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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. would not be a Roman, of all nations; I had as lieve be a condemned man.
1.2. Serv. Wherefore? wherefore?
3 Ser 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.
I 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.
Dissentious numbers pestering streets, than see Our tradesmen singing in their shops, and going About their functions friendly.
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. [Exeunt. SCENE VI.-Rome. A Public place. Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS.
All. In, in, in, in.
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
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.
Live, and thrive! Bru. Farewell, kind neighbours: We wish'd Coriolanus
Had lov'd you as we did.
Cit. Now the gods keep you! Both Tri. Farewell, farewell. [Exeunt Citizens. Sic. This is a happier and more comely time, Than when these fellows ran about the streets, Crying, Confusion.
I think not so.
Men. Sic. We should by this, to all our lamentation, If he had gone forth consul, found it so.
Bru. The gods have well prevented it, and Rome Sits safe and still without him.
Æd. Worthy tribunes, There is a slave, whom we have put in prison, Reports, the Volces with two several powers Are enter'd in the Roman territories; And with the deepest malice of the war Destroy what lies before them.
And durst not once peep out.
Come, what talk you
Cannot be! We have record, that very well it can ; And three examples of the like have been Within my age. But reason with the fellow, Before you punish him, where he heard this; Lest, you should chance to whip your information, And beat the messenger, who bids beware Of what is to be dreaded.
Tell not me:
I know, this cannot be. Bru.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. The nobles, in great earnestness, are going All to the senate-house: some news is come, That turns their countenances.
"Tis this slave ;
Go whip him 'fore the people's eyes :—his raising!
Mess. It is spoke freely out of many mouths,
The very trick on't.
Men. This is unlikely:
He and Aufidius can no more atone,
Enter another Messenger.
Enter a Troop of Citizens.
And not a hair upon a soldier's head,
Cit. 'Faith, we hear fearful news.
Com. O, you have made good work!
3 Cit. And so did I; and to say the truth, so did Com. You have holp to ravish your own daugh- very many of us: That we did, we did for the best:
and though we willingly consented to his banish-
Com. You are goodly things, you voices!
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.
Mess. You are sent for to the senate:
What news? what news?
To melt the city leads upon your pates;
Pray now, your news?-
If Marcius should be join'd with Volscians,-
He is their god; he leads them like a thing
Your Rome about your ears.
You have made good work,
He will shake
Did shake down mellow fruit: You have made fair
The noble man have mercy.
Say not, we brought it. Men. How! Was it we? We lov'd him; but, like beasts,
And cowardly nobles, gave way to your clusters,
You, and your crafts! you have crafted fair!
2 Cit. So did we all. But come, let's home.
Bru. I do not like this news.
Pray, let us go.
Sic. [Exeunt. SCENE VII.-A Camp; at a small distance from
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
Even with the same austerity and garb
To extol what it hath done.
One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail; Rights by rights fouler, strength by strengths, do fail. Come, let's away. When, Caius, Rome is thine, Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine. [Exeunt.
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.
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.
You are the musty chaff; and you are smelt
Would be your country's pleader, your good tongue
No; I'll not meddle.
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
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, our 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 Till he be dieted to my request, [him
And then I'll set upon him.
Bru. You know the very road into his kindness, And cannot lose your way.
Good faith, I'll prove him, Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge Of my success. [Exit. Com. He'll never hear him.
Unless his noble mother, and his wife;
For mercy to his country. Therefore, let's hence,
1 G. Stay: Whence are you?
I am an officer of state, and come
1 G. Men.
From Rome. 1 G. You may not pass, you must return: our Will no more hear from thence.
2 G. You'll see your Rome embrac'd with fire, You'll speak with Coriolanus. [before Good my friends, If you have heard your general talk of Rome, And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks, My name hath touch'd your ears: it is Menenius. 1 G. Be it so; go back: the virtue of your name 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 read
I have tumbled past the throw; and in his praise
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?
2 G. 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.
(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'stAuf. You keep a constant temper.
[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?
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,
Cor. Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs Makes you think so.
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;
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.
Cor. That's my brave boy. Vol. Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself, Are suitors to you.
I beseech you, peace: 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.
O, no more, no more!
And state of bodies would bewray what life
Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with comforts, Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and
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.
Making the mother, wife, and child, to see
Ay, and on mine,
To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o'the air,
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!