Page images
PDF
EPUB

Enter SICINIUS, and BRUTUS.

| Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit;

Or never be so noble as a consul, Behold, these are the tribunes of the people, Nor yoke with him for tribune. The tongues o' the common mouth : I do despise I MEN.

Let's be calm. them ;

Com. The people are abus'd.-Set on.— This For they do prank them in authority,

paltering Against all noble sufferance.

Becomes not Rome; nor has Coriolanus Sic.

Pass no further! Desery'd this so dishonour'd rub, laid falsely COR. Ha! what is that ?

I’ the plain way of his merit. BRU. It will be dangerous to go on : no further ! Cor.

Tell me of corn! Cor. What makes this change ?

This was my speech, and I will speak't again,MEN. The matter ?

MEN. Not now, not now. Com. Hath he not pass’d the noble, and the

1 SEN.

Not in this heat, sir, now. common ?

COR. Now, as I live, I will.—My nobler Bru. Cominius, no.

friends, Cor.

Have I had children's voices ? | I crave their pardons : 1 Sen. Tribunes, give way; he shall to the For the mutable, rank-scented many, market-place.

Let them regard me as I do not flatter, Bru. The people are incens'd against him. And therein behold themselves : I say again, Sic.

Stop ! | In soothing them, we nourish 'gainst our senate Or all will fall in broil.

The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition, Cor.

Are these your herd ?- Which we ourselves have plough'd for, sow'd and Must these have voices, that can yield them now,

scatter'd, And straight disclaim their tongues ?—What are By mingling them with us, the honour'd number ; your offices ?

Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that You being their mouths, why rule you not their Which they have given to beggars. teeth?

MEN.

Well, no more. Have you not set them on?

1 SEN. No more words, we beseech you. MEN. Be calm, be calm. COR.

How ! no more? Cor. It is a purpos'd thing, and grows by plot, As for my country I have shed my blood, To curb the will of the nobility :

Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs Suffer't, and live with such as cannot rule,

Coin words till their decay against those meazels, Nor ever will be ruld.

Which we disdain should tetter us, yet sought BRU. Call't not a plot :

| The very way to catch them. The people cry you mock'd them; and of late, Bru. You speak o' the people, as if you were When corn was given them gratis, you repin'd;

a god Scandal'd the suppliants for the people,—callid | To punish, not a man of their infirmity.

Sic. "Twere well, we let the people know't. Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness.

MEN. What, what ? his choler ? Cor. Why, this was known before.

COR. Choler! Were I as patient as the midBRU. Not to them all.

night sleep, COR. Have you inform'd them sithence ? By Jove, 't would be my mind ! How! I inform them ! Sic.

It is a mind CoR.* You are like to do such business. That shall remain a poison where it is, BRU.

Not unlike, Not poison any further. Each way, to better yours.

Cor.

Shall remainCOR. Why, then, should I be consul ? By yond Hear you this Triton of the minnows? mark you clouds,

His absolute shall ? Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me

Com.

'Twas from the canon. Your fellow tribune.

Cor.

Shall ! Sic.

You show too much of that 0, good,+ but most unwise patricians, why! For which the people stir : if you will pass

You grave, but reckless senators, have you thus To where you are bound, you must enquire your Given Hydra herea to choose an officer, way,

That with his peremptory shall, being but

them

BRU.

(*) Old text, Com.
(0) Old text, o God!

a Giten Hydra here--] Mr. Collier's annotator reads, - "Given Hydra leave," &c.

The horn and noise o' the monster," wants not spirit | Most valour, spoke not for them : the accusations To say he'll turn your current in a ditch,

Which they have often made against the senate, And make your channel his? If he have power, | All cause unborn, could never be the motive * Then vail your ignorance; if none, awake Of our so frank donation; well, what then? Your dangerous lenity. If you are learn'd, How shall this bisson multitude o digest Be not as common fools; if you are not,

The senate's courtesy? Let deeds express Let them have cushions by you. You are ple What's like to be their words :- We did request it; beians,

We are the greater poll, and in true fear If they be senators; and they are no less,

They gave us our demands :thus we debase When, both your voices blended, the great’st taste The nature of our seats, and make the rabble Most palates theirs. They choose their magistrate; Call our cares fears ; which will in time break ope And such a one as he, who puts his shall,

The locks o' the senate, and bring in the crows His popular shall, against a graver beneh

To peck the eagles.-- (1) Than ever frown'd in Greece! By Jove himself, MEN.

Come, enough. It makes the consuls base! and my soul aches

Bru. Enough, with over-measure. To know, when two authorities are up,

COR.

No, take more : Neither supreme, how soon confusion

What may be sworn by, both divine and human, May enter 'twixt the gap of both, and take Seal what I end withal !—This double worship, The one by tother.

Where one part does disdain with cause, the other Com.

Well,-on to the market-place. Insult without all reason ; where gentry, title, Cor. Whoever gave that counsel, to give forth

wisdom, The corn o’ the storehouse gratis, as 't was us'd Cannot conclude but by the yea and no Sometime in Greece,

Of general ignorance, -it must omit MEN.

Well, well, no more of that. Real necessities, and give way the while Cor. Though there the people had more abso To unstable slightness : purpose so barr’d, it lute power,

follows, I say, they nourish'd disobedience,

Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore, beseech Fed the ruin of the state.

you,— Bru.

Why, shall the people give You that will be less fearful than discreet ; One that speaks thus their voice ?

That love the fundamental part of state, COR.

I'll give my reasons, More than you doubt the change on't ; that prefer More worthier than their voices. They know the

A noble life before a long, and wish corn

To jump' a body with a dangerous physic Was not our recompense, resting well assur'd That's sure of death without it,-at once pluck They ne'er did service for't: being press’d to the

out war,

The multitudinous tongue; let them not lick Even when the navel of the state was touch'd, The sweet which is their poison: your dishonour They would not thread the gates ;-this kind of Mangles true judgment, and bereaves the state service

Of that integrity which should become’t; Did not deserve corn gratis : being i' the war Not having the power to do the good it would, Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they show'd For the ill which doth control it.

* The horn and noise o' the monster,-) In the old text, + monsters." The correction was made by Capell, and also by Mr. Collier's annotator.

If he hane power, Then vail your ignorance ;] For “ ignorance," Mr. Collier's annotator has “ impotence," but to vail means to lower, and Coriolanus would hardly call upon his brother patricians to lower their impotence. The genuine word was far more probably signorie, or signories, i.e. senatorial dignity, magistracy, sway, &c.

- if none, awake

Your dangerous lenity.)
Mr. Collier's annotator would change this to,

- revoke
Your dangerous bounty;"
an emendation, however clever, of very questionable propriety;
for “ lenity "in this place does not, perhaps, mean mildness, but
lentitude, inactivity, supineness. So, in Plutarch's life of Coriola-
nus:-"For he [Marcius, alledged, that the creditors losing their
money they had lost, was not the worst thing; but that the lenity
[i. e. the inaction of the people when summoned to resist the
enemy) was favoured, was a beginning of disobedience," &c.
d as common fools;] Does not the next line,-"Let them

(*) Old text, native, corrected by Mason. have cushions," &c. instruct us to read,- "commons' fools"?

How shall this bisson multitude, &c.) Notwithstanding what has been said, and much more that might be said, in support of the old reading, “bosom multiplied,"as meaning, miny-stomached, we accept this emendation of Mr. Collier's annotator, as an almost certain restoration of the poet's text.

f To jump a body with a dangerous physic-) So the old text, and so Steevens and Malone, who explain "jump" as risk or hazard. Pope's emendation is "vamp," and he is followed, among others, by Mr. Dyce and Mr. Knight. Mr, Singer reads " imp. We have not presumed to change the ancient text, but have little doubt that “ To jump" is a misprint, and the true lection,

"To purge a body with a dangerous physic," &c. Thus in "Macbeth," Act V. Sc. 2.:

"Meet we the medicine of the sickly weal;

And with him pour we, in our country's purge,

Each drop of us."
Again, in the same play, Act V. Sc. 3:-

my land, find her disease And purge it to a sound and pristine health." So also, in Ben Jonson's “ Catiline," Act III. Sc. 1.:

" --- who with fire must purge sick Rome," &c.

Sic.

BRU.

H'as said enough. | Marcius would have all from you ; Marcius,
Sic. H'as spoken like a traitor, and shall answer | Whom late you have nam'd for consul.
As traitors do.

Men.

Fie, fie, fie! Cor. Thou wretch, despite o'erwhelm thee - This is the way to kindle, not to quench. What should the people do with these bald tri 1 Sen. To unbuild the city, and to lay all flat. bunes ?

Sic. What is the city, but the people ? On whom depending, their obedience fails

CITIZENS.

True, To the greater bench: in a rebellion,

The people are the city. When what's not meet, but what must be, was law, Bru. By the consent of all, we were establish'd Then were they chosen ; in a better hour,

The people's magistrates. Let what is meet be said it must be meet,

CITIZENS.

You so remain. And throw their power i' the dust.

Men. And so are like to do. BRU. Manifest treason !

Com. That is the way to lay the city flat ; * This a consul ? no. To bring the roof to the foundation, Bru. The ædiles, ho !-Let him be appre- | And bury all, which yet distinctly ranges, hended.

In heaps and piles of ruin. Sic. Go, call the people ;-[Exit Brutus.] in Sic.

This deserves death. whose name, myself

Bru. Or let us stand to our authority,
Attach thee, as a traitorous innovator,

Or let us lose it. We do here pronounce,
A foe to the public weal: obey, I charge thee, Upon the part o' the people, in whose power
And follow to thine answer.

We were elected theirs, Marcius is worthy
COR.

Hence, old goat ! Of present death. SEN. AND Pat. We'll surety him.

Sic.

Therefore, lay hold of him; Com.

Ag'd sir, hands off. Bear him to the rock Tarpeian, and from thence COR. Hence, rotten thing! or I shall shake Into destruction cast him! thy bones

Bru.

diles, seize him ! Out of thy garments.

CITIZENS. Yield, Marcius, yield !
Sic.
Help, ye citizens !

MEN.

Hear me one word.
Beseech you, tribunes, hear me but a word.
Ævi. Peace, peace !

[friend, Re-enter Brutus, with the Ædiles, and a rabble Men. Be that you seem, truly your country's of Citizens.

And temperately proceed to what you would

Thus violently redress. MEN. On both sides more respect.

Bru.

Sir, those cold ways, · Sic. Here's he, that would take from you all That seem like prudent helps, are very poisonous your power.

Where the disease is violent.--Lay hands upon BRU. Seize him, Ædiles !

him, CITIZENS. Down with him! down with him! And bear him to the rock! 2 SEN. Weapons, weapons, weapons ! COR.

No; I'll die here. [They all bustle about CORIOLANUS.

[Drawing his sword. Tribunes, patricians, citizens !—what ho !

There's some among you have beheld me fighting ; Sicinius, Brutus, Coriolanus, citizens !

Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me. CITIZENS. Peace, peace, peace! stay, hold, Men. Down with that sword !-Tribunes, withpeace!

draw awhile. MEN. What is about to be?-1 am out of | Bru. Lay hands upon him! breath ;

MEN.

Help Marcius, help, Confusion's near ;—I cannot speak.-You, tri- | You that be noble ! help him, young and old ! bunes

CITIZENS. Down with him, down with him ! To the people, -Coriolanus, patience :

[In this mutiny, the Tribunes, the Ædiles, Speak, good Sicinius.

and the People, are beat out. Sic. Hear me, people ;—peace ! |

| Men. Go, get you to your house ; be gone, CITIZENS. Let's hear our tribune :- peace !

away ! Speak, speak, speak!

All will be nought else. Sic. You are at point to lose your liberties : 2 SEN.

Get you gone.

Iriend,

. That is the way to lay the city flat:] It is usual, though in opposition to the old copies, to assign this speech to Coriolanus, on account of what Sicinius says immediately after it,

This deserves death."

But the speech is not at all characteristic of Coriolanus; and the
observation of the Tribune refers to what he had previously
spoken, -
" Marcius would have all from you," &c.

Cok*
Stand fast; / MEN.

You worthy tribunes, We have as many friends as enemies.

Sic. He shall be thrown down the Tarpeian rock. MEN. Shall it be put to that?

| With rigorous hands he hath resisted law, 1 Sen.

The gods forbid ! | And therefore law shall scorn him further trial
I pr’ythee, noble friend, home to thy house ; Than the severity of the public power,
Leave us to cure this cause.

Which he so sets at nought.
MEN.
For 'tis a sore upon us,

1 Cit.

He shall well know, You cannot tent yourself: begone, 'beseech you. The noble tribunes are the people's mouths, Com. Come, sir, along with us.

And we their hands. Cor. I would they were barbarians, (as they CITIZENS.

He shall, sure on't. Though in Rome litter'd) not Romans, (as they

[Several speak together. are not,

MEN. Sir, sir, Though calv'd i'the porch o' the Capitol)

Sic. Peace!

but hunt MEN.

Be gone; Men. Do not cry, Havoc, where you should
Put not your worthy rage into your tongue; With modest warrant.
One time will owe another.

Sic. Sir, how comes 't that you have holp
COR. On fair ground, I could beat forty of them. To make this rescue ?
MEN. I could myself take up a brace o' the best MEN.

Hear me speak :of them ; yea, the two tribunes.

As I do know the consul's worthiness,
Com. But now 'tis odds beyond arithmetic; So can I name his faults :-
And manhood is callid foolery, when it stands

Sic.

Consul 1what consul ? Against a falling fabric. Will you hence,

MEN. The consul Coriolanus. Before the tag return? whose rage doth rend

BRU.

He consul! Like interrupted waters, and o'erbear

CITIZENS. No, no, no, no, no ! What they are us’d to bear.

MEN. If, by the tribunes' leave, and yours, Pray you, be gone :

good people, I'll try whether my old wit be in request

I may be heard, I'd crave a word or two; With those that have but little: this must be patch'd | The which shall turn you to no further harm, With cloth of any colour.

Than so much loss of time.
Com.
Nay, come away.
Sıc.

Speak briefly, then; [Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, and others. | For we are peremptory to despatch 1 Pat. This man has marr'd his fortune. This viperous traitor: to eject him hence,

Men. His nature is too noble for the world: 1 Were but one danger; and to keep him here He would not flatter Neptune for his trident, Our certain death; therefore, it is decreed, Or Jove for's power to thunder. His heart's his He dies to-night. mouth :

Now the good gods forbid What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent ; That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude And, being angry, does forget that ever

Towards her deserved children is enrollid He heard the name of death. [A noise without. In Jove's own book, like an unnatural dam Here's goodly work !

Should now eat up her own! 2 Par.

I would they were a-bed ! Sic. He's a disease that must be cut away. MEN. I would they were in Tiber !—What, the MEN. O, he's a limb that has but a disease ; vengeance,

Mortal, to cut it off; to oure it, easy. Could he not speak 'em fair ?

What has he done to Rome that's worthy death?

Kiling our enemies, the blood he hath lost, Re-enter BRUTUS and SICINIUS, with the rabble. (Which, I dare vouch, is more than that he hath,

By many an ounce) he dropp'd it for his country • Sic.

Where is this viper, And what is left, to lose it by his country, That would depopulate the city,

Were to us all, that do't and suffer it, And be every man himself?

A brand to the end o’the world.

MEN.

MEN.

* Old text, Com. a Com. Come, sir, along with us.] In the distribution of this

d the two following speeches, we follow the arrangement proposed by Tyrwhitt. The old copies present them thus,

“ Corio. Come, Sir, along with us.

MENE. I would they were Barbarians, as they are,
Though in Rome litter'd: not Romans, as they are not,
Though calved i' th' Porch o' th' Capitoll :
Be gone, put not your worthy Rage into your Tongue,
One time will owe another."

b - cry, Havoc,-) To “cry, Havoc," appears to have been a signal for indiscriminate slaughter; the expression occurs again in " King John," Act II. Sc. 2:

“Cry, Havoc, Kings !" and in “Julius Cæsar," Act III. Sc. 1:

"Cry, Havoc ! and let slip the dogs of war." c Were but one danger ;) Theobald altered this to, " - but our danger."

[graphic][ocr errors]

SIC.

wars

This is clean kam. | Sic. What do ye talk ? Bru. Merely awry: when he did love his Have we not had a taste of his obedience ? country,

Our Ædiles smote ! ourselves resisted !—come, It honour'd him.

MEN. Consider this ;—he has been bred i'the MEN. The service of the foot Being once gangren’d, is not then respected Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school'd For what before it was ?

In boulted language; meal and bran together BRU.

We'll hear no more.— He throws without distinction. Give me leave, Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence, I'll go to him, and undertake to bring him Lest his infection, being of catching nature, Where he shall answer, by a lawful form, Spread further.

(In peace) to his utmost peril. MEN. One word more, one word.

1 SEN.

Noble tribunes, This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find

It is the humane way: the other course
The harm of unscann'd swiftness, will, too late, | Will prove too bloody; and the end of it
Tie leaden pounds to’s heels. Proceed by process; Unknown to the beginning.
Lest parties (as he is belov’d) break out

Noble Menenius, And sack great Rome with Romans.

Be you, then, as the people's officer.BRU.

If it were so, Masters, lay down your weapons.

Sic.

$ - clean kam.) Equivalent to rigmarole, rhodomontade.

- to bring him-j The old text adds" in peace," which Pope

omitted, as injurious to the measure, and because the words are repeated two lines below.

« PreviousContinue »