ACT IV - SCENE I. Rome. Before a gate of the city.
1 Come, leave your tears: a brief farewell: the beast 2 With many heads butts me away. Nay, mother, 3 Where is your ancient courage? you were used 4 To say extremity was the trier of spirits; 5 That common chances common men could bear; 6 That when the sea was calm all boats alike 7 Show'd mastership in floating; fortune's blows, 8 When most struck home, being gentle wounded, craves 9 A noble cunning: you were used to load me 10 With precepts that would make invincible 11 The heart that conn'd them.
12 O heavens! O heavens!
13 Nay! prithee, woman,--
14 Now the red pestilence strike all trades in Rome, 15 And occupations perish!
16 What, what, what! 17 I shall be loved when I am lack'd. Nay, mother. 18 Resume that spirit, when you were wont to say, 19 If you had been the wife of Hercules, 20 Six of his labours you'ld have done, and saved 21 Your husband so much sweat. Cominius, 22 Droop not; adieu. Farewell, my wife, my mother: 23 I'll do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius, 24 Thy tears are salter than a younger man's, 25 And venomous to thine eyes. My sometime general, 26 I have seen thee stem, and thou hast oft beheld 27 Heart-hardening spectacles; tell these sad women 28 'Tis fond to wail inevitable strokes, 29 As 'tis to laugh at 'em. My mother, you wot well 30 My hazards still have been your solace: and 31 Believe't not lightly--though I go alone, 32 Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen 33 Makes fear'd and talk'd of more than seen--your son 34 Will or exceed the common or be caught 35 With cautelous baits and practise.
36 My first son. 37 Whither wilt thou go? Take good Cominius 38 With thee awhile: determine on some course, 39 More than a wild exposture to each chance 40 That starts i' the way before thee.
41 O the gods!
42 I'll follow thee a month, devise with thee 43 Where thou shalt rest, that thou mayst hear of us 44 And we of thee: so if the time thrust forth 45 A cause for thy repeal, we shall not send 46 O'er the vast world to seek a single man, 47 And lose advantage, which doth ever cool 48 I' the absence of the needer.
49 Fare ye well: 50 Thou hast years upon thee; and thou art too full 51 Of the wars' surfeits, to go rove with one 52 That's yet unbruised: bring me but out at gate. 53 Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and 54 My friends of noble touch, when I am forth, 55 Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you, come. 56 While I remain above the ground, you shall 57 Hear from me still, and never of me aught 58 But what is like me formerly.
59 That's worthily 60 As any ear can hear. Come, let's not weep. 61 If I could shake off but one seven years 62 From these old arms and legs, by the good gods, 63 I'ld with thee every foot.