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but they think, we are too dear:3 the leanness that af. zbyc high ficts us, the"object" of our misery, is as an inventory to
particularize their abundance; our sufferance is a gain to
2 Cit. Would you proceed especially against Caius
Cit. Against him first;5 he's a very dog to the commonalty.
but they think, we are too dear:] They think that the charge of maintaining us is more than we are worth. Fohnson.
* Let us revenge this with our pikes, ere we become rakes:] It was Shakspeare's design to make this fellow quibble all the way. But time, who has done greater things, has here stifled a miserable joke; which was then the same as if it had been now wrote, Let us now revenge this with forks, ere we become rakes: for pikes then signified the same as forks do now. So, Jewel in his own translation of his Apology, turns Christianos ad furcas condemnare, to-To condemn christians to the pikes. But the Oxford editor, without knowing any thing of this, has with great sagacity found out the joke, and reads on his own authority, pitch-forks. Warburton.
It is plain that, in our author's time, we had the proverb, as lean as a rake. Of this proverb the original is obscure. Rake now signifies a dissolute man, a man worn out with disease and debauchery. But the signification is, I think, much more modern than the proverb. Řekel, in Islandick, is said to mean a cur-dog, and this was probably the first use among us of the word rake; as lean as a rake is, therefore, as lean as a dog too worthless to be fed. Johnson.
It may be so: and yet I believe the proverb, as lean as a rake,
" As lene was his hors as is a rake.”
“ His body lean and meagre as a rake.”
Stanyhurst, in his translation of the third Book of Virgil, 1582,
“A meigre leane rake," &c. This passage,
however, seems to countenance Dr. Johnson's supposition; as also does the following from Churchyard's Tragicall Discourse of the Haplesse Man's Life, 1593:
“ And though as leane as rake in every rib.” Steevens:
2 Cit. Consider you what services he has done for his country?
i Cit. Very well; and could be content to give hin good report for 't, but that he pays himself with being proud.
2 Cit. Nay, but speak not maliciously.
i Cit. I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did it to that end: though soft-conscienc'd men can be content to say, it was for his country, he did it to please his mother, and to be partly proud; which he is, even to the altitude of his virtue.
2 Cit. What he cannot help in his nature, you account a vice in him: You must in no way say, he is covetous.
1 Cit. If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations; he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition. [Shouts within.] What shouts are these? The other side o'the city is risen : Why stay we prating here? to the Capitol.
Cit. Come, come.
Enter MENENIUS AGRIPPA. 2 Cit. Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that hath always loved the people.
i Cit. He 's one honest enough; 'Would, all the rest were so! Men. What work 's, my countrymen, in hand? Where
go you With bats and clubs? The matter? Speak, I pray you.
| Cit. Our business? is not unknown to the senate; they have had inkling, this fortnight, what we intend to do, which now we 'll show 'em in deeds. They say, poor suitors have strong breaths; they shall know, we have strong arms too.
* Cit. Agninst him first; &c.] This speech is in the old play, as here, given to a body of the Citizens speaking at once. I believe, it ought to be assigned to the first Citizen. Malone.
to the altitude - So, in King Henry VIII:
“ He's traitor to the height.” Steevens. 7 Our business &c.] This and all the subsequent plebeian speeches in this scene are given in the old copy to the second Citizen. But the dialogue at the opening of the play shows that it must have been a mistake, and that they ought to be attribil. ted to the first Citizen. The second is rather friendly to Coriolanus. Malone.
Men. Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest
neighbours, Will you undo yourselves?
1 Cit. We cannot, sir, we are undone already.
Men. I tell you, friends, most charitable care
like fathers, When you curse them as enemies.
i Cit. Care for us!—True, indeed!—They ne'er car'd for us yet. Suffer us to famish, and their store-houses crammed with grain; make edicts for usury, to support usurers: repeal daily any wholesome act established against the rich; and provide more piercing statutes daily, to chain up and restrain the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will; and there 's all the love they bear us.
Men. Either you must
cracking ten thousand curbs
“ I have made my way through more impediments
I will venture
A measure of wine spilt, is called " a scal'd pottle of wine" in Decker's comedy of The Honest Whore, 1604. So, in The
fob off our disgrace with a tale :1 but, an 't please you, deliver.
Men. There was a time, when all the body's members Rebelli'd against the belly; thus accus'd it: That only like a gulf it did remain I'the midst o’the body, idle and unactive, Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing Like labour with the rest; where the other instruments Did see, and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel, And, mutually participate, did minister Unto the appetite and affection common Of the whole body. The belly answered,
I Cit. Well, sir, what answer made the belly?
Historie of Clyomon, Knight of the Golden Shield, &c. a play pub. lished in 1599:
“ The bugie heapes of cares that lodged in my minde,
“ Are skaled from their nestling-place, and pleasures pasAgain, in Decker's Honest Whore, already quoted:
Cut off his beard. “ Fye, fye; idle, idle; he 's no Frenchman, to fret at the loss of a little scald hair.” In the North they say scale the corn, i. e. scatter it: scale the muck well, i. e. spread the dung well. The two foregoing instances are taken from Mr. Lambe's notes on the old metrical history of Floddon Field.
Again, Holinshed, Vol. II, p. 499, speaking of the retreat of the Welshmen during the absence of Richard II, says: - they would no longer abide, but scaled and departed away." So again, p. 530 : -- whereupon their troops scaled, and fed their waies." In the learned Ruddiman's Glossary to Gawin Douglas's translation of Virgil, the following account of the word is given. Skail, skale, to scatter, to spread, perhaps from the Fr. escheveler, Ital. scapigliare, crines passos, seu sparsos habere. All from the Latin capillus. Thus escheveler, schevel, skail; but of a more general signification. Steevens. Theobald reads-stale it. Malone.
disgrace with a tale :) Disgraces are hardships, injuries. Johnson. where the other instruments -] Where for whereas.
Fohnson. We meet with the same expression in The Winter's Tale, Vol. VI, p. 205, n. 7:
“ As you feel, doing thus; and see withal
Men. Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of smile,
Your belly's answer: What?
i Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be restrain’d,
Well, what then?
I will tell you;
you 'll bestow a small (of what you have little) Patience, a while, you ’ll hear the belly's answer.
1 Cit. You are long about it.
Note me this, good friend;
4 Which ne'er came from the lungs,] With a smile not indicat. ing pleasure, but contempt. Johnson.
I may make the belly smile,] “ And so the belly, all this notwithstanding, laughed at their folly, and sayed,” &c. North's translation of Plutarch, p. 240, edit. 1579. Malone.
even so most fitly - ] i. e. exactly. Warburton. ? They are not such as you.] I suppose we should read~ They are not as you. So, in St. Luke, xviii, 11: “ God, I thank thee, I am not as this publican.” The pronoun-such, only disorders the measure.
Steevens. 8 The counsellor heart,] The heart was anciently esteemed the seat of prudence. Homo cordatus is a prudent man Fohnson.
The heart was considered by Shakspeare as the seat of the zunderstanding. See the next note. Malone.