Sidor som bilder

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;

Rights 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 publick place.


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

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.

Do you hear!
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' th' fire
Of burning Rome.

A pair of tribunes that have rack'd for Rome,
To make coals cheap: A noble memory!

Why, so; you have made good work:

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?

Very well:

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 th' offence.


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.


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No; I'll not meddle.

What should I do?

Bru. Only make trial what your love can do For Rome, towards Marcius.


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.


I think, he'll hear me.

I'll undertake it:

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 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 'twould burn Rome; and his injury The gaoler 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 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-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

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1 G. You may not pass, you must return:

and general

Will no more hear from thence.

2 G. You'll see your Rome embrac'd 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.


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
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 chastly. 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, can'st 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 <ity 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, cur general has sworn you out of reprieve and pardon.

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