Imatges de pÓgina
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Then vail your ignorance 14: if none, awake
Your dangerous lenity. If you are learned,
Be not as common fools ; if you are not,
Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians,
If they be senators: and they are no less,
When, both

your voices blended, the greatest taste
Most palates theirs 15. They choose their magistrate;
And such a one as he, who puts his shall,
His popular shall, against a graver bench
Than ever frown’d in Greece! By Jove himself,
It makes the consuls base: and my soul akes,
To know, when two authorities are up,
Neither
supreme,

how

soon confusion
May enter 'twixt the gap of both, and take
The one by the other 16.
Com.

Well-on to the market-place.
Cor. Whoever gave that counsel, to give forth
The corn o’the storehouse gratis, as 'twas us’d
Sometime in Greece,
Men.

Well, well, no more of that. Cor. (Though there the people had more absolute

power)
I say, they nourish'd disobedience, fed
The ruin of the state.
Bru.

Why, shall the people give
One, that speaks thus, their voice?
Cor.

I'll give my reasons, More worthier than their voices. They know, the corn Was not our recompense; resting well assur’d

14 • If this man has power, let the ignorance that gave it him vail or bow down before him.'

15 • The plebeians are no less than senators, when, the voices of the senate and the people being blended, the predominant taste of the compound smacks more of the populace than the senate.'

16 • The mischief and absurdity of what is called imperium in imperio is here finely expressed,' says Warburton.

They ne'er did service fort: Being press'd to the war,
Even when the navel of the state was touch'd,
That would not thread 17 the gates: this kind of ser-

vice
Did not deserve corn gratis: being i’the war,
Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they show'd
Most valour, spoke not for them: The accusation
Which they have often made against the senate,
All cause unborn, could never be the native 18
Of our so frank donation. Well, what then?
How shall this bosom multiplied 19 digest
The senate's courtesy ? Let deeds express
What's like to be their words :- We did request it;
We are the greater poll, and in true fear
They gave us our demands:—Thus we debase
The nature of our seats, and make the rabble
Call our cares, fears: which will in time break

ope
The locks o’the senate, and bring in the crows
To peck the eagles.
Men.

Come, enough.
Bru. Enough, with overmeasure.
Cor.

No, take more: What

may be sworn by, both divine and human, Seal what I end withal 20 !—This double worship, Where one part does disdain with cause, the other Insult without all reason; where gentry, title, wisdom

17 To thread the gates is to pass through them. So en King Lear:-* Threading dark-ey'd night.'

18 Native, if it be not a corruption of the text, must be pat for native cause, the producer, or bringer forth. Mason's proposed emendation of motive would be very plausible, were it not that the poet seems to have intended a kind of antithesis between cause unborn apd native cause.

19 • This bosom multiplied,' is this multitudinous bosom, the bosom of that many-headed monster the people.

20 • No, let me add this further, and may every thing divine and human that can give force to an oath, bear witness to the truth of what I shall conclude with.'

and no

Cannot conclude, but by the yea
Of general ignorance,-it must omit
Real necessities, and give way the while
To unstable slightness: purpose so barr’d, it follows,
Nothing is done to purpose: Therefore, beseech

you,
You that will be less fearful than discreet;
That love the fundamental part of state,
More than you doubtol the change of't; that prefer
A noble life before a long, and wish
To jump 22 a body with a dangerous physick
That's sure of death without it,—at once pluck out
The multitudinous tongue, let them not lick
The sweet which is their poison: your dishonour
Mangles true judgment, and bereaves the state
Of that integrity which should become it 23 ;
Not having the power to do the good it would,
For the ill which doth control it.
Bru.

He has said enough. Sic. He has spoken like a traitor, and shall answer As traitors do.

Cor. Thou wretch! despite o’erwhelm thee! What should the people do with these bald tribunes? On whom depending, their obedience fails

21 To doubt is to fear.

22 To jump a body is apparently' to risk or hazard a body.' So in Holland's Pliny, b. xxv. ch. v. p. 219:— If we looke for good successe in our cure by ministring bellebore, &c. for certainly it putteth the patient to a jumpe or greate hazard. So in Macbeth:-

• We'd jump the life to come.' And in Antony and Cleopatra, Act iii. Sc. viii:

our fortune lies
Upon this jump.'
Mangles true judgment, and bereaves the state

Of that integrity which should become it.' Judgment is the faculty by which right is distinguished from wrong. Integrity is in this place soundness, uniformity, consistency.

23

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To the greater bench : In a rebellion,
When what's not meet, but what must be, was law,
Then were they chosen; in a better hour,
Let what is meet, be said it must be meet24,
And throw their

power

i' the dust.
Bru. Manifest treason.
Sic.

This a consul? no.
Bru. The Ædiles, ho !-Let him be apprehended.
Sic. Go, call the people; [Exit BRUTUS.] in

whose name, myself
Attach thee, as a traitorous innovator,
A foe to the publick weal: Obey, I charge thee,
And follow to thine answer.
Cor.

Hence, old goat !
Sen. & Pat. We'll surety him.
Com.

Aged sir, hands off.
Cor. Hence, rotten thing, or I shall shake thy bones
Out of thy garments 25.
Sic.

Help, ye citizens.
Re-enter BRUTUS, with the Ædiles, and a Rabble

of Citizens.
Men. On both sides more respect.
Sic.

Here's he, that would
Take from

you
all

your power. Bru.

Seize him, Ædiles. Cit. Down with him, down with him!

[Several speak. 2 Sen. Weapons, weapons, weapons

! [They all bustle about CORIOLANUS. 24 • Let it be said by you that what is meet to be done, must be meet, i. e. shall be done, and put an end at once to the tribunitian power, which was established when irresistible violence, not a regard to propriety, directed the legislature.'

bere's a stay,
That shakes the rotten carcase of old death
Out of his rags!

King John.

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Tribunes, patricians, citizens what ho !
Sicinius, Brutus, Coriolanus, citizens !

Cit. Peace, peace, peace; stay, hold, peace!

Men. What is about to be? I am out of breath; Confusion's near: I cannot speak :-You, tribunes To the people,-Coriolanus, patience: Speak, good Sicinius. Sic.

Hear me, people;-Peace. Cit. Let's hear our tribune :-Peace. Speak,

speak, speak. Sic. You are at point to lose your

liberties: Marcius would have all from you; Marcius, Whom late

you .

have nam'd for consul. Men.

Fye, fye, fye! This is the way to kindle, not to quench.

1 Sen. To unbuild the city, and to lay all flat. Sie. What is the city, but the people? Cit.

True, The people are the city.

Bru. By the consent of all, we were establish'd The people's magistrates. Cit.

You so remain
Men. And so are like to do.

Cor. That is the way to lay the city flat;
To bring the roof to the foundation;
And bury all, which yet distinctly ranges,
In heaps and piles of ruin.
Sic.

This deserves death.
Bru. Or let us stand to our authority,
Or let us lose it :-We do here pronounce,
Upon the part o'the people, in whose power
We were elected theirs, Marcius is worthy
Of present death.
Sic.

Therefore, lay hold of him; Bear him to the rock Tarpeian, and from thence Into destruction cast him.

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