Imagens das páginas

What custom wills in all things, should we do't,
The dust on antique címe would lie unswept,
And mountainous error be too highly heapt,
For truth to o'er-peer.-Rather than fool it so,
Let the high office and the honour go
To one that would do thus.-I am half through;
The one part suffer'd, the other will I do.

Three Citizens more.
Here come more voices.
Your voices for your voices I have fought,
Watch'd for your voices; for your voices, bear
Of wounds two dozen and odd : battles thrice fix
I've seen, and heard of: for your voices, have
Done many things, some less, fome more:--your voices:-
Indeed, I would be conful.

i Cit. He has done nobly, and cannot go without any honest man's voice.

2 Cit. Therefore let him be consul, the gods give him joy, and make him a good friend to the people. All. Amen, Amen. God save thee, noble consul.

[Exeunt. Cor. Worthy voices!

Enter Menenius, with Brutus and Sicinius. Men. You've stood your limitation : and the tribunes Endue you with the people's voice. Remains, That in th' official marks invested, you Anon do meet the Senate.

Cor. Is this done?

Sic. The custom of request you have discharg'd:
The people do admit you, and are summon'd
To meet anon, upon your approbation.

Cor. Where? at the Senate-house ?
Sic. There, Coriolanus.
Cor. May I change these garments ?
Sic. You may, Sir.

Cor. That I'll straight do: and knowing myself again,
Repair to th' Senate-house.
Men. I'll keep you company. Will you along?


Bru. We stay here for the people.

Sic. Fare you well. [Exeunt Coriol. and Men. He has it now, and by his looks, methinks, 'Tis warm at's heart.

Bru. With a proud heart he wore
His humble weeds : will you dismiss the people?

Enter Plebeians.
Sic. How now, my masters, have you chose this man?
i Git. He has our voices, Sir.
Bru. We pray the gods, he may deserve your loves!

2 Cit. Amen, Sir: to my poor unworthy notice, He mock'd us, when he begg's our voices.

3 Cit. Certainly, he fouted us down-right. i Cit. No, 'tis his kind of speech, he did not mock us.

2 Cit. Not one amongst us, save yourself, buc says, He us'd us fcornfully: he should have shew'd us His marks of merit, wounds receiv'd for's country.

Sic. Why, so he did, I am sure.
AllNo, no man saw 'em.

(private ; 3 Cit. He said, he'd wounds, which he could fhew in And with his cap, thus waving it in scorn, I would be conful, says he : aged cuftom, But by your voices, will not so permit me; Your voices therefore: when we granted that, Here was I thank

voices thank

you Your moft sweet voices--now you have left your voices, I have nothing further with you. Wa’n't this mockery?

S.c. Why, either, were you ignorant to see't?
Or seeing it, of such childish friendliness
To yield your voices?

Bru. Could you not have told him,
As you were lesson'd; wben he had no power,
But was a petty servant to the state,
He was your enemy; ftill spake against
Your liberties, and charters that you bear
l'th' boly of the weal: and now arriving
At place of potency, and sway o'th' ftate,
If he should still maligna, tly remain
Fast foe to the plebeians, your voices might


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

you think,

Be curses, to yourselves. You frould have said,
That as his worthy deeds did clain no less
Than what he stood for; fo his gracious nature
Would think upon you for your voices, and
Translate his malice tow'rds you, into love,
Standing your friendly Lord.

Sic. Thus to have laid,
As you were fore-advis’d, had touch'd his fpirit,
And try'd his inclination ; from him pluckt
Either his gracious promise, which you might,
As cause had cali'd you up, have held him to ;
Or else it would have gallid his furly nature ;
Which easily endures not article,
Tying him to ought; so, putting him to rage,
You should have ta’en th' advantage of his choler,
And pass'd him unelected,

Bru. Did you perceive,
He did sollicit you in free contempt,
When he did need your loves ? and do
That his contempt thall not be bruising to you,
When he hath power to crush? why had your bodies
No heart among you ? or had you tongues, to cry
Against the rectorhip of judgment?

Sic. Have you,
Ere now, deny'd the asker? and, now again
On him that did not ask, but: mock, bestow
Your fu’d-for congues ?

Cit. He's not confirm’d, we may deny him yet.
2 Cit. And will deny him :
I'll have five hundred voices of that found.

Cit. I, twice five hundred, and their friends to

piece 'em.
Bru. Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends,
They've chose a conlu-that will from them take
Their liberties; make them of no more voice
Than dogs that are as often beat for barking,
As therefore kept to do so.

Sic. Let them assemble;
And on a safer judginent all revoke
Your ignorant election : enforce his pride,


[ocr errors]

And his old hate to you: besides, forget not,
With what contempt he wore the humble weed ;
How in his fuit he scorn'd you: but your loves,
Thinking upon his services, took from you
The apprehension of his present portance;
Which gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion
After th' inveterate hate he bears to you.

Bru. Nay, lay a fault on us, your tribunes, that
We labour'd (no impediment between)
But that you must catt your election on him.

Sic. Say, you chose him, more after our commandment,
Than guided by your own affections ;
And that your minds, pre-occupied with what
You rather must do, than what you should do,
Made you against the grain to voice him consul.
Lay the fault on us.

Bru. Ay, spare us not: say, we read lectures to you, How youngly he began to serve his country, How long continued ; and what stock he springs of, The noble house of Marcius; from whence came That Ancus Marcius, Numa's daughter's son, Who, after great Hoftilius, here was King: Of the same house Publius and Quintus were, (22)

That (22) of the same house Publius-] I have taken notice, in the courfe of these notes, of many anacbronisms knowingly committed by our author : I cannot help observing that he is guilty of more than one here, thro' an inadvertence, and desire of copying Plutarcb at all hazards. This paftage, as Mr. Pope rightly informs us, is directive tranlated from that Greek biographer: but I'll tell Mr. Pope a piece of history, which, I dare say, he was no more aware of than our author was. Plutarch, in the entrance of Coriolanus's life, tracing the origin of the Marcian family, blends his account not only with the ancestors, but the descendants of that great man: and Shakespeare in his hafte, (or perhaps, his inacquaintance with this particular point;) nct attending to Plutarch's drift; but taking all the persons named to be Coriolanus's ancestors; has strangely tripp'd in time, andi made his tribune talk of persons and things not then in being. For instance, he is made to talk of censors: Now Coriolanus was kill'd in the year, after Rome built, 266: But no censors were ever created at Rome 'rill 46 years after that period, in the year 312. Again; here is mention not only of a cenfor, but of Cenforinus. Now Caius Marcius Ristilus,. when he came a second time to that office, on account of


That our best water brought by conduits hither.
And Cenforinus, darling of the people,
(And nobly nam'd so for twice being censor)
Was his great ancestor.

Sic. One thus descended,
That hath beside well in his person wrought,
To be set high in place, we did commend
To your remembrances; but you have found,
Scaling his present bearing with his past,
That he's your fixed enemy, and revoke
Your sudden approbation.

Bru. Say, you ne'er had don't,
(Harp on that still) but by our putting on;
And presently, when you have drawn your number,
Repair to th' capitel.
All. We will so; almost all repent in their election.

[Exeunt Plebeians,
Bru. Let them go on
This mutiny were better put in hazard,
Than stay past doubt for greater:
If, as his nature is, he fall in rage
With their refusal, both observe and answer
The vantage of his anger.

Sic. To th' capitol, come;
We will be there before the stream oʻth people:
And this shall seem, as partly 'tis, their own,
Which we have goaded onward.

(Exeunt. the known law propounded by him, was dignified with that additional nare, in the year 487. Bur“ this was not 'till 220 years after Coriolanus's death. and then, again, here is mention of the Marcian waters being brought into Rome. But we have the positive teftimony of Yulius Frontinus, that they had no aquæducts at Reme 'till the year 441; and that the Marcian water was not introduced 'till the year 613: So that the tribunes are made to talk of a fact34.7 years later in time than the period of Coriolanus. I would not be supposed to found any merit on this discovery; much less, to be desirous of convicting my author of such mistakes; but I thought it proper to decline a charge of ignorance, that might have been laid at my door, had I pass'd this affair over in filer.ce. Mr. Pope, 'tis plain, tho' he took the pains to add the conjectural line about Cenforinus, was not aware of this confusion in point of chronology, or of our author's innocent trespass. Non omnia poffumus omnes.


« AnteriorContinuar »