Deserves your hate and your affections are
A sick man's appetite, who desires most that
Which would increase his evil. He that depends
Upon your favours, swims with fins of lead,
And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust

With every minute you do change a mind;
And call him noble, that was now your hate,
Him vile, that was your garland. What's the mat-


That in these several places of the city
You cry against the noble senate, who,

Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else Would feed on one another?-What's their seeking ?5

MEN. For corn at their own rates; whereof, they

[blocks in formation]


Hang 'em! They say?
They'll sit by the fire, and presume to know
What's done i'the Capitol: who's like to rise,
Who thrives, and who declines: side factions, and
give out

Conjectural marriages; making parties strong,
And feebling such as stand not in their liking,

well of him whom his own offences have subjected to justice; and to rail at those laws by which he whom you praise was punished. STEEVENS.

* What's their seeking?] Seeking is here used substantively. -The answer is, "Their seeking, or suit, (to use the language of the time,) is for corn." MALONE.

6 - who's like to rise,

Who thrives, and who declines:] The words-who thrives, which destroy the metre, appear to be an evident and tasteless interpolation. They are omitted by Sir T. Hanmer. STEEVEns.



Below their cobbled shoes. They say, there's grain


Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,7
And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry
With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high
As I could pick my lance."

7 their ruth,] i. e. their pity, compassion. Fairfax and Spenser often use the word. Hence the adjective-ruthless, which is still current. STEEVENS.


I'd make a quarry

With thousands-] Why a quarry? I suppose, not because he would pile them square, but because he would give them for carrion to the birds of prey. JOHNSON.

So, in The Miracles of Moses, by Drayton:

"And like a quarry cast them on the land."

See Vol. X. p. 248, n. 4. STEevens.

The word quarry occurs in Macbeth, where Ross says to Macduff:


to state the manner,

"Were on the quarry of these murder'd deer

"To add the death of you."

In a note on this last passage, Steevens asserts, that quarry means game pursued or killed, and supports that opinion by a passage in Massinger's Guardian: and from thence I suppose the word was used to express a heap of slaughtered persons.

In the concluding scene of Hamlet, where Fortinbras sees so many lying dead, he says:

"This quarry cries, on havock!"

and in the last scene of A Wife for a Month, Valerio, in describing his own fictitious battle with the Turks, says:

"I saw the child of honour, for he was young,
"Deal such an alms among the spiteful Pagans,
"And round about his reach, invade the Turks,
"He had intrench'd himself in his dead quarries."

Bullokar, in his English Expositor, 8vo. 1616, says that "a quarry among hunters signifieth the reward given to hounds after they have hunted, or the venison which is taken by hunting." This sufficiently explains the word of Coriolanus. MALONE.

-pick my lance.] And so the word [pitch] is still pro

MEN. Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded;

For though abundantly they lack discretion,
Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you,
What says the other troop?


They are dissolved: Hang 'em! They said, they were an-hungry; sigh'd forth proverbs ;

That, hunger broke stone walls; that, dogs must


That, meat was made for mouths; that, the gods

sent not

Corn for the rich men only:-With these shreds They vented their complainings; which being answer'd,

And a petition granted them, a strange one, (To break the heart of generosity,'

And make bold power look pale,) they threw their


nounced in Staffordshire, where they say-picke me such a thing, that is, pitch or throw any thing that the demander wants.


Thus, in Froissart's Chronicle, cap. C.lxiii. fo. lxxxii. b: "-and as he stouped downe to take up his swerde, the Frenche squyer dyd pycke his swerde at hym, and by hap strake hym through bothe the thyes." STEEVENS.

So, in An Account of auntient Customes and Games, &c. MSS. Harl. 2057, fol. 10, b:

"To wrestle, play at strole-ball, [stool-ball] or to runne, "To picke the barre, or to shoot off a gun.'


[ocr errors]

The word is again used in King Henry VIII. with only a slight variation in the spelling: "I'll peck you o'er the pales else." See Vol. XV. p. 210, n. 5. MALONE.


the heart of generosity,] To give the final blow to the

nobles. Generosity is high birth. JOHNSON.

So, in Measure for Measure:

"The generous and gravest citizens—.” See Vol. VI. p. 381, n. 2. STEEVENS.

As they would hang them on the horns o' the moon,2 Shouting their emulation.3


What is granted them?

MAR. Five tribunes, to defend their vulgar wisdoms,

Of their own choice: One's Junius Brutus,
Sicinius Velutus, and I know not-'Sdeath!
The rabble should have first unroof'd the city,
Ere so prevail'd with me: it will in time

Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes
For insurrection's arguing.5


This is strange.

MAR. Go, get you home, you fragments!

2- hang them on the horns o' the moon,] So, in Antony and Cleopatra:


"Let me lodge Lichas on the horns o' the moon."


Shouting their emulation.] Each of them striving to shout louder than the rest. MALONE.

Emulation, in the present instance, I believe, signifies faction. Shouting their emulation, may mean, expressing the triumph of their faction by shouts.

Emulation, in our author, is sometimes used in an unfavourable sense, and not to imply an honest contest for superior excellence. Thus, in King Henry VI. P. I:


the trust of England's honour

"Keep off aloof with worthless emulation."

Again, in Troilus and Cressida :

“While emulation in the army crept."

i. e. faction. STEEVENS.

unroof'd the city,] Old copy-unroost.

Mr. Rowe.


Corrected by

For insurrection's arguing.] For insurgents to debate upon.


Enter a Messenger.

MESS. Where's Caius Marcius?


Here: What's the matter?

MESS. The news is, sir, the Volces are in arms. MAR. I am glad on't; then we shall have means

to vent

Our musty superfluity:-See, our best elders.



1 SEN. Marcius, 'tis true, that you

told us;

The Volces are in arms.


have lately

They have a leader,

Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to't.

I sin in envying his nobility:

And were I any thing but what I am,
I would wish me only he.


You have fought together.

MAR. Were half to half the world by the ears,

and he

Upon my party, I'd revolt, to make

Only my wars with him: he is a lion

That I am proud to hunt.


'tis true, that you have lately told us;

The Volces are in arms.] Coriolanus had been just told himself that the Volces were in arms. The meaning is, The intelligence which you gave us some little time ago of the designs of the Volces is now verified; they are in arms. JOHNSON.

« VorigeDoorgaan »