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The Tragedy of Coriolanus
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SCENE I. Rome. A street.

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[Enter a company of mutinous Citizens, with staves, clubs, and other weapons]
First Citizen. Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.1.1.1
All. Speak, speak.1.1.2
First Citizen. You are all resolved rather to die than to famish?1.1.3
All. Resolved. resolved.1.1.4
First Citizen. First, you know Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the people.1.1.5
All. We know't, we know't.1.1.6
First Citizen. Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at our own price.1.1.7
        Is't a verdict?1.1.8
All. No more talking on't; let it be done: away, away!1.1.9
Second Citizen. One word, good citizens.1.1.10
First Citizen. We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians good.1.1.11
        What authority surfeits on would relieve us: if they1.1.12
        would yield us but the superfluity, while it were1.1.13
        wholesome, we might guess they relieved us humanely;1.1.14
        but they think we are too dear: the leanness that1.1.15
        afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an1.1.16
        inventory to particularise their abundance; our1.1.17
        sufferance is a gain to them Let us revenge this with1.1.18
        our pikes, ere we become rakes: for the gods know I1.1.19
        speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.1.1.20
Second Citizen. Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius?1.1.21
All. Against him first: he's a very dog to the commonalty.1.1.22
Second Citizen. Consider you what services he has done for his country?1.1.23
First Citizen. Very well; and could be content to give him good1.1.24
        report fort, but that he pays himself with being proud.1.1.25
Second Citizen. Nay, but speak not maliciously.1.1.26
First Citizen. I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did1.1.27
        it to that end: though soft-conscienced men can be1.1.28
        content to say it was for his country he did it to1.1.29
        please his mother and to be partly proud; which he1.1.30
        is, even till the altitude of his virtue.1.1.31
Second Citizen. What he cannot help in his nature, you account a1.1.32
        vice in him. You must in no way say he is covetous.1.1.33
First Citizen. If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations;1.1.34
        he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition.1.1.35
        [Shouts within]
        What shouts are these? The other side o' the city1.1.36
        is risen: why stay we prating here? to the Capitol!1.1.37
All. Come, come.1.1.38
First Citizen. Soft! who comes here?1.1.39
        [Enter MENENIUS AGRIPPA]
Second Citizen. Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that hath always loved1.1.40
        the people.1.1.41
First Citizen. He's one honest enough: would all the rest were so!1.1.42
Menenius. What work's, my countrymen, in hand? where go you1.1.43
        With bats and clubs? The matter? speak, I pray you.1.1.44
First Citizen. Our business is not unknown to the senate; they have1.1.45
        had inkling this fortnight what we intend to do,1.1.46
        which now we'll show 'em in deeds. They say poor1.1.47
        suitors have strong breaths: they shall know we1.1.48
        have strong arms too.1.1.49
Menenius. Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest neighbours,1.1.50
        Will you undo yourselves?1.1.51
First Citizen. We cannot, sir, we are undone already.1.1.52
Menenius. I tell you, friends, most charitable care1.1.53
        Have the patricians of you. For your wants,1.1.54
        Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well1.1.55
        Strike at the heaven with your staves as lift them1.1.56
        Against the Roman state, whose course will on1.1.57
        The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs1.1.58
        Of more strong link asunder than can ever1.1.59
        Appear in your impediment. For the dearth,1.1.60
        The gods, not the patricians, make it, and1.1.61
        Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack,1.1.62
        You are transported by calamity1.1.63
        Thither where more attends you, and you slander1.1.64
        The helms o' the state, who care for you like fathers,1.1.65
        When you curse them as enemies.1.1.66
First Citizen. Care for us! True, indeed! They ne'er cared for us1.1.67
        yet: suffer us to famish, and their store-houses1.1.68
        crammed with grain; make edicts for usury, to1.1.69
        support usurers; repeal daily any wholesome act1.1.70
        established against the rich, and provide more1.1.71
        piercing statutes daily, to chain up and restrain1.1.72
        the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will; and1.1.73
        there's all the love they bear us.1.1.74
Menenius. Either you must1.1.75
        Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,1.1.76
        Or be accused of folly. I shall tell you1.1.77
        A pretty tale: it may be you have heard it;1.1.78
        But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture1.1.79
        To stale 't a little more.1.1.80
First Citizen. Well, I'll hear it, sir: yet you must not think to1.1.81
        fob off our disgrace with a tale: but, an 't please1.1.82
        you, deliver.1.1.83
Menenius. There was a time when all the body's members1.1.84
        Rebell'd against the belly, thus accused it:1.1.85
        That only like a gulf it did remain1.1.86
        I' the midst o' the body, idle and unactive,1.1.87
        Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing1.1.88
        Like labour with the rest, where the other instruments1.1.89
        Did see and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,1.1.90
        And, mutually participate, did minister1.1.91
        Unto the appetite and affection common1.1.92
        Of the whole body. The belly answer'd--1.1.93
First Citizen. Well, sir, what answer made the belly?1.1.94
Menenius. Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of smile,1.1.95
        Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus--1.1.96
        For, look you, I may make the belly smile1.1.97
        As well as speak--it tauntingly replied1.1.98
        To the discontented members, the mutinous parts1.1.99
        That envied his receipt; even so most fitly1.1.100
        As you malign our senators for that1.1.101
        They are not such as you.1.1.102
First Citizen. Your belly's answer? What!1.1.103
        The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye,1.1.104
        The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,1.1.105
        Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter.1.1.106
        With other muniments and petty helps1.1.107
        In this our fabric, if that they--1.1.108
Menenius. What then?1.1.109
        'Fore me, this fellow speaks! What then? what then?1.1.110
First Citizen. Should by the cormorant belly be restrain'd,1.1.111
        Who is the sink o' the body,--1.1.112
Menenius. Well, what then?1.1.113
First Citizen. The former agents, if they did complain,1.1.114
        What could the belly answer?1.1.115
Menenius. I will tell you1.1.116
        If you'll bestow a small--of what you have little--1.1.117
        Patience awhile, you'll hear the belly's answer.1.1.118
First Citizen. Ye're long about it.1.1.119
Menenius. Note me this, good friend;1.1.120
        Your most grave belly was deliberate,1.1.121
        Not rash like his accusers, and thus answer'd:1.1.122
        'True is it, my incorporate friends,' quoth he,1.1.123
        'That I receive the general food at first,1.1.124
        Which you do live upon; and fit it is,1.1.125
        Because I am the store-house and the shop1.1.126
        Of the whole body: but, if you do remember,1.1.127
        I send it through the rivers of your blood,1.1.128
        Even to the court, the heart, to the seat o' the brain;1.1.129
        And, through the cranks and offices of man,1.1.130
        The strongest nerves and small inferior veins1.1.131
        From me receive that natural competency1.1.132
        Whereby they live: and though that all at once,1.1.133
        You, my good friends,'--this says the belly, mark me,--1.1.134
First Citizen. Ay, sir; well, well.1.1.135
Menenius. 'Though all at once cannot1.1.136
        See what I do deliver out to each,1.1.137
        Yet I can make my audit up, that all1.1.138
        From me do back receive the flour of all,1.1.139
        And leave me but the bran.' What say you to't?1.1.140
First Citizen. It was an answer: how apply you this?1.1.141
Menenius. The senators of Rome are this good belly,1.1.142
        And you the mutinous members; for examine1.1.143
        Their counsels and their cares, digest things rightly1.1.144
        Touching the weal o' the common, you shall find1.1.145
        No public benefit which you receive1.1.146
        But it proceeds or comes from them to you1.1.147
        And no way from yourselves. What do you think,1.1.148
        You, the great toe of this assembly?1.1.149
First Citizen. I the great toe! why the great toe?1.1.150
Menenius. For that, being one o' the lowest, basest, poorest,1.1.151
        Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost:1.1.152
        Thou rascal, that art worst in blood to run,1.1.153
        Lead'st first to win some vantage.1.1.154
        But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs:1.1.155
        Rome and her rats are at the point of battle;1.1.156
        The one side must have bale.1.1.157
        [Enter CAIUS MARCIUS]
        Hail, noble Marcius!1.1.158
Marcius. Thanks. What's the matter, you dissentious rogues,1.1.159
        That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,1.1.160
        Make yourselves scabs?1.1.161
First Citizen. We have ever your good word.1.1.162
Marcius. He that will give good words to thee will flatter1.1.163
        Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,1.1.164
        That like nor peace nor war? the one affrights you,1.1.165
        The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,1.1.166
        Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;1.1.167
        Where foxes, geese: you are no surer, no,1.1.168
        Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,1.1.169
        Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is1.1.170
        To make him worthy whose offence subdues him1.1.171
        And curse that justice did it.1.1.172
        Who deserves greatness1.1.173
        Deserves your hate; and your affections are1.1.174
        A sick man's appetite, who desires most that1.1.175
        Which would increase his evil. He that depends1.1.176
        Upon your favours swims with fins of lead1.1.177
        And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust Ye?1.1.178
        With every minute you do change a mind,1.1.179
        And call him noble that was now your hate,1.1.180
        Him vile that was your garland. What's the matter,1.1.181
        That in these several places of the city1.1.182
        You cry against the noble senate, who,1.1.183
        Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else1.1.184
        Would feed on one another? What's their seeking?1.1.185
Menenius. For corn at their own rates; whereof, they say,1.1.186
        The city is well stored.1.1.187
Marcius. Hang 'em! They say!1.1.188
        They'll sit by the fire, and presume to know1.1.189
        What's done i' the Capitol; who's like to rise,1.1.190
        Who thrives and who declines; side factions1.1.191
        and give out1.1.192
        Conjectural marriages; making parties strong1.1.193
        And feebling such as stand not in their liking1.1.194
        Below their cobbled shoes. They say there's1.1.195
        grain enough!1.1.196
        Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,1.1.197
        And let me use my sword, I'll make a quarry1.1.198
        With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high1.1.199
        As I could pick my lance.1.1.200
Menenius. Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded;1.1.201
        For though abundantly they lack discretion,1.1.202
        Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you,1.1.203
        What says the other troop?1.1.204
Marcius. They are dissolved: hang 'em!1.1.205
        They said they were an-hungry; sigh'd forth proverbs,1.1.206
        That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat,1.1.207
        That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent not1.1.208
        Corn for the rich men only: with these shreds1.1.209
        They vented their complainings; which being answer'd,1.1.210
        And a petition granted them, a strange one--1.1.211
        To break the heart of generosity,1.1.212
        And make bold power look pale--they threw their caps1.1.213
        As they would hang them on the horns o' the moon,1.1.214
        Shouting their emulation.1.1.215
Menenius. What is granted them?1.1.216
Marcius. Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms,1.1.217
        Of their own choice: one's Junius Brutus,1.1.218
        Sicinius Velutus, and I know not--'Sdeath!1.1.219
        The rabble should have first unroof'd the city,1.1.220
        Ere so prevail'd with me: it will in time1.1.221
        Win upon power and throw forth greater themes1.1.222
        For insurrection's arguing.1.1.223
Menenius. This is strange.1.1.224
Marcius. Go, get you home, you fragments!1.1.225
        [Enter a Messenger, hastily]
Messenger. Where's Caius Marcius?1.1.226
Marcius. Here: what's the matter?1.1.227
Messenger. The news is, sir, the Volsces are in arms.1.1.228
Marcius. I am glad on 't: then we shall ha' means to vent1.1.229
        Our musty superfluity. See, our best elders.1.1.230
First Senator. Marcius, 'tis true that you have lately told us;1.1.231
        The Volsces are in arms.1.1.232
Marcius. They have a leader,1.1.233
        Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to 't.1.1.234
        I sin in envying his nobility,1.1.235
        And were I any thing but what I am,1.1.236
        I would wish me only he.1.1.237
Cominius. You have fought together.1.1.238
Marcius. Were half to half the world by the ears and he.1.1.239
        Upon my party, I'ld revolt to make1.1.240
        Only my wars with him: he is a lion1.1.241
        That I am proud to hunt.1.1.242
First Senator. Then, worthy Marcius,1.1.243
        Attend upon Cominius to these wars.1.1.244
Cominius. It is your former promise.1.1.245
Marcius. Sir, it is;1.1.246
        And I am constant. Titus Lartius, thou1.1.247
        Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face.1.1.248
        What, art thou stiff? stand'st out?1.1.249
Titus. No, Caius Marcius;1.1.250
        I'll lean upon one crutch and fight with t'other,1.1.251
        Ere stay behind this business.1.1.252
Menenius. O, true-bred!1.1.253
First Senator. Your company to the Capitol; where, I know,1.1.254
        Our greatest friends attend us.1.1.255
Titus. [To COMINIUS] Lead you on.1.1.256
        [To MARCIUS]
        Right worthy you priority.1.1.257
Cominius. Noble Marcius!1.1.258
First Senator. [To the Citizens] Hence to your homes; be gone!1.1.259
Marcius. Nay, let them follow:1.1.260
        The Volsces have much corn; take these rats thither1.1.261
        To gnaw their garners. Worshipful mutiners,1.1.262
        Your valour puts well forth: pray, follow.1.1.263
        [Citizens steal away. Exeunt all but SICINIUS and BRUTUS]
Sicinius. Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius?1.1.264
Brutus. He has no equal.1.1.265
Sicinius. When we were chosen tribunes for the people,--1.1.266
Brutus. Mark'd you his lip and eyes?1.1.267
Sicinius. Nay. but his taunts.1.1.268
Brutus. Being moved, he will not spare to gird the gods.1.1.269
Sicinius. Be-mock the modest moon.1.1.270
Brutus. The present wars devour him: he is grown1.1.271
        Too proud to be so valiant.1.1.272
Sicinius. Such a nature,1.1.273
        Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow1.1.274
        Which he treads on at noon: but I do wonder1.1.275
        His insolence can brook to be commanded1.1.276
        Under Cominius.1.1.277
Brutus. Fame, at the which he aims,1.1.278
        In whom already he's well graced, can not1.1.279
        Better be held nor more attain'd than by1.1.280
        A place below the first: for what miscarries1.1.281
        Shall be the general's fault, though he perform1.1.282
        To the utmost of a man, and giddy censure1.1.283
        Will then cry out of Marcius 'O if he1.1.284
        Had borne the business!'1.1.285
Sicinius. Besides, if things go well,1.1.286
        Opinion that so sticks on Marcius shall1.1.287
        Of his demerits rob Cominius.1.1.288
Brutus. Come:1.1.289
        Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius.1.1.290
        Though Marcius earned them not, and all his faults1.1.291
        To Marcius shall be honours, though indeed1.1.292
        In aught he merit not.1.1.293
Sicinius. Let's hence, and hear1.1.294
        How the dispatch is made, and in what fashion,1.1.295
        More than his singularity, he goes1.1.296
        Upon this present action.1.1.297
Brutus. Lets along.1.1.298

SCENE II. Corioli. The Senate-house.

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[Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS and certain Senators]
First Senator. So, your opinion is, Aufidius,1.2.1
        That they of Rome are entered in our counsels1.2.2
        And know how we proceed.1.2.3
Aufidius. Is it not yours?1.2.4
        What ever have been thought on in this state,1.2.5
        That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome1.2.6
        Had circumvention? 'Tis not four days gone1.2.7
        Since I heard thence; these are the words: I think1.2.8
        I have the letter here; yes, here it is.1.2.9


        'They have press'd a power, but it is not known1.2.10
        Whether for east or west: the dearth is great;1.2.11
        The people mutinous; and it is rumour'd,1.2.12
        Cominius, Marcius your old enemy,1.2.13
        Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,1.2.14
        And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,1.2.15
        These three lead on this preparation1.2.16
        Whither 'tis bent: most likely 'tis for you:1.2.17
        Consider of it.'1.2.18
First Senator. Our army's in the field1.2.19
        We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready1.2.20
        To answer us.1.2.21
Aufidius. Nor did you think it folly1.2.22
        To keep your great pretences veil'd till when1.2.23
        They needs must show themselves; which1.2.24
        in the hatching,1.2.25
        It seem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery.1.2.26
        We shall be shorten'd in our aim, which was1.2.27
        To take in many towns ere almost Rome1.2.28
        Should know we were afoot.1.2.29
Second Senator. Noble Aufidius,1.2.30
        Take your commission; hie you to your bands:1.2.31
        Let us alone to guard Corioli:1.2.32
        If they set down before 's, for the remove1.2.33
        Bring your army; but, I think, you'll find1.2.34
        They've not prepared for us.1.2.35
Aufidius. O, doubt not that;1.2.36
        I speak from certainties. Nay, more,1.2.37
        Some parcels of their power are forth already,1.2.38
        And only hitherward. I leave your honours.1.2.39
        If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet,1.2.40
        'Tis sworn between us we shall ever strike1.2.41
        Till one can do no more.1.2.42
All. The gods assist you!1.2.43
Aufidius. And keep your honours safe!1.2.44
First Senator. Farewell.1.2.45
Second Senator. Farewell.1.2.46
All. Farewell.1.2.47

SCENE III. Rome. A room in Marcius' house.

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[Enter VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA they set them down on two low stools, and sew]
Volumnia. I pray you, daughter, sing; or express yourself in a1.3.1
        more comfortable sort: if my son were my husband, I1.3.2
        should freelier rejoice in that absence wherein he1.3.3
        won honour than in the embracements of his bed where1.3.4
        he would show most love. When yet he was but1.3.5
        tender-bodied and the only son of my womb, when1.3.6
        youth with comeliness plucked all gaze his way, when1.3.7
        for a day of kings' entreaties a mother should not1.3.8
        sell him an hour from her beholding, I, considering1.3.9
        how honour would become such a person. that it was1.3.10
        no better than picture-like to hang by the wall, if1.3.11
        renown made it not stir, was pleased to let him seek1.3.12
        danger where he was like to find fame. To a cruel1.3.13
        war I sent him; from whence he returned, his brows1.3.14
        bound with oak. I tell thee, daughter, I sprang not1.3.15
        more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child1.3.16
        than now in first seeing he had proved himself a1.3.17
Virgilia. But had he died in the business, madam; how then?1.3.19
Volumnia. Then his good report should have been my son; I1.3.20
        therein would have found issue. Hear me profess1.3.21
        sincerely: had I a dozen sons, each in my love1.3.22
        alike and none less dear than thine and my good1.3.23
        Marcius, I had rather had eleven die nobly for their1.3.24
        country than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.1.3.25
        [Enter a Gentlewoman]
Gentlewoman. Madam, the Lady Valeria is come to visit you.1.3.26
Virgilia. Beseech you, give me leave to retire myself.1.3.27
Volumnia. Indeed, you shall not.1.3.28
        Methinks I hear hither your husband's drum,1.3.29
        See him pluck Aufidius down by the hair,1.3.30
        As children from a bear, the Volsces shunning him:1.3.31
        Methinks I see him stamp thus, and call thus:1.3.32
        'Come on, you cowards! you were got in fear,1.3.33
        Though you were born in Rome:' his bloody brow1.3.34
        With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes,1.3.35
        Like to a harvest-man that's task'd to mow1.3.36
        Or all or lose his hire.1.3.37
Virgilia. His bloody brow! O Jupiter, no blood!1.3.38
Volumnia. Away, you fool! it more becomes a man1.3.39
        Than gilt his trophy: the breasts of Hecuba,1.3.40
        When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier1.3.41
        Than Hector's forehead when it spit forth blood1.3.42
        At Grecian sword, contemning. Tell Valeria,1.3.43
        We are fit to bid her welcome.1.3.44
        [Exit Gentlewoman]
Virgilia. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius!1.3.45
Volumnia. He'll beat Aufidius 'head below his knee1.3.46
        And tread upon his neck.1.3.47
        [Enter VALERIA, with an Usher and Gentlewoman]
Valeria. My ladies both, good day to you.1.3.48
Volumnia. Sweet madam.1.3.49
Virgilia. I am glad to see your ladyship.1.3.50
Valeria. How do you both? you are manifest house-keepers.1.3.51
        What are you sewing here? A fine spot, in good1.3.52
        faith. How does your little son?1.3.53
Virgilia. I thank your ladyship; well, good madam.1.3.54
Volumnia. He had rather see the swords, and hear a drum, than1.3.55
        look upon his school-master.1.3.56
Valeria. O' my word, the father's son: I'll swear,'tis a1.3.57
        very pretty boy. O' my troth, I looked upon him o'1.3.58
        Wednesday half an hour together: has such a1.3.59
        confirmed countenance. I saw him run after a gilded1.3.60
        butterfly: and when he caught it, he let it go1.3.61
        again; and after it again; and over and over he1.3.62
        comes, and again; catched it again; or whether his1.3.63
        fall enraged him, or how 'twas, he did so set his1.3.64
        teeth and tear it; O, I warrant it, how he mammocked1.3.65
Volumnia. One on 's father's moods.1.3.67
Valeria. Indeed, la, 'tis a noble child.1.3.68
Virgilia. A crack, madam.1.3.69
Valeria. Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have you play1.3.70
        the idle husewife with me this afternoon.1.3.71
Virgilia. No, good madam; I will not out of doors.1.3.72
Valeria. Not out of doors!1.3.73
Volumnia. She shall, she shall.1.3.74
Virgilia. Indeed, no, by your patience; I'll not over the1.3.75
        threshold till my lord return from the wars.1.3.76
Valeria. Fie, you confine yourself most unreasonably: come,1.3.77
        you must go visit the good lady that lies in.1.3.78
Virgilia. I will wish her speedy strength, and visit her with1.3.79
        my prayers; but I cannot go thither.1.3.80
Volumnia. Why, I pray you?1.3.81
Virgilia. 'Tis not to save labour, nor that I want love.1.3.82
Valeria. You would be another Penelope: yet, they say, all1.3.83
        the yarn she spun in Ulysses' absence did but fill1.3.84
        Ithaca full of moths. Come; I would your cambric1.3.85
        were sensible as your finger, that you might leave1.3.86
        pricking it for pity. Come, you shall go with us.1.3.87
Virgilia. No, good madam, pardon me; indeed, I will not forth.1.3.88
Valeria. In truth, la, go with me; and I'll tell you1.3.89
        excellent news of your husband.1.3.90
Virgilia. O, good madam, there can be none yet.1.3.91
Valeria. Verily, I do not jest with you; there came news from1.3.92
        him last night.1.3.93
Virgilia. Indeed, madam?1.3.94
Valeria. In earnest, it's true; I heard a senator speak it.1.3.95
        Thus it is: the Volsces have an army forth; against1.3.96
        whom Cominius the general is gone, with one part of1.3.97
        our Roman power: your lord and Titus Lartius are set1.3.98
        down before their city Corioli; they nothing doubt1.3.99
        prevailing and to make it brief wars. This is true,1.3.100
        on mine honour; and so, I pray, go with us.1.3.101
Virgilia. Give me excuse, good madam; I will obey you in every1.3.102
        thing hereafter.1.3.103
Volumnia. Let her alone, lady: as she is now, she will but1.3.104
        disease our better mirth.1.3.105
Valeria. In troth, I think she would. Fare you well, then.1.3.106
        Come, good sweet lady. Prithee, Virgilia, turn thy1.3.107
        solemness out o' door. and go along with us.1.3.108
Virgilia. No, at a word, madam; indeed, I must not. I wish1.3.109
        you much mirth.1.3.110
Valeria. Well, then, farewell.1.3.111

SCENE IV. Before Corioli.

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[Enter, with drum and colours, MARCIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, Captains and Soldiers. To them a Messenger]
Marcius. Yonder comes news. A wager they have met.1.4.1
Lartius. My horse to yours, no.1.4.2
Marcius. 'Tis done.1.4.3
Lartius. Agreed.1.4.4
Marcius. Say, has our general met the enemy?1.4.5
Messenger. They lie in view; but have not spoke as yet.1.4.6
Lartius. So, the good horse is mine.1.4.7
Marcius. I'll buy him of you.1.4.8
Lartius. No, I'll nor sell nor give him: lend you him I will1.4.9
        For half a hundred years. Summon the town.1.4.10
Marcius. How far off lie these armies?1.4.11
Messenger. Within this mile and half.1.4.12
Marcius. Then shall we hear their 'larum, and they ours.1.4.13
        Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work,1.4.14
        That we with smoking swords may march from hence,1.4.15
        To help our fielded friends! Come, blow thy blast.1.4.16
        [They sound a parley. Enter two Senators with others on the walls]
        Tutus Aufidius, is he within your walls?1.4.17
First Senator. No, nor a man that fears you less than he,1.4.18
        That's lesser than a little.1.4.19
        [Drums afar off]
        Hark! our drums1.4.20
        Are bringing forth our youth. We'll break our walls,1.4.21
        Rather than they shall pound us up: our gates,1.4.22
        Which yet seem shut, we, have but pinn'd with rushes;1.4.23
        They'll open of themselves.1.4.24
        [Alarum afar off]
        Hark you. far off!1.4.25
        There is Aufidius; list, what work he makes1.4.26
        Amongst your cloven army.1.4.27
Marcius. O, they are at it!1.4.28
Lartius. Their noise be our instruction. Ladders, ho!1.4.29
        [Enter the army of the Volsces]
Marcius. They fear us not, but issue forth their city.1.4.30
        Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight1.4.31
        With hearts more proof than shields. Advance,1.4.32
        brave Titus:1.4.33
        They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts,1.4.34
        Which makes me sweat with wrath. Come on, my fellows:1.4.35
        He that retires I'll take him for a Volsce,1.4.36
        And he shall feel mine edge.1.4.37
        [Alarum. The Romans are beat back to their trenches. Re-enter MARCIUS cursing]
Marcius. All the contagion of the south light on you,1.4.38
        You shames of Rome! you herd of--Boils and plagues1.4.39
        Plaster you o'er, that you may be abhorr'd1.4.40
        Further than seen and one infect another1.4.41
        Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese,1.4.42
        That bear the shapes of men, how have you run1.4.43
        From slaves that apes would beat! Pluto and hell!1.4.44
        All hurt behind; backs red, and faces pale1.4.45
        With flight and agued fear! Mend and charge home,1.4.46
        Or, by the fires of heaven, I'll leave the foe1.4.47
        And make my wars on you: look to't: come on;1.4.48
        If you'll stand fast, we'll beat them to their wives,1.4.49
        As they us to our trenches followed.1.4.50
        [Another alarum. The Volsces fly, and MARCIUS follows them to the gates]
        So, now the gates are ope: now prove good seconds:1.4.51
        'Tis for the followers fortune widens them,1.4.52
        Not for the fliers: mark me, and do the like.1.4.53
        [Enters the gates]
First Soldier. Fool-hardiness; not I.1.4.54
Second Soldier. Nor I.1.4.55
        [MARCIUS is shut in]
First Soldier. See, they have shut him in.1.4.56
All. To the pot, I warrant him.1.4.57
        [Alarum continues]
        [Re-enter TITUS LARTIUS]
Lartius. What is become of Marcius?1.4.58
All. Slain, sir, doubtless.1.4.59
First Soldier. Following the fliers at the very heels,1.4.60
        With them he enters; who, upon the sudden,1.4.61
        Clapp'd to their gates: he is himself alone,1.4.62
        To answer all the city.1.4.63
Lartius. O noble fellow!1.4.64
        Who sensibly outdares his senseless sword,1.4.65
        And, when it bows, stands up. Thou art left, Marcius:1.4.66
        A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,1.4.67
        Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier1.4.68
        Even to Cato's wish, not fierce and terrible1.4.69
        Only in strokes; but, with thy grim looks and1.4.70
        The thunder-like percussion of thy sounds,1.4.71
        Thou madst thine enemies shake, as if the world1.4.72
        Were feverous and did tremble.1.4.73
        [Re-enter MARCIUS, bleeding, assaulted by the enemy]
First Soldier. Look, sir.1.4.74
Lartius. O,'tis Marcius!1.4.75
        Let's fetch him off, or make remain alike.1.4.76
        [They fight, and all enter the city]

SCENE V. Corioli. A street.

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[Enter certain Romans, with spoils]
First Roman. This will I carry to Rome.1.5.1
Second Roman. And I this.1.5.2
Third Roman. A murrain on't! I took this for silver.1.5.3
        [Alarum continues still afar off]
        [Enter MARCIUS and TITUS LARTIUS with a trumpet]
Marcius. See here these movers that do prize their hours1.5.4
        At a crack'd drachm! Cushions, leaden spoons,1.5.5
        Irons of a doit, doublets that hangmen would1.5.6
        Bury with those that wore them, these base slaves,1.5.7
        Ere yet the fight be done, pack up: down with them!1.5.8
        And hark, what noise the general makes! To him!1.5.9
        There is the man of my soul's hate, Aufidius,1.5.10
        Piercing our Romans: then, valiant Titus, take1.5.11
        Convenient numbers to make good the city;1.5.12
        Whilst I, with those that have the spirit, will haste1.5.13
        To help Cominius.1.5.14
Lartius. Worthy sir, thou bleed'st;1.5.15
        Thy exercise hath been too violent for1.5.16
        A second course of fight.1.5.17
Marcius. Sir, praise me not;1.5.18
        My work hath yet not warm'd me: fare you well:1.5.19
        The blood I drop is rather physical1.5.20
        Than dangerous to me: to Aufidius thus1.5.21
        I will appear, and fight.1.5.22
Lartius. Now the fair goddess, Fortune,1.5.23
        Fall deep in love with thee; and her great charms1.5.24
        Misguide thy opposers' swords! Bold gentleman,1.5.25
        Prosperity be thy page!1.5.26
Marcius. Thy friend no less1.5.27
        Than those she placeth highest! So, farewell.1.5.28
Lartius. Thou worthiest Marcius!1.5.29
        [Exit MARCIUS]
        Go, sound thy trumpet in the market-place;1.5.30
        Call thither all the officers o' the town,1.5.31
        Where they shall know our mind: away!1.5.32

SCENE VI. Near the camp of Cominius.

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[Enter COMINIUS, as it were in retire, with soldiers]
Cominius. Breathe you, my friends: well fought;1.6.1
        we are come off1.6.2
        Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands,1.6.3
        Nor cowardly in retire: believe me, sirs,1.6.4
        We shall be charged again. Whiles we have struck,1.6.5
        By interims and conveying gusts we have heard1.6.6
        The charges of our friends. Ye Roman gods!1.6.7
        Lead their successes as we wish our own,1.6.8
        That both our powers, with smiling1.6.9
        fronts encountering,1.6.10
        May give you thankful sacrifice.1.6.11
        [Enter a Messenger]
        Thy news?1.6.12
Messenger. The citizens of Corioli have issued,1.6.13
        And given to Lartius and to Marcius battle:1.6.14
        I saw our party to their trenches driven,1.6.15
        And then I came away.1.6.16
Cominius. Though thou speak'st truth,1.6.17
        Methinks thou speak'st not well.1.6.18
        How long is't since?1.6.19
Messenger. Above an hour, my lord.1.6.20
Cominius. 'Tis not a mile; briefly we heard their drums:1.6.21
        How couldst thou in a mile confound an hour,1.6.22
        And bring thy news so late?1.6.23
Messenger. Spies of the Volsces1.6.24
        Held me in chase, that I was forced to wheel1.6.25
        Three or four miles about, else had I, sir,1.6.26
        Half an hour since brought my report.1.6.27
Cominius. Who's yonder,1.6.28
        That does appear as he were flay'd? O gods1.6.29
        He has the stamp of Marcius; and I have1.6.30
        Before-time seen him thus.1.6.31
Marcius. [Within] Come I too late?1.6.32
Cominius. The shepherd knows not thunder from a tabour1.6.33
        More than I know the sound of Marcius' tongue1.6.34
        From every meaner man.1.6.35
        [Enter MARCIUS]
Marcius. Come I too late?1.6.36
Cominius. Ay, if you come not in the blood of others,1.6.37
        But mantled in your own.1.6.38
Marcius. O, let me clip ye1.6.39
        In arms as sound as when I woo'd, in heart1.6.40
        As merry as when our nuptial day was done,1.6.41
        And tapers burn'd to bedward!1.6.42
Cominius. Flower of warriors,1.6.43
        How is it with Titus Lartius?1.6.44
Marcius. As with a man busied about decrees:1.6.45
        Condemning some to death, and some to exile;1.6.46
        Ransoming him, or pitying, threatening the other;1.6.47
        Holding Corioli in the name of Rome,1.6.48
        Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash,1.6.49
        To let him slip at will.1.6.50
Cominius. Where is that slave1.6.51
        Which told me they had beat you to your trenches?1.6.52
        Where is he? call him hither.1.6.53
Marcius. Let him alone;1.6.54
        He did inform the truth: but for our gentlemen,1.6.55
        The common file--a plague! tribunes for them!--1.6.56
        The mouse ne'er shunn'd the cat as they did budge1.6.57
        From rascals worse than they.1.6.58
Cominius. But how prevail'd you?1.6.59
Marcius. Will the time serve to tell? I do not think.1.6.60
        Where is the enemy? are you lords o' the field?1.6.61
        If not, why cease you till you are so?1.6.62
Cominius. Marcius,1.6.63
        We have at disadvantage fought and did1.6.64
        Retire to win our purpose.1.6.65
Marcius. How lies their battle? know you on which side1.6.66
        They have placed their men of trust?1.6.67
Cominius. As I guess, Marcius,1.6.68
        Their bands i' the vaward are the Antiates,1.6.69
        Of their best trust; o'er them Aufidius,1.6.70
        Their very heart of hope.1.6.71
Marcius. I do beseech you,1.6.72
        By all the battles wherein we have fought,1.6.73
        By the blood we have shed together, by the vows1.6.74
        We have made to endure friends, that you directly1.6.75
        Set me against Aufidius and his Antiates;1.6.76
        And that you not delay the present, but,1.6.77
        Filling the air with swords advanced and darts,1.6.78
        We prove this very hour.1.6.79
Cominius. Though I could wish1.6.80
        You were conducted to a gentle bath1.6.81
        And balms applied to, you, yet dare I never1.6.82
        Deny your asking: take your choice of those1.6.83
        That best can aid your action.1.6.84
Marcius. Those are they1.6.85
        That most are willing. If any such be here--1.6.86
        As it were sin to doubt--that love this painting1.6.87
        Wherein you see me smear'd; if any fear1.6.88
        Lesser his person than an ill report;1.6.89
        If any think brave death outweighs bad life1.6.90
        And that his country's dearer than himself;1.6.91
        Let him alone, or so many so minded,1.6.92
        Wave thus, to express his disposition,1.6.93
        And follow Marcius.1.6.94
        [They all shout and wave their swords, take him up in their arms, and cast up their caps]
        O, me alone! make you a sword of me?1.6.95
        If these shows be not outward, which of you1.6.96
        But is four Volsces? none of you but is1.6.97
        Able to bear against the great Aufidius1.6.98
        A shield as hard as his. A certain number,1.6.99
        Though thanks to all, must I select1.6.100
        from all: the rest1.6.101
        Shall bear the business in some other fight,1.6.102
        As cause will be obey'd. Please you to march;1.6.103
        And four shall quickly draw out my command,1.6.104
        Which men are best inclined.1.6.105
Cominius. March on, my fellows:1.6.106
        Make good this ostentation, and you shall1.6.107
        Divide in all with us.1.6.108

SCENE VII. The gates of Corioli.

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[TITUS LARTIUS, having set a guard upon Corioli, going with drum and trumpet toward COMINIUS and CAIUS MARCIUS, enters with Lieutenant, other Soldiers, and a Scout]
Lartius. So, let the ports be guarded: keep your duties,1.7.1
        As I have set them down. If I do send, dispatch1.7.2
        Those centuries to our aid: the rest will serve1.7.3
        For a short holding: if we lose the field,1.7.4
        We cannot keep the town.1.7.5
Lieutenant. Fear not our care, sir.1.7.6
Lartius. Hence, and shut your gates upon's.1.7.7
        Our guider, come; to the Roman camp conduct us.1.7.8

SCENE VIII. A field of battle.

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[Alarum as in battle. Enter, from opposite sides, MARCIUS and AUFIDIUS]
Marcius. I'll fight with none but thee; for I do hate thee1.8.1
        Worse than a promise-breaker.1.8.2
Aufidius. We hate alike:1.8.3
        Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor1.8.4
        More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.1.8.5
Marcius. Let the first budger die the other's slave,1.8.6
        And the gods doom him after!1.8.7
Aufidius. If I fly, Marcius,1.8.8
        Holloa me like a hare.1.8.9
Marcius. Within these three hours, Tullus,1.8.10
        Alone I fought in your Corioli walls,1.8.11
        And made what work I pleased: 'tis not my blood1.8.12
        Wherein thou seest me mask'd; for thy revenge1.8.13
        Wrench up thy power to the highest.1.8.14
Aufidius. Wert thou the Hector1.8.15
        That was the whip of your bragg'd progeny,1.8.16
        Thou shouldst not scape me here.1.8.17
        [They fight, and certain Volsces come to the aid of AUFIDIUS. MARCIUS fights till they be driven in breathless]
        Officious, and not valiant, you have shamed me1.8.18
        In your condemned seconds.1.8.19

SCENE IX. The Roman camp.

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[Flourish. Alarum. A retreat is sounded. Flourish. Enter, from one side, COMINIUS with the Romans; from the other side, MARCIUS, with his arm in a scarf]
Cominius. If I should tell thee o'er this thy day's work,1.9.1
        Thou'ldst not believe thy deeds: but I'll report it1.9.2
        Where senators shall mingle tears with smiles,1.9.3
        Where great patricians shall attend and shrug,1.9.4
        I' the end admire, where ladies shall be frighted,1.9.5
        And, gladly quaked, hear more; where the1.9.6
        dull tribunes,1.9.7
        That, with the fusty plebeians, hate thine honours,1.9.8
        Shall say against their hearts 'We thank the gods1.9.9
        Our Rome hath such a soldier.'1.9.10
        Yet camest thou to a morsel of this feast,1.9.11
        Having fully dined before.1.9.12
        [Enter TITUS LARTIUS, with his power, from the pursuit]
Lartius. O general,1.9.13
        Here is the steed, we the caparison:1.9.14
        Hadst thou beheld--1.9.15
Marcius. Pray now, no more: my mother,1.9.16
        Who has a charter to extol her blood,1.9.17
        When she does praise me grieves me. I have done1.9.18
        As you have done; that's what I can; induced1.9.19
        As you have been; that's for my country:1.9.20
        He that has but effected his good will1.9.21
        Hath overta'en mine act.1.9.22
Cominius. You shall not be1.9.23
        The grave of your deserving; Rome must know1.9.24
        The value of her own: 'twere a concealment1.9.25
        Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement,1.9.26
        To hide your doings; and to silence that,1.9.27
        Which, to the spire and top of praises vouch'd,1.9.28
        Would seem but modest: therefore, I beseech you1.9.29
        In sign of what you are, not to reward1.9.30
        What you have done--before our army hear me.1.9.31
Marcius. I have some wounds upon me, and they smart1.9.32
        To hear themselves remember'd.1.9.33
Cominius. Should they not,1.9.34
        Well might they fester 'gainst ingratitude,1.9.35
        And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses,1.9.36
        Whereof we have ta'en good and good store, of all1.9.37
        The treasure in this field achieved and city,1.9.38
        We render you the tenth, to be ta'en forth,1.9.39
        Before the common distribution, at1.9.40
        Your only choice.1.9.41
Marcius. I thank you, general;1.9.42
        But cannot make my heart consent to take1.9.43
        A bribe to pay my sword: I do refuse it;1.9.44
        And stand upon my common part with those1.9.45
        That have beheld the doing.1.9.46
        [A long flourish. They all cry 'Marcius! Marcius!' cast up their caps and lances: COMINIUS and LARTIUS stand bare]
Marcius. May these same instruments, which you profane,1.9.47
        Never sound more! when drums and trumpets shall1.9.48
        I' the field prove flatterers, let courts and cities be1.9.49
        Made all of false-faced soothing!1.9.50
        When steel grows soft as the parasite's silk,1.9.51
        Let him be made a coverture for the wars!1.9.52
        No more, I say! For that I have not wash'd1.9.53
        My nose that bled, or foil'd some debile wretch.--1.9.54
        Which, without note, here's many else have done,--1.9.55
        You shout me forth1.9.56
        In acclamations hyperbolical;1.9.57
        As if I loved my little should be dieted1.9.58
        In praises sauced with lies.1.9.59
Cominius. Too modest are you;1.9.60
        More cruel to your good report than grateful1.9.61
        To us that give you truly: by your patience,1.9.62
        If 'gainst yourself you be incensed, we'll put you,1.9.63
        Like one that means his proper harm, in manacles,1.9.64
        Then reason safely with you. Therefore, be it known,1.9.65
        As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius1.9.66
        Wears this war's garland: in token of the which,1.9.67
        My noble steed, known to the camp, I give him,1.9.68
        With all his trim belonging; and from this time,1.9.69
        For what he did before Corioli, call him,1.9.70
        With all the applause and clamour of the host,1.9.71
        The addition nobly ever!1.9.73
        [Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums]
All. Caius Marcius Coriolanus!1.9.74
Coriolanus. I will go wash;1.9.75
        And when my face is fair, you shall perceive1.9.76
        Whether I blush or no: howbeit, I thank you.1.9.77
        I mean to stride your steed, and at all times1.9.78
        To undercrest your good addition1.9.79
        To the fairness of my power.1.9.80
Cominius. So, to our tent;1.9.81
        Where, ere we do repose us, we will write1.9.82
        To Rome of our success. You, Titus Lartius,1.9.83
        Must to Corioli back: send us to Rome1.9.84
        The best, with whom we may articulate,1.9.85
        For their own good and ours.1.9.86
Lartius. I shall, my lord.1.9.87
Coriolanus. The gods begin to mock me. I, that now1.9.88
        Refused most princely gifts, am bound to beg1.9.89
        Of my lord general.1.9.90
Cominius. Take't; 'tis yours. What is't?1.9.91
Coriolanus. I sometime lay here in Corioli1.9.92
        At a poor man's house; he used me kindly:1.9.93
        He cried to me; I saw him prisoner;1.9.94
        But then Aufidius was with in my view,1.9.95
        And wrath o'erwhelm'd my pity: I request you1.9.96
        To give my poor host freedom.1.9.97
Cominius. O, well begg'd!1.9.98
        Were he the butcher of my son, he should1.9.99
        Be free as is the wind. Deliver him, Titus.1.9.100
Lartius. Marcius, his name?1.9.101
Coriolanus. By Jupiter! forgot.1.9.102
        I am weary; yea, my memory is tired.1.9.103
        Have we no wine here?1.9.104
Cominius. Go we to our tent:1.9.105
        The blood upon your visage dries; 'tis time1.9.106
        It should be look'd to: come.1.9.107

SCENE X. The camp of the Volsces.

previous scene   next scene
[A flourish. Cornets. Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, bloody, with two or three Soldiers]
Aufidius. The town is ta'en!1.10.1
First Soldier. 'Twill be deliver'd back on good condition.1.10.2
Aufidius. Condition!1.10.3
        I would I were a Roman; for I cannot,1.10.4
        Being a Volsce, be that I am. Condition!1.10.5
        What good condition can a treaty find1.10.6
        I' the part that is at mercy? Five times, Marcius,1.10.7
        I have fought with thee: so often hast thou beat me,1.10.8
        And wouldst do so, I think, should we encounter1.10.9
        As often as we eat. By the elements,1.10.10
        If e'er again I meet him beard to beard,1.10.11
        He's mine, or I am his: mine emulation1.10.12
        Hath not that honour in't it had; for where1.10.13
        I thought to crush him in an equal force,1.10.14
        True sword to sword, I'll potch at him some way1.10.15
        Or wrath or craft may get him.1.10.16
First Soldier. He's the devil.1.10.17
Aufidius. Bolder, though not so subtle. My valour's poison'd1.10.18
        With only suffering stain by him; for him1.10.19
        Shall fly out of itself: nor sleep nor sanctuary,1.10.20
        Being naked, sick, nor fane nor Capitol,1.10.21
        The prayers of priests nor times of sacrifice,1.10.22
        Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up1.10.23
        Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst1.10.24
        My hate to Marcius: where I find him, were it1.10.25
        At home, upon my brother's guard, even there,1.10.26
        Against the hospitable canon, would I1.10.27
        Wash my fierce hand in's heart. Go you to the city;1.10.28
        Learn how 'tis held; and what they are that must1.10.29
        Be hostages for Rome.1.10.30
First Soldier. Will not you go?1.10.31
Aufidius. I am attended at the cypress grove: I pray you--1.10.32
        'Tis south the city mills--bring me word thither1.10.33
        How the world goes, that to the pace of it1.10.34
        I may spur on my journey.1.10.35
First Soldier. I shall, sir.1.10.36


SCENE I. Rome. A public place.

previous scene   next scene
[Enter MENENIUS with the two Tribunes of the people, SICINIUS and BRUTUS.]
Menenius. The augurer tells me we shall have news to-night.2.1.1
Brutus. Good or bad?2.1.2
Menenius. Not according to the prayer of the people, for they2.1.3
        love not Marcius.2.1.4
Sicinius. Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.2.1.5
Menenius. Pray you, who does the wolf love?2.1.6
Sicinius. The lamb.2.1.7
Menenius. Ay, to devour him; as the hungry plebeians would the2.1.8
        noble Marcius.2.1.9
Brutus. He's a lamb indeed, that baes like a bear.2.1.10
Menenius. He's a bear indeed, that lives like a lamb. You two2.1.11
        are old men: tell me one thing that I shall ask you.2.1.12
Both. Well, sir.2.1.13
Menenius. In what enormity is Marcius poor in, that you two2.1.14
        have not in abundance?2.1.15
Brutus. He's poor in no one fault, but stored with all.2.1.16
Sicinius. Especially in pride.2.1.17
Brutus. And topping all others in boasting.2.1.18
Menenius. This is strange now: do you two know how you are2.1.19
        censured here in the city, I mean of us o' the2.1.20
        right-hand file? do you?2.1.21
Both. Why, how are we censured?2.1.22
Menenius. Because you talk of pride now,--will you not be angry?2.1.23
Both. Well, well, sir, well.2.1.24
Menenius. Why, 'tis no great matter; for a very little thief of2.1.25
        occasion will rob you of a great deal of patience:2.1.26
        give your dispositions the reins, and be angry at2.1.27
        your pleasures; at the least if you take it as a2.1.28
        pleasure to you in being so. You blame Marcius for2.1.29
        being proud?2.1.30
Brutus. We do it not alone, sir.2.1.31
Menenius. I know you can do very little alone; for your helps2.1.32
        are many, or else your actions would grow wondrous2.1.33
        single: your abilities are too infant-like for2.1.34
        doing much alone. You talk of pride: O that you2.1.35
        could turn your eyes toward the napes of your necks,2.1.36
        and make but an interior survey of your good selves!2.1.37
        O that you could!2.1.38
Brutus. What then, sir?2.1.39
Menenius. Why, then you should discover a brace of unmeriting,2.1.40
        proud, violent, testy magistrates, alias fools, as2.1.41
        any in Rome.2.1.42
Sicinius. Menenius, you are known well enough too.2.1.43
Menenius. I am known to be a humorous patrician, and one that2.1.44
        loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying2.1.45
        Tiber in't; said to be something imperfect in2.1.46
        favouring the first complaint; hasty and tinder-like2.1.47
        upon too trivial motion; one that converses more2.1.48
        with the buttock of the night than with the forehead2.1.49
        of the morning: what I think I utter, and spend my2.1.50
        malice in my breath. Meeting two such wealsmen as2.1.51
        you are--I cannot call you Lycurguses--if the drink2.1.52
        you give me touch my palate adversely, I make a2.1.53
        crooked face at it. I can't say your worships have2.1.54
        delivered the matter well, when I find the ass in2.1.55
        compound with the major part of your syllables: and2.1.56
        though I must be content to bear with those that say2.1.57
        you are reverend grave men, yet they lie deadly that2.1.58
        tell you you have good faces. If you see this in2.1.59
        the map of my microcosm, follows it that I am known2.1.60
        well enough too? what barm can your bisson2.1.61
        conspectuities glean out of this character, if I be2.1.62
        known well enough too?2.1.63
Brutus. Come, sir, come, we know you well enough.2.1.64
Menenius. You know neither me, yourselves nor any thing. You2.1.65
        are ambitious for poor knaves' caps and legs: you2.1.66
        wear out a good wholesome forenoon in hearing a2.1.67
        cause between an orange wife and a fosset-seller;2.1.68
        and then rejourn the controversy of three pence to a2.1.69
        second day of audience. When you are hearing a2.1.70
        matter between party and party, if you chance to be2.1.71
        pinched with the colic, you make faces like2.1.72
        mummers; set up the bloody flag against all2.1.73
        patience; and, in roaring for a chamber-pot,2.1.74
        dismiss the controversy bleeding the more entangled2.1.75
        by your hearing: all the peace you make in their2.1.76
        cause is, calling both the parties knaves. You are2.1.77
        a pair of strange ones.2.1.78
Brutus. Come, come, you are well understood to be a2.1.79
        perfecter giber for the table than a necessary2.1.80
        bencher in the Capitol.2.1.81
Menenius. Our very priests must become mockers, if they shall2.1.82
        encounter such ridiculous subjects as you are. When2.1.83
        you speak best unto the purpose, it is not worth the2.1.84
        wagging of your beards; and your beards deserve not2.1.85
        so honourable a grave as to stuff a botcher's2.1.86
        cushion, or to be entombed in an ass's pack-2.1.87
        saddle. Yet you must be saying, Marcius is proud;2.1.88
        who in a cheap estimation, is worth predecessors2.1.89
        since Deucalion, though peradventure some of the2.1.90
        best of 'em were hereditary hangmen. God-den to2.1.91
        your worships: more of your conversation would2.1.92
        infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly2.1.93
        plebeians: I will be bold to take my leave of you.2.1.94
        [BRUTUS and SICINIUS go aside]
        How now, my as fair as noble ladies,--and the moon,2.1.95
        were she earthly, no nobler,--whither do you follow2.1.96
        your eyes so fast?2.1.97
Volumnia. Honourable Menenius, my boy Marcius approaches; for2.1.98
        the love of Juno, let's go.2.1.99
Menenius. Ha! Marcius coming home!2.1.100
Volumnia. Ay, worthy Menenius; and with most prosperous2.1.101
Menenius. Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee. Hoo!2.1.103
        Marcius coming home!2.1.104
Volumnia [with Virgilia] Nay, 'tis true.2.1.105
Volumnia. Look, here's a letter from him: the state hath2.1.106
        another, his wife another; and, I think, there's one2.1.107
        at home for you.2.1.108
Menenius. I will make my very house reel tonight: a letter for2.1.109
Virgilia. Yes, certain, there's a letter for you; I saw't.2.1.111
Menenius. A letter for me! it gives me an estate of seven2.1.112
        years' health; in which time I will make a lip at2.1.113
        the physician: the most sovereign prescription in2.1.114
        Galen is but empiricutic, and, to this preservative,2.1.115
        of no better report than a horse-drench. Is he2.1.116
        not wounded? he was wont to come home wounded.2.1.117
Virgilia. O, no, no, no.2.1.118
Volumnia. O, he is wounded; I thank the gods for't.2.1.119
Menenius. So do I too, if it be not too much: brings a'2.1.120
        victory in his pocket? the wounds become him.2.1.121
Volumnia. On's brows: Menenius, he comes the third time home2.1.122
        with the oaken garland.2.1.123
Menenius. Has he disciplined Aufidius soundly?2.1.124
Volumnia. Titus Lartius writes, they fought together, but2.1.125
        Aufidius got off.2.1.126
Menenius. And 'twas time for him too, I'll warrant him that:2.1.127
        an he had stayed by him, I would not have been so2.1.128
        fidiused for all the chests in Corioli, and the gold2.1.129
        that's in them. Is the senate possessed of this?2.1.130
Volumnia. Good ladies, let's go. Yes, yes, yes; the senate2.1.131
        has letters from the general, wherein he gives my2.1.132
        son the whole name of the war: he hath in this2.1.133
        action outdone his former deeds doubly2.1.134
Valeria. In troth, there's wondrous things spoke of him.2.1.135
Menenius. Wondrous! ay, I warrant you, and not without his2.1.136
        true purchasing.2.1.137
Virgilia. The gods grant them true!2.1.138
Volumnia. True! pow, wow.2.1.139
Menenius. True! I'll be sworn they are true.2.1.140
        Where is he wounded?2.1.141
        [To the Tribunes]
        God save your good worships! Marcius is coming2.1.142
        home: he has more cause to be proud. Where is he wounded?2.1.143
Volumnia. I' the shoulder and i' the left arm there will be2.1.144
        large cicatrices to show the people, when he shall2.1.145
        stand for his place. He received in the repulse of2.1.146
        Tarquin seven hurts i' the body.2.1.147
Menenius. One i' the neck, and two i' the thigh,--there's2.1.148
        nine that I know.2.1.149
Volumnia. He had, before this last expedition, twenty-five2.1.150
        wounds upon him.2.1.151
Menenius. Now it's twenty-seven: every gash was an enemy's grave.2.1.152
        [A shout and flourish]
        Hark! the trumpets.2.1.153
Volumnia. These are the ushers of Marcius: before him he2.1.154
        carries noise, and behind him he leaves tears:2.1.155
        Death, that dark spirit, in 's nervy arm doth lie;2.1.156
        Which, being advanced, declines, and then men die.2.1.157
        [A sennet. Trumpets sound. Enter COMINIUS the general, and TITUS LARTIUS; between them, CORIOLANUS, crowned with an oaken garland; with Captains and Soldiers, and a Herald]
Herald. Know, Rome, that all alone Marcius did fight2.1.158
        Within Corioli gates: where he hath won,2.1.159
        With fame, a name to Caius Marcius; these2.1.160
        In honour follows Coriolanus.2.1.161
        Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus!2.1.162
All. Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus!2.1.163
Coriolanus. No more of this; it does offend my heart:2.1.164
        Pray now, no more.2.1.165
Cominius. Look, sir, your mother!2.1.166
Coriolanus. O,2.1.167
        You have, I know, petition'd all the gods2.1.168
        For my prosperity!2.1.169
Volumnia. Nay, my good soldier, up;2.1.170
        My gentle Marcius, worthy Caius, and2.1.171
        By deed-achieving honour newly named,--2.1.172
        What is it?--Coriolanus must I call thee?--2.1.173
        But O, thy wife!2.1.174
Coriolanus. My gracious silence, hail!2.1.175
        Wouldst thou have laugh'd had I come coffin'd home,2.1.176
        That weep'st to see me triumph? Ay, my dear,2.1.177
        Such eyes the widows in Corioli wear,2.1.178
        And mothers that lack sons.2.1.179
Menenius Now, the gods crown thee!2.1.180
Coriolanus. And live you yet?2.1.181
        [To VALERIA]
        O my sweet lady, pardon.2.1.182
Volumnia. I know not where to turn: O, welcome home:2.1.183
        And welcome, general: and ye're welcome all.2.1.184
Menenius. A hundred thousand welcomes. I could weep2.1.185
        And I could laugh, I am light and heavy. Welcome.2.1.186
        A curse begin at very root on's heart,2.1.187
        That is not glad to see thee! You are three2.1.188
        That Rome should dote on: yet, by the faith of men,2.1.189
        We have some old crab-trees here2.1.190
        at home that will not2.1.191
        Be grafted to your relish. Yet welcome, warriors:2.1.192
        We call a nettle but a nettle and2.1.193
        The faults of fools but folly.2.1.194
Cominius. Ever right.2.1.195
Coriolanus. Menenius ever, ever.2.1.196
Herald. Give way there, and go on!2.1.197
Coriolanus. [To VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA] Your hand, and yours:2.1.198
        Ere in our own house I do shade my head,2.1.199
        The good patricians must be visited;2.1.200
        From whom I have received not only greetings,2.1.201
        But with them change of honours.2.1.202
Volumnia. I have lived2.1.203
        To see inherited my very wishes2.1.204
        And the buildings of my fancy: only2.1.205
        There's one thing wanting, which I doubt not but2.1.206
        Our Rome will cast upon thee.2.1.207
Coriolanus. Know, good mother,2.1.208
        I had rather be their servant in my way,2.1.209
        Than sway with them in theirs.2.1.210
Cominius. On, to the Capitol!2.1.211
        [Flourish. Cornets. Exeunt in state, as before. BRUTUS and SICINIUS come forward]
Brutus. All tongues speak of him, and the bleared sights2.1.212
        Are spectacled to see him: your prattling nurse2.1.213
        Into a rapture lets her baby cry2.1.214
        While she chats him: the kitchen malkin pins2.1.215
        Her richest lockram 'bout her reechy neck,2.1.216
        Clambering the walls to eye him: stalls, bulks, windows,2.1.217
        Are smother'd up, leads fill'd, and ridges horsed2.1.218
        With variable complexions, all agreeing2.1.219
        In earnestness to see him: seld-shown flamens2.1.220
        Do press among the popular throngs and puff2.1.221
        To win a vulgar station: or veil'd dames2.1.222
        Commit the war of white and damask in2.1.223
        Their nicely-gawded cheeks to the wanton spoil2.1.224
        Of Phoebus' burning kisses: such a pother2.1.225
        As if that whatsoever god who leads him2.1.226
        Were slily crept into his human powers2.1.227
        And gave him graceful posture.2.1.228
Sicinius. On the sudden,2.1.229
        I warrant him consul.2.1.230
Brutus. Then our office may,2.1.231
        During his power, go sleep.2.1.232
Sicinius. He cannot temperately transport his honours2.1.233
        From where he should begin and end, but will2.1.234
        Lose those he hath won.2.1.235
Brutus. In that there's comfort.2.1.236
Sicinius. Doubt not2.1.237
        The commoners, for whom we stand, but they2.1.238
        Upon their ancient malice will forget2.1.239
        With the least cause these his new honours, which2.1.240
        That he will give them make I as little question2.1.241
        As he is proud to do't.2.1.242
Brutus. I heard him swear,2.1.243
        Were he to stand for consul, never would he2.1.244
        Appear i' the market-place nor on him put2.1.245
        The napless vesture of humility;2.1.246
        Nor showing, as the manner is, his wounds2.1.247
        To the people, beg their stinking breaths.2.1.248
Sicinius. 'Tis right.2.1.249
Brutus. It was his word: O, he would miss it rather2.1.250
        Than carry it but by the suit of the gentry to him,2.1.251
        And the desire of the nobles.2.1.252
Sicinius. I wish no better2.1.253
        Than have him hold that purpose and to put it2.1.254
        In execution.2.1.255
Brutus. 'Tis most like he will.2.1.256
Sicinius. It shall be to him then as our good wills,2.1.257
        A sure destruction.2.1.258
Brutus. So it must fall out2.1.259
        To him or our authorities. For an end,2.1.260
        We must suggest the people in what hatred2.1.261
        He still hath held them; that to's power he would2.1.262
        Have made them mules, silenced their pleaders and2.1.263
        Dispropertied their freedoms, holding them,2.1.264
        In human action and capacity,2.1.265
        Of no more soul nor fitness for the world2.1.266
        Than camels in the war, who have their provand2.1.267
        Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows2.1.268
        For sinking under them.2.1.269
Sicinius. This, as you say, suggested2.1.270
        At some time when his soaring insolence2.1.271
        Shall touch the people--which time shall not want,2.1.272
        If he be put upon 't; and that's as easy2.1.273
        As to set dogs on sheep--will be his fire2.1.274
        To kindle their dry stubble; and their blaze2.1.275
        Shall darken him for ever.2.1.276
        [Enter a Messenger]
Brutus. What's the matter?2.1.277
Messenger. You are sent for to the Capitol. 'Tis thought2.1.278
        That Marcius shall be consul:2.1.279
        I have seen the dumb men throng to see him and2.1.280
        The blind to bear him speak: matrons flung gloves,2.1.281
        Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchers,2.1.282
        Upon him as he pass'd: the nobles bended,2.1.283
        As to Jove's statue, and the commons made2.1.284
        A shower and thunder with their caps and shouts:2.1.285
        I never saw the like.2.1.286
Brutus. Let's to the Capitol;2.1.287
        And carry with us ears and eyes for the time,2.1.288
        But hearts for the event.2.1.289
Sicinius. Have with you.2.1.290

SCENE II. The same. The Capitol.

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[Enter two Officers, to lay cushions]
First Officer. Come, come, they are almost here. How many stand2.2.1
        for consulships?2.2.2
Second Officer. Three, they say: but 'tis thought of every one2.2.3
        Coriolanus will carry it.2.2.4
First Officer. That's a brave fellow; but he's vengeance proud, and2.2.5
        loves not the common people.2.2.6
Second Officer. Faith, there had been many great men that have2.2.7
        flattered the people, who ne'er loved them; and there2.2.8
        be many that they have loved, they know not2.2.9
        wherefore: so that, if they love they know not why,2.2.10
        they hate upon no better a ground: therefore, for2.2.11
        Coriolanus neither to care whether they love or hate2.2.12
        him manifests the true knowledge he has in their2.2.13
        disposition; and out of his noble carelessness lets2.2.14
        them plainly see't.2.2.15
First Officer. If he did not care whether he had their love or no,2.2.16
        he waved indifferently 'twixt doing them neither2.2.17
        good nor harm: but he seeks their hate with greater2.2.18
        devotion than can render it him; and leaves2.2.19
        nothing undone that may fully discover him their2.2.20
        opposite. Now, to seem to affect the malice and2.2.21
        displeasure of the people is as bad as that which he2.2.22
        dislikes, to flatter them for their love.2.2.23
Second Officer. He hath deserved worthily of his country: and his2.2.24
        ascent is not by such easy degrees as those who,2.2.25
        having been supple and courteous to the people,2.2.26
        bonneted, without any further deed to have them at2.2.27
        an into their estimation and report: but he hath so2.2.28
        planted his honours in their eyes, and his actions2.2.29
        in their hearts, that for their tongues to be2.2.30
        silent, and not confess so much, were a kind of2.2.31
        ingrateful injury; to report otherwise, were a2.2.32
        malice, that, giving itself the lie, would pluck2.2.33
        reproof and rebuke from every ear that heard it.2.2.34
First Officer. No more of him; he is a worthy man: make way, they2.2.35
        are coming.2.2.36
        [A sennet. Enter, with actors before them, COMINIUS the consul, MENENIUS, CORIOLANUS, Senators, SICINIUS and BRUTUS. The Senators take their places; the Tribunes take their Places by themselves. CORIOLANUS stands]
Menenius. Having determined of the Volsces and2.2.37
        To send for Titus Lartius, it remains,2.2.38
        As the main point of this our after-meeting,2.2.39
        To gratify his noble service that2.2.40
        Hath thus stood for his country: therefore,2.2.41
        please you,2.2.42
        Most reverend and grave elders, to desire2.2.43
        The present consul, and last general2.2.44
        In our well-found successes, to report2.2.45
        A little of that worthy work perform'd2.2.46
        By Caius Marcius Coriolanus, whom2.2.47
        We met here both to thank and to remember2.2.48
        With honours like himself.2.2.49
First Senator. Speak, good Cominius:2.2.50
        Leave nothing out for length, and make us think2.2.51
        Rather our state's defective for requital2.2.52
        Than we to stretch it out.2.2.53
        [To the Tribunes]
        Masters o' the people,2.2.54
        We do request your kindest ears, and after,2.2.55
        Your loving motion toward the common body,2.2.56
        To yield what passes here.2.2.57
Sicinius. We are convented2.2.58
        Upon a pleasing treaty, and have hearts2.2.59
        Inclinable to honour and advance2.2.60
        The theme of our assembly.2.2.61
Brutus. Which the rather2.2.62
        We shall be blest to do, if he remember2.2.63
        A kinder value of the people than2.2.64
        He hath hereto prized them at.2.2.65
Menenius. That's off, that's off;2.2.66
        I would you rather had been silent. Please you2.2.67
        To hear Cominius speak?2.2.68
Brutus. Most willingly;2.2.69
        But yet my caution was more pertinent2.2.70
        Than the rebuke you give it.2.2.71
Menenius. He loves your people2.2.72
        But tie him not to be their bedfellow.2.2.73
        Worthy Cominius, speak.2.2.74
        [CORIOLANUS offers to go away]
        Nay, keep your place.2.2.75
First Senator. Sit, Coriolanus; never shame to hear2.2.76
        What you have nobly done.2.2.77
Coriolanus. Your horror's pardon:2.2.78
        I had rather have my wounds to heal again2.2.79
        Than hear say how I got them.2.2.80
Brutus. Sir, I hope2.2.81
        My words disbench'd you not.2.2.82
Coriolanus. No, sir: yet oft,2.2.83
        When blows have made me stay, I fled from words.2.2.84
        You soothed not, therefore hurt not: but2.2.85
        your people,2.2.86
        I love them as they weigh.2.2.87
Menenius. Pray now, sit down.2.2.88
Coriolanus. I had rather have one scratch my head i' the sun2.2.89
        When the alarum were struck than idly sit2.2.90
        To hear my nothings monster'd.2.2.91
Menenius. Masters of the people,2.2.92
        Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter--2.2.93
        That's thousand to one good one--when you now see2.2.94
        He had rather venture all his limbs for honour2.2.95
        Than one on's ears to hear it? Proceed, Cominius.2.2.96
Cominius. I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus2.2.97
        Should not be utter'd feebly. It is held2.2.98
        That valour is the chiefest virtue, and2.2.99
        Most dignifies the haver: if it be,2.2.100
        The man I speak of cannot in the world2.2.101
        Be singly counterpoised. At sixteen years,2.2.102
        When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought2.2.103
        Beyond the mark of others: our then dictator,2.2.104
        Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight,2.2.105
        When with his Amazonian chin he drove2.2.106
        The bristled lips before him: be bestrid2.2.107
        An o'er-press'd Roman and i' the consul's view2.2.108
        Slew three opposers: Tarquin's self he met,2.2.109
        And struck him on his knee: in that day's feats,2.2.110
        When he might act the woman in the scene,2.2.111
        He proved best man i' the field, and for his meed2.2.112
        Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age2.2.113
        Man-enter'd thus, he waxed like a sea,2.2.114
        And in the brunt of seventeen battles since2.2.115
        He lurch'd all swords of the garland. For this last,2.2.116
        Before and in Corioli, let me say,2.2.117
        I cannot speak him home: he stopp'd the fliers;2.2.118
        And by his rare example made the coward2.2.119
        Turn terror into sport: as weeds before2.2.120
        A vessel under sail, so men obey'd2.2.121
        And fell below his stem: his sword, death's stamp,2.2.122
        Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot2.2.123
        He was a thing of blood, whose every motion2.2.124
        Was timed with dying cries: alone he enter'd2.2.125
        The mortal gate of the city, which he painted2.2.126
        With shunless destiny; aidless came off,2.2.127
        And with a sudden reinforcement struck2.2.128
        Corioli like a planet: now all's his:2.2.129
        When, by and by, the din of war gan pierce2.2.130
        His ready sense; then straight his doubled spirit2.2.131
        Re-quicken'd what in flesh was fatigate,2.2.132
        And to the battle came he; where he did2.2.133
        Run reeking o'er the lives of men, as if2.2.134
        'Twere a perpetual spoil: and till we call'd2.2.135
        Both field and city ours, he never stood2.2.136
        To ease his breast with panting.2.2.137
Menenius. Worthy man!2.2.138
First Senator. He cannot but with measure fit the honours2.2.139
        Which we devise him.2.2.140
Cominius. Our spoils he kick'd at,2.2.141
        And look'd upon things precious as they were2.2.142
        The common muck of the world: he covets less2.2.143
        Than misery itself would give; rewards2.2.144
        His deeds with doing them, and is content2.2.145
        To spend the time to end it.2.2.146
Menenius. He's right noble:2.2.147
        Let him be call'd for.2.2.148
First Senator. Call Coriolanus.2.2.149
Officer. He doth appear.2.2.150
        [Re-enter CORIOLANUS]
Menenius. The senate, Coriolanus, are well pleased2.2.151
        To make thee consul.2.2.152
Coriolanus. I do owe them still2.2.153
        My life and services.2.2.154
Menenius. It then remains2.2.155
        That you do speak to the people.2.2.156
Coriolanus. I do beseech you,2.2.157
        Let me o'erleap that custom, for I cannot2.2.158
        Put on the gown, stand naked and entreat them,2.2.159
        For my wounds' sake, to give their suffrage: please you2.2.160
        That I may pass this doing.2.2.161
Sicinius. Sir, the people2.2.162
        Must have their voices; neither will they bate2.2.163
        One jot of ceremony.2.2.164
Menenius. Put them not to't:2.2.165
        Pray you, go fit you to the custom and2.2.166
        Take to you, as your predecessors have,2.2.167
        Your honour with your form.2.2.168
Coriolanus. It is apart2.2.169
        That I shall blush in acting, and might well2.2.170
        Be taken from the people.2.2.171
Brutus. Mark you that?2.2.172
Coriolanus. To brag unto them, thus I did, and thus;2.2.173
        Show them the unaching scars which I should hide,2.2.174
        As if I had received them for the hire2.2.175
        Of their breath only!2.2.176
Menenius. Do not stand upon't.2.2.177
        We recommend to you, tribunes of the people,2.2.178
        Our purpose to them: and to our noble consul2.2.179
        Wish we all joy and honour.2.2.180
Senators. To Coriolanus come all joy and honour!2.2.181
        [Flourish of cornets. Exeunt all but SICINIUS and BRUTUS]
Brutus. You see how he intends to use the people.2.2.182
Sicinius. May they perceive's intent! He will require them,2.2.183
        As if he did contemn what he requested2.2.184
        Should be in them to give.2.2.185
Brutus. Come, we'll inform them2.2.186
        Of our proceedings here: on the marketplace,2.2.187
        I know, they do attend us.2.2.188

SCENE III. The same. The Forum.

previous scene   next scene
[Enter seven or eight Citizens]
First Citizen. Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him.2.3.1
Second Citizen. We may, sir, if we will.2.3.2
Third Citizen. We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a2.3.3
        power that we have no power to do; for if he show us2.3.4
        his wounds and tell us his deeds, we are to put our2.3.5
        tongues into those wounds and speak for them; so, if2.3.6
        he tell us his noble deeds, we must also tell him2.3.7
        our noble acceptance of them. Ingratitude is2.3.8
        monstrous, and for the multitude to be ingrateful,2.3.9
        were to make a monster of the multitude: of the2.3.10
        which we being members, should bring ourselves to be2.3.11
        monstrous members.2.3.12
First Citizen. And to make us no better thought of, a little help2.3.13
        will serve; for once we stood up about the corn, he2.3.14
        himself stuck not to call us the many-headed multitude.2.3.15
Third Citizen. We have been called so of many; not that our heads2.3.16
        are some brown, some black, some auburn, some bald,2.3.17
        but that our wits are so diversely coloured: and2.3.18
        truly I think if all our wits were to issue out of2.3.19
        one skull, they would fly east, west, north, south,2.3.20
        and their consent of one direct way should be at2.3.21
        once to all the points o' the compass.2.3.22
Second Citizen. Think you so? Which way do you judge my wit would2.3.23
Third Citizen. Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another man's2.3.25
        will;'tis strongly wedged up in a block-head, but2.3.26
        if it were at liberty, 'twould, sure, southward.2.3.27
Second Citizen. Why that way?2.3.28
Third Citizen. To lose itself in a fog, where being three parts2.3.29
        melted away with rotten dews, the fourth would return2.3.30
        for conscience sake, to help to get thee a wife.2.3.31
Second Citizen. You are never without your tricks: you may, you may.2.3.32
Third Citizen. Are you all resolved to give your voices? But2.3.33
        that's no matter, the greater part carries it. I2.3.34
        say, if he would incline to the people, there was2.3.35
        never a worthier man.2.3.36
        [Enter CORIOLANUS in a gown of humility, with MENENIUS]
        Here he comes, and in the gown of humility: mark his2.3.37
        behavior. We are not to stay all together, but to2.3.38
        come by him where he stands, by ones, by twos, and2.3.39
        by threes. He's to make his requests by2.3.40
        particulars; wherein every one of us has a single2.3.41
        honour, in giving him our own voices with our own2.3.42
        tongues: therefore follow me, and I direct you how2.3.43
        you shall go by him.2.3.44
All. Content, content.2.3.45
        [Exeunt Citizens]
Menenius. O sir, you are not right: have you not known2.3.46
        The worthiest men have done't?2.3.47
Coriolanus. What must I say?2.3.48
        'I Pray, sir'--Plague upon't! I cannot bring2.3.49
        My tongue to such a pace:--'Look, sir, my wounds!2.3.50
        I got them in my country's service, when2.3.51
        Some certain of your brethren roar'd and ran2.3.52
        From the noise of our own drums.'2.3.53
Menenius. O me, the gods!2.3.54
        You must not speak of that: you must desire them2.3.55
        To think upon you.2.3.56
Coriolanus. Think upon me! hang 'em!2.3.57
        I would they would forget me, like the virtues2.3.58
        Which our divines lose by 'em.2.3.59
Menenius. You'll mar all:2.3.60
        I'll leave you: pray you, speak to 'em, I pray you,2.3.61
        In wholesome manner.2.3.62
Coriolanus. Bid them wash their faces2.3.63
        And keep their teeth clean.2.3.64
        [Re-enter two of the Citizens]
        So, here comes a brace.2.3.65
        [Re-enter a third Citizen]
        You know the cause, air, of my standing here.2.3.66
Third Citizen. We do, sir; tell us what hath brought you to't.2.3.67
Coriolanus. Mine own desert.2.3.68
Second Citizen. Your own desert!2.3.69
Coriolanus. Ay, but not mine own desire.2.3.70
Third Citizen. How not your own desire?2.3.71
Coriolanus. No, sir,'twas never my desire yet to trouble the2.3.72
        poor with begging.2.3.73
Third Citizen. You must think, if we give you any thing, we hope to2.3.74
        gain by you.2.3.75
Coriolanus. Well then, I pray, your price o' the consulship?2.3.76
First Citizen. The price is to ask it kindly.2.3.77
Coriolanus. Kindly! Sir, I pray, let me ha't: I have wounds to2.3.78
        show you, which shall be yours in private. Your2.3.79
        good voice, sir; what say you?2.3.80
Second Citizen. You shall ha' it, worthy sir.2.3.81
Coriolanus. A match, sir. There's in all two worthy voices2.3.82
        begged. I have your alms: adieu.2.3.83
Third Citizen. But this is something odd.2.3.84
Second Citizen. An 'twere to give again,--but 'tis no matter.2.3.85
        [Exeunt the three Citizens]
        [Re-enter two other Citizens]
Coriolanus. Pray you now, if it may stand with the tune of your2.3.86
        voices that I may be consul, I have here the2.3.87
        customary gown.2.3.88
Fourth Citizen. You have deserved nobly of your country, and you2.3.89
        have not deserved nobly.2.3.90
Coriolanus. Your enigma?2.3.91
Fourth Citizen. You have been a scourge to her enemies, you have2.3.92
        been a rod to her friends; you have not indeed loved2.3.93
        the common people.2.3.94
Coriolanus. You should account me the more virtuous that I have2.3.95
        not been common in my love. I will, sir, flatter my2.3.96
        sworn brother, the people, to earn a dearer2.3.97
        estimation of them; 'tis a condition they account2.3.98
        gentle: and since the wisdom of their choice is2.3.99
        rather to have my hat than my heart, I will practise2.3.100
        the insinuating nod and be off to them most2.3.101
        counterfeitly; that is, sir, I will counterfeit the2.3.102
        bewitchment of some popular man and give it2.3.103
        bountiful to the desirers. Therefore, beseech you,2.3.104
        I may be consul.2.3.105
Fifth Citizen. We hope to find you our friend; and therefore give2.3.106
        you our voices heartily.2.3.107
Fourth Citizen. You have received many wounds for your country.2.3.108
Coriolanus. I will not seal your knowledge with showing them. I2.3.109
        will make much of your voices, and so trouble you no further.2.3.110
Both Citizens. The gods give you joy, sir, heartily!2.3.111
Coriolanus. Most sweet voices!2.3.112
        Better it is to die, better to starve,2.3.113
        Than crave the hire which first we do deserve.2.3.114
        Why in this woolvish toge should I stand here,2.3.115
        To beg of Hob and Dick, that do appear,2.3.116
        Their needless vouches? Custom calls me to't:2.3.117
        What custom wills, in all things should we do't,2.3.118
        The dust on antique time would lie unswept,2.3.119
        And mountainous error be too highly heapt2.3.120
        For truth to o'er-peer. Rather than fool it so,2.3.121
        Let the high office and the honour go2.3.122
        To one that would do thus. I am half through;2.3.123
        The one part suffer'd, the other will I do.2.3.124
        [Re-enter three Citizens more]
        Here come more voices.2.3.125
        Your voices: for your voices I have fought;2.3.126
        Watch'd for your voices; for Your voices bear2.3.127
        Of wounds two dozen odd; battles thrice six2.3.128
        I have seen and heard of; for your voices have2.3.129
        Done many things, some less, some more your voices:2.3.130
        Indeed I would be consul.2.3.131
Sixth Citizen. He has done nobly, and cannot go without any honest2.3.132
        man's voice.2.3.133
Seventh Citizen. Therefore let him be consul: the gods give him joy,2.3.134
        and make him good friend to the people!2.3.135
All Citizens. Amen, amen. God save thee, noble consul!2.3.136
Coriolanus. Worthy voices!2.3.137
        [Re-enter MENENIUS, with BRUTUS and SICINIUS]
Menenius. You have stood your limitation; and the tribunes2.3.138
        Endue you with the people's voice: remains2.3.139
        That, in the official marks invested, you2.3.140
        Anon do meet the senate.2.3.141
Coriolanus. Is this done?2.3.142
Sicinius. The custom of request you have discharged:2.3.143
        The people do admit you, and are summon'd2.3.144
        To meet anon, upon your approbation.2.3.145
Coriolanus. Where? at the senate-house?2.3.146
Sicinius. There, Coriolanus.2.3.147
Coriolanus. May I change these garments?2.3.148
Sicinius. You may, sir.2.3.149
Coriolanus. That I'll straight do; and, knowing myself again,2.3.150
        Repair to the senate-house.2.3.151
Menenius. I'll keep you company. Will you along?2.3.152
Brutus. We stay here for the people.2.3.153
Sicinius. Fare you well.2.3.154
        [Exeunt CORIOLANUS and MENENIUS]
        He has it now, and by his looks methink2.3.155
        'Tis warm at 's heart.2.3.156
Brutus. With a proud heart he wore his humble weeds.2.3.157
        will you dismiss the people?2.3.158
        [Re-enter Citizens]
Sicinius How now, my masters! have you chose this man?2.3.159
First Citizen. He has our voices, sir.2.3.160
Brutus. We pray the gods he may deserve your loves.2.3.161
Second Citizen. Amen, sir: to my poor unworthy notice,2.3.162
        He mock'd us when he begg'd our voices.2.3.163
Third Citizen. Certainly2.3.164
        He flouted us downright.2.3.165
First Citizen. No,'tis his kind of speech: he did not mock us.2.3.166
Second Citizen. Not one amongst us, save yourself, but says2.3.167
        He used us scornfully: he should have show'd us2.3.168
        His marks of merit, wounds received for's country.2.3.169
Sicinius. Why, so he did, I am sure.2.3.170
Citizens. No, no; no man saw 'em.2.3.171
Third Citizen. He said he had wounds, which he could show2.3.172
        in private;2.3.173
        And with his hat, thus waving it in scorn,2.3.174
        'I would be consul,' says he: 'aged custom,2.3.175
        But by your voices, will not so permit me;2.3.176
        Your voices therefore.' When we granted that,2.3.177
        Here was 'I thank you for your voices: thank you:2.3.178
        Your most sweet voices: now you have left2.3.179
        your voices,2.3.180
        I have no further with you.' Was not this mockery?2.3.181
Sicinius. Why either were you ignorant to see't,2.3.182
        Or, seeing it, of such childish friendliness2.3.183
        To yield your voices?2.3.184
Brutus. Could you not have told him2.3.185
        As you were lesson'd, when he had no power,2.3.186
        But was a petty servant to the state,2.3.187
        He was your enemy, ever spake against2.3.188
        Your liberties and the charters that you bear2.3.189
        I' the body of the weal; and now, arriving2.3.190
        A place of potency and sway o' the state,2.3.191
        If he should still malignantly remain2.3.192
        Fast foe to the plebeii, your voices might2.3.193
        Be curses to yourselves? You should have said2.3.194
        That as his worthy deeds did claim no less2.3.195
        Than what he stood for, so his gracious nature2.3.196
        Would think upon you for your voices and2.3.197
        Translate his malice towards you into love,2.3.198
        Standing your friendly lord.2.3.199
Sicinius. Thus to have said,2.3.200
        As you were fore-advised, had touch'd his spirit2.3.201
        And tried his inclination; from him pluck'd2.3.202
        Either his gracious promise, which you might,2.3.203
        As cause had call'd you up, have held him to2.3.204
        Or else it would have gall'd his surly nature,2.3.205
        Which easily endures not article2.3.206
        Tying him to aught; so putting him to rage,2.3.207
        You should have ta'en the advantage of his choler2.3.208
        And pass'd him unelected.2.3.209
Brutus. Did you perceive2.3.210
        He did solicit you in free contempt2.3.211
        When he did need your loves, and do you think2.3.212
        That his contempt shall not be bruising to you,2.3.213
        When he hath power to crush? Why, had your bodies2.3.214
        No heart among you? or had you tongues to cry2.3.215
        Against the rectorship of judgment?2.3.216
Sicinius. Have you2.3.217
        Ere now denied the asker? and now again2.3.218
        Of him that did not ask, but mock, bestow2.3.219
        Your sued-for tongues?2.3.220
Third Citizen. He's not confirm'd; we may deny him yet.2.3.221
Second Citizen. And will deny him:2.3.222
        I'll have five hundred voices of that sound.2.3.223
First Citizen. I twice five hundred and their friends to piece 'em.2.3.224
Brutus. Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends,2.3.225
        They have chose a consul that will from them take2.3.226
        Their liberties; make them of no more voice2.3.227
        Than dogs that are as often beat for barking2.3.228
        As therefore kept to do so.2.3.229
Sicinius. Let them assemble,2.3.230
        And on a safer judgment all revoke2.3.231
        Your ignorant election; enforce his pride,2.3.232
        And his old hate unto you; besides, forget not2.3.233
        With what contempt he wore the humble weed,2.3.234
        How in his suit he scorn'd you; but your loves,2.3.235
        Thinking upon his services, took from you2.3.236
        The apprehension of his present portance,2.3.237
        Which most gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion2.3.238
        After the inveterate hate he bears you.2.3.239
Brutus. Lay2.3.240
        A fault on us, your tribunes; that we laboured,2.3.241
        No impediment between, but that you must2.3.242
        Cast your election on him.2.3.243
Sicinius. Say, you chose him2.3.244
        More after our commandment than as guided2.3.245
        By your own true affections, and that your minds,2.3.246
        Preoccupied with what you rather must do2.3.247
        Than what you should, made you against the grain2.3.248
        To voice him consul: lay the fault on us.2.3.249
Brutus. Ay, spare us not. Say we read lectures to you.2.3.250
        How youngly he began to serve his country,2.3.251
        How long continued, and what stock he springs of,2.3.252
        The noble house o' the Marcians, from whence came2.3.253
        That Ancus Marcius, Numa's daughter's son,2.3.254
        Who, after great Hostilius, here was king;2.3.255
        Of the same house Publius and Quintus were,2.3.256
        That our beat water brought by conduits hither;2.3.257
        And [Censorinus,] nobly named so,2.3.258
        Twice being [by the people chosen] censor,2.3.259
        Was his great ancestor.2.3.260
Sicinius. One thus descended,2.3.261
        That hath beside well in his person wrought2.3.262
        To be set high in place, we did commend2.3.263
        To your remembrances: but you have found,2.3.264
        Scaling his present bearing with his past,2.3.265
        That he's your fixed enemy, and revoke2.3.266
        Your sudden approbation.2.3.267
Brutus. Say, you ne'er had done't--2.3.268
        Harp on that still--but by our putting on;2.3.269
        And presently, when you have drawn your number,2.3.270
        Repair to the Capitol.2.3.271
All. We will so: almost all2.3.272
        Repent in their election.2.3.273
        [Exeunt Citizens]
Brutus. Let them go on;2.3.274
        This mutiny were better put in hazard,2.3.275
        Than stay, past doubt, for greater:2.3.276
        If, as his nature is, he fall in rage2.3.277
        With their refusal, both observe and answer2.3.278
        The vantage of his anger.2.3.279
Sicinius. To the Capitol, come:2.3.280
        We will be there before the stream o' the people;2.3.281
        And this shall seem, as partly 'tis, their own,2.3.282
        Which we have goaded onward.2.3.283


SCENE I. Rome. A street.

previous scene   next scene
[Cornets. Enter CORIOLANUS, MENENIUS, all the Gentry, COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, and other Senators]
Coriolanus. Tullus Aufidius then had made new head?3.1.1
Lartius. He had, my lord; and that it was which caused3.1.2
        Our swifter composition.3.1.3
Coriolanus. So then the Volsces stand but as at first,3.1.4
        Ready, when time shall prompt them, to make road.3.1.5
        Upon's again.3.1.6
Cominius They are worn, lord consul, so,3.1.7
        That we shall hardly in our ages see3.1.8
        Their banners wave again.3.1.9
Coriolanus. Saw you Aufidius?3.1.10
Lartius. On safe-guard he came to me; and did curse3.1.11
        Against the Volsces, for they had so vilely3.1.12
        Yielded the town: he is retired to Antium.3.1.13
Coriolanus. Spoke he of me?3.1.14
Lartius. He did, my lord.3.1.15
Coriolanus. How? what?3.1.16
Lartius. How often he had met you, sword to sword;3.1.17
        That of all things upon the earth he hated3.1.18
        Your person most, that he would pawn his fortunes3.1.19
        To hopeless restitution, so he might3.1.20
        Be call'd your vanquisher.3.1.21
Coriolanus. At Antium lives he?3.1.22
Lartius. At Antium.3.1.23
Coriolanus. I wish I had a cause to seek him there,3.1.24
        To oppose his hatred fully. Welcome home.3.1.25
        [Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS]
        Behold, these are the tribunes of the people,3.1.26
        The tongues o' the common mouth: I do despise them;3.1.27
        For they do prank them in authority,3.1.28
        Against all noble sufferance.3.1.29
Sicinius. Pass no further.3.1.30
Coriolanus. Ha! what is that?3.1.31
Brutus. It will be dangerous to go on: no further.3.1.32
Coriolanus. What makes this change?3.1.33
Menenius. The matter?3.1.34
Cominius. Hath he not pass'd the noble and the common?3.1.35
Brutus. Cominius, no.3.1.36
Coriolanus. Have I had children's voices?3.1.37
First Senator. Tribunes, give way; he shall to the market-place.3.1.38
Brutus. The people are incensed against him.3.1.39
Sicinius. Stop,3.1.40
        Or all will fall in broil.3.1.41
Coriolanus. Are these your herd?3.1.42
        Must these have voices, that can yield them now3.1.43
        And straight disclaim their tongues? What are3.1.44
        your offices?3.1.45
        You being their mouths, why rule you not their teeth?3.1.46
        Have you not set them on?3.1.47
Menenius. Be calm, be calm.3.1.48
Coriolanus. It is a purposed thing, and grows by plot,3.1.49
        To curb the will of the nobility:3.1.50
        Suffer't, and live with such as cannot rule3.1.51
        Nor ever will be ruled.3.1.52
Brutus. Call't not a plot:3.1.53
        The people cry you mock'd them, and of late,3.1.54
        When corn was given them gratis, you repined;3.1.55
        Scandal'd the suppliants for the people, call'd them3.1.56
        Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness.3.1.57
Coriolanus. Why, this was known before.3.1.58
Brutus. Not to them all.3.1.59
Coriolanus. Have you inform'd them sithence?3.1.60
Brutus. How! I inform them!3.1.61
Coriolanus. You are like to do such business.3.1.62
Brutus. Not unlike,3.1.63
        Each way, to better yours.3.1.64
Coriolanus. Why then should I be consul? By yond clouds,3.1.65
        Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me3.1.66
        Your fellow tribune.3.1.67
Sicinius. You show too much of that3.1.68
        For which the people stir: if you will pass3.1.69
        To where you are bound, you must inquire your way,3.1.70
        Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit,3.1.71
        Or never be so noble as a consul,3.1.72
        Nor yoke with him for tribune.3.1.73
Menenius. Let's be calm.3.1.74
Cominius. The people are abused; set on. This paltering3.1.75
        Becomes not Rome, nor has Coriolanus3.1.76
        Deserved this so dishonour'd rub, laid falsely3.1.77
        I' the plain way of his merit.3.1.78
Coriolanus. Tell me of corn!3.1.79
        This was my speech, and I will speak't again--3.1.80
Menenius. Not now, not now.3.1.81
First Senator. Not in this heat, sir, now.3.1.82
Coriolanus. Now, as I live, I will. My nobler friends,3.1.83
        I crave their pardons:3.1.84
        For the mutable, rank-scented many, let them3.1.85
        Regard me as I do not flatter, and3.1.86
        Therein behold themselves: I say again,3.1.87
        In soothing them, we nourish 'gainst our senate3.1.88
        The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition,3.1.89
        Which we ourselves have plough'd for, sow'd,3.1.90
        and scatter'd,3.1.91
        By mingling them with us, the honour'd number,3.1.92
        Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that3.1.93
        Which they have given to beggars.3.1.94
Menenius. Well, no more.3.1.95
First Senator. No more words, we beseech you.3.1.96
Coriolanus. How! no more!3.1.97
        As for my country I have shed my blood,3.1.98
        Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs3.1.99
        Coin words till their decay against those measles,3.1.100
        Which we disdain should tatter us, yet sought3.1.101
        The very way to catch them.3.1.102
Brutus. You speak o' the people,3.1.103
        As if you were a god to punish, not3.1.104
        A man of their infirmity.3.1.105
Sicinius. 'Twere well3.1.106
        We let the people know't.3.1.107
Menenius. What, what? his choler?3.1.108
Coriolanus. Choler!3.1.109
        Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,3.1.110
        By Jove, 'twould be my mind!3.1.111
Sicinius. It is a mind3.1.112
        That shall remain a poison where it is,3.1.113
        Not poison any further.3.1.114
Coriolanus. Shall remain!3.1.115
        Hear you this Triton of the minnows? mark you3.1.116
        His absolute 'shall'?3.1.117
Cominius. 'Twas from the canon.3.1.118
Coriolanus. 'Shall'!3.1.119
        O good but most unwise patricians! why,3.1.120
        You grave but reckless senators, have you thus3.1.121
        Given Hydra here to choose an officer,3.1.122
        That with his peremptory 'shall,' being but3.1.123
        The horn and noise o' the monster's, wants not spirit3.1.124
        To say he'll turn your current in a ditch,3.1.125
        And make your channel his? If he have power3.1.126
        Then vail your ignorance; if none, awake3.1.127
        Your dangerous lenity. If you are learn'd,3.1.128
        Be not as common fools; if you are not,3.1.129
        Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians,3.1.130
        If they be senators: and they are no less,3.1.131
        When, both your voices blended, the great'st taste3.1.132
        Most palates theirs. They choose their magistrate,3.1.133
        And such a one as he, who puts his 'shall,'3.1.134
        His popular 'shall' against a graver bench3.1.135
        Than ever frown in Greece. By Jove himself!3.1.136
        It makes the consuls base: and my soul aches3.1.137
        To know, when two authorities are up,3.1.138
        Neither supreme, how soon confusion3.1.139
        May enter 'twixt the gap of both and take3.1.140
        The one by the other.3.1.141
Cominius. Well, on to the market-place.3.1.142
Coriolanus. Whoever gave that counsel, to give forth3.1.143
        The corn o' the storehouse gratis, as 'twas used3.1.144
        Sometime in Greece,--3.1.145
Menenius. Well, well, no more of that.3.1.146
Coriolanus. Though there the people had more absolute power,3.1.147
        I say, they nourish'd disobedience, fed3.1.148
        The ruin of the state.3.1.149
Brutus. Why, shall the people give3.1.150
        One that speaks thus their voice?3.1.151
Coriolanus. I'll give my reasons,3.1.152
        More worthier than their voices. They know the corn3.1.153
        Was not our recompense, resting well assured3.1.154
        That ne'er did service for't: being press'd to the war,3.1.155
        Even when the navel of the state was touch'd,3.1.156
        They would not thread the gates. This kind of service3.1.157
        Did not deserve corn gratis. Being i' the war3.1.158
        Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they show'd3.1.159
        Most valour, spoke not for them: the accusation3.1.160
        Which they have often made against the senate,3.1.161
        All cause unborn, could never be the motive3.1.162
        Of our so frank donation. Well, what then?3.1.163
        How shall this bisson multitude digest3.1.164
        The senate's courtesy? Let deeds express3.1.165
        What's like to be their words: 'we did request it;3.1.166
        We are the greater poll, and in true fear3.1.167
        They gave us our demands.' Thus we debase3.1.168
        The nature of our seats and make the rabble3.1.169
        Call our cares fears; which will in time3.1.170
        Break ope the locks o' the senate and bring in3.1.171
        The crows to peck the eagles.3.1.172
Menenius. Come, enough.3.1.173
Brutus. Enough, with over-measure.3.1.174
Coriolanus. No, take more:3.1.175
        What may be sworn by, both divine and human,3.1.176
        Seal what I end withal! This double worship,3.1.177
        Where one part does disdain with cause, the other3.1.178
        Insult without all reason, where gentry, title, wisdom,3.1.179
        Cannot conclude but by the yea and no3.1.180
        Of general ignorance,--it must omit3.1.181
        Real necessities, and give way the while3.1.182
        To unstable slightness: purpose so barr'd,3.1.183
        it follows,3.1.184
        Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore, beseech you,--3.1.185
        You that will be less fearful than discreet,3.1.186
        That love the fundamental part of state3.1.187
        More than you doubt the change on't, that prefer3.1.188
        A noble life before a long, and wish3.1.189
        To jump a body with a dangerous physic3.1.190
        That's sure of death without it, at once pluck out3.1.191
        The multitudinous tongue; let them not lick3.1.192
        The sweet which is their poison: your dishonour3.1.193
        Mangles true judgment and bereaves the state3.1.194
        Of that integrity which should become't,3.1.195
        Not having the power to do the good it would,3.1.196
        For the in which doth control't.3.1.197
Brutus. Has said enough.3.1.198
Sicinius. Has spoken like a traitor, and shall answer3.1.199
        As traitors do.3.1.200
Coriolanus. Thou wretch, despite o'erwhelm thee!3.1.201
        What should the people do with these bald tribunes?3.1.202
        On whom depending, their obedience fails3.1.203
        To the greater bench: in a rebellion,3.1.204
        When what's not meet, but what must be, was law,3.1.205
        Then were they chosen: in a better hour,3.1.206
        Let what is meet be said it must be meet,3.1.207
        And throw their power i' the dust.3.1.208
Brutus. Manifest treason!3.1.209
Sicinius. This a consul? no.3.1.210
Brutus. The aediles, ho!3.1.211
        [Enter an AEdile]
        Let him be apprehended.3.1.212
Sicinius. Go, call the people:3.1.213
        [Exit AEdile]
        in whose name myself3.1.214
        Attach thee as a traitorous innovator,3.1.215
        A foe to the public weal: obey, I charge thee,3.1.216
        And follow to thine answer.3.1.217
Coriolanus. Hence, old goat!3.1.218
        Senators, & C We'll surety him.3.1.219
Cominius. Aged sir, hands off.3.1.220
Coriolanus. Hence, rotten thing! or I shall shake thy bones3.1.221
        Out of thy garments.3.1.222
Sicinius. Help, ye citizens!3.1.223
        [Enter a rabble of Citizens (Plebeians), with the AEdiles]
Menenius. On both sides more respect.3.1.224
Sicinius. Here's he that would take from you all your power.3.1.225
Brutus. Seize him, AEdiles!3.1.226
Citizens. Down with him! down with him!3.1.227
        Senators, & C Weapons, weapons, weapons!3.1.228
        [They all bustle about CORIOLANUS, crying]
        'Tribunes!' 'Patricians!' 'Citizens!' 'What, ho!'3.1.229
        'Sicinius!' 'Brutus!' 'Coriolanus!' 'Citizens!'3.1.230
        'Peace, peace, peace!' 'Stay, hold, peace!'3.1.231
Menenius. What is about to be? I am out of breath;3.1.232
        Confusion's near; I cannot speak. You, tribunes3.1.233
        To the people! Coriolanus, patience!3.1.234
        Speak, good Sicinius.3.1.235
Sicinius. Hear me, people; peace!3.1.236
Citizens. Let's hear our tribune: peace Speak, speak, speak.3.1.237
Sicinius. You are at point to lose your liberties:3.1.238
        Marcius would have all from you; Marcius,3.1.239
        Whom late you have named for consul.3.1.240
Menenius. Fie, fie, fie!3.1.241
        This is the way to kindle, not to quench.3.1.242
First Senator. To unbuild the city and to lay all flat.3.1.243
Sicinius. What is the city but the people?3.1.244
Citizens. True,3.1.245
        The people are the city.3.1.246
Brutus. By the consent of all, we were establish'd3.1.247
        The people's magistrates.3.1.248
Citizens. You so remain.3.1.249
Menenius. And so are like to do.3.1.250
Cominius. That is the way to lay the city flat;3.1.251
        To bring the roof to the foundation,3.1.252
        And bury all, which yet distinctly ranges,3.1.253
        In heaps and piles of ruin.3.1.254
Sicinius. This deserves death.3.1.255
Brutus. Or let us stand to our authority,3.1.256
        Or let us lose it. We do here pronounce,3.1.257
        Upon the part o' the people, in whose power3.1.258
        We were elected theirs, Marcius is worthy3.1.259
        Of present death.3.1.260
Sicinius. Therefore lay hold of him;3.1.261
        Bear him to the rock Tarpeian, and from thence3.1.262
        Into destruction cast him.3.1.263
Brutus. AEdiles, seize him!3.1.264
Citizens. Yield, Marcius, yield!3.1.265
Menenius. Hear me one word;3.1.266
        Beseech you, tribunes, hear me but a word.3.1.267
Aedile. Peace, peace!3.1.268
Menenius. [To BRUTUS] Be that you seem, truly your3.1.269
        country's friend,3.1.270
        And temperately proceed to what you would3.1.271
        Thus violently redress.3.1.272
Brutus. Sir, those cold ways,3.1.273
        That seem like prudent helps, are very poisonous3.1.274
        Where the disease is violent. Lay hands upon him,3.1.275
        And bear him to the rock.3.1.276
Coriolanus. No, I'll die here.3.1.277
        [Drawing his sword]
        There's some among you have beheld me fighting:3.1.278
        Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me.3.1.279
Menenius. Down with that sword! Tribunes, withdraw awhile.3.1.280
Brutus. Lay hands upon him.3.1.281
Cominius. Help Marcius, help,3.1.282
        You that be noble; help him, young and old!3.1.283
Citizens. Down with him, down with him!3.1.284
        [In this mutiny, the Tribunes, the AEdiles, and the People, are beat in]
Menenius. Go, get you to your house; be gone, away!3.1.285
        All will be naught else.3.1.286
Second Senator. Get you gone.3.1.287
Cominius. Stand fast;3.1.288
        We have as many friends as enemies.3.1.289
Menenius. Sham it be put to that?3.1.290
First Senator. The gods forbid!3.1.291
        I prithee, noble friend, home to thy house;3.1.292
        Leave us to cure this cause.3.1.293
Menenius. For 'tis a sore upon us,3.1.294
        You cannot tent yourself: be gone, beseech you.3.1.295
Cominius. Come, sir, along with us.3.1.296
Coriolanus. I would they were barbarians--as they are,3.1.297
        Though in Rome litter'd--not Romans--as they are not,3.1.298
        Though calved i' the porch o' the Capitol--3.1.299
Menenius. Be gone;3.1.300
        Put not your worthy rage into your tongue;3.1.301
        One time will owe another.3.1.302
Coriolanus. On fair ground3.1.303
        I could beat forty of them.3.1.304
Cominius. I could myself3.1.305
        Take up a brace o' the best of them; yea, the3.1.306
        two tribunes:3.1.307
        But now 'tis odds beyond arithmetic;3.1.308
        And manhood is call'd foolery, when it stands3.1.309
        Against a falling fabric. Will you hence,3.1.310
        Before the tag return? whose rage doth rend3.1.311
        Like interrupted waters and o'erbear3.1.312
        What they are used to bear.3.1.313
Menenius. Pray you, be gone:3.1.314
        I'll try whether my old wit be in request3.1.315
        With those that have but little: this must be patch'd3.1.316
        With cloth of any colour.3.1.317
Cominius. Nay, come away.3.1.318
        [Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, and others]
A Patrician. This man has marr'd his fortune.3.1.319
Menenius. His nature is too noble for the world:3.1.320
        He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,3.1.321
        Or Jove for's power to thunder. His heart's his mouth:3.1.322
        What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent;3.1.323
        And, being angry, does forget that ever3.1.324
        He heard the name of death.3.1.325
        [A noise within]
        Here's goodly work!3.1.326
Second Patrician. I would they were abed!3.1.327
Menenius. I would they were in Tiber! What the vengeance!3.1.328
        Could he not speak 'em fair?3.1.329
        [Re-enter BRUTUS and SICINIUS, with the rabble]
Sicinius. Where is this viper3.1.330
        That would depopulate the city and3.1.331
        Be every man himself?3.1.332
Menenius. You worthy tribunes,--3.1.333
Sicinius. He shall be thrown down the Tarpeian rock3.1.334
        With rigorous hands: he hath resisted law,3.1.335
        And therefore law shall scorn him further trial3.1.336
        Than the severity of the public power3.1.337
        Which he so sets at nought.3.1.338
First Citizen. He shall well know3.1.339
        The noble tribunes are the people's mouths,3.1.340
        And we their hands.3.1.341
Citizens. He shall, sure on't.3.1.342
Menenius. Sir, sir,--3.1.343
Sicinius. Peace!3.1.344
Menenius. Do not cry havoc, where you should but hunt3.1.345
        With modest warrant.3.1.346
Sicinius. Sir, how comes't that you3.1.347
        Have holp to make this rescue?3.1.348
Menenius. Hear me speak:3.1.349
        As I do know the consul's worthiness,3.1.350
        So can I name his faults,--3.1.351
Sicinius. Consul! what consul?3.1.352
Menenius. The consul Coriolanus.3.1.353
Brutus. He consul!3.1.354
Citizens. No, no, no, no, no.3.1.355
Menenius. If, by the tribunes' leave, and yours, good people,3.1.356
        I may be heard, I would crave a word or two;3.1.357
        The which shall turn you to no further harm3.1.358
        Than so much loss of time.3.1.359
Sicinius. Speak briefly then;3.1.360
        For we are peremptory to dispatch3.1.361
        This viperous traitor: to eject him hence3.1.362
        Were but one danger, and to keep him here3.1.363
        Our certain death: therefore it is decreed3.1.364
        He dies to-night.3.1.365
Menenius. Now the good gods forbid3.1.366
        That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude3.1.367
        Towards her deserved children is enroll'd3.1.368
        In Jove's own book, like an unnatural dam3.1.369
        Should now eat up her own!3.1.370
Sicinius. He's a disease that must be cut away.3.1.371
Menenius. O, he's a limb that has but a disease;3.1.372
        Mortal, to cut it off; to cure it, easy.3.1.373
        What has he done to Rome that's worthy death?3.1.374
        Killing our enemies, the blood he hath lost--3.1.375
        Which, I dare vouch, is more than that he hath,3.1.376
        By many an ounce--he dropp'd it for his country;3.1.377
        And what is left, to lose it by his country,3.1.378
        Were to us all, that do't and suffer it,3.1.379
        A brand to the end o' the world.3.1.380
Sicinius. This is clean kam.3.1.381
Brutus. Merely awry: when he did love his country,3.1.382
        It honour'd him.3.1.383
Menenius. The service of the foot3.1.384
        Being once gangrened, is not then respected3.1.385
        For what before it was.3.1.386
Brutus. We'll hear no more.3.1.387
        Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence:3.1.388
        Lest his infection, being of catching nature,3.1.389
        Spread further.3.1.390
Menenius. One word more, one word.3.1.391
        This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find3.1.392
        The harm of unscann'd swiftness, will too late3.1.393
        Tie leaden pounds to's heels. Proceed by process;3.1.394
        Lest parties, as he is beloved, break out,3.1.395
        And sack great Rome with Romans.3.1.396
Brutus. If it were so,--3.1.397
Sicinius. What do ye talk?3.1.398
        Have we not had a taste of his obedience?3.1.399
        Our aediles smote? ourselves resisted? Come.3.1.400
Menenius. Consider this: he has been bred i' the wars3.1.401
        Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school'd3.1.402
        In bolted language; meal and bran together3.1.403
        He throws without distinction. Give me leave,3.1.404
        I'll go to him, and undertake to bring him3.1.405
        Where he shall answer, by a lawful form,3.1.406
        In peace, to his utmost peril.3.1.407
First Senator. Noble tribunes,3.1.408
        It is the humane way: the other course3.1.409
        Will prove too bloody, and the end of it3.1.410
        Unknown to the beginning.3.1.411
Sicinius. Noble Menenius,3.1.412
        Be you then as the people's officer.3.1.413
        Masters, lay down your weapons.3.1.414
Brutus. Go not home.3.1.415
Sicinius. Meet on the market-place. We'll attend you there:3.1.416
        Where, if you bring not Marcius, we'll proceed3.1.417
        In our first way.3.1.418
Menenius. I'll bring him to you.3.1.419
        [To the Senators]
        Let me desire your company: he must come,3.1.420
        Or what is worst will follow.3.1.421
First Senator. Pray you, let's to him.3.1.422

SCENE II. A room in CORIOLANUS'S house.

previous scene   next scene
[Enter CORIOLANUS with Patricians]
Coriolanus. Let them puff all about mine ears, present me3.2.1
        Death on the wheel or at wild horses' heels,3.2.2
        Or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock,3.2.3
        That the precipitation might down stretch3.2.4
        Below the beam of sight, yet will I still3.2.5
        Be thus to them.3.2.6
A Patrician. You do the nobler.3.2.7
Coriolanus. I muse my mother3.2.8
        Does not approve me further, who was wont3.2.9
        To call them woollen vassals, things created3.2.10
        To buy and sell with groats, to show bare heads3.2.11
        In congregations, to yawn, be still and wonder,3.2.12
        When one but of my ordinance stood up3.2.13
        To speak of peace or war.3.2.14
        [Enter VOLUMNIA]
        I talk of you:3.2.15
        Why did you wish me milder? would you have me3.2.16
        False to my nature? Rather say I play3.2.17
        The man I am.3.2.18
Volumnia. O, sir, sir, sir,3.2.19
        I would have had you put your power well on,3.2.20
        Before you had worn it out.3.2.21
Coriolanus. Let go.3.2.22
Volumnia. You might have been enough the man you are,3.2.23
        With striving less to be so; lesser had been3.2.24
        The thwartings of your dispositions, if3.2.25
        You had not show'd them how ye were disposed3.2.26
        Ere they lack'd power to cross you.3.2.27
Coriolanus. Let them hang.3.2.28
A Patrician. Ay, and burn too.3.2.29
        [Enter MENENIUS and Senators]
Menenius. Come, come, you have been too rough, something3.2.30
        too rough;3.2.31
        You must return and mend it.3.2.32
First Senator. There's no remedy;3.2.33
        Unless, by not so doing, our good city3.2.34
        Cleave in the midst, and perish.3.2.35
Volumnia. Pray, be counsell'd:3.2.36
        I have a heart as little apt as yours,3.2.37
        But yet a brain that leads my use of anger3.2.38
        To better vantage.3.2.39
Menenius. Well said, noble woman?3.2.40
        Before he should thus stoop to the herd, but that3.2.41
        The violent fit o' the time craves it as physic3.2.42
        For the whole state, I would put mine armour on,3.2.43
        Which I can scarcely bear.3.2.44
Coriolanus. What must I do?3.2.45
Menenius. Return to the tribunes.3.2.46
Coriolanus. Well, what then? what then?3.2.47
Menenius. Repent what you have spoke.3.2.48
Coriolanus. For them! I cannot do it to the gods;3.2.49
        Must I then do't to them?3.2.50
Volumnia. You are too absolute;3.2.51
        Though therein you can never be too noble,3.2.52
        But when extremities speak. I have heard you say,3.2.53
        Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends,3.2.54
        I' the war do grow together: grant that, and tell me,3.2.55
        In peace what each of them by the other lose,3.2.56
        That they combine not there.3.2.57
Coriolanus. Tush, tush!3.2.58
Menenius. A good demand.3.2.59
Volumnia. If it be honour in your wars to seem3.2.60
        The same you are not, which, for your best ends,3.2.61
        You adopt your policy, how is it less or worse,3.2.62
        That it shall hold companionship in peace3.2.63
        With honour, as in war, since that to both3.2.64
        It stands in like request?3.2.65
Coriolanus. Why force you this?3.2.66
Volumnia. Because that now it lies you on to speak3.2.67
        To the people; not by your own instruction,3.2.68
        Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you,3.2.69
        But with such words that are but rooted in3.2.70
        Your tongue, though but bastards and syllables3.2.71
        Of no allowance to your bosom's truth.3.2.72
        Now, this no more dishonours you at all3.2.73
        Than to take in a town with gentle words,3.2.74
        Which else would put you to your fortune and3.2.75
        The hazard of much blood.3.2.76
        I would dissemble with my nature where3.2.77
        My fortunes and my friends at stake required3.2.78
        I should do so in honour: I am in this,3.2.79
        Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles;3.2.80
        And you will rather show our general louts3.2.81
        How you can frown than spend a fawn upon 'em,3.2.82
        For the inheritance of their loves and safeguard3.2.83
        Of what that want might ruin.3.2.84
Menenius. Noble lady!3.2.85
        Come, go with us; speak fair: you may salve so,3.2.86
        Not what is dangerous present, but the loss3.2.87
        Of what is past.3.2.88
Volumnia. I prithee now, my son,3.2.89
        Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand;3.2.90
        And thus far having stretch'd it--here be with them--3.2.91
        Thy knee bussing the stones--for in such business3.2.92
        Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant3.2.93
        More learned than the ears--waving thy head,3.2.94
        Which often, thus, correcting thy stout heart,3.2.95
        Now humble as the ripest mulberry3.2.96
        That will not hold the handling: or say to them,3.2.97
        Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils3.2.98
        Hast not the soft way which, thou dost confess,3.2.99
        Were fit for thee to use as they to claim,3.2.100
        In asking their good loves, but thou wilt frame3.2.101
        Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far3.2.102
        As thou hast power and person.3.2.103
Menenius. This but done,3.2.104
        Even as she speaks, why, their hearts were yours;3.2.105
        For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free3.2.106
        As words to little purpose.3.2.107
Volumnia. Prithee now,3.2.108
        Go, and be ruled: although I know thou hadst rather3.2.109
        Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf3.2.110
        Than flatter him in a bower. Here is Cominius.3.2.111
        [Enter COMINIUS]
Cominius. I have been i' the market-place; and, sir,'tis fit3.2.112
        You make strong party, or defend yourself3.2.113
        By calmness or by absence: all's in anger.3.2.114
Menenius. Only fair speech.3.2.115
Cominius. I think 'twill serve, if he3.2.116
        Can thereto frame his spirit.3.2.117
Volumnia. He must, and will3.2.118
        Prithee now, say you will, and go about it.3.2.119
Coriolanus. Must I go show them my unbarbed sconce?3.2.120
        Must I with base tongue give my noble heart3.2.121
        A lie that it must bear? Well, I will do't:3.2.122
        Yet, were there but this single plot to lose,3.2.123
        This mould of Marcius, they to dust should grind it3.2.124
        And throw't against the wind. To the market-place!3.2.125
        You have put me now to such a part which never3.2.126
        I shall discharge to the life.3.2.127
Cominius. Come, come, we'll prompt you.3.2.128
Volumnia. I prithee now, sweet son, as thou hast said3.2.129
        My praises made thee first a soldier, so,3.2.130
        To have my praise for this, perform a part3.2.131
        Thou hast not done before.3.2.132
Coriolanus. Well, I must do't:3.2.133
        Away, my disposition, and possess me3.2.134
        Some harlot's spirit! my throat of war be turn'd,3.2.135
        Which quired with my drum, into a pipe3.2.136
        Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice3.2.137
        That babies lulls asleep! the smiles of knaves3.2.138
        Tent in my cheeks, and schoolboys' tears take up3.2.139
        The glasses of my sight! a beggar's tongue3.2.140
        Make motion through my lips, and my arm'd knees,3.2.141
        Who bow'd but in my stirrup, bend like his3.2.142
        That hath received an alms! I will not do't,3.2.143
        Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth3.2.144
        And by my body's action teach my mind3.2.145
        A most inherent baseness.3.2.146
Volumnia At thy choice, then:3.2.147
        To beg of thee, it is my more dishonour3.2.148
        Than thou of them. Come all to ruin; let3.2.149
        Thy mother rather feel thy pride than fear3.2.150
        Thy dangerous stoutness, for I mock at death3.2.151
        With as big heart as thou. Do as thou list3.2.152
        Thy valiantness was mine, thou suck'dst it from me,3.2.153
        But owe thy pride thyself.3.2.154
Coriolanus. Pray, be content:3.2.155
        Mother, I am going to the market-place;3.2.156
        Chide me no more. I'll mountebank their loves,3.2.157
        Cog their hearts from them, and come home beloved3.2.158
        Of all the trades in Rome. Look, I am going:3.2.159
        Commend me to my wife. I'll return consul;3.2.160
        Or never trust to what my tongue can do3.2.161
        I' the way of flattery further.3.2.162
Volumnia. Do your will.3.2.163
Cominius. Away! the tribunes do attend you: arm yourself3.2.164
        To answer mildly; for they are prepared3.2.165
        With accusations, as I hear, more strong3.2.166
        Than are upon you yet.3.2.167
Coriolanus. The word is 'mildly.' Pray you, let us go:3.2.168
        Let them accuse me by invention, I3.2.169
        Will answer in mine honour.3.2.170
Menenius. Ay, but mildly.3.2.171
Coriolanus. Well, mildly be it then. Mildly!3.2.172

SCENE III. The same. The Forum.

previous scene   next scene
Brutus. In this point charge him home, that he affects3.3.1
        Tyrannical power: if he evade us there,3.3.2
        Enforce him with his envy to the people,3.3.3
        And that the spoil got on the Antiates3.3.4
        Was ne'er distributed.3.3.5
        [Enter an AEdile]
        What, will he come?3.3.6
Aedile. He's coming.3.3.7
Brutus. How accompanied?3.3.8
Aedile. With old Menenius, and those senators3.3.9
        That always favour'd him.3.3.10
Sicinius. Have you a catalogue3.3.11
        Of all the voices that we have procured3.3.12
        Set down by the poll?3.3.13
Aedile. I have; 'tis ready.3.3.14
Sicinius. Have you collected them by tribes?3.3.15
Aedile. I have.3.3.16
Sicinius. Assemble presently the people hither;3.3.17
        And when they bear me say 'It shall be so3.3.18
        I' the right and strength o' the commons,' be it either3.3.19
        For death, for fine, or banishment, then let them3.3.20
        If I say fine, cry 'Fine;' if death, cry 'Death.'3.3.21
        Insisting on the old prerogative3.3.22
        And power i' the truth o' the cause.3.3.23
Aedile. I shall inform them.3.3.24
Brutus. And when such time they have begun to cry,3.3.25
        Let them not cease, but with a din confused3.3.26
        Enforce the present execution3.3.27
        Of what we chance to sentence.3.3.28
Aedile. Very well.3.3.29
Sicinius. Make them be strong and ready for this hint,3.3.30
        When we shall hap to give 't them.3.3.31
Brutus. Go about it.3.3.32
        [Exit AEdile]
        Put him to choler straight: he hath been used3.3.33
        Ever to conquer, and to have his worth3.3.34
        Of contradiction: being once chafed, he cannot3.3.35
        Be rein'd again to temperance; then he speaks3.3.36
        What's in his heart; and that is there which looks3.3.37
        With us to break his neck.3.3.38
Sicinius. Well, here he comes.3.3.39
        [Enter CORIOLANUS, MENENIUS, and COMINIUS, with Senators and Patricians]
Menenius. Calmly, I do beseech you.3.3.40
Coriolanus. Ay, as an ostler, that for the poorest piece3.3.41
        Will bear the knave by the volume. The honour'd gods3.3.42
        Keep Rome in safety, and the chairs of justice3.3.43
        Supplied with worthy men! plant love among 's!3.3.44
        Throng our large temples with the shows of peace,3.3.45
        And not our streets with war!3.3.46
First Senator. Amen, amen.3.3.47
Menenius. A noble wish.3.3.48
        [Re-enter AEdile, with Citizens]
Sicinius. Draw near, ye people.3.3.49
Aedile. List to your tribunes. Audience: peace, I say!3.3.50
Coriolanus. First, hear me speak.3.3.51
Both Tribunes. Well, say. Peace, ho!3.3.52
Coriolanus. Shall I be charged no further than this present?3.3.53
        Must all determine here?3.3.54
Sicinius. I do demand,3.3.55
        If you submit you to the people's voices,3.3.56
        Allow their officers and are content3.3.57
        To suffer lawful censure for such faults3.3.58
        As shall be proved upon you?3.3.59
Coriolanus. I am content.3.3.60
Menenius. Lo, citizens, he says he is content:3.3.61
        The warlike service he has done, consider; think3.3.62
        Upon the wounds his body bears, which show3.3.63
        Like graves i' the holy churchyard.3.3.64
Coriolanus. Scratches with briers,3.3.65
        Scars to move laughter only.3.3.66
Menenius. Consider further,3.3.67
        That when he speaks not like a citizen,3.3.68
        You find him like a soldier: do not take3.3.69
        His rougher accents for malicious sounds,3.3.70
        But, as I say, such as become a soldier,3.3.71
        Rather than envy you.3.3.72
Cominius. Well, well, no more.3.3.73
Coriolanus. What is the matter3.3.74
        That being pass'd for consul with full voice,3.3.75
        I am so dishonour'd that the very hour3.3.76
        You take it off again?3.3.77
Sicinius. Answer to us.3.3.78
Coriolanus. Say, then: 'tis true, I ought so.3.3.79
Sicinius. We charge you, that you have contrived to take3.3.80
        From Rome all season'd office and to wind3.3.81
        Yourself into a power tyrannical;3.3.82
        For which you are a traitor to the people.3.3.83
Coriolanus. How! traitor!3.3.84
Menenius. Nay, temperately; your promise.3.3.85
Coriolanus. The fires i' the lowest hell fold-in the people!3.3.86
        Call me their traitor! Thou injurious tribune!3.3.87
        Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths,3.3.88
        In thy hand clutch'd as many millions, in3.3.89
        Thy lying tongue both numbers, I would say3.3.90
        'Thou liest' unto thee with a voice as free3.3.91
        As I do pray the gods.3.3.92
Sicinius. Mark you this, people?3.3.93
Citizens. To the rock, to the rock with him!3.3.94
Sicinius. Peace!3.3.95
        We need not put new matter to his charge:3.3.96
        What you have seen him do and heard him speak,3.3.97
        Beating your officers, cursing yourselves,3.3.98
        Opposing laws with strokes and here defying3.3.99
        Those whose great power must try him; even this,3.3.100
        So criminal and in such capital kind,3.3.101
        Deserves the extremest death.3.3.102
Brutus. But since he hath3.3.103
        Served well for Rome,--3.3.104
Coriolanus. What do you prate of service?3.3.105
Brutus. I talk of that, that know it.3.3.106
Coriolanus. You?3.3.107
Menenius. Is this the promise that you made your mother?3.3.108
Cominius. Know, I pray you,--3.3.109
Coriolanus. I know no further:3.3.110
        Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,3.3.111
        Vagabond exile, raying, pent to linger3.3.112
        But with a grain a day, I would not buy3.3.113
        Their mercy at the price of one fair word;3.3.114
        Nor cheque my courage for what they can give,3.3.115
        To have't with saying 'Good morrow.'3.3.116
Sicinius. For that he has,3.3.117
        As much as in him lies, from time to time3.3.118
        Envied against the people, seeking means3.3.119
        To pluck away their power, as now at last3.3.120
        Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence3.3.121
        Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers3.3.122
        That do distribute it; in the name o' the people3.3.123
        And in the power of us the tribunes, we,3.3.124
        Even from this instant, banish him our city,3.3.125
        In peril of precipitation3.3.126
        From off the rock Tarpeian never more3.3.127
        To enter our Rome gates: i' the people's name,3.3.128
        I say it shall be so.3.3.129
Citizens. It shall be so, it shall be so; let him away:3.3.130
        He's banish'd, and it shall be so.3.3.131
Cominius. Hear me, my masters, and my common friends,--3.3.132
Sicinius. He's sentenced; no more hearing.3.3.133
Cominius. Let me speak:3.3.134
        I have been consul, and can show for Rome3.3.135
        Her enemies' marks upon me. I do love3.3.136
        My country's good with a respect more tender,3.3.137
        More holy and profound, than mine own life,3.3.138
        My dear wife's estimate, her womb's increase,3.3.139
        And treasure of my loins; then if I would3.3.140
        Speak that,--3.3.141
Sicinius. We know your drift: speak what?3.3.142
Brutus. There's no more to be said, but he is banish'd,3.3.143
        As enemy to the people and his country:3.3.144
        It shall be so.3.3.145
Citizens. It shall be so, it shall be so.3.3.146
Coriolanus. You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate3.3.147
        As reek o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize3.3.148
        As the dead carcasses of unburied men3.3.149
        That do corrupt my air, I banish you;3.3.150
        And here remain with your uncertainty!3.3.151
        Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!3.3.152
        Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,3.3.153
        Fan you into despair! Have the power still3.3.154
        To banish your defenders; till at length3.3.155
        Your ignorance, which finds not till it feels,3.3.156
        Making not reservation of yourselves,3.3.157
        Still your own foes, deliver you as most3.3.158
        Abated captives to some nation3.3.159
        That won you without blows! Despising,3.3.160
        For you, the city, thus I turn my back:3.3.161
        There is a world elsewhere.3.3.162
        [Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, MENENIUS, Senators, and Patricians]
Aedile. The people's enemy is gone, is gone!3.3.163
Citizens. Our enemy is banish'd! he is gone! Hoo! hoo!3.3.164
        [Shouting, and throwing up their caps]
Sicinius. Go, see him out at gates, and follow him,3.3.165
        As he hath followed you, with all despite;3.3.166
        Give him deserved vexation. Let a guard3.3.167
        Attend us through the city.3.3.168
Citizens. Come, come; let's see him out at gates; come.3.3.169
        The gods preserve our noble tribunes! Come.3.3.170


SCENE I. Rome. Before a gate of the city.

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[Enter CORIOLANUS, VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, MENENIUS, COMINIUS, with the young Nobility of Rome]
Coriolanus. Come, leave your tears: a brief farewell: the beast4.1.1
        With many heads butts me away. Nay, mother,4.1.2
        Where is your ancient courage? you were used4.1.3
        To say extremity was the trier of spirits;4.1.4
        That common chances common men could bear;4.1.5
        That when the sea was calm all boats alike4.1.6
        Show'd mastership in floating; fortune's blows,4.1.7
        When most struck home, being gentle wounded, craves4.1.8
        A noble cunning: you were used to load me4.1.9
        With precepts that would make invincible4.1.10
        The heart that conn'd them.4.1.11
Virgilia. O heavens! O heavens!4.1.12
Coriolanus. Nay! prithee, woman,--4.1.13
Volumnia. Now the red pestilence strike all trades in Rome,4.1.14
        And occupations perish!4.1.15
Coriolanus. What, what, what!4.1.16
        I shall be loved when I am lack'd. Nay, mother.4.1.17
        Resume that spirit, when you were wont to say,4.1.18
        If you had been the wife of Hercules,4.1.19
        Six of his labours you'ld have done, and saved4.1.20
        Your husband so much sweat. Cominius,4.1.21
        Droop not; adieu. Farewell, my wife, my mother:4.1.22
        I'll do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius,4.1.23
        Thy tears are salter than a younger man's,4.1.24
        And venomous to thine eyes. My sometime general,4.1.25
        I have seen thee stem, and thou hast oft beheld4.1.26
        Heart-hardening spectacles; tell these sad women4.1.27
        'Tis fond to wail inevitable strokes,4.1.28
        As 'tis to laugh at 'em. My mother, you wot well4.1.29
        My hazards still have been your solace: and4.1.30
        Believe't not lightly--though I go alone,4.1.31
        Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen4.1.32
        Makes fear'd and talk'd of more than seen--your son4.1.33
        Will or exceed the common or be caught4.1.34
        With cautelous baits and practise.4.1.35
Volumnia. My first son.4.1.36
        Whither wilt thou go? Take good Cominius4.1.37
        With thee awhile: determine on some course,4.1.38
        More than a wild exposture to each chance4.1.39
        That starts i' the way before thee.4.1.40
Coriolanus. O the gods!4.1.41
Cominius. I'll follow thee a month, devise with thee4.1.42
        Where thou shalt rest, that thou mayst hear of us4.1.43
        And we of thee: so if the time thrust forth4.1.44
        A cause for thy repeal, we shall not send4.1.45
        O'er the vast world to seek a single man,4.1.46
        And lose advantage, which doth ever cool4.1.47
        I' the absence of the needer.4.1.48
Coriolanus. Fare ye well:4.1.49
        Thou hast years upon thee; and thou art too full4.1.50
        Of the wars' surfeits, to go rove with one4.1.51
        That's yet unbruised: bring me but out at gate.4.1.52
        Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and4.1.53
        My friends of noble touch, when I am forth,4.1.54
        Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you, come.4.1.55
        While I remain above the ground, you shall4.1.56
        Hear from me still, and never of me aught4.1.57
        But what is like me formerly.4.1.58
Menenius. That's worthily4.1.59
        As any ear can hear. Come, let's not weep.4.1.60
        If I could shake off but one seven years4.1.61
        From these old arms and legs, by the good gods,4.1.62
        I'ld with thee every foot.4.1.63
Coriolanus. Give me thy hand: Come.4.1.64

SCENE II. The same. A street near the gate.

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[Enter SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and an AEdile]
Sicinius. Bid them all home; he's gone, and we'll no further.4.2.1
        The nobility are vex'd, whom we see have sided4.2.2
        In his behalf.4.2.3
Brutus. Now we have shown our power,4.2.4
        Let us seem humbler after it is done4.2.5
        Than when it was a-doing.4.2.6
Sicinius. Bid them home:4.2.7
        Say their great enemy is gone, and they4.2.8
        Stand in their ancient strength.4.2.9
Brutus. Dismiss them home.4.2.10
        [Exit AEdile]
        Here comes his mother.4.2.11
Sicinius. Let's not meet her.4.2.12
Brutus. Why?4.2.13
Sicinius. They say she's mad.4.2.14
Brutus. They have ta'en note of us: keep on your way.4.2.15
Volumnia. O, ye're well met: the hoarded plague o' the gods4.2.16
        Requite your love!4.2.17
Menenius. Peace, peace; be not so loud.4.2.18
Volumnia. If that I could for weeping, you should hear,--4.2.19
        Nay, and you shall hear some.4.2.20
        [To BRUTUS]
        Will you be gone?4.2.21
Virgilia. [To SICINIUS] You shall stay too: I would I had the power4.2.22
        To say so to my husband.4.2.23
Sicinius. Are you mankind?4.2.24
Volumnia. Ay, fool; is that a shame? Note but this fool.4.2.25
        Was not a man my father? Hadst thou foxship4.2.26
        To banish him that struck more blows for Rome4.2.27
        Than thou hast spoken words?4.2.28
Sicinius. O blessed heavens!4.2.29
Volumnia. More noble blows than ever thou wise words;4.2.30
        And for Rome's good. I'll tell thee what; yet go:4.2.31
        Nay, but thou shalt stay too: I would my son4.2.32
        Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him,4.2.33
        His good sword in his hand.4.2.34
Sicinius. What then?4.2.35
Virgilia. What then!4.2.36
        He'ld make an end of thy posterity.4.2.37
Volumnia. Bastards and all.4.2.38
        Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome!4.2.39
Menenius. Come, come, peace.4.2.40
Sicinius. I would he had continued to his country4.2.41
        As he began, and not unknit himself4.2.42
        The noble knot he made.4.2.43
Brutus. I would he had.4.2.44
Volumnia. 'I would he had'! 'Twas you incensed the rabble:4.2.45
        Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth4.2.46
        As I can of those mysteries which heaven4.2.47
        Will not have earth to know.4.2.48
Brutus. Pray, let us go.4.2.49
Volumnia. Now, pray, sir, get you gone:4.2.50
        You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear this:--4.2.51
        As far as doth the Capitol exceed4.2.52
        The meanest house in Rome, so far my son--4.2.53
        This lady's husband here, this, do you see--4.2.54
        Whom you have banish'd, does exceed you all.4.2.55
Brutus. Well, well, we'll leave you.4.2.56
Sicinius. Why stay we to be baited4.2.57
        With one that wants her wits?4.2.58
Volumnia. Take my prayers with you.4.2.59
        [Exeunt Tribunes]
        I would the gods had nothing else to do4.2.60
        But to confirm my curses! Could I meet 'em4.2.61
        But once a-day, it would unclog my heart4.2.62
        Of what lies heavy to't.4.2.63
Menenius. You have told them home;4.2.64
        And, by my troth, you have cause. You'll sup with me?4.2.65
Volumnia. Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself,4.2.66
        And so shall starve with feeding. Come, let's go:4.2.67
        Leave this faint puling and lament as I do,4.2.68
        In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come.4.2.69
Menenius. Fie, fie, fie!4.2.70

SCENE III. A highway between Rome and Antium.

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[Enter a Roman and a Volsce, meeting]
Roman. I know you well, sir, and you know4.3.1
        me: your name, I think, is Adrian.4.3.2
Volsce. It is so, sir: truly, I have forgot you.4.3.3
Roman. I am a Roman; and my services are,4.3.4
        as you are, against 'em: know you me yet?4.3.5
Volsce. Nicanor? no.4.3.6
Roman. The same, sir.4.3.7
Volsce. You had more beard when I last saw you; but your4.3.8
        favour is well approved by your tongue. What's the4.3.9
        news in Rome? I have a note from the Volscian state,4.3.10
        to find you out there: you have well saved me a4.3.11
        day's journey.4.3.12
Roman. There hath been in Rome strange insurrections; the4.3.13
        people against the senators, patricians, and nobles.4.3.14
Volsce. Hath been! is it ended, then? Our state thinks not4.3.15
        so: they are in a most warlike preparation, and4.3.16
        hope to come upon them in the heat of their division.4.3.17
Roman. The main blaze of it is past, but a small thing4.3.18
        would make it flame again: for the nobles receive4.3.19
        so to heart the banishment of that worthy4.3.20
        Coriolanus, that they are in a ripe aptness to take4.3.21
        all power from the people and to pluck from them4.3.22
        their tribunes for ever. This lies glowing, I can4.3.23
        tell you, and is almost mature for the violent4.3.24
        breaking out.4.3.25
Volsce. Coriolanus banished!4.3.26
Roman. Banished, sir.4.3.27
Volsce. You will be welcome with this intelligence, Nicanor.4.3.28
Roman. The day serves well for them now. I have heard it4.3.29
        said, the fittest time to corrupt a man's wife is4.3.30
        when she's fallen out with her husband. Your noble4.3.31
        Tullus Aufidius will appear well in these wars, his4.3.32
        great opposer, Coriolanus, being now in no request4.3.33
        of his country.4.3.34
Volsce. He cannot choose. I am most fortunate, thus4.3.35
        accidentally to encounter you: you have ended my4.3.36
        business, and I will merrily accompany you home.4.3.37
Roman. I shall, between this and supper, tell you most4.3.38
        strange things from Rome; all tending to the good of4.3.39
        their adversaries. Have you an army ready, say you?4.3.40
Volsce. A most royal one; the centurions and their charges,4.3.41
        distinctly billeted, already in the entertainment,4.3.42
        and to be on foot at an hour's warning.4.3.43
Roman. I am joyful to hear of their readiness, and am the4.3.44
        man, I think, that shall set them in present action.4.3.45
        So, sir, heartily well met, and most glad of your company.4.3.46
Volsce. You take my part from me, sir; I have the most cause4.3.47
        to be glad of yours.4.3.48
Roman. Well, let us go together.4.3.49

SCENE IV. Antium. Before Aufidius's house.

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[Enter CORIOLANUS in mean apparel, disguised and muffled]
Coriolanus. A goodly city is this Antium. City,4.4.1
        'Tis I that made thy widows: many an heir4.4.2
        Of these fair edifices 'fore my wars4.4.3
        Have I heard groan and drop: then know me not,4.4.4
        Lest that thy wives with spits and boys with stones4.4.5
        In puny battle slay me.4.4.6
        [Enter a Citizen]
        Save you, sir.4.4.7
Citizen. And you.4.4.8
Coriolanus. Direct me, if it be your will,4.4.9
        Where great Aufidius lies: is he in Antium?4.4.10
Citizen. He is, and feasts the nobles of the state4.4.11
        At his house this night.4.4.12
Coriolanus. Which is his house, beseech you?4.4.13
Citizen. This, here before you.4.4.14
Coriolanus. Thank you, sir: farewell.4.4.15
        [Exit Citizen]
        O world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn,4.4.16
        Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart,4.4.17
        Whose house, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise,4.4.18
        Are still together, who twin, as 'twere, in love4.4.19
        Unseparable, shall within this hour,4.4.20
        On a dissension of a doit, break out4.4.21
        To bitterest enmity: so, fellest foes,4.4.22
        Whose passions and whose plots have broke their sleep,4.4.23
        To take the one the other, by some chance,4.4.24
        Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends4.4.25
        And interjoin their issues. So with me:4.4.26
        My birth-place hate I, and my love's upon4.4.27
        This enemy town. I'll enter: if he slay me,4.4.28
        He does fair justice; if he give me way,4.4.29
        I'll do his country service.4.4.30

SCENE V. The same. A hall in Aufidius's house.

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[Music within. Enter a Servingman]
First Servingman. Wine, wine, wine! What service4.5.1
        is here! I think our fellows are asleep.4.5.2
        [Enter a second Servingman]
Second Servingman. Where's Cotus? my master calls4.5.3
        for him. Cotus!4.5.4
        [Enter CORIOLANUS]
Coriolanus A goodly house: the feast smells well; but I4.5.5
        Appear not like a guest.4.5.6
        [Re-enter the first Servingman]
First Servingman. What would you have, friend? whence are you?4.5.7
        Here's no place for you: pray, go to the door.4.5.8
Coriolanus. I have deserved no better entertainment,4.5.9
        In being Coriolanus.4.5.10
        [Re-enter second Servingman]
Second Servingman. Whence are you, sir? Has the porter his eyes in his4.5.11
        head; that he gives entrance to such companions?4.5.12
        Pray, get you out.4.5.13
Coriolanus. Away!4.5.14
Second Servingman. Away! get you away.4.5.15
Coriolanus. Now thou'rt troublesome.4.5.16
Second Servingman. Are you so brave? I'll have you talked with anon.4.5.17
        [Enter a third Servingman. The first meets him]
Third Servingman. What fellow's this?4.5.18
First Servingman. A strange one as ever I looked on: I cannot get him4.5.19
        out of the house: prithee, call my master to him.4.5.20
Third Servingman. What have you to do here, fellow? Pray you, avoid4.5.21
        the house.4.5.22
Coriolanus. Let me but stand; I will not hurt your hearth.4.5.23
Third Servingman. What are you?4.5.24
Coriolanus. A gentleman.4.5.25
Third Servingman. A marvellous poor one.4.5.26
Coriolanus. True, so I am.4.5.27
Third Servingman. Pray you, poor gentleman, take up some other4.5.28
        station; here's no place for you; pray you, avoid: come.4.5.29
Coriolanus. Follow your function, go, and batten on cold bits.4.5.30
        [Pushes him away]
Third Servingman. What, you will not? Prithee, tell my master what a4.5.31
        strange guest he has here.4.5.32
Second Servingman. And I shall.4.5.33
Third Servingman. Where dwellest thou?4.5.34
Coriolanus. Under the canopy.4.5.35
Third Servingman. Under the canopy!4.5.36
Coriolanus. Ay.4.5.37
Third Servingman. Where's that?4.5.38
Coriolanus. I' the city of kites and crows.4.5.39
Third Servingman. I' the city of kites and crows! What an ass it is!4.5.40
        Then thou dwellest with daws too?4.5.41
Coriolanus. No, I serve not thy master.4.5.42
Third Servingman. How, sir! do you meddle with my master?4.5.43
Coriolanus. Ay; 'tis an honester service than to meddle with thy4.5.44
        mistress. Thou pratest, and pratest; serve with thy4.5.45
        trencher, hence!4.5.46
        [Beats him away. Exit third Servingman]
        [Enter AUFIDIUS with the second Servingman]
Aufidius. Where is this fellow?4.5.47
Second Servingman. Here, sir: I'ld have beaten him like a dog, but for4.5.48
        disturbing the lords within.4.5.49
Aufidius. Whence comest thou? what wouldst thou? thy name?4.5.50
        Why speak'st not? speak, man: what's thy name?4.5.51
Coriolanus. If, Tullus,4.5.52
        Not yet thou knowest me, and, seeing me, dost not4.5.53
        Think me for the man I am, necessity4.5.54
        Commands me name myself.4.5.55
Aufidius. What is thy name?4.5.56
Coriolanus. A name unmusical to the Volscians' ears,4.5.57
        And harsh in sound to thine.4.5.58
Aufidius. Say, what's thy name?4.5.59
        Thou hast a grim appearance, and thy face4.5.60
        Bears a command in't; though thy tackle's torn.4.5.61
        Thou show'st a noble vessel: what's thy name?4.5.62
Coriolanus. Prepare thy brow to frown: know'st4.5.63
        thou me yet?4.5.64
Aufidius. I know thee not: thy name?4.5.65
Coriolanus. My name is Caius Marcius, who hath done4.5.66
        To thee particularly and to all the Volsces4.5.67
        Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may4.5.68
        My surname, Coriolanus: the painful service,4.5.69
        The extreme dangers and the drops of blood4.5.70
        Shed for my thankless country are requited4.5.71
        But with that surname; a good memory,4.5.72
        And witness of the malice and displeasure4.5.73
        Which thou shouldst bear me: only that name remains;4.5.74
        The cruelty and envy of the people,4.5.75
        Permitted by our dastard nobles, who4.5.76
        Have all forsook me, hath devour'd the rest;4.5.77
        And suffer'd me by the voice of slaves to be4.5.78
        Whoop'd out of Rome. Now this extremity4.5.79
        Hath brought me to thy hearth; not out of hope--4.5.80
        Mistake me not--to save my life, for if4.5.81
        I had fear'd death, of all the men i' the world4.5.82
        I would have 'voided thee, but in mere spite,4.5.83
        To be full quit of those my banishers,4.5.84
        Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast4.5.85
        A heart of wreak in thee, that wilt revenge4.5.86
        Thine own particular wrongs and stop those maims4.5.87
        Of shame seen through thy country, speed4.5.88
        thee straight,4.5.89
        And make my misery serve thy turn: so use it4.5.90
        That my revengeful services may prove4.5.91
        As benefits to thee, for I will fight4.5.92
        Against my canker'd country with the spleen4.5.93
        Of all the under fiends. But if so be4.5.94
        Thou darest not this and that to prove more fortunes4.5.95
        Thou'rt tired, then, in a word, I also am4.5.96
        Longer to live most weary, and present4.5.97
        My throat to thee and to thy ancient malice;4.5.98
        Which not to cut would show thee but a fool,4.5.99
        Since I have ever follow'd thee with hate,4.5.100
        Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country's breast,4.5.101
        And cannot live but to thy shame, unless4.5.102
        It be to do thee service.4.5.103
Aufidius. O Marcius, Marcius!4.5.104
        Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my heart4.5.105
        A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter4.5.106
        Should from yond cloud speak divine things,4.5.107
        And say 'Tis true,' I'ld not believe them more4.5.108
        Than thee, all noble Marcius. Let me twine4.5.109
        Mine arms about that body, where against4.5.110
        My grained ash an hundred times hath broke4.5.111
        And scarr'd the moon with splinters: here I clip4.5.112
        The anvil of my sword, and do contest4.5.113
        As hotly and as nobly with thy love4.5.114
        As ever in ambitious strength I did4.5.115
        Contend against thy valour. Know thou first,4.5.116
        I loved the maid I married; never man4.5.117
        Sigh'd truer breath; but that I see thee here,4.5.118
        Thou noble thing! more dances my rapt heart4.5.119
        Than when I first my wedded mistress saw4.5.120
        Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars! I tell thee,4.5.121
        We have a power on foot; and I had purpose4.5.122
        Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,4.5.123
        Or lose mine arm fort: thou hast beat me out4.5.124
        Twelve several times, and I have nightly since4.5.125
        Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and me;4.5.126
        We have been down together in my sleep,4.5.127
        Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat,4.5.128
        And waked half dead with nothing. Worthy Marcius,4.5.129
        Had we no quarrel else to Rome, but that4.5.130
        Thou art thence banish'd, we would muster all4.5.131
        From twelve to seventy, and pouring war4.5.132
        Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,4.5.133
        Like a bold flood o'er-bear. O, come, go in,4.5.134
        And take our friendly senators by the hands;4.5.135
        Who now are here, taking their leaves of me,4.5.136
        Who am prepared against your territories,4.5.137
        Though not for Rome itself.4.5.138
Coriolanus. You bless me, gods!4.5.139
Aufidius. Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou wilt have4.5.140
        The leading of thine own revenges, take4.5.141
        The one half of my commission; and set down--4.5.142
        As best thou art experienced, since thou know'st4.5.143
        Thy country's strength and weakness,--thine own ways;4.5.144
        Whether to knock against the gates of Rome,4.5.145
        Or rudely visit them in parts remote,4.5.146
        To fright them, ere destroy. But come in:4.5.147
        Let me commend thee first to those that shall4.5.148
        Say yea to thy desires. A thousand welcomes!4.5.149
        And more a friend than e'er an enemy;4.5.150
        Yet, Marcius, that was much. Your hand: most welcome!4.5.151
        [Exeunt CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS. The two Servingmen come forward]
First Servingman. Here's a strange alteration!4.5.152
Second Servingman. By my hand, I had thought to have strucken him with4.5.153
        a cudgel; and yet my mind gave me his clothes made a4.5.154
        false report of him.4.5.155
First Servingman. What an arm he has! he turned me about with his4.5.156
        finger and his thumb, as one would set up a top.4.5.157
Second Servingman. Nay, I knew by his face that there was something in4.5.158
        him: he had, sir, a kind of face, methought,--I4.5.159
        cannot tell how to term it.4.5.160
First Servingman. He had so; looking as it were--would I were hanged,4.5.161
        but I thought there was more in him than I could think.4.5.162
Second Servingman. So did I, I'll be sworn: he is simply the rarest4.5.163
        man i' the world.4.5.164
First Servingman. I think he is: but a greater soldier than he you wot on.4.5.165
Second Servingman. Who, my master?4.5.166
First Servingman. Nay, it's no matter for that.4.5.167
Second Servingman. Worth six on him.4.5.168
First Servingman. Nay, not so neither: but I take him to be the4.5.169
        greater soldier.4.5.170
Second Servingman. Faith, look you, one cannot tell how to say that:4.5.171
        for the defence of a town, our general is excellent.4.5.172
First Servingman. Ay, and for an assault too.4.5.173
        [Re-enter third Servingman]
Third Servingman. O slaves, I can tell you news,-- news, you rascals!4.5.174
First Servingman [with Second Servingman] What, what, what? let's partake.4.5.175
Third Servingman. I would not be a Roman, of all nations; I had as4.5.176
        lieve be a condemned man.4.5.177
First Servingman [with Second Servingman] Wherefore? wherefore?4.5.178
Third Servingman. Why, here's he that was wont to thwack our general,4.5.179
        Caius Marcius.4.5.180
First Servingman. Why do you say 'thwack our general '?4.5.181
Third Servingman. I do not say 'thwack our general;' but he was always4.5.182
        good enough for him.4.5.183
Second Servingman. Come, we are fellows and friends: he was ever too4.5.184
        hard for him; I have heard him say so himself.4.5.185
First Servingman. He was too hard for him directly, to say the troth4.5.186
        on't: before Corioli he scotched him and notched4.5.187
        him like a carbon ado.4.5.188
Second Servingman. An he had been cannibally given, he might have4.5.189
        broiled and eaten him too.4.5.190
First Servingman. But, more of thy news?4.5.191
Third Servingman. Why, he is so made on here within, as if he were son4.5.192
        and heir to Mars; set at upper end o' the table; no4.5.193
        question asked him by any of the senators, but they4.5.194
        stand bald before him: our general himself makes a4.5.195
        mistress of him: sanctifies himself with's hand and4.5.196
        turns up the white o' the eye to his discourse. But4.5.197
        the bottom of the news is that our general is cut i'4.5.198
        the middle and but one half of what he was4.5.199
        yesterday; for the other has half, by the entreaty4.5.200
        and grant of the whole table. He'll go, he says,4.5.201
        and sowl the porter of Rome gates by the ears: he4.5.202
        will mow all down before him, and leave his passage polled.4.5.203
Second Servingman. And he's as like to do't as any man I can imagine.4.5.204
Third Servingman. Do't! he will do't; for, look you, sir, he has as4.5.205
        many friends as enemies; which friends, sir, as it4.5.206
        were, durst not, look you, sir, show themselves, as4.5.207
        we term it, his friends whilst he's in directitude.4.5.208
First Servingman. Directitude! what's that?4.5.209
Third Servingman. But when they shall see, sir, his crest up again,4.5.210
        and the man in blood, they will out of their4.5.211
        burrows, like conies after rain, and revel all with4.5.212
First Servingman. But when goes this forward?4.5.214
Third Servingman. To-morrow; to-day; presently; you shall have the4.5.215
        drum struck up this afternoon: 'tis, as it were, a4.5.216
        parcel of their feast, and to be executed ere they4.5.217
        wipe their lips.4.5.218
Second Servingman. Why, then we shall have a stirring world again.4.5.219
        This peace is nothing, but to rust iron, increase4.5.220
        tailors, and breed ballad-makers.4.5.221
First Servingman. Let me have war, say I; it exceeds peace as far as4.5.222
        day does night; it's spritely, waking, audible, and4.5.223
        full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy;4.5.224
        mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible; a getter of more4.5.225
        bastard children than war's a destroyer of men.4.5.226
Second Servingman. 'Tis so: and as war, in some sort, may be said to4.5.227
        be a ravisher, so it cannot be denied but peace is a4.5.228
        great maker of cuckolds.4.5.229
First Servingman. Ay, and it makes men hate one another.4.5.230
Third Servingman. Reason; because they then less need one another.4.5.231
        The wars for my money. I hope to see Romans as cheap4.5.232
        as Volscians. They are rising, they are rising.4.5.233
All. In, in, in, in!4.5.234

SCENE VI. Rome. A public place.

previous scene   next scene
Sicinius. We hear not of him, neither need we fear him;4.6.1
        His remedies are tame i' the present peace4.6.2
        And quietness of the people, which before4.6.3
        Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends4.6.4
        Blush that the world goes well, who rather had,4.6.5
        Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold4.6.6
        Dissentious numbers pestering streets than see4.6.7
        Our tradesmen with in their shops and going4.6.8
        About their functions friendly.4.6.9
Brutus. We stood to't in good time.4.6.10
        [Enter MENENIUS]
        Is this Menenius?4.6.11
Sicinius. 'Tis he,'tis he: O, he is grown most kind of late.4.6.12
Both Tribunes. Hail sir!4.6.13
Menenius. Hail to you both!4.6.14
Sicinius. Your Coriolanus4.6.15
        Is not much miss'd, but with his friends:4.6.16
        The commonwealth doth stand, and so would do,4.6.17
        Were he more angry at it.4.6.18
Menenius. All's well; and might have been much better, if4.6.19
        He could have temporized.4.6.20
Sicinius. Where is he, hear you?4.6.21
Menenius. Nay, I hear nothing: his mother and his wife4.6.22
        Hear nothing from him.4.6.23
        [Enter three or four Citizens]
Citizens. The gods preserve you both!4.6.24
Sicinius. God-den, our neighbours.4.6.25
Brutus. God-den to you all, god-den to you all.4.6.26
First Citizen. Ourselves, our wives, and children, on our knees,4.6.27
        Are bound to pray for you both.4.6.28
Sicinius. Live, and thrive!4.6.29
Brutus. Farewell, kind neighbours: we wish'd Coriolanus4.6.30
        Had loved you as we did.4.6.31
Citizens. Now the gods keep you!4.6.32
Both Tribunes. Farewell, farewell.4.6.33
        [Exeunt Citizens]
Sicinius. This is a happier and more comely time4.6.34
        Than when these fellows ran about the streets,4.6.35
        Crying confusion.4.6.36
Brutus. Caius Marcius was4.6.37
        A worthy officer i' the war; but insolent,4.6.38
        O'ercome with pride, ambitious past all thinking,Self-loving,--4.6.39
Sicinius. And affecting one sole throne,4.6.41
        Without assistance.4.6.42
Menenius. I think not so.4.6.43
Sicinius. We should by this, to all our lamentation,4.6.44
        If he had gone forth consul, found it so.4.6.45
Brutus. The gods have well prevented it, and Rome4.6.46
        Sits safe and still without him.4.6.47
        [Enter an AEdile]
Aedile. Worthy tribunes,4.6.48
        There is a slave, whom we have put in prison,4.6.49
        Reports, the Volsces with two several powers4.6.50
        Are enter'd in the Roman territories,4.6.51
        And with the deepest malice of the war4.6.52
        Destroy what lies before 'em.4.6.53
Menenius. 'Tis Aufidius,4.6.54
        Who, hearing of our Marcius' banishment,4.6.55
        Thrusts forth his horns again into the world;4.6.56
        Which were inshell'd when Marcius stood for Rome,4.6.57
        And durst not once peep out.4.6.58
Sicinius. Come, what talk you4.6.59
        Of Marcius?4.6.60
Brutus. Go see this rumourer whipp'd. It cannot be4.6.61
        The Volsces dare break with us.4.6.62
Menenius. Cannot be!4.6.63
        We have record that very well it can,4.6.64
        And three examples of the like have been4.6.65
        Within my age. But reason with the fellow,4.6.66
        Before you punish him, where he heard this,4.6.67
        Lest you shall chance to whip your information4.6.68
        And beat the messenger who bids beware4.6.69
        Of what is to be dreaded.4.6.70
Sicinius. Tell not me:4.6.71
        I know this cannot be.4.6.72
Brutus. Not possible.4.6.73
        [Enter a Messenger]
Messenger. The nobles in great earnestness are going4.6.74
        All to the senate-house: some news is come4.6.75
        That turns their countenances.4.6.76
Sicinius. 'Tis this slave;--4.6.77
        Go whip him, 'fore the people's eyes:--his raising;4.6.78
        Nothing but his report.4.6.79
Messenger. Yes, worthy sir,4.6.80
        The slave's report is seconded; and more,4.6.81
        More fearful, is deliver'd.4.6.82
Sicinius. What more fearful?4.6.83
Messenger. It is spoke freely out of many mouths--4.6.84
        How probable I do not know--that Marcius,4.6.85
        Join'd with Aufidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome,4.6.86
        And vows revenge as spacious as between4.6.87
        The young'st and oldest thing.4.6.88
Sicinius. This is most likely!4.6.89
Brutus. Raised only, that the weaker sort may wish4.6.90
        Good Marcius home again.4.6.91
Sicinius. The very trick on't.4.6.92
Menenius. This is unlikely:4.6.93
        He and Aufidius can no more atone4.6.94
        Than violentest contrariety.4.6.95
        [Enter a second Messenger]
Second Messenger. You are sent for to the senate:4.6.96
        A fearful army, led by Caius Marcius4.6.97
        Associated with Aufidius, rages4.6.98
        Upon our territories; and have already4.6.99
        O'erborne their way, consumed with fire, and took4.6.100
        What lay before them.4.6.101
        [Enter COMINIUS]
Cominius. O, you have made good work!4.6.102
Menenius. What news? what news?4.6.103
Cominius. You have holp to ravish your own daughters and4.6.104
        To melt the city leads upon your pates,4.6.105
        To see your wives dishonour'd to your noses,--4.6.106
Menenius. What's the news? what's the news?4.6.107
Cominius. Your temples burned in their cement, and4.6.108
        Your franchises, whereon you stood, confined4.6.109
        Into an auger's bore.4.6.110
Menenius. Pray now, your news?4.6.111
        You have made fair work, I fear me.--Pray, your news?--4.6.112
        If Marcius should be join'd with Volscians,--4.6.113
Cominius. If!4.6.114
        He is their god: he leads them like a thing4.6.115
        Made by some other deity than nature,4.6.116
        That shapes man better; and they follow him,4.6.117
        Against us brats, with no less confidence4.6.118
        Than boys pursuing summer butterflies,4.6.119
        Or butchers killing flies.4.6.120
Menenius. You have made good work,4.6.121
        You and your apron-men; you that stood so up much4.6.122
        on the voice of occupation and4.6.123
        The breath of garlic-eaters!4.6.124
Cominius. He will shake4.6.125
        Your Rome about your ears.4.6.126
Menenius. As Hercules4.6.127
        Did shake down mellow fruit.4.6.128
        You have made fair work!4.6.129
Brutus. But is this true, sir?4.6.130
Cominius. Ay; and you'll look pale4.6.131
        Before you find it other. All the regions4.6.132
        Do smilingly revolt; and who resist4.6.133
        Are mock'd for valiant ignorance,4.6.134
        And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame him?4.6.135
        Your enemies and his find something in him.4.6.136
Menenius. We are all undone, unless4.6.137
        The noble man have mercy.4.6.138
Cominius. Who shall ask it?4.6.139
        The tribunes cannot do't for shame; the people4.6.140
        Deserve such pity of him as the wolf4.6.141
        Does of the shepherds: for his best friends, if they4.6.142
        Should say 'Be good to Rome,' they charged him even4.6.143
        As those should do that had deserved his hate,4.6.144
        And therein show'd like enemies.4.6.145
Menenius. 'Tis true:4.6.146
        If he were putting to my house the brand4.6.147
        That should consume it, I have not the face4.6.148
        To say 'Beseech you, cease.' You have made fair hands,4.6.149
        You and your crafts! you have crafted fair!4.6.150
Cominius. You have brought4.6.151
        A trembling upon Rome, such as was never4.6.152
        So incapable of help.4.6.153
Both Tribunes. Say not we brought it.4.6.154
Menenius. How! Was it we? we loved him but, like beasts4.6.155
        And cowardly nobles, gave way unto your clusters,4.6.156
        Who did hoot him out o' the city.4.6.157
Cominius. But I fear4.6.158
        They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,4.6.159
        The second name of men, obeys his points4.6.160
        As if he were his officer: desperation4.6.161
        Is all the policy, strength and defence,4.6.162
        That Rome can make against them.4.6.163
        [Enter a troop of Citizens]
Menenius. Here come the clusters.4.6.164
        And is Aufidius with him? You are they4.6.165
        That made the air unwholesome, when you cast4.6.166
        Your stinking greasy caps in hooting at4.6.167
        Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming;4.6.168
        And not a hair upon a soldier's head4.6.169
        Which will not prove a whip: as many coxcombs4.6.170
        As you threw caps up will he tumble down,4.6.171
        And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter;4.6.172
        if he could burn us all into one coal,4.6.173
        We have deserved it.4.6.174
Citizens. Faith, we hear fearful news.4.6.175
First Citizen. For mine own part,4.6.176
        When I said, banish him, I said 'twas pity.4.6.177
Second Citizen. And so did I.4.6.178
Third Citizen. And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did very4.6.179
        many of us: that we did, we did for the best; and4.6.180
        though we willingly consented to his banishment, yet4.6.181
        it was against our will.4.6.182
Cominius. Ye re goodly things, you voices!4.6.183
Menenius. You have made4.6.184
        Good work, you and your cry! Shall's to the Capitol?4.6.185
Cominius. O, ay, what else?4.6.186
        [Exeunt COMINIUS and MENENIUS]
Sicinius. Go, masters, get you home; be not dismay'd:4.6.187
        These are a side that would be glad to have4.6.188
        This true which they so seem to fear. Go home,4.6.189
        And show no sign of fear.4.6.190
First Citizen. The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let's home.4.6.191
        I ever said we were i' the wrong when we banished4.6.192
Second Citizen. So did we all. But, come, let's home.4.6.194
        [Exeunt Citizens]
Brutus. I do not like this news.4.6.195
Sicinius. Nor I.4.6.196
Brutus. Let's to the Capitol. Would half my wealth4.6.197
        Would buy this for a lie!4.6.198
Sicinius. Pray, let us go.4.6.199

SCENE VII. A camp, at a small distance from Rome.

previous scene   next scene
[Enter AUFIDIUS and his Lieutenant]
Aufidius. Do they still fly to the Roman?4.7.1
Lieutenant. I do not know what witchcraft's in him, but4.7.2
        Your soldiers use him as the grace 'fore meat,4.7.3
        Their talk at table, and their thanks at end;4.7.4
        And you are darken'd in this action, sir,4.7.5
        Even by your own.4.7.6
Aufidius. I cannot help it now,4.7.7
        Unless, by using means, I lame the foot4.7.8
        Of our design. He bears himself more proudlier,4.7.9
        Even to my person, than I thought he would4.7.10
        When first I did embrace him: yet his nature4.7.11
        In that's no changeling; and I must excuse4.7.12
        What cannot be amended.4.7.13
Lieutenant. Yet I wish, sir,--4.7.14
        I mean for your particular,--you had not4.7.15
        Join'd in commission with him; but either4.7.16
        Had borne the action of yourself, or else4.7.17
        To him had left it solely.4.7.18
Aufidius. I understand thee well; and be thou sure,4.7.19
        when he shall come to his account, he knows not4.7.20
        What I can urge against him. Although it seems,4.7.21
        And so he thinks, and is no less apparent4.7.22
        To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly.4.7.23
        And shows good husbandry for the Volscian state,4.7.24
        Fights dragon-like, and does achieve as soon4.7.25
        As draw his sword; yet he hath left undone4.7.26
        That which shall break his neck or hazard mine,4.7.27
        Whene'er we come to our account.4.7.28
Lieutenant. Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry Rome?4.7.29
Aufidius. All places yield to him ere he sits down;4.7.30
        And the nobility of Rome are his:4.7.31
        The senators and patricians love him too:4.7.32
        The tribunes are no soldiers; and their people4.7.33
        Will be as rash in the repeal, as hasty4.7.34
        To expel him thence. I think he'll be to Rome4.7.35
        As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it4.7.36
        By sovereignty of nature. First he was4.7.37
        A noble servant to them; but he could not4.7.38
        Carry his honours even: whether 'twas pride,4.7.39
        Which out of daily fortune ever taints4.7.40
        The happy man; whether defect of judgment,4.7.41
        To fail in the disposing of those chances4.7.42
        Which he was lord of; or whether nature,4.7.43
        Not to be other than one thing, not moving4.7.44
        From the casque to the cushion, but commanding peace4.7.45
        Even with the same austerity and garb4.7.46
        As he controll'd the war; but one of these--4.7.47
        As he hath spices of them all, not all,4.7.48
        For I dare so far free him--made him fear'd,4.7.49
        So hated, and so banish'd: but he has a merit,4.7.50
        To choke it in the utterance. So our virtues4.7.51
        Lie in the interpretation of the time:4.7.52
        And power, unto itself most commendable,4.7.53
        Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair4.7.54
        To extol what it hath done.4.7.55
        One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail;4.7.56
        Rights by rights falter, strengths by strengths do fail.4.7.57
        Come, let's away. When, Caius, Rome is thine,4.7.58
        Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine.4.7.59


SCENE I. Rome. A public place.

previous scene   next scene
Menenius. No, I'll not go: you hear what he hath said5.1.1
        Which was sometime his general; who loved him5.1.2
        In a most dear particular. He call'd me father:5.1.3
        But what o' that? Go, you that banish'd him;5.1.4
        A mile before his tent fall down, and knee5.1.5
        The way into his mercy: nay, if he coy'd5.1.6
        To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home.5.1.7
Cominius. He would not seem to know me.5.1.8
Menenius. Do you hear?5.1.9
Cominius. Yet one time he did call me by my name:5.1.10
        I urged our old acquaintance, and the drops5.1.11
        That we have bled together. Coriolanus5.1.12
        He would not answer to: forbad all names;5.1.13
        He was a kind of nothing, titleless,5.1.14
        Till he had forged himself a name o' the fire5.1.15
        Of burning Rome.5.1.16
Menenius. Why, so: you have made good work!5.1.17
        A pair of tribunes that have rack'd for Rome,5.1.18
        To make coals cheap,--a noble memory!5.1.19
Cominius. I minded him how royal 'twas to pardon5.1.20
        When it was less expected: he replied,5.1.21
        It was a bare petition of a state5.1.22
        To one whom they had punish'd.5.1.23
Menenius. Very well:5.1.24
        Could he say less?5.1.25
Cominius. I offer'd to awaken his regard5.1.26
        For's private friends: his answer to me was,5.1.27
        He could not stay to pick them in a pile5.1.28
        Of noisome musty chaff: he said 'twas folly,5.1.29
        For one poor grain or two, to leave unburnt,5.1.30
        And still to nose the offence.5.1.31
Menenius. For one poor grain or two!5.1.32
        I am one of those; his mother, wife, his child,5.1.33
        And this brave fellow too, we are the grains:5.1.34
        You are the musty chaff; and you are smelt5.1.35
        Above the moon: we must be burnt for you.5.1.36
Sicinius. Nay, pray, be patient: if you refuse your aid5.1.37
        In this so never-needed help, yet do not5.1.38
        Upbraid's with our distress. But, sure, if you5.1.39
        Would be your country's pleader, your good tongue,5.1.40
        More than the instant army we can make,5.1.41
        Might stop our countryman.5.1.42
Menenius. No, I'll not meddle.5.1.43
Sicinius. Pray you, go to him.5.1.44
Menenius. What should I do?5.1.45
Brutus. Only make trial what your love can do5.1.46
        For Rome, towards Marcius.5.1.47
Menenius. Well, and say that Marcius5.1.48
        Return me, as Cominius is return'd,5.1.49
        Unheard; what then?5.1.50
        But as a discontented friend, grief-shot5.1.51
        With his unkindness? say't be so?5.1.52
Sicinius. Yet your good will5.1.53
        must have that thanks from Rome, after the measure5.1.54
        As you intended well.5.1.55
Menenius. I'll undertake 't:5.1.56
        I think he'll hear me. Yet, to bite his lip5.1.57
        And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me.5.1.58
        He was not taken well; he had not dined:5.1.59
        The veins unfill'd, our blood is cold, and then5.1.60
        We pout upon the morning, are unapt5.1.61
        To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff'd5.1.62
        These and these conveyances of our blood5.1.63
        With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls5.1.64
        Than in our priest-like fasts: therefore I'll watch him5.1.65
        Till he be dieted to my request,5.1.66
        And then I'll set upon him.5.1.67
Brutus. You know the very road into his kindness,5.1.68
        And cannot lose your way.5.1.69
Menenius. Good faith, I'll prove him,5.1.70
        Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge5.1.71
        Of my success.5.1.72
Cominius. He'll never hear him.5.1.73
Sicinius. Not?5.1.74
Cominius. I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye5.1.75
        Red as 'twould burn Rome; and his injury5.1.76
        The gaoler to his pity. I kneel'd before him;5.1.77
        'Twas very faintly he said 'Rise;' dismiss'd me5.1.78
        Thus, with his speechless hand: what he would do,5.1.79
        He sent in writing after me; what he would not,5.1.80
        Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions:5.1.81
        So that all hope is vain.5.1.82
        Unless his noble mother, and his wife;5.1.83
        Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him5.1.84
        For mercy to his country. Therefore, let's hence,5.1.85
        And with our fair entreaties haste them on.5.1.86

SCENE II. Entrance of the Volscian camp before Rome.

previous scene   next scene
[Two Sentinels on guard.
Enter to them, MENENIUS]
First Senator. Stay: whence are you?5.2.1
Second Senator. Stand, and go back.5.2.2
Menenius. You guard like men; 'tis well: but, by your leave,5.2.3
        I am an officer of state, and come5.2.4
        To speak with Coriolanus.5.2.5
First Senator. From whence?5.2.6
Menenius. From Rome.5.2.7
First Senator. You may not pass, you must return: our general5.2.8
        Will no more hear from thence.5.2.9
Second Senator. You'll see your Rome embraced with fire before5.2.10
        You'll speak with Coriolanus.5.2.11
Menenius. Good my friends,5.2.12
        If you have heard your general talk of Rome,5.2.13
        And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks,5.2.14
        My name hath touch'd your ears it is Menenius.5.2.15
First Senator. Be it so; go back: the virtue of your name5.2.16
        Is not here passable.5.2.17
Menenius. I tell thee, fellow,5.2.18
        The general is my lover: I have been5.2.19
        The book of his good acts, whence men have read5.2.20
        His name unparallel'd, haply amplified;5.2.21
        For I have ever verified my friends,5.2.22
        Of whom he's chief, with all the size that verity5.2.23
        Would without lapsing suffer: nay, sometimes,5.2.24
        Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground,5.2.25
        I have tumbled past the throw; and in his praise5.2.26
        Have almost stamp'd the leasing: therefore, fellow,5.2.27
        I must have leave to pass.5.2.28
First Senator. Faith, sir, if you had told as many lies in his5.2.29
        behalf as you have uttered words in your own, you5.2.30
        should not pass here; no, though it were as virtuous5.2.31
        to lie as to live chastely. Therefore, go back.5.2.32
Menenius. Prithee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius,5.2.33
        always factionary on the party of your general.5.2.34
Second Senator. Howsoever you have been his liar, as you say you5.2.35
        have, I am one that, telling true under him, must5.2.36
        say, you cannot pass. Therefore, go back.5.2.37
Menenius. Has he dined, canst thou tell? for I would not5.2.38
        speak with him till after dinner.5.2.39
First Senator. You are a Roman, are you?5.2.40
Menenius. I am, as thy general is.5.2.41
First Senator. Then you should hate Rome, as he does. Can you,5.2.42
        when you have pushed out your gates the very5.2.43
        defender of them, and, in a violent popular5.2.44
        ignorance, given your enemy your shield, think to5.2.45
        front his revenges with the easy groans of old5.2.46
        women, the virginal palms of your daughters, or with5.2.47
        the palsied intercession of such a decayed dotant as5.2.48
        you seem to be? Can you think to blow out the5.2.49
        intended fire your city is ready to flame in, with5.2.50
        such weak breath as this? No, you are deceived;5.2.51
        therefore, back to Rome, and prepare for your5.2.52
        execution: you are condemned, our general has sworn5.2.53
        you out of reprieve and pardon.5.2.54
Menenius. Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, he would5.2.55
        use me with estimation.5.2.56
Second Senator. Come, my captain knows you not.5.2.57
Menenius. I mean, thy general.5.2.58
First Senator. My general cares not for you. Back, I say, go; lest5.2.59
        I let forth your half-pint of blood; back,--that's5.2.60
        the utmost of your having: back.5.2.61
Menenius. Nay, but, fellow, fellow,--5.2.62
        [Enter CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS]
Coriolanus. What's the matter?5.2.63
Menenius. Now, you companion, I'll say an errand for you:5.2.64
        You shall know now that I am in estimation; you shall5.2.65
        perceive that a Jack guardant cannot office me from5.2.66
        my son Coriolanus: guess, but by my entertainment5.2.67
        with him, if thou standest not i' the state of5.2.68
        hanging, or of some death more long in5.2.69
        spectatorship, and crueller in suffering; behold now5.2.70
        presently, and swoon for what's to come upon thee.5.2.71
        [To CORIOLANUS]
        The glorious gods sit in hourly synod about thy5.2.72
        particular prosperity, and love thee no worse than5.2.73
        thy old father Menenius does! O my son, my son!5.2.74
        thou art preparing fire for us; look thee, here's5.2.75
        water to quench it. I was hardly moved to come to5.2.76
        thee; but being assured none but myself could move5.2.77
        thee, I have been blown out of your gates with5.2.78
        sighs; and conjure thee to pardon Rome, and thy5.2.79
        petitionary countrymen. The good gods assuage thy5.2.80
        wrath, and turn the dregs of it upon this varlet5.2.81
        here,--this, who, like a block, hath denied my5.2.82
        access to thee.5.2.83
Coriolanus. Away!5.2.84
Menenius. How! away!5.2.85
Coriolanus. Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs5.2.86
        Are servanted to others: though I owe5.2.87
        My revenge properly, my remission lies5.2.88
        In Volscian breasts. That we have been familiar,5.2.89
        Ingrate forgetfulness shall poison, rather5.2.90
        Than pity note how much. Therefore, be gone.5.2.91
        Mine ears against your suits are stronger than5.2.92
        Your gates against my force. Yet, for I loved thee,5.2.93
        Take this along; I writ it for thy sake5.2.94
        [Gives a letter]
        And would have rent it. Another word, Menenius,5.2.95
        I will not hear thee speak. This man, Aufidius,5.2.96
        Was my beloved in Rome: yet thou behold'st!5.2.97
Aufidius. You keep a constant temper.5.2.98
        [Exeunt CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS]
First Senator. Now, sir, is your name Menenius?5.2.99
Second Senator. 'Tis a spell, you see, of much power: you know the5.2.100
        way home again.5.2.101
First Senator. Do you hear how we are shent for keeping your5.2.102
        greatness back?5.2.103
Second Senator. What cause, do you think, I have to swoon?5.2.104
Menenius. I neither care for the world nor your general: for5.2.105
        such things as you, I can scarce think there's any,5.2.106
        ye're so slight. He that hath a will to die by5.2.107
        himself fears it not from another: let your general5.2.108
        do his worst. For you, be that you are, long; and5.2.109
        your misery increase with your age! I say to you,5.2.110
        as I was said to, Away!5.2.111
First Senator. A noble fellow, I warrant him.5.2.112
Second Senator. The worthy fellow is our general: he's the rock, the5.2.113
        oak not to be wind-shaken.5.2.114

SCENE III. The tent of Coriolanus.

previous scene   next scene
[Enter CORIOLANUS, AUFIDIUS, and others]
Coriolanus. We will before the walls of Rome tomorrow5.3.1
        Set down our host. My partner in this action,5.3.2
        You must report to the Volscian lords, how plainly5.3.3
        I have borne this business.5.3.4
Aufidius. Only their ends5.3.5
        You have respected; stopp'd your ears against5.3.6
        The general suit of Rome; never admitted5.3.7
        A private whisper, no, not with such friends5.3.8
        That thought them sure of you.5.3.9
Coriolanus. This last old man,5.3.10
        Whom with a crack'd heart I have sent to Rome,5.3.11
        Loved me above the measure of a father;5.3.12
        Nay, godded me, indeed. Their latest refuge5.3.13
        Was to send him; for whose old love I have,5.3.14
        Though I show'd sourly to him, once more offer'd5.3.15
        The first conditions, which they did refuse5.3.16
        And cannot now accept; to grace him only5.3.17
        That thought he could do more, a very little5.3.18
        I have yielded to: fresh embassies and suits,5.3.19
        Nor from the state nor private friends, hereafter5.3.20
        Will I lend ear to. Ha! what shout is this?5.3.21
        [Shout within]
        Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow5.3.22
        In the same time 'tis made? I will not.5.3.23
        [Enter in mourning habits, VIRGILIA, VOLUMNIA, leading young MARCIUS, VALERIA, and Attendants]
        My wife comes foremost; then the honour'd mould5.3.24
        Wherein this trunk was framed, and in her hand5.3.25
        The grandchild to her blood. But, out, affection!5.3.26
        All bond and privilege of nature, break!5.3.27
        Let it be virtuous to be obstinate.5.3.28
        What is that curt'sy worth? or those doves' eyes,5.3.29
        Which can make gods forsworn? I melt, and am not5.3.30
        Of stronger earth than others. My mother bows;5.3.31
        As if Olympus to a molehill should5.3.32
        In supplication nod: and my young boy5.3.33
        Hath an aspect of intercession, which5.3.34
        Great nature cries 'Deny not.' let the Volsces5.3.35
        Plough Rome and harrow Italy: I'll never5.3.36
        Be such a gosling to obey instinct, but stand,5.3.37
        As if a man were author of himself5.3.38
        And knew no other kin.5.3.39
Virgilia. My lord and husband!5.3.40
Coriolanus. These eyes are not the same I wore in Rome.5.3.41
Virgilia. The sorrow that delivers us thus changed5.3.42
        Makes you think so.5.3.43
Coriolanus. Like a dull actor now,5.3.44
        I have forgot my part, and I am out,5.3.45
        Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh,5.3.46
        Forgive my tyranny; but do not say5.3.47
        For that 'Forgive our Romans.' O, a kiss5.3.48
        Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!5.3.49
        Now, by the jealous queen of heaven, that kiss5.3.50
        I carried from thee, dear; and my true lip5.3.51
        Hath virgin'd it e'er since. You gods! I prate,5.3.52
        And the most noble mother of the world5.3.53
        Leave unsaluted: sink, my knee, i' the earth;5.3.54
        Of thy deep duty more impression show5.3.55
        Than that of common sons.5.3.56
Volumnia. O, stand up blest!5.3.57
        Whilst, with no softer cushion than the flint,5.3.58
        I kneel before thee; and unproperly5.3.59
        Show duty, as mistaken all this while5.3.60
        Between the child and parent.5.3.61
Coriolanus. What is this?5.3.62
        Your knees to me? to your corrected son?5.3.63
        Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach5.3.64
        Fillip the stars; then let the mutinous winds5.3.65
        Strike the proud cedars 'gainst the fiery sun;5.3.66
        Murdering impossibility, to make5.3.67
        What cannot be, slight work.5.3.68
Volumnia. Thou art my warrior;5.3.69
        I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady?5.3.70
Coriolanus. The noble sister of Publicola,5.3.71
        The moon of Rome, chaste as the icicle5.3.72
        That's curdied by the frost from purest snow5.3.73
        And hangs on Dian's temple: dear Valeria!5.3.74
Volumnia. This is a poor epitome of yours,5.3.75
        Which by the interpretation of full time5.3.76
        May show like all yourself.5.3.77
Coriolanus. The god of soldiers,5.3.78
        With the consent of supreme Jove, inform5.3.79
        Thy thoughts with nobleness; that thou mayst prove5.3.80
        To shame unvulnerable, and stick i' the wars5.3.81
        Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,5.3.82
        And saving those that eye thee!5.3.83
Volumnia. Your knee, sirrah.5.3.84
Coriolanus. That's my brave boy!5.3.85
Volumnia. Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself,5.3.86
        Are suitors to you.5.3.87
Coriolanus. I beseech you, peace:5.3.88
        Or, if you'ld ask, remember this before:5.3.89
        The thing I have forsworn to grant may never5.3.90
        Be held by you denials. Do not bid me5.3.91
        Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate5.3.92
        Again with Rome's mechanics: tell me not5.3.93
        Wherein I seem unnatural: desire not5.3.94
        To ally my rages and revenges with5.3.95
        Your colder reasons.5.3.96
Volumnia. O, no more, no more!5.3.97
        You have said you will not grant us any thing;5.3.98
        For we have nothing else to ask, but that5.3.99
        Which you deny already: yet we will ask;5.3.100
        That, if you fail in our request, the blame5.3.101
        May hang upon your hardness: therefore hear us.5.3.102
Coriolanus. Aufidius, and you Volsces, mark; for we'll5.3.103
        Hear nought from Rome in private. Your request?5.3.104
Volumnia. Should we be silent and not speak, our raiment5.3.105
        And state of bodies would bewray what life5.3.106
        We have led since thy exile. Think with thyself5.3.107
        How more unfortunate than all living women5.3.108
        Are we come hither: since that thy sight,5.3.109
        which should5.3.110
        Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance5.3.111
        with comforts,5.3.112
        Constrains them weep and shake with fear and sorrow;5.3.113
        Making the mother, wife and child to see5.3.114
        The son, the husband and the father tearing5.3.115
        His country's bowels out. And to poor we5.3.116
        Thine enmity's most capital: thou barr'st us5.3.117
        Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort5.3.118
        That all but we enjoy; for how can we,5.3.119
        Alas, how can we for our country pray.5.3.120
        Whereto we are bound, together with thy victory,5.3.121
        Whereto we are bound? alack, or we must lose5.3.122
        The country, our dear nurse, or else thy person,5.3.123
        Our comfort in the country. We must find5.3.124
        An evident calamity, though we had5.3.125
        Our wish, which side should win: for either thou5.3.126
        Must, as a foreign recreant, be led5.3.127
        With manacles thorough our streets, or else5.3.128
        triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin,5.3.129
        And bear the palm for having bravely shed5.3.130
        Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, son,5.3.131
        I purpose not to wait on fortune till5.3.132
        These wars determine: if I cannot persuade thee5.3.133
        Rather to show a noble grace to both parts5.3.134
        Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner5.3.135
        March to assault thy country than to tread--5.3.136
        Trust to't, thou shalt not--on thy mother's womb,5.3.137
        That brought thee to this world.5.3.138
Virgilia. Ay, and mine,5.3.139
        That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name5.3.140
        Living to time.5.3.141
Young Marcius. A' shall not tread on me;5.3.142
        I'll run away till I am bigger, but then I'll fight.5.3.143
Coriolanus. Not of a woman's tenderness to be,5.3.144
        Requires nor child nor woman's face to see.5.3.145
        I have sat too long.5.3.146
Volumnia. Nay, go not from us thus.5.3.147
        If it were so that our request did tend5.3.148
        To save the Romans, thereby to destroy5.3.149
        The Volsces whom you serve, you might condemn us,5.3.150
        As poisonous of your honour: no; our suit5.3.151
        Is that you reconcile them: while the Volsces5.3.152
        May say 'This mercy we have show'd;' the Romans,5.3.153
        'This we received;' and each in either side5.3.154
        Give the all-hail to thee and cry 'Be blest5.3.155
        For making up this peace!' Thou know'st, great son,5.3.156
        The end of war's uncertain, but this certain,5.3.157
        That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit5.3.158
        Which thou shalt thereby reap is such a name,5.3.159
        Whose repetition will be dogg'd with curses;5.3.160
        Whose chronicle thus writ: 'The man was noble,5.3.161
        But with his last attempt he wiped it out;5.3.162
        Destroy'd his country, and his name remains5.3.163
        To the ensuing age abhorr'd.' Speak to me, son:5.3.164
        Thou hast affected the fine strains of honour,5.3.165
        To imitate the graces of the gods;5.3.166
        To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o' the air,5.3.167
        And yet to charge thy sulphur with a bolt5.3.168
        That should but rive an oak. Why dost not speak?5.3.169
        Think'st thou it honourable for a noble man5.3.170
        Still to remember wrongs? Daughter, speak you:5.3.171
        He cares not for your weeping. Speak thou, boy:5.3.172
        Perhaps thy childishness will move him more5.3.173
        Than can our reasons. There's no man in the world5.3.174
        More bound to 's mother; yet here he lets me prate5.3.175
        Like one i' the stocks. Thou hast never in thy life5.3.176
        Show'd thy dear mother any courtesy,5.3.177
        When she, poor hen, fond of no second brood,5.3.178
        Has cluck'd thee to the wars and safely home,5.3.179
        Loaden with honour. Say my request's unjust,5.3.180
        And spurn me back: but if it be not so,5.3.181
        Thou art not honest; and the gods will plague thee,5.3.182
        That thou restrain'st from me the duty which5.3.183
        To a mother's part belongs. He turns away:5.3.184
        Down, ladies; let us shame him with our knees.5.3.185
        To his surname Coriolanus 'longs more pride5.3.186
        Than pity to our prayers. Down: an end;5.3.187
        This is the last: so we will home to Rome,5.3.188
        And die among our neighbours. Nay, behold 's:5.3.189
        This boy, that cannot tell what he would have5.3.190
        But kneels and holds up bands for fellowship,5.3.191
        Does reason our petition with more strength5.3.192
        Than thou hast to deny 't. Come, let us go:5.3.193
        This fellow had a Volscian to his mother;5.3.194
        His wife is in Corioli and his child5.3.195
        Like him by chance. Yet give us our dispatch:5.3.196
        I am hush'd until our city be a-fire,5.3.197
        And then I'll speak a little.5.3.198
        [He holds her by the hand, silent]
Coriolanus. O mother, mother!5.3.199
        What have you done? Behold, the heavens do ope,5.3.200
        The gods look down, and this unnatural scene5.3.201
        They laugh at. O my mother, mother! O!5.3.202
        You have won a happy victory to Rome;5.3.203
        But, for your son,--believe it, O, believe it,5.3.204
        Most dangerously you have with him prevail'd,5.3.205
        If not most mortal to him. But, let it come.5.3.206
        Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,5.3.207
        I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius,5.3.208
        Were you in my stead, would you have heard5.3.209
        A mother less? or granted less, Aufidius?5.3.210
Aufidius. I was moved withal.5.3.211
Coriolanus. I dare be sworn you were:5.3.212
        And, sir, it is no little thing to make5.3.213
        Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good sir,5.3.214
        What peace you'll make, advise me: for my part,5.3.215
        I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you; and pray you,5.3.216
        Stand to me in this cause. O mother! wife!5.3.217
Aufidius. [Aside] I am glad thou hast set thy mercy and5.3.218
        thy honour5.3.219
        At difference in thee: out of that I'll work5.3.220
        Myself a former fortune.5.3.221
        [The Ladies make signs to CORIOLANUS]
Coriolanus. Ay, by and by;5.3.222
        [To VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, & c]
        But we will drink together; and you shall bear5.3.223
        A better witness back than words, which we,5.3.224
        On like conditions, will have counter-seal'd.5.3.225
        Come, enter with us. Ladies, you deserve5.3.226
        To have a temple built you: all the swords5.3.227
        In Italy, and her confederate arms,5.3.228
        Could not have made this peace.5.3.229

SCENE IV. Rome. A public place.

previous scene   next scene
Menenius. See you yond coign o' the Capitol, yond5.4.1
Sicinius Why, what of that?5.4.3
Menenius. If it be possible for you to displace it with your5.4.4
        little finger, there is some hope the ladies of5.4.5
        Rome, especially his mother, may prevail with him.5.4.6
        But I say there is no hope in't: our throats are5.4.7
        sentenced and stay upon execution.5.4.8
Sicinius. Is't possible that so short a time can alter the5.4.9
        condition of a man!5.4.10
Menenius. There is differency between a grub and a butterfly;5.4.11
        yet your butterfly was a grub. This Marcius is grown5.4.12
        from man to dragon: he has wings; he's more than a5.4.13
        creeping thing.5.4.14
Sicinius. He loved his mother dearly.5.4.15
Menenius. So did he me: and he no more remembers his mother5.4.16
        now than an eight-year-old horse. The tartness5.4.17
        of his face sours ripe grapes: when he walks, he5.4.18
        moves like an engine, and the ground shrinks before5.4.19
        his treading: he is able to pierce a corslet with5.4.20
        his eye; talks like a knell, and his hum is a5.4.21
        battery. He sits in his state, as a thing made for5.4.22
        Alexander. What he bids be done is finished with5.4.23
        his bidding. He wants nothing of a god but eternity5.4.24
        and a heaven to throne in.5.4.25
Sicinius. Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.5.4.26
Menenius. I paint him in the character. Mark what mercy his5.4.27
        mother shall bring from him: there is no more mercy5.4.28
        in him than there is milk in a male tiger; that5.4.29
        shall our poor city find: and all this is long of5.4.30
Sicinius. The gods be good unto us!5.4.32
Menenius. No, in such a case the gods will not be good unto5.4.33
        us. When we banished him, we respected not them;5.4.34
        and, he returning to break our necks, they respect not us.5.4.35
        [Enter a Messenger]
Messenger. Sir, if you'ld save your life, fly to your house:5.4.36
        The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune5.4.37
        And hale him up and down, all swearing, if5.4.38
        The Roman ladies bring not comfort home,5.4.39
        They'll give him death by inches.5.4.40
        [Enter a second Messenger]
Sicinius. What's the news?5.4.41
Second Messenger. Good news, good news; the ladies have prevail'd,5.4.42
        The Volscians are dislodged, and Marcius gone:5.4.43
        A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,5.4.44
        No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins.5.4.45
Sicinius. Friend,5.4.46
        Art thou certain this is true? is it most certain?5.4.47
Second Messenger. As certain as I know the sun is fire:5.4.48
        Where have you lurk'd, that you make doubt of it?5.4.49
        Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide,5.4.50
        As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark you!5.4.51
        [Trumpets; hautboys; drums beat; all together]
        The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries and fifes,5.4.52
        Tabours and cymbals and the shouting Romans,5.4.53
        Make the sun dance. Hark you!5.4.54
        [A shout within]
Menenius. This is good news:5.4.55
        I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia5.4.56
        Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians,5.4.57
        A city full; of tribunes, such as you,5.4.58
        A sea and land full. You have pray'd well to-day:5.4.59
        This morning for ten thousand of your throats5.4.60
        I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!5.4.61
        [Music still, with shouts]
Sicinius. First, the gods bless you for your tidings; next,5.4.62
        Accept my thankfulness.5.4.63
Second Messenger. Sir, we have all5.4.64
        Great cause to give great thanks.5.4.65
Sicinius. They are near the city?5.4.66
Second Messenger. Almost at point to enter.5.4.67
Sicinius. We will meet them,5.4.68
        And help the joy.5.4.69

SCENE V. The same. A street near the gate.

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[Enter two Senators with VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, VALERIA, & c. passing over the stage, followed by Patricians and others]
First Senator. Behold our patroness, the life of Rome!5.5.1
        Call all your tribes together, praise the gods,5.5.2
        And make triumphant fires; strew flowers before them:5.5.3
        Unshout the noise that banish'd Marcius,5.5.4
        Repeal him with the welcome of his mother;5.5.5
        Cry 'Welcome, ladies, welcome!'5.5.6
All. Welcome, ladies, Welcome!5.5.7
        [A flourish with drums and trumpets. Exeunt]

SCENE VI. Antium. A public place.

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[Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, with Attendants]
Aufidius. Go tell the lords o' the city I am here:5.6.1
        Deliver them this paper: having read it,5.6.2
        Bid them repair to the market place; where I,5.6.3
        Even in theirs and in the commons' ears,5.6.4
        Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse5.6.5
        The city ports by this hath enter'd and5.6.6
        Intends to appear before the people, hoping5.6.7
        To purge herself with words: dispatch.5.6.8
        [Exeunt Attendants]
        [Enter three or four Conspirators of AUFIDIUS' faction]
        Most welcome!5.6.9
First Conspirator. How is it with our general?5.6.10
Aufidius. Even so5.6.11
        As with a man by his own alms empoison'd,5.6.12
        And with his charity slain.5.6.13
Second Conspirator. Most noble sir,5.6.14
        If you do hold the same intent wherein5.6.15
        You wish'd us parties, we'll deliver you5.6.16
        Of your great danger.5.6.17
Aufidius. Sir, I cannot tell:5.6.18
        We must proceed as we do find the people.5.6.19
Third Conspirator. The people will remain uncertain whilst5.6.20
        'Twixt you there's difference; but the fall of either5.6.21
        Makes the survivor heir of all.5.6.22
Aufidius. I know it;5.6.23
        And my pretext to strike at him admits5.6.24
        A good construction. I raised him, and I pawn'd5.6.25
        Mine honour for his truth: who being so heighten'd,5.6.26
        He water'd his new plants with dews of flattery,5.6.27
        Seducing so my friends; and, to this end,5.6.28
        He bow'd his nature, never known before5.6.29
        But to be rough, unswayable and free.5.6.30
Third Conspirator. Sir, his stoutness5.6.31
        When he did stand for consul, which he lost5.6.32
        By lack of stooping,--5.6.33
Aufidius. That I would have spoke of:5.6.34
        Being banish'd for't, he came unto my hearth;5.6.35
        Presented to my knife his throat: I took him;5.6.36
        Made him joint-servant with me; gave him way5.6.37
        In all his own desires; nay, let him choose5.6.38
        Out of my files, his projects to accomplish,5.6.39
        My best and freshest men; served his designments5.6.40
        In mine own person; holp to reap the fame5.6.41
        Which he did end all his; and took some pride5.6.42
        To do myself this wrong: till, at the last,5.6.43
        I seem'd his follower, not partner, and5.6.44
        He waged me with his countenance, as if5.6.45
        I had been mercenary.5.6.46
First Conspirator. So he did, my lord:5.6.47
        The army marvell'd at it, and, in the last,5.6.48
        When he had carried Rome and that we look'd5.6.49
        For no less spoil than glory,--5.6.50
Aufidius. There was it:5.6.51
        For which my sinews shall be stretch'd upon him.5.6.52
        At a few drops of women's rheum, which are5.6.53
        As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labour5.6.54
        Of our great action: therefore shall he die,5.6.55
        And I'll renew me in his fall. But, hark!5.6.56
        [Drums and trumpets sound, with great shouts of the People]
First Conspirator. Your native town you enter'd like a post,5.6.57
        And had no welcomes home: but he returns,5.6.58
        Splitting the air with noise.5.6.59
Second Conspirator. And patient fools,5.6.60
        Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tear5.6.61
        With giving him glory.5.6.62
Third Conspirator. Therefore, at your vantage,5.6.63
        Ere he express himself, or move the people5.6.64
        With what he would say, let him feel your sword,5.6.65
        Which we will second. When he lies along,5.6.66
        After your way his tale pronounced shall bury5.6.67
        His reasons with his body.5.6.68
Aufidius. Say no more:5.6.69
        Here come the lords.5.6.70
        [Enter the Lords of the city]
All The Lords. You are most welcome home.5.6.71
Aufidius. I have not deserved it.5.6.72
        But, worthy lords, have you with heed perused5.6.73
        What I have written to you?5.6.74
Lords. We have.5.6.75
First Lord. And grieve to hear't.5.6.76
        What faults he made before the last, I think5.6.77
        Might have found easy fines: but there to end5.6.78
        Where he was to begin and give away5.6.79
        The benefit of our levies, answering us5.6.80
        With our own charge, making a treaty where5.6.81
        There was a yielding,--this admits no excuse.5.6.82
Aufidius. He approaches: you shall hear him.5.6.83
        [Enter CORIOLANUS, marching with drum and colours; commoners being with him]
Coriolanus. Hail, lords! I am return'd your soldier,5.6.84
        No more infected with my country's love5.6.85
        Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting5.6.86
        Under your great command. You are to know5.6.87
        That prosperously I have attempted and5.6.88
        With bloody passage led your wars even to5.6.89
        The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought home5.6.90
        Do more than counterpoise a full third part5.6.91
        The charges of the action. We have made peace5.6.92
        With no less honour to the Antiates5.6.93
        Than shame to the Romans: and we here deliver,5.6.94
        Subscribed by the consuls and patricians,5.6.95
        Together with the seal o' the senate, what5.6.96
        We have compounded on.5.6.97
Aufidius. Read it not, noble lords;5.6.98
        But tell the traitor, in the high'st degree5.6.99
        He hath abused your powers.5.6.100
Coriolanus. Traitor! how now!5.6.101
Aufidius. Ay, traitor, Marcius!5.6.102
Coriolanus. Marcius!5.6.103
Aufidius. Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius: dost thou think5.6.104
        I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stol'n name5.6.105
        Coriolanus in Corioli?5.6.106
        You lords and heads o' the state, perfidiously5.6.107
        He has betray'd your business, and given up,5.6.108
        For certain drops of salt, your city Rome,5.6.109
        I say 'your city,' to his wife and mother;5.6.110
        Breaking his oath and resolution like5.6.111
        A twist of rotten silk, never admitting5.6.112
        Counsel o' the war, but at his nurse's tears5.6.113
        He whined and roar'd away your victory,5.6.114
        That pages blush'd at him and men of heart5.6.115
        Look'd wondering each at other.5.6.116
Coriolanus. Hear'st thou, Mars?5.6.117
Aufidius. Name not the god, thou boy of tears!5.6.118
Coriolanus. Ha!5.6.119
Aufidius. No more.5.6.120
Coriolanus. Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart5.6.121
        Too great for what contains it. Boy! O slave!5.6.122
        Pardon me, lords, 'tis the first time that ever5.6.123
        I was forced to scold. Your judgments, my grave lords,5.6.124
        Must give this cur the lie: and his own notion--5.6.125
        Who wears my stripes impress'd upon him; that5.6.126
        Must bear my beating to his grave--shall join5.6.127
        To thrust the lie unto him.5.6.128
First Lord. Peace, both, and hear me speak.5.6.129
Coriolanus. Cut me to pieces, Volsces; men and lads,5.6.130
        Stain all your edges on me. Boy! false hound!5.6.131
        If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there,5.6.132
        That, like an eagle in a dove-cote, I5.6.133
        Flutter'd your Volscians in Corioli:5.6.134
        Alone I did it. Boy!5.6.135
Aufidius. Why, noble lords,5.6.136
        Will you be put in mind of his blind fortune,5.6.137
        Which was your shame, by this unholy braggart,5.6.138
        'Fore your own eyes and ears?5.6.139
All Conspirators. Let him die for't.5.6.140
All The People. 'Tear him to pieces.' 'Do it presently.' 'He kill'd5.6.141
        my son.' 'My daughter.' 'He killed my cousin5.6.142
        Marcus.' 'He killed my father.'5.6.143
Second Lord. Peace, ho! no outrage: peace!5.6.144
        The man is noble and his fame folds-in5.6.145
        This orb o' the earth. His last offences to us5.6.146
        Shall have judicious hearing. Stand, Aufidius,5.6.147
        And trouble not the peace.5.6.148
Coriolanus. O that I had him,5.6.149
        With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe,5.6.150
        To use my lawful sword!5.6.151
Aufidius. Insolent villain!5.6.152
All Conspirators. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him!5.6.153
        [The Conspirators draw, and kill CORIOLANUS: AUFIDIUS stands on his body]
Lords. Hold, hold, hold, hold!5.6.154
Aufidius. My noble masters, hear me speak.5.6.155
First Lord. O Tullus,--5.6.156
Second Lord. Thou hast done a deed whereat valour will weep.5.6.157
Third Lord. Tread not upon him. Masters all, be quiet;5.6.158
        Put up your swords.5.6.159
Aufidius. My lords, when you shall know--as in this rage,5.6.160
        Provoked by him, you cannot--the great danger5.6.161
        Which this man's life did owe you, you'll rejoice5.6.162
        That he is thus cut off. Please it your honours5.6.163
        To call me to your senate, I'll deliver5.6.164
        Myself your loyal servant, or endure5.6.165
        Your heaviest censure.5.6.166
First Lord. Bear from hence his body;5.6.167
        And mourn you for him: let him be regarded5.6.168
        As the most noble corse that ever herald5.6.169
        Did follow to his urn.5.6.170
Second Lord. His own impatience5.6.171
        Takes from Aufidius a great part of blame.5.6.172
        Let's make the best of it.5.6.173
Aufidius. My rage is gone;5.6.174
        And I am struck with sorrow. Take him up.5.6.175
        Help, three o' the chiefest soldiers; I'll be one.5.6.176
        Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully:5.6.177
        Trail your steel pikes. Though in this city he5.6.178
        Hath widow'd and unchilded many a one,5.6.179
        Which to this hour bewail the injury,5.6.180
        Yet he shall have a noble memory. Assist.5.6.181
        [Exeunt, bearing the body of CORIOLANUS. A dead march sounded]

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