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

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ACT V - SCENE IV. Rome. A public place.
Enter MENENIUS and SICINIUS

MENENIUS
1    See you yond coign o' the Capitol, yond
2    corner-stone?
SICINIUS
3    Why, what of that?
MENENIUS
4    If it be possible for you to displace it with your
5    little finger, there is some hope the ladies of
6    Rome, especially his mother, may prevail with him.
7    But I say there is no hope in't: our throats are
8    sentenced and stay upon execution.
SICINIUS
9    Is't possible that so short a time can alter the
10   condition of a man!
MENENIUS
11   There is differency between a grub and a butterfly;
12   yet your butterfly was a grub. This Marcius is grown
13   from man to dragon: he has wings; he's more than a
14   creeping thing.
SICINIUS
15   He loved his mother dearly.
MENENIUS
16   So did he me: and he no more remembers his mother
17   now than an eight-year-old horse. The tartness
18   of his face sours ripe grapes: when he walks, he
19   moves like an engine, and the ground shrinks before
20   his treading: he is able to pierce a corslet with
21   his eye; talks like a knell, and his hum is a
22   battery. He sits in his state, as a thing made for
23   Alexander. What he bids be done is finished with
24   his bidding. He wants nothing of a god but eternity
25   and a heaven to throne in.
SICINIUS
26   Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.
MENENIUS
27   I paint him in the character. Mark what mercy his
28   mother shall bring from him: there is no more mercy
29   in him than there is milk in a male tiger; that
30   shall our poor city find: and all this is long of
31   you.
SICINIUS
32   The gods be good unto us!
MENENIUS
33   No, in such a case the gods will not be good unto
34   us. When we banished him, we respected not them;
35   and, he returning to break our necks, they respect not us.
Enter a Messenger

Messenger
36   Sir, if you'ld save your life, fly to your house:
37   The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune
38   And hale him up and down, all swearing, if
39   The Roman ladies bring not comfort home,
40   They'll give him death by inches.
Enter a second Messenger

SICINIUS
41   What's the news?
Second Messenger
42   Good news, good news; the ladies have prevail'd,
43   The Volscians are dislodged, and Marcius gone:
44   A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
45   No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins.
SICINIUS
46   Friend,
47   Art thou certain this is true? is it most certain?
Second Messenger
48   As certain as I know the sun is fire:
49   Where have you lurk'd, that you make doubt of it?
50   Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide,
51   As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark you!
Trumpets; hautboys; drums beat; all together
52   The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries and fifes,
53   Tabours and cymbals and the shouting Romans,
54   Make the sun dance. Hark you!
A shout within

MENENIUS
55   This is good news:
56   I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia
57   Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians,
58   A city full; of tribunes, such as you,
59   A sea and land full. You have pray'd well to-day:
60   This morning for ten thousand of your throats
61   I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!
Music still, with shouts

SICINIUS
62   First, the gods bless you for your tidings; next,
63   Accept my thankfulness.
Second Messenger
64   Sir, we have all
65   Great cause to give great thanks.
SICINIUS
66   They are near the city?
Second Messenger
67   Almost at point to enter.
SICINIUS
68   We will meet them,
69   And help the joy.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT V, SCENE IIIACT V, SCENE V (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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