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And, through the cranks and offices of man,1
The strongest nerves, and small inferior veins,
From me receive that natural competency
Whereby they live: And though that all at once,

You, my good friends, (this says the belly) mark me,1 Cit. Ay, sir; well, well.


Though all at once cannot

See what I do deliver out to each;

Yet I can make my audit up, that all

From me do back receive the flour 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 rightly,
Touching the weal o' the common; you shall find,
No public benefit, which you receive,

But it proceeds, or comes, from them to you,
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.2

"Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne." See also a passage in King Henry V, where seat is used in the same sense as here; Vol. IX, p. 227, n. 4.



the cranks and offices of man,] Cranks are the meandrous ducts of the human body. Steevens.

Cranks are windings. So, in Venus and Adonis:

"He cranks and crosses, with a thousand doubles."


2 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 that art worst in blood, to ruin
Lead'st first, to win &c.

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, P. I:

But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs;
Rome and her rats are at the point of battle,
The one side must have bale.3-Hail, noble Marcius!

Mar. Thanks.-What's the matter, you dissentious rogues,

That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Make yourselves scabs?

1 Cit.

We have ever your good word. Mar. He that will give good words to thee, will flatter Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,

"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 has been proved in a former note to be a phrase of the forest. See Vol. X, p. 86, n. 7.

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 have I found any instance of the term in blood being applied to the canine species. Malone.

3 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. Malone.

That like nor peace, nor war? the one affrights you,
The other makes you proud.4 He that trusts you,
Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
Where foxes, geese: You are no surer, no,
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is,

To make him worthy, whose offence subdues him,
And curse that justice did it.5 Who deserves greatness,
Deserves your hate: and your affections are

A sick man's appetite, who desires most that
Which wou increase his evil. He that depends
Upon your favours, swims with fins of lead,

And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust ye?
With every minute you do change a mind;
And call him noble, that was now your hate,

Him vile, that was your garland. What 's the matter,
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 seeking? Men. For corn at their own rates; whereof, they say, 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:7 side factions, and give


4 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. Johnson. ·Your virtue is,


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.

• What's their seeking?] Seeking is here used substantively, -The answer is, "There seeking, or suit (to use the language of the time) is for corn." Malone.

7 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,
And feebling such as stand not in their liking,

Below their cobbled shoes. They say, there's grain enough?

Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,3

And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry
With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high
As I could pick my lance.1

8 their ruth,] i. e. their pity, compassion. Fairfax and Spenser often use the word. Hence the adjective-ruthless, which is still current. Steevens.


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. VII, p. 204, n. 8. Steevens.

The word quarry occurs in Macbeth, where Ross says to Macduff:

to state the manner,

"Were on the quarry of these murder'd deer
"To add the death of you."

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 Fortinbras 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."

M. Mason. 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.

1 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. Tollet.

Thus, in Froissart's Chronicle, cap. C, Ixiii, fo. lxxxii, b: "and as he stouped downe to take up his swerde, the Frenche squyer dyd pycke his swerde at hym, and by hap strake hym through bothe the thyes." Steevens.

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Men. Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded; For though abundantly they lack discretion,

Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you,
What says the other troop?

They are dissolv'd: Hang 'em!
They said, they were an-hungry; sigh'd forth proverbs;→→
That, hunger broke stone walls; that, dogs must eat;
That, meat was made for mouths; that, the gods sent not
Corn for the rich men only:-With these shreds
They vented their complainings; which being answer'd,
And a petition granted them, a strange one,
(To break the heart of generosity,2

And make bold power look pale,) they threw their caps As they would hang them on the horns o' the moon,3 Shouting their emulation.4


What is granted them? Mar. Five tribunes, to defend their vulgar wisdoms, Of their own choice: One 's Junius Brutus,

Sicinius Velutus, and I know not-'Sdeath!

So, in An Account of auntient Customes and Games, &c. MSS. Harl. 2057, fol. 10, b:

"To wrestle, play at strole-ball, [stool-ball] or to runne, "To picke the barre, or to shoot off a gun.”

The word is again used in King Henry VIII, with only a slight variation in the spelling: "I'll peck you o'er the pales else." See Vol. XI, p. 352, n. 3. Malone.


the heart of generosity.] To give the final blow to the nobles. Generosity is high birth. Johnson.

So, in Measure for Measure:


66 The generous

and gravest citizens." Steevens. hang them on the horns o' the moon,] So, in Antony and Cleopatra:

"Let me lodge Lichas on the horns o' the moon." Steevens. 4 Shouting their emulation.] Each of them striving to shout louder than the rest. Malone.

Emulation, in the present instance, I believe, signifies faction. Shouting their emulation, may mean, expressing the triumph of their faction by shouts.

Emulation, in our author, is sometimes used in an unfavourable sense, and not to imply an honest contest for superior excellence. Thus, in King Henry VI, P. I:

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the trust of England's honour

"Keep off aloof with worthless emulation."

Again, in Troilus and Cressida:

"While emulation in the army crept."

i. e. faction. Steevens.

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