William Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Coriolanus

4. SCENE IV. Rome. A public place.


See you yond coign o' the Capitol,--yond corner-stone?

Why, what of that?

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 upon execution.

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

There is differency between a grub and a butterfly; yet your
butterfly was a grub. This Marcius is grown from man to dragon;
he has wings; he's more than a creeping thing.

He loved his mother dearly.

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: 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 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.

Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.

I paint him in the character. Mark what mercy 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.

The gods be good unto us!

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.

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