Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

The Tragedie of Coriolanus. 27
3340not from another: Let your Generall do his worst. For
you, bee that you are, long; and your misery encrease
with your age. I say to you, as I was said to, Away. Exit
1 A Noble Fellow I warrant him.
2 The worthy Fellow is our General. He's the Rock,
3345The Oake not to be winde-shaken. Exit Watch.
Enter Coriolanus and Auffidius.
Corio. We will before the walls of Rome to morrow
Set downe our Hoast. My partner in this Action,
You must report to th' Volcian Lords, how plainly
3350I haue borne this Businesse.
Auf. Onely their ends you haue respected,
Stopt your eares against the generall suite of Rome:
Neuer admitted a priuat whisper, no not with such frends
That thought them sure of you.
3355Corio. This last old man,
Whom with a crack'd heart I haue sent to Rome,
Lou'd me, aboue the measure of a Father,
Nay godded me indeed. Their latest refuge
Was to send him: for whose old Loue I haue
3360(Though I shew'd sowrely to him) once more offer'd
The first Conditions which they did refuse,
And cannot now accept, to grace him onely,
That thought he could do more: A very little
I haue yeelded too. Fresh Embasses, and Suites,
3365Nor from the State, nor priuate friends heereafter
Will I lend eare to. Ha? what shout is this? Shout within
Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow
In the same time 'tis made? I will not.
Enter Virgilia, Volumnia, Valeria, yong Martius,
3370with Attendants.
My wife comes formost, then the honour'd mould
Wherein this Trunke was fram'd, and in her hand
The Grandchilde to her blood. But out affection,
All bond and priuiledge of Nature breake;
3375Let it be Vertuous to be Obstinate.
What is that Curt'sie worth? Or those Doues eyes,
Which can make Gods forsworne? I melt, and am not
Of stronger earth then others: my Mother bowes,
As if Olympus to a Mole-hill should
3380In supplication Nod: and my yong Boy
Hath an Aspect of intercession, which
Great Nature cries, Deny not. Let the Volces
Plough Rome, and harrow Italy, Ile neuer
Be such a Gosling to obey instinct; but stand
3385As if a man were Author of himself, & knew no other kin
Virgil. My Lord and Husband.
Corio. These eyes are not the same I wore in Rome.
Virg. The sorrow that deliuers vs thus chang'd,
Makes you thinke so.
3390Corio. Like a dull Actor now, I haue forgot my part,
And I am out, euen to a full Disgrace. Best of my Flesh,
Forgiue my Tyranny: but do not say,
For that forgiue our Romanes. O a kisse
Long as my Exile, sweet as my Reuenge!
3395Now by the iealous Queene of Heauen, that kisse
I carried from thee deare; and my true Lippe
Hath Virgin'd it ere since. You Gods, I pray,
And the most noble Mother of the world
Leaue vnsaluted: Sinke my knee i'th' earth, Kneeles
3400Of thy deepe duty, more impression shew
Then that of common Sonnes.
Volum. Oh stand vp blest!
Whil'st with no softer Cushion then the Flint
I kneele before thee, and vnproperly
3405Shew duty as mistaken, all this while,
Betweene the Childe, and Parent.
Corio. What's this? your knees to me?
To your Corrected Sonne?
Then let the Pibbles on the hungry beach
3410Fillop the Starres: Then, let the mutinous windes
Strike the proud Cedars 'gainst the fiery Sun:
Murd'ring Impossibility, to make
What cannot be, slight worke.
Volum. Thou art my Warriour, I hope to frame thee
3415Do you know this Lady?
Corio. The Noble Sister of Publicola;
The Moone of Rome: Chaste as the Isicle
That's curdied by the Frost, from purest Snow,
And hangs on Dians Temple: Deere Valeria.
3420Volum. This is a poore Epitome of yours,
Which by th' interpretation of full time,
May shew like all your selfe.
Corio. The God of Souldiers:
With the consent of supreame Ioue, informe
3425Thy thoughts with Noblenesse, that thou mayst proue
To shame vnvulnerable, and sticke i'th Warres
Like a great Sea-marke standing euery flaw,
And sauing those that eye thee.
Volum. Your knee, Sirrah.
3430Corio. That's my braue Boy.
Volum. Euen he, your wife, this Ladie, and my selfe,
Are Sutors to you.
Corio. I beseech you peace:
Or if you'ld aske, remember this before;
3435The thing I haue forsworne to graunt, may neuer
Be held by you denials. Do not bid me
Dismisse my Soldiers, or capitulate
Againe, with Romes Mechanickes. Tell me not
Wherein I seeme vnnaturall: Desire not t'allay
3440My Rages and Reuenges, with your colder reasons.
Volum. Oh no more, no more:
You haue said you will not grant vs any thing:
For we haue nothing else to aske, but that
Which you deny already: yet we will aske,
3445That if you faile in our request, the blame
May hang vpon your hardnesse, therefore heare vs.
Corio. Auffidius, and you Volces marke, for wee'l
Heare nought from Rome in priuate. Your request?
Volum. Should we be silent & not speak, our Raiment
3450And state of Bodies would bewray what life
We haue led since thy Exile. Thinke with thy selfe,
How more vnfortunate then all liuing women
Are we come hither; since that thy sight, which should
Make our eies flow with ioy, harts dance with comforts,
3455Constraines them weepe, and shake with feare & sorow,
Making the Mother, wife, and Childe to see,
The Sonne, the Husband, and the Father tearing
His Countries Bowels out; and to poore we
Thine enmities most capitall: Thou barr'st vs
3460Our prayers to the Gods, which is a comfort
That all but we enioy. For how can we?
Alas! how can we, for our Country pray?
Whereto we are bound, together with thy victory:
Whereto we are bound: Alacke, or we must loose
3465The Countrie our deere Nurse, or else thy person
Our comfort in the Country. We must finde
An euident Calamity, though we had
Our wish, which side should win. For either thou
Must as a Forraine Recreant be led
3470With Manacles through our streets, or else
Triumphantly treade on thy Countries ruine,
cc2 And