had completed the victories he was now engiged in. Coriolarius, little supposing that the same envy, malice, and ingratitude, which had driven him from his native land, were secretly in force against him here, strengthened his own private feelings of resentment, by a high sense of honour towards the Volscians, whose cause he had espoused.

The generals were sitting in council, when a loud shout was heard without ; and, clothed in deep mourning, all the lostiest matrons and virgins of Rome advanced towards the throne where Coriolanus was seated. Last came the weeping Virgilia, and Volumnia leading her infant grandson in hre hand, who, with his mother and grandmother, bowed his knees in mournful supplication. Coriolanus, whose reverence as a son, and tenderness as a husband and father, were only exceeded by his invincible courage, could not resist this appeal to his heart. He strove against his fealings; but the voice of nature prevailed for a time ; and, darting from his seat, he raised his mother from the earth, and bent his kree to her; then raised his wife, and affectionately saluted her.

-Oh, a kiss
Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge !
Now by the jealous queen of heaven, that kiss
I carried from thee, dear, and my true lip

Hath virgined it e'er since.*** He then lifted his young boy in the air, anu gazed on him with delighted eagerness, exclaiming

The god of soldiers,
With the consent of supreme Jove, inform
Thy thoughts with nobleness : that thou mayet prove
To shame invulnerable, and stick i' the warg
Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,

And saving those that eye thec. *** These bursts of involuntary tenderness having passed, he resumed his seat, and took upon him again the terrible front of Mars. He i esisted all their pleading. His bosom heaved, and agitation shook his mighty frame ; but he yielded not. Volumnia begged him to name conditions to the full advantage of the Volscians; to drop the sword of warfare, and secure a lasting peace between their states : or, should he refuse their prayers, she vowed to lay herself before the city gates, where he should never enter as a conqueror, but treading over the prostrate bleeding frame of her who gave him life. This threat was seconded by the sorrowing Virgilia, who called the gods to witness, that the moment which brought her

husband to her sight, entering the gates of Rome as an eneiny_even before his eyes, she would plunge a dagger to her heart, and the gushing tide of life should be his welcome ! Coriolanus

shuddered ; he appealed to Aufidius, who, moved by the affecting scene, looked as if he sanctioned his desire of relenting : but in this Aufidius was treacherous, and only wished a pretence to break all terms between them.

Coriolanus yielded to the strong impulses of nature ; and, leading his wife and mother forth, sent them back to Rome exulting-promising in a few days to send the proposals of union between the. Romans and Volscians.

The two tribunes were exposed to the very ute most rage of the people—when shouts' of joy and sounds of triumph put a period to their danger, The procession was returned from the camp-returned with joy! The following day, Coriolanus drew back the Volscians from the camp ; when -sacrifices were offered in Rome to the gods, and the ladies led through the city in triumph. But these rejoicings were transient ; and soon succeeded by an event least of all to have been expected.

At the next general meeting of the Volscian senate Tullus Aufidius advanced many unjust 0.266sations against Coriolanus ; and commanded hiin to resign the authority which had been entrusted to biin. This he refused to do, unless by the desire of The people, at whose request, as well as at the de si'e of Tullus, he had undertaken its exercise. He then addressed the senators and people ; and so great was his eloquence, when he chose to exert it, sv unjustifiable Aufidius's charges against him, and 80 powerful the general sentiment of esteem and admiration which he had excited, that Aufidius, fearing his rival's triumph would be rendered more complete by the very means he had intended should destroy him, rudely interrupted him in his address, and offered him such unwarrantable insults, that Coriolanus, thrown off his guard by these new instorces of ingratitude and baseness, indignantly drew his sword upon Aufidius. The vile conspirators now rushed at once upon him, and he sell, overpowered by incumerable wounds.

The senators were highly enraged, and charged Aufidius with falsehood and ingratitude : but he pointed cut so effectually the danger which surrounded them while Coriolanus lived, that if they were not convinced, they at least were silent. When Aufidius beheld at his feet the mangled form of him who, while living, "had plucked all gaze his way, his resentment abated, his admiration revived, and he repented of the deed he had committed. He assisted in raising the body ; and with three of his soldiers bore bin on his shoulders to his tent-giving orders that all honours befitting a warrior should be prepared to grace the hero's funeral.

So féll the invincible Coriolanus, even in his prime of life; leaving behind a memorable lesson that human nature, however exalted our station, cannot stand secure against the darts of malice or of envy, and therefore it were well the mind should early be taught the wisdom of becoming bumility. Pride is

a precious gem, if exerted only with judgment; but a dangerous instrument, if used incautiously. Minds, highly wrought, require a tenfold portion of forbearance; first to command themselves, and next to guard against the machinations which ever will be employed against them, by those who have neither generosity to acknowledge their merits, nor virtue to imitate them.

Some spirits are so formed, as it should seem
The mighty hand of Heav'n had bankrupts mabe
Of half a million, to enrich one mind
With more endowment than to one pertains;
Setting this crested favourite above
The mass of human kind, like some high hill
Casting its shadow o'er tlie lowly vales;
As 'twere to teach them insignificance:
Or like the sun (peerless in brilliancy),
Riding majestic through the vaulted skies
Spreading his golden beams on this our earth,
And now again withdrawing them—or lest
We underprize that value-ever near-
Yet as the sun, the richest gift of God
Bestowed upon this perishable globe,
Some imperfection entertains, to prove
Omnipotence alone is free from taint;

So in the forming of these lofty minds,
Some grosser matter aptly mingles there
To throw a gloom upon the brighter part:
Or pride too highly wrought, or vanity,
Or overpois'd ambition, vaunting ligli;
Or vice, or weakness, in some sort to shade
The page sublime of glowing intellect,
And countermine its richer grace and beauty;
Embracing sometimes peril and destruction.

Alas! to man it never yet was given
To breathe the breath of life, and be a God.
The soul, encaged in tenement of clay,
Imbibes contagion from its earthly prison
To circumvent its flight. . Mortality-
Heay'n teaches us to know its utmost limits.
Thus far proud man-not farther shalt thou go,
Lest, here on earth, thon shouldst partake of heaven,
Presuming to attain perfectability!

« 前へ次へ »