Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

Actus Quartus.
Enter Coriolanus, Volumnia, Virgilia, Menenius, Cominius,
with the yong Nobility of Rome.
Corio. Come leaue your teares: a brief farwel: the beast
With many heads butts me away. Nay Mother,
Where is your ancient Courage? You were vs'd
2440To say, Extreamities was the trier of spirits,
That common chances. Common men could beare,
That when the Sea was calme, all Boats alike
Shew'd Mastership in floating. Fortunes blowes,
When most strooke home, being gentle wounded, craues
2445A Noble cunning. You were vs'd to load me
With Precepts that would make inuincible
The heart that conn'd them.
Virg. Oh heauens! O heauens!
Corio. Nay, I prythee woman.
2450Vol. Now the Red Pestilence strike al Trades in Rome,
And Occupations perish.
Corio. What, what, what:
I shall be lou'd when I am lack'd. Nay Mother,
Resume that Spirit, when you were wont to say,
2455If you had beene the Wife of Hercules,
Six of his Labours youl'd haue done, and sau'd
Your Husband so much swet. Cominius,
Droope not, Adieu: Farewell my Wife, my Mother,
Ile do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius,
2460Thy teares are salter then a yonger mans,
And venomous to thine eyes. My (sometime) Generall,
I haue seene the Sterne, and thou hast oft beheld
Heart-hardning spectacles. Tell these sad women,
'Tis fond to waile ineuitable strokes,
2465As 'tis to laugh at 'em. My Mother, you wot well
My hazards still haue beene your solace, and
Beleeu't not lightly, though I go alone
Like to a lonely Dragon, that his Fenne
Makes fear'd, and talk'd of more then seene: your Sonne
2470Will or exceed the Common, or be caught
With cautelous baits and practice.
Volum. My first sonne,
Whether will thou go? Take good Cominius
With thee awhile: Determine on some course
2475More then a wilde exposture, to each chance
That start's i'th' way before thee.
Corio. O the Gods!
Com. Ile follow thee a Moneth, deuise with thee
Where thou shalt rest, that thou may'st heare of vs,
2480And we of thee. So if the time thrust forth
A cause for thy Repeale, we shall not send
O're the vast world, to seeke a single man,
And loose aduantage, which doth euer coole
Ith' absence of the needer.
2485Corio. Fare ye well:
Thou hast yeares vpon thee, and thou art too full
Of the warres surfets, to go roue with one
That's yet vnbruis'd: bring me but out at gate.
Come my sweet wife, my deerest Mother, and
2490My Friends of Noble touch: when I am forth,
Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you come:
While I remaine aboue the ground, you shall
Heare from me still, and neuer of me ought
But what is like me formerly.
2495Menen. That's worthily
As any eare can heare. Come, let's not weepe,
If I could shake off but one seuen yeeres
From these old armes and legges, by the good Gods
I'ld with thee, euery foot.
2500Corio. Giue me thy hand, come.