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And, through the cranks and offices of man,
Whereby they live: And though that all at once, You, my good friends, (this says the belly,) mark
Though all at once cannot
MEN. See what I do deliver out to each; Yet I can make my audit up, that all From me do back receive the flower of all, And leave me but the bran. What say you to't? 1 CIT. It was an answer: How apply you this? MEN. The senators of Rome are this good belly, And you the mutinous members: For examine Their counsels, and their cares; digest things
Touching the weal o' the common; you shall find, No publick benefit which you receive,
But it proceeds, or comes, from them to you,
sidence, the heart, in which the kingly crowned understanding sits enthroned.
So, in King Henry VI. Part II. :
"The rightful heir to England's royal seat."
In like manner in Twelfth-Night our author has erected the throne of love in the heart :
"It gives a very echo to the seat
"Where love is throned."
Again, in Othello:
"Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne." So, in King Henry V.:
"We never valued this poor seat of England." MALONE. See Mr. Douce's note at the end of this play. BOSWELL.
the cranks and offices of man,] Cranks are the meandrous ducts of the human body. STEEVENS.
Cranks are windings. In Venus and Adonis our Author has employed the same word as a verb:
He cranks and crosses, with a thousand doubles."
He has a similar metaphor in Hamlet :
"The natural gates and alleys of the body." MALONE.
And no way from yourselves.-What do you think? You, the great toe of this assembly ?
1 CIT. I the great toe? Why the great toe? MEN. For that being one o' the lowest, basest, poorest,
Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost: Thou rascal, that art worst in blood, to run Lead'st first, to win some vantage'.
I Thou rascal, that art worst in blood, to RUN
Lead'st first, to win some vantage.] I think, we may better read, by an easy change:
"Thou rascal, thou art worst in blood, to ruin
Thou that art the meanest by birth, art the foremost to lead thy fellows to ruin, in hope of some advantage. The meaning, however, is perhaps only this, 'Thou that art a hound, or running dog of the lowest breed, lead'st the pack, when any thing is to be gotten.' JOHNSON.
Worst in blood may be the true reading. In King Henry VI. Part I.:
"If we be English deer, be then in blood."
i. e. high spirits, in vigour.
Again, in this play of Coriolanus, Act IV. Sc. V.: “But when they shall see his crest up again, and the man in blood," &c.
Mr. M. Mason judiciously observes that blood, in all these passages, is applied to deer, for a lean deer is called a rascal; and that "worst in blood," is least in vigour. STEEVENS. Both rascal and in blood are terms of the forest. Rascal meant a lean deer, and is here used equivocally. The phrase in blood was, I have remarked in a former note, a phrase of the forest. See vol. iv. p. 352.
Our author seldom is careful that his comparisons should answer on both sides. He seems to mean here, thou worthless scoundrel, though like a deer not in blood, thou art in the worst condition for running of all the herd of plebeians, takest the lead in this tumult, in order to obtain some private advantage to yourself.' What advantage the foremost of a herd of deer could obtain, is not easy to point out, nor did Shakspeare, I believe, consider. Perhaps indeed he only uses rascal in its ordinary sense. So afterwards
"From rascals worse than they."
Dr. Johnson's interpretation appears to me inadmissible; as the term, though it is applicable both in its original and metaphorical sense to a man, cannot, I think, be applied to a dog; nor
But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs;
Enter CAIUS MARCIUS.
MAR. Thanks.-What's the matter, you dissentious rogues,
That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
We have ever your good word. MAR. He that will give good words to thee, will
Beneath abhorring.-What would you have, you
That like nor peace, nor war? the one affrights you,
The other makes you proud 3. He that trusts you,
Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is,
have I found any instance of the term in blood being applied to the canine species. MALONE.
2 The one side must have bale.] Bale is an old Saxon word, for misery or calamity:
For light she hated as the deadly bale."
Spenser's Fairy Queen. Mr. M. Mason observes that "bale, as well as bane, signified poison in Shakspeare's days." So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers." STEEVENS.
This word was antiquated in Shakspeare's time, being marked as obsolete by Bullokar, in his English Expositor, 1616.
3 That LIKE NOR peace nor war? the one affrights you, The other makes you PROUD.] Coriolanus does not use these two sentences consequentially, but first reproaches them with unsteadiness, then with their other occasional vices.
To make him worthy, whose offence subdues him, And curse that justice did it. Who deserves great
Deserves your hate and your affections are
And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust
With every minute you do change a mind;
What's the mat
That in these several places of the city
You cry against the noble senate, who,
Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else Would feed on one another ?-What's their seek
MEN. For corn at their own rates; whereof, they
The city is well stor❜d.
Hang 'em! They say?
They'll sit by the fire, and presume to know
What's done i' the Capitol: who's like to rise, Who thrives, and who declines: side factions, and give out
To make him worthy, whose offence subdues him,
And curse that justice did it.] i. e. Your virtue is to speak well of him whom his own offences have subjected to justice; and to rail at those laws by which he whom you praise was punished. STEEVENS.
5 What's THEIR seeking?] Seeking is here used substantively. -The answer is, "Their seeking, or suit, (to use the language of the time,) is for corn." MALONE.
6 who's like to rise, WHO THRIVES, and who declines:] The words-who thrives, which destroy the metre, appear to be an evident and tasteless interpolation. They are omitted by Sir T. Hanmer. STEEVENS.
Conjectural marriages; making parties strong,
Would the nobility lay aside their ruth",
And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry
7 their RUTH,] i. e. their pity, compassion. Fairfax and Spenser often use the word. Hence the adjective-ruthless,
which is still current. STEEVENS.
8 I'd make a quarry
With thousands-] Why a quarry? I suppose, not because he would pile them square, but because he would give them for carrion to the birds of prey. JOHNSON.
So, in The Miracles of Moses, by Drayton :
"And like a quarry cast them on the land."
See vol. xi. p. 233, n. 4. STEevens.
The word quarry occurs in Macbeth, where Ross says to Mac
"Were on the quarry
In a note on this last passage, Steevens asserts, that quarry means game pursued or killed, and supports that opinion by a passage in Massinger's Guardian: and from thence I suppose the word was used to express a heap of slaughtered persons.
In the concluding scene of Hamlet, where Fortinbrass sees so many lying dead, he says:
"This quarry cries, on havock!"
and in the last scene of A Wife for a Month, Valerio, in describing his own fictitious battle with the Turks, says:
"I saw the child of honour, for he was young,
"Deal such an alms among the spiteful Pagans,
And round about his reach, invade the Turks,
"He had intrench'd himself in his dead quarries."
Bullokar, in his English Expositor, 8vo. 1616, says that "a quarry among hunters signifieth the reward given to hounds after they have hunted, or the venison which is taken by hunting.” This sufficiently explains the word of Coriolanus. MALONE.
PICK my lance.] And so the word [pitch] is still pronounced in Staffordshire, where they say-picke me such a thing, that is, pitch or throw any thing that the demander wants.