Page images
PDF
EPUB

Neither supreme, how soon confusion
May enter 'twixt the gap of both, and take
The one by the other.

CHARACTER OF CORIOLANUS.
His nature is too noble for the world:
He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
Or Jove for his power to thunder. His heart's his

mouth: What his breast forges that his tongrie must rent; And, being angry, does forget that ever He heard the name of death.

HONOUR AND POLICY. I have heard you say, Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends, l'the war do grow together: grant that, and tell me In peace, what each of them by th’ other lose, That they combine not there.

THE METHOD TO GAIN POPULAR FAVOUR.

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.

CORIOLANUS'S ABHORRENCE OF FLATTERY. Well, I must do't: Away, my disposition, and possess me Some harlot's spirit! My throat of war he 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; 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 stirrup, bend like his
That hath receiv'd an alms ! - I will not do't:
Lest 1 surcease to honour mine own truth,
And, by my body's action, teach my mind
A most inherent baseness.

VOLUMNIA'S RESOLUTION ON THE PRIDE OF

CORIOLANUS.

At thy choice then: To beg of thee, it is my more dishonour, Than thou of them. Čome all to ruin; let Thy mother rather feel thy pride, than fear Thy dangerous stoutness; for I mock at death With as big heart as thou. Do as thou list. Thy valiantness was mine, thou suck’dst it from me, But owet thy pride thysell.

CORIOLANUS'S DETESTATION OF THE VOLGAR. You common cryf of curse! whose breath I hate As reeks o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize As the dead carcasses of unburied men That do corrupt my air, I banish you; And here remain with your uncertainty! Let

every feeble rumour shake your hearts ! Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes, Fan

you into despair; have the power still To banish your defenders; til, at length, Your ignorance (which finds not till it feels) Making not reservation of yourselves, (Still your own foes,) deliver you, as most Abated|| captives, tn some nation That won you without blows!

ACT IV. PRECEPT AGAINST ILL FORTUNE. You were us'd To say, extremity was the trier of spirits: That common chances common men could bear; • Dwell. † Own. $ Pack § Vapour. Subdued.

craves

That, when the sea' was calm, all boats alike
Show'd mastership in floating: fortune's blows,
When most struck home, being gentle wounded,
A noble cunning: you were usd to load me
With precepts, that would make invincible
The heart that conn'd them.

ON COMMON FRIENDSHIPS. 0, world, thy slippery turns! Friends now' fast

sworn, Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart, Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise, Are still together, who twin, as 'twere in love Unseparable, shall within this hour, On a dissention of a doit,* break out To bitterest enmity: So fellest foes, Whose passions and whose plots have brokú their

sleep To take the one the other, by some chance, Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends And interjoin their issues.

MARTIAL FRIENDSHIP. Let me twine Mine arms about that body, where against My grained ash an hundred times hath broke, And scar'd the moon with splinters. Here I clipt The anvil of my sword; and do contest As hotly and as nobly with thy love, As ever. in ambitious strength I did Contend against thy valour. Know thou first, I loved the maid I married; never man

igh'd truer breath: but that I see thee here, Thou noble thing! more dances my wrapt heart, Than when I first my wedded mistress saw Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars! I tell We have a power on foot; and I had purpose Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn, Oi lose mine arm fort: Thou hast beat me out

A small coin. † Embrace. Arm. $ Full.

thee,

Twelve several times, and I hare nightly since
Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and me;
We have been down together in my sleep,
Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat,
And wak'd half dead with nothing.

ACT V. THE SEASON OF SOLICITATION. He was not taken well: he had not din'd: The veins unfill'd, our blood is cold, and then We pout upon the morning, are unapt To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff'd These pipes and these conveyances of our 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.

OBSTINATE RESOLUTION.

My wife comes foremost; then the honour'd mould Wherein this trunk was fram’d, and in her hand The grandchild to her blood. But, out, affection: All bond and privilege of nature, break! Let it be virtuous, to be obstinate.What is that courtsey worth, or those doves' eyes, Which can make gods forsworn?-I melt, and am

not
of stronger earth than others.—My mother bows,
As if Olympus to a molehill should
In supplication nod: and my young boy
Hath an aspect of intercession, which
Great nature cries, Deny not--Let the Volces
Plough Rome, and harrow Italy; I'll never
Be such a gosling* to obey instinct; but stand,
As if a man were author of himself,
And knew no other kin.

RELENTING TENDERNESS,
Like a dull actor now,
I have forgot my part, and

I am out,
Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh,

A young goose.

Forgive my tyranny; but do not say,
For that, l'orgive our Romans.-0, a kiss
Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!
Now by the jealous queen' of heaven, that kiss
I carried from thee, dear; and my true lip
Hath virgin'd it e'er since.-You gods, I prate,
And the most noble mother of the world
Leave unsaluted: Sink my knee, i’ the earth;
Of thy deep duty more impression show
Ihan that of common sons.

CHASTITY.

The noble sister of Publicola,
The moon of Rome; chaste as the icicle,
That's cruded by the frost from purest snow,
And hangs on Dian's temple: Dear Valeria!

CORIOLANUS'S PRAYER FOR HIS son.
The god of soldiers,
With the consent of supreme Jore, inform
Thy thoughts with nobleness; that thou may'st provo
To shame unvulnerable, and stick i’ the wars
Like a great sea mark, standing every flaw,t
And saving those that eye

thee!
VOLUMNIA'S PATHETIC SPEECH TO HER SON

CORIOLANUS.

[ocr errors]

Think with thyself, How more unfortunate than all living women Are we come hither: since that thy sight, which

should Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with com

forts, Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and

sorrow;
Making the mother, wife, and child, to see
The son, the husband, and the father, tearing
His country's bowels out. And to poor we,
Thine enmity's most capital: thou barr'st us
Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort
That all but we enjoy.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »