« PreviousContinue »
To choke it in the utt'rance; so our virtues
A CT V.
S C Ε Ν Ε Ι.
A public Place in Rome.
ME NENIU S.
Com. He would not seem to know me.
hear ? Com. Yet one time he did call me by my name : I urg'd our old acquaintance, and the drops That we have bled together. Coriolanus
* Right's by right fouler,] This has no Manner 'of Sense. We should read, -Right's by right fouled. -Or as it is commonly written in English, foiled, from the French, fouler, to tread or trample kunder Foot.
Warburton. Vol. VIII.
He would not answer to ; forbade all names ;
Men. Why, fo ; you've made good work :
Com. I minded him, how royal 'twas to pardon When it was least expected. He reply'd, It was a bare petition of a State To one whom they had punish'd.
Men. Very well, could he say less ?
Con. I offer'd to awaken his regard
Men. For one poor grain or two?
Men. No : I'll not meddle.
Bru. Only make trial what your love can do
Men. Well, and say, that Marcius
With his unkindness. Say't be so ?
Sic. Yet your good will Must have that thanks from Rome, after the measure As you
intended well.. Men. I'll undertake it : I think, he'll hear me. Yet to bite his lip, And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me. He was not taken well, he had not din'd. The veins un fill'd, our blood is cold, and then We pout upon the morning, are unapt To give or to forgive ; but when we've stuff'd These pipes, and these conveyances of blood With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls Than in our priest-like fasts ; therefore I'll watch him 'Till he be dieted to my request, And then I'll set upon him.
Bru. You know the very road into his kindness, And cannot lose your way.
Men. Good faith, I'll prove him, Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge Of my fuccefs.
[Exit. Com. He'll never hear him. Sic. Not ?
Com. I tell you, he does fit in gold, his eye Red as 'twould burn Rome ; and bis injury The Goaler to his pity. I kneel'd before him, 'Twas very faintly he said, rise : dismiss'd me Thus, with his speechless hand. What he would do, He sent in writing after ; what he would not, Bound with an oath not yield to new conditions : So that all hope is vain, unless his mother And wife, who as I hear) mean to folicit him, * Force mercy to his country. Therefore hence, And with our fair intreaties haste them on. (Exeunt.
* For mercy to his country.] Unless his Mother and Wife—do what? the Sentence is imperfe&. We should read,---Force Mercy to his Country .
S C Ε Ν Ε II.
Changes to the Volscian Camp.. Enter Menenius to the Watch or Guard. 1 Watch.
back. Men. You guard like men, 'tis well. But, by your
leave, I am an officer of State, and come To speak with Coriolanus.
I Watch. Whence ? Men. From Rome. 1 Watch. You may not pass, you must return.:
our General Will no more hear from thence. 2 Watch. You'll see your Rome embrac'd with fire,
before You'll speak with Coriolanus.
Men. Good my friends,
Men. I tell thee, fellow,
* For I have ever verified my friends, &c.] Shakespear's mighty Talent in painting the Manners, is especially remarkable in this place. Menenius here, and Polonius in Hamlet, have much of the same natural Chara&er. The Difference is only accidental. The one was a Senator in a free State ; and the other a Courtier, and Minifter to a King; which two Circumstances afforded Matter for that inimitable Ridicule thrown over the Character of Polonius. Without Doubt he wrote,-For I have ever narrified my friends,-i. 1. made their Encomium.
(of whom he's chief) with all the size that verity
1 Watch. Faith, Sir, if you had told as many lies in his behalf, as you have utter'd words in your own, you should not pass here : no, though it were as virtuous to lie, as to live chaftly. Therefore,
Men. Pr'ythee, fellow, remember, my name is Menenius ; always fa&tionary of the Party of your General.
2 Watch. Howsoever you have been his liar, (as you say, you have :) I am one that, telling true under him, must say, you cannot pass. Therefore, go back.
Men. Has he din'd, canst thou tell ? for I would not speak with him till after dinner.
» Watch. You are a Roman; are you? Men. I am as thy General is.
1 Watch. Then you should hate Rome, as he does. Can you, when you have push'd out of your gates the very Defender of them, and, in a violent popular ignorance, given your enemy your shield, think to front his revenges with the easy groans of old women, the virginal palms of your daughters, or with the pallied intercession of such a decay'd Dotard as you seem to be ? can you think to blow out the inlended fire your city is ready to flame in, with such weak breath as this ? no, you are deceiv'd, therefore back to Rome, and prepare for your execution ; you are condemn'd, cur General has sworn you out of reprieve and pardon.
Men. Sirrah, if thy Captain knew I were here, he would use me with estimation.
I Watch. Come, my Captain knows you not.