« PreviousContinue »
turn thy Solemnness out o' door, and go along with us.
Vir. No: at a word, Madam ; indeed, I must not. I wish you much mirth. Val. Well, then farewel.
SCENE changes to the Walls of Corioli. Enter Marcius, Titus Lartius, with Captains and Sol
diers : To them a Messenger. Mar.
Lart. My horse to yours, no.
you, I will,
Mar. How far off lye these armies?
Mar. Then shall we hear their larum, and they ours. Now, Mars, I prythee, make us quick in work ; That we with smoaking swords may march from hence, To help our fielded Friends! Come, blow thy blast. They found a Parley. Enter two Senators with others
on the walls. Tullus Aufidius, is he within your Walls ?
i Sen. No, nor a man that fears you less than he, That's lefser than a little : hark, our Drums
[Drum afar off. Are bringing forth our Youth: we'll break our Walls, Rather than they shall pound us up; our Gates, Which
yet seem shut, we have but pinn'd with rushes; They'll open of themselves. Hark you, far off
[Alarum far off
There is Aufidius. Lift, what work he makes
Mar. Oh, they are at it!
Enter the Volfcians.
He that retires, I'll take him for å Volscian,
Tou Shames of Rome; you Herds; of Boils and Plagues
Plaifter you o'er, &c.] Thus miserably did the old Editors give us this Passage mangled, by bad Pointing; and Mr. Pope would not indulge his privato Sense, by any Alteration to make it intelligible. The meanest Judges of English must be aware, that no Member of any Sentence can begin with a Genitive Case, and a preceding Nominative be wanting to govern That and the Verb. Where, therefore, is the Nominative to,
of Boils and Plagues plaifter you o'er? Or what Sense or Syntax is there in the Passage, as it here stands ? I reform’d the Pointing in the Appendix to my Shakespeare Reffor’d, and Mr. Pope has vouchsafed to embrace my Correction in his last Edition,
If you'll stand fast, we'll beat them to their wives,
[He enters the gates, and is fout in. : 1 Sol. Fool-hardinels, not I. 2 Sol. Nor I. i Sok. See, they have shut him in. [Alarum continues. All. To th' pot, I warrant him.
Enter Titus Lartius. Lart. What is become of Marcius? • All. Slain, Sir, doubtless.
I Sol. Following the fiers at the very heels,
Lart. Oh, noble fellow!
(6) Who fenfibly outdares bis fenfeless Sword,
And when it bows, ftands up.] The fine and easy Emendation of this Passage, which I have inserted in the Text, is owing to the ingenious Dr. Thirlby. (7) Thou wast a Soldier
Even to Calvus' Wijh ;] T. Lartius is here summing up his Friend's Character, as a Warrior that was terrible in his Strokes, in the Tone of his Voice, and the Grimness of his Countenance. But who was this Calvus, that wish'd these three Characteristicks in a Soldier? I'm afraid, Greek and Roman History will be at a Lofs to account for such a Man an i such Circumftances join'd to signalize him. I formerly amended the Passage, and prov'd that the Poet must have wrote,
Even to Cato's Wish; The Error probably arose from the Similitude in the Manuscript of to to lv: and so this unknown Wight Calvus sprung up. I come now to the Authorities for my Emendation. Plutarch, in the Life of Co
Even to Cato's wish, not fierce and terrible
Enter Marcius bleeding, asaulted by the Enemy.
Lart. O, 'tis Marcius.
[They fight, and all enter the City. Enter certain Romans with Spoils. i Rom. This will I carry to Rome. 2 Rom. And I this. 3 Rom. A murrain on't, I took this for silver.
[Alarum continues still afar off. Enter Marcius and Titus Lartius, with a Trumpet. Mar. See here these Movers, that do prize their ho
nours At a crack'd drachm: cushions, leaden spoons, Irons of a doit, doublets that hangmen would Bury with those that wore them, these base flaves, riolanus, speaking of this Hero, says; He was a Man (that which Cato requir'd in a Warrior) not only dreadful to meet with in the Field, by reason of his Hand and Stroke; but insupportable to an Enemy, for the very
Tone and Accent of his Voice; and the fole Terror of his Aspect. This again is confirm’d by the Historian, in the Life of Marcus CẠTo the Censor. In Engagements (says He;) he would use to strike luftily, with a fierce Countenance fare upon his Enemies, and with a harsh threatning Voice' accost them. Nor was he out in his Opinion, whilf he taught, that such rugged kind of Behaviour fometimes does strike the Enemy more than the Sword it self. Mr. Pope owns, I have clearly prov'd this Point: but he seems inclin'd to think, the Blunder should rather have continued, than I should have discover'd the Author guilty of such a terrible Anachronism. But is Mr. Pope conscious of no other Anachronism committed by our Poet in this Play ? Menenius in one Passage talks of Alexander the Great; tho' that Prince was not born till 130 Years after Coriolanus's Death; nay, and in another He mentions Galen, whose Birth was above 420 Years later than That of Alexander. And there are certain other Anachronisms, that lie blended together, which I shall have Occasion to inform Mr. Pope of, before I have done with the ad Act of this Tragedy.
Ere yet the fight be done, pack up; down with them;
Lart. Worthy Sir, thou bleed'st;
Mar. Sir, praise me not :
Lart. Now the fair Goddess Fortune
Mar. Thy friend no less,
Lart. Thou worthiest Marcius,
SCENE changes to the Roman Camp.
Enter Cominius retreating, with Soldiers. Com. Breathe you, toy friends ; well fought; we are Like Romans, neither foolish in our Stands, Nor cowardly in retire : Believe me, Sirs, We shall be charg'd again. Whiles we have struck, By interims and conveying gufts, we have heard The Charges of our friends. The Roman Gods Lead their successes, as we wish our own; That both our Powers, with smiling fronts encountring, May give you thankful facrifice! Thy news?