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Cır. Our enemy's banish’d! he is gone! Hoo!
[The People shout, and throw up their caps. Sic. Go, see him out at gates, and follow him, As he hath follow'd you, with all despite; Give him deserv'd vexation. Let a guard Attend us through the city.
Cır. Come, come, let us see him out at gates;
The gods preserve our noble tribunes ! Come.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
The Same. Before a Gate of the City.
Enter CORIOLANUS, VOLUMNIA, Virgilia, Mene
NIUS, Cominius, and several young Patricians. Cor. Come, leave your tears; a brief farewell :
the beast With many heads? butts me away.-Nay, mother, Where is your ancient courage ? you were us'd To say, extremities was the trier of spirits ; That common chances common men could bear; That, when the sea was calm, all boats alike Show'd mastership in floating 8 : fortune's blows,
With many heads --] Thus also, Horace, speaking of the Roman mob:
Bellua multorum est capitum. STEEVENS.
you were us'd
Το say, extremity was the trier of spirits ;
Show'd mastership in floating ;] Thus the second folio. The first reads :
When most struck home, being gentle wounded,
Vir. O heavens! O heavens !
Nay, I pr’ythee, woman,
“ To say, extreamities was the trier of spirits." Extremity, in the singular number, is used by our author in The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Comedy of Errors, Troilus and Cressida, &c.
The general thought of this passage has already occurred in Troilus and Cressida. See vol. viii. p. 253 :
In the reproof of chance
shallow bauble boats dare sail
STEEVENS. However often Shakspeare has used extremes in other places, we find that he has employed the plural here ; what ground therefore have we for changing a word that affords perfect good sense, and is found in the only ancient authentick copy. It is decisively confirmed and supported, not only by that copy, but by another place in this very play, where we meet with exact the same phraseology, Act III. Śc. II. :
You are too absolute,
A noble cunning :) This is the ancient and authentick reading. The modern editors have, for gentle wounded, silently substituted gently warded, and Dr. Warburton has explained gently by nobly. It is good to be sure of our author's words before we go to explain their meaning.
The sense is, “When Fortune strikes her hardest blows, to be wounded, and yet continue calm, requires a generous policy.' He calls this calmness, cunning, because it is the effect of reflection and philosophy. Perhaps the first emotions of nature are nearly uniform, and one man differs from another in the power of endurance, as he is better regulated by precept and instruction.
They bore as heroes, but they felt as men.” Johnson.
Vol. Now the red pestilence strike all trades in
What, what, what!
had been the wife of Hercules,
My first son,
STEEVENS. 2 – cautelous baits and practice.] By artful and false tricks, and treason. Johnson.
Cautelous, in the present instance, signifies--insidious. In the sense of cautious it occurs in Julius Cæsar : Swear priests and cowards, and men cautelous."
STEEVENS. 3 My FIRST son] First, i. e. noblest, and most eminent of
Whither wilt thou go ? Take good Cominius
O the gods !
well: Thou hast years upon thee ; and thou art too full Of the wars' surfeits, to go rove with one That's yet unbruis'd : bring me but out at gate.Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and My friends of noble touch", when I am forth, Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you, come. While I remain above the ground, you shall Hear from me still; and never of me aught But what is like me formerly. Mr. Heath would read :
My fierce son." STEVENS. 4 More than a wild ExpOSTURE to each chance
That starts i' the way before thee.] I know not whether the word exposture be found in any other author. If not, I should incline to read exposure. We have, however, other words of a similar formation in these plays. So, in Timon of Athens :
The earth's a thief
“ From general excrement.” Malone.
“ And when we have our naked frailties hid
66 That suffer in exposure, Again, in Troilus and Cressida:
“ To weaken and discredit our exposure." Exposture is, I believe, no more than a typographical error.
STEEVENS. 's My friends of noble touch,] i. e. of true metal unallayed. Metaphor from trying gold on the touchstone. WARBURTON.
That's worthily As any ear can hear.-Come, let's not weep.If I could shake off but one seven years From these old arms and legs, by the good gods, I'd with thee every foot. Cor.
Give me thy hand :Come.
A Street near the Gate.
Enter Sicinius, BRUTUS, and an Ædile.
Now we have shown our power,
Bid them home:
Dismiss them home.
[Erit Ædile. Enter VOLUMNIA, Virgilia, and MenenIUS. Here comes his mother. Sic.
Let's not meet her. BRU.
Why ? Sic. They say, she's mad. Bru. They have ta'en note of us : keep on your
way. Vol. O, you're well met: The hoarded plague
o the gods Requite your love! MEN.
Peace, peace; be not so loud.