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Men. Good my friends, If you have heard your General talk of Rome, And of his friends there, it is Lots to Blanks, My name hath touch'd your ears; it is Menenius, ..
í Watch. Be it so, go back: the virtue of your Name, Is not here paffable. .
Men. I tell thee, fellow, Thy General is my lover: I have been The book of his good acts; whence men have read His fame unparallel'd happily amplified: For I have eyer verified my friends, (Of whom he's chief) with all the size that verity Would without lapsing suffer : nay, sometimes, . . Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground, I've tumbled past the throw; and in his praise Have, almost, stamp'd the leasing. Therefore, fellow, I must have leave to pass.
I Watch. Faith, Sir, if you had told as many lies inhis behalf, as you have utter'd words in your own, you should not pass here: no, though it were as virtuous to lie, as to live chaftly. Therefore, go back.
Men. Pr’ythee, fellow, remember, my name is Me-' nenius; always factionary of the Party of your General.
2 Watch. 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 din'd, canst thou tell? for I would not speak with him 'till after dinner. , .
I Watch. You are a Roman, are you?
i Watch. Then you should hate Rome, as he does." Can you, when you have push'd out of 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 easie groans of old women, the virginal palms of your daughters, or with the pallied intercession of such a decay'd Dotard 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 deceiv'd, therefore back to Rome, and prepare for your execution; you are condemn'd, our General has sworn you out of reprieve and para don.
Men. Sirrah, if thy Captain knew I were here, he would use me with eitimation.
1 Watch. Come, my Captain knows you not. Men. I mean, thy General.
i Watch. My General cares not for you. Back, I say, go; left I let forth your half pint of Blood, Back, that's the utmost of your Having, back. Men. Nay, but fellow, fellow,
: Enter Coriolanus, with 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 eftimation ; you shall perceive, that á Fack-gardant cannot office me from my fon Coriolanus; guess but my entertainment with him; if thoü ftand'st not i'ch' state of hanging, or of fomë death more long in spectatorship, and crueller in fuffering, behold now prefently, and swoon for what's to come upon thee. The gloria oas Gods fit in hourly fynod about thy particular prosperity, and love thee no worse than thy old father Menenius does! Oh my son, my son! thou are pres paring fire for us; look thee, here's water to quench it. I was hardly mov'd to come to thee; but being assured, none but my felf could move thee, I have been blown out of our gates with fighs; and conjure thee to pardon Rome, and thy pečitionary Countrymen. The good Gods affwage thy wrath, and turn the dregs of it apon this varlec here; this, who, like a block, hath denied my access to thee .
Cor. Wife, mother, child, I know not, My affairs
In Volscian breasts. That we have been familiar, (38)
[Gives bim a letter,
Manent the Guard, and Menenius.
2 Watch. ?Tis a Spell, you see, of much power : you know the way home again.
1 Watch. Do you hear, how we are fhent for keeping your Greatness back? 2 'WatchWhat 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, y’are so flight. He, that hath a will to die by himself, fears it not from another: let your General do his worst. For you, be what you are, long; and your misery encrease with your age! I say to you, as Í was said to, Away!
. .[Exit. I Watch. A noble fellow, I warrant him..
2 Watch. The worthy fellow is our General. He's the rock, the oak not to be wind-thaken. [Ex.Watcb. (28)
That we have been familiar, ,
) We cannot desire a more signal Instance of the indolent Stupidity of our Editors. Forgetfulness might poyfon, in not remembring a Conversation of Friendship, but how could it, in such an Action, be said to pity too? The Pointing is abfurd; and the Sentiment confequently funk into Nonsense. As I have regulated the Stops, both Dr. Thirlby and Mr. War.' burton faw with me, they ought to be regulated. I have ftill venitur'd beyond my ingenious Friends, in changing Poyfon into Prifon: which adds an Antithesis, by which the Sense seems clearer and more natural : viz. That Forgetfulness shall rather keep it a secret, that we have been familiar ; than Pity ihall disclose how much we have been so.
Watch. A noorthy fellow is o
Re-enter Coriolanus and Aufidius. Cor. We will before the Walls of Rome to morrow Set down our Hoft. My Partner in this action, You must report to th' Volscian lords how plainly I've borne this business.
Auf. Only their Ends you have respected ; stopt Your ears against the general syit of Rome : Never admitted private whisper, no, Not with such friends that thought them sure of you. '
Cor. 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 (Tho' I shew'd sow'rly to him) once more offer'd : The first conditions ; (which they did refule, And cannot now accept,) to grace him only, That thought he could do more: a very little I've yielded to. Fresh embassie, and suits, Nor from the State, nor private friends, hereafter : i 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 Virgilia, Volumnia, Valeria, young Marcius,
with Attendants all in Mourning. 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’sie worth? or those dove's eyes, Which can make Gods forsworn ? I melt, and am not Of stronger earth than others : my mother bows, As if Olympus to a mole-hill should In supplication nod; and my young boy Hath an aspect of intercession, which Great Nature cries, - Deny not. Let the Volscians
have forgol disgrace ut do not lay:o a kiss
Plough Rome, and harrow Italy; I'll never
Virg. My lord and husband !
Virg. The sorrow, that delivers us thus chang'd,
Cor. Like a dull Actor now,
Leave unfaluted,] ** An old Corruption must have possess'd this Passage, for two Reasons. In the firft Place, whoever confults this Speech, will find, that He is talking fondly to his Wife, and not praying to the Gods at all. Secondly, if He were employ'd in his Devotions, no Apology would be wanting for leaving his Mother unsaluted. The Poet's Intention was certainly This. Coriolanus, having been lavish in his Tendernesses and Raptures to his Wife, bethinks himself on the sudden, chat his Fondness to her had made him guilty of ill Manners in the Neglect of his Mother; and, therefore correcting himself upon Reflexion, cries ;
You Gods ! I prate ; Prate, 'tis true, is a Term now ill-founding to us, because it is taken only, as the Grammarians call it, in malam partem. Our Language was not so refin'd, tho' more masculine, in Shakespeare's days ; and there. fore (notwithstanding the present suppos'd ranogwvia,) when he is most serious, he frequently makes use of the Word. A little after, in this very Scene, Volumnia says;
yet bere he lets me prate, Like One i'th' Stocks. K. John.
If I talk to him, with his innocent Prate
He will awake my Mercy.
And if-thou prate of Mountains, let them throw