« ForrigeFortsæt »
Vol. Ay, and burn too.
Enter MENENIUS and Senators.
Even as she speaks, why, all their hearts were
Men. Come, come, you have been too rough, For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free
something too rough;
As words to little purpose.
There's no remedy; Go, and be rul'd: although, I know, thou had'st
You must return, and mend it.
Unless, by not so doing, our good city
Cleave in the midst, and perish.
Pray be counsel'd:
I have a heart as little apt as yours,
But yet a brain, that leads my use of anger,
Men. Before he should thus stoop to the herd, but that The violent fit o'the time craves it as physic For the whole state, I would put mine armour on, Which I can scarcely bear.
Well said, noble woman;
Return to the tribunes. Well, Men. Repent what you have spoke. Cor. For them?—I cannot do it to the gods; Must I then do't to them?
Vol. You are too absolute; Though therein you can never be too noble, But when extremities speak. I have heard you say, Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends, I' the war do grow together: Grant that, and tell
In peace, what each of them by th' other lose, That they combine not there.
A good demand. Vol. If it be honour, in your wars, to seem The same you are not, (which, for your best ends, You adopt your policy,) how is it less, or worse, That it shall hold companionship in peace With honour, as in war; since that to both It stands in like request?
Why force you this?
Vol. Because that now it lies you on to speak
To the people; not by your own instruction,
Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you to,
But with such words that are but roted in
Your tongue, though but bastards, and syllables
Of no allowance, to your bosom's truth.
Now, this no more dishonours you at all,
Than to take in a town with gentle words,
Which else would put you to your fortune, and
The hazard of much blood.-
I would dissemble with my nature, where
My fortunes, and my friends, at stake, requir'd
I should do so in honour: I am in this,
Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles;
And you will rather shew our general louts
How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon them,
For the inheritance of their loves, and safeguard
Of what that want might ruin.
Thy knee bussing the stones, (for in such business
Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant,
More learned than their 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.
He must, and will:—
Pr'ythee, now, say, you will, and go about it.
Cor. Must I go shew them my unbarb'd sconce?
With 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 plot to lose,
This mould of Marcius, they to dust should grind it,
And throw it against the wind.-To the market-
I shall discharge to the life.
You have put me now to such a part, which never
Come, come, we'll prompt you.
Vol. I pr'ythee 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.
Away, my disposition, and possess me
Well, I must do't:
Some harlot's spirit! My throat of war be 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 I surcease to honour mine own truth,
And, by my body's action, teach my mind
A most inherent baseness.
At thy choice then: To beg of thee, it is my more dishonour, Than thou of them. Come 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 owe thy pride thyself.
Cor. Pray, be content; Mother, I am going to the market-place; Chide me no more. I'll mountebank their loves, Cog their hearts from them, and 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 way of flattery, further.
Sic. Assemble presently the people hither:
And when they hear me say, It shall be so
I' the right and strength o' the commons, be it either
For death, for fine, or banishment, then let them,
If I say, fine, cry, fine; if death, cry death;
Insisting on the old prerogative
And power i'the truth o'the cause.
I shall inform them. Bru. And when such time they have begun to cry, Let them not cease, but with a din confus'd Enforce the present execution
Of what we chance to sentence.
Sic. Make them be strong, and ready for this hint, When we shall hap to give't them.
Nay; temperately: Your promise.
Cor. The fires i'the lowest hell fold in the people!
Call me their traitor!-Thou injurious tribune!
Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths,
In thy hands clutch'd as many millions, in
Thy lying tongue both numbers, I would say,
Thou liest, unto thee, with a voice as free
As I do pray the gods.
Mark you this, people?
Cit. To the rock with him; to the rock with him!
We need not put new matter to his charge:
What you have seen him do, and heard him speak,
Beating your officers, cursing yourselves,
Opposing laws with strokes, and here defying
Those whose great power must try him; even this,
So criminal, and in such capital kind,
Deserves the extremest death.
What, do you prate of service? Bru. I talk of that, that know it.
Put him to choler straight: He hath been us'd
Ever to conquer, and to have his worth
Of contradiction: Being once chaf'd, he cannot
Be rein'd again to temperance; then he speaks
What's in his heart; and that is there, which looks
With us to break his neck.
Enter CORIOLANUS, MENENIUS, COMINIUS,
Senators, and Patricians,
Sic. Well, here he comes.
Calmly, I do beseech you. Cor. Ay, as an ostler, that for the poorest piece Will bear the knave by the volume.-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 shews of peace, And not our streets with war!
The promise that you made your mother? Com.
Cor. Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death, Vagabond exile, flaying; Pent to 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't with saying, Good morrow.
For that he has
(As much as in him lies) from time to time
Envied against the people, seeking means
To pluck away their power; as now at last
Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers
That do distribute it; in the name o'the people,
And in the power of us the tribunes, we,
Even from this instant, banish him our city;
In peril of precipitation
From off the rock Tarpeian, never more
To enter our Rome gates: I' the people's name,
I say, it shall be so.
It shall be so,
Cor. Shall I be charg'd no further than this pre-It shall be so; let him away: he's banish'd, Must all determine here? [sent? And so it shall be. [friends ;Com. Hear me, my masters, and my common Sic. He's sentenc'd: no more hearing. Com. Let me speak:
I have been consul, and can shew from Rome,
Her enemies' marks upon me. I do love
My country's good, with a respect more tender,
More holy and profound, than mine own life,
My dear wife's estimate, her womb's increase,
And treasure of my loins: then if I would
We know your drift: Speak what?
Bru. There's no more to be said, but he is
As enemy to the people, and his country:
It shall be so.
As the dead carcasses of unburied men
That do corrupt my air, I hanish 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; till, 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, to some nation
That won you without blows! Despising,
For you, the city, thus I turn my back:
There is a world elsewhere.
[Exeunt Coriolanus, Cominius, Menenius,
Senators, and Patricians.
Æd. The people's enemy is gone, is gone!
Cit. Our enemy's banish'd! he is gone! Hoo! hoo!
[The people shout, and throw up their caps.
Sic, Go, see him out at gates, and follow him,
As he hath follow'd you, with all despite;
Give him deserv'd vexation. Let a guard
Attend us through the city.
[come :Cit. Come, come, let us see him out at gates; The gods preserve our noble tribunes!-Come.
And lose advantage, which doth ever cool
I' the absence of the needer.
Thou hast years upon thee; and thou art too fall
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.
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 every foot.
Give me thy hand:[Exeunt.
SCENE II.-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 shewn our power, SCENE I.—The same. Before the Gate of the City. Let us seem humbler after it is done, Enter CORIOLANUS, VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, MENE-Than when it was a doing. NIUS, COMINIUS, and several young Patricians. Cor. Come, leave your tears; a brief farewell:the beast
With many heads butts me away.-Nay, mother,
Where is your ancient courage? you were us'd
To say, extremity was the trier of spirits;
That common chances common men could bear;
That, when the sea was calm, all boats alike
Shewed mastership in floating: fortune's blows,
When most struck home, being gentle wounded,
A noble cunning: you were us'd to load me With precepts, that would make invincible The heart that conn'd them.
Vir. O heavens! O heavens!
Vol. Now the red pestilence strike all trades in
And occupations perish!
I shall be lov'd, when I am lack'd. Nay, mother,
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 mo-
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 to wail inevitable strokes,
As 'tis to laugh at them.-My mother, you wot well,
My hazards 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
Will, or exceed the common, or be caught
With cautelous baits and practice.
Sic. Bid them home: Say, their great enemy is gone, and they Stand in their ancient strength. Bru.
Dismiss them home. [Exit Edile.
Nay, and shall hear some.-Will you be gone?
Vir. You shall stay too: (To Sicin.) I would, I
had the power
To say so to my husband.
Are you mankind?
Vol. Ay, fool; Is that a shame?—Note but this
Was not a man my father? Hadst thou foxship
To banish him that struck more blows for Rome,
Than thou hast spoken words?
O blessed heavens!
Vol. More noble blows, than ever thou wise
And for Rome's good.-I'll tell thee what-Yet
Nay, but thou shalt stay too :-I would my son
Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him,
His good sword in his hand.
He'd make an end of thy posterity. Vol. Bastards, and all.
Whither wilt thou go? Take good Cominius
With thee a-while: Determine on some course,
More than a wild exposure to each chance
That starts i' the way before thee.
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 ;
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 be made.
Pray, let us go.
Vol. Now, pray, sir, get you gone:
You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear
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,)
Whom you have banish'd, does exceed you all.
Bru. Well, well, we'll leave you.
Why stay we to be baited
With one that wants her wits?
Take my prayers with you.—
I would the gods had nothing else to do,
But to confirm my curses! Could I meet them
But once a day, it would unclog my heart
Of what lies heavy to't.
You have told them home,
And, by my troth, you have cause.
Vol. Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself,
And so shall starve with feeding.-Come, let's go :
Leave this faint puling, and lament as I do,
In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come.
Men. Fy, fy, fy.
SCENE III-A Highway between Rome and Antium.
Enter a Roman and a Volce, meeting.
Rom. I know you well, sir, and you know me:
your name, I think, is Adrian.
Vol. It is so, sir: truly, I have forgot you.
Rom. I am a Roman; and my services are, as
you are, against them: Know you me yet?
Vol. Nicanor? No.
Vol. You had more beard, when I last saw you; but your favour is well appeared by your tongue. What's the news in Rome? I have a note from the Volscian state, to find you out there: You have well saved me a day's journey.
Rom. There hath been in Rome strange insurrection: the people against the senators, patricians, and nobles.
Vol. Hath been! Is it ended then? Our state thinks not so; they are in a most warlike preparation, and hope to come upon them in the heat of their division.
Rom. The main blaze of it is past, but a small thing would make it flame again. For the nobles receive so to heart the banishment of that worthy Coriolanus, that they are in a ripe aptness, to take all power from the people, and to pluck from them their tribunes for ever. This lies glowing, I can tell you, and is almost mature for the violent breaking out.
Vol. Coriolanus banished?
Rom. Banished, sir.
Vol. You will be welcome with this intelligence, Nicanor.
Rom. The day serves well for them now. I have heard it said, the fittest time to corrupt a man's wife, is when she's fallen out with her husband. Your noble Tullus Aufidias will appear well in these wars, his great opposer, Coriolanus, being now in no request of his country.
Vol. He cannot choose. I am most fortunate, thus accidentally to encounter you: You have ended my business, and I will merrily accompany you home.
Rom. I shall, between this and supper, tell you most strange things from Rome; all tending to the good of their adversaries. Have you an army ready, say you?
Vol. A most royal one: the centurions, and their charges, distinctly billetted, already in the entertainment, and to be on foot at an hour's warning.
Rom. I am joyful to hear of their readiness, and am the man, I think, that shall set them in present action. So, sir, heartily well met, and most glad of your company.
SCENE IV.-Antium. Before Aufidius's House. Enter CORIOLANUS, in mean apparel, disguised and muffled.
Cor. A goodly city is this Antium: City,
'Tis I that made thy widows; many an heir
Of these fair edifices 'fore my wars
Have I heard groan, and drop: then know me not;
Lest that thy wives with spits, and boys with stones,
Enter a Citizen.
In puny battle slay me.-Save you, sir.
Cit. And you.
Direct me, if it be your will,
Where great Aufidius lies: Is he in Antium?
Cit. He is, and feasts the nobles of the state,
At his house this night.
Which is his house, 'beseech you?
Cit. This, here, before you.
Thank you, sir; farewell. [Exit Citizen. O, world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast
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 broke their
To take the one the other, by some chance,
Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends,
And interjoin their issues. So with me:-
My birth-place hate I, and my love's upon
This enemy town.-I'll enter: if he slay me,
He does fair justice; if he give me way,
I'll do his country service.
SCENE V. The same. A Hall in Aufidius's House,
Music within. Enter a Servant.
1 Ser. Wine, wine, wine! What service is here! [Exit. I think our fellows are asleep.
2 Ser. Where's Cotus? my master calls for him.Cotus! [Exit. Cor. A goodly house: The feast smells well; but I Appear not like a guest.
Re-enter the first Servant.
1 Serv. What would you have, friend? Whence are you? Here's no place for you: Pray, go to the
Enter a third Servant. The first meets him. 3 Serv. What fellow's this?
1 Serv. A strange one as ever I looked on: I cannot get him out o'the house: Pr'ythee, call my master to him.
3 Serv. What have you to do here, fellow? Pray
you, avoid the house.
Cor. Let me but stand; I will not hurt your
3 Serv. What are you?
Cor. A gentleman.
3 Serv. A marvellous poor one.
Cor. True, so I am.
3 Serv, I' the city of kites and crows?-What an ass it is?Then thou dwellest with daws too? Cor. No, I serve not thy master. [master? 3 Serv. How, sir! Do you meddle with my Cor. Ay, 'tis an honester service than to meddle with thy mistress:
Thou prat'st, and prat'st; serve with thy trencher, (Beats him away.) Enter AUFIDIUS and the second Servant.
Auf. Where is this fellow?
2 Serv. Here, sir; I'd have beaten him like a dog, but for disturbing the lords within. Auf. Whence comest thou? What wouldest thou? Thy name?
Why speak'st not? Speak, man: What's thy name?
If, Tullus, (Unmufling.)
Not yet thou know'st me, and seeing me, dost not
Think me for the man I am, necessity
Commands me name myself.
What is thy name? (Servants retire.)
Cor. A name unmusical to the Volscians' ears, And harsh in sound to thine.
Auf. Say, what's thy name? Thou hast a grim appearance, and thy face Bears a command in't; though thy tackle's torn, Thou shew'st a noble vessel: What's thy name? Cor. Prepare thy brow to frown: Know'st thou me yet?
Auf. I know thee not:-Thy name?
Cor. My name is Caius Marcius, who hath done
To thee particularly, and to all the Volces,
Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may
My surname, Coriolanus: The painful service,
The extreme dangers, and the drops of blood
Shed for my thankless country, are requited
But with that surname; a good memory,
And witness of the malice and displeasure
Which thou should'st bear me only that name
The cruelty and envy of the people, [remains;
Permitted by our dastard nobles, who
Have all forsook me, hath devour'd the rest;
And suffer'd me by the voice of slaves to be
Whoop'd out of Rome. Now, this extremity
Hath brought me to thy hearth: Not out of hope,
Mistake me not, to save my life; for if
I had fear'd death, of all the men i' the world
I would have 'voided thee: but in mere spite,
To be full quit of those my banishers,
Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast
A heart of wreak in thee, that will reyenge
Thine own particular wrongs, and stop those maims
Of shame seen through thy country, speed thee
And make my misery serve thy turn; so use it,
That my revengeful services may prove
As benefits to thee; for I will fight
Against my canker'd country with the spleen
Of all the under fiends. But if so be
Thou dar'st not this, and that to prove more fortunes
Thou art tir'd, then, in a word, I also am
Longer to live most weary, and present
My throat to thee, and to thy ancient malice:
Which not to cut, would shew thee but a fool;
Since I have ever follow'd thee with hate
Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country's breast,
And cannot live but to thy shame, unless
It be to do thee service.
O Marcius, Marcius,
Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my
A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter [heart
Should from yon cloud speak divine things, and say,
'Tis true; I'd not believe them more than thee,
All noble Marcius.-O, 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 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 loved the maid I married; never man
Sighed 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. Why, thou Mars! I tell
We have a power on foot; and I had purpose
Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,
Or lose mine arm for't. Thou hast beat me out
Twelve several times, and I have 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. Worthy
Had we no quarrel else to Rome, but that
Thou art thence banish'd, we would muster all
From twelve to seventy; and, pouring war
Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,
Like a bold flood o'er-beat. O, come, go in,
And take our friendly senators by the hands;
Who now are here, taking their leaves of me,
Who am prepar'd against your territories,
Though not for Rome itself.
You bless me, gods!
Auf. Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou wilt
The leading of thine own revenges, take
The one half of my commission; and set down,-
As best thou art experienc'd, since thou know'st
Thy country's strength and weakness,—thine own
Whether to knock against the gates of Rome,
Or rudely visit them in parts remote,
To fright them, ere destroy. But come in:
Let me commend thee first to those, that shall
Say, yea, to thy desires. A thousand welcomes!
And more a friend than e'er an enemy;
Yet, Marcius, that was much. Your hand! Most
[Exeunt Coriolanus and Aufidius, 1 Serv. (Advancing.) Here's a strange alteration! 2 Serv. By my hand, I had thought to have strucken him with a oudgel; and yet my mind gave me, his clothes made a false report of him.
1 Serv. What an arm he has! He turned me about with his finger and his thumb, as one would set up a top.
2 Serv. Nay, I knew by his face that there was something in him: he had, sir, a kind of face, methought,-I cannot tell how to term it.
1 Serv. He had so; looking as it were,-'Would I were hanged, but I thought there was more in him than I could think.
2 Serv. So did I, I'll be sworn: he is simply the rarest man i' the world.
1 Serv. I think, he is; but a greater soldier than