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The SCENE' is partly in Rome; and partly in the Territories of the Volfscians and Antiates.
A Street in Rome.
1 Cit. First, you know, Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the people.
All. We know't, we know't.
1 Cit. Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at our own price. Is't a verdict?
All. No more talking on't; let it be done : away, away.
2 Cit. One word, good citizens.
Iwe become rakes 3: for the gods know, I speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge, 2 Cit. Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius?
All. Against him firft; he's a very dog to the commonalty.
2 Cit. Confider you what fervices he has done for his country?
1 Cit. Very well; and could be content to give 10 him good report for't, but that he pays himself with being proud.
All. Nay, but speak not maliciously.
1 Cit. I fay unto you, what he hath done famously, he did it to that end: though foft-con15 fcienc'd men can be content to say, it was for his country, he did it to please his mother, and to be partly proud; which he is even to the altitude of his virtue.
2 Cit. What he cannot help in his nature, you
1 Cit. We are accounted poor citizens; the pa-20account a vice in him: You must in no way say,
tricians, good: What authority surfeits on, would
he is covetous.
1 Cit. If I must not, I need not be barren of accufations; he hath faults, with furplus, to tire in repetition. [Shouts within.] What shouts are these? The other fide the city is rifen: Why stay we prating here to the Capitol ?
All. Come, come.
1 Cit. Soft; who comes here?
! The whole history is exactly followed, and many of the principal speeches exactly copied from the Life of Coriolanus in Plutarch. 2 Good is here ufed in the mercantile fenfe. 3 Alluding to the proverb, as lean as a rake; which perhaps owes its origin to the thin taper form of the inftrument made ufe of by hay-makers. Dr. Johnfon obferves, that Rakel, in Inlandick, is faid to mean a cur-dog, and this was probably the first ufe among us of the word rake. As lean as a rake is, therefore, as lean as a dog too worthlefs to be fed.
2 Cit. Our bufinefs is not unknown to the 10 fenate; they have had inkling, this fortnight, what we intend to do, which now we'll fhew 'em in deeds. They fay, poor fuitors have strong breaths; they shall know, we have ftrong arms too.
And mutually participate, did minister
Which ne'er came from the lungs 4, but even thus?
2 Cit. Your belly's anfwer: What!
Men. Why, mafters, my good friends, mine 15 The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye,
Will you undo yourselves?
2 Cit. We cannot, fir, we are undone already.
Thither where more attends you; and you flander 3c
The counsellor heart, the arm our foldier,
In this our fabrick, if that they
Men. What then?
If you'll beftow a fmall (of what you have little) Patience, a while, you'll hear the belly's answer. 2 Cit. You are long about it.
2 Cit. Care for us!-True, indeed!-They
Confefs yourfelves wond'rous malicious,
A pretty tale; it may be, you have heard it;
2 Cit. Well, I'll hear it, fir; yet you must not think to fob off our difgrace 2 with a tale: but, an't please you, deliver.
Men. There was a time, when all the body's 50|| members
Rebell'd against the belly; thus accus'd it :
That only like a gulf it did remain
I' the midft o' the body, idle and unactive,
Men. Note me this, good friend;
"And, through the cranks and offices of man,
Men. "Though all at once cannot
To feale is to difperft. The word is ftill ufed in the North. The meaning is, Though fome of you have heard the story, I will fpread it yet wider, and diffufe it among the rest.
si, e. exactly.
2 Difgraces are bard
3 Where for whereas. 4 i. e. with a smile not indicating pleasure, but contempt. The heart was anciently esteemed the feat of prudence. 7 Seat for throne.
Touching the weal o' the common; you shall find,|
2 Cit. I the great toe? Why the great toe?
Men. For that, being one o' the loweft,, bafeft, poorest,
Of this moft wife rebellion, thou go'ft foremost :
But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs;
Enter Caius Marcius.
Mar. Thanks.-What's the matter, you diffentious rogues,
That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Men. Nay, thefe are almost thoroughly perfuaded; For though abundantly they lack difcretion, Yet are they paffing cowardly. But, I beseech you, What fays the other troop?
Mar. They are diffolv'd: Hang 'em! They faid, they were an-hungry; figh'd forth proThat, hunger broke ftone walls; that, dogs muft eat;[fent not That, meat was made for mouths; that, the gods 10 Corn for the rich men only :-With thefe fhreds They vented their complainings; which being anfwer'd,
And a petition granted them, a ftrange one, (To break the heart of generofity 5,
[caps 15 And make bold power look pale) they threw their As they would hang them on the horns o' the moon, Shouting their emulation.
Men. What is granted them?
Mar. Five tribunes, to defend their vulgar wif20 Of their own choice: One's Junius Brutus, Sicinius Velutus, and I know nots'death!. The rabble fhould have first unroof'd the city, Ere fo prevail'd with me: it will in time Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes For infurrection's arguing.
2 Cit. We have ever your good word. [flatter
To make him worthy, whofe offence subdues him,
Men. For corn at their own rates; whereof, The city is well stor'd.
Men. 'This is ftrange.
Mar. Go, get you home, you fragments!
Mef. Where's Caius Marcius?
Mar. Here: What's the matter?
Mef. The news is, fir, the Volces are in arms. Mar. I am glad on't; then we shall have means
Our musty superfluity:-See, our best elders. Enter Cominius, Titus Lartius, with other Senators; Junius Brutus, and Sicinius Velutus.
1 Sen. Marcius, 'tis true, that you have lately The Volces are in arms. 6 [told us;
Mar. They have a leader,
1 fin in envying his nobility:
And were I any thing but what I am,
I would with me only he.
Mar. Hang 'em! They say?
Conjectural marriages; making parties ftrong,
1 Sen. Then, worthy Marcius,
Attend upon Cominius to thefe wars.
Cem. It is your former promife.
And I am conftant.-Titus Lartius, thou
Tit. No, Caius Marcius;
I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other, Ere ftay behind this business.
I The meaning is, Thou that art a hound, or running dog of the lowest breed, lead'st the pack, when any thing is to be gotten. 2 Bale is an old Saxon word for misery or calamity. 3 i. e. their pity, compaffion. 4 The old copy reads-picke my lance; and fo the word is ftill pronounced in Staffordshire, where they say-picke me fuch a thing, that is, throw any thing that the demander wants. 5 Meaning, To give the final blow to the nobles. Generefity is bigh birth. viz. that the Voices are in
That could be brought to bodily a& ere Rome
Tickled with good fuccefs, difdains the shadow
Bru. Fame, at the which he aims,
Sic. Befides, if things go well,
Opinion, that fo fticks on Marcius, shall
Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius,
Though Marcius earn'd them not; and all his faults
In aught he merit not.
Sic. Let's hence, and hear
How the difpatch is made; and in what fashion,
Upon this prefent action.
Bru. Let's along.
The Senate-Houfe in Corioli.
Enter Tullus Aufidius, with Senators.
1 Sen. So, your opinion is, Aufidius,
1 Sen. Our army's in the field : We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready To answer us.
Auf. Nor did you think it folly,
To keep your great pretences veil'd, 'till when
It feem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery,
Enter Volumnia, and Virgilia: They fit down on two lorv ftools, and few.
Vol. I pray you, daughter, fing; or exprefs [Exeunt. 50 yourself in a more comfortable fort: If my son were my husband, I fhould freelier rejoice in that abfence wherein he won honour, than in the embracements of his bed, where he would fhew most love. When yet he was but tender-body'd, and 55 the only fon of my womb; when youth with comelinefs pluck'd all gaze his way; when, for a day of king's entreaties, a mother should not fell him an hour from her beholding; I,-confidering how honour would become fuch a perfon; that it
That they of Rome are enter'd in our counfels,
Auf. Is it not yours?
What ever hath been thought on in this state,
To fneer, to gibe. 2 The fenfe is, that the prefent wars annihilate bis gentler qualities.
and demerits had anciently the fame meaning.
i. e. We will learn what he is to do, befides going bimfelf; what are his powers, and what is his appointment. 5 That is, If the Romans befiege us, bring up your army to remove them.
was no better than picture-like to hang by the wall, if renown made it not ftir,was pleas'd to let him feek danger where he was like to find fame. To a cruel war I fent him; from whence he returned, his brows bound with oak: I tell thee, daughter, I fprang not more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child, than now in firft feeing he had proved himself a man.
Vir. But had he died in the business, madam? how then?
let it go again; and after it again; and over and over he comes, and up again; catch'd it again: or whether his fall enrag`d him, or how 'twas, he did fo fet his teeth, and tear it; 0, I warrant, how he mammock'd it!
Vol. One of his father's moods.
Val. Indeed la, 'tis a noble child.
Val. Come, lay afide your ftitchery; I must 10 have you play the idle hufwife with me this after
Vol. Then his good report should have been my fon; I therein would have found iffue. Hear me profefs fincerely :-Had I a dozen fons,-each in my love alike, and none lefs dear than thine and my good Marcius,-I had rather had eleven die 15 nobly for their country, than one voluptuously furfeit out of action.
Enter a Gentlewoman.
Gent. Madam, the lady Valeria is come to vifit
Vir. 'Befeech you, give me leave to retire myself.
Methinks, I hither hear your husband's drum;
Vr. His bloody brow! O, Jupiter, no blood! Vol. Away, you fool! it more becomes a man, Than gilt his trophy: The breasts of Hecuba, When fhe did fuckle Hector, look'd not lovelier Than Hector's forehead, when it spit forth blood At Grecian fwords' contending.-Tell Valeria, We are fit to bid her welcome.
Vir. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius! Vol. He'll beat Aufidius' head below his knee, And tread upon his neck.
Enter Valeria, with an Usher, and a Gentlewoman.
Vir. No, good madam; I will not out of doors.
Val. Not out of doors!
Vol. She fhall, she shall.
Vir. Indeed, no, by your patience: I will not over the threshold, 'till my lord return from the
Val. Fie, you confine yourself most unreason20ably: Come, you must go visit the good lady that lies in.
Vir. I will with her fpeedy ftrength, and visit her with my prayers; but I cannot go thither. Vol. Why, I pray you?
Vir. 'Tis not to fave labour, nor that I want love.
Val. You would be another Penelope : yet, they fay, all the yarn, the spun in Ulyffes' absence, did but fill Ithaca full of moths. Come; I would, 30 your cambrick were fenfible as your finger, that you might leave pricking it for pity. Come, you fhall go with us.
Val. In earnest, it's true; I heard a fenator fpeak it. Thus it is :-The Volces have an army forth; against whom Cominius the general is gone, with one part of our Roman power: your lord 45 and Titus Lartius are fet down before their city Corioli; they nothing doubt prevailing, and to make it brief wars. This is true, on mine honour; and fo, I pray, go with us.
Vir. Give me excufe, good madam; I will obey you in every thing hereafter.
Vol. Let her alone, lady; as she is now, the will but difeafe our better mirth.
Val. In troth, I think, fhe would :-Fare you well then.-Come, good fweet lady.-Pr'ythee, Virgilia, turn thy folemnnefs out o' door, and go along with us.
Vir. No: at a word, madam; indeed, I must not. I wish you much mirth. Val. Well, then farewel.
The crown given by the Romans to him that faved the life of a citizen, and was accounted more honourable than any other. 2 Gilt is an obfolete word, meaning a fuperficial difplay of gold. 3 To mammock is a phrafe still used in Staffordshire, and implies to cut in pieces, or to tear. fignifies a boy child.