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give your dispositions the reins, and be angry at your pleasures ; at the least, if you take it as a pleasure to you, in being so: Marcius for being proud.
Bru. We do it not alone, Sir.
Men. I know, you can do very little alone; for your helps are many, or else your actions would grow wondrous single; your abilities are too infant-like, for doing much alone. You talk of pride you could turn your eyes towards the napes of your necks, and make but an interior survey of your good selves! Oh that you could!
Bru. What then, Sir ?
Men. Why, then you should discover a brace of as unmeriting, proud, violent, testy magistrates, alias fools, as any in Rome.
Sic. Menenins, you are known well enough too.
Men. I am known to be a humorous Patrician, and one that loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying Tiber in’t : said to be something imperfect, in favouring the first complaint; hafty and tinderlike, upon too trivial motion : one that converses more with the buttock of the night, than with the forehead of the morning. What I think, I utter; and spend my malice in my breath. Meeting two such weals-men as you are, (I cannot call you Lycurguljes) if the drink you give me touch my palate adverfly, I make a crooked face at it. I can't say, your Worships have deliver'd the matter well, when I find the ass in compound with the major part of your fyllables ; and tho I must be content to bear with those, that say, you are reverend grave men; yet they lie deadly, that tell you, you have good faces; if you fee this in the map of my microcosm, follows it, that I am known well enough too? (11) what harm can your biffon Con
(11) What harm can your besom Confpe&tuities glean out of this Character, &c.] If the Editors have form'd any Construction to themselves, of this Epithet besom, that can be à propos to the Sense of the Context ;
Davus fum, non Oedipus: it is too hard a Riddle for Me to Vol. VI.
spectuities glean out of this character, if I be known well enough too?
Bru. Come, Sir, come, we know you well enough.
Men. You know neither me, your selves, nor any thing; you are ambitious for poor knaves caps and legs : you wear out a good wholesome forenoon, in hearing a Cause between an orange-wife and a fossetfeller, and then adjourn a controversy of three-pence to a second day of audience.
When you are hearing a matter between party and party, if you chance to be pinch'd with the cholick, you make faces like mummers, set up the bloody flag against all patience, and, in roaring for a chamber.pot, dismiss the controversie bleeding, the more intangled by your hearing: all the peace you make in their cause, is calling both the parties knaves. You are a pair of strange
Bru. Come, come, you are well understood to be a perfecter gyber for the Table, than a necessary bencher in the Capitol.
Men. Our very priests must become mockers, if they shall encounter such ridiculous subjects as you are; when you Ipeak beft unto the purpose, it is not worth the wagging of beards ; and deserve not to honourable a Grave, as to stuff a botcher's cushion, or to be intomb'd in an ass's packsaddle. Yet you must be saying, Marcius is proud ;
expound. Menenius, 'tis plain, is abusing the Tribunes, and bantering them Ironically. By Conspectuities he must mean, their Sagacity, Clearfightedness; and that they may not think he's Complimenting them, he tacks an Epithet to it
, which quite undoes that Character ; i. e. biffon, blind, bleer ey'd. Skinner, in his Etymologicon, explains this Word, Cæcus; vox agro Lincoln. usitatissima. Řay concurs, in his North and South Country Words. And our Author gives us this Term again in his Hamlet, where the Sense exactly corresponds with this Interpretation.
Run barefoot up and down, threatning the Flames,
With biflon Rheum. i. e. blinding. It is spoken of Hecuba, whose Eyes o'erflow and are blinded, both with Tears, and the Rheums of Age.
who, in a cheap estimation, (12) is worth all your predecessors since Deucalion; though, peradventure, some of the best of them were hereditary hangmen. Good-e'en to your Worthips; more of your conversation would infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly Plebeians. I will be bold to take my leave of you.
[Brutus and Sicinius stand aside. As Menenius is going out, Enter Volumnia, Virgilia,
and Valeria. How now my (as fair as noble) ladies, and the moon, were she earthly, no nobler ; whither do you follow your eyes so fast?
Vol. Honourable Menenius, my boy Marcius apo proaches; for the love of Juno, let's go.
Men. Ha! Marcius coming home?
Dol. Ay, worthy Menenius, and with most prospe. rous approbation.
Men. Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee hoo, Marcius coming home!
Both. Nay, 'tis true.
Vol. Look, here's a letter from him, the State hath another, his wife another, and, I think, there's one at
home for you.
Men. I will make my very house reel to night: A letter for me!
Vir. Yes, certain, there's a letter for you, I faw't.
Men. A letter for me! it gives me an estate of seven years health; in which time I will make a lip at the physician; the most fovereign prescription in Galen is but Emperic; and to this preservative of no better re
(12) who, in a cheap Eftimation, is worth all your Predecesors
fince Deucalion, the peradventure, some of the beft of them were hereditary Hangmen.] I won't pretend to affirm, this is an Imitation of the Close of Juvenal's 8th Satire; though it has very much the fame Cast, only exceeds it, I think, in Humour, and Poignancy of Satire.
Et tamen ut longè repetas, longéq; revolvas
than a horse-drench. Is he not wounded ? he was wont to come home wounded.
Vir. Oh no, no, no.
Men. So do I too, if he be not too much; brings a'victory in his pocket? the wounds become him.
Vol. On's brows, Menenius; he comes the third time home with the oaken garland.
Men.' Hath he disciplin'd Aufidius soundly?
Vol. Titus Lartius writes, they fought together, but Aufidius got off.
Men. And 'twas time for him too, I'll warrant him that: if he had staid by him, I would not have been so fidius'd for all the chests in Corioli, and the gold that's in them. Is the Senate pofleft of this?
Vol. Good ladies, let's go. Yes, yes, yes : the Senațe has letters from the General, wherein he gives my son the whole name of the war: he hath in this action 'out-done his former deeds doubly.
Val. In troth, there's wondrous things spoke of him.
Men. Wondrous ! ay, I warrant you, and not without his true purchasing.
Vir. The Gods grant them true!
I'll be sworn, they are true. Where is he wounded? God save your good Worships ;-Marcius is coming home; he has more cause to be proud:where is he wounded ?
[To the Tribunes. Vol. I'th' shoulder, and i'th' left arm; there will be large cicatrices to shew the people, when he shall stand for his place. He receive in the repulse of Tarquin seyen hurts i'th' body. (13)
(13) He receiv'd, in the Repulse of Tarquin, Seven Hurts ith body.
Men One ith Neck, and two i th Thigh: there's Nine, that I know.] Seven, - one, - and two, and thele make but nine ? Surely, we may with Safety afsift Menenius in his Arithmetick.
This is a ftupid Blunder ; but wherever we can account by a probable Reason for the Cause of it, That directs the Emendation. Here it was easy for a negligent Transcriber to omit the second One as a needless Repetition of the first, and to make a Numeral word of too.
Men. One i'th' neck, and one too i'th' thigh; there's nine, that I know.
Vol. He had, before this last expedition, twenty five wounds upon him.
Men Now 'tis twenty seven; every gash was an enemy's Grave. Hark, the trumpets.
[A fout and flourish. Vol. These are the ushers of Marcius; before him he carries noise, and behind him he leaves tears: - Death, that dark Spirit, in's nervy arm doth lye; Which being advanc’d, declines, and then men die. Trumpets, found. Enter Cominius the General, and Ti
tus Lartius; between them Coriolanus, crown'd with
Her. Know, Rome, that all alone Marcius did fight
Cor. No more of this, it does offend my heart;
Com. Look, Sir, your mother,
Cor. My gracious silence, hail !
Men. Now the Gods crown thee!