Imatges de pÓgina

Com. Noble Lartius?!

1. Sen. Hence! To your homes, be gone, [To the Cit, Mar. Nay, let them follow:

The Volces have much corn; take thefe rats thither,
To gnaw their garners:-Worshipful mutineers,
Your valour puts well forth': pray, follow.

[Exeunt Senators, Coм. MAR. TIT. and MENEN,
Citizens feal away.

Sic. Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius?
Bru. He has no equal.

Sic. When we were chofen tribunes for the people,
Bru. Mark'd you his lip, and eyes?

Sic. Nay, but his taunts.

Bru. Being mov'd, he will not fpare to gird the gods Sic. Be-mock the modest moon.

Bru. The prefent wars devour him 3: he is grown Too proud to be so valiant.


9 Noble Lartius!] Old Copy-Martius. Corrected by Mr. Theobald. I am not fure that the emendation is neceffary. Perhaps Lartius in the latter part of the preceding fpeech addreffes Marcius. MALONE. Your valour puts well forth:-] That is, You have in this mutiny fhewn fair bloffoms of valour. JOHNSON.

So, in K. Henry VIII.

66- To-day he puts forth

"The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow bloffoms," &c.


2- to gird] To fneer, to gibe. So Falstaff uses the noun, when he fays, every man has a gird at me. JOHNSON.

To gird, as an anonymous correfpondent obferves to me," in fome parts of England means to push vebemently. So, when a ram pushes at any thing with his head, they fay he girds at it." To gird likewife fignified, to pluck or twinge. Hence probably it was metaphorically ufed in the fenfe of to taunt, or annoy by a stroke of farcafm. Cotgrave makes gird, nip, and twinge, fynonymous. MALONE.

3 The prefent wars devour bim: he is grown

Too proud to be fo valiant.] Mr. Theobald fays, This is obfcurely expressed, but that the poet's meaning must certainly be, that Marcius is fo confcious of, and fo elate upon the notion of his own valour, that he is eaten up with pride, &c. According to this critick then, we must conclude, that when Shakspeare had a mind to say, A man was eaten up with pride, he was fo great a blunderer in expreffion, as to fay, He was eaten up with war. But our poet wrote at another rate, and the


Sic. Such a nature,

Tickled with good fuccefs, difdains the fhadow
Which he treads on at noon: But I do wonder,
His infolence can brook to be commanded
Under Cominius.

Bru. Fame, at the which he aims,-
In whom already he is well grac'd,-cannot
Better be held, nor more attain'd, than by
A place below the first: for what miscarries
Shall be the general's fault, though he perform
To the utmost of a man; and giddy cenfure
Will then cry out of Marcius, O, if he
Had borne the bufinefs!

Sic. Befides, if things go well,
Opinion, that fo fticks on Marcius, shall
Of his demerits rob Cominius 4.


blunder is his critick's. The prefent wars devour bim, is an imprecation, and should be fo pointed. As much as to fay, May be fall in thofe wars! The reafon of the curfe is fubjoined, for (fays the speaker) having fo much pride with fo much valour, his life, with increase of honours, is dangerous to the republick. WARBURTON.

I am by no means convinced that Dr. Warburton's punctuation, or explanation, is right. The fenfe may be, that the prefent wars annibilate bis gentler qualities. To eat up, and confequently to devour, has this meaning. So, in the fecond part of K. Henry IV. A& IV. fc. iv: "But thou, the crown,] most fine, most honour'd, moft renown'd,

"Haft eat thy bearer up."

He is grown too proud to be jo valiant, may fignify, his pride is such as not to deferve the accompanyment of fo much valour. STEEVENS. I concur with Mr. Steevens. "The prefent wars," Shakspeare ufes to exprefs the pride of Coriolanus grounded on his military prowess; which kind of pride Brutus fays devours him. So, in Troilus and Creffido, A& II. fc. iii.

He that's proud, eats up himself."

Perhaps the meaning of the latter member of the fentence is," he is grown too proud of being fo valiant, to be endured." MALONE. 4 Of bis demerits rob Cominius.] Merits and demerits had anciently the fame meaning: So, in Othello:

"and my demerits

"May speak," &c.

Again, in Stowe's Chronicle, cardinal Wolfey fays to his fervants, "— I have not promoted, preferred, and advanced you all according to your demerits."


Bru. Come;

Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius,

Though Marcius earn'd them not; and all his faults
To Marcius fhall be honours, though, indeed,

In aught he merit not.

Sic. Let's hence, and hear

How the dispatch is made; and in what fashion,
More than his fingularity, he goes

Upon this prefent action.

Bru. Let's along.


Corioli. The Senate-Houfe.


Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, and certain Senators. 1. Sen. So, your opinion is, Aufidius,

That they of Rome are enter'd in our counsels,
And know how we proceed.

Auf. Is it not yours?

What ever have been thought on in this state,
That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome
Had circumvention? 'Tis not four days gone❝,
Since I heard thence; these are the words: I think,
I have the letter here; yes, here it is:
They have prefs'd a power, but it is not known


Again, in Hall's Chronicle, Henry VI. fol. 69. "—this noble prince, for his demerits called the good duke of Gloucefter,-." MALONE. 5 More than bis fingularity, &c.] We will learn what he is to do, befides going bimfelf; what are his powers, and what is his appointment. JOHNSON.

The old

6 Tis not four days gone,] i. e. four days paft. STEEVENS. 7 They bave prefs'd a power,] Thus the modern editors. copy reads "They have preft a power," which may fignify they have a power ready, from pret, Fr. So, in the Merchant of Venice:

"And I am preft unto it."

See the note on this paffage, A& I. fc. i. STEEVENS.

The fpelling of the old copy proves nothing, for participles were gene rally fo fpelt in Shakspeare's time: fo diftreft, bleft, &c. I believe prefs'd in its ufual fenfe is right. It appears to have been used in Shakipeare's time in the fenfe of imprefs'd, So, in Plutarch's life of Coriolanus, tranflated by Sir T. North, 1579: "-the common people-would not appeare when the confuls called their names by a bill, to press them for the warres." Again, in K. Henry VI. P. III.

"From London by the king was I prefs'd forth." MALONE.


Whether for eaft, or weft: The dearth is great;
The people mutinous: and it is rumour'd,
Cominius, Marcius your old enemy,

(Who is of Rome worfe hated than of you,}
And Titus Lartius, a moft valiant Roman,
These three lead on this preparation

Whither 'tis bent: most likely, 'tis for you;
Confider of it.

1. Sen. Our army's in the field:

We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
To answer us.

Auf. Nor did you think it folly,

To keep your great pretences veil'd, till when
They needs muft fhew themselves; which in the hatching
It feem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery,
We shall be shorten'd in our aim; which was,
To take in many towns, ere, almoft, Rome'
Should know we were afoot.

2. Sen. Noble Aufidius,


your commiffion; hie you to your bands; Let us alone to guard Corioli:

If they fet down before us, for the remove
Bring up your army; but, I think, you'll find
They have not prepar'd for us.

Auf. O, doubt not that;

I fpeak from certainties. Nay, more,
Some parcels of their power are forth already,
And only hitherward. I leave your honours.

8 To take in many towns-] To take in is here, as in many other places, to fubdue. So, in The Execration en Vulcan, by Ben Jonfon:

"The Globe, the glory of the Bank,

"I faw with two poor chambers taken in,
"And raz'd." MALONE.

9 -for the remove

Bring up your army:] Says the fenator to Aufidius, Go to your troops, we will garrifon Corioli. If the Romans befiege us, bring up your army to remove them. If any change should be made, I would read:

- for their remove. JOHNSON.

The remove and their remove are fo near in found, that the tranfcriber's ear might eafily have deceived him. But it is always dangerous so let conjecture loofe where there is no difficulty. MALONE.

If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet, 'Tis fworn between us, we shall ever strike Till one can do no more.

All. The gods affift you!

Auf. And keep your honours fafe!

1. Sen. Farewel.

2. Sen. Farewel.

All, Farewel.




Rome. An Apartment in Marcius' house.

Enter VOLUMNIA, and VIRGILIA: They fit down on two low ftools, and few.

Vol. I pray you, daughter, fing; or exprefs yourself in a more comfortable fort: If my fon were my husband, I should freelier rejoice in that abfence wherein he won honour, than in the embracements of his bed, where he would fhew moft love. When yet he was but tender-body'd, and the only fon of my womb; when youth with comeliness pluck'd all gaze his way; when, for a day of king's entreaties, a mother fhould not fell him an hear from her beholding: I,-confidering hów honour would become fuch a perfon; that it was no better than picture-like to hang by the wall, if renown made it not ftir,-was pleafed to let him feek danger where he was like to find fame. To a cruel war I fent him; from whence he return'd, his brows bound with oak'. I tell thee, daughter, I fprang not more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child, than now in first seeing he had proved himself a man.

Vir. But had he died in the bufinefs, madam? how then?

Vol. Then his good report fhould have been my fon; I therein would have found iffue. Hear me profefs fincerely :-Had I a dozen fons,-each in my love alike,

$ — brows bound with oak:] The crown given by the Romans to him that faved the life of a citizen, which was accounted more honour able than any other. JOHNSON.




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