“ It was even twilight when he entered the city of Antium, and many people met him in the streets, but no man knew him. So he went directly to Tullus Aufidius' house, and when he came thither, he got him up straight to the chimney-hearth, and sat him down, and spake not a word to any man, his face all muffled over. They of the house spying him, wondered what he should be, and yet they durst not bid him rise. For ill-favouredly muffled and disguised as he was, yet there appeared a certain majesty in his countenance and in his silence: whereupon they went to Tullus, who was at supper, to tell him of the strange disguising of this man. Tullus rose presently from the board, and coming towards him, asked him what he was, and wherefore he came. Then Martius unmuffled himself, and after he had paused awhile, making no answer, he said unto himself

, If thou knowest me not yet, Tullus, and seeing me, dost not perhaps believe me to be the man I am indeed, I must of necessity discover myself to be that I am. I am Caius Martius, who hath done to thyself particularly, and to all the Volces generally, 'great hurt and mischief, which I cannot deny for my surname of Coriolanus that I bear. For I never had other benefit nor recompence of the true and painful service I have done, and the extreme dangers I have been in, but this only surname : a good memory and witness of the malice and displeasure thou shouldest bear me.' Indeed the name only

remaineth with me; for the rest, the envy and cruelty of the people of • Rome have taken from me, by the suffrance of the dastardly nobility and magistrates, who have forsaken me, and let me be banished by the people. This extremity hath now driven me to come as a poor suitor, 'to take thy chimney-hearth, not of any hope I have to save my life thereby. For if I had feared death, I would not have come hither to 'put myself in hazard; but pricked forward with desire to be revenged of them that thus have banished me, which now I do begin, in putting

my person into the hands of their enemies. Wherefore if thou hast 'any heart to be wrecked of the injuries thy enemies have done thee, speed thee now, and let my misery serve thy turn, and so use it as my service may be a benefit to the Volces : promising thee, that I will fight with better good will for all you, than I did when I was against you, “knowing that they fight more valiantly who know the force of the “enemy, than such as have never proved it. And if it be so that thou

dare not, and that thou art weary to prove fortune any more, then am “I also weary to live any longer. And it were no wisdom in thee to save the life of him who hath been heretofore thy mortal enemy, and

whose service now can nothing help, nor pleasure thee.' Tullus hearing what he said, was a marvellous glad man, and taking him by the hand, he said unto him : 'Stand up, Martius, and be of good cheer, for in ‘proffering thyself unto us, thou doest us great honour: and by this means thou mayest hope also of greater things at all the Volces' hands.' So he feasted him for that time, and entertained him in the honourablest manner he could, talking with him of no other matter at that present: but within few days after, they fell to consultation together in what sort they should begin their wars.”

The meeting between Coriolanus and his mother is also nearly the same as in the play.

“Now was Martius set then in the chair of state, with all the honours of a general, and when he had spied the women coming afar off, he marvelled what the matter meant: but afterwards knowing his wife which came foremost, he determined at the first to persist in his obstinate and inflexible rancour. But overcome in the end with natural affection, and being altogether altered to see them, his heart would not serve him to tarry their coming to his chair, but coming down in haste, he went to meet them, and first he kissed his mother, and embraced her a pretty while, then his wife and little children. And nature so wrought with him, that the tears fell from his eyes, and he could not keep himself from making much of them, but yielded to the affection of his blood, as if he had been violently carried with the fury of a most swift-running stream. After he had thus lovingly received them, and perceiving that his mother Volumnia would begin

to speak to him, he called the chiefest of the council of the Volces to hear what she would say. Then she spake in this sort: “If we held our peace, my son, and determined not to speak, 'the state of our poor bodies, and present sight of our raiment, would

easily betray to thee what life we have led at home, since thy exile and .abode abroad; but think now with thyself, how much more unfortunate

than all the women living, we are come hither, considering that the sight which should be most pleasant to all others to behold, spiteful fortune had made most fearful to us : making myself to see my son, and my daughter here her husband, besieging the walls of his native country : 'so as that which is the only comfort to all others in their adversity and ‘misery, to pray unto the Gods, and to call to them for aid, is the only "thing which plungeth us into most deep perplexity. For we cannot, alas, together pray, both for victory to our country, and for safety of thy * life also : but a world of grievous curses, yea more than any mortal enemy 'can heap upon us, are forcibly wrapped up in our prayers. For the "bitter sop of most hard choice is offered thy wife and children, to forego

one of the two either to lose the person of thyself, or the nurse of “their native country. For myself, my son, I am determined not to Starry till fortune in my lifetime do make an end of this war. For if I cannot persuade thee rather to do good unto both parties, than to over“throw and destroy the one, preferring love and nature before the malice

and calamity of wars, thou shalt see, my son, and trust unto it, thou shalt no sooner march forward to assault thy country, but thy foot shall "tread upon thy mother's womb, that brought thee first into this world. And I may not defer to see the day, either that my son be led prisoner 'in triumph by his natural countrymen, or that he himself do triumph of them, and of his natural country. For if it were so, that my request tended to save thy country, in destroying the Volces, I must confess, “thou wouldest hardly and doubtfully resolve on that. For as to destroy “thy natural country, it is altogether unmeet and unlawful, so were it not ‘just and less honourable to betray those that put their trust in thee. But my only demand consisteth, to make a gaol delivery of all evils,


which delivereth equal benefit and safety, both to the one and the

other, but most honourable for the Volces. For it shall appear, that “having victory in their hands, they have of special favour granted us ‘singular graces, peace and amity, albeit themselves have no less part of

both than we. Of which good, if so it came to pass, thyself is the only "author, and so hast thou the only honour. But if it fail

, and fall out contrary, thyself alone deservedly shalt carry the shameful reproach and 'burthen of either party. So, though the end of war be uncertain, yet this notwithstanding is most certain, that if it be thy chance to con'quer, this benefit shalt thou reap of thy goodly conquest, to be chronicled the plague and destroyer of thy country. And if fortune overthrow thee, then the world will say, that through desire to revenge thy private injuries, thou hast for ever undone thy good friends, who did most * lovingly and courteously receive thee.' Martius gave good ear unto his mother's words, without interrupting her speech at all, and after she had said what she would, he held his peace a pretty while, and answered not a word. Hereupon she began again to speak unto him, and said: “My son, why dost thou not answer me? Dost thou think it good altogether to give place unto thy choler and desire of revenge, and thinkest thou it not honesty for thee to grant thy mother's request in 'so weighty a cause ? Dost thou take it honourable for a nobleman to * remember the wrongs and injuries done him, and dost not in like case “think it an honest nobleman's part to be thankful for the goodness that

parents do shew to their children, acknowledging the duty and reverence "they ought to bear unto them? No man living is more bound to shew ‘himself thankful in all parts and respects than thyself; who so univer'sally shewest all ingratitude. Moreover, my son, thou hast sorely taken

of thy country, exacting grievous payments upon them, in revenge of “the injuries offered thee; besides, thou hast not hitherto shewed thy 'poor mother any courtesy And therefore, it is not only honest but due unto me, that without compulsion I should obtain my so just and 'reasonable request of thee. But since by reason I cannot persuade thee 'to it, to what purpose do I defer my last hope. And with these words, herself, his wife and children, fell down upon their knees before him : Martius seeing that, could refrain no longer, but went straight and lifted her up, crying out, 'Oh mother, what have you done to me?' And holding her hard by the hand, 'Oh mother,' said he, you have won a "happy victory for your country, but mortal and unhappy for your son : ' for I see myself vanquished by you alone. These words being spoken openly, he spake a little apart with his mother and wife, and then let them return again to Rome, for so they did request him; and so remaining in the camp that night, the next morning he dislodged, and marched homeward unto the Volces' country again.”

Shakespear has, in giving a dramatic form to this passage, adhered very closely and properly to the text. He did not think it necessary to improve upon the truth of nature. Several of the scenes in Julius Cæsar, par

ticularly Portia's appeal to the confidence of her husband by shewing him the wound she had given herself, and the appearance of the ghost of Cæsar to Brutus, are in like manner, taken from the history,


This is one of the most loose and desultory of our
author's plays : it rambles on just as it happens, but it
overtakes, together with some indifferent matter, a pro-
digious number of fine things in its way. Troilus himself
is no character : he is merely a common lover : but Cres-
sida and her uncle Pandarus are hit off with proverbial
truth. By the speeches given to the leaders of the
Grecian host, Nestor, Ulysses, Agamemnon, Achilles,
Shakespear seems to have known them as well as if he had
been a spy sent by the Trojans into the enemy's camp-
to say nothing of their affording very lofty examples of
didactic eloquence. The following is a very stately and
spirited declamation :

u Ulysses. Troy, yet upon her basis, had been down,
And the great Hector's sword had lack'd a master,
But for these instances.
The specialty of rule hath been neglected.


The heavens themselves, the planets, and this center
Observe degree, priority, and place,
Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
Office, and custom, in all line of order :
And therefore is the glorious planet, Sol,
In noble eminence, enthron'd and spher'd
Amidst the other, whose med'cinable eye
Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil,
And posts, like the commandment of a king,
Sans check, to good and bad. But, when the planets,
In evil mixture to disorder wander,
What plagues, and what portents ? what mutinies ?
What raging of the sea ? shaking of the earth ?
Commotion in the winds ? frights, changes, horrors,


Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
The unity and marred calm of states
Quite from their fixture! O, when degree is shaken,
(Which is the ladder to all high designs)
The enterprize is sick! How could communities,
Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities,
Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,
The primogenitive and due of birth,
Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels,
(But by degree) stand in authentic place?
Take but degree away, untune that string,
And hark what discord follows ! each thing meets
In mere oppugnancy. The bounded waters
Would lift their bosoms higher than the shores,
And make a sop of all this solid globe:
Strength would be the lord of imbecility,
And the rude son would strike his father dead :
Force would be right; or rather right and wrong
(Between whose endless jar Justice resides)
Would lose their names, and so would Justice too.
Then everything includes itself in power,
Power into will, will into appetite;
And appetite (an universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power)
Must make perforce an universal prey,
And last eat up himself. Great Agamemnon,
This chaos, when degree is suffocate,
Follows the choking :
And this neglection of degree it is,
That by a pace goes backward, in a purpose
It hath to climb. The general's disdained
By him one step below ; he, by the next;
That next, by him beneath : so every step,
Exampled by the first pace that is sick
Of his superior, grows to an envious fever
Of pale and bloodless emulation ;
And 'tis this fever that keeps Troy on foot,
Not her own sinews. To end a tale of length,

Troy in our weakness lives, not in her strength." It cannot be said of Shakespear, as was said of some one, that he was "without o'erflowing full.” He was full, even to o’erflowing. He gave heaped measure, running over. This was his greatest fault. He was only in danger “ of losing distinction in his thoughts” (to borrow his own expression)

“ As doth a battle when they charge on heaps
The enemy flying."

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