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CAPRICE OF FRIENDSHIPS.

Coriolanus. Oh, world, thy slippery turns ! Friends now

fast sworn,

Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart,
Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise,
Are still together, who twin, as 'twere, in love
Unseparable, shall within this hour,
On a dissension of a doit, break out
To bitterest enmity! So, fellest foes,
Whose passions and whose plots have broke their sleep
To take the one the other, by some chance,
Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends,
And interjoin their issues !

Coriolanus. Act iv, Scene 4.

SIGNS OF WANING FRIENDSHIP.

Brutus. How he received you, let me be resolvid.

Lucilius. With courtesy, and with respect enough ;
But not with such familiar instances,
Nor with such free and friendly conference
As he hath us'd of old.

Brutus. Thou hast describ'd
A hot friend cooling : ever note, Lucilius,
When love begins to sicken and decay,
It useth an enforced ceremony.
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith.

Julius Cæsar. Act iv. Scene 2.

That a resemblance of features and manners often runs through the whole of the same family is a matter of common observation; and, generally, we need go no further than known physiological facts, to account for it; but a more curious observation has been made, or a fancy has existed, that friends, (man and wife for instance) not previously related in blood, grow like one another, by the effect of constant social intercourse. Whether Shakspere had this idea in his mind when he wrote the preceding extract, touching the resemblance of friends to one another

“In lineaments, in manners, and in spirit," or whether he meant that it was advisable that such resem. blance should precede the establishment of the friendship, does not to me appear altogether certain. However that may be, I must take leave to doubt the growth of features previously unlike into a similarity; and think the fancied resemblance may result from a similarity of manner, which of course is easily and naturally acquired under such circumstances.

There is plenty of wisdom in the other passages well worthy the attention of friends of all sorts, whether in embryo, or on the wane.

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Ulysses. W

HEN that the general is not like the hive,

To whom the foragers shall all repair, What honey is expected ? Degree being vizarded, The unworthiest shows as fairly in the mask. The heavens themselves, the planets, and this centre,* Observe degree, priority, and place, Insisture, course, proportion, season, form, Office, and custom, in all line of order:

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Oh, when degree is shak'd,
Which is the ladder of all high designs,
The enterprise is sick! How could communities,
Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities,

* Alluding to our earth. The Ptolemaic astronomy being in vogue in our Author's time, Shakspere supposes the earth to be the centre of the solar system.

Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,
The primogenitive and due of birth,
Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels,
But by degree, stand in authentic place ?
Take but degree away, untune that string,
And hark, what discord follows ! each thing meets
In mere oppugnancy: the bounded waters
Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores,
And make a sop of all this solid globe:
Strength should be lord of imbecility,
And the rude son should strike his father dead :
Force should be right; or, rather, right and wrong,
(Between whose endless jar justice resides)
Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
Then every thing includes itself in power,
Power into will, will into appetite;
Ar.d appetite, an universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,
Must make per force an universal prey,
And, last, eat up himself.
This chaos, when degree is suffocate,
Follows the choking.
And this neglection of degree it is,
That by a pace goes backward, with a purpose
It hath to climb. The general's disdain'd
By him one step below : he, by the next;
That next, by him beneath : so every step,
Exampled by the first pace that is sick
Of his superior, grows to an envious fever
Of pale and bloodless emulation.

Troilus and Cressida. Act i. Scene 3.

EVIL OF DIVIDED AUTHORITY.

Coriolanus.

My soul aches To know, when two authorities are up,

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Neither supreme, how soon confusion
May enter 'twixt the gap of both, and take
The one by t'other.

Coriolanus. Act iii. Scene 1.

What a man this Shakspere is ! One generally considers oneself safe from politics, when revelling in poetry; but this Shakspere positively writes on every thing, and is wise in every thing, I was going to say; but I stop short for fear of having a nest of hornets on me. Primogeniture! prerogative of the crown! and what not.— I really had better be done.

I believe, however, I shall not offend any class of politicians in remarking, that whoever may be entitled to make laws, it is advisable when they are once properly made they should be strictly enforced and obeyed ;—that the executive, in short, should be powerful and prompt, and that an efficient executive presupposes different ranks of officers, through whose lines there should exist the most complete system of subordination.-Shakspere hardly meant more than this. I have done,

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