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But with his last attempt he wip'd 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 strains 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 369
Still to remember wrongs i-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
More bound to his mother ; yet here he lets me prate,
Like one i' the stocks. Thou hast never in thy life
Shew'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,
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, 390
Does reason our petition with more strength
Than thou hast to deny't. -Come, let us go :
This fellow had a Volsce unto his mother;
His wife is in Corioli, and this child
Like him by chance :-Yet give us our dispatch :
I am hush'd until our city be afire,
And then I'll speak a little.
Cor. Mother, mother !-
[Holds her by the Hands, silent,
What have you done? Behold, the heavens do ope,
The gods look down, and this unnatural scene 400
They laugh at. O my mother, mother! O!
You have won a happy victory to Rome :
But, for your son-believe it, 0, 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 mov'd 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
At difference in thee; out of that I'll work
Myself a former fortune,
[ Aside. [The Ladies make signs to CORIOLANUS. Cor. Ay, by and by ;
429 But we will drink together; and you shall bear
[To VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, &c.
A better witness back than words, which we,
Onlike 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.
The Forum, in Rome. Enter MENENIUS, and SICINIUS.
Men. See you yon coign o' the Capitol ; yon corner-stone ? Sic. Why, what of that?
400 Men. If it be possible for you to displace it with your little finger, there is some hope the ladies of Rome, especially his mother, may prevail with him. But, I say, there is no hope in't; our throats are sentenc'd, and stay upon execution.
Sic. Is't possible, that so short a time can alter the condition of a man?
Men. There is difference 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.
441 Sic. He lov d 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 be. fore 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 finish'd with his bidding. He wants nothing of a god, but eternity, and a heaven to throne in.
452 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 tyger; and that shall our poor city find; and all this is Plong of you. Sic. The gods be good unto us!
459 Men. No, in such a case the gods will not be good
When we banish'd him, we respected not them : and, he returning to break our necks, they respect not us.
Enter a Messenger. Mes. Sir, if you'd save your life, fly to your house : The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune, And hiale 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?
Mes. Good news, good news!-The ladies have
The Volsces are dislodg'd and Marcius gone :
A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins.
Art thou certain this is true? is it most certain ?
Mes. 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 hurry'd the blown tide,
As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark
[Trumpets, Hautboys, Drums beat, all together.
The trumpets, sacbuts, psalteries, and fifes, 485
Tabors, and cymbals, and the shouting Romans,
Make the sun dance. Hark you! [A Shout within.
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;
This morning, for ten thousand of your throats
I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!
[Sound still, with the Shouts.