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Or never be so noble as a consul,
Let's be calm.
Tell me of corn!
Men. Not now, not now. 1 Sen.
Not in this heat, sir, now. Cor. Now, as I live, I will.--My nobler friends, I crave their pardons : For the mutable, rank-scented many 7, let them Regard me as I do not flatter, and Therein behold themselves: I say again, In soothing them, we nourish 'gainst our senate The cockle 8 of rebellion, insolence, sedition, Which we ourselves have plough'd for, sow'd and
scatter'd, By mingling them with us, the honour'd number; Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that Which they have given to beggars. Men.
Well, no more. 1 Sen. No more words, we beseech you. Cor.
How ! no more? As for my country I have shed my blood,
5 Paltering is shuffling. 6 i. e. treacherously. The metaphor is from a rub at bowls.
7 i. e. the populace. The Greeks used or nollor exactly in the same sense.
8 Cockle is a weed which grows up with and chokes the corn. The thought is from North's Plutarch : Moreover, he said, that they nourished against themselves the naughty seed and cockle of insolency and sedition, which had been sowed and scattered abroad among the people,' &c.
Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs
very way to catch them. Bru.
You speak o’the people,
What, what? his choler?
It is a mind,
Shall remain !
this Triton of the minnows 10? mark you. His absolute shall ? Com.
'Twas from the canon. Cor.
he'll turn your current in a ditch, And make your channel his ?
If he have power,
9 Meazel, or mesell, is the old term for a leper, from the Fr. meselle.
10 So in Love's Labour's Lost:- That base minnow of thy mirth.'
11 The old copy has. O God, but,' &c. The emendation was made by Theobald.
13 • The horn and noise,' alluding to his having called him Triton of the minnows before.
Then vail your ignorancel*: if none, awake
Well-on to the market-place.
Well, well, no more of that. Cor. (Though there the people had more absolute
Why, shall the people give
I'll give my reasons, More worthier than their voices. They know, the Was not our recompense; resting well assur'd
14 • If this man has power, let the ignorance that gave it him vail or bow down before him.'
15 • The plebeians are no less than senators, when, the voices of the senate and the people being blended, the predominant taste of the compound smacks more of the populace than the senate.'
16 • The mischief and absurdity of what is called imperium in imperio is here finely expressed,' says Warburton.
They ne'er did service for’t: Being press'd to the war,
No, take more: What may be sworn by, both divine and human, Seal what I end withal 20!—This double worship, Where one part does disdain with cause, the other Insult without all reason; where gentry, title, wisdom
17 To thread the gates is to pass through them. So in King Lear :- Threading dark-ey'd night.'
18 Native, if it be not a corruption of the text, must be put for native cause, the producer, or bringer forth. Mason's proposed emendation of motive would be very plausible, were it not that the poet seems to have intended a kind of antithesis between cause unborn and native cause.
19 • This bosom multiplied,' is this multitudinous bosom, the bosom of that many-beaded monster the people.
20 • No, let ine add this further, and may every thing divine and human that can give force to an oatb, bear witness to the truth of what I shall conclude with.'
Cannot conclude, but by the yea and no
He has said enough. Sic. He has spoken like a traitor, and shall answer As traitors do.
Cor. Thou wretch! despite o’erwhelm thee!What should the people do with these bald tribunes? On whom depending, their obedience fails
21. To doubt is to fear.
22 To jump a body is apparently' to risk or hazard a body.' So in Holland's Pliny, b. xxv. ch. v. p. 219:— If we looke for good successe in our cure by ministring hellebore, &c. for certainly it putteth the patient to a jumpe or greate hazard.' So in Mac
• We'd jump the life to come.'
our fortune lies
Of that integrity which should become it.' Judgment is the faculty by which right is distinguished from wrong. Integrity is in this place soundness, uniformity, consistency.