Page images

Ere so prevail'd with me! it will in time
Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes
For insurrection's arguing.

Men. This is strange.
Mar. Go, get you home, you fragments !

Enter a Melenger.
Mef. Where's Caius Marcius?
Mar. Here-what's the matter ?
Mes. The news is, Sir, the. Volscians are in arms.

Mar::I'm glad on't, then we shall have means to vent
Our mufty fuperfluity. See, our best elders! -
Enter Sicinius Velutus, Junius Brutus, Cominius,

Titus Lartius, with other Senators. i Sen. Marcius, 'tis true, that you have lately told us, The Volsčians are in arms.

Mar. They have a leader,
Tullas Aufidius, that will put you to't.
I fin in envying his nobility:
And were I any thing but what I am,
I'd with me only he.

Com. You have fought together i

Mar. Were half to half the world by th' ears, and he Upon my party, I'd revolt, to make Only my wars with him. He is a lion, That I am proud to hunt.

i Sen. Then worthy Marcius, Attend upon Cominius to these wârs.

Com. It is your former promise.

Mar. Sir, it is;
And I am constant: Titus Lartius, thou
Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face.
What, art thou stiff ? stand'st out?

Tit. No Caius Marcius,
I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with t’ other;
Ere stay behind this business,

Men. O true bred !

i Sen. Your company to th' capitol; where, I know, Our greatest friends attend us..

Tit. Lead you on;
Follow, Cominius; we must follow you ;
Right worthy you priority,

Com. Noble Lartius!-
i Sen. Hence to your homes-be gone.

[To the Citizensa
Mar. Nay, let them follow;
The Volscians have much corn : take these rats thither,
To gnaw their garners. Worshipful mutineers,
Your valour puts well forth; pray, follow. - [Exeunt,

(Citizens steal away. Manent Sicinius and Brutus, Sic. Was ever man so proud, as is this Marcius? Bru. He has no equal. Sic. When we were chosen tribunes for the peoplewe Bru. Mark'd you his lip and eyes ? Sic. Nay, but his taunts. Bru. Being mov’d, he will not spare to gird the gods Sic. Be-mock the modeft moon,

Bru. (4) The prefent wars devour him; he is grown Too proud to be so valiant.

Sic. Such a nature,
Tickled with good success, disdains the fhadow
Which he treads on at noon ; but I do wonder,
His infolence can brook to be commanded
Under Cominius.

Bru. Fame, at the which he aims,
In whom already he is well grac’d, cannot
Better be held, nor more attain'd, than by
A place below the first; for what miscarries
Shall be the General's fault, tho' he perform
To the utmost of a man; and giddy censure
(4) Tbe present wars devour bim; be is grown

Too proud to be fo realiant.] This is very obscurely express'd; but the poet's meaning must certainly be this. Marcius is so conscious of, and so elate upon, the notion of his own valour, that he is eaten up with pride; devour'd with the apprehensions of that glory which hc promises himself from the ensuing war, A sentiment, like this, occurs again in Troilus and Cresida.

He, that is proud, eats up himself. Pride is his own glass, his own truinpet, his own chronicle; and whatever praises itself but in the deed, devours the deed in the praise.

Will then cry out of Marcius : oh, if he
Had borne the business

Sic, Besides, if things go well,
Opinion, that fo sticks on Marcius, shall
of his demerits rob Cominius,

Bru. Come,
Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius,
Though Marcius earn’d them not; and all his faults
To Marcius shall be honours, though, indeed,
In ought he merit not.

Sic. Let's hence, and hear
How the dispatch is made; and in what fashion,
More than his fingularity, he goes
Upon this present action.
Bru. Let’s along

[Exeunt, SCENE changes to Corioli.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Enter Tullus Aufidius, with Senators of Corioli.
So, your opinion is, ,

That they of Rome are entred in our counsels,
And know how we proceed.

Auf. Is it not yours?
What ever hath been thought on in this state,
That could be brought to bodily act, ere Rome
Had circumvention?'ris not four days gone,
Since I heard thence--ihese are the words I think,
I have the letter here; yes-here it is;
" They have prest a power, but it is not known

" Whether for East or Weft; the dearth is great,
“The people mutinoas; and it is rumour'd,
" Cominius, Marcius your


“ (Who is of Rome worse hated than of you)
". And Tipus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,
" These three lead on this preparation
66 Whither 'tis bent-most likely, 'tis for you :
Consider of it.

t Sen. Our army's in the field :
We never yet made doubt, but Rome was ready


[ocr errors]

To answer us.

Auf. Nor did you think it folly To keep your great pretences veil'd, 'till when. They needs mult thew themselves; which in the hatching, It feem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery, We mall be shortened in our aim, which was To take in many towns, ere (almoit) Rome Should know we were a-foot.

2 Sen. Noble Aufidius,
Take your commission, hie you to your bands;
Let us alone to guard Corioli :
"If they fet down before's, for the remove
Bring up your army: but, I think, you'll find,
They've not prepar'd for us.

Auf. O, doubt not that,
I speak from certainties. Nay more,
Some parcels of their power are forth already,
And only hitherward. I leave your honours,
If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet,
'Tis sworn between us, we mall ever strike
Till one can do no more.

Al. The gods afgift you !
suf. And keep your honours fafe!
I Sen. Farewel.
2 Sen. Farewel.
411. Farewel.


SCENE, changes to Caius Marcius's House

in Rome.

Pol. I

Enter Volumnia and Virgilia ; they fit down on tave lozu

fools, and low. l'ol. Pray you, daughter, fing, or express yourself

in a more comfortable fort: if my son were my husband, I would freelier rejoice in that absence wherein he won honour, than in the embracements of his bed, where he would shew most love. When yet he was but tender-bodied, and the only son of my womb; when youth with somelineis plucked all gaze his way;


Hear me pro

when for a day of King's intreaties, a mother should not sell him an hour from her beholding; I, considering how honour would become such a person, that it was no better than picture like to hang by th' wall, if senown made it not ftir, was pleas'd to let him feek danger where he was like to find fame : to a cruel war I sent him, from whence he return'd, his brows bound with oak. I tell thee, daughter, I sprang not more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child, than now in first feeing he had proved himself a man.

Vir. But had he died in the business, Madam ; how then

Vol. Then his good report should have been my
fon; I therein would have found issue.
fess fincerely; had I a dozen fons each in my love
alike, and none less dear than thine and my good Mare
cius, I had rather eleven die nobly for their country,
than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.

Enter à Gentlewoman.
Gent. Madam, the Lady Valeria is come to visit you.
Vir. Beseech you, give me leave to retiré myself.

Vol. Indeed, thou shalt not:
Methinks, I hither hear your husband's drum :
I see him pluck Aufidius down by th’ hair;
(As children froin a bear) the Volfii fhunning him :
Methinks, I see him stamp thus-and call thus-
Come on, ye cowards, ye were got in fear,
Though you were born in Rome; his bloody brow
With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes
Like to a harvest man, that's task'd to mow
Or all, or lose his hire,

Vir. His bloody brow! oh, Jupiler, no blood !

Vol. Away, you fool; it more becomes a man,
Than gilt his trophy. The breast of Hecuba,
When she did suckle Hestor, look d not lovelier
Than Heftor's forehead, when it spit forth blood
At Grecian swords, contending; tell Valeria,
We are fit to bid 'her welcome.

[Exit Gent. Vir. Heav'ns bless my Lord from fell Aufidius! the

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »