Speeches (Lines) for Cominius
in "Coriolanus"

Total: 67

---
# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,1,246

Coriolanus. They have a leader,
Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to 't.
I sin in envying his nobility,
And were I any thing but what I am,
I would wish me only he.

Cominius. You have fought together.


2

I,1,253

First Senator. Then, worthy CORIOLANUS,
Attend upon Cominius to these wars.

Cominius. It is your former promise.


3

I,1,267

Titus Lartius. [To COMINIUS] Lead you on.
[To CORIOLANUS] Follow Cominius; we must follow you;]
Right worthy you priority.

Cominius. Noble CORIOLANUS!


4

I,6,609

(stage directions). [Enter COMINIUS, as it were in retire,]
with soldiers]

Cominius. Breathe you, my friends: well fought;
we are come off
Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands,
Nor cowardly in retire: believe me, sirs,
We shall be charged again. Whiles we have struck,
By interims and conveying gusts we have heard
The charges of our friends. Ye Roman gods!
Lead their successes as we wish our own,
That both our powers, with smiling
fronts encountering,
May give you thankful sacrifice.
[Enter a Messenger]
Thy news?


5

I,6,626

Messenger. The citizens of Corioli have issued,
And given to TITUS and to CORIOLANUS battle:
I saw our party to their trenches driven,
And then I came away.

Cominius. Though thou speak'st truth,
Methinks thou speak'st not well.
How long is't since?


6

I,6,630

Messenger. Above an hour, my lord.

Cominius. 'Tis not a mile; briefly we heard their drums:
How couldst thou in a mile confound an hour,
And bring thy news so late?


7

I,6,637

Messenger. Spies of the Volsces
Held me in chase, that I was forced to wheel
Three or four miles about, else had I, sir,
Half an hour since brought my report.

Cominius. Who's yonder,
That does appear as he were flay'd? O gods
He has the stamp of CORIOLANUS; and I have
Before-time seen him thus.


8

I,6,642

Coriolanus. [Within] Come I too late?

Cominius. The shepherd knows not thunder from a tabour
More than I know the sound of CORIOLANUS' tongue
From every meaner man.


9

I,6,647

Coriolanus. Come I too late?

Cominius. Ay, if you come not in the blood of others,
But mantled in your own.


10

I,6,653

Coriolanus. O, let me clip ye
In arms as sound as when I woo'd, in heart
As merry as when our nuptial day was done,
And tapers burn'd to bedward!

Cominius. Flower of warriors,
How is it with Titus TITUS?


11

I,6,661

Coriolanus. As with a man busied about decrees:
Condemning some to death, and some to exile;
Ransoming him, or pitying, threatening the other;
Holding Corioli in the name of Rome,
Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash,
To let him slip at will.

Cominius. Where is that slave
Which told me they had beat you to your trenches?
Where is he? call him hither.


12

I,6,669

Coriolanus. Let him alone;
He did inform the truth: but for our gentlemen,
The common file—a plague! tribunes for them!—
The mouse ne'er shunn'd the cat as they did budge
From rascals worse than they.

Cominius. But how prevail'd you?


13

I,6,673

Coriolanus. Will the time serve to tell? I do not think.
Where is the enemy? are you lords o' the field?
If not, why cease you till you are so?

Cominius. CORIOLANUS,
We have at disadvantage fought and did
Retire to win our purpose.


14

I,6,678

Coriolanus. How lies their battle? know you on which side
They have placed their men of trust?

Cominius. As I guess, CORIOLANUS,
Their bands i' the vaward are the Antiates,
Of their best trust; o'er them Aufidius,
Their very heart of hope.


15

I,6,690

Coriolanus. I do beseech you,
By all the battles wherein we have fought,
By the blood we have shed together, by the vows
We have made to endure friends, that you directly
Set me against Aufidius and his Antiates;
And that you not delay the present, but,
Filling the air with swords advanced and darts,
We prove this very hour.

Cominius. Though I could wish
You were conducted to a gentle bath
And balms applied to, you, yet dare I never
Deny your asking: take your choice of those
That best can aid your action.


16

I,6,718

Coriolanus. Those are they
That most are willing. If any such be here—
As it were sin to doubt—that love this painting
Wherein you see me smear'd; if any fear
Lesser his person than an ill report;
If any think brave death outweighs bad life
And that his country's dearer than himself;
Let him alone, or so many so minded,
Wave thus, to express his disposition,
And follow CORIOLANUS.
[They all shout and wave their swords, take him up in]
their arms, and cast up their caps]
O, me alone! make you a sword of me?
If these shows be not outward, which of you
But is four Volsces? none of you but is
Able to bear against the great Aufidius
A shield as hard as his. A certain number,
Though thanks to all, must I select
from all: the rest
Shall bear the business in some other fight,
As cause will be obey'd. Please you to march;
And four shall quickly draw out my command,
Which men are best inclined.

Cominius. March on, my fellows:
Make good this ostentation, and you shall
Divide in all with us.


17

I,9,763

(stage directions). [Flourish. Alarum. A retreat is sounded. Flourish.]
Enter, from one side, COMINIUS with the Romans; from
the other side, CORIOLANUS, with his arm in a scarf]

Cominius. If I should tell thee o'er this thy day's work,
Thou'ldst not believe thy deeds: but I'll report it
Where senators shall mingle tears with smiles,
Where great patricians shall attend and shrug,
I' the end admire, where ladies shall be frighted,
And, gladly quaked, hear more; where the
dull tribunes,
That, with the fusty plebeians, hate thine honours,
Shall say against their hearts 'We thank the gods
Our Rome hath such a soldier.'
Yet camest thou to a morsel of this feast,
Having fully dined before.
[Enter TITUS LARTIUS, with his power,]
from the pursuit]


18

I,9,787

Coriolanus. Pray now, no more: my mother,
Who has a charter to extol her blood,
When she does praise me grieves me. I have done
As you have done; that's what I can; induced
As you have been; that's for my country:
He that has but effected his good will
Hath overta'en mine act.

Cominius. You shall not be
The grave of your deserving; Rome must know
The value of her own: 'twere a concealment
Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement,
To hide your doings; and to silence that,
Which, to the spire and top of praises vouch'd,
Would seem but modest: therefore, I beseech you
In sign of what you are, not to reward
What you have done—before our army hear me.


19

I,9,798

Coriolanus. I have some wounds upon me, and they smart
To hear themselves remember'd.

Cominius. Should they not,
Well might they fester 'gainst ingratitude,
And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses,
Whereof we have ta'en good and good store, of all
The treasure in this field achieved and city,
We render you the tenth, to be ta'en forth,
Before the common distribution, at
Your only choice.


20

I,9,827

Coriolanus. May these same instruments, which you profane,
Never sound more! when drums and trumpets shall
I' the field prove flatterers, let courts and cities be
Made all of false-faced soothing!
When steel grows soft as the parasite's silk,
Let him be made a coverture for the wars!
No more, I say! For that I have not wash'd
My nose that bled, or foil'd some debile wretch.—
Which, without note, here's many else have done,—
You shout me forth
In acclamations hyperbolical;
As if I loved my little should be dieted
In praises sauced with lies.

Cominius. Too modest are you;
More cruel to your good report than grateful
To us that give you truly: by your patience,
If 'gainst yourself you be incensed, we'll put you,
Like one that means his proper harm, in manacles,
Then reason safely with you. Therefore, be it known,
As to us, to all the world, that Caius CORIOLANUS
Wears this war's garland: in token of the which,
My noble steed, known to the camp, I give him,
With all his trim belonging; and from this time,
For what he did before Corioli, call him,
With all the applause and clamour of the host,
CAIUS CORIOLANUS CORIOLANUS! Bear
The addition nobly ever!


21

I,9,849

Coriolanus. I will go wash;
And when my face is fair, you shall perceive
Whether I blush or no: howbeit, I thank you.
I mean to stride your steed, and at all times
To undercrest your good addition
To the fairness of my power.

Cominius. So, to our tent;
Where, ere we do repose us, we will write
To Rome of our success. You, Titus TITUS,
Must to Corioli back: send us to Rome
The best, with whom we may articulate,
For their own good and ours.


22

I,9,859

Coriolanus. The gods begin to mock me. I, that now
Refused most princely gifts, am bound to beg
Of my lord general.

Cominius. Take't; 'tis yours. What is't?


23

I,9,866

Coriolanus. I sometime lay here in Corioli
At a poor man's house; he used me kindly:
He cried to me; I saw him prisoner;
But then Aufidius was within my view,
And wrath o'erwhelm'd my pity: I request you
To give my poor host freedom.

Cominius. O, well begg'd!
Were he the butcher of my son, he should
Be free as is the wind. Deliver him, Titus.


24

I,9,873

Coriolanus. By Jupiter! forgot.
I am weary; yea, my memory is tired.
Have we no wine here?

Cominius. Go we to our tent:
The blood upon your visage dries; 'tis time
It should be look'd to: come.


25

II,1,1093

Coriolanus. No more of this; it does offend my heart:
Pray now, no more.

Cominius. Look, sir, your mother!


26

II,1,1124

Menenius Agrippa. A hundred thousand welcomes. I could weep
And I could laugh, I am light and heavy. Welcome.
A curse begin at very root on's heart,
That is not glad to see thee! You are three
That Rome should dote on: yet, by the faith of men,
We have some old crab-trees here
at home that will not
Be grafted to your relish. Yet welcome, warriors:
We call a nettle but a nettle and
The faults of fools but folly.

Cominius. Ever right.


27

II,1,1140

Coriolanus. Know, good mother,
I had rather be their servant in my way,
Than sway with them in theirs.

Cominius. On, to the Capitol!
[Flourish. Cornets. Exeunt in state, as before.]
BRUTUS and SICINIUS come forward]


28

II,2,1329

Menenius Agrippa. Masters of the people,
Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter—
That's thousand to one good one—when you now see
He had rather venture all his limbs for honour
Than one on's ears to hear it? Proceed, Cominius.

Cominius. I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus
Should not be utter'd feebly. It is held
That valour is the chiefest virtue, and
Most dignifies the haver: if it be,
The man I speak of cannot in the world
Be singly counterpoised. At sixteen years,
When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought
Beyond the mark of others: our then dictator,
Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight,
When with his Amazonian chin he drove
The bristled lips before him: be bestrid
An o'er-press'd Roman and i' the consul's view
Slew three opposers: Tarquin's self he met,
And struck him on his knee: in that day's feats,
When he might act the woman in the scene,
He proved best man i' the field, and for his meed
Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age
Man-enter'd thus, he waxed like a sea,
And in the brunt of seventeen battles since
He lurch'd all swords of the garland. For this last,
Before and in Corioli, let me say,
I cannot speak him home: he stopp'd the fliers;
And by his rare example made the coward
Turn terror into sport: as weeds before
A vessel under sail, so men obey'd
And fell below his stem: his sword, death's stamp,
Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot
He was a thing of blood, whose every motion
Was timed with dying cries: alone he enter'd
The mortal gate of the city, which he painted
With shunless destiny; aidless came off,
And with a sudden reinforcement struck
Corioli like a planet: now all's his:
When, by and by, the din of war gan pierce
His ready sense; then straight his doubled spirit
Re-quicken'd what in flesh was fatigate,
And to the battle came he; where he did
Run reeking o'er the lives of men, as if
'Twere a perpetual spoil: and till we call'd
Both field and city ours, he never stood
To ease his breast with panting.


29

II,2,1373

First Senator. He cannot but with measure fit the honours
Which we devise him.

Cominius. Our spoils he kick'd at,
And look'd upon things precious as they were
The common muck of the world: he covets less
Than misery itself would give; rewards
His deeds with doing them, and is content
To spend the time to end it.


30

III,1,1732

Coriolanus. So then the Volsces stand but as at first,
Ready, when time shall prompt them, to make road.
Upon's again.

Cominius. They are worn, lord consul, so,
That we shall hardly in our ages see
Their banners wave again.


31

III,1,1761

Menenius Agrippa. The matter?

Cominius. Hath he not pass'd the noble and the common?


32

III,1,1801

Menenius Agrippa. Let's be calm.

Cominius. The people are abused; set on. This paltering
Becomes not Rome, nor has Coriolanus
Deserved this so dishonour'd rub, laid falsely
I' the plain way of his merit.


33

III,1,1844

Coriolanus. Shall remain!
Hear you this Triton of the minnows? mark you
His absolute 'shall'?

Cominius. 'Twas from the canon.


34

III,1,1868

Coriolanus. 'Shall'!
O good but most unwise patricians! why,
You grave but reckless senators, have you thus
Given Hydra here to choose an officer,
That with his peremptory 'shall,' being but
The horn and noise o' the monster's, wants not spirit
To say he'll turn your current in a ditch,
And make your channel his? If he have power
Then vail your ignorance; if none, awake
Your dangerous lenity. If you are learn'd,
Be not as common fools; if you are not,
Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians,
If they be senators: and they are no less,
When, both your voices blended, the great'st taste
Most palates theirs. They choose their magistrate,
And such a one as he, who puts his 'shall,'
His popular 'shall' against a graver bench
Than ever frown in Greece. By Jove himself!
It makes the consuls base: and my soul aches
To know, when two authorities are up,
Neither supreme, how soon confusion
May enter 'twixt the gap of both and take
The one by the other.

Cominius. Well, on to the market-place.


35

III,1,1948

Coriolanus. Hence, old goat!

Cominius. Aged sir, hands off.


36

III,1,1982

Menenius Agrippa. And so are like to do.

Cominius. That is the way to lay the city flat;
To bring the roof to the foundation,
And bury all, which yet distinctly ranges,
In heaps and piles of ruin.


37

III,1,2014

Junius Brutus. Lay hands upon him.

Cominius. Help CORIOLANUS, help,
You that be noble; help him, young and old!


38

III,1,2022

Second Senator. Get you gone.

Cominius. Stand fast;
We have as many friends as enemies.


39

III,1,2030

Menenius Agrippa. For 'tis a sore upon us,
You cannot tent yourself: be gone, beseech you.

Cominius. Come, sir, along with us.


40

III,1,2039

Coriolanus. On fair ground
I could beat forty of them.

Cominius. I could myself
Take up a brace o' the best of them; yea, the
two tribunes:
But now 'tis odds beyond arithmetic;
And manhood is call'd foolery, when it stands
Against a falling fabric. Will you hence,
Before the tag return? whose rage doth rend
Like interrupted waters and o'erbear
What they are used to bear.


41

III,1,2052

Menenius Agrippa. Pray you, be gone:
I'll try whether my old wit be in request
With those that have but little: this must be patch'd
With cloth of any colour.

Cominius. Nay, come away.


42

III,2,2277

(stage directions). [Enter COMINIUS]

Cominius. I have been i' the market-place; and, sir,'tis fit
You make strong party, or defend yourself
By calmness or by absence: all's in anger.


43

III,2,2281

Menenius Agrippa. Only fair speech.

Cominius. I think 'twill serve, if he
Can thereto frame his spirit.


44

III,2,2293

Coriolanus. Must I go show them my unbarbed sconce?
Must I with base tongue give my noble heart
A lie that it must bear? Well, I will do't:
Yet, were there but this single plot to lose,
This mould of CORIOLANUS, they to dust should grind it
And throw't against the wind. To the market-place!
You have put me now to such a part which never
I shall discharge to the life.

Cominius. Come, come, we'll prompt you.


45

III,2,2330

(stage directions). [Exit]

Cominius. Away! the tribunes do attend you: arm yourself
To answer mildly; for they are prepared
With accusations, as I hear, more strong
Than are upon you yet.


46

III,3,2418

Menenius Agrippa. Consider further,
That when he speaks not like a citizen,
You find him like a soldier: do not take
His rougher accents for malicious sounds,
But, as I say, such as become a soldier,
Rather than envy you.

Cominius. Well, well, no more.


47

III,3,2454

Menenius Agrippa. Is this the promise that you made your mother?

Cominius. Know, I pray you,—


48

III,3,2477

Citizens. It shall be so, it shall be so; let him away:
He's banish'd, and it shall be so.

Cominius. Hear me, my masters, and my common friends,—


49

III,3,2479

Sicinius Velutus. He's sentenced; no more hearing.

Cominius. Let me speak:
I have been consul, and can show for Rome
Her enemies' marks upon me. I do love
My country's good with a respect more tender,
More holy and profound, than mine own life,
My dear wife's estimate, her womb's increase,
And treasure of my loins; then if I would
Speak that,—


50

IV,3,2563

Coriolanus. O the gods!

Cominius. 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' the absence of the needer.


51

IV,6,3114

(stage directions). [Enter COMINIUS]

Cominius. O, you have made good work!


52

IV,6,3116

Menenius Agrippa. What news? what news?

Cominius. You have holp to ravish your own daughters and
To melt the city leads upon your pates,
To see your wives dishonour'd to your noses,—


53

IV,6,3120

Menenius Agrippa. What's the news? what's the news?

Cominius. Your temples burned in their cement, and
Your franchises, whereon you stood, confined
Into an auger's bore.


54

IV,6,3126

Menenius Agrippa. Pray now, your news?
You have made fair work, I fear me.—Pray, your news?—
If CORIOLANUS should be join'd with Volscians,—

Cominius. If!
He is their god: he leads them like a thing
Made by some other deity than nature,
That shapes man better; and they follow him,
Against us brats, with no less confidence
Than boys pursuing summer butterflies,
Or butchers killing flies.


55

IV,6,3137

Menenius Agrippa. You have made good work,
You and your apron-men; you that stood so up much
on the voice of occupation and
The breath of garlic-eaters!

Cominius. He will shake
Your Rome about your ears.


56

IV,6,3143

Junius Brutus. But is this true, sir?

Cominius. Ay; and you'll look pale
Before you find it other. All the regions
Do smilingly revolt; and who resist
Are mock'd for valiant ignorance,
And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame him?
Your enemies and his find something in him.


57

IV,6,3151

Menenius Agrippa. We are all undone, unless
The noble man have mercy.

Cominius. Who shall ask it?
The tribunes cannot do't for shame; the people
Deserve such pity of him as the wolf
Does of the shepherds: for his best friends, if they
Should say 'Be good to Rome,' they charged him even
As those should do that had deserved his hate,
And therein show'd like enemies.


58

IV,6,3163

Menenius Agrippa. 'Tis true:
If he were putting to my house the brand
That should consume it, I have not the face
To say 'Beseech you, cease.' You have made fair hands,
You and your crafts! you have crafted fair!

Cominius. You have brought
A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
So incapable of help.


59

IV,6,3170

Menenius Agrippa. How! Was it we? we loved him but, like beasts
And cowardly nobles, gave way unto your clusters,
Who did hoot him out o' the city.

Cominius. But I fear
They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
The second name of men, obeys his points
As if he were his officer: desperation
Is all the policy, strength and defence,
That Rome can make against them.


60

IV,6,3196

Third Citizen. And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did very
many of us: that we did, we did for the best; and
though we willingly consented to his banishment, yet
it was against our will.

Cominius. Ye re goodly things, you voices!


61

IV,6,3199

Menenius Agrippa. You have made
Good work, you and your cry! Shall's to the Capitol?

Cominius. O, ay, what else?


62

V,1,3286

Menenius Agrippa. No, I'll not go: you hear what he hath said
Which was sometime his general; who loved him
In a most dear particular. He call'd me father:
But what o' that? Go, you that banish'd him;
A mile before his tent fall down, and knee
The way into his mercy: nay, if he coy'd
To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home.

Cominius. He would not seem to know me.


63

V,1,3288

Menenius Agrippa. Do you hear?

Cominius. Yet one time he did call me by my name:
I urged our old acquaintance, and the drops
That we have bled together. Coriolanus
He would not answer to: forbad all names;
He was a kind of nothing, titleless,
Till he had forged himself a name o' the fire
Of burning Rome.


64

V,1,3298

Menenius Agrippa. Why, so: you have made good work!
A pair of tribunes that have rack'd for Rome,
To make coals cheap,—a noble memory!

Cominius. I minded him how royal 'twas to pardon
When it was less expected: he replied,
It was a bare petition of a state
To one whom they had punish'd.


65

V,1,3304

Menenius Agrippa. Very well:
Could he say less?

Cominius. I offer'd to awaken his regard
For's private friends: his answer to me was,
He could not stay to pick them in a pile
Of noisome musty chaff: he said 'twas folly,
For one poor grain or two, to leave unburnt,
And still to nose the offence.


66

V,1,3352

(stage directions). [Exit]

Cominius. He'll never hear him.


67

V,1,3354

Sicinius Velutus. Not?

Cominius. I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye
Red as 'twould burn Rome; and his injury
The gaoler to his pity. I kneel'd before him;
'Twas very faintly he said 'Rise;' dismiss'd me
Thus, with his speechless hand: what he would do,
He sent in writing after me; what he would not,
Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions:
So that all hope is vain.
Unless his noble mother, and his wife;
Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him
For mercy to his country. Therefore, let's hence,
And with our fair entreaties haste them on.


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