Page images
PDF
EPUB

Death on the wheel, or at wild horses' heels;
Or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock,
That the precipitation might down stretch
Below the beam of sight, yet will I still
Be thus to them.

Cor. I musrove me furthis, things cheare heads

Enter VOLUMNIA.
t. : You do the nobler.
Cor. I muse, my mother
Does not approve me further, who was-wont
To call them woollen vassals, things created
To buy and sell with groats; to show bare heads
In congregations, to yawn, be still, and wonder,
When one but of my ordinance stood up
To speak of peace, or war. I talk of you;

(TO VOLUMNIA.
Why did you wish me milder? Would you have me
Faise to my nature? Rather say, I play,
The man I am. .

Vol. O, sir, sir, sir,
I would have had you put your power well on,
Before you had worn it out.
Cor.

. Let go.
Vol. You might have been enough the man you

are,
With striving less to be so: Lesser had been
The thwartings of your dispositions, if
You had not show'd them how you were dispos'a
Ere they lack'd power to cross you.
Cor.

Let them hang.
Vol. Ay, and burn too..

? I muse,] That is, I wonder, I am at a loss.
i my ordinance) My rank.

Enter Menenius, and Senators.
Men. Come, come, you have been too rough,

something too rough;
You must return, and mend it.
i Sen.

There's no remedy; Unless, by not so doing, our good city Cleave in the midst, and perish. Vol.

Pray be counsel'd: I have a heart as little apt as yours, But yet a brain, that leads my use of anger, To better vantage. Men.

. Well said, noble woman: Before he should thus stoop to the herd, but that The violent fit o'the time craves it as physick For the whole state, I would put mine armour on, Which I can scarcely bear.

Cor. What must I do?
Men.

Return to the tribunes.
Cor.

Well,
What then? what then?
Men.

Repent what you have spoke. Cor. For them? I cannot do it to the gods; Must I then do't to them? Vol.

You are too absolute; Though therein you can never be too noble, But when extremities speak. I have heard you say, Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends, l' the war do grow together: Grant thạt, and tell me, In peace, what each of them by th' other lose, That they combine not there. Cor. .?

Tush, tush

2. You are too absolute;

Though therein you can never be too noble, . But when extremities speak.] Except in cases of urgent neces. sity, when your resolute and noble spirit, however commendable at other times, ought to yield to the occasion. ... i

Men.

A good demand. Vol. If it be honour, in your wars, to seem The same you are not, (which, for your best ends, You adopt your policy,) how is it less, or worse, That it shall hold companionship in peace With honour, as in war; since that to both 'It stands in like request? Cor.

Why force yous this? Vol. Because that now it lies you on to speak To the people; not by your own instruction, Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you to, But with such words that are but roted in Your tongue, though but bastards, and syllables Of no allowance, to your bosom's truth.* Now, this no more dishonours you at all,' Than to take in a town with gentle words, Which else would put you to your fortune, and The hazard of much blood. 'I would dissemble with my nature, where My fortunes, and my friends, at stake, requir'd, I should do so in honour: I am in this, Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles; And you will rather show our general lowts How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon them, For the inheritance of their loves, and safeguard Of what that want? might ruin. · Men.

' Noble lady! Come, go with us; speak fair: you may salve so, Not what is dangerous present, but the loss

w Why force you-] Why urge you." 4 bastards, and syllables

Of no allowance, to your bosom's truth.] I read: “ of no af. liance;" therefore bastards. Yet allowance may well enough stand, as meaning legal right, established rank, or settled authority

JOHNSOX. * 5: Than to take in a town--] To subdue or destroy. . $.6. our general lowts-] Our common clorons.

7 that want ] The want of their loves.

Of what is past. Vol.

pr'ythee now, my son,
Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand;
And thus far having stretch'd it, (here be with them,)
Thy knee bussing the stones, (for in such business
Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant
More learned than the ears,) waving thy head,
Which often, thus, correcting thy stout heart,
That humble, as the ripest mulberry,
Now will not hold the handling : Or, say to them,
Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils,
Hast not the soft way, which, thou dost confess,
Were fit for thee to use, as they to claim,
In asking their good loves; but thou wilt frame
Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far
As thou hast power, and person.
Men.

This but done,
Even as she speaks, why, all their hearts were yours:
For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free
As words to little purpose.
Vol. 1

Pr’ythee now,
Go, and be ruld: although, I know, thou had'st

rather
Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf,
Than flatter him in a bower. Here is Cominius..

Enter COMINIUS. .
Com. I have been i' the market-place: and, sir,

'tis fit
You make strong party, or defend yourself
By calmness, or by absence; all's in anger.
Men. Only fair speech.

. I think, 'twill serve, if he
Can thereto frame his spirit.
Vol.

He must, and will: Pr’ythee, now, say, you will, and go about it.

Com.

[ocr errors]

Cor. Must I go show them my unbarb'd sconce? 8

Must I'
With my base tongue, give to my noble heart

A lie, that it must bear? Well, I will do't: · Yet were there but this single plot to lose, · This inould of Marcius, they to dust should grind it, And throw it against the wind. To the market

place:You have put me now to such a part, which never I shall discharge to the life.

Com. . Come, come, we'll prompt you.

Vol. I pr’ythee now, sweet son; as thou hast said, My praises made thee first a soldier, so, To have my praise for this, perform a part Thou hast not done before."

i Well, I must do't:
Away, my disposition, and possess me
Some harlot's spirit! My throat of war be turn'd,
Which quired with my drum,' into a pipe
Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice
That babies lulls asleep! The smiles of knaves
Tent in my cheeks;2 and school-boys' tears take up
The glasses of my sight! A beggar's tongue
Make motion through my lips; and my arm'd knees,
Who bow'd but in my stirrop, bend like his
That hath receiv'd an alms! I will not do't:
Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth,
And, by my body's action, teach my mind
A most inherent baseness.
Vol.

At thy choice then:
To beg of thee, it is my more dishonour,

Cor.

[ocr errors]

my unbarb'd sconce?] Unbarbed sconce is untrimmed or unsharen head.

9- single plot --) i. e. piece, portion; applied to a piece of earth, and here elegantly transferred to the body, carcase. - Which quired with iny drum,] Which played in concert with my drum.

"Tent in my cheeks;] To tent is to take up residence.

« PreviousContinue »