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Know, good mother, I had rather be their servant in my way, Than sway with them in theirs. Com.
On, to the Capitol ! [Flourish. Cornets. Exeunt in state, as
before. The Tribunes remain,
Bru. All tongues speak of him, and the bleared
sights Are spectacled to see him : your prattling nurse Into a rapture lets her baby cry, While she chats him :a the kitchen malkin pins Her richest lockram o 'bout her reechy neck, "shouts" would perhaps be more suitable than either "cheers! or “claps.” Thus, in Act I. Sc. 9, Coriolanus remonstrates,
You shout me forth In acclamations hyperbolical.” b – Malkin -] See note (d), p. 213, Vol. II.
C – lockram ] Lockram appears to have been a sort of cheap, coarse linen.
Clambering the walls to eye him : stalls, bulks, Of no more soul nor fitness for the world, windows,
Than camels in their war; who have their provand Are smother'd up, leads till’d, and ridges hors d Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows With variable complexions; all agreeing
For sinking under them. In earnestness to see him: seld-shown flamens *
This, as you say, suggested
To kindle their dry stubble; and their blaze
Shall darken him for ever.
On the sudden,
Enter a Messenger. BRU.
Then our office may, During his power, go sleep.
What's the matter? Sic. He cannot temperately transport his Mess. You are sent for to the Capitol. honours
'Tis thought that Marcius shall be consul : From where he should begin and end; but will I have seen the dumb men throng to see him, Lose those he hath won.
And the blind to hear him speak; matrons flung BRU. In that there's comfort.
Doubt not Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchief, The commoners, for whom we stand, but they, Upon him as he pass'd: the nobles bended, Upon their ancient malice, will forget,
As to Jove's statue; and the commons made With the least cause, these his new honours ;
A shower and thunder, with their caps
and shouts: Which that he'll give them, make I as little
I never saw the like. question
Let's to the Capitol; As he is proud to do 't.
carry with us ears and eyes for the time, BRU. I heard him swear,
But hearts for the event. Were he to stand for consul, never would he
Have with you. [Exeunt. Appear i' the market-place, nor on him put The napless * vesture of humility; Nor, showing (as the manner is) his wounds To the people, beg their stinking breaths.
SCENE II.-The same. Sic.
The Capitol. Bru, It was his word : 0, he would miss it, rather
Enter two Officers, to lay cushions.
1 OFF. Come, come, they are almost here. Sic.
I wish no better, How many stand for consulships ? Than have him hold that purpose, and to put it
2 OFF. Three, they say: but 't is thought of In execution.
every one, Coriolanus will carry it. BRU. 'T is most like, he will.
1 OFF. That's a brave fellow; but he's Sic. It shall be to him, then, as our good wills, vengeance proud, and loves not the common A sure destruction.
people. Bru. So it must fall out
2 OFF. Faith, there have been many great To him or our authorities. For an end,
men that have flattered the people, who ne'er We must suggest the people in what hatred loved them; and there be many that they have He still hath held them; that to's power he loved, they know not wherefore : so that, if they would
love they know not why, they hate upon no Have made them mules, silenc'd their pleaders, better a ground: therefore, for Coriolanus neither And dispropertied their freedoms: holding them, to care whether they love or hate him, manifests In human action and capacity,
the true knowledge he has in their disposition ;
(*) Old text, Naples.
c Shall reach the people,-) In th
People." The correction is Theobald's. Mr. Knight suggested, “Shall touch the people," which is equally probable and good.
seld-shown flamens-] Priests seldom visible. - as our good wills,-) That is, as our profit requires
and, out of his noble carelessness, lets them A Sennet. Enter, with Lictors before them, Comiplainly see't.
NIUS the Consul, MENENIUS, CORIOLANUS, 1 OFF. If he did not care whether he had many other Senators, SICINIUS and Brutus. their love or no, he waved indifferently 'twixt doing The Senators take their places; the Tribunes them neither good nor harm; but he seeks their take theirs also by themselves. hate with greater devotion than they can render it him; and leaves nothing undone that may fully Men. Having determined of the Volsces, discover him their opposite. Now, to seem to And to send for Titus Lartius, it remains, affect the malice and displeasure of the people, is As the main point of this our after-meeting, as bad as that which he dislikes,—to flatter them To gratify his noble service that hath for their love.
Thus stood for his country: therefore, please you, 2 OFF. He hath deserved worthily of his Most reverend and grave elders, to desire country; and his ascent is not by such easy The present consul, and last general degrees as those who, having been supple and In our well-found successes, to report courteous to the people, bonneted," without any A little of that worthy work perform’d further deed to heave them at all into their esti- By Caius Marcius Coriolanus ;* whom mation and report: but he hath so planted his We meet of here, both to thank, and to remember honours in their eyes, and his actions in their With honours like himself. hearts, that for their tongues to be silent, and not 1 SEN.
Speak, good Cominius : confess so much, were a kind of ingrateful injury; Leave nothing out for length, and make us think to report otherwise, were a malice, that, giving Rather our state's defective for requital, itself the lie, would pluck reproof and rebuke from Than we to stretch it out.- Masters o' the people, every ear that heard it.
We do request your kindest ears; and, after, 1 OFF. No more of him ; he's a worthy man: Your loving motion toward the common body, make way, they are coming.
To yield what passes here.
bonneted,-) This is accepted as meaning, took off the cap, as in “Othello," Act I. Sc. 1, we have,– "Oft capp'd to him :" bui it may signify,—invested with the badye of consular dignity.
(*) Old text, Martius Caius, &c.
(1) Old text, met. b- to heave them-) Pope's emendation; the old text reading “to have them," &c.
We are convented When with his Amazonian chint he drove Upon a pleasing treaty; and have hearts
The bristled lips before him : he bestrid Inclinable to honour and advance
An o'er-press'd Roman, and i' the consul's view The theme of our assembly.
Slew three opposers : Tarquin's self he met, BRU.
Which the rather And struck him on his knee: in that day's feats We shall be bless'd to do, if he remember When he might act the woman in the scene, A kinder value of the people than
He prov'd best man i' the field, and for his meed He hath hereto priz’d them at.
Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil-age MEN.
That's off, that's off ;* Man-enter'd thus, he waxed like a sea; I would you rather had been silent. Please you And, in the brunt of seventeen battles since, To hear Cominius speak ?
He lurch'd all swords of the garland. For this Bru. Most willingly :
last, But yet my caution was more pertinent,
Before and in Corioli, let me say, Than the rebuke you give it.
I cannot speak him home: he stopp'd the fliers; Men.
He loves your people ; And by his rare example made the coward But tie him not to be their bedfellow.
Turn terror into sport: as weeds before Worthy Cominius, speak.
A vessel under sail, so men obey'd, [CORIOLANUS rises, and offers to go away. And fell below his stem : his sword, Death's stamp,
Nay, keep your place. Where it did mark, it took ; from face to foot 1 SEN. Sit, Coriolanus; never shame to hear He was a thing of blood, whose every motion What you have nobly done.
Was tim’d with dying cries : alone he enter'd COR.
Your honours' pardon ; The mortal gate of the city, which he painted I had rather have my wounds to heal again, With shunless destiny; aidless came off, Than hear say how I got them.
And with a sudden re-enforcement struck BRU.
Sir, I hope Corioli like a planet: now all's his ; My words dis-bench'd you not.
When by and by the din of war 'gan pierce Cor.
No, sir : yet oft, His ready sense ; then straight his doubled spirit When blows have made me stay, I fled from Re-quicken'd what in flesh was fatigate, words.
[people, And to the battle came he ; where he did You sooth'd not, therefore hurt not: but your Run reeking o'er the lives of men, as if I love them as they weigh.
'T were a perpetual spoil : and, till we callid MEN.
Pray now, sit down. Both field and city ours, he never stood Cor. I had rather have one scratch my head To ease his breast with panting. ị the sun
Worthy nian! When the alarum were struck, than idly sit
1 Sen. He cannot but with measure fit the hoTo hear my nothings monster’d.
[Exit. / Which we devise him. MEN. Masters of the people,
Our spoils he kick’d at; Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter, And look'd upon things precious, as they were (That's thousand to one good one) when you now The common muck of the world : he covets less see,
Than misery itself would give; rewards
ears to hear it ?--Proceed, To spend the time to end it.
He's right noble:
OFF. He doth appear.
on 's *
To make thee consul.
(*) Old text, on ones. a That's off, that's oft;] That's out of the way, not called for.
b He lurch'd all swords of the garland.) A burch at cards signifies an easy victory. To lurch all swords of the garland meant
(1) Old text, Shinne. then, as Malone expresses it,"to gain from all other warriors the wreath of victory, with ease, and incontestable superiority." & Once,-) See note (), p. 128, Vol. I.
It is a part
we must also tell him our noble acceptance of them. My life and services.
Ingratitude is monstrous; and for the multitude to MEN. It then remains,
be ingrateful, were to make a monster of the mulThat you do speak to the people.
titude; of the which we being members, should COR.
I do beseech you, bring ourselves to be monstrous members. Let me o'er-leap that custom ; for I cannot
1 Cır. And to make us no better thought of, a the gown,
stand naked, and entreat them, little help will serve ; for once we stood up about For my wounds' sake, to give their sufferage :
he himself stuck not to call us—the manyPlease
not Must have their voices; neither will they bate that our heads are some brown, some black, some One jot of ceremony.
auburn,* some bald, but that our wits are so MEN. Put them not to't:
diversely coloured: and truly I think, if all our wits Pray you, go fit yoų to the custom ;
were to issue out of one skull, they would fly east, And take to you, as your predecessors have, west, north, south ; and their consent of one Your honour with your form.
direct way should be at once to all the points Cor. That I shall blush in acting, and might well 2 Cit. Think you so ? which way do you judge
2 Be taken from the people.
my wit would fly? BRU.
3 Cır. Nay, your wit will not so soon out as Cor. To brag unto them,—thus I did, and another man's will,—'tis strongly wedged up in a thus ;—.
[hide, block-head: but if it were at liberty, 't would, sure, Show them the unaching scars which I should southward. As if I had receiv'd them for the hire
2 Cit. Why that Of their breath only !
3 Cır. To lose itself in a fog; where being MEN.
Do not stand upon't.- three parts melted away with rotten dews, the We recommend to you, tribunes of the people, fourth would return for conscience sake, to help to Our purpose to them ;-and to our noble consul
get thee a wife. Wish we all joy and honour.
2 Cır. You are never without your tricks :-you Sen. To Coriolanus come all joy and honour ! may, you may." [Flourish. Exeunt all except SICINiusand Brutus. 3 Čit. Are you all resolved to give your voices ?
Bru. You see how he intends to use the people. But that's no matter, the greater part carries it. Sic. May they perceive's intent! He will re- I say, if he would incline to the people, there was quire them,
never a worthier man.-Here he comes, and in the As if he did contemn what he requested
gown of humility : mark his behaviour. We are Should be in them to give.
not to stay all together, but to come by him where BRU. Come, we'll inform them
he stands, by ones, by twos, and by threes. He's Of our proceedings here: on the market-place, to make his requests by particulars; wherein every I know, they do attend us.
[Exeunt. one of us has a single honour, in giving him our
own voices with our own tongues : therefore follow
shall SCENE III.—The Same. The Forum. All. Content, content.
go by him.
Enter several Citizens.
Enter CORIOLANUS and MENENIUS.
1 Cır. Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him.
2 Cit. We may, sir, if we will.
3 Cit. We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a power that we have no power to do; for if he show us his wounds, and tell us his deeds, we are to put our tongues into those wounds, and speak for them; so, if he tell us his noble deeds,
MEN. O, sir, you are not right: have you not
What must I say?-
b You may, you may.) This colloquialism, which, like another, sometimes heard at this day, in answer to idle badinage, " Go it, go it," appears to mean,-you have full liberty to divert yourself, occurs again in “Troilus and Cressida" Act III. Sc. 2 :
(*) Old text, Abram. "HEL. By my troth, sweet lord, thou hast a fine forehead. Pan. Ay, you may, you may."