Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Most dangerously you have with him prevailed,
If not most mortal to him. But, let it come ;-
Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius,
Were you in my stead, say, would you have heard
A mother less? or granted less, Aufidius?

Auf. I was moved withal.
Cor.
I dare be sworn, you were;
And, sir, it is no little thing, to make
Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good sir,
What peace you'll make, advise me. For my part,
I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you; and pray you
Stand to me in this cause.-O mother! wife!

Auf. I am glad thou hast set thy mercy and thy honor At difference in thee; out of that I'll work Myself a former fortune.1

[Aside. [The Ladies make signs to CORIOLANUS. Ay, by and by;

Cor.

2

[TO VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, &c. But we will drink together; and you shall bear A better witness back than words, which we, On like conditions, will have countersealed. Come, enter with us. Ladies, you deserve To have a temple built you ;3 all the swords In Italy, and her confederate arms, Could not have made this peace.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV. Rome. A public Place.

Enter MENENIUS and SICINIUS.

Men. See you yond' coign o' the Capitol; yond' corner-stone?

1 "I will take advantage of this concession to restore myself to my former credit and power."

2 Farmer has suggested that we should, perhaps, read think. Shakspeare has, however, introduced drinking as a mark of confederation in King Henry IV. Part ii. The text, therefore, may be allowed to stand, though at the expense of female delicacy.

3 Plutarch informs us that a temple dedicated to the Fortune of the Ladies was built, on this occasion, by order of the senate.

Sic. Why, what of that?

Men. If it be possible for you to displace it with your little finger, there is some hope the ladies of Rome, especially his mother, may prevail with him. But I say, there is no hope in't; our throats are sentenced, and stay upon execution.

Sic. Is't possible that so short a time can alter the condition of a man?

Men. There is differency between a grub and a butterfly; yet your butterfly was a grub. This Marcius is grown from man to dragon; he has wings: he's more than a creeping thing.

Sic. He loved his mother dearly.

Men. So did he me; and he no more remembers his mother now, than an eight-year-old horse. The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes. When he walks, he moves like an engine, and the ground shrinks before his treading. He is able to pierce a corselet with his eye; talks like a knell, and his hum is a battery. He sits in his state, as a thing made for Alexander. What he bids be done, is finished with his bidding. He wants nothing of a god but eternity, and a heaven to throne in.

Sic. Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.

Men. I paint him in the character. Mark what mercy his mother shall bring from him. There is no more mercy in him than there is milk in a male tiger; that shall our poor city find; and all this is 'long of you.

Sic. The gods be good unto us!

unto us.

Men. No, in such a case the gods will not be good When we banished him, we respected not them; and, he returning to break our necks, they respect not us.

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. Sir, if you'd save your life, fly to your house; The plebeians have got your fellow tribune,

1 i. e. stay but for it. 2 Sub-intelligetur-remembers his dam.
3 That is, as one made to resemble Alexander.

And hale him up and down; all swearing, if
The Roman ladies bring not comfort home,
They'll give him death by inches.

Enter another Messenger.

Sic.

What's the news? Mess. Good news, good news.-The ladies have prevailed.

The Volces are dislodged, and Marcius gone:
A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins.

Sic.

Friend,

Art thou certain this is true? Is it most certain?
Mess. As certain as I know the sun is fire.
Where have you lurked, that you make doubt of it?
Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide,'
As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark you;
[Trumpets and hautboys sounded, and drums
beaten, all together. Shouting also within.
The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes,
Tabors, and cymbals, and the shouting Romans,
Make the sun dance. Hark you! [Shouting again.
This is good news;

Men.

I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia
Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians,
A city full; of tribunes, such as you,

A sea and land full. You have prayed well to-day;
This morning, for ten thousand of your throats
I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!

[Shouting and music.

Sic. First, the gods bless you for your tidings; next, Accept my thankfulness.

Mess.
Great cause to give great thanks.

Sic.
Mess. Almost at point to enter.

Sir, we have all

They are near the city?

1 « As through an arch the violent, roaring tide
Outruns the eye that doth behold his haste."

Rape of Lucrece.

Sic.

And help the joy.

All. Welcome!

Unshout the noise that banished Marcius,
Repeal him with the welcome of his mother:
Cry,-Welcome, ladies, welcome!—

We will meet them,

Enter the Ladies, accompanied by Senators, Patricians, and People. They pass over the stage.

1 Sen. Behold our patroness, the life of Rome. Call all your tribes together, praise the gods, And make triumphant fires; strew flowers before them;

1 Recall.

[Going.

Welcome, ladies! [A flourish with drums and trumpets. [Exeunt.

SCENE V. Antium. A public Place.

Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, with Attendants.

Auf. Go tell the lords of the city, I am here.
Deliver them this paper: having read it,
Bid them repair to the market-place; where I,
Even in theirs and in the commons' ears,
Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse,2
The city ports3 by this hath entered, and
Intends to appear before the people, hoping
To purge himself with words. Despatch.

2 i. e. he whom I accuse.

Enter three or four Conspirators of Aufidius' faction. Most welcome!

1 Con. How is it with our general?
Auf.

As with a man by his own alms empoisoned,
And with his charity slain.

2 Con.
Most noble sir,
If you do hold the same intent wherein

[Exeunt Attendants.

Even so,

3 Ports are gates.

You wished us parties, we'll deliver you
Of your great danger.

Auf.

Sir, I cannot tell; We must proceed as we do find the people. 3 Con. The people will remain uncertain, whilst 'Twixt you there's difference; but the fall of either Makes the survivor heir of all.

Auf.

I know it:
And my pretext to strike at him admits
A good construction. I raised him, and I pawned
Mine honor for his truth; who being so heightened,
He watered his new plants with dews of flattery,
Seducing so my friends; and, to this end,
He bowed his nature, never known before
But to be rough, unswayable, and free.
3 Con. Sir, his stoutness,

When he did stand for consul, which he lost
By lack of stooping,

Auf.

That I would have spoke of. Being banished for't, he came unto my hearth; Presented to my knife his throat. I took him; Made him joint servant with me; gave him way In all his own desires; nay, let him choose Out of my files, his projects to accomplish, My best and freshest men; served his designments In mine own person; holp to reap the fame, Which he did end all his; and took some pride To do myself this wrong: till, at the last, I seemed his follower, not partner; and He waged me with his countenance,' as if I had been mercenary.

1 Con.

So he did, my lord;

The army marvelled at it. And, in the last,
When he had carried Rome; and that we looked
For no less spoil, than glory,-

Auf.

There was it ;

1 The verb to wage was formerly in general use for to stipend, to reward. The meaning is, "The countenance he gave me was a kind of wages."

« ZurückWeiter »