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No! Duncan of Scotland would have been
safe in my best bed-room, (it is the only spare
room in the house,) in spite of all that
Mrs. Smith (the wife of my bosom) could
have urged to the contrary; and yet I
feel all the confusion of mind and perplexity
of purpose, which led the ambitious
Thane to believe, " that nothing is but
what is not! " What may be the exact
meaning of this expression I have never seen
explained by any commentator; and there-
fore conclude, that the impenetrable obscurity
of the sentence was meant to illustrate the
chaotic helplessness of Macbeth's mind.

The art of the divine Williams was
admirably shown in this bewildered presentment
of a feeble-minded individual, who had a
dreadful tartar of a wife; and who, all of a
sudden, finds an unaccountable propensity to
cut his benefactor's throat. He had no such
wish previous to the interview with the
hideous Sisters; but, in a moment, all the
landmarks of his previous life were thrown down
by that frightful prophecy of the witches
all his loyalty to the gracious monarch
all his kindness to his trusted friend
all his reliance on the feminine tenderness
of his wifeall his sweet sleeps and joyous
wakingsall his self-respect and sinless
ambition to excel and be promoted,—all
these had disappeared; there was nothing
left by which to recognise his existence, to
unite his past with his future; he could
trust no man's evidence, not even the witness
of his own eyes and ears,—and therefore
he said, "All isn't, all is! all is, all

Now, this is what Shakespeare makes a
general, an earl, a murderer, a king, a tyrant,
and hen-pecked husband do; and it is strange
that circumstances perfectly different from
Macbeth's, have produced the same effect on
me; who am neither a general, nor an earl, nor
a murderer, nor a king, nor a tyrant, nor
evenexcept in a very modified degree
anythingelse by which the Scotchman was
distinguished from other men. I do not wear a
kilt, nor a feather in my bonnet as large as
the central ornament of an alderman's hearse.
In fact, I live at Clapham, and go every day
by an omnibus into the City, transacting my
business to the best of my ability (my address
is at the printers of this publication); and at
four return to a nice little dinner,—an hour
or two of music (Lucy certainly has a charming
voice), a hot cup of tea, and then children
being in bed, feet on fender, lamp on small
table at the left-hand, don't I enjoy my book?
my novel ? my biography ? my voyages and
travels? my history and antiquities ?—while
Lady Macbeth mends the baby's frocks, knits
me a new purse, adds up the household accounts,
or reads—(she is a very little woman,
and nobody would take her, even now, for
more than nineteen) the description of Dora
in David Copperfield, for at least the hundredth
time. That's how I liveor lived I
ought to say,—for that's one of the "ises'
which " isn't." No! I have shut up my
bookshelves; I have sent home a barrowful of
volumes to Mudie; I have taken to drinking in
despair; and have serious thoughts of giving
Mrs. S. a black eye. They would only fine me
thirty shillings, or give me a fortnight of the
mill if I trampled her nearly to death; and,
would probably let me off for half-a-crown, for
a mere poke in the organ of vision. But why
should I do this? Why, to show my courage
in the first place, and, in the next place, to
prove beyond cavil and dispute that I am a
changed man; that I am not what I was;
that I live in a confusion of tenses distracting
to a grammarian, and that all isn't, nothing is?
This is how the metamorphosis came
to pass. On the 'bus for many consecutive
mornings I sat next a man who lived in
the other half of my Semi-detached, a good-
looking man enough, with very broad cheek
bones, light grey shiny eyes, yellow disordered
hair, and lips that clutched together with a
snap when he had made an observation, like
the spring of a man-trap. But they were
always valuable observations, and well worth
holding fast. No nonsense, no joke, no frivolity;
all solid heaps of truth and great
crude forms of fact; none of your mouldings,
and ornaments, and flexibility of shape. A
thing was a thing, and nothing else. Vesuvius
was an elevation of the ground near Naples,
which occasionally gave forth smoke, and fire,
and lava; but, as to the beauty of its lurid
flame reflected in the Bay; as to its effect in
brilliant sunshine; as to its ghost-like
appearance when the moon held high court in