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-when drums and trumpets shall
l' the field, prove flatterers, let courts and cities
Be made all of false-fac'd soothing.
When steel grows soft as the parasite's silk,

Let him be made an overture for the wars:
All here is miserably corrupt and disjointed. We
should read the whole thus:

-when drums and trumpets shall,
l'th' field prove flatterers, let camps, as cities,
Be made of false-fac'd soothing! When steel grows
Soft as the parasite's silk, let hymus be made

An overture for the wars!-
The thought is this, If one thing changes its usual na.
ture to a thing most opposite, there is no reason but
that all the rest which depend on it should do so too. [If
drums and trumpets prove flatterers, let the camp bear
the false face of the city.] And if another changes its
usual nature, that its opposite should do so too. [When
steel softens to the condition of the parasite's silk, the
peaceful hymns of devotion should be employed to ex-
cite to the charge.] Now, in the first instance, the
thought, in the common reading was entirely lost by
putting in courts for camps: and the latter miserably
involved in nonsense by, blundering hyms into him.

WARBURTON. The first part of the passage has been altered, in my opinion, unnecessarily by Dr. Warburton; and the latter not so happily, I think, as he often conjectures. In the latter part, which only I mean to consider, instead of, him, (an evident corruption) he substitutes

hymns ;


B iij

hymns; which perhaps may palliate, but certainly has not cured, the wounds of the sentence. I would propose an alteration of two words:

" — when steel grows
“Soft as the parasite's silk, let this[]be made

A coverture for the wars!” The sense will then be apt and complete. When steel grows soft as silk, let armour be made of silk instead of steel.

TYRWHITT. It should be remembered, that the personal him, is not unfrequently used by our author, and other writers of his age, instead of it, the neuter; and that overture, in its musical sense, is not so ancient as the age of Shakspere. What Martial has said of Mutius Scævola, may however be applied to Dr. Warburton's proposed emendation :

Si non errasset, fecerat ille minus. STEEVENS. 770. For what he did, &c.] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: “ After this showte and noyse of the assembly was somewhat appeased, the consul Cominius beganne to speake in this sorte. We cannot compell Martius to take these giftes we offer him, if he will not receiue them: but we will geue him suche a rewarde for the noble seruice he hath done, as he can. not refuse. Therefore we doe order and decree, that henceforth he be called Coriolanus, onles his valiant acts haue wonne him that name before our nomina. tion."

Steevens. 772. The folio-Marcus Caius Coriolanus.


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779. To undercrest your good addition,] A phrase from heraldry, signifying, that he would endeavour to support his good opinion of him.

WARBURTON. 780. To the fairness of my power] When two engage on equal terms, we say it is fair; fairness may therefore be equality; in proportion equal to my power.

Johnson. 785. The best-] The chief men of Corioli.

JOHNSON. 785. with whom we may articulate,] i. e. enter into articles. This word occurs again in Henry IV. Part I. act v. line 73.

“ Indeed these things you have articulated.i. e. set down article by article.

STEEVENS. 793. At a poor man's house;- -] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: “ Only this grace (said he) I craue, and beseeche you to grant me. Among the Volsces there, is an olde friende and hoste of mine, an honest wealthie man, and now a prisoner, who liuing before in great wealth in his owne countrie, liueth now a poore prisoner in the handes of his enemies: and yet notwithstanding all this his miserie and misfortune, it would doe me great pleasure if I could saue him from this one daunger: to keepe him from being solde as a slaue."|

STEEVENS. Mine emulation

Hath not that honour in't, &c.] I would rather point the passage thus:


-Mine emulation
Hath not that honour in't, it had; for where
I thought to crush him in an equal force
(True sword to sword), I'll potch at him some way

Or wrath or craft may find him. I am not so honourable an adversary as I was; for whereas I thought to have subdued him in equal combat, our swords being fairly opposed to each other; but now I am determined to destroy him in whatever way my resentment or cunning may devise.

Where is used here, as in many other places, for whereas.

MALONE. 822. -I'll potch at him some way;] The Revia sal reads poach; but potch, to which the objection is made as no English word, is used in the midland counties for a rough, violent push.

SteeVENS In Carew's Survey of Cornwall, p. 31. “They, use also to poche them (fish) with an instrument somewhat like a salmon-speare."

TOLLET. 826.

Shall fly out of itself:] To mischief him, my valour should deviate from its own native generosity.


nor sleep nor sanctuary, &c.

Embarquements all of fury, &c.] The dramatick art of this speech is great. For after Aufidius had so generously received Coriolanus in exile, nothing but the memory of this speech, which lets one so well into Aufidius's nature, could make his after-perfidy and baseness at all probable. These two

for him

generals generals are drawn equally covetous of glory: But the Volscian not scrupulous about the means. And hisimmediate repentance, after the assassinate, well agrees with such a character.

WARBURTON. Embarquements, as Cotgrave says, meant not only an embarkation, but an embargoing. The rotten privilege and custom that follow, seem to favour this explanation.

STEEVENS. 833. At home, upon my brother's guard,–] In my own house, with my brother posted to protect him.


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Line 7. PRAY you, &c.] When the tribune, in
reply to Menenius's remark, on the people's hate
of Coriolanus, had observed that even beasts knew
'their friends, Menenius asks, whom does the wolf love?
implying that there are beasts which love nobody, and
that among those beasts are the people. Johnson.
towards the napes of your necks,

--] With allusion to the fable, which says, that every man has a bag hanging before him, in which he puts his neighbour's faults, and another behind him, in which he stows his own.

Johnson. 51. one that converses more, &c.] Rather a late lier down than an early riser.


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