IN 1812 Kemble revived and adapted, with a splendour, in those days, unparalleled, the play of Julius Caesar. No piece was ever more effectively cast: Brutus had for its representative John Kemble; Cassius, Young; Antony, Charles Kemble; Casca, Fawcett; First Citizen, Simmons; and Portia, Mrs. Powell. I have never spoken with any one fortunate enough to have seen that play rendered, as it then was, who has not admitted it to have been the greatest intellectual recreation he ever enjoyed.
It was, really, difficult to believe that one had not been transported, while in a state of unconsciousness, from the purlieus of Bow Street, and the vicinity of Covent Garden Market, to the glories of the Capitol, and the very heart of the Julian Forum; so complete, in all its parts, was the illusion of the scene. When but six years old, I saw the play, on the first night of its representation; and I was allowed to see it again in 1817, with the same cast, minus Mrs. Powell. And although I was then but eleven, the impression left upon my mind has never been effaced. If it appear a thing incredible, that any play, however well put on the stage, however gorgeous its accessories, and however spirited the acting, should have left definite and durable traces on the brain of a child of such tender years, it must be mentioned that he had not only inherited a turn for the stage, but had read and re-read the play in question over and over again, had committed its chief speeches to memory, had rehearsed them by heart, and often represented the characters before small but select audiences