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In mine own person; holp to reap the fame,
Which he did end all his; and took some pride
To do myself this wrong: till, at the last,
I seem'd his follower, not partner; and
He wag'd me with his countenance, as if
I had been mercenary.

1 Con.

So he did, my lord: The army marvell'd at it. And, in the last, When he had carried Rome; and that we look'd For no less spoil, than glory,


There was it; -
For which my sinews shall be stretch'd upon him.
At a few drops of women's rheum, which are
As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labour
Of our great action; Therefore shall he die,
And I'll renew me in his fall. But, hark!

[Drums and Trumpets sound, with great Shouts of the People.

1 Con. Your native town you enter'd like a post, And had no welcomes home; but he returns, Splitting the air with noise.

2 Con.

And patient fools, Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tear, With giving him glory.

3 Con.

Therefore, at your vantage,

Ere he express himself, or move the people
With what he would say, let him feel your sword,
Which we will second. When he lies along,
After your way his tale pronounc'd shall bury

His reasons with his body.

Say no more;


Here come the lords.

5 He wag'd me with his countenance,] This is obscure. The mean. ing, I think, is, he prescribed to me with an air of authority, and gave me his countenance for my wages; thought me sufficiently rewarded with good looks. JOHNSON.

6 For which my sinews shall be stretch'd — ] This is the point or which I will attack him with my utmost abilities.

Enter the Lords of the City.

Lords. You are most welcome home.

But, worthy lords, have you with heed perus'd
What I have written to you?

I have not deserv'd it,

We have.

Lords. 1 Lord. And grieve to hear it. What faults he made before the last, I think, Might have found easy fines: but there to end, Where he was to begin, and give away The benefit of our levies, answering us With our own charge7; making a treaty, where There was a yielding; This admits no excuse. Auf. He approaches, you shall hear him.

Enter CORIOLANUS, with Drums and Colours; a Croud of Citizens with him.

Cor. Hail, lords! I am returned your soldier; No more infected with my country's love, Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting Under your great command. You are to know, That prosperously I have attempted, and With bloody passage, led your wars, even to The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought home, Do more than counterpoise, a full third part, The charges of the action. We have made peace, With no less honour to the Antiates, Than shame to the Romans: and we here deliver, Subscrib'd by the consuls and patricians, Together with the seal o'the senate, what

We have compounded on.



Read it not, noble lords; But tell the traitor, in the highest degree He hath abus'd your powers.

answering us

With our own charge ;] That is, rewarding us with our own expences; making the cost of war its recompence.

Cor. Traitor! - How now?



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Ay, traitor, Marcius.


Auf. Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius; Dost thou think grace thee with that robbery, thy stol'n name Coriolanus in Corioli?

You lords and heads of the state, perfidiously
He has betray'd your business, and given up,
For certain drops of salt, your city Rome
(I say, your city,) to his wife and mother:
Breaking his oath and resolution, like
A twist of rotten silk; never admitting
Counsel o'the war; but at his nurse's tears
He whin'd and roar'd away your victory;
That pages blush'd at him, and men of heart
Look'd wondering each at other.


Hear'st thou, Mars? Auf. Name not the god, thou boy of tears,Cor.


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Auf. No more. 9

Cor. Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart Too great for what contains it. Boy! O slave! Pardon me, lords, 'tis the first time that ever I was forc'd to scold. Your judgments, my grave lords, Must give this cur the lie: and his own notion (Who wears my stripes impress'd on him; that must bear My beating to his grave;) shall join to thrust The lie unto him.

1 Lord.

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Peace, both, and hear me speak. Cor. Cut me to pieces, Volces; men and lads, Stain all your edges on me. Boy! False hound! If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there, That like an eagle in a dove-cote, I Flutter'd your voices in Corioli: Alone I did it.


8 For certain drops of salt,] For certain tears.

9 Auf. No more.] By these words Aufidius does not mean to put a stop to the altercation; but to tell Coriolanus that he was no more than a "boy of tears."

Auf. Why, noble lords, Will you be put in mind of his blind fortune, Which was your shame, by this unholy braggart, 'Fore your own eyes and ears? Con. Let him die for't.

Cit. [speaking promiscuously.]

do it presently. He killed my son; -my daughter; He killed my cousin Marcus;- He killed my father.— 2 Lord. Peace, ho;-no outrage; -peace. The man is noble, and his fame folds in This orb o'the earth. ' His last offence to us Shall have judicious hearing. 2-Stand, Aufidius, And trouble not the peace,


O, that I had him,
With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe,
To use my lawful sword!


Con. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him.

[Several speak at once. Tear him to pieces,

Insolent villain!


[AUFIDIUS and the Conspirators draw, and kill CORIOLANUS, who falls, and AUFIDIUS stands on him.

Hold, hold, hold, hold.
Auf. My noble masters, hear me speak.
1 Lord.

O Tullus,2 Lord. Thou hast done a deed whereat valour will weep.

3 Lord. Tread not upon him. Masters all, be quiet; Put up your swords.

Auf. My lords, when you shall know (as in this rage, Provok'd by him, you cannot,) the great danger Which this man's life did owe you, you'll rejoice, That he is thus cut off.

Please it

Please it your honours To call me to your senate, I'll deliver

his fame folds in

This orb o'the earth.] His fame overspreads the world.

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2 ―

— judicious hearing.] Perhaps judicious, in the present instance, signifies judicial; such a hearing as is allowed to criminals in courts of judicature. Thus imperious is used by our author for imperial.

Myself your loyal servant, or endure

Your heaviest censure.

1 Lord.

And mourn you for him: let him be regarded
As the most noble corse, that ever herald
Did follow to his urn. 3

2 Lord.
His own impatience
Takes from Aufidius a great part of blame.
Let's make the best of it.

Bear from hence his body,


My rage is gone,
And I am struck with sorrow.
Take him up:
Help, three o' the chiefest soldiers; I'll be one. -
Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully:
Trail your steel pikes.-Though in this city he
Hath widow'd and unchilded many a one,
Which to this hour bewail the injury,
Yet he shall have a noble memory. 4



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that ever herald

Did follow to his urn.] This allusion is to a custom unknown, I believe, to the ancients, but observed in the publick funerals of English princes, at the conclusion of which a herald proclaims the style of the deceased. STEEVENS.

[Exeunt, bearing the Body of CORIOLANUS. A Dead March sounded. 5

a noble memory.] Memory for memorial.

The tragedy of Coriolanus is one of the most amusing of our author's performances. The old man's merriment in Menenius; the lofty lady's dignity in Volumnia; the bridal modesty in Virgilia; the patrician and military haughtiness in Coriolanus; the plebeian malignity and tribunitian insolence in Brutus and Sicinius, make a very pleasing and interesting variety: and the various revolutions of the hero's fortune fill the mind with anxious curiosity. There is, perhaps, too much bustle in the first Act, and too little in the last. JOHNSON.


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