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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.


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 petition3 of a state

To one whom they had punished.


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.


Sic. I pray you, go to him.

No; I'll not meddle.

'The meaning seems to be, you have catered for the Roman people so as to get their houses burned over their heads to save them the expense of coals.

A noble monument of your good husbandry!

3 A mere petition.

[COR. 97]


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 returned,
Unheard; what then?—

But as a discontented friend, grief-shot
With his unkindness? Say't be so?

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.


Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge

Of my success.



Good faith, I'll prove him,


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:

So that all hope is vain,


Proportioned to the measure of your good intentions.

[COR. 98]

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. [Exeunt.

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.

Men. You guard like men; 'tis well: But, by your I am an officer of state, and come

To speak with Coriolanus.

1 G.


Stand, and go back.


From whence?

From Rome.

1 G. You may not pass, you must return : our Will no more hear from thence. [general 2 G. You'll see your Rome embrac'd with fire, 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,2

It is more than an equal chance that my name, &c. Lots was the term in our author's time for the total number of tickets in a lottery, which took its name from thence.

[COR. 99]

2 A smooth ground.

z 2

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 part 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 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,➖➖

Given the falsehood such a sanction as to render it current.

[COR. 100]

Enter CORIOLanus and Aufidius.

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 standest not i' th' 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 Volcian 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 letter.
And would have sent it. Another word, Menenius,
I will not hear thee speak.-This man, Aufidius,
Was my beloved in Rome: yet thou behold'st-

'Though I have a peculiar right in revenge, in the power of forgiveness the Volcians are conjoined.

[COR. 101]

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