« FöregåendeFortsätt »
judgment and genius of the artists. Brutus and Cinna are drawn in the same situation, conspiring against the foremost man of all this world : in the one we have the features and complexion of a villain, in the other the high-finished form of a noble patriot.
D Ε Α Τ Η
HE tragedies of Cinna, and Julius
reprefentation of a conspiracy ; but it cannot be denied, that our countryman has been by far more judicious in his choice of the story. An abortive scheme, in which some people of obscure fame were engaged, and even in whom, as they are represented, the attempt was pardoned, more from contempt of their abilities and power, than the clemency of the emperor, makes a poor figure in contrast with that conspiracy, which, formed by the first characters in Rome, effected
the destruction of the greatest man the world ever produced, and was succeeded by the most memorable consequences. History furnishes various examples of base and treacherous natures, of diffolute manners, ruined fortunes, and lost reputations, uniting in horrid association to destroy their prince. Ambition often cuts itself a bloody way to greatness.-Exasperated misery sometimes plunges its defperate dagger in the breast of the oppressor. The cabal of a court, the mutiny of a camp, the wild zeal of fanatics, have often produced events of that nature. But this conspiracy was formed of very
different elements. It was the genius of Rome, the rights of her conftitution, the spirit of her laws, that rose against the ambition of
Cæsar ; they steeled the heart, and whetted the dagger of the mild, the virtuous, the gentle Brutus, to give the mortal wound, not to a tyrant, who had fastened fetters on his fellow-citizens, but to the conqueror, who had made the world wear their chains : one empire only remained unsubjected to them, and that he was preparing to subdue.