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popular with the common people in Rome in consequence of his unbending austerity; he has, however, many firm friends, and is appointed Consul; the appointment, however, is revoked by the people, who are stirred up against Coriolanus by the tribunes Sicinius Velutus and Junius Brutus, who cause him to be banished from Rome. Indignant at the ingratitude of his countrymen, he joins the Volscians, and is received with open arms by their general, Tullus Aufidius, who divides his command with him. His countrymen, alarmed at the invasion of the Volscians, send to him to sue for peace, but he refuses to listen to them, till at length he is melted by the solicitations of his wife Virgilia and his mother Volumnia. Tullus Aufidius, jealous of the fame and influence which Coriolanus has obtained amongst the Volscians, conspires, with others against him, and he is assassinated by Aufidius and the conspirators. Dr. Johnson pronounces this to be "one of Shakspere's most amusing performances. The old man's bluntness," says he, "in Menenius; the lofty lady's dignity in Volumnia; the bridal modesty in Virgilia; the patrician and military haughtiness in Coriolanus; the plebeian malignity and tribunitian haughtiness in Brutus aud Sicinius, make a very pleasing and interesting variety."
Description of a Mob.
WHAT Would you have, you curs,
That like nor peace nor war? the one affrights you,
To make him worthy whose offence subdues him,
Which would increase his evil. He that depends
Upon your favours swims with fins of lead,
And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust ye?
With every minute you do change a mind;
Hear me profess sincerely :—had I a dozen sons,— each in my love alike, and none less dear than thine and my good Marcius,-I had rather had eleven die nobly for their country, than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.
Aufidius's Hate of Coriolanus.
Nor sleep, nor sanctuary,
Being naked, sick; nor fane, nor Capitol,
Prowess of Coriolanus.
He carries noise, and behind him he leaves tears;
+ My brother being his protector. Nervous, vigorous.
Cominius's Praise of Coriolanus to the Senators.
I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus
And, in the brunt of seventeen battles since,
1 cannot speak him home: he stopp'd the fliers And by his rare example made the coward
Turn terror into sport; as waves before
And fell below his stem: his sword (death's stamp)
* Possessor. ‡ Struck him down on his knee.
+ Beardless chin.
§ On account of his youth
|| Won easily
Was timed with dying cries: alone he enter'd
And to the battle came he: where he did
Popularity of Coriolanus.
I have seen
The dumb men throng to see him, and the blind
A shower, and thunder, with their caps and shouts ; I never saw the like.
Character of Coriolanus.
His nature is too noble for the world:
His heart's his
What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent;
* Every blow he struck was followed by dying cries.
And being angry, does forget that ever
Coriolanus's Contempt for the Mob.
You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate As reek* o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize As the dead carcases of unburied men
That do corrupt my air, I banish you ;
That won you without blows. Despising
Fickleness of Friendship.
O world, thy slippery turns!
Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart,
On a dissension of a doit, break out
Friends now fast