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that was lafhed through the Forum, and afterwards
put to death. The priefls unanimoufly agreed, that
this muft be the perfon, accordingly the mailer had a
heavy fine laid upon him, and they began the games
a-new with more magnificence, and with the utmoft

The wifdom of Numa in the appointment of religi-
ous ceremonies appears in many inftances, and parti-
cularly in this inftitution, that when the magillrates or
priefts perform any folemn religious fervice, a crier goes
before, and proclaims aloud, " Hoc Age;" which fignifies^
" Mind what you are about ; " and fo warns them care-
fully to attend to whatever facred action they are enga^
ged in, and not to fuffer any other bufmefs or avo-
cation to intervene and diflurb the exercife; for he well
knew that men perform few actions without a fort
of violence and constraint, and that they mufl be com-
pelled by force to perfeverance.

It was cuftomary for the Romans to begin afrefh their
facrifices, proceflions and fpectacles, not only on fuch
an important caufe as this, but for the mod frivolous
reafons ; as when one of the horfes which drew the
chariots called Tenfse, in which the images of their
gods were placed, happened to flumble, or if the
coachman took hold of the reins with his left hand,
they palled a vote that the whole office mould begin
a-new. And in the latter ages the fame facrifice was
performed thirty times over, becaufe there feemed al-
ways to be fome defect, or miftake, or offenfive acci-
dent in it. So great was the reverence which the Ro-
mans paid to the Deity.

In the mean time Marcius and Tullus privately
confulted with the chief men of Antium, advifing them to


proeeflion, on purpofe that the torious. This indeed is a flronger
ignominy might be the more no- ground for Jupiter's complaint.

(9) Among

The LIFE of

invade the Romans while they were at variance among
themtelves. The refpecls of fhame and decency hin-
dered them at firft from embracing the motion, becaufe
they had fworn to obferve a truce for the fpace of two
years. But the Romans themfelves ibon furnifhed them
with a pretence, by making proclamation (out of an
ill-grounded jealoufy and flanderous report) in the midft
of their fhows and exercifes, that all the Volfcians who
came thither to fee them, mould depart the city before
fun-fet. (9) There are fome who affirm that all this
was a contrivance of Marcius, who fent one privately to
the confuls falfly to accufe the Volfcians, as if they in-
tended to fall upon the Romans during their publick
iports, and fire the city. This affront provoked all
that nation to greater animofity than ever againft the
Romans. Tullus aggravated the fact, and Ib exafperated
the people, (i) that at laft he perfuaded them to difpatch
ambatfadors to Rome, to demand that part of their coun-
try, and thofe towns, which had been taken from them
in the late war. The Romans received this meflage
with indignation, and replied, " That if the Volfcians
" took up arms firft, the Romans mould be the laft that
" would lay them down." Upon this, Tullus called a ge-
neral aiTembly of the Volfcians, where the vote patting for
war, he advifed them to fend for Marcius, laying afide
all former refentments, and affuring themfelves that
the fervice they mould now receive from him, as an
ally, would exceed the damage he had done them when
their enemy. Marcius was called, and having made
an oration to the people, it appeared he knew how to
fpeak as well as fight, and that he excelled in prudence
as well as courage. So he was immediately joined in
commi'lion with Tullus. Marcius fearing left the time
requifite for the Volfcian preparations might make him
lofe the opportunity of action, left orders with the
chief men and governors of the city to aflemble the


(q) Among thefe are Dionyfius demand was of a very malicious
of HalicarnafTus, and Livy. tendency ; for either the Romans

(i) It was not Tullus but Cori- mull refufe to comply with it,
clanus who gave this advice. The and fo inevitably involve them-

Caius Marcius Coriolanus.

troops, and provide the other neceflaries, while himfelf
having prevailed upon fome of the mofl bold and for-
ward to march out with him as voluntiers without flay-
ing to be enrolled, made a fudden incurfion into the

D 7

Roman territories, when no body expected them, and got
there fuch plenty of plunder that the Volfcians were tired
with carrying it of^ and could not coniume it all in
their camp. But the abundance of provifions which he
gained, and the wafte and havock which he made of
the country, were in his account the fmallefl things in
that invafion. What he chiefly intended by it, and for
the fake whereof he did all the reft, was to increafe the
peoples fufpicions againft the nobles. To which end,
in fpoiling all the fields, and deftroying the goods of
other men, he took particular care to preferve the
lands of the patricians, and would not allow the fol-
diers to ravage there, .or feize any thing which belong-
ed to them , from whence their invedives and quar-
rels with one another grew higher than ever. The fe-
nators reproached the commonalty for unjuflly banim-
ing fo confiderable a perfon ; and the people on the
other hand accufed the fenators of bringing Coriolanus
upon them out of enmity to the plebeians, that whilft they
felt all the calamities of war, the nobility might fit like
unconcerned fpectators, being aflured that the war itfelf
would be the guardian of their lands and fubftance.
After this expedition, which was of fmgular advantage
to the Volfcians, by infpiring them with courage and
contempt of the enemy, Marcius brought his troops
fafely back. But when the whole ftrength of the Vol-
fcians was with great expedition and alacrity brought to-
gether into the field, it appeared fo confiderable a body,
that they agreed to leave part thereof in garrifbn for the
fecurity of their towns, and with the remainder to march
againft the Romans. Coriolanus then defired Tullus to
chufe which of the two charges he pleafed, and to leave


felves in a war ; or if they com- make the fame demands, and
plied, all their neighbours, the thereby drive the Romans to the
jf^qui, the Albans, thofe of He- very brink of ruin,
truiia, and many others, would

{2) There

27"? LIFE of

him the other ; Tullus anfwered, " That fince he knew
" Marcius to be equally valiant with himfelf, and far
" more fortunate in all engagements, (2) he would have
" him take the command of thofe that were going out to
4i the war, while he took care to defend their citiesat home,
" and provide all conveniences for the army abroad."
Marcius therefore being thus reinforced, and much
ftronger than before, moved firft towards Circaeum, a
'Roman colony ; which furrendering at difcretion (3) was
fecured from pillage. And pafling thence, he entered
and laid wafte the country of the Latins, where it was
expected the Romans would have come to their aflift-
&nce, and fought againft him in behalf of the Latins,
who were their allies, and had often fent to demand
fuccours from them ; but becaufe the people on their
part mowed little inclination for the fervice, and the
Confuls themfelves were unwilling now to run the ha-
zard of a battle when the time of their office drew ib near
its end, they difmiffed the Latin ambafladors without
any effect. Marcius therefore finding no army to op-
pole him, marched up to the very cities themfelves ; and
having taken by aifaultTolerium,Labicum, Pedum, and
Bola, whofe inhabitants had the courage to make fbme
refinance, he not only plundered their houfes, but
fold the citizens for ilaves. At the fame time he
fhowed a particular regard to all fuch as came over to
his party ; and was fo tender of them, that for fear they
might fuftain any damage againft his will, he encamp-
ed ftill at the greateft diftance he could, and wholly ab-
ftained from the lands which belonged to them. Af-
ter this he took Boillae, which was diflant about twelve


(2) There were' other reafons at the head of another againft

that induced Tullus to yield to Rome. If in that cafe there

Coriolanus the command of the fhould have happened a good un-

army that was to march againft derftanding between Coriolanus

the Romans, of which one was and the Romans, the confequence

purely political. It would have might have ben fatal,

been a great' weaknefs in Tullus (3) He only obliged the inha-

to have left Coriolanus at the head bitants to furnifli clothes for his

of an army in the bowels of his army, to fupply him with pro-

countrv, whilft he was marching vifions for one month, and raife


Cains Marcius Coriolanus.

miles from Rome ; where he put to the fword almoft
all who were of age t carry arms, and got much
plunder. The other Volfcians that were ordered to {lay
behind as a fafeguard to their cities, hearing of his at-
chievements and fuccefs, had not the patience to re-
main any longer at home, but came running with their
arms to Marcius, and faying, " That he alone was their
" General, and the fole perfon they would own as a com-
" mander in chief over them." His reputation was very
oreat throughout Italy -, and all admired the valour
and (kill of a man who, by changing fides, had him-
felf alone given fo great and fudden a turn to the affairs
of two nations.

The Romans were now in very great diforder, for
they were utterly averfe from fighting, and fpent their
whole time in cabals, fediticus difcourfes, and perpetual
quarrels with each other ; until news was brought'that
the enemy had laid clofe fiege to Lavinium, wherein
were the gods of their fathers, and from whence they
derived their original, that being the firfl city which
jneas built in Italy. The news of this fiege being foon
fpread over the whole city, produced a ftrange and fud-
den turn of mind among the people, but a. very abfurd
and unexpected change among the patricians. For the
former urged a repeal of the fentence againfl Marcius,
and were for recalling him home-, whereas the fenate,
being aflernbled to deliberate and refolve upon that
point, finally rejected the proportion ; (4) either out
of a perverfe humour of contradicting the people in
whatfoever they fhould propofe, or becaufe they were
unwilling that he mould owe his restoration to their

kindnefs j

him a Cum of money. This city try if the people were fteady in

flood on the confines of the Vol- that refolution ; the fecond, that

fcians. by feeming to oppofe it, they

(4) Dionyfms of Halicarnaffus might make them the more ear-

confefles he is at a lofs to find nefl. for it ; and the third, that

out what it was that made the it would be a means to remove

fenate oppofe the recalling of Co- from the people the fufpicion

rioianus, and makes three con- they had entertained that the pa-

jeftures concerning it. -The firft tricians had excited Coriolanus to

h that the fenate were willing to ann the Volfcians againft Rome.

(5) He

176 ?bc LIFE of

kindnefs -, or having now conceived a difpleafure a-
gainft Marcius himfelf, who harrafled and diftrefled them
all alike, though he had not been ill treated by all, and
was become a declared enemy to his whole country,
though he knew that the principal men, and all the
better fort, condoled with him, and jfhared in his in-

This refolution of theirs being made publick, the
people could proceed no further, as having no autho-
rity to pafs any thing by fuffrage, and enadt it for a
law, without a previous decree from the fenate. But
when Marcius came to hear of that vote for prohibiting
his return, he was more exafperated than ever ; info~
much that (5) quitting the fiege of Lavinium, he
marched furioufly towards Rome, and encamped at a
place called FoiTae Clceliae, about five miles from the city.
The nearnefs of his approach was terrible, and caufed
great conilernation, but it put an end to the animofi-
ties and diflentions for the prefent ; for no one now,
whether conful or fenator, durft any longer cppofe the
people in their defign of recalling Marcius ; but feeing
the women run frighted up and down the ftreets, and
the old men praying in every temple with tears and
earneft fupplications ; and that, in fhort, there was a
general defedt among them both of courage and wik
dom, to provide for their own fafety, they at laft ac-
- knowledged, that the people had been very much in
the right, to propofe a reconciliation with Marcius ; but
that the fenate had been guilty of a fatal error, in pro^.
yoking him at a time when they mould have fludied
rather to appeafe him. It was therefore unanimoufly
agreed by all parties, that ambafladors mould be lent
offering to recal him, and defiring him to put an end
to the war. The perfons fent by the fenate with this
meflage, were chofen out of his kindred and acquain-
tance, who therefore expeded a very kind reception at
their firft interview, on account of their familiarity and
friendfhip with him. But it proved quite otherwife ;


(5) He did not raife the fiege. Diooyfius of Halicarnaflus writes


Caius Marcius Coriolanus.

for being led through the enemy's camp, they found him
fitting with infupportable pride and arrogance, and fur-
rounded by the principal men among the Volfcians ; he bid
them declare the cauie of their coming ; which they did
in the mod modeft and humble terms, and with a beha -
viour fuitable to the occafion. When they had made an
end of fpeaking, he returned them an anfwer, full of bit-
ternefs and refentment, as to what concerned himfelf, and
the ill ufage he had received from the Romans but as
General of the V-olfcians, he demanded "reflitutionofthe
" cities and lands they had taken from them during the
" late war, and that the fame rights and privileges fhould
" be granted to the Volfcians at Rome which had before
*' been granted to the Latins ; without which juft and rea-
" fonable conditions, no peace was to be obtained." He
allowed them thirty days to confider of his demands ;
and when they were retired, he decamped, and left the
Roman territories. This proceeding gave fbme of the
Volfcians, who had long envied his reputation, and could
not endure to fee the interefl he had with the people,
the firfl handle to calumniate and reproach him. Tullus
himfelf was among the number of his enemies, not from
any perfonal injury which he had received, but merely
from human infirmity, and the vexation he felt in feeing his
own glory thus totally obfcured by that of Marcius, and
himfelf negleded now by the Volfcians, who had fb
great an opinion of their new leader, that he alone was
inftead of all to them, and they would have other cap-
tains be content with that fhare of government and
power which he fhould think fit to vouchfafe them.
From hence the firft feeds of complaint and accufation
were fcattered about in fecret ; and his enemies aflem-
bling together, heightened each other's indignation, fay-
ing, that to retreat as he did, was in effect to betray
and deliver up, though not their cities and their arms,
yet the proper times and opportunities for adion, up-
on the obfervation or neglect of which every thing elfe
does naturally depend ; feeing in lefs than thirty days


that he left a body of his troops there to continue the blockade.
Vol. II. M (6) He

I? 3 27* LIFE /

fpace, for which he had given a refpite from the waiy
there might happen the greateft changes in the world.
However Marcius fpent not any part of his time idly,
(6) but attacked and harrafled the confederates of the
enemy, and took from them feven great and populous
cities in the interval. The Romans in the mean while
durft not venture out to their relief; their fpirits were
grown dull and inactive, fb that they felt no more di-
pofition or capacity for the affairs of war, than if their
bodies too had been benumbed with a palfy r and utter-
ly deflitute of fenfe and motion.. When the thirty
days were expired, and Mareius appeared again with
his whole army, they fent another embaffy, to be-
(eech him that he would moderate his difpleafure, and
marching: off with the Volfcians, confider what was
fit to be done, agreeable to the intereft of both par-
ties, remembring always that the Romans would not
yield any thing out of fear ; but if it were his opi-
nion, that the Volfcians ought to have fome favour mown
them, upon laying down their arms, they might obtain
all they could in reafon defire. The reply of Marcius
was, that he mould anfwer nothing thereto as General
of the Volfcians ; but in quality ftill of a Roman citi-
zen, he would advife them to behave with lefs haughti-
nefs, and return to him before three days were at an
end, with a ratification of thofe equal demands he had
formerly made ; for otherwife they mould not have the
fame freedom and fecurity of pafiing through his camp
again upon fuch idle errands. When the ambafladors
were come back, and had acquainted the lenate with
this reiblute anfwer, they feeing the whole Hate now
threatned as it were by a tempeft, and the waves ready
to overwhelm them, were forced, as we fay, to let
down the facred anchor for there was a decree made,
that the whole order of priefts, with fuch as officiated
in. religious myfteries, or had the care and cuftody of
holy things, together with the Augurs, who from the
earlieft times had pradlifed the art of divination by


(6) He had two views in this: from affifting the Romans ; and
the firft was to prevent the allies the fecond to fltreen hi-aifelf from


Caius Marcius Coriolanus. 179

birds, fliould all of them go in full proceflion to Marcius
in the fame drefs and habit which they refpectively ufed
in their feveral functions or religious ceremonies ; they
were to enforce the former requeft, and intreat him to
defift from" the war, and then confer with his countrymen
upon the articles of peace. He admitted them into his
camp, but made them no cdnceffions, nor did he behave
or exprefs himfelf with more civility or mildnefs upon
their account $ but told them u that the Romans muft ei-
" ther yield or fight ; for the old terms were the only
" terms of peace." When the priefts too returned unfuc-
cefsful the Romans determined to fit ftill within their city,
and guard the walls ; intending only to repulfe the ene-
my, mould he offer to attack them, and placing their
hopes chiefly in the ftrange and extraordinary accidents
of time and fortune. For as to themfelves, they were un-
abie to contrive any thing for theirown deliverance ; but
confufion, and terror, and ill-boding reports ran through
the whole city. During thefe tranfaftions, fomethi^g hap-
pened not unlike what we fo often meet with in Homer,
which however moft people will hardly believe ; for
when he upon great occafions, and fome rare and unufual
events, breaks out in this manner,

Butbimtbeblue-efdgoddefs, then infpir'd.

And again,

But fome immortal poiv'r ijobo rules the mind
'The ivav'ring croud to other views inclined.

And thus,

The thought Spontaneous rijing in his mind^
Or form 'd obedient as fome God enjoined.

Ignorant men are ready here to defpife and cenfufe the
poet, as if he deflroyed the freedom of choice, and fub-
jedted men's reafon to an influence entirely fictitious
and incredible. Whereas Homer does nothing like it ;
for what is probable, and ufual, and brought about by
the ordinary way of reafon, he attributes to our own pow-
er and will, and frequently fpeaks to this effect,


thefufpicions mentioned by Plu- fliould lie under,
larch, and which he forefaw he

M z (7) This

i8o ne LIFE of

But I coq/ultfd with myfelf alone. .

And in another place,
Achilles beard, with grief and rage opprefs'd,
His heart fwell'd high, and laboured in bis breafl?
Dift rafting thoughts by turns bis bofom mVd,
Now fir' d by w-rath^ and now by reafon cool'd.

And agarn,

. -Rutjbe in vain

'Tempted Bellerophon. The noble youtb

iVas anrfd with wifdom, conflancy^ and truth.

But in fuch things and actions as are unaecountablv
daring, and of a prodigious and tranfcendent kind, and
therefore require fomething of enthufiafm and fuperna-
tural courage, he introduces God, not as taking away
the liberty of our will, but as moving it to act freely ^
not as working in us the inclinations themfelves, but as
offering thofe ideas and objects to our minds, from
whence the impulie is conceived, and the refolutiou
formed. And this does not render the action involuntary,
but only gives a beginning to fpontaneous operations,
and fuperadds confidence and good hope to what is thus
willingly undertaken : for we muft either. totally exclude
the Deity from all manner of caufality and influence witfi
regard to our actions, or confefs that this is the only way
in which he affifts men,, and co-operates with the-m ; for
furely the help which he affords us, cannot be imagined
to confift in fafhioning the poftures of our body, or
directing the motions of our hands and feet, but in ex-
citing the foul to choice and action, or in reftraining and
controlling its inclinations^ by prefenting certain motives
and ideas.

In this perplexity of affairs, which I before mentioned,
the Roman women went fome of them to other temples -,
but the greater part, and thofe of the belt quality, were
performing their devotion about the altar of Jupiter Ca-
pitolinus. Among thefe was Valeria, fifter to Poplicola, a
perfon who had done the Romans fo many eminent fer-
vices both in peace and war. Poplicola himfelf was now
deceafed (as I have mentioned in the hiflory of his life)
but Valeria lived flill in great reputation and efteem at


Caius Marcius Coriolanus. 181

Rome, as one whoie birth received an additional luftre
from her virtue. She therefore being fuddenly feized with
an inftinft or emotion of mind, not unlike thofe I juft
now fpoke of, and happily lighting (not without a divine
direction) on the right expedient, both arofe herfelf and
caufed the reft of the votaries to get up, and wen indirect-
ly with them toward the houfe of Volumnia, the mother
of Marcius. When (he came in, and found her fitting
with her daughter-in-law, and having her little grand-
children on her lap, Valeria, furrounded by her female com-
panions, fpoke in the name of them all to this purpofe.

" We who now make our appearance, O Volumnia,
" and Vergilia, approach as women unto women ; being
*' come hither not by direction of the fenate, or an or-
" der from the confuls ; but God himfelf, as I con-
" ceiye, touched with companion by our prayers, has
" moved us to vifit you and requeft a thing wherein our
" own and the common fafety is concerned, and which,
" if you confent to it, will raife your glory above that
" of the daughters of the Sabins, who reduced their
" fathers and their hufbands from mortal enmity to
"peace and friendfhip. Come then, and join with us
" in our fupplication to Marcius, and bear this true and
"juft teftimony to your country, Chat notwithftanding
" the many mifchiefs and calamities (he has fuffered,
" yet fhe has never done any injury or mowed any re-
" fentment to you, but now reftores you (afe^ into his
" hands, though perhaps (he may not obtain from him
" any better terms for herfelf on that account.

This difcourfe of Valeria was feconded by the loud
approbations and intreaties of the other women ; Volum-
nia made this anfwer j

" Befide the common calamities of our country, in
** which we bear an equal (hare with you, we have afflic-
c< tions, which are peculiar to ourfelves ; for with our
" own eyes have we beheld the downfall of our Cori-
" olanus's fame and virtue, fmce he is at preient fur-
" rounded by the arms of the enemies of his country,
" not as their priibner but commander. But this is the
" greateft of our rniferies, to fee the affairs of Rome in

M " fo


" {blow and defperate a condition, as to have its laft de-
" pendence on us. For, how can we hope he will mow
*' any refpect to us, when he has loft all regard to his
" country, which was once dearer to him than his mo-
" ther, his wife, and his children. But make what ufe
" of us you pleafe, and lead us to Goriolanus. Should
" he be deaf to our prayers, we can at leaft die for our
" country, and fpend our lateft breath in making fuppli-
" cations to him for its deliverance.

Having fpoken thus, (7) me took Vergilia by the hand,
and the young children, and accompanied the other wo-
men to the Volfcian camp. So extraordinary a fight
very much affected the enemies themfelves, and creat r
ed in them a refpectful filence, Marcius was then feated

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