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Full text of "Tragedy of Coriolanus. Edited , with notes by William J. Rolfe"

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COPYRIGHT, 1881 AND 1898, BY 

COPYRIGHT, 1905 AND 1909, 


K. P. 6 

8 OS" 


THIS play, which I first edited in 1881, has now been 
very thoroughly revised on the same general plan as its 
predecessors in the new series. 

The play is not only one of the longest that Shake 
speare wrote, but the text abounds in obscurities and 
perplexities which, on account of the various readings 
and explanations adopted by the leading editors and 
critics, and for other reasons, demand more than usual 
discussion in the Notes. 




The History of the Play ... 9 

The Historical Sources of the Plot . ' 9 

General Comments on the Play ..... 10 

CORIOLANUS . .; . .'. 1 S 

Act I . . '"..:" ..... .17 

Act II . . .... . .'.*. . . ..' 53 

ActHI . .. . ( . .. * *, ' -83 

Act IV . . . . ,, ' . ... "3 

ActV . ....'. . . . .M3 

NOTES 173 


" Finding the Man in the Book " 3 21 

The Time-Analysis of the Play . ... . 3 2 9 

List of Characters in the Play 33 






Coriolanus was first printed in the folio of 1623, in 
the division of " Tragedies." It is one of sixteen plays 
in that edition which are recorded in the Stationers' 
Registers as not having been previously " entered " to 
other publishers. For the date of its composition we 
have only the internal evidence of style and metre, 
which indicate that it was one of the latest of the plays. 
It was probably written between 1607 and 1610. 


The source from which Shakespeare drew his mate 
rials was Sir Thomas North's "Lives of the noble 
Grecians and Romans, compared together by that 
grave learned Philosopher and Historiographer, Plu- 
tarke of Chaeronea," translated from the French ver 
sion of James Amyot, Bishop of Auxerre, and first 
published in 1579. As the poet was evidently ac- 


io Coriolanus 

quainted with the book when he wrote the Midsummer- 
Nighfs Dream, which was pretty certainly before the 
appearance of the 2d edition of North in 1595, he 
probably used the ist edition in Coriolanus also. The 
extracts in the Notes will show how freely he drew 
from North, and how closely in many instances he 
followed even the phraseology of his authority. Some 
expressions in the fable told by Menenius in i. i may 
have been suggested by the version in Camden's Re 
mains, published in 1605. Wright thinks it possible 
that the resemblances to Camden first pointed out 
by Malon.e may be accidental, but I am inclined, 
with Ward, Fleay, and others, to believe that Shake 
speare was really indebted to that author though the 
obligation was at best but a trifling one. 


Not a few critics have assumed that in this play and 
elsewhere Shakespeare's sympathies were on the patri 
cian rather than the popular side. Hazlitt says that 
he seems " to have spared no occasion of baiting the 
rabble." In the brilliant but sophistical passage that 
follows the critic says : " The language of poetry natu 
rally falls in with the language of power. . . . The 
principle of poetry is a very anti-levelling principle. 
It aims at effect, it exists by contrast. It admits of no 
medium. It is everything by excess. It rises above 
the ordinary standard of sufferings and crimes. It 

Introduction il 

presents a dazzling appearance. It shows its head 
turreted, crowned, and crested. Its front is gilt and 
bloodstained. Before it ' it carries noise, and behind 
it leaves tears.' It has its altars and its victims, sac 
rifices, human sacrifices. Kings, priests, nobles, are 
its train-bearers, tyrants and slaves its executioners. 
' Carnage is its daughter.' Poetry is right royal. It 
puts the individual for the species, the one above the 
infinite many, might before right. A lion hunting a 
flock of sheep or a herd of wild asses is a more poetical 
object than they ; and we even take part with the lordly 
beast, because our vanity or some other feeling makes 
us disposed to place ourselves in the situation of the 
strongest party. So we feel some concern for the poor 
citizens of Rome when they meet together to compare 
their wants and grievances, till Coriolanus comes in, 
and with blows and words drives this set of ' poor rats,' 
this rascal scum, to their homes and beggary before 
him. There is nothing heroical in a multitude of mis 
erable rogues not wishing to be starved, or complaining 
that they are like to be so; but when a single man 
comes forward to brave their cries and to make them 
submit to the last indignities, from mere pride and 
self-will, our admiration of his prowess is immediately 
converted into contempt for their pusillanimity. The 
insolence of power is stronger than the plea of neces 
sity. The tame submission to usurped authority, or 
even the natural resistance to it, has nothing to excite 
or flatter the imagination ; it is the assumption of a 

14 Coriolanus 

right to insult or oppress others that carries an impos 
ing air of superiority with it. ... The whole dramatic 
moral of Coriolanus is that those who have little shall 
have less, and that those who have much shall take 
all that others have left. The people are poor ; there 
fore they ought to be starved. They are slaves ; 
therefore they ought to be beaten. They work hard ; 
therefore they ought to be treated like beasts of burden. 
They are ignorant; therefore they ought not to be 
allowed to feel that they want food, or clothing, or rest 
that they are enslaved, oppressed, and miserable. 
This is the logic of the imagination and the passions.; 
which seek to aggrandize what excites admiration and 
to heap contempt on misery, to raise power into tyranny, 
and to make tyranny absolute ; to thrust down that 
which is low still lower, and to make wretches des 
perate ; to exalt magistrates into kings, kings into 
gods ; to degrade subjects to the rank of slaves, and 
slaves to the condition of brutes." 

Gervinus takes direct issue with Hazlitt, and answers 
him effectively: 

" We see Coriolanus, as the chief representative of 
the aristocracy, in strong opposition to the people and 
the tribunes; hence we naturally take up the view 
expressed by Hazlitt that Shakespeare had a leaning 
to the arbitrary side of the question. . . . But Shake 
speare's poetry is always so closely connected with 
morality, his imaginative power is so linked with sound 
reason, his ideal is so full of actual truth, that his 

Introduction 13 

poetry seemed to us always distinguished from all 
other poetry exactly by this : that there is nothing 
exclusive in it, that candour and impartiality are the 
most prominent marks of the poet and his poetry, that 
if imagination even with him strives sometimes after 
effect, exists by contrasts, and admits no middle course, 
yet in the very placing, describing, and colouring of 
the highest poetical contrasts there appears ever for 
the moral judgment that golden mean of impartiality 
which is the precious prerogative of the truly wise. . . . 
If we regard Coriolanus not merely in reference to the 
many, but if we weigh his character in itself and with 
itself, we must confess, after the closest consideration, 
that personified aristocracy is here represented in its 
noblest and in its worst side, with that impartiality 
which Shakespeare's nature could scarcely avoid. It 
may be replied, the people are not so depicted. Yet 
even on the nobles as a body our poet has just as little 
thrown a favourable light at last ; for it lies in the 
nature of things that a multitude can never be com 
pared with one man who is to be the subject of poeti 
cal representation, and who, on that very account, must 
stand alone, one single man distinguished from the 
many. But it may be said, the representatives of the 
people, the tribunes, are not thus impartially depicted. 
Yet where would have been the poetic harmony, if 
Shakespeare had made these prominent? Where the 
truth, if he had given dignity and energy to a new 
power created in a tumult ? where our sympathy in his 

14 Coriolanus 

hero, if he had placed a Marcus Brutus in opposition 
to him in the tribunate ? In proportion as he had 
raised our interest in the tribunes, he would have with 
drawn it from Coriolanus, who had already enough to 
do to bear his own burden of declension." 

Dowden also takes ground against Hazlitt, char 
acterizing his statement of the " dramatic moral of 
Coriolanus '," as " extravagantly untrue, a piece of the 
passionate injustice which breaks forth every now and 
again in Hazlitt's writings." 

Walt Whitman, in his Democratic Vistas, errs, like 
Hazlitt, in declaring that " Shakespeare is incarnated, 
uncompromising feudalism in literature," 



Co T M,Ni L U A s! {TIUS ' \ generals against the Volscians. 
MENENIUS AGRIPPA, friend to Coriolanus. 

"ibunes of the people. 

Young MARCIUS, son to Coriolanus. 

A Roman Herald. 

TULLUS AUFIDIUS, general of the Volscians. 

Lieutenant to Aufidius. 

Conspirators with Aufidius. 

A Citizen of Antium. 

Two Volscian guards. 

VOLUMNIA, mother to Coriolanus. 
VIRGILIA, wife to Coriolanus. 
VALERIA, friend to Virgilia. 
Gentlewoman attending on Virgilia. 

Roman and Volscian Senators, Patricians, ^Ediles, Lictors, Sol 
diers, Citizens, Messengers, Servants to Aufidius, and other 

SCENE: Rome and the neighbourhood ; Corioli and the 
neighbott rhood ,' A ntium. 



SCENE I. Rome. A Street 

Enter a company of mutinous Citizens, with staves, clubs, 
and other weapons 

i Citizen. Before we proceed any further, hear 
me speak. 

All. Speak, speak. 

i Citizen. You are all resolved rather to die than 
to famish ? 

All. Resolved, resolved. 

i Citizen. First, you know Caius Marcius is chief 
enemy to the people. 

All. We know 't, we know 't. 

i Citizen. Let us kill him, and we '11 have corn at 
our own price. Is 't a verdict ? n 

All. No more talking on 't ; let it be done. Away, 
away 1 


1 8 Coriolanus [Act I 

2 Citizen. One word, good citizens. 

1 Citizen. We are accounted poor citizens, the 
patricians good. What authority surfeits on would 
relieve us. If they would yield us but the superfluity, 
while it were wholesome, we might guess they re 
lieved us humanely ; but they think we are too dear. 
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 ere we become rakes ; for the > 
gods know I speak this in hunger for bread, not in 
thirst for revenge. 25 

2 Citizen. Would you proceed especially against 
Caius Marcius ? 

1 Citizen. Against him first ; he 's a very dog to 
the commonalty. 

2 Citizen. Consider you what services he has 
done for his country? 31 

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

2 Citizen. Nay, but speak not maliciously. 

1 Citizen. I say unto you, what he hath done 
famously, he did it to that end. Though soft-con- 
scienced 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 of 
his virtue. 41 

2 Citizen. What he cannot help in his nature you 

Scene I] Coriolanus 19 

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

i Citizen. If I must not, I need not be barren of 
accusations ; he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in 
repetition. \Shovts within.'] What shouts are these ? 
The other side o' the city is risen ; why stay we prat 
ing here ? To the Capitol ! 

All. Come, come. 50 

1 Citizen. Soft ! who comes here ? 


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

i Citizen. He 's one honest enough ; would all the 
rest were so 1 

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

where go you 
With bats and clubs ? The matter ? speak, I pray you. 

i Citizen. Our business is not unknown to the 
senate ; they have had inkling this fortnight what 
we intend to do, which now we '11 show 'em in deeds. 
They say poor suitors have strong breaths ; they 
shall know we have strong arms too. 62 

Menenius. Why, masters, my good friends, mine hon 
est neighbours, 
Will you undo yourselves ? 

i Citizen. We cannot, sir, we are undone already. 

Menenius. I tell you, friends, most charitable care 
Have the patricians of you. For your wants, 

2O Coriolanus [Act I 

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 70 

The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs 

Of more strong link asunder than can ever 

Appear in your impediment. 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. 79 

i Citizen. 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. 

Menenius. Either you must 
Confess yourselves wondrous malicious, 
Or be accus'd of folly. I shall tell you 90 

A pretty tale ; it may be you have heard it, 
But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture 
To stale 't a little more. 

i Citizen. Well, I '11 hear it, sir. Yet you must 
not think to fob off our disgrace with a tale ; but, 
an 't please you, deliver. 

Scene I] Coriolanus 11 

Menenius. There was a time when all the body's 


Rebell'd against the belly, thus accus'd it: 
That only like a gulf it did remain 
I' the midst o' the body, idle and unactive, 100 

Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing 
Like labour with the rest, where the other instruments 
Did see and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel, 
And, mutually participate, did minister 
Unto the appetite and affection common 
Of the whole body. The belly answer'd 

i Citizen. Well, sir, what answer made the belly ? 

Menenius. Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of 


Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus 
For, look you, I may make the belly smile no 

As well as speak it tauntingly replied 
To the discontented members, the mutinous parts 
That envied his receipt, even so most fitly 
As you malign our senators for that 
They are not such as you. 

i Citizen. Your belly's answer? Whatl 

The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye, 
The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier, 
Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter, 
With other muniments and petty helps 
In this our fabric, if that they 

Menenius. What then ? 120 

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

22 Coriolanus [Act I 

i Citizen. Should by the cormorant belly be re- 

Who is the sink o' the body, 

Menenius. Well, what then ? 

i Citizen. The former agents, if they did complain. 
What could the belly answer ? 

Menenius. I will tell you ; 

If you '11 bestow a small of what you have little 
Patience awhile, you '11 hear the belly's answer. 

i Citizen. Ye 're long about it. 

Menenius. Note me this, good friend ; 

Your most grave belly was deliberate, 
Not rash like his accusers, and thus answer'd : 130 

' True is it, my incorporate friends,' quoth he, 
'That I receive the general food at first, 
Which you do live upon, and fit it is, 
Because I am the storehouse and the shop 
Of the whole body ; but, if you do remember, 
I send it through the rivers of your blood, 
Even to the court, the heart, to the seat o' the brain ; - 

And, through the cranks and offices of man, ~ 

The strongest nerves and small inferior veins 
From me receive that natural competency 140 

Whereby they live. And though that all at once, 
You, my good friends,' this says the belly, mark 

i Citizen. Ay, sir ; well, well. 

Menenius. ' Though all at once cannot 

See what I do deliver out to each, 

Scene I] Coriolanus 23 

Yet I can make my audit up, that all 

From me do back receive the flour of all, 

And leave me but the bran.' What say you to 't? -" 

i Citizen. It was an answer ; how apply you this ? 

Menenius. The senators of Rome are this good belly, 
And you the mutinous members ; for examine 150 

Their counsels and their cares, digest things rightly 
Touching the weal o' the common, you shall find 
No public 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 ? 

i Citizen. I the great toe ! why the great toe ? 

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


Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost. 
Thou rascal, thou art worst in blood to run, 160 

Lead'st first to win some vantage. 
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. ^ 


Hail, noble Marcius 1 
Marcius. Thanks. What 's the matter, you dissen- 

tious rogues, 

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

i Citizen, We have ever your good word. 

24 Coriolanus [Act I 

Marcius. He that will give good words to thee will 


Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs, 
That like nor peace nor war ? the one affrights you, 170 
The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you, 
Where he should find 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. Who deserves greatness 
Deserves your hate ; and your affections are 
A sick man's appetite, who desires most that 
Which would increase his evil. He that depends 180 
Upon your favours swims with fins of lead 
And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye 1 Trust 


With every minute you do change a mind, 
And call him noble that was now your hate, 
Him vile that was your garland. What 's the matter, 
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 seeking ? 

Menenius. For corn at their own rates; whereof, 
they say, , 9 o 

The city is well stor'd. 

Marcius. Hang 'em ! They say ! 

They '11 sit by the fire, and presume to know 

Scene I] Coriolanus 25 

What 's done i' the Capitol ; who 's like to rise, 

Who thrives and who declines ; side factions, and give 


Conjectural marriages ; making parties strong, 
And feebling such as stand not in their liking 
Below their cobbled shoes. They say there 's grain 

enough 1 

Would the nobility lay aside their ruth 
And let me use my sword, I 'd make a quarry 
With thousands of these quarter'd slaves as high 200 
As I could pick my lance. 

Menenius. 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 ? 

Marcius. They are dissolv'd. Hang 'em ! 

They said they were an-hungry, sigh'd forth proverbs, 
That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat, 
That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent 


Corn for the rich men only. With these shreds 
They vented their complainings, which being answer'd 
And a petition granted them, a strange one 211 

To break the heart of generosity, 
And make bold power look pale they threw their 


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

26 Coriolanus [Act I 

Menenius. What is granted them ? 

Marcius. 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 
Ere so prevail'd with me ; it will in time 220 

Win upon power and throw forth greater themes 
For insurrection's arguing. 

'Menenius. This is strange. 

Marcius. Go, get you home, you fragments I 

Enter a Messenger, hastily 

Messenger. Where 's Caius Marcius ? 

Marcius. Here. What 's the matter ? 

Messenger. The news is, sir, the Volsces are in 

Marcius. I am glad on 't ; then we shall ha' means 

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

Enter COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, and other Senators ; 

i Senator. Marcius, 't is true that you have lately 

told us ; 
The Volsces are in arms. 

Marcius. They have a leader, 

Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to 't. 230 

I sin in envying his nobility, 

Scene I] Coriolanus 1J 

And were I any thing but what I am, 
I would wish me only he. 

Cominius. You have fought together. 

Marcius. 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. 

i Senator. Then, worthy Marcius, 

Attend upon Cominius to these wars. 

Cominius. It is your former promise. 

Marcius. Sir, it is ; 

And I am constant. Titus Lartius, thou 240 

Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face. 
What, art thou stiff ? stand 'st out ? 

Titus. No, Caius Marcius ; 

I '11 lean upon one crutch and fight with t' other 
Ere stay behind this business. 

Menenius. O, true bred 1 

i Senator. Your company to the Capitol, where, I 

Our greatest friends attend us. 

Titus. Lead you on. 

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

Cominius. Noble Marcius 1 

i Senator. \To the Citizens'] Hence to your homes ; 
be gone 1 

Marcius. Nay, let them follow. 

28 Coriolanus C Act * 

The Volsces have much corn ; take these rats thither 
To gnaw their garners. Worshipful mutiners, 251 

Your valour puts well forth ; pray, follow. 

[Citizens steal away. Exeunt all but 
Sicinius and Brutus. 

Sicinius. Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius ? 

Brutus. He has no equal. 

Sicinius. When we were chosen tribunes for the 

Brutus. Mark'd you his lips and eyes ? 

Sicinius. Nay, but his taunts. 

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

Sicinius. Bemock the modest moon. 

Brutus. The present wars devour him ! he is grown 
Too proud to be so valiant. 

Sicinius. Such a nature, 260 

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. 

Brutus. Fame, at the which he aims, 

In whom already he 's well grac'd, cannot 
Better be held nor more attain 'd than by 
A place below the first ; for what miscarries 
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 270 

Had borne the business 1 ' 

Scene II] Coriolanus 29 

Sicinius. Besides, if things go well, 

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

Brutus. Come ; 

Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius, 
Though Marcius earn'd them not, and all his faults 
To Marcius shall be honours, though indeed 
In aught he merit not. 

Sicinius. Let 's hence and hear 

How the dispatch is made, and in what fashion, 
^ More than his singularity, he goes 279 

Upon this present action. 

Brutus. Let 's along. \Exeunt. 

SCENE II. Corioli. The Senate-house 
Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS with Senators of Corioli 
i Senator. So, your opinion is, Aufidius, 
That they of Rome are enter'd in our counsels 
And know how we proceed. 

Aufidius. Is it not yours ? 

What ever have been thought on in this state 
That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome 
Had circumvention ? 'T is not four days gone 
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 
Whether for east or west. The dearth is great, 10 

The people mutinous ; and it is rumour '</, 
Cominius, Marcius your old enemy t 

jo Coriolanus [Act I 

Who is of Rome worse hated than of you, 
And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman, 
These three lead on this preparation 
Whither V is bent. Most likely V is for you. 
Consider of iC 

1 Senator. Our army 's in the field. 

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

Aufidius. Nor did you think it folly 
To keep your great pretences veil'd till when 20 

They needs must show themselves, which in the hatch 

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 ere almost Rome 
Should know we were afoot. 

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

If they set down before 's, for the remove 
Bring up your army ; but, I think, you '11 find 
They 've not prepar'd for us. 

Aufidius. O, doubt not that ; 30 

I speak from certainties. Nay, more, 
Some parcels of their power are forth already, 
And only hitherward. I leave your honours. 
If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet, 
'T is sworn between us we shall ever strike 
Till one can do no more. 

Scene III] Coriolanus 3 1 

All. The gods assist you ! 

Aufidius. And keep your honours safe ! 

1 Senator. Farewell. 

2 Senator. Farewell. 
All. Farewell. [Exeunt. 

SCENE III. Rome. A Room in Martins' 1 House 

Enter VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA ; they set them down on 
two low stools and sew 

Volumnia. 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 embrace- 
ments of hjs-hed where he would show most love. 
When yet he was but tender-bodied and the only son 
of my womb, when youth with comeliness plucked 
all gaze his way, when for a day of kings' entreaties 
a mother should not sell him an hour from her be 
holding, I, considering how honour would become 10 
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. I 
tell thee, daughter, I sprang not more in joy at first 
hearing he was a man-child than now in first see 
ing he had proved himself a man. 

32 Coriolanus [Act I 

Virgilia. But had he died in the business, madam, 
how then ? 20 

Volumnia. 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 have eleven die 
nobly for their country than one voluptuously sur 
feit out of action. 

Enter a Gentlewoman 

Gentlewoman. Madam, the Lady Valeria is come to 
visit you. 

Virgilia. Beseech you, give me leave to retire myself. 

Volumnia. Indeed, you shall not. 30 

Methinks I hear hither your husband's drum, 
See him pluck Aufidius down by the hair ; 
As children from a bear, the Volsces 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 Rome.' His bloody brow 
With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes, 
Like to a harvest-man that 's task'd to mow 
Or all or lose his hire. 39 

Virgilia. His bloody brow ! O Jupiter, no blood ! 

Volumnia. Away, you fool ! it more becomes a man 
Than gilt his trophy ; the breasts of Hecuba, 
When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier 
Than Hector's forehead when it spit forth blood 

Scene ill] Coriolanus 33 

At Grecian sword, contemning. Tell Valeria 
We are fit to bid her welcome. [Exit Gentlewoman. 
Virgilia. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius 1 
Volumnia. He '11 beat Aufidius' head below his knee 
And tread upon his neck. 

Enter VALERIA with an Usher, and a Gentlewoman 

Valeria. My ladies both, good day to you. 50 

Volumnia. Sweet madam, 

Virgilia. I am glad to see your ladyship. 

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

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

Volumnia. He had rather see the swords and 
hear a drum than look upon his schoolmaster. 58 

Valeria. O' my word, the father's son ; I '11 swear, 
't is a very pretty boy. O' my troth, I looked upon 
him o' Wednesday half an hour together 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 en 
raged him, or how 't was, he did so set his teeth and 
tear it ; O, I warrant, how he mammocked it I 

Volumnia. One on 's father's moods. 

Valeria. Indeed, la, 't is a noble child. 

Virgilia. A crack, madam. 70 

Valeria. Come, lay aside your stitchery ; I must 

34 Coriolanus C Act * 

have you play the idle huswife with me this after 

Virgilia. No, good madam ; I will not out of doors. 

Valeria. Not out of doors ! 

Volumnia. She shall, she shall. 

Virgilia. Indeed, no, by your patience ; I '11 not 
over the threshold till my lord return from the wars. 

Valeria. Fie, you confine yourself most unreason 
ably. Come, you must go visit the good lady that 
lies in. 81 

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

Volumnia. Why, I pray you ? 

Virgilia. 'T is not to save labour, nor that I want 

Valeria. 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 cambric were sensible as your finger, that you 
might leave pricking it for pity. Come, you shall go 
with us. 92 

Virgilia. No, good madam, pardon me ; indeed, I 
will not forth. 

Valeria. In truth, la, go with me ; and I '11 tell 
you excellent news of your husband. 

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

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

Virgilia. Indeed, madam ? 100 

Scene IV] Coriolanus 35 

Valeria. In earnest, it 's true ; I heard a senator 
speak it. Thus it is : the Volsces have an army forth, 
against whom Cominius the general is gone, with one 
part of our Roman power ; your lord and Titus Lar- 
tius 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. 

Virgilia. Give me excuse, good madam ; I will 
obey you in every thing hereafter. 

Volumnia. Let her alone, lady ; as she is now, she 
will but disease our better mirth. 112 

Valeria. In troth, I think she would. Fare you 
well then. Come, good sweet lady. Prithee, Vir- 
gilia, turn thy solemness out o' door, and go along 
with us. 

VirgiKa. No, at a word, madam ; indeed, I must 
not. I wish you much mirth. 

Valeria. Well, then, farewell. [Exeunt. 

SCENE IV. Before Corioli 

Enter,with drum and colours, MARCIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, 
Captains, and Soldiers 

Marcius. Yonder comes news. A wager they have 


Lartius. My horse to yours, no. 
Marcius. 'T is done. 

Lartius. Agreed. 

j6 Coriolanus [Act * 

Enter a Messenger 

Marcius. Say, has our general met the enemy ? 
Messenger. They lie in view, but have not spoke as 


Lartius. So, the good horse is mine. 
Marcius. I '11 buy him of you. 

Lartius. No, I '11 nor sell nor give him ; lend you 

him I will 

For half a hundred years. Summon the town. 
Marcius. How far off lie these armies ? 
Messenger. Within this mile and half. 

Marcius. Then shall we hear their larum, and they 


Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work, 10 

That we with smoking swords may march from hence, 
To help our fielded friends ! Come, blow thy blast. 

\They sound a parley. 

Enter two Senators with others on the watts 

Tullus Aufidius, is he within your walls ? 

i Senator. No, nor a man that fears you less than he, 
That 's lesser than a little. [Drum afar of.~] Hark ! 

our drums 

Are bringing forth our youth. We '11 break our walls, 
Rather than they shall pound us up. Our gates, 
Which yet seem shut, we have but pinn'd with rushes ; 
They '11 open of themselves. \_Alarum afar o/J\ Hark 

you, far off 1 

Scene IV] Coriolanus 37 

There is Aufidius; list, what work he makes 20 

Amongst your cloven army. 

Marcius. O, they are at it ! 

Lartius. Their noise be our instruction. Ladders, 

Enter the army of the VOLSCES 

Marcius. 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 '11 take him for a Volsce, 
And he shall feel mine edge. 

[Alarum. The Romans are beat back to their trenches. 

Re-enter MARCIUS, cursing 

Marcius. All the contagion of the south light on 
you, 3 

You shames of Rome 1 you herd of Boils and plagues 
Plaster you o'er, that you may be abhorr'd 
Further than seen, and one infect another 
Against the wind a mile 1 You souls of geese, 
That bear the shapes of men, how have you run 
From slaves that apes would beat 1 Pluto and hell 1 
All hurt behind ; backs red, and faces pale 
With flight and agued fear ! Mend and charge home, 
Or, by the fires of heaven, I '11 leave the foe 

38 Coriolanus [Act I 

And make my wars on you ! Look to 't ; come on. 40 
If you '11 stand fast, we '11 beat them to their wives, 
As they us to our trenches followed. 

\Another Alarum. The Volsces fly, and Mar cius fol 
lows them to the gates. 

So, now the gates are ope ; now prove good seconds. 
'T is for the followers fortune widens them, 
Not for the fliers ; mark me, and do the like. 

[Enters the gates. 

1 Soldier. Fool-hardiness 1 not I. 

2 Soldier. Nor I. 

\Marcius is shut in. 
i Soldier. See, they have shut him in. 
All. To the pot, I warrant him. 

\Alarum continues. 


Lartius. What is become of Marcius ? 

All. Slain, sir, doubtless. 

i Soldier. Following the fliers at the very heels, 
With them he enters, who, upon the sudden, 50 

Clapp'd to their gates ; he is himself alone, 
To answer all the city. 

Lartius. O noble fellow ! 

Who sensibly outdares his senseless sword, 
And, when it bows, stands up. Thou art lost, Marcius ; 
A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art, 
Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier 
Even to Cato's wish, not fierce and terrible 

Scene V] Coriolanus 39 

Only in strokes ; but, with thy grim looks and 

The thunder-like percussion of thy sounds, 

Thou mad'st thine enemies shake, as if the world 60 

Were feverous and did tremble. 

Re-enter MARCIUS, bleeding, assaulted by the enemy 

i Soldier. Look, sir 1 

Lartius. O, 't is Marcius 1 

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

[They fight, and all enter the city. 

SCENE V. Corioli. A Street 
Enter certain Romans, with spoils 

1 Roman. This will I carry to Rome. 

2 Roman. And I this. 

3 Roman. A murrain on 't ! I took this for silver. 

[Alarum continues still afar off. 

Enter MARCIUS, and TITUS LARTIUS with a trumpet 

Marcius. See here these movers that do prize their 


At a crack'd drachma ! Cushions, leaden spoons, 
Irons of a doit, doublets that hangmen would 
Bury with those that wore them, these base slaves, 
Ere yet the fight be done, pack up. Down with 

them ! 

And hark, what noise the general makes ! To him j 
There is the man of my soul's hate, Aufidius, 10 

Piercing our Romans; then, valiant Titus, take 

4_o Coriolanus [Act I 

Convenient numbers to make good the city, 
Whilst I, with those that have the spirit, will haste 
To help Cominius. 

Lartius. Worthy sir, thou bleed'st ; 

Thy exercise hath been too violent 
For a second course of fight. 

Marcius. Sir, praise me not ; 

My work 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. 

Lartius. Now the fair goddess, Fortune, 20 

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

Marcius. Thy friend no less 

Than those she placeth highest ! So, farewell. 

Lartius. Thou worthiest Marcius ! [Exit Marcius. 
Go sound thy trumpet in the ntarket-place ; 
Call thither all the officers o' the town, 
Where they shall know our mind. Away ! [Exeunt. 

SCENE VI. Near the Camp of Cominius 
Enter COMINIUS, as it were in retire, with Soldiers 

Cominius. Breathe you, my friends. Well fought 1 we 

are come off 

Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands 
Nor cowardly in retire ; believe me, sirs, 

Scene vi] Coriolanus 41 

We shall be charg'd again. Whiles we have struck, 
By interims and conveying gusts we have heard 
The charges of our friends. Ye Roman gods 1 
Lead their successes as we wish our own, 
That both our powers, with smiling fronts encountering, 
May give you thankful sacrifice ! 

Enter a Messenger 

Thy news ? 

Messenger. The citizens of Corioli have issued, 10 
And given to Lartius and to Marcius battle ; 
I saw our party to their trenches driven, 
And then I came away. 

Cominius. Though thou speak'st truth 

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

Messenger. Above an hour, my lord. 

Cominius. 'T is not a mile ; briefly we heard their 


How couldst thou in a mile confound an hour, 
And bring thy news so late ? 

Messenger. Spies of the Volsces 

Held me in chase, that I was forc'd to wheel 
Three or four miles about, else had I, sir, 20 

Half an hour since brought my report. 

Cominius. Who's yonder, 

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

Marcius. [ Withiri\ Come I too late ? 

42 Coriolanus [Act I 

Cominius. The shepherd knows not thunder from 

a tabor 

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


Marcius. Come I too late ? 

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

Marcius. O, let me clip ye 

In arms as sound as when I woo'd, in heart 30 

As merry as when our nuptial day was done 
And tapers burn'd to bedward ! 

Cominius. Flower of warriors, 

How is 't with Titus Lartius ? 

Marcius. 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. 

Cominius. Where is that slave 

Which told me they had beat you to your trenches ? 40 
Where is he ? call him hither. 

Marcius. Let him alone, 

He did inform the truth ; but for our gentlemen, 
The common file a plague ! tribunes for them ! 
The mouse ne'er shunn'd the cat as they did budge 
From rascals worse than they. 

Scene vi] Coriolanus 43 

Cominius. But how prevail'd you ? 

Marcius. Will the time serve to tell ? I do not think. 
Where is the enemy ? are you lords o' the field ? 
If not, why cease you till you are so ? 

Cominius. Marcius, 

We have at disadvantage fought and did 
Retire to win our purpose. 50 

Marcius. How lies their battle ? know you on which 

They have plac'd their men of trust? 

Cominius. As I guess, Marcius, 

Their bands i' the vaward are the Antiates, 
Of their best trust ; o'er them Aufidius, 
Their very heart of hope. 

Marcius. 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 Aufidius and his Antiates ; 
And that you not delay the present, but, 60 

Filling the air with swords advanc'd and darts, 
We prove this very hour. 

Cominius. 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. 

Marcius. Those are they 

That most are willing. If any such be here 


Coriolanus [Act I 

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 ; 70 

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, to express his disposition, 

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 Volsces ? none of you but is 
Able to bear against the great Aufidius 
A shield as hard as his. A certain number, 80 

Though thanks to all, must I select from all ; the rest 
Shall bear 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. 

Commius. March on, my fellows ; 

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

Scene viii] Coriolanus 45 

SCENE VII. The Gates of Corioli 

TITUS LARTIUS, having set a guard upon Corioli, going 
with drum and trumpet toward COMINIUS and CAIUS 
MARCIUS, enters with a Lieutenant, other Soldiers, and 
a Scout 

Lartius. So, let the ports be guarded ; keep your 


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

Lieutenant. Fear not our care, sir. 

Lartius. Hence, and shut your gates upon 's. 
Our guider, come ; to the Roman camp conduct us. 


SCENE VIII. A Field of Battle 

Alarum as in battle. Enter ; from opposite sides, MAR 

Marcius. I '11 fight with none but thee; for I do 

hate thee 
Worse than a promise-breaker. 

Aufidius. We hate alike ; 

Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor 
More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot. 

Marcius. Let the first budger die the other's slave, 
And the gods doom him after 1 

46 Coriolanus [Act I 

Aufidius. If I fly, Marcius, 

Holla me like a hare. 

Marcius. Within these three hours, Tullus, 

Alone I fought in your Corioli walls, 
And made what work I pleas'd. 'T is not my blood 
Wherein thou seest me mask'd ; for thy revenge 10 

Wrench up thy power to the highest. 

Aufidius. Wert thou the Hector 

That was the whip of your bragg'd progeny, 
Thou shouldst not scape me here. 

\They fight, and certain Volsces come in the aid of 
Aufidius. Marcius fights till they be driven in 

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

SCENE IX. The Roman Camp 

Flourish. Alarum. A retreat is sounded. Flourish. 
Enter from one side, COMINIUS with the Romans ; 
from the other side, MARCIUS, with his arm in a scarf 

Cominius. If I should tell thee o'er this thy day's 


Thou 't not believe thy deeds ; but I '11 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, hear more ; where the dull tribunes, 
That with the fusty plebeians hate thine honours, 

Scene IX] Coriolanus 47 

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, 10 

Having fully din'd before. 

Enter TITUS LARTIUS, with his power, from the pursuit 

Lartius. O general, 

Here is the steed, we the caparison. 
Hadst thou beheld 

Marcius. Pray now, no more ; my mother, 

,Who has a charter to extol her blood, 
When she does praise me grieves me. I have done 
As you have done, that 's what I can ; induced 
As you have been, that 's for my country. 
He that has but effected his good will 
Hath overta'en mine act. 

Cominius. You shall not be 

The grave of your deserving ; Rome must know 20 
The value of her own. ' T were 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 before our army hear me. 

Marcius. I have some wounds upon me, and they 

To hear themselves remember'd. 

Cominius. Should they not, 

4.8 Coriolanus [Act I 

Well might they fester 'gainst ingratitude 30 

And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses, 
Whereof we have ta'en good and good store, of all 
The treasure in this field achiev'd and city, 
We render you the tenth, to be ta'en forth, 
Before the common distribution, at 
Your only choice. 

Marcius. 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. 40 

\A long flourish. They all cry { Marcius ! Marcius ! ' 
cast up their caps and lances ; Cominius and 
Lartius stand bare. 

Marcius. May these same instruments, which you 


Never sound more, when drums and trumpets shall 
I' the field prove flatterers ! Let courts and cities be 
Made all of false-fac'd soothing, 
Where steel grows soft as the parasite's silk ! 
Let them be made an overture for the wars! 
No more, I say ! For that I have not wash'd 
My nose that bled, or foil'd some debile wretch, 
Which, without note, here 's many else have done, 
You shout me forth 50 

In acclamations hyperbolical, 
As if I lov'd my little should be dieted 
In praises sauc'd with lies. 

Scene IX] Coriolanus 49 

Cominius. 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 '11 put you, 
Like one that means his proper harm, in manacles, 
Then reason safely with you. Therefore, be it known, 
As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius 
Wears this war's garland ; in token of the which, 60 
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, 
W T ith all the applause and clamour of the host, 
The addition nobly ever 1 

{Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums. 

All. Caius Marcius Coriolanus I 

Marcius. I will go wash, 
And when my face is fair you shall perceive 
Whether I blush or no ; howbeit, I thank you. 70 
I mean to stride your steed, and at all times 
To undercrest your good addition 
To the fairness of my power. 

Cominius. 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, with whom we may articulate, 
For their own good and ours. 

Lartius. I shall, my lord. 


jo Coriolanus [Act I 

Marcius. The gods begin to mock me. I, that now 
Refus'd most princely gifts, am bound to beg So 

Of my lord general. 

Cominius. Take 't ; 't is yours. What is 't ? 

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

Cominius. O, well begg'd ! 

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

Lartius. Marcius, his name ? 

Marcius. By Jupiter, forgot ! 90 

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

Cominius. Go we to our tent. 

The blood upon your visage dries ; 't is time 
It should be look'd to. Come. [Exeunt. 

SCENE X. The Camp of the Volsces 

A flourish. Cornets. Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, bloody, 
with two or three Soldiers 

Aufidius. The town is ta'en ! 

i Soldier. 'T will be delivered back on good condi 
Aufidius. Condition 1 

Scene xj Coriolanus 5 1 

I would I were a Roman ; for I cannot, 

Being a Volsce, be that I am. Condition 1 

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 wouldst do so, I think, should we encounter 

As often as we eat. By the elements, 10 

If e'er again I meet him beard to beard, 

He 's mine, or I am his ! Mine emulation 

Hath not that honour in 't it had ; for where 

I thought to crush him in an equal force, 

True sword to sword, I '11 potch at him some way 

Or wrath or craft may get him. 

i Soldier. He 's the devil. 

Aufidius. Bolder, though not so subtle. My valour 's 

poison 'd 

With only suffering stain by him, for him 
Shall fly out of itself. Nor sleep nor sanctuary, 
Being naked, sick, nor fane nor Capitol, 20 

The prayers of priests nor times of sacrifice, 
Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up 
Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst 
My hate to Marcius. Where I find him, were it 
At home, upon my brother's guard, even there, 
Against the hospitable canon, would I 
Wash my fierce hand in 's heart. Go you to the city ; 
Learn how 't is held, and what they are that must 
Be hostages for Rome. 

i Soldier. Will not you go ? 

2 Coriolanus [Act I 

Aufidius. I am attended at the cypress grove. I 
pray you 30 

'T is south the city mills bring me word thither 
How the world goes, that to the pace of it 
I may spur on my journey. 

i Soldier. I shall, sir. \Exeunt 



SCENE I. Rome. A Public Place 

Enter MENENIUS, with the two Tribunes of the people, 

Menenius. The augurer tells me we shall have 
news to-night. 

Brutus. Good or bad ? 

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

Sicinius. Nature teaches beasts to know their 

Menenius. Pray you, who does the wolf love ? 

Sicinius. The lamb. 

Menenius. Ay, to devour him; as the hungry 
plebeians would the noble Marcius. n 

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

j4 Coriolanus [Act II 

Menenius. 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. Well, sir. 

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

Brutus. He 's poor in no one fault, but stored with 
all. 20 

Sicinius. Especially in pride. 

Brutus. And topping all others in boasting. 

Menenius. 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. Why, how are we censured ? 

Menenius. Because you talk of pride now, will 
you not be angry ? 

Both. Well, well, sir, well. 29 

Menenius. Why, 't is no great matter, for a very 
little thief of occasion will rob you of a great deal of 
patience. Give your dispositions 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 ? 

Brutus. We do it not alone, sir. 36 

Menenius. 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 infant-like for 
doing much alone. You talk of pride ; O that you 
could turn your eyes toward the napes of your necks, 

Scene I] Coriolanus 55 

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

Brutus. What then, sir? 

Menenius. Why, then you should discover a brace 
of unmeriting, proud, violent, testy magistrates, alias 
fools, as any in Rome. 

Sicinius. Menenius, you are known well enough 
too. 49 

Menenius. I am known to be a humorous patri 
cian, and one that loves a cup of hot wine with 
not a drop of allaying Tiber in 't ; said to be some 
thing imperfect in favouring the first complaint ; 
hasty and tinder-like upon too trivial motion; one 
that converses more with the buttock of the night 
than with the forehead of the morning. What I 
think I utter, and spend my malice in my breath. 
Meeting two such wealsmen as you are I cannot 
call you Lycurguses if the drink you give me touch 
my palate adversely, I make a crooked face at it. I 60 
can't say 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 reverend grave 
men, yet they lie deadly that tell you you have good 
faces. If you see this in the map of my micro- - 
cosm, follows it that I am known well enough too ? 
what harm can your bisson conspectuities glean 
out of this character, if I be known well enough 
too ? 70 

56 Coriolanus [Act II 

Brutus. Come, sir, come, we know you well 

Menenius. You know neither me, yourselves, nor 
any thing. You are ambitious for poor knaves' caps 
and legs ; you wear out a good wholesome forenoon 
in hearing a cause between an orange-wife and a 
fosset-seller, and then rejourn the controversy 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 colic, you 80 
make faces like mummers, set up the bloody flag 
against all patience, and dismiss the controversy 
bleeding, 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 

Brutus. Come, come, you are well understood to 
be a perfecter giber for the table than a necessary 
bencher in the Capitol. 89 

Menenius. Our very priests must become mockers, 
if they shall encounter such ridiculous subjects as 
you are. 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 peradventure 
some of the best of 'em were hereditary hangmen 

Scene I] Coriolanus 57 

_ God-den to your worships ; more of your conversa 
tion would infect my brain, being the herdsmen of 
the beastly plebeians. I will be bold to take my 
leave of you. \_Brutus and Sicinius go aside. 


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

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

Menenius. Ha 1 Marcius coming home 1 

Volumnia. Ay, worthy Menenius, and with most 
prosperous approbation. in 

Menenius. Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank 
thee. Hoo ! Marcius coming home 1 



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

Menenius. I will make my very house reel to 
night. A letter for me 1 

Virgilia. Yes, certain, there's a letter for you; I 
saw 't. 121 

Menenius. A letter for me ! it gives me an estate 

of seven years' health, in which time I will make a 

lip at the physician : the most sovereign prescription 

^ in Galen is but empirictic, and, to this preservative, 

1 Nay, 't is true. 

58 Coriolanus [Act II 

of no better report than a horse-drench. Is he not 
wounded ? he was wont to come home wounded. 
Virgilia. O, no, no, no ! 

Volumnia. O, he is wounded; I thank the gods 
for 't. 130 

Menenius. So do I too, if it be not too much. 
Brings a' victory in his pocket ? the wounds become 

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

Menenius. Has he disciplined Aufidius soundly ? 

Volumnia. Titus Lartius writes they fought to 
gether, but Aufidius got off. 

Menenius. And 't was time for him too, I '11 war 
rant him that ; an he had stayed by him, I would not 
have been so fidiused for all the chests in Corioli 
and the gold that's in them. Is the senate pos 
sessed of this? 143 

Volumnia. 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. 

Valeria. In troth, there 's wondrous things spoke 
of him. 

Menenius. Wondrous ! ay, I warrant you, and not 
without his true purchasing. 15 i 

Virgilia. The gods grant them true I 

Volumnia. True ! pow, waw ! 

Menenius, True 1 I '11 be sworn they are true. 

Scene I] Coriolanus 59 

Where is he wounded ? [To the Tribunes} God save 
your good worships ! Marcius is coming home ; 
he has more cause to be proud. Where is he 
wounded ? 

Volumnia. I* 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 repulse of Tarquin seven hurts i' the body. 162 

Menenius. One i' the neck, and two i' the thigh, 
there 's nine that I know. 

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

Menenius. Now it 's twenty-seven ; every gash 
was an enemy's grave. [A shout and flourish] 
Hark 1 the trumpets. 

Volumnia. These are the ushers of Marcius ; be 
fore him he carries noise, and behind him he leaves 
tears. 172 

Death, that dark spirit, in 's nervy arm doth lie, 
v Which, being advanc'd, declines, and then men die. 

A sennet. Trumpets sound. Enter COMINIUS the gen 
eral, and TITUS LARTIUS ; between them, CORIOLANUS, 
crowned with an oaken garland ; with Captains and 
Soldiers, and a Herald 

Herald. Know, Rome, that all alone Marcius did 


Within Corioli gates, where he hath won, 
With fame, a name to Caius Marcius ; these 

60 Coriolanus [Act II 

In honour follows Coriolanus. 

Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus ! [Flourish. 

All. Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus ! 

Coriolanus. No more of this ; it does offend my 
heart. 181 

Pray now, no more. 

Cominius. Look, sir, your mother ! 

Coriolanus. O, 

You have, I know, petition 'd all the gods 
For my prosperity ! [Kneels. 

Volumnia. 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 ! 

Coriolanus. My gracious silence, hail ! 

Wouldst thou have laugh'd had I come coffin'd home, 
That weep'st to see me triumph ? Ah, my dear, 190 
Such eyes the widows in Corioli wear, 
And mothers that lack sons. 

Menenius. Now, the gods crown thee ! 

Coriolanus. And live you yet? \To Valeria] O my 
sweet lady, pardon. 

Volumnia. I know not where to turn. O, welcome 

home ! 
And welcome, general, and ye're welcome all. 

Menenius. A hundred thousand welcomes \ I could 

And I could laugh, I am light and heavy. Welcome 1 

Scene ij Coriolanus 6 1 

A curse begin at very root on 's heart 

That is not glad to see thee ! You are three 

That Rome should dote on ; yet, by the faith of men, 

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

Be grafted to your relish. Yet welcome, warriors 1 202 

We call a nettle but a nettle and 

The faults of fools but folly. 

Cominius. Ever right 

Coriolanus. Menenius, ever, ever 1 

Herald. Give way there, and go on. 

Coriolanus. \To Volumnia and Virgilid\ Your hand, 

and yours. 

Ere in our own house I do shade my head, 
The good patricians must be visited, 
From whom I have receiv'd not only greetings 210 

But with them change of honours. 

Volumnia. I have liv'd 

To see inherited my very wishes 
And the buildings of my fancy ; only 
There 's one thing wanting which I doubt not but 
Our Rome will cast upon thee. 

Coriolanus. Know, good mother, 

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

Cominius. On, to the Capitol 1 

[Flourish. Cornets. Exeunt in state as before. 
Brutus and Sicinius come forward. 

Brutus. All tongues speak of him, and the bleared 

62 Coriolanus [Act n 

Are spectacled to see him ; your prattling nurse 
Into a rapture lets her baby cry 220 

While she chats him ; the kitchen malkin pins 
Her richest lockram 'bout her reechy neck, 
Clambering the walls to eye him ; stalls, bulks, win 

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 ; our veil'd dames 
Commit the war of white and damask in 
Their nicely-gawded cheeks to the wanton spoil 230 
Of Phoebus' burning kisses ; such a pother 
As if that whatsoever god who leads him 
Were slyly crept into his human powers 
And gave him graceful posture. 

Sicinius. On the sudden, 

I warrant him consul. 

Brutus. Then our office may, 

During his power, go sleep. 

Sicinius. He cannot temperately transport his honours 
From where he should begin and end, but will 
Lose those he hath won. 

Brutus. In that there 's comfort. 

Sicinius. Doubt not 

The commoners, for whom we stand, but they 240 

Upon their ancient malice will forget 
With the least cause these his new honours, which 

Scene I] Coriolanus 63 

That he will give them make I as little question 
As he is proud to do 't. 

Brutus. I heard him swear, 

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

Sicinius. T is right. 

Brutus. It was his word. O, he would miss it rather 
Than carry it but by the suit of the gentry to him 251 
And the desire of the nobles 1 

Sicinius. I wish no better 

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

Brutus. 'T is most like he will. 

Sicinius. It shall be to him then, as our good wills, - 
A sure destruction. 

Brutus. So it must fall out 

To him or our authorities. For an end, 
We must suggest the people in what hatred 
He still hath held them ; that to 's power he would 
Have made them mules, silenc'd their pleaders, and 
Dispropertied their freedoms, holding them, 261 

In human action and capacity, 
Of no more soul nor fitness for the world 
,Than camels in the war, who have their provand 
Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows 
For sinking under them. 

64 Coriolanus [Act II 

Sicinius. This, as you say., suggested 

At some time when his soaring insolence 
Shall teach the people 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 270 

To kindle their dry stubble ; and their blaze 
Shall darken him for ever. 

Enter a Messenger 

Brutus. What 's the matter ? 

Messenger. You are sent for to the Capitol. 'T is 


That Marcius shall be consul. 
I have seen the dumb men throng to see him and 
The blind to hear him speak ; matrons flung gloves, - 
Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchers, 
Upon him as he passed ; the nobles bended, 
As to Jove's statue, and the commons made 
A shower and thunder with their caps and shouts. 280 
I never saw the like. 

j Brutus. Let 's to the Capitol, 

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

Sicinius. Have with you. \Excunt 

SCENE II. The Same. The Capitol 
Enter two Officers, to lay cushions 

i Officer. Come, come, they are almost here. 
How many stand for consulships? 

Scene n] Coriolanus 65 

2 Officer. Three, they say; but 't is thought of 
every one Coriolanus will carry it. 

1 Officer. That 's a brave fellow, but he 's ven 
geance proud and loves not the common people. 6 

2 Officer. 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. 15 

1 Officer. If he did not care whether he had their 
love or no, he waved indifferently 'twixt doing 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. 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. 23 

2 Officer. He hath deserved worthily of his coun 
try ; and his ascent is not by such easy degrees as 
those who, having been supple and courteous to the 
people, bonneted, without any further deed to have 
them at all into their estimation and report. 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 in- 


66 Coriolanus [Act n 

grateful injury; to report otherwise were a malice 
that, giving itself the lie, would pluck reproof and 
rebuke from every ear that heard it. 34 

i Officer. No more of him ; he 's a worthy man. 
Make way, they are coming. 

A sennet. Enter, with Lictors before them, COMIN- 
lus the consul, MENENIUS, CORIOLANUS, Senators, 
SICINIUS, and BRUTUS. The Senators take their 
places ; the Tribunes take their places by themselves. 

Menetrius. Having determin'd of the Volsces and 
To send for Titus Lartius, it remains, 
As the main point of this our after-meeting, 
To gratify his noble service that 40 

Hath thus stood for his country ; therefore, please you, 
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 perlorm'd 
By Caius Marcius Coriolanus, whom 
We met here both to thank and to remember 
With honours like himself. 

i Senator. Speak, good Cominius ; 

Leave nothing out for length, and make us think 
Rather our state 's defective for requital 50 

Than we to stretch it out. \To the Tribunes'} Masters 

o' the people, 
We do request your kindest ears, and after. 

Scene H] Coriolanus 67 

Your loving motion toward the common body, 
To yield what passes here. 

Sicinius. We are convented 

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

Brutus. Which the rather 

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

Mencnius. That 's off, that 's off ; 

I would you rather had been silent. Please you 61 
To hear Cominius speak ? 

Brutus. Most willingly ; 

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

Menenius. He loves your people, 

But tie him not to be their bedfellow. 
Worthy Cominius, speak. [ Coriolanus offers to go 
away.~\ Nay, keep your place. 

i Senator. Sit, Coriolanus ; never shame to hear 
What you have nobly done. 

Coriolanus. Your honours' pardon ; 

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

Brutus. Sir, I hope 70 

My words disbench'd you not. 

Coriolanus. No, sir ; yet oft, 

When blows have made me stay, I fled from words. 

68 Coriolanus [Act n 

You sooth'd not, therefore hurt not ; but your people, 
I love them as they weigh. 

Menenius. Pray now, sit down. 

Coriolanus. I had rather have one scratch my head 

i' the sun 

When the alarum were struck than idly sit 
To hear my nothings monster'd. \Exit. 

Menenius. Masters of the people, 

Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter 
That 's thousand to one good one when you now see 
He had rather venture all his limbs for honour 80 

Than one on 's ears to hear it ? Proceed, Cominius. 

Cominius. 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, he fought 
Beyond the mark of others ; our then dictator, 
Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight 90 

When with his Amazonian chin he drove 
The bristled lips before him. He bestrid 
An o'er-press'd Roman, and i' the consul's view 
Slew three opposers ; Tarquin's self he met 
And struck him on his knee. In that day's feats, 
When he might act the woman in the scene, 
He prov'd best man i' the field, and for his meed 
Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age 

Scene II] Coriolanus 69 

Man-enter'd thus, he waxed like a sea, 

And in the brunt of seventeen battles since 100 

He lurch 'd all swords of the garland. For this last, 

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 weeds before 

A vessel under sail, so men obey'd 

And fell below his stem ; his sword, death's stamp, 

Where it did mark, it took ; from face to foot 

He was a thing of blood, whose every motion 

Was tim'd with dying cries. Alone he enter'd no 

The mortal gate of the city, which he painted 

With shunless destiny, aidless came off, 

And with a sudden re-enforcement struck 

Corioli like a planet. 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 

'T were a perpetual spoil ; and till we calPd 120 

Both field and city ours, he never stood 

To ease his breast with panting. 

Menenius. Worthy man ! 

i Senator. He cannot but with measure fit the 

Which we devise him. 

Cominius. Our spoils he kick'd at, 

jo Coriolanus [Act II 

And look'd upon things precious as they were 
The common muck o' the world ; he covets less 
Than misery itself would give, rewards 
His deeds with doing them, and is content 
To spend the time to end it. 

Menenius. He 's right noble ; 

Let him be call'd for. 

i Senator. Call Coriolanus. 130 

Officer. He doth appear. 


Menenius. The senate, Coriolanus, are well pleas'd 
To make thee consul. 

Coriolanus. I do owe them still 

My life and services. 

Menenius. It then remains 

That you do speak to the people. 

Coriolanus. 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. 

Sicinius. Sir, the people 

Must have their voices ; neither will they bate 140 

One jot of ceremony. 

Menenius. Put them not to 't ; 

Pray you, go fit you to the custom and 
Take to you, as your predecessors have, 
Your honour with your form. 

Scene ill] Coriolanus 71 

Coriolanus. It is a part 

That I shall blush in acting, and might well 
Be taken from the people. 

Brutus. Mark you that ? 

Coriolanus. To brag unto them, thus I did, and thus, 
Show them the unaching scars which I should hide, 
As if I had receiv'd them for the hire 
Of their breath only 1 

Menenius. Do not stand upon 't. 150 

We recommend to you, tribunes of the people, 
Our purpose to them ; and to our noble consul 
Wish we all joy and honour. 

Senators. To Coriolanus come all joy and honour i 
[Flourish of cornets. Exeunt all but Sicinhis 
and Brutus. 

Brutus. You see how he intends to use the people. 

Sicinius. May they perceive 's intent ! He will re 
quire them, 

As if he did contemn what he requested 
Should be in them to give. 

Brutus. Come, we '11 inform them 

Of our proceedings here, on the market-place ; 159 

I know they do attend us. [Exeunt. 

SCENE III. 27ie Same. The Forum 
Enter several Citizens 

i Citizen. Once, if he do require our voices, we 
ought not to deny him. 

72 Coriolanus [Act n 

2 Citizen. We may, sir, if we will. 

3 Citizen. We have power in ourselves to do it, but 
it is a power that we have no power to do, for if 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 multitude to be ingrateful 
were to make a monster of the multitude, of the 
which we being members should bring ourselves to 
be monstrous members. 13 

1 Citizen. And to make us no better thought of, a 
little help will serve ; for once we stood up about 
the corn, he himself stuck not to call us the many- 
headed multitude. 

3 Citizen. We have been called so of many, not 
that our heads are some brown, some black, some 
auburn, some bald, but that our wits are so diversely 
coloured ; and truly I think if all our wits were to 
issue out of one skull, they would fly east, west, 
north, south, and their consent of one direct way 
should be at once to all the points o' the compass. 24 

2 Citizen. Think you so? Which way do you 
judge my wit would fly? 

3 Citizen. Nay, your wit will not so soon out as 
another man's will ; 't is strongly wedged up in a 
block-head, but if it were at liberty 't would, sure, 

2 Citizen. Why that way ? 

Scene Hi] Coriolanus 73 

3 Citizen. 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. 35 

2 Citizen. You are never without your tricks ; 
you may, you may. 

3 Citizen. Are you all resolved to give your 
voices ? But that 's no matter, the greater part 
carries it. I say, if he would incline to the people, 
there was never a worthier man. 41 

Enter CORIOLANUS in a gown of humility, with 

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 par 
ticulars, wherein every one of us has a single honour 
in giving him our own voices with our own tongues ; 
therefore follow me, and I '11 direct you how you 
shall go by him. 49 

All. Content, content. [Exeunt citizens. 

Menenius. O sir, you are not right; have you not 

The worthiest men have done 't ? 

Coriolanus. What must I say ? 

I pray, sir, Plague upon 't ! I cannot bring 
My tongue to such a pace. Look, sir, my wounds 1 
I got them in my country's service, when 

74 Coriolanus [Act n 

Some certain of your brethren roar'd and ran 
From the noise of our own drums. 

Menenius. O me, the gods 1 

You must not speak of that ; you must desire them 
To think upon you. 

Coriolanus. Think upon me ! hang 'em 1 

I would they would forget me, like the virtues 60 

Which our divines lose by 'em. 

Menenius. You '11 mar all ; 

I '11 leave you. Pray you, speak to 'em, I pray you, 
In wholesome manner. [Exit. 

Coriolanus. Bid them wash their faces 

And keep their teeth clean. 

Re-enter two of the Citizens 

So, here comes a brace. 
You know the cause, sir, of my standing here. 

1 Citizen. We do, sir ; tell us what hath brought you 

to 't. 
Coriolanus. Mine own desert. 

2 Citizen. Your own desert ! 
Coriolanus. Ay, not mine own desire. 

i Citizen. How ! not your own desire 1 70 

Coriolanus. No, sir, 't was never my desire yet to 
trouble the poor with begging. 

i Citizen. You must think, if we give you any 
thing, we hope to gain by you. 

Coriolanus. Well, then, I pray, your price o' the 
consulship ? 

Scene Hi] Coriolanus 75 

1 Citizen. The price is to ask it kindly. 
Coriolanus. Kindly, sir, I pray, let me ha 't ; I 

have wounds to show you which shall be yours in 
private. Your good voice, sir ; what say you ? 80 

2 Citizen. You shall ha 't, worthy sir. 
Coriolanus. A match, sir. There 's in all two 

worthy voices begged. I have your alms ; adieu. 

1 Citizen. But this is something odd. 

2 Citizen. An 't were to give again, but 't is no 
matter. \Exeunt the two Citizens. 

Re-enter two other Citizens 

Coriolanus. 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 Citizen. You have deserved nobly of your coun 
try, and you have not deserved nobly. 91 

Coriolanus. Your enigma ? 

3 Citizen. You have been a scourge to her ene 
mies, you have been a rod to her friends ; you have 
not indeed loved the common people. 

Coriolanus. You should account me the more vir 
tuous 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. 'T is a condition they 
account gentle, and since the wisdom of their choice 100 
is rather to have my hat than my heart, I will prac 
tise the insinuating nod and be off to them most 
counterfeitly ; that is, sir, I will counterfeit the be- 

7 6 Coriolanus [Act n 

witchment of some popular man and give it bounti 
ful to the desirers. Therefore, beseech you, I may 
be consul. 

4 Citizen. We hope to find you our friend, and 
therefore give you our voices heartily. 

3 Citizen. You have received many wounds for 
your country. no 

Coriolanus. I will not seal your knowledge with 
showing them. I will make much of your voices, 
and so trouble you no farther. 

Both Citizens. The gods give you joy, sir, heartily ! 

Coriolanus. Most sweet voices ! 

Better it is to die, better to starve, 

Than crave the hire which first we do deserve. 

Why in this wolvish toge should I stand here, 

To beg of Hob and Dick, that do appear, 

Their needless vouches ? Custom calls me to 't. 120 

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 o'erpeer. 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. 

Re-enter three Citizens more 

Here come moe voices. 

Your voices. For your voices I have fought ; 

Scene Hi] Coriolanus 77 

Watch 'd for your voices ; for your voices bear 130 

Of wounds two dozen odd ; battles thrice six 
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 Citizen. He has done nobly, and cannot go with 
out any honest man's voice. 

6 Citizen. Therefore let him be consul ; the gods 
give him joy, and make him good friend to the 
people ! 

Air Citizens. Amen, amen. God save thee, noble 

consul ! \Exeunt. 

Coriolanus. Worthy voices I 141 


Menenius. 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. 

Coriolanus. Is this done ? 

Sicinius. The custom of request you have dis- 

charg'd ; 

The people do admit you, and are summon'd 
To meet anon, upon your approbation. 

Coriolanus. Where ? at the senate-house ? 

Sicinius. There, Coriolanus. 

Coriolanus. May I change these garments ? 

Sicinius. You may, sir. 

78 Coriolanus [Act II 

Coriolanus. That I '11 straight do, and. knowing my 
self again, 151 
Repair to the senate-house. 

Menenius. I '11 keep you company. Will you along ? 
Brutus. We stay here for the people. 
Sidnius. Fare you well. 

\_Exeunt Coriolanus and Menenius. 
He has it now, and by his looks methinks 
' T is warm at 's heart. 
Brutus. With a proud heart he wore his humble 

Will you dismiss the people ? 

Re-enter Citizens 

Sidnius. How now, my masters ! have you chose 
this man ? 

1 Citizen. He has our voices, sir. 160 
Brutus. We pray the gods he may deserve your 


2 Citizen. Amen, sir ; to my poor unworthy notice, 
He mock'd us when he begg'd our voices. 

3 Citizen. Certainly 
He flouted us downright. 

1 Citizen. No, 't is his kind of speech ; he did not 

mock us. 

2 Citizen. Not one amongst us, save yourself, but says 
He us'd us scornfully ; he should have show'd us 

His marks of merit, wounds receiv'd for 's country. 
Sidnius. Why, so he did, I am sure. 

Scene ill] Coriolanus 79 

Citizens. No, no ; no man saw 'em. 170 

3 Citizen. He said he had wounds, which he could 

show in private ; 

And with his hat, thus waving it in scorn, 
' I would be consul,' says he : * aged custom, 
But by your voices, will not so permit me ; 
Your voices therefore.' When we granted that, 
Here was * I thank you for your voices, thank you, 
Your most sweet voices ; now you have left your 

I have no further with you.' Was not this mockery? 

Sicinius. Why either were you ignorant to see 't, 
Or, seeing it, of such childish friendliness 180 

To yield your voices ? 

Brutus. Could you not have told him 

As you were lesson'd, when he had no power, 
But was a petty servant of 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 and sway to the state, 
If he should still malignantly remain 
Fast foe to the plebeii, your voices might 
Be curses to yourselves ? You should have said 190 
That as his worthy deeds did claim no less 
Than what he stood for, so his gracious nature 
Would think upon you for your voices and 
Translate his malice towards you into love, 
Standing your friendly lord. 

80 Coriolanus [Act II 

Sidnius. Thus to have said, 

As you were fore-ad vis 'd, had touch'd his spirit 
And tried 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, 200 

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. 

Brutus. Did you perceive 

He did solicit you in free contempt 
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 bodies 
No heart among you ? or had you tongues to cry 
Against the rectorship of judgment ? 

Sidnius. Have you 210 

Ere now denied the asker ? and now again 
Of him that did not ask, but mock, bestow 
Your sued-for tongues ? 

3 Citizen. He 's not confirm 'd ; we may deny him 

2 Citizen. And will deny him ; 
I '11 have five hundred voices of that sound. 

i Citizen. I twice five hundred and their friends to 

piece em. 

Brutus. Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends 
They have chose a consul that will from them take 

Scene ill] Coriolanus 8 1 

Their liberties, make them of no more voice aao 

Than dogs that are as often beat for barking 
As therefore kept to do so. 

Sicinius. Let them assemble, 

And on a safer judgment all revoke 
Your ignorant election. Enforce his pride, 
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 most gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion 230 
After the inveterate hate he bears you. 

Brutus. Lay 

A fault on us, your tribunes ; that we labour'd, 
No impediment between, but that you must 
Cast your election on him. 

Sicinius. Say, you chose him 

More after our commandment than as guided 
By your own true affections ; and that your minds, 
Preoccupied with what you rather must do 
Than what you should, made you against the grain 
To voice him consul. Lay the fault on us. 

Brutus. Ay, spare us not. Say we read lectures to 
you, 240 

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 came 
That Ancus Marcius, Numa's daughter's son, 

82 Coriolanus [Act II 

Who, after great Hostilius, here was king ; 
Of the same house Publius and Quintus were, 
That our best water brought by conduits hither ; 
And Censorinus, who was nobly nam'd so, 
Twice being by the people chosen censor, 
Was his great ancestor. 

Sicinius. One thus descended, 250 

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, 
That he 's your fixed enemy, and revoke 
Your sudden approbation. 

Brutus. Say, you ne'er had done 't 

Harp on that still but by our putting on ; 
And presently, when you have drawn your number, 
Repair to the Capitol. 

Citizens. We will so ; almost all 

Repent in their election. \_Exeunt Citizens. 

Brutus. Let them go on ; 260 

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. 

Sicinius. To the Capitol, come. 

We will be there before the stream o' the people ; 
And this shall seem, as partly 't is, their own, 
Which we have goaded onward. \Exeunt. 


SCENE I. Rome. A Street 

TITUS LARTIUS, Senators, and Patricians 

Coriolenus. Tullus Aufidius then had made new head ? 
Lartius. He had, my lord ; and that it was which 

Our swifter composition. 

Coriolanus. So then the Volsces stand but as at first, 
Ready, when time shall prompt them, to make road 
Upon 's again. 

Cominius. They are worn, lord consul, so 

84 Coriolanus [Act ill 

That we shall hardly in our ages see 
Their banners wave again. 

Coriolanus. Saw you Aufidius ? 

Lartius. On safeguard he came to me, and did curse 
Against the Volsces for they had so vilely ic 

Yielded the town ; he is retir'd to Antium. 

Coriolanus. Spoke he of me ? 

Lartius. He did, my lord. 

Coriolanus. How? what? 

Lartius. 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. 

Coriolanus. At Antium lives he ? 

Lartius. At Antium. 

Coriolanus. I wish I had a cause to seek him there, 
To oppose his hatred fully. Welcome home. 20 


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 

Against all noble sufferance. 

Sicinius. Pass no further. 

Coriolanus. Ha ! what is that ? 

Brutus. It will be dangerous to go on ; no further. 

Coriolanus. What makes this change ? 

Menenius. The matter ? 

Scene I] Coriolanus 85 

Cominius. Hath he not pass'd the noble and the 
common ? 

Brutus. Cominius, no. 

Coriolanus. Have I had children's voices ? 

i Senator. Tribunes, give way ; he shall to the 
market-place. 31 

Brutus. The people are incens'd against him. 

Sicinius. Stop, 

Or all will fall in broil. 

Coriolanus. 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 ? 
Have you not set them on ? 

Menenius. Be calm, be calm. 

Coriolanus. It is a purpos'd thing, and grows by 


To curb the will of the nobility. 

Suffer 't, and live with such as cannot rule 40 

Nor ever will be rul'd. 

Brutus. Call 't not a plot ; 

The people cry you mock'd them, and of late, 
When corn was given them gratis, you repin'd, 
Scandal'd the suppliants for the people, call'd them 
Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness. 

Coriolanus. Why, this was known before. 

Brutus. Not to them all. 

Coriolanus. Have you inform 'd them sithence ? 

86 Coriolanus [Act in 

Brutus. How ! I inform them ! 

Cominius. You are like to do such business. 

Brutus. Not unlike, 

Each way, to better yours. 

Coriolanus. Why then should I be consul ? By yond 
clouds, 50 

Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me 
Your fellow tribune. 

Sicinius. You show too much of that 

For which the people stir. If you will pass 
To where you are bound, you must inquire your way, 
Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit, 
Or never be so noble as a consul, 
Nor yoke with him for tribune. 

Menenius. Let 's be calm. 

Cominius. The people are abus'd. Set on. This 


Becomes not Rome, nor has Coriolanus 
Deserv'd this so dishonour'd rub, laid falsely 60 

I' the plain way of his merit. 

Coriolanus. Tell me of corn ! 

This was my speech, and I will speak 't again 

Menenius. Not now, not now. 

i Senator. Not in this heat, sir, now. 

Coriolanus. Now, as I live, I will. My nobler 


I crave their pardons. 
For the mutable, rank-scented many, let them 
Regard me as I do not flatter, and 

Scene I] Coriolanus 87 

Therein behold themselves. I say again, 

In soothing them, we nourish 'gainst our senate 

The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition, 70 

Which we ourselves have plough'd for, sow'd, and 


By mingling them with us, the honour'd number, 
Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that 
Which they have given to beggars. 

Menenius. Well, no more. 

i Senator. No more words, we beseech you. 

Coriolanus. How 1 no more 1 

As for my country I have shed my blood, 
Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs 
Coin words till their decay against those measles 
Which we disdain should tetter us, yet sought 
The very way to catch them. 

Brutus. You speak o' the people 

As if you were a god to punish, not 81 

A man of their infirmity. 

Sicinius. 'T were well 

We let the people know 't. 

Menenius. What, what ? his choler ? 

Coriolanus. Choler 1 

Were I as patient as the midnight sleep, 
By Jove, 't would be my mind 1 

Sicinius. It is a mind 

That shall remain a poison where it is, 
Not poison any further. 

Coriolanus. Shall remain I 

88 Coriolanus [Act m 

Hear you this Triton of the minnows ? mark you 
His absolute ' shall ? ' 

Cominius. 'T was from the canon. 

Coriolanus. Shall 1 

O good but most unwise patricians ! why, 91 

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 of the monster's, wants not spirit 
To say he '11 turn your current in a ditch 
And make your channel his ? If he have power, 
Then vail your ignorance ; if none, awake 
Your dangerous lenity. If you are learn'd, 
Be not as common fools ; if you are not, 100 

Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians, 
If they be senators ; and they are no less 
When, both your voices blended, the great'st taste 
Most palates theirs. 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 aches 
To know, when two authorities are up, 
Neither supreme, how soon confusion no 

May enter 'twixt the gap of both and take 
The one by the other. 

Cominius. Well, on to the market-place. 

Coriolanus. Whoever gave that counsel, to give 

Scene I] Coriolanus 89 

The corn o' the storehouse gratis, as 't was us'd 
Sometime in Greece, 

Menenius. Well, well, no more of that. 

Coriolanus. Though there the people had more abso 
lute power, 

I say, they nourish'd disobedience, fed 
The ruin of the state. 

Brutus. Why, shall the people give 

One that speaks thus their voice ? 

Coriolanus. I '11 give my reasons, 

More worthier than their voices. They know the corn 
Was not our recompense, resting well assur'd 121 

They ne'er did service for 't. Being press 'd to the 


Even when the navel of the state was touch 'd, 
They would not thread the gates ; this kind of service 
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 motive 
Of our so frank donation. Well, what then ? 130 

How shall this bisson multitude 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 rabble 
Call our cares fears, which will in time 

90 Coriolanus [Act m 

Break ope the locks o' the senate and bring in 
The crows to peck the eagles. 

Menenius. Come, enough. 

Brutus. Enough, with over-measure. 

Coriolanus. No, take more : 

What may be sworn by, both divine and human, 141 
Seal what I end withal ! This double worship, 
Where one part does disdain with cause, the other 
Insult without all reason, where gentry, title, wisdom, 
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 follows 
Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore, beseech you, 
You that will be less fearful than discreet, 150 

That love the fundamental part of state 
More than you doubt the change on 't, that prefer 
A noble life before a long, and wish 
To jump a body with a dangerous physic 
That 's sure of death without it, at once pluck out 
The multitudinous tongue ; let them not lick 
The sweet which is their poison. Your dishonour 
Mangles true judgment and bereaves the state 
Of that integrity which should become 't, 
Not having the power to do the good it would, 160 

For the ill which doth control 't. 

Brutus. Has said enough. 

Sicinius. Has spoken like a traitor, and shall answer 
As traitors do. 

Scene I] Coriolanus 91 

Coriolanus. 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, 170 

And throw their power i' the dust. 

Brutus. Manifest treason 1 

Sicinius. This a consul ? no I 

Brutus. The aediles, ho 1 

Enter an 

Let him be apprehended. 
Sicinius. Go, call the people, \Exit &dile\ in whose 

name myself 

Attach thee as a traitorous innovator, 
A foe to the public weal. Obey, I charge thee, 
And follow to thine answer. 
Coriolanus. Hence, old goat I 

Senators, etc. We '11 surety him. 
Cominius. Aged sir, hands off. 

Coriolanus. Hence, rotten thing! or I shall shake 

thy bones 
Out of thy garments. 

Sicinius. Help, ye citizens 1 180 

Enter a rabble of Citizens, with the 
Menenius. On both sides more respect. 

92 Coriolanus [Act m 

Sicinius. Here 's he that would take from you all 
your power. 

Brutus. Seize him, sediles ! 

Citizens. Down with him 1 down with him I 

Senators, etc. Weapons, weapons, weapons ! 

\They all bustle about Coriolanus, crying 
1 Tribunes ! ' ' Patricians ! ' ' Citizens ! ' ' What, ho ! ' 
' Sicinius ! ' ' Brutus ! ' ' Coriolanus ! ' ' Citizens 1 ' 
' Peace, peace, peace ! ' ' Stay, hold, peace ! ' 

Menenius. What is about to be ? I am out of breath ; 
Confusion 's near ; I cannot speak. You, tribunes 190 
To the people ! Coriolanus, patience ! 
Speak, good Sicinius. 

Sicinius. Hear me, people ; peace ! 

Citizens. Let 's hear our tribune. Peace ! Speak, 
speak, speak. 

Sicinius. You are at point to lose your liberties. 
Marcius would have all from you ; Marcius, 
Whom late you have nam'd for consul. 

Menenius. Fie, fie, fie ! 

This is the way to kindle, not to quench. 

i Senator. To unbuild the city and to lay all flat. 

Sicinius. What is the city but the people ? 

Citizens. True, 

The people are the city. 200 

Brutus. By the consent of all, we were establish'd 
The people's magistrates. 

Citizens. You so remain. 

Menenius. And so are like to do. 

Scene I] Coriolanus 93 

Cominius. 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. 

Sicinius. This deserves death. 

Brutus. 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 no 

We were elected theirs, Marcius is worthy 
Of present death. 

Sicinius. Therefore lay hold of him ; 

Bear him to the rock Tarpeian, and from thence 
Into destruction cast him. 

Brutus. jiEdiles, seize him I 

Citizens. Yield, Marcius, yield 1 

Menenius. Hear me one word ; 

Beseech you, tribunes, hear me but a word. 

jEdiles. Peace, peace 1 

Menenius. \To Brutus'} Be that you seem, truly your 

country's friend, 

And temperately proceed to what you would 
Thus violently redress. 

Brutus. Sir, those cold ways, 220 

That seem like prudent helps, are very poisonous 
Where the disease is violent. Lay hands upon him, 
And bear him to the rock. 

Coriolanus. No, I '11 die here. 

\_Drawing his sword. 
There 's some among you have beheld me fighting; 

94 Coriolanus [Act m 

Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me. 

Menenius. Down with that sword ! Tribunes, with 
draw awhile. 

Brutus. Lay hands upon him. 

Menenius. Help Marcius, help, 

You that be noble ; help him, young and old ! 

Citizens. Down with him, down with him 1 
\The Tribunes, the sEdiles, and the People are beat in. 

Menenius. Go, get you to your house ; be gone, 
away ! 230 

All will be naught else. 

2 Senator. Get you gone. 

Coriolanus. Stand fast ; 

We have as many friends as enemies. 

Menenius. Shall it be put to that ? 

i Senator. The gods forbid 1 

I prithee, noble friend, home to thy house ; 
Leave us to cure this cause. 

Menenius. For 't is a sore upon us 

You cannot tent yourself. Be gone, beseech you. 

Cominius. Come, sir, along with us. 

Coriolanus. I would they were barbarians as they 

Though in Rome litter'd not Romans as they are 

Though calv'd i' the porch o' the Capitol 

Menenius. Be gone ; 

Put not your worthy rage into your tongue ; 241 

One time will owe another. 

Scene I] Coriolanus 95 

Coriolanus. On fair ground 

I could beat forty of them. 

Mencnius. I could myself 

Take up a brace o' the best of them ; yea, the two 

Cominius. But now 't is odds beyond arithmetic ; 
And manhood is call'd foolery when it stands 
Against a falling fabric. Will you hence, 
Before the tag return ? whose rage doth rend 
Like interrupted waters and o'erbear 
What they are us'd to bear. 

Mfnenius. Pray you, be gone. 250 

I '11 try whether my old wit be in request 
With those that have but little ; this must be patch 'd 
With cloth of any colour. 

Cominius. Nay, come away. 

[Exeunt Coriolanus, Cominius, and others. 

1 Patrician. This man has marr'd his fortune. 
Menenius. His nature is too noble for the world ; 

He would not flatter Neptune for his trident, 
Or Jove for 's power to thunder. His heart 's his mouth ; 
What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent, 
And, being angry, does forget that ever 259 

He heard the name of death. [A noise within. 

Here 's goodly work 1 

2 Patrician. I would they were a-bed 1 
Menenius. I would they were in Tiber 1 What the 

vengeance 1 
Could he not speak 'em fair ? 

96 Coriolanus [Act III 

Re-enter BRUTUS and SICINIUS, with the rabble 

Sicinius. Where is this viper 

That would depopulate the city and 
Be every man himself ? 

Menenius. You worthy tribunes, 

Sicinius. 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 public power 
Which he so sets at nought. 

i Citizen. He shall well know 270 

The noble tribunes are the people's mouths, 
And we their hands. 

Citizens. He shall, sure on 't. 

Menenius. Sir, sir, 

Sicinius. Peace ! 

Menenius. Do not cry havoc, where you should but 

With modest warrant. 

Sicinius. Sir, how comes 't that you 

Have holp to make this rescue ? 

Menenius. Hear me speak. 

As I do know the consul's worthiness, 
So can I name his faults, 

Sicinius. Consul 1 what consul ? 

Menenius. The consul Coriolanus. 

Brutus. He consul 1 280 

Citizens. No, no, no, no, no 1 

Scene I] Coriolanus 97 

Menenius. If, by the tribunes' leave, and yours, good 


I may be heard, I would crave a word or two, 
The which shall turn you to no further harm 
Than so much loss of time. 

Sicinius. Speak briefly then ; 

For we are peremptory to dispatch 
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. 

Menenius. Now the good gods forbid 290 

That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude 
Towards her deserved children is enroll'd 
In Jove's own book, like an unnatural dam 
Should now eat up her own 1 

Sicinius. He 's a disease that must be cut away. 

Menenius. 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 300 
By many an ounce he dropp'd it for 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. 

Sicinius. This is clean kam. 

Brutus. Merely awry. When he did love his country, 
It honour'd him. 


98 Coriolanus [Act III 

Menenius. The service of the foot, 

Being once gangren'd, is not then respected 
For what before it was. 

Brutus. We '11 hear no more. 

Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence, 
Lest his infection, being of catching nature, 310 

Spread further. 

Menenius. 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 's heels. Proceed by process ; 
Lest parties, as he is belov'd, break out 
And sack great Rome with Romans. 

Brutus. If it were so, 

Sicinius. What do ye talk ? 
Have we not had a taste of his obedience ? 
Our aediles smote ? ourselves resisted ? Come. 

Menenius. Consider this: he has been bred i' the 
wars 320 

Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school'd 
In bolted language ; meal and bran together 
He throws without distinction. Give me leave, 
I '11 go to him, and undertake to bring him 
Where he shall answer, by a lawful form, 
In peace, to his utmost peril. 

i Senator. Noble tribunes, 

It is the humane way ; the other course 
Will prove too bloody, and the end of it 
Unknown to the beginning. 

Scene II] Coriolanus 99 

Sicinius. Noble Menenius, 

Be you then as the people's officer. 330 

Masters, lay down your weapons. 

Brutus. Go not home. 

Sicinius. Meet on the market-place. We '11 attend 

you there ; 

Where if you bring not Marcius, we '11 proceed 
In our first way. 

Menenius. I '11 bring him to you. 

[To the Senators'] Let me desire your company; he must 

Or what is worst will follow. 

i Senator. Pray you, let 's to him. 


SCENE II. A Room in Coriolanus's House 
Enter CORIOLANUS with Patricians 

Coriolanus. Let them pull all about mine ears, pre 
sent me 

Death on the wheel or at wild horses' heels, 
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. 

i Patrician. You do the nobler. 

Coriolanus. I muse my mother 
Does not approve me further, who was wont 
To call them woollen vassals, things created 

ioo Coriolanus [Act m 

To buy and sell with groats, to show bare heads 10 
In congregations, to yawn, be still, and wonder, 
When one but of my ordinance stood up 
To speak of peace or war. 


I talk of you. 

Why did you wish me milder ? would you have me 
False to my nature ? Rather say I play 
The man I am. 

Volumnia. O, sir, sir, sir, 
I would have had you put your power well on 
Before you had worn it out. 

Coriolanus. Let go. 

Volumnia. You might have been enough the man 

you are, 

With striving less to be so ; lesser had been 20 

The thwartings of your dispositions if 
You had not show'd them how you were dispos'd 
Ere they lack'd power to cross you. 

Coriolanus. Let them hang. 

Volumnia. Ay, and burn too. 

Enter MENENIUS with the Senators 

Menenius. Come, come, you have been too rough, 

something too rough ; 
You must return and mend it. 

i Senator. There 's no remedy ; 

Scene II] Coriolanus 101 

Unless, by not so doing, our good city 
Cleave in the midst and perish. 

Volumnia. Pray, be counselPd. 

I have a heart as little apt as yours, 
But yet a brain that leads my use of anger 30 

To better vantage. 

Menenius. Well said, noble woman 1 

Before he should thus stoop to the herd, but that 
The violent fit o' the time craves it as physic 
For the whole state, I would put mine armour on, 
Which I can scarcely bear. 

Coriolanus. What must I do ? 

Menenius. Return to the tribunes. 

Coriolanus. Well, what then ? what then ? 

Menenius. Repent what you have spoke. 

Coriolanus. For them ! I cannot do it to the gods ; 
Must I then do 't to them ? 

Volumnia. You are too absolute ; 

Though therein you can never be too noble 40 

But when extremities speak. I have heard you say, 
Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends, 
I* the war do grow together ; grant that, and tell me, 
In peace what each of them by the other lose, 
That they combine not there. 

Coriolanus. Tush, tush 1 

Menenius. A good demand. 

Volumnia. 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 

IO2 Coriolanus [Act III 

That it shall hold companionship in peace 

With honour, as in war, since that to both 50 

It stands in like request ? 

Coriolanus. Why force you this ? 

Volumnia. 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, 
But with such words that are but roted in 
Your tongue, though but bastards and syllables 
Of no allowance to your bosom's truth. 
Now, this no more dishonours you at all 
Than to take in a town with gentle words, 
Which else would put you to your fortune and 60 

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. I am in this, 
Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles ; 
And you will rather show our general louts 
How you can frown than spend a fawn upon 'em 
For the inheritance of their loves and safeguard 
Of what that want might ruin. 

Menenius. Noble lady ! 

Come, go with us : speak fair ; you may salve so, 70 
Not what is dangerous present, but the loss 
Of what is past. 

Volumnia. I prithee now, my son, 

Go to them with this bonnet in thy hand, 
And thus far having stretch'd it here be with them 

Scene II] Coriolanus 103 

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, 

Now humble as the ripest mulberry 

That will not hold the handling, say to them 80 

Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils 

Hast not the soft way which, thou dost confess, 

Were fit for thee to use as they to claim, 

In asking their good loves ; but thou wilt frame 

Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far 

As thou hast power and person. 

Menenius. This but done, 

Even as she speaks, why, their hearts were yours ; 
For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free 
As words to little purpose. 

Volumnia. Prithee now, 

Go, and be rul'd ; although I know thou hadst rather 90 
Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf 
Than flatter him in a bower. Here is Cominius. 


Cominius. I have been i' the market-place, and, sir, 

't is fit 

You make strong party or defend yourself 
By calmness or by absence ; all 's in anger. 

Menenius. Only fair speech. 

Cominius. I think 't will serve, if he 

Can thereto frame his spirit. 

IO4 Coriolanus [Act m 

Volumnia. He must, and will. 

Prithee now, say you will and go about it. 

Coriolanus. Must I go show them my unbarb'd 

sconce ? Must I 

With my base tongue give to my noble heart 100 

A lie that it must bear ? Well, I will do 't; 
Yet, were there but this single plot to lose> 
This mould of Marcius, they to dust should grind it 
And throw 't against the wind. To the market-place ! 
You have put me now to such a part which never 
I shall discharge to the life. 

Cominius. Come, come, we '11 prompt you. 

Volumnia. I prithee 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 before. 

Coriolanus. Well, I must do 't. no 

Away, my disposition, and possess me 
Some harlot's spirit ! my throat of war be turn'd, 
Which quired with my drum, into a pipe 
Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice 
That babies lulls asleep ! the smiles of knaves 
Tent in my cheeks, and schoolboys' tears take up 
The glasses of my sight ! a beggar's tongue 
Make motion through my lips, and my arm'd knees, 
Who bow'd but in my stirrup, bend like his 
That hath receiv'd an alms ! I will not do 't, 120 

Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth 

Scene II] Coriolanus 105 

And by my body's action teach my mind 
A most inherent baseness. 

Volumnia. 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, 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 thy pride thyself. 

Coriolanus. Pray, be content. 130 

Mother, I am going to the market-place ; 
Chide me no more. I '11 mountebank their loves, 
Cog their hearts from them, and come home be- 


Of all the trades in Rome. Look, I am going ; 
Commend me to my wife. I '11 return consul, 
Or never trust to what my tongue can do 
I' the way of flattery further. 

Volumnia. Do your will. [Exit. 

Cominius. Away 1 the tribunes do attend you : arm 


To answer mildly ; for they are prepar'd 
With accusations, as I hear, more strong 140 

Than are upon you yet. 

Coriolanus. The word is, mildly. Pray you, let 

us go; 

Let them accuse me by invention, I 
Will answer in mine honour. 

io6 Coriolanus [Act m 

Menenius. Ay, but mildly. 

Coriolanus. Well, mildly be it then, mildly ! 


SCENE III. The Same. The Forum 

Brutus. In this point charge him home, that he 


Tyrannical power ; if he evade us there, 
Enforce him with his envy to the people, 
And that the spoil got on the Antiates 
Was ne'er distributed. 

Enter an ^dile 

What, will he come ? 

&dile. He 's coming. 

Brutus. How accompanied ? 

jEdile. With old Menenius and those senators 
That always favour'd him. 

Sicinius. Have you a catalogue 

Of all the voices that we have procur'd 
Set down by the poll ? 

&dile. I have ; 't is ready. 10 

Sicinius. Have you collected them by tribes ? 

ALdile. I have. 

Sicinius. Assemble presently the people hither ; 
And when they hear me say * It shall be so 
I' the right and strength o' the commons,' be it either 
For death, for fine, or banishment, then let them, 

Scene III] Coriolanus 107 

If I say fine, cry 'Fine,' if death, cry ' Death ; * 
Insisting on the old prerogative 
And power i' the truth o' the cause. 

^Edile. I shall inform them. 

Brutus. And when such time they have begun to 


Let them not cease, but with a din confus'd 20 

Enforce the present execution 
Of what we chance to sentence. 

JEdile. Very well. 

Sidnius. Make them be strong and ready for this 

When we shall hap to give 't them. 

Brutus. Go about it. [Exit JEdile. 

Put him to choler straight. He hath been us'd 
Ever to conquer, and to have his worth 
Of contradiction. Being once chaf'd, he cannot 
Be rein'd again to temperance ; then he speaks 
What 's in his heart, and that is there which looks 
With us to break his neck. 

Sidnius. Well, here he comes. 30 

Senators and Patricians 

Menenius. Calmly, I do beseech you. 

Coriolanus. Ay, as an ostler, that for the poorest 

Will bear the knave by the volume. The honour'd 


io8 Coriolanus [Act in 

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 ! 

i Senator. Amen, amen. 

Menenius. A noble wish. 

Re-enter ^Edile with Citizens 

Sicinius. Draw near, ye people. 

sEdile. List to your tribunes. Audience ! peace, I 
say ! 4 o 

Coriolanus. First, hear me speak. 

Both Tribunes. Well, say. Peace, ho ! 

Coriolanus. Shall I be charg'd no further than this 

present ? 
Must all determine here ? 

Sicinius. 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 shall be prov'd upon you ? 

Coriolanus. I am content. 

Menenius. Lo, citizens, he says he is content. 
The warlike service he has done, consider ! think 
Upon the wounds his body bears, which show 50 

Like graves i' the holy churchyard. 

Coriolanus. Scratches with briers, 

Scars to move laughter only. 

Menenius. Consider further 

Scene III] Coriolanus 109 

That when he speaks not like a citizen, 
You find him like a soldier ; do not take 
His rougher accents for malicious sounds, 
But, as I say, such as become a soldier 
Rather than envy you. 

Cominius. Well, well, no more. 

Coriolanus. What is the matter 
That being pass'd for consul with full voice, 
I am so dishonour 'd that the very hour 60 

You take it off again ? 

Sidnius. Answer to us. 

Coriolanus. Say, then ; 't is true, I ought so. 

Sidnius. We charge you that you have contriv'd to 


From Rome all season 'd office and to wind 
Yourself into a power tyrannical, 
For which you are a traitor to the people. 

Coriolanus. How ! traitor 1 

Menenius. Nay, temperately ; your promise. 

Coriolanus. The fires i' the lowest hell fold in the 

people ! 

Call me their traitor 1 Thou injurious tribune 1 
Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths, 70 

In thy hands clutch'd as many millions, in 
Thy lying tongue both numbers, I would say 
* Thou liest ' unto thee with a voice as free 
As I do pray the gods. 

Sidnius. Mark you this, people ? 

Citizens. To the rock, to the rock with him 1 

no Coriolanus [Act m 

Sicinius. Peace 1 

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, 80 
So criminal and in such capital kind, 
Deserves the extremest death. 

Brutus. But since he hath 

Serv'd well for Rome, 

Coriolanus. What do you prate of service ? 

Brutus. I talk of that, that know it. 

Coriolanus. You ? 

Menenius. Is this the promise that you made your 
mother ? 

Cominius. Know, I pray you, 

Coriolanus. I '11 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 90 

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. 

Sicinius. For that he has, 

As much as in him lies, from time to time 
Envied against the people, seeking means 
To pluck away their power, as now at last 
Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence 
Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers 

Scene ill] Coriolanus ill 

That do distribute it ; in the name o' the people 

And in the power of us the tribunes, we, 100 

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. 

Citizens. It shall be so, it shall be so ; let him away. 
He 's banish'd, and it shall be so. 

Cominius. Hear me, my masters, and my common 

Sidnius. He 's sentenc'd ; no more hearing. 

Cominius. Let me speak ; 

I have been consul, and can show for Rome no 

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, her womb's increase, 
And treasure of my loins ; then if I would 
Speak that 

Sidnius. We know your drift ; speak what ? 

Brutus. There 's no more to be said but he is 


As enemy to the people and his country ; 
It shall be so. 

Citizens. It shall be so, it shall be so. 

Coriolanus. You common cry of curs 1 whose breath 
I hate 120 

As reek o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize 

H2 Coriolanus [Act III 

As the dead carcasses of unburied men 

That do corrupt my air, I banish you ; 

And here remain with your uncertainty ! 

Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts 1 

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, 

Making but reservation of yourselves, 130 

Still your own foes, deliver you as most 

Abated captives to some nation 

That won you without blows ! Despising, 

For you, the city, thus I turn my back. 

There is a world elsewhere. 

[Exeunt Coriolanus, Cominius, Menenius, 
Senators, and Patricians. 

^Edile. The people's enemy is gone, is gone ! 

Citizens. Our enemy is banish 'd ! he is gone ! Hoo 1 
Hoo ! [They all shout, and throw up their caps. 

Sicinius. Go, see him out at gates, and follow him, 
As he hath follow'd you, with all despite ; 
Give him deserv'd vexation. Let a guard 140 

Attend us through the city. 

Citizens. Come, come, let 's see him out at gates ; 

The gods preserve our noble tribunes ! Come. 




SCENE I. Rome. Before a Gate of the City 

COMINIUS, with the young Nobility of Rome 

Coriolanus. Come, leave your tears ; a brief farewell. 

The beast 

With many heads butts me away. Nay, mother, 
Where is your ancient courage ? you were us'd 
To say extremity was the trier of spirits ; 
That common chances common men could bear ; 
That when the sea was calm all boats alike 
Show'd mastership in floating ; fortune's blows, 
When most struck home, being gentle wounded, craves 

H4 Coriolanus [Act IV 

A noble cunning. You were us'd to load me 

With precepts that would make invincible 10 

The heart that conn'd them. 

Virgilia. O heavens ! O heavens ! 

Coriolanus. Nay, I prithee, woman, 

Volumnia. Now the red pestilence strike all trades 

in Rome, 
And occupations perish ! 

Coriolanus. What, what, what ! 

I shall be lov'd when I am lack'd. Nay, mother, 
Resume that spirit when you were won't 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 mother. 20 
I '11 do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius, 
Thy tears are salter than a younger man's 
And venomous to thine eyes. My sometime general, 
I have seen thee stern, and thou hast oft beheld 
Heart-hardening spectacles ; tell these sad women 
'T is fond to wail inevitable strokes, 
As 't is to laugh at 'em. My mother, you wot well 
My hazards still have been your solace ; and 
Believe 't not lightly though I go alone, 
Like to a lonely dragon that his fen 30 

Makes fear'd and talk'd of more than seen your son 
Will or exceed the common or be caught 
With cautelous baits and practice. 

Volumnia. My first son, 

Scene I] Coriolanus 115 

Whither wilt thou go ? Take good Cominius 
With thee awhile ; determine on some course 
More than a wild exposture to each chance 
That starts i' the way before thee. 

Coriolanus. O the gods 1 

Cominius. I '11 follow thee a month, devise with thee 
Where thou shalt rest, that thou mayst hear of us, 
And we of thee ; so, if the time thrust forth 40 

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 o' the needer. 

Coriolanus. 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, when I am forth, 
Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you, come. 50 

While I remain above the ground you shall 
Hear from me still, and never of me aught 
But what is like me formerly. 

Menenius. 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. 

Coriolanus. Give me thy Haiti. 

Come. [Exeunt. 

n6 Coriolanus [Act iv 

SCENE II. The Same. A Street near the Gate 
Enter SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and an ^Edile 

Sidnius. Bid them all home ; he 's gone, and we '11 

no further. 

The nobility are vex'd, whom we see have sided 
In his behalf. 

Brutus. Now we have shown our power, 

Let us seem humbler after it is done 
Than when it was a-doing. 

Sidnius. Bid them home ; 

Say their great enemy is gone, and they 
Stand in their ancient strength. 

Brutus. Dismiss them home. 

[Exit ^Edile. 
Here comes his mother. 


Sidnius. Let 's not meet her. 

Brutus. Why ? 

Sidnius. They say she 's mad. 

Brutus. They have ta'en note of us ; keep on your 

way. 10 

Volumnia. O, ye 're well met ; the hoarded plague o v 

the gods 

Requite your^love ! 

Menenius. ~" Peace, peace ; be not so loud. 

Volumnia: K that I could for weeping, you should 


Scene II] Coriolanus 117 

Nay, and you shall hear some. [To Brutus] Will you 
be gone ? 

Virgilia. \To Sicinius] You shall stay too ; I would 

I had the power 
To say so to my husband. 

Sicinius. Are you mankind ? 

Volumnia. Ay, fool ; is that a shame ? Note but 

this fool. 

Was not a man my father ? Hadst thou foxship 
To banish him that struck more blows for Rome 
Than thou hast spoken words ? 

Sicinius. O blessed heavens ! 20 

Volumnia. Moe noble blows than ever thou wise 

words ; 
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. 

Sicinius. What then ? 

Virgilia. What then ! 

He 'd make an end of thy posterity. 

Volumnia. Bastards and all. 
Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome I 

Menenius. Come, come, peace. 

Sicinius. I would he had continued to his country 
As he began, and not unknit himself 31 

The noble knot he made. 

Brutus. I would he had. 

1 1 8 Coriolanus [Act IV 

Volumnia. I would he had ! 'T was 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. 

Brutus. Pray, let us go. 

Volumnia. Now, pray, sir, get you gone ; 
You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear this : 
As far as doth the Capitol exceed 

The meanest house in Rome, so far my son 40 

This lady's husband here, this, do you see ? 
Whom you have banish'd, does exceed you all. 

Brutus. Well, well, we '11 leave you. 

Sicinius. Why stay we to be baited 

With one that wants her wits ? 

Volumnia. Take my prayers with you. 

\_Exeunt Tribunes. 

I would the gods had nothing else to do 
But to confirm my curses ! Could I meet 'em 
But once a-day, it would unclog my heart 
Of what lies heavy to 't. 

Menenius. You have told them home ; 

And, by my troth, you have cause. You '11 sup with 
me ? 

Volumnia. Anger 's my meat ; I sup upon myself, 50 
And so shall starve with feeding. Come, let 's go. 
Leave this faint puling, and lament as I do, 
In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come. 

Menenius. Fie, fie, fie 1 {Exeunt. 

Scene Hi] Coriolanus 119 

SCENE III. A Highway between Rome and Antium 
Enter a Roman and a Volsce, meeting 

Roman. I know you well, sir, and you know me ; 
your name, I think, is Adrian. 

Volsce. It is so, sir ; truly, I have forgot you. 

Roman. I am a Roman ; and my services are, as 
you are, against 'em. Know you me yet ? 

Volsce. Nicanor? no. 

Roman. The same, sir. 

Volsce. You had more beard when I last saw you ; 
but your favour is well appeared by your tongue. 
What 's the news in Rome ? I have a note from the 
Volscian state, to find you out there ; you have well 
saved me a day's journey. 12 

Roman. There hath been in Rome strange insur 
rections ; the people against the senators, patricians, 
and nobles. 

Volsce. Hath been 1 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. 19 

Roman. 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 


1 20 Coriolanus [Act IV 

tell you, and is almost mature for the violent break 
ing out. 

Volsce. Coriolanus banished 1 

Roman. Banished, sir. 

Volsce. You will be welcome with this intelligence, 
Nicanor. 31 

Roman. 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. 

Volsce. He cannot choose. I am most fortunate, 
thus accidentally to encounter you ; you have ended 
my business, and I will merrily accompany you home. 40 

Roman. 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 ? 

Volsce. A most royal one ; the centurions and 
their charges, distinctly billeted, already in the enter 
tainment, and to be on foot at an hour's warning. 

Roman. 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. 5* 

Volsce. You take my part from me, sir ; I have the 
most cause to be glad of yours. 

Roman. Well, let us go together, \Exeunt 

Scene ivj Coriolanus 121 

SCENE IV. An/turn. Before Aufidius's House 

Enter CORIOLANUS, in mean apparel, disguised and 

Coriolanus. A goodly city is this Antium. City, 
'T is 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, 
In puny battle slay me. 

Enter a Citizen 

Save you, sir. 

Citizen. And you. 

Coriolanus. Direct me, if it be your will, 

Where great Aufidius lies. Is he in Antium ? 

Citizen. He is, and feasts the nobles of the state 
At his house this night. 

Coriolanus. Which is his house, beseech you ? 

Citizen. This, here before you. 

Coriolanus. Thank you, sir ; farewell. 

[Exit Citizen. 

O world, thy slippery turns ! Friends now fast sworn, 
Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart, 13 

Whose house, whose bed, whose meal and exercise, 
Are still together, who twin, as 't were, in love 
Unseparable, shall within this hour, 
On a dissension of a doit, break out 

122 Coriolanus [Act IV 

To bitterest enmity ; so, fellest foes, 
Whose passions and whose plots have broke their 


To take the one the other, by some chance, 20 

Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends 
And interjoin their issues. So with me ; 
My birthplace hate I, and my love 's upon 
This enemy town. I '11 enter ; if he slay me 
He does fair justice; if he give me way 
I '11 do his country service. [Exit. 

SCENE V. The Same. A Hall in Aufidius's House 
Music within. Enter a Servingman 

1 Servingman. Wine, wine, wine ! What service 

is here 1 I think our fellows are asleep. [Exit. 

Enter a second Servingman 

2 Servingman. Where 's Cotus ? my master calls 
for him. Cotus 1 [Exit. 


Coriolanus. A goodly house. The feast smells well ; 

but I 
Appear not like a guest. 

Re-enter the first Servingman 

i Servingman. What would you have, friend ? 
whence are you ? Here 's no place for you ; pray, 
go to the door. [Exit. 

Scene V] Coriolanus 123 

Coriolanus. I have deserv'd no better entertain 
ment, 10 
In being Coriolanus. 

Re-enter second Servingman 

2 Servingman. Whence are you, sir? Has the 
porter his eyes in his head that he gives entrance to 
such companions ? Pray, get you out. 

Coriolanus. Away 1 

2 Servingman. Away ! get you away. 

Coriolanus. Now thou 'rt troublesome. 

2 Servingman. Are you so brave ? I '11 have you 
talked with anon. 

Enter a third Servingman. The first meets him 

3 Servingman. What fellow 's this ? 20 
i Servingman. A strange one as ever I looked on. 

I cannot get him out o' the house ; prithee, call my 
master to him. \Retires. 

3 Servingman. What have you to do here, fellow ? 
Pray you, avoid the house. 

Coriolanus. Let me but stand ; I will not hurt 
your hearth. 

3 Servingman. What are you ? 

Coriolanus. A gentleman. 

3 Servingman. A marvellous poor one. 30 

Coriolanus. True, so I am. 

3 Servingman. Pray you, poor gentleman, take up 
some other station ; here 's no place for you. Pray 
you, avoid ; come. 

124 Coriolanusr [Act IV 

Coriolanus. Follow your function, go, and batten 
on cold bits. \_Pushes him away from him. 

3 Servingman. What, you will not ? Prithee, tell 
my master what a strange guest he has here. 

2 Servingman. And I shall. \Exit. 

3 Servingman. Where dwellest thou ? 40 
Coriolanus. Under the canopy. 

3 Servingman. Under the canopy 1 

Coriolanus. Ay. 

3 Servingman. Where 's that ? 

Coriolanus. I' the city of kites and crows. 

3 Servingman. I' the city of kites and crows! 
What an ass it is 1 Then thou dwellest with daws 

Coriolanus. No, I serve not thy master. 

3 Servingman. How, sir 1 do you meddle with my 50 
master ? 

Coriolanus. Ay ; 't is an honester service than to 
meddle with thy mistress. 
Thou prat'st and prat'st; serve with thy trencher, 

hence! \Beats him away. Exit third Servingman. 

Enter AUFIDIUS with the second Servingman 

Aufidius. Where is this fellow ? 

2 Setvingman. Here, sir. I 'd have beaten him 
like a dog but for disturbing the lords within. [Retires. 

Aufidius. Whence com'st thou ? what wouldst thou ? 

thy name ? 
Why speak'st not ? speak, man ; what 's thy name ? 

Scene V] Coriolanus 125 

Coriolanus. \Unmuffling\ If, Tullus, 60 

Not yet thou knowest me, and, seeing me, dost not 
Think me for the man I am, necessity 
Commands me name myself. 

Aufidius. What is thy name ? 

Coriolanus. A name unmusical to the Volscians' 

And harsh in sound to thine. 

Aufidius. Say, what 's thy name ? 

Thou hast a grim appearance, and thy face 
Bears a command in 't; though thy tackle 's torn, 
Thou show'st a noble vessel. What 's thy name ? 

Coriolanus. Prepare thy brow to frown. Know'st 
thou me yet ? 

Aufidius. I know thee not ; thy name ? 70 

Coriolanus. My name is Caius Marcius, who hath 


To thee particularly, and to all the Volsces, 
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, 
And witness of the malice and displeasure 
Which thou shouldst bear me. Only that name re 
mains ; 

The cruelty and envy of the people, 80 

Permitted by our dastard nobles, who 
Have all forsook me, hath devour 'd the rest, 

126 Coriolanus [Act IV 

And suffer'd 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, but in mere spite, 

To be full quit of those my banishers, 

Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast 90 

A heart of wreak in thee, that wilt revenge 

Thine own particular wrongs and stop those maims 

Of shame seen through thy country, speed thee straight 

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. But if so be 

Thou dar'st not this, and that to prove more fortunes 

Thou 'rt tir'd, then, in a word, I also am ioc 

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 follow'd 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. 

Aufidius. O Marcius, Marcius ! 

Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my 

A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter 

Scene V] Coriolanus 1 27 

Should from yond cloud speak divine things, no 

And say * 'T is true,' I 'd not believe them more 

Than thee, all-noble Marcius. Let me twine 

Mine arms about that body, where-against 

My grained ash an hundred times hath broke, 

And scarr'd the moon with splinters. Here I clip 

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 lov'd the maid I married, never man 120 

Sigh'd truer breath ; 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. Why, thou Mars 1 I tell thee 

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 

Twelve several times, and I have nightly since 

Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and me ; 

We have been down together in my sleep, 130 

Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat, 

And wak'd half dead with nothing. Worthy Marcius, 

Had we no other quarrel else to Rome but that 

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'erbear. O, come, go in, 

And take our friendly senators by the hands, 

128 Coriolanus [Act IV 

Who now are here, taking their leaves of me, 

Who am prepar'd against your territories, 140 

Though not for Rome itself. 

Coriolanus. You bless me, gods ! 

Aufidius. 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 experienc'd, 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 150 

Say yea to thy desires. A thousand welcomes 1 
And more a friend than e'er an enemy ; 
Yet, Marcius, that was much. Your hand ; most wel 
come 1 

[Exeunt Coriolanus and Aufidius. The two 
Servingmen come forward. 

1 Servingman. Here 's a strange alteration ! 

2 Servingman. 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 Servingman. What an arm he has ! he turned 
me about with his finger and his thumb, as one 
would set up a top. 160 

2 Servingman. Nay, I knew by his face that there 

Scene V] Coriolanus 129 

was something in him ; he had, sir, a kind of face, 
methought, I cannot tell how to term it. 

1 Servingman. He had so ; looking as it were 
would I were hanged but I thought there was more 
in him than I could think. 

2 Servingman. So did I, I '11 be sworn ; he is 
simply the rarest man i' the world. 

1 Servingman. I think he is ; but a greater sol 
dier than he, you wot one. 170 

2 Servingman. Who, my master? 

1 Servingman. Nay, it 's no matter for that. 

2 Servingman. Worth six on him. 

1 Servingman. Nay, not so neither; but I take 
him to be the greater soldier. 

2 Sennngman. Faith, look you, one cannot tell 
how to say that ; for the defence of a town our gen 
eral is excellent. 

i Servingman. Ay, and for an assault too. 

Re-enter third Servingman 

3 Servingman. O slaves, I can tell you news, 180 
news, you rascals ! 

i and 2 Servingman. What, what, what ? let 's par 

3 Sennngman. I would not be a Roman, of all 
nations ; I had as lieve be a condemned man. 

i and 2 Servingman. Wherefore ? wherefore ? 

3 Servingman. Why, here 's he that was wont to 
thwack our general, Caius Marcius. 

I JO Coriolanus [Act IV 

1 Servingman. Why do you say, thwack our gen 
eral ? 190 

3 Servingman. I do not say, thwack our general; 
but he was always good enough for him. 

2 Servingman. Come, we are fellows and friends ; 
he was ever too hard for him ; I have heard him say 
so himself. 

1 Servingman. He was too hard for him directly, 
to say the troth on 't ; before Corioli he scotched 
him and notched him like a carbonado. 

2 Servingman. An he had been cannibally given, 
he might have broiled and eaten him too. 200 

1 Servingman. But, more of thy news ? 

3 Servingman. Why, he is so made on here with 
in 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 gen 
eral himself makes a mistress of him, sanctifies him 
self with 's hand, and turns up the white o' the eye 
to his discourse. But the bottom of the news is, our 
general is cut i' the middle and but one half of what 
he was yesterday ; for the other has half, by the en 
treaty and grant of the whole table. He '11 go, he 
says, and sowl the porter of Rome gates by the ears ; 
he will mow all down before him and leave his pas 
sage polled. 214 

2 Servingman. And he 's as like to do 't as any 
man I can imagine. 

3 Servingman. Do 't! he will do 't, for, look you v sir, 

Scene vj Coriolanus 131 

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. 
i Servingman. Directitude! what's that? 221 

3 Servingman. But when they shall see, sir, his 
crest up again, and the man in blood, they will out 
of their burrows, like conies after rain, and revel all 
with him. 

1 Servingman. But when goes this forward ? 

3 Servingman. To-morrow, to-day, presently; 
you shall have the drum struck up this afternoon. 
'T is, as it were, a parcel of their feast and to be exe 
cuted ere they wipe their lips. 230 

2 Servingman. Why, then we shall have a stirring 
world again. This peace is nothing but to rust iron, 
increase tailors, and breed ballad-makers. 

1 Servingman. Let me have war, say I. It exceeds 
peace as far as day does night ; it 's sprightly, wak 
ing, audible, and full of vent. Peace is a very apo 
plexy, lethargy ; mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible ; a 
getter of more bastard children than war 's a de 
stroyer of men. 239 

2 Servingman. 'T is so : and as war, in some sort, 
may be said to be a ravisher, so it cannot be denied 
but peace is a great maker of cuckolds. 

i Servingman. Ay, and it makes men hate one an 

3 Servingman. Reason ; because they then less 
need one another. The wars for my money. I hope 

Coriolanus [Act iv 

to see Romans as cheap as Volscians. They are 
rising, they are rising. 

i and 2 Servingman. In, in, in, in 1 \Exeunt. 

SCENE VI. Rome. A Public Place 
Enter the two Tribunes, SICINIUS and BRUTUS 

Sicinius. We hear not of him, neither need we fear him ; 
His remedies are tame i' the present peace 
And quietness of 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. 9 

Brutus. We stood to 't in good time. 


Is this Menenius ? 

Sicinius. 'T is he, 't is he. O, he is grown most 
kind of late ! Hail, sir ! 

Menenius. Hail to you both ! 

Sicinius. Your Coriolanus is not much miss'd 
But with his friends ; the commonwealth doth stand, 
And so would do, were he more angry at it. 

Menenius. All 's well, and might have been much 

better, if 
He could have temporiz'd. 

Sicinius. Where is he, hear you ? 

Scene VI] Coriolanus 133 

Menenius. Nay, I hear nothing ; his mother and his 

Hear nothing from him. ao 

Enter three or four Citizens 

Citizens. The gods preserve you both I 

Sicinius. God-den, our neighbours. 

Brutus. God-den to you all, god-den to you all. 

i Citizen. Ourselves, our wives, and children, on our 

Are bound to pray for you both. 

Sicinius. Live and thrive 1 

Brutus. Farewell, kind neighbours ; we wish'd Cori 
Had lov'd you as we did. 

Citizens. Now the gods keep you I 

Both Tribunes. Farewell, farewell. [Exeunt Citizens. 

Sicinius. This is a happier and more comely time 
Than when these fellows ran about the streets 
Crying confusion. 

Brutus. Caius Marcius was 30 

A worthy officer i' the war, but insolent, 
O'ercome with pride, ambitious past all thinking, 

Sicinius. And affecting one sole throne, 

Without assistance. 

Menenius. I think not so. 

Sicinius. We should by this, to all our lamentation, 
If he had gone forth consul, found it so. 

134 Coriolanus [Act IV 

Brutus. The gods have well prevented it, and Rome 
Sits safe and still without him. 

Enter an ^Edile 

jEdile. Worthy tribunes, 

There is a slave, whom we have put in prison, 
Reports the Volsces with two several powers 40 

Are enter'd in the Roman territories, 
And with the deepest malice of the war 
Destroy what lies before 'em. 

Menenius. 'T is Aufidius, 

Who, hearing of our Marcius' banishment, 
Thrusts forth his horns again into the world, 
Which were inshell'd when Marcius stood for Rome, 
And durst not once peep out. 

Sicinius^ Come, what talk you of Marcius ? 

Brutus. Go see this rumourer whipp'd. It cannot 

The Volsces dare break with us. 

Menenius. Cannot be 1 50 

We have record that very well it can, 
And three examples of the like hath been 
Within my age. But reason with the fellow, 
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. 

Sicinius. Tell not me ; 

I know this cannot be. 

Scene VI] Coriolanus 135 

Brutus. Not possible. 

Enter a Messenger 

Messenger. The nobles in great earnestness are going 
All to the senate-house ; some news is come 60 

That turns their countenances. 

Sidnius. 'T is this slave ; 

Go whip him fore the people's eyes ; his raising, 
Nothing but his report. 

Messenger. Yes, worthy sir, 

The slave's report is seconded ; and more, 
More fearful, is deliver'd. 

Sidnius. What more fearful ? 

Messenger. 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 69 

The young'st and oldest thing. 

Sidnius. This is most likely 1 

Brutus. Rais'd only that the weaker sort may wish 
Good Marcius home again. 

Sidnius. The very trick on 't. 

Menenius. This is unlikely ; 
He and Aufidius can no more atone 
Than violentest contrariety. 

Enter a second Messenger 

2 Messenger. You are sent for to the senate ; 
A fearful army, led by Caius Marcius 

136 Coriolanus [Act IV 

Associated with Aufidius, rages 

Upon our territories, and have already 

O'erborne their way, consum'd with fire, and took 80 

What lay before them. 


Cominius. O, you have made good work ! 

Menenius. What news ? what news ? 

Cominius. You have holp to ravish your own daugh 
ters and 

To melt the city leads upon your pates, 
To see your wives dishonour'd to your noses, 

Menenius. What 's the news ? what 's the news ? 

Cominius. Your temples burned in their cement, and 
Your franchises, whereon you stood, confin'd 
Into an auger's bore. 

Menenius. Pray now, your news ? 

You have made fair work, I fear me. Pray, your 
news ? 90 

If Marcius should be join'd with Volscians, 

Cominius. If 1 

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. 

Menenius. You have made good work, 

You and your apron-men ; you that stood so much 

Scene vij Coriolanus 137 

Upon the voice of occupation and 

The breath of garlic-eaters ! 100 

Cominius. He '11 shake your Rome about your ears. 

Menenius. As Hercules did shake down mellow fruit. 
You have made fair work 1 

Brutus. But is this true, sir ? 

Cominius. Ay ; and you '11 look pale 

Before you find it other. All the regions 
Do smilingly revolt, and who resist 
Are mock'd for valiant ignorance 
And perish constant fools. Who is 't can blame him ? 
Your enemies and his find something in him. 

Menenius. We are all undone, unless no 

The noble man have mercy. 

Cominius. 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. 

Menenius. 'T is 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 
hands, 120 

You and your crafts 1 you have crafted fair I 

Cominius, You have brought 

ij 8 Coriolanus [Act iv 

A trembling upon Rome such as was never 
So incapable of help. 

Both Tribunes. Say not we brought it. 

Menenius. How ! Was it we ? we lov'd him ; but, 

like beasts 

And cowardly nobles, gave way unto your clusters, 
Who did hoot him out o' the city. 

Cominius. But I fear 

They '11 roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius, 
The second name of men, obeys his points 
As if he were his officer ; desperation 
Is all the policy, strength, and defence, 130 

That Rome can make against them. 

Enter a troop of Citizens 

Menenius. 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. 'T is no matter ; 
If he could burn us all into one coal, 140 

We have deserv'd it. 

Citizens. Faith, we hear fearful news. 

i Citizen. For mine own part, 

When I said banish him, I said 't was pity. 

Scene VI] Coriolanus 139 

2 Citizen. And so did I. 

3 Citizen. 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 ban 
ishment, yet it was against our will. 

Cominius. Ye 're goodly things, you voices 1 

Menenius. You have made good work, 

You and your cry 1 Shall 's to the Capitol ? 150 

Cominius. O, ay, what else ? 

[Exeunt Cominius and Menenius. 

Sicinius. Go, masters, get you home; be not dis- 


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 Citizen. The gods be good to us ! Come, mas 
ters, let 's home. I ever said we were i' the wrong 
when we banished him. 

2 Citizen. So did we all. But, come, let 's home. 

[Exeunt Citizens. 

Brutus. I do not like this news. 160 

Sicinius. Nor I. 
Brutus. Let's to the Capitol. Would half my 


Would buy this for a lie I 
Sicinius. Pray, let us go. \Exeunt. 

140 Coriolanus [Act IV 

SCENE VII. A Camp, at a small distance from Rome 
Enter AUFIDIUS with his Lieutenant 

Aufidius. Do they still fly to the Roman ? 

Lieutenant. 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. 

Aufidius. 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 10 

In that 's no changeling, and I must excuse 
What cannot be amended. 

Lieutenant. Yet I wish, sir, 

I mean for your particular, you had not 
Join'd in commission with him, but either had borne 
The action of yourself or else to him 
Had left it solely. 

Aufidius. I understand thee 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 so he thinks, and is no less apparent 20 

To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly, 
And shows good husbandry for the Volscian state, 

Scene vii] Coriolanus 141 

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. 

Lieutenant. Sir, I beseech you, think you he '11 carry 
Rome ? 

Aufidius. All places yield to him ere he sits down, 
And the nobility of Rome are his ; 
The senators and patricians love him too. 30 

The tribunes are no soldiers ; and their people 
Will be as rash in the repeal as hasty 
To expel him thence. I think he '11 be to Rome 
As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it 
By sovereignty of nature. First he was 
A noble servant to them, but he could not 
Carry his honours even. Whether 't was pride, 
Which out of daily fortune ever taints 
The happy man ; whether defect of judgment, 
To fail in the disposing of those chances 40 

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 peace 
Even with the same austerity and garb 
As he controll'd the war ; but one of these 
As he hath spices of them all, not all, 
For I dare so far free him made him fear'd, 
So hated, and so banished ; but he has a merit 
To choke it in the utterance. So our virtues 
Lie in the interpretation of the time : 50 

142 Coriolanus [Act IV 

And power, unto itself most commendable, 

Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair 

To extol what it hath done. 

One fire drives out one fire, one nail one nail ; 

Rights by rights falter, strengths by strengths do fail. 

Come, let's away. When, Caius, Rome is thine, 

Thou art poor'st of all ; then shortly art thou mine. 




SCENE I. Rome. A Public Place 


Menenius. No, I '11 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 knee 
The way into his mercy. Nay, if he coy'd 
To hear Cominius speak, I '11 keep at home. 

144 Coriolanus [Act V 

Cominius. He would not seem to know me. 

Menenius. Do you hear ? 

Cominius. Yet one time he did call me by my name. 
I urg'd our old acquaintance and the drops 10 

That we have bled together. Coriolanus 
He would not answer to, forbade all names ; 
He was a kind of nothing, titleless, 
Till he had forg'd himself a name o' the fire 
Of burning Rome. 

Menenius. Why, so ; you have made good work 1 

A pair of tribunes that have rack'd for Rome, 
To make coals cheap, a noble memory ! 

Cominius. I minded him how royal 't was to pardon 
When it was less expected ; he replied, 
It was a bare petition of a state 20 

To one whom they had punish'd. 

Menenius. Very well ; 

Could he say less ? 

Cominius. I offer'd to awaken his regard 
For 's private friends ; his answer to me was, 
He could not stay to pick them in a pile 
Of noisome musty chaff. He said 't was folly, 
For one poor grain or two, to leave unburnt 
And still to nose the offence. 

Menenius. For one poor grain or two J 

I am one of those ; his mother, wife, his child, 
And this brave fellow too, we are the grains. 30 

You are the musty chaff ; and you are smelt 
Above the moon. We must be burnt for you. 

Scene I] Coriolanus 145 

Sicinius. Nay, pray, be patient ; if you refuse your 


In this so never-needed help, yet do not 
Upbraid 's with our distress. But, sure, if you 
Would be your country's pleader, your good tongue, 
More than the instant army we can make, 
Might stop our countryman. 

Menenius. No, I '11 not meddle. 

Sicinius. Pray you, go to him. 

Menenius. What should I do ? 

Brutus. Only make trial what your love can do 40 
For Rome, towards Marcius. 

Menenius. 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 ? 

Sicinius. Yet your good will 

Must have that thanks from Rome, after the measure 
As you intended well. 

Menenius. I '11 undertake 't ; 

I think he '11 hear me. Yet, to bite his lip 
And hum at good Cominius much unhearts me. 
He was not taken well ; he had not din'd. 50 

The veins unfill'd, 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 


146 Coriolanus [Act V 

Than in our priest-like fasts. Therefore I '11 watch him 
Till he be dieted to my request, 
And then I '11 set upon him. 

Brutus. You know the very road into his kindness 
And cannot lose your way. 

Menenius. Good faith, I '11 prove him, 60 

Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge 
Of my success. \Exit. 

Cominius. He '11 never hear him. 

Sicinius. Not ? 

Cominius. I tell you he does sit in gold, his eye 
Red as 't would burn Rome ; and his injury 
The gaoler to his pity. I kneel'd before him ; 
'T was very faintly he said ' Rise,' dismiss 'd me 
Thus, with his speechless hand. What he would do, 
He sent in writing after me ; what he would not, 
Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions. 
So that all hope is vain, 70 

Unless his noble mother and his wife, 
Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him 
For mercy to his country. Therefore, let 's hence 
And with our fair entreaties haste them on. [Exeunt. 

SCENE II. Entrance of the Volscian Camp before 
Rome. Two Sentinels on guard 


1 Sentinel. Stay 1 whence are you ? 

2 Sentinel. Stand, and go back. 

Scene II] Coriolanus 147 

Menenius. You guard like men, 't is well ; but, by 

your leave, 

I am an officer of state, and come 
To speak with Coriolanus. 

i Sentinel. From whence ? 

Menenius. From Rome. 

1 Sentinel. You may not pass, you must return ; our 

Will no more hear from thence. 

2 Sentinel. You '11 see your Rome embrac'd with fire 

You '11 speak with Coriolanus. 

Menenius. Good my friends, 

If you have heard your general talk of Rome 
And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks 10 

My name hath touch 'd your ears ; it is Menenius. 

i Sentinel. Be it so, go back; the virtue of your name 
Is not here passable. 

Menenius. I tell thee, fellow, 

Thy general is my lover. I have been 
The book of his good acts, whence men have read 
His fame unparallel'd, haply amplified, 
For I have ever verified my friends, 
Of whom he 's chief, with all the size that verity 
Would without lapsing suffer ; nay, sometimes, 
Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground, 20 

I have tumbled past the throw, and in his praise 
Have almost stamp'd the leasing. Therefore, fellow, 
I must have leave to pass. 

148 Coriolanus [Act V 

i Sentinel. 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 chastely. Therefore, go 

Menenius. Prithee, fellow, remember my name is 
Menenius, always factionary on the party of your 
general. 3I 

. 2 Sentinel. 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 

Menenius. Has he dined, canst thou tell ? for I 
would not speak with him till after dinner. 

i Sentinel. You are a Roman, are you ? 

Menenius. I am, as thy general is. 39 

i Sentinel. 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 
popular ignorance, given- your enemy your shield, 
think to front his revenges with the easy groans of 
old women, the virginal palms of your daughters, 
or with the palsied intercession of such a decayed 
dotant 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. 52 

Scene II] Coriolanus 149 

Menenius. Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, 
he would use me with estimation. 

i Sentinel. Come, my captain knows you not. 

Meneniits. I mean, thy general. 

i Sentinel. 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. 

Meneniits. Nay, but, fellow, fellow, 60 


Coriolanus. What 's the matter ? 

Menenius. Now, you companion, I '11 say an errand 
for you : you shall know now that I am in estima 
tion ; you shall perceive that a Jack guardant cannot 
office me from my son Coriolanus. Guess, but by my 
entertainment with him, if thou standest not i' the 
state of hanging, or of some death more long in 
spectatorship and crueller in suffering ; behold now 
presently, and swoon for what 's to come upon thee. 
[To Coriolanus'} The glorious gods sit in hourly 70 
synod about thy particular prosperity, and love thee 
no worse than thy old father Menenius does 1 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 our 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 

1 50 Coriolanus [Act V 

here, this, who, like a block, hath denied my access 
to thee. 81 

Coriolanus. Away ! 

Menenius. How ! away ! 

Coriolanus. Wife, mother, child, I know not. My 


Are servanted to others ; though I owe 
My revenge properly, my remission lies 
In Volscian 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 90 

Your gates against my force. Yet, for I lov'd thee, 
Take this along ; 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 belov'd in Rome ; yet thou behold 'st ! 

Aufidius. You keep a constant temper. 

\_Exeunt Coriolanus and Aufidius. 

1 Sentinel. Now, sir, is your name Menenius ? 

2 Sentinel. 'T is a spell, you see, of much power. 
You know the way home again. 

1 Sentinel. Do you hear how we are shent for 100 
keeping your greatness back ? 

2 Sentinel. What cause, do you think, I have to 
swoon ? 

Menenius. I neither care for the world nor your 
general ; for such things as you, I can scarce think 
there 's any, ye 're so slight. He that hath a will to 

Scene in] Coriolanus 151 

die by himself fears it not from another; let your 
general do his worst. For you, be that you are 
long ; and your misery increase with your age 1 I 
say to you, as I was said to, Away 1 [Exit. 

1 Sentinel. A noble fellow, I warrant him. m 

2 Sentinel. The worthy fellow is our general ; 
he 's the rock, the oak not to be wind-shaken. 


SCENE III. The Tent of Coriolanus 
Enter CORIOLANUS, AUFIDIUS, and others 

Coriolanus. We will before the walls of Rome to 

Set down our host. My partner in this action, 
You must report to the Volscian lords how plainly 
I have borne this business. 

Aufidius. 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. 

Coriolanus. This last old man, 

Whom with a crack'd heart I have sent to Rome, 
Lov'd me above the measure of a father, 10 

Nay, godded me, indeed. Their latest refuge 
Was to send him ; for whose old love I have, 
Though I show'd sourly to him, once more offer'd 

152 Coriolanus [Act V 

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 to ; fresh embassies and suits, 
Nor from the state nor private friends, hereafter 
Will I lend ear to. Ha 1 what shout is this ? 

\Shout within. 

Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow 20 

In the same time 't is made ? I will not. 

Enter in mourning habits, VIRGILIA, VOLUMNIA, leading 
young MARCIUS, VALERIA, and Attendants 

My wife comes foremost ; then the honoured mould 

Wherein this trunk was fram'd, and in her hand 

The grandchild to her blood. But, out, affection ! 

All bond and privilege of nature, break ! 

Let it be virtuous to be obstinate ! 

What is that curtsy worth ? or those doves' eyes, 

Which can make gods forsworn? I melt, and am 


Of stronger earth than others. My mother bows, 
As if Olympus to a molehill should 30 

In supplication nod ; and my young boy 
Hath an aspect of intercession, which 
Great nature cries 'Deny not.' Let the Volsces 
Plough Rome, and harrow Italy ; I '11 never 
Be such a gosling to obey instinct, but stand 
As if a man were author of himself 
And knew no other kin. 

Scene ill] Coriolanus 1 53 

Virgilia. My lord and husband 1 

Coriolanus. These eyes are not the same I wore in 

Virgilia. The sorrow that delivers us thus chang'd 
Makes you think so. 

Coriolanus. Like a dull actor now, 40 

I have forgot my part, and I am out, 
Even to a full disgrace. 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, 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 
Leave unsaluted. Sink, my knee, i' the earth ; 50 


Of thy deep duty more impression show 
Than that of common sons. 

Volumnia. O, stand up blest ! 

Whilst, with no softer cushion than the flint, 
I kneel before thee and unproperly 
Show duty, as mistaken all this while 
Between the child and parent. [Kneels. 

Coriolanus. What is this ? 

Your knees to me ? to your corrected son ? 
Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach 
Fillip the stars ; then let the mutinous winds 
Strike the proud cedars 'gainst the fiery sun ; 60 

1 54 Coriolanus [Act v 

Murthering impossibility, to make 
What cannot be, slight work. 

Volumnia. Thou art my warrior ; 

I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady ? 

Coriolanus. The noble sister of Publicola, 
The moon of Rome, chaste as the icicle 
That 's curded by the frost from purest snow 
And hangs on Dian's temple, dear Valeria ! 

Volumnia. This is a poor epitome of yours, 
Which by the interpretation of full time 
May show like all yourself. 

Coriolanus. The god of soldiers, 70 

With the consent of supreme Jove, inform 
Thy thoughts with nobleness, that thou mayst prove 
To shame unvulnerable, and stick i' the wars 
Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw 
And saving those that eye thee 1 

Volumnia. Your knee, sirrah. 

Coriolanus. That 's my brave boy ! 

Volumnia. Even he, your wife, this lady, and my 
Are suitors to you. 

Coriolanus. I beseech you, peace ; 

Or, if you 'd ask, remember this before : 
The thing I have forsworn to grant may never 80 

Be held by you denials. Do not bid me 
Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate 
Again with Rome's mechanics ; tell me not 
Wherein I seem unnatural ; desire not 

Scene ill] Coriolanus 155 

To allay my rages and revenges with 
Your colder reasons. 

Volumnia. O, no more, no more I 

You have said you will not grant us any thing, 
For we have. nothing else to ask but that 
Which you deny already ; yet we will ask, 
That, if you fail in our request, the blame 90 

May hang upon your hardness. Therefore hear us. 

Coriolanus. Aufidius, and you Volsces, mark; for 

Hear nought from Rome in private. Your request ? 

Volumnia. Should we be silent and not speak, our 


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 should 
Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with comforts, 
Constrains them weep and shake with fear and sorrow, 
Making the mother, wife, and child to see 101 

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 we must lose 
The country, our dear nurse, or else thy person, no 

156 Coriolanus [Act V 

Our comfort in the country. We must find 

An evident calamity, though we had 

Our wish, which side should win ; for either thou 

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 ; if I cannot persuade thee 120 

Rather to show a noble grace to both 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. 

Virgilia. Ay, and mine, 

That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name 
Living to time. 

Young Martins. A' shall not tread on me ; 

I '11 run away till I am bigger, but then I '11 fight. 

Coriolanus. Not of a woman's tenderness to be, 
Requires nor child nor woman's face to see. 130 

I have sat too long. [Rising. 

Volumnia. Nay, go not from us thus. 

If it were so that our request did tend 
To save the Romans, thereby to destroy 
The Volsces whom you serve, you might condemn us 
As poisonous of your honour. No, our suit 
Is, that you reconcile them : while the Volsces 

Scene III] Coriolanus 157 

May say ' This mercy we have show'd ; ' the Romans, 
' This we receiv'd ; ' and each in either side 
Give the all-hail to thee, and cry, ' Be blest 
For making up this peace ! ' Thou know'st, great 
son, 140 

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, 
Destroy'd his country, and his name remains 
To the ensuing age abhorr'd.' Speak to me, son ; 
Thou hast affected the fine strains of honour, 
To imitate the graces of the gods, 150 

To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o' the air, 
And yet to charge thy sulphur 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 's no man in the world 
More bound to 's mother ; yet here he lets me prate 
Like one i' the stocks. Thou hast never in thy life 160 
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, 

158 Coriolanus [Act V 

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 170 

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 's ; 

This boy, that cannot tell what he would have, 

But kneels and holds up hands for fellowship, 

Does reason our petition with more strength 

Than thou hast to deny 't. Come, let us go ; 

This fellow had a Volscian to his mother, 

His wife is in Corioli, and his child 

Like him by chance. Yet give us our dispatch ; x8o 

I am hush'd until our city be a-fire, 

And then I '11 speak a little. 

Coriolanus. \_After holding her by the hand, silent] O 

mother, mother 1 

What have you done ? Behold, the heavens do ope, 
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, 190 

I '11 frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius, 

Scene IV] Coriolanus 159 

Were you in my stead, would you have heard 
A mother less ? or granted less, Aufidius ? 

Aufidius. I was mov'd withal. 

Coriolanus. 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 '11 make, advise me. For my part, 
I '11 not to Rome, I '11 back with you ; and pray you, 
Stand to me in this cause. O mother ! wife ! 

Aufidius. [Aside] I am glad thou hast set thy 
mercy and thy honour 200 

At difference in thee ; out of that I '11 work 
Myself a former fortune. 

[The Ladies make signs to Coriolanus. 

Coriolanus. \_To Volumnia, Virgilia, etc.~] Ay, by and 


But we will drink together ; 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 ; all the swords 
In Italy, and her confederate arms, 
Could not have made this peace. [Exeunt. 

SCENE IV. Rome. A Public Place 

Menenius. See you yond coign o' the Capitol, 
yond corner stone? 

i 60 Coriolanus [Act V 

Sicinius. Why, what of that ? 

Menenius. 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. 

Sicinius. Is 't possible that so short a time can 
alter the condition of a man ? ic 

Menenius. 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. 

Sicinius. He loved his mother dearly. 

Menenius. So did he me ; and he no more remem 
bers his mother now than an eight-year-old horse. 
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 as a thing made for 
Alexander. What he bids be done is finished with 
his bidding. He wants nothing of a god but eter 
nity and a heaven to throne in. 25 

Sicinius. Yes, mercy, if you report him truly. 

Menenius. 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. 

Scene IV] Coriolanus 161 

Sicinius. The gods be good unto us I 32 

Menenius. No, in such a case the gods will not be 
good unto us. When we banished him we respected 
not them ; and, he returning to break our necks, 
they respect not us. 

Enter a Messenger 

Messenger. Sir, if you 'd save your life, fly to your 


The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune 
And hale him up and down, all swearing, if 
The Roman ladies bring not comfort home, 40 

They '11 give him death by inches. 

Enter a second Messenger 

Sicinius. What 's the news ? 

2 Messenger. Good news, good news ; the ladies 

have prevail'd, 

The Volscians are dislodg'd, and Marcius gone. 
A merrier day did never yet greet Rome, 
No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins. 

Sicinius. Friend, 

Art thou certain this is true ? is it most certain ? 

2 Messenger. As certain as I know the sun is fire. 
Where have you lurk'd that you make doubt of it ? 
Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide, 
As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark you 1 
\Trumpets; hautboys; drums beat; all together. 
The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes, 51 


1 62 Coriolanus [Act v 

Tabors and cymbals and the shouting Romans, 

Make the sun dance. Hark you ! [A shout within. 

Menenius. 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 ! 

{Music still, with shouts. 

Sicinius. First, the gods bless you for your tidings ; 
next, 60 

Accept my thankfulness. 

2 Messenger. Sir, we have all 

Great cause to give great thanks. 

Sicinius. They are near the city ? 

2 Messenger. Almost at point to enter. 

Sicinius. We will meet them 

And help the joy. \_Exeunt. 

SCENE V. The Same. A Street near the Gate 

Enter two Senators with VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, VALERIA, 
etc., passing over the stage, followed by Patricians 
and others 

i Senator. Behold our patroness, the life of Rome 1 
Call all your tribes together, praise the gods, 
And make triumphant fires ; strew flowers before them ; 
Unshout the noise that banish'd Marcius, 

Scene vi] Coriolanus 163 

Repeal him with the welcome of his mother ; 
Cry * Welcome, ladies, welcome 1 ' 

All. Welcome, ladies, 

Welcome 1 \A flourish with drums and 

trumpets. Exeunt. 

SCENE VI. Antium. A Public Place 
Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, with Attendants 

Aufidius. Go tell the lords o' 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 
The city ports by this hath enter'd and 
Intends to appear before the people, hoping 
To purge himself with words. Dispatch. 

[Exeunt Attendants. 

Enter three or four Conspirators of AuFiDius's/0*7fo 

Most welcome 1 

1 Conspirator. How is it with our general ? 
Aufidius. Even so 

As with a man by his own alms empoison'd n 

And with his charity slain. 

2 Conspirator. Most noble sir, 
If you do hold the same intent wherein 
You wish'd us parties, we Ml deliver you 

Of your great danger. 

164 Coriolanus [Act V 

Aufidius. Sir, I cannot tell ; 

We must proceed as we do find the people. 

3 Conspirator. The people will remain uncertain 

'Twixt you there 's difference ; but the fall of 

Makes the survivor heir of all. 

Aufidius. I know it ; 

And my pretext to strike at him admits 20 

A good construction. I rais'd him and I pawn'd 
Mine honour for his truth ; who being so heightened, 
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 Conspirator. Sir, his stoutness 
When he did stand for consul, which he lost 
By lack of stooping, 

Aufidius. . That I would have spoke of. 

Being banish'd for 't, he came unto my hearth, 30 

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 files, 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, and took some pride 
To do myself this wrong ; till, at the last, 
I seem'd his follower, not partner, and 

Scene VI] Coriolanus 165 

He wag'd me with his countenance as if 40 

I had been mercenary. 

i Conspirator. 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, 

Aufidius. There was it ; 

For which my sinews shall be stretch'd 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 '11 renew me in his fall. But, hark I 

\Drums and trumpets sound, with great 
shouts of the People. 

1 Conspirator. Your native town you enter'd like a 

post, 50 

And had no welcomes home ; but he returns 
Splitting the air with noise. 

2 Conspirator. And patient fools, 
Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tear 
W T ith giving him glory. 

3 Conspirator. Therefore, at your vantage, 
Ere he express himself, 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 
His reasons with his body. 

Aufidius. Say no more ; 

Here come the lords. 60 

1 66 Coriolanus [Act V 

Enter the Lords of the city 

All the Lords. You are most welcome home. 

Aufidius. I have not deserv'd it. 

But, worthy lords, have you with heed perus'd 
What I have written to you ? 

Lords. We have. 

i Lord. And grieve to hear 't. 

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, making a treaty where 
There was a yielding, this admits no excuse. 

Aufidius. He approaches ; you shall hear him. 70 

Enter CORIOLANUS, marching with drum and colours ; 
the Commoners being with him 

Coriolanus. Hail, lords ! I am return'd your soldier, 
No more infected with my country's love 
Than 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. We have made peace 

Scene VI] Coriolanus 167 

With no less honour to the Antiates 80 

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. 

Aufidius. Read it not, noble lords, 

But tell the traitor, in the high'st degree 
He hath abus'd your powers. 
Coriolanus. Traitor 1 how now 1 
Aufidius. Ay, traitor, Marcius 1 

Coriolanus. Marcius 1 

Aufidius. Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius ; dost thou 


I '11 grace thee with that robbery, thy stolen name 
Coriolanus in Corioli ? 9 

You lords and heads o' the state, perfidiously 
He has betray'd your business, and given up, 
For certain drops of salt, 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, 
That pages blush 'd at him, and men of heart 99 

Look'd wondering each at other. 

Coriolanus. Hear'st thou, Mars ? 

Aufidius. Name not the god, thou boy of tears 1 
Coriolanus. Ha J 

Aufidius. No more. 

1 68 Coriolanus [Act v 

Coriolanus. Measureless liar, thou hast made my 


Too great for what contains it. Boy ! O slave ! 
Pardon me, lords, 't is the first time that ever 
I was forc'd to scold. Your judgments, my grave 


Must give this cur the lie ; and his own notion 
Who wears my stripes impress 'd upon him, that 
Must bear my beating to his grave shall join 
To thrust the lie unto him. no 

1 Lord. Peace, both, and hear me speak. 
Coriolanus. Cut me to pieces, Volsces ; men and 


Stain all your edges on me. Boy ! false hound ! 
If you have writ your annals true, 't is there, 
That, like an eagle in a dove-cote, I 
Flutter 'd your Volscians in Corioli; 
Alone I did it. Boy ! 

Aufidius. 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 ? 

All Conspirators. Let him die for 't. 120 

All the People. ( Tear him to pieces.' ' Do it pres 
ently.' ' He killed my son.' ' My daughter.' ' He 
killed my cousin Marcus.' ' He killed my father.' 

2 Lord. Peace, ho ! no outrage ! peace I 
The man is noble and his fame folds in 

This orb o' the earth. His last offences to us 

Scene VI] Coriolanus 169 

Shall have judicious hearing. Stand, Aufidius, 
And trouble not the peace. 

Coriolanus. O that I had him, 

With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe, 
To use my lawful sword 1 

Aufidius. Insolent villain 1 130 

All Conspirators. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him I 

\Thc Conspirators draw, and kill Coriolanus ; 
Aufidius stands on his body. 

Lords. Hold, hold, hold, hold ! 

Aufidius. My noble masters, hear me speak. 

1 Lord. OTullus, 

2 Lord. Thou hast done a deed whereat valour will 


3 Lord. Tread not upon him. Masters all, be 

quiet ; 
Put up your swords. 

Aufidius. 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 '11 rejoice 
That he is thus cut off. Please it your honours 
To call me to your senate, I '11 deliver 140 

Myself your loyal servant or endure 
Your heaviest censure. 

i Lord. Bear from hence his body, 

And mourn you for him ; let him be regarded 
As the most noble corse that ever herald 
DicJ follow to his urn, 

170 Coriolanus [Act v 

2 Lord. His own impatience 

Takes from Aufidius a great part of blame. 
Let 's make the best of it. 

Aufidius. My rage is gone, 

And I am struck with sorrow. Take him up. 
Help, three o' the chiefest soldiers ; I '11 be one. 
Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully. 150 
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. 

\_Exeunt, bearing the body of Coriolanus. A 
dead march sounded. 





THE METRE OF THE PLAY. It should be understood at the 
outset that metre> or the mechanism of verse, is something alto 
gether distinct from the music of verse. The one is matter of rule, 
the other of taste and feeling. Music is not an absolute necessity 
of verse ; the metrical form is a necessity, being that which consti 
tutes the verse. 

The plays of Shakespeare (with the exception of rhymed pas 
sages, and of occasional songs and interludes) are all in unrhymed 
or blank verse ; and the normal form of this blank verse is illus 
trated by i. i. 70 of the present play: "Against the Roman state, 
whose course will on." 



This line, it will be seen, consists of ten syllables, with the even 
syllables (2d, 4th, 6th, 8th, and roth) accented, the odd syllables 
(ist, 3d, etc.) being unaccented. Theoretically, it is made up of 
five feet of two syllables each, with the accent on the second sylla 
ble. Such a foot is called an iambus (plural, iambuses, or the Latin 
iambi), and the form of verse is called iambic. 

This fundamental law of Shakespeare's verse is subject to certain 
modifications, the most important of which are as follows : 

1. After the tenth syllable an unaccented syllable (or even two 
such syllables) may be added, forming what is sometimes called a 
female line; as in i. I. 56: "What work's, my countrymen, in 
hand ? where go you ? " The rhythm is complete with the word 
go, the you being an extra eleventh syllable, as it is in the next line 
also. In i. 3. 45 ("At Grecian sword contemning. Tell Vale 
ria") we have two extra syllables, the rhythm being complete 
with the first syllable of Valeria; and the same is true of many 
lines ending with Aufidius, Cominius, Volumnia, etc. 

2. The accent in any part of the verse may be shifted from an 
even to an odd syllable ; as in i. I. 67: "Have the patricians of 
you. P\>r your wants;" and 69 (a female line): "Strike at the 
heavens with your staves as lift them." In both lines the accent 
is shifted from the second to the first syllable. In line 72 the 
change is in the sixth syllable. It occurs very rarely in the tenth 
syllable, and seldom in the fourth ; and it is not allowable in two 
successive accented syllables. 

3. An extra unaccented syllable may occur in any part of the 
line; as in i. i. 68, 73, and 100. In 68 the second syllable of suf 
fering is superfluous, in 73 the word the, and in 100 the same word 

4. Any unaccented syllable, occurring in an even place immedi 
ately before or after an even syllable which is properly accented, is 
reckoned as accented for the purposes of the verse ; as, for in 
stance, lines 56, 66, and 76. In 56, the third syllable of country 
men, in 66 the third of charitable, and in 76 the fourth of calamity, 

Notes 175 

are metrically equivalent to accented syllables. In i. 9. 51 ("In 
acclamations hyperbolical ") and iv. 6. 75 (" In violentest contra 
riety ") all the metrical accents occur in two words ; and in v. 6. go 
(" Coriolanus in Corioli ") four of them are in two words. 

5. In many instances in Shakespeare words must be lengthened 
in order to fill out the rhythm : 

(a) In a large class of words in which e or i is followed by 
another vowel, the e or * is made a separate syllable ; as ocean, 
opinion, soldier, patience, partial, marriage, etc. For instance, 
in this play, i. I. 89 ("Confess yourselves wondrous malicious") 
appears to have only nine syllables, but malicious is a quadri 
syllable ; and the same is true of addition in i. 9. 72 : " To 
undercrest your good addition." Soldier is a trisyllable in i 1. 117 
and v. 6. 71. See also rebellion in iii. 1. 167, precipitation (six 
syllables, with three accents) in iii. 3. 102, and other instances 
mentioned in the notes. This lengthening occurs most frequently 
at the end of the line. 

() Many monosyllables ending in r, re, rs, res, preceded by a 
long vowel or diphthong, are often made dissyllables ; as/are, fear, 
dear, fire, hair, hour, more, your, etc. In i. I. 192 : "They '11 sit 
by the fire, and presume to know," fire is a dissyllable, the word 
the being unaccented and superfluous (see on 3 above). If the 
word is repeated in a verse, it is often both monosyllable and 
dissyllable ; as in M. of V. iii. 2. 20 : " And so, though yours, not 
yours. Prove it so," where either yours (preferably the first) is a 
dissyllable, the other being a monosyllable. In J. C. iii. I. 172 : 
" As fire drives out fire, so pity, pity," the first fire is a dissyllable. 

(r) Words containing / or r, preceded by another consonant, 
are often pronounced as if a vowel came between or after them; 
as in T. of S. ii. I. 158 : "While she did call me rascal fiddler" 
[fiddl(e)er] ; All V Well, iii. 5. 43: " If you will tarry, holy pil 
grim" [pilg(e)rim] ; C. of E. v. I. 360: "These are the parents 
of these children " (childeren, the original form of the word) ; 
W. T. iv. 4. 76 : "Grace and remembrance [rememb(e)rance] be 

176 Notes 

to you both ! " etc. In i. I. 156 of this play assembly is a quad 
risyllable; and in i. 9. 17 country is a trisyllable. 

(d) Monosyllabic exclamations {ay, (9, jj/^a, #y, hail, etc.) and 
monosyllables otherwise emphasized are similarly lengthened ; also 
certain longer words; as commandement in M. of V. iv. I. 442; 
safety (trisyllable) in Ham. i. 3. 21 ; business (trisyllable, as origi 
nally pronounced) in this play, v. 3. 4 (as in /. C. iv. i. 23, etc.), 
and other words mentioned in the notes to the plays in which they 

6. Words are also contracted for metrical reasons, like plurals 
and possessives ending in a sibilant, as balance, horse (for horses 
and horse's), princess, sense, marriage (plural and possessive), 
image, etc. So with many adjectives in the superlative (like coldest, 
sternest, kindest, secret' st, etc.), and certain other words. 

7. The accent of words is also varied in many -instances for 
metrical reasons. Thus we find both revenue and revenue in the 
first scene of M. N. D. (lines 6 and 158), exile and exile (see 
note on i. 6. 35), extreme and extreme (see on iii. 3. 82), plebeian 
and plebeian (see on i. 9. 7), record (noun) and recdrd (see on iv. 
6. 51), pursue and pursue, etc. 

These instances of variable accent must not be confounded with 
those in which words were uniformly accented differently in the 
time of Shakespeare; like aspect (see on v. 3. 32), imp6rtune, 
sepulchre (verb), humane (see on iii. I. 327), per sever (never per 
severe}, perseverance, rheumatic, etc. 

8. Alexandrines, or verses of twelve syllables, with six accents, 
occur here and there in the plays. They must not be confounded 
with female lines with two extra syllables (see on I above) or 
with other lines in which two extra unaccented syllables may 

9. Incomplete verses, of one or more syllables, are scattered 
through the plays. See i. i. 64, 88, 93, etc. 

10. Doggerel measure is used in the very earliest comedies 
(L. L. L. and C. of E. in particular) in the mouths of comic 

Notes 177 

characters, but nowhere else in those plays, and never anywhere 
in plays written after 1598. 

11. Rhyme occurs frequently in the early plays, but diminishes 
with comparative regularity from that period until the latest. Thus, 
in L. L. L. there are about 1 100 rhyming verses (about one-third 
of the whole number), in M. N. D. about 900, in Kick. II. and 
R. and ' J. about 500 each, while in A. and C. there are only about 
40, in Temp, only two, and in W. T. none at all, except in the 
chorus introducing act iv. Songs, interludes, and other matter 
not in ten-syllable measure are not included in this enumeration. 
In the present play, out of some 2400 ten -syllable verses, only 
28 are in rhyme. 

Alternate rhymes are found only in the plays written before 
1599 or 1600. In L. L. L. there are 242 lines, in M. N. D. 96 lines, 
but in M. of V. there are only four lines at the end of iii. 2. In 
Muck Ado and A. Y. L., we also find a few lines, but none at all in 
subsequent plays. 

Rhymed couplets, or " rhyme-tags," are often found at the end of 
scenes. In Ham. 14 out of 20 scenes, and in Macb. 21 out of 
28, have such " tags ; " but in the latest plays they are not so 
frequent. The present play has but two, Temp, one, and IV. T. 

12. In this edition of Shakespeare, the final -ed of past tenses 
and participles in -verse is printed -d when the word is to be pro 
nounced in the ordinary way ; as in accused, line 90, and rebel? d, 
line 98, of the first scene. But when the metre requires that 
the -ed be made a separate syllable, the e is retained ; as in 
renowned, ii. I. 179, 180, where the word is a trisyllable. The 
only variation from this rule is in verbs like cry, die, sue, etc., 
the -ed of which is very rarely, if ever, made a separate syllable. 

This is a subject to which the critics have given very little atten 
tion, but it is an interesting study. In the present play we find 
scenes entirely in verse or in prose, and others in which the 


178 Notes 

two are mixed. In general, we may say that verse is used for what 
is distinctly poetical, and prose for what is not poetical. The dis 
tinction, however, is not so clearly marked in the earlier as in the 
later plays. The second scene of M. of K, for instance, is in prose, 
because Portia and Nerissa are talking about the suitors in a familiar 
and playful way ; but in T. G. of V., where Julia and Lucetta are 
discussing the suitors of the former in much the same fashion, the 
scene is in verse. Dowden, commenting on Rich. //., remarks: 
" Had Shakespeare written the play a few years later, we may be 
certain that the gardener and his servants (iii. 4) would not have 
uttered stately speeches in verse, but would have spoken homely 
prose, and that humour would have mingled with the pathos of the 
scene. The same remark may be made with reference to the sub 
sequent scene (v. 5) in which his groom visits the dethroned king 
in the Tower." Comic characters and those in low life generally 
speak in prose in the later plays, as Dowden intimates, but in the 
very earliest ones doggerel verse is much used instead. See on 10 

The change from prose to verse is well illustrated in the third 
scene of M. of V. It begins with plain prosaic talk about a busi 
ness matter ; but when Antonio enters, it rises at once to the higher 
level of poetry. The sight of Antonio reminds Shylock of his hatred 
of the Merchant, and the passion expresses itself in verse, the ver 
nacular tongue of poetry. We have a similar change in the first 
scene of/. 6'., where, after the quibbling " chaff" of the mechanics 
about their trades, the mention of Pompey reminds the Tribune of 
their plebeian fickleness, and his scorn and indignation flame out in 
most eloquent verse. 

The reasons for the choice of prose or verse are not always so 
clear as in these instances. We are seldom puzzled to explain the 
prose, but not unfrequently we meet with verse where we might 
expect prose. As Professor Corson remarks {Introduction to Shake 
speare, 1889), "Shakespeare adopted verse as the general tenor of 
his language, and therefore expressed much in verse that is within 

Notes 179 

the capabilities of prose ; in other words, his verse constantly en 
croaches upon the domain of prose, but his prose can never be said 
to encroach upon the domain of verse." If in rare instances we 
think we find exceptions to this latter statement, and prose actually 
seems to usurp the place of verse, I believe that careful study of 
the passage will prove the supposed exception to be apparent 
rather than real. 

many books that might be commended to the teacher and the crit 
ical student are the following: Halliwell-Phillipps's Outlines of the 
Life oj Shakespeare (yth ed. 1887) ; Sidney Lee's Life of Shake 
speare (1898; for ordinary students the abridged ed. of 1899 is 
preferable); Rolfe's Life of Shakespeare (1904); Schmidt's Shake 
speare Lexicon (3d ed. 1902) ; Littledale's ed. of Dyce's Glossary 
(1902); Bartlett's Concordance to Shakespeare (1895); Abbott's 
Shakespearian Grammar (1873); Furness's "New Variorum " ed. 
of the plays (encyclopaedic and exhaustive) ; Dowden's Shakspere : 
His Alind and Art (American ed. 1881); Hudson's Life, Art, 
and Characters of Shakespeare (revised ed. 1882); Mrs. Jameson's 
Characteristics of Women (several eds. ; some with the title, 
Shakespeare Heroines) ; Ten Brink's Five Lectures on Shakespeare 
(1895); Boas's Shakespeare and His Predecessors (1895); Dyer's 
Folk-lore of Shakespeare (American ed. 1884); Gervinus's Shake 
speare Commentaries (Bunnett's translation, 1875); Wordsworth's 
Shakespeare's Knowledge of the Bible (3d ed. 1880) ; Elson's Shake 
speare in Miisic (1901). 

Some of the above books will be useful to all readers who are 
interested in special subjects or in general criticism of Shakespeare. 
Among those which are better suited to the needs of ordinary 
readers and students, the following may be mentioned : Mabie's 
William Shakespeare: Poet, Dramatist, and Man (1900); Dow- 
den's Shakspere Primer (1877; small but invaluable); Rolfe's 
Shakespeare the Boy (1896 ; not a mere juvenile book, but useful 
for reference on the home and school life, the games and sports, 

1 80 Notes 

the manners, customs, and folk-lore of the poet's time) ; Guerber's 
Myths of Greece and Rome (for young students who may need 
information on mythological allusions not explained in the notes). 

H. Snowden Ward's Shakespeare 's Town and Times (2d ed. 1902) 
and John Leyland's Shakespeare Country (2d ed. 1903) are copiously 
illustrated books (yet inexpensive) which may be particularly 
commended for school libraries. 

ABBREVIATIONS IN THE NOTES. The abbreviations of the 
names of Shakespeare's plays will be readily understood ; as 
T. N. for Twelfth Night, Cor. for Coriolanus, 3 Hen. VI. for 
The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth, etc. P. P. refers to 
The Passionate Pilgrim ; V. and A. to Venus and Adonis ; L. C. 
to Lover's Complaint ; and Sonn. to the Sonnets. 

Other abbreviations that hardly need explanation are Cf. (confer, 
compare), Fol. (following), Id. (idem, the same), and Prol. (pro 
logue). The numbers of the lines in the references (except for the 
present play) are those of the " Globe " edition (the cheapest and 
best edition of Shakespeare in one compact volume), which is now 
generally accepted as the standard for line-numbers in works of ref 
erence (Schmidt's Lexicon, Abbott's Grammar, Dowden's Primer t 
the publications of the New Shakspere Society, etc.). 

following are the chief passages in North's Plutarch (see p. 9 
above), which illustrate the play: 

" The house of the Martians at Rome was of the number of the 
Patricians, out of the which have sprung many noble personages, 
whereof Ancus Martius was one, King Numa's daughter's son, 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 family, that was 
so surnamed, because the people had chosen him Censor twice. . . . 
Caius Martius, whose life we intend now to write, being left an 
orphan by his father, was brought up under his mother a widow ; 

Notes 1 8 1 

who taught us by experience, that orphanage bringeth many dis 
commodities l to a child, but doth not hinder him to become an 
honest man, and to excel in virtue above the common sort : as they 
that are meanly born wrongfully do complain, that it is the occasion 
of their casting away, for that no man in their youth taketh any 
care of them to see them well brought up, and taught that were 
meet. This man also is a good proof to confirm some men's 
opinions : That a rare and excellent wit, untaught, doth bring forth 
many good and evil things together : as a fat soil that lieth un- 
manured bringeth forth both herbs and weeds. For this Martius' 
natural wit and great heart did marvellously stir up his courage to 
do and attempt notable acts. But on the other side, for lack of 
education, he was so choleric and impatient, that he would yield to 
no living creature : which made him churlish, uncivil, and altogether 
unfit for any man's conversation. Yet men marvelling much at his 
constancy, that he was never overcome with pleasure nor money, 
and how he could endure easily all manner of pains and travails : 2 
thereupon they well liked and commended his stoutness and tem- 
perancy. 8 But for all that they could not be acquainted with him, 
as one citizen useth to be with another in the city : his behaviour 
was so unpleasant to them by reason of a certain insolent and stern 
manner he had, which, because he was too lordly, was disliked. . . . 
ACT II. Scene II. "The first time he went to the wars, being 
but a stripling, was when Tarquin surnamed the proud (that had 
been King of Rome, and was driven out for his pride, after many 
attempts made by sundry battles to come in again, wherein he was 
ever overcome) did come to Rome with all the aid of the Latins, 
and many other people of Italy : even as it were to set up his whole 
rest 4 upon a battle by them, who with a great and mighty army had 
undertaken to put him into his kingdom again, not so much to 
pleasure him, as to overthrow the power of the Romans, whose 

1 Disadvantages. 8 Moderation. Cf. temperance in iii. 3. 28. 

2 Labours. * To rely entirely. 

1 82 Notes 

greatness they both feared and envied. In this battle, wherein 
were many hot and sharp encounters of either party, Martius 
valiantly fought in the sight of the Dictator : and a Roman soldier 
being thrown to the ground even hard by him, Martius straight 
bestrid him, and slew the enemy, with his own hands, that had be. 
fore overthrown the Roman. Hereupon, after the battle was won, 
the Dictator did not forget so noble an act, and therefore first of all 
he crowned Martius with a garland of oaken boughs. For whoso 
ever saveth the life of a Roman, it is a manner among them, to 
honour him with such a garland. . . . 

ACT I. Scene I. " Now he being grown to great credit and au 
thority in Rome for his valiantness, it fortuned there grew sedition 
in the city, because the Senate did favour the rich against the peo 
ple, who did complain of the sore oppression of usurers, of whom 
they borrowed money. For those that had little, were yet spoiled 
of that little they had by their creditors, for lack of ability to pay 
the usury : who offered their goods to be sold to them that would 
give most. And such as had nothing left, their bodies were laid 
hold on, and they were made their bondmen, notwithstanding all the 
wounds and cuts they shewed, which they had received in many 
battles, fighting for defence of their country and commonwealth : 
of the which, the last war they made was against the Sabines, where 
in they fought upon the promise the rich men had made them, that 
from thenceforth they would intreat l them more gently, and also 
upon the word of Marcus Valerius chief of the Senate, who, by 
authority of the council, and in the behalf of the rich, said th< j y 
should perform that they had promised. But after that they had 
faithfully served in this last battle of all, where they overcame their 
enemies, seeing they were never a whit the better, nor more gen 
tly intreated, and that the Senate would give no ear to them, but 
made as though they had forgotten the former promise, and suffered 
them to be made slaves and bondmen to their creditors, and besides, 
to be turned out of all that ever they had : they fell then even to 
1 Treat. Cf. entreat, Rich, III. iv. 4. 151. 

Notes 1 83 

flat rebellion and mutiny, and to stir up dangerous tumults within 
the city. The Romans' enemies hearing of this rebellion, did 
straight enter the territories of Rome with a marvellous great 
power, spoiling and burning all as they came. Whereupon the 
Senate immediately made open proclamation by sound of trumpet, 
that all those that were of lawful age to carry weapon, should come 
and enter their names into the muster-master's book, to go to the 
wars : but no man obeyed their commandment. Whereupon their 
chief magistrates and many of the Senate began to be of divers 
opinions among themselves. For some thought it was reason, they 
should somewhat yield to the poor people's request, and that 
they should a little qualify the severity of the law. Other held 
hard against that opinion, and that was Martius for one. For he 
alleged, that the creditors' losing their money they had lent was 
not the worst thing that was herein : but that the lenity that was 
favoured was a beginning of disobedience, and that the proud at 
tempt of the communalty was, to abolish law, and to bring all to 
confusion. Therefore he said, if the Senate were wise, they should 
betimes prevent 1 and quench this ill-favoured and worst meant be 
ginning. The Senate met many days in consultation about it : but 
in the end they concluded nothing. The poor common people, see 
ing no redress, gathered themselves one day together ; and one 
encouraging another, they all forsook the city, and encamped 
themselves upon a hill, called at that day the Holy Hill, along the 
river of Tiber, offering no creature any hurt or violence, or making 
any shew of actual rebellion, saving that they cried as they went 
up and down, that the rich men had driven them out of the city, 
and that throughout all Italy they might find air, water, and ground 
to bury them in. Moreover, they said, to dwell at Rome was 
nothing else but to be slain, or hurt with continual wars and fight 
ing, for defence of the rich men's goods. 

" The Senate, being afraid of their departure, did send unto them 
certain of the pleasantest old men, and the most acceptable to the 
1 Anticipate. 

1 84 Notes 

people among them. Of those Menenius Agrippa was he, who was 
sent for chief man of the message from the Senate. He, after 
many good persuasions and gentle requests made to the people, on 
behalf of the Senate, knit up his oration in the end with a notable 
tale, in this manner : That ' on a time all the members of man's 
body did rebel against the belly, complaining of it, that it only 
remained in the midst of the body without doing any thing, neither 
did bear any labour to the maintenance of the rest : whereas all other 
parts and members did labour painfully, and were very careful, to 
satisfy the appetites and desires of the body. And so the belly, all 
this notwithstanding, laughed at their folly, and said : It is true, I 
first receive all meats that nourish man's body : but afterwards I send 
it again to the nourishment of other parts of the same. Even so 
(quoth he) O you, my masters, and citizens of Rome, the reason is 
alike between the Senate and you. For matters being well digested, 
and their counsels thoroughly examined, touching the benefit of 
the commonwealth, the Senators are cause of the common com 
modity l that cometh unto every one of you.' These persuasions 
pacified the people conditionally, that the Senate would grant there 
should be yearly chosen five Magistrates, which they now call 
Tribuni plebis, whose office should be to defend the poor people 
from violence and oppression. So Junius Brutus and Sicinius Vel- 
lutus were the first tribunes of the people that were chosen, who 
had only been the causers and procurers of this sedition. Here 
upon the city being grown again to good quiet and unity, the people 
immediately went to the wars, shewing that they had a good will 
to do better than ever they did, and to be very willing to obey the 
Magistrates in that they would command concerning the wars. 

"Martius also, though it liked him nothing 2 to see the greatness 
of the people thus increased, considering it was to the prejudice 
and imbasing 3 of the Nobility, and also saw that other noble Patri 
cians were troubled as well as himself: he did persuade the Patri 
cians to shew themselves no less forward and willing to fight for 

1 General advantage. 2 Did not at all please him. 8 Humiliation. 

Notes 185 

their country than the common people were : and to let them know 
by their deeds and acts, that they did not so much pass J the people 
in power and riches, as they did exceed them in true nobility and 
valiant ness. 

ACT I. Scenes //. IV.-X. "In the country of the Volsces, 
against whom the Romans made war at that time, there was a 
principal city and of most fame, that was called Corioles, before the 
which the Consul Cominius did lay siege. Wherefore all the other 
Volsces, fearing lest that city should be taken by assault, they 
came from all parts of the country to save it, intending to give the 
Romans battle before the city, and to give an onset on them in two 
several places. The Consul Cominius, understanding this, divided 
his army also into two parts; and taking the one part with himself, 
he marched towards them that were drawing to the city out of the 
country : and the other part of his army he left in the camp with 
Titus Latius 2 (one of the valiantest men the Romans had at that 
time) to resist those that would make any sally out of the city upon 
them. So the Coriolans, making small account of them that lay in 
camp before the city, made a sally out upon them, in the which at 
the first the Coriolans had the better, and drave the Romans back 
again into the trenches of their camp. But Martius being there at 
that time, running out of the camp with a few men with him, he 
slew the first enemies he met withal, and made the rest of them 
stay upon the sudden, crying out to the Romans that had turned 
their backs, and calling them again to fight with a loud voice. For 
he was even such another, as Cato would have a soldier and a cap 
tain to be, not only terrible and fierce to lay about him, but to make 
the enemy afeard with the sound of his voice, and the grimness 
of his countenance. Then there flocked about him immediately 
a great number of Romans: whereat the enemies were so afeard 
that they gave back presently. 8 But Martius, not staying so, did 
chase and follow them to their own gates, that fled for life. And 

1 Surpass; as in R. andj. i. 1.242 : "who pass'd that passing fair," 
etc. 2 Lartius. 8 At once. Cf. ii. 3. 258, etc. 

1 86 Notes 

there perceiving that the Romans retired back, for the great number 
of darts and arrows which flew about their ears from the walls of 
the city, and that there was not one man amongst them that durst 
venture himself to follow the flying enemies into their city, for that 
it was full of men of war very well armed and appointed, he did 
encourage his fellows with words and deeds, crying out to them, 
' that fortune had opened the gates of the city, more for the fol 
lowers than the fliers.' But all this notwithstanding, few had the 
hearts to follow him. Howbeit Martius, being in the throng 
amongst the enemies, thrust himself into the gates of the city, and 
entered the same among them that fled, without that any one of 
them durst at the first turn their face upon him, or offer to stay 
him. But he, looking about him, and seeing he was entered the 
city with very few men to help him, and perceiving he was environed 
by his enemies that gathered round about to set upon him, did 
things, as it is written, wonderful and incredible, as well for the 
force of his hand, as also for the agility of his body ; and with a 
wonderful courage and valiantness he made a lane through the 
midst of them, and overthrew also those he laid at : 1 that some he 
made run to the furthest part of the city, and other for fear he made 
yield themselves, and to let fall their weapons before him. By this 
means Martius, that was gotten out, had some leisure to bring the 
Romans with more safety into the city. The city being taken in 
this sort, the most part of the soldiers began incontinently to spoil, 
to carry away, and to look up the booty they had won. But Mar 
tius was marvellous angry with them, and cried out on them, that 
it was no time now to look after spoil, and to run straggling here 
and there to enrich themselves, whilst the other Consul and their 
fellow-citizens peradventure were fighting with their enemies : and 
how that, leaving the spoil, they should seek to wind themselves out 
of danger and peril. Howbeit, cry and say to them what he could, 
very few of them would hearken to him. Wherefore taking those 
that willingly offered themselves to follow him, he went out of the 
1 Attacked. 

Notes 187 

city, and took his way toward that part where he understood the 
rest of the army was, exhorting and intreating them by the way that 
followed him, not to be fainthearted ; and oft holding up his hands 
to heaven, he besought the gods to be gracious and favourable unto 
him, that he might come in time to the battle, and in a good hour 
to hazard his life in defence of his countrymen. Now the Romans 
when they were put in battle ray, 1 and ready to take their targets 
on their arms, and to gird them upon their arming-coats, had a 
custom to make their wills at that very instant, without any manner 
of writing, naming him only whom they would make their heir in 
the presence of three or four witnesses. Martius came just to that 
reckoning, whilst the soldiers were doing after that sort, and that 
the enemies were approached so near, as one stood in view of the 
other. When they saw him at his first coming all bloody, and in a 
sweat, and but with a few men following him, some thereupon be 
gan to be afeard. But soon after, when they saw him run with a 
lively cheer to the Consul, and to take him by the hand, declaring 
how he had taken the city of Corioles, and that they saw the Con 
sul Cominius also kiss and imbrace him, then there was not a man 
but took heart again to him, and began to be of good courage ; 
some hearing him report, from point to point, the happy success 
of this exploit, and other also conjecturing it by seeing their gestures 
afar off. Then they all began to call upon the Consul to march 
forward, and to delay no longer, but to give charge upon the 
enemy. Martius asked him how the order of their enemy's battle 
was, and on which side they had placed their best fighting men. 
The Consul made him answer, that he thought the bands which 
were in the vaward 2 of their battle were those of the Antiates, 
whom they esteemed to be the warlikest men, and which, for 

* Array. Cf. Spenser, F. Q. v. ix. 34 : 

" And all the damzels of that towne in ray 

Come dauncing forth," etc. 
2 Vanguard. Cf. i. 6. 53 below. 

1 88 Notes 

valiant courage, would give no place to any of the host of their 
enemies. Then prayed Martius to be set directly against them. 
The Consul granted him, greatly praising his courage. Then Mar 
tius, when both armies came almost to join, advanced himself a 
good space before his company, and went so fiercely to give charge 
on the vaward that came right against him, that they could stand 
no longer in his hands: he made such a lane through them, and 
opened a passage into the battle l of the enemies. But the two 
wings of either side turned one to the other, to compass him in 
between them: which the Consul Cominius perceiving, he sent 
thither straight of the best soldiers he had about him. So the battle 
was marvellous bloody about Martius, and in a very short space 
many were slain in the place. But in the end the Romans were so 
strong, that they distressed the enemies, and brake their array : and 
scattering them, made them fly. Then they prayed Martius that 
he would retire the camp, because they saw he was able to do no 
more, he was already so wearied with the great pain he had taken, 2 
and so faint with the great wounds he had upon him. But Martius 
answered them, that it was not for conquerors to yield, nor to be 
fainthearted : and thereupon began afresh to chase those that fled, 
until such time as the army of the enemies was utterly overthrown, 
and numbers of them slain and taken prisoners. 

"The next morning betimes, Martius went to the Consul, and 
the other Romans with him. There the Consul Cominius going up 
to his chair of state, in the presence of the whole army, gave thanks 
to the gods for so great, glorious, and prosperous a victory : then 
he spake to Martius, whose valiantness he commended beyond the 
moon, both for that he himself saw him do with his eyes, as also 
for that Martius had reported unto him. So in the end he willed 
Martius, that he should choose out of all the horses they had taken 
of their enemies, and of all their goods they had won (whereof 
there was great store) ten of every sort which he liked best, before 
any distribution should be made to other. Besides this great hon- 
1 Battalion. 2 Effort he had made. 

Notes 189 

curable offer he had made him, he gave him, in testimony that he 
had won that day the price of prowess above all other, a goodly 
horse with a caparison, and all furniture l to him : which the whole 
army beholding, did marvellously praise and commend. But Mar- 
tius, stepping forth, told the Consul he most thankfully accepted 
the gift of his horse, and was a glad man besides, that his service 
had deserved his General's commendation: and as for his other 
offer, which was rather a mercenary reward than a honourable 
recompence, he would have none of it, but was contented to have 
his equal part with the other soldiers. ' Only, this grace (said he) 
I crave and beseech you to grant me. Among the Volsces there 
is an old friend and host of mine, an honest wealthy man, and now 
a prisoner ; who, living before in great wealth in his own country, 
livcth now a poor prisoner, in the hands of his enemies: and yet 
notwithstanding all this his misery and misfortune, it would do me 
great pleasure if I could save him from this one danger, to keep 
him from being sold as a slave.' The soldiers hearing Martius' 
words, made a marvellous great shout among them, and there were 
more that wondered at his great contentation 2 and abstinence, 
when they saw so little covetousness in him, than they were that 
highly praised and extolled his valiantness. For even they them 
selves that did somewhat malice 8 and envy his glory, to see him 
thus honoured and passingly 4 praised, did think him so much the 
more worthy of an honourable recompence for his valiant service, 
as the more carelessly he refused the great offer made unto him 
for his profit ; and they esteemed more the virtue that was in him, 
that made him refuse such rewards, than that which made them to 
be offered to him, as unto a worthy person. For it is far more 
commendable, to use riches well, than to be valiant : and yet it is 
better not to desire them than to use them well. 

1 Equipments. 2 Moderation. 

Begrudge. S. does not use the verb, but we find it in Jonson, 
Daniel, Spenser, and other writers of the time. 
4 Surpassingly, exceedingly. 



"After this shout and noise of the assembly was somewhat ap 
peased, the Consul Cominius began to speak in this sort : ' we can 
not compel Martius to take these gifts we offer him if he will not 
receive them, but we will give him such a reward for the noble 
service he hath done, as he cannot refuse. Therefore, we do order 
and decree, that henceforth he be called Coriolanus, unless his 
valiant acts have won him that name before our nomination.' 
And so ever since, he still bare the third name of Coriolanus. . . . 

ACT I. Scene I. "Now when this war was ended, 1 the flatterers 
of the people began to stir up sedition again, without any new 
occasion, or just matter offered of complaint. For they did ground 
this second insurrection against the Nobility and Patricians upon 
the people's misery and misfortune, that could not but fall out, 2 by 
reason of the former discord and sedition between them and the 
Nobility. Because the most part of the arable land, within the 
territory of Rome, was become heathy and barren for lack of 
ploughing, for that they had no time nor mean to cause corn to 
be brought them out of other countries to sow, by reason of their 
wars ; which made the extreme dearth they had among them. 
Now those busy prattlers that sought the people's good-will by 
such flattering words, perceiving great scarcity of corn to be within 
the city : and though there had been plenty enough, yet the com 
mon people had no money to buy it : they spread abroad false 
tales and rumours against the Nobility, that they, in revenge of the 
people, had practised 3 and procured the extreme dearth among 
them. Furthermore, in the midst of this stir, there came ambas 
sadors to Rome from the city of Velitres, that offered up their city 

1 As Wright remarks, the description of the condition of the Roman 
people at the opening of the play seems to have been taken in part from 
Plutarch's account of this later insurrection as well as from that referred 
to in the passage on p. 182 above. 

2 That/*// out here means take place is clear from Amyot, who has 
" qui estoyent necessairement ensuyuis de leurs diuisions," etc. 


Notes 1 9 1 

to the Romans, and prayed them they would send new inhabitants 
to replenish the same : because the plague had been so extreme 
among them, and had killed such a number of them, as there was 
not left alive the tenth person of the people that had been there 
before. So the wise men of Rome began to think, that the neces 
sity of the Velitrians fell out in a most happy hour ; and how, by 
this occasion, it was very meet, in so great a scarcity of victuals, to 
disburden Rome of a great number of citizens: and by this means 
as well to take away this new sedition, and utterly to rid it out of 
the city, as also to clear the same of many mutinous and seditious 
persons, being the superfluous ill humours that grievously fed this 
disease. Hereupon the Consuls pricked out 1 all those by a bill, 
whom they intended to send to Velitres, to go dwell there as in 
form of a colony : and they levied out all the rest that remained 
in the city of Rome, a great number to go against the Volsces, 
hoping, by mean of foreign war, to pacify their sedition at home. 
Moreover they imagined, when the poor with the rich, and the 
mean sort with the Nobility, should by this device be abroad in the 
wars, and in one camp, and in one service, and in one like danger : 
that then they would be more quiet and loving together. But 
Sicinius and Brutus, two seditious Tribunes, spake against either 
of these devices, and cried out upon the noble men, that under the 
gentle name of a Colony, they would cloak and colour the most 
cruel and unnatural fact 2 as might be: because they sent their 
poor citizens into a sore infected city and pestilent air, full of dead 
bodies unburied, and there also to dwell under the tuition 8 of a 
strange god, that had so cruelly persecuted his people. 'This were 
(said they) even as much, as if the Senate should headlong cast down 
the people into a most bottomless pit ; and are not yet contented 
to have famished some of the poor citizens heretofore to death, and 

1 Marked down all those in a list. 

2 Evil deed, crime ; the sense in which S. also generally uses it. 

8 Tutelary power, guardianship; as in Much Ado, i. i. 283, the only 
instance of the word in S. 

192 Notes 

to put other of them even to the mercy of the plague : but afresh 
they have procured a voluntary war, to the end they would leave 
behind no kind of misery and ill, wherewith the poor silly people 
should not be plagued, and only because they are weary to serve 
the rich.' The common people, being set on a broil and bravery l 
with these words, would not appear when the Consuls called their 
names by a bill, to prest 2 them for the wars, neither would they be 
sent out to this new colony : insomuch as the Senate knew not 
well what to say or to do in the matter. * 

" Martius then, who was now grown to great credit, and a stout 
man besides, and of great reputation with the noblest men of Rome, 
rose up, and openly spake against these flattering Tribunes. And 
for the replenishing of the city of Velitres, he did compel those 
that were chosen, to go thither and to depart the city, upon great 
penalties to him that should disobey : but to the wars the people 
by no means would be brought or constrained. So Martius, tak 
ing his friends and followers with him, and such as he could by 
fair words intreat to go with him, did run certain forays into the 
dominion of the Antiates, where he met with great plenty of corn, 
and had a marvellous great spoil, as well of cattle as of men he had 
taken prisoners, whom he brought away with him, and reserved 
nothing for himself. Afterwards, having brought back again all 
his men that went out with him, safe and sound to Rome, and 
every man rich and loaden with spoil : then the home-tarriers and 
house-doves that kept 3 Rome still, began to repent them that it 
was not their hap to go with him, and so envied both them that 
had sped so well in this journey ; and also, of malice to Martius, 
they spited 4 to see his credit and estimation increase still more and 
more, because they accounted him to be a great hinderer of the 

ACT II. Scene II, "Shortly after this, Martius stood for the 
Consulship : and the common people favoured his suit, thinking it 
would be a shame to them to deny and refuse the chiefest noble 
1 Insolence. 2 Press. 8 Remained in. 4 Were envious. 

Notes 193 

man of blood, and most worthy person of Rome, and specially him 
that had done so great service and good to the commonwealth. 
For the custom of Rome was at that time, that such as did sue for 
any office, should for certain days before be in the market-place, 
only with a poor gown on their backs, and without any coat under 
neath, to pray the citizens to remember them at the day of elec 
tion : which was thus devised, either to move the people the more, 
by requesting them in such mean apparel, or else because they 
might shew them their wounds they had gotten in the wars in the 
service of the commonwealth, as manifest marks and testimonies 
of their valiantness. . . . Now Martius, following this custom, 
shewed many wounds and cuts upon his body, which he had 
received in seventeen years' service at the wars, and in many sun 
dry battles, being ever the foremost man that did set out feet l to 
fight. So that there was not a man among the people but was 
ashamed of himself, to refuse so valiant a man : and one of them 
said to another, 'we must needs choose him Consul, there is no 

ACT III. Scenes /.-///. " But when the day of election was 
come, and that Martius came to the market-place with great pomp, 
accompanied with all the Senate and the whole Nobility of the city 
about him, who sought to make him Consul with the greatest in 
stance 2 and intreaty they could, or ever attempted for any man or 
matter : then the love and good-will of the common people turned 
straight to an hate and envy toward him, fearing to put this office 
of sovereign authority into his hands, being a man somewhat par 
tial towards the Nobility, and of great credit and authority amongst 
the Patricians, and as one they might doubt 8 would take away 
altogether the liberty from the people. Whereupon, for these 
considerations, they refused Martius in the end, and made two 
other that were suitors, Consuls. The Senate, being marvellously 
offended with the people, did account the shame of this refusal 
rather to redound to themselves than to Martius : but Martius 

1 Advance. 2 Urgency. 8 Fear, suspect. Cf. iii. I. 152 below. 

1 94 Notes 

took it in far worse part than the Senate, and was out of all 
patience. For he was a man too full of passion and choler, too 
much given over to self-will and opinion, 1 as one of a high mind and 
great courage, that lacked the gravity and affability that is gotten 
with judgment of learning and reason, which only is to be looked 
for in a governor of State : and that remembered not how wilful- 
ness is the thing of the world, which a governor of a common 
wealth, for pleasing, should shun, being that which Plato called 
' solitariness ; ' as in the end, all men that are wilfully given to a 
self-opinion and obstinate mind, and who will never yield to 
other's reason but to their own, remain without company, and for 
saken of all men. For a man that will live in the world must 
needs have patience, which lusty bloods make but a mock at. So 
Martius, being a stout man of nature, that never yielded in any 
respect, as one thinking that to overcome always and to have the 
upper hand in all matters, was a token of magnanimity and of no 
base and faint courage, which spitteth out anger from the most 
weak and passioned part of the heart, much like the matter of an 
impostume : 2 went home to his house, full freighted with spite and 
malice against the people, being accompanied with all the lustiest 
young gentlemen, whose minds were nobly bent, as those that 
came of noble race, and commonly used for to follow and honour 
him. But then specially they flocked about him, and kept him 
company to his much harm, for they did but kindle and inflame his 
choler more and more, being sorry with him for the injury the 
people offered him ; because he was their captain and leader to 
the wars, that taught them all martial discipline, and stirred up in 
them a noble emulation of honour and valiantness, and yet, without 
envy, praising them that deserved best. 

" In the mean season there came great plenty of corn to Rome, 

that had been bought, part in Italy, and part was sent out of 

Sicily, as given by Gelon the tyrant of Syracusa : so that many 

stood in great hope, that the dearth of victuals being holpen, the 

1 Self-opinion, self-conceit. 2 Abscess. 

Notes 195 

civil dissension would also cease. The Senate sat in council upon 
it immediately ; the common people stood also about the palace 
where the council was kept, gaping what resolution l would fall 
out : persuading themselves that the corn they had bought should 
be sold good cheap, 2 and that which was given should be divided 
by the poll, without paying any penny ; and the rather, because 
certain of the Senators amongst them did so wish and persuade the 
same. But Martius, standing upon his feet, did somewhat sharply 
take up those who went about to gratify the people therein : and 
called them people-pleasers, and traitors to the Nobility. ' More 
over,' he said, ' they nourished against themselves the naughty 8 
seed and cockle * of insolence and sedition, which had been sowed 
and scattered abroad amongst the people, which they should have 
cut off, if they had been wise, in their growth : and not (to their 
own destruction) have suffered the people to establish a magistrate 
for themselves, of so great power and authority as that man had to 
whom they had granted it. Who was also to be feared, because 
he obtained what he would, and did nothing but what he listed, 
neither passed for 6 any obedience to the Consuls, but lived in all 
liberty ; acknowledging no superior to command him, saving the 
only heads and authors of their faction, whom he called his magis 
trates. Therefore,' said he, ' they that gave counsel and persuaded, 
that the corn should be given out to the common people gratis, as 
they used to do in the cities of Greece, where the people had more 
absolute power, did but only nourish their disobedience, which 
would break out in' the end, to the utter ruin and overthrow of the 
whole state. For they will not think it is done in recompence of 
their service past, sithence 6 they know well enough they have so 
oft refused to go to the wars when they were commanded : neither 
for their mutinies when they went with us, whereby they have 
rebelled and forsaken their country : neither for their accusations 
which their flatterers have preferred unto them, and they have re- 

1 Decision. * Evil. 6 Professed. 

Cheaply. * See on iii. x. 70 below. Since. Cf. iii. x, 47 below. 

196 Notes 

ceived, and made good against the Senate : but they will rather 
judge, we give and grant them this as abasing ourselves, and stand 
ing in fear of them, and glad to flatter them every way. By this 
means their disobedience will still grow worse and worse : and 
they will never leave to practise new sedition and uproars. There 
fore it were a great folly for us, methinks, to do it : yea, shall I say 
more ? we should, if we were wise, take from them their Tribune- 
ship, which most manifestly is the embasing of the Consulship, and 
the cause of the division of the city. The state whereof, as it 
standeth, is not now as it was wont to be, but becometh dismem 
bered in two factions, which maintains always civil dissension and 
discord between us, and will never suffer us again to be united 
into one body.' Martius dilating the matter with many such like 
reasons, won all the young men, and almost all the rich men to his 
opinion : insomuch as they rang it out, 1 that he was the only man, 
and alone in the city, who stood out against the people, and never 
flattered them. There were only a few old men that spake against 
him, fearing lest some mischief might fall out upon it, as indeed 
there followed no great good afterward. For the Tribunes of the 
people, being present at this consultation of the Senate, when they 
saw that the opinion of Martius was confirmed with the more 
voices, they left the Senate, and went down to the people, crying 
out for help, and that they would assemble to save their Tribunes. 
Hereupon the people ran on head 2 in tumult together, before 
whom the words that Martius spake in the Senate were openly 
reported : which the people so stomached, 3 that* even in that fury 
they were ready to fly upon the whole Senate. But the Tribunes 
laid all the fault and burthen wholly upon Martius, and sent their 
sergeants forthwith to arrest him, presently to appear in person 
before the people, to answer the words he had spoken in the 
Senate. Martius stoutly withstood these officers that came to 
arrest him. Then the Tribunes in their own persons, accompanied 
with the ^diles, went to fetch him by force, and laid violent 
1 Cried aloud. Cf. x Hen. VI. iv. 2. 41. 2 Ahead. Resented, 

Notes 197 

hands upon him. Howbeit the noble Patricians gathering to 
gether about him, made the Tribunes give back, and laid sore 
upon the ^idiles : so far for that time the night parted them, and 
the tumult appeased. The next morning betimes, the Consuls 
seeing the people in an uproar, running to the market-place out 
of all parts of the city, they were afraid lest all the city would 
together by the ears : wherefore assembling the Senate in all haste, 
they declared how it stood them upon, 1 to appease the fury of the 
people with some gentle words or grateful decrees in their favour : 
and moreover, like wise men they should consider, it was now no 
time to stand at defence and in contention, nor yet to fight for 
honour against the commonalty, they being fallen to so great an 
extremity, and offering such imminent danger. Wherefore they 
were to consider temperately of things, and to deliver some present 
and gentle pacification. The most part of the Senators that were 
present at this council, thought this opinion best, and gave their 
consents unto it. Whereupon the Consuls rising out of council, 
went to speak unto the people as gently as they could, and they 
did pacify their fury and anger, purging the Senate of all the unjust 
accusations laid upon them, and used great modesty 2 in persuading 
them, and also in reproving the faults they had committed. And 
as for the rest, that touched the sale of corn, they promised there 
should be no disliking 8 offered them in the price. So the most 
part of the people being pacified, and appearing so plainly by the 
great silence that was among them, as yielding to the Consuls and 
liking well of * their words : the Tribunes then of the people rose out 
of their seats, and said : * Forasmuch as the Senate yielded unto rea 
son, the people also for their part, as became them, did likewise give 
place unto them : but notwithstanding, they would that Martius 
should come in person to answer to the articles they had devised. 
First, whether he had not solicited and procured the Senate to 
change the present state of the commonweal, and to take the 

1 Concerned them. Cf. iii. 2. 52 below. * Displeasure. 

2 Moderation. 4 Being pleased with. 

198 Notes 

sovereign authority out of the people's hands ? Next, when he 
was sent for by authority of their officers, why he did contemptu 
ously resist and disobey ? Lastly, seeing he had driven and 
beaten the ^diles into the market-place before all the world : if, 
in doing this, he had not done as much as in him lay, to raise civil 
wars, and to set one citizen against another? ' And this was spoken 
to one of these two ends, either that Martius, against his nature, 
should be constrained to humble himself and to abase his haughty 
and fierce mind : or else, if he continued still in his stoutness, he 
should incur the people's displeasure and ill-will so far, that he 
should never possibly win them again. Which they hoped would 
rather fall out so, than otherwise : as indeed they guessed unhap 
pily, considering Martius' nature and disposition. 

" So Martius came and presented himself to answer their accu 
sations against him, and the people held their peace, and gave at 
tentive ear, to hear what he would say. But where they thought to 
have heard very humble and lowly words come from him, he began 
not only to use his wonted boldness of speaking (which of itself 
was very rough and unpleasant, and did more aggravate his accu 
sation, than purge his innocency) but also gave himself in his words 
to thunder, and look therewithal so grimly, as though he made no 
reckoning of the matter. This stirred coals among the people, who 
were in wonderful fury at it, and their hate and malice grew so 
toward him, that they could hold no longer, bear, nor endure his 
bravery l and careless boldness. Whereupon Sicinius, the cruellest 
and stoutest of the Tribunes, after he had whispered a little with 
his companions, did openly pronounce, in the face of all the people, 
Martius as condemned by the Tribunes to die. Then presently he 
commanded the .^Ediles to apprehend him, and carry him straight 
to the rock Tarpeian, and to cast him headlong down the same. 
When the ^diles come to lay hands upon Martius to do that they 
were commanded, divers of the people themselves thought it too 
cruel and violent a deed. The noblemen, being much troubled to 
1 Audacity. See p. 192 above. 

Notes 199 

see so much force and rigour used, began to cry aloud, ' help 
Martius : ' so those that laid hands on him being repulsed, they 
compassed him in round among themselves, and some of them, 
holding up their hands to the people, besought them not to handle 
him thus cruelly. But neither their words nor crying out could 
aught prevail, the tumult and hurlyburly was so great, until such 
time as the Tribunes' own friends and kinsmen, weighing with 
themselves the impossibleness to convey Martius to execution with 
out great slaughter and murder of the nobility, did persuade and 
advise not to proceed in so violent and extraordinary a sort, as to 
put such a man to death without lawful process in law, but that 
they should refer the sentence of his death to the free voice of the 
people. Then Sicinius, bethinking himself a little, did ask the 
Patricians, for what cause they took Martius out of the officers' 
hands that went to do execution ? The Patricians asked him 
again, why they would of themselves so cruelly and wickedly put to 
death so noble and valiant a Roman as Martius was, and that with 
out law and justice ? ' Well then,' said Sicinius, ' if that be the 
matter, let there be no quarrel or dissension against the people : 
for they do grant your demand, that his cause shall be heard accord 
ing to the law. Therefore,' said he to Martius, ' we do will l and 
charge you to appear before the people, the third day of our next 
sitting and assembly here, to make your purgation for such articles 
as shall be objected against you, that by free voice the people may 
give sentence upon you as shall please them.' The noblemen were 
glad then of the adjournment, and were much pleased they had 
gotten Martius out of this danger. .In the mean space, before the 
third day of their next session came about, the same being kept 
every ninth day continually at Rome, whereupon 2 they call it now 
in Latin Nundince : there fell out war against the Antiates, which 
gave some hope to the nobility that this adjournment would come 
to little effect, thinking that this war would hold them so long, as 
that the fury of the people against him would be well suaged, 8 or 
1 Require, 3 Wherefore, * Assuaged. 

2oo Notes 

utterly forgotten, by reason of the trouble of the wars. But con 
trary to expectation, the peace was concluded presently with the 
Antiates, and the people returned again to Rome. Then the Patri 
cians assembled oftentimes together, to consult how they might 
stand to 1 Martius, and keep the Tribunes from occasion to cause 
the people to mutine 2 again, and rise against the Nobility. And 
there Appius Claudius (one that was taken ever as an heavy enemy 
to the people) did avow and protest, that they would utterly abase 
the authority of the Senate, and destroy the commonweal, if they 
would suffer the common people to have authority by voices to give 
judgment against the Nobility. On the other side again, the most 
ancient Senators, and such as were given to favour the common 
people, said : ' that when the people should see they had authority 
of life or death in their hands, they would not be so cruel and fierce, 
but gentle and civil. More also, that it was not for contempt of 
Nobility or the Senate that they sought to have the authority of 
justice in their hands, as a pre-eminence and prerogative of honour : 
but because they feared, that themselves should be contemned and 
hated of the Nobility. So as 3 they were persuaded, that so soon as 
they gave them authority to judge by voices, they would leave all 
envy and malice to condemn any.' Martius, seeing the Senate in 
great doubt how to resolve, partly for the love and goodwill the 
nobility did bear him, and partly for the fear they stood in of the 
people : asked aloud of the Tribunes, ' what matter they would 
burden him with ? ' The Tribunes answered him, ' that they would 
shew how he did aspire to be King, and would prove that all his 
actions tended to usurp tyrannical power over Rome.' Martius 
with that, rising upon his feet, said: 'that thereupon 4 he did will- 
inglv offer himself to the people, to be tried upon that accusation : 
and that if it were proved by 5 him, he had so much as once thought 
of any such matter, that he would then refuse no kind of punish 
ment they would offer him: conditionally (quoth he) that you 

1 Stand by, support. 2 Mutiny. 8 So that. 

4 On that count, 5 About, concerning, 

Notes 201 

charge me with nothing else beside, and that ye do not also abuse 
the Senate.' They promised they would not. Under these condi 
tions the judgment was agreed upon, and the people assembled. 

"And first of all the Tribunes would in any case (whatsoever 
became l of it) that the people should proceed to give their voices 
by Tribes, and not by hundreds : for by this means the multitude 
of the poor needy people (and all such rabble as had nothing to 
lose, and had less regard of honesty before their eyes) came to be 
of greater force (because their voices were numbered by the poll) 
than the noble honest citizens, whose persons and purse did duti 
fully serve the commonwealth in their wars. And then, when the 
Tribunes saw they could not prove he went about 2 to make him 
self King, they began to broach afresh the former words that 
Martius had spoken in the Senate, in hindering the distribution 
of the corn at mean 3 price unto the common people, and persuad 
ing also to take the office of Tribuneship from them. And for the 
third, they charged him anew, that he had not made the common 
distribution of the spoil he had gotten in the invading the terri 
tories of the Antiates: but had of his own authority divided it 
among them who were with him in that journey. But this matter 
was most strange of all to Martius, looking least to have been bur 
dened with that as with any matter of offence. Whereupon being 
burdened on the sudden, and having no ready excuse to make 
even at that instant : he began to fall a praising of the soldiers 
that had served with him in that journey. But those that were 
not with him, being the greater number, cried out so loud, and 
made such a noise, that he could not be heard. To conclude, 
when they came to tell 4 the voices of the Tribes, there were 
three voices odd, which condemned him to be banished for ever. 
After declaration of the sentence, the people made such joy, as 
they never rejoiced more for any battle they had won upon their 
enemies, they were so brave and lively, and went home so jocundly 
from the assembly, for triumph of this sentence. 

l Came, 2 Endeavoured, * Low. 4 Count, 

2O2 Notes 

ACT IV. Scenes I. II. IV. "The Senate again, in contrary 
manner, were as sad and heavy, repenting themselves beyond meas 
ure, that they had not rather determined to have done and suf 
fered anything whatsoever, before the common people should so 
arrogantly and outrageously have abused their authority. There 
needed no difference of garments, I warrant you, nor outward 
shows, to know a Plebeian from a Patrician, for they were easily 
discerned by their looks. For he that was on the people's side 
looked cheerfully on the matter: but he that was sad and hung 
down his head, he was sure of the noblemen's side : saving Martius 
alone, who neither in his countenance nor in his gait did ever shew 
himself abashed, or once let fall his great courage : but he only, of 
all other gentlemen that were angry at his fortune, did outwardly 
shew no manner of passion, nor care at all of himself. Not that he 
did patiently bear and temper his evil hap in respect of any reason 
he had, or by his quiet condition : but because he was so carried 
away with the vehemency of anger and desire of revenge, that he 
had no sense nor feeling of the hard state he was in: which the 
common people judge not to be sorrow, although indeed it be the 
very same. For when sorrow (as you would say) is set on fire, then 
it is converted into spite and malice, and driveth away for that 
time all faintness of heart and natural fear. And this is the cause 
why the choleric man is so altered and mad in his actions, as a man 
set on fire with a burning ague : for when a man's heart is troubled 
within, his pulse will beat marvellous strongly. Now that Martius 
was even in that taking l it appeared true soon after by his doings. 
For when he was come home to his house again, and had taken 
his leave of his mother and wife, finding them weeping and shriek 
ing out for sorrow, and had also comforted and persuaded them 
to be content with his chance : he went immediately to the gate 
of the city, accompanied with a great number of Patricians, that 
brought him thither, from whence he went on his way with three 
or four of his friends only, taking nothing with him, nor requesting 
1 Fit of anger. Cf. 1?. of L. 453. 

Notes 203 

anything of any man. So he remained a few days in the country 
at his houses, turmoiled with sundry sorts and kinds of thoughts, 
such as the fire of his choler did stir up. 

"In the end, seeing he could resolve no way to take a profitable 
or honourable course, but only was pricked forward still to be 
revenged of the Romans : he thought to raise up some great wars 
against them, by their nearest neighbours. Whereupon he thought 
it his best way, first to stir up the Volsces against them, knowing 
they were yet able enough in strength and riches to encounter 
them, notwithstanding their former losses they had received not 
long before, and that their power was not so much impaired, as 
their malice and desire was increased to be revenged of the Ro 
mans. Now in the city of Antium there was one called Tullus 
Aufidius, who for his riches, as also for his nobility and valiant- 
ness, was honoured among the Volsces as a king. Martius knew 
very well that Tullus did more malice x and envy him than he did 
all the Romans besides : because that many times, in battles where 
they met, they were ever at the encounter one against another, 
like lusty courageous youths striving in all emulation of honour, 
and had encountered many times together. Insomuch as, besides 
the common quarrel between them, there was bred a marvellous 
private hate one against another. Yet notwithstanding, consider 
ing that Tullus Aufidius was a man of great mind, and that he 
above all other of the Volsces most desired revenge of the Ro 
mans, for the injuries they had done unto them: he did an act 
that confirmed the words of an ancient poet to be true, who 
said : 2 

" It is a thing full hard, man's anger to withstand, 
If it be stiffly bent to take an enterprise in hand. 
For then most men will have the thing that they desire, 
Although it cost their lives therefore, such force hath wicked ire.' 

1 Hate. See p. 189 above. 

2 Clough says it is from Heraclitus, and quoted in two other places 
by Plutarch, and also by Aristotle. 

204 Notes 

And so did he. For he disguised himself in such array and attire, 
as he thought no man could ever have known him for the person 
he was, seeing him in that apparel he had upon his back : and as 
Homer said of Ulysses : 1 

" ' So did he enter into the enemies' town.' 

It was even twilight when he entered the city of Antium, and many 
people met him in the streets, but no man knew him. So he 
went directly to Tullus Aufidius' house, and when he came thither, 
he got him up straight to the chimney-hearth, and sat him down, 
and spake not a word to any man, his face all muffled over. They 
of the house spying him, wondered what he should be, and yet they 
durst not bid him rise. For ill-favouredly muffled and disguised 
as he was, yet there appeared a certain majesty in his countenance 
and in his silence : whereupon they went to Tullus, who was at 
supper, to tell him of the strange disguising of this man. Tullus rose 
presently from the board, and coming towards him, asked him what he 
was, and wherefore he came. Then Martius unmuffled himself, and 
after he had paused awhile, making no answer, he said unto him : 
' If thouknowestme not yet, Tullus, and, seeing me, dost not perhaps 
believe me to be the man I am indeed, I must of necessity beray 2 
myself to be that I am. I am Caius Martius, who hath done to thy 
self particularly, and to all the Volsces generally, great hurt and 
mischief, which I cannot deny for 3 my surname of Coriolanus that 
I bear. For I never had other benefit nor recompence of the true 
and painful 4 service I have done, and the extreme dangers I have 
been in, but this only surname : a good memory and witness of the 
malice and displeasure thou shouldest bear me. Indeed the name 
only remaineth with me : for the rest the envy and cruelty of the 
people of Rome have taken from me, by the sufferance of the das 
tardly nobility and magistrates, who have forsaken me, and let me 

1 The passage is from Helen's description of Ulysses (Odys. iv. 246). 

2 Reveal. Cf. v. 3. 95 below. 8 Because of. 
4 Toilsome. Cf. iv. 5. 74 below. 

Notes 205 

be banished by the people. This extremity hath now driven me to 
come as a poor suitor, to take thy chimney-hearth, not of any hope 
I have to save my life thereby : for if I had feared death, I would 
not have come hither to have put myself in hazard : but pricked 
forward 1 with desire to be revenged of them that thus have ban 
ished me ; which now I do begin, in putting my person into the 
hands of their enemies. Wherefore, if thou hast any heart to 
be wrecked 2 of the injuries thy enemies have done thee, speed thee 
now, and let my misery serve thy turn, and so use it as my service 
may be a benefit to the Volsces : promising thee, that I will fight 
with better goodwill for all you than I did when I was against you, 
knowing that they fight more valiantly who know the force of the 
enemy, than such as have never proved it. And if it be so that 
thou dare not, and that thou art weary to prove fortune any more, 
then am I also weary to live any longer. And it were no wisdom 
in thee, to save the life of him, who hath been heretofore thy mortal 
enemy, and whose service now can nothing help nor pleasure thee.' 
Tullus, hearing what he said, was a marvellous glad man, and tak 
ing him by the hand, he said unlo him : ' Stand up, O Martius, and 
be of good cheer, for in proffering thyself unto us thou doest us 
great honour : and by this means thou mayest hope also of greater 
things at all the Volsces' hands.' So he feasted him for that time, 
and entertained him in the honourablest manner he could, talking 
with him of no other matter at that present : but within few days 
after they fell to consultation together, in what sort they should 
begin their wars. 

ACT IV. Scene VI. " Now, on the other side, the city of Rome 
was in marvellous uproar and discord, the nobility against the com 
monalty, and chiefly for Martius' condemnation and banishment. . . . 

" Now Tullus and Martius had secret conference with the great 
est personages of the city of Antium, declaring unto them that now 
they had good time offered them to make war with the Romans, 
while they were in dissension one with another. They answered 
i Spurred on. 2 Wreaked. Cf. iv. 5. 91 below. 

206 Notes 

them, they were ashamed to break the league, considering that they 
were sworn to keep peace for two years. Howbeit, shortly after, 
the Romans gave them great occasion to make war with them. 
For on a holy day, common plays being kept in Rome, upon some 
suspicion or false report, they made proclamation by sound of trum 
pet, that all the Volsces should avoid 1 out of Rome before sunset. 
Some think this was a craft and deceit of Martius, who sent one to 
Rome to the Consuls to accuse the Volsces falsely, advertising them 
how they had made a conspiracy to set upon them while they were 
busy in seeing these games, and also to set their city on fire. This 
open proclamation made all the Volsces more offended with the 
Romans than ever they were before : and Tullus, aggravating the 
matter, did so inflame the Volsces against them, that in the end 
they sent their ambassadors to Rome, to summon them to deliver 
their lands and towns again, which they had taken from them in 
times past, or to look for present 2 wars. The Romans, hearing 
this, were marvellously nettled : and made no other answer but this : 
'If the Volsces be the first that begin war, the Romans will be the 
last that will end it.' Incontinently upon return of the Volsces' 
ambassadors and delivery of the Romans' answer, Tullus caused an 
assembly general to be made of the Volsces, and concluded to make 
war upon the Romans. This done, Tullus did counsel them to 
take Martius into their service, and not to mistrust him for the 
remembrance of anything past, but boldly to trust him in any matter 
to come ; for he would do them more service in fighting for them 
than ever he did them displeasure in fighting against them. So 
Martius was called forth, who spake so excellently in the presence 
of them all, that he was thought no less eloquent in tongue than 
warlike in show : and declared himself both expert in wars, and 
wise with valiantness. Thus he was joined in commission with Tul 
lus as general of the Volsces, having absolute authority between 
them to follow and pursue the wars. . . . After their whole army 

1 Depart. Cf. iv. 5. 34 below. 

2 Immediate; as in iii. i. 212 below. 

Notes 207 

(which was marvellous great, and very forward to service) was as 
sembled in one camp, they agreed to leave part of it for garrison in 
the country about, and the other part should go on and make the war 
upon the Romans. So Martius bade Tullus choose, and take which 
of the two charges he liked best. Tullus made him answer, he 
knew by experience that Martius was no less valiant than himself, 
and how he ever had better fortune and good hap in all battles than 
himself had. Therefore he thought it best for him to have the lead 
ing of those that would make the wars abroad, and himself would 
keep l home, to provide for the safety of the cities of his country, 
and to furnish the camp also of all necessary provision abroad. 

"So Martius, being stronger than before, went first of all unto 
the city of Cercees, 2 inhabited by the Romans, who willingly 
yielded themselves, and therefore had no hurt. From thence he 
entered the country of the Latins, imagining the Romans would 
fight with him there to defend the Latins, who were their con 
federates, and had many times sent unto the Romans for their aid. 
But on the one side, the people of Rome were very ill willing to 
go : and on the other side, the Consuls being upon going out of their 
office, would not hazard themselves for so small a time : so that the 
ambassadors of the Latins returned home again, and did no good. 
Then Martius did besiege their cities, and having taken by force 
the town of the Tolerinians, Vicanians, Pedanians, and the Bolan- 
ians, who made resistance, he sacked all their goods and took them 
prisoners. Such as did yield themselves willingly unto him, he was 
as careful as possible might be to defend them from hurt : and be 
cause they should receive no damage by his will, he removed his 
camp as far from their confines as he could. Afterwards, he took 
the city of Boles 8 by assault, being but an hundred furlong from 
Rome, where he had a marvellous great spoil, and put every man 
to the sword that was able to carry weapon. 

ACT IV. Scene VII. "The other Volsces that were appointed to 

1 Stay at. Cf. " keep house " in Cymb. iii. 3. i. 
a Circeii. Bola or Bolla. 

208 Notes 

remain in garrison for defence of their country, hearing this good 
news, would tarry no longer at home, but armed themselves and 
ran to Martius' camp, saying they did acknowledge no other cap 
tain but him. Hereupon his fame ran through all Italy, and every 
one praised him for a valiant captain, for that, by change of one 
man for another, such and so strange events fell out in the state. 

ACT V. Scenes I. //. " In this while, all went still to wrack at 
Rome. For, to come into the field to fight with the enemy, they 
could not abide to hear of it, they were one so much against an 
other, and full of seditious words, the nobility against the people, 
and the people against the nobility. Until they had intelligence 
at the length, that the enemies had laid siege to the city of Lavin- 
ium, in the which were all the temples and images of their gods 
their protectors, and from whence came first their ancient original, 
for that yneas at his first arrival into Italy did build that city. Then 
fell there out a marvellous sudden change of mind among the peo 
ple, and far more strange and contrary in the nobility. For the 
people thought it good to repeal the condemnation and exile, of 
Martius. The Senate, assembled upon it, would in no case yield 
to that : who either did it of a selfwill to be contrary to the peo 
ple's desire : or because Martius should not return thorough 1 the 
grace and favour of the people. Or else, because they were 
throughly angry and offended with him, that he would set upon the 
whole, being offended but by a few, and in his doings would shew 
himself an open enemy besides unto his country : notwithstanding 
the most part of them took the wrong they had done him in mar 
vellous ill part, and as if the injury had been done unto themselves. 
Report being made of the Senate's resolution, the people found 
themselves in a straight : 2 for they could authorise and confirm 
nothing by their voices, unless it had been first propounded and 
ordained by the Senate. But Martius, hearing this stir about him, 
was in a greater rage with them than ever before : inasmuch as he 
raised his siege incontinently before the city of Lavinium, and go- 
i Through ; as in v. 3. 115. 2 Strait. 

Notes 209 

ing towards Rome, lodged his camp within forty furlong of the d'y, 
at the ditches called Cluilioe. His incamping so near Rome did 
put all the whole city in a wonderful fear : howbeit for the present 
time it appeased the sedition and dissension betwixt the nobility 
and the people. For there was no consul, senator, nor magistrate, 
that durst once contrary J the opinion of the people for the calling 
home again of Martius. 

" When they saw the women in a marvellous fear, running up 
and down the city : the temples of the gods full of old people, 
weeping bitterly in their prayers to the gods : and finally, not a 
man either wise or hardy to provide for their safety : then they 
were all of opinion, that the people had reason to call home 
Martius again, to reconcile themselves to him, and that the Senate, 
on the contrary part, were in marvellous great fault to be angry and 
in choler with him, when it stood them upon 2 rather to have gone 
out and intreated him. So they all agreed together to send am 
bassadors unto him, to let him understand how his countrymen did 
call him home again, and restored him to all his goods, and be 
sought him to deliver them from this war. The ambassadors that 
were sent were Martius' familiar friends and acquaintance, who 
looked at the least for a courteous welcome of him, as of their 
familiar friend and kinsman. Howbeit they found nothing less : 
for at their coming they were brought through the camp to the 
place where he was set in his chair of state, with a marvellous and 
an unspeakable majesty, having the chiefest men of the Volsces 
about him : so he commanded them to declare openly the cause 
of their coming. Which they delivered in the most humble and 
lowly words they possibly could devise, and with all modest coun 
tenance and behaviour agreeable to the same. When they had 
done their message, for 8 the injury they had done him, he an 
swered them very hotly and in great choler. . . . 

ACT V. Scenes III.-V. "Now the Roman ladies and gentle : 

1 Oppose. 2 Behooved them. See p. 197 above. 

8 With regard to. 


2io Notes 

women did visit all the temples and gods of the same, to make their 
prayers unto them : but the greatest ladies (and more part of 
them) were continually about the altar of Jupiter Capitolin, among 
which troup by name, was Valeria, Publicola's own sister ; the self 
same Publicola, who did such notable service to the Romans, both 
in peace and wars, and was dead also certain years before, as we 
have declared in his life. His sister Valeria was 'greatly honoured 
and reverenced among all the Romans : and did so modestly and 
wisely behave herself, that she did not shame nor dishonour the 
house she came of. So she suddenly fell into such a fancy, as we have 
rehearsed before, and had (by some god, as I think) taken hold 
of a noble device. Whereupon she rose and the other ladies with 
her, and they all together went straight to the house of Volumnia, 1 
Martius' mother : and coming in to her, found her, and Martius' 
wife her daughter-in-law, set together, and having her husband 
Martius' young children in her lap. Now all the train of these 
ladies sitting in a ring round about her, Valeria first began to speak 
in this sort unto her : ' We ladies are come to visit you ladies (my 
lady Volumnia and Virgilia) by no direction from the Senate, nor 
commandment of other magistrate, but through the inspiration (as 
I take it) of some god above : who, having taken compassion and 
pity of our prayers, hath moved us to come unto you, to intreat you 
in a matter, as well beneficial for us as also for the whole citizens 
in general, but to yourselves in special (if it please you to credit 
me), and shall redound to your more fame and glory, than the 
daughters of the Sabines obtained in former age, when they pro 
cured loving peace, instead of hateful war, between their fathers 
and their husbands. Come on, good ladies, and let us go altogether 
unto Martius, to intreat him to take pity upon us, and also to report 
the truth unto him, how much you are bound unto the citizens : 

1 The name of the mother of Coriolanus was Veturia, and that of his 
wife Volumnia. Plutarch misnames them Volumnia and Virgilia re 
spectively, and S. follows him. 

Notes 211 

who notwithstanding they have sustained great hurt and losses by 
him, yet they have not hitherto sought revenge upon your persons 
by any discourteous usage, neither ever conceived any such thought 
or intent against you, but to deliver you safe into his hands, though 
thereby they look for no better grace or clemency from him.' 
When Valeria had spoken this unto them, all the other ladies to 
gether, with one voice, confirmed what she had said. Then Vulum- 
nia in this sort did answer her : ' My good ladies, we are partakers 
with you of the common misery and calamity of our country, and 
yet our grief exceedeth yours the more, by reason of our particular 
misfortune, to feel the loss of my son Martius' former valiancy and 
glory, and to see his person environed now with our enemies in 
arms, rather to see him forthcoming and safe kept than of any love 
to defend his person. But yet the greatest grief of our heaped 
mishaps is to see our poor country brought to such extremity, that 
all the hope of the safety and preservation thereof is now unfortu 
nately cast upon us simple women : because we know not what 
account he will make of us, since he hath cast from him all care of 
his natural country and commonweal, which heretofore he hath 
holden more dear and precious than either his mother, wife, or 
children. Notwithstanding, if ye think we can do good, we will 
willingly do what you will have us ; bring us to him, I pray you. 
For if we cannot prevail, we may yet die at his feet, as humble 
suitors for the safety of our country.' Her answer ended, she took 
her daughter-in-law and Martius' children with her, and being ac 
companied with all the other Roman ladies, they went in troup 
together unto the Volsces' camp : whom when they saw, they of 
themselves did both pity and reverence her, and there was not a 
man among them that once durst say a word unto her. Now was 
Martius set then in his chair of state, with all the honours of a gen 
eral, and when he had spied the women coming afar off, he mar 
velled what the matter meant : but afterwards knowing his wife, 
which came foremost, he determined at the first to persist in his 
obstinate and inflexible rancour. But overcome in the end with 

212 Notes 

natural alTection, and being altogether altered 1 to see them, his 
h. art \\ould not serve him to tarry their coming to his chair, but 
coming down in haste he went to meet them, and first he kissed 
his mother and embraced her a pretty while, then his wife and little 
children. And nature so wrought with him that the tears fell from 
his eyes, and he could not keep himself from making much of them, 
but yielded to the affection of his blood, as if he had been violently 
carried with the fury of a most swift running stream. After he had 
thus lovingly received them, and perceiving that his mother Volum- 
nia would begin to speak to him, he called the chiefest of the 
council of the Volsces to hear what she would say. Then she spake 
in this sort : ' If we held our peace, my son, and determined not to 
speak, the state of our poor bodies, and present sight of our raiment, 
would easily bewray 2 to thee what life we have led at home, since 
thy exile and abode abroad ; but think now with thyself, how much 
more unfortunate than all the women living, we are come hither, 
considering that the sight which should be most pleasant to all other 
to behold, spiteful fortune had made most fearful to us: making 
myself to see my son, and my daughter here her husband, besieging 
the walls of his native country : so as that which is th j only com 
fort to all other in their adversity and misery, to pray unto the gods 
and to call to them for aid, is the only thing which plungeth us 
into most deep perplexity. For we cannot, alas ! together pray 
both for victory to our country and for safety of thy life also : but 
a world of grievous curses, yea, more than any mortal enemy can 
heap upon us, are forcibly wrapt up in our prayers. For the bitter 
sop of most hard choice is offered thy wife and children, to forego 
one of the two : either to lose the person of thyself, or the nurse 
of their native country. For myself, my son, I am determined not 
to tarry till fortune, in my lifetime, do make an end of this war. 
For if I cannot persuade thee, rather to do good unto both parties 
than to overthrow and destroy the one, preferring love and nature 

1 Changed, overcome. Cf. v. 4. 10 below. 

2 Reveal. See p. 204 above. 

Notes 213 

before the malice and calamity of wars, thou shalt see, my son, and 
trust unto it, thou shalt no sooner march forward to assault thy 
country, but thy foot shall tread upon thy mother's womb, that 
brought thee first into this world. And I may not defer 1 to see 
the day, either that my son be led prisoner in triumph by his natural 
countrymen, or that he himself do triumph of them, and of his 
natural country. For if it were so, that my request tended to save 
thy country, in destroying the Volsces, I must confess, thou wouldest 
hardly and doubtfully resolve on that. For as, to destroy thy 
natural country, it is altogether unmeet and unlawful, so were it 
not just, and less honourable, to betray those that put their trust in 
thee. But my only demand consisteth, to make a gaol-delivery of 
all evils, which delivereth equal benefit and safety both to the one 
and the other, but most honourable for the Volsces. For it shall 
appear, that, having victory in their hands, they have of special 
favour granted us singular graces, peace, and amity, albeit them 
selves have no less part of both than we. Of which good, if so it 
came to pass, thyself is the only author, and so hast thou the only 
honour. But if it fail and fall out contrary, thyself alone deservedly 
shall carry the shameful reproach and burthen of either party. So, 
though the end of war be uncertain, yet this notwithstanding is 
most certain, that, if it be thy chance to conquer, this benefit shalt 
thou reap of thy goodly conquest, to be chronicled the plague and 
destroyer of thy country. And if fortune overthrow thee, then the 
world will say, that, through desire to revenge thy private injuries, 
thou hast for ever undone thy good friends, who did most lovingly 
and courteously receive thee.' Martius gave good ear unto his 
mother's words, without interrupting her speech at all, and after 
she had said what she would, he held his peace a pretty while, and 
answered not a word. Hereupon she began again to speak unto 
him, and said: 'My son, why dost thou not answer me? Dost 
thou think it good altogether to give place unto thy choler and 

1 Tarry, wait. Cf. i Hen. VI. iii. 2. 33. 

214 Notes 

desire of revenge, and think est thou it not honesty 1 for thee to 
grant thy mother's request, in so weighty a cause? Dost thou take 
it honourable for a noble man to remember the wrongs and injuries 
done him, and dost not in like case think it an honest noble man's 
part, to be thankful for the goodness that parents do shew to their 
children, acknowledging the duty and reverence they ought to bear 
unto them? No man living is more bound to shew himself thank 
ful in all parts and respects than thyself: who so unnaturally shew- 
est all ingratitude. Moreover (my son) thou hast sorely taken of 
thy country, exacting grievous payments upon them, in revenge of 
the injuries offered thee ; besides, thou hast not hitherto shewed 
thy poor mother any courtesy. And therefore it is not only honest, 
but due unto me, that without compulsion I should obtain my so 
just and reasonable request of thee. But since by reason I cannot 
persuade thee to it, to what purpose do I defer my last hope?' 
And with these words, herself, his wife, and children fell down upon 
their knees before him. Martius, seeing that, could refrain no 
longer, but went straight and lift 2 her up, crying out, ' Oh mother, 
what have you done to me?' And holding her hard by the right 
hand, ' Oh mother,' said he, ' you have won a happy victory for your 
country, but mortal and unhappy for your son : for I see myself 
vanquished by you alone.' These words being spoken openly, he 
spake a little apart with his mother and wife, and then let them 
return again to Rome, for so they did request him ; and so remain 
ing in camp that night, the next morning he dislodged, 3 and marched 
homeward into the Volsces' country again, who were not all of one 
mind, nor all alike contented. For some misliked 4 him and that 
he had done : other, being well pleased that peace should be made, 
said that neither the one nor the other deserved blame nor reproach. 
Other, though they misliked that was done, did not think him an 

1 An honour. So honest just below = honourable. 

2 Lifted. Cf. i Hen VL i. i. 16; and see also Psalms, xciii. 3, etc. 
8 Removed his camp. Cf. v. 4. 43. 

* Were displeased with. Cf. M. of V. ii. i. i, etc. 

Notes 215 

ill man for that he did, but said he was not to be blamed, though 
he yielded to such a forcible extremity. Howbeit no man con- 
traried 1 his departure, but all obeyed his commandment, more for 
respect of his worthiness and valiancy than for fear of his authority. 

"Now the citizens of Rome plainly shewed in what fear and 
danger their city stood of this war, when they were delivered. For 
so soon as the watch upon the walls of the city perceived the Volsces* 
camp to remove, there was not a temple in the city but was pres 
ently set open, and full of men wearing garlands of flowers upon 
their heads, sacrificing to the gods, as they were wont to do upon 
the news of some great obtained victory. And this common joy 
was yet more manifestly shewed by the honourable courtesies the 
whole Senate and people did bestow on their ladies. For they 
were all thoroughly persuaded, and did certainly believe, that the 
ladies only were cause of the saving of the city and delivering them 
selves from the instant danger of the war. Whereupon the Senate 
ordained that the magistrates, to gratify and honour these ladies, 
should grant them all that they would require. And they only re 
quested that they would build a temple of Fortune for the women, 
unto the building whereof they offered themselves to defray the 
whole charge of the sacrifices and other ceremonies belonging to 
the service of the gods. Nevertheless the Senate, commending 
their goodwill and forwardness, ordained that the temple and image 
should be made at the common charge of the city. . . . 

ACT V. Scene VI. "Now when Martius was returned again into 
the city of Antium from his voyage, Tullus, that hated and could no 
longer abide him for the fear he had of his authority, sought diverse 
means to make him away ; thinking, if he let slip that present time, 
he should never recover the like and fit occasion again. Where 
fore Tullus, having procured many other of his confederacy, required 2 
Martius might be deposed from his estate, to render up account to 
the Volsces of his charge and government. Martius, fearing to be 
come a private man again under Tullus being general (whose au- 

1 Opposed. See p. 209 above. a Demanded that. Cf. ii. 2. 156. 

2 1 6 Notes 

thority was greater otherwise than any other among all the Volsces), 
answered : he was willing to give up his charge, and would resign 
it into the hands of the lords of the Volsces, if they did all com 
mand him, as by all their commandment he received it. And more 
over, that he would not refuse even at that present to give up an 
account unto the people, if they would tarry the hearing of it. The 
people hereupon called a common council, in which assembly there 
were certain orators appointed that stirred up the common people 
against him : and when they had told their tales, Martius rose up 
to make them answer. Now, notwithstanding the mutinous people 
made a marvellous great noise, yet when they saw him, for the rev 
erence they bare unto his valiantness, they quieted themselves, and 
gave him audience to allege with leisure what he could for his pur 
gation. 1 Moreover, the honestest' 2 men of the Antiates, and who 
most rejoiced in peace, shewed by their countenance that they 
would hear him willingly and judge also according to their con 
science. Whereupon Tullus, fearing that, if he did let him speak, 
he would prove his innocency to the people, because amongst other 
things he had an eloquent tongue ; besides that the first good ser 
vice he had done to the people of the Volsces did win him more 
favour than these last accusations could purchase him displeasure : 
and furthermore, the offence they laid to his charge was a testimony 
of the goodwill they ought 3 him ; for they would never have 
thought he had done them wrong for that they took not the city of 
Rome, if they had not been very near taking of it by means of his 
approach and Conduction. For these causes Tullus thought he 
might no longer delay his pretence and enterprise, neither to tarry 
for the mutining and rising of the common people against him : 
wherefore those that were of the conspiracy began to cry out that 
he was not to be heard, and that they would not suffer a traitor to 
usurp tyrannical power over the tribe of the Volsces, who would not 
yield up his state and authority. And in saying these words, they 
1 Defence. 2 Most honourable. See p. 214 above. 

8 Owed, 

Scene I] Notes 21 7 

all fell upon him, and killed him in the market-place, none of the 
people once offering to rescue him. . . . 

" Howheit it is a clear case, that this murder was not generally 
consented unto of the most part of the Volsces : for men came out 
of all parts to honour his body, and did honourably bury him ; set 
ting out his tomb with great store of armour and spoils, as the tomb 
of a worthy person and great captain." . . . 


SCENE I. In the folio the play is divided into acts, but not into 
scenes, though the heading of act i., as usual in that edition, is 
" Actus Primus. Scoena Prima" There is no list of Dramatis 

1 2. On V. Of it ; as in 226 below, and often. 

16. Good. In the mercantile sense. There is a play upon the 
word, as in M. of V. i. 3. 12 fol. 

1 7. Yield us but. Only yield us. 

1 8. Guess. Suppose, think, imagine ; much like the Yankee 
use of the word. Cf. I Hen. VI. ii. i. 29 : 

41 Not all together; better far, I guess, 
That we do make our entrance several ways." 

Schmidt adds Hen. VIII. i. I. 47, but there the word may have its 
ordinary sense (= conjecture, suspect). 

19. Too dear. That it costs too much to maintain us. 

20. Object. Sight, spectacle ; as in 71 and C. ii. 2. 41 : " And 
reason flies the object of all harm," etc. 

21. Particularize. Point out in detail. S. uses the word no 
where else. Sufferance = suffering. Cf. J. C. ii. I. 115: "the 
sufferance of our souls," etc. 

23. Pikes. There seems to be a play on the word, which meant 
a pitchfork as well as a spear. I lanmer, apparently not aware of 

2i 8 Notes [Act I 

this, substituted "pitchforks." "As lean as a rake" is still a 
familiar proverb. Cf. Chaucer, C. T. 287 : " And leene was his 
hors as is a rake; " and Heywood, Epigrammes, 1577: "And yet 
art thou skin and bone, leane as a rake." 

28. A very dog. That is, unfeeling, cruel ; like Lear's " dog- 
hearted daughters" (Lear, iv. 3. 47). 

32. To give him good report. To give him credit. Cf. W. T. 
v. 2. 162 : " to give me your good report to the prince my master; " 
that is, to speak well of me to him. 

39. To please his mother. Cf. North's Plutarch : " But touch 
ing Martius, the only thing that made him to love honour was the 
joy he saw his mother did take of him. For he thought nothing 
made him so happy and honourable, as that his mother might hear 
every body praise and commend him, that she might always see 
him return with a crown upon his head, and that she might still 
embrace him with tears running down her cheeks for joy." 

And to be partly proud. " And partly to be proud " (Hanmer's 

41. Virtue. Valour ; "the chiefest virtue" (ii. 2. 84 below) in 
Roman estimation. Cf. North, p. 181 above. 

47. Repetition. Recital, mention ; as in R. of L. 1285, 
Rich. III. i. 3. 165, Macb. ii. 3. 90, etc. Cf. v. 3. 144 below. 

49. The Capitol. Wright remarks that "in all probability S. 
had in his mind the topography of London and not of Rome, and 
the Tower was to him the Capitol." 

57. Bats staves, or heavy sticks ; as inZ. C. 64 : " his grained 
bat." In Lear, iv. 6. 247, the folios have " ballow," the quartos 

58. Our business, etc. "This and all the subsequent plebeian 
speeches in this scene are given in the old copy to the second 
Citizen ; but the dialogue at the opening of the play shows that 
they ought to be attributed to the Jirst Citizen. The second is 
rather friendly to Coriolanus " (Malone). 

61. Strong. For the play upon the odorous allusion, cf. A. W. 

Scene I] Notes 219 

v. 2. 5 : "I am now, sir, muddied in Fortune's mood, and smell 
somewhat strong of her strong displeasure." 

67. For. As for ; as often. 

71. Cracking. S. often uses crack = break, both literally and 
figuratively. Cf. Temp. iii. I. 26 : "I had rather crack my sinews ; " 
Rich. II. iv. I. 235 : "cracking the strong warrant of an oath ; " 
Lear, i. 2. 118 : "the bond cracked 'twixt son and father ; " Cymb. 
v. 5. 207 : "her bond of chastity quite crack'd," etc. See also 
v. 3. 9 below. 

73. Your impediment. "The obstacles opposed by you" 
(Schmidt). Cf. Oth. v. 2. 263 : 

11 1 have made my way through more impediments 
Than twenty times your stop." 

75. Your knees to them. Cf. v. 3. 57 below : "Your knees to 
me ? " See also v. 3. 169. 

77. Thither where more attends you. "To excesses which fresh 
sufferings must expiate." 

78. Helms. Those at the helm ; an instance of metonymy. 

85. Piercing. Schmidt is in doubt whether this is = " mortify 
ing, revolting to the feelings, or = sweeping ; entering and affect 
ing all the interests of the people." It may be simply = sharp, 

93. Stale V a little more. Make it a little staler ; referring to 
you have heard it just before. The folios have "scale 't," which 
some have tried to defend. For stale = make stale, cf. T. and C. 
ii. 3. 201, /. C. i. 2. 73, iv. I. 38, and A. and C. ii. 2. 240. 

95. Fob off. Put off with a trick. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. ii. I. 37, where 
we have " fubbed off." Disgrace ill treatment, humiliation. 
Clarke remarks that it is = the Italian disgrazia, misfortune, un- 

96. Deliver. Speak, tell your story. For the intransitive use, 
cf. Rich. II. iii. 3. 24 : " and thus deliver." It is oftener transitive, 
as in iv. 6. 65 below. 

22O Notes [Act i 

97. There was a time, etc. Cf. the extract from North, p. 184 
above. Camden's version of the fable (see p. 10 above) is as fol 
lows, the italics being Malone's : 

"All the members of the body conspired against the stomackc, 
as against the swallowi ng gulfe of all their labors ; for whereas the 
eies beheld, the eares heard, the handes labored, the feete traveled, the 
tongue spake, and all paries performed their functions, onely the 
stomacke lay ydle and consumed all. Hereuppon they ioyntly 
agreed al to forbeare their labors, and 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 all, that they 
called a common Council ; The eyes waxed dimme, the feete could 
not support the body, the armes waxed lasie, the tongue faltered, 
and could not lay open the matter ; Therefore they all with one 
accord desired the advise of the Heart. There Reason layd open 
before them," etc. 

99. Gulf. Whirlpool ; the only meaning in S. except in Macb. 
iv. i. 123, where it seems to be = gullet. Cf. R. of L. 557: "A 
swallowing gulf that even in plenty wanteth ;" Hen. V. iv. 3. 82 : 

" thou art so near the gulf 
Thou needs must be englutted" 

(cf. Id. ii. 4. 10) ; Rich. III. iii. 7. 128 : " the swallowing gulf," etc. 

101. Cupboarding. In the folios we have the phonetic spelling 
" cubbording." S. uses the verb only here, and the noun only in 
R. and J. \. 5. 8, where the folios have " cubbord " or " cubbert." 

Viand = food (like the Fr. la viande); the only instance of the 
singular in S. Richardson quotes Sir Thomas More, Workes : 
"reteyning of the olde plentie in deintie viande and siluer vessell." 

102. Where. Whereas; as in i. 10. 13 below. 

104. Participate. "Acting in common" (Schmidt) ; or = par 
ticipating or participant. For the form, cf. incorporate in 123 
below ; and for the active sense, inhabited in A. Y. L. iii. 3. 10, 
studied in M. of V. ii. 2. 205, etc. 

Scene I] Notes 221 

105. Affection. Inclination, desire ; as in 1 78 below. See also 
ii. 3. 225. Cf. L. L. /.. v. i. 93: "it is the king's most sweU 
pleasure and affection to congratulate the princess," etc. 

109. Which ne'er came, etc. " With a smile not indicating 
pleasure, but contempt" (Johnson). As Wright remarks, "the 
laughter of merriment came from the lungs." Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 7. 
30: "My lungs began to crow like chanticleer," etc. 

110. / may make the belly smile. As in Plutarch (see p. 184 
above) he makes it " laugh." 

in. 'J'auntingly. The reading of the 4th folio; the ist has 
" taintingly," the others " tantingly." "Taintingly" has been 
defended as = disparagingly (cf. "tainting" in Oth. ii. I. 275). 

113. His receipt. What he received. Cf. K. of L. 703: 
" Drunken Desire must vomit his receipt." 

114. For that. Because that; as in i. 9. 47 and iii. 3. 93 

116. Kingly-crowned. Crowned like a king. The hyphen is 
not in the folios, but was inserted by Warburton perhaps un 

117. Soldier. A trisyllable; as in v. 6. 71 below. Cf.y. C. iv. 
I. 28, I/am. i. 5. 141, Lear, iv. 5. 3, etc. 

119. Muniments. Defences, or defenders ; used by S. nowhere 

121. Fore me. Cf. A. W. ii. 3. 31 : "fore me, I speak in re 
spect." Wright suggests that the oath was probably substituted 
for the more common Fore God ! (see Much Ado, ii. 3. 192, iv. 3. 
32, A. IV. ii. 3. 51, etc.) to avoid the penalties imposed by the 
statute of James I. against the use of the name of God on the 
stage ; but if so, the alteration was not uniformly made. Cf. A. 
W. ii. 3. 31 and 51, for instance. 

127. You'll. The folio has "you'st," which Wright retains, as 
" apparently a provincialism which S. intentionally puts into the 
mouth of Menenius when addressing the citizens ; " but in the 
preceding line the folio has you '//, and " you 'st " here may be a 

222 Notes [Act I 

mere slip of the compositor an absent-minded substitution of his 
familiar provincial form for the more correct one in the " copy." 

129. Your. For the colloquial use, cf. Ham. iv. 3. 24: "Your 
worm is your only emperor for diet," etc. 

131. Incorporate. Forming one body ; as in C. of E. ii. 2. 124, 
M. N. D. iii. 2. 208, Hen. V. v. 2. 394, etc. For the form, see on 

96 above. 

134. Shop. Workshop ; the ordinary meaning of the word in 
New England. Cf. iv. 6. 8 below; and see also C. of E. iii. I. 3, 
iv. i. 82, iv. 3. 7, /. C. i. i. 31, etc. 

137. The seat o* the brain. Malone (followed by Clarke) takes 
this to be in apposition with heart, and refers to " the counsellor 
heart" in 117 above, and to Camden's version of the story (see on 

97 above), "they desired the advise of the Heart," where "Reason 
layd open before them ; " but I am disposed to agree with Wright 
that it means " the kingly -crowned head, where reason has its 
throne, while the attendant passions keep their court in the 

138. Cranks. Winding passages ; the only instance of the 
noun in S. For the verb, cf. i Hen. IV. iii. i. 98: "See how this 
river comes me cranking in ; " and V. and A. 682 : " He cranks 
and crosses with a thousand doubles." For offices (the servants' 
quarters in a house), cf. Macb. ii. I. 14, Rich. II. i. 2. 69, Oth. ii. 
2. 9, T. of A. ii. 2. 167, etc. 

139. Nerves. Sinews ; as elsewhere in S. Cf. Ham. i. 4. 83 : 
"as hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve," etc. 

146. Flour. The folios have " flowre " or "flowr ; " and Capell, 
followed by some modern editors, has " flower ; " but flour is the 
natural antithesis to bran. It is curious, by the way, that this is 
the only instance of the word in S. In iii. i. 322 below he has 
the same figure in " meal and bran ; " as also in Cymb. iv. 2. 27 : 
"Nature hath meal and bran, contempt and grace." 

151. Digest. The folios have " disgest," as in/. C. i. 2. 305 and 
("disgested") in A. and C. ii. 2. 179; and the later folios have 

Scene I] Notes 

"disgestion" in Hen. VIII. i. 4. 62 ("digestion" in ist folio). 
Both forms were in use. 

152. The common. For the singular, cf. iii. I. 29 below. Else 
where S. uses the plural in this sense ; as in ii. I. 279, iii. 3. 14, 
and v. 6. 4 below. For weal, see on ii. I. 58 below. 

156. Assembly. A quadrisyllable ; as in Much Ado, v. 4. 34. 

1 60. Rascal. With a play on the original sense of the word 
= a lean or worthless deer ; as in 2 Hen. IV. ii. 4. 45 and I 
Hen. VL i. 2. 35. Worst in blood in the worst condition. For 
the hunting term in Mood (= in health or good condition), cf. 
iv. 5. 223 below. See also L. L. L. iv. f . 4 : " The deer was, as 
you know, sanguis, in blood ; " and I Hen. VI. iv. 2. 48 : " If we 
be English deer, be then in blood," etc. 

164. Must have bale. Must get the worst of it. For bale 
injury, calamity, cf. Spenser, F. Q. i. i. 16 : " For light she hated 
as the deadly bale ; " Id. ii. 2. 45 : " That we may pitty such 
unhappie bale," etc. We find the plural in Id. vi. 10. 3: "T 
entrap unwary fooles in their eternall bales." Baleful is still in 
use ; but Malone states that bale " was antiquated in Shakespeare's 
time, being marked as obsolete by Bullokar in his English Exposi 
tor, 1616." 

165. Dissentious. Seditious ; as in iv. 6. 7 below. 

167. Scabs. For the play upon the word, which was used as a 
term of extreme contempt, cf. Much Ado, iii. 3. 107 and 2 Hen. IV. 
iii. 2. 296. 

173. No surer. No more to be depended on, no more likely to 
stand the test. Professor Hales (Academy, Aug. 10, 1878) sug 
gests that S. may have had in mind the great frost of January, 
1607-8, when the Thames was frozen over and fires were lighted 
on it. 

175. Your virtue, etc. "Your virtue is to speak well of him 
whom his own offences have subjected to justice ; and to rail at 
those laws by which he whom you praise was punished " (John 

224 Notes [Act I 

178. Affections. See on 105 above. 

185. Vile. The early eds. have "vild," as in sundry other 
passages. The word was often so spelt. 

188. Which. Who ; as often. Cf. v. i. 2 below. 

189. What's their seeking? The question is addressed to 
Menenius. "The answer is, Their seeking, or suit (to use the 
language of the time), is for corn " (Malone). 

192. Fire. A dissyllable. 

194. Side. Take sides with, join. S. uses the verb only here 
and in iv. 2. 2 below, where it is intransitive. 

196. Feebling. The Verb occurs again in K. John, v. 2. 146 : 
" Shall that victorious hand be feebled here ? " 

197. Below their cobbled shoes. Treading them under foot. 

198. Ruth. Pity. Cf. Rich. II. iii. 4. 106, T. and C. v. 3. 48, 

199. Quarry. A heap of slaughtered game. Cf. Macb. iv. 3. 
206 and Ham. v. 2. 375. Bullokar, in his English Expositor, 
1 61 6, says the word " signifieth the reward given to hounds after 
they have hunted, or the venison which is taken in hunting." 

200. Quartered. Cf./. C. iii. I. 268 : "Their infants quarter'd 
with the hands of war ; " and I Hen. VI. iv. 2. 1 1 : " Lean 
famine, quartering steel, and climbing fire." The word here is 

201. Pick. Pitch. Toilet remarks that in Staffordshire "they 
say, picke me such a thing, that is, pitch or throw anything that the 
demander wants." Cf. Hen. VIII. v. 4. 94 : "I '11 pick [" peck " in 
folio] you o'er the pales else." 

203. Abundantly they lack discretion. Cf. Ham. ii. 2. 202 : " a 
plentiful lack of wit." 

206. An-hungry. Perhaps, as Schmidt suggests, used in imita 
tion of the rustic language of the plebeians. Elsewhere we find 
a-hungry in the mouth of Slender (M. W. \. I. 280) and Sir 
Andrew Aguecheek (T. N. ii. 3. 136). Cf. Matthew, iv. 2. 

Proverbs. Wright quotes Trench, Proverbs: "In a fastidious 

Scene I] Notes 

age, indeed, and one of false refinement, they may go nearly or 
quite out of use among the so-called upper classes. No gentle 
man, says Lord Chesterfield, or ' no man of fashion,' as I think is 
his exact phrase, ' ever uses a proverb.' And with how fine a 
touch of nature Shakespeare makes Coriolanus, the man who, with 
all his greatness, is entirely devoid of all sympathy for the people, 
to utter his scorn of them in scorn of their proverbs, and of their 
frequent employment of these." 

212. To break the heart of generosity. "To give the final blow 
to the nobles. Generosity is high birth " (Johnson). Steevens com 
pares generous in Af. for M. iv. 6. 13 : '* The generous and gravest 
citizens." Verplanck thinks that the word may have its ordinary 
sense of " bounty, liberality." 

214. The horns o* the moon. Cf. A. and C. iv. 12. 45 : " Let me 
lodge Lichas on the horns o' the moon." Wright adds Heywood, 
Silver Age : " hang'd upon the high horns of the moon." As as 
if; as in i. 6. 22 and iv. 6. 102 below. 

215. Emulation. Envy, or envious contention ; as in T.andC. 

" An envious fever 
Of pale and bloodless emulation," etc. 

218. 'Sdeath! "Contracted from 'God's death !' a favourite 
oath of Queen Elizabeth, as "Swounds' or 'zounds' from 'God's 
wounds,' to avoid the penalties of Acts of Parliament against pro 
fanity" (Wright) ; but even these contractions are often omitted 
in the folio. 

221. Win upon. Gain upon, get the better of. 

223. Fragments. For the contemptuous personal use, cf. T. and 
C. v. I. 9 : " From whence, fragment ? " 

226. Vent. Find a vent for, get rid of. Cf. iii. I. 258 below. 

228. Told. Probably here = " foretold, said would happen " 
(Clarke), as Coriolanus has but just heard from the messenger that 
the Volsces are actually in arms. 


226 Notes [Act i 

230. Put you to V. Put you to the test, try you hard. Cf. W. T. 
u 2.16: 

" We are tougher, brother, 
Than you can put us to 't." 

233. You have fought together. The folios make this a question, 
and some retain that pointing. But just below (241) Marcius re 
fers to having fought with him before, and Cominius must have 
known of it. Besides, if this were a question, Marcius would nat 
urally have answered it. Only he = only him. Such confusion 
of the cases of pronouns is common in S. 

236. Only my "wars with him. My wars only with him; a 
common transposition. 

240. Constant. " Immovable in my resolution " (Steevens). Cf. 
v. 2. 89 below : " You keep a constant temper." 

242. Stiff? Some explain this as " obstinate ; " but it probably 
refers to his crippled condition. The reply seems to favour this 

Stand' st out? Do you not take part ? Are you to be " counted 
out ? " 

246. Lead you on. It is doubtful whether this is addressed to 
Cominius, as the Cambridge editors take it, or to the senators, as 
generally understood ; but I incline to the latter view. The Cam 
bridge ed. prints the passage thus : 

41 Tit. [70 ComJ] Lead you on. 
[ To Mar.] Follow Cominius ; we must follow you ; 
Right worthy you priority." 

This gives the precedence to Cominius, as general-in-chief, and 
allots the next place to Marcius; but Lead you on seems rather 
to be a reply to the senator, who has just spoken. He then bids 
Cominius follow the senator, and says we (that is, Marcius and I) 
must follow you, for you are right worthy of the precedence. 
248. Noble Marcius! Theobald changed Marcius to "Lar- 

Scene I] . Notes 2 27 

tius ; " but I think, with Clarke, that " it is Cominius's sentence of 
courtesy to Coriolanus (intended probably to be accompanied by 
an inclination of the head) in passing to go before him, according 
to the appointed priority. It, as it were, acknowledges the speak 
er's sense of Coriolanus's right of precedence, even while he takes 
it himself in deference to the Senate's decree." For the form of 
the address, cf. Hen. VIII. ii. 3. 80 : " My honour'd lord ! " a 
farewell, probably accompanied by a curtsy. 

251. Mutiners. In Temp. iii. 2. 40, we find "mutineer ;" like 
this, the only instance of the word in S. Cf. enginer, pioner, etc. 

252. Puts well forth. "Displays itself well; the blossoms of 
your valour promise goodly fruit " (Wright) ; sarcastic, of course. 

257. Gird. Gibe, jeer; as in 2 Hen. IV. i. 2. 7: "Men of all 
sorts take a pride to gird at me." 

258. The modest moon. The chaste Diana. Cf. v. 3. 65 below, 
where Valeria is called " the moon of Rome." See also M. of V. 
v. I. 109: "the moon sleeps with Endymion," etc. 

259. The present -wars, etc. We take this to be the expression 
of a wish, as Hanmer makes it. Some explain it as an assertion = 
"the present wars eat up his gentler qualities " (Steevens), or "the 
wars absorb him wholly" (Clarke). Schmidt makes devour =. 

260. To be so valiant. Of being so valiant. 

265. Whom. For who "personifying irrational antecedents," 
cf. iii. 2. 119 below. 

269. Giddy censure. Inconsiderate judgment or opinion. For 
censure, cf. Macb. v. 4. 14, Ham. i. 3. 69, i. 4. 35, iii. 2. 30, 92, etc. 

270. Cry out of. Cf. Hen. V. ii. 3. 29: "They say he cried out 
of sack." Of= concerning ; as often. 

271. Had borne the business ! Cf. i. 6. 82 below. 

272. Opinion. Public opinion ; as in I Hen. IV. iii. 2. 42 : 
" Opinion, that did help me to the crown," etc. Sticks on = is 
fixed on ; perhaps " like an ornament " (Wright). Cf. 2 Hen. IV. 
ii. 3. 18: 

228 Notes [Act I 

" There were two honours lost, yours and your son's. 
For yours, the God of heaven brighten it ! 
For his, it stuck upon him as the sun 
In the grey vault of heaven." 

273. Demerits. Merits ; as in Oth. i. 2. 22 : 

" My demerits 

May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune 
As this that I have reach'd." 

274. Are to. Will ba assigned to, or awarded to. 

279. More than his singularity, etc. " We will learn what he is 
to do besides going himself ; what are his powers and what is his 
appointment " (Johnson). But, as Steevens suggests, singularity 
"implies a sarcasm on Coriolanus, and the speaker means to say, 
after what fashion, beside that in which his own singularity of dispo 
sition invests him, he goes to the field." 

SCENE II. 2. Entered in. Have penetrated into, have got at 
the secret of. In = into ; as often. 

4. What ever have been thought on, etc. The reading of the ist 
folio ; the later folios change have to " hath." What seems to be 
plural, referring to the preceding counsels. For on = of, cf. i. I. 12 

6. Circumvention ? The means for circumventing us (through 
knowledge of our designs). 

9. Power. Force, army ; both the singular and the plural being 
used in this sense, like force and forces. Cf. 32 and iv. 5. 125 be 
low. For press" 1 > o r = impressed, levied, cf. Rich. II. iii. 2. 58, I Hen. 
IV. iv. 2. 1 6, 22, 40, etc. 

13. Of. For of with the agent, cf. ii. I. 24, ii. 2. 3, and ii. 3. 1 8 

15. Preparation. Force ready for action ; as in Oth. i. 3. 14 
(cf. 221) : "The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes," etc. 

1 8. Made doubt. Cf. v. 4. 48 below. See also T. G. of V. v. 2. 
20, L. L. L. v. 2. 101, etc. 

Scene III] Notes 229 

19. To answer us. To meet us in combat. Cf. i. 4. 52 below. 
See also the play upon the word in/. C. v. I. 6 : 
" their battles are at hand; 
They mean to warn us at Philippi here, 
Answering before we do demand of them." 

24. Take in. Take, subdue ; as in iii. 2. 59 below. See also 
W. T. iv. 4. 588, A. and C. i. I. 23, iii. 7. 24, iii. 13. 83, etc. 

Ere almost. Almost before. For the transpositiun, cf. i. I. 236 
above. It is common with " adverbs of limitation," like almost, 
only, yet, etc. 

28. For the remove. For the raising of the siege. Schmidt 
compares the use of the verb in V. and A. 423 : " Remove your 
siege from my unyielding heart;" and R. and J. v. 3. 237 : "to 
remove that siege of grief from her." Some make it = " their 

32. Parcels. Parts ; as in iv. 5. 229 below. Cf. I Hen. IV. iii. 

2. 159 : "Ere break the smallest parcel of this vow," etc. Some 
times it is = party ; as in L. L. L. v. 2. 160 : "A holy parcel of the 
fairest dames." See also M. of V. i. 2. 119 and A. W. ii. 3. 58. 

SCENE III. Enter, etc. The stage-direction in the folio reads : 
" Enter Volumnia and Virgilia, mother and wife to Martius : Thev 
set them downe on two lowe stooles and sowe" 

4. Embracements. Used by S. oftener than embraces. 

7. Pluck' J. Drew, attracted. A favourite word with S. Cf. i. 

3. 7, ii. 2. 33, ii. 3. 197, iii. i. 309, iii. 3. 96, iv. 3. 24, etc., below. 
12. To hang by the wall. Cf. Cymb. iii. 4. 54: "I am richer 

than to hang by the walls ;" and M.for M. \. 2. 171 : 

" all the enrolled penalties 

Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the wall 
So long that nineteen zodiacs have gone round 
And none of them been worn." 

15. Bound with oak. " The crown given by the Romans to him 
that saved the life of a citizen, which was accounted more honoura- 

230 Notes [Act i 

ble than any other" (Johnson). Coriolanus had won this crown 
at the battle of Lake Regillus. See North, p. 182 above. 

17. Man-child. Cf. Macb. i. 7. 72 : "Bring forth men-children 
only." See also Revelation, xii. 5. 

25. Had rather. Good English still, like had as lief, etc. 

29. Beseech you. I beseech you. Cf. ii. 3. 105, iii. i. 149, and iv. 
4. 10 below. 

To retire myself. For the reflexive use, cf. Rich. II. iv. I. 96, 
and for the transitive use, Id. ii. 2. 46. 

31. Hither. Even here. 

33. From a bear. A " construction according to sense," as if 
fleeing had been used for shunning (Wright). 

45. At Grecian sword, contemning. The 1st folio reads : "At 
Grecian sword. Contenning, tell Valeria ; " as if the italicized 
Contenning were the name of the gentlewoman addressed. The 
2d folio has " At Grecian swordes Contending : tell Valeria" which 
some eds. follow. The emendation in the text seems to me the best 
that has been suggested, and is adopted by the Cambridge editors 
and most of the recent ones. 

47. Bless my lord from. That is, preserve him from. Cf. Rich. 
III. iii. 3. 5 : " God bless the prince from all the pack of you ! " 
where the quartos have " keep " for bless. 

53. Manifest housekeepers. Evidently stayers at home. S. uses 
housekeeper elsewhere only in Macb. iii. I. 97, where it means a 
watch-dog, and in the Clown's talk in T. N. iv. 2. 10, where its 
exact meaning is rather doubtful ; but cf. keep house in Cymb. iii. 
3. i : "A goodly day not to keep house " (that is, for not staying 
in the house), etc. 

55. Spot. Figure, pattern ; referring to the embroidery she is 
sewing upon. Schmidt compares Oth. iii. 3. 435, where "spotted 
with strawberries " is = embroidered with that pattern. 

60. O 1 my troth. Equivalent to o' my word just before. Cf. 
troth = truth, in iv. 5. 197 below. 

61. Has. For the ellipsis, cf. ii. 2. 15, iii. i. 161, 162 below. 

Scene III] Notes 

The folios print " ha's " or " h'as." Confirmed determined, reso 
lute. Cf. Much Ado, v. 4. 1 7, where confirmed countenance = steady 

65. Catched. Elsewhere S. has caught for the past tense, as just 
above ; but he uses catched for the participle in L. L. L. v. 2. 69, 
A. W. i. 3. 1 76, and /*. a nd J. iv. 5. 48. 

67. Mammocked. Tore it in pieces ; used by S. nowhere else. 
Wright cites Cotgrave, Fr. Diet. : " Morcelet : m. A bit, small 
mammocke, or morsell ; " and again : " Miettes : f. Crummes, 
scraps, small fragments, or mammockes of bread, etc." Moor, in 
his Suffolk Words and Phrases, gives " Mammuck. To cut and 
hack victuals wastefully." 

68. On 's. Of his ; as in ii. I. 198 and ii. 2. 81 below. 

69. La. The use of this expletive was one of the little colloqui 
alisms of the time. We find it in addresses ; as " la you " in T. N. 
iii. 4. in, and "la you now" in W. T. ii. 3. 50; but oftener, as 
here, to emphasize a statement. Cf. M. W. i. I. 86 : "I thank 
you always with my heart, la! with my heart; " Id. i. I. 322: 
" Truly, I will not go first ; truly, la ! " Id. i. 4. 90 : " This is all, 
indeed, la ! " Id. ii. 2. 108 : " Surely, I think -you have charms, la! 
yes, in truth," etc. See also 95 below. 

70. Crack. Boy; slightly contemptuous, and used to qualify 
the preceding compliment. The word occurs again in 2 Hen. IV. 
iii. 2. 34. 

71. Stitchery. Stitching, needlework ; used by S. only here. 

72. Huswife. The usual spelling in the early eds., indicating 
the pronunciation. The folio has " housewife " only in A. Y. L. 
i. 2. 33, Hen. VIII. iii. I. 24, and Oth. i. 3. 273; and "house 
wifery" (which is found in the quarto of Oth. ii. I. 113) not at all. 

78. Wars. The plural for the singular ; as often. Cf. i. I. 236, 
259 above, and 106, etc., below. See also on iv. 5. 246 below. 

87. Penelope. The poet's one allusion to the wife of Ulysses. 

89. Fill Ithaca full of moths. By furnishing them food. As the 
word moths was pronounced motts, Herford suspects " a play upon 

232 Notes [Act i 

the cant meaning ' lovers,' a sense still current in Ireland ; " but 
this is extremely improbable. 

90. Sensible. Sensitive. Cf. Temp. ii. I. 174 : " Sensible and 
nimble lungs ; " C. of E. iv. 4. 27 : " Sensible in nothing but 
blows," etc. 

106. Nothing. Nowise, not at all ; as very often. 

112. Disease. Dis-ease, trouble; the only instance of the verb 
in S., unless we read, as we probably should, " Will cheer me ever, 
or disease me now," in Macb. v. 3. 21. 

Our better mirth. " Our mirth, which would be greater without 
her company" (Schmidt). For this "proleptic" use of the ad 
jective, cf. i. i. 200 above ; also Macb. i. 6. 3, iii. 4. 761, etc. 

115. Solemness. Soberness ; the only instance of the word in S. 
Solemnity he uses in the sense of ceremony (especially of nuptials) 
or festivity ; the only exception being I Hen. IV. iii. 2. 59, where 
it is = stateliness, dignity. 

117. At a word. In a word, in short. Cf. Much Ado, ii. I. 119, 
/. C. i. 2. 266, etc. 

SCENE IV. 7. Summon the town. That is, to surrender. 

8. This mile and half. " The two last words, which disturb the 
measure, should be omitted ; as we are told [in i. 6. 16] that "t is 
not a mile ' between the two armies" (Steevens). 

9. Larum. Commonly printed " 'larum," but not in the early 
eds., here or elsewhere. 

11. Smoking swords. Cf. Rich. III. i. 2. 94 : "Thy murtherous 
falchion smoking in his blood." 

12. Fielded. In the field, fighting; the only instance of the 
word in S. Cf. agued in 38 below and servanted in v. 2. 84. For 
the division of the Roman army under Cominius, cf. i. 3. 103 above. 

14. l^hat fears you less than he. Johnson would change less to 
" more," or that to " but ; " and Malone remarks that S. almost 
always " entangles himself " in using less and more. For such 
peculiar " double negatives," see Schmidt, p. 1420. Clarke, how 

Scene IV] Notes 2JJ 

ever, doubts whether the present is an instance of this kind, and 
explains the passage thus: "'No, he is not within the walls, nor is 
there a man that fears you less than he, who fears you less than 
next to nothing.' No man can fear less than one who fears less 
than a little ; and this is one of those simple verities which S. often 
gives under the form of an apparent antithesis." 

17. Pound us up. Shut us up as in a pound. Cf. T. G. of V. 
i. i. 1 10 : "Nay, in that you are astray ; 't were best pound you." 
We find impound in Hen. V. i. 2. 160. 

23. Forth. Forth from, out of; as in M. N. D. i. ! 164, 
K. and J. i. i. 126, A. and C. iv. 10. 7, etc. 

25. More proof. Of belter proof, or resisting power ; a techni 
cal term with regard to armour. Cf. Rich. II. i. 3. 73 : "Add 
proof unto mine armour with thy prayers ; " V. and A. 626 : 

" His brawny sides, with hairy bristles arm'd, 
Are better proof than thy spear's point can enter," etc. 

30. The south. The south wind in S. is always associated with 
fog, rain, and unwholesome vapours. It is " the dew-dropping 
south" (A\ and J. i. 4. 103), "the spongy south" (Cymb. iv. 2. 
349), the " foggy south, puffing with wind and rain" (A. Y. L. iii. 
5. 50), " the south borne with black vapour " (2 Hen. IV. ii. 4. 392), 
etc. Cf. T. and C. v. i. 21 : " the rotten diseases of the south ; " 
and Cymb. ii. 3. 136 : "The south fog rot him ! " See also ii. 3. 
30-35 below. This is all much against the reading " sweet south " 
for sweet sound in T. N.'\.i. 5. 

31. You herd of Boils, etc. In the 1st folio this reads: 

" You Shames of Rome: you Heard of Byles and Plagues 
Plaister you o'er," etc. 

Johnson was the first to correct the pointing, and make the pas 
sage intelligible. As Malone notes, Coriolanus is equally impetu 
ous and abrupt in i. I. 218 above. Boil is spelt " byle " or "bile" 
in all the early eds. here, as in Lear, ii. 4. 226, indicating the pro 
nunciation still current among the illiterate. 

234 Notes [Act I 

38. Agued fear. Cf. Rich. II. iii. 2. 190: "This ague-fit of 
fear." See also M. of V. i. I. 23. For agued, cf. 12 above. 

39. The fires of heaven. The stars, " the stelled fires " of Lear, 
iii. 7. 61. 

43. >/<?. "Never joined to a noun attributively" (Schmidt). 
Cf. iii. i. 138 below. 

44. ^T is for the followers, etc. This is from North. See p. 186 

47. To the pot. A vulgar metaphor still current. Staunton 
quotes from Peele's Edward I. : " For goes this wretch, this trai 
tor, to the pot ; " and Webster's White Devil: " They go to the 
pot for 't." 

52. Answer. See on i. 2. 19 above. 

53. Sensibly. Though endowed with feeling. Whitelaw 
("Rugby" ed.) says: "The endurance of the man is more 
wonderful than that of the sword, because he can feel and the 
sword cannot, and yet he endures the longer." Steevens quotes 
Sidney's Arcadia : " Their very armour by piecemeal fell away 
from them: and yet their flesh abode the wounds constantly, 
as though it were less sensible of smart than the senseless ar 

54-56. The 1st folio reads thus : 

" Thou art left Martins ; 
A Carbuncle intire : as big as thou art 
Weare not so rich a Jewell. " 

Lost for " left " is Collier's emendation, adopted by many editors. 
The compositor probably mistook the long s in the MS. for / 
" Left " makes sense indeed, but it does not suit the context. On 
the passage, Malone compares Oth. v. 2. 145. 

57. Gate's. Cf. North, p. 185 above. To = according to; as 
in ii. i. 259 and ii. 3. 162 below. Cf. M. W. iv. 6. 12: "Even to 
my wish." 

60. As if the world, etc. Cf. Macb. ii. 3. 66: 

Scene V] Notes 2J5 

" Some say the earth 
Was feverous and did shake." 

62. Remain. For the noun, cf. Cymb. iii. I. 87: "All the re- 
main is ' welcome ! ' " 

SCENE V. 3. Murrain. For the use of the word in impreca 
tions, cf. Temp. iii. 2. 88 and T. and C. ii. I. 20. 

4. Enter . . . -with a trumpet. That is, a trumpeter. Cf. Hen. 
V. iv. 2. 61 : "I will the banner from a trumpet take." See also 
T. and C. iv. 5. 6, etc. 

These movers. Ironically = "loafers" the loiterers for plun 
der. The word is used without the touch of contempt in V. and 
A. 368: **O fairest mover on this mortal round!" Their hours 
their time. Cf. North, p. 186 above. 

5. Drachma! The ist and 2d folios have " drachme," the 
others " drachm," like some modern eds. in spite of the metre. 
Cf. Ham. ii. 2. 448 : " Pray God, your voice, like a piece of un- 
current gold, be not cracked within the ring." Such coins were 

6. Of a doit. Worth only a doit, the smallest of coins, a com 
mon metaphor for a trifle. Cf. iv. 4. 17 and v. 4. 59 below. 

7. Bury. Instead of taking them as their perquisite ; the 
hangman being entitled to the clothes of the criminal. For the 
transfer of the English doublet to Rome, cf. /. C. i. 2. 267 : " he 
plucked me ope his doublet," etc. 

1 2. Make good. Hold, keep possession of. " In this sense the 
words are never separated by the object" (Schmidt). Cf. Cymb. 
v. 3. 23 : " Made good the passage," etc. 

1 8. Physical. Like physic, wholesome, salutary. Cf. the only 
other instance of the word in S.,/. C. ii. I. 261 : 

" Is Brutus sick ? and is it physical 
To walk unbraced and suck up the humours 
Of the dank morning ? " 

23 6 Notes [Act i 

24. Than those, etc. That is, than she is the friend of those, etc. 

26. Go sound, etc. As Wright remarks, " the comma after Go, 
which has been inserted in most modern editions [his own Cam 
bridge ed. included], has no right to be there." The sound is 
really the infinitive, like many verbs after go. This is more evi 
dent when the go is not imperative ; as in T. G. of V. i. I. 159: 
"I must go send some better messenger ; " Id. ii. 7. 19: "Thou 
wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow," etc. 

SCENE VI. Enter . . . as it were in retire. The reading of 
the folio. For the noun retire retreat, cf. 3 just below. 

2. Stands. That is, when we "made the stand," as it is ex 
pressed in Cymb. v. 3. I. 

4. Whiles. Used interchangeably with -while and -whilst. 

6. Ye. The folios all have " The ; " corrected by Hanmer. 
Wright retains "The," comparing ii. 3. 57 and iv. I. 37 (not 
parallel cases, being mere exclamations) with Lear, i. i. 271, J. C. 
v - 3- 99> etc -j but here the direct address seems in better keeping 
with the context. The misprint is, moreover, an easy one, on 
account of the old fashion of writing " y e " for the. 

1 6. Briefly. Lately ; the only example of this sense in S. It 
is = quickly in Macb. ii. 3. 139, A. and C. iv. 4. 10, Cymb. v. 5. 
1 06, etc. 

17. Confound. Waste, spend. Cf. I Hen. IV. i. 3. 100 : 
" confound the best part of an hour," etc. 

22. As. As if. See on i. i. 214 above. 

27. From every meaner man. For the omission of the posses 
sive inflection, cf. A. W, iii. i. 6: 

" Holy seems the quarrel 
Upon your grace's part ; black and fearful 
On the opposer." 

Wright compares Esther, iii. 8. 

29. Clip. Embrace ; as in iv. 5. 115 below. 

32. To btdward. Toward bed, for bed. For the division of 

Scene VI] Notes 237 

toward, cf. Psalms, xlv. 5 and Exodus, xxxvii. 9. See also I Hen. 
VI. iii. 3. 30 : " Their powers are marching unto 1'arisward." 
Malone cites Peacham, Complete Gentleman, 1627 : " Leaping, 
upon a full stomach, or to bedward, is very dangerous." 

35. Exile. S. accents both the noun and the verb on either 
syllable. Cf. iii. 3. 89 and v. 3. 96 below. 

36. Him. For the antithesis to other, cf. ftlacb. iv. 3. 80 : 
"Desire his jewels and this other's house." Pitying; "that is, 
remitting his ransom" (Johnson). 

38. Leash. The cord by which a greyhound was led or held. 
To let slip was to loose the hound. See I Hen. IV. \. 3. 278, /. C. 
iii. I. 273, etc. 

42. Inform the truth. Give true information. Cf. A. IV. iv. 

11 Haply th'ou mayst inform 
Something to save thy life." 

But for our gentlemen. But had it not been fur our gentlemen. 
He was going to say, " But for the gentlemen, the cowardice of the 
common file had lost the day." Some take for as = as for (see 
on i. I. 67 above) and gentlemen as ironically = the common file. 
This may be the better explanation. 

44. Budge. Run away. Cf. M. of V. ii. 2. 20 : " well, my 
conscience says, ' Launcelot, budge not.' ' Budge,' says the fiend. 
Budge not,' says my conscience." 

46. Think. The absolute use is peculiar, and "it" or 't" 
may have dropped out. Rowe prints " think ." 

51. Battle? Army. Cf. Hen. V. iv. prol. 9 : " Each battle sees 
the other's umber' d face." Cf. p. 188 above. 

53. Vaward. Vanguard. Cf. Hen. V. iv. 3. 130: "The lead 
ing of the vaward." Cf. p. 187 above. 

55. Their very heart of hope. Cf. A. and C. iv. 12. 29 : "the 
very heart of loss ; " T. of A. i. I. 286 : "The very heart of kind- 
ness," etc. " The soul of hope" occurs in I Hen. IV. iv. i. 50. 

238 Notes [Act I 

Malone cites Lust's Dominion : " thrust quite through the heart 
of hope." 

58. Endure. Remain, continue ; as in R. of L. 1659 : 

" but still pure 
Doth in her poison'd closet yet endure." 

60. Not delay. For the transposition of not, cf. Temp. ii. 1. 1 21 : 
" I not doubt," etc. On the present, cf. iii. 3. 42 below. 

61. Advanced. Raised, uplifted ; as often. Cf. ii. 1. 174 below. 
See also Temp. i. 2. 408, iv. I. 177, T. N. ii. 5. 36, Hen. V. v. 2. 
382, Rich. III. i. 2. 40, etc. 

62. Prove. Put it to the proof, make the trial ; or ^/^ may be 
the direct object, as Schmidt makes it. Cf. iv. 5. 95 and v. i. 60 

68. This painting. For the metaphor, cf. K. John, iv. 2. 253 : 
" painted wilh the crimson' drops of blood ; " Hen. V. iii. 5. 49 : 
" With pennons painted in the blood of Harfleur," etc. 

69. Fear, etc. Fear less for his person than he fears an ill 
report. Fear is used in a double sense. For the first (= fearer), 
cf. i. 7. 5 below. 

73. So many so minded. As many as are so minded. 

74. Disposition. Metrically five syllables. 

76. O, me alone ! The folios read, " Oh me alone, make you 
a sword of me." The line has been variously explained and 
emended. Wright interprets it thus : " Coriolanus is taken by 
surprise at the eagerness with which the soldiers rush forward in 
answer to his appeal. Instead of waving their swords in the air as 
he had directed, they make a sword of him. Instead of volunteers 
coming forward singly, the whole mass would follow Coriolanus 
only ; none would stay behind. When he saw this he exclaimed, 
' Oh, me alone ! ' and then when they raised him aloft, * make you 
a sword of me ? ' brandish me as if I were a sword ? " Clarke makes 
the whole imperative : " Marcius has said ' Let him alone, or so 
many so minded, wave thus ; ' and, seeing them all wave their 
swords in reply and then take himself up in their arms, which 

Scene VIII] Notes 239 

leaves him solely waving his sword, he rapturously exclaims : Oh, 
Jake me alone for weapon among you all! make yourselves a 
sword of me ! ' " Of the emendations the most plausible is Collier's 
" Of me alone ! " especially if we put it " O' me alone ! " but possi 
bly we might get the same meaning out of the original reading : 
" What, me alone ! do you make me your sword ? " 

82. Bear die business. Cf. i. I. 271 above. 

83. As cause will be obey'd. As occasion shall require. Cf. ii. 
3. 199 below. 

84. Four. The word has been suspected, but perhaps without 
sufficient reason. "Coriolanus means only to say that he would 
appoint four persons to select for his particular command or party 
those who were best inclined ; and in order to save time, he pro 
poses to have this choice made while the army is marching for 
ward " (Mason). 

87. With us. That is, with the generals. 

SCENE VII. I. Ports. Gates ; as in v. 6. 6 below. 

3. Centuries. Companies of a hundred ; as in Lear, iv. 4. 6 : 
" A century send forth." 

5. Fear not. Fear not for, be not anxious about See on i. 6. 
69 above. 

SCENE VIII. 3. AJrie. Africa; as in Temp. ii. i. 69 and 
Cymb. i. i. 167. It is used adjectively in T. and C. i. 3. 370. 
Africa occurs only in 2 Hen. IV. v. 3. 104. 

4. Thy fame and envy. Perhaps = " thy detested or odious 
fame," as Steevens explains it (for envy hatred, cf. iv. 5. 80, 
109) ; or the meaning may be " thy fame and hatred of me." Cf. 
North, p. 203 above : "Tullus did more malice and envy him." 

5. Budger. Cf. the verb in i. 6. 44 above. 

8. Corioli walls. Cf. ii. I. 176 below : "Corioli gates; " and 
Hi. 3. 104 : " Rome gates." 

ii. Wrench up, etc. Cf. the figure in Macb. i. 7. 60 : "But 

240 Notes [Act i 

screw your courage to the sticking-place." See also 7\ N. v. I. 

"And that I partly know the instrument 
That screws me from my true place in your favour." 

12. The whip of your bragged progeny. That is, the whip with 
which your boasted ancestors scourged their enemies. For prog 
eny race, cf. I Hen. VI. v. 4. 38 : " issued from a progeny of 

14. Officious, etc. "Aufidius reproaches the Volsces for med 
dling between him and Coriolanus, and by their cowardice putting 
him to the shame of being beaten with the advantage of numbers 
on his side. Condemned probably takes the place of a stronger 
word" (Wright). 

15. For seconds, cf. i. 4. 43 above. 

SCENE IX. I. If I should tell thee, etc. See extract from North, 
p. 188 above. 

2. Thou V. The reading of the first three folios, and = 
" thou 'It," which the 4th folio substitutes. For should followed 
by will, cf. Hen. VIII. i. 2. 134 : 

" that if the king 

Should without issue die, he '11 carry it so 
To make the sceptre his ; " 

and C. ofE.i. 2. 85 : 

" If I should pay your worship those again, 
Perchance you will not bear them patiently." 

4. Shall attend and shrug. Listen and shrug their shoulders 

6. Quattd. Made to quake, or quaking. Steeven? quotes 
Hey wood, Silver Age, 1613 : 

" We '11 quake them at that bar 
Where all souls stmd for sentence." 

Scene IX] Notes 24! 

7. Plebeians. Accented on the first syllable, as in v. 4. 38 be 
low, and probably also in iii. I. 101 ; but the modern accent occurs 
in Hen. V. v. chor. 27 and T. A. i. i. 231. 

10. Yet cam'st thou, etc. " Yet what I have seen here and praise 
was but a morsel compared with thy full feast yonder, the capture 
of Corioli " (Whitelaw). Cf. Macb. v. 5. 13 : "I have supp'd full 
with horrors." 

12. Here is the steed, tte. Delius remarks that this comparison 
was suggested by the mention in Plutarch (see p. 189 above) of 
"a goodly horse with a caparison and all furniture with him," 
given by Cominius to Coriolanus. 

14. A charter to extol her blood. " A privilege to praise her own 
son" (Johnson). 

17. Country. A trisyllable j as in T. N. i. 2. 21 and 2 Hen. VI. 
i. i. 206. 

19. Hath overtaken mine act. Malone says: "That is, has clone 
as much as I have done, insomuch as my ardour to serve the state 
is such that I have never been able to effect all that I wished." 
The meaning seems rather to be : he that has done his best has 
come up with me, for that is all I have done. 

22. Traducement. Defamation, calumny ; used by S. nowhere 

24. To the spire and top of praises. Cf. Temp. iii. I. 38 : 

"Admir'd Miranda! 
Indeed the top of admiration ! " 

K.John, iv. 3. 45: 

" This is the very top, 

The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest, 
Of murther's arms ; " 

2 Hen. VI. i. 2. 49 : " From top of honour," etc. S. uses spirt 
only here. 

26. Not to reivard, etc. Cf. Macb. i. 3. 1 02 : 

242 Notes [Act i 

" Only to herald thee into his sight, 
Not pay thee." 

29. Should they not. That is, not be remembered. 

30. Well might they fester, etc. "Well might they (in protest 
against such ingratitude) fester themselves past healing refuse 
to be probed but with the probe of death." For tent = probe, cf. 
Ham. ii. 2. 626 : " I '11 tent him to the quick," etc. 

31. Of all the horses. Cf. the extract from North, p. 188 above. 

32. Good and good store. Good ones and a good many of them. 
The expression occurs also in 2 Hen. IV. iv. 3. 131. 

33. Achieved. Gained, won ; as often. Cf. T. G. of V. i. 3. 32 : 
" Experience is by industry achiev'd," etc. It is often used with 
reference to gaining the love of a woman ; as in M. of V. iii. 2. 
210, T. of S. i. i. 161, 184, 224, etc. 

39. Stand upon my common part. That is, to take my chance 
in the common distribution. 

40. That have beheld the doing. Those that were present, even 
though mere spectators of the action. 

41-46. May these . . . the wars ! This perplexing passage 
stands thus in the folio : 

"Mar. May these same Instruments, which you prophane, 
Neuer sound more : when Drums and Trumpets shall 
I'th'field proue flatterers, let Courts and Cities be 
Made all of false-fac'd soothing : 
When Steele growes soft, as the Parasites Silke, 
Let him be made an Ouerture for th' Warres." 

Of the various emendations and explanations that have been given, 
Knight's seems to me on the whole the most satisfactory or the 
least unsatisfactory. The meaning then is : " Let trumpets and 
drums cease to sound when they become flatterers in the field. 
Let falsehood and flatterers have the rule in courts and cities, 
where even steel becomes soft as the parasite's silk. But let 
martial music be the prelude only to war." 

Scene IX] Notes 243 

It is a strong confirmation of this reading and interpretation that 
so keen a critic as White had independently adopted it. Claike 
also has the same, except that he retains the " when " in 45, and 
I am not sure that any change is necessary there. The meaning 
may be, as Clarke gives it : " Let courts r.nd cities be made all 
of false-fac'd adulation, when thus martial steel grows soft as the 
parasite's silken attire! " that is, let it be taken as a matter of 
course, let us not wonder at it. Cf. Ham. iii. 4. 82 : 

" O shame ! where is thy blush ? Rebellious hell, 

If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones, 

To flaming youth let virtue be as wax, 

And melt in her own fire ! " 

It has been objected to overture that it was not used in the time 
of S. in the sense of a musical prelude ; and Wright thinks that 
its use = proposal, offer (as in T. N. i. 5. 225 : " I bring no over 
ture of war ; " which Malone quotes in defence of the old reading 
here), is "entirely different." On the contrary, the sound of the 
trumpet as the signal for beginning the battle is virtually an offer 
of battle. Of course, it is not at all necessary to suppose that over-* 
ture is used in any technical sense ; and to prevent misunderstand 
ing, it would be better to avoid the use of prelude in paraphrasing 
the passage, and to give it as White does: "Let drums and trum 
pets be used to usher in war," etc. That is really all that it means, 
and the expression seems to me thoroughly Shakespearian. 

44. For soothing '= flattery, cf. ii. 2. 73 below. See also K. John 
iii. i. I2i: "thou art perjur'd too, And soothest up greatness; " 
also soother flatterer in I Hen. IV. iv. i. 7. 

47. For that. Because. Cf. i. I. 114 above, and iii. 3. 93 below. 

48. Debile. Weak ; as in A. W. ii. 3. 39 : " debile minister." 
Cotgrave gives it as a translation of the Fr. debile. 

49. Here's many, etc. Cf. ii. I. 148 below. 

55. Give you. Represent you ; as in A. and C. i. 4. 40: 

11 and men's reports 
Give him much wrong'd." 

244 Notes [Act l 

Give out is often used in this sense. See 2 Hen. IV. iv. i. 23, Oth. 
iv. i. 1 16, etc. 

57. His proper harm. His own harm ; a common meaning of 

60. This war's garland. White-law says : "The corona trium- 
f halts of laurel ; confounded in ii. i. 135 with ' the oaken garland,' 
the corona civica; " but here garland is probably figurative 
( honour). 

62. With all his trim belonging. That is, " with a caparison, and 
all furniture belonging to him" (see p. 189 above). For trim, cf. 
Sonn. 98. 2 : " dress'd in all his trim," etc. 

66. Addition. Title. Cf. Macb. i. 3. 106, iii. i. 100, etc. 

68. Go wash. See on i. 5. 26 above. 

72. To under crest, etc. That is, to wear it for a crest as fairly 
as I can ; " a phrase from heraldry, signifying that he would en 
deavour to support his good opinion of him" (Warburton). Addi 
tion is here a quadrisyllable. 

77. The best. " The chief men of Corioli" (Johnson). Articu 
late = make articles of peace, enter into negotiations. The verb is 
transitive in i Hen. IV. v. i. 72. 

79. Now. But now, just now. 

82. Sometime lay. Once lodged. For sometime, cf. iv. i. 23 
and v. i. 2 below ; and for lay, iv. 4. 8 below. See also 717. W. ii. 
i. 187, 2 Hen. IV. iii. 2. 299, etc. On the passage, cf. extract from 
North, p. 189 above. 

89. Free as is the wind. Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 7. 47 : 

" I must have liberty 
Withal, as large a charter as the wind, 
To blow on whom I please ; " 

and Temp. i. 2. 498 : 

" Thou shalt be as free 
As mountain winds." 

SCENE X. 4. For I cannot, etc. Being a Volscian and van 
quished, I cannot be really myself. 

Scene X] Notes 245 

6. Good condition. There is a play upon the two senses of the 
phrase: the one in which the soldier has used it (= good terms), 
and that of good quality or character. For condition in the latter 
sense, cf. ii. 3. 99 and v. 4. 10 below. 

7. The part that is at mercy ? The side that is beaten, or at the 
mercy of the other. Cf. T. and C. iv. 4. 116 : " at mercy of n.y 

11. Beard to beard. Cf. Macb. v. 5. 6: "We might have met 
them dareful, beard to beard." 

12. Mine emulation, etc. Coleridge remarks upon this speech: 
" I have such deep faith in Shakespeare's heart-lore that I take it 
for granted that this is in nature, and not a mere anomaly; although 
I cannot in myself discover any germ of possible feeling which 
could wax and unfold itself into such a sentiment as this. However, 
I presume that in this speech is meant to be contained a prevention 
of shock at the afterchange in Aufidius's character." 

Verplanck comments on this as follows : " Such a criticism from 
Coleridge is worthy the reader's consideration, but I cannot myself 
perceive its justice. The varying feelings of Aufidius are such as 
may be often observed to arise in the contentions of able and ambi 
tious men for honour or power, and are just such as would, under 
these circumstances, be natural in a mind like that of Aufidius 
ambitious, proud, and bold, with many noble and generous qualities, 
yet not above the influence of selfish and vindictive emotions and 
desires. The mortification of defeat embitters his rivalry to hatred. 
When afterwards his banished rival appeals to his nobler nature, 
that hatred dies away, and his generous feeling revives. Bitter 
jealousy and hatred again grow up, as his glories are eclipsed by 
his former adversary ; yet this dark passion, too, finally yields to a 
generous sorrow at his rival's death. I think that I have observed 
very similar alterations of such mixed motives and sentiments, in 
eminent men, in the collisions of political life." 

13. Where. Whereas. See on i. I. 102 above. 

14. In an equal force. On equal terms, in a fair fight. 

246 Notes [Act i 

15. Patch. Poke, thrust; used by S. only here. Toilet quotes 
Carew's Survey of Cornwall : "They use also to poche them with 
an instrument somewhat like a salmon-speare." 

1 6. Or wrath or craft, etc. "By which my craft, if not my 
wrath, may get the upper hand" (Whitelaw). 

1 8. With only suffering stain by him. Only because eclipsed 
by his. Cf. V. and A. g: " Stain to all nymphs " (that is, as 
Schmidt explains, " by eclipsing them "). Cf. A. and C. iii. 4. 27 : 

" I '11 raise the preparation of a war 
Shall stain your brother " (that is, eclipse him) . 

For him, etc. "To mischief him, my valour shall deviate from 
its own native generosity " (Johnson). 

22. Embarquements. Embargoes, restraints ; not found else 
where in this sense. According to Cotgrave, one meaning of the 
Fr. embarquement is " an imbarguing ; " and Cole, in his Latin 
Diet., has " to imbargue, or lay an imbargo upon." 

25. At home, upon my brother's guard. In my own house, with 
my brother protecting him. 

26. The hospitable canon. The sacred law of hospitality. 
28. How 't is held. That is, how strongly it is garrisoned. 

30. Attended. Waited for. Cf. i. I. 77, 246 above. 

31. The city mills. Tyrwhitt asks, " Where could S. have heard 
of these mills at Antium?" But, as Malone remarks, the poet 
often introduces these minute local descriptions ; as in R. and J. 

i. i. 128: 

" underneath the grove of sycamore 
That westward rooteth from the city's side." 

Wright suggests that S. had probably London in his mind. " In 
the year 1588 the Mayor and Corporation of the City petitioned the 
Queen that they might build four corn mills on the river Thames 
near the Bridge, and the Masters of the Trinity House certified 
that the erection of these mills ' on the south side of the Thames 

Scene I] Notes 247 

upon the Starlings above the bridge ' would breed no annoyance. 
The city mills ' therefore were close to the Globe Theatre." 
33. May spur on, etc. May adopt my own pace or course. 


SCENE I. I. Augurer. Cf. /. C. ii. I. 200 : " the persuasion of 
his augurers." See also Id. ii. 2. 37, A. and C. iv. 1 2. 4 (" auguries " 
in the early eds.) and v. 2. 337. Augur occurs only in Sonn. 107. 6 
and Phccnix and Turtle, 7. 

8. Pray you, who does the wolf love? " Implying that there are 
beasts which love nobody, and that among those beasts are the 
people " (Johnson). For who whom, cf. Macb. iii. i. 123 : " Who 
I myself struck down," etc. See on i. I. 233 above. 

17. In. For the duplication of the preposition, cf. A. Y. L. ii. 
7. 90: "Of what kind should this cock come of," etc. 

24. Censured. Estimated, regarded. See on i. i. 269 above. 
For of, see on i. 2. 13. 

30. A very little thief of occasion. That is, any trifling occasion. 

32. Dispositions . . . pleasures. The plural is used because more 
than one person is referred to. Cf. iii. i. 7 and iv. 5. 139 below. 

39. Single. With a play upon the word in its sense of simple or 
silly ; as in 2 Hen. IV. i. 2. 207: "your chin double, your wit 

40. O that you could turn your eyes, etc. " 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). It may, however, mean sim 
ply turn your eyes inward; as the following interior suggests. 

46. Unmeriting. That is, as undeserving. For the ellipsis, cf. 
iv. i. 53 and iv. 5. 20 below. 

50. Humorous. Full of humours or whims. Cf. A. Y. L, i. 2. 
278 : " The duke is humorous," etc. 

248 Notes [Act n 

52. Allaying. Cooling, qualifying ; as in v. 3. 85 below. Cf. 

M. of V. ii. 2. 195: 

" Pray thee, take pain 
To allay with some cold drops of modesty 
Thy skipping spirit." 

Steevens points out that Lovelace imitated the passage in his 
Verses to Althea from Prison : 

" When flowing cups run swiftly round 
With no allaying Thames." 

Something imperfect, etc. That is, somewhat faulty as a magis 
trate in forming an opinion of a case before hearing the other side. 
Wright remarks: "It has been objected to this reading that Me- 
nenius would not speak of himself in such depreciatory terms, and 
justify the tribunes' attack. But it is his humour to say of himself 
the worst that popular opinion says of him, and so to disarm his 
opponents ; that he is quick in temper and hasty of tongue, that 
his bark is worse than his bite, that he never stops to think whether 
his outspokenness will give offence." 

54. Motion. Motive, incitement; as in Hen. VIII. i. I. 153: 
" from sincere motions." 

55. Converses more with. Is more conversant with. For the 
figure \\hich follows, Malone compares L. L. L. v. I. 94: "the 
posteriors of the day, which the rude multitude call the afternoon." 
The meaning of course is, as Johnson gives it, " rather a late lier 
down than an early riser." 

58. Wealsmen. Statesmen ; used by S. nowhere else. For 
weal = the commonwealth, see ii. 3. 186 below, and cf. iii. I. 176. 
See also i. I. 152 above. 

62. When I find the ass, etc. That is, when I find your talk so 

65. Deadly. Adjectives in -ly are often used adverbially. 

66. Microcosm. The "little world of man" {Lear, iii. I. 10), 
regarded as the epitome of the universe or macrocosm. S. uses 
the word only here. 

Scene I] Notes 249 

68. Bisson conspectuities. Purblind perceptions. For bisson 
(folio "beesome"), cf. Ham. ii. 2. 529: "With bisson rheum." 
See also on iii. I. 131 below. S. uses the word only in these pas 
sages. It is still heard in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire. 
( onspeduities seems to be a word of Menenius's own coining. Cf. 
empirictU in 125 andyW/j^/in 141 below. 

74. 1 -or poor knaves' caps and legs. "That is, for their obei 
sance shown by bowing to you. To make a leg (A. W. ii. 2. 10 
and Rich. II. iii. 3. 175) was the phrase in our author's time for a 
bow, and it is still used in ludicrous language" (Malone). Cf. 
i I Jen. IV. ii. 4. 427: "here is my leg." See also Id. iv. 3. 168: 
" with cap and knee." 

76. Hearing a cause. Warburton remarks : " It appears from 
this whole speech that S. mistook the office of prcefectus urbis for 
the tribune's office." But he merely followed North (see extract 
on p. 184 above) in regarding the tribunes as magistrates. 

77. A fossct- seller. A seller of faucets, which is the common 
word in this country for what the English call " taps." S. has it 
only here. 

Rejourn. Adjourn ; used by S. only here. Burton, in his Anat. 
of Melan.y has it in the sense of refer : " To the scriptures them- 
s.-lves I rejourne all such atheistical spirits." 

81. Mummers. Maskers, or performers in a masquerade ; an 
other word not found elsewhere in S. 

Set up the bloody flag. That is, declare war. A red flag was the 
signal fur battle. Cf. /. C. v. I. 14 : "Their bloody sign of battle is 
hung out." See also Hen. V.\. 2. 101. "The famous Dr. Sachev- 
erell, in his sermon at Oxford in 1702, on Proverbs, viii. 15, de 
nounced as apostates and traitors to the Church of England those 
of her members who were favourable to the dissenters, * Against 
Whom every Man, that Wishes Its Welfare, ought to Hang out the 
Bloody Flag, and Banner of Defiance '" (Wright). 

83. Bleeding. "That is, without having, as it were, dressed and 
cured it " (Schmidt). The figure is changed in entangled. 

250 Notes [Act II 

88. Perfecter. The only instance of the comparative in S. The 
superlative occurs in Sonn. 51. 10, Much. Ado, ii. i. 317, and Macb. 

1. 5. 2. Giber (= scoffer) he uses only here. 

95. A botcher was a mender of old clothes. Cf. T. N. i. 5. 51 
and A. W. iv. 3. 211. For hair used for stuffing, cf. Much Ado, iii. 

2. 47, where Benedick's whiskers are said to have " stuffed tennis 

98. Since Deucalion. That is, " since the great flood " (/. C. i. 
2. 152). The Greek Noah is mentioned again in W. T. iv. 4. 442. 

100. God-den. Good even. Cf. iv. 6. 21, 22 below. It is a 
corruption of " God give you a good evening ; " and is printed 
" Godgigoden " in the folio in R. and J. i. 2. 58. 

112. Take my cap. He throws up his cap in thanks to Jupiter, 
god of the sky. Hoo ! as " an exclamation of triumphant joy " 
occurs again in iii. 3. 137 below, and also in A. and C. ii. 7. 141. 

125. Galen. "An anachronism of near 650 years," as Grey 
says ; but, as Clarke remarks, " that Galen was known to his audi 
ences as one of the most celebrated medical authorities of antique 
times was quite sufficient for Shakespeare's purpose." But the 
scholarly Bacon could never have tolerated such an introduction of 
Galen " out of due time ; " and these frequent and easy anachro 
nisms are of themselves a sufficient refutation of the theory that he 
"wrote Shakespeare." 

Empirictic. A word coined by Menenius (cf. 68 above), unless 
it be a printer's corruption. The spelling of the folios is " Em- 
perickqutique " or " Empericktique." Most of the modern eds. 
give " empericutic." To compared to ; as often. 

134. On 's brows. That is, he brings victory on his brows. For 
on 'j, cf. 198 below, and on >t in i. i. 12 above. 

135. The oaken garland. Cf. i. 3. 15 above and ii. 2. 98 below. 
See on i. 9. 60 above. 

141. Fidiused. A word jocosely formed from Aufidius. 

142. Possessed of. Informed of. Cf. M. of V. iv. i. 35, I Hen. IV. 
iv. i. 40, etc. 

Scene I] Notes 251 

151. True purchasing. Honest earning. Cf. M. of V. ii. 9. 43 : 

" O, that estates, degrees, and offices 
Were not deriv'd corruptly, and that clear honour 
Were purchas'd by the merit of the wearer 1 " 

153. Paw, waw ! The folio reading = pooh, pooh ! 

161. His place. That is, the consulship. 

163. One f the neck, etc. Warburton says: "Seven, one, 
and two, and these make but nine ? Surely we may safely assist 
Menenius in his arithmetic ; " and so he reads, " one too i' the 
thigh." But Upton interprets the passage better : " Seven 
wounds ? let me see ; one in the neck, two in the thigh nay 
I 'm sure there are more, there are nine that I know of." 

173, 174. Death, that . . . men die. Perhaps, as White suggests, 
this couplet is a mere playhouse " tag," added " to please the actor 
of Volumnia with a round, mouth-filling speech." Spirit is mono 
syllabic ; as often. Nervy (= sinewy) is found nowhere else in 
S. For advanced ( = lifted), see on i. 6. 6 1 above ; and for declines 
(= falls), cf. T. and C. iv. 5. 189 : 

" When thou hast hung thy advanc'd sword i' the air, 
Not letting it decline on the declin'd." 

175. A sennet. A particular set of notes on a trumpet. It 
occurs in S. only in stage-directions (in/. C., Macb., etc.). 

1 76. Corioli gates. See on i. 8. 8 above. 

1 86. Deed-achieving honour. Honour won by his deeds. For 
achieve = gain, win, cf. i. 9. 33 above. Active participles are often 
used in a passive sense. Cf. A. and C. iii. 13. 77: "his all-obeying 
breath " (obeyed by all) ; R. of L. 993 : " his unrecalling crime '' 
(that cannot be recalled), etc. 

1 88. My gracious silence ! How impertinent is Steevens's para 
phrase : " thou whose silent tears are more eloquent and grateful to 
me than the clamorous applause of the rest ! " But of his illus 
trative quotations this from Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond^ 1599, 
is apt : 

252 Notes [Act II 

"Ah, beauty, syren, fair enchanting good! 

Sweet silent rhetoric of persuading eyes ! 
Dumb eloquence, whose power doth move the blood 
More than the words of wisdom of the wise ! " 

But Shakespeare puts all that, and more, into his three words. For 
gracious, as expressing all that is lovely and lovable, cf. K. John, 
iii. 4. 81 : "There was not such a gracious creature born" (see 
also 96 just below), etc. 

Clarke remarks on this passage : " This name for his wife, who, 
while the others are receiving him with loud rejoicings, meets and 
welcomes him with speechless happiness looking out from her 
swimming eyes, is conceived in the very fulness of poetical and 
Shakespearian perfection. It comprises the gracefulness of beauty 
which distinguishes her, and the gracious effect which her muteness 
of love-joy has upon him who shrinks from noisy applause and 
even frorri merely expressed approbation ; and it wonderfully con 
centrates into one felicitous word the silent softness that charac 
terizes Virgilia throughout. She is precisely the woman formed 
by nature gentle in manner, and rendered by circumstances spar 
ing in speech to inspire the fondest affection in such a man as 

198. At very root. For the omission of the article, cf. iv. 1.47 
below : "at gate," etc. On 's = of his. Cf. 134 above. 

205. Menenius, ever, ever ! Always the same Menenius j blunt 
as ever ! Cf. /. C. v. I. 63 : " Old Cassius still ! " 

211. Change of honours. "Variety of honours; as change of 
raiment, among the writers of that time, signified variety of rai 
ment " (Warburton). Schmidt similarly explains it as "new 

212. Inherited. Obtained, enjoyed. Cf. R. and J. i. 2. 30 : 

" even such delight 

Among fresh'female buds shall you this night 
Inherit at my house," etc. 

Scene I] Notes 253 

213. The buildings of my fancy, Cf. Lear, iv. 2. 85 : " all the 
building in my fancy." 

217. Sway. Cf. Lear, i. 2. 53 : " aged tyranny, who sways, not as 
it hath power, but as it is suffered," etc. 

219. Your. See on i. I. 129 above. 

220. Rapture. Probably = a fit, a sense not inconsistent with 
the primary one of a violent seizure. That a child will " cry itself 
into fits " is still a common phrase among nurses, as Steevens notes ; 
and that rapture was sometimes = fit, he shows by quoting The 
Hospital for London* s Follies, 1692 : "Your darling will weep itself 
into a rapture, if you take not good heed." " Rupture " has been 
suggested as an emendation, and Dr. Ingleby, in his Shakespeare 
Hermeneutics (p. 149) cites Phieravante 1 s Secrets, 1582: "To 
helpe yong Children of the Rupture. The Rupture is caused two 
waies, the one through weaknesse of the place, and the other 
through much criying." 

221. Chats him. Chats or gossips about him, or " talks Corio- 
lanus." This, as Schmidt points out, is not unlike the use of speak 
in ii. 2. 103 below, Cymb. i. i. 24, Henry VIII. iv. 2. 32, etc. 
" Claps " (but, as Wright asks, how could the nurse clap her hands 
and hold the baby at the same time?), "shouts," "chats of," and 
" cheers " have been suggested as emendations. 

Malkin = kitchen-wench ; as in Per. iv. 3. 34. It was also spelt 
mawkin, as it came to be pronounced. Johnson derives it from 
Mall (cf. Temp. ii. 2. 50 and T. N. i. 3. 135) or Mary ; but it was 
also perhaps originally a diminutive of Matilda. Wright quotes 
the Promptorium Parvulorum : " Malkyne, or Mawt, propyr name 

222. Lockram. A cheap, coarse linen. Steevens quotes Beau 
mont and Fletcher, Spanish Curate, iv. 5 : 

" I give per annum two hundred ells of lockram, 
That there be no straight dealings in their linnens; " 

and Glapthorne, Wit in a Constable, iv. I : 

254 Notes [Act n 

" Thou thoughts! because I did wear Lokram shirts, 
Ide no wit." 

Reechy. Dirty (literally, smoky). Cf. Much Ado, iii. 3. 143 : " the 
reechy painting." By the way, what a graphic picture of the 
" Biddy " decking herself out in her cheap finery to see a proces 
sion go by, does the poet give us in these few words ! The whole 
description :s of the same vivid character, and sweeps us along with 
the motley crowd in spite of ourselves. Cf. J. C. i. i. 42 fol. 

223. Bulks. "The projecting parts of shops on which goods 
were exposed for sale ; generally used by butchers and fishmongers. 
Florio (Ital. Diet.} gives 'Banco ... a bulke or butchers stall;' 
and ' Balcone, any window, namely a bay-window. Also a bulke 
or stall of a shop.' " Cf. Oth. v. I. I : " Here, stand behind this 

224. Ridges hors'd, etc. " Ridges of house-roofs on which men 
of all sorts of aspects sit astride" (Clarke). Complexion is often 
used of external appearance in general. 

226. Seld-shown. For seld= seldom, cf. P. P. 175 : "And as 
goods lost are seld or never found ;" and T. and C. iv. 5. 150 : "As 
seld I have the chance." For the compound, Steevens compares 
Day, Humour out of Breath, 1607 : " O seld-seen metamorphosis ! " 
and the old play of Hieronimo : " Why, is not this a strange and 
seldseen thing ? " Spenser has selcouth ( = seldom known) in 
F. Q. iv. 8. 14 : " But wondred much at his so selcouth case." 
For flamens (Roman priests), cf. T. of A. iv. 3. 155 : " hoar the 
flamen," etc. 

228. A vulgar station. A standing- place among the rabble. 

229. The war of white and damask. Cf. R. of L. 71 : 

" Their silent war of lilies and of roses 
Which Tarquin viewed in her fair face's field ; " 

T. of S. iv. 5. 30 : " Such war of white and red within her cheeks ;" 
Chaucer, C. T. 1040 (Tyrwhitt) : " For with the rose colour strof 
hire hewe ; " Wooton, Damcetas 1 Madrigal, etc. : " Amidst her 

Scene I] Notes 255 

cheekes the rose and lilly strive;" and Massinger, Duke of Florencf : 

" the lillies 
Contending with the roses in her cheek." 

Farmer cites Cleaveland's quaint variation : 

" her cheeks, 

Where roses mix : no civil war 
Between her York and Lancaster." 

To these I may add V. and A. 345, and Gascoigne, Praise of the 
Fair Bridges : 

" Upon whose lively cheeke, 

To prove my judgment true, 

The rose and lillie seeme to strive 

For equall change of hewe." 

No doubt many other instances of the well-worn figure might be 
found in the old poets. 

230. Nicely-gaivded. Schmidt considers this as " probably = 
scrupulously treated as a precious thing, carefully guarded and pre 
served." Wright makes it simply = " daintily adorned." The 
former is perhaps more in keeping with the context. 

231. Pother. Spelt "poother" in the folio. In Lear, iii. 2. 50 
(the only other instance in S.) the folio has "pudder." 

232. As if that. Johnson takes that to be the demonstrative 
(" as if that god who leads him, whatsoever god he be " ) ; but it 
is probably the "conjunctional affix;" as in Rich. III. iv. 4. 221 : 
"You speak as if that I had slain my cousins;" T. and C. 
v. 5. 41 : "As if that luck, in very spite of cunning," etc. See also 
i. i. 114 above, and iii. 2. 52, iv. 2. 13, iv. 4. 5, and v. 3. 98 below. 
Malone compares A. and C. iv. 8. 24 : 

11 he hath fought to-day 
As if a god, in hate of mankind, had 
Destroy'd in such a shape." 

236. Go sleep. See on i. 5. 26 and i. 9. 68 above. 

2 5 6 

Notes [Act II 

237. He cannot, etc. " He cannot begin to carry his honours, 
and conclude his journey, from the spot "where he should begin % 
and to the spot where he should end" (Malone). Cf. Cymb. 
iii. 2. 65 : 

" How we may steal from hence, and for the gap 
That we shall make in time, from our hence-going 
And our return, to excuse." 

241. Upon their ancient malice. On account of their old grudge 
against him. Cf. Rich. II. i. I. 9: "If he appeal the duke on 
ancient malice." 

242. Which. Referring of course to cause. 
244. As he is. As that he is. 

247. Napless. Threadbare. The folios have "Naples;" cor 
rected by Rowe. See on ii. 2. 137 below. 

249. ' T is right. 'T is true, 't is so. 

255. As our good wills. " As our dispositions towards him are " 
(Malone) ; or "as our best endeavours" (Wright). On the other 
hand, Mason (so Schmidt) makes wills a verb: "as our advantage 
requires;" or " as our advantage would have it" (Clarke). 

257. For an end. "To cut the matter short" (Schmidt); or, 
perhaps, to bring it to a crisis. 

258. Suggest. Prompt (Steevens) ; as in Rich. II. \. I. 101 : 
" Suggest his soon-believing adversaries." 

259. Still. Ever, constantly ; as in ii. 2. 133 below, and very 
often. To 's power to the utmost of his power, according to his 
power. Cf. W. T. v. 2. 182: "I will prove so, sir, to my power ;" 
Much Ado, iv. I. 220: "That which we have we prize not to the 
worth ;" and T. and C. i. I. 7: "The Greeks are strong and skil 
ful to their strength." 

261. Dispropertied their freedoms. "Made their freedom nc 
freedom ; took from it all the properties of freedom " (Whitelaw). 
The verb occurs nowhere else in S. 

264. Pro-vand " provender," which Pope substituted, and 

Scene I] Notes 257 

which S. elsewhere uses ; as in M. N. D. iv. I. 35, Oth. i. i. 48, 
etc. Steevens cites examples of provand (oftener spelt provant or 
provaunt) from Stow, Raleigh, and other writers of the time. On 
the passage, cf. J. C. iv. I. 21 fol. 

268. Shall teach the people. The sentence is perhaps abruptly 
broken off, but the text is doubtful. I larmier's " touch " is a 
very probable emendation, adopted by many editors. Malone ex 
plains teach as "instruct the people in their duty to their rulers ;" 
and Steevens " instruct the people in favour of our purposes." 
Whitelaw makes teach = " open their eyes." 

269. Put upon V. Instigated to it. Cf. ii. 3. 257 below: "by 
our putting on." See also Lear, ii. i. 101, Ham. iv. 7. 132, etc. 

275. Dumb. That is, deaf and dumb. 

277. Handkerchers. The folio spelling, indicating the pro 
nunciation. In Oth. the quarto has " handkercher," the folio 
" handkerchief." 

278. Bended. S. uses bended and bent, both as past tense and 
participle ; but bent when the latter is = inclined, prone, etc. 

280. A shower and thunder, etc. For the arrangement, cf. v. 3. 
loo below. For the construction, cf. Macb. i. 3. 60 : 
" Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear 
Your favours nor your hate ; " 

W. T. Hi. 2. 164: 

" though I with death and with 
Reward did threaten and encourage him ; " 

and Id. iii. 2. 206 : 

" if you can bring 
Tincture or lustre in her lip, her eye," etc. 

The construction is a favourite one with S., and the order of the 
particulars is often irregular. 

282. The time. That is, the present time, the occasion ; as 
hearts for the event is courage to endure the issue. On event, cf. 
Ham. iv. 4. 41, 50. 

283. Have with you. I '11 go with you ; a common idiom. 


258 Notes [Act n 

SCENE II. The stage-direction in the folio is "Enter two 
Officers, to lay Cushions, as it were, in the Capitoll." This as it 
were was inserted because, there being no scenery in the theatres 
of that day, no representation of the interior of the Capitol could 
be given (Malone). 

3. Of. By. See on i. 2. 13 above. 

5. Vengeance. The only instance of this colloquial adverb in S. 
It grows out of its use as a curse ; as in iii. I. 262 below. 

13. In. In regard to, about. 

15. Lets. For the ellipsis of the subject, see on i. 3. 61 above. 

17. He waved. That is, he would waver. Cf. iv. 6. 116 below. 
In what follows there is a " confusion of two constructions, ' he 
waved indifferently 'twixt good and harm,' and ' doing them neither 
good nor harm' " (Wright). Cf. ii. 3. 232 below. 

21. Opposite. Opponent. Cf. T. N. iii. 2. 68, iii. 4. 253, 293, 
etc. Affect desire, seek. Cf. iii. 3. i, iv. 6. 33, and v. 3. 149 

25. As those. As that of those. Cf. i. 5. 24 and i. 6. 27 

27. Bonneted. That is, took off their bonnets, or caps. S. uses 
the verb only here. Cf. iii. 2. 73 below. See also Rich. II. i. 4. 
31: "Off goes his bonnet to an oyster-wench." Knight thinks 
that bonneted is = put on their caps : " His ascent is not by such 
easy degrees as those who, having been supple and courteous to 
the people, put on their bonnets without any further deed." 

Without any further deed, etc. That is, without doing anything 
further to win their good opinion. To have them into = literally, 
to get themselves into. Cf. C. of E. ii. 2. 10, T. of S. ind. 2. 39, 
M. N. D. iii. I. 174, etc. 

31. In grateful. S. uses both ingrateful and ungrateful. Cf. ii. 
3. 10 and iv. 5. 136 below. 

37. Of. Concerning. Cf. Rich. III. iii. 4. 2: "to determine 
of the coronation," etc. 

39. After-meeting. So we have after-inquiry (Cymb.v. 4. 189), 

Scene II] Notes 259 

after-loss (Sonn. 90. 4), after-love (T. G. of V. iii. I. 95, Rich. II. 
v. 3. 35), after-nourishment (Per. \. 2. 13), etc. 

40. Gratify. Requite. Cf. M. of V. iv. 1.406: "gratify this 
gentleman," etc. 

44. Well-found. Fortunately won. In the only other instance 
of the compound in S. (A. W. ii. I. 105) it is = well-skilled, 

47. Mel. Cf. i. 9. 10 above, for a similar use of the past 

49. Make us think, etc. " Rather say that our means are too 
defective to afford an adequate reward for his services, than sup 
pose our wishes to stretch out those means are defective " (Stee- 
vens). Wright explains the passage thus: "make us rather think 
that our state is deficient in the means of requiting his services, 
than that we are slack in extending its power for this purpose to 
the utmost." 

52. After. Afterwards; as in Temp. ii. 2. 10: "And after bite 
me," etc. 

53. Your loving motion, etc. "Your kind interposition with 
the common people " (Johnson). 

54. To yield what passes. To grant whatever is enacted or de 
cided upon. Consented = convened ; as in A!, for M. v. I. 158 
and Hen. VIII. v. I. 52. 

55. Treaty. "Proposal tending to an agreement" (Schmidt). 
Cf. K. John, i. I. 481: "This friendly treaty of our threaten'd 
town." See also A. and C. iii. II. 62: "I must . . . send humble 

57. Our assembly. Warburton would read "your" for our, be 
cause until the passing of the Lex Atinia the tribunes were not 
allowed to sit in the Senate, but had benches outside ; but S. may 
not have known that fact. 

58. Blest to do. Happy to do ; as in K.John, iii. I. 251 : 

" and then we shall be blest 
To do your pleasure, and continue friends." 

260 Notes [Act ii 

60. That"** off. "That is nothing to the purpose" (Johnson) ; 
or " a little off the matter," as Dogberry puts it {Much Ado, iii. 5. 

66. The stage-direction in the folios is, "Coriolanus rises, and 
offers to goe away" At the beginning of the scene it is said " Cori~ 
olanus stands" but Brutus's remark in 71 indicates that he after 
wards took his seat. 

67. Shame. Be ashamed ; as in A. Y. L. iv. 3. 136: 

" I do not shame 
To tell you what I was," etc. 

71. DisbencKd you. Led you to leave your seat. Disbench is 
used by S. only here ; but we find bench as a verb in W. T. i. 2. 
314 and Lear, iii. 6. 40. Cf. bencher senator in ii. I. 89 above. 

73. Sooth 'd. Flattered. Cf. soothing in. i. 9. 44 above. 

76. Alarum. The call to arms (Ital. alVarme). Cf. larum in 
i. 4. 9 above. 

77. Monster'd. Made monstrous or extraordinary. S. has the 
verb again in Lear, i. I. 223: "That monsters it." 

78. How can he flatter, etc. " How can he be expected to prac 
tise flattery to others, who abhors it so much that he cannot hear 
it even when offered to himself ? " (Johnson). 

79. That 's thousand, etc. Among whom there 's not one in a 
thousand good for anything. 

81. On 's. Of his. Cf. i. 3. 68 above. 

85. Haver. Possessor ; the only instance of the noun in S. 

87. Singly. By any single man. 

At sixteen years. North (see p. 181 above) says "a strip 

88. Made a head for Rome. Raised an army to recover Rome. 
Cf. iii. i. i below. 

91. Amazonian. Beardless as that of an Amazon. For chin 
the ist and 2d folios have "Shinne ; " and for bristled all the folios 

Scene II] Notes 26 1 

92. Bestrid. Bestrode ; that is, to defend him when fallen in 
battle. Cf. C. of E. v. I. 192: 

" When I bestrid thee in the wars and took 
Deep scars to save thy life." 

See also the quibble in I Hen. IV. v. I. 122, and the metaphor 
in 2 Hen. IV. i. I. 207 and Macb. iv. 3. 4. Bestrid is the only 
form of the past tense and participle in S. 

95. Struck him on his knee. Gave him a blow that made him 
fall on his knee. 

96. Act the woman, etc. That is, play female parts on the 
stage. In the time of S. these parts were always taken by boys 
or young men. Cf. A. Y. L. epil. 1 8, where Rosalind says: " If I 
were a woman," etc. See also A. and C. v. 2. 220, Ham. ii. 2. 444, 

98. Pupil age. Minority ; now written as one word, pupilage. 
Cf. I Hen. IV. ii. 4. 106: "to the pupil age of this present twelve 
o'clock at midnight." 

99. Man-enter' d. Initiated into manhood. Cf. A. W.\\. 1.6: 
" After well-enter' d soldiers ; " that is, after being well initiated 
as soldiers. 

101. Lurched all swords of the garland. That is, robbed them 
all of the prize. Steevens quotes Jonson, Silent Woman, v. I : 
" Well, Dauphine, you have lurch'd your friends of the better half 
of the garland, by concealing this part of the plot." Malone at 
one time thought that this might be a sneer at the passage in 
the text ; but on finding a similar phrase in a pamphlet by 
Thomas Nash, he came to the conclusion that it was a common 
expression of the time. Wright is inclined to attach more weight 
to the coincidence than Malone felt justified in doing, and to see 
in Jonson a reminiscence of Shakespeare. If he is right, Corio- 
lanus must have been written before 1609, the year in which The 
Silent Woman appeared. 

103. Speak him home. Describe him thoroughly, or as he de- 

262 Notes [Act n 

serves. Cf. iii. 3. I below. See also Cymb. i. I. 24: "You speak 
him far," etc. 

105. Weeds. The reading of the ist folio, changed in the 2d, as 
in some modern eds., to " waves." Steevens says that " weeds, 
instead of falling below a vessel under sail, cling fast about the 
stem of it ; " but Knight replies that " S. was not thinking of the 
weed floating on the billow ; the Avon or the Thames supplied 
him with the image of weeds rooted at the bottom." Verplanck 
adds: "The weeds of the flats of the Hudson, and the inlets of 
Long Island Sound, have so often furnished the American editor 
with a practical illustration of this image that he has no hesitation 
in adopting this as the true reading." 

107. Stem. Carrying out the comparison in vessel. 

108. // took. It " told," as we say ; it left its impress. 

no. Was tinted, etc. "The cries of the slaughtered regularly 
followed his motion, as music and a dancer accompany each 
other" (Johnson). 

in. The mortal gate. The fatal gate, or that which it was 
death to enter. Cf. mortal in iii. i. 297 below. Johnson explains 
it as = " made the scene of death." 

Which he painted, etc. "That is, he set his bloody mark upon 
the gate, or upon the city, indicating its doom." Painting has been 
suspected ; but cf. i. 6. 68 above, where we have the same figure. 

112. Shunless. Used by S. only here. It belongs to a class of 
words to which some modern critics have made objection ; asking, 
for instance, in the case of fadeless, " what is a fade ? " 

114. Like a planet. An astrological allusion. Cf. Ham. i. i. 
162: "The nights are wholesome ; then no planets strike." 

115. Gan. Began; but not a contraction of that word, as 
often printed. 

117. Fatigate. Fatigued; used by S. nowhere else. For the 
form, cf. " articulate " in i Hen. IV. v. I. 72, etc. 

119. Run reeking o'er, etc. " Coriolanus is compared to a con 
tinuous stream of reeking blood, which marked the course of his 

Scene II] Notes 263 

slaughtering sword" (Wright). It does not seem to me necessary 
to suppose this metaphor of a river. The meaning may be simply 
that as he rushed on he was reeking with the blood of his foes. 

123. With measure. " That is, no honour will be too great for 
him ; he will show a mind equal to any elevation " (Johnson). 

127. Misery. Explained by some as = avaiice, miserliness; but 
perhaps simply = wretchedness, miserable poverty. 

129. To end it. Johnson would read "to spend it," explaining 
the passage thus: "To do great acts for the sake of doing them ; 
to spend his life for the sake of spending it." But, as Malone 
remarks, " the words afford this meaning without any alteration." 

133. Still. Ever. Cf. ii. i. 259 above. 

137. Put on the gown, etc. S. was indebted for this (as for " the 
napless vesture of humility" in ii. I. 247) to North's Plutarch, 
there being no such custom in ancient Rome that candidates for 
an office should appear in poor and threadbare garments. They 
whitened their togas with pipe-clay to give them as good an appear 
ance as possible, and were hence called candidati. It is not diffi 
cult to trace the origin of the mistake. Plutarch merely says that 
it was usual for candidates for an office to stand in the Forum 
dressed in a toga only, without the tunica or close-fitting garment 
underneath. Amyot, in his French translation, renders the ex 
pression " une robbe simple, sans saye dessoubs," but North (see 
p. 193 above) translates this "only with a poor gown on their 
backs, and without any coat underneath ; " and just below he has 
" in such mean apparel " for the French " en si humble habit." S. 
copies North's mistake, and emphasizes it. Bacon (see on ii. I. 
125 above) would have corrected it. 

139. Pass. Pass by, disregard ; as in K. John, ii. I. 258: "But 
if you fondly pass our proffer 'd offer." 

140. Voices. Votes ; as often below. Cf. Rich. Iff. iii. 2. 53, 
iii. 4. 20, 29, Hen. VIII. i. 2. 70, ii. 2. 94, etc. 

144. Your form. "The form which custom prescribes to you" 

264 Notes [Act ii 

151. We recommend to you, etc. We commit to you the presen 
tation of our purpose to the people. For recommend, cf. T. N. v. 

J f QA I 

" denied me mine own purse, 
Which I had recommended to his use 
Not half an hour before." 

156. Require them. Ask them, make his request to them. Cf. 
Hen. VIII. ii. 4. 144: "In humblest manner I require your high- 

SCENE III. i. Once. Once for all. Cf. C. of E. Hi. i. 89: 
" Once this, your long experience," etc. 
IO. Ingrateful. See on ii. 2. 31 above. 

15. Once. Once when. White compares the modern British 
barbarism of " immediately I did thus he did so (meaning as soon 
as or -when I did, etc.)." Directly is used in the same bad way. 

1 6. Stuck not. Cf. Sonn. 10. 6: "That 'gainst thyself thou 
stick'st not to conspire ; " and Ham. iv. 5. 93 : " will nothing stick 
our person to arraign." See also Exodus, iv. 21. For the many- 
headed multitude, cf. iii. I. 93 and iv. I. I below. 

20. Auburn. The first three folios read "Abram," which was 
one of the forms of the word. 

23. Consent of. Agreement upon. 

24. Should be. Would be j as not unfrequently in such sub 
ordinate sentences. 

32. In a fog. See on i. 4. 30 above. 

34. Conscience sake. The possessive inflection was often omitted 
in dissyllables ending with a sibilant and sometimes before sake in 
other cases. Cf. "sentence end" in A. Y. L. iii. 2. 144, "fashion 
sake " in Id. iii. 2. 271, "heaven sake " in K.John, iv. i. 78, etc. 

37. You may, you may. That is, go on, go on, make fun of me 
as you will. Cf. T. and C. iii. I. 1 18 : 

" Helen. Ay, ay, prithee now. By my troth, sweet lord, thou hast a 

fine forehead. 
Pandarus, Ay, you may, you may." 

Scene III] Notes 265 

39. The greater part. The majority. 

45. By particulars. One by one. Cf. iv. 7. 13 below. 

56. Some certain. Cf. /./../. v. i . 1 1 2 : " Some certain special 
honours." See also Hen. V. i. I. 87, i. 2. 247, Rich. III. i. 4. 
124, etc. 

60. Like the virtues, etc. " Those virtuous precepts, which the 
divines preach up to them, and lose by them as it were, by their 
neglecting the practice" (Theobald). S. was evidently thinking 
of modern preachers rather than ancient priests. 

6 j. Wholesome. Rational. Cf. Ham. iii. 2. 328 : " If it shall 
please you to make me a wholesome answer," etc. 

82. A match. A bargain ! Cf. Cymb. iii. 6. 30 : 

" Cadwal and I 
Will play the cook and servant ; 't is our match." 

85. An V were to give again, etc. "The naturalness of the writ 
ing here with this break in the speech, and with the half- 
expressed but most expressive sentences of puzzled annoyance 
and grudged consent is inimitable. There is no one like S. 
for conveying perfect /wpression through imperfect rpression" 

87. Stand with. Be consistent with; as in A. Y. L. ii. 4. 91 : 
" if it stand with honesty," etc. 

98. My sworn brother. Alluding to the fratres jurati of the 
middle ages, who were sworn to share each other's fortunes. Cf. 
A. Y. L. v. 4. 107, Much Ado, i. I. 73, W. T. iv. 4. 607, etc. 

99. Condition. Disposition ; as in v. 4. 10 below. 
102. Be off. That is, off with the hat. 

104. Bountiful. For adjectives used as adverbs, see on ii. I. 65 

1 1 6. Starve. Spelt " sterue " in the folio ; as in M. of V. iv. I. 
38, R. and J. i. I. 225, T. of A. \. i. 257, and Cymb. i. 4. 180. 

1 1 8. Wohish toge. "Rough hirsute gown" (Johnson). The 
1st folio has " Wooluish tongue," changed in the 2d to " Woolvish 

266 Notes [Act II 

gowne." " Tongue " is very probably a misprint for togue or toge 
( = toga) ; like "Tongued" in the folio reading of Oth. i. I. 25, 
where the quarto has " toged." Wolvish may also be a misprint, 
and "woollen," "woolish," " woolless," etc., have been proposed as 
emendations. Wright thinks that " Coriolanus the soldier in his 
citizen's gown of humility felt like a wolf in sheep's clothing;" but 
the explanation seems rather forced. 

119. Of Hob and Dick. As we say, " of Tom, Dick, and Harry." 
Hob = Robert. Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 464 : "Some mumble-news, some 
trencher knight, some Dick." 

1 20. Vouches ? For the noun, cf. M. for M. ii. 4. 156, Oth. ii. I. 
147, etc. By needless he seems to mean that they ought not to be 
needed when the senate has once settled the question. 

122. Antique. Accented on the first syllable, as regularly in S. 
See p. 176 (7). 

128. Moe. More; used only with plural or collective nouns. 

132. And heard of. This must be thrown in contemptuously, 
like the some less, some more in the next line. The plebeians do 
not see at the time that he is mocking them (163) while begging 
their voices. 

142. Your limitation. The time required of you. 

143. Remains. It remains; as in Ham. ii. 2. 100: "And now 
remains," etc. 

144. The official marks. The insignia of consular office. 

148. Upon your approbation. That is, for approving or confirm 
ing your election. Cf. 256 below; and for upon, ii. 2. 55 above. 

156. 'T is warm at 's heart. Whitelaw explains this "There is 
rage in his heart ;" but it more likely refers to the gratification he 
evidently feels, though too proud to express it. 

157. Weeds. Garments; as often. Cf. 226 below. 

173. Aged custom. Warburton notes that this was but eighteen 
years after the expulsion of the kings ; but the poet was probably 
misled by Plutarch's reference to the custom as one of a former 
time. See p. 193 above. 

Scene III] Notes 267 

178. No further. Nothing further to do ; an ellipsis not unlike 
scores of others in S. 

179. Ignorant to see't. "Did you want knowledge to discern 
it?" (Johnson). 

181. To yield. As to yield. See on ii. I. 52 above. 

182. Lesson' d. For the verb, cf. Rich. III. i. 4. 246: "As he 
lesson'd us to weep," etc. 

186. Weal "The weal o' the common" (i. I. 144), or com 
monwealth. For the transitive arrive, cf./. C. i. 2. no: "arrive 
the point propos'd." See also K. of L. 781 and 3 Hen. VI. v. 3. 8. 

189. Plebeii. The only instance of the form in S. 

193. Would think upon you, etc. " Would retain a grateful 
remembrance of you," etc. (Malone). 

195. Standing your friendly lord. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iv. 3. 89: 
" Stand my good lord, pray, in your good report." 

196. Touched. Tested as with a touchstone. Cf. K.John, iii. 
I. 100, T. of A. iii. 3. 6, etc. 

197. Pluck* d. See on i. 3. 7 above. 

199. Cause. Occasion ; as in i. 6. 83 above. 

201. Article. Condition, restriction. 

202. Putting him to rage. Cf. iii. 3. 25 below: "Put him to 

205. Free contempt. Open contempt. 

209. Heart. " Sense, wisdom " (Whitelaw). Cf. i. 1. 109 above : 
" the counsellor heart." 

210. Rectorship. Guidance, government ; used by S. only here. 
212. Of him . . . bestow. Cf. A. W. iii. 5. 113: "I will bestow 

some precepts of this virgin ; " and T. N. iii. 4. 2 : " what bestow 
of him?" 

217. To piece J em. Cf. Lear, L I. 202: "Or all of it, with our 
displeasure piec'd," etc. 

224. Enforce his pride. " Object his pride, and enforce the 
objection " (Johnson) ; lay stress upon it. 

226. Weed. See on 157 above. 

268 Notes [Act ii 

229. Portancc. Bearing, demeanour ; used by S. only here and 
in Oth. i. 3. 139. 

230. Ungravely. Without dignity ; used by S. only here ; and 
gravely only in I Hen. IV. ii. 4. 478. 

236. Affections. Inclinations; as in i. I. 105 above. 
239. To voice. To vote. Cf. the use of the noun in i, 47, 83, 
etc., above. 

241. Yotmgly. Cf. Sonn. n. 3: "And that fresh blood which 
youngly thou bestowest." 

248. And Censorinus, etc. The folios read : 

" hither 

And Nobly nam'd, so twice being Censor, 
Was his great Ancestor." 

Something has evidently been lost, which the corresponding passage 
in North (see p. 180 above) helps us to supply, though the editors 
do not agree on the precise wording of it. The reading in the 
text is that of Dyce. The Cambridge editors had given, "And 
Censorinus, nobly named so," etc., which Dyce modified in order 
to preserve the " nam'd " of the folio. This reading has the merit 
of leaving the words of the folio still in their order, and of intro 
ducing what must have been the significant fact that Censorinus 
was chosen by the people. As Malone points out, Plutarch does not 
say that any of these persons was ancestor of Coriolanus, but only 
that they were of the same house or family. Caius Martius Rutilius 
did not obtain the name of Censorinus till the year of Rome 487, 
and the Marcian aqueduct was not built until the year 613, nearly 
350 years after the death of Coriolanus. The ruins of the Aqua 
Marcia are still one of the most striking features of the Roman 
Campagna. A modern aqueduct, 33 miles long, has been built to 
bring the same waters to the city. It was completed in September, 
1870, and the water is considered to-day the best in Rome. 

254. Scaling, etc. Weighing his past and present behaviour. 
Some find the same sense in M.for M. iii. I. 266: "the corrupt 
deputy scaled." 

Scene I] Notes 269 

257. Putting on. Instigation. See on ii. I. 269 above. 
261. This mutiny, etc. It would be better to risk this mutiny 
than to wait for a worse one that would unquestionably come. 

263. In. Into. Cf. Hi. I. 33 below: "fall in broil." 

264. Both observe, etc. " Mark, catch, and improve the oppor 
tunity which his hasty anger will afford us " (Johnson). 


SCENE I. I. Made new head? Raised a new army. See on 
ii. 2. 88 above. 

3. Our swifter composition. Our making terms the sooner. For 
composition, cf. Macb. i. 2. 59, K.John, ii. I. 561, etc. 

5. Make road. Cf. Hen. V. i. 2. 138 : " the Scot, who will make 
road upon us." See also i Samuel, xxvii. 10. 

6. Worn. Worn out, exhausted. Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 4. 38 : " Wear- 
ing thy hearer in thy mistress' praise," etc. 

7. In our ages. In our day. We have the plural in a different 
sense in W. T. iv. 4. 78 : 

" well you fit our ages 
With flowers of winter." 

9. On safeguard. " With a convoy, a guard appointed to pro 
tect him" (Steevens). 

10. For. Because ; as in v. 2. 91 below. 

1 6. To hopeless restitution. Beyond all hope of restitution. 
19. / wish, etc. Ironical of course. 

23. Prank them. Deck or dignify themselves. Cf. T. N. ii. 4. 
89 and W. T. iv. 4. 10. Steevens compares M.for M. ii. 2. 118: 
" Drest in a little brief authority." 

24. Against all noble sufferance. Past the endurance of the 

29. The noble and the common. Cf. common in i. I. 152; and 
for noble, 2 Hen. IV. iv. 3. 59. 

2 jo Notes [Act in 

43. When corn -was given, etc. See North, p. 195 above. 

44. ScandaVd. For the verb, cf. /. C. i. 2. 76: "And after 
scandal them." See also Cymb. iii. 4. 62. 

47. Sithence. Since ; an old form used by S. only here and in 
A. IV. i. 3. 124, where it is a conjunction. For silk, which he uses 
often, see Ham. ii. 2. 12, iv. 4. 45, iv. 7. 3, etc. See also p. 195 

48. You are like, etc. You are likely, etc. Theobald gives the 
speech to Coriolanus, as many of the editors do, and at first sight 
the reply seems to favour the change ; but the interruption by 
Cominius gives spirit and variety to the scene. The yours in the 
reply might be addressed to Cominius as identified with the inter 
ests of Coriolanus : the business of your party. 

58. Abused. Deceived; as often. Cf. Temp. v. i. 112, Much 
Ado, v. 2. 100, etc. 

Set on. It is a question whether set on here = instigated to this, 
or whether it should be separated from what precedes, and made 
imperative = go on ; as in J. C.\. 2. 1 1 : " Set on ; and leave no 
ceremony out." The former is favoured by 37 above, and the latter 
by 112 below. Paltering = shuffling, equivocation. Cf. J. C. ii. I. 
126, Macb. v. 8. 20, etc. 

60. Rub. Impediment, obstacle ; a metaphor from the bowling- 
green. Cf. K. John, iiio 4. 128, Rich. II. iii. 4. 4, etc. Dishonoured 
= dishonourable ; as in Lear, i. I. 231 : " dishonour'd step." Cf. 
honour '</in 72 below, and deserved deserving in 292. Falsely = 
treacherously. Cf. Ham. ii. 2. 67 : " falsely borne in hand," etc. 

66. Many. The 1st folio has " Meynie ; " the 2d and 3d folios 
" Meyny." We find "meiny" (= retinue, attendants) in Lear, ii. 
4. 35, but here many, the reading of the 4th folio, seems better. 
Cf. 2 Hen. IV. i. 3. 91 : "O thou fond many, with what loud ap 
plause," etc. 

Let them, etc. " Let them look in the mirror which I hold up to 
them, a mirror which does not flatter, and see themselves " (John 

Scene I] Notes 

69. Soothing. Flattering. See on ii. 2. 73 above. 

70. Cockle. A weed {Agrostemma githago) which grows in corn 
fields. The metaphor is taken from Plutarch. See p. 195 above. 
Cf. L. L. L. iv. 3. 383 : " Sow'd cockle reap'd no corn." 

78. Measles. The word originally meant both leprosy and 
lepers ; and here, as Clarke notes, the two senses appear to be 
combined. S. uses the word nowhere else. 

79. Tetter. The only instance of the verb in S. Compare the 
noun (= eruption) in Ham. \. 5. 71 and T. and C. v. I. 27. 

82. Of their infirmity. As weak as they. 

89. Triton. The only allusion in S. to Neptune's trumpeter. 
Minnmvs = " small fry." The English editors think it necessary to 
explain the word, but it is in familiar use in this country. Cf. 
L. L. L. i. i. 251. 

90. His absolute * shall?' Cf. Macb. iii. 6. 40 : " with an absolute 
' Sir, not I.' " From the canon is probably = contrary to the estab 
lished rule ; but Mason makes it = " according to the rule ; allud 
ing to the absolute veto of the tribunes, the power of putting a stop 
to every proceeding." "Accordingly," he adds, " Coriolanus, in 
stead of disputing this power of the tribunes, proceeds to argue 
against the power itself, and to inveigh against the patricians for 
having granted it." The latter explanation, as Clarke remarks, is 
favoured by what Sicinius says in iii. 3. 13 fol. below. The passage 
is a curious illustration of the directly opposite sense which this 
little word from may give to a statement. Cf. the play upon the 
word in Rich. III. iv. 4. 258 fol. 

92. Reckless. Spelt " wreaklesse " and " wreakless " in the folios, 
as in M. for M. iv. 2. 1 50 : " Carelesse, wreaklesse, and fearlesse 
of what 's past, present, or to come." 

93. Given Hydra here to choose, etc. Allowed this "many- 
headed multitude" (see ii. 3. 15 above) to choose, etc. For other 
allusions to Hydra, see I Hen. IV. v. 4. 25, Hen. V.\.\. 35, and 
Oth. ii. 3. 308. Cf iv. I. I below. 

95. Horn. Perhaps carrying out the idea of Triton, blowing 

272 Notes [Act in 

" his wreathed horn," as Wordsworth calls it. For monster's the 
folios have " Monsters," the regular form of the possessive in the 
printing of that day. Some editors follow Capell in reading 
" monster ; " but, as Wright notes, the construction is the same as 
\n Cymb. ii. 3. 149 : 

" 'Shrew me, 

If I would lose it for a revenue 

Of any king's in Europe ; " 

and Rich. II. iii. 4. 70 : 

" Letters came last night 
To a dear friend of the good duke of York's." 

96. In. Into. See on ii. 3. 263 above. 

98. Vail your ignorance. " Let your admitted ignorance take 
a lower tone and defer to their admitted superiority " (Clarke). 
For vail = lower, let fall, cf. M. of V. i. I. 28 : "Vailing her high- 
top lower than her ribs," etc. The word has no connection with 
veil, but has often been confounded with it, even by editors. 

Awake Your dangerous lenity = rouse yourselves from it. Cf. 
"wake your patience" in Much Ado, v. I. 102. See also Rich. 
HI. iii. i. 248: "move our patience." 

99. Learned. So in the folios. Cf. T. N. i. 5. 279: "In 
voices well divulg'd, free, learn'd, and valiant." The usual form 
in S. is learned, as now. Cf. iii. 2. 77 below. 

103. The greafst taste, etc. The predominant flavour is most 
like theirs. For contracted superlatives, see p. 176 above. Cf. iv. 
6. 70 and v. 6. 85. For palate as a verb, cf. T. and C. iv. i. 59 and 
A. and C. v. 2. 7. 

HO. Confusion. Ruin, destruction ; as often. Cf. 190 below. 
Here the word is a quadrisyllable, as in M. N. D. i. I. 149 : "So 
quick bright things come to confusion." 

in. Take The one by the other. Destroy each other's power. 
Cf. iv. 4. 20 below. 

114. As 't was us'd, etc. "As they used to do in the cities oi 
Greece " (see p. 194 above). 

Scene I] Notes 273 

115. Sometime. Formerly; as often. Cf. v. I. 2 below. Sotnt- 
times was occasionally used in the same way. 

1 20. More worthier. Double comparatives are common in S. 

121. Our recompense. A reward from us ; the our being 
" subjective," not " objective." 

124. Thread the gates. Cf. Rich. II. v. 5. 17 : "To thread the 
postern of a needle's eye." Wright thinks that thread is = file 
through one by one, in contrast to thronging to the service. 

129. Motive. The folios have "native," which the Cambridge 
ed. retains. But motive, suggested by Heath, and adopted by 
most of the editors, is probably what S. wrote. He does not else 
where use native as a noun. 

131. Bisson multitude. The folios have " Bosome-multiplied," 
which Clarke and Wright retain (omitting the hyphen), compar 
ing Lear, v. 3. 49 and 2 Hen. IV. i. 3. 91 fol. The reading in the 
text (due to Collier) is generally adopted. For bisson, see on ii. I. 
68 above. 

134. The greater poll. The majority. Cf. iii. 3. 10 below. 

137. Call our cares fears. Ascribe what we do in care of them 
to fear. 

142. Worship. Dignity, authority; as in W. T. i. 2. 314: 
"reared to worship," etc. 

144. Without all reason. Cf. Macb. iii. 2. II : "without all 
remedy," etc. For gentry gentle birth, cf. R. of L. 569 : " By 
knighthood, gentry, and sweet friendship's oath," etc. 

145. Conclude. Decide, settle a question. For yea and no, cf. 
R. of L. 1340 : " Receives the scroll without or yea or no ; " and 
M. W. \. I. 88 : " By yea and no, I do." 

148. Slightness. Weakness ; used by S. only here. Cf. slight 
iny. C. iv. i. 12, iv. 3. 37, etc. Unstable slightness weak vacilla 

150. Less fearful than discreet. " He does not disguise the 
danger of the course he advises, but to be fearless here is true dis 
cretion, for it is the single chance of safety " (Whitelaw). 


274 Notes [Act in 

152. Doubt. Dread, fear. Johnson paraphrases the passage 
thus : " You whose zeal predominates over your terrors ; 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." 

154. To jump. "To put to stake, to hazard" (Schmidt). For 
a somewhat similar use of the word, cf. Macb. i. 7. 7 : " We 'd 
jump the life to come ; " and Cymb. iv. 4. 188 : "Jump the after 
inquiry on your own peril." Steevens quotes Holland's Pliny, 
xxv. 5 : " for certainly it putteth the patient to a jumpe or great 

156. The multitudinous tongue. "The tongues o' the common 
mouth " (22 above), or the tribunes. 

159. Integrity. "Thoroughness and singleness of purpose" 

161. Has, See on i. 3. 61 above. 

165. Bald. Evidently contemptuous j apparently used in the 
same sense as when applied to language or reasoning. Cf. C. of E. 
ii. 2. 1 10: "a bald conclusion; " and i Hen. IV. i. 3. 65: "bald 
unjointed chat." 

1 70. Let -what is meet, etc. " Let it be said by you that what is 
meet to be done must be meet, that is, shall be done, and put an 
end at once to the tribunitian power, which was established when 
irresistible violence, not a regard to propriety, directed the legisla 
ture" (Mai-one). 

173. Let him be apprehended. See extract from North, p. 196 

175. Attach. Arrest. Cf. C. of E. iv. i. 6, 73, iv. 4. 6, etc. 
Innovator is used by S. only here. Like innovation, which he has 
three times, it implies change for the worse (Schmidt). 

178. Surety. For the verb, cf. A. W. v. 3. 298: "he shall 
surety me." 

185. Weapons, etc. The editors generally follow the folios in 
assigning this line to the 2d Senator, and most of them give the 

Scene I] Notes 275 

next two lines to the same speaker. " But surely the words are 
intended to express the tumultuous cries of the partisans on both 
sides, who are bustling about Coriolanus. The following words, 
Peace, peace, etc., attributed to ' All ' in the folios, are spoken by 
some of the elder senators endeavouring to calm the tumult " 
(Cambridge ed.). 

190. Confusion. See on 1 10 above. 

194. At point to lose. Cf. v. 4. 63 below. See also Lear, iii. I. 

" and are at point 
To show their open banner," etc. 

206. Distinctly ranges. Is standing in line, upright and per 

207. This deserves death. This does not necessarily refer to what 
has just been said by Cominius, though it has been made an argu 
ment for transferring that speech to Coriolanus. As Staunton 
remarks, it may refer to what the latter has previously said. Even 
if it were a comment on the preceding speech, it would not justify 
our taking that away from Cominius. 

210. In whose power. By whose power. Cf. i. 10. 14 above. 

212. Present. Instant, immediate ; as very often. Cf. iii. 3. 21 
and iv. 3. 50 below. 

213. The rock Tarpeian. See extract from North, p. 198. 
231. Naught. Lost, ruined ; as in A. and C. iii. I. 10, etc. 
236. Tent. Probe. See on i. 9. 31 above. 

241. Worthy. Justifiable, legitimate ; as in 1C. John, ii. I. 281, 
Oth. iii. 3. 254, etc. 

242. One time will <rwe another. "One time will compensate 
for another. Our time of triumph will come hereafter. . . . Let 
us trust to futurity" (Malone). 

244. Take up. Cope with. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. i. 3. 73, Hen. V. ii. 
4. V, etc. 

245. 'T is odds against arithmetic. The odds against us is be 
yond calculation. 

276 Notes [Act m 

247. Against. In the way of; literally, opposite (cf. over 

248. Tag. Rabble, "the tag-rag people" (/. C. i. 2. 260). 
"The lowest and most despicable of the populace are still de 
nominated by those a little above them Tag, rag, and bobtail" 

249* Overbear. See on iv. 5. 137 below. 

259. Does. See on i. 3. 61 above. 

275. Cry havoc, etc. Give the signal for general slaughter when 
you should try more moderate measures. Cf. K. John, ii. I. 357, 
/. C. iii. i. 273, etc. 

277. Holp. Used by S. oftener than helped, both as past tense 
and participle. Cf. iv. 6. 83 below. 

284. Turn you to. Cf. Temp. i. 2. 64 : " the teen that I have 
turn'd you to," etc. 

288. One danger. If this be what S. wrote, we must accept 
Clarke's explanation: "To eject him hence were but one danger; 
and to keep him here another our certain death." Theobald's 
conjecture of " our danger " is very plausible. The Cambridge 
editors conjecture "moe danger; " but moe (as one of these edi 
tors has himself elsewhere noted) is used only with a plural or a 
collective noun. See on ii. 3. 118 above. 

292. Deserved. Deserving. See on 60 above. 

293. Jove's own book. Wright thinks that S. had in mind either 
Malachi, iii. 16 or Exodus, xxxii. 32. It may refer to Revelation, 

XX. 12, 15. 

304. Clean kam. "Clean from the purpose" (/. C. i. 3. 35), 
"clean out of the way" {Oth. i. 3. 366), quite irrelevant. For 
dean, cf. oho Joshua, iii. 17, Psalms, Ixxvii. 8, etc. Kam = crooked, 
awry. Wright quotes Cotgrave : " Escorcher les anguilles par la 
queue. To doe a thing cleane kamme, out of order, the wrong 
way ; " and " A contrepoil. Against the wooll, the wrung way, 
clean contrarie, quite kamme." The combination clean kam must 
have been a pet phrase with Cotgrave, for Furnivall adds yet an- 

Scene II] Notes 277 

other instance of it from his Fr. Diet. : " Brider son cheval par 
la queue. To goe the wrong way to worke ; or, to doe a thing 
cleane kamme." 

305. Merely. Absolutely. Cf. Temp. i. I. 50: "we are merely 
cheated of our lives," etc. 

306. l^he service, etc. This is a following up of Menenius's 
former speech and argument. " You allege, says Menenius, that 
being diseased he must be cut away. According to your argument, 
the foot, being once gangrened, is not to be respected for what it 
was before it was gangrened. ' Is this just? ' he 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). 

313. Unscanrfd. Inconsiderate ; used by S. only here. The 
accent is on the first syllable because it is before the noun. 

317. What. Why; as in/*, and C. v. 2. 317: " What should 
I stay ? " etc. 

322. Bolted. Sifted, refined. Cf. W. T. iv. 4. 375, Hen. V. ii. 

2. 137, etc. See on i. I. 146. 

327. Humane. Accented on the first syllable, as regularly in S. 

328. The end, etc. Cf. Temp. ii. I. 157: "The latter end of his 
commonwealth forgets the beginning." 

332. Attend. Wait for. See on i. 10. 30 above. 

SCENE II. 4. Precipitation. Used by S. only here and in iii. 

3. 1 02 below. 

7. Muse. Wonder. Cf. K. John, iii. 1.317: "I muse your 
majesty doth seem so cold," etc. 

9. Woollen. Referring rather to the coarseness than to the 
material of their garments. 

10. With groats. That is, fourpences the largest coin (or its 
Roman equivalent) they could be supposed to have. 

1 2. Ordinance. Order, rank ; the only instance of this sense 

278 Notes [Act m 

1 8. Let go. Let it go, let it pass. Cf. let be in W. T. v. 3. 61, 
A. and C. iv. 4. 6, etc. 

24. ;4jj/, and burn too. Some have doubted whether this speech 
belongs to Volumnia, who is here counselling moderation ; but 
Dyce says that, as spoken 'by Mrs. Siddons, it "seemed to come 
quite naturally from the lips of Volumnia as a sudden spirt of con 
tempt for that rabble whom, however, she saw the necessity of her 
son's endeavouring to conciliate." 

29. Apt. Susceptible, docile. Cf. Ham. i. 5. 31, Hen. V. v. 2. 
312, etc. 

41. But when extremities speak. "Except in cases of urgent 
necessity, when your resolute and noble spirit, however commend 
able at other times, ought to yield to the occasion " (Malone). 

42. Unse-uer'd. Not to be severed, inseparable ; used by S. 
only here. 

44. Lose. Changed by Pope to " loses ; " but such " confusion 
of construction " is not rare in S. Cf. Sonn. 28. 5, etc. 

47. The same. Equivalent to the demonstrative that ; as in 
M. of V. i. I. 119 : 

" Well, tell me now, what lady is the same 
To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage ? " 

and A. W. v. 3. 226 : 

" King. What ring was yours, I pray you ? 

Diana. Sir, much like 

The same upon your finger." 

51. Force. Urge ; as in Hen. VIII. iii. 2. 2, etc. 

52. Lies you on. Lies on you, is incumbent upon you. Cf. 
Rich. III. iv. 2. 59 : " it stands me much upon," etc. 

55. Roted. Learned by rote, spoken mechanically. 

57. Of no allowance, etc. Not acknowledged as the offspring 
of your heart. For allowance = acknowledgment, cf. T. and C. i. 
3 377. - 3- H6, etc. 

Scene II] Notes 279 

59. Take in. Not in the modern sense, which would seem per 
tinent enough, but = take, capture ; as in i. 2. 24 above. 

Co. Put you to your fortune. Compel you to go to war. 

64. / am in this, etc. I am involved or at stake in this, as your 
wife and others are ; but Warburton took it to mean /am, in this, 
your wife, etc., that is, " in this advice she speaks as his wife," etc. 
Clarke also explains it, " I represent, in this appeal," etc. 

68. Inheritance. Possession; as in Ham. i. I. 92, etc. Cf. in 
herited \r\ ii. i. 212 above. 

69. That want. The want of that inheritance. 

71. Not. Not only ; as in Hi. 3. 97 below. See also M. for M. 
iv. I. 67 and Per. iii. 2. 46. 

74. Here. At this point ; as in ii. 3. 172. Like the thus it im 
plies the carrying out of the action by gestures. Staunton quotes 
Brome, A Jovial Crew, ii. I, where Springlove, describing his hav 
ing solicited alms as a cripple, says, " For here I was with him. 

75. Bussing. Kissing. For the figurative use of the word, cf. 
T. and C. iv. 5. 120: "towers whose wanton tops do buss the 
clouds." In K. John, iii. 4. 35 (the only other instance in S.) it is 
used literally. 

78. Which often, thus, etc. A much discussed and much tin 
kered passage. Which often is probably = which do often ; the 
ellipsis being not unlike many others in S. Wright says: "The 
two lines describe two different gestures, one indicated by thus and 
the other by Now. While uttering the former Volumnia raises her 
head to a position of command, in which ' the kingly crowned head,' 
where the reason is enthroned, corrects and controls the passions 
which are seated in the heart. Having curbed his pride he is to 
lower his head to the people in token of humility, as if it were the 
ripest mulberry just ready to fall. As regards the construction, 
Which is used loosely, as the relative often is in Shakespeare, and 
is either redundant or equivalent to the personal pronoun." He 
compares v. 6. 22 below, where who is thus used ; but it does not 

280 Notes [Act m 

seem to me necessary to resort to that explanation here, or to 
assume that Now implies a second gesture. Now humble = now 
made humble. Stout = proud ; as in 2 Hen. VL i. i. 187: "As 
stout and proud as he were lord of all," etc. Cf. stoutness in 127 
and v. 6. 27 below. 

79. Mulberry. Malone infers from this allusion that the play 
could not have been written before 1609, assuming that mulberries 
were not much known in England until that year. " But," as 
Wright remarks, " S. was familiar with mulberries at least fifteen 
years before, as is evident by the mention of them in V. and A. 
1103, and M. N. D. iii. i. 170; and a reference to Gerarde's Her- 
ball (1597) will show that the mulberry-tree was well known in 
England before the end of the sixteenth century. It is quite true 
that in 1609 especial attention was called to it by an attempt made 
by the King to encourage the breeding of silkworms, and ' there 
were many hundred thousands of young Mulberrie trees brought 
out of France, and planted in many Shires of this land' (Stow's 
Annales, ed. Howes, 1615, p. 894). But to assume that, in conse 
quence of this, Shakespeare wrote the line which has just been 
quoted is to infer too much ; for if mulberry-trees were first planted 
in England in 1609, he would have had very little opportunity of 
observing how the fruit ripened and hung before writing his play 
or even before his own death, seven years after, for the mulberry 
does not bear fruit till the tree is of a certain age. In all proba 
bility, however, he had a mulberry-tree in his own garden at New 
Place, Stratford, which he bought in 1597, whether it was the tree 
of which relics are still shown or not." 

83. As they. As for them. Cf. 1 25 below. 

99. Unbartfd sconce. Unarmed head, bare head. Barb, or 
barde, meant the armour used for horses ; whence the " barbed 
steeds" of Rich. II. iii. 3. 117 and Rich. III. i. I. 10. Cotgrave 
has " Bardes : f. Barbes, or trappings, for horses of seruice, or of 
shew." But in all these cases barb and barbed are corruptions of 
bard (applied only to armour for horses) and barded (from the Fr. 

Scene II] Notes 28 1 

barde). The correct form (see New Eng. Diet.} is found in Caxton 
(1480), Holinshed (1577), and other old writers. Scott has it irf 
Lady of the Lake, vi. 404 (" barded horsemen "), as in the eds. 
down to 1821, but misprinted "barbed "in all other eds. before 
mine (1883). See also Lay of Last Minstrel, i. 311. Browning 
has barded in James Lee : " a war-horse barded." Sconce is a half- 
comic word, used with intentional contempt by Coriolanus. See 
Cotgrave : " Teste : f. A head, pate, skonce, nole, costard, noddle." 

102. Plot. Used figuratively of his body. Delius strangely takes 
it to mean the ground he stands on. 

105. Such . . . which. Cf. W. T. i. I. 26, iv. 4. 783, M. for M. 
iv. 2. in, etc. The metaphor in part is taken from the theatre, 
and Cominius keeps it up in we '// prompt you. 

113. Quired. Chimed, sounded in unison. Cf. M. of V. v. i. 
62 : " Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins." For the pas 
sage, cf. Tennyson, Princess : 

" Modulate me, soul of mincing mimicry; 
Make liquid treble of that bassoon, my throat." 

114. Small. Cf. T. N. i. 4. 32 : 

" thy small pipe 
Is as the maiden's organ, shrill and sound." 

Hanmer reads " eunuch's ; " but cf. i. 6. 27 above. White remarks 
of virgin that it is " the most infelicitous use of epithet " that he 
remembers to have noticed in S. But here it is simply = girlish, 
and of course has no reference to the parentage of the babies. 

1 1 5. Lulls. The folios have " lull," which may be what S. wrote. 
Such " confusion of construction " is not rare in the plays. 

116. Tent. Lodge as in a tent, encamp ; a natural figure for a 

1 1 7. The glasses of my sight ! Cf. Rich. II. i. 3. 208 : " even in 
the glasses of thine eyes." 

119. Who. Often used of " irrational antecedents personified." 
Cf. i. i. 258 above. 

282 Notes [Act m 

1 20. An alms! For the singular, cf. Much Ado, ii. 3. 164: "it 
were an alms to hang him ; " T. of S. iv. 3. 5 : "a present alms," 
etc. See also Acts, iii. 3. The word was originally singular, the s 
belonging to the Anglo-Saxon and Early English word, as well as 
the Greek one from which these are derived. 

121. Surcease. Cease. Cf. R. of L. 1766: "If they surcease 
to be that should survive." For the noun, see Macb. i. 7. 4. 

124. More. Cf. K. John, ii. I. 34 : "a more requital," etc. 

125. Than thou, etc. See on 83 above. 

127. Stoutness. Pride. See on 78 above. Johnson paraphrases 
the passage thus : " Go do thy worst ; let me rather feel the utmost 
extremity that thy pride can bring upon us than live thus in fear of 
thy dangerous obstinacy." 

129. "So Cassius, in/. C. iv. 3. 120, attributes his hasty temper 
to his mother : 'That rash humour which my mother gave me.' 
And the influence of the mother in the formation of the child's 
character is again referred to in Macb. i. 7. 72-74" (Wright). 

130. Owe. Own, possess ; as often. 

132. Mountebank. Play the mountebank to win ; the only in 
stance of the verb in S. 

I 33- Cg- Cheat, cozen. Cf. Much Ado, v. I. 95, M. W. iii. 
3. 76, etc. 

134. Of. By ; as in i. 2. 13 above. 

141. Upon you. Cf. iii. 3. 47 below. 

142. The word. The watchword; as in M. of V. iii. 5. 58, 
T. N. iii. 4. 263, A. and C. i. 2. 139, etc. 

SCENE III. i. Affects. See on ii. 2. 21 above. 

3. Enforce. Urge ; as in ii. 3. 224 above. For envy = malice, 
hatred, see on i. 8. 4 above. 

4. Got on. Got of, won from. For on = of, see on i. I. 12 ; and 
for of=. from, on v. 6. 15. 

7. With. Regularly used by S. with accompanied. Cf. 2 Hen, 
JV. iv. 4. 52 : 

Scene III] Notes 283 

" King. And how accompanied ? canst thou tell that ? 
Clarence. With Poins and other his continual followers.** 

See also Rich. III. iii. 5. 99, T. A. ii. 3. 78, etc. 

10. By the poll? By the head, individually. 

12. Presently. Immediately; as in ii. 3. 258 above. 

14. Either. For its use of more than two things, cf. M. for M. 
iii. 2. 149 : " Either this is envy in you, folly, or mistaking." See 
also M. W.v.i. 4. 

18. /' the truth o 1 the cause. In the justice of the procedure. 

21. Present. Instant. See on iii. I. 212 above. 

25. Put him to choler. Cf. ii. 3. 202 above. 

26. His -worth. " His full quota or proportion " (Malone) ; 
"his pennyworth in a dispute" (Dyce). Schmidt explains the 
passage : " To gain high reputation by contradiction ; " but this 
does not suit the context as well. 

27. Chafd. Irritated, angered. Cf. T. of S. i. 2. 203, Hen. 
VIII. iii. 2. 206, etc. 

28. Temperance. Self-restraint. Cf. Hen. VIII. i. I. 124: 

" What, are you chaf 'd ? 
Ask God for temperance." 

30. With us. As we shall use it, or take advantage of it. 

33. Bear the knave. Bear being called knave. 

36. Throng, etc. Wright suggests that S. may have had in mind 
some occasion like that of Nov. 24, 1588, when Queen Elizabeth 
went to St. Paul's to return thanks for the victory over the Spanish 

43. Determine. Terminate, end; as in v. 3. 120 below. Cf. 
also A. and C. iii. 13. 161 and iv. 3. 2. Demand '= ask ; the more 
common meaning in S. Cf. require in ii. 2. 156 above. 

45. Allow. Acknowledge. Cf. allowance in iii. 2. 57 above. 

50. Show. Appear; as in iv. 5. 68 below. 

51. Graves f the holy churchyard. English rather than Roman 

284 Notes [Act in 

of course. Could Bacon have written that ? See on ii. I. 125 

57. Envy you. Show ill-will to you. Cf. the noun in 3 above. 

63. Contriv'd. Plotted; as often. Cf. A. Y. L. iv. 3. 135, 
M. N. D. iii. 2. 196, etc. 

64. Seasoned. Johnson explains this as " established and settled 
by time, and made familiar to the people by long use ; " Wright 
as " well ripened- or matured and rendered palatable to the people 
by time." Schmidt makes it = " qualified, tempered," which seems 
favoured by the context. Such limited power is the natural an 
tithesis to power tyrannical. Besides, the office of the tribunes, 
against which the opposition of Coriolanus was specially directed, 
was not a long-established one. 

68. Fold in. Infold, enclose. Cf. v. 6. 125 below. 

69. Their traitor ! A traitor to them. Injurious insolent, in 
sulting. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. iii. 3. 78 : " Injurious Margaret ! " Cymb. 
iv. 2. 86 : "Thou injurious thief," etc. 

71. Clutch? d. That is, were there clutched. 

82. Extremest. S. always accents the positive extreme on the 
first syllable, except in Bonn. 129. 4, 10 ; but the superlative 
extremest, as here. Cf. A. Y. L. ii. I. 42, Lear, v. 3. 136, etc. See 
also iv. 5. 75 below, and note on iv. 5. no. 

89. Pent to linger. "We may either take pent, like clutc,Vd\n 
71, as equivalent to were I pent, or as connected with pronounce 
let them pronounce the sentence of being pent, etc." (Wri-ht), 
The latter seems better on the whole, as continuing the construc 
tion, though somewhat loosely, instead of breaking it with a new 

92. Courage. From the context this seems to be = fearless ut 
terance. Collier considers it " inconsistent with the noble char 
acter of the hero to represent him vanting his own courage ; " 
but he simply says "I will not restrain my boldness of speech," 
just as he had said above (70 fol.) that he will fearlessly tell the 
tribune that he lies, even at the risk of twenty thousand deaths. 

Scene III] Notes 285 

95. Envied against. Shown his enmity to. See on 57 above. 

96. As now at last. As he has now at last, etc. 

97. Not. Not only. See on iii. 2. 71 above. 

99. Do. The reading of the 2d folio ; the ist has "doth." The 
latter occurs with a plural subject in M. of V. iii. 2. 33 and K. 
and J. prol. 8 ; and Abbott ( Grammar, 334) recognizes it as a 
" third person plural in -//4." 

104. Rome gates. See on i. 8. 8 above, and cf. ii. I. 176. 

106. // shall be so, etc. Note how promptly here the plebeians 
take their cue from the tribune's // shall be so ; as he had drilled 
them to do in 13 fol. above. 

114. Estimate. Estimation, reputation. 

120. Cry. Pack; as in iv. 6. 150 below. Cf. also Oik. ii. 3. 
370 : " not like a bound that hunts, but one that fills up the cry." 
This is probably the meaning of cry in M. N. D. iv. I. 129: 

" Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells, 
Each under each. A ciy more tuneable 
Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd tf-ith horn." 

121. Reek. Vapour, exhalation ; used again in M. W. iii. 3. 86: 
" the reek of a lime-kiln." On the rotten fens, Steevens quotes 
Temp. ii. 1.47: 

" Sebastian. As if it had lungs, and rotten ones. 
Antonio. Or as 't were perfumed by a fen." 

123. I banish you. Cf. Rich. II. \. 3. 280: 

" Think not the king did banish thee, 
But thou the king." 

127. Fan you. Cf. Macb. \. 2. 50: 

" Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky 
And fan our people cold." 

130. But. The folio reading, changed by Capell to " not," 
which is generally adopted. Malone says : " If the people have 

286 Notes [Act iv 

the prudence to make reservation of themselves, they cannot with 
any propriety be said to be in that respect still their own foes ; " 
but, as Whitelaw remarks, " Coriolanus says that the mischief is 
just this : that they spare none but themselves, their own worst 
enemies." Staunton paraphrases the passage thus : " Banish all 
your defenders as you do me, till at last, your ignorance, having 
reserved only your impotent selves, always your own foes, deliver 
you the humbled captives to some nation," etc. 

132. Abated. Beaten down, humiliated ; " the French a battu " 

137. Hoo ! hoo ! See on ii. I. 113 above. 

140. Vexation. As Wright notes, both vex and vexation had a 
stronger meaning in the time of S. than now. In the Bible vex is 
frequently = torment ; as in Matthew, xv. 22. Cf. Deuteronomy, 
xxviii. 20, where vexation translates the word rendered destruction 
in Deuteronomy, vii. 23. 


SCENE I. I. The beast, etc. Cf. ii. 3. 1 6 above. Steevens quotes 
Horace, Epist. i. I. 76 : "Bellua multorum es capitum." 

3. Ancient. Former. Cf. T. of S. ind. 2. 33 : " Call home thy 
ancient thoughts from banishment," etc. 

4. Extremity. The reading of the 2d folio ; the 1st has " Ex- 
treamities," which Delius explains as collective, or expressing one 
idea ; but it is probably a misprint. 

5. That common chances, etc. Steevens quotes T. and C. i. 3. 


" In the reproof of chance 

Lies the true proof of men ; the sea being smooth, 
How many shallow bauble boats dare sail 
Upon her patient breast, making their way 
With those of nobler bulk ! " 

Scene I] Notes 287 

7. Fortune's blows, etc. The construction here is not according 
to the books of grammar, and sundry attempts have been made 
to mend it ; but as it stands it may be explained thus : " When 
Fortune's blows are most struck home, to be gentle, although 
wounded, demands a noble philosophy" (Clarke). For home, 
cf. iii. 3. I above. 

9. Cunning. Knowledge, wisdom, or " philosophy," as Clarke 
has it above. Cf. Oth. iii. 3. 49 : " in ignorance, and not in cun 
ning," etc. 

12. O heavens ! O heavens ! " Be it observed that after this 
one irrepressible burst of anguish, when her husband has bidden 
her to check it, Virgilia utters no further syllable during this part 
ing scene " (Clarke). 

13. The red pestilence. Cf. Temp.\. 2. 364: "The red plague 
rid you! " and T. and C. ii. I. 20: "A red murrain o* thy jade's 
tricks ! " The physicians of the time recognized three different 
kinds of the plague-sore, the red, the yellow, and the black. 

15. Lacked. Missed. Cf. Macb. iii. 4. 84, A. and C. i. 4. 44, 

23. Sometime. Former. For the adjective use, cf. Ham. i. 2. 
8 : " our sometime sister," etc. 

26. Fond. Foolish ; as very often. For the ellipsis of as, cf. 
53 below, and see on ii. i. 45 above. 

27. Wot. Know ; used only in the present and the participle 

28. Still. Ever, constantly ; as in ii. I. 259, etc. 

30. Fen. Grey conjectured " den ; " but Wright quotes Topsell, 
Hist, of Serpents : " Of the Indian Dragons there are also said to 
be two kindes, one of them fenny, and living in the marishes . . . 
the other in the Mountains," etc. 

33. Cautelous. Crafty, deceitful ; as in/. C ii. I. 129: "Swear 
priests and cowards and men cautelous." For the noun cautel 
(= craft, deceit), cf. Ham. i. 3. 15: "no soil nor cautel," etc. 
Practice artifice, stratagem; as in M. for M. v. I. 123 (cf. 

288 Notes [Act iv 

239) : " This needs must be a practice," etc. First probably = first 
born, not " noblest," as Warburton explains it. 

36. Exposture. The reading of all the folios, changed by Rowe 
to " exposure," which S. elsewhere (twice) uses. As we have corn- 
posture in T. of A. iv. 3. 444, though composure elsewhere (three 
times), it is probable that the old text may be right. The form is 
analogous to imposture. 

41. Repeal. Recall from banishment; as in J. C. iii. I. 54: 
"an immediate freedom of repeal," etc. See also iv. 7. 32 below ; 
and cf. the verb in v. 5. 5. 

44. Needer. The word " gives the effect of the man needing 
the advantage of which there is a prospect, and of the man needed 
home by the friends who want him to profit by it" (Clarke). 

49. Of noble touch. Of tested nobility. See on ii. 3. 196 above. 
Am forth have gone away. Cf. M. W. ii. 2. 278 : " her husband 
will be forth." 

SCENE II. 2. Whom. Cf. Temp. iii. 3. 92: "Young Ferdi 
nand, whom they suppose is drown'd ; " and see also K. John, iv. 
2. 165, etc. 

ii. The hoarded plague o 1 the gods. The punishment which they 
reserve. Cf. Lear, ii. 4. 1 64 : 

" All the stor'd vengeances of heaven fall 
On her ingrateful top ! " 

and Rich. III. i. 3. 217 : 

"If heaven have any grievous plague in store 
Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee, 
O, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe, 
And then hurl down their indignation 
On thee, the troubler of the poor world's peace ! " . 

14. Will you be gone ? "Not meaning Will you go when I bid 
you ? ' but Are you going, when I say you shall hear me ? '" 
(Clarke). The context shows, that this must be the correct 

Scene II] Notes 289 

16. Mankind? "The word mankind 'is used maliciously by the 
first speaker, and taken perversely by the second. A mankind 
woman is a woman with the roughness of a man, and, in an aggra 
vated sense, a woman ferocious, violent, and eager to shed blood. 
In this sense Sicinius asks Volumnia if she be mankind. She takes 
mankind for a human creature, and accordingly cries out, ' Note 
but this fool. Was not a man my father ? ' " (Johnson). Cf. 
W. T. ii. 3. 67 : "A mankind witch ! " In S. the word is gener 
ally accented on the first syllable, as here. 

1 8. Hadsi thou foxship, etc. " Hadst thou, fool as thou art, 
cunning enough to banish Coriolanus?" (Johnson). Schmidt 
notes that the fox is the symbol of ingratitude as well as of cun 
ning. Cf. Lear, iii. 6. 24 : " Now, you she-foxes ; " and Id. in. 7. 
28: "Ingrateful fox!" 

21. Moe. See on ii. 3. 118 and iii. I. 288 above. 

22. Yet go. " She will leave it unsaid ; then once more chang 
ing her mind Nay, but you shall stay. Too = after all ; and yet 
I see reasons too why you should stay " (Whitelaw). 

24. In Arabia. That is, where none could part them. Cf. Macb. 
iii. 4. 104 and Cymb. i. 2. 167. 

Thy tribe. Contemptuously ; as in v. 6. 129 below. Cf. Lear, 
i. 2. 14: "the whole tribe of fops." For the technical Roman 
sense, cf. iii. 3. ii and v. 5. 2. 

25. What then ? etc. Hanmer gives this speech to Volumnia, 
as not in keeping with the gentle character of Virgilia ; but the 
latter might not unnaturally follow up what Volumnia has said, as 
the reference is to her husband. 

32. The noble knot. The honourable tie that bound him to his 
country. Steevens quotes I Hen IV. v. i. 16: 

" Will you again unknit 
This churlish knot of all-abhorred war ? " 

34. Cats. A term of contempt, repeatedly used by Bertram of 
Parolles in A. W. iv. 3. Cf. also M. N. D. iii. 2. 260, etc. 

290 Notes [Act iv 

44. With. By ; as often. Cf. its use in iii. 3. 7. 

48. Lies heavy to V. Cf. Macb. v. 3. 44 : 

"Cleanse the stuff 'd bosom of that perilous stuff 
Which weighs upon the heart." 

For home y see on ii. 2. 103 above. 

49. Troth. Faith ; literally truth, as in iv. 5. 197 below. 

51. Starve. The ist folio has " sterue." See on ii. 3. 1 16 above. 

52. This faint puling. " By this slight touch, and by the 
epithet faint, how well is indicated the silent agony of weeping in 
which Virgilia is lost ! " (Clarke). 

53. Juno-like. The " queen of heaven " is often alluded to by 
S. ; as in ii. I. 108 above and v. 3. 46 below. Cf. Temp. iv. I. IO2 
fol., A. W. iii. 4. 13, W. T. iv. 4. 121, etc. 

SCENE III. 9. Favour. Face, look ; as often. Cf. Much Ado, 
ii. i. 97, iii. 3. 19, etc. 

Is well appeared. Wright says that if this be the true reading, 
appeared must be used in a " transitive " sense, and Abbott ( Gram 
mar, 295, 296) considers this possible ; but an explanation so 
improbable should be admitted only as a last resort. It is better, 
with Schmidt, to take appeared as an adjective = apparent (cf. 
dishonoured dishonourable, in iii. I. 60 above) or to take is 
appeared as = has appeared. For this latter, it is true, we have 
only Dogberry's authority in Much Ado, iv. 2. I ; but on the face 
of it is appeared 'is as allowable as is arrived, is come, etc. Abbott 
calls these forms " passive verbs ; " though they are simply active 
" perfects " (or " present perfects," or whatever the grammars may 
call them), with the auxiliary be instead of have as in the French 
est arrive, the German ist gekommen, etc. Apparaitre, by the way, 
is conjugated with etre as well as avoir. 

13. Hath. For the singular verb preceding a plural subject, cf. 
i. 9. 49 above. 

22. Receive so to heart. We still say " take to heart." 

Scene IV] Notes 29! 

23. Ripe aptness. Perfect readiness. 

25. Glowing. Carrying on the metaphor in blaze and flame 

34. She *s fallen out. A contraction of either she is or she has. 
Cf. Lear, ii. 4. 1 1 : "am fallen out ; " and Jt. and J. iii. 4. i : 
"Things have fallen out," etc. See on is appeared above. 

38. He cannot choose. He has -no alternative, he cannot do 
otherwise. Cf. T. N. ii. 5. 188, Temp. i. 2. 186, ii. 2. 24, etc. 

46. Their charges. Cf. /. C. iv. 2. 48 : " Bid our commanden 
lead their charges off," etc. In the entertainment = engaged foi 
the service. Cf. A. W. iv. i. 17 : "some band of strangers i' the 
adversary's entertainment." 

SCENE IV. 3. Fore my wars. To be connected, I think .vith 
what follows ; but \Vhitelaw says " many a one who before my 
wars was heir." For fore, cf. i. I. 121 above. 

5. Wives. Women ; as often. Cf. M. of V. iii. 2. 58 : ' the 
Dardanian wives; " Hen. V. v. chor. 10 : "with men, with wives, 
and boys," etc. 

6. Save you. That is, God save you ! For the full form, see 
Much Ado, iii. 2. 82, v. i. 327, etc. 

8. Lies. See on i. 9. 82 above. 

12. O world, etc. "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 com 
mencing enemy to Rome" (Warburton). 

13. Whose double bosoms, etc. Steevens compares M. N. D. iii. 
2. 212 : " So with two seeming bodies, but one heart," etc. 

14. House. The reading adopted by nearly all the editors. The 
folio has " hours," which has been defended by comparing T. G. 
if V. ii. 4. 62 : 

" I knew him as myself; for from our infancy 
We have convened and spcMit our hours together ; 

292 Notes [Act iv 

and the similar passage in M. N. D. iii. 2. 198 fol.; but the context 
here is very different and seems to demand house. 

1 6. Unseparable. Used by S. only here. Inseparable occurs in 
A. Y. L. i. 3. 78 and K. John, iii. 4. 66. So we find incapable and 
uncapable, incertain and uncertain, etc. See on ingrateful, ii. 2. 
31 above, 

17. Of a doit. About a doit (see on i. 5. 6 above), or the value 
of a doit. 

20. To take the one the other. To destroy each other. Cf. iii. I. 
in above. 

21. Trick. Trifle. Cf. T. of S. iv. 3. 67: "a knack, a toy, a 
trick ; " Ham. iv. 4. 61 : "a fantasy and trick of fame," etc. 

22. Interjoin their issues. Let their children intermarry. 

23. My love 's upon, etc. Cf. V. and A. 158: "Can thy right 
hand seize love upon thy left? " 

24. Enemy. For the adjective use, cf. Lear,v. 3. 220: "his 
enemy king ; " and A. and C. iv. 14. 71 : 

" Shall 's do that which all the Parthian darts, 
Though enemy, lost aim, and could not ? " 

25. If he give me way. If he yields to me, lets me do it. Cf. v. 
6. 32 below. 

SCENE. V. n. In being Coriolanus. For having obtained 
that name by the capture of Corioli. 

14. Companions? Fellows. For the contemptuous use, cf. v. 2. 
62 below. See also/. C. iv. 3. 138, Oth. iv. 2. 141, etc. 

21. A strange one, etc. For the ellipsis of as, see on ii. I. 46 

25. Avoid. Leave, quit ; as in Hen. VIII. v. i. 86 : " Avoid the 
gallery." In 34 below it is used intransitively ; as in W. T. i. 2. 
462 : " let us avoid." 

35. Batten. Fatten, gorge yourself. Cf. Ham. iii. 4. 67 : "batten 
on this moor ; " the only other instance in S. On the passage, cf. 
Cymb. ii. 3. 119: 

Scene V] Notes 293 

" that base wretch, 

One bred of alms and foster'd with cold dishes, 
With scraps o' the court." 

39. And I shall. Yes, I will. Cf. A. and C. ii. 7. 134: "And 
shall, sir." 

41. The canopy. "This most excellent canopy, the air, look 
you, this brave o'erhanging firmament" (Ham. ii. 2. 311). 

47. // is ! Contemptuous ; as in M. of V. iii. 3. 18, Ihn. V. iii 
6. 70, etc. The daw, or jackdaw, was reckoned a foolish bird. 
Cf; I Hen. VI. ii. 4. 18: "Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw." 

60. If, Tullus, etc. See extract from North, p. 204 above. 

62. Think me Jor. Think me to be. 

63. Commands me name. For the construction, cf. T. of S. v. 
2. 96 : " Say, I command her come to me," etc. 

, 66. Appearance. Spelt " apparance " in the ist folio, as in 
Hen. V. ii. 2. 76, and not unfrequently in writers of the time. 

68. Show 1 st. Appearest. Cf. iii. 3. 50 above. 

75. Extreme. For the accent, see on iii. 3. 82 above. 

77. Memory. Memorial. Cf. v. 6. 154 below. Here the word 
is taken from North (see p. 204 above). 

80. Envy. Hatred. Cf. iii. 3. 3 above. 

82. Hath devoured. The singular verb with two singular sub 
jects is not uncommon. Here the two may be regarded as virtually 
single = envious cruelty. 

84. Whoopd. Spelt, " Hoop'd " in the folios; and we find 
" hooping " in A. Y. L. iii. 2. 203, as sometimes in other writers of 
the time. 

88. Voided. Avoided. The folio spell it " voided," and I think 
that form should be retained. In Golding's Ccesar we'read : " they 
decreed that all such as eyther by sicknes or age were vnnecessary 
for the warres, should void the towne ; " that is, leave the town (cf. 
avoid in 25 above), not clear the town, make it void or empty, as 
they were but a part of the population. Cf. Barrow: "watchful 
application of mind in voiding prejudices ; " that is, avoiding them. 

294 Notes [Act iv 

The same author has voidance = avoidance : " the voidance of 
fond conceits," etc. 

89. Full quit of. Fully even with, thoroughly revenged upon. 
Cf. 7'. of S. iii. i. 92: " Hortensio will be quit with thee," etc. 

91. Wreak. Vengeance ; as in. T. A. iv. 3. 33: "Take wreak 
on Rome for this ingratitude ; " and Id. iv. 4. u : "Shall we be 
thus afflicted in his wreaks ? " Steevens quotes Chapman, Iliad, 
v. : " Or take his friend's wreake on his men." Wilt is probably 
to be explained by the thee immediately preceding it. Cf. 71 
above : " My name is Caius Marcius, who hath done," etc. 

92. Particular. Private, personal ; as in v. 2. 71 below. 
A/aims of shame " disgraceful diminutions of territory" (John 
son); or shameful injuries. 

97. Canker 1 d. "Canker-bit" (Lear, v. 3. 122), or "unsound at 
heart, ill-conditioned" (Whitelaw). We find it associated with, 
the idea of ingratitude in I Hen. IV. i. 3. 137: "this ingrate and 
canker'd Bolingbroke." 

98. The under fiends. Probably = the fiends below ; not the 
" subordinate fiends," as Steevens explained it. For what follows, 
cf. extract from North, p. 205 above. 

99. And that. And if that. 

102. Ancient malice. Cf. ii. i. 241 above. 

109. Envy. Hatred. See on 80 above. 

no. Divine. Accented on the first syllable; as in Cymb. ii 
I. 62, iv. 2. 170, etc. For many dissyllabic adjectives and parti- 
ciples which are thus accented before a noun (never otherwise), see 
Schmidt, pp. 1413-1415. Extreme (see on iii. 3. 82 above) is 
among the number, but divine is omitted. 

113. Where-against. Against which ; a compound like whereat, 
whereby, whereinto (Otk. iii. 3. 137), zvhereout (T. and C. iv. 5. 
245), where-through (Sonn. 24. n), etc. 

114. Grained. Probably = hard-grained. Cf. L. C. 64: "his 
grained bat." 

115. Scarr'd. Changed by Rowe (2d ed.) to "scar'd," in sup- 

Scene V] Notes 295 

port of which Malone quotes Rich. III. v. 3. 341 : "Amaze the 
welkin with your broken staves." On the other hand, Delius cites 
in favour of scarr'd the hyperbole in IV. T. iii. 3. 92 : " the ship 
boring the moon with her mainmast." Clip = embrace ; as in 
i. 6. 29 above. 

1 1 6. Anvil. Aufidius is compared to the anvil on which the 
strokes of Coriolanus's sword have fallen like repeated blows of a 
hammer. Steevens quotes Ham. ii. 2. 511 : 

" And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall 
On Mars's armour forg'd for proof eterne 
With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword 
Now falls on Priam." 

121. Sigtfd truer breath. Malone quotes V. and A. 189: "I'll 
sigh celestial breath," etc. 

124. Bestride my threshold. Cross my threshold, enter my house. 
Some see an allusion to the Roman custom of carrying the bride 
over the threshold of her husband's house. 

Thou Mars ! Cf. Rich. II. ii. 3. 101 : " the Black Prince, that 
young Mars of men." 

125. Power. Army; as in i. 2. 9 above. On had purpose, cf. 
W. T. iv. 4. 152. 

126. From thy brawn. From thy brawny arm. Cf. T. and C. 
i. 3. 297: "And in my vantbrace put this wither'd brawn;" and 
Cymb. iv. 2. 311: " The brawns of Hercules." 

127. Out. Thoroughly, out and out. Some think it refers to 
what follows, but it seems better to connect it with beat. For the 
former use of the word, cf. Temp. i. 2. 41 : " Out three years old " 
( = full three years old). 

133. No quarrel else. For to after quarrel, cf. Much Ado, ii. I, 
243: "The Lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you;" and T. N. iii. 
4. 248 : " no man hath any quarrel to me." 

137. Overbear. For other instances of the verb applied to a 
flood of waters, see Oth. i. 3. 56, Ham. iv. 5. 102, and Per. v. 1. 195. 


Notes [Act iv 

The folios have "o're-beate " or " o' re-beat" ; but overbear is con 
firmed by iii. i. 249 above. Neither tier-beat or over-beat is found 
elsewhere in S. 

142. Most absolute sir. Cf. A. and C. iv. 14. 117: "Most abso 
lute lord ; " and sportively in Id. i. 2. 2 : " most anything Alexas, 
almost most absolute Alexas," etc. See also Ham. v. 2. 1 1 1 : "an 
absolute gentleman ;" that is, a perfect gentleman. 

149. Ere destroy. For the construction, cf. i. i. 220, 244. 

150. Commend. Recommend, introduce ; as in Cymb. i. 4. 32: 
" I beseech you all, be better known to this gentleman, whum I 
commend to you as a noble friend of mine," etc. 

156. Strucken. The spelling of the 3d and 4th folios; the 1st 
and 2d have "stroken." Other old forms of the participle are 
stricken, strooken, strook, stroke, etc. 

My mind gave me. I suspected. Cf. Hen. VIII, v. 3. 


" My mind gave me, 
In seeking tales and information 
Against this man, whose honesty the devil 
And his disciples only envy at, 
Ye blew the fire that burns ye." 

165. I thought there was more in him than I could think. "One 
of Shakespeare's humorously paradoxical speeches" (Clarke). Cf. 
ii. 3. 5 above. 

170. Wot. See on iv. i. 27 above. 

173. Worth six on him. Delius interprets this as meaning that 
Aufidius is worth six of Coriolanus, but it is not consistent with 
what follows (191, 192). On = of ; as in 202 below, i. I. 226, 

185. Lieve. Lief; indicating the popular pronunciation, still 
common among the uneducated. It often becomes " live," which 
is the spelling of the first three folios here. Had as lief is still 
good English the best English, because the old established 
form. See on i. 3. 25 above. 

Scene V] Notes 297 

196. Directly. To be direct or plain about it. Cf. simply in 
178 above. For troth, see on iv. 2. 49 above. 

197. Scotched. Cut; as in Macb. iii. 2. 13 : "We have scotch'd 
the snake, not kill'd it ;" where the folios have " scorch'd," which 
seems to have had the same meaning. We find the noun in 
A. and C. iv. 7. 10 : " six scotches more." 

198. Carbonado. A slice of meat prepared for broiling. Cf. 
I Hen. IV. v. 3. 61, and the verb in W. T. iv. 4. 268, /.ear, ii. 2. 
41, etc. 

206. Sanctifies himself, etc. " Considers the touch of his hand 
as holy ; clasps it with the same reverence as a lover would clasp 
the hand of his mistress" (Malone). 

212. Sowl. Pull by the ears ; an old word not used elsewhere 
by S. It is still provincial in some parts of England. Steevens 
quotes Heywood, Love's Mistress, iv. I : " Venus will sowle me by 
the eares for this." For Rome gates, cf. iii. 3. 104 above. 

214. Polled. " Bared, cleared " (Johnson). " To poll a person 
anciently meant to cut off his hair" (Steevens). Cf. Wooton, 
Damcetas* Madrigall, etc. : " Like Nisus' golden hair that Scilla 
pol'd." See also 2 Samuel, xiv. 26. 

221. Directitude! Whether this is a blunder of the servant or a 
corruption of the text is uncertain. The fact that his companion 
does not understand it does not settle the question. 

223. In blood. In good condition. See on i. I. 160 above. 

224. Conies. Rabbits ; as in A. Y. L. iii. 2. 357, 3 Hen. VI. i. 
4. 62, and V. and A. 687. See also Psalms, civ. 18. 

227. Presently. At once. See on iii. 3. 12 above. 

229. Parcel. Part. Cf. i. 2. 32 above. Audible is used actively 
= quick of hearing, attentive, on the alert. 

236. Full of vent. Explained by Johnson as = " full of rumour, 
full of materials for discourse ;" and by Clarke as = full of " im 
pulse, unrestrained speech and action " (cf. vent in iii. i. 258) ; but, 
according to Baynes {Edinburgh Rev. for October, 1872), it is a 
hunting term = keenly excited, full of pluck and courage. " When 

298 Notes [Act iv 

the hound vents anything, he pauses to verify the scent, and then, 
full of eager excitement, strains in the leash to be after the game." 
Wright criticises this explanation as follows : " According to this 
view, war is compared to a pack of hounds in full cry. But I think 
it scarcely in accordance with what follows in the description of 
peace, where the epithets appear to correspond to the epithets ap 
plied to war, but in an inverted order ; insensible corresponding to 
sprite ly, sleepy to waking, deafto audible, and mulled to full of vent. 
If this view is correct, the figure involved in full of vent is not from 
the hunting field, but the expression must be descriptive of some 
thing in wine which is the 'opposite to that conveyed by mulled. 
And as mulled signifies flat, insipid, full of vent would seem to be 
effervescent, working, ready to burst the cask, or full of scent. 
Cotgrave indeed gives ' Odorement ... a smell, waft, sent, vent ; ' 
but it does not appear from this that vent means scent except as a 
hunting term, and I therefore hesitate to suggest that it is equiv 
alent to what is now termed the bouquet of wine." Madden, 
however {Diary of Master William Silence, 1897), is confident that 
Baynes is right. He remarks that vent ( = scent) occurs in Spenser 
(Shep. AW.) and Drayton (Polyolbion}. It is the Norman-French 
equivalent for wind used in the same sense in A. W. iii. 6. 123, v. 
2. 10, Ham. iii. 2. 362, etc. 

Mulled. " An expressive epithet ; suggesting the idea of soft 
ness and drowsy quality, as that of wine warmed, spiced, and 
sweetened" (Clarke). 

245. Reason. Elliptical for " There is reason for it." Cf. 
M. W. ii. 2. 15, K.John, v. 2. 130, etc. 

SCENE VI. 2. Tame. " Ineffectual in times of peace like 
these " (Steevens). As Steevens says, tame seems designedly op 
posed to wild. 

5. Rather had. Had rather ; as in L. L. L. ii. I. 147, etc. Pope 
changes behold to " beheld ; " but the construction plainly is had 
rather behold than see, etc. 

Scene VI] Notes 299 

7. Pestering. Thronging, crowding ; the original sense of the 
word. Cf. Milton, Comus, 7 : " Confin'd and pester'd in this pin 
fold here ; " and Webster, Malcontent, v. 2 : " the hall will be so 
pestered anon." Schmidt does not recognize this sense in his 
Lexicon, giving only the secondary one of " annoy, harass, infest." 
See Macb. v. 2. 23, Ham. i. 2. 22, etc. 

21. God-den. See on ii. I. 100 above. 

30. Confusion. See on Hi. I. no above. 

32. Ambitious, etc. The pointing is that of the 4th folio ; the 
earlier folios connect past all thinking with what follows. 

33. Affecting. Desiring, aiming at. See on ii. 2. 21 above. 

34. Without assistance. With no one to share it with him. 

35. We should . . . found. A " confusion of construction." To 
all our lamentation to the sorrow of all of us. Cf. K. John, iv. 
2. 102 : "To all our sorrows." 

40. Powers. Annies. See on iv. 5. 125 above. 

45. Horns. The metaphor is taken from the snail, as insheWd 
also shows. 

46. Stood for Rome. Stood up in its defence. Cf. ii. 2. 41 above. 
51. Record. S. accents the noun on either syllable. 

53. Age. Lifetime ; as in iii. I. 7 above. Reason talk ; as in 

i. 9- 58- 

55. Information. Informant ; the abstract for the concrete, as 
in ii. i. 1 88 above. 

57. Tell not me. Cf. M. of V. iii. 2. I : " But tell not me," etc. 

60. Is come. See on iv. 3. 9 above. 

64. More, More fearful. Cf. K. John, iv. 2. 42 : " and more, 
more strong ; " and I^ear, v. 3. 302 : " If there be more, more 
woful, hold it in." Deliver* d=. reported ; as in i. I. 96 above. 

69. Revenge as spacious, etc. Revenge upon all, from the 
youngest to the oldest. 

70. Youngest. For contracted superlatives, see on iii. I. 103 

72. Good. Ironical, of course. 

300 Notes [Act iv 

74. Atone. Be at one, be reconciled. Cf. A. Y. L. v. 4. 116; 
and for the transitive use, Oth. iv. I. 244, A. and C. ii. 2. 102, etc. 
Steevens quotes Sidney's Arcadia : "a common enemie sets at one 
a civil warre." Boswell adds from Hall's Satires : " Which never 
can be set at onement more." 

75. Contrariety. Hanmer reads "contrarieties; " but it "takes 
two to make " a contrariety. 

79. And have. And they have. 

80. Overborne their way. Like a river that has " overborne " its 
" continents " (Af. N. D. ii. I. 92) or banks. See on iv. 5. 137 above. 

83. Holp. See on iii. I. 277 above. 

84. City leads. The leaden roofs of the houses; as in ii. I. 224 

87. Cement. Accented on the first syllable, as elsewhere in S. ; 
and so with the one instance of the verb, A. and C. ii. I. 48. In 
their cement " the very walls penetrated and crumbled by the 
fire" (Whitelaw). 

89. Into. For its use after confine, cf. Temp.\. 2. 361: "con- 
fin'd into this rock." On the passage, cf. Macb. ii. 3. 128: "our 
fate, Hid in an auger-hole," etc. 

90. I fear me. I have my fears. Cf. Temp. v. I. 283, T. A 7 ", iii. 
I. 125, etc. 

96. Butterflies. Walker says this is to be pronounced butter- 
flees, on account of the following flies ; and he quotes Drayton, 
Muses Elysium, viii. : 

" Of lilies shall the pillows be, 
With down stuft of the butter/**." 

98. Apron-men. That is (A. and C. v. 2. 210), 

" Mechanic slaves 
With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers. " 

Cf./. C. i. i. 7. 

99. The voice of occupation. The vote of the woikingmen. 
See on 55 above. 

Scene VI] Notes 30 1 

100. Garlic-eaters. For the contemptuous allusion, cf. M.forM. 
iii. 2. 195 and I Hen. IV. iii. I. 162. Note also Bottom's admoni 
tion to his fellow " mechanicals " in M. N. D. iv. 2. 43. 

102. As. As if. Steevens considers the passage " a ludicrous 
allusion to the apples of the Hesperides." 

105. Other. Otherwise; as in Oth. iv. 2. 13: "If you think 
other," etc. 

106. Smilingly. As if with a smile of contempt for your 

107. Valiant ignorance. For the contemptuous use, cf. 7\ ana' C. 
iii. 3. 315 : "I had rather be a tick in a sheep than such a valiant 

115. Charged. Would charge. Cf. ii. 2. 17 above. 
117. Shoitfd. Would appear. See on iii. 3. 50 above. 

1 20. Made fair hands. Equivalent to made good work in 97, 
and made fair work in 103 above. Cf. Hen. VIII. v. 4. 74: " Ye 
have made a fine hand, fellows ! " 

121. Crafted. A verb of Menenius's own coining. 

122. A trembling. An "ague-fit of fear " {Rich. II. iii. 2. 190), 
a panic. 

125. Clusters. Swarms, mobs; contemptuous, and used by S. 
only here. 

127. Roar him in again. " As they hooted**, his departure, they 
will roar at his return ; as he went out with scoffs, he will come 
back with lamentations" (Johnson). 

128. Points. A "point of war" (see 2 Hen. IV. iv. I. 52) was 
a signal given by a trumpet ; hence point here for commands in 
general. It is possible, however, that obeys his points is = does 
all points of his command {Temp. i. 2. 500), obeys him "to the 
point " (M.for M. iii. i. 254). 

133. Cast. That is, " cast their caps up " (A. and C. iv. 12. 12). 

137. Coxcombs. With a play upon the word as applied to the 
fool's cap. Cf. Lear, ii. 4. 125: "she knapped 'em o' the cox 

302 Notes [Act iv 

148. Yet it was against our will. See on iv. 5. 165 above. 

150. Cry ! Pack ; as in iii. 3. 120 above. Shall 's = shall us ; a 
colloquialism, for which cf. W. T. i. 2. 178, Cymb. iv. 2. 233, v. 5. 
228, etc. 

153. Side. Party. Cf. iv. 2. 2 above. 

SCENE VII. 4. At end. See on ii. i. 198 above. 

6. Your own. Your own soldiers. Cf. i. 9. 21 and iii. I. 294 

8. More proudlier. The reading of the 1st folio ; changed in 
the 2d to "more proudly." Cf. iii. I. 120 above. 

13. For your particular. For your own part, so far as you per 
sonally are concerned. Cf. 7\ and C. ii. 2. 9, Lear, ii. 4. 295, 

15. Of yourself '= by yourself. For bear, cf. 21 below, and i. i. 
271 above. 

22. Husbandry. Management ; as in M. of V. iii. 4. 25 : "The 
husbandry and manage of my house," etc. Cf. husband in T. of S. 
v. i. 71. 

23. Dragon-like. Cf. K. John, ii. i. 68 and Rich. HI. v. 3. 350. 
25. Break his neck. Cf. iii. 3. 30 above. 

28. All places yield, etc. " Coleridge remarks that he always 
thought ' this in itself so beautiful speech the least explicable, from 
the mood and full intention of the speaker, of any in the whole 
works of Shakespeare.' I cannot perceive the difficulty the 
speech corresponds with the mixed character of the speaker, 
too generous not to see and acknowledge his rival's merit, yet not 
sufficiently magnanimous to be free from the malignant desire 
of revenging himself upon his rival for that very superiority" 

Sits down. Besieges them. In i. 2. 28 and i. 3. 105 above we 
find set down. 

32. Repeal. See on iv. i. 41 above. 

34. Osprey. The allusion is to the popular belief that the 

Scene VII] Notes 

osprey had the power of fascinating the fish. Cf. Drayton, Polyol- 
bion, xxv. 1 34 : 

" The Ospray oft here seen, though seldom here it breeds, 
Which over them the fish no sooner do espy, 
But (betwixt him and them, by an antipathy) 
Turning their bellies up, as though their death they saw. 

They at his pleasure lie, to stuff his glutt'nous maw." 


Steevens quotes Peele's Battle of Alcazar, 1594 (ii. 3) : 

" I will provide thee of a princely osprey, 
That as she flieth over fish in pools, 
The fish shall turn their glistering bellies up, 
And thou shalt take thy liberal choice of alL" 

See also The Two Noble Kinsmen, i. I. 138 : 

" Your actions 

Soon as they move, as ospreys do the fish. 
Subdue before they touch." 

37. Even. Equably, without losing his equilibrium. Cf. 
Hen. V. ii. 2. 3 : " How smooth and even they do bear them 
selves ! " 

Whether V was pride, etc. " Aufidius assigns three probable 
reasons of the miscarriage of Coriolanus : pride, which easily 
follows an uninterrupted train of success ; unskilfulness to regu 
late the consequences of his own victories ; a stubborn uniformity 
of nature, which could not make the proper transition from the 
casque or helmet to the cushion or chair of civil authority, but 
acted with the same despotism in peace as in war " (Johnson). 

38. Taints. That is, taints his wisdom {M. for M. iv. 4. 5). 

43. The cushion. Cf. iii. i. 101 above. 

44. Garb. Form, manner, mode of action ; the only senses in 
which S. uses the word. Cf. Hen. V. v. I. 80, Ham. ii. 2. 390, 
Lear, ii. 2. 103, etc. 

46. Spices. Touches; still a familiar metaphor. Cf. W. T 

304 Notes [Act iv 

Hi. 2. 185 : "Thy bygone fooleries were but spices of it; " and 
Hen. VIII. ii. 3. 26 : " For all this spice of your hypocrisy." 

48. He has a merit, etc. " He has a merit for no other purpose 
than to destroy it by boasting of it " (Johnson) ; or " he has a 
merit which destroys its own power by striving to assert that 
power "(Clarke). Boswell explains it : "But such is his merit as 
ought to choke the utterance of his faults." Wright paraphrases 
the passage thus : " One of these faults, says Aufidius, which I 
have enumerated, was the cause of his banishment ; but his merit 
was great enough to have prevented the sentence from being 
uttered." Sundry other interpretations have been proposed. To 
my thinking, the choice must lie between Clarke's and Boswell's. 
The former is supported by what seems to be the drift of the re 
mainder, of the speech ; but the latter is perhaps on the whole to 
be preferred. Whitelaw puts it thus : " He did noble service as a 
soldier ; and though, as a statesman, promoted for his service in 
the wars, he fell into disgrace, yet, confronted with the transcend 
ent merit of the man [which only waits its opportunity, war, not 
peace] the very name of his fault must stick in the throats of his 

49. So our virtues, etc. " Our virtues are virtues no longer if 
the time interprets them as none. The soldier who is all soldier is 
misinterpreted in time of peace ; for his unfitness for peace is 
seen, his fitness for war is not seen. So Coriolanus the power 
he had won in war but wielded in peace, conscious of having de 
served well, could to itself commend itself, but the chair of authority, 
which irritated the people by seeming to do nothing else but com 
mend his past exploits to them, proved just the tomb the evident, 
inevitable tomb that swallowed up the power it was intended to 
display. So he offended the Romans when he had taken Corioli ; 
much more will he offend the Volscians when he has taken Rome " 

Taking the passage as it stands, this interpretation may, I think, 
be accepted. Clarke gives the meaning thus : " Our virtues lie at 

Scene VII] . Notes 305 

the mercy of popular interpretation in our own day ; and power, 
ever anxious to exact commendation, has no tomb so sure as the 
pulpit of eulogium which extols its deeds." But this explanation 
(which was first proposed by Warburton) is open to the objection 
urged by Malone that " if S. meant to put Coriolanus in this chair, 
he must have forgot his character ; for he has already been de 
scribed as one who was so far from being a boaster that he could 
not endure to hear his ' nothings monstered.' " Coriolanus was 
proud, but he was no boaster. 

Steevens says that the passage and the comments upon it are to 
him " equally unintelligible." Verplanck remarks : " It seems to 
me one continuous and inexplicable misprint." The emendations 
that have been proposed are many because most of them, though 
unto their authors " most commendable," do not commend them 
selves to anybody else. 

54. One fire, etc. A proverbial expression. Cf. J. C. iii. I. 
171 : "As fire drives out fire, so pity pity; " T. G. of V. ii. 4. 

192 : 

" Even as one heat another heat expels, 
Or as one nail by strength drives out another; ** 

R. and J. i. 2. 46 : " Tut, man, one fire burns out another's burn 
ing ; " and K. John, iii. I. 277 : 

" And falsehood falsehood cures, as fire cools fire 
Within the scorched veins of one new-burn'd." 

55. Rights by rights falter. For falter the folios have "fouler," 
which makes sense, indeed, but it is clear to me that rights by 
rights is the full counterpart in the antithesis to strengths by 
strengths, and that a verb is required to balance fail. Falter seems 
the best of the various emendations. If written " faulter," as it 
often was, it might easily be misprinted " fouler." 



Notes [Act v 


SCENE I. 2. Which. Equivalent to who, as often. 

3. Particular. Personal relation. Cf. the use of the word in 
iv. 7. 13 above. See also Hen. VIII. iii. 2. 189 : "As 't were in 
love's particular." 

5. Knee. For the verb, cf. Lear, ii. 4. 217: "To knee his 

6. Coy'd. Disdained. The ordinary meaning of the adjective 
coy in S. is disdainful, contemptuous. See V. and A. 96, 112, 
T. G. of V.\. i. 30, iii. i. 82, T. of S. ii. I. 245, etc. In the only 
other instance in which he has the verb (J/. N. D. iv. I. 2) it is = 
fondle, caress. 

1 6. Racked. Strained every nerve, exerted yourselves to the 
utmost. Many changes have been proposed, but none seems to be 
needed. "The sneer involved in the words to make coals cheap 
refers to the fire of burning Rome, which is to bring hot coals of 
vengeance on them all" (Clarke). 

17. Memory ! Cf. iv. 5. 77 above. 

18. Minded. Reminded; as in W. T. iii. 2. 226: 

" Let me be punish'd, that have minded you 
Of what you should forget ; " 

Hen. V. iv. 3. 13 : " I do thee wrong to mind thee of it," etc. 

20. A bare petition. " A mere petition. Coriolanus weighs the 
consequence of verbal supplication against that of actual punish 
ment" (Steevens). 

23. Offend. Attempted ; as in T. and C. ii. 3. 67 : " Aga 
memnon is a fool to offer to command Achilles," etc. 

28. Nose. For the verb, cf. Ham. iv. 3. 38 : " you shall nose 
him," etc. 

32. Above the moon. Delius compares, for the hyperbole, Ham. 
iii. 3. 36 : " O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven." 

34. So never-needed. We should say " never so needed." 

Scene I] Notes 307 

37. Instant. That is, instantly or hastily levied. 

41. Towards Marcius. Cf. ii. 2. 53 above, and Cymb. ii. 3. 68: 
44 To employ you towards this Roman." 

44. Grief-shot. Sorrow-stricken. 

46. That thanks, etc. Such gratitude as is proportionate to 
your good intentions. 

49. Hum. That is, contemptuously or angrily. Cf. the noun in 
v. 4. 2O below ; and see also Macb. iii. 6. 42 : 

" The cloudy messenger turns me his back, 
And hums, as who should say ' You "11 rue the time 
That clogs me with this answer. 1 " 

Unhearts = " disheartens," which S. elsewhere (twice) uses. 
Discourage does not occur in his works. 

50. Well. That is, at a favourable time. Menenius, who loved 
good cheer (cf. ii. I. 51 above), appears to judge Coriolanus by 

56. Watch him. Wright says that " the figure is taken from 
the language of falconry, although the treatment prescribed by 
Menenius is different from that practised by Petruchio." See 
T. of S. iv. I. 206: 

"Another way I have to man my haggard, 
To make her come and know her keeper's call, 
That is, to watch her, as we watch these kites 
That bate and beat and will not be obedient." 

But watch in that technical sense means to keep one from sleep (see 
T. of S. iv. i. 198, or Oth. iii. 3. 23), while here all that Menenius 
intends to say is that he will watch for the opportunity of making 
his appeal to Coriolanus wh.-n he is dieted to it that is, put in 
good humour for it by a good dinner. 

61. Speed. Turn out, result. Cf. T. of S. ii. I. 283, 285, 
M. IV. ii. 2. 278, iii. 5. 137, K'.John, iv. 2. 141, etc. 

63. Sit in gold. That is, " in his chair of state, with a marvellous 
and unspeakable majesty" (North). See p. 209 above. Steevens 

308 Notes [Act v 

quotes Pope's Iliad: "Th' eternal Thunderer sat thron'd in gold." 
Cf. A. and C. iii. 6. 4 : 

" Cleopatra and himself in chairs of gold 
Were publicly enthron'd." 

64. His injury, etc. His sense of wrong restraining his pity. 

69. Bound with an oath, etc. A perplexing passage, perhaps 
corrupt or incomplete. As it stands, it appears to mean that 
Coriulanus was bound by an oath as to what he would not, unless 
the Romans should yield to his conditions, whatever those may 
have been. Whitelaw puts it thus : " Sent after me in writing 
what he would, what he would not, consent to do ; confirming this 
with an oath which only our acceptance of his terms can cancel." 
This is not perfectly satisfactory, but it seems the best that has 
been offered. Farmer says : " I suppose Coriolanus means that he 
had sworn to give way to the conditions into which the ingratitude 
of his country had forced him." Many emendations have been 
proposed, but no one of them is satisfactory. 

71. Unless his noble mother, etc. That is, unless it be his mother, 
etc. Changes have been suggested, but as the passage stands it is 
no unnatural inversion of " His mother and wife are our only 
hope." If there is any corruption, it is probably in the imperfect 
line 70, not in 71. 

SCENE II. 10. It is lots to blanks. That is, it is pretty certain, 
it 's a hundred to one. Steevens compares Rich. III. i. 2. 238 : 
" And yet to win her, all the world to nothing ! " The lots are 
the prizes in the lottery (cf. the Fr. lot}, as Johnson explained. 
Malone disputed this, because there are many more blanks than 
prizes, but the reference is to the value of the latter compared 
with the former. 

14. Lover. Loving friend. Cf. M. of V. iii. 4. 7, 17, /. C. ii. 
3. 9, iii. 2. 13, 49, v. I. 95, etc. 

15. Book. Cf. Rich. III. iii. 5. 27 : 

Scene II] Notes 309 

11 Made him my book, wherein my soul recorded 
The history of all my secret thoughts." 

See also Macb. i. 5. 63, R. of L. 615, etc. 

17. Verified. "Supported the credit of" (Schmidt), or "spoken 
the truth of" (Malone). The word has been suspected on account 
of the verity that follows ; but the repetition is not un-Shake- 
spearian. Whitelaw paraphrases the passage thus : " I have always 
told the truth about my friends' good acts always the \vhole 
truth sometimes perhaps a little mure than the truth." 

20. Subtle. " So smooth and deceptive that the bowl moves 
over it more rapidly than the bowler intends, and goes beyond the 
mark " (Wright). For another allusion to bowling, see on iii. I. 
60 above. Steevens quotes Jonson, Chloridia : "Tityus's breast, 
that ... is counted the subtlest bowling ground in all Tartarus." 

22. Stamped the leasing. Given the falsehood the stamp of 
truth ; a metaphor taken from coining. Cf. Oth. ii. I. 247, and see 
i. 6. 23 above. P'or leasing, see T. N. i. 5. 105. S. uses the word 
only twice. 

30. Factionary on the party. Taking part on the side. S. uses 
factionary nowhere else. For party = part, side, see K. John, ii. 
i. 359, v. 6. 2, etc. 

41. Out. Out from. Cf. forth in i. 4. 23 above. 

44. Front. Confront ; as in A. and C. i. 4. 79 : " To front this 
present time," etc. 

45' Virginal. Virgin, maidenly ; as in 2 Hen. VI. v. 2. 52 and 
Per. iv. 6. 32. 

47. Dotant. " Dotard " (the reading of the 4th folio) ; used by 
S. only here. 

59. Your having. What you have ; as in A. Y. L. iii. 2. 396 : 
" your having in beard." See also M. IV. iii. 2. 73, Cymb. i. 2. 
19, etc. 

62. Companion. See on iv. 5. 14 above. Errand is spelt 
" arrant " in the first three folios, indicating the old pronuncia 
tion, still a vulgar one in New England. 

310 Notes [Act v 

64. A Jack guardant. A Jack on guard. Steevens compares 
" a Jack in office." For the contemptuous use of Jack, see Mitch 
Ado, v. i. 91, R. and J. ii. 4. 160, iii. 1. 12, iv. 5. 149, etc. Guardant 
occurs again in i Hen. VI. iv. 7. 9 : " But when my angry guardant 
stood alone." 

65. Office me from. Use your office to keep me from. Cf. 
offlcedin A. W. iii. 2. 129. 

71. Synod. Used by S. in six passages, in five of which it refers 
to an assembly of the gods. 

73. Look tJiee. Here thee is apparently = thou. The phrase 
occurs again in W. 7\ iii. 3. 116. 

74. Hardly. With difficulty; as in T. G. of V. ii. I. 115 : "it 
came hardly off," etc. 

76. Our. The folios have "your," which the Cambridge ed. 
retains. If the second person were used, we should expect " thy." 

78. Petitionary. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 2. 199 : " with most petition 
ary vehemence." 

85. Servanted to. Subject to, under the control of. 

Though I owe, etc. "The Volscians have charged me with the 
execution of my own revenge ; it is mine therefore to execute, but 
not to remit" (Whitelaw). For owe, see on iii. 2. 130 above. 
Properly as my property, as mine personally. Cf. proper in i. 9. 
57 above. 

88. Ingrate. " Ingrateful " (ii. 2. 31 above). Cf. T. N. v. i. 
116, K.John, v. 2. 151, etc. Poison = destroy. 

91. For. Because ; as in iii. i. 10 above. 

92. Writ. For the past tense S. uses writ oftener than wrote ; 
for the participle he has usually writ or written, sometimes wrote. 

96. Constant. See on i. I. 240 above. 

100. Shent. Reproved, rated. Cf. T. N. iv. 2. 112: "I am 
shent for speaking to you," etc. 

106. Slight. Insignificant, worthless ; as in L. L. L. v. 2. 463: 
"slight zany ; " J. C. iv. i. 12: "a slight, unmeritable man," etc. 

113. Wind-shaken. We have wind-shaked 'in Oth. ii. i. 13. 

Scene III] Notes 3 1 1 

SCENE III. 2. Set down. Cf. i. 2. 28 above. 

3. I I<nv plainly. " That is, how openly, how remotely from arti 
fice or concealment" (Johnson). 

4. I have borne this business. See on i. I. 271 above. 

9. A cracKd heart. Cf. Lear, ii. I. 92: "O madam, my old 
heart is crack'd, it's crack'd!" See also A. and C. iv. 14. 41. 

n. Godded. Idolized; used by S. only here. 

13. ShovJd. Appeared. See on iii. 3. 50 above. 

15. To grace him. To do honour to him. Cf. i Hen. VI. ii. 4. 
8 1 : " We grace the yeoman by conversing with him," etc. 

23. In her hand. Cf. Rich. III. iv. 1. 12 : 

" Who meets us here ? My niece Plantagenet 
Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloucester ? ** 

32. Aspect. Accented on the last syllable, as always in S, 
35. To obey. As to obey. Cf. Temp. ii. i. 167: 

" I would with such perfection govern, sir, 
To excel the golden age." 

Instinct, like aspect, is accented by S. on the last syllable. 

39. The sorrow, etc. " Virgilia interprets her husband's speech 
literally, as if it referred to the altered appearance of the suppliants, 
which was caused by their sorrow. Coriolanus merely says that in 
his banishment he saw everything in a different light" (Wright). 
Delivers shows ; as in v. 6. 140 below. 

40. Like a dull actor. Malone quotes Sonn. 23. I : 

" As an unperfect actor on the stage, 
Who with his fear is put beside his part." 

On out = at a loss, cf. A. Y. L. iv. i. 76 : " Very good orators, when 
they are out, they will spit." 

46. The jealous queen of heaven. Juno, who presided over mar 
riage, and punished conjugal infidelity. Cf. Temp. iv. I. 103 fol., 
A. Y. L. v. 5. 147, and Per. ii. 3. 30. 

3 1 2 Notes [Act v 

48. Virgin* d it. Been as a virgin. For the it, cf. fool it in ii. 3. 
124 above. 

54. Unproperly. Used by S. only here ; improperly not at all. 
Improper occurs only in Lear, v. 3. 221, and unproper only in Oth. 
iv. i. 69. See on iv. 4. 16 above. 

57. Corrected. " Rebuked by the sight " (Whit elaw). 

58. Hungry. Defined by some as barren ; by others as 
eager for shipwrecks. It is perhaps suggested by the same epithet 
as applied to the sea. Cf. T. N. ii. 4. 103 : " as hungry as the 

59. Fillip. Strike, hit. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. i. 2. 255: "If I do, 
fillip me with a three-man beetle." 

60. Strike the proud cedars, etc. It is singular that the critics 
who think it necessary to tone down the hyperbole in iv. 5. 112 
have not " emended " this line. Is scarring the moon a more pre 
posterous rhetorical achievement than striking against the sun ? 

61. Murthering impossibility. Putting an end toil: after this, 
let nothing be impossible. 

63. Help. See on iii. I. 277 above. 

65. The moon of Rome, etc. Cf. i. I. 258 and ii. I. 105 above. 

66. Curded. Congealed. The folios have "curdied," which 
some editors retain ; but curd is the form in A. W. i. 3. 155 and 
Ham. i. 5. 69. Rowe (2d ed.) reads " curdled," which S. nowhere 

71. Supreme. Accented on the first syllable everywhere in S. 
except iii. i. no above, which is the only instance in which it does 
not come before the noun. See on divine, iv. 5. no above. 

74. Flaw. " That is, every gust, every storm " (Johnson). Cf. 
Ham. v. i. 239: "The winter's flaw." Sea-mark occurs again in 
Oth. v. 2. 268. Cf. Sonn. 1 16. 5 : 

" O no ! it is an ever-fixed mark, 
That looks on tempests and is never shaken." 

80. Forsworn to grant. Sworn not to grant. Cf. R.andJ. i. I. 

Scene III] Notes JIJ 

229 : " She hath forsworn to love ; " and T. N. iii. 4. 276 : " or 
forswear to wear iron about you." 

81. Denials. The plural is used because it refers to several 
persons. Cf. 85 below. 

82. Capitulate. Treat, make terms; not now used of the 
victor. In the only other instance of the verb in S. (i Hen. IV. 
iii. 2. 120) it means to conspire, form a league. 

85. Allay. Cf. ii. I. 52 above. 

90. If you fail in. Either = fail us in, or = fail in granting; 
probably the former. 

93. Nought. The usual folio spelling when = nothing. 

95. Bewray. Betray, show. Cf. Lear, ii. I. 109, iii. 6. iiS, etc. 

96. Exile. See on i. 6. 35 above. 

97. Unfortunate. In the editions of North's Plutarch published 
in 1579, I595i and 1603, this adjective is misprinted "unfortu 
nately." The error is corrected in the ed. of 1612, from which 
Halliwell-Phillipps (Trans. New Shaks. Soc. for 1874, p. 367) 
infers that S. must have used this edition, and that the date of the 
play must therefore be put as late as 1612. On the other hand, Fleay 
(Shaks. Manual, p. 52) argues that the play must have been 
written before 1612, because the correction in North was got from 
it. One argument is just as good as the other ; but S. probably 
wrote unfortunate for metrical reasons. He does not follow 
North closely here. 

100. Constrains them weep. For the ellipsis of to, see on iv. 5. 
63 above. Shake refers, of course, to hearts. 

103. To poor we. Cf. " between you and I " in M. of V. iii. 2. 
321, etc. For we us in other constructions, see J. C. iii. I. 95, 
Ham. \. 4. 54, and Cymb. v. 3. 72. 

104. Capital. Deadly, mortal. Cf. " capital punishment." 
107. Alas, how can we, etc. Cf. K. John, iii. I. 331 fol. : " Hus 
band, I cannot pray that thou mayst win," etc. 

109. Alack, or we must lose, etc. See extract from North, 
p. 212 above. 

3 H Notes [Act v 

115. Thorough. The folios have " through " here, but thorough, 
which Johnson substituted for the sake of the measure, is often 
used by S. 

1 20. Determine. Terminate. See on iii. 3. 43 above. 

122. Thou shalt no sooner, etc. See North, p. 213 above. 

138. In either side. Elsewhere we have on; as in i. 6. 51 and 
iii. i. 181 above. 

139. All-hail. Cf. Macb. i. 5. 56: "Greater than both, by the 
all-hail hereafter," etc. 

143. Such . . . whose. Cf. iii. 2. 55 above. 
145. Writ. See on v. 2. 92 above. 

149. The fine strains. "The niceties, the refinements" (John 
son) ; " the emotions or impulses " (Wright) ; " the aspirations, 
high Teachings, lofty attempts" (Clarke). 

150. To imitate, etc. " The divine graces that Coriolanus affected 
to imitate are terror and mercy, both attributes of their gods: to 
express this, he is said to thunder as they do ; but so to temper his 
terrors that mankind is as little hurt by them as they commonly are 
by thunder, which mostly spends its rage on oaks " (Capell). 

151. The wide cheeks o> the air. Cf. Temp. i. 2. 4: "the wel 
kin's cheek ;" and Rich. 77. iii. 3. 57: "the cloudy cheeks of 
heaven." " The meaning of the passage is, to threaten much, and 
yet be merciful" (Warburton). 

155. Daughter, speak you. "With what exquisitely artistic 
touches S. finishes his character-portraits ! Here, in two half-lines, 
he paints Virgilia's habitual silence, and Volumnia's as habitual 
torrent of words. She bids her daughter-in-law plead, yet waits 
not for her to speak. And then how consistently has he depicted 
Volumnia's mode of appeal to her son throughout, in iii. 2 and 
here ; beginning with remonstrance, and ending with reproach : 
her fiery nature so like his own, and so thoroughly accounting for 
his inherited disposition" (Clarke). 

1 60. Like one ? the stocks. "Keep me in a state of ignominy 
talking to no purpose " (Johnson). 

Scene III] Notes 3 1 5 

163. ClucVd. The 1st folio has "clock'd," which appears to 
have been a form of the word. For the barnyard figure, cf. Sonn. 


164. Loaden. Used by S. interchangeably with laden. Cf. Cot- 
grave, Fr. Diet., under lavilier : " . . . wherewith sheaves of corne 
be loaden or unloaded." 

170. Longs. Belongs; generally printed '"longs," but incor 

176. Reason. Reason or argue for. Cf. the somewhat similar 
transitive use in Lear, ii. 4. 267 : " reason not the need." 

178. To his mother. For his mother. Cf. Lear, iii. 6. 14 : 
" that has a gentleman to his son ; " Temp. ii. I. 75 : "a paragon 
to their queen," etc. See also Matthew, iii. 9. 

179. His child. Changed by Theobald (followed by White) to 
" this child ; " but, in my opinion, quite unnecessarily. Volumnia 
does not think of the apparent inconsistency ; or we might say 
that his child is = this child that passes for his, or that we call his. 

189. Mortal. Mortally, fatally. It is common enough to find 
an adjective used adverbially, but here the adverbial termination 
may perhaps be carried on from dangerously. Cf. " cheerfully and 
smooth" {Rich. III. iii. 4. 50), "bitterly and strange" (Af. for 
Af.v. i. 36), etc. 

190. True wars. For the plural, cf. i. 3. 106 above. 
199. Stand to. Standby. Cf. iii. i. 208 above. 

202. A former fortune. That is, such as I had before I shared 
my power with Coriolanus. 

203. Drink together. In token of peace. Steevens quotes 
2 Hen. IV. iv. 2. 63: 

" And here between the armies 
Let *s drink together friendly and embrace, 
That all their eyes may bear those tokens home 
Of our restored love and amity." 

207. A temple. According to Plutarch " a temple of Fortune " 
was built to commemorate the occasion. It is said to have stood 

3 1 6 Notes [Act v 

at the fourth milestone on the Via Latina, where Coriolanus met 
his mother. 

SCENE IV. I Coign. Corner. Cf. Macb. i. 6. 7 : " coign of 
vantage ; " the only other instance of the word in S. Per. iii. 
prol. 1 7 is not his. 

8. Stay upon. Wait but for. Cf. C. of E. v. I. 20, etc. 

10. Condition. See on ii. 3. 99 above. 

11. Differency. The reading of the ist folio, changed in the 
2d to "difference." So in Oth. iii. 4. 149, the ist folio has "obser- 
vancie," the 2d " observance." 

21. Hum. See on v. i. 49 above. State chair of state ; as in 
Macb. iii. 4. 5 : " Our hostess keeps her state," etc. 

22. Made for. Made to represent ; that is, a statue. 

25. Throne. Not elsewhere used intransitively by S. For 
throned ' = enthroned, see M. N. D. ii. i. 158, T. N. ii. 4. 22, etc. 

27. In the character. To the life, as he is. 

31. Long of you. Owing to you. Long is commonly printed 
" 'long ; " but it is not a contraction. 

38. Plebeians. For the accent, see on i. 9. 7 above. 

39. Hale. Haul, drag. Cf. T. N. iii. 2. 64, Much Ado, ii. 3. 
62, etc. 

48. Make doubt. Cf. i. 2. 1 8 above. 

49. Blown. Perhaps =: swollen ; as in Lear, iv. 4. 27 : " No 
blown ambition doth our arms incite ; " but it probably refers to 
the effect of the wind upon the tide. Malone quotes R. of L. 
1667 : 

"As through an arch the violent roaring tide 
Outruns the eye that doth behold his haste." 

Both passages were doubtless suggested by the tide rushing 
through the arches of Old London Bridge. 

51. The trumpets, etc. Wright remarks that S. probably had 
in mind the list of instruments in Daniel, iii. 7. 

53. Make the sun dance. It was a popular superstition that the 

Scene VI] Notes ,317 

sun dances on Easter Sunday. Cf. Suckling, Ballad upon a Wed 

11 But, O, she dances such a way, 

No sun upon an Easter Day 

Is half so fine a sight I " 

59. Doit. See on i. 5. 6 above. 

63. At point. See on iii. i. 194 above. 

SCENE V. Dyce was the first to make this a new scene. The 
early eels, add it to Scene 4. 

4. Unshout, etc. " Annul the former noise with shouts of wel 
come to his mother " (Whitelaw). Wright compares unspeak in 
Macb. iv. 3. 123, unsay in M. N. >. i. I. 181, and unpay in 
2 Hen. IV. ii. i. 130. 

5. Repeal. Recall. See on iv. i. 41 above. 

SCENE VI. Antium. The locality is not marked in the folios. 
Rowe made it Antium, and has been followed by most of the edi 
tors. A few substitute Corioli on account of 90 below, but we 
should infer from 116 that the scene is not in Corioli. According 
to Plutarch, Antium should be the place. See p. 215 above. 

5. Him. He whom. Cf. iv. 2. 2 above. 

6. Ports. Gates ; as in i. 7. i above. 

15. Of. From; as in K.John, iii. 4. 55: " deliver'd of these 

20. Pretext. Accented on the last syllable ; used by S. nowhere 

21. Pawned. Pledged. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. ii. I. 153, 167, 171, hr. 
2. 112, etc. 

22. Who. For the construction, cf. Temp. i. 2. 162, iii. 2. 53, 

27. Stoutness. Cf. iii. 2. 78, 127 above. 
32. Gave him way. Gave way to him. Cf. iv. 4. 25 above. 
35. Designments. Designs; used again in Oth. ii. I. 22: "their 
designment halts." 

3 1 8 Notes [Act v 

36. Help. See on v. 3. 63 above. 

37. End all his. Made all his own at last. The use of end 
would not be singular, even if it had not been shown that it is a 
provincial term for getting in a harvest, still used in Surrey, Sussex, 
an 1 elsewhere. Arrowsmith (quoted by Dyce) cites advertisements 
from the Hereford Times of Jan. 23, 1858, in which " well-ended 
hay-ricks" and "well-ended wheat-ricks" are mentioned among 
things for sale at auction. 

40. Wag'd me with his countenance. " Paid me with his patron 
age ; made me feel that, when he approved me, he was paying me 
wages" (Whitelaw). S. uses wage in this sense nowhere else. 
Steevens quotes Holinshed: "to levie and wage thirtie thousand 

43. Had carried. That is, had in effect done so. And that 
and when that. Cf. iv. 5. 99 above. 

45. For which my sinews, etc. " This is the point on which I 
will attack him with my utmost abilities " (Johnson) . 

46. At. At the price of. Cf. i. 5. 5 above. Rheum tears ; 
as often in S. 

50. Post. A mere messenger bringing news of the war. 
54. At your vantage. When you find the opportunity. Cf. 
Cymb. i. 3. 24 : " With his next vantage," etc. 

58. After your way, etc. After your version of his story. 

59. His reasons. His arguments, or what he would say in de 
fence of himself. 

64. What faults he made. Cf. W. T. iii. 2. 220 : " What faults 
I make ; " and just before (218) : "you have made fault." 

67. Answering us, etc. " Instead of spoils and victory, bringing 
back the bill for ourselves to pay" (Whitelaw). For answer, 
cf. i Hen. IV. i. 3. 185 : "To answer all the debt," etc. ; and for 
charge cost, cf. 79 below. 

71. Soldier. A trisyllable. Cf. i. I. 117 above. 

73. Parted. Departed ; as often. 

78. A full third part. That is, by a full third. 

Scene VI] Notes 3 1 9 

84. Compounded. Agreed. Cf. K.John, ii. I. 281, Hen. V. iv. 
3. 80, iv. 6. 33, etc. 

85. In the highest degree. The folio has no comma after traitor, 
and it is possible, though not probable, that in the highest degree 
qualifies that word. Cf. T. N. i. 5. 6l : ** Misprision in the high 
est degree; " and Rich. III. v. 3. 196: "Perjury, perjury, in the 
high'st degree!" For the contracted superlative, see on iii. I. 
103 above. 

90. In Corioli? Qarke, in remarking upon the locality of this 
scene, connects these words with stolen, not with^rar*, the empha 
sis being thrown upon /. "Dost thou think 7'11 grace thee with 
that robbery, thy name of Coriolanus, stolen in Corioli ? " This 
seems rather forced ; it is more probable that S. forgot for the mo 
ment that the scene was not in Corioli. 

93. Drops of salt. Often used of tears ; as in Temp. i. 2. 55 : 
" drops full salt ; " M. N. D. ii. 2. 92 : " Salt tears," etc. Cf. iv. i. 
22 above. 

100. Each at other. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 239 : " Wink each at 
other." So " each on other " in Rich. III. iii. 7. 26. 

102. No more. Probably to be explained as = no more than a 
boy of tears in reply to the protest implied in the exclamation of 

105. The first time. Coriolanus forgets how he berated the 
tribunes in iii. i and iii. 3. 

107. Notion. Understanding, mind ; as in Macb. iii. I. 83: "a 
notion craz'd," etc. 

108. Who. The antecedent is implied in his. Cf. iii. 2. 119 

116. In Corioli. Surely he would not have said this in Corioli, 
but rather " in this city here," or to that effect ; but I believe that 
no commentator has referred to this as a reason for not placing the 
scene in Corioli. See note at beginning of this scene. 

121. All the People. Cf. iii. I. 1 86-1 88 above. Presently = at 
once. See on iii. 3. 12 above. 

Notes [Act v 

125. Folds in. Cf. iii. 3. 68 above. 

127. Judicious. Judicial ; the only instance of this sense in S. 
Stand = stop ; as in T. and C. v. 6. 9, etc. 

138. Did owe you. Had for you, exposed you to. 

140. Deliver. Show ; as in v. 3. 39 above. 

142. Censure. Judgment, sentence. Cf. iii. 3. 46 above. 

144. That ever herald, etc. "This allusion is to a custom un 
known, I believe, to the ancients, but observed in the public funerals 
of English princes, at the conclusion of which a herald proclaims 
':he style [rank] of the deceased" (Steevens). 

145. His. Referring of course to Coriolanus. 
152. Unchilded. Used by S. only here. 
154. Memory. See on iv. 5. 77 above. 



IN the introduction to the play I have referred to the opinion of 
certain critics that Shakespeare had no sympathy with the lower 
classes, an<l that he delights in holding them up to ridicule. The 
sneers at the plebeian rabble which he puts into the mouth of Casca, 
Coriolanus, and others are assumed to be the expression of his own 
contempt for his poorer brethren in England. But here it is not 
Shakespeare who speaks, but the Roman patricians, whom he rep 
resents as they were as some of them were, the great majority no 
doubt, but not like his ideal Roman, Brutus, whose treatment of 
the slave-buy Lucius is marked by an almost paternal gentleness 
and tenderness. That was the poet's way of adding a new grace 
to a character otherwise singularly gracious and noble. 

Very similar is the bearing of Theseus, another of his favourite 
characters, though but slightly sketched, towards the clowns in the 
Midsummer -NighCs Dream who have got up the play in honour 
of his nuptials. The master of the revels laughs at it, but Theseus, 
when he learns who have prepared it, declares that he " will hear 
it/' though Philostrate declares that it is not worth listening to, 
unless he can " find sport" in the blundering attempts of the per 
formers. Theseus replies : 

" I will hear that play ; 

For never anything can be amiss 

When simpleness and duty tender it. 


Our sport shall be to take what they mistake; 

And what poor duty cannot do, 

Noble respect takes it in might not merit ; " 


322 Appendix 

that is, judges it by the ability of the actors, not by its intrinsic 
merit. This is far enough from "conceitedly patronizing" the 
clowns, as a recent critic calls it. 

When the play is performed others of the noble company make 
fun of it at intervals, but Theseus is careful to avoid any comment 
that could be taken by the players as uncomplimentary; and when 
Hippolyta says that she is weary of it, he replies, " But yet in cour 
tesy, in all reason, we must stay the time " must see it through, 
out of courtesy, due even to the humblest. 

Here we have the true gentleman ; that indescribable and inde 
finable ideal though another has approximated to a definition in 
calling it " that complete formation of artistic and civilized human 
ity, that philanthropist of courtesy, who shows that courtesy is as 
permanent as charity as permanent because it is in manner what 
charity is in spirit" 

It is to be noted that some of Shakespeare's most admirable 
characters delineated with evident appreciation and sympathy 
are in humble life ; like Adam, the faithful and devoted old ser 
vant in As You Like It, whom we have good evidence that the 
poet personated on the stage, and the old Shepherd in The Win 
ter's Tale, whom no commentator has deigned to notice except in 
the most casual way, but who is as truly a gentleman, in the best 
sense of the term, as Brutus or Theseus. 

It is a subtle touch in the delineation of the Shepherd that he 
sees the difference between the real and the sham gentleman. 
When the rogue Autolycus is disguised as a courtier, he deceives 
the Clown, but not the Shepherd. " This cannot but be a great 
courtier," says the Clown aside to his father. " His garments are 
rich," is the reply, " but he wears them not handsomely" When 
the Shepherd finds the babe on the shore, and the store of gold 
with it, he says to his son, " 'Tis a lucky day, boy, and we '11 do good 
deeds on 't ; " and later, when the discovery that the foundling is 
a princess has brought him into high favour at court, he says to 
the Clown, " We must be gentle, now we are gentlemen." He rec- 

Appendix 323 

ognizes the principle of noblesse oblige, but he had always been 
faithful, even in his low estate, to the nobility of true manhood. 
These characters, and others like them in the plays, show what was 
Shakespeare's real estimate of the poor and lowly, if they had this 
inherent and intrinsic manliness. 

It is noticeable, by the way, that his mean and contemptible 
characters, like his villains, are almost invariably taken from the 
higher classes, and so are his worst fools. The amusing side of low 
life is depicted humorously, not satirically ; and humour is always 
sympathetic. The compensations of humble life as compared with 
high life are often dwelt upon most impressively : as in soliloquies 
in Henry IT. and Henry V. that will be readily recalled ; in young 
Arthur's pathetic wish that he " were low laid in the grave," when 
the queens are quarrelling over his claims to the throne ; and in 
many similar passages in the plays. 

Shakespeare's broad and all-embracing humanity is one of the 
most distinctive features in his character. In this, as in so many 
other respects, he was far in advance of his age, which was an age of 
inhumanity and cruelty an age when even poets could be hard 
hearted and pitiless. " Spenser tells, without a tear, of miseries 
inflicted on the Irish which would have caused Attila to weep ; he 
praises the measures that inflicted the sufferings, recommends their 
continuance and an increase in their severity." But Shakespeare, 
with his marvellous insight into human nature, had a vast and com 
prehensive sympathy for his fellow-men. As nothing human was 
unknown to him, so nothing human was indifferent to him. Some 
one has said that " the fulness of his knowledge came by the ful 
ness of his sympathy ; " but it might as truly be said that the ful 
ness of his sympathy came by the fulness of his knowledge. With 
his keen insight into character, he saw what was good in the worst 
and what was bad in the best. He is never afraid to present both 
sides of the mingled nature. He delights, indeed, to show that 
there is "some soul of goodness in things evil; " and his absolute 
impartiality forbids him to conceal the single defect or stain in ar 

324 Appendix 

otherwise faultless or spotless character like the good Antonio's 
brutality towards the Jew, which was common to the best Christians 
of that time. Shakespeare here, as everywhere and always, holds 
the mirror up to nature, reflecting men and women as they are, not 
a partial or distorted picture of them. 

And because these men and women are depicted as they are 
with a distinct individuality of their own they speak for them 
selves and not as mere mouthpieces for expressing the personal 
opinions and sentiments of the dramatist. It is often asserted that 
" Shakespeare says " this or that ; but it may be as far from what 
he himself would think or feel or say as it is from what the actor 
who recites it on the stage would really think or feel or say in his 
own person. 

But though Shakespeare is the most impersonal of writers, we 
may sometimes " find the man in the book." As Ten Brink has 
said, " the most objective poet is at the same time the most subjec 
tive. The greater the poet, the more clearly does he reveal himself 
in his productions; the more perfectly will his individuality be 
stamped upon them." Dowden, in his admirable book, Shake 
speare: His Mind and Art, which aims to connect the study of the 
works with an inquiry after the personality of the writer, recognizes 
the risks and difficulties that accompany the attempt "to pass 
through the creations of a great dramatic poet to the mind of the 
creator ; " but 1 believe he is right in maintaining that " a product 
of mind so large and manifold as the writings of Shakespeare can 
not fail in some measure to reveal its origin and cause." As he 
says elsewhere, " the great ideal artist a Milton, a Michael Angelo, 
a Dante betrays himself in spite of the haughtiest reserve." 
Shakespeare hides himself behind his work, but we can neverthe 
less see him through it. If we knew more about his life, it would 
be easier to do this ; but what we do know can be compared and 
combined with what we can learn from the works to throw light 
upon the character, habits of thought, tastes, ideals, all, indeed, 
that makes up the man. 

Appendix 325 

I will add a single illustration of what seems to me the right 
and the wrong way in this line of study and criticism. According 
to a Stratford tradition, the fever which carried the poet off at the 
very beginning of his fifty-third year was caused by over-indulgence 
in wine at a " merry meeting " with Ben Jonson and Drayton ; and 
there are other traditions (none of which can be traced back to a 
date within a hundred years of his death) which represent him as 
similarly intemperate in his habits. That he was a " teetotaler " of 
course no one supposes. We know what the habits of the day 
were ; and we are not surprised that, in the spring of 1614, when 
a Puritan preacher, who had been invited to the town by the cor 
poration, was hospitably entertained at Shakespeare's house, an 
item in the town records reads : " For one quart of sack and one 
quart of clarett wine given to a preacher at the New Place, xx. a?' 
The poet, who was then residing in Stratford, would not have 
refused to help the godly man dispose of the wine ; and he may 
sometimes have been equally convivial in less reputable company. 
But that he was intemperate, judged by the strictest standards of 
the day, I do not believe. Again and again he goes out of his 
way to denounce drunkenness and to show up its evil results, or to 
commend the opposite virtue with its wholesome fruits ; and when 
moral lessons are introduced in that unnecessary manner by Shake 
speare, we cannot doubt that they are introduced for their own 
sake. For example, the long speech of Hamlet (i. 4. 17 fol.) on 
' the " heavy-headed revel " of the Danes has no direct bearing 
upon the action of the play. It is purely episodical, and its only 
conceivable raison d'etre is its indirect moral significance. So in 
As You Like It (ii. 2. 47) when Adam says " Though I look old, 
yet I am strong and lusty," there was no imaginable reason except 
this moral one for his adding : 

" For in my youth I never did apply 
Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood, 
Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo 
The means of weakness and debility ; 

326 Appendix 

Therefore my age is as a lusty winter, 
Frosty, but kindly." 

This is not said to Orlando, who was in no need of the admonition 
it involves, but to the London audience for whom the play was 
written ; and it is Shakespeare who speaks, as surely as when he 
acted the part of Adam on the stage. 

Similarly in T%velfth Night (i. 5. 123) Olivia asks Feste, " What's 
a drunken man like, fool ? " and he replies : " Like a drowned 
man, a fool, and a madman. One draught above heat makes him 
a fool ; the second mads him ; and a third drowns him." 

Note also the comments of Caesar on the drunken revel in 
Antony and Cleopatra (ii. 7. 95 fol.) : 

" Pompey. This is not yet an Alexandrian feast. 

Antony. It ripens towards it. Strike the vessels, ho! 
Here is to Caesar ! 

Ccesar. I could well forbear 't. 

It 's monstrous labour, when I wash my brain, 
And it grows fouler. 

Antony. Be a child o* the time. 

Ccesar. Possess it, I '11 make answer; 
But I had rather fast from all four days 
Than drink so much in one." 

Even more striking, from the same point of view, is Cassio's 
bitter remorse for his drunkenness {Othello, ii. 3. 254 fol.). It is 
not so much the loss of his office that he laments as the personal 
degradation and disgrace : 

" Cassia. Reputation, reputation, reputation ! O, I have lost my 
reputation ! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains 
is bestial. My reputation, lago, my reputation ! 

lago. As I am an honest man, I thought you had received some 
bodily wound ; there is more sense in that than in reputation. . . . 

Cassio. O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to 
steal away their brains ! that we should, with joy, pleasance, revel, and 
applause, transform ourselves into beasts! . . . 

Appendix 327 

lago. Come, you are too severe a moraler. . . . 

Cassio. I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me I am a 
drunkard! Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would 
stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and pres 
ently a beast ! O, strange ! Every inordinate cup is unblest, and the 
ingredient is a devil." 

No one who observes how much space is given to these self- 
reproaches of Cassio will regard them as the mere conventional 
work of a playwright on a minor incident of his plot. There is a 
deeper ethical meaning in them. 

If I remember right, no critic has referred to this intemperance 
of Cassio as having any bearing upon Shakespeare's own tastes and 
habits except Mr. Frank Harris, who, in an article in the London 
Saturday Review, furnishes, I think, a good illustration of the 
wrong way of attempting to "find the man in the book." He 
takes the ground that the dramatist was a " neuropath," or " physi 
cally weak and abnormally sensitive." He says : 

" I find proof of Shakespeare's neuropathic weakness in his fear 
of drink and hatred of drunkenness. The main proof of this is to 
be found in the Cassio episode in Othello. Cassio's drunkenness 
was invented by Shakespeare, and was in itself unnecessary to the 
unfolding of the drama. Let us consider briefly the very words 
used by the Moor's lieutenant. First of all, when pressed by lago 
to drink to the health of Othello, he says: 'Not to-night, good 
lago. I have very poor and unhappy brains for drinking. I could 
well wish courtesy would invent some other custom of entertain 
ment.' And when lago insists, he goes into curious detail : ' I 
have drunk but one cup to-night, and that was craftily qualified 
too, and, behold, what innovation it makes here. I am unfortunate 
in the infirmity, and dare not task my weakness with any more.' 

" Now this detail of the ' one cup ' is to me astonishing if it be 
not a personal revelation of Shakespeare's feeling. Why should 
he insist on excusing Cassio? Drinking, one would have thought, 
is a soldierly sin and needs little or no explanation. Then, too, 

328 Appendix 

lago declares that ' one cup ' more will be enough for Cassio, and 
he drags in the unnecessary taunt that no people drink like the 
English. The scene carries conviction to me that Shakespeare in 
the person of Cassio is speaking of himself. ... It may be that 
my opinion will not commend itself to others ; I can only regret 
the fact and admit that the proofs are not so strong as they might 
be. But for me, as I have said, they are strong enough, and they 
are strengthened by the fact that these railings against drink only 
occur when Shakespeare had already won to middle life. At all 
times probably he drank but little, and this little in youth he was 
able to stand ; but when he came to mid-life, and the vigour of 
youth had departed, he was forced to confess that he had ' very 
poor and unhappy brains for drinking.'" 

It would be quite as reasonable to infer that Shakespeare was 
equal to such unlimited potations of sack as Falstaff was addicted 
to, or that he could have held his own in a drinking bout with Sir 
Toby Belch. Why assume that he had " poor and unhappy brains " 
like Cassio rather than those of such sturdy rcysterers, or of Antony 
and his Egyptian revellers, who could " cup " it " till the world go 

I may add that Mr. Harris finds other evidence of the dramatist's 
neuropathic delicacy of physical constitution in the insomnia of 
Henry IV. and Macbeth. He says : " There is no bodily peculiarity 
of Shakespeare more surely attested than sleeplessness. Early in 
life, at an age when most men sleep like children, without effort 
and almost without consciousness of the blessings that sleep brings, 
Shakespeare knew all the miseries of habitual insomnia." After 
adducing in proof of this view the long soliloquy of the King in the 
opening speech of the third act of 2 Henry IV., Mr. Harris con 
tinues thus : 

" Or let us take Two Gentlemen of Verona, which was probably 
written when Shakespeare was twenty-six or twenty-seven years 
old. In the very first act Valentine, who is heart-whole, rallies 
Proteus on his love, declaring that in love ' one fading moment's 

Appendix 329 

mirth' is bought 'with twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights.' 
Now why does Valentine pitch on sleeplessness as one of the con 
sequences of love before he has experienced the passion? And 
how comes it that, when life is altered to him, when he has done 
* penance for contemning love,' he exclaims again : 
41 ' Love hath chas'd sleep from my enthralled eyes, 
And made them watchers of mine own heart's sorrow.' 

" And as we pass from this early work to the drama of Shake 
speare's ripest achievement, to Macbeth, we find the same praise 
of sleep iterated and reiterated till there can be no doubt that in 
somnia was one of the torments of the poet's life. Nothing more 
perfect than Macbeth's praise of sleep has ever been written : 
" ' Methought I heard a voice cry, " Sleep no more ! 
Macbeth does murder sleep " the innocent sleep; 
Sleep, that knits up the ravel'd sleave of care, 
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath, 
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, 
Chief nourisher in life's feast' 

" Intense sensitiveness in Shakespeare's case we do not need to 
prove. His soul was a sort of yEolian harp, lyrically responsive to 
every breath of emotion. And no doubt the sensitiveness was in 
creased by that physical delicacy which sleeplessness presupposes." 

One might at first take this to be a capital burlesque of the type 
of criticism which it illustrates, but it is written in all seriousness. 
It seems to me an amusing and instructive example of " how not to 
do it " if we hope to " find the man in the book " in our study of 


This is summed up by Mr. P. A. Daniel (Trans, of New Shaks. 
Soc. 1877-79, p. 1 88) as follows: 

"Time of this play, eleven days represented on the stage, with 

330 Appendix 

Day i. Act I. sc. i. 

Interval [time for news from Rome to reach Corioli], 
Day 2. Act I. sc. ii. 

Interval [time for news from the Roman army to reach 

Day 3. Act I. sc. iii. x. 

Interval [Cominius and Marcius return to Rome]. 
Day 4. Act II. sc. i. (to ' On, to the Capitol ! '). 

[Mr. Daniel believes that the scene should end here, as it 
appears to do in the folio, where only the acts are numbered, but 
where we have at this point (the bottom of the page) the stage- 
directions : 

" Flourish. Cornets. 
Exeunt in State, as before" 
and (at top of next page) : 

" Enter Brutus and Sicinius" 

Theobald is responsible for the change of stage-directions, and has 
been followed by all the more recent editors. Mr. Daniel says: 
"There seems to me no sufficient reason for setting aside the 
authority of the Folio in this case, and there is this considerable 
objection, that by so doing Coriolanus is made to arrive in Rome 
and to be banished on one and the same day. The scene between 
the two Tribunes is not necessarily connected with the day of 
Marcius's entry into Rome, but it is inseparably connected with 
the day of his Consulship ; and that these are two distinct days is 
to some extent proved by the fact that Titus Lartius is not present 
during the entry, but is present during the Consulship."] 

Interval [ambassadors from Corioli have arrived in Rome 
since the return of Cominius and Coriolanus]. 

Day 5. Act II. sc. i. (remainder of scene) Act IV. sc. ii. 

Interval [a few days, including the journey of Coriolanus to 

Day 6. Act IV. sc. iii. 

Appendix 33 1 

Day 7. Act IV. sc. iv. and v. 

Day 8. Act IV. sc. vi. 

Day 9. Act. IV. sc. vii. 

Day 10. Act V. sc. i. v. 


Day ii. Act V. sc. vi. 

The actual historical time represented by this play comprehends 
a period of about four years, commencing with the secession to the 
Mons Sacer in the year of Rome 262, and ending with the death 
ot Coriolanus in the year 266." 


The numbers in parentheses indicate the lines the characters 
have in each scene. 

Coriolanus: i. 1(75), 4(34), 5( l8 ), 6 (5), 8 (9), 9(45); " 
1(20), 2(24), 3(67); iii. i(i47), 2(5 8 ), 3(50) ; iv - i(45)4(25), 
5(64) ; v. 2(14), 3(106), 6(35). whole no - 886 

Titus Lartius : i. 1(6), 4(19), 5(") 7(7), 9(5) J " K"). 
Whole no. 60. 

Cominius: i. 1(3), 6(44), 9(55) ; - '(3). *(47) ; '(3) 
2(10), 3(11) ; iv. 1(7), 6(40) ; v. 1(31). Whole no. 281. 

Menenius: i. 1(92); ii. 1(130), 2(39), 3(13); i- '( 88 ), 
2(20), 3(14) ; iv. 1(5), 2(5), 6(56) ; v. 1(40), 2(58), 4(3 8 )- 
Whole no. 598. 

Sieinius: i. 1(16) ; ii. i (34), 2(10), 3(54) ; " i(603(54)> 
iv. 2(16), 6(43) ; v. i(u), 4(14)- Whole no. 313. 

Brutus: i. 1(19) ; ii. l(6l), 2(14), 3(56) ; iii. 1(44), 3( 2 5) 
iv. 2(10), 6(22) ; v. 1(4). Whole no. 255. 
Young Marcius : v. 3(2). Whole no. 2. 

33 2 Appendix 

Aufidius: i. 2(30), 8(10), 10(32); iv. 5(56), 7(48); v. 2(1), 
3(9), 6(88). Whole no. 274. 

Herald: ii. 1(6). Whole no. 6. 

Lieutenant: i. 7(1); iv. 7(11). Whole no. 12. 

1st Citizen : i. I (72) ; ii. 3(13); iii. i (3); i v . 4(4), 6(7). Whole 
no. 96. 

2d Citizen: i. 1(11); ii. 3(17); iv. 6(2). Whole no. 30. 

3^ Citizen: ii. 3(57); iv. 6(5). Whole no. 62. 

^th Citizen: ii. 3(7). Whole no. 7. 

$th Citizen: ii. 3(2). Whole no. 2. 

6//& Citizen : ii. 3(2). Whole no. 2. 

7/# Citizen : ii. 3(3). Whole no. 3. 

1st Messenger : i. 1(2), 4(2), 6(9); ii. 1(9); iv. 6(11); v. 4(5). 
Whole no. 38. 

2d Messenger: iv. 6(6); v. 4(14). Whole no. 20. 

1st Senator: i. 1(7), 2(7), 4(8); ii. 2(13); iii. 1(17), 2(3), 
3(0; v. 5(6). Whole no. 62. 

2d Senator : i. 2(7); iii. 1(6). Whole no. 13. 

1st Soldier : i. 4(7), 10(4). Whole no. II. 

2d Soldier : i. 4(1). Whole no. I. 

1st Roman : i. 5(1); iv. 3(33). Whole no. 34. 

2d Roman: i. 5(1). Whole no. I. 

$d Roman: i. 5(2). Whole no. 2. 

1st Officer : ii. 2(17). Whole no. 17. 

2d Officer : ii. 2(24). Whole no. 24. 

^dile: iii. 1(1), 3(9); iv. 6(6). Whole no. 1 6. 

1st Patrician : iii. 1(1), 2(2). Whole no. 3. 

2d Patrician : iii. 1(1). Whole no. i. 

Volsce : iv. 3(24). Whole no. 24. 

1st Servingman : iv. 5(41). Whole no. 41. 

2.d Servingman : iv. 5(42). Whole no. 42. 

T^d Servingman : iv. 5(57). Whole no. 57. 

1st Sentinel : v. 2(35). Whole no. 35. 

2.d Sentinel : v. 2(14). Whole no. 14. 

Appendix 333 

1st Conspirator : v. 6(10). Whole no. IO. 

2d Conspirator : v. 6(9). Whole no. 9. 

$d Conspirator : v. 6(14). Whole no. 14. 

1st Lord: v. 6(15). Whole no. 15. 

zd Lord : v. 6(11). Whole no. n. 

3</ Lord: v. 6(4). Whole no. 4. 

Volumnia: i. 3(52); ii. 1(42); iii. 2(77); iv. 1(7), 2(34); v. 
3(103). Whole no. 315. 

rirgilio: i. 3(25); " 1(5); ". 1(1), 2(4); v. 3(6). Whole 
no. 41. 

Gentlewoman: i. 3(1). Whole no. i. 

Valeria: i. 3(46); ii. 1(2). Whole no. 48. 

"All": i. 1(8), 2(2), 4(2), 9(0; ii- 1 (0.3(6); i. '(9), 3(7); 
iv. 6(3); v. 5(2), 6(4). Whole no. 45. 

In the above enumeration, parts of lines are counted as whole 
lines, making the total in the play greater than it is. The actual 
number of lines in each scene (Globe edition numbering) is as 
follows : i. 1(283), 2(38), 3(I2 4 ), 4(63), 5(29), 6(87), 7(7), 8(15), 
9(94), 10(33); 1(286), 2(164), 3(271); iii. 1(336), 2(145), 
3(143); iv. 1(58), 2(54), 3(57), 4(26), 5(251), 6(161), 7(57); 
v. 1(74), 2(117), 3(209), 4(65). 5(7) 6 ( I 5 6 )- whole number in. 
the play, 3410. 


abated, 286 

Arabia, 289 

bestrid, 261 

abrain (= auburn), 264 

arrive (transitive), 267 

bestride my threshold, 

absolute, 271, 296 

article (= condition), 267 


abused (= deceived) , 270 

articulate, 244 

better (proleptic), 233 

accompanied with, 282 
achieved, 242, 251 

as (= as if) , 225, 236, 301 
as cause will be obeyed, 

bewray, 204, 212, 313 
bisson, 249, 273 

act the woman, 261 


bless from, 230 

addition (= title), 244 

as (omitted), 247, 267, 

blest to do, 259 

advanced (= raised) , 238, 

292, 311 

blown, 316 

as our good wills, 256 

boil (spelling), 233 

affect (= desire), 258, 282, 

aspect (accent), 311 

bolted, 277 


assembly (metre), 223 

bonneted, 258 

affection (= desire), 221, 

at a word, 232 

book (figurative), 308 


at end, 302 

botcher, 250 

Afric, 239 

at Grecian sword, con 

bound with oak, 229 

after (= afterwards), 259 

temning, 230 

bountiful (adverb), 265 

after-meeting, 258 

at mercy, 245 

bravery (= insolence) , 

after your way, 318 

at point, 275, 317 

192, 198 

against all noble suffer 
ance, 269 

at your vantage, 318 
atone, 300 

brawn, 295 
briefly (= lately), 236 

against (= in the way of), 

attach (= arrest), 274 

budge, 237 


attend, 240, 277 _ 

budger, 239 

age (= lifetime), 299 

attended (= waited for), 

buildings of my fancy, 253 

aged custom, 266 


bulks, 254 

ages, in our, 269 
agued fear, 234 
alarum, 260 
allaying, 248, 313 
all-hail, 314 

augurer, 247 
avoid (= depart) , 206 
avoid (= quit) , 292 
awake your lenity, 273 

bussing, 279 
butterflies, 300 
by (= concerning) , 200 
by particulars, 264 
by the poll, 283 

allow, 283 

bald (contemptuous) , 274 

allowance, 278 
almost (transposed), 229 
alms (singular), 282 

bale (= injury), 223 
barbed, 280 
bare petition, 306 

call our cares fears, 273 
cankered, 294 
cannot choose, 291 

Amazonian, 260 
ancient (= former), 256, 

bats (= staves), 218 
batten, 292 

capital '(= deadly), 313 

a86, 294 

battle (= army), 188, 237 

capitulate, 312 

an-hungry, 224 

bear the business, 239, 

caps and legs, 249 

answer (=meet in com 


carbonado, 297 

bat) , 229, 234 

bear the knave, 283 

catched, 251 

antique (accent), 266 
Antium, 317 

beard to beard, 245 
became of (= came of), 201 

Cato's, 234 
cats (personal), 289 

anvil, 295 

bedward, to, 236 

cause (= occasion), 239, 

apparance, 293 

bended, 257 


apron-men, 300 

beseech you, 230 

cautelous, 287 

apt (- docile), 278 

bestow of, 267 

cement (accent), 300 



Index of Words and Phrases 

censure (= judgment), 

227, 320 

censured (= judged), 247 
centuries, 239 
chafed, 283 

change of honours, 252 
charge (= cost), 318 
charges (= forces) , 291 
charter to extol her blood, 


chats him, 253 
cheeks o' the air, 314 
circumvention, 228 
city leads, 300 
city mills, 246 
clean (= quite), 276 
clip (= embrace) , 236 
clucked, 314 
clusters, 301 
cockle, 195, 271 
cog (= cheat), 282 
coign, 316 
commend, 296 
commodity, 184 
common (= commons), 


companions, 292, 309 
complexion, 254 
compounded, 319 
conclude (= decide), 273 
condition (= disposition) , 

265, 316 
condition (play upon) , 

confine into, 300 
confirmed, 231 
confound (= waste) , 236 
confusion (= ruin) , 272, 

275, 299 
conies, 297 
conscience sake, 264 
consent of, 264 
conspectuities, 249 
constant, 226, 310 
contentation, 189 
contrary (verb), 209, 215 
contrived (= plotted), 


convented, 259 
converses with, 248 
Corioli gates, 251 
Corioli walls, 239 
corrected, 312 
country (trisyllable), 241 
courage, 284 
coxcombs (play upon) , 301 

coyed, 306 
crack (=boy), 231 

each at other, 319 
either, 283 

crack (= break), 219, 311 

embarquements, 246 

crafted, 301 

embracements, 229 

cranks, 222 

empirictic, 250 

cry havoc, 276 

emulation (= envy), 225 

cry (= pack), 285, 302 

end all his, 318 

cunning (= wisdom), 287 

end (= spend), 263 

cupboarding, 220 

endure (= remain), 238 

curded, 312 

enemy (adjective), 292 

enforce, 267, 282 

daw, 293 

entertainment, in the, 291 

deadly (adverb), 248 
debile, 243 

envied against, 285 
envy (= hatred), 239, 293, 

deed-achieving honour, 



envy (= show ill-will), 

defer (= wait), 213 


deliver (=show), 311, 

errand (spelling), 300 


estimate, 285 

deliver (= speak), 219, 

even (= equably), 303 


exile (accent), 236, 312 

demand (= ask) , 283 

exposture, 288 

demerits (= merits), 228 

extreme (accent), 293, 

deserved (= deserving), 


designments, 317 
determine (=end), 283, 

fact (=deed), 191 
factionary, 309 


fail in, 313 

Deucalion, 250 

fall out, 190 

differency, 316 

falsely, 270 

directitude, 297 

fatigate, 262 

directly, 297 

faults he made, 318 

disbenched, 260 

favour (= face) , 290 

discommodities, 180 

fear (= fear for), 238, 3f 

disease (= trouble), 232 
disgest, 222 

fear (reflexive), 300 
feebling, 224 

disgrace, 219 

fidiused, 250 

dishonoured, 270 

fielded, 232 

disliking, 197 

fillip, 3" 

dislodged, 214 
disposition (metre), 238 

fine strains, 314 
fire (dissyllable), 224 

dispropertied, 256 

fires of heaven, 234 

dissentious, 223 

first, 288 

distinctly ranges, 275 

flamens, 254 

divine (accent), 294 

flaw (=gust), 313 

dog (metaphor), 218 
doit, 235, 292, 317 

flour, 222 
fob off, 219 

dotant, 309 
doublet, 235 

fold in, 284, 320 
fond (= foolish), 287 

doubt (= dread) , 274 

for an end, 256 

doubt (= suspect) , 193 
drachma, 235 

for (= as for), 219 
for (= because), 204, 269, 

dragon-like, 302 
drink together, 315 
drops of salt, 319 

for (= with regard to), 

dumb, 256 

for that, 221, 243 

Index of Words and Phrases 337 

for your particular, 303 

has (= he has), 230 

inherited (.obtained), 

force ( urge), 278 

have them into, 258 


fore me, 221, 291 

have with you, 257 

injurious, 284 

forsworn to grant, 312 

haver, 260 

innovator, 274 

forth (= away), 288 

having, 309 

in our ages, 269 

forth (= out of) , 233 

he (= nim), 226 

instance (= urgency), 193 

Cosset-seller, 249 

heart of hope, 237 

instant, 307 

foxship, 289 

heart (= sense), 267 

instinct (accent), 311 

fragments (personal), 225 
free contempt, 267 

held (= garrisoned). 246 
helms (= steersmen) , 219 

integrity, 274 
interjoin their issues, 292 

from the canon, 271 

here (with gesture), 279 

intreat (= treat), 182 

front (= confront) , 309 

high'st, 319 

is come, 299 

full of vent, 297 

him (= he whom), 317 

is well appeared, 290 

furniture, 189 

Hob and Dick, 266 

it is (contemptuous), 293 

holp, 276, 312 

Galen, 250 
gan, 262 
garb, 303 

holy churchyard, 283 
home (adverb), 287 
honest (= honourable), 

Jack guardant, 310 
ove's own book, 276 
idicious, 320 

garland, 244, 250 
garlic-eaters, 301 


honesty (= honour), 214 
hoo 1 250, 286 

jump (= risk), 274 
Juno- like, 290, 3x1 

generosity, 225 

horn 271 290 

gentry, 273 
giddy censure, 227 
gird (= gibe), 227 
give him good report, 218 

hospitable canon, 246 
hours (= time), 235 
housekeepers, 230 
hum 707 ^16 

kam, 276 
keep (= stay at), 192, 207 
kingly-crowned, 221 
knee (verb), 306 

give me way, 292, 317 
give (= represent), 243 

iiuiu, yJ/j j 11 ' 

humane (accent), 277 
humorous, 247 

la, 231 

giver, 250 
glasses of my sight, 281 
go about (= endeavour), 

hungry (beach), 312 
husbandry, 302 
huswife, 231 

lacked (= missed), 287 
laid at (= attacked), 186 
larum, 232 


go sound, 236 

Hydra, 271 

lean as a rake, 218 
learn'd, 272 

godded, 311 

I am in this, 270 

leash, 237 

god-den, 250, 299 
good and good store, 242 
good cheap, 194 
good (mercantile), 217 
grace (= do honour), 311 

ignorant to see t, 267 
imbasing, 184 
impediment, your, 219 
impostume, 194 
in (= about) , 258 

leasing, 309 
less fearful than discreet, 
lessoned, 267 
let go, 278 

grained, 294 
gratify (= requite) , 259 
greater part, the, 265 
greater poll, the, 273 
great'st, 272 
grief-shot, 307 

in an equal force, 245 
in blood, 223, 297 
in (=by), 275 
in (duplicated), 247 
in either side, 314 
in her hand, 267 

let slip, 237 
lie (= lodge), 244, 291 
lies heavy to 't, 290 
lies you on, 278 
lieve, 296 
lift (= lifted), 214 

groats, 277 
guardant, 310 

in hopeless restitution, 

like (= likely}, 270 
liked him nothing, 184 

guess (= think), 217 
gulf (= whirlpool), 220 

in (= into), 228, 269, 272 
in the character, 310 

liking well of, 197 
limitation, 266 

incorporate, 222 

loaden, 315 

had carried, 318 

inform the truth, 237 

lock ram, 253 

had rather, 230 

information (concrete), 

long of you, 316 

hale(=haul), 316 


longs (= belongs), 315 

handkcrchers, 257 
tang by the wall, 229 
hardly, 310 

mgrate, 310 
ingrateful, 258, 264 
inheritance, 279 

look thee, 310 
lots to blanks, 308 
lover, 308 


3J 8 Index of Words and Phrases 

lurched all swords of the 

muse (= wonder), 277 

opposite (= opponent). 

garland, 261 

mutine, 200 


mutiners, 227 

ordinance, 277 

made a head, 260, 269 

my gracious silence, 251 

osprey, 302 

made doubt, 228, 316 

other (= otherwise) , 300 

made fair hands, 301 

napless, 256 

ought (=owed), 216 

made faults, 318 

naught, 275 

our (subjective) , 273 

made for, 316 
maims of shame, 294 

naughty, 195 
needer, 288 

out (= at a loss), 311 
out (= out from), 309 

make good, 235 

needless, 266 

out (= thoroughly), 295 

make road, 269 

nerves (= sinews), 222 

overta'en my act, 241 

make the sun dance, 316 

nervy, 251 

overture, 243 

malice (verb), 189, 203 

nicely-gawded, 255 

owe (= expose to) , 320 

malkin, 253 

noble (= nobles) , 269 

owe (= own), 282, 310 

mammocked, 231 

nose (verb), 306 

man child, 230 

not (= not only), 279, 284 

pain (= pains), 181 

man-entered, 261 
mankind, 289 

not (transposed) , 238 
nothing (adverb), 232 

painful (= toilsome), 204 
painting (of blood), 238, 

many (noun), 270 

notion (= mind), 319 


Mars, 295 

nought, 313 

palate (verb), 272 

match (= bargain), 265 

now (=but now), 244 

paltering, 270 

mean (of price), 201 

parcels (= parts), 229, 

measles, 271 

O, me alone ! 238 


memory (= memorial), 

o' my troth, 230 

part (metaphor), 281 

293, 36, 320 

oaken garland, 250 

parted (= departed), 318 

merely, 277 

object (= sight), 217 

participate, 220 

microcosm, 248 

occupation, 300 

particular (noun), 306 

mind gave me, my, 296 
minded (= reminded), 306 

odds against arithmetic, 

particular (= private) , 294 
particularize, 217 

minnows, 271 

o erbear, 276, 295, 300 

part (= side) , 245 

misery, 263 
misliked, 214 

of (= by), 258, 282, 302 
of (= concerning), 227, 

party (=part), 309 
pass (= pass by), 263 

modesty (= moderation), 


pass (= surpass), 185 


of (=from), 317 

passed for, 195 

moe, 266, 289 

of noble touch, 288 

passingly, 189 

monstered, 260 

of their infirmity, 271 

patch (=poke), 246 

moon (= Diana) , 227 

of (with agent), 228 

pawned, 317 

moon of Rome, 312 
more, more fearful, 299 

offered (= attempted) , 306 
office me from, 310 

Penelope, 231 
pent to linger, 284 

more proudlier, 302 

official marks, 266 

perfecter, 250 

more worthier, 273 

on head (= ahead) , 196 

pestering, 299 

mortal (adverb), 315 

on 's (= on his) , 250, 252, 

petitionary, 310 

mortal gate, 262 
moth (pronunciation) , 231 

on (=of) 217, 228, 231, 

physical, 234 
pick (= pitch), 224 

motion (= motive), 248 

282, 296 

piercing, 219 

motive, 873 
mountebank (verb), 282 

on safeguard, 269 
once (= once for all), 264 

pikes (play upon), 217 
pitying, 237 

movers, 235 

once (= once when), 264 

planet, like a, 262 

mulberry, 280 

one time will owe another, 

plebeians (accent), 241, 

mulled, 298 



multitudinous tongue, 274 

only (transposed), 226 

plebeii, 267 

mummers, 249 

ope, 234 

plot (figurative), 281 

muniments, 221 

opinion (= public opin 

pluck, 229, 267 

murrain, 235 
murthering impossibility, 

ion), 227 
opinion (= self-conceit), 

points, 301 
poison (= destroy), 310 



polled, 297 

Index of Words and Phrases 339 

portance, 269 

rapture (= fit), 253 

set up the bloody flag, 

ports (=* gates), 239, 317 

rascal, 223 


possessed of, 250 
post (= messenger), 318 
potch, 946 

rather had, 298 
ray (= array), 187 
reason (= reason for), 315 

shall s, 302 
shame (= be ashamed), 

pother, 255 

reason (= talk), 299 

shent, 3x0 

pound us up, 233 

reason (= there is rea 

hop (= workshop) , 222 

pow, waw! 251 

son), 298 

should (= would). 264 

power (= army), 228, 295, 
practice (= artifice) , 287 
practised (= plotted), 190 

receipt, 221 
receive to heart, 290 
reckless (spelling) , 271 
record (accent), 299 

show (= appear), 283, 

93. 3 01 . 3" 
shrug, 240 
shunless, 262 

prank them, 269 

rectorship, 267 

side (= party), 3 oa 

precipitation, 277 

red pestilence, 287 

side (verb), 224 

preparation (= army), 228 

reechy, 254 

silence (concrete) , 251 

present (= immediate), 

reek, 285 

single (play upon), 247 

presently (= at once), 283, 
2 97t 3*9 

rejourn, 249 
remain (noun), 235 
remains (= it remains) , 

singly, 260 
singularity, 228 
sit in gold, 307 

press (= impress), 228 


sithence, 195, 270 

prest (= press), 192 

remove (noun), 229 

sits down, 302 

pretext (accent), 317 
prevent (= anticipate), 

repeal, 288, 302, 317 
repetition, 218 

slight (= worthless), 310 
slightness (= weakness). 

pricked forward, 205 
pricked out, 191 

require (= ask), 264 
required, 215 
resolution, 195 

2 73 
small (voice) , 281 
so as (= so that), 200 

progeny (= race), 240 
proof (of armour) , 233 

retire (noun), 236 
retire (reflexive), 230 

so never-needed, 306 
soldier (trisyllable),, 221, 

proper (= own) , 244 

rheum (= tears), 318 


properly, 310 

ridges horsed, etc., 354 

solemness, 232 

provand, 256 
prove (= put to proof) 

ripe aptness, 291 
roar him in, 301 

some certain, 265 
sometime, 244, 273, 287 


Rome gates, 285 

soothed (= flattered), 260 

proverbs, 224 

rated, 278 

soothing (= flattery), 243, 

pupil age, 261 

rotten fens, 285 


purchasing, 251 

rub (= obstacle), 270 

south (wind), 233 

purgation, 216 

ruth (= pity), 224 

sowl, 297 

put him to choler, 283 

speak him home, 261 

put upon, 257 

sanctifies himself, 297 

speed ( = result), 307 

put you to 't, 226 

save you ! 291 

spices ( = touches) , 303 

put you to your fortune, 

scabs (play upon), 223 

spire and top of praises, 

puts well forth, 227 

scaling (= weighing) , 268 
scandaled, 270 


spint (monosyllable), 251 

putting him to rage, 267 
putting on, 269 

sconce, 280 
scotched, 297 

spited, 193 
spot ( = pattern) , 230 

'sdeath, 225 

stale (verb), 219 

quaked, 240 
quarrel to, 295 

seasoned, 284 
seat o' the brain, 229 

stamped the leasing, 300 
standing your friendly 

quarry, 224 

seld-shown, 254 

lord, 267 

quartered, 224 

sennet, 250 

stand for, 299 

queen of heaven, 311 

sensible (= sensitive), 232 

stand (= stop) , 320 

quired, 281 
quit of, 294 

sensibly, 234 
servanted to, 310 

stand to, 200, 315 
stand upon ( = concern), 

set on, 270 

197, 209 

racked, 306 

set out feet, 193 

stand upon my common 

rang it out, 196 

set up his rest, 181 

part, 249 

340 Index of Words and Phrases 

stand with, 265 

thereupon, 200 

unstable, 273 

stands (noun), 236 
stand'st out ? 226 

think (absolute), 237 
think me for, 293 

upon my brother's guard, 

state (= chair), 316 

think upon, 267 

upon their ancient malice, 

stay upon, 316 

thorough (= through), 


sterve (= starve) , 265 

208, 314 

upon your approbation. 

sticks on, 227 

thou t, 240 


stiff, 226 

thread the gates, 273 

still (=ever), 256, 263, 

throne (intransitive), 316 

vail your ignorance, 272 

stitchery, 231 

thus (with gesture), 279 
time (= occasion), 257 

valiant ignorance, 301 
vaward, 187, 237 

stomached (= resented), 

't is right (= 't is true), 

vengeance (adverb) , 258 



vent (= get rid of) , 225 

stout (= proud), 280 

to (= according to), 234 

vent (noun), 225, 297 

stoutness, 282, 317 

to all our lamentation, 

verified, 309 

straight (= strait), 208 


vexation, 286 

strong (play upon), 218 
struck him on his knee, 

to (= compared to) , 250 
to (= for), 315 

viand, 220 
vild, 224 


to hopeless restitution, 

virginal, 309 

strucken, 296 


virgined it, 312 

struck not, 264 
suaged, 199 
subtle, 309 

to 's power, 256 
to (omitted), 293, 313 
to the pot, 234 

virtue (= valour), 218 
voice of occupation, 300 
voice (verb), 268 

such . . . which, 282, 314 

toge, 265 

voices (= votes) , 263 

suffer stain by him, 246 

told (= foretold), 225 

voided (= avoided) , 293 

sufferance, 217 
suggest (= prompt) , 256 

too (= after all) , 289 
took (=left its mark), 

vouches (noun), 266 

supreme (accent), 312 


waged me with his counte 

surcease, 282 

top (= acme) , 241 

nance, 318 

surety (verb), 274 

touched (= tested), 267 

war of white and damask, 

sway, 253 

traducement, 241 

2 S4 

swifter composition, 269 

travails, 181 

warm at 's heart, 266 

sworn brother, 265 

treaty, 259 

war's garland, 231, 244 

synod, 310 

tribe, 289 

wars (= war), 315 

trick (= trifle), 292 

watch, 307 

tag (= tag-rag), 276 

trim belonging, 244 

waved (= would waver), 

take in, 229, 279 

Triton, 271 


take my cap, 250 

troth (= truth), 290 

we (= us), 313 

take the one by the other, 

true purchasing, 251 

weal, 267 

272, 292 

trumpet (= trumpeter), 

wealsmen, 248 

take up (=cope with), 


weeds (= garments) , 266, 


tuition, 191 


taking (= fit of anger) , 

turn you to, 276 

well-found, 259 


what (= why), 277 

tame, 298 

unbarbed, 280 

when extremities speak, 

teach the people, 257 

unchilded, 320 


tell (= count) , 201 

undercrest, 244 

where (= whereas) , 220, 

tell not me, 299 

under fiends, 294 


temperance, 283 

unfortunate, 313 

where-against, 295 

temperancy, 181 

ungravely, 268 

whereupon, 199 

tent (= encamp), 281 

unhearts, 307 

which (= who), 224, 306 

tent (= probe) , 242, 275 
tetter (verb) , 271 
that 's off, 260 
the same (= that), 278 

unproperly, 312 
unscanned, 277 
unseparable, 292 
unsevered, 278 

whiles, 236 
who (= which), 227, 281 
who (= whom) , 247 
wholesome (= rational), 

thee (= thou) , 310 

unshout, 317 


Index of Words and Phrases 341 

whom (= who) , 288 
whooped. 293 
will you be gone ? 288 
win upon. 225 
wind-shaken, 311 
with (= by), 282, 290 
with us, 283 
without all reason, 273 
without assistance, 299 
wives (= women), 291 

wolvish toge, 265 
woollen, 277 
word (= watchword) , 282 
worn (= worn out), 269 
worship (= dignity), 273 
worth (= auota), 283 
worthy (= justifiable), 275 
wot, 287, 296 
wreak (noun), 294 
wrecked (= wreaked), 205 

wrench up, 239 
writ, 310 

yea and no, 273 
yield what passes, 259 
you may, you may, 264 
youngly, 268 
young'st. 209 
your (colloquial), 222 
you 'st, 321 

Shakespeare, William 
2805 Tragedy of Coriolanus