Act IV, Scene 1
Rome. Before a gate of the city.
- Enter Coriolanus, Volumnia, Virgilia, Menenius, Cominius,
- with the young Nobility of Rome.
Coriolanus1 - 11
- Come leave your tears: a brief farewell. The beast
- With many heads butts me away. Nay, mother,
- Where is your ancient courage? You were us’d
- To say extremities was the trier of spirits,
- That common chances common men could bear,
- That when the sea was calm all boats alike
- Show’d mastership in floating; fortune’s blows
- When most struck home, being gentle wounded craves
- A noble cunning. You were us’d to load me
- With precepts that would make invincible
- The heart that conn’d them.
- O heavens! O heavens!
- Nay, I prithee, woman—
Volumnia14 - 15
- Now the red pestilence strike all trades in Rome,
- And occupations perish!
Coriolanus16 - 35
- What, what, what!
- I shall be lov’d when I am lack’d. Nay, mother,
- Resume that spirit when you were wont to say,
- If you had been the wife of Hercules,
- Six of his labors you’ld have done, and sav’d
- Your husband so much sweat. Cominius,
- Droop not, adieu. Farewell, my wife, my mother,
- I’ll do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius,
- Thy tears are salter than a younger man’s,
- And venomous to thine eyes. My sometime general,
- I have seen thee stern, and thou hast oft beheld
- Heart-hard’ning spectacles; tell these sad women
- ’Tis fond to wail inevitable strokes,
- As ’tis to laugh at ’em. My mother, you wot well
- My hazards still have been your solace, and
- Believe’t not lightly—though I go alone,
- Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen
- Makes fear’d and talk’d of more than seen—your son
- Will or exceed the common or be caught
- With cautelous baits and practice.
Volumnia36 - 40
- My first son,
- Whither wilt thou go? Take good Cominius
- With thee a while. Determine on some course
- More than a wild exposture to each chance
- That starts i’ th’ way before thee.
- O the gods!
Cominius42 - 48
- I’ll follow thee a month, devise with thee
- Where thou shalt rest, that thou mayst hear of us
- And we of thee; so if the time thrust forth
- A cause for thy repeal, we shall not send
- O’er the vast world to seek a single man,
- And lose advantage, which doth ever cool
- I’ th’ absence of the needer.
Coriolanus49 - 58
- Fare ye well!
- Thou hast years upon thee, and thou art too full
- Of the wars’ surfeits to go rove with one
- That’s yet unbruis’d. Bring me but out at gate.
- Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and
- My friends of noble touch; when I am forth,
- Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you come.
- While I remain above the ground, you shall
- Hear from me still, and never of me aught
- But what is like me formerly.
Menenius59 - 63
- That’s worthily
- As any ear can hear. Come, let’s not weep.
- If I could shake off but one seven years
- From these old arms and legs, by the good gods
- I’ld with thee every foot.
Coriolanus64 - 65
- Give me thy hand.