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Oct. Do so, Messala.
How died my master, Strato?
MEs. Octavius, then take him to follow thee,
ANT. This was the noblest Roman of them all :
To prefer is to recommend in its general sense. Thus, in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 261: “ Bessardus Bisantinus preferres the smoake of Juniper to melancholy persons, which is in great request with us at Oxford to sweeten pur chambers.”
The same word is used by Chapman in his version of the 23d. Iliad; and signifies to advance :
Now every way I erre
to preferre “ My soule yet further." In the eighteenth Iliad, to prefer, apparently means, to patronize:
she did so still prefer “ Their quarrel.” STEEVENS. ' Do so, Messala.] Old copy, neglecting the metre-Do so, good Messala. STEEVENS.
save only he, &c.] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: “ For it was sayd that Antonius spake it openly diuers tymes, that he thought, that of all them that had slayné Cæsar, there was none but Brutus only that was moued to do it, as thinking the acte commendable of it selfe: but that all the other conspirators did conspire his death, for some priuate malice or enuy, that they otherwise did beare vnto him." STEEVENS.
So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up,
And say to all the world, This was a man!] So, in The Barons' Wars, by Drayton, Canto III:
“ He was a man (then boldly dare to say)
“ She meant to show all that might be in man." This poem was published in the year 1598. The play of our author did not appear before 1623. STEEVENS.
Drayton originally published his poem on the subject of The Barons' Wars, under the title of MORTIMERIADOS, the lamentable Civil Warres of Edward the Second and the Barrons: Printed by J. R. for Humphrey Lownes, and are to be solde at his shop at the west end of Paules Church. It is in seven-line stanzas, and was, I believe, published before 1598. The quarto copy before me has no date. But he afterwards new-modelled the piece entirely, and threw it into stanzas of eight lines, making some retrenchments and many additions and alterations throughout. An edition of his poems was published in 8vo. in 1602; but it did not contain The Barons' Wars in any form. They first appeared with that name in the edition of 1608, in the preface to which he speaks of the change of his title, and of his having new-modelled his poem. There, the stanza quoted by Mr. Steevens appears thus :
“ Such one he was, (of him we boldly say,)
“ In him it show'd perfection in a man.”
Oct. According to his virtue let us use him,
printed in 1619, after Shakspeare's death. In the original poem, entitled Mortimeriados, there is no trace of this stanza; so that I am inclined to think that Drayton was the copyist, as his verses originally stood. In the altered stanza he certainly was. He probably had seen this play when it was first exhibited, and perhaps between 1613 and 1619 had perused the MS.
MALONE. 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 Roman manners, seems to have impeded the natural vigour of his genius. JOHNSON.
Gildon has justly observed, that this tragedy ought to have been called Marcus Brutus, Cæsar being a very inconsiderable person, age in the scene, and being killed in the third Act. MALONE,
** The substance of Dr. Warburton's long and erroneous comment on a passage in the second Act of this play: genius and the mortal instruments,”' &c. (see p. 291, n. 7,) is contained in a letter written by him in the year 1726-7, of which the first notice was given to the publick in the following note on Dr. Akenşide's Ode to Mr. Edwards, which has, I know not why, been omitted in the late editions of that poet's works:
“ During Mr. Pope's war with Theobald, Concanen, and the rest of their tribe, Mr. Warburton, the present lord bishop of Gloucester, did with great zeal cultivate their friendship; having been introduced, forsooth, at the meetings of that respectable confederacy: a favour which he afterwards spoke of in very high terms of complacency and thankfulness. At the same time, in his intercourse with them he treated Mr. Pope in a most contemptuous manner, and as a writer without genius. Of the truth of these assertions his lordship can have no doubt, if he recollects his own correspondence with Concanen; a part of which is still in being, and will probably be remembered as long as any of this prelate's writings."
If the letter here alluded to, contained any thing that might affect the moral character of the writer, tenderness for the dead would forbid its publication. But that not being the case, and the learned prelate being now beyond the reach of criticism, there is no reason why this literary curiosity should be longer withheld from the publick: Duncan is in his
LETTER FROM MR. W. WARBURTON TO MR. M. CONCANEN.
• Dear Sir, “ having had no more regard for those papers which I spoke of and promis'd to Mr. Theobald, than just what they deserv'd I in vain sought for them thro' a number of loose papers that had
the same kind of abortive birth. I used to make it one good part of my amusement in reading the English poets, those of them I mean whose vein flows regularly and constantly, as well as clearly, to trace them to their sources; and observe what oar, as well as what slime and gravel they brought down with them. Dryden I observe borrows for want of leisure, and Pope for want of genius: Milton out of pride, and Addison out of modesty. And now I speak of this latter, that you and Mr. Theobald may see of what kind these idle collections are, and likewise to give you my notion of what we may safely pronounce an imitation, for it is not I presume the same train of ideas that follow in the same description of an ancient and a modern, where nature when attended to, always supplys the same stores, which will autorise us to pronounce the latter an imitation, for the most judicious of all poets, Terence, has observed of his own science Nihil est dictum, quod non sit dictum prius : For these reasons I say I give myselfe the pleasure of setting down some imitations I observed in the Cato of Addison :
Addison. A day, an hour of virtuous liberty
Is worth a whole eternity in bondage. Act 2. Sc. 1. Tully. Quod si immortalitas consequeretur præsentis periculi
fugam, tamen eo magis ea fugienda esse videretur,
quo diuturnior esset servitus. Philipp. Or. 102 Addison. Bid him disband his legions
Restore the commonwealth to liberty
Bid him do this and Cato is his friend.
Neminem equiorem reperiet quam me. Philipp. 5a Addison. But what is life?
'Tis not to stalk about and draw fresh air
Life grows insipid and has lost its relish. Sc. 3. Tully. Non enim in spiritu vita est : sed ea nulla est omnino
servienti. Philipp. 10a Addison. Remember O my friends the laws the rights
The gen'rous plan of power deliver'd down