Page images
[blocks in formation]

Whom with a crack'd heart I have fent to Rome,
Lov'd me above the measure of a father;
Nay, godded me, indeed. Their latest refuge
Was to fend him: for whofe old love, I have
(Though I shew'd fourly to him) once more offer'd
The first conditions, which they did refufe,
And cannot now accept, to grace him only,
That thought he could do more; a very little
I have yielded too: Fresh embaffies, and fuits,
Nor from the state, nor private friends, hereafter
Will I lend ear to.-Ha! What shout is this?
[Shout within.
Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow
In the fame time 'tis made? I will not.-

Enter Virgilia, Volumnia, Valeria, young Marcius, with Attendants, all in mourning.

My wife comes foremoft; then the honour'd mold
Wherein this trunk was fram'd, and in her hand
The grandchild to her blood. But, out, affection!
All bond and privilege of nature, break!
Let it be virtuous, to be obftinate.-

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



Fillop the stars; then let the mutinous winds
Strike the proud cedar's 'gainst the fiery fun;
Murd'ring impoffibility, to make
What cannot be, flight work.

Vol. Thou art my warrior!

I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady?

[Pointing to Valeria.

Cor. The noble fifter of Publicola,
The moon of Rome; chafte as the ificle
30 That's curdled by the froft from pureft fnow,
And hangs on Dian's temple: Dear Valeria!
Vol. This is a poor epitome of yours,

[Shewing young Marcius. Which by the interpretation of full time

35 May fhew like all yourself.

Cor. The god of foldiers,

With the confent of fupreme Jove, inform
Thy thoughts with nobleness; that thou may'st


40 To fhame invulnerable, and stick i' the wars Like a great fea-mark, ftanding every flaw 3, And faving those that eye thee!

What is that curt'fy worth? or thofe dove's eyes, Which can make gods forfworn?-I melt, and 45

am not

Of stronger earth than others.—My mother bows;
As if Olympus to a mole-hill should
In fupplication nod: and my young boy
Hath an afpect of interceffion, which

Great nature cries, Deny not,-Let the Volces
Plough Rome, and harrow Italy; I'll never
Be fuch a gofling to obey instinct; but stand,
As if a man were author of himself,
And knew no other kin.

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. c. how openly.

Vel. Your knee, firrab.

Cer. 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
Be held by you denials. Do not bid me
Difmifs my foldiers, or capitulate

Again with Rome's mechanics :-Tell me not
Wherein I feem unnatural: Defire not

55 To allay my rages and revenges, with
Your colder reasons.

Vol. Oh, no more, no more!

You have faid, you will not grant us any thing; For we have nothing else to ask, but that 60 Which you deny already: Yet we will afk; That, if we fail in our requeft, the blame

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

May hang upon your hardness: therefore hear us.
Cor. Aufidius, and you Volces, mark; for we'll
Hear nought fromRome in private.-Your requeft?
Vol. Should we be filent and not fpeak, our

Which thou shalt thereby reap, is such a name,
Whose repetition will be dogg'd with curfes ;
Whofe chronicle thus writ,-" The man was noble,
But with his last attempt he wip'd it out:
5" Destroy'd his country, and his name remains
"To the enfuing age, abhorr'd." Speak to me, fon:
Thou haft affected the fine ftrains of honour,
To imitate the graces of the gods;

And state of bodies would bewray what life
We have led fince thy exile. Think with thyfelf,
How more unfortunate than all living women
Are we come hither: fince that thy fight, which
[comforts, 10
Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with
I Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and

Making the mother, wife, and child, to fee
The fon, the husband, and the father, tearing
His country's bowels out. And to poor we,
Thine enmity's moft capital: thou barr'ft us
Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort
That all but we enjoy : For how can we,
Alas! how can we for our country pray,
Whereto we are bound; together with thy victory,
Whereto we are bound? Alack! or we must lofe
The country, our dear nurfe; or elfe thy perfon,
Our comfort in the country. We must find
An evident calamity, though we had
Our with, which fide fhould win: for either thou
Muft, as a foreign recreant, be led
With manacles thorough our streets; or elfe
Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin;
And bear the palm, for having bravely shed
Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, fon,
I purpose not to wait on fortune, 'till
Thefe wars determine: if I cannot perfuade thee
Rather to fhew a noble grace to both parts,
Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no fooner
March to affault thy country, than to tread
(Truft to't, thou shalt not) on thy mother's womb,|
That brought thee to this world.

Virg. Ay, and mine,

To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o' the air,
And yet to charge thy fulphur with a bolt
That fhould but rive an oak 2. Why doft not speak?
Think't thou it honourable for a noble man
Still to remember wrongs?-Daughter, speak you?
He cares not for your weeping.-Speak thou, boy;
15 Perhaps, thy childishness will move him more
Than can our reafons.-There is no man in the

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,
Has cluck'd thee to the wars, and fafely home,
Loaden with honour. Say, my request's unjust,
And fpurn me back: But, if it be not fo,
Thou art not honeft; and the gods will plague thee,
That thou reftrain'ft from me the duty, which
To a mother's part belongs. He turns away:
Down, ladies; let us shame him with our knees.
To his furname Coriolanus 'longs more pride,
30 Than pity to our prayers. Down: An ́end:
This is the laft:-So we will home to Rome,
And die among our neighbours.-Nay, behold us:
This boy, that cannot tell what he would have,

But kneels, and holds up hands, for fellowship,
35 Does reafon + our petition with more strength
Than thou haft to deny 't.-Come, let us go:
This fellow had a Volce to his mother;
His wife is in Corioli, and this child
Like him by chance :-Yet give us our dispatch:

That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name 40 I am hush'd until our city be afire,
Living to time.

Boy. He shall not tread on me;

I'll run away 'till I am bigger, but then I'll fight.
Cor. Not of a woman's tenderness to be,
Requires nor child nor woman's face to fee.
I have fat too long.

Vol. Nay, go not from us thus.


If it were fo, that our request did tend
To fave the Romans, thereby to destroy
The Volces whom you ferve, you might condemn
As poifonous of your honour: No; our fuit
Is, that you reconcile them: while the Volces
May fay, "This mercy we have fhew'd;" the

"This we receiv'd;" and each in either fide
Give the all-hail to thee, and cry, "Be bleft
"For making up this peace!" Thou know'ft, great

The end of war's uncertain; but this certain,
That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit

And then I'll fpeak a little,

Cor. Mother, mother!.

[Holds her by the bands, filent.
What have you done? Behold, the heavens do ope,
45 The gods look down, and this unnatural scene
They laugh at. O my mother, mother! O!
You have won a happy victory to Rome:
But, for your fon,-believe it, O, believe it,
Most dangerously you have with him prevail'd,
50 If not most mortal to him. But, let it come :-
Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius,
Were you in my ftead, fay, would you have heard
A mother lefs? or granted less, Aufidius?
Auf. I was mov'd withal.


Cor. I dare be fworn, you were; And, fir, it is no little thing, to make Mine eyes to fweat compaffion. But, good fir, What peace you'll make, advise me: For my part 60I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you: and pray your 2 The meaning is, to threaten 3 i.e. keeps me in a state of ignominy talking to no purpofc

That is, constrains the eye to weep, and the heart to shake. much, and yet be merciful.

4 i. e. argue for.


[blocks in formation]

[The Ladies make figns to Coriolanus.
Cor. Ay, by and by;
But we will drink together; and you shall bear
[To Volumnia, Virgilia, &c.
A better witness back than words, which we,
On like conditions, will have counter-feal'd.
Come, enter with us. Ladies, you deserve
To have a temple built you: all the fwords
In Italy, and her confederate arms,

Could not have made this peace.

[ocr errors]


The Forum, in Rome.


[ocr errors]

[Excunt. 15


Enter Menenius and Sicinius.

[blocks in formation]

Sic. Friend,

Art thou certain, this is true? is it moft certain ?
Mef. As certain, as I know the fun is fire:
Where have you lurk'd, that you make doubt of it?
Ne'er through an arch fo hurry'd the blown tide,
As the recomforted through the gates. Why,
hark you;

[Trumpets, hautboys, drums beat, all together.
The trumpets, fackbuts, pfalteries, and fifes,
Tabors, and cymbals, and the fhouting Romans,
Make the fun dance. Hark you! [Afbout within.
Men. This is good news:

Men. See you yon coign o' the Capitol; yonzo I 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 30 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 35 his mother now, than an eight year old horfe 2. The tartnefs 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 fhall 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 refpe&t not us.

Enter a Meffenger.

Mef. Sir, if you'd fave your life, fly to your houfe:
The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune,
And hale him up and down; all fwearing, if
The Roman ladies bring not comfort home,
They'll give him death by inches.


Is worth of confuls, fenators, patricians,
A city full; of tribunes, fuch as you,
A fea and land full: You have pray'd well to-day;
This morning, for ten thousand of your throats
I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!
[Sound ftill, with the fhouts.
Sic. First, the gods bless you for your tidings:
Accept my thankfulness.
Mef. Sir, we have all great caufe to give great


Sic. They are near the city?
Mef. Almoft at point to enter.

Sic. We'll meet them, and help the joy. [Exeunt.
Enter two Senators, with the Ladies, paffing over the
Stage, &c. &c.

Sen. Behold our patronefs, the life of Rome :
Call all your tribes together, praise the gods,
And make triumphant fires; ftrew flowers before
them :

Unfhout the noife that banish'd Marcius,
Repeal him with the welcome of his mother:
Cry,-Welcome, ladies, welcome !-

All. Welcome, ladies, welcome!

[A flourish with drums and trumpets. Exeunt. SCENE V.

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 I accufe, The city ports by this hath enter'd, and 55 Intends to appear before the people, hoping To purge himself with words: Dispatch.-Moft welcome!

[blocks in formation]


I will take advantage of this conceffion to restore myself to my former credit and power. intelligitur remembers bis dam. 3 B

2 Sub


And with his charity flain.

2 Con. Most noble fir,

If you do hold the fame intent wherein
You wish'd us parties, we'll deliver you
Of your great danger.

Auf. Sir, I cannot tell;

We must proceed, as we do find the people.

3 Con. The people will remain uncertain, whilft "Twixt you there's difference; but the fall of either Makes the furvivor heir of all.

Auf. I know it;

And my pretext to ftrike at him admits

A good conftruction. I rais'd him, and I pawn'd
Mine honour for his truth: Who being fo heighten'd,
He water'd his new plants with dews of flattery, 15
Seducing fo my friends: and, to this end,
He bow'd his naturc, never known before
But to be rough, unfwayable, and free.

3 Con. Sir, his floutness,

When he did ftand for conful, which he loft
By lack of ftooping,

Auf. That I would have spoke of :
Being banish'd for 't, he came unto my hearth;
Prefented to my knife his throat: I took him;
Made him joint servant with me; gave him way
In all his own defires; nay, let him choose,
Out of my files, his projects to accomplish,
My best and fresheft men; ferv'd his defignments
In mine own perfon; holp to reap the fame,
Which he did end all his; and took fome pride
To do myfelf this wrong: 'till, at the last,
I feem'd his follower, not partner; and
He wag'd me with his countenance, as if

[blocks in formation]

Auf. Say no more;

Here come the lords.

Enter the Lords of the city.

Lords. You are most welcome home.
Auf. I have not deserv'd it.

But, worthy lords, have you with heed perus'd
What I have written to you?

Lords. We have.

1 Lord. And grieve to hear it.

What faults he made before the laft, I think,
Might have found easy fines: but there to end,
Where he was to begin; and give away
The benefit of our levies, anfwering us
With our own charge 3; making a treaty, where
There was a yielding; This admits no excufe.
Auf. He approaches, you shall hear him.
Enter Coriolanus, with drums and colours; the Com
mens being with him.

Cor. Hail, lords! I am leturn'd your foldier; 20 No more infected with my country's love, Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting Under your great command. You are to know, That profperoufly I have attempted, and With bloody paffage led your wars, even to 25 The gates of Rome. Our spoil, we have brought home,



For which my finews shall be stretch'd upon him 24
At a few drops of women's rheum, which are
As cheap as lies, he fold the blood and labour
Of our great action; Therefore shall he die,
And I'll renew me in his fall. But, hark!

Doth more than counterpoife, a full third parts The charges of the action. We have made peace, With no lefs honour to the Antiates,

Than fhame to the Romans: And we here deliver,
Subfcrib'd by the confuls and patricians,

Together with the feal o' the fenate, what
We have compounded on.

Auf. Read it not, noble lords;

But tell the traitor, in the highest degree
He hath abus'd your powers.

Cor. Traitor!-How now?

Auf. Ay, traitor, Marcius.

Cor. Marcius!


Auf. Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius; Dost thou
I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy ftol'n name
Coriolanus in Corioli?-

You lords and heads of the state, perfidiously
He has betray'd your business, and given up,

[Drums and trumpets found, with great shouts 45 For certain drops of falt, your city Rome

of the people.

1 Con. Your native town you enter'd like a poft. And had no welcomes home; but he returns, Splitting the air with noife.

2 Con. And patient fools,

Whofe children he hath flain, their bafe throats tear With giving him glory.

(I fay, your city) to his wife and mother: Breaking his oath and refolution, like A twift of rotten filk; never admitting Counfel o' the war; but at his nurse's tears 5cHe whin'd and roar'd away your victory; That pages blufh'd at him, and men of heart Look'd wondering each at other.

3 Con. Therefore, at your vantage,
Ere he exprefs himself, or move the people
With what he would fay, let him feel your fword, 55
Which we will fecond. When he lies along,
After your way his tale pronounc'd shall bury
His reafons with his body,

[blocks in formation]

1 The meaning, according to Dr. Johnson, is, He preferibed to me with an air of authority, and gave me his countenance for my wages; thought me fufficiently rewarded with good looks.

2 This is the

point on which I will attack him with my utmost abilities. 3 That is, rewarding us with our own



don me, lords, 'tis the first time that ever

as forc'd to fcold. Your judgments, my grave lords,

A give this cur the lie: and his own notion

to wears my ftripes impreft upon him; that 5
ft bear my beating to his grave) fhall join
thruft the lie unto him.

Lard. Peace, both, and hear me speak.

. Cut me to pieces, Volces, men and lads, all your edges in me.-Boy! Falfe hound! ou have writ your annals true, 'tis there, at, like an eagle on a dove-cote, I tter'd your Volces in Corioli:

ne I did it.Boy!

Auf. Why, noble lords,

ill you be put in mind of his blind fortune,
Eich was your shame, by this unholy braggart,
tre your own eyes and ears?
A Con. Let him die for't.


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

Provok'd by him, you cannot) the great danger
Which this man's life did owe you, you'll rejoice
That he is thus cut off. Please it your honours
15 To call me to your fenate, I'll deliver
Myfelf your loyal fervant, or endure
Your heaviest cenfure.

A People. Tear him to pieces, do it prefently. 20 [The croud speak promifcuously.

kill'd my fon,-My daughter,-He kill'd my coufin Marcus.

kill'd my father.

Lord. Peace, ho;—no outrage;-peace.e man is noble, and his fame folds in

his orb o'the earth': His laft offences to us have judicious hearing.—Stand, Aufidius,

d trouble not the peace.

Cr. O, that I had him,

ith fix Aufidiufes, or more, his tribe,

ufe my lawful fword!

Af. Infolent villain!

Al Con. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him.

1 Lord. Bear from hence his body,
And mourn you for him: let him be regarded
As the most noble corfe, that ever herald
Did follow to his urn.

2 Lerd. His own impatience
Takes from Aufidius a great part of blame.
Let's make the best of it.

25 Auf. My rage is gone,

And I am ftruck with forrow.-Take him up:
Help, three o' the chiefeft foldiers; I'll be one.-
Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully:
Trail your fteel pikes.-Though in this city he
30 Hath widow'd and unchilded many a one,
Which to this hour bewail the injury,
Yet he fhall have a noble memory 2.

[Aufidius and the Confpirators draw, and kill 35

1i.e. his fame overspreads the world.

[Exeunt, bearing the body of Marcius. A dead march founded.

Memory, as before, for memorial.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »