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Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,
You bless me, gods !
have The leading of thine own revenges, take The one half of my commission; and set down, As best thou art experienc'd, since thou know'st Thy country's strength and weakness,--thine own
ways: Whether to knock against the gates of Rome, Or rudely visit them in parts remote, To fright them, ere destroy. But come in: Let me commend thee first to those, that shall Say, yea, to thy desires. A thousand welcomes ! And more a friend than e'er an enemy; Yet, Marcius, that was much. Your hand! Most
welcome! [Exeunt Cor. and Auf.
8 i.e. fully, completely.
9 I think with Steevens that we should read, o'er-bear instead of o'er-beat. Thus in Othello :
'Is of such flood-gate and o'er-bearing nature.'
1 Serv. (Advancing.] Here's a strange alteration !
2 Serv. By my hand, I had thought to have strucken him with a cudgel; and yet my mind gave me, his clothes made a false report of him.
1 Serv. What an arm he has! He turned me about with his finger and his thumb, as one would set up a top:
2 Serv. Nay, I knew by his face that there was something in him: He had, sir, a kind of face, methought,-I cannot tell how to term it.
1 Serv. He had so: looking as it were, 'Would I were hanged, but I thought there was more in him than I could think.
2 Serv. So did I, I'll be sworn: He is simply the rarest man i' the world. 1 Serv. I think, he is: but a greater soldier than
you wot one. 2 Serv. Who?
master? 1 Serv. Nay, it's no matter for that. 2 Serv. Worth six of him.
1 Serv. Nay, not so neither; but I take him to be the greater soldier.
2 Serv. 'Faith, look you, one cannot tell how to say that: for the defence of a town, our general is excellent. 1 Serv. Ay, and for an assault too.
Re-enter third Servant. 3 Serv. O, slaves, I can tell you news; news,
1, 2 Serv. What, what, what? let's partake.
3 Serv. I would not be a Roman, of all nations; I had as lieve be a condemned man.
1, 2 Serv. Wherefore? wherefore?
3 Serv. Why, here's he that was wont to thwack our general,—Caius Marcius.
1 Serv. Why do you say, tliwack our general ?
3 Serv. I do not say, thwack our general; but he was always good enough for him.
2 Serv. Come, we are fellows, and friends : he was ever too hard for him; I have heard him say so himself.
1 Serv. He was too hard for him directly, to say the truth on't: before Corioli, he scotched him and notched him like a carbonado 10.
2 Serv. An he had been cannibally given, he might have broiled and eaten him too.
i Serv. But, more of thy news?
3 Serv. Why, he is so made on here within, as if he were son and heir to Mars: set at upper end o'the table: no question asked him by any of the senators, but they stand bald before him: Our general himself makes a mistress of him; sanctifies himself with's hand 11, and turns up the white o’the eye to his discourse. But the bottom of the news is, our general is cut i’ the middle, and but one half of what he was yesterday; for the other has half, by the entreaty and grant of the whole table. He'll
says, and sowle 12 the porter of Rome
10 See vol. iii. p. 317, note 10.
11 Considers the touch of his hand as holy; clasps it with the same reverence as a lover would clasp the hand of his mistress.'
12 To sowle is to pull by the ears. It is still provincially in use for pulling, dragging, or lugging. Heywood uses it in his comedy, called Love's Mistress, 1636:
Venus will sowle me by the ears for this.' And in a letter from Mr. Garrard to Lord Strafford, Straff. Lett, vol. ii. p. 149:- A lieutenant soled him well by the ears, and drew him by the hair about the room.' The etymology has not been pointed out; but as sowle or sole is a halter, from the A. S. sæl, its origin is pretty obvious : nothing could be more absurd than to derive it from sow, as Skinner does, because a sow's ears are sometimes lugged.
gates by the ears: He will mow down all before him, and leave his passage polled 13.
2 Serv. And he's as like to do't, as any man I can imagine.
3 Serv. Do't? he will do't: For, look you, sir, he has as many friends as enemies: which friends, sir (as it were), durst not (look you, sir) show themselves (as we term it) his friends, whilst he's in directitude.
1 Serv. Directitude! what's that?
3 Serv. But when they shall see, sir, his crest up again, and the man in blood 14, they will out of their burrows, like conies after rain, and revel all with him.
1 Serv. But when goes this forward ?
3 Serv. To-morrow; to-day; presently. You shall have the drum struck up this afternoon: 'tis, as it were, a parcel of their feast, and to be executed ere they wipe their lips.
2 Serv. Why, then we shall have a stirring world again. This peace is nothing 15, but to rust iron, increase tailors, and breed ballad-makers.
1 Serv. Let me have war, say I; it exceeds peace, as far as day does night; it's sprightly, waking, audible, and full of vent 16.
Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mulled 17, deaf, sleepy, insensible; a getter of more bastard children, than wars a destroyer of men.
13 i.e. bared, cleared. To poll is to crop close, to shear; and has all the figurative meanings of tondeo in Latin. To pill and poll was to plunder and strip.
14 See Act i. Sc. 1, note 14.
15 We should probably read, “This peace is good for nothing but,' &c.
16 i.e. full of rumour, full of materials for discourse. 17 Mulled is softened, as wine when it is burnt and sweetened.
2 Serv. 'Tis so: and as wars, in some sort, may be said to be a ravisher; so it cannot be denied, but
peace is a great maker of cuckolds. 1 Serv. Ay, and it makes men hate one another.
3 Serv. Reason; because they then less need one another. 'The wars,
my money. I hope to see Romans as cheap as Volcians. They are rising, they are rising All. In, in, in, in.
SCENE VI. Rome. A publick Place.
Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS. Sic. We hear not of him, neither need we fear him; His remedies are tame i’ the present peace And quietness o'the people, which before Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends Blush, that the world goes well; who rather had, Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold Dissentious numbers pestering streets, Our tradesmen singing in their shops, and going About their functions friendly.
Enter MENENIUS. Bru. We stood to't in good time. Is this Me
nenius? Sic. 'Tis he, 'tis he: 0, he is grown most kind Of late.-Hail, sir ! Men.
Hail to you both! Sic. Your Coriolanus, sir, is not much miss'd, But with his friends: the commonwealth doth stand; And so would do, were he more angry at it. Men. All's well; and might have been much.
better, if He could have temporiz'd. Sic.
Where is he, hear you? VOL. VIII.