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Home > Coriolanus > ACT V - SCENE I. Rome. A public place.

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ACT V - SCENE I. Rome. A public place.
MENENIUS
1    No, I'll not go: you hear what he hath said
2    Which was sometime his general; who loved him
3    In a most dear particular. He call'd me father:
4    But what o' that? Go, you that banish'd him;
5    A mile before his tent fall down, and knee
6    The way into his mercy: nay, if he coy'd
7    To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home.
COMINIUS
8    He would not seem to know me.
MENENIUS
9    Do you hear?
COMINIUS
10   Yet one time he did call me by my name:
11   I urged our old acquaintance, and the drops
12   That we have bled together. Coriolanus
13   He would not answer to: forbad all names;
14   He was a kind of nothing, titleless,
15   Till he had forged himself a name o' the fire
16   Of burning Rome.
MENENIUS
17   Why, so: you have made good work!
18   A pair of tribunes that have rack'd for Rome,
19   To make coals cheap,--a noble memory!
COMINIUS
20   I minded him how royal 'twas to pardon
21   When it was less expected: he replied,
22   It was a bare petition of a state
23   To one whom they had punish'd.
MENENIUS
24   Very well:
25   Could he say less?
COMINIUS
26   I offer'd to awaken his regard
27   For's private friends: his answer to me was,
28   He could not stay to pick them in a pile
29   Of noisome musty chaff: he said 'twas folly,
30   For one poor grain or two, to leave unburnt,
31   And still to nose the offence.
MENENIUS
32   For one poor grain or two!
33   I am one of those; his mother, wife, his child,
34   And this brave fellow too, we are the grains:
35   You are the musty chaff; and you are smelt
36   Above the moon: we must be burnt for you.
SICINIUS
37   Nay, pray, be patient: if you refuse your aid
38   In this so never-needed help, yet do not
39   Upbraid's with our distress. But, sure, if you
40   Would be your country's pleader, your good tongue,
41   More than the instant army we can make,
42   Might stop our countryman.
MENENIUS
43   No, I'll not meddle.
SICINIUS
44   Pray you, go to him.
MENENIUS
45   What should I do?
BRUTUS
46   Only make trial what your love can do
47   For Rome, towards Marcius.
MENENIUS
48   Well, and say that Marcius
49   Return me, as Cominius is return'd,
50   Unheard; what then?
51   But as a discontented friend, grief-shot
52   With his unkindness? say't be so?
SICINIUS
53   Yet your good will
54   must have that thanks from Rome, after the measure
55   As you intended well.
MENENIUS
56   I'll undertake 't:
57   I think he'll hear me. Yet, to bite his lip
58   And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me.
59   He was not taken well; he had not dined:
60   The veins unfill'd, our blood is cold, and then
61   We pout upon the morning, are unapt
62   To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff'd
63   These and these conveyances of our blood
64   With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls
65   Than in our priest-like fasts: therefore I'll watch him
66   Till he be dieted to my request,
67   And then I'll set upon him.
BRUTUS
68   You know the very road into his kindness,
69   And cannot lose your way.
MENENIUS
70   Good faith, I'll prove him,
71   Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge
72   Of my success.
Exit

COMINIUS
73   He'll never hear him.
SICINIUS
74   Not?
COMINIUS
75   I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye
76   Red as 'twould burn Rome; and his injury
77   The gaoler to his pity. I kneel'd before him;
78   'Twas very faintly he said 'Rise;' dismiss'd me
79   Thus, with his speechless hand: what he would do,
80   He sent in writing after me; what he would not,
81   Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions:
82   So that all hope is vain.
83   Unless his noble mother, and his wife;
84   Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him
85   For mercy to his country. Therefore, let's hence,
86   And with our fair entreaties haste them on.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT IV, SCENE VIIACT V, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII
  • SCENE VIII
  • SCENE IX
  • SCENE X


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE III


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI

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