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Nay, temperately; your promise.
Cor. The fires i' the lowest hell fold in the people!
Call me their traitor ? Thou injurious tribune,
Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths,
In thy hands clutch'd as many millions, in
Thy lying tongue both numbers, I would say,
Thou liest, unto thee, with a voice as free
As I do pray the gods.
Mark you this, people ?
Cit. To the rock! to the rock with him!
We need not put new matter to his charge:
What you have seen him do, and heard him speak,
Beating your officers, cursing yourselves,
Opposing laws with strokes, and here defying
Those whose great power must try him; even this,
So criminal, and in such capital kind,
Deserves th' extremest death.
But since he hath
Sery'd well for Rome,
What do you prate of service?
Bru. I talk of that, that know it.
The promise that you made your mother?
I pray you,
Cor. I'll know no farther.
Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,
Vagabond exile, flaying, pent to linger
But with a grain a day, I would not buy
Their mercy at the price of one fair word,
Nor check my courage for what they can give,
To have't with saying, good morrow.
For that he has
(As much as in him lies) from time to time
Enyied against the people, seeking means
To pluck away their power; as now at last
Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers
That do distribute it; in the name o' the people,
And in the power of us, the tribunes, we,
Even from this instant, banish him our city,
In peril of precipitation
From off the rock Tarpeian, never more
To enter our Rome gates. I' the people's name,
I say, it shall be so.
Cit. It shall be so, it shall be so: let him away.
He's banish’d, and it shall be so.
Com. Hear me, my masters, and my common friends;
Sic. He's sentenc'd: no more hearing.
Let me speak.
I have been consul, and can show from Rome,
Ker enemies' marks upon me.
I do love
My country's good, with a respect more tender,
More holy and profound, than mine own life,
My dear wife 's estimate, her womb's increase,
And treasure of my loins; then, if I would
Sic. We know your drift. Speak what?
Bru. There's no more to be said; but he is banish'd, As enemy to the people, and his country. It shall be so.
Cit. It shall be so: it shall be so.
Cor. You common cry of curs ! whose breath I hate
As reek o'the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
As the dead carcasses of unburied men
That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
And here remain with your uncertainty.
Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts !
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
Fan you into despair! Have the power still
To banish your defenders; till, at length,
Your ignorance, (which finds not, till it feels)
Making not reservation of yourselves,
(Still your own foes) deliver you as most
Abated captives, to some nation
That won you without blows! Despising,
For you, the city, thus I turn my back.
There is a world elsewhere.
[Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, MENENIUS, Sena
tors, and Patricians. Æd. The people's enemy is gone, is gone! Cit. Our enemy is banish’d! he is gone! Hoo! hoo!
[The People shout, and throw up their caps. Sic. Go, see him out at gates; and follow him, As he hath follow'd you, with all despite: Give him deserv'd vexation. Let a guard Attend us through the city.
Cit. Come, come; let us see him out at gates: come. The gods preserve our noble tribunes! Come. [Exeunt.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
The Same. Before a Gate of the City. Enter CORIOLANUS, VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, MENENIUS,
COMINIUS, and several young Patricians.
Cor. Come, leave your tears: a brief farewell. The beast
With many heads Butts me away. Nay, mother,
Where is your ancient courage? you were us'd
To say, extremity was the trier of spirits ;
That common chances common men could bear; .
That, when the sea was calm, all boats alike
Show'd mastership in floating; fortune's blows,
When most struck home, being gentle wounded, craves
À noble cunning. You were us’d to load me
With precepts, that would make invincible
The heart that conn'd them.
Vir. O heavens! O heavens !
Nay, I pr’ythee, woman,
Vol. Now, the red pestilence strike all trades in Rome,
And occupations perish!
What, what, what!
I shall be lov'd when I am lack’d. Nay, mother,
Resume that spirit, when you were wont to say,
If you had been the wife of Hercules,
Six of his labours you 'd have done, and say'd
Your husband so much sweat. - Cominius,
Droop not: adieu. 7 Farewell, my wife! my mother!
I'll do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius,
Thy tears are salter than a younger man's,
And venomous to thine eyes. My sometime general,
I have seen thee stern, and thou hast oft beheld
Heart-hardening spectacles; tell these sad women,
'T is fond to wail inevitable strokes,
As 't is to laugh at 'em. My mother, you wot well,
My hazards still have been your solace; and
Believe 't not lightly, though I go alone,
Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen
Makes fear'd, and talk'd of more than seen, your son
Will or exceed the common, or be caught
With cautelous baits and practice.
My first son,
Whither wilt thou go? Take good Cominius
With thee a while: determine on some course, .
More than a wild exposture to each chance,
That starts i' the way before thee.
O the gods!
Com. I'll follow thee a month; devise with thee
Where thou shalt rest, that thou may'st hear of us,
And we of thee: so, if the time thrust forth
A cause for thy repeal, we shall not send
O'er the vast world to seek a single man,
And lose advantage, which doth ever cool
l' the absence of the needer.
Fare ye well :
Thou hast years upon thee; and thou art too full
Of the wars' surfeits, to go rove with one
That's yet unbruis’d: bring me but out at gate.
Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and
My friends of noble touch, when I am forth,
Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you, come.
While I remain above the ground, you shall
Hear from me still; and never of me aught
But what is like me formerly,
That 's worthily
As any ear can hear. — Come; let's not weep.
If I could shake off but one seven years
From these old arms and legs, by the good gods,
I'd with thee every foot.
Give me thy hand.
The Same. A Street near the Gate.
Enter SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and an Ædile.
Sic. Bid them all home: he's gone, and we'll no farther. -
The nobility are vex'd, who, we see, have sided
In his behalf.
Bru. Now we have shown our power,
Let us seem humbler after it is done,
Than when it was a doing.
Bid them home:
Say, their great enemy is gone, and they
Stand in their ancient strength.
Dismiss them home.
[Exit Ædile. Enter VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, and MENENIUS. Here comes his mother. Sic.
Let's not meet her. Bru.
Why? Sic. They say, she's mad.