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Cor. The noble sister of Publicola,
The moon of Rome; chaste as the icicle,
That's curded by the frost from purest snow,
And hangs on Dian's temple: Dear Valeria!
Vol. This is a poor epitome of yours,
Which by the interpretation of full time
May show like all yourself.

Cor. The god of soldiers,

With the consent of supreme Jove, inform
Thy thoughts with nobleness; that thou mayst prove
To shame invulnerable, and stick i' the wars
Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,*
And saving those that eye thee!

Vol. Your knee, Sirrah.

Cor. That's my brave boy.

Vol. Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself, Are suitors to you.

Cor. I beseech you, peace:

Or, if you'd ask, remember this before;

The things, I have forsworn to grant, may never
Be held by you denials. Do not bid me
Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate

Again with Rome's mechanics :-Tell me not
Wherein I seem unnatural: Desire not
To allay my rages and revenges, with
Your colder reasons.

Vol. O, no more, no more!

You have said, you will not grant us anything;
For we have nothing else to ask, but that
Which you deny already: Yet we will ask;
That, if you fail in our request, the blame
May hang upon your hardness: therefore hear us.
Cor. Aufidius, and you Volces, mark; for we'll
Hear nought from Rome in private.-Your request?

Vol. Should we be silent, and not speak, our raiment,
And state of bodies would bewray what life
We have led since thy exile. Think with thyself,
How more unfortunate than all living women

Are we come hither: since that thy sight, which should
Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with comforts,
Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and sorrow;
Making thy mother, wife, and child, to see
The son, the husband, and the father, tearing
His country's bowels out. And to poor we,
Thine enmity's most capital: thou barr'st us
Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort
That all but we enjoy: For how can we,
Alas! how can we for our country pray,
Whereto we are bound; together with thy victory,
Whereto we are bound? Alack! or we must lose
The country, our dear nurse; or else thy person,
Our comfort in the country. We must find
An evident calamity, though we had
Our wish, which side should win for either thou
Must, as a foreign recreant, be led

* Gust.

+ Betray.

With manacles thorough our streets, or else
Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin;
And bear the palm, for having bravely shed
Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, son,
I purpose not to wait on fortune, till

These wars determine:* if I cannot persuade thee
Rather to show a noble grace to both parts,
Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner
March to assault thy country, than to tread
(Trust to't, thou shalt not) on thy mother's womb,
That brought thee to this world.

Vir. Ay, and on mine,

That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name
Living to time.

Boy. He shall not tread on me;

I'll run away, till I am bigger, but then I'll fight.
Cor. Not of a woman's tenderness to be,
Requires nor child nor woman's face to see.
I have sat too long.

Vol. Nay go not from us thus.

If it were so, that our request did tend

To save the Romans, thereby to destroy

The Volces whom you serve, you might condemn us,
As poisonous of your honour: No; our suit

Is, that you reconcile them: while the Volces

May say, This mercy we have show'd; the Romans,
This we received; and each in either side

Give the all-hail to thee, and cry, Be bless'd

For making up this peace! Thou know'st, great son,
The end of war 's uncertain; but this certain,
That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit
Which thou shalt thereby reap, is such a name,
Whose repetition will be dogg'd with curses;
Whose chronicle thus writ,-The man was noble,
But with his last attempt he wiped it out;
Destroy'd his country; and his name remains
To the ensuing age, abhorr'd. Speak to me, son:
Thou hast affected the fine strainst of honour,
To imitate the graces of the gods;

To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o' the air,
And yet to charge thy sulphur with a bolt
That should but rive an oak. Why dost not speak?
Think'st thou it honourable for a noble man
Still to remember wrongs?-Daughter, speak you :
He cares not for your weeping.-Speak thou, boy:
Perhaps, thy childishness will move him more
Than can our reasons.-There is no man in the world
More bound to his mother; yet here he lets me prate
Like one i' the stocks. Thou hast never in thy life
Show'd thy dear mother any courtesy ;
When she (poor hen !) fond of no second brood,
Has cluck'd thee to the wars, and safely home,
Loaden with honour. Say, my request 's unjust,
And spurn me back: But, if it be not so,
Thou art not honest; and the gods will plague thee,

* Conclude.



That thou restrain'st from me the duty, which
To a mother's part belongs. He turns away:
Down, ladies; let us shame him with our knees.
To his surname Coriolanus 'longs more pride,
Than pity to our prayers. Down; an end:
This is the last :-So we will home to Rome,
And die among our neighbours.-Nay, behold us:
This boy, that cannot tell what he would have,
But kneels, and holds up hands, for fellowship,
Does reason* our petition with more strength
Than thou hast to deny't.-Come, let us go:
This fellow had a Volcian to his mother;
His wife is in Corioli, and his child

Like him by chance:-Yet give us our despatch:
I am hush'd until our city be afire,
And then I'll speak a little.

Cor. O, mother, mother! [Holding VOLUM. by the hands, silent. What have you done? Behold, the heavens do ope, The gods look down, and this unnatural scene They laugh at. O my mother, mother! O! You have won a happy victory to Rome: But, for your son,-believe it, O, believe it, Most dangerously you have with him prevail'd, If not most mortal to him. But, let it come: Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars, I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius, Were you in my stead, say, would you have heard A mother less? or granted less, Aufidius? Auf, I was moved withal.

Cor. I dare be sworn, you were:

And, Sir, it is no little thing, to make

Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good Sir,
What peace you'll make, advise me; For my part,
I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you; and pray you,
Stand to me in this cause.-O mother! wife!

Auf. I am glad, thou hast set thy mercy and thy honour
At difference in thee: out of that I'll work
Myself at former fortune.

[Aside. [The ladies make signs to CORIOLANUS. [To VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, &c.

Cor. Ay, by-and-by;
But we will drink together; and you shall bear
A better witness back than words, which we,
On like conditions, will have counter-seal'd.
Come, enter with us. Ladies, you deserve
To have a temple built you: all the swords
In Italy, and her confederate arms,
Could not have made this peace.


SCENE IV-Rome. A public place.


Men. See you yond' coign‡ o' the Capitol: yond' corner stone?
Sic. Why, what of that?

Men. If it be possible for you to displace it with your little finger, there is some hope the ladies of Rome, especially his + I. e. my former. ↑ Angle.

* Argue for.

mother, may prevail with him. But I say, there is no hope in't; our throats are sentenced, and stay upon execution.

Sic. Is't possible, that so short a time can alter the condition of a man?

Men. There is differency between a grub, and a butterfly; yet your butterfly was a grub. This Marcius is grown from man to dragon: he has wings; he's more than a creeping thing.

Sic. He loved his mother dearly.

Men. So did he me: and he no more remembers his mother now, than an eight year old horse. The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes. When he walks, he moves like an engine, and the ground shrinks before his treading. He is able to pierce a corslet with his eye; talks like a knell, and his hum is a battery. He sits in his state, as a thing made for Alexander. What he bids be done, is finished with his bidding. He wants nothing of a god but eternity, and a heaven to throne in.

Sic. Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.

Men. I paint him in the character. Mark what mercy his mother shall bring from him: There is no more mercy in him, than there is milk in a male tiger; that shall our poor city find: and all this is 'long of you.

Sic. The gods be good unto us!

Men. No, in such a case the gods will not be good unto us. When we banished him, we respected not them: and, he returning to break our necks, they respect not us.


Mess. Sir, if you'd save your life, fly to your house;
The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune,
And hale him up and down; all swearing, if
The Roman ladies bring not comfort home,
They'll give him death by inches.

Enter another MESSENGER.

Sic. What's the news?

Mess. Good news, good news;—The ladies have prevail'd,
The Volces are dislodged, and Marcius gone:
A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins.

Sic. Friend,

Art thou certain this is true? is it most certain?
Mess. As certain as I know the sun is fire:
Where have you lurk'd, that you make doubt of it?
Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide,

As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark you;
[Trumpets and Hautboys sounded, and Drums beaten,
all together. Shouting also within.
The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes,
Tabors, and cymbals, and the shouting Romans,
Make the sun dance. Hark you!

Men. This is good news:

I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia

Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians,
A city full of tribunes, such as you,

A sea and land full: You have pray'd well to-day;

*Stay but for.

+ Chair of state.

[Shouting again.

To resemble.

This morning, for ten thousand of your throats
I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!

Sic. First, the gods bless you for their tidings: next, Accept my thankfulness.

[Shouting and Music.

Mess. Sir, we have all
Great cause to give great thanks.

Sic. They are near the city?
Mess. Almost at point to enter.

Sic. We will meet them, and help the joy.


Enter the Ladies, accompanied by SENATORS, PATRICIANS, and People. They pass over the Stage.

1 Sen. Behold our patroness, the life of Rome:

Call all your tribes together, praise the gods,

And make triumphant fires; strew flowers before them:
Unshout the noise that banish'd Marcius,

Repeal him with the welcome of his mother;
Cry, Welcome, ladies, welcome !-

All. Welcome, ladies!

Welcome! [A flourish with Drums and Trumpets. Exeunt.
A Public Place.
Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, with Attendants.

SCENE V-Antium.

Auf. Go tell the lords of the city, I am here:
Deliver them this paper: having read it,
Bid them repair to the market-place; where I,
Even in theirs and in the commons' ears,
Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse,
The city ports + by this hath enter'd, and
Intends to appear before the people, hoping
To purge himself with words: Despatch.

Auf. I know it;

And my pretext to strike at him admits

[Exeunt Attendants.

Enter Three or Four CONSPIRATORS of AUFIDIUS's Faction. Most welcome!

1 Con. How is it with our general? Auf. Even so,

As with a man by his own alms empoison'd,

And with his charity slain.

2 Con. Most noble Sir,

If you do hold the same intent wherein
You wish'd us parties, we'll deliver you
Of your great danger.

Auf. Sir, I cannot tell;

We must proceed, as we do find the people.

3 Con. The people will remain uncertain, whilst "Twixt you there's difference; but the fall of either Makes the survivor heir of all.

A good construction. I raised him, and I pawn'd
Mine honour for his truth: Who being so heighten'd,
He water'd his new plants with dews of flattery,
Seducing so my friends: and, to this end,
He bow'd his nature, never known before
But to be rough, unswayable, and free.
* Recall.

† Gates.

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