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And here it is remarkable that an excellent poet of our own time, who imitated this latter passage, chose to reject the initiate conjunction, and adopt that mode of expression which is called the phraseology of Shakspeare's age : “ Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes, “Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart.”
Gray. The Bard. 67. “ The ass in compound with the major part
of your syllables.” I suppose there is a quibble intended here; ass, alluding to the imputed dullness of the citizen, and to the particle as, which, perhaps, formerly, as it is now, was often used by the vulgar out of its place. 73. “ In honour follows, Coriolanus.”
From the line preceding, a word might, without injury, be borrowed, to repair the deficiency of this : “
He hath won.
“My gracious silence, hail !" “ Gracious" is amiable it is beautifully ex-pressed. Thus, in Much Ado About Nothing: " On my eyelids shall conjecture hang, " To turn all thoughts of beauty into harm, “And never shall it more be gracious." 75. “Menenius, ever, ever.”
These words seem useless ; and, perhaps, were better omitted. 76. "
I have liv'd “ To see inherited my very wishes.” To see myself in possession of what I wished
for: wishes for the objects of wish. Thus, K. Richard III. says to Buckingham,
- Think, how I may do thee good,
“ Than sway with them in theirs.” “ With,” here, has a loose signification, with reference to, as if the speaker had said, he lords it with them, i. e. he domineers over them. 77. “While she chats him : the kitchen malkin
pins,” &c. The measure, here, is imperfect; I suppose we should read,
“ While she chats to him," &c 79. “ As if that whatsoever God,” &c.
“ Quisquis fuit ille deorum.” Ovid. 80.“ From where he should begin, and end." We should, perhaps, read,
“ From where he should begin to the end.”
“ As he is proud to do't. I do not think that Dr. Johnson's interpretation of these words is right. Sicinius says that the commons, for a very slight cause, will forget Coriolanus's new honours; and, that he will furnish such cause there is no more doubt than there is of his having pride enough for the pure pose. 83. “ This, as you say, suggested
“At some time when his soaring insolence
“To kindle their dry stubble.” . It seems, to me, wonderful, that the commentators should have overlooked a most easy correc
tion, which will restore this passage to complete sense; the word that has perplexed them all, “ teach,” is not, I am persuaded, instruct, (from which no suitable meaning can be drawn,) but tech, i. e. irritate, excite the techiness of the people, which at once reconciles the whole context; Shakspeare would have no scruple to make such a verb from techy."
87. " To remember,
“With honours like himself." Suitable to his deservings.
" Leave nothing out for length.” Do not, for fear of being prolix, leave untold any material circumstance. 89. “Than hear say how I got them.”
Than hear it told how, &c. This, though not unusual, is a very corrupt phrase. 93. “ From face to foot
“ He was a thing of blood.”
“ From head to foot
“Now is he total gules." 95. "
Is content “ To spend the time, to end it.” Is content to pass away his life, to the end of it, without being dazzled or allured by those rewards and distinctions, that are the objects of ordinary ambition. 96. “ Take to you, as your predecessors have,
“Your honour with your form.” This is carelessly expressed : Menenius does
not mean, " take your honour, &c. as your pre-
Consul, “ Wish we all joy and honour." It is strange that the text should be exhibited in this manner, from which no sense can be drawn, after Mr. M. Mason had so clearly and judiciously thus corrected the punctuation, and displayed the meaning: “We recommend to you, tribunes of the people, “Our purpose; to them and to our noble consul “We wish all joy and honour." 98. “ May they perceive his intent! he that
will require them.” This line is unmetrical; we might read, (rejecting an unnecessary word,) “May they perceive it! he that will require
them." “ As if he did contemn what he requested.
"Should be," &c. “ Contemn,” here, is neutral-as if he did contemn that, what he requested, should, &c.
SCENE III. “Once, if he do require our voices.” I believe this was a casual transposition of words at the press; and that we should read,
If once he do require,” &c. VOL. 1.
If he show us his wounds-we are to put
our tongues into those wounds, and
speak for them.” Thus, in Julius Cæsar:
Wounds, “ Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their rubyl “ To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue.' “ For once, when we stood up about the corn.'
I perceive no reason for supposing the word “ once,” here, to have any other import than the common and obvious one, at one time, or upon a certain occasion. 107. “ Battles thrice six
“ I have seen and heard of." I believe it should be, I have seen, or heard of. Coriolanus, although he is in earnest desirous to be consul, cannot omit his pride, which checks him in this recital of his exploits. “ Battles thrice six I have seen-or heard some vague reports of.” 111. “ Arriving
" A place of potency." “ Arrive,” in another place, assumes this active
“But ere we could arrive the point propos'd.”
Julius Cæsar. 112. “Of no more voice “ Than dogs, that are as often beat for
barking, “ As, therefore, kept to do so.” There is, here, a careless pleonasm : “ therefore,” or else “ to do so," is superfluous. The text, I believe, is corrupted. A similar thought to this occurred before : “ Of no more soul nor fitness for the world, " Than camels in their war, who have their pro