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


MENENIUS: See you yond coign o' the Capitol, yond

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't: our throats are
	sentenced and stay upon execution.

SICINIUS: Is't 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 Marcius 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

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'ld save your life, fly to your house:
	The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune
	And hale him up and down, all swearing, if
	The Roman ladies bring not comfort home,
	They'll give him death by inches.

	[Enter a second Messenger]

SICINIUS: What's the news?

Second Messenger: Good news, good news; the ladies have prevail'd,
	The Volscians are dislodged, and Marcius gone:
	A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
	No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins.

	Art thou certain this is true? is it most certain?

Second Messenger: As certain as I know the sun is fire:
	Where have you lurk'd, that you make doubt of it?
	Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide,
	As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark you!

	[Trumpets; hautboys; drums beat; all together]

	The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries and fifes,
	Tabours and cymbals and the shouting Romans,
	Make the sun dance. Hark you!

	[A shout within]

MENENIUS: This is good news:
	I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia
	Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians,
	A city full; of tribunes, such as you,
	A sea and land full. You have pray'd well to-day:
	This morning for ten thousand of your throats
	I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!

	[Music still, with shouts]

SICINIUS: First, the gods bless you for your tidings; next,
	Accept my thankfulness.

Second Messenger: Sir, we have all
	Great cause to give great thanks.

SICINIUS: They are near the city?

Second Messenger: Almost at point to enter.

SICINIUS: We will meet them,
	And help the joy.



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