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If she first meet the curled Antony,
He'll make demand of her; and spend that kiss, Which is my heaven to have. Come, mortal wretch, [To the Asp, which she applies to her breast.
With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool,
Be angry, and despatch. O, could'st thou speak!
That I might hear thee call great Cæsar, ass
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?
Cleo. As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle,O, Antony!-Nay, I will take thee too :
[Applying another Asp to her Arm. What should I stay- [Falls on a Bed, and dies. Char. In this wild world?-So, fare thee well. Now boast thee, death! in thy possession lies A lass unparallel'd.
WHAT Would you have, you curs,
That like nor peace, nor war? the one affrights you, The other makes you proud. He that trusts you, Where he should find you lions, finds you hares; Where foxes, geese: You are no surer, no,
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
Or hailstones in the sun. Your virtue is,
* Unpolicied, to leave me to myself.
To make him worthy, whose offence subdues him,
And curse that justice did it. Who deserves greatness,
Deserves your hate: and your affections are
A sick man's appetite, who desires most that
Which would increase his evil. He that depends
Upon your favours, swims with fins of lead,
And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trustye?
With every minute you do change a mind;
And call him noble, that was now your hate,
Him vile, that was your garland.
AN IMAGINARY DESCRIPTION OF CORIOLANUS WARRING.
Methinks, I hear hither your husband's drum; See him pluck Aufidius down by the hair;
As children from a bear, the Volces shunning him:
Methinks, I see him stamp thus, and call thus,—
Come on, you cowards, you were got in fear,
Though you were born in Rome: His bloody brow
With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes;
Like to a harvest-man, that's task'd to mow
Or all, or lose his hire.
Vir. His bloody brow! O, Jupiter, no blood!
Vol. Away, you fool! it more becomes a man,
Than gilt his trophy. The breasts of Hecuba,
When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier
Than Hector's forehead, when it spit forth blood
At Grecian swords' contending.
DOING OUR DUTY MERITS NOT PRAISE.
Pray now, no more, my mother,
Who has a charter* to extol her blood,
When she does praise me, grieves me. I have done,
As you have done; that's what I can; induc'd
As you have been; that's for my country:
He, that has but effected his good will,
Hath overta'en mine act.
AUFIDIUS'S HATRED TO CORIOLANUS.
Nor sleep, nor sanctuary,
Being naked, sick: nor fane, nor Capitol,
The prayers of priests, nor times of sacrifice,
Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up
Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst
My hate to Marcius: where I find him, were it
At home, upon my brother's guard*, even there
Against the hospitable canon, would I
Wash my fierce hand in his heart.
ALL tongues speak of him, and the bleared sights
Are spectacled to see him: Your prattling nurse
Into a rapturet lets her baby cry,
While she chats him: the kitchen malkin pins
Her richest lockram § 'bout her reechy || neck, [dows,
Clambering the walls to eye him: stalls, bulks, win-
Are smother'd up, leads fill'd, and ridges hors'd
With variable complexions; all agreeing
In earnestness to see him: seld ¶-shown flamens**
Do press among the popular throngs, and puff
To win a vulgar station +t: our veil'd dames
Commit the war of white and damask, in
Their nicely-gawded ‡‡ cheeks, to the wanton spoil
Of Phoebus' burning kisses: such a pother,
As if that whatsoever god, who leads him,
Were slily crept into his human powers,
And gave him graceful posture.
COMINIUS'S PRAISE OF CORIOLANUS IN THE SENATE.
I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus
Should not be utter'd feebly.-It is held,
That valour is the chiefest virtue, and
Most dignifies the haver §§: if it be,
* My brother posted to protect him.
§ Best linen.
Soiled with sweat and smoke. tt Common standing-place.
The man I speak of cannot in the world
Be singly counterpois'd. At sixteen years,
When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought
Beyond the mark of others: our then dictator,
Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight,
When with his Amazonian chin* he drove
The bristled † lips before him he bestrid
An o'er-press'd Roman, and i' the consul's view
Slew three opposers: Tarquin's self he met,
And struck him on his knee: in that day's feats,
When he might act the woman in the scene ‡,
He prov'd best man i' the field, and for his meed§
Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age
Man entered thus, he waxed like a sea;
And in the brunt of seventeen battles since,
He lurch'd all swords o' the garland. For this last,
Before and in Corioli, let me say,
I cannot speak him home: He stopp'd the fliers;
And, by his rare example, made the coward
Turn terror into sport: as waves before
A vessel under sail, so men obey'd,
And fell below his stem: his sword (death's stamp)
Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot
He was a thing of blood, whose every motion¶
Was timed** with dying cries: alone he enter'd
The mortal gate o' the city, which he painted
With shunless destiny, aidless came off,
And with a sudden reinforcement struck
Corioli, like a planet: now all's his :
When by and by the din of war 'gan pierce
His ready sense: then straight his double spirit
Requicken'd what in flesh was fatigate††,
And to the battle came he; where he did
Run reeking o'er the lives of men, as if
"Twere a perpetual spoil: and, till we call'd
Both field and city ours, he never stood
To ease his breast with panting.
Smooth-faced enough to play a woman's part.
Reward. || Won. ¶ Stroke.
THE MISCHIEF OF ANARCHY.
My soul aches,
To know, when two authorities are up,
Neither supreme, how soon confusion
May enter 'twixt the gap of both, and take
The one by the other.
CHARACTER OF CORIOLANUS.
His nature is too noble for the world:
He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
Or Jove for his power to thunder. His heart's his mouth:
What his breast forges that his tongue must vent; And, being angry, does forget that ever
He heard the name of death.
HONOUR AND POLICY.
I have heard you say,
Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends,
I' the war do grow together: Grant that, and tell me,
In peace, what each of them by the other lose,
That they combine not there.
CORIOLANUS'S ABHORRENCE OF FLATTERY.
Away, my disposition, and possess me
Some harlot's spirit! My throat of war be turn'd,
Which quired with my drum, into a pipe
Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice
That babies lull asleep! The smiles of knaves
Tent* in my cheeks; and school-boys' tears take up
The glasses of my sight! A beggar's tongue
Make motion through my lips; and my arm'd knees,
Who bow'd but in my stirrup, bend like his
That bath receiv'd an alms! I will not do't:
Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth,
And, by my body's action, teach my mind
A most inherent baseness.