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But what o' that? Go, you that banish'd him,
Com. Yet one time he did call me by my name :
Men. Why, so; you have made good work:
Com. I minded him, how royal 'twas to pardon
Men. Very well:
Could he say less?
Com. I offer'd to awaken his regard
Men. For one poor grain
Or two? I am one of those; his mother, wife,
Sic. Nay, pray, be patient: If you refuse your aid
Men. No; I'll not meddle.
Bru. Only make trial what your love can do
Men. Well, and say that Marcius
Return me, as Cominius is return'd,
Sic. Yet your good will
Must have that thanks from Rome, after the measure
Men. I'll undertake it:
I think, he'll hear me. Yet to bite his lip,
And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me.
† Harassed by exactions.
He was not taken well; he had not dined:
Bru. You know the very road into his kindness,
Men. Good faith, I'll prove him,
Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge
Com. He'll never hear him.
Com. I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye
Unless his noble mother, and his wife;
Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him
For mercy to his country. Therefore, let's hence,
SCENE II-An advanced Post of the Volcian Camp before Rome. The GUARD at their Stations.
Enter to them, MENENIUS.
1 G. Stay: Whence are you? 2 G. Stand, and go back.
Men. You guard like men; 'tis well; But, by your leave, I am an officer of state, and come
To speak with Coriolanus.
1 G. From whence?
Men. From Rome.
1 G. You may not pass, you must return: our general Will no more hear from thence.
2 G. You'll see your Rome embraced with fire before You'll speak with Coriolanus.
Men. Good my friends,
If you have heard your general talk of Rome,
Men. I tell thee, fellow,
Thy general is my lover: t I have been
The book of his good acts, whence men have read
For I have ever verified my friends
(Of whom he's chief), with all the size that verity + Friend.
✰ Done justice to.
Would without lasping suffer: nay, sometimes,
I have tumbled past the throw; and in his praise
1 G. 'Faith, Sir, if you had told as many lies in his behalf, as you have uttered words in your own, you should not pass here: no, though it were as virtuous to lie, as to live chastely. Therefore, go back.
Men. Pr'ythee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius, always factionary on the party of your general.
2 G. Howsoever you have been his liar (as you say, you have), I am one that, telling true under him, must say, you cannot pass. Therefore go back.
Men. Has he dined, canst thou tell? for I would not speak with him till after dinner.
1 G. You are a Roman, are you?
Men. I am as thy general is.
1 G. Then you should hate Rome, as he does. Can you, when you have pushed out your gates the very defender of them, and, in a violent popular ignorance, given your enemy your shield, think to front his revenges with the easy groans of old women, the virginal palms of your daughters, or with the palsied intercession of such a decayed dotant as you seem to be? Can you think to blow out the intended fire your city is ready to flame in, with such weak breath as this? No, you are deceived; therefore, back to Rome, and prepare for your execution: you are condemned, our general has sworn you out of reprieve and pardon.
Men. Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, he would use me with estimation.
2 G. Come, my captain knows you not.
Men. I mean, thy general.
1 G. My general cares not for you. Back, I say, go, lest I let forth your half pint of blood;-back,-that's the utmost of your having:-back.
Men. Nay, but fellow, fellow,
Enter CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS.
Cor. What's the matter?
Men. Now, you companion, + I'll say an errand for you; you shall know now that I am in estimation; you shall perceive that a Jack guardant cannot office me from my son Coriolanus: guess, but by my entertainment with him, if thou stand'st not i' the state of hanging, or of some death more long in spectatorship, and crueller in suffering; behold now presently, and swoon for what's to come upon thee.-The glorious gods sit in hourly synod about thy particular prosperity, and love thee no worse than thy old father Menenius does! O, my son! my son! thou art preparing fire for us; look thee, here's water to quench it. I was hardly moved to come to thee; but being assured, none but myself could move thee, I have been blown out of your gates with sighs; and conjure thee to pardon Rome, and thy petitionary countrymen. The good gods assuage thy wrath, and turn the dregs of it
t Jack in office.
upon this varlet here; this, who, like a block, hath denied my access to thee.
Men. How! away?
Cor. Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs
In Volcian breasts. That we have been familiar
Auf. You keep a constant temper. [Exeunt COR. and AUFID. 1 G. Now, Sir, is your name Menenius ?
2 G. "Tis a spell, you see, of much power: You know the way home again.
1 G. Do you hear how we are shent‡ for keeping your greatness back?
2 G. What cause, do you think, I have to swoon?
Men. I neither care for the world, nor your general: for such things as you, I can scarce think there's any, you are so slight. He that hath a will to die by himself,§ fears it not from another. Let your general do his worst. For you, be that you are, long; and your misery increase with your age! I say to you, as I was said to, Away! [Exit.
[Gives a letter.
1 G. A noble fellow, I warrant him.
2 G. The worthy fellow is our general: He is the rock, the oak not to be wind-shaken.
SCENE III.-The Tent of CORIOLANUS.
Enter CORIOLANUS, AUFIDIUS, and others.
Cor. We will before the walls of Rome to-morrow
Auf. Only their ends
You have respected; stopp'd your ears against
Cor. This last old man,
Whom with a crack'd heart I have sent to Rome,
* My revenge is my own; pardon is with the Volcians.
I have yielded too: Fresh embassies, and suits,
In the same time 'tis made? I will not.
Enter in mourning habits, VIRGILIA, VOLUMNIA, leading young
What is that curt'sy worth? or those doves' eyes,
And knew no other kin.
Vir. My lord and husband!
Cor. These eyes are not the same I wore in Rome. Vir. The sorrow, that delivers us thus changed, Makes you think so.
Cor. Like a dull actor now,
I have forgot my part, and I am out,
Vol. O, stand up bless'd!
Whilst, with no softer cushion than the flint,
Cor. What is this?
Your knees to me? to your corrected son?
Vol. Thou art my warrior;
I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady?