THE LIFE OF
CAIUS MARTIUS CORIOLANUS
†The house of the Martians at Rome was of the number of the patricians, out of the which hath sprungThe family of the Martius many noble personages: whereof Ancus Martius was one, King Numa's daughter's son, who wasPublius and Quintus, brought the water by conducts to Rome. King of Rome after Tullus Hostilius. Of the same house were Publius and Quintus, who brought Rome their best water they had by conducts. Censorinus also came of that family, that was so surnamed because the people had chosen him Censor twice, Through whose persuasion they made a law, that no man from thenceforth might require 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, aCensorinus' law. widow, who taught us by experience, that orphanage bringeth many discommodities to a child, but doth not hinder him to become an honest man, and to excel in virtue above the common sort: as they 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. This man also is a good proof to confirm some men's opinions, that a rare andCoriolanus' wit. excellent wit untaught doth bring forth many good and evil things together, like as a fat soil bringeth forth herbs and weeds that lieth unmanured. 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. 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: thereupon they well liked and commended his stoutness and temperancy. 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 it was too lordly, was disliked. AndThe benefit of learning. to say truly, the greatest benefit that learning bringeth men unto is this: that it teacheth men that be rude and rough of nature, by compass 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 called Virtus, by the name of virtue self, asWhat this word Virtus signifieth. including in that general name all other special virtues besides. 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 outward he esteemed armour to no purpose, unless one were naturally armed within. Moreover he did so exercise his body to hardness and all kind of activity, that he was very swift in running, strong in wrestling, and mighty in gripping, so that no man could ever cast him. Insomuch as those that would try masteries 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, that never yielded to any pain or toil he took upon him. The first time he went to the wars, being but aCoriolanus' first going to the wars. 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 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, Martius valiantly fought in the sight of the Dictator: and a Roman soldier being thrown to the ground even hard by him, Martius straight bestrid him, and slew the enemy with his own hands that hadCoriolanus crowned with a garlands of oaken boughs. before overthrown the Roman. 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 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 very old time called eaters of acorns; or else because the soldiers might easily in every place come by 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 their cities, and thought amongst other wild trees to bring forth a profitable fruit, and of plants to be the strongest. Moreover, men at the first beginning did use acorns for their bread, and honey for their drink: andThe goodness of the oak. 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 how, incontinently 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. Moreover, itToo sudden honour in youth killeth further desire of fame. is daily seen that, honour and reputation lighting on young men before their time and before they have no great courage by nature, the desire to win more dieth straight 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 doth quicken up their appetite, hasting them forward as with force of wind, to enterprise things of high deserving praise. For they esteem 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 likeCorilanus noble endeavour to continue well-deserving. desert of worthy valiant deeds. This desire being bred in Martius, he strained still to pass himself in manliness, and being desirous to show a daily increase of his valiantness, his noble service did still advance his fame, bringing in spoils upon spoils from the enemy. 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 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 without some reward of honour. And as for other, the only respect that made them valiant was 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 everybody praise and commend him, that she might always see him return with a crown upon his head, and that she might still embrace him withcoriolanus and Epaminod as did both place their desire of honour alike. 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 lifetime had seen the victory he wan in the plain of Leuctra. Now as for Epaminondas, he had this good hap, to have his father and mother living, toThe obedience of Coriolaneus to his mother. be partakers of his joy and prosperity. But Martius thinking all due to his mother, that had been also due to his father if he had lived: did not only content himself to rejoice 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. 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. For thoseExtremity of usurers complained of at Rome by the people. 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 of, and they were made their bond men, 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 entreat them more gently, and also upon the word of Marcus Valerius chief of the Senate, who byCounsellors' promises make men valiant in hope of just performance. authority of the council, and in 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 entreated, and that the Senate would give no ear to them, but made as though they had forgotten their formerlugartitude and good service unrewarded provoketh rebellion. 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, 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 they should somewhat yield to the poor people's request, and that theyMartius Coriolanus against the people. should a little qualify the severity of the law. Other held hard against that opinion, and that was Martius for one. For he alleged, that the creditors losing their money they had lent was not the worst thing that was thereby: but that the lenity that was favoured was a beginning of disobedience, and that the proud attempt of the commonalty was to abolish law, and to bring all to confusion. Therefore he said, if the Senate were wise, they should betimes prevent and quench this ill-favoured and worse meant beginning. The Senate met many days in consultation about it: but in the end they concluded nothing. The poor common people,The people leave the city and do go the holy bill. 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 this day the holy hill, alongst 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 all Italy through they should find air, water, and ground to bury them 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. The Senate, being afeared 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. That on a time all the membersAn excellent tale told by Menenius Agrippa to pacify the people. of man's body did rebel against the belly, com-plaining of it, that it only remained in the midst of the body, without doing anything, neither did bear any labour to the maintenance of the rest: whereas all other parts and members did labour painfully, and were very careful 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 a like between the Senate and you. For matters being well digested, and their counsels throughly examined, touching the benefit of the common wealth, the Senators are cause of the common commodity that cometh unto every one of you.’ These persuasions pacified the people, conditionally, that the Senate would grant there should be yearly chosen five magistrates, whichThe first beginning of Tribuni plebis. 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 the causers and procurers of thisJunius Brutus Sicinius Vellutus the 2 first tribunes. sedition. Hereupon, the city being grown again to good quiet and unity, the people immediately went to the wars, shewing 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. Martius also, though it liked him nothing to see the greatness of the people thus increased, considering it was to the prejudice and embasing 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 the people in power and riches, as they did exceed them in true nobility and valiantness. 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 Corioli, before the which the Consul Cominius did lay siege. Wherefore all the otherThe, city of Corioli besieged by the Consul Cominius. 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 places. The Consul Cominius, understanding this, divided his army also in two parts, and taking the one part with himself, he marched towards them that were drawing to the city out of the country: and the other part of his army he left in the camp with Titus Lartius (one of the valiantest men the Romans had at that time) toTitus Lartius a valian Roman resist those that would make any sally out of the city upon them. So the Coriolans, making small accompt 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 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 upon a sudden, crying out to the Romans that had turned their backs, and calling them again to fight with a loud voice. For he was even suchThe property of a soldier 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 afeared 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 afeared, that they gave back presently. 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 the 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 among 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 else offer to stay 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 then, 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: 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 Lartius that was gotten out had some leisure to bring the Romans with more safety into the city. The city beingThe city of Corioli taken. taken in this sort, the most part of the soldiers began incontinently to spoil, to carry away, and to lock up 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 towards that part, where he understood the rest of the army was: exhorting and entreating 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 so gracious and favourable unto him, that he might come in time to the battle, and in good hour to hazard his life in defence of his countrymen. Now the Romans when they were put in battle ray, and ready to take their targets on their arms, and to gird them upon their arming coats, 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 threeSoldiers' testaments. or four witnesses. Martius came just to that reckoning, whilst the soldiers were a 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 afeared. 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 he city of Corioli, and that they saw the Consul Cominius also kiss and embrace him: then there was not a man but took heart again to him, and began to be of a 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 lenger, but to give charge upon the enemy. Martius asked him how the order of their enemies' 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 voward of their battle were those of the Antiates, whom they esteemed to be the warlikest men, and which for valiant courage would give no place 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. Then Martius, when both armies came almostBy Coriolanus' means the Volsci were over-come in battle. to join, advanced himself a good space before his company, and went so fiercely to give charge on the voward that came right against him, that they could stand no lenger in his hands: he made such a lane through them, and opened a passage into the battle 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 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, 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 faint hearted: 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. 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:The tenth part of the enemies’ goods offered Martius for reward of his service by Cominius the Consul. Valiancy rewarded with honour in the field. Martius noble answer and refusal. 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 that Martius had reported unto him. So in the end he willed Martius that he should choose out of all the horses they had taken of their enemies, and of all the goods they had won (whereof there was great store) ten of every sort which he liked best, before any distribution should be made other. Besides this great honourable offer he had made him, he gave him, in testimony that he had won that day the price of prowess above all other, a goodly horse with a caparison, and all furniture to him: which the whole army beholding did marvellously praise and commend. 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 an honourable recompense, he would none of it, but was contented to have his equal part with other soldiers. ‘Only this grace’ (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 they were moe that wondered at his great contentation 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 and envy his glory, to see him thus honoured and passingly praised, did think him so much the more worthy of an honourable recompense for his valiant service, as the more carelessly he refused the great offer made 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 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 well. 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. Therefore we doMartius surnamed Coriolanus by the Consul. 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 the third name of Coriolanus. And thereby it appeareth, that the first name the RomansHow the Romans came to have three names. have, as Caius, was 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. Evenwhy the Grecians gave Kings surnames. so did the Grecians in old time give additions to Princes, by reason of some notable act worthy memory. As when they have called some Soter, and Callinicos: as much to say, saviour and conqueror. Or else for some notable apparent mark on one's face, or on his body, they have called him Physcon, and Grypos, as ye would say, gorbelly, and hook-nosed: or else for some virtue, as Euergetes, and Philadelphos: to wit, a benefactor, and lover of his brethren. Or otherwise for one's great felicity, as Eudaemon: as much to say as fortunate. For so was the second of the Battiaa These were the princess that built the city of Cyrene. surnamed. And some kings have had surnames of jest and mockery, As one of the Antigoni that was called Doson, to say, the Giver: who was ever promising, and never giving. And one of the Ptolemies was called Lamyros: to say, conceitive. The Romans use more than any other nation to give names of mockery in this sort. As there was one Metellus surnamed Diadematus,Names of mockery among the Romans. the banded: because he carried a band about his head of long time, 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 swords, which they found wonderful for the shortness of time. Other had their surnames derived of some accident of 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 doth die, and th' other survlveth: they call the survivor Vopiscus. Sometimes also they give surnames derived of some mark or misfortune of the body. As Sylla, to say, crooked-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 otherSedition at Rome by reason of famine. stories than this. 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 this second insurrection against the Nobility and Patricians upon the people's misery and misfortune, that could not but fall out, by reason of the former discord and sedition between them and the Nobility. Because the most part of the earabie land within the territory of Rome was become heathy and barren for lack of ploughing, for that they had no time nor mean 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 good will 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 the people, had practised and procured the extreme dearth among them. Furthermore, in the midst of this stir, there came ambassadors to Rome from the city of Velitrae, 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 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 in a most happy hour, and how by this occasion 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. Hereupon the Consuls pricked out all those by avelitrac made a colony to Rome. bill, whom they intended to send to Velitrae, to go dwell there as in form of a colony: and they levied out of all the rest that remained in the city of Rome a great number to go against the Volsces, hoping by the means of foreign war to pacify their sedition atTwo practices to remove the sedition in Rome. home. 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. But Sicinius and Brutus, two seditious Tribunes, spake against either of these devices, and cried out upon the noblemen,Sicinius and Brutus Tribunes of the people against both those devices. that under the gentle name of a colony, they would cloak and colour the most cruel and un-natural fact 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 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 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 with these words, would not appear when the Consuls called their names by a bill to prest 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 do in the matter. Marti us then, who was now grown to great credit, and a stout man besides, and of great reputation withCoriolanus’ offendeth the people. the noblest men of Rome, rose up and openly spake against these flattering Tribunes. And, for the replenishing of the city of Velitrae, he did compel those that were chosen, to go thither, and to depart the city, upon great penalties to him that should disobey: but to the wars the people by no means would be brought or constrained. So Martius, taking his friends and followers with him, and such as he could by fair words entreat to go with him, did run certain forays into the dominion of the Antiates, where he met with great plenty of corn,Coriolanus invadeth the Antiates and bringeth rich spoils home. 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 with spoil: then the home-tarriers and house-doves, that kept Rome still, began to repent them that it was not their hap 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 to see his credit and estimation increase still more and more, because they accompted 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 ofThe manner of suing for office at Rome. Rome, and specially him that had done so great service and good to the commonwealth. 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 a poor gown on their backs and without any coat underneath, to pray the citizens to remember them at the day of election: which was thus devised, either to move theWhere upon this manner of suing was so devised. people the more by requesting them in such mean apparel, or else because they might shew them their wounds they bad gotten in the wars in the service of the commonwealth, as manifest marks and testimony of their valiantness. Now it is not to be thought that the suitors went thus loose in a simple gown in the market place 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. ItOffices given then by desert, without favour or corruption. was but of late time, and long after this, that buying and selling fell out 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 offaces, 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 turned common-Banquets and money given only destroyers of common wealth. wealths into Kingdoms, by making arms subject to money. Therefore methinks he had reason that said: 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, 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. Howbeit at Athens some hold opinion, thatAnytus’ the Athenian, the first that with money corrupted the sentence of the judge and voices of the people. Anytus, the son of Anthemion, was the first man that fee'd the judges with money, about the end of the wars of Peloponnesus, being accused of treason for yielding up the fort of Pylos, at that time when the golden and unfoiled age remained yet whole in judgement 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 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 and entreaty they could,see the fickle minds of common people. or ever attempted for any man or matter: then the love and good will 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 toward the nobility, and of great credit and authority amongst the Patricians, and as one they might doubt 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 accompt 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 to over self-will and opinion, as one of a high mind and great courage, that lacked the gravity and affability that is gotten with judgement of learning and reason, which only is to be looked for in a governor of state: and that remembered not how wilfulness is the thing of the world, which a governor of a commonwealth for pleasing should shun, being that whichThe fruits of self-will and obstinacy. Plato called solitariness. As in the end, all men that are wilfully given to a self-opinion and obstinate mind, and who will never yield to others' reason but to their own, remain without company, and forsaken of all men. For a man that will 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, which spitteth out anger from the most weak and passioned part of the heart, much like the matter of an imposthume, went home to his house full freighted with spite and malice against the people, being accompanied with all the lustiest young gentlemen, whose minds were nobly bent as those that came of noble race, and commonly used for to follow and honour him. But then specially they flocked about him and kept him company, to his much 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. In theGreat store of corn brought to Rome. mean season there came great plenty of corn to Rome, that had been bought part in Italy, and part was sent out of Sicile, as given by Gelon the tyrant of Syracusa: so that many stood in great hope that, the dearth of victuals being holpen, the civil dissension would also cease. The Senate sate in council upon it immediately; the common people stood also about the palace where the council was kept, gaping what resolution would fall out, persuading themselves that the corn they had bought should be sold good cheap, and that which was given should be divided by the poll without paying any penny, and the rather, because certain of the Senators amongst them did so wish and persuade the same. But Martius, standingcoriolanus oration against the insolency of the people. up on his feet, did somewhat sharply take up those who went about to gratify the people therein: and called them people-pleasers, and traitors to ‘the nobility. Moreover, he said, they nourished ‘against themselves the naughty seed and cockle ‘of insolency and sedition, which had been sowed and ‘scattered abroad amongst the people, whom they should ‘have cut off, if they had been wise, and have prevented ‘their greatness: and not (to their own destruction) to ‘have suffered the people to stablish 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, and did ‘nothing but what he listed, neither passed for any ‘obedience to the Consuls, but lived in all liberty, ‘acknowledging no superior to command him, saving the ‘only heads and authors of their faction, whom he called ‘his magistrates. Therefore,’ said he, ‘they that gave ‘council and Persuaded that the corn should be given out to ‘the common people gratis, as they used to do in 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 ‘recompense of their service past, sithence 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 for ‘saken 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 to ‘practise 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, wan all the young men and almost all the rich men to his opinion: insomuch they rang it out, 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 might fall out upon it, 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 Martlus was confirmed with the more voices, they left the Senate, and went down to the people, crying out for help, and that they would assemble to save their Tribunes. Hereupon the people ran on head in tumult together, before whom the words that Martius spake in the Senate were openly reported: which the people so stomached, that even in that fury they were ready to fly upon the whole Senate. But the Tribunes laid all the fault and burden wholly upon Martius, and sent their sergeants forthwith to arrest him, presently to appear in person before the people, to answer the words he had spoken in the Senate. Martius stoutlySedition at Rome for Coriolanus. 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, and laid it sore upon the Aediles: so for that time, the night parted them, and the turnult 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 together by the ears: wherefore, assembling the Senate in all haste, they declared how it stood them upon, 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 the Senate of all the unjust accusations laid upon them, and used great modesty 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 offered them in the price. So the most part of the People being pacified, and appearing so plainly by the great silence and still that was among them, as yielding to the Consuls, and liking well of 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 that Martius should come in person to answer to the articles they had devised. First, whether heArticles against Coriolanus. had solicited and procured the Senate to change the present state of the common-weal, 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, 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 so, than otherwise: as indeed they guessed, unhappily, considering Martius' nature and disposition. 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. But where they thought to haveCoriolanus' stoutness in defence of himself. 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 his innocency) 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 lenger, bear, nor endure his bravery and careless bold-ness. Whereupon Sicinius, the cruellest andSicinius and Tribune pronounceth sentence of death upon Martius 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 they were commanded, divers of the people themselves thought it too cruel and violent a deed. The noble men also, being much troubled to see such force and rigour used, began to cry aloud, ‘Help Martius’: so those that laid hands of him being repulsed, they compassed him in round 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 hurly-burly was so great, until such time as the Tribunes' own friends and kinsmen, weighing with themselves the impossibleness 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 or justice? ‘Well then,’ said Sicinius, ‘if that be the matter, let there be no more quarrel or dissension against the people, for they do grant your demand, that his cause shall be heard according to the law.’ Therefore saidCorolanus bath day given him to answer the people. he to Martius, ‘We do will 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, the same being kept every ninth day continually at Rome, whereupon they call it now in Latin, Nundinae, there fell out 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, or utterly forgotten, by reason of the trouble of the wars. But, contrary to expectation, the peace was concluded presently with the Antiates, and the people returned again to Rome. Then the Patricians assembled oftentimes together, to consult how they might stand to Martius, and keep the Tribunes from occasion to cause the people to mutiny again, and rise against the nobility. And there Appius Claudius (one that was taken 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 judgement against the nobility. On th' 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. 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 they were persuaded that, so soon as they gave them authority to judge by voices, so soon would they leave all envy and malice to condemn any. Martius, seeing the Senate in great doubt how to resolve, partly for the love and good will 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 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 up on his feet, said that thereupon he did willingly offer himself to the people, to be tried upon that accusation. And that if it were proved by 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 besides, and that ye do not also abuse the Senate.’ They promised they would not. Under these conditions the judgement was agreed upon, and the people assembled. And first of all the Tribunes would in any case (whatsoever became of it) that the people would 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) 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 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 price unto the common people, and persuading also to take the office of Tribune:ship 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 least to have been burdened 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 fail 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. To conclude,Coriolanus banished for life. when they came to tell the voices of the Tribes, there were three voices odd, which condemned him to be banished for life. After declaration of the sentence, the people made such joy, as they never rejoiced more for any battle they had won upon their enemies, they were so brave and lively, and went home so jocundly from the assembly, for triumph of this sentence, The Senate again in contrary manner 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 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 cheerily on the matter: but he that was sad, and hung;down his head, he was sure of the noblemen'sCoriolanus’ : constant mind in adversity. side. Saving Martius alone, who neither in his countenance, nor in his gait, did ever show 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 his good hap, in respect of any reason he had, or by his quiet condition: but because 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,The force of anger. although indeed it be the very same. For when sorrow (as you would say) is set afire, 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 afire 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, 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 with sundry sorts and kind of thoughts, such as the fire of his choler did stir up. In the end, seeing he could resolve 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 theirTullus Aufidius a great person among the Volsces. malice and desire was increased to be revenged of the Romans. 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 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
- 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 enemy's town.
It was even twilight when he entered the city of Antium, and many people met him in the streets, but no man knew him. So he went directly to Tullus Aufidius' house, and when he came thither, he got him up straight toCoriolanus, disguised, goeth to Antium, a city of the Volsces. the chimney hearth, and sat him down, and spake not a word to any man, his face all muffled over. They of the house, spying him, wondered what he should be, and yet they durst not bid him rise. For ill-favouredly muffled and disguised as he was, yet there appeared a certain majesty in his countenance, and in his silence: whereupon they went to Tullus, who was at supper, to tell him of the strange disguising of this man. Tullus rose presently from the board, and, coming towards him, asked him what he was, and wherefore he came. Then Martius unmuffled himself, and after he had paused a while, making no answer, he said unto him. ‘If thouCoriolanus oration to Tullus Aufidius. ‘knowest me not yet, Tullus, and, seeing me, dost ‘not perhaps believe me to be the man I am in’ deed, I must of necessity bewray my self to be ‘that I am. I am Caius Martius, who hath done to thy ‘self particularly, and to all the Volsces generally, great ‘hurt and mischief, which I cannot deny for my surname ‘of Coriolanus that I bear. For I never had other ‘benefit nor recompense of all the true and painful service ‘I have done, and the extreme dangers I have been in, but ‘this only surname: a good memory and witness of the ‘malice and displeasure thou shouldst 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 ‘saferance of the dastardly nobility and magimateb 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 my life in hazard: but pricked ‘forward with spite and desire I have to be revenged of them ‘that thus have banished me, whom now I begin to be ‘avenged on, patting my person between my enemies. ‘Wherefore, if thou hast any heart to be wreaked of the ‘injuries thy enemies have done thee, speed thee now, and ‘let my misery serve thy turn, and so use it, as my service ‘may be a benefit to the Volsces: promising thee, that I will fight with better good-will for all you, than ever I did ‘when I was against you, knowing that they fight more valiantly, who know the force of their enemy, than such ‘as have never proved it. And if it be so that thou dare ‘not, and that thou art weary to prove fortune any more: ‘then am I also weary to live any lenger. And it were ‘no wisdom in thee to save the life of him, who hath been ‘heretofore thy mortal enemy, and whose service now can ‘nothing help nor pleasure thee.’ Tullut, 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 dost ‘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 in no other matters at that present: but within few days after, they fell to consultation together in what sort they should begin their wars. Now on th' other side, the cityGreat dissension at Rome about Martius' banishment. 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 dechred 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 accompt 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 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 inquiry to understand the troth: 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, whipping him cruelly, they did so martyr 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 verygently, 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 theyThe Roman's manner of punishing their slaves. gave a slave that had offended was this. They made him carry a limmer 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 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 Furcifer, because theWhereof Furcifer came. 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 them remember it was the strange and rare manner of his punishment. The priests hereupon were repaired unto for advice: they were wholly of opinion, that it was the whipping of the slave. So they caused theA ceremony instituted by kind Numa touching religion. 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, how king Numa did wisdy ordain all other ceremonies concerning devotion to the gods, and specially this custom which he stablished 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, theyThe superstition of the Romans. do it as in a manner constrained unto it. 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 a procession through the city, and did carry the images of their gods and such other like holy relics upon openTensae. hallowed coaches or charrets, called in Latin Tensae: one ot the coach hones that drew them stood still, and would draw no more: and because also the coachman took the reins of the bridle with the left hand, they ordained that the procession should be begun again anew. Of later time also, they did renew and begin a sacrifice thirty times one after another, because they thought still there fell out one fault or other in the same, so holy and devout were they to the gods. 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 theThe Romans gave the Volsces occasion of wars. league, considering that they were sworn to keep peace for two years. Howbeit, shortly after, the Romans gave them great occasion to make war with them. For on a holy day, common plays being kept in Rome, upon some suspicion or false report, they made proclamation by sound of trumpet, that all the Volsces should avoid out of Rome before sunset. Some think this was a craft and deceit of Martius, who sent one to Rome to the Consuls, to accuse the Volsces falsely, advertising them how they had made a conspiracy to set upon them, whilst theyMartius Coriolanus' crafty accusation of the Volsces. were busy in seeing these games, and also to set their city afire. This open proclamation made all he 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 present wars. The Romans, hearing this, were marvellously nettled: and made no other answer but thus: If the Volsces be the first that begin war, the Romans will be the last that will end it. Incontinently 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 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. 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 himself both expert in wars, and wise with valiantness. Thus he wasCoriolanus chosen general of the Volsces, with Tullus Aufidius, against the Romans. joined in commission with Tullus as Volsces, having absolute authority between them general of the to follow and pursue the wars. But Martius, fearing lest tract of time to bring this army together with all the munition and furniture of the Volsces would rob him of the mean 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. Then he with the lightest soldiers he had, and that were willing to follow him, stale 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 theCoriolanus invedeth the territories of the Romans. Volsces found such spoil in the fields, as 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 chiefest purpose was, to increase still the malice and dissension between the nobility and the commonalty:A fine device to make the commonalty suspect the nobility. and to draw that on, he was very careful to keep the noble men'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 noble men's. This made greater stir and broil between the nobility and people than was before. For the noble men fell out with the people, because they had so unjustly banished a man of so great valour and power. The people on th' other side accused the nobility,Great heart-burning betwixt the nobility and people. 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, and knowing their own goods safe and out of danger: and how the war was not made against the noble men, that had the enemy abroad, to keep that they had in safety. Now Martius having done this first exploit (which made the Volsces the army again, without loss of anyman. 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 should make the wars abroad: and himself would keep home, to provide for the safety of the cities and of his country, and to furnish the camp also of all necessary provision abroad. So Martius, being stronger than before, went first of all unto the city of Cerceii, 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 to go: and on the other side the Consuls, being upon their going out 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 towns 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, he removed his camp as far from their confines as he could. Afterwards he took the city of Bolae 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 lenger at home, but armed themselves, and ran to Martins' 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, 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 that the enemies had laid siege to the city of Lavinium, in the which were all the temples and images of the gods their protectors, and from whence came first their ancient original, for that Aeneas at his first arrival into Italy did build thatThe Romans send ambassadors to Coriolanus to treat of peace 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 good to repeal the condemnation and exile of Martins. The Senate, assembled upon it, would in no case yield to that. Who either did it of a self will to be contrary to the people's desire: or because Martius should not return through the grace and favour of the people. Or else, because they were throughly angry and offended with him, that besides unto his country: notwithstanding the most part selves. Report being made of the Senate's resolution, the people found themselves in a strait: for they” could authorize 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: insomuch as he raised his siege incontinently before the city of Lavinium, and going towards Rome, lodged his camp within forty furlong of the city, at the ditches called Cluiliae. His encamping 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 the opinion of the people, for the calling home again of Martius. 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 all 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 rather to have gone out and entreated sadors unto him, to let him understand how his countrymen did call him home again, and restored to him 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 him, as of their familiar friend and kinsman. Howbeit they found nothing less. 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 for the same. When they had done 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 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 hisThe first occasion of the Volsces' envy to Coriolanus. army out of the territories of the Romans. This was the first matter wherewith the Volsces (that of the most envied Martius' glory and authority) did charge Martius with. Among those, Tullus was chief: who though he had received no private injury or displeasure of 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 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, not of the towns, nor forts, nor of arms, but of time and occasion, 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 the lands of the enemies' allies, and took seven cities as those which through the palsy have lost all their sense and feeling. Wherefore, the time of peace expired,Another ambassade sent to Coriolanus. Martius being returned into the dominions of the Romans again with all his army, they sent another ambassade unto him, to pray peace and the remove of the Volsces out of their country: that afterwards together, as should be thought most meet and necessary. For the Romans were no men that would ever yield 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. Or 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 holyThe priests and soothsayers sent to Coriolanus anchor. For then they appointed all the bishops, priests, ministers of the gods, and keepers of holy things, and all the augurs or soothsayers, which foreshow 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 entreat him to leave off war, and then that he would speak to his countrymen, and conclude peace with the Volsces. Martlus suffered them to come into his camp, but yet he granted them nothing the more, 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 superstition and 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 length there fell out such a like matter, as Homer oft-times 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 eye.
- Did put into his mind such thoughts, and made him so devise.
And in another place:
- But sure some god hath ta‘en 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 joined together.
Many reckon not of Homer, as referring matters unpossible, and fables of no likelihood or troth, unto man's reason, freewill, or judgement: 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 again 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 doth not say that God taketh away from man his choice and freedom of will, but that he doth move it: neither that he doth work desire in us, but objecteth to our minds certain imaginations whereby we are led to desire, and thereby doth 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. 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 altar of Jupiter Capitoline, among which troop by name was Valeria, Publicola's own sister; the self same Publicola, who did such notable service to the Romans, both in peace and wars, and was dead also certain years before, as we have declared in his life. His sister Valeria was greatly honouredValeria, Publicola's sisterand reverenced among all the Romans: and did so modestly and wisely behave her self, 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 th' other Ladies with her, and they all together went straightVolumnia, Martius' mother. to the house of 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 Volunmnia 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 entreat you in a ‘matter, as well beneficial for us, as also for the whole (if it please you to credit me) and shall redound to’ our more fame and glory, than the daughters of the Sabines obtained in former age, when they procured loving peace, in stead of heateful war, between their fathers and their husbands. Come on good ladies, and let us go all together unto Martius, to entreat him to take pity upon us, and also to report the troth 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 do deliver ye safe into his hands, though thereby they look for no better grace or clemency from him.’ When Valeria had spoken this unto them, all th' other ladies together with one voice confirmed that she had said.The answer of Volumnia to the Roman ladies. Then Volumnia in this sort did answer her. ‘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 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 hope of the safety and preservation ‘thereof is now unfortunately cast upon us simple women: ‘because we know not what accompt 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. Not ‘withstanding, if ye think we can do good, we will willingly ‘do what 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 troop 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 her. 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 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 thisThe oration of Volumania unto her son Coriolanus. sort. ‘If we held our peace (my son) and ‘determined not to speak, the state of our poor ‘bodies and present sight of our raiment would ‘easily bewray to thee what life we have led at home, 'since thy exile and abode abroad. But think now with thy 'self, how much more unfortunately 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 hath made most fearful to us: making my self to see ‘my son, and my daughter here, her husband, besieging the ‘walls of his native country. So as that which is th' 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 for our country, ‘and for safety of thy life also: but a world of grievous curses, ‘yea more than any mortal enemy can heap upon us, are ‘forcibly wrapped up in our prayers. For the bitter sop of ‘most hard choice is offered thy wife and children, to forgo ‘the one of the two: either to lose the person of thy self, or ‘the nurse of their native country. For my self (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 to see the day, either that my son be led prisoner ‘in triumph by his natural countrymen, or that he himself ‘do triumph of them, and of his natural country For if it ‘were so, that my request tended to save thy country in ‘destroying the Volsces, I must confess, thou wouldst ‘ 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 three. But my only demand consisteth, to make a gaol-delivery of all evils, which delivereth equal benefit and safety both to the one and the other, but most honourable for the 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, thy self is th' only author, and ‘so hast thou th' only honour. But if it fail, and fall out ‘contrary, thy self alone deservedly shall carry the shameful ‘reproach and burden 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 the plague and ‘destroyer of thy country. And if fortune also overthrow ‘thee, then the world will say, that through desire to revenge ‘thy private injuries, thou hast for ever undone thy good ‘friends, who did most lovingly and courteously receive thee.’ Martius gave good ear unto his mother's words, without interrupting her speech at all: and after she had said what she would, he held his peace a pretty while, and answered not a word. Hereupon she began again to speak unto him, and said: ‘My son, why dost thou not answer me? Dost ‘thou think it good altogether to give place unto thy choler ‘and desire of revenge, and thinkest thou it not honesty for ‘thee to grant thy mother's request, in so weighty a cause? ‘Dost thou take it honourable for a noble man to remembert ‘the wrongs and injuries done him, and dost not in like caset ‘think it an honest 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 show himself ‘thankful in all parts and respects, than thy self: who so ‘unnaturally sheweth all ingratitude. Moreover (my son) ‘thou hast sorely taken of thy country, exacting grievous ‘payments upon them, in revenge of the injuries offered thee: besides, thou hast not hitherto shewed thy poor mother any ‘courtesy. And therefore, it is not only honest, but due unto ‘me, that without compulsion I should obtain my so just and ‘reasonable request of thee. But since by reason I cannot ‘persuade thee to it, to what purpose do I defer my last hope? ‘And with these words, her self, his wife, and children fell down upon their knees before him. Martius, seeing that, could refrain no tenger, but wentCoriolanus' compassion of his mother straight and lift 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 spoken openly, he spake a little apart with his mother and wife, and then let them return again to Rome, for so they did request him: and so, remaining in camp thatCoriolanus with draweth his army from Rome. night, the next morning he dislodged, and marched homewards into the Volsces' country again, who were not all of one mind, nor all alike contented. For some misliked 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, though they misliked that was he was not to be blamed, though he yielded to such a forcible all obeyed his commandment, more for respect of his worthe citizens of Rome plainly shewed in what fear and danger so soon as the watch upon the walls of the city perceived the city but was presently set open, and full of men wearing as they were wont to do upon the news of some great manifestly shewed by the honourable courtesies the whole Senate and people did bestow on their ladies. For they that the ladies only were cause of the saving of the city, and delivering themselves from the instant danger of the war. Whereupon the Senate ordained that the magistrates, toThe temple of Fortune built for the woman. gratify and honour these ladies, should grant them all that they would require. And they only requested that they would build a temple of Fortune of the women, for 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 good will 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: ‘Ladies, ye haveThe image of fortune to spoke to the ladies at Rome 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,Of the sweating and voice of image For wood and stone do commonly receive certain moisture, whereof is engendered an humour, 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, we 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 word formed in it by express voice, that is altogether unpossible. 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 upon heavenly things, so as they can no way be drawn from believing that which is spoken of them, they have this reason to ground theOf the omipotency of God. foundation of their belief upon. That is, the omnipotency of God, which is wonderful, and hath no manner of resemblance or likeliness of proportion unto ours, but is altogether contrary as touching our nature, our moving, our art, and our force: and therefore if he do anything unpossible to us, or do bring forth and devise things without man's common reach and understanding, we must not therefore think it unpossible at all. For if in other things he is far contrary to us, much more in his works and secretTullus Aufidus seeketh to kill Coriolanus. 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. Now when Martius was returned again into the city of Antium from his voyage, Tullus, that hated and could no lenger abide him for the fear he had of his authority, sought divers means to make him out of the way, thinking that 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 Martius might be deposed from his estate, to render up accompt 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 accompt 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 still audience to allege with leisure what he could for his purgation. Moreover, the honestest 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 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 him displeasure: and furthermore, the offence they laid to his charge was a testimony of the good will they ought 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. For these causes Tullus thought he might no lenger delay his pretence and enterprise, neither to tarry for the mutining 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, nor that they would not suffer a traitor to usurp tyrannical power over the tribe of the Volsces, who would not yield up his estate and authority. 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. Howbeit it is a clear case, that this murder was not generallyCoriolanus murdered in the city of Antium Coriolanus’ funerals. consented unto of the most part of the Volsces: for men came out of all parts to honour his body, city 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 the request they made, that they might mourn tenThe time of mourning appointed by Numa. months for him: and that was the full time they used to wear blacks for the death of their fathers, brethren, or husbands, 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 pre-eminence and place: and this quarrel grew on so far between them, that frays and murders fell out upon it one with another. After that the Romans overcameTullus Aufidius slain in battle. 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.