Imágenes de páginas

I have tumbled past the throw; and in his praise Have, almost, stamp'd the leasing: Therefore, fellow, I must have leave to pass.

1 G. 'Faith, sir, if you had told as many lies in his behalf, as you have uttered words in your own, you should not pass here: no, though it were as virtuous to lie, as to live chastely. Therefore, go back.

Men. Pr'ythee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius, always factionary on the part of your general. 2 G. Howsoever you have been his liar, (as you say, you have,) I am one, that telling true under him, must say, you cannot pass. Therefore, go back. Men. Has he dined, can'st thou tell? for I would not speak with him till after dinner.

1 G. You are a Roman, are you?

Men. I am as thy general is.

1 G. Then you should hate Rome, as he does. Can you, when you have pushed out your gates the very defender of them, and, in a violent popular ignorance, given your enemy your shield, think to front his revenges with the easy groans of old women, the virginal palms of your daughters, or with the palsied intercession of such a decayed dotant as you seem to be? Can you think to blow out the intended fire your city is ready to flame in, with such weak breath as this? No, you are deceived; therefore, back to Rome, and prepare for your execution: you are condemned, our general has sworn you out of reprieve and pardon. Men. Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, he would use me with estimation.

2 G. Come, my captain knows you not.

Men. I mean, thy general.

1 G. My general cares not for you. Back, I say, go, lest I let forth your half-pint of blood ;-back,that's the utmost of your having :-back.

Men. Nay, but fellow, fellow,➖➖

Given the falsehood such a sanction as to render it current.

[COR. 100]

Enter CORIOLanus and Aufidius.

Cor. What's the matter?

Men. Now, you companion, I'll say an errand for you; you shall know now that I am in estimation; you shall perceive that a Jack guardant cannot office me from my son Coriolanus: guess, but by my entertainment with him, if thou standest not i' th' state of hanging, or of some death more long in spectatorship, and crueller in suffering; behold now presently, and swoon for what's to come upon thee.-The glorious gods sit in hourly synod about thy particular prosperity, and love thee no worse than thy old father Menenius does! O, my son! my son! thou art preparing fire for us; look thee, here's water to quench it. I was hardly moved to come to thee; but being assured, none but myself could move thee, I have been blown out of your gates with sighs; and conjure thee to pardon Rome, and thy petitionary countrymen. The good gods assuage thy wrath, and turn the dregs of it upon this varlet here; this, who, like a block, hath denied my access to thee.

Cor. Away!

Men. How! away?

Cor. Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs Are servanted to others: Though I owe

My revenge properly, my remission lies

In Volcian breasts. That we have been familiar,
Ingrate forgetfulness shall poison, rather

Than pity note how much.-Therefore, be gone.
Mine ears against your suits are stronger, than
Your gates against my force. Yet, for I lov'd thee,
Take this along; I writ it for thy sake, [Gives a letter.
And would have sent it. Another word, Menenius,
I will not hear thee speak.-This man, Aufidius,
Was my beloved in Rome: yet thou behold'st-

'Though I have a peculiar right in revenge, in the power of forgiveness the Volcians are conjoined.

[COR. 101]

Auf. You keep a constant temper.

[Exeunt CORIOLANUS and Aufid. 1 G. Now, sir, is your name Menenius?

2 G. "Tis a spell, you see, of much power: You know the way home again.

1 G. Do you hear how we are shent' for keeping your greatness back?

2 G. What cause, do you think, I have to swoon? Men. I neither care for the world, nor your general: for such things as you, I can scarce think there's any, you are so slight. He that hath a will to die by himself, fears it not from another. Let your general do his worst. For you, be that you are, long; and your misery increase with your age! I say to you, as I was said to, Away! [Exit.

1 G. A noble fellow, I warrant him. 2 G. The worthy fellow is our general: He is the rock, the oak not to be wind-shaken.


SCENE III.-The tent of Coriolanus.

Enter CORIOLANUS, AUFIDIUS, and others.
Cor. We will before the walls of Rome to-morrow
Set down our host.-My partner in this action,
You must report to th' Volcian lords, how plainly 3
I have borne this business.

Only their ends 4
You have respected; stopp'd your ears against
The general suit of Rome; never admitted
A private whisper, no, not with such friends
That thought them sure of you.


This last old man,
Whom with a crack'd heart I have sent to Rome,
Lov'd me above the measure of a father;

Nay, godded me, indeed. Their latest refuge
Was to send him for whose old love, I have

(Though I show'd sourly to him,) once more offer'd


shent, rebuked, disgraced.

3 plainly, openly.

[COR. 102]

2 By his own hands.

4 That is, of the Volcian lords.

The first conditions, which they did refuse,
And cannot now accept, to grace him only,
That thought he could do more; a very little
I have yielded too; Fresh embassies, and suits,
Nor from the state, nor private friends, hereafter
Will I lend ear to.-Ha! what shout is this?

[Shout within.

Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow
In the same time 'tis made? I will not.-

Enter, in mourning habits, VIRGILIA, VOLUMNIA,
leading young MARCIUS, VALERIA, and Attendants.
My wife comes foremost; then the honour'd mould
Wherein this trunk was fram'd, and in her hand
The grand-child to her blood. But, out, affection!
All bond and privilege of nature, break!
Let it be virtuous, to be obstinate.-

What is that curt'sy 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.


My lord and husband!

Cor. These eyes are not the same I wore in Rome.
Vir. The sorrow, that delivers us thus chang'd,

Makes you think so.'


Like a dull actor now,

I have forgot my part, and I am out,

Virgilia purposely misinterprets her husband's words.


says, These eyes are not the same, meaning, that he saw things with other eyes. She lays hold of the word eyes to turn his attention to their pitiful dejected aspect.

[COR. 103]

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, i' th' earth; [Kneels. Of thy deep duty more impression show

Than that of common sons.

O, stand up bless'd!
Whilst, with no softer cushion than the flint,
I kneel before thee; and unproperly

Show duty, as mistaken all the while
Between the child and parent.

What is this?
Your knees to me? to your corrected son?
Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach
Fillip the stars; then let the mutinous winds
Strike the proud cedars 'gainst the fiery sun;
Murd'ring impossibility, to make
What cannot be, slight work.



Thou art my warrior;
I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady?
Cor. The noble sister of Publicola,

The moon of Rome; chaste as the icicle,
That's curded by the frost from purest snow,
And hangs on Dian's temple: Dear Valeria!
Vol. This is a poor epitome of you,

[Showing young MARCIUS.

Which by th' interpretation of full time3
May show like all yourself.


The god of soldiers,

With the consent of supreme Jove, inform
Thy thoughts with nobleness; that thou may'st prove

1 Juno.

• hungry, sterile, unprofitable.

3 Which, in the developement of time, may equal you. [COR. 104]

« AnteriorContinuar »