Page images

And beat the messenger who bids beware
Of what is to be dreaded.
Sic. Tell not me:

530 I know this cannot be. Bru. Not possible.

Enter a Messenger.
Mess. The nobles, in great earnestness, are going
All to the senate-house : some news is come,
That turns their countenances.

Sic. 'Tis this slave ;-
Go whip him 'fore the people's eyes :-his raising !
Nothing but his report!

Mess. Yes, worthy sir,
The slave's report is seconded ; and more, 540
More fearful, is deliver'd.

Sic. What more fearful ?

Mes. It is spoke freely out of many mouths
(How probable, I do not know) that Marcius,
Join'd with Aufidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome;
And vows revenge as spacious, as between
The young'st and oldest thing.

Sic. This is most likely!

Bru. Rais'd only, that the weaker sort may wish Good Marcius home again.

550 Sic. The


trick on't.
Men. This is unlikely :
He and Aufidius can no more atone,
Than violentest contrariety.


Enter another Messenger.

Mes. You are sent for to the senate : A fearful army, led by Caius Marcius, Associated with Aufidius, rages Upon our territories ; and have already O’erborne their way, consum'd with fire, and took What lay before them.

56. Enter COMINIUS. Com. O, you have made good work! Men. What news? what news ? Com. You have holp to ravish your own daughters,

and To melt the city leads upon your pates ; To see your wives dishonour'd to your noses

Men. What's the news; what's the news ?

Com. Your temples burned in their cement; and Your franchises, whereon you stood, confin’d Into an augre's bore. Men. Pray now, the news ?

570 You have made fair work, I fear me:-Pray, your

If Marcius should be joined with the Volsces-

Com. If!
He is their god; he leads them like a thing
Made by some other deity than nature,
That shapes man better ; and they follow him,
Against us brats, with no less confidence,
Than boys pursuing summer butter-flies,


Or butchers killing flies.
Men. You have made good work,

You, and your apron-men ; you that stood so much
Upon the voice of occupation, and
The breath of garlick-eaters!

Com. He'll shake your Rome about your ears.

Men. As Hercules did shake down mellow fruit. You have made fair work!

Bru. But is this true, sir ?

Com. Ay; and you'll look pale Before


find it other. All the regions Do smilingly revolt; and, who resist,

590 Are mock'd for valiant ignorance, And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame him? Your enemies, and his, find something in him,

Men. We are all undone, unless The noble man have mercy.

Com. Who shall ask it ? The tribunes cannot do't for shame; the people Deserve such pity of him, as the wolf Does of the shepherds : for his best friends, if they Should say, Be good to Rome, they charg'd him even As those should do that had deserv'd his hate,

601 And therein shew'd like enemies,

Men. 'Tis true : If he were putting to my house the brand That should consume it, I have not the face To say, 'Beseech you, cease. You have made fair

hands, You, and your crafts ! you have crafted fair !


[ocr errors]

Com. You have brought
A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
So incapable of help.

Tri. Say not we brought it.
Men. How I Was it we? We lov'd him ; but, like

And cowardly nobles, gave way to your clusters,
Who did hoot him out o'the city.

Com. But, I fear,
They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
The second name of men, obeys his points
As if he were his officer :- Desperation
Is all the policy, strength, and defence,
That Rome can make against them.

Enter a Troop of Citizens.
Men. Here come the clusters ! -
And is Aufidius with him !-- You are they
That made the air unwholesome, when you cast
Your stinking, greasy caps, in hooting at
Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming ;
And not a hair upon a soldier's head,
Which will not prove a whip; as many coxcombs,
As you threw caps up, will he tumble down,
And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter;
If he could burn us all into one coal,
We have deserv'd it.

Omnes. 'Faith, we hear fearful news,

1 Cit. For mine own part,
When I said, banish him, I said, 'twas pity.


[merged small][ocr errors]



2 Cit,

2 Cit. And so did I. 3

Cit. And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did very many of us: That we did, we did for the best; and though we willingly consented to his banishment, yet it was against our will.

Com. You are goodly things, you voices ! 640

Men. You have made you Good work, you and your cry!-Shall us to the Capitol ?

Com. O, ay; what else? [Exit Com. and Men.

Sic. Go, masters, get you home, be not dismay'd; These are a side, that would be glad to have This true, which they so seem to fear. Go home, And shew no sign of fear.

i Cit. The gods be good to us ! Come, masters, let's home. I ever said, we were i' the wrong, when we banish'd him.

651 2 Cit. So did we all. But come, let's home.

[Exeunt Citizens. Bru. I do not like this news. Sic. Nor I. Bru. Let's to the Capitol :-'Would, half my

wealth Would buy this for a lie ! Sic. Pray, let us go.

[Exeunt Tribunes.


« PreviousContinue »