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Mar. I do beseech you, By all the battles wherein we have fought, By the blood we have shed together, by the vows We have made to endure friends, that you directly Set me against Aufidius, and his Antiates: And that you not delay the present; but, Filling the air with swords advanc'd, and darts, We prove this very hour.
Com. Though I could wish You were conducted to a gentle bath, And balms applied to you, yet dare I never Deny your asking; take your choice of those That best can aid your action.
Those are they That most are willing :-) If any such be here, (As it were sin to doubt,) that love this painting Wherein you see me smear'd; if any fear Lesser his person than an ill report; If any think, brave death outweighs bad life, And that his country's dearer than himself, Let him, alone, or so many, so minded, Wave thus, (waving his hand) to express his disAnd follow Marcius. [position,
(They all shout, and wave their swords; take him up in their arms, and cast up their caps.) O me, alone! Make you a sword of me? If these shews be not outward, which of you But is four Volces? None of you but is Able to bear against the great Aufidius A shield as hard as his. A certain number, Though thanks to all, must I select: the rest Shall bear the business in some other fight, As cause will be obey'd. Please you to march; And four shall quickly draw out my command, Which men are best inclin'd.
Com. March on, my fellows: Make good this ostentation, and you shall Divide in all with us.
We hate alike;
Not Afric owns a serpent, I abhor
If I fly, Marcius,
Halloo me like a hare.
Within these three hours, Tallas,
Auf. Wert thou the Hector, That was the whip of your bragg'd progeny, Thou should'st not 'scape me here.
(They fight, and certain Volces come to the aid of Aufidins.)
Officious, and not valiant-you have sham'd me
[Exeunt fighting, driven in by Marcius. SCENE IX.-The Roman Camp.
A retreat is sounded. Flourish. Enter at one side, COMINIUS, and Romans; at the other side, MARCIUS, with his arm in a scarf, and other Romans.
Mar. Pray now, no more: my mother,
Com. You shall not be The grave of your deserving; Rome must know The value of her own: 'twere a concealment Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement, To hide your doings; and to silence that, Which, to the spire and top of praises vouch'd, Would seem but modest: Therefore, I beseech you, (In sign of what you are, not to reward What you have done,) before our army hear me. To hear themselves remember'd. Mar. I have some wounds upon me, and they
[smart Com. Should they not, Well might they fester 'gainst ingratitude, And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses, (Whereof we have ta'en good, and good store,) of all We render you the tenth; to be ta'en forth The treasure, in this field achiev'd, and city, Before the commou distribution, at Your only choice.
Mar. I thank you, general; But cannot make my heart consent to take A bribe to pay my sword: I do refuse it; And stand upon my common part with those That have beheld the doing.
(A long flourish. They all cry, Marcius! Marcius! cast up their caps and lances: Cominius and Lartius stand bare.)
Mar. May these same instruments, which you profane,
Never sound more! When drums and trumpets shall
As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius
Bear the addition nobly ever!
(Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums.) All. Caius Marcius Coriolanus! Cor. I will go wash;
And when my face is fair, you shall perceive
To the fairness of my power.
Com. So, to our tent: Where, ere we do repose us, we will write To Rome of our success.-You, Titus Lartius, Must to Corioli back: send us to Rome -The best, with whom we may articulate, For their own good, and ours.
I shall, my lord. Cor. The gods begin to mock me. I, that now Refus'd most princely gifts, am bound to beg Of my lord general.
Take it: 'tis yours.-What is't? Cor. I sometime lay, here in Corioli, At a poor man's house; he us'd me kindly: He cried to me; I saw him prisoner; But then Aufidius was within my view, And wrath o'erwhelm'd my pity: I request you To give my poor host freedom.
O, well begg'd! Were he the butcher of my son, he should Be free, as is the wind. Deliver him, Titus. Lart. Marcius, his name? Cor.
By Jupiter, forgot:I am weary; yea, my memory is tir'dHave we no wine here?
Go we to our tent; The blood upon your visage dries; 'tis time It should be look'd to: come.
[Exeunt. SCENE X.-The Camp of the Volces. A flourish. Cornets. Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, bloody, with two or three Soldiers. Auf. The town is ta'en!
1 Sol. Twill be deliver'd back on good condition.
I would, I were a Roman; for I cannot,
I the part that is at mercy? Five times, Marcius,
1 Sol. He's the devil. Auf. Bolder, though not so subtile: My valour's poison'd,
With only suffering stain by him; for him
Will not you go? Auf. I am attended at the cypress grove: I pray you,
(Tis south the city mills,) bring me word thither How the world goes; that to the pace of it
I may spur on my journey. 1 Sol.
I shall, sir. [Exeunt. ACT II.
SCENE I.-Rome. A public Place. Enter MENENIUS, SICINIUS, and BRUTUS. Men. The augurer tells me, we shall have news to-night.
Bru. Good, or bad?
Men. Not according to the prayer of the people, for they love not Marcius.
Sic. Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.
Bru. He's poor in no one fault, but stored with all. Sic. Especially, in pride.
Bru. And topping all others in boasting.
Men. This is strange now: Do you two know how you are censured here in the city, I mean of us o'the right-hand file? Do you?
Both Trib. Why, how are we censured?
Men. Because you talk of pride now,--will you not be angry?
Both Trib. Well, well, sir, well.
Men. Why, 'tis no great matter; for a very little thief of occasion will rob you of a great deal of patience: give your disposition the reins, and be angry at your pleasures; at the least, if you take it as a pleasure to you, in being so. You blame Marcius for being proud?
Bru. We do it not alone, sir.
Men. I know, you can do very little alone; for your helps are many; or else your actions would grow wondrous single: your abilities are too infantlike, for doing much alone. You talk of pride; O, that you could turn your eyes towards the napes of your necks, and make but an interior survey of your good selves! O, that you could! Bru. What then, sir?
Men. Why, then you should discover a brace of unmeriting, proud, violent, testy magistrates, (alias, fools,) as any in Rome.
Sic. Menenius, you are known well enough too. Men. I am known to be a humourous patrician, and one that loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying Tyber in't; said to be something imperfect, in favouring the first complaint: hasty, and tinder-like, upon too trivial motion: one that converses more with the buttock of the night, than with the forehead of the morning. What I think, I utter; and spend my malice in my breath: Meeting two
such weals-men as you are, (I cannot call you Lycurguses) if the drink you give me touch my palate adversely, I make a crooked face at it. I cannot say, your worships have delivered the matter well, when I find the ass in compound with the major part of your syllables: and though I must be content to bear with those that say you are reverend grave men; yet they lie deadly, that tell, you have good faces. If you see this in the map of my microcosm, follows it, that I am known well enough too? What harm can your bisson conspectuities glean out of this character, if I be known well enough too?
Bru. Come, sir, come, we know you well enough. Men. You know neither me, yourselves, nor any thing. You are ambitious for poor knaves' caps and legs; you wear out a good wholesome forenoon, in hearing a cause between an orange-wife and a fossetseller; and then rejourn the controversy of threepence to a second day of audience. When you are hearing a matter between party and party, if you chance to be pinched with the cholic, you make faces like mummers; set up the bloody flag against all patience; and, in roaring for a chamber-pot, dismiss the controversy bleeding, the more entangled by your hearing: all the peace you make in their cause, is, calling both the parties knaves: You are a pair of strange ones.
Bru. Come, come, you are well understood to be a perfecter giber for the table, than a necessary bencher in the Capitol.
Men. Our very priests must become mockers, if they shall encounter such ridiculous subjects as you are. When you speak best unto the purpose, it is not worth the wagging of your beards; and your beards deserve not so honourable a grave, as to stuff a botcher's cushion, or to be entombed in an ass's pack-saddle. Yet you must be saying, Marcius is proud; who, in a cheap estimation, is worth all your predecessors, since Deucalion; though, peradventure, some of the best of them were hereditary hangmen. Good e'en to your worships; more of your conversation would infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly plebeians: I will be bold to take my leave of you. (Brutus and Sicinius retire to the back of the scene.)
Men. And 'twas time for him too, I'll warrant him that: an he had staid by him, I would not have been so fidiused for all the chests in Corioli, and the gold that's in them. Is the senate possessed of this? Vol. Good ladies, let's go :-Yes, yes, yes: the senate has letters from the general, wherein he gives my son the whole name of the war: he hath in this action outdone his former deeds doubly. [him. Val. In troth, there's wondrous things spoke of Men. Wondrous? Ay, I warrant you, and not without his true purchasing.
Vir. The gods grant them true!
Men. True? I'll be sworn they are true :Where is he wounded?-God save your good worships! (To the Tribunes, who come forward.) Marcius is coming home: he has more cause to be proud. Where is he wounded?
Vol. On's brows, Menenius: he comes the third time home with the oaken garland.
Men. Has he disciplined Aufidius soundly? Vol. Titus Lartias writes, they fought together, but Aufidius got off.
Vol. I'the shoulder, and i'the left arm: There will be large cicatrices to shew the people, when he shall stand for his place. He received in the repulse of Tarquin, seven hurts i'the body.
Men. One in the neck, and two in the thigh,there's nine, that I know.
Vol. He had, before this last expedition, twentyfive wounds upon him.
Men. Now it's twenty-seven: every gash was an enemy's grave: (a shout, and flourish.) Hark! the trumpets.
Vol. These are the ushers of Marcius: before him He carries noise, and behind him he leaves tears; Death, that dark spirit, in 's nervy arm doth lie; Which being advanc'd, declines; and then men die. A sennet. Trumpets sound. Enter COMINIUS and TITUS LARTIUS; between them, CORIOLANUS, crowned with an oaken garland; with Captains, Soldiers, and a Herald.
Cor. Menenius, ever, ever. Her. Give way there, and go on. Cor. Your hand, and yours: (To his wife and mother.) Ere in our own house I do shade my head, The good patricians must be visited; From whom I have receiv'd not only greetings, But with them change of honours.
I have liv'd
To see inherited my very wishes,
Cor. Know, good mother, I had rather be their servant in my way, Than sway with them in theirs. Com. On, to the Capitol. [Flourish. Cornets. Exeunt in state, as before. The Tribunes remain.
Bru. All tongues speak of him, and the bleared sights
Are spectacled to see him: Your prattling nurse
Are smother'd up, leads fill'd, and ridges hors'd
On the sudden,
I warrant him consul.
Then our office may, During his power, go sleep. Sic. He cannot temperately transport his honours From where he should begin, and end; but will Lose those that he hath won. In that there's comfort. Sic. Doubt not, the commoners, for whom we But they, upon their ancient malice, will [stand, Forget, with the least cause, these his new honours; Which that he'll give them, make as little question As he is proud to do't.
Bru. I heard him swear, Were he to stand for consul, never would he Appear i'the market-place, nor on him put The napless vesture of humility; Nor shewing (as the manner is) his wounds To the people, beg their stinking breaths. "Tis right. Bru. It was his word: O, he would miss it, rather Than carry it, but by the suit o'the gentry to him, And the desire of the nobles.
Sic. I wish no better, Than have him hold that purpose, and to put it In execution.
"Tis most like, he will.
Sic. It shall be to him then, as our good wills; A sure destruction.
Bru. So it must fall out To him, or our authorities. For an end, We must suggest the people, in what hatred He still hath held them: that to his power, he
Of no more soul, nor fitness for the world,
This, as you say, suggested
Let's to the Capitol, And carry with us ears and eyes for the time, But hearts for the event. Sic.
Have with you. [Exeunt.
1 Off. Come, come, they are almost here: How many stand for consulships?
2 Of. Three, they say: but 'tis thought of every one, Coriolanus will carry it.
1 Off. That's a brave fellow; but he's vengeance proud, and loves not the common people.
2 Off. 'Faith, there have been many great men that have flattered the people, who ne'er loved them; and there be many that they have loved, they know not wherefore: so that, if they love they know not why, they hate upon no better ground: Therefore, for Coriolanus neither to care whether they love or hate him, manifests the true knowledge he has in their disposition; and, out of his noble carelessness, let's them plainly see't.
1 Off. If he did not care whether he had their love, or no, he waved indifferently 'twixt doing them neither good, nor harm; but he seeks their hate with greater devotion than they can render it him; and leaves nothing undone, that may fully discover him their opposite. Now, to seem to affect the malice and displeasure of the people, is as bad as that which he dislikes, to flatter them for their love.
2 Off. He hath deserved worthily of his country: And his ascent is not by such easy degrees as those, who, having been supple and courteous to the people, bonnetted, without any further deed to heave them at all into their estimation and report; but he hath so planted his honours in their eyes, and his actions in their hearts, that for their tongues to be silent, and not confess so much, were a kind of ingrateful injury; to report otherwise, were a malice, that, giving itself the lie, would pluck reproof and rebuke from every ear that heard it.
1 Off. No more of him; he is a worthy man: Make way, they are coming.
A Sennet. Enter, with lictors before them, COMINIUS the Consul, MENENIUS, CORIOLANUS, many other Senators, SICINIUS and BRUTUS. The Senators take their places; the Tribunes take theirs also by themselves.
Men. Having determin'd of the Volces, and To send for Titus Lartius, it remains, As the main point of this our after-meeting, To gratify his noble service, that [you, 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 meet here, both to thank, and to remember With honours like himself.
1 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'the people, We do request your kindest ears; and, after, Your loving motion toward the common body, To yield what passes here.
Sic. We are convented Upon a pleasing treaty; and have hearts Inclinable to honour and advance The theme of our assembly.
That's off, that's off; I would you rather had been silent: Please you To hear Cominius speak?
Most willingly: But yet my caution was more pertinent,
Than the rebuke you give it.
Men He loves your people; But tie him not to be their bedfellow.Worthy Cominius, speak.-Nay, keep your place. (Coriolanus rises, and offers to go away.) 1 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 them.
Sir, I hope,
Bru. My words dis-bench'd you not. Cor. No, sir: yet oft, When blows have made me stay, I fled from words. You sooth'd 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'the When the alarum was struck, than idly sit [sun, To hear my nothings monster'd. [Exit. Men. Masters o'the people, Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter, (That's thousand to one good one,) when you now
He had rather venture all his limbs for honour, Than one of his ears to hear it?-Proceed, Cominius.
Com. I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus Should not be utter'd feebly.-It is held, That valour is the chiefest virtue, and Most dignifies the haver: if it be, The man I speak of cannot in the world Be singly counterpois'd. At sixteen 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-press'd Roman, and i'the consul's view Slew three opposers: Tarquin's self be met, And struck him on his knee: in that day's feats, When he might act the woman in the scene, He prov'd best man i'the field, and for his meed Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age Man-enter'd thus, he waxed like a sea; And, in the brunt of seventeen battles since, He lurch'd all swords o'the garland. For this last, Before and in Corioli, let me say,
When by and by the din of war 'gan pierce
I cannot speak him home: He stopp'd the fliers;
Worthy man! 1 Sen. He cannot but with measure fit the Which we devise him. [honours 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 the time, to end it. Men.
He's right noble;
Let him be call'd for. 1 Sen. Off. He doth appear.
Call for Coriolanus.
Men. The senate, Coriolanus, are well pleas'd
To make thee consul.
I do owe them still
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.
Mark you that? Cor. To brag unto them,-Thus I did, and thus ;Shew them the unaking scars, 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, Our purpose to them;-and to our noble consul Wish we all joy and honour.
Sen. To Coriolanus come all joy and honour! [Flourish. Then exeunt Senators. Bru. You see how he intends to use the people. Sic. May they perceive his intent! He, that will require them, As 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 market-place, I know, they do attend us.
SCENE III.-The same. The Forum.
1 Cit. Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him.
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 put our tongues into those wounds, and speak for them; so, if he tell us 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.