« AnteriorContinua »
Re-enter Coriolanus and Aufidius.
Auf. Only their Ends you have respected; stopt
Cor. This last old man,
with Attendants all in Mourning.
Plough Rome, and harrow Italy; I'll never
Virg. My lord and husband !
Virg. The sorrow, that delivers us thus chang'd,
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)
You Gods, I pray,
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
And the moft noble mother of the world
Cor. What is this?
Vol. Thou art my warrior,
Cor. The noble fifter of Poplicota,
[showing young Marcius. Which by th’interpretation of full time May thew like all your felf.
Cor. The God of soldiers,
But I prattle
Meaf. för Mear.
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
Vol. Your knee, firrah.
Vol. Even he, your wife, this lady, and my self,
Cor. I beseech you, peace:
Vol. Oh, no more; no more :
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
Virg. Ay, and mine too,
Boy. He shall not tread on me :
Cor. Not of a woman's tenderness to be,
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