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Whose passions and whose plots have broke 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 a hundred times hath broke,

And scared the moon with splinters! Here I clip*
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 lov'd the maid I married; never man
Sigh'd truer breath; but that I see thee here,
Thou noble thing! more dances my rapt heart,
Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
Bestride my threshold.


A Favourable Time should be chosen to ask a Favour.

He was not taken well; he had not dined: 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,

And then I'll set upon him.

* Embrace

Inflexibility of Coriolanus to the Appeal of his Wife and Mother.

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 curt'sey 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.

Coriolanus' rekindled Love for his Wife

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Like a dull actor now,

I have forgot my part, and I am out,
Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh.
Forgive my tyranny; but do not say,
For that, "Forgive our Romans.”—O, 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, i̇' the earth;
Of thy deep duty more impression show.
Than that of common sons.

Coriolanus's Prayer for his Son.

The god of soldiers,

With the consent of supreme Jove, inform

Thy thoughts with nobleness; that thou mayst prove
To shame invulnerable, and stick i' the wars
Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,*
And saving those that eye thee !

Peace after a Siege.

Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide, As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark you, The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes, Tabors, and cymbals, and the shouting Romans, Make the sun dance.

Aufidius's Jealousy of Coriolanus.

Being banish'd for 't, he came unto my hearth;
Presented to my knife his throat: I took him ;
Made him joint-servant with me; gave him way
In all his own desires; nay, let him choose
Out of my files, his projects to accomplish,
My best and freshest men; serv'd his designments
In mine own person; holp to reap the fame,
Which he did end all his ; and took some pride
To do myself this wrong: till, at the last,
I seem'd his follower, not partner; and
He wag'd me with his countenance,† as if
I had been mercenary.

Coriolanus's furious Denunciation of Aufidius. Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart Too great for what contains it. Boy! O slave !— Repaid me merely with good looks.

* Storm.


Pardon me, lords, 't is the first time that ever

I was forc'd to scold. Your judgments, my grave


Must give this cur the lie: and his own notion

(Who wears my stripes impress'd on him that must bear My beating to his grave), shall join to thrust. The lie unto him.




Cut me to pieces, Volces: men and lads,
Stain all your edges on me.--Boy! False hound!
If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there,
That like an eagle in a dove-cote, I
Flutter'd your Volcians in Corioli :
Alone I did it.-Boy!

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Contrition of Aufidius after the Assassination of



My rage is gone,
And I am struck with sorrow. Take him up
Help, three o' the chiefest soldiers; I'll be one.
Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully :
Trail your steel pikes.-Though in this city he
Hath widowed and unchilded many a one,
Which to this hour bewail the injury,
Yet he shall have a noble memory.


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Mark Antony, joined in the Roman triumvirate with Octavius Cæsar and Lepidus, is passing his time in luxurious indolence in Egypt, when intelligence is brought to him of the death of his wife Fulvia, on which he repairs to Rome, where an altercation

takes place between him and Cæsar; Lepidus interposes between the disputants, and their wranglings are healed by the marriage of Antony with Octavia, Cæsar's sister. The amity between the rival triumvirs is, however, but of brief duration, and war being declared between them, Antony is defeated at the battle of Actium. After this fatal engagement, through his ambassador Euphronius, he sues to Cæsar to be permitted to remain in Egypt, or, this not being granted, that he may reside as a private man at Athens. The conqueror refuses both petitions, and the strife is renewed. In a battle by land Antony is victorious, but his forces in a sea-fight are completely vanquished, and he ends his life by falling on his own sword. Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, at whose court Antony has been residing, is taken prisoner by Cæsar; whilst a captive she obtains possession of an asp, a small venomous serpent, the bite of which, when applied to her breast, kills her, and the play concludes with an eloquent harangue from Cæsar. Speaking of this play, Dr. Johnson says it "keeps curiosity always busy and the passions always interested. The continual hurry of the action, the variety of incidents, and the quick succession of one passage to another, call the mind forwards without intermission, from the first act to the last."

Аст I.

Antony's luxurious mode of Living.

You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know, It is not Cæsar's natural vice to hate One great competitor. From Alexandria This is the news: he fishes, drinks, and wastes The lamps of night in revel; is not more manlike Than Cleopatra; nor the queen of Ptolemy More womanly than he hardly gave audience, or Vouchsaf'd to think he had partners. You shall find

there A man, who is the abstract of all faults That all men follow.

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