Imatges de pÓgina
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Re-enter Coriolanus and Aufidius.
Cor. We will before the Walls of Rome to morrow
Set down our Host. My Partner in this action,
You must report to th' Volscian lords how plainly
I've borne this business.

Auf. Only their Ends you have respected; stopt
Your ears against the general sụit of Rome :
Never admitted private whisper, no,
Not with such friends that thought them sure of you.

Cor. This last old man,
Whom with a crack'd heart I have sent to Rome,
Lov'd me above the measure of a father:
Nay, godded me, indeed. Their latest refuge
Was to send him: for whose old love, I have
(Tho' I thew'd sow'rly to him) once more offerid
The first conditions ; (which they did refuse,
And cannot now accept,) to grace him only,
That thought he could do more: a very

I've yielded to. Fresh embassie, and suits,
Nor from the State, nor private friends, hereafter
Will I lend ear to. Ha! what shout is this?

[Shout within.
Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow,
In the same time 'tis made ? I will not
Enter Virgilia, Volumnia, Valeria, young Marcius,

with Attendants all in Mourning.
My wife comes foremost, then the honour'd mould
Wherein this trunk was fram'd, and in her hand
The grand-child to her blood. But, out, affection!
All bond and privilege of Nature break!..
Let it be virtuous, to be obstinate.
What is that curt'lie worth? or those dove's eyes,
Which can make Gods forsworn ? I melt, and am not
Of stronger earth than others : my mother bows,
As if Olympus to a mole-hill should
In supplication nod; and my young boy
Hath an aspect of intercession, which
Great Nature cries, Deny not. Let the Volscians


Plough Rome, and harrow Italy; I'll never
Be such a gosling to obey instinct; but stand
As if a man were author of himself,
And knew no other kin.

Virg. My lord and husband !
Cor. These eyes are not the same I wore in Rome.

Virg. The sorrow, that delivers us thus chang'd,
Makes you think so.

Cor. Like a dull Actor now, I have forgot my Part, and I am out, Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh, Forgive my tyranny; but do not say, For That, forgive our Romans. O a kiss Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge! Now, by the jealous Queen of heav'n, that kiss I carried from thee, Dear; and my true lip Hath virgin'd it c'er fince. - You Gods! I prate; (39)

And (39)

You Gods, I pray,
And the most noble Mother of the World

Leave unfaluted,] An old Corruption must have poffefs'd this Passage, for two Reasons. In the first place, whoever confults this Speech, will find, that He is talking fondly to his Wife, and not praying to the Gods at all. Secondly, if He were employ'd in his Devotions, no Apology would be wanting for leaving his Mother unfaluted. The Poet's Intention was certainly This. Coriolanus, having been lavish in his Tenderneffes and Raptures to his Wife, bethinks himself on the sudden, that his Fondness to her had made him guilty of ill Manners in the Neglect of his Mother; and, therefore correcting himself upon Reflexion, cries ;

You Gods ! I prate ; Prate, 'tis true, is a Term now ill-founding to us, because it is taken only, as the Grammarians call it, in malam partem. Our Language was not so refin'd, tho' more masculine, in Shakespeare's days ; and therefore (notwithstanding the present suppos'd Karoowvid,) when he is most serious, he frequently makes use of the Word. A little after, in this very Scene, Volumnia fays;

yet bere he lets me prate, Like One ith' Stocks. K. John.

If I talk to him, with his innocent Prate

He will awake my Mercy.

And if thou prate of Mountains, let them throw
Millions of Acres on Us.


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And the moft noble mother of the world
Leave unfaluted: link, my knee, i'th' earth; [kneels.
Of thy deep duty more impreffion shew
Than that of common fons.
Vol. O stand


Whilft with no softer cushion than the flint
I kneel before thee, and unproperly
Shew duty as mistaken all the while, [kneelt.
Between the child and parent.

Cor. What is this?
Your knees to me to your corrected fon?
Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach
Fillop the stars : then, let the mutinous winds
Strike the proud cedars 'gainft the fiery Sun:
Murd'ring impoffibility, to make
What cannot be, flight work.

Vol. Thou art my warrior,
| holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady?

Cor. The noble fifter of Poplicota,
The moon of Rome; chaste as the isicle,
That's curdled by the froft from purest snow,
And hangs on Dian's Temple: dear Valeria!
Vol. This is a poor epitome of yours,

[showing young Marcius. Which by th’interpretation of full time May thew like all your felf.

Cor. The God of soldiers,
With the consent of supream Jove, inform
Thy thoughts with Noblenass, that thou may'ít prove
Nor is it infrequent with him to employ the Diminutive of this

But I prattle
Something too wildly, and my Father's Precepts
I do forget.

Silence that Fellow; I would, he had some
Cause to prattle for himself.

Meaf. för Mear.
O my Sweet,
I prattle out of Fashion, and I doat
In mine own Comfort.

Othello. I amended the Passage in Question, in the Appendix to my SHAKESPEARE restor’d; and Mr. Pope has thought fit to correct it from thence, in his last Edition,


To Shame unvulnerable, and stick i'th' wars
Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,
And saving thofe that eye thee!

Vol. Your knee, firrah.
Cor. That's my brave boy.

Vol. Even he, your wife, this lady, and my self,
Are suitors to you.

Cor. I beseech you, peace:
Or, if you'd ask, remember this before ;
The thing, I have forsworn to grant, may never
Be held by you denial. Do not bid me
Dismiss my foldiers, or capitulate
Again with Rome's Mechanicks. Tell me not,
Wherein I seem unnatural: defire not
T'allay my rages and revenges, with
Your colder reasons.

Vol. Oh, no more; no more :
You've said, you will not grant us any thing :
For we have nothing else to ask, but That
Which you deny already: yet we will ask,
That if we fail in our request, the Blame
May hang upon your Hardness ; therefore hear us.

Cor. Aufidius, and you Volfcians, mark; for we'll Hear nought from Rome in private. Your request?

Vol. Should we be silent and not fpeak, our raiment And state of bodies would bewray what life We've lead since thy Exile. Think with thy felf, How more unfort'nate than all living women Are we come hither; fince thy sight, which should Make our Eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with com

forts, Constrains them weep, and fhake with fear and sorrow; Making the mother, wife, and child to fee The son, the husband, and the father tearing, His Country's bowels out: and to poor we, Thine enmity's most capital; thou barr'st us Our prayers to the Gods, which is a comfort That all but we enjoy. For how can we, Alas! how can we, for our Country pray, Whereto we're bound ? together with thy victory,


Whereto we're bound? Alack! or we must lose
The Country, our dear nurse; or else thy perfort,
Our comfort in the Country. We must find
An eminent calamity, tho' we had
Our wish, which side shou'd win. For either thou
Muft, as a foreign Recreant, be led
With manacles along our streets ; or else
Triumphantly tread on thy Country's ruin,
And bear the palm, for having bravely shed
Thy wife and children's blood. For my self, son,
I purpose not to wait on Fortune, 'till
These wars determine: if I can't perswade thee
Rather to shew a noble grace to both parts,
Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner
March to assault thy Country, than to tread
(Truft to't, thou shalt not) on thy mother's womb,
That brought thee to this world.

Virg. Ay, and mine too,
That brought you forth this Boy, to keep your name
Living to time.

Boy. He shall not tread on me :
I'll run away till I'm bigger, but then I'll fight.

Cor. Not of a woman's tenderness to be,
Requires, nor child, nor woman's face, to see:
I've fat too long

Vol. Nay, go not from us thus : If it were so, that our request did tend To save the Romans, thereby to destroy The Volscians whom you serve, you might condemn us, As poyfonous of your Honour. No; our suit Is, that you reconcile them: while the Volscians May say, This mercy we have thew'd, the Romans, This we receiv'd; and each in either side Give the all-hail to thee, and cry, be blest For making up this Peace! Thou know'st, great song The End of War's uncertain; but this certain, That if thou conquer Rome, the benefit, Which thou shalt thereby reap, is such a Name, Whose repetition will be dogg'd with Curses: Whose Chronicle thus writ, the man was noble

. But

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