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Hawkins calls "sympathy," but I should rather call respect. Why? Not because he was a down-trodden Jew-he would have done as much for the most orthodox and prosperous Christian in the land, and has done as much for men as thoroughly depraved as Iago and Edmund in "Lear"-but because, though not the hero of the comedy, he had a conspicuous part in it, and Shakespeare never puts in a conspicuous part a man absolutely devoid of all qualities that can inspire respect or sympathy. Of the Jew in the story we know nothing except in relation to the bond and the forfeiture, and in that part Shakespeare has kept close to his original. But, having also to show him in his relation to other men, he endows him with such respectable qualities as are not incompatible with the work he has to do -courage, intellect, eloquence, force of character, strength of will, attachment to his race and creed, and a show of respect for his law. I say a "show"; for, though he makes a great profession of religious scruples, he never lets them interfere with business. His religion forbids him to eat or drink with Christians; and yet, when he remembers that by "feeding upon the prodigal Christian" he may help to disable Antonio from payment of his debt at the day, he overcomes his objection to the smell of pork and consents to dine with Bassanio. He refuses payment of his debt in full, with two hundred per cent. interest for the few days' delay, because he dares not break his oath; he has sworn by the holy Sabbath to have the pound of flesh and nothing else; to forbear would be to "lay perjury upon his soul," which he will not do for Israel. But, when he finds that he can not take the other man's life except at the peril of his own, he does forbear; leaves his soul to settle with the perjury as it can; is ready for any compromise, even though "involving a renunciation of a cherished faith." "'* What he would not do for Israel he will yet do for himself. From all which I conclude that Shakespeare did not mean us to be taken in by the solemnity of his professions, or to look up to him as the martyr-hero of "an old, untainted religious aristocracy," but only to regard him with a certain interest as a man qualified by nature for a better part than he has cho


If the characters of Bassanio, Antonio, and Shylock are manifestly and directly derived from Ser Giovanni's story, it need hardly be said that the Lady of Belmonte suggested the idea of Portia, every one of whose qualities, as we see them brought out in the play by Shakespeare's own hand the generosity, the affection, the spirit, the intellect, the gayety and playfulness—

"The Theatre," December, 1879, p. 261.

he found hints of in the novelist's account of the lady's proceedings between her discovery of Ansaldo's position and her reception of him and her husband at Belmonte.

What need, then, have we to seek further, either for the source of the plot, or the choice of the subject, or the manner of its treatment? To hear our modern apologists, one would suppose that the argument of the play was the persecution of a Jew by Christians; a description of it for which, if the Venetian law had been represented in it as sanctioning the claim of a Christian to cut the flesh out of the body of a Jew, there would have been some color. As it is, to call it the persecution of a Christian by a Jew would be nearer the mark. But the truth is, that the question at issue has nothing to do with the question of religion. The law of Venice, in so far as it is brought before us in the action, knows a distinction between citizens and aliens, but not between Christians and Jews. It is administered strictly, without respect of race or creed. Nor is there anything in the play, from the first scene to the last, from which it can be inferred that a Jew in Venice labored under any disadvantage, political or social, as compared with a Christian. On the contrary, pains have been taken to remind us that there was none, all such inequality of dealing being against the cardinal policy of the state. See act iii., scene 3:

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Shylock, it is true, who hates Antonio because he is a Christian, naturally assumes that Antonio quarrels with his usances because he is a Jew. But that is only his own fancy; and even if it had been true it would not have been in point; for his quarrel with Antonio was a private one, with which the state had nothing to do. If Shakespeare had meant his audience to feel that the Hebrew race was suffering under Christian oppression, he would surely have shown them some case in illustration. Yet the only Hebrews he shows us or tells us of are Shylock himself and his friend Tubal-both of them rich, and at liberty to make their bargains in their own way, and assisted by the laws to enforce the terms according to the letter, even when most iniquitous and unjustifiable. And what oppression by the state has Shylock to complain of, either on his own behalf or on that of his sacred nation? When he demands judgment on his bond, the

court warns him that if he insists on exacting a penalty involving the death of a citizen he will himself have to pay the penalty prescribed by the law for shedding Christian blood-namely, confiscation of land and goods. When he declines to press his demand on this condition, the court informs him that he has already incurred the penalty prescribed by the law for "seeking the life" of a citizen-namely, the forfeiture of one half of his goods to the person whose life he had sought, of the other half to the state, and his life to the Duke's mercy. Of which penalty the court enforces so much only as amounts to the sequestration of one half of his property for the benefit of his daughter; the rest being remitted on two conditions-one, that he bind himself to leave her the whole after his death; the other, that in the mean time he "become a Christian," whatever that may mean. This is the full extent of the oppression, in consideration of which we are called on to excuse him-as the representative victim of unreasoning prejudice against Jews in general-for contriving by a fraudulent contract to murder a rival; these the "inherited and personal wrongs " by which "his fine nature has become so warped and soured." *

This strange notion, that the secret purpose of the play was to expose the mischiefs of religious intolerance, was probably suggested by the last of the two conditions of pardon. And though I do not think that Shakespeare meant it to be so taken for I suspect that in the eyes of a Globe audience a Jew consenting to "become a Christian" was simply an infidel seeking admission into the fold and qualifying his soul for salvation -I admit that to modern ears it sounds like a wanton insult, and (as producing on a modern audience an effect the very opposite to that which was intended) ought to be left out. Nothing would be lost by the omission, and it would be universally felt that Christianity could have no interest in enlisting such a recruit.

The other condition has reference to an episode which is not to be found in the original story, but was introduced into the play partly to vary and enliven the action, and partly, perhaps, to account for Shylock's determination to revenge himself on one Christian by giving him a just ground of quarrel with another. In the course of which episode the moral sensibilities of a modern spectator suffer a little shock, from which a judicious adapter might relieve him by the omission of a. few lines. Not that I would debar Jessica from seeking relief from her Jewish disabilities by the nearest way. We are all glad to see her at liberty to choose her husband and her religion for her

"The Theatre," November, 1879, p. 194.

self; to escape from a house which to her was a hell, with only the "merry devil" Launcelot to cheer it; from a father of whose manners she was (not without reason and to her credit, though to her regret) ashamed; and from the chance, should it suit him, of having to take "any of the stock of Barrabas" for a husband; nor do many of us object to see advantage taken by Antonio of the pressure which the law enables him to put on Shylock for the purpose of securing a comfortable provision for her. But we all feel that she ought to have left the ducats and jewels behind; and the fact that Shakespeare allowed her to carry them off without a hint of disapprobation from anybody (there being no dramatic necessity for it) suggests a doubt whether in those early days he was fully alive to the impropriety. Perhaps the easy morality of the comic theatre in all such questions—the large privilege which the young lovers have always enjoyed of deceiving and overreaching the stern parent—had become so familiar as to hide from him the true nature of the transaction; which in so tragic a business as Shylock's revenge can not be regarded with the levity which comedy permits. But, however that may be, I can not doubt that the effect would be much better in modern eyes if Jessica were allowed to escape without the treasure. The loss of his daughter to her race and faith would supply Shylock with as fair a motive for vengeance; he could make as much noise about it; and the secret that he really cared more for the ducats than the daughter would not be forced upon the knowledge of his admirers, who regard paternal tenderness as one of his most conspicuous virtues. Two lines struck out from Jessica's part in the sixth scene of the second act, a few from Salanio's in the eighth, and a few more in the interview with Tubal at the beginning of the third act, would (without at all disturbing the action of the play) remove completely our only remaining scruple as to the poetic justice of the final settlement. For, though Shylock has escaped with a punishment which any one who considers the character of his crime must feel to be very far short of his desert, he is far away in Venice among his money-bags, and does not trouble us. We saw him baffled and dismissed in the fourth act with general satisfaction, and can leave him to meditate upon the example of Christian mercy which he owes to the generosity of his intended victim at the suggestion of the "wise young judge," and hope that he may profit by it. In the mean time Antonio's fortunes are happily restored by the safe arrival of his argosies with all their merchandise, and everybody is well pleased.

JAMES SPEDDING (Cornhill Magazine).



HE scientific study of criminals and the philosophic study of crimes is not merely an interesting, but a highly warrantable exercise of intellect. Only through some such investigation into these subjects can a knowledge of the nature, cause, and cure of crimes be attained-if, indeed, such knowledge in its perfect phases be ever reached in human history. And only, when aided by the skilled expert-the chemist, surgeon, physiologist, or engraver-and by the deductions and inductions science is able or prepared to draw from any given set of circumstances, is Justice enabled to enter upon the pursuit of crime, and to make her name a terror to evil-doers. It is not our intention to follow, at present, such experimenters as Mr. Francis Galton in his remarkable researches into the conformation and configuration of the criminal head, among other types of human character. Readers interested in knowing what may be done in the way of a scientific study of character should peruse Mr. Galton's address to the Anthropological Section of the British Association for 1877. In that address will be found embodied some curious facts and inferences relative to the classification of groups and types of men based on their habits of mind and physiognomy. By the application of an ingenious method of observation, in which, by an arrangement of mirrors, four views of a person's head can be simultaneously photographed, the full and complete comparison of types of head-conformation can be effected. As the result of investigations conducted on this basis, Mr. Galton mentions that by physiognomy, together with the general contour of the head, a practical arrangement of criminal types becomes possible. Provided with a large number of photographs of criminals, and by familiarizing himself with this collection, certain natural classes of criminals became discernible; and thus a scientific study of character may assist in the determination of the results of criminal tendencies, and, through these, toward the amelioration of the race.

Thus much for the part Science promises to play in determining the causes of crime and criminals. With the results of crime, however, Science at present concerns herself much more nearly; and it is with the ways and means Sci-, ence brings to bear on the detection of crime that we purpose chiefly to concern ourselves in the present paper. Our newspapers familiarize us, day by day, with instances of the application of scientific methods to criminal investigation.


Not a case of forgery is tried but the expert in caligraphy and engraving is appealed to in order to aid the cause of justice, by the detection, through scientific means, of likenesses or differences in handwriting, or of alterations and erasures in disputed deeds or manuscripts. Every case of homicide brings its array of medical and surgical evidence, or its quota of chemists, prepared to do battle for the truth. Even the identification of a corpus delicti may be a matter in which medical science alone has absolute sway, and in which the skill of the medical jurist, with his testimony to the probable time and circumstances of death, may first point the way in which detective science should travel. A blood-stain and its nature, when interpreted by the microscopist, may convict the suspected, or may, on the other hand, set him free. And, in many other ways and diverse fashions, the art of the detective may be shown to owe more to science than most people unacquainted with the routine of criminal investigation could readily imagine.

To select a simple case, and one, nevertheless, regarding which much popular misconception exists, let us try to discover the place and power of the microscope in medical jurisprudence. In such a study we may discover that certain powers, popularly imagined to be at the beck and call of the microscopist, are grossly exaggerated; while it may also be shown that the actual extent of the microscopist's ability fully outweighs the fallacies just alluded to. Chief among the cases in which the microscope becomes of paramount importance, as an agent in the detection of crime, are those in which blood-stains, or marks of allied characters, and fragments of clothing or hairs, require to be examined and referred to their exact source. An actual case may be related by way of exemplifying the conditions demanding inquiry. A man was tried in 1857, at one of our English assizes, for the supposed murder of a companion. The dead man's throat had been cut in such a fashion as to preclude the idea of suicide. The prisoner had been last seen in the company of the deceased, and in his possession a knife stained with blood was found. This knife was alleged by the prosecution to be that with which the murder was committed, and the stains thereupon were alleged to be those of human blood. The defense explained the presence of these stains by asserting that they were produced by cutting raw beef. Now, it may be asked, in what position is science

placed in such an issue as the present? Could the microscopist, placed in the witness-box, swear to the identity of the stain with blood; and could he testify to its being human blood as distinguished from that of the ox? To the first query, an affirmative answer must be returned. Chemical tests of great delicacy are known whereby the presence of blood can be infallibly detected. Mr. Sorby tells us that spectrum analysis will reveal the presence of blood where the stain is only the tenth of an inch in diameter, or where a quantity of the red coloring matter of blood, not exceeding the one hundredth part of a grain, can be obtained. In so far as blood itself and its mere presence are concerned, there are no scientific difficulties in the way of its exact determination and separation from all other redcolored stains. But, when we turn to the question of the exact source of the blood-stains, we find the powers of science to be limited in some degree. In the case just alluded to, in which the defense rested upon a statement that the bloodstains were obtained from beef, the fallacies of evidence which grossly departed from a scientific standard were exemplified. A chemist gave evidence, in which he alleged that the knife in question had been immersed in living blood to its hilt, and that the blood was certainly not that of the ox or sheep. This testimony was offered, despite the fact known to every physiologist that there exist no appreciable differences between the stain of living blood and of blood from a recently killed animal, and that the microscopist is as yet unable to detect differences between the blood of man and that of the ox or sheep sufficiently clear to enable him to decide their exact and specific nature. Even spectrum analysis, with all its subtilty of method and delicacy of research, can not decide upon exact differences between new and old blood-stains; nor can it enable the experimenter to say if the blood be human or that of a lower animal. Fortunately, for the cause of justice in the foregoing case, the crime was brought home to the prisoner by evidence other than that of the chemist in question, and by testimony which depended on no fallacies of microscopic testimony.

To discover the limitations of science in such a case, we must make ourselves familiar with the details of an elementary study in physiology. When a thin film of human blood is examined under a high power of the microscope, it is seen to present the appearance of a clear, watery fluid -the serum and plasma of the physiologist-in which float an immense number of small, round bodies, the blood-corpuscles. These latter are of two kinds, red and white; the red being by far the more numerous, and imparting, through their immense numbers, the red hue to the blood.

The red corpuscles of human blood are round and biconcave in form, each measuring from the one three-thousandth to the one four-thousandth of an inch in diameter. The white corpuscles are a little larger and attain a diameter averaging the one two-thousand five-hundredth part of an inch. Thus it may be safely asserted that, when the microcopist is able to discern in any liquid those characteristic blood-globules, he may positively allege that the liquid in question is certainly blood. When the further and equally important question of the kind of blood is submitted to the scientific observer, his answers should savor of caution. The red corpuscles of man, unlike the white, do not possess a central particle or nucleus. They are, therefore, in physiological language, said to be "non-nucleated." But it is noteworthy that, in this latter feature, man's blood-globules agree with those of all other mammals or quadrupeds. Every quadruped, in short, possesses red blood-globules which want a central spot or nucleus. Moreover, all quadrupeds, except the camel-tribe, possess red blood-globules of circular shape; those of the camel being elliptical in form. But, when we descend in the animal scale and pass to the birds, as most nearly approaching quadrupeds, and from the birds to reptiles and fishes, the blood-globules are found, in these lower classes, to be not merely oval or elliptical in shape, but to be invariably nucleated that is, possessing each a central particle.

With this zoological information at hand, we may be able to appreciate the power of the microscope as a detector of crime. In 1851, the defense, in a case of murder tried at the Essex Assizes, rested partly on the statement that the blood-stains on the clothes of the prisoner were derived from chicken's blood. In such a case the microscopic evidence is invaluable, since the blood of the bird will contain oval and nucleated globules; and, from an examination of these bloodstains, the prisoner's statement in the case referred to was proved to be false, the corpuscles being those of some mammal. Similarly, when the late Professor Hughes Bennett, of Edinburgh, was confronted with a patient supposed to be troubled with chest-disease of serious type, an examination of the fluid blood supposed to have come from the lungs revealed the presence of oval blood-globules. The patient's wonder may be better imagined than described when her imposture was thus declared plain. Seeing, then, that the blood of quadrupeds is distinguishable from that of all other animals, the question yet remains, How far does microscopical evidence proceed in determining human blood from that of other mammals? Here, leaving aside the singular and exceptional case of the camels and their neighbors with oval but non-nucleated globules,

the chief, and indeed the only, guide to the microscopist must be size. This guide, it may be further noticed, is by no means a certain or exact test, since even in one and the same animal the blood-globules may vary in dimensions. In some quadrupeds, it is true, the excessively minute nature of the globules would, of itself, form a feature distinguishing them from those of man. Thus the blood-corpuscles of the musk-deer measure the one twelve thousand three hundred and twenty-fifth part of an inch in diameter, such a size being infinitesimal when compared with those of man. When, however, we compare the blood of ordinary domestic animals with human blood, the difficulties in the way of exact determination increase in a very marked fashion. It is known as a fact that the blood-globules of the horse, ox, ass, mouse, cat, pig, and bat are nearly of the same size; the dimensions of the bloodglobules bearing no reference to the size of the animal to which they belong.

The blood-globules which approach most nearly to those of man in size are found in the dog, rabbit, and hare. Supposing, therefore, that in a case of suspected murder a blood-stain were declared to be that of a dog, he would be a worse than foolish scientist who would even venture to hazard his reputation by stating, in a witnessbox, his ability to distinguish the stain as that of human blood. Cases in illustration of the foregoing facts are abundantly met with in the records of criminal jurisprudence. A medical witness, giving evidence some years ago at an English assizes in a case of suspected homicide, was sharply rebuked by the presiding judge for the enunciation of speculative niceties regarding blood; and in no eyes does such a witness seem more foolish than in those of scientific men, who know best the fallible ground on which he is treading. In another case a scientific witness alleged his ability to distinguish certain stains as those of horse's blood, and others as those of human blood-such evidence being inadmissible on scientific grounds, and therefore morally and legally wrong.

The power and value of the microscope as an aid to the discovery of the truth in criminal cases is, however, by no means limited to the determination of blood-stains. On weapons alleged to have been used with homicidal intent or effect, the merest traces of various substances may occasionally be found, and may serve, in the hands of the man of science, as important clews. A Dr. Lyons has left on record a case in which the supposition of a person's guilt as a murderer appeared to be materially strengthened by the discovery, beneath a bed, of a hatchet to which clotted blood and hairs were adherent. The hair, submitted to microscopical examination, was

discovered to belong to some animal, and this fact helped to turn the tide of evidence in favor of the accused, although, had this case occurred before the day of the microscope and its use in medicine, it is not difficult to predict what would have been the result of the trial in question. Cotton fibers, proved by microscopical research to be such, served as a link in the chain of evidence adduced against a prisoner tried for homicide at an Essex Assizes in 1852. On the boots of another man charged with a like crime at Maidstone, in 1863, Drs. Taylor and Pavy discovered some hairs corresponding with those taken from the head of the deceased, who had been fatally assaulted by kicking, while some red woolen fibers, also found on the boots of the accused, corresponded with those of a woolen comforter with which the deceased had been provided. So also in a case of much mystery, in which a young woman was found brutally murdered, a knife which had been placed in the hand of the deceased-presumably for the purpose of simulating death by suicide-bore on its blade, amid a small blood-clot, a number of woolen fibers of a peculiar hue. These fibers exactly corresponded with those of a woolen jacket worn by the accused, who was convicted, and duly confessed his crime. Such examples certainly serve to show the exceeding importance, in medical jurisprudence, of the veriest trifles, and to demonstrate how the most insignificant clews may, when welded into the chain of circumstances, literally form confirmations strong as proofs of holy writ." By aid of the microscope, linen fibers may be distinguished from those of cotton, and both from those of wool; while marked differences are observable in the hairs of different animals.

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Shreds and patches may thus literally piece out evidence of importance for or against an accused person. And not less clearly is this fact shown when the trifling details on which grave discoveries often hinge are illustrated. One Sellis, who had attacked the Duke of Cumberland, thereafter destroyed himself. Sellis committed suicide by cut-throat, and on the left side of the bed on which he was found a razor was laid. This otherwise suspicious circumstance, which laid the late Duke of Cumberland under some suspicion in 1810, was clearly explained when Sellis was proved to be equally dexterous in the use of both hands. A man was found dead in 1865, in London, under similar circumstances to Sellis, the left hand having been used to inflict the fatal injury. The unusual situation of the wound was explained when the deceased was proved to be a wood-carver by trade, and to have been accustomed to use both hands when at work. A singular and shrewd observation of

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