Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock,
That the precipitation might down stretch
Below the beam of sight, yet will I still
Be thus to them.

Enter VoLUMNIA.

1 PAT.

You do the nobler. Cor. I muse, my mother Does not approve me further, who was wont To call them woollen vassals, things created To buy and sell with groats ; to show bare heads In congregations, to yawn, be still, and wonder, When one but of my ordinance stood up To speak of peace, or war.

I talk of

you;

[TO VOLUMNIA. Why did you wish me milder ? Would you have me

never inflicted from the beginning to the end of the Republick, except in this single instance:

“ Exinde, duabus admotis quadrigis, in currus earum distentum inligat Mettum. Deinde in diversum iter equi concitati, lacerum in utroque curru corpus, quâ inhæserant vinculis membra, portantes. Avertêre omnes a tantâ fæditate spectaculi oculos. Primum ultimumque illud supplicium apud Romanos exempli parum memoris legum humanarum fuit: in aliis, gloriari licet nulli gentium mitiores placuisse pænas." Liv. Lib. I. xxviii.

MALONE. Shakspeare might have found mention of this punishment in our ancient romances. Thus, in The Sowdon of Babyloyne,

Thou venemouse serpente
“ With wilde horses thou shalt be drawe to morowe

" And on this hille be brente.” STEEVENS.
* I muse, ] That is, I wonder, I am at a loss. JOHNSON.
So, in Macbeth:
“ Do not muse at me, my most noble friends."

STEEVENS. 'my ordinance-] My rank. JOHNSON.

p. 55:

5

?

False to my nature? Rather say, I play
The man I am. 6
VOL.

O, sir, sir, sir,
I would have had you put your power well on,
Before you had worn it out.
COR.

Let go."
Voz. You might have been enough the man

you are,
With striving less to be so: Lesser had been''
The thwartings of your dispositions, 8 if
You had not show'd them how you were dispos'd
Ere they lack'd power to cross you.
Cor.

Let'them hang. Vol. Ay, and burn too.

* The man I am.]. Sir Thomas Hanmer supplies the defect in this line, very judiciously in my opinion, by reading :

Truly the man I am. Truely is properly opposed to Palse in the preceding line,

STEEVENS. * Let go.] Here again, Sir Thomas Hanmer, with sufficient propriety, reads-Why, let it go.—Mr. Ritson would complete the measure with a similar expression, which occurs in Othello: - Let it

go
all._Too

many of the short replies in this and other plays of Shakspeare, are apparently mutilated.

STEEVENS. * The thwartings of your dispositions,] The old copies exhibit it:

“ The things of your dispositions.". A few letters replaced, that by some carelessness dropped out, restore us the poet's genuine reading :

The thwartings of your dispositions. THEOBALD. Mr. Theobald only improved on Mr. Rowe's correction :

The things that thwart your dispositions. MALONE.

Enter MENENIUS, and Senators. MEN. Come, come, you have been too rough,

something too rough ; You must return, and mend it. 1. SEN.

There's no remedy; Unless, by not so doing, our good city Cleave in the midst, and perish. VOL.

Pray be counsel'd: I have a heart as little apt as yours, But yet a brain, that leads my use of anger, To better vantage. MEN.

Well said, noble woman:
Before he should thus stoop to the herd, but that
The violent fit o’the time craves it as physick
For the whole state, I would put mine armour on,
Which I can scarcely bear.

Cor. What must I do?
MEN.

Return to the tribunes. COR,

Well, What then? what then? MEN.

Repent what

you

have spoke. 9 Before he should thus stoop to the herd,] (Old copy-stoop to the heart.] But how did Coriolanus stoop to his heart? He rather, as we vulgarly express it, made his proud heart stoop to the necessity of the times. I am persuaded, my emendation gives the true reading. So before in this play: Are these

your

herd ?" So, in Julius Cæsar: “ --when he perceived, the common herd was glad he refus’d the crown,” &c. - THEOBALD.

Mr. Theobald's conjecture is confirmed by a passage, in which Coriolanus thus describes the people:

“ You shames of Rome! you herd ofHerd was anciently spelt heard. Hence heart crept into the old copy. Malone.

[ocr errors]

Cor. For them ?-I cannot do it to the gods;
Must I then do't to them?
VOL.

You are too absolute;
Though therein you can never be too noble,
But when extremities speak. I have heard you say,
Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends,
l'the war do grow together : Grant that, and tell

me,
In peace, what each of them by th other lose,
That they combine not there.
COR.

Tush, tush!
MEN.

A good demand. Vol. If it be honour, in your wars, to seem The same you are not, (which, for your best ends, You adopt your policy,) how is it less, or worse, That it shall hold companionship in peace With honour, as in war; since that to both It stands in like request? COR.

Why force you? this? Vol. Because that now it lies you on to speak To the people; not by your own instruction, Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you

to,

3

[ocr errors]

" You are too absolute ;

Though therein you can never be too noble,

But when extremities speak.] Except in cases of urgent ne. cessity, when your resolute and noble spirit, however commend able at other times, ought to yield to the occasion. MALONE.

Why force you-] Why urge you. Johnson. So, in King Henry VIII:

If you will now unite in your complaints,

“ And force them with a constancy–," MALONE. * Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you to,] [Old copy--prompts you.] Perhaps the meaning is, which your heart prompts you to. We have many such elliptical expressions in VOL. XVI.

L

But with such words that are but roted in
Your tongue, though but bastards, and syllables
Of no allowance, to your bosom's truth.
Now, this no more dishonours you at all,
these plays. See Vol. XV. p. 196, n. 4. So, in Julius
Cæsar :

“ Thy honourable metal may be wrought

“ From what it is dispos'd (to].” But I rather believe, that our author has adopted the language of the theatre, and that the meaning is, which your heart suggests to you; which your heart furnishes you with, as a prompter furnishes the player with the words that have escaped his memory. So afterwards : « Come, come, we'll prompt you.The editor of the second folio, who was entirely unacquainted with our author's peculiarities, reads—prompts you to, and so all the subsequent copies read. MALONE.

I am content to follow the second folio; though perhaps we ought to read :

Nor by the matter which your heart prompts in you. So, in A Sermon preached at St. Paul's Crosse, &c. 1589:

for often meditatyon prompteth in us goode thoughtes, begettyng theron goode workes," &c. Without some additional syllable the verse is defective.

STEEVENS. bastards, and syllables Of no allowance, to your bosóm's truth.] I read: “ of no alliance;" therefore bastards. Yet allowance may

well enough stand, as meaning legal right, established rank, or settled authority. JOHNSON. Allowance is certainly right. So, in Othello, Act II. sc. i:

very expert and approv'd allowance." Dr. Johnson's amendment, however, is countenanced by an expression in The Taming of the Shrew, where Petruchio's stirrups are said to be “ of no kindred.STEEVENS.

I at first was pleased with Dr. Johnson's proposed emendation, because “ of no allowance, i. e. approbation, to your bosom's truth," appeared to me unintelligible. But allowance has no connection with the subsequent words, "to your bosom's truth." The construction is--though but bastards to your bosom's truth, not the lawful issue of your heart. The words, “ and syllables of no allowance,” are put in apposition with bastards, and are as it were parenthetical. MALONE.

his pilot

66 Of

« AnteriorContinuar »