Rome. A street near the gate of the city.
(Sicinius; Brutus; First Aedile; Volumnia; Virgilia; Menenius)
The tribunes plan to seem humbler now that they have succeeding in ridding themselves of Coriolanus. Volumnia meets them and curses them. (70 lines)
Enter Sicinius and Brutus, with the Aedile.
Bid them all home, he’s gone; and we’ll no further.
The nobility are vexed, whom we see have sided
In his behalf.
Now we have shown our power,
Let us seem humbler after it is done
Than when it was a-doing.
Bid them home.
Say their great enemy is gone, and they
Stand in their ancient strength.
Dismiss them home.
Here comes his mother.
Enter Volumnia, Virgilia, and Menenius.
Let’s not meet her.
They say she’s mad.
They have ta’en note of us; keep on your way.
O, y’ are well met. The hoarded plague a’ th’ gods
Requite your love!
Peace, peace, be not so loud.
If that I could for weeping, you should hear—
Nay, and you shall hear some.
Will you be gone?
You shall stay too. I would I had the power
To say so to my husband.
Are you mankind?
Ay, fool, is that a shame? Note but this fool.
Was not a man my father? Hadst thou foxship
To banish him that strook more blows for Rome
Than thou hast spoken words?
O blessed heavens!
More noble blows than ever thou wise words,
And for Rome’s good. I’ll tell thee what—yet go!
Nay, but thou shalt stay too. I would my son
Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him,
His good sword in his hand.
He’ld make an end of thy posterity.
Bastards and all!
Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome!
Come, come, peace.
I would he had continued to his country
As he began, and not unknit himself
The noble knot he made.
I would he had.
“I would he had”? ’Twas you incens’d the rabble;
Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth
As I can of those mysteries which heaven
Will not have earth to know.
Pray let’s go.
Now pray, sir, get you gone;
You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear this:
As far as doth the Capitol exceed
The meanest house in Rome, so far my son,
This lady’s husband here—this (do you see?)
Whom you have banish’d—does exceed you all.
Well, well, we’ll leave you.
Why stay we to be baited
With one that wants her wits?
Take my prayers with you.
I would the gods had nothing else to do
But to confirm my curses! Could I meet ’em
But once a day, it would unclog my heart
Of what lies heavy to’t.
You have told them home,
And, by my troth, you have cause. You’ll sup with me?
Anger’s my meat; I sup upon myself,
And so shall starve with feeding. Come, let’s go.
Leave this faint puling, and lament as I do,
In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come.
Exeunt Volumnia and Virgilia.
Fie, fie, fie!