Page:Studies of a Biographer 4.djvu/33
SHAKESPEARE AS A MAN
When we have got so far, we have already, as it seems to me, admitted certain attributes, which are as much personal as literary. If you admit that Shakespeare was a humorist, intensely sensitive to natural beauty, a scorner of the pedantry, whether of scholars or theologians, endowed with an amazingly wide and tolerant view of human nature, radically opposed to Puritanism or any kind of fanaticism, capable of hearty sympathy with the popular instincts and yet with a strong per-
I do not see how any man could have been more clearly what may be called an intellectual aristocrat. His contempt for the mob may be good-humoured enough, but is surely unequivocal: from the portrait of Jack Cade promising, like a good Socialist, that the three-hooped pot shall have ten hoops, to the first, second, and third citizens who give a display of their inanity and instability in Coriolanus or Julius Cæsar. Shakespeare may be speaking dramatically through Ulysses in Troilus and Cressida; but at least he must have fully appreciated the argument for order, and understood by order that the cultivated and intelligent should rule and the common herd have as little direct voice in state affairs as Elizabeth and James could have desired.