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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 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.

He 'll never hear him.

Com. I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye
Red as 't would burn Rome, and his injury
The gaoler to his pity. I kneel'd before him;
'T was 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 would not,
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 hence,
And with our fair entreaties haste them on.


SCENE II. The Volscian Camp before Rome. The Guards at their Stations.

Enter to them, MENENIUS. 1 G. Stay! Whence are you? 2 G.

Stand, and go back. Men. You guard like men: 't is well; but, by your leave, I am an officer of state, and come To speak with Coriolanus. 1 G.

From whence? Men.

From Rome. 1 G. You may not pass; you must return: 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.

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.

I tell thee, fellow,
Thy general is my lover: I have been
The book of his good acts, whence men have read
His fame unparalleld, haply, amplified;
For I have ever verified my friends,
(Of whom he 's chief) with all the size that verity
Would without lapsing suffer: nay, sometimes,
Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground,
I have tumbled past the throw, and in his praise
Have almost stamp'd the leasing. Therefore,

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.

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. when you have pushed out your gtates 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

Can you, 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 at 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,

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 lant 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?

Cor. Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs
Are servanted to others: though I owe
My revenge properly, my remission lies

In Volscian 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 lov'd thee,
Take this along; I writ it for thy sake,

[Gives a Paper.
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 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 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. 1G. 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.



Cor. We will before the walls of Rome to-morrow
Set down our host. - My partner in this action,
You must report to the Volscian lords, how plainly
I have borne this business.

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.

This last old man,
Whom with a crack'd heart I have sent to Rome,
Loved 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 't is 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 obstinale. -
What is that curt'sy worth? or those doves' 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 Volsces
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.
My lord and husband!

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