Essays and Notes on Shakespeare

9780217472081: Essays and Notes on Shakespeare

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1892. Excerpt: ... XXVI. MACBETH A GOOD CHURCHMAN. (From the Academy for March 2, 1878.) IT may be a satisfaction to some minds to be assured that, after all, Macbeth was a good Churchman. Shakespeare has overlooked this side of his character, though Holinshed has recorded it, and the fact is verily so, as was long since remarked by Mr. J. H. Burton. What I wish now to point out is the mention of Macbeth in this aspect in a famous Elizabethan work, even in Laivs of the Ecclesiastical Polity, "Will any man deny that the Church doth need the rod of corporal punishment to keep her children in-obedience withal? Such a law as Macabeus made among the Scdts, that he which continued an Excommunicate two years together, and reconciled not himself to the Church, should forfeit all his goods and possessions." Keble's note quotes from Boece the Latin of this, as Hooker thinks, commendable enactment:--"Qui pontificis authoritatem annum totium execratus contempserit neque se interim reconciliavit, nostis reipublicae habetor; qui vero duos annos in ea contumacia perseveravit fortunis omnibus multator.". XXVII. "THE COAL OF FIRE UPON THE ICE.". (From the Academy for July 20, 1878.) THERE being other reasons for supposing that Shakespeare wrote Coriolanus in 1608, I may perhaps point out that there is in it what may be a reference to the famous frost of 1607-8, when fires were lighted on the Thames. Says Marcius, in his favourite vein of contempt for the commons:--"You are no surer, no, Than is the coal of fire upon the ice Or hailstones in the sun." It must be allowed that this is a somewhat out-of-tHe-way image. Coals on ice are not usually a common spectacle; but it would seem they were so in the winter of 1607-8, and at that time the image would be by no means far-fetched or unfamili...

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