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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 publick good with the least possible hurt to its enemies, who have nó regard to any thing 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 inade 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 : otherwise, they will triumph over those who spare them, and finally pronounce their funeral panegyrick, as Antony did that of Brutus.
"All the conspirators, save only he,
The quarrel between Brutus and Cassius is managed in a masterly way.
The dramatick 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
before. The scene between Brutus and Portia, where she endeavours to
Far 1 ingutel ligue e pasta Czas
Bruns 1s. and Carins, do not think of bint:
Trennidi. There is no fear is bim; let him not die:
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 bis affected egotism and literary vanity.
“ 0, name him not : let us not break with him;
trust to the presuns outres secase 2:
and the esclamation ath of Portia, which their reconciliation, ost you so !" gives fore. The scene
e endeavours to
estort the secret of the conspiracy from bim, is conceived in the most heroical spirit, and the burst of tenderness in Brutus
“ You are my true and honourable wife;
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 Cesar 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 30 frequently and beautifully in Shakspeare. After Cassius bas introduced his friends one by one, Brutus says,
“ They are all welcome.
(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,
Casca. You shall confess, that you are both deceiv'd :
Weighing the youthful season of the year.
We cannot help thinking this graceful familiarity better than all the formality in the world. The truth of history in Julius Cæsar is very ably worked up with dramatick eff:ct. The councils of generals, the doublful 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 Stoick 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 :