Infomotions, Inc.Coriolanus / Shakespeare, William



Author: Shakespeare, William
Title: Coriolanus
Publisher: Unknown. (Ask Eric.)
Tag(s): coriolanus; menenius; sicinius; marcius; cominius; aufidius; volumnia; brutus; servingman; exeunt coriolanus; caius marcius; third servingman; rome; titus lartius; second servingman; first servingman; citizen; senator; first senator; enter coriolanus; fir
Contributor(s): Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.)
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 29,277 words (really short) Grade range: 8-10 (high school) Readability score: 68 (easy)
Identifier: shakespeare-coriolanus-24
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	CORIOLANUS

	DRAMATIS PERSONAE

CAIUS MARCIUS	(MARCUS:)  Afterwards CAIUS MARCIUS CORIOLANUS.
	(CORIOLANUS:)

TITUS LARTIUS	(LARTIUS:)	|
		|  generals against the Volscians.
COMINIUS		|

MENENIUS AGRIPPA	friend to Coriolanus. (MENENIUS:)

SICINIUS VELUTUS	(SICINIUS:)	|
		|  tribunes of the people.
JUNIUS BRUTUS	(BRUTUS:)	|

Young MARCUS	son to Coriolanus.

	A Roman Herald. (Herald:)

TULLUS AUFIDIUS	general of the Volscians. (AUFIDIUS:)

	Lieutenant to Aufidius. (Lieutenant:)

	Conspirators with Aufidius.
	(First Conspirator:)
	(Second Conspirator:)
	(Third Conspirator:)

	A Citizen of Antium.

	Two Volscian Guards.

VOLUMNIA	mother to Coriolanus.

VIRGILIA	wife to Coriolanus.

VALERIA	friend to Virgilia.

	Gentlewoman, attending on Virgilia. (Gentlewoman:)

	Roman and Volscian Senators, Patricians,
	AEdiles, Lictors, Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers,
	Servants to Aufidius, and other Attendants.
	(First Senator:)
	(Second Senator:)
	(A Patrician:)
	(Second Patrician:)
	(AEdile:)
	(First Soldier:)
	(Second Soldier:)
	(First Citizen:)
	(Second Citizen:)
	(Third Citizen:)
	(Fourth Citizen:)
	(Fifth Citizen:)
	(Sixth Citizen:)
	(Seventh Citizen:)
	(Messenger:)
	(Second Messenger:)
	(First Serviceman:)
	(Second Serviceman:)
	(Third Serviceman:)
	(Officer:)
	(First Officer:)
	(Second Officer:)
	(Roman:)
	(First Roman:)
	(Second Roman:)
	(Third Roman:)
	(Volsce:)
	(First Lord:)
	(Second Lord:)
	(Third Lord:)

SCENE	Rome and the neighbourhood; Corioli
	and the neighbourhood; Antium.

	CORIOLANUS

ACT I

SCENE I	Rome. A street.

	[Enter a company of mutinous Citizens, with staves,
	clubs, and other weapons]

First Citizen	Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.

All	Speak, speak.

First Citizen	You are all resolved rather to die than to famish?

All	Resolved. resolved.

First Citizen	First, you know Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the people.

All	We know't, we know't.

First Citizen	Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at our own price.
	Is't a verdict?

All	No more talking on't; let it be done: away, away!

Second Citizen	One word, good citizens.

First Citizen	We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians good.
	What authority surfeits on would relieve us: if they
	would yield us but the superfluity, while it were
	wholesome, we might guess they relieved us humanely;
	but they think we are too dear: the leanness that
	afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an
	inventory to particularise their abundance; our
	sufferance is a gain to them Let us revenge this with
	our pikes, ere we become rakes: for the gods know I
	speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.

Second Citizen	Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius?

All	Against him first: he's a very dog to the commonalty.

Second Citizen	Consider you what services he has done for his country?

First Citizen	Very well; and could be content to give him good
	report fort, but that he pays himself with being proud.

Second Citizen	Nay, but speak not maliciously.

First Citizen	I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did
	it to that end: though soft-conscienced men can be
	content to say it was for his country he did it to
	please his mother and to be partly proud; which he
	is, even till the altitude of his virtue.

Second Citizen	What he cannot help in his nature, you account a
	vice in him. You must in no way say he is covetous.

First Citizen	If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations;
	he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition.

	[Shouts within]

	What shouts are these? The other side o' the city
	is risen: why stay we prating here? to the Capitol!

All	Come, come.

First Citizen	Soft! who comes here?

	[Enter MENENIUS AGRIPPA]

Second Citizen	Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that hath always loved
	the people.

First Citizen	He's one honest enough: would all the rest were so!

MENENIUS	What work's, my countrymen, in hand? where go you
	With bats and clubs? The matter? speak, I pray you.

First Citizen	Our business is not unknown to the senate; they have
	had inkling this fortnight what we intend to do,
	which now we'll show 'em in deeds. They say poor
	suitors have strong breaths: they shall know we
	have strong arms too.

MENENIUS	Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest neighbours,
	Will you undo yourselves?

First Citizen	We cannot, sir, we are undone already.

MENENIUS	I tell you, friends, most charitable care
	Have the patricians of you. For your wants,
	Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well
	Strike at the heaven with your staves as lift them
	Against the Roman state, whose course will on
	The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs
	Of more strong link asunder than can ever
	Appear in your impediment. For the dearth,
	The gods, not the patricians, make it, and
	Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack,
	You are transported by calamity
	Thither where more attends you, and you slander
	The helms o' the state, who care for you like fathers,
	When you curse them as enemies.

First Citizen	Care for us! True, indeed! They ne'er cared for us
	yet: suffer us to famish, and their store-houses
	crammed with grain; make edicts for usury, to
	support usurers; repeal daily any wholesome act
	established against the rich, and provide more
	piercing statutes daily, to chain up and restrain
	the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will; and
	there's all the love they bear us.

MENENIUS	Either you must
	Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,
	Or be accused of folly. I shall tell you
	A pretty tale: it may be you have heard it;
	But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture
	To stale 't a little more.

First Citizen	Well, I'll hear it, sir: yet you must not think to
	fob off our disgrace with a tale: but, an 't please
	you, deliver.

MENENIUS	There was a time when all the body's members
	Rebell'd against the belly, thus accused it:
	That only like a gulf it did remain
	I' the midst o' the body, idle and unactive,
	Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing
	Like labour with the rest, where the other instruments
	Did see and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
	And, mutually participate, did minister
	Unto the appetite and affection common
	Of the whole body. The belly answer'd--

First Citizen	Well, sir, what answer made the belly?

MENENIUS	Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of smile,
	Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus--
	For, look you, I may make the belly smile
	As well as speak--it tauntingly replied
	To the discontented members, the mutinous parts
	That envied his receipt; even so most fitly
	As you malign our senators for that
	They are not such as you.

First Citizen	Your belly's answer? What!
	The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye,
	The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,
	Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter.
	With other muniments and petty helps
	In this our fabric, if that they--

MENENIUS	What then?
	'Fore me, this fellow speaks! What then? what then?

First Citizen	Should by the cormorant belly be restrain'd,
	Who is the sink o' the body,--

MENENIUS	Well, what then?

First Citizen	The former agents, if they did complain,
	What could the belly answer?

MENENIUS	I will tell you
	If you'll bestow a small--of what you have little--
	Patience awhile, you'll hear the belly's answer.

First Citizen	Ye're long about it.

MENENIUS	Note me this, good friend;
	Your most grave belly was deliberate,
	Not rash like his accusers, and thus answer'd:
	'True is it, my incorporate friends,' quoth he,
	'That I receive the general food at first,
	Which you do live upon; and fit it is,
	Because I am the store-house and the shop
	Of the whole body: but, if you do remember,
	I send it through the rivers of your blood,
	Even to the court, the heart, to the seat o' the brain;
	And, through the cranks and offices of man,
	The strongest nerves and small inferior veins
	From me receive that natural competency
	Whereby they live: and though that all at once,
	You, my good friends,'--this says the belly, mark me,--

First Citizen	Ay, sir; well, well.

MENENIUS	'Though all at once cannot
	See what I do deliver out to each,
	Yet I can make my audit up, that all
	From me do back receive the flour of all,
	And leave me but the bran.' What say you to't?

First Citizen	It was an answer: how apply you this?

MENENIUS	The senators of Rome are this good belly,
	And you the mutinous members; for examine
	Their counsels and their cares, digest things rightly
	Touching the weal o' the common, you shall find
	No public benefit which you receive
	But it proceeds or comes from them to you
	And no way from yourselves. What do you think,
	You, the great toe of this assembly?

First Citizen	I the great toe! why the great toe?

MENENIUS	For that, being one o' the lowest, basest, poorest,
	Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost:
	Thou rascal, that art worst in blood to run,
	Lead'st first to win some vantage.
	But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs:
	Rome and her rats are at the point of battle;
	The one side must have bale.

	[Enter CAIUS MARCIUS]

		       Hail, noble Marcius!

MARCIUS	Thanks. What's the matter, you dissentious rogues,
	That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
	Make yourselves scabs?

First Citizen	We have ever your good word.

MARCIUS	He that will give good words to thee will flatter
	Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,
	That like nor peace nor war? the one affrights you,
	The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,
	Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
	Where foxes, geese: you are no surer, no,
	Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
	Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is
	To make him worthy whose offence subdues him
	And curse that justice did it.
	Who deserves greatness
	Deserves your hate; and your affections are
	A sick man's appetite, who desires most that
	Which would increase his evil. He that depends
	Upon your favours swims with fins of lead
	And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust Ye?
	With every minute you do change a mind,
	And call him noble that was now your hate,
	Him vile that was your garland. What's the matter,
	That in these several places of the city
	You cry against the noble senate, who,
	Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else
	Would feed on one another? What's their seeking?

MENENIUS	For corn at their own rates; whereof, they say,
	The city is well stored.

MARCIUS	Hang 'em! They say!
	They'll sit by the fire, and presume to know
	What's done i' the Capitol; who's like to rise,
	Who thrives and who declines; side factions
	and give out
	Conjectural marriages; making parties strong
	And feebling such as stand not in their liking
	Below their cobbled shoes. They say there's
	grain enough!
	Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,
	And let me use my sword, I'll make a quarry
	With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high
	As I could pick my lance.

MENENIUS	Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded;
	For though abundantly they lack discretion,
	Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you,
	What says the other troop?

MARCIUS	They are dissolved: hang 'em!
	They said they were an-hungry; sigh'd forth proverbs,
	That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat,
	That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent not
	Corn for the rich men only: with these shreds
	They vented their complainings; which being answer'd,
	And a petition granted them, a strange one--
	To break the heart of generosity,
	And make bold power look pale--they threw their caps
	As they would hang them on the horns o' the moon,
	Shouting their emulation.

MENENIUS	What is granted them?

MARCIUS	Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms,
	Of their own choice: one's Junius Brutus,
	Sicinius Velutus, and I know not--'Sdeath!
	The rabble should have first unroof'd the city,
	Ere so prevail'd with me: it will in time
	Win upon power and throw forth greater themes
	For insurrection's arguing.

MENENIUS	This is strange.

MARCIUS	Go, get you home, you fragments!

	[Enter a Messenger, hastily]

Messenger	Where's Caius Marcius?

MARCIUS	Here: what's the matter?

Messenger	The news is, sir, the Volsces are in arms.

MARCIUS	I am glad on 't: then we shall ha' means to vent
	Our musty superfluity. See, our best elders.

	[Enter COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, and other Senators;
	JUNIUS BRUTUS and SICINIUS VELUTUS]

First Senator	Marcius, 'tis true that you have lately told us;
	The Volsces are in arms.

MARCIUS	They have a leader,
	Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to 't.
	I sin in envying his nobility,
	And were I any thing but what I am,
	I would wish me only he.

COMINIUS	You have fought together.

MARCIUS	Were half to half the world by the ears and he.
	Upon my party, I'ld revolt to make
	Only my wars with him: he is a lion
	That I am proud to hunt.

First Senator	Then, worthy Marcius,
	Attend upon Cominius to these wars.

COMINIUS	It is your former promise.

MARCIUS	Sir, it is;
	And I am constant. Titus Lartius, thou
	Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face.
	What, art thou stiff? stand'st out?

TITUS	No, Caius Marcius;
	I'll lean upon one crutch and fight with t'other,
	Ere stay behind this business.

MENENIUS	O, true-bred!

First Senator	Your company to the Capitol; where, I know,
	Our greatest friends attend us.

TITUS	[To COMINIUS]                Lead you on.

	[To MARCIUS]  Follow Cominius; we must follow you;
	Right worthy you priority.

COMINIUS	Noble Marcius!

First Senator	[To the Citizens]  Hence to your homes; be gone!

MARCIUS	Nay, let them follow:
	The Volsces have much corn; take these rats thither
	To gnaw their garners. Worshipful mutiners,
	Your valour puts well forth: pray, follow.

	[Citizens steal away. Exeunt all but SICINIUS
	and BRUTUS]

SICINIUS	Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius?

BRUTUS	He has no equal.

SICINIUS	When we were chosen tribunes for the people,--

BRUTUS	Mark'd you his lip and eyes?

SICINIUS	Nay. but his taunts.

BRUTUS	Being moved, he will not spare to gird the gods.

SICINIUS	Be-mock the modest moon.

BRUTUS	The present wars devour him: he is grown
	Too proud to be so valiant.

SICINIUS	Such a nature,
	Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow
	Which he treads on at noon: but I do wonder
	His insolence can brook to be commanded
	Under Cominius.

BRUTUS	Fame, at the which he aims,
	In whom already he's well graced, can not
	Better be held nor more attain'd than by
	A place below the first: for what miscarries
	Shall be the general's fault, though he perform
	To the utmost of a man, and giddy censure
	Will then cry out of Marcius 'O if he
	Had borne the business!'

SICINIUS	Besides, if things go well,
	Opinion that so sticks on Marcius shall
	Of his demerits rob Cominius.

BRUTUS	Come:
	Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius.
	Though Marcius earned them not, and all his faults
	To Marcius shall be honours, though indeed
	In aught he merit not.

SICINIUS	Let's hence, and hear
	How the dispatch is made, and in what fashion,
	More than his singularity, he goes
	Upon this present action.

BRUTUS	Lets along.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT I

SCENE II	Corioli. The Senate-house.

	[Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS and certain Senators]

First Senator	So, your opinion is, Aufidius,
	That they of Rome are entered in our counsels
	And know how we proceed.

AUFIDIUS	Is it not yours?
	What ever have been thought on in this state,
	That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome
	Had circumvention? 'Tis not four days gone
	Since I heard thence; these are the words: I think
	I have the letter here; yes, here it is.

	[Reads]

	'They have press'd a power, but it is not known
	Whether for east or west: the dearth is great;
	The people mutinous; and it is rumour'd,
	Cominius, Marcius your old enemy,
	Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,
	And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,
	These three lead on this preparation
	Whither 'tis bent: most likely 'tis for you:
	Consider of it.'

First Senator	                  Our army's in the field
	We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
	To answer us.

AUFIDIUS	                  Nor did you think it folly
	To keep your great pretences veil'd till when
	They needs must show themselves; which
	in the hatching,
	It seem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery.
	We shall be shorten'd in our aim, which was
	To take in many towns ere almost Rome
	Should know we were afoot.

Second Senator	Noble Aufidius,
	Take your commission; hie you to your bands:
	Let us alone to guard Corioli:
	If they set down before 's, for the remove
	Bring your army; but, I think, you'll find
	They've not prepared for us.

AUFIDIUS	O, doubt not that;
	I speak from certainties. Nay, more,
	Some parcels of their power are forth already,
	And only hitherward. I leave your honours.
	If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet,
	'Tis sworn between us we shall ever strike
	Till one can do no more.

All	The gods assist you!

AUFIDIUS	And keep your honours safe!

First Senator	Farewell.

Second Senator	Farewell.

All	Farewell.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT I

SCENE III	Rome. A room in Marcius' house.

	[Enter VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA	they set them down
	on two low stools, and sew]

VOLUMNIA	I pray you, daughter, sing; or express yourself in a
	more comfortable sort: if my son were my husband, I
	should freelier rejoice in that absence wherein he
	won honour than in the embracements of his bed where
	he would show most love. When yet he was but
	tender-bodied and the only son of my womb, when
	youth with comeliness plucked all gaze his way, when
	for a day of kings' entreaties a mother should not
	sell him an hour from her beholding, I, considering
	how honour would become such a person. that it was
	no better than picture-like to hang by the wall, if
	renown made it not stir, was pleased to let him seek
	danger where he was like to find fame. To a cruel
	war I sent him; from whence he returned, his brows
	bound with oak. I tell thee, daughter, I sprang not
	more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child
	than now in first seeing he had proved himself a
	man.

VIRGILIA	But had he died in the business, madam; how then?

VOLUMNIA	Then his good report should have been my son; I
	therein would have found issue. Hear me profess
	sincerely: had I a dozen sons, each in my love
	alike and none less dear than thine and my good
	Marcius, I had rather had eleven die nobly for their
	country than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.

	[Enter a Gentlewoman]

Gentlewoman	Madam, the Lady Valeria is come to visit you.

VIRGILIA	Beseech you, give me leave to retire myself.

VOLUMNIA	Indeed, you shall not.
	Methinks I hear hither your husband's drum,
	See him pluck Aufidius down by the hair,
	As children from a bear, the Volsces shunning him:
	Methinks I see him stamp thus, and call thus:
	'Come on, you cowards! you were got in fear,
	Though you were born in Rome:' his bloody brow
	With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes,
	Like to a harvest-man that's task'd to mow
	Or all or lose his hire.

VIRGILIA	His bloody brow! O Jupiter, no blood!

VOLUMNIA	Away, you fool! it more becomes a man
	Than gilt his trophy: the breasts of Hecuba,
	When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier
	Than Hector's forehead when it spit forth blood
	At Grecian sword, contemning. Tell Valeria,
	We are fit to bid her welcome.

	[Exit Gentlewoman]

VIRGILIA	Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius!

VOLUMNIA	He'll beat Aufidius 'head below his knee
	And tread upon his neck.

	[Enter VALERIA, with an Usher and Gentlewoman]

VALERIA	My ladies both, good day to you.

VOLUMNIA	Sweet madam.

VIRGILIA	I am glad to see your ladyship.

VALERIA	How do you both? you are manifest house-keepers.
	What are you sewing here? A fine spot, in good
	faith. How does your little son?

VIRGILIA	I thank your ladyship; well, good madam.

VOLUMNIA	He had rather see the swords, and hear a drum, than
	look upon his school-master.

VALERIA	O' my word, the father's son: I'll swear,'tis a
	very pretty boy. O' my troth, I looked upon him o'
	Wednesday half an hour together: has such a
	confirmed countenance. I saw him run after a gilded
	butterfly: and when he caught it, he let it go
	again; and after it again; and over and over he
	comes, and again; catched it again; or whether his
	fall enraged him, or how 'twas, he did so set his
	teeth and tear it; O, I warrant it, how he mammocked
	it!

VOLUMNIA	One on 's father's moods.

VALERIA	Indeed, la, 'tis a noble child.

VIRGILIA	A crack, madam.

VALERIA	Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have you play
	the idle husewife with me this afternoon.

VIRGILIA	No, good madam; I will not out of doors.

VALERIA	Not out of doors!

VOLUMNIA	She shall, she shall.

VIRGILIA	Indeed, no, by your patience; I'll not over the
	threshold till my lord return from the wars.

VALERIA	Fie, you confine yourself most unreasonably: come,
	you must go visit the good lady that lies in.

VIRGILIA	I will wish her speedy strength, and visit her with
	my prayers; but I cannot go thither.

VOLUMNIA	Why, I pray you?

VIRGILIA	'Tis not to save labour, nor that I want love.

VALERIA	You would be another Penelope: yet, they say, all
	the yarn she spun in Ulysses' absence did but fill
	Ithaca full of moths. Come; I would your cambric
	were sensible as your finger, that you might leave
	pricking it for pity. Come, you shall go with us.

VIRGILIA	No, good madam, pardon me; indeed, I will not forth.

VALERIA	In truth, la, go with me; and I'll tell you
	excellent news of your husband.

VIRGILIA	O, good madam, there can be none yet.

VALERIA	Verily, I do not jest with you; there came news from
	him last night.

VIRGILIA	Indeed, madam?

VALERIA	In earnest, it's true; I heard a senator speak it.
	Thus it is: the Volsces have an army forth; against
	whom Cominius the general is gone, with one part of
	our Roman power: your lord and Titus Lartius are set
	down before their city Corioli; they nothing doubt
	prevailing and to make it brief wars. This is true,
	on mine honour; and so, I pray, go with us.

VIRGILIA	Give me excuse, good madam; I will obey you in every
	thing hereafter.

VOLUMNIA	Let her alone, lady: as she is now, she will but
	disease our better mirth.

VALERIA	In troth, I think she would. Fare you well, then.
	Come, good sweet lady. Prithee, Virgilia, turn thy
	solemness out o' door. and go along with us.

VIRGILIA	No, at a word, madam; indeed, I must not. I wish
	you much mirth.

VALERIA	Well, then, farewell.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT I

SCENE IV	Before Corioli.

	[Enter, with drum and colours, MARCIUS, TITUS
	LARTIUS, Captains and Soldiers. To them a
	Messenger]

MARCIUS	Yonder comes news. A wager they have met.

LARTIUS	My horse to yours, no.

MARCIUS	'Tis done.

LARTIUS	Agreed.

MARCIUS	Say, has our general met the enemy?

Messenger	They lie in view; but have not spoke as yet.

LARTIUS	So, the good horse is mine.

MARCIUS	I'll buy him of you.

LARTIUS	No, I'll nor sell nor give him: lend you him I will
	For half a hundred years. Summon the town.

MARCIUS	How far off lie these armies?

Messenger	Within this mile and half.

MARCIUS	Then shall we hear their 'larum, and they ours.
	Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work,
	That we with smoking swords may march from hence,
	To help our fielded friends! Come, blow thy blast.

	[They sound a parley. Enter two Senators with others
	on the walls]

	Tutus Aufidius, is he within your walls?

First Senator	No, nor a man that fears you less than he,
	That's lesser than a little.

	[Drums afar off]

		       Hark! our drums
	Are bringing forth our youth. We'll break our walls,
	Rather than they shall pound us up: our gates,
	Which yet seem shut, we, have but pinn'd with rushes;
	They'll open of themselves.

	[Alarum afar off]

		      Hark you. far off!
	There is Aufidius; list, what work he makes
	Amongst your cloven army.

MARCIUS	O, they are at it!

LARTIUS	Their noise be our instruction. Ladders, ho!

	[Enter the army of the Volsces]

MARCIUS	They fear us not, but issue forth their city.
	Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight
	With hearts more proof than shields. Advance,
	brave Titus:
	They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts,
	Which makes me sweat with wrath. Come on, my fellows:
	He that retires I'll take him for a Volsce,
	And he shall feel mine edge.

	[Alarum. The Romans are beat back to their
	trenches. Re-enter MARCIUS cursing]

MARCIUS	All the contagion of the south light on you,
	You shames of Rome! you herd of--Boils and plagues
	Plaster you o'er, that you may be abhorr'd
	Further than seen and one infect another
	Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese,
	That bear the shapes of men, how have you run
	From slaves that apes would beat! Pluto and hell!
	All hurt behind; backs red, and faces pale
	With flight and agued fear! Mend and charge home,
	Or, by the fires of heaven, I'll leave the foe
	And make my wars on you: look to't: come on;
	If you'll stand fast, we'll beat them to their wives,
	As they us to our trenches followed.

	[Another alarum. The Volsces fly, and MARCIUS
	follows them to the gates]

	So, now the gates are ope: now prove good seconds:
	'Tis for the followers fortune widens them,
	Not for the fliers: mark me, and do the like.

	[Enters the gates]

First Soldier	Fool-hardiness; not I.

Second Soldier	Nor I.

	[MARCIUS is shut in]

First Soldier	See, they have shut him in.

All	To the pot, I warrant him.

	[Alarum continues]

	[Re-enter TITUS LARTIUS]

LARTIUS	What is become of Marcius?

All	Slain, sir, doubtless.

First Soldier	Following the fliers at the very heels,
	With them he enters; who, upon the sudden,
	Clapp'd to their gates: he is himself alone,
	To answer all the city.

LARTIUS	O noble fellow!
	Who sensibly outdares his senseless sword,
	And, when it bows, stands up. Thou art left, Marcius:
	A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,
	Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier
	Even to Cato's wish, not fierce and terrible
	Only in strokes; but, with thy grim looks and
	The thunder-like percussion of thy sounds,
	Thou madst thine enemies shake, as if the world
	Were feverous and did tremble.

	[Re-enter MARCIUS, bleeding, assaulted by the enemy]

First Soldier	Look, sir.

LARTIUS	O,'tis Marcius!
	Let's fetch him off, or make remain alike.

	[They fight, and all enter the city]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT I

SCENE V	Corioli. A street.

	[Enter certain Romans, with spoils]

First Roman	This will I carry to Rome.

Second Roman	And I this.

Third Roman	A murrain on't! I took this for silver.

	[Alarum continues still afar off]

	[Enter MARCIUS and TITUS LARTIUS with a trumpet]

MARCIUS	See here these movers that do prize their hours
	At a crack'd drachm! Cushions, leaden spoons,
	Irons of a doit, doublets that hangmen would
	Bury with those that wore them, these base slaves,
	Ere yet the fight be done, pack up: down with them!
	And hark, what noise the general makes! To him!
	There is the man of my soul's hate, Aufidius,
	Piercing our Romans: then, valiant Titus, take
	Convenient numbers to make good the city;
	Whilst I, with those that have the spirit, will haste
	To help Cominius.

LARTIUS	                  Worthy sir, thou bleed'st;
	Thy exercise hath been too violent for
	A second course of fight.

MARCIUS	Sir, praise me not;
	My work hath yet not warm'd me: fare you well:
	The blood I drop is rather physical
	Than dangerous to me: to Aufidius thus
	I will appear, and fight.

LARTIUS	Now the fair goddess, Fortune,
	Fall deep in love with thee; and her great charms
	Misguide thy opposers' swords! Bold gentleman,
	Prosperity be thy page!

MARCIUS	Thy friend no less
	Than those she placeth highest! So, farewell.

LARTIUS	Thou worthiest Marcius!

	[Exit MARCIUS]

	Go, sound thy trumpet in the market-place;
	Call thither all the officers o' the town,
	Where they shall know our mind: away!

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT I

SCENE VI	Near the camp of Cominius.

	[Enter COMINIUS, as it were in retire,
	with soldiers]

COMINIUS	Breathe you, my friends: well fought;
	we are come off
	Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands,
	Nor cowardly in retire: believe me, sirs,
	We shall be charged again. Whiles we have struck,
	By interims and conveying gusts we have heard
	The charges of our friends. Ye Roman gods!
	Lead their successes as we wish our own,
	That both our powers, with smiling
	fronts encountering,
	May give you thankful sacrifice.

	[Enter a Messenger]

		                  Thy news?

Messenger	The citizens of Corioli have issued,
	And given to Lartius and to Marcius battle:
	I saw our party to their trenches driven,
	And then I came away.

COMINIUS	Though thou speak'st truth,
	Methinks thou speak'st not well.
	How long is't since?

Messenger	Above an hour, my lord.

COMINIUS	'Tis not a mile; briefly we heard their drums:
	How couldst thou in a mile confound an hour,
	And bring thy news so late?

Messenger	Spies of the Volsces
	Held me in chase, that I was forced to wheel
	Three or four miles about, else had I, sir,
	Half an hour since brought my report.

COMINIUS	Who's yonder,
	That does appear as he were flay'd? O gods
	He has the stamp of Marcius; and I have
	Before-time seen him thus.

MARCIUS	[Within]                 Come I too late?

COMINIUS	The shepherd knows not thunder from a tabour
	More than I know the sound of Marcius' tongue
	From every meaner man.

	[Enter MARCIUS]

MARCIUS	Come I too late?

COMINIUS	Ay, if you come not in the blood of others,
	But mantled in your own.

MARCIUS	O, let me clip ye
	In arms as sound as when I woo'd, in heart
	As merry as when our nuptial day was done,
	And tapers burn'd to bedward!

COMINIUS	Flower of warriors,
	How is it with Titus Lartius?

MARCIUS	As with a man busied about decrees:
	Condemning some to death, and some to exile;
	Ransoming him, or pitying, threatening the other;
	Holding Corioli in the name of Rome,
	Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash,
	To let him slip at will.

COMINIUS	Where is that slave
	Which told me they had beat you to your trenches?
	Where is he? call him hither.

MARCIUS	Let him alone;
	He did inform the truth: but for our gentlemen,
	The common file--a plague! tribunes for them!--
	The mouse ne'er shunn'd the cat as they did budge
	From rascals worse than they.

COMINIUS	But how prevail'd you?

MARCIUS	Will the time serve to tell? I do not think.
	Where is the enemy? are you lords o' the field?
	If not, why cease you till you are so?

COMINIUS	Marcius,
	We have at disadvantage fought and did
	Retire to win our purpose.

MARCIUS	How lies their battle? know you on which side
	They have placed their men of trust?

COMINIUS	As I guess, Marcius,
	Their bands i' the vaward are the Antiates,
	Of their best trust; o'er them Aufidius,
	Their very heart of hope.

MARCIUS	I do beseech you,
	By all the battles wherein we have fought,
	By the blood we have shed together, by the vows
	We have made to endure friends, that you directly
	Set me against Aufidius and his Antiates;
	And that you not delay the present, but,
	Filling the air with swords advanced and darts,
	We prove this very hour.

COMINIUS	Though I could wish
	You were conducted to a gentle bath
	And balms applied to, you, yet dare I never
	Deny your asking: take your choice of those
	That best can aid your action.

MARCIUS	Those are they
	That most are willing. If any such be here--
	As it were sin to doubt--that love this painting
	Wherein you see me smear'd; if any fear
	Lesser his person than an ill report;
	If any think brave death outweighs bad life
	And that his country's dearer than himself;
	Let him alone, or so many so minded,
	Wave thus, to express his disposition,
	And follow Marcius.

	[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?
	If these shows be not outward, which of you
	But is four Volsces? none of you but is
	Able to bear against the great Aufidius
	A shield as hard as his. A certain number,
	Though thanks to all, must I select
	from all: the rest
	Shall bear the business in some other fight,
	As cause will be obey'd. Please you to march;
	And four shall quickly draw out my command,
	Which men are best inclined.

COMINIUS	March on, my fellows:
	Make good this ostentation, and you shall
	Divide in all with us.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT I

SCENE VII	The gates of Corioli.

	[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,
	As I have set them down. If I do send, dispatch
	Those centuries to our aid: the rest will serve
	For a short holding: if we lose the field,
	We cannot keep the town.

Lieutenant	Fear not our care, sir.

LARTIUS	Hence, and shut your gates upon's.
	Our guider, come; to the Roman camp conduct us.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT I

SCENE VIII	A field of battle.

	[Alarum as in battle. Enter, from opposite sides,
	MARCIUS and AUFIDIUS]

MARCIUS	I'll fight with none but thee; for I do hate thee
	Worse than a promise-breaker.

AUFIDIUS	We hate alike:
	Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor
	More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.

MARCIUS	Let the first budger die the other's slave,
	And the gods doom him after!

AUFIDIUS	If I fly, Marcius,
	Holloa me like a hare.

MARCIUS	Within these three hours, Tullus,
	Alone I fought in your Corioli walls,
	And made what work I pleased: 'tis not my blood
	Wherein thou seest me mask'd; for thy revenge
	Wrench up thy power to the highest.

AUFIDIUS	Wert thou the Hector
	That was the whip of your bragg'd progeny,
	Thou shouldst not scape me here.

	[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 me
	In your condemned seconds.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT I

SCENE IX	The Roman camp.

	[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,
	Thou'ldst not believe thy deeds: but I'll report it
	Where senators shall mingle tears with smiles,
	Where great patricians shall attend and shrug,
	I' the end admire, where ladies shall be frighted,
	And, gladly quaked, hear more; where the
	dull tribunes,
	That, with the fusty plebeians, hate thine honours,
	Shall say against their hearts 'We thank the gods
	Our Rome hath such a soldier.'
	Yet camest thou to a morsel of this feast,
	Having fully dined before.

	[Enter TITUS LARTIUS, with his power,
	from the pursuit]

LARTIUS	O general,
	Here is the steed, we the caparison:
	Hadst thou beheld--

MARCIUS	Pray now, no more: my mother,
	Who has a charter to extol her blood,
	When she does praise me grieves me. I have done
	As you have done; that's what I can; induced
	As you have been; that's for my country:
	He that has but effected his good will
	Hath overta'en mine act.

COMINIUS	You shall not be
	The grave of your deserving; Rome must know
	The value of her own: 'twere a concealment
	Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement,
	To hide your doings; and to silence that,
	Which, to the spire and top of praises vouch'd,
	Would seem but modest: therefore, I beseech you
	In sign of what you are, not to reward
	What you have done--before our army hear me.

MARCIUS	I have some wounds upon me, and they smart
	To hear themselves remember'd.

COMINIUS	Should they not,
	Well might they fester 'gainst ingratitude,
	And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses,
	Whereof we have ta'en good and good store, of all
	The treasure in this field achieved and city,
	We render you the tenth, to be ta'en forth,
	Before the common distribution, at
	Your only choice.

MARCIUS	                  I thank you, general;
	But cannot make my heart consent to take
	A bribe to pay my sword: I do refuse it;
	And stand upon my common part with those
	That have beheld the doing.

	[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,
	Never sound more! when drums and trumpets shall
	I' the field prove flatterers, let courts and cities be
	Made all of false-faced soothing!
	When steel grows soft as the parasite's silk,
	Let him be made a coverture for the wars!
	No more, I say! For that I have not wash'd
	My nose that bled, or foil'd some debile wretch.--
	Which, without note, here's many else have done,--
	You shout me forth
	In acclamations hyperbolical;
	As if I loved my little should be dieted
	In praises sauced with lies.

COMINIUS	Too modest are you;
	More cruel to your good report than grateful
	To us that give you truly: by your patience,
	If 'gainst yourself you be incensed, we'll put you,
	Like one that means his proper harm, in manacles,
	Then reason safely with you. Therefore, be it known,
	As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius
	Wears this war's garland: in token of the which,
	My noble steed, known to the camp, I give him,
	With all his trim belonging; and from this time,
	For what he did before Corioli, call him,
	With all the applause and clamour of the host,
	CAIUS MARCIUS CORIOLANUS! Bear
	The addition nobly ever!

	[Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums]

All	Caius Marcius Coriolanus!

CORIOLANUS	I will go wash;
	And when my face is fair, you shall perceive
	Whether I blush or no: howbeit, I thank you.
	I mean to stride your steed, and at all times
	To undercrest your good addition
	To the fairness of my power.

COMINIUS	So, to our tent;
	Where, ere we do repose us, we will write
	To Rome of our success. You, Titus Lartius,
	Must to Corioli back: send us to Rome
	The best, with whom we may articulate,
	For their own good and ours.

LARTIUS	I shall, my lord.

CORIOLANUS	The gods begin to mock me. I, that now
	Refused most princely gifts, am bound to beg
	Of my lord general.

COMINIUS	Take't; 'tis yours. What is't?

CORIOLANUS	I sometime lay here in Corioli
	At a poor man's house; he used me kindly:
	He cried to me; I saw him prisoner;
	But then Aufidius was within my view,
	And wrath o'erwhelm'd my pity: I request you
	To give my poor host freedom.

COMINIUS	O, well begg'd!
	Were he the butcher of my son, he should
	Be free as is the wind. Deliver him, Titus.

LARTIUS	Marcius, his name?

CORIOLANUS	                  By Jupiter! forgot.
	I am weary; yea, my memory is tired.
	Have we no wine here?

COMINIUS	Go we to our tent:
	The blood upon your visage dries; 'tis time
	It should be look'd to: come.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT I

SCENE X	The camp of the Volsces.

	[A flourish. Cornets. Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS,
	bloody, with two or three Soldiers]

AUFIDIUS	The town is ta'en!

First Soldier	'Twill be deliver'd back on good condition.

AUFIDIUS	Condition!
	I would I were a Roman; for I cannot,
	Being a Volsce, be that I am. Condition!
	What good condition can a treaty find
	I' the part that is at mercy? Five times, Marcius,
	I have fought with thee: so often hast thou beat me,
	And wouldst do so, I think, should we encounter
	As often as we eat. By the elements,
	If e'er again I meet him beard to beard,
	He's mine, or I am his: mine emulation
	Hath not that honour in't it had; for where
	I thought to crush him in an equal force,
	True sword to sword, I'll potch at him some way
	Or wrath or craft may get him.

First Soldier	He's the devil.

AUFIDIUS	Bolder, though not so subtle. My valour's poison'd
	With only suffering stain by him; for him
	Shall fly out of itself: nor sleep nor sanctuary,
	Being naked, sick, nor fane nor Capitol,
	The prayers of priests nor times of sacrifice,
	Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up
	Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst
	My hate to Marcius: where I find him, were it
	At home, upon my brother's guard, even there,
	Against the hospitable canon, would I
	Wash my fierce hand in's heart. Go you to the city;
	Learn how 'tis held; and what they are that must
	Be hostages for Rome.

First Soldier	Will not you go?

AUFIDIUS	I am attended at the cypress grove: I pray you--
	'Tis south the city mills--bring me word thither
	How the world goes, that to the pace of it
	I may spur on my journey.

First Soldier	I shall, sir.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT II

SCENE I	Rome. A public place.

	[Enter MENENIUS with the two Tribunes of the people,
	SICINIUS and BRUTUS.

MENENIUS	The augurer tells me we shall have news to-night.

BRUTUS	Good or bad?

MENENIUS	Not according to the prayer of the people, for they
	love not Marcius.

SICINIUS	Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.

MENENIUS	Pray you, who does the wolf love?

SICINIUS	The lamb.

MENENIUS	Ay, to devour him; as the hungry plebeians would the
	noble Marcius.

BRUTUS	He's a lamb indeed, that baes like a bear.

MENENIUS	He's a bear indeed, that lives like a lamb. You two
	are old men: tell me one thing that I shall ask you.

Both	Well, sir.

MENENIUS	In what enormity is Marcius poor in, that you two
	have not in abundance?

BRUTUS	He's poor in no one fault, but stored with all.

SICINIUS	Especially in pride.

BRUTUS	And topping all others in boasting.

MENENIUS	This is strange now: do you two know how you are
	censured here in the city, I mean of us o' the
	right-hand file? do you?

Both	Why, how are we censured?

MENENIUS	Because you talk of pride now,--will you not be angry?

Both	Well, well, sir, well.

MENENIUS	Why, 'tis no great matter; for a very little thief of
	occasion will rob you of a great deal of patience:
	give your dispositions the reins, and be angry at
	your pleasures; at the least if you take it as a
	pleasure to you in being so. You blame Marcius for
	being proud?

BRUTUS	We do it not alone, sir.

MENENIUS	I know you can do very little alone; for your helps
	are many, or else your actions would grow wondrous
	single: your abilities are too infant-like for
	doing much alone. You talk of pride: O that you
	could turn your eyes toward the napes of your necks,
	and make but an interior survey of your good selves!
	O that you could!

BRUTUS	What then, sir?

MENENIUS	Why, then you should discover a brace of unmeriting,
	proud, violent, testy magistrates, alias fools, as
	any in Rome.

SICINIUS	Menenius, you are known well enough too.

MENENIUS	I am known to be a humorous patrician, and one that
	loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying
	Tiber in't; said to be something imperfect in
	favouring the first complaint; hasty and tinder-like
	upon too trivial motion; one that converses more
	with the buttock of the night than with the forehead
	of the morning: what I think I utter, and spend my
	malice in my breath. Meeting two such wealsmen as
	you are--I cannot call you Lycurguses--if the drink
	you give me touch my palate adversely, I make a
	crooked face at it. I can't say your worships have
	delivered the matter well, when I find the ass in
	compound with the major part of your syllables: and
	though I must be content to bear with those that say
	you are reverend grave men, yet they lie deadly that
	tell you you have good faces. If you see this in
	the map of my microcosm, follows it that I am known
	well enough too? what barm can your bisson
	conspectuities glean out of this character, if I be
	known well enough too?

BRUTUS	Come, sir, come, we know you well enough.

MENENIUS	You know neither me, yourselves nor any thing. You
	are ambitious for poor knaves' caps and legs: you
	wear out a good wholesome forenoon in hearing a
	cause between an orange wife and a fosset-seller;
	and then rejourn the controversy of three pence to a
	second day of audience. When you are hearing a
	matter between party and party, if you chance to be
	pinched with the colic, you make faces like
	mummers; set up the bloody flag against all
	patience; and, in roaring for a chamber-pot,
	dismiss the controversy bleeding the more entangled
	by your hearing: all the peace you make in their
	cause is, calling both the parties knaves. You are
	a pair of strange ones.

BRUTUS	Come, come, you are well understood to be a
	perfecter giber for the table than a necessary
	bencher in the Capitol.

MENENIUS	Our very priests must become mockers, if they shall
	encounter such ridiculous subjects as you are. When
	you speak best unto the purpose, it is not worth the
	wagging of your beards; and your beards deserve not
	so honourable a grave as to stuff a botcher's
	cushion, or to be entombed in an ass's pack-
	saddle. Yet you must be saying, Marcius is proud;
	who in a cheap estimation, is worth predecessors
	since Deucalion, though peradventure some of the
	best of 'em were hereditary hangmen. God-den to
	your worships: more of your conversation would
	infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly
	plebeians: I will be bold to take my leave of you.

	[BRUTUS and SICINIUS go aside]

	[Enter VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, and VALERIA]

	How now, my as fair as noble ladies,--and the moon,
	were she earthly, no nobler,--whither do you follow
	your eyes so fast?

VOLUMNIA	Honourable Menenius, my boy Marcius approaches; for
	the love of Juno, let's go.

MENENIUS	Ha! Marcius coming home!

VOLUMNIA	Ay, worthy Menenius; and with most prosperous
	approbation.

MENENIUS	Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee. Hoo!
	Marcius coming home!

VOLUMNIA	|
	|  Nay,'tis true.
VIRGILIA	|

VOLUMNIA	Look, here's a letter from him: the state hath
	another, his wife another; and, I think, there's one
	at home for you.

MENENIUS	I will make my very house reel tonight: a letter for
	me!

VIRGILIA	Yes, certain, there's a letter for you; I saw't.

MENENIUS	A letter for me! it gives me an estate of seven
	years' health; in which time I will make a lip at
	the physician: the most sovereign prescription in
	Galen is but empiricutic, and, to this preservative,
	of no better report than a horse-drench. Is he
	not wounded? he was wont to come home wounded.

VIRGILIA	O, no, no, no.

VOLUMNIA	O, he is wounded; I thank the gods for't.

MENENIUS	So do I too, if it be not too much: brings a'
	victory in his pocket? the wounds become him.

VOLUMNIA	On's brows: Menenius, he comes the third time home
	with the oaken garland.

MENENIUS	Has he disciplined Aufidius soundly?

VOLUMNIA	Titus Lartius writes, they fought together, but
	Aufidius got off.

MENENIUS	And 'twas time for him too, I'll warrant him that:
	an he had stayed by him, I would not have been so
	fidiused for all the chests in Corioli, and the gold
	that's in them. Is the senate possessed of this?

VOLUMNIA	Good ladies, let's go. Yes, yes, yes; the senate
	has letters from the general, wherein he gives my
	son the whole name of the war: he hath in this
	action outdone his former deeds doubly

VALERIA	In troth, there's wondrous things spoke of him.

MENENIUS	Wondrous! ay, I warrant you, and not without his
	true purchasing.

VIRGILIA	The gods grant them true!

VOLUMNIA	True! pow, wow.

MENENIUS	True! I'll be sworn they are true.
	Where is he wounded?

	[To the Tribunes]

	God save your good worships! Marcius is coming
	home: he has more cause to be proud. Where is he wounded?

VOLUMNIA	I' the shoulder and i' the left arm there will be
	large cicatrices to show the people, when he shall
	stand for his place. He received in the repulse of
	Tarquin seven hurts i' the body.

MENENIUS	One i' the neck, and two i' the thigh,--there's
	nine that I know.

VOLUMNIA	He had, before this last expedition, twenty-five
	wounds upon him.

MENENIUS	Now it's twenty-seven: every gash was an enemy's grave.

	[A shout and flourish]

	Hark! the trumpets.

VOLUMNIA	These are the ushers of Marcius: before him he
	carries noise, and behind him he leaves tears:
	Death, that dark spirit, in 's nervy arm doth lie;
	Which, being advanced, declines, and then men die.

	[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 fight
	Within Corioli gates: where he hath won,
	With fame, a name to Caius Marcius; these
	In honour follows Coriolanus.
	Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus!

	[Flourish]

All	Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus!

CORIOLANUS	No more of this; it does offend my heart:
	Pray now, no more.

COMINIUS	                  Look, sir, your mother!

CORIOLANUS	O,
	You have, I know, petition'd all the gods
	For my prosperity!

	[Kneels]

VOLUMNIA	                  Nay, my good soldier, up;
	My gentle Marcius, worthy Caius, and
	By deed-achieving honour newly named,--
	What is it?--Coriolanus must I call thee?--
	But O, thy wife!

CORIOLANUS	                  My gracious silence, hail!
	Wouldst thou have laugh'd had I come coffin'd home,
	That weep'st to see me triumph? Ay, my dear,
	Such eyes the widows in Corioli wear,
	And mothers that lack sons.

MENENIUS	Now, the gods crown thee!

CORIOLANUS	And live you yet?

	[To VALERIA]
	O my sweet lady, pardon.

VOLUMNIA	I know not where to turn: O, welcome home:
	And welcome, general: and ye're welcome all.

MENENIUS	A hundred thousand welcomes. I could weep
	And I could laugh, I am light and heavy. Welcome.
	A curse begin at very root on's heart,
	That is not glad to see thee! You are three
	That Rome should dote on: yet, by the faith of men,
	We have some old crab-trees here
	at home that will not
	Be grafted to your relish. Yet welcome, warriors:
	We call a nettle but a nettle and
	The faults of fools but folly.

COMINIUS	Ever right.

CORIOLANUS	Menenius ever, ever.

Herald	Give way there, and go on!

CORIOLANUS	[To VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA]  Your hand, and yours:
	Ere in our own house I do shade my head,
	The good patricians must be visited;
	From whom I have received not only greetings,
	But with them change of honours.

VOLUMNIA	I have lived
	To see inherited my very wishes
	And the buildings of my fancy: only
	There's one thing wanting, which I doubt not but
	Our Rome will cast upon thee.

CORIOLANUS	Know, good mother,
	I had rather be their servant in my way,
	Than sway with them in theirs.

COMINIUS	On, to the Capitol!

	[Flourish. Cornets. Exeunt in state, as before.
	BRUTUS and SICINIUS come forward]

BRUTUS	All tongues speak of him, and the bleared sights
	Are spectacled to see him: your prattling nurse
	Into a rapture lets her baby cry
	While she chats him: the kitchen malkin pins
	Her richest lockram 'bout her reechy neck,
	Clambering the walls to eye him: stalls, bulks, windows,
	Are smother'd up, leads fill'd, and ridges horsed
	With variable complexions, all agreeing
	In earnestness to see him: seld-shown flamens
	Do press among the popular throngs and puff
	To win a vulgar station: or veil'd dames
	Commit the war of white and damask in
	Their nicely-gawded cheeks to the wanton spoil
	Of Phoebus' burning kisses: such a pother
	As if that whatsoever god who leads him
	Were slily crept into his human powers
	And gave him graceful posture.

SICINIUS	On the sudden,
	I warrant him consul.

BRUTUS	Then our office may,
	During his power, go sleep.

SICINIUS	He cannot temperately transport his honours
	From where he should begin and end, but will
	Lose those he hath won.

BRUTUS	In that there's comfort.

SICINIUS	Doubt not
	The commoners, for whom we stand, but they
	Upon their ancient malice will forget
	With the least cause these his new honours, which
	That he will give them make I as little question
	As he is proud to do't.

BRUTUS	I heard him swear,
	Were he to stand for consul, never would he
	Appear i' the market-place nor on him put
	The napless vesture of humility;
	Nor showing, as the manner is, his wounds
	To the people, beg their stinking breaths.

SICINIUS	'Tis right.

BRUTUS	It was his word: O, he would miss it rather
	Than carry it but by the suit of the gentry to him,
	And the desire of the nobles.

SICINIUS	I wish no better
	Than have him hold that purpose and to put it
	In execution.

BRUTUS	'Tis most like he will.

SICINIUS	It shall be to him then as our good wills,
	A sure destruction.

BRUTUS	So it must fall out
	To him or our authorities. For an end,
	We must suggest the people in what hatred
	He still hath held them; that to's power he would
	Have made them mules, silenced their pleaders and
	Dispropertied their freedoms, holding them,
	In human action and capacity,
	Of no more soul nor fitness for the world
	Than camels in the war, who have their provand
	Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows
	For sinking under them.

SICINIUS	This, as you say, suggested
	At some time when his soaring insolence
	Shall touch the people--which time shall not want,
	If he be put upon 't; and that's as easy
	As to set dogs on sheep--will be his fire
	To kindle their dry stubble; and their blaze
	Shall darken him for ever.

	[Enter a Messenger]

BRUTUS	What's the matter?

Messenger	You are sent for to the Capitol. 'Tis thought
	That Marcius shall be consul:
	I have seen the dumb men throng to see him and
	The blind to bear him speak: matrons flung gloves,
	Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchers,
	Upon him as he pass'd: the nobles bended,
	As to Jove's statue, and the commons made
	A shower and thunder with their caps and shouts:
	I never saw the like.

BRUTUS	Let's to the Capitol;
	And carry with us ears and eyes for the time,
	But hearts for the event.

SICINIUS	Have with you.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT II

SCENE  II	The same. The Capitol.

	[Enter two Officers, to lay cushions]

First Officer	Come, come, they are almost here. How many stand
	for consulships?

Second Officer	Three, they say: but 'tis thought of every one
	Coriolanus will carry it.

First Officer	That's a brave fellow; but he's vengeance proud, and
	loves not the common people.

Second Officer	Faith, there had been many great men that have
	flattered the people, who ne'er loved them; and there
	be many that they have loved, they know not
	wherefore: so that, if they love they know not why,
	they hate upon no better a ground: therefore, for
	Coriolanus neither to care whether they love or hate
	him manifests the true knowledge he has in their
	disposition; and out of his noble carelessness lets
	them plainly see't.

First Officer	If he did not care whether he had their love or no,
	he waved indifferently 'twixt doing them neither
	good nor harm: but he seeks their hate with greater
	devotion than can render it him; and leaves
	nothing undone that may fully discover him their
	opposite. Now, to seem to affect the malice and
	displeasure of the people is as bad as that which he
	dislikes, to flatter them for their love.

Second Officer	He hath deserved worthily of his country: and his
	ascent is not by such easy degrees as those who,
	having been supple and courteous to the people,
	bonneted, without any further deed to have them at
	an into their estimation and report: but he hath so
	planted his honours in their eyes, and his actions
	in their hearts, that for their tongues to be
	silent, and not confess so much, were a kind of
	ingrateful injury; to report otherwise, were a
	malice, that, giving itself the lie, would pluck
	reproof and rebuke from every ear that heard it.

First Officer	No more of him; he is a worthy man: make way, they
	are coming.

	[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 and
	To send for Titus Lartius, it remains,
	As the main point of this our after-meeting,
	To gratify his noble service that
	Hath thus stood for his country: therefore,
	please you,
	Most reverend and grave elders, to desire
	The present consul, and last general
	In our well-found successes, to report
	A little of that worthy work perform'd
	By Caius Marcius Coriolanus, whom
	We met here both to thank and to remember
	With honours like himself.

First Senator	Speak, good Cominius:
	Leave nothing out for length, and make us think
	Rather our state's defective for requital
	Than we to stretch it out.

	[To the Tribunes]

		     Masters o' the people,
	We do request your kindest ears, and after,
	Your loving motion toward the common body,
	To yield what passes here.

SICINIUS	We are convented
	Upon a pleasing treaty, and have hearts
	Inclinable to honour and advance
	The theme of our assembly.

BRUTUS	Which the rather
	We shall be blest to do, if he remember
	A kinder value of the people than
	He hath hereto prized them at.

MENENIUS	That's off, that's off;
	I would you rather had been silent. Please you
	To hear Cominius speak?

BRUTUS	Most willingly;
	But yet my caution was more pertinent
	Than the rebuke you give it.

MENENIUS	He loves your people
	But tie him not to be their bedfellow.
	Worthy Cominius, speak.

	[CORIOLANUS offers to go away]

		  Nay, keep your place.

First Senator	Sit, Coriolanus; never shame to hear
	What you have nobly done.

CORIOLANUS	Your horror's pardon:
	I had rather have my wounds to heal again
	Than hear say how I got them.

BRUTUS	Sir, I hope
	My words disbench'd you not.

CORIOLANUS	No, sir: yet oft,
	When blows have made me stay, I fled from words.
	You soothed not, therefore hurt not: but
	your people,
	I love them as they weigh.

MENENIUS	Pray now, sit down.

CORIOLANUS	I had rather have one scratch my head i' the sun
	When the alarum were struck than idly sit
	To hear my nothings monster'd.

	[Exit]

MENENIUS	Masters of the people,
	Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter--
	That's thousand to one good one--when you now see
	He had rather venture all his limbs for honour
	Than one on's ears to hear it? Proceed, Cominius.

COMINIUS	I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus
	Should not be utter'd feebly. It is held
	That valour is the chiefest virtue, and
	Most dignifies the haver: if it be,
	The man I speak of cannot in the world
	Be singly counterpoised. At sixteen years,
	When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought
	Beyond the mark of others: our then dictator,
	Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight,
	When with his Amazonian chin he drove
	The bristled lips before him: be bestrid
	An o'er-press'd Roman and i' the consul's view
	Slew three opposers: Tarquin's self he met,
	And struck him on his knee: in that day's feats,
	When he might act the woman in the scene,
	He proved best man i' the field, and for his meed
	Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age
	Man-enter'd thus, he waxed like a sea,
	And in the brunt of seventeen battles since
	He lurch'd all swords of the garland. For this last,
	Before and in Corioli, let me say,
	I cannot speak him home: he stopp'd the fliers;
	And by his rare example made the coward
	Turn terror into sport: as weeds before
	A vessel under sail, so men obey'd
	And fell below his stem: his sword, death's stamp,
	Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot
	He was a thing of blood, whose every motion
	Was timed with dying cries: alone he enter'd
	The mortal gate of the city, which he painted
	With shunless destiny; aidless came off,
	And with a sudden reinforcement struck
	Corioli like a planet: now all's his:
	When, by and by, the din of war gan pierce
	His ready sense; then straight his doubled spirit
	Re-quicken'd what in flesh was fatigate,
	And to the battle came he; where he did
	Run reeking o'er the lives of men, as if
	'Twere a perpetual spoil: and till we call'd
	Both field and city ours, he never stood
	To ease his breast with panting.

MENENIUS	Worthy man!

First Senator	He cannot but with measure fit the honours
	Which we devise him.

COMINIUS	Our spoils he kick'd at,
	And look'd upon things precious as they were
	The common muck of the world: he covets less
	Than misery itself would give; rewards
	His deeds with doing them, and is content
	To spend the time to end it.

MENENIUS	He's right noble:
	Let him be call'd for.

First Senator	Call Coriolanus.

Officer	He doth appear.

	[Re-enter CORIOLANUS]

MENENIUS	The senate, Coriolanus, are well pleased
	To make thee consul.

CORIOLANUS	I do owe them still
	My life and services.

MENENIUS	It then remains
	That you do speak to the people.

CORIOLANUS	I do beseech you,
	Let me o'erleap that custom, for I cannot
	Put on the gown, stand naked and entreat them,
	For my wounds' sake, to give their suffrage: please you
	That I may pass this doing.

SICINIUS	Sir, the people
	Must have their voices; neither will they bate
	One jot of ceremony.

MENENIUS	Put them not to't:
	Pray you, go fit you to the custom and
	Take to you, as your predecessors have,
	Your honour with your form.

CORIOLANUS	It is apart
	That I shall blush in acting, and might well
	Be taken from the people.

BRUTUS	Mark you that?

CORIOLANUS	To brag unto them, thus I did, and thus;
	Show them the unaching scars which I should hide,
	As if I had received them for the hire
	Of their breath only!

MENENIUS	Do not stand upon't.
	We recommend to you, tribunes of the people,
	Our purpose to them: and to our noble consul
	Wish we all joy and honour.

Senators	To Coriolanus come all joy and honour!

	[Flourish of cornets. Exeunt all but SICINIUS
	and BRUTUS]

BRUTUS	You see how he intends to use the people.

SICINIUS	May they perceive's intent! He will require them,
	As if he did contemn what he requested
	Should be in them to give.

BRUTUS	Come, we'll inform them
	Of our proceedings here: on the marketplace,
	I know, they do attend us.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT II

SCENE III	The same. The Forum.

	[Enter seven or eight Citizens]

First Citizen	Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him.

Second Citizen	We may, sir, if we will.

Third Citizen	We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a
	power that we have no power to do; for if he show us
	his wounds and tell us his deeds, we are to put our
	tongues into those wounds and speak for them; so, if
	he tell us his noble deeds, we must also tell him
	our noble acceptance of them. Ingratitude is
	monstrous, and for the multitude to be ingrateful,
	were to make a monster of the multitude: of the
	which we being members, should bring ourselves to be
	monstrous members.

First Citizen	And to make us no better thought of, a little help
	will serve; for once we stood up about the corn, he
	himself stuck not to call us the many-headed multitude.

Third Citizen	We have been called so of many; not that our heads
	are some brown, some black, some auburn, some bald,
	but that our wits are so diversely coloured: and
	truly I think if all our wits were to issue out of
	one skull, they would fly east, west, north, south,
	and their consent of one direct way should be at
	once to all the points o' the compass.

Second Citizen	Think you so? Which way do you judge my wit would
	fly?

Third Citizen	Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another man's
	will;'tis strongly wedged up in a block-head, but
	if it were at liberty, 'twould, sure, southward.

Second Citizen	Why that way?

Third Citizen	To lose itself in a fog, where being three parts
	melted away with rotten dews, the fourth would return
	for conscience sake, to help to get thee a wife.

Second Citizen	You are never without your tricks: you may, you may.

Third Citizen	Are you all resolved to give your voices? But
	that's no matter, the greater part carries it. I
	say, if he would incline to the people, there was
	never a worthier man.

	[Enter CORIOLANUS in a gown of humility,
	with MENENIUS]

	Here he comes, and in the gown of humility: mark his
	behavior. We are not to stay all together, but to
	come by him where he stands, by ones, by twos, and
	by threes. He's to make his requests by
	particulars; wherein every one of us has a single
	honour, in giving him our own voices with our own
	tongues: therefore follow me, and I direct you how
	you shall go by him.

All	Content, content.

	[Exeunt Citizens]

MENENIUS	O sir, you are not right: have you not known
	The worthiest men have done't?

CORIOLANUS	What must I say?
	'I Pray, sir'--Plague upon't! I cannot bring
	My tongue to such a pace:--'Look, sir, my wounds!
	I got them in my country's service, when
	Some certain of your brethren roar'd and ran
	From the noise of our own drums.'

MENENIUS	O me, the gods!
	You must not speak of that: you must desire them
	To think upon you.

CORIOLANUS	                  Think upon me! hang 'em!
	I would they would forget me, like the virtues
	Which our divines lose by 'em.

MENENIUS	You'll mar all:
	I'll leave you: pray you, speak to 'em, I pray you,
	In wholesome manner.

	[Exit]

CORIOLANUS	Bid them wash their faces
	And keep their teeth clean.

	[Re-enter two of the Citizens]

		      So, here comes a brace.

	[Re-enter a third Citizen]

	You know the cause, air, of my standing here.

Third Citizen	We do, sir; tell us what hath brought you to't.

CORIOLANUS	Mine own desert.

Second Citizen	Your own desert!

CORIOLANUS	Ay, but not mine own desire.

Third Citizen	How not your own desire?

CORIOLANUS	No, sir,'twas never my desire yet to trouble the
	poor with begging.

Third Citizen	You must think, if we give you any thing, we hope to
	gain by you.

CORIOLANUS	Well then, I pray, your price o' the consulship?

First Citizen	The price is to ask it kindly.

CORIOLANUS	Kindly! Sir, I pray, let me ha't: I have wounds to
	show you, which shall be yours in private. Your
	good voice, sir; what say you?

Second Citizen	You shall ha' it, worthy sir.

CORIOLANUS	A match, sir. There's in all two worthy voices
	begged. I have your alms: adieu.

Third Citizen	But this is something odd.

Second Citizen	An 'twere to give again,--but 'tis no matter.

	[Exeunt the three Citizens]

	[Re-enter two other Citizens]

CORIOLANUS	Pray you now, if it may stand with the tune of your
	voices that I may be consul, I have here the
	customary gown.

Fourth Citizen	You have deserved nobly of your country, and you
	have not deserved nobly.

CORIOLANUS	Your enigma?

Fourth Citizen	You have been a scourge to her enemies, you have
	been a rod to her friends; you have not indeed loved
	the common people.

CORIOLANUS	You should account me the more virtuous that I have
	not been common in my love. I will, sir, flatter my
	sworn brother, the people, to earn a dearer
	estimation of them; 'tis a condition they account
	gentle: and since the wisdom of their choice is
	rather to have my hat than my heart, I will practise
	the insinuating nod and be off to them most
	counterfeitly; that is, sir, I will counterfeit the
	bewitchment of some popular man and give it
	bountiful to the desirers. Therefore, beseech you,
	I may be consul.

Fifth Citizen	We hope to find you our friend; and therefore give
	you our voices heartily.

Fourth Citizen	You have received many wounds for your country.

CORIOLANUS	I will not seal your knowledge with showing them. I
	will make much of your voices, and so trouble you no further.

Both Citizens	The gods give you joy, sir, heartily!

	[Exeunt]

CORIOLANUS	Most sweet voices!
	Better it is to die, better to starve,
	Than crave the hire which first we do deserve.
	Why in this woolvish toge should I stand here,
	To beg of Hob and Dick, that do appear,
	Their needless vouches? Custom calls me to't:
	What custom wills, in all things should we do't,
	The dust on antique time would lie unswept,
	And mountainous error be too highly heapt
	For truth to o'er-peer. Rather than fool it so,
	Let the high office and the honour go
	To one that would do thus. I am half through;
	The one part suffer'd, the other will I do.

	[Re-enter three Citizens more]

	Here come more voices.
	Your voices: for your voices I have fought;
	Watch'd for your voices; for Your voices bear
	Of wounds two dozen odd; battles thrice six
	I have seen and heard of; for your voices have
	Done many things, some less, some more your voices:
	Indeed I would be consul.

Sixth Citizen	He has done nobly, and cannot go without any honest
	man's voice.

Seventh Citizen	Therefore let him be consul: the gods give him joy,
	and make him good friend to the people!

All Citizens	Amen, amen. God save thee, noble consul!

	[Exeunt]

CORIOLANUS	Worthy voices!

	[Re-enter MENENIUS, with BRUTUS and SICINIUS]

MENENIUS	You have stood your limitation; and the tribunes
	Endue you with the people's voice: remains
	That, in the official marks invested, you
	Anon do meet the senate.

CORIOLANUS	Is this done?

SICINIUS	The custom of request you have discharged:
	The people do admit you, and are summon'd
	To meet anon, upon your approbation.

CORIOLANUS	Where? at the senate-house?

SICINIUS	There, Coriolanus.

CORIOLANUS	May I change these garments?

SICINIUS	You may, sir.

CORIOLANUS	That I'll straight do; and, knowing myself again,
	Repair to the senate-house.

MENENIUS	I'll keep you company. Will you along?

BRUTUS	We stay here for the people.

SICINIUS	Fare you well.

	[Exeunt CORIOLANUS and MENENIUS]

	He has it now, and by his looks methink
	'Tis warm at 's heart.

BRUTUS	With a proud heart he wore his humble weeds.
	will you dismiss the people?

	[Re-enter Citizens]

SICINIUS	How now, my masters! have you chose this man?

First Citizen	He has our voices, sir.

BRUTUS	We pray the gods he may deserve your loves.

Second Citizen	Amen, sir: to my poor unworthy notice,
	He mock'd us when he begg'd our voices.

Third Citizen	Certainly
	He flouted us downright.

First Citizen	No,'tis his kind of speech: he did not mock us.

Second Citizen	Not one amongst us, save yourself, but says
	He used us scornfully: he should have show'd us
	His marks of merit, wounds received for's country.

SICINIUS	Why, so he did, I am sure.

Citizens	No, no; no man saw 'em.

Third Citizen	He said he had wounds, which he could show
	in private;
	And with his hat, thus waving it in scorn,
	'I would be consul,' says he: 'aged custom,
	But by your voices, will not so permit me;
	Your voices therefore.' When we granted that,
	Here was 'I thank you for your voices: thank you:
	Your most sweet voices: now you have left
	your voices,
	I have no further with you.' Was not this mockery?

SICINIUS	Why either were you ignorant to see't,
	Or, seeing it, of such childish friendliness
	To yield your voices?

BRUTUS	Could you not have told him
	As you were lesson'd, when he had no power,
	But was a petty servant to the state,
	He was your enemy, ever spake against
	Your liberties and the charters that you bear
	I' the body of the weal; and now, arriving
	A place of potency and sway o' the state,
	If he should still malignantly remain
	Fast foe to the plebeii, your voices might
	Be curses to yourselves? You should have said
	That as his worthy deeds did claim no less
	Than what he stood for, so his gracious nature
	Would think upon you for your voices and
	Translate his malice towards you into love,
	Standing your friendly lord.

SICINIUS	Thus to have said,
	As you were fore-advised, had touch'd his spirit
	And tried his inclination; from him pluck'd
	Either his gracious promise, which you might,
	As cause had call'd you up, have held him to
	Or else it would have gall'd his surly nature,
	Which easily endures not article
	Tying him to aught; so putting him to rage,
	You should have ta'en the advantage of his choler
	And pass'd him unelected.

BRUTUS	Did you perceive
	He did solicit you in free contempt
	When he did need your loves, and do you think
	That his contempt shall not be bruising to you,
	When he hath power to crush? Why, had your bodies
	No heart among you? or had you tongues to cry
	Against the rectorship of judgment?

SICINIUS	Have you
	Ere now denied the asker? and now again
	Of him that did not ask, but mock, bestow
	Your sued-for tongues?

Third Citizen	He's not confirm'd; we may deny him yet.

Second Citizen	And will deny him:
	I'll have five hundred voices of that sound.

First Citizen	I twice five hundred and their friends to piece 'em.

BRUTUS	Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends,
	They have chose a consul that will from them take
	Their liberties; make them of no more voice
	Than dogs that are as often beat for barking
	As therefore kept to do so.

SICINIUS	Let them assemble,
	And on a safer judgment all revoke
	Your ignorant election; enforce his pride,
	And his old hate unto you; besides, forget not
	With what contempt he wore the humble weed,
	How in his suit he scorn'd you; but your loves,
	Thinking upon his services, took from you
	The apprehension of his present portance,
	Which most gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion
	After the inveterate hate he bears you.

BRUTUS	Lay
	A fault on us, your tribunes; that we laboured,
	No impediment between, but that you must
	Cast your election on him.

SICINIUS	Say, you chose him
	More after our commandment than as guided
	By your own true affections, and that your minds,
	Preoccupied with what you rather must do
	Than what you should, made you against the grain
	To voice him consul: lay the fault on us.

BRUTUS	Ay, spare us not. Say we read lectures to you.
	How youngly he began to serve his country,
	How long continued, and what stock he springs of,
	The noble house o' the Marcians, from whence came
	That Ancus Marcius, Numa's daughter's son,
	Who, after great Hostilius, here was king;
	Of the same house Publius and Quintus were,
	That our beat water brought by conduits hither;
	And  [Censorinus,]  nobly named so,
	Twice being  [by the people chosen]  censor,
	Was his great ancestor.

SICINIUS	One thus descended,
	That hath beside well in his person wrought
	To be set high in place, we did commend
	To your remembrances: but you have found,
	Scaling his present bearing with his past,
	That he's your fixed enemy, and revoke
	Your sudden approbation.

BRUTUS	Say, you ne'er had done't--
	Harp on that still--but by our putting on;
	And presently, when you have drawn your number,
	Repair to the Capitol.

All	We will so: almost all
	Repent in their election.

	[Exeunt Citizens]

BRUTUS	Let them go on;
	This mutiny were better put in hazard,
	Than stay, past doubt, for greater:
	If, as his nature is, he fall in rage
	With their refusal, both observe and answer
	The vantage of his anger.

SICINIUS	To the Capitol, come:
	We will be there before the stream o' the people;
	And this shall seem, as partly 'tis, their own,
	Which we have goaded onward.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT III

SCENE I	Rome. A street.

	[Cornets. Enter CORIOLANUS, MENENIUS, all the
	Gentry, COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, and other Senators]

CORIOLANUS	Tullus Aufidius then had made new head?

LARTIUS	He had, my lord; and that it was which caused
	Our swifter composition.

CORIOLANUS	So then the Volsces stand but as at first,
	Ready, when time shall prompt them, to make road.
	Upon's again.

COMINIUS	They are worn, lord consul, so,
	That we shall hardly in our ages see
	Their banners wave again.

CORIOLANUS	Saw you Aufidius?

LARTIUS	On safe-guard he came to me; and did curse
	Against the Volsces, for they had so vilely
	Yielded the town: he is retired to Antium.

CORIOLANUS	Spoke he of me?

LARTIUS	                  He did, my lord.

CORIOLANUS	How? what?

LARTIUS	How often he had met you, sword to sword;
	That of all things upon the earth he hated
	Your person most, that he would pawn his fortunes
	To hopeless restitution, so he might
	Be call'd your vanquisher.

CORIOLANUS	At Antium lives he?

LARTIUS	At Antium.

CORIOLANUS	I wish I had a cause to seek him there,
	To oppose his hatred fully. Welcome home.

	[Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS]

	Behold, these are the tribunes of the people,
	The tongues o' the common mouth: I do despise them;
	For they do prank them in authority,
	Against all noble sufferance.

SICINIUS	Pass no further.

CORIOLANUS	Ha! what is that?

BRUTUS	It will be dangerous to go on: no further.

CORIOLANUS	What makes this change?

MENENIUS	The matter?

COMINIUS	Hath he not pass'd the noble and the common?

BRUTUS	Cominius, no.

CORIOLANUS	                  Have I had children's voices?

First Senator	Tribunes, give way; he shall to the market-place.

BRUTUS	The people are incensed against him.

SICINIUS	Stop,
	Or all will fall in broil.

CORIOLANUS	Are these your herd?
	Must these have voices, that can yield them now
	And straight disclaim their tongues? What are
	your offices?
	You being their mouths, why rule you not their teeth?
	Have you not set them on?

MENENIUS	Be calm, be calm.

CORIOLANUS	It is a purposed thing, and grows by plot,
	To curb the will of the nobility:
	Suffer't, and live with such as cannot rule
	Nor ever will be ruled.

BRUTUS	Call't not a plot:
	The people cry you mock'd them, and of late,
	When corn was given them gratis, you repined;
	Scandal'd the suppliants for the people, call'd them
	Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness.

CORIOLANUS	Why, this was known before.

BRUTUS	Not to them all.

CORIOLANUS	Have you inform'd them sithence?

BRUTUS	How! I inform them!

CORIOLANUS	You are like to do such business.

BRUTUS	Not unlike,
	Each way, to better yours.

CORIOLANUS	Why then should I be consul? By yond clouds,
	Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me
	Your fellow tribune.

SICINIUS	You show too much of that
	For which the people stir: if you will pass
	To where you are bound, you must inquire your way,
	Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit,
	Or never be so noble as a consul,
	Nor yoke with him for tribune.

MENENIUS	Let's be calm.

COMINIUS	The people are abused; set on. This paltering
	Becomes not Rome, nor has Coriolanus
	Deserved this so dishonour'd rub, laid falsely
	I' the plain way of his merit.

CORIOLANUS	Tell me of corn!
	This was my speech, and I will speak't again--

MENENIUS	Not now, not now.

First Senator	                  Not in this heat, sir, now.

CORIOLANUS	Now, as I live, I will. My nobler friends,
	I crave their pardons:
	For the mutable, rank-scented many, let them
	Regard me as I do not flatter, and
	Therein behold themselves: I say again,
	In soothing them, we nourish 'gainst our senate
	The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition,
	Which we ourselves have plough'd for, sow'd,
	and scatter'd,
	By mingling them with us, the honour'd number,
	Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that
	Which they have given to beggars.

MENENIUS	Well, no more.

First Senator	No more words, we beseech you.

CORIOLANUS	How! no more!
	As for my country I have shed my blood,
	Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs
	Coin words till their decay against those measles,
	Which we disdain should tatter us, yet sought
	The very way to catch them.

BRUTUS	You speak o' the people,
	As if you were a god to punish, not
	A man of their infirmity.

SICINIUS	'Twere well
	We let the people know't.

MENENIUS	What, what? his choler?

CORIOLANUS	Choler!
	Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,
	By Jove, 'twould be my mind!

SICINIUS	It is a mind
	That shall remain a poison where it is,
	Not poison any further.

CORIOLANUS	Shall remain!
	Hear you this Triton of the minnows? mark you
	His absolute 'shall'?

COMINIUS	'Twas from the canon.

CORIOLANUS	'Shall'!
	O good but most unwise patricians! why,
	You grave but reckless senators, have you thus
	Given Hydra here to choose an officer,
	That with his peremptory 'shall,' being but
	The horn and noise o' the monster's, wants not spirit
	To say he'll turn your current in a ditch,
	And make your channel his? If he have power
	Then vail your ignorance; if none, awake
	Your dangerous lenity. If you are learn'd,
	Be not as common fools; if you are not,
	Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians,
	If they be senators: and they are no less,
	When, both your voices blended, the great'st taste
	Most palates theirs. They choose their magistrate,
	And such a one as he, who puts his 'shall,'
	His popular 'shall' against a graver bench
	Than ever frown in Greece. By Jove himself!
	It makes the consuls base: and my soul aches
	To know, when two authorities are up,
	Neither supreme, how soon confusion
	May enter 'twixt the gap of both and take
	The one by the other.

COMINIUS	Well, on to the market-place.

CORIOLANUS	Whoever gave that counsel, to give forth
	The corn o' the storehouse gratis, as 'twas used
	Sometime in Greece,--

MENENIUS	Well, well, no more of that.

CORIOLANUS	Though there the people had more absolute power,
	I say, they nourish'd disobedience, fed
	The ruin of the state.

BRUTUS	Why, shall the people give
	One that speaks thus their voice?

CORIOLANUS	I'll give my reasons,
	More worthier than their voices. They know the corn
	Was not our recompense, resting well assured
	That ne'er did service for't: being press'd to the war,
	Even when the navel of the state was touch'd,
	They would not thread the gates. This kind of service
	Did not deserve corn gratis. Being i' the war
	Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they show'd
	Most valour, spoke not for them: the accusation
	Which they have often made against the senate,
	All cause unborn, could never be the motive
	Of our so frank donation. Well, what then?
	How shall this bisson multitude digest
	The senate's courtesy? Let deeds express
	What's like to be their words: 'we did request it;
	We are the greater poll, and in true fear
	They gave us our demands.' Thus we debase
	The nature of our seats and make the rabble
	Call our cares fears; which will in time
	Break ope the locks o' the senate and bring in
	The crows to peck the eagles.

MENENIUS	Come, enough.

BRUTUS	Enough, with over-measure.

CORIOLANUS	No, take more:
	What may be sworn by, both divine and human,
	Seal what I end withal! This double worship,
	Where one part does disdain with cause, the other
	Insult without all reason, where gentry, title, wisdom,
	Cannot conclude but by the yea and no
	Of general ignorance,--it must omit
	Real necessities, and give way the while
	To unstable slightness: purpose so barr'd,
	it follows,
	Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore, beseech you,--
	You that will be less fearful than discreet,
	That love the fundamental part of state
	More than you doubt the change on't, that prefer
	A noble life before a long, and wish
	To jump a body with a dangerous physic
	That's sure of death without it, at once pluck out
	The multitudinous tongue; let them not lick
	The sweet which is their poison: your dishonour
	Mangles true judgment and bereaves the state
	Of that integrity which should become't,
	Not having the power to do the good it would,
	For the in which doth control't.

BRUTUS	Has said enough.

SICINIUS	Has spoken like a traitor, and shall answer
	As traitors do.

CORIOLANUS	                  Thou wretch, despite o'erwhelm thee!
	What should the people do with these bald tribunes?
	On whom depending, their obedience fails
	To the greater bench: in a rebellion,
	When what's not meet, but what must be, was law,
	Then were they chosen: in a better hour,
	Let what is meet be said it must be meet,
	And throw their power i' the dust.

BRUTUS	Manifest treason!

SICINIUS	                  This a consul? no.

BRUTUS	The aediles, ho!

	[Enter an AEdile]

	Let him be apprehended.

SICINIUS	Go, call the people:

	[Exit AEdile]

		in whose name myself
	Attach thee as a traitorous innovator,
	A foe to the public weal: obey, I charge thee,
	And follow to thine answer.

CORIOLANUS	Hence, old goat!

Senators, &C	We'll surety him.

COMINIUS	                  Aged sir, hands off.

CORIOLANUS	Hence, rotten thing! or I shall shake thy bones
	Out of thy garments.

SICINIUS	Help, ye citizens!

	[Enter a rabble of Citizens (Plebeians), with
	the AEdiles]

MENENIUS	On both sides more respect.

SICINIUS	Here's he that would take from you all your power.

BRUTUS	Seize him, AEdiles!

Citizens	Down with him! down with him!

Senators, &C	Weapons, weapons, weapons!

	[They all bustle about CORIOLANUS, crying]

	'Tribunes!' 'Patricians!' 'Citizens!' 'What, ho!'
	'Sicinius!' 'Brutus!' 'Coriolanus!' 'Citizens!'
	'Peace, peace, peace!' 'Stay, hold, peace!'

MENENIUS	What is about to be? I am out of breath;
	Confusion's near; I cannot speak. You, tribunes
	To the people! Coriolanus, patience!
	Speak, good Sicinius.

SICINIUS	Hear me, people; peace!

Citizens	Let's hear our tribune: peace Speak, speak, speak.

SICINIUS	You are at point to lose your liberties:
	Marcius would have all from you; Marcius,
	Whom late you have named for consul.

MENENIUS	Fie, fie, fie!
	This is the way to kindle, not to quench.

First Senator	To unbuild the city and to lay all flat.

SICINIUS	What is the city but the people?

Citizens	True,
	The people are the city.

BRUTUS	By the consent of all, we were establish'd
	The people's magistrates.

Citizens	You so remain.

MENENIUS	And so are like to do.

COMINIUS	That is the way to lay the city flat;
	To bring the roof to the foundation,
	And bury all, which yet distinctly ranges,
	In heaps and piles of ruin.

SICINIUS	This deserves death.

BRUTUS	Or let us stand to our authority,
	Or let us lose it. We do here pronounce,
	Upon the part o' the people, in whose power
	We were elected theirs, Marcius is worthy
	Of present death.

SICINIUS	                  Therefore lay hold of him;
	Bear him to the rock Tarpeian, and from thence
	Into destruction cast him.

BRUTUS	AEdiles, seize him!

Citizens	Yield, Marcius, yield!

MENENIUS	Hear me one word;
	Beseech you, tribunes, hear me but a word.

AEdile	Peace, peace!

MENENIUS	[To BRUTUS]  Be that you seem, truly your
	country's friend,
	And temperately proceed to what you would
	Thus violently redress.

BRUTUS	Sir, those cold ways,
	That seem like prudent helps, are very poisonous
	Where the disease is violent. Lay hands upon him,
	And bear him to the rock.

CORIOLANUS	No, I'll die here.

	[Drawing his sword]

	There's some among you have beheld me fighting:
	Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me.

MENENIUS	Down with that sword! Tribunes, withdraw awhile.

BRUTUS	Lay hands upon him.

COMINIUS	Help Marcius, help,
	You that be noble; help him, young and old!

Citizens	Down with him, down with him!

	[In this mutiny, the Tribunes, the AEdiles, and the
	People, are beat in]

MENENIUS	Go, get you to your house; be gone, away!
	All will be naught else.

Second Senator	Get you gone.

COMINIUS	Stand fast;
	We have as many friends as enemies.

MENENIUS	Sham it be put to that?

First Senator	The gods forbid!
	I prithee, noble friend, home to thy house;
	Leave us to cure this cause.

MENENIUS	For 'tis a sore upon us,
	You cannot tent yourself: be gone, beseech you.

COMINIUS	Come, sir, along with us.

CORIOLANUS	I would they were barbarians--as they are,
	Though in Rome litter'd--not Romans--as they are not,
	Though calved i' the porch o' the Capitol--

MENENIUS	Be gone;
	Put not your worthy rage into your tongue;
	One time will owe another.

CORIOLANUS	On fair ground
	I could beat forty of them.

COMINIUS	I could myself
	Take up a brace o' the best of them; yea, the
	two tribunes:
	But now 'tis odds beyond arithmetic;
	And manhood is call'd foolery, when it stands
	Against a falling fabric. Will you hence,
	Before the tag return? whose rage doth rend
	Like interrupted waters and o'erbear
	What they are used to bear.

MENENIUS	Pray you, be gone:
	I'll try whether my old wit be in request
	With those that have but little: this must be patch'd
	With cloth of any colour.

COMINIUS	Nay, come away.

	[Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, and others]

A Patrician	This man has marr'd his fortune.

MENENIUS	His nature is too noble for the world:
	He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
	Or Jove for's power to thunder. His heart's his mouth:
	What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent;
	And, being angry, does forget that ever
	He heard the name of death.

	[A noise within]

		      Here's goodly work!

Second Patrician	I would they were abed!

MENENIUS	I would they were in Tiber! What the vengeance!
	Could he not speak 'em fair?

	[Re-enter BRUTUS and SICINIUS, with the rabble]

SICINIUS	Where is this viper
	That would depopulate the city and
	Be every man himself?

MENENIUS	You worthy tribunes,--

SICINIUS	He shall be thrown down the Tarpeian rock
	With rigorous hands: he hath resisted law,
	And therefore law shall scorn him further trial
	Than the severity of the public power
	Which he so sets at nought.

First Citizen	He shall well know
	The noble tribunes are the people's mouths,
	And we their hands.

Citizens	He shall, sure on't.

MENENIUS	Sir, sir,--

SICINIUS	Peace!

MENENIUS	Do not cry havoc, where you should but hunt
	With modest warrant.

SICINIUS	Sir, how comes't that you
	Have holp to make this rescue?

MENENIUS	Hear me speak:
	As I do know the consul's worthiness,
	So can I name his faults,--

SICINIUS	Consul! what consul?

MENENIUS	The consul Coriolanus.

BRUTUS	He consul!

Citizens	No, no, no, no, no.

MENENIUS	If, by the tribunes' leave, and yours, good people,
	I may be heard, I would crave a word or two;
	The which shall turn you to no further harm
	Than so much loss of time.

SICINIUS	Speak briefly then;
	For we are peremptory to dispatch
	This viperous traitor: to eject him hence
	Were but one danger, and to keep him here
	Our certain death: therefore it is decreed
	He dies to-night.

MENENIUS	                  Now the good gods forbid
	That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude
	Towards her deserved children is enroll'd
	In Jove's own book, like an unnatural dam
	Should now eat up her own!

SICINIUS	He's a disease that must be cut away.

MENENIUS	O, he's a limb that has but a disease;
	Mortal, to cut it off; to cure it, easy.
	What has he done to Rome that's worthy death?
	Killing our enemies, the blood he hath lost--
	Which, I dare vouch, is more than that he hath,
	By many an ounce--he dropp'd it for his country;
	And what is left, to lose it by his country,
	Were to us all, that do't and suffer it,
	A brand to the end o' the world.

SICINIUS	This is clean kam.

BRUTUS	Merely awry: when he did love his country,
	It honour'd him.

MENENIUS	                  The service of the foot
	Being once gangrened, is not then respected
	For what before it was.

BRUTUS	We'll hear no more.
	Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence:
	Lest his infection, being of catching nature,
	Spread further.

MENENIUS	                  One word more, one word.
	This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find
	The harm of unscann'd swiftness, will too late
	Tie leaden pounds to's heels. Proceed by process;
	Lest parties, as he is beloved, break out,
	And sack great Rome with Romans.

BRUTUS	If it were so,--

SICINIUS	What do ye talk?
	Have we not had a taste of his obedience?
	Our aediles smote? ourselves resisted? Come.

MENENIUS	Consider this: he has been bred i' the wars
	Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school'd
	In bolted language; meal and bran together
	He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
	I'll go to him, and undertake to bring him
	Where he shall answer, by a lawful form,
	In peace, to his utmost peril.

First Senator	Noble tribunes,
	It is the humane way: the other course
	Will prove too bloody, and the end of it
	Unknown to the beginning.

SICINIUS	Noble Menenius,
	Be you then as the people's officer.
	Masters, lay down your weapons.

BRUTUS	Go not home.

SICINIUS	Meet on the market-place. We'll attend you there:
	Where, if you bring not Marcius, we'll proceed
	In our first way.

MENENIUS	                  I'll bring him to you.

	[To the Senators]

	Let me desire your company: he must come,
	Or what is worst will follow.

First Senator	Pray you, let's to him.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT III

SCENE II	A room in CORIOLANUS'S house.

	[Enter CORIOLANUS with Patricians]

CORIOLANUS	Let them puff all about mine ears, present me
	Death on the wheel or at wild horses' heels,
	Or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock,
	That the precipitation might down stretch
	Below the beam of sight, yet will I still
	Be thus to them.

A Patrician	You do the nobler.

CORIOLANUS	I muse my mother
	Does not approve me further, who was wont
	To call them woollen vassals, things created
	To buy and sell with groats, to show bare heads
	In congregations, to yawn, be still and wonder,
	When one but of my ordinance stood up
	To speak of peace or war.

	[Enter VOLUMNIA]

		    I talk of you:
	Why did you wish me milder? would you have me
	False to my nature? Rather say I play
	The man I am.

VOLUMNIA	                  O, sir, sir, sir,
	I would have had you put your power well on,
	Before you had worn it out.

CORIOLANUS	Let go.

VOLUMNIA	You might have been enough the man you are,
	With striving less to be so; lesser had been
	The thwartings of your dispositions, if
	You had not show'd them how ye were disposed
	Ere they lack'd power to cross you.

CORIOLANUS	Let them hang.

A Patrician	Ay, and burn too.

	[Enter MENENIUS and Senators]

MENENIUS	Come, come, you have been too rough, something
	too rough;
	You must return and mend it.

First Senator	There's no remedy;
	Unless, by not so doing, our good city
	Cleave in the midst, and perish.

VOLUMNIA	Pray, be counsell'd:
	I have a heart as little apt as yours,
	But yet a brain that leads my use of anger
	To better vantage.

MENENIUS	                  Well said, noble woman?
	Before he should thus stoop to the herd, but that
	The violent fit o' the time craves it as physic
	For the whole state, I would put mine armour on,
	Which I can scarcely bear.

CORIOLANUS	What must I do?

MENENIUS	Return to the tribunes.

CORIOLANUS	Well, what then? what then?

MENENIUS	Repent what you have spoke.

CORIOLANUS	For them! I cannot do it to the gods;
	Must I then do't to them?

VOLUMNIA	You are too absolute;
	Though therein you can never be too noble,
	But when extremities speak. I have heard you say,
	Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends,
	I' the war do grow together: grant that, and tell me,
	In peace what each of them by the other lose,
	That they combine not there.

CORIOLANUS	Tush, tush!

MENENIUS	A good demand.

VOLUMNIA	If it be honour in your wars to seem
	The same you are not, which, for your best ends,
	You adopt your policy, how is it less or worse,
	That it shall hold companionship in peace
	With honour, as in war, since that to both
	It stands in like request?

CORIOLANUS	Why force you this?

VOLUMNIA	Because that now it lies you on to speak
	To the people; not by your own instruction,
	Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you,
	But with such words that are but rooted in
	Your tongue, though but bastards and syllables
	Of no allowance to your bosom's truth.
	Now, this no more dishonours you at all
	Than to take in a town with gentle words,
	Which else would put you to your fortune and
	The hazard of much blood.
	I would dissemble with my nature where
	My fortunes and my friends at stake required
	I should do so in honour: I am in this,
	Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles;
	And you will rather show our general louts
	How you can frown than spend a fawn upon 'em,
	For the inheritance of their loves and safeguard
	Of what that want might ruin.

MENENIUS	Noble lady!
	Come, go with us; speak fair: you may salve so,
	Not what is dangerous present, but the loss
	Of what is past.

VOLUMNIA	                  I prithee now, my son,
	Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand;
	And thus far having stretch'd it--here be with them--
	Thy knee bussing the stones--for in such business
	Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant
	More learned than the ears--waving thy head,
	Which often, thus, correcting thy stout heart,
	Now humble as the ripest mulberry
	That will not hold the handling: or say to them,
	Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils
	Hast not the soft way which, thou dost confess,
	Were fit for thee to use as they to claim,
	In asking their good loves, but thou wilt frame
	Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far
	As thou hast power and person.

MENENIUS	This but done,
	Even as she speaks, why, their hearts were yours;
	For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free
	As words to little purpose.

VOLUMNIA	Prithee now,
	Go, and be ruled: although I know thou hadst rather
	Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf
	Than flatter him in a bower. Here is Cominius.

	[Enter COMINIUS]

COMINIUS	I have been i' the market-place; and, sir,'tis fit
	You make strong party, or defend yourself
	By calmness or by absence: all's in anger.

MENENIUS	Only fair speech.

COMINIUS	                  I think 'twill serve, if he
	Can thereto frame his spirit.

VOLUMNIA	He must, and will
	Prithee now, say you will, and go about it.

CORIOLANUS	Must I go show them my unbarbed sconce?
	Must I with base tongue give my noble heart
	A lie that it must bear? Well, I will do't:
	Yet, were there but this single plot to lose,
	This mould of Marcius, they to dust should grind it
	And throw't against the wind. To the market-place!
	You have put me now to such a part which never
	I shall discharge to the life.

COMINIUS	Come, come, we'll prompt you.

VOLUMNIA	I prithee now, sweet son, as thou hast said
	My praises made thee first a soldier, so,
	To have my praise for this, perform a part
	Thou hast not done before.

CORIOLANUS	Well, I must do't:
	Away, my disposition, and possess me
	Some harlot's spirit! my throat of war be turn'd,
	Which quired with my drum, into a pipe
	Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice
	That babies lulls asleep! the smiles of knaves
	Tent in my cheeks, and schoolboys' tears take up
	The glasses of my sight! a beggar's tongue
	Make motion through my lips, and my arm'd knees,
	Who bow'd but in my stirrup, bend like his
	That hath received an alms! I will not do't,
	Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth
	And by my body's action teach my mind
	A most inherent baseness.

VOLUMNIA	At thy choice, then:
	To beg of thee, it is my more dishonour
	Than thou of them. Come all to ruin; let
	Thy mother rather feel thy pride than fear
	Thy dangerous stoutness, for I mock at death
	With as big heart as thou. Do as thou list
	Thy valiantness was mine, thou suck'dst it from me,
	But owe thy pride thyself.

CORIOLANUS	Pray, be content:
	Mother, I am going to the market-place;
	Chide me no more. I'll mountebank their loves,
	Cog their hearts from them, and come home beloved
	Of all the trades in Rome. Look, I am going:
	Commend me to my wife. I'll return consul;
	Or never trust to what my tongue can do
	I' the way of flattery further.

VOLUMNIA	Do your will.

	[Exit]

COMINIUS	Away! the tribunes do attend you: arm yourself
	To answer mildly; for they are prepared
	With accusations, as I hear, more strong
	Than are upon you yet.

CORIOLANUS	The word is 'mildly.' Pray you, let us go:
	Let them accuse me by invention, I
	Will answer in mine honour.

MENENIUS	Ay, but mildly.

CORIOLANUS	Well, mildly be it then. Mildly!

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT III

SCENE III	The same. The Forum.

	[Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS]

BRUTUS	In this point charge him home, that he affects
	Tyrannical power: if he evade us there,
	Enforce him with his envy to the people,
	And that the spoil got on the Antiates
	Was ne'er distributed.

	[Enter an AEdile]

	What, will he come?

AEdile	He's coming.

BRUTUS	How accompanied?

AEdile	With old Menenius, and those senators
	That always favour'd him.

SICINIUS	Have you a catalogue
	Of all the voices that we have procured
	Set down by the poll?

AEdile	I have; 'tis ready.

SICINIUS	Have you collected them by tribes?

AEdile	I have.

SICINIUS	Assemble presently the people hither;
	And when they bear me say 'It shall be so
	I' the right and strength o' the commons,' be it either
	For death, for fine, or banishment, then let them
	If I say fine, cry 'Fine;' if death, cry 'Death.'
	Insisting on the old prerogative
	And power i' the truth o' the cause.

AEdile	I shall inform them.

BRUTUS	And when such time they have begun to cry,
	Let them not cease, but with a din confused
	Enforce the present execution
	Of what we chance to sentence.

AEdile	Very well.

SICINIUS	Make them be strong and ready for this hint,
	When we shall hap to give 't them.

BRUTUS	Go about it.

	[Exit AEdile]

	Put him to choler straight: he hath been used
	Ever to conquer, and to have his worth
	Of contradiction: being once chafed, he cannot
	Be rein'd again to temperance; then he speaks
	What's in his heart; and that is there which looks
	With us to break his neck.

SICINIUS	Well, here he comes.

	[Enter CORIOLANUS, MENENIUS, and COMINIUS,
	with Senators and Patricians]

MENENIUS	Calmly, I do beseech you.

CORIOLANUS	Ay, as an ostler, that for the poorest piece
	Will bear the knave by the volume. The honour'd gods
	Keep Rome in safety, and the chairs of justice
	Supplied with worthy men! plant love among 's!
	Throng our large temples with the shows of peace,
	And not our streets with war!

First Senator	Amen, amen.

MENENIUS	A noble wish.

	[Re-enter AEdile, with Citizens]

SICINIUS	Draw near, ye people.

AEdile	List to your tribunes. Audience: peace, I say!

CORIOLANUS	First, hear me speak.

Both Tribunes	Well, say. Peace, ho!

CORIOLANUS	Shall I be charged no further than this present?
	Must all determine here?

SICINIUS	I do demand,
	If you submit you to the people's voices,
	Allow their officers and are content
	To suffer lawful censure for such faults
	As shall be proved upon you?

CORIOLANUS	I am content.

MENENIUS	Lo, citizens, he says he is content:
	The warlike service he has done, consider; think
	Upon the wounds his body bears, which show
	Like graves i' the holy churchyard.

CORIOLANUS	Scratches with briers,
	Scars to move laughter only.

MENENIUS	Consider further,
	That when he speaks not like a citizen,
	You find him like a soldier: do not take
	His rougher accents for malicious sounds,
	But, as I say, such as become a soldier,
	Rather than envy you.

COMINIUS	Well, well, no more.

CORIOLANUS	What is the matter
	That being pass'd for consul with full voice,
	I am so dishonour'd that the very hour
	You take it off again?

SICINIUS	Answer to us.

CORIOLANUS	Say, then: 'tis true, I ought so.

SICINIUS	We charge you, that you have contrived to take
	From Rome all season'd office and to wind
	Yourself into a power tyrannical;
	For which you are a traitor to the people.

CORIOLANUS	How! traitor!

MENENIUS	                  Nay, temperately; your promise.

CORIOLANUS	The fires i' the lowest hell fold-in the people!
	Call me their traitor! Thou injurious tribune!
	Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths,
	In thy hand clutch'd as many millions, in
	Thy lying tongue both numbers, I would say
	'Thou liest' unto thee with a voice as free
	As I do pray the gods.

SICINIUS	Mark you this, people?

Citizens	To the rock, to the rock with him!

SICINIUS	Peace!
	We need not put new matter to his charge:
	What you have seen him do and heard him speak,
	Beating your officers, cursing yourselves,
	Opposing laws with strokes and here defying
	Those whose great power must try him; even this,
	So criminal and in such capital kind,
	Deserves the extremest death.

BRUTUS	But since he hath
	Served well for Rome,--

CORIOLANUS	What do you prate of service?

BRUTUS	I talk of that, that know it.

CORIOLANUS	You?

MENENIUS	Is this the promise that you made your mother?

COMINIUS	Know, I pray you,--

CORIOLANUS	I know no further:
	Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,
	Vagabond exile, raying, pent to linger
	But with a grain a day, I would not buy
	Their mercy at the price of one fair word;
	Nor cheque my courage for what they can give,
	To have't with saying 'Good morrow.'

SICINIUS	For that he has,
	As much as in him lies, from time to time
	Envied against the people, seeking means
	To pluck away their power, as now at last
	Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
	Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers
	That do distribute it; in the name o' the people
	And in the power of us the tribunes, we,
	Even from this instant, banish him our city,
	In peril of precipitation
	From off the rock Tarpeian never more
	To enter our Rome gates: i' the people's name,
	I say it shall be so.

Citizens	It shall be so, it shall be so; let him away:
	He's banish'd, and it shall be so.

COMINIUS	Hear me, my masters, and my common friends,--

SICINIUS	He's sentenced; no more hearing.

COMINIUS	Let me speak:
	I have been consul, and can show for Rome
	Her enemies' marks upon me. I do love
	My country's good with a respect more tender,
	More holy and profound, than mine own life,
	My dear wife's estimate, her womb's increase,
	And treasure of my loins; then if I would
	Speak that,--

SICINIUS	                  We know your drift: speak what?

BRUTUS	There's no more to be said, but he is banish'd,
	As enemy to the people and his country:
	It shall be so.

Citizens	It shall be so, it shall be so.

CORIOLANUS	You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
	As reek o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
	As the dead carcasses of unburied men
	That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
	And here remain with your uncertainty!
	Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
	Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
	Fan you into despair! Have the power still
	To banish your defenders; till at length
	Your ignorance, which finds not till it feels,
	Making not reservation of yourselves,
	Still your own foes, deliver you as most
	Abated captives to some nation
	That won you without blows! Despising,
	For you, the city, thus I turn my back:
	There is a world elsewhere.

	[Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, MENENIUS, Senators,
	and Patricians]

AEdile	The people's enemy is gone, is gone!

Citizens	Our enemy is banish'd! he is gone! Hoo! hoo!

	[Shouting, and throwing up their caps]

SICINIUS	Go, see him out at gates, and follow him,
	As he hath followed you, with all despite;
	Give him deserved vexation. Let a guard
	Attend us through the city.

Citizens	Come, come; let's see him out at gates; come.
	The gods preserve our noble tribunes! Come.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT IV

SCENE I	Rome. Before a gate of the city.

	[Enter CORIOLANUS, VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, MENENIUS,
	COMINIUS, with the young Nobility of Rome]

CORIOLANUS	Come, leave your tears: a brief farewell: the beast
	With many heads butts me away. Nay, mother,
	Where is your ancient courage? you were used
	To say extremity was the trier of spirits;
	That common chances common men could bear;
	That when the sea was calm all boats alike
	Show'd mastership in floating; fortune's blows,
	When most struck home, being gentle wounded, craves
	A noble cunning: you were used to load me
	With precepts that would make invincible
	The heart that conn'd them.

VIRGILIA	O heavens! O heavens!

CORIOLANUS	Nay! prithee, woman,--

VOLUMNIA	Now the red pestilence strike all trades in Rome,
	And occupations perish!

CORIOLANUS	What, what, what!
	I shall be loved when I am lack'd. Nay, mother.
	Resume that spirit, when you were wont to say,
	If you had been the wife of Hercules,
	Six of his labours you'ld have done, and saved
	Your husband so much sweat. Cominius,
	Droop not; adieu. Farewell, my wife, my mother:
	I'll do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius,
	Thy tears are salter than a younger man's,
	And venomous to thine eyes. My sometime general,
	I have seen thee stem, and thou hast oft beheld
	Heart-hardening spectacles; tell these sad women
	'Tis fond to wail inevitable strokes,
	As 'tis to laugh at 'em. My mother, you wot well
	My hazards still have been your solace: and
	Believe't not lightly--though I go alone,
	Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen
	Makes fear'd and talk'd of more than seen--your son
	Will or exceed the common or be caught
	With cautelous baits and practise.

VOLUMNIA	My first son.
	Whither wilt thou go? Take good Cominius
	With thee awhile: determine on some course,
	More than a wild exposture to each chance
	That starts i' the way before thee.

CORIOLANUS	O the gods!

COMINIUS	I'll follow thee a month, devise with thee
	Where thou shalt rest, that thou mayst hear of us
	And we of thee: so if the time thrust forth
	A cause for thy repeal, we shall not send
	O'er the vast world to seek a single man,
	And lose advantage, which doth ever cool
	I' the absence of the needer.

CORIOLANUS	Fare ye well:
	Thou hast years upon thee; and thou art too full
	Of the wars' surfeits, to go rove with one
	That's yet unbruised: bring me but out at gate.
	Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and
	My friends of noble touch, when I am forth,
	Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you, come.
	While I remain above the ground, you shall
	Hear from me still, and never of me aught
	But what is like me formerly.

MENENIUS	That's worthily
	As any ear can hear. Come, let's not weep.
	If I could shake off but one seven years
	From these old arms and legs, by the good gods,
	I'ld with thee every foot.

CORIOLANUS	Give me thy hand: Come.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT IV

SCENE II	The same. A  street near the gate.

	[Enter SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and an AEdile]

SICINIUS	Bid them all home; he's gone, and we'll no further.
	The nobility are vex'd, whom we see have sided
	In his behalf.

BRUTUS	                  Now we have shown our power,
	Let us seem humbler after it is done
	Than when it was a-doing.

SICINIUS	Bid them home:
	Say their great enemy is gone, and they
	Stand in their ancient strength.

BRUTUS	Dismiss them home.

	[Exit AEdile]

	Here comes his mother.

SICINIUS	Let's not meet her.

BRUTUS	Why?

SICINIUS	They say she's mad.

BRUTUS	They have ta'en note of us: keep on your way.

	[Enter VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, and MENENIUS]

VOLUMNIA	O, ye're well met: the hoarded plague o' the gods
	Requite your love!

MENENIUS	                  Peace, peace; be not so loud.

VOLUMNIA	If that I could for weeping, you should hear,--
	Nay, and you shall hear some.

	[To BRUTUS]

		        Will you be gone?

VIRGILIA	[To SICINIUS]  You shall stay too: I would I had the power
	To say so to my husband.

SICINIUS	Are you mankind?

VOLUMNIA	Ay, fool; is that a shame? Note but this fool.
	Was not a man my father? Hadst thou foxship
	To banish him that struck more blows for Rome
	Than thou hast spoken words?

SICINIUS	O blessed heavens!

VOLUMNIA	More noble blows than ever thou wise words;
	And for Rome's good. I'll tell thee what; yet go:
	Nay, but thou shalt stay too: I would my son
	Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him,
	His good sword in his hand.

SICINIUS	What then?

VIRGILIA	What then!
	He'ld make an end of thy posterity.

VOLUMNIA	Bastards and all.
	Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome!

MENENIUS	Come, come, peace.

SICINIUS	I would he had continued to his country
	As he began, and not unknit himself
	The noble knot he made.

BRUTUS	I would he had.

VOLUMNIA	'I would he had'! 'Twas you incensed the rabble:
	Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth
	As I can of those mysteries which heaven
	Will not have earth to know.

BRUTUS	Pray, let us go.

VOLUMNIA	Now, pray, sir, get you gone:
	You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear this:--
	As far as doth the Capitol exceed
	The meanest house in Rome, so far my son--
	This lady's husband here, this, do you see--
	Whom you have banish'd, does exceed you all.

BRUTUS	Well, well, we'll leave you.

SICINIUS	Why stay we to be baited
	With one that wants her wits?

VOLUMNIA	Take my prayers with you.

	[Exeunt Tribunes]

	I would the gods had nothing else to do
	But to confirm my curses! Could I meet 'em
	But once a-day, it would unclog my heart
	Of what lies heavy to't.

MENENIUS	You have told them home;
	And, by my troth, you have cause. You'll sup with me?

VOLUMNIA	Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself,
	And so shall starve with feeding. Come, let's go:
	Leave this faint puling and lament as I do,
	In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come.

MENENIUS	Fie, fie, fie!

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT IV

SCENE III	A highway between Rome and Antium.

	[Enter a Roman and a Volsce, meeting]

Roman	I know you well, sir, and you know
	me: your name, I think, is Adrian.

Volsce	It is so, sir: truly, I have forgot you.

Roman	I am a Roman; and my services are,
	as you are, against 'em: know you me yet?

Volsce	Nicanor? no.

Roman	The same, sir.

Volsce	You had more beard when I last saw you; but your
	favour is well approved by your tongue. What's the
	news in Rome? I have a note from the Volscian state,
	to find you out there: you have well saved me a
	day's journey.

Roman	There hath been in Rome strange insurrections; the
	people against the senators, patricians, and nobles.

Volsce	Hath been! is it ended, then? Our state thinks not
	so: they are in a most warlike preparation, and
	hope to come upon them in the heat of their division.

Roman	The main blaze of it is past, but a small thing
	would make it flame again: for the nobles receive
	so to heart the banishment of that worthy
	Coriolanus, that they are in a ripe aptness to take
	all power from the people and to pluck from them
	their tribunes for ever. This lies glowing, I can
	tell you, and is almost mature for the violent
	breaking out.

Volsce	Coriolanus banished!

Roman	Banished, sir.

Volsce	You will be welcome with this intelligence, Nicanor.

Roman	The day serves well for them now. I have heard it
	said, the fittest time to corrupt a man's wife is
	when she's fallen out with her husband. Your noble
	Tullus Aufidius will appear well in these wars, his
	great opposer, Coriolanus, being now in no request
	of his country.

Volsce	He cannot choose. I am most fortunate, thus
	accidentally to encounter you: you have ended my
	business, and I will merrily accompany you home.

Roman	I shall, between this and supper, tell you most
	strange things from Rome; all tending to the good of
	their adversaries. Have you an army ready, say you?

Volsce	A most royal one; the centurions and their charges,
	distinctly billeted, already in the entertainment,
	and to be on foot at an hour's warning.

Roman	I am joyful to hear of their readiness, and am the
	man, I think, that shall set them in present action.
	So, sir, heartily well met, and most glad of your company.

Volsce	You take my part from me, sir; I have the most cause
	to be glad of yours.

Roman	Well, let us go together.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT IV

SCENE IV	Antium. Before Aufidius's house.

	[Enter CORIOLANUS in mean apparel, disguised
	and muffled]

CORIOLANUS	A goodly city is this Antium. City,
	'Tis I that made thy widows: many an heir
	Of these fair edifices 'fore my wars
	Have I heard groan and drop: then know me not,
	Lest that thy wives with spits and boys with stones
	In puny battle slay me.

	[Enter a Citizen]

		  Save you, sir.

Citizen	And you.

CORIOLANUS	       Direct me, if it be your will,
	Where great Aufidius lies: is he in Antium?

Citizen	He is, and feasts the nobles of the state
	At his house this night.

CORIOLANUS	Which is his house, beseech you?

Citizen	This, here before you.

CORIOLANUS	Thank you, sir: farewell.

	[Exit Citizen]

	O world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn,
	Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart,
	Whose house, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise,
	Are still together, who twin, as 'twere, in love
	Unseparable, shall within this hour,
	On a dissension of a doit, break out
	To bitterest enmity: so, fellest foes,
	Whose passions and whose plots have broke their sleep,
	To take the one the other, by some chance,
	Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends
	And interjoin their issues. So with me:
	My birth-place hate I, and my love's upon
	This enemy town. I'll enter: if he slay me,
	He does fair justice; if he give me way,
	I'll do his country service.

	[Exit]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT IV

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

	[Music within. Enter a Servingman]

First Servingman	Wine, wine, wine! What service
	is here! I think our fellows are asleep.

	[Exit]

	[Enter a second Servingman]

Second Servingman	Where's Cotus? my master calls
	for him. Cotus!

	[Exit]

	[Enter CORIOLANUS]

CORIOLANUS	A goodly house: the feast smells well; but I
	Appear not like a guest.

	[Re-enter the first Servingman]

First Servingman	What would you have, friend? whence are you?
	Here's no place for you: pray, go to the door.

	[Exit]

CORIOLANUS	I have deserved no better entertainment,
	In being Coriolanus.

	[Re-enter second Servingman]

Second Servingman	Whence are you, sir? Has the porter his eyes in his
	head; that he gives entrance to such companions?
	Pray, get you out.

CORIOLANUS	Away!

Second Servingman	Away! get you away.

CORIOLANUS	Now thou'rt troublesome.

Second Servingman	Are you so brave? I'll have you talked with anon.

	[Enter a third Servingman. The first meets him]

Third Servingman	What fellow's this?

First Servingman	A strange one as ever I looked on: I cannot get him
	out of the house: prithee, call my master to him.

	[Retires]

Third Servingman	What have you to do here, fellow? Pray you, avoid
	the house.

CORIOLANUS	Let me but stand; I will not hurt your hearth.

Third Servingman	What are you?

CORIOLANUS	A gentleman.

Third Servingman	A marvellous poor one.

CORIOLANUS	True, so I am.

Third Servingman	Pray you, poor gentleman, take up some other
	station; here's no place for you; pray you, avoid: come.

CORIOLANUS	Follow your function, go, and batten on cold bits.

	[Pushes him away]

Third Servingman	What, you will not? Prithee, tell my master what a
	strange guest he has here.

Second Servingman	And I shall.

	[Exit]

Third Servingman	Where dwellest thou?

CORIOLANUS	Under the canopy.

Third Servingman	Under the canopy!

CORIOLANUS	Ay.

Third Servingman	Where's that?

CORIOLANUS	I' the city of kites and crows.

Third Servingman	I' the city of kites and crows! What an ass it is!
	Then thou dwellest with daws too?

CORIOLANUS	No, I serve not thy master.

Third Servingman	How, sir! do you meddle with my master?

CORIOLANUS	Ay; 'tis an honester service than to meddle with thy
	mistress. Thou pratest, and pratest; serve with thy
	trencher, hence!

	[Beats him away. Exit third Servingman]

	[Enter AUFIDIUS with the second Servingman]

AUFIDIUS	Where is this fellow?

Second Servingman	Here, sir: I'ld have beaten him like a dog, but for
	disturbing the lords within.

	[Retires]

AUFIDIUS	Whence comest thou? what wouldst thou? thy name?
	Why speak'st not? speak, man: what's thy name?

CORIOLANUS	If, Tullus,

	[Unmuffling]

	Not yet thou knowest me, and, seeing me, dost not
	Think me for the man I am, necessity
	Commands me name myself.

AUFIDIUS	What is thy name?

CORIOLANUS	A name unmusical to the Volscians' ears,
	And harsh in sound to thine.

AUFIDIUS	Say, what's thy name?
	Thou hast a grim appearance, and thy face
	Bears a command in't; though thy tackle's torn.
	Thou show'st a noble vessel: what's thy name?

CORIOLANUS	Prepare thy brow to frown: know'st
	thou me yet?

AUFIDIUS	I know thee not: thy name?

CORIOLANUS	My name is Caius Marcius, who hath done
	To thee particularly and to all the Volsces
	Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may
	My surname, Coriolanus: the painful service,
	The extreme dangers and the drops of blood
	Shed for my thankless country are requited
	But with that surname; a good memory,
	And witness of the malice and displeasure
	Which thou shouldst bear me: only that name remains;
	The cruelty and envy of the people,
	Permitted by our dastard nobles, who
	Have all forsook me, hath devour'd the rest;
	And suffer'd me by the voice of slaves to be
	Whoop'd out of Rome. Now this extremity
	Hath brought me to thy hearth; not out of hope--
	Mistake me not--to save my life, for if
	I had fear'd death, of all the men i' the world
	I would have 'voided thee, but in mere spite,
	To be full quit of those my banishers,
	Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast
	A heart of wreak in thee, that wilt revenge
	Thine own particular wrongs and stop those maims
	Of shame seen through thy country, speed
	thee straight,
	And make my misery serve thy turn: so use it
	That my revengeful services may prove
	As benefits to thee, for I will fight
	Against my canker'd country with the spleen
	Of all the under fiends. But if so be
	Thou darest not this and that to prove more fortunes
	Thou'rt tired, then, in a word, I also am
	Longer to live most weary, and present
	My throat to thee and to thy ancient malice;
	Which not to cut would show thee but a fool,
	Since I have ever follow'd thee with hate,
	Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country's breast,
	And cannot live but to thy shame, unless
	It be to do thee service.

AUFIDIUS	O Marcius, Marcius!
	Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my heart
	A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter
	Should from yond cloud speak divine things,
	And say 'Tis true,' I'ld not believe them more
	Than thee, all noble Marcius. Let me twine
	Mine arms about that body, where against
	My grained ash an hundred times hath broke
	And scarr'd the moon with splinters: here I clip
	The anvil of my sword, and do contest
	As hotly and as nobly with thy love
	As ever in ambitious strength I did
	Contend against thy valour. Know thou first,
	I loved the maid I married; never man
	Sigh'd truer breath; but that I see thee here,
	Thou noble thing! more dances my rapt heart
	Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
	Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars! I tell thee,
	We have a power on foot; and I had purpose
	Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,
	Or lose mine arm fort: thou hast beat me out
	Twelve several times, and I have nightly since
	Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and me;
	We have been down together in my sleep,
	Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat,
	And waked half dead with nothing. Worthy Marcius,
	Had we no quarrel else to Rome, but that
	Thou art thence banish'd, we would muster all
	From twelve to seventy, and pouring war
	Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,
	Like a bold flood o'er-bear. O, come, go in,
	And take our friendly senators by the hands;
	Who now are here, taking their leaves of me,
	Who am prepared against your territories,
	Though not for Rome itself.

CORIOLANUS	You bless me, gods!

AUFIDIUS	Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou wilt have
	The leading of thine own revenges, take
	The one half of my commission; and set down--
	As best thou art experienced, since thou know'st
	Thy country's strength and weakness,--thine own ways;
	Whether to knock against the gates of Rome,
	Or rudely visit them in parts remote,
	To fright them, ere destroy. But come in:
	Let me commend thee first to those that shall
	Say yea to thy desires. A thousand welcomes!
	And more a friend than e'er an enemy;
	Yet, Marcius, that was much. Your hand: most welcome!

	[Exeunt CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS. The two
	Servingmen come forward]

First Servingman	Here's a strange alteration!

Second Servingman	By my hand, I had thought to have strucken him with
	a cudgel; and yet my mind gave me his clothes made a
	false report of him.

First Servingman	What an arm he has! he turned me about with his
	finger and his thumb, as one would set up a top.

Second Servingman	Nay, I knew by his face that there was something in
	him: he had, sir, a kind of face, methought,--I
	cannot tell how to term it.

First Servingman	He had so; looking as it were--would I were hanged,
	but I thought there was more in him than I could think.

Second Servingman	So did I, I'll be sworn: he is simply the rarest
	man i' the world.

First Servingman	I think he is: but a greater soldier than he you wot on.

Second Servingman	Who, my master?

First Servingman	Nay, it's no matter for that.

Second Servingman	Worth six on him.

First Servingman	Nay, not so neither: but I take him to be the
	greater soldier.

Second Servingman	Faith, look you, one cannot tell how to say that:
	for the defence of a town, our general is excellent.

First Servingman	Ay, and for an assault too.

	[Re-enter third Servingman]

Third Servingman	O slaves, I can tell you news,-- news, you rascals!

First Servingman	|
	|  What, what, what? let's partake.
Second Servingman	|

Third Servingman	I would not be a Roman, of all nations; I had as
	lieve be a condemned man.

First Servingman	|
	|  Wherefore? wherefore?
Second Servingman	|

Third Servingman	Why, here's he that was wont to thwack our general,
	Caius Marcius.

First Servingman	Why do you say 'thwack our general '?

Third Servingman	I do not say 'thwack our general;' but he was always
	good enough for him.

Second Servingman	Come, we are fellows and friends: he was ever too
	hard for him; I have heard him say so himself.

First Servingman	He was too hard for him directly, to say the troth
	on't: before Corioli he scotched him and notched
	him like a carbon ado.

Second Servingman	An he had been cannibally given, he might have
	broiled and eaten him too.

First Servingman	But, more of thy news?

Third Servingman	Why, he is so made on here within, as if he were son
	and heir to Mars; set at upper end o' the table; no
	question asked him by any of the senators, but they
	stand bald before him: our general himself makes a
	mistress of him: sanctifies himself with's hand and
	turns up the white o' the eye to his discourse. But
	the bottom of the news is that our general is cut i'
	the middle and but one half of what he was
	yesterday; for the other has half, by the entreaty
	and grant of the whole table. He'll go, he says,
	and sowl the porter of Rome gates by the ears: he
	will mow all down before him, and leave his passage polled.

Second Servingman	And he's as like to do't as any man I can imagine.

Third Servingman	Do't! he will do't; for, look you, sir, he has as
	many friends as enemies; which friends, sir, as it
	were, durst not, look you, sir, show themselves, as
	we term it, his friends whilst he's in directitude.

First Servingman	Directitude! what's that?

Third Servingman	But when they shall see, sir, his crest up again,
	and the man in blood, they will out of their
	burrows, like conies after rain, and revel all with
	him.

First Servingman	But when goes this forward?

Third Servingman	To-morrow; to-day; presently; you shall have the
	drum struck up this afternoon: 'tis, as it were, a
	parcel of their feast, and to be executed ere they
	wipe their lips.

Second Servingman	Why, then we shall have a stirring world again.
	This peace is nothing, but to rust iron, increase
	tailors, and breed ballad-makers.

First Servingman	Let me have war, say I; it exceeds peace as far as
	day does night; it's spritely, waking, audible, and
	full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy;
	mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible; a getter of more
	bastard children than war's a destroyer of men.

Second Servingman	'Tis so: and as war, in some sort, may be said to
	be a ravisher, so it cannot be denied but peace is a
	great maker of cuckolds.

First Servingman	Ay, and it makes men hate one another.

Third Servingman	Reason; because they then less need one another.
	The wars for my money. I hope to see Romans as cheap
	as Volscians. They are rising, they are rising.

All	In, in, in, in!

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT IV

SCENE VI	Rome. A public place.

	[Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS]

SICINIUS	We hear not of him, neither need we fear him;
	His remedies are tame i' the present peace
	And quietness of the people, which before
	Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends
	Blush that the world goes well, who rather had,
	Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold
	Dissentious numbers pestering streets than see
	Our tradesmen with in their shops and going
	About their functions friendly.

BRUTUS	We stood to't in good time.

	[Enter MENENIUS]

		      Is this Menenius?

SICINIUS	'Tis he,'tis he: O, he is grown most kind of late.

Both Tribunes	Hail sir!

MENENIUS	        Hail to you both!

SICINIUS	Your Coriolanus
	Is not much miss'd, but with his friends:
	The commonwealth doth stand, and so would do,
	Were he more angry at it.

MENENIUS	All's well; and might have been much better, if
	He could have temporized.

SICINIUS	Where is he, hear you?

MENENIUS	Nay, I hear nothing: his mother and his wife
	Hear nothing from him.

	[Enter three or four Citizens]

Citizens	The gods preserve you both!

SICINIUS	God-den, our neighbours.

BRUTUS	God-den to you all, god-den to you all.

First Citizen	Ourselves, our wives, and children, on our knees,
	Are bound to pray for you both.

SICINIUS	Live, and thrive!

BRUTUS	Farewell, kind neighbours: we wish'd Coriolanus
	Had loved you as we did.

Citizens	Now the gods keep you!

Both Tribunes	Farewell, farewell.

	[Exeunt Citizens]

SICINIUS	This is a happier and more comely time
	Than when these fellows ran about the streets,
	Crying confusion.

BRUTUS	                  Caius Marcius was
	A worthy officer i' the war; but insolent,
	O'ercome with pride, ambitious past all thinking,
	Self-loving,--

SICINIUS	                  And affecting one sole throne,
	Without assistance.

MENENIUS	I think not so.

SICINIUS	We should by this, to all our lamentation,
	If he had gone forth consul, found it so.

BRUTUS	The gods have well prevented it, and Rome
	Sits safe and still without him.

	[Enter an AEdile]

AEdile	Worthy tribunes,
	There is a slave, whom we have put in prison,
	Reports, the Volsces with two several powers
	Are enter'd in the Roman territories,
	And with the deepest malice of the war
	Destroy what lies before 'em.

MENENIUS	'Tis Aufidius,
	Who, hearing of our Marcius' banishment,
	Thrusts forth his horns again into the world;
	Which were inshell'd when Marcius stood for Rome,
	And durst not once peep out.

SICINIUS	Come, what talk you
	Of Marcius?

BRUTUS	Go see this rumourer whipp'd. It cannot be
	The Volsces dare break with us.

MENENIUS	Cannot be!
	We have record that very well it can,
	And three examples of the like have been
	Within my age. But reason with the fellow,
	Before you punish him, where he heard this,
	Lest you shall chance to whip your information
	And beat the messenger who bids beware
	Of what is to be dreaded.

SICINIUS	Tell not me:
	I know this cannot be.

BRUTUS	Not possible.

	[Enter a Messenger]

Messenger	The nobles in great earnestness are going
	All to the senate-house: some news is come
	That turns their countenances.

SICINIUS	'Tis this slave;--
	Go whip him, 'fore the people's eyes:--his raising;
	Nothing but his report.

Messenger	Yes, worthy sir,
	The slave's report is seconded; and more,
	More fearful, is deliver'd.

SICINIUS	What more fearful?

Messenger	It is spoke freely out of many mouths--
	How probable I do not know--that Marcius,
	Join'd with Aufidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome,
	And vows revenge as spacious as between
	The young'st and oldest thing.

SICINIUS	This is most likely!

BRUTUS	Raised only, that the weaker sort may wish
	Good Marcius home again.

SICINIUS	The very trick on't.

MENENIUS	This is unlikely:
	He and Aufidius can no more atone
	Than violentest contrariety.

	[Enter a second Messenger]

Second Messenger	You are sent for to the senate:
	A fearful army, led by Caius Marcius
	Associated with Aufidius, rages
	Upon our territories; and have already
	O'erborne their way, consumed with fire, and took
	What lay before them.

	[Enter COMINIUS]

COMINIUS	O, you have made good work!

MENENIUS	What news? what news?

COMINIUS	You have holp to ravish your own daughters and
	To melt the city leads upon your pates,
	To see your wives dishonour'd to your noses,--

MENENIUS	What's the news? what's the news?

COMINIUS	Your temples burned in their cement, and
	Your franchises, whereon you stood, confined
	Into an auger's bore.

MENENIUS	Pray now, your news?
	You have made fair work, I fear me.--Pray, your news?--
	If Marcius should be join'd with Volscians,--

COMINIUS	If!
	He is their god: he leads them like a thing
	Made by some other deity than nature,
	That shapes man better; and they follow him,
	Against us brats, with no less confidence
	Than boys pursuing summer butterflies,
	Or butchers killing flies.

MENENIUS	You have made good work,
	You and your apron-men; you that stood so up much
	on the voice of occupation and
	The breath of garlic-eaters!

COMINIUS	He will shake
	Your Rome about your ears.

MENENIUS	As Hercules
	Did shake down mellow fruit.
	You have made fair work!

BRUTUS	But is this true, sir?

COMINIUS	Ay; and you'll look pale
	Before you find it other. All the regions
	Do smilingly revolt; and who resist
	Are mock'd for valiant ignorance,
	And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame him?
	Your enemies and his find something in him.

MENENIUS	We are all undone, unless
	The noble man have mercy.

COMINIUS	Who shall ask it?
	The tribunes cannot do't for shame; the people
	Deserve such pity of him as the wolf
	Does of the shepherds: for his best friends, if they
	Should say 'Be good to Rome,' they charged him even
	As those should do that had deserved his hate,
	And therein show'd like enemies.

MENENIUS	'Tis true:
	If he were putting to my house the brand
	That should consume it, I have not the face
	To say 'Beseech you, cease.' You have made fair hands,
	You and your crafts! you have crafted fair!

COMINIUS	You have brought
	A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
	So incapable of help.

Both Tribunes	Say not we brought it.

MENENIUS	How! Was it we? we loved him but, like beasts
	And cowardly nobles, gave way unto your clusters,
	Who did hoot him out o' the city.

COMINIUS	But I fear
	They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
	The second name of men, obeys his points
	As if he were his officer: desperation
	Is all the policy, strength and defence,
	That Rome can make against them.

	[Enter a troop of Citizens]

MENENIUS	Here come the clusters.
	And is Aufidius with him? You are they
	That made the air unwholesome, when you cast
	Your stinking greasy caps in hooting at
	Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming;
	And not a hair upon a soldier's head
	Which will not prove a whip: as many coxcombs
	As you threw caps up will he tumble down,
	And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter;
	if he could burn us all into one coal,
	We have deserved it.

Citizens	Faith, we hear fearful news.

First Citizen	For mine own part,
	When I said, banish him, I said 'twas pity.

Second Citizen	And so did I.

Third Citizen	And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did very
	many of us: that we did, we did for the best; and
	though we willingly consented to his banishment, yet
	it was against our will.

COMINIUS	Ye re goodly things, you voices!

MENENIUS	You have made
	Good work, you and your cry! Shall's to the Capitol?

COMINIUS	O, ay, what else?

	[Exeunt COMINIUS and MENENIUS]

SICINIUS	Go, masters, get you home; be not dismay'd:
	These are a side that would be glad to have
	This true which they so seem to fear. Go home,
	And show no sign of fear.

First Citizen	The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let's home.
	I ever said we were i' the wrong when we banished
	him.

Second Citizen	So did we all. But, come, let's home.

	[Exeunt Citizens]

BRUTUS	I do not like this news.

SICINIUS	Nor I.

BRUTUS	Let's to the Capitol. Would half my wealth
	Would buy this for a lie!

SICINIUS	Pray, let us go.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT IV

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

	[Enter AUFIDIUS and his Lieutenant]

AUFIDIUS	Do they still fly to the Roman?

Lieutenant	I do not know what witchcraft's in him, but
	Your soldiers use him as the grace 'fore meat,
	Their talk at table, and their thanks at end;
	And you are darken'd in this action, sir,
	Even by your own.

AUFIDIUS	                  I cannot help it now,
	Unless, by using means, I lame the foot
	Of our design. He bears himself more proudlier,
	Even to my person, than I thought he would
	When first I did embrace him: yet his nature
	In that's no changeling; and I must excuse
	What cannot be amended.

Lieutenant	Yet I wish, sir,--
	I mean for your particular,--you had not
	Join'd in commission with him; but either
	Had borne the action of yourself, or else
	To him had left it solely.

AUFIDIUS	I understand thee well; and be thou sure,
	when he shall come to his account, he knows not
	What I can urge against him. Although it seems,
	And so he thinks, and is no less apparent
	To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly.
	And shows good husbandry for the Volscian state,
	Fights dragon-like, and does achieve as soon
	As draw his sword; yet he hath left undone
	That which shall break his neck or hazard mine,
	Whene'er we come to our account.

Lieutenant	Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry Rome?

AUFIDIUS	All places yield to him ere he sits down;
	And the nobility of Rome are his:
	The senators and patricians love him too:
	The tribunes are no soldiers; and their people
	Will be as rash in the repeal, as hasty
	To expel him thence. I think he'll be to Rome
	As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it
	By sovereignty of nature. First he was
	A noble servant to them; but he could not
	Carry his honours even: whether 'twas pride,
	Which out of daily fortune ever taints
	The happy man; whether defect of judgment,
	To fail in the disposing of those chances
	Which he was lord of; or whether nature,
	Not to be other than one thing, not moving
	From the casque to the cushion, but commanding peace
	Even with the same austerity and garb
	As he controll'd the war; but one of these--
	As he hath spices of them all, not all,
	For I dare so far free him--made him fear'd,
	So hated, and so banish'd: but he has a merit,
	To choke it in the utterance. So our virtues
	Lie in the interpretation of the time:
	And power, unto itself most commendable,
	Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair
	To extol what it hath done.
	One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail;
	Rights by rights falter, strengths by strengths do fail.
	Come, let's away. When, Caius, Rome is thine,
	Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT V

SCENE I	Rome. A public place.

	[Enter MENENIUS, COMINIUS, SICINIUS, BRUTUS,
	and others]

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

COMINIUS	He would not seem to know me.

MENENIUS	Do you hear?

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

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

COMINIUS	I minded him how royal 'twas to pardon
	When it was less expected: he replied,
	It was a bare petition of a state
	To one whom they had punish'd.

MENENIUS	Very well:
	Could he say less?

COMINIUS	I offer'd to awaken his regard
	For's private friends: his answer to me was,
	He could not stay to pick them in a pile
	Of noisome musty chaff: he said 'twas folly,
	For one poor grain or two, to leave unburnt,
	And still to nose the offence.

MENENIUS	For one poor grain or two!
	I am one of those; his mother, wife, his child,
	And this brave fellow too, we are the grains:
	You are the musty chaff; and you are smelt
	Above the moon: we must be burnt for you.

SICINIUS	Nay, pray, be patient: if you refuse your aid
	In this so never-needed help, yet do not
	Upbraid's with our distress. But, sure, if you
	Would be your country's pleader, your good tongue,
	More than the instant army we can make,
	Might stop our countryman.

MENENIUS	No, I'll not meddle.

SICINIUS	Pray you, go to him.

MENENIUS	What should I do?

BRUTUS	Only make trial what your love can do
	For Rome, towards Marcius.

MENENIUS	Well, and say that Marcius
	Return me, as Cominius is return'd,
	Unheard; what then?
	But as a discontented friend, grief-shot
	With his unkindness? say't be so?

SICINIUS	Yet your good will
	must have that thanks from Rome, after the measure
	As you intended well.

MENENIUS	I'll undertake 't:
	I think he'll hear me. Yet, to bite his lip
	And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me.
	He was not taken well; he had not dined:
	The veins unfill'd, our blood is cold, and then
	We pout upon the morning, are unapt
	To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff'd
	These and these conveyances of our blood
	With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls
	Than in our priest-like fasts: therefore I'll watch him
	Till he be dieted to my request,
	And then I'll set upon him.

BRUTUS	You know the very road into his kindness,
	And cannot lose your way.

MENENIUS	Good faith, I'll prove him,
	Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge
	Of my success.

	[Exit]

COMINIUS	                  He'll never hear him.

SICINIUS	Not?

COMINIUS	I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye
	Red as 'twould burn Rome; and his injury
	The gaoler to his pity. I kneel'd before him;
	'Twas very faintly he said 'Rise;' dismiss'd me
	Thus, with his speechless hand: what he would do,
	He sent in writing after me; what he would not,
	Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions:
	So that all hope is vain.
	Unless his noble mother, and his wife;
	Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him
	For mercy to his country. Therefore, let's hence,
	And with our fair entreaties haste them on.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT V

SCENE II	Entrance of the Volscian camp before Rome.
	Two Sentinels on guard.

	[Enter to them, MENENIUS]

First Senator	Stay: whence are you?

Second Senator	Stand, and go back.

MENENIUS	You guard like men; 'tis well: but, by your leave,
	I am an officer of state, and come
	To speak with Coriolanus.

First Senator	From whence?

MENENIUS	From Rome.

First Senator	You may not pass, you must return: our general
	Will no more hear from thence.

Second Senator	You'll see your Rome embraced with fire before
	You'll speak with Coriolanus.

MENENIUS	Good my friends,
	If you have heard your general talk of Rome,
	And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks,
	My name hath touch'd your ears it is Menenius.

First Senator	Be it so; go back: the virtue of your name
	Is not here passable.

MENENIUS	I tell thee, fellow,
	The general is my lover: I have been
	The book of his good acts, whence men have read
	His name unparallel'd, haply amplified;
	For I have ever verified my friends,
	Of whom he's chief, with all the size that verity
	Would without lapsing suffer: nay, sometimes,
	Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground,
	I have tumbled past the throw; and in his praise
	Have almost stamp'd the leasing: therefore, fellow,
	I must have leave to pass.

First Senator	Faith, sir, if you had told as many lies in his
	behalf as you have uttered words in your own, you
	should not pass here; no, though it were as virtuous
	to lie as to live chastely. Therefore, go back.

MENENIUS	Prithee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius,
	always factionary on the party of your general.

Second Senator	Howsoever you have been his liar, as you say you
	have, I am one that, telling true under him, must
	say, you cannot pass. Therefore, go back.

MENENIUS	Has he dined, canst thou tell? for I would not
	speak with him till after dinner.

First Senator	You are a Roman, are you?

MENENIUS	I am, as thy general is.

First Senator	Then you should hate Rome, as he does. Can you,
	when you have pushed out your gates the very
	defender of them, and, in a violent popular
	ignorance, given your enemy your shield, think to
	front his revenges with the easy groans of old
	women, the virginal palms of your daughters, or with
	the palsied intercession of such a decayed dotant as
	you seem to be? Can you think to blow out the
	intended fire your city is ready to flame in, with
	such weak breath as this? No, you are deceived;
	therefore, back to Rome, and prepare for your
	execution: you are condemned, our general has sworn
	you out of reprieve and pardon.

MENENIUS	Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, he would
	use me with estimation.

Second Senator	Come, my captain knows you not.

MENENIUS	I mean, thy general.

First Senator	My general cares not for you. Back, I say, go; lest
	I let forth your half-pint of blood; back,--that's
	the utmost of your having: back.

MENENIUS	Nay, but, fellow, fellow,--

	[Enter CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS]

CORIOLANUS	What's the matter?

MENENIUS	Now, you companion, I'll say an errand for you:
	You shall know now that I am in estimation; you shall
	perceive that a Jack guardant cannot office me from
	my son Coriolanus: guess, but by my entertainment
	with him, if thou standest not i' the state of
	hanging, or of some death more long in
	spectatorship, and crueller in suffering; behold now
	presently, and swoon for what's to come upon thee.

	[To CORIOLANUS]

	The glorious gods sit in hourly synod about thy
	particular prosperity, and love thee no worse than
	thy old father Menenius does! O my son, my son!
	thou art preparing fire for us; look thee, here's
	water to quench it. I was hardly moved to come to
	thee; but being assured none but myself could move
	thee, I have been blown out of your gates with
	sighs; and conjure thee to pardon Rome, and thy
	petitionary countrymen. The good gods assuage thy
	wrath, and turn the dregs of it upon this varlet
	here,--this, who, like a block, hath denied my
	access to thee.

CORIOLANUS	Away!

MENENIUS	How! away!

CORIOLANUS	Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs
	Are servanted to others: though I owe
	My revenge properly, my remission lies
	In Volscian breasts. That we have been familiar,
	Ingrate forgetfulness shall poison, rather
	Than pity note how much. Therefore, be gone.
	Mine ears against your suits are stronger than
	Your gates against my force. Yet, for I loved thee,
	Take this along; I writ it for thy sake

	[Gives a letter]

	And would have rent it. Another word, Menenius,
	I will not hear thee speak. This man, Aufidius,
	Was my beloved in Rome: yet thou behold'st!

AUFIDIUS	You keep a constant temper.

	[Exeunt CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS]

First Senator	Now, sir, is your name Menenius?

Second Senator	'Tis a spell, you see, of much power: you know the
	way home again.

First Senator	Do you hear how we are shent for keeping your
	greatness back?

Second Senator	What cause, do you think, I have to swoon?

MENENIUS	I neither care for the world nor your general: for
	such things as you, I can scarce think there's any,
	ye're so slight. He that hath a will to die by
	himself fears it not from another: let your general
	do his worst. For you, be that you are, long; and
	your misery increase with your age! I say to you,
	as I was said to, Away!

	[Exit]

First Senator	A noble fellow, I warrant him.

Second Senator	The worthy fellow is our general: he's the rock, the
	oak not to be wind-shaken.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT V

SCENE III	The tent of Coriolanus.

	[Enter CORIOLANUS, AUFIDIUS, and others]

CORIOLANUS	We will before the walls of Rome tomorrow
	Set down our host. My partner in this action,
	You must report to the Volscian lords, how plainly
	I have borne this business.

AUFIDIUS	Only their ends
	You have respected; stopp'd your ears against
	The general suit of Rome; never admitted
	A private whisper, no, not with such friends
	That thought them sure of you.

CORIOLANUS	This last old man,
	Whom with a crack'd heart I have sent to Rome,
	Loved me above the measure of a father;
	Nay, godded me, indeed. Their latest refuge
	Was to send him; for whose old love I have,
	Though I show'd sourly to him, once more offer'd
	The first conditions, which they did refuse
	And cannot now accept; to grace him only
	That thought he could do more, a very little
	I have yielded to: fresh embassies and suits,
	Nor from the state nor private friends, hereafter
	Will I lend ear to. Ha! what shout is this?

	[Shout within]

	Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow
	In the same time 'tis made? I will not.

	[Enter in mourning habits, VIRGILIA, VOLUMNIA,
	leading young MARCIUS, VALERIA, and Attendants]

	My wife comes foremost; then the honour'd mould
	Wherein this trunk was framed, and in her hand
	The grandchild to her blood. But, out, affection!
	All bond and privilege of nature, break!
	Let it be virtuous to be obstinate.
	What is that curt'sy worth? or those doves' eyes,
	Which can make gods forsworn? I melt, and am not
	Of stronger earth than others. My mother bows;
	As if Olympus to a molehill should
	In supplication nod: and my young boy
	Hath an aspect of intercession, which
	Great nature cries 'Deny not.' let the Volsces
	Plough Rome and harrow Italy: I'll never
	Be such a gosling to obey instinct, but stand,
	As if a man were author of himself
	And knew no other kin.

VIRGILIA	My lord and husband!

CORIOLANUS	These eyes are not the same I wore in Rome.

VIRGILIA	The sorrow that delivers us thus changed
	Makes you think so.

CORIOLANUS	Like a dull actor now,
	I have forgot my part, and I am out,
	Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh,
	Forgive my tyranny; but do not say
	For that 'Forgive our Romans.' O, a kiss
	Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!
	Now, by the jealous queen of heaven, that kiss
	I carried from thee, dear; and my true lip
	Hath virgin'd it e'er since. You gods! I prate,
	And the most noble mother of the world
	Leave unsaluted: sink, my knee, i' the earth;

	[Kneels]

	Of thy deep duty more impression show
	Than that of common sons.

VOLUMNIA	O, stand up blest!
	Whilst, with no softer cushion than the flint,
	I kneel before thee; and unproperly
	Show duty, as mistaken all this while
	Between the child and parent.

	[Kneels]

CORIOLANUS	What is this?
	Your knees to me? to your corrected son?
	Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach
	Fillip the stars; then let the mutinous winds
	Strike the proud cedars 'gainst the fiery sun;
	Murdering impossibility, to make
	What cannot be, slight work.

VOLUMNIA	Thou art my warrior;
	I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady?

CORIOLANUS	The noble sister of Publicola,
	The moon of Rome, chaste as the icicle
	That's curdied by the frost from purest snow
	And hangs on Dian's temple: dear Valeria!

VOLUMNIA	This is a poor epitome of yours,
	Which by the interpretation of full time
	May show like all yourself.

CORIOLANUS	The god of soldiers,
	With the consent of supreme Jove, inform
	Thy thoughts with nobleness; that thou mayst prove
	To shame unvulnerable, and stick i' the wars
	Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,
	And saving those that eye thee!

VOLUMNIA	Your knee, sirrah.

CORIOLANUS	That's my brave boy!

VOLUMNIA	Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself,
	Are suitors to you.

CORIOLANUS	I beseech you, peace:
	Or, if you'ld ask, remember this before:
	The thing I have forsworn to grant may never
	Be held by you denials. Do not bid me
	Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate
	Again with Rome's mechanics: tell me not
	Wherein I seem unnatural: desire not
	To ally my rages and revenges with
	Your colder reasons.

VOLUMNIA	O, no more, no more!
	You have said you will not grant us any thing;
	For we have nothing else to ask, but that
	Which you deny already: yet we will ask;
	That, if you fail in our request, the blame
	May hang upon your hardness: therefore hear us.

CORIOLANUS	Aufidius, and you Volsces, mark; for we'll
	Hear nought from Rome in private. Your request?

VOLUMNIA	Should we be silent and not speak, our raiment
	And state of bodies would bewray what life
	We have led since thy exile. Think with thyself
	How more unfortunate than all living women
	Are we come hither: since that thy sight,
	which should
	Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance
	with comforts,
	Constrains them weep and shake with fear and sorrow;
	Making the mother, wife and child to see
	The son, the husband and the father tearing
	His country's bowels out. And to poor we
	Thine enmity's most capital: thou barr'st us
	Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort
	That all but we enjoy; for how can we,
	Alas, how can we for our country pray.
	Whereto we are bound, together with thy victory,
	Whereto we are bound? alack, or we must lose
	The country, our dear nurse, or else thy person,
	Our comfort in the country. We must find
	An evident calamity, though we had
	Our wish, which side should win: for either thou
	Must, as a foreign recreant, be led
	With manacles thorough our streets, or else
	triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin,
	And bear the palm for having bravely shed
	Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, son,
	I purpose not to wait on fortune till
	These wars determine: if I cannot persuade thee
	Rather to show a noble grace to both parts
	Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner
	March to assault thy country than to tread--
	Trust to't, thou shalt not--on thy mother's womb,
	That brought thee to this world.

VIRGILIA	Ay, and mine,
	That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name
	Living to time.

Young MARCIUS	A' shall not tread on me;
	I'll run away till I am bigger, but then I'll fight.

CORIOLANUS	Not of a woman's tenderness to be,
	Requires nor child nor woman's face to see.
	I have sat too long.

	[Rising]

VOLUMNIA	Nay, go not from us thus.
	If it were so that our request did tend
	To save the Romans, thereby to destroy
	The Volsces whom you serve, you might condemn us,
	As poisonous of your honour: no; our suit
	Is that you reconcile them: while the Volsces
	May say 'This mercy we have show'd;' the Romans,
	'This we received;' and each in either side
	Give the all-hail to thee and cry 'Be blest
	For making up this peace!' Thou know'st, great son,
	The end of war's uncertain, but this certain,
	That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit
	Which thou shalt thereby reap is such a name,
	Whose repetition will be dogg'd with curses;
	Whose chronicle thus writ: 'The man was noble,
	But with his last attempt he wiped it out;
	Destroy'd his country, and his name remains
	To the ensuing age abhorr'd.' Speak to me, son:
	Thou hast affected the fine strains of honour,
	To imitate the graces of the gods;
	To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o' the air,
	And yet to charge thy sulphur with a bolt
	That should but rive an oak. Why dost not speak?
	Think'st thou it honourable for a noble man
	Still to remember wrongs? Daughter, speak you:
	He cares not for your weeping. Speak thou, boy:
	Perhaps thy childishness will move him more
	Than can our reasons. There's no man in the world
	More bound to 's mother; yet here he lets me prate
	Like one i' the stocks. Thou hast never in thy life
	Show'd thy dear mother any courtesy,
	When she, poor hen, fond of no second brood,
	Has cluck'd thee to the wars and safely home,
	Loaden with honour. Say my request's unjust,
	And spurn me back: but if it be not so,
	Thou art not honest; and the gods will plague thee,
	That thou restrain'st from me the duty which
	To a mother's part belongs. He turns away:
	Down, ladies; let us shame him with our knees.
	To his surname Coriolanus 'longs more pride
	Than pity to our prayers. Down: an end;
	This is the last: so we will home to Rome,
	And die among our neighbours. Nay, behold 's:
	This boy, that cannot tell what he would have
	But kneels and holds up bands for fellowship,
	Does reason our petition with more strength
	Than thou hast to deny 't. Come, let us go:
	This fellow had a Volscian to his mother;
	His wife is in Corioli and his child
	Like him by chance. Yet give us our dispatch:
	I am hush'd until our city be a-fire,
	And then I'll speak a little.

	[He holds her by the hand, silent]

CORIOLANUS	O mother, mother!
	What have you done? Behold, the heavens do ope,
	The gods look down, and this unnatural scene
	They laugh at. O my mother, mother! O!
	You have won a happy victory to Rome;
	But, for your son,--believe it, O, believe it,
	Most dangerously you have with him prevail'd,
	If not most mortal to him. But, let it come.
	Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
	I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius,
	Were you in my stead, would you have heard
	A mother less? or granted less, Aufidius?

AUFIDIUS	I was moved withal.

CORIOLANUS	I dare be sworn you were:
	And, sir, it is no little thing to make
	Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good sir,
	What peace you'll make, advise me: for my part,
	I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you; and pray you,
	Stand to me in this cause. O mother! wife!

AUFIDIUS	[Aside]  I am glad thou hast set thy mercy and
	thy honour
	At difference in thee: out of that I'll work
	Myself a former fortune.

	[The Ladies make signs to CORIOLANUS]

CORIOLANUS	Ay, by and by;

	[To VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, &c]

	But we will drink together; and you shall bear
	A better witness back than words, which we,
	On like conditions, will have counter-seal'd.
	Come, enter with us. Ladies, you deserve
	To have a temple built you: all the swords
	In Italy, and her confederate arms,
	Could not have made this peace.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT V

SCENE IV	Rome. A public place.

	[Enter MENENIUS and SICINIUS]

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

SICINIUS	Why, what of that?

MENENIUS	If it be possible for you to displace it with your
	little finger, there is some hope the ladies of
	Rome, especially his mother, may prevail with him.
	But I say there is no hope in't: our throats are
	sentenced and stay upon execution.

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

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

SICINIUS	He loved his mother dearly.

MENENIUS	So did he me: and he no more remembers his mother
	now than an eight-year-old horse. The tartness
	of his face sours ripe grapes: when he walks, he
	moves like an engine, and the ground shrinks before
	his treading: he is able to pierce a corslet with
	his eye; talks like a knell, and his hum is a
	battery. He sits in his state, as a thing made for
	Alexander. What he bids be done is finished with
	his bidding. He wants nothing of a god but eternity
	and a heaven to throne in.

SICINIUS	Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.

MENENIUS	I paint him in the character. Mark what mercy his
	mother shall bring from him: there is no more mercy
	in him than there is milk in a male tiger; that
	shall our poor city find: and all this is long of
	you.

SICINIUS	The gods be good unto us!

MENENIUS	No, in such a case the gods will not be good unto
	us. When we banished him, we respected not them;
	and, he returning to break our necks, they respect not us.

	[Enter a Messenger]

Messenger	Sir, if you'ld save your life, fly to your house:
	The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune
	And hale him up and down, all swearing, if
	The Roman ladies bring not comfort home,
	They'll give him death by inches.

	[Enter a second Messenger]

SICINIUS	What's the news?

Second Messenger	Good news, good news; the ladies have prevail'd,
	The Volscians are dislodged, and Marcius gone:
	A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
	No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins.

SICINIUS	Friend,
	Art thou certain this is true? is it most certain?

Second Messenger	As certain as I know the sun is fire:
	Where have you lurk'd, that you make doubt of it?
	Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide,
	As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark you!

	[Trumpets; hautboys; drums beat; all together]

	The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries and fifes,
	Tabours and cymbals and the shouting Romans,
	Make the sun dance. Hark you!

	[A shout within]

MENENIUS	This is good news:
	I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia
	Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians,
	A city full; of tribunes, such as you,
	A sea and land full. You have pray'd well to-day:
	This morning for ten thousand of your throats
	I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!

	[Music still, with shouts]

SICINIUS	First, the gods bless you for your tidings; next,
	Accept my thankfulness.

Second Messenger	Sir, we have all
	Great cause to give great thanks.

SICINIUS	They are near the city?

Second Messenger	Almost at point to enter.

SICINIUS	We will meet them,
	And help the joy.

	[Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT V

SCENE V	The same. A street near the gate.

	[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!
	Call all your tribes together, praise the gods,
	And make triumphant fires; strew flowers before them:
	Unshout the noise that banish'd Marcius,
	Repeal him with the welcome of his mother;
	Cry 'Welcome, ladies, welcome!'

All	Welcome, ladies, Welcome!

	[A flourish with drums and trumpets. Exeunt]

	CORIOLANUS

ACT V

SCENE VI	Antium. A public place.

	[Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, with Attendants]

AUFIDIUS	Go tell the lords o' the city I am here:
	Deliver them this paper: having read it,
	Bid them repair to the market place; where I,
	Even in theirs and in the commons' ears,
	Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse
	The city ports by this hath enter'd and
	Intends to appear before the people, hoping
	To purge herself with words: dispatch.

	[Exeunt Attendants]

	[Enter three or four Conspirators of AUFIDIUS' faction]

	Most welcome!

First Conspirator	How is it with our general?

AUFIDIUS	Even so
	As with a man by his own alms empoison'd,
	And with his charity slain.

Second Conspirator	Most noble sir,
	If you do hold the same intent wherein
	You wish'd us parties, we'll deliver you
	Of your great danger.

AUFIDIUS	Sir, I cannot tell:
	We must proceed as we do find the people.

Third Conspirator	The people will remain uncertain whilst
	'Twixt you there's difference; but the fall of either
	Makes the survivor heir of all.

AUFIDIUS	I know it;
	And my pretext to strike at him admits
	A good construction. I raised him, and I pawn'd
	Mine honour for his truth: who being so heighten'd,
	He water'd his new plants with dews of flattery,
	Seducing so my friends; and, to this end,
	He bow'd his nature, never known before
	But to be rough, unswayable and free.

Third Conspirator	Sir, his stoutness
	When he did stand for consul, which he lost
	By lack of stooping,--

AUFIDIUS	That I would have spoke of:
	Being banish'd for't, he came unto my hearth;
	Presented to my knife his throat: I took him;
	Made him joint-servant with me; gave him way
	In all his own desires; nay, let him choose
	Out of my files, his projects to accomplish,
	My best and freshest men; served his designments
	In mine own person; holp to reap the fame
	Which he did end all his; and took some pride
	To do myself this wrong: till, at the last,
	I seem'd his follower, not partner, and
	He waged me with his countenance, as if
	I had been mercenary.

First Conspirator	So he did, my lord:
	The army marvell'd at it, and, in the last,
	When he had carried Rome and that we look'd
	For no less spoil than glory,--

AUFIDIUS	There was it:
	For which my sinews shall be stretch'd upon him.
	At a few drops of women's rheum, which are
	As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labour
	Of our great action: therefore shall he die,
	And I'll renew me in his fall. But, hark!

	[Drums and trumpets sound, with great shouts of
	the People]

First Conspirator	Your native town you enter'd like a post,
	And had no welcomes home: but he returns,
	Splitting the air with noise.

Second Conspirator	And patient fools,
	Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tear
	With giving him glory.

Third Conspirator	Therefore, at your vantage,
	Ere he express himself, or move the people
	With what he would say, let him feel your sword,
	Which we will second. When he lies along,
	After your way his tale pronounced shall bury
	His reasons with his body.

AUFIDIUS	Say no more:
	Here come the lords.

	[Enter the Lords of the city]

All The Lords	You are most welcome home.

AUFIDIUS	I have not deserved it.
	But, worthy lords, have you with heed perused
	What I have written to you?

Lords	We have.

First Lord	And grieve to hear't.
	What faults he made before the last, I think
	Might have found easy fines: but there to end
	Where he was to begin and give away
	The benefit of our levies, answering us
	With our own charge, making a treaty where
	There was a yielding,--this admits no excuse.

AUFIDIUS	He approaches: you shall hear him.

	[Enter CORIOLANUS, marching with drum and
	colours; commoners being with him]

CORIOLANUS	Hail, lords! I am return'd your soldier,
	No more infected with my country's love
	Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting
	Under your great command. You are to know
	That prosperously I have attempted and
	With bloody passage led your wars even to
	The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought home
	Do more than counterpoise a full third part
	The charges of the action. We have made peace
	With no less honour to the Antiates
	Than shame to the Romans: and we here deliver,
	Subscribed by the consuls and patricians,
	Together with the seal o' the senate, what
	We have compounded on.

AUFIDIUS	Read it not, noble lords;
	But tell the traitor, in the high'st degree
	He hath abused your powers.

CORIOLANUS	Traitor! how now!

AUFIDIUS	                  Ay, traitor, Marcius!

CORIOLANUS	Marcius!

AUFIDIUS	Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius: dost thou think
	I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stol'n name
	Coriolanus in Corioli?
	You lords and heads o' the state, perfidiously
	He has betray'd your business, and given up,
	For certain drops of salt, your city Rome,
	I say 'your city,' to his wife and mother;
	Breaking his oath and resolution like
	A twist of rotten silk, never admitting
	Counsel o' the war, but at his nurse's tears
	He whined and roar'd away your victory,
	That pages blush'd at him and men of heart
	Look'd wondering each at other.

CORIOLANUS	Hear'st thou, Mars?

AUFIDIUS	Name not the god, thou boy of tears!

CORIOLANUS	Ha!

AUFIDIUS	No more.

CORIOLANUS	Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart
	Too great for what contains it. Boy! O slave!
	Pardon me, lords, 'tis the first time that ever
	I was forced to scold. Your judgments, my grave lords,
	Must give this cur the lie: and his own notion--
	Who wears my stripes impress'd upon him; that
	Must bear my beating to his grave--shall join
	To thrust the lie unto him.

First Lord	Peace, both, and hear me speak.

CORIOLANUS	Cut me to pieces, Volsces; men and lads,
	Stain all your edges on me. Boy! false hound!
	If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there,
	That, like an eagle in a dove-cote, I
	Flutter'd your Volscians in Corioli:
	Alone I did it. Boy!

AUFIDIUS	Why, noble lords,
	Will you be put in mind of his blind fortune,
	Which was your shame, by this unholy braggart,
	'Fore your own eyes and ears?

All Conspirators	Let him die for't.

All The People	'Tear him to pieces.' 'Do it presently.' 'He kill'd
	my son.' 'My daughter.' 'He killed my cousin
	Marcus.' 'He killed my father.'

Second Lord	Peace, ho! no outrage: peace!
	The man is noble and his fame folds-in
	This orb o' the earth. His last offences to us
	Shall have judicious hearing. Stand, Aufidius,
	And trouble not the peace.

CORIOLANUS	O that I had him,
	With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe,
	To use my lawful sword!

AUFIDIUS	Insolent villain!

All Conspirators	Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him!

	[The Conspirators draw, and kill CORIOLANUS:
	AUFIDIUS stands on his body]

Lords	Hold, hold, hold, hold!

AUFIDIUS	My noble masters, hear me speak.

First Lord	O Tullus,--

Second Lord	Thou hast done a deed whereat valour will weep.

Third Lord	Tread not upon him. Masters all, be quiet;
	Put up your swords.

AUFIDIUS	My lords, when you shall know--as in this rage,
	Provoked by him, you cannot--the great danger
	Which this man's life did owe you, you'll rejoice
	That he is thus cut off. Please it your honours
	To call me to your senate, I'll deliver
	Myself your loyal servant, or endure
	Your heaviest censure.

First Lord	Bear from hence his body;
	And mourn you for him: let him be regarded
	As the most noble corse that ever herald
	Did follow to his urn.

Second Lord	His own impatience
	Takes from Aufidius a great part of blame.
	Let's make the best of it.

AUFIDIUS	My rage is gone;
	And I am struck with sorrow. Take him up.
	Help, three o' the chiefest soldiers; I'll be one.
	Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully:
	Trail your steel pikes. Though in this city he
	Hath widow'd and unchilded many a one,
	Which to this hour bewail the injury,
	Yet he shall have a noble memory. Assist.

	[Exeunt, bearing the body of CORIOLANUS. A dead
	march sounded]

Colophon

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