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He bow'd his nature, never known before But to be rough, unswayable, and free.
3 Con. Sir, his stoutness,
When he did stand for consul, which he lost
By lack of stooping,
That I would have spoke of:
Being banish'd for't, he came unto my hearth;
Presented to my knife his throat: I took him;
Made him joint-servant with me; gave him way
In all his own desires; nay, let him choose
Out of my files, his projects to accomplish,
My best and freshest men; serv'd his designments
In mine own person; holp to reap the fame,
Which he did end all his; and took some pride
To do myself this wrong: till, at the last,
I seem'd his follower, not partner; and
He wag'd me with his countenance, as if
I had been mercenary.
The army marvell'd at it. And, in the last,
When he had carried Rome; and that we look'd
For no less spoil, than glory,
There was it;
For which my sinews shall be stretch'd upon him.
At a few drops of women's rheum, which are
As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labour
Of our great action; Therefore shall he die,
And I'll renew me in his fall. But, hark!
[Drums and trumpets sound, with great
shouts of the people.
1 Con. Your native town you enter'd like a post, And had no welcomes home; but he returns, Splitting the air with noise.
2 Con. And patient fools, Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tear, With giving him glory.
Therefore, at your vantage, Ere he express himself, or move the people With what he would say, let him feel your sword, Which we will second. When he lies along, After your way his tale pronounc'd shall bury His reasons with his body. Auf.
I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stol'n name
Coriolanus in Corioli?
You lords and heads of the state, perfidiously
He has betray'd your business, and given up,
For certain drops of salt, your city Rome
(I say, your city,) to his wife and mother:
Breaking his oath and resolution, like
A twist of rotten silk; never admitting
Counsel o'the war; but at his nurse's tears
He whin'd and roar'd away your victory;
That pages blush'd at him, and men of heart
Look'd wondering each at other.
Hear'st thou, Mars? Auf. Name not the god, thou boy of tears,
Cor. Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart Too great for what contains it. Boy! O slave! Pardon me, lords, 'tis the first time that ever
I was forc'd to scold. Your judgments, my grave lords,
Must give this cu, he lie and his own notion
(Who wears my stripes impress'd on him; that
My beating to his grave ;) shall join to thrust
The lie unto him.
Peace, both, and hear me speak.
Cor. Cut me to pieces, Volces; men and lads,
Stain all your edges on me. — Boy! False hound!
If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there,
That like an eagle in a dove-cote, I
Flutter'd your voices in Corioli:
Alone I did it. - Boy!
Will you be put in mind of his blind fortune, Which was your shame, by this unholy braggart, 'Fore your own eyes and ears?
[Several speak at once. Cit. [Speaking promiscuously.] Tear him to pieces, do it presently. He killed my son;- my daughter; He killed my cousin Marcus; He killed my father.
2 Lord. Peace, ho; — no outrage; - peace. The man is noble, and his fame folds in This orb o'the earth. His last offence to us Shall have judicious hearing. Stand, Aufidius, And trouble not the peace.
O, that I had him, With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe, To use my lawful sword! Auf.
Con. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him. [AUFIDIUS and the Conspirators draw, and kill CORIOLANUS, who falls, and AvFIDIUS stands
2 Lord. Thou hast done a deed whereat valour will weep.
3 Lord. Tread not upon him. quiet;
Put up your swords.
Takes from Aufidius a great part of blame.
Let's make the best of it.
My rage is gone,
And I am struck with sorrow. - Take him up :--
Help, three o'the chiefest soldiers; I'll be one. —
Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully:
Trail your steel pikes. - Though in this city he
Hath widow'd and unchilded many a one,
Which to this hour bewail the injury,
Yet he shall have a noble memory.
[Exeunt, bearing the body of CORIOLANUS, A dead march sounded.
SCENE, — during a great part of the Play, at Rome; afterwards at SARDIS; and near PHILIPPI.
2 Cit. Why, sir, cobble you.
Flav. Thou art a cobler, art thou?
2 Cit. Truly, sir, all that I live by is, with the awl: I meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor women's matters, but with awl. I am, indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in great danger, I recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neats-leather, have gone upon my handywork.
Flav. But wherefore art not in thy shop to-day? Why dost thou lead these men about the streets?
2 Cit. Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes, to get myself into more work. But, indeed, sir, we make holiday, to see Cæsar, and to rejoice in his triumph. Mar. Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings
What tributaries follow him to Rome,
To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?
You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless
O, you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,
Your infants in your arms, and there have sat
The live-long day, with patient expectation,
To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome:
And when you saw his chariot but appear,
Have you not made an universal shout,
That Tiber trembled underneath her banks,
To hear the replication of your sounds,
Made in her concave shores?
And do you now put on your best attire?
And do you now cull out a holiday?
And do you now strew flowers in his way,
That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
That needs must light on this ingratitude.
Flav. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this
Assemble all the poor men of your sort;
Draw them to Tyber banks, and weep your tears
Into the channel, till the lowest stream
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.
See, whe'r their basest metal be not mov'd;
They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.
Go you down that way towards the Capitol;
This way will I Disrobe the images,
If you do find them deck'd with ceremonies.
Mar. May we do so?
You know, it is the feast of Lupercal.
Flav. It is no matter; let no images Be hung with Cæsar's trophies. I'll about, And drive away the vulgar from the streets : So do you too, where you perceive them thick. These growing feathers pluck'd from Cæsar's wing, Will make him fly an ordinary pitch; Who else would soar above the view of men, And keep us all in servite fearfulness.
SCENE II. The same. A puplic Plaec, Enter, in procession, with musick, CÆSAR; ANTONY, for the course; CALPHURNIA, PORTIA, DECIUS, CICERO, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and CASCA, a great croud following; among them a Soothsayer. Cas. Calphurnia, Casca.
Peace, ho! Cæsar speaks. [Musick ceases. Calphurnia,
Cæs. Stand you directly in Antonius' way, When he doth run his course. Antonius.
- Peace yet again. [Musick ceases. Cces. Who is it in the press, that calls on me? I hear a tongue, shriller than all the musick, Cry, Cæsar Speak; Cæsar is turn'd to hear. Sooth. Beware the ides of March. Cæs.
Bru. A soothsayer, bids you beware the ides of March.
Cas. Set him before me, let me see his face.
Cas. Fellow, come from the throng: Look upon Cæsar.
Caes. What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again.
Sooth. Beware the ides of March.
Cas. He is a dreamer; let us leave him; - pass. [Senet. Exeunt all but BRU. and CAS. Cas. Will you go see the order of the course? Bru. Not I.
Bru. I am not gamesome: I do lack some part
Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires;
I'll leave you.
Cas. Brutus, I do observe you now of late:
I have not from your eyes that gentleness,
And show of love, as I was wont to have:
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
Over your friend that loves you.
Be not deceiv'd: If I have veil'd my look,
I turn the trouble of my countenance
Merely upon myself. Vexed I am,
Of late, with passions of some difference,
Conceptions only proper to myself,
Which give some soil, perhaps, to my behaviours:
But let not therefore my good friends be griev'd;
(Among which number, Cassius, be you one ;)
Nor construe any further my neglect,
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Forgets the shows of love to other men.
Cas. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion;
By means whereof, this breast of mine hath buried
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
Bru. No, Cassius: for the eye sees not itself,
But by reflection, by some other things.
Cas. 'Tis just:
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no such mirrors, as will turn
Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
That you might see your shadow.
I have beard,
Where many of the best respect in Rome,
(Except immortal Cæsar,) speaking of Brutus,
And groaning underneath this age's yoke,
Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.
Bru. Into what dangers would you lead me,
That you would have me seek into myself
For that which is not in me?
Cas. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepar'd to hear:
And, since you know you cannot see yourself
So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of.
And be not jealous of me, gentle Brutus :
Were I a common laugher, or did use
To stale with ordinary caths my love
To every new protester; if you know
That I do fawn on men, and hug them hard,
And after scandal them; or if you know
That I profess myself in banqueting
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
[Flourish, and shut. Bru. What means this shouting? I do fear, the people Choose Cæsar for their king.
Ay, do you fear it? Then must I think you would not have it so.
Bru. I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well :But wherefore do you hold me here so long? What is it that you would impart to me? If it be aught toward the general good, Set honour in one eye, and death i' the other, And I will look on both indifferently: For, let the gods so speed me, as I love The name of honour more than I fear death. Cas. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus, As well as I do know your outward favour. Well, honour is the subject of my story. I cannot tell, what you and other men Think of this life; but, for my single self, I had as lief not be, as live to be In awe of such a thing as I myself.
I was born free as Cæsar; so were you :
We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold, as well as he.
For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tyber chafing with her shores,
Cæsar said to me, Dar'st thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point?· Upon the word,
Accouter'd as I was, I plunged in,
And bade him follow: so, indeed, he did.
The torrent roar'd; and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews; throwing it aside
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But ere we could arrive the point propos'd,
Cæsar cry'd, Help me, Cassius, or I sink.
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear, so, from the waves of Tyber
Did I the tired Cæsar: And this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And, when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake:
His coward lips did from their colour fly;
And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world,
Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan :
Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans
Mark him, and write his speeches in their books,
Alas! it cried, Give me some drink, Titinius,
As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone.
Bru. Another general shout!
I do believe, that these applauses are
For some new honours that are heap'd on Cæsar.
Cas. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow
Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus, and Cæsar: What should be in that Cæsar?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together, yours is as fair a name;
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with them,
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cæsar. [Shout.
Now in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art sham'd:
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was fam'd with more than with one man?
When could they say, till now, that talk'd of Rome,
That her wide walls encompass'd but one man?
Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough,
When there is in it but one only man.
O! you and I have heard our fathers say,
There was a Brutus once, that would have brook'd
The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome,
As easily as a king.
Bru. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
What you would work me to, I have some aim;
How I have thought of this, and of these times,
I shall recount hereafter; for this present,
I would not, so with love I might entreat you,
Be any further mov'd. What you have said,
I will consider; what you have to say,
I will with patience hear: and find a time
Both meet to hear, and answer, such high things.
Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this;
Brutus had rather be a villager,
Than to repute himself a son of Rome
Under these hard conditions as this time
Is like to lay upon us.
Cas. I am glad, that my weak words
Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.
Re-enter CESAR, and his Train.
Bru. The games are done, and Cæsar is returning.
Cas. As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve;
And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
What hath proceeded, worthy note, to-day.
Bru. I will do so: - - But, look you, Cassius,
The angry spot doth glow on Cæsar's brow,
And all the rest look like a chidden train:
Calphurnia's check is pale; and Cicero
Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes,
As we have seen him in the Capitol,
Being cross'd in conference by some senators.
Cas. Casca will tell us what the matter is.
Cæs. Let me have men about me that are fat; Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o'nights: Yond' Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much such men are dangerous. Ant. Fear him not, Cæsar, he's not dangerous; He is a noble Roman, and well given.
Caes. 'Would he were fatter:-But I fear him not:
Yet if my name were liable to fear,
I do not know the man I should avoid
So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much;
He is a great observer, and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
As thou dost, Antony; he hears no musick:
Seldom he smiles; and smiles in such a scrt,
As if he mock'd himself, and scorn'd his spirit
That could be mov'd to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart's ease,
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves;
And therefore are they very dangerous.
I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd,
Than what I fear, for always I am Cæsar.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.
[Exeunt CÆSAR and his Train.