ページの画像
PDF
ePub

Which will not prove a whip; as many coxcombs,
As you threw caps up, will he tumble down,
And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter;
If he could burn us all into one coal,
We have desery'd it.

Cit. 'Faith, we hear fearful news.
| Cit.

For mine own part, When I said, banish him, I said, 'twas pity.

2 Cit. And so did I.

3 Cit. And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did very many of us: That we did, we did for the best: and though we willingly consented to his banishment, yet it was against our will. Com. You are goodly things, you voices! Men.

You have made Good work, you and your cry!2—Shall us to the Capitol?

Com. O, ay; what else? [Exeunt Com. and Men. Sic. Go, masters, get you home, be not dismay'd; These are a side, that would be glad to have This true, which they so seem to fear. Go home, And show no sign of fear.

1 Cit. The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let's home. I ever said, we were i’ the wrong, when we banished him. 2 Cit. So did we all. But come, let 's home.

[Exeunt Citizens. Bru. I do not like this news. Sic. Nor I.

Bru. Let's to the Capitol:-'Would, half my wealth Would buy this for a lie! Sic.

Pray, let us go [Excunt.

[ocr errors]

SCENE VII.

A Camp; at a small distance from Rome.

Enter AUFIDIUS, and his Lieutenant. Auf. Do they still fly to the Roman?

you and your cry!) Alluding to a pack of hounds. So, in Hamlet, a company of players are contemptuously called a cry of players. See p. 120, n. 1.

This phrase was not antiquated in the time of Milton, who has it in his Paradise Lost, B II:

“ A cry of hell-lounds never ceasing bark’d.” Steevens.

Lieu. I do not know what witchcraft 's in him; but
Your soldiers use him as the grace 'fore meat,
Their talk at table, and their thanks at end;
And you are darken’d in this action, sir,
Even by'your own.
Auf.

I cannot help it now;
Unless, by using means, I lame the foot
Of our design. He bears himself more proudlier3
Even to my person, than I thought he would,
When first I did embrace him: Yet his nature
In that 's no changeling; and I must excuse
What cannot be amended.
Lieu.

Yet I wish, sir,
(I mean, for your particular,) you had not
Join'd in commission with him: but either
Had bornet the action of yourself, or else
To him had left it solely.

Auf. I understand thee well; and be thou sure,
When he shall come to his account, he knows not
What I can urge against him. Although it seems,
And so he thinks, and is no less apparent
To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly,
And shows good husbandry for the Volcian state;
Fights dragon-like, and does achieve as soon
As draw his sword : yet he hath left undone
That, which shall break his neck, or hazard mine,
Whene'er we come to our account.

Lieu. Sir, I beseech you, think you he 'll carry Rome?

Auf. All places yield to him ere he sits down;
And the nobility of Rome are his:
The senators, and patricians, love him too:
The tribunes are no soldiers; and their people
Will be as rash in the repeal, as hasty
To expel him thence. I think, he 'll be to Rome,

3

more proudlier ] We have already had in this playmore worthier, as in Timon of Athens, Act IV, sc.i, we have more kinder ; yet the modern editors read here—more proudly. Malone.

4 Had borne -] The old copy reads-have borne ; which cannot be right. For the emendation now made I am answerable.

Malone, I suppose the word had, or have, to be alike superfluous, and that the passage should be thus regulated :

but either borne
The action of yourself, or else to him
Had left it solely. Steevens.

As is the ospreys to the fish, who takes it
By sovereignty of nature. First he was
A noble servant to them; but he could not
Carry his honours even: whether 'twas pride,
Which out of daily fortune ever taints
The happy man; whether“ defect of judgment,
To fail in the disposing of those chances
Which he was lord of; or whether nature,
Not to be other than one thing, not moving
From the casque to the cushion, but commanding peace
Even with the same austerity and garb
As he controll'd the war; but, one of these,
(As he hath spices of them all, not all,?

5 As is the osprey-) Osprey, a kind of eagle, ossifraga. Pope.

We find in Michael Drayton's Polyolbion, Song xxv, a full account of the osprey, which shows the justness and beauty of the simile :

“ The osprey, oft here scen, though seldom here it breeds, “ Which over them the fish no sooner doth espy,

But, betwixt him and them by an antipathy, Turning their beilies up, as though their death they saw, “ They at his pleasure lie, to stuff liis gluttonous maw.”

Langtor. So, in The Battle of Alcazar, 1594:

“ I will provide thee with a princely osprey,
“ That as she trieth over fish in pools,
“ The fish shall turn their glittring bellies up,

And thou shalt take thy liberal choice of all.” Such is the fabulous history of the osprey. I learn, however, from Mr. Lambe's notes to the ancient metrical legend of The Battle of Floddon, that the osprey is a “rare, large, blackish bawk, with à long neck, and blue legs. Its prey is fish, and it is sometimes seen hovering over the Tweed.” Steevens.

The osprey is a different bird from the sea eagle, to which the above quotations allude, but its prey is the same. See Pennant's British Zoology, 46, Linn. Syst. Nat. 129. Harris.

- whether 'twas pride,
Which out of daily fortune ever taints

The happy man; whether &c.] Aufidius assigns three probable reasons of the miscarriage of Coriolanus; pride, which easi. ly follows an uninterrupted train of success; unskilfulness to regulate the consequences of his own victories; a stubborn uni. formity of nature, which could not make the proper transition from the casque or helmet to the cushion or chair of civil authority; but acted with the same despotism in peace as in war. Johnson.

7 As he hath spices of them all, not all,] i. e. not all complete, not all in their full extent. Malone.

6

For I dare so far free him,) made him fear’d,
So hated, and so banish’d: But he has a merit,
To choke it in the utterance. So our virtues
Lie in the interpretation of the time:
And power, unto itself most commendable,
Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair
To extol what it hath done.9
One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail;
Rights by rights fouler, strengths by strengths do fail.

8

So, in The Winter's Tale:

for all “ Thy by-gone fooleries were but spices of it.” Steevens.

he has a merit, To choke it in the utterance,] He has a merit, for no other pur. pose than to destroy it by boasting it. Fohnson. 9 And power, unto itself most commendable, Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair

To extol what it hath done. ] This is a common thought, but miserably ill expressed. The sense is, the virtue which delights to commend itself, will find the surest tomb in that chair wherein it holds forth its own commendations :

-unto itself most commendable." i. e. which hath a very high opinion of itself. Warburton.

If our author meant to place Coriolanus in this chair, he must have forgot his character, for, as Mr. M. Mason has justly observ. ed, he has already been described as one who was so far from, being a boaster, that he could not endure to hear “his nothings monster'd.” But I rather believe, " in the utterance” alludes not to Coriolanus himself, but to the high encomiums pronounced on him by his friends; and then the lines of Horace, quoted in p. 147, may serve as a comment on the passage before us.

A passage in Troilus and Cressida, however, may be urged in support of Dr. Warburton's interpretation :

“ The worthiness of praise distains his worth,

“ If that the prais’d himself bring the praise forth." Yet I still think that our poet did not inean to represent Coriolanus as his own eulogist. Malone.

A sentiment of a similar nature is expressed by Adam, in the second scene of the second Act of As you Like it, where he says to Orlando:

“ Your praise is come too swiftly home before you,
“ Know you not, master, to some kind of men
“ Their graces serve them but as enemies ?
“ No more do yours; your virtues, gentle master,

“ Are sanctified and holy traitors to you.” M. Mason. The passage before us, and the comments upon it are, to me at least, equally unintelligible. Steevens.

1 Rights by rights fouler,] Thus the old copy. Modern editors,

Come, let 's away. When, Caius, Rome is thine,
Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine.

[Exeunt.

ACT V..... SCENE I.

Rome. A publick Place.
Enter MENENIUS, COMINIUS, SICINIUS, BRUTUS,

and Others.
Men. No, I 'll not go: you hear, what he hath said,
Which was sometime his general; who lov'd him
In a most dear particular. He call'd me, father:

with less obscurity--Right's by right fouler, &c.i. e. What is already right, and is received as such, becomes less clear when supported by supernumerary proois. Such appears to me to be the meaning of this passage, which may be applied with too *much justice to many of my own comments on Shakspeare.

Dr. Warburton would read--foule!, from fouler, Fr. to trample under foot. There is undoubtedly such a word in Sidney's Arcadia, edit. 1633, p. 441 ; but it is not easily applicable to our present subject:

“Thy'all-beholding eye foul'd with the sight." The s me word likewise occurs in the following proverb York doth foul Sutton-i. e. exceeds it on comparison, and makes it appear mean and poor. Steevens.

Rights by right fouler, may well mean, " That one right or title, when produced, makes another less fiir.” All the short sentences in this speech of Aufidius are obscure, and some of them nonsensical. M. Mason.

I am of Dr. Warburton's opinion that this is nonsense ; and would read, with the slightest possible variation from the old copies:

Rights by rights foul are, strengths &c. Ritson. Rights by rights fouler, &c.] These words, which are exhibitod exactly as they appear in the old copy,' relate, I apprehend, to the rivalship subsisting between Aufidius and Coriolanus, not to the "preceiling observation concerning the ill effect of extravagant encomi. ums. As one nail, says Aufidius, drives out another, so the strength of Coriolanus shall be subdued by my strength, and his pretensions yield to others, less fair perhaps, but more powerful. Aufidius has already declared that he will either break the neck of Coriola, nus, or his own; and now adds, that jure vel injuria he will de

I suspect that the words, “ Come let's away,"originally com. pleted the preceding hemistich, “ To extol what it hath done;"> and that Shakspeare in the course of composition, regardless of his original train of thought, afterwards moved the words

- Come

stroy him.

« 前へ次へ »