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SCENE I. The same. Before a Gate of the City. Enter CORIOLANUS, VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA,

MENENIUS, COMINIUS, and several young Patricians. Cor. Come, leave your tears; a brief farewell:

the beast 1 With many heads butts me away.-Nay, mother, Where is


ancient courage ? To say, extremity was the trier of spirits; That common chances common men could bear; That, when the sea was calm, all boats alike Show'd mastership in floating : fortune's blows, When most struck home, being gentle wounded,

you were us'd


A noble cunning 3 : you were us'd to load me
With precepts, that would make invincible
The heart that conn'd them.

Vir. O heavens! O heavens !

Nay, I pr’ythee, woman,
Vol. Now the red pestilence strike all trades in

And occupations perish!

What, what, what! I shall be lov'd when I am lack’d. Nay, mother, 1 Horace, speaking of the Roman mob, says :

* Bellua multorum est capitum.' 2 This is the reading of the second folio; the first folio reads, extremities was, &c.

3 · When Fortune strikes her hardest blows, to be wounded, and yet continue calm, requires a noble wisdom.' Cunning is often used in this sense by Shakspeare. Johnson reprehends Warburton for misinterpreting the poet's words, and has himself mistaken the meaning of this.

Resume that spirit, when you were wont to say,
If you had been the wife of Hercules,
Six of his labours you'd have done, and sav’d
Your husband so much sweat.—Cominius,
Droop not; adieu :--Farewell, my wife! my mother!
I'll do well yet.—Thou old and true Menenius,
Thy tears are salter than a younger man's,
And venomous to thine eyes.-My sometime general,
I have seen thee stern, and thou hast oft beheld
Heart-hard'ning spectacles; tell these sad women,
'Tis fond 4 to wail inevitable strokes,
As 'tis to laugh at them.--My mother, you wot well,
My bazards still have been your

solace: and
Believe't not lightly (though I go alone
Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen
Makes fear'd, and talk'd of more than seen), your son
Will, or exceed the common, or be caught
With cautelous 5 baits and practice.

My first son, Whither wilt thou go? Take good Cominius With thee a while : Determine on some course, More than a wild exposture7 to each chance That starts i’the way before thee. Cor.

O the gods! Com. I'll follow thee a month, devise with thee Where thou shalt rest, that thou may’st hear of us, And we of thee: so, if the time thrust forth A cause for thy repeal, we shall not send O'er the vast world, to seek a single man; And lose advantage, which doth ever cool I'the absence of the needer. Cor.

Fare ye well; ;

4 Foolish.
5 Cautelous here means insidious. 6 i.e. noblest.

? Exposure; for which it is probably a typographical error, as we have no other instance of the word exposture.

Thou hast years upon thee; and thou art too full
Of the wars' surfeits, to go rove with one
That's yet unbruis’d: bring me but out at gate.-
Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and
My friends of noble touch®, when I am forth,
Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you, come.
While I remain above the ground, you shall
Hear from me still; and never of me aught
But what is like me formerly.

That's worthily
As any ear can hear.

Come, let's not weep.If I could shake off but one seven years From these old arms and legs, by the good gods, I'd with thee


foot. Cor.

Give me thy hand : Come.



The same.

A Street near the Gate.

Enter SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and an Ædile.
Sic. Bid them all home: he's gone, and we'll no

The nobility are vex’d, who, we see, have sided
In his behalf.

Bru. Now we have shown our power,
Let us seem humbler after it is done,
Than when it was a doing.

Bid them home:
Say, their great enemy is gone, and they
Stand in their ancient strength.

Dismiss them home.

[Exit Ædile.

8 i. e. of true metal. The metaphor from the touchstone for trying metals, is common in Shakspeare.

Here comes his mother.

Let's not meet her.

Why? Sic. They say, she's mad. Bru. .

They have ta’en note of us : Keep on your way. Vol. O, you're well met: The hoarded plague

o'the gods Requite your love ! Men.

Peace, peace; be not so loud.
Vol. If that I could for weeping, you should hear,—

shall hear some.



[T. BRUTUS. Vir. You shall stay too: [To Sic.] I would, I

Nay, and



had the power

To say so to my husband.


mankind 1 ?
Vol. Ay, fool; is that a shame!-Note but this

fool. Was not a man my father? Hadst thou foxship? To banish him that struck more blows for Rome, Than thou hast spoken words? Sic.

O blessed heavens ! Vol. More noble blows, than ever thou wise words ; And for Rome's good.-I'll tell thee what:-Yet

go:Nay, but thou shalt stay too :- I would my son Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him, His good sword in his hand.

| Mankind is fierce, ferocious. See vol. iv. p. 40, note 6. That it had this sense is evident, because we sometimes find it applied to a stubborn or ferocious animal. Volumnia chooses to understand it as meaning a human creature.

? i. e, mean cunning,


What then?

What then? He'd make an end of thy posterity.

Vol. Bastards, and all. Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome!

Men. Come, come, peace.

Sic. I would he had continu'd to his country,
As he began; and not unknit himself
The noble knot he made.

I would he had.
Vol. I would he had! 'Twas you incens'd the

Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth,
As I can of those mysteries which heaven
Will not have earth to know.

Pray, let us go
Vol. Now, pray, sir, get you gone:
You have done a brave deed, Ere you go, hear this :
As far as doth the Capitol exceed
The meanest house in Rome: so far, my son
(This lady's husband here, this, do you see),


have banish’d, does exceed you all. Bru. Well, well, we'll leave you. Sic.

Why stay we to be baited With one that wants her wits? Vol. Take my prayers


you.I would the gods had nothing else to do,

Exeunt Tribunes. But to confirm my curses! Could I meet them But once a day, it would unclog my heart Of what lies heavy to't, Men.

You have told them home, And, by my troth, you have cause.

with me? Vol. Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself, And so shall starve with feeding.–Come, let's go:

You'll sup

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