|The Tragedy of Coriolanus|
| Act 4, Scene 6
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Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUSSICINIUS
We hear not of him, neither need we fear him;BRUTUS
His remedies are tame i' the present peace
And quietness of the people, which before
Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends
Blush that the world goes well, who rather had,
Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold
Dissentious numbers pestering streets than see
Our tradesmen with in their shops and going
About their functions friendly.
We stood to't in good time.SICINIUS
Enter MENENIUSIs this Menenius?
'Tis he,'tis he: O, he is grown most kind of late.Both Tribunes
Hail to you both!SICINIUS
Is not much miss'd, but with his friends:
The commonwealth doth stand, and so would do,
Were he more angry at it.
All's well; and might have been much better, ifSICINIUS
He could have temporized.
Where is he, hear you?MENENIUS
Nay, I hear nothing: his mother and his wifeCitizens
Hear nothing from him.
Enter three or four Citizens
The gods preserve you both!SICINIUS
God-den, our neighbours.BRUTUS
God-den to you all, god-den to you all.First Citizen
Ourselves, our wives, and children, on our knees,SICINIUS
Are bound to pray for you both.
Live, and thrive!BRUTUS
Farewell, kind neighbours: we wish'd CoriolanusCitizens
Had loved you as we did.
Now the gods keep you!Both Tribunes
This is a happier and more comely timeBRUTUS
Than when these fellows ran about the streets,
Caius Marcius wasSICINIUS
A worthy officer i' the war; but insolent,
O'ercome with pride, ambitious past all thinking,
And affecting one sole throne,MENENIUS
I think not so.SICINIUS
We should by this, to all our lamentation,BRUTUS
If he had gone forth consul, found it so.
The gods have well prevented it, and RomeAEdile
Sits safe and still without him.
Enter an AEdile
There is a slave, whom we have put in prison,
Reports, the Volsces with two several powers
Are enter'd in the Roman territories,
And with the deepest malice of the war
Destroy what lies before 'em.
Who, hearing of our Marcius' banishment,
Thrusts forth his horns again into the world;
Which were inshell'd when Marcius stood for Rome,
And durst not once peep out.
Come, what talk youBRUTUS
Go see this rumourer whipp'd. It cannot beMENENIUS
The Volsces dare break with us.
We have record that very well it can,
And three examples of the like have been
Within my age. But reason with the fellow,
Before you punish him, where he heard this,
Lest you shall chance to whip your information
And beat the messenger who bids beware
Of what is to be dreaded.
Tell not me:BRUTUS
I know this cannot be.
Enter a Messenger
The nobles in great earnestness are goingSICINIUS
All to the senate-house: some news is come
That turns their countenances.
'Tis this slave;--Messenger
Go whip him, 'fore the people's eyes:--his raising;
Nothing but his report.
Yes, worthy sir,SICINIUS
The slave's report is seconded; and more,
More fearful, is deliver'd.
What more fearful?Messenger
It is spoke freely out of many mouths--SICINIUS
How probable I do not know--that Marcius,
Join'd with Aufidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome,
And vows revenge as spacious as between
The young'st and oldest thing.
This is most likely!BRUTUS
Raised only, that the weaker sort may wishSICINIUS
Good Marcius home again.
The very trick on't.MENENIUS
This is unlikely:Second Messenger
He and Aufidius can no more atone
Than violentest contrariety.
Enter a second Messenger
You are sent for to the senate:COMINIUS
A fearful army, led by Caius Marcius
Associated with Aufidius, rages
Upon our territories; and have already
O'erborne their way, consumed with fire, and took
What lay before them.
O, you have made good work!MENENIUS
What news? what news?COMINIUS
You have holp to ravish your own daughters andMENENIUS
To melt the city leads upon your pates,
To see your wives dishonour'd to your noses,--
What's the news? what's the news?COMINIUS
Your temples burned in their cement, andMENENIUS
Your franchises, whereon you stood, confined
Into an auger's bore.
Pray now, your news?COMINIUS
You have made fair work, I fear me.--Pray, your news?--
If Marcius should be join'd with Volscians,--
He is their god: he leads them like a thing
Made by some other deity than nature,
That shapes man better; and they follow him,
Against us brats, with no less confidence
Than boys pursuing summer butterflies,
Or butchers killing flies.
You have made good work,COMINIUS
You and your apron-men; you that stood so up much
on the voice of occupation and
The breath of garlic-eaters!
He will shakeMENENIUS
Your Rome about your ears.
Did shake down mellow fruit.
You have made fair work!
But is this true, sir?COMINIUS
Ay; and you'll look paleMENENIUS
Before you find it other. All the regions
Do smilingly revolt; and who resist
Are mock'd for valiant ignorance,
And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame him?
Your enemies and his find something in him.
We are all undone, unlessCOMINIUS
The noble man have mercy.
Who shall ask it?MENENIUS
The tribunes cannot do't for shame; the people
Deserve such pity of him as the wolf
Does of the shepherds: for his best friends, if they
Should say 'Be good to Rome,' they charged him even
As those should do that had deserved his hate,
And therein show'd like enemies.
If he were putting to my house the brand
That should consume it, I have not the face
To say 'Beseech you, cease.' You have made fair hands,
You and your crafts! you have crafted fair!
You have broughtBoth Tribunes
A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
So incapable of help.
Say not we brought it.MENENIUS
How! Was it we? we loved him but, like beastsCOMINIUS
And cowardly nobles, gave way unto your clusters,
Who did hoot him out o' the city.
But I fearMENENIUS
They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
The second name of men, obeys his points
As if he were his officer: desperation
Is all the policy, strength and defence,
That Rome can make against them.
Enter a troop of Citizens
Here come the clusters.Citizens
And is Aufidius with him? You are they
That made the air unwholesome, when you cast
Your stinking greasy caps in hooting at
Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming;
And not a hair upon a soldier's head
Which will not prove a whip: as many coxcombs
As you threw caps up will he tumble down,
And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter;
if he could burn us all into one coal,
We have deserved it.
Faith, we hear fearful news.First Citizen
For mine own part,Second Citizen
When I said, banish him, I said 'twas pity.
And so did I.Third Citizen
And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did veryCOMINIUS
many of us: that we did, we did for the best; and
though we willingly consented to his banishment, yet
it was against our will.
Ye re goodly things, you voices!MENENIUS
You have madeCOMINIUS
Good work, you and your cry! Shall's to the Capitol?
O, ay, what else?SICINIUS
Exeunt COMINIUS and MENENIUS
Go, masters, get you home; be not dismay'd:First Citizen
These are a side that would be glad to have
This true which they so seem to fear. Go home,
And show no sign of fear.
The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let's home.Second Citizen
I ever said we were i' the wrong when we banished
So did we all. But, come, let's home.BRUTUS
I do not like this news.SICINIUS
Let's to the Capitol. Would half my wealthSICINIUS
Would buy this for a lie!
Pray, let us go.
| Act 4, Scene 6
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