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Than flatter him in a bower.7 Here is Cominius.
Enter COMINIUS. Com. I have been i’ the market-place: and, sir, 'tis fit You make strong party, or defend yourself By calmness, or by absence; all 's in anger. Men. Only fair speech. Com.
I think, 'twill serve, if he Can thereto frame his spirit. Vol.
He must, and will:Pr’ythee, now, say, you will, and go about it.
Cor. Must I go show them my unbarb'd sconce?: Must I With my base tongue, give to my noble heart A lie, that it must bear? Well, I will do 't: Yet were there but this single plot to lose,
? Than flatter him in a bower.) A bower is the ancient term for a chamber. So Spenser, Prothalam. st. 8, speaking of The Temple:
“Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers." See also Chaucer &c. passim. Steevens.
- my unbarb'd sconce ?] The suppliants of the people used to present themselves to them in sordid and neglected dresses.
Fohnson. Unbarbed, bare, uncovered. In the times of chivalry, when a horse was fully armed and accoutred for the encounter, he was said to be barbed; probably from the old word barbe which Chaucer uses for a veil or covering. Hawkins.
Unbarbed sconce is untrimmed or unshaven head. To barb a man, was to shave him. So, in Promos and Cassandra, 1578: “ Grim.
-you are so clean a young man.
“ Row. I know him not, is he a deaft barber?” To barbe the field was to cut the corn. So, in Drayton's Polyolbion, Song XIII:
“ The lab’ring hunter tufts the thick unbarbed grounds." Again, in The Malcontent, by Marston :
“The stooping scytheman that doth barbe the field.” But (says Dean Milles, in his comment on The Pseudo-Rowley, p. 215:) " would that appearance (of being unshaved] have been particular at Rome in the time of Coriolanus?” Every one, but ihe Dean, understands that Shakspeare gives to all countries the fashions of his own.
Unbarbed may, however, hear the signification which the late Mr. Hawkins would affix to it. So, in Magnificence, an interlude by Skelton, Fancy, speaking of a hooded hawk, says:
Barbyd like a nonne, for burnynge of the sonne.” Steevens.
- single plot --]i. e. picce, portion ; applied to a piece of earth, and here elegantly transferred to the body, carcase.
This mould of Marcius, they to dust should grind it,
Come, come, we ’ll prompt you.
Well, I must do 't: Away, my disposition, and possess me Some harlot's spirit! My throat of war be turn'd, Which quired with my drum,3 into a pipe Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice That babies lulls asleep! The smiles of knaves Tent in my cheeks;t and school-boys' tears take up The glasses of my sight! A beggar's tongue Make motion through my lips; and my arm’d knees, Who bow'd but in my stirrop, bend like his
such a part, which never &c.] So, in King Henry VI, P. III, Vol. X, p. 349:
- he would avoid such bitter taunts “ Which in the time of death he gave our father." Again, in the present scene:
“ But with such words that are but roted,” &c. Again, in Act V, sc. iv:
“ Whose repetition will be dogg'd with curses."
- no, not with such friends, “ That thought them sure of you." This phraseology was introduced by Shakspeare in the first of these passages, for the old play on which The Third Part of King Henry VI was founded, reads- As in the time of death. The word as has been substituted for which by the modern editors in the passage before us. Malone.
- perform a part
Thou hast not done before.] Our author is still thinking of his theatre. Cominius has just said, Come, come, we ’ll prompt you.
Malone. 3 Which quired with my drum, ] Which played in concert with my drum. Fohnson. So, in The Merchant of Venice:
“ Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubins.” Steevens. - Tent in my cheeks; ] To tent is to take up residence. Johnson.
That hath receiv'd an alms I will not do 't:
At thy choice then:
Pray, be content;
Cor. The word is, mildly :-Pray you, let us go:
Ay, but mildly.
to honour mine own truth,]
Thy dangerous stoutness;] This is obscure. Perhaps, she means: Go, do thy worst; let me rather feel the utmost extremity that thy pride can bring upon us, than live thus in fear of thy dangerous obstinacy. Johnson.
owe -] i. e. own. Reed.
“ To throw away the dearest thing he owed,
The same. The Forum.
Enter SICINIUS and Brutus.
Enter an Ædile.
Have you a catalogue
I have; 'tis ready, here."
-endy -] i. e. malice, hatred. So, in King Henry VIII:
-no black envy “ Shall make my grave." See Vol. XI, p. 240, n. 7. Steedens.
-'tis ready, here.] The word-here, which is wanting in the old copies, was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer. Steevens.
i the truth o' the cause.] This is not very easily understood. We might read:
o'er the truth o’the cause. Yohnson. As I cannot understand this passage as it is pointed, I should suppose that the speeches should be thus divided, and then it will require no explanation:
Sic. Insisting on the old prerogative
I shall inform them.
I shall inform them..
Go about it.-- [Exit Ædile.
and Patricians. Sic. Well, here he comes. Men.
Calmly, I do beseech you. Cor. Ay, as an ostler, that for the poorest piece Will bear the knave by the volume.5
-The honour'd gods Keep Rome in safety, and the chairs of justice
and to have his worth Of contradiction:] The modern editors substituted word; but the old copy reads worth, which is certainly right. He has been used to have his worth, or (as we should now say) his pennyworth of contradiction; his full quota or proportion. So, in Romeo and Fuliet :
You take your pennyworth (of sleep] now.” Malone. 3 Be rein'd again to temperance;]Our poet seems to have taken several of his images from the old pageants. In the new edition of Leland's Collectanea, Vol. IV, p. 190, the virtue temperance is represented “holding in hyr haund a bitt of an horse.” Tollet.
Mr. Tollet might have added, that both in painting and sculp. ture the bit is the established symbol of this virtue. Henley:
which looks With us to break his neck.] To look is to wait or expect. The sense I believe is, What he has in heart is waiting there to help us to break his neck. Johnson.
The tribune rather seems to mean—The sentiments of Coriolanus's heart are our coadjutors, and look to have their share in promoting his destruction. Steevens.
5 Will bear the knave by the volume. J i. e. would bear being called a knave as often as would fill out a volume. Steevens.