« PreviousContinue »
And the desire of the nobles.
I wish no better,
Bru. 'Tis most like, he will.
Sic. It shall be to him then, as our good wills;8 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
would Have made them mules, silenc'd their pleaders, and Dispropertied their freedoms: holding them, In human action and capacity, Of no more soul, nor fitness for the world, Than camels in their war; who have their provand? Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows For sinking under them. Sic.
This, as you say, suggested At some time when his soaring insolence Shall teach the people, (which time shall not want, If he be put upon't; and that's as easy, As to set dogs on sheep,) will be his fire To kindle their dry stubble; and their blaze Shall darken him for ever.
Enter a Messenger.
What's the matter?
8 It shall be to him then, as our good wills;] The word-wills is here a verb; and as our “ good wills” means, as our advantage" requires.
suggest the people,] i. e. prompt them.
to his power,] i. e. as far as his power goes, to the utmost of it.
i — their provand-) So the old copy, and rightly, though all the modern editors read provender. VOL. VIII.
Mess. You are sent for to the Capitol. "Tis
Let's to the Capitol ;
Have with you.
Enter Two Officers, to lay Cushions. i Off. Come, come, they are almost here: How many stand for consulships?
2 Off. Three, they say: but 'tis thought of every one, Coriolanus will carry it.
i 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
3 Matrons flung gloves
Ladies their scarfo.---] Here our author has attributed some of the customs of his own age to a people who were wholly unacquainted with them. Few men of fashion in his time appeared at a tournament without a lady's favour upon his arm : and sometimes when a nobleman had tilted with uncommon grace and agility, some of the fair spectators used to fing a scarf or glove " upon him as he pass'd."
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 a 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 OffIf 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 Of. 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.
i Of No more of him; he is a worthy man: Make way, they are coming.
he waved-) That is, he would have waved indifferently.
supple and courteous to the people, bonnetted, &c.) Bonnetter, Fr. is to pull off one's cap. So, in the academick style, to cap a fellow, is to take off the cap to him.
A Sennet. Enter, with Lictors before them, Comi
Nius 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 Hath thus stood for his country: Therefore, please
you, 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 perforın'd By Caius Marcius Coriolanus; whom We meet here, both to thank, and to remember With honours like himself. 1 Sen.
Speak, good Cominius:
We are convented
and make us think,
Than we to stretch it out.] i. e. Rather say that our means are too defective to afford an adequate reward for his services, than suppose our wishes to stretch out those means are defective.
9 Your loving motion toward the common body,] Your kind interposition with the common people.
Which the rather
That's off, that's off;'
He loves your people;
[CORIOLANUS rises, and offers to go away. i 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,
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'
When the alarum were struck, than idly sit
[Exit CORIOLANUS. Men.
Masters o'the people, Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter,
That's off, that's offf;] That is, that is nothing to the purpose.
how can he flatter,] The reasoning of Menenius is this: