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Com.

Though I could wish
You were conducted to a gentle bath,
And balms applied to you, yet dare I never
Deny your asking ; take your choice of those
That best can aid your action.
Mar.

Those are they
That most are willing :- If any such be here,
(As it were sin to doubt,) that love this painting
Wherein you see me smear'd ; if any fear
Lesser his person than an ill report ;
If any think, brave death outweighs bad life,
And that his country's dearer than himself;
Let him, alone, or so many, so minded,
Wave thus, [Waving his hand.] to express his dis-

position, And follow Marcius. [They all shout, and wave their Swords; take

him up in their arms, and cast up their

Caps. O me, alone! Make you a sword of me? If these shows be not outward, which of you But is four Volces ? None of you but is Able to bear against the great Aufidius A shield as hard as his. A certain number, Though thanks to all, must I select from all: the

rest

8

- if
any

fear Lesser his person than an ill report ;] The old copy has lessen. If the present reading, which was introduced by Mr. Steevens, be right, his person must mean his personal danger. If any one less fears personal danger, than an ill name, &c. If the fears of any man are less for his person, than they are from an apprehension of being esteemed a coward, &c. We have nearly the same sentiment in Troilus aud Cressida :

“ If there be one among the fair'st of Greece,

“ That holds his honour higher than his ease, Again, in King Henry VI. Part III. :

“But thou prefer'st thy life before thine honour.” In this play we have already, p. 32, had lesser for less. Malone.

Shall bear the business in some other sight,
As cause will be obey'd. Please you to march;
And four shall quickly draw out my command,
Which men are best inclin'd.
Сом. .

March on, my fellows: Make good this ostentation, and you

shall Divide in all with us.

[Exeunt.

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9 Though thanks to all, must I select : the rest

Shall bear, &c.] The old copy-I must select from all. I have followed Sir Thomas Hanmer in the omission of words apparently needless and redundant. STEEVENS.

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 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.

JOHNSON. Mr. Heath thinks the poet wrote:

“And so I shall quickly draw out,” &c. Some sense, however, may be extorted from the ancient reading. Coriolanus may mean, that as all the soldiers have offered to attend him on this expedition, and he wants only a part of them, he will submit the selection to four indifferent persons, that he himself may escape the charge of partiality. If this be the drift of Shakspeare, he has expressed it with uncommon obscurity. The old translation of Plutarch only says : 'Wherefore, with those that willingly offered themselves to followe him, he went out of the cittie.” STEEVENS.

Coriolanus means only to say, that he would appoint four persons to select for his particular command or party, those who were best inclined; and in order to save time, he proposes to have this choice made, while the army is marching forward. They all march towards the enemy, and on the way he chooses those who are to go on that particular service. M. Mason.

SCENE VII.

The Gates of Corioli.

Titus LARTIUS, having set a Guard upon Corioli,

going with a Drum and Trumpet toward ComiNIUS and CAIUS MARCIUS, enters with a Lieu. tenant, a Party of Soldiers, and a Scout. Lart. So, let the ports ? be guarded: keep your

duties, As I have set them down. If I do send, despatch Those centuries to our aid: the rest will serve For a short holding: If we lose the field, We cannot keep the town. Lieu.

Fear not our care, sir. Lart. Hence, and shut your gates upon us.Our guider, come; to the Roman camp conduct us.

[Exeunt.

SCENE VIII.

A Field of Battle between the Roman and the

Volcian Camps.

Alarum. Enter Marcius and AUFIDIUS. Mar. I'll fight with none but thee; for I do

hate thee Worse than a promise-breaker. AUF.

We hate alike; Not Africk owns a serpent, I abhor

the PORTS -] i. e. the gates. So, in Timon of Athens :

Descend, and open your uncharged ports.Steevens. 3 Those centURIES —] i. e. companies consisting each of a hundred men. Our author sometimes uses this word to express simply—a hundred; as in Cymbeline :

“And on it said a century of prayers.” Steevens.

More than thy fame and envy* : Fix thy foot.

Mar. Let the first budger die the other's slave, And the gods doom him after 5 ! AUF.

If I fly, Marcius, Halloo me like a hare. Mar.

Within these three hours, Tullus, Alone I fought in your Corioli walls ®, And made what work I pleas'd; 'Tis not my blood, Wherein thou seest me mask'd; for thy revenge, Wrench up thy power to the highest. AUF.

Wert thou the Hector, That was the whip of your bragg’d progeny",

- thy fame and ĘNVY:] Envy here, as in many other places, means malice. See vol. v. p. 108, n. 9. Malone.

The phrasedeath and honour, being allowed, in our author's language, to signify no more than-honourable death, so fame and envy, may only mean-detested or odious fame. The verb~to envy, in ancient language, signifies to hate. Or the construction may be- Not Africk owns a serpent I more abhor and envy than thy fame.' STEVENS. 's Let the first budger die the other's slave, And the gods doom him after !] So, in Macbeth : “ And damn'd be him who first cries, Hold, Enough !"

Steevens. 6 Within these three hours, TULLUS,

Alone I fought in your Corioli walls,] If the name of Tullus be omitted, the metre will become regular. STEEVENS. 7 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 author 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. Johnson.

Dr. Johnson considers this as a very unusual construction, but it appears to me only such as every page of these plays furnishes; and the foregoing interpretation is in my opinion undoubtedly the true one.

An anonymous correspondent justly observes, that the

“the whip that your bragg d progeny was possessed of." MALONE.

Whip might anciently be used, as crack is now, to denote any

words mean,

Thou should'st not scape me here. -[They fight, and certain Volces come to the aid

of AUFIDIUS. Officious, and not valiant-you have sham'd me In your condemned seconds 8

. [Exeunt fighting, driven in by Marcius.

SCENE IX.

The Roman Camp.

Alarum. A Retreat is sounded. Flourish. Enter

at one side, COMINIUS, and Romans ; at the other side, Marcius, with his Arm in a Scarf, and other Romans. Com. If I should tell thee' o'er this thy day's

work,

8

we may

thing peculiarly boasted of; as-the crack house in the countythe crack boy of a school, &c. Modern phraseology, perhaps, has only passed from the whip, to the crack of it. Steevens.

you have sham'd me
In your condemned seconds.] For condemned,

read contemned. You have, to my shame, sent me help which I despise. Johnson.

Why may we not as well be contented with the old reading. and explain it, “ You have, to my shame, sent me help, which I must condemn as intrusive, instead of applauding it as necessary?” Mr. M. Mason proposes to read second instead of seconds : but the latter is right. So, King Lear : “ No seconds? all myself?"

STEEVENS. We have had the same phrase in the fourth scene of this play:

“ Now prove good seconds !MALONE. 9 If I should tell thee, &c.] So, in the old translation of Plutarch : “ There the consul Cominius going up to his chayer of state, in the presence of the whole armie, gaue thankes to the goddes for so great, glorious, and prosperous a victorie: then he spake to Martius, whose valliantnes he commended beyond the moone, both for that he himselfe sawe him doe with his eyes, as also for that Martius had reported vnto him. Soin the ende he willed Martius, he should choose out of all the horses they had taken

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