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reads us a lecture from this. This is not the essence of the drama, whose object and privilege it is to give us the extreme and subtle workings of the human mind in individual circumstances, to make us sympathise with the sufferer, or feel as we should feel in his circumstances, not to tell the indifferent spectator what the indifferent spectator could just as well tell him. Tragedy is human nature tried in the crucible of affliction, not exhibited in the vague theorems of speculation. The poet's pen that paints all

. this in words of fire and images of gold is totally wanting in Racine. He gives neither external images nor the internal and secret workings of the human breast. Sir Walter Scott gives the external imagery or machinery of passion; Shakespear the soul; and Racine the moral or argument of it. The French object to Shakespear for his breach of the Unities, and hold up Racine as a model of classical propriety, who makes a Greek hero address a Grecian heroine as Madame. Yet this is not barbarous— Why? Because it is French, and because nothing that is French can be barbarous in the eyes of this frivolous and pedantic nation, who would prefer a peruke of the age of Louis XIV. to a simple Greek head-dress!

ESSAY XIII.

ON DEPTH AND SUPERFICIALITY.

ESSAY XIII.

ON DEPTH AND SUPERFICIALITY.

;

I wish to make this Essay a sort of study of the meaning of several words, which have at different times a good deal puzzled me. Among these are the words, wicked, false and true, as applied to feeling; and lastly, depth and shallowness. It may amuse the reader to see the way in which I work out some of my conclusions under-ground, before throwing them up on the surface.

A great but useless thinker once asked me, if I had ever known a child of a naturally wicked disposition ? and I answered, “ Yes, that there was one in the house with me that cried from morning to night, for spite.I was laughed at for this answer, but still I do not repent it. It appeared to me that this child took a delight in tormenting itself and others; that the love of tyrannising over others and subjecting them to its caprices was a full compensation for the beating it received, that the screams it uttered soothed its peevish, turbulent spirit, and that it had a positive pleasure in pain from the sense

of

power accompanying it. His principiis nas. cuntur tyranni, his carnifex animus. I was supposed to magnify and over-rate the symptoms of the disease, and to make a childish humour into a bugbear; but, indeed, I have no other idea of what is commonly understood by wickedness than that perversion of the will or love of mischief for its own sake, which constantly displays itself (though in trifles and on a ludi. crously small scale) in early childhood. I have often been reproached with extravagance for considering things only in their abstract principles, and with heat and ill-temper, for getting into a passion about what no ways concerned

If any one wishes to see me quite calm, they may cheat me in a bargain, or tread upon my toes; but a truth repelled, a sophism repeated, totally disconcerts me, and I lose all patience. I am not, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, a good-natured man; that is, many things annoy me besides what interferes with my own ease and interest. I hate a lie ; a piece of injustice wounds me to the quick, though nothing but the report of it reach me. Therefore I have made many enemies and few friends ; for the public know nothing of wellwishers, and keep a wary eye on those that would reform them. Coleridge used to com:

me.

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