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Sincere esteem for the Drama, ardent wishes for

the prosperity of the Stage, admiration of the beauties, and concern for the defects, both in composition and action, first diktated this work ; which from many flattering instances of approbation, bas, we apprebend, been condueted with some share of ability, upon commendable principles : wherefore, the same plan will be pursued that we have hitherto adopted. Not one objection has been offered to our criticisms on the plays which have fallen under our notice ; as to our strictures on the performers,we have been accused by . Some of too much lenity, by others, of too much severity; a few of the most inconsiderable obječts mentioned, have taken great umbrage at the supposed injury done their imaginary merits ; of their ignorant, illiberal resentment we have beard, with an equal mixture of pity and contenpt ; resolved neither through fear nor favour to abate the smallest particle of that critical prerogative we have assumed ; however, the most abject, discontented murderers of common sense in either house, may rail at the Dramatic Censor, secure from any trace of resentment for so doing, in this work, if as it is eagerly hoped some of the deficiencies pointed out are reformed, the ultimate view of this and the former Volume will be fulfilled.

In the wide field of observation before us, several paljages and circumstances must no doubt escape, though equally deserving regard with several of those we note : kowever, we flatter ourselves, nothing material has

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as yet hipped us, or will hereafter be omitted ; and that a review of the work when compleated will prove, that interest and malevolence, the two worst influences authors can write under, have been equally difiant both from our beads and bearts.

JULIUS

THE

DRAMATIC CENSOR.

JULIUS GÆS A R.

A TRAGEDY by SHAKESPEARE.

I

F powerfully inculcating one of the noblest principles that actuates the human mind, the love of national liberty, can stamp additional value upon works of genius, we may venture to pronounce the tragedy now before us, as to the subject of it, highly deserving of attention from an English audience; in respect of the executive part, a review of the leveral scenes will, we hope, furnish a competent idea.

At the commencement of this piece, the author introduces two Romans of character and public {pirit reproving the mob with great energy for making holiday on Cæsar's account, in whose ambition the freedom of their country had found a grave. The remonstrances of Marullus and FlaVOL. II.

B

vius

Julius Cafar. vius are pathetically persuasive, and the mob reply with humorous, characteristic bluntness; however, we are not fond of such ludicrous matter in a “tragedy, and with the piece could have been saved from the intrusion of inadequate characters, without enervating several passages, which as they stand at present discover peculiar force.

As Cæsar goes to the Course he is accosted by a Soothsayer, who warns him to beware of the Ides of March, this prediction, however, he treats with contempt, and passes on to the games, leaving Brutus and Cassius on the stage ; from the former's declining to join the public festivity, his friend takes occasion to hint a gloominess which seems to have hung for some time on his disposition ; Brutus being so touched, confesses that passions of some difference cloud his mind; upon this foundation Cassius works with great subtlety to feel the pulse of his political principles; a distant shout occasions Brutus to express apprehension that the people are conferring royaley upon Cæsar, whom Caffius, in a long, spirited, and picturesque fpeech endeavours to depreciate, by an unfavourable comparison with himfelf; however, there is more of ostentatious vanity than sound argument in it, for the strength of a very brave and good man might fail in swimming, and his tongue, parched with feverish thirst, call for drink without any just imputation against his courage; the next speech of Cassius, where he accuses the Romans of enslaving themselves, and compares Brutus with Cæsar, applies closely to the point in view.

Brutus perceiving the drift of Cassius, replies with sensible reserve, but delivers one positive and

noble

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