longer sober, who is made to vent the extreme Calvinistic sentiment :
Well! Heaven's above all; and there be souls that must be saved, and there be souls must not be saved.
Othello, Act ii. Sc. 3.
On the opposition of 'grace and rude will,' see the speech of the Friar in Romeo and Juliet, quoted above, p. 127. But still more to the purpose is the answer of Q. Elizabeth to Richard III., when she is upbraiding him with the murder of her children in the Tower, which he had attempted to palliate on the plea of fatality:
K. Rich. All unavoided is the doom of destiny.
Where unavoided' has the sense of 'inevitable,' and 'avoided' the sense of wasted,' and then 'withdrawn ;' the latter implying that great and fearful doctrine set forth in so many Scriptural examples, such as Esau, Pharaoh, Balaam, Saul, Judas, &c., and in Matth. xiii. 12.
IBID., p. 146, line 10. In this remark I had forgotten for the moment the legend of the Parcæ, which appears in Hesiod, Theog., 904 sq. (who lived, probably, about a century before Isaiah), and which is alluded to by Shakspeare more than once. Thus in K. Henry V., Act i. Sc. 1, Pistol speaks of 'Parca's fatal web;' and 'the sisters three' are mentioned in Merchant of Venice, Act i. Sc. 2, and again in Midsummer Night's Dream, Act i. Sc. 1. IBID., p. 149 sq. Bp. Ken, in his Practice of Divine Love,
p. 97, and both the Westminster Catechisms, concur in regarding suicide as forbidden by the Sixth Commandment. See also Warburton, Divine Legation, vol. v., p. 78. How far that prohibition can be regarded as a 'canon' of natural religion is very doubtful. It appears indeed to have been the doctrine of the better and more ancient Greek philosophers, such as Pythagoras, and such as Socrates, that a man is not at liberty to quit his life except at the order of God, Who gave it (see Plato's Phado, c. 13 sqq.; Cicero's Tusc. Disput., c. 30, and De Senect., c. 20); but the Stoics and others rejected the doctrine, as derogatory to man's free agency (see Senec., Epist., lxx., and Plut., Vit., vol. iv., p. 851, ed. Reiske); and, except under the influence of Christianity, it has never been a generally accepted truth.* Milton, therefore, may be justified when he represents Eve in her despondency as addressing Adam :
Let us seek death: or, he not found, supply
With our own hands his office on ourselves.-P. L., x. 1001. And it is equally in character with the weak worldling Roderigo, to avow as he does in Othello:
It is silliness to live when to live is a torment; and then have we a prescription to die, when death is our physician.—Act i. Sc. 3.
Comp. Bp. Thirlwall's Letters to a Friend, p. 299, and Augustin, De Patientiâ, who speaks of suicide as worse than parricide, c. 10, vol. ii., p. 900.
IBID., pp. 153-155. To the passages there quoted, respecting the connection of bravery with virtue, and of cowardice with sin, the sentiments put into the mouth of the Duke of Norfolk in K. Richard II. deserve to be added:— A jewel in a ten-times-barred-up chest
Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.-Act i. Sc. 1.
*It is not, therefore, to be wondered at that Hume, as an unbeliever, has argued against it.
As gentle and as jocund as to jest
Go I to fight: truth hath a quiet breast.—Ibid., Sc. 3.
On the comprehensive meaning of the word 'truth' both in Shakspeare and the Bible, see above, p. 241 sq.
IBID., p. 188. There is one more point to be noticed in connection with the subject treated of in Section 7, and it is one which speaks volumes for the religious tone of our author's mind, viz., that he has put it into the mouth of a boy to expose the moral cowardice of being ashamed to say our prayers:—
Boy. For Nym, he hath heard that men of few words are the best (ie., bravest) men; and therefore he scorns to say his prayers, lest he should be thought a coward. King Henry V., Act iii. Sc. 2. IBID., p. 189. Where, in proceeding to speak of the Domestic Relations,' I say that Shakspeare had learned, at all events, in his maturer years (comp. p. 4), to pay due regard to the sacredness of the nuptial tie, I might have quoted the expression which he puts into the mouth of Benedick:
To be conjoined
In the estate of honourable marriage:
Much Ado, &c., Act v. Sc. 4.
an expression borrowed apparently from the words of the Prayer Book, which again are founded on Heb. xiii. 4; and also the words which Portia addresses to her husband, Brutus, where she speaks of
That great vow
Which did incorporate and make us one.
Jul. Cas., Act ii. Sc. 1.
And with regard to the circumstances even if we must suppose them to be documentary evidence, first brought to light in 1836, they appear to have been (the marriage license being registered as given November 28th, 1582, and the first
child's baptism on May 26th, 1583; see Dyce's Life, pp30-33), yet we may fairly conclude that, so far as they were sinful, he had repented of them afterwards; for otherwise he would not have allowed Prospero to speak as he does in the Tempest, Act iv. Sc. 1 (referred to above, p. 224); nor would he have made Claudio in Much Ado, &c., to disallow as he does any attempt to extenuate the beforehand sin,' Act iv. Sc. 1.* Although, to borrow his own words, as put into the mouth of Lysander, in Midsummer Night's Dream, his match with Anne Hathaway was 'misgraffed in respect of years,' Act i. Sc. 1, yet it was not, in worldly circumstances, an unsuitable one; the poet being the son of a small tradesman at Stratford, and the object of his choice a yeoman's daughter, living in the neighbourhood. In Hamlet we read the very words and teaching of Scripture Man and wife is one flesh,' Act iv. Sc. 3; see also Coriolanus, Act v. Sc. 3; and there is no sufficient reason, certainly no necessity, to doubt-but much reason and occasion to believe-that William Shakspeare and Anne Hathaway lived, till death did them part,' in the faithful observance of that holy mystery; whatever some of the ablest of recent Shakspearian critics may have said to the contrary. Mr. Froude admits this conjugal fidelity in regard to Bunyan, who also married very young, upon the latter's own assertion (pp. 7, 65); and the irregularities and temptations of the life of the tinker's son at Bedford (a Shakspeare in his way) could scarcely have been less than
*See also the words put by our Poet into the mouth of the Guard, Act v. Sc. 2, line 26, in Coriolanus—a play written just when he was leaving London, to retire to Stratford for the remainder of his days.
e.g., Mr. Furnivall, Introd. to Leopold Shakspeare, p. cxiv. Is there any trustworthy evidence that Shakspeare led in London the kind of life that was led by Marlowe, or Greene, or Peele ?—See Hudson, Vol. i. pp. 100, 104, and 110, 118.
those of the life of the glover's son and butcher's apprentice at Stratford, or even in London. Till we can interpret the Sonnets with greater certainty than has yet been attained. (see below, p. 403, note), it cannot be alleged that evidence, either external or internal, obliges us to form any other judgment than that which I have expressed, and to which, therefore, under such circumstances, we are bound in charity to incline. The remarkable choice and treatment of the two opposite but companion subjects, Venus and Adonis and Lucrece, on the part of the youthful poet, appear to me to weigh on the same side.
To the words of Desdemona, quoted in p. 191, may be added what she had before said to her father :
So much duty as my mother showed
Compare Gen. ii. 24 and Matth. xix. 5.
Act i. Sc. 3.
It might even be supposed that our poet had a glimpse of that still higher condition indicated by our Lord in Matth. xix. 12, and by St. Paul in 1 Cor. vii. 1, 26, when, in Mids. Night's Dream, Theseus (for the same view was not unknown among the heathen, as appears from the two opposite legends of Hippolytus and of Daphne) is made to say to Hermia :
Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires;
Thrice blessed they that master so their blood,
To undergo such maiden pilgrimage;
But earthlier happy is the rose distilled,
Than that which withering on the virgin thorn
Act i. Sc. I.
IBID., p. 213. The lesson, not only of forgiveness, but of returning good for evil, is exhibited in the character