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Cominius, Menenius, and other senators, having in some degree appeased the people, here enter and join with Volumnia in trying to persuade Coriolanus. They intimate to him that fair speech may recover his election, if he can thereto frame his spirit : Volumnia answers : [Voluninia.] He must, and will:

Proythee, now, say you will, and go about it. [Cor.) Must I go show them my unbarb'd sconce ? Must I


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 self to lose,
This mould of Marcius, they to dust should grind it,
And throw i't against the wind. To the market place :
You ha've put me now to such a part, which never

I shall discharge to the life. [Cominius.] Come, come, we'll prompt you. [Volumnia.] I prythee 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.

[Coriolanus.] Well, I must do 't :

Away, my disposition, and possess me
Some harlot's spi'rit! my throat of war be turn'd,
Which quired with my drum, into a pipe
Small as a eunuch's : let a beggar's tongue
Make motion in my lips ; and my arm'd knees
That bow'd but in the stirrup, bend like his
That hath receiv'd an alms. - I will not do 't,
Lest I should cease to honour mine own truth,
And, by my body's action, teach my

A most inherent baseness.

[Volumnia.] At thy choice, then :

To beg of thee, it is my more dishonour,
Than thou of them : Come all to ruin : let
Thy mother feel thy pride: I mock at death

With as big heart as thou. Do as thou list:
Thy valiantness was mine, thou suckedst from me;

Thy pride is all thy own.
(Coriolanus.] Pray, be content;

Mother, I a'm going to the market place;
Chide me no more : I'll mountebank their loves,
Wheedle their hearts, and so come home belov'd
Of all the trades in Rome. Look, I am going :
Commend me to my wife. I'll return consul;
Or never trust to what my tongue can do

l' the way of flattery further. Come: I'm ready. At the Forum, the tribunes and citizens are awaiting the arrival of Coriolanus and his friends : they enter, Menenius beseeching Coriolanus, as they come forward, to be gentle toward them, and calm : he repeats his promises, and then speaks to the people : [Coriolanus.] The honour'd gods

Keep Rome in safety, and the chairs of justice
Supplied with worthy men! plant love among us!
Throng our large temples with the shows of peace,

And not our streets with war! The tribune Sicinius, after desiring the people to draw near, interrogates him : [Sicinius.] I do demand,

If you submit you to the people's voices,
Allow their officers, and are content
To suffer lawful censure for such faults

As shall be prov'd upon you. [Coriolanus.] I am content.

Shall I be charg'd no further than this present ?
Must all determine here? What is the matter,
That being pass’d for consul with full voice,
I'm so dishonour'd, that the very hour

You take it off again ? [Sicinius.] Answer to us.

[Coriolanus.] 'Tis true, I ought so: say.

I [Sicinius.] We charge you that you have devis'd to take

From Rome all 'stablish'd office, and to wind
Yourself into a power tyrannical ;

For which you are a traitor to the people. [Coriolanus.] How ! traitor ? [Menenius.] Your promise-calmly-your promise. [Coriolanus.] The fires i' the lowest hell fold in the people

Call me their traitor! Thou injurious tribune!
If, in thine eyes, sat twenty thousand deaths,
If thy hand clutch'd as many millions, yet
I'd say thou liest,—ay, with a voice as free

As I do pray the gods.
[Sicinius.] Mark you this, people ?

Hear how he treats your tribune. A cry springs from the whole multitude-To the rock with him! to the rock with him! [Sicinius.] He doth indeed

Deserve extremest death: but since he hath

Serv'd well for Rome[Coriolanus.] What do you prate of service? What know Of any service ?

[you The senators interpose, in order that he may not increase the irritation: his impatience interrupts them :

Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,
Vagabond exile, flaying ; —let me linger
But with a grain a day, I would not buy
Their mercy at the price of one fair word,
Nor check my courage for what they can give,

To have it with saying “Good-morrow.” [Sicinius.] For that he has,

As much as in him lies, from time to time,
Envied the people; ever seeking means

To pluck away their power, and now at last
Has shown hostility to justice, and
The ministers that do distribute i't, we,
l' the name o' the people, even from this instant,

Do banish him the city. A loud shout of approbation follows: the senators in vain interpose : [Coriolanus.] You common cry of curs, whose breath I hate

As reek o'the rotten fens, -whose loves I prize
As the dead carcases o'f unburied men
That do corrupt my air-I banish
Remain here with your uncertainty !
Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts !
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,

you into despair! Have the power still
To banish your defenders, till your ignorance,
Which finds not till it feels, deliver you
As captives to a nation, that shall win you
Without a blow. And thus for you despising
The city, thus I turn my back upon it.
There is a world elsewhere.





HISTORICAL MEMORANDA. The Roman historians are proud to attribute the salvation of their city, on more than one occasion, to the women. In the days of Romulus, the women who were related to the Romans as their husbands, and to the Sabines as their fathers, interposed between the hostile armies of these two nations in order to save Rome. It seems to be agreed by modern inquirers, that a great part of early Roman history, is allegorical or legendary. This may be the case with the story of Coriolanus ; yet we can hardly persuade ourselves that there was not some foundation for the belief, that Rome was saved from the rage of one who, before his exile, had been the greatest of her warriors, by the intercession of his wife and mother. The date commonly assigned to this fact is the year 263 of the city, or 489 before Christ: but modern inquirers are of opinion that if it happened at all, the date should be thirty years later. It is to be added, that banishment was no part of the old Roman law:

:-a man went into exile when he found himself in danger of a heavier doom, but the law did not banish him.

We imagine a public place in ancient Rome. Two of the tribunes, Sicinius and Junius, are in conversation : [Sicinius.] We hear not of him, neither need we fear him. We make his friends blush that the world goes

well: We stood to 't in good time. Is this Menenius ? [Junius.] 'Tis he, 'tis he: 0, he is grown most kind

Of late.-Hail, sir ! [Menenius.] Hail to you both! [Sicinius.] Coriolanus, sir, is not much miss'd,

But by his friends: the world goes smooth without him. [Menenius.] All's well, and might have been much better, if

He would have temporis'd. [Junius.] Where is he, hear you ? [Menen.] Nay, e'en his wife and mother hear not from him: I know not.

An Edile enters, and speaks. [Edile.] Worthy tribunes,

There is a slave, whom we have put in prison,
Reports,—the Volscians, with two several powers,

Are enter'd in the Roman territories. [Menenius.] Hear you that, tribunes ?

No doubt it is Aufidius, who has heard
Of Marcius' banishment, and now thrusts out
His horns again, that were inshell'd, and durst not

Peep out, while Marcius stood for Rome. [Junius.] What talk you

Of Marcius ? I'll see this rumourer whipp'd :
It cannot be the Volscians break the peace.

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