Speeches (Lines) for Menenius Agrippa
in "Coriolanus"

Total: 162

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

1

I,1,47

What work's, my countrymen, in hand? where go you
With bats and clubs? The matter? speak, I pray you.

2

I,1,54

Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest neighbours,
Will you undo yourselves?

3

I,1,57

I tell you, friends, most charitable care
Have the patricians of you. For your wants,
Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well
Strike at the heaven with your staves as lift them
Against the Roman state, whose course will on
The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs
Of more strong link asunder than can ever
Appear in your impediment. For the dearth,
The gods, not the patricians, make it, and
Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack,
You are transported by calamity
Thither where more attends you, and you slander
The helms o' the state, who care for you like fathers,
When you curse them as enemies.

4

I,1,79

Either you must
Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,
Or be accused of folly. I shall tell you
A pretty tale: it may be you have heard it;
But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture
To stale 't a little more.

5

I,1,88

There was a time when all the body's members
Rebell'd against the belly, thus accused it:
That only like a gulf it did remain
I' the midst o' the body, idle and unactive,
Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing
Like labour with the rest, where the other instruments
Did see and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
And, mutually participate, did minister
Unto the appetite and affection common
Of the whole body. The belly answer'd—

6

I,1,99

Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of smile,
Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus—
For, look you, I may make the belly smile
As well as speak—it tauntingly replied
To the discontented members, the mutinous parts
That envied his receipt; even so most fitly
As you malign our senators for that
They are not such as you.

7

I,1,113

What then?
'Fore me, this fellow speaks! What then? what then?

8

I,1,117

Well, what then?

9

I,1,120

I will tell you
If you'll bestow a small—of what you have little—
Patience awhile, you'll hear the belly's answer.

10

I,1,124

Note me this, good friend;
Your most grave belly was deliberate,
Not rash like his accusers, and thus answer'd:
'True is it, my incorporate friends,' quoth he,
'That I receive the general food at first,
Which you do live upon; and fit it is,
Because I am the store-house and the shop
Of the whole body: but, if you do remember,
I send it through the rivers of your blood,
Even to the court, the heart, to the seat o' the brain;
And, through the cranks and offices of man,
The strongest nerves and small inferior veins
From me receive that natural competency
Whereby they live: and though that all at once,
You, my good friends,'—this says the belly, mark me,—

11

I,1,140

'Though all at once cannot
See what I do deliver out to each,
Yet I can make my audit up, that all
From me do back receive the flour of all,
And leave me but the bran.' What say you to't?

12

I,1,146

The senators of Rome are this good belly,
And you the mutinous members; for examine
Their counsels and their cares, digest things rightly
Touching the weal o' the common, you shall find
No public benefit which you receive
But it proceeds or comes from them to you
And no way from yourselves. What do you think,
You, the great toe of this assembly?

13

I,1,155

For that, being one o' the lowest, basest, poorest,
Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost:
Thou rascal, that art worst in blood to run,
Lead'st first to win some vantage.
But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs:
Rome and her rats are at the point of battle;
The one side must have bale.
[Enter CAIUS CORIOLANUS]
Hail, noble CORIOLANUS!

14

I,1,191

For corn at their own rates; whereof, they say,
The city is well stored.

15

I,1,206

Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded;
For though abundantly they lack discretion,
Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you,
What says the other troop?

16

I,1,221

What is granted them?

17

I,1,229

This is strange.

18

I,1,261

O, true-bred!

19

II,1,918

The augurer tells me we shall have news to-night.

20

II,1,920

Not according to the prayer of the people, for they
love not CORIOLANUS.

21

II,1,923

Pray you, who does the wolf love?

22

II,1,925

Ay, to devour him; as the hungry plebeians would the
noble CORIOLANUS.

23

II,1,928

He's a bear indeed, that lives like a lamb. You two
are old men: tell me one thing that I shall ask you.

24

II,1,931

In what enormity is CORIOLANUS poor in, that you two
have not in abundance?

25

II,1,936

This is strange now: do you two know how you are
censured here in the city, I mean of us o' the
right-hand file? do you?

26

II,1,940

Because you talk of pride now,—will you not be angry?

27

II,1,942

Why, 'tis no great matter; for a very little thief of
occasion will rob you of a great deal of patience:
give your dispositions the reins, and be angry at
your pleasures; at the least if you take it as a
pleasure to you in being so. You blame CORIOLANUS for
being proud?

28

II,1,949

I know you can do very little alone; for your helps
are many, or else your actions would grow wondrous
single: your abilities are too infant-like for
doing much alone. You talk of pride: O that you
could turn your eyes toward the napes of your necks,
and make but an interior survey of your good selves!
O that you could!

29

II,1,957

Why, then you should discover a brace of unmeriting,
proud, violent, testy magistrates, alias fools, as
any in Rome.

30

II,1,961

I am known to be a humorous patrician, and one that
loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying
Tiber in't; said to be something imperfect in
favouring the first complaint; hasty and tinder-like
upon too trivial motion; one that converses more
with the buttock of the night than with the forehead
of the morning: what I think I utter, and spend my
malice in my breath. Meeting two such wealsmen as
you are—I cannot call you Lycurguses—if the drink
you give me touch my palate adversely, I make a
crooked face at it. I can't say your worships have
delivered the matter well, when I find the ass in
compound with the major part of your syllables: and
though I must be content to bear with those that say
you are reverend grave men, yet they lie deadly that
tell you you have good faces. If you see this in
the map of my microcosm, follows it that I am known
well enough too? what barm can your bisson
conspectuities glean out of this character, if I be
known well enough too?

31

II,1,982

You know neither me, yourselves nor any thing. You
are ambitious for poor knaves' caps and legs: you
wear out a good wholesome forenoon in hearing a
cause between an orange wife and a fosset-seller;
and then rejourn the controversy of three pence to a
second day of audience. When you are hearing a
matter between party and party, if you chance to be
pinched with the colic, you make faces like
mummers; set up the bloody flag against all
patience; and, in roaring for a chamber-pot,
dismiss the controversy bleeding the more entangled
by your hearing: all the peace you make in their
cause is, calling both the parties knaves. You are
a pair of strange ones.

32

II,1,999

Our very priests must become mockers, if they shall
encounter such ridiculous subjects as you are. When
you speak best unto the purpose, it is not worth the
wagging of your beards; and your beards deserve not
so honourable a grave as to stuff a botcher's
cushion, or to be entombed in an ass's pack-
saddle. Yet you must be saying, CORIOLANUS is proud;
who in a cheap estimation, is worth predecessors
since Deucalion, though peradventure some of the
best of 'em were hereditary hangmen. God-den to
your worships: more of your conversation would
infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly
plebeians: I will be bold to take my leave of you.
[BRUTUS and SICINIUS go aside]
[Enter VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, and VALERIA]
How now, my as fair as noble ladies,—and the moon,
were she earthly, no nobler,—whither do you follow
your eyes so fast?

33

II,1,1019

Ha! CORIOLANUS coming home!

34

II,1,1022

Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee. Hoo!
CORIOLANUS coming home!

35

II,1,1029

I will make my very house reel tonight: a letter for
me!

36

II,1,1032

A letter for me! it gives me an estate of seven
years' health; in which time I will make a lip at
the physician: the most sovereign prescription in
Galen is but empiricutic, and, to this preservative,
of no better report than a horse-drench. Is he
not wounded? he was wont to come home wounded.

37

II,1,1040

So do I too, if it be not too much: brings a'
victory in his pocket? the wounds become him.

38

II,1,1044

Has he disciplined Aufidius soundly?

39

II,1,1047

And 'twas time for him too, I'll warrant him that:
an he had stayed by him, I would not have been so
fidiused for all the chests in Corioli, and the gold
that's in them. Is the senate possessed of this?

40

II,1,1056

Wondrous! ay, I warrant you, and not without his
true purchasing.

41

II,1,1060

True! I'll be sworn they are true.
Where is he wounded?
[To the Tribunes]
God save your good worships! CORIOLANUS is coming
home: he has more cause to be proud. Where is he wounded?

42

II,1,1069

One i' the neck, and two i' the thigh,—there's
nine that I know.

43

II,1,1073

Now it's twenty-seven: every gash was an enemy's grave.
[A shout and flourish]
Hark! the trumpets.

44

II,1,1108

Now, the gods crown thee!

45

II,1,1114

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.

46

II,2,1266

Having determined of the Volsces and
To send for Titus TITUS, it remains,
As the main point of this our after-meeting,
To gratify his noble service that
Hath thus stood for his country: therefore,
please you,
Most reverend and grave elders, to desire
The present consul, and last general
In our well-found successes, to report
A little of that worthy work perform'd
By Caius CORIOLANUS Coriolanus, whom
We met here both to thank and to remember
With honours like himself.

47

II,2,1296

That's off, that's off;
I would you rather had been silent. Please you
To hear Cominius speak?

48

II,2,1302

He loves your people
But tie him not to be their bedfellow.
Worthy Cominius, speak.
[CORIOLANUS offers to go away]
Nay, keep your place.

49

II,2,1319

Pray now, sit down.

50

II,2,1324

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.

51

II,2,1370

Worthy man!

52

II,2,1379

He's right noble:
Let him be call'd for.

53

II,2,1384

The senate, Coriolanus, are well pleased
To make thee consul.

54

II,2,1388

It then remains
That you do speak to the people.

55

II,2,1398

Put them not to't:
Pray you, go fit you to the custom and
Take to you, as your predecessors have,
Your honour with your form.

56

II,2,1410

Do not stand upon't.
We recommend to you, tribunes of the people,
Our purpose to them: and to our noble consul
Wish we all joy and honour.Senators. To Coriolanus come all joy and honour!
[Flourish of cornets. Exeunt all but SICINIUS]
and BRUTUS]

57

II,3,1473

O sir, you are not right: have you not known
The worthiest men have done't?

58

II,3,1481

O me, the gods!
You must not speak of that: you must desire them
To think upon you.

59

II,3,1487

You'll mar all:
I'll leave you: pray you, speak to 'em, I pray you,
In wholesome manner.

60

II,3,1574

You have stood your limitation; and the tribunes
Endue you with the people's voice: remains
That, in the official marks invested, you
Anon do meet the senate.

61

II,3,1588

I'll keep you company. Will you along?

62

III,1,1760

The matter?

63

III,1,1774

Be calm, be calm.

64

III,1,1800

Let's be calm.

65

III,1,1807

Not now, not now.

66

III,1,1821

Well, no more.

67

III,1,1834

What, what? his choler?

68

III,1,1872

Well, well, no more of that.

69

III,1,1899

Come, enough.

70

III,1,1954

On both sides more respect.

71

III,1,1963

What is about to be? I am out of breath;
Confusion's near; I cannot speak. You, tribunes
To the people! Coriolanus, patience!
Speak, good Sicinius.

72

III,1,1972

Fie, fie, fie!
This is the way to kindle, not to quench.

73

III,1,1981

And so are like to do.

74

III,1,1997

Hear me one word;
Beseech you, tribunes, hear me but a word.

75

III,1,2000

[To BRUTUS] Be that you seem, truly your
country's friend,
And temperately proceed to what you would
Thus violently redress.

76

III,1,2012

Down with that sword! Tribunes, withdraw awhile.

77

III,1,2019

Go, get you to your house; be gone, away!
All will be naught else.

78

III,1,2024

Sham it be put to that?

79

III,1,2028

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

80

III,1,2034

Be gone;
Put not your worthy rage into your tongue;
One time will owe another.

81

III,1,2048

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.

82

III,1,2055

His nature is too noble for the world:
He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
Or Jove for's power to thunder. His heart's his mouth:
What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent;
And, being angry, does forget that ever
He heard the name of death.
[A noise within]
Here's goodly work!

83

III,1,2064

I would they were in Tiber! What the vengeance!
Could he not speak 'em fair?

84

III,1,2070

You worthy tribunes,—

85

III,1,2080

Sir, sir,—

86

III,1,2082

Do not cry havoc, where you should but hunt
With modest warrant.

87

III,1,2086

Hear me speak:
As I do know the consul's worthiness,
So can I name his faults,—

88

III,1,2090

The consul Coriolanus.

89

III,1,2093

If, by the tribunes' leave, and yours, good people,
I may be heard, I would crave a word or two;
The which shall turn you to no further harm
Than so much loss of time.

90

III,1,2103

Now the good gods forbid
That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude
Towards her deserved children is enroll'd
In Jove's own book, like an unnatural dam
Should now eat up her own!

91

III,1,2109

O, he's a limb that has but a disease;
Mortal, to cut it off; to cure it, easy.
What has he done to Rome that's worthy death?
Killing our enemies, the blood he hath lost—
Which, I dare vouch, is more than that he hath,
By many an ounce—he dropp'd it for his country;
And what is left, to lose it by his country,
Were to us all, that do't and suffer it,
A brand to the end o' the world.

92

III,1,2121

The service of the foot
Being once gangrened, is not then respected
For what before it was.

93

III,1,2128

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's heels. Proceed by process;
Lest parties, as he is beloved, break out,
And sack great Rome with Romans.

94

III,1,2138

Consider this: he has been bred i' the wars
Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school'd
In bolted 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.

95

III,1,2156

I'll bring him to you.
[To the Senators]
Let me desire your company: he must come,
Or what is worst will follow.

96

III,2,2194

Come, come, you have been too rough, something
too rough;
You must return and mend it.

97

III,2,2204

Well said, noble woman?
Before he should thus stoop to the herd, but that
The violent fit o' the time craves it as physic
For the whole state, I would put mine armour on,
Which I can scarcely bear.

98

III,2,2210

Return to the tribunes.

99

III,2,2212

Repent what you have spoke.

100

III,2,2223

A good demand.

101

III,2,2249

Noble lady!
Come, go with us; speak fair: you may salve so,
Not what is dangerous present, but the loss
Of what is past.

102

III,2,2268

This but done,
Even as she speaks, why, their hearts were yours;
For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free
As words to little purpose.

103

III,2,2280

Only fair speech.

104

III,2,2337

Ay, but mildly.

105

III,3,2384

Calmly, I do beseech you.

106

III,3,2392

A noble wish.

107

III,3,2406

Lo, citizens, he says he is content:
The warlike service he has done, consider; think
Upon the wounds his body bears, which show
Like graves i' the holy churchyard.

108

III,3,2412

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.

109

III,3,2430

Nay, temperately; your promise.

110

III,3,2453

Is this the promise that you made your mother?

111

IV,3,2580

That's worthily
As any ear can hear. Come, let's not weep.
If I could shake off but one seven years
From these old arms and legs, by the good gods,
I'ld with thee every foot.

112

IV,2,2607

Peace, peace; be not so loud.

113

IV,2,2630

Come, come, peace.

114

IV,2,2655

You have told them home;
And, by my troth, you have cause. You'll sup with me?

115

IV,2,2661

Fie, fie, fie!

116

IV,6,3020

Hail to you both!

117

IV,6,3025

All's well; and might have been much better, if
He could have temporized.

118

IV,6,3028

Nay, I hear nothing: his mother and his wife
Hear nothing from him.

119

IV,6,3051

I think not so.

120

IV,6,3063

'Tis Aufidius,
Who, hearing of our CORIOLANUS' banishment,
Thrusts forth his horns again into the world;
Which were inshell'd when CORIOLANUS stood for Rome,
And durst not once peep out.

121

IV,6,3072

Cannot be!
We have record that very well it can,
And three examples of the like have been
Within my age. But reason with the fellow,
Before you punish him, where he heard this,
Lest you shall chance to whip your information
And beat the messenger who bids beware
Of what is to be dreaded.

122

IV,6,3103

This is unlikely:
He and Aufidius can no more atone
Than violentest contrariety.

123

IV,6,3115

What news? what news?

124

IV,6,3119

What's the news? what's the news?

125

IV,6,3123

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

126

IV,6,3133

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!

127

IV,6,3139

As Hercules
Did shake down mellow fruit.
You have made fair work!

128

IV,6,3149

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

129

IV,6,3158

'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!

130

IV,6,3167

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.

131

IV,6,3177

Here come the clusters.
And is Aufidius with him? You are they
That made the air unwholesome, when you cast
Your stinking greasy caps in hooting at
Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming;
And not a hair upon a soldier's head
Which will not prove a whip: as many coxcombs
As you threw caps up will he tumble down,
And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter;
if he could burn us all into one coal,
We have deserved it.

132

IV,6,3197

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

133

V,1,3279

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.

134

V,1,3287

Do you hear?

135

V,1,3295

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

136

V,1,3302

Very well:
Could he say less?

137

V,1,3310

For one poor grain or two!
I am one of those; his mother, wife, his child,
And this brave fellow too, we are the grains:
You are the musty chaff; and you are smelt
Above the moon: we must be burnt for you.

138

V,1,3321

No, I'll not meddle.

139

V,1,3323

What should I do?

140

V,1,3326

Well, and say that CORIOLANUS
Return me, as Cominius is return'd,
Unheard; what then?
But as a discontented friend, grief-shot
With his unkindness? say't be so?

141

V,1,3334

I'll undertake 't:
I think he'll hear me. Yet, to bite his lip
And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me.
He was not taken well; he had not dined:
The veins unfill'd, our blood is cold, and then
We pout upon the morning, are unapt
To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff'd
These and these conveyances of our blood
With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls
Than in our priest-like fasts: therefore I'll watch him
Till he be dieted to my request,
And then I'll set upon him.

142

V,1,3348

Good faith, I'll prove him,
Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge
Of my success.

143

V,2,3371

You guard like men; 'tis well: but, by your leave,
I am an officer of state, and come
To speak with Coriolanus.

144

V,2,3375

From Rome.

145

V,2,3380

Good my friends,
If you have heard your general talk of Rome,
And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks,
My name hath touch'd your ears it is Menenius.

146

V,2,3386

I tell thee, fellow,
The general is my lover: I have been
The book of his good acts, whence men have read
His name unparallel'd, haply amplified;
For I have ever verified my friends,
Of whom he's chief, with all the size that verity
Would without lapsing suffer: nay, sometimes,
Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground,
I have tumbled past the throw; and in his praise
Have almost stamp'd the leasing: therefore, fellow,
I must have leave to pass.

147

V,2,3401

Prithee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius,
always factionary on the party of your general.

148

V,2,3406

Has he dined, canst thou tell? for I would not
speak with him till after dinner.

149

V,2,3409

I am, as thy general is.

150

V,2,3423

Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, he would
use me with estimation.

151

V,2,3426

I mean, thy general.

152

V,2,3430

Nay, but, fellow, fellow,—

153

V,2,3433

Now, you companion, I'll say an errand for you:
You shall know now that I am in estimation; you shall
perceive that a Jack guardant cannot office me from
my son Coriolanus: guess, but by my entertainment
with him, if thou standest not i' the state of
hanging, or of some death more long in
spectatorship, and crueller in suffering; behold now
presently, and swoon for what's to come upon thee.
[To CORIOLANUS]
The glorious gods sit in hourly synod about thy
particular prosperity, and love thee no worse than
thy old father Menenius does! O my son, my son!
thou art preparing fire for us; look thee, here's
water to quench it. I was hardly moved to come to
thee; but being assured none but myself could move
thee, I have been blown out of your gates with
sighs; and conjure thee to pardon Rome, and thy
petitionary countrymen. The good gods assuage thy
wrath, and turn the dregs of it upon this varlet
here,—this, who, like a block, hath denied my
access to thee.

154

V,2,3455

How! away!

155

V,2,3477

I neither care for the world nor your general: for
such things as you, I can scarce think there's any,
ye're so slight. He that hath a will to die by
himself fears it not from another: let your general
do his worst. For you, be that you are, long; and
your misery increase with your age! I say to you,
as I was said to, Away!

156

V,4,3730

See you yond coign o' the Capitol, yond
corner-stone?

157

V,4,3733

If it be possible for you to displace it with your
little finger, there is some hope the ladies of
Rome, especially his mother, may prevail with him.
But I say there is no hope in't: our throats are
sentenced and stay upon execution.

158

V,4,3740

There is differency between a grub and a butterfly;
yet your butterfly was a grub. This CORIOLANUS is grown
from man to dragon: he has wings; he's more than a
creeping thing.

159

V,4,3745

So did he me: and he no more remembers his mother
now than an eight-year-old horse. The tartness
of his face sours ripe grapes: when he walks, he
moves like an engine, and the ground shrinks before
his treading: he is able to pierce a corslet with
his eye; talks like a knell, and his hum is a
battery. He sits in his state, as a thing made for
Alexander. What he bids be done is finished with
his bidding. He wants nothing of a god but eternity
and a heaven to throne in.

160

V,4,3756

I paint him in the character. Mark what mercy his
mother shall bring from him: there is no more mercy
in him than there is milk in a male tiger; that
shall our poor city find: and all this is long of
you.

161

V,4,3762

No, in such a case the gods will not be good unto
us. When we banished him, we respected not them;
and, he returning to break our necks, they respect not us.

162

V,4,3788

This is good news:
I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia
Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians,
A city full; of tribunes, such as you,
A sea and land full. You have pray'd well to-day:
This morning for ten thousand of your throats
I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!

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