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VOL. If that I could for weeping, you should hear,
Nay, and you shall hear some.-Will you be gone? [TO BRUTUS. VIR. You shall stay too: [To SICIN.] I would, I had the power
To say so to my husband.
Are you mankind? VOL. Ay, fool; Is that a shame ?-Note but this fool.
Was not a man my father ? Hadst thou foxship7 To banish him that struck more blows for Rome Than thou hast spoken words?
O blessed heavens ! VOL. More 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
6 Sic. Are you MANKIND?
Vol. Ay, fool; Is that a shame ?-Note but this fool.Was not a man my father?] 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 aggravated 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. So, Jonson in The Silent Woman:
"O mankind generation!"
Shakspeare himself, in The Winter's Tale, Act II. Sc. II.: 66 - a mankind witch."
Fairfax, in his translation of Tasso :
See, see, this mankind strumpet; see, she cry'd, "This shameless whore."
7 Hadst thou foxship-] Hadst cunning enough to banish Coriolanus?
fool as thou art, mean JOHNSON.
Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him,
He'd make an end of thy posterity.
VOL. Bastards, and all.—
Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome!
MEN. Come, come, peace.
SIC. I would he had continu'd to his country,
I would he had. VOL. I would he had! 'Twas you incens'd the rabble:
Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth,
BRU. Pray, let us go. VOL. Now, pray, sir, get you gone : You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear
As far as doth the Capitol exceed
The meanest house in Rome: so far, my son,
With one that wants her wits?
(This lady's husband here, this, do you see,)
Why stay we to be baited
VOL. Take my prayers with you.I would the gods had nothing else to do,
But to confirm my curses! Could I meet them
The noble KNOT he made.] So, in King Henry IV. Part I.: will you again unknit
"This churlish knot," &c.
But once a day, it would unclog my heart
Of what lies heavy to't.
VOL. Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself, And so shall starve with feeding 1.-Come, let's go: Leave this faint puling, and lament as I do, In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come. MEN. Fye, fye, fye!
You have told them home 9.
A Highway between Rome and Antium.
Enter a Roman and a Volce, meeting.
ROM. I know you well, sir, and you know me: your name, I think, is Adrian.
VOL. It is so, sir: truly, I have forgot you.
ROM. I am a Roman; and my services are, as you are, against them: Know you me yet? VOL. Nicanor? No.
ROM. The same, sir.
VOL. You had more beard, when I last saw you; but your favour is well appeared by your tongue 2.
9 You have told them home,] So, again, in this play : "I cannot speak him home." MALONE.
And so shall STARVE WITH FEEDING.] This idea is repeated in Antony and Cleopatra, Act II. Sc. II. and in Pericles: "Who starves the ears she feeds," &c. STEEVENS. 2 but favour is well APPEARED by your tongue.] This is strange nonsense. We should read:
is well appealed."
i. e. brought into remembrance, WARBURTON.
I would read:
is well affeared."
That is, strengthened, attested, a word used by our author. "His title is affear'd." Macbeth.
What's the news in Rome? I have a note from the Volcian state, to find you out there: you have well saved me a day's journey.
ROM. There hath been in Rome strange insurrection: the people against the senators, patricians, and nobles.
VOL. Hath been! Is it ended then? Our state thinks not so; they are in a most warlike preparation, and hope to come upon them in the heat of their division.
ROM. 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 tell you, and is almost mature for the violent breaking out..
VOL. Coriolanus banished?
To repeal may be to bring to remembrance, but appeal has another meaning. JOHNSON.
I would read:
"Your favour is well approved by your tongue.” i. e. your tongue confirms the evidence of your face. So, in Hamlet, Sc. I.:
So Chaucer uses dispaired:
"That if again this apparition come,
"He may approve our eyes and speak to it." STEEVENS. If there be any corruption in the old copy, perhaps it rather is in a preceding word. Our author might have written—" your favour has well appeared by your tongue :" but the old text may, in Shakspeare's licentious dialect, be right. Your favour is fully manifested or rendered apparent, by your tongue.
In support of the old copy it may be observed, that becomed was formerly used as a participle. So, in North's translation of Plutarch, Life of Sylla, p. 622, edit. 1575: "—which perhaps would not have becomed Pericles or Aristides." We have the same participle in Romeo and Juliet, vol. vi. p. 192:
"And gave him what becomed love I might."
Alas, quod Pandarus, what may this be
That thou dispaired art," &c. MALONE.
ROм. Banished, sir.
VOL. You will be welcome with this intelligence, Nicanor.
ROM. 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 husband. Your noble Tullus Aufidius will appear well in these wars, his great opposer, Coriolanus, being now in no request of his country.
VOL. He cannot choose. I am most fortunate, thus accidentally to encounter you: You have ended my business, and I will merrily accompany you
ROM. 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?
VOL. A most royal one: the centurions, and their charges, distinctly billeted, already in the entertainment, and to be on foot at an hour's warning.
ROM. 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.
VOL. You take my part from me, sir; I have the most cause to be glad of yours.
ROM. Well, let us go together.
3 already in the entertainment,]
That is, though not
actually encamped, yet already in pay. To entertain an army is to take them into pay. JOHNSON.
See vol. viii. p. 39, n. 6. MALone.