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A Camp; at a small Distance from Rome. Enter Aufi
DIUS, with his Lieutenant.
Auf. Do they still fly to the Roman ?
Lieu. I do not know what witchcraft's in him ; but
Your soldiers use hiin as the grace 'fore meat,
Their talk at table, and their thanks at end;
And you are darken'd in this action, sir,
Even by your own.
Auf. I cannot help it now;
Unless, by using means, I lame the foot
Of our design. He bears himself more proudly
Even to my person, than I thought he would,
When first I did embrace him: Yet his nature
In that's no changeling; and I must excuse
What cannot be amended.
Lieu. Yet I wish, sir
(I mean, for your particular), you had not
Join'd in commission with him: but either borne
The action of yourself, or else to him
Had left it solely.
Auf. I understand thee well; and be thou sure,
When he shall come to his account, he knows not
What I can urge against him. Although it seems,
And so he thinks, and is no less apparent
To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly, 680
And shews good husbandry for the Volscian state ;
Fights dragon-like, and does achieve as soon
As draw his sword : yet he hath left undone
That, which shall break his neck, or hazard mine,
Whene'er we come to our account.
Lieu. Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry
Auf. All places yield to him ere he sits down;
And the nobility of Rome are his :
The senators, and patricians, love him too :
The tribunes are no soldiers ; and their people 690
Will be as rash in the repeal, as hasty
To expel him thence. I think, he'll be to Rome
As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it
By sovereignty of nature. First he was
A noble servant to them ; but he could not
Carry his honours even : whether 'twas pride,
Which out of daily fortune ever taints
The happy man; whether defect of judgment,
To fail in the disposing of those chances
Which he was lord of; or whether nature, 700
Not to be other than one thing, not moving
From the casque to the cushion, but commanding
Even with the same austerity and garb
As he controll'd the war : but, one of these
(As he hath spices of them all, not all,
For I dare so far free him), made him fear'd,
So hated, and so banish'd : But he has a merit,
To choke it in the utterance. So our virtues
Lie in the interpretation of the time ;
And power, unto itself most commendable,
710 Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair To extol what it hath done. One fire drives out one fire ; one nail, one nail ; Right's by right fouler, strengths by strength do fail. Come, let's away. When, Caius, Rome is thine, Thou art poor’st of all; then shortly art thou mine.
A publick Place in Rome. Enter MENENIUS, COMINIUS,
SICINIUS, and Brutus, with others.
No, I'll not go : you hear, what he hath said,
Which was sometime his general ; who lov'd him
In a most dear particular. He call'd me, father :
But what o' that: Go, you that banish'd him,
A mile before his tent fall down, and knee
The way into his mercy : Nay, if he coy'd
To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home.
Com. He would not seem to know me.
Men. Do you hear ?
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.
Men. Why, so; you have made good work ;
A pair of tribunes, that have rack'd for Rome,
To make coals cheap: A noble memory!
Com. I minded him, how royal 'twas to pardon
When least it was expected : He reply'd,
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, 30
And still to nose the offence.
Men. 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-needed help, yet do not
Upbraid us with our distress. But, sure, if you
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. 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 say 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
Must have that thanks from Rome, after the measure
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 unfillid, our blood is cold, and then 60
We 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
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.