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with what I considered a scornful expression. suddenly rousing himself—“have you seen them? “Yes, it's I!” he seemed to say, and immedi- Have you seen how they cart earth from one ately went on shouting, stretching his gloomy place to another in the Parc Monceau? Everymouth wide open.

thing will come from that! And there will be I saw him again at the theatre, Rachel was blood-a whole sea of blood! What a situation! singing “ La Marseillaise" with a voice already To see it all beforehand and not be able to do almost hushed by death. He was in the pit, anything! To be nothing, nothing! To take in where the claqueurs are usually seen. But he everything" (he stretched out his arms, showing did not shout or applaud. He stood with folded his tattered, hanging sleeves, while I noticed that arms gazing at the singer with a wild eagerness his ring was still on his hand), "and to get noas she, wrapped in the folds of the tricolor, thing at all. Not even a piece of bread!” called on the citizens to "pour out the impure It was the day before the 5th of June. blood !"

“ To-morrow's elections are very important, I am not sure whether or not I saw Monsieur too,” he went on, quickly, as though he wanted François on the 15th of May, among the mass of to get rid of his last thoughts. He mentioned people who crossed the Place de la Madelaine, by name the different deputies who would be on their way to break in upon the National As- chosen by the Parisians. He even gave me, apsembly. Yet I thought I heard-amid the cries proximately, the number of votes each would reof “Long live Poland !”-his strange voice, deepceive. Among these names was that of Causiand yet tremulous. But early in June he sud- dière, to whom he accorded the first place. denly appeared before me in the old café of the In spite of the 15th of May?" I asked. Palais Royal. He spoke to me, and even offered He smiled bitterly. me his hand, which he had never done before. “Do think I include him because he is a But he did not seat himself at my table, seeming prefect of police?" he said. to be ashamed of his coat, which literally hung Louis Napoleon was also among the number. in strips, and of his hat, the crown of which was “ He will be among the last," said Monsieur beaten in. A sort of restless impatience seemed François. “ But that's enough. When one to consume him. His cheeks were more sunken wishes to climb up a ladder one must begin at than ever, and slight convulsive motions ran over the last round to reach the first.” his lips and his whole face. His reddened eyes That evening I communicated to Herzen all were obscured by his spectacles, which he was these names and figures, and I well remember continually adjusting, as though anxious to con- his astonishment when, on the next day, the preceal himself as thoroughly as possible. I be- dictions of Monsieur François were literally fulcame convinced, then, of what I had conjectured filled. before ; namely, that his spectacles contained “Where the deuce did you get all that news?” window-glass, and only served as a disguise. he asked me, once. The melancholy anxiety of a man without food I mentioned my informant. or shelter was perceptible in his whole manner. “Oh, that mongrel blackguard !” said he. I was astonished at the miserable condition of I return to our conversation. Among the this strange man. “If he is a government names one heard very often at that time was that agent," I thought, “how does it happen that he of Proudhon. I spoke to Monsieur François is so poor, and why does he lead such a life?” about him, for he was also on the latter's list-in I reminded him of his prophecies.

the last place, it is true, as was actually the case. “Yes, yes,” he muttered, with feverish haste, But it appeared that Monsieur François had not “all that's an old story now. But you—shall a high opinion of him, nor of Lamartine, nor of you not go back to Russia ? Are you going to Ledru-Rollin. He spoke slightingly of all these stay here?"

men, but with a suggestion of sympathy for La“Why shouldn't I stay?"

martine and of contempt for Proudhon—" that That's

your affair. But we're going to have sophist in wooden shoes,” he called the latter. a war with you soon."

As for Ledru-Rollin, he merely referred to him “ With us?”

as “that thick-headed Ledru.” But he always “Yes, with the Russians. We shall need came back to the national workshops. Our whole glory, great glory. War with Russia is inevita- conversation did not last longer than a quarter of ble."

an hour. He stood the whole time, and was con“Why not with some other nation?” tinually casting restless glances around him, as

“No, no, with Russia. You are young yet- if looking for some one. Remembering his red you'll see it. As for the republic" (he made a cockade, I said, “ So it seems you are a republicontemptuous motion with his hand), “it amounts can." to nothing. The national workshops !” he cried, “ What kind of republican?” he exclaimed, vehemently. “How do you know I'm a republi- just what we need. A wonderful head of hair, can? That will do for the shopkeepers. They bracelets on the arms, a cocked-hat with gilt are the only people who believe in the principles spangles—all that acts on the imagination. Leof '89, in progress, in universal brotherhood.” gends, my good sir, legends are needed! Claims,

Here he suddenly stopped. I looked around dramatic effects, miracles, wonders! Men begin to see what had attracted his attention. An old by being astonished; then they respect you—yes, man with a long white beard, and dressed in a respect; and at last they actually believe. Now blouse, made a sign to him with his hand. He mark what I say! This thing has begun in earreturned it in a peculiar way, ran to him, and they nest, and when we shall have passed through the both disappeared.

Red Sea" After that I only saw Monsieur François three At that moment a crowd of men, flying betimes. On the first occasion I descried him afar fore the bayonets of the soldiers, rushed toward off, in the garden of the Luxembourg. He was us, and we were separated. in company with a poorly clad young woman. During the fearful June days I saw Monsieur She seemed to be imploring him to do something. François for the last time. He was dressed in the She wrung her hands and raised them to her uniform of the National Guard, and had his gun face, with every appearance of mortal anguish. in his hand, the point of the bayonet to the front He listened in gloomy silence. But suddenly he There was a sort of cold ferocity in his exprespushed her away with his elbow, pressed his hat sion which it would be hard to describe. After on his head, and went away. She, apparently that I never saw him again. almost distracted, disappeared in another direc- About the year 1850 I was in the vicinity of tion.

the Russian Church, having gone thither to atOur second meeting was of more consequence. tend the wedding of a friend. Suddenly, I don't It took place on the 13th of June, the day on know why, I thought of Monsieur François. Imwhich an assemblage of Bonapartists was to have mediately it occurred to me that he was a prophet been held in the Place de la Concorde, which La- in this case also, and that he was no longer alive. martine referred to from the tribune, and which Some years later this impression was confirmed. was quickly dispersed by regular soldiers. In one One day I saw, behind the counter of a shop, a of the recesses constructed in the garden-walls woman whom I recognized as the one I had seen of the Tuileries I noticed a man in the dress of a with Monsieur François in the garden of the juggler, who, mounted on a two-wheeled cart, Luxembourg. I determined to recall the scene was distributing pamphlets. I took one, and to her recollection. At first she looked at me in found that it contained a biography of Louis Na- astonishment. But when she understood what I poleon, chiefly noticeable for its fulsome adula- meant she turned pale, then reddened, and finally tion. I had often seen this man, who was a Bre- begged me not to ask her any questions about ton, with an enormous head of hair combed that man. straight upward. He frequented the boulevards “Tell me, at least," I said, “whether he is and street-corners, peddling elixirs for toothache, still alive.” pomades for rheumatism, and other pretended She looked at me earnestly. panaceas. While I was looking through the “He is dead," she said, at last. “ He died as pamphlet some one touched me lightly on the he deserved to die. He was a very wicked man. shoulder. I turned and saw Monsieur François. But he was very unhappy, very unhappy!" He smiled ironically over his spectacles.

I could find out nothing more from her. “ Now we have it! It's just beginning," he And who was Monsieur François ? The said, rubbing his hands and stamping his feet. question remains unanswered. • There's the apostle, the harbinger! How do There are sea-birds that never appear except

during a storm. The English call them "stormy “Who?" I cried. “That charlatan with the petrels.” They fly low down in the tumultuous shock head? That jack-pudding? You're mak- air, beating the crests of the raging waves with ing fun of me!"

their wings, and when the clear weather comes Yes, yes, a charlatan, a mountebank! That's back they disappear.

IVAN TOURGUENIEFF (Die Rundschau).

you like him?"

VOL. VIII.-29

THE STORY OF "THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.

THI
HE discussions concerning “ The Merchant the Christian the overthrown debtor-he first be-

of Venice " which have been brought out guiled a Jew-abhorring audience to listen with by its recent revival at the Lyceum betray a state patience to the play, and then contrived to steal of opinion which Shakespeare could hardly have into his portrait of the cold-blooded murderer so anticipated. There are people, it seems, who many traits of magnanimity, tenderness, patriotthink not only that Shylock is a man more sinned ism, pride in his ancient race, and reverence for against than sinning, and more interesting and his religious traditions ; so many respectable respectable than any of the Christians about him, prejudices, moral, legal, and theological ; such but that this was the impression which Shake- “wealth of ideas and felicitous language"; to speare meant to produce; and in “The Theatre" arm him also with such a catalogue of wrongs (November, 1879, p. 193) Mr. Frederick Hawkins and grievances, and at the same time so to degoes so far in this direction as to maintain that grade the character of the whole Christian comthe play was suggested, written, and brought munity of which the man who was to suffer the out with special reference to a temporary out- vivisection was a characteristic, distinguished, break of intolerance in the English people, caused and universally honored member-that the peoby an apprehension of “an irruption of Israelites ple who came to enjoy the sight of a moneyinto London,” about the year 1594. For the pur- lending Jew undergoing poetical justice for atpose of rebuking this intolerance, we are told, tempting to take the life of a money-borrowing and persuading the frequenters of the Globe that Christian should go away full of tender compasa Jew would be as good as a Christian if they sion for the defrauded creditor and indignant would only treat him like a Christian, Shakespeare disgust with the rescued debtor, and, by consechose for the subject of a new play the story of a quence, in a spirit of toleration for the whole Jew in Rome, who, having borrowed money of a Hebrew race. Christian on condition of letting him cut out a It seems a bold speculation, even if the prempound of his flesh if he did not repay it on the ises be all granted; and yet there is certainly one day named, and being threatened with exaction of them (not to mention the others) which can of the penalty, appealed to the Pope—a story not be allowed to pass unquestioned. told, it seems, by Gregorio Leti, in his “Life of When Mr. Hawkins took it for granted that Pope Sixtus V.," and therefore then quite new, “the idea of the forfeiture of the pound of flesh of which the editors of the Clarendon Press edi- was manifestly derived from this story," he could tion of the play give the following summary: not have known that there was another Italian

“The Pope is the judge, and the evasion of story current at the time, containing not only the the bond the same as in the play. Both merchant general plot, but almost all the leading incidents and Jew were condemned to death, the one for of the play, presented nearly in the same order, premeditated murder, the other for selling his and showing a closer resemblance between the life; but in the issue the sentence was commuted dramatic version and the tale to be dramatized to that of the galleys, with the option of buying than will be found, I think, in any other play of off that too by paying each two thousand crowns Shakespeare's not professedly historical. This to the hospital lately founded by the Pope.” story, though too Italian in one of its features to

The story was apt enough for the exhibition be admitted into our popular collections for genof a Jew in a case to move sympathy; and, if eral reading, is nevertheless well known by name Shakespeare's only care had been to make his and easily accessible (being referred to by all audience feel what brutal treatment the Jews had modern editors in treating of the sources of the to endure at the hands of the Christians, he could play, noticed by all modern antiquarians in their have wanted nothing better. But, being a mana- searches after the origin of the legend, and ger as well as a poet and politician, he was bound printed at full length in Collier's “Shakespeare's to avoid any risk of offending his audience; and Library "); and, to students who are curious as to represent, during the continuance of that pop- to the manner in which the great artist treated ular excitement, a Christian as a cold-blooded material of this kind in order to fit it for exhibimurderer, and a Jew as his innocent and unfor- tion on the stage, it has a special value; being tunate victim, would have been too great a shock one in which the transmutation is most perfect to the prejudices of the time. He went to work and the process most traceable. That Mr. Hawmore cunningly. By simply changing the parts kins knows nothing of it, and that the editors and -making the Jew the inexorable creditor, and antiquarians do not know enough to see that it is

not one of the sources, but the one source, of the be cheerful and easy; they have enough left. play, I may take as a proof that it is not familiar But when the two friends with whom he had set to modern readers even of the studious sort; and out return rich from their voyage, and tell him since it is a very pretty story very prettily told, that if he will go with them again the next spring and loses nothing I might say, gains consider- he may easily gain as much as he has lost, Anably—by the entire omission of the only part saldo, seeing that he could not be happy without which has excluded it from good company in making the trial, provides him with another ship, modern times, an account of it may be accept- more richly freighted than the first; and the three able to many. Its bearing upon the question set out again in company, as before. But Gianconcerning the secret purpose of the play will be netto, whose real aim was to get without their seen when it is before us.

knowledge into the port of Belmonte, contrives Giannetto, the youngest son of a rich mer- to elude them ; sails in ; is recognized and rechant in Florence, receives from his dying father ceived as before; undertakes the same task again; a letter addressed to his dearest friend, Ansaldo, again fails; and returns again to Venice, having the greatest of the Christian merchants in Venice, lost all, and saying that he had suffered another who, being a childless man and Giannetto's god- shipwreck. These repeated losses had nearly father, had long been anxious to adopt him. exhausted Ansaldo's means, but not his affection This letter, he tells him, is to be instead of any or his patience; and when the two friends return other provision. “Behave well,” he says, “and again very rich from their second voyage, and he you will certainly be a rich man.” Ansaldo wel- finds that Giannetto can not be happy without comes his godson with delight, orders his ser- one more effort to recover his losses, he sells all vants to attend to him as to himself, gives him that he has in order to provide a third ship for the keys of his money-boxes, and desires him to him; and because all that he has is not enough spend all freely in distinguishing himself and en- to do it as handsomely as he would, and he tertaining his friends; and to remember that “the “wants still ten thousand ducats, he applies himmore he gains the good will of everybody the more self to a Jew at Mestri, and borrows them on dear he will be to him.” Giannetto follows his condition that if they are not paid on the Feast direction, quickly distinguishes himself in all the of St. John, in the next month of June, the Jew qualities of a gentleman, becomes a universal may take a pound of the merchant's flesh from favorite and the most accomplished youth in any part of his body he pleases. Ansaldo agrees, Venice, and behaves in all ways to his god- and the Jew has an obligation drawn and witfather's entire satisfaction. Such a man, it is nessed with all the form and ceremony necessary, thought by his friends, should have something and then counts him the ten thousand ducats of more to do-should see more, and be more seen gold, with which Ansaldo buys what was still -and two of the most intimate, intending a mer- wanting for the vessel. . . . When it is time to cantile voyage to Alexandria, urge him to go depart, Ansaldo tells Giannetto that, since he with them in a ship of his own. He would like well knows of the obligation to the Jew, he ento go if Ansaldo will give him leave; Ansaldo is treats him, in case any misfortune happens, that willing to furnish him if he would like to go. He he will return to Venice, that he may see him is provided with a fine ship richly freighted, and before he dies, and then he can leave the world the three friends set sail together. The ships with satisfaction. Giannetto promises to do keep each other company until Giannetto, early everything he conceives may give him pleasure. one morning, seeing a fine port and hearing that Ansaldo gives him his blessing, they take their it is the port of the Lady of Belmonte-a beauti- leave, and the ships set out." ful widow, but dangerous to visit, every visitor Giannetto, still secretly bent upon the Lady being obliged to undertake a certain task on con- of Belmonte, contrives again to give his compandition that if he accomplishes it he shall take her ions the slip and find his way into her port; is for his wife and be lord of the port and all the recognized and received as before, and makes country, but if he fails he shall give up to her all himself as popular; but this time, by the help of that he brings with him, and many had gone in a friendly hint from a sympathetic damsel who rich and come out with nothing-resolves to take thinks it hard that such devotion should be so his chance; sails in, unperceived by his com- rewarded, he avoids the cause of his previous panions; is received with festive welcome; after failures, accomplishes his task triumphantly, mardue warning of the conditions, goes to his trial; ries the Lady of Belmonte, is proclaimed soverfails ; loses all; and returns to Venice, much eign of the country, to the great joy both of herashamed, and obliged to say that his ship had self and all the people, and is still absorbed in been wrecked and all on board lost except him- the duties and enjoyments of his new fortune, self. Ansaldo makes light of the accident. Since when one day, seeing a procession with torches his son has come back safe, all is well; he may passing the window, and being told that it is a

case.

company of artificers going to make their offer- vant as “a lawyer (un gentil' huomo giudice) ings at the church of St. John, the day being his who had finished his studies at Bologna, and was festival, he suddenly remembers with horror that returning to his own country.” And what folSt. John's festival was Ansaldo's pay-day, and lowed I must give from the old story, without he had forgotten all about it! His wife, observ- abridgment: ing his emotion, draws from him the confession that “ his father was engaged for ten thousand

The landlord upon this shows his guest great ducats, that the term was expired, and if they civility; and when he attended at dinner, the lawyer were not paid that day he must lose a pound of he answered, “ Justice in this place is too severe.”

inquiring how justice was administered in that city, his flesh.” She at once desires him to take a

“ How comes that ?" says the lawyer. "I will tell hundred thousand ducats, mount his horse, and how," says the landlord. “ You must know that not stop till he arrives at Venice; and, if he ar

some years ago there came here a young man from rives in time to save him, to bring him to Bel- Florence, whose name was Giannetto; he was recmonte.

ommended to the care of a relation, who is called The Jew in the mean time had seized Ansal- Ansaldo. He behaved here so well as to possess the do; but, in consideration of his wish to see Gi- esteem and affections of every living creature, and annetto before he died, consents to wait some never was a youth so well beloved. Now, this Andays, provided that the delay do not invalidate saldo sent him out three times, each time with a ship the bond. “But,' says he, if he comes a

of great value. He every time was unfortunate; hundred times over, I will cut off the pound of and to fựrnish the last Ansaldo was forced to borrow flesh, according to the words of the obligation.' he did not repay them in June, at the Feast of St.

ten thousand ducats of a Jew, on condition that if Ansaldo answered that he was content.” This determination to reject all proposals to This excellent young man is now returned, and of

John, the Jew might take a pound of his flesh. redeem the bond by paying the money with cost fers to pay a hundred thousand ducats. The wickand interest, which goes for so little with Shy, ed Jew won't take them, although the best merchants lock's modern apologists, is carefully marked and in the city have applied to him, but to no purpose.” brought out by the teller of the story, who evi- Says the lawyer, “ This question may be easily an. dently thought it an important feature in the swered.” “If you can answer it,” says the landlord,

" and will take the trouble to do it, and save this " Every one,” he adds, “ at Venice who had worthy man from death, you will get the love and heard of the affair was much concerned. Sev- esteem of a most deserving young man and of all eral merchants would have jointly paid the mon- the best men of this city." The lawyer caused a ey; the Jew would not hearken to the proposal, proclamation to be made that whoever had any law but insisted that he might commit this homicide matters to determine they should have recourse to (anzi voleva fare quello homicidio), to have the him. So it was told to Giannetto that a famous law. satisfaction of saying (per poter dire) that he yer was come from Bologna, who could decide all

cases in law. Giannetto proposed to the Jew to aphad put to death the greatest of the Christian

ply to this lawyer. “With all my heart," says the merchants." Giannetto again, as soon as he arrives, offers bond.” Giannetto and the Jew each told the merits

Jew; “but, let who will come, I will stick to my to pay the whole debt, and as much more as the of the cause to the judge, who, when he had taken Jew would demand. The Jew replies he will the bond and read it, said to the Jew, “I must have take no money, since it was not paid at the time you take the hundred thousand ducats and release due: he will have the pound of flesh. “Every this honest man, who will always have a grateful one blamed the Jew," says the narrator; “but, sense of the favor done to him.” The Jew replied, as Venice was a place where justice was strictly “I will do no such thing." The judge answered, administered, and the Jew had his pretensions

“ It will be better for you.” The Jew was positive grounded on public and received forms, nobody to yield nothing. Upon this they go to the tribunal dared to oppose him, and when the merchants of appointed for such judgments; and our judge speaks Venice applied to him he was inflexible. Gian- in favor of Ansaldo, and, desiring that the Jew may netto offered him twenty thousand, which he re

stand forth, “Now," says he, “do you " [to the Jew] fused; then thirty thousand; afterward forty, “cut off a pound of this man's flesh where you

choose." fifty, and at last one hundred thousand ducats.

The Jew ordered him to be stripped The Jew told him if he would give him as much naked, and takes in his hand a razor, which had

been made on purpose. Giannetto seeing this, turngold as the city of Venice was worth he would ing to the judge, “ This,” says he, “ is not the favor not accept it. ‘And,' says he, ‘you know little I asked of you.” “Be quiet,” says he ; "the pound of me if you think I will desist from my de- of flesh is not yet cut off.” As soon as the Jew was mand.'”

going to begin, “Take care what you do,” says the While matters stood thus there alighted at an judge ; "if you take more or less than a pound I inn in Venice a young man, described by his ser- will order your head to be struck off, and I tell you

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