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Never admitted private whisper, no,
Not with such friends that thought them fure of you.
Cor. This latt old man,
Whom with a crack'd heart I have sent to Rome,
Lov'd me above the measure of a father;
Nay, godded me, indeed. Their latest refuge
Was to fend him : for whose old love, I have
(Tho' I lhew'd sow'rly to him) once more offer'd
The first conditions ; (which they did refuse,
And cannot now accept,) to grace him only,
"That thought he could do more; a very little
I've yielded to. Fresh embafiy, and suits,
Nor from the state, nor private friends, hereafter
Will I lend ear to.-Ha! what shout is this?
Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow,
In the same time 'tis made? I will not-
Enter Virgilia, Volumnia, Valeria, young Marcius,
with Attendants all in Mourning.
My wife comes foremost, then the honour'd mould
Wherein this trunk was fram'd, and in her hand
The grand-child to her blood. But, out, affection!
All bond and privilege of nature break!
Let it be virtuous, to be obstinate.
What is that curt'sy worth? or those dove's eyes,
Which can make gods forsworn ? Imelt, and am not
Of stronger earth than others? my mother bows,
As if Olympus to a mole-hill should
In fupplication nod; and my young boy."
Hath an aspect of interceflion, which
Great nature cries, -Deny not. Let the Volscians
Plough Rome, and harrow Italy; I'll never
Be such a golling to obey instinct; but stand
As if a man were author of himself,
And knew no other kin.
Virg. My Lord and husband!
Cor. These eyes are not the fame I wore in Rome.
Virg. The forrow, that delivers us thus chang'd,
Makes you think so.
Cor. Like a dull actor now,
I have forgot my part, and I am out,
Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh,
Forgive my tyranny ; but do not say,
For that, forgive our Romans.O a kiss
Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!
Now, by the jealous Queen of heav'n, that kiss
I carried from thee, dear; and my true lip
Hath virgin'd it e'er since.--You gods! I prate; (39)
You gods, I pray,
And the most nobie mother of the world
An old corruption must have posiels'd this passage, for two reasons.
In the first place, whoever consults this speech, will find, that he'is
talking fondly to his wife, and not praying to the gods at all. Se-
condly, if he were employ'd in his devotions, no apology would be
wanting for leaving his mother unsaluted. The poet's intention was
certainly this. Coriolanus, having been lavish in his tendernesles and
raptures to his wife, bethinks himself on the sudden, that his fond-
ness to her had made him guilty of ill manders in the neglect of his
mother; and, therefore correcting himself upon reflection, cries;
-You gods! I prate;
Prate, 'tis true, is a term now ill. founding to us, because it is taken
only, as the grammarians call it, in malam partem. Our language was
not so refin'd, tho* more masculine, in Sbaikespeare's days; and There-
fore (notwith&anding the present fuppos’d manoGarbs,) when he is
most serious, he frequently makes use of the word. A little after, in
this very fcene, Volumnia fays;
yet here he lets me.prate,
Like one i' th' ftocks,
If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
He will awake my metcy.
And if thou prate of mountains, let them throw
Millions of acres on us.
Nor is it infrequent with him to employ the diminutive of this terma
But I pratile
Something too wildly, and my father's précepts
I do forget. ·
Silence that fellow ;---I would, he had some
Cause to prattle for himself.
Meaf. for Meas
O my sweet,
I pratile out of fashion, and I dont
In mine own comfurt,
And the most noble mother of the world
Than that of common fons.
Vol. O fand up bleft!
Whilf with no softer cushion than the Aint
I kneel before thee, and unproperly
Shew duty as mistaken all the while,
[knek. Between the child and
parent. Cor. What is this?
Your knees to met to your correEted fon?
Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach
Fillop the stars: then, let the mutinous winds
Strike the proud cedars 'gainst the fiery sun:
Murd'ring impossibility, to make
What cannot be, fight work.
Vol. Thou art my warrior,
I holp to frame thee. Do you know this Lady?
Cor. The noble fifter of Poplicola,
The moon of Rome"; chafte as the ificle,
That's curdled by the frost from purest snow,
And hangs on Dian's temple: dear Valeria!
Vol. This is a poor epitome of yours,
[hewing young Marcius, Which by th' interpretation of full time May shew like all yourself.
Cor. The god of soldiers,
With the consent of fupreme Jove, inform
Thy thoughts with noblenefs, that thou may'R prove
To shame unvulnerable, and stick i' th' wars
Like a great sea-mark, ftanding every flaw,
And saving those that eye thee!
Wok. Your knee, firrah,
Cor. That's my brave boy.
Vol. Even he, your wife, this Lady, and my felf, Are suitors to you.
Cor. I beseech you, peace :: I amended the passage in question, in the appendix to my SHAX• SPLAR E restor'd; and Mr. Pape has thought fit to correct it from theace, in his last edition,
Or, if you'd alk, remember this before;
The thing, I have forsworn to grant, may never go
Be held by you denial. Do not bid me
ob 7.b veliki
Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate
Again with Rome's mechanicks. Tell me not,
Wherein I seem unnatural: defire not
T'allay my rages and revenges, with
Your colder reasons.
Vol: Oh, no more ; no more :
You've said, you will not grant us any thing:
For we have nothing else to ask, but that
Which you deny already: yet we will alk,
That if we fail in our request, the blame
May hang upon your hardness; therefore hear us.
Cor. Aufidius, and you Volfcians, mark; for we'll
Hear nought from Roine in private.-Your request?
Vol. Should we be silent and not speak, our raiment
And state of bodies would bewray what life
We've lead since thy exile. Think with thyself,..)
How more unfort'nate than all living women nuori
Are we come hither; fince thy sight, which should
Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with com-
Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and sorrow;
Making the mother, wife, and child to see y sin
The fon, the husband, and the father tearing av
His country's bowels out: and to poor we,, TO
Thine enmity's most capital; thou barr'st us
Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort
That all but we enjoy. For how can we,
Alas! how can we, for our country pray,
Whereto we're bound ? together with thy vi&ory,
Whereto we're bound? Alack or we must lose
The country, our dear nurse; or else thy person,
Our comfort in the country. We must find
An eminent calamity, tho' we had
Our wish, which fide fhou'd win. For either thou
Mult, as a foreign recreant, be led
With manacles along our streets; or else
Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin,
And bear the palm, for having bravely shed
Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, fon,
I purpose not to wait on fortune, 'till
These wars determine: if I can't persuade thee
Rather to thew'a noble grace to both parts,
Than feek the end of one; thou shalt no sooner
March to assault thy country, than to tread
(Trust to't, thou shalt not) on thy mother's womb,
That brought thee to this world.
Virg. Ay, and mine too,
That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name
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
tenderness to be, Requires, nor child, nor woman's face, to see : I've fat too long:
Voli Nay, go not from us thus : If it were so, that our request did tend To save the Romans, thereby to destroy The Volscians whom you serve, you might condemn us, As poisonous of your honour. No; our suit Is, that you reconcile them : while the Voifcians May say, this mercy we have few'd ; the Romans, This we receiv'd; and each in either side Give the all-hail to thee, and cry, be blest 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 shalt thereby reap, is such a name, Whose repetition will be dogg'd with curses : Whose chronicle thus writ, . the man was noble • But with his last attempt he wip'd it out, • Destroy'd his country, and his name remains * To th' ensuing age, abhorr’d.' Speak to me, fon: Thou hast affected the first strains of honour, To imitate the graces of the gods; To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o'th' air,