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Coriolanus: Act V, Scene 3

Coriolanus
Act V, Scene 3

The tent of Coriolanus.

  1. Enter Coriolanus and Aufidius with others.

Coriolanus

1 - 4
  1. We will before the walls of Rome tomorrow
  2. Set down our host. My partner in this action,
  3. You must report to th’ Volscian lords, how plainly
  4. I have borne this business.

Aufidius

5 - 9
  1.                             Only their ends
  2. You have respected; stopp’d your ears against
  3. The general suit of Rome; never admitted
  4. A private whisper, no, not with such friends
  5. That thought them sure of you.

Coriolanus

10 - 40
  1.                                This last old man,
  2. Whom with a crack’d heart I have sent to Rome,
  3. Lov’d me above the measure of a father,
  4. Nay, godded me indeed. Their latest refuge
  5. Was to send him; for whose old love I have
  6. (Though I show’d sourly to him) once more offer’d
  7. The first conditions, which they did refuse
  8. And cannot now accept, to grace him only
  9. That thought he could do more: a very little
  10. I have yielded to. Fresh embassies and suits,
  11. Nor from the state nor private friends, hereafter
  12. Will I lend ear to.
  13. Shout within.
  14.                     Ha? What shout is this?
  15. Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow
  16. In the same time ’tis made? I will not.
  17. Enter in mourning habits Virgilia, Volumnia, Valeria, young
  18. Martius, with Attendants.
  19. My wife comes foremost; then the honor’d mould
  20. Wherein this trunk was fram’d, and in her hand
  21. The grandchild to her blood. But out, affection,
  22. All bond and privilege of nature, break!
  23. Let it be virtuous to be obstinate.
  24. What is that curtsy worth? Or those doves’ eyes,
  25. Which can make gods forsworn? I melt, and am not
  26. Of stronger earth than others. My mother bows,
  27. As if Olympus to a molehill should
  28. In supplication nod; and my young boy
  29. Hath an aspect of intercession, which
  30. Great Nature cries, Deny not.” Let the Volsces
  31. Plough Rome and harrow Italy, I’ll never
  32. Be such a gosling to obey instinct, but stand
  33. As if a man were author of himself,
  34. And knew no other kin.

Virgilia

41
  1.                        My lord and husband!

Coriolanus

42
  1. These eyes are not the same I wore in Rome.

Virgilia

43 - 44
  1. The sorrow that delivers us thus chang’d
  2. Makes you think so.

Coriolanus

45 - 57
  1.                     Like a dull actor now
  2. I have forgot my part, and I am out,
  3. Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh,
  4. Forgive my tyranny; but do not say
  5. For that, Forgive our Romans.” O, a kiss
  6. Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!
  7. Now, by the jealous queen of heaven, that kiss
  8. I carried from thee, dear; and my true lip
  9. Hath virgin’d it e’er since. You gods, I prate,
  10. And the most noble mother of the world
  11. Leave unsaluted. Sink, my knee, i’ th’ earth;
  12. Kneels.
  13. Of thy deep duty more impression show
  14. Than that of common sons.

Volumnia

58 - 62
  1.                           O, stand up blest!
  2. Whilst with no softer cushion than the flint
  3. I kneel before thee, and unproperly
  4. Show duty as mistaken all this while
  5. Between the child and parent.
  1. Kneels.

Coriolanus

63 - 69
  1.                               What’s this?
  2. Your knees to me? To your corrected son?
  3. Raises her.
  4. Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach
  5. Fillip the stars; then let the mutinous winds
  6. Strike the proud cedars ’gainst the fiery sun,
  7. Murd’ring impossibility, to make
  8. What cannot be, slight work.

Volumnia

70 - 71
  1.                              Thou art my warrior,
  2. I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady?

Coriolanus

72 - 75
  1. The noble sister of Publicola,
  2. The moon of Rome, chaste as the icicle
  3. That’s curdied by the frost from purest snow
  4. And hangs on Dian’s templedear Valeria!

Volumnia

76 - 78
  1. This is a poor epitome of yours,
  2. Which by th’ interpretation of full time
  3. May show like all yourself.

Coriolanus

79 - 84
  1.                             The god of soldiers,
  2. With the consent of supreme Jove, inform
  3. Thy thoughts with nobleness, that thou mayst prove
  4. To shame unvulnerable, and stick i’ th’ wars
  5. Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,
  6. And saving those that eye thee!

Volumnia

85
  1. Your knee, sirrah.

Coriolanus

86
  1. That’s my brave boy!

Volumnia

87 - 88
  1. Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself
  2. Are suitors to you.

Coriolanus

89 - 97
  1.                     I beseech you peace;
  2. Or, if you’ld ask, remember this before:
  3. The thing I have forsworn to grant may never
  4. Be held by you denials. Do not bid me
  5. Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate
  6. Again with Rome’s mechanics. Tell me not
  7. Wherein I seem unnatural; desire not
  8. T’ allay my rages and revenges with
  9. Your colder reasons.

Volumnia

98 - 103
  1.                      O, no more, no more!
  2. You have said you will not grant us any thing;
  3. For we have nothing else to ask but that
  4. Which you deny already. Yet we will ask,
  5. That, if you fail in our request, the blame
  6. May hang upon your hardness, therefore hear us.

Coriolanus

104 - 106
  1. Aufidius, and you Volsces, mark, for we’ll
  2. Hear nought from Rome in private.
  3. Sits.
  4.                                   Your request?

Volumnia

107 - 138
  1. Should we be silent and not speak, our raiment
  2. And state of bodies would bewray what life
  3. We have led since thy exile. Think with thyself
  4. How more unfortunate than all living women
  5. Are we come hither; since that thy sight, which should
  6. Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with comforts,
  7. Constrains them weep and shake with fear and sorrow,
  8. Making the mother, wife, and child to see
  9. The son, the husband, and the father tearing
  10. His country’s bowels out. And to poor we
  11. Thine enmity’s most capital; thou barr’st us
  12. Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort
  13. That all but we enjoy. For how can we,
  14. Alas! How can we, for our country pray,
  15. Whereto we are bound, together with thy victory,
  16. Whereto we are bound? Alack, or we must lose
  17. The country, our dear nurse, or else thy person,
  18. Our comfort in the country. We must find
  19. An evident calamity, though we had
  20. Our wish, which side should win; for either thou
  21. Must as a foreign recreant be led
  22. With manacles through our streets, or else
  23. Triumphantly tread on thy country’s ruin,
  24. And bear the palm for having bravely shed
  25. Thy wife and children’s blood. For myself, son,
  26. I purpose not to wait on fortune till
  27. These wars determine. If I cannot persuade thee
  28. Rather to show a noble grace to both parts
  29. Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner
  30. March to assault thy country than to tread
  31. (Trust to’t, thou shalt not) on thy mother’s womb
  32. That brought thee to this world.

Virgilia

139 - 141
  1.                                  Ay, and mine,
  2. That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name
  3. Living to time.

Boy

142 - 143
  1.                 ’A shall not tread on me;
  2. I’ll run away till I am bigger, but then I’ll fight.

Coriolanus

144 - 146
  1. Not of a woman’s tenderness to be,
  2. Requires nor child nor woman’s face to see.
  3. I have sate too long.
  1. Rises.

Volumnia

147 - 198
  1.                       Nay, go not from us thus.
  2. If it were so that our request did tend
  3. To save the Romans, thereby to destroy
  4. The Volsces whom you serve, you might condemn us,
  5. As poisonous of your honor. No, our suit
  6. Is that you reconcile them: while the Volsces
  7. May say, This mercy we have show’d,” the Romans,
  8. This we receiv’d”; and each in either side
  9. Give the all-hail to thee, and cry, Be blest
  10. For making up this peace!” Thou know’st, great son,
  11. The end of war’s uncertain; but this certain,
  12. That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit
  13. Which thou shalt thereby reap is such a name
  14. Whose repetition will be dogg’d with curses;
  15. Whose chronicle thus writ: The man was noble,
  16. But with his last attempt he wip’d it out,
  17. Destroy’d his country, and his name remains
  18. To th’ ensuing age abhorr’d.” Speak to me, son.
  19. Thou hast affected the fine strains of honor,
  20. To imitate the graces of the gods:
  21. To tear with thunder the wide cheeks a’ th’ air,
  22. And yet to charge thy sulphur with a bolt
  23. That should but rive an oak. Why dost not speak?
  24. Think’st thou it honorable for a noble man
  25. Still to remember wrongs? Daughter, speak you;
  26. He cares not for your weeping. Speak thou, boy;
  27. Perhaps thy childishness will move him more
  28. Than can our reasons. There’s no man in the world
  29. More bound to ’s mother, yet here he lets me prate
  30. Like one i’ th’ stocks.—Thou hast never in thy life
  31. Show’d thy dear mother any courtesy,
  32. When she, poor hen, fond of no second brood,
  33. Has cluck’d thee to the wars, and safely home
  34. Loaden with honor. Say my request’s unjust,
  35. And spurn me back; but if it be not so,
  36. Thou art not honest, and the gods will plague thee
  37. That thou restrain’st from me the duty which
  38. To a mother’s part belongs.—He turns away.
  39. Down, ladies; let us shame him with our knees.
  40. To his surname Coriolanus ’longs more pride
  41. Than pity to our prayers. Down! An end,
  42. This is the last. So, we will home to Rome,
  43. And die among our neighbors.—Nay, behold ’s!
  44. This boy, that cannot tell what he would have,
  45. But kneels and holds up hands for fellowship,
  46. Does reason our petition with more strength
  47. Than thou hast to deny’t.—Come, let us go.
  48. This fellow had a Volscian to his mother;
  49. His wife is in Corioles, and his child
  50. Like him by chance.—Yet give us our dispatch.
  51. I am hush’d until our city be afire,
  52. And then I’ll speak a little.
  1. Coriolanus holds her by the hand, silent.

Coriolanus

199 - 210
  1.                               O mother, mother!
  2. What have you done? Behold, the heavens do ope,
  3. The gods look down, and this unnatural scene
  4. They laugh at. O my mother, mother! O!
  5. You have won a happy victory to Rome;
  6. But, for your son, believe itO, believe it
  7. Most dangerously you have with him prevail’d,
  8. If not most mortal to him. But let it come.
  9. Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
  10. I’ll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius,
  11. Were you in my stead, would you have heard
  12. A mother less? Or granted less, Aufidius?

Aufidius

211
  1. I was mov’d withal.

Coriolanus

212 - 217
  1.                     I dare be sworn you were;
  2. And, sir, it is no little thing to make
  3. Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good sir,
  4. What peace you’ll make, advise me. For my part,
  5. I’ll not to Rome, I’ll back with you, and pray you
  6. Stand to me in this cause.—O mother! Wife!

Aufidius

218 - 220
  1. Aside.
  2. I am glad thou hast set thy mercy and thy honor
  3. At difference in thee. Out of that I’ll work
  4. Myself a former fortune.

Coriolanus

221 - 228
  1. To Volumnia, Virgilia, etc.
  2.                          Ay, by and by;
  3. But we will drink together; and you shall bear
  4. A better witness back than words, which we,
  5. On like conditions, will have counter-seal’d.
  6. Come enter with us. Ladies, you deserve
  7. To have a temple built you. All the swords
  8. In Italy, and her confederate arms,
  9. Could not have made this peace.
  1. Exeunt.
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