|ACT V SCENE I. Rome. A public place.
Enter MENENIUS, COMINIUS, SICINIUS, BRUTUS,
|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.
|He would not seem to know me.
|Do you hear?
|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.
|Why, so: you have made good work!
|A pair of tribunes that have rack'd for Rome,
|To make coals cheap,--a noble memory!
|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.
|Could he say less?
|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.
|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.
|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.
|No, I'll not meddle.
|Pray you, go to him.
|What should I do?
|Only make trial what your love can do
|For Rome, towards Marcius.
|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?
|Yet your good will
|must have that thanks from Rome, after the measure
|As you intended well.
|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.
|You know the very road into his kindness,
|And cannot lose your way.
|Good faith, I'll prove him,
|Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge
|Of my success.
|He'll never hear him.
|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.