Page images
PDF
EPUB

Auf.

Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor
More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.
Mar. Let the first budger die the other's slave,
And the gods doom him after!

Auf.

Halloo me like a hare.

We hate alike: | Whereof we have ta'en good, and good store, of all

If I fly, Marcius,

Mar. Within these three hours, Tullus, Alone I fought in your Corioli walls, And made what work I pleas'd; 'tis not my blood Wherein thou seest me mask'd; for thy revenge Wrench up thy power to the highest. Auf. Wert thou the Hector That was the whip of your bragg'd progeny, 12 Thou should'st not 'scape me here.

They fight, and certain Volsces come to the aid of AUFIDIUS. Officious, and not valiant, you have sham'd me In your condemned seconds.

Exeunt fighting, all driven by MARCIUS.

[blocks in formation]

To hear themselves remember'd.

Com.

Com.
You shall not be
The grave of your deserving; Rome must know
The value of her own: 'twere a concealment 21
Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement,
To hide your doings; and to silence that,
Which, to the spire and top of praises vouch'd,
Would seem but modest. Therefore, I beseech
you,

In sign of what you are, not to reward
What you have done, before our army hear me.
Mar. I have some wounds upon me, and they
smart

Should they not, Well might they fester 'gainst ingratitude, And tent themselves with death. Of all the

30

horses,

[blocks in formation]

you,

Like one that means his proper harm, in manacles, Then reason safely with you. Therefore, be it

known,

As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius
Wears this war's garland; in token of the which,
My noble steed, known to the camp, I give him,
With all his trim belonging; and from this time,
For what he did before Corioli, call him,
With all the applause and clamour of the host,
CAIUS MARCIUS CORIOLANUS! Bear
The addition nobly ever!

63

All. Caius Marcius Coriolanus !

[blocks in formation]

Com. So, to our tent; Where, ere we do repose us, we will write To Rome of our success. You, Titus Lartius, Must to Corioli back: send us to Rome The best, with whom we may articulate, For their own good and ours.

Lart.

I shall, my lord. Cor. The gods begin to mock me. I, that now Refus'd most princely gifts, am bound to beg 80 Of my lord general.

Com.
Take it 'tis yours. What is 't?
Cor. I sometime lay here in Corioli
At a poor man's house; he us'd me kindly:
He cried to me; I saw him prisoner;
But then Aufidius was within my view,

And wrath o'erwhelm'd my pity: I request you
To give my poor host freedom.
Com.

O! well begg'd.

642

Were he the butcher of my son, he should
Be free as is the wind. Deliver him, Titus.
Lart. Marcius, his name?
Cor.

By Jupiter! forgot. 90
I am weary; yea, my memory is tir'd.
Have we no wine here ?

Com.
Go we to our tent:
The blood upon your visage dries; 'tis time
It should be look'd to: come.

Exeunt.

SCENE X.-The Camp of the Volsces.

A Flourish. Cornets. Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, bloody, with two or three Soldiers.

Men. Ay, to devour him; as the hungry plebeians would the noble Marcius.

Auf. Condition!

I would I were a Roman; for I cannot,
Condition!
Being a Volsce, be that I am.
What good condition can a treaty find
I' the part that is at mercy? Five times, Marcius,
I have fought with thee; so often hast thou

beat me,

Auf. The town is ta'en!

First Sold. Twill be deliver'd back on good of us o' the right-hand file? do you?

condition.

Sic., Bru. Why, how are we censured?

Men. Because you talk of pride now,-will you not be angry?

Sic., Bru. Well, well, sir; well.

Men. Why, 'tis no great matter; for a very little thief of occasion will 10b you of a great deal of patience: give your dispositious the reins. and be angry at your pleasures; at the least, if you take it as a pleasure to you in being so. You blame Marcius for being proud?

$4

Bru. We do it not alone, sir.

And would'st do so, I think, should we encounter
As often as we eat. By the elements,
If e'er again I meet him beard to beard,
He's mine, or I am his: mine emulation
Hath not that honour in 't it had; for where
I thought to crush him in an equal force,
True sword to sword, I'll potch at him some way
Or wrath or craft may get him.

First Sold.

He's the devil.

Auf. Bolder, though not so subtle. My valour's
poison'd

With only suffering stain by him; for him
Shall fly out of itself. Nor sleep nor sanctuary,
Being naked, sick, nor fane nor Capitol,
The prayers of priests, nor times of sacrifice,
Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up
Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst
My hate to Marcius. Where I find him, were it
At home, upon my brother's guard, even there,
Against the hospitable canon, would I
Wash my fierce hand in 's heart. Go you to the
city;

Learn how 'tis held, and what they are that must
Be hostages for Rome.
First Sold.
Will not you go?
Auf. I am attended at the cypress grove
I pray you,
'Tis south the city mills, bring me word thither
How the world goes, that to the pace of it
I may spur on my journey.
First Sold.

30

I shall, sir. Exeunt.

10

10

Bru. He's a lamb indeed, that baes like a bear. Men. He's a bear indeed, that lives like a lamb. You two are old men : tell me one thing that I shall ask you.

Sic., Bru. Well, sir.

Men. In what enormity is Marcius poor in that you two have not in abundance?

Bru. He's poor in no one fault, but stored with all.

Sic. Especially in pride.

Bru. And topping all others in boasting. Men. This is strange now: do you two know how you are censured here in the city, I mean

20

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Sic. Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.
Men. Pray you, who does the wolf love?
Sic. The lamb.

Men. I know you can do very little alone; for your helps are many, or else your actions would grow wondrous single: your abilities are too infant-like for doing much alone. You talk of pride: O! that you could turn your eyes toward the napes of your necks, and make but an interior survey of your good selves. O! that you could. Bru. What then, sir?

43

Men. Why, then you should discover a brace of unmeriting, proud, violent, testy magistrates, alias fools, as any in Rome.

Sic. Menenius, you are known well enough too. Men. I am known to be a humorous patrician, and one that loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying Tiber in't; said to be something imperfect in favouring the first complaint; hasty and tinder-like upon too trivial motion; one that converses more with the buttock of the night than with the forehead of the morning. What I think I utter, and spend my malice in my breath. Meeting two such weals-men as you are, I cannot call you Lycurguses, if the drink you give me touch my palate adversely, I make a crooked face at it. I can't say your worships have delivered the matter well when I find the ass in compound with the major part of your syllables; and though I must be content to bear with those that say you are reverend grave men, yet they lie deadly that tell you you have good faces. If you see this in the map of my microcosm, follows it that I am known well enough too? What harm can your bisson conspectuities glean out of this character, if I be known well enough too?

68

Bru. Come, sir, come, we know you well enough. Men. You know neither me, yourselves, nor any thing. You are ambitious for poor knaves' caps and legs: you wear out a good wholesome forenoon in hearing a cause between an orangewife and a fosset-seller, and then rejourn the controversy of three-pence to a second day of When you are hearing a matter audience. between party and party, if you chance to be pinched with the colic, you make faces like

[blocks in formation]

he gives my son the whole name of the war.
He hath in this action outdone his former
deeds doubly.

84

Bru. Come, come, you are well understood to be a perfecter giber for the table than a necessary bencher in the Capitol.

Val. In troth there's wondrous things spoke of him.

150

Men. Wondrous! ay, I warrant you, and not without his true purchasing.

Men. True! I'll be sworn they are true. Where is he wounded? To the Tribunes. God save your good worships! Marcius is coming home: he has more cause to be proud. Where

Vir. The gods grant them true!
Vol. True! pow, wow.

as you are.

Men. Our very priests must become mockers if they shall encounter such ridiculous subjects When you speak best unto the purpose it is not worth the wagging of your beards; and your beards deserve not so hon-is he wounded? ourable a grave as to stuff a botcher's cushion, or to be entombed in an ass's pack-saddle. Yet you must be saying Marcius is proud; who, in a cheap estimation, is worth all your predecessors since Deucalion, though peradventure some of the best of 'em were hereditary hangmen. Good den to your worships: more of your conversation would infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly plebeians: I will be bold to take my leave of you.

102

BRUTUS and SICINIUS go aside. Enter VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, and VALERIA. How now, my as fair as noble ladies, and the moon, were she earthly, no nobler, whither do you follow your eyes so fast?

Vol. Honourable Menenius, my boy Marcius approaches; for the love of Juno, let's go.

159

Vol. I' the shoulder and i' the left arm: there will be large cicatrices to show the people when he shall stand for his place. He received in the repulse of Tarquin seven hurts i' the body.

Men. One i' the neck, and two i' the thigh, there 's nine that I know.

Vol. He had, before this last expedition, twenty-five wounds upon him.

Men. Now it's twenty-seven: every gash was
A shout and flourish.
an enemy's grave.
Hark! the trumpets.

170

Vol. These are the ushers of Marcius: before him he carries noise, and behind him he leaves tears:

Death, that dark spirit, in 's nervy arm doth lie;.
Which, being advanc'd, declines, and then men

die.

A Sennet. Trumpets sound. Enter COMINIUS and
TITUS LARTIUS; between them, CORIOLANUS,
crowned with an oaken garland; with Captains,
Soldiers, and a Herald.

Men. Ha! Marcius coming home?

Vol. Ay, worthy Menenius; and with most prosperous approbation.

110

Men. Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee. Hoo! Marcius coming home!

Vol., Vir. Nay, 'tis true.

Vol. Look, here's a letter from him: the state hath another, his wife another; and I think there's one at home for you.

Men. I will make my very house reel to-night. A letter for me!

Vir. Yes, certain, there's a letter for you; I saw 't.

120

Her. Know, Rome, that all alone Marcius did fight

Within Corioli gates: where he hath won,
With fame, a name to Caius Marcius; these
In honour follows Coriolanus.
Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus !

Flourish.

All. Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus! Cor. No more of this; it does offend my heart:

Pray now, no more.

Look, sir, your mother!

Men. A letter for me! It gives me an estate Com. of seven years' health; in which time I will make a lip at the physician: the most sovereign Cor. prescription in Galen is but empiricutic, and, to this preservative, of no better report than You have, I know, petition'd all the gods For my prosperity. Is he not wounded? he was a horse-drench. wont to come home wounded. Vir. O no, no, no.

Vol. O he is wounded; I thank the gods 130 for 't.

Men. So do I too, if it be not too much. Brings a victory in his pocket? The wounds become him.

180

O!

Kneels.
Vol.
Nay, my good soldier, up;
My gentle Marcius, worthy Caius, and
By deed-achieving honour newly nam'd,-
What is it? Coriolanus must I call thee?
But, O! thy wife-

Cor.

My gracious silence, hail! Would'st thou have laugh'd had I come coffin'd

190

Vol. On's brows, Menenius; he comes the third time home with the oaken garland.

Men. Has he disciplined Aufidius soundly? Vol. Titus Lartius writes they fought together, but Aufidius got off.

Men. And 'twas time for him too, I'll warrant him that: an he had stayed by him I would not have been so fidiused for all the chests in Corioli, and the gold that's in them. Is the 143 senate possessed of this? Vol. Good ladies, let's go. Yes, yes, yes; the senate has letters from the general, wherein

home,

That weep'st to see me triumph? Ah! my dear,
Such eyes the widows in Corioli wear,
And mothers that lack sons.

Men.
Now, the gods crown thee!
Cor. And live you yet? To VALERIA. O my
sweet lady, pardon.

Vol. I know not where to turn: O! welcome
home;

And welcome, general; and ye 're welcome all.
Men. A hundred thousand welcomes: I could

weep,

And I could laugh; I am light, and heavy. | Appear i' the market-place, nor on him put Welcome!

The napless vesture of humility;

Nor, showing, as the manner is, his wounds
To the people, beg their stinking breaths.
Sic.
'Tis right.

Bru. It was his word. Oh! he would miss
it rather
Than carry it but by the suit o' the gentry to him

250

A curse begin at very root on 's heart
That is not glad to see thee! You are three
That Rome should dote on; yet, by the faith of

201

men,

We have some old crab-trees here at home that

will not

Be grafted to your relish. Yet welcome, warriors! And the desire of the nobles.
We call a nettle but a nettle, and
The faults of fools but folly.

Ever right.

Com.
Cor. Menenius, ever, ever.
Her. Give way there, and go on!
Cor. To VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA.

Bru.

'Tis most like he will.

Sic. It shall be to him then as our good wills, Your 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's power he
would

Have made them mules, silenc'd their pleaders, and

Dispropertied their freedoms; holding them,

hand, and yours:

Ere in our own house I do shade my head,
The good patricians must be visited;
From whom I have receiv'd not only greetings,
But with them change of honours.

Vol.

I have liv'd 211
To see inherited my very wishes,
And the buildings of my fancy: only
There's one thing wanting, which I doubt not In human action and capacity,

but
Our Rome will cast upon thee.
Cor.
Know, good mother,
I had rather be their servant in my way
Than sway with them in theirs.

Com.

Flourish. Cornets.

On, to the Capitol! Exeunt in state, as before. The Tribunes remain. Bru. All tongues speak of him, and the bleared sights

220

Are spectacled to see him: your prattling nurse
Into a rapture lets her baby cry
While she chats him: the kitchen malkin pins
Her richest lockram 'bout her reechy neck,
Clambering the walls to eye him: stalls, bulks,
windows,

Are smother'd up, leads fill'd, and ridges hors'd
With variable complexions, all agreeing
In earnestness to see him seld-shown flamens
Do press among the popular throngs, and puff
To win a vulgar station: our veil'd dames
Commit the war of white and damask in
Their nicely-gawded cheeks, to the wanton spoil
Of Phoebus' burning kisses: such a pother
As if that whatsoever god who leads him
Were slily crept into his human powers,
And gave him graceful posture.

231

Sic.

On the sudden,

I warrant him consul.

Bru.

During his power, go sleep.

Sic. He cannot temperately transport his

honours

Then our office may,

Sic.

I wish no better Than have him hold that purpose and to put it In execution.

From where he should begin and end, but will

Lose those he hath won.

Bru.

In that there 's comfort. Sic. Doubt not the commoners, for whom we stand,

240

But they upon their ancient malice will
Forget with the least cause these his new
honours,

Which that he'll give them, make I as little
question

As he is proud to do 't.

Bru.
I heard him swear,
Were he to stand for consul, never would he

260

Of no more soul nor fitness for the world
Than camels in the war; who have their provand
Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows
For sinking under them.

[blocks in formation]

CORIOLANUS.

SCENE II.]

love they know not why, they hate upon no
Therefore, for Coriolanus
better a ground.
neither to care whether they love or hate him
manifests the true knowledge he has in their
disposition; and out of his noble carelessness
lets them plainly see 't.

17

First Of If 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.

He loves your people;
Men.
But tie him not to be their bedfellow.
Worthy Cominius, speak.

Cor.

CORIOLANUS rises, and offers to go away.
Nay, keep your place. 70
First Sen. Sit, Coriolanus; never shame to hear
Your honours' pardon :
What you have nobly done.
I had rather have my wounds to heal again
Sir, I hope
Bru.
Than hear say how I got them.
No, sir: yet oft,
Cor.
My words disbench'd you not.
words.
When blows have made me stay, I fled from
But your
You sooth'd not, therefore hurt not.
people,

I love them as they weigh.

Pray now, sit down.
Men.
Cor. I had rather have one scratch my head
i' the sun

Second Off. 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, bonneted, without any further deed to have 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.

First Off. No more of him; he's a worthy man: make way, they are coming.

40

A Sennet. Enter, with Lictors before them, COMINIUS the Consul, MENENIUS, CORIOLANUS, many other Senators, SICINIUS and BRUTUS. The Senators take their places; the Tribunes take theirs also by themselves.

80

Exit.
When the alarum were struck than idly sit
Masters o' the people,
Men.
To hear my nothings monster'd.
Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter,
That's thousand to one good one, when you now

Men. Having determin'd of the Volsces, 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 perform'd
By Caius Marcius Coriolanus, whom
We met here both to thank and to remember
With honours like himself.

see

He had rather venture all his limbs for honour
Than one on's ears to hear it? Proceed,
Cominius.

50

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 chin 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, 100
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,
And in the brunt of seventeen battles since
last,
He lurch'd all swords of the garland. For this

Speak, good Cominius:
First Sen.
Leave nothing out for length, and make us think
Rather our state's defective for requital
Than we to stretch it out.

To the Tribunes.

Masters o' the people,

We do request your kindest ears, and after,
Your loving motion toward the common body,
To yield what passes here.

We are convented
Sic.
Upon a pleasing treaty, and have hearts
Inclinable to honour and advance
The theme of our assembly.

Most willingly;

But yet my caution was more pertinent
Than the rebuke you give it,

60

Bru.

Which the rather
We shall be blest to do, if he remember
A kinder value of the people than
He hath hereto priz'd them at.

Men.

That's off, that's off; I would you rather had been silent. Please you To hear Cominius speak?

Bru.

90

Before and in Corioli, let me say,

I cannot speak him home: he stopp'd the fliers,
And by his rare example made the coward
Turn terror into sport: as weeds before
A vessel under sail, so men obey'd,

And fell below his stem: his sword, death's

110

stamp,

Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot
He was a thing of blood, whose every motion
Was tim'd with dying cries: alone he enter'd
The mortal gate of the city, which he painted
With shunless destiny; aidless came off,
And with a sudden reinforcement struck
Corioli like a planet. Now all's his :
When by and by the din of war 'gan pierce
His ready sense; then straight his doubled spirit
Re-quicken'd what in flesh was fatigate,
And to the battle came he; where he did
Run reeking o'er the lives of men, as if

12

« PreviousContinue »