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Enter the Patricians, and the Tribunes of the People,
Liftors before them ; Coriolanus, Menenius, Cominius the Consul: Sicinius and Brutus take their places by themselves.
Men. Having determind of the Volscians, and
i Sen. Speak, good Cominius:
Sic. We are convented
and have Hearts Inclinable to honour and advance
The Theam of our Assembly.] Without Doubt it would have been more proper for the Tribune, who is here addresơng himself to the Senate, to have faid;
The Theme of your Asembly. But Shakespeare, contrary to the Truth of History, makes the Tribunes sit in the Senate, as part of that Body. For 'till the Lex Attiria (which Attinius is suppos’d by Sigonius, De Vetere Italiæ Jure, to have been contemporary with Quintus Metellus Macedonicus;) the Tribunes had not the Priviledge of entring the Senate, but had Seats placed for them, near the Door, on the Outlide of the House.
Bru. Which the rather
Men. That's off, that's off:
Bru. Most willingly :
(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 Honours' pardon:
Cor. No, Sir; yet oft, When blows have made me stay, I fled from words. You sooth 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'ch' Sun,
Men. Masters of the People,
Com. I shall lack voice: the Deeds of Coriolanus
Be singly counter-pois'd. At fixteen years,
(17) And in the Brunt of sev’nteen Battles fince.) I cannot help making a Remark upon this circumstance of our Author's Conduct, whether calual or designedly. It is said, and the Fact is true, that he has follow'd Plutarch very closely in this Story ; but he deviates from him in one Point, by which he seems to decline a strange Absurdity in the Cal. culation of Time. Shakespeare tells us, that, at fixteen Years old, Coriolanus began his Soldiership, when Tarquin made Head to regain his Kingdom; and that in seventeen Battles he distinguish'd himself with exemplary Bravery and Success. Plutarch likewise says, that our Hero set out in Arms a Youth, that his first Expedition was when Tarquin made this Push, and that he signaliz’d himself in War for seventeen Years fucceffively. Now it happens a little unluckily for Plutarch's Account that this Attempt of Tarquin was made Anno U.C. 258, and Coriolanus was banish'd, nay and kill'd within the Period of eight Years after his first Campaign, Anno U. C. 266.There is something again lies cross on the other side, that if Coriolanus was fo young when he commenced Soldier, and if the Interval was so fhort betwixt That and his Banishment, he was too young to have been admitted a Candidate for the Confulfhip. The Compliment of that Otice to early to any Man was a Prostitution of Dignity, that, I think, was never made 'till the Times of the Emperours, when Servitude had debased the very Spirits of the Ro
'Tis certain, there is some Miltake in the Computation of this Great Man's Years. I should conjecture (were there any Proofs to second it) that he started into Notice as a Soldier, when Tarquin was expell’d Rome, Anno U. C. 245; and allowing him only to be eighteen Years of Age then, at the time of his own Banishment (U. C. 264) we shall find him
37 Years old ; a Period of Life, at which the City could scarcely have refus d One of his extraordinary Merit the Consultip. But This is no mare than an Attempt to reconcile Improbabilities by Guess.
I cannot speak him home: he stopt the Aiers,
Men. Worthy Man !
i Sen. He cannot but with measure fit the Honours, Which we devise him.
Com. Our spoils he kick'd at,
Men. He's right noble,
Sen. Call Coriolanus.
Cor. I do owe them still
Men. It then remains
do speak to th' People.
Sic. Sir, the People must have their voices,
Men. Put them not to't: pray, fit you to the Custom,
Cor. It is a Part
Bru. Mark you That ?
Cor. To brag unto them, thus I did, - and thus,
Men. Do not stand upon't :
[Flourish Cornets. Then Exeunt.
Sic. May they perceive's intent! he will require them,
Bru. (19) Come, we'll inform them
of our Proceedings here on th' Market place,