Imatges de pÓgina

eyes, and his actions in their hearts, that for their tongues to be filent, and not confess so much, were a kind of in, grateful injury; to report otherwise, were a malice that, giving it felf the lie, would pluck reproof and rebuke from ev'ry ear that heard it.

i Off. No more of him, he is a worthy man : make way, they are coming.

SCE NE VI. Enter the Patricians, and tbe Tribunes of the People, Lietors

before them; Coriolanus, Menenius, Cominius tbe Con, súl: Sicinius and Brutus take tbeir places by themselves.

Men. Having determin'd of the Volscians, and
To send for Titus Lartius, it remains,
As the main point of this our after-meeting,
To gratifie his noble service, that
Hath thus stood for his country. Therefore, please you,
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 Martius Coriolanus ; whom
We meet here, both to thank, and to remember
With honours like himself.

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

Sic. We are convented
Upon a pleasing treaty, and have hearts
Inclinable to honour and advance
The theam of our assembly,

Bru. Which the rather
We shall be blest to do, if he remember
A kinder value of the people, than
He hath hitherto priz'd them at,
Men. That's off, that's off :

I would you rather had been silent : please you
To hear Cominius speak ?

Bru. Moft willingly:
But yet my caution was more pertinent
Than the rebuke you give.

Men. He loves your people,
But tye

him not to be their bedfellow : Worthy Cominius, speak.

[Coriolanus rises and offers to go away. Nay, keep your place.

i Sen. Sit, Coriolanus ; never shame to hear What

you have nobly done,
Cor. Your Honour's pardon :
I had rather have my wounds to heal again,
Than hear say how I got them.

Bru, Sir, I hope
My words dil-bench'd you not.

Cor. No, Sir ; yet oft,
When blows have made me stay, I fed from words.
You footh 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'th' sun,
When the alarum were struck, than idly fit
To hear my nothings monster’d. [Exit Coriolanus,

Men. Masters of the people,
Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter,
That's thousand to one good one, when you see
He had racher venture all his limbs for honour,
Than one of's ears to hear't? Proceed, Cominius.

Com. I shall lack voice : the deeds of Coriolanus
Should not be utter'd feebly. It is held
That valour is the chiefest virtue, and
Most dignifies the haver : if it be,
The man I speak of cannot in the world
Be singly counter-pois’d. At fixteen years,
When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought
Beyond the mark of others : our then Dictator,
Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight,
When with his Amazonian chin he drove


The bristled lips before him : he bestrid
An o'er-prest Roman, and i'th' Consul's view
Slew three opposers : Tarquin's self he met,
And struck him on his knee : in that day's feats,
When he might act the woman in the scene,
He prov'd best man i'th' field, and for his meed
Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil-age
Man-entred thus, he waxed like a sea;
And in the brunt of seventeen battels fince,
He lurcht all swords o'th' garland. For this laft,
Before, and in Corioli, let me say
I cannot speak him home : he

the fliers,
And by his rare example made the coward
Turn terror into sport. As waves before
A vessel under fail, so men obey'd,
And fell below his ftern: his sword (death's stamp)
Where it did mark, it took from face to foot :
He was a thing of blood, whose every motion
Was tim'd with dying cries : alone he enter'd
The gate o'th' city, which he mortal painted
With Thunless destiny: aidless came off,
And with a sudden re-enforcement struck
Corioli, like a planet. Nor's this all;
For by and by the din of war 'gan pierce
His ready sense, when straight his doubled spirit
Requicken'd what in flesh was fatigate,
And to the battel came he ; where he did
Run reeking o'er the lives of men, as if
'Twere a perpetual spoil ; and 'till we call'd
Both field and city ours, he never food
To ease his brealt with panting.

Men. Worthy man!

I Sen. He cannot but with measure fill the honours
Which we devise him.

Com. All our spoils he kick'd at,
And look'd upon things precious, as they were
The common muck o'th' world: he covets less
· Than misery it self would give, rewards
His deeds with doing them, and is content
To spend his time to end it.


Men, He's right noble,
Let him be called for.

Sen. Call Coriolanus.
Of. He doth appear.

Enter Coriolanus.
Men. The Senate, Coriolanus, are well pleased
To make thee Consul.

Cor. I do owe them ftill
My life, and services.

Men. It then remains
That you do speak to th' people.

Cor. I beseech you,
Let me o'er-leap that custom; for I cannot
Put on the gown, stand naked, and entreat them,
For my wounds sake, to give their suffrages :
Please you that I may over-pass this doing.

Sic. Sir, but the people too must have their voices,
Nor will they bate one jot of ceremony.

Men. Put them not to't: pray fit you to the custom,
And take t'ye, as your predecessors have,
Your bonour with the form.

Cor. It is a part
That I fall blush in acting, and might well
Be taken from the people.

Bru. Mark you that ?

Cor. To brag unto them, thus I did, and thus,
Shew them th' unaking scars, which I would hide,
As if I had receiv'd them for the hire
of their breath only

Men. Do not stand upon’t:
We recommend t'ye, Tribunes of the people,
Our purpose, and to them: to our noble Conful
With we all joy and honour.
Sen. To Coriolanus come all joy and honour !

[Flourish Corners. Then Exeunt,
Manent Sicinius and Brutus..
Bru. You see how he intends to use the people.

Sic. May they perceive's intent! he will require them, As if he did contemn what he requested Should be in them to give.

Brs. .

Bru. Come, we'll inform them
Of our proceedings here : on th' market-place
Į know they do attend us.

[Exeunt. SCENE VII. The Forum

Enter seven or eight Citizens. i Cit. Once *, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him.

2 Cit. We may, Sir, if we will.

3 Cit. We have power in our selves to do it, but it is a power that we have no power to do; for, if he shew us his wounds, and tell us his deeds, we are to put our tongues into those wounds, and speak for theri : so, if he tells us his noble deeds, we must also tell him of our noble acceptance of them. Ingratitude is monstrous, and for the mul. titude to be ingrateful, were to make a monster of the mul. titude ; of the which we being members, should bring our selves to be monstrous members.

i Cit. And to make us no better thought of, a little help will serve: for once when we stood up about the corn, he himself stuck not to call us the many-headed monster.

3 Cit. We have been callid fo of many, not that our heads are some brown, some black, fome auburn, some bald; but that'our wits are so diversely colour'd ; and fruly, I think, if all our wits were to issue out of our sculls, they would fly East, West, North, South, and their consent of one direct way would be at once to all points o'th' compass.

2 Cit. Think you so ? which way do you judge my wit would fly?

3 Cit. Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another man's will, 'tis strongly wedg’d up in a blockhead : but if it were at liberty, 'twould sure Southward.

2 Cit. Why that way?

3 Cit. To lose it self in a fog, where being three parts melted away with rotten dews, the fourth would return for conscience fake, to help to get thee a wife.

2 Cit. You are never without your tricks you may, you may

Once hcre means the same as when we say once for all.

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