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Wherein I seem unnatural : Desire not
To allay my rages and revenges, with
Your colder reasons.

O, no more, no more!
You have said, you will not grant us any thing;
For we have nothing else to ask, but that
Which you deny already : Yet we will ask;
That, if you fail in our request', the blame
May hang upon your hardness: therefore hear us.

Cor. Aufidius, and you Volces, mark; for we'll Hear nought from Rome in private.-Your request ? Vol. Should we be silent and not speak, our rai


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That, if you FAIL in our request,] That is, if you fail to grant us our request ; if you are found failing or deficient in love to your country, and affection to your friends, when our request shall have been made to you, the blame, &c. Mr. Pope, who altered every phrase that was not conformable to modern phraseology, changed you to we; and his alteration has been adopted in all the subsequent editions. MALONE.

2 Should we be silent and not speak, our raiment, &c.] speeches copied from Plutarch in Coriolanus, may (says Mr. Pope) be as well made an instance of the learning of Shakspeare, as those copied from Cicero, in Catiline, of Ben Jonson's." Let us inquire into this matter, and transcribe a speech for a specimen. Take the famous one of Volumnia ; for our author has done little more, than throw the very words of North into blank verse.

“ If we helde our peace (my sonne) and determined not to speake, the state of our poore bodies, and present sight of our rayment, would easely bewray to thee what life we haue led at home, since thy exile and abode abroad. But thinke now with thy selfe, howe much more unfortunately than all the women liuinge we are come hether, considering that the sight which should be most pleasaunt to all other to beholde, spitefull fortune hath made most fearfull to us : making my selfe to see my sonne, and my daughter here, her husband, besieging the walles of his natiue countrie. So as that which is the only comfort to all other in their adversitie and miserie, to pray unto the goddes, and to call to them for aide, is the onely thinge which plongeth us into most deep perplexitie. For we cannot (alas) together pray, both for victorie, for our countrie, and for safety of thy life also : but a worlde of grievous curses, yea more than any mortall enemie can heape uppon us, are forcibly wrapt up in our prayers. For the

And state of bodies would bewray what life
We have led since thy exíle. Think with thyself,
How more unfortunate than all living women
Are we come hither : since that thy sight, which

should Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with

comforts, Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and

sorrow; Making the mother, wife, and child, to see 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 are bound ; together with thy victory, Whereto we are bound? Alack ! or we must lose The country, our dear nurse ; or else thy person, Our comfort in the country. We must find An evident calamity, though we had Our wish, which side should win : for either thou Must, as a foreign recreant, be led With manacles through our streets, or else Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin; And bear the palm, for having bravely shed

bitter soppe of most hard choyce is offered thy wife and children, to forgoe the one of the two: either to lose the persone of thy selfe, or the nurse of their natiue countrie. For my selfe (my sonne) I am determined not to tarrie, till fortune in my life doe make an ende of this warre. For if I cannot persuade thee, rather to doe good unto both parties, then to ouerthrowe and destroye the one, preferring loue and nature before the malice and calamite of warres ; thou shalt see, my sonne, and trust unto it, thou shalt no soner marche forward to assault thy countrie, but thy foote shall tread upon thy mother's wombe, that brought thee first into this world.” FARMER.

3 Constrains them weep, and shake -] That is, constrnins the eye to weep, and the heart to shake. Johnson.

Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, son,
I purpose not to wait on fortune, till
These wars determine* : if I cannot persuade thee
Rather to show a noble grace to both parts,
Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner
March to assault thy country, than to tread
(Trust to't, thou shalt not,) on thy mother's womb,
That brought thee to this world.

Ay, and mine“,
That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name
Living to time.

He shall not tread on me;
I'll run away till I am bigger, but then I'll fight.

Cor. Not of a woman's tenderness to be,
Requires nor child nor woman's face to see.
I have sat too long.

[Rising VOL.

Nay, go not from us thus. If it were so, that our request did tend To save the Romans, thereby to destroy The Volces whom you serve, you might condemn

us, As poisonous of your honour : No; our suit Is, that you reconcile them: while the Volces May say, This mercy we have show'd; the Romans, This we receiv'd; and each in either side Give the all-hail to thee, and cry, Be bless'd For making up this peace! Thou knows't, great

son, The end of war's uncertain; but this certain, That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit

4 These wars DETERMINE:] i: e. conclude, end. So, in King Henry IV. Part II. : “ Till thy friend sickness have determin'd me.”

STEEVENS. and on mine,] On was supplied by some former editor, [Mr. Capell] to complete the measure. STEEVENS.

Unnecessarily, if world, according to Mr. Tyrwhitt's canon, is used as a dissyllable. See vol. iv. p. 31, and på 137. BosWELL.

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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,
But with his last attempt he wip'd it out ;
Destroy'd his country; and his name remains
To the ensuing age, abhorr’d. Speak to me, son :
Thou hast affected the fine strains of honour,
To imitate the graces of the gods ;
To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o the air,
And yet to charge thy sulphur- with a bolt
That should but rive an oak. Why dost not speak ?
Think'st thou it honourable for a noble man
Still to remember wrongs ?-Daughter, speak you:
He cares not for your weeping:-Speak thou, boy:
Perhaps, thy childishness will move him more
Than can our reasons.—There is no man in the

world More bound to his mother; yet here he lets me

prate Like one i' the stocks 8. Thou hast never in thy

life Show'd thy dear mother any courtesy ; When she, (poor hen !) fond of no second brood, Has cluck'd thee to the wars, and safely home,


6 - the fine strains -] The niceties, the refinements.

Johnson. The old copy has five. The correction was made by Dr. John

I should not have mentioned such a manifest error of the press, but that it justifies a correction that I have made in Romeo and Juliet; another in Timon of Athens; and a third that has been made in A Midsummer-Night's Dream. See vol. v. p. 294, n. 9. See also vol. vii. p. 176, n. 3. Malone. 7 And yet to CHARGE thy sulphur-] The old copy

has change. The correction is Dr. Warburton's. In The Taming of The Shrew, Act III. Sc. I. charge is printed instead of change. Malone.

The meaning of the passage is, To threaten much, and yet be merciful.

WARBURTON. 8 Like one i' the stocks.] Keep me in a state of ignominy talking to no purpose.


Loaden with honour. Say, my request's unjust,
And spurn me back : But, if it be not so,
Thou art not honest; and the gods will plague thee,
That thou restrain'st from me the duty, which
To a mother's part belongs.-He turns away:
Down, ladies ; let us shame him with our knees.
To his surname Coriolanus 'longs more pride,
Than pity to our prayers. Down ; An end :
This is the last ;-So we will home to Rome,
And die among our neighbours.-Nay, behold us :
This boy, that cannot tell what he would have,
But kneels, and holds up hands, for fellowship,
Does reason our petition with more strength
Than thou hast to deny't.-Come, let us go :
This fellow had a Volcian to his mother ;
His wife is in Corioli, and his child
Like him by chance :-Yet give us our despatch:
I am hush'd until our city be afire,
And then I'll speak a little.

O mother, mother'!
[Holding Volumniby the Hands, silent.
What have you done ? Behold, the heavens do ope,
The gods look down, and this unnatural scene
They laugh at. O my mother, mother! O!
You have won a happy victory to Rome:
But, for your son,-believe it, O, believe it,
Most dangerously you have with him prevail'd,
If not most mortal to him. But, let it come:
Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius,

9 Does reason our petition--] Does argue for us and our petition. JOHNSON.

1 O mother, mother!] So in the old translation of Plutarch: “Oh mother, what have you done to me? And holding her harde by the right hande, oh mother, sayed he, you have wonne a happy victorie for your countrie, but mortall and unhappy for your sonne: for I see myself vanquished by you alone."


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