Act III, Scene 2
Rome. A room in Martius Coriolanus’ house.
- Enter Coriolanus with Patricians.
Coriolanus1 - 6
- Let them pull all about mine ears, present me
- Death on the wheel, or at wild horses’ heels,
- Or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock,
- That the precipitation might down stretch
- Below the beam of sight, yet will I still
- Be thus to them.
- You do the nobler.
Coriolanus8 - 18
- I muse my mother
- Does not approve me further, who was wont
- To call them woollen vassals, things created
- To buy and sell with groats, to show bare heads
- In congregations, to yawn, be still, and wonder,
- When one but of my ordinance stood up
- To speak of peace or war.
- Enter Volumnia.
- I talk of you:
- Why did you wish me milder? Would you have me
- False to my nature? Rather say, I play
- The man I am.
Volumnia19 - 21
- O, sir, sir, sir,
- I would have had you put your power well on
- Before you had worn it out.
- Let go.
Volumnia23 - 27
- You might have been enough the man you are,
- With striving less to be so. Lesser had been
- The thwartings of your dispositions, if
- You had not show’d them how ye were dispos’d
- Ere they lack’d power to cross you.
- Let them hang!
- Ay, and burn too.
- Enter Menenius with the Roman Senators.
Menenius30 - 31
- Come, come, you have been too rough, something too rough;
- You must return and mend it.
First Roman Senator32 - 34
- There’s no remedy,
- Unless, by not so doing, our good city
- Cleave in the midst and perish.
Volumnia35 - 38
- Pray be counsell’d.
- I have a heart as little apt as yours,
- But yet a brain that leads my use of anger
- To better vantage.
Menenius39 - 43
- Well said, noble woman!
- Before he should thus stoop to th’ herd, but that
- The violent fit a’ th’ time craves it as physic
- For the whole state, I would put mine armor on,
- Which I can scarcely bear.
- What must I do?
- Return to th’ tribunes.
- Well, what then? What then?
- Repent what you have spoke.
Coriolanus48 - 49
- For them? I cannot do it to the gods,
- Must I then do’t to them?
Volumnia50 - 56
- You are too absolute,
- Though therein you can never be too noble,
- But when extremities speak. I have heard you say
- Honor and policy, like unsever’d friends,
- I’ th’ war do grow together; grant that, and tell me
- In peace what each of them by th’ other lose
- That they combine not there.
- Tush, tush!
- A good demand.
Volumnia59 - 64
- If it be honor in your wars to seem
- The same you are not, which, for your best ends,
- You adopt your policy, how is it less or worse
- That it shall hold companionship in peace
- With honor, as in war, since that to both
- It stands in like request?
- Why force you this?
Volumnia66 - 83
- Because that now it lies you on to speak
- To th’ people; not by your own instruction,
- Nor by th’ matter which your heart prompts you,
- But with such words that are but roted in
- Your tongue, though but bastards, and syllables
- Of no allowance, to your bosom’s truth.
- Now, this no more dishonors you at all
- Than to take in a town with gentle words,
- Which else would put you to your fortune and
- The hazard of much blood.
- I would dissemble with my nature where
- My fortunes and my friends at stake requir’d
- I should do so in honor. I am in this
- Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles;
- And you will rather show our general louts
- How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon ’em
- For the inheritance of their loves and safeguard
- Of what that want might ruin.
Menenius84 - 87
- Noble lady!
- —Come go with us, speak fair. You may salve so,
- Not what is dangerous present, but the loss
- Of what is past.
Volumnia88 - 102
- I prithee now, my son,
- Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand,
- And thus far having stretch’d it (here be with them),
- Thy knee bussing the stones (for in such business
- Action is eloquence, and the eyes of th’ ignorant
- More learned than the ears), waving thy head,
- Which often thus correcting thy stout heart,
- Now humble as the ripest mulberry
- That will not hold the handling: or say to them,
- Thou art their soldier, and, being bred in broils,
- Hast not the soft way which, thou dost confess,
- Were fit for thee to use as they to claim,
- In asking their good loves, but thou wilt frame
- Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far
- As thou hast power and person.
Menenius103 - 106
- This but done,
- Even as she speaks, why, their hearts were yours;
- For they have pardons, being ask’d, as free
- As words to little purpose.
Volumnia107 - 111
- Prithee now,
- Go, and be rul’d; although I know thou hadst rather
- Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf
- Than flatter him in a bower.
- Enter Cominius.
- Here is Cominius.
Cominius112 - 114
- I have been i’ th’ market-place; and, sir, ’tis fit
- You make strong party, or defend yourself
- By calmness or by absence. All’s in anger.
- Only fair speech.
Cominius116 - 117
- I think ’twill serve, if he
- Can thereto frame his spirit.
Volumnia118 - 119
- He must, and will.
- Prithee now say you will, and go about it.
Coriolanus120 - 127
- Must I go show them my unbarb’d sconce? Must I
- With my base tongue give to my noble heart
- A lie that it must bear? Well, I will do’t;
- Yet, were there but this single plot to lose,
- This mould of Martius, they to dust should grind it
- And throw’t against the wind. To th’ market-place!
- You have put me now to such a part which never
- I shall discharge to th’ life.
- Come, come, we’ll prompt you.
Volumnia129 - 132
- I prithee now, sweet son, as thou hast said
- My praises made thee first a soldier, so,
- To have my praise for this, perform a part
- Thou hast not done before.
Coriolanus133 - 146
- Well, I must do’t.
- Away, my disposition, and possess me
- Some harlot’s spirit! My throat of war be turn’d,
- Which quier’d with my drum, into a pipe
- Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice
- That babies lull asleep! The smiles of knaves
- Tent in my cheeks, and schoolboys’ tears take up
- The glasses of my sight! A beggar’s tongue
- Make motion through my lips, and my arm’d knees,
- Who bow’d but in my stirrup, bend like his
- That hath receiv’d an alms! I will not do’t,
- Lest I surcease to honor mine own truth,
- And by my body’s action teach my mind
- A most inherent baseness.
Volumnia147 - 154
- At thy choice then.
- To beg of thee, it is my more dishonor
- Than thou of them. Come all to ruin, let
- Thy mother rather feel thy pride than fear
- Thy dangerous stoutness; for I mock at death
- With as big heart as thou. Do as thou list;
- Thy valiantness was mine, thou suck’st it from me;
- But owe thy pride thyself.
Coriolanus155 - 162
- Pray be content.
- Mother, I am going to the market-place;
- Chide me no more. I’ll mountebank their loves,
- Cog their hearts from them, and come home belov’d
- Of all the trades in Rome. Look, I am going.
- Commend me to my wife. I’ll return consul,
- Or never trust to what my tongue can do
- I’ th’ way of flattery further.
- Do your will.
- Exit Volumnia.
Cominius164 - 167
- Away, the tribunes do attend you. Arm yourself
- To answer mildly; for they are prepar’d
- With accusations, as I hear, more strong
- Than are upon you yet.
Coriolanus168 - 170
- The word is “mildly.” Pray you let us go.
- Let them accuse me by invention; I
- Will answer in mine honor.
- Ay, but mildly.
- Well, mildly be it then. Mildly!