William Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Coriolanus

2. SCENE II. Rome. A room in CORIOLANUS'S house.

[Enter CORIOLANUS and Patricians.]

Let them pull all about mine ears; present me
Death on the wheel, or at wild horses' heels;
Or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock,
That the precipitation might down stretch
Below the beam of sight; yet will I still
Be thus to them.

You do the nobler.

I muse my mother
Does not approve me further, who was wont
To call them woollen vassals, things created
To buy and sell with groats; to show bare heads
In congregations, to yawn, be still, and wonder,
When one but of my ordinance stood up
To speak of peace or war.


I talk of you: [To Volumnia.]
Why did you wish me milder? Would you have me
False to my nature? Rather say, I play
The man I am.

O, sir, sir, sir,
I would have had you put your power well on
Before you had worn it out.

Let go.

You might have been enough the man you are
With striving less to be so: lesser had been
The thwartings of your dispositions, if
You had not show'd them how ye were dispos'd,
Ere they lack'd power to cross you.

Let them hang.

Ay, and burn too.

[Enter MENENIUS with the SENATORS.]

Come, come, you have been too rough, something too rough;
You must return and mend it.

There's no remedy;
Unless, by not so doing, our good city
Cleave in the midst, and perish.

Pray be counsell'd;
I have a heart as little apt as yours,
But yet a brain that leads my use of anger
To better vantage.

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