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Why, noble lords, | 2 LORD. Peace, ho !--no outrage :- peace ! Will you be put in mind of his blind fortune, The man is noble, and his fame folds in Which was your shame, by this unholy braggart, This orb o' the earth. His last offence to us 'Fore your own eyes and ears?
Shall have judicious hearing.–Stand, Aufidius, CONSPIRATORS.
Let him die for't! | And trouble not the peace. CITIZENS. [Speaking promiscuously.] Tear him COR.
O, that I had him, to pieces !Do it presently !-He killed my son ! | With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe, -my daughter!-He killed my cousin Marcus ! -He killed my father !
Insolent villain !
Con. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him!
Bear from hence his body, [AUFIDIUS and the Conspirators draw, and And mourn you for him : let him be regarded
kill CORIOLANUS, who falls, and As the most poble corse that ever herald
Did follow to his urn.
His own impatience AUF. My noble masters, hear me speak. Takes from Aufidius a great part of blame. 1 LORD. O Tullus !
Let's make the best of it. 2 LORD. Thou hast done a deed whereat AUF.
My rage is gone, Valour will weep.
And I am struck with sorrow.-Take him up :3 LORD. Tread not upon him.—Masters all, be Help, three o' the chiefest soldiers; I'll be quiet ;
one. — Put up your swords.
Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully: AUF. My lords, when you shall know (as in Trail your steel pikes.— Though in this city he this rage,
Hath widowed and unchilded many a one, Provok'd by him, you cannot) the great danger Which to this hour bewail the injury, Which this man's life did owe you, you'll rejoice
| Yet he shall have a noble memory. That he is thus cut off. Please it your honours Assist. To call me to your senate, I'll deliver
[Exeunt, bearing the body of CORIOLANUS. Myself your loyal servant, or endure
A dead march sounded. Your heaviest censure.
(1) SCENE I.-Suffer us to famish, and their store-houses article on the subject by Douce, in his “Illustrations of crammed with grain; make edicts for usury, to support Shakespeare.” The poet derived it apparently from Pluusurers.] The circumstances which led to the insurrection tarch, through North's translation, and the marvellous of the people in Rome at this period, and awakened their skill with which he has varied and amplified the story will animosity in a peculiar degree against Caius Marcius, are be seen from the version of it which that historian prethus related in North's translation of Plutarch, the work to sents:which Shakespeare was indebted for all the conduct of his tra “ The Senate being afeard of their departure, dyd send gedy, and for no inconsiderable portion of its language : unto them certaine of the pleasauntest olde men, and the
"Now he being grown to great credit and authority in most acceptable to the people among them. Of those, ROME for his valiantnesse, it fortuned there grew sedition | Menenius Agrippa was he, who was sent for chief man of in the citie, bicause the Senate dyd favour the rich against the message from the Senate. He, after many good persuathe people, who did complaine of the sore oppression of sions and gentle requests made to the people, on the beuserers, of whom they borrowed mony. For those that halfe of the Senate, knit up his oration in the ende, with a had litle, were yet spoiled of that litle they had by their notable tale, in this manner. That on a time all the memcreditours, for lack of ability to pay the usery : who offered bers of mans bodie, dyd rebell against the bellie, complaintheir goods to be sold to them that would give most. Anding of it, that it only remained in the middest of the bodie, such as had nothing left, their bodies were layed hold on, without doing any thing, neither dyd beare any labour to and they were made their bondmen, notwithstanding all the maintenaunce of the rest : whereas all other partes the wounds and cuts they shewed, which they had received and members dyd labour paynefully, and was very carein many battels, fighting for defence of their countrey and full to satisfie the appetites and desiers of the bodie. And common wealth : of the which, the last warre they made so the bellie, all this notwithstanding, laughed at their was against the SABYNES, wherein they fought upon the follie, and sayed, It is true, I first receyve all meates that promise the rich men had made them, that from thence norishe mans bodie: but afterwardes I send it againe to the forth they would intreate them more gently, and also upon norishment of other partes of the same. Even so (q. he) 6 the word of Marcus Valerius chiefe of the Senate, who by you, my masters, and cittizens of ROME: the reason is a authority of the Counsell, and in the behalfe of the rich like betweene the Senate and you. For matters being well sayed they should performe that they had promised. But digested, and their counsells throughly examined, touching after that they had faithfully served in this last battel of the benefit of the common wealth : the Senatours are cause al, where they overcame their enemies, seeing they were of the common commoditie that commeth unto every one never a whit the better, nor more gently intreated, and of you." that the Senate would give no eare to them, but made as though they had forgotten the former promise, and suffered
(3) SCENE III.-His brows-bound with oak.] The oaken them to be made slaves and bondmen to their creditours, garland, accounted the most honourable crown among the and besides, to be turned out of all that ever they had : Romans, was bestowed on him that had saved the life of a they fel then even to flat rebellion and mutinie, and to sturre citizen :up dangerous tumults within the city. The ROMAINES “But Martius being more inclined to the warres, then enemies hearing of this rebellion, did straight enter the any other gentleman of his time, beganne from his childteritories of ROME with a marvelous great power, spoiling hood to give himselfe to handle weapons, and daily did and burning all as they came. Whereupon the Senate im exercise himselfe therein : and outward he esteemed armediatly made open proclamation by sound of trumpet,
mour to no purpose, unlesse one were naturally armed that all those which were of lawfull age to cary weapon,
within. Moreover he did so exercise his body to hardnesse should come and enter their names into the muster-masters and all kinde of activitie, that he was very swift in ronbook, to goe to the wars: but no man obeyed their com ning, strong in wrestling, and mightie in griping, so that maundement. Wherupon their chiefe magistrates, and no man could ever cast him. Insomuch as those that many of the Senate, began to be of divers opinions among
would try masteries with him for strength and nimblethemselves. For some thought it was reason, they shold nesse, would say when they were overcom : that all was by somewhat yeeld to the poore peoples request, and that reason of his naturall strength, and hardnesse of ward, they should a litle qualifie the severity of the law. Other that never yeelded to any paine or toyle he tooke upon held hard against that opinion, and that was Martius for him. The first time he went to the wars, being but a one. For he alledged, that the creditours losing their
stripling, was when Tarquine surnamed the proud (that money they had lent, was not the worst thing that was had bene king of ROME, and was driven out for his pride, thereby: but that the lenity that was favoured, was a be after many attemps made by sundry battels to come in ginning of disobedience, and that the proud attempt of the againe, wherein he was ever overcome) did come to ROME communalty, was to abolish law, and to bring all to con with all the aide of the LATINES, and many other people fusion. Therefore he sayed, if the Senate were wise, they of ITALY : even as it were to set up his whole rest upon a should betimes prevent and quench this ill favoured and battel by them, who with a great and mighty army had worse meant beginning.'
undertaken to put him into his kingdome againe, not so
much to pleasure him, as to overthrow the power of the (2) SCENE I.-And leave me but the bran.] The reader ROMAINES, whose greatnesse they both feared and envied. desirous of investigating the origin of the famous apologue In this battell, wherein are many hote and sharpe enof the belly and its members will do well to consult an counters of either party, Martius valiantly fought in the sight of the Dictator: and a ROMAINE souldier being i “Martius asked him howe the order of their enomies throwen to the ground even hard by him, Martius straight | battell was, and on which side they had placed their bestrid him, and slue the enemie with his owne hands best fighting men. The Consul made him aunswer, that had before overthrowen the ROMAINE. Hereupon that he thought the bandes which were in the voward of after the battell was won, the Dictator did not forget so their battell, were those of the ANTIATES, whom they noble an act, and therefore first of all he crowned Martius esteemed to be the warlikest men, and which for valiant with a garland of oken boughes, For whosoever saveth courage would give no place to any of the hoast of their the life of a ROMAINE, it is a manner among them, to enemies. Then prayed Martius, to be set directly against honour him with such a garland."
them. The Consul granted him, greatly praising his
courage. Then Martius, when both armies came almost (4) SCENE IV.
to joyne, advanced himselfe a good space before his com
pany, and went so fiercely to give charge on the voward 'Tis for the followers Fortune widens them,
that came right against him, that they could stand no Not for the fliers.]
longer in his hands : he made such a lane through them, So in the corresponding scene in the old translation of and opened a passage into the battell of the enemies. Plutarch :
But the two wings of either side turned one to the other, “Wherfore all the other VOLSCEs fearing least that city compasse him in betweene them: which the Consul should be taken by assault, they came from all parts of the Cominius perceiving, he sent thither straight of the best countrey to save it, entending to give the ROMAINES battel souldiers he had about him. So the battell was marvelous before the city, and to give an onset on them in two blodie about Martius, and in a very short space many several places. The Consul Cominius understanding this, were slaine in the place. But in the end the ROMAINES devided his army also into two parts, and taking the one were so strong, that they distressed the enemies, and part with himself, he marched towards them that were brake their arraye : and scattering them, made them flye. drawing to the city out of the countrey: and the other Then they prayed Martius that he would retire to the part of his army he left in the campe with Titus Lartius campe, bicause they saw he was able to do no more, he (one of the valiantest men the ROMAINES had at that time) was already so wearied with the great paine he had taken, to resist those that would make any sally out of the city
and so faint with the great woundes he had upon him. upon them. So the CORIOLANS making smal account of But Martius aunswered them, that it was not for conthem that lay in campe before the city, made a sally out querours to yeeld, nor to be faint-hearted : and thereupon upon them, in the which at the first the CORIOLANS had began afresh to chase those that fledde, untill such time as the better, and drave the ROMAIN ES back againe into the the armie of the enemies was utterly overthrowen, and trenches of their campe. But Martius being there at that numbers of them slaine and taken prisoners. time, ronning out of the campe with a few men with him, The next morning betimes, Martius went to the Conhe slue the first enemies he met withall, and made the rest sul, and the other ROMAINES with him. There the of them stay upon a sodain, crying out to the ROMAINES Consul Cominius going up to his chayer of state, in that had turned their backes, and calling them again to the presence of the whole armie, gave thanks to the fight with a lowde voice. For he was even such another, as gods for so great, glorious, and prosperous a victorie : Cato would have a souldier and a captaine to be, not only
then he spake to Martius, whose valiantnesse be comterrible and fierce to lay about him, but to make the mended beyond the Moone, both for that he him selfe saw enemy afeard with the sound of his voice, and grimnesse him do with his eyes, as also for that Martius had reof his countenaunce. Then there flocked about him imme ported unto him. So in the ende he willed Martius, diatly, a great number of ROMAINES ; whereat the enemies he should choose out of all the horses they had taken of were so afeard, that they gave back presently.
their enemies, and of all the goodes they had wonne “But Martius not staying so, did chase and follow them
(whereof there was great store) tenne of every sorte which to their own gates, that fled for life. And there perceiving he liked best, before any distribution should be made to that the ROMAINES retired back, for the great number of other. Besides this great honorable offer he had made darts and arrowes which flew about their eares from the him, he gave him in testimonie that he had wonne that wals of the city, and that there was not one man amongst day the prise of prowesse above all other, a goodly horse them that durst venter himself to follow the flying ene with a capparison, and all furniture to him : which the mies into their city, for that it was full of men of warre,
whole army beholding, did marvellously praise and comvery wel armed and appointed, he did incourage his fel mend. But Martius stepping forth, told the Consul, he lowes with words and deeds, crying out to them, that
most thankfully accepted the gift of his horse, and was fortune had opened the gates of the city, more for the
& glad man besides, that his service had deserved his followers then the fliers. But all this notwithstanding, general's commendation : and as for his other offer, which fow had the hearts to follow him. Howbeit Martius being was rather a mercenarie reward, then an honourable rein the throng among the enemies, thrust himself into the compence, he would have none of it, but was contented gates of the city, and entred the same among them that to have his equall part with other souldiers. Onely, this fed, without that any one of them durst at the first turne grace (sayed he) I crave and beseech you to grant me: their face upon him, or offer to stay him. But he looking Among the VOLSCES there is an old friend and hoast of about him, and seeing he was entred the city with very mine, an honest wealthy man, and now a prisoner, who few men to helpe him, and perceiving he was environed by
living before in great wealth in his owne countrie, liveth his enemies that gathered round about to set upon him, now a poore prisoner, in the hands of his enemies : and did things then as it is written, wonderfull and incredible, as
yet notwithstanding all this his misery and misfortune, it well for the force of his hand, as also for the agility of his
would do mo great pleasure if I could save him from this body, and with a wonderfull courage and valiantnesse be one danger, to keepe him from being sold as a slave. The made a lane through the middest of them, and overthrew souldiers hearing Martius words, made a marvelous great also those he layed at : that some he made ronne to the shout among them, and there were more that wondred at furthest part of the city, and other for feare he made his great contentation and abstinence, when they saw so yeeld themselves, and to let fall their weapons before
litle covetousnesse in him, then they were that highly him."
praised and extolled his valiantnesse. * * * *. After
this shout and noise of the assembly was somewhat (5) SCENE VI.
appeased, the Consul Cominius began to speake in this As I guess, Marcius,
sort: We cannot compell Martius to take these gifts we Their bands 2" the vaward are the Antiates
offer him if he will not receive them, but we will give him Of their best trust; o'er them Aufidius,
such a reward for the noble service he hath done, as he Their very heart of hope.]
cannot refuse. Therefore we do order and decree, that
henceforth he be called Coriolanus, unlesse his valiant acts The incidents in this battle are all closely copied from have wonno him that name before our nomination. And Plutarch:
so ever since, he still bare the third name of Coriolanus."
(1) SCENE III.-And Censorinus, darling of the people.) | whereof Ancus Martius was one, King Numaes daughters This line in brackets was supplied by Pope; the original, sonne, who was King of Rome after Tullus Hostilius. Of which mentioned Censorinus, having been accidentally the same house were Publius, and Quintus, who brought left out, as will at once be seen from the parallel to Rome their best water they had by conducts. Cenpassage in Shakespeare's authority :-“The house of the sorinus also came of that familie, that was so surnamed Martians at Rome was of the number of the Patricians, bicause the people had chosen him Censor twise."--NORTH'S out of the which hath sprong many noble personages : | Plutarch, p. 237.
(1) SCENE I.
GRÆCE, where the people had more absolute power, dyd
but only nourishe their disobedience, which would breake - which will in time break ope
| out in the ende to the utter ruine and overthrowe of the The locks o' the senate, and bring in the crows
whole state. For they will not thineke it is done in To peck the eagles.]
recompence of their service past, sithence they know well Compare Plutarch :-“But Martius standing up on his enough they have so oft refused to goe to the warres, feete, dyd somewhat sharpely take up those, who went when they were commaunded : neither for their mutinies about to gratifie the people therin: and called them when they went with us, whereby they have rebelled and people pleasers, and traitours to the nobilitie. Moreover forsaken their countrie : neither for their accusations he sayed they nourished against themselves the naughtie which their flatterers have preferred unto them, and they seede and cockle of insolencie and sedition, which had have received, and made good against the Senate : but bene sowed and scattered abroade emongest the people. they will rather judge, we give and grant them this, as whom they should have cut off, if they had been wise, abasing our selves, and standing in feare of them, and and have prevented their greatnes: and not (to their glad to flatter them every way. By this means their disowne destruction) to have suffered the people to stablish a obedience will still grow worse and worse : and they will magistrate for themselves, of so great power and authority never leave to practise new sedition and uprores. Theras that man bad, to whom they had graunted it. Wh
fore it were a great folly for us, me thinks to do it : yea, was also to be feared, bicause he obtained what he would, shall I say more? we should if we were wise, take from and did nothing but what he listed, neither passed for any them the Tribuneship, which most manifestly is the obedience to the Consuls, but lived in all liberty, acknow embasing of the Consulship, and the cause of the division ledging no superiour to command him, saving the only of their city. The state whereof as it standeth, is not heads and authours of their faction, whom he called his now as it was wont to be, but becometh dismembred in magistrats. Therefore sayed he, they that gave counsell, two factions, which maintaines alwaies civill dissention and and perswaded that the corne should be geven out to the discord between us, and will never suffer us againe to be common people gratis, as they used to doe in the cities of 1 united into one body."
(1) SCENE V.
to be the man I am indede, I must of necessitie bewraye I'd not believe them more
my selfe to be that I am. I am Caius Martius, who hath
done to thy self particularly, and to all the VOLSCE8 geneThan thee, all-noble Marcius.]
rally, great hurto and mischief, which I cannot denie for Here, as in many other scenes in the play, the poet has my surname of Coriolanus that I beare. For I never had followed the historian almost literally :
other benefit nor recompence, of all the true and paynefull “It was even twylight when he entred the cittie of AN. service I have done, and the extreme daungers I have bene TIUM, and many people met him in the streetes, but no in, but this only surname : a good memorie and witnes of man knewe him. So he went directly to Tullus Aufidius the malice and displeasure thou showldest beare me. In house, and when he came thither, he got him up straight deede the name only remaineth with me : for the rest, the to the chimney harthe, and sat him downe, and spake not envio and crueltie of the people of ROME have taken from a worde to any man, his face all muffled over. They of the me, by the sufferance of the darstardly nobilitie and house spying him, wondered what he should be, and yet magistrates, who have forsaken me, and let me be banished they durst not byd him rise. For ill favouredly muffled by the people. This extremitie hath now driven me to and disguised as he was, yet there appeared a certaine come as a poore suter, to take thy chimney harthe, not maiestie in his countenance, and in his silence : whereupon of any hope I have to save my life thereby. For if I had they went to Tullus who was at supper, to tell him of the fea I death, I would not have come hither to have put straunge disguising of this man. Tullus rose presently my life in hazard; but prickt forward with spite and defrom the borde, and comming towards him, asked him sire I have to be revenged of them that thus have banished what he was, and wherfore he came. Then Martius un me, whom now I beginne to be avenged on, putting my muffled himselfe, and after he had paused a while, making persone into the hands of their enemies. Wherfore, if no aunswer, he sayed unto him : If thou knowest me not thou hast any heart to be wrecked of the iniuries thy yet, Tullus, and seeing me, dost not perhappés beleeve me | enemies have done thee, speed thee now, and let my