Imatges de pÓgina
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Hear nought from Rome in private.-Your request? Vol. Should we be silent and not speak, our raiment,

And state of bodies, would bewrayl what life
We have led since thy exíle. Think with thyself,
How more unfortunate than all living women
Are we come hither: since that thy sight, which
should

Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with comforts,

Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and

sorrow;

Making the mother, wife, and child, to see
The son, the husband, and the father, tearing
His country's bowels out. And to poor we,
Thine enmity's most capital: thou barr'st us
Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort
That all but we enjoy: For how can we,
Alas! how can we for our country pray,
Whereto we are bound; together with thy victory,
Whereto we are bound? Alack! or we must lose
The country, our dear nurse; or else thy person,
Our comfort in the country. We must find
An evident calamity, though we had
Our wish, which side should win: for either thou
Must, as a foreign recreant, be led
With manacles thorough our streets, or else
Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin;
And bear the palm, for having bravely shed
Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, son,
I purpose not to wait on fortune, till
These wars determine :2 if I cannot persuade thee
Rather to show a noble grace to both parts,
Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner
March to assault thy country, than to tread
(Trust to't, thou shalt not,) on thy mother's womb,
That brought thee to this world.
Vir.

Ay, and on mine, That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name Living to time.

Boy. I'll run away, till I am bigger, but then I'll fight. Cor. Not of a woman's tenderness to be, Requires nor child nor woman's face to see. I have sat too long.

He shall not tread on me;

[Rising.

Vol.
Nay, go not from us thus.
If it were so, that our request did tend
To save the Romans, thereby to destroy
The Volces whom you serve, you might condemn us,
As poisonous of your honour: No; our suit
Is, that you reconcile them: while the Volces
May say, This mercy we have show'd; the Romans,
This we receiv'd; and each in either side
Give the all-hail to thee, and cry, Be bless'd
For making up this peace! Thou know'st, great son,
The end of war's uncertain; but this certain,
That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit
Which thou shalt thereby reap, is such a name,
Whose repetition will be dogg'd with curses;
Whose chronicle thus writ,-The man was noble,
But with his last attempt he wip'd it out;
Destroy'd his country; and his name remains
To the ensuing age, abhorr'd. Speak to me, son:
Thou hast affected the fine strains of honour,
To imitate the graces of the gods;

To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o'the air,
And yet to charge thy sulphur with a bolt
That should but rive an oak. Why dost not speak?
Think'st thou it honourable for a noble man
Still to remember wrongs?-Daughter, speak you:
He cares not for your weeping.-Speak thou, boy:
Perhaps, thy childishness will move him more

(1) Betray. (2) Conclude. (3) The refinements.

Than can our reasons.-There is no man in the world

More bound to his mother; yet here he lets me prate
Like one i'the stocks. Thou hast never in thy life
Show'd thy dear mother any courtesy ;
When she (poor hen !) fond of no second brood,
Has cluck'd thee to the wars, and safely home,
Loaden with honour. Say, my request's unjust,
And spurn me back: But, if it be not so,
Thou art not honest; and the gods will plague thee,
That thou restrain'st from me the duty, which
To a mother's part belongs. He turns away:
Down, ladies; let us shame him with our knees.
To his surname Coriolanus 'longs more pride,
Than pity to our prayers. Down; an end:
This is the last ;-So we will home to Rome,
And die among our neighbours.-Nay, behold us:
This boy, that cannot tell what he would have,
But kneels, and holds up hands, for fellowship,
Does reason our petition with more strength
Than thou hast to deny't.-Come, let us go:
This fellow had a Volscian to his mother;
His wife is in Corioli, and his child

Like him by chance:-Yet give us our despatch:
I am hush'd until our city be afire,
And then I'll speak a little.

Cor.
O mother, mother!
[Holding Volumnia by the hands, silent.
What have you done? Behold, the heavens do ope,
The gods look down, and this unnatural scene
They laugh at. O my mother, mother! O!
You have won a happy victory to Rome:
But, for your son, believe it, O, believe it,
Most dangerously you have with him prevail'd,
If not most mortal to him. But, let it come:-
Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius,
Were you in my stead, say, would you have heard
A mother less? or granted less, Aufidius?
Auf. I was mov'd withal.

Cor. I dare be sworn, you were: And, sir, it is no little thing, to make Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good sir, What peace you'll make, advise me: For my part, I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you; and pray you, Stand to me in this cause.-O mother! wife!

Auf. I am glad, thou hast set thy mercy and thy honour

At difference in thee: out of that I'll work
Myself a former fortune.

[Aside.
[The Ladies make signs to Coriolanus.
Cor.
Ay, by and by;
[To Volumnia, Virgilia, &c.
But we will drink together; and you shall bear
A better witness back than words, which we,
On like conditions, will have counter-seal'd.
Come, enter with us. Ladies, you deserve
To have a temple built you: all the swords
In Italy, and her confederate arms,
Could not have made this peace.

[Exeunt.

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(1) Chair of state. (3) Recall. (4) Gates.

(5) Helped.

Most noble sir,
If you do hold the same intent wherein
You wish'd us parties, we'll deliver you
Of your great danger.
Auf.

Sir, I cannot tell;
We must proceed, as we do find the people.

3 Con. The people will remain uncertain, whilst 'Twixt you there's difference; but the fall of either Makes the survivor heir of all.

Auf. I know it; And my pretext to strike at him admits A good construction. I rais'd him, and I pawn'd Mine honour for his truth: Who being so heighten'd, He water'd his new plants with dews of flattery, Seducing so my friends: and, to this end, He bow'd his nature, never known before But to be rough, unswayable, and free. 3 Con. Sir, his stoutness, When he did stand for consul, which he lost By lack of stooping,Auf That I would have spoke of: Being banish'd for't, he came unto my hearth; Presented to my knife his throat: I took him; Made him joint servant with me; gave him way In all his own desires; nay, let him choose Out of my files, his projects to accomplish, My best and freshest men; serv'd his designments In mine own person; holps to reap the fame, Which he did end all his; and took some pride To do myself this wrong: till, at the last, I seem'd his follower, not partner; and He wag'd me with his countenance, as if I had been mercenary.

1 Con. So he did, my lord: The army marvell'd at it. And, in the last, When he had carried Rome; and that we look'd

(6) Thought me rewarded with good looks.

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[Drums and trumpets sound, with great
shouts of the people.

1 Con. Your native town you enter'd like a post, And had no welcomes home; but he returns, Splitting the air with noise.

2 Con.
And patient fools,
Whose children he hath slain, their base throats
tear,

With giving him glory.
3 Con.
Therefore, at your vantage,
Ere he express himself, or move the people
With what he would say, let him feel your sword,
Which we will second. When he lies along,
After your way his tale pronounc'd shall bury
His reasons with his body.
Say no more;

Auf.

Here come the lords.

Enter the Lords of the city.

Lords. You are most welcome home.
Auf.
I have not deserv'd it.
But, worthy lords, have you with heed perus'd
What I have written to you?

Lords.

We have.
1 Lord.
And grieve to hear
What faults he made before the last, I think,
Might have found easy fines but there to end,
Where he was to begin; and give away
The benefit of our levies, answering us
With our own charge;2 making a treaty, where
There was a yielding; This admits no excuse.
Auf. He approaches, you shall hear him.
Enter Coriolanus, with drums and colours;
crowd of Citizens with him.

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Auf. No more.

Ha!

Cor. Measureless Ear, thou hat made my heart
Too great for what contigs it. Boy! O slave !--
Pardon me, lords, 'tis the Cume that ever
I was forc'd to scold. Your udgments, my grave
lords,

Must give this cur the lie: and his own notion
(Who wears my stripes impress'd on him; that
must bear

My beating to his grave;) shall join to thrust
The lie unto him.
1 Lord. Peace, both, and hear me speak.
Cor. Cut me to pieces, Volces; men and farls,
Stain all your edges on me.-Boy! False hound!
If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there,
That like an eagle in a dove-cote, I
Flutter'd your voices in Corioli:

|| Alone I did it.-Roy !

Auf.
Why, noble lords,
Will you be put mind of his blind fortune,
Which was your shame, by this unholy braggart,
it.'Fore your own eyes and ears?
Con. Let him die for't.

[Several speak at once. Cit. [Speaking promiscuously.] Tear him to pieces, do it presently. He killed my son ;-my daughter;-He killed my cousin Marcus;-He killed my father

2 Lord. Peace, ho;-no outrage-peace. a This orb o'the earth.6 His last offence to us The man is noble, and his fame folds in Shall have judicious hearing-Stand, Aufidius, And trouble not the peace.

Cor. Hail, lords! I am return'd your soldier;
No more infected with my country's love,
Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting
Under
your great command. You are to know,
That prosperously i have attempted, and
With bloody passage, led your wars, even to
The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought

home,

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Cor.
O, that I had him,
With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe,
To use my lawful sword!
Auf.

Insolent villain!
Con. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him.
[Aufidius and the Conspirators draw, and
kill Coriolanus, who falls, and Aufidius
stands on him.

Lords.
Hold, hold, hold, hold.
Auf My noble masters, hear me speak.
1 Lord.
O Tullus,-
2 Lord. Thou hast done a deed whereat valour
will weep.

3 Lord. Tread not upon him.-Masters all, be
quiet;
Put up your swords.

Auf My lords, when you shall know (as in this
rage,

Provok'd by him, you cannot,) the great danger
Which this man's life did owe you, you'll rejoice
That he is thus cut off Please it your honours
To call me to your senate, I'll deliver
Myself your loyal servant, or endure
Your heaviest censure.

1 Lord.
Bear from hence his body,
And mourn you for him: let him be regarded
As the most noble corse, that ever herald
Did follow to his urn.

(5) No more than a boy of tears.

(6) His fame overspreads the world. (7) Judicia 2 T

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The tragedy of Coriolanus is one of the most amusing of our author's performances. The old man's merriment in Menenius; the lofty lady's dignity in Volumnia; the bridal modesty in Virgilia; the patrician and military haughtiness in Coriolanus; the plebeian malignity and tribunitian insolence in Brutus and Sicinius, make a very pleasing and interesting variety; and the various revolutions of the hero's fortune, fill the mind with anxious curiosity. There is, perhaps, too much bustle in the first act, and too little in the last.

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2 Cit. Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes, to get myself into more work. But, indeed, sir, we make holiday, to see Cæsar, and to rejoice in his triumph.

Mar. Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?

What tributaries follow him to Rome,

HENCE; home, you idle creatures, get you To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?

home;

Is this a holiday? What! know you not,
Being mechanical, you ought not walk,
Upon a labouring day, without the sign
Of your profession?-Speak, what trade art thou?
1 Cit. Why, sir, a carpenter.

Mar. Where is thy leather apron, and thy rule?
What dost thou with thy best apparel on?—
You, sir; what trade are you?

2 Cit. Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman,
I am but, as you would say, a cobbler.
Mar. But what trade art thou? Answer me di-
rectly.

2 Cit. A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe conscience; which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soals.

Mar. What trade, thou knave? thou naughty knave, what trade?

2 Cit. Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me: yet, if you be out, I can mend you.

Mar. What meanest thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow?

2 Cit. Why, sir, cobble you.
Flav. Thou art a cobbler, art thou?

2 Cit. Truly, sir, all that I live by is, with the||
awl: I meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor
women's matters, but with awl. I am, indeed, sir,
a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in great
danger, I re-cover them. As proper men as ever
trod upon neat's-leather, have gone upon my handy-
work.

Flav. But wherefore art not in thy shop to-day? Why dost thou lead these men about the streets? (1) Rank. (2) Whether.

You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless

things!

O, you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,
Your infants in your arms, and there have sat
The live-long day, with patient expectation,
To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome :
And when you saw his chariot but appear,
Have you not made an universal shout,
That Tyber trembled underneath her banks,
To hear the replication of your sounds,
Made in her concave shores?
And do you now put on your best attire?
And do you now cull out a holiday?
And do you now strew flowers in his way,
That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?
Be
gone;

Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
That needs must light on this ingratitude.
Flav. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this
fault,

Assemble all the poor men of your sort ;1
Draw them to Tyber banks, and weep your tears
Into the channel, till the lowest stream
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all. [Exe. Cit.
See, whe'r2 their basest metal be not mov'd;
They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.
Go

you down that way towards the Capitol;
This way will I: Disrobe the images,
If you do find them deck'd with ceremonies.3

(3) Honorary ornaments; tokens of respect.

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