Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Coriolanus > Act IV, scene VI



	[Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS]

SICINIUS: We hear not of him, neither need we fear him;
	His remedies are tame i' the present peace
	And quietness of the people, which before
	Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends
	Blush that the world goes well, who rather had,
	Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold
	Dissentious numbers pestering streets than see
	Our tradesmen with in their shops and going
	About their functions friendly.

BRUTUS: We stood to't in good time.

	[Enter MENENIUS]

		      Is this Menenius?

SICINIUS: 'Tis he,'tis he: O, he is grown most kind of late.

Both Tribunes: Hail sir!

MENENIUS:         Hail to you both!

SICINIUS: Your Coriolanus
	Is not much miss'd, but with his friends:
	The commonwealth doth stand, and so would do,
	Were he more angry at it.

MENENIUS: All's well; and might have been much better, if
	He could have temporized.

SICINIUS: Where is he, hear you?

MENENIUS: Nay, I hear nothing: his mother and his wife
	Hear nothing from him.

	[Enter three or four Citizens]

Citizens: The gods preserve you both!

SICINIUS: God-den, our neighbours.

BRUTUS: God-den to you all, god-den to you all.

First Citizen: Ourselves, our wives, and children, on our knees,
	Are bound to pray for you both.

SICINIUS: Live, and thrive!

BRUTUS: Farewell, kind neighbours: we wish'd Coriolanus
	Had loved you as we did.

Citizens: Now the gods keep you!

Both Tribunes: Farewell, farewell.

	[Exeunt Citizens]

SICINIUS: This is a happier and more comely time
	Than when these fellows ran about the streets,
	Crying confusion.

BRUTUS:                   Caius Marcius was
	A worthy officer i' the war; but insolent,
	O'ercome with pride, ambitious past all thinking,
	Self-loving,--

SICINIUS:                   And affecting one sole throne,
	Without assistance.

MENENIUS: I think not so.

SICINIUS: We should by this, to all our lamentation,
	If he had gone forth consul, found it so.

BRUTUS: The gods have well prevented it, and Rome
	Sits safe and still without him.

	[Enter an AEdile]

AEdile: Worthy tribunes,
	There is a slave, whom we have put in prison,
	Reports, the Volsces with two several powers
	Are enter'd in the Roman territories,
	And with the deepest malice of the war
	Destroy what lies before 'em.

MENENIUS: 'Tis Aufidius,
	Who, hearing of our Marcius' banishment,
	Thrusts forth his horns again into the world;
	Which were inshell'd when Marcius stood for Rome,
	And durst not once peep out.

SICINIUS: Come, what talk you
	Of Marcius?

BRUTUS: Go see this rumourer whipp'd. It cannot be
	The Volsces dare break with us.

MENENIUS: Cannot be!
	We have record that very well it can,
	And three examples of the like have been
	Within my age. But reason with the fellow,
	Before you punish him, where he heard this,
	Lest you shall chance to whip your information
	And beat the messenger who bids beware
	Of what is to be dreaded.

SICINIUS: Tell not me:
	I know this cannot be.

BRUTUS: Not possible.

	[Enter a Messenger]

Messenger: The nobles in great earnestness are going
	All to the senate-house: some news is come
	That turns their countenances.

SICINIUS: 'Tis this slave;--
	Go whip him, 'fore the people's eyes:--his raising;
	Nothing but his report.

Messenger: Yes, worthy sir,
	The slave's report is seconded; and more,
	More fearful, is deliver'd.

SICINIUS: What more fearful?

Messenger: It is spoke freely out of many mouths--
	How probable I do not know--that Marcius,
	Join'd with Aufidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome,
	And vows revenge as spacious as between
	The young'st and oldest thing.

SICINIUS: This is most likely!

BRUTUS: Raised only, that the weaker sort may wish
	Good Marcius home again.

SICINIUS: The very trick on't.

MENENIUS: This is unlikely:
	He and Aufidius can no more atone
	Than violentest contrariety.

	[Enter a second Messenger]

Second Messenger: You are sent for to the senate:
	A fearful army, led by Caius Marcius
	Associated with Aufidius, rages
	Upon our territories; and have already
	O'erborne their way, consumed with fire, and took
	What lay before them.

	[Enter COMINIUS]

COMINIUS: O, you have made good work!

MENENIUS: What news? what news?

COMINIUS: You have holp to ravish your own daughters and
	To melt the city leads upon your pates,
	To see your wives dishonour'd to your noses,--

MENENIUS: What's the news? what's the news?

COMINIUS: Your temples burned in their cement, and
	Your franchises, whereon you stood, confined
	Into an auger's bore.

MENENIUS: Pray now, your news?
	You have made fair work, I fear me.--Pray, your news?--
	If Marcius should be join'd with Volscians,--

COMINIUS: If!
	He is their god: he leads them like a thing
	Made by some other deity than nature,
	That shapes man better; and they follow him,
	Against us brats, with no less confidence
	Than boys pursuing summer butterflies,
	Or butchers killing flies.

MENENIUS: You have made good work,
	You and your apron-men; you that stood so up much
	on the voice of occupation and
	The breath of garlic-eaters!

COMINIUS: He will shake
	Your Rome about your ears.

MENENIUS: As Hercules
	Did shake down mellow fruit.
	You have made fair work!

BRUTUS: But is this true, sir?

COMINIUS: Ay; and you'll look pale
	Before you find it other. All the regions
	Do smilingly revolt; and who resist
	Are mock'd for valiant ignorance,
	And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame him?
	Your enemies and his find something in him.

MENENIUS: We are all undone, unless
	The noble man have mercy.

COMINIUS: Who shall ask it?
	The tribunes cannot do't for shame; the people
	Deserve such pity of him as the wolf
	Does of the shepherds: for his best friends, if they
	Should say 'Be good to Rome,' they charged him even
	As those should do that had deserved his hate,
	And therein show'd like enemies.

MENENIUS: 'Tis true:
	If he were putting to my house the brand
	That should consume it, I have not the face
	To say 'Beseech you, cease.' You have made fair hands,
	You and your crafts! you have crafted fair!

COMINIUS: You have brought
	A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
	So incapable of help.

Both Tribunes: Say not we brought it.

MENENIUS: How! Was it we? we loved him but, like beasts
	And cowardly nobles, gave way unto your clusters,
	Who did hoot him out o' the city.

COMINIUS: But I fear
	They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
	The second name of men, obeys his points
	As if he were his officer: desperation
	Is all the policy, strength and defence,
	That Rome can make against them.

	[Enter a troop of Citizens]

MENENIUS: Here come the clusters.
	And is Aufidius with him? You are they
	That made the air unwholesome, when you cast
	Your stinking greasy caps in hooting at
	Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming;
	And not a hair upon a soldier's head
	Which will not prove a whip: as many coxcombs
	As you threw caps up will he tumble down,
	And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter;
	if he could burn us all into one coal,
	We have deserved it.

Citizens: Faith, we hear fearful news.

First Citizen: For mine own part,
	When I said, banish him, I said 'twas pity.

Second Citizen: And so did I.

Third Citizen: And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did very
	many of us: that we did, we did for the best; and
	though we willingly consented to his banishment, yet
	it was against our will.

COMINIUS: Ye re goodly things, you voices!

MENENIUS: You have made
	Good work, you and your cry! Shall's to the Capitol?

COMINIUS: O, ay, what else?

	[Exeunt COMINIUS and MENENIUS]

SICINIUS: Go, masters, get you home; be not dismay'd:
	These are a side that would be glad to have
	This true which they so seem to fear. Go home,
	And show no sign of fear.

First Citizen: The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let's home.
	I ever said we were i' the wrong when we banished
	him.

Second Citizen: So did we all. But, come, let's home.

	[Exeunt Citizens]

BRUTUS: I do not like this news.

SICINIUS: Nor I.

BRUTUS: Let's to the Capitol. Would half my wealth
	Would buy this for a lie!

SICINIUS: Pray, let us go.

	[Exeunt]




	CORIOLANUS






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