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Musick within. Enter a Servant. Serv. Wine, wine, wine! What service is here! I think our fellows are asleep.
[Exit. Enter another Servant. 2 Serv. Where 's Cotus! my master calls for him. Cotus!
[Exit. Enter CORIOLANUS. Cor. A goodly house: The feast smells well: but I Appear not like a guest.
Re-enter the first Servant. 1 Serv. What would you have, friend? Whence are you? Here 's no place for you: Pray, go to the door.
Cor. I have deserv'd no better entertainment, In being Coriolanus.3
Re-enter second Servant. 2 Serv. Whence are you, sir? Has the porter his eyes in his head, that he gives entrance to such companions?! Pray, get you out.
2 Serv. Are you so brave? I 'll have you talk'd with anon.
Enter a third Servant. The first meets him. 3 Serv. What fellow's this?
1 Serv. A strange one as ever I look'd on: I cannot get him out o'the house: Pr’ythee, call my master to him.
Perhaps, therefore, instead of enemy, we should read-enemy's or enemies town. Steevens.
8 In being Coriolanus.] i. e. in having derived that surname from the sack of Corioli. Steevens.
9— that he gives entrance to such companions ?] Companion was formerly used in the same sense as we now use the word fellow. Malone.
The same term is employed in All's Well that Ends Well, King Henry VI, P. II, Cymbeline, Othello, &c. Steevens.
3 Serv. What have you to do here, fellow? Pray you, avoid the house.
Cor. Let me but stand; I will not hurt your hearth.1 - 3 Serv. What are you? Cor. A gentleman. 3 Serv. A marvellous poor one. Cor. True, so I am.
3 Serv. Pray you, poor gentleman, take up some other station: here 's no place for you; pray you, avoid: come.
Cor. Follow your function, go! And batten on cold bits.
[Pushes him away. 3 Serv. What, will you not? Pr’ythee, tell my master what a strange guest he has here. 2 Serv. And I shall.
[Exit. 3 Serv. Where dwellest thou? Cor. Under the canopy. 3 Serv. Under the canopy? Cor. Ay. 3 Serv. Where 's that? Cor. I' the city of kites and crows.
3 Serv. l' the city of kites and crows?-What an ass it is!—Then thou dwellest with daws too?
Cor. No, I serve not thy master.
Cor. Ay; 'tis an honester service, than to meddle with ❤2?Â?Â2Ò2ÂòÂ2Ò2\/ 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.
1 Let me but stand; I will not hurt your hearth.] Here our author has both followed and deserted his original, the old translation of Plutarch. The silence of the servants of Aufidius, did not suit the purposes of the dramatist :
“So be went directly to Tullus Aufidius house, and when he came thither, he got him vp straight to the chimney harthe, and sat him downe, and spake not a worde to any man, his face all muffled ouer. They of the house spying him, wondered what he should be, and yet they durst not byd him rise. For ill fauoredly muffled and disguised as he was, yet there appeared a certaine maiestie in his countenance, and in his silence: whereupon they went to Tullus who was at supper, to tell him of the straunge disguising of this man.” Steevens.
Auf. Whence comest thou? what wouldest thou? Thy
name? Why speak’st not? Speak, man: What's thy name? Cor.
If, Tullus,2 [Unmuffling. Not yet thou know'st me, and seeing me, dost not Think me for the man I am, necessity . Commands me name myself. Auf.
What is thy name?
Servants retire. Cor. A name unmusical to the Volcians' ears, And harsh in sound to thine.
2 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 1 am in dede, I must of necessitie bewraye myselfe to be that I am. I am Caius Martius, who hath done to thy self particularly, and to all the Voices 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 witness of the malice and displeasure thou shouldest bear me. In deede the name only re. maineth 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 hazırd; 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 I am also wearye to liue any longer. And it were no wisdom 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.
Say, what's thy name?
Cor. Prepare thy brow to frown: Know'st thou me yet?
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,4 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 suffered 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, To be full quit of those my banishers, Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast A heart of wreak in thee, that will revenge
3 though thy tackle's torn,
Thou show'st á noble vessel:] A corresponding idea occurs in Cymbeline :
“ The ruin speaks, that sometime
“ It was a worthy building.” Steevens.
- a good memory,] The Oxford editor, not knowing that memory was used at that time for memorial, alters it to memorial.
Johnson. See the preceding note. Malone. And Vol. v, p. 38, n. 9. Reed. 5 of all the men i the world I would have 'voided thee :] So, in Macbeth:
“Of all men else I have avoided thee.” Steevens. 6 A heart of wreak in thee,] A heart of resentment. Fohnson. Wreak is an ancient term for revenge. So, in Titus Andronicus :
“Take wreak on Rome for this ingratitude.”
“ She saith that hir selfe she sholde
Thine own particular wrongs, and stop those maims
O Marcius, Marcius,
Again, in Chapman's version of the 5th Iliad:
“ if he should pursue Sarpedon's life,
“Or take his friends wreake on his men." Steevens. 7 maims Of shame - ] That is, disgraceful diminutions of territory.
Johnson. * those maims
Of shame seen through thy country,] Wounds inflicted by the invader; marks which remain a memorial of the ravages of the enemy. Am. Ed. 8 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 callid
“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.
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