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Antium. Before AUFIDIUS's House.
Enter Coriolanus, in mean Apparel, disguised and
muffled. Cor. A goodly city is this Antium : City, 'Tis I that made thy widows; many an heir Of these fair edifices 'fore my wars Have I heard groan, and drop: then know me not; Lest that thy wives with spits, and boys with stones,
Enter a Citizen.
Crt. And you.
Direct me, if it be your will,
Crt. He is, and feasts the nobles of the state, At his house this night. Cor.
Which is his house, 'beseech you? Cit. This, here, before you. Cor.
Thank you, sir; farewell.
[Erit Citizen. O, world, thy slippery turns 4 ! Friends now fast
sworn, Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart, Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise, Are still together, who twin, as 'twere, in love
4 O, world, thy slippery turns ! &c.] This fine picture of common friendship, is an artful introduction to the sudden league which the poet made him enter into with Aufidius, and no less artful an apology for his commencing enemy to Rome.
WARBURTON. 5 Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart,
Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise,
Are still together, who Twin, as 'twere, in love-] Our author has again used this verb in Othello :
Unseparable, shall within this hour,
sleep To take the one the other, by some chance, Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear
“ And he that is approv'd in this offence,
Though he had twinn'd with me,—" &c. Part of this description naturally reminds us of the following lines in A Midsummer Night's Dream:
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
HATE I.] The old copy instead of hate, reads-have. The emendation was made by Mr. Steevens.
“ I'll enter,” means, I'll enter the house of Aufidius. MALONE.
Instead of this easy emendation Mr. Rowe thus altered this line:
“My birth-place have I, and my lovers left." BOSWELL. 7 This enemy town.-I'll enter:] Here, as in other places, our author is indebted to Sir Thomas North's Plutarch :
" For he disguised him selfe in suche arraye and attire, as he thought no man could euer haue knowen him for the persone was, seeing him in that apparell he had vpon his backe: and as Homer sayed of Vlysses :
“ So dyd he enter into the enemies tovune.” Perhaps, therefore, instead of enemy, we should read-enemy's or enemies' town. STEEVENS. VOL. XIV.
The Same. A Hall in AUFIDIUS's House.
Musick within. Enter a Servant. 1 Serv. Wine, wine, wine ! What service is here! I think our fellows are asleep. [Exit.
Enter another Servant. 2 SERV. Where's Cotus ? my master calls for him. Cotus !
[Exit. Enter CORIOLANUS. Cor. A goodly house : The feast smells well :
but I Appear not like a guest.
Re-enter the first Servant. 1 SERV. What would you have, friend? Whence are you ? Here's no place for you : Pray, go to the door.
Cor. I have deserv'd no better entertainment, In being Coriolanus 8.
Re-enter second Servant. 2 Serv. Whence are you, sir ? Has the porter his eyes in his head, that he gives entrance to such companions o ? Pray, get you out.
8 In being CORIOLANUS.] i. e. in having derived that surname from the sack of Corioli. STEEVENS.
that he gives entrance to such coMPANIONS ?] Companion was formerly used in the same sense as we now use the word fellow. Malone.
Th same term is employed in All's Well That Ends Well, King Henry VI. Part II. Cymbeline, Othello, &c. STEEVENS.
See also, Lord Clarendon's History, vol. i. p. 378:
2 Serv. Are you so brave ? I'll have you talked with anon.
Enter a third Servant. The first meets him. 3 SERV. What fellow's this?
1 SERV. A strange one as ever I looked on : I cannot get him out o’the house : Pr’ythee, call my master to him.
3 SERV. What have you to do here, fellow ? Pray you, avoid the house. Cor. Let me but stand ; I will not hurt your
hearth 1. 3 SERV. What are you? Cor. A gentleman. 3 SERT. A marvellous poor one. Cor. True, so I am.
3 SERv. Pray you, poor gentleman, take up some other station; here's no place for you; pray you, avoid : come.
means that body in great part now consisted of upstart, factious, indigent companions, who were ready,” &c. The same term is still or was so lately in use as to be employed by Mr. Foote in 1763, in The Mayor of Garrett. Reed.
| Let me but stand; I will not hurt your HEARTH.] Here our author has both followed and deserted his original, the old translation of Plutarch. The silence of the servants of Aufidius, did not suit the purposes of the dramatist:
Sọ he went directly to Tullus Aufidius house, and when he came thither, he got him vp straight to the chimney harthe, and sat him downe, and spake not a worde to any man, his face all muffied ouer. They of the house spying him, wondered what he should be, and yet they durst not byd him rise. For ill fauoredly muffled and disguised as he was, yet there appeared a certaine maiestie in his countenance, and in his silence : whereupon they went to Tullus who was at supper, to tell him of the straunge disguising of this man." STEEVENS.
Cor. Follow your function, go! And batten on cold bits. [Pushes him away.
3 Serv. What, will you not ? Pr’ythee, tell my master what a strange guest he has here. 2 SERV. And I shall.
[Erit. 3 SERV. Where dwellest thou ? Cor. Under the canopy. 3 Serv. Under the canopy ? Cor. Ay. 3 SERV. Where's that? Cor. I'the city of kites and crows.
3 Serv. l’ the city of kites and crows ?-What an ass it is !—Then thou dwellest with daws too ?
Cor. No, I serve not thy master.
3 Serv. How, sir! Do you meddle with my master ?
Cor. Ay; 'tis an honester service than to meddle with thy mistress : Thou prat'st, and prat'st; serve with thy trencher, hence !
[Beats him away.
Enter Aufidius and the second Servant. AUF. Where is this fellow ?
2 SERV. Here, sir; I'd have beaten him like a dog, but for disturbing the lords within. AUF. Whence comest thou? what wouldest thou?
Thy name? Why speak’st not ? Speak, man: What's thy name? Cor.
If, Tullus, [Unmuffling.
2 If Tullus, &c.] These speeches are taken from the following in Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch :
“ Tullus rose presently from the borde, and comming towards him, asked him what he was, and wherefore he came. Then Martius vnmuffled him selfe, and after he had paused a while, making no aunswer, he sayed vnto him :
“ If thou knowest me not yet, Tullus, and seeing me, dost not perhappes beleeue me to be the man I am in dede, I must of