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Then reafon fafely with you.-Therefore, be it known,
As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius
The addition nobly ever!
Flourish. Trumpets found, and drums.
ALL. Caius Marcius Coriolanus!
COR. I will go wash;
And when my face is fair, you fhall perceive
To the fairness of my power.
For what he did &c.] So, in the old tranflation of Plutarch: After this fhowte and noyfe of the affembly was fomewhat appealed, the conful Cominius beganne to fpeake in this forte. We cannot compell Martius to take these giftes we offer him, if he will not receaue them: but we will geue him fuche a rewarde for the noble feruice he hath done, as he cannot refuse. Therefore we doe order and decree, that henceforth he be called Coriolanus, onles his valiant acts haue wonne him that name before our nomination. STEEVENS.
The folio-Marcus Caius Coriolanus. STEEVENS.
6 To undercreft your good addition,
To the fairness of my power. A phrafe from heraldry, fignifying, that he would endeavour to fupport his good opinion of him. WARBURTON.
I understand the meaning to be, to illuftrate this honourable diftin&tion you have conferred on me by fresh defervings to the extent of my power. To undercreft, I should guess, fignifies properly, to wear beneath the creft as a part of a coat of arms. The name or title now given feems to be confidered as the creft; the VOL. XVII. S
So, to our tent:
Were, ere we do repofe us, we will write
The best, with whom we may articulate, 9
For their own good, and ours.
I fhall, my lord. COR. The gods begin to mock me. I that now Refus'd moft princely gifts, am bound to beg Of my lord general.
Take it 'tis yours.-What is't?
COR. I fometime lay, here in Corioli,
But then Aufidius was within my view,
promised future achievements as the future additions to that coat.
When two engage on equal terms, we fay it is fair; fairness may therefore be equality; in proportion equal to my power. JOHNSON. "To the fairness of my power"— is, as fairly as I can.
The beft,] The chief men of Corioli. JOHNSON.
with whom we may articulate,] i. e. enter into articles. This word occurs again in Henry IV. A& V. fc. i:
"Indeed these things you have articulated."
i. e. fet down article by article. So, in Hollinfhed's Chronicles of Ireland, p. 163: "The earl of Defmond's treafons articulated." STEEVENS.
• At a poor man's houfe;] So in the old translation of Plutarch: "Only this grace (said he) I craue, and beseeche you to grant me. Among the Volces there is an old friende and hofte of mine, an honeft wealthie man, and now a prisoner, who liuing before in great wealth in his owne countrie, liueth now a poore prisoner in the handes of his enemies: and yet notwithstanding all this his miferie and misfortune, it would doe me great pleasure if I could faue him from this one daunger: to keepe him from being folde as a flaue." STEEVENS.
O, well begg'd!
I am weary; yea, my memory is tir'd.-
By Jupiter, forgot:
Go we to our tent:
The blood upon your visage dries: 'tis time
The Camp of the Volces.
A flourish. Cornets. Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS bloody, with two or three foldiers.
AUF. The town is ta'en!
1. SOL. 'Twill be deliver'd back on good condition.
I would, I were a Roman; for I cannot,
Being a Volce, &c.] It may be juft obferved, that Shakspeare calls the Volci, Volces, which the modern editors have changed to the modern termination [Volcian.] I mention it here, because here the change has fpoiled the measure:
Being a Volce, be that I am.---- Condition! JOHNSON.
What good condition can a treaty find
l' the part that is at mercy? Five times, Marcius, I have fought with thee; fo often haft thou beat
And would'st do fo, I think fhould we encounter As often as we eat. By the elements,
If e'er again I meet him beard to beard,4
He is mine, or I am his: Mine emulation
(True fword to fword,) I'll potch at him fome way; 6
Or wrath, or craft, may get him.
He's the devil.
AUF. Bolder, though not so fubtle: My valour's poifon'd,'
The Volci are called Volces in Sir Thomas North's Plutarch, and fo I have printed the word throughout this tragedy.
meet him beard to beard,] So, in Macbeth:
for where] Where is ufed here, as in many other places,
I'll potch at him fome way; Mr. Heath reads-poach; but potch, to which the objection is made as no English word, is used in the midland counties for a rough, violent push. STEEVENS.
Cole in his DICTIONARY, 1679, renders "to poche," fundum explorare. The modern word poke is only a hard pronunciation of this word. So to eke was formerly written to ech.
In Carew's Survey of Cornwall, the word potch is used in almost the fame fenfe, p. 31: They use allo to poche them (fish) with an inftrument fomewhat like a falmon-speare." TOLLET.
7 My valour's poifon'd, &c.] The conftruction of this paffage would be clearer, if it were written thus:
With only fuffering ftain by him; for him
fierce hand in his heart.
Go you to the
The amendment propofed by Tyrwhitt would make the conftruction clear; but I think the paffage will run better thus, and with as little deviation from the text :
my valour's poison'd;
Which only fuffering ftain by him, for him
"Shall fly out of itself. M. MASON.
Shall fly out of itfelf:] To mifchief him, my valour should deviate from its own native generofity. JOHNSON.
Embarquements all of fury, &c.] The word, in the old copy, is fpelt embarquements, and, as Cotgrave says, meant not only an embarkation, but an embargoing. The rotten privilege and custom that follow, feem to favour this explanation, and therefore the old reading may well enough ftand, as an embargo is undoubtedly an impediment. STEEVENS.
In Sherwood's English and French Dictionary at the end of Cotgrave's, we find :
"To imbark, to imbargue. Embarquer.
"An imbarking, au imbarguing. Embarquement."
Cole in his Latin Didionary, 1679, has " to imbargue, or lay an imbargo upon." There can be no doubt therefore that the old copy is right. If we derive the word from the Spanish, embargar, perhaps we ought to write embargement: but Shakspeare's word certainly came to us from the French, and therefore is more properly written embarquements, or embarkments. MALONE.
At home, upon my brother's guard, ] In my own houfe, with my brother pofted to proted him. JOHNSON.
So, in Othello:
and on the court of guard,-." STEEVENS.