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  • Title: Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

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    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

    Actus Quintus.
    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.
    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.