you hear?

To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home.

Com. He would not seem to know me.

Com. Yet one time he did call me by my name:
I urg'd our old acquaintance, and the drops
That we have bled together. Coriolanus
He would not answer to: forbad all names;
He was a kind of nothing, titleless,
Till he had forg'd himself a name i'the fire
Of burning Rome.

Why, so; you have made good work: A pair of tribunes that have rack'd' for Rome, To make coals cheap: A noble memory !2

Com. I minded him, how royal 'twas to pardon When it was less expected : He replied, It was a bare petition of a state To one whom they had punish’d. Men.

Very well:
Could he say less?

Com. I offer'd to awaken his regard
For his private friends : His answer to me was,
He could not stay to pick them in a pile
Of noisome, musty chaff: He said, 'twas folly,
For one poor grain or two, to leave unburnt,
And still to nose the offence.

For one poor grain
Or two? I am one of those; his mother, wife,
His child, and this brave fellow too, we are the

grains : You are the musty chaff; and you are smelt Above the moon: We must be burnt for

you. Sic. Nay, pray, be patient: If you refuse your

aid In this so never-heeded help, yet do not Upbraid us with our distress. But, sure, if you

that have rack'd-] To rack means to harass by ere actions.

memory! for memorial.]


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Would be your country's pleader, your good tonguez
More than the instant army we can make,
Might stop our countryman.

No; I'll not meddle.
Sic. I pray you, go to him.

What should I do?
Bru, Only make trial what your love can do
For Rome, towards Marcius.

Well, and


that Marcius
Return me, as Cominius is return'd,
Unheard; what then?
But as a discontented friend, grief-shot
With his unkindness? Say't be so ?

Yet your good will
Must have that thanks from Rome, after the measure
As you intended well.

I'll undertake it:
I think, he'll hear me. Yet to bite his lip,
And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me.
He was not taken well : he had not din'd :3
The yeins unfill’d, our blood is cold, and then
We pout upon the morning, are unapt
To give or to forgive ; but when we have stuffd
These pipes and these conveyances of our blood
With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls
Than in our priest-like fasts: therefore I'll watch

Till he be dieted to my request,
And then I'll set upon him.

Bru. You know the very road into his kindness,
And cannot lose your way.-

Good faith, I'll prove him,
Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge

3 He was not taken well ; he had not din'd: &c.] This observation is not only from nature, and finely expressed, but admirably befits the mouth of one, who in the beginning of the play had told us, that he loved convivial doings.

Of my success.

Exit. Com.

He'll never hear him. Sic.

Not? Com. I tell you, he does sit in gold.* his eye Red as 'twould burn Rome; and his injury The gaoler to his pity. I kneeld before him; "Twas very faintly he said, Rise ; dismiss'd me Thus, with his speechless hand: What he would do, He sent in writing after me; what he would not, Bound with an oath, to yield to his conditions ;' So, that all hope is vain, Unless his noble mother, and his wife; Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him For mercy to his country. Therefore, let's hence, And with our fair entreaties haste them on.



An advanced Post of the Volscian Camp before

Rome. The Guard at their Stations.

Enter to them MENENIUS.

i G. Stay: Whence are you? 2 G.

Stand, and

back. Men. You guard like men; 'tis well : But, by

your leave,

I tell you, he does sit in gold.] He is enthroned in all the pomp and pride of imperial splendour.

5 B.und with an oath to yield to his conditions : ) What he would do, i. e. the conditions on which he offered to return, he sent in writing after Cominius, intending that he should have carried them to Menenius. What he would not, i. e. his resolution of neither dismissing his soldiers, nor capitulating with Rome's mechanicks, in case the terms he prescribed should be refused, he bound himself by an oath to maintain. If these conditions were admitted, the oath of course, being grounded on that proviso, must yield to them, and be cancelled

I am an officer of state, and come
To speak with Coriolanus.

From whence ?

From Romc. i G. You may not pass, you must return: our

general Will no more hear from thence. 2 G. You'll see your Rome embrac'd with fire,

before You'll speak with Coriolanus. Men.

Good my friends, If

you have heard your general talk of Rome, And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks, My name hath touch'd your ears: it is Menenius.

1 G. Be it so; go back: the virtue of your name Is not here passable. Men.

I tell thee, fellow, Thy general is my lover: I have been The book of his good acts, whence men have read His fame unparallel’d, haply, amplified ; For I have ever verified my friends, (Of whom he's chief,) with all the size that verity? Would without lapsing suffer: nay, sometimes, Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground, I have tumbled past the throw; and in his praise Have, almost, stamp'd the leasing: therefore, fellow,

lots to blanks,] A lot here is a prize. 7 For I have ever verified my friends,

with all the size that verity, &c.] To verify, is to ésta. blish by testimony. One may say with propriety, he brought false witnesses to verify his title. Shakspeare considered the word with his usual laxity, as importing rather testimony than truth, and only meant to say, I bore witness to my friends with all the size that verity would suffer.

-- upon a subtle ground,] Subtle means smooth, level, perhaps, deceitful.

and in his praise Have, almost, stamp'd the leasing :} i. e. given the sanction of truth to my very exaggerations.





I must have leave to pass.

i G. 'Faith, sir, if you had told as many lies in his behalf, as you have uttered words in your own, you should not pass here: no, though it were as virtuous to lie, as to live chastly. Therefore, go back.

Men. Pr’ythee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius, always factionary on the party of your general.

2 G. Howsoever you have been his liar, (as you say, you have,) I am one that, telling true under him, must say, you cannot pass. Therefore, go back.

Men. Has he dined, canst thou tell ? for I would not speak with him till after dinner.

i G. You are a Roman, are you? Men. I am as thy general is.

i G. Then you should hate Rome, as he does. Can you, when you have pushed out your gates the very defender of them, and, in a violent

popular ignorance, given your enemy your shield, think to front his revenges with the easy groans' of old women, the virginal palms of your daughters, or with the palsied intercession of such a decayed dotant” as you seem to be? Can you think to blow out the intended fire your city is ready to flame in, with such weak breath as this ? No, you are deceived: therefore, back to Rome, and prepare for your execution: you are condemned, our general has sworn you out of reprieve and pardon.

Men. Sirrah, If thy captain knew I were here, he would use me with estimation.

2 G. Come, my captain knows you not. Men. I mean, thy general. i G. My general cares not for you. Back, I say,

easy groans-] i. e. slight, inconsiderable.

a decayed dotant-) Thus the old copy. Modern editors have read-dotard.

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