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But why should honour outlive honesty
Let it go all.
Emil. What did thy song bode, lady?
Hark, can'st thou hear one? I will play, the swan,
And die in music;-Willow, willow, willow.—
Moor, she was chaste; she lov'd thee, cruel Moor;
So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true;
So speaking as I think, I die, I die. (Dies.)
Oth. I have another weapon in this chamber,
It is a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper;--
O, here it is:—Uncle, I must come forth.
Gra. (Within.) If thou attempt it, it will cost
thee dear;
Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.
Oth. Look in upon me then, and speak with me,
Or, naked as I am, I will assault thee.

Re-enter GRATIANO.

Gra. What is the matter?

Oth. Behold! I have a weapon; A better never did itself sustain Upon a soldier's thigh : I have seen the day, That, with this little arm, and this good sword, I have made my way through more impediments Than twenty times your stop :—But, O vain boast! Who can control his fate? 'tis not so now.— Be not afraid, though you do see me weapon'd; Here is my journey's end, here is my butt, And very sea-mark of my utmost sail. Do you go back dismay’d 'tis a lost fear; Man but a rush against Othello's breast, And he retires;–Where should Othello go?— Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starr'd

wench Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at compt, This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven, And fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my girl? Fven like thy chastity.— O cursed, cursed slave'—Whip me, ye devils, From the possession of this heavenly sight! Blow me about in winds! roast me in sulphur ! Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!— O Desdemona' Desdemona' dead? Dead? O ! O! O! Enter Lodovico, Mont A No, CAssio, carried in a chair, and Officers, with IAGo, prisoner. Lod. Where is this rash and most unfortunate man?

Oth. That's he, that was Othello; here I am.

Lod. Where is that viper bring the villain forth.

Oth. I look down towards his feet;-but that's

a fable: If that thou be"st a devil, I cannot kill thee. (Othello wounds Iago.) Lod. Wrench his sword from him. ago. I bleed, sir; but not kill’d. Oth. I am not sorry neither; I'd have thee live; For, in my sense, 'tis o: to die. Lod. Othon. Othello, that was once so good, Fall'n in the practice of a cursed slave, What shall be said to thee? Oth. Why, any thing: An honourable murderer, if you will; For nought I did in hate, but all in honour. Lod. This wretch hath part confess'd his villany: Did you and he consent in Cassio's death? Oth. Ay. Cas. Dear general, I never gave you cause. Oth. I do believe it, and I ask your pardon. Will you, o you, demand that demi-devil, Why he hath thus ensnar'd my soul and body? Iago. Demand me nothing? What you know, sou know : From this time forth I never will speak word. Lod. What? not to pray :

Gra. Torments will ope your lips. Oth. Well, thou dost best. Lod. Sir, you shall understand what hath befall'n, Which, as I think, you know not: Here is a letter, Found in the pocket of the slain Roderigo; And here, another: the one of them imports The death of Cassio to be undertook By Roderigo. Oth. O villain ' Cas. Most heathenish, and most gross' Lod. Now here's another discontented paper, Found in his pocket too; and this, it seems, Roderigo meant to have sent this damned villain; But that, belike, Iago in the interim Came in and satisfied him. Oth. O the pernicious caitiff — How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief That was my wife's 2 ats. I found it in my chamber: And he himself confess'd, but even now, That there he dropp'd it, for a special Ose, Which wrought §. desire. I purp Oth. O fool! fool! fool! Cas. There is, besides, in Roderigo's letter, How he upbraids Iago, that he made him Brave me upon the watch ; whereon it came That I was cast: And even but now he spake, After long seeming dead, Iago hurt him, Iago set him on. 5. You must forsake this room, and go with us; Your power and your command is taken off, And Cassio rules in Cyprus. For this slave, If there be any cunning cruelty, That can torment him much, and hold him long, It shall be his: You shall close prisoner rest, Till that the nature of your fault be known To the Venetian state —Come, bring him away. Oth. Soft you; a word or two, ... you go. I have done the state some service, and they know it; No more of that:—I pray you, in your letters, When you shall these unlucky deeds relate, Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate, or set down aught in malice: then must you speak Of one, that lov’d not wisely, but too well; Of one, not easily jealous, but, being wrought, Perplex'd in the extreme; of one, o: hand, Like the base Judean, threw a pearl away, Richer than all his tribe; of one, whose subdu'd eyes, Albeit unused to the melting mood, Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees Their medicinal gum: Set you down this: And say, besides, that in Aleppo once, Where a malignant and a turban’d Turk Beat a Venetian, and traduc’d the state, I took by the throat the circumcised ; And smote him—thus. (Stabs himself.) Lod. O bloody period! Gra. All, that's spoke, is marr'd. Oth. I kiss'd thee, ere I kill'd thee:—No way but this, (Falling upon *:::: Killing myself, to die upon a kiss. Dies. Cas. This did I fear, but thought he had no weapon; For he was great of heart. Lod. O Spartan dog, More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea! Look on the tragic loading of this bed; (To Iago.) This is thy work: the object poisons sight;Let it be ..".....". the house, And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor, For they succeed to you.--To you, lord governor, Remains the censure of this hellish villain; The time, the place, the torture, O enforce it! Myself will straight aboard; and, to the state, This heavy act with heavy heart relate. [Exeunt.

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THE TEMPEST.-It is observed of The Temest, that its plan is regular; this the author of The %. to. what I think too, an accidental effect of the story, not intended or regarded by our author. But; whatever might be Shakspeare's intention in forming or adopting the plot, he has made it instrumental to the production of many characters, diversified with boundless invention, and reserved with profound skill in nature, extensive !...i. of opinions, and accurate observation of life. In a single drama are here exhibited princes, courtiers, and sailors, all speaking in their real characters. There is the agency of airy spirits, and of an earthly goblin; the operations of magic, the tumults of a storm, the adventures of a desert island, the native effusion of untaught affection, the punishment of guilt, and the final happiness of the air for whom our passions and reason are equally interested. Joh NSoN.

TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.—In this play there is a strange mixture of knowledge and ignorance, of care and negligence. The versification is often excellent, the allusions are learned and just; but the author conveys his heroes by sea from one inland town to another in the same country; he places the emperor at Milan, and sends his young men to attend him, but never mentions him more; he makes Proteus, after an interview with Silvia, say he has only seen her picture: and, if we may credit the old copies, he has, by mistaking places, left his scenery inextricable. The reason of all this confusion seems to be, that he took his story from a novel, which he sometimes followed, and sometimes forsook; sometimes remembered, and sometimes forgot.

That this play is rightly attributed to Shakspeare, I have little doubt. If it be taken from him, to whom shall it be given This question may be asked of all the disputed plays, except Titus Andronicus; and it will be found more credible, that Shakspeare might sometimes sink below his highest flights, than that any other should rise up to his lowest. Joh NSON.

MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.—Of this play there is a tradition preserved by Mr. Rowe, that it was written at the command of Queen Elizabeth, who was so delighted with the character of Falstaff, that she wished it to be diffused through more plays; but suspecting that it might pall by continued uniformity, directed the poet to diversify his manner, by shewing him in love. No task is harder than that of writing to the ideas of another. Shakspeare knew what the queen, if the story be true, seems not to have known, that by any real

assion of tenderness, the selfish craft, the careless jollity, and the lazy luxury of Falstaff must have suffered so much abatement, that little of his former cast would have remained. Falstaff could not love, but by ceasing to be Falstaff. He could only counterfeit love, and his professions could be prompted, not by the hope of pleasure, but of money. Thus the poet approached as near as he could to the work enjoined him; yet having perhaps in the former

o completed his own idea, seems not to hiteen able to give Falstaff all his former power of entertainment. This comedy is remarkable for the variety st number of the personages, who exhibit more cisracters appropriated and discriminated, than Per ho can be found in any other play. "hether Shakspeare was the first that prog:upon the English stage the effect of language :torted and depraved by provincial or foreign pronunciation I cannot certainly decide. This Hoe of forming ridiculous characters can confer prise only on him who originally discovered it, for it requires not much of either wit or judgment; its socess must be derived almost wholly from the plane, but its power in a skilful mouth, even he that isspises it, is unable to resist. The conduct of this drama is deficient; the artion begins and ends often, before the conclusion, and the different parts might change places withs: inconvenience; but its general power, that power by which all works of genius shall finally be tries. is such, that perhaps it never yet had reader or spectator who did not think it too soon at the esd. Johnsox.

TWELFTH-NIGHT; OR, WHAT YOU WILL-This play is in the graver part elegan: and easy, and in some of the lighter scenes excursitely humorous. Ague-cheek is drawn with grea: propriety, but his character is, in a great messere. that of natural fatuity, and is therefore not the proper prey of a satirist. The soliloquy of Malves is truly comic; he is betrayed to ridicule merely by his pride. The marriage of Olivia, and the seeceeding perplexity, j well enough contrived to divert on the stage, wants credibility, and fails to produce the proper instruction required in the drama, as it exhibits no just picture of life.

Joh NSox.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE.-The novel of Giraldi Cinthio, from which Shakspeare is supposed to have borrowed this fable, may be read in Sherspeare Illustrated, elegantly translated, with remarks which will assist the inquirer to discover how much absurdity Shakspeare has admitted at avoided.

I cannot but *:: that some other had bermodelled the novel of Cinthio, or written a stort which in some particulars resembled it, and that Cinthio was not the author whom Shakspeare in..". followed. The emperor in Cinthio is named Maximine: the duke, in Shakspeare's enameration of the persons of the drama, is called Vircentio. This appears a very slight remark; bat since the duke has no name in the play, nor is ever mentioned but by his title, why should he be called Vincentio among the persons, but because the name was of. from the story, and placed superfluously at the head of the list, by the mere habit of tras. scription? It is therefore likely that there was the a story of Vincentio duke of Vienna, different from that of Maximine emperor of the Romans.

Of this play, the light or comic part is very na

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MUCH ADo ABOUT NOTHING. This play may bejustly said to contain two of the most sprightly characters that Shakspeare ever drew. The wit, the humourist, the gentleman, and the soldier, are combined in Benedick. It is to be lamented, indeed, that the first and most splendid of these distinctions, is disgraced by unnecessary profaneness; for the

oodness of his heart is ol. sufficient to atone or the license of his tongue. The too sarcastic levity, which flashes out in the conversation of Beatrice, may be excused on account of the steadiness and friendship so apparent in her behaviour, when she urges her lover to risque his life by a challenge to Claudio. In the ... of the fable, however, there is an imperfection similar to that which Dr. Johnson has pointed out in The Merry Wives of Windsor, the second contrivance is less ingenious than the first:—or, to speak more plainly, the same incident is become stale by repetition. "I wish some other method had been found to entrap Beatrice, than that very one which before had been successfully practised on Benedick. Much Ado About Nothing, (as I understand from one of Mr. Vertue's MSS.) formerly passed under the title of Benedick and Beatrix. Heming the player received, on the 20th of May, 1613, the sum of forty pounds, and twenty pounds more as his majesty's gratuity, for exhibiting six plays at Hampton Court, among which was i. comedy.

STEEVENS,

MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S DREAM. — Wild and fantastical as this play is, all the parts in their various modes are well written, and give the kind of pleasure which the author designed. Fairies in his time were much in fashion; common tradition had made them familiar, and Spencer's poem had made them great. Joh NSON.

LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST.—In this play, which all the editors have concurred to censure, and some have rejected as unworthy of our poet, it must be confessed that there are many passages mean, childish, and vulgar: and some which ought not to have been exhibited, as we are told they were, to a maiden queen. But there are scattered through the whole many sparks of genius; nor is there any play that has more evident marks of the hand of Shakspeare. Joh NSON.

MERCHANT OF VENICE. – Of the Merchant of Venice the style is even and easy, with few peculiarities of diction, or anomalies of construction. The comic part raises laughter, and the serious fixes expectation. The probability of either one or the other story cannot be maintained. The union of two actions in one event is in this drama eminently happy, Dryden was much pleased with his own address in connecting the two plots of his Spanish Friar, which yet, I believe, the critic will find excelled by this play. Joh NSON.

AS YOU LIKE IT.—Of this play the fable is wild and pleasing. I know not how the ladies will approve l. facility with which both Rosalind and lia give away their hearts. To Celia much may be forgiven, for the heroism of her sriendship. The

character of Jaques is natural and well preserved. The comic, dialogue is very sprightly, with less mixture of low buffoonery than in some other plays; and the graver part is elegant and harmonious. By hastening to the end of this work, Shakspeare supressed the dialogue between the usurper and #. ermit, and lost an opportunity of exhibiting a moral lesson, in which he might have found matter worthy of his highest powers. Joh NSON.

ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.- This play has many delightful scenes, though not sufficiently probable; and some happy characters, though not new, nor produced by any deep knowledge of human nature. Parolles is a boaster and a coward, such as has always been the sport of the stage, but perhaps never raised more saughter or contempt than in the hands of Shakspeare.

I cannot reconcile my heart to Bertram; a man noble without generosity, and young without truth; who marries Helen as a coward, and leaves her as a profligate: when she is dead by his unkindness, sneaks home to a second marriage, is accused by a woman whom he has wronged, defends himself by falsehood, and dismissed to happiness.

The story of Bertram and Diana had been told before of So and Angelo, and, to confess the truth, scarcely merited to be heard a second time.

Joh Nson.

TAMING OF THE SHREw.—of this play the two plots are so well united, that they can hardly be called two, without injury to the art with which they are interwoven. The attention is entertained with all the variety of a double plot, yet is not distracted by unconnected incidents.

The part between Katharine and Petruchio is eminently sprightly and diverting. At the marriage of Bianca, the arrival of the ...; father, perhaps, produces more perplexity than pleasure. The whole play is very popular and diverting. Johnson.

WINTER'S TALE.—This play, as Dr. Warburton justly observes, is, with all its absurdities, very entertaining. The character of Autolycus is naturally conceived, and strongly represented. Joh Nso N.

COMEDY OF ERRORS.—On a careful revision of the foregoing scenes, I do not hesitate to pronounce them the composition of two very unequal writers. Shakspeare had undoubtedly a share in them; but that the entire play was no work of his, is an opinion which (as Benedict says) “fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the stake.” Thus, as we are informed by Aulus Gellius, lib. iii. cap. 3, some plays were absolutely ascribed to Plautus, which in truth had only been (retractatae et expolitar) retouched and polished by him.

In this comedy we find more intricacy of plot than distinction of character; and our attention is less forcibly engaged, because we can guess in great measure how the denouement will be brought about. Yet the subject appears to have been reluctantly dismissed, even in this last and unnecessary scene; where the same mistakes are continued, till the power of affording entertainment is entirely lost. STEEVENS.

MACBETH-Thisplay is deservedly celebrated for the propriety of its fiction, and solemnity, grandeur, and variety of its action; but it has no nice dis; criminations of character; the events are too great to admit the influence of particular dispositions, and the course of the action necessarily determines the conduct of the agents. . .

The danger of ambition is well described; and I know not whether it may not be said, in defence of some parts which now seem improbable, that in shakspeare's time it was necessary to warn credulity against vain and illusive predictions. Shakspeare's. Mr. Theobald's suspicion arises from some obsolete words; but the phraseology is like the rest of our author's style, single words, of which however I do not observe more than two,

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he sions are directed to their true end. Lady Macbeth is merely detested; and though the courage of Macbeth preserves some esteem, yet every reader rejoices at his fall. Johnso N.

KING JOHN.—The tragedy of King John, though not written with the utmost power of Shakspeare, is varied with a very pleasing interchange .*. and characters. The lady's grief is very affecting; and the character of the Bastard contains that mixture of greatness and levity, which this author delighted to exhibit. Joh NSON.

KING RICHARD II.-This play is one of those which Shakspeare has apparently revised; but as success in works of invention is not always proportionate to labour, it is not finished at last with the happy force of some other of his tragedies, nor can be said much to affect the passions, or enlarge the understanding. Joh NSON.

KING HENRY IV.-I fancy every reader, when he ends this play, cries out with Desdemona, “O most lame and impotent conclusion'". As this so was not, to our knowledge, divided into acts

y the author, I could be content to conclude it with the death of Henry the Fourth:

“In that Jerusalem shall Harry die.”

These scenes, which now make the fifth act of Henry the Fourth, might then be the first of Henry the Fifth; but the truth is, they do not unite very commodiously to either play. When these plays were represented, I believe they ended as they are now ended in the books; but Shakspeare seems to have designed that the whole series of action, from the beginning of Richard the Second, to the end of Henry the Fifth, should be considered by the reader as one work, upon one plan, only broken into parts by the necessity of exhibition. None of Shakspeare's plays are more read than the First and Second Parts of Henry the Fourth. Perhaps no author has ever, in two plays, afforded so much delight. The great events are interesting, for the fate of kingdoms depend upon them; the slighter occurrences are diverting, and except one or two, sufficiently probable; the incidents are multiplied with wonderful fertility of invention; and the characters diversified with the utmost nicety of discernment, and the profoundest skill in the nature of man. The prince, who is the hero both of the comic and tragic part, is a young man of great abilities, and o passions, whose sentiments are right, though his actions are wrong; whose virtues are obscured by negligence, and whose understanding is dissipated by levity. In his idle hours he is rather loose than wicked ; and when the occasion forces out his latent qualities, he is great without effort, and brave o tumult. The trifler is roused into a hero, and the hero again reposes in the trisler. The character is great, original, and just. Percy is a rugged soldier, choleric and quarrelsome, and has only the soldier's virtues, generosity and courage. But Falstaff' unimitated, unimitable Falstaff how shall I describe thee? thou compound of sense and vice; of sense which may be admired, but not esteemed ; of vice which may be despised, but hardly detested. Falstaff is a character loaded with faults, and with those faults which naturally produce contempt. He is a thief and a glutton, a coward and a boaster; always ready to cheat the weak, and prey upon the poor; to terrify the timor

ous, and insult the defenceless. At onee obsess ous and malignant, he satirises in their abso those whom he lives by flattering. He is fami-w with the prince, only as an agent of vice; to a this familiarity he is so proud, as not only to be sopercilious and haughty with common men, but to think his interest of importance to the duke of Lascaster. Yet the man thus corrupt, thus desticase. makes himself necessary to the prince that despises him, by the most pleasing of all qualities, perpetugaiety; by an unfailing power of exciting laughter. which is the more freely indulged, as his wits so of the splendid or ambitious kind. but crosses a easy scapes and sallies of levity, which make ourbut raise no envy. It must be observed, that e is stained with no enormous or sanguinary crities, so that his licentiousness is not so offensive but that it may be borne for his mirth. The moral to be drawn from this representates is, that no man is more dangerous than he that, with a will to corrupt, hath the power to please: ind that neither wit nor honesty ought to think thes. selves safe with such a companion, when they ses Henry seduced by Falstaff. Johnsos.

KING HENRY V.—This play has many seese of high dignity, and many of easy merriment. The character of the king is well supported, except a his courtship, where he has neither the vivacity of Hal, nor the grandeur of Henry. The humour of Pistol is very happily continued: his character bas perhaps been the model of all the bullies that have yet appeared on the English stage.

The lines given to the chorus have many somirers ; but the truth is, that in them a little ran be praised, and much must be forgiven ; nor can a be easily discovered, why the intelligence gives to the chorus is more necessary in this play. than in many others where it is omitted. The great deie of this play is, the emptiness and narrowness eithe last act, which a very little diligence might bars easily avoided. Joh Nsax.

FIRST PART OF KING HENRY WI.-0.

this play there is no copy earlier than that of the folio in 1623, though the two succeeding Parts to extant in two editions in quarto. That the second and third parts were published without the first may be admitted as no weak proof that the coe were surreptitiously obtained, and that the prince. of that time gave the public those plays, not sort as the author designed, but such as they could so them. That this play was written before the to others is indubitably collected from the series a events; that it was written and played before Her the Fifth is apparent; because, in the epilogue to is mention made of this play, and not of the ous parts:

* Henry the sixth in swaddling bands crewood king,

Whose state so many had the managiug,

That they lost France, and made his England bleed: Which oft our stage hath shewn.”

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can conclude little. Dr. Warburton gives no reason, but I suppose him to judge upon deeper principles and more corn prehensive views, and to draw his opinion from the general eflect and spirit of the composition, w ii. he thinks inferior to the other historical plays. From mere inferiority nothing can be inferred; in the productions of wit there will be inequality. Sornetirnes judgment will err, and sometimes the in atter itself will defeat the artist. Of every author's works one will be the best, and one will be the worst. The colours are not equally pleasing, nor the attitudes equally graceful, in all the pictures of

Titian or Reynolds. Dissimilitude of style and heterogeneousness of sentiment, may sufficiently shew that a work does not really belong to the reputed author. But in these plays no such marks of spuriousness are found. The diction, the versification, and the figures are Shakspeare's. These plays, considered without regard to characters * incidents, merely as narratives in verse, are more happily conceived, and more accurately finished, than those of King John, Richard II. or the tragic scenes of King Henry IV. and V. If we take these plays from Shakspeare, to whom shall they be given 2 What author of that age had the same easiness of expression and fluency of numbers! Of these three plays I think the second the best. The truth is, that they have not sufficient variety of action, for the incidents are too often of the same kind; yet many of the characters are well discriminated. King Henry, and his queen, king Edward, the duke of Gloster, and the earl of Warwick, are very strongly and distinctly painted.

Johnson.

KING RICHARD III.-This is one of the most celebrated of our author's performances; yet I know not whether it has not happened to him as to others, to be praised most, when praise is not most deserved. That this play has scenes noble in themselves, and very well contrived to strike in the exhibition, cannot be denied. But some parts are trifling, others shocking, and some improbable. Joh Nso N.

KING HENRY VIII.-The play of Henry the Eighth is one of those which still keeps possession of the stage by the splendour '...}. The coronation, about forty years ago, drew the people together in multitudes for a great part of the winter. Yet pomp is not the only merit of this play. The meek sorrows, and virtuous distress, of Katharine, have furnished some scenes, which may be justly numbered among the greatest efforts of tragedy. But the genius of Šiš. comes in and goes out with Katharine. Every other part may be easily conceived and easily written.

The second scene of the fourth act is above any other of Shakspeare's tragedies, and perhaps above any scene of any other poet; tender and pathetic, without gods, or furies, or poisons, or precipices; without the help of romantic circumstances, without improbable sallies of poetical lamentation, and without any throes of tumultuous misery.

Joh NSON.

TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.—This play is more correctly written than most of Shakspeare's compositions, but it is not one of those in which either the extent of his views or elevation of his fancy is fully displayed. As the story abounded with materials, he has exerted little invention: but he has diversified his characters with great variety, and preserved them with great exactness. His

vicious characters disgust, but cannot corrupt, for both Cressida and Pandarus are detested and contemned. The comic characters seem to have been the favourites of the writer: they are of the superficial kind, and exhibit more of manners than nature; but they are copiously filled, and powerfully impressed. Shakspeare has in his story followed, for the greater part, the old book of Caxton, which was then very popular; but the character of Thersites, of which it makes no mention, is a proof that this play was written after Chapman had published his version of Homer. Joh NSON.

TIMON OF ATHENS.–The play of Timon is a domestic tragedy, and therefore strongly fastens on the attention of the reader. In the plan there is not much art, but the incidents are natural, and the characters various and exact. The catastrophe affords a very powerful warning against that ostentatious liberality, which scatters bounty, but confers no benefits, and buys flattery, but not friendship. In this tragedy, are many passages perplexed, obscure, and probably corrupt, which Fol. endeavoured to rectify, or explain with due diligence; but having only one ...'. cannot promise myself that my endeavours shall be much applauded. JOHNSON. CORIOLANU.S.—The tragedy of Coriolanus is one of the most amusing of our author's performances. The old man's merriment in Menenius : the lofty lady's dignity in Volumnia; the brid modesty in Virgilia; the patrician and military haughtiness in Coriolanus; the plebeian malignity and tribunitian insolence in Brutus and Sicinius, make a very pleasing and interesting variety; and the various revolutions of the hero's fortune, fill the mind with anxious curiosity. There is, per

haps, too much bustle in the first act, and too little in the last. Joh NSON.

JULIUS CAESAR.—Of this tragedy many particular passages deserve regard, and the contention and reconcilement of Brutus and Cassius is universally celebrated; but I have never been strongly agitated in perusing it, and think it somewhat cold and unaffecting, compared with some other of Shakspeare's plays: his adherence to the real story, and to the Roman manners, seems to have impeded the natural vigour of his genius. Johnson.

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.—This play keeps curiosity always busy, and the passions always interested. The continual hurry of the action, the variety of incidents, and the quick succession of one personage to another, call the mind forward without intermission, from the first act to the last. But the power of delighting is derived

rincipally from the frequent changes of the scene; !. except the feminine arts, some of which are too low, which distinguish Cleopatra, no character is very strongly discriminated. Upton, who did not easily miss what he desired to find, has discovered that the language of Antony is, with great skill, and learning, made pompous and superb, according to his real practice. But I think his diction not distinguishable from that of others: the most tumid §. in the play is that which Caesar makes to

ctavia.

The events, of which the principal are described according to history, are produced without any art of connection or care of disposition.—Johnson.

CYMBELINE. This play has many just sentiments, some natural dialogue, and some pleasing scenes; but they are obtained at the expense of much incongruity. To remark the folly of the fiction, the absurdity wouleet. the confusion

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