ACT IV SCENE II

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Coriolanus


ACT IV SCENE II. The same. A street near the gate.
[Enter SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and an AEdile]
SICINIUS 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.
BRUTUS Now we have shown our power,
Let us seem humbler after it is done 5
Than when it was a-doing.
SICINIUS Bid them home:
Say their great enemy is gone, and they
Stand in their ancient strength.
BRUTUS Dismiss them home. 10
[Exit AEdile]
Here comes his mother.
SICINIUS Let’s not meet her.
BRUTUS Why?
SICINIUS They say she’s mad.
BRUTUS They have ta’en note of us: keep on your way. 15
[Enter VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, and MENENIUS]
VOLUMNIA O, ye’re well met: the hoarded plague o’ the gods
Requite your love!
MENENIUS Peace, peace; be not so loud.
VOLUMNIA If that I could for weeping, you should hear,–
Nay, and you shall hear some. 20
[To BRUTUS]
Will you be gone?
VIRGILIA [To SICINIUS] You shall stay too: I would I had the power
To say so to my husband.
SICINIUS Are you mankind?
VOLUMNIA Ay, fool; is that a shame? Note but this fool. 25
Was not a man my father? Hadst thou foxship
To banish him that struck more blows for Rome
Than thou hast spoken words?
SICINIUS O blessed heavens!
VOLUMNIA More noble blows than ever thou wise words; 30
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 What then? 35
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 Come, come, peace. 40
SICINIUS I would he had continued to his country
As he began, and not unknit himself
The noble knot he made.
BRUTUS I would he had.
VOLUMNIA ‘I would he had’! ‘Twas you incensed the rabble: 45
Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth
As I can of those mysteries which heaven
Will not have earth to know.
BRUTUS Pray, let us go.
VOLUMNIA Now, pray, sir, get you gone: 50
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. 55
BRUTUS Well, well, we’ll leave you.
SICINIUS Why stay we to be baited
With one that wants her wits?
VOLUMNIA Take my prayers with you.
[Exeunt Tribunes]
I would the gods had nothing else to do 60
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 You have told them home;
And, by my troth, you have cause. You’ll sup with me? 65
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.
MENENIUS Fie, fie, fie! 70
[Exeunt]

Next: Coriolanus, Act 4, Scene 3