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The Tragedy of Coriolanus: Act 4 Scene 7
Scene VII A camp, at a small distance from Rome.
- [Enter AUFIDIUS and his Lieutenant]
- Do they still fly to the Roman?
- I do not know what witchcraft's in him, but
- Your soldiers use him as the grace 'fore meat,
- Their talk at table, and their thanks at end;
- And you are darken'd in this action, sir,
- Even by your own.
- I cannot help it now,
- Unless, by using means, I lame the foot
- Of our design. He bears himself more proudlier,
- Even to my person, than I thought he would
- When first I did embrace him: yet his nature
- In that's no changeling; and I must excuse
- What cannot be amended.
- Yet I wish, sir,--
- I mean for your particular,--you had not
- Join'd in commission with him; but either
- Had borne the action of yourself, or else
- To him had left it solely.
- I understand thee well; and be thou sure,
- when he shall come to his account, he knows not
- What I can urge against him. Although it seems,
- And so he thinks, and is no less apparent
- To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly.
- And shows good husbandry for the Volscian state,
- Fights dragon-like, and does achieve as soon
- As draw his sword; yet he hath left undone
- That which shall break his neck or hazard mine,
- Whene'er we come to our account.
- Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry Rome?
- All places yield to him ere he sits down;
- And the nobility of Rome are his:
- The senators and patricians love him too:
- The tribunes are no soldiers; and their people
- Will be as rash in the repeal, as hasty
- To expel him thence. I think he'll be to Rome
- As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it
- By sovereignty of nature. First he was
- A noble servant to them; but he could not
- Carry his honours even: whether 'twas pride,
- Which out of daily fortune ever taints
- The happy man; whether defect of judgment,
- To fail in the disposing of those chances
- Which he was lord of; or whether nature,
- Not to be other than one thing, not moving
- From the casque to the cushion, but commanding peace
- Even with the same austerity and garb
- As he controll'd the war; but one of these--
- As he hath spices of them all, not all,
- For I dare so far free him--made him fear'd,
- So hated, and so banish'd: but he has a merit,
- To choke it in the utterance. So our virtues
- Lie in the interpretation of the time:
- And power, unto itself most commendable,
- Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair
- To extol what it hath done.
- One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail;
- Rights by rights falter, strengths by strengths do fail.
- Come, let's away. When, Caius, Rome is thine,
- Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine.