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(That's thousand to one good one,) when
you now see, He had rather venture all his limbs for honour, Than one of his ears to hear it?-Proceed, Comi
nius. 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 chino 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 he 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;
How can he be expected to practise flattery to others, who abhors it so much, that he cannot hear it even when offered to himself?
3 When Tarquin made a head for Rome,] When Tarquin who had been expelled, raised a power to recover Rome.
his Amazonian chin--] i. e. his chin on which there was no beard.
5 And struck him on his knee:] This does not mean that he gave Tarquin a blow on the knee, but gave him such a blow as occasioned him to fall on his knee.
6 When he might act the woman in the scene,] It has been more than once mentioned, that the parts of women were, in Shakspeare's time, represented by the most smooth-faced young men to be found among the players. But here is a great anachronism. There were no theatres at Rome for the exhibition of plays for about two hundred and fifty years after the death of Coriolanus.
And, in the brunt of seventeen battles since,
Worthy man! 1 Sen. He cannot but with measure fit the ho
? He lurch'd all swords o'the garland.] To lurch, in Shakspeare's time, signified to win a maiden set at cards, &c.“ To lurch all swords of the garland," therefore, was, to gain from all other warriors the wreath of victory, with ease, and incontestable supe riority.
Was tim'd with dying cries.] The cries of the slaughtered regularly followed his motion, as musick and a dancer accompany each other.
9 The mortal gate -] The gate that was made the scene of death.
"He cannot but with measure fit the honours ] That is, no honour will be too great for him; he will show a mind equal to any elevation.
Which we devise him.
Our spoils he kick'd at;
He's right noble;
Call for Coriolanus. Off. He doth appear.
Men. The senate, Coriolanus, are well pleas'd
I do owe them still
It then remains,
do speak to the people. Cor.
I do beseech
you, Let me o'erleap that custom; for I cannot Put on the gown, stand naked, and entreat them, For my wounds' sake, to give their suffrage: please
Sir, the people
Put them not to't:-
? Than misery --] Misery for avarice; because a miser signifies avaricious.
It is a part
Mark you that?
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
Come, we'll inform them
i Cit. Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him.
Your honour with your form.] Your form, may mean the form which custona prescribes to you. * We recommend to you, tribunes of the people,
Our purpose to them;] We entreat you, tribunes of the people, to recommend and enforce to the plebeians, what we propose to them for their approbation; namely the appointment of Coriolanus to the consulship.
2 Cit. We inay, 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 show 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.
i Cit. And to make us no better thought of, a little help will serve: for once, when we stood up about the corn, he himself stuck not to call us the many-headed multitude.
3 Cit. We have been called so of many; not that our heads are some brown, some black, some auburn, soine bald, but that our wits are so diversly coloured: and truly I think, if all our wits were to issue out of one skull, they would fly east, west, north, south; and their consent of one direct way should be at once to all points o'the
points o’the compass. 2 Cit. Think
do my wit would fly?
3 Cit. Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another man's will, 'tis strongly wedged up in a block-head: but if it were at liberty, 'twould, sure, southward.
2 Cit. Why that way?
3 Cit. To lose itself in a fog; where being three parts melted away with rotten dews, the fourth would return for conscience sake, to help to get thee a wife.
2 Cit. You are never without your tricks:-You may, you may.
3 Cit. Are you all resolved to give your voices? But that's no matter, the greater part carries it. I