Desert of the Everlasting Hills

by Thomas Cahill

Side note from Felina Silver Robinson: When we don’t agree with what we hear or what we’ve learned we look for others to answer our questions. Thomas Cahill does an amazing job explaining and picking apart various views that many of us have heard and gives a more realistic vision of where we’ve been and how it all started. Desert of the Everlasting Hills is a true page turner, at least for those that are interested!

More About The Writer: Thomas Cahill

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One man was killed and two other people were wounded in a shooting at a bar outside Fenway Park early Thursday morning.


Four Beasts In One;

The Homo-CameleOpard.

Southern Literary Messenger, March, 1836; 1840; Broadway Journal, II. 22.]

Chacun a ses vertus.

Crébillon’s Xerxes.

Antiochus Epiphanes is very generally looked upon as the Gog of the prophet Ezekiel. This honor is, however, more properly attributable to Cambyses, the son of Cyrus. And, indeed, the character of the Syrian monarch does by no means stand in need of any adventitious embellishment. His accession to the throne, or rather his usurpation of the sovereignty, a hundred and seventy-one years before the coming of Christ; his attempt to plunder the temple of Diana at Ephesus; his implacable hostility to the Jews; his pollution of the Holy of Holies; and his miserable death at Taba, after a tumultuous reign of eleven years, are circumstances of a prominent kind, and therefore more generally noticed by the historians of his time, than the impious, dastardly, cruel, silly, and whimsical achievements which make up the sum total of his private life and reputation.

  * * * * * * * * * [page 204:]

Let us suppose, gentle reader, that it is now the year of the world three thousand eight hundred and thirty, and let us, for a few minutes, imagine ourselves at that most grotesque habitation of man, the remarkable city of Antioch. To be sure there were, in Syria and other countries, sixteen cities of that appellation, besides the one to which I more particularly allude. But ours is that which went by the name of Antiochia Epidaphne, from its vicinity to the little village of Daphne, where stood a temple to that divinity. It was built (although about this matter there is some dispute) by Seleucus Nicanor, the first king of the country after Alexander the Great, in memory of his father Antiochus, and became immediately the residence of the Syrian monarchy. In the flourishing times of the Roman Empire, it was the ordinary station of the prefect of the eastern provinces; and many of the emperors of the queen city, (among whom may be mentioned especially, Verus and Valens,) spent here the greater part of their time. But I perceive we have arrived at the city itself. Let us ascend this battlement, and throw our eyes upon the town and neighboring country.

“What broad and rapid river is that which forces its way, with innumerable falls, through the mountainous wilderness, and finally through the wilderness of buildings?”

That is the Orontes, and it is the only water in sight, with the exception of the Mediterranean, which stretches like a broad mirror, about twelve miles off to the southward. Every one has seen the Mediterranean; but let me tell you, there are few who have had a peep at Antioch. By few, I mean, few who, like you and me, have had, at the same time, the advantages of a modern education. Therefore cease to regard that sea,[page 205:] and give your whole attention to the mass of houses that lie beneath us. You will remember that it is now the year of the world three thousand eight hundred and thirty. Were it later — for example, were it the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty-five, we should be deprived of this extraordinary spectacle. In the nineteenth century Antioch is — that is to say, Antioch will be — in a lamentable state of decay. It will have been, by that time, totally destroyed, at three different periods, by three successive earthquakes. Indeed, to say the truth, what little of its former self may then remain, will be found in so desolate and ruinous a state that the patriarch shall have removed his residence to Damascus. This is well. I see you profit by my advice, and are making the most of your time in inspecting the premises — in

——— satisfying your eyes

With the memorials and the things of fame

That most renown this city. ——

I beg pardon; I had forgotten that Shakspeare will not flourish for seventeen hundred and fifty years to come. But does not the appearance of Epidaphne justify me in calling it grotesque?

“It is well fortified; and in this respect is as much indebted to nature as to art.”

Very true.

“There are a prodigious number of stately palaces.”

There are.

“And the numerous temples, sumptuous and magnificent, may bear comparison with the most lauded of antiquity.”

All this I must acknowledge. Still there is an infinity [page 206:] of mud huts, and abominable hovels. We cannot help perceiving abundance of filth in every kennel, and, were it not for the overpowering fumes of idolatrous incense, I have no doubt we should find a most intolerable stench. Did you ever behold streets so insufferably narrow, or houses so miraculously tall? What gloom their shadows cast upon the ground! It is well the swinging lamps in those endless colonnades are kept burning throughout the day; we should otherwise have the darkness of Egypt in the time of her desolation.

“It is certainly a strange place! What is the meaning of yonder singular building? See! it towers above all others, and lies to the eastward of what I take to be the royal palace!”

That is the new Temple of the Sun, who is adored in Syria under the title of Elah Gabalah. Hereafter a very notorious Roman Emperor will institute this worship in Rome, and thence derive a cognomen, Heliogabalus. I dare say you would like to take a peep at the divinity of the temple. You need not look up at the heavens; his Sunship is not there — at least not the Sunship adored by the Syrians. That deity will be found in the interior of yonder building. He is worshipped under the figure of a large stone pillar terminating at the summit in a cone or pyramid, whereby is denoted Fire.

“Hark! — behold! — who can those ridiculous beings be, half naked, with their faces painted, shouting and gesticulating to the rabble?”

Some few are mountebanks. Others more particularly belong to the race of philosophers. The greatest portion, however — those especially who belabor the populace with clubs — are the principal courtiers of the [page 207:] palace, executing as in duty bound, some laudable comicality of the king’s.

“But what have we here? Heavens! the town is swarming with wild beasts! How terrible a spectacle! — how dangerous a peculiarity!”

Terrible, if you please; but not in the least degree dangerous. Each animal, if you will take the pains to observe, is following, very quietly, in the wake of its master. Some few, to be sure, are led with a rope about the neck, but these are chiefly the lesser or timid species. The lion, the tiger, and the leopard are entirely without restraint. They have been trained without difficulty to their present profession, and attend upon their respective owners in the capacity of valets-de-chambre. It is true, there are occasions when Nature asserts her violated dominion; — but then the devouring of a man-at-arms, or the throttling of a consecrated bull, is a circumstance of too little moment to be more than hinted at in Epidaphne.

“But what extraordinary tumult do I hear? Surely this is a loud noise even for Antioch! It argues some commotion of unusual interest.”

Yes — undoubtedly. The king has ordered some novel spectacle — some gladiatorial exhibition at the Hippodrome [[hippodrome]] — or perhaps the massacre of the Scythian prisoners — or the conflagration of his new palace — or the tearing down of a handsome temple — or, indeed, a bonfire of a few Jews. The uproar increases. Shouts of laughter ascend the skies. The air becomes dissonant with wind instruments, and horrible with the clamor of a million throats. Let us descend, for the love of fun, and see what is going on! This way — be careful! Here we are in the principal street, which is called the street of Timarchus. The sea of people [page 208:] is coming this way, and we shall find a difficulty in stemming the tide. They are pouring through the alley of Heraclides, which leads directly from the palace — therefore the king is most probably among the rioters. Yes — I hear the shouts of the herald proclaiming his approach in the pompous phraseology of the East. We shall have a glimpse of his person as he passes by the temple of Ashimah. Let us ensconce ourselves in the vestibule of the sanctuary; he will be here anon. In the meantime let us survey this image. What is it? Oh, it is the god Ashimah in proper person. You perceive, however, that he is neither a lamb, nor a goat, nor a satyr; neither has he much resemblance to the Pan of the Arcadians. Yet all these appearances have been given — I beg pardon — will be given — by the learned of future ages, to the Ashimah of the Syrians. Put on your spectacles, and tell me what it is. What is it?

“Bless me! it is an ape!”

True — a baboon; but by no means the less a deity. His name is a derivation of the Greek Simia — what great fools are antiquarians! But see! — see! — yonder scampers a ragged little urchin. Where is he going? What is he bawling about? What does he say? Oh! he says the king is coming in triumph; that he is dressed in state; that he has just finished putting to death, with his own hand, a thousand chained Israelitish prisoners! For this exploit the ragamuffin is lauding him to the skies! Hark! here comes a troop of a similar description. They have made a Latin hymn upon the valor of the king, and are singing it as they go. [page 209:]

Mille, mille, mille,

Mille, mille, mille,

Decollavimus, unus homo!

Mille, mille, mille, mille, decollavimus!

Mille, mille, mille,

Vivat qui mille mille occidit!

Tantum vini habet nemo

Quantum sanguinis effudit!(1)

Which may be thus paraphrased:

A thousand, a thousand, a thousand,

A thousand, a thousand, a thousand,

We, with one warrior, have slain!

A thousand, a thousand, a thousand, a thousand,

Sing a thousand over again!

Soho! — let us sing

Long life to our king,

Who knocked over a thousand so fine!

Soho! — let us roar,

He has given us more

Red gallons of gore

Than all Syria can furnish of wine!

“Do you hear that flourish of trumpets?”

Yes — the king is coming! See! the people are aghast with admiration, and lift up their eyes to the heavens in reverence! He comes! — he is coming! — there he is!

“Who? — where? — the king? — I do not behold him; — cannot say that I perceive him.”

Then you must be blind. [page 210:]

“Very possible. Still I see nothing but a tumultuous mob of idiots and madmen, who are busy in prostrating themselves before a gigantic cameleopard, and endeavoring to obtain a kiss of the animal’s hoofs. See! the beast has very justly kicked one of the rabble over — and another — and another — and another. Indeed, I cannot help admiring the animal for the excellent use he is making of his feet.”

Rabble, indeed! — why these are the noble and free citizens of Epidaphne! Beast, did you say? — take care that you are not overheard. Do you not perceive that the animal has the visage of a man? Why, my dear sir, that cameleopard is no other than Antiochus Epiphanes, Antiochus the Illustrious, King of Syria, and the most potent of all the autocrats of the East! It is true, that he is entitled, at times, Antiochus Epimanes — Antiochus the madman — but that is because all people have not the capacity to appreciate his merits. It is also certain that he is at present ensconced in the hide of a beast, and is doing his best to play the part of a cameleopard; but this is done for the better sustaining his dignity as king. Besides, the monarch is of gigantic stature, and the dress is therefore neither unbecoming nor over large. We may, however, presume he would not have adopted it but for some occasion of especial state. Such, you will allow, is the massacre of a thousand Jews. With how superior a dignity the monarch perambulates on all fours! His tail, you perceive, is held aloft by his two principal concubines, Elline and Argelais; and his whole appearance would be infinitely prepossessing, were it not for the protuberance of his eyes, which will certainly start out of his head, and the queer color of his face, which has become [page 211:] nondescript from the quantity of wine he has swallowed. Let us follow him to the hippodrome, whither he is proceeding, and listen to the song of triumph which he is commencing:

Who is king but Epiphanes?

Say — do you know?

Who is king but Epiphanes?

Bravo! — bravo!

There is none but Epiphanes,

No — there is none:

So tear down the temples,

And put out the sun!

Well and strenuously sung! The populace are hailing him “Prince of Poets,” as well as “Glory of the East,” “Delight of the Universe,” and “most remarkable of Cameleopards.” They have encored his effusion, and — do you hear? — he is singing it over again. When he arrives at the hippodrome, he will be crowned with the poetic wreath, in anticipation of his victory at the approaching Olympics.

“But, good Jupiter! what is the matter in the crowd behind us?”

Behind us, did you say? — oh! ah! — I perceive. My friend, it is well that you spoke in time. Let us get into a place of safety as soon as possible. Here! — let us conceal ourselves in the arch of this aqueduct, and I will inform you presently of the origin of the commotion. It has turned out as I have been anticipating. The singular appearance of the cameleopard with the head of a man, has, it seems, given offence to the notions of propriety entertained in general, by the wild animals domesticated in the city. A mutiny has been the result; and, as is usual upon such occasions, [page 212:] all human efforts will be of no avail in quelling the mob. Several of the Syrians have already been devoured; but the general voice of the four-footed patriots seems to be for eating up the cameleopard. “The Prince of Poets,” therefore, is upon his hinder legs, running for his life. His courtiers have left him in the lurch, and his concubines have followed so excellent an example. “Delight of the Universe,” thou art in a sad predicament! “Glory of the East,” thou art in danger of mastication! Therefore never regard so piteously thy tail; it will undoubtedly be draggled in the mud, and for this there is no help. Look not behind thee, then, at its unavoidable degradation; but take courage, ply thy legs with vigor, and scud for the hippodrome! Remember that thou art Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus the Illustrious! — also “Prince of Poets,” “Glory of the East,” “Delight of the Universe,” and “most Remarkable of Cameleopards!” Heavens! what a power of speed thou art displaying! What a capacity for leg-bail thou art developing! Run, Prince! — Bravo, Epiphanes! Well done, Cameleopard! — Glorious Antiochus! — He runs! — he leaps! — he flies! Like an arrow from a catapult he approaches the hippodrome! He leaps! — he shrieks! — he is there! This is well; for hadst thou, ‘Glory of the East,’ been half a second longer in reaching the gates of the Amphitheatre, there is not a bear’s cub in Epidaphne that would not have had a nibble at thy carcase. Let us be off — let us take our departure! — for we shall find our delicate modern ears unable to endure the vast uproar which is about to commence in celebration of the king’s escape! Listen! it has already commenced. See! — the whole town is topsy-turvy. [page 213:]

“Surely this is the most populous city of the East! What a wilderness of people! what a jumble of all ranks and ages! what a multiplicity of sects and nations! what a variety of costumes! what a Babel of languages! what a screaming of beasts! what a tinkling of instruments! what a parcel of philosophers!”

Come let us be off!

“Stay a moment! I see a vast hubbub in the hippodrome; what is the meaning of it I beseech you?”

That? — oh, nothing! The noble and free citizens of Epidaphne being, as they declare, well satisfied of the faith, valor, wisdom, and divinity of their king, and having, moreover, been eye-witnesses of his late superhuman agility, do think it no more than their duty to invest his brows (in addition to the poetic crown) with the wreath of victory in the foot-race — a wreath which it is evident he must obtain at the celebration of the next Olympiad, and which, therefore, they now give him in advance.

To Be Continued…11/27/15

Felina with youngest.jpg Felina n Joe 04-2010 Felina with oldest three.jpg

Why Am I Thankful?©

Copyright 2014

By Felina Silver Robinson


I’m both thankful and grateful for all those whom I love


The parents who raised me

The siblings who befriended me

The air I breathe

The water I drink

The food I eat

The bed I sleep in

The sun that rises

The night that falls and brings the stars

The birds that sing

The heat that warms me

The light that shows me the way

The peace that calms me

The joy that keeps me going

The freedom  and skill to write

The years that I’ve beat illness

The family that gives me all that I need

Memories both new and old

Both good and bad

But key to life

Without memories

We don’t

We can’t

Grow into something

Both new and different

I’m thankful for the time

To become the person I need to be

And do the things that I need to do

Thank you

for these


That I will carry with me


Coriolanus, ACT I, SCENE I. Rome.  A street.

Enter a company of mutinous Citizens, with staves, clubs, and other weapons

First Citizen
Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.

Speak, speak.

First Citizen
You are all resolved rather to die than to famish?

Resolved. resolved.

First Citizen
First, you know Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the people.

We know’t, we know’t.

First Citizen
Let us kill him, and we’ll have corn at our own price.
Is’t a verdict?

No more talking on’t; let it be done: away, away!

Second Citizen
One word, good citizens.

First Citizen
We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians good.
What authority surfeits on would relieve us: if they
would yield us but the superfluity, while it were
wholesome, we might guess they relieved us humanely;
but they think we are too dear: the leanness that
afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an
inventory to particularise their abundance; our
sufferance is a gain to them Let us revenge this with
our pikes, ere we become rakes: for the gods know I
speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.

Second Citizen
Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius?

Against him first: he’s a very dog to the commonalty.

Second Citizen
Consider you what services he has done for his country?

First Citizen
Very well; and could be content to give him good
report fort, but that he pays himself with being proud.

Second Citizen
Nay, but speak not maliciously.

First Citizen
I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did
it to that end: though soft-conscienced men can be
content to say it was for his country he did it to
please his mother and to be partly proud; which he
is, even till the altitude of his virtue.

Second Citizen
What he cannot help in his nature, you account a
vice in him. You must in no way say he is covetous.

First Citizen
If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations;
he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition.

Shouts within

What shouts are these? The other side o’ the city
is risen: why stay we prating here? to the Capitol!

Come, come.

First Citizen
Soft! who comes here?


Second Citizen
Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that hath always loved
the people.

First Citizen
He’s one honest enough: would all the rest were so!

What work’s, my countrymen, in hand? where go you
With bats and clubs? The matter? speak, I pray you.

First Citizen
Our business is not unknown to the senate; they have
had inkling this fortnight what we intend to do,
which now we’ll show ’em in deeds. They say poor
suitors have strong breaths: they shall know we
have strong arms too.

Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest neighbours,
Will you undo yourselves?

First Citizen
We cannot, sir, we are undone already.

I tell you, friends, most charitable care
Have the patricians of you. For your wants,
Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well
Strike at the heaven with your staves as lift them
Against the Roman state, whose course will on
The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs
Of more strong link asunder than can ever
Appear in your impediment. For the dearth,
The gods, not the patricians, make it, and
Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack,
You are transported by calamity
Thither where more attends you, and you slander
The helms o’ the state, who care for you like fathers,
When you curse them as enemies.

First Citizen
Care for us! True, indeed! They ne’er cared for us
yet: suffer us to famish, and their store-houses
crammed with grain; make edicts for usury, to
support usurers; repeal daily any wholesome act
established against the rich, and provide more
piercing statutes daily, to chain up and restrain
the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will; and
there’s all the love they bear us.

Either you must
Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,
Or be accused of folly. I shall tell you
A pretty tale: it may be you have heard it;
But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture
To stale ‘t a little more.

First Citizen
Well, I’ll hear it, sir: yet you must not think to
fob off our disgrace with a tale: but, an ‘t please
you, deliver.

There was a time when all the body’s members
Rebell’d against the belly, thus accused it:
That only like a gulf it did remain
I’ the midst o’ the body, idle and unactive,
Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing
Like labour with the rest, where the other instruments
Did see and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
And, mutually participate, did minister
Unto the appetite and affection common
Of the whole body. The belly answer’d–

First Citizen
Well, sir, what answer made the belly?

Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of smile,
Which ne’er came from the lungs, but even thus–
For, look you, I may make the belly smile
As well as speak–it tauntingly replied
To the discontented members, the mutinous parts
That envied his receipt; even so most fitly
As you malign our senators for that
They are not such as you.

First Citizen
Your belly’s answer? What!
The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye,
The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,
Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter.
With other muniments and petty helps
In this our fabric, if that they–

What then?
‘Fore me, this fellow speaks! What then? what then?

First Citizen
Should by the cormorant belly be restrain’d,
Who is the sink o’ the body,–

Well, what then?

First Citizen
The former agents, if they did complain,
What could the belly answer?

I will tell you
If you’ll bestow a small–of what you have little–
Patience awhile, you’ll hear the belly’s answer.

First Citizen
Ye’re long about it.

Note me this, good friend;
Your most grave belly was deliberate,
Not rash like his accusers, and thus answer’d:
‘True is it, my incorporate friends,’ quoth he,
‘That I receive the general food at first,
Which you do live upon; and fit it is,
Because I am the store-house and the shop
Of the whole body: but, if you do remember,
I send it through the rivers of your blood,
Even to the court, the heart, to the seat o’ the brain;
And, through the cranks and offices of man,
The strongest nerves and small inferior veins
From me receive that natural competency
Whereby they live: and though that all at once,
You, my good friends,’–this says the belly, mark me,–

First Citizen
Ay, sir; well, well.

‘Though all at once cannot
See what I do deliver out to each,
Yet I can make my audit up, that all
From me do back receive the flour of all,
And leave me but the bran.’ What say you to’t?

First Citizen
It was an answer: how apply you this?

The senators of Rome are this good belly,
And you the mutinous members; for examine
Their counsels and their cares, digest things rightly
Touching the weal o’ the common, you shall find
No public benefit which you receive
But it proceeds or comes from them to you
And no way from yourselves. What do you think,
You, the great toe of this assembly?

First Citizen
I the great toe! why the great toe?

For that, being one o’ the lowest, basest, poorest,
Of this most wise rebellion, thou go’st foremost:
Thou rascal, that art worst in blood to run,
Lead’st first to win some vantage.
But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs:
Rome and her rats are at the point of battle;
The one side must have bale.


Hail, noble Marcius!

Thanks. What’s the matter, you dissentious rogues,
That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Make yourselves scabs?

First Citizen
We have ever your good word.

He that will give good words to thee will flatter
Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,
That like nor peace nor war? the one affrights you,
The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,
Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
Where foxes, geese: you are no surer, no,
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is
To make him worthy whose offence subdues him
And curse that justice did it.
Who deserves greatness
Deserves your hate; and your affections are
A sick man’s appetite, who desires most that
Which would increase his evil. He that depends
Upon your favours swims with fins of lead
And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust Ye?
With every minute you do change a mind,
And call him noble that was now your hate,
Him vile that was your garland. What’s the matter,
That in these several places of the city
You cry against the noble senate, who,
Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else
Would feed on one another? What’s their seeking?

For corn at their own rates; whereof, they say,
The city is well stored.

Hang ’em! They say!
They’ll sit by the fire, and presume to know
What’s done i’ the Capitol; who’s like to rise,
Who thrives and who declines; side factions
and give out
Conjectural marriages; making parties strong
And feebling such as stand not in their liking
Below their cobbled shoes. They say there’s
grain enough!
Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,
And let me use my sword, I’ll make a quarry
With thousands of these quarter’d slaves, as high
As I could pick my lance.

Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded;
For though abundantly they lack discretion,
Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you,
What says the other troop?

They are dissolved: hang ’em!
They said they were an-hungry; sigh’d forth proverbs,
That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat,
That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent not
Corn for the rich men only: with these shreds
They vented their complainings; which being answer’d,
And a petition granted them, a strange one–
To break the heart of generosity,
And make bold power look pale–they threw their caps
As they would hang them on the horns o’ the moon,
Shouting their emulation.

What is granted them?

Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms,
Of their own choice: one’s Junius Brutus,
Sicinius Velutus, and I know not–‘Sdeath!
The rabble should have first unroof’d the city,
Ere so prevail’d with me: it will in time
Win upon power and throw forth greater themes
For insurrection’s arguing.

This is strange.

Go, get you home, you fragments!

Enter a Messenger, hastily

Where’s Caius Marcius?

Here: what’s the matter?

The news is, sir, the Volsces are in arms.

I am glad on ‘t: then we shall ha’ means to vent
Our musty superfluity. See, our best elders.


First Senator
Marcius, ’tis true that you have lately told us;
The Volsces are in arms.

They have a leader,
Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to ‘t.
I sin in envying his nobility,
And were I any thing but what I am,
I would wish me only he.

You have fought together.

Were half to half the world by the ears and he.
Upon my party, I’ld revolt to make
Only my wars with him: he is a lion
That I am proud to hunt.

First Senator
Then, worthy Marcius,
Attend upon Cominius to these wars.

It is your former promise.

Sir, it is;
And I am constant. Titus Lartius, thou
Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus’ face.
What, art thou stiff? stand’st out?

No, Caius Marcius;
I’ll lean upon one crutch and fight with t’other,
Ere stay behind this business.

O, true-bred!

First Senator
Your company to the Capitol; where, I know,
Our greatest friends attend us.

[To COMINIUS] Lead you on.


Right worthy you priority.

Noble Marcius!

First Senator
[To the Citizens] Hence to your homes; be gone!

Nay, let them follow:
The Volsces have much corn; take these rats thither
To gnaw their garners. Worshipful mutiners,
Your valour puts well forth: pray, follow.

Citizens steal away. Exeunt all but SICINIUS and BRUTUS

Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius?

He has no equal.

When we were chosen tribunes for the people,–

Mark’d you his lip and eyes?

Nay. but his taunts.

Being moved, he will not spare to gird the gods.

Be-mock the modest moon.

The present wars devour him: he is grown
Too proud to be so valiant.

Such a nature,
Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow
Which he treads on at noon: but I do wonder
His insolence can brook to be commanded
Under Cominius.

Fame, at the which he aims,
In whom already he’s well graced, can not
Better be held nor more attain’d than by
A place below the first: for what miscarries
Shall be the general’s fault, though he perform
To the utmost of a man, and giddy censure
Will then cry out of Marcius ‘O if he
Had borne the business!’

Besides, if things go well,
Opinion that so sticks on Marcius shall
Of his demerits rob Cominius.

Half all Cominius’ honours are to Marcius.
Though Marcius earned them not, and all his faults
To Marcius shall be honours, though indeed
In aught he merit not.

Let’s hence, and hear
How the dispatch is made, and in what fashion,
More than his singularity, he goes
Upon this present action.

Lets along.


SCENE II. Corioli. The Senate-house.

Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS and certain Senators
First Senator
So, your opinion is, Aufidius,
That they of Rome are entered in our counsels
And know how we proceed.

Is it not yours?
What ever have been thought on in this state,
That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome
Had circumvention? ‘Tis not four days gone
Since I heard thence; these are the words: I think
I have the letter here; yes, here it is.


‘They have press’d a power, but it is not known
Whether for east or west: the dearth is great;
The people mutinous; and it is rumour’d,
Cominius, Marcius your old enemy,
Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,
And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,
These three lead on this preparation
Whither ’tis bent: most likely ’tis for you:
Consider of it.’

First Senator
Our army’s in the field
We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
To answer us.

Nor did you think it folly
To keep your great pretences veil’d till when
They needs must show themselves; which
in the hatching,
It seem’d, appear’d to Rome. By the discovery.
We shall be shorten’d in our aim, which was
To take in many towns ere almost Rome
Should know we were afoot.

Second Senator
Noble Aufidius,
Take your commission; hie you to your bands:
Let us alone to guard Corioli:
If they set down before ‘s, for the remove
Bring your army; but, I think, you’ll find
They’ve not prepared for us.

O, doubt not that;
I speak from certainties. Nay, more,
Some parcels of their power are forth already,
And only hitherward. I leave your honours.
If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet,
‘Tis sworn between us we shall ever strike
Till one can do no more.

The gods assist you!

And keep your honours safe!

First Senator

Second Senator



SCENE III. Rome. A room in Marcius’ house.

Enter VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA they set them down on two low stools, and sew
I pray you, daughter, sing; or express yourself in a
more comfortable sort: if my son were my husband, I
should freelier rejoice in that absence wherein he
won honour than in the embracements of his bed where
he would show most love. When yet he was but
tender-bodied and the only son of my womb, when
youth with comeliness plucked all gaze his way, when
for a day of kings’ entreaties a mother should not
sell him an hour from her beholding, I, considering
how honour would become such a person. that it was
no better than picture-like to hang by the wall, if
renown made it not stir, was pleased to let him seek
danger where he was like to find fame. To a cruel
war I sent him; from whence he returned, his brows
bound with oak. I tell thee, daughter, I sprang not
more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child
than now in first seeing he had proved himself a

But had he died in the business, madam; how then?

Then his good report should have been my son; I
therein would have found issue. Hear me profess
sincerely: had I a dozen sons, each in my love
alike and none less dear than thine and my good
Marcius, I had rather had eleven die nobly for their
country than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.

Enter a Gentlewoman

Madam, the Lady Valeria is come to visit you.

Beseech you, give me leave to retire myself.

Indeed, you shall not.
Methinks I hear hither your husband’s drum,
See him pluck Aufidius down by the hair,
As children from a bear, the Volsces shunning him:
Methinks I see him stamp thus, and call thus:
‘Come on, you cowards! you were got in fear,
Though you were born in Rome:’ his bloody brow
With his mail’d hand then wiping, forth he goes,
Like to a harvest-man that’s task’d to mow
Or all or lose his hire.

His bloody brow! O Jupiter, no blood!

Away, you fool! it more becomes a man
Than gilt his trophy: the breasts of Hecuba,
When she did suckle Hector, look’d not lovelier
Than Hector’s forehead when it spit forth blood
At Grecian sword, contemning. Tell Valeria,
We are fit to bid her welcome.

Exit Gentlewoman

Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius!

He’ll beat Aufidius ‘head below his knee
And tread upon his neck.

Enter VALERIA, with an Usher and Gentlewoman

My ladies both, good day to you.

Sweet madam.

I am glad to see your ladyship.

How do you both? you are manifest house-keepers.
What are you sewing here? A fine spot, in good
faith. How does your little son?

I thank your ladyship; well, good madam.

He had rather see the swords, and hear a drum, than
look upon his school-master.

O’ my word, the father’s son: I’ll swear,’tis a
very pretty boy. O’ my troth, I looked upon him o’
Wednesday half an hour together: has such a
confirmed countenance. I saw him run after a gilded
butterfly: and when he caught it, he let it go
again; and after it again; and over and over he
comes, and again; catched it again; or whether his
fall enraged him, or how ’twas, he did so set his
teeth and tear it; O, I warrant it, how he mammocked

One on ‘s father’s moods.

Indeed, la, ’tis a noble child.

A crack, madam.

Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have you play
the idle husewife with me this afternoon.

No, good madam; I will not out of doors.

Not out of doors!

She shall, she shall.

Indeed, no, by your patience; I’ll not over the
threshold till my lord return from the wars.

Fie, you confine yourself most unreasonably: come,
you must go visit the good lady that lies in.

I will wish her speedy strength, and visit her with
my prayers; but I cannot go thither.

Why, I pray you?

‘Tis not to save labour, nor that I want love.

You would be another Penelope: yet, they say, all
the yarn she spun in Ulysses’ absence did but fill
Ithaca full of moths. Come; I would your cambric
were sensible as your finger, that you might leave
pricking it for pity. Come, you shall go with us.

No, good madam, pardon me; indeed, I will not forth.

In truth, la, go with me; and I’ll tell you
excellent news of your husband.

O, good madam, there can be none yet.

Verily, I do not jest with you; there came news from
him last night.

Indeed, madam?

In earnest, it’s true; I heard a senator speak it.
Thus it is: the Volsces have an army forth; against
whom Cominius the general is gone, with one part of
our Roman power: your lord and Titus Lartius are set
down before their city Corioli; they nothing doubt
prevailing and to make it brief wars. This is true,
on mine honour; and so, I pray, go with us.

Give me excuse, good madam; I will obey you in every
thing hereafter.

Let her alone, lady: as she is now, she will but
disease our better mirth.

In troth, I think she would. Fare you well, then.
Come, good sweet lady. Prithee, Virgilia, turn thy
solemness out o’ door. and go along with us.

No, at a word, madam; indeed, I must not. I wish
you much mirth.

Well, then, farewell.


SCENE IV. Before Corioli.

Enter, with drum and colours, MARCIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, Captains and Soldiers. To them a Messenger
Yonder comes news. A wager they have met.

My horse to yours, no.

‘Tis done.


Say, has our general met the enemy?

They lie in view; but have not spoke as yet.

So, the good horse is mine.

I’ll buy him of you.

No, I’ll nor sell nor give him: lend you him I will
For half a hundred years. Summon the town.

How far off lie these armies?

Within this mile and half.

Then shall we hear their ‘larum, and they ours.
Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work,
That we with smoking swords may march from hence,
To help our fielded friends! Come, blow thy blast.

They sound a parley. Enter two Senators with others on the walls

Tutus Aufidius, is he within your walls?

First Senator
No, nor a man that fears you less than he,
That’s lesser than a little.

Drums afar off

Hark! our drums
Are bringing forth our youth. We’ll break our walls,
Rather than they shall pound us up: our gates,
Which yet seem shut, we, have but pinn’d with rushes;
They’ll open of themselves.

Alarum afar off

Hark you. far off!
There is Aufidius; list, what work he makes
Amongst your cloven army.

O, they are at it!

Their noise be our instruction. Ladders, ho!

Enter the army of the Volsces

They fear us not, but issue forth their city.
Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight
With hearts more proof than shields. Advance,
brave Titus:
They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts,
Which makes me sweat with wrath. Come on, my fellows:
He that retires I’ll take him for a Volsce,
And he shall feel mine edge.

Alarum. The Romans are beat back to their trenches. Re-enter MARCIUS cursing

All the contagion of the south light on you,
You shames of Rome! you herd of–Boils and plagues
Plaster you o’er, that you may be abhorr’d
Further than seen and one infect another
Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese,
That bear the shapes of men, how have you run
From slaves that apes would beat! Pluto and hell!
All hurt behind; backs red, and faces pale
With flight and agued fear! Mend and charge home,
Or, by the fires of heaven, I’ll leave the foe
And make my wars on you: look to’t: come on;
If you’ll stand fast, we’ll beat them to their wives,
As they us to our trenches followed.

Another alarum. The Volsces fly, and MARCIUS follows them to the gates

So, now the gates are ope: now prove good seconds:
‘Tis for the followers fortune widens them,
Not for the fliers: mark me, and do the like.

Enters the gates

First Soldier
Fool-hardiness; not I.

Second Soldier
Nor I.

MARCIUS is shut in

First Soldier
See, they have shut him in.

To the pot, I warrant him.

Alarum continues


What is become of Marcius?

Slain, sir, doubtless.

First Soldier
Following the fliers at the very heels,
With them he enters; who, upon the sudden,
Clapp’d to their gates: he is himself alone,
To answer all the city.

O noble fellow!
Who sensibly outdares his senseless sword,
And, when it bows, stands up. Thou art left, Marcius:
A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,
Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier
Even to Cato’s wish, not fierce and terrible
Only in strokes; but, with thy grim looks and
The thunder-like percussion of thy sounds,
Thou madst thine enemies shake, as if the world
Were feverous and did tremble.

Re-enter MARCIUS, bleeding, assaulted by the enemy

First Soldier
Look, sir.

O,’tis Marcius!
Let’s fetch him off, or make remain alike.

They fight, and all enter the city

SCENE V. Corioli. A street.

Enter certain Romans, with spoils
First Roman
This will I carry to Rome.

Second Roman
And I this.

Third Roman
A murrain on’t! I took this for silver.

Alarum continues still afar off

Enter MARCIUS and TITUS LARTIUS with a trumpet

See here these movers that do prize their hours
At a crack’d drachm! Cushions, leaden spoons,
Irons of a doit, doublets that hangmen would
Bury with those that wore them, these base slaves,
Ere yet the fight be done, pack up: down with them!
And hark, what noise the general makes! To him!
There is the man of my soul’s hate, Aufidius,
Piercing our Romans: then, valiant Titus, take
Convenient numbers to make good the city;
Whilst I, with those that have the spirit, will haste
To help Cominius.

Worthy sir, thou bleed’st;
Thy exercise hath been too violent for
A second course of fight.

Sir, praise me not;
My work hath yet not warm’d me: fare you well:
The blood I drop is rather physical
Than dangerous to me: to Aufidius thus
I will appear, and fight.

Now the fair goddess, Fortune,
Fall deep in love with thee; and her great charms
Misguide thy opposers’ swords! Bold gentleman,
Prosperity be thy page!

Thy friend no less
Than those she placeth highest! So, farewell.

Thou worthiest Marcius!


Go, sound thy trumpet in the market-place;
Call thither all the officers o’ the town,
Where they shall know our mind: away!


SCENE VI. Near the camp of Cominius.

Enter COMINIUS, as it were in retire, with soldiers
Breathe you, my friends: well fought;
we are come off
Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands,
Nor cowardly in retire: believe me, sirs,
We shall be charged again. Whiles we have struck,
By interims and conveying gusts we have heard
The charges of our friends. Ye Roman gods!
Lead their successes as we wish our own,
That both our powers, with smiling
fronts encountering,
May give you thankful sacrifice.

Enter a Messenger

Thy news?

The citizens of Corioli have issued,
And given to Lartius and to Marcius battle:
I saw our party to their trenches driven,
And then I came away.

Though thou speak’st truth,
Methinks thou speak’st not well.
How long is’t since?

Above an hour, my lord.

‘Tis not a mile; briefly we heard their drums:
How couldst thou in a mile confound an hour,
And bring thy news so late?

Spies of the Volsces
Held me in chase, that I was forced to wheel
Three or four miles about, else had I, sir,
Half an hour since brought my report.

Who’s yonder,
That does appear as he were flay’d? O gods
He has the stamp of Marcius; and I have
Before-time seen him thus.

[Within] Come I too late?

The shepherd knows not thunder from a tabour
More than I know the sound of Marcius’ tongue
From every meaner man.


Come I too late?

Ay, if you come not in the blood of others,
But mantled in your own.

O, let me clip ye
In arms as sound as when I woo’d, in heart
As merry as when our nuptial day was done,
And tapers burn’d to bedward!

Flower of warriors,
How is it with Titus Lartius?

As with a man busied about decrees:
Condemning some to death, and some to exile;
Ransoming him, or pitying, threatening the other;
Holding Corioli in the name of Rome,
Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash,
To let him slip at will.

Where is that slave
Which told me they had beat you to your trenches?
Where is he? call him hither.

Let him alone;
He did inform the truth: but for our gentlemen,
The common file–a plague! tribunes for them!–
The mouse ne’er shunn’d the cat as they did budge
From rascals worse than they.

But how prevail’d you?

Will the time serve to tell? I do not think.
Where is the enemy? are you lords o’ the field?
If not, why cease you till you are so?

We have at disadvantage fought and did
Retire to win our purpose.

How lies their battle? know you on which side
They have placed their men of trust?

As I guess, Marcius,
Their bands i’ the vaward are the Antiates,
Of their best trust; o’er them Aufidius,
Their very heart of hope.

I do beseech you,
By all the battles wherein we have fought,
By the blood we have shed together, by the vows
We have made to endure friends, that you directly
Set me against Aufidius and his Antiates;
And that you not delay the present, but,
Filling the air with swords advanced and darts,
We prove this very hour.

Though I could wish
You were conducted to a gentle bath
And balms applied to, you, yet dare I never
Deny your asking: take your choice of those
That best can aid your action.

Those are they
That most are willing. If any such be here–
As it were sin to doubt–that love this painting
Wherein you see me smear’d; if any fear
Lesser his person than an ill report;
If any think brave death outweighs bad life
And that his country’s dearer than himself;
Let him alone, or so many so minded,
Wave thus, to express his disposition,
And follow Marcius.

They all shout and wave their swords, take him up in their arms, and cast up their caps

O, me alone! make you a sword of me?
If these shows be not outward, which of you
But is four Volsces? none of you but is
Able to bear against the great Aufidius
A shield as hard as his. A certain number,
Though thanks to all, must I select
from all: the rest
Shall bear the business in some other fight,
As cause will be obey’d. Please you to march;
And four shall quickly draw out my command,
Which men are best inclined.

March on, my fellows:
Make good this ostentation, and you shall
Divide in all with us.


SCENE VII. The gates of Corioli.

TITUS LARTIUS, having set a guard upon Corioli, going with drum and trumpet toward COMINIUS and CAIUS MARCIUS, enters with Lieutenant, other Soldiers, and a Scout
So, let the ports be guarded: keep your duties,
As I have set them down. If I do send, dispatch
Those centuries to our aid: the rest will serve
For a short holding: if we lose the field,
We cannot keep the town.

Fear not our care, sir.

Hence, and shut your gates upon’s.
Our guider, come; to the Roman camp conduct us.


SCENE VIII. A field of battle.

Alarum as in battle. Enter, from opposite sides, MARCIUS and AUFIDIUS
I’ll fight with none but thee; for I do hate thee
Worse than a promise-breaker.

We hate alike:
Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor
More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.

Let the first budger die the other’s slave,
And the gods doom him after!

If I fly, Marcius,
Holloa me like a hare.

Within these three hours, Tullus,
Alone I fought in your Corioli walls,
And made what work I pleased: ’tis not my blood
Wherein thou seest me mask’d; for thy revenge
Wrench up thy power to the highest.

Wert thou the Hector
That was the whip of your bragg’d progeny,
Thou shouldst not scape me here.

They fight, and certain Volsces come to the aid of AUFIDIUS. MARCIUS fights till they be driven in breathless

Officious, and not valiant, you have shamed me
In your condemned seconds.


SCENE IX. The Roman camp.

Flourish. Alarum. A retreat is sounded. Flourish. Enter, from one side, COMINIUS with the Romans; from the other side, MARCIUS, with his arm in a scarf
If I should tell thee o’er this thy day’s work,
Thou’ldst not believe thy deeds: but I’ll report it
Where senators shall mingle tears with smiles,
Where great patricians shall attend and shrug,
I’ the end admire, where ladies shall be frighted,
And, gladly quaked, hear more; where the
dull tribunes,
That, with the fusty plebeians, hate thine honours,
Shall say against their hearts ‘We thank the gods
Our Rome hath such a soldier.’
Yet camest thou to a morsel of this feast,
Having fully dined before.

Enter TITUS LARTIUS, with his power, from the pursuit

O general,
Here is the steed, we the caparison:
Hadst thou beheld–

Pray now, no more: my mother,
Who has a charter to extol her blood,
When she does praise me grieves me. I have done
As you have done; that’s what I can; induced
As you have been; that’s for my country:
He that has but effected his good will
Hath overta’en mine act.

You shall not be
The grave of your deserving; Rome must know
The value of her own: ’twere a concealment
Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement,
To hide your doings; and to silence that,
Which, to the spire and top of praises vouch’d,
Would seem but modest: therefore, I beseech you
In sign of what you are, not to reward
What you have done–before our army hear me.

I have some wounds upon me, and they smart
To hear themselves remember’d.

Should they not,
Well might they fester ‘gainst ingratitude,
And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses,
Whereof we have ta’en good and good store, of all
The treasure in this field achieved and city,
We render you the tenth, to be ta’en forth,
Before the common distribution, at
Your only choice.

I thank you, general;
But cannot make my heart consent to take
A bribe to pay my sword: I do refuse it;
And stand upon my common part with those
That have beheld the doing.

A long flourish. They all cry ‘Marcius! Marcius!’ cast up their caps and lances: COMINIUS and LARTIUS stand bare

May these same instruments, which you profane,
Never sound more! when drums and trumpets shall
I’ the field prove flatterers, let courts and cities be
Made all of false-faced soothing!
When steel grows soft as the parasite’s silk,
Let him be made a coverture for the wars!
No more, I say! For that I have not wash’d
My nose that bled, or foil’d some debile wretch.–
Which, without note, here’s many else have done,–
You shout me forth
In acclamations hyperbolical;
As if I loved my little should be dieted
In praises sauced with lies.

Too modest are you;
More cruel to your good report than grateful
To us that give you truly: by your patience,
If ‘gainst yourself you be incensed, we’ll put you,
Like one that means his proper harm, in manacles,
Then reason safely with you. Therefore, be it known,
As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius
Wears this war’s garland: in token of the which,
My noble steed, known to the camp, I give him,
With all his trim belonging; and from this time,
For what he did before Corioli, call him,
With all the applause and clamour of the host,
The addition nobly ever!

Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums

Caius Marcius Coriolanus!

I will go wash;
And when my face is fair, you shall perceive
Whether I blush or no: howbeit, I thank you.
I mean to stride your steed, and at all times
To undercrest your good addition
To the fairness of my power.

So, to our tent;
Where, ere we do repose us, we will write
To Rome of our success. You, Titus Lartius,
Must to Corioli back: send us to Rome
The best, with whom we may articulate,
For their own good and ours.

I shall, my lord.

The gods begin to mock me. I, that now
Refused most princely gifts, am bound to beg
Of my lord general.

Take’t; ’tis yours. What is’t?

I sometime lay here in Corioli
At a poor man’s house; he used me kindly:
He cried to me; I saw him prisoner;
But then Aufidius was with in my view,
And wrath o’erwhelm’d my pity: I request you
To give my poor host freedom.

O, well begg’d!
Were he the butcher of my son, he should
Be free as is the wind. Deliver him, Titus.

Marcius, his name?

By Jupiter! forgot.
I am weary; yea, my memory is tired.
Have we no wine here?

Go we to our tent:
The blood upon your visage dries; ’tis time
It should be look’d to: come.


SCENE X. The camp of the Volsces.

A flourish. Cornets. Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, bloody, with two or three Soldiers
The town is ta’en!

First Soldier
‘Twill be deliver’d back on good condition.

I would I were a Roman; for I cannot,
Being a Volsce, be that I am. Condition!
What good condition can a treaty find
I’ the part that is at mercy? Five times, Marcius,
I have fought with thee: so often hast thou beat me,
And wouldst do so, I think, should we encounter
As often as we eat. By the elements,
If e’er again I meet him beard to beard,
He’s mine, or I am his: mine emulation
Hath not that honour in’t it had; for where
I thought to crush him in an equal force,
True sword to sword, I’ll potch at him some way
Or wrath or craft may get him.

First Soldier
He’s the devil.

Bolder, though not so subtle. My valour’s poison’d
With only suffering stain by him; for him
Shall fly out of itself: nor sleep nor sanctuary,
Being naked, sick, nor fane nor Capitol,
The prayers of priests nor times of sacrifice,
Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up
Their rotten privilege and custom ‘gainst
My hate to Marcius: where I find him, were it
At home, upon my brother’s guard, even there,
Against the hospitable canon, would I
Wash my fierce hand in’s heart. Go you to the city;
Learn how ’tis held; and what they are that must
Be hostages for Rome.

First Soldier
Will not you go?

I am attended at the cypress grove: I pray you–
‘Tis south the city mills–bring me word thither
How the world goes, that to the pace of it
I may spur on my journey.

First Soldier
I shall, sir.


Come back on 11/27/15 and join me for fun with Shakespeare’s Coriolanus


Seats wrapped in Nazi regalia promote Amazon video series

Happy Thanksgiving©

Copyright 2014

By Felina Silver Robinson


I woke up this morning with lots on my plate

But I wasn’t threatened because I knew the reward was the gift of time with those I loved

Those at home were good and helpful

Doing what needed to be done

Then my first of two daughters that had yet to arrive opened the door accompanied by her boyfriend

She went off to the kitchen to do her work

Time for calls and posting to all the others that can’t be with us

Waiting still yet for the arrival of another daughter

Grateful that upon her arrival most of those I love

Will be right there by my side

This is all I need on this day of thanks

Now back to my baking, my cooking

And my time with

Friends and family


To those who know and love me

Know that  my heart is with all of you and I wish you a year of happiness and success

I’m thankful to have you all in my life

I’m thankful for the food that will be upon my table

I’m grateful for my happiness and my freedom

Enjoy each moment of your celebration and give thanks to those deserving