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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 you threw caps up, will he tumble down,
And pay you for your voices. "Tis no matter;
If he could burn us all into one coal,

We have deserved 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

Good work, you and your cry!*-Shall us to the Capitol?

Com. O, ay; what else? Exeunt COMINIUS and MENENIUS. 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. Go home, And show 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. [Exeunt CITIZENS. Bru. I do not like this news.

Sic. Nor I.

Bru. Let's to the Capitol :-Would, half my wealth Would buy this for a lie!

Sic. Pray, let us go.


SCENE VII.—A camp, at a small distance from Rome.

Auf. Do they still fly to the Roman?

Lieu. I do not know what witchtraft'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 proudly
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.

Lieu. Yet I wish, Sir

(I mean for your particular), you had not


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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 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.

Lieu. Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry Rome?
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 judgment,
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 peace
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, t
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;
Right 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.



SCENE I-Rome. A Public Place.


Men. No, I'll not go you hear, what he hath said,
Which was sometime his general; who loved him
In a most dear particular. He called me, father:

*The chair of civil authority.

+ Not all in their full extent.

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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 hear?

Com. Yet one time he did call me by my name:
I urged our old acquaintance, and the drops
That we have bled together. Coriolanus
He would not answer to: forbade all names;
He was a kind of nothing, titleless,
Till he had forged 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. Very well:

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.

Men. For one poor grain

Or two? I am one of those; his mother, wife,
His child, and this brave fellow too, we are the grains:
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
Would be your country's pleader, your good tongue,
More than the instant army we can make,
Might stop our countryman.

Men. No; I'll not meddle.
Sic. I pray you, go to him.
Men. 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
With his unkindness? Say't be so?

Sic. Yet your good will

Must have that thanks from Rome, after the measure
As you intended well.

Men. I'll undertake it:

I think, he'll hear me. Yet to bite his lip,

And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me.

* Was unwilling.

† Harassed by exactions.

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He was not taken well; he had not dined:
The veins unfill'd, the 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 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.

Men. Good faith, I'll prove him,

Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge
Of my success.

Com. He'll never hear him.

Sic. Not?

Com. I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye
Red as 'twould burn Rome; and his injury
The jailer to his pity. I kneel'd before him;
"Twas 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 could 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-An advanced Post of the Volcian Camp before
Rome. The GUARD at their Stations.

Enter to them, MENENIUS.

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

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 embraced with fire before You'll speak with Coriolanus.

Men. 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
His fame unparallel'd, haply, amplified

For I have ever verified my friends

(Of whom he's chief), with all the size that verity + Friend.

* Prizes.


+ Done justice to.

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Would without lasping 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. 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 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,


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 countryThe good gods assuage thy wrath, and turn the dregs of it


* Deceitful.

1 Fellows.

t Jack in office.

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