William Shakespeare's Coriolanus in the complete original text.
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Act V. Scene IV.

Scene IV.—Rome. A Public Place.


Men. See you yond coign o' the Capitol, yond
Sic. Why, what of that?
Men. If it be possible for you to displace it
with your little finger, there is some hope the
ladies of Rome, especially his mother, may
prevail with him. But I say, there is no hope
in't. Our throats are sentenced and stay upon
Sic. Is't possible that so short a time can
alter the condition of a man?
Men. There is differency between a grub and
a butterfly; yet your butterfly was a grub. This
Marcius is grown from man to dragon: he has
wings; he's more than a creeping thing.
Sic. He loved his mother dearly.
Men. So did he me; and he no more remem-
bers his mother now than an eight-year-old
horse. The tartness of his face sours ripe
grapes: when he walks, he moves like an engine,
and the ground shrinks before his treading: he
is able to pierce a corslet with his eye; talks like
a knell, and his hum is a battery. He sits in his
state, as a thing made for Alexander. What
he bids be done is finished with his bidding. He
wants nothing of a god but eternity and a
heaven to throne in.
Sic. Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.
Men. I paint him in the character. Mark
what mercy his mother shall bring from him:
there is no more mercy in him than there is
milk in a male tiger; that shall our poor city
find: and all this is 'long of you.
Sic. The gods be good unto us!
Men. No, in such a case the gods will not be
good unto us. When we banished him, we
respected not them; and, he returning to break
our necks, they respect not us.

Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Sir, if you'd save your life, fly to your
The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune,
And hale him up and down; all swearing, if
The Roman ladies bring not comfort home,
They'll give him death by inches.

Enter a second Messenger.
Sic. What's the news?
Sec. Mess. Good news, good news! the ladies
have prevail'd,
The Volscians are dislodg'd, and Marcius gone.
A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins.
Sic. Friend,
Art thou certain this is true? is it most cer-
Sec. Mess. As certain as I know the sun is
Where have you lurk'd that you make doubt
of it?
Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown
As the recomforted through the gates. Why,
hark you!
[Trumpets and hautboys sounded, and drums
beaten, all together. Shouting also within.
The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes,
Tabors, and cymbals, and the shouting Romans,
Make the sun dance. Hark you! [A shout within.
Men. This is good news:
I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia
Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians,
A city full; of tribunes, such as you,
A sea and land full. You have pray'd well
This morning for ten thousand of your throats
I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!
[Music still and shouts.
Sic. First, the gods bless you for your tid-
ings; next,
Accept my thankfulness.
Sec. Mess. Sir, we have all
Great cause to give great thanks.
Sic. They are near the city?
Sec. Mess. Almost at point to enter.
Sic. We will meet them,
And help the joy. [Going.

Enter the Ladies, accompanied by Senators,
Patricians, and People. They pass over the
First Sen. Behold our patroness, the life of
Call all your tribes together, praise the gods,
And make triumphant fires; strew flowers be-
fore them:
Unshout the noise that banish'd Marcius;
repeal him with the welcome of his mother;
Cry, 'Welcome, ladies, welcome!'
All. Welcome, ladies,
Welcome! [A flourish with drums and
trumpets. Exeunt.
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