Coriolanus

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Original text
Act V, Scene I
Enter Menenius, Cominius, Sicinius, Brutus, the
two Tribunes, with others.

Menen.
No, Ile not go: you heare what he hath said
Which was sometime his Generall: who loued him
In a most deere particular. He call'd me Father:
But what o'that? Go you that banish'd him
A Mile before his Tent, fall downe, and knee
The way into his mercy: Nay, if he coy'd
To heare Cominius speake, Ile keepe at home.

Com.
He would not seeme to know me.

Menen.
Do you heare?

Com.
Yet one time he did call me by my name:
I vrg'd our old acquaintance, and the drops
That we haue bled together. Coriolanus
He would not answer too: Forbad all Names,
He was a kinde of Nothing, Titlelesse,
Till he had forg'd himselfe a name a'th' fire
Of burning Rome.

Menen.
Why so: you haue made good worke:
A paire of Tribunes, that haue wrack'd for Rome,
To make Coales cheape: A Noble memory.

Com.
I minded him, how Royall 'twas to pardon
When it was lesse expected. He replyed
It was a bare petition of a State
To one whom they had punish'd.

Menen.
Very well, could he say lesse.

Com.
I offered to awaken his regard
For's priuate Friends. His answer to me was
He could not stay to picke them, in a pile
Of noysome musty Chaffe. He said, 'twas folly
For one poore graine or two, to leaue vnburnt
And still to nose th' offence.

Menen.
For one poore graine or two?
I am one of those: his Mother, Wife, his Childe,
And this braue Fellow too: we are the Graines,
You are the musty Chaffe, and you are smelt
Aboue the Moone. We must be burnt for you.

Sicin.
Nay, pray be patient: If you refuse your ayde
In this so neuer-needed helpe, yet do not
Vpbraid's with our distresse. But sure if you
Would be your Countries Pleader, your good tongue
More then the instant Armie we can make
Might stop our Countryman.

Mene.
No: Ile not meddle.

Sicin.
Pray you go to him.

Mene.
What should I do?

Bru.
Onely make triall what your Loue can do,
For Rome, towards Martius.

Mene.
Well, and say that Martius
returne mee, / As Cominius is return'd,
vnheard: what then?
But as a discontented Friend, greefe-shot
With his vnkindnesse. Say't be so?

Sicin.
Yet your good will
Must haue that thankes from Rome, after the measure
As you intended well.

Mene.
Ile vndertak't:
I thinke hee'l heare me. Yet to bite his lip,
And humme at good Cominius, much vnhearts mee.
He was not taken well, he had not din'd,
The Veines vnfill'd, our blood is cold, and then
We powt vpon the Morning, are vnapt
To giue or to forgiue; but when we haue stufft
These Pipes, and these Conueyances of our blood
With Wine and Feeding, we haue suppler Soules
Then in our Priest-like Fasts: therefore Ile watch him
Till he be dieted to my request,
And then Ile set vpon him.

Bru.
You know the very rode into his kindnesse,
And cannot lose your way.

Mene.
Good faith Ile proue him,
Speed how it will. I shall ere long, haue knowledge
Of my successe.
Exit.

Com.
Hee'l neuer heare him.

Sicin.
Not.

Com.
I tell you, he doe's sit in Gold, his eye
Red as 'twould burne Rome: and his Iniury
The Gaoler to his pitty. I kneel'd before him,
'Twas very faintly he said Rise: dismist me
Thus with his speechlesse hand. What he would do
He sent in writing after me: what he would not,
Bound with an Oath to yeeld to his conditions:
So that all hope is vaine,
vnlesse his Noble Mother, / And his Wife,
who (as I heare) meane to solicite him
For mercy to his Countrey: therefore let's hence,
And with our faire intreaties hast them on.
Exeunt
Original text
Act V, Scene II
Enter Menenius to the Watch or Guard.

1. Wat.
Stay: whence are you.

2. Wat.
Stand, and go backe.

Me.
You guard like men, 'tis well. But by your leaue,
I am an Officer of State, & come
to speak with Coriolanus

1
From whence?

Mene.
From Rome.

1
You may not passe, you must returne: our Generall
will no more heare from thence.

2
You'l see your Rome embrac'd with fire, before
You'l speake with Coriolanus.

Mene.
Good my Friends,
If you haue heard your Generall talke of Rome,
And of his Friends there, it is Lots to Blankes,
My name hath touch't your eares: it is Menenius.

1
Be it so, go back: the vertue of your name,
Is not heere passable.

Mene.
I tell thee Fellow,
Thy Generall is my Louer: I haue beene
The booke of his good Acts, whence men haue read
His Fame vnparalell'd, happely amplified:
For I haue euer verified my Friends,
(Of whom hee's cheefe) with all the size that verity
Would without lapsing suffer: Nay, sometimes,
Like to a Bowle vpon a subtle ground
I haue tumbled past the throw: and in his praise
Haue (almost) stampt the Leasing. Therefore Fellow,
I must haue leaue to passe.

1
Faith Sir, if you had told as many lies in
his behalfe, as you haue vttered words in your owne, you
should not passe heere: no, though it were as vertuous to
lye, as to liue chastly. Therefore go backe.

Men.
Prythee fellow, remember my name is Menenius,
alwayes factionary on the party of your Generall.

2
Howsoeuer you haue bin his Lier, as
you say you haue, I am one that telling true vnder him,
must say you cannot passe. Therefore go backe.

Mene.
Ha's he din'd can'st thou tell? For I would not
speake with him, till after dinner.

1
You are a Roman, are you?

Mene.
I am as thy Generall is.

1
Then you should hate Rome, as he do's.
Can you, when you haue pusht out your gates, the very
Defender of them, and in a violent popular ignorance,
giuen your enemy your shield, thinke to front his reuenges
with the easie groanes of old women, the Virginall Palms of
your daughters, or with the palsied intercession of such
a decay'd Dotant as you seeme to be? Can you think to
blow out the intended fire, your City is ready to flame in,
with such weake breath as this? No, you are deceiu'd,
therfore backe to Rome, and prepare for your execution:
you are condemn'd, our Generall has sworne you out of
repreeue and pardon.

Mene.
Sirra, if thy Captaine knew I were heere, / He
would vse me with estimation.

1
Come, my Captaine knowes you not.

Mene.
I meane thy Generall.

1
My Generall cares not for you. Back I say,
go: least I let forth your halfe pinte of blood. Backe, that's
the vt- most of your hauing, backe.

Mene.
Nay but Fellow, Fellow.
Enter Coriolanus with Auffidius.

Corio.
What's the matter?

Mene.
Now you Companion: Ile say an arrant for you:
you shall know now that I am in estimation: you
shall perceiue, that a Iacke gardant cannot office me from
my Son Coriolanus, guesse but my entertainment with
him: if thou stand'st not i'th state of hanging, or of
some death more long in Spectatorship, and crueller in
suffering, behold now presently, and swoond for what's to
come vpon thee. The glorious Gods sit in
hourely Synod about thy particular prosperity, and loue
thee no worse then thy old Father Menenius do's. O my
Son, my Son! thou art preparing fire for vs: looke thee,
heere's water to quench it. I was hardly moued to come
to thee: but beeing assured none but my selfe could moue
thee, I haue bene blowne out of your Gates with sighes:
and coniure thee to pardon Rome, and thy petitionary
Countrimen. The good Gods asswage thy wrath, and turne
the dregs of it, vpon this Varlet heere: This, who like a
blocke hath denyed my accesse to thee.

Corio.
Away.

Mene.
How? Away?

Corio.
Wife, Mother, Child, I know not. My affaires
Are Seruanted to others: Though I owe
My Reuenge properly, my remission lies
In Volcean brests. That we haue beene familiar,
Ingrate forgetfulnesse shall poison rather
Then pitty: Note how much, therefore be gone.
Mine eares against your suites, are stronger then
Your gates against my force. Yet for I loued thee,
Take this along, I writ it for thy sake,
And would haue sent it. Another word Menenius,
I will not heare thee speake. This man Auffidius
Was my belou'd in Rome: yet thou behold'st.

Auffid.
You keepe a constant temper.
Exeunt
Manet the Guard and Menenius.

1
Now sir, is your name Menenius?

2
'Tis a spell you see of much power:
You know the way home againe.

1
Do you heare how wee are shent for keeping
your greatnesse backe?

2
What cause do you thinke I haue to
swoond?

Menen.
I neither care for th' world, nor your General:
for such things as you. I can scarse thinke ther's any,
y'are so slight. He that hath a will to die by himselfe, feares
it not 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, / The Oake not to be winde-shaken.
Exit Watch.
Original text
Act V, Scene III
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
I 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.

Corio.
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
(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,
Nor 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,
with 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;
Let 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
In 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
As 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.

Corio.
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!
Now 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
Of 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
Shew 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
Fillop 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 / Do 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.

Volum.

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
Thy 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.

Corio.
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;
The 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
My 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,
That 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
And 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,
Constraines 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
Our 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
The 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
With Manacles through our streets, or else
Triumphantly treade on thy Countries ruine,
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
These 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
That 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.

Corio.
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
To 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,
This 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
Which 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
To 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
That 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
Then 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,
Ha'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
To 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,
And 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:
This 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

Corio.
Holds her by the hand silent.
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.
But 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,
Were 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
Mine 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
At 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
On 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.
Original text
Act V, Scene IV
Enter 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,
especially his Mother, may preuaile with him. But I say,
there is no hope in't, our throats are sentenc'd, and stay
vppon execution.

Sicin.
Is't possible, that so short a time can alter the
condition of a man.

Mene.
There is differency between a Grub & a
Butterfly, 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.

Mene.
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 Treading.
He is able to pierce a Corslet with his eye: Talkes like
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.

Mene.
I paint him in the Character. Mark what mercy
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.

Mene.
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.

Mes.
Sir, if you'ld saue your life, flye to your House,
The Plebeians haue got your Fellow Tribune,
And hale him vp and downe; all swearing, if
The Romane Ladies bring not comfort home,
They'l giue him death by Inches.
Enter another Messenger.

Sicin.
What's the Newes?

Mess.
Good Newes, good newes, the Ladies haue preuayl'd,
The Volcians are dislodg'd, and Martius gone:
A merrier day did neuer yet greet Rome,
No, not th' expulsion of the Tarquins.

Sicin.
Friend,
art thou certaine this is true? / Is't most certaine.

Mes.
As certaine as I know the Sun is fire:
Where haue you lurk'd that you make doubt of it:
Ne're through an Arch so hurried the blowne Tide,
As the recomforted through th' gates. Why harke you:
Trumpets, Hoboyes, Drums beate, altogether.
The Trumpets, Sack-buts, Psalteries, and Fifes,
Tabors, and Symboles, and the showting Romans,
Make the Sunne dance. Hearke you.
A shout within

Mene.
This is good Newes:
I will go meete the Ladies. This Volumnia,
Is worth of Consuls, Senators, Patricians,
A City full: Of Tribunes such as you,
A Sea and Land full: you haue pray'd well to day:
This Morning, for ten thousand of your throates,
I'de not haue giuen a doit. Harke, how they ioy.
Sound still with the Shouts.

Sicin.
First, the Gods blesse you for your tydings: / Next,
accept my thankefulnesse.

Mess.
Sir, we haue all great cause to giue great thanks.

Sicin.
They are neere the City.

Mes.
Almost at point to enter.

Sicin.
Wee'l meet them, and helpe the ioy.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act V, Scene V
Enter two Senators, with Ladies,
passing ouer the Stage, with other Lords.

Sena.
Behold our Patronnesse, the life of Rome:
Call all your Tribes together, praise the Gods,
And make triumphant fires, strew Flowers before them:
Vnshoot the noise that Banish'd Martius;
Repeale him, with the welcome of his Mother:
Cry welcome Ladies, welcome.

All.
Welcome Ladies, welcome.
A Flourish with Drummes & Trumpets.
Original text
Act V, Scene VI
Enter Tullus Auffidius, with Attendants.

Auf.
Go tell the Lords a'th' City, I am heere:
Deliuer them this Paper: hauing read it,
Bid them repayre to th' Market place, where I
Euen in theirs, and in the Commons eares
Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse:
The City Ports by this hath enter'd, and
Intends t'appeare before the People, hoping
To purge himselfe with words. Dispatch.
Enter 3 or 4 Conspirators of Auffidius Faction.
Most Welcome.

1. Con.
How is it with our Generall?

Auf.
Euen so,
as with a man by his owne Almes impoyson'd,
and with his Charity slaine.

2. Con.
Most Noble Sir,
If you do hold the same intent / Wherein
you wisht vs parties: Wee'l deliuer you
Of your great danger.

Auf.
Sir, I cannot tell,
We must proceed as we do finde the People.

3. Con.
The People will remaine vncertaine, whil'st
'Twixt you there's difference: but the fall of either
Makes the Suruiuor heyre of all.

Auf. I
know it:
And my pretext to strike at him, admits
A good construction. I rais'd him, and I pawn'd
Mine Honor for his truth: who being so heighten'd,
He watered his new Plants with dewes of Flattery,
Seducing so my Friends: and to this end,
He bow'd his Nature, neuer knowne before,
But to be rough, vnswayable, and free.

3. Consp.
Sir, his stoutnesse
When he did stand for Consull, which he lost
By lacke of stooping.

Auf.
That I would haue spoke of:
Being banish'd for't, he came vnto my Harth,
Presented to my knife his Throat: I tooke him,
Made him ioynt-seruant with me: Gaue him way
In all his owne desires: Nay, let him choose
Out of my Files, his proiects, to accomplish
My best and freshest men, seru'd his designements
In mine owne person: holpe to reape the Fame
Which he did end all his; and tooke some pride
To do my selfe this wrong: Till at the last
I seem'd his Follower, not Partner; and
He wadg'd me with his Countenance, as if
I had bin Mercenary.

1. Con.
So he did my Lord:
The Army marueyl'd at it, and in the last,
When he had carried Rome, and that we look'd
For no lesse Spoile, then Glory.

Auf.
There was it:
For which my sinewes shall be stretcht vpon him,
At a few drops of Womens rhewme, which are
As cheape as Lies; he sold the Blood and Labour
Of our great Action; therefore shall he dye,
And Ile renew me in his fall. But hearke.
Drummes and Trumpets sounds, with greatshowts of the
people.

1. Con.
Your Natiue Towne you enter'd like a Poste,
And had no welcomes home, but he returnes
Splitting the Ayre with noyse.

2. Con.
And patient Fooles,
Whose children he hath slaine, their base throats teare
With giuing him glory.

3. Con.
Therefore at your vantage,
Ere he expresse himselfe, or moue the people
With what he would say, let him feele your Sword:
Which we will second, when he lies along
After your way. His Tale pronounc'd, shall bury
His Reasons, with his Body.

Auf.
Say no more.
Heere come the Lords,
Enter the Lords of the City.

All Lords.
You are most welcome home.

Auff.
I haue not deseru'd it.
But worthy Lords, haue you with heede perused
What I haue written to you?

All.
We haue.

1. Lord.
And greeue to heare't:
What faults he made before the last, I thinke
Might haue found easie Fines: But there to end
Where he was to begin, and giue away
The benefit of our Leuies, answering vs
With our owne charge: making a Treatie, where
There was a yeelding; this admits no excuse.

Auf.
He approaches, you shall heare him.
Enter Coriolanus marching with Drumme, and Colours.
TheCommoners being with him.

Corio.
Haile Lords, I am return'd your Souldier:
No more infected with my Countries loue
Then when I parted hence: but still subsisting
Vnder your great Command. You are to know,
That prosperously I haue attempted, and
With bloody passage led your Warres, euen to
The gates of Rome: Our spoiles we haue brought home
Doth more then counterpoize a full third part
The charges of the Action. We haue made peace
With no lesse Honor to the Antiates
Then shame to th' Romaines. And we heere deliuer
Subscrib'd by'th' Consuls, and Patricians,
Together with the Seale a'th Senat, what
We haue compounded on.

Auf.
Read it not Noble Lords,
But tell the Traitor in the highest degree
He hath abus'd your Powers.

Corio.
Traitor? How now?

Auf.
I Traitor, Martius.

Corio.
Martius?

Auf.
I Martius, Caius Martius: Do'st thou thinke
Ile grace thee with that Robbery, thy stolne name
Coriolanus in Corioles?
You Lords and Heads a'th' State, perfidiously
He ha's betray'd your businesse, and giuen vp
For certaine drops of Salt, your City Rome:
I say your City to his Wife and Mother,
Breaking his Oath and Resolution, like
A twist of rotten Silke, neuer admitting
Counsaile a'th' warre: But at his Nurses teares
He whin'd and roar'd away your Victory,
That Pages blush'd at him, and men of heart
Look'd wond'ring each at others.

Corio.
Hear'st thou Mars?

Auf.
Name not the God, thou boy of Teares.

Corio.
Ha?

Aufid.
No more.

Corio.
Measurelesse Lyar, thou hast made my heart
Too great for what containes it. Boy? Oh Slaue,
Pardon me Lords, 'tis the first time that euer
I was forc'd to scoul'd. Your iudgments my graue Lords
Must giue this Curre the Lye: and his owne Notion,
Who weares my stripes imprest vpon him, that
Must beare my beating to his Graue, shall ioyne
To thrust the Lye vnto him.

1 Lord.
Peace both, and heare me speake.

Corio.
Cut me to peeces Volces men and Lads,
Staine all your edges on me. Boy, false Hound:
If you haue writ your Annales true, 'tis there,
That like an Eagle in a Doue-coat, I
Flatter'd your Volcians in Corioles.
Alone I did it, Boy.

Auf.
Why Noble Lords,
Will you be put in minde of his blinde Fortune,
Which was your shame, by this vnholy Braggart?
'Fore your owne eyes, and eares?

All Consp.
Let him dye for't.

All People.
Teare him to peeces, do it presently:
He kill'd my Sonne, my daughter, he kill'd my
Cosine Marcus, he kill'd my Father.

2 Lord.
Peace hoe: no outrage, peace:
The man is Noble, and his Fame folds in
This Orbe o'th'earth: His last offences to vs
Shall haue Iudicious hearing. Stand Auffidius,
And trouble not the peace.

Corio.
O that I had him,
with six Auffidiusses, or more: / His Tribe,
to vse my lawfull Sword.

Auf.
Insolent Villaine.

All Consp.
Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him.
Draw both the Conspirators, and kils Martius,
who falles,
Auffidius stands on him.

Lords.
Hold, hold, hold, hold.

Auf.
My Noble Masters, heare me speake.

1. Lord.
O Tullus.

2. Lord.
Thou hast done a deed, whereat / Valour will weepe.

3. Lord.
Tread not vpon him Masters, all be quiet,
Put vp your Swords.

Auf.
My Lords, / When you shall know (as in this Rage
Prouok'd by him, you cannot) the great danger
Which this mans life did owe you, you'l reioyce
That he is thus cut off. Please it your Honours
To call me to your Senate, Ile deliuer
My selfe your loyall Seruant, or endure
Your heauiest Censure.

1. Lord.
Beare from hence his body,
And mourne you for him. Let him be regarded
As the most Noble Coarse, that euer Herald
Did follow to his Vrne.

2. Lord.
His owne impatience,
Takes from Auffidius a great part of blame:
Let's make the Best of it.

Auf.
My Rage is gone,
And I am strucke with sorrow. Take him vp:
Helpe three a'th' cheefest Souldiers, Ile be one.
Beate thou the Drumme that it speake mournfully:
Traile your steele Pikes. Though in this City hee
Hath widdowed and vnchilded many a one,
Which to this houre bewaile the Iniury,
Yet he shall haue a Noble Memory.
Assist.
Exeunt bearing the Body of Martius.
A dead March / Sounded.
Modern text
Act V, Scene I
Enter Menenius, Cominius, Sicinius and Brutus the
two Tribunes, with others

MENENIUS
No, I'll not go. You hear what he hath said
Which was sometime his general, who loved him
In a most dear particular. He called me father;
But what o'that? Go, you that banished him,
A mile before his tent fall down, and knee
The way into his mercy. Nay, if he coyed
To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home.

COMINIUS
He would not seem to know me.

MENENIUS
Do you hear?

COMINIUS
Yet one time he did call me by my name.
I urged our old acquaintance and the drops
That we have bled together. ‘ Coriolanus ’
He would not answer to; forbade all names;
He was a kind of nothing, titleless,
Till he had forged himself a name i'th' fire
Of burning Rome.

MENENIUS
Why, so! You have made good work.
A pair of tribunes that have wracked for Rome
To make coals cheap – a noble memory!

COMINIUS
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 punished.

MENENIUS
Very well. Could he say less?

COMINIUS
I offered to awaken his regard
For's 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 th' offence.

MENENIUS
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 smelt
Above the moon. We must be burnt for you.

SICINIUS
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.

MENENIUS
No, I'll not meddle.

SICINIUS
Pray you, go to him.

MENENIUS
What should I do?

BRUTUS
Only make trial what your love can do
For Rome towards Martius.

MENENIUS
Well, and say that Martius
Return me, as Cominius is returned,
Unheard – what then?
But as a discontented friend, grief-shot
With his unkindness? Say't be so?

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

MENENIUS
I'll undertake't;
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 dined.
The veins unfilled, our blood is cold, and then
We pout upon the morning, are unapt
To give or to forgive, but when we have stuffed
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.

BRUTUS
You know the very road into his kindness
And cannot lose your way.

MENENIUS
Good faith, I'll prove him,
Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge
Of my success.
Exit

COMINIUS
He'll never hear him.

SICINIUS
Not?

COMINIUS
I tell you he does sit in gold, his eye
Red as 'twould burn Rome, and his injury
The gaoler to his pity. I kneeled before him;
'Twas very faintly he said ‘ Rise,’ dismissed 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.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene II
Enter Menenius to the Watch on guard

FIRST WATCH
Stay. Whence are you?

SECOND WATCH
Stand, and go back.

MENENIUS
You guard like men, 'tis well. But, by your leave,
I am an officer of state and come
To speak with Coriolanus.

FIRST WATCH
From whence?

MENENIUS
From Rome.

FIRST WATCH
You may not pass, you must return. Our general
Will no more hear from thence.

SECOND WATCH
You'll see your Rome embraced with fire before
You'll speak with Coriolanus.

MENENIUS
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 touched your ears: it is Menenius.

FIRST WATCH
Be it so; go back. The virtue of your name
Is not here passable.

MENENIUS
I tell thee, fellow,
Thy general is my lover. I have been
The book of his good acts whence men have read
His fame unparalleled haply amplified.
For I have ever varnished 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 stamped the leasing. Therefore, fellow,
I must have leave to pass.

FIRST WATCH
Faith, sir, if you had told as 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.

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

SECOND WATCH
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.

MENENIUS
Has he dined, canst thou tell? For I would not
speak with him till after dinner.

FIRST WATCH
You are a Roman, are you?

MENENIUS
I am, as thy general is.

FIRST WATCH
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 pardon.

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

FIRST WATCH
Come, my captain knows you not.

MENENIUS
I mean thy general.

FIRST WATCH
My general cares not for you. Back, I say,
go, lest I let forth your half-pint of blood. Back – that's
the utmost of your having. Back.

MENENIUS
Nay, but fellow, fellow –
Enter Coriolanus with Aufidius

CORIOLANUS
What's the matter?

MENENIUS
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 stand'st not i'th' 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 Coriolanus) 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 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.

CORIOLANUS
Away!

MENENIUS
How? Away?

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

AUFIDIUS
You keep a constant temper.
Exeunt
The Guard and Menenius stay behind

FIRST WATCH
Now, sir, is your name Menenius?

SECOND WATCH
'Tis a spell, you see, of much power.
You know the way home again.

FIRST WATCH
Do you hear how we are shent for keeping
your greatness back?

SECOND WATCH
What cause do you think I have to
swoon?

MENENIUS
I neither care for th' world nor your general.
For such things as you, I can scarce think there's any,
y'are so slight. He that hath 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!
Exit

FIRST WATCH
A noble fellow, I warrant him.

SECOND WATCH
The worthy fellow is our general. He's
the rock, the oak not to be wind-shaken.
Exit Watch
Modern text
Act V, Scene III
Enter Coriolanus and Aufidius with others. They sit

CORIOLANUS
We will before the walls of Rome tomorrow
Set down our host. My partner in this action,
You must report to th' Volscian lords how plainly
I have borne this business.

AUFIDIUS
Only their ends
You have respected; stopped your ears against
The general suit of Rome; never admitted
A private whisper – no, not with such friends
That thought them sure of you.

CORIOLANUS
This last old man,
Whom with a cracked 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 showed sourly to him – once more offered
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. (Shouts within) Ha! What shout is this?
(aside) Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow
In the same time 'tis made? I will not.
Enter Virgilia, Volumnia, Valeria, young Martius,
with Attendants
My wife comes foremost, then the honoured mould
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 curtsy worth? Or those dove's eyes,
Which can make gods forsworn? I melt, and am not
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.

VIRGILIA
My lord and husband!

CORIOLANUS
These eyes are not the same I wore in Rome.

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

CORIOLANUS
(aside)
Like a dull actor now
I have forgot my part and I am out,
Even to a full disgrace. (Rising and going to her) 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 virgined it e'er since. You gods! I pray,
And the most noble mother of the world
Leave unsaluted. Sink, my knee, i'th' earth;
He kneels
Of thy deep duty more impression show
Than that of common sons.

VOLUMNIA
O, stand up blest!
He rises
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.
She kneels

CORIOLANUS
What's this?
Your knees to me? To your corrected son?
He raises her
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.

VOLUMNIA
Thou art my warrior;
I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady?

CORIOLANUS
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!

VOLUMNIA
(indicating young Martius)
This is a poor epitome of yours,
Which by th' interpretation of full time
May show like all yourself.

CORIOLANUS
The god of soldiers,
With the consent of supreme Jove, inform
Thy thoughts with nobleness, that thou mayst prove
To shame unvulnerable, and stick i'th' wars
Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,
And saving those that eye thee!

VOLUMNIA
Your knee, sirrah.

CORIOLANUS
That's my brave boy!

VOLUMNIA
Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself
Are suitors to you.

CORIOLANUS
I beseech you, peace!
Or, if you'd 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
T' allay my rages and revenges with
Your colder reasons.

VOLUMNIA
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.

CORIOLANUS
Aufidius, and you Volsces, mark; for we'll
Hear nought from Rome in private. (He sits) Your request?

VOLUMNIA
Should we be silent and not speak, our raiment
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 should
Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with comforts,
Constrains them weep and shake with fear and sorrow,
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
Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort
That all but we enjoy. For how can we,
Alas, how can we for our country pray,
Whereto we are bound, together with thy victory,
Whereto we are bound? Alack, or we must lose
The country, our dear nurse, or else thy person,
Our comfort in the country. We must find
An evident calamity, though we had
Our wish, which side should win. For either thou
Must, as a foreign recreant be led
With manacles through our streets, or else
Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin,
And bear the palm for having bravely shed
Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, son,
I purpose not to wait on fortune till
These wars determine. If I cannot persuade thee
Rather to show a noble grace to both parts
Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner
March to assault thy country than to tread –
Trust to't, thou shalt not – on thy mother's womb
That brought thee to this world.

VIRGILIA
Ay, and mine,
That brought you forth this boy to keep your name
Living to time.

BOY
'A shall not tread on me!
I'll run away till I am bigger, but then I'll fight.

CORIOLANUS
Not of a woman's tenderness to be
Requires nor child nor woman's face to see.
I have sat too long.
He rises

VOLUMNIA
Nay, go not from us thus.
If it were so that our request did tend
To save the Romans, thereby to destroy
The Volsces whom you serve, you might condemn us
As poisonous of your honour. No, our suit
Is that you reconcile them, while the Volsces
May say ‘ This mercy we have showed,’ the Romans
‘ This we received,’ and each in either side
Give the all-hail to thee and cry ‘ Be blest
For making up this peace!’ Thou know'st, great son,
The end of war's uncertain; but this certain,
That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit
Which thou shalt thereby reap is such a name
Whose repetition will be dogged with curses,
Whose chronicle thus writ: ‘ The man was noble,
But with his last attempt he wiped it out,
Destroyed his country, and his name remains
To the ensuing age abhorred.’ Speak to me, son.
Thou hast affected the fine strains of honour,
To imitate the graces of the gods,
To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o'th' air,
And yet to charge thy sulphur with a bolt
That should but rive an oak. Why dost not speak?
Think'st thou it honourable for a nobleman
Still to remember wrongs? Daughter, speak you:
He cares not for your weeping. Speak thou, boy.
Perhaps thy childishness will move him more
Than can our reasons. There's no man in the world
More bound to's mother, yet here he lets me prate
Like one i'th' stocks. Thou hast never in thy life
Showed thy dear mother any courtesy,
When she, poor hen, fond of no second brood,
Has clucked thee to the wars, and safely home,
Loaden with honour. Say my request's unjust,
And spurn me back. 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
To a mother's part belongs. He turns away.
Down ladies! Let us shame him with our knees.
To his surname Coriolanus 'longs more pride
Than pity to our prayers. Down! An end;
The four kneel
This is the last. So, we will home to Rome,
And die among our neighbours. Nay, behold 's!
This boy, that cannot tell what he would have
But kneels and holds up hands for fellowship,
Does reason our petition with more strength
Than thou hast to deny't. Come, let us go.
They rise
This fellow had a Volscian to his mother;
His wife is in Corioles, and his child
Like him by chance. Yet give us our dispatch.
I am hushed until our city be afire,
And then I'll speak a little.

CORIOLANUS
Holds her by the hand, silent
O mother, mother!
What have you done? Behold, the heavens do ope,
The gods look down, and this unnatural scene
They laugh at. O my mother, mother! O!
You have won a happy victory to Rome.
But for your son – believe it, O believe it –
Most dangerously you have with him prevailed,
If not most mortal to him. But let it come.
Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius,
Were you in my stead, would you have heard
A mother less? Or granted less, Aufidius?

AUFIDIUS
I was moved withal.

CORIOLANUS
I dare be sworn you were!
And, sir, it is no little thing to make
Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good sir,
What peace you'll make, advise me. For my part,
I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you, and pray you,
Stand to me in this cause. O mother! Wife!

AUFIDIUS
(aside)
I am glad thou hast set thy mercy and thy honour
At difference in thee. Out of that I'll work
Myself a former fortune.

CORIOLANUS
(to the ladies)
Ay, by and by.
But we will drink together; and you shall bear
A better witness back than words, which we,
On like conditions, will have counter-sealed.
Come, enter with us. Ladies, you deserve
To have a temple built you. All the swords
In Italy, and her confederate arms,
Could not have made this peace.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene IV
Enter Menenius and Sicinius

MENENIUS
See you yond coign o'th' Capitol, yond
cornerstone?

SICINIUS
Why, what of that?

MENENIUS
If it be possible for you to displace it with
your little finger, there is some hope the ladies of Rome,
especially his mother, may prevail with him. But I say
there is no hope in't, our throats are sentenced and stay
upon execution.

SICINIUS
Is't possible that so short a time can alter the
condition of a man?

MENENIUS
There is differency between a grub and a
butterfly, yet your butterfly was a grub. This Martius is
grown from man to dragon. He has wings; he's more
than a creeping thing.

SICINIUS
He loved his mother dearly.

MENENIUS
So did he me; and he no more remembers his
mother now than an eight-year-old horse. The tartness
of his face sours ripe grapes. When he walks, he moves
like an engine, and the ground shrinks before his treading.
He is able to pierce a corslet with his eye, talks like
a knell, and his hum is a battery. He sits in his state as
a thing made for Alexander. What he bids be done is
finished with his bidding. He wants nothing of a god but
eternity and a heaven to throne in.

SICINIUS
Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.

MENENIUS
I paint him in the character. Mark what mercy
his mother shall bring from him. There is no more
mercy in him than there is milk in a male tiger. That
shall our poor city find. And all this is 'long of you.

SICINIUS
The gods be good unto us!

MENENIUS
No, in such a case the gods will not be good
unto us. When we banished him we respected not them;
and, he returning to break our necks, they respect not us.
Enter a Messenger

MESSENGER
Sir, if you'd save your life, fly to your house.
The plebeians have got your fellow Tribune
And hale him up and down, all swearing if
The Roman ladies bring not comfort home
They'll give him death by inches.
Enter another Messenger

SICINIUS
What's the news?

SECOND MESSENGER
Good news, good news! The ladies have prevailed,
The Volscians are dislodged and Martius gone.
A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
No, not th' expulsion of the Tarquins.

SICINIUS
Friend,
Art thou certain this is true? Is't most certain?

SECOND MESSENGER
As certain as I know the sun is fire.
Where have you lurked that you make doubt of it?
Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide
As the recomforted through th' gates. Why, hark you!
Trumpets, hautboys, drums beat, all together
The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes,
Tabors and cymbals and the shouting Romans
Make the sun dance. Hark you!
A shout within

MENENIUS
This is good news.
I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia
Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians,
A city full; of tribunes such as you,
A sea and land full. You have prayed well today.
This morning for ten thousand of your throats
I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!
Sound still with the shouts

SICINIUS
First, the gods bless you for your tidings; next,
Accept my thankfulness.

SECOND MESSENGER
Sir, we have all great cause to give great thanks.

SICINIUS
They are near the city?

SECOND MESSENGER
Almost at point to enter.

SICINIUS
We'll meet them, and help the joy.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene V
Enter two Senators, with Volumnia, Virgilia, and
Valeria, passing over the stage, with other Lords

FIRST SENATOR
Behold our patroness, the life of Rome!
Call all your tribes together, praise the gods,
And make triumphant fires; strew flowers before them.
Unshout the noise that banished Martius,
Repeal him with the welcome of his mother.
Cry ‘ Welcome, ladies, welcome!’

ALL
Welcome, ladies, welcome!
A flourish with drums and trumpets. Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene VI
Enter Tullus Aufidius, with Attendants

AUFIDIUS
Go tell the lords o'th' city I am here.
Deliver them this paper. Having read it,
Bid them repair to th' market-place, where I,
Even in theirs and in the commons' ears,
Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse
The city ports by this hath entered and
Intends t' appear before the people, hoping
To purge himself with words. Dispatch.
Exeunt Attendants
Enter three or four Conspirators of Aufidius's faction
Most welcome!

FIRST CONSPIRATOR
How is it with our general?

AUFIDIUS
Even so
As with a man by his own alms empoisoned
And with his charity slain.

SECOND CONSPIRATOR
Most noble sir,
If you do hold the same intent wherein
You wished us parties, we'll deliver you
Of your great danger.

AUFIDIUS
Sir, I cannot tell.
We must proceed as we do find the people.

THIRD CONSPIRATOR
The people will remain uncertain whilst
'Twixt you there's difference. But the fall of either
Makes the survivor heir of all.

AUFIDIUS
I know it,
And my pretext to strike at him admits
A good construction. I raised him, and I pawned
Mine honour for his truth; who being so heightened,
He watered his new plants with dews of flattery,
Seducing so my friends. And, to this end
He bowed his nature, never known before
But to be rough, unswayable and free.

THIRD CONSPIRATOR
Sir, his stoutness
When he did stand for consul, which he lost
By lack of stooping –

AUFIDIUS
That I would have spoke of.
Being banished for't, he came unto my hearth,
Presented to my knife his throat. I took him,
Made him joint-servant with me, gave him way
In all his own desires; nay, let him choose
Out of my files, his projects to accomplish,
My best and freshest men; served his designments
In mine own person; holp to reap the fame
Which he did end all his, and took some pride
To do myself this wrong. Till at the last
I seemed his follower, not partner; and
He waged me with his countenance as if
I had been mercenary.

FIRST CONSPIRATOR
So he did, my lord;
The army marvelled at it. And, in the last,
When we had carried Rome and that we looked
For no less spoil than glory –

AUFIDIUS
There was it,
For which my sinews shall be stretched upon him.
At a few drops of women's rheum, which are
As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labour
Of our great action. Therefore shall he die,
And I'll renew me in his fall. But hark!
Drums and trumpets sound, with great shouts of the
people

FIRST CONSPIRATOR
Your native town you entered like a post,
And had no welcomes home; but he returns
Splitting the air with noise.

SECOND CONSPIRATOR
And patient fools,
Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tear
With giving him glory.

THIRD CONSPIRATOR
Therefore, at your vantage,
Ere he express himself or move the people
With what he would say, let him feel your sword,
Which we will second. When he lies along,
After your way his tale pronounced shall bury
His reasons with his body.

AUFIDIUS
Say no more.
Here come the Lords.
Enter the Lords of the city

ALL LORDS
You are most welcome home.

AUFIDIUS
I have not deserved it.
But, worthy Lords, have you with heed perused
What I have written to you?

ALL
We have.

FIRST LORD
And grieve to hear't.
What faults he made before the last, I think
Might have found easy fines. But there to end
Where he was to begin, and give away
The benefit of our levies, answering us
With our own charge, making a treaty where
There was a yielding – this admits no excuse.

AUFIDIUS
He approaches. You shall hear him.
Enter Coriolanus, marching with drum and colours;
the Commoners being with him

CORIOLANUS
Hail, Lords! I am returned your soldier,
No more infected with my country's love
Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting
Under your great command. You are to know
That prosperously I have attempted and
With bloody passage led your wars even to
The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought home
Doth more than counterpoise a full third part
The charges of the action. We have made peace
With no less honour to the Antiates
Than shame to th' Romans. And we here deliver,
Subscribed by th' consuls and patricians,
Together with the seal o'th' Senate, what
We have compounded on.

AUFIDIUS
Read it not, noble Lords;
But tell the traitor in the highest degree
He hath abused your powers.

CORIOLANUS
Traitor? How now?

AUFIDIUS
Ay, traitor, Martius!

CORIOLANUS
Martius!

AUFIDIUS
Ay, Martius, Caius Martius! Dost thou think
I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stolen name
Coriolanus in Corioles?
You lords and heads o'th' state, perfidiously
He has betrayed your business and given up,
For certain drops of salt, your city Rome –
I say your city – to his wife and mother,
Breaking his oath and resolution like
A twist of rotten silk, never admitting
Counsel o'th' war. But at his nurse's tears
He whined and roared away your victory,
That pages blushed at him and men of heart
Looked wondering each at others.

CORIOLANUS
Hear'st thou, Mars?

AUFIDIUS
Name not the god, thou boy of tears!

CORIOLANUS
Ha?

AUFIDIUS
No more.

CORIOLANUS
Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart
Too great for what contains it. ‘ Boy!’ O slave!
Pardon me, Lords, 'tis the first time that ever
I was forced to scold. Your judgements, my grave Lords,
Must give this cur the lie; and his own notion –
Who wears my stripes impressed upon him, that
Must bear my beating to his grave – shall join
To thrust the lie unto him.

FIRST LORD
Peace, both, and hear me speak.

CORIOLANUS
Cut me to pieces, Volsces. Men and lads,
Stain all your edges on me. ‘Boy'! False hound!
If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there
That, like an eagle in a dovecote, I
Fluttered your Volscians in Corioles.
Alone I did it. ‘ Boy!’

AUFIDIUS
Why, noble Lords,
Will you be put in mind of his blind fortune,
Which was your shame, by this unholy braggart,
'Fore your own eyes and ears?

ALL CONSPIRATORS
Let him die for't.

ALL THE PEOPLE
Tear him to pieces! – Do it presently!
– He killed my son! – My daughter! – He killed my
cousin Marcus! – He killed my father!

SECOND LORD
Peace, ho! No outrage. Peace!
The man is noble and his fame folds in
This orb o'th' earth. His last offences to us
Shall have judicious hearing. Stand, Aufidius,
And trouble not the peace.

CORIOLANUS
O that I had him,
With six Aufidiuses or more – his tribe,
To use my lawful sword!

AUFIDIUS
Insolent villain!

ALL CONSPIRATORS
Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him!
The Conspirators draw their swords, and kill Martius,
who falls
Aufidius stands on him

LORDS
Hold, hold, hold, hold!

AUFIDIUS
My noble masters, hear me speak.

FIRST LORD
O Tullus!

SECOND LORD
Thou hast done a deed whereat valour will weep.

THIRD LORD
Tread not upon him. Masters all, be quiet.
Put up your swords.

AUFIDIUS
My lords, when you shall know – as in this rage
Provoked by him you cannot – the great danger
Which this man's life did owe you, you'll rejoice
That he is thus cut off. Please it your honours
To call me to your Senate, I'll deliver
Myself your loyal servant, or endure
Your heaviest censure.

FIRST LORD
Bear from hence his body,
And mourn you for him. Let him be regarded
As the most noble corse that ever herald
Did follow to his urn.

SECOND LORD
His own impatience
Takes from Aufidius a great part of blame.
Let's make the best of it.

AUFIDIUS
My rage is gone,
And I am struck with sorrow. Take him up.
Help three o'th' chiefest soldiers; I'll be one.
Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully.
Trail your steel pikes. Though in this city he
Hath widowed and unchilded many a one,
Which to this hour bewail the injury,
Yet he shall have a noble memory.
Assist.
Exeunt, bearing the body of Martius.
A dead march sounded
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL