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Learn, how 'tis held; and what they are, that muft Be hoflages for Rome.
Will not you go?
AUF. I am attended' at the cypress grove:
I pray you,
('Tis fouth the city mills, 3) bring me word thither How the world goes; that to the pace of it
1 may fpur on my journey.
I fhall, fir. [Exeunt.
3 ('Tis fouth the city mills,) ] But where could Shakspeare have heard of thefe mills at Antium? I believe we should read: ('Tis fouth the city a mile.)
The old edition reads mils. TYRWHITT.
Shakspeare is feldom careful about fuch little improprieties. Coriolanus fpeaks of our divines, and Menenius of graves in the holy churchyard. It is faid afterwards, that Coriolanus talks like a knell; and drums, and Hob and Dick, are with as little attention to time or place, introduced in this tragedy. STEEVENS.
Shakspeare frequently introduces those minute local descriptions, probably to give an air of truth to his pieces. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
- underneath the grove of fycamore,
"It was the nightingale and not the lark.
Nightly the fings on yon pomegranate tree.”
Mr. Tyrwhitt's queftion, "where could Shakfpeare have heard of thefe mills at Antium?" may be anfwered by another queftion: Where could Lydgate hear of the mills near Troy?
"And as I ride upon this flode,
"On eche fyde many a mylle ftode,
"When nede was their graine and corne to grinde," &c. Auncyent Hiftorie, &c. 1555.
II. SCENE I.
Rome. A publick Place.
Enter MENENIUS, SICINIUS, and BRUTUS.
MEN. The augurer tells me, we shall have news to-night.
BRU. Good, or bad?
MEN. Not according to the prayer of the people, for they love not Marcius.
SIC. Nature teaches beafts to know their friends.
NEN. Ay, to devour him; as the hungry plebeians would the noble Marcius.
BRU. He's a lamb indeed, that baes like a bear. MEN. He's a bear, indeed, that lives like a lamb. You two are old men; tell me one thing that I fhall afk you.
BOTH TRIB. Well, fir,
MEN. In what enormity is Marcius poor, that you two have not in abundance?
4 Pray you, &c.] When the tribune, in reply to Menenius's remark, on the people's hate of Coriolanus, had obferved that even beafts know their friends, Menenius afks, whom does the wolf love? implying that there are beafts which love nobody, and that among those beafts are the people. JOHNSON.
5 In what enormity is Marcius poor,] [Old copy-poor in.] Here we have another of our author's peculiar modes of phrafeology; which, however, the modern editors have not fuffered him to retain; having difmiffed the redundant in at the end of this part of the fentence. MALONE.
I fhall continue to difmifs it, till fuch peculiarities can, by autho
BRU. He's poorin no one fault, but for 'd with all. SIC. Efpecially, in pride.
BRU. And topping all others in boafting.
MEN. This is ftrange now: Do you two know how you are cenfured here in the city, I mean of us o' the right-hand file? Do you?
BOTH TRIB. Why, how are we cenfured? MEN. Because you talk of pride now,- Will you not be angry?
BOTH TRIB. Well, well, fir, well.
MEN. Why, 'tis no great matter; for a very little thief of occafion will rob you of a great deal of patience give your difpofition the reins, and be angry at your pleasures; at the leaft, if you take it as a pleasure to you, in being fo.
cius for being proud?
BRU. We do it not alone, fir.
You blame Mar
MEN. I know, you can do very little alone; for your helps ere many; or elfe your actions would grow, wondrous fingle: your abilities are too infant-like, for doing much alone. You talk of pride: O, that you could turn your eyes towards the napes of your necks, and make but an interior furvey of your good felves! O, that you could!
rity, be discriminated from the corruptions of the ftage, the tranfcriber, or the printer.
It is fcarce credible, that, in the expreffion of a common idea, in profe, our modeft Shakspeare fhould have advanced a phraseology of his own, in equal defiance of customary language, and eftablished grammar.
As, on the prefent occafion, the word-in might have flood with propriety at either end of the queftion, it has been cafually, or ignorantly, inferted at both. STEEVENS.
towards the napes of your necks,] With allufion to the fable, which fays, that every man has a bag hanging before him, in which he puts his neighbour's faults, and another behind him, in which he flows his own. JOHNSON.
BRU. What then, fir?
MEN. Why, then you should discover a brace of unmeriting, proud, violent, tefty magiftrates, (alias, fools,) as any in Rome.'
Sic. Menenius, you are known well enough too. MEN. I am known to be a humorous patrician, and one that loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying Tiber in't; faid to be fomething imperfect, in favouring the first complaint; hafty, and tinder-like, upon too trivial motion: one that converses more with the buttock of the night, than with the forehead of the morning. What I think. I utter; and spend my malice in my breath: Meeting two fuch weals-men as you are, (I cannot call you Lycurgufes ) if the drink you give me, touch my palate adverfely, I make a crooked face at it. I cannot fay, your worships have deliver'd the mat
7 — a brace of unmeriting, magiftrates, -as any in Rome. ] This was the phrafeology of Shakspeare's age, of which I have met with many inftances in the books of that time. Mr. Pope, as ufual, reduced the paffage to the modern ftandard, by reading-a brace of as unmeriting, &c. as any in Rome; and all the fubfequent editors have adopted his emendation.
with not a drop of allaying Tiber in't;] Lovelace, in his Verfes to Althea from Prifon, has borrowed this expreffiou:
"When flowing cups run fwiftly round
"With no allaying Thames," &c.
See Dr. Percy's Reliques &c. Vol. II. p. 324, 3d edit. STEEVENS. one that converfes more &c.] Rather a late lier down than an early rifer. JOHNSON.
So, in Love's Labour's Loft: "It is the king's most fweet pleasure and affection, to congratulate the princefs at her pavilion, in the pofleriors of this day; which the rude multitude call, the afternoon." Again, in King Henry IV. P. IÍ: A
The lifting up of day." MALONE.
I cannot fay, Not, which appears to have been omitted in the old copy, by negligence, was inferted by Mr. Theobald.
ter well, when I find the afs in compound with the major part of your syllables: and though I must be content to bear with those that say you are reverend grave men; yet they lie deadly, that tell, you have good faces. If you fee this in the map of my microcofm, follows it, that I am known well enough too? What harm can your biffon confpectuities glean out of this character, if I be known well enough too?
BRU. Come, fir, come, we know you well enough. MEN. You know neither me, yourselves, nor any thing. You are ambitious for poor knaves' caps and legs; you wear out a good wholesome forenoon, in hearing a caufe between an orange-wife and a foffet-feller; and then rejourn the controverfy of three-pence to a fecond day of audience.When you are hearing a matter between party and party, if you chance to be pinch'd with the cholick, you make faces like mummers; fet up the bloody flag against all patience; and, in roaring for a chamberpot, difmifs the controversy bleeding, the
my microcofm, So, in King Lear:
"Strives, in his little world of man -. STEEVENS.
biffon confpectuities, ] Bisson, blind, in the old copies, is beefome, reftored by Mr. Theobald. JOHNSON.
So, in Hamlet:
"Ran barefoot up and down, threat'ning the flames,
4 --for poor knaves" caps and legs:] That is, for their obeifance thowed by bowing to you. To make a leg was the phrase of our author's time for a bow. See Vol. XII. p. 286, n. 6. MALONE.
you wear out a good &c.] It appears from this whole fpeech that Shakspeare miftook the office of præfectus urbis for the tribune's office. WARBURTON.
· fet up the bloody flag against all patience; ] That is, declare war againft patience. There is not wit enough in this fatire to recompenfe its groffuefs. JOHNSON.