Page images
PDF
EPUB

Day

let us observe what passes, but keep our hearts fixed on our design of crushing Coriolanus. Johnson.

294. Enter two officers, &c.] The old copy reads: Enter two officers to lay cushions, as it were, in the capitoll.”

Steevens. 310.

-he wav'd- - ] That is, he would wave indifferently.

JOHNSON. 319. supple and courteous to the people; bonnetted -] Bonneter, Fr. is to pull off one's cap. See Cotgrave's Dictionary.

The old copy reads—who having been

347. Your loving motion towards the common body. ] Your kind interposition with the common people. Johnson.

STEEVENS. 357. That's off, that's off;] That is, that is nothing to the purpose.

JOHNSON. 382. how can he flatter] The reasoning of Menenius is this: How can he be expected to practise flattery to others, who abhors it so much, that he cannot hear it even when offered to himself? Johnson.

392. When Tarquin made a head for Rome,-) When Tarquin who had been expelled, raised a power to recover Rome.

JOHNSON. 395. -his Amazonian chin- -] i.e.

his chin on which there was no beard. The players read, shinne.

STEEVENS. 400. When he might act the woman in the scene, has been more than once mentioned, that the parts of women were, in Shakspere's time, represented by Cij

the

1

ne,] It

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the most smooth-faced young men to be found among the players.

STEEVENS. 405. He lurch'd all swords o' the garland- -] Ben Johnson has the same expression in the Silent Woman: -you have lurch'd your friends of the better half of the garland.

STEEVENS. 413. -every

motion Was tim’d with dying cries :- -] The cries of the slaughter'd regulary followed his motions, as musick and a dancer accompany each other.

JOHNSON. 415. The mortal gate- -] The gate that was made the scene of death.

JOHNSON. 416. With shunless destiny ;- -] The second folio reads, whether by accident or choice:

With shunless defamy.
Defamie is an old French word signifying infamy.

TYRWHITT. 428. He cannot but with measure fit the honours] That is, no honour will be too great for him; he will shew a mind equal to any elevation.

JOHNSON. 433. Than misery itself would give;-] Misery for avarice; because a miser signifies an avaricious.

WARBURTON. 434

-and is content To spend his time to end it. Men. He's right noble ;] The last words of Cominius's speech are altogether unintelligible. Shakspere, I suppose, wrote the passage thus:

-and

and is content To spend his time Men. To end it, he's right noble. Cominius, in his last words, was entering upon a new topic in praise of Coriolanus; when his warm friend Menenius, impatient to come to the subject of the honours designed him, interrupts Cominius, and takes him short with,--to end it, i. e. to end this long discourse in one word, he's right noble.Let him be called for. This is exactly in character, and restores the passage to sense.

WARBURTON. I know not whether my conceit will be approved, but I cannot forbear to think that our author wrote thus :

-he rewards
His deeds with doing them, and is content

To spend his time, to spend it.
To do great acts, for the sake of doing them; to spend
his life, for the sake of spending it. JOHNSON
The old

copy

reads: To spend the time

MALONE. 444. "It then remains,

That you do speak to the people.] Coriolanus was banished U. C. 262. But till the time of Manlius-Torquatus, U. C. 393, the senate chose both the consuls: And then the people, assisted by the seditious temper of the tribunes, got the choice of one. But if he makes Rome a democracy, which at this time was a perfect aristocracy; he sets the ballance even in his Timon, and turns Athens, which was a perfect -C ilj

demo.

[ocr errors]

democracy, into an aristocracy. But it would be unjust to attribute this entirely to his ignorance; it sometimes proceeded from the too powerful blaze of his imagination, which when once lighted up, made all acquired knowledge fade and disappear before it. For sometimes again we find him, when occasion serves, not only writing up to the truth of history, but fitting his sentiments to the nicest manners of his peculiar subject, as well to the dignity of his characters, or the di&tates of nature in general.

WARBURTON. 478. Once, - ] Once here means the same as when we say, once for all.

WARBURTON. This use of the word once is found in the Supposes by Gascoigne : Once, twenty-four ducattes he cost me.

FARMER. Again in the Comedy of Errors: Once this your long experience of her wisdom. .

STEEVENS. 481. We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a power that we have no power to do:] Power first signifies natural power or force, and then moral power or right. Davies has used the same word with great variety of meaning:

Use all thy powers that heavenly power to praise.
That gave thee power to do.

JOHNSON. 493 many headed-multitude.] Hanmer reads, many-headed monster, but without necessity. To be many-headed includes monstrousness. JOHNSON. -some auburn, -] The folio reads, some

Abram.

496.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Abram. should unwillingly suppose this to be the true reading; but we have already heard of Cain and Abram-coloured beards.

SteEVENS. 498. -if all our wits were to issue out of one scull, &c.] Meaning though our having but one interest was most apparent, yet our wishes and projects would be infinitely discordant.

WARBURTON. 551.

—not mine own desire.] The old copy-but mine own desire. If but be the true reading, it must signify, as in the North-without. STEEVENS.

But is only the reading of the first folio: Not is the true reading.

REMARKS, 592. I will not seal

your knowledge -] I will not strengthen or compleat your knowledge. The seal is that which gives authenticity to a writing. JOHNSON. 599.

this wooluish gown-] Signifies this rough hirsute gown.

JOHNSON. I own I was surprized, on consulting the old copy, to find the passage printed thus:

“Why in this wolvish tongue." Mr. Rowe received gown from the second folio, and has been followed (perhaps without necessity) by all the editors.

Tongue might be only a typographical mistake, and the word designed be toge, which is used in Othello.

Since the foregoing note was written, I met with the following passage in “ A Merye Jest of a Man called Howleglas," bl. 1. no date. Howleglas hired himself to a taylor, who “ caste unto him a husbande mans gown, and bade him take a wolfe, and make it up.--Then cut

How.

« PreviousContinue »