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had been actually present, had known the different characters and what they thought of one another, and had taken down what he heard and saw, their looks, words, and gestures, just as they happened. The character of Mark Antony is farther speculated upon where the conspirators deliberate whether he shall fall with Cæsar. Brutus is against it—

"And for Mark Antony, think not of him;
For he can do no more than Cæsar's arm,
When Cæsar's head is off.

Cassius. Yet do I fear him :

For in the ingrafted love he bears to Cæsar,-
Brutus. Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him :
If he love Cæsar, all that he can do

Is to himself: take thought, and die for Cæsar :

And that were much he should; for he is given

To sports, to wildness, and much company.

Trebonius. There is no fear in him; let him not die; For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter."

They were in the wrong: and Cassius was right.

The honest manliness of Brutus is however sufficient to find out the unfitness of Cicero to be included in their enterprise, from his affected egotism and literary vanity.

"O, name him not; let us not break with him;

For he will never follow anything

That other men begin."

His scepticism as to prodigies and his moralising on the weather-"This disturbed sky is not to walk in" are in the same spirit of refined imbecility.

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Shakspeare has in this play and elsewhere shown the same penetration into political character and the springs of public events as into those of everyday life. For instance, the whole design to liberate their country fails from the generous temper of Brutus, and his overweening confidence in the goodness of their cause and the assistance of others. Thus it has always been. Those who mean well themselves think well of others, and fall a prey to their security. The humanity and sincerity which dispose men to resist injustice and tyranny render them unfit to cope with the cunning and power of those who are opposed to them. The friends of liberty trust to the professions of others, because they are themselves sincere, and endeavour to secure the public good with the least possible hurt to its enemies, who have no regard to anything but their own unprincipled ends, and stick at nothing to accomplish them. Cassius was better cut out for a conspirator. His heart prompted his head. His habitual jealousy made him fear the worst that might happen, and his irritability of temper added to his inveteracy of purpose, and sharpened his patriotism. The mixed nature of his motives made him fitter to contend with bad men. The vices are never so well employed as in combating one another. Tyranny and servility are to be dealt with after

their own fashion, or they will triumph over those who spare them.

The quarrel between Brutus and Cassius is managed in a masterly way. The dramatic fluctuation of passion, the calmness of Brutus, the heat of Cassius, are admirably described; and the exclamation of Cassius on hearing of the death of Portia, which he does not learn till after their reconciliation, "How 'scap'd I killing when I crost you so?" gives double force to all that has gone before. The scene between Brutus and Portia, where she endeavours to extort the secret of the conspiracy from him, is conceived in the most heroical spirit, and the burst of tenderness in Brutus

"You are my true and honourable wife ;
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart,”—

is justified by her whole behaviour. Portia's breathless impatience to learn the event of the conspiracy, in the dialogue with Lucius, is full of passion. The interest which Portia takes in Brutus, and that which Calphurnia takes in the fate of Cæsar, are discriminated with the nicest precision. Mark Antony's speech over the dead body of Cæsar has been justly admired for the mixture of pathos and artifice in it that of Brutus certainly is not so good.

The entrance of the conspirators to the house of

Brutus at midnight is rendered very impressive. In the midst of this scene, we meet with one of those careless and natural digressions which occur so frequently and beautifully in Shakspeare. After Cassius has introduced his friends one by one, Brutus says,

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What watchful cares do interpose themselves

Betwixt your eyes and night?

Cassius. Shall I entreat a word?

(They whisper.)

Decius. Here lies the east: doth not the day break here?

Casca. No.

Cinna. O, pardon, sir, it doth; and yon grey lines,

That fret the clouds, are messengers of day.

Casca. You shall confess, that you are both deceiv'd:

Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises;

Which is a great way growing on the south,

Weighing the youthful season of the year.

Some two months hence, up higher toward the north
He first presents his fire; and the high east
Stands as the Capitol, directly here."

We cannot help thinking this graceful familiarity better than all the formality in the world. The truth of history in JULIUS CESAR is very ably worked up with dramatic effect. The councils of generals, the doubtful turns of battles, are represented to the life. The death of Brutus is worthy of him-it has the dignity of the Roman senator with the firmness of the Stoic philosopher. But what is perhaps better than either, is the little incident of his boy, Lucius, falling asleep over his

instrument, as he is playing to his master in his tent, the night before the battle. Nature had played him the same forgetful trick once before on the night of the conspiracy. The humanity of Brutus is the same on both occasions.

"It is no matter;

Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber :
Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies,

Which busy care draws in the brains of men:
Therefore thou sleep'st so sound."

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