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Methinks, I hear hither your husband's druin;
Vir. His bloody brow! O, Jupiter, no blood!
Vol. Away, you fool! it more becomes a man, Than gilt his trophy :: The breasts of Hecuba, When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier Than Hector's forehead, when it spit forth blood At Grecian swords' contending:- Tell Valeria, We are fit to bid her welcome.
[Exit. Gent. Vir. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius!
Vol. He 'll beat Aufidius' head below his knee,
Val. My ladies both, good day to you.
Val. How do you both? you are manifest house-keepers. What are you sewing here? A fine spot,1 in good faith. How does your little son?
Vir. I thank your ladyship; well, good madam.
Vol. He had rather see the swords, and hear a drum, than look upon his school-master.
“I have retir'd me to a wasteful cock, -.” Steevens. See Vol. VIII, p. 57, n. 4. Malone.
7 With his mail'd hand then wiping,]i. e. his hand cover'd or arm’d with mail. Douce.
8 Than gilt his trophy:] Gilt means a superficial display of gold, a word now obsolete. So, in King Henry V:
“Our gayness and our gilt, are all besmirch’d.” Steevens. 9 At Grecian swords' contending.-Tell Valeria, ] The accuracy of the first folio may be ascertained from the manner in which this line is printed :
At Grecian sword. Contending, tell Valeria. Steevens. 1 A fine spot, ] This expression (whatever may be the precise meaning of it) is still in use among the vulgar: “ You have made a fine spot of work of it,” being a common phrase of reproach to those who have brought themselves into a scrape.
Val. O my word, the father's son: I'll swear, 'tis a very pretty boy. O' my troth, I looked upon him o' Wednesday half an hour together: he has such a confirmed countenance. I saw him run after a gilded butterfly; and when he caught it, he let it go again; and after it again; and over and over he comes, and up again; catched it again: or whether his fall enraged him, or how 'twas, he did so set his teeth, and tear it; 0, I warrant, how he mammocked it!2
Vol. One of his father's moods.
Val. Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have you play the idle huswife with me this afternoon.
Vir. No, good madam; I will not out of doors.
Vir. Indeed, no, by your patience: I will not over the threshold, till my lord return from the wars.
Val. Fy, you confine yourself most unreasonably: Come, you must go visit the good lady that lies in.
Vir. I will wish her speedy strength, and visit her with my prayers; but I cannot go thither.
Vol. Why, I pray you?
Val. You would be another Penelope: yet, they say, all the yarn, she spun, in Ulysses' absence, did but fill Ithaca full of moths. Come; I would, your cambrick were sensible as your finger, that you might leave pricking it for pity. Come, you shall go with us.
2 — mammocked it! ] To mammock is to cut in pieces, or to tear. So, in The Devil's Charter, 1607: “That he were chopt in mammocks, I could eat him.”
. Steevens. 3 A crack, madam.] Thus in Cynthia's Revels by Ben Jonson:
" Since we are turn'd cracks, let's study to be like cracks, act freely, carelessly, and capriciously.” Again, in The Four Prentices of London, 1615:
“ A notable, dissembling lad, a crack." Crack signifies a boy child. See Mr. Tyrwhitt's note on The Se. cond Part of King Henry IV, Vol. IX, p. 94, n. 6. Steevens.
* A crack, madam.] i.e. a wonder, a boast; the word is still in use in the north of England; and in the very quotation introduced by the learned and industrious Mr. Steevens, it bears the meaning which I have here given.
Vir. No, good madam, pardon me; indeed, I will not forth.
Val. In truth la, go with me; and I'll tell you excellent news of your husband.
Vir. (), good madam, there can be none yet.
Val. Verily, I do not jest with you; there came news from him last night.
Vir. Indeed, madam?
Val. In earnest, it's true; I heard a senator speak it. Thus it is :- The Volces have an army forth; against whom Cominius the general is gone, with one part of our Roman power: your lord, and Titus Lartius, are set down before their city Corioli; they nothing doubt prevailing, and to make it brief wars. This is true, on mine honour; and so, I pray, go with us.
Vir. Give me excuse, good madam; I will obey you in every thing hereafter.
Vol. Let her alone, lady; as she is now, she will but disease our better mirth.
Val. In troth, I think, she would:-Fare you well then. -Come, good sweet lady.- Pr’ythee, Virgilia, turn thy solemness out o' door, and go along with us.
Vir. No: at a word, madam; indeed, I must not. I wish you much mirth. Val. Well, then farewel.
Before Corioli. Enter, with Drum and Colours, MÁRCIUS, Titus LAR
TIUS, Office r8, and Soldiers. To them a Messenger. Mar. Yonder comes news:-A wager, they have met. Lart. My horse to yours, no. Mar.
'Tis done. Lart.
Agreed. Mar. Say, has our general met the enemy? Mess. They lie in view; but have not spoke as yet. Lart. So, the good horse is mine. Mar.
I'll buy him of you. Lart. No, I'll nor sell, nor give him: lend you him, I
For half a hundred years.-Şummon the town.
Mar. How far off lie these armies?
Within this mile and half.4 Mar. Then shall we hear their 'larum, and they ours. Now, Mars, I pr’ythee, make us quick in work; That we with smoking swords may march from hence, To help our fielded friends!5-Come, blow thy blast. They sound a Parley. Enter, on the Walls, some Senators,
and Others. Tullus Aufidius, is he within your walls?
| Sen. No, nor a man that fears you less than he, That's lesser than a little. Hark, our drums
[Alarums afar off. Are bringing forth our youth: We'll break our walls, Rather than they shall pound us up: our gates, Which yet seem shut, we have but pinn'd with rushes; They 'll open of themselves. Hark you, far off;
[Other Alarums. There is Aufidius: list, what work he makes Amongst your cloven army. Mar.
O, they are at it! Lart. Their noise be our instruction. Ladders, ho! • The Volces enter and pass over the Stage.
Var. They fear us not, but issue forth their city. Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight With hearts more proof than shields.-Advance, brave
4 Within this mile and half.] The two last words, which disturb the measure, should be omitted; as we are told in p. 31, that-“'Tis not a mile” between the two armies. Steevens.
5 fielded friends'] i. e. our friends who are in the field of battle. Steevens. 6_ nor a man that fears you less than he, That's lesser than a little.) The sense requires it to be read:
nor a man that fears you more than he; Or, more probably:
- nor a man but fears you less than he, &c. Johnson. The text, I am confident, is right, our author almost always entangling himself when he uses less and inore. See Vol. VI, p. 226, n. 7. Lesser in the next line shows that less in that preceding was the author's word, and it is extremely improbable that he should have written-but fears you less, &c. Malone.
Dr. Johnson's note appears to me unnecessary, nor do I think with Mr. Malone that Shakspeare has here entangled himself; but on the contrary that he could not have expressed himself better. The sense is “ however little Tullus Aufidius fears you, there is not a man within the walls that fears you less.” Douce.
They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts,
Romans are beaten back to their Trenches. Re-enter MARCIUS.? Mar. All the contagion of the south light on you, You shames of Rome! you herd of — Boils and plaguess Plaster you o'er; that you may be abhorr'd Further than seen, and one infect another Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese, That bear the shapes of men, how have you run From slaves that apes would beat! Pluto and hell! All hurt behind; backs red, and faces pale With flight and agued fear! Mend, and charge home, Or, by the fires of heaven, I 'll leave the foe, And make my wars on you; look to 't: Come on; If you 'll stand fast, we 'll beat them to their wives, As they us to our trenches followed.
7 Re-enter Marcius.] The old copy reads--Enter Marcius qursing. Steevens.
8 You shames of Rome! you herd of -- Boils and plagues &c.] This passage, like almost every other abrupt sentence in these plays, Wis rendered unintelligible in the old copy by inaccurate punctuation. See Vol. II, p. 324, n. 4; Vol. IV, p. 30, n. 3; and p 340, n. 2. For the present regulation I am answerable. “You herd of cowards.!” Marcius would say, but his rage prevents him,
In a former passage (p. 14 and 15,) he is equally impetuous and abrupt:
" One's Junius Brutus,
“ The rabble should have first” &c. . Speaking of the people in a subsequent scene, he uses the same expression:
Are these your herd? “Must these have voices,” &c. “ Again: “More of your conversation would infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly plebeians.”
In Mr. Rowe's edition herds was printed instead of herd, the reading of the old copy; and the passage has been exhibited thus in the modern editions:
“You shames of Rome, you! Herds of boils and plagues "Plaster you o'er!” Malone.