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* CORIOLANUS.] This play I conjecture to have been written 
in the year 1609. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of 
Shakspcare's Plays, Vol. II. 

It comprehends a< period of about four years, commencing 
with the secession to the Mons Saccr in the year of Rome 262, 
and ending with the death of Coriolanus, A. U. C. 266. 


The whole history is exactly followed, and many of the prin- 
cipal speeches exactly copied, from the Life of Coriolanus in 
Ph'tarch. POPE. 

13 2 


Cains Marcius Coriolanus, a noble Roman. 

' > Generals against the Volscians. 

Commms, j 

Menenius Agrippa, Friend to Coriolanus. 

Sicinius Velutus, 7 /n / ^*? r> / 

Junius Brutus, $ Tnbunes S the Peo ^- 

Young Marcius, Son to Coriolanus. 

A Roman Herald. 

Tullus Aufidius, General of the Volscians. 

Lieutenant to Aufidius. 

Conspirators with Aufidius. 

A Citizen o/ Ant mm. 

Two Volscian Guards. 

Volumnia, Mother to Coriolanus. 
Virgilia, Wife to Coriolanus. 
Valeria, Friend to Virgilia. 
Gentlewoman, attending Virgilia, 

Roman and Volscian Senator -s, Patricians, JEdiks, 
Lictors^ Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, Servants 
to Aufidius, and other Attendants. 

SCENE, partly in Rome ; and partly in the Ter- 
ritories of the Volscians and Antiates. 


Rome. A Street. 

Enter a Company of mutinous Citizens, with Staves, 
Clubs, and other Weapons. 

1 CIT. Before we proceed any further, hear me 

CIT. Speak, speak. [Several speaking at once. 

\ CIT. You are all resolved rather to die, than 
to famish ? 

CIT. Resolved, resolved. 

1 CIT. First you know, Caius Marcius is chief 
enemy to the people. 

CIT. We know't, we know't. 

1 CIT. Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at 
our own price. Js't a verdict? 

CIT. No more talking on't; let it be done : away, 

2 CIT. One word, good citizens. 

1 CIT. "\Ve are accounted poor citizens; the 


patricians, good: 1 What authority surfeits on, would 
relieve us ; If they would yield us but the super- 
fluity, while it were wholesome, we might guess, 
they relieved us humanely ; but they think, we are 
too dear: 2 the leanness that afflicts us, the object 
of our misery, is as an inventory to particularize 
their abundance ; our sufferance is a gain to them. 
Let us revenge this with our pikes, 3 ere we be- 

1 1 Cit. We are accounted poor citizens; the patricians, good:] 
Good is here used in the mercantile sense. So, Touchstone in 
Eastward Hoc : 

" known good men, well monied." FARMER. 

Again, in The Merchant of Venice ; 

" Antonio's a good man." MALONE. 

but they think, ice are too dear :~\ They think that the 

charge of maintaining us is more than we are worth. JOHNSON. 

3 Let us revenge this icith our pike?, ere ue become rakes :] 
It was Shakspeare's design to make this fellow quibble all the 
way. But time, who has done greater things, has here stifled a 
miserable joke ; which was then the same as if it had been now 
wrote, Let us noic revenge this with forks, ere ice become rakes : 
for pi/ces then signified the same us forks do now. So, Jewel in. 
his own translation of his Apo/ogi/, turns Christianas ad furcas 
condemnare, to To condema Christians to the. pikes. But the 
Oxford editor, without knowing any thing of this, has with 
great sagacity found out the joke, and reads on his own autho- 
rity, pitch-forks. WARBURTG:;. 

It is plain that, in our author's time, we had the proverb, as 
lean as a rake. Of this proverb the original is obscure. Rale 
now signifies a dissolute man, a man worn out with disease and 
debauchery. But the signification is, I think, much more mo- 
dern than the proverb, llcckcl, 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 ra/cc is, therefore, as lean as a dog too 
worthless to be fed. JOHNSON. 

It may be so : and yet I believe the proverb, as han as a rake, 
owes its origin simply to the thin taper form of the instrument 
made use of by hay-maker:-. Chaucer has this simile in his de- 
scription of the clerk's horse in the prologue to the Cantcrlnry 
Tales, Mr. Tyn, hitt's edit. v. 231 : 

" As lent; was hi* hor^ as if a ?vz/.v." 

sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 7 

come rakes : for the gods know, I speak this in 
hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge. 

2 CIT. Would you proceed especially against 
Caius MarciiiB? 

CIT. Against him first ; 4 he's a very dog to the 

2 CIT. Consider you what services he has done 
for his country ? 

1 CIT. Very well ; and could be content to give 
him good report for't, but that he pays himself with 
being proud. 

2 CIT. Nay, but speak not maliciously. 

1 CIT. I say unto you, what he hath done fa- 
mously, he did it to that end : though soft con- 
scienc'd men can be content to say, it was for his 
country, he did it to please his mother, and to be 
partly proud ; which he is, even to the altitude 5 of 
his virtue. 

2 CIT. What he cannot help in his nature, you 

Spenser introduces it in the second Rook of his Fairy Queen, 
Canto II : 

" His body lean and meagre ax a rale" 

As thin as a whipphig-jiost, is another proverb of the same kind. 
Stanyhurst, in his translation of the third Book of Yirgily 15S2, 
describing Achoemenides, s:ivs : 

" A meigre leane rake," &c. 

This passage, however, seems to countenance Dr. Johnson's 
supposition ; as also docs the following from Churchyard's Tru- 
gicall Discourse of the llaplcxsc Afr/.v'.v /.//<', lo9S: 
" And though as lame us rake in every rib." 


4 Cit. Against him first ; &c.] Tin's speech is in the old play, 
as here, given to a body of the Citizens speaking at once. I be- 
lieve, it ought to be assigned to the (irst Citizen. MA LONE. 

to the alt; hide ] So, in Kins: Henri/ VIII: 
" He's traitor to the /id's/it." STEEVJ;NS. 


account a vice in him : You must in no way say, 
he is covetous. 

1 CIT. If I must not, I need not be barren of 
accusations ; he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in 
repetition. [Shouts 'within.'] What shouts are 
these ? The other side o'the city is risen : Why stay 
we prating here ? to the Capitol. 

CIT. Come, come. 

1 CIT. Soft ; who comes here ? 


2 CIT. Worthy Menenius Agrippa ; one that 
hath always loved the people. 

1 CIT. He's one honest enough j 'Would, all the 
rest were so ! 

MEN. What work's, my countrymen, in hand ? 

Where go you 

With bats and clubs ? The matter ? Speak, I pray 

1 CIT. Our business 6 is not unknown to the se- 
nate ; they have had inkling, this fortnight, what 
we intend to do, which now we'll show 'em in 
deeds. They say, poor suitors have strong breaths ; 
they shall know, we have strong arms too. 

MEN. Why, masters, my good friends, mine ho- 
nest neighbours, 
Will you undo yourselves ? 

Our business &c.] Thi.--. and all the subsequent plebeian 
speeches in this scene art; given in the old copy to the second 
Citizen. But the dialogue at the opening of the play shows that 
it must have been a mistake, and that they ought to be attributed 
to ihejirst Citizen. The second is rather friendly to Coriolanus. 


x. i. CORIOLANUS. 9 

1 CIT. We cannot, sir, we are undone already. 

MEN. I tell you, friends, most charitable care 
Have the patricians of you. For your wants, 
Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well 
Strike at the heaven with your staves, as lift them 
Against the Roman state ; whose course will on 
The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs 
Of more strong link asunder, than can ever 
Appear in your impediment : 7 For the dearth, 
The gods, not the patricians, make it ; and 
Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack, 
You are transported by calamity 
Thither where more attends you ; and you slander 
The helms o'the state, who care for you like fathers ? 
When you curse them as enemies. 

1 CIT. Care for us ! True, indeed ! They 
ne'er cared for us yet. Suffer us to famish, and 
their store-houses crammed with grain ; make edicts 
for usury, to support usurers : repeal daily any 
wholesome act established against the rich; and 
provide more piercing statutes daily, to chain up 
and restrain the poor. If the wars eat us not up, 
they will ; and there's all the love they bear us. 

MEN. Either you must 
Confess yourselves wondrous malicious, 
Or be accus'd of folly. I shall tell you 
A pretty tale ; it may be, you have heard it ; 
But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture 
To scale 't a little more. 8 

cracking ten thousand curls 

Of more strong link asunder, than can ever 
Appear in your impediment:'} So, in Othello: 

" I have made my way through more impediments 
" Than twenty times your stop." M ALONE. 

/ mill venture 

Jo scale 't a little more.'] To scale is to disperse. The word 


I CIT. Well, I'll hear it, sir : yet you must not 
think to fob off our disgrace with a tale : 9 but, an't 
please you, deliver. 

MEN. There was a time, when all the body's 


Rebell'd against the belly j thus accus'd it : 
That only like a gulf it did remain 
I' the midst o'the body, idle and inactive, 
Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing 

is still used in the North. The sense of the old reading is, 
Though some of you have heard the story, I will spread it yet 
wider, and diffuse it among the rest. 

A measure of wine spilt, is called " a scal'd pottle of wine" 
in Decker's comedy of The Honest Whore, 1604. So, in The 
Hystorie of Clyomon, Knight of the Golden Shield, &c. a play 
published in 1599: 

" The hugie heapes of cares that lodged in my minde, 
" Are skaled from their nestling-place, and pleasures 

passage find." 

Again, in Decker's Horiest Whore, already quoted : 
" Cut off his beard. 

" Fye, fye ; idle, idle ; he's no Frenchman, to fret at the lo&s 
of a little scal'd hair." In the North they say scale the corn, 
i. e. scatter it : scale the muck well, i. e. spread the dung well. 
The two foregoing instances are taken from Mr. Lambe's notes 
on the old metrical history of Floddon Field. 

Again, Holinshed, Vol. II. p. 499, speaking of the retreat of 
the Welshmen during the absence of Richard II. says : " they 
would no longer abide, but scaled and departed away." So 
again, p. 530 : " whereupon their troops scaled, and fled their 
waies." In the learned Ruddiman's Glossary to Gawin Douglas's 
translation of Virgil, the following account of the word is given. 
Sfcail, skale, to scatter, to spread, perhaps from the Fr. cschevcler, 
Ital. scapigliare, crines passes, seu sparsos habere. All from the 
Latin cap illus. Thus cscheveler, schcvcl, skail ; but of a more 
general signification. See Vol. VI. p. 312, n. 5. STEEVENS. 

Theobald reads stale it. MALOSE. 

disgrace with a tule:~\ Disgrace* are hardships^ in- 
juries. JOHNSON. 

sc.i. CORIOLANUS. n 

Like labour with the rest; where the other instru- 
ments ' 

Did sec, and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel, 
And, mutually participate, 2 did minister 
Unto the appetite and affection common 
Of the whole body. The belly answered, 

1 CIT. Well, sir, what answer made the belly r 

MEN. Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of smile, 
Which ne'er came from the lungs/' but even thus, 
(For, look you, I may make the belly smile, 4 
As well as speak,) it tauntingly replied 
To the discontented members, the mutinous parts 
That envied his receipt; even so most fitly 5 
As you malign our senators, for that 
They are not such as you. 6 

I CIT. Your belly's answer : What ! 

The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye, 

where the other instruments 3 Where for ichercas. 


We meet with the same expression in The Winter's Tale, 
Vol. IX. p. 267, n. 7 : 

" As you feel, doing thus, and see withal 
" The instruments tliatjecl." MALONE. 

participate^} Here means participant, or part id paling. 

'-' ne'er came from the lnn^s,~\ With a smile not indi- 
cating pleasure, but contempt. JOHNSON. 

I may make iJie belli/ smile,] " And so the belly, all 
this notwithstanding, laughed at their folly, and sayed," &c. 
North's translation of Plutarch, p. 240, edit. 1579. MALONE. 

even so most fitly ] i. e. exactly. WARBURTON. 

*' 1 hey arc 7io( such as ?yo.] I suppose we should rend They 
are not as you. 80, in St. Luke, xviii. J 1 : " God, I thank 
thee, I am not as this publican." The pronoun such, only 
disorders the measure. STEEVLNS. 


The counsellor heart, 7 the arm our soldier, 
Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter, 
With other muniments and petty helps 
In this our fabrick, if that they 

MEN. What then ? 

'Fore me, this fellow speaks ! what then ? what 
then ? 

1 CIT. Should; by the cormorant belly be re- 

strain'd, 1 
Who is the sink o'the body, 

MEN. Well, what then ? 

1 CIT. The former agents, if they did complain, 
What could the belly answer ? 

MEN. I will tell you ; 

If you'll bestow a small (of what you have little,) 
Patience, a \vhile, you'll hear the belly's answer. 

1 CIT. You are long about it. 

MEN. Note me this, good friend; 

Your most grave belly was deliberate, 
Not rash like his accusers, and thus answer'd. 
True is it, my incorporate friends, quoth he, 
That I receive the general food at first, 
Which you do live upon : and Jit it is ; 
Because I am the store-house, and the shop 
Of the whole body : But if you do remember, 
I send it through the rii'ers of your blood, 
Even to the court, the heart, to the seat o'the brain ; 8 

7 The counsellor heart,'] The heart was anciently esteemed the 
seat of prudence. Homo cordatus is & prudent man. JOHNSON. 

The heart was considered by Shakspeare as the seat of the 
understanding. See the next note. MALOKE. 

8 to the seat o'thc brain;'] seems to me a very languid 

expression. I belicre we should read, with the omission of a 
particle : 


And, through the cranks and offices of man, 9 
T/ic strongest nerves, and small inferior reins, 

Even to the court, the heart, to the seat, the brain. 
lie uses .lent for throne, the royal seat, which the first editors 
probably not apprehending, corrupted the passage. It is thus 
used in Richard II. Act III. sc. iv : 

" Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills 

" Against thy seat." 

It should be observed too, that one of the Citizens had just 
before characterized these principal parts of the human fabrick 
by similar metaphors : 

" The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye, 

" The counsellor heart, ." TYK-.VIUTT. 

I have too great respect for even the conjectures of my respect- 
able and very judicious friend, to suppr .'ss hij note, though it 
appears to me erroneous. In the present instance I have not the 
smallest doubt, being clearly of opinion the text is right. 
Brain is here used for reason or understanding. Shakspeare 
seems to have had Camden as well as Pluturch before him ; the 
former of whom has told a similar story in his Remains, 1605, 
and has likewise made the h-'art the scat of the brain, or under- 
standing : " Hereupon they all agreed to pine away their lasie 
and publike enemy. One day passed over, the second followed 
very tedious, but the third day was so grievous to them, that 
they called a common counsel. The eyes waxed dimme, the 
feete could not support the body, the armes waxed lazie, the 
tongue faltered, and could not lay open the matter. Therefore 
they all with one accord desired \headvice of the heart. There 
REASON laid open before them," &c. Remains, p. 109. See An 
Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare' s Plays, Vol. II. in 
which a circumstance is noticed, that shows our author had 
read Camden as well as Plutarch. 

I agree, however, entirely with Mr. Tyrwhitt, in thinking 
that scat means here the royal seat, the throne. The seat of the 
brain, is put in opposition with the heart, and is descriptive of 
it. " I send it, (says the belly,) through the blood, even to the 
royal residence, the heart, in which the kingly-crowned under- 
standing sits enthroned '." 

So, in King Henry VI. P. II: 

" The rightful heir to England's royal seat." 
In like manner in Twelfth-Nig/il our author has erected the 
thro/ic of love in the heart : 

" It gives a very echo to the scat 

" Where love is throned" 


From me receive that natural competency 
Whereby they live : And though that all at once, 
You, my good friends, (this says the belly,) mark 

1 CIT. Ay, sir ; well, well. 

MEN. Though all at once cannot 

See what I do deliver out to each; 
Yet I can make my audit up, that all 
From me do back receive thejlotver of all, 
And leave me but the bran. What say you to't ? 

1 CIT. It was an answer : How apply you this ? 

MEN. The senators of Rome are this good belly, 
And you the mutinous members : For examine 
Their counsels, and their cares ; digest things 


Touching the weal o'thc common ; you shall find, 
No publick benefit which you receive, 
But it proceeds, or comes, from them to you, 
And no way from yourselves. What do you think? 
You, the great toe of this assembly ? 

1 CIT. I the great toe ? Why the great toe ? 

MEN. For that being one o'the lowest, basest, 


Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost: 
Thou rascal, that art worst in blood, to run 

Again, in Othello : 

" Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne" 
See also a passage in King Henri/ V. where seat is used in the 
same sense as here ; Vol. XII. p. 310, n. 7. MALONE. 

the cranks and offices of 'man ,J Cranks are the mean- 
drous ducts of the human body. STEEVENS. 

Cranks are windings. So, in Venus and Adonis : 

" He cmnks and crosses, with a thousand doubles." 


sc. /. CORIOLANUS. 1.5 

Lead's! first, to win some vantage. 1 
But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs ; 
Rome and her rats are at the point of battle, 
The one side must have bale. 2 Hail, noble Mar- 


1 Thou rascal, that art ivorst in blood, to run 

Lcad'st frst, to uin some vantage.^ I think, we may better 
read, by an easy change : 

T/ion rascal, that art worst in blood, to ruin 
Lcad'st Jirst, to tvin &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 
clog of the lowest breed, lead'st the pack, when any thing is to 
be gotten. JOHNSON T . 

Worst in blood may be the true reading. In King Henri/ VI. 

" If we be English deer, be then in blood" 
i. c. high spirits, in vigour. 

Again, in this play of Coriolanus, Act IV. sc. v: " But when 
they shall see his crest up again, and the man in blood" &c. 

Mr. M. Mason judiciously observes that blood, in all these 
passages, is applied to deer, for a lean deer is called a rascal ; and 
that " worst in blood," is least in rigour. STEEVENS. 

Both rascal and in blood are terms of the forest. Rascal meant 
a lean deer, and is here used equivocally. The phrase in blood 
has been proved in a former note to be a phrase of the forest. 
Sec Vol. XII. p. 126, n. 7. 

Our author seldom is careful that his comparisons should answer 
on both sides. He seems to mean here, thou, worthless scoun- 
drel, though, like a deer not in blood, thou art in the worst con- 
dition for running of all the herd of plebeians, takest the lead in 
this tumult, in order to obtain some private advantage to your- 
self. What advantage the foremost of a herd of deer could ob- 
tain, is not easy to point out, nor did Shakspeare, I believe, 
consider. Perhaps indeed he only uses rascal in its ordinal'} 
sense. So afterwards 

" From rascals worse than they." 

Dr. Johnson's interpretation appears to me inadmissible ; as 
the term, though it is applicable both in its original and meta- 
phorical sense to a man, cannot, I think, be applied to a dog; nor 
have I found any instance of the term in blood being applied to 
the canine species. MALONE. 



MAR. Thanks. What's the matter, you dissen- 

tious rogues, 

That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion, 
Make yourselves scabs ? 

1 CIT. We have ever your good word. 

MAR. He that will give good words to thee, 

will flatter 
Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you 


That like nor peace, nor war? the one affrights you, 
The other makes you proud. 3 He that trusts you, 
Where he should rind you lions, finds you hares ; 
Where foxes, geese : You are no surer, no, 
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice, 
Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is, 
To make him worthy, whose offence subdues him, 
And curse that justice did it. 4 Who deserves great- 

* The one side must have bale.] Bale is an old Saxon word, 
for misery or calamity : 

" For light she hated as the deadly bale." 

Spenser's Fairy Queen. 

Mr. M. Mason observes that " bale, as well as bane, signified 
poison in Shakspeare's days. So, in Romeo and Juliet: 

" With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers." 


This word was antiquated in Shakspeare's time, being marked 
as obsolete by Bullokar, in his English Expositor, 1616. 


* That like nor peace, nor uar? the one affrights you, 

The other makes you proud.] Coriolanus does not use these 
two sentences consequentially, but first reproaches them with un- 
steadiness, then with their other occasional vices. JOHNSON. 

4 Your virtue is, 

To make him worthy, tuhosc offence subdues him, 

And curse that justice did it.'] i. e. Your virtue is to speak 

sc.i. CORIOLANUS. 17 

Deserves your hate : and your affections are 
A sick man's appetite, who desires most that 
Which would increase his evil. He that depends 
Upon your favours, swims with fins of lead, 
And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye ! Trust 


With every minute you do change a mind ; 
And call him noble, that \vas now your hate, 
Him vile, that was your garland. What's the mat- 

That in these several places of the city 
You cry against the noble senate, who, 
Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else 
Would feed on one another ? What's their seek- 
ing? 5 

MEN. For corn at their own rates ; whereof, they 

The city is well stor'd. 

MAR. Hang 'em ! They say : 

They'll sit by the fire, and presume to know 
What's done i'the Capitol : who's like to rise, 
Who thrives, and who declines : 6 side factions, and 

give out 

Conjectural marriages ; making parties strong, 
And feebling such as stand not in their liking, 

well of him whom his own oft'ences have subjected to justice ; 
and to rail at those laws by which he whom you praise was pu- 
nished. STEEVENS. 

' What's their seeking?] Seeking is here used substantively. 
The answer is, " Their seeking, or suit, (to use the language 
of the time,) is for corn." MALONE. 

tc/io'.s* like to rise, 

"N\ ho thrives, and iv/io declines .-] The words icho thrives, 
which destroy the metre, appear to be an evident and tasteless in- 
terpolation. They are omitted by Sir T. Ilanmer. STEF.VKNS. 


Below their cobbled shoes. They say, there's grain 

enough ? 

Would the nobility lay aside their ruth, 7 
And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry 
With thousands 8 of these quarter'd slaves, as high 
As I could pick my lance. y 

7 their ruth,] i. e. their pity, compassion. Fairfax and 

Spenser often use the word. Hence the adjective rwtAless, 
which is still current. STEEVENS. 

3 I'd make a quarry 

With thousands ] Why a qtuirry? I suppose, not be- 
cause he would pile them square, but because he woujd give 
them for carrion to the birds of prey. JOHNSON. 

So, in The Miracles of Moses, by Drayton: 

" And like a quarry cast them on the land.'* 
See Vol. X. p. 24>8, n. 4*. STEEVENS. 

The word quarry occurs in Macbeth, where Ross says to 

" to state the manner, 

" Were on the quarry of these murder'd deer 
" To add the death of you." 

Jn a note 'on this last passage, Steevens asserts, that quarry 
means game pursued or killed, and supports that opinion by a 
passage in Massinger's Guardian : and from thence I suppose the 
word was used to express a heap of slaughtered persons. 

In the concluding scene of Hamlet, where Fortinbras sees so 
many lying dead, he says : 

" This quarry cries, on havock !" 

and in the last scene of A Wife for a Month, Valerio, in describing 
his own fictitious battle with the Turks, says : 

" I saw the child of honour, for he was young, 
" Deal such an alms among the spiteful Pagans, 
" And round about his reach, invade the Turks, 
" He had intrench'd himself in his dead quarries." 


Bullokar, in his English Expositor, 8vo. 1616, says that "a 
quarry among hunters signifieth the reward given to hounds after 
they have hunted, or the venison which is taken by hunting." 
This sufficiently explains the word of Coriolanus. MALONE. 

pick my lance.] And so the word [pitch"] is still pro- 

ac. i. CORIOLANUS. 19 

MEN. Nay, these are almost thoroughly per- 
suaded ; 

For though abundantly they lack discretion, 
Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you, 
What says the other troop ? 

MAR. They are dissolved : Hang 'em ! 

They said, they were an-hungry ; sigh'd forth 

proverbs ; 
That, hunger broke stone walls ; that, dogs must 

That, meat was made for mouths ; that, the gods 

sent not 

Corn for the rich men only : With these shreds 
They vented their complainings ; which being an- 


And a petition granted them, a strange one, 
(To break the heart of generosity, 1 
And make bold power look pale,) they threw their 


nounced in Staffordshire, where they say mcke me sucli a thing, 
that is, pitch or throw any thing that the aemander wants. 


Thus, in Froissart's Chronicle^ cap. C.lxiii. fo. Ixxxii. b: 
*' and as he stouped downe to take up his swerde, the Frenche 
squyer dyd pyckc his swerde at hym, and by hap strake hym 
through bothe the thyes." STEEVENS. 

So, in An Account ofauntient Customes and Games, &c. MSS. 
Harl. 2057, fol. 10, b : 

** To wrestle, play at strolc-ball, [stool-ball] or to runne, 
" To picke the barre, or to shoot off a gun." 
The word is again used in King Henry VIII. with only a 
slight variation in the spelling: " I'll peck you o'er the pales 
else." See Vol. XV. p. 210, n. 5. MALONK. 

the heart of generosity,] To give the final blow to the 

nobles. Generosity \s high birth. JOHNSON. 

So, in Measure for Measure : 

" The generous and gravest citi/eus ." 
See Vol. VI. p. yyi, n. 2. STEVENS. 

c 2 


As they would hang them on the horns o' the moon, 2 
Shouting their emulation. 3 

MEN. What is granted them ? 

MAR. Five tribunes, to defend their vulgar wis- 

Of their own choice : One's Junius Brutus, 
Sicinius Velutus, and I know not 'Sdeath ! 
The rabble should have first unroof d the city, 4 
Ere so prevail'd with me : it will in time 
Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes 
For insurrection's arguing. 5 

MEN. This is strange. 

MAR. Go, get you home, you fragments ! 

* hang them on the horns o' the moon,~\ So, in Antony 

and Cleopatra : 

" Let me lodge Lichas on the horns o' the moon." 


3 Shouting iheir emulation.'] Each of them striving to shout 
louder than the rest. MALONE. 

Emulation, in the present instance, I believe, signifies faction. 
Shouting their emulation, may mean, expressing the triumph of 
their faction by shouts. 

Emulation, in our author, is sometimes used in an unfavour- 
able sense, and not to imply an honest contest for superior ex- 
cellence. Thus, in King Henry VI. P. I : 

" the trust of England's honour 

" Keep off aloof with worthless emulation." 
Again, in Troilus and Crcssida : 

" While emulation in the army crept." 
i. e. faction. STEEVENS. 

4 unroof' d the city ) ~\ Old copy unroost. Corrected by 

Mr. Rowe. MALONE. 

'' For insurrection's arguing.'] For insurgents to debate upon. 


ac. i. CORIOLANUS. 21 

Enter a Messenger. 

MESS. Where's Caius Marcius ? 

MAR. Here : What's the matter ? 

MESS. The news is, sir, the Voices are in arms. 

MAR. I am glad on't ; then we shall have means 

to vent 
Our musty superfluity : See, our best elders. 

Enter COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, and other Se- 

1 SEN. Marcius, 'tis true, that you have lately 

told us ; 
The Voices are in arms. 6 

MAR. They have a leader, 

Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to't. 
I sin in envying his nobility : 
And were I any thing but what I am, 
I would wish me only he. 

COM. You have fought together. 

MAR. Were half to half the world by the ears, 

and he 

Upon my party, I'd revolt, to make 
Only my wars with him : he is a lion 
That I am proud to hunt. 

'tis true, that you have lately told us ; 

The Voices are in arms.] Coriohmus had been just told him- 
self that the Voices tverc in arms. The meaning is, The intelli- 
gence which you gave us some little time ago of the designs of the 
Voices is now verified s they are in arms. JOHNSON. 


1 SEN. Then, worthy Marcius, 

Attend upon Cominius to these wars. 

COM. It is your former promise. 

MAR. Sir, it is ; 

And I am constant. 7 Titus Lartius, thou 
Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus* face : 
What, art thou stiff? stand'st out ? 

TIT. No, Caius Marcius ; 

I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other, 
Ere stay behind this business, 

MEN. O, true bred ! 

I SEN. Your company to the Capitol -, where, I 

Our greatest friends attend us. 

TIT. Lead you on : 

Follow, Cominius ; we must follow you ; 
Right worthy you priority. 8 

COM. Noble Lartius!' 

1 SEN. Hence ! To your homes, be gone. 

[To the Citizens. 

MAR. Nay, let them follow : 

The Volceshave much corn ; take these rats thither, 
To gnaw their garners : Worshipful mutineers, 

constant."] i. e. immoveable in my resolution. So, in 

Julius Ccesar : 

" But I am constant as the northern star." STEEVENS. 

8 Right "worthy you priority.^ You being right worthy of 
precedence. MALONE. 

Mr. M. Mason would read your priority. STEEVENS. 

9 Noble Lartius !] Old copy Martins. Corrected by Mr. 
Theobald. I am not swe that the emendation is necessary. 
Perhaps Lartius in the Utter part of the preceding speech ad- 
dresses Marcius. MALONS. 

ac. i. CORIOLANUS. 23 

Your valour puts well forth : ' pray, follow. 

[Exeunt Senators, COM. MAR. TIT. and 

MENEN. Citizens steal away. 
Sic. Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius ? 
BRU. He has no equal. 

Sic. When we were chosen tribunes for the peo- 

BRU. Mark'd you his lip, and eyes ? 

Sic. Nay, but his taunts. 

BRU. Being mov'd, he will not spare to gird 2 the 

Sic. Be-mock the modest moon. 
BRU. The present wars devour him : he is grown 
Too proud to be so valiant. 3 

1 Your valour puts well forth:'} That is, You have in this 
mutiny shown fair blossoms of valour. JOHNSON. 

So, in King Henry VIII : 

" To-day he puts forth 

" The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow blossoms," &c. 


to gird ] To sneer, to gibe. So Falstaft" uses the 
noun, when he says, every man has a gird at me. JOHNSON. 

Again, in The Taming of the Shrew: 

" I thank thce for that gird, good Tranio." 
Many instances of the use of this word, might be added. 


To gird, as an anonymous correspondent observes to me, " in 
some parts of England means to push vehemently. So, when a 
ram pushes at any thing with his head, they say he girds at it." 
To gird likewise signified, to pluck or twinge. Hence probably 
it was metaphorically used in the sense of to taunt, or annoy by 
a stroke of sarcasm. Cotgrave makes gird, nip, and tu:iiigc t 
synonymous. MALONE. 

The present wtrs devour him : he is growi 

Too proud lo t>e fo valiant.'} Mr. Theobald says, This is oh- 
.tcurelu expressed, but that the poet's weaning must certainly be, 
that Marcius ix .so conscious of, and so elate upon tin- notion <>/ 


Sic. Such a nature, 

Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow 
Which he treads on at noon : But I do wonder, 
His insolence can brook to be commanded 
Under Cominius. 

BRU. Fame, at the which he aims, 

In whom already he is well grac'd, cannot 
Better be held, nor more attain'd, than by 
A place below the first : for what miscarries 

his own valour, that he is eaten up with pride, &c. According to 
this critick then, we must conclude, that when Shakspeare had 
a mind to say, A man was eaten up with pride, he was so great 
a blunderer in expression, as to say, He was eaten up with war. 
But our poet wrote at another rate, and the blunder is his cri- 
tick's. The present wars devour him, is an imprecation, and 
should be so pointed. As much as to say, May he foil in 
those wars! The reason of the curse is subjoined, for (says the 
speaker) having so much pride with so much valour, his life, with 
increase of honours, is dangerous to the republick. 


I am by no means convinced that Dr. Warburton's punctua- 
tion, or explanation, is right. The sense may be, that the present 
wars annihilate his gentler qualities. To eat up, and conse- 
quently to devour, has this meaning. So, in The Second Part of 
King Henry IV. Act IV. sc. iv : 

" But thou [the crown] most fine, most honour'd, most 


" Hast eat thy hearer up." 

To be eat up with pride, is still a phrase in common and vul- 
gar use. 

He is grown too proud to be so valiant, may signify, his pride 
is such as not to deserve the accompanyment of so much valour. 


I concur with Mr. Stcevens. " The present Avars," Shakspeare 
uses to express the pride of Coriolanus grounded on his military 
prowess ; which kind of pride Brutus says devours him. So, in 
Troilus and Cre.t.sida, Act II. sc. iii : 

" He that's proud, eats up himself." 
Perhaps the meaning of the latter member of the sentence is, 
" he is grown too proud (tf being so valiant, to be endured" 


sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 25 

Shall be the general's fault, though he perform 
To the utmost of a man ; and giddy censure 
Will then cry out of Marcius, O, if he 
Had borne the business ! 

Sic. Besides, if things go well, 

Opinion, that so sticks on Marcius, shall 
Of his demerits rob Cominius. 4 

BRU. Come: 

Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius, 
Though Marcius earn'd them not ; and all his 


To Marcius shall be honours, though, indeed, 
In aught he merit not. 

Sic. Let's hence, and hear 

How the despatch is made ; and in what fashion, 
More than in singularity, 5 he goes 
Upon his present action. 

BRU. Let's along. [Exeunt. 

4 Of his demerits rob Cominius.~\ Merits and Demerits had 
anciently the same meaning. So, in Othello: 

" and my demerits 

" May speak," &c. 

Again, in Stowe's Chronicle, Cardinal Wolsey says to his ser- 
vants : " I have not promoted, preferred, and advanced you 
all according to your demerits." Again, in P. Holland's transla- 
tion of Pliny's Epistle to T. Vespasian, 1600: " his demerit 
had been the greater to have continued his story." STEEVENS. 

Again, in Hall's Chronicle, Henry VI. fol. 69 : " this noble 
prince, for his demerits called the good duke of Gloucester, ." 


5 More than in singularity, &c.] We will learn what he is 
to do, besides going liimself; what are his powers, and what is 
his appointment. JOHNSON. 

Perhaps the word singularity implies a sarcasm on Coriolanus, 
and the speaker means to say after what fashion, beside that in 
which his oivn singularity of disposition invests him, he goes into 
the Held. So, in Twelfth-Night: " Put thyself into the trick of 
angularity." STEEVENS. 



Corioli. The Senate-House. 
Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, and certain Senators. 

1 SEN. So, your opinion is, Aufidius, 
That they of Rome are enter'd in our counsels, 
And know how we proceed. 

AUF. Is it not yours ? 

What ever hath been thought on 6 in this state, 
That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome 
Had circumvention ? 'Tis not four days gone, 7 
Since I heard thence ; these are the words : I think, 
I have the letter here ; yes, here it is : [Reads. 
They have press'd a power* but it is not known 

6 hath been thought on ~] Old copy have. Corrected 

by the second folio. STEEVENS. 

- 'Tis not Jour days gone, 3 i. e. four days past. 


* They have press'd a potter,"] Thus the modern editors. The 
old copy reads They have prest a power; which may signify, 
have a power ready ; from pret, Fr. So, in The Merchant of 

" And I am prest unto it." 

See note on this passage, Act I. sc. i. STEEVENS. 

The spelling of the old copy proves nothing, for participles 
were generally so spelt in Shakspeare's time : so distrest, blest, 
&c. I believe press'd in its usual sense is right. It appears to 
have been used in Shakspeare's time in the sense of impressed. 
So, in Plutarch's Life of Coriolanus, translated by Sir T. North, 
1579: " the common people would not appeare when the 
consuls called their names by a bill, to press them for the 
warres." Again, in King Henry VI. P. Ill : 

" From London by the kingdom was I press* d forth." 


sc. ii. CORIOLANUS. 27 

Whether for east, or west : The dearth is great ; 
The people mutinous .- and it is rumour* d, 
Cominius, Marcius your old enemy, 
(Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,) 
And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman, 
These three lead on this preparation 
Whither 'tis bent : most likely, 'tis for you : 
Consider of it. 

1 SEX. Our army's in the field : 

We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready 
To answer us. 

AUF. Nor did you think it folly, 

To keep your great pretences veil'd, till when 
They needs must show themselves ; which in the 


It seem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery, 
We shall be shorten'd in our aim ; which was, 
To take in many towns, 9 ere, almost, Rome 
Should know we were afoot. 

2 SEN. Noble Aufidius, 
Take your commission ; hie you to your bands : 
Let us alone to guard Corioli : 

If they set down before us, for the remove 
Bring up your army ; l but, I think, you'll find 

" To take in many towns,"] To take in is here, as in many 
other places, to subdue. So, in The Execration of Vulcan, by 
Ben Jonson : 

" The Globe, the glory of the Bank, 

" I saw with two poor chambers taken in, 
" And raz'd." M ALONE. 

Again, more appositely, in Antony and Cleopatra: 

" cut the Ionian sea, 

" And take in Toryne." STEEVENS. 

1 for the remove 

up your army ;~\ Says the Senator to Aufidius, Go to 

your troops, rcc re/// garrison Corioli. If the Romans besiege 


They have not prepar'd for us. 

AUF. O, doubt not that ; 

I speak from certainties. Nay, more, 2 
Some parcels of their powers are forth already, 
And only hitherward. I leave your honours. 
If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet, 
*Tis sworn between us, we shall never strike 
Till one can do no more. 

ALL. The gods assist you ! 

AUF. And keep your honours safe! 

1 SEN. Farewell. 

2 SEN. Farewell. 
ALL. Farewell. \_Exeunt. 

us, bring up your army to remove them. If any change should 
be made, I would read : 

for their remove. JOHNSON. 

The remove and their remove are so near in sound, that the 
transcriber's ear might easily have deceived him. But it is al- 
ways dangerous to let conjecture loose where there is no dif- 
ficulty. MALONE. 

2 I speak from certainties. Nay, more,"] Sir Thomas Han- 
mer completes this line by reading : 

/ speak from very certainties. &c. STEEVENS. 

sc. m. CORIOLANUS. 29 

Rome. An Apartment in Marcius* House. 

Entw VOLUMNIA, and VIRGILIA : They sit down 
on two low Stools, and sew. 

VOL. I pray you, daughter, sing ; or express 
yourself in a more comfortable sort : If my son 
were my husband, I should freelier rejoice in that 
absence wherein he won honour, than in the em- 
bracements of his bed, where he would show most 
love. When yet he was but tender-bodied, and 
the only son of my womb ; when youth with come- 
liness plucked all gaze his way; 3 when, for a day 
of kings' entreaties, a mother should not sell him 
an hour from her beholding ; I, considering how 
honour would become such a person ; that it was 
no better than picture-like to hang by the wall, if 
renown made it not stir, was pleased to let him 
seek danger where he was like to find fame. To 
a cruel war I sent him ; from whence he returned, 
his brows bound with oak. 4 I tell thee, daughter, 
I sprang not more in joy at first hearing he was a 
man-child, than now in first seeing he had proved 
himself a man. 

But had he died in the business, madam ? 
how then ? 

3 - "when youth ivitft comeliness plucked all gaze his 
i. e. attracted the attention of every one towards him. DOUCK. 

- broivs bound with nak.~\ The crown given by the Ro- 
mans to him that saved the lite ot'a Citizen, which was accounted 
more honourable than any other. JOHNSON. 


VOL. Then his good report should have been my 
son ; I therein would have found issue. Hear me 
profess sincerely : Had I a dozen sons, each in 
my love alike, and none less dear than thine and 
my good Marcius, I had rather had eleven die 
nobly for their country, than one voluptuously 
surfeit out of action. 

Enter a Gentlewoman. 

GENT. Madam, the lady Valeria is come to visit 


VIR. 'Beseech you, give me leave to retire my- 
self. 5 

VOL. Indeed, you shall not. 
Methinks, I hear hither your husband's drum ; 
See him pluck Aufidius down by the hair ; 
As children from a bear, the Voices shunning him: 
Methinks, I see him stamp thus, and call thus, 
Come on, you cowards, you were got in fear, 
Though you were born in Home: His bloody brow 
With his mail'd hand then wiping, 6 forth he goes; 
Like to a harvest-man, that's task'd to mow 
Or all, or lose his hire. 

VIR. His bloody brow ! O, Jupiter, no blood ! 
VOL. Away, you fool ! it more becomes a man, 

4 to retire myself. ~\ This verb active (signifying to wilh- 

draic] has already occurred in The Tempest: 

" 1 will thence 

" Retire me to my Milan ." 
Again, in Timon of Athens: 

" I have retired me to a wasteful cock, ." STEEVENS. 

See Vol. XI. p. G7, n. \-. MALOXE. 


With his mail'd hand then talping,"] i. e. his hand cover'd 

"m*il xvltlt inoil T^r-iTrr'T' 

or arm'd with mail. 

sc. ni. CORIOLANUS. 31 

Than gilt his trophy: 7 The breasts of Hecuba, 
When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier 
Than Hector's forehead, when it spit forth blood 
At Grecian swords' contending. Tell Valeria, 1 * 
We are fit to bid her welcome. [Exit Gent. 

VlR. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius! 

VOL. He'll beat Aufidius' head below his knee, 
And tread upon his neck. 

Re-enter Gentlewoman, witti VALERIA and her 

VAL. My ladies both, good day to you. 

VOL. Sweet madam, 

VIR. I am glad to see your ladyship. 

VAL. How do you both ? you are manifest 
housekeepers. What, are you sewing here ? A 
fine spot, 9 in good faith. How does your little 
son ? 

VlR. I thank your ladyship ; well, good madam. 

VOL. He had rather see the swords, and hear a 
drum, than look upon his school-master. 

7 Than gilt his trophy :~\ Gilt means a superficial display of 
gold, a word now obsolete. So, in King Henry V : 

" Our gayness and our gilt, are all besmirch'd." 


* At Grecian swords' co>/lc>nlfng. Tell Valeria,~\ The accu- 
racy of the first folio may be ascertained from the manner in 
which this line is printed: 

At Grecian svcord. Contenning, tdl Valeria. 


* A fine spot,~\ This expression (whatever may be the pr< else 
meaning ot it,) is still in use among the vu!;'r: " You have 
made a fine spot of work of it," being a common phrase of re- 
proach to those who have brought themselves into a scrap-.-. 



VAL. O* my word, the father's son : I'll swear, 
'tis a very pretty boy. O' my troth, I looked upon 
him o' Wednesday half an hour together : he has 
such a confirmed countenance. I saw him run 
after a gilded butterfly ; and when he caught it, 
he let it go again ; and after it again; and over and 
over he comes, and up again ; catched it again : 
or whether his fall enraged him, or how 'twas, he 
did so set his teeth, and tear it ; O, I warrant, 
how he mammocked it ! l 

VOL. One of his father's moods. 
VAL. Indeed la, 'tis a noble child. 
VIR. A crack, madam. 2 

VAL. Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have 
you play the idle huswife with me this afternoon. 

VIR. No, good madam ; I will not out of doors. 
VAL. Not out of doors ! 
VOL. She shall, she shall. 

VIR. Indeed, no, by your patience : I will not 
over the threshold, till my lord return from the 

VAL. Fye, you confine yourself most unreason- 
ably ; Come, you must go visit the good lady that 
lies in. 

1 mammocked it!'] To mammock is to cut in pieces, or 

to tear. So, in The Devil's Charter, 1607 : 

" That he were chopt in mammocks, I could eat him." 

* A crack, madam.'] Thus in Cynthia's Revets by Ben Jonson : 

" Since we are turn'd cracks, let's study to be like cracks, 

act freely, carelesly, and capriciously." 

Again, in The Four Prentices of London, 1615: 

" A notable, dissembling lad, a crack." 

Crack signifies a boy child. See Mr. Tyrwhitt's note on The 
Second Part (if King Henri/ IV. Vol. XII. p. 129, n. 8. 


sc. m. CORIOLANUS. 33 

VIR. I will wish her speedy strength, and visit 
her with my prayers ; but I cannot go thither. 

VOL. Why, I pray you ? 

VIR. 'Tis not to save labour, nor that I want 

VAL. You would be another Penelope: yet, they 
say, all the yarn she spun, in Ulysses' absence, did 
but fill Ithaca full of moths. Come; I would, your 
cambrick were sensible as your finger, that you 
might leave pricking it for pity. Come, you shall 
go with us. 

VIR. No, good madam, pardon me j indeed, I 
will not forth. 

VAL. In truth, la, go with me ; and I'll tell you 
excellent news of your husband. 

VIR. O, good madam, there can be none yet. 

VAL. Verily, I do not jest with you ; there came 
news from him last night. 

VIR. Indeed, madam ? 

VAL. In earnest, it's true; I heard a senator speak 
it. Thus it is : The Voices have an army forth ; 
against whom Cominius the general is gone, with 
one part of our Roman power: your lord, and Titus 
Lartius, are set down before their city Corioli ; they 
nothing doubt prevailing, and to make it brief wars. 
This is true, on mine honour ; and so, I pray, go 
with us. 

VIR. Give me excuse, good madam; 1 will obey 
you in every thing hereafter. 

VOL. Let her alone, lady; as she is now, she will 
but disease our better mirth. 

VAL. In troth, I think, she would : Fare you 
well then. Come, good sweet lady. IVythee, 
VOL. \vi. D 


Virgilia, turn thy solemness out o'door, and go 
along with us. 

VIR. No : at a word, madam j indeed, I must 
not. I wish you much mirth. 

VAL. Well, then farewell. 


Before Corioli. 

Enter , with Drum and Colours, MARCIUS, TITUS 
LARTIUS, Officers, and Soldiers. To them a 

MAR. Yonder comes news: A wager, they have 

LART. My horse to yours, no. 
MAR. J Tis done. 

LART. Agreed. 

MAR. Say, has our general met the enemy ? 

MESS. They lie in view ; but have not spoke as 

LART. So, the good horse is mine. 

MAR. I'll buy him of you. 

LART. No, I'll nor sell, nor give him : lend you 

him, I will, 
For half a hundred years. Summon the town. 

MAR. How far off lie these armies ? 

MESS. Within this mile and half. 3 

3 Within this mile and half.] The two last words, which dis- 

sc. iv. CORIOLANUS. 3.5 

MAR. Then shall we hear their 'lanim, and they 


Now, Mars, I pr'ythee, make us quick in work ; 
That we with smoking swords may march from 

To help our fielded friends jW-Come, blow thy 


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 

That's lesser than a little. 5 Hark, our drums 

[_ Alar urns afar off] 

turb the measure, should be omitted ; as we are told in p. 4,'? r 
that " 'Tis not a mile" between 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 thai fears you more than he ; 

Or, more probably : 

nor a man but fears you less than he, 
That's lesser than a little. JOHNSON. 

The text, I am confident, is right, our author almost always 
entangling himself when he uses less and more. See Vol. IX. 
p. 293, n. 6. Lesser in the next line shows that less in that pre- 
ceding was the author's word, and it is extremely improbable that 
he should have written but fears you less, &c. M ALONE. 

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 himself 
better. The sense is, " //ourwv little Tullus Aufidius fears you, 
there is not a man within the walls that fears you less." 


D 2 


Are bringing forth our youth: We'll break our 


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, 

The Voices 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 Titus : 

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

my fellows ; 

He that retires, I'll take him for a Voice, 
And he shall feel mine edge. 

Alarum, and exeunt Romans and Voices, fighting. 
The Romans are beaten hack to their Trenches. 
Re-enter MARCIUS." 

MAR. All the contagion of the south light on 


*/ ~ 

'" Re-enter Marcius."] Tho old copy rc\uls -Enter MOTCIUS 
cursing. STF.KVENS. 

sc. iv. COR10LANUS. 37 

You shames of Rome ! you herd of Boils and 

plagues 7 

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 


Or, by the fires of heaven, 1*11 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 You shames of Rome! you herd nf 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. VI. p. 14<0, n. 8; Vol. IV. p. 425, n. 4- ; 
Vol. VII. p. 37, n. 3 ; and p. 272, n. 2. For the present regula- 
tion I am answerable. " You herd of cowards /" Marcius would 
say, but his rage prevents him. 

In a former passage 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 
tame expression : 

" Are these your herd? 

" Must these have voices," <Src. 

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 
rhus in the modern editions : 

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


Another Alarum. The Voices and Romans re-enter^ 
and tlie Fight is renewed. The Voices retire into 
Corioli, and MARciusfollows tJiem to the Gates. 

So, now the gates are ope : Now prove good se- 

conds : 

'Tis for the followers fortune widens them, 
Not for the fliers : mark me, and do the like. 

[lie enters the Gates, and is shut in. 

1 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. 


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 8 his senseless sword, 

1 Who, sensible, outdares ] The old editions read : 

Who sensibly out-dares - . 
Thirlby reads : 

y sensible, outdoes 'his senseless stcord. 
He is followed by the later editors, but I have taken only his 
correction . Jon :> b o x. 

Sensible is here, having sensation. So before : " I would, 
your cambrick were sensible as your finger." Though Coriolanus 

sc. /r. CORIOLANUS. 39 

And, when it bows, stands up ! Thou art left, Mar- 

cius : 

A carbuncle entire, 9 as big as thou art, 
Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier 
Even to Cato's wish : not fierce and terrible 
Only in strokes j 1 but, with thy grim looks, and 

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. MA LONE. 

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

** Their very armour by piece-meale fell away from them : 
and yet their flesh abode the wound sconstantly, as though it 
were lesse sensible of smart than the senselesse armour," &c. 

9 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. 

1 Thou tvast a soldier 

Even to Cato's wish : notjicrcc 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 tcrrour in his 
looks and tone of voice ; and the poet, hereby following the 
historian, is fallen into a great chronological impropriety. 


The old copy reads Cnlues 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 stayc upon a sodainc ; crying out to the Romaines that 
had turned their backes, and calling them againe to fight with a 
lowde voycc. For he was even such another as Calo would have 
a souldicr and a captaine to be ; not only tcrrillc an<\ fierce to 
lay about him, but to make the enemie ai'eard with the sound' of 
/.'.',; voycc and grimncs of his countenance" North's translation 
of Plutarch, 1579, p. 21-0. 

Mr. M. Mason supposes that Shakspeare, to avoid the chro- 
nological impropriety, put this saying of the elder Cato " into the 


The thunder-like percussion of thy sounds, 
Thou mad'st thine enemies shake, as if the world 
Were feverous, and did tremble. 2 

Re-enter MARCIUS, bleeding, assaulted by the 

l SOL. Look, sir. 

LART. } Tis Marcius : 

Let's fetch him off, or make remain 3 alike. 

\TheyJighti and all enter the City. 

mouth of a certain Calvus, who might have lived at any time." 
Had Shakspeare known that Cato was not contemporary with 
Coriolanus, (for there is 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 Lartiux, 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 Beau- 
mont's Masque, 1613 : 

" And what will Junoes Iris do for her?") 
omitting to draw a line across the t, and writing the o inaccu- 
rately, the transcriber or printer gave us Calues. See a subse- 
quent 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 

" Was feverous, and did shake." STEEVENS. 

make remain ] is an old manner of speaking, which 

means no more than remain, HANMER. 

sc. r. CORIOLANUS. 41 


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 afar off. 

Enter MARCIUS, and TITUS LARTIUS, with a 

MAR. See here these movers, that do prize their 


At a crack'd drachm ! Cushions, leaden spoons, 
Irons of a doit, doublets that hangmen would 
Bury with those that wore them, 3 these base slaves, 

4 prize their hours ] Mr. Pope arbitrarily changed the 

word hours to honours, and Dr. Johnson, too hastily I think, ap- 
proves of the alteration. Every page of Mr. Pope's edition 
abounds with similar innovations. MA LONE. 

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


Coriolanus blames the Roman soldiers only for wasting their 
time in packing up trifles of such small value. So, in Sir Tho- 
mas 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 citi- 
zens peradventure were fighting with their enemies." 


doublets that hangmen would 

Bun/ with those that wore them,~\ Instead of taking them as 
their lawful perquisite. See Vol. VI. p. 349, n. 8. MALONE. 


Ere yet the fight be done, pack up : Down with 

them. r 
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. 

LART. Worthy sir, thou bleed' st ; 

Thy exercise hath been too violent for 
A second course of fight. 

MAR. Sir, praise me not : 

My w r ork hath yet not warm'd me : Fare you well. 
The blood I drop is rather physical 
Than dangerous to me : To Aufidius thus 
I will appear, and fight. 

LART. Now the fair goddess, Fortune, 6 

Fall deep in love with thee ; and her great charms 
Misguide thy opposers* swords ! Bold gentleman, 
Prosperity be thy page ! 

MAR. Thy friend no less 

Than those she placeth highest ! So, farewell. 

LART. Thou worthiest Marcius ! 


Go, sound thy trumpet in the market-place ; 
Call thither all the officers of the town, 
Where they shall know our mind : Away. 


6 Than dangerous to me: To Aufidius thus 
I will appear, and^fight. 

Lart. Nffw the Jair goddess, Fortune,'} The metre being here 
violated, I think we might safely read with Sir T. Kanmer 
(omitting the words to me .-) 

Than dangerous : To Aujtdhis thus ixill I 
Appear, andjlgkt. 

Noiv thf'fair goddess, Fortune . STEEVEKS. 

sc. vi. CORIOLANUS. 43 


Near the Camp ofComm'ms. 
Enter COMINIUS and Forces, retreating. 

COM. Breathe you, my friends ; well fought : we 

are come off 

Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands, 
Nor cowardly in retire : believe me, sirs, 
We shall be charg'd again. Whiles we have struck, 
By interims, and conveying gusts, we have heard 
The charges of our friends : The Roman gods, 
Lead their successes as we wish our own ; 7 
That both our powers, with smiling fronts encoun- 

Enter a Messenger. 

May give you thankful sacrifice ! Thy news ? 

MESS. The citizens of Corioli have issued, 
And given to Lartius and to Marcius battle : 
i saw our party to their trenches driven, 
And then I came away. 

COAT. Though thou speak'st truth, 

Methinks, thou speak'st not well. How long is't 
since ? 

MESS. Above an hour, my lord. 

COM. 'Tis not a mile ; briefly we heard their 
drums : 

7 The Roman gods, 

Lead their successes as tvc witti our OICH ;"] i. c. May the 
Roman gods, &c. MALONE. 


How could'st thou in a mile confound an hour, 8 
And bring thy news so late ? 

MESS. Spies of the Voices 

Held me in chase, that I was forc'd to wheel 
Three or four miles about ; else had I, sir, 
Half an hour since brought my report. 


COM. Who's yonder, 

That does appear as he were flay'd ? O gods ! 
He has the stamp of Marcius ; and I have 
Before-time seen him thus. 

MAR. Come I too late ? 

COM. The shepherd knows not thunder from a 


More than I know the sound of Marcius' tongue 
From every meaner man's. 9 

8 confound an hour,"] Confound is here used not in its 

common acceptation, but in the sense of to expend. Conterere 
tempus. MALONE. 

So, in King Henry IV. P. I. Act I. so. iii : 

" He did confound the best part of an hour," &c. 


9 From every meaner man's.] [Old copy meaner man.'} 
That is, from that of every meaner man. This kind of phrase- 
ology is found in many places in these plays ; and as the pecu- 
liarities of our author, or rather the language of his age, ought 
to be scrupulously attended to, Hanmer and the subsequent 
editors who read here every meaner man's, ought not in my 
apprehension to be followed, though we should now write so. 


When I am certified that this, and many corresponding offences 
against grammar, were common to the writers of our author's 
age, I shall not persevere in correcting them. But while I sus- 
pect (as in the present instance) that such irregularities were the 
gibberish of a theatre, or the blunders of a transcriber, I shall 

sc. n. COR1OLANUS. 45 

MAR. Come I too late ? 

COM. Ay, if you come not in the blood of others, 
But mantled in your own. 

MAR. O ! let me clip you 

In arms as sound, as when I woo'd ; in heart 
As merry, as when our nuptial day was done, 
And tapers burn'd to bedward. 1 

COM. Flower of warriors, 

How is't with Titus Lartius ? 

MAR. As with a man busied about decrees : 
Condemning some to death, and some to exile ; 
Ransoming him, or pitying,- threatening the other; 
Holding Corioli in the name of Rome, 
Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash, 
To let him slip at will. 

COM. Where is that slave, 

Which told me they had beat you to your trenches? 
Where is he ? Call him hither. 

MAR. Let him alone, 

He did inform the truth : But for our gentlemen, 
The common file, (Aplague! Tribunes forthem!) 

forbear to set nonsense before my readers ; especially when it can 
be avoided by the insertion of a single letter, which indeed 
might have dropped out at the press. STEEVENS. 

1 to bedward.] So, in Albumazar, 1615: 

" Sweats hourly for a dry brown crust to bedward" 


Again, in Peacham's Complete Gentleman, 1627 : " Leaping, 
upon a full stomach, or to bcdiuard, is very dangerous." 


Again, in The Legend of Cardinal Lorraine, 1577, sign. G. 1 : 
" They donsed also, lest so soon as their backs were turned to 
the courticard, and that they had given over the dealings in the 
affairs, there would come in infinite complaints." UKEU. 

Ransoming him, or pitying,] i. e. remitting liis ransom. 



The mouse ne'er shunn'd the cat, as they did budge 
From rascals worse than they. 

COM. But how prevail' d you ? 

MAR. Will the time serve to tell? I do not 


Where is the enemy? Are you lords o j the field ? 
If not, why cease you till you are so ? 

COM. Marcius, 

We have at disadvantage fought, and did 
Retire, to win our purpose. 

MAR. How lies their battle? Know you on which 

side 3 
They have plac'd their men of trust ? 

COM. As I guess, Marcius, 

Their bands in the vaward are the Antiates, 4 
Of their best trust : o'er them Aufidius, 
Their very heart of hope. 5 

on which side &c.] So, in the old translation of Plu- 

tarch : 

" Martius asked him howe the order of the enemies battell 
was, and on which side they had placed their best fighting men. 
The consul made him aunswer that he thought the bandes which 
were in the vaward of their battell, were those of the Antiates, 
whom they esteemed to be the warlikest men, and which for 
valiant corage would geve no place to any of the hoste of their 
enemies. Then prayed Martius to be set directly against them. 
The consul graunted him, greatly praysing his corage." 


4 Antiates,~] The old copy reads Anlicnts, which might 

mean veterans; but a following line, as well as the previous quo- 
tation, seems to prove Antiates to be the proper reading : 
" Set me against Aufidius and his Antiates" 

Our author employs Antiates as a trisyllable, as if it had been 
written Antiats. STEEVENS. 

Mr. Pope made the correction. MALONE. 

s Their very heart of hope.] The same expression is found ia 
Marlowe's Lust's Dominion : 

9C. vi. CORIOLANUS. 47 

MAR. I do beseech you, 

By all the battles wherein we have fought, 
By the blood we have shed together, by the vows 
We have made to endure friends, that you directly 
Set me against Aivfidius, and his Antiates : 
And that you not delay the present ; 6 but, 
Filling the air with swords advanced, 7 and darts, 
We prove this very hour. 

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 ; 8 

thy desperate arm 

" Hath almost thrust quite through the heart of hope" 


In Kino; Henri/ IV. P. I. we have: 

" The very bottom and the soul of hope." STEEVENS. 

6 And that you not delay the present ;] Delay, for let slip. 


7 sivords advanced,'] That is, swords lifted high. 


if any fear 

Lesser his person than an ill report ;~] The old copy hn 
lessen. If the present reading, which was introduced by Mr. 
Steevens, be right, his person must mean his personal danger. 
Tf any one less ft-ars personal danger, than an ill name, &c. If 
the fears of any man are less t /or his person, than they are from 
an apprehension of being esteemed a coward, &c. We have 
nearly the same sentiment in Troiliis and Crexsida : 
" If there be one among the fair'st of Greece, 
" That holds hi* honour higher than his ease, ." 


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- 
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 Voices ? None of you but is 
Able to bear against the great Aufidms 
A shield as hard as his. A certain number, 
Though thanks to all, must I select : the rest 
Shall bear 9 the business in some other fight, 
As cause will be obey'd. Please you to march ; 
And four shall quickly draw out my command, 
Which men are best inclin'd. 1 

Again, in Kino; Henry VI. P. Ill : 

" But thou prefer'at thy life before thine honour." 
In this play we have already had lesser for less. MALONE. 

* 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 ynu to march ; 

And four shall quickly draw out my command, 
Which men are best inclined.'] I cannot but suspect this 
passage of corruption. Why should they march, thutjmir might 
select those that were best inclin'd? How would their inclina- 
tions be known ? Who were the Jour that should select thorn ? 
Perhaps we may read: 

Please you to march ; 

And fear .shall quickly draw out my command, 
Which men are least inclined. 

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 
tear which incites desertion will free m arm from cowards. 

sc. vn. CORIOLANUS. 49 

COM. March on, my fellows : 

Make good this ostentation, and you shall 
Divide in all with us. [Exeunt. 


The Gates of Corioli. 

TITUS LARTIUS, having set a Guard upon Corioli, 
going with a Drum and Trumpet toward COMI- 
NIUS and CAIUS MARCIUS, enters with a Lieu- 
tenant, a Party of Soldiers, and a Scout. 

LART. So, let the ports 2 be guarded : keep your 

As I have set them down. If I do send, despatch 

Mr. Heath thinks the poet wrote : 

" And so / shall quickly draw out," &c. 

Some sense, however, may be extorted from the ancient read- 
ing. 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 Jour indifferent persons, 
that he himself may escape the charge of partiality. If this be 
the drift of Shakspeare, he has expressed it with uncommon ob- 
scurity. The old translation of Plutarch only says : " Where- 
fore, with those that willingly offered themselves to followe him, 
he went out of the citie." SXEEVEXS. 

Coriolanus means only to say, that he would appoint four per- 
sons 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 inarching forward. 
They all march towards the enemy, and on the way he chooses 
those who are to go on that particular service. M. MASON. 

the ports ] i. e. the gates. So, in Timon of Athens : 
" Descend, and open your uncharged ports" 


I'OJ,. XVI. 


Those centuries 3 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. 



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 
More than thy fame and envy: 4 Fix thy foot. 

MAR. Let the first budger die the other's slave, 

3 Those centuries ] i. e. companies consisting each of a hun- 
dred men. Our author sometimes uses this word to express 
simply a hundred ; as in Cymbeline: 

" And on it said a century of prayers." STEEVENS. 

4 thy fame and envy:] Envy here, as in many other 

places, means, malice. See Vol. XV. p. 64, n. 2. MALONE. 

The phrase death 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 con- 
struction may be Not Africk oivns a serpent I more abhor and 
envy, than thy fame. STEEVENS. 

sc.rm. CORIOLANUS. 51 

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, 6 
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, 7 
Thou should'st not scape me here. 

[Theyjighty and certain Voices come to the aid 


3 Let the Jirst badger die the other's slave, 
And the gods doom him (tfter !~\ So, in Macbeth: 

" And damn'd be him who first cries, Hold, Enough!" 

c Within these three hours, Tullus, 

Alone I fought in your Corioli walls,] If the name of Tullus, 
and the word walls, be omitted, the metre will become regular. 

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 fur- 
nishes ; and the foregoing interpretation is in my opinion un- 
doubtedly the true one. An anonymous correspondent justly 
observes, that the words mean, " the whip that your bragg'd 
progeny was possessed of." MALONE. 

Whip might anciently be used, as crack is now, to denote any 
thing peculiarly boasted of; as the crack house in the county 
the crack boy of a school, !vc. Modern phraseology, perhaps, 
has only passed from the whip, to the crack of it. STELVKNS. 

K 'J 


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

[Exeunt jighting) driven in by MARCIUS. 


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 9 o'er this thy day's 

* you have sham'd me 

In your condemned seconds.] For condemned, we may read 
contemned. You have, to my shame, sent me help which I de- 
spise. 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?" 


We have had the same phrase in the fourth scene of this play : 
" Now prove good seconds .'" MALONE. 

If I should tell thee &c.] So, in the old translation of Plu- 
tarch : " 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 him selfe sawe him doe with his eyes, as 
also for that Martius had reported vnto him. So in the ende he 
willed Martius, he should choose out of all the horses they had 
taken of their enemies, and of all the goodes they had wonne 
(whereof there was great store) terme of euery sorte which he 
likest best, before any distribution should be made to other. Be- 

sc. ix. CORIOLANUS. 53 

Thou'lt not believe thy deeds : but I'll report it, 
Where senators shall mingle tears with smiles ; 
Where great patricians shall attend, and shrug, 
I' the end, admire ; where ladies shall be frighted, 
And, gladly quak'd, 1 hear more ; where the dull 


That, with the fusty plebeians, hate thine honours, 
Shall say, against their hearts, We thank the gods, 
Our Rome hath such a soldier ! 
Yet cam'st thou to a morsel of this feast, 
Having fully dined before. 

Enter TITUS LARTIUS, with his Power, from the 

LART. O general, 

Here is the steed, we the caparison: 2 
Hadst thou beheld 

MAR. Pray now, no more : my mother, 

sides this great honorable offer he had made him, he gaue him 
in testimonie that he had wonne that daye the price of prowes 
above all other, a goodly horse with a capparison, and all furni- 
ture to him : which the whole armie beholding, dyd marvelously 
praise and commend. But Martius stepying forth, told the 
consul, he most thanckefully accepted the gifte of his horse, 
and was a glad man besides, that his seruice had deserued his 
generalls commendation : and as for his other offer, which was 
rather a mercenary reward, than an honourable recompence, he 
would none of it, but was contented to haue his equall parte 
with other souldiers." STEEVEXS. 

1 And, gladly quak'd,~] i.e. thrown into grateful trepidation. 
To quake is used likewise as a verb active by T. Hey wood, in 
his Silver Age, 1613: 

" We'll quake them at that bar 

" Where all souls wait for sentence." STEEVEXS. 

* Here ix the steed, toe the caparison .-] This is an odd enco- 
mium. The meaning is, this man performed the action, and ur 
only JiRed up the show. JOHNSON*. 


Who has a charter to extol 3 her blood, 

When she does praise me, grieves me. 1 have done, 

As you have done ; that's what I can ; induc'd 

As you have been ; that's for my country: 4 

He, that has but effected his good will, 

Hath overta'en mine act. 5 

COM. You shall not be 

The grave of your deserving ; Rome must know 
The value of her own : 'twere a concealment 
Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement, 
To hide your doings ; and to silence that, 
Which, to the spire and top of praises vouch'd, 
Would seem but modest: Therefore, I beseech you, 
(In sign of what you are, not to reward 
What you have done, 6 ) before our army hear me. 

MAR. I have some wounds upon me, and they 

To hear themselves remember'd. 

COM. Should they not, 7 

a charter to extol ] A privilege to praise her own 

son. JOHNSON. 

4 that's for my country :] The latter word is used here, 

as in other places, as a trisyllable. See Vol. IV. p. 201, n. 5. 

* He, that hath but effected his good will, 

Hath overta'en mine act.] That is, has done as much as I 
have done, inasmuch as my ardour to serve the state is such that 
I have never been able to effect all that I vvish'd. 
So, in Macbeth : 

" The flighty purpose never is o'ertook, 

" Unless the deed goes with it," MALONE. 

6 not to reward 

What you have done,J] So, in Macbeth: 

" To herald thee into his sight, not pay thce." 


7 Should they not,~] That is, not be remembered. JOHNSON. 

sc. ix. CORIOLANUS. 55 

Well might they fester 'gainst ingratitude, 

And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses, 

(Whereof we have ta'en good, and good store,) of 


The treasure, in this field achieved, and city, 
We render you the tenth ; to be ta'en forth, 
Before the common distribution, at 
Your only choice. 

MAR. I thank you, general ; 

But cannot make my heart consent to take 
A bribe to pay my sword : I do refuse it ; 
And stand upon my common part with those 
That have beheld the doing. 

\_A long Flourish. They all cry, Marcius ! 
Marcius ! cast up their Caps and Lances : 
COMINIUS and LARTIUS stand bare. 

MAR. May these same instruments, which you 


Never sound more ! When drums and trumpets 
shall 8 

Whn drums and trumpets shall &c.~] In the old copy : 
when drums and trumpets shall 

P the field prove flatterers, let courts and cities be 

Made alt 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 : 

tchen drums and trumpets shall 

F th'Jietd prove Jtatterers, let camps, as cities, 
Be made ofj'ahe-fac'd soothing ! When steel groivs 
Soft as t/ie parasite's silk, let hymns be made 
An overture for the mars! 

The thought is this, If one thing changes its usual nature 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. 


I' the field prove flatterers, let courts and cities be 
Made all of false-fac'd soothing ! When steel grows 

[When steel softens to the condition of the parasite's silk, the 
peaceful hymns of devotion should be employed to excite to the 
charge.] Now, in the first instance, the thought, in the com- 
mon reading, was entirely lost by putting in courts for camps; 
and the latter miserably involved in nonsense, by blundering 
hymns 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 } 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 [i. e. silk] 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. 


It should be remembered, that the personal him, is not unfre- 
quently 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 Shakspeare. What Martial has said of 
Mutius Scaevola, may however be applied to Dr. Warburton's 
proposed emendation : 

" Si non err asset , fecer at ille minus." STEEVENS. 

Bullokar, in his English Expositor, 8vo. 1616, interprets the 
word Overture thus : " An overturning ; a sudden change." 
The latter sense suits the present passage sufficiently well, un- 
derstanding the word him to mean it, as Mr. Steevens has very 
properly explained it. When steel grows soft as silk, let silk be 
suddenly converted to the use of war. 

W r e have many expressions equally licentious in these plays. 
By steel Marcius means a coat of mail. So, in Kins Henry VI, 
P. Ill : 

" Shall we go throw away our coats of steel, 
" And wrap our bodies in black mourning gowns ?" 
Shakspeare has introduced a similar image in Romeo and Juliet; 
" Thy beauty hath made me effeminate, 
" And in my temper snjlen'd valour's steel.'" 
Overture, I have observed since this note was written, v;-a:> 

sc. ix. CORIOLANUS. 57 

Soft as the parasite's silk, let him be made 
An overture for the wars ! No more, I say ; 
For that I have not wash'd my nose that bled, 
Or foil'dsome debile wretch, which, withoutnote, 
Here's many else have done, you shout me forth 
In acclamations hyperbolical ; 
As if I loved my little should be dieted 
In praises sauc'd with lies. 

COM. Too modest are you ; 

More cruel to your good report, than grateful 
To us that give you truly : by your patience, 
If 'gainst yourself you be incens'd, we'll put you 
(Like one that means his proper harm,) in mana- 
Then reason safely with you. Therefore, be it 


As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius 
Wears this war's garland : in token of the which 
My noble steed, known to the camp, I give him, 
With all his trim belonging ; and, from this time, 
For what he did before Corioli, call him, 9 
With all the applause and clamour of the host, 

used by the writers of Shakspeare's time in the sense of prelude 
or preparation. It is so used by Sir John Davies and Philemon 
Holland. MALONE. 

9 For ichal 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 compel! Martins to take these giftes we otier him, if 
he will not receaue them: but we will geue him suche a rewarde 
For the noble seruice lie hath done, as he cannot refuse. There- 
fore we doe order and decree, that henceforth he be called 
Coriolanus, onles his valiant acts haue wonne him that name be- 
fore our nomination." STI.KVKNS. 

' The folio Marcus C\tius Curiulauus. STEEVENS. 


Bear the addition nobly ever ! 

[Flourish. Trumpets sound, and Drums. 

ALL. Caius Marcius Coriolanus ! 

COR. I will go wash ; 

And when my face is fair, you shall perceive 
Whether I blush, or no : Howbeit, I thank you : 
I mean to stride your steed ; and, at all times, 
To undercrest your good addition, 
To the fairness of my power. 2 

COM. So, to our tent : 

Where, ere we do repose us, we will write 
To Rome of our success. You, Titus Lartius, 
Must to Corioli back : send us to Rome 
The best, 3 with whom we may articulate, 4 
For their own good, and ours. 

* To undercrest your good addition, 

To the fairness of my poaw.] A phrase from heraldry, sig- 
nifying, that he would endeavour to support his good opinion of 

I understand the meaning to be, to illustrate this honourable 
distinction you have conferred on me by fresh deservings to the 
extent of my power. To undercrest, I should guess, signifies 
properly, to wear beneath the crest as a part of a coat of arms. 
The name or title now given seems to be considered as the crest; 
the promised future achievements as the future additions to that 
coat. HEATH. 

When two engage on equal terms, we say it is fair ; fairness 
may therefore be equality ; in proportion equal to mij power. 


" To the fairness of my power" is, as fairly as I can. 


3 The be&t,~\ The chief men of Corioli. JOHNSON. 

4 iKith tvhom me may articulate,] i. e. enter into articles. 

This word occurs again in King Henry IV. Act V. sc. i : 

" Indeed these things you have articulated." 
i. e. set down article by article. So, in Holinshed's Chronicles 
nf Ireland, p. 163: " The carl of Desmond's treasons articu- 
lated." STEKVENS. 

sc. ix. CORIOLANUS. 59 

LART. I shall, my lord. 

COR. The gods begin to mock me. I that now 
Refus'd most princely gifts, am bound to beg 
Of my lord general. 

COM. Take it : 'tis yours. What is't ? 

COR. I sometime lay, here in Corioli, 
At a poor man's house ; 5 he us'd me kindly : 
He cried to me ; I saw him prisoner ; 
But then Autidius was within my view, 
And wratli o'erwhelm'd my pity : I request you 
To give my poor host freedom. 

COM. O, well begg'd ! 

Were he the butcher of my sou, he should 
Be free, as is the wind. 6 Deliver him, Titus. 

LART. Marcius, his name ? 

COR. By Jupiter, forgot : 

I am weary ; yea, my memory is tir'd. 
Have we no wine here ? 

COM. Go we to our tent : 

The blood upon your visage dries : 'tis time 
It should be look'd to: come. \_Exeunt. 

4 At a poor man's house;] So, in the old translation of Plu- 
tarch : " Only this grace (said he) I craue, and beseeche you 
to grant me. Among the Voices there is an old f'riende and hoste 
of mine, an honest wealthie man, and now a prisoner, who liu- 
ing before in great wealthe in his owne countrie, liueth now a 
poore prisoner in the handes of his enemies : and yet notwith- 
standing 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." STKEVEXS. 

ifree, as is the wind.] So, in As you like it : 

" 1 must have liberty t 

11 Withal, as large a charter as the mind." MALONE. 



The Camp of the Voices. 

A Flourish. Cornets. Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, 
bloody, with Two or Three Soldiers. 

AUF. The town is ta'en ! 

1 SOL. 'Twill be delivered back on good condi- 

AUF. Condition? 

I would, I were a Roman ; for I cannot, 
Being a Voice, be that I am. 7 Condition ! 
What good condition can a treaty find 
I' the part that is at mercy ? Five times, Marcius, 
I have fought with thee ; so often hast thou beat 

me ; 

And would' st do so, I think, should we encounter 
As often as we eat. By the elements, 
If e'er again I meet him beard to beard, 8 
He is mine, or I am his : Mine emulation 
Hath not that honour in't, it had ; for where 9 

7 Being a Voice, &c.] It may be just observed, that Shak- 
speare calls the Void, Voices, which the modern editors have 
changed to the modern termination [Volcian.] I mention it here, 
because here the change has spoiled the measure : 

Being a Voice, be that I am. Condition ! JOHNSON. 

The Void are called Voices in Sir Thomas North's Plutarch, 
and so I have printed the word throughout this tragedy. 


s meet him beard to beard,] So, in Macbeth : 

" We might have met them dareful, beard to beard .'* 


9 -for where ] Where is used here, as in many other 

places, for whereas. MALONE. 

sc. x. CORIOLANUS. 61 

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 get him. 

1 SOL. He's the devil. 

AUF. Bolder, though not so subtle : My valour's 

poison'd, 8 

With only suffering stain by him ; for him 
Shall fly out of itself: 3 nor sleep, nor sanctuary, 
Being naked, sick : nor fane, nor Capitol, 
The prayers of priests, nor times of sacrifice, 
Embarquements all of fury, 4 shall lift up 

1 Pll potch at him some -way ;~\ Mr. Heath reads 

poach ; bat potch, to which the objection is made as no English 
word, is used in the midland counties for a rough, violent push. 


Cole, in his DICTIONARY, 1679, renders " to poche," fundum 
explorare. The modern word poke is only a hard pronunciation 
ot this word. So to eke was formerly written to ech. 


In Carew's Survey of Cornwall, the word potch is used in al- 
most the same sense, p. 31 : " They use also to poche them (fish) 
with an instrument somewhat like a salmon-speare." TOLLET. 

1 My valour's poison' 'd, &c.] The construction of this 

passage would be clearer, if it were written thus : 

my valour, poison' d 

With only suffering stain In/ him t for him 
Shall Jly out (f itself . TYRWIIITT. 

The amendment proposed by Tyrwhitt would make the con- 
struction clear ; but I think the passage will run better thus, and 
with as little deviation from the text : 

my valour's poison' il ; 

Which only suffering stain bi/ him, for him 

Shall jly out of itself. M. MASON'. 

-for him 

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

nor sleep, nor sanctuary, &c. 

Kmbarquements all of fury, &c.~\ The word, in the old 


Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst 

My hate to Marcius : where I find him, were it 

At home, upon my brother's guard, 5 even there 

Against the hospitable canon, would I 

Wash my fierce hand in his heart. Go you to the 


Learn, how 'tis held; and what they are, that must 
Be hostages for Rome. 

1 SOL. Will not you go ? 

AUF. I am attended 6 at the cypress grove : 
I pray you, 
('Tis south the city mills, 7 ) bring me word thither 

copy, is spelt embarquemcnts, and, as Cotgrave saj's, meant not 
only an embarkation, but an embargoing. The rotten privilege 
and custom that follow, seem to favour this explanation, and 
therefore the old reading may well enough stand, as an embargo 
is undoubtedly an impediment* STEEVENS. 

In Sherwood's English and French Dictionary at the end of 
Cotgrave's, we find 

" To imbark, to imbargue. Embarquer. 
" An imbarking, an imbarguing. Embarqucment" 
Cole, in his Latin Dictionary, 1679, has " to imbargue, or 
lay an imbargo upon." There can be no doubt therefore that the 
old copy is right. If we derive the word from the Spanish, 
embargar, perhaps we ought to write embargcmcnt ; but Shak- 
speare's word certainly came to us from the French, and there- 
fore is more properly written cmbarqucments, or embarkments. 


* At home, upon my brother's guard,~} In my own house, with 
my brother posted to protect him. JOHNSON. 

So, in Othello : 

" and on the court of guard, ." STEEVEXS. 

6 attended ] i. e. waited for. So, in Twelfth-Night: 

" thy intercepter attends thee at the orchard end." 


7 ('77.? south the citij mills,)] But where could Shakspearo 
have heard of these mills at Antium ? I believe we ought to read: 

('7V. south the city a mile.) 
The old edition reads mils. TYHWHITT. 

sc. x. CORIOLANUS. 63 

How the world goes ; that to the pace of it 
I may spur on my journey. 

1 SOL. 1 shall, sir. 


Shakspeare is seldom careful about such little improprieties. 
Coriolanus speaks of our divines, and Mcnenius of graves in the 
holy churchyard. It is said afterwards, that Coriolanus talks like 
a knell ; and drums, and Hob, and Dick, are with as little atten- 
tion to time or place, introduced in this tragedy. STEEVENS. 

Shakspeare frequently introduces those minute local descrip- 
tions, probably to give an air of truth to his pieces. So, in Romeo 
and Juliet : 

" underneath the grove of sycamore, 

" That -westward rooteth from the city's side.'* 
Again : 

" It was the nightingale and not the lark 

" Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree." 

Mr. Tyrwhitt's question, " where could Shakspeare have 
heard of these mills at Antium ?" may be answered by another 
question : Where could Lydgate hear of the mills near Troy ? 

" And as I ride upon this flode, 

" On eche syde many a mylle stode, 

" When nede was their graine and corne to grinde," &c. 
Aancyent Historic, &c. 1555. MALONE. 



Rome. A publick Place. 


MEN. The augurer tells me, we shall have news 

BRU. Good, or bad? 

MEN. Not according to the prayer of the people, 
for they love not Marcius. 

Sic. Nature teaches beasts to know their friends. 
MEN. Pray you, who does the wolf love ? 8 
Sic. The lamb. 

MEN. Ay, to devour him ; as the hungry ple- 
beians would the noble Marcius. 

BRU. He's a lamb indeed, that baes like a bear. 

MEN. He's a bear, indeed, that lives like a lamb. 
You two are old men ; tell me one thing that I 
shall ask you. 

BOTH TRIB. Well, sir. 

MEN. In what enormity is Marcius poor, 9 that 
you two have not in abundance ? 

8 Pray you, &c.] When the tribune, in reply to Menenius's re- 
mark, on the people's hate of Coriolanus, had observed that even 
beasts knoiv their friends, Menenius asks, ivhom does the ivolflove? 
implying that there are beasts which love nobody, and that among 
those beasts are the people. JOHNSON. 

9 In ivhat enormity is Marcius poor^ [Old copy poor in."] 
Here we have another of our author's peculiar modes of phra- 
seology ; which, however, the modern editors have not suffered 

5C-. /. CORIOLANUS. 65 

RRU. He's poor in no one fault, but stored with 

Sic. Especially, in pride. 

BRU. And topping all others in boasting. 

MEX. This is strange now : Do you two know 
how you are censured here in the city, I mean of 
us o'the right-hand file ? Do you ? 

BOTH TRIE. Why, how are we censured ? 

MEX. Because you talk of pride now, Will 
you not be angry ? 

BOTH TRIE. Well, well, sir, well. 

MEN. Why, 'tis no great matter ; for a very little 
thief of occasion will rob you of a great deal of pa- 
tience: give your disposition the reins, and be angry 
at your pleasures ; at the least, if you take it as a 
pleasure to you, in being so. You blame Marcius 
for being proud ? 

BRU. We do it not alone, sir. 

MEX. I know, you can do very little alone ; for 
your helps are many ; or else your actions would 
grow wondrous single: your abilities are too intant- 
like, for doing much alone. You talk of pride : 
O, that you could turn your eyes towards the napes 

him to retain ; having dismissed the redundant in at the end of 
this part of the sentence. MAI,ONE. 

I shall continue to dismiss it, till such peculiarities can, by au- 
thority, be discriminated from the corruptions of the stage, tin? 
transcriber, or the printer. 

It is scarce credible, that, in the expression of a common idea, 
in prose, our modest Shakspeare should have advanced a phrase- 
ology of his own, in equal defiance of eu^omary language, and 
established grammar. 

As, on the present occasion, the word in might have stood 
with propriety .at either end of .the question, it has been casually, 
or ignorantly, inserted at both. STKI:VF.NS. 


of your necks, 1 and make but an interior survey of 
your good selves ! O, that you could ! 

BRU. What then, sir? 

MEN. Why, then you should discover a brace of 
unmeriting, proud, violent, testy magistrates, (alias, 
fools,) as any in Rome.' 2 

Sic. Menenius, you are known well enough too. 

MEN. I am known to be a humorous patrician, 
and one that loves a cup of hot wine with not a 
drop of allaying Tyber in't ; 3 said to be something 
imperfect, in favouring the lirst complaint : hasty, 
and tinder-like, upon too trivial motion : one that 
converses more with the buttock of the night, 4 than 

1 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. 

* a brace of unmeriting, magistrates, as any in Rome.~] 

This was the phraseology of Shakspeare's age, of which I have 
met with many instances in the books of that time. Mr. Pope, 
as usual, reduced the passage to the modern standard, by reading 
a brace of as unmeriting, &c. as any in Rome : and all the 
subsequent editors have adopted his emendation. MALOXE. 

3 ivith not a drop of allaying Tyber in't ;~\ Lovelace, in 

his Verses to Altheajrom Prison, has borrowed this expression : 
" When flowing cups run swiftly round 
" With no allaying Thames,"" &c. 
See Dr. Percy's Reliqucs &c. Vol. II. p. 324, 3d edit. 


4 one that converses more &c.] Rather a late lier down 

than an early riser. JOHNSON. 

So, in Love's Labour's Lost : " It is the king's most sweet 
pleasure and affection, to congratulate the princess at her pavi- 
lion, in the posteriors of this day ; which the rude multitude call, 
the afternoon." Again, in King Henry IV. P. II : 
Thou art a summer bird, 

" Which ever in the haunch of winter sing? 
" The lifting up of day." MALOXE. 

sc. /. CORIOLANUS. 67 

with the forehead of the morning. What I think, 
I utter ; and spend my malice in my breath : Meet- 
ing two such weals-men as you are, (I cannot call 
you Lycurguses) if the drink you gave me, touch 
my palate adversely, I make a crooked face at it. 
I cannot say, 5 your worships have delivered the 
matter well, when I find the ass in compound with 
the major part of your syllables: and though I must 
be content to bear with those that say you are re- 
verend grave men ; yet they lie deadly, that tell, 
you have good laces. If you see this in the map of 
my microcosm, 6 follows it, that I am known well 
enough too ? What harm can your bisson conspec- 
tuities 7 glean out of this character, if I be known 
well enough too ? 

BRU. Come, sir, come, we know you well enough. 

MEN. You know neither me, yourselves, nor anv 

tiling. You are ambitious for poor knaves' caps 

and legs; 3 you wear out a good wholesome fore- 
noon, 9 in hearing a cause between an orange-wife 

/ cannot say,"] Xot, which appears to have been omitted 

ia the old copy, by negligence, was inserted by Mr. Theobald. 


f my microcosm,'] So, in King Lear : 

" Strives, in his little ivorld of men ." 

\licrocosmos is the title of a poem by John Davies, of Here- 
ford, 4 to. 1605. STEEVKXS. 

bisson conspectuities ] Bisson, blind, in the old copies, 
is beesonic, restored by Mr. Theobald. Jonxsox. 

So, in Hamlet : 

" Ran barefoot up and down, threat'ning the flames, 
" With bisson rheum." MAF.ONK. 

for poor knaves' caps anil /c^s-;] That is, for their 
obeisance showed by bowing to you. See Vol. XI. p. 30'2, n. 5. 


j/oii near out a good <vc.] It appears from this whole 

! '2 


and a fosset-seller ; and then rejourn the contro- 
versy of three-pence to a second day of audience. 
-When you are hearing a matter between party 
and party, if you chance to be pinched with the 
cholick, you make faces like mummers ; set up the 
bloody flag against all patience ;' and, in roaring 
for a chamber-pot, dismiss the controversy bleed- 
ing, the more entangled by your hearing : all the 
peace you make in their cause, is, calling both the 
parties knaves : You are a pair of strange ones. 

BRU. Come, come, you are well understood to 
be a perfecter giber for the table, than a necessary 
bencher in the Capitol. 

MEX. Our very priests must become mockers, if 
they shall encounter such ridiculous subjects as you 
are. 2 When you speak best unto the purpose, it is 
not worth the wagging of your beards ; and your 
beards deserve not so honourable a grave, as to stuff 
a botcher's cushion, or to be entombed in an ass's 
pack-saddle. Yet you must be saying, Marcius is 
proud ; who, in a cheap estimation, is worth all 
your predecessors, since Deucalion ; though, per- 
adventure, some of the best of them were hereditary 
hangmen. Good e'en to your worships ; more of 
your conversation would infect my brain, being the 

speech that Shakspesre mistook the office of prefect us nrbis for 
the tribune's office. WARBURTOX. 

1 set up tht bloody flag a^ciin>' all patience ;~} That is, 

declare war against patience. There is not wit enough in this 
satire to recompense its grossness. JOHNSON. 

s Our very priests musl become mockers, if they shall encounter 
inch ridiculous subjects as i/on are^\ So, in Mnch Ado about 
'\otfiing: " Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you eorne 
in \\<tT presence." STKJ:VF..VS. 

sc. I. CORIOLANUS. 69 

herdsmen of the beastly plebeians : 3 I will be bold 
to take my leave of you. 

[BRUTUS and SICINIUS retire to the back of 
the Scene. 


How now, my as fair as noble ladies, (and the 
moon, were she earthly, no nobler,) whither do you 
follow your eves so fast ? 

V +> 

VOL. Honourable Menenius, my boy Marcius 
approaches ; for the love of Juno, let's go. 

MEN. Ha ! Marcius coming home ? 

VOL. Ay, worthy Menenius ; and with most 
prosperous approbation. 

MEN. Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee : 4 
Hoo ! Marcius coming home ! 

Two LADIES. Nay, 'tis true. 

VOL. Look, here's a letter from him ; the state 
hath another, his wife another ; and, I think, there's 
one at home for you. 

MEN. I will make my very house reel to-night : 
A letter for me ? 

ViR. Yes, certain, there's a letter for you ; I saw 
MEN. A letter for me ? It ives me an estate of 

1 herdsmen of plebeians :~\ As kings are called ifolfiEve; 

''*x,uv. JOHNSON. 

4 Take my cap, Jit niter, mid I thank thee:'] Dr. Warburton 
proposed to read 'Lake my cup, Jupiter, . RI:ED. 

Shakspeare 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. JOHNSON. 


seven years' health ; in which time I will make a 
lip at the physician : the most sovereign prescrip- 
tion in Galen 5 is but empiricutick, 6 and, to this 
preservative, of no better report than a horse- 
drench. Is he not wounded ? he was wont to 
come home wounded. 

VIR. O, no, no, no. 

VOL. O, he is wounded, I thank the gods for't. 

MEN. So do I too, if it be not too much : 
Brings 'a victory in his pocket ? The wounds be- 
come him. 

VOL. On's brows, Menenius : 7 he comes the third 
time home with the oaken garland. 

MEN. Has he disciplined Aufidius soundly ? 

VOL. Titus Lartius writes, they fought toge- 
ther, but Aufidius got off'. 

5 in Galen 3 An anachronism of near 650 years. 

Menenius flourished Anno U. C. 260, about 4-92 years before 
the birth of our Saviour. Galen was born in the year of our 
Lord ISO, flourished about the year 155 or 160, and lived to the 
year 200. GREY. 

empiricutick, ,] The old copies empiricJcqutiquc. " The 

most sovereign prescription in Galen (says Menenius) is to this 
news but empiricutick : an adjective evidently formed by the 
author from empiric (empirigue, Fr. ) a quack." RITSON. 

7 On's brows, Menenius :~\ Mr. M. Mason proposes that there 
should be a comma placed after Menenius ; On's brows, Mene- 
nius, he comes the third time home with the oaken garland, 
" for," says the commentator, " it was the oaken garland, not 
the wounds, that Volumnia says he had on his brows." In Ju- 
lius Ccesnr we h'nd a dialogue exactly similar : 

" Caff. No, it is Casca; one incorporate 
" To our attempts. Am I not staid for, Cinna ? 

" Cin. I am glad on't." 
i. e. I am glad that Casca is incorporate, &c. 

But he appears to me to have misapprehended the passage. Vo- 
lumnia answers Menenius, without taking notice of his last words, 
" The wounds become him." Menenius had asked Brings 

j<7. /. CORIOLANUS. 71 

MEN. And 'twas time for him too, I'll warrant 
him that : an he had staid hy him, I would not 
have been so tidiused for all the chests in Corioli, 
and the gold that's in them. Is the senate possessed 
of this? 8 

VOL. Good ladies, let's go : Yes, yes, yes : the 
senate has letters from the general, wherein he 
gives my son the whole name of the war : he hath 
in this action outdone his former deeds doubly. 

VAL. In troth, there's wondrous things spoke of 

MEN. Wondrous ? ay, I warrant you, and not 
without his true purchasing. 

VIR. The gods grant them true ! 
VOL. True ? pow, wow. 

MEN. True ? I'll be sworn they are true : 
Where is he wounded? God save your good 
worships! [To the Tribunes, who come forward.'] 
Marcius is coming home : he has more cause to be 
proud. Where is he wounded ? 

he victory in his pocket? He brings it, says Volumnia, on his 
"broviSy for he comes the third time home brow-bound with the 
oaken garland, the emblem of victory. So, afterwards : 

" He prov'd best man o' the field, and for his meed, 
" Was brow-bound with the oak." 

If these words did not admit of so clear an explanation, (in 
which the conceit is truly Shakspearian,) the arrangement pro- 
posed by Mr. M. Mason might perhaps be admitted, though it is 
extremely harsh, and the inversion of the natural order of the 
words not much in our author's manner in his prose writings. 


b possessed of this ?] Possessed, in our author's language, 

is fully informed. JOHNSON. 

So, in The Merchant of Venice: 

" I have possess' d your grace of what 1 purpose ." 



VOL. F the shoulder, and i' the left arm : There 
will be large cicatrices to show the people, when he 
shall stand for his place. He received in the re- 
pulse of Tarquin, seven hurts i' the body. 

MEN. One in the neck, and two in the thigh, 
there's nine that I know. 9 

VOL. He had, before this last expedition, twenty- 
five wounds upon him. 

MEN. Now it's twenty-seven : every gash was 
an enemy's grave : \_A Shout, and Flourish.'] Hark! 
the trumpets. 

VOL. These are the ushers of Marcius: before him 
He carries noise, and behind him he leaves tears ; 
Death, that dark spirit, in's nervy arm doth lie ; 
Which being advanc'd, declines; 1 and then men 

9 seven hurts &c.] Old copy seven hurts i* the body. 

Men. One i' the neck, and two i' the thigh; there's nine 
that I knoiv. Seven, one, and two, and these make but 
nine ? Surely, we may safely assist Menenius in his arithmetick. 
This is a stupid blunder ; but wherever we can account by a pro- 
bable reason for the cause of it, that directs the emendation. 
Here it was easy for a negligent transcriber to omit the second 
one, as a needless repetition of the first, and to make a numeral 
word of too. WARBURTON. 

The old man, agreeable to his character, is minutely particular: 
Seven wounds'? let me sec; one in the neck, two in the thigh 
Nay, I am sure there are more ; there are nine that I know of. 


1 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. JOHNSON. 

sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 73 

A Sennet. Trumpets sound. Enter COMINIUS and 
croicned with an oaken Garland ; with Captains, 
Soldiers, and a Herald. 

HER. Know, Rome, that all alone Marcius did 


Within Corioli' gates: where he hath won, 
With fame, a name to Cains Marcius ; these 
In honour follows, Coriolanus: 2 
Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus ! 


ALL. Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus! 

Coif. No more of this, it does offend my heart; 
Pray now, no more. 

COM. Look, sir, your mother, 

COR. O ! 

You have, I know, petitioned all the gods 
For my prosperity. [Kneels. 

VOL. Nay, my good soldier, up ; 

My gentle Marcius, worthy Caius, and 
By deed-achieving honour newly nam'd, 
What is it? Coriolanus, must I call thee ? 
But O, thy wife 

Con. My gracious silence, hail !"' 

Coriolanus;'] The old copy Martins Caius Coriolanus. 


The compositor, it is highly probable, caught the words 
Martins Caius from the preceding line, where also in the old copy 
the original names of Coriolanus are accidentally transposed. 
The correction in the former line was made by Mr. Howe ; in 
the latter by Mr. Stecvens. MALONE. 

J My gracious silence, hail!~\ The epithet to silence shows it 
not to proceed from reserve or sullenness, but to be the effect of 


Would'st thou have laugh'd, had I come coffin'd 


That weep'st to see me triumph? Ah, my dear, 
Such eyes the widows in Corioli wear, 
And mothers that lack sons. 

MEN. Now the gods crown thee ! 

COR. And live you yet ? O my sweet lady, par- 
don. [To VALERIA. 

VOL. I know not where to turn : O welcome 
home ; 

a virtuous mind possessing itself in peace. The expression is 
extremely sublime; and the sense of it conveys the finest praise 
that can be given to a good woman. WARBURTON. 

By my gracious silence, I believe, the poet meant, thou "whose 
silent tears are more eloquent and grateful to me, than the clamo- 
rous applause of the rest ! So, Crashaw : 

" Sententious show'rs ! O! let them fall ! 

" Their cadence is rhetorical." 

Again, in Love's Cure, or the Martial Maid of Beaumont and 
Fletcher : 

" A lady's tears are silent orators, 

" Or should be so at least, to move beyond 

" The honey-tongued rhetorician." 
Again, in Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond, 1599: 

" Ah beauty, syren, fair enchanting good ! 

" Sweet silent rhetorick of persuading eyes! 

" Dumb eloquence, whose power doth move the blood, 

" More than the words, or wisdom of the wise !" 
Again, in Every Alan out of his Humour: 

" You shall see sweet silent rhetorick, and dumb eloquence 
speaking in her eye." STEEYENS. 

I believe, " My gracious silence," only means " My beau- 
teous silence," or " my silent Grace." Gracious seems to have 
had the same meaning formerly that graceful has at this day. So, 
in The Merchant of Venice : 

" But being season'd with a gracious voice." 
Again, in King John : 

" There was not such a gracious creature born." 
Again, in Marston's Malcontent, 1604- : " he is the most ex- 
quisite in forging of veines, spright'ning of eyes, dying of haire, 
sleeking of skinnes, blushing of cheekes, &c. that ever made an 
old lady gracious by torchlight." MALONE. 

sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 75 

And welcome, general ; Andyou arewelcome all. 

MEN. A hundred thousand welcomes : I could 

And I could laugh ; I am light, and heavy : Wel- 
come : 

A curse begin at very root of his heart, 

That is not glad to see thee ! You are three, 

That Rome should dote on : yet, by the faith of 

We have some old crab-trees here at home, that 
will not 

Be grafted to your relish. Yet welcome, warriors: 

We call a nettle, but a nettle ; and 

The faults of fools, but folly. 

COM. Ever right. 

COR. Menenius, ever, ever. 4 
HER. Give way there, and go on. 

COR. Your hand, and yours : 

[To his Wife and Mother. 
Kre in our own house I do shade my head, 
The good patricians must be visited ; 
From whom I have receiv'd not only greetings, 

1 Com. Ever riff lit. 

Cor. Menenius, ever, evcr.~] 
Rather, I think: 

Com. Ever right Menenius. 
Cor. Ever, ever. 

Cominius means to say, that Menenius is always the same ; 
retains his old humour. So, in Julius Ctrsar, Act V. sc. i. 
upon a speech from Cassius, Antony only says Old Cassius still. 


V>\ these words, as they stand in the old copy, I believe, Co- 
riolanus means to say Menenius is still the same affectionate 
friend as formerly. So, in JnJ'rts Casnr : " for always lam 

CtCSar." M VLONE. 


But with them change of honours. 5 

VOL. I have lived 

To see inherited my very wishes, 
And the buildings of my fancy : only there 
Is one thing wanting, which I doubt not, but 
Our Rome will cast upon thee. 

COR. Know, good mother, 

I had rather be their servant in my way, 
Than sway with them in theirs. 

COM. On, to the Capitol. 

[Flourish. Cornets. Exeunt in state as before. 
The Tribunes remain. 

BRU. All tongues speak of him, and the bleared 


Are spectacled to see him : Your pratling nurse 
Into a rapture" lets her baby cry, 

5 But with them change of honours."] So all the editions read. 
But Mr. Theobald has ventured (as he expresses it) to substitute 
charge. For change, he thinks, is a very poor expression, and 
communicates but a very poor idea. He had better have told the 
plain truth, and confessed that it communicatednone at all to him. 
However, it has a very good one in itself; and signifies variety 
of honours; as change qfrayment, among the writers of that time, 
[signified variety ofrayrnent. WARBURTON. 

Change of raiment is a phrase that occurs not unfrequently in 
the Old Testament. STEEVENS. 

6 Into a rapture ] Rapture, a common term at that time 
used for a fit, simply. So, to be rap'd, signified, to be in a Jit. 


If the explanation of Bishop Warburton be allowed, a rapture 
means a fit ; but it does not appear from the note where the word 
is used in that sense. The right word is in all probability rup- 
ture, to which children are liable from excessive fits of crying. 
This emendation was the property of a very ingenious scholar 
long before I had any claim to it. S. W. 

That a child will " cry itself into fits," is still a common phrase 
among nurses. 

That the words Jit and rapture, were once synonymous, may 

sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 77 

While she chats him: the kitchen malkin 7 pins 

be inferred from the following passage in The Hospitnljbr Lon- 
don's Follies, 1602, where Gossip Luce says: " Your darling 
will weep itself into a Rapture, if you take not good heed." 


In Trail us and Cressida, raptures signifies ravings : 

" her brainsick raptures 

" Cannot distaste the goodness of a quarrel." 

I have not met with the word rapture in the sense of a Jit in 
any book of our author's age, nor found it in any Dictionary pre- 
vious to Cole's Latin Dictionary, 1679. He renders the word 
by the Latin ecstasis, which he interprets a trance. However, 
the rule de non apparentibus et de non existentibus eadem est 
ratio certainly does not hold, when applied to the use of words. 
Had we all the books of our author's age, and had we read them 
all, it then might be urged. Drayton, speaking of Marlowe, 
says his raptures were " all air and fire." MALONE. 

7 the kitchen malkin ] A maukin, or malkin, is a kind 

of mop made of clouts for the use of sweeping ovens : thence a 
frightful figure of clouts dressed up : thence a dirty wench. 


Maukin in some parts of England signifies a figure of clouts 
set up to fright birds in gardens: a scare crow. P. 

Malkin is properly the diminutiveof Mai (Mary) ; as Wilkin, 
Tomkin, &c. In Scotland, pronounced Maukin, it signifies 
a hare. Grey malkin (corruptly grimalkin) is a cat. The 
kitchen malkin is just the same as the kitchen Madge or Bess : 
the scullion. RITSON. 

Minsheu gives the same explanation of this term, as Sir T. 
Hanmer has done, calling it " an instrument to clean an oven, 
now made of old clowtes." The etymology which Dr. Johnson has 
given in his Dictionary " MALKIX, from Mai or Mary, and 
kin, the diminutive termination," is, I apprehend, erroneous. 
The kitchen-wench very naturally takes her name from this 
word, a scullion ; another of her titles, is in like manner derived 
from escouillon, the French term for the utensil called a malkin. 


After the morris- dance degenerated into a piece of coarse buf- 
foonery, and Maid Marian was personated by a clown, this 
once elegant Queen of May obtained the name of Malkin. T<> 
this Beaumont and Fletcher allude in Mo;i.<ir>(r Thomas : 
" Put on the shape of order and humanity, 
" Or you must marry Malk>/,i, the May-Lad it" 


Her richest lockram 8 'bout her reechy neck, 9 
Clambering the walls to eye him: Stalls, bulks, 


Are smother'd up, leads fill'd, and ridges hors'd 
With variable complexions ; all agreeing 
In earnestness to see him : seld-shown flamens ' 
Do press among the popular throngs, and puff 
To -win a vulgar station : a our veil'd dames 

Manx, a corruption of malkin, is a low term, still current in 
several counties, and always indicative of a coarse vulgar wench. 


9 Her richest lockram <Sfc.] Lockram was some kind of cheap 
linen. Greene, in his Vision, describing the dress of a man, 

" His ruffe was of fine lockeram, stitched very faire with Co- 
ventry blue." 

Again, in The Spanish Curate of Beaumont and Fletcher, 
Diego says : 

" I give per annum two hundred ells of lockram, 
" That there be no straight dealings in their linnens." 
Again, in Glapthorne's Wit in a Constable, 1639: 

" Thou thought'st, because I did wear lockram shirts, 
" I had no wit." STEEVENS. 

g her reechy ncck,~\ Reechy is greasy, sweaty. So, in 

Hamlet : " a pair of reechy kisses." Laneham, speaking of 
" three pretty puzels" in a morris-dance, says they were " az 
bright az a breast of bacon," that is, bacon hung in the chimney: 
and hence reechy, which in its primitive signification is smoky, 
came to imply greasy. RITSON. 

1 seld-slwwnjlamens ] i. e. priests who seldom exhibit 

themselves to publick view. The word is used in Humour out 
of Breath, a comedy, by John Day, 1607 : 

" O seld-secn metamorphosis." 
The same adverb likewise occurs in the old play of Hieronimo : 

" Why is not this a strange and scld-seen thing ?" 
Scld is often used by ancient writers for seldom. STEEVENS. 

* a vulgar station :~] A station among the rabble. So, in 

The Comedy of Errors: 

" A vulgar comment will be made of it." MALONE. 
A vulgar station, I believe, signifies only a common standing- 
place, such as is distinguished by no particular convenience. 


sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 79 

Commit the war of white and damask, in 
Their nicely-gawded cheeks, 3 to the wanton spoil 
Of Phoebus' burning kisses : such a pother, 
As if that whatsoever god, * who leads him, 
Were slily crept into his human powers, 

J Commit the war qfivhite and damask, in 

Their nicely-gawded cheeks,'] Dr. Warburton, for ivar, ab- 
surdly reads ivare. MALONE. 

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. JOHNSON. 

So, in Shakspeare's Tarquin and Lucrece : 

" The silent tear of lilies and of roses, 

" Which Tarquin view'd in her fair face's field." 
Again, in The Taming of the Shrew : 

" Such v:ar of white and red," &c. 
Again, in Chaucer's Knight's Talc, Mr. Tyrvvhitt'sedit. v. 10-Ri: 

" For with the rose colour strof \\vte hewe." 
Again, in Dameetas' Madrigal in Praise of his Daphnis, by 
John Wootton ; published in England's Helicon, 1600: 

" Amidst her cheekes the rose and lilly strive." 
Again, in Massingcr's Great Duke of Florence : 

" - - the lillies 

" Contending -with the roses in her cheek." STEEVTNS. 

Again, in our author's Venus and Adonis : 
" To note thejighting conflict of her hue, 
" How white and red each other did destroy." 


Cleaveland introduces this, according to his quaint manner: 

" her cheeks, 

" Where roses mix : no civil war 

" Between her York and Lancaster." FARMER. 

1 As if that whatsoever god, ,] That is, as if that god who leads 
him, whatsoever god he be. JOHNSON. 

So, in our author's '26th Sonnet : 

" Till whatsoever star that guides my moving, 
" Points on me graciously with fair aspect." 
Again, in Antony and Cleopatra: 

" - - he hath fought to-day, 

" As if a god in hate of mankind had 

" Destroy'd in such a shape." MAT. OM:. 


And gave him graceful posture. 

Sic. On the sudden, 

I warrant him consul. 

BR u. Then our office may, 

During his power, go sleep. 

Sic. He cannot temperately transport his honours 
From where he should begin, and endj 5 but will 
Lose those that he hath won. 

BRU. In that there's comfort. 

Sic. Doubt not, the commoners, for whom we 

But they, upon their ancient malice, will 

Forget, with the least cause, these hisnew r honours; 

Which that he'll give them, make as little ques- 

As he is proud to do't. 6 

BR u. I heard him swear, 

s From "where he should begin, and end ;~\ Perhaps it should 
be read : 

From where he should begin t'an end. JOHNSON. 

Our author means, though he has expressed himself most li- 
centiously, he cannot carry his honours temperately from where 
he should begin to where he should end. The \vordtransport in- 
cludes the ending as well as the beginning. He cannot begin to 
carry his honours, and conclude his journey, from the spot 
tvhcre he should begin, and to the spot where he should end. I 
have no doubt that the text is right. 

The reading of the old copy is supported by a passage in Cym- 
beline, where we find exactly the same phraseology : 

" the gap 

" That we shall make in time, from our hence going 

11 AND our return, to excuse." 
where the modern editors read Till our return. MALONE. 

Ar, itc is proud to do't.'] Proud to do, is the same as, proud 
of doing. JOHNSON. 

As means here, as that. MALONE, 

sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 81 

Were he to. stand for consul, never would he 
Appear i'the market-place, nor on him put 
The napless vesture 7 of humility; 
Nor, showing (as the manner is) his wounds 
To the people, beg their stinking breaths. 

Sic. 'Tis right. 

BRU. It was his w r ord : O, he would miss it, 


Than carry it, but by the suit o'the gentry to him, 
And the desire of the nobles. 

Sic. I wish no better, 

Than have him hold that purpose, and to put it 
In execution. 

BRU. 'Tis most like, he will. 

Sic. It shall be to him then, as our good wills ; 
A sure destruction. 8 

BRU. So it must fall out 

To him, or our authorities. For an end, 

The napless "vesture ] The players read the Naples . 


The correction was made by Mr. Rowe. By napless Shuk- 
speare means thread-bare. So, in King Henri/ VI. P. II : " Ceo. 
1 tell thee, Jack Cade the clothier means to dress the common- 
wealth, and turn it, and set a new nap upon it. John. So he had 
need ; for 'tis thread-bare.'" 

Plutarch's words are " with a poorc gowne on their backes." 
See p. 96, n. 1. MALONI:. 

9 It shall be to him then, as- our good wills : 
A sure destruction.'] This should be written rt-///'.s % , for mill z.v. 


It shall be to him of the same nature us our dispositions to- 
wards him ; deadly. MALONE. 

Neither Malone nor Tyrwhitthave justly explained thispass.i^t*. 
The word iivY/.? is here a verb; and as our " <->" u-///i" nu i ; i:-. 
" as our advantage" requires. M. MA.SOX. 

VOJ . XVI. (J 


We must suggest the people, 9 in what hatred 
He still hath held them j that, to his power, 1 he 


Have made them mules, silenc'd their pleaders, and 
Dispropertied their freedoms : holding them, 
In human action and capacity, 
Of no more soul, nor fitness for the world, 
Than camels in their war ; 2 who have their provand 3 

9 suggest the people,'] i. e. prompt them. So, in King 

Richard II : 

" Suggest his soon-believing adversaries." 

The verb to suggest, has, in our author, many different 
shades of meaning. STEEVENS. 

to his power,"] i. e. as far as his power goes, to the ut- 

most of it. STEEVENS. 

Of no more soul, nor fitness for the world, 

Than camels in their war ;] In what war ? Camels are mere- 
beasts of burthen, and are never used in war. We should cer- 
tainly read : 

As camels in their way. M. MASON. 

I am far from certain that this amendment is necessary. Brutus 
means to say that Coriolanus thought the people as useless ex- 
pletives in the world, as camels would be in tlie war. I would 
read the instead of their. Their, however, may stand, and sig- 
nify the war undertaken for the sake of the people. 

Mr. M. Mason, however, is not correct in the assertion with 
which his note begins ; for we are told by Aristotle, that shoes 
were put upon camels in the time ofivar. See Hist. Anitn. II. G. 
p. 165, edit. Scaligeri. STEEVENS. 

Their war may certainly mean, the wars in which the Roman 
people engaged with various nations ; but I suspect Shakspeare 
wrote in the war. MALONT. 

' their provand ] So the old copy, and rightly, though 

all the modern editors read provender. The following instances 
may serve to establish the ancient reading. Thus, in Stowe's 

Chronicle, edit. 1615, p. 7"7 : " the provauntc was cut off, 

and every soldier had half a crowne a weeke." Again : " The 
horsmenne had foure shillings the weeke loane, to h'nd them and 
their horse, which was better than thepro-cannt." Again, in Sir 
Walter Raleigh's Works, 1751, Vol. II. p. 229. Again, in 

sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 83 

Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows 
For sinking under them. 

Sic. This, as you say, suggested 

At some time \vhen his soaring insolence 
Shall teach the people, 4 (which time shall not want, 
If he be put upon't ; and that's as easy, 
As to set dogs on sheep,) will be his fire 5 
To kindle their dry stubble ; and their blaze 
Shall darken him for ever. 

Enter a Messenger. 

BRU. What's the matter ? 

MESS. You are sent for to the Capitol. 'Tis 

That Marcius shall be consul : I have seen 

Ilakewil on the Providence of God, p. 118, or Lib. II. c. vii. 
sect. 1 : " At the siege of Luxenburge, 1543, the weather 
was so cold, that {.\\eprovant wine, ordained for the army, being 
frozen, was divided with hatchets," &c. Again, in Pasquill's 
Nightcap, &c. 1623: 

" Sometimes seeks change of pasture andprovant, 
" Because her commons be at home so scant.'* 
The word appears to be derived from the French, pro-endc, 
provender. STEEVENS. 

4 Khali teach the people,'] Thus the old copy. " When his 
soaring insolence shall teach the people," may mean When he 
with the insolence of a proud patrician shall instruct the people in 
their duty to their rulers. Mr. Theobald reads, I think, without 
necessity, shall reach the people, and his emendation was 
adopted by all the subsequent editors. MAI. ONE. 

The word teach, though left in the text, is hardly sense, un- 
less it means instruct the peupl in favour of our purposes. 
\ strongly incline to the emendation of Mr. Theobald. 


' will bch'\s Ji re ] Will be a fire lighted by himself. 

Perhaps the author wrote as fire. There i^, however, no need 
of change. M.VI.ONI . 


The dumb men throng to see him, and the blind 
To hear him speak: The matrons flung their 

gloves, 6 

Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchiefs, 
Upon him as he pass'd : the nobles bended, 
As to Jove's statue ; and the commons made 
A shower, and thunder, with their caps, and shouts: 
I never saw the like. 

BRU. Let's to the Capitol ; 

And carry with us ears and eyes for the time, 7 
But hearts for the event. 

Sic. Have with you. 


6 To hear him speak : The matrons Jiung their gloves,~] The 
words The and their, which are wanting in the old copy, were 
properly supplied by Sir T. Hanmer to complete the verse. 


Matrons flung gloves 

Ladies their scarfs ] Here our author has attributed some 
of the customs of his own age to a people who were wholly un- 
acquainted with them. Few men of fashion in his time appeared 
at a tournament without a lady's favour upon his arm: and some- 
times when a nobleman had tilted with uncommon grace and 
agility, some of the fair spectators used tojting a scar/' or glove 
" upon him as he pass'd." MALONE. 

carry icith us ears and eyes &c.] That is, let us ob- 
serve what passes, but keep our hearts fixed on our design of 
crushing Coriolanus. JOHMSOX. 

sc. if. CORIOLANUS. 


The same. The Capitol 
Enter Two Officers, 8 to lay Cushions. 

1 OFF. Come, come, they are almost here : How 
many stand for consulships ? 

2 OFF. Three, they say : but 'tis thought of 
every one, Coriolanus will carry it. 

1 OFF. That's a brave fellow ; but he's vengeance 
proud, and loves not the common people. 

2 OFF. 'Faith, there have been many great men 
that have flattered the people, who ne'er loved 
them ; and there be many that they have loved, 
they know not wherefore : so that, if they love they 
know not why, they hate upon no better a ground : 
Therefore, for Coriolanus neither to care whether 
they love or hate him, manifests the true knowledge 
he has in their disposition ; and, out of his noble 
carelessness, lets them plainly see't. 

1 OFF. If he did not care whether he had their 
love, or no, he waved 9 indifferently 'twixt doing 

' Enter Two Officers, &c.] The old copy reads : " Enter two 
officers to lay cushions, as it vcere, in the capitoll." STEEVEXS. 

This as it were was inserted, because there being no scenes in 
the theatres in our author's time, no exhibition of' the inside of 
the capitol could be given. See The Account of our old Theatres^ 

In the same place, the reader will find this position contro- 
verted. STEEVENS. 

he ivaved ~\ That is, lie mould have ivaved indiffi-r- 



them neither good, nor harm ; but he seeks their 
hate with greater devotion than they can render it 
him ; and leaves nothing undone, that may fully 
discover him their opposite. 1 Now, to seem to 
affect the malice and displeasure of the people, is 
as bad as that which he dislikes, to flatter them for 
their love. 

2 OFF. He hath deserved worthily of his coun- 
try : And his ascent is not by such easy degrees as 
those, 2 who, having been supple and courteous to 
the people, bonnetted, 3 without any further deed 
toheavethem at all into their estimation and report: 

1 their opposite.] That is, their adversary. See Vol. V. 

p. 331, n. 7, and p. 352, n. 2. MALOKE. 

* as those,] That is, as the ascent of those. MALOXE. 

3 supple and courteous to the people, bonnetted, &c,~] 

Bonnett^r, Fr. is to pull off one's cap. See Cotgrave. 

So, in the academick style, to cap a fellow, is to take off the 
cap to him. M. MASON. 

toko, having been supple and courteous to the people, 

bonnetted, without any further deed to have them at all into 
their estimation and report .-] I have adhered to the original copy 
in printing this very obscure passage, because it appears to me at 
least as intelligible, as what has been substituted in its room. 
Mr. Rowe, for having, reads have, and Mr. Pope, for have in a 
subsequent part of th"e sentence, reads heave. Bonnetted, is, I 
apprehend, a verb, not a participle, here. They humbly took 
off their bonnets, without any further deed whatsoever done in 
order to have them, that is, to insinuate themselves into the good 
opinion of the people. To have them, for to have themselves or 
to wind themselves into, is certainly very harsh ; but to heave 
themselves, &c. is not much less so. MALONE. 

I continue to read heave. Hare, in King Henri/ rill. (Set 1 
Vol. XV. p. 74, n. 2.) was likewise printed instead of heave, 
in the first folio, though corrected in the second. The phrase in 
question occurs in Hayward : " The Scots heaved up into high 
hope of victory," &c. Many instances of Shakspeare's attach- 
ment to the verb heave, might be added on this occasion. 


sc. ii. CORIOLANUS. 87 

but he hath so planted his honours in their eyes, 
and his actions in their hearts, that for their tongues 
to be silent, and not confess so much, were a kind 
of ingrateful injury ; to report otherwise, were a 
malice, that, giving itself the lie, would pluck re- 
proof and rebuke from every ear that heard it. 

1 OFF. No more of him ; he is a worthy man : 
Make way, they are coming. 

A Sennet. Enter, with Lictors before them, COMI- 
other Senators, SICINIUS and BRUTUS. The 
Senators take their places; the Tribunes take 
theirs also by themselves. 

MEN. Having determined of the Voices, and 
To send for Titus Lartius, it remains, 
As the main point of this our after-meeting, 
To gratify his noble service, that 
Hath thus stood for his country : Therefore, please 


Most reverend and grave elders, to desire 
The present consul, and last general 
In our well-found successes, to report 
A little of that worthy work performed 
By Cains Marcius Coriolanus ; whom 
We meet here, both to thank, 4 and to remember 
With honours like himself. 

1 SEN. Speak, good Cominius : 

Leave nothing out for length, and make us think, 
Rather our state's defective for requital, 


IV e meet here, both to thank, &e.] The construction, I think, 
is, whom to thank, c. (or, for the purpose of thanking whom) 
we met or assembled here. MALONE. 


Than we to stretch it out. 5 Masters o'the people, 
We do request your kindest ears ; and, after, 
Your loving motion toward the common body, 6 
To yield what passes here. 

Sic. We are convented 

Upon a pleasing treaty ; and have hearts 
Inclinable to honour and advance 
The theme of our assembly. 7 

* and make us think 

flather our state's defective for requital. 
Than vie to stretch it out.] I once thought the meaning wrrs, 
And make us imagine that the state rather wants inclination or 
ability to requite his services, than that we are blameable for ex- 
panding and expatiating upon them. A more simple explication, 
however, is perhaps the true one. And make us think that the 
republick is rather too niggard than too liberal in rewarding his 
services. MALONE. 

The plain sense, I believe, is : Rather say that our means are 
too defective to afford an adequate reward for his services, than 
suppose our wishes to stretch out those means are defective. 


( Your loving motion toward the common body,] Your kind 
interposition with the common people. JOHNSON. 

7 The theme of our assembly.] Here is a fault in the expression : 
And had it affected our author's knowledge of nature, I should 
have adjudged it to his transcribers or editors ; but as it affects 
only his knowledge of history, I suppose it to be his own. He 
should have said your assembly. For till the Lex Atlinia, (the 
author of which is supposed by Sigonius, [Df vet ere Italic Jure] 
to have been contemporary with Quintus MetellusMacedonicus, ) 
the tribunes had not the privilege of entering the senate, but had 
seats placed for them near the door on the outside of the house. 


Though I was formerly of a different opinion, I am now con- 
vinced that Shakspeare, had he been aware of the circumstance 
pointed out by Dr. Warburton, might have conducted this scene 
without violence to Roman usage. The presence of Brutus and 
Sicinius being necessary, it would not have been difficult to exhi- 
bit both the outside and inside of the Senate-house in a manner 
sufficiently consonant to theatrical probability. STEEVENS. 

sc. ii. CORIOLANUS. 89 

BRU. Which the rather 

We shall be bless'd to do, if he remember 
A kinder value of the people, than 
He hath hereto priz'd them at. 

MEN. That's off, that's off;* 

I would yon rather had been silent : Please you 
To hear Cominius speak ? 

BRU. Most willingly : 

But yet my caution was more pertinent, 
Than the rebuke you give it. 

MEN. He loves your people ; 

But tie him not to be their bedfellow. 
Worthy Cominius, speak. Nay, keep your place. 
[CORIOLANUS rises, and offers to go away. 

1 SEN. Sit, Coriolanus ; never shame to hear 
What you have nobly done. 

COR. Your honours' pardon ; 

I had rather have my wounds to heal again, 
Than hear say how I got them. 

BRU. Sir, I hope, 

My words dis-bench'd you not. 

COR. No, sir : yet oft, 

When blows have made me stay, I fled from words. 
You sooth'd not, therefore hurt not: 9 But, your 

I love them as they weigh. 

MEN. Pray now, sit down. 

' That's off, that's ojf;~\ That is, that is nothing to the pur- 
pose. JOHNSON. 

' You sooth'd not, therefore hurt not .] You did not flatter 
me, and therefore did not offend me. Hurt is commonly used 
by our author tor hurted. Mr. Pope, not perceiving this, for 
sooth'd reads sooth, which was adopted by the subsequent edi- 
tors. MALONK. 


COR. I had rather have one scratch my head i' 

the sun, 1 

When the alarum were struck, than idly sit 
To hear my nothings monstef'd. 


MEN. Masters o'the people, 

Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter, 2 
(That's thousand to one good one,) when you now 


He had rather venture all his limbs for honour, 
Than one of his ears to hear it ? Proceed, Comi- 


COM. I shall lack voice : the deeds of Coriolanus 
Should not be utter'd feebly. It is held, 
That valour is the chiefest virtue, and 
Most dignifies the haver : if it be, 
The man I speak of cannot in the world 
Be singly counterpois'd. At sixteen years, 
When Tarquin made a head for Rome, 3 he fought 
Beyond the mark of others : our then dictator, 
Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight, 

1 have one scratch my head I' the sun,"] See Vol. XII. 

p. 103, n. 8. STEEVENS. 

hoiv can he flatter, ~\ The reasoning of Menenius is 

this : How can he be expected to practise flattery to others, 
who abhors it so much, that lie cannot hear it even when offered 
to himself? JOHNSON. 

, 3 When Tarquin made a head for Rome,'] When Tarquin, who 
had been expelled, raised a power to recover Rome. JOHNSON. 

We learn from one of Cicero's letters, that the consular age 
in his time via?, forty three. If Coriolanus was but sixteen when 
Tarquin endeavoured to recover Rome, he could not now, 
A. U. C. 263, have been much more than twenty one years of 
age, and should therefore seem to be incapable of standing for 
the consulship. But perhaps the rule mentioned by Cicero, at 
subsisting in his time, was not established at this early period of 
the republick. MALONE. 

sc. ii. CORIOLANUS. 91 

When with his Amazonian chin 4 lie drove 
The bristled lips before him : he bestrid 
An o'er-press'd Roman, 5 and i' the consul's view 
Slew three opposers : Tarquin's self he met, 
And struck him on his knee: 6 in that day's feats, 
When he might act the woman in the scene, 7 
He prov'd best man i* the field, and for his meed 

' his Amazonian chin ] i. c. his chin on which there 

was no board. The players read shinnt. STEEVEKS. 

4 he bestrid 

An o'er-press'd Roman,"] This was an act of similar friend- 
ship in our old English armies : [See Vol. XI. p. 4-05, n. 9; and 
Vol. XIII. p. 395, n. 4-.] but there is no proof that any such 
practice prevailed among the legionary soldiers of Rome, nor 
did our author give himself any trouble on that subject. He was 
led into the error by North's translation of Plutarch, where he 
found these words : " The Roman souldier being thrown unto 
the ground even hard by him, Martius straight bestrid him, and 
slew the enemy." The translation ought to have been : " Mar- 
tins hastened to his assistance, and standing before him, slew his 
assailant." See the next note, wherethere isa similar inaccuracy. 
See also, p. K8, n. 7. MALONE. 

Shakspcare may, on tins occasion, be vindicated by higher 
authority than that of books. Is it probable that any Roman 
soldier was so far divested of humanity as not to protect his 
friend who had fallen in battle? Our author (if unacquainted 
with the Grecian Hyperaspists,) was too well read in the volume 
of nature to need any apology for the introduction of the pre- 
K>nt incident, which must have been as familiar to Roman as to 
British warfare. STKKVKNS. 

' And si ruck him an his knee .] This does not mean that he 
gave Tarquin a blow on the knee; but gave him such a blow as 
occasioned him to Jail on his knee: 

ad Icrrum duplicate poplitc Tur;i't<. STKKVKXS. 

7 When he might act the ivomnn in tlte scene, ~] It has been 
more than once mentioned, that the parts of women were, in 
Shakspeare's time, represented by the most smooth-faced young 
men to be found among the pla)ers. STKEYKNS. 

He-re is a great anachronism. There were no theatres at 
Rome tor the exhibition of plays for about two hundred and 
fifty years after the death of Coriolanus. MALONE. 


Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age 
Man-enter'd thus, he waxed like a sea ; 
And, in the brunt of seventeen battles since, 8 
He lurch'd all swords o'the garland. 9 For this 


Before and in Corioli, let me say, 
I cannot speak him home : He stopp'd the fliers ; 
And, by his rare example, made the coward 
Turn terror into sport : as waves before 
A vessel under sail, so men obey'd, 
And fell below his stem : * his sword (death's stamp) 

8 And y in the brunt of seventeen battles since,"} The number 
seventeen, for which there is no authority, was suggested to 
Shakspeare by North's translation of Plutarch : " Now Martius 
followed this custome, showed many woundes and cutts upon his 
bodie, which he had received in seventeene yeeres service at the 
warres, and in many sundry battels." So also the original 
Greek ; but it is undoubtedly erroneous ; for from Coriolanus's 
first campaign to his death, was only a period of eight years. 


9 He lurched all swords o'the garland.] Ben Jonson has the 
same expression in The Silent Woman : " you have lurch'd 
your friends of the better half of the garland." STEEVENS. 

To lurch is properly to purloin ; hence Shakspeare uses it in 
the sense of to deprive. So, in Christ's Tears over Jerusalem, 
by Thomas Nashe, 1594 : " I see others of them sharing halfe 
with the bawdes, their hostesses, and laughing at the punies 
they had lurched." 

I suspect, however, I have not rightly traced the origin of 
this phrase. To lurch, in Shakspeare's time, signified to win 
a maiden set at cards, &c. See Florio's Italian Diet. 1598: 
" Gioco marzo. A maiden set, or lurch, at any game." See 
also Cole's Latin Diet. 1679: " A lurch, Duplex palma, facilis 

" To lurch all swords of the garland," therefore, was, to gain 
from all other warriors the wreath of victory, with ease, and in- 
contestable superiority. MALONE. 

1 .<; waves before 
A vessel under sail, so men obey'd, 

And fell below his stem:] [First folio 'weeds.'] The editor 
of the second folio, for urea's substituted wares, and this capri- 

sc. ii. CORIOLANUS. 9.3 

Where it did mark, it took ; from face to foot 
He was a thing of blood, whose every motion 
Was timed with dying cries : 2 alone he enter'd 

clous alteration has been adopted in all the subsequent editions. 
In the same page of that copy, which has been the source of at 
least one half of the corruptions that have been introduced in 
our author's works, we find dcfamy for destiny, sir Coriolanus, 
for " sit, Coriolanus," trini'd for tim'd, and painting for pant- 
ing: but luckily none of the latter sophistications have found 
admission into any of the modern editions, except Mr. Rowe's. 
Rushes falling below a vessel passing over them is an image as 
expressive of the prowess of Coriolanus as well can be conceived. 
A kindred image is found in Troilus and Cressida: 

" there the strawy Greeks, ripe for his edge, 

" Fall down before him, like the mower's swath." 


Waves, the reading of the second folio, I regard as no trivial 
evidence in favour of the copy from which it was printed. 
Weeds, instead of Jailing below a vessel under sail, cling fast 
about the stem of it. The justice of my remark every sailor or 
waterman will confirm. 

But were not this the truth, by conflict with a mean adversary, 
valour would be depreciated. The submersion of weeds resem- 
bles a Frenchman's triumph over a soup aiuc hcrbes; but to rise 
above the threatening billow, or force a way through the watry 
bulwark, is a conquest worthy of a ship, and furnishes a compa- 
rison suitable to the exploits of Coriolanus. Thus, in Troilus 
and Cressida: 

" The strong-ribb'd bark through liquid mountains cuts, 

" Bounding between the two moist elements, 

" Like Perseus' horse." 

If Shakspeare originally wrote weeds, on finding such an image 
less apposite and dignified than that of waves, he might have in- 
troduced the correction which Mr. Malone has excluded from 
his text. 

The stem is that end of the ship which leads. From stem to 
stern is an expression used by Dryden in his translation of Virgil : 

" Orontes' bark 

" From stem to stern by waves was overborne." 


his sword &c.~\ Old copy ' 

" His sword, death's stamp, 

" Where it did mark, it took from face to foot. 
" He was a thing of blood, whose every motion 
' \V;u third with din^ int.*.'' 


The mortal gate 3 o'the city, which he painted 
With shunless destiny, 4 aidless came off', 
And with a sudden re-enforcement struck 
Corioli, like a planet t 5 Now all's his : 
When by and by the din of war 'gan pierce 
His ready sense : then straight his doubled spirit 
Re-quicken'd what in flesh was fatigate, 
And to the battle came he ; where he did 
Run reeking o'er the lives of men, as if 
'Twere a perpetual spoil : and, till we calFd 
Both field and city ours, he never stood 
To ease his breast with panting. 

MEN. Worthy man ! 

1 SEX. He cannot but with measure fit the ho- 

This passage should be pointed thus : 

His word (death's stamp) 

Where it did mark, it took ; Jrom face lo foot 
He teas a thing of blood, &c. TYRWHITT. 

I have followed the punctuation recommended. STEEVEN.S. 

every motion 

Was tinted with dying crics.~\ The cries of the slaughter'd re- 
gularly followed his motion, as musick and a dancer accompany 
each other. JOHNSON. 

! Ths mortal <mte 1 The gate that was made the scene oi" 

O J o 

death. JOHNSON. 

4 With shunless destiny,] The second folio reads, whether by 
accident or choice : 

With, shunless defamy. 
Defamic is an old French word signifying infamy. 


It occurs often in John Bale's English Votaries, 1550. 


s struck 

Corioli, W:e a planet:] So, in of Athens : 
" Be as a planetary plague, when Jove 
" AVill o'er some high-vic'd city hang his poiso; 
" Jn the ^ick air." STT.FVF. NS. 

sc. ii. CORIOLANUS. 95 

Which we devise him. 

COM. Our spoils he kick'd at ; 

And look'd upon things precious, as they were 
The common muck o'the world : he covets less 
Than misery itself would give; 7 rewards 
His deeds with doing them ; and is content 
To spend the time, to end it. 8 

MX. He's right nohle ; 

Let him be call'd for. 

1 SEN". Call for Coriolanus. 9 

OFF. He doth appear. 


MEN. The senate, Coriolanus, are well pleas'd 
To make thee consul. 

COR. I do owe them still 

My life, and services. 

c He cannot but with measure fit the honours ] That is, no 
honour will be too great for him ; he will show a mind equal to 
any elevation. JOHNSON. 

7 Than misery itself "would give ;~\ Misery for avarice; be- 
cause a miser signifies an avaricious. \V AREURTON. 

s and is content 

To spend the time, to end it.~\ I know not whether my con- 
ceit will be approved, but I cannot forbear to think that our au- 
thor wrote thus : 

he rewards 

His deeds wit It doing them, and is content 
To spend his time, to spend //. 

To do great acts, for the sake of doing them ; to spend his 
life, for the sake of spending it. JOHNSON. 

I think the words afford this meaning, without any alteration. 


" Call for Coriolanus.'] I have supplied the preposition : /or, 
*o complete the measure. STFKVKNS. 


MEN. It then remains, 

That you do speak to the people. 1 

COR. I do beseech you, 

Let me o'erleap that custom ; for I cannot 
Put on the gown, stand naked, and entreat them. 
For my wounds' sake, to give their suffrage : 

please you, 
That I may pass this doing. 

Sic. Sir, the people 

Must have their voices ; neither will they bate 
One jot of ceremony. 

MEN. Put them not to't : 

Pray you, go fit you to the custom ; and 
Take to you, as your predecessors have, 

1 It then remains, 

' That you do speak to the people.*] Coriolanus was banished 
U. C. 262'. But till the time of Manlius Torquatus, U. C. 393, 
the senate chose both the consuls : And then the people, assisted 
by the seditious temper of the tribunes, got the choice of one. 
But it Shakspeare makes Rome a democracy, which at this time 
was a perfect aristocracy; he sets the balance even in his Ttmon, 
and turns Athens, which was a perfect democracy, into an aris- 
tocracy. But it would be unjust to attribute this entirely to his 
ignorance ; it sometimes proceeded from the too powerful bla/,e 
oi his imagination, which, when once lighted up, made all ac- 
quired knowledge fade and disappear before it. For sometimes 
again we find him, when occasion serves, not only writing up 
to the truth of history, but fitting his sentiments to the nicest 
manners of Ins peculiar subject, as well to the dignity of his cha- 
racters, or the dictates of nature in general. WARBURTON. 

The inaccuracy is to be attributed, not to our author, but to 
Plutarch, who expressly says, in his Life of Coriolanus, that 
" it was the custome of Rome at that time, that such as dyd 
sue for any office, should for certen dayes before be in the mar- 
ket-place, only with a poor gowne on their backes, and without 
any coate underneath, to pray p. the people to remember them at 
the day of election" North's translation, p. 244. MAI-ONI-. 

sc. ii. CORIOLANUS. 97 

Your honour with your form. 2 

COR. It is a part 

That I shall blush in acting, and might well 
Be taken from the people. 

BRU. Mark you that ? 

COR. To brag unto them, Thus I did, ancl 

thus ; 

Show them the unaking scars which I should hide, 
As if I had receiv'd them for the hire 
Of their breath only : 

MEN. Do not stand upon't. 

We recommend to you, tribunes of the people, 
Our purpose to them ; 3 and to our noble consul 
Wish we all joy and honour. 

SEN. To Coriolanus come all joy and honour ! 
[Flourish. Then exeunt Senators, 

BRU. You see how he intends to use the people. 

* Your honour with your form."] I believe we should read 
** Your honour with the form." That is, the usual form. 


Your form, may mean the form which custom prescribes to 

* We recommend to you, tribunes of the people, 

Our purpose to them;'] We entreat you, tribunes of the 
people, to recommend and enforce to the plebeians, what we 
propose to them for their approbation ; namely the appointment 
of Coriolanus to the consulship. MALONE. 

This passage is rendered almost unintelligible by the false 
punctuation. It should evidently be pointed thus, and then the 
sense will be clear : 

\Vc recommend to you, tribunes of the people, 
Our purpose ; to them, and to our noble consul, 
W ixh ur all Joy find honour. 

To them, means to the people, whom Menenius artfully joins 
to the consul, in the good wishes of the senate. M. MASON. 


Sic. May they perceive his intent ! He that will 

require them, 

As if he did contemn what he requested 
Should be in them to give. 

BRU. Come, we'll inform them 

Of our proceedings here : on the market-place, 
I know, they do attend us. \_Exeunt. 


The same. The Forum. 
Enter several Citizens. 

1 CIT. Once, 4 if he do require our voices, we 
ought not to deny him. 

2 CIT. We may, sir, if we will. 

3 CIT. We have power in ourselves to do it, but 
it is a power that we have no power to do : 5 for if 

4 Once,~] Once here means the same as when we say, once for 

This use of the word once is found in The Supposes, by Gas- 
coigne : 

" Once, twenty-four ducattes he cost me." FARMER. 

Again, in The Comedy of Errors : 

" Once this, your long experience of her wisdom ." 


I doubt whether once here signifies once for all. I believe, it 
means, " if he do but so much as require our voices ;" as in the 
following passage in Holinshed's Chronicle: " they left many 
of their servants and men of war behind them, and some of them 
would not once stay for their standards." MA LONE. 

3 We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a power that 
ice have no poicer to do ;] Power first signifies natural power or 

sc. in. CORIOLANUS. 99 

he show us his wounds, and tell us his deeds, 
we are to put our tongues into those wounds, and 
speak for them ; so, if he tell us his noble deeds, 
we must also tell him our noble acceptance of 
them. Ingratitude is monstrous : and for the mul- 
titude to be ingrateful, were to make a monster of 
the multitude ; of the which, we being members, 
should bring ourselves to be monstrous members. 

1 CIT. And to make us no better thought of, a 
little help will serve : for once, when we stood up 
about the corn, 6 he himself stuck not to call us the 
many-headed multitude. 7 

3 CIT. We have been called so of many ; not 
that our heads are some brown, some black, some 
auburn, 8 some bald, but that our wits are so diversly 

force, and then moral power or right. Davies has used the same 
word with great variety of meaning : 

" Use all thy powers that heavenly poiver to praise, 
" That gave thee power to do." JOHNSON. 

-Jur once, when ive stood up about the cor;?,] [Old copy 

once ttr stood Jin.'] That is, ax soon as ever we stood up. This 
word is still used in nearly the same sense, in familiar or rather 
vulgar language, such as Shakspearc wished to allot to the Ro- 
man populace : " Once the will of the monarch is the only law r , 
the constitution is destroyed." Mr. Rowe and all the subsequent 
editors read for once, ii'hcn we stood up, &c. MALONE. 

As no decisive evidence is brought to prove that the adverb 
once has at any time signified as soon (is ever, I have not re- 
jected the word introduced by Mr. Rowe, which, in my judg- 
ment, is necessary to the speaker's meaning. STEEVENS. 

many-headed multitude.'] Ilanmer reads, many-headed 
monster, but without necessity. To be many-headed includes 
inonslrousncss. JOHNSON*. 

so/)ie auburn,] The folio reads, some Abram. I should 

unwillingly suppose this to be the true reading; but we have al- 
ready ln'ard of Cain and Ahraw- coloured beards. STEEVEXS. 
The emendation was made in the fourth folio. MALONE. 

H ( 1 


coloured : and truly I think, if all our wits were to 
issue out of one skull, 9 they would fly east, west, 
north, south ; and their consent of one direct way 1 
should be at once to all the points o'the compass. 

2 CIT. Think you so ? Which way, do you judge, 
my wit would fly ? 

3 CIT. Nay, your wit will not so soon out as 
another man's will, 'tis strongly wedged up in a 
block-head : but if it were at liberty, 'twould, sure, 

2 CIT. Why that way ? 

3 CIT. To lose itself in a fog ; where being three 
parts melted away with rotten dews, the fourth 
would return for conscience sake, to help to get 
thee a wife. 

2 CIT. You are never without your tricks : You 
may, you may. 2 

3 CIT. Are you all resolved to give your voices ? 
But that's no matter, the greater part carries it. I 

9 if all our vuits were to issue out of one skull, &c.~] Mean- 
ing though our having but one interest was most apparent, yet 
ur wishes and projects would be infinitely discordant. 


To suppose all their wits to issue from one scull, and that their 
common consent and agreement to go all one way, should end in 
their flying to every point of the compass, is a just description 
of the variety and inconsistency of the opinions, wishes, and ac- 
tions of the multitude. M. MASON. 

1 and their consent of one direct tvay "] See Vol. X. 

p. 96, n. 3 ; and Vol. XIII. p. 6, n. 4. STEEVENS. 

* You may, you may,"] This colloquial phrase, which seems 
to signify You may divert yourself, as you please, at my expencc, 
has occurred already in Troilus and Cressida : 

" HeL By my troth, sweet lord, thou hast a fine forehead. 

" Pan. Ay, you may, you may." STEEVENS. 

sc. m. CORIOLANUS. 101 

say, if he would incline to the people, there was 
never a worthier man. 


Here he comes, and in the gown of humility ; mark 
his behaviour. We are not to stay all together, 
but to come by him where he stands, by ones, by 
twos, and by threes. He's to make his requests by 
particulars : wherein every one of us has a single 
honour, in giving him our own voices with our 
own tongues : therefore follow me, and I'll direct 
you how you shall go by him. 

ALL. Content, content. [Exeunt. 

MEN. O sir, you are not right : have you not 

The worthiest men have done it ? 

COR. What must I say ? 

I pray, sir, Plague upon't ! I cannot bring 

My tongue to such a pace: Look, sir; my 

wounds ; 

I got them in my country's service, when 
Some certain of your brethren roar'd, and ran 
From the noise of our own drums. 

MEN. O me, the gods ! 

You must not speak of that; you must desire them 
To think upon you. 

COR. Think upon me ? Hang 'em ! 

I would they would forget me, like the virtues 
Which our divines lose by them. 3 

s I would they "would forget me, like, the virtues 

IVhich our divines lose hi/ them.] i. c. I wish they would for- 
get me as they do those virtuous precepts, which the divines 


MEN. You'll mar all ; 

I'll leave you : Pray you, speak to them, I pray you, 
In wholesome manner. 4 \_Exit. 

Enter Two Citizens. 

COR. Bid them wash their faces, 

And keep their teeth clean. So, here comes a 

You know the cause, sir, of my standing here. 

1 CIT. We do, sir ; tell us what hath brought 

you to't. 

COR. Mine own desert. 

2 CIT. Your own desert ? 

COR. Ay, not 

Mine own desire. 5 

1 CIT. How ! not your own desire ? 

preach up to them, and lose by them, as it were, by their neg- 
lecting the practice. THEOBALD. 

4 In wholesome manner.'] So, in Hamlet : " If it shall please 
you to make me a wholesome answer." STEEVENS. 

* not 

Mine oivn desire."] The old copy but mine own desire. If 
but be the true reading, it must signify, as in the North with- 

But is only the reading of the first folio: Not is the true 
reading. RITSON. 

The answer of the Citizen fully supports the correction, which 
was made by the editor of the third folio. But and not are often 
confounded in these plays. See Vol. VIII. p. 40, n. 1, and 
Vol. XI. p. 416, n. 5. 

In a passage in Love's Labour's Lost, Vol. VII. p. 106, n. 7, 
from the reluctance which I always feel to depart from the ori- 
ginal copy, I have suffered not to remain, and have endeavoured 
to explain the words as they stand ; but I am now convinced that 
I ought to have printed 

By earth, she is but corporal ; there you lie, MAI/ONE. 

sc. m. CORIOLANUS. ios 

COR. No, sir : 

'Twas never my desire yet, 
To trouble the poor with begging. 

1 CIT. You must think, if we give you any 

We hope to gain by you. 

COR. Well then, I pray, your price o'the con- 
sulship ? 

1 CIT. The price is, sir, 6 to ask it kindly. 

CUR. Kindly ? 

Sir, I pray, let me ha't : I have wounds to show 

Which shall be yours in private. Your good voice, 

What say you ? 

2 CIT. You shall have it, worthy sir. 

COR. A match, sir : 

There is in all two worthy voices begg'd : 
I have your alms ; adieu. 

1 CIT. But this is something odd. 7 

2 CIT. An 'twere to give again, But 'tis no 

matter. [Exeunt Two Citizens. 

6 The price is, sir, $fc.~] The word sir, has been supplied by 
one of the modern editors to complete the verse. STEEVENS. 

7 But this is something odd.~] As this hemistich is too bulky 
to join with its predeeessor, we may suppose our author to have 
written only 

This is something odd ; 

and that the compositor's eye had caught But, from the suc- 
ceeding line. STEEVENS. 


Enter Two other Citizens. 

COR. Pray you now, if it may stand with the tune 
of your voices, that I may be consul, I have here 
the customary gown. 

3 CIT. You have deserved nobly of your country, 
and you have not deserved nobly. 

COR. Your enigma ? 

3 CIT. You have been a scourge to her enemies, 
you have been a rod to her friends ; you have not, 
indeed, loved the common people. 

COR. You should account me the more virtuous, 
that I have not been common in my love. I will, 
sir, flatter my sworn brother the people, to earn a 
dearer estimation of them ; 'tis a condition they 
account gentle : and since the wisdom of their 
choice is rather to have my hat than my heart, I 
will practise the insinuating nod, and be off to 
them most counterfeitly ; that is, sir, I will coun- 
terfeit the bewitchment of some popular man, and 
give it bountifully to the desirers. Therefore, be- 
seech you, I may be consul. 

4 CIT. We hope to find you our friend ; and 
therefore give you our voices heartily. 

3 CIT. You have received many wounds for your 

COR. I will not seal your knowledge 8 with show- 
ing them. I will make much of your voices, and 
so trouble you no further. 

8 / will not seal your knowledge ] I will not strengthen or 
complete your knowledge. The seal is that which gives authen- 
ticity to a writing. JOHNSON. 

sc. in. CORIOLANUS. 105 

BOTH CIT. The gods give you joy, sir, heartily ! 


COR. Most sweet voices I- 
Better it is to die, better to starve, 
Than crave the hire 9 which first we do deserve. 
Why in this woolvish gown 1 should I stand here, 

. the hire ] The old copy has higher, and this is one 
of the many proofs that several parts of the original folio edition 
of these plays were dictated by one and written down by another. 


1 this woolvish gown ] Signifies this rough hirsute 

gown. JOHNSON. 

The first folio reads this wolvish tongue. Gown is the read- 
ing of the second folio, and, I believe, the true one. 

Let us try, however, to extract some meaning from the word 
exhibited in the elder copy. 

The white robe worn by a candidate was made, I think, of 
white lamb-skins. How comes it then to be called woolvish, 
unless in allusion to the fable of the wolf in sheep's clothing? 
Perhaps the poet meant only, Why do I stand with a tongue de- 
ceitful as that of the wolf, and seem tojlatter those ivhom I would 
wish to treat with my usual ferocity ? We might perhaps more 
distinctly read : 

with this woolvish tongue. 

unless tongue be used for tone or accent. Tongue might, indeed, 
be only a typographical mistake, and the word designed be togc, 
which is used in Othello. Yet, it is as probable, if Shakspeare 
originally wrote togc, that he afterwards exchanged it for 
gown, a word more intelligible to his audience. Our author, 
however, does not appear to have known what the toga hirsutn 
was, because he has just before called it the napless gown of 

Since the foregoing note was written, I met with the following 
passage in " A Merye Jest of a Man called Howleglas^' bl. 1. no 
date. Howleglas hired himself to a tailor, who " caste unto him 
n husbande mans gown, and bad him take a wolfr, and make it 
up. Then cut Howleglas the husbandmans gowne and made 
thereof a woitlfe with the head and feete, &c. Then sayd the 
maister, I ment that you should have made up the russet gown, 
for a husbandman's gowne is here called a tiW/r." By a wolvish 
gown, therefore, Shakspeare might have meant Coriolanti-s to 
compare the dress of a Itoman candidate to the coarse frock of a 


To beg of Hob and Dick, that do appear, 

ploughman, who exposed himself to solicit the votes of his fellow 
rusticks. STEEVENS. 

Mr. Steevens has in his note on this passage cited the romance 
of Howleglas to show that a husbandman's gown was called a 
'wolf; but quaere if it be called so in this country ? it must be 
remembered that Howleglas is literally translated from the French, 
where the word " loup" certainly occurs, but I believe it has not 
the same signification in that language. The French copy also 
may be literally rendered from the German. DOUCE. 

Mr. Steevens, however, is clearly right, in supposing the allu- 
sion to be to the " wolf in sheep's clothing;" not indeed that 
Coriolanus means to call himself a wolf; but merely to say, 
" Why should I stand here playing the hypocrite, and simulating 
the humility which is not in my nature?" RITSON. 

Why in this woolvish gown should I stand here,~] I suppose 
the meaning is, Why should I stand in this gown of humility, 
which is little expressive of my feelings towards the people ; as 
far from being an emblem of my real character, as the sheep's 
clothing on a wolf is expressive of his disposition. I believe 
ivoolvish wa& used by our author for false or deceitful, and that 
the phrase was suggested to him, as Mr. Steevens seems to think, 
by the common expression, " a wolf in sheep's clothing." 
Mr. Mason says, that this is " a ludicrous idea, and ought to be 
treated as such." I have paid due attention to many of the in- 
genious commentator's remarks in the present edition, and there- 
fore I am sure he will pardon me when I observe that speculative 
criticism on these plays will ever be liable to error, unless we add to 
it an intimate acquaintance with the language and writings of the 
predecessors and contemporaries of Shakspeare. If Mr. Mason 
had read the following line in Churchyard's Legend of Cardinal 
Wolsey, Mirror for Magistrates, 1587, instead of considering 
this as a ludicrous interpretation, he would probably have 
admitted it to be a natural and just explication of the epithet 
before us : 

" O fye on wolves, that march in masking clothes." 

The iKOoliish [gown or] togc is a gown of humility, in which 
Coriolanus thinks he shall appear in masquerade; and not in his 
real and natural character. 

Woolvish cannot mean rough, hirsute, as Dr. Johnson interprets 
it, because the gown Coriolanus wore has already been described 
as napless. 

The old copy has tongue ; which was a very natural error for 

sc. in. CORIOLANUS. 107 

Their needless vouches ? 2 Custom calls me to't : 
What custom wills, in all things should we do't, 
The dust on antique time would lie unswept, 
And mountainous error be too highly heap'd 
For truth to over-peer. Rather than fool it so, 
Let the high office and the honour go 
To one that would do thus. I am half through ; 
The one part suffer'd, the other will I do. 

Enter Three other Citizens. 

Here come more voices, 
Your voices : for your voices I have fought ; 
Watch'd for your voices ; for your voices, bear 
Of wounds two dozen odd ; battles thrice six 3 

the compositor at the press to full into, who almost always sub- 
stitutes a familiar English word for one derived from the Latin, 
which he does not understand. The very same mistake has 
happened in Othello, where we find " tongued consuls," for toged 
consuls The particle in shows that ton sue cannot be right. The 
editor of the second folio solved the difficulty as usual, by substi- 
tuting goicn, without any regard to the word in the original copy. 


8 To beg of Hob and Dick, that do appear, 

Their needless vouches ?] Why stand I here, to beg of Hob 
and Dick, and such others as make their appearance here, their 
unnecessary voices? JOHNSON. 

By strange inattention our poet has here given the names (as 
in many other places he has attributed the customs, ) of England, 
to ancient Rome. It appears from Minsheu's DICTIONARY, 
1617, in v. QUINTAINE, that these were some of the most com- 
mon names among the people in Shakspeare's time : " A QUIN- 
TAINI: or QUINTELLK, a game in request at marriages, where 
Jac and Tom, Die, Hob, and Will, strive for the gay garland." 


Again, in an old equivocal English prophecy : 

" The country gnutfs, Hob, Dick, and Hick, 

" With staves and clouted shoon" ixc. STEEVENS. 

' battles t/irice six &c.] ("oriolanus seems now, in 


I have seen, and heard of; for your voices, have 
Done many things, some less, some more : your 

voices : 
Indeed, I would be consul. 

5 CIT. He has done nobly, and cannot go with- 
out any honest man's voice. 

6 CIT. Therefore let him be consul : The gods 
give him joy, and make him good friend to the 
people ! 

ALL. Amen, amen. 

God save thee, noble consul ! \_Exeunt Citizens. 

COR. Worthy voices ! 

Re-enter MENENIUS, with BRUTUS, and SICINIUS. 

MEN. You have stood your limitation ; and the 


Endue you with the people's voice : Remains, 
That, in the official marks invested, you 
Anon do meet the senate. 

COR. Is this done ? 

Sic. The custom of request you have discharged; 
The people do admit you ; and are summoned 
To meet anon, upon your approbation. 

COR. Where ? at the senate-house ? 

Sic. There, Coriolanus. 

earnest, to petition for the consulate : perhaps we may better 

lattlcs thrice six 

I've seen, and you have heard of; for your voices 

Done many things, &c. FARMER. 

sc. in. CORIOLANUS. 109 

COR. May I then 4 change these garments ? 
Sic. You may, sir. 

COR. That I'll straight do ; and, knowing my- 

self again, 
Repair to the senate-house. 

MEN. I'll keep you company. Will you along ? 
BRU. We stay here for the people. 

Sic. Fare you well. 

[Exeunt CORIOL. and MENEN. 
He has it now ; and by his looks, methinks, 
'Tis warm at his heart. 

BRU. With a proud heart he wore 

His humble weeds: Will you dismiss the people ? 

Re-enter Citizens. 

Sic. How now, my masters ? have you chose this 

1 CIT. He has our voices, sir. 

BRU. We pray the gods, he may deserve your 

2 CIT. Amen, sir: To my poor unworthy notice^ 
He mock'd us, when he begg'd our voices. 

3 CIT. Certainly, 
He flouted us down-right. 


1 CIT. No, 'tis his kind of speech, he did not 

mock us. 

2 CIT. Not one amongst us, save yourself, but 


4 Mai/ I then <$r.] Then, which is wanting in the old copy, 
was supplied, for the sake of metre, by Sir T. Hanmcr. 



He us*d us scornfully : he should have show'd us 
His marks of merit, wounds receiv'd for his coun- 

Sic. Why, so he did, I am sure. 
CIT. No ; no man saw 'em. 

\_Several speak. 
3 CIT. He said, he had wounds, which he could 

show in private ; 

And with his hat, thus waving it in scorn, 
/ would be consul, savs he : aged custom^ 

J j O * 

But by your voices, will not so permit me; 

Your voices therefore : When we granted that, 

Here was, / thank you for your voices, thank 

Your most sweet voices : now you have left your 

I have no further wilk you : Was not this mock- 
Sic. Why, either, you were ignorant to see't ? 6 

Or, seeing it, of such childish friendliness 

To yield your voices ? 

5 aged custom^} This was a strange inattention. The 

Romans at this time had but lately changed the regal for the 
consular government: for Coriolanus was banished the eighteenth 
year after the expulsion of the kings. WARBURTON. 

Perhaps our author meant by aged custom, that Coriolanus 
should say, the custom which requires the consul to be of a cer- 
tain prescribed age, will not permit that I should be elected, un- 
less by the voice of the people that rule should be broken through. 
This would meet with the objection made in p. 90, n. 3 ; but I 
doubt much whether Shakspeare knew the precise consular age 
even in Tully's time, and therefore think it more probable that 
the words aged custom were used by our author in their ordinary 
sense, however inconsistent with the recent establishment of con- 
sular government at Rome. Plutarch had led him into an error 
concerning this aged custom. See p. 96, n. 1. MA LONE. 

ignorant to see* I?"] Were you ignorant to see if, is, did 
you want knowledge to discern it? JOHNSON. 

sc. m. CORIOL ANUS. 1 1 1 

BRU. Could you not have told him, 

As you were lesson'd, When he had no power, 
But was a petty servant to the state, 
He was your enemy ; ever spake against 
Your liberties, and the charters that you bear 
I* the body of the weal : and now, arriving 
A place of potency, 7 and sway o'the state, 
If he should still malignantly remain 
Fast foe to the plebeii, your voices might 
Be curses to yourselves ? You should have said, 
That, as his worthy deeds did claim no less 
Than what he stood for ; so his gracious nature 
Would think upon you 8 for your voices, and 
Translate his malice towards you into love, 
Standing your friendly lord. 

Sic. Thus to have said, 

As you were fore-advis'd, had touch'd his spirit, 
And try'd his inclination ; from him pluck'd 
Either his gracious promise, which you might, 
As cause had call'd you up, have held him to ; 
Or else it would have gall'd his surly nature, 
Which easily endures not article 
Tying him to aught ; so, putting him to rage, 
You should have ta'en the advantage of his choler, 
And pass'd him unelected. 

IjJtu. Did you perceive, 

He did solicit you in free contempt, 9 


A place of potency,'] Thus the old copy, and rightly. So, 
in The Third Part of' King lie/in/ VI, Act V. sc. iii : 
" those powers that the queen 
" Hath rai.s'd in Gallia, have arrived our coast." 


H Would think upon i/ou ] Would retain a grateful remem- 
brance of you, &c. M ALONE. 

free contempt,'] That is, with contempt open and uu- 
vestrained. JOHNSON. 


When he did need your loves ; and do you think, 
That his contempt shall not be bruising to you, 
When he hath power to crush? Why, had your 


No heart among you ? Or had you tongues, to cry 
Against the rectorship of judgment ? 

Sic. Have you, 

Ere now, deny'd the asker ? and, now again, 
On him, 1 that did not ask, but mock, bestow 
Your su'd-for tongues ? 2 

3 CIT. He's not confirm'd, we may deny him yet. 

2 CIT. And will deny him : 

I'll have five hundred voices of that sound. 

1 CIT. I twice five hundred, and their friends to 

piece 'em. 
BRU. Get you hence instantly; and tell those 

' J 


They have chose a consul, that will from them take 
Their liberties ; make them of no more voice 
Than dogs, that are as often beat for barking, 
As therefore kept to do so. 

Sic. Let them assemble \ 

And, on a safer judgment, all revoke 
Your ignorant election : Enforce his pride, 3 

1 On him,'] Old copy of him. STEEVENS. 

* Your su'd-for tongues?] Your voices that hitherto have 
been solicited. STEEVENS. 

Your voices, not solicited, by verbal application, but sued-for 

by this man's merely standing forth as a candidate. Your sucd- 

for tongues, however, may mean, your voices, to obtain which 

so many make suit to you ; and perhaps the latter is the more 

just interpretation. MALONE. 

3 Enforce his pride,] Object his pride, and enforce the 

objection. JOHNSON. 

So afterwards : 

" Enforce him with his envy to the people " 


sc. in. CORIOLANUS. 113 

And his old hate unto you : besides, forget not 
With what contempt he wore the humble weed ; 
How in his suit he scorn'd you : but your loves, 
Thinking upon his services, took from you 
The apprehension of his present portance,* 
Which gibingly, 5 ungravely he did fashion 
After the inveterate hate he bears you. 

BRU. Lay 

A fault on us, your tribunes ; that we laboured 
(No impediment between) but that you must 
Cast your election on him. 

Sic. Say, you chose him. 

More after our commandment, than as guided 
By your own true affections : and that, your minds 
Pre-occupy'd with what you rather must do 
Than what you should, made you against the grain 
To voice him consul : Lay the fault on us. 

BRU. Ay, spare us not. Say, we read lectures 

to you, 

How youngly he began to serve his country, 
How long continued : and what stock he springs of, 
The noble house o'the Marcians ; from whence 


That Ancus Marcius, Numa's daughter's son, 
Who, after great Hostilius, here was king : 
Of the same house Publius and Quintus were, 
That our best water brought by conduits hither j 
And Censorinus, darling of the people, 6 

his present portance,] i.e. carriage. So, in Othello: 

" Ana portance in my travels' history." STEEVENS. 
4 Which gibingly,~] The old copy, redundantly : 
Which most gibingti/, &c. STEEVENS. 

And Ccnsorinus, darling o/" the people, ~\ This verse I have 
supplied ; ;i line having been certainly left out in this place, as 
will appear to any one who consults the beginning of Plutarch's 


And nobly nam'd so, being censor twice, 7 
Was his great ancestor. 8 

Life of Coriolanus, from whence this passage is directly trans- 
lated. POPE. 

The passage in North's translation, 1579, runs thus: " The 
house of the Martians at Rome was of the number of the patri- 
cians, out of which hath sprong many noble personages : whereof 
Ancus Martins was one, king Numaes daughter's sonne, who 
was king of Rome after Tullus Hostilius. Of the same house 
were Publius and Quintus, who brought to Rome their best 
water they had by conduits. Censorinus also came of that familie, 
that was so surnamed because the people had chosen him censor 
twice." Publius and Quintus and Censorinus were not the an- 
cestors of Coriolanus, but his descendants. Caius Martius Ru- 
tilius did not obtain the name of Censorinus till the year of 
Rome 487 ; and the Marcian waters were not brought to that 
city by aqueducts till the year 613, near 350 years after the 
death of Coriolanus. 

Can it be supposed, that he who would disregard such ana- 
chronisms, or rather he to whom they were not known, should 
have changed Cato, which he found in his Plutarch, to Calves, 
from a regard to chronology ? See a former note, p. 39. 


7 And nobly nam'd so, being censor twice,] The old copy 
reads : being twice censor ; but for the sake of harmony, I have 
arranged these words as they stand in our author's original, 
Sir T. North's translation of Plutarch : " the people had 
chosen him censor twice." STEEVENS. 

8 And Censorinus 

Was his great ancestor.'] Now the first censor was created 
U. C. 314, and Coriolanus was banished U. C. 262. The truth 
is this : the passage, as Mr. Pope observes above, was taken from 
Plutarch's Life of Coriolanus ; who, speaking of the house of 
Coriolanus, takes notice both of his ancestors and of his posterity, 
which our author's haste not giving him leave to observe, has 
here confounded one with the other. Another instance of his 
inadvertency, from the same cause, we have in The First Part 
of King Henry I F. where an account is given of the prisoners 
taken on the plains of Holmedon : 

" Mordake the earl of Fife, and eldest son 

" To beaten Douglas ." 

But the Earl of Fife was not son to Douglas, but to Robert 
Duke of Albany, Governor of Scotland. He took his account 
from Holinshed, whose words are, And of prisoners amongti 

sc.m. CORIOLANUS. u$ 

Sic. One thus descended, 

That hath beside well in his person wrought 
To be set high in place, we did commend 
To your remembrances : but you have found, 
Scaling his present bearing with his past, 9 
That he's your fixed enemy, and revoke 
Your sudden approbation. 

BRU. Say, you ne'er had done't, 

(Harp on that still,) but by our putting on : l 
And presently, when you have drawn your number, 
Repair to the Capitol. 

CIT. We will so : almost all [Several speak. 
Repent in their election. \_Exeunt Citizens. 

BRU. Let them go on ; 

This mutiny were better put in hazard, 
Than stay, past doubt, for greater : 
If, as his nature is, he fall in rage 
With their refusal, both observe and answer 
The vantage of his anger. 2 

Sic. To the Capitol : 

others wre these, Mordack earl of Fife, son to the governor 
Arldmbald, carl Douglas, &c. And he imagined that the Go- 
vernor and Earl Douglas were one and the same person. 


9 Scaling his present bearing with his past,~] That is, weighing 
his past and present behaviour. JOHNSON. 

1 ly our putting on :] i. e. incitation. So, in A'. Lear: 

" - - you protect this course, 

" And put it on by your allowance." STEEVENS. 

So, in King Henry VIII: 

" as putter on 

" Of exactions." 
Sec Vol. XV. p. 30, n. G. MA LONE. 

* observe and answer 

The vantage of li/s anger.'} Mark, catch, and improve the 
opportunity, which his hasty anger will afford us. JOHNSON. 

I 2 


Come ; we'll be there before the stream o'the peo- 

pie; 3 

And this shall seem, as partly 'tis, their own, 
Which we have goaded onward. [Exeunt. 


The same. A Street. 

MINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, Senators, and Pa- 

COR. Tullus Aufidius then had made new head ? 

LART. He had, my lord j and that it was, which 

Our swifter composition. 

COR. So then the Voices stand but as at first ; 
Ready, when time shall prompt them, to make road 
Upon us again. 

COM. They are worn, lord consul, 4 so, 

s the stream o* the people s"] So, in King Henry VIII : 

" The rich stream 

" Of lords and ladies having brought the queen 

" To a prepar'd place in the choir," &c. MALONE. 

4 lord consul,"] Shakspeare has here, as in other places, 

attributed the usage of England to Rome. In his time the title 
of lord was given to many officers of state who were not peers ; 
thus, lords of the council, lord ambassador, lord general, &c. 



That we shall hardly in our ages see 
Their banners wave again. 
COR. Saw you Aufidius ? 

LART. On safe-guard he came to me ; 5 and did 


Against the Voices, for they had so vilely 
Yielded the town : he is retir'd to Antium. 

COR. Spoke he of me ? 

LART. He did, my lord. 

COR. How ? what ? 

LART. How often he had met you, sword to 

sword : 

That, of all things upon the earth, he hated 
Your person most : that he would pawn his fortunes 
To hopeless restitution, so he might 
Be call'd your vanquisher. 

COR. At Antium lives he ? 

LART. At Antium. 

COR. I wish, I had a cause to seek him there, 
To oppose his hatred fully. Welcome home. 



Behold ! these are the tribunes of the people, 
The tongues o'the common mouth. I do despise 

them ; 
For they do prank them in authority, 6 

s On safe-guard he came to me ;~\ i. c. with a convoy, a guard 
appointed to protect him. STEEVENS. 

prank them in authority,] Plume, deck, dignify them- 

selves. JOHNSON. 

So, in Measure for Measure, Act II. sc. ii : 

" Drcst in a little brief authority" STEEVENS. 


Against all noble sufferance. 
Sic. Pass no further. 

COR. Ha ! what is that ? 

BRU. It will be dangerous to 

Go on : no further. 

COR. What makes this change ? 

MEN. The matter ? 

COM. Hath he not pass'd the nobles, and the 
commons ? 7 

BRU. Cominius, no. 

COR. Have I had children's voices ? 

1 SEN. Tribunes, give way ; he shall to the 

BRU. The people are incens'd against him. 
Sic. Stop, 

Or all will fall in broil. 

COR. Are these your herd ? 

Must these have voices, that can yield them now, 
And straight disclaim their tongues ? What are 

your offices ? 
You being their mouths, why rule you not their 

teeth? 8 
Have you not set them on ? 

* Hath he not passed the nobles, and the commons?^ The first 
folio reads : " noble" and " common." The second has 
commons. I have not hesitated to reform this passage on the 
authority of others in the play before us. Thus : 

" the nobles bended 

" As to Jove's statue: " 

" the commons made 

" A shower and thunder," &c. STEEVENS. 

* ivhy rule you not their teeth . ? ] The metaphor is from 

men's setting a bull-dog or mastiff' upon any one. 


sc.i. COR1OLANUS. 119 

MEN. Be calm, be calm. 

COR. It is a purpos'd thing, and grows by plot, 
To curb the will of the nobility: 
Surfer it, and live with such as cannot rule, 
Nor ever will be rul'd. 

BR u. Call't not a plot : 

The people cry, you niock'd them ; and, of late, 
When corn was given them gratis, you repin'd ; 
Scundal'd the suppliants for the people ; calTd 

Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness. 

COR. Why, this was known before. 

BRU. Not to them all. 

COR. Have you inform'd them since ? 9 

BRU. How ! I inform them ! 

COR. You are like to do such business. 

BRU. Not unlike, 

Each way, to better yours. 1 

COR. Why then should I be consul ? By yon 


Let me deserve so ill as yon, and make me 
Your fellow tribune. 

Sic. You show too much of that, 5 

For which the people stir : If you will pass 

11 since?"] The old copy sithcnce. STKEVENS. 

1 .I Not unlike, 

Each tray, to belter yours. 8fc.~] i. e. likely to provide better 
for the security of the commonwealth than you (whose badness 
it i*) will do. To which the reply is pertinent: 

" Why then should I be consul ?" WAKBUKTON*. 

Sic. You .sV/rnc too much of thai, &c.] This speech is given 
in the old copy to Cominius. It was rightly attributed to Sici- 
ftiiisj by Mr. Theobald. MA LONE. 


To where you are bound, you must inquire your 


Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit; 
Or never be so noble as a consul, 
Nor yoke with him for tribune. 

MEN. Let's be calm. 

COM. The people are abus'd: Set on. This 


Becomes not Rome ; 3 nor has Coriolanus 
Deserv'd this so dishonoured rub, laid falsely* 
V the plain way of his merit. 

COR. Tell me of corn ! 

This was my speech, and I will speak't again ; 

MEN. Not now, not now. 

1 SEN. Not in this heat, sir, now. 

COR. Now, as I live, I will. My nobler friends, 
I crave their pardons : 

For the mutable, rank-scented many, 5 let them 
Regard me as I do not flatter, and 

3 This palt'ring 

Becomes not Rome ;] That is, this trick of dissimulation ; 
this shuffling : 

" And be these juggling fiends no more believ'd, 
" That palter with us in a double sense." Macbeth. 


Becomes not Rome ;] I would read : 

Becomes not Romans ; 

Coriolanus being accented on the Jirst, and not the second 
Syllable, in former instances. STEEVENS. 

* rub t laid falsely &c.] Falsely for treacherously. 


The metaphor is from the bowling-green. MALONE. 

4 many,~] i. e. the populace. The Greeks used o/ 

exactly in the same sense. HOLT WHITE. 

sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 121 

Therein behold themselves : 6 I say again, 
In soothing them, we nourish 'gainst our senate 
The cockle of rebellion, 7 insolence, sedition, 
Which we ourselves have plough' d for, sow'd and 


By mingling them with us, the honour'd number j 
Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that 
Which they have given to beggars. 

MEN. Well, no more. 

1 SEN. No more words, we beseech you. 

COR. How ! no more ? 

As for my country I have shed my blood, 
Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs 
Coin words till their decay, against those meazels, 8 
Which we disdain should tetter us, yet sought 
The very way to catch them. 

BRU. You speak o'the people, 

As if you were a god to punish, not 
A man of their infirmity. 

* 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 Hatter, and 
see themselves. JOHNSON. 

7 The cockle of 'rebellion,'] Cockle is a weed which grows up 
with the corn. The thought is from Sir Thomas North's trans- 
lation of Plutarch, where it is given as follows: " Moreover, he 
said, that they nourished against themselves the naughty seed 
and cockle of insolency and sedition, which had been sowed and 
scattered abroad among the people," &c. STEEVENS. 

Tin- cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition,] Here are three 
.syllables too many. \Ve might read, as in North's Plutarch: 
" The cockle of insolency and sedition." KITSON. 

mcazels,] Mcsell is used in Pierce Plowman's Vision, 
for a leper. The same word frequently occurs in The London 
Prodigal, 1605. STEEVENS. 


Sic. 'Twere well, 

We let the people know't. 

MEN. What, what ? his choler ? 

COR. Choler! 

Were I as patient as the midnight sleep, 
By Jove, 'twould be my mind. 

Sic. It is a mind, 

That shall remain a poison where it is, 
Not poison any further. 

COR. Shall remain! 

Hear you this Triton of the minnows ? 9 mark you 
His absolute shall? 

COM. 'Twas from the canon. 1 

COR. Shall! 

O good, but most unwise patricians, why, 

9 mwznotwj*?] i. e. small fry. WARBURTON. 

A minnow is one of the smallest river fish, called in some 
counties a pink. JOHNSON. 

So, in Love's Labour's Lost : " that base minnow of thy 

mirth, ." STEEVENS. 

'Tvoas from the canon.'] Was contrary to the established 
rule ; it was a form of speech to which he has no right. 


These words appear to me to imply the very reverse. Comi- 
nius means to say, " that what Sicinius had said, was according 
to the rule ;" alluding to the absolute veto of the Tribunes, the 
power of putting a stop to every proceeding: and, accordingly, 
Coriolanus, instead of disputing this power of the Tribunes, pro- 
ceeds to argue against the power itself, and to inveigh against 
the Patricians for having granted it. M. MASON. 

' good, but most imicise patricians, &c.] The old copy has 
O God, but &c. Mr. Theobald made the correction. Mr. 
Steevens asks, " when the only authentick ancient copy makes 
sense, why should we depart from it ?" No one can be more 
thoroughly convinced of the general propriety of adhering to the 
old copy than I am; and I trust I have given abundant proofs of 
my attention to it, by restoring and establishing many ancient 

sc. I. CORIOLANUS. 123 

You grave, but reckless senators, have you thus 
Given Hydra here to choose an officer, 
That with his peremptory shall, being but 
The horn and noise" (/the monsters, wants not 


To say, he'll turn your current in a ditch, 
And make your channel his ? If he have power, 
Then vail your ignorance : 4 if none, awake 
Your dangerous lenity. If you are learned, 

readings in every one of these plays, which had been displaced FOF 
modern innovations : and if in the passage before us the ancient 
copy had afforded sense, I should have been very unwilling to 
disturb it. But it does not ; for it reads, not " O Gods" as Mr. 
Steevens supposed, but O God, an adjuration surely not proper 
in the mouth of a heathen. Add to this, that the word but is 
exhibited with a small initial letter, in the only authentick copy; 
and the words "good but unwise" here appear to be the coun- 
terpart of grart' and reckless in the subsequent line. On a re- 
consideration of this passage therefore, I am confident that even 
my learned predecessor will approve of the emendation no\r 
adopted MA LONE. 

I have not displaced Mr. Malone's reading, though it may be 
observed, that an improper mention of the Supreme Being of the 
Christians will not appear decisive on this occasion to the reader 
who recollects that in Troilus and Cressida the Trojan Pandarus 
swears, " by God's lid," the Greek Thersites exclaims " God- 
a-mercy ;" and that, in A Midsummer-Night'' s Dream, our au- 
thor has put " Go<l shield us !" into the mouth of Bottom, an 
Athenian weaver. I lately met with a still more glaring instance 
of the same impropriety in another play of Shakspeare, but can- 
not, at this moment, ascertain it. STEEVENS. 

3 The horn and noise ] Alluding to his having called him 
Triton before. WARBUHTOX. 

4 Then vail your ignorance:] If this man has paver, hi the 
ignorance that gave it him vail or bow down b(Jbrc him. 

So, in The Taming nj~a Shrew: 

" Then vail your stomachs ." 
Again, in Measure for Measure : 
" vail your regard 
" Upon a wrong'd" &c. STEEVLNS. 

124 CORIOLANUS. AC* or. 

Be not as common fools ; if you are not, 
Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians, 
If they be senators : and they are no less, 
When, both your voices blended, the greatest taste 
Mostpalates theirs. 5 They choose their magistrate ; 
And such a one as he, who puts his shall, 
His popular shall, against a graver bench 
Than ever frown' d in Greece ! By Jove himself, 
It makes the consuls base : and my soul akes, 6 
To know, when two authorities are up, 
Neither supreme, how soon confusion 
May enter 'twixt the gap of both, and take 
The one by the other. 

COM. Well on to the market-place. 

Con. Whoever gave that counsel, 7 to give forth 

5 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 greatest taste 
Must palate theirs. 

When the taste of the great, the patricians, must palate, must 
please [or must try'] that of the plebeians. JOHNSON. 

The plain meaning is, that senators and plebeians [are equal, 
when the highest taste is best pleased with that which pleases the 
lowest. STEEVEXS. 

I think the meaning is, the plebeians are no less than senators^ 
when, the voices of the senate and the people being blended to- 
gether, the predominant taste of the compound smacks more of 
the populace than the senate. MALONE. 

6 and my soul afces,"] The mischief and absurdity of what 

is called Imperium in imperio, is here finely expressed. 


7 Whoever gave that counsel, &c.~] So, in the old translation 
of Plutarch : " Therefore, sayed he, they that gaue counsel!, and 
persuaded that the Corne should be giuen out to the common 
people gratis, as they vsed to doe in cities of Greece, where the 

sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 125 

The corn o'the store-house gratis, as 'twas us'd 
Sometime in Greece, 

MEN. Well, well, no more of that. 

COR. (Though there the people had more abso- 
lute power,) 

I say, they nourished disobedience, fed 
The ruin of the state. 

BRU. Why, shall the people give 

One, that speaks thus, their voice ? 

COR. I'll give my reasons. 

More worthier than their voices. They know, the 


Was not our recompense ; resting well assur'd 
They ne'er did service for't : Being press'd to the 

Even \vhen the navel of the state was touch'd, 

people had more absolute power, dyd but only nourishe their 
disobedience, which would breakc out in the ende, to the vtter 
mine and ouerthrowof the wholestate. For they will not thincke 
it is done in recompense of their service past, sithence they know 
well enough they haue so often refused to go to the warres, when 
they were commaunded: neither for their mutinies when they 
went with vs, whereby they haue rebelled and forsaken their 
countrie: neither for their accusations which their flatterers haue 
preferred vnto them, and they have receyued, and made good 
against the senate: but they will rather judge we geue and graunt 
them this, as abasing our selues, and standing in feare of them, 
and glad to flatter them euery way. By this meanes, their dis- 
obedience will still grow worse and worse ; and they will neuer 
leave to practise newe sedition, and vprores. Therefore it were 
a great foliie for vs, me thinckes, to do it : yea, shall I say more? 
we should if we were wise, take from them their tribuneshippe, 
which most manifestly is the cmbasing of the consulshippe, and 
the cause of the diuision of the cittie. The state whereof as it 
standeth, is not now as it was wont to be, but becommeth dis- 
membered in two factions, which mainteines allwayes ciuiil dis- 
sention and discorde betwene vs, and will neuer sutler us againe 
tu be vnited intu one bodie." STKEVENS. 


They would not thread the gates : 8 this kind of 


Did not deserve corn gratis ; being i' the war, 
Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they show'd 
Most valour, spoke not for them : The accusation 
Which they have often made against *the senate, 
All cause unborn, could never be the native 9 
Of our so frank donation. Well, what then ? 
How shah 1 this bosom multiplied 1 digest 
The senate's courtesy ? Let deeds express 
What's like to be their words : We did request it; 
We are the greater poll, and in true fear 
They gave us our demands: Thus we debase 
The nature of our seats, and make the rabWe 
Call our cares, fears : which will in time break ope 

8 They would not thread the gates:'] That is, pass them. We 
yet say, to thread an alley. JOHNSON. 

So, in King Lear : 

" threading dark-ey'd night.*' STEEVENS. 

9 could never be the native ] Native for natural birth. 


Native is here not natural birth, but natural parent, or cause 
of birth. JOHNSON. 

So, in a kindred sense, in King Henry V : 
" A many of our bodies shall no doubt 
" Find native graves." MALONE. 

I cannot agree with Johnson that native can possibly mean 
natural parent, or cause of birth ; nor with Warburton in sup- 
posing that it means natural birth ; for if the word could bear 
that meaning, it would not be sense here, as Coriolanus is speak- 
ing not of the consequence, but the cause, of their donation. 
I should therefore read motive instead of native. Malone's 
quotation from King Henry V. is nothing to the purpose, as in 
that passage native graves, means evidently graves in their native 
soil. M. MASON. 

1 this bosom multiplied ] This multitudinous bosom ; 

the bosom of that great monster, the people. MALONE. 

sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 127 

The locks o'the senate, and bring in the crows 
To peck the eagles. 

MEN. Come, enough. 2 

BRU. Enough, with over-measure. 

COR. No, take more : 

What may be sworn by, both divine and human, 
Seal what I end withal!' This double worship, 
Where one part 4 does disdain with cause, the other 
Insult without all reason ; where gentry, title, wis- 

Cannot conclude, but by the yea and no 
Of general ignorance, it must omit 
Real necessities, and give way the while 
To unstable slightness : purpose so barr'd, it fol- 
Nothing is done to purpose : Therefore, beseech 


You that will be less fearful than discreet; 
That love the fundamental part of state, 
More than you doubt the change oft j 5 that prefer 

* Come, enough.] Perhaps this imperfect line was originally 
completed by a repetition of- enough. STEEVENS. 

3 No, take more : 

What may be sworn by, loth divine and human, 
Seal what I end withal /] The sense is, No, let me add this 
further ; and may every tiling divine and human which can give 
force to an oath, bear witness to the truth of what I shall con- 
clude with. 

The Romans swore by what was human as well as divine : by 
their head, by their eyes, by the dead bones and ashes of their 
parents, &c. See Pmsson (\cjinnulia, p. 808 SIT. HEATH. 

4 Where one part ] In the old copy, we have here, as in 
many other places, on instead of one. The correction was made 
by Mr. Howe. See Vol. X. p. 41.'i, n. G. MALONE. 

5 That love the fundamental part of state, 

M',r thitn you doubt the change /'/;] To dmtbl is to^/rtfr. 
The meaning is, You whose zeal predominates ovor your terrors ; 


A noble life before a long, and wish 
To jump a body 6 with a dangerous physick 
That's sure of death without it, at once pluck out 
The multitudinous tongue, let them not lick 
The sweet which is their poison : 7 your dishonour 
Mangles true judgment, 8 and bereaves the state 
Of that integrity which should become it ; 9 

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. JOHNSON. 

6 To jump a body ] Thus the old copy. Modern editors 

To vamp . 

To jump anciently signified to jolt, to give a rude concussion 
to any thing. To jump a body may therefore mean, to put it into 
a violent agitation or commotion. Thus, Lucretius, III. 4-52. 
quassatum est corpus. 

So, in Phil. Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History, 
B. XXV. ch. v. p. 219 : " If we looke for good successe in our 
cure by ministring ellebore, &c. for certainly it putteth the pa- 
tient to ajumpe, or great hazard." STEEVENS. 

From this passage in Pliny, it should seem that " to jump a 
body," meant to risk a body ; and such an explication seems to 
me to be supported by the context in the passage before us. 
So, in Macbeth : 

" We'd jump the life to come." 
Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. sc. viii: 

" our fortune lies 

" Upon this jump." MALONE. 

7 let them not lick 

The sweet which is their poison ;"] So, in Measure for Mea- 

". Like rats that ravin up their proper bane ." 


8 Mangles true judgment,] Judgment is the faculty by which 
right is distinguished from wrong. JOHNSON. 

9 Of 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. JOHNSON. 

sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 129 

Not having the power to do the good it would, 
For the ill which doth control it. 

BRU. He has said enough. 

Sic. He has spoken like a traitor, and shall an- 
As traitors do. 

COR. Thou wretch ! despite o'erwhelm thee ! 
What should the people do with these bald tribunes? 
On whom depending, their obedience fails 
To the greater bench : In a rebellion, 
When what's not meet, but what must be, was law, 
Then were they chosen ; in a better hour, 
Let what is meet, be said it must be meet, 1 
And throw their power i' the dust. 

BRU. Manifest treason. 

Sic. This a consul ? no. 

BRU. The ^Ediles, ho! Let him be appre- 

Sic. Go, call the people ; [Exit BRUTUS.] in 

whose name, myself 
Attach thee, as a traitorous innovator, 
A foe to the publick weal : Obey, I charge thee, 
And follow to thine answer. 

COR. Hence, old goat ! 

SEX-. $ PAT. We'll surety him. 

COM. Aged sir, hands off. 

COR. Hence, rotten thing, or I shall shake thy 

1 Let what is meet, be said it must be meet,"] Let it be said 
by you, that what is meet to be done, nutxt be meet, i. e. shall 
be done, and put an end at once to the tribunitian power, which 
was established, when irresistible violence, not a regard to pro- 
priety, directed the legislature. MAI.OM:. 


Out of thy garments. 2 

Sic. Help, ye citizens. 

Re-enter BRUTUS, with the ^Ediles, and a Rabble 
of Citizens. 

MEN. On both sides more respect. 

Sic. Here's he, that would 

Take from you all your power. 

BRU. Seize him, ^Ediles. 

CIT. Down with him, down with him ! 

[Several speak. 

2 SEN. Weapons, weapons, weapons ! 

[They all bustle about CORIOLANUS. 
Tribunes, patricians, citizens ! what ho ! 
Sicinius, Brutus, Coriolanus, citizens ! 

CIT. Peace, peace, peace ; stay, hold, peace ! 

MEN. What is about to be ? I am out of breath j 
Confusion's near : I cannot speak : You, tribunes 
To the people, Coriolanus, patience : 3 - 
Speak, good Sicinius. 

shake thy bones 

Out of thy garments.'] So, in King John : 

" here's a stay, 

" That shakes the rotten carcase of old death 
" Out of his rags /" STEEVENS. 

3 To the people, Coriolanus, patience .-] I would read: 

Speak to the people. Coriolanus, patience : 

Speak, good Sicinius. TYRWHITT. 

Tyrwhitt proposes an amendment to this passage, but nothing 
is necessary except to point it properly : 

Confusion's near, / cannot. Speak you, tribunes. 

To the people. 
He desires the tribunes to speak to the people, because he was 

sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 131 

Sic. Hear me, people ; Peace. 

CIT. Let's hear our tribune : Peace. Speak, 
speak, speak. 

Sic. You are at point to lose your liberties : 
Marcius would have all from you ; Marcius, 
Whom late you have nam'd for consul. 

MEX. Fye, fye, fye ! 

This is the way to kindle, not to quench. 

1 SEN. To unbuild the city, and to lay all flat. 
Sic. What is the city, but the people ? 

CIT. True, 

The people are the city. 

BRU. By the consent of all, we were establish'd 
The people's magistrates. 

CIT. You so remain. 

MEX. And so are like to do. 

COR. That is the way to lay the city flat ; 
To bring the roof to the foundation ; 
And bury all, which yet distinctly ranges, 
In heaps and piles of ruin. 

Sic. This deserves death. 

BRU. Or let, us stand to our authority, 
Or let us lose it : We do here pronounce, 
Upon the part o'the people, in whose power 
We were elected theirs, Marcius is worthy 
Of present death. 

Sic. Therefore, lay hold of him ; 

Bear him to the rock Tarpeian, and from thence 
Into destruction cast him. 

not able ; and at the end of the speech repeats the same 
to Sicinius in particular. M. MASON. 

I seo no need of any alteration. MAI.OXE. 

K 1 2 


BRU. j^diles, seize him. 

CIT. Yield, Marcius, yield. 

MEN. Hear me one word. 

Beseech you, tribunes, hear me but a word. 

JEoi. Peace, peace. 

MEN. Be that you seem, truly your country's 


And temperately proceed to what you would 
Thus violently redress. 

BRU. Sir, those cold ways, 

That seem like prudent helps, are very poisonous* 
Where the disease is violent: Lay hands upon him, 
And bear him to the rock. 

COR. No ; I'll die here. 

[Drawing his Sword. 

There's some among you have beheld me fighting ; 
Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me. 

MEN. Down with that sword j Tribunes, with- 
draw a while. 

BRU. Lay hands upon him. 

MEN". Help, Marcius ! help, 

You that be noble ; help him, young, and old ! 

CIT. Down with him, down with him ! 

[7?z this Mutiny r , the Tribunes, the ^Ediles, 
and the People, are all beat in. 

MEN. Go, get you to your house ; 5 be gone, 

4 very poisonous ] I read : 

are very poisons. JOHNSON. 

get you to your house ; ] Old copy our house. Cor- 
rected by Mr. Howe. So below : 

" I pr'ythee, noble friend, home to thy house." 


sc.i. CORIOLANUS. 133 

All will be naught else. 

2 SEX. Get you gone. 

COR. Stand fast ; fi 

We have as many friends as enemies. 

MEX. Shall it be put to that? 

1 SEX. The gods forbid ! 

I pr'ythec, noble friend, home to thy house ; 
Leave us to cure this cause. 

MEX. For 'tis a sore upon us, 7 

You cannot tent yourself: Begone, 'beseech you. 

COM. Come, sir, along with us. 

COR. I would they were barbarians, (as they are, 
Though in Home litter'd,) not Romans, (as they 

are not, 
Though calv'd i' the porch o'the Capitol,) 

MEX. Begone; 8 

" Stand 'fast ; &c.] [Old copy Com. Stand fast ; &c."| This 
speech certainly should be given to Coriolanus ; for all his friends 
perMiade him to retire. So, Cominius presently alter : 
" Come, sir, along with us." WARBURTOX. 

' For '(is a sore upon us,] The two last impertinent words, 
which destroy the measure, arc an apparent interpolation. 


11 Cor. / -vould tltry were barbarians, (as they arc, 
Though in Rome litter'd,) not Romans, (as they arc not, 
Though calv'd i* the porch o'thc Capitol,} 
Be pone ; c.] The beginning of this speech, [attributed in 
the old copy to Menenius,~\ I am persuaded, should be given to 
Coriolanus. The latter part only belongs to Menenius : 
" Be gone ; 
" Put not your worthy rage" &c. TYKWUITT. 

I have divided this speech according to Mr. Tyrwhitt's direc- 
tion. STKKVF.XS. 

The word, hc^onr, certainly belongs to Menenius, who was 
very anxious to get Coriolanus away. In the preceding page he 
-ays : 

" f>o, get you to your house; begone, away, ." 


Put not your worthy rage into your tongue ; 
One time will owe another. 9 

COR. On fair ground, 

I could beat forty of them. 

MEN. I could myself 

Take up a brace of the best of them ; yea, the two 

COM. But now 'tis odds beyond arithmetick ; 
And manhood is call'd foolery, when it stands 
Against a falling fabrick. Will you hence, 
Before the tag return ? ' whose rage doth rend 
Like interrupted waters, and o'erbear 
What they are used to bear. 

MEN. Pray you, be gone : 

1*11 try whether my old wit be in request 

And, in a few lines after, he repeats the same request: 
" Pray you, be gone : 

" I'll try whether my old wit be in request 
" With 'those that have but little." M. MASON. 

One time toill owe another.] I know not whether to otve in 
this place means to possess by right, or to be indebted. Either 
sense may be admitted. One time, in which the people are sedi- 
tious, 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. JOHNSON. 

1 believe Menenius means, " This time will owe us one more 
fortunate." It is a common expression to say, " This day is 
yours, the next may be mine." M. MASON. 

The meaning seems to be, One time will compensate for ano- 
ther. Our time of triumph will come hereafter: time will be in 
our debt, will owe us a good turn, for our present disgrace. Let 
us trust to futurity. M ALONE. 

1 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. JOHNSON. 

sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 135 

With those that have but little ; thismustbepatch'd 
With cloth of any colour. 

COM. Nay, come away. 

\_Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, and Others. 

1 PAT. This man has marr'd his fortune. 

MEN. His nature is too noble for the world : 
He would not flatter Neptune for his trident, 
Or Jove for his power to thunder. His heart's 

his mouth : 

What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent ; 
And, being angry, does forget that ever 
He heard the name of death. [_A Noise within. 
Here's goodly work ! 

2 PAT. I would they were a-bed ! 

MEN. I would they were in Tyber ! What, the 

Could he not speak them fair ? 

Re-enter BRUTUS and SICINIUS, with the Rabble. 

Sic. Where is this viper, 

That would depopulate the city, and 
Be every man himself? 

MEX. You worthy tribunes, 

Sic. He shall be thrown down the Tarpeian rock 
With rigorous hands ; he hath resisted law, 
And therefore law shall scorn him further trial 
Than the severity of the publick power, 
Which he so sets ut nought. 

1 Crr. He shall well know, 

The noble tribunes are the people's mouths, 
And we their hands. 


CIT. He shall, sure on't. e 

[Several speak together. 

MEN. Sir, 3 

Sic. Peace. 

MEN. Do not cry, havock,* where you should 
but hunt 

* He shall, sure on't.] The meaning of these words is not very 
obvious. Perhaps they mean, He shall, that's sure. I am in- 
clined to think that the same error has happened here and in a 
passage in Antony and Cleopatra, and that in both places sure is 
printed instead of sore. He shall suffer for it, he shall rue the 
vengeance of the people. The editor of the second folio reads 
He shall, sure out ; and u and n being often confounded, the 
emendation might be admitted, but that there is not here any 
question concerning the expulsion of Coriolanus. What is now 
proposed, is, to throw him down the Tarpeian rock. It is ab- 
surd, therefore, that the rabble should by way of confirmation 
of what their leader Sicinius had said, propose a punishment he 
has not so much as mentioned, and which, when he does after' 
wards mention it, he disapproved of: 

" to eject him hence, 

" Were but one danger." 

I have therefore left the old copy undisturbed. MALONE. 

Perhaps our author wrote with reference to the foregoing 
speech : 

He shall, be sure on'l. 

i. e. be assured that he shall be taught the respect due to both 
the tribunes and the people. STEEVENS. 

3 Sir,"] Old copy, redundantly Sir, sir. STEEVENS. 

4 Do not cry, havock, ivhere you should but hunt 

With modest ivarrant.~\ i. e. Do not give the signal for un- 
limited slaughter, &c. See Vol. X. p. 392, n. 1. STEEVENS. 

To cry havock was, I believe, originally a sporting phrase, from 
hafoc, which in Saxon signifies a hawk. It was afterwards used 
in war. So, in King John : 

Cry havock, kings." 
And in Julius Caesar: 

" Cry havock, and let slip the dogs of war." 
It seems to have been the signal for general slaughter, and is 
expressly forbid in The Ordinances des Battailles, 9 R. ii. art. 10 : 

sc. i. COR1OLANUS. 137 

With modest warrant. 

Sic. Sir, how comes it, that you 

Have holp to make this rescue ? 

MEN. Hear me speak : 

As I do know the consul's worthiness, . 
So can I name his faults : 

Sic. Consul ! what consul ? 

MEN. The consul Coriolanus. 

BRU. He a consul! 

CIT. No, no, no, no, no. 

MEN. If, by the tribunes' leave, and yours, good 


I may be heard, I'd crave a word or two ; 
The which shall turn you to 3 no further harm, 
Than so much loss of time. 

Sic. Speak briefly then ; 

For we are peremptory, to despatch 

" Item, quo nul soit si hardy dc crier havok sur peine d'avoir 
Ja test coupe." 

The second article of the same Ordinances seems to have been 
fatal to Bardolph. It was death even to touch tlie pix of little 

" Item, quo nul soit si hardy dc toucher le corps de nostre 
Seigneur, ni le vessel en r/nel il esf, sur peyne d'estre trainez & 
pendu, & le teste avoir coupe." MS. Cotton. Nero D. VI. 


Again : " For them that erne haiiokc. Also that noo man he 
so hardy to cn/e /lauoke, vpon payne of hym that so is founde 
begynner, to dye therfore, and the remenaunt to be emprysoned, 
and theyr bodyes to be punysshcd at the kynges wvll." Certai/ne 
Statutes and Ordenanncetof IVarrc made ^-c./ii/ Henry the I' III. 
bl. I. Ito. emprynted by 1J. Pynson, 151 S. IODD. 

shall turn you to ] This singular expression has al- 
ready occurred in The Tempest: 

" my heart bleeds 

" To think o'the teen that I have tuni'd i/on to." 


1 38 CORIOL ANUS. MT in. 

This viperous traitor : to eject him hence, 
Were but one danger ; and, to keep him here, 
Our certain death ; therefore it is decreed, 
He dies to-night. 

MEN. Now the good gods forbid, 

That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude 
Towards her deserved children 6 is enroll'd 
In Jove's own book, like an unnatural dam 
Should now eat up her own ! 

Sic. He's a disease, that must be cut away. 

MEN. O, he's a limb, that has but a disease ; 
Mortal, to cut it off; to cure it, easy. 
What has he done to Rome, that's worthy death ? 
Killing our enemies ? The blood he hath lost, 
(Which, I dare vouch, is more than that he hath, 
By many an ounce,) he dropp'ditfor his country: 
And, what is left, to lose it by his country, 
Were to us all, that do't, and suffer it, 
A brand to the end o'the world. 

Sic. This is clean kam. 7 

Towards her deserved children ] Deserved, for deserving. 
So, delighted for delighting. So, in Othello : 

" If virtue no delighted beauty lack, ." MALONE. 

~ This is clean kam.] i. e. Awry. So Cotgrave interprets, 
Tout va a contrepoil. All goes clean kam. Hence a cambrel for 
a crooked stick, or the bend in a horse's hinder leg. 


The Welsh word for crooked is kam; and in Lyly's Endymion, 
1591, is the following passage : " But timely, madam, crook* that 
tree that will be a camock, and young it pricks that will be a 

Again, in Sappho and Phao, 1591 : 

" Camocks must be bowed with sleight, not strength." 
Vulgar pronunciation has corrupted clean kam into kim kam, 
and this corruption is preserved in that great repository of an- 
cient vulgarisms, Stanyhurst's translation of Virgil, 1582: 
" Scinditur incertum studia in contraria vufgus." 
" The wavering commons in kym kam sectes are haled." 


sc. i. CORIOLANUS. i.'39 

Bnu. Merely awry: 8 When he did love his 

It honour' d him. 

MEN. The service of the foot 

Being once gangren'd, is not then respected 
For what before it was ? y 

BRU. We'll hear no more : 

Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence ; 
Lest his infection, being of catching nature, 
Spread further. 

MEN. One word more, one word. 

This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find 
The harm of unscann'd swiftness, will, too late, 
Tie leaden pounds to his heels. Proceed by pro- 
cess ; 

In the old translation ofGusman de Alfarache the words kirn, 
}cam y occur several times. Amongst others, take the following 
instance: " All goes topsie turvy; all kirn, kam ; all is tricks 
and devices : all riddles and unknown mysteries." P. 100. 


* Merely aicry .-] i. e. absolutely. See Vol. IV. p. 9, n. .'*. 


9 Being once gangren'd, is not then respected 

For what before it tens ?] Nothing can be more evident, 
than that this could never be said by Coriolanus's apologist, and 
that it was said by one of the tribunes ; I have therefore givenit 
to Sicinius. WARBURTON. 

I have restored it to Menenius, placing an interrogation point 
at the conclusion of the speech. Mr. Malone, considering it as 
an imperfect sentence, gives it thus : 

For what be/ore it UY;\; STEEVEXS. 

You alledge, says Menenius, that being diseased, he must be 
cut away. According then to your argument, the foot, being 
once gangrened, is not to be respected for what it was before it 
was gangrened. " Is this /.v/'r"' Menenius would have added, 
if the tribune had not interrupted him: and indeed, without any 
such addition, from his state of the argument these words are 
understood. MALONE. 


Lest parties (as he is belov'd) break out, 
And sack great Rome with Romans. 

BRU. If it were so, 

Sic. What do ye talk ? 
Have we not had a taste of his obedience ? 
Our ^Ediles smote? ourselves resisted? Come: 

MEN. Consider this; He has been bred i' the 


Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school' d 
In boulted language ; meal and bran together 
He throws without distinction. Give me leave, 
I'll go to him, and undertake to bring him 1 
Where he shall answer, by a lawful form, 
(In peace) to his utmost peril. 

1 SEN. Noble tribunes, 

It is the humane way : the other course 
Will prove too bloody ; and the end of it 
Unknown to the beginning. 2 

Sic. Noble Menenius, 

Be you then as the people's officer : 
Masters, lay down your weapons. 

BRU. Go not home. 

Sic. Meet on the market-place : We'll attend 

you there : 

Where, if you bring not Marcius, we'll proceed 
In our first way. 

1 to bring him ] In the old copy the words in peace 

are found at the end of this line. They probably were in the 
MS. placed at the beginning of the next line, and caught by the 
transcriber's eye glancing on the line below. The emendation 
was made by Mr. Pope. MALONE. 

a the end of it 

Unknown to the beginning.] So, in The Tempest, Act II. sc. 
i : " The latter end of his commonwealth forgets the beginning." 


sc. ii. CORIOLANUS. 141 

MEN. I'll bring him to you : 

Let me desire your company. [To the Senators.] 

He must come, 
Or what is worst will follow. 

Pray you, let's to him. 


A Room in Coriolanus's House. 

Enter CORIOLANUS, and Patricians. 

COR. Let them pull all about mine ears ; present 

Death on the wheel, or at wild horses' heels; 3 

1 Death on the "wheel, or at u-ild horses' heels ;] Neither of 
these punishments was known at Rome. Shakspeare had proba- 
bly read or heard in his youth that Balthazar de Gerrard, who 
assassinated William Prince of Orange in 1584, was torn to pieces 
by wild horses ; as Nicholas de Salvedo had been not long before, 
for conspiring to take away the life of that gallant prince. 

When I wrote this note, the punishment which Tullus Hosti- 
lius inflicted on Mettius Fuffetius for deserting the Roman stand- 
ard, had escaped my memory : 

" Maud proeul inde citae Metium in divcrsa quadrigae 

" Distulerant, (at tu dictis, Albane, maneres,) 

" Raptabatque viri mendacis viscera Tullus 

" Per sylvam ; et sparsi rorabant sanguine vepres." 

/En. VI II. 642. 

However, as Shakspearehas coupledthis species of punishment 
with another, that certainly was unknown to ancient Home, it is 
highly probable that he was not appri/ed of the story of Mettius 
Fulletius, and that in this, as in various other instances, the 
practice of his own time was in his thought^ : (for in 1 ,"/.)! .Jolm 
Chastel had been thus executed in Franc;. for attempting to as- 
va*sinate Henry tlie Fourth :) more i^pivi.iUv as we know from 
tlu 1 testimony of Livy that this cruul capital punishment u;i^ 


Or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock, 
That the precipitation might down stretch 
Below the beam of sight, yet will I still 
Be thus to them. 


1 PAT. You do the nobler. 

COR. I muse, 4 my mother 
Does not approve me further, who was wont 
To call them woollen vassals, things created 
To buy and sell with groats ; to show bare heads 
In congregations, to yawn, be still, and wonder, 
When one but of my ordinance 5 stood up 
To speak of peace, or war. I talk of you ; 

Why did you wish me milder ? Would you have me 

never inflicted from the beginning to the end of the Republick, 
except in this single instance : 

" Exinde, duabus admotis quadrigis, in currus earum disten- 
tum inligat Mettum. Deinde in diversum iter equi concitati, 
lacerum in utroque curru corpus, qua inhaeserant vinculis mem- 
bra, portantes. Avertere omnes a tantu foeditate spectaculi ocu- 
los. Primum ultimumque illud supplicium apud Romanos exem- 
pli parum memoris legum humanarum fuit : in aliis, gloriari li- 
cet nulli gentium mitiores placuissepcenas." Liv. Lib. I. xxviii. 


Shakspeare might have found mention of this punishment in 
our ancient romances. Thus, in The Soicdon of Babyloyne, 
p. 55: 

" Thou venemouse serpente 

" With 'wilde horses thou shalt be drawe to morowe 
" And on this hille be brente." STEEVENS. 

4 / muse,~\ That is, / tvonder y I am at a loss. JOHNSON. 

So, in Macbeth : 

" Do not muse at me, my most noble friends ." 


3 ivy ordinance ] My rank. JOHNSON. 

sc. n. CORIOLANUS. 143 

False to my nature ? Rather say, I play 
The man 1 am. 

VOL. O, sir, sir, sir, 

I would have had you put your power well on, 
Before you had worn it out. 

Con. Let go. 7 

VOL. You might have been enough the man 

you are, 

With striving less to be so : Lesser had been 
The thwartings of your dispositions, 8 if 
You had not show'd them how you were disposed 
Ere they lack'd power to cross you. 

Con. Let them hang. 

VOL. Ay, and burn too. 

6 The man I am.'] Sir Thomas Hamner supplies the defect in 
this line, very judiciously in my opinion, by reading : 

Truly the man I am. 
Trudy is properly opposed to False in the preceding line. 


7 Let go.] Here again, Sir Thomas Hanmer, with sufficient 
propriety, reads Why, let it go. Mr. llitson would complete 
the measure with a similar expression, which occurs in Othello: 
" Let it go all." Too many of the short replies in this and 
other plays of Shakspeare, are apparently mutilated. 


8 The thwartings nfyour dispositions,"] The old copies exhibit 
it : 

" The things of your dispositions." 

A few letters replaced, that by some carelessness dropped out, 
restore us the poet's genuine reading : 

The thwartings of your dispositions. THEOBALD. 
Mr. Theobald only improved on Mr. Howe's correction : 

The things that thwart your dispositions. MALONE. 


Enter MENENIUS, and Senators. 

MEN. Come, come, you have been too rough, 

something too rough ; 
You must return, and mend it. 

1 SEN. There's no remedy ; 

Unless, by not so doing, our good city 
Cleave in the midst, and perish. 

VOL. Pray be counsel* d : 

I have a heart as little apt as yours, 
But yet a brain, that leads my use of anger, 
To better vantage. 

MEN. Well said, noble woman : 

Before he should thus stoop to the herd, 9 but that 
The violent fit o'the time craves it as physick 
For the whole state, I would put mine armour on, 
Which I can scarcely bear. 

COR. What must I do ? 

MEN. Return to the tribunes. 

COR. Well, 

What then ? what then ? 

MEN. Repent what you have spoke. 

9 Before he should thus sloop to the herd,] [Old copy stoop 
to the heart. ,] But how did Coriolanus stoop to his heart? He 
rather, as we vulgarly express it, made his proud heart stoop to 
the necessity of the times. I am persuaded, my emendation 
gives the true reading. So before in this play: 
" Are these your herd?" 

So, in Julius Cccsar: " when he perceived, the common 
herd was glad he refus'd the crown," &c. THEOBALD. 

Mr. Theobald's conjecture is confirmed by a passage, in which 
Coriolanus thus describes the people : 

" You shames of Rome ! you herd of ." 

Herd was anciently spelt heard. Hence heart crept into the 
old copy. MA LONE. 

sc. n. CORIOLANUS. 145 

COR. For them ? I cannot do it to the gods; 
Must I then do't to them ? 

VOL. You are too absolute ; 

Though therein you can never be too noble, 
But when extremities speak. 1 I have heard you say, 
Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends, 
I* the war do grow together : Grant that, and tell 


In peace, what each of them by th j other lose, 
That they combine not there. 

COR. Tush, tush ! 

MEN. A good demand. 

Vol. If it be honour, in your wars, to seem 
The same you are not, (which, for your best ends, 
You adopt your policy,) how is it less, or worse, 
That it shall hold companionship in peace 
With honour, as in war ; since that to both 
It stands in like request ? 

COR. Why force you 2 this? 

VOL. Because that now it lies you on to speak 
To the people ; not by your own instruction, 
Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you 
to, 3 

1 You are loo absolute ; 

Though therein you can never lie too noble, 

Bid ichen extremities spcak.~\ Except in cases of urgent ne- 
cessity, when your resolute and noble spirit, however commend- 
able at other times, ought to yield to the occasion. MA LOSE. 

* Why force you ] Why urge you. JOHNSON. 

So, in King Henry VIII : 

" If you will now unite in your complaints, 
" And force them with a. constancy ." MA LONE. 
3 Nor bi/ (lie matter n.-fiic/. .,.;/'/ heart prompts i/ou to,] [Old 
copy prompt* I/OK.~] i\i h;>j,s the iiu-aning is, which your heart 
prompts you to. \> e have many such elliptical expressions iu 


But with such words that are but roted in 
Your tongue, though but bastards, and syllables 
Of no allowance, to your bosom's truth. 4 
Now, this no more dishonours you at all, 

these plays. See Vol. XV. p. 196, n. 4. So, in Julius 
Ccesar ; 

" Thy honourable metal may be wrought 

" From what it is dispos'd [o]." 

But I rather believe, that our author has adopted the language 
of the theatre, and that the meaning is, which your heart sug- 
gests to you; which your heart furnishes you with, as a prompter 
furnishes the player with the words that have escaped hismemory. 
So afterwards : " Come, come, we'll prompt you.'" The editor 
of the second folio, who was entirely unacquainted with our 
author's peculiarities, reads prompts you to, and so all the sub- 
sequent copies read. MALONE. 

I am content to follow the second folio ; though perhaps we 
ought to read : 

Nor by the matter which your heart prompts in you. 
So, in A Sermon preached at St. Paul's Crosse, &c. 1589: 
" for often meditatyon prompteth in us goode thoughtes, be- 
gettyng theron goode workes," c. 

Without some additional syllable the verse is defective. 


4 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 autho- 
rity. JOHNSON. 

Allowance is certainly right. So, in Othello, Act II. sc. i : 

" his pilot 

" Of very expert and approved allowance." 
Dr. Johnson's amendment, however, is countenanced by an 
expression in The Taming of the Shrew, where Petruchio's 
stirrups are said to be " of no kindred." STEEVENS. 

I at first was pleased with Dr. Johnson's proposed emendation, 
because " of no allowance, i. e. approbation, to your bosom's 
truth," appeared to me unintelligible. But allowance has no 
connection with the subsequent words, " to your bosom's truth." 
The construction is though but bastards to your bosom's truth, 
not the lawful issue of your heart. The words, " and syllables 
of no allowance," are put in apposition with bastards, and are 
as it were parenthetical. MALOXE. 

se. n. CORIOLANUS. 147 

Than to take in a town 5 with gentle words, 

Which else would put you to your fortune, and 

The hazard of much blood. 

I would dissemble with my nature, where 

My fortunes, and my friends, at stake, requir'd, 

I should do so in honour : 1 am in this, 

Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles ; 

And you 6 will rather show our general lowts 7 

How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon them, 

For the inheritance of their loves, and safeguard 

Of what that want 8 might ruin. 

MEN. Noble lady ! 

Come, go with us ; speak fair : you may salve so, 
Not what 9 is dangerous present, but the loss 
Of what is past. 

VOL. I pr'ythee now, my son, 

' Than to take in a town ] To subdue or destroy. Seep. 27, 
n. 9. MALONE. 

6 / am in this, 

Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles ; 

And you &c.] Volunmia is persuading Coriolanus that lie 
ought to flatter the people, as the general fortune was at stake ; 
and says, that \\\ this advice, she speaks as his wife, as his son ; 
as the senate and body of the patricians ; who were in some 
measure link'd to his conduct. WAHBURTON. 

I rather think the meaning is, / am in their condition, I UIM 
at stake, together with your wife, your .*//. JOHNSON. 

/ am in this, means, I am in this predicament. M. MASON. 

I think the meaning is, In thix advice, in exhorting you to act 
thus, I speak not only as your mother, but as your wife, your 
son, &c. all of whom are at slake. MAI.ONL. 

7 our general loivts ] Our common clowns. 


//<Mvant ] The u-flHf of their loves. JOHNSON. 

' Not ;chnt 1 In thi- place not seems to signify not only. 


I. '2 


Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand ; l 
Andthusfarhavingstretch'd it, (here be with them,) 
Thy knee bussing the stones, (for in such business 
Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant 
More learned than the ears,) waving thy head, 
Which often-, thus, correcting thy stout heart, 2 

1 with this bonnet in iky hand;~\ Surely our author 

wrote with tliy bonnet in thy hand ; for I cannot suppose that 
he intended that Volumnia should either touch or take off the 
bonnet which he has given to Coriolanus. MALONE. 

When Volumnia says " this bonnet," she may be supposed 
to point at it, without any attempt to touch it, or take it off. 


* leaving thy head, 

Which often, thus, correcting thy stout heart,"] But do any 
of the ancient or modern masters of elocution prescribe the 
leaving the head, when they treat of action ? Or how does the 
waving the head correct the stoutness of the heart, or evidence 
humility ? Or, lastly, where is the sense or grammar of these 
words, Which often, thus, c. ? These questions are sufficient to 
show that the lines are corrupt. I would read therefore : 

tvaving thy hand, 

Which soften thus, correcting thy stout heart. 
This is a very proper precept of action, suiting the occasion ; 
Wave thy hand, says she, and soften the action of it thus, then 
strike upon thy breast, and by that action show the people thou 
hast corrected thy stout heart. All here is fine and proper. 


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 ivave suits better 
to the hand, but in considering the author'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 alter- 
ation is slight, and the gesture recommended not improper. 

Shakspeare uses the same expression in Hamlet : 

" And thrice his head waving thus, up and down." 


I have sometimes thought that this passage might originally 
have stood thus : 

se. ii. CORIOLANUS. 149 

Now humble, as the ripest mulberry, 3 

That will not hold the handling : Or, say to them, 

waving thy head, 

( Which humble thus; } correcting thy stont hearty 
Now soften'd ax the ripest mulberry. TYRWHITT. 
As there is no verb in this passage as it stands, some amend- 
ment must be made, to make it intelligible ; and that which I 
now propose, is to read bow instead of now, which is clearly the 
right reading. M. MASON. 

I am persuaded these lines are printed exactly as the author 
wrote them, a similar kind of phraseology being found in his other 
plays. Which, &c. is the absolute case, and is to be understood 
as if he had written It often, c. So, in The Winter's Tale : 

" This your son-in-law, 

" And son unto the king, (whom heavens directing,) 
" Is troth-plight to your daughter." 
Again, in King John : 

" - he that wins of all, 

* Of kings, and beggars, old men, young men, maids, 
" Who having no external thing to lose, 
" But the word maid, cheats the poor maid of that." 
In the former of these passages, " ivhoni heavens directing," 
is to be understood as if Shakspeare had written, him heavens 
directing; (ilium den duccnte ;) and in the latter, "who having" 
has the import of They having. Nihil quod amittcrc possint t 
prtctcr nmnen rirginis, possidentibus. See Vol. X. p. -107, n. 7. 

This mode of speech, though not such as we should now use, 
having been used by Shakspeare, any emendation of this contest- 
ed passage becomes unnecessary. Nor is this kind of phraseology 
peculiar to our author; for in 11. llaignold's Lives of all the. 
Emperours, 1571, fol. ,1, b. I find the same construction: 
" as Pompey was passing in a small boate toward the shoare, 
to fynde the kynge Ptolemey, he was by his commaundement 
slayne, before he came to land, of Septimius and Achilla, who 
hoping by killing of him to purchase the friendship of Ca-sar. 
"Who now being come unto the shoare, and entering Alexandria, 
had sodainly presented unto him the head of Pompey the (treat," 

Again, in the Continuation of Hardyng's C/ironir'c, 1/513, 
Signal. M in. ij : " And now was the k'yng within twoo dales 
journey of Salisbury, when the duke attempted to mete him, 
whiche duke beyitg accompaignied with great strength of \\ elshe- 
men, whom he had enforced thereunto, and coherted more by 
Jordly commaundmcnt than by liberal wages and hire : whiche 


Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils, 
Hast not the soft way, 4 which, thou dost confess, 
Were fit for thee to use, as they to claim, 
In asking their good loves ; but thou wilt frame 

thyng was in deede the cause that thei fell from hym and forsoke 
him. Wherefore he," &c. See also Vol. IX. p. 420, n. 5. 

Mr. M. Mason says, that there is no verb in the sentence, and 
therefore it must be corrupt. The verb is go, and the sentence, 
not more abrupt than many others in these plays. Go to the 
people, says Volumnia, and appear before them in a supplicating 
attitude, with thy bonnet in thy hand, thy knees on the ground, 
(for in such cases action is eloquence, &c.) waving thy head ; it, 
by its frequent bendings, ( such as those that I now make, ) sub- 
duing thy stout heart, which now should be as humble as the 
ripest mulberry : or, if these silent gestures of supplication do 
not move them, add words, and say to them, &c. 

Whoever has seen a player supplicating to be heard by the 
audience, when a tumult, for whatever cause, has arisen in a 
theatre, will perfectly feel the force of the words " waving thy 

No emendation whatever appears to me to be necessary in 
these lines. MALONE. 

All I shall observe respecting the validity of the instances 
adduced by Mr. Malone in support of his position, is, that as an- 
cient press-work seldom received any correction, the errors of one 
printer may frequently serve to countenance those of another, 
without affording any legitimate decision in matters of phrase- 
ology. STEEVENS. 

humble, as the ripest mulberry ^\ This fruit, when 
thoroughly ripe, drops from the tree. STEEVENS. 

^Eschylus (as appears from a fragment of his SPITES r, EK- 
TOPOS ATI PA, preserved by Athenams, Lib. II.) says of 
Hector that he was softer than mulberries : 

" 'AvYjp $' IxsTvoj YjV ifsifalTspos ptipivv." MUSGRAVE. 

4 and being bred in broils, 

Hast not the soft ti'oy,] So, in Othello (folio 1623) : 

*' Rude am I in my speech, 

" And little bless'd with the soft, phrase of peace ; 

" And little of this great world can I speak, 

" More than pertains to feats of broils and battles." 


sc. ii. CORIOLANUS. 151 

Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far 
As thou hast power, and person. 

MEN. This but done, 

Even as she speaks, why, all their hearts were 

yours : 5 

For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free 
As words to little purpose. 

VOL. Pr'ythee now, 

Go, and be ruPd : although, I know, thou had'st 


Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf, 6 
Than flatter him in a bower. 7 Here is Cominius. 


COM. I have been i' the market-place : and, sir, 

'tis fit 

You make strong party, or defend yourself 
By calmness, or by absence ; all's in anger. 

MEX. Only fair speech. 

COM. I think, 'twill serve, if he 

Can thereto frame his spirit. 

41 Even as she speaks, why, all their hearts tvere yours :~j The 
word all was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer to remedy the 
apparent delect in this line. I am not sure, however, that we 
might not better read, as Mr. Kitson proposes : 

Even as she speaks it, why their hearts were yours. 


G in ajicn/ gtttf,~] i. e. into. So, in King Richard III : 

" But first, I'll turn yon fellow in his grave." 


Than flatter him in a bower.] A bourr is the ancient term 
lor a chamber. So Spenser, 1'rothalain. st. S. speaking of The 
1 'emple : 

" Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers" 
See also Chaucer &c. passim. STEEVENS. 


VOL. He must, and will : 

Pr'ythee, now, say, you will, and go about it. 

COR. Must I go show them my unbarb'd sconce?* 

Must I 

With my base tongue, give to my noble heart 
A lie, that it must bear ? Well, I will do't : 
Yet were there but this single plot 9 to lose, 
This mould of Marcius, they to dust should grind 

" my unbarb'd sconce?] The suppliants of the people 

used to present themselves to them in sordid and neglected 
dresses. STEEVENS. 

Unbarbed, bare, uncovered. In the times of chivalry, when 
a horse was fully armed and accoutred for the encounter, he 
was said to be barbed; probably from the old word barbe which 
Chaucer uses for a veil or covering. HAWKINS. 

Unbarbed sconce is untrimmed or unshaven head. To barb a. 
man, was to shave him. So, in Promos and Cassandra, 

" Grim. you are so clean a young man. 

" Row. And who barbes you, Grimball ? 
" Grim. A dapper knave, one Rosco. 
" Row. I know him not, is he a deaft barber?" 
To barbe the field was to cut the corn. So, in Drayton's 
Polyolbion, Song XIII : 

" The labring hunter tufts the thick unbarbed grounds." 
Again, in The Malcontent) by Marston : 

" The stooping scvtheman that doth barbe the field." 
But (says Dean Milles, in his comment on The Pseudo- Rowley, 
p. 215:) "would that appearance [of being unsharcd~] have 
been particular at Rome in the time of Coriolarius ?" Every one, 
but the Dean, understands that Shakspeare gives to all countries 
the fashion? of his own. 

, Unbarbed may, however, bear the signification which the late 
Mr. Hav kins would affix to it. So, in Magnificence, an inter- 
lude by Skelton, Fancy, speaking of a hooded hawk, says : 
" Bar by d like a nonne, for burnynge of the sonne," 


single plot ] i.e. piece, portion; applied to a piece 

of earth, and here elegantly transferred to the body, carcase. 


sc. ii. CORIOLANUS. 153 

And throw it against the wind. To the market- 
place : 

You have put me now to such a part, which never ' 
1 shall discharge to the life. 

COM. Come, come, we'll prompt you. 

VOL. I pr'ythee now, sweet son ; as thou hast 


My praises made thee first a soldier, so, 
To have my praise for this, perform a part 
Thou hast not done hefore. 2 

COR. Well, I must do't : 

Away, my disposition, and possess me 
Some harlot's spirit ! My throat of war be turn'd, 
Which quired with my drum, 3 into a pipe 

1 such a part, which never &c.] So, in King Henry VI. 

P. III. Vol. XIV. p. 95 : 

" he would avoid such bitter taunts 

" Which in the time of death he gave our father." 
Again, in the present scene : 

" But with such words that are but roted," &c. 
Again, in Act V. sc. iv : 

" the benefit 

" Which thou shalt thereby reap, is such a name, 

" Whose repetition will be dogg'd with curses." 
i. e. the repetition of which . 
Again, in Act V. sc. iii : 

" no, not with such friends, 

" That thought them sure of you." 

This phraseology was introduced by Shakspeare in the first 
of these passages, for the old play on which The Third Part of 
King Henri/ VI. was founded, reads Is in the time of death. 
The word as has bt-i-n substituted for iv/iich by the modern edi- 
tors in the passage before us. MA LONE. 

' perform a part 

Thiiit hast not done hefore.'] Our author is still thinking of 
his theatre. Cominius has just said, Come, come, we'll prompt 
\ou. MALONK. 

1 Which quired with viy drum,'] Which played in concert with 
mv drum. JOHNSON. 


Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice 
That babies lulls asleep ! The smiles of knaves 
Tent in my cheeks; 4 and school-boys' tears take up 
The glasses of my sight ! A beggar's tongue 
Make motion through my lips ; and my arm'd 


W T ho bow'd but in my stirrop, bend like his 
That hath receiv'd an alms ! I will not do't : 
Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth, 5 
And, by my body's action, teach my mind 
A most inherent baseness. 

VOL. At thy choice then : 

To beg of thee, it is my more dishonour, 
Than thou of them. Come all to ruin ; let 
Thy mother rather feel thy pride, than fear 
Thy dangerous stoutness; 6 for I mock at death 
With as big heart as thou. Do as thou list. 
Thy valiantness was mine, thou suck'dst it from me ; 
But owe 7 thy pride thyself. 

COR. Pray, be content ; 

So, in The Merchant of Venice : 

" Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubins." 


* Tent in my cheeks ;] To tent is to take up residence. 


to honour mine otvn truth,~\ 
ivrwv os p,aAr xiffxvvso <raurov." Pythag. JOHNSON. 


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 ex- 
tremity that thy pride can bring upon us, than live thus in fear 
of thy dangerous obstinacy. JOHNSON. 

7 oive ~] i. e. own. REED. 

So, in Macbeth : 

" To throw away the dearest thing he owed, 
" As 'twere a careless trifle." STEEVENS. 

sc. in. CORIOLANUS. 155 

Mother, I am going to the market-place ; 
Chide me no more. I'll mountebank their loves, 
Cog their hearts from them, and come home belov'd 
Of all the trades in Rome. Look, I am going : 
Commend me to my wife. I'll return consul ; 
Or never trust to what my tongue can do 
F the way of flattery, further. 

VOL. Do your will. \_Exit. 

COM. Away, the tribunes do attend you: arm 


To answer mildly ; for they are prepared 
With accusations, as I hear, more strong 
Than are upon you yet. 

COR. The word is, mildly: Pray you, let us go : 
Let them accuse me by invention, I 
Will answer in mine honour. 

MEN. Ay, but mildly. 

COR. Well, mildly be it then; mildly. \_Eoceunt. 


The same. The Forum. 

BRU. In this point charge him home, that he 


Tyrannical power : If he evade us there, 
Enforce him with his envy 4 to the people; 

envy ] i. e. malice, hatred. So, in A'. Henry VIII ; 

" no black envy 

" Shall make my grave." 
See Vol. XV. p. 64, n. '2. STEEVENS. 


And that the spoil, got on the Antiates, 
Was ne'er distributed. 

Enter an 

What, will he come ? 

JED. He's coming. 

BRU. How accompanied ? 

JED. With old Menenius, and those senators 
That always favour'd him. 

Sic. Have you a catalogue 

Of all the voices that we have procured, 
Set down by the poll ? 

JED. I have ; 'tis ready, here.-' 

Sic. Have you collected them by tribes ? 
MD. I have. 

Sic. Assemble presently the people hither : 
And when they hear me say, It shall be so 
r the right and strength o' ike commons, be it either 
For death, for fine, or banishment, then let them, 
If I say, fine, ciyjlne; if death, cry death; 
Insisting on the old prerogative 
And power i' the truth o' the cause. 1 

9 - 'tis ready, here.] The word here, which is wanting 
in the old copies, was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer. 

i'the truth o'the cause.] This is not very easily under- 

stood. We might read : 

o'er the truth o' the cause. JOHNSON'. 

As I cannot understand this passage as it is pointed, I should 
suppose that the speeches should be thus divided, and then it 
will require no explanation : 

Sic. Insisting on the old prerogative 

And power. 
TEd. In the truth of the cause 

I shall inform them. 
That is, I will explain the matter to them fully. M. MASOX. 

ST. in. CORIOLANUS. 157 

I shall inform them. 

tinu. And when such time they have begun to 

J * 

Let them not cease, but with a din confus'd 
Enforce the present execution 
Of what we chance to sentence. 

sEo. Very well. 

Sic. Make them be strong, and ready for this 

When we shall hap to give't them. 

BRU. Go about it. 

\_Ejcit JEdile. 

Put him to choler straight : He hath been us'd 
Ever to conquer, and to have his worth 
Of contradiction r Being once chaf'd, he cannot 
Be rein'd again to temperance ; 3 then lie speaks 
What's in his heart ; and that is there, which looks 
With us to break his neck. 4 

* - and to have Ms worth 

Of contradiction:] The modern editors substituted icord ; 
but the old copy reads ivort/i, which is certainly right. lie has 
been used to have his "worth, or (as we should nov/ say) his 
pennyworth of contradiction ; his full quota or proportion. So, 
in Roinco and Juliet : 

" - You take your pennyworth [of sleep] now." 


1 Be rein'd again to temperance :] Our poet seems to have 
taken several of his images from the old pageants. In the new 
edition of Leland's Collectanea, Vol. IV. p. 190, the virtue tem- 
perance is represented " holding in hyr haiuul a bitt of an horse.'* 


Mr. Toilet might have added, that both in painting and sculp- 
ture the bit is the established symbol of this \irtue. HENLEY. 
- which looks 

IVilh us to break his neck.'] To look is to icnit or expect. 
'I he sense I believe is, What he ha* in heart is waiting there to 
/n-l't 7/v to break /;/.> neck. JOHNSON. 

1 he tribune rather seems to mean The sentiments of Coriola- 


Senators, and Patricians. 

Sic. AVell, here he comes. 

MEN. Calmly, I do beseech you. 

COT?. Ay, as an ostler, that for the poorest piece 
Will bear the knave by the volume. 5 The honour 'd 


Keep Rome in safety, and the chairs of justice 
Supplied with worthy men ! plant love among us \ 
Throng our large temples with the shows of peace, 
And not our streets with war ! 6 

1 SEX. Amen, amen ! 

MEN. A noble wish. 

nus's heart are our coadjutors, and look to have their share in 
promoting his destruction. STEEVENS. 

3 Will bear tlic knave by the volume.^ i. e. would hear being 
called a knave as often as would fill out a volume. STJEEVEXS. 

G plant love among us! 

Throng our large temples tvith the shoics of peace, 
And not our streets ivith ixar !~\ [The old copy Through.^ 
We should read : 

Throng our large temples- 

The other is rank nonsense. WARBURTON. 

The emendation was made hy Mr. Theobald. 

The slwws of peace are multitudes of people peaceably assem- 
bled, either to hear the determination of causes, or for other 
purposes of civil government. MALONE. 

The real shows of peace among the Romans, were the olive- 
branch and the caduceus ; but I question if our author, on the 
present occasion, had any determinate idea annexed to his 
words. Mr. Malone's supposition, however, can hardly be 
right; because the "temples" (i. e. those of the gods,) were 
never used for the determination of civil causes, &c. To such 
purposes the Senate and the Forum were appropriated. The 
temples indeed might be thronged with people who met to thank 
the gods for a return of peace. STEEVENS. 

sc. in. CORIOLANUS. 

Re-enter ^Edile, with Citizens. 

Sic. Draw near, ye people. 

JEm. List to your tribunes; audience: Peace, 

I say. 

COR. First, hear me speak. 
BOTH Tm. Well, say. Peace, ho. 7 

COR. Shall I be charg'd no further than this 

present ? 
Must all determine here ? 

Sic. I do demand, 

If you submit you to the people's voices, 
Allow their officers, and are content 
To suffer lawful censure for such faults 
As si uill be prov'd upon you ? 

COR. I am content. 

MEN. Lo, citizens, he says, he is content : 
The warlike service he has done, consider ; 
Think on the wounds his body bears, which show 
Like graves i' the holy churchyard. 

COR. Scratches with briars, 

Scars to move laughter only. 

MEX. Consider further, 

That when he speaks not like a citizen, 
You find him like a soldier : Do not take 
His rougher accents 9 for malicious sounds, 

7 Well, say. Peace, ho.'] As the metre is here defective, we 
might suppose our author to have written : 

Well, sir ; say on. Peace, ho. STEEVEXS. 

' His rougher accents ] The old copy reads actions. Mr. 
Theobald made the change. .SrEtVENs. 

His rougher accents are the harsh terms that he uses. 



But, as I say, such as become a soldier, 
Rather than envy you. 9 

COM. Well, well, no more. 

COR. What is the matter, 
That being pass'd for consul with full voice, 
I am so dishonour'd, that the very hour 
You take it off again ? 

Sic. Answer to us. 

COR. Say then : 'tis true, I ought so. 

Sic. We charge you, that you have contriv'd to 


From Rome all seasoned office, 1 and to wind 
Yourself into a power tyrannical ; 
For which, you are a traitor to the people. 

Con. How! Traitor? 

MEN. Nay; temperately: Your promise. 

COR. The fires i j the lowest hell fold in the 

people ! 

Call me their traitor ! Thou injurious tribune ! 
Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths, 
In thy hands clutch'd 2 as many millions, in 

9 Rather than envy you.~\ Envy is here taken at large for 
malignity or ill intention. JOHNSON. 

According to the construction of the sentence, envy is evi- 
dently used as a verb, and signifies to injure. In this sense it is 
used by Julietta in The Pilgrim : 
" If I make a lie 

" To gain your love, and envy my best mistress, 
" Pin me up against a wall," &c. M. MASON. 

Rather than envy you.'] Rather than import ill will to you. 
See p. 155, n. 8 ; and Vol. XV. p. 64, n. 2. M ALONE. 

1 season'd office,] All office established and settled by 

time, and made familiar to the people by long use. JOHNSON. 

* dutch'd ] i. e. grasp'd. So Macbeth, in his address 

to the " air-drawn dagger :" 

" Come, let me clutch thee." STKEVENS. 

sc. m. CORIOLANUS. 161 

Thy lying tongue both numbers, I would say, 
Thou liest, unto thee, with a voice as free 
As I do pray the gods. 

Sic. Mark you this, people ? 

CIT. To the rock with him j to the rock with. 
him! 3 

Sic. Peace. 

We need not put new matter to his charge : 
What you have seen him do, and heard him speak, 
Beating your officers, cursing yourselves, 
Opposing laws with strokes, and here defying 
Those whose great power must try him ; even this, 
So criminal, and in such capital kind, 
Deserves the extremest death. 

BRU. But since he hath 

Serv'd well for Rome, 

COR. What do you prate of service ? 

BRU. I talk of that, that know it. 
Co*. You ? 

MEN. Is this 

The promise that you made your mother ? 

COM. Know, 

I pray you, 

COR. I'll know no further : 

Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death, 
Vagabond exile, flaying ; Pent to linger 
But with a grain a day, I would not buy 

3 To the rock &c.] The first folio reads : 
To th' rock, to th' rock ivith him. 
The second only : 

To th' rock ivitli him. 

The present reading is therefore formed out of the two copies. 



Their mercy at the price of one fair word ; 
Nor check my courage for what they can give, 
To have't with saying, Good morrow. 

Sic. For that he has 

(As much as in him lies) from time to time 
Envied against the people, 4 seeking means 
To pluck away their power ; as now at last 5 
Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence 6 
Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers 
That do distribute it ; In the name o'the people, 
And in the power of us the tribunes, we, 
Even from this instant, banish him our city ; 
In peril of precipitation 
From off the rock Tarpeian, never more 
To enter our Rome gates : I* the people's name, 
I say, it shall be so. 

CIT. It shall be so, 

It shall be so ; let him away : he's banish'd, 
And so it shall be. 7 

COM. Hear me, my masters, and my common 
friends ; 

* Envied against the people,] i. e. behaved with signs of hatred 
to the people. STEEVENS. 

5 as notv at last ] Read rather : 

has now at last. JOHNSON. 

I am not certain but that as in this instance, has the power of 
as well as. The same mode of expression I have met with among 
our ancient writers. STEEVENS. 

6 not in the presence ] Not stands again for not only. 


Tt is thus used in The New Testament, 1 Thcss. iv. 8 : 

*' He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man but God," &c. 


7 And so it shall be.] Old copy, unmetrically And it shall be 

sc. in. CORIOLANUS. 163 

Sic. He's sentenced : no more hearing. 

COM. Let me speak : 

I have been consul, and can show from Rome, 8 
Her enemies' marks upon me. I do love 
My country's good, with a respect more tender, 
More holy, and profound, than mine own life, 
My dear wife's estimate, 9 her womb's increase, 
And treasure of my loins; then if I would 
Speak that 

Sic. We know your drift : Speak what ? 

BRU. There's no more to be said, but he is ba- 


As enemy to the people, and his country : 
It shall be so. 

CIT. It shall be so, it shall be so. 

COR. You common cry of curs I 1 whose breath I 

* short; from Rome,"] Read " show for Rome." 


He either means, that his wounds were got out of Rome, in 
the cause of his country, or that they mediately were derived 
from Rome, by his acting in conformity to the orders of the state. 
Mr. Theobald reads -for Rome ; and supports his emendation by 
these passages : 

" To banish him that struck more blowsyor Rome,"&c. 
Again : 

" Good man ! the wounds that he does bearybr Rome." 


9 My dear "wife's estimate,"] I love my country beyond the rate 
at which I value my dear wife. JOHNSON. 

1 You common cry of curs /] Cry here signifies a troop or pad-, 
So, in a subsequent scene in this play : 

" You have made good work, 
" You and your cry." 

Again, in The Tico Noble Kinsmen, by Beaumont ami 
Fletcher, lfi.34: 

" I could have kept a hawk, and well have holla'd 
" To a deep en/ of dogs." MAI.OM:. 

\I '2 


As reek o'the rotten fens, 2 whose loves I prize. 
As the dead carcasses of unburied men 
That do corrupt my air, I banish you ; 3 
And here remain with your uncertainty ! 
Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts ! 
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes, 
Fan you into despair ! Have the power still 
To banish your defenders ; till, at length, 
Your ignorance, (which finds not, till it feels, 4 ) 

* As reek o'the rotten fens,] So, in The Tempest : 
" Seb. As if it had lungs, and rotten ones. 
" Ant. Or, as 'twere perfum'd by ajen." STEEVENS. 

3 I banish you ;~] So, in Lyly's Anatomy of Wit, 1580: 
" When it was cast in Diogenes' teetli that the Sinopenetes had 
banished him Pontus, yea, said he, I them" 

Our poet has again the same thought in King Richard II: 
" Think not, the king did banish thee, 
" But thou the king." MALONE. 

1 Have the power still 

To banish your defenders ; till, at length, 
Your ignorance, (which folds not, till it feels,} c.] Still 
retain the power of banishing your defenders, till your undiscern- 
ing folly, which can foresee no consequences, leave none in the 
city but yourselves, who are always labouring your own destruc- 

It is remarkable, that, among the political maxims of the spe- 
culative 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 author's mind, that he looked through 
life in all its relations private and civil. JOHNSON. 

" The people (to use the comment of my friend Dr. Kearney, 
in his ingenious LECTURES ON HISTORY, quarto, 1776,) can- 
not nicely scrutinise errors in government, but they are roused by 
galling oppression." Coriolanus, however, means to speak still 
more contemptuously of their judgment. Your ignorance is 
such, that you cannot see the mischiefs likely to result from your 
actions, till you actually experience the ill effects of them. In- 

sc. m. CORIOLANUS. 16.5 

Making not reservation of yourselves, 
(Still your own foes,) deliver you, as most 
Abated captives, 5 to some nation 
That won you without blows ! Despising, 6 

stead, however, of " Making but reservation of yourselves," 
which is the reading of the old copy, and which Dr. Johnson very 
rightly explains, leaving none in the city but yourselves, I have 
no doubt that we should read, as I have printed, " Making not 
reservation of yourselves," which agrees with the subsequent 
words " still your own foes," and with the general purport of 
the speech ; which is, to show that the folly of the people was 
such as was likely to destroy the whole of the republick without 
any reservation, not only others, but even themselves, and to sub- 
jugate them as abated captives to some hostile nation. If, ac- 
cording to the old copy, the people have the prudence to make 
reservation of themselves, while they arc destroying theircountry, 
they cannot with any propriety be said to be in that respect 
" still their own foes." These words therefore decisively sup- 
port the emendation now made. 

How often bid and not have been confounded in these plays, 
has already been frequently observed. In this very play but has 
been printed, in a former scene, instead of not, and the latter 
word substituted in all the modern editions. See p. 102, n. 1-. 


Mr. Cap.-ll reads: 

Making not reservation of your selves. STF.EVENS. 

* Abated cnplrces,~] Abated is dejected, subdued, depressed in 

So, in C'm'.w, 160 1-, by Lord Sterline: 

" To advance the humble, and abate the proud." 
i. e. Parcerc subjectis, et debellare superbos. 

Again, in Arthur Hall's translation of the 7th Iliad : 

" Th' abated mindes, the cowardi/e, and faintnesse of 

my pheeres." 

Handle Holme, however, informs us that " an abatement is a 
mark added or annexed to a coat [of arms] by reason of some 
dishonourable act whereby the dignity of the coat is abased," &c. 
See the Academy of Armory and lilazon, p. 71. 

Abated has the same power as the French (tltattu. See Vol. 

VIII. p. '_'.') V, n. S. Sl'EEVEXS. 


For you, the city, thus I turn my back : 
There is a world elsewhere. 

NIUS, Senators, and Patricians. 

/USD. The people's enemy is gone, is gone ! 

CIT. Our enemy's banish'd ! he is gone ! Hoo ! 

hoo ! 
\_The People shout, and throw up their Caps. 

Sic. Go, see him out at gates, and follow him, 
As he hath followed you, with all despite ; 
Give him deserv'd vexation. Let a guard 
Attend us through the city. 

CIT. Come, come, let us see him out at gates ; 

come : 
The gods preserve our noble tribunes ! Come. 


Despising,'] As this line is imperfect, perhaps our author 
originally gave it 

Despising therefore, 

For you, the city, &c. STEEVENS. 

4crir. CORIOLANUS. 167 


The same. Before a Gate of the City. 

N EN i us, COMINIUS, and several young Patri- 

COR. Come, leave your tears ; a brief farewell : 

the beast 

With many heads 7 butts me away. Nay, mother, 
Where is your ancient courage ? you were us'd 
To say, extremity was the trier or spirits j 
That common chances common men could bear ; 
That, when the sea was calm, all boats alike 
Show'd mastership in floating: 8 fortune's blows, 
When most struck home, being gentle wounded, 

the beast 

With many heads ] Thus also, Horace, speaking of the 
Honuin mob : 

licllua miiltorum est capitum. STEEVENS. 

" you were us'd 

To say, extremity was the trier of spirits ; 
'I hat common chances common men could bear; 
That, when the sea was calm, all boats alike 
Show'd mastership injtoating .-] Thus the second folio. The 
first reads : 

" To say, extreamii/es was the trier of spirits." 
Extremity, in the singular number, is used by our author in 
The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Comedy of Errors, Troilus 
and (.'re sida, &c. 


Trail in 

eneral thought of this passage has already occurred in 
uid Cressidfi. See Vol. XV. p. '261 : 

In the reproof of chance 

Lies the true proof of men : The sea being smooth, 

1 68 CORIOL ANUS. ACT ir. 

A noble cunning : 9 you were us'd to load me 
With precepts, that would make invincible 
The heart that conn'd them. 

VIR. O heavens ! O heavens ! 

COR. Nay, I pr'ythee, woman, 

VOL. Now the red pestilence strike all trades in 

And occupations perish ! 

COR. What, what, what ! 

I shall be lov'd, when I am lack'd. Nay, mother, 
Resume that spirit, when you were wont to say, 
If you had been the wife of Hercules, 
Six of his labours you'd have done, and sav'd 
Your husband so much sweat. Cominius, 
Droop not ; adieu : Farewell, my wife ! my mo- 

I'll do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius, 
Thy tears are salter than a younger man's, 
And venomous to thine eyes. My sometime ge- 
I have seen thee stern, and thou hast oft beheld 

" How many shallow bauble boats dare sail 
" Upon her patient breast, making their way 
" With those of nobler bulk?" STEEVENS. 

When most struck home, being gentle wounded, craves 
A noble cunning .-] This is the ancient and authentick read- 
ing. 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 author's words be- 
fore we go 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 reflec- 
tion 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." 


sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 169 

Heart-hard'ning spectacles ; tell these sad women, 

'Tis fond 1 to wail inevitable strokes, 

As 'tis to laugh at them. My mother, you wot 


My hazards still have been your solace : and 
Believe't not lightly, (though I go alone, 
Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen 
Makes fear'd, and talk'd of more than seen,) your 


Will, or exceed the common, or be caught 
With cautelous baits and practice. 2 

VOL. My first son, 1 

Whither wilt thou go ? Take good Cominius 
With tliee a while : Determine on some course, 
More than a wild exposture to each chance 
That starts i* the way before thee.* 

' Tisjbnd ] i. c. 'tis foolish. See our author, passim. 


* cautelous baits and practice.'] By artful and false tricks, 

and treason. JOHNSON. 

Cautelous, in the present instance, signifies insidious. In 
the sense of cautious it occurs in Julius Ctesar : 

" Swear priests and cowards, and men cautelous" 


1 My first son, 3 First, i. e. noblest, and most eminent of men. 

Mr. Heath would read : 

My fierce son. STEEVENS. 
* More than a wild exposture to each chance 

That starts i' the. nv/y he fore thee.~] I know not whether the 
word exposture be found in any other author. If not, I should 
incline to read exposure. MAI. ONI;. 

We should certainly read exposure. So, in Macbeth: 
" And when we have our naked frailties hid 
" That suffer in exposure, ." 
Again, in T roil us and Cressida; 

" To weaken and discredit our exposure ." 
Expos/ure is, I believe, no more than a typographical error. 



COR. O the gods ! 

COM. I'll follow thee a month, devise with thee 
Where thou shaltrest, that thou may'st hear of us, 
And we of thee : so, if the time thrust forth 
A cause for thy repeal, we shall not send 
O'er the vast world, to seek a single man ; 
And lose advantage, which doth ever cool 
I* the absence of the needer. 

COM. Fare ye well : 

Thou hast years upon thee ; and thou art too full 
Of the wars' surfeits, to go rove with one 
That's yet unbruis'd: bring me but out at gate. 
Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and 
My friends of noble touch, 5 when I am forth, 
Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you, come. 
While I remain above the ground, you shall 
Hear from me still; and never of me aught 
But what is like me formerly. 

MEN. That's worthily 

As any ear can hear. Come, let's not weep. 
If I could shake off but one seven years 
From these old arms and legs, by the good gods, 
I'd with thee every foot. 

COR. Give me thy hand : 

Come. \_Exeunt. 

s My friends of noble touch,'] i. e. of true metal unallayed. 
Metaphor from trying gold on the touchstone. WAUBURTON. 

sc. ii. CORIOLANUS. 17 1 


The same. A Street near the Gate. 
Enter SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and an ^Edile. 

Sic. Bid them all home ; he's gone, and we'll 

no further. 

The nobility are vex'd, who, we see, have sided 
In his behalf. 

BRU. Now we have shown our power, 

Let us seem humbler after it is done, 
Than when it was a doing. 

Sic. Bid them home : 

Say, their great enemy is gone, and they 
Stand in their ancient strength. 

BRU. Dismiss them home. 

[Exit JSdile. 


Here comes his mother. 
Sic. Let's not meet her. 

BRU. Why? 

Sic. They say, she's mad. 

BRU. They have taYn note of us: 

Keep on your way. 

VOL. (), you're well met : The hoarded plague 

o'the gods 
Requite your love ! 

Mi:x. Peace, peace ; be not so loud. 

1 72 CORIOL ANUS. ACT iv. 

VOL. If that I could for weeping, you should 


Nay, and you shall hear some. Will you be gone? 


ViR. You shall stay too: [To SICIN.] I would, 

I had the power 
To say so to my husband. 

Sic. Are you mankind ? 

VOL. Ay, fool ; Is that a shame ? Note but this 


Was not a man my father ? 6 Hadst thou foxship 7 
To banish him that struck more blows for Rome, 
Than thou hast spoken words ? 

Sic. O blessed heavens ! 

VOL. More noble blows, than ever thou wise 
w r ords ; 

" Sic. Are you mankind ? 

Vol. Ay, fool ; Is that a shame ? Note but this fool. 
Was not a man myfother?~] The word mankind is used ma- 
liciously by the first speaker, and taken perversely by the se- 
cond. 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 out this fool. 

Was not a man my father ? JOHNSON. 

So, Jonson, in The Silent Woman ; 

" O mankind generation !" 
Shakspeare himself, in The Winter's Tale : 

" a mankind witch." 

Fairfax, in his translation of Tasso : 

" See, see this mankind strumpet ; see, she cry'd, 
" This shameless whore." 
See Vol. IX. p. 275, n. 1. STEEVENS. 

7 Hadst thoufoxship ] Hadst thou, fool as thou art, mean 
cunning enough to banish Coriolanus ? JOHNSON. 

sc./i. CORIOLANUS. 173 

And for Rome's good. I'll tell thee what; Yet 


Nay, but thou shalt stay too : I would my son 
Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him, 
His good sword in his hand. 

Sic. What then ? 

VIR. What then ? 

He'd make an end of thy posterity. 

VOL. Bastards, and all. 

Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome ! 
MEX. Come, come, peace. 

Sic. I would he had continued to his country, 
As he began ; and not unknit himself 
The noble knot he made. 8 

BRU. I would he had. 

VOL. I would he had ? 'Twas you incens'd the 

rabble : 

Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth, 
As I can of those mysteries which heaven 
Will not have earth to know. 

BRU. Pray, let us go. 

VOL. Now, pray, sir, get you gone : 
You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear 


As far as doth the Capitol exceed 
The meanest house in Rome ; so far, my son, 
(This lady's husband here, this, do you see,) 
Whom you have banish'd, does exceed you all, 

BKU. Well, well, we'll leave you. 

-\mknit himself 

The noble, knot he made.'] So, in A'/N^ Henry IV. P. I: 

" will you again iinknit 

" This churlish knot" he. STEKVKNS. 

1 74 CORIOL ANUS. ACT iv. 

Sic. Why stay we to be baited 

With one that wants her wits ? 

VOL. Take my prayers with you. 

I would the gods had nothing else to do, 

\_Exeunt Tribunes. 

But to confirm my curses ! Could I meet them 
But once a day, it would unclog my heart 
Of what lies heavy to't. 

MEN. You have told them home, 9 

And, by my troth, you have cause. You'll sup 
with me ? 

VOL. Anger's my meat ; I sup upon myself, 
And so shall starve with feeding. 1 Come, let's go: 
Leave this faint puling, and lament as I do, 
In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come. 

MEN. Fye, fye, fye ! \_Exeunt. 


A Highway between Rome and Antium. 
Enter a Roman and a Voice, meeting. 

ROM. I know you well, sir, and you know me ; 
your name, I think, is Adrian. 

VOL. It is so, sir : truly, I have forgot you. 
ROM. I am a Roman ; and my services are, as 
you are, against them : Know you me yet ? 

9 You have told them home,~\ So again, in this play: 
*' I cannot speak him home." MALONE. 

1 And so shall starve with feeding.] This idea is repeated in 
Antony and Cleopatra, Act II. sc. ii. and in Pericles : 

" Who starves the ears shejeeds," &c. STEEVENS. 

x. m. CORIOLANUS. 175 

VOL. Nicanor? No. 

POM. The same, sir. 

VOL. You had more beard, when I last saw you ; 
but your favour is well appeared by your tongue. 2 
What's the news in Rome ? I have a note from 
the Volcian state, to find you out there : You have 
well saved me a day's journey. 

ROM. There hath been in Rome strange insur- 
rection : the people against the senators, patricians, 
and nobles. 

v but your favour is u-ell appeared by your tongue.~\ This 

is strange nonsense. We should read: 

Is ivt'll appealed. 
i. e. brought into remembrance. WARBURTON. 

I would read : 

is rvell affeared. 

That is, strengthened, attested, a word used by our author. 

" His'title isqffear'd." Macbeth. 

To repeal may be to bring to remembrance, but appeal lias 
another meaning. JOH.VSON. 

I would read : 

Your favour is :ce!l approved by your tongue. 
i. e. your tongue confirms the evidence of your face. 
So, in Hamlet, sc. i : 

" That if again this apparition come, 

" lie may approve our eyes, and speak to it." 


If there be any corruption in the old copy, perhaps it rather 
is in a preceding word. Our author might have written your 
favour has well appeared by your tongue : but the old text may, 
in Shakspeare's licentious dialect, be right. Your favour is 
fully manifested, or rendered apparent, by your tongue. 

In support of the old copy it may be observed, that lecomcd 
was formerly used as a participle. So, in North's translation of 
Plutarch, Life of fylla, p. 622, edit. l.;7.->: " which perhaps 
would not have oecomed Pericles or Aristides." We have, I think, 
the same participle in Timon (^'Athens. 
So Chaucer uses dispaircd ; 

" Alas, quod Panclarus, what may this be 
" That thou dispaired art," &c. MALONK. 


VOL. Hath been ! Is it ended then ? Our state 
thinks not so ; they are in a most warlike prepara- 
tion, and hope to come upon them in the heat of 
their division. 

ROM. The main blaze of it is past, but a small 
thing would make it flame again. For the nobles 
receive so to heart the banishment of that worthy 
Coriolanus, that they are in a ripe aptness, to take 
all power from the people, and to pluck from them 
their tribunes for ever. This lies glowing, I can 
tell you, and is almost mature for the violent 
breaking out. 

VOL. Coriolanus banished ? 
ROM. Banished, sir. 

VOL. You will be welcome with this intelligence, 

ROM. The day serves well for them now. I 
have heard it said, The fittest time to corrupt a 
man's wife, is when she's fallen out with her hus- 
band. Your noble Tullus Aufidius will appear 
well in these wars, his great opposer, Coriolanus, 
being now in no request of his country. 

VOL. Pie cannot choose. I am most fortunate, 
thus accidentally to encounter you : You have 
ended my business, and I will merrily accompany 
you home. 

ROM. I shall, between this and supper, tell you 
most strange things from Rome ; all tending to 
the good of their adversaries. Have you an army 
ready, say you ? 

VOL. A most royal one : the centurions, and their 
charges, distinctly billeted, already in the en- 

sc. iv. CORIOLANUS. 177 

tertainment, 3 and to be on foot at an hour's warn- 

ROM. I am joyful to hear of their readiness, and 
am the man, I think, that shall set them in present 
action. So, sir, heartily well met, and most glad 
of your company. 

VOL. You take my part from me, sir; I have 
the most cause to be glad of yours. 

ROM. Well, let us go together. \Exeunt. 


Antium. Before Aufidius's House. 

Enter CORIOLANUS, in mean Apparel, disguised 
and milled. 

COR. A goodly city is this Antium : City, 
'Tis I that made thy widows ; many an heir 
Of these fair edifices 'fore my wars 
Have I heard groan, and drop : then know me not; 
Lest that thy wives with spits, and boys with stones, 

Enter a Citizen. 

In puny battle slay me. Save you, sir. 
ClT. And you. 

already in the entertainment, ~\ That is, though not 
actually encamped, yet already in pay. To entertain an army 
is to take them into pay. JOHNSON. 

See Vol. V. p. 4-2, n. 6. MALONK. 
VOL. XVI. \ 


COR. Direct me, if it be your will, 

Where great Aufidius lies : Is he in Antium ? 

CIT. He is, and feasts the nobles of the state, 
At his house this night. 

COR. Which is his house, 'beseech you ? 

CIT. This, here, before you. 

COR. Thank you, sir ; farewell. 

\JLaAt Citizen. 
O, world, thy slippery turns ! 4 Friends now fast 


Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart, 
Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise, 
Are still together, who twin, as 'twere, in love 5 
Unseparable, shall within this hour, 
On a dissention of a doit, break out 
To bitterest enmity : So, fellest foes, 

1 O, world, thy slippery turns! &c.] This fine picture of 
common friendship, is an artful introduction to the sudden 
league, which the poet made him enter into with Aufidius, and 
no less artful an apology for his commencing enemy to Rome. 


5 Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise, 
Are still together, who twin, as 'twere, in love 3 ^ ur au ~ 

thor has again used this verb in Othello: 

" And he that is approved in this offence, 
" Though he had twinn'd with me, " &c. 
Part of this description naturally reminds us of the following 

lines in A Midsummer- Night's Dream: 

" We, Hermia, like two artificial gods, 

" Have with our neelds created both one flower, 

" Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion, 

" Both warbling of one song, both in one key: 

" As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds, 

" Had been incorporate. So we grew together, 

" Like to a double cherry, seeming parted ; 

" But yet a union in partition, 

" Two lovely berries molded on one stem : 

" So, ivith two seeming bodies, but one heart ; 

" Two of the first," &c. MALONE. 

sc. v. CORIOLANUS. 179 

Whose passions and whose plots have broke their 


To take the one the other, by some chance, 
Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends, 
And interjoin their issues. So with me : 
My birth-place hate I, 6 and my love's upon 
This enemy town. I'll enter: 7 if he slay me, 
He does fair justice ; if he give me way, 
I'll do his country service. [Exit. 


The same. A Hall in Aufidius's House. 
Mustek within. Enter a Servant. 

1 SERF. Wine, wine, wine ! What service is 
here ! I think our fellows are asleep. [Exit. 

Enter another Servant. 

2 SERV. Where's Cotus ? my master calls for 
him. Cotus! [Exit. 

hate /,] The old copy instead of hate reads have. 
The emendation was made by Mr. Steevens. " I'll enter," 
means, Pli enter the house of Aufidius. M ALONE. 

7 This enemy town. Vll enter:'] Here, as in other places, 
our author is indebted to Sir Thomas North's Plutarch : 

" For he disguised him self'e in suchc arraye and attire, as lit- 
thought no man could cuer haue knowen him for the persone 
he was, seeing him in that apparell he had vpon hi* backe : and 
as Homer sayed of I'li/sscs : 

" So dyd he enter into the enemies iwvnc" 

Perhaps, therefore, instead of enemy, we should read cne- 
iiiy'f, or enem/V.v* town. STKKVKNS. 

N '2 

180 COR1OLANUS. ACT iv. 


COR. A goodly house : The feast smells well : 

but I 
Appear not like a guest. 

Re-enter the Jirst Servant. 

1 SERV. What would you have, friend ? Whence 
are you ? Here's no place for you : Pray, go to the 

COR. I have deserv'd no better entertainment, 
In being Coriolanus. 8 

Re-enter second Servant. 

2 SERV. Whence are you, sir ? Has the porter 
his eyes in his head, that he gives entrance to such 
companions? 9 Pray, get you out. 

COR. Away! 

2 SERV. Away ? Get you away. 

COR. Now thou art troublesome. 

2 SERV. Are you so brave ? I'll have you talked 
with anon. 

* In being Coriolanus.] i. e. in having derived that surname 
from the sack of Corioli. STEEVENS. 

9 that he gives entrance to such companions?] Compa- 
nion was formerly used in the same sense as we now use the 
word fellou. MALONE. 

The same term is employed in All's well that ends well, King 
Henry VI. P. II. Cymbelinc, Othello, &c. STEEVENS. 

See also, Lord Clarendon's History, Vol. I. p. 378 : " by 
this means that body in great part now consisted of upstart, 
factious, indigent companions, who were ready" Sfc. The same 
term is still or was so lately in use as to be employed by Mr. 
Foote in 1763, in The Mayor ofGarrett. REED. 

sc. v. CORIOLANUS. 181 

Enter a third Servant. The frst meets him. 

3 SEW. What fellow's this ? 

1 SERF. A strange one as ever I looked on : I 
cannot get him out o'the house : Pr'ythee, call my 
master to him. 

3 SERV. What have you to do here, fellow ? Pray 
you, avoid the house. 

COR. Let me but stand ; I will not hurt your 
hearth. 1 

3 SERF. What are you ? 
COR. A gentleman. 
3 SERF. A marvellous poor one. 
COR. True, so I am. 

3 SERV. Pray you, poor gentleman, take up some 
other station ; here's no place for you ; pray you, 
avoid : come. 

COR. Follow your function, go \ 
And batten on cold bits. [Pushes him away. 

3 SERI\ What, will you not ? Pr'ythee, tell my 
master what a strange guest he has here. 

2 SERV. And I shall. [Exit. 

1 Let me but stand ; I \rill not hurt your hearth.] Here our 
author has both followed and deserted nis original, the old trans- 
lation of Plutarch. The silence of the servants of Aufidius, did 
not suit the purposes of the dramatist : 

" So he went directly to Tullus Aujidiux house, and when he 
came thither, he got him vp straight to the chimney harthe, and 
sat him downc, and spake not a worde to any man, his face all 
muffled oner. They of the house spying him, wondered what 
he should he, and yet they durst not byd him rise. For ill 
fauoredly muffled and disguised as he was, yet there appeared a 
certamc maiestie in his countenance, and in his silence: where- 
upon they went to Tnllus who was at supper, to tell him of the 
straunge disguising of this man." STEEVENS. 


3 SERF. Where dwellest thou ? 

COR. Under the canopy. 

3 SERV. Under the canopy ? 

COR. Ay. 

3 SERF. Where's that ? 

COR. I 1 the city of kites and crows. 

3 SERF. I 3 the city of kites and crows ? What 
an ass it is ! Then thou dwellest with daws too ? 

COR. No, I serve not thy master. 

3 SERF. How, sir ! Do you meddle with my 
master ? 

COR. Ay ; 'tis an honester service than to med- 
dle with thy mistress : 

Thou prat'st, and prat'st ; serve with thy trencher, 
hence ! [Beats him away. 

Enter AUFIDIUS and the second Servant. 

AUF. Where is this fellow ? 

2 SERF. Here, sir j Pd have beaten him like a 
dog, but for disturbing the lords within. 

AUF. Whence comest thou ? what wouldest 

thou ? Thy name ? 
Why speak'st not ? Speak, man: What's thy name? 

COR. If, Tullus, 2 [Unwifffling. 

s If, Tullus, &c.] These speeches are taken from the follow- 
ing in Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch : 

" Tullus rose presently from the horde, and comming towards 
him, asked him what he was, and wherefore he came. Then 
Martius vnmuffled him selfe, and after he had paused a while, 
making no aunswer, he sayed vnto him : 

" If thou knowest me not yet, Tullus, and seeing me, dost 
not perhappes beleeue me to be the man I am in dede, I must of 

sc.r. CORIOLANUS. 183 

Not yet thou know'st me, and seeing me, dost not 
Think me ibr the man I am, necessity 
Commands me name myself. 

AUF. What is thy name ? 

[Servants retire. 

Con. A name unmusical to the Volcians* ears, 
And harsh in sound to thine. 

Ai'F. Say, what's thy name ? 

Thou hast a grim appearance, and thy face 
Hears a command in't ; though thy tackle's torn, 

necessitie bewraye myselfe to be that I am. I am Caius Martius, 
who hath done to thy self particularly, and to all the Voices 
generally, great hurte and mischief, which I cannot denie for my 
surname of Coriolanus that I beare. For I never had other be- 
nefit nor recompence, of all the true and payneful seruice I haue 
done, and the extreme daungers I haue bene in, but this only 
surname : a good memorie and witnes of the malice and dis- 
pleasure thou shouldest bear me. In deede the name only re- 
maineth with me : for the rest the enuie and crueltie of the peo- 
ple of Rome haue taken from me, by the sufferance of the das- 
tardly nobilitic and magistrates, who haue forsaken me, and let 
me be banished by the people. This cxtremitie hath now driueii 
me to come as a poore suter, to take thy chimney harthe, not of 
any hope 1 haue to saue my life thereby. For if I had feared 
death, I would not haue come hither to haue put. my life in ha- 
zard ; but prickt forward with spite and desire I haue to be 
reuenged of them that have banished me, whom now I begin to 
be nuenged on, putting my persone betweene thy enemies. 
Wherefore, if thou hast any harte to be wrecked of the injuries 
thy enemies have done thee, spede thee now, and let my mist He 
seme thy turne, and so vse it, as my seruice mave be a benefit 
to the Voices : promising thee, that I will right with better good 
will for all you, than euer I dyd when I was against you, know- 
ing that they fight more valiantly, who know the force of their 
eneinie, than such as haue neuer proved it. And if it be so that 
thou dart; not, and that thou art wearye to proue fortune any 
moiv, then am I also weary to liue any longer. And it were no 
wisdome in thee, to saue the life of him, who hath bene hereto- 
torr thy mortall enemie, and whose seruice now can nothing 
he! pe nor pleasure thee." STEEVENS. 

1 84 CORIOL ANUS. ACT ir. 

Thou show'st a noble vessel: 3 What's thy name ? 

COR. Prepare thy brow to frown : Know'st thou 
me- yet? 

AUF. I know thee not : Thy name, ? 

COR. My name is Caius Marcius, who hath done 
To thee particularly, and to all the Voices, 
Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may 
My surname, Coriolanus : The painful service, 
The extreme dangers, and the drops of blood 
Shed for my thankless country, are requited 
But with that surname ; a good memory, 4 
And witness of the malice and displeasure 
Which thou should'st bear me : only that name 

remains ; 

The cruelty and envy of the people, 
Permitted by our dastard nobles, who 
Have all forsook me, hath devoured the rest ; 
And suffered me by the voice of slaves to be 
Whoop* d out of Rome. Now, this extremity 
Hath brought me to thy hearth ; Not out of hope. 
Mistake me not, to save my life ; for if 
I had fear'd death, of all the men i' the world 
I would have 'voided thee : 5 but in mere spite, 

3 though thy tackle's torn, 

Thou shovo'st a noble vessel : j A corresponding idea occurs 
in Cymbeline: 

" The ruin speaks, that sometime 

It was a worthy building." STEEVENS. 

4 a good memory,] The Oxford editor, not knowing 

that memory was used at that time for memorial, alters it to me* 
mortal. JOHNSON. 

See the note in the preceding page. MALOXE. 
And Vol. VIII. p. i7, n. 9. REED. 

5 of all the men i* the world 

I ijooidc have 'voided thee:~] So, in Macbeth: 

" Of all men else I have avoided thee." STEEVENS. 

sc. v. CORIOLANUS. 185 

To be full quit of those my banishers, 
Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast 
A heart of wreak in thee, 6 that will revenge 
Thine own particular wrongs, and stop those maims 
Of shame 7 seen through thy country, speed thee 


And make my misery serve thy turn ; so use it, 
That my revengeful services may prove 
As benefits to thee ; for I will fight 
Against my canker'd country with the spleen 
Of all the under fiends. 8 But if so be 

G A heart of wreak in thec,~] A heart of resentment. 


Wreak is an ancient term for revenge. So, in Titus Andro- 
nicits : 

" Take wreak on Rome for this ingratitude." 
Again, in Gower, De Confessione Amantis, Lib. V. fol. 83 : 

" She saith that hir selfe she sholde 

" Do wreche with hir own honde." 
Again, in Chapman's version of the 5th Iliad : 

" if he should pursue Sarpedon's life, 

" Or take his friends wrcakc on his men." STEEVENS. 


Of shame ] That is, disgraceful diminutions of territory. 


* ivith the spleen 

Of all the under fiends.] Shakspeare, by imputing a stronger 
degree of inveteracy to subordinate fiends, seems to intimate, and 
very justly, that malice of revenge is more predominant in the 
lower than the upper classes of society. This circumstance is 
repeatedly exemplified in the conduct of Jack Cade and other 
heroes of the mob. STKEVENS. 

Tliis appears to me to be refining too much. Under fiends in 
this passage docs not mean, as I conceive, fiends subordinate, or 
in an inj'frior station, but infernal Rends. So, in A'. Henri/ VI. 

" Now, ye familiar spirits, that are call'd 
" Out of the powerful regions under earth," &c. 
In Shakspeare's time some fiends were supposed to inhabit the 
air, others to dwell under ground, &c. M ALONE. 


Thou dar'st not this, and that to prove more for- 

Thou art tir'd, then, in a word, I also am 
Longer to live most weary, and present 
My throat to thee, and to thy ancient malice : 
Which not to cut, would show thee but a fool ; 
Since I have ever followed thee with hate, 
Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country's breast, 
And cannot live but to thy shame, unless 
It be to do thee service. 

AUF. O Marcius, Marcius, 

Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my 


A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter 
Should from yon cloud speak divine things, and 


'Tis true ; I'd not believe them more than thee, 
All noble Marcius. O, let me twine 
Mine arms about that body, where against 
My grained ash an hundred times hath broke, 
And scar'd the moon 9 with splinters ! Here I clip 

. As Shakspeare uses the word under-sk'mker, to express the 
lowest rank of waiter, I do not find myself disposed to give up 
ray explanation of under fiends. Instances, however, of " too 
much refinement" are not peculiar to me. STEEVENS. 

9 And scar'd the moon ] [Old copy scarr'd,] I believe, 
rightly. The modern editors read scar'd, that is, frightened ; 
a reading to which the following line in King Richard III. cer- 
tainly adds some support : 

" Amaze the welkin with your broken staves.'* 


I read with the modern editors, rejecting the Chrononhoton- 
thological idea of scarifying the moon. The verb to scare is 
again written scarr, in the old cony of The Winter's Tale : 
" They have scarr' d away two of my best sheep." 


sc. v. CORIOLANUS. 187 

The anvil of my sword ;' and do contest 
As hotly and as nobly with thy love, 
As ever in ambitious strength I did 
Contend against thy valour. Know thou first, 
I loved the maid I married ; never man 
Sighed truer breath ; 2 but that I see thee here, 
Thou noble thing ! more dances my rapt heart, 
Than when I first my wedded mistress saw 
Bestride my threshold. 3 Why, thou Mars ! I tell 


We have a power on foot ; and I had purpose 
Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn, 
Or lose mine arm for't : Thou hast beat me out 

1 Here I clip 

The anvil of my sword ;] To clip is to embrace. So, in 
Antony and Cleopatra: 

" Enter the city, clip your wives ." 

Aufidius styles Coriolanus the anvil of his sword, because he 
had formerly laid as heavy blows on him, as a smith strikes on 
his anvil. So, in Hamlet : 

" And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall 

" On Mars's armour 

" "With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword 
" Now falls on Priam." STEEVENS. 

never man 

Sigh'd truer breath ;] The same expression is found in our 
author's Venus and Adonis: 

" I'll sigh celestial breath, whose gentle wind 
" Shall cool the heat of this descending sun." 
Again, in The Tivo Noble Kinsmen, by Shakspeare and Fletcher, 
1 fi.'J-J- : 

" Lover never yet m;\de *ih 
" True? than L" MAI.ONK. 

1 Bestride ?y threshold.] Shakspeare was unaware that a 
Roman bride, on her entry into her husband's house, was pro- 
hibited from bestriding his threshold ; and that, lest she should 
even touch it, she was always lilted over it. Thus, Lucan, 
f.. -59: 

Tralata vet nit contingerc limiiia planla. Sri-'icvrN--. 


Twelve several times, 4 and I have nightly since 
Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and me ; 
We have been down together in my sleep, 
Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat, 
And wak'd half dead 5 with nothing. Worthy Mar- 


Had we no quarrel else to Rome, but that 6 
Thou art thence banish* d, we would muster all 
From twelve to seventy ; and, pouring war 
Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome, 
Like a bold flood o'er-beat. 7 O, come, go in, 
And take our friendly senators by the hands ; 
Who now are here, taking their leaves of me, 
Who am prepar'd against your territories, 
Though not for Rome itself. 

COR. You bless me, Gods ! 

4 Thou hast beat me out 

Twelve several times,'] Out here means, I believe,^//, com- 
plete. MALONE. 

So, in The Tempest: 

" for then thou wast not 

" Out three years old." STEEVENS. 

* And uak'd half dead ] Unless the two preceding lines be 
considered as parenthetical, here is another instance of our au- 
thor's concluding a sentence, as if the former part had been con- 
structed differently. " We have been down," must be considered 
as if he had written I have been down "with you, in my sleep, 
and ixak'd, &c. See Vol. XV. p. 115, n. 6; and Vol. VIII. 
p. 208, n. 8, and p. 392, n. 7. MALONE. 

6 Had rtr no quarrel else to Rome, but that ] The old copy, 
redundantly, and unnecessarily : 

" Had we no other quarrel else" $c. STEEVENS. 

" Like a bold flood o'er-bcrtt.'] Though this is intelligible, and 
the reading of the old copy, perhaps our author wrote o'er-bear. 
So, in Othello: 

" Is of such flood-gate and o'er-beanng nature ." 


sc. r. CORIOLANUS. 189 

AUF. Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou wilt 


The leading of thine own revenges, take 
The one half of my commission ; and set down, 
As best thou art experienced, since thou know'st 
Thy country's strength and weakness, thine own 

ways : 

Whether to knock against the gates of Rome, 
Or rudely visit them in parts remote, 
To fright them, ere destroy. But come in : 
Let me commend thee first to those, that shall 
Say, yca^ to thy desires. A thousand welcomes! 
And more a friend than e'er an enemy j 
Yet, Marcius, that was much. Your hand ! Most 

welcome ! 

1 SERV. [Advancing."] Here's a strange altera- 
tion ! 

2 SERV. By my hand, I had thought to have 
strucken him with a cudgel ; and yet my mind gave 
me, his clothes made a false report of him. 

1 SERV. What an arm he has ! He turned me 
about with his ringer and his thumb, as one would 
set up a top. 

2 SERV. Nay, I knew by his face that there was 
something in him : He had, sir, a kind of face, 
methought, I cannot tell how to term it. 

1 SERV. He had so ; looking as it were, 

'Would I were hanged, but I thought there was 
more in him than I could think. 

2 SERV. So did I, I'll be sworn : lie is simply 
the rarest man i' the world. 

1 SERV. I think, he is : but a greater soldier than 
lie, vou wot one. 


2 SERV. Who ? my master ? 

1 SEW. Nay, it's no matter for that. 

2 SERV. Worth six of him. 

1 SERV. Nay, not so neither ; but I take him to 
be the greater soldier. 

2 SERV. 'Faith, look you, one cannot tell how 
to say that : for the defence of a town, our general 
is excellent. 

l SERV. Ay, and for an assault too. 

Re-enter third Servant. 

3 SERV. O, slaves, I can tell you news ; news, 
you rascals. 

1. 2. SERV. What, what, what? let's partake. 

3 SERV. I would not be a Roman, of all nations; 
I had as lieve be a condemned man. 

1.2. SERV. Wherefore? wherefore? 

3 SERV. Why, here's he that was wont to thwack 
our general, Caius Marcius. 

1 SERV. Why do you say, thwack our general ? 

3 SERV. I do not say, thwack our general ; but 
he \vas alw r ays good enough for him. 

2 SERV. Come, w r e 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 have broiled and eaten him too. 8 

8 he might have broiled and eaten him too.] The old copy 

reads boiled. The change was made by Mr. Pope. MALONE. 

sc. r. CORIOLANUS. 191 

1 SERV. But, more of thy news? 

3 SERF. 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 a mistress of him ; sanctifies 
himself with's hand, 9 and turns up the white o'the 
eve 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 lias 
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 : l He will mow down all before 
him, and leave his passage polled. 2 

sanctifes 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 
continuation. MA LONE. 

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. STEEVEXS. 

1 //<'// sowle the porter nf Home gates by the ears : ] That 

H, I suppose, drag him down by the ears into the dirt. Suii'ller, 
l ; r. JOHN-SON. 

Dr. Johnson's supposition, though not his derivation, is just. 
Skinner says the word is derived from .you?, i. e. to take hold of a. 
person by the cars, as a dog seizes one of these animal*. So, Hey- 
wood, in a comedy called Love' a Mistress, 1636: 
" Venus ici/l sotclf vie by the cars for this." 

Perhaps Shakspeare's allusion is to Hercules dragging out Cer- 
hertis. STE EVENS. 

Whatever the etymology of sorvlc may be, it appears to have 
been a familiar word in the last century. Lord Stratford's cor- 
respondent, Mr. Garrard, uses it as Shakspeare does. Strnff. 
Lett. Vol. II. p. 1 i;j : " A lieutenant soled him ivell by tltt <;ur*, 


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 

and drew him by the hair about the room." Lord Strafford him- 
self uses it in another sense, Vol. II. p. 138 : " It is ever a hope- 
ful 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. THEOBALD. 

Cole, in his Latin Dictionary, 1679, renders it, aurem summa 
vi vellere. MALONE. 

To soivle is still in use for pulling, dragging, and lugging, in 
the West of England. S. W. 

1 his passage polled.'] That is, bared, cleared. 


To poll a person anciently meant to cut off his hair. So, in 
Damcetas' Madrigall in Praise of his Daphnis, by J. Wooton, 
published in E?igland's Helicon, quarto, 1600: 

" Like Nisus golden hair that Scilla pol'd." 
It likewise signified to cut off' the head. So, in the ancient 
metrical history of the battle ofFloddon Field: 
" But now we will withstand his grace, 
" Or thousand heads shall there be polled." 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 andpoul'd too unconscionably." PouVd is the spelling of 
the old copy of Coriolunus also. MALONE. 

3 whilst he's in directitude.] I suspect the author wrote: 

whilst he's in discrcditude ; 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. 


sc. v. CORIOLANUS. 193 

again, and the man in blood,* they will out of their 
burrows, like conies after rain, and revel all with 

1 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 exe- 
cuted ere they wipe their lips. 

2 SERV. Why, then we shall have a stirring 
world again. This peace is nothing, but to rust 
iron, increase tailors, and breed ballad-makers. 5 

1 SERV. Let me have war, say I ; it exceeds 
peace, as far as day does night ; it's spritcly, wak- 
ing, audible, and full of vent. 6 Peace is a very 
apoplexy, lethargy ; mulled, 7 deaf, sleepy, in- 
sensible ; a getter of more bastard children, than 
wars a destroyer of men. 8 

in blood,'] See p. la, n. 1. MA LONE. 

3 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 out, &c. MA LOSE. 

Sir Thomas Hanmer reads is ivorth nothing, &c. 


6 - full o/'vent.] Full of rumour, full of materials for dis- 
eoursc. JOHNSON. 

7 - mulled,'] i. c. softened and dispirited, as wine is when 
burnt and sweetened. Lat. Moll it us. HANMER. 

than wars a destroyer of mm.] i. e. than irars arc a 

destroyer of men. Our author almost every where uses jiw.v in 
the plural. See the next speech. Mr. Pope, not attending to 
this, reads than tvnr'.v, <!vc. which all the subsequent editors 
have adopted. Walking, the reading of the old copy in this 
speech, was rightly corrected by him. MAI.ONK. 

I should have persisted in adherence to the reading of Mr. 
Pope, had not a similar irregularity in speech occurred in All\ 
that ends ur/Y, Act II. sc. i. where the second Lord says 

vol.. xvr. o 

1 94 CORrOL ANUS. ACT ir. 

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. 

ALL. In, in, in, in. [Exeunt. 


Rome. A publick Place. 

Sic. We hear not of him, neither need we fear 

him ; 
His remedies are tame i j the present peace 9 

" O, 'tis brave wars!" as we have here " txars may be said to 
be a ravisher" 

Perhaps, however, in all these instances, the old blundering 
transcribers or printers, may have given us ivars instead of war. 


9 His remedies are tame i* the present peace ] The old read- 
ing is : 

" His remedies are tame, the present peace." 
I do not understand either line, but fancy it should be read thus: 

neither need ivcjear him ; 

His remedies are ta'en, the present peace 

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 re- 
medies against him are taken, by restoring peace and quietness. 


sc. vi. CORIOLANUS. 195 

And quietness o' the people, which before 
Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends 
Blush, that the world goes well ; who rather had, 
Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold 
Dissentious numbers pestering streets, than see 
Our tradesmen singing in their shops, and going 
About their functions friendly. 


BRU. We stood to't in good time. Is this Me- 

nenius ? 

Sic. 'Tis he, 'tis he : O, he is grown most kind 
Of late. Hail, sir! 

MEX. Hail to you both ! * 

I rather suppose the meaning of Sicinius to be this : 

His remedies arc 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 
ivild were, I believe, designedly opposed to each other. 


In, [z* the present peace] which was omitted in the old copy, 
was inserted by Mr. Theobald. MA LONE. 

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 n 
modern editor:) 

Of laic Hail, .sir ! 

Bru. Hail, sir! 

Men. Hail to you both ! 



Sic. Your Cori claims, sir, is not much miss'd, 2 
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 j his mother and his 

Hear nothing from him. 

Enter Three or Four Citizens. 

CIT. The gods preserve you both ! 

Sic. Good-e'en, our neighbours. 

BRU. Good-e'en to you all, good-e'en to you all. 

1 CIT. Ourselves, our wives, and children, on 

our knees, 
Are bound to pray for you both. 

Sic. Live, and thrive ! 

BRU. Farewell, kind neighbours : We wish'd 

Had lov'd you as we did. 

CIT. Now the gods keep you ! 

BOTH TRI. Farewell, farewell. 

\JLxeunt Citizens. 

Sic. This is a happier and more comely time, 
Than when these fellows ran about the streets, 
Crying, Confusion. 

- Your Coriolanus, sir, is not much miss'd,~] I have admitted 
the word sir, for the sake of measure. STEEVENS. 

sc. vi. CORIOLANUS. 197 

BRU. Caius Marcius was 

A worthy officer i* tlie war ; but insolent, 
O'ercome with pride, ambitious past all thinking, 

Sic. And affecting one sole throne, 

Without assistance. 3 

MEN. I think not so. 

Sic. We should by this, to all our lamentation, 
If he had gone forth consul, found it so. 

BRU. The gods have well prevented it, and Rome 
Sits safe and still without him. 

Enter ^Edile. 

sEn. Worthy tribunes, 

There is a slave, whom we have put in prison, 
JReports, the Voices witli two several powers 
Are enter'd in the Roman territories ; 
And with the deepest malice of the war 
Destroy what lies before them. 

MEX. 'Tis Aufiditis, 

Who, hearing of our Marcius* banishment, 
Thrusts forth his horns a;ain into the world ; 

affecting one sole l/troxc, 

Without assistance.] That is, without asscssr,)-* ; without any 
other suffrage. JOHNSON. 

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 Shakspcare instead of assistance 
wrote assistant. Thus in the old copies of our author, we have 
ingrcdience for ingredien/y, occurrence for occurren/*-, &c. 



Which were inshell'd, when Marcius stood for 

Rome, 4 
And durst not once peep out. 

Sic. Come, what talk you 

Of Marcius ? 

BRU. Go see this rumourer whipp'd. It cannot 

The Voices dare break with us. 

MEN? Cannot be ! 

We have record, that very well it can ; 
And three examples of the like have been 
Within my age. But reason with the fellow, 5 
Before you punish him, where he heard this : 
Lest you shall chance to whip your information, 
And beat the messenger who bids beware 
Of what is to be dreaded. 

Sic. Tell not me : 

I know, this cannot be. 

BRU. Not possible, 

Enter a Messenger. 

MESS. Thenobles,in great earnestness, are going 
All to the senate house : some news is come,'' 

4 stood for Rome,"] i. e. stood up in its defence. Had 
the expression in the text been met with in a learned author, it 
might have passed for a Latinism : 

" summis stantem pro turribus Idam." 

JEneid IX. 575. STEEVENS. 

5 reason with the fellow, ~] That is, have some talk with 

him. In this sense Shakspeare often uses the word. Vol. IV. 
p. 210, n. 8. JOHNSON. 

aome news is come,'] Old copy redundantly, some 

news is come in. The second folio coming; but I think, erro- 
neously. STEEVENS. 

sc. vi. CORIOLANUS. 199 

That turns their countenances. 7 

Sic. J Tis this slave ; 

Go whip him 'fore the people's eyes : his raising ! 
Nothing but his report ! 

MESS. Yes, worthy sir, 

The slave's report is seconded ; and more, 
More fearful, is deliver'd. 

Sic. What more fearful ? 

J\!ESS. It is spoke freely out of many mouths, 
(How probable, I do not know,) that Marcius, 
Join'd with Aufidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome ; 
And vows revenge as spacious, as between 
The young'st and oldest thing. 

Sic. This is most likely ! 

BRU. Rais'd only, that the weaker sort may wish 
Good Marcius home again. 

Sic. The very trick on't. 

Mi:x. This is unlikely : 
He and Aufidius can no more atone, 8 

some ncius is come, 

Thai turns their countenances."] i. e. that renders their aspect 
unnr. This allusion to the acescence of milk occurs again in 
Timon of Athens ; 

" Has friendship such a faint and milky heart, 
" It turns in less than two nights . ? " MALONE. 

1 believe nothing more is meant than changes their counte- 
nances. So, in Cymbeline: 

" Change you, madam ? 

" The noble Leonatus is in safety." STEEVENS. 

v can no more atone,] To atone, in the active sense, is to 

reconcile, and is so used by our author. To alone here, is in the 
neutral sense, to coma to reconciliation. To atone is to unite. 


The etymology of this verb may be known from the following 


Than violentest contrariety. 9 

Enter another Messenger. 

MESS. You are sent for to the senate : 
A fearful army, led by Caius Marcius, 
Associated with Aufidius, rages 
Upon our territories ; and have already, 
O'erborne their way, consumed with fire, and took 
What lay before them. 


COM. O, you have made good work ! 

MEN. What news ? what news ? 

COM. You have holp to ravish your own daugh- 
ters, and 

To melt the city leads 1 upon your pates ; 
To see your wives dishonour'd to your noses ; 

passage in the second Book of Sidney's Arcadia ; " Necessitie 
made us see, that a common enemie sets at one a civill warre." 


Atone seems to be derived from at and one ; to reconcile to, 
or, to be at, union. In some books of Shakspeare's age I have 
found the phrase in its original form : " to reconcile and make 
them at one." MALONE. 

violentest contrariety. ~\ I should read violentest con- 

trariet/e,?. M. MASON. 

Mr. M. Mason might have supported his conjecture by the 
following passage in King Lear ; 

" No contraries hold more antipathy 

" Than I and such a knave." STEEVEKS. 

the city leads ] Our author, I believe, was here 

thinking of the old city gates of London. MALONE. 

The same phrase has occurred already, in this play. See 
p. 78. Leads were not peculiar to our city gates. Few ancient 
houses of consequence were without them. STEEVENS. 

sc. vi. CORIOLANUS. 201 

What's the news ? what's the news ? 

COM. Your temples burned in their cement ; and 
Your franchises, whereon you stood, conmi'd 
Into an augre's bore. 2 

MEN. Pray now, your news ? 

You have made fair work, I fear me : Pray, your 

news ? 
If Marcius should be join'd with Volcians, - 

COM. If! 

He is their god ; he leads them like a thing 
Made by some other deity than nature, 
That shapes man better : and they follow him, 
Against us brats, with no less confidence, 
Than boys pursuing summer butterflies, 
Or butchers killing flies. 

MEN. You have made good work, 

You, and your apron men ; you that stood so much 
Upon the voice of occupation, 3 and 
The breath of garlick-eaters ! 4 


Into an augre's bore.'] So, in Macbeth : 

" our fate hid in an augre-hole." STKEVENS. 

J Upon the voice of occupation,] Occupation is here used for 
mechanicksy men occupied in daily business. So again, in Julius 
C<zsar, Act I. sc. ii : " An I had been a man of any occupation ," 

So, Horace uses artcs for artifices, : 

" Urit enim fulgore suo, qui pni'gravat artes 
" Infra se positus." ?I!ALOXK. 

In the next page but one, the word crafts is used in the like 
manner, where Menenius says : 

" you have made fair hands, 

" You, and your crafts /" M. MASON. 

' The breath qfgarlick-ealers!] 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. 



COM. He will shake 

Your Home about your ears. 

MEN. As Hercules 

Did shake down mellow fruit: 5 You have made 
fair work ! 

BRU. But is this true, sir ? 

COM. Ay ; and you'll look pale 

Before you find it other. All the regions 
Do smilingly revolt ; 6 and, who resist, 
Are only mock'd for valiant ignorance, 7 

So, in Measure for Measure : " he would mouth with a 
beggar, though she smelled brown bread and garlick." 


To smell of leeks was no less a mark of vulgarity among the 
Koman people in the time of Juvenal. Sat. iii : 

" quis tecum sectile porrum 

" Sutor, et elixi vervecis labra comedit?" 

And from the following passage in Deckar's If this be not a 
good Play the Devil is in it, 1612, it should appear that garlick 
was once much used in England, and afterwards as much out of 
fashion : 

" Fortune favours nobody but garlic?;, nor garlick neither 
now ; yet she has strong reason to love it : for though garlick 
made her smell abominably in the nostrils of the gallants, yet she 
had smelt and stunk worse for garlick" 

Hence, perhaps, the cant denomination Pil-garlick for a de- 
serted fellow, a person left to suffer without friends to assist 

5 As Hercules &c.] A ludicrous allusion to the apples of the 
Hesperides. STEEVENS. 

c Do smilingly revolt ;] Smilingly is the word in the old copy, 
for which seemingly has been printed in late editions. 

To revolt smilingly is to revolt with signs of pleasure, or with 
marks of contempt. STEEVENS. 

' Are only mock' d for valiant ignorance,] So, in Troilus and 
Cressida : " I had rather be a tick in a sheep, than such a va- 
liant ignorance'* 

The adverb only, was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer to 
complete the verse. STEEVENS. 

sc. vi. CORIOLANUS. 20* 

And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame 

him ? 
Your enemies, and his, find something in him. 

MEX. We are all undone, unless 
The noble man have mercy. 

COM. Who shall ask it ? 

The tribunes cannot do't for shame; the people 
Deserve such pity of him, as the wolf 
Does of the shepherds : for his best friends, if they 
Should say, Be good to Rome, they charg'd him * 


As those should do that had deserv'd his hate, 
And therein show'd like enemies. 

MEN. 5 Tis true : 

If he were putting to my house the brand 
That should consume it, I have not the face 
To say, ^ Beseech you, cease. You have made fair 

You, and your crafts ! you have crafted fair ! 

COM. You have brought 

A trembling upon Rome, such as was never 
So incapable of help. 

TRI. Say not, we brought it. 

MEN. How! Was it we? We lov'd him; but, 

like beasts, 
And cowardly nobles, 9 gave way to your clusters, 

8 they charg'd him cl-c.] Their charge or injunction would 

show them insensible of his wrongs, and make them xhmu like 
enemies. JOHNSON. 

They charged, and therein .v/unoV, has here the force of They 
iKOuld charge, and therein show. MA LO x E. 

9 And cowardly nobles,~\ I suspect that our author wrote 
coward, which he sometimes uses adjectively. So, in A'. John : 
" Than e'er the coward hand of France can win." 



Who did hoot him out o'the city. 

COM. But, I fear 

They'll roar him in again. 1 Tullus Aufidius, 
The second name of men, obeys his points 
As if he were his officer : Desperation 
Is all the policy, strength, and defence, 
That Rome can make against them. 

Enter a Troop of Citizens. 

MEN. Here come the clusters. 

And is Aufidius with him ? You are they 
That made the air unwholesome, when you cast 
Your stinking, greasy caps, in hooting at 
Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming ; 
And not a hair upon a soldier's head, 
Which will not prove a whip ; as many coxcombs, 
As you threw caps up, will he tumble down, 
And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter ; 
If he could burn us all into one coal, 
We have deserv'd it. 

CIT. 'Faith, we hear fearful news. 

1 CIT. For mine own part, 
When I said, banish him, I said, 'twas pity. 

2 CIT. And so did I. 

3 CIT. And so did I ; and, to say the truth, ,so 
did very many of us : That we did, we did for the 
best: and though we willingly consented to his 
banishment, yet it was against our will. 

COM. You are goodly things, you voices ! 
MEN. You have made 

1 Thcifllroar 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. JOHNSON. 

sc. vi. CORIOLANUS. 205 

Good work, you and your cry ! 2 Shall us to the 
Capitol ? 

COM. O, ay ; what else ? 

[Exeunt COM. and MEN. 

Sic. Go, masters, getyouhome, benot dismay'd; 
These are a side, that would be glad to have 
This true, which they so seem to fear. Go home, 
And show no sign of fear. 

1 CIT. The gods be good to us ! Come, masters, 
let's home. I ever said, we were i' the wrong, when 
we banished him. 

2 CIT. So did we all. But come, let's home. 

[Exeunt Citizens. 

BRU. I do not like this news. 
Sic. Nor I. 

BRU. Let's to the Capitol -.'Would, half my 

Would buy this for a lie 1 

Sic. Pray, let us go. 


9 you and your cry !] Alluding to a pack of hounds. 

So, in Hamlet, a company of players are contemptuously called 
aery of players. See p. 163, n. 1. 

Ihis phrase was not antiquated in the time of Milton, who has 
it in his Paradise Lost, B. II : 

" A cri/ of hell-hounds never ceasing bark'd." 




A Camp ; at a small distance from Rome. 
Enter AUFIDIUS, and his Lieutenant. 

AUF. Do they still fly to the Roman ? 

LIEU. I do not know what witchcraft's in him ; 


Your soldiers use him as the grace 'fore meat, 
Their talk at table, and their thanks at end ; 
And YOU are darken' d in this action, sir, 
Even by your own. 

AUF. I cannot help it now; 

Unless, by using means, I lame the foot 
Of our design. He bears himself more proudlier 
Even to my person, than I thought he would, 
When first I did embrace him : Yet his nature 
In that's no changeling ; and I must excuse 
What cannot be amended. 

LIEU. Yet I wish, sir, 

(I mean, for your particular,) you had not 
Join'd in commission with him : but either 
Had borne 3 the action of yourself, or else 
To him had left it solely. 

* more proudlier ] We have already had in this play 

more worthier, as in Timon of Athens, Act IV. sc. i. we have 
more kinder; yet the modern editors read here more proudly. 


3 Had borne ] The old copy reads have borne; which 
cannot be right. For the emendation now made I am answer- 
able. MALONE. 

I suppose the word had, or hare, to be alike superfluous, and 
that the passage should be thus regulated : 

sc. vn. CORIOLANUS. 207 

AUF. I understand thce well ; and be thou sure, 
When he shall come to his account, he knows not 
What I can urge against him. Although it seems, 
And SQ he thinks, and is no less apparent 
To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly, 
And shows good husbandry for the Volcian state; 
Fights dragon-like, and does achieve as soon 
As draw his sword : yet he hath left undone 
That, which shall break his neck, or hazard mine, 
Whene'er we come to our account. 

LIEU. Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry 
Rome ? 

AUF. All places yield to him ere he sits down ; 
And the nobility of Rome are his : 
The senators, and patricians, love him too : 
The tribunes are no soldiers ; and their people 
Will be as rash in the repeal, as hasty 
To expel him thence. I think, he'll be to Rome, 
As is the osprey 4 to the fish, who takes it 

but cither borne 

The. action of yourself, or ehe to him 
Had It' ft it solely. STI: EVENS. 
H An /'.v the osprey ] Osprei/, a kind of eagle, ossifraga. 


\\Y find in Michael Drayton's Polyolbion t Song XXV. :i full 
account of the uspn-y, which shows the justness and beauty of 
the simile : 

" The osprey, oft here seen, though seldom here it breeds, 
" Which over them \\\vjish no sooner doth espy, 
" But, betwixt him and them by an antipathy, 
" Turning their bellies up, as though theirdeath they saw, 
" They at his pleasure lie, to stuff his gluttonous maw." 

So, in The Battle of Alcazar, 1,391. : 

" I will provide thee with a princely osprey, 
" That as she flieth over fish in pools, 
" The fish shall turn their glitt'ring bellies up, 
" And thou shall take thy liberal choice of all." 
Such is the fabulous history of the osprey. I learn, however, 
from Mr. Lambe's notes to the ancient metrical legend of Tie 


By sovereignty of nature. First he was 
A noble servant to them ; but he could not 
Carry his honours even : whether 'twas pride, 
Which out of daily fortune ever taints 
The happy man ; whether 5 defect of judgment, 
To fail in the disposing of those chances 
Which he was lord of; or whether nature, 
Not to be other than one thing, not moving 
From the casque to the cushion, but commanding 


Even with the same austerity and garb 
As he control!' d the war ; but, one of these, 
(As he hath spices of them all, not all, 6 
For I dare so far free him,) made him fear'd, 
So hated, and so banish'd: But he has a merit, 
To choke it in the utterance. 7 So our virtues 

Battle of Floddon, that the osprey is a " rare, large, blackish 
hawk, with a long neck, and blue legs. Its prey is fish, and it 
is sometimes seen hovering over the Tweed." STEEVENS. 

The osprey is a different bird from the sea eagle, to which the 
above quotations allude, but its prey is the same. See Pennant's 
British Zoology, 46. Linn. Syst. Nat. 129. HARRIS. 

5 whether 'twas pride, 

Which out of dally fortune ever taints 

The happy man ; whether &c.] Aufidius assigns three pro- 
bable 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 uni- 
formity 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. 


As he hath spices of them all, not all,'] i. e. not all complete, 
not all in their full extent. MALONE. 
So, in The Winter's Tale : 

" for all 

" Thy by-gone fooleries were but spices of it." 


7 he has a merit, 

To choke it in the utterance.'] He has a merit, for no other 
purpose than to destroy it by boasting it. JOHNSON. 


Lie in the interpretation of the time : 
And power, unto itself most commendable, 
Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair 
To extol what it hath done. 8 
One fire drives out one tire ; one nail, one nail ; 
Rights by rights fouler, 9 strengths by strengths do 

8 And power, unto itself most commendable, 
Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair 

To extol ivhat it hath done.~\ This is a common thought, 
but miserably ill expressed. The sense is, the virtue which de- 
lights to commend itself, will find the surest tomb in that chair 
wherein it holds forth its own commendations : 

" unto itself most commendable." 

i. e. which hath a very high opinion of itself. WARBURTON. 

If our author meant to place Coriolanus in tins chair, he must 
have forgot his character, for, as Mr. M. Mason lias justly ob- 
served, he has already been described as one who was so far from 
being a boaster, that he could not endure to hear "his nothings 
monster'd." But I rather believe, " in the utterance" alludes 
not to Coriolanus himself, but to the high encomiums pronounced 
on him by his friends ; and then the lines of Horace, quoted in 
p. 201, may serve as a comment on the passage before us. 

A passage in Troilns and Cresxida, however, may be urged in 
support of Dr. Warburton's interpretation : 

" The worthiness of praise distains his worth, 

" If that the prais'd himself bring the praise forth." 

Yet I still think that our poet did not mean to represent Co- 
riolanus as his own eulogist. MALONE. 

A sentiment of a similar nature is expressed by Adam, in the 
second scene of the second Act of As you like it, where he says 
to Orlando : 

" Your praise is come too swiftly home before you. 

" Know you not, master, to some kind of men 

" Their graces serve them but as enemies ? 

" No more do yours; your virtues, gentle master, 

" Are sanctified and holy traitors to you." M. MASON. 

The passage before us, and the comments upon it, are, to me 
at least, equally unintelligible. STI:I:V;;NS. 

" Rights by rights fouler,'] Thus the old cony. Modern edi- 
tors, with less obscurity Right's by right fouler, &c. i. e. What 
VOL. XVI. 1' 


Come, let's away. When, Caius, Rome is thine, 
Thou art poor'st of all ; then shortly art thou mine. 


is already right, and is received as such, becomes less clear when 
supported by supernumerary proofs. Such appears to me to be 
the meaning of this passage, which may be applied with too 
much justice to many of my own comments on Shakspeare. 

Dr.Warburton would read -fouled, fromjbuler, Fr. to trample 
under foot. There is undoubtedly such a word in Sidney's 
Arcadia, edit. 1633, p. 441 ; but it is not easily applicable to our 
present subject: 

" Thy all-beholding eyefoul'd with the sight." 

The same word likewise occurs in the following proverb 
York doth foul Sutton i. e. exceeds it on comparison, and makes 
it appear mean and poor. STEEVEXS. 

Right's by right fouler, may well mean, " That one right or 
title, when produced, makes another less fair." All the short 
sentences in this speech of Aufidius are obscure, and some of 
them nonsensical. M. MASON. 

I am of Dr. Warburton's opinion that this is nonsense ; and 
would read, with the slightest possible variation from the old 
copies : 

Rights by rights foul are, strengths &c. RITSON. 

Rights by rights fouler, &c.] These words which are exhi- 
bited exactly as they appear in the old copy, relate, I apprehend, 
to the rivalship subsisting between Aujidius and Coriolanus, not to 
the preceding observation concerning the ill effect of extravagant 
encomiums. As one nail, says Aufidius, drives out another, so 
the strength of Coriolanus shall be subdued by my strength, and 
his pretensions yield to others, less fair perhaps, but more powerful. 
Aufidius has already declared that he will either break the neck 
of Coriolanus, or his own; and now adds, that jure vel injuriti 
he will destroy him. 

I suspect that the words, " Come let's away," originally com- 
pleted the preceding hemistich, " To extol what it hath done:" 
and that Shakspeare in the course of composition, regardless of 
his original train of thought, afterwards moved the words Come 
let's atvay, to their present situation, to complete the rhyming 
couplet with which the scene concludes. Were these words re- 
placed in what perhaps was their original situation, the passage 
would at once exhibit the meaning already given. MA LONE. 

ACT v. CORIOL ANUS. 2 1 1 


Rome. A publick Place. 

and Others. 

MEN. No, I'll not go : you hear, what he hath 


Which was sometime his general ; who lov'd him 
In a most dear particular. He call'd me, father : 
But what o'that? Go, you that banish'd him, 
A mile before his tent fall down, and kneel 
The way into his mercy: Nay, if he coy'd 1 
To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home. 

COM. He would not seem to know me. 

MEN. Do you hear ? 

COM. Yet one time he did call me by my name : 
I urg'd our old acquaintance, and the drops 
That we have bled together. Coriolanus 
He would not answer to : forbad all names ; 
He was a kind of nothing, titleless, 
Till he had forg'd himself a name i' the fire 
Of burning Rome. 

ME\. Why, so ; you have made good work : 
A pair of tribunes that have rack'd for Rome, 2 

coy'd ] i. c. condescended unwillingly, with reserve, 

coldness. STEEVENS. 

1 that have rack'dy^r I\omc,~\ To rack means toharrass 

by exactions, and in this sense the poet uses it in other places: 
" The commons hast them rack'd ; the clergy's bags 
" Are lank and lean with thy extortions." 

p 2 


To make coals cheap : A noble memory ! 3 

COM. I minded him, how royal 'twas to pardon 
When it was less expected : He replied, 
It was a bare petition 4 of a state 
To one whom they had punish' d. 

MEN. Very well : 

Could he say less ? 

COM. I offer 'd to awaken his regard 
For his private friends : His answer to me was, 
He could not stay to pick them in a pile 
Of noisome, musty chaff: He said, 'twas folly, 
For one poor grain or two, to leave unburnt, 
And still to nose the offence. 

MEN. For one poor grain 

Or two ? I am one of those ; his mother, wife, 
His child, and this brave fellow too, we are the 
grains : 

I believe it here means in general, You that have been such 
good stewards for the Roman people, as to get their houses 
burned over their heads, to save them the expence of coals. 


' memory !~] for memorial. See p. 184-, n. 4. 


4 It ivas a bare petition ] A bare petition, I believe, means 
only a mere petition. Coriolanus weighs the consequence of 
verbal supplication against that of actual punishment. See 
Vol. IV. p. 251, n. 5. STEEVENS. 

I have no doubt but we should read : 

It was a base petition &c. 

meaning that it was unworthy the dignity of a state, to petition 
a man whom they had banished. M. MASON. 

In King Henry IV. P. I. and in Timon of Athens, the word 
bare is used in the sense of thin, easily seen through; having 
only a slight superficial covering. Yet, I confess, this interpre- 
tation will hardly apply here. In the former of the passages al- 
luded to, the editor of the first folio substituted base for bare, 
improperly. In the passage before us perhaps base was the au- 
thor's word. MALONE. 

sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 213 

You are the musty chaff; and you are smelt 
Above the moon : We must be burnt for you. 

Sic. Nay, pray, be patient : If you refuse your 


In this so never-heeded help, yet do not 
Upbraid us with our distress. But, sure, if you 
Would be your country 'spleader,your good tongue, 
More than the instant army we can make, 
Might stop our countryman. 

MEN. No ; I'll not meddle. 

Sic. I pray you, 5 go to him. 

J\!EN. What should I do ? 

BRU. Only make trial what your love can do 
For Rome, towards Marcius. 

MEN. Well, and say that Marcius 

Return me, as Cominius is return'd, 
Unheard ; what then ? 
But as a discontented friend, grief-shot 
With his unkindness ? Say't be so ? 

Sic. Yet your good will 

Must have that thanks from Rome, after the 

As you intended well. 

MKX. I'll undertake it : 

I think, he'll hear me. Yet to bite his lip, 
And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me. 
lie was not taken well ; he had not din'd :*' 

you, &C.] The pronoun personal 7, is wanting in 
the old copy. STEEVKNS. 

" //< ti-fis 11 of. taken u-c/7 ; he had not diti'd : i\e.] This ob- 
servation is not only from nature, and finely expressed, but ad- 
miral)!}- befits the mouth of one, who in the beginning of the 
play had told us, that he loved convivial doings. WABBUUTOX. 


The veins unmTd, our blood is cold, and then 
We pout upon the morning, are unapt 
To give or to forgive : but when we have stuff' d 
These pipes and these conveyances of our blood 
With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls 
Than in our priest-like fasts : 7 therefore I'll watch 


Till he be dieted to my request, 
And then I'll set upon him. 

BRU. You know the very road into his kindness, 
And cannot lose your way. 

MEN. Good faith, Til prove him, 

Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge 
Of my success. 8 \_Exit* 

COM. He'll never hear him. 

Sic. Not? 

Mr. Pope seems to have borrowed this idea. See Epist. I. ver. 


" Perhaps was sick, in love, or had not din'd." 


7 our priest-like fasts :] I am afraid, that when Shak- 

speare introduced this comparison, the religious abstinence of 
modern, not ancient Rome, was in his thoughts. STEEVENS. 

Priests are forbid, by the discipline of the church of Rome, 
to break their fast before the celebration of mass, which must 
take place after sun-rise, and before mid-day. C. 

8 Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge 

Of my success.*] There could be no doubt but Menenius 
himself would soon have knowledge of his own success. The 
sense therefore requires that we should read : 

Speed how it will, you shall ere long have knowledge 
Of my success. M. MASON T . 

That Menenius at some time would have knowledge of his 
success is certain ; but what he asserts is, that he would ere long 
gain that knowledge. MALONE. 

All Menenius designs to say, may be I shall not be kept long 
in suspence as to the result of my embassy. STEEVENS. 

sc. I. CORIOLANUS. 215 

COM. I tell you, he does sit in gold, 9 his eye 
Red as 'twould burn Rome ; and his injury 
The gaoler to his pity. I kneePd before him ; 
'Twas very faintly he said, Rise ; dismiss* d me 
Thus, with his speechless hand : What he would 


He sent in writing after me ; what he would not, 
Bound with an oath, to yield to his conditions : ! 

9 I fell you, he does sit in gold,"] He is enthroned in all the 
pomp and pride of imperial splendour: 

" - xgvffofyovos Hi)" Horn. JOHNSON. 
So, in the old translation of Plutarch : " he was set in his 
chaire of state, with a marvellous and unspeakable majestic.'* 
Shakspeare has a somewhat similar idea in King Henry VIII. 
Act I. sc. i : 

" All clinquant, all in gold, like heath-en gods" 
The idea expressed by Cominius occurs also in the 8th Iliad, 

" AiJro; s fflveeiov sir] Sgovov svgvoifa, 

In the translation of which passage Mr. Pope was perhaps in- 
debted to Shakspeare : 

" Th' eternal Thunderer sat thron'd in gold" 


1 Bound with an oath, to yield to his conditions :~\ This is ap- 
parently wrong. Sir T. Hanmer, and Dr. Warburton after him, 
read : 

Bound with an oath not yield to new conditions. 
They might have read more smoothly : 
- to meld 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 puqiose seems to be 
this : To yield to his conditions is ruin, and better cannot be ob- 
tained, so that all hope is vain. JOHNSON. 

I suppose, Coriolanus means, that he had sworn to give way 
to the conditions, into which the ingratitude of his country had 
forced him. FARMER. 


So, that all hope is vain, 

Unless his noble mother, and his wife ; 

Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him 

The amendment which I have to propose, is a very slight de- 
viation from the text the reading, " in his conditions," instead 
of " to his conditions." To yiM, in this place, means to re- 
lax, and is used in the same sense, in the next scene but 
one, by Coriolanus himself, where, speaking of Menenius, he 

" to grace him only, 

" That thought he could do more, a very little 
" I \\aveyieldedtoo:" 

What Cominius means to say, is, " That Coriolanus sent in 
writing after him the conditions on which he would agree to 
make a peace, and bound himself by an oath not to depart from 

The additional negative which Hanmer and Warburton wish 
to introduce, is not only unnecessary, but would destroy the 
sense ; for the thing which Coriolanus had sworn not to do, was 
to yield in his conditions. M. MASON. 

What he would do, i. e. the conditions on which he offered to 
return, he sent in writing after Cominius, intending that he 
should have carried them to Menenius. What he would not, 
i. e. his resolution of neither dismissing his soldiers, nor capitu- 
lating with Rome's mechanicks, in case the terms he prescribed 
should be refused, he bound himself by an oath to maintain. If 
these conditions were admitted, the oath of course, being 
grounded on that proviso, must yield to them, and bu cancelled. 
That this is the proper sense of the passage, is obvious from what 
follows : 

Cor." if you'd ask, remember this before; 

" The things I have foresworn to grant, may never 

" Be held by you denials. Do not bid me 

" Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate 

" Again with Rome's mechanicks." HENLEY. 

I believe, two half lines have been lost ; that Bound ivith an 
oath was the beginning of one line, and to yield to his conditions 
the conclusion of the next. See Vol. X. p. 319, n. 9. Perhaps, 
however, to yield to his conditions, means to yield on'y to his 
conditions ; referring these words to oat h : that his oath was 
irrevocable, and should yield to nothing but such a reverse of 
fortune as he could not resist. MALONE. 

sc. i. CORIOLANUS. 217 

For mercy to his country. 2 Therefore, let's hence, 
And with our fair entreaties haste them on. 


* So, that all hope is vain, 

Unless his noble mother, and his wife ; 
Wh'i, as I hear, mean to solicit him 

For r<ir,rcif to his country. ] Unless /us mother and "wife, 
do what ? The sentence is imperfect. We should read : 

Force mercy to his country. 

anil then all is right. WARBURTON. 

Dr. Warburton's emendation is surely harsh, and may be 
rendered unnecessary by printing the passage thus : 

mean to solicit him 

For mercy to his country Therefore, &c. 

This liberty is the more justifiable, because, as soon as the re- 
maining hope crosses the imagination of Cominius, he might sup- 
press what he was going to add, through haste to try the success 
ttf a last expedient. 

It has been proposed to me to read : 
So that all hope is vain, 
Unless in his noble mother and his wife, c. 
In hit, abbreviated in's, might have been easily mistaken by 
such inaccurate printers. STEEVENS. 

No amendment is wanting, the sense of the passage being 
complete without it. We say every day in conversation, You 
are my only hope He is my only hope, instead of My only 
hope is in you, or in him. The same mode of expression occurs 
in this sentence, and occasions the obscurity of it. M. MASON. 

That this passage has been considered as difficult, surprises me. 
Many passages in these plays have been suspected to be corrupt, 
merely because the language was peculiar to Shakspeare, or the 
phraseology of that age, and not of the present ; and this surely 
is one of them. Had he written his noble mother and his wife 
are our only hope, his meaning could not have been doubted ; 
and is not this precisely what Cominius says ? So that we have 
now no other hope, nothing to rely upon but his mother and his 
wife, who, as I arn told, mean, &c. Unless is here used for 
except. MALONE. 



An advanced Post of the Volcian Camp before 
Rome. The Guard at their Stations. 

Enter to them., MENENIUS. 

1 G. Stay : Whence are you ? 

2 G. Stand, and go back. 3 

MEN. You guard like men ; 'tis well : But, by 

your leave, 

I am an officer of state, and come 
To speak with Coriolanus. 

1 G. From whence ? 4 

MEN. From Rome. 

1 G. You may not pass, you must return : our 

Will no more hear from thence. 

2 G. You'll see your Rome embrac'd with fire, 

You'll speak with Coriolanus. 

MEN. Good my friends, 

If you have heard your general talk of Rome, 
And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks, 5 

3 Stand, and go back.'} This defective measure might be com- 
pleted by reading Stand, and go back again. STEEVENS. 

4 From whence?] As the word -from is not only needless, 
but injures the measure, it might be fairly omitted, being pro- 
bably caught by the compositor's eye from the speech imme- 
diately following. STEEVENS. 

5 lots to blanks,] A lot here is & prize. JOHNSON. 

Lot, in French, signifies prize. Le gros lot. The capital 
prize. S. W. 

sc. n. CORIOLANUS. 219 

My name hath touch'd your ears : it is Menenius. 

l G. Be it so ; go back : the virtue of your 

Is not here passable. 

MEN. I tell thee, fellow, 

Thy general is my lover : 6 I have been 
The book of his good acts, whence men have read 7 
His fame unparalleled, haply, amplified ; 
For I have ever verified my friends, 
(Of whom he's chief,) with all the size that verity 8 

I believe Dr. Johnson here mistakes. Menenius, I imagine, 
only means to say, that it is more than an equal chance that his 
name has touched their ears. Lots were the term in our author's 
time for the total number of tickets in a lottery, which took its 
name from thence. So, in the Continuation of Stowe's Chro- 
nicle, 1615, p. 1002: "Out of which lottery, for want of 
filling, by the number of lots, there were then taken out and 
thrown away threescore thousand blanks, without abating of any 
one prize." The lots were of course more numerous than the 
blanks. If lot signified priz'', as Dr. Johnson supposed, there 
being in every lottery many more blanks than prizes, Menenius 
must be supposed to say, that the chance of his name having 
reached their ears was very small ; which certainly is not his 
meaning. MA LONE. 

Lots to blanks is a phrase equivalent to another in King 
Richard III: 

" All the world to nothing.'' STEEVENS. 

6 Thy general is my lover:] This also was the language of 
Shakspeare's time. See Vol. VII. p. 331, n. 5. MALONE. 

7 The book of his irood acts, whence men hare read &c.~] So, 
in Pericles: 

" Her face the book of praise*, where is read" &c. 
Again, in Macbeth: 

" Your face, my thane, is as a book, where men 
" May read" &c. STEEVEXS. 

* For I have ever verified my friends, 

with a/1 the size that verity cSr.] To verify, is to rttft- 

blish by testimony. One may say with propriety, he brought 

false ivitnrsses to verify his title. Shakspeare considered the 

word with his usual laxity, as importing rather testimony than 


Would without lapsing suffer : nay, sometimes, 
Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground, 9 
I have tumbled past the throw ; and in his praise 
Have, almost, stamp' d the leasing : l Therefore, 

I must have leave to pass. 

truth, and only meant to say, 7 bore witness to my friends with 
all the size that verity would sitffer. 

I must remark, that to magnify, signifies to exalt or enlarge, 
but not necessarily to enlarge beyond the truth. JOHNSON. 

Mr. Edwards would read varnished; but Dr. Johnson's ex- 
planation of the old word renders all change unnecessary. 

To verify may, however, signify to display. Thus in an an- 
cient metrical pedigree in possession or the late Duchess of 
Northumberland, and quoted by Dr. Percy in The Reliques of 
ancient English Poetry, Vol. I. p. 279, 3d edit : 

" In hys scheld did schyne a mone veryfying her light." 


The meaning (to give a somewhat more expanded comment) 
is : "I have ever spoken the truth of my friends, and in speaking 
of them have gone as far as I could go consistently with truth : 
I have not only told the truth, but the whale truth, and with 
the most favourable colouring that I could give to their actions, 
without transgressing the bounds of truth." MALONE. 

9 upon a subtle ground,~\ Subtle means smooth, level. 

So, Ben Jonson, in one of his Masques : 

" Tityus's breast is counted the subtlest bowling ground in all 

Subtle, however, may mean artificially unlevel, as many 
bowling-greens are. STEEVENS. 

May it not have its more ordinary acceptation, deceitful ? 


1 and in his praise 

Have, almost, stamp'd the leasing :] i. e. given the sanction 
of truth to my very exaggerations. This appears to be the sense 
of the passage, from what is afterwards said by the 2 Guard : 

" Howsoever you have been his liar, as you say you have ." 
Leasing occurs in our translation of the Bible. See Psalm iv. 2. 


Have, almost, stamp'd the leasing :] I have almost given the 
lie such a sanction as to render it current. MALONE. 

7. n. CORIOLANUS. 221 

1 G. 'Faith, sir, if you had told as many lies in 
his behalf, as you have uttered words in your own, 
you should not pass here : no, though it were as 
virtuous to lie, as to live chastly. Therefore, go 

MEN. Pr'ythee, fellow, remember my name is 
Menenius, always factionary on the party of your 

2 (/. Howsoever you have been his liar, (as you 
say, you have,) I am one that, telling true under 
him, must say, you cannot pass. Therefore, go 

MEN. Has he dined, can'st thou tell ? for I would 
not speak with him till after dinner. 

1 G. You are a Roman, are you ? 
MEN. I am as thy general is. 

1 G. Then you should hate Rome, as he does. 
Can you, when you have pushed out your gates 
the very defender of them, and, in a violent popu- 
lar ignorance, given your enemy your shield, think 
to front his revenges with the easy groans 2 of old 
women, the virginal palms of your daughters, 3 or 
with the palsied intercession of such a decayed do- 

1 easy groans ] i.e. slight, inconsiderable. So, in 

King Henry VI. P. II : 

" these faults are easy, quickly answcr'd." 


3 the virginal palms of your daughters,"] The adjective 

virginal is used in Woman is a Weathercock, 1(>J2: 

" Lav'd in a bath of contrite virginal tears." 
Again, in Spenser's Fairy QHCCII, 15. II. c. ix : 

" She to them made with mildness virginal." 

Again, in King Henry VI. P. II : 

" tears virginal 

" Shall be to me even as the dew to fire." MALOXK. 


tant 4 as you seem to be ? Can you think to blow 
out the intended fire your city is ready to flame in, 
with such weak breath as this ? No, you are de- 
ceived ; therefore, back to Rome, and prepare for 
your execution : you are condemned, our general 
has sworn you out of reprieve and pardon. 

MEN. Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, 
he would use me with estimation. 

2 G. Come, my captain knows you not. 
MEN. I mean, thy general. 

1 G. My general cares not for you. Back, I say, 
go, lest I let forth your half pint of blood ; back, 
that's the utmost of your having: back. 

MEN. Nay, but fellow, fellow, 


COR. What's the matter ? 

MEN. Now, you companion, 5 I'll say an errand 
for you ; you shall know now that I am in estima- 
tion ; you shall perceive that a Jack guardant 6 
cannot office me from my son Coriolanus : guess, 
but by my entertainment with him, 7 if thou stand'st 

4 . a decayed dotant ] Thus the old copy. Modern 

editors have read dotard. STEEVENS. 

5 companion,'] See p. 180, n. 9. STEEVENS. 

6 a Jack guardant ] This term is equivalent to one 

still in use a Jack in office ; i. e. one who is as proud of his 
petty consequence, as an excise-man. STEEVENS. 

See Vol. XI. p. 359, n. 2. MALONE. 

7 guess, but by my entertainment with him,'] [Old copy 

but.~\ I read : Guess by my entertainment with him, if thou 
standest not i' the state of hanging. JOHNSON. 

Mr. Edwards had proposed the same emendation in his MS. 
notes already mentioned. STEEVENS. 

sc. if. CORIOLANUS. 223 

not i' the state of hanging, or of some death more 
long in spectatorship, and crueller in suffering ; be- 
hold now presently, and swoon for what's to come 
upon thee. The glorious gods sit in hourly synod 8 
about thy particular prosperity, and love thee no 
worse than thy old father Menenius does ! O, my 
son ! my son ! thou art preparing fire for us ; look 
thee, here's water to quench it. I was hardly 
moved to come to thee ; but being assured, none 
but myself could move thee, I have been blown 
out of your gates with sighs ; and conjure thee to 
pardon Rome, and thy petitionary countrymen. 
The good gods assuage thy wrath, and turn the 
dregs of it upon this varlet here ; this, who, like 
a block, hath denied my access to thee. 

COR. Away! 
MEN. How! away? 

COR. Wife, mother, child, I know not. My 


Are servanted to others : Though I owe 
My revenge properly , y my remission lies 
In Volcian breasts. That we have been familiar, 
Ingrate forgetfulness shall poison, rather 
Than pity note how much. Therefore, be gone. 
Mine ears against your suits are stronger, than 

The same correction had also been made by Sir T. Hanmer. 
These editors, however, changed but to by. It is much more 
probable that by should have been omitted at the press, than 
confounded with but. MALONE. 

* The glorious gods sit in hourly synod &c.~] So, in Pericles : 

" The senate house of planets all did sit" &c. STEEVENS. 

* Though I owe 

My revenge properly,"] Though I have a peculiar right in 
revenge, in the power of forgiveness the Volcians are conjoined. 



Your gates against my force. Yet, for I lov'd thee, 1 
Take this along j I writ it for thy sake, 

[Gives a Letter. 

And would have sent it. Another word, Menenius, 
I will not hear thee speak. This man, Aufidius, 
Was my beloved in Rome : yet thou behold'st 

AUF. You keep a constant temper. 


1 G. Now, sir, is your name Menenius ? 

2 G. 'Tis a spell, you see, of much power : You 
know the way home again. 

1 G. Do 'you hear how we are shent 2 for keeping 
your greatness back ? 

2 G. What cause, do you think, I have to swoon? 

MEN. I neither care for the world, nor your 
general : for such things as you, I can scarce think 
there's any, you are so slight. He that hath a will 
to die by himself, 3 fears it not from another. Let 

1 for 7 lov'd thee,~\ i.e. because. So, in Othello: 

" Haply, for I am black ." STEEVENS. 

z hoiv tve are shent ] Shent is brought to destruction. 


Shent does not mean brought to destruction, but shamed, dis- 
graced, made ashamed of himself. See the old ballad of The 
Heir of Linne, in the second volume of Reliques of ancient 
English Poetry: 

" Sorely shent with this rebuke 

" Sorely shent was the heir of Linne ; 
" His heart, I wis, was near-to brast 

" With guilt and sorrow, shame and sinne." PERCY. 

See Vol. V. p. 51, n. 5. STEEVENS. 

Rebuked, reprimanded. Cole, in his Latin Diet. 1679, ren- 
ders to shend, increpo. It is so used by many of our old writers. 


3 by himself ,~\ i. e. by his own hands. MALONE. 

sc. in. CORIOLANUS. 225 

your general do his worst. For you, be that you 
are, long ; and your misery increase with your 
age ! I say to you, as I was said to, Away ! [Exit. 

1 G. A noble fellow, I warrant him. 

2 G. The worthy fellow is our general : He is 
the rock, the oak not to be wind-shaken. [Exeunt. 


The Tent of Coriolanus. 

Enter CORIOLANUS, AUFIDIUS, and Others. 

COR. We will before the walls of Rome to-mor- 

Set down our host. My partner in this action, 
You must report to the Volcian lords, how plainly 
I have borne this business. 4 

AUF. Only their ends 

You have respected ; stopp'd your ears against 
The general suit of Rome ; never admitted 
A private whisper, no, not with such friends 
That thought them sure of you. 

COR. This last old man, 

Whom with a crack'd heart I have sent to Rome, 
Loved me above the measure of a father; 
Nay, godded me, indeed. Their latest refuge 
Was to send him : for whose old love, 5 I have 

how plain! i/ 

I have borne this business.] That is, how openly, how re 
niotely from artifice or concealment. JOHNSON. 

-for whose old lovc,~] We have a corresponding expres- 

n in King Lear : 

" to whose young love 

" The vines of France," &c. STEKVENS. 


(Though I show'd sourly to him,) once more offered 
The first conditions, which they did refuse, 
And cannot now accept, to grace him only, 
That thought he could do more ; a very little 
I have yielded too : Fresh embassies, and suits, 
Nor from the state, nor private friends, hereafter 
Will I lend ear to. Ha ! what shout is this ? 

[Shout within. 

Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow 
In the same time 'tis made ? I will not. 

Enter, in mourning Habits, VIRGILIA, VOLUMNIA, 
leading young MARCIUS, VALERIA, and Attend- 

My wife comes foremost; then the honoured mould 

Wherein this trunk was fram'd, and in her hand 

The grand-child to her blood. But, out, affection ! 

All bond and privilege of nature, break ! 

Let it be virtuous, to be obstinate. 

What is that curt'sy worth ? or those doves' eyes, 6 

Which can make gods forsworn ? I melt, and am not 

Of stronger earth than others. My mother bow r s j 

As if Olympus to a molehill 7 should 

In supplication nod : and my young boy 

Hath an aspect of intercession, which 

Great nature cries, Deny not. Let the Voices 

those doves' eyes,"] So, in the Canticles, v. 12: " his 

eyes are as the eyes of doves." Again, in The Interpretation of 
the Names of Goddes and Goddesses, &c. Printed by Wynkyn 
de Worde : He speaks of Venus : 

" Cryspe was her skyn, her eyen columbyne." 


Olympus to a molehill ] This idea might have been 
caught from a line in the first Book of Sidney's Arcadia : 

" What judge you doth a hillockc shew, by the lofty 
" Olympus?" STEEVENS. 

sc. in. CORIOLANUS. 227 

Plough Rome, and harrow Italy ; I'll never 
Be such a gosling to obey instinct ; but stand, 
As if a man were author of himself, 
And knew no other kin. 

FIR. My lord and husband ! 

COR. These eyes are not the same I wore in 

FIR. The sorrow, that delivers us thus changed, 
Makes you think so. 8 

Co/?. Like a dull actor now, 

I have forgot my part, and I am out, 
Even to a full disgrace. 9 Best of my flesh, 
Forgive my tyranny ; but do not say, 
For that, Forgive our Romans. O, a kiss 
Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge ! 
Now by the jealous queen of heaven, 1 that kiss 
I carried from thee, dear ; and my true lip 
Hath virgin'd it e'er since. You gods ! I prate," 
And the most noble mother of the world 

8 The sorrow, that delivers H.I thus changed, 

Makes you think ,w.] Virgilia makes a voluntary misinter- 
pretation ot her husband's words. He says, These eyes are not 
the same, meaning, that he saw tilings with other cy<-s, or other 
dispositions. She lays hold on the word eyes, to turn his atten- 
tion on their present appearance. Jonxsox. 

Cor. Like a dull actor won-, 

/ /i fire forgot my part, and I am out, 

Even to a full disgracc.~\ So, in our author's 23d Sonnet: 
" As an imperfect odor on the stage, 
" Who with his lear is put heaide. his part, ." 


1 Now 1) if the jealous queen of heaven, ~] That is, by Juno, the 
guardian of marriage, and consequently the avenger of connubial 
perfidy. Joiixsox. 

/ prate,] The old copy I /<;//. The merit of the 
alteration is Mr. Theobald's. So, in Othello: " I prattle out 
of fashion." STPEVKXS. 


Leave unsaluted : Sink, my knee, i' the earth ; 


Of thy deep duty more impression show 
Than that of common sons. 

VOL. O, stand up bless* d ! 

Whilst, with no softer cushion than the flint, 
I kneel before thee ; and improperly 
Show duty, as mistaken all the while 
Between the child and parent. [Kneels. 

COR. What is this ? 

Your knees to me ? to your corrected son ? 
Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach 3 
Fillip the stars ; then let the mutinous winds 
Strike the proud cedars 'gainst the fiery sun ; 
Murd'ring impossibility, to make 
What cannot be, slight work. 

VOL. Thou art my warrior j 

I holp to frame thee. 4 Do you know this lady ? 

COR. The noble sister of Publicola, 5 

5 on the hungry beach ] I once idly conjectured that 

our author wrote the angry beach. MALONE. 

The hungry beach is the sterile unprolijlck beach. Every 
writer on husbandry speaks of hungry soil, and hungry gravel ; 
and what is more barren than the sands on the sea shore ? If it 
be necessary to seek for a more recondite meaning, the shore, 
on which vessels are stranded, is as hungry for shipwrecks, as 
the waves that cast them on the shore. Littus avarum. Shak- 
speare, on this occasion, meant to represent the beach as a mean, 
and not as a magnificent object. STEEVENS. 

The beach hungry, or eager, for shipwrecks. Such, I think, 
is the meaning. So, in Twelfth-Night: 

" mine is all as hungry as the sea" MALONE. 

* I holp to frame thee.'] Old copy hope. Corrected by Mr. 
Pope. This is one of many instances, in which corruptions have 
arisen from the transcriber's ear deceiving him. MALONE. 

5 The noble sister of Publicola,'} Valeria, methinks, should 

sc. m. CORIOLANUS. 229 

The moon of Rome ; chaste as the icicle, 6 
That's curded by the frost from purest snow, 
And hangs on Dian's temple : Dear Valeria ! 

not have been brought only to fill up the procession without 
speaking. JOHNSON. 

It is not improbable, but that the poet designed the following 
words of Volumnia for Valeria. Names are not unfrequently 
confounded by the player-editors ; and the lines that compose 
this speech might be given to the sister of Publicola without im- 
propriety. It may be added, that though the scheme to solicit 
Coriolanus was originally proposed by Valeria, yet Plutarch has 
allotted her no address when she appears with his wife and mo- 
ther on this occasion. STEEVENS. 

6 chaste as the icicle, SfC.~\ I cannot forbear to cite the 

following beautiful passage from Shirley's Gentleman of Venice, 
in which the praise of a lady's chastity is likewise attempted: 

" thou art chaste 

" As the white down of heaven, whose feathers play 
" Upon the wings of a cold winter's gale, 
" Trembling with fear to touch th' impurer earth." 
Some Roman lady of the name of Valeria, was one of the 
great examples of chastity held out by writers of the middle age. 
So, in The Dialoges of Creatures morah/sed, bl. 1. no date : 
" The secounde was called Valeria ; and when inquysicion was 
made of her for what cawse she toke notte the secounde hus- 
bonde, she sayde" &c. Hence perhaps Shakspeare's extrava- 
gant praise of her namesake's chastity. STKKVKNS. 

Mr. Pope and all the subsequent editors read curdled ; but 
curdied is the reading of the old copy, and was the phraseology 
of Shakspeare's time. So, in All's ur// that ends ur// " I am 
now, sir, muddied in fortune's mood." We should now write 
muddedf to express begrimed, polluted with mud. 

Again, in Cymbeline: 

" That drug-damn'd Italy hath oul-crqftied him." 

M.\ LONE. 

I believe, both curd/ed, mudd/ed, i!v-c. arc mere false spellings 
of n//Y/rv/, mudded, &c. Mudded is spelt, as at present, in The 
Tew pe*t, first, folio, p. 13, col. 2, three lines from the bottom; 
,md so is crafted, in Coriolanu*, first fol. p. '2\, col. '2. 



VOL. This is a poor epitome of yours, 7 
Which by the interpretation of full time 
May show like all yourself. 

COR. The god of soldiers, 

With the consent of supreme Jove, 8 inform 
Thy thoughts with nobleness ; that thou may'st 


To shame unvulnerable, and stick i' the wars 
Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw, 9 
And saving those that eye thee ! 

VOL. Your knee, sirrah. 

COR. That's my brave boy. 

VOL. Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself, 
Are suitors to you. 

COR. I beseech you, peace : 

Or, if you'd ask, remember this before ; 
The things, I have forsworn to grant, may never 
Be held by you denials. Do not bid me 
Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate 
Again with Rome's mechanicks : Tell me not 
Wherein I seem unnatural : Desire not 

7 epitome of yours,'] I read: 

epitome of you. 

An epitome of you, which, enlarged by the commentaries of 
time, may equal you in magnitude. JOHNSON. 

Though Dr. Johnson's reading is more elegant, I have not the 
least suspicion here of any corruption. MALONE. 

8 With the consent of supreme Jove, ,] This is inserted with 
great decorum. Jupiter was the tutelary God of Rome. 


9 Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,] That is, every 
gust, every storm. JOHNSON. 

So, in our author's 116th Sonnet: 
" O no ! it is an ever -fixed mark, 
** That looks on tempests, and is never shaken." 


sc. m. CORIOLANUS. 2.<3l 

To allay my rages and revenges, with 
Your colder reasons. 

VOL. O, no more, no more ! 

You have said, you will not grant us any thing; 
For we have nothing else to ask, but that 
AVhich you deny already : Yet we will ask ; 
That, if you fail in our request, 1 the blame 
May hang upon your hardness : therefore hear us. 

Con. Aufidius, and you Voices, mark ; for we'll 
Hear nought from Rome in private. Your request? 

VOL. Should we be silent and not speak, our rai- 
ment, 2 

1 That, if you. fail in our request,"] That is, if you fail to grant 
us our request; if you are found jailing or deficient in love to 
your country, and affection to your friends, when our request 
shall have been made to you, the blame, c. Mr. Pope, who 
altered every phrase that was not conformable to modern phrase- 
ology, changed you to ive; and his alteration has been adopted 
in all the subsequent editions. MALOXE. 

- Should ice be silent and not speak, our raiment, etc.] " Ihe 
speeches copied from Plutarch in Coriolanus, may (says Mr. 
Pope) be as well made an instance of the learning of Shakspearc, 
as those copied from Cicero, in Catiline, of lien .lonson's." Let. 
us inquire into this matter, and transcribe a speech for a specimen. 
Take the famous one of Volumnia ; for our author has done little 
more, than throw the very words of North into blank verse. 

" If we helde our peace (my sonne) and determined not to 
speake, the state of our poore bodies, and present sight of our 
rayment, would easely bewray to thee what life we haue led at 
home, since thy exile and abode abroad. But thinke now with 
thy selfe, howe much more unfortunately than all the women 
liuinge we are come hether, considering that the sight which 
should be most pleasaunt to all other to beholde, spitefull fortune 
hath made most fearfull to us: making my selfe to see PIV sivuie, 
and my daughter here, her husband, beseiging the wallos of his 
natiue countrie. So as that which is the only comfort to all oliuT 
in their adversitic and miserie, to pray unto the goddes, and to 
call to them for aide, is the onely thinge which plongeth us inio 
most deep perplexitie. For we cannot (alas) together pray, both 
for victorie, for our countrie, and for safety of thy life also : but 


And state of bodies would bewray what life 
We have led since thy exile. Think with thyself, 
How more unfortunate than all living women 
Are we come hither : since that thy sight, which 

Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with 

Constrains them weep, and shake 3 with fear and 

sorrow ; 

Making the mother, wife, and child, to see 
The son, the husband, and the father, tearing 
His country's bowels out. And to poor we, 
Thine enmity's most capital : thou barr'st us 
Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort 
That all but we enjoy : For how can we, 
Alas ! how can we for our country pray, 
Whereto we are bound ; together with thy victory, 
Whereto we are bound ? Alack ! or w r e must lose 
The country, our dear nurse ; or else thy person, 
Our comfort in the country. We must find 
An evident calamity, though we had 
Our wish, which side should win : for either thou 

a worlde of grievous curses, yea more than any mortall enemie 
can heape uppon us, are forcibly wrapt up in our prayers. For 
the bitter soppe of most hard choyce is offered thy wife and chil- 
dren, to forgoe the one of the two : either to lose the persone of 
thy selfe, or the nurse of their natiue countrie. For my selfe 
(my sonne) I am determined not to tarrie, till fortune in my life 
doe make an ende of this warre. For if I cannot persuade thee, 
rather to doe good unto both parties, then to ouerthrowe and 
destroye the one, preferring loue and nature before the malice 
and calamite of warres ; thou shalt see, my sonne, and trust un- 
to it, thou shalt no soner marche forward to assault thy coun- 
trie, but thy foote shall tread upon thy mother's wombe, that 
brought thee first into this world." FARMER. 

3 Constrains them uecp, find shake ] That is, constrains 
the eye to weep, and the heart to shake. JOHNSON. 

sc. in. CORIOLANUS. 233 

Must, as a foreign recreant, be led 
With manacles thorough our streets, or else 
Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin ; 
And bear the palm, for having bravely shed 
Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, son, 
I purpose not to wait on fortune, till 
These wars determine: 4 if I cannot persuade thee 
Rather to show a noble grace to botli parts, 
Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner 
March to assault thy country, than to tread 
(Trust to't, thou shalt not,) on thy mother's womb, 
That brought thee to this world. 

VIR. Ay, and on mine, 5 

That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name 
Living to time. 

BOY. He shall not tread on me ; 

I'll run away till I am bigger, but then I'll fight. 

Con. Not of a woman's tenderness to be, 
Requires nor child nor woman's lace to see. 
I have sat too long. [Rising. 

VOL. Nay, go not from us thus. 

If it were so, that our request did tend 
To save the Romans, thereby to destroy 
The Voices whom you serve, you might condemn us, 
As poisonous of your honour : No; our suit 
Is, that you reconcile them : while the Voices 
May say, This mercy we have show* d; the Romans, 
This ice received; and each in either side 
Give the all-hail to thee, and cry, Be bless* d 

4 These Ivors determine :] i. e. conclude, end. So, in King 
Henry IV. P. II: 

" Till thy friend sickness have determined me." 


and on mine,] On was supplied by some former editor, 
to complete the measure. STEEVESS. 


For making up this peace! Thou know'st, great son, 
The end of war's uncertain ; but this certain, 
That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit 
Which thou shalt thereby reap, is such a name, 
Whose repetition will be dogg'd with curses ; 
Whose chronicle thus writ, The man was noble, 
But with his last attempt he wip'd it out; 
Destroyed his country ; and his name remains 
To the ensuing age, abhorred. Speak to rne, son : 
Thou hast affected the fine strains 6 of honour, 
To imitate the graces of the gods ; 
To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o'the air, 
And yet to charge thy sulphur 7 with a bolt 
That should but rive an oak. Why dost not speak? 
Think'st thou it honourable for a noble man 
Still to remember wrongs ? Daughter, speak you : 
He cares not for your weeping. Speak thou, boy: 
Perhaps, thy childishness will move him more 
Than can our reasons. There is no man in the 

More bound to his mother ; yet here he lets me 


" the fine strains ] The niceties, the refinements. 


The old copy has Jive. The correction was made by Dr. 
Johnson. I should not have mentioned such a manifest error of 
the press, but that it justifies a correction that I have made in 
Romeo and Juliet, Act I. another in Timon cf Athens ; and a 
third that has been made in A Midsummer-Night's Dream. See 
Vol. IV. p. 4-47, n. 8. MALONE. 

7 And yet to charge thy sulphur ] The old copy has change. 
The correction is Dr. Warburton's. In The Taming of the 
Shreiv, Act III. sc. i. charge is printed instead of change. 


The meaning of the passage is, To threaten much, and yet be 
merciful. WARBURTON. 

sc. m. CORIOLANUS. 235 

Like one i* the stocks. 8 Thou hast never in thy life 
Show'd thy dear mother any courtesy ; 
When she, (poor hen !) fond of no second brood, 
Has cluck' d thee to the wars, and safely home, 
Loaden with honour. Say, my request's unjust, 
And spurn me back : But, if it be not so, 
Thou art not honest; and the gods will plague thee, 
That thou restrain'st from me the duty, which 
To a mother's part belongs. He turns away : 
Down, ladies; let us shame him with our knees. 
To his surname Coriolanus 'longs more pride, 
Than pity to our prayers. Down ; An end : 
This is the last ; So we will home to Rome, 
And die among our neighbours. Nay, behold us: 
This boy, that cannot tell what he would have, 
But kneels, and holds up hands, for fellowship, 
Does reason our petition 9 with more strength 
Than thou hast to deny't. Come, let us go : 
This fellow had a Volcian to his mother ; 
His wife is in Corioli, and his child 
Like him by chance : Yet give us our despatch : 
I am hush'd until our city be afire, 
And then I'll speak a little. 

COR. O mother, mother! 1 

[Holding VOLUMNIA by the Hands, silent. 
What have you done ? Behold, the heavens do ope, 

8 Like one i* the stocks.'] Keeps me in a state of ignominy talk- 
ing to no purpose. JOHNSON. 

-' Docs reason our petition ] Docs argue Jor us and our pe- 
tition. JOHNSON. 

1 O mot her, mother !~\ So, in the old translation of Plutarch : 
u Oh mother, what have you done to me f And holding her 
liarde by the right hande, oh mother, sayed ho, you have \vonne 
a happy victorie for your countrie, but mortall and unhappy for 
your sonne: for I see myself vanquished by you alone." 



The gods look down, and this unnatural scene 
They laugh at. O my mother, mother! O ! 
You have won a happy victory to Rome : 
But, for your son, believe it, O, believe it, 
Most dangerously you have with him prevail'd, 
If not most mortal to him. But, let it come : 
Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars, 
I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius, 
Were you in my stead, say, would you have heard - 
A mother less ? or granted less, Aufidius ? 

AUF. I was mov'd withal. 

COR. I dare be sworn, you were : 

And, sir, it is no little thing, to make 
Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good sir, 
What peace you'll make, advise me : For my part, 
I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you; and pray you, 
Stand to me in this cause. O mother ! wife ! 

AUF. I am glad, thou hast set thy mercy and thy 


At difference in thee : out of that I'll work 
Myself a former fortune. 3 [Aside. 

\_The Ladies make signs to CORIOLANUS. 
Con. Ay, by and by ; 


* heard ] is here used as a dissyllable. The modern 

editors read say, would you have heard . MALONE. 

As my ears are wholly unreconciled to thedissyllabifications 
e-arl, he-ard, &c. I continue to read with the modern editors. 
Say, in other passages of our author, is prefatory to a question. 
So, in Macbeth : 

" Say, if thou hadst rather hear it from our mouths, 

" Or from our masters' ?" STEEVENS. 

J I'll work 

Myself a former fortune. ~\ I will take advantage of this con- 
cession to restore myself to my former credit and power. 


sc. iv. CORIOLANUS. 237 

But we will drink together; 4 and you shall bear 
A better witness back than words, which we, 
On like conditions, will have counter-seal'd. 
Come, enter with us. Ladies, you deserve 
To have a temple built you : 5 all the swords 
In Italy, and her confederate arms, 
Could not have made this peace. [Exeunt. 


Rome. A publick Place. 

Enter MENENIUS and Sic INI us. 

MEN. See youyond' coign o'tlie Capitol j yond* 
corner-stone ? 

Sic. Why, what of that ? 

MEN. If it be possible for you to displace it with 
your little finger, there is some hope the ladies of 
Rome, especially his mother, may prevail with him. 
But I say, there is no hope in't ; our throats are 
sentenced, and stay upon execution. 6 

4 drink together;'] Perhaps we should read think. 


Our author, in King Henry IV. P. II. having introduced 
drinking as a mark of confederation : 

" Let's drink together friendly, and embrace ;" 
the text may be allowed to stand ; though at the expence of 
female delicacy, which, in the present instance, has not been 
sufficiently consulted. STEEVEXS. 

6 To /tare a teniple built you .-] Plutarch informs us, that a 
temple dedicated to the Fortune of the Ladies, was built on this 
occasion by order of the senate. STEKVEXS. 

tidy upon execution."] i. e. stay butybr it. So, in Mac- 
!h : 

" Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure." 



Sic. Is't possible, that so short a time can alter 
the condition of a man ? 

MEN. There is differency between a grub, and 
a butterfly ; yet your butterfly was a grub. This 
Marcius is grown from man to dragon : he has 
wings ; he's more than a creeping thing. 

Sic. He loved his mother dearly. 

MEN. So did he me: and he no more remembers 
his mother now, than an eight year old horse. 7 The 
tartness of his face sours ripe grapes. When he 
walks, he moves like an engine, and the ground 
shrinks before his treading. He is able to pierce 
a corslet with his eye ; talks like a knell, and his 
hum is a battery. He sits in his state, 8 as a thing 
made for Alexander. What he bids be done, is 
finished with his bidding. He wants nothing of a 
god but eternity, and a heaven to throne in. 

Sic. Yes, mercy, if you report him truly. 

MEN. I paint him in the character. Mark what 
mercy his mother shall bring from him : There is 
no more mercy in him, than there is milk in a male 
tiger ; that shall our poor city find : and all this is 
'long of you. 

Sic. The gods be good unto us ! 

MEN. No, in such a case the gods will not be 
good unto us. When we banished him, we re- 

than an eight year old horse.'] Subintelligitur remem- 

bers his dam. WARBUKTON. 

8 He sits in his state, eye.] In aforegoing note he was said to 
sit in gold. The phrase, as a thing made for Alexander, means, 
as one made to resemble Alexander. JOHNSON. 

His state means his chair of state. See the passage quoted 
from Plutarch, in p. 215, n. 9; and Vol. X. p. 173, n. 5. 


sc. iv. CORIOLANUS. 239 

spected not them: and, he returning to break our 
necks, they respect not us. 

Enter a Messenger. 


MESS. Sir, if you'd save your life, fly to your 

house ; 

The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune, 
And hale him up and down ; all swearing, if 
The Roman ladies bring not comfort home, 
They'll give him death by inches. 

Enter another Messenger. 

Sic. What's the news ? 

MESS. Good news, good news ; The ladies have 

prevail' d, 

The Voices are dislodg'd, and Marcius gone : 
A merrier day did never yet greet Rome, 
No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins. 

Sic. Friend, 

Art thou certain this is true? is it most certain ? 

MESS. As certain, as I know the sun is fire : 
Where have you lurk'd, that you make doubt of 


Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide, 
As the recomforted through the gates. 9 Why, hark 

you ; 

[ Trumpets and Hautboys sounded, and Drums 
beaten, all together. Shouting also within. 

* AYVr through an arcli so hurried the blown tide, 

Ax the recomj'ortcd through the gates.'] So, in our author's 
II ape ufLucrccc : 


The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes, 
Tabors, and cymbals, and the shouting Romans, 
Make the sun dance. Hark you ! 

[Shouting again. 

MEN. This is good news : 

I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia 
Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians, 
A city full ; of tribunes, such as you, 
A sea and land full : You have pray'd well to-day; 
This morning, for ten thousand of your throats 
I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy! 

[Shouting and Mustek. 

Sic. First, the gods bless you for their tidings : 

Accept my thankfulness. 

MESS. Sir, we have all 

Great cause to give great thanks. 

Sic. They are near the city ? 

MESS. Almost at point to enter. 

" As through an arch the violent roaring tide 
" Out-runs the eye that doth behold his haste." 
Blown in the text is sivell'd. So, in Antony and Cleopa- 
tra ; 

" - here on her breast 

" There is a vent of blood, and something 
The effect of a high or spring tide, as it is called, is so much 
greater than that which wind commonly produces, that I am not 
convinced by the following note that my interpretation is erro- 
neous. Water that is subject to tides, even when it is not acce- 
lerated by a spring tide, appears swoln, and to move with more 
than ordinary rapidity, when passing through the narrow strait 
of an arch. MALONE. 

The blown tide is the tide blown, and consequently accelerated 
by the wind. So, in another of our author's plays : 

" My boat sails swiftly both with wind and tide." 


sc. v. CORIOLANUS. 241 

Sic. We will meet them, 

And help the joy. \_Going. 

Enter the Ladies, accompanied by Senators, Patri- 
cians, and People. They pass over the Stage. 

1 SEN. Behold our patroness, the life of Rome : 
Call all your tribes together, praise the gods, 
And make triumphant fires ; strew flowers before 

them : 

Unshout the noise that banish'd Marcius, 
Repeal him with the welcome of his mother $ 
Cry, Welcome, ladies, welcome ! 

ALL. Welcome, ladies ! 

Welcome ! 

[A flourish idth Drums and Trumpets. 



Antium. A publick Place. 

Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, with Attendants. 

AUF. Go tell the lords of the city, I am here: 
Deliver them this paper : having read it, 
Bid them repair to the market-place ; where I, 
Even in theirs and in the commons' ears, 
Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse, 1 

1 Him I accuse, &c."] So, in The Winter's Tale : 

" I am appointed him to murder you." 

Mr. Pope and all the subsequent editors read He I accuse . 

M.\ LONE. 



The city ports 2 by this hath enter'd, and 
Intends to appear before the people, hoping 
To purge himself with words : Despatch. 

[Exeunt Attendants. 

Enter Three or Four Conspirators ojfAufi dins' 

Most welcome ! 

1 CON. How is it with our general ? 

AUF. Even so, 

As with a man by his own alms empoison'd, 
And with his charity slain. 

2 CON. Most noble sir, 
If you do hold the same intent wherein 
You wish'd us parties, we'll deliver you 

Of your great danger. 

A UF. Sir, I cannot tell ; 

We must proceed, as we do find the people. 

3 CON. The people will remain uncertain, whilst 
'Twixt you there's difference ; but the fall of either 
Makes the survivor heir of all. 

AUF. I know it; 

And my pretext to strike at him admits 
A good construction. I rais'd him, and I pawn'd 
Mine honour for his truth : Who being so heigh- 


He water'd his new plants with dews of flattery, 
Seducing so my friends : and, to this end, 
He bow'd his nature, never known before 
But to be rough, unswayable, and free. 

3 CON. Sir, his stoutness, 

ports ] See p. 49, n. 2. 

sc. v. CORIOLANUS. 243 

When he did stand for consul, which he lost 
By lack of stooping, 

AUF. That I would have spoke of: 

Being banish'd for't, he came unto my hearth ; 
Presented to my knife his throat : I took him ; 
Made him joint-servant with me ; gave him way 
In all his own desires ; nay, let him choose 
Out of my Hies, his projects to accomplish, 
My best and freshest men ; serv'd his designments 
In mine own person ; holp to reap the fame, 
Which he did end all his ; 3 and took some pride 
To do myself this wrong : till, at the last, 
I seem'd his follower, not partner ; and 
He wag'd me with his countenance, 4 as if 

3 Which he did end all hix;~\ In Johnson's edition it was: 
" Which he did make all his," which seems the more natural ex- 
pression, though the other be intelligible. M. MASON. 

End is the reading of the old copy, and was chang'd into make 
by Mr. Howe. STEEVEXS. 

4 He wag'd me with his countenance,'] This is obscure. The 
meaning, I think, is, he prescribed to me with an air of autho- 
rity, and gave me his countenance for my wages ; thought me 
sufficiently rewarded with good looks. JOHNSON. 

The verb, to wage, is used in this sense in The Wise Woman 
ofHogsden, by Hey wood, 1638: 

" I receive thee gladly to my house, 

" And wage thy stay." 

Again, in Greene's Matnillia, 1593 : " by custom common 
to all that could wage her honesty with the appointed price." 

To wage a task was, anciently, to undertake a task for wages. 
So, in George Withers'* Verses prefixed to Dray ton's Polyolbion : 
" Good speed befall thee who hast ivag'd a /.?/, 
" That better censures, and rewards doth ask." 
Again, in Spenser's Fairy (lueen, 13. II. c. vii : 
" must wage 

" Thy works for wealth, and life for gold engage." 
Again, in Holinshcd's Reign (>/' King John, p. 1(>S : " the 
Mimmc of '28 thousand markes to levie and wage thirtie thou- 
sand men." 

J{ '2 


i had been mercenary. 

1 CON. So he did, my lord : 
The army marvell'd at it. And, in the last, 
When he had carried Rome ; and that we look'd 
For no less spoil, than glory, 

AUF. There was it ; 

For which my sinews shall be stretch'd 5 upon him. 
At a few drops of women's rheum, which are 
As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labour 
Of our great action ; Therefore shall he die, 
And I'll renew me in his fall. But, hark ! 

[Drums and Trumpets sound, 'with great Shouts 
of the. People. 

1 CON. Your native town you enter'd like a 


And had no welcomes home ; but he returns, 
Splitting the air with noise. 

2 CON. And patient fools, 
Whose children he hath slain, their base throats 

With giving him glory- 

3 CON. Therefore, at your vantage, 
Ere he express himselfj or move the people 
With what he would say, let him feel your sword, 
Which we will second. When he lies along, 
After your way his tale pronounc'd shall bury 

Again, in the ancient MS. romance of the Soivdon of Baby - 
p. 15: 

" Therefore Gy of Burgoyn 
" Myne owen nevewe so trewe, 
" Take a thousande pound of ffranks fyne 
" To rvage voyth the pepul nevve." SXEEVENS. 

' For -which my sinews shall be stretch'd ] This is the point 
on which I will attack him with my utmost abilities. 


sc. v. COR1OLANUS. 245 

His reasons with his body. 

AUF. Say no more; 

Here come the lords. 

Enter the Lords of the Cily. 

LORDS. You are most welcome home. 

AUF. I have not deserv'd it. 

"But, worthy lords, have you with heed perus'd 
What I have written to you? 6 

LORDS. We have. 

1 LORD. And grieve to hear it. 

What faults he made before the last, I think, 
Might have found easy fines : but there to end, 
Where he was to begin ; and give away 
The benefit of our levies, answering us 
With our own charge; 7 making a treaty, where 
There was a yielding ; This admits no excuse. 

Jr/'. He approaches, you shall hear him. 

Knler CORIOLANUS, ic'ith Drums and Colours; a 
Croud of Citizens with him. 

COR. Hail, lords! I am returned your soldier ; 
\o more infected with my country's love, 

r ' What I hare written to you ?] If the unnecessary words < 
to you, are omitted (for I believe them to be an interpolation) 
the metre will become sufficiently regular: 
IVhat I have written ? 

Lords. We have. 

1 Lord. And gricrc to hear it. 



With our own charge;"] That is, rewarding us with our 
men ej-penccs ; making the cost of war its recompeuce. 



Tlian when I parted hence, but still subsisting 
Under your great command. You are to know, 
That prosperously I have attempted, and 
With bloody passage, led your wars, even to 
The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought 


Do more than counterpoise, a full third part, 
The charges of the action. "W e have made peace, 
With no less honour to the Antiates, 
Than shame to the Romans : And we here deliver, 
Subscrib'd by the consuls and patricians, 
Together with the seal o'the senate, what 
We have compounded on. 

A UF. Read it not, noble lords ; 

But tell the traitor, in the highest degree 
He hath abus'd your powers. 

COR. Traitor ! How now? 

AUF. Ay, traitor, Marcius. 

COR. Marcius ! 

A UF. Ay, Marcius, Cains Marcius ; Dost thou 


I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stoFn name 
Coriolanus in Corioli ? 
You lords and heads of the state, perfidiously 
He has betray'd your business, and given up, 
For certain drops of salt, 8 your city Rome 
(I say, your city,) to his wife and mother : 
Breaking his oath and resolution, like 
A twist of rotten silk ; never admitting 
Counsel o'the war ; but at his nurse's tears 
He whin'd and roar'd away your victory ; 

8 For certain drops of salt, ,] For certain tears. So, in King 
Lear : 

" Why this would make a man, a man of salt." 


sc. v. CORIOLANUS. 247 

That pages blush'd at him, and men of heart 
Look'd wondering each at other. 

COR. Hear'st thou, Mars ? 

AUF. Name not the god, thou boy of tears, 
COR. Ha ! 

AUF. No more. 1 ' 

COR. Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart 
Too great for what contains it. Boy ! O slave! 
Pardon me, lords, 'tis the first time that ever 
I was forc'd to scold. Your judgments, my 

grave lords, 

Must give this cur the lie : and his own notion 
(Who wears my stripes impress'd on him ; that 

must bear 

My beating to his grave j) shall join to thrust 
The lie unto him. 

1 LORD. Peace, both, and hear me speak. 

COR. Cut me to pieces, Voices ; men and lads, 
Stain all your edges on me. Boy ! False hound ! 
If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there, 
That like an eagle in a dove-cote, I 
Flutter' d your voices in Corioli : 
Alone I did it. Boy ! 

ATF. Why, noble lords, 

Will you be put in mind of his blind fortune, 
Which was your shame, by this unholy braggart, 
'Fore your own eyes and ears? 

Cox. Let him die for't. [Several speak al once. 

" Auf. No more.'} This should rather he given to \\wjirst Lord" 
It was not the business of Anjldhts to put a stop to the alterca- 
tion. TYK \\IUTT. 

It appears to me that by these words Aufidius does not mean 
to put a stop to the altercation; but to tell Coriolanus that he 
was no more than a " boy of tears." M. MASOX. 


CIT. [Speaking promiscuously. ~] Tear him to 
pieces, do it presently. He killed my son ; my 
daughter ;-^-He killed my cousin Marcus ; He 
killed my father. 

2 LORD. Peace, ho ; no outrage ; peace. 
The man is noble, and his fame folds in 
This orb o'the earth. 1 His last offence to us 
Shall have judicious hearing. 2 Stand, Aufidius, 
And trouble not the peace. 

COR. O, that I had him, 

With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe, 
To use my lawful sword ! 

A UF. Insolent villain ! 

CON. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him. 

AuFimus and the Conspirators draw, and kill 
CORIOLANUS, 'who falls, and AUFIDIUS 
stands on him. 
LORDS. Hold, hold, hold, hold. 

AUF. My noble masters, hear me speak. 

1 LORD. O Tullus, 

2 LORD. Thou hast done a deed whereat valour 

will weep. 

3 LORD. Tread not upon him. Masters all, be 

quiet ; 
Put up your swords. 

1 .1 liis fame folds in 
This orb o'the earth.'] His fame overspreads the world. 

So, before: 

" The fires i* the lowest \\e\\fold in the people." 


judicious hearing.'] Perhaps judicious, in the present 
instance, signifies judicial ; such a hearing as is allowed to cri- 
minals in courts of judicature. Thus imperiows is used by ou? 
author for imperial STEEVENS. 

sc. v. CORIOLANUS. 249 

AUF. My lords, when you shall know (as in 

this rage, 

Provok'd by him, you cannot,) the great danger 
Which this man's life did owe you, you'll rejoice 
That he is thus cut off. Please it your honours 
To call me to your senate, I'll deliver 
Myself your loyal servant, or endure 
Your heaviest censure. 

1 LORD. Bear from hence his body, 
And mourn you for him : let him be regarded 
As the most noble corse, that ever herald 

Did follow to his urn. 3 

2 Lonn. His own impatience 
Takes from Aufidius a great part of blame. 
Let's make the best of it. 

AUF. My rage is gone, 

And I am struck with sorrow. Take him up : 
Help, three o'the chiefest soldiers ; I'll be one. 
Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully : 
Trail your steel pikes. Though in this city he 
Hath widow'd and unchilded many a one, 
Which to this hour bewail the injury, 
Yet he shall have a noble memory. 4 
Assist. \JLxcunt, bearing the Body O/CORIOLA- 
KTS, A dead March sounded^ 

" that crcr herald 

Did follow to his urn.'] This allusion is to a custom unknown, 
[ believe, to the ancients, but observed in the publick funerals 
of English princes, at the conclusion of which a herald proclaims 
the style of the deceased. STKKVKN.S. 

a noble memory.] Memory for memorial. See p. 181-, 

n. -1. STEEVKNS. 

'['ho tragedy of Coriolnmis is one of the most amusing of our 
author's performances, '['he old man's merriment in Menenius; 
the lofty lady's dignity in Volumnia ; the bridal modesty in Vir- 
gilia ; the patrician and military haughtiness in Coriolanus ; the 


plebeian malignity and tribunitian insolence in Brutus and Sici- 
nius, make a very pleasing and. interesting variety : and the va- 
rious 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. JOHNSON, 


* JULIUS C^sAR.J It appears from Peck's Collection oj 
divers curious historical Pieces, &c. (appended to his Memoirs, 
&c. of Oliver Cromivell,) p. 14, that a Latin play on this subject 
had been written : " Epilogus Caesaris interfecti, quoniodo in 
scenam prodiit ea res, acta in Ecclesia Christi, Oxon. Qui 
Epilogus a Magistro Ricardo Eedes, et scriptus et in proscenio 
ibidem dictus fuit, A. D. 1582." Meres, whose Wit's Com- 
monwealth was published in 1598, enumerates Dr. Eedes among 
the best tragick writers of that time. STEEVENS. 

From some words spoken by Polonius in Hamlet, I think it 
probable that there was an English play on this subject, before 
Shakspeare commenced a writer for the stage. 

Stephen Gosson, in his School of Abuse, 1579, mentions a play 
entitled The History of Ccesar and Pompey. 

William Alexander, afterwards Earl of Sterline, wrote a tra- 
gedy on the story and with the title of Julius Ccesar. It may be 
presumed that Shakspeare's play was posterior to his ; for Lord 
Sterline, when he composed his Julius Ccesar, was a very young 
author, and would hardly have ventured into that circle, within 
which the most eminent dramatick writer of England had already 
walked. The death of Caesar, which is not exhibited but related 
to the audience, forms the catastrophe of his piece. In the two 
plays many parallel passages are found, which might, perhaps, 
have proceeded only from the two authors drawing from the same 
source. However, there are some reasons for thinking the coin- 
cidence more than accidental. 

A passage in The Tempest, (p.136,) seems to have been copied 
from one in Darius, another play of Lord Sterline's, 'printed at 
Edinburgh, in 1603. His Julius Ccesar appeared in 1607, at a 
time when he was little acquainted with English writer* ; for 
both these pieces abound with Scotticisms, which, in the subse- 
quent folio edition, 1637, he corrected. But neither The Tem- 
pest nor the Julius Ccesar of our author was printed till 1623. 

It should also be remembered, that our author has several 
plays, founded on subjects which had been previously treated by 
others. Of this kind are King John, King Richard II. the two 
parts of King Henry IV. King Henry V. King Richard III. 
King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, Measure for Measure, The 
Taming of the Shretv, The Merchant of Venice, and, I believe, 
Hamlet, Timon of Athens, and The Second and Third Part of 
King Henry VI.: whereas no proof has hitherto been produced, 
that any contemporary writer ever presumed to new model a story 
that had already employed the pen of Shakspeare. On all these 
grounds it appears more probable, that Shakspeare was indebted 
to Lord Sterline, than that Lord Sterline borrowed from Shak- 
speare. If this reasoning be just, this play could not have ap- 

peared before the year 1 G07. I believe it was produced in that 
year. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspearc's 
'Plays, Vol. II. MALONE. 

The real length of time in Julius Vii'sar is as follows : About 
the middle of February A. U. C. 709, a frantick festival, sacred 
to Pan, and called Litpercalia, was held in honour of Caesar, 
when the regal crown was offered to him by Antony. On the 
1 5th of March in the same year, he was slain. November 27, 
A. U. C. 710, the triumvirs met at a small island, formed by the 
river Rhenus, near Kononia, and there adjusted their cruel pro- 
scription. A. U. C. 7 1 1, Brutus and Cassius were defeated near 
Philippi. I 1'Tos. 


Julius Caesar. 

Marcus A^tonius, I Triumvirs after the Deatl, of 

M. .Emil. Lepidus, Jf Jullus CaMar - 

Cicero, Publius, Popilius Lena ; Senators. 

Marcus Brutus, 




Conspirators against Julius 

Deems Brutus, 

Metellus Cimber, 


Flavius and Marullus, Tribunes. 

Artemidorus, a SophistqfCnidos. 

A Soothsayer. 

Cinna, a Poet. Another Poet. 

Lucilius, Titinius, Messala, young Cato, and Vo- 

lumnius; Friends to Brutus and Cassius. 
Varro, Clitus, Claudius, Strato, Lucius, Dardanius; 

Servants to Brutus. 
Pindarus, Servant to Cassius. 

Calphurnia, Wife to Csesar. 
Portia, Wife to Brutus. 

Senators, Citizens, Guards, Attendants, c. 

SCENE, during a great Part of the Play, at 
Rome : afterwards at Sardis ; and near Philippi. 


Rome. A Street. 

Enter FLAVIUS, MARULLUS^ and a Rabble of 

FLAV. Hence ; home, you idle creatures, get 

you home ; 

Is this a holiday ? What ! know you not, 
Being mechanical, you ought not walk, 
Upon a labouring day, without the sign 
Of your profession ? Speak, what trade art thou ? 

1 CIT. Why, sir, a carpenter. 

MAR. Where is thy leather apron, and thy rule? 
What dost thou with thy best apparel on ? 
You, sir ; what trade are you ? 

2 CIT. Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, 
I am but, as you would say, a cobler. 

MAR. But what trade art thou ? Answer me di- 

2 CIT. A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with 

1 Manillas,'] Old copy Murellus. I have, upon the autho- 
rity of Plutarch, &c. given to this tribune his right name, 
Manillas. THEOBALD. 


a safe conscience ; which is, indeed, sir, a mender 
of bad soalso 

MAR. What trade, thou knave ; thou naughty 
knave, what trade $ 

2 ClT. Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with 
me : yet, if you be out, sir, 1 can mend you. 

MAR. What meanest thou by that r* Mend me, 
thou saucy fellow ? 

2 CIT. Why, sir, cobble you. 
FLAY. Thou art a cobler, art thou ? 

2 CIT. Truly, sir, all that I live by is, with the 
awl : I meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor 

2 a mender of bad soals.] Fletcher has the same quibble 

in his Woman pleas' d : 

" mark me, thou serious sowter, 

" If thou dost this, there shall be no more shoe-mending ; 
" Every man shall have a special care of his own soul, 
" And carry in his pocket his two confessors." 


3 Mar. What trade, &c.] This speech in the old copy is given 
to Flavins. The next speech but one shows that it belongs to 
Manillas, to whom it was attributed, I think, properly, by Mr. 
Capell. MALONE. 

4 Mar. What meanest thou by that 1 ?] As the Cobler, in the 
preceding speech, replies to Flavins, not to Marullus, 'tis plain, 
I think, this speech must be given to Flavins. THEOBALD. 

I have replaced Marullus, who might properly enough reply 
to a saucy sentence directed to his colleague, and to whom the 
speech was probably given, that he might not stand too long un- 
employed upon the stage. JOHNSON. 

I would give the first .speech to Marullus, instead of transfer- 
ring the last to Flavins. RITSON. 

Perhaps this, like all the other speeches of the Tribunes, (to 
whichsoever of them it belongs) was designed to be metrical, 
and originally stood thus : 

What meanest by that? Mend me, thou saucy felloiu ? 


sc. i. JULIUS C^SAR. 2-J7 

women's matters, but with awliv I am, indeed, 
sir, a surgeon to old shoes ; when they are in great 
danger, I re-cover them. As proper men as ever 
trod upon neats-leather, have gone upon my handy- 

FLAV. But wherefore art not in thy shop to-day? 
Why dost tliou lead these men about the streets ? 

2 CIT. Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes, to get 
myself into more work. But, indeed, sir, we make 
holiday, to see Caesar, and to rejoice in his triumph. 

MAR. Wherefore rejoice ? What conquest brings 

he home? 

What tributaries follow him to Rome, 
To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels ? 
You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless 

O, you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome, 

' I meddle ivltli no tradesman's matters, nor teamen's matters, 
bid U'il/i awl.] This should be : " I meddle with no trade, 
man's matters, nor woman's matters, but with aid." FARMER. 

Shakspcare might have adopted this quibble from the ancient 
ballad, intitled, The Three Merry Coblers ; 
" We have aide at our command, 
" And still we are on the mending hand." STKKVKNS. 

I have already observed in a note on Lotv'.v Labour'* Last, 
Vol. VII. p. 81, n. 7, that where our author uses words equi- 
vocally, he imposes some difiiculty on his editor with respect to 
the mode of exhibiting them in print. Shakspeare, who wrote 
for tlu- stage, not for the closet, was contented if his quibble 
satisfied the ear. I have, with the other modern editors, printed 
here with arc/, though in the first folio, we find ici/hal ; as in 
the preceding page, bad soa/x, instead of bad souls, the reading 
of the original copy. 

The allusion contained in the second clause of .this sentence, is 
again repeated in Coriolamtx, Act IV. sc. v: " 13 Sere. How, 
sir, do yon meddle with niv master ? ( 'or. Ay, 'tis an honester 
service 1 than to meddle -cif/i lit// ?H/,V/;T.S.V." MAI.OVK. 
VOL.. \ VI. S 


Knew you not Pompey ? Many a time and oft 
Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements, 
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops, 
Your infants in your arms, and there have sat 
The live-long day, with patient expectation, 
To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome : 
And when you saw his chariot but appear, 
Have you not made an universal shout, 
That Tyber trembled underneath her banks, 6 
To hear the replication of your sounds, 
Made in her concave shores ? 
And do you now put on your best attire ? 
And do you now cull out a holiday ? 
And do you now strew flowers in his way, 
That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood ? 
Be gone ; 

Run to your houses, fall upon your knees, 
Pray to the gods to intermit the plague 
That needs must light on this ingratitude. 

FLAV. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this 


Assemble all the poor men of your sort ; 
Draw them to Tyber banks, and weep your tears 
Into the channel, till the lowest stream 

6 her banks, 1 As Tyber is always represented by the 

figure of a man, the feminine gender is improper. Milton says, 
that - 

" the river of bliss 

" Rolls o'er Elysian flowers her amber stream." 
But he is speaking of the water, and not of its presiding power 
or genius. STEEVENS. 

Drayton, in his Polyolbion, frequently describes the rivers of 
England as females, even when he speaks of the presiding power 
of the stream. Spenser, on the other hand, represents them 
more classically, as males. MALONE. 

The presiding power of some of Drayton's rivers were fe- 
males ; like Sabrina &c. STEEVENS. 

sc. i. JULIUS C^SAR. 259 

Do kiss the most exalted shores of all. 

\_Rxeunt Citizens. 

See, whe'r 7 their basest metal be not mov'd ; 
They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness. 
Go you down that way towards the Capitol ; 
This way will I : Disrobe the images, 
If you do find them deck'd with ceremonies. 8 

MAR. May we do so ? 
You know, it is the feast of Lupercal. 

FLAV. It is no matter ; let no images 
Be hung w r ith Caesar's trophies.? ; I'll about, 
And drive away the vulgar from the streets : 
So do you too, where you perceive them thick. 
These growing feathers pluck'd from Caesar's wing, 
Will make him fly an ordinary pitch ; 
Who else would soar above the view of men, 
And keep us all in servile fearfulness. \_Exeunt. 

7 Sec, whe'r ] Whether, thus abbreviated, is used by Ben 
Jonson : 

" Who shall doubt, Donne, uche'r I a poet be, 

" When I dare send my epigrams to thee." STEEVEXS. 

See Vol. X. p. 379, n. 6. MALOXK. 

9 deck'd with ceremonies.] Ceremonies, for religious or- 
naments. Thus afterwards he explains them by Cecsar's trophies ; 
i. e. such as he had dedicated to the gods. WAKBURTON. 

Ceremonies are honorary ornaments ; tokens of respect. 


n Be hung with C&sar's trophies.] Ca^ar's trophic 1 !, are, I 
believe, the crowns which were placed on his statues. So, in Sir 
Thomas North's translation : " There were set up images ot 
C'a'sar in the city with diadems on their heads, like kings. Those 
the two tribunes went and pulled down." STEKVEXS. 

\\ hat these trophies really were, is explained by a passage in 
the next scene, where Casca informs C'assius, that " Manillas 
and Flavins, for pulling scar/s oft' Citsar's images, are put to 
Alienee." M. MASON. 



The same. A public k Place. 

Enter, in Procession, \.dth Mustek, CESAR ; AN- 
TONY, for the course ; CALPHURNIA, PORTIA, 
a great Croud following ; among them a Sooth- 

CSES. Calpliurnia, 

CASCA. Peace, ho ! Caesar speaks. 

[Mustek ceases. 
CJES. Calphurnia, 

1 This person was not Decius, but Decimus Brutus. The 
poet (as Voltaire has done since) confounds the characters of 
Marcus and Decimus. Decimus Brutus was the most cherished 
by Cessar of all his friends, while Marcus kept aloof, and de- 
clined so large a share of his favours and honours, as the other 
had constantly accepted. Velleius Paterculus, speaking of 
Decimus Brutus, says: " ab iis, quos miserat Antonius, jugu- 
latus est; justissimasque optime de se merito viro C. Csesari 
pcenas dedit. Cujus cum primus omnium amicorum fuisset, in- 
terfector fuit, et fortunae ex qua fructum tulerat, invidiam in 
auctorem relegabat, censebatque sequum, quae acceperat a Ca> 
sare retinere: Caesarem, quia ilia dederat, perisse." Lib. II. 
c. Ixiv. 

" Jungitur his Decimus, notissimus inter aiuico^ 

" CaBsaris, ingratus, cui trans- Alpina fuisset 

" Gallia Ca?sareo nuper commissa favore. 

" Non ilium conjuncta fides, non nowicn auuci 

** Deterrere potest. 

" Ante alios Decimus, cui fallere, nomen amici 

*' Proecipue dederat, ductoreni s<rpe morantem 

" Incitat." Supnlem, Litcaa/. JJTKK YEN'S. 

Shakspeare's mistake of Dcciua for TXr/.wfw, arose from the 
old translation of Plutarch. FARMER. 

Lord Sterline has committed tlie s.iuie mistake in his Julius 
Cissar : and in Holland's translation of Suetonius, 1606, which 
I believe Shakspeare had read, thi^ persuii is likewise called 

sc. ii. JULIUS C.ESAR. 261 

CAL. Here, my lord. 

CMS. Stand you directly in Antonius' way, 
When he doth run his course. Antonius. 

ANT. Ca?sar, my lord. 

CJES. Forget not, in your speed, Antonius, 
To touch Calphurnia : for our elders say, 
The barren, touched in this holy chase, 
Shake off their steril curse. 

A XT. I shall remember : 

When Ca?sar says, Do this, it is perform'd. 

CJES. Set on ; and leave no ceremony out. 

SOOTH. Caesar. 
CMS. Ha! Who calls? 

in Antonius' uwy,] The old copy generally reads 

Antonio, Octavio, Flavin. The players were more accustomed 
to Italian than Roman terminations, on account of the many 
versions from Italian novels, and the many Italian characters in 
dramatick pieces formed on the same originals. STEEVENS. 

The correction was made by Mr. Pope. " At that time, 
(says Plutarch,) the feast Lupercatia was celebrated, the which 
in olde time men say was the feast of Shepheards or heardsmen, 
and is much like unto the feast of Lyceians in Arcadia. But 
howsoever it is, that day there are diverse noble men's sonnes, 
young men, (and some of them magistrates themselves that go- 
vern them,) which run naked through the city, striking in sport 
them they meet in their way with leather thongs. And many 
noble women and gentlewomen also go of purpose to stand in 
their way, and doe put forth their handes to be stricken, per- 
suading themselves that being with childe, they shall have good 
deliverie; and also, being barren, that it will make them conceive 
with child. Cajsar sat to behold that sport vpon the pulpit for 
orations, in a chayre of gold, apparelled in triumphant manner. 
Antonius, who was consul at that time, was one of them that 
/'untie this holy course." North's translation. 

We learn from Cicero that Cuesar constituted a new kind of 
these Lupcrciy whom he called after his own name, JuUani; and 
Mark Antony was the first who was to entitled. MALONK. 


CASCA. Bid every noise be still : Peace yet again. 

[Mustek ceases. 

CJES. Who is it in the press, that calls on me ? 
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the musick, 
Cry, Caesar : Speak ; Cassar is turn'd to hear. 

SOOTH. Beware the ides of March. 

CJES. What man is that ? 

BRU. A soothsayer, bids you beware the ides of 

. Set him before me, let me see his face. 

CAS. Fellow, come from the throng : Look upon 

CMS. What say'st thou to me now ? Speak once 

SOOTH. Beware the ides of March. 

CJES. He is a dreamer ; let us leave him ; pass. 
[Sennefct Exeunt all but BRU. and CAS. 

CAS. Will you go see the order of the course ? 

BRU. Not I. 

CAS. I pray you, do. 

BRU. I am not gamesome : I do lack some part 

3 Sennet.'} I have been informed that sennet is derived from 
senneste, an antiquated French tune formerly used in the army ; 
but the Dictionaries which I have consulted exhibit no such 

In Decker's Satiromastix, 1602 : 

" Trumpets sound a flourish, and then a sennet." 
In The Dumb Show, preceding the first part oi'Jcronimo, 1605, 

" Sound a signate, and pass ouer the stage." 
In Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of Malta, a synnet is 
called a flourish of trumpets, but I know not on what authority. 
See a note on King Henry VIII. Act II. sc. iv. Vol. XV. p. 87, 
n. 4. Sennet may be a corruption from sonata, Ital. 


sc. n. JULIUS CAESAR. 263 

Of that quick spirit that is in Antony. 
Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires ; 
Pll leave you. 

CAS. Brutus, I do observe you now of late 1* 
I have not from your eyes that gentleness, 
And show of love, as I was wont to have : 
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand 5 ' 
Over your friend that loves you. 

BRU. Cassius, 

Be not deceived : If I have veil'd my look, 
I turn the trouble of my countenance 
Merely upon myself. Vexed I am, 
Of lute, with passions of some difference,' 1 
Conceptions only proper to myself, 
Which give some soil, perhaps, to my behaviours: 
But let not therefore my good friends be griev'd ; 
(Among which number, Cassius, be you one ;) 
Nor construe any further my neglect, 
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war, 
Forgets the shows of love to other men. 

* Brutus, I do observe you now of late :] Will the reader 
sustain any loss by the omission of the words you now, without 
which the measure would become regular ? 
/'// leave you. 

Cas. Brutus, I do observe of late, 

I have not c. STEEVENS. 

J strange a hand ] Strange, is alien, unfamiliar, such 

as might become a stranger. JOHNSON. 

6 passions of some difference,"] With a fluctuation of dis- 
cordant opinions and desires. JOHNSON. 

So, in Coriolanus, Act V. sc. iii : 

" thou hast set thy mercy and thy honour 
" At difference in thee." STEEVENS. 

\ following line may prove the best comment on this : 
" Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war, ." 



CAS. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your 

passion ; 7 

By means whereof, this breast of mine hath buried 
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations. 
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face ? 

BRU. No, Cassius: for the eye sees not itself, 8 
But by reflection, by some other things. 

CAS. 'Tisjust: 

And it is very much lamented, Brutus, 
That you have no such mirrors, as will turn 
Your hidden worthiness into your eye, 
That you might see your shadow. I have heard, 
Where many of the best respect in Rome, 
(Except immortal Caesar,) speaking of Brutus, 
And groaning underneath this age's yoke, 
Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes. 

BRU. Into what dangers would you lead me, 


That you would have me seek into myself 
For that which is not in me ? 

7 your passion;] i. e. the nature of the feelings from 

which you are now suffering. So, in Timon of Athens : 
" I feel my master's passion" STEEVENS. 

ft the eye sees not itself, ~\ So, Sir John Davies in his poem 

entitled Nosce Teipsum, 1599: 

" Is it because the mind is like the eye, 

" Through which it gathers knowledge by degrees ; 
" Whose rays reflect not, but spread outwardly ; 

" Not seeing itself, when other things it sees?" 
Again, in Marston's Parasitaster, 1606 : 

" Thus few strike sail until they run on shelf; 
" The eye sees all things but its proper self." 

Again, in Sir John Davics's Poem : 

*' . the lights which in my tower do shine, 

" Mine eyes which see all objects nigh and far, 
" Look not into this little world of mine ; 
" Nor see my face, wherein they fixed are." 


sc. ii. JULIUS CAESAR. 265 

CAS. Therefore,goodBrutus,beprepar'd tohcar: 
And, since you know you cannot sec yourself 
So well as by reflection, I, your glass, 
Will modestly discover to yourself 
That of yourself which you yet know not of. 
And be not jealous of me, gentle Brutus : 
Were I a common laugheiyyor did use 
To stale with ordinary oaths my love 1 
To every new protester; if you know 
That I do fawn on men, and hug them hard, 
And after scandal them ; or if you know 
That I profess myself in banqueting 
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous. 

[Flourish, and Shout. 

BRU. What means this shouting ? I do fear, the 

Choose Ceesar for their king. 

CAS. Ay, do you fear it ? 

Then must I think you would not have it so. 

BRU. Iwouldnot,Cassius; yet I lovehimwell: 
But wherefore do von hold me here so lone; ? 

/ C7 

What is it that you would impart to me ? 
If it be aught toward the general good, 
Set honour in one eye, and death i' the other, 
And I will look on both indifferently:'' 2 

a common laugher,] Old copy laughter. Corrected 
by Mr. Pope. MA LUXE. 

1 To stale with ordinary oaths mij lore &c.] To invite cirri/ 
iie:c protester to my affection by the stale or allurement of cus- 
tomary oaths. JOHNSON. 

" And I will look on both indifferently .-] Dr. Wnrburton has 
a long note on this occasion, which is very trifling. When 
Brutus first names honour and death, he calmly declares them 
indifferent; but as the image kindles in his mind, he sets honour 
above ///?. Is not this natural ? JOHNSON. 


For, let the gods so speed me, as I love 
The name of hoiiour more than I fear death. 

CAS. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus, 
As well as I do know your outward favour. 
Well, honour is the subject of my story. 
I cannot tell, what you and other men. 
Think of this life ; but, for my single self, 
I had as lief not be, as live to be 
In awe of such a thing as I myself. 
I was born free as Caesar ; so were you : 
We both have fed as well ; and we can both 
Endure the winter's cold, as well as he. 
For once, upon a raw and gusty day, 
The troubled Tyber chafing with her shores, 
Caesar said to me, Dar'st thou, Cassius, now 
Leap in with me into this angry Jlood? 
And swim to yonder point ? Upon the word, 
Accouter'd as I was, I plunged in, 
And bade him follow : so, indeed, he did. 
The torrent roar'd ; and we did buffet it 
With lusty sinews ; throwing it aside 
And stemming it with hearts of controversy. 
But ere \ve could arrive the point propos'd, 4 
Caesar cry'd, Help me, Cassius, or I sink. 
I, as j^Eneas, our great ancestor, 

3 Dar'st thou, Cassius, note 

Leap in with me into this angry Jlood,~] Shakspeare probably 
recollected the story which Suetonius has told of Caesar's leap- 
ing into the sea, when he was in danger by a boat's being over- 
laden, and swimming to the next ship with his Commentaries in 
his left hand. Holland's translation of Suetonius, 1606, p. 26. 
So also, ibid. p. 24- : " Were rivers in his way to hinder his pas- 
sage, cross over them he would, either swimming, or else bear- 
ing himself upon blowed leather bottles." MALONE. 

4 But ere tue could arrive the point propos'd,"] The verb arrive 
is used, without the preposition at, by Milton in the second 
Book of Paradise Lost, as well as by Shakspeare in The Third 
Part of Kins: Hcnrn VI. Act V. sc. iii : 

sc. ii. JULIUS CAESAR. 267 

Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder 

The old Anchises bear, so, from the waves of Tyber 

Did I the tired Caesar : And this man 

Is now become a god ; and Cassius is 

A wretched creature, and must bend his body, 

If Caesar carelessly but nod on him. 

He had a fever when he was in Spain, 5 

And, when the fit was on him, I did mark 

How he did shake : 'tis true, this god did, .shake : 

His coward lips did from their colour fly ^) 

And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world, 

Did lose his lustre : I did hear him groan : 

Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans 

Mark him, and write his speeches in their books, 

Alas ! it cried, Give me some drink, Titinius, 

As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me, 

A man of such a feeble temper 7 should 

So get the start of the majestick world, 8 

And bear the palm alone. [Shout. Flourish. 

" those powers, that the queen 

" Hath rais'd in Gallia, have arrived our coast." 


'' He had a fever when he was in Spain,'] This passage Dr. 
Falconer observes is a true copy from nature, and shows how an 
ague may produce cowardice, even in Caesar himself. Falconer 
on the Influence of Climate, &c. 4to. p. 163. REED. 

6 His coward lips did from their colour fly;] A plain man 
would have said, the colour Jled from his lips, and not his lipsfrom 
their colour. But the false expression was for the sake of as false 
a piece of wit: a poor quibble, alluding to a coward Hying from 
his colours. WARBUUTON. 

7 feeble temper ] i. e. temperament, constitution. 


K get the start of the majestick world, &c.] This image 

is extremely noble : it is taken from the Olympick games. The 
majestick world is a fine periphrasis for the Roman empire: their 
citizens set themselves on a footing with kings, and they called 
their dominion Orbis Romanus. But the particular allusion 
seems to be to the known story of Ctvsar's great pattern, Alexan- 


BRU. Another general shout! 
I do believe, that these applauses are 
For some new honours that are heap'd on Caesar. 

CAS. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow 


Like a Colossus ; and we petty men 
Walk under his huge legs^ ! and peep about 
To find ourselves dishonourable graves. 
Men at some time are masters of their fates : 
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, 
But in ourselves, that we are underlings. 
Brutus, and Caesar: What should be in that Caesar? 
Why should that name be soundedmore than yours? 
Write them together, yours is as fair a name ; 
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well j 5 
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure them, 
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar. 1 - \_Shout. 

der, who being asked, Whether he would run the course at the 
Olympick games, replied, Yes, if the racers were kings. 


That the allusion is to the prize allotted in games to the fore- 
most in the race, is very clear. All the rest existed, I appre- 
hend, only in Dr. Warburton's imagination. M ALONE. 

8 and we petty men 

Walk under his huge lcgs,~\ So, as an anonymous writer has 
observed, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. IV. c. x: 
" But I the meanest man of many more, 
" Yet much disdaining unto him to lout, 
" Or creep between his legs." MALONE. 

9 Sound them, it doth become the month as well ;] A similar 
thought occurs in Heywood's Rape ofLucrcce, 1630: 
" What diapason's more in Tarquin's name, 
" Than in a subject's . ? or what's Tullia 
" More in the sound, than should become the name 
" Of a poor maid?" STEEVENS. 

1 Brutus will start a spirit as soon as C&sar.~] Dr. Young, in 
Busiris, appears to have imitated this passage : 

sc. ii. JULIUS CAESAR. 269 

Now in the names of all the gods at once, 
Upon what meat doth this our Cffisar feed, 
That he is grown so great ? Age, thou art sham'd: 
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods ! 
When went there by an age, since the great flood, 
But it was fain'd with more than with one man ? 
When could they say, till now, that talk'd of Rome, 
That her wide walks encompass'd but one man j* 
Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough, 
When there is in it but one only man. 
O ! you and I have heard our fathers say, 
There was a Brutus once, 2 that would have brook'd 
The eternal devil 3 Ho keep his state in Rome, 
As easily as a king. 

BR u. That you do love me, I am nothing jea- 
lous ; 

What you would work me to, I have some aim; 4 
How 1 have thought of this, and of these times, 
I shall recount hereafter ; for this present, 
I would not, so with love I might entreat you, 
Be any further mov'd. What you have said, 
I will consider ; what you have to say, 
I will with patience hear : and find a time 

" Nay, stamp not, tyrant ; I can stamp as loud, 
" And raise as many daemons with the sound." 


" There icas a Brutus once,~\ i. c. Lucix? Junius Brutus. 


3 eternal devil ] I should think that our author wrote 

rather, infernal devil. JOHNSON. 

I would continue to read eternal devil. L. J. Brutus (says 
Cassius) would as soon have submitted to the perpetual domi- 
nion of a daemon, as to the lasting government of a king. 


4 aim ;] i. e. guess. So, in The Tico Gentlemen oj 

Verona: ,~ 

" But, fearing lest my jealous aim might err, ." 



Both meet to hear, and answer, such high things. 
Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this $ 
Brutus had rather be a villager, 
Than to repute himself a son of Rome 
Under these hard conditions as this time 
Is like to lay upon usv 6 > 

CAS. I am glad, that my weak wordl?) 
Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus. 

Re-enter C/ESAR, and his Train. 

BRU. The games are done,andCa2sarisreturning. 

CAS. As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve ; 
And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you 
What hath proceeded, worthy note, to-day. 

BRU. 1 will do so : But, look you, Cassius, 
The angry spot doth glow on Caesar's brow, 
And all the rest look like a chidden train : 
Calphurnia's cheek is pale ; and Cicero 
Looks with such ferret 8 and such fiery eyes, 
As we have seen him in the Capitol, 
Being cross'd in conference by some senators. 

CAS. Casca will tell us what the matter is. 

5 chew upon thin;'] Consider this at leisure ; ruminate 

on this. JOHNSON. 

6 Under these hard conditions as this time 

Is like to lay upon us."] As, in our author's age, was fre- 
quently used in the sense of that. So, in North's translation of 
Plutarch, 1579: " insomuch as they that saw it, thought he 
had been burnt." MALONE. 

7 / am glad, that my weak words ] For the sake of regular 
measure, Mr. Ritson would read : 

Cas. / am glad, my ivords 

Have struck &c. STEEVENS. 

" -ferret ] A ferret has red eyes. JOHNSON. 

sc. ii. JULIUS CAESAR. 271 

CJES. Antonius. 
ANT. Caesar. 

CJES. Let me have men about me that are fat ; 
Sleek-headed men, 9 and such as sleep o'nights : 
Yond' Cassius has a lean and hungry look ; 
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous. 

ANT. Fear him not, Caesar, he's not dangerous; 
He is a noble Roman, and well given. 

CJES. 'Would he were fatter 5u But I fear him 


Yet if my name were liable to fear, 
I do not know the man I should avoid 
So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much ; 
He is a great observer, and he looks 
Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays, 
As thou dost, Antony ; he hears no musick : 2 

9 Sleek-headed men, &c.] So, in Sir Thomas North's transla- 
tion of Plutarch, 1579: "When Caesar's friends complained 
unto him of Antonius and Dolabella, that they pretended some 
mischief towards him ; he answered, as for those fat men and 
smooth-combed heads, (quoth he) 1 never reckon of them; but 
these pale-visaged and carrion-lean people, I fear them most : 
meaning Brutus and Cassius." 

And again : 

" Caesar had Cassius in great jealousy, nnd suspected him 
much; whereupon he said on a time, to his friends, what will 
Cassius do, think you ? I like not his pale looks." STEEVENS. 

1 y Would he ivcre fatter ;] Ben Jorison, in his Bartholomew 
Fair, 1614-, unjustly sneers at this passage, in Knockham's speech 
to the Pig-woman: " Come, there's no malice in fat folks ; 1 
n vcrfcar t/iee, an I can scape thy lean moon-calf there." 


he hears no mutick;] Our author considered the having 

no delight in musick as so certain a mark of an austere disposi- 
tion, that in The Merchant of Venice he has pronounced, that 
" The man that hath no musick in himself, 
" Is fit lor treasons, stratagems, and spoils." MALONL. 

See Vol. VII. p. 377, n. 7. STF.EVEXS. 


Seldom he smiles ; and smiles in such a sort, 
As if he mock'd himself, and scorn'd his spirit 
That could be mov'd to smile at any thing. 
Such men as he be never at heart's ease, 
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves ; 
And therefore are they very dangerous. 
I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd, 
Than what I fear, for always I am Caesar. 
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf, 
And tell me truly what thou think'st of him. 

\_Exeunt C/ESAR and his Train. CASCA stays 

CASCA. You pull'd me by the cloak ; Would you 
speak with me ? 

BRU. Ay, Casca ; tell us what hath chanc'd to- 
That Caesar looks so sad. 

CASCA. Why you were with him, were you not ? 

BRU. I should not then ask Casca what hath 

CASCA. Why, there was a crown offered him : 
and being offered him, he put it by with the back 
of his hand, thus ; and then the people fell a 

BRU. What was the second noise for? 
CASCA. Why, for that too. 

CAS. They shouted thrice ; What was the last 
cry for ? 

CASCA. Why, for that too. 

BRU. Was the crown ofter'd him thrice? 

CASCA. Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, 
every time gentler than other; and at every putting 
by, mine honest neighbours shouted. 

se. n. JULIUS CAESAR. 273 

CAS. Who offered him the crown ? 

CASCA. Why, Antony. 

BRU. Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca. 

CASCA. I can as well be hanged, as tell the man- 
ner of it : it was mere foolery. I did not mark it. 
J saw Mark Antony offer him a crown ; yet 'twas 
not a crown neither, 'twas one of these coronets ; 3 
and, as I told you, he put it by once ; but, for 
all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. 
Then he offered it to him again ; then he put it by 
again : but, to my thinking, he was very loath to 
lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it the 
third time ; he put it the third time by : and still 
as he refused it, the rabblement hooted, and clapped 
their chopped hands, and threw up their sweaty 
night-caps, and uttered such a deal of stinking 
breath because Qesar refused the crown, that it 
had almost choked Cassar ; for he swooned, and 
fell down at it : And for mine own part, I durst 
not laugh, for fear of opening my lips, and receiv- 
ing the bad air. 

CAS. But, soft, I pray you : What ? did (\vsar 
swoon ? 

CASCA. He fell down in the market-place, and 
ibamed at mouth, and was speechless. 

Jiiir. 'Tis very like : he hath the falling-sick- 

CAS. Xo, Ca>sar hath it not ; but you, and 1, 
And honest Casea, we have the falling-sickness. 

CASCA. I know not what you mean by that ; but, 
I am sure, Ca>sur fell down. If the tag-rag people 1 

nut' (t/'l/H'sc coronets ;] So, in the old translation of 
Plutarch : " hi; fame to Cirsar, and presented him a diadem 
wreathed about with laurel." STL:KVI-:N<. 

VOL. \vi. r 


did not clap him, and hiss him, according as he 
pleased, and displeased them, as they use to do the 
players in the theatre, I am no true man. 4 

BRU. What said he, when he came unto himself? 

CASCA. Marry, before he fell down, when he 
perceiv'd the common herd was glad he refused the 
crown, he plucked me ope his doublet, and offered 
them his throat to cut. An I had been a man of 
any occupation, 5 if I would not have taken him at 
a word, I would I might go to hell among the 
rogues: and so he fell. When he came to himself 
again, he said, If he had done or said any thing 
amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his 
infirmity. Three or four wenches, w^here I stood, 
cried, Alas, good soul ! and forgave him with all 
their hearts : But there's no heed to be taken of 
them ; if Caesar had stabbed their mothers, they 
would have done no less. 

BR u. And after that, he came, thus sad, away ? 


CAS. Did Cicero say anv tiling ? 

%f * O 

CASCA. Ay, he spoke Greek. 
CAS. To what effect ? 

CASCA. Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look 
you i' the face again : But those, that understood 
him, smiled at one another, and shook their heads : 
but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I 

no true man.] No honest man. See Vol. VI. p. 31-7, 

n. 7. MALONE. 

r> a man of any occupation,'] Had I been a mechanick, 

one of the Plebeians to whom he offered his throat. JOHNSON. 

So, in Coriolanm, Act IV. sc. vi : 

" You that have stood so much 

" Upon the voice of occupation" MALOXK. 

sc. ii. JULIUS C^SSAR. 275 

could tell you more news too : Marullus and Fla- 
vius, for pulling scarfs off Caesar's images, are put 
to silence. Fare you well. There was more foolery 
yet, if I could remember it. 

CAS. Will you sup with me to-night, Casca ? 
CASCA. No, I am promised forth. 
CAS. Will you dine with me to-morrow ? 
CASCA. Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, 
and your dinner worth the eating. 

CAS. Good ; I will expect you. 

CASCA. Do so : Farewell, both. [Exit CASCA. 

BRU. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be ? 
He was quick mettle, when he went to school. 

CAS. So is he now, in execution 
Of any bold or noble enterprize, 
However he puts on this tardy form. 
This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit, 
Which gives men stomach to digest his words 
With better appetite. 

BRU. And so it is. For this time I will leave 

you : 

To-morrow, if you please to speak with inc, 
I will come home to you; or, if you will, 
Come home with me, and I will wait for you. 

CAS. I will do so : till then, think of the world. 


Well, Brutus, thou art noble ; yet, I see, 
Thy honourable metal may be wrought 
From that it is dispos'd : 6 Therefore 'tis meet 

Thy Jionnnrnblc metal mnij be 

From that it is disposed':] The hot ir/n! or tcwprr maybe 
worked into qualities contrary to its original constitution. 



That noble minds keep ever with their likes : 
For who so firm, that cannot be seduc'd? 
Caesar doth bear me hard ; 7 but he loves Brutus: 
If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius, 
He should not humour me. 8 I will this night, 
In several hands, in at his windows throw, 
As if they came from several citizens, 
Writings, all tending to the great opinion 
That Rome holds of his name ; wherein obscurely 
Caesar's ambition shall be glanced at : 
And, after this, let Caesar seat him sure ; 
For we will shake him, or worse days endure. 


From that it is disposed, i. e. dispos'd to. See Vol. XV. p. 196, 
n. 4. MALONE. 

1 doth Lear me hard;] i. e. has an unfavourable opinion 

of me. The same phrase occurs again in the first scene of Act III. 


8 /// tuere Brutus noiv, and he were Cassius, 

He should not humour me.] This is a reflection on Brutus's 
ingratitude : which concludes, as is usual on such occasions, in 
an encomium on his own better conditions. IJ' Iivere Brutus, 
(says he) and Brutus Cassixs, he should not cajole me as I do him. 
To humour signifies here to turn and wind him, by inflaming his 
passions. WARBURTON. 

The meaning, I think, is this : C.'fCsar foves Brutus, but if 
Brutus and I icere to change places, lux lure should not humour 
me, should not take hold of my affection, so as to make me for- 
get my principles. JOHNSON. 

sc. in. JULIUS C^SAR. 277 

The same. A Street. 

Thunder and Lightning. Enter, from opposite sides, 
CASCA, rtv/A his Sword drawn, and CICERO. 

Cic. Good even, Casca : Brought you Caesar 

home? 9 ' 
Why are you breathless ? and why stare you so ? 

CASCA. Arc not you mov'd, when all the sway of 

earth 1 

Shakes, like a thing unfirm ? O Cicero, 
I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds 
Have riv'd the knotty oaks ; and I have seen 
The ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam, 
To be exalted with the threat'ning clouds : 
But never till to-nip-ht, never till now, 

o * * 

Did I go through a tempest dropping tire. 
Either there is a civil strife in heaven ; 
Or else the world, too saucy with the gods, 
Incenses them to send destruction. 

Cic. Why, saw you any thing more wonderful ? 

CASCA. A common slave -.(you know him well by 

" Brought you C<csar home?] Did you attend Caesar 

home? JOHNSON'. 

So, in Measure for Measure : 

" That we may bring you something on the way." 
See Vol. VI. p. 196, n. L 'NLvLoxic. 

1 sway of earth ] The whole weight or momentum of 

this globe. JOHNSON. 

' // common slave &c.] So, in the old transition of Plutarch : 
' a slave of the souldiers that did cast a marvelous burning 


Held up his left hand, which did flame, and burn 
Like twenty torches join'd ; and yet his hand, 
Not sensible of fire, remain'd unscorch'd. 
Besides, (I have not since put up my sword,) 
Against the Capitol I met a lion, 
Who glar'd upon me, 3 and went surly by, 

flame out of his hande, insomuch as they that saw it, thought he 
had bene burnt ; but when the fire was out, it was found he had 
no hurt." STEEVENS. 

3 Who glar'd upon me,~\ The first [and second] edition reads; 

Who glaz'd upon me, 

Perhaps, Who gaz'd upon me. JOHNSON. 

Glar'd is certainly right. So, in King Lear: 

" Look where he stands, and glares /'* 
Again, in Hamlet : 

" Look you, how pale he glares /" 

Again, Skelton in his Crowne of Latvrell, describing " a lyb* 
bard :" 

" As gastly that glaris, as grimly that grones." 
Again, in the Ashridge MS. of Milton's Comus, as published 
by the ingenious and learned Mr. Todd, verse 416 : 

" And yawning denns, where glaringe monsters house.'* 

To gaze is only to look stedfastly, or with admiration. Glar'd 

has a singular propriety, as it expresses the furious scintillation of 

a lion's eye : and, that a lion should appear full of fury, and yet 

attempt no violence, augments the prodigy. STEEVENS. 

The old copy reads glaz'd, for which Mr. Pope substituted 
glar'd, and this reading has been adopted by all the subsequent 
editors. Glar'd certainly is to our ears a more forcible expression; 
I have however adopted a reading proposed by Dr. Johnson, 
gaz'd ; induced by the following passage in Stowe's Chronicle, 
1615, from which the word gaze seems in our author's time to 
have been peculiarly applied to the fierce aspect of a lion, and 
therefore may be presumed to have been the word here intended. 
The writer is describing a trial of valour (as he calls it,) between 
a lion, a bear, a stone-horse, and a mastiff; which was exhibited 
in the Tower, in the year 1609, before the king and all the 
royal family, diverse great lords, and many others: " Then 
was the great ft/on put forth, who gazed awhile, but never 
offered to assault or approach the bear." Again : " the above 
mentioned young lusty lyon and lyoness were put together, to sec 

sc. in. JULIUS C^SAR. 279 

Without annoying me : And there were drawn 
Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women, 
Transformed with their fear ; who swore, they saw 
Men, all in fire, walk up and down the streets. 
And, yesterday, the bird of night did sit, 
Even at noon-day, upon the market-place, 
Hooting, and shrieking. When these prodigies 
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say, 
These are their reasons , They are natural ; 
For, I believe, they are portentous things 
Unto the climate that they point upon. 

Cic. Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time : 
But men may construe things after their fashion, 
Clean from the purpose 4 of the things themselves. 
Comes Caesar to the Capitol to-morrow? 

if they would rescue the third, but they would not, \i\iijcarfuUj 
[that is, dreadfully] gnzed upon the dogs." Again : " The lyon 
having fought long, and his tongue being torne, lay staring and 
panting a pretty while, so as all the beholders thought lie had 
been utterly spoyled and spent ; and upon a sodaine <^azed upon 
that dog which remained, and so soon as he had fpoyled and 
worried, almost dcxlroyed him." 

In this last instance gnz'd seems to be used ns exactly synony- 
mous to the modern word glar'a', for the lion immediately after- 
wards proceeds to worry and destroy the dog. MALONK. 

That "lar'd is no mn'/rni word, is sufficiently ascertained by 
the following passage in Macbeth, and two others already quoted 
from Khi'j[ Lear and Ilumlel 

" Thou h;ist no speculation in those eyes 
" That thou do.-,t ^Itirr with." 

I therefore continue to repair the poet with his own animated 
phraseology, rather than with the cold expression suggested by 
the narrative of Stowe : who, having been a tailor, was un- 
doubtedly equal to the task of mending Shak<peare's hose; but, 
on pocticnl emergencies, must not be allowed to patch his dia- 
logue. S TKl A l.\S. 

* rii;in i]-n;)i lite piirpn.v ] Clean is altogether, entirely. 
See Vol. XI. p. SI, n. *). MALONF. 

280 JULIUS C-ffiSAR. ACT I. 

CASCA. He doth ; for he did bid Antonius 
Send word to you, he would be there to-morrow. 

Cic. Good night then, Casca: this disturbed sky 
Is not to walk in. 

CASCA. Farewell, Cicero. [_Ea:tt CICERO. 


Cis. Who's there ? 

CASCA. A Roman. 

CAS. Casca, by your voice. 

CASCA. Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is 
this ? 

CAS. A very pleasing night to honest men. 
CASCA. Who ever knew the heavens menace so ? 

CAS. Those, that have known the earth so full 

of faults. 

For my part, I have walk'd about the streets, 
Submitting me unto the perilous night ; 
And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see, 
Have bar'd my bosom to the thunder-stone : 5 
And, when the cross blue lightning seem'd to open 
The breast of heaven, I did present myself 
Even in the aim and very flash of it. 

CASCA. But wherefore did you so much tempt 

the heavens ? 

It is the part, of men to fear and tremble, 
When the most mighty gods, by tokens, send 
Such dreadful heralds to astonish us. 

? thunder-stone :"] A stone fabulously supposed to be dis- 
charged by thunder. So, in Cymbeline: 

" Fear no more the lightning-flash, 

" Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone." STEKVENS. JULIUS C^SAR. 281 

CAS. You are dull, Casca ; and those sparks of 


That should be in a Roman, you do want, 
Or else you use not : You look pale, and gaze, 
And put on fear, and cast yourself in wonder, 
To see the strange impatience of the heavens : 
But if you would consider the true cause, 
"Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts, 
Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind; 6 
"Why old men fools, and children calculate ; 7 
AVhy all these things change, from their ordinance, 
Their natures, and prc-formed faculties, 
To monstrous quality ; why, you shall find, 
That heaven hath infus'd them with these spirits, 

fi Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind ; &c.] That 
is, Why they deviate from quality and nature. This line might 
perhaps be more properly placed after the next line : 
Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind, 
Why all these things change from their ordinance. 


7 and children calculate ;] Calculate here signifies to 

foretel or prophesy : for the custom of foretelling fortunes by 
judicial astrology (which was at that time much in vogue) being 
performed by a long tedious calculation, Shakspeare, with his 
usual liberty, employs the species [calculate] for the genus 
[foretel]. WAUBUIITON. 

Shakspeare found the liberty established. To calculate tJtf 
nativity, is the technical term. JOHNSON. 

So, in The Paradise of Da in fit- Denises, edit. 1.376, Art. .-'1, 
signed, M. Bew : 

" Thei calculate, thei chaunt, thei charme, 
" To conquere us that meane no harme." 
This author is speaking of women. STEEVENS. 

1 here is certainly no prodigy in old men's calculating from 
their past experience. The wonder is, that old men should not, 
and that children should. 1 would therefore [instead of old 
men, fools, and children, <X:c.] point thus: 

Why old men fools, and children calculate. 



To make them instruments of fear, and warning, 
Unto some monstrous state. Now could I, Casca, 
Name to thee a man most like this dreadful night; 
That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars 
As doth the lion in the Capitol : 
A man no mightier than thyself, or me, 
In personal action ; yet prodigious grown, 8 
And fearful, as these strange eruptions are. 

CASCA. 'Tis Caesar that you mean : Is it not, 

Cassius ? 

CAS. Let it be who it is : for Romans now 
Have thewes and limbs 9 like to their ancestors ; 
But, woe the while ! our fathers' minds are dead, 
And we are governed with our mothers' spirits ; 
Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish. 

CASCA. Indeed, they say, the senators to-morrow 
Mean to establish Caesar as a king : 
And he shall wear his crown by sea, and land, 
In every place, save here in Italy. 

CAS. I know where I will wear this dagger then ; 
Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius : 
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong; 
Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat : 
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, 
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, 

8 prodigious grown,"] Prodigious is portentous. So, in 

Trail us and Cressida : 

" It is prodigious, there will be some change." 
See Vol. IV. p. 496, n. 6. STEEVENS. 

Have thewes and limbs ] Themes is an obsolete word im- 
plying nerves or muscular strength. It is used by Falstaff in The 
Second Part of King Henry IV, and in Hamlet: 

* For nature, crescent, does not grow alone 
" In i/icwes and bulk." 

The two last folios, [1664- and 1685,] in which some words 
are injudiciously modernized, read sinews. STEEVENS. 

sc. in. JULIUS C/ESAR. 283 

Can be retentive to the strength of spirit ; 

Hut life, being weary of these worldly bars, 

Never lacks power to dismiss itself. 

If I know this, know all the world besides, 

That part of tyranny, that I do bear, 

I can shake oft' at pleasure. 

CASCA. So can I : 

So every bondman in his own hand bears 
Tlit' power to cancel his captivity. 1 ; 

CAS. And why should Ca'sar be a tyrant then ? 
Poor man ! I know, he would not be a wolf, 
But that he sees the Romans are but sheep: 
He were no lion, were not Romans hinds. 
Those that with haste will make a mighty fire, 
Begin it with weak straws : What trash is Rome. 
What rubbish, and what offal, when it serves 
For the base matter to illuminate 
So vile a thing as Ca'sar ? But, O, grief! 
Where hast thou led me ? I, perhaps, speak this 
Before a willing bondman : then I know 
My answer must be made : 2 But I am ann'd, 
And dangers are to me indifferent. 

CASCA. You speak to Casca ; and to such a man, 
That is no fleering tell-tale. Hold my hand : ' 

c'crni bondman bears 

Tin: pon-cf to caiuvl 7//.v captivity.] So, in Cymbeh'nc, Act V. 
Posthumus speaking of his chains: 
" _ _ take this lite, 
" And cancel these cold bonds." IIr,\j,i.v. 

My answer must be inctili' :] I shall be called to account, 
and must nnsu-cr as tor seditions \vords. JOHNSON. 

So, in Much Ado about Nothing: "Sweet prince, let me f^> 
no further to wine ansicer ; do you hear me, and let this count 
kill me." STKKVKNS. 

Hold nn/ hand :~\ Is the same as, Here's my hnnd. 



Be factious for redress 4 of all these griefs; 
And I will set this foot of mine as far, 
As who goes farthest. 

CAS. There's a bargain made. 

Now know you, Casca, I have mov'd already 
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans, 
To undergo, with me, an enterprize 
Of honourable-dangerous consequence ; 
And I do know, by this, they stay for me 
In Pompey's porch : For now, this fearful night, 
There is no stir, or walking in the streets ; 
And the complexion of the element, 
Is favour'd, like the work 5 we have in hand, 
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible. 

4 Be factious for redress ] Factious seems here to mean 
active. JOHNSON. 

It means, I apprehend, embody a party or faction. MALONE. 

Perhaps Dr. Johnson's explanation is the true one. Menenius, 
in Coriotanus, says : " I have been always factionary on the 
part of your general;" and the speaker, who is describing him- 
self, would scarce have employed the word in its common and 
unfavourable sense. STEEVENS. 

* Is favour'd, like the mark ] The old edition reads : 

Is favors, like the work. 

I think we should read : 

In favour's like the icorJc we hare in hand, 

Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible. 
Favour is look, countenance, appearance. JOHNSON. 

To favour is to resemble. Thus Stanyhurst, in his translation 
of the third Book of Virgil's /Eneid, 1582: 

" With the petit town gates favouring the principal old 


We may read It favours, or Is favoured i. e. is in appear- 
ance or countenance like, &c. See Vol. VI. p. 346, n. 6. 


Perhaps jev'rous is the true reading. So, in Macbeth : 
" Some say the earth 
*' Was /euerottSj and did shake." REED. 

sc. in. JULIUS CAESAR. 28.5 

Enter CINNA. 

CASCA. Stand close awhile, for here comes one 
in haste. 

CAS. 'Tis Cinna, I do know him by his gait ; 
He is a friend. Cinna, where haste you so ? 

Cix. To find out you : Who's that ? Mctellus 
Cimber ? 

CAS. No, it is Casca ; one incorporate 
To our attempts. Am I not staid for, Cinna ? 

Cix. I am glad on't. What a fearful night is 

this ? 
There's two or three of us have seen strange sights. 

CAS. Am I not staid for, Cinna ? Tell me. 

Cix. Yes, 

You are. O, Cassius, if you could but win 
The noble Brutus to our party 

CAS. Be you content : Good Cinna, take this 


And look you lay it in the praetor's chair, 
Where Brutus may but find it ; and throw this 
In at his window : set this up with wax 
Upon old Brutus' statue: all this done, 
Repair to Pompey's porch, where you shall find us. 
Is Decius Brutus, and Trebonius, there ? 

Cix. All but Metellus Cimber ; and he's gone 
To seek you at your house. Well, 1 will hie, 
And so bestow these papers as you bade me. 

CAS. That done, repair to Pompey's theatre. 

\_Exit CIXNA. 

Come, Casca, you and I will, yet, ere day, 
See Brutus at his house: three parts of him 
Is ours already ; and the man entire. 


Upon the next encounter, yields him ours. 

CASCA. O, he sits high, in all the people's hearts : 
And that, which would appear offence in us, 
His countenance, like richest alchymy, 
Will change to virtue, and to worthiness. 

CAS. Him, and his worth, and our great need of 


.You have right well conceited. Let us go, 
For it is after midnight ; and, ere day, 
We will awake him, and be sure of him. \_Exeunt. 


The same. Brutus's Orchard* 

Enter BRUTUS. 

BRU. What, Lucius! ho! 
I cannot, by the progress of the stars, 

Brutus' s orchard.] The modern editors read garden, 

but orchard seems anciently to have had the same meaning. 


That these two words were anciently synonymous, appears 
from a line in this play : 

" he hath left you all his walks, 

" His private arbours, and new-planted orchards, 
" On this side Tyber." 

In Sir T. North's translation of Plutarch, the passage which 
Shakspeare has here copied, stands thus : " He left his gardens 
and arbours unto the people, which he had on this side of the 
river Tyber." 

So also, in Barret's Alvearic, 1580: " A garden or an orchard, 
hortus." The truth is, that few of our ancestors had in the age 

sc. i. JULIUS C^SAR. 287 

Give guess how near to day. Lucius, I say ! 
I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly. 
When, Lucius, when? 7 Awake, I say: What, Lu- 


Enter Lucius. 

Luc. Call'd you, my lord? 

Bur. Get me a taper in my study, Lucius : 
When it is lighted, come and call me here. 

Luc. I will, my lord. [Exit. 

BRU. It must be by his deatli : and, for my part, 

of Queen Elizabeth any other garden but an orchard ; and hence 
the latter word was considered as synonymous to the former. 


The number of treatises written on the subject of horticulture, 
even at the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign, very strongly 
controvert Mr. Malone's supposition relative to the unfrequency 
of gardens at so early a period. STEEVRNS. 

Orchard was anciently written hort-yard ; hence its original 
meaning is obvious. HENLEY. 

By the following quotation, however, it will appear that these 
words had in the days of Shakspeare acquired a distinct mean- 
ing. " It shall be good to have understanding of the ground 
where ye do plant either orchard or garden with fruite." A 
Boakc oftlie Artc and Planer //our to plant and ^ritj/l' all Sortcs 
of Trees, &c. 1.571, Ito. And when Justice Shallow invites 
Falstaft' to sec his orchard, where they are to eat a lust year's 
pippin of his oicn gruffing, he certainly uses the word in its pre- 
sent acceptation. 

Leland also, in his Itinerary, distinguishes them: " At Morle 
in Derbyshire- (says he) there is as much pleasure of orchard* 
of great variety offrute, and fair made walks, and gardens, as 
in any place of Lancashire." MOLT WHITE. 

When, /.iici'ifi, when ?] This exclamation, indicating im- 
patience, has already occurred in I\i/ig Richard II : 
" ll'licn, Harry, ic/ien '-."' STEEVEXS. 

See Vol. iil. p. I-, n. .'). MAF.ONK. 


I know no personal cause to spurn at him, 
But for the general. He would be crown' d : 
How that might change his nature, there's the 


It is the bright day, that brings forth the adder; 
And that craves wary walking. Crown him ? 

That; " 

And then, I grant, we put a sting in him, 
That at his will he may do danger with. 
The abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins 
Remorse from power: 8 And, to speak truth of 


I have not known when his affections sway'd 
More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof, 9 
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder, 
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face : 
But when he once attains the upmost round, 
He then unto the ladder turns his back, 1 

* Remorse fro m power :~] Remorse, for mercy. 


Remorse (says Mr. Heath) signifies the conscious uneasiness 
arising from a sense of having done wrong ; to extinguish which 
feeling, nothing hath so great a tendency as absolute uncon- 
trouled power. 

I think Warburton right. JOHNSON. 

Remorse is pity, tenderness ; and has twice occurred in that 
sense in Measure, for Measure. See Vol. VI. p. '250, n. 7; and 
p. 388, n. 5. The same word occurs in Othello, and several 
other of our author's dramas, with the same signification. 


9 common proof, ~] Common experiment. JOHNSON*. 

Common proof means a matter proved by common experience. 
With great deference to Johnson, I cannot think that the word 
experiment will bear that meaning. M. MASON. 

1 I3ul when he once attains the upmost round, 

He then unto the ladder turns his back, &c.] So, in Daniel'? 
Civil Wars, 1602: 

sc. i. JULIUS (LESAR. 289 

Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees 2 
By which he did ascend : So Caesar may ; 
Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel 
Will bear no colour for the thing he is, 
Fashion it thus ; that what he is, augmented, 
Would run to these, and these extremities: 
And therefore think him as a serpent's egg, 
Which, hatch'd, would, as his kind, 3 grow mis- 
chievous ; 
And kill him in the shell. 

Re-enter Lucius. 

Luc. The taper burneth in your closet, sir. 
Searching the window for a flint, I found 
This paper, thus seal'd tip ; and, I am sure, 
It did not lie there, when I went to bed. 

BR u. Get you to bed again, it is not day. 

" The aspirer, once attain'd unto the top, 

" Cuts off those means by which himself got up: 

" And with a harder hand, and straighter rein, 

" Doth curb that looseness he did find before : 
" Doubting the occasion like might serve again ; 

" His own example makes him fear the more." 


* base degrees 3 I-<o\v steps. JOHNSON. 

So, in Ben Jonson's Scjanus : 

" Whom when he saw lie spread on the degrees." 


as his kind,] According to his nature. JOHNSON. 

So, in Antony and Cleopatra : " You must think this, look 
you, the worm [i. e. serpent] will do his kind." STEEVENS. 

As his kind does not mean, according to his nature, as John- 
son asserts, but like the rest of his species. M. MASON. 

Perhaps rather, as all those o/'his kind, that is, nature. 




Is not to-morrow, boy, the ides of March ? 4 

Luc. I know not, sir. 

BRU. Look in the calendar, and bring me word. 

Luc. I will, sir. \JExit. 

BRU. The exhalations, whizzing in the air, 
Give so much light, that I may read by them. 

[Opens the Letter, and reads. 
Brutus, thou sleep 9 st ; awake, and see thyself. 
Shall Rome $c. Speak, strike, redress I 

Brutus, thou sleep* 'st ; awake, 

Such instigations have been often dropp'd 
Where I have took them up. 
Shall Rome fyc. Thus must I piece it out ; 
Shall Rome stand under one man's awe ? What ! 

Rome ? 

My ancestors did from the streets of Rome 
The Tarquin drive, when he was call'd a king. 
Speak, strike, redress ! Am I entreated then 5 

4 Is not to-morrow, boy, the ides of March ?] [Old copy 
the Jirst of March.] We should read ides: for we can never 
suppose the speaker to have lost fourteen days in his account. He 
is here plainly ruminating on what the Soothsayer told Caesar 
[Act I. sc. ii.] in his presence. [ Beware the ides of March.'] 
The boy comes back and says, Sir, March is "wasted fourteen 
days. So that the morrow was the ides of March, as he sup- 
posed. For March, May, July, and October, had six nonec 
each, so that the fifteenth of March was the ides of that month. 


The correction was made by Mr. Theobald. The error must 
have been that of a transcriber or printer; for our author with- 
out any minute calculation might have found the ides, nones, 
and kalends, opposite the respective days of the month, in the 
Almanacks of the time. In Hopton's Concordancie of Ycares, 
1616, now before me, opposite to the fifteenth of March is 
printed Idus. MALONE. 

s Am I entreated then ] The adverb then, which en 

forces the question, and is necessary to the metre, was judiciously 
supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer. So, in King Richard III: 

" . wilt thou then 

" Spurn at his edict? " STEEVENS. 

sc. i. JULIUS C^SAR. 291 

To speak, and strike ? O Rome ! I make thee pro- 


If the redress will follow, thou receivest 
Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus 1 

Re-enter Lucius. 

Luc. Sir, March is wasted fourteen days. 6 

[Knock 'within. 

BRU. J Tis good. Go to the gate; somebody 
knocks. [Exit Lucius, 

Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar, 
I have not slept. 

Between the acting of a dreadful thing 
And the first motion, 7 all the interim is 

* March is wasted fourteen days,"] In former editions; 

Sir, March is wasted fifteen days. 

The editors are slightly mistaken : it was wasted but fourteen 
days: this was the dawn of the 15th, when the boy makes his 
report. THEOBALD. 

7 Between the acting of a dreadful thing 

And the jirst motion, &c.] That nice critick, Dionysius of 
Halicarnassus, complains, that of all kind of beauties, those 
great strokes which he calls the terrible graces, and which are so 
frequent in Homer, are the rarest to be found in the following 
writers. Amongst our countrymen, it seems to be as much con- 
fined to the British Homer. This description of the condition of 
conspirators, before the execution of their design, has a pomp 
and terror in it that perfectly astonishes. The excellent Mr. 
Addison, whose modesty made him sometimes diffident of hi* 
own genius, but whose true judgment always led him to the 
afest guides, (as we may see by those fine strokes in his Cato 
borrowed from the Philippics of Cicero,) has paraphrased this 
fine description ; but we are no longer to expect those terrible 
graces which animate his original : 

" () think, what anxious moments pass between 

" The birth of plots, and their last fatal periods. 

" Oh, 'tis a dreadful interval of time, 

" I'ill'd up with horror all, and big with death." Cafi. 

r; '2 


Like a phantasma, 8 or a hideous dream : 
The genius, and the mortal instruments, 

I shall make two remarks on this fine imitation. The first is, 
that the subjects of the two conspiracies being so very different 
(the fortunes of Caesar and the Roman empire being concerned 
in the one ; and that of a few auxiliary troops only in the other, ) 
Mr. Addison could not, with propriety, bring in that magnificent 
circumstance which gives one of the terrible graces of Shak- 
speare's description : 

" The genius and the mortal instruments 

" Are then in council ; ." 

For kingdoms, in the Pagan Theology, besides their good, had 
their evil genius's, likewise ; represented here, with the most 
daring stretch of fancy, as sitting in consultation with the con- 
spirators, whom he calls their mortal instruments. But this, as 
we say, would have been too pompous an apparatus to the rape 
and desertion of Syphax and Sempronius. The other thing ob- 
servable is, that Mr. Addison was so struck and affected with 
these terrible graces in his original, that instead of imitating his 
author's sentiments, he hath, before he was aware, given us 
only the copy of his own impressions made by them. For 

" Oh, 'tis a dreadful interval of time, 

" Fill'd up with horror all, and big with death." 
are but the affections raised by such forcible images as these : 

" All the interim is 

" Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream. 

" the state of man, 

" Like to a little kingdom, suffers then 

" The nature of an insurrection." 

Comparing the troubled mind of a conspirator to a state of 
anarchy, is just and beautiful ; but the interim or interval, to an 
hideous vision, or a frightful dream, holds something so wonder- 
fully of truth, and lays the soul so open, that one can hardly 
think it possible for any man, who had not some time or other 
been engaged in a conspiracy, to give such force of colouring to 
nature. WARBURTON. 

The feTvov of the Greek criticks does not, I think, mean sen- 
timents which raise jcar, more than ivonder, or any other of the 
tumultuous passions ; ro deTvov is that which strikes, which asto- 
nishes with the idea either of some great subject, or of the au- 
thor's abilities. 

Dr. Warburton's pompous criticism might well have been 
shortened. The genius is not the genius of a kingdom, nor are 

sc. i. JULIUS C^SAR. 293 

Are then in council ; and the state of man, 

the instruments, conspirators. Shakspeare is describing what 
passes in a single bosom, the insurrection which a conspirator feels 
agitating the little kingdom of his own mind ; when the genius, 
or power that watches for his protection, and the mortal instru- 
ments, the passions, which excite him to a deed of honour and 
danger, are in council and debate ; when the desire of action, 
and the care of safety, keep the mind in continual fluctuation and 
disturbance. JOHNSON. 

The foregoing was perhaps among the earliest notes written 
by Dr. Warburton on Shakspeare. Though it was not inserted 
by him in Theobald's editions, 1732 and 1740, (but was reserved 
for his own in 174.7,) yet he had previously communicated it, 
with little variation, in a letter to Matthew Concanen in the year 
1 726. See a note on Dr. Akenside's Ode to Mr. Edwards, at 
the end of this play. STEEVENS. 

There is a passage in Troilus and Cressida, which bears some 
resemblance to this : 

" Imagin'd worth 

" Holds in his blood such swoln and hot discourse, 
" That, 'twixt his mortal, and his active parts, 
" Kingdom'd Achilles in commotion rages, 
" And batters down himself." 

Johnson is right in asserting that by the Genius is meant, not 
the Genius of a Kingdom, but the power that watches over an 
individual for his protection. So, in the same play, Troilus says 
to Cressida : 

" Hark ! you are call'd. Some say, the Ge 
" Cries, Come, to him that instantly must die." 
Johnson's explanation of the word instruments is also confirmed 
by the following passage in Macbeth, whose mind was, at the 
time, in the very state which Brutus is here describing : 

" I am settled, and bend up 

" Each corporal agent to this terrible feat." 


The word genius, in our author's time, meant either " a irood 
angel or a familiar evil spirit," and is so defined by liullokar in 
his English Expositor, 1616. So, in Macbeth: 

and, under him, 

" My genius is rebuk'd ; as, it is said, 
" Mark Antony's was by Ciesar's." 
Again , in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" Thy daemon, that thy spirit which keeps thee, is," ic. 


Like to a little kingdom, suffers then 
The nature of an insurrection. 

The more usual signification now affixed to this word was not 
known till several years afterwards. I have not found it in the 
common modern sense in any book earlier than the Dictionary 
published by Edward Phillips, in 1657. 

Mortal is certainly used here, as in many other places, for 
deadly. So, in Othello : 

" And you, ye mortal engines,'* &c. 

The mortal instruments then are, the deadly passions, or as 
they are called in Macbeth, the " mortal thoughts," which ex- 
cite each " corporal agent" to the performance of some arduous 

The little kingdom of man is a notion that Shakspeare seems 
to have been fond of. So, K. Richard II. speaking of himself: 

" And these same thoughts people this little world." 
Again, in King Lear : 

" Strives in his little world of man to outscorn 

" The to-and-fro conflicting wind and rain." 
Again, in King John : 

" in the body of this fleshly land, 

" This kingdom, ." 

I have adhered to the old copy, which reads the state of a 
man. Shakspeare is here speaking of the individual in whose 
mind the genius and the mortal instruments hold a council, not 
of man, or mankind, in general. The passage above, quoted 
from King Lear, does not militate against the old copy here. 
There the individual is marked out by the word his, and " the 
little ivorld of man" is thus circumscribed, and appropriated to 
Lear. The editor of the second folio omitted the article, proba- 
bly from a mistaken notion concerning the metre ; and all the 
subsequent editors have adopted his alteration. Many words of 
two syllables are used by Shakspeare as taking up the time of 
only one ; as ivhether, either, brother, lover, gentle, spirit, &c. 
and I suppose council is so used here. 

The reading of the old authentick copy, to which I have ad- 
hered, is supported by a passage in Hamlet : " What a piece 
of work is a man." 

As council is here used as a monosyllable, so is noble in Titus 
Andronicus : 

" Lose not so noble a friend on vain suppose." 


Influenced by the conduct of our great predecessors, Rowe, 
Pope, Warburton, and Johnson ; and for reasons similar to those 

tc. /. JULIUS CAESAR. '295 

Re-enter Lucius. 

Luc. Sir, 'tis your brother Cassius* at the door, 
Who^doth desire to see you. 

BRU. Is he alone ? 

Luc. No, sir, there are more with him. 

BRU. Do you know them ? 

Luc. No, sir ; their hats are pluck'd about their 


And half their faces buried in their cloaks, 
That by no means I may discover them 

advanced in the next note, I persist in following the second folio, 
as our author, on this occasion, meant to write verse instead of 
prose. The instance from Hamlet can have little weight ; the 
article a, which is injurious to the metre in question, being 
quite innocent in a speech decidedly prosaick : and as for the line 
adduced from Titus Andronicus, the second syllable of the word 
noble, may be melted down into the succeeding vowel, an ad- 
vantage which cannot be obtained in favour of the present resto- 
ration offered from the first folio. STEEVENS. 

Neither our author, nor any other author in the world, ever 
used such words as either, brother, lover, gentle, &c. as mono- 
syllables; and though whether is sometimes so contracted, the 
old copies on that occasion usually print ii-hcre. It is, in short, 
morally impossible that two syllables should be no more than one. 


8 Like, a phantasma,] " Suidas maketh a difference between 
phantasma and phantasia, saying that phantasma is an imagina- 
tion, or appearance, or sight of a thing which is not, as are those 
sightes whiche men in their sleepe do thinke they see : but that 
phantasia is the seeing of that only which is in very deeds.'* 
Laval cms, 1572. HENDERSON. 

" \phantasme" says liullokar, in his English Expositor t l(il(>, 
" is a vision, or imagined appearance." MA LONE. 

your brotherCassius ] Cassias married Junta, Brutus's 
sister. STKEVENS. 


By any mark of favour. 1 

BRU. Let them enter. 

[Exit Lucius. 

They are the faction. O conspiracy ! 
Sham'st thou to show thy dangerous brow by night, 
When evils are most free ? O, then, by day, 
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough 
To mask thy monstrous visage ? Seek none, con- 
spiracy ; 

Hide it in smiles, and affability : 
For if thou path, thy native semblance on, 2 
Not Erebus itself were dim enough 
To hide thee from prevention. 


CAS. I think we are too bold upon your rest : 
Good morrow, Brutus ; Do we trouble you ? 

BRU. I have been up this hour; awake, all night. 
Know I these men, that come along with you ? 

CAS. Yes, every man of them ; and no man 


But honours you : and every one doth wish, 

' any mark of favour."} Any distinction of countenance. 


See Vol. VI. p. 346, n. 6. STEEVENS. 

* For if thou path, thy native semblance on,~\ If thou ixalk in 
.thy true form. JOHNSON. 

The same verb is used by Drayton in his Poh/olbion, Song II : 
" Where, from the neighbouring hills, her passage Wey 

doth path." 

Again, in his Epistle from Duke Humphrey to Elinor Cobham : 
" Pathing young Henry's unadvised ways." 


sc. I. JULIUS C^SAR. 297 

You had but that opinion of yourself, 
Which every noble Koman bears of you. 
This is Trebonius. 

BRU. He is welcome hither. 

CAS. This, Decius Brutus. 
BRU. He is welcome too. 

CAS. This, Casca ; this, Cinna ; 
And this, Metellus Cimber. 

BRU. They are all welcome. 

What watchful cares do interpose themselves 3 
Betwixt your eyes and night ? 

CAS. Shall I entreat a word ? [They whisper. 

DEC. Here lies the east : Doth not the day break 
here ? 


CLV. O, pardon, sir, it doth ; and yon grey lines, 
That fret the clouds, are messengers of day. 

CASCA. You shall confess, that you are both de- 


Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises ; 
Which is a great way growing on the south, 
Weighing the youthful season of the year. 
Some two months hence, up higher toward the 


He first presents his fire ; and the high east 
Stands, as the Capitol, directly here. 

BRU. Give me your hands all over, one by one. 

do interpose themselves <$T.] For the sake of measure 
I am willing to think our author wrote as follows, and that the 
word themselves, is an interpolation : 

What watchful cares do interpose betwixt 
Your ci/cs and //// ? 
Cas. Shall I entreat a word? 



CAS. And let us swear our resolution. 

BRU. No, not an oath : If not the face of men, 4 

4 No, not an oath: If not the face of men, &c.] Dr. War- 
burton would readjate of men ; but his elaborate emendation is, 
I think, erroneous. The face of men is the countenance, the 
regard, the esteem of the publick ; in other terms, honour and 
reputation ; or the face of men may mean the dejected look of 
the people. JOHNSON. 

So, Tully in Catilinam Nihil horum ora vultusque moverunt ? 

Shakspeare formed this speech on the following passage in Sir 
T. North's translation of Plutarch : " The conspirators having 
never taken oaths together, nor taken or given any caution or 
assurance, nor binding themselves one to another by any religious 
oaths, they kept the matter so secret to themselves," &c. 


I cannot reconcile myself to Johnson's explanation of thi.< 
passage, but believe we should read : 

If not the faith of men, &c. 

which is supported by the following passage in this very speech : 

" What other bond 

" Than secret Romans, that have spoke the word, 
1 And "will not palter. 

' when every drop of blood 

' That every Roman bears, and nobly bears', 
' Is guilty of a several bastardy, 
' If he do break the smallest particle 
' Of any promise that hath passed from him'* 
Both of which prove, that Brutus considered the faith of men as 
their firmest security in each other. M. MASON. 

In this sentence, [i. e. the two first lines of the speech,] as in 
several others, Shakspeare, with a view perhaps to imitate the 
abruptness and inaccuracy of discourse, has constructed the latter 
part without any regard to the beginning. " If the face of men, 
the sufferance of our souls, &c. If these be not sufficient ; if 
these be motives weak," &c. So, in The Tempest: 
" I have with such provision in mine art, 
" So safely order'd, that there is no soul 
" No, not so much perdition," &c. 

Mr. M. Mason would read if not i\\e faith of men . If 
the text be corrupt,jfazYAs is more likely to have been the poet's 
word ; which might have been easily confounded by the ear 
with face, the word exhibited in the old copy. So, in Antony 
and Cleopatra : 

ac. i. JULIUS CJESAR. 299 

The sufferance of our souls, the time's abuse, 

If these be motives weak, break off betimes, 

And every man hence to his idle bed ; 

80 let high-sighted tyranny range on, 

Till each man drop by lottery. 5 But if these, 

As I am sure they do, bear nre enough 

To kindle cowards, and to steel with valour 

The melting spirits of women ; then, countrymen, 

What need we any spur, but our own cause, 

To prick us to redress ? what other bond, 

Than secret Romans, that have spoke the word, 

And will not palter ? 6 and what other oath, 

Than honesty to honesty engag'd, 

That this shall be, or we will fall for it ? 

Swear priests, 7 and cowards, and men cautelous,* 

" the manner of their deaths ? 

" I do not see them bleed." 
Again, in King Henry VI. P. Ill: 

" And with their helps only defend ourselves." 
Again, more appositely, in The Rape of Lucrece : 

" You, fair lords, quoth she, 

" Shall plight your honourable J'aithn to me." 


' Till each man drop by lotlerj/.~] Perhaps the poet alluded to 
the custom of decimation, i. c. the selection by lot of every tenth 
soldier, in a general mutiny, for punishment. 
He speaks of this in Corioluntts : 

" By decimation, and a tithed death, 
" Take thou thy fate." STEEVENS. 

6 And u-ill not palter?] And will not fly from his engage- 
ments. Cole, in his Dictionary, H>7f>, renders to palter, by 
tcrgirersor. In M<icl<rilt it signifies, as Dr. Johnson has observed, 
to shuffle with ambiguous expressions : and, indeed, here also it 
may mean to .shujjfc; for be whose actions do not correspond 
with his promises is properly called a shnffler. MA LONE. 

7 Swear priests, &c.] This is imitated by Otway : 

" When you would bind me, is there need of oaths ?" &c. 
I'eii/cc Preserved. JOHNSON. 

" ca id clous,"] Is here cautious, sometimes insidious. 


Old feeble carrions, and such suffering souls 

That welcome wrongs ; unto bad causes swear 

Such creatures as men doubt : but do not stain 

The even virtue of our enterprize, 9 

Nor the insuppressive mettle of our spirits, 

To think, that, or our cause, or our performance, 

Did need an oath ; when every drop of blood, 

That every Roman bears, and nobly bears, 

Is guilty of a several bastardy, 

If he do break the smallest particle 

Of any promise that hath pass'd from him. 

CAS. But what of Cicero ? Shall we sound him ? 
I think, he will stand very strong with us. 

CASCA. Let us not leave him out. 

CIN. No, by no means. 

MET. O let us have him ; for his silver hairs 
Will purchase us a good opinion, 1 

So, in Woman is a Weathercock, 1612: " Yet warn you, be 
as cautelous not to wound my integrity." 

Again, in Drayton's Miseries of Queen Margaret : 
" Witty, well-spoken, cautelous, though young." 

Again, in the second of these two senses, in the romance of 
Kyngc Appolyn of Thyre, 1610: " a fallacious policy and 
cautelous ivyle." 

Again, in Holinshed, p. 945 : " the emperor's councell 

thought by a cautcll to have brought the king in mind to sue for 
a licence from the pope." STEEVEXS. 

Bullokar, in his English Expositor, 1616, explains cautelous 
thus : " Warie, circumspect ;" in which sense it is certainly used 
here. MALONE. 

9 The even virtue of our enterprize,^ The calm, equable, 
temperate spirit that actuates us. MALOXE. 

Thus in Mr. Pope's Eloisa to Abclard : 

" Desires compos'd, affections ever even, ." 


1 opinion,^ i. e. character. So, in King Henry 1 1 

sc..i. JULIUS CAESAR. 301 

And buy men's voices to commend our deeds : 
It shall be said, his judgment rul'd our hands ; 
Our youths, and wildness, shall no whit appear, 
But all be buried in his gravity. 

BRU. O, name him not ; let us not break with 

him ; 

For he will never follow any thing 
That other men begin. 

CAS. Then leave him out. 

CASCA. Indeed, he is not fit. 

DEC. Shall no man else be touch'd but only 

Caesar ? 
CAS. Decius, well urg'd: I think it is not 


Mark Antony, so well belov'd of Caesar, 
Should outlive Caesar : We shall find of him 
A shrewd contriver ; and, you know, his means, 
If he improves them, may well stretch so far, 
As to annoy us all : which to prevent, 
Let Antony, and Caesar, fall together. 

Bitu. Our course will seem too bloody, Cains 


To cut the head off, and then hack the limbs ; 
Like wrath in death, and envy afterwards :'- 
For Antony is but a limb of Csesar. 
Let us be sacrificers, but no butchers, Cains. 
We all stand up against the spirit of Csesar ; 
And in the spirit of men there is no blood : 

" Thou hast redeem'd thy lost opinion." 
The quotation is Mr. Reed's. See Vol. XI. p. 422, n. 9. 


and envy afterwards ,~\ Enry is here, as almost always 
in Shakspeare's plays, malice. See Vol. XV. p. 64, n. 2; and 
p. 106, n. b. MA LONE. 


O, that we then could come by Caesar's spirit, 3 
And not dismember Caesar ! But, alas, 
Caesar must bleed for it ! And, gentle friends, 
Let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully ; 
Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods, 4 
Not hew him as a carcase fit for hounds : * 
And let our hearts, as subtle masters do, 
Stir up their servants to an act of rage, 
And after seem to chide them. This shall make 
Our purpose necessary, and not envious : 
Which so appearing to the common eyes, 
We shall be call'd purgers, not murderers. 
And for Mark Antony, think not of him ; 
For he can do no more than Caesar's arm, 
When Caesar's head is off. 

CAS. Yet I do fear him :* 

3 0, that toe then could come by Ccesar's spirit, &c.] Lord 
Sterlinc has the same thought : Brutus remonstrating against the 
taking off Antony, says : 

" Ah ! ah ! we must but too much murder see, 

" That without doing evil cannot do good ; 
" And would the gods that Rome could be made free, 
" Without the effusion of one drop of blood?" 


4 as a dish jit for the gods, c.] 

" Gradive, dedisti, 

" Ne qua manus vatem, ne quid mortalia bello 
" Laedere tela queant, sanctum et venerabile Diti 
" Funus erat." Stat. Theb. VII. 1. 696. STEEVENS. 

s Not hetv him as a carcase Jit for hounds:"] Our author had 
probably the following passage in the old translation of Plutarch 
in his thoughts : " Caesar turned himselfe no where but he 
was stricken at by some, and still had naked swords in his face, 
and was hacked and mangled among them as a wild beast taken 
of hunters" MALONE. 

6 Yet I do fear him :] For the sake of metre I have supplied 
the auxiliary verb. So, in Macbeth : 

" there is none but him 

" Whose being I do fear." STEEVENS. 

so. i. JULIUS CAESAR. sos 

For in the ingrafted love he bears to Caesar, 

BRU. Alas, good Cassias, do not think of him : 
If he love Caesar, all that he can do 
Is to himself; take thought, 7 and die for Caesar : 
And that were much he should ; for he is given 
To sports, to wildness, and much company. 8 

TREE. There is no fear in him ; let him not die; 
For lie will live, and laugh at this hereafter 

[Clock strikes. 

BRU. Peace, count the clock. 

CAS. The clock hath stricken three. 

TREB. 'Tis time to part. 

7 take thought,"] That Is, turn melancholy. JOHNSON. 

So, in Antony and Cleopatra . 

" What shall we do, Enobarbus ? 
" Think and die." 

Again, in Holinshed, p. 833 : " now they are without 

service, which caused them to take thought, insomuch that some 
died by the way," &c. STEEVENS. 

The precise meaning of take thought may be learned from ths 
following passage in St. Matthew, where the verb ae^w-vau;, 
which signifies to anticipate, or forbode evil, is so rendered: 
" Take no thought for the morrow : for the morrow shall lake 
thought for the things of itself; sufficient unto the day is the evil 
thereof." Cassius not only refers to, but thus explains, the 
phrase in question, when, in answer to the assertion of Brutus 
concerning Antony, Act 111 : 

" I know that we shall have him well to friend." 
he replies : 

" I wish we may : but yet I have a mind 

" That t /?Y/r.v him much ; and my misgiving still 

" Falls shrewdly to the purpose." 

To take thought then, in this instance, is not to turn melan- 
choly, whatever think may be in Antony and Cleopatra. 


See Vol. V. p. 313, n. 7. MAI. ONE. 

company. ~\ Company is here used in a disreputable 

sense. See a note on the word companion, Act IV. HENLEY. 


CAS. But it is doubtful yet, 

Whe'r Caesar 9 will come forth to-day, or no : 
For he is superstitious grown of late ; 
Quite from the main opinion he held once 
Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies: 1 
It may be, these apparent prodigies, 
The unaccustom'd terror of this night, 
And the persuasion of his augtirers, 
May hold him from the Capitol to-day. 

9 Whe'r Ccesar &c.] Whe'r is the ancient abbreviation of 
Whether, which likewise is sometimes written 'where. Thus in 
Turberville's translation of Ovid's Epistle from Penelope to 
Ulysses : 

" But Sparta cannot make account 

" Where thou do live or die." STEEVENS. 

1 Quite from the main opinion lie held once 

Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies:'] Main opinion, is 
nothing more than leading, fixed, predominant opinion. 


Main opinion, according to Johnson's explanation, is sense ; 
but mean opinion would be a more natural expression, and is, I 
believe, what Shakspeare wrote. M. MASON. 

The words main opinion occur again in Troilus and Cressida, 
where ( as here ) they signify general estimation : 

" Why then we should our main opinion crush 
" In taint of our best man." 

There is no ground therefore for suspecting any corruption in 
the text. MALONE. 

Fantasy was in our author's time commonly used for imagina- 
tion, and is so explained in Cawdry's Alphabetical Table of hard 
Words, 8vo. 1604. It signified both the imaginative power, and 
the thing imagined. It is used in the former sense by Shakspeare 
in The Merry Wives of Windsor : 

" Raise up the organs of her fantasy." 
In the latter, in the present play : 

" Thou hast no figures, nor no fantasies.'' 
Ceremonies means omens or signs deduced from sacrifices, or 
other ceremonial rites. So, afterwards : 

" Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies, 

" Yet now they fright me." MALONE. 

sc. i. JULIUS CAESAR. 305 

DEC. Never fear that : If he be so resolv'd, 
I can o'ersway him : for he loves to hear, 
That unicorns may be betray'tl with trees, 
And bears with glasses, elephants with holes,'-' 
Lions with toils, and men with flatterers : 
But, when I tell him, he hates flatterers, 
He says, he does j being- then most flattered. 
Let me work : 3 

s That unicorns may be betray* (J with trees, 

And bears with glasses, elephants with holes,"] Unicorns are 
said to have been taken by one who, running behind a tree, 
eluded the violent push the animal was making at him, so that 
his horn spent its force on the trunk, and stuck fast, detaining 
the beast till he was despatched by the hunter. 
So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II. c. v : 
" Like as a lyon whose imperiall powro 
" A prowd rebellious unicorne defies ; 
" T' avoid the rash assault and wrathfull stowre 
" Of his fiers foe, him to a free applies: 
" And when him running in full course he spies, 
" He slips aside; the whiles the furious beast 
" His precious home, sought of his enemies, 
" Strikes in the stocke, ne thence can be releast, 
" But to the mighty victor yields a bounteous 1'rait." 
Again, in Hussy D y Ambois, 1607 : 

" An angry unicorne in his full career 
" Charge with too swift a foot a jeweller 
" That wntch'd him for the treasure of his brow, 
" And e'er lie "ould get shelter of a free, 
" Nail him with his rich antler to the earth." 
Bears are reported to have been surprised by means of a 
'mirror, which they would gaze on, affording their pursuers an 
opportunity of taking the surer aim. This circumstance, I think, 
is mentioned by Claudian. Elephant x were seduced into pitfalls, 
lightly covered with hurdles and turf, on which a proper bait to 
tempt them, was exposed. See Pliny's \alitn:l History, B.V111. 


J Lit we n-or/-.-] These words, as they stand, being quite un- 
iik-trical, I suppose our author to have oi'ig'iially written: 

I. -el me to work. 
i. e. go to work. Sri:i;vi:N.':. 


306 JULIUS C^SAR. ACT if. 

For I can give his humour the true bent j 
And I will bring him to the Capitol. 

CAS. Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch 



BRU. By the eighth hour: Is that the uttermost? 
CIN. Be that the uttermost, and fail not then. 

MET. Caius Ligarius doth bear Caesar hard, 4 
Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey j 
I wonder, none of you have thought of him. 

BRU. Now, good Metellus, go along by him : 5 
He loves me well, and I have given him reasons ; 
Send him but hither, and I'll fashion him. 

CAS. The morning comes upon us : We'll leave 

you, Brutus : 

And, friends, disperse yourselves: but all remember 
What you have said, and show yourselves true Ro- 

BRU. Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily j 
Let not our looks 6 put on our purposes ; 
But bear it as our Roman actors do, 

4 bear Caesar hard,~\ Thus the old copy, but Messieurs 

Rowe, Pope, and Sir Thomas Hanmer, on the authority of the 
secondand latter folios, read hatred,tliough the same expression 
appears again in the first scene of the following Act : " I do 
beseech you, if you bear r,ie hard;" and has already occurred 
in a former one : 

" Cocsar doth bear ?ne hard, but he loves Brutus." 


Haired was substituted for hard by the ignorant editor of the 
second folio, the great corrupter of Shakspeare's text. 


by him:'] That is, by his house. .Make that your way 

home. Mr. Pope substituted io for l>>./, and ail the subsequent 
editors have adopted this unnecessary change. MALONE. 

Let not our looks ] Let not our fares put 01:, that is, ivcar 
or nh f SM our designs. Jonxsox. 

sc.r. JULIUS C^SAR. 307 

With untir'd spirits, and formal constancy : 
And so, good-morrow to yon every one. 

\_Exeunt all but BRUTUS. 

Boy ! Lucius ! Fast asleep ? It is no matter ; 
Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber: 
Thou hast no figures, 7 nor no fantasies, 
Which busy care draws in the brains of men j 
Therefore thou sleep'st so sound. 

Enter PORTIA. 

FOR. Brutus, my lord ! 

BRU. Portia, what mean you? Wherefore rise 

you now ? 

It is not for your health, thus to commit 
Your weak condition to the raw-cold morning. 

POR. Nor for yours neither. You have ungently, 


Stole from my bed : And yesternight, at supper, 
You suddenly arose, and walk'd about, 
Musing, and sighing, with your arms across : 
And when I ask'd you what the matter was, 
You star'd upon me with ungentle looks : 
I urg'd yon further ; then you scratch'd your head, 
And too impatiently stamp'd with your foot : 
Yet I insisted, yet you answer' d not ; 
But, with an angry wafture of your hand, 
Gave sign for me to leave you : So I did ; 
Fearing to strengthen that impatience, 
Which seem'd too much enkindled ; and, withal, 
Hoping it was but an effect of humour, 

~ Tlion haul nn figures, 8$c.~\ Figures occurs in the same st-nso 
in '/'/." Fin I Far! (>/' King //,;/>;/ /['. Art I. sr. iii : 

" lie apprehends a world ui' figures." i!i:.\r.i v. 

' X '. 


Which sometime hath his hour with every man. 
It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor sleep ; 
And, could it work so much upon your shape, 
As it hath much prevail'd on your condition, 8 
I should not know you, Brutus. Dear my lord. 
Make me acquainted with your cause of grief. 

BRU. I am not well in health, and that is all. 

POR. Brutus is wise, and, were he not in health, 
He would embrace the means to come by it. 

BRU. Why, so I do : Good Portia, go to bed. 

POR. Is Brutus sick? and is it physical 
To walk unbraced, and suck up the humours 
Of the dank morning ? What, is Brutus sick ; 
And will he steal out of his wholesome bed, 
To dare the vile contagion of the night? 
And tempt the rheumy and unpurged air 
To add unto his sickness ? No, my Brutus ; 
You have some sick offence within your mind. 
Which, by the right and virtue of my place, 
I ought to know of: And, upon my knees, 
I charm you, 9 by my once commended beauty, 
By all your vows of love, and that great vow 
Which did incorporate and make us one, 
That you unfold to me, yourself, your half, 
Why you are heavy; and what men to-night. 
Have had resort to you : for here have been 
Some six or seven, who did hide their faces 
Even from darkness. 

8 on your condition,] On your temper; the disposition 

of your mind. See Vol. XII. p. 521, n. 7. MALOXE. 

" / charm you,~\ Thus the old copy. Mr. Pope and Sir Tho- 
mas Manmer react charge, but unnecessarily. So,'mCymbeline .- 

" 'tis your graces 

" That from my mutest conscience to my tongue 
" Charms this report out." STEEVENS. 

sc. i. JULIUS C^SAR. 309 

BRU. Kneel not, gentle Portia. 

POR. I should not need, if you were gentle 


Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus, 
Is it excepted, I should know no secrets 
That appertain to you ? Am I yourself, 
But, as it were, in sort, or limitation ; 
To keep with you at meals, 1 comfort your bcd,- 

1 To keep with you at meals, &c.] " I being, O Brutus, 
(saved she) the daughter of Cato, was married vnto thee, not to 
be thy beddcfellowe and companion in beddeand at borde onelic, 
like a harlot ; but to be partaker also with thee, of thy good and 
euill fortune. Nowe for thysclfe, I can finde no cause of faulte 
in thee touchinge our matche : but for my parte, how may I 
showe my duetie towards thee, and how muche I woulde doe for 
thy sake, if I can not constantlie beare a secrete mischaunce or 
griefe with thee, which requireth secrecy and fidelitic? I con- 
fesse, that a woman's wit commonly is too weake to keep a secret 
safely: but yet, Brutus, good education, and the companie of 
vcrtuous men, haue some power to reforme the defect of nature. 
And for my selfe, I haue this benefit moreoucr : that I am the 
daughter of C'ato, and wife of Brutus. This notwithstanding, 
I did not trust to any of these things before ; vntil that now I 
have found by experience, that no paine nor grit'e whatsoeuer can 
ouercome me. With these wordes she showed him her wounde 
on her thigh, and tolde him what she had done to prone her 
selfe." Sir Thomas North's Translation o/ Plutarch. 


Here also we find our author and Lord Sterline walking over 
the same ground : 

" I was not, Brutus, match'd with thee, to be 

" A partner only of thy board and bed ; 
" Each servile whore in those might equal me, 

" That did herself to nought but pleasure wed. 
" No ; Portia spous'd thee with a mind t'abide 

" Thy fellow in all fortunes, good or ill : 
" With chains of mutual love together tyM, 

" As those that have two breasts, one heart, two soul$, 
one will." Julius CU-HII; l(i()7. MALOM:. 

comfort t/our bed,] " is but an odd phrase, and gives 

as odd an idea," says Mr. Theobald. He therefore substitutes, 


And talk to you sometimes ? Dwell I but in the 

suburbs 3 

Of your good pleasure ? If it be no more, 
Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife, 

BRU. You are my true and honourable wife ; 
As dear to me, as are the ruddy drops 
That visit my sad heart. 4 

POR. If this were true, then should I know this 

I grant, I am a woman ; 5 but, withal, 

consort. But this good old word, however disused through mo- 
dern refinement, was not so discarded by Shakspeare. Henry 
VIII. as we read in Cavendish's Lift of Wohcy, in commenda- 
tion of Queen Katharine, in publick said : " She hathebeene to 
me a true obedient wife, and as comfortable as I could wish." 


In the book of entries at Stationers' Hall, I meet with the 

following, 1598 : " A Conversation between a careful Wyfe and 
her comfortable Husband." STEEVENS. 

In our marriage ceremony, the husband promises to comfort 
his wife; and Barrett's Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionary , 
1580, says, that to comfort is, " to recreate, to solace, to make 
pastime." COLLINS. 

in the suburbs ] Perhaps here is an allusion to the 
place in which the harlots of Shakspeare's age resided. So, in 
Beaumont and Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas : 

" Get a new mistress, 

** Some suburb saint, that sixpence, and some oaths, 

" Will draw to parley." STEEVENS. 

4 As dear to me, c.] These glowingwords have been adopted 
by Mr. Gray in his celebrated Ode : 

" Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart " 


* I grant, I am a woman ; &c.~] So, Lord Sterline : 
" And though our sex too talkative be deem'd, 

" As those whose tongues import our greatest pow'rs, 
*' For secrets still bad treasurers esteem'd, 
" Of others' greedy, prodigal of ours ; 

sc.i. JULIUS C^SAR. 311 

A woman that lord Brutus took to wife : 

I grant, I am a woman ; but, withal, 

A woman well-reputed; Cato's daughter. 6 

Think you, I am no stronger than my sex, 

Being so father'd, and so husbanded ? 

Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose them : 

I have made strong proof of my constancy, 

Giving myself a voluntary wound 

Here, in the thigh: Can I bear that with patience, 

And not my husband's secrets ? 

O ye gods, 
Render me worthy of this noble wife ! 

[Knocking within. 

Hark, hark ! one knocks : Portia, go in a while ; 
And by and by thy bosom shall partake 
The secrets of my heart. 
All my engagements I will construe to thee, 
All the charactery 7 of my sad brows : 
Leave me with haste. [Exit PORTIA. 

" Good education may reform defects, 

" And I this vantage have to a vcrtuous life, 

" Which others' minds do want and mine respects, 
" I'm Cato's daughter^ and I'm Bruins' u-rfc." 


A iKvman ivell-rcputed ; Cato's daughter."] By the expression 
'utett-reputed, she refers to the estimation in which she was held, 
as being the icife of Brutus; whilst the addition of Cato's daughter, 
implies that she might be expected to inherit the patriotic virtues 
of her father. It is with propriety therefore, that she imme- 
diately asks : 

" Think you, I am no stronger than my sex, 

" Being wfather'd, and so husbanded?" HKXI.KY. 

7 All the charactery ] i. c. nil that i< clidrnclcr'd on, &c. 
The word has already-occurred in ThcMcrry ft'Vvrs of Windsor. 


( See Vol. VI. p. ,'5S5, n. 8.) AJ AJ.ONI-. 


Enter Lucius and LIGARIUS. 

Lucius, who is that, knocks?" 

Luc. Here is a sick man, that would speak with 

BRU. Cains Ligarius, that Metellus spake of. 
Boy, stand aside. Caius Ligarius ! how ? 

LIG. Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble 

BRU. O, what a time have you chose out, brave 

To wear a kerchief? 9 'Would you were not sick ! 

LIG. I am not sick, if Brutus have in hand 
Any exploit worthy the name of honour. 

ivho is that, knocks?'] i. e. who is that, teho knocks? 

Our poet ahy ays prefers the familiar language of conversation to 
grammatical nicety. Four of his editors, however, have endea- 
voured to destroy this peculiarity, by reading who's there that 
knocks ? and a fifth has, luho's that, that knocks ? MALONE. 

0, ivhat a time have you chose out, brave Caius, 

To tvear a kerchief?'] So, in Plutarch's Life of Brutus, 
translated by North : " Brutus went to see him being sicke 
in his bedde, and sayed unto him, O Ligarius, in what a time 
art thou sicke ? Ligarius rising up in his bcdde, and taking him 
by the right hande, sayed unto him, Brutus, (sayed he,) if thou 
hast any great enterprise in hande \vorthie of thy selfc, I am 
whole." Lord Sterline also has introduced this passage into his 
Julius CfBsar : 

" By sickness being imprison'd in his bed 

" Whilst I Ligarius spied, whom pains did prick, 
" When I had said with words that anguish bred, 

" In what, a time Ligarius art thou sick ? 
" He answer'd straight, as I had physick brought, 

" Or that he had imagin'd my design, 
" Ifu-nrt/iy of thyself thou would* st do aught, 
" Then Brutus I am zcholc, and te/W/y thine." 


sc. i. JULIUS C^SAR. 3].-? 

BRU. Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius, 
Had you a healthful ear to hear of it. 

LIG. By all the gods that Romans bow before, 
I here discard my sickness. Soul of Home ! 
Brave sou, deriv'd from honourable loins ! 
Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjur'd up 
My mortified spirit. 1 Now bid me run, 
And I will strive with tilings impossible ; 
Yea, get the better of them. What's to do ? 

BRU. A piece of work, that will make sick men 

IAG. But are not some whole, that we must 
make sick ? 

BRU. That must we also. What it is, my Caius, 
I shall unfold to thee, as we are going 
To whom it must be done. 

LIG. Set on your foot j 

And, with a heart new-nVd, I follow you, 
To do I know not what : but it sufficcth, 
That Brutus leads me on. 

BRU. Follow me then. 


1 T//OH, like an exorcist, haft conjured up 

My mortified spirit.'] Hero, and in all other places where 
the word occurs in Shakspeare, to r.i-orcixe means to raise spirits, 
not to lay them ; and I believe he is singular in his acceptation 
of it. M. MASON. 

See Vol. VIII. p. 107, n. 3. MA LOSE. 


The same. A Room in Caesar's Palace. 

Thunder and Lightning. Enter CESAR, in his 

. Nor heaven, nor earth, have been at peace 

to-night : 

Thrice hath Calphurnia in her sleep cried out, 
Help, ho ! They murder Ccesar I Who's within ? 

Enter a Servant. 

SERV. My lord ? 

CMS. Go bid the priests do present sacrifice, 
And bring me their opinions of success. 

SERV. I will, my lord. \_Exit. 


CAL. What mean you, Caesar? Think you to 

walk forth ? 
You shall not stir out of your house to-day. 

CJES. Caesar shall forth : The things that threat- 

en'd me, 

Ne'er look'd but on my back ; when they shall see 
The face of Qesar, they are vanished. 

CAL. Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,' 

, I never stood on ceremonies,] i. e. I never paid a 
ceremonious or superstitious regard to prodigies or omens. 

The adjective is used in the same sense in The Devil's Char- 
ter, 1607 : 

sc. n. JULIUS CAESAR. 315 

Yet now they fright me. There is one within, 
Besides the things that we have heard and seen, 
Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch. 
A lioness hath whelped in the streets ; 
And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their 

dead : 5 

Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds, 
In ranks, and squadrons, and right form of war, 4 
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol : 
The noise of buttle hurtled in the air," 

" The devil hath provided in his covenant, 
" I should not cross myself at any time : 
" I never was so ceremonious." 
The original thought is in the old translation of Plutarch: 

" Calphurnia, until that time, was never given to any fear or 

superstition." STEEVEXS. 

J And graves have yaivn'd, and yielded up their dead: &c.]| 
So, in a funeral Song in Mncli Ado about Nothing: 

" Graves yawn, and yield your dead." 
Again, in Hamlet : 

" A little ere the mightiest Julius fell, 

" The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead 

" Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets." 


4 Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds, 

In ranks, and squadrons, and right form of war,"] So, in 
Tacitus, Hist. B. V: " Visac per ccelum concurrere acies, ruti- 
lantiu arma, & subito nubium igne colluccre" &c. STEEVEXS. 

Again, in Marlowe's Tamhurlaine, 1590: 
" I will persist a terror to the world; 
" Making the meteors that like armed men 
" Are seen to march upon the towers ot heaven, 
" Run tilting round about the firmament, 
" And break tlieir burning launces in the ayrt', 
" For honour of my wondrous victories." MALOXK. 

sr <>f battle hurtled /// the air,'] To hurtle is, I sup- 
pose, to clash, or move with violence and noise. So, in Selinius, 
Emperor of the Turks, Io9-t: 

" Here the l^uloniaii he comes hitrtlmg in, 
*' Under the conduct of some foreign prince." 


Horses did neigh, 6 and dying men did groan ; 
And ghosts did shriek, and squeal about the 

streets. 7 

O Caesar ! these things are beyond all use, 
And I do fear them. 

CJES. What can be avoided, 

Whose end is purpos'd by the mighty gods ? 
Yet Caesar shall go forth : for these predictions 
Are to the world in general, as to Caesar. 

CAL. When beggars die, there are no comets 

seen ; 

The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of 
princes. 8 

Again, ibid: 

" To toss the spear, and in a warlike gyre 

" To hurtle my sharp sword about my head." 
Shakspeare uses the word again in As you like it : 

" in which hurtling, 

" From miserable slumber I awak'd." STEEVENS. 

Again, in The History of Arthur, P. I. c. xiv : " They made 
both the Northumberland battailes to hurtle together." BOWLE. 

To hurtle originally signified to push, violently ; and, as in such 
an action a loud noise was frequently made, it afterwards seems 
to have been used in the sense of to clash. So, in Chaucer's 
Canterbury Tales, v. 2618: 

" And he him hurtlcth (with his hors adoun." 


c Horses did neigh,'] Thus the second folio. Its blundering 
predecessor reads : 

Horses do neigh. STEEVENS. 

7 And ghosts did shriek, and squeal about the streets."] So, in 
Lodge's Looking Glasse for London and England, 1598: 
" The ghosts of dead men howling walke about, 
" Crying Ve, Ve, woe to this citic, woe." TODD. 

* When beggars die, there are no comets seen ; 

The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.] 
" Next to the shadows and pretences of experience, (which have 
been met withall at large,) they seem to brag most of the strange 
events which follow (for the most part,) after blazing starres ; 

sc. n. JULIUS CAESAR. 317 

CMS. Cowards die many times before their 

deaths ;' J 

The valiant never taste of death but once. 
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, 1 
It seems to me most strange that men should fear; 
Seeing that death, a necessary end, 2 
Will come, when it will come. 

as if they were the summoners of God to call princes to the seal 
of judgment. The surest way to shake their painted bulwarks 
of experience is, by making plaine, that neyther princes always 
dye when comets blaze, nor comets ever [i. e. always] when 
princes dye." Defcnsative against the Poison of supposed Pro- 
phecies, by Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, 1583. 

Again, ibid: " Let us look into the nature of a comet, by 
the face of which it is supposed that the same should portend 
plague, famine, warre, or lite death of potentates ." MALOXE. 

9 Cowards die many times before their deaths ;~\ So, in the 
ancient translation of Plutarch, so often quoted: 

" When some of his friends did counsel him to have a guard 
for the safety of his person ; he would never consent to it, but 
said, it was better to die once, than always to be aft'niyed of 
death." STKKVEXS. 

So, in Marston's Insatiate Counter, 161 '5: 

" Fear is my vassal ; when I frown, lie Hits, 
" A hundred times in lij'e a coward dies." 

Lord Essex, probably before any of these writers, made the 
same remark. In a letter to Lord Rutland, he observes, " that 
as he which dieth nobly, doth live for ever, so he that duth //iv 
in fear, doth die continually." MALONF. 

1 - that I ijct have heard,] This sentiment appears to have 
been imitated by Dr. Young in his tragedy of Busirh, Khi< nl 

Didst thou e'er fear ? 

Sure 'tis an art ; I know not how to fear : 
'Tis one of the few things beyond my power: 
And if death must be fear'd before 'tis felt, 
Thy master is immortal." STI:I:VI-:XS. 

death, a necessary end, <S:c.] This is a sentence derived 
from the stoical doctrine of predestination, and is therefore im- 
proper in the mouth of Caesar. JOU.NSON. 


Re-enter a Servant. 

What say the augurers ? 

SERV. They would not have you to stir forth 


Plucking the entrails of an offering forth, 
They could not find a heart within the beast. 

CJES. The gods do this in shame of cowardice : 3 
Caesar should be a beast without a heart, 
If he should stay at home to-day for fear. 
No, Cassar shall not : Danger knows full well, 
That Caesar is more dangerous than he. 
We were 4 two lions litter' d in one day, 
And I the elder and more terrible ; 

in shame of cowardice :] The ancients did not place 

courage but wisdom in the heart. JOHNSON. 

* We were ] In old editions : 

We henrc 

The copies have been all corrupt, and the passage, of course, 
unintelligible. But the slight alteration I have made, [We icor] 
restores sense to the whole ; and the sentiment will neither be 
unworthy of Shakspeare, nor the boast too extravagant for Caesar 
in a vein of vanity to utter : that he and danger were two twin- 
whelps of a lion, and he the elder, and more terrible of the two. 


Mr. Upton recommends us to read : 

We arc . 

This resembles the boast of Otho : 

Experti invicem sumus, Ego ct Forlunci. Tacitus. 


It is not easy to determine, which of the two readings has 
the best claim to a place in the text. If Theobald's emendation 
be adopted, the phraseology, though less, is perhaps more 
Shakspearian. It may mean the same as if he had written We 
two lions TV ere littered ia one day, and I am the elder and more 
terrible of the two. MALON T E. 

sc.ii. JULIUS CAESAR. 319 

And Caesar shall go forth. 5 

CAL. Alas, my lord, 

Your wisdom is consumed in confidence. 
Do not go forth to-day : Call it my fear, 
That keeps you in the house, and not your own. 
We'll send Mark Antony to the senate-house ; 
And he shall say, you are not well to-day : 
Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this. 

CMS. Mark Antony shall say, I am not well ; 
And, for thy humour, I will stay at home. 

Enter DECIUS. 

Here's Decius Brutus, lie shall tell them so. 

DEC. Ca>sar, all hail! Good-morrow, worthy 

Orsar : 
I come to fetch you to the senate-house. 

CMS. And you are come in very happy time, 
To hear my greeting to the senators, 
And tell them, that I will not come to-day : 
Cannot, is false ; and that I dare not, falser ; 
I will not come to-day: Tell them so, Decius. 

' Cicsar shall go forth.] Any speech of Carsar, through- 
out this scene, will appear to disadvantage, it' compared with 
the following sentiments, put into his mouth by May, in the 
seventh Book of his Supplement to Lucan : 

Plus me, Calphurnia, lurtus 

Et lachrymal 1 movere tuir, quam tristia vatum 

llesponsa, infaustae volucres, nut ulla dieriuu 

\ ana superstitio poterant. Ostenta timere 

Si nunc inciperem, quac non inihi tempora posthftf 

Anxia transirent ? (juae lux jucunda maneret ? 

Aut (ju;e libertas ? trust ra servire timori 

(Dum iK-c luce frui, nee mortem arcere licebit) 

Cogar, ct liuic capiti quod Homa veretur, aruspeK 

Jus dubit, et vauus semper domiuabitur augur." 



CAL. Say, lie is sick. 

CJES. Shall Caesar send a lie ? 

Have I in conquest stretch' d mine arm so far, 
To be afeard to tell grey-beards the truth ? 
Decius, go tell them, Caesar will not come. 

DEC. Most mighty Caesar, let me know some 

Lest I be laugh* d at, when I tell them so. 

CMS. The cause is in my will, I will not come : 
That is enough to satisfy the senate. 
But, for your private satisfaction, 
Because I love you, I will let you know. 
Calphurnia here, my wife, stays me at home : 
She dreamt to-night she saw my statua, 6 
Which like a fountain, with a hundred spouts, 
Did run pure blood ; and many lusty Romans 
Came smiling, and did bathe their hands in it. 
And these does she apply for warnings, portents," 
And evils imminent; 8 and on her knee 
Hath begg'd, that I will stay at home to-day. 

DEC. This dream is all amiss interpreted ; 
It was a vision, fair and fortunate : 
Your statue spouting blood in many pipes, 
In which so many smiling Romans bath'd, 
Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck 

6 my slali<a,~] See Vol. IV. p. 274-, n. 8 ; and Vol. XIV. 

p. 113, n. 4. STEEVEXS. 

7 tvarn/Hg.s, portents,] Old copy, unmetrically warn- 
ings and portents. STEEVENS. 

s And nil a imminent ;] The late Mr. Ed\vards was of opinion 
that we should read : 

Of evils imminent. STEEVENS. 

The alteration proposed by Mr. Edwards is needless, ami 
tends to weaken the force of the expressions, wlu'cl* form, as 
they now stand, a regular climax. HJGNLKY. 


Reviving blood ; and that great men shall press 
For tinctures, stains, relicks, and cognizance. 9 
This by Calphurnia's dream is signified. 

CJES. And this way have you well expounded it. 

DEC. I have, when you have heard what I can 

say : 

And know it now ; The senate have concluded 
To give this day a crown to mighty Csesar. 
If you shall send them word, you will not come, 
Their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock 
Apt to be render'd, for some one to say, 
Break up the senate till another time, 
When Ccesar's wife shall meet with better dreams. 1 
If Caesar hide himself, shall they not whisper, 

9 and that great men shall press 

For tinctures, stains, relicks, and cognizance."] This speech, 
which is intentionally pompous, is somewhat confused. There 
are two allusions ; one to coats armorial, to which princes make 
additions, or give new tinctures, and new marks of cognizance ; 
the other to martyrs, whose reliques are preserved with venera- 
tion. The Romans, says Decius, all come to you as to a saint, 
for reliques, as to a prince, for honours. JOHXSOX. 

I believe tinctures has no relation to heraldry, but means 
merely handkerchief's, or other linen, tinged with blood. Bul- 
lokar, in his Expositor, 1616, defines it " a dipping, colouring or 
staining of a thing." So, in Act III. sc. ii : 

" And dip their napkins," &c. MALONF.. 

I concur in opinion with Mr. Malone. At the execution of 
several of our ancient nobility, martyrs, c. we arc told that 
handkerchiefs were tinctured with their blood, and preserved as 
affectionate or salutary memorials of the deceased. STEEVENS. 

1 When Cesar's ic/fc shall meet with better dreams."] So, in 
Lord Sterline's Julius Cersar, 1607: 

" I low can we satisfy the world's conceit, 

" Whose tongues still in all ears your praise proclaims? 
" Or shall we bid them leave to deal in state, 

" Till that Culphuniia first have better dreams?" 

vol.. xvi. v 


Lo, Ca'sar is afraid? 

Pardon me, Caesar ; for my dear, dear love 
To your proceeding bids me tell you this ; 
And reason 2 to my love is liable. 

CJES. How foolish do your fears seem now, Cal- 

phurnia ? 

I am ashamed I did yield to them. 
Give me my robe, for I will go : 


And look where Publius is come to fetch me. 

PUB. Good morrow, Caesar. 

CJES. Welcome, Publius. 

What, Brutus, are you stirr'd so early too ? 
Good-morrow, Casca. Caius Ligarius, 
Caesar was ne'er so much your enemy, 
As that same ague which hath made you lean. 
What is't o'clock ? 

BRU. Caesar, 'tis strucken eight. 

CIES. I thank you for your pains and courtesy. 

Enter ANTOXY. 

See ! Antony, that revels long o'nights, 

Is notwithstanding up : 

Good-morrow, Antony. 

ANT. So to most noble Caesar. 

C/ES. Bid them prepare within : 

And reason &c.] And reason, or propriety of conduct and 
language, is subordinate to my love. JOHNSON. 

sc. m. JULIUS CAESAR. 323 

I am to blame to be thus waited for. 

Now, Cinna : Now, Metellus : What, Trebo- 

nius ! 

I liave an hour's talk in store for yon ; 
Remember that, you call on me to-day : 
Be near me, that I may remember yon. 

TRER. Cavsar, I will : and so near will I be, 

That your best friends shall wish I had been further. 

C.ES. Good friends, go in, and taste some wine 

with me ; 
And we, like friends, will straightway go together. 

BRU. That every like is not the same, O Caesar, 
The heart of Brutus yearns to think upon ! 



The same. A Street near the Capitol. 
Enter ARTEMIDORUS, reading a Paper. 

ART. CsL'sar, beware of Brutus ; take liced of 
Cassius ; come not near Casca ; hare an eye to 
Cinna ; trust not Trebonius ; mark ~ccll Metellns 
Cimber ; Decius Brutus lures lltce not; thou hast 
K'roHgcd Cains Ligarins. There is but one mind 
in all tJiese men, and it /.v bcnl againxl Ca'sar. //* 
Hiou be' si not humor in/, loo/,- about you : Security 
il'ircs tiv/// to conspiracy. The mix lily "ods defend 
tlice ! Thy lover, 3 


1 'I'/uj lu-ccr,'] See p. 'J19, n. 6. MALONK. 

Y '2 


Here will I stand, till Caesar pass along, 

And as a suitor will I give him this. 

My heart laments, that virtue cannot live 

Out of the teeth of emulation. 4 

If thou read this, O Csesar, thou may'st live ; 

If not, the fates with traitors do contrive. 5 [Exit. 


The same. Another Part of the same Street^ before 
the House qfBrutus. 

Enter PORTIA and Lucius. 

POR. I pr'ythee, boy, run to the senate-house ; 
Stay not to answer me, but get thee gone : 
Why dost thou stay? 6 

L uc. To know my errand, madam. 

POR. 1 would have had thee there, and here 

Ere I can tell thee what thou should'st do there. 

4 emulation,'] Here, as on many other occasions, this 

\?ord is used in an unfavourable sense, somewhat like factious, 
envious, or malicious rivalry. So, in Troilus and Cressida : 

" Whilst emulation m the army crept." STEEVENS. 

5 the fates with traitors do contrive] The fates join 

viith traitors in contriving thy destruction." JOHNSON. 

6 Why dost thou stay? &c.] Shakspeare has expressed the 
perturbation of King Richard the Third's mind by the same 
incident : 

" Dull, unmindful villain! 

" Why stay'st thou here, and go'st not to the duke ? 
" Cat. First, mighty liege, tell me your highness' pleasure, 
" What from your grace I shall deliver to him." 


ac. iv. JULIUS CAESAR. 325 

constancy, be strong upon my side ! 

Set a huge mountain 'tween my heart and tongue ! 

1 have a man's mind, but a woman's might. 
How hard it is for women to keep counsel ! 
Art thon here yet ? 

Luc. Madam, what should I do? 

Run to the Capitol, and nothing else ? 
And so return to you, and nothing else ? 

POR. Yes, bring me word, boy, if thy lord look 


For he went sickly forth : And take good note, 
What Caesar doth, what suitors press to him. 
Hark, boy ! what noise is that ? 

Luc. I hear none, madam. 

FOR. Pr'ythee, listen well : 

I heard a bustling rumour, like a fray, 
And the wind brings it from the Capitol. 

TiUC. Sooth, madam, I hear nothing. 

Enter Soothsayer. 7 

POR. Come hither, fellow: 

Which way hast thou been ? 

SOOTII. At mine own house, good lady. 

POR. What is't o'clock ? 

SOOTH. About the ninth hour, lady. 

POR. Is Caesar yet gone to the Capitol ? 

: Enter Soothsayer.] The introduction of the Soothsayer here 
is unnecessary, and, I think, improper. All that he is made to 
say, should be given to Artemidorns ; who is seen and accosted 
by Portia in his passage from his first stand, p. 323, to one more 
convenient, p. 32<). TYRWHITT. 


SOOTH. Madam, not yet ; I go to take my stand, 
To see him pass on to the Capitol. 

POR. Thou hast some suit to Caesar, hast thou 

SOOTH. That I have, lady: if it will please Caesar 
To be so good to Caesar, as to hear me, 
I shall beseech him to befriend himself. 

POR. Why, know'st thou any harm's intended 
towards him ? 

SOOTH. None that I know will be, much that I 

fear may chance. 8 

Good morrow to you. Here the street is narrow : 
The throng that follows Caesar at the heels, 
Of senators, of praetors, common suitors, 
Will croud a feeble man almost to death : 
I'll get me to a place more void, and there 
Speak to great Caesar as he comes along. [Exit. 

POR. I must go in. Ah me ! how weak a thing 
The heart of woman is ! O Brutus ! 
The heavens speed thee in thine enterprize ! 
Sure, the boy heard me : Brutus hath a suit, 9 
That Caesar will not grant. O, I grow faint : 
Run, Lucius, and commend me to my lord ; 
Say, I am merry : come to me again, 
And bring me word what he doth say to thee. 


8 None tliat I knalv ivill be, much that I fear may chance.] 
Sir Thomas Hanmer, very judiciously in my opinion, omits 
may chance, which I regard as interpolated words ; for they 
render the line too long by a foot, and the sense is complete 
without them. STEEVEXS. 

9 Brutus hath a suit, &c.] These words Portia addresses to 
Lucius, to deceive him, by assigning a false cause for her present 
perturbation. MALONE. 



The same. Tlie Capitol ; the Senate sitting. 

A Croud of People in the Street leading to the 
Capitol ; among them ARTEMIDORUS, and the 
Soothsayer. Flourish. Enter CJESAR, BRUTUS, 


PUBLIUS, and Others. 

The ides of March are come. 
SOOTH. Ay, Caesar ; but not gone. 
ART. Hail, Caesar ! Read this schedule. 

DEC. Trebonius doth desire you to o'cr-read, 
At your best leisure, this his humble suit. 

ART. O, Ca?sar, read mine first ; for mine's a 

That touches Caesar nearer : Read it, great Caesar. 

CJES. What touches us ourself, shall be last serv'd. 
ART. Delay not, Caesar ; read it instantly. 
CMS. What, is the fellow mad ? 
PUB. Sirrah, give place. 

CAS. What, urge you your petitions in the street? 
Come to the Capitol. 


CAESAR enters the Capitol, the rest following. 
All the Senators rise. 

POP. I wish your enterprize to-day may thrive. 
CAS. What enterprize, Popilius ? 

POP. Fare you well. 

[Advances to Caesar. 

BRU. What said Popilius Lena? 

CAS. He wish'd to-day our enterprize might 

I fear, our purpose is discovered. 

BRU* Look how he makes to Caesar : Mark 
him. 1 

CAS. Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention. 
Brutus, what shall be done ? If this be known, 
Cassius or Caesar never shall turn back, 2 

1 Mark him.] The metre being here imperfect, 1 think, 

we should be at liberty to read : Mark him well. So, in the 
paper read by Artemidorus, p. 323 : " Mark well Metellus 
Cimber." STEEVENS. 

8 Cassius or Caesar never shall turn back,'] I believe Shak- 
speare wrote : 

Cassius on Caesar never shall turn back. 

The next line strongly supports this conjecture. If the cpn- 
spiracy was discovered, and the assassination of Caesar rendered 
impracticable by " prevention," which is the case supposed, 
Cassius could have no hope of being able to prevent Caesar from 
" turning back" (allowing " turn back" to be used for return 
back;) and in all events this conspirator's " slaying himself" 
could not produce that effect. 

Cassius had originally come with a design to assassinate Caesar, 
or die in the attempt, and therefore there could be no question 
noiv concerning one or the other of them falling. The question 
now stated is, if the plot was discovered, and their scheme could 
not be effected, how each conspirator should act ; and Cassius 
declares, that, if this should prove the case, he will not endeavour 

sc. i. JULIUS CAESAR. S29 

For I will slay myself. 

BRU. Cassins, be constant : 

Popilius Lena speaks not of our purposes ; 
For, look, he smiles, and Caesar doth not change. 

CAS. Trebonius knows his time ; for look you, 

lie draws mark Antony out of the way. 

and the Senators take their Seats. 

to save himself by flight from the Dictator and his partisans, but 
instantly put an end to his own life. 

The passage in Plutarch's Life <>f Brutus, which Shakspeare 
appears to have had in his thoughts, adds such strength to this 
emendation, that if it had been proposed by any former editor, 
I should have given it a place in the text : " Popilius Lama, that 
had talked before with Brutus and Cassias, and had prayed the 
gods they might bring this enterprize to pass, went unto C'ajsar, 
and kept him a long time with a talke. Wherefore the conspi- 
rators conjecturing by that he had tolde them a little before, 
that his talke was none other but the verie discoverie of their 
conspiracie, they were ail'rayed euerie man of them, and one 
looking in another's face, it was easie to see that they were all of 
a miiule, that it was no tarrying for them till they were appre- 
hended, but rather that they should kill themselves with their ou-n 
handes. And when Cassias and certain others clapped their 
handes on their swordes under their gownes to draw them, 
Brutus, marking the countenance and gesture of Laena, &c. with 
a pleasant countenance encouraged C'assius, &c." 

They clapped their hands on their daggers undoubtedly to be 
ready to kill themselves, if they were discovered. JShakspeare 
was induced to give this sentiment to C'assius, as being exactly 
agreeable to his character, and to that spirit which has appeared 
in a former scene : 

" 1 know where I will wear this dagger then; 

" C'assius from bondage will deliver C'assius." MALONE. 

The disjunctive is right, and the sense apparent. C'assius says, 
If our purpose is discovered, either Ca-sar or 1 shall never return 
alive: lor, if we cannot kill him, I will certainly slay myself. 
The conspirators were numerous and resolute, and had they been 
bet rayed, the confusion that must have arisen might have afforded 
desperate men an opportunity to despatch the tyrant, RITSON, 


DEC. Where is Metellus Cimber ? Let him go, 
And presently prefer his suit to Caesar. 

ERU. He is address'd: 3 press near, and second 

CiN. Casca, you are the first that rears your 
hand. 4 

Are we all ready ? what is now amiss, 
That Caesar and his senate, must redress ? 5 

MET. Most high, most mighty, and most puissant 

3 He is address'd :] i. e. he is ready. See Vol. XII. p. 380, 
n. 7. STEEVENS. 

* - you are the first that rears your hand.~] This, I think, 
is not English. The first folio has reares, which is not much 
better. To reduce the passage to the rules of grammar, we 
should read You are thejlrst that rears his hand. TYRWHITT. 

According to the rules of grammar Shakspeare certainly should 
have written his hand ; but he is often thus inaccurate. So, in 
the last Act of this play. Cassius says of himself 
" - Cassius is aweary of the world : 
" - all his faults observ'd, 
" Set in a note-book, learn'd and conn'd by rote, 
" To cast into my teeth.'* 

There in strict propriety our poet certainly should have writ- 
ten " into his teeth." MALONE. 

As this and similar offences against grammar, might have ori- 
ginated only from the ignorance of the players or their printers, 
I cannot concur in representing such mistakes as the positive in- 
accuracies of Shakspeare. According to this mode of reasoning, 
the false spellings of the first folio, as often as they are exampled 
by corresponding false spellings in the same book, may also be 
charged upon our author. STEEVENS. 

5 Cin. Casca, you are thefrst that rears your hand. 
Caes. Are toe all ready? What is noia amisx, 
That CfBsar, and Ms senate, must redress?^ The words 
Are ive all ready seem to belong more properly to Cinna'i 
speech, than to Caesar's. HITSON. 

sc. i. JULIUS CJESAR. 331 

Metelltis Cimbcr tlirovvs before thy seat 
An humble heart : 

I must prevent thee, Cimber. 
Tliese coachings, and these lowly courtesies, 
Might fire the blood of ordinary men ; 
And turn pre-ordinance, 6 and rlrst decree, 
Into the law of children. 7 Be not fond, 

And turn pro-ordinance,] P re-ordinance t for ordinance al- 
ready established. WARBURTON. 

' Into the law of children,'] [Old copy lane.'] I do not well 
understand what is meant by the lane of children. I should read 
the Inu" of children. That is, change pre-ordinance and decree 
into the law of children ; into such slight determinations as every 
start of will would alter. Lane and laivc in some manuscripts 
are not easily distinguished. JOHNSON. 

If the lane of children be the true reading, it may possibly 

receive illustration from the following passage in Ben Jonson's 

Staple o/\\Ytrv : 

" A narrow-minded man ! my thoughts do dwell 
" All in a //-." 
The lane of children will then mean the narrow conceits of 

children, which must change as their minds grow more enlarged. 

So, in 1 1 amid: 

" For nature, crescent, docs not grow alone 
" In thewes and bulk ; but as this temple waxes, 
*' 7V,!'.? inward service of the mind and soul, 
" (trows wide withal." 
But even this explanation is harsh and violent. Perhaps the 

poet wrote: " in the line of children," i. c. after the method 

or manner of children. In Troilus and Cressida, he uses line 

for method, course : 

" - in all line of order." 
In an ancient 1)1. 1. ballad entitle 1, Ifonshold Talk, or Good 

Councclfor a warricd .'/.-///, I meet indeed with a phrase some- 

what similar to the linn- of children: 

" Neighbour lloger, when you come 

" Into the roic (^neighbours married." SlKEVENS. 

The TC of Shakspeare's time diHered from an n only by a small 
curl at the bottom of the second stroke, which if an c happened 
to follow, could scarcely be perceived. 1 have not hesitated 


To think that Cassar bears such rebel blood, 

That will be thaw'd from the true quality 

With that which melteth fools ; I mean, sweet 


Low-crooked curt'sies, and base spaniel fawning. 
Thy brother by decree is banished ; 
If thou dost bend, and pray, and fawn for him, 
I spurn thee like a cur out of my way. 
Know, Caesar doth not wrong ; nor without cause 
Will he be satisfied.'' 

therefore to adopt Dr. Johnson's emendation. The words pre- 
ordinance and decree strongly support it. MALONE. 

8 Know, Caesar doth not wrong ; nor without cause 

Will he be satisfied.^ Ben Jonson quotes this line unfaith- 
fully among his Discoveries, and ridicules it again in the Intro- 
duction to his Staple of News: " Cry you mercy : youneverdid 
wrong, but with just cause!" STEEVENS. 

It may be doubted, I think, whether Jonson has quoted this 
line unfaithfully. The turn of the sentence, and the defect in 
the metre (according to the present reading,) rather incline me 
to believe that the passage stood originally thus : 

Know, Cccsar doth not wrong, but with just cause : 
Nor without cause will he be satisfied. 

We may suppose that Ben started this formidable criticism at 
one of the earliest representations of the play, and that the 
players, or perhaps Shakspeare himself, over-awed by so great an 
authority, withdrew the words in question ; though, in my opi- 
nion, it would have been better to have told the captious censurer 
that his criticism was ill founded: that wrong is not always a 
synonymous term for injury ; that in poetical language especially, 
it may be very well understood to mean only harm or hurt, 
what the law culls damnum sine injuria; and that, in this sense, 
there is nothing absurd in Caesar's saying, that he doth not wrong 
( i. e. doth not inflict any evil, or punishment) but with just causa. 
But, supposing this passage to have been really censurable, and 
to have been written by Shakspeare, the exceptionable words 
were undoubtedly left out when the play was printed in 1623 ; 
and therefore what are we to think of the malignant pleasure 
with which Jonson continued to ridicule his deceased friend for 
a slip of which posterity, without his information, would have 
been totally ignorant? TYRWHITT. 

sc. i. JULIUS CAESAR. 333 

MET. Is there no voice more worthy than my 


To sound more sweetly in great Caesar's ear, 
For the repealing of my banish'd brother ? 

BRU. I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Caesar ; 
Desiring thee, that Publius Cimber may 
Have an immediate freedom of repeal. 

CMS. What, Brutus ! 

CAS. Pardon, Caesar ; Caesar, pardon : 

As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall, 
To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber. 

CMS. I could be well mov'd, if I were as you ; 
If I coidd pray to move, prayers would move me : 
But I am as constant as the northern star, 
Of whose true-fix'd, and resting quality, 
There is no fellow in the firmament. 
The skies are painted with unnumber'd sparks, 
They are all fire, and every one doth shine ; 
But there's but one in all dotli hold his place : 
So, in the world ; 'Tis furnish'd well with men, 
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive ;* 

Mr. Tyrwhitt's interpretation of the word wrong is supported 
by a line in our author's Rape of Lucrccc : 

" Time's glory is 

" To wrong the wronger, till he render right." 


Thus also, in King Henry IV. P. II. where Justice Shallow 
assures Davy that his friend (an arrant knave) " shall have no 

re rung." ST SEVENS. 

'' apprehensive ;] Susceptible of fear, or other passions. 


Apprehensive does not mean, as Johnson explains it, suscep- 
tible ti/'J'ear, but intelligent, capable of apprehending. 


So, in King Henri/ IV. P. II. Act IV. sc. iii : " makes it 
V'.'.wV-, quick, forgetive," &c. STEKVLNS. 

534 JULIUS C^SAR. ACT in. 

Yet, in the number, I do know but one 1 
That unassailable holds on his rank, 2 
Unshak'd of motion : 3 and, that I am he, 
Let me a little show it, even in this ; 
That I was constant, Cimber should be banish' d, 
And constant do remain to keep him so. 

CIN. O Caesar, 

CMS. Hence ! Wilt thou lift up Olympus ? 

DEC. Great Caesar, 

CJES. Doth not Brutus bootless kneel ? 4 

1 but one ~] One and only one. JOHNSON. 

holds on his rank,] Perhaps, holds on his race; con- 
tinues his course. We commonly say, To hold a rank, and To 
hold on a course or tcoy. JOHNSON. 

To " hold on his rank," is to continue to hold it ; and I take 
rank to be the right reading. The word race, which Johnson 
proposes, would but ill agree with the following words, unshalc'd 
of 'motion, or with the comparison to the polar star : 
" Of whose true-fix'd, and resting quality, 
" There is no fellow in the firmament." 

Hold on his rank, in one part of the comparison, has precisely 
the same import with hold his place, in the other. M. MASON. 

3 Unshak'd of motion :] i. e. Unshak'd by suit or solicitation, 
of which the object is to move the person addressed. MALONE. 

4 Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?~\ I would read ; 

Do not Brutus bootless kneel T JOHNSON. 

I cannot subscribe to Dr. Johnson's opinion. Caesar, as some 
of the conspirators are pressing round him, answers their impor- 
tunity properly: See you not my own Brutus kneeling in vain? 
What success can you expect to your solicitations, when his are in- 
effectual? This might have put my learned coadjutor in mind of 
the passage of Homer, which he has so elegantly introduced in 
his preface. Thou ? (said Achilles to his captive,) when so great 
a man as Patroclus has fallen before thee, dost thou complain of 
the common lot of mortality? STF.EVENS. 

The editor of the second folio saw this passage in the same light 
as Dr. Johnson did, and made this improper alteration. By 
Brutus here Shakspeare certainly meant Marcus Brutus, because 

sc. i. JULIUS CAESAR. 335 

CASCA. Speak, hands, for me. 

[CASCA stabs Ca?sAii in the Neck. CJESAR 
catches hold oj'liis Arm. He is then stabbed 
by several other Conspirators, and at last 

CES. Et tu, Ernie ? s Then fall, Caesar. 

\_Dies. The Senators and People retire in 

he has confounded him with Decimus, (or Dccius as he calls 
him) ; and imagined that Marcus Brutus was the peculiar fa- 
vourite of Caesar, calling him " Iris well-beloved ;" whereas in 
fact it was Decimus Brutus that Caesar was particularly attached 
to, appointing him by his will as second heir, that is, in re- 
mainder after his primary devisees. MALONE. 

See p. 260, n. 1. STEEVENS. 

3 Et tu, Brute . ? ] Suetonius says, that when Cucsar put 
Metellus Cimber back, " he caught hold of Caesar's gowne at 
both shoulders, whereupon, as he cried out, This is violence* 
Cassius came in second full a front, and wounded him a little 
beneath the throat. Then Caesar catching Cassius by the arme 
thrust it through with his stile, or writing punches ; and with 
that being about to leape forward, he was met with another 
wound and stayed." Being then assailed on all sides, " with 
three and twenty wounds he was stabbed, during which time he 
gave but one groan, (without any word uttered) and that was 
at the first thrust ; though some have written, that as Marcus 
Brutus came running upon him, he said, xx\ crJ rixxiv, and ihou t 
my soinie." Holland's translation, 1607. 

No mention is here made of the Latin exclamation, which our 
author has attributed to Caesar, nor did North furnish him with 
it, or with English words of the same import, as might natu- 
rally have been supposed. Plutarch says, that on receiving his 
first wound from (V/.?c.7, " he caught hold of Casca's sword, and 
held it hard: and they both cried out, Caesar in Latin, O -die 
traitor, Casca, what docst tJion ? and in Greek to his 
brother, lirolhcr help me" The conspirators then " compassed 
him on every side with their swordes ri^wn in their handes, that 
C;psar turned him no where but he \\.is stricken by some, and 
still had naked swords in his face, ami was hacked and mangled 
amongst them as a wild beast taken of hunters. And then Brutus 
himself gave him one wound above the privities. Men report 


CIN. Liberty ! Freedom ! Tyranny is dead ! 
Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets. 

CAS. Some to the common pulpits, and cry out, 
Liberty, freedom., and enfranchisement! 

BRU. People, and senators! be not affrighted; 
Fly not ; stand still : ambition's debt is paid. 

CASCA. Go to the pulpit, Brutus. 6 

DEC. And Cassius too. 

BRU. Where's Publius ? 

also, that Caesar did still defend himself against the reste, running 
every way with his bodie, but when he saw Brutus with his sworde 
drawen in his hande, then he pulled his gowne over his heade, 
and made no more resistance." 

Neither of these writers therefore, we see, furnished Shak- 
speare with this exclamation. His authority appears to have been 
a line in the old play, entitled The True Tragedie of Richard?. 
Duke of Yorlce, &c. printed in 1600, on which he formed his 
Third Parte of King Henry VI: 

" Et tu, Brute ? Wilt thou stab Caesar too?" 
This line Shakspeare rejected when he wrote the piece above 
mentioned, (See Vol. XIV. p. 177, n. 5.) but it appears it had 
made an impression on his memory. The same line is also found 
in Acolastiis his AJtcr-ixitie, a poem, by S. Nicholson, printed in 

" Et tu, Brute ? Wilt thou stab Caesar too? 
" Thou art my friend, and wilt not see me wrong'd." 
So, in Caesar's Legend, Mirror for Magistrates, 1587: 

" O this, quoth I, is violence ; then Cassius pierc'd my 

breast ; 
" And Brutus thou, my sonne, quoth I, whom erst I 

loved best." 

The Latin words probably appeared originally in Dr. Eedes's 
play on this subject. See p. 252, n. *. MA LONE. 

6 Go to the pulpit, Brutus.] We have now taken leave of Casca. 
Shakspeare for once knew that he had a sufficient number of 
heroes on his hands, and was glad to lose an individual in the 
croud. It may be added, that the singularity of Casca's man- 
ners would have appeared to little advantage amidst the succeed- 
ing varieties of tumult and war. STEEVENS. 

ac. i. JULIUS CAESAR. 337 

Cry. Here, quite confounded with this mutiny. 

MET. Stand fast together, lest some friend of 

Should chance 

BRU. Talk not of standing; Puhlius, good 

cheer ; 

There is no harm intended to your person, 
Nor to no Roman else : 7 so tell them, Publius. 

CAS. And leave us, Publius ; lest that the people, 
Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief. 

BRU. Do so ; and let no man abide this deed, 
But we the doers. 

Re-cuter TREBOXIUS. 

CAS. Where's Antony ? 

TRE. Fled to his house amaz'd: 

Men, wives, and children, stare, cry out, and run, 
As it were doomsday. 

BRU. Fates ! we will know your pleasures : 
That we shall die, we know ; 'tis but the time, 
And drawing days out, that men stand upon. 

Cl.s'. s Why, he that cuts off twenty years of life, 
Cuts off so many years of fearing death. 

BRU. Grant that, and then is death a benefit : 
So are we Ciusar's friends, that have abridg'd 

7 .Vor to no Tinman c/.<r:~\ This use of two negatives, not to 
make an affirmative, hut to deny more strongly, is common to 
Chaucer, Spenser, and other ot'our ancient writers. Dr. Ilickes 
observes, that in the Saxon, even four negatives are sometimes 
conjoined, and still preserve a negative signification. 


8 ("as.] Both the folios j:i\v this speech to Casca. HEED. 
VOL. XVI. / 


His time of fearing death. Stoop, Romans, stoop, 9 
And let us bathe our hands in Caesar's blood 
Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords : 
Then walk we forth, even to the market-place; 
And, waving our red weapons o'er our heads, 
Let's all cry, Peace ! Freedom ! and Liberty ! 

CAS. Stoop then, and wash. 1 How many ages 


Shall this our lofty scene be acted over, 
In states unborn, 2 and accents yet unknown ? 

BRU. How many times shall Caesar bleed in 


That now on Pompey's basis lies along, 
No worthier than the dust ? 

CAS. So oft as that shall be, :; 

9 Stoop, Romans, sloop,'] Plutarch, in The Life qfCcesar, 

says, " Brutus and his followers, being yet hot with the murder, 
marched in a body from the senate-house to the Capitol, with 
their drawn swords, with an air of confidence and assurance." 
And in The Life of Brutus : " Brutus and his party betook 
themselves to the Capitol, and in their way, showing their hands 
all Moody, and their naked swords, proclaimed liberty to the 
people." THEOBALD. 

1 Stoop then, and wash.] To wash does not mean here to 
cleanse, but to wash over, as we say, washed with gold ; for Cas- 
sius means that they should steep their hands in the blood of 
Caesar. M. MASON. 

a In states unborn,'] The first folio has state ; very properly 
corrected in the second folio slates. Mr. Malone admits the 
first of these readings, which he thus explains In theatrick pomp 
yet undisplayed. 

But, surely, by unborn states, our author must have meant 
communities which as yet have no existence. STEEVEXS. 

3 So oft as that shall be,] The words shall be, which render 
this verse too long by a foot, may be justly considered as inter- 
polations, the sense of the passage being obvious without a sup- 
plement. As oft as that, in elliptical phrase, will signify as oft 

sc. /. JULIUS CyESAR. 339 

So often shall the knot of us be call'd 
The men that gave our country liberty. 

DEC. What, shall we forth ? 

CAS. Ay, every man away: 

Brutus shall lead ; and we will grace his heels 
With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome. 

Enter a Servant. 

BRU. Soft, who comes here? A friend of An- 
SERV. Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me 

kneel ; 

Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down : 
And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say. 
Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest ; 
Caesar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving: 
Say, I love Brutus, and I honour him ; 
Say, I fear'd Caesar, honour'd him, and lov'd him. 
If Brutus will vouchsafe, that Antony 
May safely come to him, and be resolv'd 
How Ctrsar hath deserv'd to lie in death, 
Mark Antony shall not love Ca?sar dead 
So well as Brutus living; but will follow 
The fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus, 
Thorough the hazards of this untrod state, 
With all true faith. So says my master Antony. 

Bur. Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman; 
I never thought him worse. 
Tell him, so please him come unto this place, 

MS that shall happen. There are too many instances of similar 
ellipses destroyed by the player editors, at thcexpenee of metre. 



He shall be satisfied ; and, by my honour, 
Depart untouch'd. 

SERV. I'll fetch him presently. 

[_Exit Servant. 

BRU. I know, that we shall have him well to 

CAS. I wish, we may : but yet have I a mind, 
That fears him much ; and my misgiving still 
Falls shrewdly to the purpose. 

Re-enter ANTONY. 

BRU. But here comes Antony.- Welcome, 
Mark Antony. 

ANT. O mighty Caesar ! Dost thou lie so low ? 
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, 
Shrunk to this little measure ? Fare thee well. 
I know not, gentlemen, what you intend, 
Who else must be let blood, who else is rank:* 
If I myself, there is no hour so fit 

4 fxlto else is rank:~\ Who else may be supposed to have 

overtopped his equals, $&& groivn too high for the publick safety. 


I rather believe the meaning is, who else is too replete with 
blood. So, in our author's Venus and Adonis; 
" Rain added to a river that is rank, 
" Perforce will force it overflow the bank." 
See Vol. X. p. 517, n. 1. MALONE. 

In The Tempest we have 

" whom to trash 

" For overtopping." 

I conceive Dr. Johnson's explanation therefore to be the true 
one. The epithet rank is employed, on a, similar occasion in 
King Henry VIII: 

" Ha! what, so rank?" 
and without allusion to a plethora. STEEVEXS. 

sc. /. JULIUS CAESAR. 34-1 

As Caesar's death's hour ; nor no instrument 

Of half that worth, as those your swords, made rich 

With the most noble blood of all this world. 

I do beseech ye, if you bear me hard, 

Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke, 

Fulfil your pleasure. Live a thousand years, 

I shall not find myself so apt to die : 

No place will please me so, no mean of death, 

As here by Caesar, and by you cut off, 

The choice and master spirits of this age. 

Bnu. O Antony! beg not your death of us. 
Though now we must appear bloody and cruel, 
As, by our hands, and this our present act, 
You see we do ; yet see you but our hands, 
And this the bleeding business they haye done : 
Our hearts you see not, they are pitiful; 
And pity to the general wrong of Rome 
(As fire drives out fire, 5 so pity, pity,) 
Hath done this deed on Caesar. For your part, 
To you our swords have leaden points, Mark An- 
tony : 
Our arms, in strength of malice,' 1 and our hearts, 

' As fire drives outjirc, &c.] So, in Coriolanus : 

" One fire drives out one fire ; one nail one nail." 


Again, in The. Two Gentlemen of Verona : 
" Even as one heat another heat expels, 
" Or as one nail by strength drives out another." 


* Our firm.';, in strength nf malice, ~\ Thus the old copies: 

'lo yon (says Brutus) our swords have leaden paints : our 
arms, strong / the deed of malice thei/ hare just performed, and 
our hearts united like those of brother* in the ' <tetio>i ,' 'are yet open 
fo receive you wth all possible regard. Tin- supposition that 
Hrutus meant, their hearts were of brothers' temper in respect of 
Antony, seems to have misled those \vho have commented on 
tjiis passage before. For in strength <>/, Mr. Pope substituted 


Of brothers' temper, do receive you in 

With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence. 

CAS. Your voice shall be as strong as any man's, 
In the disposing of new dignities. 

BRU. Only be patient, till we have appeas'd 
The multitude, beside themselves with fear, 
And then we will deliver you the cause, 
Why I, that did love Caesar when I struck him, 
Have thus proceeded. 

ANT. I doubt not of your wisdom. 

Let each man render me his bloody hand : 
First, Marcus Brutus, will I shake with you : 
Next, Caius Cassius, do I take your hand ; 
Now, Decius Brutus, yours; now yours, Me- 

tellus ; 

Yours, Cinna ; and, my valiant Casca, yours ; 
Though last, not least in love, 7 yours, good Tre- 


Gentlemen all, alas ! what shall I say ? 
My credit now stands on such slippery ground, 

exempt from ; and was too hastily followed by other editors. 
If alteration were necessary, it would be easier to read: 
Our arms no strength of' malice, . STEEVENS. 

One of the phrases in this passage, which Mr. Steevens has so 
happily explained, occurs again in Antony and Cleopatra : 
" To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts, 
" With an unslipping knot." 
Again, Hid: 

" The heart of brothers governs in our love !" 
The counterpart of the other phrase is found in the same play : 
" I'll wrestle with you in my strength of love" 


7 Though last, not least in lovc,~] So, in King Lear : 
" Although the last, not least in our dear love." 
The same expression occurs more than once in plays exhibited 
before the time of JShakspeare. MALONE. 

sc. i. JULIUS CAESAR. 343 

That one of two bad ways you must conceit me, 

Either a coward or a flatterer. 

That I did love thee, Ca:sar, O, 'tis true : 

If then thy spirit look upon us now, 

Shall it not grieve thee, dearer than thy death, 

To see thy Antony making his peace, 

Shaking the bloody fingers of thy foes, 

Most noble ! in the presence of thy corse ? 

Had I as many eyes as thou hast wounds, 

Weeping as fast as they stream forth thy blood, 

It would become me better, than to close 

In terms of friendship with thine enemies. 

Pardon me, Julius ! Here wast thou bay'd, brave 

hart ; 

Here didst thou fall ; and here thy hunters stand, 
Sign'd in thy spoil, and crimson'd in thy lethe. 8 
C) world 1 thou wast the forest to this hart ; 
And this, indeed, O world, the heart of thee. 
How like a deer, stricken by many princes, 
Dost thou here lie ? 

CAS. Mark Antony, 

A XT. Pardon me, Cains Cassius : 

The enemies of Ca?sar shall say this ; 
Then, in a friend, it is cold modesty. 

CAS. I blame you not for praising C;esar so ; 
But what compact mean you to have with us? 

8 crimsoned in thy lethe. ] Lethe, is used by many of the 

old translators of novels, for death ; and in Heywood's Iron Aye, 
P. II. Ki.'W: 

" The proudest nation that great Asia nurs'd, 
" Is now extinct in let/ie." 
Again, in Cupid's Whirligig 161(>: 

" For vengeance' wings bring on thy It-thai day." 
Dr. Farmer observes, that we meet with Ifthal tor deadly in 
the information for Mungo Campbell. STELYK.NS. 


Will you be prick'd in number of our friends ; 
Or shall we on, and not depend on you ? 

ANT. Therefore I took your hands ; but was, 


Sway'd from the point, by looking down on Caesar. 
Friends am I with you all, 9 and love you all ; 
Upon this hope, that you shall give me reasons, 
Why, and wherein, Caesar was dangerous. 

BRU. Or else were this a savage spectacle : 
Our reasons are so full of good regard, 
That were you, Antony, the son of Caesar, 
You should be satisfied. 

ANT. That's all I seek : 

And am moreover suitor, that I may 
Produce his body to the market-place ; 
And in the pulpit, as becomes a friend, 
Speak in the order of his funeral. 

BRU. You shall, Mark Antony. 

CAS. Brutus, a word with you. 1 - 

You know not what you do ; Do not consent, 


That Antony speak in his funeral : 
Know you how much the people may be mov'd 
By that which he will utter ? 

BRU. By your pardon ; 

9 Friends am I with you all, &c.] This grammatical impro- 
priety is still so prevalent, as that the omission of the anomalous 
S, would give some uncouthness to the sound of an otherwise 
familiar expression. HENLEY. 

1 Bruins, a icord with you.] With yon is an apparent inter- 
polation of the players. In Act IV. sc. ii. they have retained 
the elliptical phrase which they have here destroyed at the ex- 
pence of metre : 

" He is not doubted A tvord, Lucilius ; ." 


te. i. JULIUS CAESAR. 845 

I will myself into the pulpit first, 
And show the reason of our Caesar's death: 
What Antony shall speak, I will protest 
He speaks by leave and by permission ; 
And that we are contented, Caesar shall 
Have all true rites, and lawful ceremonies. 
It shall advantage more, than do us wrong. 

CAS. I know not what may fall ; I like it not. 

BRU. Mark Antony, here, take you Caesar's 


You shall not in your funeral speech blame us, 
But speak all good you can devise of Caesar j 
And say, you do't by our permission ; 
Else shall you not have any hand at all 
About his funeral : And you shall speak 
In the same pulpit whereto I am going, 
After my speech is ended. 

ANT. Be it so ; 

I do desire no more. 

Buu. Prepare the body then, and follow us. 

\_Exeunt all but ANTONY. 

ANT. (), pardon me, thou piece of bleeding 


That I am meek and gentle with these butchers ! 
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man, 
That ever lived in the tide of times. - 
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood ! 
Over thy wounds now do I prophecy, 
Which, like dumb mouths, 3 do ope their ruby lips, 

in Ike tide of times.'] That is, in the course of times. 


' Over thy wounds now do I prophecy, 

Which, like dumb mouths, &c.J Jso, in A Warning for 
faire Women, a tragedy, 1599; 

546 JULIUS C.^SAR. ACT m. 

To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue ; 

A curse shall light upon the limbs of men ; 4 

Domestick fury, and fierce civil strife, 

Shall cumber all the parts of Italy : 

Blood and destruction shall be so in use, 

And dreadful objects so familiar, 

That mothers shall but smile, when they behold 

Their infants quarter'd with the hands of war j 

All pity chok'd with custom of fell deeds : 

" 1 gave him fifteen wounds, 

" Which now be fifteen mouths that do accuse me : 

" In every wound there is a bloody tongue, 

" Which will all speak although he hold his peace/* 


* A curse shall light upon the limbs of men ?~\ We should read : 

line of men; 

i. e. human race. W T ARBURTON. 

Sir Thomas Hanmer reads : 

kind of men ; 

I rather think it should be : 

the. lives of men; 

unless we read : 

these lymms of men ; 

That is, these bloodhounds of men. The uncommonness of 
the word lymm easily made the change. JOHNSON. 

Antony means that a future curse shall commence in distempers 
seizing on the limbs of men, and be succeeded by commotion, 
cruelty, and desolation over Italy. So, in Phaer's version of the 
third jEneid : 

" The skies corrupted were, that trees and corne de- 
stroyed to nought, 
" And limmcs of men consuming rottes," &c. 

Sign. E. 1. edit. 1596. STEEVENS. 

By men the speaker means not mankind in general, but those 
llowuns whose attachment to the cause of the conspirators, or 
wish to revenge Caesar's death, would expose them to mounds in 
the civil wars which Antony supposes that event would give rise 
to. The generality of the curse here predicted, is limited by the 
subsequent words, " the parts of Italy," and " in these con- 
fines." MA LONE. 

ac. i. JULIUS C.ESAR. 347 

And Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge, 5 
With Ate by his side, come hot from hell, 
Shall in these confines, with a monarch's voice, 
Cry Haroc/i, 6 and let slip 7 the dogs of war j 

* And Ceexar's spirit, ranging for revenge, &c.] 

" - umoraque crraret Crassus inulta." Lucan, L. I. 

" Fatalem populis ultro poscentibus horam 

" Admovet atra dies ; Stygiisquc emissa tenebris 

" Mors f'ruitur crclo, bellatoremque vulando 

" Campum opcrit, nigroque viros invitat hiatu." 

Mat. Thcb. VIII. 

" Furiae rapuerunt licia Parcis." Ibid. 


Cry Ilavock,] A learned correspondent [Sir William 
Blackstone] has informed me, that, in the military operations of 
old times, ha-cuck was the word by which declaration was made, 
that no quarter should be given. In a tract intitled, The Office 
of the Constable and Mareschall in the Tijnie of Werrc, con- 
tained in the Black Book of the Admiralty, there is the follow- 
ing chapter : 

" The peyne of hym that crieth havock and of them that 
followeth hym, etit. v." 

" Item Si quis inventus fuerit qui clamorem inceperit qui 
vocatur llavok." 

" Also that no man be so hardy to crye Havok upon peyne 
that he that is begynner shall be deede therefore: i\ the remanent 
that doo the same or folow, shall lose their horse & harneis : and 
thepersones of such as foloweth and escrien shall be under arrest 
of the Conestable and Mareschall warde unto tynu' that they 
have made fyn ; and founde suretie no morr to otiende ; and 
his body in prison at the Kyng will ." JOHNSON. 

See p. 136, n. 1. MALONK. 

/r/ slip ] Tliis is a term belonging to the chase. Man- 
wood, in his Forest Arm 1 *, c. xx. s. 9, savs: " that when 
any pourallee man dotii lind any wild beasts of the fori>t in hi> 
pourallce, that is in lis owne freehold lands, that he h.-ifh \vithin 
the pourallee, he may let slippe his dog ^r.< after the wild l)r;i>Ks, 
and hunt and chase them there," &c. KKKD. 

S///)* were contrivances of leather by which greyhounds werr 
restrained till the necessary moment of their dismission. Set. 
King Henry V. Vol. XII. p. 3W), n. 9. Si ri:vi \>. 

348 JULIUS C^SAR. Acriir. 

That this foul deed shall smell above the earth 
With carrion men, groaning for burial. 

Enter a Servant. 

You serve Octavius Caesar, do you not ? 
SERV. I do, Mark Antony. 
ANT. Caesar did write for him to come to Rome. 

SERV. He did receive his letters, and is coming : 
And bid me say to you by word of mouth, 
O Caesar ! \_Seemg the Body. 

ANT. Thy heart is big, get thee apart and weep. 

T> ' T i { P 

r assion, 1 see, is catching ; lor mine eyes, 
Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine, 
Began to water. Is thy master coming ? 

SERF. He lies to-night within seven leagues of 

ANT. Post back with speed, and tell him what 

hath chanc'd : 
Here is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome, 

To let slip a dog at a deer, &c. was the technical phrase of 
Shakspeare's time. So, in Coriolanus : 

" Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash, 
" To let him slip at will." 

By the dogs of loar, as Mr. Toilet has elseivhere observed, 
Shakspeare probably meant Jire, sword, and famine. So, in 
King Henri/ V : 

" Then should the warlike Harry, like himself, 
" Assume the port of Mars; and, at his heels, 
" Lcash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword, anAJire, 
" Crouch for employment." 

The same observation is made by Steele, in the TATLER, No. 
137. MALONB, 

for mine eyes,"] Old copy -from mine eyes. Corrected 
by the editor of the second folio. MALONE. 

sc. ii. JULIUS CAESAR. 349 

No Rome of safety 9 for Octavins yet ; 
Hie hence, and tell him so. Yet, stay a while ; 
Thou shalt not back, till I have borne this corse 
Into the market-place : there shall 1 try, 
In my oration, how the people take 
The cruel issue of these bloody men ; 
According to the which, thou shalt discourse 
To young Octavius of the state of things. 
Lend me your hand. 

\_Exeunt, with CESAR'S Body. 


The same. The Forum. 

Enter BRUTUS and CASSIUS, and a Throng of 

CIT. We will be satisfied ; let us be satisfied. 

BRU. Then follow me, and give me audience, 


Cassius, go you into the other street, 
And part the numbers. 

Those that will hear me speak, let them stay here ; 
Those that will follow Cassius, go with him ; 
And publick reasons shall be rendered 
Of Cjrsar's death. 

' -Vo Rome of safety &e.] If Shakspeare meant to quibble on 
the words Rome and room, in this and a former passage, he is at 
least countenanced in it by other authors. 
So, in Hey wood's Rape of Lucrecc, 1M8: 

" You shall have my room, 

" My Rome indeed, lor what 1 seem to be, 
" Brutus is not, but born great Runic to free." 



1 CIT. I will hear Brutus speak. 

2 CIT. I will hear Cassius ; and compare their 

When severally we hear them rendered. 

[Exit CASSIUS, with some of the Citizens. 
BRUTUS goes into the Rostrum. 

3 CIT. The noble Brutus is ascended : Silence ! 

BRU. Be patient till the last. 
Romans, countrymen, and lovers ! ' hear me for 
my cause ; and be silent that you may hear : be- 
lieve me for mine honour; and have respect to mine 
honour, that you may believe : censure me in your 
wisdom ; and awake your senses that you may the 
better judge. If there be any in this assembly, 
any dear friend of Caesar's, to him I say, that Bru- 

1 countrymen, and lovers ! &c.] There is no where, in 

all Shakspeare's works, a stronger proof of his not being what 
we call a scholar than this ; or of his not knowing any thing of 
the genius of learned antiquity. This speech of Brutus is wrote 
in imitation of his famed laconick brevity, and is very fine in its 
kind ; but no more like that brevity than his times were like 
Brutus's. The ancient laconick brevity was simple, natural, and 
easy ; this is quaint, artificial, jingling, and abounding with 
forced antitheses. In a word, a brevity, that for its false elo- 
quence would have suited any character, and for its good sense 
would have become the greatest of our author's time ; but yet, 
in a style of declaiming, that sits as ill upon Brutus as our au- 
thor's trowsers or collar-band would have done. WARBURTOX. 

I cannot agree with Warburton that this speech is very fine in 
its kind. I can see no degree of excellence in it, but think it a. 
very paltry speech for so great a man, on so great an occasion. 
Yet Shakspeare has judiciously adopted in it the style of Brutus 
the pointed sentences and laboured brevity which he is said to 
have affected. M. MASOX. 

This artificial jingle of short sentences was affected by most of 
the orators in Shakspeare's time, whether in the pulpit or at the 
bar. The speech of Brutus may therefore be regarded rather as 
an imitation of the false eloquence then in vogue, than as a spe- 
cimen of laconick brevity. STKKVKNS. 

sc. ii. JULIUS CJESAR. 351 

tus' love to Cjrsar was no less than his. If then 
thatfriend demand, why Brutus rose against Caesar, 
this is my answer, Not that I loved Caesar less, 
but that I loved Rome more. Had yon rather 
Caesar were living, and die all slaves; than that 
Caesar were dead, to live all free men ? As Ctrsar 
loved me, I weep for him ; as he was fortunate, I 
rejoice at it ; as he was valiant, I honour him : but, 
as he was ambitious, I slew him : There is tears, 
for his love ; joy, for his fortune ; honour, for his 
valour ; and death, for his ambition. Who is here 
so base, that would be a bondman ? If any, speak ; 
for him have I offended. Who is here so rude, that 
would not be a Roman ? If any, speak ; for him 
have I offended. Who is here so vile, that will not 
love his country ? If any, speak ; for him have I 
offended. I pause for a reply. 

CIT. None, Brutus, none. 

[Several speaking at once. 

Bnu. Then none have I offended. I have done 
no more to Ciesar, than you should do to Brutus. 
The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol : 
his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy ; 
nor his offences enforced, for which he suffered 

Enter AXTOXY and Others, vith C .ESAU'S Body. 

Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony: 
who, though he had no hand in his death, shall re- 
ceive the benefit of his dying, a place in the com- 
monwealth ; As which of you shall not ? With this 
f depart ; That, as I slew my best lover for the 

n< I slc'o mil best Jovrr ] Sec p. .S2:5, n. 3. 


352 JULIUS C^SAR. ACT at. 

good of Rome, I have the same dagger for my- 
self, when it shall please my country to need my 

CIT. Live, Brutus, live ! live ! 

1 CIT. Bring him with triumph home unto his 


2 CIT. Give him a statue with his ancestors. 

3 CIT. Let him be Caesar. 

4 CIT. Caesar's better parts 
Shall now be crown' d in Brutus. 3 

This term, which cannot but sound disgustingly to modern ears, 
as here applied, Mr. Malone considers (see p. 219, n. 6,) as the 
language of Shakspeare's time ; but this opinion, from the want 
of contemporary examples to confirm it, may admit of a doubt. 
It is true it occurs several times in our author, whoprobablyfound 
it in North's Plutarch's Lines, and transferred a practice sanctioned 
by Lycurgus, and peculiar to Sparta, to Rome, and to other nations. 
It was customary in the former country for both males and fe- 
males to select and attach themselves to one of their own sex, 
under the appellation of lovers and favourers. These, on one 
part, were objects to imitate, and on the other, to watch with 
constant solicitude, in order to make them wise, gentle, and 
well conditioned. " To the lovers" (says Mr. Dyer, in his revi- 
sion of Dryden's Plutarch, Vol. I. p. 131,) " they (the elders of 
Lacedcmon) imputed the virtues or the vices which were ob- 
served in those they loved; they commended them if the lads 
were virtuous, and fined them if they were otherwise. They 
likewise fined those who had not made choice of any favourite. 
And here we may observe Lycurgus did not copy this instruction 
from the practice observed in Crete, thinking without doubt such 
an example of too dangerous a tendency." See Strabo, L. X. 

Since writing this note I have met with several instances which 
satisfy me of the truth of Mr. Malone's observation. I there- 
fore retract my doubt on this subject. REED. 

3 Shall now be croicn* d in Brutus.~\ As the present hemistich, 
without some additional syllable, is offensively unmetrical, the 
adverb ?;otc, which was introduced by Sir Thomas Ilanmcr, is 
here admitted. STEEVEXS. 

sc. ii. JULIUS CAESAR. 353 

1 CIT. We'll bring him to his house with shouts 

and clamours. 

BRU. My countrymen, 

2 CIT. Peace ; silence ! Brutus speaks. 
1 CIT. Peace, ho ! 

BRU. Good countrymen, let me depart alone, 
And, for my sake, stay here with Antony : 
Do grace to Caesar's corpse, and grace his speech 
Tending to Caesar's glories ; which Mark Antony, 
By our permission is allow'd to make. 
I do entreat you, not a man depart, 
Save I alone, till Antony have spoke. \_Exit. 

1 CIT. Stay, ho! and let us hear Mark Antony. 

3 CIT. Let him go up into the publick chair ; 
We'll hear him : Noble Antony, go up. 

AXT. For Brutus' sake, I am beholden to you. 4 

4 CIT. What does he say of Brutus ? 

3 CIT. He says, for Brutus' sake, 5 
He finds himself beholden to us all. 

4 CIT. 'Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus 


1 CIT. This Caesar was a tyrant. 

3 ClT. Nay, that's certain : 

We are blcss'd, that Rome is rid of him. 

2 CIT. Peace ; let us hear what Antony can say. 

' beholden to tjmi.~] Throughout the old copies of Shak- 

speare, and many other ancient authors, beholden is corruptly 
spelt beholding. STEEVENS. 

5 He says, for Bnttus' sake,"] Here \ve have another line ren- 
dered irregular, by the interpolated and needless words Ht 

<ays . STEEVENS. 

VOL. XVI. 2 A 


ANT. You gentle Romans, 

CIT. Peace, ho ! let us hear him. 

ANT. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me 

your ears ; 

I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. 
The evil, that men do, lives after them ; 
The good is oft interred with their bones ; 
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus 
Hath told you, Caesar was ambitious : 
If it were so, it was a grievous fault ; 
And grievously hath Caesar answer* d it. 
Here, under leave of Brutus, and the rest, 
(For Brutus is an honourable man ; 
So are they all, all honourable men ;) 
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral. 
He was my friend, faithful and just to me : 
But Brutus says, he was ambitious ; 
And Brutus is an honourable man. 
He hath brought many captives home to Rome, 
Whose ransomes did the general coffers fill : 
Did this in Ceesar seem ambitious ? 
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept : 
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff: 
Yet Brutus says, he was ambitious j 
And Brutus is an honourable man. 
You all did see, that on the Lupercal, 
I thrice presented him a kingly crown, 
Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition ? 
Yet Brutus says, he was ambitious ; 
And, sure, he is an honourable man. 
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke, 
But here I am to speak what I do know. 
You all did love him once, not without cause ; 
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him? 
O judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts, 

sc. ii. JULIUS CAESAR. 355 

And men have lost their reason ! Bear with me j 
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, 
And I must pause till it come back to me. 6 

1 CIT. Methinks, there is much reason in his 


2 CIT. If thou consider rightly of the matter, 
Caesar has had great wrong. 

3 CIT. Has he, masters ? 
I fear, there will a worse come in his place. 

4 CIT. Mark'd ye his words ? He would not take 

the crown ; 
Therefore, 'tis certain, he was not ambitious. 

1 CIT. If it be found so, some will dear abide it. 

2 CIT. Poor soul ! his eyes are red as fire with 


3 CIT. There's not a nobler man in Rome, than 


4 CIT. Now mark him, he begins again to speak. 

ANT. But yesterday, the word of Caesar might 
Have stood against the world : now lies he there, 

My heart is in the coffin there ivit/i Ctesar, 

And I must pause till it come back to me.~\ Perhaps our 
author recollected the following passage in Daniel's Cleopatra, 

" As for my love, say, Antony hath all ; 

" Say that my heart is gone into the grave 

" With him, in whom it rests, and ever shall." 


The passage from Daniel is little more than an imitation of 
part of Dido's speech in the fourth JEncid, v. '28 & seq : 

" Ille meos amorcs 

" Ahstulit, ille habeat seeum, servetque sepulchre." 



And none so poor 7 to do him reverence. 

masters ! if I were dispos'd to stir 
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, 

1 should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong, 
Who, you all know, are honourable men : 

I will not do them wrong ; I rather choose 

To wrong the dead, to wrong myself, and you, 

Than I will wrong such honourable men. 

But here's a parchment, with the seal of Caesar, 

I found it in his closet, 'tis his will : 

Let but the commons hear this testament, 

(Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read,) 

And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds, 

And dip their napkins 8 in his sacred blood; 

Yea, beg a hair of him for memory, 

And, dying, mention it within their wills, 

Bequeathing it, as a rich legacy, 

Unto their issue. 

4- CIT. We'll hear the will : Read it, Mark An- 

CIT. The will, the will ; we will hear Caesar's 

ANT. Have patience, gentle friends, I must not 

read it ; 

It is not meet you know how Caesar lov'd you. 
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men ; 
And, being men, hearing the will of Caesar, 

7 And none so poor ] The meanest man is now too high to 
do reverence to Caesar. JOHNSON. 

8 their napkins ] i. e. their handkerchiefs. Nnpery 

vas the ancient term lor all kinds of linen. STEEVENS. 

Napkin is the Northern term for handkerchief, and is used in 
this sense at this day in Scotland. Our author frequently uses 
the word. See Vol. VIII. p. 155, n. 2; and Vol. X. p*. 121, 
n. (j. MALOXE. 

sc. ii. JULIUS C.ESAR. 357 

It will inflame you, it will make you mad : 
'Tis good you know not that you arc his heirs ; 
For if you should, O, what would come of it! 

4 CIT. Read the will ; we will hear it, Antony ; 
You shall read us the will ; Caesar's will. 

ANT. Will you be patient ? Will you stay a 

while ? 

I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it. 
I fear, I wrong, the honourable men, 
Whose daggers have stabb'd Qrsar: I do fear it. 

4 Crr. They were traitors: Honourable men! 
CIT. The will ! the testament ! 

2 CIT. They were villains, murderers: The will! 
read the will ! 

ANT. You will compel me then to read the will? 
Then make a ring about the corpse of Caesar, 
And let me show you him that made the will. 
Shall I descend ? And will you give me leave ? 

CIT. Come down. 

2 CIT. Descend. 

\_IIe come* doicnjrom the Pulpit. 

3 CIT. You shall have leave. 

4 CIT. A ring ; stand round. 

1 CIT. Stand from the hearse, stand from the 

2 CIT. Room for Antony ; most noble Antony. 
AXT. Xay, press not so upon me ; stand far off. 
ClT. Stand back ! room ! bear back ! 

Ayr. If you have tears, prepare to shed them 

You all do know this mantle: I remember 


The first time ever Caesar put it oti ; 

'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent ; 

That day he overcame the Nervii : 

Look ! in this place, ran Cassius' dagger through : 

See, what a rent the envious Casca made : 

Through this, the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd ; 

And, as he pluck' d his cursed steel away, 

Mark how the blood of Caesar follow'd it ; 

As rushing out of doors, to be resolv'd 

If Brutus so unkindly knock J d, or no ; 

For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel : 9 

Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar lov'd him ! 

This was the most unkindest cut of all : 

For when the noble Caesar saw him stab, 

Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms, 

Quite vanquish'd him : then burst his mighty heart ; 

And, in his mantle muffling up his face, 

Even at the base of Pompey's statua, 1 

Which all the while ran blood, 2 great Caesar fell. 

9 For Brutus, as you knoiv, leas Caesar's angel :] This title of 
endearment is more than once introduced in Sidney's Arcadia. 


1 Even at the base of Pompey's statua,] [Old copy statue.] 
It is not our author's practice to make the adverb even, a dis- 
syllable. If it be considered as a monosyllable, the measure is 
defective. I suspect therefore he wrote at Pompey's statua. 
The word was not yet completely denizened in his time. Beau- 
mont, in his Masque, writes it statua, and its plural statuaes. 
Yet, it must be acknowledged, that statue is used more than 
once in this play, as a dissyllable. MALONE. 

See Vol. IV. p. 290, n. 6 ; and Vol. XIV. p. 413, n. 4. 

I could bring a multitude of instances in which statua is used 
for statue. Thus, in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 
1632, 540: " and Callistratus by the lielpe of Daedalus about 
Cupid's statua, made" &c. Again, 574: " his statua was 
to be scene in the temple of Venus Elusina." STEEVENS. 

9 Which all the "while ran llood,~\ The ilrrag'e seems to be, 

sc. ii. JULIUS CAESAR. 359 

O, what a fall was there, my countrymen ' 
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down, 
Whilst bloody treason flourish'd 3 over us. 
O, now you weep ; and, I perceive, you feel 
The dint of pity : 4 these are gracious drops. 
Kind souls, what, weep you, when you but behold 
Our Caesar's vesture wounded ? Look you here, 
Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, with traitors." 

1 CIT. O piteous spectacle ! 

2 CIT. O noble Caesar ! 

that the blood of Ca?sar flew upon the statue, and trickled down 

Shakspeare took these words from Sir Thomas North's transla- 
tion of Plutarch : " against the very base whereon Pompey's 
image stood, which ran all a gore of blood, till he was slain." 


1 treason flourish'd ] i. e. flourished the sword. So, 

in Komi'o and Juliet : 

' And flourishes his blade in spite of me." STEEVENS. 

4 The. dint nfpity :~\ is the impression of pity. 
The word is in common use among our ancient writers. So, 
in Preston's Camlnjses : 

" Your grace therein may hap receive, with other for 

your parte, 

" The dent of death," &c. 
Again, ibid; 

" He shall dye by dent of sword, or else by choking rope." 


' Here is himself, marr'd, ax you see, ii-ith traitors.'] To mar 
seems to have anciently signified to Ulcerate. So, in Suit/man 
and Perscda, a tragedy, 1.599, Basilisco, feeling the end of his 
dagger, says : 

" This point will mar her skin." MA LONE. 

To mar sometimes signified to deface, as in Othello: 
" Nor mar that whiter skin of hers than snow." 
and sometimes to destroy, as in 'J'/inon <>f Athens: 

" And mar men's spurring." 

Ancient alliteration always produces mar as the opposite ot 
make. STEEVENS. 

360 JULIUS C^SAR. ACT in. 

3 CIT. O woful day ! 

4 CIT. O traitors, villains ! 

1 CIT. O most bloody sight ! 

2 CIT. We will be revenged: revenge; about, 
seek, burn, fire, kill, slay! let not a traitor 

ANT. Stay, countrymen. 

1 CIT. Peace there : Hear the noble Antony. 

2 CIT. We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll 
die with him. 

ANT. Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir 

you up 

To such a sudden flood of mutiny. 
They, that have done this deed, are honourable ; 
What private griefs they have, alas, I know not, 
That made them do it ; they are wise and honour- 

And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you. 
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts ; 
I am no orator, as Brutus is : 
But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man, 
That love my friend ; and that they know full well 
That gave me publick leave to speak of him. 
For I have neither wit,' s nor words, nor worth, 

6 For I haw neither wit,] [Old copy to/-//.] So, in King 
Henry VI. P.II : 

" No\v, my good lord, let's see the devil's re >//." 
i. e. writing. Again, in Hamlet: " the law of writ and the 
liberty." The editor of the second folio, who altered whatever 
he did not understand, substituted TC// for ur//. Wit in our au- 
thor's time had not its present signification, but meant under- 
standing. Would Shakspeare make Antony declare himself void 
>f common intelligence? MALONE. 

The first folio (and, I believe, through a mistake of the press,) 
has a-?-//, which in the second folio was properly changed into 
ixit. Dr. Johnson, however, supposes that by writ was meant 
i " penned and premeditated oration." 

sc.ii. JULIUS CAESAR. sfii 

Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech, 
To stir men's blood : 1 only speak right on ; 
I tell you that, \vhich you yourselves do know ; 
Show you sweet Caesar's wounds, poor, poor dumb 


And bid them speak for me : But were I Brutus, 
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony 
Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue 
In every wound of Caesar, that should move 
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny. 

Cn\ We'll mutiny. 

1 Crr. We'll burn the house of Brutus. 
,'3 CIT. Away then, come, seek the conspirators. 
AXT. Yet hear me, countrymen ; yet hear me 

CIT. Peace, ho ! Hear Antony, most noble An- 

AXT. Why, friends, you go to do you know not 
what : 

But the artful speaker, on this sudden call tor his exertions, 
was surely designed, with affected modesty, to represent himself 
as one who had neither uv/, (i. e. strength of understanding) 
persuasive language, weight of character, graceful action, har- 
mony of voice, &c. (the usual requisites of an orator) to influ- 
ence the minds of the people. Was it necessary, therefore, 
that, on an occasion so precipitate, he should have urged that 
he had brought no written speech in his pocket? since every 
person who heard him must have been aware that the interval 
between the death of Caesar, and the time present, would have 
been inadequate to such a composition, which indeed could not 
have been produced at all, unless, like the indictment of Lord 
Hastings in A'.v^ Richard III. it had been got ready through 
a premonition of the event that would require it. 

What is st\ led the devil's writ in A.///IT I /run/ II. 1*. II. is the 
deposition of the d;rmon, written down before witnesses on the 
stage. I therefore continue to read with the second folio, being 
unambitious of reviving the blunders of the tirst. STEKVL;N>. 


Wherein hath Caesar thus deserv'd your loves ? 
Alas, you know not : I must tell you then : 
You have forgot the will I told you of. 

CIT. Most true ; the will ; let's stay, and hear 
the will. 

ANT. Here is the will, and under Caesar's seal. 
To every Roman citizen he gives, 
To every several man, seventy-five drachmas. 7 

2 CIT. Most noble Caesar ! we'll revenge his 


3 CIT. O roval Caesar ! 


ANT. Hear me with patience. 
CIT. Peace, ho ! 

ANT. Moreover, he hath left you all his walks, 
His private arbours, and new-planted orchards, 
On this side Tyber; 8 he hath left them you, 

7 seventy-jive drachmas.] A drachma was a Greek coin, 

the same as the Roman denier ', of the value of four sesterces, 
7d. ob. STEEVENS. 

* On this side Tyber ;] The scene is here in the Forum near 
the Capitol, and in the most frequented part of the city; but 
Caesar's gardens were very remote from that quarter : 

" Trans Tiberim fonge cubat is, prope Caesaris hortos." 
says Horace : and both the Naumachia and gardens of Caesar 
were separated from the main city by the river ; and lay out 
wide, on a line with Mount Janiculum. Our author therefore 
certainly wrote : 

On that side Tyber ; 

and Plutarch, whom Shakspeare very diligently studied, in The 
Life of Marcus Brutus, speaking of Caesar's will, expressly says, 
That he left to the publick his gardens, and walks, leyond the 

This emendation has been adopted by the subsequent editors ; 
but hear the old translation, where Shakspeare* s study lay: " He 
bequeathed unto every citizen of Rome seventy-five drachmas a 
man, and he left his gardens and arbours unto the people, which 
he had on this side of the river Tiber." FARMER. 

sc. n. JULIUS CAESAR. 363 

And to your heirs for ever ; common pleasures, 
To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves. 
Here was a Caesar : When comes such another ? 

1 CfT. Never, never: Come, away, away: 
We'll burn his body in the holy place, 

And with the brands fire the traitors' houses. 
Take up the body. 

2 CIT. Go, letch fire. 

3 CIT. Pluck down benches. 

4 CIT. Pluck down forms, windows, any thing. 

[Exeunt Citizens, with the- Body. 

ANT. Now let it work : Mischief, thou art afoot, 
Take thou what course thou wilt ! How now, 
fellow ? 

Enter a Servant. 

SERV. Sir, Octavius is already come to Rome. 

ANT. Where is he ? 

SERV. He and Lepidus are at Caesar's house. 

ANT. And thither will I straight to visit him : 
He comes upon a wish. Fortune is merry, 
And in this mood will inve us anv thin jr. 

o O 

SERV. I heard him say, Brutus and Cassius 
Are rid like madmen through the gates of Rome. 

" fire the traitor*' //OM.W;.] Thus the old copy. The 

more modern editors read lire (ill the traitor's houses; but fire 
was then pronounced, as it was sometimes written, Jicr. So, iu 
Humors Ordinary, a collection of Epigrams: 

" Oh rare compound, a <lyinj; horse to choke, 

" ( )!' English Jicr ami of Indian smoke !" STEEVENS. 


ANT. Belike, they had some notice of the people, 
How I had mov'd them. Bring me to Octavius. 



The same. A Street. 
Enter CINNA, the Poet. 

ClN. I dreamt to-night, that I did feast with 

Caesar, 2 

And things unluckily charge my fantasy: 3 
I have no will to wander forth of doors, 4 
Yet something leads me forth. 

Enter Citizens. 

1 CIT. What is your name ? 

2 CIT. Whither are you going ? 

3 CIT. Where do you dwell ? 

4 CIT. Are you a married man, or a bachelor ? 

1 Scene III.'] The subject of tin's scene is taken from Plutarch. 


* I dreamt to-night, that I did feast &c.~] I learn from an old 
black letter treatise on Fortune-telling &c. that to dream " of 
being at banquets, betokeneth misfortune" &c. STEEVENS. 

3 things unluckily charge, my fantasy :] i. e. circum- 
stances oppress my fancy with an ill-omened weight. 


4 I have, no mill to "wander forth of doors, &c.] Thus, Shy- 
lock : 

" I have no mind of feasting forth to-night: 
" But I will JTO." STEEVENS. 

sc. in. JULIUS CAESAR. S6.7 

2 CIT. Answer every man directly. 

1 CIT. Ay, and briefly. 
4 CIT. Ay, and wisely. 

3 CIT. Ay, and truly, yon were best. 

CIN. What is my name ? Whither am I going ? 
Where do I dwell ? Am I a married man, or a ba- 
chelor ? Then to answer every man directly, and 
briefly, wisely, and truly. W r isely I say, I am a 

2 CIT. That's as much as to say, they are fools 
that marry : You'll bear me a bang for that, I 
fear. Proceed ; directly. 

CIN. Directly, I am going to Caesar's funeral. 

1 CIT. As a friend, or an enemy? 
CIN. As a friend. 

2 CIT. That matter is answered directly. 

4 CIT. For your dwelling, briefly. 
CIN. Briefly, I dwell by the Capitol. 

3 CIT. Your name, sir, truly. 
CIN. Truly, my name is Cinna. 

1 CIT. Tear him to pieces, he's a conspirator. 
CIN. I am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet. 

4 CIT. Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for 
his bad verses. 

2 CIT. It is no matter, his name's Cinna ; pluck 
but his name out of his heart, and turn him going. 

.'} CIT. Tear him, tear him. Come, brands, ho! 
rire-brands. To Brutus', to Cassius* ; burn all. 
Some to Decius' house, and some to Casca's; some 
to Ligarius' : away; go. [E 

366 JULIUS C^SAR. ACT iv. 


The same. A Room in Antony's House* 

ANTONY, OCTAVIUS, and LEPIDUS, seated at a 

ANT. These many then shall die ; their names 
are prick J d. 

* Antony's House.'} Mr. Howe, and Mr. Pope after him, 

have mark'd the scene here to be at Rome. The old copies say 
nothing of the place. Shakspeare, I dare say, knew from Plu- 
tarch, that these triumvirs met, upon the proscription, in a little 
island ; which Appian, who is more particular, says, lay near 
Mutina, upon the river Lavinius. THEOBALD. 

A small island in the little river Rhenus near Bononia, 


So, in the old translation of Plutarch : " Thereuppon all 
three met together (to wete, Caesar, Antonius, & Lepidus,) in 
an island enuyroned round about with a little river, & there re- 
mayned three dayes together. Now as touching all other mat- 
ters, they were easily agreed, & did deuide all the empire of Rome 
betwene them, as if it had bene their owne inheritance. But 
yet they could hardly agree whom they would put to death : for 
euery one of them would kill their enemies, and saue their kins- 
men and friends. Yet at length, giving place to their greedy 
desire to be reuenged of their enemies, they spurned all reue- 
rence of blood and holines of friendship at their feete. For 
Caesar left Cicero to Antonius' will, Antonius also forsooke Lu- 
cius Caesar, who was his vncle by his mother : and both of them 
together suff'red Lepidus to kill his own brother Paulus." That 
Shakspeare, however, meant the scene to be at Rome, may be 
inferred from what almost immediately follows : 

" Lep. What, shall I find you here ? 

" Oct. Or here, or at the Capitol." STEEVJENS. 

sc. i. JULIUS CAESAR. 367 

OCT. Your brother too must die ; Consent you, 

Lepidus ? 

LEP. I do consent. 

OCT. Prick him down, Antony. 

LEP. Upon condition Publius shall not live, 6 
Who is your sister's son, Mark Antony. 

ANT. He shall not live ; look, with a spot I 

damn him. 7 

But, Lepidus, go you to Cesar's house ; 
Fetch the will hither, and we will determine 
How to cut oft' some charge in legacies. 

LEP. What, shall I find you here ? 
OCT. Or here, or at 

The Capitol. \_Exit LEPIDUS. 

AXT. This is a slight unmeritable man, 
Meet to be sent on errands : Is it fit, 
The three-fold world divided, he should stand 

The passage quoted by Steevens, clearly proves that the scene 
should be laid in Rome. M. MASON. 

It is manifest that Shakspeare intended the scene to be at 
Rome, and therefore I have placed it in Antony's house. 


Upon condition Publius shall not live,"] Mr. Upton has suffi- 
ciently proved that the poet made a mistake as to this character 
mentioned by Lepidus ; Lucius, not Publius, was the person 
meant, who was uncle by the mother's side to Mark Antony: 
and in consequence of this, he concludes that Shakspeare wrote : 
You arc ftis sister's son, Mark Antony. 

The mistake, however, is more like the mistake of the author, 
than of his transcriber or printer. STEEVENS. 

7 damn ////. J i.e. condemn him. So, in Promos and 

Cassandra, 1578: 

" Vouchsafe to give my damned husband life." 
Again, in Chaucer's Knightes Talc, v. 17-1-7, Mr. Tyrwhitt'- 
edit : 

" by your confession 

" Huth t/amrifi/ you, and I wol it recovde." 


One of the three to share it ? 

OCT. So you thought him ; 

And took his voice who should be prick'd to die, 
In our black sentence and proscription. 

ANT. Octavius, I have seen more days than you : 
And though we lay these honours on this man, 
To ease ourselves of divers slanderous loads, 
He shall but bear them as the ass bears gold, 8 
To groan and sweat under the business, 
Either led or driven, as we point the way ; 
And having brought our treasure where we will, 
Then take we down his load, and turn him off, 
Like to the empty ass, to shake his ears, 
And graze in commons. 

OCT. You may do your will ; 

But he's a tried and valiant soldier. 

ANT. So is my horse, Octavius ; and, for that, 
I do appoint him store of provender. 
It is a creature that I teach to fight, 
To wind, to stop, to run directly on ; 
His corporal motion govern'd by my spirit. 
And, in some taste, is Lepidus but so ; 
He must be taught, and train'd, and bid go forth : 
A barren-spirited fellow ; one that feeds 
On objects, arts, and imitations ; 9 

8 as the ass bears gold,~\ This image had occurred before 

in Measure for Measure, Act III. sc. i: 

" like an ass whose back with ingots bows, 

" Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey, 
" Till death unloads thee." STEEVENS. 

one that feeds 

On objects, arts, and imitations; &c.] 'Tis hard to conceive 
why he should be call'd a barren-spirited fellow that could feed 
either on objects or arts: that is, as I presume, form his ideas 
and judgment upon them: stale and obsolete imitation, indeed, 

sc. i. JULIUS CAESAR. :369 

Which, out of use, and stal'd by other men, 
Begin his fashion: ' Do not talk of him, 

fixes such a character. I am persuaded, to make the poet con- 
sonant to himself, we must read, as I have restored the text : 

On abject orts,- 

i. e. on the scraps and fragments of things rejected and despised 
by others. THEOBALD. 

Sure, it is easy enough to find a reason why that devotee to 
pleasure and ambition, Antony, should call him barren-spirited 
who could be content to feed his mind with object.*, i. e. specu- 
lative knowledge, or arts, i. e. mechanic/: operations. I have 
therefore brought back the old reading, though Mr. Theobald's 
emendation is still left before the reader. Lepidus, in the tragedy 
of Antony and Cleopatra, is represented as inquisitive about the 
structures of Egypt, and that too when he is almost in a state of 
intoxication. Antony, as at present, makes a jest of him, and 
returns him unintelligible answers to very reasonable ques- 

Objects, however, may mean things objected or thrown out to 
him. In this sense Shakspeare uses the verb to object, in King 
Henri/ VI. P. I. Act II. so. iv. where I have given an instance 
of its being employed by Chapman on the same occasion. It 
is also used by him, in his version of the seventh Hind : 

" At Jove's broad beech these godheads met ; and first 

Jove's son objects 
" Why, burning in contention thus" &c. 

A man who can avail himself of neglected hints thrown out 
by others, though without original ideas of his own, is no un- 
common character. STEEVENS. 

Objects means, in Shakspeare's language, whatever is present- 
ed to the eye. So, in Timon of Athens: " Swear against objects" 
which Mr. Steevens has well illustrated by a line in our poet's 
152d Sonnet : 

" And made them swear against the thing they see." 


1 and stal'd Inj other men, 

Begin his fashion .] Shakspeare has already woven this cir- 
cumstance into the character of Justice Shallow : " lie came 
ever in the rearward of the fashion ; and sung those tunes that 
he heard the carmen whistle." S 

VOL. XVI. 2 13 


But as a property. 2 And now, Octavius, 
Listen great things. Brutus and Cassius 
Are levying powers : we must straight make head : 
Therefore, let our alliance be combin'd, 
Our best friends made, and our best means 
stretch'd out j 3 

* a property.] I. e. as a thing quite at our disposal, and 

to be treated as we please. So, in Twelfth-Night : 

" They have here propertied me, kept me in darkness," &c. 


3 Our best friends made, and our best means stretch'd out ;] 
In the old copy, by the carelessness of the transcriber or printer, 
this line is thus imperfectly exhibited : 

" Our best friends made, our means stretch'd;'* 
The editor of the second folio supplied the line by reading 

" Our best friends made, and our best means stretch'd 


This emendation, which all the modern editors have adopted, 
was, like almost all the other corrections of the second folio, a* 
ill conceived as possible. For what is best means ? Mentis, or 
abilities, if stretch'd out, receive no additional strength from the 
word best, nor does means, when considered without reference 
to others, as the power of an individual, or the aggregated abili- 
ties of a body of men, seem to admit of a degree of comparison. 
However that may be, it is highly improbable that a transcriber or 
compositor should be guilty of three errors in the same line ; 
that he should omit the word and in the middle of it ; then the 
word best after our, and lastly the concluding word. It is much 
more probable that the omission was only at the end of the line, 
(an error which is found in other places in these plays,) and that 
the author wrote, as I have printed : 

Our best friends made, our means stretch'd to the utmost. 
So, in a former scene : 

" . and, you know, his means, 

" If he improve them, may well stretch so far, ." 
Again, in the following passage in Coriolanus, which, I trust, 
will justify the emendation now made: 

" for thy revenge 

" Wrench up your poiver to the highest" MALOXE. 

I am satisfied with the reading of the second folio, in which I 
perceive neither aukwardncss nor want of perspicuity. Best is a 

sc. xi. JULIUS CLESAR. 371 

And let us presently go sit in council, 
How covert matters may be best disclos'd, 
And open perils surest answered. 

OCT. Let us do so : for we are at the stake, 4 
And bay'd about with many enemies ; 
And some, that smile, have in their hearts, I fear, 
Millions of mischief. [Exeunt. 


Before Brutus' Tent, in the Camp near Sardis. 

Drum. Enter BRUTUS, LUCILIUS, Lucius, and 
Soldiers : TITINIUS and PINDARUS meeting 

BRU. Stand here. 

Luc. Give the word, ho! and stand. 

BRU. What now, Lucilius ? is Cassitis near ? 

Luc. He is at hand ; and Pindarus is come 
To do you salutation from his master. 

[ PINDARUS gives a Letter to BRUTUS. 

BRU. He greets me well. Your master, Pinda- 

word of mere enforcement, and is frequently introduced by 
Shakspeare. Tims, in King Henri/ VIII : 

" My life itself and the best heart of it ." 
Why does best, in this instance, seem more significant than 
when it is applied to means? STEEVENS. 

at the stake,] An allusion to bear-baiting. So, in 

Macbeth, Act V: 

" They have chain'd me to a stake, I cannot fly, 

" But hear-like 1 must fight the course." STEKVJX*. 


In his own change, or by ill officers, 5 
Hath given me some worthy cause to wish 
Things done, undone : but, if he be at hand, 
I shall be satisfied. 

PIN. I do not doubt, 

But that my noble master will appear 
Such as he is, full of regard, and honour. 

BRU. He is not doubted. A word, Lucilius ; 
How he received you, let me be resolv'd. 

* In his otutt change, or by ill officers,'] The sense of which is 
this : Either your master, by the change of his virtuous nature, 
or by his officers abusing the power he had intrusted to them, hath 
done some things I could wish undone. This implies a doubt 
which of the two was the case. Yet, immediately after, on Pin- 
darus's saying, His master was full of regard and honour, he re- 
plies, He is not doubted. To reconcile this we should read : 

In his own charge, or by ill officers. 

i. e. Either by those under his immediate command, or under 
the command of his lieutenants, who had abused their trust. 
Charge is so usual a word in Shakspeare, to signify the forces 
committed to the trust of a commander, that I think it needless 
to give any instances. WARBURTON. 

The arguments for the change proposed are insufficient. Bru- 
tus could not but know whether the wrongs committed were 
done by those who were immediately under the command of 
Cassius, or those under his officers. The answer of Brutus to 
the Servant is only an act of artful civility : his question to Luci- 
iius proves, that his suspicion still continued. Yet I cannot but 
suspect a corruption, and would read : 

In his own change, or by ill offices, . 

That is, either changing his inclination of himself, or by the 
ill offices and bad influences of others. JOHNSON. 

Surely alteration is unnecessary. In the subsequent confer- 
ence Brutus charges both Cassius and his officer, Lucius Pella, 
with corruption. STEEVENS. 

Brutus immediately after says to Lucilius, when he hears his 
account of the manner in which he had been received by Cas- 
sius : 

" Thou hast describ'd 

" A hot friend cooling" 
That is the change which Brutus complains of. M. MASON. 

ac. n. JULIUS C^SAR. 373 

Luc. With courtesy, and with respect enough ; 
But not with such familiar instances, 
Nor with such free and friendly conference, 
As he hath used of old. 

BRU. Thou hast describ'd 

A hot friend cooling : Ever note, Lucilius, 
When love begins to sicken and decay, 
It useth an enforced ceremony. 
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith : 
But hollow men, like horses hot at hand, 
Make gallant show and promise of their mettle : 
But when they should endure the bloody spur, 
They fall their crests, and, like deceitful jades, 
Sink in the trial. Comes his army on ? 

Luc. They mean this night in Sardis to be 

quarter' d ; 

The greater part, the horse in general, 
Are come with Cassius. [March within. 

BRU. Hark, he is arriv'd : 

March gently on to meet him. 

Enter CASSIUS and Soldiers. 

CAS. Stand, ho ! 

BRU. Stand, ho! Speak the word along. 

WITHIN. Stand. 

WITHIN. Stand. 

WITHIN. Stand. 

CAS. Most noble brother, you have done me 

BRU. Judge me, you gods ! Wrong I mine ene- 
mies ? 
And, if not so, how should I wrong a brother ? 


CAS. Brutus, this sober form of yours hides 

wrongs ; 
And when you do them 

BRU. Cassius, be content, 

Speak your griefs 6 softly, I do know you well: 
Before the eyes of both our armies here, 
Which should perceive nothing but love from us, 
Let us not wrangle : Bid them move away ; 
Then in my tent, Cassius, enlarge your griefs, 
And I will give you audience. 

CAS. Pindarus, 

Bid our commanders lead their charges off 
A little from this ground. 

BRU. Lucilius, do the like; 7 and let no man 
Come to our tent, till we have done our conference. 
Let Lucius and Titinius guard our door. 


" your griefs ] i. e. your grievances. See Vol. V. 

p. 314, n. 8; and Vol. XI. p. 392, n. 2. MALONE. 

7 do the like;'] Old copy " do you the like ;" but with- 
out regard to metre. STEEVENS. 

x. in. JULIUS CAESAR. 375 


Within the Tent of Brutus. 

Lucius and Titinius at some distance from it. 


CAS. That you have wrong'd me, doth appear in 

this : 

You have condemn'd and noted Lucius Pclla, 
For taking bribes here of the Sardians ; 
Wherein, my letters, praying on his side, 
Because I knew the man, were slighted off. 

BRU. You wrong'd yourself, to write in such a 

CAS. In such a time as this, it is not meet 
That every nice offence 8 should bear his comment. 

BRU. Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself 
Are much condemn'd to have an itching palm ; 
To sell and mart your offices for gold, 
To undeservers. 

CAS. I an itching palm? 

You know, that you are Brutus that speak this, 
Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last. 

1 every nice offence ] i. e. small trifling offence. 


So, in Romeo and Juliet, Act V : 

" The letter was not nice, but full of charge 
" Of dear import." STEEVENS. 


BRU. The name of Cassius honours this corrup- 
And chastisement doth therefore hide his head. 

CAS. Chastisement ! 

BRU. Remember March, the ides of March re- 
member ! 

Did not great Julius bleed for justice* sake ? 
What villain touch'd his body, that did stab, 
And not for justice ? 9 What, shall one of us, 
That struck the foremost man of all this world, 
But for supporting robbers ; shall we now 
Contaminate our ringers with base bribes ? 
And sell the mighty space of our large honours, 
For so much trash, as may be grasped thus ? 
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon, 
Than such a Roman. 

CAS. Brutus, bay not me, 1 

' What villain touched his body, that did stab, 

And not for justice?^ This question is far from implying that 
any of those who touch'd Caesar's body, were villains. On the 
contrary, it is an indirect way of asserting that there was not 
one man among them, who was base enough to stab him for any 
cause but that of justice. MALONE. 

1 Cas. Brutus, bay not me,] The old copy bait not me. Mr. 
Theobald and all the subsequent editors read bay not me ; and 
the emendation is sufficiently plausible, our author having in 
Troilus and Cressida used the word bay in the same sense : 

" What moves Ajax thus to bay at him !" 
But as he has likewise twice used bait in the sense required 
here, the text, in my apprehension, ought not to be disturbed. 
" I will not yield," says Macbeth : 

" To kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet, 
" And to be baited with tiie rabble's curse." 
Again, in Coriolanus: 

" why stay we to be baited 

" With one that wants her wits . ? " 

So also, in a comedy intitled, How to choose a Good Wife 
from a Bad, 1602 : 

sc. in. JULIUS CAESAR. 377 

I'll not endure it : you forget yourself, 
To hedge me in ; 2 I am a soldier, I, 
Older in practice, 3 able, than yourself 
To make conditions. 4 

BRU. Go toj you're not, Cassius. 

CAS. I am. 

BRU. I say, you are not. 5 

CAS. Urge me no more, I shall forget myself; 
Have mind upon your health, tempt me no further. 

" Do I come home so seldom, and that seldom 
" Am I thus baited?" 

The reading of the old copy, which I have restored, is likewise 
supported by a passage in King Richard III : 

" To be so bailed, scorn'd, and storm'd at.'* 


The second folio, on both occasions, has bait ; and the spirit 
of the reply will, in my judgment, be diminished, unless a repe- 
tition of the one or the other word be admitted. I therefore 
continue to read with Mr. Theobald. Bay, in our author, may 
be as frequently exemplified as bait. It occurs again in the play 
before us, as well as in A Midsummer- Night's Dream, Cymbe- 
line, King Henry IV. P. II. &c. &c. STEEVENS. 

s To hedge me in ;] That is, to limit my authority by your 
direction or censure. JOHNSON. 

3 I am a soldier, I, 

Older in practice, &c.] Thus the ancient copies ; but the 
modern editors, instead of /, have read ay, because the vowel 
/ sometimes stands for ay the affirmative adverb. I have replaced 
the old reading, on the authority of the following line: 

" And I am Brutus ; Marcus Brutus /." STEEVENS. 

See Vol. XII. p. 85, n. G. MALONE. 

* To make conditions.^ That is, to know on what terms it is 
fit to confer the offices which are at my disposal. JOHNSON. 
' Cas. / am. 

Bru. I sny, you arc not.~] This passage may easily be restored 
to metre, if we read: 
lindus, I am. 

Cassius, I say, you are not. STEEVENS. 


BRU. Away, slight man ! 
CAS. Is't possible ? 

BRU. Hear me, for I will speak. 

Must I give way and room to your rash choler ? 
Shall I be frighted, when a madman stares ? 

CAS. O ye gods ! ye gods ! Must I endure all 

this ? 

BRU. All this ? ay, more : Fret, till your proud 

heart break ; 

Go, show your slaves how cholerick you are, 
And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge ? 
Must I observe you r Must I stand and crouch 
Under your testy humour ? By the gods, 
You shall digest the venom of your spleen, 
Though it do split you : for, from this day forth, 
I'll use you for my mirth, 6 yea, for my laughter, 
When you are waspish. 

CAS. Is it come to this ? 

BRU . You say, you are a better soldier : 
Let it appear so ; make your vaunting true, 
And it shall please me well : For mine own part, 
I shall be glad to learn of noble men. 

CAS. You wrong me every way, you wrong me, 

Brutus ; 

I said, an elder soldier, not a better : 
Did I say, better ? 

BRU. If you did, I care not. 

CAS. When Caesar liv'd, he durst not thus have 
mov'd me. 

Pll use you for my mirth,~] Mr. Howe has transplanted this 
insult into the mouth of Lothario : 

" And use his sacred friendship^?- our mirth" 


K. in. JULIUS CAESAR. 379 

BRU. Peace, peace ; you durst not so have 
tempted him. 

CAS. I durst not ? 

BRU. No. 

CAS. What ? durst not tempt him ? 

BRU. For your life you durst not. 

CAS. Do not presume too much upon my love, 
I may do that I shall be sorry for. 

BRU. You have done that you should be sorry for. 
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats ; 
For I am arm'd so strong in honesty, 
That they pass by me, as the idle wind, 
Which I respect not. I did send to you 
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me; 
For I can raise no money by vile means : 
By heaven, I had rather coin my heart, 
And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring 
From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash, 7 
By any indirection. I did send 
To you for gold to pay my legions, 

7 than to wring 

From the hard hands of peasants iheir vile trash,'] This is a 
noble sentiment, altogether in character, and expressed in a 
manner inimitably happy. 1'or to wring, implies both to get 
unjustly, and to use^/bra 1 in getting: and hard hands signify 
both the peasant's great labour and pains in acquiring, and his 
great unwillingness to quit his hold. WARBURTON. 

I do not believe that Shakspeare, when he wrote hard hands 
in this place, had any deeper meaning than in the following line 
in A Midsummer-Night's Dream : 

" Hard-handed men that work in Athens here." 


Mr. H. White might have supported his opinion, (with which 
I perfectly concur) by another instance, from Ci/'iibt'Unc : 

" hands 

'* Made hourly hard with falsehood as icith labour" 



Which you denied me : Was that done like Cassius? 
Should I have answer'd Caius Cassius so ? 
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous, 
To lock such rascal counters from his friends, 
Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts, 
Dash him to pieces ! 

CAS. I denied you not. 

BRU. You did. 

CAS. I did not : he was but a fool, 

That brought my answer back. 8 Brutus hath riv'd 

my heart : 

A friend should bear his friend's infirmities, 
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are. 

BRU. I do not, till you practise them on me.' 
CAS. You love me not. 

BRU. I do not like your faults. 

CAS. A friendly eye could never see such faults. 

BRU. A flatterer's would not, though they do 

As huge as high Olympus. 

CAS. Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come, 
Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius, 
For Cassius is aweary of the world : 
Hated by one he loves ; brav'd by his brother ; 
Check'd like a bondman ; all his faults observ'd, 
Set in a note-book, learn'd, and conn'd by rote, 
To cast into my teeth. O, I could weep 

* my answer back.] The word back is unnecessary to 

the sense, and spoils the measure. STEEVENS. 

a Bru. / do not, till you practise them on me.'] The meaning 
is this : I do not look for your faults, I only see them, and 
mention them with vehemence, when you force them into my 
notice, by practising them on me. JOHNSON. 

K. m. JULIUS C.ESAR. 381 

My spirit from mine eyes ! There is my dagger, 
And here my naked breast ; within, a heart 
Dearer than Plutus' mine, richer than gold : 
If that thou be'st a Roman, take it forth ; l 
I, that denied thee gold, will give my heart : 
Strike, as thou didst at Caesar; for, I know, 
When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov'dst him 

Than ever thou lov'dst Cassius. 

BRU. Sheath your dagger : 

Be angry when you will, it shall have scope ; 
Do what you will, dishonour shall be humour. 
O Cassius, you are yoked with a lamb 
That carries anger, as the flint bears fire ; 
Who, much enforced, shows a hasty spark, 
And straight is cold again. 

CAS. Hath Cassius liv'd 

To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus, 
"When grief, and blood ill-temper'd, vexeth him ? 

BRU. When I spoke that, I was ill-temper'd too. 

CAS. Do you confess so much ? Give me your 

BRU. And my heart too. 

CAS. O Brutus ! 

BRU. What's the matter ? 

1 If that thou be'st a Roman, take it forth ;] I think lie moans 
only, that he is so far from avarice, when the cause of his 
country requires liberality, that if any man would wish for his 
heart, he would not need enforce his desire any otherwise, than 
by showing that he was a Roman. JOHNSON. 

This seems only a form of adjuration like that of Brutus, 
p. 3S7 : 

" Now, a.i you arc a Rowan, tell me true." 



CAS. Have you not love enough to bear with me, 
When that rash humour, which my mother gave me, 
Makes me forgetful ? 

BR u. Yes, Cassius ; and, henceforth, 8 

When you are over-earnest with your Brutus, 
He'll think your mother chides, 3 and leave you so. 

[Noise within. 

POET. \_Within.~] Let me go in to see the gene- 
rals ; 

There is some grudge between them, 'tis not meet 
They be alone. 

Luc. [_Witliin.~] You shall not come to them. 

POET. [Within.~\ Nothing but death shall stay 

Enter Poet. 4 

CAS How now ? What's the matter ? 

POET. For shame, you generals j What do you 
mean ? 

* and, henceforth,] Old copy, redundantly in respect 

both of sense and measure : " andfrom henceforth." But the 
present omission is countenanced by many passages in our 
author, besides the following in Macbeth ; 

" Thanes and kinsmen, 

" Henceforth be earls." STEEVENS. 

chides,] i. e. is clamorous, scolds. So, in As you 

like it; 

" For what had he to do to chide at me ?" STEEVENS. 

4 Enter Poet.~\ Shakspeare found the present incident in Plu- 
tarch. The intruder, however, was Marcus Phaonius, who 
had been a friend and follower of Cato ; not a poet, but one who 
assumed the character of a cynick philosopher. STEEVENS. 

sc. in. JULIUS C^SAR. 383 

Love, and be friends, as two such men should be ; 
For I have seen more years, I am sure, than ye. 5 

CAS. Ha, ha ; how vilely doth this cynick rhyme ! 
BRU. Get you hence, sirrah; saucy fellow, hence. 
CAS. Bear with him, Brutus ; 'tis his fashion. 

BRU. I'll know his humour, when he knows his 

time : 
What should the wars do with these jigging fools ?' 

* Love, and befriends, as two such men should be ; 

For I ha-c seen more years, I am sure, than ye.~\ This pas- 
sage is a translation from the following one in the first Book of 
Homer : 

" 'AAAa TrofT?'. "aiLlfxa Ss VZWTSCM sffrov saeTo." 
which is thus given in Sir Thomas North's Plutarch : 
" My lords, I pray you hearken both to me, 
" For I have seen more years than such ye three." 
See also Antony's speech, p. 370 : 

" Octavius, I have seen more days than you." 
Again, in Chapman's Iliad, Book IX : 

'* I am his greater, being a king, and more in yeares 
than he." STEEVENS. 

What should the wars do with these jigging fools ?] i. e. 
with these silly poets. A jig signified, in our author's time, a 
metrical composition, as well as a dance. So, in the prologue 
to Fletcher's Fair Maid of the Inn: 

" A jig shall be clapp'd at, and every rhyme 

" Prais'd and applauded by a clamorous chime." 

See note on Hamlet, Act III. sc. ii.] 

A modern editor, (Mr. Capell,) who, after having devoted 
the greater part of his life to the study of old books, appears to 
have been extremely ignorant of ancient English literature, not 
knowing this, for jigging, reads (after Mr. Pope,) jingling. 
His work exhibits above Nine Hundred alterations of the genuine 
text, equally capricious and unwarrantable. 

This editor, of whom it was justly said by the late Bishop of 
Glocester, that " he had hung himself' in chains orer our poet's 
grave," having boasted in his preface, that " his emendations of 
tin: text were at least equal in number to those of all the other 
editors and commentators put together," 1 some years ago had 
the curiosity to look into his volumes with this particular view. 
On examination I then found, that, of thr;je hundred and 


Companion, hence. 7 

CAS. Away, away, be gone. 

\_Exit Poet. 


BR u. Lucilius and Titinius, bid the commanders 
Prepare to lodge their companies to-night. 

CAS. And come yourselves, and bring Messala 
with vou 


Immediately to us. 


BRU. Lucius, a bowl of wine. 

CAS. I did not think, you could have been so 

BRU. O Cassius, I am sick of many griefs. 

CAS. Of your philosophy you make no use, 
If you give place to accidental evils. 

BRU. No man bears sorrow better: Portia is 

twenty-five emendations of the ancient copies, which, as I then 
thought, he had properly received into his text, tivo hundred and 
eighty-Jive were suggested by some former editor or commen- 
tator, axiA. forty only by himself. But on a second and more 
rigorous examination I now find, that of the emendations pro- 
peril/ adopted, (the number of which appears to be much smaller 
than that above mentioned,) he has a claim to not more than 
fifteen. The innovations and arbitrary alterations, either adopted 
from others, or first introduced by this editor, from ignorance of 
our ancient customs and phraseology, amount to no less a num- 
ber than NINE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-TWO ! ! It is highly 
probable that many yet have escaped my notice. MA LONE. 

7 Companion, hence. ~\ Companion is used as a term of reproach 
in many of the old plays ; as we say at present -^fellow. So, in 
King Henry IV. Dol Tearsheet says to Pistol: 

" 1 scorn you, scurvy companion" &c. 


se. m. JULIUS C^SAR. 385 

CAS. Ha! Portia? 
BRU. She is dead. 

CAS. How scap'd I killing, when I cross'd you 


O insupportable and touching loss ! 
Upon what sickness ? 

BRU. Impatient of my absence ; 

And grief, that young Octavius with Mark Antony 
Have made themselves so strong ; for with her 


That tidings came ; With this she fell distract, 
And, her attendants absent, swallow'd fire. s 

* And, her attendants absent, sivaHoiv'dJire.'] Tin's circum- 
stance is taken from Plutarch. It is also mentioned by Val. 

It cannot, however, he amiss to remark, that the death of 
Portia may want that foundation which has hitherto entitled her 
to a place in poetry, as a pattern of Roman fortitude. She is 
reported, by Pliny, I think, to have died at Rome of a lingering 
illness while Brutus was abroad ; but some writers seem to look 
on a natural death as a derogation from a distinguished character. 


Valerius Maximus says that Portia suri'h"'f? Brutus, and killed 
herself on hearing that her husband was defeated and slain at 
Philippi. Plutarch's account in 7 'he Life of Rrutus is as follows: 
" And i'or Portia, Brutus' wife, Nicolaus the philosopher, and 
Valerius Maximus, doe wryte, that she determining to kill her 
selfe, (her parents and friends carefullie looking to her to kepe 
her from it,) tooke hott.' burning coles, and cast them into her 
mouth, and kept her mouth so close, that she choked her selfe. 
There was u letter of Brutus found, wryttcn to his frcndes, 
complaining of their ncgli^ci/cc; that his wife being sicke, they 
would not helpe her, but suffered her to kill her selfe, choosing 
to dye rather than to languish in paine. Thus it appeareth that 
Nici>!:ius knew not well that linn-, sith the letter (at least if it 
were- Brutus' letter,) dotli plainly declare the disease and love of 
thi .- lady, and the manner of her death." North's Translation. 
See also Martial, L. I.ep. !'_'. Valerius Maximus, and Nieo- 
vo!.. XVI. '2 C 


CAS. And died so ? 9 

BRU. Even so. 

CAS. O ye immortal gods ! 

Enter Lucius, with Wine and Tapers. 

BRU. Speak no more of her. Give me a bowl 

of wine : 
In this I bury all imkindness, Cassius. [Drinks. 

CAS. My heart is thirsty for that noble pledge: 
Fill, Lucius, till the wine o'er-sw T ell the cup ; 
I cannot drink too much of Brutus' love. [Drinks. 

Re-enter TITINIUS, with MESSALA. 

BRU. Come in, Titinius: Welcome, good Mes- 


Now sit we close about this taper here, 
And call in question our necessities. 

CAS. Portia, art thou gone ? 

BRU. No more, I pray you. 

Messala, I have here received letters, 

laus, and Plutarch, all agree in saying that she put an end to her 
life ; and the letter, if authentick, ascertains that she did so in 
the life-time of Brutus. 

Our author, therefore, we see, had sufficient authority for his 
representation. MALONE. 

9 And died so ? &c.] I suppose, these three short speeches 
were meant to form a single verse, and originally stood as 
follows : 

Cas. And died so ? 
Bru. Even so. 

Cas. Immortal gods ! 

The tragick A/is and OJis interpolated by the players, are too 
frequently permitted to derange our author's measure. 


sc. in. JULIUS C.^SAR. 387 

That young Octavius, and Mark Antony, 
Come down upon us with a mighty power, 
Bending their expedition toward Philippi. 

MES. Myself have letters of the self-same tenour. 
BRU. With what addition ? 

MES. That by proscription, and bills of outlawry, 
Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus, 
Have put to death an hundred senators. 

BRU. Therein our letters do not well agree ; 
Mine speak of seventy senators, that died 
By their proscriptions, Cicero being one. 

CAS. Cicero one ? 

MES. Ay, Cicero is dead, 1 

And by that order of proscription. 
Had you your letters from your wife, my lord ? 

BRU. No, Messala. 

MES. Nor nothing in your letters writ of her ? 

BRU. Nothing, Messala. 

MES. That, methinks, is strange. 

BRU. Why ask you ? Hear you aught of her in 

yours ? 

MES. No, my lord. 
BRU. Now, as you are a Roman, tell me true. 

MES. Then like a Roman bear the truth I tell: 
For certain she is dead, and by strange manner. 

Bnr. Why, farewell, Portia. We must die, 

Messala : 
With meditating that she must die once, 2 

1 Ay, Cicero is dcad,~] For the insertion of the affirmative ad- 
verb, to complete the verse, 1 am answerable. STKKVKNS. 

OHC<',~\ i. e. at sonic time or other. So, in The Merry 

ll'ives of Windsor : 


I have the patience to endure it now. 

MES. Even so great men great losses should 

CAS. I have as much of this in art 3 as you, 
But yet my nature could not bear it so. 

BRU. Well, to our work alive. What do you 

Of marching to Philippi presently ? 

CAS. I do not think it good. 

BRU. Your reason ? 

CAS. This it is : 4 

'Tis better, that the enemy seek us : 
So shall he waste his means, weary his soldiers, 
Doing himself offence ; whilst we, lying still, 
Are full of rest, defence, and nimbleness. 

BRU. Good reasons must, of force, give place to 


The people, 'twixt Philippi and this ground, 
Do stand but in a forc'd affection ; 
For thev have orudg'd us contribution : 

v O ^O 

The enemy, marching along by them, 

By them shall make a fuller number up, 

Come on refresh'd, new-added, and encourag'd ; 

From which advantage shall we cut him off, 

If at Philippi we do face him there, 

These people at our back. 

" - 1 pray thce, once, to-night 

" (/ivc my sv/ret Nan this ring." Vol. V. p. 147, n. (5. STEKVENS. 

- in art j That i>, in theory. 

4 7 '/;/., it is:] The overflow of the metre, and the disagreeable 
clash of it ?.v, with '77s 1 at the beginning of tin: next line, are 
almost proofs that our author only wrote, with a common ellipsis, 
7'A/s : . STJ:J:VKXS. 


CAS. Hear me, good brother. 

BRU. Under your pardon. You must note be- 

That we have try'd the utmost of our friends, 
Our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe : 
The enemy increaseth every day, 
We, at the height, are ready to decline. 
There is a tide 5 in the affairs of men, 
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune ; 
Omitted, all the voyage of their life 
Is bound in shallows, and in miseries. 
On such a full sea are we now afloat ; 
And we must take the current when it serves, 
Or lose our ventures. 

CAS. Then, with your will, go on ; 

We'll along ourselves, and meet them at Philippi. 

BRU. The deep of night is crept upon our talk, 
And nature must obey necessity ; 
Which we will niggard with a little rest. 
There is no more to say ? 

CAS. No more. Good night ; 

Early to-morrow will we rise, and hence. 

3 There is a tide &c.] This passage is poorly imitated by Beau- 
mont and Fletcher, in The Custom oj 'tltc Country: 

" There is an hour in each man's life appointed 
" To make his happiness, it' then he seize it," &c. 


A similar sentiment is found in Chapman's Biissy D* Ambois, 
] GOT : 

" There is a deep nick in time's restless wheel, 

" For each man's good ; when which nick comes, it 


" So no man riseth by his real m-ril, 
" liut when it cries click in his. racer's spirit." 

MAI o\r. 


BRU. Lucius, my gown. \_Exit Lucius.] Fare- 
well, good Messala ; 

Good night, Titinius : Noble, noble Cassius, 
Good night, and good repose. 

CAS. O my dear brother ! 

This was an ill beginning of the night : 
Never come such division 'tween our souls ! 6 
Let it not, Brutus. 

BRU. Every thing is well. 

CAS. Good night, my lord. 

BRU. Good night, good brother. 

TIT. MES. Good night, lord Brutus. 

BRU. Farewell, every one. 

[Exeunt CAS. TIT. and MES. 

Re-enter Lucius, with the Gown. 

Give me the gown. Where is thy instrument ? 
Luc. Here in the tent. 

BRU. What, thou speak'st drowsily? 

Poor knave, I blame thee not ; thou art o'er- 


Call Claudius, and some other of my men ; 
I'll have them sleep on cushions in my tent. 

Luc. Varro, and Claudius ! 

fi Never come such division 'tween our souls /] So, in the mock 
play in Hamlet: 

" And never come mischance between us twain." 


sc.m. JULIUS (LESAR. 391 


FAR. Calls my lord ? 

BRU. I pray you, sirs, lie in my tent, and sleep; 
It may be, I shall raise you by and by 
On business to my brother Cassius. 

FAR. So please you, we will stand, and watch 
your pleasure. 

BRU. I will not have it so : lie down, good sirs; 
It may be, I shall otherwise bethink me. 
Look, Lucius, here's the book I sought for so ; 
I put it in the pocket of my gown. 

[Servants lie down. 

Luc. I was sure, your lordship did not give it 

BRU. Bear with me, good boy, I am much for- 

Canst thou hold up thy heavy eyes awhile, 
And touch thy instrument a strain or two ? 

Luc. Ay, my lord, an it please you. 

BRU. It does, my boy: 

I trouble thee too much, but thou art willing. 

Luc. It is my duty, sir. 

BRU. I should not urge thy duty past thy might; 
I know, young bloods look for a time of rest. 

Luc. I have slept, my lord, already. 

BRU. It is well done; and thou shalt sleep 

again ; 

I will not hold thee long : if I do live, 
I will be good to thee. [Munich, and a So?ig. 

This is a sleepy tune : O murd'rous slumber ! 


Lay'st thou thy leaden mace 7 upon my boy, 
That plays thee musick ? Gentle knave, good 

night ; 

I will not do thee so much wrong to wake thee. 
If thou dost nod, thou break'st thy instrument ; 
I'll take it from thee ; and, good boy, good night. 
Let me see, let me see; 8 Is not the leaf turn'd 

Where I left reading ? Here it is, I think. 

[_He sits down. 

Enter the Ghost o/'CjssAR. 

How ill this taper burns ! Ha! who comes here? 
I think, it is the weakness of mine eyes, 
That shapes this monstrous apparition. 
It comes upon me : Art thou any thing ? 
Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil, 

7 thy leaden mace ] A mace is the ancient term for a 

sceptre. So, in The Arraignment of Paris, 1584 : 

" look upon my stately grace, 

" Because the pomp that 'longs to Juno's mace," &c. 
Again : 

" because he knew no more 

" Fair Venus' Ceston, than dame Juno's mace." 
Again, in Marius and Sylla, 1594 : 

" proud Tarquinius 

" Rooted from Rome the sway of kingly mace" 
Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. I. c. x : 

" Who mightily upheld that royal mace." STKEVENS. 

Shakspeare probably remembered Spenser in his Fairy Qucen t 
B. I. cant. iv. st. 44 : 

" \Vhen as Morpheus had with leaden mase, 

" Arrested all that courtly company." HOLT WHITE. 

8 Let me see, let me see ;] As these words are wholly unrne- 
trical, we may suppose our author meant to avail himself of the 
common colloquial phrase Lcfs see, let's sec. STKEVENS. 

sc. m. JULIUS CAESAR. 393 

That mak'st my blood cold, and my hair to stare? 
Speak to me, what thou art. 

GHOST. Thy evil spirit, Brutus. 

BR r. Why com'st thou ? 

GHOST. To tell thee, thou shalt see me at Philippi. 

]*RU. Well ; 
Then I shall see thee again ? 9 

9 Then I shall see thee again ?~] Shakspearc has on this 

occasion deserted his original. It does not appear from Plutarch 
that the Ghost (if Ccrxar appeared to Brutus, but " a wonderful 
straunge and monstruous shape of a body." This apparition 
could not be at once the shade of Ccesar, and the evil genius of 

" Brutus boldly asked what he was, a god, or a man, and 
what cause brought him thither. The spirit answered him, I am 
thy cuill spirit, Brutus ; and thou shalt see me by the citie of 
Philippes. Brutus being no otherwise affrayd, replyed againe 
vnto it : well, then I shall see thee agayne. The spirit presently 
vanished away; and Brutus called his men vnto him, who tolde 
him that they heard no noyse, nor sawe any thing at all." 

See the story of Cassius Parmensis in Valerius Maximus, 
Lib. I. c. vii. STEEVEXS. 

The words which Mr. Steevens has quoted, are from Plutarch's 
Life of Brutus. Shakspeare had also certainly read Plutarch's 
account of this vision in the /-///"' of Cccsar : " Above all, the 
g/ioxt that appeared unto Brutus, showed plainly that the goddcs 
were offended with the murther of Ctrsar. The vision was 
thus. Brutus being ready to pass over his army from the citie of 
Abydos to the other coast lying directly against it, slept every 
night, (as his manner was,) in his tent ; and being yet awake, 
thinking oi'his affaires, he thought he heard a noyse at his tent- 
dore, and looking towards the light of the lampc ihat waxed 
very dimme, he saw a horrible vision ot a man, of a wonderfull 
greatnes and dreadful looke, which at the first made him marvel- 
ously afraid. But when he sawe that it did him no hurt, but 
stoode by his bedde-side, and said nothing, at length he asked 
him what he was. The image aunswered him, I am thy ill 
angel, Brutus, and thou shalt see me by the citie of Philippes. 
Then Brutus replyed agayne, and said, Well, I shall sec- thee 
then. Therewithal! the spirit presently vanished from him." 

394 JULIUS C^SAR. ACT ir. 

GHOST. Ay, at Philippi. 

[Ghost vanishes. 

BRU. Why, I will see thee at Philippi then. 
Now I have taken heart, thou vanishest : 
111 spirit, I would hold more talk with thee. 
Boy ! Lucius ! Varro ! Claudius ! Sirs, awake ! 
Claudius ! 

Luc. The strings, my lord, are false. 

BRU. He thinks, he still is at his instrument. 
Lucius, awake. 

Luc. My lord! 

BRU. Didst thou dream, Lucius, that thou so 
cry'dst out ? 

Luc. My lord, I do not know that I did cry. 

BRU. Yes, that thou didst : Didst thou see any 
thing ? 

Luc. Nothing, my lord. 

BRU. Sleep again, Lucius. Sirrah, Claudius! 
Fellow thou ! awake. 

FAR. My lord. 

CLAU. My lord. 

BRU. Why did you so cry out, sirs, in your sleep ? 

VAR. CLAU. Did we, my lord ? 

BRU. Ay; Saw you any thing ? 

VAR. No, my lord, I saw nothing. 

It is manifest from the words above printed in Italicks, that 
Shakspeare had this passage in his thoughts as well as the other. 


That lights grew dim, or burned blue, at the approach of 
Spectres, was a belief which our author might have found exam- 
ples of in almost every book of his age that treats of superna- 
tural appearances. See King Richard, Vol. XIV. p. 506, n. 9. 



CLAU. Nor I, my lord. 

BRU. Go, and commend me to my brother 

Cassins j 

Bid him set on his powers betimes before, 
And we will follow. 

VAR. CLAU. It shall be done, my lord. 



The Plains of Philippi. 

Enter OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, and their Army. 

OCT. Now, Antony, our hopes are answered : 
You said, the enemy would not come down, 
But keep the hills and upper regions ; 
It proves not so : their battles are at hand ; 
They mean to warn us 1 at Philippi here, 

1 warn us ] To ivarn is to summon. So, in King 

John : 

" Who is it that hath ivarn' d us to the walls?" 

Shakspeare uses the word yet more intelligibly in Kin* 
Richard Iff: 

" And sent to ivarn them to his royal presence." 

Throughout the books of the Stationers' Company, the word 
is always used in this sense; " Ileceyved of Haute Newbery for 
his fyne, that he came not to the hall when he was warned, ac- 
cording to the orders of this house." 

Again, in a Letter from Lord Cecil to the Earl of Shrewsbury 
See Lodge's Illustrations* &c. Vol. III. 206 : " J pray yo r LP, 


Answering before we do demand of them. 

ANT. Tut, I am in their bosoms, and I know 
Wherefore they do it : they could be content 
To visit other places ; and come down 
With fearful bravery, 2 thinking, by this face, 
To fasten in our thoughts that they have courage j 
But 'tis not so. 

Enter a Messenger. 

MESS. Prepare you, generals : 

The enemy comes on in gallant show ; 
Their bloody sign of battle is hung out, 
And something to be done immediately. 

ANT. Octavius, lead your battle softly on, 
Upon the left hand of the even field. 

OCT. Upon the right hand I, keep thou 3 the left. 
ANT. Why do you cross me in this exigent ? 

OCT. I do not cross you ; but I will do so. 


therefore, let him be privatly warned, without any other notice 
(to his disgrace) to come up" &c. STEEVEXS. 

2 With fearful bravery,"] That is, icith a gallant shou of 
courage, carrying rc/th it terror and dismay. Fearful is used 
here, as in many other phices, in an active sense producing 
fea r ii ilim ida ting. M A L o NE . 

So, in Churchyard's Sisge of LectJi, 1575: 

" They were ajcare unto the enmyes eye." 

I believe, however, that in the present instance, fearful 
bravery requires an interpretation that may be found in Sidney's 
Arcadia, Lib. II : " her horse, fairc and lustie ; which she 
rid so as might show zjearefull boldncs, daring to doe that which 
she knew that she knew not how to doe." STEEVENS. 

keep thou ] The tenour of the conversation evidently 
requires us to read you. RITSON. 

sc. I. JULIUS CAESAR. 397 

Drum. Enter BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and their Army ; 

BRU. They stand, and would have parley. 
CAS. Stand fast, Titinius : We must out and talk. 
OCT. Mark Antony, shall we give sign of battle ? 

ANT. No, Caesar, we will answer on their charge. 
Make forth, the generals would have some words. 

OCT. Stir not until the signal. 


BRU. Words before blows : Is it so, countrymen ? 
OCT. Not that we love words better, as you do. 

BRU. Good words are better than bad strokes, 

ANT. In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give 

good words : 

Witness the hole you made in Caesar's heart, 
Crying, Long life! hail, Caesar! 

CAS. Antony, 

The posture of your blows are yet unknown ; 4 
But for your words, they rob the Hybla bees, 
And leave them honeyless. 

ANT. Not stingless too. 

BRU. O, yes, and soundless too ; 
For you have stol'n their buzzing, Antony, 
And, very wisely, threat before you sting. 

1 The posture of your Umcs are yet unknown;] It should br 
is yet unknown. But the error was certainly Shakspeare's. 


Rather, the mistake of his transcriber or printer ; which there- 
fore oujrht, in my opinion, to be eorrccteil. Had Shakspeare 
been gen 'rally inaccurate on similar occasions, he mi^ht more 
justly have been suspected of inaccuracy >n the present instance. 



ANT. Villains, you did not so, when your vile 


Hack'd one another in the sides of Caesar : 
You show'd your teeth like apes, and fawn'd like 


And bow'd like bondmen, kissing Caesar's feet ; 
Whilst damned Casca, 5 like a cur, behind, 
Struck Caesar on the neck. O flatterers ! 6 

CAS. Flatterers! Now, Brutus, thank yourself: 7 
This tongue had not offended so to-day, 
If Cassius might have rul'd. 

OCT. Come, come, the cause : If arguing make 

us sweat, 

The proof of it will turn to redder drops. 
Look ; 

I draw a sword against conspirators ; 
When think you that the sword goes up again ? 
Never, till Caesar's three and twenty wounds 8 

Casca,'] Casca struck Caesar on the neck, coming like 

a degenerate cur behind him. JOHNSON. 

flatterers!] Old copy, unmetrically, O you flat- 
terers ! STEEVEXS. 

~ Flatterers! Now, Brutus, thank yourself ':] It is natural 
to suppose, from the defective metre of this line, that our author 
wrote : 

Flatterers ! Noiv, Brutus, you may thank yourself. 


s three and twenty "wounds ] [Old copy three and 

thirty ;] hut I have ventured to reduce this number to tlircc and 
twenty, from the joint authorities of Appian, Plutarch, and 
Suetonius : and I am persuaded, the error was not from the poet 
but his transcribers. THEOBALD. 

Beaumont and Fletcher have fallen into a similar mistake, in 
their Noble Gentleman ; 

" So Caesar fell, when in the Capitol, 

" They gave his body lv;o and thirty wounds." 


sc. i. JULIUS CAESAR. 399 

Be well aveng'd ; or till another Caesar 

Have added slaughter to the sword of traitors. 9 

BRU. Caesar, thou can'st not die by traitors, 
Unless thou bring'st them with thee. 

OCT. So I hope ; 

I was not born to die on Brutus' sword. 

BRU. O, if thou wert the noblest of thy strain, 
Young man, thou could'st not die more honourable. 

CAS. A peevish schoolboy, worthless of such 

Join'd with a masker and a reveller. 

ANT. Old Cassius still ! 

OCT. Come, Antony ; away. 

Defiance, traitors, hurl we 1 in your teeth : 
If you dare fight to-day, come to the field; 
If not, when you have stomachs. 2 

[Exeunt OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, and their Army. 

J -till another Cccsar 

Have added slaughter to the sivord of traitors."] A similar 
idea has already occurred in King John : 

" Or add a royal number to the dead, 

" \Vith slaughter coupled to the name of kings." 


1 Defiance, traitors, hurl ur ~] Whence perhaps Milton, 
Paradise Lost, B. I. v. 669 : 

" Hurling defiance toward the vault of Heaven." 
Hurl is peculiarly expressive. The challenger in judicial 
combats was said to hurl down his gage, when he threw his glove 
down as a pledge that he would make good his charge against 
his adversary. So, in King Hichard II : 

" And interchangeably hurl down my gage 
" Upon this over-weening traitor's loot." 


when you have stomachs.'] So, in Chapman's version 

ef the ninth Iliad ; 

" Fight ichen hia stomach scrrcs him best, or when" iS.c. 



CAS. Why now, blow, wind ; swell, billow ; and 

swim, bark ! 
The storm is up, and all is on the hazard. 

BRU. Ho ! 
Lucilius j hark, a word with you. 

Luc. My lord. 

[BRUTUS and LUCILIUS converse apart. 

CAS. Messala, 

MES. What says my general ? 

CAS. Messala, 3 

This is my birth-day ; as this very day 
Was Cassius born. Give me thy hand, Messala : 
Be thou my witness, that, against my will, 
As Pompey was, am I compell'd to set 
Upon one battle all our liberties. 
You know, that I held Epicurus strong, 
And his opinion : now I change my mind, 
And partly credit things that do presage. 
Coming from Sardis, on our former ensign 4 

3 Messala, &c.] Almost every circumstance in this speech is 
taken from Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch : 

" But touching Cassius, Messala reporteth that he supped by 
himselfe in his tent with a few of his friendes, and that all sup- 
per tyme he looked very sadly, and was full of thoughts, al- 
though it was against his nature : and that after supper he tooke 
him by the hande, and holding him fast (in token of kindnes as 
his manner was) told him in Greeke, Messala, I protest vnto 
thee, and make thee my witnes, that I am compelled against my 
minde and will (as Pompey the Great was) to ieopard the libertie 
of our contry, to the hazard of a battel. And yet we must be 
liuely, and of good corage, considering our good fortune, whom 
we should wronge too muche to mistrust her, although we follow 
euill counsell. Messala writeth, that Cassius hailing spoken these 
last wordes unto him, he bid him farewell, and willed him to 
come to supper to him the next night following, bicause it was 
his birth day." STEEVENS. 

4 our former ensign ] Thus the old copy, and, I sup- 
pose, rightly. Former is Jiremost. Shakspcare sometimes uses 

sc. /. JULIUS CAESAR. 4O1 

Two mighty eagles fell ; and there they perch'd, 

Gorging and feeding from our soldiers' hands ; 

Who to Philippi here consorted us ; 

This morning are they fled away, and gone ; 

And in their steads, do ravens, crows, and kites, 

Fly o'er our heads, and downward look on us, 

As we were sickly prey; 5 their shadows seem 

A canopy most fatal, under which 

Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost. 

MES. Believe not so. 

CAS. I but believe it partly ; 

For I am fresh of spirit, and resolv'd 
To meet all perils very constantly. 

BRU. Even so, Lucilius. 

CAS. Now, most noble Brutus, 

The gods to-day stand friendly ; that we may, 
Lovers in peace, lead on our days to age ! 

the comparative instead of the positive and superlative. See 
King Lear, Act IV. sc. iii. Either word has the same origin ; 
nor do I perceive why former should be less applicable to place 
than time. STEEVENS. 

Former is right ; and the meaning our fore ensign. So, in 
Adlyngton's Apuleius, 1.596: " First hoc instructed me to sit at 
the table vpon my taile, and ho\ve I should leape and daunce, 
holding up my former feete." 

Again, in Harrison's Description of Britaine : " It [i. e. 
brawn] is made commonly of the fore part of a tame bore set 
uppe tor the purpose by the space of an whole year or two. 
Afterwarde lie is killed and then of \\isformcr partes is our 
brawne made." RITMKN. 

I once thought that lor the sake of distinction the word should 
be spelt Jbremcr, but as it is derived from the Saxon j. ojima, 
Jirsl, I have adhered to the common spelling. 31 A LONE. 

' ax ii' e were sickly prey;] So, in King John : 

" As doth a raven on a sick-JuWn beast, ." 


VOL. xvr. '1 D 


But, since the affairs of men rest still uncertain, 
Let's reason with the worst that may befall. 
If we do lose this battle, then is this 
The very last time we shall speak together : 
What are you then determined to do ? 6 - 

BRU. Even by the rule of that philosophy, 7 

" The vert/ last time IKK shall speak together: 

What are you then determined to do ?~] i. e. I am resolved 
in such a case to kill myself. What are you determined of? 


of 'that philosophy, ] There is an apparent contradiction 
between the sentiments contained in this and the following speech 
which Shakspeare has put into the mouth of Brutus. In this, 
Brutus declares his resolution to wait patiently for the deter- 
minations of Providence ; and in the next, he intimates, that 
though he should survive the battle, he would never submit to 
be led in chains to Home. This sentence in Sir Thomas North's 
translation, is perplexed, and might be easily misunderstood. 
Shakspeare, in the first speech, makes that to be the present 
opinion of Brutus, which in Plutarch is mentioned only as one 
he formerly entertained, though he now condemned it. 

So, in Sir Thomas North: " There Cassius beganne to speake 
first, and sayd : the gods graunt vs, O Brutus, that this day we 
may winne the field, and euer after to hue all the rest of our 
life quietly, one with another. But sith the gods haue so or- 
deyned it, that the greatest & chiefest amongest men are most 
vncertayne, and that if the battel fall out otherwise to daye than 
we wishe or looke for, we shall hardely meete againe, what art 
thou then determined to doe ? to fly ? or dye ? Brutus aunswered 
him, being yet but a young man, and not ouer greatly expe- 
rienced in the world: I trust (I know not how) a certeine rule 
of philosophic, by the which I did greatly blame and reproue 
Cato for killing of him selfe, as being no lawfall nor godly acte, 
touching the gods, nor concerning men, valiant ; not to giue 
place and yeld to diuine prouidence, and not constantly and 
paciently to take whatsoever it plcaseth him to send vs, but to 
drawe backe, and flier but being now in the middest of the 
daunger, I am of a contrarie mind. For if it be not the will of 
God, that this battell fall out fortunate for vs, I will looke no 

more for hope, neither seeke to make any new supply for war 
againe, but will rid me of this miserable wor 

,-orld, and content me 

ac. i. JULIUS CAESAR. 403 

By which I did blame Cato for the death 

Which he did give himself: I know not how, 

But I do find it cowardly and vile, 

For fear of what might fall, so to prevent 

The time of life: s arming myself with patience,' 

with my fortune. For, I gaue vp my life for my contry in the 
ides of Marche, for the which I shall live in another more glo- 
rious worlde." STEEVENS. 

I see no contradiction in the sentiments of Brutus. He would 
not determine to kill himself merely for the loss of one battle; 
but as he expresses himself, (p. 4-13,) would try his fortune in 
a second fight. Yet he would not submit to be a captive. 


I concur with Mr. Steevens. The words of the text by no 
means justify Sir W. Blaekstone's solution. The question of 
Cassius relates solely to the event of this battle. MALONE. 

There is certainly an apparent contradiction between the sen- 
timents which Brutus expresses in this, and in his subsequent 
speech ; but there is no real inconsistency. Brutus had laid down 
to himself as a principle, to abide every chance and extremity of 
war; but when Cassius reminds him of the disgrace of being led 
in triumph through the streets of Rome, he acknowledges that 
to be a trial which he could not endure. Nothing is more na- 
tural than this. We lay down a system of conduct for ourselves, 
but occurrences may happen that will force us to depart from it. 


This apparent contradiction may be easily reconciled. Brutus 
is at first inclined to wait patiently for better times ; but is roused 
by the idea of being " led in triumph," to which he will never 
submit. The loss of the battle would not alone have determined 
him to kill himself, if he could have lived free. RITSON. 

so to prevent 

The time of life :~\ To prevent is here used in a French sense 
to anticipate. By time is meant the full and complete time ; 
the period. MALOXK. 

To prevent, I believe, h;is here its common signification. Dr. 
Johnson, in his Dictionary, adduces this very instance as an ex- 
ample of it. STEEVENS. 

arming myself with patience, <.*vc.] Dr. Warburton 

thinks, that in this speech something is lost ; but there needed only 

'2 D '2 


To stay the providence of some high powers, 
That govern us below. 

CAS. Then, if we lose this battle, 1 

You are contented to be led in triumph 
Thorough the streets of Rome ? 

BRU. No, Cassius, no : think not, thou noble 


That ever Brutus will go bound to Rome ; 
He bears too great a mind. But this same day 
Must end that work, the ides of March begun ; 2 
And whether we shall meet again, I know not. 
Therefore our everlasting farewell take : 
For ever, and for ever, farewell, Cassius ! 
If we do meet again, why we shall smile ; 
If not, why then this parting was well made. 

CAS. For ever, and for ever, farewell, Brutus ! 
If we do meet again, we'll smile indeed ; 
If not, 'tis true, this parting was well made. 

BRU. Why then, lead on. O, that a man might 

a parenthesis to clear it. The construction is this : I am deter- 
mined to act according to that philosophy which directed me to 
blame the suicide of Cato ; arming myself with patience, &c. 


1 Then, if we lose this battle,] Cassius, in his last speech, 
having said If we do lose this battle, the same two words 
might, in the present instance, be fairly understood, as they 
derange the metre. I would therefore read only : 

Cas. Then, if ice lose, 

You are contented &c. 
Thus, in King Lear : 

" King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta'en : ." 
i. e. hath lost the battle. STEEVENS. 

-the ides of March begun;] Our author ought to have 
written began. For this error, I have no doubt, he is himself 
answerable. MA LONE. 

See p. 1397, n. 4. STEEVENS. 

sc. n. JULIUS CAESAR. 405 

The end of this day's business, ere it come ! 

But it sufficeth, that the day will end, 

And then the end is known. Come, ho! away! 



The same. Tlie Field of Battle. 
Alarum. Enter BRUTUS and MESSALA. 

BR u. Ride, ride, Messala, ride, and give these 

bills 3 
Unto the legions on the other side : 

[Loud Alarum. 

Let them set on at once ; for I perceive 
But cold demeanour in Octavius' wing, 
And sudden push gives them the overthrow. 
Ride, ride, Messala : let them all come down. 


give these bills ] So, in the old translation of Plu- 
tarch : " In the meane tyme Brutus that led the right winge, 
sent little billes to the collonels and captaines of private bandcs, 
in which he wrote the wordc of the battell," &c. STEEVENS. 



The same. Another Part of the Field. 
Alarum. Enter CASSIUS and TITINIUS. 

CAS. O, look, Titinius, look, the villains fly ! 
Myself have to mine own turn'd enemy: 
This ensign here of mine was turning back ; 
I slew the coward, and did take it from him. 

TIT. O Cassius, Brutus gave the word too early: 
Who having some advantage on Octavius, 
Took it too eagerly ; his soldiers fell to spoil, 
Whilst we by Antony are all enclos'd. 


PIN. Fly further off, my lord, fly further off; 
Mark Antony is in^your tents, my lord! 
Fly therefore, noble Cassius, fly far off. 

CAS. This hill is far enough. 4 Look, look, Titi- 
nius ; 

4 This hill in for enough. &c.] Thus, in the old translation of 
Plutarch : " So, Cassius him selfe was at length compelled to 
flie, with a few about him, vnto a little hill, from whence they 
might easely see what was done in all the plaine : howbeit Cassius 
him self sawe nothing, for his sight was verie bad, sauing that 
he sjiw (and yet with much a doe) how the enemies spoiled his 
campe before his eyes. He sawe also a great troupe of horsemen, 
whom Brutus sent to aide him, and thought that they were his 
enemies that followed him : but yet he sent Titinius, one of 
them that was with him, to goe and know what they were. 
Brutus' horsemen sawe him comming a farre of, whom when 

sc. in. JULIUS CAESAR. 4O7 

Are those my tents, where I perceive the fire ? 
TIT. They are, my lord. 

CAS. Titinius, if thou lov'st me, 

Mount thou my horse, and hide thy spurs in him, 
Till he have brought thee up to yonder troops, 
And here again ; that I may rest assur'd, 
Whether yond' troops are friend or enemy. 

TIT. I will be here again, even with a thought. 5 


CAS. Go, Pindarus, 6 get higher on that hill ; 7 

they knewe that he was one of Cassius' chiefest friendes, they 
showted out for joy : and they that were familiarly acquainted 
with him, lighted from their horses, and went and imbraced 
him. The rest compassed him in rounde about a horsebacke, 
with songs of vietorie and great rushing of their harnes, so that 
they made all the field ring againe for joy. But this marred all. 
For Cassius thinking in deed that Titinius was taken of the ene- 
mies, he then spake these wordes : desiring too much to Hue, I 
haue liued to see one of my best freendes taken, for my sake, 
before my face. After that, he gotte into a tent where no bodye 
was, and tooke Pindarus with him, one of his freed bondmen, 
whom he reserued ever for suche a pinche, since the cursed 
battell of the Parthians, where Crassus was slainc, though he 
notwithstanding scaped from that ouerthrow ; but then casting 
his clokc ouer his head, & holding out his bare neck vnto Pvn- 
darus, he gaue him his head to be striken oft'. So the head was 
found seuered from the bodie : but after that time Pyndarus wan 
neuer seene more." STEEVEXS. 

A even wit /i n thought.^ The same expression occurs 

again in Antony and Cleopatra: 

" That, which is now a horse, even with a thought 
" The rack dislimns, ." STKKVF.NS. 

6 Go, Pindarus, ~] This dialogue between Cassius and Pinda- 
rus, is beautifully imitated by Beaumont and Fletcher, in their 
tragedy of Bondiica, Act III. sc. v. STKF.VKNS. 

get higher on thai /////;] Our author perhaps wrote on 
this hill ; for Cassius is now on a hill. But there is no need of 


My sight was ever thick ; regard Titinius, 
And tell me what thou not'st about the field. 

[Exit PlNDARUS. 

This day I breathed first : time is come round, 8 

And where I did begin, there I shall end ; 

My life is run his compass. Sirrah, what news? 9 

PIN. [Above."] O my lord! 1 
CAS. What news ? 

PIN. Titinius is 

Enclosed round about with horsemen, that 
Make to him on the spur ; yet he spurs on. 
Now they are almost on him ; now, Titinius ! 
Now some 'light : O, he 'lights too : he's ta'en ; 
and, hark ! [Shout. 

They shout for joy. 

CAS. Come down, behold no more. 

change. He means a hillock somewhat higher than that on 
which he now is. 

The editor of the second folio arbitrarily reads thither for 
higher, and all the subsequent editors adopted his alteration. 


Mr. Malone has sufficiently justified the reading in the text ; 
and yet the change offered by the second folio is not undefensible. 


time is come round,'] So, in King Lear, the Bastard, 
flying, says : 

" The wheel is come full circle." STEEVENS. 

9 Sirrah, uhat netxs?~\ Sirrah, as appears from many 

of our old plays, was the usual address in speaking to servants, 
and children. Mr. Pope, not adverting to this, reads Now, 
what news ? See Vol. X. p. 244, n. 5. MALONE. 

1 my lord! &c.] Perhaps this passage, designed to fornn 
a single verse, originally stood thus : 
Pin. my good lord ! 

Cas. What news? 

Pin. Titinius is . 


ac. in. JULIUS C/ESAR. 4O9 

O, coward that I am, to live so long, 

To see my best friend ta'en before my face ! 


Come hither, sirrah : 

In Parthia did 1 take thee prisoner ; 

And then I swore thee, saving of thy life, 

That whatsoever I did bid thee do, 

Thou should'st attempt it. Come now, keep thine 
oath ! 

Now be a freeman ; and, with this good sword, 

That ran through Caesar's bowels, search this bo- 

Stand not to answer : Here, take tliou the hilts ; 

And, when my face is cover'd, as 'tis now, 

Guide thou the sword. Caesar, thou artreveng'd, 

Even with the sword that kill'd thee. \_Dies. 

Fix. So, I am free; yet would not so have been, 
Durst I have done my will. O Cassius ! 
Far from this country Pindarus shall run, 
Where never Roman shall take note of him. 


Re-enter TITINIUS, uith MESSALA. 

MES. It is but change, Titinius ; for Octavius 
Is overthrown by noble Brutus' power, 
As Cassius' legions are by Antony. 

TIT. These tidings will well comfort Cassius. 

MES. Where did you leave him ? 

TIT. All disconsolate, 


With Pindarus his bondman, on this hill. 
MES. Is not that he, that lies upon the ground ? 
TIT. He lies not like the living. O my heart ! 
MES. Is not that he ? 

TIT. No, this was he, Messala, 

But Cassius is no more. O setting sun ! 
As in thy red rays thou dost sink to night, 
So in his red blood Cassius' day is set ; 
The sun of Rome is set ! Our day is gone ; 
Clouds, dews, and dangers come ; our deeds are 

done ! 
Mistrust of my success hath done this deed. 

MES. Mistrust of good success hath done this 


O hateful error, melancholy's child ! 
Why dost thou show to the apt thoughts of men 
The things that are not ? O error, soon conceiv'd, 
Thou never com'st unto a happy birth, 
But kilFst the mother that engender'd thee. 

TIT. What, Pindarus ! Where art thou, Pin- 
darus ? 

MES. Seek him, Titinius : whilst I go to meet 
The noble Brutus, thrusting this report 
Into his ears : I may say, thrusting it ; 
For piercing steel, and darts envenomed, 
Shall be as welcome to the ears of Brutus, 
As tidings of this sight. 

TIT. Hie you, Messala, 

And I will seek for Pindarus the while. 

\_Exlt MESSALA. 
Why didst thou send me forth, brave Cassius? JULIUS C^SAR. 41 1 

Did I not meet thy friends ? and did not they 

Put on my brows this wreath of victory, 

And bid me give 't thee ? Didst thou not hear their 

shouts ? 

Alas, thou hast misconstrued every thing. 
But hold thee, take this garland on thy brow ; 
Thy Brutus bid me give it thee, and I 
Will do his bidding. Brutus, come apace, 
And see how I regarded Cains Cassius. 
By your leave, gods : This is a Roman's part : 
Come, Cassius' sword, and mid Titinius' heart. 


Alarum. Re-enter MESS ALA, ttvYA BRUTUS, young 

BRU. Where, where, Messala, dotli his body 

MES. Lo, yonder ; and Titinius mourning it. 

BRU. Titinius' lace is upward. 

CATO. He is slain. 

BRU. O Julius CV'sar, thou art mighty yet ! 
Thy spirit walks abroad, and turns our swords 
In our own proper entrails.- [Low Alarums. 

CATO. Brave Titinius ! 

Look, whe'r he have not crown* d dead Cassius ! 

BRU. Are yet two Romans living such as these ? 

and turns our sivords 

In our vivn proper entrails.'} So, Lucan, Lib. I : 

popul unique potentcm 
" In suu victrici convcrsum viscera dcxtra." STEEVENS. 


The last of all the Romans, 3 fare thee well ! 
It is impossible, that ever Rome 

3 The last of all the Romans,] From the old translation of 
Plutarch : " So, when he [Brutus] was come thither, after he 
had lamented the death of Cassius, calling him THE last of all 
the Romans, being impossible that Rome should ever breede 
againe so noble and valiant a man as he, he caused his bodie to 
be buried," &c. 

Mr. Rowe, and all the subsequent editors, read, as we should 
now write, Thou last, &c. But this was not the phraseology of 
Shakspeare's age. See Vol. XIV. p. 195, n. 5. See also the 
Letter of Posthumus to Imogen, in Cymbeline, Act III. sc. ii : 
*' as you, O the dearest of creatures, would not even renew 
me with thine eyes." Again, in King Lear: 

" The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes 
" Cordelia leaves you." 
not ye jewels, as we now should write. MALOXE. 

I have not displaced Mr. Malone's restoration from the old 
copy, because it is of no great importance to our author's mean- 
ing ; though I am perfectly convinced, that in the instances from 
Cymbeline and King Lear, the is merely the error of a compo- 
sitor who misunderstood the abbreviations employed to express 
thou and ye in the original MSS. which might not have been re- 
markable for calligraphy. Both these abbreviations very nearly 
resemble the one commonly used for the ; a circumstance which 
has proved the frequent source of similar corruption. A mistake 
of the same colour appears to have happened in p. 415, where 
(see note 9,) thee had been given instead of the. See likewise 
the volume above referred to by Mr. Malone, where the is again 
printed (and, as I conceive, through the same blunder,) instead 
of thou. 

The passage cited from Plutarch can have no weight on the 
present occasion. The biographer is only relating what Brutus 
had said. In the text, Brutus is the speaker, and is addressing 
himself, propria persona, to Cassius. 

Besides, why is not " Thou last" &c. the language of Shak- 
speare ? Have we not in King Richard III : 

" Thou slander of thy mother's heavy womb ! 

" Thou loathed issue &c. 

" Thou rag of honour, thou detested ?" 

And again, in Troilus and Cressida ; 

" Thou great and wise" &c, 


Should breed thy fellow. Friends, I owe more 


To this dead man, than you shall see me pay. 
I shall find time, Cassius, I shall find time. 
Come, therefore, and to Thassos 4 send his body ; 
His funerals shall not be in our camp, 
Lest it discomfort us. Lucilius, come ; 
And come, young Cato ; let us to the field. 
Labeo, and Flavins, 5 set our battles on : 
'Tis three o'clock ; and, Romans, yet ere night 
We shall try fortune in a second fight. 


Again, in Hamlet: 

" know than noble youth!" 

And fifty more instances to the same purpose might be intro- 

ObjectumestHistorico ( Cremutio Cordo. Tacit. Ann. l.iv.St,) 
quod Brutum C ass i unique ultimas Romanorum dixisset. Suet. 
Tiber. Lib. III. c. 61. STEEVENS. 

and to Thassos ] Old copy Tharsus. Corrected 
by Mr. Theobald. MA LONE. 

It is Thassos in Sir Thomas North's translation. STEEVENS. 

5 Labeo, and Flavius,] Old copy Fla-.'iu. Corrected by the 
editor of the secondfolio. MALONE. 



Another Part of the Field. 

Alarum. Enter fighting. Soldiers of both Armies ; 
then BBUTUS, CATO, LUCILIUS, and Others. 

BRU. Yet, countrymen, O, yet hold up your 

heads ! 

CATO. What bastard doth not? Who will go 

with me ? 

I will proclaim my name about the field : 
I am the son of Marcus Cato, ho ! 
A foe to tyrants, and my country's friend ; 
I am the son of Marcus Cato, 6 ho ! 

[Charges the Enemy. 

BRU. And I am Brutus, Marcus Brutus, I; 
Brutus, my country's friend ; know me for Brutus. 

\_Exit i charging the Enemy. CATO is over- 
powered, and falls. 

Luc. O young and noble Cato, art thou down? 
Why, now thou diest as bravely as Titinius ; 
And may'st be honour'd being Cato's son. 7 

1 SOLD. Yield, or thou diest. 

/ am the, son of Marcus Cato,~] So, in the old translation of 
Plutarch: " There was the sonne of Marcus Cato slaine valiantly 
lighting, &c. telling aloud his name and his father's name," &c. 


7 being Cato's son.^ i. e. worthy of him. 


sc. iv. JULIUS CAESAR. 415 

L uc. Only I yield to die : 

There is so much, that thou wilt kill me straight ; 8 

[Offering Money. 
Kill Brutus, and be honoured in his death. 

1 SOLD. We must not. A noble prisoner ! 

2 SOLD. Room, ho ! Tell Antony, Brutus is 


1 SOLD. 1*11 tell the news. 9 Here comes the 
general : 

Enter ANTONY. 

Brutus is ta'en, Brutus is ta'en, my lord. 
ANT. Where is he ? 
Luc. Safe, Antony; 1 Brutus is safe enough : 

' Luc. Only I yield to die : 

There is so much, that thou wilt hill me straight ;] Dr. 
Warburton has been much inclined to find lacuna-, or passages 
broken by omission, throughout this play. I think he has been 
always mistaken. The Soldier here says, Yield, or thou dicst. 
Lucilius replies, I yield only on this condition, that I may die; 
here is so much gold as thou seest in my hand, which I offer thee 
as a reward tor .speedy death. What now is there wanting ? 


' /'// tell the netw.] The old cop}' reads : /'// I ell thee nm-s. 


Corrected by Mr. Theobald. MALONK. 

1 Safe, Antony ;~] So, in the old translation of Plutarch : " In 
the mean time Lucilius was brought to him, who stowtly with a 
bold countenaunce sayd, Antonins, I dare assure thee, that no 
encmie hath taken, nor shall take Marcus Brutus aliue : and I 
beseech God keepe him from that fortune. For wheresoeuer he 
be found, aliue or dead, he will be founde like himselfe. And 


I dare assure thee, that no enemy 
Shall ever take alive the noble Brutus : 
The gods defend him from so great a shame ! 
When you do find him, or alive, or dead, 
He will be found like Brutus, like himself. 

ANT. This is not Brutus, friend j but, I assure 


A prize no less in worth : keep this man safe, 
Give him all kindness : I had rather have 
Such men my friends, than enemies. Go on, 
And see whe'r Brutus be alive, or dead : 
And bring us word, unto Octavius* tent, 
How every thing is chanc'd. \_Exeunt. 

now for my selfe, I am come vnto thee, hauing deceiued these 
men of armes here, bearing them downe that I was Brutus: and 
doe not refuse to suffer any torment thou wilt put me to. Lucilius 
wordes made them all amazed that heard him. Antonius on the 
other side, looking vpon all them that had brought him, sayd 
vnto them: my companions, I thinke ye are sorie you have failed 
of your purpose, & that you thinke this man hath done great 
wrong : but I doe assure you, you have taken a better bootie, 
then that you followed. For, instead of an enemie, you have 
brought me a friend." STEEVENS. 

sc. v. JULIUS C^SAR. 417 


Another Part of the Field* 


BRU. Come, poor remains of friends, rest on 
this rock. 

CLI. Statilius show'd the torch-light j* but, my 

8 Statilius show'd the torch-light ; Src.] So, in the old trans- 
lation of Plutarch : " Furthermore, Brutus thought that there 
was no great number of men slaine in battcll, and to know the 
trueth of it, there was one called Statilius, that promised to goe 
through his enemies (for otherwise it was impossible to goe see 
their campe,) and from thence if all were well, that he woulde 
lift vp a torch-light in the ayer, and then returns againe with 
speed to him. The torche-light was lift vp as he had promised, 
for Statilius went thither. Xowe Brutus seeing Statilius tarie 
long after, anI that lie came not again, he say'd: if Statilius 
be ;uiue, lie will tome againe. But his euil fortune was suche, 
that as he came backe, he lighted in his enemies hands, and was 
slaine. Now, the night being farre spent, Brutus as he sate, 
bowed towards Clitus one of his men, and told him somewhat 
in his eart; ; the other aunswered him not, but fell a weeping. 
Thereupon heproucd Dardanus, and saycl somewhat also to him: 
at length he came to Volumnius him selfe, and speaking to him 
in (Jnrke, prayed him for the studies sake which brought them 
acquainted together, that lie woulde helpe him to put his hande 
to his sword, to thrust it in him to kill him. Volumnius denied 
his request, and so did many others: and amongest the rest, one 
of them sayd, there was no t irrving for them there, but that 
they must nt'edes Hie. Then Brutus rising vp, we must Hie in 
deede, sayd he, but it must be with our hands, not with our 

VOL. xvi. ( 2 u 


He came not back ; he is or ta*en, or slain. 

BRU. Sit thee down, Clitus: Slaying is the word j 
It is a deed in fashion. Hark thee, Clitus. 

[ Whispering. 

CLI. What, I, my lord? No, not for all the 

BRU. Peace then, no words. 

CLI. I'll rather kill myself. 

BRU. Hark thee, Dardanius ! \_Whispers him. 

DAR. I do such a deed ? 3 

CLI. O, Dardanius ! 

DAR. O, Clitus ! 

CLI. What ill request did Brutus make to thee r 

DAR. To kill him, Clitus: Look, he meditates. 

CLI. Now is that noble vessel full of grief, 
That it runs over even at his eyes. 

BRU. Come hither, good Volumnius: list a 

VOL. What says my lord ? 

feete. Then taking euery man by the hand, he sayd these 
words vnto them with a chearfull countenance. It rejoyceth 
my hart that not one of my trends hath failed me at my needc, 
and I do not complaine of my fortune, but only for my contries 
sake: for, as for me, I thinke my selfe happier than they that 
have ouercome, considering that Ilcaue a perpetual! fame of our 
corage and manhoode, the which our enemies the conquerors 
shall neuer attaine vnto by force nor money, neither can let 
their posteritie to sa} r , that they have been naughtie and unjust 
men, haue slaine good men, to vsurpe tyrannical power not 
pertaining to them. Hauing sayd so, he prayed euery man to 
shift for them selues, and then he went a litle aside," &c. 


3 / do such a deed?'] Old copy Shall I do &c. 


ac. v. JULIUS CAESAR. 419 

BRU. Why, this, Volumnius : 

The ghost of Caesar hath appear'd to me 
Two several times by night : at Sardis, once ; 
And, this last night, here in Philippi' fields. 
I know, my hour is come. 

VOL. Not so, my lord. 

BRU. Nay, I am sure it is, Volumnius. 
Thou see'st the world, Volumnius, how it goes ; 
Our enemies have beat us to the pit : 
It is more worthy to leap in ourselves, 
Than tarry till they push us. Good Volumnius, 
Thou know'st, that we two went to school toge- 
ther ; 

Even for that our love of old, I pray thee, 
Hold thou my sword-hilts, 4 whilst I run on it. 

VOL. That's not an office for a friend, my lord. 

[Alarum still. 

CLI. Fly, fly, my lord ; there is no tarrying 

BRU. Farewell to you; and you; and you, 

4 77/ sword-hilts,] So in the old copy, and rightly. So 

before, p. 409 : 

with this good sword, 

That ran through Caesar's bowels, search this bosom. 
Stand not to answer ; here, take thou the hilts" 
in The Mirror for Magistrates, 1587 : 

a naked sword he had, 

That to the lulls was all with blood imbrued." 
Mr. Rowe and the other modern editors read, agreeably to 
the language of the present time, my sword's hilt. MA LONE. 
Thus also, in King Henry V : 

" And hides a sword from hilts unto the point" &c. 
Falstaff also, in King Henri/ IV. P. I. says : " Seven, by these 
hilts ; 1 am a villain else." STEEVENS. 

2 E 2 


Strato, thou hast been all this while asleep ; 

Farewell to thee too, Strato. 5 Countrymen, 

My heart doth joy, that yet, in all my life, 

I found no man, but he was true to me. 

I shall have glory by this losing day, 

More than Octavius, and Mark Antony, 

By this vile conquest shall attain unto. 

So, fare you well at once ; for Brutus' tongue 

Hath almost ended his life's history : 

Night hangs upon mine eyes j my bones would 

That have but labour' d to attain this hour. 

[ Alarum. Cry Within / Fly, fly, fly. 

CLI. Fly, my lord, fly. 

BRU. Hence ; I will follow thee. 6 



1 pr'ythee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord : 
Thou art a fellow of a good respect ; 
Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it : 
Hold then my sword, and turn away thy face, 
While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato ? 

STRA. Give me your hand first : Fare you well, 
my lord. 

*Fareuipllto thee too, Strata.'] Thus the modern editions; 
I think, rightly. The old folio reads : 

Farewell to thee, to Strato, countrymen. JOHXSON. 

The correction was made by Mr. Theobald. MALONE. 

Hence ; I will follow thee.] Thee , which is wanting in the 
old copy, was supplied, for the sake of metre, by Sir Thomas 
Hanmer. So, in Hamkt; " Go on, I'll follow thee." 


sr.r. JULIUS CvESAR. 42 1 

BRU. Farewell, good Strato. Ca}sar,nowbe still: 
I kill'd not thee with half so good a will. 

\_He runs on his Sword, and dies. 

Alarum. Retreat. Enter OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, 
M ESSALA, LUCILIUS, and their Army. 

OCT. What man is that ? 

MES. My master's man. Strato, where is thy 

master ? 

STB A. Free from the bondage you are in, Mcs- 

sala ; 

The conquerors can but make a fire of him; 
For Brutus only overcame himself, 
And no man else hath honour by his death. 

Luc. So Brutus should be found. I thank thee, 

That thou hast prov'd Lucilius* saying true. 7 

OCT. All that serv'd Brutus, I will entertain 

them. 8 
Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me ? 

STRA. Ay, if M essala will prefer me to you. 9 

; That thou hast prov'd Luciliu^ saying true.'} See p. 4-1G. 


entertain them.'] i. c. receive them into my service. 
So, in King Lear : " You, sir, I entertain for one of my hun- 
dred." STEEVENS. 

' Aifj if Messala will prefer me to you.~\ To prefer seems to 
have been the established phrase for recommending a servant. 
So, in The. Merchant of Venice, Act II I. sc. ii : 

" Shylock thy master spoke with me this day, 
" And hath preferred tliee ;" . 

Again, in the Countess of Dorset's Memoirs: " whcr he 
& his daughter preferd William Pond tosearvc my lady." Sew- 
rml's Anecdote;;, Vol. IV. p. 316. REED. 


OCT. Do so, Messala. 1 

MES. How died my master, Strato ? 

STRA. I held the sword, and he did run on it. 

MES. Octavius, then take him to follow thee, 
That did the latest service to my master. 

ANT. This was the noblest Roman of them all ; 
All the conspirators, save only he, 2 
Did that they did in envy of great Casar ; 
He, only, in a general honest thought, 
And common good to all, made one of them, 
His life was gentle ; and the elements 

To prefer is to recommend in its general sense. Thus, in 
Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 16Li c 2, p. 26 i : " liessar- 
dus Bisantinus prcferres the smoake of JunipVr to melancholy 
persons, which is in great request with us at Oxford to sweeten 
our chambers." 

The same word is used by Chapman in his version of the 23d 
Iliad; and signifies to advance: 

" Now every way I erre 

" About this broad-door'd house of Dis. O helpe then 

to pre/erre 

" My soule yet further." 

In the eighteenth Iliac/, to prefer, apparently means, te 

" she did so still prefer 

" Their quarrel." STEEVENS. 

' Do so, Messala.^ Old copy, neglecting the metre Do so, 
good Messala. STEEVENS. 

* nave only he, &c.] So, in the old translation of Plu- 
tarch : " For it was sayd that Antonius spake it openly diners 
tymes, that he thought, that of all them that had slayne Caesar, 
there was none but Brutus only that was moued to do it, as 
thinking the acte commendable of it selfe : but that all the other 
conspirators did conspire his death, for some priuate malice or 
enuy, that they otherwise did beare vnto him." STEEVENS. 

sc. r. JULIUS CJESAIt. 425 

So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up, 
And say to all the world, This was a man ! 3 

Ihe elements 

So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up, 
And say to all the world, This was a man !~] So, in Tht, 
Barons' Wars, by Drayton, Canto III : 

" He was a man (then boldly dare to say) 
" In whose rich soul the virtues well did suit ; 
" In whom so mix'd the elements all lay, 
" That none to one could sov'reignty impute ; 
" As all did govern, so did all obey : 
" He of a temper was so absolute, 
" As that it scem'd, when nature him began, 
" She meant to show all that might be in man." 
This poem was published in the year 1598. The play of our 
author did not appear before 1623. STEEVENS. 

Drayton originally published his poem on the subject of The 
Barons' IVars, under the title of MORTIMEIUADOS, the lament- 
able Civil Warrcs of Edward the Second and the Barrons: 
Printed by J. R. for Humphrey Lownes, and yre to be solde at 
his shop at the west end of Panics Church. It is in seven-line 
stanzas, and was, I believe, published before 1598. The quarto 
copy before me has no date. But he afterwards new-modelled 
the piece entirely,- and threw it into stanzas of eight lines, 
making some retrenchments and many additions and alterations 
throughout. An edition of his poems was published in bvo. in 
lf>()2; but it did not contain The Barons' liars in any form. 
They first appeared with th:'t name in the edition of KiOS, in 
the preface to which he speaks of the change of his title, and of 
his having new-modelled his poem. There, the etanza quoted 
by Mr. Steevens appears thus : 

" Such one he was, (of him we boldly say,) 

" In whose rich soule all sovcraigne powres did sute, 

" ///. whom hi peace the elements all try 

" V* mi.rt, as none could soveraigntie impute ; 

" As all did govern, yet all did obey; 

" li'.s lively temper was so absolute, 

" That 't seem'd, when In-a-cen hi* model! Jirst began, 

" In him it show' d per fiction in a man." 

In tiie same form is this stun/,;' exhibited in an edition of 
Drayton's pieces, printed in , l .vo. KjlO, and in t!:.:;t of i' ; i.;. 
The lines quoted by Mr. Steevens are from the edition in folio 


OCT. According to his virtue let us use him, 
With all respect, and rites of burial. 
Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie, 
Most like a soldier, order'd honourably. 
So, call the field to rest : and let's away, 
To part the glories of this happy day. 


printed in 1619, after Shakspeare's death. In the original poem, 
entitled Mortimeriados, there is no trace of this stanza ; so that 
I am inclined to think that Drayton was the copyist, as his verses 
originally stood. In the altered stanza he certainly was. He 
probably had seen this play when it was first exhibited, and 
perhaps between 1613 and 1619 had perused the MS. 


4 Of this tragedy many particular passages deserve regard, and 
the contention and reconcilement of Brutus and Cassius is uni- 
versally celebrated ; but I have never been strongly agitated in 
perusing it, and think it somewhat cold and unaffecting, com- 
pared with some other of Shakspeare's plays : his adherence to 
the real story, and to Roman manners, seems to have impeded 
the natural vigour of his genius. JOHNSON. 

Gildonhas justly observed, that this tragedy ought tohave been 
called Marcus Brutus, Caesar being a very inconsiderable person* 
age in the scene, and being killed in the third Act. MALONE, 


* # * The substance of Dr. Warburton's long and erroneous 
comment on a passage in the second Act of this play : " The 
genius and the mortal instruments," &c. (see p. 291, n. 7,) is 
contained in a letter written by him in the year 1726-7, of which 
the first notice was given to the publick in the following note on 
Dr. Akenside's Ode to Mr. Edivards, which has, I know not 
why, been omitted in the late editions of that poet's works : 

** During Mr. Pope's war with Theobald, Concanen, and the 
rest of their tribe, Mr. Warburton, the present lord bishop of 
Gloucester, did with great zeal cultivate their friendship ; having 
been introduced, forsooth, at the meetings of that respectable 
confederacy : a favour which he afterwards spoke of in very high 
terms of complacency and thankfulness. At the same time, in 
his intercourse with them he treated Mr. Pope in a most con- 
temptuous manner, and as a writer without genius. Of the 
truth of these assertions his lordship can have no doubt, if he 
recollects his own correspondence with Concanen ; a part of 
which is still in being, and will probably be remembered as long 
as any of this prelate's writings." 

If the letter here alluded to, contained any thing that might 
affect the moral character of the writer, tenderness for the dead 
would forbid its publication. But that not being the case, and 
the learned prelate being now beyond the reach of criticism, 
there is no reason why this literary curiosity should be longer 
withheld from the publick: 

Duncan is in his grave ; 

After life's fitful fever he sleeps well ; 

Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison, 

Malice domestick, foreign levy, nothing 

Can touch him further." 


" Dear Sir, 

" having had no more regard for those papers which I spoke 
of and promis'd to Mr. Theobald, than just what they deserv'd I 
in vain sought for them thro' a number of loose papers that had 



the same kind of abortive birth. I used to make it one good 
part of my amusement in reading the English poets, those of 
them I mean whose vein flows regularly and constantly, as well 
as clearly, to trace them to their sources ; and observe what oar, 
as well as what slime and gravel they brought down with them. 
Dryden I observe borrows for want of leisure, and Pope for want 
of genius : Milton out of pride, and Addison out of modesty. 
And now I speak of this latter, that you and Mr. Theobald may 
see of what kind these idle collections are, and likewise to give 
you my notion of what we may safely pronounce an imitation, 
for it is not I presume the same train of ideas that follow in the 
same description of an ancient and a modern, where nature when 
attended to, always supplys the same stores, which will autorise 
us to pronounce the latter an imitation, for the most judicious of 
all poets, Terence, has observed of his own science Nihil est 
dictum, quod non sit dictum prius : For these reasons I say I 
give myselfe the pleasure of setting down some imitations I ob- 
served in the Cato of Addison : 

Addison. A day, an hour of virtuous liberty 

Is worth a whole eternity in bondage. Act 2. Sc. 1 . 

TuUy. Quod si immortalitas consequeretur praesentis periculi 
fugam, tamen eo magis ca fugienda esse videretur, 
quo diuturnior esset servitus. Philipp. Or. 10 a 

Addison. Bid him disband his legions 

Restore the commonwealth to liberty 
Submit his actions to the publick censure, 
And stand the judgement of a Roman senate, 
Bid him do this and Cato is his friend. 

Tully. Pacein vult ? arma dcponat, rogct, deprecetur. 
Neminem equiorem reperiet quam me. Philipp. 5* 

Addison. - But what is life ? 

'Tis not to stalk about and draw fresh air 

From time to time 

'Tis to be free. When liberty is gone, 

Life grows insipid and has lost its relish. Sc. 3. 

Tully. Non enim in spiritu vita cst : sed ea nulla est omnino 
servienti. Philipp. 10 a 

Addison. Remember O my friends the laws the rights 
The gen'rous plan of power deliver'd down 


From age to age by your renown'd forefathers. 
O never let it perish in your hands. Act 3. Sc. 5. 

Tulty. Haiic [libertatem scilt] retinete, quaeso, Qui- 

rites, quam vobis, tuuquani hereditatem, majores 
nostri reliquerunt. Philipp. 4 a 

Addison. The mistress of the world, the seat of empire, 
The nurse of Heros the Delight of Gods. 

Tidly. Roma domus virtutis, imperii dignitatis, domicilium 
gloriae, lux orbis terrarum, de oratore. 

" The first half of the 5 Sc. 3 Act, is nothing but a transcript 
from the 9 book of lucan between the 300 and the 700 line. 
You see by this specimen the exactness of Mr. Addison's judg- 
ment who wanting sentiments worthy the Roman Cato sought for 
them in Tully and Lucan. When he wou'd give his subject those 
terrible graces which Dion. Hallicar : complains he could find no 
where but in Homer, he takes the assistance of our Shakspeare, 
who in his Julius Ccesar has painted the conspirators with a 
pomp and terror that perfectly astonishes, hear our British 

Between the acting of a dreadful thing 

And the first motion, all the Int'rim is 

Like a phantasma or a hideous dream, 

The genius and the mortal Instruments 

Are then in council, and the state of Man 

like to a little Kingdom, sutlers then 

The nature of an insurrection. 

Mr. Addison has thus imitated it : 

O think what anxious moments pass between 
The birth of plots, and their last fatal periods 
O 'tis a dreadful interval of time, 
Filled up with horror all, & big with death. 
I have two things to observe on this imitation. 1. the decorum 
this exact Mr. of propriety lias observed. In the Conspiracy of 
Shakespeur's description, the fortunes of Civsar and the romau 
Empire were concerned. And the magnificent circumstances 

" The genius and the mortal instruments 
'* Are then in council." 

js exactly proportioned to the dignity of the subject. But this 
wou'd have been too great an apparatus to the desertion of Syphax 
and the rape of Sempronius, and therefore Mr. Addison omits it. 


II. The other thing more worthy our notice is, that Mr. A. was 
so greatly moved and affected with the pomp of Sh: s description, 
that instead of copying his author 1 s sentiments, he has before he, 
"was aware given us only the marks of his own impressions on the 
reading him. For, 

" O 'tis a dreadful interval of time 
" Filled up with horror all, and big with death." 
are but the affections raised by such lively images as these 

" all the Int'rim is 

" Like a phantasma or a hideous dream. 


" The state of man like to a little kingdom suffers then 

" The nature of an insurrection." 

Again when Mr. Addison would paint the softer passions he 
has recourse to Lee who certainly had a peculiar genius that 
way. thus his Juba 

" True she is fair. O how divinely fair!" 
coldly imitates Lee in his Alex : 

" Then he wou'd talk : Good Gods how he wou'd talk ! 
I pronounce the more boldly of this, because Mr. A. in his 39 
Spec, expresses his admiration of it. My paper fails me, or I 
should now offer to Mr. Theobald an objection ag 1 . Shakspeare's 
acquaintance with the ancients. As it appears to me of great 
weight, and as it is necessary he shou'd be prepared to obviate all 
that occur oa that head. But some other opportunity will present 
itsclfe. You may now, S r , justly complain of my ill manners in 
deferring till now, what shou'd have been first of all acknow- 
ledged due to you, which is my thanks for all your favours when 
in town, particularly for introducing me to the knowledge of 
those worthy and ingenious Gentlemen that made up our last 
night's conversation. I am, Sir, with all esteem your most obliged 
friend and humble servant 
W. Warburton. 
Newarke Jan. 2. 1726. 

[The superscription is thus :~| 


Mr. M. Concanen at 
Mr. Woodwards at the 
half moon in fiieetstrete 

The foregoing Letter was found about the year 1750, by Dr. 
Gawin Knight, first librarian to the British Museum, in fitting up 


a house which he had taken in Crane Court, Fleet Street. The 
house had, for a long time before, been let in lodgings, and in 
all probability, Concanen had lodged there. The original letter 
has been many years in my possession, and is here most exaetly 
copied, with its several little peculiarities in grammar, spelling, 
and punctuation. April 30. 1766. M. A. 

The above is copied from an indorsement of Dr. Mark Aken- 
side as is the preceding letter from a copy given by him to Mr. 
Stcevcns. I have carefully retained all the peculiarities above 
mentioned. MALONE. 

Dr. Joseph Warton, in a note on Pope's Dunciad, Book II. 
.observes, that at the time when Concanen published a pamphlet 
entitled, A Supplement: to the Profu nd, (1728) he was intimately 
acquainted with Dr. Warburton. STEEVEKS. 




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