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guising of this man. Tullus rose presently from the board, and coming towards him, asked him what he was, and wherefore he came. Then Martius unmuffled himself, and after he had paused awhile, making no answer, he said unto himself, If thou knowest me not yet, Tullus, and seeing me, dost not perhaps believe me to be the man I am indeed, I must of necessity discover myself to be that I am.
* I am Caius Martius, who hath done to thyself particu'larly, and to all the Volsces generally, great hurt and 'mischief, which I cannot deny for my surname of Corio'lanus that I bear. For I never had other benefit nor re'compence of the true and painful service I have done and 'the extreme dangers I have been in, but this only sur'name: a good memory and witness of the malice and 'displeasure thou shouldest bear me. Indeed the name 'only remaineth with me; for the rest, the envy and cru'elty of the people of Rome have taken from me, by the 'sufferance of the dastardly nobility and magistrates, who 'have forsaken me, and let me be banished by the people. 'This extremity hath now driven me to come as a poor
* 'suitor, to take thy chimney-hearth, not of any hope I f have to save my life thereby. For if I had feared death, 'I would not have come hither to put myself in hazard: 'but pricked forward with desire to be revenged of them 'that thus have banished me, which now I do begin, in 'putting my person into the hands of their enemies. 'Wherefore if thou hast any heart to be wrecked of the 'injuries thy enemies have done thee, speed thee now, 'and let my misery serve thy turn, and so use it as my
* service may be a benefit to the Volsces: promising thee, 'that I will fight with better good will for all you, than I 'did when I was against you, knowing that they fight 'more valiantly who know the force of the enemy, than 'such as have never proved it. And if it be so that thou 'dare not, and that thou art weary to prove fortune any • more, then am I also weary to live any longer. And it 'were no wisdom in thee to save the life of him who hath 'been heretofore thy mortal enemy, and whose service now 'can nothing help, nor pleasure thee.' Tullus hearing what he said, was a marvellous glad man, and taking him by the hand, he said unto him: 'Stand up, O Mar'this, and be of good cheer, for in proffering thyself unto 'us, thou doest us great honour: and by this means thou 'mayest hope also of greater things at all the Volsces' 'hands.' So he feasted him for that time, and entertained him in the honourablest manner he could, talking with him of no other matter at that present: but within few days after, they fell to consultation together in what sort they should begin their wars."
The meeting between Coriolanus and his mother is also nearly the same as in the play.
"Now was Martius set then in the chair of state, with all the honours of a general, and when he had spied the women coming afar off, he marvelled what the matter meant: but afterwards knowing his wife which came foremost, he determined at the first to persist in his obstinate and inflexible rancour. But overcome in the end with natural affection, and being altogether altered to see them, his heart would not serve him to tarry their coming to his chair, but coming down in haste, he went to meet them, and first he kissed his mother, and embraced her a pretty while, then his wife and little children. And nature so wrought with him, that the tears fell from his eyes, and he could not keep himself from making much of them, but yielded to the affection of his blood, as if he had been violently carried with the fury of a most swift-running stream. After he had thus lovingly received them, and perceiving that his mother Volumnia would begin to speak to him, he called the chiefest of the council of the Volsces to hear what she would say. Then she spake in this sort: 'If we held 'our peace, my son, and determined not to speak, the 'state of our poor bodies, and present sight of our rai'ment, would easily betray to thee what life we have led 'at home, since thy exile and abode abroad; but think 'now with thyself, how much more unfortunate than all 'the women living, we are come hither, considering that 'the sight which should be most pleasant to all others to 'behold, spiteful fortune had made most fearful to us: 'making myself to see my son, and my daughter here her 'husband, besieging the walls of his native country: so as 'that which is the only comfort to all others in their ad'versity and misery, to pray unto the Gods, and to call to 'them for aid, is the only thing which plungeth us into 'most deep perplexity. For we cannot, alas, together 'pray, both for victory to our country, and for safety of 'thy life also: but a world of grievous curses, yea more 'than any mortal enemy can heap upon us, are forcibly 'wrapped up in our prayers. For the bitter sap of most hard 'choice is offered thy wife and children, to forego one of 'the two: either to lose the person of thyself, or the 'nurse of tneir native country. For myself, my son, I am 'determined not to tarry till fortune in my lifetime do 'make an end of this war. For if I cannot persuade the rather to do good unto both parties, than to overthrow and destroy the one, preferring love and nature before the malice and calamity of wars, thou shalt see, my son, and trust unto it, thou shalt no sooner march forward to assault thy country, but thy foot shall tread upon thy mother's womb, that brought thee first into this world. And I may not defer to see the day, either that my son be led prisoner in triumph by his natural countrymen, or that he himself do triumph of them, and of his natural country. For if it were so, that my request tended to 'save thy country, in destroying the Volsces, I must con» fess, thou wouldest hardly and doubtfully resolve on that.
* For as to destroy thy natural country, it is altogether un'meet and unlawful, so were it not just and less honour'able to betray those that put their trust in thee. But 'my only demand consisteth, to make a goal delivery of
* all evils, which delivereth equal benefit and safety, both 'to the one and the other, but most honourable for the 'Volsces. For it shall appear, that having victory in their 'hands, they have of special favour granted us singular 'graces, peace and amity, albeit themselves have no less 'part of both than we. Of which good, if so it came to 'pass, thyself is the only author, and so hast thou the only 'honour. But if it fail, and fall out contrary, thyself alone 'deservedly shalt carry the shameful reproach and burthen 'of either party. So, though the end of war be uncertain, 'yet this notwithstanding is most certain, that if it be thy
* chance to conquer, this benefit shalt thou reap of thy 'goodly conquest, to be chronicled the plague and de■ stroyer of thy country. And if fortune overthrow thee,
* then the world will say, that through desire to revenge 'thy private injuries, thou hast for ever undone thy good 'friends, who did most lovingly and courteously receive 'thee.' Martius gave good ear unto his mother's words, without interrupting her speech at all, and after she had said what she would, he held his peace a pretty while, and answered not a word. Hereupon she began again to speak unto him, and said: 'My son, why dost thou not answer 'me? Dost thou think it good altogether to give place unto 'thy choler and desire of revenge, and thinkest thou it 'not honesty for thee to grant thy mother's request in so 'weighty a cause? Dost thou take it honourable for a 'nobleman, to remember the wrongs and injuries done 'him, and dost not in like case think it an honest noble
* man's part to be thankful for the goodness that parents 'do shew to their children, acknowledging the duty and
'reverence they ought to bear unto them? No man living * is more bound to shew himself thankful in all parts and 'respects than thyself; who so universally shewest all in'gratitude. Moreover, my son, thou hast sorely taken of 'thy country, exacting grievous payments upon them, in 'revenge of the injuries offered thee; besides, thou hast 'not hitherto shewed thy poor mother any courtesy. And 'therefore it is not only honest, but due unto me, that 'without compulsion I should obtain my so just and rea'sonable request of thee. But since by reason I cannot 'persuade thee to it, to what purpose do I defer my last 'hope V And with these words herself, his wife and children, fell down upon their knees before him: Martius seeing that, could refrain no longer, but went straight and lifted her up, crying out, ' Oh mother, what have you 'done to me?' And holding her hard by the right hand, 'Oh mother,' said he, 'you have won a happy victory for 'your country, but mortal and unhappy for your son: for 'I see myself vanquished by you alone.' These words being spoken openly, he spake a little apart with his mother and wife, and then let them return again to Rome, for so they did request him; and so remaining in the camp that night, the next morning he dislodged, and marched homeward unto the Volsces' country again."
Shakespear has, in giving a dramatic form to this passage, adhered very closely and properly to the text. He did not think it necessary to improve upon the truth of nature. Several of the scenes in Julius Caesar, particularly Portia's appeal to the confidence of her husband by shewing him the wound she had given herself, and the appearance of the ghost of Caesar to Brutus, are, in like manner, taken from the history.