Coriolanus


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Menenius, Cominius, Sicinius and Brutus the

two Tribunes, with others


MENENIUS

No, I'll not go. You hear what he hath said

Which was sometime his general, who loved him
sometime (adv.) 1 formerly, at one time, once

In a most dear particular. He called me father;
particular (n.) 4 intimacy, personal relationship

But what o'that? Go, you that banished him,

A mile before his tent fall down, and knee
knee (v.) 1 go on one's knees, kneel

The way into his mercy. Nay, if he coyed
coy (v.) 2 show reluctance, be loath

To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home.


COMINIUS

He would not seem to know me.


MENENIUS

                         Do you hear?


COMINIUS

Yet one time he did call me by my name.

I urged our old acquaintance and the drops
urge (v.) 4 bring forward, advocate, represent

That we have bled together. ‘ Coriolanus ’

He would not answer to; forbad all names;
name (n.) 4 title of rank, formal appellation

He was a kind of nothing, titleless,

Till he had forged himself a name i'th' fire

Of burning Rome.


MENENIUS

                         Why, so! You have made good work.

A pair of tribunes that have wracked for Rome
wrack (v.) 4 work with disastrous result

To make coals cheap – a noble memory!
memory (n.) 1 memorial, remembrance


COMINIUS

I minded him how royal 'twas to pardon

When it was less expected. He replied,

It was a bare petition of a state
bare (adj.) 3 worthless, wretched; or: barefaced, shameless

To one whom they had punished.


MENENIUS

Very well. Could he say less?


COMINIUS

I offered to awaken his regard
offer (v.) 1 attempt, start, try, make a move

For's private friends. His answer to me was,

He could not stay to pick them in a pile

Of noisome musty chaff. He said 'twas folly,

For one poor grain or two, to leave unburnt

And still to nose th' offence.
nose (v.) smell
offence (n.) 3 offensive matter, object of annoyance
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


MENENIUS

For one poor grain or two!

I am one of those; his mother, wife, his child,

And this brave fellow too – we are the grains.
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent

You are the musty chaff, and you are smelt

Above the moon. We must be burnt for you.


SICINIUS

Nay, pray be patient. If you refuse your aid

In this so-never-needed help, yet do not

Upbraid's with our distress. But sure, if you

Would be your country's pleader, your good tongue,

More than the instant army we can make,
instant (adj.) 4 immediately raisable, quickly mobilized

Might stop our countryman.


MENENIUS

                         No, I'll not meddle.


SICINIUS

Pray you, go to him.


MENENIUS

                         What should I do?


BRUTUS

Only make trial what your love can do

For Rome towards Martius.


MENENIUS

                         Well, and say that Martius

Return me, as Cominius is returned,

Unheard – what then?

But as a discontented friend, grief-shot
grief-shot (adj.) grief-stricken, inconsolable

With his unkindness? Say't be so?


SICINIUS

                         Yet your good will

Must have that thanks from Rome after the measure
measure (n.) 1 extent, size, amount, quantity, mass

As you intended well.


MENENIUS

                         I'll undertake't;

I think he'll hear me. Yet to bite his lip
lip, bite one's make an angry facial gesture

And hum at good Cominius much unhearts me.
hum (v.) 2 say ‘hum’ [as a sign of displeasure, dissatisfaction, impatience, etc] See Topics: Exclamations
unheart (v.) dishearten, discourage, dispirit

He was not taken well; he had not dined.
take (v.) 17 encounter, approach, tackle

The veins unfilled, our blood is cold, and then

We pout upon the morning, are unapt
unapt (adj.) 1 not inclined, unwilling, not prone

To give or to forgive, but when we have stuffed

These pipes and these conveyances of our blood
conveyance (n.) 1 channel, conduit, medium

With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls

Than in our priest-like fasts. Therefore I'll watch him

Till he be dieted to my request,
diet (v.) 2 feed to a satisfactory level, condition by feeding

And then I'll set upon him.


BRUTUS

You know the very road into his kindness

And cannot lose your way.
prove (v.) 1 test, try out, make trial [of]


MENENIUS

                         Good faith, I'll prove him,

Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge
speed (v.) 3 survive, succeed, prosper

Of my success.

Exit
success (n.) 1 result, outcome, issue


COMINIUS

                         He'll never hear him.


SICINIUS

                                                         Not?


COMINIUS

I tell you he does sit in gold, his eye
gold (n.) 2 golden state, object made of gold

Red as 'twould burn Rome, and his injury
injury (n.) 1 grievance, wrong, complaint

The gaoler to his pity. I kneeled before him;

'Twas very faintly he said ‘ Rise,’ dismissed me
faintly (adv.) 2 timidly, half-heartedly, without conviction

Thus with his speechless hand. What he would do

He sent in writing after me, what he would not,

Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions.

So that all hope is vain

Unless his noble mother and his wife,

Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him
solicit (v.) 1 urge, move, incite, prevail upon

For mercy to his country. Therefore let's hence,

And with our fair entreaties haste them on.

Exeunt

 
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