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manful advocacy of the cause of that class of which he is an ornament.

THE CAUSES OF CRIME: ITS PREVENTION AND PUNISHMENT. Prize Essay. By Thomas Emery. (London: J. Watson.)—This is another essay by the same author. It is characteristically written, and belongs evidently to that school of writings, emanating from working men, which treats a given subject for a given purpose, not for a display of talent—which puts a ban upon affectation, and keeps sentiment under control—and which, above all things, maintains its ground with temper, coolness, and factual logic. There is, too, in the efforts of this promising young essayist a genial cheerfulness and sturdy hope, which must communicate to his despairing fellows some of that light and warmth of which they have so much need.

PAYMENT OP WAGES, THE REWARD OF LABOUR. To Housekeepers, Shopkeepers, and Ratepayers.—Jeremiah Briggs hias, under the above title, written a clear and well-toned essay upon the evils which result from that great grievance of the manufacturing operative, the stoppage of wages, for the rent of frames. Mr. Briggs has put the case of his fellow-workmen without any varnish, and without any bad feeling. Certainly the manufacturers ought to solve the difficulty he places before them in these forcible words : how is it that a framework knitter when employed is worse off than any other working man when unemployed?'

AN ESSAY ON THE CAUSES WHICH REGULATE THE WAGES OF LABOUR. By Joseph Black, Framework Knitter. (Leicester : J. Aver.)--Mr. Joseph Black wrote his essay to compete for the prize offered by Mr. W. Biggs, but was unsuccessful. Thinking the public interested in the question and in his opinion upon it, and moreover being particularly requested so to do, Mr. Black published it in a cheap form. It is ambitious in its aim, and imperfect in its execution; an attempt to expose the political economy of Adam Smith, which has resulted only in an exposition of the author's good intentions. It is, however, very encouraging to find working men directing their attention to the wages question in such downright earnest. Mr. Black will, perhaps, pardon us if we suggest the necessity of his endeavouring to methodise his knowledgepurify his style, which is wordy—and obtain a clear conception of what belongs to his subject. He will then be a more useful labourer in the vineyard of literature.

E, THE TUESDAY EVENING LECTURES AT JOHN STREET. The Tuesday Evening Lectures and Debates at John Street are intended to be continued to Christmas. Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Matthews, Messrs. Holyoake, Buchanan, Campbell, Hart, Shorter, Dixon, Kydd, Thompson, and other gentlemen, have intimated their intention to assist.

The lecturer for each evening will not occupy more than three-quarters of an hour, the remainder of the evening will be devoted to discussion, subsequent speakers being allowed a quarter of an hour each.

Mr. Holyoake commenced the course on last Tuesday Evening. Our previous notice of the evening of opening was an error.

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SHAKSPERE-COLLIER'S VIEW & BIRCH'S INQUIRY.

* DRYDEN,' says Macaulay, 'defended or excused his own offences and those of his contemporaries by pleading the example of the earlier English dramatists ; and Mr. Leigh Hunt seems to think there is force in the plea.' They were these offences which Collier attacked in Dryden, Congreve, Vanburgh, &c., and, therefore, in attacking them he attacked Shakspere. Collier does not fear to expose the highly venerated hero of the drama as equally guilty with his worshippers. Collier was not a Puritan— his notions,' says Macaulay, differed little from those which are now held by Dr. Pusey and Mr. Newman.'

In 1698,' says Macaulay, Collier published his "Short View of the Profaneness and Immorality of the English Stage," a book which threw the whole literary world into commotion, but which is now much less read than it deserves !...... great merit must be allowed to this work. There is hardly any book of that time from which it would be possible to select specimens of writing so excellent and so various.'

Collier, in his strictures on the author's of his day, comments on the Hamlet of Shakspere. He finds fault with the licentiousness of language given to Ophelia—a practice he reproves as common to the dramatic poets then living, in their delineation of females. He says—Modesty, as Mr. Rapin observes, is the character of women. To represent them without this quality is to make monsters of them, and throw them out of their kind. Euripides, who was no negligent observer of human nature, is always careful of this decorum. Thus Phædra, when possessed with an infamous passion, takes all imaginable pains to conceal it. She is as regular and reserved in her language as the most virtuous matron. 'Tis true, the force of shame and desire, the scandal of satisfying, and the difficulty of parting with her inclinations, disorder her to distraction. However, her frenzy is not lewd; she keeps her modesty after she has lost her wits. Had Shakspere secured this point for his young virgin, Ophelia, the play had been better contrived. Since he was resolved to drown the lady like a kitten, he should have set her a swimming a little sooner. To keep her alive only to sully her reputation, and discover the rankness of her breath, was very cruel. But it may be said the freedoms of distraction go for nothing, a fever has no faults, and a man non compos may kill without murther. It may be so. But then such people ought to be kept in dark rooms, and without company. To shew them, or let them loose, is somewhat unreasonable ?

Collier reviews all the dramatic poets of Greece and Rome, Æschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Terence, Seneca-generally acquits them of indecency-slightly inculpating Plautus, and altogether excepting Aristophanes, whom he accuses of atheism, as the Quarterly Revien doesassociating irreverence in religion with indecency in language. The proof of one is made the proof of the other. Coming down to the authors of the Elizabethan age, he says, ' As for Shakspere, he is too guilty to make an evidence. But I think he gains not much by his mis

* Not the Payne Collier who writes about Shakspere in our day, but Collier who wrote on the stage 150 years ago.-ED.

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behaviour. He has commonly Plautus's fate—where there is most smut, there is least sense. Ben Jonson is much more reserved in his plays, and declares plainly for modesty in his discoveries.'

Beaumont and Fletcher, he says, are advocates for decency, and condemn obscenity, of which he gives many examples from their writings. Collier might have instanced the writers before Shakspere down to Marlowe, who preserved decency in their language. Shakspere introduces obscenity of discourse, avoided by some, and copied by others who succeeded him. Of the cursing and swearing of dramatic writers of his own times, he says—'Shakspere is comparatively sober, Ben Jonson is still more regular; and as for Beaumont and Fletcher, in their plays, they are commonly profligate persons that swear, and even those are reproved for it.' There was a law against this species of profanity in Shakspere, and the editions of him vary in their display of it. This law, Collier admits, had grown obsolete when he wrote. He next gives examples from the then living dramatic writers, of their abuse of religion and Holy Scripture. The instances he gives are similar to those in Shakspere. Collier calls it blasphemy, and analyses, as is done in Birch's "Inquiry,' the curious instances in which Shakspere's plays abound.

The following remarks on a passage from Love Triumphant' will prove a plagiarism from Shakspere, and condemn him for the use of one of his most favourite jokes :- In this act Col. Sancho lets Carlos know the old Jew is dead, which he calls good news.

Carlos. What Jew?

Sancho. Why the rich Jew, my father, he is gone to the bosom of Abraham his father, and I his Christian son am left sole heir. 'A very mannerly story. But why does the poet acquaint us with Sancho's religion ? The case is pretty plain. "Tis to give a lustre to his profaneness, and make him burlesque St. Luke with the better grace.'

Ascribing vengeance to heaven, paraphrases from Scripture, stories from Scripture, and jokes on them—such as on Sampson's strength, accusations of heaven so common to Shakspere's characters, such as Almaida's in Don Sebastian :

But is there heaven? for I begin to doubt.
Now take your swing, ye impious, sin unpunished,
Eternal Providence seems overwretched,

And with a slumbering nod assents to murther.
On the contrary, he says most of the ancient dramatic writers, Greek
and Latin, have little or no impiety in their works; when expressed it is
in character. Punishment is the consequence pointed out by the author;
piety is put into precept and recommended from example.

Collier quotes from Ben Jonson's dedicatory epistle to the Fox, who says it is the general complaint of the stage poetry, that nothing but ribaldry, profanity, blasphemy, all licence of offence to God and man is practised. He confesses a great part of this charge is overtrue, and is sorry he dares not deny it. But then he hopes all are not embarked in this bold adventure for hell

. For my part (says he) I can, and from a most clear conscience affirm, that I lave ever trembled to think towards the least profueness. He says in whole interludes there is blasphemy

able to turn the blood of a Christian to water. He says it is the office of a comic poet to imitate justice, and to instruct to life. Dr. Johnson says the same in his preface, when finding fault with Shakspere for forgetting justice. Dr. Johnson also says he often pays too dearly for his mirth, when at the expense of religion.

This book is very remarkable for the light it throws on the character of the stage in the respect of liberties taken with orthodoxy, and the opinion formed of our great dramatist by his observing and reflecting compeers. We had marked many passages to quote, but for the present those cited will illustrate the argument. Birch's • Inquiry' demonstrates by intrinsic evidence what so many authorities have remarked in earlier tiines, and indisputably proves Shakspere's acquaintance with sceptical views, and the coexistence of great powers and profound conceptions of ethics with the deepest heresy in matters of religion. Shakspere indulged in the grossness of his age, but he also was transcendent in his exposition of the metaphysics of scepticism.

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1. Recollections of an unspoken speech, suggested by the great Peace Meeting at

Exeter Hall, October 30, 1849. The silent heroism which bears and forbears, is far nobler than the boiling indignation which attacks and repels. I admit it, every word. I know the policy of suffering. I know how great is the power of passive resistance. But there are states where these powers cannot be exercised. There are empires and kingdoms where your protest is not suffered to see the light. There are lands where thought, spoken or written, is proscribed. And in these lands, ruled by the sword, what force have you, to change the surface or the heart of things, but the sword?

Peace hath her victories no less than war. I say that peace hath her victories far more renowned than those of war, because far nobler. But peace is a result of civilisation and freedom. We have peace, if by that is meant the absence of fighting ; but how did we win it? Not more by the pen

of Milton than the sword of Cromwell. For had not the sword of Cromwell been there to sustain the pen of Milton, the great mental champion of the English people would have been, like Sir John Eliot, a state prisoner for life.

But it seems to me vain to talk of peace while the Austrians are on the southern side of the Alps – while Italy is enchained ! It seems to me a delusion to talk of peace until Poland has hurled the Russian back upon his snows. It seems to me a mockery to preach of peace, while the hot devastating breath of the Cossack Emperor yet burns the ensanguined plains of Hungary! Drive out the Austrian; fling back the Russian; free Italy, Poland, Bohemia, Hungary, and then come before the peoples of Europe and say— Behold, we have compressed brule force by intelligent force; we bave delivered you from brigands and assassins, whose swords were powerless against the swords of free-souled men, fighting, not for gold, but life and liberty! Now it is for you to

turn your swords back again into ploughshares; it is for you to throw down the guard-house and build up the school-house; it is for you to change your cannon-foundries into type-foundries; it is for you to live and die by thought, to love one another, in order that Peacc may reign, and the Brotherhood of man be accomplished !

But you will tell me, and these gentlemen—whom I honour, and for whose broad, noble, and sacred principle I would labour to my last gasp --you, and these gentlemen, will tell me, that these doctrines, which I have just been advancing, would perpetuate war. They would do no such thing. Remember, the sword I preach for, the sword I hold in reverence, is the sword of Nations, not the sword of kings. And what I say is this, that the sword which wins your freedom, wins you a platform for peace. Unhallowed be the swords of conquerors !-cursed be the red brands of the oppressor! But the sword of freedom, which, mark you, is a sword

defence not aggression, will you not say with me, Hail

, reverend instrument! we are grateful for the victories thou hast won for mankind ?

And human life! What is human life? Is it so sacred as human freedom-as human thought. Wars for independence sacrifice thousands, nay millions of lives—then let them be sacrificed. If it be necessary that the body should die that the soul might live, would you sacrifice

your soul to your body? If it be necessary that the body of one age should be decimated that the soul of the succeeding century should live-live, holily and freely, in the presence of the Great Spirit of Lifewould you say • let this vile body live;' or would you say my brothers; let us die, if need be, that liberty may be assured to our children.'

And war is not wholly and entirely that infernal thing which has been pictured to us. War has a grand side, often as startlingly beautiful, as sublimely noble, as it is often heroic and devoted. What? No greatness, no maje-ty, nothing venerable in war for conscience's sake, for independence, for public right! I look around and ask these thoughtful Frenchmen, if their hearts do not beat with exalted feeling, if their pulses do not throb with admiring gratitude-if their souls are not lifted up—when the name of Valmy and of Grandprè, of Toulon and of Dunkirk, are uttered in their presence? I ask the eloquent Professor,* who has crossed the Atlantic, whether he is prepared to place a ban upon the names of Washington, and Green, and Marion—whether no proud recollections Aash fire through his veins at the mention of Lexington and Bunker's Hill? Why Boston Bay might have been a great tea-pot to the day of judgment, and though the supply were renewed yearly, by indignant patriotism, American independence would have been not a whit the nearer.

And we bave General Klapka here. Is he ashamed of having led his gallant fellows against Austrian bangmen and Russian brigands? Why do you cheer General Klapka if war be that horrid unmitigated evil which you tell me it is ?

Becalise your human instincts tell you that war is honourable—that the sword of freedom is an honourable instrument, and that to-morrow, at

"Come on,

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