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I have receiv'd much honour by your presence,
And ye shall find me thankful. Lead the way, lords ;
Ye must all see the queen, and she must thank ye,
She will be sick else. This day, no man think
He has business at his house ; for all shall stay,
This little one shall make it holiday, [Exeunt.

EPILOGUE.
'TIS ten to one, this play can never please
All that are here : Some come to take their ease,
And sleep an act or two ; but those, we fear,
We have frighted with our trumpets ; so, 'tis clear,
They'll say, 'tis naught: Others, to hear the city
Abus'd extremely, and to cry,—That's witty !
Which we have not done neither : that, I fear,
All the expected good we are like to hear
For this play at this time, is only in
The merciful construction of good women ;
For such a one we show'd them ;4 If they smile,
And say, 't will do, I know, within a while
All the best men are ours ; for 'tis ill hap,
If they hold, when their ladies bid them clap.5

[4] Though it is very difficult to decide whether short pieces be genuine or spurious, yet I cannot restrain myself from expressing my suspicia that neither the prologue nor epilogue to this play is the work of Shakspeare; non vultus, non color. It appears to me very lik ly that they were supplied by the friendship or officiousness of Jonson, whose inanner they will be found exactly to resemble. There is yet another supposition possible : the proJogue and epilogue may have been written after Sbakspeare's departure from the stage, upon some accidental revival of the play, and thert will then be reason for imagining that the writer, whoever he was, intended no great kindness to him, this play being recommended by a subtle and covert censure of his other works. There is, in Shakspeare, so much of fool and fight ;

the fellow,

“In a long motley coat, guarded with yellow,” appears so often in his drama, that I think it not very likely that he would have animadverted so severely on himself. All this, however, must be received as very dubious, since we know not the exact date of this or the other *plays, and cannot tell how our author might have changed his practice or opinions. JOHNS.

(5] The historical dramas are now concluded, of which the two parts of Henry IV. and Henry V. are among the happiest of our author's composi. tions; and King John, Richard the Third, and Henry VIII deservedly srand in the second class. Those whose curiosity would refer the historical scenes to their original, may consult Holinshed, and sometimes Hall: from Holin. shed Shakspeare has often inserted whole speeches, with no more alteration than was necessary to the numbers of his verse. To transcribe them into the margin was unnecessary, because the original is easily examined, and they are seldom less perspicuous in the poet than in the historian. To play histories, or to exhibit a succession of events by action and dialogue, was a common entertainment among our rude ancestors upon griat festiviries. The parish clerks once performed at Clerkenwel a play which lasted three days, containing The History of the World. JOHNS.

CORIOLANUS.

9 VOL, VI.

OBSERVATIONS.

THE tragedy of Coriolanus is one of the most amusing of our author's performances. The old man's merriment in Menenius ; the lofty lady's dignity in Volumnia ; the bridal modesty in Virgilia ; the patrician and military haughtiness in Coriolanus ; the plebeian malignity and tribunitian insolence in Brutus and Sicinius, make a very pleasing and interesting variety; and the various revolutions of the hero's fortune fill the mind with anxious curiosity. There is, perhaps, too much bustle in the first act, and too little in the last. JOHNSON

The whole history is exactly followed, and many of the prin. cipal speeches exactly copied from the life of Coriolanus in Plutarch. Pope.

Of this play, there is no edition before that of the players, in folio, in 1623. JOHNSON.

This play I conjecture to have been written in the year 1609. It comprehends a period of about four years, commencing with the secession to the Mons Sacer in the year of Rome 262, and ending with the death of Coriolanus, A.U.C. 266. MALONE.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

Caius MARCIUS CORIOLANUS, a noble Roman.

Corus LuARTIUS, } generals against the Volscians.

}tribunes of the people.

COMINIUS,
MENENIUS AGRIPPA, friend to Coriolanus.
SICINIUS VELUTUS,
JUNIUS BRUTUS,
Young MARCIUS, son to Coriolanus.
A Roman herald.
TULLUS AUFIDIUS, general of the Volscianę.
Lieutenant to Aufidius.
Conspirators with Aufidius.
A Citizen of Antium.
Two Volscian Guards.

VOLUMNIA, mother to Coriolanus.
VIRGILIA, wife to Coriolanus.
VALERIA, friend to Virgilia.
Gentlewoman, attending Virgilia.

Roman and Volscian Senators, Patricians, Ædiles,

Lictors, Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, Servants to
Aufidius, and other Attendants.

SCENE, partly in Rome ; and partly in the Territo

ries of the Volscians and Anțiates.

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