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Or, if you'd ask, remember this before ;
The thing, I have forsworn to grant, may never
Be held by your denial. Do not bid me
Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate
Again with Rome's mechanicks. Tell me not,
Wherein I seem unnatural : defire not
T'allay my rages and revenges, with
Your colder reasons.

Vol. Oh, no more ; no more :
You've said, you will not grant us any thing:
For we have nothing else to ask, but that
Which you deny already: yet we will ask,
That if we fail in our request, the blame
May hang upon your hardness; therefore hear us.

Cor. Aufidius, and you Volfcians, mark; for we'll
Hear nought from Rome in private. - Your request ?

Vol. Should we be filent and not speak, our raiment And state of bodies would bewray what life We've lead since thy exile. Think with thyself, How more unfort'nate than all living women Are we come hither; since thy fight, which should Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with com

forts, Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and forrow; Making the mother, wife, and child to see The son, the husband, and the father tearing His country's bowels out: and to poor we, Thine enmity's most capital; thou barr'it us Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort That all but we enjoy. For how can we, Alas! how can we, for our country pray, Whereto we're bound together with thy victory, Whereto we're bound? Alack! or we muft lofe The country, our dear nurse; or else thy person, Our comfort in the country. We must find An eminent calamity, though we had Our with, which fide shou'd win. For either thon Must, as a foreign recreant, be led With manacles along our streets; or else

Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin,
And bear the palm, for having bravely shed
Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, son,
I purpose not to wait on fortune, 'till
These wars determine : if I can't persuade thee
Rather to sew a noble grace to both parts,
Than seek the end of one ; thou shalt no sooner
March to assault thy country, than to tread
(Truft to't, thou shalt not) on thy mother's womb,
That brought thee to this world.

Virg. Ay, and mine too,
That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name
Living to time.

Boy. He shall not tread on me;
I'll run away till I'm bigger, but then I'll fight.

Cor. Not of a woman's tenderness to be,
Requires, nor child, nor woman's face, to see:
I've fat too long. -

Vol. Nay, go not from us thus : If it were so, that our request did tend To save the Romans, thereby to deftroy The Volscians whom you serve, you might condemn us, As poisonous of your honour. No; our suit Is, that you reconcile them : while the Volscians May say, This mercy we have shew'd ; the Romans, This we receiv'd ; and each in either side Give the all-hail to thee, and cry, Be bleft For making up this peace ! Thou know'ft, great fon, The end of war's uncertain ; but this certain, That if thou conquer Rome, the benefit, Which thou shalt thereby reap, is such a name, Whose repetition will be dogg'd with curses : Whole chronicle thus writ, the man was noble • But with his last attempt he wip'd it out,

Destroy'd his country, and his name remains To th' ensuing age, abhorr’d.' Speak to me, fon: Thou haft affected the firft strains of honour, To imitate the graces of the gods; To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o'th' air,


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And yet to charge thy fulphur with a holt, (40)
That ihould but rive a oak. Why doft not speak ?
Think’lt thou it honourable for a noble man
Still to remember wrongs? Daughter, speak you:
Hie cares not for your weeping. Speak thou, boy;
Perhaps thy childishness will move him more
Than can our reasons. There's no man in the world
More bound to's mother, yet here he lets me prate
Like one i' th' stocks. Thou'st never in thy life
Shew'd hy dear mother any courtesy:
When she, (poor hen) fond of no second brood,
Has cluck'd thee to the wars, and safely home,
Loaden with honour. Say, my request 's unjust,
And spurn me back: but if it be not so,
Thou art not honeft, and the gods will plague thee,
That thou restrain'st from me the duty, which
To a mother's part belongs.--He turns away :
Down, Ladies ; let us Tame him with our knees.
To's fir-name Coriolanus ’longs more pride,
Than pity to our prayers.

Down; and end ;
This is the last. So we will home to Rome,
And die among our neighbours: nay, behold us.
This boy, that cannot tell what he would have,
But kneels, and holds up hands for fellowship,
Does reason our petition with more strength
Than thou hast to deny't. Come, let us go :
This fellow had a Volscian to his mother : (41)
His wife is in Corioli, and this child
(40) And yet to change thy sulphur with a bolt,

That should tut rive an oak.]
All the printed copies concur in this reading, but I have certainly
restored the true word. Vid. the 14th note on this play.
(41) This fellow bad a Volscian to bis morber ;

His wife is in Corioli; and his cbild

lite bim by cbance ;-] But tho' his wife was in Corioli, might not his child, nevertheless, be like him? The minute alteration I have made, I am persuaded, restores the true reading. Volumnia would hint, that Coriolanus by his stern behaviour had lost all familyregards, and did not remember that he had any child. I am not his mother, (says The) his wife is in Corioli, and this child, whom we bring with us, (young Marcius ) is not his child, but only bears his chance,

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Like him by chance; yet give us our dispatch :
I'm hasht, until our city be afire;
And then I'll speak a little.
Cor. O mother, mother!

[Holds her by the bands, filent.
What have you done ? behold, the heav'ns do ope,
The gods look down, and this unnatural scene
They laugh at. Oh, my mother, mother! oh!
You've won a happy vi&tory to Rome :
But for your son, believe it, oh, believe it,
Most dang'rously you have with him prevail'd,
If not most mortal to him. Let it come :-
Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
I'll frame convenient peace, Now, good Aufidius,
Were you in my head, say, would you have heard
A mother less? or granted less, Aufidius?

Auf. I too was mov'd.

Cór. I dare be sworn, you were ;
And, Sir, it is no little thing to make
Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good. Sir,
What peace you'll make, advise me: for my part,
I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you, and pray you
Stand to me in this cause. O mother! wife!

Auf. I'm glad, thou't fet thy mercy and thy honour
At difference in thee; out of that I'll work
Myself a former fortune.

[ Afide. Cor. Ay, by and by; but we will drink together; And you Thall bear

[T. Vol. Virg. &c. A better witness back than words, which we, On like conditions, will have counter-seal'd. Come, enter with us : Ladies, you deserve To have a temple built you: all the swords In Italy, and her confederate arms, Could not have made this peace.


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SCE N E, the Forum, in Rome.


Enter Menenius and Sicinius.


E E you yond coin o' th' capitol, yond corner-
Sic. Why, what that ?

[stone ? Men. If it be possible for you to displace it with your little finger, there is some hope the Ladies of Rome, especially his mother, may prevail with him. But, I say, there is no hope in’t; our throats are sentenced, and stay upon execution.

Sic. Is't possible, that so short a time can alter the condition of a man?

Men. There is difference between a grub and a butterfly, yet your butterfly was a grub; this Marcius is grown from man to dragon: he has wings; le's more than a creeping thing.

Sic. He lov'd his mother dearly.

Men. So did he me ; and he no more remembers his mother now, than an eight years old horse. The tartness of his face fours ripe grapes. When he walks, he moves like an engine, and the ground thrinks before his treading. He is able to pierce a corslet with his eye: talks like a knell, and his hum is a battery. He fits in his itate, as a thing made for Alexander. What he bids be done, is finish'd with his bidding. He wants nothing of a God, but eternity, and a heaven to throne in..

Sic. Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.

Men. I paint him in the character. Mark, what mercy his mother shall bring from him; there is no more mercy in him, than there is milk in a male tyger; that fall our poor city find; and all this is long of: you.

Sic. The gods be good unto us!
Men. No, in such a case the gods will not be good.

When we banilh'd him, we respected not them : and he returning to break our necks, they respect

unto us.

not us.




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