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What good condition can a treaty find
I' the part that is at mercy? Five times, Marcius,
And would'st do so, I think, should we encounter As often as we eat.-By the elements,
If e'er again I meet him beard to beard,
He is mine, or I am his: Mine emulation Hath not that honour in't, it had; for where 9 I thought to crush him in an equal force, (True sword to sword,) I'll potch at him some way1;
Or wrath, or craft, may get him.
He's the devil. AUF. Bolder, though not so subtle: My valour's poison'd2,
changed to the modern termination [Volcian]. I mention it here, because here the change has spoiled the measure:
Being a Volce, be that I am.-Condition!
JOHNSON. The Volci are called Volces in Sir Thomas North's Plutarch, and so I have printed the word throughout this tragedy.
meet him BEARD TO BEARD,] So, in Macbeth :
9 for WHERE ] Where is used here, as in places, for whereas. MALONE.
I'll POTCH at him some 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.
"With only suffering stain by him, for him
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. MALONE.
In Carew's Survey of Cornwall, the word potch is used in almost the same sense, p. 31 : They use also to poche them (fish) with an instrument somewhat like a salmon-speare." TOLLET.
My valour's poison'd, &c.] The construction of this passage would be clearer, if it were written thus :
my valour poison'd
With only suffering stain by him; for him
Wash my fierce hand in his heart. Go you to the city;
Learn, how 'tis held; and what they are, that must Be hostages for Rome.
The amendment proposed by Tyrwhitt would make the construction clear; but I think the passage will run better thus, and with as little deviation from the text :
my valour's poison'd;
"Which only suffering stain by him, for him
"Shall fly out of itself." M. MASON.
Shall fly out of itself:] To mischief him, my valour should deviate from its own native generosity. JOHNSON.
4 nor sleep, nor sanctuary, &c.
EMBARQUEMENTS all of fury, &c.] The word, in the old copy, is spelt embarquements, and, as Cotgrave says, meant not only an embarkation, but an embargoing. The rotten privilege and custom that follow, seem to favour this explanation, and therefore the old reading may well enough stand, as an embargo is undoubtedly an impediment. STEEVENS.
In Sherwood's English and French Dictionary at the end of Cotgrave's, we find—
"To imbark, to imbargue. Embarquer.
"An imbarking, an imbarguing. Embarquement." Cole, in his Latin Dictionary, 1679, has "to imbargue, or lay an imbargo upon." There can be no doubt therefore that the old copy is right.-If we derive the word from the Spanish, embargar, perhaps we ought to write embargement; but Shakspeare's word certainly came to us from the French, and therefore is more properly written embarquements, or embarkments. MALONE.
5 At home, UPON my brother's guard,] In my own house, with my brother posted to protect him. JOHNSON.
So, in Othello:
and on the court of guard -." STEEVENS,
Will not you go?
AUF. I am attended at the cypress grove: I
(Tis 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 shall, sir.
attended] i. e. waited for. So, in Twelfth-Night: ― thy intercepter-attends thee at the orchard end.”
7 ('Tis south the city MILLS,)] But where could Shakspeare have heard of these mills at Antium? I believe we ought to read: ('Tis south the city a mile.)"
The old edition reads mils. TYRWHITT.
Shakspeare is seldom careful about such little improprieties.
Coriolanus speaks of our divines, and Menenius of graves in the holy churchyard. It is said afterwards, that Coriolanus talks like a knell; and drums, and Hob, and Dick, are with as little attention to time or place, introduced in this tragedy. STEEVENS.
Shakspeare frequently introduces those minute local descriptions, probably to give an air of truth to his pieces. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
underneath the grove of sycamore,
"That westward rooteth from the city's side." Again:
"It was the nightingale and not the lark
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree."
Mr. Tyrwhitt's question, "where could Shakspeare have heard of these mills at Antium ?" may be answered by another question : Where could Lydgate hear of the mills near Troy?
And as I ride upon this flode,
"On eche syde many a mylle stode,
"When nede was their graine and corne to grinde," &c. Auncyent Historie, &c. 1555. Malone.
ACT II. SCENE I.
Rome. A Publick Place.
Enter MENENIUS, SICINIUS, and BRUTUS.
MEN. The augurer tells me, we shall have news to-night.
BRU. Good, or bad?
MEN. Not according to the prayer of the people, for they love not Marcius.
SIC. Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.
MEN. Ay, to devour him; as the hungry plebeians would the noble Marcius.
BRU. He's a lamb indeed, that baes like a bear.
MEN. He's a bear, indeed, that lives like a lamb. You two are old men; tell me one thing that I shall ask you.
BOTH TRIB. Well, sir.
MEN. In what enormity is Marcius poor in 9, that you two have not in abundance ?
8 Pray you, &c.] When the tribune, in reply to Menenius's remark, on the people's hate of Coriolanus, had observed that $6 even beasts know their friends," Menenius asks, "whom does the wolf love?" implying that there are beasts which love nobody, and that among those beasts are the people. JOHNSON.
9 In what enormity is Marcius poor IN,] Here we have another of our author's peculiar modes of phraseology; which, however, the modern editors have not suffered him to retain ; having dismissed the redundant in at the end of this part of the sentence. MALONE.
I shall continue to dismiss it, till such peculiarities can, by authority, be discriminated from the corruptions of the stage, the transcriber, or the printer.
It is scarce credible, that, in the expression of a common idea, in prose, our modest Shakspeare should have advanced a phraseology of his own, in equal defiance of customary language, and established grammar.
BRU. He's poor in no one fault, but stored with
SIC. Especially, in pride.
BRU. And topping all others in boasting.
MEN. 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 TRIB. Why, how are we censured? MEN. Because you talk of pride now,-Will you not be angry?
BOTH TRIB. Well, well, sir, well.
MEN. Why, 'tis no great matter; for a very little thief of occasion will rob you of a great deal of patience give your disposition the reins, and be angry at your pleasures; at the least, if you take it as a pleasure to you, in being so. You blame Marcius for being proud?
BRU. We do it not alone, sir.
MEN. 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 infantlike, for doing much alone. You talk of pride: O, that you could turn your eyes towards the napes of your necks', and make but an interior survey of your good selves! O, that you could!
BRU. What then, sir?
MEN. Why, then you should discover a brace of unmeriting, proud, violent, testy magistrates, (alias, fools,) as any in Rome 2.
As, on the present occasion, the word-in might have stood with propriety at either end of the question, it has been casually, or ignorantly, inserted at both. STEEVENS.
See a note on Romeo and Juliet, vol. vi. p. 70, n. 7. MALONE. towards the napes of your necks,] With allusion to the fable, which says, that every man has a bag hanging before him, in which he puts his neighbour's faults, and another behind him, in which he stows his own.
2a brace of unmeriting, magistrates,-As any in Rome.]