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mind which would have rendered his valour of im. portance.
Volumnia, indeed, by these words, “thy valiantness was mine, thou suck’dst it from me; but owe thy pride thyself,” disclaims her sex's prevailing folly; but her son has just before told her, that he imbibed his contempt for the plebeian race from her ; of course, it was she who engrafted that stem of haughtiness which sprouted to his ruin; his manly disposition not temporizing, like hers, to make it pliant by deceit.
With all their faults, this mother and son produce scenes the most affecting, because the most natural, that were ever, perhaps, written, for persons of their elevated rank in life. Here, in the part of Coriolanus, human nature, in the likeness of a stubborn schoolboy, as well as of the obstinate general of an army, is so exquisitely delineated, that every mental trait of the one can be discerned in the propensities of the other, so as forcibly to call to the recollection, that children are the originals of men.
Volumnia, too, with all her seeming heroism, so dazzling to common eyes, is woman to the very heart, One whose understanding is by no means ordinary; but which extends no further than the customary point of woman's sense to do mischief. She taught her son to love glory, but to hate his neighbours; and thus inade his skill in arms a scourge to his own country. But, happily, her feminine spirit did not stop here; for, terrified at the peril which threatened Rome from the hand of this darling son, she averted
the frightful danger of a city in flames, by the careless sacrifice of his life to the enemy.
All these inconsistencies in Volumnia do not, however, make that great woman less admired or beloved. The frailties of her and her son constitute the pathetic parts of this tragedy, which are wonderfully moving. These
personages talk so well, and at times act so well, that their pitiable follies, couched beneath such splendid words and deeds, raise a peculiar sympathy in the heart of frail man; who, whilst he beholds this sorrowful picture of human weakness, discerns along with it his own likeness, and obtains an instructive lesson.
This noble drama, in which Mr. Kemble reaches the utmost summit of the actor's art, has been withdrawn from the theatre of late years, for some reasons of state. When the lower order of people are in good plight, they will bear contempt with cheerfulness, and even with mirth ; but poverty puts them out of humour at the slightest disrespect. Certain sentences in this play are therefore of dangerous ten, dency at certain times, though at other periods they are welcomed with loud applause.
As “ Coriolanus” is now once more brought upon the stage, and the voice of the public has hailed its return ; this circumstance may be received as a joyful evidence--that the multitude at present are content in their various stations; and can therefore, in this little dramatic history, amuse themselves with beholding, free from anger and resentment, that vainlory, which presumes to despise them.
CAIUS MARCIUS CORIOLANUS
Mr. Fairbrother. -Mr. L. Bologna.
TULLUS AUFIDIUS VOLUSIUS
VOLUMNIA VIRGILIA Valeria SERVILIA
Mrs. Siddons. Miss Brunton. Mrs. Humphries. Miss Logan.
SENATORS, PRIESTS, MATRONS, VIRGINS, GENE
RALS, OFFICERS, Lictors, Soldiers, and CITIZENS.
SCENE-Rome, and the Territories of the Volsciars.
ACT THE FIRST.
A Street in Rome.
A tumultuous Noise without.
Enter a Company of mutinous CITIZENS. 1 Cit. Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.
AU. Speak, speak.
i Cit. You are all resolved rather to die than to famish?
All. Resolved, resolved.
i Cit. First, you know, Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the people.
All. We know't, we know't.
i Cit. Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at our own price. Is't a verdict ?
Aů. Let it be done; away, away!
2 Cit. One word, good citizens. Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius ?
1 Cit. Against him first: he's a very dog to the commonalty.
2 Cit. Consider you that services he has done for his country?
i Cit. Very well;-and could be content to give him good report for’t, but what he pays himself with being proud.
2 Cit. Nay, but speak not maliciously.
what he hath done famously, he did it to please his mother, and to be partly proud ; which he is, even to the altitude of his virtue.
2 Cit. What he cannot help in his nature, you account a vice in him : you must in no way say, he is covetous.
1 Cit. If I must not, I need not be barren of accu. sations; he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition. [Shouts without.) What shouts are these ? the other side o'the city is risen! why stay we prating here? to the capitol. All. Come, come.
Enter CAIUS MARCIUS and MeNENIUS.
Mar. What is the matter, you
dissentious į Cit. We have ever your good word. Alar. He, that will give good words to you, will
flatter Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you
curs, That like not peace, nor war? The one afrights you, The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you, Where he should find you lions, finds you hares ; Where foxes, geese. Hang ye~ trust ye! With every minute you do change a mind, And call him noble, that was now your hate, Him vile, that was your garland. What's the matter, That in the several places of these city, You cry against the noble senate, who, Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else