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( Concluded from p . 202 . J
The scene has again changed , and Coriolanus is beneath his own roof , accompanied by sundry patricians , before , rather than to whom , he gives vent to the indignant feelings which injustice
has aroused . Like the Indian at the stake , he scorns to yield to the pressure of circumstances , and the more terrible those circumstances become , the stronger is his resolution to resist , and not to acknowledge the commission of those things of which he knows himself to be guiltless . Death on the wheel , or at wild horses' heels > or the plunge from the Tarpeian rocks , one piled on
the other , can in no way shake him . His firmness is the result of conscious integrity . While in this mood , his mother enters , with an expression of angry discontent , the result of her ineffectual efforts to work upon her son ' s nature . He asks her why she wishes him to humble himself to the people whom she has
always been accustomed to treat , and teach him to treat , with contempt , calling them f woollen vassals , things created to buy and sell with groats . ' The base nature of Volumnia now shows itself , and she appears to the unbiassed judgment as vile as the vilest being ever known under the name of ' slave , ' and thus degraded below the standard of human nature .
' I would have had you put your power well on , Before you had worn it out . # ?****• *
Lesser had been The thwartings of your dispositions , if You had not show'd them how you were disposed ; Ere they lacked power to cross you . '
This means , she wished her son to possess a treacherous nature , in order to acquire power easily . Simple power was all she cared for , no matter how acquired , or for what purpose used . But Coriolanus was too noble to do this , and would only reply with an expression of disgust . All present join to aid Volumnia ' s purpose , prompted by their personal fears . Even the honest Menenius yields to the impulse of that destroyer of all good , the
Whiggish doctrine of expediency , in striving to bring about a reconciliation of all parties . Volumnia taunts liar son , proclaiming that her heart is to the full as hard as his , but that her brain is far more cunning , being able to shape even her anger to her interests . All her phrases go to prove that she excels in ' cunning , ' the principal art of those who combine intellect with moral worthlessness . Coriolanus has been nurtured in the customary reverence to patriarchal authority , and cannot break through that reverence
CORIOLANUS NO ARISTOCRAT .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), April 2, 1834, page 292, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2632/page/64/