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175. That like nor peace nor war? The one affrights
The other makes you proud- -] Coriolanus does not use the two sentences consequentially, but first reproaches them with unsteadiness, then with their other occasional vices. JOHNSON. 180. - Your virtue is,
To make him worthy, whose offence subdues him,
And curse that justice did it. -] i. e. Your virtue is to speak well of him whom his own offences have subjected to justice; and to rail at those laws by which he whom you praise was punished.
STEEVENS. 204. their ruth,] i. e. their pity, compassion. Fairfax and Spenser often use the word. Steevens. 205
With thousands Why a quarry? I suppose, not because he would pile ihem square, but because he would give them for carrion to the birds of prey.
JOHNSON. So in the Miracles of Moses, by Drayton : “ And like a quarry cast them on the land."
Steevens. 207. -pike my lance.] And so the word is still pronounced in Staffordshire, where they say--picke me such thing, that is, throw any thing that the demander wants.
Tollet. 219. -the heart of generosity,] To give the final blow to the nobles. Generosity is high birth.
-I'd make a quarry
238, -'tis true, that you have lately told us;
ns. ] Coriolanus had been but just told himself that the Volces were in arms. The meaning is, The intelligence which you gave us, some little time ago of the designs of the Volces are now verified; they are in arms. JOHNSON.
271. Your valour puts well forth :- -] That is, You have in this mutiny shewn fair blossoms of valour.
JOHNSON. 277 -to gird] To sneer, to gibe. So Falstaff uses the noun, when he says, every man has a gird at
JOHNSON. 279. The present wars devour him! he is grown
Too proud to be so valiant.] The sense may be, that the present wars annihilate his gentler qualities. To eat up, and consequently to devour, has this meaning. So, in the second part of K. Henry IV. act iv. line 798.
But thou (the crown) most fine, most honour'd,
most renown'd, Hast eat thy bearer up. He is grown too proud to be so valiant, may signify, his pride is such as not to deserve the accompanyment of so much valour.
STEVENS. 296. Of his demerits rob Cominius.] Merits and Deo merits had anciently the same meaning: So, in Othello: act ii. line 219.
-and my demerits May speak, &c. Again, in Stowe's Chronicle, cardinal Wolsey says te
his servants, I have not promoted, preferred, and advanced you all according to your demerits." Again, in P. Holland's translation of Pliny's Epistle to T. Vespasian, 1600:“-his demerit had been the greater to have continued his story."
Steevens. 304. More than his singularity, &c.] We will learn what he is to do, besides going himself; what are his powers, and what is his appointment. JOHNSON.
313 'Tis not four days gone,] i. e. four days past.
STEEVENS. 333. To take in many towns, -] To take in is here,' as in many other places, to subdue. So, in the Execra. tion on Vulcan, by Ben. Johnson :
-The Globe, the glory of the Bank, “ I saw with two poor chambers taken in, " And raz'd."
-for the remove
Bring up your army;~] Says the senator to Ausidius, Go to your troops, we will garrison Corioli.
If the Romans besiege us, bring up your army to remove them. If any change should be made, I would read : - for their remove.
JOHNSON. 367. -brows bound with oak : The crown' given by the Romans to him that saved the life of a citzen, which was accounted more honourable than
JOHNSON 394. Than gilt his trophy :- -] Gilt means a superficial display of gold, a word now obsolete. So,
in Hen. V. act iv. line 546.
STEEVENS. 397. At Grecian swords contending. Tell Valeria,] The accuracy of the editors of the first folio may be known from the manner in which they have given this line : At Grecian sword. Contending, tell Valeria.
STEEVENS. 419. mammock'd it!) To mammock is to cut in pieces, or to tear. So, in The Devil's Charter, 1607.
“ That he were chop'd in mammocks, I could eat him."
STEEVENS. 422. A crack, madam.] Thus in Cynthia's Revels by Ben Johnson :
Since we are turn'd cracks, let's study to be like cracks, act freely, carelesly, and ca.
priciously." Again, in the Four Prentices of London, 1632:
“ A notable dissembling lad, a crack.” Crack signifies a boy child. See Mr. Tyrwhitt's note on second part of K. Henry IV. act iii. line 143.
STEVENS. 486. nor a man that fears you less than ke,
That's lesser than a little.- --] The sense requires it to be read:
nor a man that fears you more than he; Or, more probably:
nor a man but fears you less than he, That's lesser than a little.
503. Re-enter Marcius.] The old copy reads Enter Martius cursing.
Steevens. 504. You shames of Rome, you! herds of boils, &c.] This passage would, I think, appear more spirited, if it were pointed thus:
All the contagion of the south light on you,
o'er! You herd of cowards, he would say, but his rage prevents him.
Coriolanus speaking of the people in a subsequent scene, uses the same expression: Are these
herd? “ Must these have voices, that can yield them now,
“ And straight disclam their tongues ?” Again, Menenius says:
“ Before he should thus stoop to the herd, &c. The first folio countenances this arrangement; for after the word Rome there is a colon, and the second you is connected with the subsequent words. This regulation and reading are also farther supported by the old copy, where we find not herds, but heard, which is applicable to a body of men, and cannot be connected with the subsequent words. The modern editors chusing to connect it with boils and plagues, &c. were forced to alter it to he We might read :
hoards of boils and plagues Plaister you o'er.