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Even with the same austerity and garb
As he controll’d the war; but, one of these,
(As he hath spices of them all, not all,
For I dare so far free him,) made him fear'd,
So hated, and so banish'd: But he has a merit,
To choke it in the utterance. So our virtues
Lie in the interpretation of the time:
And power, unto itself most commendable,
Hath not a evident as a chair
To extol what it hath done.
One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail;
Rights by rights fouler, strengths by strengths do

fail. Come, let's away. When, Caius, Rome is thine, Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine.



SCENE I. Rome.

A publick Place.

Enter MENENIUS, Cominius, Sicinius, BRUTUS,

and Others. Men. No, I'll not go: you hear, what he hath said, Which was sometime his general; who lov'd him In a most dear particular. He call’d me, father: But what o’that? Go, you that banish'd him, A mile before his tent fall down, and kneel The way into his mercy: Nay, if he coy'do

? As he hath spices of them all, not ull,] i. e. not all complete, not all in their full extent. 8 he has a merit,

To choke it in the utterance.) He has a merit, for no other purpose than to destroy it by boasting it.

9- coy'd -] i.e. condescended unwillingly, with reserve.

To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home.

Com. He would not seem to know me.

Do you hear?
Com. Yet one time he did call me by my name:
I urg'd our old acquaintance, and the drops
That we have bled together. Coriolanus
He would not answer to: forbad all names;
He was a kind of nothing, titleless,
Till he had forg'd himself a name i'the fire
Of burning Rome.

Men. Why, so; you have made good work:
A pair of tribunes that have rack'd' for Rome,
To make coals cheap: A noble memory !?

Com. I minded him, how royal 'twas to pardon
When it was less expected: He replied,
It was a bare petition of a state
To one whom they had punish'd.

Very well:
Could he say less ?

Com. I offer'd to awaken his regard
For his private friends: His answer to me was,
He could not stay to pick them in a pile
Of noisome, musty chaff: He said, 'twas folly,
For one poor grain or two, to leave unburnt,
And still to nose the offence.

For one poor grain
Or two? I am one of those; his mother, wife,
His child, and this brave fellow too, we are the

grains: You are the musty chaff; and you are sielt Above the moon: We must be burnt for you.

Sic. Nay, pray, be patient: If you refuse your aid In this so never-heeded help, yet do not Upbraid us with our distress. But, sure, if you


· Men.

- that have rack'd —] To rack means to harass by er. actions.

memory!] for memorial.

Would be your country's pleader, your good tongue,
More than the instant army we can make,
Might stop our countryman.

No; I'll not meddle.
Sic. I pray you, go to him.

What should I do? Bru. Only make trial what your love can do For Rome, towards Marcius. Men.

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? Sic.

Yet your good will Must have that thanks from Rome, after the measure As you intended well. Men.

I'll undertake it: I think, he'll hear me. Yet to bite his lip, And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me. He was not taken well; he had not din'd: 3 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 him

Till he be dieted to my request, And then I'll set upon him.

Bru. You know the very road into his kindness, And cannot lose your way. Men.

Good faith, I'll prove him, Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge

pipes and give; burs, are una

· He was not taken well; he had not din'd: &c.] This observation is not only from nature, and finely expressed, but admirably befits the mouth of one, who in the beginning of the play had told us, that he loved convivial doings.


Of my success.

[Exit. Com. He'll never hear him.

Not? 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.



An advanced Post of the Volscian Camp before Rome.

The Guard at their Stations.

are you? sraud, and. But, by

Enter to them, MenenIUS. 1 G. Stay: Whence are you? 2 G. Men. You guard like men; 'tis well: But, by

your leave,

I tell you, he does sit in gold,) He is enthroned in all the pomp and pride of imperial splendour.

'Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions:] What he would do, i. e, the conditions on which he offered to return, he sent in writing after Cominius, intending that he should have carried them to Menenius. What he would not, i. e. his resolution of neither dismissing his soldiers, nor capitulating with Rome's mechanicks, in case the terms he prescribed should be refused, he bound himself by an oath to maintain. If these conditions were admitted, the oath of course, being grounded on that proviso, must yield to them, and be cancelled.

I am an officer of state, and come . .
To speak with Coriolanus.

From whence?

From Rome. i G. You may not pass, you must return: our

general Will no more hear from thence. 2 G. You'll see your Rome embrac'd with fire,

before You'll speak with Coriolanus. Men.

Good my friends, 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.

i G. 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, fellow,


- lots to blanks,] A lot here is a prize. ? For I have ever verified my friends,

- with all the size that verity, &c.] To verify, is to establish by testimony. One may say with propriety, he brought false witnesses to verify his title. Shakspeare considered the word with his usual laxity, as importing rather testimony than truth, and only meant to say, I bore witness to my friends with all the size that verity would suffer. .

s — upon a subtle ground,] Subtle means smooth, level, perhaps, deceitful...

and in his praise · Hate, almost, stamp'd the leasing:] i. e. given the sanction of truth to my very exaggerations.

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