« ПредишнаНапред »
Fire the cursed forest, where these Roman wolves
Haunt anu infest their nobler neighbors round them;
Extirpate from the bosom of this land
A false, perfidious people, who, beneath
The mask of freedom, are a combination
Against the liberty of human kind -
The genuine seed of outlaws and of robbers.
Cor. The actu of gods ! — 'T is not for thee, vain boaster,
'T is not for such as thou, so often spared
By her victorious sword, to speak of Rome
But with respect, and awful veneration.
Whate'er her blots, whate'er her giddy factions,
There is more virtue in one single year
Of Roman story, than your Volscian annals
Can boast through all their creeping, dark duration.
Auf. I thank thy rage :- This full displays the traitor.
[Cor. Traitor! How now?
Auf. Ay, traitor, Marcius.
Auf. Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius : dost thou think
I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stolen name,
Coriolanus, in Corioli?
You lords, and heads of the state, perfidiously
He has betrayed your business, and given up,
For certain drops of salt, your city Rome, –
I say, your city, — to his wife and mother;
Breaking his oath and resolution like
A twist of rotten silk; never admitting
Counsel of the war: but at his nurse's tears
He whined and roared away your victory;
That pages blushed at him, and men of heart
Looked wondering at each other.
Cor. Hearest thou, Mars?
Auf. Name not the god, thou boy of tears !
Cor. Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart
Too great for what contains it. Boy! O, slave!
Cut me to pieces, Volsces; men and lads,
Stain all your edges on me. Boy! False hound!
you have writ your annals true, 't is there,
That, like an eagle in a dove-cot, I
Fluttered your Volscians in Corioli.
Alone I did it. Boy!]— But let us part,
Lest my rash hand should do a hasty deed
My cooler thought forbids.
Auf. I court
The worst thy sword can do; while thou from me
Hast nothing to expect but sore destruction.
Quit, then, this hostile camp: once more I tell thee,
Thou art not here one single hour in safety.
that I had thee in the field,
With six Aufidiuses, or more — thy tribe!
To use my lawful sword !]
IV – THE RESOLVE OF REGULUS.
Rěgʻulus, a Roman consul, having been defeated in battle and taken prisoner
by the Carthaginians, was detained in captivity five years, and then sent on an embassy to Rome to solicit peace, under a promise that he would return to Carthage if the proposals were rejected. These, it was thought, he would urge in order to obtain his own liberty ; but he urged contrary and patriotic measures on his countrymen ; and then, having carried his point, resisted the persuasions of his friends to remain in Rome, and returned to Carthage, where a martyr's death awaited him. Some writers say that he was thrust into a cask covered over on the inside with iron spikes, and thus rolled down hill. The following scene presents Regulus just as he has made known to his friends in Rome his resolution to return to Carthage,
Enter REGULUS, followed by SERTORIUS.
Sertorius. Stay, Roman, in pity!- if not for thy life,
For the sake of thy country, thy children, thy wife.
Sent, not to urge war, but to lead Rome to peace,
Thy captors of Carthage vouchsafed thee release.
Thou return'st to encounter their
rage ; No mercy expect for thy fame or thy age !
Regulus. To my captors one pledge, and one only, I gave:
TO RETURN, though it were to walk into my grave !
No hope I extended, no promise I made,
Rome's Senate and people from war to dissuade.
If the vengeance of Carthage be stored for me now,
I have reaped no dishonor, have broken no vow.
Sert. They released thee, but dreamed not that thou wouldst
A part that would leave thee a prisoner still ;
They hoped thy own danger would lead thee to sway
The councils of Rome a far different way;
Would induce thee to urge the conditions they crave,
If only thy freedom, thy life-blood, to save.
Thought shudders, the torment and woe to depict
Thy merciless foes have the heart to inflict !
Remain with us, Rěgʻulus ! do not go back !
No hope sheds its ray on thy death-pointing track !
Keep faith with the faithless? The gods will forgive
The balking of such. O, live, Regulus, live!
Reg. With the consciousness fixed in the core of my heart,
That I had been playing the perjurer's part?
With the stain ever glaring, the thought ever nigh,
That I owe the base breath I inhale to a lie ?
O, never! Let Carthage infract every oath,
Be false to her word and humanity both,
Yet never will I in her infamy share,
Or turn for a refuge to guilt from despair!
Sert. O, think of the kindred and friends who await
To fall on thy neck, and withhold thee from fate;
O, think of the widow, the orphans to be,
And let thy compassion plead softly with me.
Reg. O, my friend, thou canst soften, but canst not subdue
To the faith of my soul I must ever be true.
my honor I cheapen, my conscience discrown,
All the graces of life to the dust are brought down ;
All creation to me is a chaos once more
No heaven to hope for, no God to adore !
And the love that I feel for wife, children, and friend,
Has lost all its beauty, and thwarted its end.
Sert. Let thy country determine.
My country? Her will,
Were I free to obey, would be paramount still.
doom for my country alone;
My life is my country's; my honor, my own!
Sert. O, Regulus ! think of the pangs in reserve!
Reg. What menace should make me from probity swerve ?
Sert. Refinements of pain will these miscreants find
To daunt and disable the loftiest mind.
Reg. And 't is to a Roman thy fears are addressed !
Sert. Forgive me. I know thy unterrified breast.
Reg. Thou know'st me but human as weak to sustain
As thyself, or another, the searchings of pain.
This flesh may recoil, and the anguish they wreak
Chase the strength from my knees, and the hue from my cheek:
But the body alone they can vanquish and kill;
The spirit immortal shall smile at them still.
Then let them make ready their engines of dread,
Their spike-bristling cask, and their torturing bed ;
Still Regulus, heaving no recreant breath,
Shall greet as a friend the deliverer Death!
Their cunning in torture and taunt shall defy,
And hold it a joy for his country to die !
V. - ANTONY AND VENTIDIUS.
Enter ANTONY, Right, meeting VENTIDIUS, who enters Left.
Antony. Art thou Ventidius ?
I'm liker what I was, than you to him
When that I left
last. Ant. I'm
Ven. So am I.
Ant. I would be private; leave me.
Ven. Sir, I love you,
And therefore will not leave you.
Ant. Will not leave me?
Where have you learnt that answer? Who am I?
Ven. My emperor; the man I love next heaven.
If I said more, I think 't were scarce a sin ;
You're all that 's good and noble.
Ant. All that's wretched !
You will not leave me, then ?
Ven. ’T was too presuming
I would not, but I dare not leave you ;
And 't is unkind in you to chide me hence
So soon, when I so far have come to see you.
Ant. Now thou hast seen me, art thou satisfied ?
For, if a friend, thou hast beheld enough;
And, if a foe, too much.
Ven. Look, emperor, this is no common dew;
I have not wept these forty years; but now
My mother comes afresh into my eyes ;
I can not help her softness.
Ant. Sure, there 's contagion in the tears of friends.
See, I have caught it too. Believe me, 't is not
For my own griefs, but thine. Nay, father
Ven. Emperor !
Ant. Emperor! Why, that's the style of victory.
The conquering soldier, red with unfelt wounde,
Salutes his general so; but never more
Shall that sound reach my ears.
I lost a battle.
Ven. So has Julius done.
Ant. Thou favor’st me, and speak’st not half thou think’st;
For Julius fought it out, and lost it fairly :
Ven. Nay, stop not !
Ant. Antony -
(Well, thou wilt have it) like a coward, filed, -
Fled while his soldiers fought; fled first, Ventidius.
Thou long'st to curse me, and I give thee leave.
I know thou cam’st prepared to rail.
Ven. I did.
Ant. I'll help thee. I have been a man, Ventidius.
Ven. Yes, and a brave one; but-
Ant. I know thy meaning.
But I have lost my reason, have disgraced
The name of soldier with inglorious ease.
In the full vintage of my flowing honors
Sat still, and saw it pressed by other hands.
Fortune came smiling to my youth, and wooed it;
And purple greatness met my ripened years.
Ven. You are too sensible already
Of what you've done, too conscious of your failings;
And, like a scorpion, whipped by others first
To fury, sting yourself in mad revenge.
Ant. Dost thou think me desperate
Without just cause ? No; when I found all lost
Beyond repair, I hid me from the world,
And learned to scorn it here ; which now I do
So heartily, I think it is not worth
The cost of keeping.
Ven. Cæsar thinks not so.
He'll thank you for the gift he could not take.
You would be killed like Tully, would you? Why, then,
Hold out your throat to Cæsar, and die tamely.
Ant. No, I can kill myself; and so resolve.
Ven. I can die with you too, when time shall serve; But fortune calls upon us now to live, To fight, to conquer.
Ant. Sure thou dream'st, Ventidius.
Ven. No; 't is you dream; you sleep away your hours In desperate sloth, miscalled philosophy. Up, up, for honor's sake! Twelve legions wait you, And long to call you chief. Ant. Where left
them ? Ven. I say, in Lower Syrian
Ant. Bring 'em hither; There may