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are to imagine ourselves listening to the discourse of these
two, as they reluctantly proceed through the streets :
[Junius.] All tongues do speak of him; the prattling nurse

Into a fit will let her baby cry
The while she chats of him; and stalls, bulks, win-
Are smother'd up with varia'ble complexions (dows,
In earnestness to see him; such a pother,
As if a god were crept into his frame,

And gave him graceful posture. [Sicinius.] On a sudden

I warrant him consul. [Junius.] Then our office may,

During his power, go sleep. [Sicinius.] In this there's comfort,

He cannot temperately transport his honours,

So that he shall not lose those he hath won. [Junius.] I do not doubt but that the commoners,

For whom we stand, will, on their ancient malice,

Forget, with the least cause, these his new honours. [Sicinius.] He'll quickly give them cause. I've heard him

Were he to stand for consul, never would he (swear,
Appear i’ the market-place, nor on him put
The napless vesture of humility;
Nor show his wounds unto the people; nor

Entreat of them their stinking breaths. [Junius.] 'Tis well.

At some time when his soaring insolence
Shall teach the time, we must suggest the people
How he hath held them ; that, to his power, he would
Have made them mules, silenc'd their pleaders, and
Dispropertied their freedoms; holding them
Of no more soul nor fitness in the world,
Than camels are for war ; that have their provender
Only for bearing burthens, and get blows
For sinking under them.

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A friendly messenger meets them to quicken their steps to the capitol : they ask what is the matter in hand : the messenger answers : [Messenger.] 'Tis thought

That Marcius shall be consul. I have seen
The dumb men throng to see him, and the blind
To hear him speak. The matrons flung their gloves,
Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchiefs,
Upon him as he pass'd: the nobles bent them
As to Jove's statue; and the commons made
A shower, and thunder, with their caps, and shouts :

I never saw the like.
[Junius.] We come to the capitol ;

And carry with us ears and eyes fo’r the time,

But hearts for the event. Entering the capitol with the tribunes, we find the senators seated, and Mene nius in the act of speaking: [Menenius.] Having determin’d on the Volscians, fathers,

It now remains, as the main point before us,
To gratify his noble service, who
Hath stood thus for his country: therefore, please you,
Desire the present consul, and last general
In our well-found successes, to report
A little of the worthy work, perform’d
By Caius Marcius Coriolanus; whom
We meet here both to thank, and to remember

With honours like himself. The proposal being supported by other senators, and the tribunes signifying their desire to hear the erploits of Coriolanus celebrated, Cominius is about to rise, when, before he begins to speak, Coriolanus quits his place to leave the senate : he is requested to remain; but refuses to sit and hear his own praises. When he has quitted the senate, Cominius rises : [Cominius.] I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus

Should not be uttered feebly. It is held


That valour is the chief of virtues, 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'erpress'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 but a woman in his looks and limbs, 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, His sword has been the foremost. For this last, 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 waves before A vessel under sail, so men obey'd, And fell below his stem; his sword stamp'd death At every mark it aim'd: from face to foot He was a thing of blood, whose every motion Was tim’d with dying cries. Alone he enter'd The city gate,—the gate of death,—the gate Of shunless destiny,-aidless came off, And, with a sudden re-enforcement, struck Corioli like a planet: all was his. But, by-and-by, the din of war without, Re-quicken'd what in flesh had felt fatigue, And to my battle came he: I did see him Coming amain, bloody, as he were flay'd ; And now, once more, with doubled spirit, he Ran reeking o'er the lives of men, as if "Twere a perpetual spoil; and till we call'd Both field and city ours, he never stood To ease his breath with panting.

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A spontaneous call for Coriolanus must be imagined to follow; and a general wish is expressed that he should be consul : Coriolanus re-enters, and Menenius addresses him : [Menenius.] The senate, Co'riolanus, are well pleas'd

To make thee consul, [Coriolanus.) I do owe them still

My life and services. [Menenius.] It then remains That you do speak to the people.

[Coriolanus.] 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
That I may pass all this.

[you [Menenius.] Nay, ask it not :

Pray you, go fit you to the custom; and
Take to you, as your predecessors have,

Your honour with the form. [Coriolanus.] It is a part

That I shall blush in acting, and might well
Be taken from the people : is ’t for me
To brag unto them, 5 thus I did, and thus;" —
Show them thé unaching scars which I should hide,
As if I had receiy'd them for the hire

Of their breath only ?
[Menenius, in a low tone.] Think nothing of it.
[aloud.] We recommend, ye tribunes of the people,

Our purpose to you; and our noble consul

We wish all joy and honour. From the capitol, let us imagine we pass into one of the streets of Rome : several citizens enter, in conversation : [First Citizen.] If he do require our voices, I say we ought

not to deny him. [Second Citizen.] We may, sir, if we will.

[First Citizen.] 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 ungrateful, were to make a monster of the multitude; of the which we being members, should bring ourselves to be monstrous

members. [Second Citizen.] We may be no better thought of; for

once, when we stood up about the corn, he himself

stuck not to call us,—the many-headed multitude. [First Citizen.] Ay, we have been called so of many; not

that our heads are some brown, some black, some auburn, and some bald, but that our wits are diversely coloured ; and truly I think, if all our wits were to issue out of a single skull, their consent to one direct

way, would be, to all points of the compass at once. [Second Citizen.] Think you so ? which way do you judge

my wit would fly? [First Citizen.] Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another

man's; 'tis strongly wedged up in a blockhead. But are you all resolved one way for your voices. Yonder he goes, and in the gown of humility. I say, if he would incline to the people, there was never a worthier man: mark his behaviour. We are not to stay altogether, but go to him where he stands, by ones, by twos, and by threes. He is to make his requests by particulars; wherein every one of us has a single honour, in giving him our own voices with our own tongues ; therefore, follow me, and I will direct you

how you may go by him. After a time, we may suppose the multitude to return, along with the tribunes Šicinius and Junius : [Sicinius.] How now, my masters, have ye chosen this man?

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