Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume V (1877-1881)
Butler, James D.
The Απαξ Λεγὁμενα in Shakspere[Shakespeare], pp. 161-174 PDF (3.7 MB)
174 Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. The Shaksperianr plots are analogous to the grouping Of Raphael, the characters to the drawing of Micbael Angelo, but the word-painting exceeds the coloring of Titian. Accordingly' in view of Shakspere's diction, I would long ago have said, if I could, what I-read in Arthur Helps concerning a perfect style, that " there is a sense of felicity about it, declaring it to be the pro- duct of a, bh r momenfn t. son thaty it will not hflnnun again to that man who writes the sentence, nor to any other of the sons of men, to say the like thing so choicely, tersely, mellif. luously and completely." In the central court of the Neapolitan museum I observed grape-clusters, volutes, moldings, fingers and antique fragments of all sorts wrought in the rarest marble, lying scattered on the pavement, exposed to sun and rain, east down the wrong side up, and seemingly thrown away, as when th stones of the Jewish sanctuary were poured out in every street Nothing reveals the sculptural opulence of Italy like that appa ent wastefulness. It seems to proclaim that Italv can afford t make nothing of what would elsewhere be judged worthy of shrines. We say to ourselves, " If such be the things she throw away, what must be her jewels! " A similar feeling rises in me while exploring Shakspere's prodigality in 'Awoa9 ).a-6Oje-a. HI exchequer must have been more exhaustless than the Bank o England, and he threw away more dies for coining words tba the British mint ever possessed for coining money. On the whole, in whatever aspect we survey the Bard of Avo I am reminded of the retired Boston merchant who, in his old ag reading Hamlet for the first time was enraptured. When aske how he liked Shakspere, his answer was, "H How do I like bimn Like is no word for my admiration. The truth is that not twent men in modern Boston can write anything better than old Sh spere." I say ditto to the Boston man. INot more than forty m in Madison (the present company excepted) can produce pla superior to the old Shaksperian.
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