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Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is,
Hang ye! Trust
With every minute you do change a mind;
You cry against the noble senate, who,
Mar. Hang 'em! They say? They'll sit by the fire, and presume to know What's done i' the capitol; who's like to rise, Who thrives, and who declines; side factions, and give
Conjectural marriages; making parties strong,
Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,2
And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry3
Men. Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded; For though abundantly they lack discretion,
1 "Your virtue is to speak well of him whom his own offences have subjected to justice; and to rail at those laws by which he whom you praise was punished."
2 i. e. pity, compassion.
3 Quarry or querre signified slaughtered game, so denominated from being deposited in a square inclosed space in royal hunting.
4 Pick, peck, or picke, i. e. pitch; still in provincial use
Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you, What says the other troop?
Mar. They are dissolved. Hang 'em! They said, they were an hungry; sighed forth proverbs; That hunger broke stone walls; that dogs must eat; That meat was made for mouths; that the gods sent not Corn for the rich men only.-With these shreds They vented their complainings; which being answered, And a petition granted them, a strange one, (To break the heart of generosity,'
And make bold power look pale,) they threw their caps As they would hang them on the horns o' the moon, Shouting their emulation.2
What is granted them? Mar. Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms, Of their own choice. One's Junius Brutus, Sicinius Velutus, and I know not-'Sdeath! The rabble should have first unroofed the city, Ere so prevailed with me; it will in time Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes For insurrections arguing.3
This is strange. Mar. Go, get you home, you fragments!
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Where's Caius Marcius?
Our musty superfluity.-See, our best elders.
Enter COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, and other Senators; JUNIUS BRUTUS and SICINIUS VELUTUS.
1 Sen. Marcius, 'tis true, that you have lately told us; The Volces are in arms.
1 Generosity, in the sense of its Latin original, for nobleness, high birth. 2 Emulation is factious contention.
3 For insurgents to debate upon.
Mar. They have a leader,
Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to't.
You have fought together. Mar. Were half to half the world by the ears, and he
Upon my party, I'd revolt to make
Sir, it is;
And I am constant.'-Titus Lartius, thou
No, Caius Marcius; I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other, Ere stay behind this business.
1 Sen. Your company to the Our greatest friends attend us.
O, true bred! capitol; where, I know,
Lead you on:
Noble Lartius! 3
1 Sen. Hence! To your homes, be gone.
[To the Citizens. Nay, let them follow: The Volces have much corn; take these rats thither, To gnaw their garners.-Worshipful mutineers, Your valor puts well forth; pray, follow.
[Exeunt Senators, Coм., MAR., TIT., and MENEN. Citizens steal away.
1 i. e. immovable in my resolution.
2 Of is understood.
3 The old copy has Marcius.
4 That is, You have in this mutiny shown fair blossoms of valor.
Sic. Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius?
Bru. He has no equal.
Sic. When we were chosen tribunes for the
Bru. Marked you his lip, and eyes?
Nay, but his taunts. Bru. Being moved, he will not spare to gird' the gods.
Sic. Bemock the modest moon.
Bru. The present wars devour him; he is Too proud to be so valiant.
Such a nature, Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow Which he treads on at noon. But I do wonder, His insolence can brook to be commanded Under Cominius.
Besides, if things go well, Opinion, that so sticks on Marcius, shall Of his demerits3 rob Cominius.
Half all Cominius' honors are to Marcius,
Though Marcius earned them not; and all his faults
1 A gird is a cut, a sarcasm, or stroke of satire.
2 Perhaps the meaning of the latter member of the sentence is, "He is grown too proud of being so valiant to be endured," or "too proud for one so valiant." It is still a common expression to say, "eat up with pride." 3 Demerits and merits had anciently the same meaning.
More than in singularity,' he goes
Consider of it.
SCENE II. Corioli. The Senate House.
Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS and certain Senators.
1 Sen. So your opinion is, Aufidius, That they of Rome are entered in our counsels, And know how we proceed.
Most likely, 'tis for you;
Our army's in the field;
We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
1 "What he is to do beside going himself."
2 The old copy reads:
Nor did you think it folly, To keep your great pretences veiled, till when They needs must show themselves; which in the
"What have been ever thought on in this state."
We must either suppose this an ellipsis for "What things have," &c., or read, with Steevens, hath, as in the text.
3 i. e. ready; from the old French prest.