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Sic. This is most likely!

Com. You have brought

Bru. Rais'd only, that the weaker sort may A trembling upon Rome, such as was never

Good Marcius home again.


So incapable of help.

Sic. The very trick on't.

Men. This is unlikely:

He and Aufidius can no more atone,*

Than violentest contrariety.

Enter another MESSENGER.

Mess. You are sent for to the senate:
A fearful army, led by Caius Marcius,
Associated with Aufidius, rages
Upon our territories; and have already,
O'erborne their way, consum'd with fire, and
What lay before them.



Com. O, you have made good work!
Men. What news? what news?
Com, You have holp to ravish your own
daughters, and

To melt the city leads upon your pates;
To see your wives dishonour'd to your


Men. What's the news? what's the news? Com. Your temples burn'd in their cement; and

Your franchises, whereon you stood, confin'd Into an augre's bore.t

Men. Pray now, your news?

You have made fair work, I fear me :-Pray, your news?

If Marcius should be join'd with Volcians,-
Com. If!

He is their god; he leads them like a thing
Made by some other deity than nature,
That shapes man better: and they follow him,
Against us brats, with no less confidence,
Than boys pursuing summer butterflies,
Or butchers killing flies.

Men. You have made good work,
You, and your apron men; you that stood so
Upon the voice of occupation, and
The breath of garlic-eaters!

Com. He will shake

Your Rome about your ears.

Men. As Hercules


Tri. Say not, we brought it.

Men. How! Was it we? We lov'd him; but, like beasts,


And cowardly nobles, gave way to your clusWho did hoot him out o'the city.

Com. But, I fear,

They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
The second name of men, obeys his points
As if he were his officer:-Desperation
Is all the policy, strength, and defence,
That Rome can make against them.

Enter a Troop of CITIZENS.

Men. Here come the clusters.And is Aufidius with him?-You are they That made the air unwholesome, when you


Your stinking, greasy caps, in hooting at
And not a hair upon a soldier's head,
Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming;
Which will not prove a whip; as many cox.

As you threw caps up, will he tumble down,
And pay you for your voices. "Tis no matter;
If he could burn us all into one coal,
We have deserv'd it.

Cit. 'Faith, we hear fearful news.
1 Cit. For mine own part,

When I said, banish him, I said, 'twas pity. 2 Cit. And so did I.

3 Cit. And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did very many of us: That we did, we did ed to his banishment, yet it was against our for the best: and though we willingly consent


Com. You are goodly things, you voices!
Men. You have made

Good work, you and your cry!*-Shall us to the Capitol?

Com. O, ay; what else?

[Exeunt Coм. and MEN, Sic. Go, masters, get you home, be not dismay'd;

Did shake down mellow fruit: You have made These are a side, that would be glad to have

fair work!

Bru. But is this true, Sir?

Com. Ay; and you'll look pale Before you find it other. All the regions Do smilingly revolt; and, who resist, Are only mock'd for valiant ignorance, And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame him?

Your enemies, and his, find something in him. Men. We are all undone, unless

The noble man have mercy.

Com. Who shall ask it?

The tribunes cannot do't for shame; the people
Deserve such pity of him, as the wolf
Does of the shepherds: for his best friends,

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This true, which they so seem to fear. Go And show no sign of fear.

[home, 1 Cit. The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let's home. I ever said, we were i'the wrong, when we banished him. 2 Cit. So did we all. But come, let's home. [Exeunt CITIZENS. Bru. I do not like this news. Sic. Nor I.

Bru. Let's to the Capitol-Would, half my wealth

Would buy this for a lie!
Sic. Pray, let us go.

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And so he thinks, and is no less apparent To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly, [state; And shows good husbandry for the Volcian 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 Whene'er we come to our account. [mine, Lieu. Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry Rome?


Auf. All places yield to him ere he sits And the nobility of Rome are his : The senators, and patricians, love him too: The tribunes are no soldiers; and their people Will be as rash in the repeal, as hasty

To expel him thence. I think, he'll be to

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 judgement,
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 casquet to the cushion, but com-
manding peace

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,
Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair
To extol what it hath done.

One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail;
Rights by rights fouler, strengths by strengths
do fail.
Come, let's away. When, Caius, Rome is
Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou


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But what o'that? Go, you that banish'd him, A mile before his tent fall down, and kneel 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. Men. Do you hear?

Com. Yet one time he did call me by my


I urg'd our old acquaintance, and the drops
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 i'the fire
Of burning Rome.

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.
Men. Very well:

Could he say less?

Com. I offer'd to awaken his regard For his 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. For one poor grain

Or two? I am one of those; his mother, wife, His child, and this brave fellow too, we are the grains:

You are the musty chaff; and you are smelt Above the moon: We must be burnt for you. Sic. Nay, pray, be patient: If you refuse

your aid

In this so never-heeded help, yet do not [you Upbraid us with our distress. But, sure, if Would be your country's pleader, your good


More than the instant army we can make,
Might stop our countryman.

Men. No; I'll not meddle.
Sic. I pray you, go to him.
Men. What should I do?

Bru. Only make trial what your love can do For Rome towards Marcius.

Men. Well, and say that Marcius
Return me, as Cominius is return'd,
Unheard; what then?-

But as a discontented friend, grief-shot
With his unkindness? Say't be so?
Sic. Yet your good will

Must have that thanks from Rome, after the


As you intended well.

Men. I'll undertake it:

I think, he'll hear me. Yet to bite his lip, And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me. He was not taken well; he had not din'd: The veins unfill'd, the blood is cold, and then We pout upon the morning, are unapt

To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff'd These pipes and these conveyances of our blood

With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls Than in our priest-like fasts: therefore I'll watch him

Till he be dieted to my request,
And then I'll set upon him.

Bru. You know the very road into his kindAnd cannot loose your way. [ness,

* Condescended unwillingly. +Harassed by exactions. + Memorial.

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Men. Good faith, I'll prove him,
Speed how it will. I shall ere long have

Of my success.

Com. He'll never hear him.

Sic. Not?


Com. I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye
Red as 'twould burn Rome; and his injury
The jailer to his pity. I kneel'd before him;
'Twas very faintly he said, Rise; dismiss'd me
Thus, with his speechless hand: What he
would do,
He sent in writing after me; what he could
Bound with an oath, to yield to his conditions:
So, that all hope is vain,

Unless his noble mother, and his wife;
Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him
For mercy to his country. Therefore, let's
And with our fair entreaties haste them on.
SCENE II.-An advanced Post of the Volcian
Camp, before Rome. The GUARD at their Sta-

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.


would not speak with him till after dinner.
Men. Has he dined, can'st thou tell? for I
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 my your shield, think to front his revenges a violent popular ignorance, given your enenal palms of your daughters, or with the palwith the easy groans of old women, the virgiyou seem to be? Can you think to blow out sied intercession of such a decayed datant* as 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, fest I let forth your half pint of blood;-back,-that's the utmost of your having:-back.

Men. Nay, but fellow, fellow,


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;

1 G. You may not pass, you must return: guardant cannot office me from my son Corio

our general

Will no more hear from thence.

2 G. You'll see your Rome embrac'd with fire before

You'll speak with Coriolanus.

Men. Good ny friends,

If you have neard your general talk of Rome,
And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks,
My name hath touch'd your ears: it is Mene-


1 G. Be it so; go back: the virtue of your
Is not here passable.

Men. I tell thee, fellow,
Thy general is my lover: I have been
The book of his good acts, whence men have


His fame unparallel'd, haply, amplified;
For I have ever verified; my friends,
(Of whom he's chief,) with all the size that
Would without lasping suffer: nay, some-
Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground,

I have tumbled past the throw; and in his
Have, almost, stamp'd the leasing:¶ There-
fore, fellow,

I must have leave to pass.

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.

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lanus: 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.particular prosperity, and love thee no worse The glorious gods sit in hourly synod about thy son! my son! thou art preparing fire for us; than thy old father Menenius does! O, my hardly moved to come to thee; but being aslook thee, here's water to quench it. I was sured, none but myself could move thee, I have been blown out of your gates with sighs; and tionary countrymen. The good gods assuage conjure thee to pardon Rome, and thy petithy wrath, and turn the dregs of it upon this varlet here; this, who, like a block, hath denied my access to thee.

Cor. Away!

Men. How! away?`

Cor. Wife, mother, child, I know not. My

Are servanted to others: Though I owe
In Volcian breasts. That we have been fa-
My revenge properly, my remission lies

Than pity note how much.-Therefore, be
Ingrate forgetfulness shall poison, rather


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,
And would have sent it. Another word, Me-
[Gives a Letter.
Was my beloved in Rome: yet thou behold'st-
I will not hear thee speak.-This man, Aufi-
Auf. You keep a constant temper.


* Dotard, † Fellow, Jack in office.


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


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. 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.


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The first conditions, which they did refuse,
And cannot now accept, to grace him only,
That thought he could do more; a very little
I have yielded too: Fresh embassies, and suits,
Nor from the state, nor private friends, here-

Will I lend ear to.-Ha! what shout is this?
[Shout within.

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 AT-

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Wherein this trunk was fram'd, and in her hand The grand-child to her blood. But, out, affection!

am not

All bond and privilege of nature, break!
Let it be virtuous, to be obstinate.- [eyes,
What is that curt'sy worth? or those doves?
Which can make gods forsworn?—I melt, and
Of stronger earth than others.-My inother
As if Olympus to a molehill should
.n supplication nod: and my young boy
Hath an aspect of intercession, which
Great nature cries, Deny not,-Let the Volces
Plough Rome, and harrow Italy; I'll never
Be such a gosling to obey instinct; but stand,
As if a man were author of himself,

And knew no other kin.

Vir. My lord and husband!

Vir. The sorrow, that delivers us thus Makes you think so.

Cor. Like a dull actor now,


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! [kiss
Now by the jealous queen of heaven, that
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;
Of thy deep duty more impression show
Than that of common sons.

Vol. O, stand up bless'd!
Whilst, with no softer cushion than the flint,
kneel before thee; and unproperly
Show duty, as mistaken all the while
Between the child and parent.

Cor. What is this?


Your knees to me? to your corrected son?
Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach
Fillip the stars; then let the mutinous winds
Strike the proud cedars 'gainst the fiery sun;
Murd'ring impossibility, to make
What cannot be, slight work.

Vol. Thou art my warrior;

I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady?
Cor. The noble sister of Publicola,
The moon of Rome; chaste as the icicle,
That's curded by the frost from purest snow,
And bangs 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 may'st

To shame unvulnerable, and stick i'the wars
Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,t
And saving those that eye thee!

Vol. Your knee, Sirrah.

Cor. That's my brave boy.

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


Cor. I beseech you, peace:
Or, if you'd ask, remember this before;
The things, I have forsworn to grant, may


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 any thing;
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 [us.
May hang upon your hardness: therefore hear
Cor. Aufidius, and you Volces, mark; for


[request? Hear nought from Rome in private.-Your 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 Cor. These eyes are not the same I wore in Are we come hither: since that thy sight which


* Reorimanded.


† Ovenly.

A young goose.

* Juno.

+ Gust, storm.


with comforts,

Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance | Like one i'the stocks. Thou hast never in thy Show'd thy dear mother any courtesy; [life When she (poor hen!) fond of no second brood,

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
Whereto we are bound? Alack! or we must
The country, our dear nurse; or else thy per-

Our comfort in the country. We must find
An evident calamity, though we had [thou
Our wish, which side should win: for either
Must, as a foreign recreant, be led

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,
I purpose not to wait on fortune, till [son,
These wars determine:* if I cannot persuade

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
That brought thee to this world. [womb,

Vir. Ay, and on mine,
That brought you forth this boy, to keep your
Living to time.
Boy. He shall not tread on me; [fight.
I'll run away, till I am bigger, but then I'll
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 con

demn 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 Ro

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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 wip'd it out;
Destroyed 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

Think'st thou it honourable for a noble man
Still to remember wrongs?--Daughter, speak

He cares not for your weeping.-Speak thou, Perhaps, thy childishness will move him more Than can our reasons.-There is no man in the world [prate More bound to his mother; yet here he lets me

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Has cluck'd thee to the wars, and safely home, Loaden with honour. Say, my request's un


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, be
hold 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 des-
I am hush'd until our city be afire, [patch:
And then I'll speak a little.

Cor. O mother, mother!

[Holding VOLUMNIA by the Hands, silent. What have you done? Behold, the heavens do ope,

The gods look down, and this unnatural scene
They laugh at. Omy 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 Au-
Were you in my stead, say, would you have
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

[you, I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you; and pray 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 a former fortune.

[Aside. [The ladies make signs to CORIOLANUS. Cor. Ay, by and by;

[To VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, &c. 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. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV.-Rome.-A public Place.

Enter MENENIUS and SICINIUS. 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 unger, there is some hope the

* Angle.

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