and the outward world. In the most complete development of this personality, this breach must become healed. This is the problem of the reason. It does not rest until it has discovered the law which works through all things, and finds that it is the same that is acting within itself; that the same reason is at work without as within it. The world becomes thus sublimated into thought. The practical reason is at the same time at work, imposing its own laws upon the outward world ; that is raising all things to the perfection of its own ideal. Neither of these processes has even a beginning in the brute creation. The only analogon is seen in the fact,* that the animal by eating manifests the identity between its own nature and that of the outward world, destroys the apparent opposition of this last, and makes the identity not only potential, but actual and manifest. This, however, is performed without full consciousness of what is implied by the process, and, if otherwise, would rather reduce the animal to the level of the material than the reverse.

We have thus examined the threefold breach, which, with its solution, forms the process of the perfect development of a selfconscious personality. The first is that between the individual and the outer world, by which the subject places himself over against the object. The second is that within the individual himself, by which he makes himself objective to himself, and is at once subject and object. The third is that by which the two natures of the individual, or the two poles of his nature, come into actual collision, as in the consciousness of sin. Each of these constitutes a personality, though this arrives at its complete development only by means of all. The human individual passes through at least one of these stages, commonly, to a certain extent, through all of them. While, on the other hand, we find the germs of all or nearly all the other human faculties in the brute, we find no trace of this personality. Let us apply these results to the question of immortality. We will admit that the soul of the animal manifests itself through all the powers and capacities which we have been studying. We will admit, too, that soul is by its very nature imperishable, and thus does not become destroyed with the perishing

* See Hegel's Phänomenologie des Geistes, and other works, where this thought is often repeated.

body. What results then ? Not certainly a personal immortality ; for the animal has not attained to personality. Whether it fall back, and become absorbed into the general life of things; or whether, by the pulsations of the central heart, it be impelled upward to higher spheres, - it cannot take with it that conscious personality which it has never possessed. While, on the other hand, man, in whom soul has become spirit, which spirit is a self-conscious personality, holding itself aloof from the world without it, and from its own material bonds, when this becomes separated from these material connections, will remain, as we might reasonably suppose, the same self-conscious personality that he was before.

We see thus how man stands at the summit of the creation. The world has had its use for him. The life of nature — which works blindly in the inanimate creation and in the world of vegetable life, which has become soul in the animal, carrying through the most difficult and delicate operations by an unerring instinct, drifting to and fro, drawn by desire or by love, repelled by fear or hate, yet never gathering itself up within itself, nor separating itself from the world in which it moves — has become in man a separate, self-conscious, individual personality, ready, when it is set free, to rise to higher regions of purely spiritual activity. We may compare this process to the gradual separation of the fætal and embryonic life from that life with which it was at first identified, and its gradual rounding of itself into an independent existence. Such a process is the creation and the development of the lower life.

Man is the formed and separate being, which still lies, however, like a new-born child, upon the breast of his mother earth, and draws from thence his sustenance. A universe of activity, of struggle, and of joy stretches around him. He hardly dreams of its nearness or its reality. Its shapes pass about him, but they seem like visions half seen. He shrinks from them, and clings closer to that which seems alone real to him. But its atmosphere is already pervading his being. His limbs are already strengthening themselves for free and independent activity. The hour of separation is drawing near. Nay, the process of life is itself this separation ; weary and painful it may be, but the necessary preparation for the glad and free life of an independent being.



Shakespeare's Legal Acquirements considered. By John, LORD CAMPBELL, LL.D., F.R.S. E., in a Letter to J. Payne Collier, Esq., F. S. A. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

we ridică,

y anticinorities of

WHETHER Shakespeare did or did not study law, is of interest only as every inquiry is which concerns the personal existence of a poet who has fully revealed man, and entirely concealed himself. Shakespeare is, indeed, as to his individuality, THE GREAT UNKNOWN; so, instead of knowledge, we strive after hints, conjectures, guesses, and we are excited if any one of them serves even as an illusive link by which we can connect our common life with his. So it is that association with the mighty confers dignity on trifles. When, therefore, we ridicule contemporary gossip about the peculiarities of distinguished characters, we are ridiculing by anticipation matters that erelong will be invaluable for biography. What an amount of interest there is in that short letter of Cicero's, in which he describes how Cæsar dined with him; how “he ate and drank without reserve; sumptuously, indeed, and with due preparation”; and not only that,“ but with good conversation, well digested and seasoned, and, if you ask, cheerfully”; how the guest was not one to whom you would say, “Pray come to me in the same manner when you return”; how “ once was enough”; how “ there was nothing of importance in the conversation, but a great deal of liberal learning”; how, “in short, he was highly pleased, and enjoyed himself.” Thus we find that “ the man who kept the world in awe” ate, and drank, and talked as any other cultivated gentleman would; and the community of nature between him and us, which the majesty of his genius seemed to destroy, the dinner-table thoroughly restores. Nor is the interest lessened by the recollection that, even then, the dagger was nearly ready for Cæsar's imperial heart. In the same way, we long for particulars which would put aside the majesty of Shakespeare's genius, and open an entrance for us to his individual humanity. We would like even to learn. surely that he had been a lawyer's clerk, in order to see him in some prosaic relation to life, which would make him our familiar and our companion. But all Lord Campbell's acute investigation does not give us such assurance. In the intermediate details of the argument, his Lordship is confident and emphatic ; but a sceptic he begins, and a sceptic he ends, although in the course of the discussion leaning to the positive. The whole argument — leaving out the illustrative quotations and the comments on them — may be stated in small compass. Shakespeare constantly uses law phrases and terms. He does this, not as with any conscious preparation, but with a spontaneous freedom, which, by the evident absence of design, shows intimate mental familiarity with legal habits. His frequent use of legal phraseology is not in the manner of such casual analogy as any intelligent person might be equal to; it is with a subtile and scientific discrimination, in which even practised lawyers might commit mistakes. All this seems to imply actual experience in the business working of the law. In addition to the whole, a contemporary called him, in derision, by the nickname of “ Noverint,intending, it is said, to stigmatize him as an attorney's hack. After laying the fullest stress allowable on these indications, Lord Campbell suggests various possible explanations, and considers the case as still undecided. We venture, in addition, two or three unprofessional remarks.

Stratford contained fifteen hundred inhabitants, and seven attorneys. It would therefore be no marvel if Shakespeare had been in some law-office, a clerk or an apprentice; but as it must have been a place where a good deal of law-business was done, it would still be no marvel if Shakespeare, without having been either a clerk or an apprentice, had picked up some of that law-lore which must have been in cheap and extensive circulation. We have known in our time an Irish village, where, by means of two families obstinately engaged in a lawsuit, the technicalities of the courts became almost as common as those of farming. If so it was, in a place miles away from attorney, barrister, or magistrate, what must it have been in a place where there was the magical circle of an official seven? The English have always been a people noted for their attachment to law. Among the rude of other people, a blow is the answer to an insult; among the lower English, the answer is a threatening of the law. Amongst such, “ If there's law to be had in England, I'll have it against you,” is a very common and a very angry exclamation. In a .country where the law had thus such popular recognition, it would be a matter of more intimate knowledge, and of closer interest, in the degree that society was uncomplicated and undeveloped. In such a social stage, people are fond of going to law; and without newspapers, books, or Parliamentary debates, law would be a constant subject of conversation, not merely in relation to events and facts, but also in relation to theories and principles. With the intellectual, especially, this would be so. In our stage of society, mere law is lost in the multitude of other interests and affairs; in a simpler stage, it would concentrate attention by an isolated importance. A meagre state of the body lays bare the outline of its structure ; a meagre state of society also brings to sight the outline of its structure; and law is to society what the skeleton is to the body. The state of English society, when Shakespeare lived, was a meagre one; and therefore a good deal of English law might have been acquired in it by an intelligent, but unprofessional observer. One remark more, and then we quit the topic. Many of the law phrases and terms found in the writings of Shakespeare concern legitimacy, hereditary succession, high treason, and capital felonies, generally. If we consider the spirit of the times, we cannot believe that legal phraseology belonging to matters such as these, which were always present to public attention and to private thought, could be strange to any but the extremely ignorant. The title of every sovereign from Elizabeth backward to the Wars of the Roses, and beyond them, had been disputed. Argument, as well as arms, entered into such controversies. Then, too, property was mostly in land; and the rules which governed such property were feudal. As this property was constantly changing hands, the rules which governed it must have become known by continual application. Any knowledge of these rules now taxes recondite study; but that which is ordinary custom at one time, becomes matter of profound learning at another. The laws of inheritance must

« ElőzőTovább »