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CAPRICE OF FRIENDSHIPS.
Coriolanus. Oh, world, thy slippery turns ! Friends now
Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart,
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 ;
Brutus. Thou hast describ'd
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.
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:
Oh, when degree is shak'd,
* 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,
Troilus and Cressida. Act i. Scene 3.
EVIL OF DIVIDED AUTHORITY.
My soul aches To know, when two authorities are up,
Neither supreme, how soon confusion
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,