Actus Quintus.

Enter Menenius, Cominius, Sicinius, Brutus, the two Tribunes, with others.

Menen. No, ile not go: you heare what he hath said Which was sometime his Generall: who loued him In a most deere particular. He call'd me Father: But what o'that? Go you that banish'd him A Mile before his Tent, fall downe, and knee The way into his mercy: Nay, if he coy'd To heare Cominius speake, Ile keepe at home

Com. He would not seeme to know me

Menen. Do you heare? Com. Yet one time he did call me by my name: I vrg'd our old acquaintance, and the drops That we haue bled together. Coriolanus He would not answer too: Forbad all Names, He was a kinde of Nothing, Titlelesse, Till he had forg'd himselfe a name a'th' fire Of burning Rome

Menen. Why so: you haue made good worke: A paire of Tribunes, that haue wrack'd for Rome, To make Coales cheape: A Noble memory

Com. I minded him, how Royall 'twas to pardon When it was lesse expected. He replyed It was a bare petition of a State To one whom they had punish'd

Menen. Very well, could he say lesse

Com. I offered to awaken his regard For's priuate Friends. His answer to me was He could not stay to picke them, in a pile Of noysome musty Chaffe. He said, 'twas folly For one poore graine or two, to leaue vnburnt And still to nose th' offence

Menen. For one poore graine or two? I am one of those: his Mother, Wife, his Childe, And this braue Fellow too: we are the Graines, You are the musty Chaffe, and you are smelt Aboue the Moone. We must be burnt for you

Sicin. Nay, pray be patient: If you refuse your ayde In this so neuer-needed helpe, yet do not Vpbraid's with our distresse. But sure if you Would be your Countries Pleader, your good tongue More then the instant Armie we can make Might stop our Countryman

Mene. No: Ile not meddle

Sicin. Pray you go to him

Mene. What should I do? Bru. Onely make triall what your Loue can do, For Rome, towards Martius

Mene. Well, and say that Martius returne mee, As Cominius is return'd, vnheard: what then? But as a discontented Friend, greefe-shot With his vnkindnesse. Say't be so? Sicin. Yet your good will Must haue that thankes from Rome, after the measure As you intended well

Mene. Ile vndertak't: I thinke hee'l heare me. Yet to bite his lip, And humme at good Cominius, much vnhearts mee. He was not taken well, he had not din'd, The Veines vnfill'd, our blood is cold, and then We powt vpon the Morning, are vnapt To giue or to forgiue; but when we haue stufft These Pipes, and these Conueyances of our blood With Wine and Feeding, we haue suppler Soules Then in our Priest-like Fasts: therefore Ile watch him Till he be dieted to my request, And then Ile set vpon him

Bru. You know the very rode into his kindnesse, And cannot lose your way

Mene. Good faith Ile proue him, Speed how it will. I shall ere long, haue knowledge Of my successe. Enter.

Com. Hee'l neuer heare him

Sicin. Not

Com. I tell you, he doe's sit in Gold, his eye Red as 'twould burne Rome: and his Iniury The Gaoler to his pitty. I kneel'd before him, 'Twas very faintly he said Rise: dismist me Thus with his speechlesse hand. What he would do He sent in writing after me: what he would not, Bound with an Oath to yeeld to his conditions: So that all hope is vaine, vnlesse his Noble Mother, And his Wife, who (as I heare) meane to solicite him For mercy to his Countrey: therefore let's hence, And with our faire intreaties hast them on.


William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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