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May hang upon your hardness: therefore hear us.
Cor. Aufidius, and you Volces, mark; for we'll Hear nought from Rome in private.—Your request? Vol. Should we be silent and not speak, our rai
ment, And state of bodies would bewray what life We have led since thy exíle. Think with thyself, How more unfortunate than all living women Are we come hither: since that thy sight, which
should Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with
comforts, Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and
And to poor we,
prayers to the gods, which is a comfort That all but we enjoy: For how can we, Alas! how can we for our country pray, Whereto we are bound; together with thy victory, Whereto we are bound? Alack! or we must lose The country, our dear nurse; or else thy person, Our comfort in the country. We must find An evident calamity, though we had Our wish, which side should win: for either thou Must, as a foreigu recreant, be led With manacles thorough our streets; or else Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin; And bear the palm, for having bravely shed Thy wife and children's blood.
For myself, son,
purpose not to wait on fortune, till These wars determine: if I cannot persuade thee Rather to show a noble grace to both parts, Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner March to assault thy country, than to tread (Trust to't, thou shalt not,) on thy mother's womb, That brought thee to this world. Vir.
Ay, and on mine, That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name Living to time. Boy.
He shall not tread on me; I'll run away till I am bigger, but then I'll fight.
Cor. Not of a woman's tenderness to be, Requires nor child nor woman's face to see. I have sat too long.
Nay, go not from us thus. If it were so, that our request did tend To save the Romans, thereby to destroy The Volces whom you serve, you might condemn
us, As poisonous of your honour: No; our suit Is, that you reconcile them: while the Volces May say, This mercy we have show'd; the Romans, This we receiv'd; and each in either side Give the all-hail to thee, and cry, Be bless'd For making up this peace! Thou know'st, great son, The end of war's uncertain; but this certain, That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit Which thou shalt thereby reap, is such a name, Whose repetition will be dogg'd with curses; Whose chronicle thus writ,-The man was noble, But with his last attempt he wip'd it out;
Destroy'd his country; and his name remains
This fellow had a Volcian to his mother;
O mother, mother! (holding Volumnia by the hands, silent. What have
done? Behold, the heavens do ope, The gods look down, and this unnatural scene They laugh at. O my mother, mother! O! You have won a happy victory to Rome:
your son,-believe it, O, believe it,
have heard A mother less? or granted less, Aufidius?
Auf. I was mov'd withal.
I dare be sworn, you were:
honour At difference in thee: out of that I'll work Myself a former fortune.
[Aside. [The ladies make signs to Coriolanus. Cor.
Ay, by and by; [To Volumnia, Virgilia, &c.
But we will drink together; and you shall bear
Men. See you yond' coign o' the Capitol; yond' corner-stone:
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 execution.
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 lov'd his mother dearly.
Men. So did he me: and he no more remembers his mother now, than an eight year old horse. The