Page images

VOL. True? pow, wow.

MEN. True? I'll be sworn they are true:-Where is he wounded?-God save your good worships! [To the Tribunes, who come forward.] Marcius is coming home: he has more cause to be proud.Where is he wounded?

VOL. I' the shoulder, and i' the left arm: There will be large cicatrices to show the people, when he shall stand for his place. He received in the repulse of Tarquin, seven hurts i' the body.

MEN. One in the neck, and two in the thigh,there's nine that I know 9.

VOL. He had, before this last expedition, twentyfive wounds upon him.

MEN. Now it's twenty-seven: every gash was an enemy's grave: [A Shout and Flourish.] Hark! the trumpets.

VOL. These are the ushers of Marcius: before him He carries noise, and behind him he leaves tears; Death, that dark spirit, in's nervy arm doth lie; Which being advanc'd, declines1; and then men



seven hurts, &c.] Old copy-" seven hurts i' the body." Men. "One i'the neck, and two i' the thigh;-there's nine that I know. Seven,-one,—and two, and these make but nine? Surely we may safely assist Menenius in his arithmetick. This is a stupid blunder; but wherever we can account by a probable reason for the cause of it, that directs the emendation. Here it was easy for a negligent transcriber to omit the second one, as a needless repetition of the first, and to make a numeral word of too. WARBURTON.

The old man, agreeable to his character, is minutely particular: 'Seven wounds? let me see; one in the neck, two in the thigh -Nay, I am sure there are more, there are nine that I know of.' UPTON.

I Which being advanc'd declines ;] Volumnia, in he boasting strain, says, that her son to kill his enemy, has nothing to do but to lift his hand up and let it fall. JOHNSON.

[blocks in formation]

A Sennet. Trumpets sound. Enter COMINIUS and TITUS LARTIUS; between them, CORIOLanus, crowned with an oaken Garland; with Captains, Soldiers, and a Herald.

HER. Know, Rome, that all alone Marcius did fight

Within Corioli's gates: where he hath won,
With fame, a name to Caius Marcius; these
In honour follows, Coriolanus 2 :—

Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus!

[Flourish. ALL. Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus ! COR. No more of this, it does offend my heart; Pray now, no more.



You have, I know, petition'd all the gods

For my prosperity.

[blocks in formation]


Nay, my good soldier, up;


My gentle Marcius, worthy Caius, and

By deed-achieving honour newly nam'd,
What is it? Coriolanus, must I call thee?
But O, thy wife-



My gracious silence, hail 3 !


Coriolanus:] The old copy-Martius Caius Coriolanus.

The compositor, it is highly probable, caught the words Martius Caius from the preceding line, where also in the old copy the original names of Coriolanus are accidentally transposed. The correction in the former line was made by Mr. Rowe; in the latter by Mr. Steevens. MALONE.

3 My gracious silence, hail!] The epithet to silence shows it not to proceed from reserve or sullenness, but to be the effect of a virtuous mind possessing itself in peace. The expression is extremely sublime; and the sense of it conveys the finest praise that can be given to a good woman. WARBURTON.

Would'st thou have laugh'd, had I come coffin'd


That weep'st to see me triumph? Ah, my dear,
Such eyes the widows in Corioli wear,

.And mothers that lack sons.

Now the gods crown thee!
COR. And live you yet?-O my sweet lady, par-


[TO VALERIA. VOL. I know not where to turn:-O welcome


And welcome, general;-And you are welcome all. MEN. A hundred thousand welcomes: I could




By my gracious silence," I believe the poet meant, whose silent tears are more eloquent and grateful to me, than the clamorous applause of the rest! So, Crashaw:

"Sententious show'rs! O! let them fall!

"Their cadence is rhetorical."

Again, in Love's Cure, or the Martial Maid of Beaumont and Fletcher :

"A lady's tears are silent orators,

"Or should be so at least, to move beyond
"The honey-tongued rhetorician."

Again, in Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond, 1599:
"Ah beauty, syren, fair enchanting good!

"Sweet silent rhetorick of persuading eyes!

Dumb eloquence, whose power doth move the blood, "More than the words, or wisdom of the wise!"

Again, in Every Man out of his Humour:

"You shall see sweet silent rhetorick, and dumb eloquence speaking in her eye." STEEVENS.

I believe, "My gracious silence," only means 'My beauteous silence,' or 'my silent Grace.' Gracious seems to have had the same meaning formerly that graceful has at this day. So, in The Merchant of Venice:

"But being season'd with a gracious voice."

Again, in King John:

"There was not such a gracious creature born."


Again, in Marston's Malcontent, 1604: ." he is the most exquisite in forging of veines, spright'ning of eyes, dying of haire, sleeking of skinnes, blushing of cheekes, &c. that ever made an old lady gracious by torchlight." MALONE.

And I could laugh; I am light, and heavy: Wel


A curse begin at very root of his heart,

That is not glad to see thee !-You are three,
That Rome should dote on: yet, by the faith of


We have some old crab-trees here at home, that will not

Be grafted to your relish. Yet welcome, warriors: We call a nettle, but a nettle; and

The faults of fools, but folly.


COR. Menenius, ever, ever *.

Ever right.

HER. Give way there, and go on.


Your hand, and yours:

[To his Wife and Mother.

Ere in our own house I do shade my head,

The good patricians must be visited;

From whom I have receiv'd not only greetings,


But with them change of honours ".

4 Com. Ever right.

Cor. Menenius, ever, ever.]

Rather, I think :

"Com. Ever right, Menenius.

"Cor. Ever, ever."

Cominius means to say, that- Menenius is always the same; -retains his old humour.'

So, in Julius Cæsar, Act V. Sc. I. upon a speech from Cassius, Antony only says-Old Cassius. still.' TYRWHITT.

By these words, as they stand in the old copy, I believe Coriolanus means to say- Menenius is still the same affectionate friend as formerly.' So, in Julius Cæsar: ". for always I am

Cæsar." MALONE.

5 But with them CHANGE of honours.] So all the editions read, But Mr. Theobald has ventured (as he expresses it) to substitute charge. For change, he thinks, is a very poor expression, and communicates but a very poor idea. He had better have told the plain truth, and confessed that it communicated none at all to him. However it has a very good one in itself; and signifies variety of honours; as change of rayment, among the writers of that time, signified variety of rayment. WARBURTON,


To see inherited my very wishes,

I have lived

And the buildings of my fancy: only there
Is one thing wanting, which I doubt not, but
Our Rome will cast upon thee.


Know, good mother,

I had rather be their servant in my way,
Than sway with them in theirs.


On, to the Capitol. [Flourish. Cornets. Exeunt in state, as before. The Tribunes remain.

BRU. All tongues speak of him, and the bleared sights

Are spectacled to see him: Your pratling nurse
Into a rapture lets her baby cry

Change of raiment is a phrase that occurs not unfrequently in the Old Testament. STEEVENS.

6 Into a RAPTURE] Rapture, a common term at that time used for a fit, simply. So, to be rap'd, signified, to be in a fit. WARBURTON.

If the explanation of Bishop Warburton be allowed, a rapture means a fit; but it does not appear from the note where the word is used in that sense. The right word is in all probability rupture, to which children are liable from excessive fits of crying. The emendation was the property of a very ingenious scholar long before I had any claim to it. S. W.

That a child will "cry itself into fits," is still a common phrase among nurses.

That the words fit and rapture, were once synonymous, may be inferred from the following passage in The Hospital for London's Follies, 1602, where Gossip Luce says: "Your darling will weep itself into a rapture, if you take not good heed.


In Troilus and Cressida, raptures signifies ravings:


her brainsick raptures

"Cannot distaste the goodness of a quarrel."

I have not met with the word rapture in the sense of a fit in any book of our author's age, nor found it in any Dictionary previous to Cole's Latin Dictionary, 1679. He renders the word by the Latin ecstasis, which he interprets a trance. However, the rule" de non apparentibus et de non existentibus eadem est ratio"-certainly does not hold, when applied to the use of words,

« PreviousContinue »