1.i.19 (292,1) but they think, we are too dear] They think that the charge of maintaining us is more than we are worth.
I.i.23 (292,3) ere we become rakes] It is plain that, in our authour's time, we had the proverb, as lean as a rake. Of this proverb the original is obscure. Rake now signifies a dissolute man, a man worn out with disease and debauchery. But the signification is, I think, much more modern than the proverb. Raekel, in Islandick, is said to mean a cur-dog, and this was probably the first use among us of the word rake; as lean as a rake is, therefore, as lean as it dog too worthless to be fed.
1.i.94 (294,4) I will venture/To scale't a little more] [Warburton had taken Theobald to task for emending to "stale't", offering two quotations to prove that "scale" meant "apply."] Neither of Dr. Warburton's examples afford a sense congruous to the present occasion. In the passage quoted, to scale may be to weigh and compare, but where do we find that scale is to apply? If we scale the two criticks, I think Theobald has the advantage.
I.i.97 (295,5) fob off our disgraces with a tale] Disgraces are hardships, injuries.
I.i.104 (295,6) where the other instruments] Where for whereas.
I.i.112 (296,7) Which ne'er came from the lungs] with a smile not indicating pleasure, but contempt.
I.i.120 (296,9) The counsellor heart] The heart was anciently esteemed the seat of prudence. Homo cordatum is a prudent man.
I.i.163 (297,1) Thou rascal, that art worst in blood, to ruin,/ Lead'st first, to win some 'vantage] I think, we may better read, by an easy change, Thou rascal that art worst, in blood, to ruin [to run] Lead'st first, to win, &c.
Thou that art the meanest by birth, art the foremost to lead thy fellows to ruin, in hope of some advantage. The meaning, however, is perhaps only this, Thou that art a hound, or running dog of the lowest breed, lead'st the pack, when any thing is to be gotten. (see 1765, VI, 493, 1)
I.i.172 (298,4) What would you have, ye curs,/ That like not peace, nor war? The one affrights you,/ The other makes you proud] [W: likes] That to like is to please, every one knows, but in that sense it is as hard to say why peace should not like the people, as, in the other sense, why the people should not like peace. The truth is, that Coriolanus does not use the two sentences consequentially, but reproaches them with unsteadiness, then with their other occasional vices.
I.i.202 (300,6) I'd make a quarry/With thousands] Why a quarry? I suppose, not because he would pile them square, but because he would give them for carrion to the birds of prey.
I.i.215 (300,7) To break the heart of generosity] To give the final blow to the nobles. Generosity is high birth.
I.i.231 (301,8) 'tis true, that yon have lately told us./The Volscians are in arms] Coriolanus had been but just told himself that the Volscians were in arms. The meaning is, The intelligence which you gave us some little time ago of the designs of the Volscians is now verified; they are in arms.
I.i.255 (302,8) Your valour puts well forth] That is, You have in this mutiny shewn fair blossoms of valour.
I.i.260 (303,9) to gird. To sneer, to gibe. So Falstaff uses the noun, when he says, every man has a gird at me.
I.i.281 (304,3) in what fashion,/More than his singularity he goes/ Upon this present action] We will learn what he is to do, besides going himself; what are his powers, and what is his appointment.
I.ii.28 (305,4) for the remove/Bring up your army] [W:'fore they] I do not see the nonsense or impropriety of the old reading. Says the senator to Aufidius, 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.
I.iii.16 (307,5) brows bound with oak] The crown given by the Romans to him that saved the life of a citizen, which was accounted more honourable than any other.
I.iv.14 (311,9) nor a man that fears you less than he,/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.
I.v.5 (314,4) prize their hours] In the first edition it is, prize their hours. I know not who corrected it [to prize their honours]. A modern editor, who had made such an improvement, would have spent half a page in ostentation of his sagacity.
I.vi.36 (317,6) Ransoming him, or pitying] i.e. remitting his ransom.
I.vi.61 (318,8) swords advanc'd] That is, swords lifted high.
I.vi.83 (319,9) Please you to march,/And four shall quickly draw out my command,/Which men are best inclin'd] I cannot but suspect this passage of corruption. Why should they march, that four might select those that were best inclin'd? How would their inclinations be known? Who were the four that should select them? Perhaps, we may read,
--Please you to march, And fear shall quickly draw out of my command, Which men are least inclin'd.
It is easy to conceive that, by a little negligence, fear might be changed to four, and least to best. Let us march, and that fear which incites desertion will free my army from cowards. (see 1765, VI, 512, 1)
I.viii.11 (320,1) Wert thou the Hector,/That was the whip of your bragg'd progeny] The Romans boasted themselves descended from the Trojans, how then was Hector the whip of their progeny? It must mean the whip with which the Trojans scourged the Greeks, which cannot be but by a very unusual construction, or the authour must have forgotten the original of the Romans; unless whip has some meaning which includes advantage or superiority, as we say, he has the whip-hand, for he has the advantage.
I.viii.14 (321,2) you have sham'd me/In your condemned seconds] For condemned, we may read contemned. You have, to my shane, sent me help which I despise.
I.ix.12 (321,4) Here is the steed, we the caparisons!] This is an odd encomium. The meaning is, this man performed the action, and we only filled up the show.
I.ii.14 (322,5) a charter to extol] A privilege to praise her own son.
I.ix.29 (322,6) Should they not] That is, not be remembered.
I.ix.72 (325,9) To the fairness of any power] [Fairness, for utmost. WARE.] I know not how fairness can mean utmost. When two engage on equal terms, we say it is fair; fairness may therefore be equality; in proportion equal to my power.
I.ix.76 (325,1) The best] The chief men of Corioli.
I.x.5 (326,3) Being a Volsce, be that I am] It may be just observed, that Shakespeare calls the Volsci, Volsces, which the modern editors have changed to the modern termination [Volscian]. I mention it here, because here the change has spoiled the measure. Being a Volsce, be that I am. Condition. [Steevans restored Volsce in the text.]
I.x.17 (326,2) My valour's poison'd,/With only suffering stain by him, for him/ Shall flie out of itself] To mischief him, my valour should deviate from its own native generosity.
I.x.25 (327,4) At home, upon my brother's guard] In my own house, with my brother posted to protect him.
II.i.8 (328,5) Pray you, who does the wolf love?] When the tribune, in reply to Menenius's remark, on the people's hate of Coriolanus, had observed that even beasts know 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.
II.i.43 (329,6) 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.
II.i.56 (330,7) one that converses more with the buttock of the night, than with the forehead of the morning] Rather a late lier down than an early riser.
II.i.84 (330,1) set up the bloody flag against all patience] That is, declare war against patience. There is not wit enough in this satire to recompense its grossness.
II.i.105 (331,2) herdsmen of beastly Plebeians] As kings are called [Greek: poimenes laon].
II.i.115 (331,3) Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee] [W: cup] Shakespeare so often mentions throwing up caps in this play, that Menenius may be well enough supposed to throw up his cap in thanks to Jupiter.
II.i.146 (333,4) possest of this?] Possest, in our authour's language, is fully informed.
II.i.178 (334,6) 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.
II.i.232 (337,3) Commit the war of white and damask, in/Their nicely gawded cheeks] [W: wars] Has the commentator never heard of roses contending with lilies for the empire of a lady's cheek? The opposition of colours, though not the commixture, may be called a war.
II.i.235 (338,1) As if that whatsoever God] That is, as if that God who leads him, whatsoever God he be.
II.i.241 (338,2) From where he should begin, and end] Perhaps it should be read,
From where he should begin t'an end.--
II.i.247 (338,3) As he is proud to do't] [I should rather think the author wrote prone: because the common reading is scarce sense or English. Warburton.] Proud to do, is the same as, proud of doing, very plain sense, and very common English.
II.i.285 (340,4) carry with us ears and eyes] That is, let us observe what passes, but keep our hearts fixed on our design of crushing Coriolanus.
II.ii.19 (340,5) he wav'd indifferently] That is, he would wave indifferently.
II.ii.29 (341,6) supple and courteous to the people; bonnetted] The sense, I think, requires that we should read, unbonnetted. Who have risen only by pulling off their hats to the people. Bonnetted may relate to people, but not without harshness.
II.ii.57 (342,7) Your loving motion toward the common body] Your kind interposition with the common people.
II.ii.64 (342,9) That's off, that's off] That is, that is nothing to the purpose.
II.ii.82 (343,1) how can he flatter] The reasoning of Menenius is this: How can he be expected to practice flattery to others, who abhors it so much, that he cannot bear it even when offered to himself.
II.ii.92 (343,2) When Tarquin made a head for Rome] When Tarquin, who had been expelled, raised a power to recover Rome.
II.ii.113 (344,6) every motion/Was tim'd with dying cries] The cries of the slaughter'd regularly followed his motions, as musick and a dancer accompany each ether.
II.ii.115 (345,7) The mortal gate] The gate that was made the scene of death.
II.ii.127 (345,8) He cannot but with measure fit the honours] That is, no honour will be too great far him; he will show a mind equal to any elevation.
rewards His deeds with doing them; and is content To spend his time, to end it]
I know not whether my conceit will be approved, but I cannot forbear to think that our author wrote thus.
--he rewards His deeds with doing them, and is content To spend his time, to spend it.
To do great acts, for the sake of doing them; to spend his life, for the sake of spending it.
II.iii.4 (348,2) We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a power that we have no power to do] [Warburton saw this as "a ridicule on the Augustine manner of defining free-will."] A ridicule may be intended, but the sense is clear enough. Power first signifies natural power or force, and then moral power or right. Davies has used the same word with great variety of meaning.
Use all thy powers that heavenly power to praise, That gave thee power to do.--
II.iii.18 (348,3) many-headed multitude] Hanmer reads, many-headed monster, but without necessity. To be many-headed includes monstrousness.
II.iii.115 (352,7) I will not seal your knowledge] I will not strengthen or compleat your knowledge. The seal is that which gives authenticity to a writing.
Why in this woolvish tongue should I stand here To beg of Bob and Dick, that do appear, Their needless vouches?]
Why stand I here in this ragged apparel to beg of Bob and Dick, and such others as make their appearance here, their unnecessary votes. I rather think we should read [instead of voucher], Their needless vouches. But voucher may serve, as it may perhaps signify either the act or the agent.
II.iii.122 (352) this woolvish gown] Signifies this rough hirsute gown.
II.iii.182 (355,1) ignorant to see't?] [W: "ignorant" means "impotent"] That ignorant at any time has, otherwise than consequentially, the same meaning with impotent, I do not know. It has no such meaning in this place. Were you ignorant to see it, is, did you want knowledge to discern it.
II.iii.208 (356,2) free contempt] That is, with contempt open and unrestrained.
II.iii.227 (357,4) Enforce his pride] Object his pride, and enforce the objection.
II.iii.258 (358,7) Scaling his present bearing with his past] That is, weighing his past and present behaviour.
II.iii.267 (359,8) observe and answer/The vantage of his anger] Mark, catch, and improve the opportunity, which his hasty anger will afford us.
III.i.23 (360,9) prank them in authority] Plume, deck, dignify themselves.
III.i.58 (362,3) This paltring/Becomes not Rome] That is, this trick of dissimulation, this shuffling.
Let these be no more believ'd That palter with us in a double sense. Macbeth.
III.i.60 (362,4) laid falsly] Falsly for treacherously.
III.i.66 (362,5) Let them regard me, as I do not flatter, and/ Therein behold themselves] Let them look in the mirror which I hold up to them, a mirror which does not flatter, and see themselves.
III.i.89 (363,6) minnows] a minnow is one of the smallest river fish, called in some counties a pink.
III.i.90 (364,6) 'Twas from the canon] Was contrary to the established role; it was a form of speech to which he has no right.
III.i.98 (364,9) Then vail your ignorance] [W: "ignorance" means "impotence."] Hanmer's transposition deserves notice
--If they have power, Let them have cushions by you; if none, awake Your dang'rous lenity; if you are learned, Be not as commmon fools; if you are not, Then vail your ignorance. You are Plebeians, &c.
I neither think the transposition of one editor right, nor the interpretation of the other. The sense is plain enough without supposing ignorance to have any remote or consequential sense. If this man has power, let the ignorance that gave it him vail or bow down before him.
III.i.101 (365,1) You are Plebeians, If they be Senators: and they are no less, When, both your voices blended, the greatest taste Most palates theirs]
These lines may, I think, be made more intelligible by a very slight correction.
--they no less [than senators] When, both your voices blended, the great'st taste Must palate theirs.
When the taste of the great, the patricians, must palate, must please [or must try] that of the plebeians.
III.i.124 (366,3) They would not thread the gates] That is, pass them. We yet say, to thread an alley.
III.i.129 (366,4) could never be the native] [Native for natural birth. Warburton.] Native is here not natural birth, but natural parent, or cause of birth. But I would read motive, which, without any distortion of its meaning, suits the speaker's purpose.
III.i.151 (367,7) That love the fundamental part of state/More than you doubt the change of't] To doubt is to fear. The meaning is, You whose zeal predominates over your terrours; you who do not so much fear the danger of violent measures, as wish the good to which they are necessary, the preservation of the original constitution of our government.
III.i.158 (368,2) Mangles true judgment] Judgment is judgment in its common sense, or the faculty by which right is distinguished from wrong.
III.i.159 (368,3) that integrity which should become it] Integrity is in this place soundness, uniformity, consistency, in the same sense as Dr. Warburton often uses it, when he mentions the integrity of a metaphor. To become, is to suit, to befit.
III.i.221 (370,5) are very poisonous] I read, are very poisons.
III.i.242 (371,7) One time will owe another] I know not whether to owe in this place means to possess by right, or to be indebted. Either sense may be admitted. One time, in which the people are seditious, will give us power in some other time; or, this time of the people's predominance will run them in debt; that is, will lay them open to the law, and expose them hereafter to more servile subjection.
III.i.248 (372,8) Before the tag return] The lowest and most despicable of the populace are still denominated by those a little above them, Tag, rag, and bobtail. (1773)
III.ii.7 (376,4) I muse] That is, I wonder. I am at a loss.
III.ii.12 (376,5) my ordinance] My rank.
III.ii.51 (378,8) Why force you] Why urge you.
III.ii.56 (378,9) bastards, and syllables/Of no allowance, to your bosom's truth] I read,
Of no alliance,--
therefore bastards. Yet allowance may well enough stand, as meaning legal right, established rank, or settled authority. (see 1765, VI, 566, 7)
III.ii.64 (379,1) I am in this/Your wife, your son] I rather think the meaning is, I am in their condition, I am at stake, together with your wife, your son.
III.ii.66 (379,2) our general lowts] Our common clowns.
III.ii.69 (379,3) that want] The want of their loves.
III.ii.71 (379,4) Not what] In this place not seems to signify not only.
III.ii.77 (379,5) Waving thy head,/With often, thus, correcting thy stout heart] [W: thy hand,/Which soften thus] The correction is ingenious, yet I think it not right. Head or hand is indifferent. The hand is waved to gain attention; the head is shaken in token of sorrow. The word wave suits better to the hand, but in considering the authour's language, too much stress must not be laid on propriety against the copies. I would read thus,
--waving thy head, With often, thus, correcting thy stout heart.
That is, shaking thy head, and striking thy breast. The alteration is slight, and the gesture recommended not improper.
III.ii.99 (381,6) my unbarb'd sconce?] The suppliants of the people used to present themselves to them in sordid and neglected dresses.
III.ii.113 (381,8) Which quired with my drum] Which played in concert with my drum.
III.ii.116 (382,1) Tent in my cheeks] To tent is to take up residence.
III.ii.121 (382,2) honour mine own truth] [Greek: Panton de malis aischuneui sauton]. Pythagoras.
III.ii.125 (382,3) let/Thy mother rather feel thy pride, than fear/ Thy dangerous stoutness] This is obscure. Perhaps, she means, Go, do thy worst; let me rather feel the utmost extremity that thy pride can bring upon us, than live thus in fear of thy dangerous obstinacy.
Insisting on the old prerogative And power in' the truth o' the cause]
This is not very easily understood. We might read,
--o'er the truth o' the cause.
III.iii.26 (384,4) and to have his word/Of contradiction] To have his word of contradiction is no more than, he is used to contradict; and to have his word, that is, not to be opposed. We still say of an obstinate disputant, he will have the last word.
III.iii.29 (384,5) which looks/With us to break his neck] To look is to wait or expect. The sense I believe is, What he has in his heart is waiting there to help us to break his neck.
III.iii.57 (386,8) Rather than envy you] Envy is here taken at large for malignity or ill intention.
III.iii.64 (386,9) season'd office] All office established and settled by time, and made familiar to the people by long use.
III.iii.96 (387,1) has now at last] Read rather,
--has now at last [instead of as now at last].
III.iii.97 (387,2) not in the presence] Not stands again for not only.
III.iii.114 (388,3) My dear wife's estimate] I love my country beyond the rate at which I value my dear wife.
Have the power still To banish your defenders'; till, at length, Your ignorance, (which finds not, till it feels)]
Still retain the power of banishing your defenders, till your undiscerning folly, which can foresee no consequences, leave none in the city but yourselves, who are always labouring your own destruction.
It is remarkable, that, among the political maxims of the speculative Harrington, there is one which he might have borrowed from this speech. The people, says he, cannot see, but they can feel. It is not much to the honour of the people, that they have the same character of stupidity from their enemy and their friend. Such was the power of our authour's mind, that he looked through life in all its relations private and civil.
IV.i.7 (390,1) Fortune's blows,/When most struck home, being gentle wounded, craves/A noble cunning] This it the ancient and authentick reading. The modern editors have, for gentle wounded, silently substituted gently warded, and Dr. Warburton has explained gently by nobly. It is good to be sure of our authour's words before we go about to explain their meaning.
The sense is, When Fortune strikes her hardest blows, to be wounded, and yet continue calm, requires a generous policy. He calls this calmness cunning, because it is the effect of reflection and philosophy. Perhaps the first emotions of nature are nearly uniform, and one man differs from another in the power of endurance, as he is better regulated by precept and instruction.
They bore as heroes, but they felt as men.
(see 1765, VI, 577, 9)
IV.i.33 (391,3) cautelous baits and practice] By artful and false tricks, and treason.
Sic.: Are you mankind? Vol.: Ay, fool; Is that a shame? Note but this fool. Was not a man my father?]
The word mankind is used maliciously by the first speaker, and taken perversely by the second. A mankind woman is a woman with the roughness of a man, and, in an aggravated sense, a woman ferocious, violent, and eager to shed blood. In this sense Sicinius asks Volumnia, if she be mankind. She takes mankind for a human creature, and accordingly cries out,
--Note but this, fool. Was not a man my father?
IV.ii.18 (394,7) Hadst thou foxship] Hadst thou, fool as thou art, mean cunning enough to banish Coriolanus?
IV.iii.9 (395,7) but your favour is well appear'd by your tongue] [W: well appeal'd] I should read,
--is well affear'd,
That is, strengthened, attested, a word used by our authour.
My title is affear'd. Macbeth.
To repeal may be to bring to remembrance, but appeal has another meaning.
IV.iii.48 (397,8) already in the entertainment] That is, tho' not actually encamped, yet already in pay. To entertain an army is to take them into pay.
So, with me:-- My birth-place hate I, and my love's upon This enemy's town:--I'll enter: if he slay me]
He who reads this [My country have I and my lovers left;/This enemy's town I'll enter] would think that he was reading the lines of Shakespeare: except that Coriolanus, being already in the town, says, he will enter it. Yet the old edition exhibits it thus
--So with me. My birth-place have I; and my loves upon This enemic towne; I'll enter if he slay me, &c.
The intermediate line seems to be lost, in which, conformably to his former observation, he says, that he has lost his birth-place, and his loves upon a petty dispute, and is trying his chance in this enemy town, he then cries, turning to the house of Anfidius, I'll enter if he slay me.
I have preferred the common reading, because it is, though faulty, yet intelligible, and the original passage, for want of copies, cannot be restored.
IV.v.76 (403,3) a good memory] The Oxford editor, not knowing that memory was used at that time for memorial, alters it to memorial.
IV.v.90 (403,4) A heart of wreak in thee] A heart of resentment.
IV.v.91 (403,5) maims/Of shame] That is, disgraceful diminutions of territory.
IV.v.207 (406,5) sanctifies himself with's hands] Alluding, improperly, to the act of crossing upon any strange event.
IV.v.212 (407,6) He will go, he says, and sowle the porter of Rome gates by the ears] That is, I suppose, drag him down by the ears into the dirt. Souiller, Fr.
IV.v.214 (407,7) his passage poll'd] That is, bared, cleared.
IV.v.238 (408,8) full of vent] Full of rumour, full of materials for discourse.
IV.vi.2 (408,1) His remedies are tame i' the present peace] The old reading is,
His remedies are tame, the present peace.
I do not understand either line, but fancy it should be read thus,
--neither need we fear him; His remedies are ta'en, the present peace, And quietness o' the people,--
The meaning, somewhat harshly expressed, according to our authour's custom, is this: We need not fear him, the proper remedies against him are taken, by restoring peace and quietness.
IV.vi.32 (410,2) affecting one sole throne,/Without assistance] That is, without assessors; without any other suffrage.
IV.vi.51 (411,3) reason with the fellow] That is, have some talk with him. In this sense Shakespeare often uses the word.
IV.vi.72 (412,4) can no more atone] To atone, in the active sense, is to reconcile, and is so used by our authour. To atone here, is, in the neutral sense, to come to reconciliation. To atone is to unite.
IV.vi.85 (412,5) burned in their cement] [W: "cement" for "cincture or inclosure"] Cement has here its common signification.
IV.vi.98 (413,5) The breath of garlick-eaters!] To smell of garlick was once such a brand of vulgarity, that garlick was a food forbidden to an ancient order of Spanish knights, mentioned by Guevara.
they charge him even As those should do that had deserv'd his hate, And therein shew'd like enemies]
Their charge or injunction would shew them insensible of his wrongs, and make them shew like enemies. I read shew, not shewed, like enemies.
IV.vi.124 (414,8) They'll roar him in again] As they hooted at his departure, they will roar at his return; as he went out with scoffs, he will come back with lamentations.
whether pride, Which out of daily fortune ever taints The happy man; whether]
Ausidius assigns three probable reasons of the miscarriage of Coriolanus; pride, which easily follows an uninterrupted train of success; unskilfulness to regulate the consequences of his own victories; a stubborn uniformity of nature, which could not make the proper transition from the casque or helmet to the cushion or chair of civil authority; but acted with the same despotism in peace as in war.
IV.vii.48 (418,2) he has a merit,/To choak it in the utterance] He has a merit, for no other purpose than to destroy it by boasting it.
IV.vii.55 (418,4) Right's by right fouler] [W: fouled] I believe rights, like strengths, is a plural noon. I read,
Rights by rights founder, strengths by strengths do fail.
That is, by the exertion of one right another right is lamed.
V.i.20 (420,2) It was a bare petition] [Bare, for mean, beggarly. WARBURTON.] I believe rather, a petition unsupported, unaided by names that might give it influence.
V.i.63 (422,4) I tell you, he does sit in gold] He is inthroned in all the pomp and pride of imperial splendour.
[Greek: Chruzothronos Aerae]--Hom.
V.i.69 (422,5) Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions] This if apparently wrong. Sir T. Hanmer, and Dr. Warburton after him, read,
Bound with an oath not to yield to new conditions.
They might have read more smoothly,
--to yield no new conditions.
But the whole speech is in confusion, and I suspect something left out. I should read,
--What he would do, He sent in writing after; what he would not, Bound with an oath. To yield to his conditions.
Here is, I think, a chasm. The speaker's purpose seems to be this: To yield to his conditions is ruin, and better cannot be obtained, so that all hope is vain.
V.ii.10 (424,7) it is lots to blanks] A lot here is a prize.
For I have ever verify'd my friends, (Of whom he's chief) with all the size that verity Would without lapsing suffer]
[W: narrified] [Hanmer: magnified] If the commentator had given any example of the word narrify, the correction would have been not only received, but applauded. Now, since the new word stands without authority, we must try what sense the old one will afford. To verify is to establish by testimony. One may say with propriety, he brought false witnesses to verify his title. Shakespeare considered the word with his usual laxity, as importing rather testimony than truth, and only meant to say, I bore witness to my friends with all the size that verity would suffer.
V.ii.45 (426,1) the virginal palms of your daughters] [W: pasmes or pames, French for "swooning fits." Warburton also quotes Tarquin and Lucrece, "To dry the old oak's sap, and cherish springs" and emends to "tarnish," from the French, meaning "to dry up," used of springs and rivers.] I have inserted this note, because it contains an apology for many others. It is not denied that many French words were mingled in the time of Elizabeth with our language, which have since been ejected, and that any which are known to have been then in use may be properly recalled when they will help the sense. But when a word is to be admitted, the first question should be, by whom was it ever received? in what book can it be shown? If it cannot be proved to have been in use, the reasons which can justify its reception must be stronger than any critick will often have to bring. Even in this certain emendation, the new word is very liable to contest. I should read,
--and perish springs.
The verb perish is commonly neutral, but in conversation is often used actively, and why not in the works of a writer negligent beyond all others of grammatical niceties?
V.ii.60 (427,2) Back, I say, go; lest I let forth your half pint of blood;--back, that's the utmost of your having:--Back] [Warburton emended the punctuation] I believe the meaning never was mistaken, and therefore do not change the reading.
V.ii.69 (428,3) guess by my entertainment with him] I read, Guess by my entertainment with him, if thou standest not i' the state of hanging [in place of guess but my entertainment].
V.ii.80 (428,4) Though I owe/My revenge properly] Though I have a peculiar right in revenge, in the power of forgiveness the Volacians are conjoined.
V.ii.104 (429,5) how we are shent] Shent is brought to destruction.
V.iii.3 (430,6) how plainly/I have born this business] That is, how openly, how remotely from artifice or concealment.
V.iii.39 (431,7) The sorrow, that delivers us thus chang'd,/Makes you think so] Virgilia makes a voluntary misinterpretation of her husband's words. He says, These eyes are not the same, meaning, that he saw things with other eyes, or other dispositions. She lays hold on the word eyes, to turn his attention on their present appearance.
V.iii.46 (431,8) Now by the jealous queen of heaven] That is, by Juno, the guardian of marriage, and consequently the avenger of connubial perfidy.
V.iii.64 (432,1) The noble sister of Poplicola] Valeria, methinks, should not have been brought only to fill up the procession without speaking.
V.iii.68 (432,2) epitome of yours] I read,
--epitome of you.
An epitome of you which, enlarged by the commentaries of time, may equal you in magnitude.
V.iii.74 (433,4) every flaw] That is, every gust, every storm.
V.iii.100 (435,2) Constrains them weep, and shake] That is, constrain the eye to weep, and the heart to shake.
V.iii.149 (436,3) the fine strains] The niceties, the refinements.
V.iii.159 (436,5) he lets me prate,/Like one i' the stocks] Keep me in a state of ignominy talking to no purpose.
V.iii.176 (437,6) Does reason our petition] Does argue for us and our petition.
V.iii.201 (438,7) I'll work/Myself a former fortune] I will take advantage of this concession to restore myself to my former credit and power.
V.iii.206 (438,8) Come, enter with us,--Ladies, you deserve] [Warburton proposed to give the speech beginning "Ladies, you deserve" to Aufidius] The speech suits Aufidius justly enough, if it had been written for him; but it may, without impropriety, be spoken by Coriolanus: and since the copies give it to him, why should we dispossess him?
V.iv.22 (439,1) He sits in state as a thing made for Alexander] 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.
V.vi.39 (443,2) He wag'd me with his countenance] This is obscure. The meaning, I think, is, he prescribed to me vith an air of authority, and gave me his countenance for my wages; thought me sufficiently rewarded with good looks.
V.vi.44 (443,3) For which my sinews shall be stretch'd upon him] This is the point on which I will attack him with my utmost abilities.
V.vi.66 (444,4) answering us/With our own charge] That is, rewarding us with our own expences; making the cost of the war its recompence.
V.vi.125 (446,5) his fame folds in/This orbe o' th' earth] His fame overspreads the world.
(447) General Observation. The tragedy of Coriolanus is one of the most amusing of our author's performances. The old man's merriment in Menenius; the lofty lady's dignity in Volumnia; the bridal modesty in Virgilia; the patrician and military haughtiness in Coriolanus; the plebeian malignity and tribunitian insolence in Brutus and Sicinius, make a very pleasing and interesting variety: and the various revolutions of the hero's fortune fill the mind with anxious curiosity. There is, perhaps, too much bustle in the first act, and too little in the last.