Imatges de pàgina

This mutiny were better put in hazard,
Than stay, past doubt, for greater :
If, as his nature is, he fall in rage
With their refusal, both observe and answer
The vantage of his anger.

To the Capitol :
Come; we'll be there before the stream o' the people;
And this shall seem, as partly ’tis, their own,
Which we have goaded onward. [Exeunt,


SCENE I. The same.

A Street.


MINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, Senators, and Pa-
Cor. Tullus Aufidius then had made new head?
Lart. He had, my lord; and that it was, which

Our swifter composition.

Cor. So then the Volces stand but as. at first; Ready, when time shall prompt them, to make road Upon us again.

Com, They are worn, lord consul", so,
That we shall hardly in our ages see
Their banners wave again.


Aufidius? Lart. On safeguard? he came to me; and did curse 1 Shakspeare bas here again given the usage of England to Rome. In his time the title of lord was given to many officers of state wbo were not peers, as lords of the council, lord ambassador, lord general, &c.

That is, with a convoy, a guard appointed to protect him.

Against the Volces, for they had so vilely
Yielded the town: he is retir'd to Antium.

Cor. Spoke he of me?

He did, my lord.

How? what? Lart. How often he had met you, sword to sword: That, of all things upon the earth, he hated Your person most: that he would pawn his fortunes To hopeless restitution, so he might Be call'd your vanquisher. Cor.

At Antium lives he? Lart. At Antium.

Cor. I wish, I had cause to seek him there, To oppose his hatred fully.--Welcome home.




Behold! these are the tribunes of the people,
The tongues o'the common mouth. I do despise them;
For they do prank them in authority,
Against all noble sufferance.

Pass no further.
Cor. Ha! what is that?

It will be dangerous to
Go on: no further.

What makes this change? Men.

The matter? Com. Hath he not pass’d the nobles, and the com

mons ? Bru. Cominius, no. Cor.

Have I had children's voices ? 1 Sen. Tribunes, give way; he shall to the market

place. Bru. The people are incens'd against him. 3 So in Measure for Measure, Act ii. Sc. 2:

Drest in a little brief authority.'


Stop, Or all will fall in broil. Cor.

Are these


herd ?Must these have voices, that can yield them now, And straight disclaim their tongues ?—What are

your offices ? You being their mouths, why rule you not their

teeth? Have

you not set them on?. Men.

Be calm, be calm. Cor. It is a purpos'd thing, and grows by plot, To curb the will of the nobility:Suffer it, and live with such as cannot rule, Nor ever will be rul'd. Bru.

Call't not a plot:
The people cry, you mock'd them; and, of late,
When corn was given them gratis, you repin'd;
Scandal'd the suppliants for the people; call’d them
Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness.

Cor. Why, this was known before.

Not to them all.
Cor. Have you inform'd them since ?

How! I inform them! Cor. You are like to do such business. Bru.

Not unlike, Each way

to better yours * Cor. Why then should I be consul? By yon clouds, Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me Your fellow tribune. Sic.

You show too much of that, For which the people stir: If you will pass To where you are bound, you must inquire your way, Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit;

4 i. e. likely to provide better for the security of the commonwealth than you (whose business it is) will do. To which the reply is pertinent, Why then should I be consul?'.



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Or never be so noble as a consul,
Nor yoke with him for tribune.

Let's be calm.
Com. The people are abus’d:-Set on. This

Becomes not Rome; nor has Coriolanus
Deserv'd this so dishonour'd rub, laid falsely 6
I’ the plain way of his merit.

Tell me of corn!
This was my speech, and I will speak't again ;-

Men. Not now, not now. 1 Sen.

Not in this heat, sir, now. Cor. Now, as I live, I will.—My nobler friends, I crave their pardons:For the mutable, rank-scented many 7, let them Regard me as I do not flatter, and Therein behold themselves: I say again, In soothing them, we nourish 'gainst our senate The cockle 8 of rebellion, insolence, sedition, Which we ourselves have plough'd for, sow'd and

scatter'd, By mingling them with us, the honour'd number; Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that Which they have given to beggars. Men.

Well, no more. 1 Sen. No more words, we beseech you. Cor.

How ! no more? As for my country I have shed my blood,

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5 Paltering is shuffling. 6 i. e. treacherously. The metaphor is from a rub at bowls.

7 i. e. the populace. The Greeks used or mollo exactly in the same sense.

8 Cockle is a weed which grows up with and chokes the corn. The thought is from North’s Plutarch :— Moreover, he said, that they nourished against themselves the naughty seed and cockle of insolency and sedition, which had been sowed and scattered abroad among the people,' &c.

Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs
Coin words till their decay, against those meazelso,
Which we disdain should tetter us, yet sought

very way to catch them. Bru.

You speak o’the people,
As if you were a god to punish, not
A man of their infirmity.

T'were well,
We let the people know't.

What, what? his choler?
Cor. Choler!
Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,
By Jove, 'twould be my mind.

It is a mind,
That shall remain a poison where it is,
Not poison any further.

Shall remain !

this Triton of the minnows 10? mark you His absolute shall ? Com.

'Twas from the canon. Cor.

Shall! O good 11, but most unwise patricians, why, You grave, but reckless 12 senators, have you

thus Given Hydra here to choose an officer, That with his peremptory shall, being but The horn and noise 13 o’the monsters, wants not spirit To

say, he'll turn your current in a ditch, And make

channel his?. If he have power,


9 Meazel, or mesell, is the old term for a leper, from the Fr. meselle.

10 So in Love's Labour's Lost :- That base minnow of thy mirth.

11 The old copy has · O God, but,' &c. The emendation was made by Theobald.

12 Careless.

13 • The horn and noise,' alluding to his having called him Triton of the minnows before.

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