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When, Lucius, when? awake, I say: vhat, Lu.
Luc. Callid you, my lord?
Bru. Get me a taper in my study, Lucius: When it is lighted, come and call me here. Luc. I will, my lord.
[Exit, Bru. It must be by his death : and, for my part, I know no personal cause to spurn at him, But for the general. He would be crown'd:How that might change his nature, there's the quel
tion. It is the bright day, that brings forth the adder; And that craves wary walking. Crown hiin?-that; And then I grant we put a sting in him, That at his will he may do danger with. The abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins • Remorfe from power: and, to speak truth of Cæsar, I have not known when his affections sway'd More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof, That lowliness is young ambition's ladder, Whereto the climber-upward turns his face: But when he once attains the upmost round, He then unto the ladder turns his back; Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees By which he did ascend. So Cæsar may: Then, left he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel Will bear no colour, for the thing he is,
Remorse from power :) Remorse, for mercy. WARB. Remorse' (says the Author of the Revisal) significs the conscious uneasiness arising from a sense of having done wrong ; to extinguish which feeling, nothing hath so great a tendency as absolute uncontrouled power. I think Warburton right.
Johnson. ? - common proof,] Common experiment.
JOHNSON, .-base degrees] Low steps.
Fashion it thus ; that what he is, augmented,
Luc. The taper burneth in your closet, Sir,
[Gives him the letter.
Luc. I know not, Sir.
[Opens the letter, and reads.
his kind,---] According to his nature. JOHNSON. 'Is not to-morrow, boy, the first of March?] We Mould read Ides: for we can never suppose the speaker to have lof fourteen days in his account. He is here plainly ruminating on what the foothsayer told Cæsar (A& I. Scene 2. j in his presence. [-Beware the Ides of Marcb.] The boy comes back and says, Sir, March is wasted fourteen days. So that the morrow was the Ides of March, as he supposed. For March, May, July, and October, had fix nones each, so that the fifteenth of March was the Ides of that month.
« Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? what !
" Rome? “ My ancestors did from the streets of Rome “ The Tarquin drive, when he was callid a King." Speak, strike, redress! -Am I entreated To speak and strike? O Rome! I make thee promise, If the redress will follow, thou receivest Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus !
Luc. : Sir, March is wasted fourteen days.
(Knocks within. Bru. 'Tis good. Go to the gate;
some body knocks.
[Exit Lucius. Since Callius first did whet me against Cæsar, I have not sept. 3 Between the acting of a dreadful thing,
And In former editions,
Sir, March is wafled fifteen days. The editors are fightly mistaken: it was wasted but fourteen days; this was the dawn of the 15th, when the boy makes his report.
THEOBALD. 3 Between the alling of a dreadful thing, And the first mo:ion, &c.] That nice critic, Dionyfius of Halicarnassus, complains, that of all kind of beauties, those great strokes, which he calls the terrible graces, and which are so frequentin Homer, are the rarest to be found in the following writers. Amongst our countrymen, it seems to be as much confined to the British Homer. This description of the condition of conspirators, before the execution of their design, has a pomp and terror in it that perfectly aftonishes. The excellent Mr. Addison, whose modesty made him sometimes diffident of his own genius, but whose true judgment al. ways led him to the safest guides (as we may see by those fine ftrokes in his Cato borrowed from the Phillippics of Cicero) has paraphrased this fine description; but we are no longer to expect those terrible graces which animate his original.
O think, wbut anxious moments pass between
And the first motion, all the interim is
I shall make two remarks on this fine imitation. The first is, that the subjects of the two conspiracies being so very different (the fortunes of Cæsar and the Roman empire being concerned in the one ; and that of a few auxilliary troops only in the other) Mr. Addison could not, with propriety, bring in that magnificent circumstance which gives one of the terrible graces of Shakespeare's description;
Tbe genius and the mortal inf, uments
Are iben in councilFor ki gdoms, in the Pagan Theology, besides their gocd, had their evil giniu.'s, likewise, represented here, with the most daring ftretch of fancy, as fitting in consultation with the conspirators, whom he calls their mortal infruments. But this, as we say, would have been too pompous an apparatus to the rape and desertion of Syphax and Sempronius. The other thing observable is, that Mr. Addison was to struck and affected with these terrible graces in his original, that instead of imitating his author's sentiments, he hath, before he was aware, given us only the copy of his own impresions made by them For,
Oh, 'nis a dreadful interval of time,
up wirl borror al', and big with death,
Althe int'rim is
the fate of man,
The nature of an insurrection. Comparing the troubled mind of a conspirator to a state of anarchy, is just and beautiful; but the intrim, or interval, to an bideous vision, or a frightful dreum, holds something so wonderfully of truth, and lays the foul so open, that one can hardly think it posible for any man, who had not some time or other been engaged in a conspiracy, to give such force of colouring to nature.
WARB. The dīvor of the Greek critics does not, I think, mean sentiments which raise fear, more than wonder, or any other of the tu. multuous passions ; Tè divor is that which frikes, which aflonisis, with the idea either of some great subject, or of the author's abi lities.
Dr. Warburton's pompous criticism might weil have been sor. tened. The ginius is not the geniu, of a kingdom, nor are the inftruments, conspirators. Shakespeare is describing what passes in a single borom, the insurrection which a confpirator feels agitating the linle
The genius, and the mortal instruments
Luc. Sir, 'tis your brother - Casius at the door, Who doch desire to see you.
Bru. Is he alone?
kingdom of his own mind; when the Genius, or power that watches for his protection, and the mortal in Aruments, the passions, which excite him to a deed of honour and danger, are in council and debate ; when the desire of action and the care of safety, keep the mind in continual fluctuation and disturbance. JOHNSON.
Instead of inftruments, it should, I think, be inftrument, and explained thus.
The genius, i. e. the foul or spirit, which should govern ; and the merial infirum:14. i. e. the man, with all his bodily, that is, earthly passions, such as envy, pride, malice, and ambition, are then in council, i. e. debating upon the horrid action that is to be done, the foul and rational powers dissuading, and the mortal izftrument, man, with his bodily paffions, prompting and pulning on to the horrid deed, whereby the state of man, like to a little kingdom, fuffers then the nature of an insurrection, the inferior powers rifing and rebelling against the superior. See this exemplified in Macbeth's soliloquy, and also by what King John fays, Aa IV.
Nay, in the body of this fiehly land,
Between my conscience and my cousin's death. SMITI. - your brother Caius-] Cafius married Junia, Brutus's fifter.
STEEVEKS. 3-of favour.] Any diflinction of countenance. JOHNSON,