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    CORIOLANUS

    A monologue from the play by William Shakespeare


    VOLUMNIA: O, no more, no more!
    You have said you will not grant us anything;
    For we have nothing else to ask but that
    Which you deny already; yet we will ask,
    That, if you fail in our request, the blame
    May hang upon your hardness. 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 comforts,
    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. For how can we,
    Alas, how can we for our country pray,
    Whereto we are bound, together with thy victory,
    Whereto we are bound? Alack, or we must lose
    The country, our dear nurse, or else thy person,
    Our comfort in the country. We must find
    An evident calamity, though we had
    Our wish which side should win. For either thou
    Must as a foreign recreant be led
    With manacles through our streets, or else
    Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin,
    And bear the palm for having bravely shed
    Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, son,
    I purpose not to wait on fortune till
    These wars determine. If I cannot persuade thee
    Rather to show a noble grace to both parts
    Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner
    March to assault thy country than to tread--
    Trust to 't, thou shalt not -- on thy mother's womb
    That brought thee to this world.

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