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Your honour with
your form. COR.
It is a part
that? CoR. To brag unto them,—Thus I did, and
Show them the unaking scars which I should hide,
Do not stand upon't.-
[Flourish. Then exeunt Senators. Bru. You see how he intends to use the people.
* Your honour with your form.] 1 believe we should read Your honour with the form.”—That is, the usual form.
M. MASON. Your form, may mean the form which custom prescribes to you. STEEVENS. • We recommend to you, tribunes of the people,
Our purpose to them;] We entreat you, tribunes of the people, to recommend and enforce to the plebeians, what we propose to them for their approbation; namely the appointment of Coriolanus to the consulship. MALONE.
This passage is rendered almost unintelligible by the false punctuation. It should evidently be pointed thus, and then the sense will be clear:
We recommend to you, tribunes of the people,
purpose ;-to them, and to our noble consul, Wish we all joy and honour. To them, means to the people, whom Menenius artfully joins to the consul, in the good wishes of the senate. M. Mason. VOL. XVI.
Sic. May they perceive his intent! He that will
Come, we'll inform them
The same. The Forum.
Enter several Citizens.
1 Cir. Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him.
2 Cit. We may, sir, if we will.
3 Cit. We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a power that we have no power to do:5 for if
* Once,] Once here means the same as when we say, once for all. WARBURTON.
This use of the word once is found in The Supposes, by Gascoigne :
“ Once, twenty-four ducattes he cost me.” FARMER. Again, in The Comedy of Errors : “Once this, your long experience of her wisdom"
STEEVENS. I doubt whether once here signifies once for all. I believe, it means, “ if he do but so much as require our voices;" as in the following passage in Holinshed's Chronicle: “-they left many of their servants and men of war behind them, and some of them would not once stay for their standards.” MALONE.
• We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a power that we have no power to do:] Power first signifies natural power or he show us his wounds, and tell us his deeds, we are to put our tongues into those wounds, and speak for them ; so, if he tell us his noble deeds, we must also tell him our noble acceptance of them. Ingratitude is monstrous: and for the multitude to be ingrateful, were to make a monster of the multitude; of the which, we being members, should bring ourselves to be monstrous members.
1 Cit. And to make us no better thought of, a little help will serve: for once, when we stood up about the corn, he himself stuck not to call us the many-headed multitude.?
3 Crt. We have been called so of many; not that our heads are some brown, some black, some auburn,& some bald, but that our wits are so diversly
force, and then moral power or right. Davies has used the same word with great variety of meaning:
“ Use all thy powers that heavenly power to praise,
“ That gave thee power to do.”. JOHNSON. - for once, when we stood up about the corn,] [Old copy -once we stood up.] That is, as soon as ever we stood up. This word is still used in nearly the same sense, in familiar or rather vulgar language, such as Shakspeare wished to allot to the Roman populace: “ Once the will of the monarch is the only law, the constitution is destroyed.” Mr. Rowe and all the subsequent editors read-for once, when we stood up, &c. MALONE.
As no decisive evidence is brought to prove that the adverb once has at any time signified-as soon as ever, I have not rejected the word introduced by Mr. Rowe, which, in my judgment, is necessary to the speaker's meaning. STEEVENS.
1-many-headed multitude.] Hanmer reads, many-headed monster, but without necessity. To be many-headed includes monstrousness. JOHNSON.
some auburn,] The folio reads, some Abram. I should unwillingly suppose this to be the true reading; but we have already heard of Cain and Abram-coloured beards. STEEVENS.
The emendation was made in the fourth folio. MALONE,
coloured : and truly I think, if all our wits were to issue out of one skull, they would fly east, west, north, south; and their consent of one direct way! should be at once to all the points o’the compass. 2 Cit. Think you so? Which way,
do my wit would fly?
3 Cit. Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another man's will, 'tis strongly wedged up in a block-head: but if it were at liberty, 'twould, sure, southward.
2 Cit. Why that way?
3 Cit. To lose itself in a fog; where being three parts melted away with rotten dews, the fourth would return for conscience sake, to help to get thee a wife.
2 Cır. You are never without your tricks :-You may, you may.
3 Cit. Are you all resolved to give your voices ? But that's no matter, the greater part carries it. I
-if all our wits were to issue out of one skull, &c.] Mean. ing though our having but one interest was most apparent, yet our wishes and projects would be infinitely discordant.
To suppose all their wits to issue from one scull, and that their common consent and agreement to go all one way, should end in their flying to every point of the compass, is a just description of the variety and inconsistency of the opinions, wishes, and ac-, tions of the multitude. M. MASON.
-and their consent of one direct way-] See Vol. X. p. 96, n. 3; and Vol. XIII. p. 6, n. 4. STEEVENS.
• You may, you may,] This colloquial phrase, which seems to signify-You may divert yourself, as you please, at my expence, has occurred already in Ťroilus and Cressida :
“ Hél. By my troth, sweet lord, thou hast a fine forehead. “ Pan. Ay, you may, you may." STEEVENS.
say, if he would incline to the people, there was never a worthier man.
Enter CORIOLANUS and MENENIUS.
go by him.
Here he comes, and in the gown of humility; mark his behaviour. We are not to stay all together, but to come by him where he stands, by ones, by twos, and by threes. He's to make his requests by particulars: wherein every one of us has a single honour, in giving him our own voices with our own tongues: therefore follow me, and I'll direct you how you shall ALL. Content, content.
[Exeunt. MEN. O sir, you are not right: have
known The worthiest men have done it? COR.
What must I say?I pray, sir,--Plague upon't! I cannot bring My tongue to such a pace: Look, sir; my I got them in my country's service, when Some certain of your brethren roar’d, and ran From the noise of our own drums. MEN.
O me, the gods ! You must not speak of that; you must desire them To think upon you. Cor.
Think upon me? Hang 'em! I would they would forget me, like the virtues Which our divines lose by them.S
* I would they would forget me, like the virtues
Which our divines lose by them.] i. e. I wish they would for. get me as they do those virtuous precepts, which the divines