Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Tragedie of Coriolanus by William Shakespeare

Part 1 out of 3

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.3 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.


Scanner's Notes: What this is and isn't. This was taken from
a copy of Shakespeare's first folio and it is as close as I can
come in ASCII to the printed text.

The elongated S's have been changed to small s's and the
conjoined ae have been changed to ae. I have left the spelling,
punctuation, capitalization as close as possible to the
printed text. I have corrected some spelling mistakes (I have put
together a spelling dictionary devised from the spellings of the
Geneva Bible and Shakespeare's First Folio and have unified
spellings according to this template), typo's and expanded
abbreviations as I have come across them. Everything within
brackets [] is what I have added. So if you don't like that
you can delete everything within the brackets if you want a
purer Shakespeare.

Another thing that you should be aware of is that there are textual
differences between various copies of the first folio. So there may
be differences (other than what I have mentioned above) between
this and other first folio editions. This is due to the printer's
habit of setting the type and running off a number of copies and
then proofing the printed copy and correcting the type and then
continuing the printing run. The proof run wasn't thrown away but
incorporated into the printed copies. This is just the way it is.
The text I have used was a composite of more than 30 different
First Folio editions' best pages.

If you find any scanning errors, out and out typos, punctuation
errors, or if you disagree with my spelling choices please feel
free to email me those errors. I wish to make this the best
etext possible. My email address for right now are haradda@aol.com
and davidr@inconnect.com. I hope that you enjoy this.

David Reed

The Tragedie of Coriolanus

Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.

Enter a Company of Mutinous Citizens, with Staues, Clubs, and

1. Citizen. Before we proceed any further, heare me speake

All. Speake, speake

1.Cit. You are all resolu'd rather to dy then
to famish?
All. Resolu'd, resolu'd

1.Cit. First you know, Caius Martius is chiefe enemy
to the people

All. We know't, we know't

1.Cit. Let vs kill him, and wee'l haue Corne at our own
price. Is't a Verdict?
All. No more talking on't; Let it be done, away, away
2.Cit. One word, good Citizens

1.Cit. We are accounted poore Citizens, the Patricians
good: what Authority surfets one, would releeue
vs. If they would yeelde vs but the superfluitie while it
were wholsome, wee might guesse they releeued vs humanely:
But they thinke we are too deere, the leannesse
that afflicts vs, the obiect of our misery, is as an inuentory
to particularize their abundance, our sufferance is a
gaine to them. Let vs reuenge this with our Pikes, ere
we become Rakes. For the Gods know, I speake this in
hunger for Bread, not in thirst for Reuenge

2.Cit. Would you proceede especially against Caius

All. Against him first: He's a very dog to the Commonalty

2.Cit. Consider you what Seruices he ha's done for his
1.Cit. Very well, and could bee content to giue him
good report for't, but that hee payes himselfe with beeing

All. Nay, but speak not maliciously

1.Cit. I say vnto you, what he hath done Famouslie,
he did it to that end: though soft conscienc'd men can be
content to say it was for his Countrey, he did it to please
his Mother, and to be partly proud, which he is, euen to
the altitude of his vertue

2.Cit. What he cannot helpe in his Nature, you account
a Vice in him: You must in no way say he is couetous

1.Cit. If I must not, I neede not be barren of Accusations
he hath faults (with surplus) to tyre in repetition.

Showts within.

What showts are these? The other side a'th City is risen:
why stay we prating heere? To th' Capitoll

All. Come, come

1 Cit. Soft, who comes heere?
Enter Menenius Agrippa.

2 Cit. Worthy Menenius Agrippa, one that hath alwayes
lou'd the people

1 Cit. He's one honest enough, wold al the rest wer so

Men. What work's my Countrimen in hand?
Where go you with Bats and Clubs? The matter
Speake I pray you

2 Cit. Our busines is not vnknowne to th' Senat, they
haue had inkling this fortnight what we intend to do, w
now wee'l shew em in deeds: they say poore Suters haue
strong breaths, they shal know we haue strong arms too

Menen. Why Masters, my good Friends, mine honest
Neighbours, will you vndo your selues?
2 Cit. We cannot Sir, we are vndone already

Men. I tell you Friends, most charitable care
Haue the Patricians of you for your wants.
Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well
Strike at the Heauen with your staues, as lift them
Against the Roman State, whose course will on
The way it takes: cracking ten thousand Curbes
Of more strong linke assunder, then can euer
Appeare in your impediment. For the Dearth,
The Gods, not the Patricians make it, and
Your knees to them (not armes) must helpe. Alacke,
You are transported by Calamity
Thether, where more attends you, and you slander
The Helmes o'th State; who care for you like Fathers,
When you curse them, as Enemies

2 Cit. Care for vs? True indeed, they nere car'd for vs
yet. Suffer vs to famish, and their Store-houses cramm'd
with Graine: Make Edicts for Vsurie, to support Vsurers;
repeale daily any wholsome Act established against
the rich, and prouide more piercing Statutes daily, to
chaine vp and restraine the poore. If the Warres eate vs
not vppe, they will; and there's all the loue they beare

Menen. Either you must
Confesse your selues wondrous Malicious,
Or be accus'd of Folly. I shall tell you
A pretty Tale, it may be you haue heard it,
But since it serues my purpose, I will venture
To scale't a little more

2 Citizen. Well,
Ile heare it Sir: yet you must not thinke
To fobbe off our disgrace with a tale:
But and't please you deliuer

Men. There was a time, when all the bodies members
Rebell'd against the Belly; thus accus'd it:
That onely like a Gulfe it did remaine
I'th midd'st a th' body, idle and vnactiue,
Still cubbording the Viand, neuer bearing
Like labour with the rest, where th' other Instruments
Did see, and heare, deuise, instruct, walke, feele,
And mutually participate, did minister
Vnto the appetite; and affection common
Of the whole body, the Belly answer'd

2.Cit. Well sir, what answer made the Belly

Men. Sir, I shall tell you with a kinde of Smile,
Which ne're came from the Lungs, but euen thus:
For looke you I may make the belly Smile,
As well as speake, it taintingly replyed
To'th' discontented Members, the mutinous parts
That enuied his receite: euen so most fitly,
As you maligne our Senators, for that
They are not such as you

2.Cit. Your Bellies answer: What
The Kingly crown'd head, the vigilant eye,
The Counsailor Heart, the Arme our Souldier,
Our Steed the Legge, the Tongue our Trumpeter,
With other Muniments and petty helpes
In this our Fabricke, if that they-
Men. What then? Fore me, this Fellow speakes.
What then? What then?
2.Cit. Should by the Cormorant belly be restrain'd,
Who is the sinke a th' body

Men. Well, what then?
2.Cit. The former Agents, if they did complaine,
What could the Belly answer?
Men. I will tell you,
If you'l bestow a small (of what you haue little)
Patience awhile; you'st heare the Bellies answer

2.Cit. Y'are long about it

Men. Note me this good Friend;
Your most graue Belly was deliberate,
Not rash like his Accusers, and thus answered.
True is it my Incorporate Friends (quoth he)
That I receiue the generall Food at first
Which you do liue vpon: 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 Riuers of your blood
Euen to the Court, the Heart, to th' seate o'th' Braine,
And through the Crankes and Offices of man,
The strongest Nerues, and small inferiour Veines
From me receiue that naturall competencie
Whereby they liue. And though that all at once
(You my good Friends, this sayes the Belly) marke me

2.Cit. I sir, well, well

Men. Though all at once, cannot
See what I do deliuer out to each,
Yet I can make my Awdit vp, that all
From me do backe receiue the Flowre of all,
And leaue me but the Bran. What say you too't?
2.Cit. It was an answer, how apply you this?
Men. The Senators of Rome, are this good Belly,
And you the mutinous Members: For examine
Their Counsailes, and their Cares; disgest things rightly,
Touching the Weale a'th Common, you shall finde
No publique benefit which you receiue
But it proceeds, or comes from them to you,
And no way from your selues. What do you thinke?
You, the great Toe of this Assembly?
2.Cit. I the great Toe? Why the great Toe?
Men. For that being one o'th lowest, basest, poorest
Of this most wise Rebellion, thou goest formost:
Thou Rascall, that art worst in blood to run,
Lead'st first to win some vantage.
But make you ready your stiffe bats and clubs,
Rome, and her Rats, are at the point of battell,
The one side must haue baile.
Enter Caius Martius.

Hayle, Noble Martius

Mar. Thanks. What's the matter you dissentious rogues
That rubbing the poore Itch of your Opinion,
Make your selues Scabs

2.Cit. We haue euer your good word

Mar. He that will giue good words to thee, wil flatter
Beneath abhorring. What would you haue, you Curres,
That like nor Peace, nor Warre? The one affrights you,
The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,
Where he should finde you Lyons, findes you Hares:
Where Foxes, Geese you are: No surer, no,
Then is the coale of fire vpon the Ice,
Or Hailstone in the Sun. Your Vertue is,
To make him worthy, whose offence subdues him,
And curse that Iustice did it. Who deserues Greatnes,
Deserues your Hate: and your Affections are
A sickmans Appetite; who desires most that
Which would encrease his euill. He that depends
Vpon your fauours, swimmes with finnes of Leade,
And hewes downe Oakes, with rushes. Hang ye: trust ye?
With euery Minute you do change a Minde,
And call him Noble, that was now your Hate:
Him vilde, that was your Garland. What's the matter,
That in these seuerall places of the Citie,
You cry against the Noble Senate, who
(Vnder the Gods) keepe you in awe, which else
Would feede on one another? What's their seeking?
Men. For Corne at their owne rates, wherof they say
The Citie is well stor'd

Mar. Hang 'em: They say?
They'l sit by th' fire, and presume to know
What's done i'th Capitoll: Who's like to rise,
Who thriues, & who declines: Side factions, & giue out
Coniecturall Marriages, making parties strong,
And feebling such as stand not in their liking,
Below their cobled Shooes. They say ther's grain enough?
Would the Nobility lay aside their ruth,
And let me vse my Sword, I'de make a Quarrie
With thousands of these quarter'd slaues, as high
As I could picke my Lance

Menen. Nay these are almost thoroughly perswaded:
For though abundantly they lacke discretion
Yet are they passing Cowardly. But I beseech you,
What sayes the other Troope?
Mar. They are dissolu'd: Hang em;
They said they were an hungry, sigh'd forth Prouerbes
That Hunger-broke stone wals: that dogges must eate
That meate was made for mouths. That the gods sent not
Corne for the Richmen onely: With these shreds
They vented their Complainings, which being answer'd
And a petition granted them, a strange one,
To breake the heart of generosity,
And make bold power looke pale, they threw their caps
As they would hang them on the hornes a'th Moone,
Shooting their Emulation

Menen. What is graunted them?
Mar. Fiue Tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms
Of their owne choice. One's Iunius Brutus,
Sicinius Velutus, and I know not. Sdeath,
The rabble should haue first vnroo'st the City
Ere so preuayl'd with me; it will in time
Win vpon power, and throw forth greater Theames
For Insurrections arguing

Menen. This is strange

Mar. Go get you home you Fragments.
Enter a Messenger hastily.

Mess. Where's Caius Martius?
Mar. Heere: what's the matter!
Mes. The newes is sir, the Volcies are in Armes

Mar. I am glad on't, then we shall ha meanes to vent
Our mustie superfluity. See our best Elders.
Enter Sicinius Velutus, Annius Brutus Cominius, Titus Lartius,
with other

1.Sen. Martius 'tis true, that you haue lately told vs,
The Volces are in Armes

Mar. They haue a Leader,
Tullus Auffidius that will put you too't:
I sinne in enuying his Nobility:
And were I any thing but what I am,
I would wish me onely he

Com. You haue fought together?
Mar. Were halfe to halfe the world by th' eares, & he
vpon my partie, I'de reuolt to make
Onely my warres with him. He is a Lion
That I am proud to hunt

1.Sen. Then worthy Martius,
Attend vpon Cominius to these Warres

Com. It is your former promise

Mar. Sir it is,
And I am constant: Titus Lucius, thou
Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus face.
What art thou stiffe? Stand'st out?
Tit. No Caius Martius,
Ile leane vpon one Crutch, and fight with tother,
Ere stay behinde this Businesse

Men. Oh true-bred

Sen. Your Company to'th' Capitoll, where I know
Our greatest Friends attend vs

Tit. Lead you on: Follow Cominius, we must followe
you, right worthy your Priority

Com. Noble Martius

Sen. Hence to your homes, be gone

Mar. Nay let them follow,
The Volces haue much Corne: take these Rats thither,
To gnaw their Garners. Worshipfull Mutiners,
Your valour puts well forth: Pray follow.


Citizens steale away. Manet Sicin. & Brutus.

Sicin. Was euer man so proud as is this Martius?
Bru. He has no equall

Sicin. When we were chosen Tribunes for the people

Bru. Mark'd you his lip and eyes

Sicin. Nay, but his taunts

Bru. Being mou'd, he will not spare to gird the Gods

Sicin. Bemocke the modest Moone

Bru. The present Warres deuoure him, he is growne
Too proud to be so valiant

Sicin. Such a Nature, tickled with good successe, disdaines
the shadow which he treads on at noone, but I do
wonder, his insolence can brooke to be commanded vnder
Bru. Fame, at the which he aymes,
In whom already he's well grac'd, cannot
Better be held, nor more attain'd then by
A place below the first: for what miscarries
Shall be the Generals fault, though he performe
To th' vtmost of a man, and giddy censure
Will then cry out of Martius: Oh, if he
Had borne the businesse

Sicin. Besides, if things go well,
Opinion that so stickes on Martius, shall
Of his demerits rob Cominius

Bru. Come: halfe all Cominius Honors are to Martius
Though Martius earn'd them not: and all his faults
To Martius shall be Honors, though indeed
In ought he merit not

Sicin. Let's hence, and heare
How the dispatch is made, and in what fashion
More then his singularity, he goes
Vpon this present Action

Bru. Let's along.


Enter Tullus Auffidius with Senators of Coriolus.

1.Sen. So, your opinion is Auffidius,
That they of Rome are entred in our Counsailes,
And know how we proceede,
Auf. Is it not yours?
What euer haue bin thought one in this State
That could be brought to bodily act, ere Rome
Had circumuention: 'tis not foure dayes gone
Since I heard thence, these are the words, I thinke
I haue the Letter heere: yes, heere it is;
They haue prest a Power, but it is not knowne
Whether for East or West: the Dearth is great,
The people Mutinous: And it is rumour'd,
Cominius, Martius your old Enemy
(Who is of Rome worse hated then of you)
And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,
These three leade on this Preparation
Whether 'tis bent: most likely, 'tis for you:
Consider of it

1.Sen. Our Armie's in the Field:
We neuer yet made doubt but Rome was ready
To answer vs

Auf. Nor did you thinke it folly,
To keepe your great pretences vayl'd, till when
They needs must shew themselues, which in the hatching
It seem'd appear'd to Rome. By the discouery,
We shalbe shortned in our ayme, which was
To take in many Townes, ere (almost) Rome
Should know we were a-foot

2.Sen. Noble Auffidius,
Take your Commission, hye you to your Bands,
Let vs alone to guard Corioles
If they set downe before's: for the remoue
Bring vp your Army: but (I thinke) you'l finde
Th'haue not prepar'd for vs

Auf. O doubt not that,
I speake from Certainties. Nay more,
Some parcels of their Power are forth already,
And onely hitherward. I leaue your Honors.
If we, and Caius Martius chance to meete,
'Tis sworne betweene vs, we shall euer strike
Till one can do no more

All. The Gods assist you

Auf. And keepe your Honors safe

1.Sen. Farewell

2.Sen. Farewell

All. Farewell.

Exeunt. omnes.

Enter Volumnia and Virgilia, mother and wife to Martius: They set
downe on two lowe stooles and sowe.

Volum. I pray you daughter sing, or expresse your selfe
in a more comfortable sort: If my Sonne were my Husband,
I should freelier reioyce in that absence wherein
he wonne Honor, then in the embracements of his Bed,
where he would shew most loue. When yet hee was but
tender-bodied, and the onely Sonne of my womb; when
youth with comelinesse pluck'd all gaze his way; when
for a day of Kings entreaties, a Mother should not sel him
an houre from her beholding; I considering how Honour
would become such a person, that it was no better then
Picture-like to hang by th' wall, if renowne made it not
stirre, was pleas'd to let him seeke danger, where he was
like to finde fame: To a cruell Warre I sent him, from
whence he return'd, his browes bound with Oake. I tell
thee Daughter, I sprang not more in ioy at first hearing
he was a Man-child, then now in first seeing he had proued
himselfe a man

Virg. But had he died in the Businesse Madame, how
Volum. Then his good report should haue beene my
Sonne, I therein would haue found issue. Heare me professe
sincerely, had I a dozen sons each in my loue alike,
and none lesse deere then thine, and my good Martius, I
had rather had eleuen dye Nobly for their Countrey, then
one voluptuously surfet out of Action.
Enter a Gentlewoman.

Gent. Madam, the lady Valeria is come to visit you

Virg. Beseech you giue me leaue to retire my selfe

Volum. Indeed you shall not:
Me thinkes, I heare hither your Husbands Drumme:
See him plucke Auffidius downe by th' haire:
(As children from a Beare) the Volces shunning him:
Me thinkes I see him stampe thus, and call thus,
Come on you Cowards, you were got in feare
Though you were borne in Rome; his bloody brow
With his mail'd hand, then wiping, forth he goes
Like to a Haruest man, that task'd to mowe
Or all, or loose his hyre

Virg. His bloody Brow? Oh Iupiter, no blood

Volum. Away you Foole; it more becomes a man
Then gilt his Trophe. The brests of Hecuba
When she did suckle Hector, look'd not louelier
Then Hectors forhead, when it spit forth blood
At Grecian sword. Contenning, tell Valeria
We are fit to bid her welcome.

Exit Gent.

Vir. Heauens blesse my Lord from fell Auffidius

Vol. Hee'l beat Auffidius head below his knee,
And treade vpon his necke.
Enter Valeria with an Vsher, and a Gentlewoman.

Val. My Ladies both good day to you

Vol. Sweet Madam

Vir. I am glad to see your Ladyship

Val. How do you both? You are manifest house-keepers.
What are you sowing heere? A fine spotte in good
faith. How does your little Sonne?
Vir. I thanke your Lady-ship: Well good Madam

Vol. He had rather see the swords, and heare a Drum,
then looke vpon his Schoolmaster

Val. A my word the Fathers Sonne: Ile sweare 'tis a
very pretty boy. A my troth, I look'd vpon him a Wensday
halfe an houre together: ha's such a confirm'd countenance.
I saw him run after a gilded Butterfly, & when
he caught it, he let it go againe, and after it againe, and ouer
and ouer he comes, and vp againe: catcht it again: or
whether his fall enrag'd him, or how 'twas, hee did so set
his teeth, and teare it. Oh, I warrant how he mammockt

Vol. One on's Fathers moods

Val. Indeed la, tis a Noble childe

Virg. A Cracke Madam

Val. Come, lay aside your stitchery, I must haue you
play the idle Huswife with me this afternoone

Virg. No (good Madam)
I will not out of doores

Val. Not out of doores?
Volum. She shall, she shall

Virg. Indeed no, by your patience; Ile not ouer the
threshold, till my Lord returne from the Warres

Val. Fye, you confine your selfe most vnreasonably:
Come, you must go visit the good Lady that lies in

Virg. I will wish her speedy strength, and visite her
with my prayers: but I cannot go thither

Volum. Why I pray you

Vlug. 'Tis not to saue labour, nor that I want loue

Val. You would be another Penelope: yet they say, all
the yearne she spun in Vlisses absence, did but fill Athica
full of Mothes. Come, I would your Cambrick were sensible
as your finger, that you might leaue pricking it for
pitie. Come you shall go with vs

Vir. No good Madam, pardon me, indeed I will not

Val. In truth la go with me, and Ile tell you excellent
newes of your Husband

Virg. Oh good Madam, there can be none yet

Val. Verily I do not iest with you: there came newes
from him last night

Vir. Indeed Madam

Val. In earnest it's true; I heard a Senatour speake it.
Thus it is: the Volcies haue an Army forth, against who[m]
Cominius the Generall is gone, with one part of our Romane
power. Your Lord, and Titus Lartius, are set down
before their Citie Carioles, they nothing doubt preuailing,
and to make it breefe Warres. This is true on mine
Honor, and so I pray go with vs

Virg. Giue me excuse good Madame, I will obey you
in euery thing heereafter

Vol. Let her alone Ladie, as she is now:
She will but disease our better mirth

Valeria. In troth I thinke she would:
Fare you well then. Come good sweet Ladie.
Prythee Virgilia turne thy solemnesse out a doore,
And go along with vs

Virgil. No
At a word Madam; Indeed I must not,
I wish you much mirth

Val. Well, then farewell.

Exeunt. Ladies.

Enter Martius, Titus Lartius, with Drumme and Colours, with
Captaines and
Souldiers, as before the City Corialus: to them a Messenger.

Martius. Yonder comes Newes:
A Wager they haue met

Lar. My horse to yours, no

Mar. Tis done

Lart. Agreed

Mar. Say, ha's our Generall met the Enemy?
Mess. They lye in view, but haue not spoke as yet

Lart. So, the good Horse is mine

Mart. Ile buy him of you

Lart. No, Ile nor sel, nor giue him: Lend you him I will
For halfe a hundred yeares: Summon the Towne

Mar. How farre off lie these Armies?
Mess. Within this mile and halfe

Mar. Then shall we heare their Larum, & they Ours.
Now Mars, I prythee make vs quicke in worke,
That we with smoaking swords may march from hence
To helpe our fielded Friends. Come, blow thy blast.

They Sound a Parley: Enter two Senators with others on the Walles

Tullus Auffidious, is he within your Walles?
1.Senat. No, nor a man that feares you lesse then he,
That's lesser then a little:

Drum a farre off.

Hearke, our Drummes
Are bringing forth our youth: Wee'l breake our Walles
Rather then they shall pound vs vp our Gates,
Which yet seeme shut, we haue but pin'd with Rushes,
They'le open of themselues. Harke you, farre off

Alarum farre off.

There is Auffidious. List what worke he makes
Among'st your clouen Army

Mart. Oh they are at it

Lart. Their noise be our instruction. Ladders hoa.
Enter the Army of the Volces.

Mar. They feare vs not, but issue forth their Citie.
Now put your Shields before your hearts, and fight
With hearts more proofe then Shields.
Aduance braue Titus,
They do disdaine vs much beyond our Thoughts,
which makes me sweat with wrath. Come on my fellows
He that retires, Ile take him for a Volce,
And he shall feele mine edge.

Alarum, the Romans are beat back to their Trenches Enter Martius

Mar. All the contagion of the South, light on you,
You Shames of Rome: you Heard of Byles and Plagues
Plaister you o're, that you may be abhorr'd
Farther then seene, and one infect another
Against the Winde a mile: you soules of Geese,
That beare the shapes of men, how haue you run
From Slaues, that Apes would beate; Pluto and Hell,
All hurt behinde, backes red, and faces pale
With flight and agued feare, mend and charge home,
Or by the fires of heauen, Ile leaue the Foe,
And make my Warres on you: Looke too't: Come on,
If you'l stand fast, wee'l beate them to their Wiues,
As they vs to our Trenches followes.

Another Alarum, and Martius followes them to gates, and is shut

So, now the gates are ope: now proue good Seconds,
'Tis for the followers Fortune, widens them,
Not for the flyers: Marke me, and do the like.
Enter the Gati.

1.Sol. Foole-hardinesse, not I

2.Sol. Nor I

1.Sol. See they haue shut him in.

Alarum continues

All. To th' pot I warrant him.

Enter Titus Lartius

Tit. What is become of Martius?
All. Slaine (Sir) doubtlesse

1.Sol. Following the Flyers at the very heeles,
With them he enters: who vpon the sodaine
Clapt to their Gates, he is himselfe alone,
To answer all the City

Lar. Oh Noble Fellow!
Who sensibly out-dares his sencelesse Sword,
And when it bowes, stand'st vp: Thou art left Martius,
A Carbuncle intire: as big as thou art
Weare not so rich a Iewell. Thou was't a Souldier
Euen to Calues wish, not fierce and terrible
Onely in strokes, but with thy grim lookes, and
The Thunder-like percussion of thy sounds
Thou mad'st thine enemies shake, as if the World
Were Feauorous, and did tremble.
Enter Martius bleeding, assaulted by the Enemy.

1.Sol. Looke Sir

Lar. O 'tis Martius.
Let's fetch him off, or make remaine alike.

They fight, and all enter the City.

Enter certaine Romanes with spoiles.

1.Rom. This will I carry to Rome

2.Rom. And I this

3.Rom. A Murrain on't, I tooke this for Siluer.


Alarum continues still a-farre off.

Enter Martius, and Titus with a Trumpet.

Mar. See heere these mouers, that do prize their hours
At a crack'd Drachme: Cushions, Leaden Spoones,
Irons of a Doit, Dublets that Hangmen would
Bury with those that wore them. These base slaues,
Ere yet the fight be done, packe vp, downe with them.
And harke, what noyse the Generall makes: To him
There is the man of my soules hate, Auffidious,
Piercing our Romanes: Then Valiant Titus take
Conuenient Numbers to make good the City,
Whil'st I with those that haue the spirit, wil haste
To helpe Cominius

Lar. Worthy Sir, thou bleed'st,
Thy exercise hath bin too violent,
For a second course of Fight

Mar. Sir, praise me not:
My worke hath yet not warm'd me. Fare you well:
The blood I drop, is rather Physicall
Then dangerous to me: To Auffidious thus, I will appear and fight

Lar. Now the faire Goddesse Fortune,
Fall deepe in loue with thee, and her great charmes
Misguide thy Opposers swords, Bold Gentleman:
Prosperity be thy Page

Mar. Thy Friend no lesse,
Then those she placeth highest: So farewell

Lar. Thou worthiest Martius,
Go sound thy Trumpet in the Market place,
Call thither all the Officers a'th' Towne,
Where they shall know our minde. Away.


Enter Cominius as it were in retire, with soldiers.

Com. Breath you my friends, wel fought, we are come off,
Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands,
Nor Cowardly in retyre: Beleeue me Sirs,
We shall be charg'd againe. Whiles we haue strooke
By Interims and conueying gusts, we haue heard
The Charges of our Friends. The Roman Gods,
Leade their successes, as we wish our owne,
That both our powers, with smiling Fronts encountring,
May giue you thankfull Sacrifice. Thy Newes?
Enter a Messenger.

Mess. The Cittizens of Corioles haue yssued,
And giuen to Lartius and to Martius Battaile:
I saw our party to their Trenches driuen,
And then I came away

Com. Though thou speakest truth,
Me thinkes thou speak'st not well. How long is't since?
Mes. Aboue an houre, my Lord

Com. 'Tis not a mile: briefely we heard their drummes.
How could'st thou in a mile confound an houre,
And bring thy Newes so late?
Mes. Spies of the Volces
Held me in chace, that I was forc'd to wheele
Three or foure miles about, else had I sir
Halfe an houre since brought my report.
Enter Martius.

Com. Whose yonder,
That doe's appeare as he were Flead? O Gods,
He has the stampe of Martius, and I haue
Before time seene him thus

Mar. Come I too late?
Com. The Shepherd knowes not Thunder fro[m] a Taber,
More then I know the sound of Martius Tongue
From euery meaner man

Martius. Come I too late?
Com. I, if you come not in the blood of others,
But mantled in your owne

Mart. Oh! let me clip ye
In Armes as sound, as when I woo'd in heart;
As merry, as when our Nuptiall day was done,
And Tapers burnt to Bedward

Com. Flower of Warriors, how is't with Titus Lartius?
Mar. As with a man busied about Decrees:
Condemning some to death, and some to exile,
Ransoming him, or pittying, threatning th' other;
Holding Corioles in the name of Rome,
Euen like a fawning Grey-hound in the Leash,
To let him slip at will

Com. Where is that Slaue
Which told me they had beate you to your Trenches?
Where is he? Call him hither

Mar. Let him alone,
He did informe the truth: but for our Gentlemen,
The common file, (a plague-Tribunes for them)
The Mouse ne're shunn'd the Cat, as they did budge
From Rascals worse then they

Com. But how preuail'd you?
Mar. Will the time serue to tell, I do not thinke:
Where is the enemy? Are you Lords a'th Field?
If not, why cease you till you are so?
Com. Martius, we haue at disaduantage fought,
And did retyre to win our purpose

Mar. How lies their Battell? Know you on w side
They haue plac'd their men of trust?
Com. As I guesse Martius,
Their Bands i'th Vaward are the Antients
Of their best trust: O're them Auffidious,
Their very heart of Hope

Mar. I do beseech you,
By all the Battailes wherein we haue fought,
By th' Blood we haue shed together,
By th' Vowes we haue made
To endure Friends, that you directly set me
Against Affidious, and his Antiats,
And that you not delay the present (but
Filling the aire with Swords aduanc'd) and Darts,
We proue this very houre

Com. Though I could wish,
You were conducted to a gentle Bath,
And Balmes applyed to you, yet dare I neuer
Deny your asking, take your choice of those
That best can ayde your action

Mar. Those are they
That most are willing; if any such be heere,
(As it were sinne to doubt) that loue this painting
Wherein you see me smear'd, if any feare
Lessen his person, then an ill report:
If any thinke, braue death out-weighes bad life,
And that his Countries deerer then himselfe,
Let him alone: Or so many so minded,
Waue thus to expresse his disposition,
And follow Martius.

They all shout and waue their swords, take him vp in their Armes,
and cast
vp their Caps.

Oh me alone, make you a sword of me:
If these shewes be not outward, which of you
But is foure Volces? None of you, but is
Able to beare against the great Auffidious
A Shield, as hard as his. A certaine number
(Though thankes to all) must I select from all:
The rest shall beare the businesse in some other fight
(As cause will be obey'd:) please you to March,
And foure shall quickly draw out my Command,
Which men are best inclin'd

Com. March on my Fellowes:
Make good this ostentation, and you shall
Diuide in all, with vs.


Titus Lartius, hauing set a guard vpon Carioles, going with Drum
Trumpet toward Cominius, and Caius Martius, Enters with a
other Souldiours, and a Scout.

Lar. So, let the Ports be guarded; keepe your Duties
As I haue set them downe. If I do send, dispatch
Those Centuries to our ayd, the rest will serue
For a short holding, if we loose the Field,
We cannot keepe the Towne

Lieu. Feare not our care Sir

Lart. Hence; and shut your gates vpon's:
Our Guider come, to th' Roman Campe conduct vs.


Alarum, as in Battaile.

Enter Martius and Auffidius at seueral doores.

Mar. Ile fight with none but thee, for I do hate thee
Worse then a Promise-breaker

Auffid. We hate alike:
Not Affricke ownes a Serpent I abhorre
More then thy Fame and Enuy: Fix thy foot

Mar. Let the first Budger dye the others Slaue,
And the Gods doome him after

Auf. If I flye Martius, hollow me like a Hare

Mar. Within these three houres Tullus
Alone I fought in your Corioles walles,
And made what worke I pleas'd: 'Tis not my blood,
Wherein thou seest me maskt, for thy Reuenge
Wrench vp thy power to th' highest

Auf. Wer't thou the Hector,
That was the whip of your bragg'd Progeny,
Thou should'st not scape me heere.

Heere they fight, and certaine Volces come in the ayde of Auffi.
fights til they be driuen in breathles.

Officious and not valiant, you haue sham'd me
In your condemned Seconds.

Flourish. Alarum. A Retreat is sounded. Enter at one Doore
Cominius, with
the Romanes: At another Doore Martius, with his Arme in a

Com. If I should tell thee o're this thy dayes Worke,
Thou't not beleeue thy deeds: but Ile report it,
Where Senators shall mingle teares with smiles,
Where great Patricians shall attend, and shrug,
I'th' end admire: where Ladies shall be frighted,
And gladly quak'd, heare more: where the dull Tribunes,
That with the fustie Plebeans, hate thine Honors,
Shall say against their hearts, We thanke the Gods
Our Rome hath such a Souldier.
Yet cam'st thou to a Morsell of this Feast,
Hauing fully din'd before.
Enter Titus with his Power, from the Pursuit.

Titus Lartius. Oh Generall:
Here is the Steed, wee the Caparison:
Hadst thou beheld-
Martius. Pray now, no more:
My Mother, who ha's a Charter to extoll her Bloud,
When she do's prayse me, grieues me:
I haue done as you haue done, that's what I can,
Induc'd as you haue beene, that's for my Countrey:
He that ha's but effected his good will,
Hath ouerta'ne mine Act

Com. You shall not be the Graue of your deseruing,
Rome must know the value of her owne:
'Twere a Concealement worse then a Theft,
No lesse then a Traducement,
To hide your doings, and to silence that,
Which to the spire, and top of prayses vouch'd,
Would seeme but modest: therefore I beseech you,
In signe of what you are, not to reward
What you haue done, before our Armie heare me

Martius. I haue some Wounds vpon me, and they smart
To heare themselues remembred

Com. Should they not:
Well might they fester 'gainst Ingratitude,
And tent themselues with death: of all the Horses,
Whereof we haue ta'ne good, and good store of all,
The Treasure in this field atchieued, and Citie,
We render you the Tenth, to be ta'ne forth,
Before the common distribution,
At your onely choyse

Martius. I thanke you Generall:
But cannot make my heart consent to take
A Bribe, to pay my Sword: I doe refuse it,
And stand vpon my common part with those,
That haue beheld the doing.

A long flourish. They all cry, Martius, Martius, cast vp their Caps
Launces: Cominius and Lartius stand bare.

Mar. May these same Instruments, which you prophane,
Neuer sound more: when Drums and Trumpets shall
I'th' field proue flatterers, let Courts and Cities be
Made all of false-fac'd soothing:
When Steele growes soft, as the Parasites Silke,
Let him be made an Ouerture for th' Warres:
No more I say, for that I haue not wash'd
My Nose that bled, or foyl'd some debile Wretch,
Which without note, here's many else haue done,
You shoot me forth in acclamations hyperbolicall,
As if I lou'd my little should be dieted
In prayses, sawc'st with Lyes

Com. Too modest are you:
More cruell to your good report, then gratefull
To vs, that giue you truly: by your patience,
If 'gainst your selfe you be incens'd, wee'le put you
(Like one that meanes his proper harme) in Manacles,
Then reason safely with you: Therefore be it knowne,
As to vs, to all the World, That Caius Martius
Weares this Warres Garland: in token of the which,
My Noble Steed, knowne to the Campe, I giue him,
With all his trim belonging; and from this time,
For what he did before Corioles, call him,
With all th' applause and Clamor of the Hoast,
Marcus Caius Coriolanus. Beare th' addition Nobly euer?
Flourish. Trumpets sound, and Drums.

Omnes. Marcus Caius Coriolanus

Martius. I will goe wash:
And when my Face is faire, you shall perceiue
Whether I blush or no: howbeit, I thanke you,
I meane to stride your Steed, and at all times
To vnder-crest your good Addition,
To th' fairenesse of my power

Com. So, to our Tent:
Where ere we doe repose vs, we will write
To Rome of our successe: you Titus Lartius
Must to Corioles backe, send vs to Rome
The best, with whom we may articulate,
For their owne good, and ours

Lartius. I shall, my Lord

Martius. The Gods begin to mocke me:
I that now refus'd most Princely gifts,
Am bound to begge of my Lord Generall

Com. Tak't, 'tis yours: what is't?
Martius. I sometime lay here in Corioles,
At a poore mans house: he vs'd me kindly,
He cry'd to me: I saw him Prisoner:
But then Auffidius was within my view,
And Wrath o're-whelm'd my pittie: I request you
To giue my poore Host freedome

Com. Oh well begg'd:
Were he the Butcher of my Sonne, he should
Be free, as is the Winde: deliuer him, Titus

Lartius. Martius, his Name

Martius. By Iupiter forgot:
I am wearie, yea, my memorie is tyr'd:
Haue we no Wine here?
Com. Goe we to our Tent:
The bloud vpon your Visage dryes, 'tis time
It should be lookt too: come.


A flourish. Cornets. Enter Tullus Auffidius bloudie, with two or

Auffi. The Towne is ta'ne

Sould. 'Twill be deliuer'd backe on good Condition

Auffid. Condition?
I would I were a Roman, for I cannot,
Being a Volce, be that I am. Condition?
What good Condition can a Treatie finde
I'th' part that is at mercy? fiue times, Martius,
I haue fought with thee; so often hast thou beat me:
And would'st doe so, I thinke, should we encounter
As often as we eate. By th' Elements,
If ere againe I meet him beard to beard,
He's mine, or I am his: Mine Emulation
Hath not that Honor in't it had: For where
I thought to crush him in an equall Force,
True Sword to Sword: Ile potche at him some way,
Or Wrath, or Craft may get him

Sol. He's the diuell

Auf. Bolder, though not so subtle: my valors poison'd,
With onely suff'ring staine by him: for him
Shall flye out of it selfe, nor sleepe, nor sanctuary,
Being naked, sicke; nor Phane, nor Capitoll,
The Prayers of Priests, nor times of Sacrifice:
Embarquements all of Fury, shall lift vp
Their rotten Priuiledge, and Custome 'gainst
My hate to Martius. Where I finde him, were it
At home, vpon my Brothers Guard, euen there
Against the hospitable Canon, would I
Wash my fierce hand in's heart. Go you to th' Citie,
Learne how 'tis held, and what they are that must
Be Hostages for Rome

Soul. Will not you go?
Auf. I am attended at the Cyprus groue. I pray you
('Tis South the City Mils) bring me word thither
How the world goes: that to the pace of it
I may spurre on my iourney

Soul. I shall sir.

Actus Secundus.

Enter Menenius with the two Tribunes of the people, Sicinius &

Men. The Agurer tels me, wee shall haue Newes to

Bru. Good or bad?
Men. Not according to the prayer of the people, for
they loue not Martius

Sicin. Nature teaches Beasts to know their Friends

Men. Pray you, who does the Wolfe loue?
Sicin. The Lambe

Men. I, to deuour him, as the hungry Plebeians would
the Noble Martius

Bru. He's a Lambe indeed, that baes like a Beare

Men. Hee's a Beare indeede, that liues like a Lambe.
You two are old men, tell me one thing that I shall aske

Both. Well sir

Men. In what enormity is Martius poore in, that you
two haue not in abundance?
Bru. He's poore in no one fault, but stor'd withall

Sicin. Especially in Pride

Bru. And topping all others in boasting

Men. This is strange now: Do you two know, how
you are censured heere in the City, I mean of vs a'th' right
hand File, do you?
Both. Why? how are we censur'd?
Men. Because you talke of Pride now, will you not
be angry

Both. Well, well sir, well

Men. Why 'tis no great matter: for a very little theefe
of Occasion, will rob you of a great deale of Patience:
Giue your dispositions the reines, and bee angry at your
pleasures (at the least) if you take it as a pleasure to you, in
being so: you blame Martius for being proud

Brut. We do it not alone, sir

Men. I know you can doe very little alone, for your
helpes are many, or else your actions would growe wondrous
single: your abilities are to Infant-like, for dooing
much alone. You talke of Pride: Oh, that you could turn
your eyes toward the Napes of your neckes, and make
but an Interiour suruey of your good selues. Oh that you

Both. What then sir?
Men. Why then you should discouer a brace of vnmeriting,
proud, violent, testie Magistrates (alias Fooles)
as any in Rome

Sicin. Menenius, you are knowne well enough too

Men. I am knowne to be a humorous Patritian, and
one that loues a cup of hot Wine, with not a drop of alaying
Tiber in't: Said, to be something imperfect in fauouring
the first complaint, hasty and Tinder-like vppon, to
triuiall motion: One, that conuerses more with the Buttocke
of the night, then with the forhead of the morning.
What I think, I vtter, and spend my malice in my breath.
Meeting two such Weales men as you are (I cannot call
you Licurgusses,) if the drinke you giue me, touch my Palat
aduersly, I make a crooked face at it, I can say, your
Worshippes haue deliuer'd the matter well, when I finde
the Asse in compound, with the Maior part of your syllables.
And though I must be content to beare with those,
that say you are reuerend graue men, yet they lye deadly,
that tell you haue good faces, if you see this in the Map
of my Microcosme, followes it that I am knowne well enough
too? What harme can your beesome Conspectuities
gleane out of this Charracter, if I be knowne well enough

Bru. Come sir come, we know you well enough

Menen. You know neither mee, your selues, nor any
thing: you are ambitious, for poore knaues cappes and
legges: you weare out a good wholesome Forenoone, in
hearing a cause betweene an Orendge wife, and a Forfetseller,
and then reiourne the Controuersie of three-pence
to a second day of Audience. When you are hearing a
matter betweene party and party, if you chaunce to bee
pinch'd with the Collike, you make faces like Mummers,
set vp the bloodie Flagge against all Patience, and
in roaring for a Chamber-pot, dismisse the Controuersie
bleeding, the more intangled by your hearing: All the
peace you make in their Cause, is calling both the parties
Knaues. You are a payre of strange ones

Bru. Come, come, you are well vnderstood to bee a
perfecter gyber for the Table, then a necessary Bencher in
the Capitoll

Men. Our very Priests must become Mockers, if they
shall encounter such ridiculous Subiects as you are, when
you speake best vnto the purpose. It is not woorth the
wagging of your Beards, and your Beards deserue not so
honourable a graue, as to stuffe a Botchers Cushion, or to
be intomb'd in an Asses Packe-saddle; yet you must bee
saying, Martius is proud: who in a cheape estimation, is
worth all your predecessors, since Deucalion, though peraduenture
some of the best of 'em were hereditarie hangmen.
Godden to your Worships, more of your conuersation
would infect my Braine, being the Heardsmen of
the Beastly Plebeans. I will be bold to take my leaue of

Bru. and Scic. Aside.

Enter Volumnia, Virgilia, and Valeria.

How now (my as faire as Noble) Ladyes, and the Moone
were shee Earthly, no Nobler; whither doe you follow
your Eyes so fast?
Volum. Honorable Menenius, my Boy Martius approches:
for the loue of Iuno let's goe

Menen. Ha? Martius comming home?
Volum. I, worthy Menenius, and with most prosperous

Menen. Take my Cappe Iupiter, and I thanke thee:
hoo, Martius comming home?
2.Ladies. Nay, 'tis true

Volum. Looke, here's a Letter from him, the State hath
another, his Wife another, and (I thinke) there's one at
home for you

Menen. I will make my very house reele to night:
A Letter for me?
Virgil. Yes certaine, there's a Letter for you, I saw't

Menen. A Letter for me? it giues me an Estate of seuen
yeeres health; in which time, I will make a Lippe at
the Physician: The most soueraigne Prescription in Galen,
is but Emperickqutique; and to this Preseruatiue, of no
better report then a Horse-drench. Is he not wounded?
he was wont to come home wounded?
Virgil. Oh no, no, no

Volum. Oh, he is wounded, I thanke the Gods for't

Menen. So doe I too, if it be not too much: brings a
Victorie in his Pocket? the wounds become him

Volum. On's Browes: Menenius, hee comes the third
time home with the Oaken Garland

Menen. Ha's he disciplin'd Auffidius soundly?
Volum. Titus Lartius writes, they fought together, but
Auffidius got off

Menen. And 'twas time for him too, Ile warrant him
that: and he had stay'd by him, I would not haue been so
fiddious'd, for all the Chests in Carioles, and the Gold
that's in them. Is the Senate possest of this?
Volum. Good Ladies let's goe. Yes, yes, yes: The
Senate ha's Letters from the Generall, wherein hee giues
my Sonne the whole Name of the Warre: he hath in this
action out-done his former deeds doubly

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

Menen. Wondrous: I, I warrant you, and not without
his true purchasing

Virgil. The Gods graunt them true

Volum. True? pow waw

Mene. True? Ile be sworne they are true: where is
hee wounded, God saue your good Worships? Martius
is comming home: hee ha's more cause to be prowd:
where is he wounded?
Volum. Ith' Shoulder, and ith' left Arme: there will be
large Cicatrices to shew the People, when hee shall stand
for his place: he receiued in the repulse of Tarquin seuen
hurts ith' Body

Mene. One ith' Neck, and two ith' Thigh, there's nine
that I know

Volum. Hee had, before this last Expedition, twentie
fiue Wounds vpon him

Mene. Now it's twentie seuen; euery gash was an
Enemies Graue. Hearke, the Trumpets.

A showt, and flourish.

Volum. These are the Vshers of Martius:
Before him, hee carryes Noyse;
And behinde him, hee leaues Teares:
Death, that darke Spirit, in's neruie Arme doth lye,
Which being aduanc'd, declines, and then men dye.

A Sennet. Trumpets sound. Enter Cominius the Generall, and Titus
betweene them Coriolanus, crown'd with an Oaken Garland, with
Captaines and
Souldiers, and a Herauld.

Herauld. Know Rome, that all alone Martius did fight
Within Corioles Gates: where he hath wonne,
With Fame, a Name to Martius Caius:
These in honor followes Martius Caius Coriolanus.
Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus.

Sound. Flourish.

All. Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus

Coriol. No more of this, it does offend my heart: pray
now no more

Com. Looke, Sir, your Mother

Coriol. Oh! you haue, I know, petition'd all the Gods
for my prosperitie.


Volum. Nay, my good Souldier, vp:
My gentle Martius, worthy Caius,
And by deed-atchieuing Honor newly nam'd,
What is it (Coriolanus) must I call thee?
But oh, thy Wife

Corio. My gracious silence, hayle:
Would'st thou haue laugh'd, had I come Coffin'd home,
That weep'st to see me triumph? Ah my deare,
Such eyes the Widowes in Carioles were,
And Mothers that lacke Sonnes

Mene. Now the Gods Crowne thee

Com. And liue you yet? Oh my sweet Lady, pardon

Volum. I know not where to turne.
Oh welcome home: and welcome Generall,
And y'are welcome all

Mene. A hundred thousand Welcomes:
I could weepe, and I could laugh,
I am light, and heauie; 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 haue
Some old Crab-trees here at home,
That will not be grafted to your Rallish.
Yet welcome Warriors:
Wee call a Nettle, but a Nettle;
And the faults of fooles, but folly

Com. Euer right

Cor. Menenius, euer, euer

Herauld. Giue way there, and goe on

Cor. Your Hand, and yours?
Ere in our owne house I doe shade my Head,
The good Patricians must be visited,
From whom I haue receiu'd not onely greetings,
But with them, change of Honors

Volum. I haue liued,
To see inherited my very Wishes,
And the Buildings of my Fancie:
Onely there's one thing wanting,
Which (I doubt not) but our Rome
Will cast vpon thee

Cor. Know, good Mother,
I had rather be their seruant in my way,
Then sway with them in theirs

Com. On, to the Capitall.
Flourish. Cornets.

Exeunt. in State, as before.

Enter Brutus and Scicinius

Bru. All tongues speake of him, and the bleared sights
Are spectacled to see him. Your pratling Nurse
Into a rapture lets her Baby crie,
While she chats him: the Kitchin Malkin pinnes
Her richest Lockram 'bout her reechie necke,
Clambring the Walls to eye him:
Stalls, Bulkes, Windowes, are smother'd vp,
Leades fill'd, and Ridges hors'd
With variable Complexions; all agreeing
In earnestnesse to see him: seld-showne Flamins
Doe presse among the popular Throngs, and puffe
To winne a vulgar station: our veyl'd Dames
Commit the Warre of White and Damaske
In their nicely gawded Cheekes, toth' wanton spoyle
Of Phoebus burning Kisses: such a poother,
As if that whatsoeuer God, who leades him,
Were slyly crept into his humane powers,
And gaue him gracefull posture

Scicin. On the suddaine, I warrant him Consull

Brutus. Then our Office may, during his power, goe

Scicin. He cannot temp'rately transport his Honors,
From where he should begin, and end, but will
Lose those he hath wonne

Brutus. In that there's comfort

Scici. Doubt not,
The Commoners, for whom we stand, but they
Vpon their ancient mallice, will forget
With the least cause, these his new Honors,
Which that he will giue them, make I as little question,
As he is prowd to doo't

Brutus. I heard him sweare,
Were he to stand for Consull, neuer would he
Appeare i'th' Market place, nor on him put
The Naples Vesture of Humilitie,
Nor shewing (as the manner is) his Wounds
Toth' People, begge their stinking Breaths

Scicin. 'Tis right

Brutus. It was his word:
Oh he would misse it, rather then carry it,
But by the suite of the Gentry to him,
And the desire of the Nobles

Scicin. I wish no better, then haue him hold that purpose,
and to put it in execution

Brutus. 'Tis most like he will

Scicin. 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
Haue made them Mules, silenc'd their Pleaders,
And dispropertied their Freedomes; holding them,
In humane Action, and Capacitie,
Of no more Soule, nor fitnesse for the World,
Then Cammels in their Warre, who haue their Prouand
Onely for bearing Burthens, and sore blowes
For sinking vnder them

Scicin. This (as you say) suggested,
At some time, when his soaring Insolence
Shall teach the People, which time shall not want,
If he be put vpon't, and that's as easie,
As to set Dogges on Sheepe, will be his fire
To kindle their dry Stubble: and their Blaze
Shall darken him for euer.
Enter a Messenger.

Brutus. What's the matter?
Mess. You are sent for to the Capitoll:
'Tis thought, that Martius shall be Consull:
I haue seene the dumbe men throng to see him,
And the blind to heare him speak: Matrons flong Gloues,
Ladies and Maids their Scarffes, and Handkerchers,
Vpon him as he pass'd: the Nobles bended
As to Ioues Statue, and the Commons made
A Shower, and Thunder, with their Caps, and Showts:
I neuer saw the like

Brutus. Let's to the Capitoll,
And carry with vs Eares and Eyes for th' time,
But Hearts for the euent

Scicin. Haue with you.


Enter two Officers, to lay Cushions, as it were, in the Capitoll.

1.Off. Come, come, they are almost here: how many
stand for Consulships?
2.Off. Three, they say: but 'tis thought of euery one,
Coriolanus will carry it

1.Off. That's a braue fellow: but hee's vengeance
prowd, and loues not the common people

2.Off. 'Faith, there hath beene many great men that
haue flatter'd the people, who ne're loued them; and there
be many that they haue loued, they know not wherefore:
so that if they loue they know not why, they hate vpon
no better a ground. Therefore, for Coriolanus neyther to
care whether they loue, or hate him, manifests the true
knowledge he ha's in their disposition, and out of his Noble
carelesnesse lets them plainely see't

1.Off. If he did not care whether he had their loue, or
no, hee waued indifferently, 'twixt doing them neyther
good, nor harme: but hee seekes their hate with greater
deuotion, then they can render it him; and leaues nothing
vndone, that may fully discouer him their opposite. Now
to seeme to affect the mallice and displeasure of the People,
is as bad, as that which he dislikes, to flatter them for
their loue

2.Off. Hee hath deserued worthily of his Countrey,
and his assent is not by such easie degrees as those, who
hauing beene supple and courteous to the People, Bonnetted,
without any further deed, to haue them at all into
their estimation, and report: but hee hath so planted his
Honors in their Eyes, and his actions in their Hearts, that
for their Tongues to be silent, and not confesse so much,
were a kinde of ingratefull Iniurie: to report otherwise,
were a Mallice, that giuing it selfe the Lye, would plucke
reproofe and rebuke from euery Eare that heard it

1.Off. No more of him, hee's a worthy man: make
way, they are comming.

A Sennet. Enter the Patricians, and the Tribunes of the People,
before them: Coriolanus, Menenius, Cominius the Consul:
Scicinius and
Brutus take their places by themselues: Coriolanus stands.

Menen. Hauing determin'd of the Volces,
And to send for Titus Lartius: it remaines,
As the maine Point of this our after-meeting,
To gratifie his Noble seruice, that hath
Thus stood for his Countrey. Therefore please you,
Most reuerend and graue Elders, to desire
The present Consull, and last Generall,
In our well-found Successes, to report
A little of that worthy Worke, perform'd
By Martius Caius Coriolanus: whom
We met here, both to thanke, and to remember,
With Honors like himselfe

1.Sen. Speake, good Cominius:
Leaue nothing out for length, and make vs thinke
Rather our states defectiue for requitall,
Then we to stretch it out. Masters a'th' People,
We doe request your kindest eares: and after
Your louing motion toward the common Body,
To yeeld what passes here

Scicin. We are conuented vpon a pleasing Treatie, and
haue hearts inclinable to honor and aduance the Theame
of our Assembly

Brutus. Which the rather wee shall be blest to doe, if
he remember a kinder value of the People, then he hath
hereto priz'd them at

Menen. That's off, that's off: I would you rather had
been silent: Please you to heare Cominius speake?
Brutus. Most willingly: but yet my Caution was
more pertinent then the rebuke you giue it

Menen. He loues your People, but tye him not to be
their Bed-fellow: Worthie Cominius speake.

Coriolanus rises, and offers to goe away.

Nay, keepe your place

Senat. Sit Coriolanus: neuer shame to heare
What you haue Nobly done

Coriol. Your Honors pardon:
I had rather haue my Wounds to heale againe,
Then heare say how I got them

Brutus. Sir, I hope my words dis-bench'd you not?
Coriol. No Sir: yet oft,
When blowes haue made me stay, I fled from words.
You sooth'd not, therefore hurt not: but your People,
I loue them as they weigh-
Menen. Pray now sit downe

Corio. I had rather haue one scratch my Head i'th' Sun,
When the Alarum were strucke, then idly sit
To heare my Nothings monster'd.
Exit Coriolanus

Menen. Masters of the People,
Your multiplying Spawne, how can he flatter?
That's thousand to one good one, when you now see
He had rather venture all his Limbes for Honor,
Then on ones Eares to heare it. Proceed Cominius

Com. I shall lacke voyce: the deeds of Coriolanus
Should not be vtter'd feebly: it is held,
That Valour is the chiefest Vertue,
And most dignifies the hauer: if it be,
The man I speake of, cannot in the World
Be singly counter-poys'd. At sixteene yeeres,
When Tarquin made a Head for Rome, he fought
Beyond the marke of others: our then Dictator,
Whom with all prayse I point at, saw him fight,
When with his Amazonian Shinne he droue
The brizled Lippes before him: he bestrid
An o're-prest Roman, and i'th' Consuls view
Slew three Opposers: Tarquins selfe he met,
And strucke him on his Knee: in that dayes feates,
When he might act the Woman in the Scene,
He prou'd best man i'th' field, and for his meed
Was Brow-bound with the Oake. His Pupill age
Man-entred thus, he waxed like a Sea,
And in the brunt of seuenteene Battailes since,
He lurcht all Swords of the Garland: for this last,
Before, and in Corioles, let me say
I cannot speake him home: he stopt the flyers,
And by his rare example made the Coward
Turne terror into sport: as Weeds before
A Vessell vnder sayle, so men obey'd,
And fell below his Stem: his Sword, Deaths stampe,
Where it did marke, it tooke from face to foot:
He was a thing of Blood, whose euery motion
Was tim'd with dying Cryes: alone he entred
The mortall Gate of th' Citie, which he painted
With shunlesse destinie: aydelesse came off,
And with a sudden re-inforcement strucke
Carioles like a Planet: now all's his,
When by and by the dinne of Warre gan pierce
His readie sence: then straight his doubled spirit
Requickned what in flesh was fatigate,
And to the Battaile came he, where he did
Runne reeking o're the liues of men, as if 'twere
A perpetuall spoyle: and till we call'd
Both Field and Citie ours, he neuer stood
To ease his Brest with panting

Menen. Worthy man

Senat. He cannot but with measure fit the Honors
which we deuise him

Com. Our spoyles he kickt at,
And look'd vpon things precious, as they were
The common Muck of the World: he couets lesse
Then Miserie it selfe would giue, rewards his deeds
With doing them, and is content
To spend the time, to end it

Menen. Hee's right Noble, let him be call'd for

Senat. Call Coriolanus

Off. He doth appeare.
Enter Coriolanus.

Menen. The Senate, Coriolanus, are well pleas'd to make
thee Consull

Corio. I doe owe them still my Life, and Seruices

Menen. It then remaines, that you doe speake to the

Corio. I doe beseech you,
Let me o're-leape that custome: for I cannot
Put on the Gowne, stand naked, and entreat them
For my Wounds sake, to giue their sufferage:
Please you that I may passe this doing

Scicin. Sir, the People must haue their Voyces,
Neyther will they bate one iot of Ceremonie

Menen. Put them not too't:
Pray you goe fit you to the Custome,
And take to you, as your Predecessors haue,
Your Honor with your forme

Corio. It is a part that I shall blush in acting,
And might well be taken from the People

Brutus. Marke you that

Corio. To brag vnto them, thus I did, and thus
Shew them th' vnaking Skarres, which I should hide,
As if I had receiu'd them for the hyre
Of their breath onely

Menen. Doe not stand vpon't:
We recommend to you Tribunes of the People
Our purpose to them, and to our Noble Consull
Wish we all Ioy, and Honor

Senat. To Coriolanus come all ioy and Honor.
Flourish Cornets. Then Exeunt. Manet Sicinius and Brutus.

Bru. You see how he intends to vse the people

Scicin. May they perceiue's intent: he wil require them
As if he did contemne what he requested,
Should be in them to giue

Bru. Come, wee'l informe them
Of our proceedings heere on th' Market place,
I know they do attend vs.
Enter seuen or eight Citizens.

1.Cit. Once if he do require our voyces, wee ought
not to deny him

2.Cit. We may Sir if we will

3.Cit. We haue power in our selues to do it, but it is
a power that we haue no power to do: For, if hee shew vs
his wounds, and tell vs his deeds, we are to put our tongues
into those wounds, and speake for them: So if he tel
vs his Noble deeds, we must also tell him our Noble acceptance
of them. Ingratitude is monstrous, and for the
multitude to be ingratefull, were to make a Monster of
the multitude; of the which, we being members, should
bring our selues to be monstrous members

1.Cit. And to make vs no better thought of a little
helpe will serue: for once we stood vp about the Corne,
he himselfe stucke not to call vs the many-headed Multitude

3.Cit. We haue beene call'd so of many, not that our
heads are some browne, some blacke, some Abram, some
bald; but that our wits are so diuersly Coulord; and truely
I thinke, if all our wittes were to issue out of one Scull,
they would flye East, West, North, South, and their consent
of one direct way, should be at once to all the points
a'th Compasse

2.Cit. Thinke you so? Which way do you iudge my
wit would flye

3.Cit. Nay your wit will not so soone out as another
mans will, 'tis strongly wadg'd vp in a blocke-head: but
if it were at liberty, 'twould sure Southward

2 Cit. Why that way?
3 Cit. To loose it selfe in a Fogge, where being three
parts melted away with rotten Dewes, the fourth would
returne for Conscience sake, to helpe to get thee a Wife

2 Cit. You are neuer without your trickes, you may,
you may

3 Cit. Are you all resolu'd to giue your voyces? But
that's no matter, the greater part carries it, I say. If hee
would incline to the people, there was neuer a worthier
Enter Coriolanus in a gowne of Humility, with Menenius.

Heere he comes, and in the Gowne of humility, marke
his behauiour: we are not to stay altogether, but to come
by him where he stands, by ones, by twoes, & by threes.
He's to make his requests by particulars, wherein euerie
one of vs ha's a single Honor, in giuing him our own voices
with our owne tongues, therefore follow me, and Ile
direct you how you shall go by him

All. Content, content

Men. Oh Sir, you are not right: haue you not knowne
The worthiest men haue done't?
Corio. What must I say, I pray Sir?
Plague vpon't, I cannot bring
My tongue to such a pace. Looke Sir, my wounds,
I got them in my Countries Seruice, when
Some certaine of your Brethren roar'd, and ranne
From th' noise of our owne Drummes

Menen. Oh me the Gods, you must not speak of that,
You must desire them to thinke vpon you

Coriol. Thinke vpon me? Hang 'em,
I would they would forget me, like the Vertues
Which our Diuines lose by em

Men. You'l marre all,
Ile leaue you: Pray you speake to em, I pray you
In wholsome manner.


Enter three of the Citizens.

Corio. Bid them wash their Faces,
And keepe their teeth cleane: So, heere comes a brace,
You know the cause (Sir) of my standing heere

3 Cit. We do Sir, tell vs what hath brought you too't

Corio. Mine owne desert

2 Cit. Your owne desert

Corio. I, but mine owne desire

3 Cit. How not your owne desire?
Corio. No Sir, 'twas neuer my desire yet to trouble the
poore with begging

3 Cit. You must thinke if we giue you any thing, we
hope to gaine by you

Corio. Well then I pray, your price a'th' Consulship

1 Cit. The price is, to aske it kindly

Corio. Kindly sir, I pray let me ha't: I haue wounds to
shew you, which shall bee yours in priuate: your good
voice sir, what say you?
2 Cit. You shall ha't worthy Sir

Corio. A match Sir, there's in all two worthie voyces
begg'd: I haue your Almes, Adieu

3 Cit. But this is something odde

2 Cit. And 'twere to giue againe: but 'tis no matter.

Exeunt. Enter two other Citizens.

Coriol. Pray you now, if it may stand with the tune
of your voices, that I may bee Consull, I haue heere the
Customarie Gowne

1. You haue deserued Nobly of your Countrey, and
you haue not deserued Nobly

Coriol. Your aenigma

1. You haue bin a scourge to her enemies, you haue
bin a Rod to her Friends, you haue not indeede loued the
Common people

Coriol. You should account mee the more Vertuous,
that I haue not bin common in my Loue, I will sir flatter
my sworne Brother the people to earne a deerer estimation
of them, 'tis a condition they account gentle: & since
the wisedome of their choice, is rather to haue my Hat,
then my Heart, I will practice the insinuating nod, and be
off to them most counterfetly, that is sir, I will counterfet
the bewitchment of some popular man, and giue it
bountifull to the desirers: Therefore beseech you, I may
be Consull

2. Wee hope to finde you our friend: and therefore
giue you our voices heartily

1. You haue receyued many wounds for your Countrey

Coriol. I wil not Seale your knowledge with shewing
them. I will make much of your voyces, and so trouble
you no farther

Both. The Gods giue you ioy Sir heartily

Coriol. Most sweet Voyces:
Better it is to dye, better to sterue,
Then craue the higher, which first we do deserue.
Why in this Wooluish tongue should I stand heere,
To begge of Hob and Dicke, that does appeere
Their needlesse Vouches: Custome calls me too't.
What Custome wills in all things, should we doo't?
The Dust on antique Time would lye vnswept,
And mountainous Error be too highly heapt,
For Truth to o're-peere. Rather then foole it so,
Let the high Office and the Honor go
To one that would doe thus. I am halfe through,
The one part suffered, the other will I doe.
Enter three Citizens more.

Here come moe Voyces.
Your Voyces? for your Voyces I haue sought,
Watcht for your Voyces: for your Voyces, beare
Of Wounds, two dozen odde: Battailes thrice six
I haue seene, and heard of: for your Voyces,
Haue done many things, some lesse, some more:
Your Voyces? Indeed I would be Consull

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest