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Navigate this workCoriolanus
Act 4, scene 1
Coriolanus says goodbye to his family and closest supporters.Enter Coriolanus, Volumnia, Virgilia, Menenius,
Cominius, with the young nobility of Rome.
2450 Come, leave your tears. A brief farewell. The beast
2451 With many heads butts me away. Nay, mother,
2452 Where is your ancient courage? You were used
2453 To say extremities was the trier of spirits;
2454 5 That common chances common men could bear;
2455 That when the sea was calm, all boats alike
2456 Showed mastership in floating; fortune’s blows
2457 When most struck home, being gentle wounded
2459 10 A noble cunning. You were used to load me
2460 With precepts that would make invincible
2461 The heart that conned them.
2462 O heavens! O heavens!
CORIOLANUS 2463 Nay, I prithee,
2464 15 woman—
2465 Now the red pestilence strike all trades in Rome,
2466 And occupations perish!
CORIOLANUS 2467 What, what, what!
2468 I shall be loved when I am lacked. Nay, mother,
2469 20 Resume that spirit when you were wont to say
2470 If you had been the wife of Hercules,
p. 1832471 Six of his labors you’d have done and saved
2472 Your husband so much sweat.—Cominius,
2473 Droop not. Adieu.—Farewell, my wife, my mother.
2474 25 I’ll do well yet.—Thou old and true Menenius,
2475 Thy tears are salter than a younger man’s
2476 And venomous to thine eyes.—My sometime
2478 I have seen thee stern, and thou hast oft beheld
2479 30 Heart-hard’ning spectacles. Tell these sad women
2480 ’Tis fond to wail inevitable strokes
2481 As ’tis to laugh at ’em.—My mother, you wot well
2482 My hazards still have been your solace, and—
2483 Believe ’t not lightly—though I go alone,
2484 35 Like to a lonely dragon that his fen
2485 Makes feared and talked of more than seen, your
2487 Will or exceed the common or be caught
2488 With cautelous baits and practice.
VOLUMNIA 2489 40 My first son,
2490 Whither ⌜wilt⌝ thou go? Take good Cominius
2491 With thee awhile. Determine on some course
2492 More than a wild exposure to each chance
2493 That starts i’ th’ way before thee.
⌜VIRGILIA⌝ 2494 45 O the gods!
2495 I’ll follow thee a month, devise with thee
2496 Where thou shalt rest, that thou mayst hear of us
2497 And we of thee; so if the time thrust forth
2498 A cause for thy repeal, we shall not send
2499 50 O’er the vast world to seek a single man
2500 And lose advantage, which doth ever cool
2501 I’ th’ absence of the needer.
CORIOLANUS 2502 Fare you well.
2503 Thou hast years upon thee, and thou art too full
2504 55 Of the wars’ surfeits to go rove with one
2505 That’s yet unbruised. Bring me but out at gate.—
p. 1852506 Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and
2507 My friends of noble touch. When I am forth,
2508 Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you, come.
2509 60 While I remain above the ground, you shall
2510 Hear from me still, and never of me aught
2511 But what is like me formerly.
MENENIUS 2512 That’s worthily
2513 As any ear can hear. Come, let’s not weep.
2514 65 If I could shake off but one seven years
2515 From these old arms and legs, by the good gods,
2516 I’d with thee every foot.
CORIOLANUS 2517 Give me thy hand.