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Coriolanus: Act V, Scene 2

Coriolanus
Act V, Scene 2

Entrance of the Volscian camp before Rome.

  1. Enter Menenius to the Watch or Guard.

First Watchman

1
  1. Stay! Whence are you?

Second Watchman

2
  1.                       Stand, and go back.

Menenius

3 - 5
  1. You guard like men, ’tis well. But, by your leave,
  2. I am an officer of state, and come
  3. To speak with Coriolanus.

First Watchman

6
  1.                           From whence?

Menenius

7
  1.              From Rome.

First Watchman

8 - 9
  1. You may not pass, you must return; our general
  2. Will no more hear from thence.

Second Watchman

10 - 11
  1. You’ll see your Rome embrac’d with fire before
  2. You’ll speak with Coriolanus.

Menenius

12 - 15
  1.                               Good my friends,
  2. If you have heard your general talk of Rome
  3. And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks
  4. My name hath touch’d your ears: it is Menenius.

First Watchman

16 - 17
  1. Be it so, go back. The virtue of your name
  2. Is not here passable.

Menenius

18 - 28
  1.                       I tell thee, fellow,
  2. Thy general is my lover. I have been
  3. The book of his good acts, whence men have read
  4. His fame unparallel’d, happily amplified;
  5. For I have ever verified my friends
  6. (Of whom he’s chief) with all the size that verity
  7. Would without lapsing suffer. Nay, sometimes,
  8. Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground,
  9. I have tumbled past the throw; and in his praise
  10. Have (almost) stamp’d the leasing. Therefore, fellow,
  11. I must have leave to pass.

First Watchman

29 - 32
  1. Faith, sir, if you had told as many lies in his behalf as
  2. you have utter’d words in your own, you should not pass
  3. here; no, though it were as virtuous to lie as to live
  4. chastely. Therefore go back.

Menenius

33 - 34
  1. Prithee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius, always
  2. factionary on the party of your general.

Second Watchman

35 - 37
  1. Howsoever you have been his liar, as you say you have, I am
  2. one that, telling true under him, must say you cannot pass.
  3. Therefore go back.

Menenius

38 - 39
  1. Has he din’d, canst thou tell? For I would not speak with
  2. him till after dinner.

First Watchman

40
  1. You are a Roman, are you?

Menenius

41
  1. I am, as thy general is.

First Watchman

42 - 52
  1. Then you should hate Rome, as he does. Can you, when you
  2. have push’d out your gates the very defender of them, and,
  3. in a violent popular ignorance, given your enemy your
  4. shield, think to front his revenges with the easy groans of
  5. old women, the virginal palms of your daughters, or with the
  6. palsied intercession of such a decay’d dotant as you seem to
  7. be? Can you think to blow out the intended fire your city is
  8. ready to flame in, with such weak breath as this? No, you
  9. are deceiv’d; therefore back to Rome, and prepare for your
  10. execution. You are condemn’d; our general has sworn you out
  11. of reprieve and pardon.

Menenius

53 - 54
  1. Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, he would use me
  2. with estimation.

First Watchman

55
  1. Come, my captain knows you not.

Menenius

56
  1. I mean, thy general.

First Watchman

57 - 59
  1. My general cares not for you. Back, I say, go; lest I let
  2. forth your half-pint of blood. Back, that’s the utmost of
  3. your having, back!

Menenius

60
  1. Nay, but, fellow, fellow
  1. Enter Coriolanus with Aufidius.

Coriolanus

61
  1. What’s the matter?

Menenius

62 - 78
  1. Now, you companion! I’ll say an arrant for you. You shall
  2. know now that I am in estimation; you shall perceive that a
  3. Jack guardant cannot office me from my son Coriolanus. Guess
  4. but by my entertainment with him if thou stand’st not i’ th’
  5. state of hanging, or of some death more long in
  6. spectatorship and crueller in suffering; behold now
  7. presently, and swound for what’s to come upon thee.
  8. To Coriolanus.
  9. The glorious gods sit in hourly synod about thy particular
  10. prosperity, and love thee no worse than thy old father
  11. Menenius does! O my son, my son! Thou art preparing fire for
  12. us; look thee, here’s water to quench it. I was hardly mov’d
  13. to come to thee; but being assur’d none but myself could
  14. move thee, I have been blown out of your gates with sighs,
  15. and conjure thee to pardon Rome and thy petitionary
  16. countrymen. The good gods assuage thy wrath, and turn the
  17. dregs of it upon this varlet herethis, who like a block
  18. hath denied my access to thee.

Coriolanus

79
  1. Away!

Menenius

80
  1. How? Away?

Coriolanus

81 - 92
  1. Wife, mother, child I know not. My affairs
  2. Are servanted to others; though I owe
  3. My revenge properly, my remission lies
  4. In Volscian breasts. That we have been familiar,
  5. Ingrate forgetfulness shall poison rather
  6. Than pity note how much. Therefore be gone.
  7. Mine ears against your suits are stronger than
  8. Your gates against my force. Yet, for I loved thee,
  9. Take this along, I writ it for thy sake,
  10. Gives a letter.
  11. And would have sent it. Another word, Menenius,
  12. I will not hear thee speak. This man, Aufidius,
  13. Was my belov’d in Rome; yet thou behold’st!

Aufidius

93
  1. You keep a constant temper.
  1. Exeunt. Manent the Guard and Menenius.

First Watchman

94
  1. Now, sir, is your name Menenius?

Second Watchman

95 - 96
  1. ’Tis a spell, you see, of much power. You know the way home
  2. again.

First Watchman

97 - 98
  1. Do you hear how we are shent for keeping your greatness
  2. back?

Second Watchman

99
  1. What cause do you think I have to swound?

Menenius

100 - 105
  1. I neither care for th’ world nor your general; for such
  2. things as you, I can scarce think there’s any, y’ are so
  3. slight. He that hath a will to die by himself fears it not
  4. from another. Let your general do his worst. For you, be
  5. that you are, long; and your misery increase with your age!
  6. I say to you, as I was said to, Away!”
  1. Exit.

First Watchman

106
  1. A noble fellow, I warrant him.

Second Watchman

107 - 108
  1. The worthy fellow is our general. He’s the rock, the oak not
  2. to be wind-shaken.
  1. Exit Watch.
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