Document: All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Coriolanus > Act IV, scene II
[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
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.
Here comes his mother.
SICINIUS: Let's not meet her.
SICINIUS: They say she's mad.
BRUTUS: They have ta'en note of us: keep on your way.
[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.
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.
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;
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?
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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: You have told them home;
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.
MENENIUS: Fie, fie, fie!