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(2) SCENE III.—
Ladies, you deserve
Which, according to Plutarch, they had: dedicated to
Whereupon the Senate ordeined, that the Magistrates to gratifie and honor these ladyes, should graunt them all that they would require. And they only requested that they would build a temple of Fortune of the women, unto the building whereof they offered them selves to defraye the whole charge of the sacrifices, and other ceremonies belonging to the service of the gods. Neverthelesse, the Senate commending their good-will and forwardnes, ordeined, that the temple and image should be made at the common charge of the cittie. Notwithstanding that, the ladyes gathered money emong them, and made with the same a second image of Fortune, which the ROMAINES say dyd speake as they offred her up in the temple, and dyd set her in her place."
(3) SCENE VI.-Hail, lords! I am return'd your soldier.] "Nowe, when Martius was returned againe into the citie of Antium from his voyage, Tullus, that hated and could no longer abide him for the fear he had of his authoritie, sought divers means to make him out of the way, thinking that if he let slippe that present time, he should never recover the like and fit occasion againe. Wherefore Tullus, having procured manie other of his confederacy, required Martius might be deposed from his estate, to render up accomptt to the VOLSCES of his charge and government. Martius fearing to become a private man againe under Tullus being Generall (whose authoritie was greater otherwise, then any other emong all the VOLSCES) answered: He was willing to geve up his charge, and would resigne it into the hands of the lordes of the VOLSCES, if they dyd al command him, as by al their commandment he received it. And moreover, that he would not refuse even at that present to geve up an accomptt unto the people, if they would tarie the hearing of it. The people hereupon called a common counsell, in which assembly there were certaine oratours appointed, that stirred up the common people against him: and when they had tolde their tales, Martius rose up to make them answer. Now, notwithstanding the mutinous people made a marvelous great noise, yet when they saw him, for the reverence they bare unto his valiantnesse, they quieted themselves, and gave him audience to alledge with leysure what he could for his purgation. Moreover, the honestest men of the ANTIATES, and who most re
joyced in peace, shewed by their countenaunce that they would heare him willingly, and judge also according to their conscience. Whereupon Tullus fearing that if he dyd let him spenke, he would prove his innocencie to the people, because emongest other things he had an eloquent tongue; besides that the first good service he had done to the people of the VOLSCES, dyd winne him more favour, then these last accusations could purchase him displeasure: and furthermore, the offence they layed to his charge, was a testimonie of the goodwill they ought him; for they would never have thought he had done them wrong for that they tooke not the cittie of ROME, if they had not bin very neare taking of it, by meanes of his approche and conduction. For these causes Tullus thought he might no longer delaye his presence and enterprise, neither to tarie for the mutining and rising of the common people against him wherefore, those that were of the conspiracie, began to cry out that he was not to be heard, and that they would not suffer a traitor to usurpe tyranicall power over the tribe of the VOLSCES, who would not yeld up his state and authority. And in saying .these words, they all fell upon him, and killed him in the market place, none of the people once offering to rescue him. Howbeit it is a clere case, that this murder was not generally consented unto, of the most parte of the VOLSCES: for men came out of all partes to honor his body, and dyd honourably bury him; setting up his tombe with great store of armour and spoiles, as the tombe of a worthy person and great captaine. The ROMAINES understanding of his death, shewed no other honour or malice, saving that they graunted the ladyes the request they made: that they might mourne tenne moneths for him, and that was the full time they used to weare blackes for the death of their fathers, brethren, or husbands, according to Numa Pompilius order, who stablished the same, as we have enlarged more amplie in the description of his life. Now Martius being dead, the whole state of the VOLSCES harteily wished him alive againe. For, first of all they fell out with the ÆQUES who were their friends and confederates, touching preheminence and place: and this quarrell grew on so farre betweene them, that fraies and murders fell out upon it one with another. After that the ROMAINES overcame them in battell, in which Tullus was slaine in the field and the flower of all their force was put to the sword: so that they were compelled to accept most shamefull conditions peace, in yelding themselves subject unto the conquerers, and promising to be obedient at their commandement."-NORTH'S Plutarch.
CRITICAL OPINIONS ON CORIOLANUS.
"IN the three Roman pieces, 'Coriolanus,' 'Julius Cæsar,' and 'Antony and Cleopatra,' the moderation with which Shakspeare excludes foreign appendages and arbitrary suppositions, and yet fully satisfies the wants of the stage, is particularly deserving of admiration. These plays are the very thing itself; and under the apparent artlessness of adhering closely to history as he found it, an uncommon degree of art is concealed. Of every historical transaction Shakspeare knows how to seize the true poetical point of view, and to give unity and rounding to a series of events detached from the immeasurable extent of history without in any degree changing them. The public life of ancient Rome is called up from its grave, and exhibited before our eyes with the utmost grandeur and freedom of the dramatic form, and the heroes of Plutarch are ennobled by the most eloquent poetry.
"In 'Coriolanus' we have more comic intermixtures than in the others, as the many-headed multitude plays here a considerable part; and when Shakspeare portrays the blind movements of the people in a mass, he almost always gives himself up to his merry humour. To the plebeians, whose folly is certainly sufficiently conspicuous already, the original old satirist Menenius is added by way of abundance. Droll scenes arise of a description altogether peculiar, and which are compatible only with such a political drama; for instance, when Coriolanus, to obtain the consulate, must solicit the lower order of citizens, whom he holds in contempt for their cowardice in war, but cannot so far master his haughty disposition as to assume the customary humility, and yet extorts from them their votes.”— SCHLEGEL.
✶✶ "The serious and elevated persons of this drama are delineated in colours of equal, if not superior strength. The unrivalled military prowess of Coriolanus, in whose nervous arm 'Death—that dark spirit'-dwelt; the severe sublimity of his character, his stern and unbending hauteur, and his undisguised contempt of all that is vulgar, pusillanimous, and base, are brought before us with a raciness and power of impression, and, notwithstanding a very liberal use both of the sentiments and language of his Plutarch, with a freedom of outline which, even in Shakspeare, may be allowed to excite our astonishment.
Among the female characters a very important part is necessarily attached to the person of Volumnia; the fate of Rome itself depending upon her parental influence and authority. The poet has accordingly done full justice to the great qualities which the Cheronean sage has ascribed to this energetic woman; the daring loftiness of her spirit, her bold and masculine eloquence, and, above all, her patriotic devotion, being marked by the most spirited and vigorous touches of his pencil.
"The numerous vicissitudes in the story; its rapidity of action; its contrast of character; the splendid vigour of its serious, and the satirical sharpness and relish of its more familiar scenes, together with the animation which prevails throughout all its parts, have conferred on this play, both in the closet and on the stage, a remarkable degree of attraction."-DRAKE.
THE WINTER'S TALE.
THE first edition of this play known is that of the folio, 1623; and the earliest notice of its performance is an entry in the manuscript Diary (Mus. Ashmol. Oxon.) of Dr. Simon Forman, who thus describes the plot of the piece, which he witnessed at the Globe Theatre, May 15th, 1611:
"Observe ther howe Lyontes the Kinge of Cicillia was overcom with jelosy of his wife with the Kinge of Bohemia, his frind, that came to see him, and howe he contrived his death, and wold have had his cup-berer to have poisoned, who gave the Kinge of Bohemia warning thereof and fled with him to Bohemia.
"Remember also howe he sent to the orakell of Apollo, and the aunswer of Apollo that she was giltless, and that the kinge was jelouse, &c., and howe, except the child was found againe that was loste, the kinge should die without yssue; for the child was caried into Bohemia, and there laid in a forrest, and brought up by a sheppard, and the Kinge of Bohemia, his sonn married that wentch: and howe they fled into Cicillia to Leontes, and the sheppard having showed [by] the letter of the nobleman whom Leontes sent, it was that child, and [by] the jewells found about her, she was knowen to be Leontes daughter, and was then 16. yers old.
"Remember also the rog [rogue] that cam in all tottered like roll pixci* and howe he fayned him sicke and to have him robbed of all that he had, and howe he cosoned the por man of all his money, and after cam to the shop ther [sheep sheer?] with a pedlers packe, and ther cosened them again of all their money; and how he changed apparell with the Kinge of Bomia, his sonn, and then how he turned courtier, &c. Beware of trustinge feined beggars or fawninge fellouse." +
In the same year, as we learn from a record in the Accounts of the Revels at Court, it was acted at Whitehall :
The accounts of Lord Harrington, Treasurer of the Chamber to James I., show that it was again acted at Court, before Prince Charles, the Lady Elizabeth, and the Prince Palatine Elector, in May, 1613.
And it is further mentioned in the Office Book of Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels, under the date of August the 19th, 1623:
"For the kings players. An olde playe called Winters Tale, formerly allowed of by Sir George Bucke and likewyse by mee on Mr. Hemminges his worde that there was nothing prophane added or reformed, thogh the allowed booke was missing: and therefore I returned it without a fee, this 19th of August, 1623."
This was no doubt some noted vagabond, whose nickname has not come down to us correctly. Mr. Collier prints it," Coll Pipei."
+ From a carefully executed copy made from the original by Mr. Halliwell.