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Yourself into a power tyrannical;
For which, you are a traitor to the people.
Nay; temperately: your promise. COR. The fires i' the lowest hell fold in the people!
Call me their traitor!-Thou injurious tribune!
Mark you this, people? CIT. To the rock; to the rock with him3 ! SIC.
We need not put new matter to his charge:
Deserves the extremest death.
But since he hath
Serv'd well for Rome,-
The promise that you made your mother?
clutch'd] i. e. grasp'd. So Macbeth, in his address to the "air-drawn dagger:
Come, let me clutch thee." STEEVENS.
"To th' rock, to th' rock with him
The second only:
3 To the rock with him; to the rock with him.] The first folio reads:
"To th' rock with him."
My reading is therefore formed out of the two copies.
I pray you,
I'll know no further :
Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,
For that he has
(As much as in him lies) from time to time
From off the rock Tarpeian, never more
CIT. It shall be so, it shall be so; let him away: He's banish'd, and it shall be so 7.
4 Envied AGAINST the people,] i. e. behaved with signs of hatred to the people. STEEVENS.
As now at last —] Read rather:
I am not certain but that as in this instance, has the power ofas well as. The same mode of expression I have met with among our ancient writers.
NOT in the presence-] Not stands again for not only.
It is thus used in The New Testament, 1 Thess. iv. 8: "He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God," &c.
7 And so it shall be.] Old copy, unmetrically-" And it shall be so." STEEVENS.
The text is the arrangement of the old copy. Mr. Steevens reads :
COм. Hear me, my masters, and my common
SIC. He's sentenc'd: no more hearing.
Let me speak: I have been consul, and can show from Rome R, Her enemies' marks upon me. I do love My country's good, with a respect more tender, More holy, and profound, than mine own life, My dear wife's estimate 9, her womb's increase, And treasure of my loins; then if I would Speak that
As enemy to the people, and his country:
It shall be so.
We know your drift: Speak what? BRU. There's no more to be said, but he is banish'd,
It shall be so, it shall be so.
COR. You common cry of curs! whose breath I
It shall be so,
"It shall be so; let him away: he's banish'd,
"And so it shall be."
show FROM Rome,] Read-" show for Rome."
He either means, that his wounds were got out of Rome, in the cause of his country, or that they mediately were derived from Rome, by his acting in conformity to the orders of the state, Mr. Theobald reads-for Rome; and supports his emendation by these passages:
"To banish him that struck more blows for Rome," &c. Again:
Good man! the wounds that he does bear for Rome." MALONE. 9 My dear wife's estimate,] I love my country beyond the rate at which I value my dear wife. JOHNSON.
You common CRY of curs!] Cry here signifies a troop or pack. So, in a subsequent scene in this play :
You have made good work,
"You and your cry."
Again, in The Two Noble Kinsmen, by Shakspeare and Fletcher,
As reek o' the rotten fens 2, whose loves I prize
"I could have kept a hawk, and well have holla'd
2 As reek o' the ROTTEN FENS,] So, in The Tempest:
"Ant. Or, as 'twere perfum'd by a fen." STEEVENS.
3 I banish you ;] So, in Lyly's Anatomy of Wit, 1580: "When it was cast in Diogenes' teeth that the Sinopenetes had banished him Pontus, yea, said he, I them.”
Our poet has again the same thought in King Richard II. :
"Think not, the king did banish thee,
"But thou the king."
Have the power still
To banish your defenders; till, at length,
Your ignorance, (which finds not, till it feels,) &c.] Sill retain the power of banishing your defenders, till your undiscerning folly, which can foresee no consequences, leave none in the city but yourselves, who are always labouring your own destruction.
It is remarkable, that, among the political maxims of the speculative Harrington, there is one which he might have borrowed from this speech. "The people, (says he,) cannot see, but they can feel." It is not much to the honour of the people, that they have the same character of stupidity from their enemy and their friend. Such was the power of our author's mind, that he looked through life in all its relations private and civil. JOHNSON.
The people (to use the comment of my friend Dr. Kearney, in his ingenious Lectures on History, quarto, 1776,) cannot nicely scrutinise errors in government, but they are roused by galling oppression."-Coriolanus, however, means to speak still more contemptuously of their judgment. Your ignorance is such, that you cannot see the mischiefs likely to result from your actions, till you actually experience the ill effects of them.-Instead, however, of "Making but reservation of yourselves," which is the reading of the old copy, and which Dr. Johnson very rightly explains, “leaving none in the city but yourselves," I have no doubt that we should read, as I have printed, "Making not reservation of your
Making not reservation of yourselves,
[Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, MENENIUS, Senators, and Patricians.
ED. The people's enemy is gone, is gone!
selves," which agrees with the subsequent words-" still your own foes," and with the general purport of the speech; which is, to show that the folly of the people was such as was likely to destroy the whole of the republick without any reservation, not only others, but even themselves, and to subjugate them as abated captives to some hostile nation. If, according to the old copy, the people have the prudence to make reservation of themselves, while they are destroying their country, they cannot with any propriety be said to be in that respect "still their own foes." These words therefore decisively support the emendation now made.
How often but and not have been confounded in these plays, has already been frequently observed. In this very play but has been printed, in a former scene, instead of not, and the latter word substituted in all the modern editions. See p. 92, n. 5. MALONE.
Mr. Capell reads:
Making not reservation of your selves." STEEVENS. 5 ABATED captives,] Abated is dejected, subdued, depressed in spirit.
So, in Cræsus, 1604, by Lord Sterline :
"To advance the humble, and abate the proud."
i. e. Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos.
"Th' abated mindes, the cowardize, and faintnesse of my
Randle Holme, however, informs us that an abatement is a mark added or annexed to a coat [of arms] by reason of some dishonourable act whereby the dignity of the coat is abased," &c. See the Academy of Armory and Blazon, p. 71.
Abated has the same power as the French abuttu. See vol. x. p. 353, n. 8. STEEVENS.
"Despising,] As this line is imperfect, perhaps our author originally gave it
"For you, the city," &c. STEEVENS.