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city; but then the city should be left to take some care of itself. The care of the state cannot, we here see, be safely entrusted to maternal affection, or to the domestick charities of high life. The great have private feelings of their own, to which the interests of humanity and justice must courtesy. Their interests are so far from being the same as those of the community, that they are in direct and necessary opposition to them; their power is at the expense of our weakness; their riches of our poverty; their pride of our degradation; their splendour of our wretchedness; their tyranny of our servitude. If they had the superiour knowledge ascribed to them (which they have not) it would only render them SQ much more formidable ; and from Gods would convert them into Devils. The whole dramatick moral of CORIOLANUS is, that those who have little shall have less, and that those who have much shall take all that others have left. The people are poor; therefore they ought to be starved. They are slaves; therefore they ought to be beaten. They work hard ; therefore they ought to be treated like beasts of burden. They are ignorant; therefore they ought not to be allowed to feel that they want food, or clothing, or rest, that they are enslaved, oppressed, and miserable. This is the logick of the imagination and the passions; which seek to aggrandise what excites admiration, and to beap contempt on misery, to raise power into tyranny, and to make tyranny absolute; to thrust down that which is low still lower, and to make wretches desperate : to exalt magistrates into kings, kings into gods; to degrade subjects to the

rank of slaves, and slaves to the condition of brutes. The bistory of mankind is a romance, a mask, a tragedy, constructed upon the principles of poetical justice; it is a noble or royal hunt, in which what is sport to the few is death to the many, and in which the spectators halloo and encourage the strong to set upon the weak, and cry bavock in the chase, though they do not share in the spoil. We may depend upon it that what men delight to read in books, they will put in practice in reality.

One of the most natural traits in this play is the difference of the interest taken in the success of Coriolanus by bis wife and mother. The one is only anxious for his honour; the other is fearful for his Jife.

" Volumnia. Methinks I hither hear your husband's drum
I see him pluck Aufidius down by th' hair :
Methioks I see him stamp thus—and call thus--
Come on, ye cowards; ye were got in fear
Though you were born in Rome; his bloody brow
With bis mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes
Like to a harvest man, that's task'd to mow
Or all, or lose his hire.

Virgilia. His bloody brow! Oh Jupiter, no blood.

Volumnia. Away, you fool; it more becomes a man
T'han gilt his trophy. The breast of Hecuba,
When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier
Than Hector's forehead, when it spit forth blood
At Grecian swords contending."

When she hears the trumpets that proclaim her son's return, she says in the true spirit of a Román matron,

“ These are the ushers of Martius : before him
He carries noise, and behind him he leaves tears.

Death, that dark spirit, in's nervy arm doth lie,
Which being advanc'd, declines, and then men die."

Coriolanus himself is a complete character : his love of reputation, his contempt of popular opinion, his pride and modesty are consequences of each other. His pride consists in the inflexible sternness of his will: his love of glory is a determined desire to bear down all opposition, and to extort the admiration both of friends and foes. His contempt for popular favour, his unwillingness to hear his own praises, spring from the same source. He cannot contradict the praises that are bestowed upon him; therefore he is impatient at hearing them. He would enforce the good opinion of others by his actions, but does not want their acknowledgments in words.

Pray now, no more : my mother,
Who has a charter to extol her blood,
When she does praise me, grieves me.”

His magnanimity is of the same kind. He admires in an enemy that courage which he honours in himself: he places himself on the hearth of Aufidius with the same confidence that he would have met bim in the field, and feels that by putting himself in his power, he takes from him all temptation for using it against him.

In the titlepage of CORIOLANUS, it is said at the bottom of the Dramatis Personæ, “ The whole history exactly followed, and many of the principal speeches copied from the life of Coriolanus in Plutarch." It will be interesting to our readers to see how far this is the case. Two of the principal scenes, those between Coriolanus and Aufidius, and between Coriolanus and his mother, are thus given in Sir Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth, 1579. The first is as follows:

" It was even twilight when he entered the eity of Antium, and many people met him in the streets, but no man knew him. So he went directly to Tullus Aufidius's house, and when he came thither, he got him up straight to the chimney. hearth, and sat him down, and spake not a word to any man, his face all muffled over. They of the house spying him, wondered what he should be, and yet they durst not bid him rise. For ill favouredly muffled and disguised as he was, yet there appeared a certain majesty in bis countenance and in his silence: whereupon they went to Tullus, who was at supper, to tell him of the strange disguising of this man. Tullus rose presently from the board, and coming towards him, asked him what he was, and wherefore he came. Then Martius unmufled himself, and after he had paused awhile, making no answer, he said unto himself, If thoa knowest me not yet, Tullus, and seeing me, dost not perhaps believe me to be the man, I am indeed, I must of necessity discover myself to be that I am. • I am Caius Martius, who hath done to thyself particularly, and to all the Volsces generally, great hurt and mischief, which I cannot deny for my surname of Coriolanus that I bear. For I never had other benefit nor recompense of the true and painful service I have done, and the extreme dangers I have been in, but this oply surname : a good memory and witness of the malice and displeasure thou shouldest bear me. Indeed the name only remaineth with me; for the rest, the envy and cruelty of the people of Rome have taken from me, by the sufferance of the dastardly nobility and magistrates, who have forsaken me, and let me be banished by the people. This extremity hath now driven me to come as a poor suitor, to take thy chimney-hearth, not of any hope I have to save my life thereby. For if I bad feared death, I would not have come hither to put myself in hazard: but pricked forward with desire to be revenged of them that thus have banished me, which now I do begin, in putting my person into the hands of their enemies. Wherefore if thou hast any heart to be wrecked of the injuries thy enemies have done thee, speed thee pow, and let my misery serve thy turn, and so use it as my

service may be a benefit to the Volsces : promising thee, that I will fight with better good will for all you, than I did when I was against you, knowing that they fight more valiantly who know the force of the enemy, than such as have never proved it. And if it be so that thou dare not, and that thou art weary to prove fortune any more, then am I also weary to live any longer. And it were no wisdom in thee to save the life of him who hath been heretofore thy mortal enemy, and whose service now can nothing help, nor pleasure thee.' Tullus hearing what he said, was a marvellous glad man, and, taking him by the hand, he said unto him : Stand up, O Martius, and be of good cheer, for in proffering thyself unto us, thou doest us great honour : and by this means thou mayest hope also of greater things at all the Volsces' hands.' So he feasted him for that time, and entertained him in the honourablest manner he could, talking with him of no other matter at that present : but within few days after, they fell to consultation together in what sort they should begin their

wars."

The meeting between Coriolanus and his mother is also nearly the same as in the play.

« Now was Martius set then in the chair of state, with all the honours of a general, and when he had spied the women coming afar off, he marvelled what the matter meant : but afterwards knowing his wife which came foremost, he determined at the first to persist in bis obstinate and inflexible rancour. But overcome in the end with natural affection, and being altogether altered to see them, his heart would not serve him to tarry their coming to his chair, but coming down in haste, he went to meet them, and first he kissed his mother, and embraced her a pretty while, then his wife and little children. And nature so wrought with him, that the tears fell from his eyes, and he could not keep himself from making much of them, but yielded to the affection of his blood, as if he had been violently carried with the fury of a most swift running stream. After he had thus lovingly received them, and perceiving that his mother Volumpia would begin to speak to him, he called the chiefest of the council of the Volsces to hear what she would say. 'Then she spake in this sort: 'If held our peace, my son, aud determined not to speak, the state of our poor bodies, and present sight of our raiment, would easily betray to thee what life we have led at home, since thy exile

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