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Like a phantafma, or a hideous dream:
*The Genius, and the mortal inftruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like to a little Kingdom, fuffers then
The nature of an infurrection.




-All the Int'rim is

Like a Phantafma, or a hideous Dream.

-the State of Man,

Like to a little Kingdom, fuffers then
The Nature of an infurrection.

Comparing the troubled mind of a confpirator to a state of Anarchy, is juft and beautiful; but the int'rim, or interval, to an hideous vifion, or a frightful dream, holds fomething fo wonderfully of truth, and lays the foul fo open, that one can hardly think it poffible for any man, who had not fome time or other been engaged in a confpiracy, to give fuch force of colouring to Nature. WARBURTON.

The Selvoy of the Greek criticks does not, I think, mean sentiments which raife fear, more than wonder, or any other of the tumultuous paffions; 70 deivov is that which frikes, which aftonifbes, with the idea either of fome great fubject, or of the author's abilities.

Dr. Warburton's pompous criticism might well have been fhortened. The Genius is not the genius of a kingdom, nor are the inftruments, confpirators. Shakespeare is defcribing what paffes in a fingle bofom, the infurrection

agitating the little kingdom of his ownch a confpirator feels

; when the Genius,

or power that watches for his protection, and the mortal inftru ments, the paffions, which excite him to a deed of, honour and danger, are in council and debate; when the defire of action and the care of fafety, keep the mind in continual fluctuation and difturbance.

The genius and the mortal inftruments, Are then in council, and the fate of man,

Like to a little kingdom, fuffers then

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The nature of an infurrection.] Instead of inftruments, it should, I think, be inftrument, and explained thus;

The genius, i. e. the foul, or fpirit, which fhould govern; and the mortal inftrument, i. e. the man, with all his bodily, that is, earthly paffions, fuch as envy, pride, malice, and ambition, are then in council, i. e. debating upon the horrid action that is to be done, the foul and rational powers difluading, and the mortal inftrument, man, with his bodily paffions, prompting and pushing on to the horrid deed, whereby the flate of man, like to a little kingdom, fuffers then the nature of an infurrection, the inferior powers rifing and rebelling againft the fuperior. See this exemplified in Mackbeth's foliloquy, and alfo by what King John lays, act iv. p. 453.


Enter Lucius.

Luc. Sir, 'tis your

brother Caffius at the door,

Who doth defire to fee you.

Bru. Is he alone?

Luc. No, Sir, there are more with him.'

Bru. Do you know them?

Luc. No, Sir, their Hats are pluckt about their ears, And half their faces buried in their Cloaks;

That by no means I may discover them

By any mark (7) of favour.

Bru. Let them enter.

They are the faction. O Confpiracy!

[Exit Lucius.

Sham'ft thou to fhew thy dang'rous brow by night,
When Evils are moft free? O then, by day

Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough,

To mask thy monftrous vifage? Seek none, Confpiracy; Hide it in Smiles and Affability;

(8) For if thou path, thy native femblance on, Not Erebus itself were dim enough

To hide thee from prevention.


Enter Caffius, Cafca, Decius, Cinna, Metellus, and Trebonius.

Caf. I think, we are too bold upon your Rest. Good-morrow, Brutus. Do we trouble you?

Bru. I have been up this hour; awake all night. Know I these men, that come along with you? [Afide. Caf. Yes, every man of them; and no man here, But honours you; and every one doth wifh, You had but that opinion of your felf,


Nay in the body of this fiefhly land,

"This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath,
"Hoftility and civil tumult reigns,

"Between my confcience, and my coufin's death."


(7) of favour.] Any diftinction of countenance. (8) For if thou path, thy native femblance on,] If thou walk in thy true form.

Which every noble Roman bears of you.

This is Trebonius.

Bru. He is welcome hither.

Caf. This, Decius Brutus.

Bru. He is welcome too.

Caf. This, Cafca; this, Cinna;

And this, Metellus Cimber.

Bru. They are all welcome.

What watchful cares do interpose themselves

Betwixt your eyes and night?

Caf. Shall I entreat a word?

[They whisper.

Dec. Here lies the Eaft: doth not the day break


Cafca. No.

Cin. O pardon, Sir, it doth; and yon grey lines, That fret the Clouds, are meffengers of day.

Cafca. You fhall confefs, that you are both deceiv'd:

Here, as I point my fword, the Sun arifes,
Which is a great way growing on the South,
Weighing the youthful feafon of the year.
Some two months hence, up higher toward the North
He firft prefents his fire; and the high Eaft

Stands, as the Capitol, directly here.

Bru. Give me your hands all over, one by one.
Caf. And let us fwear our refolution.

Bru. (9) No, not an oath. If not the face of men,

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(9) No, not an oath, if that the face of men, &c.] The confpirators propofe an oath as the fanction of their mutual faith. This, Brutus, very much in character, oppofes: Because an eath was the ufual cement of thofe lawless cabals, which have not virtue enough in themselves to keep their members together: On this confideration his argument against an oath turns: And the motives he thought fufficient to preferve faith amongst them, were thefe: The fufferance of their fouls, i. e. their commiferation for expiring liberty: The time's abufe, i. e. the general corruption of manners which had reduced publick liberty to this condition; and which, that liberty reftored, would reform, But now, what is The FACE of men? Did he mean they had honest looks. This was a poor and low observation, unworthy Brutus, and the occafion, and the grandeur of his fpeech: Be

The fufferance of our fouls, the time's abuse,
If these be motives weak, break off betimes,
And ev'ry man hence to his idle bed;
So let high-fighted tyranny range on,
"Till each man drop by lottery. But if thefe,
As I am fure they do, bear fire enough

To kindle cowards, and to steel with valour
The melting spirits of women; then, countrymen,
What need we any fpur, but our own cause,
To prick us to redrefs? What other bond,
Than fecret Romans, that have spoke the word,
And will not palter? and what other oath,
Than honefty to honefty engag'd,

That this fhall be, or we will fall for it?
(1) Swear priefts and cowards, and men cautelous,
Old feeble carrions, and fuch fuffering fouls
That welcome wrongs: unto bad caufes, fwear
Such creatures as men doubt; but do not stain
The even virtue of our enterprize,

Nor th' infuppreffive mettle of our fpirits;

fides, it is foreign to the turn and argument of his difcourfe, which is to fhew the ftrong cement of the confederacy, from the justice of their caufe, not from the natural honour of the confpirators. His argument ftands thus, You require an oath to keep us together; but fure the ftrong motives that drew us s into confederacy will keep us confederated. Thefe motives he enumerates; but The FACE of men not being one of thefe motives muft needs be a corrupt reading. Shakespeare, without queftion, wrote,

if that the FATE of men,

Or of mankind, which, in the ideas of a Roman, was involved in the fate of their Republick. And this was the principal motive which engaged the God-like Brutus in the undertaking.

The face

This elaborate emendation is, I think, erroneous. of men is the countenance, the regard, the esteem of the publick; in other terms, honour and reputation; or, the face of men may mean, the dejected look of the people.

He reads, with the other modern editions,

If that the face of men,

but the old reading is,

-If not the face, &c.

(1) This is imitated by Otway,

When you would bind me, is there need of oaths ? &c.

Venice preserved.


To think, that or our caufe, or our performance,
Did need an oath: When ev'ry drop of blood,
That ev'ry Roman bears, and nobly bears,
Is guilty of a feveral bastardy,

If he doth break the fmalleft particle
Of any promife that hath paft from him.

Caf. But what of Cicero? fhall we found him?
I think, he will stand very strong with us.
Cafca. Let us not leave him out.

Cin. No, by no means.

Met. O let us have him, for his filver hairs
Will purchase us a good opinion,

And buy men's voices to commend our deeds:
It fhall be faid, his Judgment rul'd our hands;
Our youths and wildnefs fhall no whit appear,
But all be buried in his gravity.

Bru. O, name him not; let us not break with him; For he will never follow any thing,.

That other men begin.

Caf. Then leave him out.

Cafca. Indeed, he is not fit..

Dec. Shall no man elfe be touch'd, but only Cafar? Caf. Decius, well urg'd: I think, it is not meet, Mark Antony, fo well belov'd of Cafar,

Should out-live Cafar: we fhall find of him
A fhrewd contriver. And you know, his means,
If he improve them, may well ftretch fo far,
As to annoy us all, which to prevent,

Let Antony and Cæfar fall together.

Bru. Our courfe will feem too bloody, Caius Caffius,
To cut the head off, and then hack the limbs,
Like wrath in death, and envy
For Antony is but a limb of Cafar.

Let us be facrificers, but not butchers, Caius ;
We all ftand up against the fpirit of Cafar,
And in the fpirit of man there is no blood:
O, that we then could come by Cafar's fpirit,
And not difmember Cafar! but alas!
Cæfar muft bleed for it. And, gentle friends,
Let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;
Let's carve him as a difh fit for the Gods,

B 3


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