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Coriolanus - Act 4, scene 5
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workCoriolanus - Act 4, scene 5
Act 4, scene 5
Coriolanus offers to join Aufidius in making war on Rome.Music plays. Enter a Servingman.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2677 Wine, wine, wine! What service is
2678 here? I think our fellows are asleep.⌜He exits.⌝
Enter another Servingman.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2679 Where’s Cotus? My master calls
2680 for him. Cotus!He exits.
2681 5 A goodly house. The feast smells well, but I
2682 Appear not like a guest.
Enter the First Servingman.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2683 What would you have, friend?
2684 Whence are you? Here’s no place for you. Pray, go
2685 to the door.He exits.
2686 10 I have deserved no better entertainment
2687 In being Coriolanus.
Enter Second ⌜Servingman.⌝
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2688 Whence are you, sir?—Has the
2689 porter his eyes in his head, that he gives entrance
2690 to such companions?—Pray, get you out.
CORIOLANUS 2691 15Away!
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2692 Away? Get you away.
CORIOLANUS 2693 Now th’ art troublesome.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2694 Are you so brave? I’ll have you
2695 talked with anon.
Enter Third Servingman; the First, ⌜entering,⌝
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2696 20What fellow’s this?
p. 199FIRST SERVINGMAN 2697 A strange one as ever I looked on. I
2698 cannot get him out o’ th’ house. Prithee, call my
2699 master to him.⌜He steps aside.⌝
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2700 What have you to do here, fellow?
2701 25 Pray you, avoid the house.
CORIOLANUS 2702 Let me but stand. I will not hurt your
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2704 What are you?
CORIOLANUS 2705 A gentleman.
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2706 30A marv’llous poor one.
CORIOLANUS 2707 True, so I am.
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2708 Pray you, poor gentleman, take up
2709 some other station. Here’s no place for you. Pray
2710 you, avoid. Come.
CORIOLANUS 2711 35Follow your function, go, and batten on
2712 cold bits.Pushes him away from him.
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2713 What, you will not?—Prithee, tell
2714 my master what a strange guest he has here.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2715 And I shall.
Second Servingman exits.
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2716 40Where dwell’st thou?
CORIOLANUS 2717 Under the canopy.
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2718 Under the canopy?
CORIOLANUS 2719 Ay.
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2720 Where’s that?
CORIOLANUS 2721 45I’ th’ city of kites and crows.
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2722 I’ th’ city of kites and crows? What
2723 an ass it is! Then thou dwell’st with daws too?
CORIOLANUS 2724 No, I serve not thy master.
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2725 How, sir? Do you meddle with my
2726 50 master?
CORIOLANUS 2727 Ay, ’tis an honester service than to meddle
2728 with thy mistress. Thou prat’st and prat’st. Serve
2729 with thy trencher. Hence!Beats him away.
⌜Third Servingman exits.⌝
p. 201Enter Aufidius with the ⌜Second⌝ Servingman.
AUFIDIUS 2730 Where is this fellow?
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2731 55Here, sir. I’d have beaten him like
2732 a dog, but for disturbing the lords within.
⌜He steps aside.⌝
AUFIDIUS 2733 Whence com’st thou? What wouldst thou?
2734 Thy name? Why speak’st not? Speak, man. What’s
2735 thy name?
CORIOLANUS, ⌜removing his muffler⌝ 2736 60If, Tullus,
2737 Not yet thou know’st me, and seeing me, dost not
2738 Think me for the man I am, necessity
2739 Commands me name myself.
AUFIDIUS 2740 What is thy name?
2741 65 A name unmusical to the Volscians’ ears
2742 And harsh in sound to thine.
AUFIDIUS 2743 Say, what’s thy name?
2744 Thou hast a grim appearance, and thy face
2745 Bears a command in ’t. Though thy tackle’s torn,
2746 70 Thou show’st a noble vessel. What’s thy name?
2747 Prepare thy brow to frown. Know’st thou me yet?
AUFIDIUS 2748 I know thee not. Thy name?
2749 My name is Caius Martius, who hath done
2750 To thee particularly and to all the Volsces
2751 75 Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may
2752 My surname Coriolanus. The painful service,
2753 The extreme dangers, and the drops of blood
2754 Shed for my thankless country are requited
2755 But with that surname, a good memory
2756 80 And witness of the malice and displeasure
2757 Which thou shouldst bear me. Only that name
2759 The cruelty and envy of the people,
p. 2032760 Permitted by our dastard nobles, who
2761 85 Have all forsook me, hath devoured the rest,
2762 And suffered me by th’ voice of slaves to be
2763 ⌜Whooped⌝ out of Rome. Now this extremity
2764 Hath brought me to thy hearth, not out of hope—
2765 Mistake me not—to save my life; for if
2766 90 I had feared death, of all the men i’ th’ world
2767 I would have ’voided thee, but in mere spite,
2768 To be full quit of those my banishers,
2769 Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast
2770 A heart of wreak in thee, that wilt revenge
2771 95 Thine own particular wrongs and stop those maims
2772 Of shame seen through thy country, speed thee
2774 And make my misery serve thy turn. So use it
2775 That my revengeful services may prove
2776 100 As benefits to thee, for I will fight
2777 Against my cankered country with the spleen
2778 Of all the under fiends. But if so be
2779 Thou dar’st not this, and that to prove more fortunes
2780 Thou ’rt tired, then, in a word, I also am
2781 105 Longer to live most weary, and present
2782 My throat to thee and to thy ancient malice,
2783 Which not to cut would show thee but a fool,
2784 Since I have ever followed thee with hate,
2785 Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country’s breast,
2786 110 And cannot live but to thy shame, unless
2787 It be to do thee service.
AUFIDIUS 2788 O Martius, Martius,
2789 Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my
2791 115 A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter
2792 Should from yond cloud speak divine things
2793 And say ’tis true, I’d not believe them more
2794 Than thee, all-noble Martius. Let me twine
p. 2052795 Mine arms about that body, whereagainst
2796 120 My grainèd ash an hundred times hath broke
2797 And scarred the moon with splinters.
2798 Here I clip
2799 The anvil of my sword and do contest
2800 As hotly and as nobly with thy love
2801 125 As ever in ambitious strength I did
2802 Contend against thy valor. Know thou first,
2803 I loved the maid I married; never man
2804 Sighed truer breath. But that I see thee here,
2805 Thou noble thing, more dances my rapt heart
2806 130 Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
2807 Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars, I tell thee
2808 We have a power on foot, and I had purpose
2809 Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn
2810 Or lose mine arm for ’t. Thou hast beat me out
2811 135 Twelve several times, and I have nightly since
2812 Dreamt of encounters ’twixt thyself and me;
2813 We have been down together in my sleep,
2814 Unbuckling helms, fisting each other’s throat,
2815 And waked half dead with nothing. Worthy Martius,
2816 140 Had we no other quarrel else to Rome but that
2817 Thou art thence banished, we would muster all
2818 From twelve to seventy and, pouring war
2819 Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,
2820 Like a bold flood ⌜o’erbear ’t.⌝ O, come, go in,
2821 145 And take our friendly senators by th’ hands,
2822 Who now are here, taking their leaves of me,
2823 Who am prepared against your territories,
2824 Though not for Rome itself.
CORIOLANUS 2825 You bless me, gods!
2826 150 Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou wilt have
2827 The leading of thine own revenges, take
p. 2072828 Th’ one half of my commission and set down—
2829 As best thou art experienced, since thou know’st
2830 Thy country’s strength and weakness—thine own
2831 155 ways,
2832 Whether to knock against the gates of Rome,
2833 Or rudely visit them in parts remote
2834 To fright them ere destroy. But come in.
2835 Let me commend thee first to those that shall
2836 160 Say yea to thy desires. A thousand welcomes!
2837 And more a friend than ere an enemy—
2838 Yet, Martius, that was much. Your hand. Most
2839 welcome!⌜Coriolanus and Aufidius⌝ exit.
Two of the Servingmen ⌜come forward.⌝
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2840 Here’s a strange alteration!
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2841 165By my hand, I had thought to
2842 have strucken him with a cudgel, and yet my mind
2843 gave me his clothes made a false report of him.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2844 What an arm he has! He turned me
2845 about with his finger and his thumb as one would
2846 170 set up a top.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2847 Nay, I knew by his face that there
2848 was something in him. He had, sir, a kind of face,
2849 methought—I cannot tell how to term it.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2850 He had so, looking as it were—
2851 175 Would I were hanged but I thought there was
2852 more in him than I could think.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2853 So did I, I’ll be sworn. He is simply
2854 the rarest man i’ th’ world.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2855 I think he is. But a greater soldier
2856 180 than he you wot one.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2857 Who, my master?
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2858 Nay, it’s no matter for that.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2859 Worth six on him.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2860 Nay, not so neither. But I take him
2861 185 to be the greater soldier.
p. 209SECOND SERVINGMAN 2862 Faith, look you, one cannot tell
2863 how to say that. For the defense of a town our general
2864 is excellent.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2865 Ay, and for an assault too.
Enter the Third Servingman.
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2866 190O slaves, I can tell you news, news,
2867 you rascals!
BOTH 2868 What, what, what? Let’s partake!
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2869 I would not be a Roman, of all nations;
2870 I had as lief be a condemned man.
BOTH 2871 195Wherefore? Wherefore?
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2872 Why, here’s he that was wont to
2873 thwack our general, Caius Martius.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2874 Why do you say “thwack our
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2876 200I do not say “thwack our general,”
2877 but he was always good enough for him.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2878 Come, we are fellows and friends.
2879 He was ever too hard for him; I have heard him
2880 say so himself.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2881 205He was too hard for him directly, to
2882 say the truth on ’t, before Corioles; he scotched
2883 him and notched him like a carbonado.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2884 An he had been cannibally given,
2885 he might have boiled and eaten him too.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2886 210But, more of thy news.
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2887 Why, he is so made on here within
2888 as if he were son and heir to Mars; set at upper end
2889 o’ th’ table; no question asked him by any of the
2890 senators but they stand bald before him. Our general
2891 215 himself makes a mistress of him, sanctifies
2892 himself with ’s hand, and turns up the white o’ th’
2893 eye to his discourse. But the bottom of the news is,
2894 our general is cut i’ th’ middle and but one half of
p. 2112895 what he was yesterday, for the other has half, by
2896 220 the entreaty and grant of the whole table. He’ll go,
2897 he says, and sowl the porter of Rome gates by th’
2898 ears. He will mow all down before him and leave
2899 his passage polled.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2900 And he’s as like to do ’t as any
2901 225 man I can imagine.
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2902 Do ’t? He will do ’t! For, look you,
2903 sir, he has as many friends as enemies, which
2904 friends, sir, as it were, durst not, look you, sir, show
2905 themselves, as we term it, his friends whilest he’s
2906 230 in directitude.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2907 Directitude? What’s that?
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2908 But when they shall see, sir, his
2909 crest up again, and the man in blood, they will out
2910 of their burrows like coneys after rain, and revel
2911 235 all with him.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2912 But when goes this forward?
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2913 Tomorrow, today, presently. You
2914 shall have the drum struck up this afternoon. ’Tis,
2915 as it were, a parcel of their feast, and to be executed
2916 240 ere they wipe their lips.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2917 Why then, we shall have a stirring
2918 world again. This peace is nothing but to rust iron,
2919 increase tailors, and breed ballad-makers.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 2920 Let me have war, say I. It exceeds
2921 245 peace as far as day does night. It’s sprightly walking,
2922 audible, and full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy,
2923 lethargy; mulled, deaf, ⌜sleepy,⌝ insensible; a getter
2924 of more bastard children than war’s a destroyer of
SECOND SERVINGMAN 2926 250’Tis so, and as wars in some sort
2927 may be said to be a ravisher, so it cannot be denied
2928 but peace is a great maker of cuckolds.
p. 213FIRST SERVINGMAN 2929 Ay, and it makes men hate one
THIRD SERVINGMAN 2931 255Reason: because they then less
2932 need one another. The wars for my money! I hope
2933 to see Romans as cheap as Volscians. ⌜(Noise
within.)⌝ 2934 They are rising; they are rising.
⌜FIRST AND SECOND SERVINGMEN⌝ 2935 In, in, in, in!