• Rome. A public place.
    Enter MENENIUS, COMINIUS, SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and others

    MENENIUS

    No, I’ll not go: you hear what he hath said
    Which was sometime his general; who loved him
    In a most dear particular. He call’d me father:
    But what o’ that? Go, you that banish’d him;
    5A mile before his tent fall down, and knee
    The way into his mercy: nay, if he coy’d
    To hear Cominius speak, I’ll keep at home.

    COMINIUS

    He would not seem to know me.

    MENENIUS

    Do you hear?

    COMINIUS

    10Yet one time he did call me by my name:
    I urged our old acquaintance, and the drops
    That we have bled together. Coriolanus
    He would not answer to: forbad all names;
    He was a kind of nothing, titleless,
    15Till he had forged himself a name o’ the fire
    Of burning Rome.

    MENENIUS

    Why, so: you have made good work!
    A pair of tribunes that have rack’d for Rome,
    To make coals cheap,—a noble memory!

    COMINIUS

    20I minded him how royal ’twas to pardon
    When it was less expected: he replied,
    It was a bare petition of a state
    To one whom they had punish’d.
  • A public place in Rome.
    MENENIUS, COMINIUS, SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and others enter.

    MENENIUS

    No, I won’t go. You heard what his former general said, the one who loved him most dearly. He called me father. But so what? Go, you that banished him, and fall down on your knees a mile before his tent and crawl to him, begging for mercy. No, if he refused to listen to Cominius, I’ll stay at home.

    COMINIUS

    He acted as if he didn’t know me.

    MENENIUS

    Do you hear?

    COMINIUS

    He called me by my name only once, and I reminded him of our relationship and the blood we’ve shed together. He wouldn’t answer to “Coriolanus” or any other name. He was a kind of nothing, titleless, until he had forged himself a name out of the fire of burning Rome.

    MENENIUS

    Well now, this is all your doing! A pair of tribunes that have brought down the price of coal by letting Rome be burned—what a noble way to be remembered!

    COMINIUS

    I reminded him how noble it was to grant pardons when they are least expected. He replied that it was an insufficient plea from the state that exiled him.