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you refuse


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

your aid In this so never-heeded help, yet do not Upbraid us with our distress. But, sure, Would be your country's pleader, your good tongue, More than the instant army we can make, Might stop our countryman. Men.

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

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

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? Sic.

Yet your good will

if you

Must have that thanks from Rome, after the mea


As you

intended well. Men.

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:
The veins unfill’d, our blood is cold, and then

pout upon the morning, are unapt
To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff?d
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

him 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. Men. *

Good faith, I'll prove him, Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge 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 't would burn Rome; and his injury The gaoler to his pity. I kneel'd before him: 'Twas very faintly he said, Rise; dismissd 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.






Enter to them, Menenius. 1 G. Stay: Whence are you? 2 G.

Stand, and go back. Msen. You guard like men; 'tis well: But, by

your leave, I am an officer of state, and come To speak with Coriolanus. 1G.

From whence? Men.

From Rome. 1 G. You may not pass, you must return: our

general Will no more hear from thence. 2G. 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.

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


I tell thee, fellow, Thy general is my lover: I have been The book of his good acts, whence men have read His fame unparalleld, haply, amplified; For I have ever verify'd 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, fel

low, I must have leave to pass.

1 G. 'Faith, sir, if you had told as many lies in his behalf, as you have utter'd 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, can’st thou tell: for I would not speak with him till after dinner.

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

1 G. Then you should hate Rome, as he does. Can you, when you

have push'd 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 decay'd 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 deceiv’d; therefore, back to Rome, and prepare


your execution: you are condemn'd, 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.

1 G. My general cares not for you. Back, I say, go, lest I let forth your half pint of blood;back, --that's the utmost of your having :-back.

Men. Nay, but fellow, fellow,

Enter Coriolanus and Aufidius.
Cor. What's the matter?

Men. Now, you companion, I'll say an errand for you; you shall know now, that I am in estimation; you shall perceive that a Jack guardant cannot office me from my son Coriolanus: guess, but by my entertainment with him, if thou stand 'st not i’ the state of hanging, or of some death more long in spectatorship, and crueller in suffering; behold now presently, and swoon for what's to come upon thee.—The glorious gods sit in hourly synod about thy particular prosperity, and love thee no worse than thy old father Menenius does ! O, my son! my son! thou art preparing fire for us; look

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