Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

Auf. I know thee not.

[blocks in formation]

I love 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. Why, thou Mars! I tell thee.
We have a power on foot; and I had purpose
Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn 7,
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 Marcius,
Had we no quarrel else to Rome, but that
Thou art hence banish'd, we would muster all

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.

Cor. My name is Caius Marcius, who hath done From twelve to seventy; and, pouring war 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 3, And witness of the malice and displeasure Which thou shouldst bear me: only that name remains;

The cruelty and envy of the people,
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 4 in thee, that will revenge
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 5 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 show 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.

[blocks in formation]

You bless me, gods!
Auf. Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou wilt have
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 cudgel; 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 he, you wot one.

2 Serv. Who? my master?

1 Serv. Nay, it's no matter for that.

2 Serv. Worth six of him.

1 Serv. Nay, not so neither; but I take him to be the greater soldier.

2 Serv. 'Faith, look you, one cannot tell how to say that for the defence of a town, our general is excellent.

1 Serv. Ay, and for an assault too.

Re-enter third Servant.

[blocks in formation]

3 Serv. I would not be a Roman, of all nations; | Blush, that the world goes well; who rather had, I had as lieve be a condemned man.

[merged small][ocr errors]

1 Serv. Why do you say, thwack our general? 3 Serv. I do not say, thwack our general; but he was always good enough for him.

2 Serv. Come, we are fellows and friends: he was ever too hard for him; I have heard him say so himself.

1 Serv. He was too hard for him directly, to say the truth on't before Corioli, he scotched him and notched him like a carbonado.'

Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold Dissentious numbers pestering streets, than see Our tradesmen singing in their shops, and going About their functions friendly.

[blocks in formation]

Sic. Your Coriolanus, sir, is not much miss'd, But with his friends: the commonwealth doth stand;

2 Serv. An he had been cannibally given, he might And so would do, were he more angry at it. have broiled and eaten him too.

1 Serv. But, more of thy news?

3 Serv. Why, he is so made on here within, as if he were son and heir to Mars: set at upper end o' the table: no question asked him by any of the senators, but they stand bald before him: Our general himself makes a mistress of him; sanctifies himself with's hand, and turns up the white o' the eye to his discourse. But the bottom of the news is, our general is cut i' the middle, and but one half of what he was yesterday; for the other has half, by the entreaty and grant of the whole table. He'll go, he says, and sowle 2 the porter of Rome gates by the ears: He will mow down all before him, and leave his passage polled.3

2 Serv. And he's as like to do't, as any man I can imagine.

3 Serv. Do't? he will do't: For, look you, sir, he has as many friends as enemies: which friends, sir, (as it were,) durst not (look you, sir,) show themselves (as we term it) his friends, whilst he's in directitude.

1 Serv. Directitude! what's that?

3 Serv. But when they shall see, sir, his crest up again, and the man in blood, they will out of their burrows, like rabbits after rain, and revel all with him. 1 Serv. But when goes this forward?

3 Serv. To-morrow; to-day; presently. You shall have the drum struck up this afternoon: 'tis, as it were, a parcel of their feast, and to be executed ere they wipe their lips.

2 Serv. Why then we shall have a stirring world again. This peace is nothing, but to rust iron, increase tailors, and breed ballad-makers.

1 Serv. Let me have war, say I; it exceeds peace, as far as day does night; its sprightly, waking, audible, and full of vent.4 Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible.

2 Serv. 'Tis so.

[blocks in formation]

Men. All's well; and might have been much better, if He could have temporiz'd.


Where is he, hear you? Men. Nay, I hear nothing; his mother and his wife Hear nothing from him.

Enter three or four Citizens. Cit. The gods preserve you both! Sic. Good e'en, our neighbours. Bru. Good e'en to you all, good e'en to you all. 1 Cit. Ourselves, our wives, and children, on our knees,

Are bound to pray for you both.
Live and thrive!
Bru. Farewell, kind neighbours: we wish'd Co-

Had lov'd you as we did.
Now the gods keep you.
Both Tri. Farewell, farewell. [Exeunt Citizens.
Sic. This is a happier and more comely time,
Than when these fellows ran about the streets,
Crying, Confusion.


Caius Marcius was

[blocks in formation]

Ed. Worthy tribunes, There is a slave, whom we have put in prison, Reports, the Volces with two several powers Are enter'd in the Roman territories; And with the deepest malice of the war Destroy what lies before them. Men. 'Tis Aufidius, Who, hearing of our Marcius' banishment, Thrusts forth his horns again into the world: Which were inshell'd, when Marcius stood for Rome, And durst not once peep out. Sic. Of Marcius?

Come, what talk you

[blocks in formation]

Bru. Go see this rumourer whipp'd. be,

The Volces dare break with us.

Men. Cannot be! We have record, that very well it can ; • Suffrage.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

As Hercules

Did shake down mellow fruit: You have made fair


Bru. But is this true, sir?


Ay; and you'll look pale

Before you find it other. All the regions

Do smilingly revolt; and, who resist,
Are only mock'd for valiant ignorance,

And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame him?
Your enemies, and his, find something in him.
Men. We are all undone, unless
The noble man have mercy.


Who shall ask it?

The tribunes cannot do't for shame: the people
Deserve such pity of him, as the wolf

Does of the shepherds: for his best friends, if they
Should say, Be good to Rome, they charg'd him even
As those should do that had deserv'd his hate,
And therein show'd like enemies.


'Tis true:

If he were putting to my house the brand
That should consume it, I have not the face
To say, 'Beseech you cease. — You have made fair

You and your crafts! you have crafted fair!

You have brought
A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
So incapable of help.

Say not, we brought it. Men. How! Was it we? We lov'd him; but, like beasts,

And cowardly nobles, gave way to your clusters,
Who did hoot him out o' the city.

But, I fear
They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius
The second name of men, obeys his points
As if he were his officer:- Desperation
Is all the policy, strength, and defence,
That Rome can make against them.

[blocks in formation]

1 Cit. The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let's home. I ever said, we were i' the wrong, when we banished him.

2 Cit. So did we all. But come, let's home.
[Exeunt Citizens.

Bru. I do not like this news,
Sic. Nor I.

Bru. Let's to the Capitol :

Would buy this for a lie.

Fights dragon-like, and does achieve as soon
As draw his sword: yet he hath left undone
That, which shall break his neck, or hazard mine,
Whene'er we come to our account

Lieu. Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry

Auf. All places yield to him ere he sits down;
Would half my And the nobility of Rome are his :

The senators, and patricians, love him too.
The tribunes are no soldiers; and their people
Pray, let us go. [Exeunt. Will be as rash in the repeal, as hasty

SCENE VII. - A Camp; at a small distance
from Rome.

Enter AUFIDIUS, and his Lieutenant.

Auf. Do they still fly to the Roman ?
Lieu. I do not know what witchcraft's in him; but
Your soldiers use him as the grace 'fore meat,
Their talk at table, and their thanks at end;
And you are darken'd in this action, sir,
Even by your own.

I cannot help it now;
Unless, by using means, I lame the foot

Of our design. He bears himself more proudlier
Even to my person, than I thought he would,
When first I did embrace him: Yet his nature
In that's no changeling; and I must excuse
What cannot be amended.

Yet I wish, sir,
(I mean for your particular,) you had not
Join'd in commission with him: but either
Had borne the action of yourself, or else
To him had left it solely.

Auf. I understand thee well; and be thou sure,
When he shall come to his account, he knows not
What I can urge against him. Although it seems,
And so he thinks, and is no less apparent

To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly,
And shows good husbandry for the Volscian state;

To expel him thence. I think, he'll be to Rome,
As is the osprey 2 to the fish, who takes it
By sovereignty of nature. First he was
A noble servant to them; but he could not
Carry his honours even: whether 'twas pride,
Which out of daily fortune ever taints
The happy man; whether defect of judgment,
To fail in the disposing of those chances
Which he was lord of; or whether nature,
Not to be other than one thing, not moving
From the casque3 to the cushion*, but commanding


Even with the same austerity and garb

As he controll'd the war; but, one of these,
(As he hath spices of them all, not all 5,
For I dare so far free him,) made him fear'd,
So hated, and so banish'd: But he has a merit,
To choke it in the utterance. So our virtues
Lie in the interpretation of the time;
And power, unto itself most commendable,
Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair
To extol what it hath done.

One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail;
Rights by rights fouler, strengths by strengths do


Come, let's away. When, Caius, Rome is thine, Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine. [Exeunt.

[ocr errors]


SCENE I. Rome. A publick Place. Enter MENENIUS, COMINIUS, SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and others.

Men. No, I'll not go: you hear, what he hath

Which was sometime his general; who lov'd him
In a most dear particular. He call'd me father:
But what o' that? Go, you that banish'd him,
A mile before his tent fall down, and kneel
The way unto his mercy: Nay, if he coy'd
To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home.
Com. He would not seem to know me.
Do you hear?
Com. Yet one time he did call me by my name:
I urg'd our old acquaintance, and the drops
That we have bled together. Coriolanus
He would not answer to: forbad all names;
He was a kind of nothing, titleless,

Till he had forg'd himself a name i' the fire
Of burning Rome.

1 Condescended unwillingly.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

I'll undertake it:

Yet to bite his lip,

1 think, he'll hear me.
And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me.
He was not taken well; he had not din'd:
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.

Bru. You know the very road into his kindness, And cannot lose your way. Men. Good faith, I'll prove him, Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge Of my success. [Exit.



He'll never hear him.


Com. I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye
Red as 'twould burn Rome: and his injury
The gaoler to his pity. I kneel'd before him;
"Twas very faintly he said, Rise; dismiss'd me
Thus, with his speechless hand: What he would do,
He sent in writing after me; what he would not,
Bound with an oath, to yield to his conditions:
So, that all hope is vain,

Unless his noble mother, and his wife;
Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him
For mercy to his country. Therefore let's hence,
And with our fair entreaties haste them on.

[Exeunt. - An advanced Post of the Volscian Camp before Rome. The Guard at their Stations.


Enter to them MENENIUS.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

1 G. 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 party 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.

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 stand'st not i' the state of hanging, or of some death more long in spectatorship, and crueller in suffering; behold now presently, and swoon for what's to coine upon thee. The glorious gods sit in hourly synod about thy particular prosperity, and love thee 9 Deceitful. 2 Dotard. 3 Fellow. 4 Jack in office.

7 Prizes. 1 Lie.

8 Friend.

« AnteriorContinuar »