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Coriolanus: Act III, Scene 2

Coriolanus
Act III, Scene 2

Rome. A room in Martius Coriolanus’ house.

  1. Enter Coriolanus with Patricians.

Coriolanus

1 - 6
  1. Let them pull all about mine ears, present me
  2. Death on the wheel, or at wild horses’ heels,
  3. Or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock,
  4. That the precipitation might down stretch
  5. Below the beam of sight, yet will I still
  6. Be thus to them.

Patrician

7
  1.                  You do the nobler.

Coriolanus

8 - 18
  1. I muse my mother
  2. Does not approve me further, who was wont
  3. To call them woollen vassals, things created
  4. To buy and sell with groats, to show bare heads
  5. In congregations, to yawn, be still, and wonder,
  6. When one but of my ordinance stood up
  7. To speak of peace or war.
  8. Enter Volumnia.
  9.                           I talk of you:
  10. Why did you wish me milder? Would you have me
  11. False to my nature? Rather say, I play
  12. The man I am.

Volumnia

19 - 21
  1.               O, sir, sir, sir,
  2. I would have had you put your power well on
  3. Before you had worn it out.

Coriolanus

22
  1.                             Let go.

Volumnia

23 - 27
  1. You might have been enough the man you are,
  2. With striving less to be so. Lesser had been
  3. The thwartings of your dispositions, if
  4. You had not show’d them how ye were dispos’d
  5. Ere they lack’d power to cross you.

Coriolanus

28
  1.                                     Let them hang!

Volumnia

29
  1. Ay, and burn too.
  1. Enter Menenius with the Roman Senators.

Menenius

30 - 31
  1. Come, come, you have been too rough, something too rough;
  2. You must return and mend it.

First Roman Senator

32 - 34
  1.                              There’s no remedy,
  2. Unless, by not so doing, our good city
  3. Cleave in the midst and perish.

Volumnia

35 - 38
  1.                                 Pray be counsell’d.
  2. I have a heart as little apt as yours,
  3. But yet a brain that leads my use of anger
  4. To better vantage.

Menenius

39 - 43
  1.                    Well said, noble woman!
  2. Before he should thus stoop to th’ herd, but that
  3. The violent fit a’ th’ time craves it as physic
  4. For the whole state, I would put mine armor on,
  5. Which I can scarcely bear.

Coriolanus

44
  1.                            What must I do?

Menenius

45
  1. Return to th’ tribunes.

Coriolanus

46
  1.                         Well, what then? What then?

Menenius

47
  1. Repent what you have spoke.

Coriolanus

48 - 49
  1. For them? I cannot do it to the gods,
  2. Must I then do’t to them?

Volumnia

50 - 56
  1.                           You are too absolute,
  2. Though therein you can never be too noble,
  3. But when extremities speak. I have heard you say
  4. Honor and policy, like unsever’d friends,
  5. I’ th’ war do grow together; grant that, and tell me
  6. In peace what each of them by th’ other lose
  7. That they combine not there.

Coriolanus

57
  1.                              Tush, tush!

Menenius

58
  1.             A good demand.

Volumnia

59 - 64
  1. If it be honor in your wars to seem
  2. The same you are not, which, for your best ends,
  3. You adopt your policy, how is it less or worse
  4. That it shall hold companionship in peace
  5. With honor, as in war, since that to both
  6. It stands in like request?

Coriolanus

65
  1.                            Why force you this?

Volumnia

66 - 83
  1. Because that now it lies you on to speak
  2. To th’ people; not by your own instruction,
  3. Nor by th’ matter which your heart prompts you,
  4. But with such words that are but roted in
  5. Your tongue, though but bastards, and syllables
  6. Of no allowance, to your bosom’s truth.
  7. Now, this no more dishonors you at all
  8. Than to take in a town with gentle words,
  9. Which else would put you to your fortune and
  10. The hazard of much blood.
  11. I would dissemble with my nature where
  12. My fortunes and my friends at stake requir’d
  13. I should do so in honor. I am in this
  14. Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles;
  15. And you will rather show our general louts
  16. How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon ’em
  17. For the inheritance of their loves and safeguard
  18. Of what that want might ruin.

Menenius

84 - 87
  1.                               Noble lady!
  2. Come go with us, speak fair. You may salve so,
  3. Not what is dangerous present, but the loss
  4. Of what is past.

Volumnia

88 - 102
  1.                  I prithee now, my son,
  2. Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand,
  3. And thus far having stretch’d it (here be with them),
  4. Thy knee bussing the stones (for in such business
  5. Action is eloquence, and the eyes of th’ ignorant
  6. More learned than the ears), waving thy head,
  7. Which often thus correcting thy stout heart,
  8. Now humble as the ripest mulberry
  9. That will not hold the handling: or say to them,
  10. Thou art their soldier, and, being bred in broils,
  11. Hast not the soft way which, thou dost confess,
  12. Were fit for thee to use as they to claim,
  13. In asking their good loves, but thou wilt frame
  14. Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far
  15. As thou hast power and person.

Menenius

103 - 106
  1.                                This but done,
  2. Even as she speaks, why, their hearts were yours;
  3. For they have pardons, being ask’d, as free
  4. As words to little purpose.

Volumnia

107 - 111
  1.                             Prithee now,
  2. Go, and be rul’d; although I know thou hadst rather
  3. Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf
  4. Than flatter him in a bower.
  5. Enter Cominius.
  6.                              Here is Cominius.

Cominius

112 - 114
  1. I have been i’ th’ market-place; and, sir, ’tis fit
  2. You make strong party, or defend yourself
  3. By calmness or by absence. All’s in anger.

Menenius

115
  1. Only fair speech.

Cominius

116 - 117
  1.                   I think ’twill serve, if he
  2. Can thereto frame his spirit.

Volumnia

118 - 119
  1.                               He must, and will.
  2. Prithee now say you will, and go about it.

Coriolanus

120 - 127
  1. Must I go show them my unbarb’d sconce? Must I
  2. With my base tongue give to my noble heart
  3. A lie that it must bear? Well, I will do’t;
  4. Yet, were there but this single plot to lose,
  5. This mould of Martius, they to dust should grind it
  6. And throw’t against the wind. To th’ market-place!
  7. You have put me now to such a part which never
  8. I shall discharge to th’ life.

Cominius

128
  1.                                Come, come, we’ll prompt you.

Volumnia

129 - 132
  1. I prithee now, sweet son, as thou hast said
  2. My praises made thee first a soldier, so,
  3. To have my praise for this, perform a part
  4. Thou hast not done before.

Coriolanus

133 - 146
  1.                            Well, I must do’t.
  2. Away, my disposition, and possess me
  3. Some harlot’s spirit! My throat of war be turn’d,
  4. Which quier’d with my drum, into a pipe
  5. Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice
  6. That babies lull asleep! The smiles of knaves
  7. Tent in my cheeks, and schoolboys’ tears take up
  8. The glasses of my sight! A beggar’s tongue
  9. Make motion through my lips, and my arm’d knees,
  10. Who bow’d but in my stirrup, bend like his
  11. That hath receiv’d an alms! I will not do’t,
  12. Lest I surcease to honor mine own truth,
  13. And by my body’s action teach my mind
  14. A most inherent baseness.

Volumnia

147 - 154
  1.                           At thy choice then.
  2. To beg of thee, it is my more dishonor
  3. Than thou of them. Come all to ruin, let
  4. Thy mother rather feel thy pride than fear
  5. Thy dangerous stoutness; for I mock at death
  6. With as big heart as thou. Do as thou list;
  7. Thy valiantness was mine, thou suck’st it from me;
  8. But owe thy pride thyself.

Coriolanus

155 - 162
  1.                            Pray be content.
  2. Mother, I am going to the market-place;
  3. Chide me no more. I’ll mountebank their loves,
  4. Cog their hearts from them, and come home belov’d
  5. Of all the trades in Rome. Look, I am going.
  6. Commend me to my wife. I’ll return consul,
  7. Or never trust to what my tongue can do
  8. I’ th’ way of flattery further.

Volumnia

163
  1.                                 Do your will.
  1. Exit Volumnia.

Cominius

164 - 167
  1. Away, the tribunes do attend you. Arm yourself
  2. To answer mildly; for they are prepar’d
  3. With accusations, as I hear, more strong
  4. Than are upon you yet.

Coriolanus

168 - 170
  1. The word is mildly.” Pray you let us go.
  2. Let them accuse me by invention; I
  3. Will answer in mine honor.

Menenius

171
  1.                            Ay, but mildly.

Coriolanus

172
  1. Well, mildly be it then. Mildly!
  1. Exeunt.
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