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When waterdrops have worn the stones of Troy,
And blind oblivion swallow'd cities up,

And mighty states characterless are grated
To dusty nothing; yet let memory,

From false to false, among false maids in love,
Upbraid my falsehood! when they have said-as false
As air, as water, wind, or sandy earth,
As fox to lamb, as wolf to heifer's calf,

Pard to the hind, or stepdame to her son;

Yea, let them say, to stick the heart of falsehood,
As false as Cressid.


Honour travels in a strait so narrow,
Where one but goes abreast keep then the path :
For emulation hath a thousand sons,

That one by one pursue : if you give way,
Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,
Like to an enter'd tide, they all rush by,
And leave you hindmost.


Character of Troilus.

The youngest son of Priam, a true knight; Not yet mature, yet matchless; firm of word: Speaking in deeds, and deedless* in his tongue; Not soon provoked, nor, being provoked, soon calm’d: His heart and hand both open and both free; For what he has he gives, what thinks he shows: Yet gives he not till judgment guides his bounty, Nor dignifies an impair+ thought with breath: Manly as Hector, but more dangerous;

*Not given to boasting.

+ Improper.

For Hector, in his blaze of wrath, subscribes*
To tender objects; but he, in heat of action,
Is more vindictive than jealous love.

They call him Troilus.

Hector in Battle.

I have, thou gallant Trojan, seen thee oft, Labouring for destiny, make cruel way

Through ranks of Greekish youth: and I have seen thee,

As hot as Perseus, spur thy Phrygian steed,
And seen thee scorning forfeits and subduements,
When thou hast hung thy advanced sword i' the air,
Not letting it decline on the declined,†

That I have said unto my standers by,

"Lo, Jupiter is yonder, dealing life!"

And I have seen thee pause, and take thy breath,
When that a ring of Greeks have hemm'd thee in,
Like an Olympian wrestling.

Achilles Surveying Hector.

Tell me, you heavens, in which part of his body Shall I destroy him? Whether there, there, or there? That I may give the local wound a name;

And make distinct the very breach whereout
Hector's great spirit flew answer me heavens!



Caius Marcius, a noble Roman, surnamed Coriolanus, from a great victory obtained by him over the Volscians in Corioli, is un

* Gives way to.

+ Vanquished.

popular with the common people in Rome in consequence of his unbending austerity; he has, however, many firm friends, and is appointed Consul; the appointment, however, is revoked by the people, who are stirred up against Coriolanus by the tribunes Sicinius Velutus and Junius Brutus, who cause him to be banished from Rome. Indignant at the ingratitude of his countrymen, he joins the Volscians, and is received with open arms by their general, Tullus Aufidius, who divides his command with him. His countrymen, alarmed at the invasion of the Volscians, send to him to sue for peace, but he refuses to listen to them, till at length he is melted by the solicitations of his wife Virgilia and his mother Volumnia. Tullus Aufidius, jealous of the fame and influence which Coriolanus has obtained amongst the Volscians, conspires, with others against him, and he is assassinated by Aufidius and the conspirators. Dr. Johnson pronounces this to be "one of Shakspere's most amusing performances. The old man's bluntness," says he, "in Menenius; the lofty lady's dignity in Volumnia; the bridal modesty in Virgilia; the patrician and military haughtiness in Coriolanus; the plebeian malignity and tribunitian haughtiness in Brutus aud Sicinius, make a very pleasing and interesting variety."

Аст І.

Description of a Mob.

WHAT Would you have, you curs,

That like nor peace nor war? the one affrights you,
The other makes you proud. He that trusts you,
Where he should find you lions, finds

you hares;
Where foxes, geese; you are no surer, no,
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is
To make him worthy whose offence subdues him,
And curse that justice did it.

Deserves your hate: and your

Who deserves greatness. affections are

A sick man's appetite, who desires most that

Which would increase his evil.

He that depends

Upon your favours swims with fins of lead,

And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust ye?

With every minute you do change a mind;

And call him noble that was now your hate,

Him vile, that was your garland.

Volumnia's Patriotism.

Hear me profess sincerely:—had I a dozen sons,— each in my love alike, and none less dear than thine and my good Marcius,-I had rather had eleven die nobly for their country, than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.

Aufidius's Hate of Coriolanus.

Nor sleep, nor sanctuary,

Being naked, sick; nor fane, nor Capitol,
The prayers of priests, nor times of sacrifice,
Embarquements* all of fury, shall lift up
Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst
My hate to Marcius: where I find him, were it
At home, upon my brother's guard,† even there,
Against the hospitable canon, would I
Wash my fierce hand in his heart.


Prowess of Coriolanus.

Before him

He carries noise, and behind him he leaves tears; Death, that dark spirit, in's nervy‡ arm doth lie ; Which being advanc'd, declines; and then men die. My brother being his protector. Nervous, vigorous.

* Embargoes.

Cominius's Praise of Coriolanus to the Senators.

I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus
Should not be utter'd feebly.—It is held
That valour is the chiefest virtue, and
Most dignifies the haver :* if it be,
The man I speak of cannot in the world
Be singly counterpois'd. At sixteen years,
When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought
Beyond the mark of others: our then dictator,
Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight,
When with his Amazonian chint he drove
The bristled lips before him: he bestrid
An o'erpress'd Roman, and i' th' consul's view
Slew three opposers: Tarquin's self he met,
And struck him on his knee ;‡ in that day's feats,
When he might act the woman in the scene,§
He proved best man i' the field, and for his meed
Was brow-bound with the oak.
His pupil age
Man-enter'd thus, he waxed like a sea;

And, in the brunt of seventeen battles since,
He lurch'd|| all swords o' the garland.
Before and in Corioli, let me say,

For this last,

I cannot speak him home: he stopp'd the fliers;

And by his rare example made the coward

Turn terror into sport; as waves before

A vessel under sail, so men obey'd

And fell below his stem: his sword (death's stamp)

Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot

He was a thing of blood, whose

* Possessor.

Struck him down on his knee.

every motion

+ Beardless chin.

On account of his youth.

|| Won easily

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