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Not yet thou know'st me, and seeing me, dost not
Think me for the man I am, necessity
Commands me name myself.

What is thy name?

[Servants retire. Cor. A name unmusical to the Volcians' ears, And harsh in sound to thine. Aur.

Say, what's thy name? Thou hast a grim appearance, and thy face Bears a command in't; though thy tackle's torn, Thou show'st a noble vessel : What's thy name ?

necessitie bewraye myselfe to be that I am. I am Caius Martius, who hath done to thy self particularly, and to all the Volces generally, great hurte and mischief, which I cannot denie for my surname of Coriolanus that I beare. For I never had other benefit nor recompence, of all the true and payneful seruice I haue done, and the extreme daungers I haue bene in, but this only surname : a good memorie and witnes of the malice and displeasure thou shouldest bear me. In deede the name only remaineth with me : for the rest the enuie and crueltie of the people of Rome haue taken from me, by the sufferance of the dastardly nobilitie and magistrates, who haue forsaken me, and let me be banished by the people. This extremitie hath now driuen me to come as a poore suter, to take thy chimney harthe, not of any hope I haue to saue my life thereby. For if I had feared death, I would not haue come hither to haue put my life in hazard ; but prickt forward with spite and desire I haue to be reuenged of them that have banished me, whom now I begin to be auenged on, putting my persone betweene thy enemies. Wherefore, if thou hast any harte to be wreeked of the injuries thy enemies have done thee, spede thee now, and let my miserie serue thy turne, and so vse it, as my seruice may be a benefit to the Volces: promising thee, that I will fight with better good will for all you, than euer I dyd when I was against you, knowing that they fight more valiantly, who know the force of their enemie, than such as haue neuer proved it. And if it be so that thou dare not, and that thou art wearye to proue fortune any more, then am I also weary to liue any longer. And it were no wisdome in thee, to saue the life of him, who hath bene heretofore thy mortall enemie, and whose seruice now can nothing helpe nor pleasure thee.” STEEVENS.

though thy tackle’s torn,

Thou show'st a noble vessel :) A corresponding idea occurs in Cymbeline :


Cor. Prepare thy brow to frown: Know'st thou

me yet?
AUF. I know thee not:-Thy name?

Cor. My name is Caius Marcius, who hath done
To thee particularly, and to all the Volces,
Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may
My surname, Coriolanus: The painful service,
The extreme dangers, and the drops of blood
Shed for my thankless country, are requited
But with that surname; a good memory *,
And witness of the malice and displeasure
Which thou should’st bear me : only that name

The cruelty and envy of the people,
Permitted by our dastard nobles, who
Have all forsook me, hath devour'd the rest;
And suffered me by the voice of slaves to be
Whoop'd out of Rome. Now, this extremity
Hath brought me to thy hearth ; Not out of hope,
Mistake me not, to save my life ; for if
I had fear'd death, of all the men i' the world
I would have 'voided thee': but in mere spite,
To be full quit of those my banishers,
Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast
A heart of wreak in thee, that will revenge

“ The ruin speaks, that sometime

“ It was a worthy building:” Steevens.
4 - a good MEMORY,] The Oxford editor, not knowing that
memory was used at that time for memorial, alters it to memorial.

See the quotation from Plutarch in note 2. Malone.
And vol. vi. p. 386, n. 9. Reed.
5 of all th' men i' the world
I would have 'voided thee:] So, in Macbeth :

“ Of all men else I have avoided thee." STEEVENS. 6 A heart of WREAK in thee,] A heart of resentment.

Johnson. Wreak is an ancient term for revenge. So, in Titus Androni

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Thine own particular wrongs, and stop those maims Of shame? seen through thy country, speed thee

straight, And make my misery serve thy turn; so use it, That my revengeful services may prove As benefits to thee; for I will fight Against my canker'd country with the spleen Of all the under fiends 8. But if so be Thou dar’st not this, and that to prove more for

tunes Thou art tir'd, then, in a word, I also am Longer to live most weary, and present

“Take wreak on Roine for this ingratitude.” Again, in Gower, De Confessione Amantis, lib. v. fol. 83 :

“ She saith that hir selfe she sholde

“ Do wreche with hir own honde.” Again, in Chapman's version of the 5th Iliad:

if he should pursue Sarpedon's life, “ Or take his friends wreake on his men." STEEVENS. 7 - maims Of shame -] That is, disgraceful diminutions of territory.

Johnson. 8 — with the spleen

Of all the UNDER FIENDS.] Shakspeare, by imputing a stronger degree of inveteracy to subordinate fiends, seems to intimate, and very justly, that malice of revenge is more predominant in the lower than the upper classes of society. This circumstance is repeatedly exemplified in the conduct of Jack Cade and other heroes of the mob. Steevens.

This appears to me to be refining too much. Under fiends in this passage does not mean, as I conceive, fiends subordinate, or in an inferior station, but infernal fiends. So, in K. Henry VI. Part I. :

Fow, ye familiar spirits, that are callid

“ Out of the powerful regions under earth," &c. In Shakspeare's time some fiends were supposed to inhabit the air, others to dwell under ground, &c. MALONE.

As Shakspeare uses the word under-skinker, to express the lowest rank of waiter, I do not find myself disposed to give up my explanation of under fiends. Instances, however, of “ too much refinement” are not peculiar to me. STEEVENS.

Under fiends, I apprehend, means no more than the common phrase the fiends below. BOSWELL.

My throat to thee, and to thy ancient malice :
Which not to cut, would show thee but a fool;
Since I have ever follow'd thee with hate,
Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country's breast,
And cannot live but to thy shame, unless
It be to do thee service.

O Marcius, Marcius, Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my

heart A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter Şhould from yon cloud speak divine things, and

say, Tis true; I'd not believe them more than thee, All noble Marcius.—0, let me twine Mine arms about that body, where against My grained ash an hundred times hath broke, And scarr'd the moon with splinters ! Here I clip The anvil of my sword'; and do contest As hotly and as nobly with thy love, As ever in ambitious strength I did Contend against thy. valour. Know thou first,

2 And SCARR’d the moon - ] Thus the old copy, and I believe, rightly. The modern editors read scar'd, that is, frightened : a reading to which the following line in King Richard III. certainly adds some support :

Amaze the welkin with your broken staves." MALONB. I read with the modern editors, rejecting the Chrononhotonthological idea of scarifying the moon. The verb to scare is again written scarr, in the old copy of The Winter's Tale : They have scarrd

two of

my best sheep." Steevens.
The Anvil OF MY SWORD;] To clip is to embrace. So, in
Antony and Cleopatra :

“ Enter the city, clip your wivesm.! Aufidius styles Coriolanus the anvil of his sword,” because he had formerly laid as heavy blows on him, as a smith strikes on his anvil. So, in Hamlet:

And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall
« On Mars's armour-
“ With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword

Now falls on Priam." STEEVENS.


I loved the maid I married; never man
Sighed truer breath"; but that I see thee here,
Thou noble thing! more dances my rapt heart,
Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
Bestride my threshold '. Why, thou Mars ! I tell

We have a power on foot; and I had purpose
Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,
Or lose mine arm for't: Thou hast beat me out
Twelve several times 4, and I have nightly since
Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and me;
We have been down together in my sleep,
Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat,
And wak'd half dead" with nothing. Worthy


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Sigh'd truer breath ;] The same expression is found in our author's Venus and Adonis :

“ I'll sigh celestial breath, whose gentle wind

“ Shall cool the heat of this descending sun.”. Again, in The Two Noble Kinsmen, by Shakspeare and Fletcher, 1634 :

so Lover never yet made sigh

Truer than I.” MALONE. 3 BestRide niy threshold.) Shakspeare was unaware that a Roman bride on her entry into her husband's house, was prohibited from bestriding his threshold ; and that, lest she should even touch it, she was always lifted over it. Thus, Lucan, lib. ii. 3.59:

Tralata vetuit contingere limina planta. Steevens, - Thou hast beat me out

Twelve several times,] Out here means, I believe, full, complete. MALONE. So, in The Tempest:

for then thou wast not

Out three years old.” Steevens. 5 And wak'd half dead-] Unless the two preceding lines be considered as parenthetical, here is another instance of our author's concluding a sentence, as if the former part had been constructed differently. We have been down,” must be considered as if he had written-I have been down with you, in my sleep, and wak'd, &c. See vol. x. p. 311, n. 8; and p. 477, n. 7.



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