Imagens das páginas

of the multitude ; of the which, we being members, should bring ourselves to be monstrous members.

1 Cit. And to make us no better thought of, a little help will serve: for once, when we stood up about the corn, he himself stuck not to call us the many-headed multitude.

3 Cit. We have been called so of many ; not that our heads are some brown, some black, some auburn, some bald, but that our wits are so diversly coloured : and truly I think, if all our wits were to issue out of one skull, they would fy east, west, north, south ;8 and their consent of one direct way should be at once to all the points of the compass.

2 Cit. Think you so ? Which way, do you judge, my wit would fly ?

3 Cit. Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another man's will, 'tis strongly wedged up in a block-head: but if it were at liberty, 't would, sure, southward.

2 Cit. Why that way?

3 Cit. To lose itself in a fog; where, being three parts melted away with rotten dews, the fourth would return for conscience sake, to help to get thee a wife.

2 Cit. You are never without your tricks :-You may, you may

3 Cit. Are you all resolved to give your voices ? But that's no matter, the greater part carries it. I say, if he would incline to the people, there was never a worthier man.

Enter CORIOLANUS and MENENIUS. Here he comes, and in the gown of humility ; mark his behaviour. We are not to stay altogether, but to come by him where he stands, by ones, by twos, and by threes. He's to make his requests by particulars: wherein every one of us has a single honour, in giving him our own voices with our own tongues : therefore, follow me, and I'll direct you how you shall go by him. All. Content, content.

[Exeunt. Men. O, sir, you are not right : have you not knowo The worthiest men have done it?

Cor. What must I say I

pray, sir, -Plague upon't ! I cannot bring My tongue to such a pace :-Look, sir ;-my wounds ;

(8) To suppose all their wits to issue from one scull, and that their common consent and agreement to go all one way, should end in their flying to every point of the compass, is a just description of the variety and inconsis. tency of the opinions, wishes, and actions of the multitude. M. MASON.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

I got them in my country's service, when
Some certain of your brethren roard, and ran
From noise of our own drums.

Men. () me, the gods !
You must not speak of that ; you must desire them
To think upon you.

Cor. Think upon me? Hang 'em !
I would they would forget me, like the virtues
Which our divines lose by them.

Men. You'll mar all ;
I'll leave you : Pray you, speak to them, I pray you,
In wholesome manner.

Enter two Citizens.
Cor. Bid them wash their faces,
And keep their teeth clean.-So, here comes a brace.
You know the cause, sir, of my standing here.

1 Cit. We do, sir ; tell us what hath brought you to't. Cor. Mine own desert. 2 Cit. Your own desert ?

Cor. Ay, not Mine own desire.

1 Cit. How ! not your own desire ?

Cor. No, sir : 'Twas never my desire yet, To trouble the poor with begging.

1 Cit. You must think, if we give you any thing, we. hope to gain by you.

Cor. Well then, I pray, your price o'the consulship? 1 Cit. The price is, sir, to ask it kindly.

Cor. Kindly? Sir, I pray, let me ha't: I have wounds to show you, Which shall be your's in private.-Your good voice, sir ; What say you ?

2 Cit. You shall have it, worthy sir.

Cor. A match, sir :
There is in all two worthy voices begg'd ;-
I have your alms; adieu,

1 Cit. But this is something odd.
2 Cit. An. 'twere to give again,-But 'tis no matter.

[Ex. two Citizens. Enter two other Citizens. Cor. Pray you now, if it may stand with the tune of your voices, that I may be consul, I have here the customary gown. .

3 Cit. You have deserved nobly of your country, and you have not deserved nobly. Cor. Your enigma ?



3 Cit. You have been a scourge to her enemies, you have been a rod to her friends ; you have not, indeed, loved the common people.

Cor. You should account me the more virtuous, that I have not been common in my love. I will, sir, flatter my sworn brother the people, to earn a dear estimation of them; 'tis a condition they account gentle : and since the wisdom of their choice is rather to have my hat than my heart, I will practise the insinuating nod, and be off to them most counterfeitly ; that is, sir, I will counterfeit the bewitchments of some popular man, and give it bountifully to the desirers. Therefore, beseech you, I may be consul.

4 Cit. We hope to find you our friend ; and therefore give you our voices heartily. 3Cit. You have received many wounds for your country.

Cor. I will not seal your knowledge with showing them. I will make much of your voices, and so trouble you no further.

Both Cit. The gods give you joy, sir, heartily! [Exe.

Cor. Most sweet voices !
Better is it to die, better to starve,
Than crave the hire which first we do deserve.
Why in this woolvish gown' should I stand here,
To beg of Hob and Dick, that do appear,
Their needless vouches? Custom calls me to't :-
What custom wills, in all things, should we do't,
The dust on antique time would lie unswept,
And mountainous error be too highly heap'd
For truth to over-peer.-Rather than fool it so,
Let the high office and the honour go
To one that would do thus. I am half through ;
The one part suffer'd, the other will I do.

Enter three other Citizens.
Here come more voices,-
Your voices : for your voices I have fought ;
Watch'd for your voices ; for your voices, bear
Of wounds two dozen odd ; battles thrice six
I have seen, and heard of; for your voices, have
Done many things, some less, some more : your voices:

(9) I will not strengthen or complete your knowledge. The seal is that which gives authenticity to a writing. JOHNS.

[1] Mr. Steevens is clearly right, in supposing the allusion to be to the ** wolf in sheep's clothing ;* not indeed that Coriolanus means to call him. self a wolf; but merely to say, “Why should I stand here playing the hypocrite,and simulating the humility which is not in my nature.' KITSON.


Indeed, I would be consul.

5 Cit. He has done nobly, and cannot go without any honest man's voice.

6 Cit. Therefore let him be consul : The gods give him joy, and make him good friend to the people !

All.Amen, amen. God save thee, noble consul ! [ Exeunt Citizens. Cor. Worthy voices !

Enter MENENIUS, with BRUTUS, and SICINIUS. Mon. You have stood your limitation; and the tribunes Endue you with the people's voice : Remains, That, in the official marks invested, you Anon do meet the senate.

Cor. Is this done ?

Sic. The custom of request you have discharg'd :
The people do admit you ; and are summon'd
To meet agon, upon your approbation.

Cor. Where at the senate-house ?
Sic. There, Coriolanus.
Cor. May I change these garments
Sic. You may, sir.

Cor. That l'íl straight do; and, knowing myself again, Repair to the senate-house.

Men. I'll keep you company.-Will you along?
Bru. We stay here for the people.

Sic. Fare you well. [Exeunt Cor. and Men. -He has it now ; and, by his looks, methinks, 'Tis warm at his heart.

Bru. With a proud heart he wore
His humble weeds : Will you dismiss the people ?

Re-enter Citizens.
Sic. How now, my masters ? have you chose this man?
1 Cit. He has our voices, sir.
Bru. We pray the gods, he may deserve your loves.

2 Cit. Amen, sir : To my poor unworthy notice, He mock'd us, when he begg'd our voices.

3 Cit. Certainly, he flouted us down-right.
1 Cit. No, 'tis his kind of speech, he did not mock us.

2 Cit. Not one amongst is, save yourself, but says
He us'd us scornfully : he should have show'd us
His marks of merit, wounds receiv'd for his country.

Sic. Why, so he did, I am sure.
Cit. No; no man saw 'em.

[Several speak.

3 Cit. He said, he had wounds, which he could show

in private ;
And with his hat, thus waving it in scorn,
I would be consul, says he : aged custom,
But by your voices, will not so permit me ;
Your voices therefore : When we granted that,
Here was, I thank you for your voices,-thank you,
Your most sweet voices :- now you have left your voices,
I have no further with you :-Was not this mockery.

Sic. Why, either, you were ignorant to see't ??
Or, seeing it, of such childish friendliness
To yield your voices ?

Bru. Could you not have told him,
As you were lesson's, -When he had no power,
But was a petty servant to the state,
He was your enemy ; ever spake against
Your liberties, and the charters that you bear
I'the body of the weal : and now, arriving
At place of potency, and sway o’the state,
If he should still malignantly remain
Fast foe to the plebeii, your voices might
Be curses to yourselves : You should have said,
That, as his worthy deeds did claim no less
Than what he stood for ; so his gracious nature
Would think upon you for your voices, and
Translate his malice towards you into love,
Standing your friendly lord.

Sic. Thus to have said,
As you were fore-advis’d, had touch'd his spirit,
And try'd his inclination ; from him pluck'd
Either his gracious promise, which you might,
As cause had call'd you up, have held him to;
Or else it would have gallid his surly nature,
Which easily endures not article
Tying him to aught ; so, putting him to rage,
You should have ta’en the advantage of his choler,
And pass'd him unelected.

Bru. Did you perceive,
He did solicit you in free contempt, 3
When he did need your loves ; and do you think,
That his contempt shall not be bruising to you,
When he hath power to crush? Why, had your bodies
No heart among you ? Or had you tongues, to cry
Against the rectorship of judgment ?
(2) Did you want knowledge to discern it? JOHNS.
131 That is, with contempt open and unrestrained. JOHNS

« AnteriorContinuar »