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Are servanted to others: though I owe

My revenge properly, my remission lies

In Volscian breasts. That we have been familiar,
Ingrate forgetfulness shall poison, rather
Than pity note how much. Therefore, be gone.
Mine ears against your suits are stronger than
Your gates against my force. Yet, for I loved thee,
Take this along; I writ it for thy sake,

[Gives a letter. And would have sent it. Another word, Menenius, I will not hear thee speak. This man, Aufidius, Was my beloved in Rome: yet thou behold'st: Auf. You keep a constant temper.

[Exeunt Coriolanus and Aufidius. First Sen. Now, sir, is your name Menenius? Sec. Sen. 'Tis a spell, you see, of much power: you know the way home again.

First Sen. Do you hear how we are shent for keeping your greatness back?

Sec. Sen. What cause, do you think, I have to swoon?



He that hath 116

Men. I neither care for the world nor your general: for such things as you, I can scarce think there's any, ye're so slight. a will to die by himself fears it not from another : let your general do his worst. For you, be that you are, long; and your misery increase with your age! I say to you, as I was said to, Away!


First Sen. A noble fellow, I warrant him. Sec. Sen. The worthy fellow is our general: he's the rock, the oak not to be wind-shaken.

89. I owe my revenge, etc., the right to revenge is mine, but the right to remit vengeance


belongs to the Volsces.

104. shent, shamed, punished.


The tent of Coriolanus.

Enter CORIOLANUS, AUFIDIUS, and others.

Cor. We will before the walls of Rome to


Set down our host. My partner in this action, You must report to the Volscian lords, how plainly I have borne this business.

Only their ends

You have respected; stopp'd your ears against
The general suit of Rome; never admitted
A private whisper, no, not with such friends
That thought them sure of you.

This last old man,
Whom with a crack'd heart I have sent to Rome,
Loved me above the measure of a father;
Nay, godded me indeed. Their latest refuge
Was to send him; for whose old love I have,
Though I show'd sourly to him, once more offer'd
The first conditions, which they did refuse
And cannot now accept; to grace him only
That thought he could do more, a very little
I have yielded to; fresh embassies and suits,
Nor from the state nor private friends, hereafter
Will I lend ear 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, in mourning habits, VIRGILIA, VOLUMNIA, leading young MARCIUS, VALERIA, and Attendants.

My wife comes foremost; then the honour'd mould 3. plainly, honestly.






Wherein this trunk was framed, and in her hand
The grandchild to her blood. But out, affection!
All bond and privilege of nature, break!

Let it be virtuous to be obstinate.

What is that curt'sy worth? or those doves' eyes,
Which can make gods forsworn? I melt, and am


Of stronger earth than others. My mother bows;
As if Olympus to a molehill should

In supplication nod: and my young boy
Hath an aspect of intercession, which
Great nature cries' Deny not.'

Let the Volsces

Plough Rome, and harrow Italy: I'll never
Be such a gosling to obey instinct, but stand,
As if a man were author of himself

And knew no other kin.


My lord and husband!

Cor. These eyes are not the same I wore in

Vir. The sorrow that delivers us thus changed
Makes you think so.


Like a dull actor now,

I have forgot my part, and I am out,
Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh,
Forgive my tyranny; but do not say
For that 'Forgive our Romans.'

O, a kiss

Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!
Now, by the jealous queen of heaven, that kiss
I carried from thee, dear; and my true lip
Hath virgin'd it e'er since. You gods! I prate,

And the most noble mother of the world
Leave unsaluted: sink, my knee, i' the earth;

Of thy deep duty more impression show





46. the jealous queen of heaven. Juno among the Romans presided over marriage rites.

Than that of common sons.


O, stand up blest!
Whilst, with no softer cushion than the flint,

I kneel before thee; and unproperly
Show duty, as mistaken all this while
Between the child and parent.



What is this?

Your knees to me? to your corrected son?
Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach
Fillip the stars; then let the mutinous winds
Strike the proud cedars 'gainst the fiery sun;
Murdering impossibility, to make
What cannot be, slight work.


Thou art my warrior r; I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady? Cor. The noble sister of Publicola,

The moon of Rome; chaste as the icicle
That's curdied by the frost from purest snow
And hangs on Dian's temple: dear Valeria!
Vol. This is a poor epitome of yours,
Which by the interpretation of full time.
May show like all yourself.



The god of soldiers, 70

With the consent of supreme Jove, inform

Thy thoughts with nobleness, that thou mayst


To shame unvulnerable, and stick i' the wars

Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,

And saving those that eye thee!


Cor. That's my brave boy!

Your knee, sirrah.

Vol. Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself,

65. The moon of Rome. Luna was identified with Diana and was hence the goddess of chastity. The 'chaste,' 'cold'

moon belongs to classic, the 'fickle' ('lunish') moon to mediæval, folklore.

74. flaw, gust of wind.

Are suitors to you.


I beseech you, peace:

Or, if you 'ld ask, remember this before:

The thing I have forsworn to grant may never
Be held by you denials. Do not bid me
Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate

Again with Rome's mechanics: tell me not
Wherein I seem unnatural: desire not

To allay my rages and revenges with
Your colder reasons.


O, no more, no more!

You have said you will not grant us any thing;
For we have nothing else to ask, but that
Which you deny already: yet we will ask;
That, if you fail in our request, the blame
May hang upon your hardness: therefore hear us.
Cor. Aufidius, and you Volsces, mark; for we'll
Hear nought from Rome in private. Your request ?
Vol. Should we be silent and not speak, our

And state of bodies would bewray what life
We have led since thy exile. Think with thyself
How more unfortunate than all living women
Are we come hither: since that thy sight, which

Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with

Constrains them weep and shake with fear and


Making the mother, wife and child to see
The son, the husband and the father tearing
His country's bowels out. And to poor we
Thine enmity's most capital: thou barr'st us

80. The thing I have forsworn, etc.; i.e. in saying no, I shall not be refusing your re

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quest, as such, but merely ob. serving my oath to refuse any. 82. capitulate, negotiate.

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