Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

28The Tragedie of Coriolanus.
And beare the Palme, for hauing brauely shed
Thy Wife and Childrens blood: For my selfe, Sonne,
I purpose not to waite on Fortune, till
3475These warres determine: If I cannot perswade thee,
Rather to shew a Noble grace to both parts,
Then seeke the end of one; thou shalt no sooner
March to assault thy Country, then to treade
(Trust too't, thou shalt not) on thy Mothers wombe
3480That brought thee to this world.
Virg. I, and mine, that brought you forth this boy,
To keepe your name liuing to time.
Boy. A shall not tread on me: Ile run away
Till I am bigger, but then Ile fight.
3485Corio. Not of a womans tendernesse to be,
Requires nor Childe, nor womans face to see:
I haue sate too long.
Volum. Nay, go not from vs thus:
If it were so, that our request did tend
3490To saue the Romanes, thereby to destroy
The Volces whom you serue, you might condemne vs
As poysonous of your Honour. No, our suite
Is that you reconcile them: While the Volces
May say, this mercy we haue shew'd: the Romanes,
3495This we receiu'd, and each in either side
Giue the All-haile to thee, and cry be Blest
For making vp this peace. Thou know'st (great Sonne)
The end of Warres vncertaine: but this certaine,
That if thou conquer Rome, the benefit
3500Which thou shalt thereby reape, is such a name
Whose repetition will be dogg'd with Curses:
Whose Chronicle thus writ, The man was Noble,
But with his last Attempt, he wip'd it out:
Destroy'd his Country, and his name remaines
3505To th' insuing Age, abhorr'd. Speake to me Son:
Thou hast affected the fiue straines of Honor,
To imitate the graces of the Gods.
To teare with Thunder the wide Cheekes a'th' Ayre,
And yet to change thy Sulphure with a Boult
3510That should but riue an Oake. Why do'st not speake?
Think'st thou it Honourable for a Nobleman
Still to remember wrongs? Daughter, speake you:
He cares not for your weeping. Speake thou Boy,
Perhaps thy childishnesse will moue him more
3515Then can our Reasons. There's no man in the world
More bound to's Mother, yet heere he let's me prate
Like one i'th' Stockes. Thou hast neuer in thy life,
Shew'd thy deere Mother any curtesie,
When she (poore Hen) fond of no second brood,
3520Ha's clock'd thee to the Warres: and safelie home
Loden with Honor. Say my Request's vniust,
And spurne me backe: But, if it be not so
Thou art not honest, and the Gods will plague thee
That thou restrain'st from me the Duty, which
3525To a Mothers part belongs. He turnes away:
Down Ladies: let vs shame him with him with our knees
To his sur-name Coriolanus longs more pride
Then pitty to our Prayers. Downe: an end,
This is the last. So, we will home to Rome,
3530And dye among our Neighbours: Nay, behold's,
This Boy that cannot tell what he would haue,
But kneeles, and holds vp hands for fellowship,
Doe's reason our Petition with more strength
Then thou hast to deny't. Come, let vs go:
3535This Fellow had a Volcean to his Mother:
His Wife is in Corioles, and his Childe
Like him by chance: yet giue vs our dispatch:
I am husht vntill our City be afire, & then Ile speak a litle
Holds her by the hand silent.
3540Corio. O Mother, Mother!
What haue you done? Behold, the Heauens do ope,
The Gods looke downe, and this vnnaturall Scene
They laugh at. Oh my Mother, Mother: Oh!
You haue wonne a happy Victory to Rome.
3545But for your Sonne, beleeue it: Oh beleeue it,
Most dangerously you haue with him preuail'd,
If not most mortall to him. But let it come:
Auffidius, though I cannot make true Warres,
Ile frame conuenient peace. Now good Auffidius,
3550Were you in my steed, would you haue heard
A Mother lesse? or granted lesse Auffidius?
Auf. I was mou'd withall.
Corio. I dare be sworne you were:
And sir, it is no little thing to make
3555Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But (good sir)
What peace you'l make, aduise me: For my part,
Ile not to Rome, Ile backe with you, and pray you
Stand to me in this cause. Oh Mother! Wife!
Auf. I am glad thou hast set thy mercy, & thy Honor
3560At difference in thee: Out of that Ile worke
My selfe a former Fortune.
Corio. I by and by; But we will drinke together:
And you shall beare
A better witnesse backe then words, which we
3565On like conditions, will haue Counter-seal'd.
Come enter with vs: Ladies you deserue
To haue a Temple built you: All the Swords
In Italy, and her Confederate Armes
Could not haue made this peace. Exeunt.
3570Enter Menenius and Sicinius.
Mene. See you yon'd Coin a'th Capitol, yon'd corner (stone?
Sicin. Why what of that?
Mene. If it be possible for you to displace it with your
little finger, there is some hope the Ladies of Rome, espe-
3575cially his Mother, may preuaile with him. But I say, there
is no hope in't, our throats are sentenc'd, and stay vppon
Sicin. Is't possible, that so short a time can alter the
condition of a man.
3580Mene. There is differency between a Grub & a But-
terfly, yet your Butterfly was a Grub: this Martius, is
growne from Man to Dragon: He has wings, hee's more
then a creeping thing.
Sicin. He lou'd his Mother deerely.
3585Mene. So did he mee: and he no more remembers his
Mother now, then an eight yeare old horse. The tartnesse
of his face, sowres ripe Grapes. When he walks, he moues
like an Engine, and the ground shrinkes before his Trea-
ding. He is able to pierce a Corslet with his eye: Talkes
3590like a knell, and his hum is a Battery. He sits in his State,
as a thing made for Alexander. What he bids bee done, is
finisht with his bidding. He wants nothing of a God but
Eternity, and a Heauen to Throne in.
Sicin. Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.
3595Mene. I paint him in the Character. Mark what mer-
cy his Mother shall bring from him: There is no more
mercy in him, then there is milke in a male-Tyger, that
shall our poore City finde: and all this is long of you.
Sicin. The Gods be good vnto vs.
3600Mene. No, in such a case the Gods will not bee good
vnto vs. When we banish'd him, we respected not them:
and he returning to breake our necks, they respect not vs.
Enter a Messenger.