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Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes. For infurrection's arguing."


This is ftrange.

MAR. Go, get you home, you fragments!

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MES. The news is, fir, the Volces are in arms. MAR. I am glad on't; then we fhall have means

to vent

Our mufly fuperfluity:-See, our beft elders.



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

The Volces are in arms."

They have a leader,
Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to't.

I fin in envying his nobility:

And were 1 any thing but what I am,

I would wifh me only he.


You have fought together.

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

and he

6 For infurrection's arguing.] For infurgents to debate upon.


'tis true, that you have lately told us;


The Volces are in arms.] Coriolanus had been juft told himself that the Volces were in arms. The meaning is, The intelligence which you gave us fome little time ago of the defigns of the Voices is now verified; they are in arms. JOHNSON.

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

Then, worthy Marcius,

1. SEN. Attend upon Cominius to these wars. COм. It is your former promife.


Sir, it is;

And I am conftant.9-Titus Lartius, thou
Shalt fee me once more ftrike at Tullus' face:
What, art thou ftiff? fland'ft out?


No, Caius Marcius; I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other, Ere stay behind this business.


O, true bred!

1. SEN. Your company to the Capitol; where, I


Our greatest friends attend us.


Lead you on:

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


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Noble Lartius! 3

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

[To the Citizens. MAR. Nay, let them follow: The Volces have much corn; take these rats thither,

9 conflant.] i. e. immoveable in my refolution. So, in Julius Cæfar:


"But I am conflant as the northern ftar." STEEVENS.

Right worthy you priority. You being right worthy of prece



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

3 Noble Lartius!] Old copy-Martius. Corrected by Mr. Theobald. I am not fure that the emendation is necessary. Perhaps Lartius in the latter part of the preceding Speech addreffes Marcius.


To gnaw their garners :-Worfhipful mutineers,
Your valour puts well forth: pray, follow.
[Exeunt Senators, Coм. MAR. TIT. and MENEN.
Citizens fteal away.

Sic. Was ever man fo proud as is this Marcius?
BRU. He has no equal.

SIC. When we were chofen tribunes for the


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



Nay, but his taunts. BRU. Being mov'd, he will not spare to gird3 the


SIC. Be-mock the modeft moon.

BRU. The prefent wars devour him: he is grown Too proud to be fo valiant. 4.

Your valour puts well forth:] That is, You have in this mutiny fhown fair bloffoms of valour. JOHNSON.

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To-day he puts forth

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


3 --to gird. To fneer, to gibe. So Falftaff uses the noun, when he fays, every man has a gird at me. JOHNSON. Again, in The Taming of a Shrew:

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



To gird, as an anonymous correfpondent observes to me, fome parts of England means to push vehemently. So, when a ram pushes at any thing with his head, they fay he girds at it." To gird likewife fignified, to pluck or twinge. Hence probably it was metaphorically used in the fenfe of to taunt, or annoy by a Stroke of farcalm. Cotgrave makes gird, nip, and twinge, fynonymous. MALONE.

4 The prefent wars devour him: he is grown

Too proud to be fo valiant.] Mr. Theobald fays, This is obfcurely expreffed, but that the poet's meaning muft certainly be, that Marcius is fo confcious of, and fo elate upon the notion of his own valour, that


Such a nature,

Tickled with good fuccefs, difdains the fhadow
Which he treads on at noon: But I do wonder,
His infolence can brook to be commanded

Under Cominius.


Fame,at the which he aims,In whom already he is well grac'd,-cannot Better be held, nor more attain'd, than by A place below the firft: for what miscarries Shall be the general's fault, though he perform To the utmoft of a man; and giddy cenfure

he is eaten up with pride, &c. According to this critick then, we muft conclude, that when Shakspeare had a mind to fay A man was eaten up with pride, he was so great a blunderer in expreffion, as to fay, He was eaten up with war. But our poet wrote at another rate, and the blunder is his critick's. The prefent wars devour him, is an imprecation, and should be fo pointed. As much as to fay, May he fall in thofe wars! The reafon of the curfe is fubjoined, for (fays the fpeaker) having fo much pride with so much valour, his life, with increase of honours, is dangerous to the republick. WARBURTON.

I am by no means convinced that Dr. Warburton's pun&uation, or explanation, is right. The fenfe may be, that the prefent wars annihilate his gentler qualities. To eat up, and confequently to devour, has this meaning. So, in the fecond part of King Henry IV. A& IV. fc. iv:

But thou [the crown] moft fine, moft honour'd, moft renown'd,

"Haft eat thy bearer up."

To be eat up with pride, is ftill a phrase in common and vulgar afe.

He is grown too proud to be fo valiant, may fignify, his pride is fuch as not to deferve the accompany ment of fo much valour.


I concur with Mr. Steevens. "The prefent wars," Shakspeare uses to express the pride of Coriolanus grounded on his military prowess; which kind of pride Brutus fays devours him. Troilus and Creffida, A& II. fc. iii:

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So, in

He that's proud, cats up himself.” Perhaps the meaning of the latter member of the fentence is, "he is grown too proud of being fo valiant, to be endured."




Will then cry out of Marcius, O, if he
Had borne the business!


Befides, if things go well,

Opinion, that fo flicks on Marcius, fhall
Of his demerits rob Cominius.




Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius,

Though Marcius earn'd them not; and all his


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


Let's hence, and hear


How the despatch is made; and in what fafhion,
More than his fingularity, he goes
Upon this prefent action.

Let's along.


5 Of his demerits rob Cominius. ] Merits and demerits had anciently the fame meaning: So, in Othello:

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and my demerits

"May fpeak," &c.

Again, in Stowe's Chronicle, cardinal Wolfey fays to his fervants, I have not promoted, preferred, and advanced you all according to your demerits." Again, in P. Holland's translation of Pliny's Epifle to T. Vefpafian, 1600: " his demerit had been the greater to have continued his ftory." STEEVENS.

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


More than his fingularity, &c.] We will learn what he is to do, befides going himself; what are his powers, and what is his appointment. JOHNSON.

Perhaps, the word fingularity implies a farcafm on Coriolanus, and the speaker means to say-after what fashion, beside that in which his own fingularity of difpofition invefts him, he goes into the field. So, in Twelfth-night: "Put thyself into the trick of finguarity," STEEVENS.

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