Open Source Shakespeare


• To print this text, click here
• To save this text, go to your browser's File menu, then select Save As


Act IV, Scene 2

The same. A street near the gate.


[Enter SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and an AEdile]

  • Sicinius Velutus. Bid them all home; he's gone, and we'll no further.
    The nobility are vex'd, whom we see have sided
    In his behalf. 2590
  • Junius Brutus. Now we have shown our power,
    Let us seem humbler after it is done
    Than when it was a-doing.
  • Sicinius Velutus. Bid them home:
    Say their great enemy is gone, and they 2595
    Stand in their ancient strength.
  • Junius Brutus. Dismiss them home.
    [Exit AEdile]
    Here comes his mother.
  • Sicinius Velutus. Let's not meet her. 2600
  • Junius Brutus. Why?
  • Sicinius Velutus. They say she's mad.
  • Junius Brutus. They have ta'en note of us: keep on your way.


  • Volumnia. O, ye're well met: the hoarded plague o' the gods 2605
    Requite your love!
  • Menenius Agrippa. Peace, peace; be not so loud.
  • Volumnia. If that I could for weeping, you should hear,—
    Nay, and you shall hear some.
    [To BRUTUS] 2610
    Will you be gone?
  • Virgilia. [To SICINIUS] You shall stay too: I would I had the power
    To say so to my husband.
  • Sicinius Velutus. Are you mankind?
  • Volumnia. Ay, fool; is that a shame? Note but this fool. 2615
    Was not a man my father? Hadst thou foxship
    To banish him that struck more blows for Rome
    Than thou hast spoken words?
  • Sicinius Velutus. O blessed heavens!
  • Volumnia. More noble blows than ever thou wise words; 2620
    And for Rome's good. I'll tell thee what; yet go:
    Nay, but thou shalt stay too: I would my son
    Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him,
    His good sword in his hand.
  • Sicinius Velutus. What then? 2625
  • Virgilia. What then!
    He'ld make an end of thy posterity.
  • Volumnia. Bastards and all.
    Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome!
  • Menenius Agrippa. Come, come, peace. 2630
  • Sicinius Velutus. I would he had continued to his country
    As he began, and not unknit himself
    The noble knot he made.
  • Junius Brutus. I would he had.
  • Volumnia. 'I would he had'! 'Twas you incensed the rabble: 2635
    Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth
    As I can of those mysteries which heaven
    Will not have earth to know.
  • Junius Brutus. Pray, let us go.
  • Volumnia. Now, pray, sir, get you gone: 2640
    You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear this:—
    As far as doth the Capitol exceed
    The meanest house in Rome, so far my son—
    This lady's husband here, this, do you see—
    Whom you have banish'd, does exceed you all. 2645
  • Junius Brutus. Well, well, we'll leave you.
  • Sicinius Velutus. Why stay we to be baited
    With one that wants her wits?
  • Volumnia. Take my prayers with you.
    [Exeunt Tribunes] 2650
    I would the gods had nothing else to do
    But to confirm my curses! Could I meet 'em
    But once a-day, it would unclog my heart
    Of what lies heavy to't.
  • Menenius Agrippa. You have told them home; 2655
    And, by my troth, you have cause. You'll sup with me?
  • Volumnia. Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself,
    And so shall starve with feeding. Come, let's go:
    Leave this faint puling and lament as I do,
    In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come. 2660
  • Menenius Agrippa. Fie, fie, fie!