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grows up with the corn. The thought is taken from sir Tho. North's translation of Plutarch, where it is given as follows: "Moreover, he said, that they nourished against themselves the "naughty seed and cockle of insolency and sedition, which had "been sowed and scattered abroad among the people, &c." STEEVENS.
minnows?] i. e. Small fry. Warburton. A minnow is one of the smallest river fish, called in some counties a pink. JOHNSON.
Line 129. 'Twas from the canon.] Was contrary to the esta blished rule; it was a form of speech to which he has no right. JOHNSON. Line 135. The horn and noise-] Alluding to his having called him Triton before. WARBURTON.
Line 139. Then vail your ignorance:] If this man has power, let the ignorance that gave it him vail or bow down before him. JOHNSON.
Line 149.and my soul aches,] The mischief and absurdity of what is called Imperium in imperio, is here finely expressed. WARBURTON. Line 172. They would not thread the gates:] That is, pass them. We yet say, to thread an alley. JOHNSON. could never be the native-] Native for natural WARBURTON. Native is here not natural birth, but natural parent, or cause of birth. JOHNSON.
Line 180. this bosom multiplied —] This multitudinous bosom; the bosom of that great monster, the people. MALONE. Line 205. That love the fundamental part of state,
More than you doubt the change of't;] To doubt is to fear. The meaning is, You whose zeal predominates over your terrours; you who do not so much fear the danger of violent measures, as wish the good to which they are necessary, the preservation of the original constitution of our government.
JOHNSON. Line 208. To jump a body-] To jump a body may mean, to put it into a violent agitation or commotion. STEEVENS.
Line 212. Mangles true judgment,] Judgment is the faculty by which right is distinguished from wrong.
JOHNSON. Line 213. Of that integrity which should become it;] Integrity is in this place soundness, uniformity, consistency, in the same sense as Dr. Warburton often uses it, when he mentions the integrity of a metaphor. To become, is to suit, to befit. JOHNSON.
Line 325. One time will owe another.] I know not whether to owe in this place means to possess by right, or to be indebted. Either sense may be admitted. One time, in which the people are seditious, will give us power in some other time: or, this time of the people's predominance will run them in debt: that is, will lay them open to the law, and expose them hereafter to more servile subjection. JOHNSON.
Line 334. Before the tag return?] The lowest and most despicable of the populace are still denominated by those a little above them, Tag, rag, and bobtail. JOHNSON. Do not cry, havock, where you should but hunt With modest warrant.] i. e. Do not give the signal for unlimited slaughter, &c. STEEVENS. Line 408. This is clean kam.] i. e. Awry. So Cotgrave interprets Tout va à contrepoil. All goes clean kam. Hence a kambrel for a crooked stick, or the bend in a horse's hinder leg. WARB.
ACT III. SCENE II.
Line 506. You are too absolute;
Though therein you can never be too noble,
But when extremities speak.] Except in cases of urgent necessity, when your resolute and noble spirit, however commendable at other times, ought to yield to the occasion.
MALONE. Line 522. Why force you-] Why urge you. JOHNSON. 536. I am in this,
Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles; And you &c.] I think the meaning is, I am in their condition, I am at stake, together with your wife, your son. JOHNSON.
Line 538. - our general lowts-] Our common clowns. JOHNSON.
544. Not what- -] In this place not seems to signify
humble, as the ripest mulberry,] This fruit, when
Line 581. my unbarb'd sconce?] The suppliants of the people used to present themselves to them in sordid and neglected STEEVENS. dresses.
Line 585.single plot-] i. e. piece, portion; applied to a piece of earth, and here elegantly transferred to the body, WARBURTON.
Line 601. Which quired with my drum,] Which played in JOHNSON. concert with drum. my Line 604. Tent in my cheeks ;] To tent is to take up residence. JOHNSON.
-] The want of their loves.
Thy mother rather feel thy pride, than fear Thy dangerous stoutness;] 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 JOHNSON. "thy dangerous obstinacy."
-to honour mine own truth,]
Πάντων δὲ μάλις αισχύνεο σαῦτον. Pythagoras.
ACT III. SCENE III.
With us to break his neck.] To look is to wait or expect. The sense I believe is, What he has in his heart is waiting there to help us to break his neck.
Line 717. Rather than envy you.] Envy is here taken at large for malignity or ill intention.
Line 727. -season'd office,] All office established and settled by time, and made familiar to the people by long use. JOHNSON. -not in the presence-] Not stands again for not JOHNSON.
Line 791. 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 MALONE.
Line 800. troop or pack. Line 808.
-Have the power still
To banish your defenders; till, at length,
Your ignorance, (which finds not, till it feels,) &c.] Still 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.
ACT IV. SCENE I. -fortune's blows,
When most struck home, being gentle wounded, craces A noble cunning:] The sense is, When Fortune strikes her hardest blows, to be wounded, and yet continue calm, requires a generous policy. He calls this calmness cunning, because it is the effect of reflection and philosophy. Perhaps the first emotions of nature are nearly uniform, and one man differs from another in the power of endurance, as he is better regulated by precept and instruction.
They bore as heroes, but they felt as men. Line 33. 'Tis fond-] i. e. 'tis foolish.
42. cautelous baits and practice.] By artful and false tricks, and treason. JOHNSON. Line 43. My first son,] First, i. e. noblest, most eminent of WARBURTON.
Line 61. My friends of noble touch,] i. e. of true metal unallay'd. Metaphor taken from trying gold on the touchstone. WARB.
Line 100. Sic. Are you mankind?
Vol. Ay, fool; Is that a shame?—Note but this, fool.Was not a man my father?] The word mankind is used maliciously by the first speaker, and taken perversely by the second. A mankind woman is a woman with the roughness of a man, and in an aggravated sense, a woman ferocious, violent, and eager to shed blood. In this sense Sicinius asks Volumnia, if she be mankind. She takes mankind for a human creature, and accordingly cries out,
-Note but this, fool.-
Line 103. Hadst thou foxship-] Hadst thou, fool as thou art, mean cunning enough to banish Coriolanus ? JOHNSON.
ACT IV. SCENE II.
ACT IV..SCENE III.
Line 199. already in the entertainment,] That is, though not actually encamped, yet already in pay. To entertain an army is to take them into pay. JOHNSON.
ACT IV. SCENE IV.
Line 222. O, world, thy slippery turns! &c.] This fine picture of common friendships, is an artful introduction to the sudden league, which the poet makes him enter into with Aufidius and no less artful an apology for his commencing enemy to Rome. WARBURTON.
ACT IV. Line 333. A heart of wreak in thee,] A heart of resentment.
Of shame] That is, digraceful diminutions of
Here I clip
The anvil of my sword;] To clip means to embrace. Line 456. sanctifies himself with's hand,] Alluding, im properly, to the act of crossing upon any strange event. JOHNS.