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A ROOM IN CORIOLANUS'S HOUSE.
Enter Coriolanus, and Patricians.
Cor. Let them pull all about mine ears; present
Death on the wheel, or at wild horses' heels;
You do the nobler.
Cor. I muse, my mother
Does not approve me further, who was wont
[To Volumnia. Why did you wish me milder? Would you have me False to my nature? Rather say, I play
The man I am.
O, sir, sir, sir,
I would have had you put your power well on,
Vol. You might have been enough the man you
With striving less to be so: Lesser had been
Let them hang.
Vol. Ay, and burn too.
Enter Menenius, and Senators.
Men. Come, come, you have been too rough, something too rough;
You must return, and mend it.
Well said, noble woman:
Cor. What must I do?
What then? what then?
Pray, be counsel'd:
Return to the tribunes.
Repent what you have spoke.
Cor. For them?-I cannot do it to the gods; Must I then do't to them?
You are too absolute;
Vol. Though therein you can never be too noble, But when extremities speak. I have heard you say, Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends, I' the war do grow together: Grant that, and tell
In peace, what each of them by th' other lose,
A good demand. Vol. If it be honour, in your wars, to seem The same you are not, (which, for your best ends, You adopt your policy,) how is it less, or worse, That it shall hold companionship in peace With honour, as in war; since that to both It stands in like request?
Cor. Why force you this? Vol. Because that now it lies you on to speak To the people; not by your own instruction, Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you
But with such words that are but roted in
I would dissemble with my nature, where
Of what is past.
Thy knee bussing the stones, (for in such business
This but done, Even as she speaks, why, all their hearts were
For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free
As words to little purpose.
Go, and be rul'd: although, I know, thou had'st
Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf,
Here is Cominius.
Com. I have been i' the market-place: and, sir, 'tis fit
You make strong party, or defend yourself
I think, 'twill serve, if he
Vol He must, and will:Pr'ythee, now, say, you will, and go about it. Cor. Must I go show them my unbarb'd sconce? Must I
With my base tongue, give to my noble heart
And throw it against the wind. To the marketplace:
You have put me now to such a part, which never
My praises made thee first a soldier, so,