Meet us on:
Welcome to Read Print! Sign in with
or
to get started!
 
Entire Site
    Try our fun game

    Dueling book covers…may the best design win!

    Random Quote
    "My music is best understood by children and animals."
     

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Follow us on Twitter

    Never miss a good book again! Follow Read Print on Twitter

    Act 4. Scene VI

    • Rate it:
    • 2 Favorites on Read Print
    Launch Reading Mode Next Chapter
    Chapter 22
    Previous Chapter
    SCENE VI. Rome. A public place.

    Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS
    SICINIUS
    We hear not of him, neither need we fear him;
    His remedies are tame i' the present peace
    And quietness of the people, which before
    Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends
    Blush that the world goes well, who rather had,
    Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold
    Dissentious numbers pestering streets than see
    Our tradesmen with in their shops and going
    About their functions friendly.

    BRUTUS
    We stood to't in good time.

    Enter MENENIUS

    Is this Menenius?

    SICINIUS
    'Tis he,'tis he: O, he is grown most kind of late.

    Both Tribunes
    Hail sir!

    MENENIUS
    Hail to you both!

    SICINIUS
    Your Coriolanus
    Is not much miss'd, but with his friends:
    The commonwealth doth stand, and so would do,
    Were he more angry at it.

    MENENIUS
    All's well; and might have been much better, if
    He could have temporized.

    SICINIUS
    Where is he, hear you?

    MENENIUS
    Nay, I hear nothing: his mother and his wife
    Hear nothing from him.

    Enter three or four Citizens

    Citizens
    The gods preserve you both!

    SICINIUS
    God-den, our neighbours.

    BRUTUS
    God-den to you all, god-den to you all.

    First Citizen
    Ourselves, our wives, and children, on our knees,
    Are bound to pray for you both.

    SICINIUS
    Live, and thrive!

    BRUTUS
    Farewell, kind neighbours: we wish'd Coriolanus
    Had loved you as we did.

    Citizens
    Now the gods keep you!

    Both Tribunes
    Farewell, farewell.

    Exeunt Citizens

    SICINIUS
    This is a happier and more comely time
    Than when these fellows ran about the streets,
    Crying confusion.

    BRUTUS
    Caius Marcius was
    A worthy officer i' the war; but insolent,
    O'ercome with pride, ambitious past all thinking,
    Self-loving,--

    SICINIUS
    And affecting one sole throne,
    Without assistance.

    MENENIUS
    I think not so.

    SICINIUS
    We should by this, to all our lamentation,
    If he had gone forth consul, found it so.

    BRUTUS
    The gods have well prevented it, and Rome
    Sits safe and still without him.

    Enter an AEdile

    AEdile
    Worthy tribunes,
    There is a slave, whom we have put in prison,
    Reports, the Volsces with two several powers
    Are enter'd in the Roman territories,
    And with the deepest malice of the war
    Destroy what lies before 'em.

    MENENIUS
    'Tis Aufidius,
    Who, hearing of our Marcius' banishment,
    Thrusts forth his horns again into the world;
    Which were inshell'd when Marcius stood for Rome,
    And durst not once peep out.

    SICINIUS
    Come, what talk you
    Of Marcius?

    BRUTUS
    Go see this rumourer whipp'd. It cannot be
    The Volsces dare break with us.

    MENENIUS
    Cannot be!
    We have record that very well it can,
    And three examples of the like have been
    Within my age. But reason with the fellow,
    Before you punish him, where he heard this,
    Lest you shall chance to whip your information
    And beat the messenger who bids beware
    Of what is to be dreaded.

    SICINIUS
    Tell not me:
    I know this cannot be.

    BRUTUS
    Not possible.

    Enter a Messenger

    Messenger
    The nobles in great earnestness are going
    All to the senate-house: some news is come
    That turns their countenances.

    SICINIUS
    'Tis this slave;--
    Go whip him, 'fore the people's eyes:--his raising;
    Nothing but his report.

    Messenger
    Yes, worthy sir,
    The slave's report is seconded; and more,
    More fearful, is deliver'd.

    SICINIUS
    What more fearful?

    Messenger
    It is spoke freely out of many mouths--
    How probable I do not know--that Marcius,
    Join'd with Aufidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome,
    And vows revenge as spacious as between
    The young'st and oldest thing.

    SICINIUS
    This is most likely!

    BRUTUS
    Raised only, that the weaker sort may wish
    Good Marcius home again.

    SICINIUS
    The very trick on't.

    MENENIUS
    This is unlikely:
    He and Aufidius can no more atone
    Than violentest contrariety.

    Enter a second Messenger

    Second Messenger
    You are sent for to the senate:
    A fearful army, led by Caius Marcius
    Associated with Aufidius, rages
    Upon our territories; and have already
    O'erborne their way, consumed with fire, and took
    What lay before them.

    Enter COMINIUS

    COMINIUS
    O, you have made good work!

    MENENIUS
    What news? what news?

    COMINIUS
    You have holp to ravish your own daughters and
    To melt the city leads upon your pates,
    To see your wives dishonour'd to your noses,--

    MENENIUS
    What's the news? what's the news?

    COMINIUS
    Your temples burned in their cement, and
    Your franchises, whereon you stood, confined
    Into an auger's bore.

    MENENIUS
    Pray now, your news?
    You have made fair work, I fear me.--Pray, your news?--
    If Marcius should be join'd with Volscians,--

    COMINIUS
    If!
    He is their god: he leads them like a thing
    Made by some other deity than nature,
    That shapes man better; and they follow him,
    Against us brats, with no less confidence
    Than boys pursuing summer butterflies,
    Or butchers killing flies.

    MENENIUS
    You have made good work,
    You and your apron-men; you that stood so up much
    on the voice of occupation and
    The breath of garlic-eaters!

    COMINIUS
    He will shake
    Your Rome about your ears.

    MENENIUS
    As Hercules
    Did shake down mellow fruit.
    You have made fair work!

    BRUTUS
    But is this true, sir?

    COMINIUS
    Ay; and you'll look pale
    Before you find it other. All the regions
    Do smilingly revolt; and who resist
    Are mock'd for valiant ignorance,
    And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame him?
    Your enemies and his find something in him.

    MENENIUS
    We are all undone, unless
    The noble man have mercy.

    COMINIUS
    Who shall ask it?
    The tribunes cannot do't for shame; the people
    Deserve such pity of him as the wolf
    Does of the shepherds: for his best friends, if they
    Should say 'Be good to Rome,' they charged him even
    As those should do that had deserved his hate,
    And therein show'd like enemies.

    MENENIUS
    'Tis true:
    If he were putting to my house the brand
    That should consume it, I have not the face
    To say 'Beseech you, cease.' You have made fair hands,
    You and your crafts! you have crafted fair!

    COMINIUS
    You have brought
    A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
    So incapable of help.

    Both Tribunes
    Say not we brought it.

    MENENIUS
    How! Was it we? we loved him but, like beasts
    And cowardly nobles, gave way unto your clusters,
    Who did hoot him out o' the city.

    COMINIUS
    But I fear
    They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
    The second name of men, obeys his points
    As if he were his officer: desperation
    Is all the policy, strength and defence,
    That Rome can make against them.

    Enter a troop of Citizens

    MENENIUS
    Here come the clusters.
    And is Aufidius with him? You are they
    That made the air unwholesome, when you cast
    Your stinking greasy caps in hooting at
    Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming;
    And not a hair upon a soldier's head
    Which will not prove a whip: as many coxcombs
    As you threw caps up will he tumble down,
    And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter;
    if he could burn us all into one coal,
    We have deserved it.

    Citizens
    Faith, we hear fearful news.

    First Citizen
    For mine own part,
    When I said, banish him, I said 'twas pity.

    Second Citizen
    And so did I.

    Third Citizen
    And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did very
    many of us: that we did, we did for the best; and
    though we willingly consented to his banishment, yet
    it was against our will.

    COMINIUS
    Ye re goodly things, you voices!

    MENENIUS
    You have made
    Good work, you and your cry! Shall's to the Capitol?

    COMINIUS
    O, ay, what else?

    Exeunt COMINIUS and MENENIUS

    SICINIUS
    Go, masters, get you home; be not dismay'd:
    These are a side that would be glad to have
    This true which they so seem to fear. Go home,
    And show no sign of fear.

    First Citizen
    The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let's home.
    I ever said we were i' the wrong when we banished
    him.

    Second Citizen
    So did we all. But, come, let's home.

    Exeunt Citizens

    BRUTUS
    I do not like this news.

    SICINIUS
    Nor I.

    BRUTUS
    Let's to the Capitol. Would half my wealth
    Would buy this for a lie!

    SICINIUS
    Pray, let us go.

    Exeunt
    Next Chapter
    Chapter 22
    Previous Chapter
    If you're writing a William Shakespeare essay and need some advice, post your William Shakespeare essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

    Top 5 Authors

    Top 5 Books

    Book Status
    Finished
    Want to read
    Abandoned

    Are you sure you want to leave this group?