SCENE VThe same. A hall in Aufidius's house.
Music within. Enter a Servingman.
Wine, wine, wine! What service
is here! I think our fellows are asleep. Exit. Enter a second Servingman.
Where's Cotus? my master calls
for him. Cotus! Exit. Enter CORIOLANUS.
A goodly house: the feast smells well; but I
Appear not like a guest. Re-enter the first Servingman.
What would you have, friend?
whence are you? Here's no place for you:
pray, go to the door. Exit.
I have deserved no better entertainment, (11)
In being Coriolanus. Re-enter second Servingman.
Whence are you, sir? Has the
porter his eyes in his head, that he gives entrance
to such companions? Pray, get you out.
Away! get you away.
Now thou'rt troublesome.
Are you so brave? I'll have you
talked with anon. Enter a third Servingman. The first meets him. (20)
What fellow's that?
A strange one as ever I looked
on: I cannot get him out o' the house:
prithee, call my master to him. Retires.
What have you to do here,
fellow? Pray you, avoid the house.
Let me but stand; I will not hurt
What are you?
A gentleman. (30)
A marvellous poor one.
True, so I am.
Pray you, poor gentleman,
take up some other station; here's no place
for you; pray you, avoid: come.
Follow your function, go, and batten
on cold bits. Pushes him awAy.
What, you will not? Prithee,
tell my master what a strange guest he has here.
And I shall. Exit. (40)
Where dwellest thou?
Under the canopy.
Under the canopy?
I' the city of kites and crows.
I' the city of kites and crows!
What an ass it is! Then thou dwellest with
No, I serve not thy master.
How, sir! do you meddle with
my master? (52)
Ay; 'tis an honester service than to
meddle with thy mistress.
Thou pratest, and pratest; serve with thy trencher,hence! Beats him away. Exit third Servingman. Enter AUFIDIUS with the second Servingman.
Where is this fellow?
Here, sir: I'ld have beaten him
like a dog, but for disturbing the lords within. Retires.
Whence comest thou? what wouldst thou? thy name?
60Why speak'st not? speak, man: what's thy name?
If, Tullus, Unmuffling.
Not yet thou knowest me, and, seeing me, dost not
Think me for the man I am, necessity
Commands me name myself.
What is thy name?
A name unmusical to the Volscians' ears,
And harsh in sound to thine.
Say, what's thy name?
Thou hast a grim appearance, and thy face
Bears a command in't; though thy tackle's torn,
Thou show'st a noble vessel: what's thy name ?
Prepare thy brow to frown: know'st thou me yet? (70)
I know thee not: thy name?
My name is Caius Marcius, who hath done
To thee particularly and to all the Volsces
Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may
My surname, Coriolanus: the painful service,
The extreme dangers and the drops of blood
Shed for my thankless country are requited
But with that surname; a good memory,
And witness of the malice and displeasure
Which thou shouldst bear me: only that name remains; (80)
The cruelty and envy of the people,
Permitted by our dastard nobles, who
Have all forsook me, hath devour'd the rest;
And suffer'd me by the voice of slaves to be
Whoop'd out of Rome. Now this extremity
Hath brought me to thy hearth; not out of hope—
Mistake me not—to save my life, for if
I had fear'd death, of all the men i' the world
I would have 'voided thee, but in mere spite,
To be full quit of those my banishers,
Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast
A heart of wreak in thee, that wilt revenge
Thine own particular wrongs and stop those maims
Of shame seen through thy country, speed thee straight,
And make my misery serve thy turn: so use it
That my revengeful services may prove
As benefits to thee, for I will fight
Against my canker'd country with the spleen
Of all the under fiends. But if so be
Thou durst not this and that to prove more fortunes (100)
Thou 'rt tired, then, in a word, I also am
Longer to live most weary, and present
My throat to thee and to thy ancient malice;
Which not to cut would show thee but a fool,
Since I have ever follow'd thee with hate,
Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country's breast,
And cannot live but to thy shame, unless
It be to do thee service.
O Marcius, Marcius!
Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my heart (109)
A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter
Should from yond cloud speak divine things,
And say ‘’Tis true,’ I'ld not believe them more
Than thee, all noble Marcius. Let me twine
Mine arms about that body, where against
My grained ash an hundred times hath broke,
And scarr'd the moon with splinters: here I clip
The anvil of my sword, and do contest
As hotly and as nobly with thy love
As ever in ambitious strength I did
Contend against thy valour. Know thou first, (120)
I loved the maid I married; never man
Sigh'd truer breath; but that I see thee here,
Thou noble thing! more dances my rapt heart
Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars! I tell thee,
We have a power on foot; and I had purpose
Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,
Or lose mine arm for't: thou hast beat me out
Twelve several times, and I have nightly since
Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and me: (130)
We have been down together in my sleep,
Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat,
And waked half dead with nothing. Worthy Marcius,
Had we no quarrel else to Rome, but that
Thou art thence banish'd, we would muster all
From twelve to seventy, and pouring war
Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,
Like a bold flood o'er-bear. O, come, go in,
And take our friendly senators by the hands;
Who now are here, taking their leaves of me, (140)
Who am prepared against your territories,
Though not for Rome itself.
You bless me, gods!
Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou wilt have
The leading of thine own revenge, take
The one half of my commission; and set down—
As best thou art experienced, since thou know'st
Thy country's strength and weakness,—thine own ways;
Whether to knock against the gates of Rome,
Or rudely visit them in parts remote,
To fright them, ere destroy. But come in:
Let me commend thee first to those that shall
Say yea to thy desires. A thousand welcomes!
And more a friend than e'er an enemy;
Yet, Marcius, that was much. Your hand: most welcome! Exeunt Coriolanus and Aufidius. The two Servingmen come forward.
Here's a strange alteration!
By my hand, I had thought to
have strucken him with a cudgel: and yet my
mind gave me his clothes made a false report
What an arm he has! he turned
me about with his finger and his thumb, as
one would set up a top.
Nay, I knew by his face that
there was something in him: he had, sir, a
kind of face, methought,— I cannot tell how to
He had so; looking as it were
—would I were hanged, but I thought there
was more in him than I could think.
So did I, I'll be sworn: he is
simply the rarest man i' the world.
I think he is: but a greater soldier
than he you wot one. (172)
Serv. Who, my master?
Nay, it's no matter for that.
Worth six on him.
Nay, not so neither: but I take
him to be the greater soldier.
Serv. Faith, look you, one cannot tell
how to say that: for the defence of a town,
our general is excellent. (180)
Ay,and for an assault too. Re-enter third Servingman.
O slaves, I can tell you news. —
news, you rascals!
First and Sec. Serv.
What, what, what?
I would not be a Roman, of all
nations; I had as lieve be a condemned man.
First and Sec. Serv.
Why, here's he that was wont
to thwack our general, Caius Marcius.
Why do you say 'thwack our
I do not say 'thwack our general;'
but he was always good enough for
Come, we are fellows and
friends: he was ever too hard for him; I have
heard him say so himself.
He was too hard for him directly,
to say the troth on 't: before Corioli he
scotched him and notched him like a carbonado.
An he had been cannibally given,
he might have broiled and eaten him too. (202)
But, more of thy news?
Why, he is so made on here
within, as if he were son and heir to Mars;
set at upper end o' the table; no question
asked him by any of the senators, but they
stand bald before him: our general himself
makes a mistress of him; sanctifies himself
with's hand and turns up the whites o' the eye
to his discourse. But the bottom of the news
is, our general is cut i' the middle and but one
half of what he was yesterday; for the other
has half, by the entreaty and grant of the whole
table. He'll go, he says, and sowl the porter
of Rome gates by the ears: he will mow all
down before him, and leave his passage polled.
And he's as like to do 't as any
man I can imagine.
Do't! he will do't; for, look
you, sir, he has as many friends as enemies;
which friends, sir, as it were, durst not, look
you, sir, show themselves, as we term it, his
friends whilst he's in directitude.
Directitude! what's that?
But when they shall see, sir,
his crest up again, and the man in blood, they
will out of their burrows, like conies after rain,
and revel all with him.
But when goes this forward?
To-morrow; to-day; presently;
you shall have the drum struck up this
afternoon: 'tis, as it were, a parcel of their
feast, and to be executed ere they wipe their
Why, then we shall have a stirring
world again. This peace is nothing, but
to rust iron, increase tailors, and breed
Let me have war, say I; it exceeds
peace as far as day does night; it's
spritely, waking, audible, and full of vent.
Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mulled,
deaf, sleepy, insensible; a getter of more
bastard children than war's a destroyer of
'Tis so: and as war, in some
sort, may be said to be a ravisher, so it cannot
be denied but peace is a great maker of cuckolds.
Ay, and it makes men hate one another.
Reason; because they then less
need one another. The wars for my money.
I hope to see Romans as cheap as Volscians.
They are rising, they are rising. All.
In, in, in, in! Exeunt.