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I Serv. Why do you say, thwack our general?
3 Serv. I do not say, thwack our general; but he was always good enough for him.
2 Serv. Come, we are fellows, and friends: he was ever too hard for him; I have heard him say so himself.
1 Serv. He was too hard for him directly, to say the truth on 't: before Corioli, he scotched him and notched him like a carbonado.
2 Serv. An he had been cannibally given, he might haye broiled and eaten him too.8
1 Serv. But, more of thy news?
3 Serv. Why, he is so made on here within, as if he were son and heir to Mars: set at upper end o' the table: no question asked him by any of the senators, but they stand bald before him: Our general himself makes & mistress of him; sanctifies himself with 's hand, and turns up the white o' the eye to his discourse. But the bottom of the news is, our general is cut i' the middle, and but one half of what he was yesterday; for the other has half, by the entreaty and grant of the whole table. He 'll go, he says, and sowle the porter of Rome gates by the ears:1 He will mow down all before him, and leave his passage polied.2
- he might have broiled and eaten him too.] The old copy reads-boiled. The change was made by Mr. Pope. Malone.
- sanctifies himself with 's hand, ] Alluding, improperly, to the act of crossing upon any strange event. Johnson.
I rather imagine the meaning is, considers the touch of his hand as holy; clasps it with the same reverence as a lover would clasp the hand of his mistress. If there be any religious allusion, I should rather suppose it to be the imposition of the hand in confirmation. Malone.
Perhaps the allusion is (however out of place) to the degree of sanctity anciently supposed to be derived from touching the corporal relick of a saint or a martyr. Steevens.
1 He'll - sowle the porter of Rome gates by the ears.] That is, I suppose, drag him down by the ears into the dirt. Souiller, Fr. Fohnson.
Dr. Johnson's supposition, though not his derivation, is just. Skinner says the word is derived from sow, i. e. to take hold of a person by the ears, as a dog seizes one of these animals. So, Heywood, in a comedy called Love's Mistress, 1636:
" Venus will sowle me by the ears for this.” Perhaps Shakspeare's allusion is to Hercules dragging out Cerberus. Steevens.
Whatever the etymology of somle may be, it appears to have
2 Serv. And he 's as like to do 't, as any man I can imagine.
3 Serv. Do 't? he will do 't: For, look you, sir, he has as many friends as enemies: which friends, sir, (as it were) durst not (look you, sir,) show themselves, (as we term it) his friends, whilst he's in directitude.3
1 Serv. Directitude! what 's that?
3 Serv. But when they shall see, sir, his crest up again, and the man in blood,4 they will out of their burrows, like conies after rain, and revel all with him.
| Serv. But when goes this forward ?
3 Serv. To-morrow; to-day; presently. You shall have the drum struck up this afternoon: 'tis, as it were, a parcel of their feast, and to be executed ere they wipe their lips.
been a familiar word in the last century. Lord Strafford's correspondent, Mr. Garrard, uses it, as Shakspeare does. Straf. Lett. Vol. II, p. 149: “A lieutenant soled him well by the ears, and drew him by the hair about the room." Lord Strafford himself uses it in another sense, Vol. II, p. 138: “ It is ever a hopeful throw, where the caster soles his bowl well.” In this passage to sole seems to signify what, I believe, is usually called to ground a bowl. Tyrwhitt.
Cole, in his Latin Dictionary, 1679, renders it, aurem summa vi vellere. Malone.
To sowle is still in use for pulling, dragging, and lugging, in the West of England. S. W.
his passage polled.] That is, bared, cleared. Fohnson. To poll a person anciently meant to cut off his hair. So, in Dametas' Madrigall in Praise of his Daphnis, by J. Wooton, published in England's Helicon, quarto, 1600:
“ Like Nisus golden hair that Scilla pold.” It likewise signified to cut off the head. So, in the ancient metrical history of the battle of Floddon Field:
“ But now we will withstand his grace,
“ Or thousand heads shall there be polld.” Steevens. So, in Christ's Tears over Jerusalem, by Thomas Nashe, 1594:
the winning love of neighbours round about, if haply their houses should be environed, or any in them prove untruly, being pilled and pould too unconscionably.”-Pould is the spelling of the old copy of Coriolanus also. Malone.
- whilst he's in directitude.] I suspect the author wrote :-, whilst he's in discreditude ; a made word, instead of discredit. He intended, I suppose, to put an uncommon word into the mouth of this servant, which had some resemblance to sense : but could hardly have meant that he should talk absolute nonsense. Malone
in blood, ] See p. 10, n. 2. Malone.
2 Serv. Why, then we shall have a stirring world again.
is nothing, but to rust iron, increase tailors, and breed ballad-makers.5
I Serv. Let me have war, say I; it exceeds peace, as far as day does night; it 's spritely, waking, audible, and full of vent.o Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible; a getter of more bastard children, than war 's a destroyer of men.
2 Serv. 'Tis so: and as wars, in some sort, may be said to be a ravisher; so it cannot be denied, but peace is a great maker of cuckolds.
1 Serv. Ay, and it makes men hate one another.
3 Serv. Reason; because they then less need one another. The wars, for my money. I hope to see Romans as cheap as Volcians. They are rising, they are rising, AU. In, in, in, in.
Rome. A publick Place.
Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS. Sic. We hear not of him, neither need we fear him; His remedies are tame i' the present peace And quietness o' the people, which before
5 This peace is nothing, but to rust &c.] I believe a word or two have been lost. Shakspeare probably wrote:
This peace is good for nothing but, &c. Malone. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads—is worth nothing, &c. Steevens.
- full of vent.] Full of rumour, full of materials for discourse. Johnson.
mulled,] i. e. softened and dispirited, as wine is when burnt and sweetened. Lat. Mollitus. Hanmer.
than wars a destroyer of men.] i. e. than wars are a de. stroyer of men. Our author almost every where uses wars in the plural. See the next speech. Mr. Pope, not attending to this, reads--than war's, &c. which all the subsequent editors have adopted. Walking, the reading of the old copy in this speech, was rightly corrected by him. Malone.
I should have persisted in adherence to the reading of Mr. Pope, had not a similar irregularity in speech occurred in All's Weli that Ends Well, Act II, sc. i, where the second Lord says50, 'tis brave wars .” as we have herem“ wars may be said to be aravisher."
Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends
Sic. 'Tis he, 'tis he: (), he is grown most kind
Hail to you
Perhaps, however, in all these instances, the old blundering transcribers or printers, may have given us wars instead of war.
Steevens. 9 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 ;
And quietness o' the people, The meaning, somewhat harshly expressed, according to our author's custom, is this: We need not fear him, the proper reme. dies against him are taken, by restoring peace and quietness.
Fohnson. I rather suppose the meaning of Sicinius to be this:
His remedies are tame, i. e. ineffectual in times of peace like these. When the people were in commotion, his friends might have strove to remedy his disgrace by tampering with them; but now, neither wanting to employ his bravery, nor remembering his former actions, they are unfit subjects for the factious to work upon.
Mr. M. Mason would read, lame; but the epithets tame and wild were, I believe, designedly opposed to each other. Steevens.
In, [i' the present peace) which was omitted in the old copy, was inserted by Mr. Theobald. Malone.
1 Hail to you both!] From this reply of Menenius, it should seem that both the tribunes had saluted him ; a circumstance also to be inferred from the present deficiency in the metre, which would be restored by reading (according to the proposal of a modern editor :)
Of late.- Hail, sir !
Hail to you both! Steevens 2 Your Coriolanus, sir, is not much miss'd,] I have admitted tho word-sir, for the sake of measure. Steevens.
But with his friends: the common-wealth doth stand; And so would do, were he more angry at it.
Men. All's well; and might have been much better, if He could have temporiz'd. Sic.
Where is he, hear you? Men. Nay, I hear nothing; his mother and his wife Hear nothing from him.
Enter Three or Four Citizens.
Good-e'en, our neighbours. Bru. Good-e’en to you all, good-e'en to you all.
i Cit. Ourselves,our wives, and children, onour knees, Are bound to pray
Live, and thrive! Bru. Farewel, kind neighbours: We wish'd Coriolanus Had lov'd you as we did. Cit.
Now the gods keep you!
Sic. This is a happier and more comely time,
Caius Marcius was
And affecting one sole throne,
I think not so.
Bru. The gods have well prevented it, and Rome
affecting one sole throne, Without assistance.] That is, without assessors ; without any other suffrage. Fohnson.
Without assistance.] For the sake of measure I should wish to read:
Without assistance in 't. This hemistich, joined to the following one, would then form a regular verse.
It is also not improbable that Shakspeare instead of assistance wrote assistants. Thus in the old copies of our author, we have ingredience for ingredients, occurrence for occurrents, &c.