« ZurückWeiter »
Line 468. remembers his dam.
ACT V. SCENE IV.
than an eight year old horse.] Subintelligitur WARBURTON.
Line 473. He sits in his state, &c.] In a foregoing note he was said to sit in gold. The phrase, as a thing made for Alexander, means, as one made to resemble Alexander. JOHNSON.
ACT V. SCENE V.
Line 579. He wag'd me with his countenance,] This is obscure. The meaning, I think, is, he prescribed to me with an air of au thority, and gave me his countenance for my wages; thought me sufficiently rewarded with good looks. JOHNSON.
Line 586. For which my sinews shall be stretch'd-] This is the point on which I will attack him with my utmost abilities.
With our own charge;] That is, rewarding us with our own expences; making the cost of the war its recompence. Line 645. For certain drops of salt,] For certain tears. So in King Lear,
Why this would make a man, a man of salt." Malone. Line 684.
his fame folds in
This orb o' the earth.] His fame overspreads the
END OF THE ANNOTATIONS ON CORIOLANUS.
ACT I. SCENE I.
LINE 27. I meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor woman's matters, but with awl.] The allusion contained in the second clause of this sentence, is again repeated in Coriolanus, Act IV. sc. v:-" 3 Serv. How, sir, do you meddle with my master? Cor. Ay, 'tis an honester service than to meddle with thy mistress.” MALONE.
Line 53. her banks,] Drayton, in his Polyolbion, frequently describes the rivers of England as females, even when he speaks of the presiding power of the stream. Spenser, on the other hand, represents them, more classically, as males. MALONE.
Line 74. deck'd with ceremonies.] Ceremonies, for religious ornaments. Thus afterwards he explains them by Cæsar's trophies; i. e. such as he had dedicated to the gods.
Ceremonies are honorary ornaments; tokens of respect.
Line 78. Be hung with Caesar's trophies.] Cæsar's trophies are, I believe, the crowns which were placed on his statues. So, in sir Thomas North's translation: "There were set up images of Cæsar in the city with diadems on their heads, like kings. Those the two tribunes went and pulled down." STEEVENS.
ACT I. SCENE II.
DECIUS.] This person was not Decius, but Decimus Brutus. The poet (as Voltaire has done since) confounds the characters of Marcus and Decimus. Decimus Brutus was the most cherished by Cæsar of all his friends, while Marcus kept aloof, and declined so large a share of his favours and honours, as the other had constantly accepted. STEEVENS.
Line 116. Sennet.] I have been informed that sennet is derived from senneste, an antiquated French tune formerly used in the army; but the Dictionaries which I have consulted exhibit no such word. STEEVENS. Line 126. strange a hand-] Strange, is alien, unfamiliar, such as might become a stranger.
Line 132. passions of some difference,] With a fluctuation of discordant opinions and desires.
Line 167. To stale with ordinary oaths my love &c.] To invite every new protester to my affection by the stale or allurement of customary oaths. JOHNSON.
Line 183. And I will look on both indifferently:] When Brutus first names honour and death, he calmly declares them indifferent ; but as the image kindles in his mind, he sets honour above life. JOHNSON.
Leap in with me into this angry flood,] Shakspeare probably recollected the story which Suetonius has told of Casar's leaping into the sea, when he was in danger by a boat's being overladen, and swimming to the next ship with his Commentaries in his left hand. MALONE.
Line 226. get the start of the majestic world, &c.] This image is extremely noble: it is taken from the Olympick games, The majestick world is a fine periphrasis for the Roman empire: their citizens set themselves on a footing with kings, and they called their dominion Orbis Romanus. But the particular allusion seems to be to the known story of Cæsar's great pattern, Alexander, who being asked, Whether he would run the course at the Olympick games, replied, Yes, if the racers were kings.
minate on this.
There was a Brutus once,] i. e. Lucius Junius
-chew upon this;] Consider this at leisure; ruJOHNSON.
-ferret-] A ferret has red eyes. JOHNSON. -he hears no musick:] Our author considered the having no delight in musick as so certain a mark of an austere disposition, that in The Merchant of Venice he has pronounced, that
"The man that hath no musick in himself,
"Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." MALONE. Line 372. —a man of any occupation,] Had I been a mecha→ nick, one of the Plebeians to whom he offered his throat. JOHNS. Line 417. Thy honourable metal may be wrought
From that it is dispos'd:] The best metal or temper
may be worked into qualities contrary to its original constitution.
From that it is dispos'd, i. e. dispos'd to.
Line 422. If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius, He should not humour me.] The meaning, I think, is this: Cæsar loves Brutus, but if Brutus and I were to change places, his love should not humour me, should not take hold of my affection, so as to make me forget my principles.
-Brought you Casar home?] Did you attend
ACT I. SCENE III.
-sway of earth-] The whole weight or moJOHNSON.
mentum of this globe. Line 454. Who glar'd upon me,] To gaze, as Dr. Johnson would read, is only to look stedfastly, or with admiration. Glar'd has a singular propriety, as it expresses the furious scintillation of a lion's eye. STEEVENS.
Line 504. Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind; &c.] That is, Why they deviate from quality and nature. JOHNSON. · Line 505. ———and children calculate;] Shakspeare found the liberty established. To calculate the nativity, is a technical term. JOHNSON.