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And, what is left, to lose it by his country,
Were to us all, that do't, and suffer it,
A brand to the end o' the world.

Sic. This is clean kam. 8

Bru. Merely awry : When he did love his country, It honour'd him.

Men. The service of the foot

Being once gangreen'd, is not then respected
For what before it was?

Bru. We'll hear no more :

Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence;
Lest his infection, being of catching nature,
Spread further.

Men. One word more, one word.

This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find

The harm of unscann'd swiftness, will, too late,

Tie leaden pounds to his heels. Proceed by process; Lest parties (as he is belov'd) break out,

And sack great Rome with Romans.

Bru. If 'twere so,

Sic. What do ye talk?

Have we not had a taste of his obedience?

Our Ediles smote? ourselves resisted ?-Come :-
Men. Consider this ;-He has been bred i'the wars
Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school'd
In boulted language; meal and bran together
He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
I'll go to him, and undertake to bring him
Where he shall answer, by a lawful form,
(In peace,) to his utmost peril.

1 Sen. Noble tribunes,

It is the humane way: the other course
Will prove too bloody; and the end of it
Unknown to the beginning.

Sic. Noble Menenius,

Be you them as the people's officer :
-Masters, lay down your weapons.
Bru. Go not home.

Sic. Meet on the market-place-we'll attend you there :

Where, if you bring not Marcius, we'll proceed
In our first way.

Men. I'll bring him to you :—

[8] i. e. clean kam. hinder leg.

Awry. So Cotgrave interprets, Tout va a contrepoil, All goes
Hence a cambrel for a crooked stick or the bend in a horse's
WARE-The Welch word for crooked is kam. STEEV.

Let me desire your company. [To the Senators.] He

must come,

Or what is worst will follow.

1 Sen. Pray, let's to him.



A Room in CORIOLANUS's house. Enter CORIOLANUS, and


Cor. Let them pull all about mine ears; present me Death on the wheel, or at wild horses' heels ;

Or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock,

That the precipitation might down stretch
Below the beam of sight, yet will I still
Be thus to them.


1 Pat. You do the nobler.
Cor. I muse, my mother

Does not approve me further, who was wont
To call them woollen vassals, things created
To buy and sell with groats; to show bare heads
In congregations, to yawn, be still, and wonder,
When one but of my ordinance stood up'

To speak of peace, or war. I talk of you;


Why did you wish me milder? Would you have me
False to my nature? Rather say, I play

The man I am.

Vol. O, sir, sir, sir,

I would have had you put your power well on,
Before you had worn it out.

Cor. Let go.

Vol. You might have been enough the man you are, With striving less to be so: Lesser had been

The thwartings of your dispositions, if

You had not show'd them how you were dispos'd

Ere they lack'd power to cross you.

Cor. Let them hang.

Vol. Ay, and burn too.

Enter MENENIUS and Senators.

Men. Come, come, you have been too rough, something too rough;

You must return, and mend it.

1 Sen. There's no remedy;

Unless, by not so doing, our good city

[9] That is, I wonder, I am at a loss. [1] My rank. JOHNS.

Cleave in the midst, and perish.

Vol. Pray be counsell'd:

I have a heart as little apt as your's,

But yet a brain, that leads my use of anger,
To better 'vantage.

Men. Well said, noble woman:

Before he should thus stoop to the herd, but that
The violent fit o'the time craves it as physic
For the whole state, I would put mine armour on,
Which I can scarcely bear.

Cor. What must I do?

Men. Return to the tribunes.

Cor. Well, what then? what then?
Men. Repent what you have spoke.

Cor. For them ?-I cannot do it to the gods :
Must I then do't to them?

Vol. You are too absolute;

Though therein you can never be too noble,

But when extremities speak.2 I have heard you say, Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends,

I'the war do grow together: Grant that, and tell me, In peace, what each of them by the other lose,

That they combine not there?

Cor. Tush, tush!

Men. A good demand.

Vol. If it be honour, in your wars, to seem
The same you are not, (which, for your best ends,

You adopt your policy,) how is it less, or worse,
That it shall hold companionship in peace
With honour, as in war; since that to both
It stands in like request?

Cor. Why force you this ?3

Vol. Because, that now it lies you on to speak

To the people; not by your own instruction,

Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you to ;
But with such words that are but roted in

Your tongue, though but bastards, and syllables/
Of no allowance, to your bosom's truth.

Now, this no more dishonours you at all,
Than to take in a town with gentle words,

Which else would put you to your fortune, and
The hazard of much blood.-

[2] Except in cases of urgent necessity, when your resolute and noble spirit, however commendable at other times, ought to yield to the ocea [33 Why urge you? JOHNS.



I would dissemble with my nature, where
My fortunes, and my friends, at stake, requir'd,
I should do so in honour: I am in this,

Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles ;4
And you will rather show our general lowts

How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon them,
For the inheritance of their loves, and safeguard
Of what that want might ruin.6

Men. Noble lady !—

Come, go with us; speak fair: you may salve so,
Not what is dangerous present, but the loss
Of what is past.

Vol. I pr'ythee now, my son,

Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand;

And thus far having stretch'd it, (here be with them,)
Thy knee bussing the stones, (for in such business
Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant
More learned than the ears,) waving thy head,
Which often, thus, correcting thy stout heart,
That humble, as the ripest mulberry, 8
Now will not hold the handling: Or, say to them,
Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils,
Hast not the soft way, which, thou dost confess,
Were fit for thee to use, as they to claim,
In asking their good loves; but thou wilt frame
Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far

As thou hast power, and person.

Men. This but done,

Even as she speaks, why, all their hearts were your's: For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free

As words to little purpose.

Vol. Pr'ythee now,

Go, and be rul'd : although, I know, thou hadst rather Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf,

Than flatter him in a bower. Here is Cominius.


Com. I have been i'the market-place: and, sir, 'tis fit You make strong party, or defend yourself

By calmness, or by absence; all's in anger.

Men. Only fair speech.

Com. I think, 'twill serve, if he

Can thereto frame his spirit.

[4] I think the meaning is, I am in their condition, I am at stake, together with your wife, your son.' [5] Our common clowns. JOHNS. [6] The want of their loves. [7] Not seems to signify not only. JOHNS. [8] This fruit, when thorough:y ripe, drops from the tree. STEEV.

Vol. He must, and will :

Pr'ythee, now, say, you will, and go about it.

Cor. Must I go show them my unbarb'd sconce ?* Must I

With my base tongue, give to my noble heart

A lie, that it must bear? Well, I will do't:
Yet were there but this single plot to lose,

This mould of Marcius, they to dust should grind it,
And throw it against the wind.-To the market-place :-
You have put me now to such a part, which never
I shall discharge to the life.

Com. Come, come, we'll prompt you.

Vol. I pr'ythee now, sweet son: as thou hast said,
My praises made thee first a soldier, so,

To have my praise for this, perform a part
Thou hast not done before.

Cor. Well, I must do't :

Away, my disposition, and possess me

Some harlot's spirit! My throat of war be turn'd,
Which quired with my drum,' into a pipe
Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice

That babies lulls asleep! The smiles of knaves
Tent in my cheeks; and school-boys tears take up
The glasses of my sight! A beggar's tongue

Make motion through my lips; and my arm'd knees,
Who bow'd but in my stirrup, bend like his
That hath receiv'd an alms-I will not do't:
Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth,
And, by my body's action, teach my mind
A most inherent baseness.

Vol. At thy choice then :

To beg of thee, it is my more dishonour,
Than thou of them. Come all to ruin; let
Thy mother rather feel thy
Thy dangerous stoutness ;3
With as big heart as thou.

pride, than fear
for I mock at death
Do as thou list.

[8] Unbarbed-bare, uncovered. In the times of chivalry, when a horse was fully armed for the encounter, he was said to be barbed, probably from the old word barbe, which Chaucer uses for a veil or covering. HAWKINS. To barb a man was to shave him. To barbe the field was to cut the corn. Unbarbed may however bear the signification which Mr. Hawkins would affix to it. STEEV.

[9] That is, piece,portion; applied to a piece of earth, and here elegantly transferred to the body, carcase. WARB.

[1] Which played in concert with my drum. JOHNS.

[2] To tent, is to take up residence. JOHNS.

[3] This is obscure. Perhaps, she means, Go, do thy worst; let me rather feel the utmost extremity that thy pride can bring upon us, than live thus in fear of thy dangerous obstinacy.' JOHNS.

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