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Above the moon: we must be burnt for you.

Sic. Nay, pray, be patient: if you refuse your aid

In this so never-needed help, yet do not

Upbraid's with our distress. But, sure, if you Would be your country's pleader, your good tongue, More than the instant army we can make,

Might stop our countryman.


Sic. Pray you, go to him.


No, I'll not meddle.

What should I do?

Bru. Only make trial what your love can do

For Rome, towards Marcius.


Well, and say that Marcius

Return me, as Cominius is return'd,

Unheard; what then?

But as a discontented friend, grief-shot

With his unkindness? say 't be so?

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And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me.
He was not taken well; he had not dined:
The veins unfill'd, our blood is cold, and then
We pout upon the morning, are unapt

To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff d
These pipes and these conveyances of our blood
With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls
Than in our priest-like fasts: therefore I'll watch

Till he be dieted to my request.

And then I'll set upon him.

44. grief-shot, sorrow-stricken.


Bru. You know the very road into his kindness,

And cannot lose your way.


Good faith, I'll prove him, 60

Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge

Of my success.



He'll never hear him.



Com. I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye
Red as 'twould burn Rome; and his injury
The gaoler to his pity. I kneel'd before him;
'Twas very faintly he said 'Rise;' dismiss'd me
Thus, with his speechless hand: what he would do,
He sent in writing after me, what he would not,
Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions:
So that all hope is vain,

Unless his noble mother, and his wife;
Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him

For mercy to his country. Therefore, let's hence,
And with our fair entreaties haste them on.



SCENE II. Entrance of the Volscian camp before


Two Sentinels on guard.

Enter to them, MENENIUS.

First Sen. Stay: whence are you?

63 f. were sent were Martius' familiar friends and acquaintance, who looked at the least for a courteous welcome of him, as of their familiar friend and kinsman. Howbeit they found nothing less; for at their coming they were brought through the camp to the place where he was set

The ambassadors that in his chair of state, with a

marvellous and
majesty' (North).


69. Bound with an oath. The transaction is obscurely described. Apparently it is thus. Coriolanus indicates what he will concede, and binds himself by oath to concede nothing


Sec. Sen.

Stand, and go back.

Men. You guard like men; 'tis well: but, by

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First Sen. You may not pass, you must return :

our general

Will no more hear from thence.

Sec. Sen. You'll see your Rome embraced with

fire before

You'll speak with Coriolanus.

Good my friends,

Men. If you have heard your general talk of Rome, And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks, My name hath touch'd your ears: it is Menenius. First Sen. Be it so; go back: the virtue of your name

Is not here passable.


I tell thee, fellow,

Thy general is my lover: I have been

The book of his good acts, whence men have read His fame unparallel'd, haply amplified ;

For I have ever verified my friends,

Of whom he's chief, with all the size that verity
Would without lapsing suffer: nay, sometimes,
Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground,

I have tumbled past the throw; and in his praise
Have almost stamp'd the leasing: therefore,

I must have leave to pass.

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20. subtle, deceptive. 22. stamp'd the leasing, passed a lie for truth.

First Sen.


Faith, sir, if you had told many lies in his behalf as you have uttered words in your own, you should not pass here; no, though it were as virtuous to lie as to live chastely. Therefore, go back.

Men. Prithee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius, always factionary on the party of your general.

Sec. Sen. Howsoever you have been his liar, as you say you have, I am one that, telling true under him, must say, you cannot pass. Therefore, go back.

Men. Has he dined, canst thou tell? for I
would not speak with him till after dinner.
First Sen. You are a Roman, are you?
Men. I am, as thy general is.

First Sen. Then you should hate Rome, as
he does. Can you,
when you have pushed out
your gates the very defender of them, and, in
a violent popular ignorance, given your enemy
your shield, think to front his
revenges with
the easy groans of old women, the virginal
palms of your daughters, or with the palsied
intercession of such a decayed dotant as you
seem to be? Can you think to blow out the
intended fire your city is ready to flame in,
with such weak breath as this? No, you are
deceived; therefore, back to Rome, and prepare
for your execution: you are condemned, our
general has sworn you out of reprieve and

Men. Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, he would use me with estimation.

First Sen. Come, my captain knows you not.
Men. I mean, thy general.

47. dotant, dotard.




First Sen. My general cares not for you. Back, I say, go; lest I let forth your half-pint 60 of blood; back,-that's the utmost of your having back.

Men. Nay, but, fellow, fellow,———


Cor. What's the matter?


Men. Now, you companion, I'll say an errand for you: you shall know now that I am in estimation; you shall perceive that a Jack guardant cannot office me from my son Coriolanus: guess, but by my entertainment with him, if thou standest not i' the state of hanging, or of some death more long in spectatorship, and crueller in suffering; behold now presently, and swoon for what's to come upon thee. [To Cor.] The glorious gods sit in hourly synod about thy particular prosperity, and love thee no worse than thy old father Menenius does! O my son, my son! thou art preparing fire for us; look thee, here's water to quench it. I was hardly moved to come to thee; but being assured none but myself could move thee, I have been blown out 80 of your gates with sighs; and conjure thee to pardon Rome, and thy petitionary countrymen. The good gods assuage thy wrath, and turn the dregs of it upon this varlet here,—this, who, like a block, hath denied my access to thee.

Cor. Away!

Men. How! away!

Cor. Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs

67. Jack guardant, Jack on guard (with the suggestion of 'Jack in office,' and hence of

officious intervention, made ex. plicit in the following words). 78. hardly, with difficulty.

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