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Which can make Gods forsworn ? I melt, and am not
Of stronger earth than others : my mother bows,
As if Olympus to a mole-hill should
In supplication nod ; and my young boy
Hath an aspect of interceffion, which
Great Nature cries, Deny not. Let the Volscians
Plough Rome, and harrow Italy ; I'll never
Be such a gosling to obey instinct : but stand
As if a man were author of himself,
And knew no other kin.
Vir. My Lord and husband!
Cor. These eyes are not the same I wore in Rome,
Vir. The sorrow that delivers us thus chang'd,
Makes you think so.
Cor. Like a dull actor now, I have forgot my part, and I am out, Even to a full disgrace. Best of my felh, Forgive my tyranny, but do not say, For that, Forgive our Romans.-0, a kiss Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge ! Now by the jealous Queen of heav'n, that kiss I carried from thee, dear; and my true lip Hath virgin'd it e'er fince. -You Gods ! I prate, And the most noble mother of the world Leave unsaluted : fink, my knee, i' th' earth ; [Kneels, Of tby deep duty more impression shew Than that of common fons. Vol. O stand
Whilft with no softer cushion than the fint
I kneel before thee, and unproperly
Shew duty as mistaken all the while,
· [Kneelse Between the child and parent.
Cor. What is this?
Your knees to me? to your corrected fon?
Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach
Fillop the stars : then, let the mutinous winds
Strike the proud cedars 'gainst the fiery fun :
Murd’ring impossibility, to make
What cannot be, night work.
Vol. Thou art my warrior,
I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady ?
Cor. The noble sister of Poplicola :
The moon of Rome, chafte as the icicle
That's curdled by the frost from purest snow,
And hangs on Dian's temple : dear Valeria -
Vol. This is a poor epitome of yours,
(Shewing young Martius, Which by th'interpretation of full time May shew like all your self.
Cor. The God of soldiers,
With the consent of supream Youe, inform
Thy thoughts with nobleness, that thou may'st prove
To shame invulnerable, and stick i'th' wars
Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,
And saving those that eye thee!
Vol. Your knee, fitrah.
Cor. That's my brave boy.
Vol. Even he, your wife, this lady, and my self,
Are fuitors to you.
Cor. I beseech you, peace :
Or if you'd ask, remember this before ;
The thing I have forsworn to grant, may never
Be held by you denial. Do not bid me
Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate
Again with Rome's mechanicks. Tell me nog
Wherein I seem unnatural : desire not
T'allay my rages and revenges, with
Your colder reasons.
Vol. Oh, no more : no more :
You've said you will not grant us any thing :
For we have nothing else to ask, but that
Which you deny already: yet we will ask,
That if we fail in our request, the blame
May hang upon your hardness; therefore hear us.
Cor. Aufidius, and you Volscians, mark; for we'll
Hear nought from Rome in private. - Your request?
Vol. Should we be filent and not speak, our raiment
And state of bodies would bewray what life
We've led since thy exile. Think with thy self,
How more unfort'nate than all living women
Are we come hither ; fince thy fight, which should
Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with comforts,
Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and sorrow;
Making the mother, wife, and child to fee,
The son, the busband, and the father tearing
His country's bowels out : and to poor us
Thine enmity's most capital ; thou barr’st us
Our prayers to the Gods, which is a comfort
That all but we enjoy. For how can we,
Alas! how can we, for our country pray,
Whereto we're bound, together with thy victory,
Whereto we're bound ? Alack, or we must lose
The country, our dear nurse ; or else thy person,
Our comfort in the country. We must find
An eminent calamity, tho' we had
Our wish, which fide shou'd win. For either thou
Mult, as a foreign recreant, be led
With manacles along our streets, or else
Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin,
And bear the palm for having bravely shed
Thy wife and children's blood. For my self, son,
I purpose not to wait on fortune, 'till
These wars determine : if I can't perswade thee
Rather to thew a noble grace to both parts,
Than seek the end of one ; thou shalt not sooner
March to assault thy country, than to tread
(Trust to't, thou shalt not) on thy mother's womb,
That brought thee to this world.
Vir. Ay, and mine too,
That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name
Living to time.
Boy. He shall not tread on me:
I'll run away 'till I'm bigger, but then I'll fight,
Cor. Nut of a woman's tenderness to be,
Requires nor child nor woman's face to fee;
I've sat too long.
Vol. Nay, go not from us thus :
If it were so, that our request did tend
To save the Romans, thereby to destroy
The Volscians whom you serve, you might condemn us,
As poisoners of your honour. No; our suit
Is that you reconcile them: while the Volscians
May fay, This mercy we bave fbew'd; the Romans,
This we receiv'd; and each in either side
Give the all..bail to thee, and cry, Be bleft
For making uptbis peace ! Thou know'ft, great fon,
The end of war's uncertain ; but this certain,
That if thou conquer Rome, the benefit
Which thou shalt thereby reap, is such a name,
Whose repetition will be dogg'd with curses :
Whose chronicle thus writ, The man was noble
But with bis last attempt be wip'd it out,
Destroy'd his country, and bis name remains
To th' ensuing age, abborr’d. Speak to me, fon :
Thou hast affected the first strains of honour,
To imitate the graces of the Gods ;
Who tear with thunder the wide cheeks o'th' air,
And yet do charge their sulphur with a bolt,
That shall but rive an oak. Why doft not speak?
Think'st thou it honourable for a noble man
Still to remember wrongs ? Daughter, speak you :
He cares not for your weeping. Speak thou, boy ;
Perhaps thy childishness will move him more
Than can our reasons. There's no man in the world
More bound to's mother, yet here he lets mę pratę
Like one i'th' stocks. Thou'st never in thy life
Shew'd thy dear mother any courtesie ;
When she (poor hen) fond of no second brood,
Has cluck'd thee to the wars, and safely home
Loaden with bonour. Sáy my requeft's unjust,
And spurn me back : but if it be not so,
Thou art not honest, and the Gods will plague thor
That thou restrain'ft from me the duty, which
To a mother's part belongs. He turns away:
Down, ladies ; let us shame him with our knees,
To his fir-name Coriolanus 'longs more pride,
Than pity to our prayers. Down: and end ;
This is the last. So we will home to Rome,
And die among our neighbours : pay, behold us.
This boy, that cannot tell what he would have,
But kneels, and holds up hands for fellowship,
Does reason our petition with more strength
Than thou hast to deny't. Come, let us go :
This fellow had a Volscian to his mother :
His wife is in Corioli, and this child
Like him by chance ; yet give us our dispatch:
I'm husht until our city be afire,
And then I'll speak a little.
Cor. Mother, mother ! - (Holds ber by the hands, filent.
What have you done ? behold, the heav'ns do ope,
The Gods lopk down, and this unnatural scene
They laugh at.. Oh, my mother, mother! oh!
You've won a happy victory to Rome :
But for your son, believe it, oh, believe it,
Most dang’rously you have with him prevailid,
If not moft mortal to him. Let it come:
Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius,
Were you in my stead, say, would you have heard
A mother less ? cr granted less, Aufidius ?
Auf, I too was mov'd.
Cor. I dare be sworn you were ;
And, Sir, it is no little thing to make
Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good Sir,
What peace you'll make, advise me: for my part,
I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you, and pray you
Stand to me in this cause. O mother! wife!
Auf. I'm glad thou'st set thy mercy and thy honour
At difference in thee, out of that I'll work
My self my former fortune.
Cor. Ay, by and by ;
But we will drink together ; and you shall bear
[To Volumnia, Virg. &C.,
A better witness back than words, which we
On like conditions will have counterseal'd,
Come, enter with us.
Auf. Ladies, you deserve
To have a temple built you ; all the swords