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Neither supreme, how soon confusion
May enter 'twixt the gap of both, and take
The one by the other.

CHARACTER OF CORIOLANUS.

His nature is too noble for the world: He would not flatter Neptune for his trident, Or Jove for his power to thunder. His heart's his mouth:

What his breast forges that his tongue must vent; And, being angry, does forget that ever

He heard the name of death.

HONOUR AND POLICY.

I have heard you say,

Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends,
I'the war do grow together: grant that, and tell me
In peace, what each of them by th' other lose,
That they combine not there.

THE METHOD TO GAIN POPULAR FAVOUR.

Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand;
And thus far having stretch'd it, (here be with them;)
Thy knee bussing the stones (for in such business
Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant
More learned than the ears,) waving thy head,
Which often, thus, correcting thy stout heart,
That humble, as the ripest mulberry,

Now will not hold the handling: Or, say to them,
Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils,
Hast not the soft way, which, thou dost confess,
Were fit for thee to use, as they to claim,
In asking their good loves; but thou wilt frame
Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far
As thou hast power, and person.

CORIOLANUS'S ABHORRENCE OF FLATTERY.
Well, I must do't:

Away, my disposition, and possess me

Some harlot's spirit! My throat of war be turn'd,
Which quired with my drum, into a pipe

Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice

That babies lulls asleep! The smiles of knaves

Tent* in my cheeks; and school-boys' tears take up
The glasses of my sight! A beggar's tongue
Make motion through my lips; and my arm'd knees,
Who bow'd but in my stirrup, bend like his
That hath receiv'd an alms!I will not do't:
Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth,
And, by my body's action, teach my mind
A most inherent baseness.

VOLUMNIA'S RESOLUTION ON THE PRIDE OF
CORIOLANUS.
1

At thy choice then:

To beg of thee, it is my more dishonour,
Than thou of them. Čome all to ruin; let
Thy mother rather feel thy pride, than fear
Thy dangerous stoutness; for I mock at death
With as big heart as thou. Do as thou list.
Thy valiantness was mine, thou suck'dst it from me,
But owet thy pride thyself.

CORIOLANUS'S DETESTATION OF THE VULGAR.

You common cry of curse! whose breath I hate
As reek o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
As the dead carcasses of unburied men

That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
And here remain with your uncertainty!
Let
every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
Fan you into despair; have the power still
To banish your defenders; till, at length,
Your ignorance (which finds not till it feels,)
Making not reservation of yourselves,
(Still your own foes,) deliver you, as most
Abated captives, to some nation

That won you without blows!

ACT IV.

PRECEPT AGAINST ILL FORTUNE.

You were us'd

To say, extremity was the trier of spirits:

That common chances common men could bear;

* Dwell. † Own.

Pack § Vapour. Subdued.

That, when the sea was calm, all boats alike

Show'd mastership in floating: fortune's blows, When most struck home, being gentle wounded,

craves

A noble cunning: you were us'd to load me
With precepts, that would make invincible
The heart that conn'd them.

ON COMMON FRIENDSHIPS.

O, world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast

sworn,

Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart,
Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise,
Are still together, who twin, as 'twere in love
Unseparable, shall within this hour,

On a dissention of a doit,* break out
To bitterest enmity: So fellest foes,

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Whose passions and whose plots have broke their sleep

To take the one the other, by some chance,

Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends And interjoin their issues.

Let me twine

MARTIAL FRIENDSHIP.

Mine arms about that body, where against

My grained ash an hundred times hath broke,
And scar'd the moon with splinters. Here I clipt
The anvil of my sword; and do contest
As hotly and as nobly with thy love,
As ever in ambitious strength I did

Contend against thy valour. Know thou first,
I loved the maid I married; never man

Sigh'd truer breath: but that I see thee here,
Thou noble thing! more dances my wrapt heart,
Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars! I tell
thee,

We have a power on foot; and I had purpose
Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,t
O lose mine arm for't: Thou hast beat me out§

A small coin. † Embrace. Arm. § Full.

Twelve several times, and I have nightly since
Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and me;
We have been down together in my sleep,
Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat,
And wak'd half dead with nothing.

ACT V.

THE SEASON OF SOLICITATION.

He was not taken well: he had not din'd: The veins unfill'd, our blood is cold, and then We pout upon the morning, are unapt

To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff'd These pipes and these conveyances of our blood 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.

OBSTINATE RESOLUTION.

My wife comes foremost; then the honour'd mould Wherein this trunk was fram'd, and in her hand The grandchild to her blood. But, out, affection: All bond and privilege of nature, break!

Let it be virtuous, to be obstinate.

What is that court'sey worth, or those doves' eyes, Which can make gods forsworn? I melt, and am

not

Of stronger earth than others.-My mother bows,
As if Olympus to a molehill should

In supplication nod: and my young boy
Hath an aspect of intercession, which

Great nature cries, Deny not-Let the Volces
Plough Rome, and harrow Italy; I'll never
Be such a gosling* to obey instinct; but stand,
As if a man were author of himself,

And knew no other kin.

RELENTING TENDERNESS.

Like a dull actor now,

I have forgot my part, and I am out,
Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh,

Ay young goose.

Forgive my tyranny; but do not say,
For that, Forgive our Romans.-O, a kiss
Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!
Now by the jealous queen* of heaven, that kiss
I carried from thee, dear; and my true lip
Hath virgin'd it e'er since.-You gods, I prate,
And the most noble mother of the world
Leave unsaluted: Sink my knee, i' the earth;
Of thy deep duty more impression show
Than that of common sons.

CHASTITY.

The noble sister of Publicola,

The moon of Rome; chaste as the icicle,
That's cruded by the frost from purest snow,
And hangs on Dian's temple: Dear Valeria!

CORIOLANUS'S PRAYER FOR HIS SON.

The god of soldiers,

With the consent of supreme Jove, inform

Thy thoughts with nobleness; that thou may'st prove
To shame unvulnerable, and stick i' the wars
Like a great sea mark, standing every flaw,t
And saving those that eye thee!

VOLUMNIA'S PATHETIC SPEECH TO HER SON

CORIOLANUS.

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 com

forts,

Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and

sorrow;

Making the mother, wife, and child, to see
The son, the husband, and the father, tearing
His country's bowels out. And to poor we,
Thine enmity's most capital: thou barr'st us
Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort
That all but we enjoy.

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