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seven years' health; in which time I will make a lip at the physician: the most sovereign prescription in Galen is but empiricutick, and, to this preservative, of no better report than a horsedrench. Is he not wounded? he was wont to come home wounded.
VIR. O, no, no, no.
VOL. O, he is wounded, I thank the gods for't. MEN. So do I too, if it be not too much :— Brings 'a victory in his pocket?-The wounds become him.
VOL. On's brows, Menenius : he comes the third time home with the oaken garland.
MEN. Has he disciplined Aufidius soundly? VOL. Titus Lartius writes,-they fought together, but Aufidius got off.
in Galen-] An anachronism of near 650 years. Menenius flourished Anno U. C. 260, about 492 years before the birth of our Saviour.-Galen was born in the year of our Lord 130, flourished about the year 155 or 160, and lived to the year 200. GREY.
-empiricutick,] The old copies-empirickqutique. "The most sovereign prescription in Galen (says Menenius) is to this news but empiricutick: an adjective evidently formed by the author from empiric (empirique, Fr.) a quack." RITSON.
7 On's brows, Menenius:] Mr. M. Mason proposes that there should be a comma placed after Menenius; On's brows, Menenius, he comes the third time home with the oaken garland, "for," says the commentator, "it was the oaken garland, not the wounds, that Volumnia says he had on his brows." In Julius Cæsar we find a dialogue exactly similar:
"Cas. No, it is Casca; one incorporate
"To our attempts.-Am I not staid for, Cinna?
i. e. I am glad that Casca is incorporate, &c.
But he appears to me to have misapprehended the passage. Volumnia answers Menenius, without taking notice of his last words, -"The wounds become him." Menenius had asked-Brings
MEN. And 'twas time for him too, I'll warrant him that an he had staid by him, I would not have been so fidiused for all the chests in Corioli, and the gold that's in them. Is the senate possessed of this?
VOL. Good ladies, let's go :-Yes, yes, yes: the senate has letters from the general, wherein he gives my son the whole name of the war: he hath in this action outdone his former deeds doubly. VAL. In troth, there's wondrous things spoke of him.
MEN. Wondrous? ay, I warrant without his true purchasing.
VIR. The gods grant them true!
VOL. True? pow, wow.
you, and not
MEN. True? I'll be sworn they are true:Where is he wounded?-God save your good worships! [To the Tribunes, who come forward.] Marcius is coming home: he has more cause to be proud. Where is he wounded?
he victory in his pocket? He brings it, says Volumnia, on his
"He prov'd best man o' the field, and for his meed,
If these words did not admit of so clear an explanation, (in which the conceit is truly Shakspearian,) the arrangement proposed by Mr. M. Mason might perhaps be admitted, though it is extremely harsh, and the inversion of the natural order of the words not much in our author's manner in his prose writings.
-possessed of this?] Possessed, in our author's language, is fully informed. JOHNSON.
So, in The Merchant of Venice:
"I have possess'd your grace of what I purpose.”
VOL. I' the shoulder, and i' the left arm: There will be large cicatrices to show the people, when he shall stand for his place. He received in the repulse of Tarquin, seven hurts i' the body.
MEN. One in the neck, and two in the thigh,there's nine that I know.9
Voz. He had, before this last expedition, twentyfive wounds upon him.
MEN. Now it's twenty-seven: every gash was an enemy's grave: [A Shout, and Flourish.] Hark! the trumpets.
VOL. These are the ushers of Marcius: 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;1 and then men die.
seven hurts &c.] Old copy-seven hurts i' the body. Men. One the neck, and two i' the thigh;—there's nine that I know. Seven,-one,-and two, and these make but nine? Surely, we may safely assist Menenius in his arithmetick. This is a stupid blunder; but wherever we can account by a probable reason for the cause of it, that directs the emendation. Here it was easy for a negligent transcriber to omit the second one, as a needless repetition of the first, and to make a numeral word of too. WARBURTON.
The old man, agreeable to his character, is minutely particular: Seven wounds? let me see; one in the neck, two in the thighNay, I am sure there are more; there are nine that I know of. UPTON.
'Which being advanc'd, declines;] Volumnia, in her boasting strain, says, that her son, to kill his enemy, has nothing to do but to lift his hand up and let it fall. JOHNSON.
A Sennet. Trumpets sound. Enter COMINIUS and TITUS LARTIUS; between them, CORIOLANus, crowned with an oaken Garland; with Captains, Soldiers, and a Herald.
HER. Know, Rome, that all alone Marcius did
Within Corioli' gates: where he hath won,
Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus !
[Flourish. ALL. Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus! COR. No more of this, it does offend my heart; Pray now, no more.
Look, sir, your mother,
You have, I know, petition'd all the gods
Nay, my good soldier, up;
My gracious silence, hail !s
Coriolanus;] The old copy-Martius Caius Coriolanus.
The compositor, it is highly probable, caught the words Martius Caius from the preceding line, where also in the old copy the original names of Coriolanus are accidentally transposed. The correction in the former line was made by Mr. Rowe; in the latter by Mr. Steevens. MALONE.
My gracious silence, hail!] The epithet to silence shows it not to proceed from reserve or sullenness, but to be the effect of
Would'st thou have laugh'd, had I come coffin'd
That weep'st to see me triumph? Ah, my dear,
And mothers that lack sons.
Now the gods crown thee!
COR. And live you yet?-O my sweet lady, par
VOL. I know not where to turn:-O welcome
a virtuous mind possessing itself in peace. The expression is extremely sublime; and the sense of it conveys the finest praise that can be given to a good woman. WARBURTON.
By my gracious silence, I believe, the poet meant, thou whose silent tears are more eloquent and grateful to me, than the clamorous applause of the rest! So, Crashaw:
"Sententious show'rs! O! let them fall!
"Their cadence is rhetorical."
Again, in Love's Cure, or the Martial Maid of Beaumont and Fletcher:
"A lady's tears are silent orators,
"Or should be so at least, to move beyond
Again, in Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond, 1599:
"Sweet silent rhetorick of persuading eyes!
"Dumb eloquence, whose power doth move the blood, "More than the words, or wisdom of the wise!"
Again, in Every Man out of his Humour:
"You shall see sweet silent rhetorick, and dumb eloquence speaking in her eye." STEEVENS.
I believe, "My gracious silence," only means "My beauteous silence," or " my silent Grace." Gracious seems to have had the same meaning formerly that graceful has at this day. So, in The Merchant of Venice:
"But being season'd with a gracious voice."
Again, in King John:
"There was not such a gracious creature born." Again, in Marston's Malcontent, 1604;" he is the most exquisite in forging of veines, spright'ning of eyes, dying of haire, sleeking of skinnes, blushing of cheekes, &c. that ever made an old lady gracious by torchlight." MALONE.