Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

For which my sinews shall be stretched upon him.
At a few drops of women's rheum, which are
As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labor
Of our great action ; therefore shall he die,
And I'll renew me in his fall. But, hark !

[Drums and trumpets sound, with great

shouts of the people. 1 Con. Your native town you entered like a post, And had no welcomes home; but he returns,

; Splitting the air with noise. 2 Con.

And patient fools, Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tear, With giving him glory. 3 Con.

Therefore, at your vantage,
Ere he express himself, or move the people
With what he would say, let him feel

let him feel your sword,
Which we will second. When he lies along,
After your way his tale pronounced, shall bury
His reasons with his body.
Auf.

Say no more;
Here come the lords.

Enter the Lords of the city. Lords. You are most welcome home. Auf

I have not deserved it. But, worthy lords, have you with heed perused What I have written to you? Lords.

We have. 1 Lord.

And grieve to hear it. What faults he made before the last, I think, Might have found easy fines; but there to end Where he was to begin ; and give away The benefit of our levies, answering us With our own charge ;? making a treaty, where There was a yielding; this admits no excuse.

Auf. He approaches; you shall hear him.

»

1 “This is the point on which I will attack him with all my energy."

2 “Rewarding us with our own expenses, making the cost of the war its recompense.'

Enter CORIOLANUS, with drums and colors ; a crowd

of Citizens with him. Cor. Hail, lords! I am returned your soldier; No more infected with my country's love, Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting Under your great command. You are to know, That prosperously I have attempted, and With bloody passage, led your wars, even to The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought home, Do more than counterpoise, a full third part, The charges of the action. We have made peace With no less honor to the Antiates, Than shame to the Romans. And we here deliver, Subscribed by the consuls and patricians, Together with the seal o’the senate, what We have compounded on. Auf.

Read it not, noble lords ;
But tell the traitor, in the highest degree
He hath abused your powers.

Cor. Traitor !-How now?
Auf.

Ay, traitor, Marcius. Cor.

Marcius! Auf. Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius. Dost thou think I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stolen name Coriolanus in Corioli? You lords and heads of the state, perfidiously He has betrayed your business, and given up, For certain drops of salt, your city Rome, (I say, your city,) to his wife and mother; Breaking his oath and resolution, like A twist of rotten silk ; never admitting Counsel o’the war; but at his nurse's tears He whined and roared away your victory; That pages blushed at him, and men of heart Looked wondering each at other. Cor.

Hear'st thou, Mars? Auf. Name not the god, thou boy of tears,Cor.

Ha! 72

VOL. V.

Auf. No more.

Cor. Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart Too great for what contains it. Boy! O slave!Pardon me, lords, 'tis the first time that ever I was forced to scold. Your judgments, my grave lords, Must give this cur the lie; and his own notion : (Who wears my stripes impressed on him; that must

bear My beating to his grave) shall join to thrust The lie unto him. 1 Lord.

Peace, both, and hear me speak. Cor. 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 dovecote, I Fluttered your Volces in Corioli : Alone I did it.—Boy! Auf.

Why, noble lords, Will you be

put

in mind of his blind fortune, Which was your shame, by this unholy braggart, 'Fore your own eyes and ears ?

Con. Let him die for't. [Several speak at once.

Cit. [Speaking promiscuously.] Tear him to pieces; do it presently. He killed my son ;-my daughter ;He killed my cousin Marcus ; —He killed my father!

2 Lord. Peace, ho ;-—no outrage ; - peace.
The man is noble, and his fame folds in
This orb o'the earth. His last offence to us
Shall have judicious 3 hearing.–Stand, Aufidius,
And trouble not the

peace. Cor.

O that I had him,
With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe,
To use my lawful sword !
Auf.

2

Insolent villain !

1 This must be considered as continuing the former speech of Aufidius ; he means to tell Coriolanus that he was " no more than a boy of tears."

2 « His fame overspreads the world.”

3 “ Judicious, in the present instance, means judicial; it appears from Bullokar's Expositor that the words were convertible.”

Con. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him.

[Aufidius and the Conspirators draw and kill

CORIOLANUS, who falls, and AUFIDIUS stands

on him. Lords.

Hold, hold, hold, hold. Auf. My noble masters, hear me speak. 1 Lord.

O Tullus ! 2 Lord. Thou hast done a deed whereat valor will

weep.
3 Lord. Tread not upon him.-Masters all, be quiet;
Put up your swords.
Auf. My lords, when you shall know (as in this
,

rage,
Provoked by him, you cannot) the great danger
Which this man's life did owe you, you'll rejoice
That he is thus cut off. Please it your honors
To call me to your senate, I'll deliver
Myself your loyal servant, or endure
Your heaviest censure.
1 Lord.

Bear from hence his body,
And mourn you for him; let him be regarded
As the most noble corse that ever herald
Did follow to his urn.
2 Lord.

His own impatience
Takes from Aufidius a great part of blame.
Let's make the best of it.
Auf.

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.
Assist. [Exeunt, bearing the body of Coriolanus.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

A dead march sounded.

1 This allusion is to a custom which was observed in the public funerals of English princes, at the conclusion of which a herald proclaims the style of the deceased.

2 Memorial. See Act iv. Sc. 5.

Tue tragedy of Coriolanus is one of the most amusing of our author's performances. The old man's merriment in Menenius; the lofty lady's dignity in Volumnia ; the bridal modesty in Virgilia ; the patrician and military haughtiness in Coriolanus; the plebeian malignity and tribunitian insolence in Brutus and Sicinius,—make a very pleasing and interesting variety ; and the various revolutions of the hero's fortune fill the mind with anxious curiosity. There is, perhaps, too much bustle in the first act, and too little in the last.

JOHNSON.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« ÎnapoiContinuați »