previous next

[Scene II.]

Enter Menenius to the Watch or Guard.

1. Wat.
Stay: whence are you.

2. Wat.
Stand, and go backe.

You guard like men, 'tis well. But by your leaue,
I am an Officer of State, & come to ſpeak with Coriolanus
1 From whence? Mene. From Rome.
1 You may not paſſe, you muſt returne: our Generall
will no more heare from thence.
2 You'l ſee your Rome embrac'd with fire, before
You'l ſpeake with Coriolanus.

Good my Friends,
If you haue heard your Generall talke of Rome,
And of his Friends there, it is Lots to Blankes,
My name hath touch't your eares: it is Menenius.
1 Be it ſo, go back: the vertue of your name,
Is not heere paſſable.

I tell thee Fellow,
Thy Generall is my Louer: I haue beene
The booke of his good Acts, whence men haue read
His Fame vnparalell'd, happely amplified:
For I haue euer verified my Friends,
(Of whom hee's cheefe) with all the ſize that verity
Would without lapſing ſuffer: Nay, ſometimes,
Like to a Bowle vpon a ſubtle ground
I haue tumbled paſt the throw: and in his praiſe
Haue (almoſt) ſtampt the Leaſing. Therefore Fellow,
I muſt haue leaue to paſſe.
1 Faith Sir, if you had told as many lies in his behalfe,
as you haue vttered words in your owne, you ſhould not
paſſe heere: no, though it were as vertuous to lye, as to
liue chaſtly. Therefore go backe.

Prythee fellow, remember my name is Menenius,
always factionary on the party of your Generall.
2 Howſoeuer you haue bin his Lier, as you fay you
haue, I am one that telling true vnder him, muſt ſay you
cannot paſſe. Therefore go backe.

Ha's he din'd can'ſt thou tell? For I would not
ſpeake with him, till after dinner.
1 You are a Roman, are you?

I am as thy Generall is.
1 Then you ſhould hate Rome, as he do's. Can you,
when you haue puſht out your gates, the very Defender
of them, and in a violent popular ignorance, giuen your
enemy your ſhield, thinke to front his reuenges with the
eaſie groanes of old women, the Virginall Palms of your
daughters, <*>or with the palſied interceſſion of ſuch a de-
cay'd Dotant as you ſeeme to be? Can you think to blow
out the intended fire, your City is ready to flame in, with
ſuch weake breath as this? No, you are deceiu'd, therfore
backe to Rome, and prepare for your execution: you are
condemn'd, our Generall has ſworne you out of repreeue
and pardon.

Sirra, if thy Captaine knew I were heere,
He would vſe me with eſtimation.
1 Come, my Captaine knowes you not.

I meane thy Generall.
1 My Generall cares not for you. Back I ſay, go: leaſt
I let forth your halfe pinte of blood. Backe, that's the vt-
moſt of your hauing, backe.

Nay but Fellow, Fellow.
Enter Coriolanus with Auffidius.

What's the matter?

Now you Companion: Ile ſay an arrant for you:
you ſhall know now that I am in eſtimation: you ſhall
perceiue, that a Iacke gardant cannot office me from my
Son Coriolanus, gueſſe but my entertainment with him: if
thou ſtand'ſt not i'th ſtate of hanging, or of ſome death
more long in Spectatorſhip, and crueller in ſuffering, be-
hold now preſently, and ſwoond for what's to come vpon
thee. The glorious Gods ſit in hourely Synod about thy
particular proſperity, and loue thee no worſe then thy old
Father Menenius do's. O my Son, my Son | thou art pre-
paring fire for vs: looke thee, heere's water to quench it.
I was hardly moued to come to thee: but beeing aſſured
none but my ſelfe could moue thee, I haue bene blowne
out of your Gates with ſighes: and coniure thee to par-
don Rome, and thy petitionary Countrimen. The good
Gods aſſwage thy wrath, and turne the dregs of it, vpon
this Varlet heere: This, who like a blocke hath denyed
my acceſſe to thee.


How? Away?

Wife, Mother, Child, I know not. My affaires
Are Seruanted to others: Though I owe
My Reuenge properly, my remiſſion lies
In Volcean breſts. That we haue beene familiar,
Ingrate forgetfulneſſe ſhall poiſon rather
Then pitty: Note how much,| therefore be gone.
Mine eares againſt your ſuites, are ſtronger then
Your gates againſt my force. Yet for I loued thee,
Take this along, I writ it for thy ſake,
And would haue ſent it. Another word Menenius,
I will not heare thee ſpeake. This man Auffidius
Was my belou'd in Rome: yet thou behold'ſt.

You keepe a conſtant temper. Excunt
Manet the Guard and Menenius.
1 Now ſir, is your name Menenius?
2 'Tis a ſpell you ſee of much power:
You know the way home againe.
1 Do you heare how wee are ſhent for keeping your
greatneſſe backe?
2 What cauſe do you thinke I haue to ſwoond?

I neither care for th'world, nor your General:
for ſuch things as you, I can ſcarſe thinke ther's any, y'are
ſo ſlight. He that hath a will to die by himſelfe, feares it
not from another: Let your Generall do his worſt. For
you, bee that you are, i long; and your miſery encreaſe
with your age. I ſay to you, as I was ſaid to, Away. Exit
1 A Noble Fellow I warrant him.
2 The worthy Fellow is our General. He's the Rock,
The Oake not to be winde-ſhaken. Exit Watch.

load focus Notes (Horace Howard Furness, Jr., A. B.; Litt. D.)
load focus Notes (Horace Howard Furness, Jr., A. B.; Litt. D.)
load focus English (W. G. Clark, W. Aldis Wright)
hide References (22 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: