Imatges de pàgina

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
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

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 Marcius Coriolanus; whom
We met 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 we to stretch it out. Masters o'th' People,
We do request your kindeft ear; and, after,
Your loving motion toward the common Body,
To yield what passes here,

Sic. We are convented
Upon a pleasing Treaty; (16) and have hearts
Inclinable to honour and advance
The Theam of our Assembly.

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.

Mr. Warburton.


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. Most willingly :
But yet my caution was more pertinent,
Than the rebuke you give it.
-Men. He loves your People,
But tye him not to be their bed-fellow :
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 Honours' pardon:
I had rather have my wounds to heal again,
Than hear say, how I got

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

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,
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 rather venture all his limbs for honour,
Than one of's ears to hear't. Proceed, Caminius.

Com. I shall lack voice: the Deeds of Coriolanus
Should not be utter'd feebly. It is held,
That valour is the chiefeft virtue, and
Moft 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 beft 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;
(17) And, in the brunt of seventeen battels since,
He lurcht all swords o'th' garland. For this last,
Before, and in Corioli, let me say,

(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.



[ocr errors]

I cannot speak him home: he stopt the Aiers,
And by his rare example made the coward
Turn terror into sport. As waves before
A vefsel 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 mortal Gate o'th' City, which he painted
With shunless destiny: aidless came off,
And with a sudden re-enforcement struck
Corioli, like a planet. Nor all's this ;
For by and by the din of war 'gan pierce
His ready sense, when streight 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 callid
Both Field and City ours, he never stood
To ease his breast with panting.

Men. Worthy Man !

i Sen. He cannot but with measure fit the Honours, Which we devise him.

Com. Our spoils he kick'd at,
And look'd upon things precious, as they were
The common muck o'th' world: he covers less
Than Misery itself 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 pleas'd
To make thee Consul.

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


Men. It then remains


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 fuffrages :
Please you, that I may pass this doing.

Sic. Sir, the People 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 Honour with your form.

Cor. It is a Part
That I shall 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 to them, and to our noble Consul
Wish we all joy and honour.
Sen. (18) To Coriolanus come all joy and honour!

[Flourish Cornets. 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.

Bru. (19) Come, we'll inform them
Of our proceedings here : on th' market place,
I know, they do attend us.


(18) Sic. To Coriolanus come all yoy and Honour !) How Mr. Pope
came to put this kindly With in the Mouth of the Tribune, 'I can't say.
We will suppose it to be Chance-medley. I have restor’d it to the Body
of the Senate, with all the preceding Editions.
(19) Come, we'l inform them

of our Proceedings here on th' Market place,
I know they do attend us.] But the Tribunes were not now on the



« AnteriorContinua »