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REFERENCES DESCRIPTIVE OF THE
JULIUS CÆSAR. Having entered upon the historical plays, it may be necessary to premise some of the restrictions within which the work will be kept, and the reasons for so doing. Many events are alluded to in the conduct of the play which, though totally unconnected with the main plot, are necessary for the development of character-filling up the inferior parts of the scenes—and giving an historical air to the whole. These, if represented, would only distract the attention, and serve to confuse, rather than to elucidate, the principal subject. The scenes, therefore, which have been taken from Julius CÆSAR are only those of the highest rank in the play. The acts of the mob, the “portents,” battles, &c. have been omitted, unless a principal character is involved, as ANTONY in his funeral oration over CÆSAR's body, and BRUTUS with the ghost of Cæsar in his tent. Portia's death has also been omitted, as totally unfit for pictorial representation. Julius CÆSAR, BRUTUS, and Antony are portraits,
ANTONY offering the crown to CÆSAR.CASSIUS
endeavouring to rouse BRUTUS.
“... Mark Antony offered him a crown; ... he put it by once; but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he offered it to him again ; then he put it by again: but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it the third time; he put it the third time by: and still as he refused it, the rabblement hooted and clapped their chopped hands, and threw up their sweaty nightcaps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Cæsar refused the crown, that it had almost choked Cæsar.
Cass.......I have heard,
Bru. Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
What means this shouting? I do fear, the people
Ay, do you fear it?