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STEEVENS.

It is surely easy to find a reason why that devotee to pleasure and ambition, Antony, should call him barren-spirited who could be content to feed his mind with objects, i. e. speculative knowledge, or arts, i. e. mechanic operations. I have therefore taken the liberty of bringing back the old reading to its place, though Mr. Theobald's emendation is still left before the reader. Lepidus, in the Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra, is represented as inquisitive about the structures of Egypt, and that too when he is almost in a state of intoxication, Antony, as at present, makes a jest of him, and returns him unintelligible answers to very reasonable questions.

31 nice offence- ] Trifling offence.
32 I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,

Than such a Roman.] The poets and common people, who generally think and speak alike, suppose the dog bays the moon out of envy to its brightness; an allusion to this notion makes the beauty of the passage in question : Brutus hereby insinuates a covert accusation against his friend, that it was only envy at Cæsar's glory which set Cassius on conspiring against him; and ancient history seems to countenance such a charge. Cassius understood him in this sense, and with much conscious pride retorts the charge by a like insinuation,

-Brutus, bay not me. WARBURTON. 33 And, her attendants absent, swallow'd fire.] This circumstance is taken from Plutarch.

STEEVENS.

34 Struck Cæsar on the neck.) Coming like a degenerate cur behind him.

35 Go, Pindarus, &c.] This dialogue between Cassius and Pindarus, is beautifully imitated by B. and Fletcher in their Tragedy of Bonduca, Act III. Sc. 5.

STEEVENS.

36 -being Cato's son.] That is, worthy of him.

37 Only I yield to die: &c.] The soldier here says, Yield, or thou diest. Lucilius replies, I yield only on this condition, that I may die; here is so much gold as thou seest in my hand, which I offer thee as a reward for speedy death. What now is there wanting?

JOHNSON.

END OF VOLUME SI.

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