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Whether this is the Hamlet intended by
Shakespeare is not the question; it is doubtless
the Hamlet of the Unities, executed by a very
respectable hand. Our lively Brussels editor
cannot constrain his rapture:

Who can speak of the beautiful productions with
which Ducis has enriched our stage, without the
names of Sophocles and Shakespeare being brought
"back to his memoryI had almost said, to his

How strange, then, that any reference to the
works of Sophocles and Shakespeare should fail
to bring betore the "mind's eye" the name of


IT is the morning of that notable Sunday,
waiting on the threshold of the week called
Holy, when the sun is glinting through the
dome windows of the grand mosque, and the
children of Rome are gathered within the walls.
The music is swelling high, and the white
waves ecclesiastical have been frothing and
eddying backwards and forwards light as spray.
Figures drift by mistily for hours, and the chief
priest sits and distributes whole fields of the
wheat-coloured branches. There was a world
of poesy abroad that day, and I could almost,
have wished that sweet vision to repeat itself
over and over again, were it not that I am being
drawn aside, and almost troubled uneasily by the
disturbing of a Face!

I have been conscious of it from the very
beginning. Travelling lightly down those
ranks of features ecclesiastic ranged in lines
about that amphitheatrephysiognomies old and
worn, and stern and soft, mundane and
devotional, listless and absorbedI am stopped
irresistibly at that one Face, and pass it by
doubtfully. By-and-by my eye has wandered
back, searching for the Face restlessly, and so I
return again and again, drawn by some curious
unaccountable fascination. A face not to be
passed byone not bold or obtrusive, rather
shrinking and retiring, and yet standing out
from its face-company, which become only so
many poor subservient foilsa face of potential
mark, that lives, that thinks, that works, that
can play at human chess, dulling the others
into pure bucolical expression. Such a face, if
met in the street, you must go back, and by
some artifice meet again, or dog home. And
this is the manner of it, for it is close by me,
and I can almost lay my hand upon its ermined
shoulder: a leaf from an old vellum missal, a
fine ivory yellow, firm features, all marked and
massive, yet not large; hair richly black, and
strong, and wavy, yet not long, brought out
with superb effect by that dash of bright scarlet
skull-cap! Rembrandt would have rubbed
that "accident" in frantically, with great flakes
and weltswith his thumb, perhaps. It would
have been his darling effect. Forehead in
smooth knolls; nose firm and substantial, yet
clearly cut. From two dark caves shoot and
glance Spanish eyes, fierce, full of flashing
light. How many women have envied them to
the Face! how many hearts have they made to
shrink and tremble! And the mouth——

Now does that coarse and terrible portrait
of Voltaire the younger's ferocious handling
intrude itself! And, without such hint, had I
not presentiment of this from the beginning?
has it not been hanging over me with a dim
foreshadowing that mind and power were within
that small circlethat the Anax king, the
Can-ning man of Prophet Carlyle, was at hand
that with all the fantoccini round, playing out
their parts, here was the figure, so still and
impassive, that could move the wires and work the
machinery? But the mouth——

Not quite that "bouche de brigand," M. Edmond;
give me leave, in this humble way of
mine, to interpret that feature. A long bar
drawn down, but tortured with an eternal bitterness
in the palate. Rue-leaves are being always
on his tongue; sour lozenges are being
moistened there perpetually; and so it now
takes a shape of sad contempt, almost disgust.
That sour smile lets me see his teeth,—superb,
white as a negro's! A mouth of infinite play
and power, that can smile sweetly and contract,
and look cold, and kill. How the face shifts
and plays! A stooped Brother of the Seventy
is beside him, shrunken and bent, and to him
he whispers. Brightly flash the famous jet
eyes, and the sweetest, softest smile, breaking
through rue-leaves and ipecacuanha, has
warmed the stooped brother's heart. No
brigand's mouth, I say again, M. Edmond. Yet
it is gone, faster than a cloud reflected in a
field of corn, and here are rue-leaves again.
As the glitter and colour of the pageant
proceeds, the vellum face now moves to the right
or to the left, following the stages with a sort of
tranquil interest. Now are the overhanging
crags of eyebrows lifted, wrinkling the smooth
forehead, and the thick lip corners drawn down
with a spasm of repugnancesome rue-leaf
memory has occurred to him; now are the eyes
cast down demurely, and he looks a simple
priest, a modest village curate.

And presently, when that twisting of the
cord of the gold and purple strands sets in, and
the vellum cheeks, being of such consideration,
must go up second in order to receive its wheat-
coloured palm, and I look with an absorbing
interest to see it in this new function, there rises a
general flutter and light buzzing of well-known
name, with a ring of silver in it, as the small figure,
modest, unobtrusive as a monk, almost shrinking,
but with the jet eyes glistening and roving
like a snake's, moves forward witli a stiff, quiet
walk, and hands in prayerful attitude peeping
from under the ermine cape. Does that modest
monk from the countrysuch he must be
suspect that every eye follows his steps? Now he
has knelt at his prince's knees, and turns round
freighted with his tall palm-staff, all curled, and
flowered, and taller than he is. He is overcome
by the honour, and helpless and irresolute, and
with the rue-leaf flavour distilling with extra