Page images
PDF
EPUB

Vol.

Pray, be counsel'd:

I have a heart as little apt as yours,

But yet a brain, that leads my use of anger,

To better vantage.

Men.

Well said, noble woman:

Before he should thus stoop to the herd, but that
The violent fit o'the time craves it as physick

For the whole state, I would put mine armour on,
Which I can scarcely bear.

[blocks in formation]

Cor. For them?—I cannot do it to the gods; Must I then do't to them?

Vol.

You are too absolute;

Though therein you can never be too noble,

But when extremities speak. I have heard you say, Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends,

I' the war do grow together: Grant that, and tell

me,

In peace, what each of them by th' other lose,

That they combine not there.

Cor.

Men.

Tush, tush!

A good demand,

Vol. If it be honour, in your wars, to seem

The same you are not, (which, for your best ends,
You adopt your policy,) how is it less, or worse,
That it shall hold companionship in peace

With honour, as in war; since that to both
It stands in like request?

Cor.

Why force you this?

Vol. Because that now it lies you on to speak

To the people; not by your own instruction,

Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you to, But with such words that are but roted in

Your tongue, though but bastards, and syllables

Of no allowance, to your bosom's truth.
Now, this no more dishonours you at all,
Than to take in a town with gentle words,
Which else would put you to your fortune, and
The hazard of much blood.-

I would dissemble with my nature, where
My fortunes, and my friends, at stake, requir'd
I should do so in honour: I am in this,
Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles;
And you will rather show our general lowts
How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon them,
For the inheritance of their loves, and safeguard
Of what that want might ruin **.

Men.

Noble lady!

Come, go with us; speak fair: you may salve so,

Not what is dangerous present, but the loss

Of what is past.

Vol.

I pr'ythee now, my son,

Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand;

And thus far having stretch'd it, (here be with

them,)

Thy knee bussing the stones, (for in such business

Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant.
More learned than the ears,) waving thy head,
Which often, thus, correcting thy stout heart,
Now humble, as the ripest mulberry,

That will not hold the handling: Or, say to them,
Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils,
Hast not the soft way, which, thou dost confess,
Were fit for thee to use, as they to claim,

In asking their good loves; but thou wilt frame
Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far

As thou hast

Men.

power, and person.

This but done,

Even as she speaks, why, all their hearts were yours: For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free

As words to little purpose.

Vol.

Pr'ythee now,

Go, and be rul'd: although, I know, thou had'st rather

Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf,

Than fatter him in a bower.

Here is Cominius.

Enter COMINIUS.

Com. I have been i' the market-place: and, sir, 'tis

fit

You make strong party, or defend yourself

By calmness, or by absence; all's in anger.
Men. Only fair speech.

Com.

Can thereto frame his spirit.

Vol.

I think, 'twill serve, if he

He must, and will:

Pr' thee, now, say, you will, and go about it.

Cor. 45 Must I go show them my unbarb'd sconce?

Must I

With my base tongue, give to my noble heart

A lie, that it must bear? Well, I will do't:
Yet were there but this single plot to lose,

This mould of Marcius, they to dust should grind it,
And throw it against the wind.-To the market-

place:

You have put me now to such a part, which never I shall discharge to the life.

Com.

Come, come, we'll prompt you.

Vol. I pr'ythee now, sweet son; as thou hast said, My praises made thee first a soldier, so,

To have my praise for this, perform a part

Thou hast not done before.

Cor.

Well, I must do't:

Away, my disposition, and possess me

Some harlot's spirit! My throat of war be turn'd,

46

Which quired 16 with my drum, into a pipe

Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice

That babies lulls asleep! The smiles of knaves

47 Tent in my cheeks; and schoolboys' tears take up
The glasses of my sight! A beggar's tongue
Make motion through my lips, and my arm'd knees,
Who bow'd but in my stirrop, bend like his
That hath receiv'd an alms!-I will not do't:
Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth,
And, by my body's action, teach my mind
A most inherent baseness.

At thy choice then:

Vol. To beg of thee, it is my more dishonour, Than thou of them. Come all to ruin; let Thy mother rather feel thy pride, than fear Thy dangerous stoutness; for I mock at death With as big heart as thou48. Do as thou list. Thy valiantness was mine, thou suck'dst it from me; But owe thy pride thyself.

Cor.

Pray, be content; Mother, I am going to the market-place;

Chide me no more. I'll mountebank their loves, Cog their hearts from them, and come home belov'd Of all the trades in Rome.

Commend me to my wife.

Look, I am going:
I'll return consul;

Do your will. [Exit.

Or never trust to what my tongue can do

I' the way of flattery, further.

Vol.

Com. Away, the tribunes do attend you: arm

yourself

To answer mildly; for they are prepar'd

With accusations, as I hear, more strong

Than are upon you yet.

Cor. The word is, mildly:-Pray you, let us go:

Let them accuse me by invention, I

Will answer in mine honour.

Men.

Ay, but mildly.

[Exeunt.

Cor. Well, mildly be it then; mildly.

« PreviousContinue »