Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Coriolanus > Act V, scene I

	and others]

MENENIUS: No, I'll not go: you hear what he hath said
	Which was sometime his general; who loved him
	In a most dear particular. He call'd me father:
	But what o' that? Go, you that banish'd him;
	A mile before his tent fall down, and knee
	The way into his mercy: nay, if he coy'd
	To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home.

COMINIUS: He would not seem to know me.

MENENIUS: Do you hear?

COMINIUS: Yet one time he did call me by my name:
	I urged our old acquaintance, and the drops
	That we have bled together. Coriolanus
	He would not answer to: forbad all names;
	He was a kind of nothing, titleless,
	Till he had forged himself a name o' the fire
	Of burning Rome.

MENENIUS: Why, so: you have made good work!
	A pair of tribunes that have rack'd for Rome,
	To make coals cheap,--a noble memory!

COMINIUS: I minded him how royal 'twas to pardon
	When it was less expected: he replied,
	It was a bare petition of a state
	To one whom they had punish'd.

MENENIUS: Very well:
	Could he say less?

COMINIUS: I offer'd to awaken his regard
	For's private friends: his answer to me was,
	He could not stay to pick them in a pile
	Of noisome musty chaff: he said 'twas folly,
	For one poor grain or two, to leave unburnt,
	And still to nose the offence.

MENENIUS: For one poor grain or two!
	I am one of those; his mother, wife, his child,
	And this brave fellow too, we are the grains:
	You are the musty chaff; and you are smelt
	Above the moon: we must be burnt for you.

SICINIUS: Nay, pray, be patient: if you refuse your aid
	In this so never-needed help, yet do not
	Upbraid's with our distress. But, sure, if you
	Would be your country's pleader, your good tongue,
	More than the instant army we can make,
	Might stop our countryman.

MENENIUS: No, I'll not meddle.

SICINIUS: Pray you, go to him.

MENENIUS: What should I do?

BRUTUS: Only make trial what your love can do
	For Rome, towards Marcius.

MENENIUS: Well, and say that Marcius
	Return me, as Cominius is return'd,
	Unheard; what then?
	But as a discontented friend, grief-shot
	With his unkindness? say't be so?

SICINIUS: Yet your good will
	must have that thanks from Rome, after the measure
	As you intended well.

MENENIUS: I'll undertake 't:
	I think he'll hear me. Yet, to bite his lip
	And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me.
	He was not taken well; he had not dined:
	The veins unfill'd, our blood is cold, and then
	We pout upon the morning, are unapt
	To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff'd
	These and these conveyances of our blood
	With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls
	Than in our priest-like fasts: therefore I'll watch him
	Till he be dieted to my request,
	And then I'll set upon him.

BRUTUS: You know the very road into his kindness,
	And cannot lose your way.

MENENIUS: Good faith, I'll prove him,
	Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge
	Of my success.


COMINIUS:                   He'll never hear him.


COMINIUS: I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye
	Red as 'twould burn Rome; and his injury
	The gaoler to his pity. I kneel'd before him;
	'Twas very faintly he said 'Rise;' dismiss'd me
	Thus, with his speechless hand: what he would do,
	He sent in writing after me; what he would not,
	Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions:
	So that all hope is vain.
	Unless his noble mother, and his wife;
	Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him
	For mercy to his country. Therefore, let's hence,
	And with our fair entreaties haste them on.



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