Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)


Actus Quintus.
3150
Enter Menenius, Cominius, Sicinius, Brutus,
the two Tribunes, with others.
Menen. No, Ile not go: you heare what he hath said
Which was sometime his Generall: who loued him
In a most deere particular. He call'd me Father:
3155But what o'that? Go you that banish'd him
A Mile before his Tent, fall downe, and knee
The way into his mercy: Nay, if he coy'd
To heare Cominius speake, Ile keepe at home.
Com. He would not seeme to know me.
3160Menen. Do you heare?
Com. Yet one time he did call me by my name:
I vrg'd our old acquaintance, and the drops
That we haue bled together. Coriolanus
He would not answer too: Forbad all Names,
3165He was a kinde of Nothing, Titlelesse,
Till he had forg'd himselfe a name a'th' fire
Of burning Rome.
Menen. Why so: you haue made good worke:
A paire of Tribunes, that haue wrack'd for Rome,
3170To make Coales cheape: A Noble memory.
Com. I minded him, how Royall 'twas to pardon
When it was lesse expected. He replyed
It was a bare petition of a State
To one whom they had punish'd.
3175Menen. Very well, could he say lesse.
Com. I offered to awaken his regard
For's priuate Friends. His answer to me was
He could not stay to picke them, in a pile
Of noysome musty Chaffe. He said, 'twas folly
3180For one poore graine or two, to leaue vnburnt
And still to nose th' offence.
Menen. For one poore graine or two?
I am one of those: his Mother, Wife, his Childe,
And this braue Fellow too: we are the Graines,
3185You are the musty Chaffe, and you are smelt
Aboue the Moone. We must be burnt for you.
Sicin. Nay, pray be patient: If you refuse your ayde
In this so neuer-needed helpe, yet do not
Vpbraid's with our distresse. But sure if you
3190Would be your Countries Pleader, your good tongue
More then the instant Armie we can make
Might stop our Countryman.
Mene. No: Ile not meddle.
Sicin. Pray you go to him.
3195Mene. What should I do?
Bru. Onely make triall what your Loue can do,
For Rome, towards Martius.
Mene. Well, and say that Martius returne mee,
As Cominius is return'd, vnheard: what then?
3200But as a discontented Friend, greefe-shot
With his vnkindnesse. Say't be so?
Sicin. Yet your good will
Must haue that thankes from Rome, after the measure
As you intended well.
3205Mene. Ile vndertak't:
I thinke hee'l heare me. Yet to bite his lip,
And humme at good Cominius, much vnhearts mee.
He was not taken well, he had not din'd,
The Veines vnfill'd, our blood is cold, and then
3210We powt vpon the Morning, are vnapt
To giue or to forgiue; but when we haue stufft
These Pipes, and these Conueyances of our blood
With Wine and Feeding, we haue suppler Soules
Then in our Priest-like Fasts: therefore Ile watch him
3215Till he be dieted to my request,
And then Ile set vpon him.
Bru. You know the very rode into his kindnesse,
And cannot lose your way.
Mene. Good faith Ile proue him,
3220Speed how it will. I shall ere long, haue knowledge
Of my successe.
Exit.
Com. Hee'l neuer heare him.
Sicin. Not.
Com. I tell you, he doe's sit in Gold, his eye
3225Red as 'twould burne Rome: and his Iniury
The Gaoler to his pitty. I kneel'd before him,
'Twas very faintly he said Rise: dismist me
Thus with his speechlesse hand. What he would do
He sent in writing after me: what he would not,
3230Bound with an Oath to yeeld to his conditions:
So that all hope is vaine, vnlesse his Noble Mother,
And his Wife, who (as I heare) meane to solicite him
For mercy to his Countrey: therefore let's hence,
And with our faire intreaties hast them on.
Exeunt