and empire of Time, and the efFe&s it produces in the world,
'Time's glory is .......
fo fill with worm holes Jlately monuments.
To feed oblivion luitb decay of things i
To blot old books and alter their contents ;
To pluck the quills from ancient ravens ivings ;
To dry the old oak's fap, and CHERISH fprings.
The two laft words, if they make any fenfe it is fuch as is direftly
contrary to the fentiment here advanced ; which is concerning the
decays, not the repairs of time. The poet certainly wrote,
To dry the old oak's fap, and T A R I s H fprings.
i. e. dry up fprlngj, from the French, tarir or tariffement, exarefa-
cere, exficcatio: Thefe words being peculiarly applied to fprings or
the paified interceffion of fuch a decay'd Dotard as
you feern to be ? can you think to blow out the in-
tended fire your city is ready to flame in, with fuch
weak breath as this ? no, you are deceiv'd, therefore
back to Rome, and prepare for your execution ; you
are condemned, our General has fworn you out of re-
prieve and pardon.
Men. Sirrah, if thy Captain knew I were here, he
would ufe me with eftimation.
i Watch. Come, my Captain knows you not.
Men. I mean, thy General.
i Watcb. My General cares not for you. 7 Back,
go ; left I
that's the utmoft of your Having. Back, back.
I fay, go ; left I let forth your half pint of Blood :
at's the utmoft of your Having. Ba
Men. Nay, but fellow, fellow, -
Enter Coriolanus, with Aufidius.
Cor. What's the matter?
Men. Now, you companion, I'll fay an errand for
you ; you mall know now, that I am in eftimation \
you mall perceive, that a Jack-gardant cannot office
me from my fon Coriolanus ; guefs but my enter-
tainment with him ; if thou ftand'ft not i* th* ftateof
hanging, or of fome death more long in fpectatorfhip,
and crueller in fuffering, behold now prefently, and
fwoon for what's to come upon thee. The glorious
Gods fit in hourly fynod about thy particular profpe-
rity, and love thee no worfe than thy old father Me-
nenius does ! Oh my fon, my fon ! thou art preparing
7 Bad, 1 fay, go i left 1 let forth your half pint of Blood. Back,
that's the utmoft of your having, back.~\ As thefe words are
read and pointed, the ientence \thafs the utmoft of your having] fig-
nifies, you are like to get no further. Whereas the author evi-
dently intended it to refer to the half pint of blood he fpeaks of,
and to mean, that that was all he had in his veins. The thought
is humourous; and to difembarras it from the corrupt expreffion, we
fhould read and point it thus, Left I let forth your half pint of blood:
that's tht utmofl of jour having. Back, back.
fire for us ; look thee, here's water to quench it.
I was hardly mov'd to come to thee, but being af-
fured, none but myfelf could move thee, I have been
blown out of our gates with fighs ; and conjure thee
to pardon Rome, and thy petitionary Countrymen.
The good Gods affwage thy wrath, and turn the dregs
of it upon this varlet here ; this, who, like a block,
hath denied my accefs to thee
Men. How, away ?
Cor. Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs
Are fervanted to others : though I owe
My revenge properly, remifiion lyes
In Volfcian breads. That we have been familiar,
Ingrate Forgetfulnefs mall poifon, rather
Than Pity note how much. Therefore, be gone ;
Mine ears againft your fuits are ftronger than
Your gates againft my force. Yet, for I loved thee,
Take this along ; I writ it for thy fake,
[Gives him a letter.
And would have fent it. Another word, Menemus,
1 will not hear thee fpeak. This man, Aufidim,
Was my belov'd in Rome ; yet thou behold'ft
Auf. You keep a conftant temper. [Exeunt.
Manent the Guard, and Menenius.
1 Watch. Now, Sir, is your name Menenius ?
2 Watcb. 'Tis a Spell, you fee, of much power :
you know the way home again.
1 Watch. Do you hear, how we are fhent for keep-
ing your Greatnefs back ?
2 JFatcb.Vfbat caufe do you think, I have to fwoon ?
Men. I neither care for the world, nor your Gene-
ral : for fuch things as you, I can fcarce think there's
any, y'are fo flight. He, that hath a will to die by
himfelf, fears it not from another : let your General do
his worft. For you, be what you are, long j and your
rtiifery increafe with your age ! I fay to you, as I was
fuid to, Away [Exit.
1 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-lhaken. [x. Watch,
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 muft report to th* Volfcian lords, how plainly
I've borne this bufmefs.
Auf. Only their Ends you have refpecled , ftopt
Your ears againfl the general fuit of Rome:
Never admitted private whifper, no,
Not with fuch friends that thought them fure of you,
Cor. This laft old man*
Whom with a crack'd heart I have fent to Rome^
Lov'd me above the meafure of a father ;
Nay, godded me, indeed. Their latefl refuge
Was to fend him : for whofe old love, I have
(Tho* I fhew'd fow*rly to him) once more offer'd
The firft conditions ; (which they did refufe,
And cannot now accept,) to grace him only,
That thought he could do more : a very little
I've yielded to. Frefli embaffie, and fuits,
Nor from the State, nor private friends, hereafter
Will I lend ear to. Ha! what Ihout is this ?
Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow,
In the fame time 'tis made ? I will not _
Enter Virgilia, Volumnia, Valeria, young Marcius^
with Attendants all in Mourning.
" My wife comes foremoft, then the honour'd mould
* Wherein this trunk was fram'd, and in her hand
VOL. VI. Nn " The
" The grand-child to her blood. But, out, affection!
.' All bond and privilege of Nature break !
" Let it be virtuous, to be obftinate.
" What is that curt'fie worth ? or thofe dove's eyes,
" Which can make Gods forfworn ? I melt, and am
" Of ftronger earth than others : my mother bows,
' As if 'Olympus to a mole-hill mould
" In fupplication nod; and my young boy
" Hath an afpect of interceffion, which
" Great Nature cries, " Deny not. Let the
" Plough Rome^ and harrow Italy ; I'll never
" Be fuch a gofling to obey inftincl: ; but ftand
" As if a man were author of himfelf,
" And knew no other kin.
Virg. My lord and husband !
Cor. Thefe eyes are not the fame I wore in Rome.
Virg. The forrow, that delivers us thus chang'd,
Makes you think fo.
Cor. a Like a dull Actor now,
' 4 I have forgot my Part, and I am out,
" Even to a full difgrace. Beft of my fleffi,
" Forgive my tyranny j but do not fay,
ct For That, forgive our Romans. O, a kifs
' Long as my exile, fweet as my revenge !
* 6 Now by the jealous Queen of heav'n, that kifs
" I carried from thee, Dear ; and my true lip
" Hath virgin'd it e'er fince. You Gods! I prate;
** And the moft noble mother of the world
*' Leave unfaluted : fink, my knee, i* th' earth j [kneels.
Of thy deep duty more impreflion fhew
Than that of common fons.
Pol. O ftand up bleft !
Whilft with no fofter cul"hion than the flint
I kneel before thee, and improperly
Shew duty as miftaken all the while [kneels.
Between the child and parent.
Cor. What is this ?
Your knees to me ? to your corre&ed fon ?
Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach
Fillop the ftars : thenj let the mutinous winds
Strike the proud cedars 'gainft the fiery Sun :
Murd'ring impoffibility, to make
What cannot be, flight work.
Vol. Thou art my warrior,
I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady?
Cor. " The noble fifter of Poplicola*
<c The moon of Rome\ chafte as the ificle,
" That's curdled by the froft from pure ft fnow,
* c And hangs on Dian's Temple: dear Valeria!
Vol. This is a poor epitome of yours,
\_Jhewmg young Marcius.
Which by th* interpetation of full time
May fhew like all yourfelf.
Cor. " The God of fold iers,
*' * With the confent of fupream Jove* inform
" Thy thoughts with Noblenefs, that thou may'ff-
" 9 To Shame unvulnerable, and (lick i* th 4 wars
" Like a great fea-mark, (landing every flaw,
" And faving thofe that eye thee ! '*
Vol. Your knee, firrah.
Co?. That's my brave boy.
Vol. Even he, your wife, this lad/, and myfelf
Are fuitors to you.
Cor. I befeech you, peace :
Or| if you'd ask, remember this before ;
The thing, I have forfworn to grant, may nevef
Se held by you denial. Do not bid me
8 With the confent vf fupream Jove.] This is inferted with great
decorum. Jupiter was the tutelary God of Rome.
9 To Shame unvulnerable, J A foldier's honour is finely expref-
fed in thefe words.
N n 2 Difmift
Difmifs my foldicrs, or capitulate
Again with Rome's Mechanicks. Tell me nor,
Wherein I feem unnatural : defire not
T'allay my rages and revengts, with
Your colder reafons.
Vol. Oh, no more-, no more:
You've faid, you will not grai.t us any thing:
For we have nothing e]fe to ask, but That
Which you deny already : yet we will ask,
That if we fail in our requeft, the Blame
May hang upon your Hardnefs ; therefore hear us.
Cor. dujidws 9 axi& you Volfcian^ mark ; for we'll
Hear nought from Rome in private. Your requeft ?
PoL Should we be filent and not fpeak, our raiment
And ftate of bodies would bewray what life
We've led fince thy Exile. " Think with thy felf,
t How more unfortunate than all living women
** Are we come hither; fince thy fight, which fhould
" Make our Eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with
" Conflrains them weep, and fhake with fear and
forro w ;
44 Making the mother, wife, and child to fee,
" The fon, the husband, and the father tearing
44 His Country's bowels out : and to poor we,
44 Thine enmity's moft capital ; thou barr'ft us
44 Our prayers to the Gods, which is a comfort
4> That all but we enjoy. For how can we,
Alas! how can we, for our Country pray,
Whereto we're bound ? together with thy victory,
Whereto we're bound? Alack! or we muft loie
The Country, our dear nude; or elfe thy perfon,
Our comfort in the Country. We muft find
An eminent calamity, tho* we had
Our wifh, which fide fhou'd win. ** For either thou
4k Muft, as a foreign Recreant, be led
** With manacles along our flreet i or elfe
CORIOLANUS. 5 49
" Triumphantly tread on thy Country's ruin,
" And bear the palm, for having bravely fhcd
" Thy wife and children's blood. For my felf, fon,
" I purpofe not to wait on Fortune, 'till
*' Thefc wars determine: if I can't perfuade thee
Rather to mew a noble grace to both parts,
Than feek the end of one; thou (halt no foo.ner
March to afTauk thy Country, than to tread
(Truft to't, thou malt not) on thy mother's womb,
That brought thee to this world.
Vvrg. Ay, and mine too,
That brought you forth this Boy, to keep your nam$
Living to time.
Boy. " He mall not tread on me:
" I'll run away 'till I'm bigger, but then I'll fight."
Cor. Not of a woman's tendernefs to be,
Requires, nor child, nor woman's face, to fee :
I've fat too long.
Vol. Nay, go not from us thus:
If it were fo, that our requeft did tend
To fave the Romans, thereby to deftroy
The Volfdam whom you fcrve, you might condemn us,
As poyfonous of your Honour. No-, our fuit
Is, that you reconcile them: while the Voljcians
May fay, This mercy we have fhew'd j the Romans,
This we receiv'd ; and each in either fide
Give the all-hail to thee; and cry, Be bleft
For making up this Peace! Thou know'ft, great fon,
The End of War's uncertain ; but this certain,
That if thou conquer Rome, the benefit,
Which thou malt thereby reap, is fuch a Name,
Whofe repetition will be dogg'd with Curies:
Whofe Chronicle thus writ, 4 the man was noble
6 But with his laft attempt he wip'd it out,
4 Deftroy'd his Country, and his name remains
4 To the enfuing age, abhorr'd.' Speak to me, fon :
Thou hail affe&ed the firll ftrains of honour,
Nn 3 To
To imitate the graces of the Gods ,
To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o* th' air,
1 And yet to charge thy fulphur with a bole,
That mould but rive an oak. Why doft not fpeak ?
Think'ft thou it honourable for a noble man
Still to remember wrongs ? Daughter, fpeak you :
He cares not for your weeping. Speak thou, Boy ;
Perhaps, thy childifhnefs will move him more
Than can our reafons. There's no man in the world
More bound to's mother, yet here he lets me prate
Like one i'lh' Stocks. Thou'ft never in thy life
Shew'd thy dear mother any courtefie ;
When (he, (poor hen) fond of no fecond brood,
Has cluck'd thee to the wars, and fafely home,
Loaden with honour. Say, my Requeft's unjuft,
And fpurn me back : but, if it be not fo,
Thou art not honefl, and the Gods will plague thee,
That thou reftrain'ft from me the duty, which
To a mother's part belongs. He turns away :
Down, Ladies; Jet us fname him with our knees.
To's fir-name Coriolanus 'longs more pride,
Than pity to our prayers. Down ; and end ;
This is the laft. So we will home to Rome^
And die among our neighbours : nay, behold us.
This Boy, that cannot tell what he would have,
But kneels, and holds up hands for fellowmip,
Does reafon our petition with more ftrength
Than thou haft to deny't. Come, let us go:
This fellow had a Vdjcian to his mother :
His wife is in Corioli^ and this child
Like him by chance ; yet give us our difpatch :
Pm hulht, until our City be afire ;
And then, I'll fpeak a little.
Cor. " Q mother, mother !
[Holds ker ly the hands > filent.
? dr.dyet to change tby futybur~\ We ftiould read charge. The
Cleaning of the paffage is, To threaten much and yet be merciful.
ce What have you done ? behold the heav'ns do ope,
" The Gods look down, and this unnatural fcene
" They laugh at. Oh, my mother, mother! oh!
You've won a happy vidtory to Rome:
But for your Ton, believe it, oh, believe it,
Moft dang'roufly you have with him prevail'd,
If not moft mortal to him. Let it come : -
Aufidiu^ though I cannot make true wars,
I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufdius 9
Were you in my ftead, fay, would you have heard
A mother lefs ? or granted lefs, duf.dius ?
Auf. I too was mov'd.
Cor. I dare be fworn, you were ;
And, Sir, it is no little thing to make
Mine eyes to fweat Compafiion. But, good Sir,
What peace you'll make, advife me : for my part
I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you, and pray you
Stand to me in this caufe. O mother! wife !
Auf. I'm glad, thou'ft fet thy mercy and thy ho-
At difference in thee ; out of That I'll work
My felf a former fortune. [Afide.
Cor. Ay, by and by ; but we will drink together ;
And you (hall bear [To Vol. Virg. fcfr.
A better witnefs back than words, which we,
On like conditions, will have counter- feal'd.
* Come, enter with us.
Auf. Ladies, you defer ve
To have a Temple built you : all the fwords
In Italy, and her confederate arms,
Could not have made this Peace. [Exeunt:
2 Cor. - Come, enter ivitb us: Laaiff. yeutftft-rve, &o,]
This fpeech beginning at, Ladies, you defet<ve v.hich is abfurd.y
given to Coriolanus, belongs to dufidim. For it cannot be fup-
pofed that the other, amidft all the diforder of violent and con-
trary paflionsj couW be calm and difengaged enough to make To
N n 4 gal!ii.fe
T^he Forum, in ROME.
Enter Menenius and Sicinius.
E E you yond coin o* th* Capitol, yond cor*
Sic. Why, what of that?
Men. If it be poffible for you to difplace it with
your little finger, there is fome hope the Ladies of
Rome^ efpecially his mother, may prevail with him.
Bur, I fay, there is no hope in't ; our throats are fen-
tenc'd, and ft ay upon execution.
Sic. Is't poffible, that fo fhort a time can alter the
condition of a man?
Men. There is difference 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 lov*d his mother dearly.
Men. So did he me : and he no more remembers his
mother now, than an eight years old horfe. The
tartnefs of his face fours ripe grapes. When he walks,
he moves like an engine, and the ground (brinks be-
fore his treading. He is able to pierce a corflet with
his eye : talks like a knell, and his hum is a battery,
-gallant a compliment to the ladies. Let us farther obferve from,
this fpeech where he fays,
- - - all the fiuords
In Italy, and her co/ea"raie arms
And from that a little before,
- Let the Volfcians
Plovgb Rome, and harrow Italy ; -
That the poet's head was running on the later grandeur of Rome,
when as at this time her dominion extended only a few miles round
3 than an eight ft an eld horfe.] Subintelligitur remembers hit
He fits in his State as a thing made for 'Alexander. What
he bids be done, is finifh'd 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 mail bring from him ; there is no
more mercy in him, than there is milk in a male
tyger 5 that mall our poor City find} and all this is
long of you.
Sic. The Gods be good unto us !
Men. No, in fuch a cafe the Gods will not be good
unto us. When we banifh'd him, we rel peeled not
them: and, he returning to break our necks, they re-
Enter a Meffengtr.
Mef. Sir, if you'd fave your life, fly to your
The Plebeians have got your fellow-tribune,
And hale him up and down ; All fwearing, if
The Roman Ladies bring not comfort home,
They'll give him death by inches.
Enter another Meffenger.
Sic. What's the news?
Mef. Good news, good news, the Ladies have pre*
The Volfcmm are diflodg'd, and Marcius gone;
A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
No, not th' Expulfion of the Tarquins.
Art certain, this is true ? is it moft certain?
Mef. As certain, as I know the Sun is fire :
Where have you lurk'd, that you make doubt of it?
Ne'er through an Arch fo hurried the blown tide,
As the recomforted through th* gates. Why, hark
[Trumpets, Hautboys, Drums beat^ all together.
The trumpets, fackbuts, pfalteries and fifes,
Tabors and cymbals, and the fhouting Romans
Make the Sun dance. Hark you ! [Ajhout within,
Men. This is good news :
I will go meet the Ladies. This Volumma,
Is worth of Confuls, Senators, Patricians,
A City full ; of Tribunes, fuch as you,
A Sea and Land full. You've pray'd well to day :
This morning, for ten thoufand of your throats
I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy !
[Sound ftill> with the faouts.
Sic. Firft, the Gods blefs you for your tidings : next,
Accept my thankful nefs.
Mef. Sir, we have all great caufe to give great
Sic. They're near the City ?
Mef. Almoft at point to enter.
Sic. We'll meet them, and help the joy. [Exeunt.
Enter two Senators, with ladle s^ pajjing over the ft age ',
with other Lords.
Sen. Behold our Patronefs, the Life of Rome :
Call all our Tribes together, praife the Gods,
And make triumphant fires: ftrew flowers before them :
Unlhout the noife, that banilVd Marcius ;
Repeal him with the welcome of his mother :
Cry, welcome, Ladies, welcome! [Exeunt.
All, Welcome, Ladies, welcome!
[A flourifh with drums and trumpet*.
Changes to a publick Place in Antium.
Enter Tullus Aufidius, with Attendants.
~^ O tell the Lords o' th* City, I am here :
J Deliver them this paper: having read it,
Bid them repair to th* market-place, where J,
Even in theirs and in the Commons' ears,
Will vouch the truth of it. He, I accufe,
The city-ports by this hath enter'd ; and
Intends t'appear before the people, hoping
To purge himfelf with words. Difpatch. Moft
Enter three or four Confpirators of Aufidius'j/tfff/0;;.
i Con. How is it with our General ?
Auf. Even fo,
As with a man by his own alms impoifon'd,
And with his charity (lain,
2. Con. Moft noble Sir,
If you hold the fame intent, wherein
You wifli'd us parties ; we'll deliver you,
Of your great danger.
Auf. Sir, I cannot tell ;
We muft proceed, as we do find the people.
3 Con. The people will remain uncertain, whilft
'Twixt you there's difference; but the Fall of either
Makes the Survivor heir of all.
Auf. I know it;
And my pretext to (hike at him admits
A good conltruclion. I raifed him, and pawn'd
Mine honour for his truth; who being fo heightened,
He vvater'd his new plants with dews of flattery,
Seducing fo my friends ; and to this end,
He bow'd his nature, never known before
But to be rough, unfwayable, and free.
3 Con. Sir, his ftoutnefs
When he did ftand for Conful, which he loft
By lack of (looping
Auf. That I would have fpoke of:
Being banifli'd for't, he came unto my hearth,
Prefented to my knife his throat ; I took him,
Made him joint fervant with me j gave him way
In all his own defires; nay, let him chufe
Out of my files, his projects to accomplim,
My beft and frefheft men ; ferv'd his defignments
In mine own perfon , holpe to reape the Fame,
Which he did make all his ; and took fome pride
To do myfelf this wrong -, 'till, at the lad,
I feem'd his follower, not partner ; and
He wag'd me with his countenance, as if
I had been mercenary.
i Con. So he did, my lord :
The army marvelPd at it, and, at laft,
When he had carried Rome^ and that we looked
For no lefs Spoil, than Glory
Auf. There was it ; .
(For which my finews mall be ftretch'd upon him ;)
** At a few drops of women's rheum, which are
lt As cheap as lies, he fold the Blood and Labour
" Of our great Action ; therefore mail he die,
And I'll renew me in his Fall. But, hark!
[Drums and Trumpets found, with great Jhouts.
of the -people.
1 Con. Your native Town you enter'd like a Poft,
And had no welcomes home; but he returns,
Splitting the Air with noife.
2 Con. And patient fools,
Whofe children he hath flain, their bafe throats tear,
Giving him glory.
3 Con. Therefore, at your vantage,
Etc he exprefs himfelf, or move the people
With what he would fay, let him feel your fword,
Which we will fecond. When he lies along,
After your way his Tale pronounc'd ihall bury
His reafons with his body.
Aitf. Say no more,
Here come the lords.
Enter the Lords of the City.
All Lords. You're moft welcome home.
Anf. \ have not deferv'd it.
But worthy lords, have you with heed perus'd
What I have written to you ?
All. We have.
i Lord. And grieve to hear it.
What faults he made before the lad, I think,
Might have found eafie fines : but there to end,
Where he was to begin, and give away
The benefit of our Levies, anfwering us
With our own charge, making a treaty where
There was a yielding : This admits no excufe.
Auf. He approaches, you (hall hear him.
Enter Coriolanus, marching with drums and colours i
the Commons being with him.
Cor. Hail, lords ; I am return 'd, your foldicr ;
No more infected with my Country's love,
Than when I parted hence, but ftill fubfifting
Under your great Command. You are to know,
That profperoufly I have attempted, and
With bloody paflage led your wars, even to
The gates of Rome . Our fpoils, we have brought
Do more than counterpoife, a full third part,
The charges of the action. We've made peace
With no Jefs honour to the Antiatcs^
Than fliame to th' Romans : and we here deliver*
Subfcribed by the Confuls and Patricians,
Together with the feal o' th' Senate, what
We have compounded on.
Auf. Read it not, noble lords,
But tell the traitor, in the higheft degree
He hath abus'd your powers.
Cor. Traitor ! how now !
Auf. Ay, traitor, Marcius.
Auf. Ay, Martins, Caius Marcius ; doft thou think,
I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy ftol'n name
Coriolanus in Corioli?
You Lords and Heads o'th' State, perfidioufly
He has betray'd your bufinefs, and given up
For certain drops of fait, your city Rome !
I fay, your city, to his wife and mother ;
Breaking his oath and refolution, like
A twifl of rotten filk, never admitting
Counfel o' th' war ; but at his nurfe's tears
He whin'd and roar'd away your victory,
That Pages blufh'd at him ; and men of heart
Look'd wondring each at other.
Cor, Hear'ft thou, Mars !
Auf. Name not the God ! thou boy of tears !
Auf. No more.