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signified equally strength and virtue. This feel. ing, carried into the fine arts, was the secret of the antique grace—the grace of repose. The same eternal nature—the same sense of immutable truth and beauty, which revealed this sublime principle of art to the ancient Greeks, revealed it to the genius of Shakspeare ; and the character of Hermione, in which we have the same largeness of conception and delicacy of execution,-the same effect of suffering without passion, and grandeur without effort, is an instance, I think, that he felt within himself, and by intuition, what we study all our lives in the remains of ancient art. The calm, regular, classical beauty of Hermione's character is the more impressive from the wild and gothic accompaniments of her story, and the beautiful relief afforded by the pastoral and romantic grace

which is thrown around her daughter Perdita:

The character of Paulina, in the Winter's Tale, though it has obtained but little notice, and no critical remark, (that I have seen,) is yet one of the striking beauties of the play: and it has its moral too. As we see running through the whole universe that principle of contrast which may be called the life of nature, so we behold it every where illustrated in Shakspeare: upon this principle he has placed Emilia beside Desdemona, the nurse beside Juliet; the clowns and dairymaids, and the merry pedlar thief Autolycus round Florizel and Perdita ;-and made Paulina the friend of Hermione.

Paulina does not fill any ostensible office near the person of the queen, but is a lady of high rank in the court—the wife of the Lord Antigones. She is a character strongly drawn from real and common life-a clever, generous, strong-minded, warm-hearted woman, fearless in asserting the truth, firm in her sense of right, enthusiastic in all her affections; quick in thought, resolute in word, and energetic in action ; but heedless, hottempered, impatient, loud, bold, voluble, and turbulent of tongue; regardless of the feelings of those for whom she would sacrifice her life, and injuring from excess of zeal those whom she most wishes to serve.

How many such are there in the

world! But Paulina, though a very termagant, is yet a poetical termagant in her way; and the manner in which all the evil and dangerous tendencies of such a temper are placed before us, even while the individual character preserves the strongest hold upon our respect and admiration, forms an impressive lesson, as well as a natural and delightful portrait.

In the scene, for instance, where she brings the infant before Leontes with the hope of softening him to a sense of his injustice—“ an office which," as she observes, “becomes a woman best? - her want of self-government, her bitter, inconsiderate reproaches, only add, as we might easily suppose, to his fury.

PAULINA.

I say I come
From your good queen!

LEONTES.

Good queen!

PAULINA.

Good queen, my lord, good queen : I say good queen ;

And would by combat make her good, so were I
A man, the worst about you.

LEONTES.

Force her hence,

PAULINA.

Let him that makes but trifles of his eyes,
First hand me: on mine own accord, I'll off ;
But first I'll do my errand. The good queen
(For she is good) hath brought you forth a daughter-
Here'tis; commends it to your blessing.

LEONTES.

Traitors!

Will you not push her out ? Give her the bastard.

PAULINA.

For ever

Unvenerable he thy bands, if thou
Tak’st up the princess by that forced baseness
Which he has put upon 't!

LEONTES.

He dreads his wife.

PAULINA.

So, I would you did ; then 'twere past all doubt
You'd call your children your's.

LEONTES.

A callat,

Of boundless tongue, who late hath beat her husband, And now baits me!—That brat is none of mine,

PAULINA,

It is yours,
And might we lay the old proverb to your charge,
So like you, 'tis the worse.

LEONTES.

A gross hag!
And, Lozel, thou art worthy to be hang'd,
That will not stay her tongue.

ANTIGONES,

Hang all the husbands
That cannot do that feat, you'll leave yourself
Hardly one subject.

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