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Coriolanus

Act V, Scene 4

Rome. A public place.
 
[Enter MENENIUS and SICINIUS]
 
MENENIUS
See you yond coign of the Capitol, yond corner-stone?
 
SICINIUS
Why, what of that?
 
MENENIUS
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 it: our throats are sentenced and stay upon execution.
 
SICINIUS
Is it possible that so short a time can alter the condition of a man!
 
MENENIUS
There is differency between a grub and a butterfly; yet your butterfly was a grub. This Martius is grown from man to dragon: he has wings; he's more than a creeping thing.
 
SICINIUS
He loved his mother dearly.
 
MENENIUS
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.
 
SICINIUS
Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.
 
MENENIUS
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.
 
SICINIUS
The gods be good unto us!
 
MENENIUS
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.
 
[Enter a MESSENGER]
 
MESSENGER
       ,                ,           ,     ,              ,
      Sir, if | you'd save | your life,| fly to | your house:
         2    ,        ,     ,          ,        ,
      The plebei|ans have | got your | fellow | tribune*,
            ,         ,         ,     ,    ,
      And hale | him up | and down;| all swea/ring, if
           ,      ,        ,          ,         ,
      The Ro|man la|dies bring | not com|fort home,
                ,          ,         ,
      They'll give | him death | by in|ches.
 
[Enter a second MESSENGER]
 
SICINIUS
                                                ,           ,
                                             What's | the news?
 
SECOND MESSENGER
        T    T     T      ,          ,           2      ,
      Good news, good | news, the | ladies | have prevailed,
           ,          ,          ,          ,         ,
      The Vol|scians are | dislodged,| and Mar|tius gone:
         ,    2   ,          x      T    T     T
      A mer|rier day | did never | yet greet Rome,
       ,   ,            ,         ,        ,
      No, not / the ex|pulsion | of the | Tarquins.
 
SICINIUS
         ,       2        ,            2     ,      2     ,     ,
      Friend, art thou | certain | this is true?| Is it most | certain.
 
SECOND MESSENGER
          ,        ,       ,         ,         ,
      As cer|tain as | I know | the sun | is fire:
        ,                 ,           ,           ,         ,
      Where have | you lurked,| that you | make doubt | of it?
        ,                 ,        ,               ,     ,
      Nere through | an arch | so hur|ried the / blown tide,
       ,    2    ,    2        ,            ,            ,
      As the re|comforted | through the | gates. Why*| hark you:
            ,          ,           ,      ,          ,
      The trum|pets, sack|buts*, psal|teries,| and fifes,
       ,    2       ,         ,          ,         ,
      Tabors and | cymbals | and the | shouting | Romans,
        ,         T    T      T
      Make the | sun dance. Hark | you.
 
[A shout within]
 
MENENIUS
                                          ,      2        ,
                                        This | is good* news:
      ,     2       ,         ,         ,      ,  2
      I will go*| meet the | ladies.| This Vo|lumnia,
        x            ,         ,     ,       ,
      Is worth of | consuls,| sena|tors, pa|tricians,
         ,      ,        ,           ,        ,
      A ci|ty full:| of tri|bunes* such | as you,
         ,          ,             2          ,     ,       ,
      A sea | and land | full: You have / prayed well | today:
            ,              ,    ,        ,           ,
      This mor|ning for / ten thou|sand of | your throats
           ,           x         ,      ,               ,
      I'd not | have given | a doit.| Hark, how | they joy.
 
[Music still, with shouts]
 
SICINIUS
        ,            ,    ,                      ,
      First, the | gods bless /  you for | your ti|dings:
      <-  ,         ,         ,        ,
        Next,|| accept | my thank|fulness. (pickup)
 
SECOND MESSENGER
       ,     2        T    T     T      .   T    T      T
      Sir, we have | all great cause | to give great thanks.
 
SICINIUS
          2      ,         ,
      They are near | the ci|ty.
 
SECOND MESSENGER
                                 ,     2     ,         ,      ->
                                Al|most at point | to en||ter.
 
SICINIUS
        ,       ,               ,         ,    oo
      We'll | meet them,| and help | the joy.|
 
[Exeunt]

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