Page images

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. Who deserves

Deserves your hate ; and your affections are
A sick man's appetite, who desires most that
Which would 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. MAR.

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 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, And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry * A "quarry," in the language of the forest, meant a pile of slaughtered game.

I'd make a quarry With thousands of these quarter'd slaves,--]


With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high | Mar.

They have a leader, As I could pick “ my lance.

Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to't.
MEN. Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded; I sin in envying his nobility; "
For though abundantly they lack discretion, And were I any thing but what I am,
Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech I would wish me only he.


You have fought together. What says the other troop?

Mar. Were half to half the world by the ears, MAR. They are dissolv'd: hang 'em !

and he They said they were an-hungry; sigh'd forth Upon my party, I'd revolt, to make proverbs,

[eat; Only my wars with him: he is a lion That hunger broke stone walls ;—that dogs must That I am proud to hunt. That meat was made for mouths ;--that the gods 1 SEN.

Then, worthy Marcius, sent not

Attend upon Cominius to these wars. Corn for the rich men only:-with these shreds Com. It is your former promise. They vented their complainings; which being MAR.

Sir, it is; answer'd,

And I am constant.—Titus Lartius,* thou And a petition granted them, a strange one, Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face. (To break the heart of generosity,

What, art thou stiff? stand'st out? And make bold power look pale) they threw their


No, Caius Marcius; caps

[moon, I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other, As they would hang them on the horns o’ the Ere stay behind this business. Shouting * their emulation.


0, true bred! MEN.

What is granted them? 1 Sen. Your company to the Capitol ; where, Mar. Five tribunes to defend their vulgar

I know, wisdoms,

Our greatest friends attend us. Of their own choice: one's Junius Brutus,


Lead you on : Sicinius Velutus, and I know not~'sdeath! Follow, Cominius; we must follow you ; The rabble should have first unroof?dt the city, Right worthy you priority. Ere so prevail'd with me: it will in time


Noble Marcius ! Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes | 1 SEN. Hence! To your homes, be gone! For insurrection's arguing.

To the Citizens. MEN. This is strange.


Nay, let them follow : MAR. Go, get you home, you fragments ! The Volsces have much corn; take these rats

thither, Enter a Messenger.

To gnaw their garners.-- Worshipful mutiners,

Your valour puts well forth: pray, follow. Mess. Where's Caius Marcius ?

[Exeunt Senators, Com. Mar. Tit. and MAR. Here: what's the matter?

MENEN. Citizens steal away. Mess. The news is, sir, the Volsces are in Sic. Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius? arms.

(to vent Bru. He has no equal. Mar. I am glad on't; then we shall have means Sic. When we were chosen tribunes for the Our musty superfluity.-See, our best elders.

Bru. Mark'd you his lip, and eyes ?

Nay, but his taunts. Enter COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, and other

Bru. Being mov’d, he will not spare to gird Senators; JUNIUS BRUTUS and SICINIUS

the gods. VELUTUS.

Sic. Be-mock the modest moon.

Bru. The present wars devour him! he is 1 Sen. Marcius, 'tis true that you have lately

grown told us;

Too proud to be so valiant. The Volsces are in arms.


Such a nature,

(*) Old text, Shooting.

(+) Old text, unroo'st.

a pick my lance. That is, pitch my lance. The word pick for pitch is in common use still in many parts of England.

(To break the heart of generosity,-) To crush the privileges of the nobly-born. Generosity is used in its primary sense. So "Othello," Act III. Sc. 3:

" -- the generous islanders
By you invited, do attend your presence.”

(*) Old text, Lucius
The present wars devour him! he is grown

Too proud to be so valiant.]
The beginning of this speech, which has been explained his
pride of military prowess in these wars devours him, we prefer to
read, with Warburton, as an imprecation. The latter words
appear to import, -He is grown too proud of being so valiant.

Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
Which he treads on at noon : but I do wonder, To answer us.
His insolence can brook to be commanded

AUF. Nor did you think it folly
Under Cominius.

To keep your great pretences veil'd, till when Bru.

Fame, at the which he aims, They needs must show themselves; which in the In whom already he's well grac'd, cannot

hatching, Better be held, nor more attain'd, than by

It seem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery, A place below the first : for what miscarries We shall be shorten’d in our aim; which was, Shall be the general's fault, though he perform | To take in many towns, ere, almost, Rome To the utmost of a man; and giddy censure Should know we were afoot. Will then cry out of Marcius, 0, if he

2 SEN.

Noble Aufidius, Had borne the business !

Take your commission ; hie you to your bands ; Sic.

Besides, if things go well, Let us alone to guard Corioli: d. Opinion, that so sticks on Marcius, shall

If they set down before's, for the remove Of his demerits a rob Cominius.

Bring up your army; but, I think, you'll find BRU.


They've not prepard for us. Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius,


O, doubt not that; Though Marcius earn’d them not; and all his I speak from certainties. Nay, more, faults

Some parcels of their power are forth already, To Marcius shall be honours, though, indeed, | And only hitherward. I leave your honours. In aught he merit not.

If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet,

Let's hence, and hear 'Tis sworn between us, we shall ever strike
How the dispatch is made; and in what fashion, | Till one can do no more.
More than his singularity, he goes


The gods assist you ! Upon this present action.

AUF. And keep your honours safe !
Let’s along. [Exeunt. 1 SEN.

Farewell, 2 SEN.

Farewell. ALL. Farewell.


SCENE II.—Corioli. The Senate-House.

Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, and certain Senators.

SCENE III.—Rome. An Apartment in Mar

cius' House.

Enter VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA : they sit down

on two low stools, and sew.

1 Sen. So, your opinion is, Aufidius,
That they of Rome are enter'd in our counsels,
And know how we proceed.

Is it not yours?
What ever have been thought on in this state,
That could be brought to bodily act, ere Rome
Had circumvention? 'Tis not four days gone,
Since I heard thence; these are the words :-I

I have the letter here ;-yes, here it is :- [Reads.
They have press'd a power, but it is not known
Whether for east or west : the dearth is great ;
The people mutinous : and it is rumour'd,
Cominius, Marcius your old enemy,
(Who is of Rome worse hated than of you)
And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,
These three lead on this preparation
Whither 'tis bent : most likely t is for you :
Consider of it.

1 Sen. Our army's in the field :

Vol. I pray you, daughter, sing; or express yourself in a more comfortable sort: if my son were my husband, I should freelier rejoice in that absence wherein he won honour, than in the embracements of his bed where he would show most love. When yet he was but tender-bodied, and the only son of my womb; when youth with comeliness plucked all gaze his way; when, for a day of kings' entreaties, a mother should not sell him an hour from her beholding ; 1,- considering how honour would become such a person ; that it was no better than picture-like to hang by the wall, if renown made it not stir,—was pleased to let him seek danger where he was like to find fame. To a cruel war I sent him; from whence he returned, his brows bound with oak.(3) I tell thee, daughter, -I sprang not more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child, than now in first seeing he had | Methinks I hear hither your husband's druin ; proved himself a man,

a of his demerits rob Cominius.) “ Demerits" and merits had, of old, the same meaning, that of deserts.

D More than his singularity,--] As "singularity" formerly implied pre-eminence, Sicinius may mean, sarcastically,-after what fashion beside his usual assumption of superiority.

C-are enter'd in our counsels,-) Have penetrated into our secrets, or, are informed of our purposes.

d-Corioli: in the folio this name is spelt "Coriolus," "Corioles," or "Carioles."


See him pluck Aufidius down by the hair ; Vir. But had he died in the business, nadam,—| As children from a bear, the Volsces shunning hu. how then ?

Methinks I see him stamp thus, and call thus,— Vol. Then his good report should have been Come on, you cowards ! you were got in fear, my son ; I therein would have found issue. Hear Though you were born in Rome : his bloody brow me profess sincerely, had I a dozen sons,—each With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes in my love alike, and none less dear than thine Like to a harvest-man, that's task'd to mow and my good Marcius,—I had rather had eleven Or all, or lose his hire. die nobly for their country, than one voluptuously Vir. His bloody brow! O, Jupiter, no blood! surfeit out of action.

Vol. Away, you fool! it more becomes a man Than gilt his trophy: the breasts of Hecuba,

When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier Enter a Gentlewoman.

Than Hector's forehead when it spit forth blood

At Grecian swords' contending. —Tell Valeria, GENT. Madam, the lady Valeria is come to We are fit to bid her welcome. [Exit Gent. visit you.

Vir. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius ! Vir. Beseech you, give me leave to retire Vol. He'll beat Aufidius' head below his myself.

knee, Vol. Indeed, you shall not.

And tread upon his neck.

à Al Grecian swords' contending.) “Contending" is the word in the second folio; the first reads,-

“At Grecian sword. Contenning, tell Valeria," &c. Mr. Collier's annotator proposes,

" At Grecian swords contemning," &c.;
and Mr. W. N. Lettsom,-
"As Grecian swords contemning."

Enter VALERIA, attended by an Usher, and ai Vir. O, good madam, there can be none yet Gentlewoman.

VAL. Verily, I do not jest with you; there

came news from him last night. VAL. My ladies both, good day to you.

Vir. Indeed, madam ? Vol. Sweet madam.

VAL. In earnest, it's true; I heard a senator Vir. I am glad to see your ladyship.

speak it. Thus it is :-The Volsces have an army Val. How do you both ? you are manifest | forth; against whom Cominius the general is house-keepers. What are you sewing here? | gone, with one part of our Roman power: your A fine spot, in good faith.—How does your lord and Titus Lartius are set down before their little son ?

city Corioli ; they nothing doubt prevailing, and Vir. I thank your ladyship; well, good madam. to make it brief wars. This is true, on mine

Vol. He had rather see the swords, and hear a | honour; and so, I pray, go with us. drum, than look upon his school-master.

Vir. Give me excuse, good madam; I will VAL. O' my word, the father's son: I'll swear, I obey you in every thing hereafter. 'tis a very pretty boy. O’ my troth, I looked Vol. Let her alone, lady; as she is now, she upon him o' Wednesday half an hour together : will but disease our better mirth. h’as such a confirmed countenance. I saw him VAL. In troth, I think, she would.—Fare you run after a gilded butterfly; and when he caught | well then.—Come, good sweet lady.--Prythee, it, he let it go again ; and after it again ; and Virgilia, turn thy solemness out o'door, and go over and over he comes, and up again; catched it along with us. again: or whether his fall enraged him, or how Vir. No, at a word, madam ; indeed, I must 'twas, he did so set his teeth, and tear it; 0, I

not. warrant, how he mammocked it.

I wish you much mirth. VOL. One of his father's moods.

Val. Well then, farewell.

[Exeunt. Val. Indeed la, 'tis a noble child. VIR. A crack, madam.

Val. Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have you play the idle huswife with me this

SCENE IV.Before Corioli. afternoon.

Vir. No, good madam; I will not out of Enter, with Drum and Colours, MARCIUS, TITUS doors.

LARTIUS, Officers and Soldiers.
Val. Not out of doors !
Vol. She shall, she shall.

Mar. Yonder comes news:-& wager they Vir. Indeed, no, by your patience; I'll not

have met. over the threshold till my lord return from the LART. My horse to yours, no. wars.


'Tis done. Val. Fie, you confine yourself most unreason


Agreed. ably: come, you must go yisit the good lady that lies in. VIR. I will wish her speedy strength, and visit

Enter a Messenger. her with my prayers; but I cannot go thither. Vol. Why, I pray you?

Mar. Say, has our general met the enemy? VIR. 'Tis not to save labour, nor that I want Mess. They lie in view, but have not spoke as love.

yet. VAL. You would be another Penelope: yet, Lart. So, the good horse is mine. they say, all the yarn she spun in Ulysses'

I'll buy him of you. absence, did but $ll Ithaca * full of moths. LART. No, I'll nor sell nor give him : lend Come; I would your cambric were sensible as

you him I will, your finger, that you might leave pricking it for For half a hundred years.--Summon the town. pity. Come, you shall go with us.

MAR. How far off lie these armies ? VIR. No, good madam, pardon me; indeed, I MESS.

Within this mile and half. will not forth.

Mar. Then shall we hear their 'larum, and Val. In truth la, go with me; and I'll tell

they ours.--. you excellent news of your husband.

Now, Mars, I pr’ythee, make us quick in work,


(*) Old text, Athica. * – or whether his fall enraged him,-) Or, here, is probably a misprint for and.

b A crack, madam.) A "crack” is a bold, sharp boy; a manikin. The term occurs again in the "Second Part of Henry IV." Act III. Sc. 2:"I saw him break Skogan's l. d at the court. gate, when he was a crack, not thus high."

« PreviousContinue »