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Give guess how near to day.-Lucius, I say !
Bru. Get me a taper in my study, Lucius : When it is lighted, come and call me here.
Luc. I will, my lord.
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
question. It is the bright day, that brings forth the adder; And that craves wary walking. Crown him?
And then, I grant, we put a sting in him,
Leland also, in his Itinerary, distinguishes them: “At Morle in Derbyshire (says he) there is as much pleasure of orchards of great variety of frute, and fair made walks, and gardens, as in any place of Lancashire.” Holt White.
7 When, Lucius, when?] This was a common expression of impatience in Shakspeare's time. So, Richard II. Act I. Sc. l.:
“ When Harry? when ?" Malone. 8 Remorse from power :) Remorse, tor
mercy. WARBURTON. Remorse (says Mr. Heath) signifies the conscious uneasiness arising from a sense of having done wrong ; to extinguish which feeling, nothing has so great a tendency as absolute uncontrouled power.
I think Warburton right. Johnson.
Remorse is pity, tenderness ; and has twice occurred in that sense in Measure for Measure. See vol. ix. p. 60, and p. 183. The same word occurs in Othello, and several other of our author's dramas, with the same signification. STEEVENS,
I have not known when his affections sway'd
chievous ; And kill him in the shell.
9 - common proof,] Common experiment. Johnson. Common proof means a matter proved by common experience. With great deference to Johnson, I cannot think that the word experiment will bear that meaning. M. Mason. · But when he once attains the utmost round,
He then unto the ladder turns his back, &c.] So, in Daniel's Civil Wars, 1602:
“ The aspirer once attain'd unto the top,
“ Doth curb that looseness he did find before :
“ His own example makes him fear the more.” Malone. ? - base degrees -] Low steps. Johnson. So, in Ben Jonson's Sejanus : “Whom when he saw lie spread on the degrees."
STEEvens. 3 -- as his kind,] According to his nature. Johnson.
So, in Antony and Cleopatra : “ You must think this, look you, the worm (i. e. serpent] will do his kind.” Steevens. Perhaps rather, as all those of his kind, that is, nature.
Malone. “ As his kind " does not mean, according to his nature," as Johnson asserts, but “ like the rest of his species.” M. Mason.
Bru. Get you to bed again, it is not day.
Luc. I know not, sir.
[Exit. Bru. The exhalations, whizzing in the air, Give so much light, that I may read by them.
[Opens the Letter, and reads.
4 Is not to-morrow, boy, the ides of MARCH ?] [Old copythe first of March.] We should read ides : for we can never suppose the speaker to have lost fourteen days in his account. He is here plainly ruminating on what the Soothsayer told Cæsar [Act I. Sc. II.) in his presence. ["-Beware the ides of March.") 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 six nones each, so that the fifteenth of March was the ides of that month.
WARBURTON. The correction was made by Mr. Theobald. The 'error must have been that of a transcriber or printer; for our author without any minute calculation might have found the ides, nones, and kalends, opposite the respective days of the month, in the Almanacks of the time. In Hopton's Concordancie of Yeares, 1616, now before me, opposite to the fifteenth of March is printed Idus.
The Tarquin drive, when he was call’d a king.
[Knock within. Bru. 'Tis good. Go to the gate ; somebody knocks.
Am I entreated then -] The adverb then, which enforces the question, and is necessary to the metre, was judiciously supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer. So, in King Richard III. :
wilt thou then
“Sir, March is wasted fifteen days."
And the first motion, &c.] That nice critick, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, complains, that all kind of beauties, those great strokes which he calls the terrible graces, and which are so frequent in 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 astonishes. The excellent Mr. Addison, whose modesty made him sometimes diffident of his own genius, but whose true judgment always led him to the safest guides, (as we may see by those fine strokes in his Cato borrowed from the Philippics of Cicero,) has paraphrased this fine description ; but we are no longer to expect those terrible graces which animate his original :
Like a phantasma", or a hideous dream:
“ O think, what anxious moments pass between
“ Filled up with horror all, and big with death.” Cato. 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 auxiliary troops only in the other,) Mr. Addison could not, with propriety, bring in that magnificent circumstance which gives one of the terrible graces of Shakspeare's description :
" The genius and the mortal instruments
" Are then in councilFor kingdoms, in The Pagan Theology, besides their good, had their evil geniuses, likewise represented here, with the most daring stretch of fancy, as sitting in consultation with the conspirators, whom he calls their mortal instruments. 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. Addision was so 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 impressions made by them. For
“ Oh, 'tis a dreadful interval of time,
“ Filld up with horror all, and big with death."
All the interim is
the state 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 interim or interval, to an hideous vision, or a frightful dream, holds something so wonderfully of truth, and lays the soul so open, that one can hardly think it possible for any man, who had not some time or other been engaged in a conspiracy, to give such force of colouring to nature. WARBURTON.
The deīvov of the Greek criticks does not, I think, mean sentiments which raise fear, more than wonder, or any other of the tumultuous passions ; tò deīvov is that which strikes, which astonishes with the idea either of some great subject, or of the author's abilities.