Coriolanus


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Menenius and Sicinius
coign (n.) 1 corner of a building, quoin


MENENIUS

See you yond coign o'th' Capitol, yond

cornerstone?


SICINIUS

Why, what of that?


MENENIUS

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
stay on / upon (v.) wait for, await

upon execution.


SICINIUS

Is't possible that so short a time can alter the

condition of a man?
condition (n.) 1 disposition, temper, mood, character


MENENIUS

There is differency between a grub and a
differency (n.) difference, dissimilarity

butterfly, yet your butterfly was a grub. This Martius is

grown from man to dragon. He has wings; he's more

than a creeping thing.


SICINIUS

He loved his mother dearly.


MENENIUS

So did he me; and he no more remembers 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.
engine (n.) 2 weapon, instrument of warfare

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
battery (n.) 1 assault, bombardment, blitz
hum (v.) 2 say ‘hum’ [as a sign of displeasure, dissatisfaction, impatience, etc] See Topics: Exclamations
knell (n.) 1 death-knell, omen of death
state (n.) 8 throne, chair of state

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.


SICINIUS

Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.
report (v.) give an account [of], describe in words


MENENIUS

I paint him in the character. Mark what mercy
character (n.) 2 personality sketch, personal description
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

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.


SICINIUS

The gods be good unto us!


MENENIUS

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


MESSENGER

Sir, if you'd save your life, fly to your house.

The plebeians have got your fellow Tribune

And hale him up and down, all swearing if
hale (v.) 1 drag, pull, haul

The Roman ladies bring not comfort home

They'll give him death by inches.

Enter another Messenger
inches, by very gradually, bit by bit, by small degrees


SICINIUS

                         What's the news?


SECOND MESSENGER

Good news, good news! The ladies have prevailed,

The Volscians are dislodged and Martius gone.
dislodge (v.) withdraw, retreat, pull back

A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,

No, not th' expulsion of the Tarquins.


SICINIUS

                         Friend,

Art thou certain this is true? Is't most certain?


SECOND MESSENGER

As certain as I know the sun is fire.

Where have you lurked that you make doubt of it?

Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide
blown (adj.) 2 swollen; or: wind-driven

As the recomforted through th' gates. Why, hark you!

Trumpets, hautboys, drums beat, all together
psaltery (n.) type of plucked stringed instrument
sackbut (n.) type of bass trumpet, with a trombone-like slide

The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes,

Tabors and cymbals and the shouting Romans
tabor (n.) type of small drum, especially used in revelling

Make the sun dance. Hark you!

A shout within


MENENIUS

                         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 prayed well today.

This morning for ten thousand of your throats

I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!
doit (n.) [small Dutch coin = half an English farthing] trivial sum, worthless amount, trifle See Topics: Money

Sound still with the shouts
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


SICINIUS

First, the gods bless you for your tidings; next,

Accept my thankfulness.


SECOND MESSENGER

Sir, we have all great cause to give great thanks.


SICINIUS

They are near the city?


SECOND MESSENGER

Almost at point to enter.


SICINIUS

We'll meet them, and help the joy.

Exeunt

 
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