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[1185] English dramatists, beginning with Shakspeare. The introductory was beautiful. After assigning to literature its high place in the education of the human soul, he announced his own view in giving these readings: that he should never pander to a popular love of excitement, but quietly, without regard to brilliancy or effect, would tell what had struck him in these poets; that he had no belief in artificial processes of acquisition or communication, and having never learned anything except through love, he had no hope of teaching any but loving spirits, &c. All this was arrayed in a garb of most delicate grace; but a man of such genuine refinement undervalues the cannon-blasts and rockets which are needed to rouse the attention of the vulgar. His naive gestures, the rapt expression of his face, his introverted eye, and the almost childlike simplicity of his pathos, carry one back into a purer atmosphere, to live over again youth's fresh emotions. I greatly enjoyed his readings in Hamlet, and have reviewed in connection what Goethe and Coleridge have said. Both have successfully seized on the main points in the character of Hamlet, and Mr. D. took nearly the same range. His views of Ophelia, however, are unspeakably more just than are those of Serlo in Wilhelm Meister. I regret that the whole course is not to be on Shakspeare, for I should like to read with him all the plays.

I never have met with a person of finer perceptions. He leaves out nothing; though he over-refines on some passages. He has the most exquisite taste, and freshens the souls of his hearers with ever new beauty. He is greatly indebted to the delicacy of his physical organiation for the delicacy of his mental appreciation. But when he has told you what he likes, the pleasure of

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Shakspeare (2)
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