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say that: for the defence of a town, our general is 1 Serv. Ay, and for an assault too. [excellent. Re-enter third Servant.
3 Serv. O, slaves, I can tell you news; news, you rascals.
1.2. Serv. What, what, what? let's partake. 3 Serv. I would not be a Roman, of all nations; I had as lieve be a condemned man.
1.2. Serv. Wherefore? wherefore?
3 Serv. Why, here's he that was wont to thwack our general,-Caius Marcius.
1 Serv. Why do you say, thwack our general? 3 Serv. I do not say, thwack our general; but he was always good enough for him.
2 Serv. Come, we are fellows, and friends: he was ever too hard for him; I have heard him say so himself.
1 Serv. He was too hard for him directly, to say the truth on't: before Corioli he scotched him and notched him like a carbonado.
2 Serv. An he had been cannibally given, he might have broiled and eaten him too.
1 Serv. But, more of thy news?
3 Serv. Why, he is so made on here within, as if he were son and heir to Mars: set at upper end o'the table: no question asked him by any of the senators, but they stand bald before him: Our general himself makes a mistress of him; sanctifies himself with's hand, and turns up the white o'the eye to his discourse. But the bottom of the news is, our general is cut i'the middle, and but one half of what he was yesterday; for the other has half, by the entreaty and grant of the whole table. He'll go, he says, and sowle the porter of Rome gates by the ears: He will mow down all before him, and leave his passage poll'd. 2 Serv. And he's as like to do't, as any man I can imagine.
3 Serv. Do't? he will do't: For, look you, sir, he has as many friends as enemies: which friends, sir, (as it were,) durst not (look you, sir,) shew themselves (as we term it,) his friends, whilst he's in directitude.
1 Serv. Directitude! what's that?
3. Serv. But when they shall see, sir, his crest up again, and the man in blood, they will out of their burrows, like conies after rain, and revel all with him.
1 Serv. But when goes this forward?
3 Serv. To-morrow; to-day; presently. You shall have the drum struck up this afternoon: 'tis, as it were, a parcel of the feast, and to be executed ere they wipe their lips.
2 Serv. Why, then we shall have a stiring world again. This peace is nothing, but to rust iron, increase tailors, and breed ballad-makers.
1 Serv. Let me have war, say I; it exceeds peace, as far as day does night; it's spritely, waking, audible, and full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible; a getter of more bastard children, than wars a destroyer of men.
2 Serv. 'Tis so: and as wars, in some sort, may be said to be a ravisher; so it cannot be denied, but peace is a great maker of cuckolds.
1 Serv. Ay, and it makes men hate one another. 3 Serv. Reason; because they then less need one another. The wars for my money. I hope to see Romans as cheap as Volcians. They are rising, they are rising.
All. In, in, in, in.
SCENE VI.-Rome. A Public place. Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS. Sic. We hear not of him, neither need we fear him; His remedies are tame i' the present peace And quietness o'the people, which before Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends Blush, that the world goes well; who rather had, Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold
Dissentious numbers pestering streets, than see Our tradesmen singing in their shops, and going About their functions friendly.
Bru. We stood to't in good time. Is this Menenius?
Sic. 'Tis he, 'tis he: O, he is grown most kind Of late. Hail, sir! Men.
Hail to you both!
Sic. Your Coriolanus, sir, is not much miss'd,
He could have temporiz'd.
Enter three or four Citizens. Cit. The gods preserve you both! Sic. Good-e'en, our neighbours. Bru. Good-e'en to you all, good-e'en to you all. 1 Cit. Ourselves, our wives, and children, on our knees,
Are bound to pray for you both.
Caius Marcius was
A worthy officer i' the war; but insolent,
Com. O, you have made good work!
What news? what news?
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.
Com. You have holp to ravish your own daugh- very many of us: That we did, we did for the best: 3 Cit. And so did I; and to say the truth, so did
To melt the city leads upon your pates;
To see your wives dishonour'd to your noses ;-
Pray now, your news?—
You have made fair work, I fear me :-Pray, your
Your Rome about your ears. Men.
He will shake
Did shake down mellow fruit: You have made fair
Does of the shepherds: for his best friends, if they
and though we willingly consented to his banishment, yet it was against our will.
Com. You are goodly things, you voices! Men. You have made Good work, you and your cry!-Shall us to the Com. O, ay; what else? [Capitol? [Exeunt Com. and Men. These are a side, that would be glad to have Sic. Go, masters, get you home, be not dismay'd; This true, which they so seem to fear. Go home, And shew no sign of fear.
1 Cit. The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let's home. I ever said, we were i'the wrong, when we banish'd him.
2 Cit. So did we all. But come, let's home.
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. Auf. I cannot help it now; Unless, by using means, I lame the foot Of our design. He bears himself more proadlier 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 sure, When he shall come to his account, he knows not What I can urge against him. Although it seems, And so he thinks, and is no less apparent To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly, And shews good husbandry for the Volcian state; 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,
The senators, and patricians, love him too:
To expel him thence. I think, he'll be to Rome,
Even with the same austerity and garb
One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail;
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 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 Com. Yet one time he did call me by my name : 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.
Could he say less?
Com. I offer'd to awaken his regard
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 Upbraid us with our distress, But, sure, if you
Well, and say that Marcius
Return me, as Cominius is return'd,
But as a discontented friend, grief-shot
To give or to forgive; but, when we have stuff'd
Bru. You know the very road into his kindness, And cannot lose your way.
He'll never hear him.
Good faith, I'll prove him,
Unless his noble mother, and his wife;
For mercy to his country. Therefore, let's hence,
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
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 push'd 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 upon this varlet here; this, who, like a block, hath denied my access to thee.
Men. How! away?
2G. 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.
1 G. Á noble fellow, I warrant him. 2G. The worthy fellow is our general: He is the rock, the oak not to be wind-shaken. [Exeunt.
SCENE III.-The Tent of Coriolanus. Enter CORIOLANUS, AUFIDIUS, and others. Cor. We will before the walls of Rome to-morrow Set down our host.-My partner in this action, You must report to the Volcian lords, how plainly I have borne this business. Auf.
Only their ends You have respected; stopp'd your ears against The general suit of Rome; never admitted A private whisper, no, not with such friends That thought them sure of you. Cor. This last old man, Whom with a crack'd heart I have sent to Rome, Lov'd me above the measure of a father; Nay, godded me, indeed. Their latest refuge Was to send him; for whose old love, I have (Though I shew'd sourly to him,) once more offer'd 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, hereafter 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 Attendants. My wife comes foremost; then the honour'd mould Wherein this trunk was fram'd, and in her hand The grand-child to her blood. But, out, affection! All bond and privilege of nature, break! Let it be virtuous, to be obstinate.What is that curt'sy worth? or those dove's eyes, Which can make gods forsworn?--I melt, and am not Of stronger earth than others.-My mother bows; As if Olympus to a molehill should In 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! Cor. These eyes are not the same I wore in Rome. Vir. The sorrow, that delivers us thus chang'd, 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! 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; (Kneels.)
Cor. Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs Makes you think so.
In Volcian breasts. That we have been familiar,
(Gives a letter.)
[Exeunt Coriolanus and Aufidius. 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?
Of thy deep duty more impression shew Than that of common sons.
O, stand up bless'd! Whilst, with no softer cushion than the flint, I kneel before thee; and unproperly Shew duty, as mistaken all the while Between the child and parent.
What is this?
What cannot be, slight work.
Thou art my warrior;
The god of soldiers,
Your knee, sirrah.
Cor. That's my brave boy.
I beseech you, peace:
O, no more, no more!
You have said, you will not grant us any thing;
And state of bodies would bewray what life
Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with
Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and
Making the mother, wife, and child, to see
Ay, and on mine,
That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name
He shall not tread on me;
I'll run away till I am bigger, but then I'll fight.
Nay, go not from us thus.
To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o'the air,
O mother, mother!
I dare be sworn, you were: