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And afterwards (iv. 7) we have Lord Say, in somewhat similar circumstances, thus appealing to Cade and his mob of men of Kent:
“Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will.
Which makes me hope you are not void of pity." “O traitors! murderers!” Queen Margaret in the Third Part (v. 5) shrieks out in her
when the Prince her son is butchered before her eyes ;
“They that stabbed Cæsar shed no blood at all,
And men ne'er spend their fury on a child.” In King Richard the Third (iii. 1) is a passage of great pregnancy.
“Did Julius Cæsar build that place, my lord ?" the young Prince asks Buckingham when it is proposed that he shall retire for a day or two to the Tower before his coronation. And, when informed in reply that the mighty Roman at least began the building, "Is it,” he further inquires,
6 upon record, or else reported Successively from age to age, he built it?" "It is upon record, my gracious lord," answers Buckingham. On which the wise royal boy rejoins,
“But say, my lord, it were not registered,
Even to the general all-ending day.” And then, after a “What say you, uncle ?", he explains the great thought that was working in his mind in these striking words:
" That Julius Caesar was a famous man':,
For now he lives in fame, though not in life.” Far away from anything Roman as the fable and locality of Hamlet are, various passages testify how much Cæsar was in the mind of Shakespeare while writing that Play. First, we have the famous passage (i. 1) so closely resembling one in the Second Scene of the Second Act of Julius Cæsar :
“In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse.” I Then there is (iii. 2) the conversation between Hamlet and Polonius, touching the histrionic exploits of the latter in his university days:-"I did enact Julius Cæsar: I was killed i' the Capitol; Brutus killed me. brute part of him to kill so capital a calf there” (surely, by the bye, to be spoken aside, though not so marked).Lastly, there is the Prince's rhyming moralization (v.1):
“Imperial Cæsar, dead and turned to clay,
" " It was a
* “ His conqueror” is the reading of all the Folios. restored by Theobald from the Quarto of 1597, and has been adopted by Malone and most modern editors.
† Something is evidently wrong here; but even Mr Collier's annotator gives us no help.
| This passage, however, is found only in the Quartos, and is omitted in all the Folios. Nor, although retained by Mr Collier in his “ gulated" text, is it stated to be restored by his MS. annotator.
Many notices of Cæsar occur, as might be expected, in Cymbeline. Such are the boast of Posthumus to his friend Philario (ič. 4) of the valour of the Britons ::
Worthy his frowning at;
in the First Scene of the Third Act:“When Julius Cæsar (whose remembrance yet Lives in men's eyes, and will to ears and tongues Be theme and hearing ever) was in this Britain, And conquered it, Cassibelan, thine uncle (Famous in Cæsar's praises no whit less Than in his feats deserving it),” etc.;
“There be many Cæsars, Ere such another Julius; ”
66 A kind of conquest
and overcame : with shame
And Britons strut with courage;” “Our kingdom is stronger than it was at that time; and, as I said, there is no more such Cæsars; other of them may have crooked noses ; but to owe such straight arms, none ;”
" Cæsar's ambition
Ourselves to be." Lastly, we have a few references in Antony and Cleopatra ; such as :
6 Broad-fronted Cæsar,
- Julius Cæsar,
" What was it
“ Your fine Egyptian cookery
Grew fat with feasting there” (ii. 6);
He cried almost to roaring; and he wept
Thyreus.—“Give me grace to lay
Cleopatra." Your Cæsar's father oft,
These passages taken all together, and some of them more particularly, will probably be thought to afford a considerably more comprehensive representation of “the mighty Julius” than the Play which bears his name. We cannot be sure that that Play was so entitled by Shakespeare. “The Tragedy of Julius Cæsar," or Life and Death of Julius Cæsar," would describe no more than the half of it. Cæsar's part in it terminates with the opening of the Third Act; after that, on to the end, we have nothing more of him but his dead body, his ghost, and his memory. The Play might more fitly be called after Brutus than after Cæsar. And still more remarkable is the partial delineation that we have of the man.
We have a distinct exhibition of little else beyond his vanity and arrogance, relieved and set off by his goodnature or affability. He is brought before us only as "the spoilt child of victory." All the grandeur and predominance of his character is kept in the background or in the shade—to be inferred, at most, from what is said by the other dramatis persona-by Cassius on the one hand and by Antony on the other in the expression of their own diametrically opposite natures and aims, and in a very few words by the calmer, milder, and juster Brutus--nowhere manifested by himself. It might almost be suspected that the complete and full-length Cæsar had been carefully reserved for another drama. Even Antony is only half delineated here, to be brought forward again on another scene : Cæsar needed such reproduction much more, and was as well entitled to a stage which he should tread without an equal. He is only a subordinate character in the present Play; his death is but an incident in the progress of the plot. The first figures, standing conspicuously out from all the rest, are Brutus and Cassius.
Some of the passages that have been collected are further curious and interesting as being other renderings of conceptions that are also found in the present Play, and as consequently furnishing data both for the problem of the chronological arrangement of the Plays and for the general history of the mind and artistic genius of the writer. After all the commentatorship and criticism of which the works of Shakespeare have been the subject, they still remain to be studied in their totality with a special reference to himself. The man Shakespeare as read in his works--Shakespeare as there revealed, not only in his genius and intellectual powers, but in his character, disposition, temper, opinions, tastes, prejudices, -is a book yet to be written.