The Life of Caius Martius Coriolanus

  • 1. Family of the MARTIANS, and character of CAIUS MARTIUS.
  • 2. He goes to the wars and is crowned with a garland of oaken boughs.
  • 3. The Roman populace complain of the extremity of usury, and encamp on the holy hill.
  • 4. MENENIUS AGRIPPA, by his fable of the belly and the members, pacifies the populace; tribunes of the people are chosen for the first time.
  • 5. Siege of CORIOLI, and successful valour of CAIUS MARTIUS.
  • 6. The people offer him the tenth part of the enemies' goods, which he refuses.
  • 7. He is surnamed CORIOLANUS.
  • 8. Seditions at Rome, by reason of famine.
  • 9. CORIOLANUS offends the people.
  • 10. Much corn brought to ROME; Speech of CORIOLANUS.
  • 11. SICINIUS, the tribune, pronounces sentence of death upon CORIOLANUS, who defends himself.
  • 12. He is sentenced to perpetual banishment.
  • 13. Ge goes in disguise to ANTIUM, a city of the Volsces.
  • 14. Vision of TITUS LATINUS. Origins of the word furcifer.
  • 15. CORIOLANUS chosen general of the Volsces, jointly with TULLUS AUFIDIUS, against the Romans.
  • 16. Successes of MARTIUS.
  • 17. The Romans send to him to treat of peace.
  • 18. Second embassy of the ROMANS to CORIOLANUS.
  • 19. VOLUMNIA, his mother expostulates with CORIOLANUS, who withdraws his army from ROME.
  • 20. Building of the temple of FORTUNA.
  • 21. TULLUS AUFIDIUS seeks to kill CORIOLANUS, who is murdered in the city of ANTIUM.
  • 22. TULLUS AUFIDIUS is slain in battle.


The Family of the Martians.
The house of the Martians at Rome was of the number of the Patricians, out of the which have sprung many noble personages, whereof Ancus Martius was one, King Numa's daughter's son, who was King of Rome after Tullus Hostilius.
Publius and Quintius Martius brought the water by conduits to Rome.
Of the same house were Publius and Quintus, who brought to Rome their best water they had, by conduits. Censorinus also came of that family, that was so surnamed, because the people had chosen him Censor twice.
Censorinus' law.
Through whose persuasion they made a law, that no man from thenceforth might require 1 or enjoy the Censorship twice. Caius Martius, whose life we intend now to write, being left an orphan by his father, was brought up under his mother a widow; who taught us by experience, that orphanage bringeth many discommodities 2 to a child, but doth not hinder him to become an honest man, and to excel in virtue above the common sort: as they that are meanly born wrongfully do complain, that it is the occasion of their casting away, for that no man in their youth taketh any care of them to see them well brought up, and taught that were meet 3. This man also is a good proof to confirm some men's opinions: That a rare and excellent wit, untaught, cloth bring forth many good and evil things together: as a fat soil that lieth unmanured bringeth forth both herbs and weeds. For this Martius' natural wit and great heart did marvellously stir up his courage to do and attempt notable acts. But on the other side, for lack of education, he was so choleric and impatient, that he would yield to no living creature: which made him churlish, uncivil, and altogether unfit for any man's conversation 4. Yet men marvelling much at his constancy, that he was never overcome with pleasure nor money, and how he would endure easily all manner of pains and travails 5: thereupon they well liked and commended his stoutness and temperancy 6 But for all that they could not be acquainted with him, as one citizen useth to be with another in the city: his behaviour was so unpleasant to them by reason of a certain insolent and stern manner he had, which, because he was too lordly, was disliked.
The benefit of learning.
And to say truly, the greatest benefit that learning bringeth unto men is this: that it teacheth men that be rude and rough of nature, by compass 7 and rule of reason, to be civil and courteous, and to like better the mean state than the higher. Now in those days, valiantness was honoured in Rome above all other virtues. which they call virtus, by the name of virtue itself, as including in that general name all other special virtues besides.
What this word Virtus signifieth.
So that virtus in the Latin was as much as valiantness.

But Martius being more inclined to the wars than any other gentleman of his time, began from his childhood to give himself to handle weapons, and daily did exercise himself therein: and he esteemed outward armour to no purpose, unless one were naturally armed within. Moreover he did so exercise his body to hardness 8 and all kind of activity, that he was very swift in running, strong in wrestling' and mighty in griping 9, so that no man could ever cast 10 him. insomuch as those that would try masteries 11 with him for strength and nimbleness, would say when they were overcome: that all was by reason of his natural strength and hardness of ward 12, that never yielded to any pain or toil he took upon him.


Coriolanus' first going to wars.
The first time he went to the wars, being but a stripling, was when Tarquin surnamed the proud (that had been king of Rome, and was driven out for his pride, after many attempts made by sundry battles to come in again, wherein he was ever overcome) did come to Rome with all the aid of the Latins, and many other people of Italy: even as it were to set up his whole rest 13 upon a battle by them, who with a great and mighty army had undertaken to put him into his kingdom again, not so much to pleasure him, as to overthrow the power of the Romans, whose greatness they both feared and envied. In this battle, wherein were many hot and sharp encounters of either party 14, Martius valiantly fought in the sight of the Dictator: and a Roman soldier being thrown to the ground even hard by 15 him, Martius straight bestrid him, and slew the enemy, with his own hands, that had before overthrown the Roman.
Coriolanus crowned with a garland of oaken boughs.
Hereupon, after the battle was won, the Dictator did not forget so noble an act, and therefore first of all he crowned Martius with a garland of oaken boughs. For whosoever saveth the life of a Roman, it is a manner 16 among them, to honour him with such a garland. This was, either because the law did this honour to the oak, in favour of the Arcadians, who by the oracle of Apollo were in old time called eaters of acorns: or else because the soldiers might easily in every place come by 17 oaken boughs: or lastly, because they thought it very necessary, to give him that had saved a citizen's life, a crown of this tree to honour him, being properly dedicated unto Jupiter, the patron and protector of cities, and thought amongst other wild trees to bring forth a profitable fruit, and of plants to be the strongest.
The goodness of the oak.
Moreover, men at the first beginning did use acorns for their bread, and honey for their drink: and further, the oak did feed their beasts, and give them birds, by taking glue from the oaks, with the which they made bird-lime to catch silly birds. They say that Castor and Pollux appeared in this battle, and that incontinently 18 after the battle, men saw them in the marketplace at Rome, all their horses being on a white foam: and they were the first that brought news of the victory, even in the same place where remaineth at this present a temple built in the honour of them, near unto the fountain. And this is the cause why the day of this victory (which was the fifteenth of July) is consecrated yet to this day unto Castor and Pollux.

Too sudden honour in youth killeth further desire of fame.
Moreover it is daily seen, that honour and reputation lighting on young men before their time, and before they have any great courage by nature, the desire to win more dieth straight 19 in them, which easily happeneth, the same having no deep root in them before. Where contrariwise, the first honour that valiant minds do come unto, cloth quicken up their appetite, hasting them forward as with force of wind, to enterprise 20 things of high-deserving praise. For they esteem 21 not to receive reward for service done, but rather take it for a remembrance and encouragement, to make them do better in time to come: and be ashamed also to cast their honour. at their heels, not seeking to increase it still by like desert of worthy valiant deeds.
Coriolanus' noble endeavor to continue well deserving.
This desire being bred in Martius, he strained 22 still to pass 23 himself in manliness: and being desirous to shew a daily increase of his valiantness, his noble service did still advance his fame, bringing in spoils upon spoils from the enemies. Whereupon, the captains that came afterwards (for envy of them that went before) did contend who should most honour him, and who should bear most honourable testimony of his valiantness. Insomuch as the Romans having many wars and battles in those days, Coriolanus was at them all: and there was not a battle fought, from whence he returned not with some reward of honour. And as for other 24, the only respect 25 that made them valiant, was that they hoped to have honour: but touching Martius, the only thing that made him to love honour was the joy he saw his mother did take of him. For he thought nothing made him so happy and honourable, as that his mother might hear every body praise and commend him, that she might always see him return with a crown upon his head, and that she might still 26 embrace him with tears running down her cheeks for joy: which desire they say Epaminondas did avow and confess to have been in him, as to think himself a most happy and blessed man, that his father and mother in their life time had seen the victory he wan 27 in the plain of Leuctres.
Coriolanus and Epaminondas did both place their desire for honour alike.
Now as for Epaminondas, he had this good hap, to have his father and mother living, to be partakers of his joy and prosperity: but Martius thinking all due to his mother, that had been 28 also due to his father if he had lived, did not only content himself to rejoice 29 and honour her, but at her desire took a wife also, by whom he had two children, and yet never left his mother's house therefore 30.


The obedience of Coriolanus to his mother.
Now he being grown to great credit and authority in Rome for his valiantness, it fortuned there grew sedition in the city, because the Senate did favour the rich against the people, who did complain of the sore oppression of usurers, of whom they borrowed money.
Extremity of usary complained of at Rome by the people.
For those that had little, were yet spoiled of that little they had by their creditors, for lack of ability to pay the usury: who offered their goods to be sold to them that would give most. And such as had nothing left, their bodies were laid hold on, and they were made their bondmen, notwithstanding all the wounds and cuts they shewed, which they had received in many battles, fighting for defence of their country and commonwealth: of the which, the last war they made was against the Sabines, wherein they fought upon the promise the rich men had made them, that from thenceforth they would intreat 31 them more gently, and also upon the word of Marcus Valerius chief of the Senate, who, by authority of the council, and in the behalf of the rich, said they should perform that they had promised. But after that they had faithfully served in this last battle of all, where they overcame their enemies, seeing they were never a whit the better, nor more gently intreated, and that the Senate would give no ear to them, but made as though they had forgotten the former promise, and suffered them to be made slaves and bondmen to their creditors, and besides, to be turned out of all that ever they had: they fell then even to flat rebellion and mutiny, and to stir up dangerous tumults within the city. The Romans' enemies hearing of this rebellion, did straight enter the territories of Rome with a marvellous great power 32, spoiling and burning all as they came. Whereupon the Senate immediately made open proclamation by sound of trumpet, that all those that were of lawful age to carry weapon, should come and enter their names into the muster-master's book, to go to the wars: but no man obeyed their commandment. Whereupon their chief magistrates and many of the Senate began to be of divers opinions among themselves. For some thought it was reason 33, they should somewhat yield to the poor people's request, and that they should a little qualify the severity of the law. Other held hard against that opinion, and that was Martius for one.
Martius Coriolanus against the people.
For he alleged, that the creditors' losing their money they had lent was not the worst thing that was herein: but that the lenity that was favoured was a beginning of disobedience, and that the proud attempt of the communally was, to abolish law, and to bring all to confusion. Therefore he said, if the Senate were wise, they should betimes prevent 34 and quench this ill-favoured and worse meant beginning.

The Senate met many days in consultation about it: but in the end they concluded 35 nothing.

The people leave the city and do go to the Holy Hill.
The poor common people, seeing no redress, gathered themselves one day together; and one encouraging another, they all forsook the city, and encamped themselves upon a hill, called at that day the Holy Hill, along the river of Tiber, offering no creature any hurt or violence, or making any shew of actual rebellion, saving that they cried as they went up and down, that the rich men had driven them out of the city, and that throughout all Italy they might find air, water, and ground to bury them 36 in. Moreover, they said, to dwell at Rome was nothing else but to be slain, or hurt with continual wars and fighting, for defence of the rich men's goods. 4. The Senate, being afraid of their departure, did send unto them certain of the pleasantest old men, and the most acceptable to the people among them. Of those Menenius Agrippa was he, who was sent for chief man of the message from the Senate. He, after many good persuasions and gentle requests made to the people, on the behalf of the Senate, knit up his oration in the end with a notable tale, in this manner:
An excellent tale told by Menenius Agrippa to pacify the people.
That "on a time all the members of man's body did rebel against the belly, complaining of it, that it only 37 remained in the midst of the body without doing any thing, neither did bear any labour to the maintenance of the rest: whereas all other parts and members did labour painfully 38, and were very careful 39, to satisfy the appetites and desires of the body. And so the belly, all this notwithstanding, laughed at their folly, and said: It is true, I first receive all meats that nourish man's body: but afterwards I send it again to the nourishment of other parts of the same. Even so (quoth he) O you, my masters, and citizens of Rome, the reason is alike between the Senate and you. For matters being well digested, and their counsels throughly 40 examined, touching the benefit of the commonwealth, the Senators are cause of the common commodity 41 that cometh unto every one of you."

The first beginning of Tribuni plebis.
These persuasions pacified the people conditionally, that the Senate would grant there should be yearly chosen five Magistrates, which they now call Tribuni plebis, whose office should be to defend the poor people from violence and oppression. So Junius Brutus and Sicinius Vellutus were the first tribunes of the people that were chosen, who had only been 42 the causers and procurers 43 of this sedition. Hereupon, the city being grown again to good quiet and unity, the people immediately went to the wars, strewing that they had a good will to do better than ever they did, and to be very willing to obey the Magistrates in that they would command concerning the wars. 5. Martius also, though it liked him nothing 44 to see the greatness of the people thus increased, considering it was to the prejudice and imbasing 45 of the Nobility, and also saw that other noble Patricians were troubled as well as himself: he did persuade the Patricians, to shew themselves no less forward and willing to fight for their country than the common people were: and to let them know by their deeds and acts, that they did not so much pass 46 the people in power and riches, as they did exceed them in true nobility and valiantness.

The city of Corioles beseiged by Consul Cominius.
In the country of the Volsces, against whom the Romans made war at that time, there was a principal city and of most fame, that was called Corioles, before the which the Consul Cominius did lay siege. Wherefore all the other Volsces, fearing lest that city should be taken by assault, they came from all parts of the country to save it, intending to give the Romans battle before the city, and to give an onset on them in two several 47 places. The Consul Cominius understanding this, divided his army also into two parts; and taking the one part with himself, he marched towards them that were drawing to the city out of the country:
Titus Latius, a valiant Roman.
and the other part of his army he left in the camp with Titus Latius 48 (one of the valiantest men the Romans had at that time) to resist those that would make any sally out of the city upon them. So the Coriolanus, making small account of them that lay in camp before the city, made a sally out upon them, in the which at the first the Coriolans had the better, and drave 49 the Romans back again into the trenches of their camp. But Martius being there at that time, running out of the camp with a few men with him, he slew the first enemies he met withal, and made the rest of them stay 50 upon the sudden, crying out to the Romans that had turned their backs, and calling them again to fight with a loud voice.
The property of a soldier.
For he was even such another, as Cato would have a soldier and a captain to be, not only terrible and fierce to lay about him, but to make the enemy afeard 51 with the sound of his voice, and grimness of his countenance. Then there flocked about him immediately a great number of Romans: whereat the enemies were so afeard 52, that they gave back presently 53. But Martius, not staying so, did chase and follow them to their own gates, that fled for life. And there perceiving that the Romans retired back, for the great number of darts and arrows which flew about their ears from the walls of the city, and that there was not one man amongst them that durst venture himself to follow the flying enemies into their city, for that it was full of men of war very well armed and appointed, he did encourage his fellows with words and deeds, crying out to them, "that fortune had opened the gates of the city, more for the followers than the fliers." But all this notwithstanding, few had the hearts to follow him. Howbeit Martius, being in the throng amongst the enemies, thrust himself into the gates of the city, and entered the same among them that fled, without that any one of them durst at the first turn their face upon him, or offer 54 to stay 55 him. But he, looking about him, and seeing he was entered the city with very few men to help him, and perceiving he was environed by his enemies that gathered round about to set upon him, did things, as it is written, wonderful and incredible, as well for the force of his hand, as also for the agility of his body; and with a wonderful courage and valiantness he made a lane through the midst of them, and overthrew also those he laid at 56: that some he made run to the furthest part of the city, and other for fear he made yield themselves, and to let fall their weapons before him. By this means Martius, that was gotten out, had some leisure to bring the Romans with more safety into the city.

The city of Corioles taken.
The city being taken in this sort, the most part of the soldiers began incontinently 57 to spoil, to carry away, and to look up 58 the booty they had won. But Martius was marvellous angry with them, and cried out on them, that it was no time now to look after spoil, and to run straggling here and there to enrich themselves, whilst the other Consul and their fellow-citizens peradventure were fighting with their enemies: and how that, leaving the spoil, they should seek to wind themselves out of danger and peril. Howbeit, cry and say to them what he could, very few of them would hearken to him. Wherefore taking those that willingly offered themselves to follow him, he went out of the city, and took his way toward that part where he understood the rest of the army was, exhorting and intreating them by the way that followed him, not to be fainthearted; and oft holding up his hands to heaven, he besought the gods to be gracious and favourable unto him, that he might come in time to the battle, and in a good hour 59 to hazard his life in defence of his countrymen.
Soldiers' testaments.
Now the Romans when they were put in battle ray 60, and ready to take their targets 61 on their arms, and to gird them upon their arming-coats 62, had a custom to make their wills at that very instant, without any manner of writing, naming him only whom they would make their heir in the presence of three or four witnesses. Martius came just to that reckoning, whilst the soldiers were doing after that sort, and that the enemies were approached so near, as one stood in view of the other. When they saw him at his first coming all bloody, and in a sweat, and but with a few men following him, some thereupon began to be afeard 63. But soon after, when they saw him run with a lively cheer to the Consul, and to take him by the hand, declaring how he had taken the city of Corioles, and that they saw the Consul Cominius also kiss and imbrace 64 him, then there was not a man but took heart again to him, and began to be of good courage; some hearing him report, from point to point, the happy success of this exploit, and other also conjecturing it by seeing their gestures afar off. Then they all began to call upon the Consul to march forward, and to delay no longer, but to give charge upon the enemy. Martius asked him how the order of their enemy's battle was, and on which side they had placed their best fighting men. The Consul made him answer, that he thought the bands which were in the vaward 65 of their battle were those of the Antiates, whom they esteemed to be the warlikest 66 men, and which, for valiant courage, would give no place 67 to any of the host of their enemies. Then prayed Martius to be set directly against them. The Consul granted him, greatly praising his courage.
By Coriolanus' means, the Volsci were overcome in battle.
Then Martius, when both armies came almost to join, advanced himself a good space before his company, and went so fiercely to give charge on the vaward 68 that came right against him, that they could stand no longer in his hands: he made such a lane through them, and opened a passage into the battle 69 of the enemies. But the two wings of either side turned one to the other, to compass him in between them: which the Consul Cominius perceiving, he sent thither straight of 70 the best soldiers he had about him. So the battle was marvellous bloody about Martius, and in a very short space many were slain in the place. But in the end the Romans were so strong, that they distressed the enemies, and brake their array: and scattering them, made them fly. Then they prayed Martius that he would retire to the camp, because they saw he was able to do no more, he was already so wearied with the great pain he had taken 71 and so faint with the great wounds he had upon him. But Martius answered them, that it was not for conquerors to yield, nor to be fainthearted: and thereupon began afresh to chase those that fled, until such time as the army of the enemies was utterly overthrown, and numbers of them slain and taken prisoners

6. The next morning betimes, Martius went to the Consul, and the other Romans with him. There the Consul Cominius going up to his chair of state, in the presence of the whole army, gave thanks to the gods for so great, glorious, and prosperous a victory: then he spake to Martius, whose valiantness he commended beyond the moon, both for that he himself saw him do with his eyes, as also for that Martius had reported unto him.

The tenth part of the enemies' goods offered Martius for reward of his service by Cominius the Consul.
So in the end he willed 72 willed Martius, that he should choose out of all the horses they had taken of their enemies, and of all their goods they had won (whereof there was great store) ten of every sort which he liked best, before any distribution should be made to other.
Valiancy rewarded with honour in the field.
Besides this great honourable offer he had made him, he gave him, in testimony 73 testimony that he had won that day the price 74 of prowess above all other, a goodly horse with a caparison 75, and all furniture 76 to him: which the whole army beholding, did marvellously praise and commend.
Martius' noble answer and refusal.
But Martius, stepping forth, told the Consul he most thankfully accepted the gift of his horse, and was a glad man besides, that his service had deserved his general's commendation: and as for his other offer, which was rather a mercenary reward than a honourable recompence, he would have none of it, but was contented to have his equal part with the other soldiers. " Only, this grace 77 (said he) I crave and beseech you to grant me. Among the Volsces there is an old friend and host of mine, an honest wealthy man, and now a prisoner; who, living before in great wealth in his own country, liveth now a poor prisoner, in the hands of his enemies: and yet notwithstanding all this his misery and misfortune, it would do me great pleasure if I could save him from this one danger, to keep him from being sold as a slave." The soldiers hearing Martius' words, made a marvellous great shout among them, and there were more that wondered at his great contentation 78 and abstinence, when they saw so little covetousness in him, than they were that highly praised and extolled his valiantness. For even they themselves that did somewhat malice 79 and envy his glory, to see him thus honoured and passingly 80 praised, did think him so much the more worthy of an honourable recompence for his valiant service, as the more carelessly he refused the great offer made unto him for his profit; and they esteemed more the virtue that was in him, that made him refuse such rewards, than that which made them to be offered to him, as unto a worthy person. For it is far more commendable, to use riches well, than to be valiant: and yet it is better not to desire them than to use them welt

7. After this shout and noise of the assembly was somewhat appeased, the Consul Cominius began to speak in this sort: "we cannot compel Martius to take these gifts we offer him if he will not receive them, but we will give him such a reward for the noble service he hath done, as he cannot refuse.

Martius surnamed Coriolanus by the Consul.
Therefore we do order and decree, that henceforth he be called Coriolanus, unless his valiant acts have won him that name before our nomination." And so ever since, he still bare 81 the third name of Coriolanus.
How the Romans came to have three names.
And thereby it appeareth, that the first name the Romans have, as Caius, was as our Christian name now. The second, as Martius, was the name of the house and family they came of. The third was some addition given, either for some act or notable service, or for some mark on their face, or of some shape of their body, or else for some special virtue they had. Even so did the Grecians in old time give additions 82 to princes, by reason of some notable act worthy 83 memory. As when they have called some Soter and Callinicos, as much to say as saviour and conqueror. Or else of some notable apparent mark on one's face, or on his body, they have called him Phiscon and Grypos: as ye would say, gorebelly 84, and hooknosed; or else for some virtue, as Euergetes and Philadelphes, to wit, a benefactor, and lover of his brethren. Orotherwise for one's great felicity, as Eudaemon: as much to say as fortunate. For so was the second of the Battes 85 surnamed. And some kings have had surnames of jest and mockery. As one of the Antigones that was called Doson, to say, the Giver: who was ever promising, and never giving.
Names of mockery among the Romans.
And one of the Ptolomees was called Lamyros: to say, conceitive 86. The Romans use 87, more than any other nation, to give names of mockery in this sort. As, there was one Metellus, surnamed Diadematus, the banded, because he carried a band about his head of long time 88, by reason of a sore he had in his forehead. One other of his own family was called Celer, the quick-fly, because a few days after the death of his father, he shewed the people the cruel fight of fencers at unrebated 89 swords, which they found wonderful for the shortness of time. Other had their surnames derived of some accident at their birth. As to this day they call him Proculeius, that is born, his father being in some far voyage: and him Posthumius, that is born after the death of his father. And when of two brethren twins, the one cloth die, and the other surviveth, they call the survivor Vopiscus. Sometime also they give surnames derived of some mark or misfortune of the body: as Sylla, to say, crook-nosed: Niger, black: Rufus, red: Caecus, blind: Claudus, lame. They did wisely in this thing to accustom men to think, that neither the loss of their sight, nor other such misfortunes as may chance to men, are any shame or disgrace unto them; but the manner was to answer boldly to such names, as if they were called by their proper names. Howbeit these matters would be better amplified in other stories than this.


Sedition at Rome, by reason of famine.
Now when this war was ended, the flatterers of the people began to stir up sedition again, without any new occasion, or just matter offered of complaint. For they did ground 90 this second insurrection against the Nobility and Patricians upon the people's misery and misfortune, that could not but fall out 91, by reason of the former discord and sedition between them and the Nobility. Because the most part of the arable land, within the territory of Rome, was become heathy 92 and barren for lack of ploughing, for that they had no time nor mean 93 to cause corn to be brought them out of other countries to sow, by reason of their wars; which made the extreme dearth they had among them. Now those busy prattlers that sought the people's goodwill by such flattering words, perceiving great scarcity of corn to be within the city: and though there had been plenty enough, yet the common people had no money to buy it: they spread abroad false tales and rumours against the Nobility, that they, in revenge of 94 the people, had practised 95 and procured 96 the extreme dearth among them. Furthermore, in the midst of this stir, there came ambassadors to Rome from the city of Velitres, that offered up their city to the Romans, and prayed them they would send new inhabitants to replenish the same: because the plague had been so extreme among them, and had killed such a number of them, as 97 there was not left alive the tenth person of the people that had been there before. So the wise men of Rome began to think, that the necessity of the Velitrians fell out 98 in a most happy hour; and how, by this occasion 99, it was very meet, in so great a scarcity of victuals, to disburden Rome of a great number of citizens: and by this means as well to take away this new sedition, and utterly to rid it out of the city, as also to clear the same of many mutinous and seditious persons, being the superfluous ill humours that grievously fed this disease.
Velitres made a colony to Rome.
Hereupon the Consuls pricked out 100 all those by a bill 101, whom they intended to send to Velitres, to go dwell there as in form of a colony: and they levied out all the rest that remained in the city of Rome, a great number to go against the Volsces, hoping, by the mean 102 of foreign war, to pacify their sedition at home.
Two practices to remove the sedition at Rome.
Moreover they imagined, when the poor with the rich. and the mean sort with the Nobility, should by this device be abroad in the wars, and in one camp, and in one service, and in one like danger: that then they would be more quiet and loving together.
Sicinius and Brutus, Tribunes of the people, against both those devices.

But Sicinius and Brutus, two seditious Tribunes, spake against either of these devices, and cried out upon the noble men, that under the gentle name of a Colony, they would cloak and colour 103 the most cruel and unnatural fact 104 as might be: because they sent their poor citizens into a sore infected city and pestilent air, full of dead bodies unburied, and there also to dwell under the tuition 105 of a strange god, that had so cruelly persecuted his people. " This were (said they) even as much, as if the Senate should headlong cast down the people into a most bottomless pit; and are not yet contented to have famished some of the poor citizens heretofore to death, and to put other of them even to the mercy of the plague: but afresh they have procured 106 a voluntary war, to the end they would leave behind no kind of misery and ill, wherewith the poor silly people should not be plagued, and only because they are weary to serve the rich." The common people, being set on a broil and bravery 107 with these words, would not appear when the Consuls called their names by a bill 108, to prest 109 them for the wars, neither would they be sent out to this new colony: insomuch as the Senate knew not well what to say or to do in the matter. 9. Martius then, who was now grown to great credit, and a stout man besides, and of great reputation with the noblest men of Rome, rose up, and openly spake against these flattering Tribunes.

Coriolanus offendeth the people.
And for the replenishing of the city of Velitres, he did compel those that were chosen, to go thither and to depart 110 the city, upon great penalties to him that should disobey: but to the wars the people by no means would be brought or constrained.
Coriolanus invadeth the Antiates and bringeth rich spoils home.
So Martius, taking his friends and followers with him, and such as he could by fair words intreat to go with him, did run certain forays into the dominion of the Antiates, where he met with great plenty of corn, and had a marvellous great spoil, as well of cattle as of men he had taken prisoners, whom he brought away with him, and reserved nothing for himself. Afterwards, having brought back again all his men that went out with him, safe and sound to Rome, and every man rich and loaden 111 with spoil: then the home-tarriers and house-doves 112 that kept 113 Rome still, began to repent them that it was not their hap 114 to go with him, and so envied both them that had sped so well in this journey; and also, of malice to Martius, they spited 115 to see his credit and estimation increase still more and more, because they accounted him to be a great hinderer of the people.

Shortly after this, Martius stood for the Consulship: and the common people favoured his suit, thinking it would be a shame to them to deny and refuse the chiefest noble man of blood, and most worthy person of Rome, and specially him that had done so great service and good to the commonwealth.

The manner of suing at Rome.
For the custom of Rome was at that time, that such as did sue for any office, should for certain days before be in the market-place, only with 116 a poor gown on their backs, and without any coat underneath, to pray the citizens to remember them at the day of election:
Whereupon this means of suing was devised.
which was thus devised, either to move the people the more, by requesting them in such mean apparel, or else because they might shew them their wounds they had gotten in the wars in the service of the commonwealth, as manifest marks and testimonies of their valiantness.
Officers given then by desert, without favour or corruption.
Now it is not to be thought that the suitors went thus loose in a simple gown in the marketplace, without any coat under it, for fear and suspicion of the common people: for offices of dignity in the city were not then given by favour or corruption. It was but of late time, and long after this, that buying and selling fell out 117 in election of officers, and that the voices of the electors were bought for money. But after corruption had once gotten way into the election of offices, it hath run from man to man, even to the very sentence of judges, and also among captains in the wars: so as in the end, that only 118 fumed commonwealths into kingdoms, by making arms subject to money. Therefore me thinks he had reason 119 that said:
Banquets and money given, only destroyers of commonwealths.
"he that first made banquets and gave money to the common people, was the first that took away authority, and destroyed commonwealth." But this pestilence crept in by little and little, and did secretly win ground still 120, continuing a long time in Rome, before it was openly known and discovered. For no man can tell who was the first man that bought the people's voices for money, nor that corrupted the sentence of the Judges.
Anytus then Athenian the first that with money corrupted the sentence of the judge, and voices of the people.
Howbeit at Athens some hold opinion, that Anytus, the son of Anthemion, was the first that fed the judges with money, about the end of the wars of Peloponnesus, being accused of treason for yielding up the fort of Pyle at that time, when the golden and unfoiled 121 age remained yet whole in judgment at Rome.

Now Martius, following this custom, shewed many wounds and cuts upon his body, which he had received in seventeen years' service at the wars, and in many sundry battles, being ever the foremost man that did set out feet 122 to fight. So that there was not a man among the people but was ashamed of himself, to refuse so valiant a man: and one of them said to another, "we must needs choose him Consul, there is no remedy." But when the day of election was come, and that Martius came to the market-place with great pomp, accompanied with all the Senate and the whole Nobility of the city about him, who sought to make him Consul with the greatest instance 123 and intreaty they could, or ever attempted for any man or matter: then the love and goodwill of the common people turned straight to an hate and envy toward him, fearing to put this office of sovereign authority into his hands, being a man somewhat partial towards the Nobility, and of great credit and authority amongst the Patricians, and as one they might doubt 124 would take away altogether the liberty from the people. Whereupon, for these considerations, they refused Martius in the end, and made two other that were suitors, Consuls. The Senate, being marvellously offended with the people, did account the shame of this refusal rather to redound to themselves than to Martius but Martius took it in far worse part than the Senate, and was out of all patience. For he was a man too full of passion and choler, and too much given over to self-will and opinion 125, as one of a high mind and great courage, that lacked the gravity and affability that is gotten with judgment of learning and reason, which only is to be looked for 126 in a governor of State: and that remembered not how wilfulness is the thing the thing of 127 the world, which a governor of a commonwealth, for pleasing 128, should shun, being that which Plato called 'solitariness';

The fruit of selfwill and obstinacy.
as in the end, all men that are wilfully given to a self-opinion and obstinate mind, and who will never yield to other's reason but to their own. remain without company, and forsaken of all men. For a man that will 129 live in the world must needs have patience, which lusty bloods make but a mock at. So Martius, being a stout man of nature, that never yielded in any respect, as one thinking that to overcome always and to have the upper hand in all matters, was a token of magnanimity and of no base and faint courage 130, which spitteth out anger from the most weak and passioned 131 part of the heart, much like the matter 132 of an impostume 133: went home to his house, full freighted with spite and malice against, the people, being accompanied with all the lustiest 134 young gentlemen, whose minds were nobly bent, as those that came of noble race, and commonly used 135 for to follow and honour him. But then specially they flocked about him, and kept him company to his much 136 harm, for they did but kindle and inflame his choler more and more, being sorry with him for the injury the people offered him; because he was their captain and leader to the wars, that taught them all martial discipline, and stirred up in them a noble emulation of honour and valiantness, and yet, without envy, praising them that deserved best.


Great store of corn brought to Rome.
In the mean season there came great plenty of corn to Rome, that had been bought, part in Italy, and part was sent out of Sicily, as given by Gelon the tyrant of Syracusa: so that many stood in great hope, that the dearth of victuals being holpen 137, the civil dissension would also cease. The Senate sat in council upon it immediately; the common people stood also about the palace where the council was kept, gaping 138 what resolution 139 would fall out 140: persuading themselves that the corn they had bought should be sold good cheap 141, and that which was given should be divided by the poll 142, without paying any penny; and the rather, because certain of the Senators amongst them did so wish and persuade the same. But Martius, standing upon his feet, did somewhat sharply take up 143 those who went about 144 to gratify the people therein: and called them people-pleasers, and traitors to the Nobility.
Coriolanus' oration against the insolency of the people.
" Moreover," he said, "they nourished against themselves the naughty 145 seed and cockle 146 of insolence and sedition, which had been sowed and scattered abroad amongst the people, which they should have cut off, if they had been wise, in their growth: and not (to their own destruction) have suffered the people to establish a magistrate for themselves, of so great power and authority as that man had to whom they had granted it. Who was also to be feared, because he obtained what he would 147, and did nothing but what he listed 148, neither passed for 149 any obedience to the Consuls, but lived in all liberty; acknowledging no superior to command him, saving the only 150 heads and authors of their faction, whom he called his magistrates. Therefore," said he, "they that gave counsel and persuaded, that the corn should be given out to the common people gratis, as they used to do in the cities of Greece, where the people had more absolute power, did but only nourish their disobedience, which would break out in the end, to the utter ruin and overthrow of the whole state. For they will not think it is done in recompence of their service past, sithence 151 they know well enough they have so oft refused to go to the wars when they were commanded: neither for their mutinies when they went with us, whereby they have rebelled and forsaken their country: neither for their accusations which their flatterers have preferred unto them, and they have received, and made good against the Senate: but they will rather judge, we give and grant them this as abasing ourselves, and standing in fear of them, and glad to flatter them every way. By this means their disobedience will still grow worse and worse: and they will never leave 152 to practice new sedition and uproars. Therefore it were a great folly for us, methinks, to do it: yea, shall I say more? we should, if we were wise, take from them their Tribuneship, which most manifestly is the embasing of the Consulship, and the cause of the division of the city. The state whereof, as it standeth, is not now as it was wont to be, but becometh dismembered in two factions, which maintains always civil dissension and discord between us, and will never suffer us again to be united into one body."

Martius dilating the matter with many such like reasons, won all the young men, and almost all the rich men to his opinion: insomuch as they out 153, that he was the only man, and alone in the city, who stood out against the people, and never flattered them. There were only a few old men that spake against him, fearing lest some mischief fall out upon it 154, as indeed there followed no great good afterward. For the Tribunes of the people, being present at this consultation of the Senate, when they saw that the opinion of Martius was confirmed with the more 155 voices, they left the Senate, and went down to the people, crying out for help, and that they would assemble to save their Tribunes.

Sedition at Rome for Coriolanus.
Hereupon the people ran on head 156 in tumult together, before whom the words that Martius spake in the Senate were openly reported: which the people so stomached 157, that even in that fury they were ready to fly upon the whole Senate. But the Tribunes laid all the fault and burthen 158 wholly upon Martius, and sent their sergeants forthwith to arrest him, presently 159 to appear in person before the people, to answer the words he had spoken in the Senate. Martius stoutly withstood these officers that came to arrest him. Then the Tribunes in their own persons, accompanied with the Aediles, went to fetch him by force, and so laid violent hands upon him. Howbeit the noble Patricians gathering together about him, made the Tribunes give back 160, and laid sore upon the Aediles: so for that time the night parted them, and the tumult appeased. The next morning betimes, the Consuls seeing the people in an uproar, running to the market-place out of all parts of the city, they were afraid lest all the city would 161 together by the ears: wherefore assembling the Senate in all haste, they declared how it stood them upon 162, to appease the fury of the people with some gentle words or grateful decrees in their favour: and moreover, like wise men they should consider, it was now no time to stand at defence and in contention, nor yet to fight for honour against the commonalty, they being fallen to so great an extremity, and offering such imminent danger. Wherefore they were to consider temperately of things, and to deliver some present and gentle pacification. The most part of the Senators that were present at this council, thought this opinion best, and gave their consents unto it. Whereupon the Consuls rising out of council, went to speak unto the people as gently as they could, and they did pacify their fury and anger, purging 163 the Senate of all the unjust accusations laid upon them, and used great modesty 164 in persuading them, and also in reproving the faults they had committed. And as for the rest, that touched the sale of corn, they promised there should be no disliking 165 offered them in the price.

So the most part of the people being pacified, and appearing so plainly by the great silence that was among them, as yielding to the Consuls and liking well of 166 their words: the Tribunes then of the people rose out of their seats, and said: " Forasmuch as the Senate yielded unto reason, the people also for their part, as became them, did likewise give place unto them: but notwithstanding, they would 167 that Martius should come in person to answer to the articles they had devised.

Articles against Coriolanus.
First, whether he had not solicited and procured 168 the Senate to change the present state of the commonweal, and to take the sovereign authority out of the people's hands? Next, when he was sent for by authority of their officers, why he did contemptuously resist and disobey? Lastly, seeing he had driven and beaten the Aediles into the market-place before all the world: if, in doing this, he had not done as much as in him lay, to raise civil wars, and to set one citizen against another?" All this was spoken to one of these two ends, either that Martius, against his nature, should be constrained to humble himself and to abase his haughty and fierce mind: or else, if he continued still in his stoutness 169, he should incur the people's displeasure and ill-will so far, that he should never possibly win them again. Which they hoped would rather fall out 170 so, than otherwise: as indeed they guessed unhappily, considering Martius' nature and disposition. 11. So Martius came and presented himself to answer their accusations against him, and the people held their peace, and gave attentive ear, to hear what he would say.
Coriolanus' stoutness in defense of himself.
But where they thought to have heard very humble and lowly words come from him, he began not only to use his wonted boldness of speaking (which of itself was very rough and unpleasant, and did more aggravate his accusation, than purge 171 his innocency 172 ) but also gave himself in his words to thunder, and look therewithal so grimly, as though he made no reckoning of the matter. This stirred coals among the people, who were in wonderful fury at it, and their hate and malice grew so toward him, that they could hold no longer, bear, nor endure his bravery 173 and careless boldness.
Sicinius the Tribune pronounceth sentence of death upon Martius.
Whereupon Sicinius, the cruellest and stoutest of the Tribunes, after he had whispered a little with his companions, did openly pronounce, in the face of all the people, Martius as condemned by the Tribunes to die. Then presently he commanded the Aediles to apprehend him, and carry him straight to the rock Tarpeian, and to cast him headlong down the same. When the Aediles came to lay hands upon Martius to do that 174 they were commanded, divers of the people themselves thought it too cruel and violent a deed. The noblemen, being much troubled to see so much force and rigour used, began to cry aloud 'help Martius': so those that laid hands on him being repulsed, they compassed him in round 175 among themselves, and some of them, holding up their hands to the people, besought them not to handle him thus cruelly. But neither their words nor crying out could aught prevail, the tumult and hurlyburly 176 was so great, until such time as the Tribunes' own friends and kinsmen, weighing with themselves the impossibleness 177 to convey Martius to execution without great slaughter and murder of the nobility, did persuade and advise not to proceed in so violent and extraordinary a sort, as to put such a man to death without lawful process in law, but that they should refer the sentence of his death to the free voice of the people. Then Sicinius, bethinking himself a little, did ask the Patricians, for what cause they took Martius out of the officers' hands that went to do execution? The Patricians asked him again, why they would of themselves so cruelly and wickedly put to death so noble and valiant a Roman as Martius was, and that without law and justice? "Well then," said Sicinius, "if that be the matter, let there be no quarrel or dissension against the people: for they do grant your demand, that his cause shall be heard according to the law.
Coriolanus hath day given him to answer the people.
Therefore," said he to Martius, "we do will 178 and charge you to appear before the people, the third day of our next sitting and assembly here, to make your purgation for such articles as shall be objected against you, that by free voice the people may give sentence upon you as shall please them. The noblemen were glad then of the adjournment, and were much pleased they had gotten Martius out of this danger.

In the mean space before the third day of their next session came about 179, the same being kept every ninth day continually at Rome, whereupon 180 they call it now in Latin Nundinae: there fell out 181 war against the Antiates, which gave some hope to the nobility that this adjournment would come to little effect, thinking that this war would hold them so long, as that the fury of the people against him would be well suaged 182, or utterly forgotten, by reason of the trouble of the wars. But contrary to expectation, the peace was concluded presently 183 with the Antiates, and the people returned again to Rome. Then the Patricians assembled oftentimes together, to consult how they might stand to 184 Martius, and keep the Tribunes from occasion 185 to cause the people to mutine 186 again, and rise against the Nobility. And there Appius Claudius (one that was taken 187 ever as an heavy enemy to the people) did avow and protest, that they would utterly abase the authority of the Senate, and destroy the commonweal, if they would suffer the common people to have authority by voices to give judgment against the Nobility. On the other side again, the most ancient Senators, and such as were given to favour the common people, said: " that when the people should see they had authority of life and death in their hands, they would not be so cruel and fierce, but gentle and civil 188. More also, that it was not for contempt of Nobility or the Senate that they sought to have the authority of justice in their hands, as a pre-eminence and prerogative of honour: but because they feared, that themselves should be contemned and hated of the Nobility. So as 189 they were persuaded, that so soon as they gave them authority to judge by voices, they would leave 190 all envy and malice to condemn any."

Martius, seeing the Senate in great doubt how to resolve 191, partly for the love and goodwill the nobility did bear him, and partly for the fear they stood in of the people: asked aloud of the Tribunes, 'what matter they would burden 192 him with?'

Coriolanus accused that he sought to be king.
The Tribunes answered him, 'that they would shew how he did aspire to be King, and would prove that all his actions tended to usurp tyrannical power over Rome.' Martius with that, rising upon his feet, said: 'that thereupon 193 he did willingly offer himself to the people, to be tried upon that accusation: and that if it were proved by 194 him, he had so much as once thought of any such matter, that he would then refuse no kind of punishment they would offer him: conditionally (quoth he) that you charge me with nothing else beside, and that ye do not also abuse the Senate.' They promised they would not. Under these conditions the judgment was agreed upon, and the people assembled. 12. And first of all the Tribunes would 195 in any case (whatsoever became 196 of it) that the people should proceed to give their voices by Tribes, and not by hundreds: for by this means the multitude of the poor needy people (and all such rabble as had nothing to lose, and had less regard of honesty before their eyes) came to be of greater force (because their voices were numbered by the poll 197 ) than the noble honest citizens, whose persons and purse did dutifully serve the commonwealth in their wars. And then, when the Tribunes saw they could not prove he went about 198 to make himself King, they began to broach afresh the former words that Martius had spoken in the Senate, in hindering the distribution of the corn at mean 199 price unto the common people, and persuading also to take the office of Tribuneship from them. And for the third, they charged him anew, that he had not made the common distribution of the spoil he had gotten in the invading the territories of the Antiates: but had of his own authority divided it among them who were with him in that journey. But this matter was most strange of all to Martius, looking 200 least to have been burdened 201 with that as with any matter of offence. Whereupon being burdened on the sudden, and having no ready excuse to make even at that instant: he began to fall a praising of the soldiers that had served with him in that journey. But those that were not with him, being the greater number, cried out so loud, and made such a noise, that he could not be heard.
Coriolanus banished forever.
To conclude, when they came to tell 202 the voices of the Tribes, there were three voices odd, which condemned him to be banished for ever. After declaration of the sentence, the people made such joy, as 203 they never rejoiced more for any battle they had won upon their enemies, they were so brave and lively, and went home so jocundIy from the assembly, for triumph of this sentence. The Senate again, in contrary manner 204, were as sad and heavy, repenting themselves beyond measure, that they had not rather determined to have done and suffered anything whatsoever, before the common people should so arrogantly and outrageously have abused 205 their authority. There needed no difference of garments, I warrant you, nor outward shows, to know a Plebeian from a Patrician, for they were easily discerned by their looks. For he that was on the people's side looked cheerfully on the matter: but he that was sad and hung down his head, he was sure 206 of the noblemen's side:

saving Martius alone,

Coriolanus' constant mind in adversity.
who neither in his countenance nor in his gait did ever shew himself abashed, or once let fall his great courage: but he only, of all other gentlemen that were angry at his fortune, did outwardly shew no manner of passion, nor care at all of himself. Not that he did patiently bear and temper 207 his evil hap 208 in respect of any reason he had, or by his quiet condition: but because
The force of anger.
he was so carried away with the vehemency of anger and desire of revenge, that he had no sense nor feeling of the hard state he was in: which the common people judge not to be sorrow, although indeed it be the very same. For when sorrow (as you would say) is set on fire, then it is converted into spite and malice, and driveth away for that time all faintness of heart and natural fear. And this is the cause why the choleric man is so altered and mad in his actions, as a man set on fire with a burning ague: for when a man's heart is troubled within, his pulse will beat marvellous strongly. Now that Martius was even in that taking 209 it appeared true soon after by his doings. For when he was come home to his house again, and had taken his leave of his mother and wife, finding them weeping and shrieking out for sorrow, and had also comforted and persuaded them to be content with his chance: he went immediately to the gate of the city, accompanied with a great number of Patricians, that brought him thither, from whence he went on his way with three or four of his friends only, taking nothing with him, nor requesting anything of any man. So he remained a few days in the country at his houses, turmoiled 210 with sundry sorts and kinds of thoughts, such as the fire of his choler did stir up. 13. In the end, seeing he could resolve 211 no way to take a profitable or honourable course, but only was pricked forward still to be revenged of the Romans: he thought to raise up some great wars against them, by their nearest neighbours. Whereupon he thought it his best way, first to stir up the Volsces against them, knowing they were yet able enough in strength and riches to encounter them, notwithstanding their former losses they had received not long before, and that their power was not so much impaired, as their malice and desire was increased to be revenged of the Romans.

Tullus Aufidius, a great person among the Volsces.
Now in the city of Antium there was one called Tullus Aufidius, who for his riches, as also for his nobility and valiantness, was honoured among the Volsces as a king. Martius knew very well that Tullus did more malice 212 and envy him than he did all the Romans besides: because that many times, in battles where they met, they were ever at the encounter one against another, like lusty courageous youths striving in all emulation of honour, and had encountered many times together. Insomuch as, besides the common quarrel between them, there was bred a marvellous private hate one against another. Yet notwithstanding, considering that Tullus Aufidius was a man of a great mind, and that he above all other of the Volsces most desired revenge of the Romans, for the injuries they had done unto them: he did an act that confirmed the words of an ancient poet to be true, who said:
It is a thing full hard, man's anger to withstand,
If it be stiffly bent to take an enterprise in hand.
For then most men will have the thing that they desire,
Although it cost their lives therefore, such force hath wicked ire.
And so did he. For he disguised himself in such array and attire, as he thought no man could ever have known him for the person he was, seeing him in that apparel he had upon his back: and as Homer said of Ulysses:
So did he enter into the enemies' town.

Coriolanus disguised goes to Antium, a city of the Volsces.
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 him 213 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 214 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 him:
Coriolanus' oration to Tullus Aufidius.
"If thou knowest me not yet, Tullus, and, seeing me, cost not perhaps believe me to be the man I am indeed, I must of necessity bewray 215 myself to be that I am. I am Caius Martius, who hath done to thyself particularly, and to all the Volsces generally, great hurt and mischief, which I cannot deny for 216 my surname of Coriolanus that I hear. For I never had other benefit nor recompence of the true and painful 217 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 sufferance 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 have put myself in hazard: but pricked forward 218 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 219 of the injuries thy enemies have done thee, speed thee 220 now, and let my misery serve thy turn, and so use it as my service may be a benefit to the Volsces: promising thee, that I will fight with better good will for all you than I did when I w as 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 221 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 222 thee." Tullus, hearing what he said, was a marvellous glad man, and taking him by the hand, he said unto him: " Stand up, O 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 Volsces' 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.


Great Dissension at Rome about Martius' banishment.
Now on the other side, the city of Rome was in marvellous uproar and discord, the nobility against the commonalty, and chiefly for Martius' condemnation and banishment. Moreover the priests, the soothsayers, and private men also, came and declared to the Senate certain sights and wonders in the air, which they had seen, and were to be considered of: amongst the which such a vision happened: There was a citizen of Rome called Titus Latinus, a man of mean quality and condition, but otherwise an honest sober man, given to a quiet life, without superstition, and much less to vanity or lying. This man had a vision in his dream, in the which he thought that Jupiter appeared unto him, and commanded him to signify to the Senate, that they had caused a very vile lewd dancer to go before the procession: and said, the first time this vision had appeared unto him, he made no reckoning of it: and coming again another time into his mind, he made not much more account of the matter than before. In the end, he saw one of his sons die, who had the best nature and condition of all his brethren: and suddenly he himself was so taken in all his limbs, that he became lame and impotent. Hereupon he told the whole circumstance of this vision before the Senate, sitting upon his little couch or bed, whereon he was carried on men's arms: and he had no sooner reported this vision to the Senate, but he presently 223 felt his body and limbs restored again to their former strength and use. So raising up himself upon his couch, he got up on his feet at that instant, and walked home to his house, without help of any man. The Senate being amazed at this matter, made diligent enquiry to understand the truth: and in the end they found there was such a thing: There was one that had delivered a bondman of his that had offended him into the hands of other slaves and bondmen, and had commanded them to whip him up and down the market-place, and afterwards to kill him: and as they had him in execution 224, whipping him cruelly, they did so martyr 225 the poor wretch, that, for the cruel smart and pain he felt, he turned and writhed his body in strange and pitiful sort. The procession by chance came by even at the same time, and many that followed it were heartily moved and offended with the sight, saying: that this was no good sight to behold, nor meet to be met in procession time. But for all this, there was nothing done: saving they blamed and rebuked him that punished his slave so cruelly. For the Romans at that time did use their bondmen very gently, because they themselves did labour with their own hands, and lived with them and among them: and therefore they did use them the more gently and familiarly. For the greatest punishment they gave a slave that had offended, was this.
The Romans' manner of punishing their slaves.
They made him carry a limmer 226 on his shoulders that is fastened to the axletree of a coach, and compelled him to go up and down in that sort amongst all their neighbours. He that had once abidden 227 this punishment, and was seen in that manner, was proclaimed and cried in every market-town: so that no man would ever trust him after, and they called him
Whereaof Furcifer came.
Furcifer, because the Latins call the wood that runneth into the axletree of the coach Furca, as much to say as a fork.

Now when Latinus had made report to the Senate of the vision that had happened to him, they were devising whom this unpleasant dancer should be, that went before the procession. Thereupon certain that stood by remembered the poor slave that was so cruelly whipped through the market-place, whom they afterwards put to death: and the thing that made him remember it; was the strange and rare manner of h s punishment. The priests hereupon were repaired unto for their advice: they were wholly of opinion, that it was the whipping of the slave. So they caused the slave's master to be punished, and began again a new procession, and all other shows and sights in honour of Jupiter. But hereby appeareth plainly,

A ceremony instituted by king Numa touching religion.
how king Numa did wisely ordain all other ceremonies concerning devotion to the gods, and specially this custom which he established, to bring the people to religion. For when the magistrates, bishops, priests, or other religious ministers go about any divine service or matter of religion, an herald ever goeth before them, crying out aloud hoc age: as to say, do this, or mind this. Hereby they are specially commanded, wholly to dispose themselves to serve God, leaving all other business and matters aside: knowing well enough, that whatsoever most men do, they do it as in a manner constrained unto it.
The superstition of the Romans.
But the Romans did ever use to begin again their sacrifices, processions, plays, and such like shows done in honour of the gods, not only upon such an occasion, but upon lighter causes than that. As, when they went on procession through the city, and did carry the images of their gods and such other like holy relics upon open hallowed coaches or chariots, called in Latin
Thensa, one of the coachhorses that drew them stood still and would draw no more, and because also the coach-man took the reins of his bridle with the left hand, they ordained that the procession should be begun again anew. Of late time also, they did renew and begin a sacrifice thirty times one after another, because they thought still 228 there fell out 229 one fault or other in the same: so holy and devout were they to the gods.

15. Now Tullus and Martius had secret conference with the greatest personages of the city of Antium, declaring unto them that now they had good time offered them to make war with the Romans, while they were in dissension one with another. They answered them, they were ashamed to break the league, considering that they were sworn to keep peace for two years.

The Romans gave the Volsces occasion of was.
Howbeit, shortly after, the Romans gave them great occasion 230 to make war with them. For on a holy day, common plays being kept in Rome, upon some suspicion or [else report, they made proclamation by sound of trumpet, that all the Volsces should avoid 231 out of Rome before sunset. Some think this was a craft and deceit of Martius, who
Martius Coriolanus' crafty accusation of the Volsces.
sent one to Rome to the Consuls to accuse the Volsces falsely, advertising them how they had made a conspiracy to set upon them while they were busy in seeing these games, and also to set their city on fire. This open proclamation made all the Volsces more offended with the Romans than ever they were before: and Tullus, aggravating the matter, did so inflame the Volsces against them, that in the end they sent their ambassadors to Rome, to summon them to deliver their lands and towns again, which they had taken from them in times past, or to look for 232 present 233 wars. The Romans, hearing this, were marvellously nettled: and made no other answer but this: " If the Volsces be the first that begin war, the Romans will be the last that will end it." Incontinently 234 upon return of the Volsces' ambassadors and delivery of the Romans' answer, Tullus caused an assembly general to be made of the Volsces, and concluded 235 to make war upon the Romans. This done, Tullus did counsel them to take Martius into their service, and not to mistrust him for the remembrance of anything past, but boldly to trust him in any matter to come: for he would do them more service in fighting for them than ever he did them displeasure in fighting against them.

Coriolanus chosen general of the Volsces with Tullus Aufidius against the Romans.
So Martius was called forth, who spake so excellently in the presence of them all, that he was thought no less eloquent in tongue than warlike in show: and declared 236 himself both expert in wars, and wise with valiantness. Thus he was joined in commission with Tullus as general of the Volsces, having absolute authority between them to follow and pursue the wars. But Martius, fearing lest tract 237 of time to bring this army together with all the munition and furniture 238 of the Volsces would rob him of the mean 239 he had to execute his purpose and intent, left order with the rulers and chief of the city to assemble the rest of their power, and to prepare all necessary provision for the camp.
Coriolanus invadeth the territories of the Romans.
Then he, with the lightest soldiers he had, and that were willing to follow him, stole away upon the sudden, and marched with all speed, and entered the territories of Rome before the Romans heard any news of his coming. Insomuch as the Volsces found such spoil in the fields, as 240 they had more than they could spend in their camp, and were weary to drive and carry away that they had. Howbeit, the gain of the spoil and the hurt they did to the Romans in this invasion was the least part of his intent: for his
A fine device to make the commonalty suspect the nobility.
chiefest purpose was, to increase still the malice and dissension between the nobility and the commonalty: and to draw that on, he was very careful to keep the noblemen's lands and goods safe from harm and burning, but spoiled all the whole country besides, and would suffer no man to take or hurt anything of the noblemen's. This made greater stir and broil between the nobility and the people than was before.
Great heart-burning betwixt the nobility and the people.
For the noblemen fell out 241 with the people because they had so unjustly banished a man of so great velour and power. The people, on the other side, accused the nobility, how they had procured Martius to make these wars to be revenged of them: because it pleased them to see their goods burnt and spoiled before their eyes, whilst themselves were well at ease, and did behold the people's losses and misfortunes, knowing their own goods safe and out of danger: and how the war was not made against the noblemen, that had the enemy abroad to keep that they had in safety. Now Martius, having done his first exploit (which made the Volsces bolder, and less fearful of the Romans), brought home all the army again without loss of any man.

After their whole army (which was marvellous great, and very forward to service) was assembled in one camp, they agreed to leave part of it for garrison in the country about, and the other part should go on and make the war upon the Romans. So Martius bade Tullus choose, and take which of the two charges he liked best. Tullus made him answer, he knew by experience that Martius was no less valiant than himself, and how he ever had better fortune and good hap in all battles than himself had. Therefore he thought it best for him to have the leading of those that would make the wars abroad, and himself would keep 242 home, to provide for the safety of the cities of his country, and to furnish the camp also of 243 all necessary provision abroad. 16. So Martius, being stronger than before, went first of all unto the city of Cercees 244, inhabited by the Romans, who willingly yielded themselves, and therefore had no hurt. From thence he entered the country of the Latins, imagining the Romans would fight with him there to defend the Latins, who were their confederates, and had many times sent unto the Romans for their aid. But on the one side, the people of Rome were very ill willing 245 to go: and on the other side, the Consuls being upon going out 246 of their office, would not hazard themselves for so small a time: so that the ambassadors of the Latins returned home again, and did no good. Then Martius did besiege their cities, and having taken by force the town of the Tolerinians, Vicanians, Pedanians, and the Bolanians, who made resistance, he sacked all their goods and took them prisoners. Such as did yield themselves willingly unto him, he was as careful as possible might be to defend them from hurt: and because they should receive no damage by his will 247, he removed his camp as far from their confines as he could.

Afterwards, he took the city of Boles 248 by assault, being about an hundred furlong from Rome, where he had a marvellous great spoil, and put every man to the sword that was able to carry weapon. The other Volsces that were appointed to remain in garrison for defence of their country, hearing this good news, would tarry no longer at home, but armed themselves and ran to Martius' camp, saying they did acknowledge no other captain but him. Hereupon his fame ran through all Italy, and every one praised him for a valiant captain, for that, by change of one man for another, such and so strange events fell out in the state. In this while 249, all went still to wrack at Rome. For, to come into the field to fight with the enemy, they could not abide to hear of it, they were one so much against another, and full of seditious words, the nobility against the people, and the people against the nobility. Until they had intelligence at the length 250, that the enemies had laid siege to the city of Lavinium,

Lavinium built by Aeneas.
in the which were all the temples and images of their gods their protectors, and from whence came first their ancient original, for that Aeneas at his first arrival into Italy did build that city. Then fell there out a marvellous sudden change of mind among the people, and far more strange and contrary in the nobility. For the people thought it good to repeal the condemnation and exile of Martius. The Senate, assembled upon it, would in no case yield to that: who either did it of a selfwill to be contrary to the people's desire: or because Martius should not return thorough 251 the grace and favour of the people. Or else, because they were throughly angry and offended with him, that he would set upon the whole, being offended but by a few, and in his doings would shew himself an open enemy besides unto his country: notwithstanding the most part of them took the wrong they had done him in marvellous ill part, and as if the injury had been done unto themselves. Report being made of the Senate's resolution, the people found themselves in a straight 252: for they could authorise and confirm nothing by their voices, unless it had been first propounded and ordained by the Senate.

But Martius, hearing this stir about him, was in a greater rage with them than before: inasmuch as he raised his siege incontinently 253 before the city of Lavinium, and going towards Rome, lodged his camp within forty furlong of the city, at the ditches called Cluiliae. His incamping so near Rome did put all the whole city in a wonderful fear: howbeit for the present time it appeased the sedition and dissension betwixt the nobility and the people. For there was no consul, senator, nor magistrate, that durst once contrary 254 the opinion of the people for the calling home again of Martius. 17. When they saw the women in a marvellous fear, running up and down the city: the temples of the gods full of old people, weeping bitterly in their prayers to the gods: and finally, not a man either wise or hardy to provide for their safety: then they were ale of opinion, that the people had reason to call home Martius again, to reconcile themselves to him, and that the Senate, on the contrary part, were in marvellous great fault to be angry and in choler with him, when it stood them upon 255 rather to have gone out and intreated him.

Romans send ambassadors to Coriolanus to treat of peace.
So they all agreed together to send ambassadors unto him, to let him understand how his countrymen did call him home again, and restored him to all his goods, and besought him to deliver them from this war. The ambassadors that were sent were Martius' familiar friends and acquaintance, who looked at the least for a courteous welcome of 256 him, as of their familiar friend and kinsman. Howbeit they found nothing less: for at their coming they were brought through the camp to the place where he was set in his chair of state, with a marvellous and an unspeakable majesty, having the chiefest men of the Volsces about him: so he commanded them to declare openly the cause of their coming. Which they delivered in the most humble and lowly words they possibly could devise, and with all modest countenance and behaviour agreeable to the same. When they had done their message, for 257 the injury they had done him, he answered them very hotly and in great choler: but as general of the Volsces he willed 258 them to restore unto the Volsces all their lands and cities they had taken from them in former wars: and moreover, that they should give them the like honour and freedom of Rome as they had before given to the Latins. For otherwise they had no other mean 259 to end this war, if they did not grant these honest and just conditions of peace. Thereupon he gave them thirty days respite to make him answer. So the ambassadors returned straight to Rome, and Martius forthwith departed with his army out of the territories of the Romans.

The first occasion of the Volsces' envy to Coriolanus.
This was the first matter wherewith the Volsces (that most envied Martius' glory and authority) did charge 260 Martius with. Among those, Tullus was chief: who though he had received no private injury or displeasure of 261 Martius, yet the common fault and imperfection of man's nature wrought in him, and it grieved him to see his own reputation blemished through Martius' great fame and honour, and so himself to be less esteemed of the Volsces than he was before. This fell out 262 the more, because every man honoured Martius, and thought he only could do all, and that all other governors and captains must be content with such credit and authority as he would please to countenance them with. From hence they derived all their first accusations and secret murmurings against Martius. For private captains, conspiring against him, were very angry with him: and gave it out, that the removing of the camp was a manifest treason 263, not of the towns, nor forts, nor of arms, but of time and occasion 264, which was a loss of great importance, because it was that which in reason might both loose and bind all, and preserve the whole. Now Martius having given the Romans thirty days respite for their answer, and specially because the wars have not accustomed to make any great changes in less space of time than that, he thought it good yet 265, not to lie asleep and idle all the while, but went and destroyed the lands of the enemies' allies, and took seven great cities of theirs well inhabited, and the Romans durst not once put themselves into the field to come to their aid and help, they were so fainthearted, so mistrustful, and loth besides to make wars. Insomuch as they properly resembled the bodies paralytic and loosed of their limbs and members, as those which through the palsy have lost all their sense and feeling. 18. Wherefore, the time of peace expired, Martius being returned into the dominions of the Romans again with all his army, they
Another ambassade sent to Coriolanus.
sent another ambassade 266 unto him, to pray peace, and the remove 267 of the Volsces out of their country: that afterwards they might with better leisure fall to such agreements together as should be thought most meet and necessary. For the Romans were no men that would ever yield for fear. But if he thought the Volsces had any ground to demand reasonable articles and conditions, all that they would reasonably ask should be granted unto by the Romans, who of themselves would willingly yield to reason, conditionally, that they did lay down arms. Martius to that answered: 'that, as general of the Volsces, he would reply nothing unto it: but yet, as a Roman citizen, he would counsel them to let fall their pride, and to be conformable to reason, if they were wise: and that they should return again within three days, delivering up the articles agreed upon, which he had first delivered them. Otherwise, that he would no more give them assurance or safe conduct to return again into his camp with such vain and frivolous messages.'

When the ambassadors were returned to Rome, and had reported Martius' answer to the Senate: their city being in extreme danger, and as it were in a terrible storm or tempest, they threw out (as the common proverb saith) their holy anchor.

The priests and soothsayers sent to Coriolanus.
For then they appointed all the bishops, priests, ministers of the gods, and keepers of holy things, and all the augurs or soothsayers, which foreshew things to come by observation of the flying of birds (which is an old ancient kind of prophesying and divination amongst the Romans) to go to Martius, apparelled as when they do their sacrifices: and first to intreat him to leave off war, and then that he would speak to his countrymen, and conclude peace with the Volsces. Martius suffered them to come into his camp, but yet he granted them nothing the more 268, neither did he entertain them or speak more courteously to them, than he did the first time that they came unto him, saving only that he willed them to take the one of the two: either to accept peace under the first conditions offered, or else to receive war. When all this goodly rabble of superstitious priests were returned, it was determined in council that none should go out of the gates of the city, and that they should watch and ward upon the walls to repulse their enemies if they came to assault them: referring themselves and all their hope to time, and fortune's uncertain favour, not knowing otherwise how to remedy the danger. Now all the city was full of tumult, fear, and marvellous doubt what would happen, until at the length there fell out such a like matter, as Homer ofttimes said they would least have thought of. For in great matters, that happen seldom, Homer saith, and crieth out in this sort:
The goddess Pallas she, with her fair glistering eyes,
Did put into his mind such thoughts, and made him so devise.
And in another place:
But sure some god hath tane 269 out of the people's mind
Both wit and understanding eke, and have therewith assigned
Some other simple spirit, instead thereof to bide,
That so they might their doings all, for lack of wit, misguide.
And in another place:
The people of themselves did either it consider,
Or else some god instructed them, and so they join'd together.
Many reckon not of Homer, as referring matters unpossible 270, and fables of no likelihood or troth, unto man's reason, freewill, or judgment, which indeed is not his meaning. But things true and likely, he maketh to depend of our own freewill and reason. For he oft speaketh these words:
I have thought it in my noble heart.
And in another place:
Achilles angry was, and sorry for to hear
Him so to say, his heavy breast was fraught with pensive fear.
And in another place:
Bellerophon (she) could not move with her fair tongue,
So honest and so virtuous he was, the rest among.
But in wondrous and extraordinary things, which are done by secret inspirations and motions, he cloth not say that God taketh away from man his choice and freedom of will, but that he cloth move it: neither that he cloth work desire in us, but objecteth 271 to our minds certain imaginations whereby we are led to desire, and thereby cloth not make this our action forced, but openeth the way to our will, and addeth thereto courage and hope of success. For either we must say, that the gods meddle not with the causes and beginnings of our actions: or else what other means have they to help and further men? It is apparent that they handle not our bodies, nor move not our feet and hands, when there is occasion to use them: but that part of our mind from which these motions proceed, is induced thereto, or carried away by such objects and reasons, as God offereth unto it.

19. Now the Roman ladies and gentlewomen did visit all the temples and gods of the same, to make their prayers unto them: but the greatest ladies (and more part of them) were continually about the a]tar of Jupiter Capitolin, among which troup 272 by name, was Valeria, Publicola's own sister; the selfsame Publicola, who did such notable service to the Romans,

Valeria Publicola's sister.
both in peace and wars, and was dead also certain years before, as we have declared in his life. His sister Valeria was greatly honoured and reverenced among all the Romans: and did so modestly and wisely behave herself, that she did not shame nor dishonour the house she came of. So she suddenly fell into such a fancy, as we have rehearsed before, and had (by some god, as I think) taken hold of a noble device. Whereupon she rose and the other ladies with her, and they all together went straight to the house of
Volumnia, Martius' mother.
Volumnia, Martius' mother: and coming in to her, found her, and Martius' wife her daughter-in-law, set together, and having her husband Martius' young children in her lap. Now all the train of these ladies sitting in a ring round about her, Valeria first began to speak in this sort unto her:
The words of Valeria unto Volumnia and Virgilia.
"We ladies are come to visit you ladies (my lady Volumnia and Virgilia) by no direction from the Senate, nor commandment of other magistrate, but through the inspiration (as I take it) of some god above: who, having taken compassion and pity of our prayers, hath moved us to come unto you, to intreat you in a matter, as well beneficial for us as also for the whole citizens in general, but to yourselves in special (if it please you to credit me), and shall redound to your more 273 fame and glory, than the daughters of the Sabines obtained in former age, when they procured loving peace, instead of hateful war, between their fathers and their husbands. Come on, good ladies, and let us go all together unto Martius, to intreat him to take pity upon us, and also to report the truth unto him, how much you are bound unto the citizens: who notwithstanding they have sustained great hurt and losses by him, yet they have not hitherto sought revenge upon your persons by any discourteous usage, neither ever conceived any such thought or intent against you, but to deliver you safe into his hands, though thereby they look for no better grace or clemency from him." When Valeria had spoken this unto them, all the other ladies together, with one voice, confirmed that she had said. Then Volumnia in this sort did answer her:
The answer of Volumnia to the Roman ladies.
"My good ladies, we are partakers with you of the common misery and calamity of our country, and yet our grief exceedeth yours the more, by reason of our particular misfortune, to feel the loss of my son Martius' former valiancy 274 and glory, and to see his person environed now with our enemies in arms, rather to see him forthcoming and safe kept than of any love to defend his person. But yet the greatest grief of our heaped mishaps is to see our poor country brought to such extremity, that all the hope of the safety and preservation thereof is now unfortunately cast upon us simple women: because we know not what account he will make of us, since he hath cast from him all care of his natural country and commonweal, which heretofore he hath holden more dear and precious than either his mother, wife, or children. Notwithstanding, if ye think we can do good, we will willingly do w hat you will have us; bring us to him, I pray you. For if we cannot prevail, we may yet die at his feet, as humble suitors for the safety of our country."

Her answer ended, she took her daughter-in-law and Martius' children with her, and being accompanied with all the other Roman ladies, they went in troup 275 together unto the Volsces' camp: whom when they saw, they of themselves did both pity and reverence her, and there was not a man among them that once durst say a word unto hen Now was Martius set then in his 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 276 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 Volsces to hear what she would say. Then she spake in this sort:

The oration of Volumnia unto her son Coriolanus.
"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 bewray 277 to thee what life we have led at home, since thy exile and abode abroad; but think now with thyself, how much more unfortunate 278 than all the women living, we are come hither, considering that the sight which should be most pleasant to all other to behold, spiteful fortune had made most fearful 279 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 other 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 wrapt 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 tarry 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 overthrow 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 280 to see the day, either that my son be led prisoner in triumph by his natural countrymen, or that he himself do triumph of 281 them, and of his natural country. For if it were so, that my request tended to save thy country, in destroying the Volsces, 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 282 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 Volsces. 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 283 author, and so hast thou the only 284 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 conquer, this benefit shalt thou reap of thy goodly conquest, to be chronicled 285 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 cost 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 286 for thee to grant thy mother's request, in so weighty a cause? Dost thou take it honourable for a noble man to remember the wrongs and injuries done him, and cost not in like case think it an honest 287 noble man'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 unnaturally 288 shewest all ingratitude. Moreover (my son) thou hast sorely taken of 289 thy country, exacting grievous payments upon 290 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 291, 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.

Coriolanus' compassion of his mother.
Martius, seeing that, could refrain no longer, but went straight and lift 292 her up, crying out, " Oh mother, what have you done to me?" And holding her hard by the right 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 spokes 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 camp that night, the next morning he dislodged 293, and
Coriolanus withdraweth his army from Rome.
marched homeward into the Volsces' country again, who were not all of one mind, nor all alike contented. For some misliked 294 him and that he had done: other), being well pleased that peace should be made, said that neither the one nor the other deserved blame nor reproach. other 295, though they misliked 296 that was done, did not think him an ill man for that he did, but said he was not to be blamed, though he yielded to such a forcible extremity. Howbeit no man contraried 297 his departure, but all obeyed his commandment, more for respect of his worthiness and valiancy 298 than for fear of his authority.

20. Now the citizens of Rome plainly shewed in what fear and danger their city stood of this war, when they were delivered. For so soon as the watch upon the walls of the city perceived the Volsces' camp to remove, there was not a temple in the city but was presently 299 set open, and full of men wearing garlands of flowers upon their heads, sacrificing to the gods, as they were wont to do upon the news of some great obtained victory. And this common joy was yet more manifestly shewed by the honourable courtesies the whole Senate and people did bestow on their ladies. For they were all throughly 300 persuaded, and did certainly believe, that the ladies only were cause of the saving of the city and delivering themselves from the instant 301 danger of the war. Whereupon the Senate ordained that the magistrates, to gratify and honour these ladies, should grant them all that they would require.

The temple of Fortune built for the women.
And they only requested that they would build a temple of Fortune for the women, unto the building whereof they offered themselves to defray the whole charge of the sacrifices and other ceremonies belonging to the service of the gods. Nevertheless the Senate, commending their goodwill and forwardness, ordained that the temple and image should be made at the common charge of the city. Notwithstanding that, the ladies gathered money among them, and made with the same a second image of Fortune, which the Romans say did speak as they offered her up in the temple and did set her in her place: and they affirm, that she spake these words:
The image of Fortune spake to the ladies at Romen.
"Ladies, ye have devoutly offered me up."

Moreover, that she spake that twice together: making us to believe things that never were, and are not to be credited. For to see images that seem to sweat or weep, or to put forth any humour red or bloody, it is not a thing unpossible 302. For wood and stone do commonly receive certain moisture, whereof are ingendered humours, which do yield of themselves, or do take of the air, many sorts and kinds of spots and colours: by which signs and tokens it is not amiss, me think, that the gods sometimes do warn men of things to come. And it is possible also, that these images and statues do sometimes put forth sounds like unto sighs or mourning, when in the midst or bottom of the same there is made some violent separation or breaking asunder of things blown or devised therein: but that a body which hath neither life nor soul should have any direct or exquisite 303 words formed in it by express voice, that is altogether unpossible 304. For the soul nor God himself can distinctly speak without a body, having necessary organs and instruments meet for the parts of the same, to form and utter distinct words. But where stories many times do force us to believe a thing reported to be true, by many grave testimonies: there we must say, that it is some passion contrary to our five natural senses, which being begotten in the imaginative part or understanding draweth an opinion unto itself, even as we do in our sleeping. For many times we think we hear that we do not hear, and we imagine we see that we see not. Yet notwithstanding, such as are godly bent and zealously given to think on heavenly things, so as they can no way be drawn from believing that which is spoken of them, they have this reason to ground the foundation of their belief upon;

Of the omnipotency of God.
that is, the omnipotency 305 of God, which is wonderful, and hath no manner of resemblance or likeness of proportion unto ours, but is altogether contrary, as touching our nature, our moving, our art, and our force: and therefore, if he do any thing unpossible 306 to us, or do bring forth and devise things above man's common reach and understanding, we must not therefore think it unpossible 307 at all. For if in other things he is far contrary to us, much more in his works and secret operations he far passeth all the rest: but the most part of God's doings, as Heraclitus saith, for lack of faith, are hidden and unknown unto us.


Tullus Aufidius seeketh to kill Coriolanus.
Now when Martius was returned again into the city of Antium from his voyage, Tullus, that hated and could no longer abide him for the fear he had of his authority, sought diverse means to make him away; thinking, if he let slip that present time, he should never recover the like and fit occasion again. Wherefore Tullus, having procured many other of his confederacy, required 308 Martius might be deposed from his estate, to render up account to the Volsces of his charge and government. Martius, fearing to become a private man again under Tullus being general (whose authority was greater otherwise than any other among all the Volsces), answered: he was willing to give up his charge, and would resign it into the hands of the lords of the Volsces, if they did all command him, as by all their commandment he received it. And moreover, that he would not refuse even at that present to give up an account unto the people, if they would tarry the hearing of it The people hereupon called a common council, in which assembly there were certain orators appointed that stirred up the common people against him: and when they had told their tales, Martius rose up to make them answer. Now, notwithstanding the mutinous people made a marvellous great noise, yet when they saw him, for the reverence they bare unto his valiantness, they quieted themselves, and gave him audience to allege with leisure what he could for his purgation 309. Moreover, the honestest 310 men of the Antiates, and who most rejoiced in peace, shewed by their countenance that they would hear him willingly and judge also according to their conscience. Whereupon Tullus, fearing that, if he did let him speak, he would prove his innocency 311 to the people, because amongst other things he had an eloquent tongue; besides that the first good service he had done to the people of the Volsces did win him more favour than these last accusations could purchase 312 him displeasure: and furthermore, the offence they laid to his charge was a testimony of the goodwill they ought 313 him; for they would never have thought he had done them wrong for that they took not the city of Rome, if they had not been very near taking of it by means of his approach and conduction 314. For these causes Tullus thought he might no longer delay his pretence 315 and enterprise, neither to tarry for the mutining 316 and rising of the common people against him: wherefore those that were of the conspiracy began to cry out that he was not to be heard, and that they would not suffer a traitor to usurp tyrannical power over the tribe of the Volsces, who would not yield up his state and authority.
Coriolanus murdered in the city of Antium.
And in saying these words, they all fell upon him, and killed him in the market-place, none of the people once offering to rescue him. 22.
Coriolanus' funeral.
Howbeit it is a clear case, that this murder was not generally consented unto of 317 the most part of the Volsces: for men came out of all parts to honour his body, and did honourably bury him; setting out his tomb with great store of armour and spoils, as the tomb of a worthy person and great captain. The Romans, understanding of his death, shewed no other honour or malice, saving that they granted the ladies their request they made, that they might mourn ten months for him: and that was the full time they used to wear blacks 318 for the death of their fathers, brethren, or husbands,
The time of mourning appointed by Numa.
according to Numa Pompilius' order who stablished the same, as we have enlarged more amply in the description of his life. Now Martius being dead, the whole state of the Volsces heartily wished him alive again. For, first of all, they fell out with the Aeques (who were their friends and confederates) touching preheminence 319 and place: and this quarrel grew on so far between them, that frays and murders fell out upon it one with another.
Tullus Aufidius slain in battle.
After that, the Romans overcame them in battle, in which Tullus was slain in the field, and the flower of all their force was put to the sword: so that they were compelled to accept most shameful conditions of peace, in yielding themselves subject unto the conquerors, and promising to be obedient at their commandment.

1 ask for, be candidate for.

2 disadvantages.

3 whatever is fitting.

4 company

5 labours

6 moderation

7 restraint

8 hardship

9 grappling, wrestling.

10 throw

11 contend.

12 sturdiness of defense.

13 to rely entirely.

14 on both sides.

15 quite close beside.

16 custom.

17 procure

18 immediately

19 straightway.

20 undertake.

21 regard.

22 endeavored.

23 surpass.

24 others.

25 consideration.

26 always.

27 won.

28 would have been

29 delight

30 on that account.

31 treat.

32 army.

33 reasonable.

34 would at once anticipate.

35 decided upon.

36 themselves

37 alone.

38 laboriously.

39 anxious.

40 thoroughly.

41 general advantage.

42 alone had been

43 promoters

44 did not at all please him

45 humiliation

46 surpass.

47 different

48 Lartius.

49 drove.

50 halt.

51 afraid.

52 afraid.

53 retreated at once

54 attempt.

55 stop.

56 attacked.

57 straightway.

58 collect.

59 in good time.

60 array.

61 shields.

62 armour.

63 afraid

64 embrace.

65 vanguard.

66 most warlike.

67 not yield.

68 vanguard.

69 battalion.

70 some of.

71 effort he had made.

72 desired.

73 witness.

74 prize.

75 trappings.

76 equipments.

77 favour.

78 moderation.

79 begrudge.

80 exceedingly.

81 bore.

82 titles.

83 deserving.

84 fat-paunch.

85 These were the princes that built the city of Cyrene.

86 whimsical.

87 are want

88 for a long time

89 unblunted.

90 found

91 take place

92 covered with heath.

93 means.

94 upon.

95 plotted.

96 brought about.

97 that

98 happened

99 opportunity.

100 marked down

101 list

102 means

103 disguise.

104 deed

105 tutelary power.

106 brought about.

107 insolence.

108 list

109 press.

110 leave.

111 laden.

112 stay-at-homes.

113 remained in.

114 fortune.

115 were envious.

116 with only

117 took place.

118 that alone.

119 was right.

120 continually.

121 unsullied

122 advance

123 urgency

124 fear.

125 self-opinion.

126 expected.

127 the chief thing in.

128 if he would please men.

129 wished to

130 ten per.

131 passionate.

132 purulent discharge.

133 abscess.

134 boldest.

135 accustomed.

136 great.

137 helped, remedied.

138 wondering.

139 decision.

140 be come to.

141 cheaply.

142 head.

143 rebuke.

144 proposed.

145 evil.

146 darnel, tares.

147 wished.

148 pleased.

149 professed.

150 save only the

151 since

152 cease

153 cried aloud.

154 happen after it

155 majority of

156 ran ahead, rushed forward.

157 resented.

158 burden.

159 straightway.

160 retreat.

161 would come.

162 concerned them.

163 clearing.

164 moderation.

165 displeasure.

166 being pleased with.

167 desired.

168 persuaded.

169 boldness.

170 turn out.

171 make clear.

172 innocence.

173 audacity.

174 what.

175 around.

176 confusion.

177 impossibility.

178 require.

179 arrived.

180 wherefore.

181 took place.

182 assuaged.

183 at once.

184 support.

185 opportunity.

186 mutiny.

187 held.

188 courteous.

189 that.

190 forego.

191 decide.

192 charge.

193 on that count.

194 regarding.

195 resolved.

196 came.

197 head.

198 endeavored.

199 low.

200 expecting.

201 charged.

202 count.

203 that.

204 on the contrary.

205 contemned.

206 evidently.

207 allay.

208 ill fortune.

209 fit of anger.

210 agitated.

211 decide.

212 hate.

213 went

214 at once.

215 reveal.

216 because of.

217 toilsome.

218 spurred on.

219 wreaked.

220 have success.

221 try.

222 serve.

223 at once.

224 punishment.

225 torture.

226 limber, shaft.

227 undergone.

228 continually.

229 happened.

230 cause.

231 depart.

232 expect.

233 immediate.

234 immediately.

235 decided.

236 shewed.

237 length.

238 equipments.

239 means.

240 that.

241 quarelled.

242 stay with.

243 with.

244 Circcii.

245 unwilling

246 ready to go out.

247 with his consent.

248 Bola or Bolla.

249 meanwhile

250 at last.

251 through.

252 strait.

253 at once.

254 oppose.

255 behoved them.

256 from, by.

257 with regard to.

258 required.

259 way

260 accuse.

261 from.

262 happened.

263 surrender.

264 opportunity.

265 nevertheless.

266 embassy.

267 removal.

268 none the more.

269 taken.

270 impossible.

271 presents.

272 troop.

273 greater.

274 valour.

275 a troop.

276 changed, overcome.

277 reveal.

278 unfortunately, in ed. 1603.

279 dreadful.

280 tarry, wait.

281 over.

282 sole.

283 sole.

284 sole.

285 recorded as.

286 an honour.

287 honourable.

288 so ed. 1603; universally in ed. 1612.

289 from.

290 from.

291 honourable.

292 lifted.

293 removed his camp.

294 were displeased with.

295 others.

296 were displeased with.

297 opposed.

298 valour.

299 at once.

300 thoroughly.

301 urgent.

302 impossible.

303 exact, distinct


305 omnipotence.

306 impossible.

307 impossible

308 demanded that.

309 defence.

310 most honourable.

311 innocence.

312 procure.

313 owed.

314 guidance.

315 intention.

316 mutinying.

317 by

318 mourning.

319 preeminence.

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