« AnteriorContinuar »
you : but
And his old hate to you ; besides, forget not,
Bru. Nay, lay a fault on us, your tribunes, that
election on him.
Bru. Ay, spare us not: say we read lectures to you, How youngly he began to serve his country, How long continued ; and what ftock 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 fame house Publius and Quintus were, (22)
That (22) of the fame bouse Publius-] I have taken notice, in the course of these notes, of many anachronisms 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 passage, as Mr. Pope rightly informs us, is directly. translated 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 anceftors, but the descendents of that great man: and Shakespeare in his hafte, (or perhaps, his inacquaintance with this particular point;) not attending to Plutarch's drift; but taking all the personsnamed to be Coriolanus's ancestors ; has strangely tripp'd in time, and make his tribuye talk of persons and things not then in being. For inftance, he is made to talk of cenfors: Now Coriolanus was kill'd in the year, after Rome built, 266: But no censors were ever created at Rome 'till 46 years after that period, in the year. 312. Again; here is mention not only.of.a cenfor, but of Cenforinus. Now Caius Marcius Rutilus, when he came a second time to that office, on account of,
That our best water brought by conduits hither.
Bru. Say, you ne'er had don't,
Sic. To th'capitol, come;
[Exeunt. the known law propounded by him, was dignified with that additional name, in the year ,487 But 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 pofitive testimony of Julius Frontinus, that they had no aquæduets at Rome 'till the year 441; and that the Marcian water was not introduced 'till the year 613 i So that the tribunes are made to talk of a fact 347 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 miftakes ; -but I thought it proper to decline a charge of ignorance, that might have been laid at my door, bad I passed this affair over in silence. Mr. Pope, Pris 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 omnesy,
A CT III.
SCENE, a publick Street in Rome.
Cornets. Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, Cominius,
Titus Lartius, and other Senators.
COŘI OLAN U S.
LartHe had, my and that it was, which caus'd Our swifter compofition.
Cor. So then the Volscians stand but as at first, Ready, when time shall prompt them, to make road: Upon's again.
Com. They're worn, Lord consul, sog. That we shall hardly in our ages see Their banners wave again..
Cor. Saw you Aufidius?
Lart. On safe-guard he came to me, and did curfe:
Cor. Spoke he of me?
Lart. How often he had met you, sword to sword ::
Cor. At Antium lives he ? -
Cor. I wish, I had a cause to seek him there ;
Enter Sicinius and Brutus.
herd ? Must these have voices, that can yield them now, And straight disclaim their tongues? what are your offices i You being their mouths, why rule you not their teeth? Have you not set them on?
Men. Be calm, be calm.
Cor. It is a purpos'd thing, and grows by plot,
Bru. Call't not a plot;
Cor. Why, this was known before.
Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me
Sic. You shew too much of that,
Men. Let's be calm.
Com. The people are abus’d.--Set on ;--this paltring(23)
Cor. Tell of corn n!
Men. Not now, not now.
Cor. Now as I live, I wille-
for my nobler friends, I crave their pardons :
Men. Well, no more.
Cor. How !--no more!
(23) The people are abus’d, set on;] This is pointed, as if the sense were, the people are set on by the tribunes : but I don't take that to be the poet's meaning. Cominius makes a fingle reflection, and then bids the train set forward, as again afterwards ;
Well, on to th' market-place.