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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 cast
Your stinking, greasy caps, in hooting at
Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming;
And not a hair upon a soldier's head,
Which will not prove a whip; as many coxcombs,
As threw caps up, will he tumble down,
And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter;
If he should 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 for the best 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 [Capitol? Good work, you and your cry!-Shall us to the Com. O, ay; what else? [exeunt Com. and Men. 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. And show no sign of fear.

Go home,

1 Cit. The gods be good to us! Come, masters, iet'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 Would buy this for a lie! [wealth [exeunt.

Sic. Pray, let us go.



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


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.

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To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly,
And shows 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,
Whene'er we come to our account. [Rome?

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
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 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 casque to the cushion, but commanding
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 thine, Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine. [cxeunt.

Com. He would not seem to know me.
Men. Do you hear?


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:


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1 Guard. '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 Guard. 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 Guard. You are a Roman, are you! Men. I am as thy general is gain

1 Guard. Then you should hate Rome, as he does. Can you, when you have pushed 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 think to blow you 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 Guard. Come, my captain knows you not. Men. I mean, thy general. Sura out of 1 Guard. My general cares not for you. 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. Cor. Away! Men. How! away?

My [affairs

Cor. Wife, mother, child, I know not.
Are servanted to others: though I owe
My revenge properly, my remission lies
In Volcian 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 loy'd thee,
Take this along; I writ it for thy sake, [gives a letter,
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.
[exeunt Coriolanus and Aufidius.
1 Guard. Now, sir, is your name Menenius?
2 Guard. 'Tis a spell, you see, of much power:
you know the way home again.

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



2 Guard. 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 vou are, long; and your misery increase with your age! I say to you, as I was said to, Away!

1 Guard. A noble fellow, I warrant him. 2 Guard. The worthy fellow is our general he is the rock, the oak not to be wind-shaken. et

SCENE III. THE TENT OF CORIOLANUS, HP Enter Coriolanus, Aufidius, and others wit 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 ords, 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 show'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'sey worth? or those dove's eyes,
Which can make gods forsworn?-I melt, and am


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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 kis
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
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,
I kneel before thee; and unproperly
Show duty, as mistaken all the while
Between the child and parent.
Cor. What is this?

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Your knees to me? to your corrected son?
Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach

Filip 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.

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.


purpose not to wait on fortune, till

These wars determine: if I cannot persuade thes
Rather to show a noble grace to both parts,

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 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
Thythoughtswith nobleness; that thou may'st prove
To shame unvulnerable, and stick i'the wars
Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,
And saving those that eye thee!

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
As poisonous of your honour: no; our suit [us,
Is, that you reconcile them: while the Volces

Vol. Your knee, sirrah.

Cor. That's my brave boy.

Vol. Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself, May say, 'this mercy we have show'd ;' the Romans, Are suitors to you.

Cor. I beseech you, peace:

'This we receiv'd;' 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 strains of honour,
To imitate the graces of the gods;


Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with
Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and sor
Making the mother, wife, and child, to see [row;
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

To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o'the air,
And yet to charge the 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
More bound to his mother; yet here he lets me
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,
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; and end ;-
This is the last;-so we will home to Rome, [us:—
And die among our neighbours.-Nay, behold
This boy, that cannot tell what he would have,

Our wish, which side should win: for either thou But kneels, and holds up hands for fellowship,
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, son,

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.—

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
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 rai-
And state of bodies, would bewray what life [ment,
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

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
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. "A"


am hush'd until our city be afire, 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. 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 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

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.

SCENE IV. ROME. A PUBLIC PLACE. Enter Menenius and Sicinius.

male tiger; that shall our poor city find: and all this is 'long of you.

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

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

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.

Enter a Messenger.

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 creep 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 sour 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

Mess. Sir, if you'd save your life, fly to your The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune, [house: 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? [prevail'd Mess. Good news, good news;—the ladies hav The Volces are dislodg'd, and Marcius gone: A merrier day did never yet greet Rome, No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins. Sic. Friend,

I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians, [exeunt. A city full; of tribunes, such as you,

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! [shouting again. Men. This is good news:

Men. See you yond' coign o'the Capitol: yond' I'd not have given a doit. corner-stone?

A sea and land full: you have pray'd well to-day; This morning, for ten thousand of your throats Hark, how they joy! [shouting and music. you for your tidings: [next,

Sic. First, the gods bless
Accept my thankfulness.

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.

[going. Enter the Ladies, accompanied by Senators, Patri cians, 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 Unshout the noise that banish'd Marcius: [them: Repeal him with the welcome of his mother Cry,-welcome, ladies, welcome! All. Welcome, ladies! Welcome!

[a flourish with drums and trumpets; exeunt.


Enter Tullus Aufidius, with Attendants. 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 L 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

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