Imatges de pÓgina
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Which we disdain should tetter us, yet sought
The very way to catch them.

Bru. You speak o' the people,
As if you were a god to punish, not
A man of their infirmity.

Sic, 'Twere well,
We let the people know't.

Men. What, what? his choler?

Cor. Choler!
Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,
By Jove, 'twould be my mind.

Sic. It is a mind,
That shall remain a poison where it is,
Not poison any further.

Cor. Shall remain -
Hear you this Triton of the minnows ?? mark you
His abfolute shall ?

Com. 'Twas from the canon 3.

Cor. Shall!
O good, but most unwise patricans“, why,

- minnows ?] i. e. small fry. WARBURTON. A minnow is one of the smallett river fish, called in some counties a pink. JOHNSON.

3. 'Twas from obecanon.] Was contrary to the established rule; it was a form of speech to which he has no right. JOHNSON.

4 O good, but m:unwise patricians,] The old copy has–O God, but &c. Mr. Theobald made the correction. Mr. Steevens asks, « when the only authentick ancient copy makes sense, why should we depart from it?"-No one can be more thoroughly convinced of the general propriety of adhering to the old copy than I am; and I trust I have given abundant proofs of my attention to it in the present edition, by restoring and establishing many ancient readings in every one of thefe plays, which had been displaced for modern innovations: and if in the paliage before us the ancient copy had afforded sense, I hould have been very unwilling to disturbit. But it does not; for it reads, not “God's," as Mr. Stcevens supposed, but o God, an adjuration surely not proper in the mouth of a heather. Add to this, that the word b:e is exhibited with a mail initial letter, in the only authentick copy; and the words“ good but unwise" here appear to be the counter. part of grave and reckless in the subsequent line. On a re.confidera. tion of this pailags therefore, I am concident that even my learned pre. deceflor will approve of the emendation now adopted. MALONI.

You

You grave, but reckless senators, have you thus
Given Hydra here to choose an officer,
That with his peremptory shall, being but
The horn and noises o'the monsters, wants not spirit
To say, he'll turn your current in a ditch,
And make your channel his? If he have power,
Then vail your ignorance 6: if none, awake
Your dangerous lenity. If you are learned,
Be not as common fools; if you are not,
Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians,
If they be senators : and they are no less,
When, both your voices blended, the greatest taste
Moft palates theirs?. They choose their magifrate;
And such a one as he, who puts his shall,
His popular Mall, against a graver bench
Than ever frown'd in Greece! By Jove himself,
It makes the consuls base: and my soul akes,
To know, when two authorities are up,
Neither supreme, how soon confusion
May enter'twixt the gap of both, and take
The one by the other.

Com. Well,-on to the market-place.

SON.

7

5 Tbe born and noise-] Alluding to his having called him Triton bsfore. WARBURTON,

0 Then wail your ignorance ;-) If this man bas power, kt tbe igno. sance that gove it bim vail or bow down before bim. JOHNSO See Vol. Il. p. 109, n. 2; and p. 410, n. 4. MALONE.

You are plebeians,
If tbey be senators; and tbey are no less,
When, beib your voices blended, tbe greatest taste

Molt palates theirs.] I think the meaning is, the plebeians are no less than senators, when, the voices of the senate and the people being blended together the predominant taste of the compound smacks more of the populace than the senate.

Dr. Johnson would read-Must palate theirs. “ When the case of, the great, the patricians, must palate, must please [or must try] that of" the plebeians." MALONE.

The plain meaning is, obat senators and plebeians are equal, when the bigbeftiafle is best pleased with that wbicb pleajes tbe loweft. STEEV.

and my soul akes, &c.] The mischief and absurdity of what is çalied Imperium in imperio, is here finely expressed. WAREUR TON.

Cor. 5

8

Cor. Whoever gave that counsel', to give forth
The corn o’the storehouse gratis, as 'twas us'd
Sometime in Greece,

Men. Well, well, no more of that.
Cor. (Though there the people had more absolute

power,)
I say, they nourish'd disobedience, fed
The ruin of the state.

Bru. Why, mall the people give One, that speaks thus, their voice ?

Cor. I'll give my reasons, More worthier than their voices. They know, the corn Was not our recompence; resting well assur'd They ne'er did service for’t: Being press'd to the war, Even when the navel of the state was touch'd, They would not thread the gates': this kind of service Did not deserve corn gratis : being i' the war,

9 Wbrever gave ibat counsel, &c.] So, in the old translation of Pixtarcb : “ Therefore, sayed he, they that gave counsell, and persuaded that the Corne should be giuen out to the common people gratis, as they vsed to doe in citties of Græce, where the people had more absolute power, dyd but only nourishe their disobedience, which would breake out in the ende, to the vtter ruine and ouerthrow of the whole ftate. For they will not thincke it is done in recompenle of their service past, fthence they know well enough they haue lo ofte refused to go to the warres, when they were commaunded : neither for their mutinies when they went with vs, where by they haue rebelled and forsaken their countrie : neither for their accusations which their fatterers haue preferred vnto chem, and they haue recevued, and made good against the senate: but they will rather judge we geue and graunt them this, as abafing our felwes, and standing in feare of them, and glad to flatter them euery way. By this meanes, their disobedience will still growe worse and worse; and they will never leave to practise newe fedition, and vprores. Therefore it were a great follie for vs, me thinckes, to do it: yea, ihall I saye more? we should if we were wise, take from them their tribunethippe, which most manifestly is the embasing of the consulthippe, and the cause of the diuision of the cittie. The itate whereof as it ftandeth, is not now as it was wont to be, but becommeth dismembered in two factions, which mainteines allwaye s ciuill diffention and discorde beewene vs, and will neuer suffer vs againe to be vnited into one bodie."

STEEVENS. Tbey would nor thread ibe goles:] That is, pass them. We yet say, to ibread an alley. JOHNSON,

Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they shew'd
Most valour, spoke not for them: The accusation
Which they have often made against the senate,
All cause unborn, could never be the native?
Of our fo frank donation. Well, what then?
How shall this bosom multiplied 3 digest
The senate's courtesy? Let deeds express
What's like to be their words :-We did request it;
We are the greater poll, and in true fear
They gave us our demands:- Thus we debase
The nature of our seats, and make the rabble
Call our cares, fears: which will in time break ope
The locks o' the senate, and bring in the crows
To peck the eagles.-

Mer. Come, enough.
Bru. Enough, with over-measure.

Cor. No, take more+:
What may be sworn by, both divine and human
Seal what I end withal! - This double worship,
Where one parts does disdain with cause, the other
Insult without all reason ; where gentry, title, wisdom
Cannot conclude, but by the yea and no
Of general ignorance, it must omit
Real necessities, and give way the while
To unstable flightness: purpose fo barr'd, it follows,
Nothing is done to purpose: Therefore, beseech you,

2-could never be ebe native-j Native is natural parent, or cause of birib. JOHNSON, So, in a kindred sense, in K. Henry V.

" A many of our bodies shall no doubt

“ Find native graves." MALONE. 1- ibis bofom multiplied ] This multitudinous bosom; the bosom of that great monster, the people. MALONE.

4 No, lake more : &c.] The sense is, No, let me add this further; and may every thing divine and human which can give force to an oath, bear witness to the truth of what I shall conclude with.

The Romans fwore by what was human as well as divine; by theis head, by their eyes, by the dead bones and ashes of their parents, &c. See Brision de formulis, p. 808-817. HEATH.

S Wbere one parl] In the old copy we have here, as in many other places, on instead of one. The correction was made by Mr. Rowe. See Vol. IV. p. 511, n. 7. MALONI, Yol. VI.

You

You that will be less fearful than discreet;
That love the fundamental part of state,
More than you doubt the change of to; that prefer
A noble life before a long, and wish
To jump a body with a dangerous phyfick?
That's sure of death without it,-at once pluck out
The multitudinous tongue, let them not lick
The sweet which is their poison : your dishonour
Mangles true judgment, and bereaves the state
Of that integrity which should become it';
Not having the power to do the good it would,
For the ill which doth control it.

Bru. He has said enough.

Sic. He has spoken like a traitor, and shall answer
As traitors do.

Cor. Thou wretch ! despight o'erwhelm thee!
What should the people do with these bald tribunes ?
On whom depending, their obedience fails
To the greater bench: In a rebellion,
When what's not meet, but what must be, was law,
Then were they chofen; in a better hour,
6 Tbat love the fundamental part of state,

More iban you dou be the change of "s;] To doubt is to fear. The meaning is, You whose zeal predominates over your terrours; you wiro do not so much fear the danger of violent measures, as with the good to which they are necessary, the preservation of the original conftitu. tion of our government. JOHNSON.

7 To jump a body-) Thus the old copy. Modern editors read: To vamp-. To jump anciently fignified to jolt, to give a rude concussion to any thing. To jump a body may therefore mean, to pre it into a violent agitation or commotion. So, in Phil. Holland's translation of Pliny's Nat. Hift. B. XXV. ch. v. p. 219: “ If we looke for good fuccefle in our cure by ministring ellebore, &c. for certainly it putteth the patient to a jumpe, or great hazard.” STEEVENS.

From this passage in Pliny, it should seem that “to jump a body," meant to risk a body; and such an explication seems to me to be lupported by the context in the passage before us. MALONE.

8 Mangles true judgment, ] Judgment is the faculty by which right is distinguished from wrong. JOHNSON.

9 of that integrity wbicb frould become it;] Integriry is in this place soundness, uniformity, consistency, in the same fenfe as Dr. Warburton ofen uses it, when he mentions the inargrity of a metaphor. To become, is to suit, to befis. JOBNSON.

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