Page images

To ease his breast with panting.
M. m. Worthy man! [nours
| Sen. He cannot but with measure fit the ho-
Which we devise him.
Com. Our spoils he kick'd at;
And look’d upon things precious, as they were
The common muck o' the world: he covets 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 call'd for.
1 Sen. Call Coriolanus.
Off. He doth appear.
Re-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,
hat you do speak to the people.
Cor. I do beseech you,
Let me o'erleap that custom ; for I cannot
Puton the gown, stand naked, and entreat them

For my wounds' sake, to give their suffrage:2

please you, That I may pass this doing. Sic. Sir, o: people Must have their voices; neither will they bate One jot of ceremony. Men. Put them not to't: Pray you, go fit you to the custom; and Take to you, 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 the unakingscars, which I should hide, As if I had receiv'd them for the hire Of their breath only:Men. Do not stand upon’t.— We recommend to you, tribunes of the people, Qur purpose to them;-and to our noble consul Wish we all joy and honour. Sen. To Coriolanus come all joy and honour! [Flourish. Cornets. Then Ereunt. Manent Sicinius, and Brutus. Bru. You see how he intends to use the people. [quire them, Sic. May they perceive his intent! He will reAs if he did contemn what he requested Should be in them to give. Bru. Come, we’ll inform them Of our proceedings here; on the marketplace, I know they do attend us. [Exeunt.

S C E N E III. The Forum. Enter seven or eight Citizens. 1 Cit. Once”, if he do require our voices, we




[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

2 Cit. We may, sir, if we will. 3.Cit. We have power in ourselves 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 putour tongues into those wounds,and speak for them ; so, if he tellus his noble deeds, we must also tell him our noble acceptance of them. Ingratitude is monstrous:... and for the multitude to be ingrateful, were to make a monster of the multitude; of the which, we being members, should bring ourselves to be monstrous members. 1 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 multitude. 3 Cit. We have been call'd so of many; not that our heads are some brown, some black, some auburn, some bald, but that our wits are so diversely colour'd: and truly, I think, if all our wits were to issue out of one scull, they would fly east, west, north, south; and their consent of one direct way should be at once to all the points o' the 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 block-head: but if it were at liberty, 'twould, sure, southward. 2 Cit. Why that way : 3 Cit. To lose itselfin a fog; where being three parts melted away with rotten dews, the fourth would return for conscience-sake, to help to get thee a wife. 2 Cit. You are never without your tricks:— You may, you may— 3 Cit. Are you all resolv'd to give your voices? But that's no matter, the greater part carries it. I say, if he would incline to the people, there was never a worthier man.

[ocr errors]

Enter Coriolanus, and Menenius. Here he comes, and in the gown of humility: mark his behaviour. We ar-, not to stay all together, but to come by him where he stands, by ones, by twos, and by threes. He's to make his requests by particulars; wherein every one of us has a single honour, in giving him our own voices with our own tongues: therefore follow me, and I'll direct you how you shall go by him. All. Content, content. [known Men. Osir, you are not right; have you not The worthiest men have done 't? Cor. What must I say [ Fo: sir, Plague upon 't! I cannot bring My tongue to such a pace: Look, sir;-my wounds;– I got them in my country's service, when Some certain of your brethren roar’d, and ran From the noise of our own drums. Men, O me, the gods ! You must not speak of that; you must desire them

[ocr errors]

* Misery for avarice,

To think upon you.

[merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

the customary gown. 40

1 Cit. You have deserv’d nobly of your country, and you have not deserv’d nobly.

Cor. Your a nigma?

| Cit. You have been a scourge to her enemies,

you have been a rod to her friends; you have|45

not, indeed, loved the common people. Cor. You should account me the more virtu

ous, that I have not been common in my love. I

will, sir, flatter my sworn brother the people, to

earn a dearer estimation of them; ’tis a condition|50

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ou have received many wounds for 60

Cor. I will not seal your knowledge with shewing them. I will make much of your voices, and so trouble you no further. Both. The gods give you joy, sir, heartily [Excunt.

Cor. Most sweet voices! Better it is to die, better to starve, Than crave the hire which first we do deserve. Why in this woolvish gown should I stand hers, To beg of Hob, and Dick, that do appear, Their needless voucher? Custom calls me to't:— What custom wills, in all things should we do 't. The dust on antique time would lie unswept, And mountainous error be too highly heap'd For truth to over-peer.—Rather than fool it so, Let the high office and the honour go To one that would do thus.-I am half through; The one part suffer'd, the other will I do. Enter three Citizens more. Here come more voices.— Your voices; for your voices I have fought; Watch'd for your voices; for your voices bear Of wounds two dozen odd; battles thrice six I have seen, and heard of; for your voices, have Done maay things, some less, some more: your Indeed, I would be consul. [voices: 1 Cit. He has done nobly, and cannot go without any honest man's voice. 2 Cit. Therefore let him be consul: The gods give him joy, and make him good friend to the people! All. Amen, amen.—God save thee, noble consul! [Exeunt. Cor. Worthy voices ! Euter Menenius, with Brutus, and Sicinius. Men. You have stood your limitation; and the tribunes Endue you with the people's voice: Remains. That, in the official marks invested, you Anon do meet the senate. Cor. Is this done? Sic. The custom of request you have discharg'd: The people do admit you; and are summon'd To meet anon, upon your approbation. Cor. Where? at the senate-house? Sic. There, Coriolanus. Cor. May I change these garments? Šic. You may, sir. [again. Repair to the senate-house. Jsen. I'll keep you company.—Will you along? Bru. We stay here for the people. Sic. Fare you well. [Ereunt Coriol, and Men. He has it now ; and by his looks, methinks, 'Tis warm at his heart. Bru. With a proud heart he wore His humble weeds: Will you dismiss the people: Re-enter Citizens. Sic. How now, my masters? have you chose 1 Cit. He has our voices, sir. [this man? Bru. Wepraythe gods,he maydeserve your loves.

'. I will not strengthen or complete your knowledge.—The seal is that which gives authenticity to a

writing. : i. e. rough hirsute gown.

2 C.

Cor. That I'll straight do; and, knowinginyself

[ocr errors]

2 Cit. Amen, sir: To my poor unworthy notice, He mock'd us, when he begg'd our voices. 3 Cit. Certainly, he flouted us down-right. 1 Cit. No, 'tis his kind of speech, he did not mock us. [says, 2 Cit. Not one amongst us, save yourself, but He us'd us scornfully: he should have show'd us IIis marks of merit, wounds receiv'd for his counSic. Why, so he did, I am sure. [try. All. No, no man saw 'em. 3 Cit. He said, he had wounds, which he could shew in private; And with his hat, thus waving it in scorn, I would be consul, says he: aged custom, But by your voices, will not so permit me: Your voices therefore: When we granted that, Here was, -Ithank you for your voices, thank you,-Yourmost sweet voices: now you have left sourvoices, I have nothing further with you: Was not this mockery Sic. Why, either,were you ignorant to see 't'? Or, seeing it, of such childish friendliness To yield your voices? Bru. Could you not have told him, As you were lesson'd, When he had no power, But was a petty servant to the state, He was your enemy; ever spake against Your liberties, and the charters that you bear I” the body of the weal; and now, arriving A place of potency, and sway o' the state, If he should still malignantly remain Fast foe to the plebei, your voices might Be curses to yourselves': You should have said, That, as his worthy decds did claim no less Than what he stood for; so his gracious nature Would think upon you for your voices, and Translate his malice towards you into love, Standing your friendly lord. Sic. Thus to have said, As you were fore-advis'd, had touch'd his spirit, §§ try'd his inclination; from him pluck’ Either his gracious promise, which you might, As cause had call'd you up, have held him to; Or else it would have gall'd his surly nature, Which easily endures not article, Tying him to aught; so, putting him to rage, ou should have ta'en the advantage of his choler, And pass'd him unelected. Bru. Did you perceive, He did solicit you in free contempt , When he did need your loves; and do you think, This his contempt shall not be bruising to you, When he hath power to crush Why, had your bodies No heart among you? Or had you tongues, to cry Against the rectorship of judgement? Sic. Have you, Ere now, deny'd the asker? and, now again, On him, that did not ask, but mock, bestow Your su'd-for tongues? 3 Cit. He's not confirm’d, wenay deny him yet. 2 Cit. And will deny him:




1 Cit. I twice five hundrcd, and their friends to piece 'em. friends,Bru. Get you hence instantly; and tell those They have chose a consul,that will from them take Their liberties; make them of no more voice Than dogs, that are as often beat for barking, As therefore kept to do so. Sic. Let them assemble; And, on a safer judgement, all revoke Your ignorant election: Enforce his pride, And his old hate unto you: besides, forget not With what contempt he wore the humble weed; How in his suit he scorn'd you; but your loves, Thinking upon his services, took from you The apprehension of his present portance", Which most gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion After the inveterate hate he bears you. Bru. Lay A fault on us, your tribunes; that we labour'd, (No impediment between) but that you must Cast your election on him. Sic. Say, you chose him More after our commandment, than as guided By your own true affections: and that, your minds Pre-occupy'd with what you rather must do Than what you should, made you against the grain To voice him consul: Lay the fault on us. [you, Bru. Ay, spare us not. Say, we read lectures to How youngly he began to serve his country, How long continued: and what stock he springs of, The noble house o’ the Marcians; from whence came That Ancus Marcius, Numa's daughter's son, Who, after great Hostilius, here was king: Of the same house Publius and Quintus were, That our best water brought by conduits hither; And Censorinus, darling of the people, And noble nam'd so, twice being censor, Was his great ancestor. Sic. One thus descended, That hath beside well in his person wrought To be set high in place, we did commend To your remembrances: but you have found, Scaling his present bearing with his past”, That he's your fixed enemy, and revoke Your iii. approbation. Bru. Say, you ne'er had done 't, (Harp on that still) but by our putting on: And presently, whenyou have drawn your number, Repair to the Capitol. All. We will so: almost all Repent in their election. }. Let them go on; This mutiny were better put in hazard, Ihan stay, past doubt, for greater: If, as his nature is, he fall in rage With their refusal, both observe and answer The vantage of his anger". Sic. To the Capitol, come; We will be there before the stream o' the people And this shall seem, as partly ’tis, their own, Which we have goaded onward. [Ereunt.

[Ereunt Citizens.

I’ll have five hundred voices of that sound.

* i. e. did you want knowledge to discern it? * Object his pride. “ i.e. carriage.

* i.e. weighing his past and present behaviour. mark, catch, and improve the opportunity which his hasty anger will afford us.

* i.e. with contempt open and unrestrained. 1. 6.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Upon us again. [road Com. They are worn, lord consul, so,

That we shall hardly in our ages see,

Their banners wave again. 15 Cor. Saw you Aufidius [curse

Lart. On Safe-guard he came to me; and did Against the Volces, for they had so vilely Yielded the town: he is retir'd to Antium. Cor. Spoke he of nie? Lart. He did, my lord. Cor. How what? Lart. Howoften he had met you,sword to sword: That, of all things upon the earth, he hated Your person most: that he would pawn his fortunes To hopeless restitution, so he might Be call'd your vanquisher. Cor. At Antium lives he? Lart. At Antium. Cor. I wish I had a cause to seek him there, To oppose his hatred fully.—Welcome home. [To Lartius. Enter Sicinius, and Brutus. Behold! these are the tribunes of the people, The tongues o' the commonmouth. I do despise them; For they do prank" them in authority, Against all noble sufferance. Sic. Pass no further. Cor. Ha! what is that? Bru. It will be dangerous to go on: no further. Cor. What makes this change Men. The matter? [commons : Com. Hath he not pass'd the nobles, and the Bru. Cominius, no. Cor. Have I had children's voices? Sen. Tribunes, give way; he shall to the market-place. Bru. The people are incens'd against him. Sic. Stop, Or all will fall in broil. Cor. Are these your herd?— Must these have voices, that can yield them now, And straight disclaim their tongues!—What are your offices : [teeth You being their mouths, why rule you not their

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* Plume, deck, dignify themselves. upon any one. * i.e. shuffling. up with the corn.

III. Have you not set them on ? Men. Be calm, be calm. Cor. It is a purpos'd thing, and grows by plot, To curb the will of the nobility —

Suffer 't, and live with such as cannot rule,
Nor ever will be rul’d.
Bru. Call't not a plot:
The people cry, you mock'd them; and, of lats,
When corn was given them gratis, you repin'd :
Scandal'd the suppliants for the people; call'd
Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness.
Cor. Why, this was known before.
Bru. Not to them all.
Cor. Have you inform'd them since 2
Bru. How ! I inform them "
Cor. You are like to do such business.
Bru. Not unlike,
Each way, to better yours. [clouds,
Cor. Why then should I be consul? By yon
Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me
Your fellow-tribune. -
Sic. You shew too much of that,
For which the people stir: If you will pass
To where you are bound, you must enquire your
Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit;
Or never be so noble as a consul,
Nor yoke with him for tribune.
Men. Let's be calm. [palt'ring”
Com. The people are abus'd:—Set on.—This
Becomes not Rome; nor has Coriolanus
Deserv'd this so dishonour'd rub, laid falsely *
I' the plain way of his merit.
Cor. Tell me of corn'
This was my speech, and I will speak’t again;–
Men. Not now, not now.
Sen. Not in this heat, sir, now.
Cor. Now, as I live, I will.—My noblerfriends.
I crave their pardons:
For the mutable, rank-scented many, let them
Regard me as I do not flatter, and
Therein behold themselves: I say again,
In soothing them, we nourish gainst our senate
The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition,
Which we ourselves have plough'd for, sow'd.
and scatter'd,
By mingling them with us, the honour'd number;
Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that
Which they have given to beggars.
Men. Well, no more.
Sen. No more words, we beseech you.
Cor. How ! no more ?
As for my country I have shed my blood,
Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs,

Coin words’till their decay, against those meazels"

* The metaphoris from men's setting a bull-dog or mastiff - : Falsely for treacherously. * Mesell is used, in Pierce Plowman's Wision, for a leper.

* Cockle is a weed which grows

Which Which we disdain should tetter us, yet sought The very way to catch them. Bru. You speak o' the people, As if you were a god to punish, not A man of their infirinity. Sic. "Twere well, We let the people know’t. Men. What, what? his choler? Cor. Cholers Were I as patient as the midnight sleep, . By Jove, 'twould be my mind, Sic. It is a mind That shall remain a poison where it is, Not poison any further. Cor. Shall remain — Hear you this Triton of the minnows"? mark you His absolute shall P Com. 'Twas from the canon. Cor. Shall ! Q gods !—But most unwise patricians, why, You grave, but reckless senators, have you thus Given Hydra here to choose an officer, That with his peremptory shall, being but [rit The horn and noise o' the monsters, wants not spiTo say, he'll turn your current in a ditch, And make your channel his? If he have power, Then vall your ignorance; 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 areplebeians, If they be senators: and they are no less, When, both your voices blended, the greatest taste Most palates theirs'.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 aches, To know, when two authorities are up, , Neither supreme, how soon confusion May eater 'twixt the gap of both, and take The one by the other Com. Well,—on to the market-place. Xor. Whoever gave that counsel, to give forth The corn o' the store-house gratis, as 'twas us'd Sometime in Greece, Men. Well, well, no more of that. Cor. (Though there the people had more abso- lute 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, [the corn More worthier than their voices. They know, Was not our recompence; resting well assur'd They ne'er did service for 't: Being press'd to the war, Even when the navel of the state was touch'd,

* A minnow is one of the smallest river fish, called in some counties a pink. * Meaning, that senators and plebeians are equal, when the

having called him Triton before.

highest taste is best pleased with that which pleases the lowest... "

natural parent. “ i. e. fear.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

They would not thread the gates': this kind of
Did not deserve corn gratis: Being i' the war,
Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they shew'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”
Of our so frank donation. Well, what then *
How shall this bosom multiplied digest
The senate's courtesy Let deeds express g
What's like to be their words:—“We did re-
quest it;-
“We are the greater poll, and in true fear s
“ 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 over-measure.
Cor. No, take more :
What may be sworn by, both divine and human,
Seal what I end withal!—This double worship,

|Where one part does disdain with cause, the other

Insult without all reason; where gentry, title,
Cannot conclude, but by the yea and no
Qf general ignorance,—it must omit
Real necessities, and give way the while [lows
To unstable slightness : purpose so barr'd, it fol-
Nothing is done to purpose; therefore, beseech
you, -
You that will be less fearful than discreet;
That love the fundamental part of state, [fer
More than you doubt" the change of 't; that pre-
A noble life before a long, and wish
To jump a body’ with a dangerous physic,
That'ssure 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 judgement, and bereaves the state
Of that integrity" which should become it;
Not having power to do the good it would,
For the ill which doth controul it.
Bru. He has said enough. [swer
Sic. He has spoken like a traitor, and shall an-
As traitors do. -
Cor. Thou wretch! despight o'erwhelm thee!
What should the peopledowiththese bald tribunes?
On whom depending, their obedience fails
To the greater bench: In a rebellion, [law,
When what’s not meet, but what must be, was
Then were they chosen: in a better hour,
Let what is meet, be said, it must be meet,

[ocr errors][merged small]

* Alluding to his

hat is, pass them. * Or,

To jump anciently signified to jolt, to give a rude concussion to any thing—To jump a body may therefore mean, to put it into a violent agitation or commotion. ho is in this place, soundness, uniformity, consistency.

- l

* Sia.

« PreviousContinue »