Page images

Bru. Cominius, no.
Cor. Have I had childrens voices?
Sen. Tribunes, give way; he shall to the market-

Bru. The people are incensed against him.

Sic. Stop,
Or all will fall in broil,

Cor. Are these your.herd ?
Must these have voices, that can yield them now,
And Itraight disclaim their tongues? what are your

offices? You being their mouths, why rule you not their teeth? Have you not let them on?

Mon. Be calm, be calm,

Cor. It is a purposed thing, and grows by plot, To curb the will of the nobility : Suffer't, and live with such as cannot rule, Nor ever will be ruled.

Bru. Call't not a plot; The people cry you mocked them; and of late, ! When corn was given them gratis, you repined;

Scandaled the suppliants for the people; called then
Time-plealers, flatterers, foes to nobleness.

Cor, Why, this was known before.
Bru. Not to them all.
Cor. Have you informed them since ?
Bru. How ! I inform them !
Cor. You are like to do such business.
Bru. Not unlike every way to better yours.

Cor. Why then should I be consul? by yon clouds,
Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me
Your fellow-tribune.

Sic. You shew too much of that For which the pecple stịr. If you will pass To where you're bound, you muil enquire your way Whiel you are cut off with a gentler Spirit,

Or never be so noble as a consul,
Nor yoke with him for tribune.

Men. Let's be calm.
Com. The people are abused.--Set on ;---this pala

tring (23)
Becomes not Rome; nor has Coriolanus
Deserved this so dishonoured rub, laid falsely.
I'th'plain way of his merit.

Cor. Tell me of corn !
This was my speech, and I will speak’t again---

Men. Not now, not now.
Sen. Not in this heat, Sir, now.

Cor. Now, as I live, I will
As for my nobler friends, I crave their pardons;
But for the mutable rank-scented many,
Let them regard me, as I do not flatter,
And there behold themselves: I say again,
In foothing them, we nourish 'gainst our Senate
The cockle of rebellion, infolence, fedition,
Which we ourselves have ploughed for, sowed, and

By mingling them with us, the honoured number:
Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that
Which we have given to beggars.

Men. Well, no inore.
Sen. No more words, we beseech you...

Cor. How !..-no more !
As for my country I have shed my blood,
Not fearing outward force; so thall my lungs
Coin words 'till their decay against those meafles,

(13) The people are a'uled, fit on ;] This is pointed, as if the sense were, the people are set on by the tribunes : but I don't take that to be the Poet's meaning. Cominius makes a single reflection, and then bids the train fer for ward, as again after wards ;

Well, on to the market-place. And so in Julius Cæfar ;

Set on, and leave no ceremony out.

Which we disdain thould tetter us, yet feek
The very way to catch them.

Bru. You speak o'th' people, as you were a god To punish, not a man of their infirmity.

Sic. 'Twere well we let the people know't.
Men. What, what! his choler?

Cor. Choler! were I as patient as the midnight By Jove, 'twould be


'[tleep, : Sic. It is a mindThat shall remain a poison where it is, Not poison any further.

Cor. Shall remain ?
Hear you this Triton of the minnows ? mark

you His abfolute Shall?.

Con. 'Twas from the canon.

Cor. Shall !
O good, but most unwise Patricians, why
You grave, but wreakless senators, have

you thus
Given Hydra here to chufe an officer,
That with his peremptory fhall, being but
The.horn and noise ö'th' moniters, wants not fpirit
To say, he'll turn your current in a ditch,
And make your channel bis? If he have power,
Then veil your ignorance; if none, awake
Your dangerous lenity: if you are learned,
Be not as common fools; if you are not,
Let them have cushions by you. You're Plebeians,
If they be fenators; and they are no less,
When, both your voices blended, their greatest taste
Moit palates theirs. They chuse their magistrate !;
And fuch a one as he, who puts his fball,
His popular shall, against a graver bench
Than ever frowned in Greece! by Jove himself,
It makes the Consuls base; and my soul akes
To know, when two authorities are up,
Neither supreme, bow foun confusion

May enter 'sixt the gap of both, and take
The one by th’ other.

Com. Well---On to th' market-place.

Cor. Who ever gave that counsel, to give forti The corn o'th' storehouse, gratis, as 'twas ufed Sometiine in Greece

Men. Well, well, no more of that. Cor. Tho' there the people had more absolute I say, they nourished disobedience, fed Lpower: The ruin of the state."

Bru. Why thall the people give One that speaks thus their voice?

Cor. I'll give my reasons, More wortliy than their voice. They know, the Was not their recompense; refting affured [corn They ne'er did service for’t; being press'd t'th'

war, iris Even when the navel of the state was touched, They would not thread the gates: this kind of fer

vice Did not deserve corn gratis. Being i' th' war, Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they thewed Møft valour, fpoke not for them. Th’accusation, Which they have often made against the fenate, All cause unborn, could never be the native Of our fo frank donation. Well, what then? How shall this bofom-multiplied digest The Senate's courtefy? let deeds express What's like to be their words---we did request it--We are the greater poll, and in true fear They gave us our demands.---Thus we debase The nature of our seats, and make the rabble Call our cares fears; which will in time break ope The locks o'the Senate,' and bring in the crows To peck the eagles--

Alen. Come, enough,

Bru. Enough, with over measure.

Cor. No, take more. What may be sworn by, both divine and human, Seal what I end withal !--- This double worship, Where one part does äisdain with cause, the other Insult without all reason; where gentry, title, wisdom, Cannot conclude but by the yea and no Of general ignorance, it mult omit Real neceffiries, and give way the while Tuntable flightness; purpose so barred, it fol

lows, Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore, beseech you, (You that will be less fearful than discreet, That love the fundamental part of state More than you doubt the change of 't; that prefer A noble life before a long, and wish To vamp a body with a dangerous phyfic, That's fure of death without;) at once pluck out The multitudinous tongue, let them not lick The sweet which is their poison. Your dishonour Mangles true judgment, and bereaves the state Of that integrity which thould become it : Not having power to do the good it would, For th' ill wlich doth controul it. Bru. Has said enough.

Sic. H’as spoken like a traitor, and shali answer As traitors do.

Cor. Thou wretch ! despight o'erwhelm thee!-What should the people do with these bald tribunes? On whom depending, their obedience fails To th' greater bench. In a rebellion, When what's not meet, but what must be, was law, Then were they cholen: in a better hour, Let what is meet, be said, it must be meet, And throw their power i' th’ duft,

Bru. Manifest treason--ons

« PreviousContinue »