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When first I did embrace him: Yet his nature
In that's no changeling; and I must excuse
What cannot be amended.


Yet I wish, sir,
(I mean, for your particular,') you had not
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 th' 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 he come to our account.

Lieu. Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry

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 fortune3 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

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osprey, a kind of eagle.

3 i. e. growing out of daily and uninterrupted fortune.

[COR. 95]

From th' casque' to th' cushion,' but commanding


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,
For I dare so far free him,) made him fear'd,
So hated,3 and so banish'd: but he has a merit,
To choke it in the utterance.*

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. Enter MENENIUS, COMINIUS, SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and others.

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 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 urg'd our old acquaintance, and the drops

* cushion, chair of civil authority.


helmet. casque, 3 so hated, hated accordingly.

boasting of it.

He has a merit, for no other purpose than to destroy it by 5 Which, for who, meaning Cominius. coy'd, refused.

[COR. 96].

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

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