My Novel — Volume 04
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This is a novel book. It was no bad idea of yours, Pisistratus, said my father, graciously, to depict the heightened affections and the serious intention of Signor Riccabocca by a single stroke, -- He left of his spectacles! Good. Yet, quoth my uncle, I think Shakspeare represents a lover as falling into slovenly habits, neglecting his person, and suffering his hose to be ungartered, rather than paying that attention to his outer man which induces Signor Riccabocca to leave off his spectacles, and look as handsome as nature will permit him. There are different degrees and many phases of the passion, replied my father. Shakspeare is speaking of an ill-treated, pining, woe-begone lover, much aggrieved by the cruelty of his mistress, --a lover who has found it of no avail to smarten himself up, and has fallen despondently into the opposite extreme. Whereas Signor Riccabocca has nothing to complain of in the barbarity of Miss Jemima.