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Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows
For sinking under them.

This, as you say, suggested
At some time when his soaring insolence
Shall teach the people`, (which time shall not want,
If he be put upon't; and that's as easy,
As to set dogs on sheep,) will be his fire
To kindle their dry stubble ; and their blaze
Shall darken him for ever.

Enter a Messenger. BRU.

What's the matter ?



Their war may certainly mean, the wars in which the Roman people engaged with various nations ; but I suspect Shakspeare wrote-in the war. MALONE.

their PROVAND-] So the old copy, and rightly, though all the modern editors [Mr. Malone excepted] read provender. The following instances may serve to establish the ancient reading. Thus, in Stowe's Chronicle, edit. 1615, p. 737: the provaunte was cut off

, and every soldier had half a crowne a weeke." Again : "The horsmenne had foure shillings the weeke loane, to find them and their horse, which was better than the provaunt.Again, in Sir Walter Raleigh's Works, 1751, vol. ii. p. 229. Again, in Hakewil on the Providence of God, p. 118, or lib. ii. c. vii. sect. i. : “ - At the siege of Luxenburge, 1543, the weather was so cold, that the provant wine, ordained for the army, being frozen, was divided with hatchets,” &c. Again, in Pasquill's Nightcap, &c. 1623 :

“ Sometimes seeks change of pasture and provant,

“ Because her commons be at home so scant." The word appears to be derived from the French, provende, proyender. STEEVENS.

4 Shall teach the people,] Thus the old copy. * When his soaring insolence shall teach the people," may mean-When he with the insolence of a proud patrician shall instruct the people in their duty to their rulers. Mr. Theobald reads, I think, without necessity, --shall reach the people, and his emendation was adopted by all the subsequent editors.' Malone.

The word-teach, though left in the text, is hardly sense, unless it means—" instruct the people in favour of our purposes. I strongly incline to the emendation of Mr. Theobald.

STEEVENS. will be his fire-] Will be a fire lighted by himself. Perhaps the author wrote-as fire. There is, however, no need of change, MALONE.

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Mess. You are sent for to the Capitol. 'Tis

That Marcius shall be consul: I have seen
The dumb men throng to see him, and the blind
To hear him speak: Matrons flung gloveso,
Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchiefs,
Upon him as he pass'd: the nobles bended,
As to Jove's statue; and the commons made
A shower, and thunder, with their caps, and shouts :
I never saw the like.

Let's to the Capitol ;
And carry with us ears and eyes for the time?,
But hearts for the event.

Have with you.



The Same. The Capitol.

Enter Two Officers, to lay Cushions. 1 OFF. Come, come, they are almost here: How many stand for consulships?

6 To hear him speak : The matrons flung Their gloves,] The words --The and their, which are wanting in the old copy, were properly supplied by Sir T. Hanmer to complete the verse.

STEEVENS. “Matrons flung gloves

" Ladies-their scarfs Here our author has attributed some of the customs of his own age to a people who were wholly unacquainted with them. Few men of fashion in his time appeared at a tournament without a lady's favour upon his arm: and sometimes when a nobleman had tilted with uncommon grace and agility, some of the fair spectators used to fling a scarf or glove upon him as he pass’d.” MALONE.

carry with us ears and eyes, &c.] That is, let us observe what passes, but keep our hearts fixed on our design of crushing Coriolanus. Johnson.


2 OFF. Three, they say: but 'tis thought of every one, Coriolanus will carry it.

1 OFF. That's a brave fellow; but he's vengeance proud, and loves not the common people.

2 OFF. 'Faith, there have been many great men that have flattered the people, who ne'er loved them; and there be many that they have loved, they know not wherefore: so that, if they love they know not why, they hate upon no better a ground: Therefore, for Coriolanus neither to care whether they love or hate him, manifests the true knowledge he has in their disposition; and, out of his noble carelessness, let's them plainly see't.

1 OFF. If he did not care whether he had their love, or no, he waved o indifferently 'twixt doing them neither good, nor harm; but he seeks their hate with greater devotion than they can render it him ; and leaves nothing undone, that may fully discover him their opposite'. Now, to seem to affect the malice and displeasure of the people, is as bad as that which he dislikes, to flatter them for their love.

1 OFF. He hath deserved worthily of his country: And his ascent is not by such easy degrees as those ?, who, having been supple and courteous to the people, bonnetted”, without any further deed

8 Enter two Officers, &c.]

The old


reads : Enter two officers to lay cushions, as it were, in the capitoll.” Steevens.

This as it were was inserted, because there being no scenes in - the theatres in our author's time, no exhibition of the inside of the capitol could be given. See The Account of our old Theatres, vol. iii. Malone. In the same place, the reader will find this position controverted.

STEEVENS. he waved -] That is, " he would have waved indifferently.” Johnson.

their opposite.] That is, their adversary. See vol. ix. p. 129, n. 8. Malone,

as those,] That is, as the ascent of those. Malone.




to have them at all into their estimation and report: but he hath so planted his honours in their eyes, and his actions in their hearts, that for their tongues to be silent, and not confess so much, were a kind of ingrateful injury ; to report otherwise, were a malice, that, giving itself the lie, would pluck reproof and rebuke from every ear that heard it.

1 OFF. No more of him ; he is a worthy man : Make way, they are coming.

A Sennet. Enter, with Lictors before them, Comi

nius the Consul, MENENIUS, CORIOLANUS, many other Senators, Sicinius and BRUTUS. The Senators take their places; the Tribunes take theirs also by themselves. Men. Having determin'd of the Volces, and


- supple and courteous to the people, Bonnetted, &c.] Bonnetter, Fr. is to pull off one's cap. See Cotgrave.

So, in the academick style, to cap a fellow, is to take off the cap to him. M. Mason.

who, having been supple and courteous to the people, bonnetted, without any further deed to have them at all into their estimation and

report :

I have adhered to the original copy in printing this

very obscure passage, because it appears to me at least as intelligible, as what has been substituted in its room. Mr. Rowe, for having, reads have, and Mr. Pope, for have, in a subsequent part of the sentence, reads heave. "Bonnetted, is, I apprehend, a verb, not a participle, here. They humbly took off their bonnets, without any further deed whatsoever done in order to have then, that is, to insinuate themselves into the good opinion of the people. To have them, for to have themselves or to wind themselves into,-is certainly very harsh ; but to heave themselves, &c. is not much less so. Malone.

I continue to read-heave. Have, in King Henry VIII. Act II. Sc. II. was likewise printed instead of heave, in the first folio, though corrected in the second. The phrase in question occurs in Hayward : “ The Scots heaved up into high hope of victory," &c. 'Many instances of Shakspeare's attachment to the verb heave, might be added on this occasion. Steevens.

The supposed correction in King Henry VIII. is not admitted in this edition. Boswell.

To send for Titus Lartius, it remains,
As the main point of this our after-meeting,
To gratify his noble service, that
Hath thus stood for his country : Therefore, please

Most reverend and grave elders, to desire
The present consul, and last general
In our well-found successes, to report
A little of that worthy work perform'd
By Caius Marcius Coriolanus; whom
We meet here, both to thank 4, and to remember
With honours like himself.
1 Sen.

Speak, good Cominius : Leave nothing out for length, and make us think, Rather our state's defective for requital, Than we to stretch it out'. Masters o' the people, We do request your kindest ears; and, after, Your loving motion toward the common body“, To yield what passes here. Sic.

We are convented Upon a pleasing treaty; and have hearts



whom We meet here, both to thank, &c.] The construction, I think is, whom to thank, &c. (or, for the purpose of thanking whom) we met or assembled here. MALONE.

and made us think,
Rather our state's defective for requital,

Than we to stretch it out.] I once thought the meaning was, “And make us imagine that the state rather wants inclination or ability to requite services, than that we are blameable for expanding and expatiating upon them. A more simple explication, however, is perhaps the true one. And make us think that the republick is rather too niggard than too liberal in rewarding his services. MALONE.

The plain sense, I believe, is :-Rather say that our means are too defective to afford an adequate reward for his services, than suppose our wishes to stretch out those means are defective.

Steevens. 6 Your loving motion toward the common body,] Your kind interposition with the common people. Johnson.

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