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so did very many of us. That we did we did for
the best; and though we willingly consented
to his banishment, yet it was against our will.
Com. Ye're goodly things, you voices !
You have made
Good work, you and your cry! Shall's to the


Com. O ay; what else?

But come, let's
Exeunt Citizens.

Exeunt COMINIUS and MENENIUS. Sic. Go, masters, get you home; be not dismay'd:


These are a side that would be glad to have
This true which they so seem to fear. Go home,
And show no sign of fear.

First Cit. The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let's home. I ever said we were i' the wrong when we banished him.

Even with the same austerity and garb
As he controll'd the war; but one of these,
As he hath spices of them all, not all,
For I dare so far free him, made him fear'd,
So hated, and so banish'd: but he has a merit
To choke it in the utterance. So our virtues
Lie in the interpretation of the time;
And power, unto itself most commendable,

Second Cit. So did we all.
Bru. I do not like this news.
Sic. Nor I.


Bru. Let's to the Capitol. Would half my Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair
To extol what it hath done.
Would buy this for a lie!

Pray let us go.

SCENE VII-A Camp at a small distance from

Enter AUFIDIUS and his Lieutenant.
Auf. Do they still fly to the Roman ?
Lieu. I do not know what witchcraft's in
him, but

Your soldiers use him as the grace 'fore meat,
Their talk at table, and their thanks at end;
And you are darken'd in this action, sir,
Even by your own.

One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail; Exeunt. Rights by rights falter, strengths by strengths do fail.

I cannot help it now,
Unless, by using means, I lame the foot
Of our design. He bears himself more proudlier,
Even to my person, than I thought he would
When first I did embrace him; yet his nature
In that's no changeling, and I must excuse
What cannot be amended.


Yet I wish, sir,
I mean for your particular, you had not
Join'd in commission with him; but either
Had borne the action of yourself, or else
To him had left it solely.

Auf. I understand thee well; and be thou


When he shall come to his account, he knows

Will be as rash in the repeal as hasty
To expel him thence. I think he'll be to Rome
As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it
By sovereignty of nature.
First he was
A noble servant to them, but he could not
Carry his honours even; whether 'twas pride,
Which out of daily fortune ever taints
The happy man; whether defect of judgment,
To fail in the disposing of those chances
Which he was lord of; or whether nature,
Not to be other than one thing, not moving
From the casque to the cushion, but command-
ing peace

Fights dragon-like, and does achieve as soon
As draw his sword; yet he hath left undone
That which shall break his neck or hazard mine,
Whene'er we come to our account.

Lieu. Sir, I beseech you, think you he 'll carry

Auf. All places yield to him ere he sits down;
And the nobility of Rome are his :
The senators and patricians love him too :
The tribunes are no soldiers; and their people




Come, let's away. When, Caius, Rome is thine,
Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou


What I can urge against him. Although it Of burning Rome.



And so he thinks, and is no less apparent
To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly,
And shows good husbandry for the Volscian


SCENE I.-Rome. A public Place. Enter MENENIUS, COMINIUS, SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and Others.

Men. No, I'll not go: you hear what he hath said

Which was sometime his general; who lov'd him
In a most dear particular. He call'd me father :
But what o' that? Go, you that banish'd him ;
A mile before his tent fall down, and knee

The way into his mercy. Nay, if he coy'd
To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home.
Com. He would not seem to know me.
Do you hear?
Com. Yet one time he did call me by my


I urg'd our old acquaintance, and the drops 10
That we have bled together. Coriolanus
He would not answer to; forbad all names;
He was a kind of nothing, titleless,
Till he had forg'd himself a name o' the fire

Very well.

Could he say less?

Com. I offer'd to awaken his regard
For's private friends: his answer to me was,
He could not stay to pick them in a pile
Of noisome musty chaff: he said 'twas folly
For one poor grain or two to leave unburnt,
And still to nose the offence.

Men. Why, so you have made good work!
A pair of tribunes that have rack'd for Rome,
To make coals cheap: a noble memory!

Com. I minded him how royal 'twas to pardon
When it was less expected: he replied,
It was a bare petition of a state
To one whom they had punish'd



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For one poor grain or two!, I ain an officer of state, and come
I am one of those; his mother, wife, his child, To speak with Coriolanus.
And this brave fellow too, we are the grains : 30 First Guard.

From whence ?
You are the musty chaff, and you are smelt


From Rome. Above the moon. We must be burnt for you. First Guard. You may not pass ; you must reSie. Nay, pray, be patient: if you refuse your turn : our general aid

Will no more hear from thence. In this so never needed help, yet do not

Second Guard. You 'll see your Rome embrac'd Upbraid's with our distress. But, sure, if you

with fire before Would be your country's pleader, your good You 'll speak with Coriolanus. tongue,


Good my friends. More than the instant army we can make, If you have heard your general talk of Rome, Might stop our countryman.

And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks, je Men.

No; I'll not meddle. My name hath touch'd your ears: it is Menenius. Sic. Pray you, go to him.

First Guard. Be it so ; go back : the virtue of Men. What should I do? 39

your name Bru. Only make trial what your love can do Is not here passable. For Rome, towards Marcius.


I tell thee, fellow, Men.

Well; and say that Marcius Thy general is my lover : I have been Return me, as Comiuius is return'd,

The book of his good acts, whence men hare Unheard ; what then ?

read But as a discontented friend, grief-shot His fame unparallel'd, haply amplified ; With his unkindness? say 't be so ?

For I have ever verified my friends, Sic.

Yet your good will Of whom he's chief, with all the size that rerity Must have that thanks from Rome, after the Would without lapsing suffer: nay, sometimes,

Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground, As you intended well.

I have tumbled past the throw, and in his praise Men.

I'll undertake it : Have almost stamp'd the leasing. Therefore, I think he 'll hear me. Yet, to bite his lip,

fellow, And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me. I must have leave to pass. He was not taken well; he had not din'd:

First Guard. Faith, sir, if you had told as The veins unfill’d, our blood is cold, and then many lies in his behalf as you have uttered words We pout upon the morning, are unapt

in your own, you should not pass here ; no. To give or to forgive ; but when we have stuff'd though it were as virtuous to lie as to live These pipes and these conveyances of our blood chastely. Therefore go back. With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls Men Prithee, fellow, remember me vame is Than in our priest-like fasts : therefore, I'll Venenius, always factionary on the party of your watch him

general. Till he be dieted to my request,

Second Guard. Howsoever you have been his And then I 'll set upon him.

liar, as you say you have, I am one that, telling Bru. You know the very road into his kindness, true under him, must say you cannot pass And cannot lose your way.

Therefore go back. Men.

Good faith, I 'll prove him, 60 Men. Has he dined, canst thou tell ? for I Speed how it will. I shall ere long have know. would not speak with him till after dinner, ledge

First Guard. You are a Roman, are you ! Of my success.

Erit. Men. I am, as thy general is.
He 'll never hear him.

First Guard. Then you should hate Rome, as Sic.

Not? he does. Can you, when you have pushed ont Com. I tell you he does sit in gold, his eye your gates the very defender of them, and, in Red as 't would burn Rome, and his injury a violent popular ignorance, given your enemy The gaoler to his pity. I kneel'd before him ; Four shield, think to front his revenges with the 'Twas very faintly he said. Rise'; dismiss'd me easy groans of old women, the virginal palmsor Thus, with his speechless hand: what he would do, your daughters, or with the palsied intercession He sent in writing after me ; what he would not, of such a decayed dotant as you seem to be! Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions : Can you think to blow out the intended fire your So that all hope is vain

70 city is ready to flame in with such weak breath Unless his noble mother and his wife,

as this? No, you are deceived ; therefore, back Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him

to Rome, and prepare for your execution : you For mercy to his country. Therefore let's hence, are condemned, our general has sworn you out And with our fair entreaties haste them on. of reprieve and pardon.

Excunt. Men. Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here,

he would use me with estimation. SCENE II. - The Volscian Camp before Rome.

Second Guard. Come, my captain knows you The Guards at their stations.


Men. I mean thy general.
Enter to them MENENIUS.

First Guard. My general cares not for you. First Guard. Stay! Whence are you? Back, I say: go, lest I let forth your half-pint Second Guard.

Stand 1 and go back of blood ; back; that's the utmost of your Men. You guard like men ; 'tis well; but, by having : back. your leave,

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 standest 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. To CORIOLANUS. 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 upon this varlet here; this, who, like a block, hath denied my access to thee.

Are servanted to others: though I owe
My revenge properly, my remission lies
In Volscian breasts. That we have been familiar,
Ingrate forgetfulness shall poison, rather
Than pity note how much. Therefore, be gone:
Mine ears against your suits are stronger than
Your gates against my force. Yet, for I lov'd

Take this along; I writ it for thy sake,


Gives a paper.

And would have sent it. Another word, Menenius, I will not hear thee speak. This man, Aufidius, Was my belov'd in Rome: yet thou behold'st! Auf. You keep a constant temper.

Cor. Away!

Men. How! away!

Cor. Wife mother, child, I know not. My My wife comes foremost; then the honour'd




You must report to the Volscian lords, how plainly


First Guard. Now, sir, is your name Menenius? Second Guard. 'Tis a spell, you see, of much power. You know the way home again.

First Guard. Do you hear how we are shent for keeping your greatness back?

Second Guard. 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, ye 're 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!


First Guard. A noble fellow, I warrant him. Second Guard. The worthy fellow is our general: he's 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


Set down our host. My partner in this action,


I have borne this business.
You have respected; stopp'd your ears against
Only their ends
The general suit of Rome; never admitted
A private whisper, no, not with such friends
That thought them sure of you.
Whom with a crack'd heart I have sent to Rome,
This last old man,
Lov'd me above the measure of a father;
was to send him; for whose old love I have,
Nay, godded me indeed. Their latest refuge
Though I show'd sourly to him, once more offer'd
The first conditions, which they did refuse,
That thought he could do more.
And cannot now accept, to grace him only
A very little
I have yielded to; fresh embassies, and suits,
Nor from the state, nor private friends, hereafter
Will I lend ear to.

Shout within.
Ha! what shout is this?

Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow

In the same time 'tis made? I will not.


Enter, in mourning habits, VIRGILIA, VOLUMNIA, leading young MARCIUS, VALERIA, and Attendants.

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Vir. The sorrow that delivers us thus chang'd Makes you think so.


Like a dull actor now, 40

I have forgot my part, and I am out,
Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh,
Forgive my tyranny; but do not say
For that Forgive our Romans.' O! 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 virgin'd it e'er since. You gods! I prate,
And the most noble mother of the world
Leave unsaluted. Sink, my knee, i' the earth;

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Your knees to me! to your corrected son! Must, as a foreign recreant, be led
Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach With manacles thorough our streets, or else
Fillip the stars ; then let the mutinous winds Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin,
Strike the proud cedars 'gainst the fiery sun, And bear the palm for having bravely shed
Murd'ring impossibility, to make

61 Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, son, What cannot be, sliglit work.

I purpose not to wait on fortune till Vol.

Thou art my warrior ; These wars determine: if I cannot persuade thee I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady? Rather to show a noble grace to both parts 19 Cor. The noble sister of Publicola,

Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner The moon of Rome; chaste as the icicle

March to assault thy country than to tread, That's curdied by the frost from purest snow, Trust to 't thou shalt not, on thy mother's womb, And hangs on Dian's temple : dear Valeria! That brought thee to this world. Vol. This is a poor epitome of yours,


Ay, and mine, Which by the interpretation of full time That brought you forth this boy, to keep your May show like all yourself. Cor.

The god of soldiers, 70 Living to time. With the consent of supreme Jove, inform

A’ shall not tread on me : Thy thoughts with nobleness; that thou may'st I'll run away till I am bigger, but then I'll fight. prove

Cor. Not of a woman's tenderness to be, To shame unvulnerable, and stick i’ the wars Requires nor child nor woman's face to see. 139 Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw, I have sat too long.

Risin. And saving those that eye thee !


Nay, go not from us thus. Vol.

Your knee, sirrah. If it were so, that our request did tend Cor. That's my brave boy!

To save the Romans, thereby to destroy Vol. Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself, The Volsces whom you serve, you might conAre suitors to you.

demn us, Cor. I beseech you, peace;

As poisonous of your honour: no; our suit Or, if you 'd ask, remember this before :

Is, that you reconcile them : while the Volsces The thing I have forsworn to grant may never May say This mercy we have show'd'; the Be held by you denials. Do not bid me

Romans, Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate

*This we receiv'd'; and each in either side Again with Rome's mechanics : tell me not Give the all-hail to thee, and cry ‘Be bless'd Wherein I seem unnatural : desire not

For making up this peace!' Thou know'st, To allay my rages and revenges with

great son, Your colder reasons.

The end of war 's uncertain ; but this certain, Vol.

O! no more, no more ; That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit You have said you will not grant us any thing; Which thou shalt thereby reap is such a name. For we have nothing else to ask but that Whose repetition will be dogg'd with curses ; Which you deny already: yet we will ask ; Whose chronicle thus writ: “The man was That, if you fail in our request, the blame

noble, May hang upon your hardness. Therefore, hear But with his last attempt he wip'd it out,

Destroy'd his country, and his name remains Cor. Aufidius, and you Volsces, mark; for To the ensuing age abhorr’d.' Speak to me,

son ! Hear nought from Rome in private. Your Thou hast affected the fine strains of honour, request ?

To imitate the graces of the gods ; Vol. Should we be silent and not speak, our To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o'the air, raiment

And yet to charge thy sulphur with a bolt And state of bodies would bewray what life That should but rive an oak. Why dost not We have led since thy exile. Think with thyself speak? How more unfortunate than all living women Think'st thou it honourable for a noble man Are we come hither : since that thy sight, which Still to remember wrongs? Daughter, speak should

you: Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with He cares not for your weeping. Speak thou, comforts,

boy: Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and Perhaps thy childishness will move him more sorrow;

100 Than can our reasons. There's no man in the Making the mother, wife, and child, to see

world The son, the husband, and the father, tearing More bound to 's mother; yet here he lets me His country's bowels out. And to poor we

prate Thine enmity's most capital : thou barr’st us Like one i' the stocks. Thou hast never in thy Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort

life That all but we enjoy ; for how can we, Show'd thy dear mother any courtesy ; Alas! how can we for our country pray, When she, poor ben! fond of no second brood, Whereto we are bound, together with thy victory, Has cluck’d thee to the wars, and safely home, Whereto we are bound? Ålack! or we must lose Loaden with honour. Say my request 's upjust, The country, our dear nurse, or else thy person, And spurn me back; but if it be not so, Our comfort in the country. We must find in Thou art not honest and the gods will plague An evident calamity, though we had

thee, Our wish, which side should win ; for either thou | That thou restrain'st from me the duty which


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To a mother's part belongs. He turns away : a butterfly; yet your butterfly was a grub. This
Down, ladies ; let us shame him with our knees. | Marcius is grown from man to dragon : he has
To bis surname Coriolanus 'longs more pride 170 wings; he's more than a creeping thing.
Than pity to our prayers.

Down: an end ; Sic. He loved his mother dearly,
This is the last: so we will home to Rome,

Men. So did he me; and he no more re. And die among our neighbours. Nay, behold's. members his mother now than an eight-year-old This boy, that cannot tell what he would have, horse. The tartness of his face sours ripe But kneels and holds up hands for fellowship, grapes : when he walks, he moves like an engine, Does reason our petition with more strength and the ground shrinks before his treading : he Than thou hast to deny 't. Come, let us go. is able to pierce a corslet with his eye; talks This fellow had a Volscian to his mother ; like a knell, and his hum is a battery. He sits His wife is in Corioli, and his child

in his state, as a thing made for Alexander. Like him by chance. Yet give us our dispatch: What he bids be done is finished with his I am hush'd until our city be a-fire,

181 bidding. He wants nothing of a god but And then I'll speak a little.

eternity and a beaven to throne in. He holds VOLUMNIA by the hand, silent. Sic. Yes, mercy, if you report him truly. Cor.

O mother, mother! Men. I paint him in the character. Mark What have you done? Behold! the heavens do what mercy his mother shall bring from him : ope,

there is no more mercy in him than there is The gods look down, and this unnatural scene milk in a male tiger ; that shall our poor city They laugh at. O my mother! mother! 0! find : and all this is long of you. You have won a happy victory to Rome;

Sic. The gods be good unto us! But, for your son, believe it, O! believe it,

Men. No, in such a case the gods will not be Most dangerously you have with him prevaild, good unto us. When we banished him, we If not most mortal to him. But let it come. respected not them; and, he returning to break Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars, our necks, they respect not us. I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius,

Enter a Messenger. Were you in my stead, would you have heard Mess. Sir, if you 'd save your life, fly to your A mother less, or granted less, Aufidius?

house : Juf. I was mov'd withal.

The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune, Cor.

I dare be sworn you were : And hale him up and down ; all swearing, if And, sir, it is no little thing to make

The Roman ladies bring not comfort home, Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good sir, They 'll give him death by inches. What peace you 'll make, advise me : for my

Enter another Messenger. part, I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you ; and pray Sic.

What's the news ? you,

Mess. Good news, good news! the ladies have Stand to me in this cause. O mother! wife!

prevail'd, Auf. Aside. I am glad thou hast set thy mercy | The Volscians are dislodg'd, and Marcius gone. and thy honour

A merrier day did never yet greet Rome, At difference in thee: out of that I'll work No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins. Myself a former fortune.


Friend, The Ladies make signs to CORIOLANUS. | Art thou certain this is true? is it most certain ? Cor. To VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, etc. Ay, by and Mess. As certain as I know the sun is fire : by;

Where have you lurk'd that you make doubt But we will drink together; and you shall bear of it? A better witness back than words, which we, Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide, On like conditions, will have counter-seal’d. As the recomforted through the gates. Why, Come, enter with us. Ladies, you deserve

hark you! To have a temple built you: all the swords

Trumpets and hauthoys sounded, and drums In Italy, and her confederate arms,

beaten, all together. Shouting also within. Could not have made this peace. Exeunt. The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes,

Tabors, and cymbals, and the shouting Romans,

Make the sun dance. Hark you ! A shout within. SCENE IV.--Rome. A public Place.


This is good news :

I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia

Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians, Men. See you yond coign o' the Capitol, yond | A city full ; of tribunes, such as you, corner-stone?

A sea and land full. You have pray'd well to-day: Sic. Why, what of that?

This morning for ten thousand of your throats 60 Men. If it be possible for you to displace it I'd not have given a doit. Hark! how they joy. with your little finger, there is some hope the

Music still, with shouts. ladies of Rome, especially his mother, may Sic. First, the gods bless you for your tidings; prevail with him. But I say there is no hope next, in 't. Our throats are sentenced and stay upon Accept my thankfulness. execution.


Sir, we have all Sic. Is 't possible that so short a time can Great cause to give great thanks. alter the condition of a man ?


They are near the city ? Men. There is differency between a grub and Mess. Almost at point to enter.




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