Within this mile and half.4 Mar. Then shall we hear their 'larum, and they ours. Now, Mars, I pr’ythee, make us quick in work; That we with smoking swords may march from hence, To help our fielded friends!5-Come, blow thy blast. They sound a Parley. Enter, on the Walls, some Senators,

and Others. Tullus Aufidius, is he within your

walls? 1 Sen. No, nor a man that fears you less than he, That's lesser than a little. Hark, our drums

[Alarums afar off Are bringing forth our youth: We 'll break our walls, Rather than they shall pound us up: our gates, Which yet seem shut, we have but pinn'd with rushes; They 'll open of themselves. Hark you, far off;

[Other Alarums. There is Aufidius: list, what work he makes Amongst your cloven army. Mar.

O, they are at it! Lart. Their noise be our instruction.—Ladders, ho!

The Volces enter and pass over the Stage. Mar. They fear us not, but issue forth their city. Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight With hearts more proof than shields.-Advance, brave




* Within this mile and half.] The two last words, which disturb the measure, should be omitted; as we are told in p. 31, that-"'Tis not a milebetween the two armies. Steevens.

- fielded friends! ] i. e. our friends who are in the field of battle. Steevens.

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, &c. Johnson. The text, I am confident, is right, our author almost always entangling himself when he uses less and more. See Vol. VI, p. 226, n. 7. Lesser in the next line shows that less in that preceding was the author's word, and it is extremely improbable that he should have written-but fears you less, &c. Malone.

Dr. Johnson's note appears to me unnecessary, nor do I think with Mr. Malone that Shakspeare has here entangled himself; but on the contrary that he could not have expressed himsel better. The sense is however little Tullus Aufidius fears you, there is not a man within the walls that fears you less." Douce. VOL. XIII.


They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts,
Which makes me sweat with wrath.-Come, on my fel-

He that retires, I 'll take him for a Volce,
And he shall feel inine edge.
Alarum, and exeunt Romans and Volces, fighting. The

Romans are beaten back to their Trenches. Re-enter MARCIUS.7 Mar. All the contagion of the south light on you, You shames of Rome! you herd of — Boils and plagues Plaster you o'er; that you may be abhorr'd Further than seen, and one infect another Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese, That bear the shapes of men, how have you run From slaves that apes would beat! Pluto and hell! All hurt behind; backs red, and faces pale With flight and agued fear! Mend, and charge home, Or, by the fires of heaven, I 'll leave the foe, And make my wars on you; look to 't: Come on; If you 'll stand fast, we 'll beat them to their wives, As they us to our trenches followed.

7 Re-enter Marcius.] The old copy reads-Enter Marcius cursing. Steevens.

8 You shames of Rome! you herd of Boils and plagues &c.] This passage, like almost every other abrupt sentence in these plays, was rendered unintelligible in the old copy by inaccurate punctuation. See Vol. II, p. 324, 11. 4; Vol. IV, p. 30, n. 3; and p 340, n. 2. For the present regulation I am answerable. “You herd of cowards!Marcius would say, but his rage prevents him.

In a former passage (p. 14 and 15,) he is equally impetuous and abrupt:

One's Junius Brutus,
“Sicinius Velutus, and I know not—'Sdeath!

"The rabble should have first” &c. Speaking of the people in a subsequent scene, he uses the same expression:

Are these your herd? “Must these have voices,” &c. “ Again: “More of your conversation would infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly plebeians.”

In Mr. Rowe's edition herds was printed instead of herd, the reading of the old copy; and the passage has been exhibited thus in the modern editions:

“You shames of Rome, you! Herds of boils and plagues “Plaster you o'er!" Malone.

Another Alarum. The Volces and Romans re-enter, and

the Fight is renewed. The Volces retire into Corioli,

and MARCIUS follows them to the Gates. So, now the gates are ope:-Now prove good seconds: 'Tis for the followers fortune widens them, Not for the fliers: mark me, and do the like.

[He enters the Gates, and is shut in. | Sol. Fool-hardiness; not I. 2 Sol.

Nor I. 3 Sol.

See, they Have shut him in.

[Alarum continues. All.

To the pot, I warrant him.

Enter Titus LARTIUS. Lart. What is become of Marcius? All.

Slain, sir, doubtless. 1 Sol. Following the fliers at the very heels, With them he enters: who, upon the sudden, Clapp'd-to their gates; he is himself alone, To answer all the city. Lart.

O noble fellow! Who, sensible, outdares o his senseless sword, And, when it bows, stands up! Thou art left, Marcius: A carbuncle entire,l as big as thou art, Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier Even to Cato's wish: not fierce and terrible

9 Who, sensible, outdares -] The old editions read:

Who sensibly out-dares Thirlby reads:

Who, sensible, outdoes his senseless sword. He is followed by the later editors, but I have taken only his correction. Johnson.

Sensible is here, having sensation. So before: “I would, your cambrick were sensible as your finger.” Though Coriolanus has the feeling of pain like other men, he is more hardy in daring exploits than his senseless sword, for after it is bent, he yet stands firm in the field. Malone.

The thought seems to have been adopted from Sidney's Arcadia, edit. 1633, p. 293:

“Their very armour by piece-meale fell away from them: and yet their flesh abode the wounds constantly, as though it were lesse sensible of smart than the senselesse armour,” &c. Steevens. ? A carbuncle entire, &c.] So, in Othello:

“ If heaven had made me such another woman,
“Of one entire and perfect chrysolite,
*I'd not have ta’en it for her." Malone.

Only in strokes;2 but, with thy grim looks, and
The thunder-like percussion of thy sounds,
Thou mad'st thine enemies shake, as if the world
Were feverous, and did tremble.3


Thou wast a soldier
Even to Cato's wish: not fierce and terrible
Only in strokes; &c.] In the old editions it was:

Calvus' wish:Plutarch, in The Life of Coriolanus, relates this as the opinion of Cato the Elder, that a great soldier should carry terrour in his looks and tone of voice; and the poet hereby following the historian, is fallen into a great chronological impropriety. Theobald.

The old copy reads—Calues wish. The correction made by Theobald is fully justified by the passage in Plutarch, which Shakspeare had in view: “ Martius, being there [before Corioli] at that time, ronning out of the campe with a fewe men with him, he slue the first enemies he met withal, and made the rest of them staye upon a sodaine; crying out to the Romaines that had turned their backes, and calling them againe to fight with a lowde voyce. For he was even such another as Cato would have a souldier and a captaine to be; not only terrible and fierce to lay about him, but to make the enemies afeard with the sounde of his qoyce and grimnes of his countenance.North's translation of oPlutarch, 1579, p. 240.

Mr. M. Mason supposes that Shakspeare, to avoid the chronological impropriety, put this saying of the elder Gato “ into the mouth of a certain Calvus, who might have lived at any time.” Had Shakspeare known that Cato was not contemporary with Coriolanus, (for there nothing in the foregoing passage to make him even suspect that was the case) and in consequence made this alteration, he would have attended in this particular instance to a point, of which almost every page of his works shows that he was totally negligent; a supposition which is so improbable, that I have no doubt the correction that has been adopted by the modern editors, is right. In the first Act of this play, we have Lucius and Marcius printed instead of Lartius, in the original and only authentick ancient copy. The substitution of Calues, instead of Cato's, is easily accounted for. Shakspeare wrote, according to the mode of his time, Catoes wish; (So, in Beaumont's Masque, 1613:

And what will Funoes Iris do for her?") omitting to draw a line across the t, and writing the o inacculrately, the transcriber or printer gave us Calues. See a subsequient passage in Act II, sc. ult. in which our author has been led by another passage in Plutarch into a similar anachronism.

as if the world
Were feverous, and did tremble.] So, in Macbeth:

some say, the earth
“ JVas feverous, and did shake.” Steevens.


Re-enter MARCIUS, bleeding, assaulted by the enemy. I Sol.

Look, sir. Lart.

'Tis Marcius: Let 's fetch him off, or make remain* alike.

[They fight, and all enter the City,


Within the Town. A Street.

Enter certain Romans, with Spoils. 1 Rom. This will I carry to Rome. 2 Rom. And I this. 3 Rom. A murrain on't! I took this for silver.

[Alarum continues still a far off. Enter MARCIUS, and Titus LARTIUS, with a Trumpet. Mar. See here these movers, that do prize their

hours5 At a crack'd drachm! Cushions, leaden spoons, Irons of a doit, doublets that hangmen would Bury with those that wore them, these base slaves, Ere yet the fight be done, pack up:-Down with them.-And hark, what noise the general makes!-- To him:There is the man of my soul's hate, Aufidius, Piercing our Romans: Then, valiant Titus, take Convenient numbers to make good the city; Whilst I, with those that have the spirit, will haste To help Cominius.


make remain -] is an old manner of speaking, which means no more than remain. Hanmer.

- prize their hours —] Mr. Pope arbitrarily changed the word hours to honours, and Dr. Johnson, too hastily I think, approves of the alteration. Every page of Mr. Pope's edition abounds with similar innovations. Malone.

A modern editor, who had made such an improvement, would have spent half a page in ostentation of his sagacity. Johnson.

Coriolanus blames the Roman soldiers only for wasting their time in packing up trifles of such small value. So, in Sir Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch: “Martius was marvellous angry with them, and cried out on them, that it was no time now to looke after spoyle, and to ronne straggling here and there to enrich themselves, whilst the other consul and their fellow citizens peradventure were fighting with their enemies.” Steevens.

- doublets that hangmen would Bury with those that wore them,] Instead of taking them is their lawful perquisite. Malone.


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