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If he were putting to my house the brand
That should consume it, I have not the face
To say, 'Beseech you, cease.—You have made fair hands,
You, and your crafts! you have crafted fair !

You have brought
A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
So incapable of help.

Say not we brought it.
Men. How! was it we? We loved him; but, like

And cowardly nobles, gave way to your clusters,
Who did hoot him out o’the city.

But I fear
They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
The second name of men, obeys his points
As if he were his officer.-Desperation
Is all the policy, strength, and defence,
That Rome can make against them.

Enter a troop of Citizens. Men.

Here come the clusters.And is Aufidius with him ?-You are they That made the air unwholesome, when you cast Your stinking, greasy caps, in hooting at Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming ; And not a hair upon a soldier's head, Which will not prove a whip; as many coxcombs, As you threw caps up, will he tumble down,

pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter ; If he could burn us all into one coal, We have deserved it.

Cit. ?Faith, we hear fearful news. 1 Cit.

For mine own part, When I said banish him, I said 'twas pity.

2 Cit. And so did I.

3 Cit. And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did very many of us. That we did, we did for the best ; and

And pay you

1 “ As he went out with scoffs, he will come back with lamentations."

though we willingly consented to his banishment, yet it was against our will.

Com. You are goodly things, you voices !

You have made Good work, you and your cry!—Shall us to the

Capitol ? Com. O, ay; what else ? [Exeunt Com. and Men. Sic. Go, masters, get you home; be not dismayed : These are a side, that would be glad to have This true, which they so seem to fear. Go home, And show no sign of fear.

1 Cit. The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let's home. I ever said we were i’the wrong, when we banished him. 2 Cit. So did we all. But come, let's home.

[Exeunt Citizens. Bru. I do not like this news. Sic. Nor I. Bru. Let's to the Capitol.—'Would half my wealth Would buy this for a lie! Sic.

Pray, let us go. [Exeunt.


A Camp, at a small distance from


Enter AUFIDIUS and his Lieutenant. Auf. Do they still fly to the Roman ?

Lieu. I do not know what witchcraft's in him; but Your soldiers use him as the grace 'fore meat,

Their talk at table, and their thanks at end ;
And you are darkened in this action, sir,
Even by your own.

I cannot help it now;
Unless, by using means, I lame the foot
Of our design. He bears himself more proudlier
Even to my person, than I thought he would,
When first I did, embrace him. Yet his nature

1 Pack.

In that's no changeling; and I must excuse
What cannot be amended.

Yet I wish, sir,
(I mean for your particular,) you had not
Joined in commission with him ; but either
Had borne the action of yourself, or else
To him had left it solely.

Auf. I understand thee well; and be thou sure,
When he shall come to his account, he knows not
What I can urge against him. Although it seems,
And so he thinks, and is no less apparent
To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly,
And shows good husbandry for the Volcian state ;
Fights dragon-like, and does achieve as soon
As draw his sword; yet he hath left undone
That, which shall break his neck, or hazard mine,
Whene'er we come to our account.

Lieu. Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry Rome?

Auf. All places yield to him ere he sits down;
And the nobility of Rome are his.
The senators, and patricians, love him too ;
The tribunes are no soldiers; and their people
Will be as rash in the repeal, as hasty
To expel him thence. I think he'll be to Rome,
As is the ospray? to the fish who takes it
By sovereignty of nature.

First he was
A noble servant to them ; but he could not
Carry his honors even. Whether 'twas pride,
Which out of daily fortune ever taints
The happy man ; whether defect of judgment,
To fail in the disposing of those chances
Which he was lord of; or whether nature,
Not to be other than one thing, not moving
From the casque to the cushion, but commanding peace

1 The ospray was supposed to possess a fascinating power over fish.

2 Aufidius assigns three probable reasons for the miscarriage of Coriolanus; pride, which easily follows an uninterrupted train of success; unskilfulness to regulate the consequences of his own victories ; a stubborn uniformity of nature, which could not make the proper transition from the casque to the cushion, or chair of civil authority, but acted with the same despotism in peace as in war.

Even with the same austerity and garb
As he controlled the war; but one of these
(As he hath spices of them all, not all,
For I dare so far free him) made him feared,
So hated, and so banished. But he has a merit,
To choke it in the utterance. So our virtues
Lie in the interpretation of the time;

power, unto itself most commendable,
Hath not a tomb so evident as a hair
To extol what it hath done.?
One fire drives out one fire ; one nail, one nail ;
Rights by rights fouler, strengths by strengths do fail.
Come, let's away.

When, Caius, Rome is thine, Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine.


1 But such is his merit as ought to choke the utterance of his faults. 2

So our virtue
Lie in the interpretation of the time;
And power, unto itself most commendable,
Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair

To extol what it hath done." Thus the old copy. Well Steevens might exclaim that the passage and the comments upon it were equally intelligible. The whole speech is very incorrectly printed in the folio. Thus we have 'was for 'twas ; detect for defect'; virtue for virtues ; and, evidently, chair for hair. What is the meaning of

“ Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair ? A hair has some propriety, as used for a thing almost invisible. As in The Tempest:

not a hair perished.” I take the meaning of the passage to be, “So our virtues lie at the mercy of the time's interpretation; and power, which esteems itself while living so highly, hath not, when defunct, the least particle of praise allotted to it." -Singer.

“Rights by rights fouler, strengths by strengths do fail.” Malone reads founder, with a worthy but unsatisfactory argument in favor of his reading. Singer would read “Rights by rights foiled,&c., an easy and obvious emendation. Steevens has given the following explanation of the passage:-“What is already right, and is received as Buch, becomes less clear when supported by supernumerary proof.”



SCENE I. Rome. A public Place.

Enter MENENIUS, COMINIUS, Sicinius, Brutus, and

Men. No, I'll not go. You hear what he hath said,
Which was sometime his general ; who loved him
In a most dear particular. He called me father ;
But what o’that? Go, you that banished him,
A mile before his tent fall down, and kneel
The way into his mercy. Nay, if he coyed"
To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home.

Com. He would not seem to know me.

Do you hear ?
Com. Yet one time he did call me by my name;
I urged our old acquaintance, and the drops
That we have bled together. Coriolanus
He would not answer to; forbad all names ;
He was a kind of nothing, titleless,
Till he had forged himself a name i'the fire
Of burning Rome,

Men. Why, so; you have made good work;
A pair of tribunes that have racked 2 for Rome,
To make coals cheap. A noble memory! 3

Com. I minded him how royal 'twas to pardon
When it was less expected. He replied,
It was a bare* petition of a state
To one whom they had punished.

Very well;
Could he say less ?

Com. I offered to awaken his regard
For his private friends. His answer to me was,
He could not stay to pick them in a pile
Of noisome, musty chaff. He said 'twas folly,

1 i. e. condescended unwillingly. 2 Harassed by exactions.

3 Memorial. 4 Bare may mean palpable, evident ; but perhaps we should read base.

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