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3 SERV. Where dwellest thou ?
3 SERV. I'the city of kites and crows ? - What an ass it is !--Then thou dwellest with daws too?
Cor. No, I serve not thy master.
3 SERV. How, sir! Do you meddle with my master?
COR. Ay; 'tis an honester service than to med. dle with thy mistress : Thou prat'st, and prat'st; serve with thy trencher, hence!
[Beats him away.
Enter AUFIDIUS and the second Servant,
AUF. Where is this fellow?
2 SERV. Here, sir; I'd have beaten him like a dog, but for disturbing the lords within. AUF. Whence comest thou? what wouldest
thou? Thy name? Why speak’st not? Speak, man: What's thy name? Cor.
If, Tullus, [Unmuffling.
. If, Tullus, &c.] These speeches are taken from the following in Sir Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch :
“ Tullus rose presently from the borde, and comming towards him, asked him what he was, and wherefore he came. Then Martius 'vnmuffled him selfe, and after he had paused a while, making no aunswer, he sayed vnto him:
“ If thou knowest me not yet, Tullus, and seeing me, dost not perhappes beleeue me to be the man I am in dede, I must of
Not yet thou know'st me, and seeing me, dost not
What is thy name?
[Servants retire. COR. A name unmusical to the Volcians' ears, And harsh in sound to thine. AUF.
Say, what's thy name? Thou hast a grim appearance, and thy face Bears a command in't; though thy tackle's torn,
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 maye 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 live 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.
Thou show'st a noble vessel:3 What's thy name? 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
remains; The cruelty and envy of the people, Permitted by our dastard nobles, who Have all forsook me, hath devour'd the rest; And suffer'd 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:5 but in mere spite,
though thy tackle's torn, Thou show'st à noble vessel :] A corresponding idea occurs in Cymbeline:
“ The ruin speaks, that sometime
a good memory,] The Oxford editor, not knowing that memory was used at that time for memorial, alters it to memorial. JOHNSON.
See the note in the preceding page. MALONE,
of all the men i' the world
“ Of all men else I have avoided thee." STEEVENS.
To be full quit of those my banishers,
A heart of wreak in thee,] A heart of resentment.
JOHNSON. Wreak is an ancient term for revenge. So, in Titus Andronicus:
“ Take wreak on Rome 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, 6 Or take his friends wreake on his men." STEEVENS. 7
-maims Of shame-] That is, disgraceful diminutions of territory.
Johnson. 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. P.I:
“ Now, ye familiar spirits, that are call'd
“ 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.
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 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. AUF.
O Marcius, Marcius, Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my
heart A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter Should 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 scar'd the moon with splinters ! Here I clip
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. 9 And scard the moon_] [Old copy—scarrd,] 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.".
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 scarr'd away two of my best sheep.”