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Which was sometime his general; who lov'd him
Com. Yet one time he did call me by my name
Till he had forg'd himself a name i' the fire
Men. Why, fo; you have made good work:
Com. I minded him, how royal 'twas to pardon When leaft it was expected: he reply'd,
It was a bare 3 petition of a state,
To one whom they had punish'd,
Men. Very well:
Could he fay lefs?
Com. I offer'd to awaken his regard
For his private friends: his answer to me was,
Men. For one poor grain or two?
Return me, as Cominius is return'd, Unheard; what then?
But as a difcontented friend, grief-shot With his unkindness? Say't be fo?
Sic. Yet your good will
Muft have that thanks from Rome, after the measure As you intended well.
Men. I'll undertake it:
I think, he'll hear me. Yet to bite his lip, 10 And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me. He was not taken well; he had not din'd: The veins unfill'd, our blood is cold, and then We pout upon the morning, are unapt
To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff'd 15 Thefe pipes, and thefe conveyances of our blood With wine and feeding, we have fuppler fouls [him Than in our priest-like fafts: therefore I'll watch Till he be dieted to my request,
And then I'll fet upon him.
Bru. You know the very road into his kindness, And cannot lose your way.
Men. Good faith, I'll prove him,
Speed how it will. Ifhall ere long have knowledge
Com. He'll never hear him.
Com. I tell you, he does fit in gold, his eye Red as 'twould burn Rome: and his injury The gaoler to his pity. I kneel'd before him: 30 'Twas very faintly he faid, Rife; difmifs'd me. Thus, with his fpeechlefs hand: What he would do, He fent in writing after me; what he would not, Bound with an oath, to yield to his conditions 4: So that all hope is vain;
35 Unlefs his noble mother, and his wife, Who, as I hear, mean to folicit him
Upbraid us with our diftrefs. But fure, if you 1451
Met. No; I'll not meddle.
Men. From Rome.
Men. What fhould I do?
2 Watch. You'll fee your Rome embrac'd with fire before
To rack means to barrafs by exactions. The meaning is, You that have been fuch good stewards for the Roman people, as to get their houfes burned over their heads, to fave them the expence of coals. Memory for memorial.
3 A bare petition means only a mere petition.
4 Dr. Johnson is of pinion, that here is a chaẩm. The speaker's purpose seems to be this: To yield to bis condition is ruin, and better cannot be obtained, so that all bope is vain.
You'll speak with Coriolanus.
Men. Good my friends,
If you have heard your general talk of Rome,
Is not here paffable.
Men. I tell thee, fellow,
Thy general is my lover: I have been
The book of his good acts, whence men have read
(Of whom he's chief) with all the fize that verity
I have tumbled past the throw; and in his praise Have, almost, stamp'd the leafing: Therefore, fellow,
I must have leave to pass.
1 Watch. 'Faith, 'fir, if you had told as many lies in his behalf, as you have utter'd words in your own, you should not pafs here: no, though it were as virtuous to lie, as to live chaftely. Therefore, go back.
Men. Pr'ythee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius, always factionary on the party of your general.
fay, go, left I let forth your half pint of blood; -back, that's the utmost of your having :-back. Men. Nay, but fellow, fellow,
Enter Coriolanus, with Aufidius.
Cor. What's the matter?
Men. Now, you companion, I'll fay an errand for you: you fhall know now, that I am in eftimation: you fhall perceive that a Jack guardant cannot office me from my fon Coriolanus: guess, by my entertainment with him, if thou stand'st not 'the ftate of hanging, or of fome death more long in fpectatorship, and crueller in fuffering; be- \ hold now presently, and fwoon for what's to come upon thee. The glorious gods fit in hourly fynod about thy particular profperity, and love thee no worfe than thy old father Menenius does! O, my fon, my fon! thou art preparing fire for us; look thee, here's water to quench it. I was hardly moved to come to thee: but being affured, none but myfelf could move thee, I have been blown out of your gates with fighs; and conjure thee to pardon Rome, and thy petitionary countrymen. The good gods afwage thy wrath, and turn the dregs of it upon this varlet here; this, who, like 25 a block, hath denied my access to thee.
2 Watch. Howfoever you have been his liar, (as) you say, you have) I am one that, telling true under 30 him, must say, you cannot país. Therefore, go back.
Men. Has he din'd, can't thou tell? for I would not speak with him 'till after dinner.
1 Watch. You are a Roman, are you? Men. I am as thy general is.
1 Watch. Then you should hate Rome, as hel does. Can you, when you have push'd out of your gates the very defender of them, and, in a violent popular ignorance, given your enemy your fhield, think to front his revenges with the eafy groans of old women, the virginal palms of your daughters, or with the palfy'd interceffion of fuch a decay'd dotant as you feem to be? Can you think to blow out the intended fire your city is ready to 45 flame in, with fuch weak breath as this? No, you are deceiv'd; therefore, back to Rome, and prepare for your execution you are condemn'd, our general has fwon you out of reprieve and pardon.
Men. Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, he would ufe me with estimation.
2 Watch. Come, my captain knows you not. Men. I mean, thy general.
Men. How away!
Cor. Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs
[Gives him a letter. And would have fent it. Another word, Menenius, I will not hear thee fpeak. This man, Aufidius,
Was my belov'd in Rome : yet thou behold'st—
Manent the Guard, and Menenius.
1 Watch. Now, fir, is your name Menenius. 2 Watch. 'Tis a fpell, you fee, of much power: You know the way home again.
I Watch. Do you hear how we are fhent for keeping your greatness back?
2 Watch. What caufe, do you think, I have to fwoon? Men. I neither care for the world, nor your general: for fuch things as you, I can scarce think there's any, you are fo flight. He that hath a will
to die by himself, fears it not
1 Watch. My general cares not for you. Back,155 your general do his worft.
from another. Let For you, be that you
A lot here is a prize. 2 Dr. Johnson explains this paffage thus: To verify is to establish by tef simony. One may fay with propriety, be brought falfe witnesses to verify bis title. Shakspeare confidered the word with his ufual laxity, as importing rather teftimony than truth, and only meant to fay, I bore 3 Subtle means fmooth, level. 4 By witnefs to my friends with all the fine that verity would suffer. virginal palms may be understood the holding up the hands in fupplication. a peculiar right in revenge, in the power of forgiveness the Volcians are conjoined. fbamed, difgraced, made afbamed of ourselves.
5 i. c. Though I have 6 Sbent means
You have respected; stopp'd your ears against
A private whisper, no, not with such friends
Cer. This laft old man,
Whom with a crack'd heart I have fent to Rome,
Enter Virgilia, Volumnia, Valeria, young Marcius,
My wife comes foremoft; then the honour'd mold
Even to a full difgrace.-Beft of my flesh,
Of thy deep duty more impreffion shew
Vol. O, ftand up bleft!
Whilft, with no fofter cushion than the flint,
Shew duty, as mistaken all the while
Cor. What is this?
Your knees to me? to your corrected son? 20 Then let the pebbles on the hungry beech
Fillop the ftars; then let the mutinous winds
Vol. Thou art my warrior!
I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady?
40 To fhame invulnerable, and stick i' the wars
What is that curt'fy worth? or thofe dove's eyes,
Of ftronger earth than others.-My mother bows;
In fupplication nod: and my young boy
Virg. My lord and husband!
Cer. These eyes are not the fame I wore in Rome. Virg. The forrow, that delivers us thus chang'd, Makes you think fo.
Cer. Like a dull actor now,
I have forgot my part, and I am out,
i, e. how openly.
Vol. Your knee, firrah.
Cor. That's my brave boy.
Vol. Even he, your wife, this lady, and myfelf, Are fuitors to you.
Cor. I befeech you, peace:\
Or, if you'd afk, remember this before;
50 The things, I have forfworn to grant, may never
55 To allay my rages and revenges, with
Vol. Oh, no more, no more!
You have faid, you will not grant us any thing;
May hang upon your hardness: therefore hear us.
Which thou shalt thereby reap, is fuch a name,
And state of bodies would bewray what life
Making the mother, wife, and child, to fee
Virg. Ay, and mine,
To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o' the air,
More bound to his mother; yet here he lets me prate, 3 Like one i' the ftocks. Thou haft never in thy life 20 Shew'd thy dear mother any courtesy;
When the, (poor hen!) fond of no fecond brood,
But kneels, and holds up hands, for fellowship,
That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name 40 I am hush'd until our city be afire,
Boy. He fhall not tread on me;
I'll run away 'till I am bigger, but then I'll fight.
Vol. Nay, go not from us thus.
If it were fo, that our request did tend
To fave the Romans, thereby to destroy
And then I'll speak a little,
Cur. Mother, mother!
[Holds ber by the bands, filent.
The Volces whom you ferve, you might condemn 50 If not moft mortal to him. But, let it come :-
"This we receiv'd;" and each in either fide
The end of war's uncertain; but this certain,
Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
Cur. I dare be fworn, you were;
▾ That is, constrains the eye to weep, and the heart to shake. much, and yet be merciful.
4 i. e. argue for.
2 The meaning is, to threaten 3 i.e. keeps me in a state of ignominy talking to no purpote.
[The Ladies make figns to Coriolanus.
Could not have made this peace.
The Forum, in Rome.
Enter Menenius and Sicinius.
Enter another Mefferger.
Sic. What's the news?
Mef. Good news, good news ;—The ladies have
The Volces are diflodg'd, and Marcius gone:
No, not the expulfion of the Tarquins.
Art thou certain, this is true? is it most certain ?
[Trumpets, hautbeys, drums beat, all together.
Men. See you yon coign o' the Capitol; yon20I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia corner-stone?
Sic. Why, what of that?
Men. If it be poffible for you to difplace it with] your little finger, there is fome hope the ladies of Rome, efpecially his mother, may prevail with him. 25 But, I fay, there is no hope in 't; our throats are fentenc'd, and stay upon execution.
Sic. Is 't poffible, that so short a time can alter the condition of a man?
Men. There is difference between a grub, and a butterfly; yet your butterfly was a grub. This Marcius is grown from man to dragon: he has wings; he's more than a creeping thing.
Sic. He lov'd his mother dearly.
Men. So did he me: and he no more remembers his mother now, than an eight year old horse 2. The tartness of his face fours ripe grapes. When he walks, he moves like an engine, and the ground fhrinks before his treading. He is able to pierce a corflet with his eye; talks like a knell, and his 40 hum is a battery. He fits in his ftate, as a thing made for Alexander. What he bids be done, is finish'd with his bidding. He wants nothing of a god, but eternity, and a heaven to throne in.
Sic. Yes, mercy, if you report him truly. Men. I paint him in the character. Mark what mercy his mother shall bring from him: There is no more mercy in him, than there is milk in a male tyger; and that shall our poor city find: and all this is 'long of you.
Sic. The gods be good unto us!
Men. No, in fuch a cafe the gods will not be good unto us. When we banish'd him, we refpected not them: and, he returning to break our necks, they refpect not us.
Enter a Muffinger.
Mef. Sir, if you'd fave your life, fly to your house :
Is worth of confuls, fenators, patricians,
A fea and land full: You have pray'd well to-day;
Sic. They are near the city?
Sic. We'll meet them, and help the joy. [Exeunt.
Sen. Behold our patronefs, the life of Rome :
Unfhout the noife that banish'd Marcius,
[A flourish with drums and trumpets. Exeunt.
A publick Place in Antium.
Enter Tullus Aufidius, with Attendants. Auf. Go tell the lords of the city, I am here: 50 Deliver them this paper: having read it, Bid them repair to the market-place; where I, Even in theirs and in the commons' ears, Will vouch the truth of it. He 1 accufe, The city ports by this hath enter'd, and 55 Intends to appear before the people, hoping To purge himfelf with words: Dispatch.-Moft welcome!
Enter three or four Confpirators of Aufidius' faction. 1 Con. How is it with our general ?
'I will take advantage of this conceffion to restore myself to my former credit and power. intelligitur remembers bis dam.