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Ay, traitor, Marcius. Cor.
Marcius! Auf. Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius; Dost thou
think. I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stol’n name Coriolanus in Corioli: : : You lords and heads of the state, perfidiously He has betray'd your business, and given up, For certain drops of salt, your city Rome (I say, your city,) to his wife and mother: . Breaking his oath and resolution, like A twist of rotten silk; never admitting Counsel o'the war; but at his nurse's tears He whin'd and roar'd away your victory; That pages blush'd at him, and men of heart Look'd wondering each at other.
Hear'st thou, Mars? Auf. Name not the god, thou boy of tears,Cor.
Ha! Auf. No more.
Cor. Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart Too great for what contains it. Boy! O slave! Pardon me, lords, 'tis the first time that ever I was forc'd to scold. Your judgments, my grave
lords, Must give this cur the lie: and his own notion (Who wears my stripes impress'd on him; that must
bear My beating to his grave;) shall join to thrust The lie unto him.
i Lord. Peace, both, and hear me speak.
Cor. Cut me to pieces, Volces; men and lads, Stain all your edges on me.- Boy! False hound! If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there,
& For certain drops of salt,] For certain tears.
9 Auf. No more.] By these words Auħidius does not mean to. put a stop to the altercation ; but to tell Coriolanus that he was no more than a “boy of tears."
That like an eagle in a dove-cote, I.. .
Why, noble lords,
Con. Let him die for't. Several speak at once.
Eit. [Speaking promiscuously. ] Tear him to pieces, do it presently. He killed my son ;-my daughter;
He killed my cousin Marcus ;--He killed iny fa-
O, that I had him,
TAUFIDIUS and the Conspirators draw, and kill : :: CORIOLANUS, who falls, and Aufidius.
stands on him.
Hold, hold, hold, hold.
will weep.. 3 Lord. Tread not upon him.-Masters all, be quiet; Put up your swords.
I his fame folds in
This orb o'the earth.] His fame overspreads the world. .? - judicious hearing.] Perhaps judicious, in the present instance, signifies judicial; such a hearing as is allowed to criminals in courts of judicature. Thns imperious is used by our author for imperiul.
Auf. My lords, when you shall know (as in this
rage, Provok'd by him, you cannot,) the great danger Which this man's life did owe you, you'll rejoice That he is thus cut off. Please it your honours To call me to your senáte, I'll deliver Myself your loyal servant, or endure Your heaviest censure. . i Lord.
Bear from hence his body,
His own impatience
My rage is gone,
NUS.' A dead March sounded."
that ever herald Did follow to his urn.] This allusion is to a custom unknown, I believe, to the ancients, but observed in the publick funerals of English princes, at the conclusion of which a herald proclaims the style of the deceased. STEEVENS.
4 mismo a noble memory.] Mícmory for memorial. .
5 The tragedy of Coriolanus is one of the most amusing of our author's performances. The old man's merriment in Menenius; the lofty lady's dignity in Volunnia ; the bridal miodesty in Virgilia; the patrician and military haughtiness in Coriolanus; the plebeian malignity and tribunitian insolence in Brutus and Sicinius, make a very pleasing and interesting variety : and the various revolutions of the hero's fortune fill the mind with anxious curiosity. There is, perhaps, too much bustle in the first Act, and too little in the last, JOnsson.
* JULIUS Cæsar.] It appears from Peck's Collection of divers curious historical Pieces, &c. (appended to his Memoirs, &c. of Oliver Cromwell, ) p. 14, that a Latin play on this subject had been written: “Epilogus Cæsaris interfecti, quomodo in scenam prodiit ea res, acta, in Ecclesia Christi, Oxon. Qui Epilogus a Magistro Ricardo Eedes, et scriptus et in proscenio ibidem dictus fuit, A. D. 1582.” Meres, whose Wit's Commonwealth was published in 1598, enumerates Dr. Eedes among the best tragick writers of that time. STEEVENS.
From some words spoken by Polonius in Hamlet, I think it probable that there was an English play on this subject, before Shakspeare commenced a writer for the stage.
Stephen Gosson, in his School of Abuse, 1579, mentions a play entitled The History of Cæsar and Pompey.
William Alexander, afterwards Earl of Sterline, wrote a tragedy on the story, and with the title of Julius Cæsar. It may be presumed that Shakspeare's play was posterior to his; for Lord Sterline, when he composed his Julius Cæsar, was a very young author, and would hardly have ventured into that circle, within which the most eminent dramatick writer of England had already walked. The death of Cæsar, which is not exhibited but related to the audi. ence, forms the catastrophe of his piece. In the two plays many parallel passages are found, which might, perhaps, have proceeded only from the two authors drawing from the same source. However, there are some reasons for thinking the coincidence more than accidental.
A passage in The Tempest, (p. 81,) seems to have been copied from one in Darius, another play of Lord Sterline's, printed at Edinburgh, in 1603. His Julius Cæsar appeared in 1607, at a time when he was little acquainted with English writers; for both these pieces abound with scotticisms, which, in the subsequent folio edition, 1637, he corrected. But neither The Tempest nor the Julius Cæsar of our author was printed till 1623.
It should also be remembered, that our author has several plays, founded on subjects which had been previously treated by others. Of this kind are King John, King Richard. II. the two parts of King Henry IV, King Henry V. King Richard III. King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, Measure for Measure, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, and, I believe, Hamlet, Timon of Athens, and the Second and Third Part of King Henry VI. whereas no proof has hitherto been produced, that any contemporary wri. ter ever presumed to new model a story that had already eni ployed the pen of Shakspeare. On all these grounds it appears more probable, that Shakspeare was indebted to Lord Sterline, than that Lord Sterline borrowed from Shakspeare. If this reasoning be just, this play could not have appeared before the year 1607. I believe it was produced in that year. MALONE.