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to say was inspired by his having seen Shakespeare's work on the same subject when in London; and his wonder at the deep emotion and interest which it ever excited. Voltaire's work was, however, not produced on the stage until 1735. It was never received with quite the amount of applause which its author thought that it deserved. Thirty years later, while at work on his Commentaires sur Corneille, Voltaire appended to that writer's Cinna a literal translation (as he persisted in calling it) of those parts of Shakespeare's Julius Cæsar which dealt also with a conspiracy against a Roman chief-magistrate, in order that his countrymen might comprehend how vastly superior was the work of the nobleman (Corneille) to that of the commoner (Shakespeare). 'If this translation,' says FrançoisVictor Hugo, ‘had only been unfaithful it still might have passed muster; but it is disloyal. That Voltaire did not always understand the text of Shakespeare is excusable, but not his absolute falsification of it.'-(Shakespeare, x, 463). The whirligig of time has brought in its revenges. Voltaire's Tragedies, dealing with the lives and acts of Julius Cæsar and Brutus-written, be it remembered, to show Shakespeare's inferiority-belong to the past, but the spirit of Shakespeare's Cæsar is mighty yet, and still walks abroad.
Be my thanks here given to Dr. Morris Jastrow, Jr., Librarian of the University of Pennsylvania; to Dr. William J. Taylor and Mr. Charles P. Fisher, Librarian of the College of Physicians; to Mr. George M. Abbot, and his efficient assistants, Mr. D. C. Knoblauch and Mr. John E. Govan, of the Philadelphia Library, one and all, for their unfailing courtesy and attention to many demands.
My most just and severe-albeit, my most tender-critic has passed beyond my inadequate words of gratitude. He to whom I owe the deepest obligations, the inspiration of all my work, is no longer by my side with ever-ready help and never-failing and invaluable counsel. The rest is silence.
H. H. F., JR.
3. Octavius Cæsar) NIEBUHR (iii, 87): Cæsar in his will had appointed C. Octavius, the grandson of his sister Julia, heir ex dodrante, that is, of three-fourths of his property, after the deduction of all legacies, and his other relatives were to have the remaining fourth. ... Young C. Octavius was in his nineteenth year when Cæsar was murdered, having been born on the 23d of September, 689. Cæsar had taken an interest in him ever since his return from Spain; whereas before that time he does not appear to have taken any particular notice of him.
. . (He) had been adopted by Cæsar, which is the first instance of an adoption by will that I know in Roman history; afterwards such adoptions are very frequent. . . . If we compare Antony with Octavian, we must admit that Antony was open-hearted; whereas Octavian was made up of hypocrisy: his whole life was a farce. It is well known that on his death-bed at Nola he asked his friends whether he had not played the comedy of his life well? He was an actor throughout; everything he did was a farce, well devised and skilfully executed. The most profound hypocrisy was his greatest talent. In the vicious and profligate life of Antony, on the other hand, there occur some actions which shew good nature, generosity, and even greatness.—TOLMAN (Introd., p. xxxviii): Probably, upon the Elizabethan stage, the same actor took the parts of Cæsar and Octavius, and thus gave outward expression to the spiritual connection of the two rôles.
4. M. Antony) HORN (i, 112): Antony is one of the most perfect portraits that the poet has drawn. His overflowing nature delights in combining the extremes of thought and action with dangerous abilities. He is rash and prudent, brave and sensual, he fears not death, but, a wastrel, seeks every sort of pleasure from quickly flying life. So long as Cæsar lived Antony is but seldom to be blamed-he feels towards Cæsar an absolute love; prefers to be subordinate to him, and is therewith become, so to speak, dependent upon him, a dependence which, however, causes him enjoyment; is it not the mighty Julius who loves him in return? He desires the crown for Cæsar that thus all friction may be avoided, and that, after Cæsar, he can have the highest position, he who seems rather to desire more of the pleasures of life than the highest place. Yet all these particulars are moved to the background as soon as Cæsar is no more. He has lost his only love, and is now in the highest degree dangerous. It is impossible for him to
[4. M. Antony] subordinate himself to anyone else; least of all to the conspirators, the greater part of whom he values slightly. Brutus alone he regards highly; but he does not love him, the high virtue of the man is uncomfortable to Antony; towards Cassius he has no feeling other than that expressed by Cæsar (I, ii, 217-229), but, at peace in those pleasant days, he endeavors to place even this thought to one side. It was repugnant to him to regard anyone as repugnant. But with Cæsar dead the thought returns and will not away.—DOWDEN (p. 289): Antony is a man of genius without moral fibre; a nature of a rich, sensitive, pleasure-loving kind; the prey of good impulses and of bad; looking on life as a game in which he has a distinguished part to play, and playing that part with magnificent grace and skill. He is capable of personal devotion (though not of devotion to an idea), and has, indeed, a gift of subordination,-subordination to a Julius Cæsar, to a Cleopatra. And as he has enthusiasm about great personalities, so he has a contempt for inefficiency and ineptitude. Lepidus is to him 'a slight, unmeritable man meet to be sent on errands, one that is to be talked of not as a person, but as a property. Antony possesses no constancy of self-esteem; he can drop quickly out of favour with himself; and being without reverence for his own type of character, and being endowed with a fine versatility of perception and feeling, he can admire qualities the most remote from his own. It is Antony who utters the eloge over the body of Brutus at Philippi. Antony is not without an ästhetic sense and imagination, though of a somewhat unspiritual kind: he does not judge men by a severe moral code, but he feels in an ästhetic way the grace, the splendour, the piteous interest of the actors in the exciting drama of life, or their impertinence, ineptitude and comicality; and he feels that the play is poorer by the loss of so noble a figure as that of a Brutus. But Brutus, over whom his ideals dominate, and who is blind to facts which are not in harmony with his theory of the universe, is quite unable to perceive the power for good or for evil that is lodged in Antony, and there is in the great figure of Antony nothing which can engage or interest his imagination; for Brutus' view of life is not imaginative, or pictorial, or dramatic, but wholly ethical. The fact that Antony abandons himself to pleasure, is 'gamesome,' reduces him in the eyes of Brutus to a very ordinary person,-one who is silly or stupid enough not to recognize the first principle of human conduct, the need of self-mastery; one against whom the laws of the world must fight, and who is, therefore, of no importance. And Brutus was right with respect to the ultimate issues for Antony. Sooner or later Antony must fall to ruin. But before the moral defect in Antony's nature destroyed his fortune much was to happen. Before Actium might come Philippi.-MARSHALL (p. 87): Except in the great scene in the Forum, where his speech to the people is perhaps the finest piece of oratory to be found in all Shakespeare, Antony plays no very striking part in the drama. We see him aroused by a sudden ambition from his early career of dissipation, and taking a place in the Triumvirate; and it reminds us of Prince Hal's coming to himself, like the repentant prodigal, when he comes to the throne. But Antony is, morally at least, a slighter man than Henry. His reform lacks the sincerity and depth of the latter's, and he cannot hold the higher plane to which he has temporarily risen. His fall is to be depicted in a later and greater drama, of which he is the hero and not a subordinate actor as here.OECHELHAÜSER (Einführungen, etc., p. 227): Antonius should be represented as a young man, in his thirtieth year (historically he was thirty-seven years old
at the time of Cæsar's assassination), as a man of the world, of noble bearing and handsome features and insinuating manner. In outward appearance he thus offers a contrast to Brutus, upon whose character and task the poet has imprinted that of a noble patriot, as an assassin, stamping the frivolous egoist as the avenger, both characters labouring under tasks in complete contrast to their original natures.
6. Cicero) FROUDE (p. 531): In Cicero Nature half-made a great man and left him uncompleted. Our characters are written in our forms, and the bust of Cicero is the key to his history. The brow is broad and strong, the nose large, the lips tightly compressed, the features lean and keen from restless intellectual energy. The loose, bending figure, the neck, too weak for the weight of the head, explain the infirmity of will, the passion, the cunning, the vanity, the absence of manliness and veracity. He was born into an age of violence with which he was too feeble to contend.-J. M. BROWN (p. 67): The only character in the whole play that stands clear of its effects is the prosaic, conceited, lukewarm Cicero. He is the incarnation of the pedant and critic who is dissatisfied with most things and people, but will never follow others into remedying the evils or even lead himself. He is the type of the commonplace man who is ever trying to impress his neighbors with his learning and importance by uttering trite maxims that face both ways, and to seem wise by expressing himself in confidential and futile mystery or in a language not understood by those around him. Like all such busybodies, he is omniscient and cannot bear contradiction or even information. His 'ferret and fiery eyes' gleam out when he is crossed. Brutus will not have him told of the conspiracy, 'For he will never follow anything That other men begin. At the great crisis in Roman affairs, when the crown was offered to Cæsar, he 'spoke Greek'in order to look wise and yet hide the nothing he had to say; and his following wagged their heads as if they understood it and ranged high above the unlettered crowd. Such a mind would scorn to be surprised at anything in this so commonplace world; he knows too much for even nature to astonish him. And thus in the portentous night before the assassination, when the coldly sceptical soul of Cassius is stirred to passion and defiance, and the prickly humour and cynicism of Casca is awed into superstition, he assumes the most superior indifference and will not commit himself; interpretation either way might be quite mistaken: all he will venture on is that 'it is a strange-disposed time' and that this disturbed sky is not to walk in,' remarks of the usual type about the weather. It is such 'men cautelous, old feeble carrions,' that along with 'priests and cowards' need oaths to spur them on to redress of wrongs. What other fate was there in revolutionary times for such a