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Coriolanus - Act 5, scene 4
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workCoriolanus - Act 5, scene 4
Act 5, scene 4
News arrives in Rome of Volumnia’s success.Enter Menenius and Sicinius.
MENENIUS 3635 See you yond coign o’ th’ Capitol, yond
SICINIUS 3637 Why, what of that?
MENENIUS 3638 If it be possible for you to displace it with
3639 5 your little finger, there is some hope the ladies of
3640 Rome, especially his mother, may prevail with
3641 him. But I say there is no hope in ’t. Our throats
3642 are sentenced and stay upon execution.
SICINIUS 3643 Is ’t possible that so short a time can alter the
3644 10 condition of a man?
MENENIUS 3645 There is differency between a grub and a
3646 butterfly, yet your butterfly was a grub. This Martius
3647 is grown from man to dragon. He has wings;
3648 he’s more than a creeping thing.
SICINIUS 3649 15He loved his mother dearly.
MENENIUS 3650 So did he me; and he no more remembers
3651 his mother now than an eight-year-old horse. The
3652 tartness of his face sours ripe grapes. When he
3653 walks, he moves like an engine, and the ground
3654 20 shrinks before his treading. He is able to pierce a
3655 corslet with his eye, talks like a knell, and his hum
3656 is a battery. He sits in his state as a thing made for
3657 Alexander. What he bids be done is finished with
3658 his bidding. He wants nothing of a god but eternity
3659 25 and a heaven to throne in.
SICINIUS 3660 Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.
MENENIUS 3661 I paint him in the character. Mark what
3662 mercy his mother shall bring from him. There is
p. 2653663 no more mercy in him than there is milk in a male
3664 30 tiger. That shall our poor city find, and all this is
3665 long of you.
SICINIUS 3666 The gods be good unto us.
MENENIUS 3667 No, in such a case the gods will not be good
3668 unto us. When we banished him, we respected not
3669 35 them; and he returning to break our necks, they
3670 respect not us.
Enter a Messenger.
MESSENGER, ⌜to Sicinius⌝
3671 Sir, if you’d save your life, fly to your house.
3672 The plebeians have got your fellow tribune
3673 And hale him up and down, all swearing if
3674 40 The Roman ladies bring not comfort home,
3675 They’ll give him death by inches.
Enter another Messenger.
SICINIUS 3676 What’s the news?
3677 Good news, good news! The ladies have prevailed.
3678 The Volscians are dislodged and Martius gone.
3679 45 A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
3680 No, not th’ expulsion of the Tarquins.
SICINIUS 3681 Friend,
3682 Art thou certain this is true? Is ’t most certain?
3683 As certain as I know the sun is fire.
3684 50 Where have you lurked that you make doubt of it?
3685 Ne’er through an arch so hurried the blown tide
3686 As the recomforted through th’ gates. Why, hark you!
Trumpets, hautboys, drums beat, all together.
3687 The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes,
3688 Tabors and cymbals, and the shouting Romans
3689 55 Make the sun dance. Hark you!A shout within.
p. 267MENENIUS 3690 This is good news.
3691 I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia
3692 Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians
3693 A city full; of tribunes such as you
3694 60 A sea and land full. You have prayed well today.
3695 This morning for ten thousand of your throats
3696 I’d not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!
Sound still with the shouts.
SICINIUS, ⌜to Second Messenger⌝ 3697 First, the gods bless
3698 you for your tidings; next, accept my thankfulness.
3699 65 Sir, we have all great cause to give great thanks.
SICINIUS 3700 They are near the city?
⌜SECOND⌝ MESSENGER 3701 Almost at point to enter.
SICINIUS 3702 We’ll meet them, and help the joy.