Coriolanus by William Shakespeare
Act 4 - Scene 6
Rome. A public place.
Sicinius Velutus : We hear not of him, neither need we fear him;
[p]His remedies are tame
i' the present peace [p]And quietness of the people, which
before [p]Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends [p]Blush
that the world goes well, who rather had, [p]Though they themselves
did suffer by't, behold [p]Dissentious numbers pestering streets than
see [p]Our tradesmen with in their shops and going [p]About their
Junius Brutus : We stood to't in good time.
[p]Is this Menenius?
Sicinius Velutus : 'Tis he,'tis he: O, he is grown most kind of late.
Both Tribunes : Hail sir!
Menenius Agrippa : Hail to you both!
Sicinius Velutus : Your Coriolanus
[p]Is not much miss'd, but with his friends:
commonwealth doth stand, and so would do, [p]Were he more angry at
Menenius Agrippa : All's well; and might have been much better, if
[p]He could have
Sicinius Velutus : Where is he, hear you?
Menenius Agrippa : Nay, I hear nothing: his mother and his wife
[p]Hear nothing from
Citizens : The gods preserve you both!
Sicinius Velutus : God-den, our neighbours.
Junius Brutus : God-den to you all, god-den to you all.
First Citizen : Ourselves, our wives, and children, on our knees,
[p]Are bound to pray
for you both.
Sicinius Velutus : Live, and thrive!
Junius Brutus : Farewell, kind neighbours: we wish'd Coriolanus
[p]Had loved you as we
Citizens : Now the gods keep you!
Both Tribunes : Farewell, farewell.
Sicinius Velutus : This is a happier and more comely time
[p]Than when these fellows ran
about the streets, [p]Crying confusion.
Junius Brutus : Caius CORIOLANUS was
[p]A worthy officer i' the war; but
insolent, [p]O'ercome with pride, ambitious past all
Sicinius Velutus : And affecting one sole throne,
Menenius Agrippa : I think not so.
Sicinius Velutus : We should by this, to all our lamentation,
[p]If he had gone forth
consul, found it so.
Junius Brutus : The gods have well prevented it, and Rome
[p]Sits safe and still
Aedile : Worthy tribunes,
[p]There is a slave, whom we have put in
prison, [p]Reports, the Volsces with two several powers [p]Are enter'd
in the Roman territories, [p]And with the deepest malice of the
war [p]Destroy what lies before 'em.
Menenius Agrippa : 'Tis Aufidius,
[p]Who, hearing of our CORIOLANUS'
banishment, [p]Thrusts forth his horns again into the world; [p]Which
were inshell'd when CORIOLANUS stood for Rome, [p]And durst not once
Sicinius Velutus : Come, what talk you
Junius Brutus : Go see this rumourer whipp'd. It cannot be
[p]The Volsces dare break
Menenius Agrippa : Cannot be!
[p]We have record that very well it can,
examples of the like have been [p]Within my age. But reason with the
fellow, [p]Before you punish him, where he heard this, [p]Lest you
shall chance to whip your information [p]And beat the messenger who
bids beware [p]Of what is to be dreaded.
Sicinius Velutus : Tell not me:
[p]I know this cannot be.
Junius Brutus : Not possible.
Messenger : The nobles in great earnestness are going
[p]All to the senate-house:
some news is come [p]That turns their countenances.
Sicinius Velutus : 'Tis this slave;--
[p]Go whip him, 'fore the people's eyes:--his
raising; [p]Nothing but his report.
Messenger : Yes, worthy sir,
[p]The slave's report is seconded; and more,
fearful, is deliver'd.
Sicinius Velutus : What more fearful?
Messenger : It is spoke freely out of many mouths--
[p]How probable I do not
know--that CORIOLANUS, [p]Join'd with Aufidius, leads a power 'gainst
Rome, [p]And vows revenge as spacious as between [p]The young'st and
Sicinius Velutus : This is most likely!
Junius Brutus : Raised only, that the weaker sort may wish
[p]Good CORIOLANUS home
Sicinius Velutus : The very trick on't.
Menenius Agrippa : This is unlikely:
[p]He and Aufidius can no more atone
Second Messenger : You are sent for to the senate:
[p]A fearful army, led by Caius
CORIOLANUS [p]Associated with Aufidius, rages [p]Upon our territories;
and have already [p]O'erborne their way, consumed with fire, and
took [p]What lay before them.
Cominius : O, you have made good work!
Menenius Agrippa : What news? what news?
Cominius : You have holp to ravish your own daughters and
[p]To melt the city
leads upon your pates, [p]To see your wives dishonour'd to your
Menenius Agrippa : What's the news? what's the news?
Cominius : Your temples burned in their cement, and
[p]Your franchises, whereon
you stood, confined [p]Into an auger's bore.
Menenius Agrippa : Pray now, your news?
[p]You have made fair work, I fear me.--Pray,
your news?-- [p]If CORIOLANUS should be join'd with Volscians,--
Cominius : If!
[p]He is their god: he leads them like a thing
[p]Made by some
other deity than nature, [p]That shapes man better; and they follow
him, [p]Against us brats, with no less confidence [p]Than boys
pursuing summer butterflies, [p]Or butchers killing flies.
Menenius Agrippa : You have made good work,
[p]You and your apron-men; you that stood so
up much [p]on the voice of occupation and [p]The breath of
Cominius : He will shake
[p]Your Rome about your ears.
Menenius Agrippa : As Hercules
[p]Did shake down mellow fruit.
[p]You have made fair
Junius Brutus : But is this true, sir?
Cominius : Ay; and you'll look pale
[p]Before you find it other. All the
regions [p]Do smilingly revolt; and who resist [p]Are mock'd for
valiant ignorance, [p]And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame
him? [p]Your enemies and his find something in him.
Menenius Agrippa : We are all undone, unless
[p]The noble man have mercy.
Cominius : Who shall ask it?
[p]The tribunes cannot do't for shame; the
people [p]Deserve such pity of him as the wolf [p]Does of the
shepherds: for his best friends, if they [p]Should say 'Be good to
Rome,' they charged him even [p]As those should do that had deserved
his hate, [p]And therein show'd like enemies.
Menenius Agrippa : 'Tis true:
[p]If he were putting to my house the brand
consume it, I have not the face [p]To say 'Beseech you, cease.' You
have made fair hands, [p]You and your crafts! you have crafted fair!
Cominius : You have brought
[p]A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
incapable of help.
Both Tribunes : Say not we brought it.
Menenius Agrippa : How! Was it we? we loved him but, like beasts
[p]And cowardly nobles,
gave way unto your clusters, [p]Who did hoot him out o' the city.
Cominius : But I fear
[p]They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
second name of men, obeys his points [p]As if he were his officer:
desperation [p]Is all the policy, strength and defence, [p]That Rome
can make against them.
Menenius Agrippa : Here come the clusters.
[p]And is Aufidius with him? You are
they [p]That made the air unwholesome, when you cast [p]Your stinking
greasy caps in hooting at [p]Coriolanus' exile. Now he's
coming; [p]And not a hair upon a soldier's head [p]Which will not
prove a whip: as many coxcombs [p]As you threw caps up will he tumble
down, [p]And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter; [p]if he could
burn us all into one coal, [p]We have deserved it.
Citizens : Faith, we hear fearful news.
First Citizen : For mine own part,
[p]When I said, banish him, I said 'twas pity.
Second Citizen : And so did I.
Third Citizen : And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did very
[p]many of us: that
we did, we did for the best; and [p]though we willingly consented to
his banishment, yet [p]it was against our will.
Cominius : Ye re goodly things, you voices!
Menenius Agrippa : You have made
[p]Good work, you and your cry! Shall's to the Capitol?
Cominius : O, ay, what else?
Sicinius Velutus : Go, masters, get you home; be not dismay'd:
[p]These are a side that
would be glad to have [p]This true which they so seem to fear. Go
home, [p]And show no sign of fear.
First Citizen : The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let's home.
[p]I ever said we
were i' the wrong when we banished [p]him.
Second Citizen : So did we all. But, come, let's home.
Junius Brutus : I do not like this news.
Sicinius Velutus : Nor I.
Junius Brutus : Let's to the Capitol. Would half my wealth
[p]Would buy this for a
Sicinius Velutus : Pray, let us go.
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