Enter Coriolanus and Auffidius.
We will before the walls of Rome to morrow
Set downe our Hoaſt. My partner in this Action,
You muſt report to th'Volcian Lords, how plainly
I haue borne this Buſineſſe.
Onely their ends you haue reſpected,
Stopt your eares againſt the generall ſuite of Rome:
Neuer admitted a priuat whiſper, no not with ſuch frends
That thought them ſure of you.
This laſt old man,
Whom with a crack'd heart I haue ſent to Rome,
Lou'd me, aboue the meaſure of a Father,
Nay godded me indeed. Their lateſt refuge
Was to ſend him: for whoſe old Loue I haue
(Though I ſhew'd ſowrely to him) once more offer'd
The firſt Conditions which they did refuſe,
And cannot now accept, to grace him onely,
That thought he could do more: A very little
I haue yeelded too. Freſh Embaſſes, and Suites,
Nor from the State, nor priuate friends heereafter
Will I lend eare to. Ha? what ſhout is this? Shout within
Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow
In the ſame time'tis made? I will not.
Enter Virgilia, Volumnia, Valeria, yong Martius,
My wife comes formoſt, then the honour'd mould
Wherein this Trunke was fram'd, and in her hand
The Grandchilde to her blood. But out affection,
All bond and priuiledge of Nature breake;
Let it be Vertuous to be Obſtinate.
What is that Curt'ſie worth? Or thoſe Doues eyes,
Which can make Gods forſworne? I melt, and am not
Of ſtronger earth then others: my Mother bowes,
As if Olympus to a Mole-hill ſhould
In ſupplication Nod: and my yong Boy
Hath an Aſpect of interceſsion, which
Great Nature cries, Deny not. Let the Volces
Plough Rome, and harrow Italy, Ile neuer
Be ſuch a Goſling to obey inſtinct; but ſtand
As if a man were Author of himſelf, & knew no other kin
My Lord and Husband.
Theſe eyes are not the ſame I wore in Rome.
The ſorrow that deliuers vs thus chang'd,
Makes you thinke ſo.
Like a dull Actor now, I haue forgot my part,
And I am out, euen to a full Diſgrace. Beſt of my Fleſh,
Forgiue my Tyranny: but do not ſay,
For that forgiue our Romanes. O a kiſſe
Long as my Exile, ſweet as my Reuenge!
Now by the iealous Queene of Heauen, that kiſſe
I carried from thee deare; and my true Lippe
Hath Virgin'd it ere ſince. You Gods, I pray,
And the moſt noble Mother of the world
Leaue vnſaluted: Sinke my knee i'th'earth, Kneeles
Of thy deepe duty, more impreſsion ſhew
Then that of common Sonnes.
Oh ſtand vp bleſt!
Whil'ſt with no ſofter Cuſhion then the Flint
I kneele before thee, and vnproperly
Shew duty as miſtaken, all this while,
Betweene the Childe, and Parent.
What's this? your knees to me?
To your Corrected Sonne?
Then let the Pibbles on the hungry beach
Fillop the Starres: Then, let the mutinous windes
Strike the proud Cedars 'gainſt the fiery Sun:
Murd'ring Impoſſibility, to make
What cannot be, ſlight worke.
Thou art my Warriour, I hope to frame thee
Do you know this Lady?
The Noble Siſter of Publicola;
The Moone of Rome: Chaſte as the lſicle
That's curdied by the Froſt, from pureſt Snow,
And hangs on Dians Temple: Deere Valeria.
This is a poore Epitome of yours,
Which by th'interpretation of full time,
May ſhew like all your ſelſe.
The God of Souldiers:
With the conſent of ſupreame Ioue, informe
Thy thoughts with Nobleneſſe, that thou mayſt proue
To ſhame vnvulnerable, and ſticke i'th Warres
Like a great Sea-marke ſtanding euery flaw,
And ſauing thoſe that eye thee.
Your knee, Sirrah.
That's my braue Boy.
Euen he, your wife, this Ladie, and my ſelfe,
Are Sutors to you.
I beſeech you peace:
Or if you'ld aske, remember this before;
The thing I haue forſworne to graunt, may neuer
Be held by you denials. Do not bid me
Diſmiſſe my Soldiers, or capitulate
Againe, with Romes Mechanickes. Tell me not
Wherein I ſeeme vnnaturall: Deſire not t'allay
My Rages and Reuenges, with your colder reaſons.
Oh no more, no more:
You haue ſaid you will not grant vs any thing:
For we haue nothing elſe to aske, but that
Which you deny already: yet we will aske,
That if you faile in our requeſt, the blame
May hang vpon your hardneſſe, therefore heare vs.
Auffidius, and you Volces marke, for wee'l
Heare nought from Rome in priuate. Your requeſt?
Should we be ſilent & not ſpeak, our Raiment
And ſtate of Bodies would bewray what life
We haue led ſince thy Exile. Thinke with thy ſelfe,
How more vnfortunate then all liuing women
Are we come hither; ſince that thy ſight, which ſhould
Make our eies flow with ioy, harts dance with comforts,
Conſtraines them weepe, and ſhake with feare & ſorow,
Making the Mother, wife, and Childe to ſee,
The Sonne, the Husband, and the Father tearing
His Countries Bowels out; and to poore we
Thine enmities moſt capitall: Thou barr'ſt vs
Our prayers to the Gods, which is a comfort
That all but we enioy. For how can we?
Alas! how can we, for our Country pray?
Whereto we are bound, together with thy victory:
Whereto we are bound: Alacke, or we muſt looſe
The Countrie our deere Nurſe, or elſe thy perſon
Our comfort in the Country. We muſt finde
An euident Calamity, though we had
Our wiſh, which ſide ſhould win. For either thou
Muſt as a Forraine Recreant be led
With Manacles through our ſtreets, or elſe
Triumphantly treade on thy Countries ruine,
And beare the Palme, for hauing brauely ſhed
Thy Wife and Childrens blood: For my ſelfe, Sonne,
I purpoſe not to waite on Fortune, till
Theſe warres determine: If I cannot perſwade thee,
Rather to ſhew a Noble grace to both parts,
Then ſeeke the end of one; thou ſhalt no ſooner
March to aſſault thy Country, then to treade
(Truſt too't, thou ſhalt not) on thy Mothers wombe
That brought thee to this world.
I, and mine, that brought you forth this boy,
To keepe your name liuing to time.
A ſhall not tread on me: Ile run away
Till I am bigger, but then Ile fight.
Not of a womans tenderneſſe to be,
Requires nor Childe, nor womans face to ſee:
I haue ſate too long.
Nay, go not from vs thus:
If it were ſo, that our requeſt did tend
To ſaue the Romanes, thereby to deſtroy
The Volces whom you ſerue, you might condemne vs
As poyſonous of your Honour. No, our ſuite
Is that you reconcile them: While the Volces
May ſay, this mercy we haue ſhew'd: the Romanes,
This we receiu'd, and each in either ſide
Giue the All-haile to thee, and cry be Bleſt
For making vp this peace. Thou know'ſt (great Sonne)
The end of Warres vncertaine: but this certaine,
That if thou conquer Rome, the benefit
Which thou ſhalt thereby reape, is ſuch a name
Whoſe repetition will be dogg'd with Curſes:
Whoſe Chronicle thus writ, The man was Noble,
But with his laſt Attempt, he wip'd it out:
Deſtroy'd his Country, and his name remaines
To th'inſuing Age, abhorr'd. Speake to me Son:
Thou haſt affected the fiue ſtraines of Honor,
To imitate the graces of the Gods.
To teare with Thunder the wide Cheekes a'th'Ayre,
And yet to change thy Sulphure with a Boult
That ſhould but riue an Oake. Why do'ſt not ſpeake?
Think'ſt thou it Honourable for a Nobleman
Still to remember wrongs? Daughter, ſpeake you:
He cares not for your weeping. Speake thou Boy,
Perhaps thy childiſhneſſe will moue him more
Then can our Reaſons. There's no man in the world
More bound to's Mother, yet heere he let's me prate
Like one i'th'Stockes. Thou haſt neuer in thy life,
Shew'd thy deere Mother any curteſie,
When ſhe (poore Hen) fond of no ſecond brood,
Ha's clock'd thee to the Warres: and ſafelie home
Loden with Honor. Say my Requeſt's vniuſt,
And ſpurne me backe: But, if it be not ſo
Thou art not honeſt, and the Gods will plague thee
That thou reſtrain'ſt from me the Duty, which
To a Mothers part belongs. He turnes away:
Down Ladies: let vs ſhame him with him with our knees
To his ſur-name Coriolanus longs more pride
Then pitty to our Prayers. Downe: an end,
This is the laſt. So, we will home to Rome,
And dye among our Neighbours: Nay, behold's,
This Boy that cannot tell what he would haue,
But kneeles, and holds vp hands for fellowſhip,
Doe's reaſon our Petition with more ſtrength
Then thou haſt to deny't. Come, let vs go:
This Fellow had a Volcean to his Mother:
His Wife is in Corioles, and his Childe
Like him by chance: yet giue vs our diſpatch:
I am huſht vntill our City be afire, & then Ile ſpeak a litle
Holds her by the hand ſilent.
O Mother, Mother<*>
What haue you done? Behold, the Heauens do ope,
The Gods looke downe, and this vnnaturall Scene
They laugh at. Oh my Mother, Mother: Oh!
You haue wonne a happy Victory to Rome.
But for your Sonne, beleeue it: Oh beleeue it,
Moſt dangerouſly you haue with him preuail'd,
If not moſt mortall to him. But let it come:
Auffidius, though I cannot make true Warres,
Ile frame conuenient peace. Now good Auffidius,
Were you in my ſteed, would you haue heard
A Mother leſſe? or granted leſſe Auffidius?
I was mou'd withall.
I dare be ſworne you were:
And ſir, it is no little thing to make
Mine eyes to ſweat compaſſion. But (good ſir)
What peace you'l make, aduiſe me: For my part,
Ile not to Rome, Ile backe with you, and pray you
Stand to me in this cauſe. Oh Mother! Wife!
I am glad thou haſt ſet thy mercy, & thy Honor
At difference in thee: Out of that Ile worke
My ſelfe a former Fortune.
I by and by; But we will drinke together:
And you ſhall beare
A better witneſſe backe then words, which we
On like conditions, will haue Counter-ſeal'd.
Come enter with vs: Ladies you deſerue
To haue a Temple built you: All the Swords
In Italy, and her Confederate Armes
Could not haue made this peace. Exeunt.