Speeches (Lines) for Coriolanus
in "Coriolanus"

Total: 189

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

1

I,1,164

Thanks. What's the matter, you dissentious rogues,
That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Make yourselves scabs?

2

I,1,168

He that will give good words to thee will flatter
Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,
That like nor peace nor war? the one affrights you,
The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,
Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
Where foxes, geese: you are no surer, no,
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is
To make him worthy whose offence subdues him
And curse that justice did it.
Who deserves greatness
Deserves your hate; and your affections are
A sick man's appetite, who desires most that
Which would increase his evil. He that depends
Upon your favours swims with fins of lead
And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust Ye?
With every minute you do change a mind,
And call him noble that was now your hate,
Him vile that was your garland. What's the matter,
That in these several places of the city
You cry against the noble senate, who,
Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else
Would feed on one another? What's their seeking?

3

I,1,193

Hang 'em! They say!
They'll sit by the fire, and presume to know
What's done i' the Capitol; who's like to rise,
Who thrives and who declines; side factions
and give out
Conjectural marriages; making parties strong
And feebling such as stand not in their liking
Below their cobbled shoes. They say there's
grain enough!
Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,
And let me use my sword, I'll make a quarry
With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high
As I could pick my lance.

4

I,1,210

They are dissolved: hang 'em!
They said they were an-hungry; sigh'd forth proverbs,
That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat,
That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent not
Corn for the rich men only: with these shreds
They vented their complainings; which being answer'd,
And a petition granted them, a strange one—
To break the heart of generosity,
And make bold power look pale—they threw their caps
As they would hang them on the horns o' the moon,
Shouting their emulation.

5

I,1,222

Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms,
Of their own choice: one's Junius Brutus,
Sicinius Velutus, and I know not—'Sdeath!
The rabble should have first unroof'd the city,
Ere so prevail'd with me: it will in time
Win upon power and throw forth greater themes
For insurrection's arguing.

6

I,1,230

Go, get you home, you fragments!

7

I,1,233

Here: what's the matter?

8

I,1,235

I am glad on 't: then we shall ha' means to vent
Our musty superfluity. See, our best elders.
[Enter COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, and other Senators;]
JUNIUS BRUTUS and SICINIUS VELUTUS]

9

I,1,241

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.

10

I,1,247

Were half to half the world by the ears and he.
Upon my party, I'ld revolt to make
Only my wars with him: he is a lion
That I am proud to hunt.

11

I,1,254

Sir, it is;
And I am constant. Titus TITUS, thou
Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face.
What, art thou stiff? stand'st out?

12

I,1,269

Nay, let them follow:
The Volsces have much corn; take these rats thither
To gnaw their garners. Worshipful mutiners,
Your valour puts well forth: pray, follow.
[Citizens steal away. Exeunt all but SICINIUS]
and BRUTUS]

13

I,4,479

Yonder comes news. A wager they have met.

14

I,4,481

'Tis done.

15

I,4,483

Say, has our general met the enemy?

16

I,4,486

I'll buy him of you.

17

I,4,489

How far off lie these armies?

18

I,4,491

Then shall we hear their 'larum, and they ours.
Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work,
That we with smoking swords may march from hence,
To help our fielded friends! Come, blow thy blast.
[They sound a parley. Enter two Senators with others]
on the walls]
Tutus Aufidius, is he within your walls?

19

I,4,510

O, they are at it!

20

I,4,513

They fear us not, but issue forth their city.
Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight
With hearts more proof than shields. Advance,
brave Titus:
They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts,
Which makes me sweat with wrath. Come on, my fellows:
He that retires I'll take him for a Volsce,
And he shall feel mine edge.
[Alarum. The Romans are beat back to their]
trenches. Re-enter CORIOLANUS cursing]

21

I,4,523

All the contagion of the south light on you,
You shames of Rome! you herd of—Boils and plagues
Plaster you o'er, that you may be abhorr'd
Further than seen and one infect another
Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese,
That bear the shapes of men, how have you run
From slaves that apes would beat! Pluto and hell!
All hurt behind; backs red, and faces pale
With flight and agued fear! Mend and charge home,
Or, by the fires of heaven, I'll leave the foe
And make my wars on you: look to't: come on;
If you'll stand fast, we'll beat them to their wives,
As they us to our trenches followed.
[Another alarum. The Volsces fly, and CORIOLANUS]
follows them to the gates]
So, now the gates are ope: now prove good seconds:
'Tis for the followers fortune widens them,
Not for the fliers: mark me, and do the like.

22

I,5,576

See here these movers that do prize their hours
At a crack'd drachm! Cushions, leaden spoons,
Irons of a doit, doublets that hangmen would
Bury with those that wore them, these base slaves,
Ere yet the fight be done, pack up: down with them!
And hark, what noise the general makes! To him!
There is the man of my soul's hate, Aufidius,
Piercing our Romans: then, valiant Titus, take
Convenient numbers to make good the city;
Whilst I, with those that have the spirit, will haste
To help Cominius.

23

I,5,590

Sir, praise me not;
My work hath yet not warm'd me: fare you well:
The blood I drop is rather physical
Than dangerous to me: to Aufidius thus
I will appear, and fight.

24

I,5,599

Thy friend no less
Than those she placeth highest! So, farewell.

25

I,6,641

[Within] Come I too late?

26

I,6,646

Come I too late?

27

I,6,649

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!

28

I,6,655

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.

29

I,6,664

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.

30

I,6,670

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?

31

I,6,676

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

32

I,6,682

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.

33

I,6,695

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.

34

I,8,737

I'll fight with none but thee; for I do hate thee
Worse than a promise-breaker.

35

I,8,742

Let the first budger die the other's slave,
And the gods doom him after!

36

I,8,746

Within these three hours, Tullus,
Alone I fought in your Corioli walls,
And made what work I pleased: 'tis not my blood
Wherein thou seest me mask'd; for thy revenge
Wrench up thy power to the highest.

37

I,9,780

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.

38

I,9,796

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

39

I,9,806

I thank you, general;
But cannot make my heart consent to take
A bribe to pay my sword: I do refuse it;
And stand upon my common part with those
That have beheld the doing.
[A long flourish. They all cry 'CORIOLANUS! CORIOLANUS!']
cast up their caps and lances: COMINIUS and TITUS
stand bare]

40

I,9,814

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.

41

I,9,843

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.

42

I,9,856

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

43

I,9,860

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.

44

I,9,870

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

45

II,1,1091

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

46

II,1,1094

O,
You have, I know, petition'd all the gods
For my prosperity!

47

II,1,1103

My gracious silence, hail!
Wouldst thou have laugh'd had I come coffin'd home,
That weep'st to see me triumph? Ay, my dear,
Such eyes the widows in Corioli wear,
And mothers that lack sons.

48

II,1,1109

And live you yet?
[To VALERIA]
O my sweet lady, pardon.

49

II,1,1125

Menenius ever, ever.

50

II,1,1127

[To VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA] Your hand, and yours:
Ere in our own house I do shade my head,
The good patricians must be visited;
From whom I have received not only greetings,
But with them change of honours.

51

II,1,1137

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

52

II,2,1309

Your horror's pardon:
I had rather have my wounds to heal again
Than hear say how I got them.

53

II,2,1314

No, sir: yet oft,
When blows have made me stay, I fled from words.
You soothed not, therefore hurt not: but
your people,
I love them as they weigh.

54

II,2,1320

I had rather have one scratch my head i' the sun
When the alarum were struck than idly sit
To hear my nothings monster'd.

55

II,2,1386

I do owe them still
My life and services.

56

II,2,1390

I do beseech you,
Let me o'erleap that custom, for I cannot
Put on the gown, stand naked and entreat them,
For my wounds' sake, to give their suffrage: please you
That I may pass this doing.

57

II,2,1402

It is apart
That I shall blush in acting, and might well
Be taken from the people.

58

II,2,1406

To brag unto them, thus I did, and thus;
Show them the unaching scars which I should hide,
As if I had received them for the hire
Of their breath only!

59

II,3,1475

What must I say?
'I Pray, sir'—Plague upon't! I cannot bring
My tongue to such a pace:—'Look, sir, my wounds!
I got them in my country's service, when
Some certain of your brethren roar'd and ran
From the noise of our own drums.'

60

II,3,1484

Think upon me! hang 'em!
I would they would forget me, like the virtues
Which our divines lose by 'em.

61

II,3,1491

Bid them wash their faces
And keep their teeth clean.
[Re-enter two of the Citizens]
So, here comes a brace.
[Re-enter a third Citizen]
You know the cause, air, of my standing here.

62

II,3,1498

Mine own desert.

63

II,3,1500

Ay, but not mine own desire.

64

II,3,1502

No, sir,'twas never my desire yet to trouble the
poor with begging.

65

II,3,1506

Well then, I pray, your price o' the consulship?

66

II,3,1508

Kindly! Sir, I pray, let me ha't: I have wounds to
show you, which shall be yours in private. Your
good voice, sir; what say you?

67

II,3,1512

A match, sir. There's in all two worthy voices
begged. I have your alms: adieu.

68

II,3,1518

Pray you now, if it may stand with the tune of your
voices that I may be consul, I have here the
customary gown.

69

II,3,1523

Your enigma?

70

II,3,1527

You should account me the more virtuous that I have
not been common in my love. I will, sir, flatter my
sworn brother, the people, to earn a dearer
estimation of them; 'tis a condition they account
gentle: and since the wisdom of their choice is
rather to have my hat than my heart, I will practise
the insinuating nod and be off to them most
counterfeitly; that is, sir, I will counterfeit the
bewitchment of some popular man and give it
bountiful to the desirers. Therefore, beseech you,
I may be consul.

71

II,3,1541

I will not seal your knowledge with showing them. I
will make much of your voices, and so trouble you no further.

72

II,3,1545

Most sweet voices!
Better it is to die, better to starve,
Than crave the hire which first we do deserve.
Why in this woolvish toge should I stand here,
To beg of Hob and Dick, that do appear,
Their needless vouches? Custom calls me to't:
What custom wills, in all things should we do't,
The dust on antique time would lie unswept,
And mountainous error be too highly heapt
For truth to o'er-peer. Rather than fool it so,
Let the high office and the honour go
To one that would do thus. I am half through;
The one part suffer'd, the other will I do.
[Re-enter three Citizens more]
Here come more voices.
Your voices: for your voices I have fought;
Watch'd for your voices; for Your voices bear
Of wounds two dozen odd; battles thrice six
I have seen and heard of; for your voices have
Done many things, some less, some more your voices:
Indeed I would be consul.

73

II,3,1572

Worthy voices!

74

II,3,1578

Is this done?

75

II,3,1582

Where? at the senate-house?

76

II,3,1584

May I change these garments?

77

II,3,1586

That I'll straight do; and, knowing myself again,
Repair to the senate-house.

78

III,1,1726

Tullus Aufidius then had made new head?

79

III,1,1729

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

80

III,1,1735

Saw you Aufidius?

81

III,1,1739

Spoke he of me?

82

III,1,1741

How? what?

83

III,1,1747

At Antium lives he?

84

III,1,1749

I wish I had a cause to seek him there,
To oppose his hatred fully. Welcome home.
[Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS]
Behold, these are the tribunes of the people,
The tongues o' the common mouth: I do despise them;
For they do prank them in authority,
Against all noble sufferance.

85

III,1,1757

Ha! what is that?

86

III,1,1759

What makes this change?

87

III,1,1763

Have I had children's voices?

88

III,1,1768

Are these your herd?
Must these have voices, that can yield them now
And straight disclaim their tongues? What are
your offices?
You being their mouths, why rule you not their teeth?
Have you not set them on?

89

III,1,1775

It is a purposed thing, and grows by plot,
To curb the will of the nobility:
Suffer't, and live with such as cannot rule
Nor ever will be ruled.

90

III,1,1784

Why, this was known before.

91

III,1,1786

Have you inform'd them sithence?

92

III,1,1788

You are like to do such business.

93

III,1,1791

Why then should I be consul? By yond clouds,
Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me
Your fellow tribune.

94

III,1,1805

Tell me of corn!
This was my speech, and I will speak't again—

95

III,1,1809

Now, as I live, I will. My nobler friends,
I crave their pardons:
For the mutable, rank-scented many, let them
Regard me as I do not flatter, and
Therein behold themselves: I say again,
In soothing them, we nourish 'gainst our senate
The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition,
Which we ourselves have plough'd for, sow'd,
and scatter'd,
By mingling them with us, the honour'd number,
Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that
Which they have given to beggars.

96

III,1,1823

How! no more!
As for my country I have shed my blood,
Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs
Coin words till their decay against those measles,
Which we disdain should tatter us, yet sought
The very way to catch them.

97

III,1,1835

Choler!
Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,
By Jove, 'twould be my mind!

98

III,1,1841

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

99

III,1,1845

'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.

100

III,1,1869

Whoever gave that counsel, to give forth
The corn o' the storehouse gratis, as 'twas used
Sometime in Greece,—

101

III,1,1873

Though there the people had more absolute power,
I say, they nourish'd disobedience, fed
The ruin of the state.

102

III,1,1878

I'll give my reasons,
More worthier than their voices. They know the corn
Was not our recompense, resting well assured
That ne'er did service for't: being press'd to the war,
Even when the navel of the state was touch'd,
They would not thread the gates. This kind of service
Did not deserve corn gratis. Being i' the war
Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they show'd
Most valour, spoke not for them: the accusation
Which they have often made against the senate,
All cause unborn, could never be the motive
Of our so frank donation. Well, what then?
How shall this bisson multitude digest
The senate's courtesy? Let deeds express
What's like to be their words: 'we did request it;
We are the greater poll, and in true fear
They gave us our demands.' Thus we debase
The nature of our seats and make the rabble
Call our cares fears; which will in time
Break ope the locks o' the senate and bring in
The crows to peck the eagles.

103

III,1,1901

No, take more:
What may be sworn by, both divine and human,
Seal what I end withal! This double worship,
Where one part does disdain with cause, the other
Insult without all reason, where gentry, title, wisdom,
Cannot conclude but by the yea and no
Of general ignorance,—it must omit
Real necessities, and give way the while
To unstable slightness: purpose so barr'd,
it follows,
Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore, beseech you,—
You that will be less fearful than discreet,
That love the fundamental part of state
More than you doubt the change on't, that prefer
A noble life before a long, and wish
To jump a body with a dangerous physic
That's sure of death without it, at once pluck out
The multitudinous tongue; let them not lick
The sweet which is their poison: your dishonour
Mangles true judgment and bereaves the state
Of that integrity which should become't,
Not having the power to do the good it would,
For the in which doth control't.

104

III,1,1927

Thou wretch, despite o'erwhelm thee!
What should the people do with these bald tribunes?
On whom depending, their obedience fails
To the greater bench: in a rebellion,
When what's not meet, but what must be, was law,
Then were they chosen: in a better hour,
Let what is meet be said it must be meet,
And throw their power i' the dust.

105

III,1,1946

Hence, old goat!

106

III,1,1949

Hence, rotten thing! or I shall shake thy bones
Out of thy garments.

107

III,1,2008

No, I'll die here.
[Drawing his sword]
There's some among you have beheld me fighting:
Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me.

108

III,1,2031

I would they were barbarians—as they are,
Though in Rome litter'd—not Romans—as they are not,
Though calved i' the porch o' the Capitol—

109

III,1,2037

On fair ground
I could beat forty of them.

110

III,2,2163

Let them puff 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
Be thus to them.

111

III,2,2170

I muse my mother
Does not approve me further, who was wont
To call them woollen vassals, things created
To buy and sell with groats, to show bare heads
In congregations, to yawn, be still and wonder,
When one but of my ordinance stood up
To speak of peace or war.
[Enter VOLUMNIA]
I talk of you:
Why did you wish me milder? would you have me
False to my nature? Rather say I play
The man I am.

112

III,2,2185

Let go.

113

III,2,2191

Let them hang.

114

III,2,2209

What must I do?

115

III,2,2211

Well, what then? what then?

116

III,2,2213

For them! I cannot do it to the gods;
Must I then do't to them?

117

III,2,2222

Tush, tush!

118

III,2,2230

Why force you this?

119

III,2,2285

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.

120

III,2,2298

Well, I must do't:
Away, my disposition, and possess me
Some harlot's spirit! my throat of war be turn'd,
Which quired with my drum, into a pipe
Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice
That babies lulls asleep! the smiles of knaves
Tent in my cheeks, and schoolboys' tears take up
The glasses of my sight! a beggar's tongue
Make motion through my lips, and my arm'd knees,
Who bow'd but in my stirrup, bend like his
That hath received an alms! I will not do't,
Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth
And by my body's action teach my mind
A most inherent baseness.

121

III,2,2320

Pray, be content:
Mother, I am going to the market-place;
Chide me no more. I'll mountebank their loves,
Cog their hearts from them, and come home beloved
Of all the trades in Rome. Look, I am going:
Commend me to my wife. I'll return consul;
Or never trust to what my tongue can do
I' the way of flattery further.

122

III,2,2334

The word is 'mildly.' Pray you, let us go:
Let them accuse me by invention, I
Will answer in mine honour.

123

III,2,2338

Well, mildly be it then. Mildly!

124

III,3,2385

Ay, as an ostler, that for the poorest piece
Will bear the knave by the volume. The honour'd gods
Keep Rome in safety, and the chairs of justice
Supplied with worthy men! plant love among 's!
Throng our large temples with the shows of peace,
And not our streets with war!

125

III,3,2396

First, hear me speak.

126

III,3,2398

Shall I be charged no further than this present?
Must all determine here?

127

III,3,2405

I am content.

128

III,3,2410

Scratches with briers,
Scars to move laughter only.

129

III,3,2419

What is the matter
That being pass'd for consul with full voice,
I am so dishonour'd that the very hour
You take it off again?

130

III,3,2424

Say, then: 'tis true, I ought so.

131

III,3,2429

How! traitor!

132

III,3,2431

The fires i' the lowest hell fold-in the people!
Call me their traitor! Thou injurious tribune!
Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths,
In thy hand clutch'd as many millions, in
Thy lying tongue both numbers, I would say
'Thou liest' unto thee with a voice as free
As I do pray the gods.

133

III,3,2450

What do you prate of service?

134

III,3,2452

You?

135

III,3,2455

I know no further:
Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,
Vagabond exile, raying, pent to linger
But with a grain a day, I would not buy
Their mercy at the price of one fair word;
Nor cheque my courage for what they can give,
To have't with saying 'Good morrow.'

136

III,3,2492

You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
As reek o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
As the dead carcasses of unburied men
That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
And here remain with your uncertainty!
Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
Fan you into despair! Have the power still
To banish your defenders; till at length
Your ignorance, which finds not till it feels,
Making not reservation of yourselves,
Still your own foes, deliver you as most
Abated captives to some nation
That won you without blows! Despising,
For you, the city, thus I turn my back:
There is a world elsewhere.
[Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, MENENIUS, Senators,]
and Patricians]

137

IV,3,2522

Come, leave your tears: a brief farewell: the beast
With many heads butts me away. Nay, mother,
Where is your ancient courage? you were used
To say extremity was the trier of spirits;
That common chances common men could bear;
That when the sea was calm all boats alike
Show'd mastership in floating; fortune's blows,
When most struck home, being gentle wounded, craves
A noble cunning: you were used to load me
With precepts that would make invincible
The heart that conn'd them.

138

IV,3,2534

Nay! prithee, woman,—

139

IV,3,2537

What, what, what!
I shall be loved when I am lack'd. Nay, mother.
Resume that spirit, when you were wont to say,
If you had been the wife of Hercules,
Six of his labours you'ld have done, and saved
Your husband so much sweat. Cominius,
Droop not; adieu. Farewell, my wife, my mother:
I'll do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius,
Thy tears are salter than a younger man's,
And venomous to thine eyes. My sometime general,
I have seen thee stem, and thou hast oft beheld
Heart-hardening spectacles; tell these sad women
'Tis fond to wail inevitable strokes,
As 'tis to laugh at 'em. My mother, you wot well
My hazards still have been your solace: and
Believe't not lightly—though I go alone,
Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen
Makes fear'd and talk'd of more than seen—your son
Will or exceed the common or be caught
With cautelous baits and practise.

140

IV,3,2562

O the gods!

141

IV,3,2570

Fare ye well:
Thou hast years upon thee; and thou art too full
Of the wars' surfeits, to go rove with one
That's yet unbruised: bring me but out at gate.
Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and
My friends of noble touch, when I am forth,
Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you, come.
While I remain above the ground, you shall
Hear from me still, and never of me aught
But what is like me formerly.

142

IV,3,2585

Give me thy hand: Come.

143

IV,4,2716

A goodly city is this Antium. City,
'Tis I that made thy widows: many an heir
Of these fair edifices 'fore my wars
Have I heard groan and drop: then know me not,
Lest that thy wives with spits and boys with stones
In puny battle slay me.
[Enter a Citizen]
Save you, sir.

144

IV,4,2725

Direct me, if it be your will,
Where great Aufidius lies: is he in Antium?

145

IV,4,2729

Which is his house, beseech you?

146

IV,4,2731

Thank you, sir: farewell.
[Exit Citizen]
O world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn,
Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart,
Whose house, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise,
Are still together, who twin, as 'twere, in love
Unseparable, shall within this hour,
On a dissension of a doit, break out
To bitterest enmity: so, fellest foes,
Whose passions and whose plots have broke their sleep,
To take the one the other, by some chance,
Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends
And interjoin their issues. So with me:
My birth-place hate I, and my love's upon
This enemy town. I'll enter: if he slay me,
He does fair justice; if he give me way,
I'll do his country service.

147

IV,5,2758

A goodly house: the feast smells well; but I
Appear not like a guest.

148

IV,5,2764

I have deserved no better entertainment,
In being Coriolanus.

149

IV,5,2770

Away!

150

IV,5,2772

Now thou'rt troublesome.

151

IV,5,2781

Let me but stand; I will not hurt your hearth.

152

IV,5,2783

A gentleman.

153

IV,5,2785

True, so I am.

154

IV,5,2788

Follow your function, go, and batten on cold bits.

155

IV,5,2795

Under the canopy.

156

IV,5,2797

Ay.

157

IV,5,2799

I' the city of kites and crows.

158

IV,5,2802

No, I serve not thy master.

159

IV,5,2804

Ay; 'tis an honester service than to meddle with thy
mistress. Thou pratest, and pratest; serve with thy
trencher, hence!

160

IV,5,2815

If, Tullus,
[Unmuffling]
Not yet thou knowest me, and, seeing me, dost not
Think me for the man I am, necessity
Commands me name myself.

161

IV,5,2821

A name unmusical to the Volscians' ears,
And harsh in sound to thine.

162

IV,5,2827

Prepare thy brow to frown: know'st
thou me yet?

163

IV,5,2830

My name is Caius CORIOLANUS, who hath done
To thee particularly and to all the Volsces
Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may
My surname, Coriolanus: the painful service,
The extreme dangers and the drops of blood
Shed for my thankless country are requited
But with that surname; a good memory,
And witness of the malice and displeasure
Which thou shouldst bear me: only that name remains;
The cruelty and envy of the people,
Permitted by our dastard nobles, who
Have all forsook me, hath devour'd the rest;
And suffer'd me by the voice of slaves to be
Whoop'd out of Rome. Now this extremity
Hath brought me to thy hearth; not out of hope—
Mistake me not—to save my life, for if
I had fear'd death, of all the men i' the world
I would have 'voided thee, but in mere spite,
To be full quit of those my banishers,
Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast
A heart of wreak in thee, that wilt revenge
Thine own particular wrongs and stop those maims
Of shame seen through thy country, speed
thee straight,
And make my misery serve thy turn: so use it
That my revengeful services may prove
As benefits to thee, for I will fight
Against my canker'd country with the spleen
Of all the under fiends. But if so be
Thou darest not this and that to prove more fortunes
Thou'rt tired, then, in a word, I also am
Longer to live most weary, and present
My throat to thee and to thy ancient malice;
Which not to cut would show thee but a fool,
Since I have ever follow'd thee with hate,
Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country's breast,
And cannot live but to thy shame, unless
It be to do thee service.

164

IV,5,2903

You bless me, gods!

165

V,2,3432

What's the matter?

166

V,2,3454

Away!

167

V,2,3456

Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs
Are servanted to others: though I owe
My revenge properly, my remission lies
In Volscian breasts. That we have been familiar,
Ingrate forgetfulness shall poison, rather
Than pity note how much. Therefore, be gone.
Mine ears against your suits are stronger than
Your gates against my force. Yet, for I loved thee,
Take this along; I writ it for thy sake
[Gives a letter]
And would have rent it. Another word, Menenius,
I will not hear thee speak. This man, Aufidius,
Was my beloved in Rome: yet thou behold'st!

168

V,3,3490

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

169

V,3,3499

This last old man,
Whom with a crack'd heart I have sent to Rome,
Loved me above the measure of a father;
Nay, godded me, indeed. Their latest refuge
Was to send him; for whose old love I have,
Though I show'd sourly to him, once more offer'd
The first conditions, which they did refuse
And cannot now accept; to grace him only
That thought he could do more, a very little
I have yielded to: fresh embassies and suits,
Nor from the state nor private friends, hereafter
Will I lend ear to. Ha! what shout is this?
[Shout within]
Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow
In the same time 'tis made? I will not.
[Enter in mourning habits, VIRGILIA, VOLUMNIA,]
leading young CORIOLANUS, VALERIA, and Attendants]
My wife comes foremost; then the honour'd mould
Wherein this trunk was framed, and in her hand
The grandchild to her blood. But, out, affection!
All bond and privilege of nature, break!
Let it be virtuous to be obstinate.
What is that curt'sy worth? or those doves' eyes,
Which can make gods forsworn? I melt, and am not
Of stronger earth than others. My mother bows;
As if Olympus to a molehill should
In supplication nod: and my young boy
Hath an aspect of intercession, which
Great nature cries 'Deny not.' let the Volsces
Plough Rome and harrow Italy: I'll never
Be such a gosling to obey instinct, but stand,
As if a man were author of himself
And knew no other kin.

170

V,3,3533

These eyes are not the same I wore in Rome.

171

V,3,3536

Like a dull actor now,
I have forgot my part, and I am out,
Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh,
Forgive my tyranny; but do not say
For that 'Forgive our Romans.' O, a kiss
Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!
Now, by the jealous queen of heaven, that kiss
I carried from thee, dear; and my true lip
Hath virgin'd it e'er since. You gods! I prate,
And the most noble mother of the world
Leave unsaluted: sink, my knee, i' the earth;
[Kneels]
Of thy deep duty more impression show
Than that of common sons.

172

V,3,3556

What is this?
Your knees to me? to your corrected son?
Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach
Fillip the stars; then let the mutinous winds
Strike the proud cedars 'gainst the fiery sun;
Murdering impossibility, to make
What cannot be, slight work.

173

V,3,3565

The noble sister of Publicola,
The moon of Rome, chaste as the icicle
That's curdied by the frost from purest snow
And hangs on Dian's temple: dear Valeria!

174

V,3,3572

The god of soldiers,
With the consent of supreme Jove, inform
Thy thoughts with nobleness; that thou mayst prove
To shame unvulnerable, and stick i' the wars
Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,
And saving those that eye thee!

175

V,3,3579

That's my brave boy!

176

V,3,3582

I beseech you, peace:
Or, if you'ld ask, remember this before:
The thing I have forsworn to grant may never
Be held by you denials. Do not bid me
Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate
Again with Rome's mechanics: tell me not
Wherein I seem unnatural: desire not
To ally my rages and revenges with
Your colder reasons.

177

V,3,3597

Aufidius, and you Volsces, mark; for we'll
Hear nought from Rome in private. Your request?

178

V,3,3638

Not of a woman's tenderness to be,
Requires nor child nor woman's face to see.
I have sat too long.

179

V,3,3695

O mother, mother!
What have you done? Behold, the heavens do ope,
The gods look down, and this unnatural scene
They laugh at. O my mother, mother! O!
You have won a happy victory to Rome;
But, for your son,—believe it, O, believe it,
Most dangerously you have with him prevail'd,
If not most mortal to him. But, let it come.
Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius,
Were you in my stead, would you have heard
A mother less? or granted less, Aufidius?

180

V,3,3708

I dare be sworn you were:
And, sir, it is no little thing to make
Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good sir,
What peace you'll make, advise me: for my part,
I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you; and pray you,
Stand to me in this cause. O mother! wife!

181

V,3,3719

Ay, by and by;
[To VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, &c]
But we will drink together; and you shall bear
A better witness back than words, which we,
On like conditions, will have counter-seal'd.
Come, enter with us. Ladies, you deserve
To have a temple built you: all the swords
In Italy, and her confederate arms,
Could not have made this peace.

182

V,6,3907

Hail, lords! I am return'd your soldier,
No more infected with my country's love
Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting
Under your great command. You are to know
That prosperously I have attempted and
With bloody passage led your wars even to
The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought home
Do more than counterpoise a full third part
The charges of the action. We have made peace
With no less honour to the Antiates
Than shame to the Romans: and we here deliver,
Subscribed by the consuls and patricians,
Together with the seal o' the senate, what
We have compounded on.

183

V,6,3924

Traitor! how now!

184

V,6,3926

CORIOLANUS!

185

V,6,3940

Hear'st thou, Mars?

186

V,6,3942

Ha!

187

V,6,3944

Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart
Too great for what contains it. Boy! O slave!
Pardon me, lords, 'tis the first time that ever
I was forced to scold. Your judgments, my grave lords,
Must give this cur the lie: and his own notion—
Who wears my stripes impress'd upon him; that
Must bear my beating to his grave—shall join
To thrust the lie unto him.

188

V,6,3953

Cut me to pieces, Volsces; men and lads,
Stain all your edges on me. Boy! false hound!
If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there,
That, like an eagle in a dove-cote, I
Flutter'd your Volscians in Corioli:
Alone I did it. Boy!

189

V,6,3972

O that I had him,
With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe,
To use my lawful sword!

Return to the "Coriolanus" menu

Plays + Sonnets + Poems + Concordance + Character Search + Advanced Search + About OSS