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Coriolanus

Act V, Scene 2

Entrance of the Volscian camp before Rome.
 
[Two Sentinels on guard. Enter to them MENENIUS]
 
FIRST SENATOR
Stay: whence are you.
 
SECOND SENATOR
Stand, and go back.
 
MENENIUS
You guard like men, 'tis well, But by your leave, I am an officer of state, and come to speak with Coriolanus.
 
FIRST SENATOR
From whence?
 
MENENIUS
From Rome.
 
FIRST SENATOR
You may not pass, you must return: our general will no more hear from thence.
 
SECOND SENATOR
              ,           ,         ,            ,        ,
      You'll see | your Rome | embraced | with fire,| before
               ,         2   ,   ,
      You'll speak | with Cori|ola|nus.
 
MENENIUS
                                          ,          ,
                                        Good | my friends,
          ,           ,           ,   2     ,         ,
      If you | have heard | your ge|neral talk | of Rome,
           ,          ,        ,              ,          ,
      And of | his friends | there, it | is lots | to blanks,
           ,            ,             ,      2    ,     x
      My name | hath touched | your ears:| it is Me|nenius.
 
FIRST SENATOR
        2    ,        ,         ,       ,          ,
      Be it so,| go back:| the vir|tue of | your name
          ,      ,   ,    2
      Is not | here pas/sable.
 
MENENIUS
                                     ,          ,
                               I | tell thee | fellow,
           ,   2    ,       ,      ,          ,
      The gen|eral is | my lo|ver: I | have been
            ,               ,    ,            ,           ,
      The book | of his / good acts,| whence^men | have read
            ,       ,    2        ,      ,      ,
      His name | unpa|ralleled*, hap|ly amp|lified:  ??
          ,        ,      ,     ,          ,
      For I | have e|ver ve|rified | my friends,
            ,           ,       ,      2        ,          ,  2
      (Of whom | he's chief)| with all* the | size that | verity
        ,      2       ,         ,        T     T   T
      Would without | lapsing | suffer:| nay, sometimes,
        ,           ,      ,       ,         ,
      Like to | a bowl | upon | a sub|tle ground
       2      ,         ,          ,          ,          ,
      I have tum|bled past | the throw:| and in | his praise
        ,     2         ,           ,          ,          ,
      Have (almost^)|stamped the | leasing:| therefore | fellow,
         ,            ,          ,
      I must | have leave | to pass.  \\
 
FIRST SENATOR
Faith sir, if you had told as many lies in his behalf as you have uttered words in your own, you should not pass here: no, though it were as virtuous to lie as to live chastely. Therefore go back.
 
MENENIUS
Prithee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius, always factionary on the party of your general.
 
SECOND SENATOR
Howsoever you have been his liar, as you say you have, I am one that, telling true under him, must say, you cannot pass. Therefore, go back.
 
MENENIUS
Has he dined, canst thou tell? for I would not speak with him till after dinner.
 
FIRST SENATOR
You are a Roman, are you?
 
MENENIUS
I am, as thy general is.
 
FIRST SENATOR
Then you should hate Rome, as he does. Can you, when you have pushed out your gates the very defender of them, and, in a violent popular ignorance, given your enemy your shield, think to front his revenges with the easy groans of old women, the virginal palms of your daughters, or with the palsied intercession of such a decayed dotant as you seem to be? Can you think to blow out the intended fire your city is ready to flame in, with such weak breath as this? No, you are deceived; therefore, back to Rome, and prepare for your execution: you are condemned, our general has sworn you out of reprieve and pardon.
 
MENENIUS
Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, he would use me with estimation.
 
SECOND SENATOR
Come, my captain knows you not.
 
MENENIUS
I mean, thy general.
 
FIRST SENATOR
My general cares not for you. Back, I say, go; lest I let forth your half-pint of blood; back,--that's the utmost of your having: back.
 
MENENIUS
Nay, but, fellow, fellow,--
 
[Enter CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS]
 
CORIOLANUS
What's the matter?
 
MENENIUS
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 in 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. 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.
 
CORIOLANUS
Away!
 
MENENIUS
How? Away?
 
CORIOLANUS
        T     Tx      T     T   T   T      2    ,
      Wife, mother, child,| I know not.| My affairs  ??
           ,      ,       ,           ,        ,
      Are ser|vanted | to o|thers: though | I owe
        2    ,      ,      ,          ,         ,
      My revenge | proper|ly, my | remis|sion lies
          ,           ,        ,    2         ,      ,
      In Vol|scian breasts.| That we have | been fa|miliar,
          ,         ,       ,           ,       ,      2->
      Ingrate | forget|fulness | shall poi|son ra||ther
            ,       ,          ,      ,              ,
      Than pi|ty: note | how much,| Therefore | be gone.
             ,        ,            ,           ,         ,
      Mine ears | against | your suits | are stron|ger than
             ,         ,          ,      ,     2      ,
      Your gates | against | my force.| Yet for I | loved thee,
        T    T  .  T        ,        ,          ,
      Take this along,| I writ | it for | thy sake,
            ,              x       ,        ,       ,    2  ->
      And would | have sent it.| Ano|ther word | Menen||ius,
      ,       2      ,           ,           ,       ,    2 ->
      I | will not hear | thee speak.| This^man | Aufi||dius
       ,      2    ,          ,          ,         ,
      Was | my beloved | in Rome:| yet thou | beholdst.
 
AUFIDIUS
You keep a constant temper.
 
[Exeunt CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS]
 
FIRST SENATOR
Now, sir, is your name Menenius?
 
SECOND SENATOR
'Tis a spell, you see, of much power: you know the way home again.
 
FIRST SENATOR
Do you hear how we are shent for keeping your greatness back?
 
SECOND SENATOR
What cause, do you think, I have to swoon?
 
MENENIUS
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!
 
[Exit]
 
FIRST SENATOR
A noble fellow, I warrant him.
 
SECOND SENATOR
The worthy fellow is our general: he's the rock, the oak not to be wind-shaken.
 
[Exeunt]

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