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Being once gangren’d, is not then respected
For what before it was?
Bru. We'll hear no more:
Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence ;
Lest his infection, being of catching nature,
Men. One word more, one word.
This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find
The harm of unscann'd swiftness, will, too late,
Tie leaden pounds to his heels. Proceed by process;
Lest parties (as he is beloved) break out,
And sack great Rome with Romans.
Bru. If it were so-
Sic. What do ye talk?
Have we not had a taste of his obedience?
Our ædiles smotel ourselves resisted !-- Come-
Men. Consider this;- He hath been bred i'the wars
Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school'd
In boulted language; meal and bran together
He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
I'll go to him, and undertake to bring him
Where he shall answer, by a lawful form
(In peace), to his utmost peril.
1 Sen. Noble tribunes,
It is the humane way: the other course
Will prove too bloody; and the end of it
Unknown to the beginning.
Sic. Noble Menenius,
Be you then as the people's officer :-
Masters, lay down your weapons.
Bru. Go not home,
Sic. Meet on the market-place :-We'll attend you
Where, if you bring not Marcius, we'll proceed
In our first way.
411 Men. I'll bring him to you: Let me desire your company. [To the Senators.] He
must come, Or what is worst will follow. 1 Sen. Pray you, let's to him.
CORIOLANUS's House. Enter CORIOLANUS, with
Cor. 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
420 Be thus to them.
Pat. You do the nobler.
Cor. I muse, my mother
Does not approve me further, who was wont
To call them woollen vassals, things created
To buy or sell with groats; to shew bare heads
In congregations, to yawn, be still, and wonder,
When one but of my ordinance stood up
To speak of peace, or war. [To VOL.] I talk of you;
Why did you wish me milder ? Would you have me
False to my nature ? Rather say, I play
431 The man I am.
Vol. O, sir, sir, sir !
I would have had you put your power well on,
Before you had worn it out.
Cor. Let go.
Vol. You might have been enough the man you
With striving less to be so.: Lesser had been
The thwartings of your dispositions, if
You had not shew'd them how you were dispos'd
Ere they lack'd power to cross you.
Cor. Let them hang.
Pol. Ay, and burn too.
Enter MENENIUS, with the Senators,
Men. Come, come, you have been too rough, some-
thing too rough;
You must return, and mend it,
Sen. There's no remedy;
Unless, by not so doing, our good city
Cleave in the midst, and perish.
Vol. Pray, be counsellid :
I have a heart as little apt as your's,
But yet a brain, that leads my use of anger,
To better vantage.
Men. Well said, noble woman:
Before he should thus stoop to the herd, but that
The violent fit o'the time craves it as physick
For the whole state, I would put mine armour on,
Which I can scarcely bear.
Cor. What must I do?
Men. Return to the tribunes.
Cor. Well, what then? what then ?
Men. Repent what you have spoke.
Cor. For them ?-I cannot do it to the gods;
Must I then do't to them ?
Vol. You are too absolute; Though therein you can never be too noble. But when extremities speak, I have heard you say, Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends, l'the war do grow together : Grant that, and tell me, In peace, what each of them by the other lose, That they combine not there?
470 Cor. Tush, tush! Men. A good demand.
Vol. If it be honour, 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 honour, as in war; since that to both It stands in like
request? Cor. Why force you
That now it lies you on to speak to the people :
Not by your own instruction, nor by the matter
Which your heart prompts you to; but with such
That are but rooted in your tongue, but bastards, and
Of no allowance, to your bosom's truth.
Now, this no more dishonours 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 honour : I am in this,
Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles ;
And you will rather shew our general lowts
How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon 'em,
For the inheritance of their loves, and safeguard
Of what that want might ruin.
Men. Noble lady!
Come, go with us; speak fair : you may salve so,
Not what is dangerous present, but the loss 300
Of what is past.
Vol. I pr'ythee 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 the ignorant
More learned than the ears), waving thy head,
With often, thus, correcting thy stout heart,
Now humble as the ripest mulberry,
That will not hold the handling : Or, say to them,