Imatges de pÓgina
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UPON THE

DEA TH

O F

JULIUS CESAR.

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TH

HE tragedies of Cinna, and Julius Cæfar, are each of them the representation of a confpiracy; 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 obfcure fame were engaged, and even in whom as they are represented, the enterprize was pardoned, more from contempt of their abilities and power, than the clemency of the Emperor, makes a poor figure in contraft with that confpiracy, which, formed by the first characters in Rome, effected the

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the destruction of the greatest man, the world ever produced, and was fucceeded by the most memorable confequences. History furnishes various examples of men of base and treacherous natures, of diffolute manners, ruined fortunes, and loft reputations, uniting in horrid affociation to destroy their prince. Ambition often cuts itself a bloody way to greatnefs.-Exafperated mifery fometimes plunges its defperate dagger in the breast of the oppreffor. The Cabal of a Court, the Mutiny of a Camp, the wild Zeal of Fanatics, have too frequently produced events of that nature. But this confpiracy was formed of very different elements. It was the Genius of Rome, the Rights of her Constitution, the Spirit of her Laws, that rose against the Ambition of Cæfar; 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 faftened fetters on his fellow-citizens, but to the Conqueror, who had made almost the whole world wear their chains and who was then preparing to fubdue the only Empire that remained unfubjected to them,

Can

Can there be a fubject more worthy of the Tragic Mufe, than an action fo important in its confequences, and unparalleled in all its circumstances? How is our curiofity excited to discover what could engage the man of virtue in an enterprize of fuch a terrible kind; and why, after its accomplishment, instead of being stigmatized with the name of Confpirator and Affaffin, the decrees of an august Senate, and the voice of Rome, unite to place him one of the first on the roll of Patriots; and the Succeffor of the murdered Cæfar, who devoted to deftruction the most illustrious men of Rome, durft not offer violation to the Statue of Brutus !

To create in the English spectator, the fame reverence for him, it is neceffary we fhould be made to imbibe those doctrines, and to adopt those opinions, by which he himself was actuated. We must be in the very Capitol of Rome; stand at the base of Pompey's statue, furrounded by the ef

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