Imatges de pàgina

Nor, showing (as the manner is) bis wounds
To the people, beg their stinking breaths.

'Tis right.
Bru. It was his word: 0, he would miss it, rather
Than carry it, but by the suit o’the gentry to him,
And the desire of the nobles.

I wish no better, Than have him hold that


and to put it In execution.

Bru. 'Tis most like, he will.

Sic. It shall be to him then, as our good wills 3o; A sure destruction. Bru.

So it must fall out To him, or our authorities. For an end, We must suggest 33 the people, in what hatred He still hath held them: that, to his power, he would 34 Have made them mules, silenc'd their pleaders, and Dispropertied their freedoms: holding them, In human action and capacity, Of no more soul, nor fitness for the world, Than camels in their war; wbo have their provand 35 Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows For sinking under them. Sic.

This, as you say, suggested At some time when his soaring insolence Shall teach the people 36 (which time shall not want, If he be put upon't; and that's as easy, As to set dogs on sheep), will be his fire To kindle their dry stubble; and their blaze Shall darken him for ever.

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as our advantage requires.' Wills is here a verb. 33 i. e. prompt. 34 • That to the utmost of his power he would,' &c.

35 • Than camels in their war; who want their provand. We should probably read the war.' Provand is provender.

36 Theobald reads · Shall reach the people,' &c. Teach the people may however mean ‘instruct the people in favour of our purposes.'

32 i. e.

Enter a Messenger. Bru.

What's the matter? Mess. You are sent for to the Capitol. 'Tis thought, That Marcius shall be consul : I have seen The dumb men throng to see him, and the blind To hear him speak: matrons flung gloves, Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchiefs 37, Upon him as he pass'd: the nobles bended, As to Jove's statue; and the commons made A shower, and thunder, with their


and shouts: I never saw the like. Bru.

Let's to the Capitol; And carry with us ears and


for the time, But hearts for the event 38. Sic.

Have with you. [Excunt.


The same.

The Capitol.

Enter two Officers, to lay Cushions. 1 Off. Come, come, they are almost here: How many stand for consulships?

2 Off. Three, they say: but 'tis thought of every one, Coriolanus will carry it.

1 Off. That's a brave fellow : but he's vengeance proud, and loves not the common people.

2 Off. 'Faith, there have been many great men that have flatter'd the people, who ne'er loved them; and there be many that they have loved, they know not wherefore: so that, if they love they know not why, they hate upon no better a ground: Therefore,

37 Shakspeare here attributes some of the customs of his own times to a people who were wholly unacquainted with them. This was exactly what occurred at tiltings and tournaments when a combatant had distinguished himself.

38 That is ‘ let us observe what passes, but keep our hearts fixed on our design of crushing Coriolanus.'


for Coriolanus neither to care whether they love or hate him, manifests the true knowledge he has in their disposition; and, out of his noble carelessness, lets them plainly see't.

1 Off. If he did not care whether he had their love, or no, he waved indifferently 'twixt doing them neither good, nor harm; but he seeks their hate with greater devotion than they can render it him: and leaves nothing undone, that may fully discover him their opposite. Now, to seem to affect the malice and displeasure of the people, is as bad as that which he dislikes, to flatter them for their love.

2 Off. He hath deserved worthily of his country: And his ascent is not by such easy degrees as those', who, having been supple and courteous to the people, bonnetted “, without any further deed to have them at all into their estimation and report: but he hath so planted his honours in their eyes,

and his actions in their hearts, that for their tongues to be silent, and not confess so much, were a kind of ingrateful injury; to report otherwise were a malice, that, giving itself the lie, would pluck reproof and rebuke from every ear that heard it.

1 Off. No more of him; he is a worthy man: Make way, they are coming.

1 i. e. ‘he would have waved indifferently,' &c.
2 Their adversary or opponent. See vol. i. p. 65, note 19.
3 As the ascent of those.

4 Bonnetted is here a verb, as bonnetter, Fr. to pull off the cap. To cap was used in the same manner; see Jamieson's Dictionary. For to have them at all into their estimation, Pope reads heave, and Steevens follows his reading. But there is no necessity for change; to have is to get, as in the following passage :- He that seeketh means flatteringly to have or gette a thing.' « To have them at all into,' means ' to get themselves in any degree into,' &c. See King Henry VIII. Act ii. Sc. 2, note 7.

A Sennet. Enter, with Lictors before them, Comi

NIUS, the Consul, MENENIUS, CORIOLANUS, many other Senators, SICINIUS and BRUTUS. The Senators take their places; the Tribunes take theirs also by themselves.

Men. Having determin’d of the Volces, and
To send for Titus Lartius, it remains,
As the main point of this our after-meeting,
To gratify his noble service, that
Hath thus stood for his country: Therefore, please

Most reverend and grave elders, to desire
The present consul, and last general
In our well found successes, to report
A little of that worthy work perform’d
By Caius Marcius Coriolanus ; whom
We meet here, both to thank, and to remember
With honours like himself.
1 Sen.

Speak, good Cominius :
Leave nothing out for length, and make us think,
Rather our state's defective for requital,
Then we to stretch it out”. Masters o'the people,
We do request your kindest ears: and, after,
Your loving motion toward the common body,
To yield what passes here.

We are convented
Upon a pleasing treaty; and have hearts
Inclinable to honour and advance
The theme of our assembly?.

5. Rather say that our means are too defective to afford an adequate reward, than our inclinations defective to extend it toward him.'

6 i. e. your kind interposition with the common people.

? Shakspeare was probably not aware that until the promulgation of the Lex Attinia, which is supposed to have been in the time of Quintus Metellus Macedonicus, the tribunes had not the

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Which the rather
We shall be bless'd to do, if he remember
A kinder value of the people, than
He hath hereto priz’d them at.

That's off, that's off, I would


rather had been silent: Please you
To hear Cominius speak?

Most willingly:
But yet my caution was more pertinent,
Than the rebuke you give it.

He loves your people :
But tie him not to be their bedfellow.
Worthy Cominius, speak.–Nay, keep your place.

[CORIOLANUS rises, and offers to go away. 1 Sen. Sit, Coriolanus: never shame to hear What you have nobly done. Cor.

Your honours' pardon; I had rather have my wounds to heal again, Than hear

say how I got them. Bru.

Sir, I hope, My words disbench'd


not. Cor.

No, sir: yet oft, When blows have made me stay, I fled from words. You sooth'd not, therefore hurt not: But, your

people, I love them as they weigh. Men.

Pray now,

sit down. Cor. I had rather have one scratch my head i'the sun, When the alarum were struck, than idly sit To hear my nothings monster'd. [Erit CORIOLANUS. privilege of entering the senate, but had seats placed for them near the door, on the outside of the house. But in our ancient theatres the imagination of the spectators was frequently called upon to lend its aid to illusions much more improbable than that of supposing they saw the inside and outside of the same building at once. 8 i. e. that is nothing to the purpose.'

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