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The Tragedie of Coriolanus by William Shakespeare

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1.Cit. Hee ha's done Nobly, and cannot goe without
any honest mans Voyce

2.Cit. Therefore let him be Consull: the Gods giue him
ioy, and make him good friend to the People

All. Amen, Amen. God saue thee, Noble Consull

Corio. Worthy Voyces.
Enter Menenius, with Brutus and Scicinius.

Mene. You haue stood your Limitation:
And the Tribunes endue you with the Peoples Voyce,
Remaines, that in th' Officiall Markes inuested,
You anon doe meet the Senate

Corio. Is this done?
Scicin. The Custome of Request you haue discharg'd:
The People doe admit you, and are summon'd
To meet anon, vpon your approbation

Corio. Where? at the Senate-house?
Scicin. There, Coriolanus

Corio. May I change these Garments?
Scicin. You may, Sir

Cori. That Ile straight do: and knowing my selfe again,
Repayre toth' Senatehouse

Mene. Ile keepe you company. Will you along?
Brut. We stay here for the People

Scicin. Fare you well.

Exeunt. Coriol. and Mene.

He ha's it now: and by his Lookes, me thinkes,
'Tis warme at's heart

Brut. With a prowd heart he wore his humble Weeds:
Will you dismisse the People?
Enter the Plebeians.

Scici. How now, my Masters, haue you chose this man?
1.Cit. He ha's our Voyces, Sir

Brut. We pray the Gods, he may deserue your loues

2.Cit. Amen, Sir: to my poore vnworthy notice,
He mock'd vs, when he begg'd our Voyces

3.Cit. Certainely, he flowted vs downe-right

1.Cit. No, 'tis his kind of speech, he did not mock vs

2.Cit. Not one amongst vs, saue your selfe, but sayes
He vs'd vs scornefully: he should haue shew'd vs
His Marks of Merit, Wounds receiu'd for's Countrey

Scicin. Why so he did, I am sure

All. No, no: no man saw 'em

3.Cit. Hee said hee had Wounds,
Which he could shew in priuate:
And with his Hat, thus wauing it in scorne,
I would be Consull, sayes he: aged Custome,
But by your Voyces, will not so permit me.
Your Voyces therefore: when we graunted that,
Here was, I thanke you for your Voyces, thanke you
Your most sweet Voyces: now you haue left your Voyces,
I haue no further with you. Was not this mockerie?
Scicin. Why eyther were you ignorant to see't?
Or seeing it, of such Childish friendlinesse,
To yeeld your Voyces?
Brut. Could you not haue told him,
As you were lesson'd: When he had no Power,
But was a pettie seruant to the State,
He was your Enemie, euer spake against
Your Liberties, and the Charters that you beare
I'th' Body of the Weale: and now arriuing
A place of Potencie, and sway o'th' State,
If he should still malignantly remaine
Fast Foe toth' Plebeij, your Voyces might
Be Curses to your selues. You should haue said,
That as his worthy deeds did clayme no lesse
Then what he stood for: so his gracious nature
Would thinke vpon you, for your Voyces,
And translate his Mallice towards you, into Loue,
Standing your friendly Lord

Scicin. Thus to haue said,
As you were fore-aduis'd, had toucht his Spirit,
And try'd his Inclination: from him pluckt
Eyther his gracious Promise, which you might
As cause had call'd you vp, haue held him to;
Or else it would haue gall'd his surly nature,
Which easily endures not Article,
Tying him to ought, so putting him to Rage,
You should haue ta'ne th' aduantage of his Choller,
And pass'd him vnelected

Brut. Did you perceiue,
He did sollicite you in free Contempt,
When he did need your Loues: and doe you thinke,
That his Contempt shall not be brusing to you,
When he hath power to crush? Why, had your Bodyes
No Heart among you? Or had you Tongues, to cry
Against the Rectorship of Iudgement?
Scicin. Haue you, ere now, deny'd the asker:
And now againe, of him that did not aske, but mock,
Bestow your su'd-for Tongues?
3.Cit. Hee's not confirm'd, we may deny him yet

2.Cit. And will deny him:
Ile haue fiue hundred Voyces of that sound

1.Cit. I twice fiue hundred, & their friends, to piece 'em

Brut. Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends,
They haue chose a Consull, that will from them take
Their Liberties, make them of no more Voyce
Then Dogges, that are as often beat for barking,
As therefore kept to doe so

Scici. Let them assemble: and on a safer Iudgement,
All reuoke your ignorant election: Enforce his Pride,
And his old Hate vnto you: besides, forget not
With what Contempt he wore the humble Weed,
How in his Suit he scorn'd you: but your Loues,
Thinking vpon his Seruices, tooke from you
Th' apprehension of his present portance,
Which most gibingly, vngrauely, he did fashion
After the inueterate Hate he beares you

Brut. Lay a fault on vs, your Tribunes,
That we labour'd (no impediment betweene)
But that you must cast your Election on him

Scici. Say you chose him, more after our commandment,
Then as guided by your owne true affections, and that
Your Minds pre-occupy'd with what you rather must do,
Then what you should, made you against the graine
To Voyce him Consull. Lay the fault on vs

Brut. I, spare vs not: Say, we read Lectures to you,
How youngly he began to serue his Countrey,
How long continued, and what stock he springs of,
The Noble House o'th'Martians: from whence came
That Ancus Martius, Numaes Daughters Sonne:
Who after great Hostilius here was King,
Of the same House Publius and Quintus were,
That our best Water, brought by Conduits hither,
And Nobly nam'd, so twice being Censor,
Was his great Ancestor

Scicin. 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 haue found,
Skaling his present bearing with his past,
That hee's your fixed enemie; and reuoke
Your suddaine approbation

Brut. Say you ne're had don't,
(Harpe on that still) but by our putting on:
And presently, when you haue drawne your number,
Repaire toth' Capitoll

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

Exeunt. Plebeians.

Brut. Let them goe on:
This Mutinie were better put in hazard,
Then stay past doubt, for greater:
If, as his nature is, he fall in rage
With their refusall, both obserue and answer
The vantage of his anger

Scicin. Toth' Capitoll, come:
We will be there before the streame o'th' People:
And this shall seeme, as partly 'tis, their owne,
Which we haue goaded on-ward.


Actus Tertius.

Cornets. Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, all the Gentry, Cominius,
Latius, and other Senators.

Corio. Tullus Auffidius then had made new head

Latius. He had, my Lord, and that it was which caus'd
Our swifter Composition

Corio. So then the Volces stand but as at first,
Readie when time shall prompt them, to make roade
Vpon's againe

Com. They are worne (Lord Consull) so,
That we shall hardly in our ages see
Their Banners waue againe

Corio. Saw you Auffidius?
Latius. On safegard he came to me, and did curse
Against the Volces, for they had so vildly
Yeelded the Towne: he is retyred to Antium

Corio. Spoke he of me?
Latius. He did, my Lord

Corio. How? what?
Latius. How often he had met you Sword to Sword:
That of all things vpon the Earth, he hated
Your person most: That he would pawne his fortunes
To hopelesse restitution, so he might
Be call'd your Vanquisher

Corio. At Antium liues he?
Latius. At Antium

Corio. I wish I had a cause to seeke him there,
To oppose his hatred fully. Welcome home.
Enter Scicinius and Brutus.

Behold, these are the Tribunes of the People,
The Tongues o'th' Common Mouth. I do despise them:
For they doe pranke them in Authoritie,
Against all Noble sufferance

Scicin. Passe no further

Cor. Hah? what is that?
Brut. It will be dangerous to goe on- No further

Corio. What makes this change?
Menen. The matter?
Com. Hath he not pass'd the Noble, and the Common?
Brut. Cominius, no

Corio. Haue I had Childrens Voyces?
Senat. Tribunes giue way, he shall toth' Market place

Brut. The People are incens'd against him

Scicin. Stop, or all will fall in broyle

Corio. Are these your Heard?
Must these haue Voyces, that can yeeld them now,
And straight disclaim their toungs? what are your Offices?
You being their Mouthes, why rule you not their Teeth?
Haue you not set them on?
Mene. Be calme, be calme

Corio. It is a purpos'd thing, and growes by Plot,
To curbe the will of the Nobilitie:
Suffer't, and liue with such as cannot rule,
Nor euer will be ruled

Brut. Call't not a Plot:
The People cry you mockt them: and of late,
When Corne was giuen them gratis, you repin'd,
Scandal'd the Suppliants: for the People, call'd them
Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to Noblenesse

Corio. Why this was knowne before

Brut. Not to them all

Corio. Haue you inform'd them sithence?
Brut. How? I informe them?
Com. You are like to doe such businesse

Brut. Not vnlike each way to better yours

Corio. Why then should I be Consull? by yond Clouds
Let me deserue so ill as you, and make me
Your fellow Tribune

Scicin. You shew too much of that,
For which the People stirre: if you will passe
To where you are bound, you must enquire your way,
Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit,
Or neuer be so Noble as a Consull,
Nor yoake with him for Tribune

Mene. Let's be calme

Com. The People are abus'd: set on, this paltring
Becomes not Rome: nor ha's Coriolanus
Deseru'd this so dishonor'd Rub, layd falsely
I'th' plaine Way of his Merit

Corio. Tell me of Corne: this was my speech,
And I will speak't againe

Mene. Not now, not now

Senat. Not in this heat, Sir, now

Corio. Now as I liue, I will.
My Nobler friends, I craue their pardons:
For the mutable ranke-sented Meynie,
Let them regard me, as I doe not flatter,
And therein behold themselues: I say againe,
In soothing them, we nourish 'gainst our Senate
The Cockle of Rebellion, Insolence, Sedition,
Which we our selues haue plowed for, sow'd, & scatter'd,
By mingling them with vs, the honor'd Number,
Who lack not Vertue, no, nor Power, but that
Which they haue giuen to Beggers

Mene. Well, no more

Senat. No more words, we beseech you

Corio. How? no more?
As for my Country, I haue shed my blood,
Not fearing outward force: So shall my Lungs
Coine words till their decay, against those Meazels
Which we disdaine should Tetter vs, yet sought
The very way to catch them

Bru. You speake a'th' people, as if you were a God,
To punish; Not a man, of their Infirmity

Sicin. 'Twere well we let the people know't

Mene. What, what? His Choller?
Cor. Choller? Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,
By Ioue, 'twould be my minde

Sicin. It is a minde that shall remain a poison
Where it is: not poyson any further

Corio. Shall remaine?
Heare you this Triton of the Minnoues? Marke you
His absolute Shall?
Com. 'Twas from the Cannon

Cor. Shall? O God! but most vnwise Patricians: why
You graue, but wreaklesse Senators, haue you thus
Giuen Hidra heere to choose an Officer,
That with his peremptory Shall, being but
The horne, and noise o'th' Monsters, wants not spirit
To say, hee'l turne your Current in a ditch,
And make your Channell his? If he haue power,
Then vale your Ignorance: If none, awake
Your dangerous Lenity: If you are Learn'd,
Be not as common Fooles; if you are not,
Let them haue Cushions by you. You are Plebeians,
If they be Senators: and they are no lesse,
When both your voices blended, the great'st taste
Most pallates theirs. They choose their Magistrate,
And such a one as he, who puts his Shall,
His popular Shall, against a grauer Bench
Then euer frown'd in Greece. By Ioue himselfe,
It makes the Consuls base; and my Soule akes
To know, when two Authorities are vp,
Neither Supreame; How soone Confusion
May enter 'twixt the gap of Both, and take
The one by th' other

Com. Well, on to'th' Market place

Corio. Who euer gaue that Counsell, to giue forth
The Corne a'th' Store-house gratis, as 'twas vs'd
Sometime in Greece

Mene. Well, well, no more of that

Cor. Thogh there the people had more absolute powre
I say they norisht disobedience: fed, the ruin of the State

Bru. Why shall the people giue
One that speakes thus, their voyce?
Corio. Ile giue my Reasons,
More worthier then their Voyces. They know the Corne
Was not our recompence, resting well assur'd
They ne're did seruice for't; being prest to'th' Warre,
Euen when the Nauell of the State was touch'd,
They would not thred the Gates: This kinde of Seruice
Did not deserue Corne gratis. Being i'th' Warre,
There Mutinies and Reuolts, wherein they shew'd
Most Valour spoke not for them. Th' Accusation
Which they haue often made against the Senate,
All cause vnborne, could neuer be the Natiue
Of our so franke Donation. Well, what then?
How shall this Bosome-multiplied, digest
The Senates Courtesie? Let deeds expresse
What's like to be their words, We did request it,
We are the greater pole, and in true feare
They gaue vs our demands. Thus we debase
The Nature of our Seats, and make the Rabble
Call our Cares, Feares; which will in time
Breake ope the Lockes a'th' Senate, and bring in
The Crowes to pecke the Eagles

Mene. Come enough

Bru. Enough, with ouer measure

Corio. No, take more.
What may be sworne by, both Diuine and Humane,
Seale what I end withall. This double worship,
Whereon part do's disdaine with cause, the other
Insult without all reason: where Gentry, Title, wisedom
Cannot conclude, but by the yea and no
Of generall Ignorance, it must omit
Reall Necessities, and giue way the while
To vnstable Slightnesse. Purpose so barr'd, it followes,
Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore beseech you,
You that will be lesse fearefull, then discreet,
That loue the Fundamentall part of State
More then you doubt the change on't: That preferre
A Noble life, before a Long, and Wish,
To iumpe a Body with a dangerous Physicke,
That's sure of death without it: at once plucke out
The Multitudinous Tongue, let them not licke
The sweet which is their poyson. Your dishonor
Mangles true iudgement, and bereaues the State
Of that Integrity which should becom't:
Not hauing the power to do the good it would
For th' ill which doth controul't

Bru. Has said enough

Sicin. Ha's spoken like a Traitor, and shall answer
As Traitors do

Corio. Thou wretch, despight ore-whelme thee:
What should the people do with these bald Tribunes?
On whom depending, their obedience failes
To'th' greater Bench, in a Rebellion:
When what's not meet, but what must be, was Law,
Then were they chosen: in a better houre,
Let what is meet, be saide it must be meet,
And throw their power i'th' dust

Bru. Manifest Treason

Sicin. This a Consull? No.
Enter an aedile.

Bru. The Ediles hoe: Let him be apprehended:
Sicin. Go call the people, in whose name my Selfe
Attach thee as a Traitorous Innouator:
A Foe to'th' publike Weale. Obey I charge thee,
And follow to thine answer

Corio. Hence old Goat

All. Wee'l Surety him

Com. Ag'd sir, hands off

Corio. Hence rotten thing, or I shall shake thy bones
Out of thy Garments

Sicin. Helpe ye Citizens.
Enter a rabble of Plebeians with the Aediles.

Mene. On both sides more respect

Sicin. Heere's hee, that would take from you all your

Bru. Seize him Aediles

All. Downe with him, downe with him

2 Sen. Weapons, weapons, weapons:

They all bustle about Coriolanus.

Tribunes, Patricians, Citizens: what ho:
Sicinius, Brutus, Coriolanus, Citizens

All. Peace, peace, peace, stay, hold, peace

Mene. What is about to be? I am out of Breath,
Confusions neere, I cannot speake. You, Tribunes
To'th' people: Coriolanus, patience: Speak good Sicinius

Scici. Heare me, People peace

All. Let's here our Tribune: peace, speake, speake,

Scici. You are at point to lose your Liberties:
Martius would haue all from you; Martius,
Whom late you haue nam'd for Consull

Mene. Fie, fie, fie, this is the way to kindle, not to

Sena. To vnbuild the Citie, and to lay all flat

Scici. What is the Citie, but the People?
All. True, the People are the Citie

Brut. By the consent of all, we were establish'd the
Peoples Magistrates

All. You so remaine

Mene. And so are like to doe

Com. That is the way to lay the Citie flat,
To bring the Roofe to the Foundation,
And burie all, which yet distinctly raunges
In heapes, and piles of Ruine

Scici. This deserues Death

Brut. Or let vs stand to our Authoritie,
Or let vs lose it: we doe here pronounce,
Vpon the part o'th' People, in whose power
We were elected theirs, Martius is worthy
Of present Death

Scici. Therefore lay hold of him:
Beare him toth' Rock Tarpeian, and from thence
Into destruction cast him

Brut. aediles seize him

All Ple. Yeeld Martius, yeeld

Mene. Heare me one word, 'beseech you Tribunes,
heare me but a word

Aediles. Peace, peace

Mene. Be that you seeme, truly your Countries friend,
And temp'rately proceed to what you would
Thus violently redresse

Brut. Sir, those cold wayes,
That seeme like prudent helpes, are very poysonous,
Where the Disease is violent. Lay hands vpon him,
And beare him to the Rock.

Corio. drawes his Sword.

Corio. No, Ile die here:
There's some among you haue beheld me fighting,
Come trie vpon your selues, what you haue seene me

Mene. Downe with that Sword, Tribunes withdraw
a while

Brut. Lay hands vpon him

Mene. Helpe Martius, helpe: you that be noble, helpe
him young and old

All. Downe with him, downe with him.


In this Mutinie, the Tribunes, the aediles, and the People are beat

Mene. Goe, get you to our House: be gone, away.
All will be naught else

2.Sena. Get you gone

Com. Stand fast, we haue as many friends as enemies

Mene. Shall it be put to that?
Sena. The Gods forbid:
I prythee noble friend, home to thy House,
Leaue vs to cure this Cause

Mene. For 'tis a Sore vpon vs,
You cannot Tent your selfe: be gone, 'beseech you

Corio. Come Sir, along with vs

Mene. I would they were Barbarians, as they are,
Though in Rome litter'd: not Romans, as they are not,
Though calued i'th' Porch o'th' Capitoll:
Be gone, put not your worthy Rage into your Tongue,
One time will owe another

Corio. On faire ground, I could beat fortie of them

Mene. I could my selfe take vp a Brace o'th' best of
them, yea, the two Tribunes

Com. But now 'tis oddes beyond Arithmetick,
And Manhood is call'd Foolerie, when it stands
Against a falling Fabrick. Will you hence,
Before the Tagge returne? whose Rage doth rend
Like interrupted Waters, and o're-beare
What they are vs'd to beare

Mene. Pray you be gone:
Ile trie whether my old Wit be in request
With those that haue but little: this must be patcht
With Cloth of any Colour

Com. Nay, come away.

Exeunt. Coriolanus and Cominius.

Patri. This man ha's marr'd his fortune

Mene. His nature is too noble for the World:
He would not flatter Neptune for his Trident,
Or Ioue, for's power to Thunder: his Heart's his Mouth:
What his Brest forges, that his Tongue must vent,
And being angry, does forget that euer
He heard the Name of Death.

A Noise within.

Here's goodly worke

Patri. I would they were a bed

Mene. I would they were in Tyber.
What the vengeance, could he not speake 'em faire?
Enter Brutus and Sicinius with the rabble againe.

Sicin. Where is this Viper,
That would depopulate the city, & be euery man himself
Mene. You worthy Tribunes

Sicin. He shall be throwne downe the Tarpeian rock
With rigorous hands: he hath resisted Law,
And therefore Law shall scorne him further Triall
Then the seuerity of the publike Power,
Which he so sets at naught

1 Cit. He shall well know the Noble Tribunes are
The peoples mouths, and we their hands

All. He shall sure ont

Mene. Sir, sir

Sicin. Peace

Me. Do not cry hauocke, where you shold but hunt
With modest warrant

Sicin. Sir, how com'st that you haue holpe
To make this rescue?
Mene. Heere me speake? As I do know
The Consuls worthinesse, so can I name his Faults

Sicin. Consull? what Consull?
Mene. The Consull Coriolanus

Bru. He Consull

All. No, no, no, no, no

Mene. If by the Tribunes leaue,
And yours good people,
I may be heard, I would craue a word or two,
The which shall turne you to no further harme,
Then so much losse of time

Sic. Speake breefely then,
For we are peremptory to dispatch
This Viporous Traitor: to eiect him hence
Were but one danger, and to keepe him heere
Our certaine death: therefore it is decreed,
He dyes to night

Menen. Now the good Gods forbid,
That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude
Towards her deserued Children, is enroll'd
In Ioues owne Booke, like an vnnaturall Dam
Should now eate vp her owne

Sicin. He's a Disease that must be cut away

Mene. Oh he's a Limbe, that ha's but a Disease
Mortall, to cut it off: to cure it, easie.
What ha's he done to Rome, that's worthy death?
Killing our Enemies, the blood he hath lost
(Which I dare vouch, is more then that he hath
By many an Ounce) he dropp'd it for his Country:
And what is left, to loose it by his Countrey,
Were to vs all that doo't, and suffer it
A brand to th' end a'th World

Sicin. This is cleane kamme

Brut. Meerely awry:
When he did loue his Country, it honour'd him

Menen. The seruice of the foote
Being once gangren'd, is not then respected
For what before it was

Bru. Wee'l heare no more:
Pursue him to his house, and plucke him thence,
Least his infection being of catching nature,
Spred further

Menen. One word more, one word:
This Tiger-footed-rage, when it shall find
The harme of vnskan'd swiftnesse, will (too late)
Tye Leaden pounds too's heeles. Proceed by Processe,
Least parties (as he is belou'd) breake out,
And sacke great Rome with Romanes

Brut. If it were so?
Sicin. What do ye talke?
Haue we not had a taste of his Obedience?
Our Ediles smot: our selues resisted: come

Mene. Consider this: He ha's bin bred i'th' Warres
Since a could draw a Sword, and is ill-school'd
In boulted Language: Meale and Bran together
He throwes without distinction. Giue me leaue,
Ile go to him, and vndertake to bring him in peace,
Where he shall answer by a lawfull Forme
(In peace) to his vtmost perill

1.Sen. Noble Tribunes,
It is the humane way: the other course
Will proue to bloody: and the end of it,
Vnknowne to the Beginning

Sic. Noble Menenius, be you then as the peoples officer:
Masters, lay downe your Weapons

Bru. Go not home

Sic. Meet on the Market place: wee'l attend you there:
Where if you bring not Martius, wee'l proceede
In our first way

Menen. Ile bring him to you.
Let me desire your company: he must come,
Or what is worst will follow

Sena. Pray you let's to him.

Exeunt. Omnes.

Enter Coriolanus with Nobles.

Corio. Let them pull all about mine eares, present me
Death on the Wheele, or at wilde Horses heeles,
Or pile ten hilles on the Tarpeian Rocke,
That the precipitation might downe stretch
Below the beame of sight; yet will I still
Be thus to them.
Enter Volumnia.

Noble. You do the Nobler

Corio. I muse my Mother
Do's not approue me further, who was wont
To call them Wollen Vassailes, things created
To buy and sell with Groats, to shew bare heads
In Congregations, to yawne, be still, and wonder,
When one but of my ordinance stood vp
To speake of Peace, or Warre. I talke of you,
Why did you wish me milder? Would you haue me
False to my Nature? Rather say, I play
The man I am

Volum. Oh sir, sir, sir,
I would haue had you put your power well on
Before you had worne it out

Corio. Let go

Vol. You might haue beene enough the man you are,
With striuing lesse to be so: Lesser had bin
The things of your dispositions, if
You had not shew'd them how ye were dispos'd
Ere they lack'd power to crosse you

Corio. Let them hang

Volum. I, and burne too.
Enter Menenius with the Senators.

Men. Come, come, you haue bin too rough, somthing
too rough: you must returne, and mend it

Sen. There's no remedy,
Vnlesse by not so doing, our good Citie
Cleaue in the midd'st, and perish

Volum. Pray be counsail'd;
I haue a heart as little apt as yours,
But yet a braine, that leades my vse of Anger
To better vantage

Mene. Well said, Noble woman:
Before he should thus stoope to'th' heart, but that
The violent fit a'th' time craues it as Physicke
For the whole State; I would put mine Armour on,
Which I can scarsely beare

Corio. What must I do?
Mene. Returne to th' Tribunes

Corio. Well, what then? what then?
Mene. Repent, what you haue spoke

Corio. For them, I cannot do it to the Gods,
Must I then doo't to them?
Volum. You are too absolute,
Though therein you can neuer be too Noble,
But when extremities speake. I haue heard you say,
Honor and Policy, like vnseuer'd Friends,
I'th' Warre do grow together: Grant that, and tell me
In Peace, what each of them by th' other loose,
That they combine not there?
Corio. Tush, tush

Mene. A good demand

Volum. If it be Honor in your Warres, to seeme
The same you are not, which for your best ends
You adopt your policy: How is it lesse or worse
That it shall hold Companionship in Peace
With Honour, as in Warre; since that to both
It stands in like request

Corio. Why force you this?
Volum. Because, that
Now it lyes you on to speake to th' people:
Not by your owne instruction, nor by'th' matter
Which your heart prompts you, but with such words
That are but roated in your Tongue;
Though but Bastards, and Syllables
Of no allowance, to your bosomes truth.
Now, this no more dishonors you at all,
Then to take in a Towne 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, requir'd
I should do so in Honor. I am in this
Your Wife, your Sonne: These Senators, the Nobles,
And you, will rather shew our generall Lowts,
How you can frowne, then spend a fawne vpon 'em,
For the inheritance of their loues, and safegard
Of what that want might ruine

Menen. Noble Lady,
Come goe with vs, speake faire: you may salue so,
Not what is dangerous present, but the losse
Of what is past

Volum. I prythee now, my Sonne,
Goe to them, with this Bonnet in thy hand,
And thus farre hauing stretcht it (here be with them)
Thy Knee bussing the stones: for in such businesse
Action is eloquence, and the eyes of th' ignorant
More learned then the eares, wauing 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 Souldier, and being bred in broyles,
Hast not the soft way, which thou do'st confesse
Were fit for thee to vse, as they to clayme,
In asking their good loues, but thou wilt frame
Thy selfe (forsooth) hereafter theirs so farre,
As thou hast power and person

Menen. This but done,
Euen as she speakes, why their hearts were yours:
For they haue Pardons, being ask'd, as free,
As words to little purpose

Volum. Prythee now,
Goe, and be rul'd: although I know thou hadst rather
Follow thine Enemie in a fierie Gulfe,
Then flatter him in a Bower.
Enter Cominius.

Here is Cominius

Com. I haue beene i'th' Market place: and Sir 'tis fit
You make strong partie, or defend your selfe
By calmenesse, or by absence: all's in anger

Menen. Onely faire speech

Com. I thinke 'twill serue, if he can thereto frame his

Volum. He must, and will:
Prythee now say you will, and goe about it

Corio. Must I goe shew them my vnbarb'd Sconce?
Must I with my base Tongue giue to my Noble Heart
A Lye, that it must beare well? I will doo't:
Yet were there but this single Plot, to loose
This Mould of Martius, they to dust should grinde it,
And throw't against the Winde. Toth' Market place:
You haue put me now to such a part, which neuer
I shall discharge toth' Life

Com. Come, come, wee'le prompt you

Volum. I prythee now sweet Son, as thou hast said
My praises made thee first a Souldier; so
To haue my praise for this, performe a part
Thou hast not done before

Corio. Well, I must doo't:
Away my disposition, and possesse me
Some Harlots spirit: My throat of Warre be turn'd,
Which quier'd with my Drumme into a Pipe,
Small as an Eunuch, or the Virgin voyce
That Babies lull a-sleepe: The smiles of Knaues
Tent in my cheekes, and Schoole-boyes Teares take vp
The Glasses of my sight: A Beggars Tongue
Make motion through my Lips, and my Arm'd knees
Who bow'd but in my Stirrop, bend like his
That hath receiu'd an Almes. I will not doo't,
Least I surcease to honor mine owne truth,
And by my Bodies action, teach my Minde
A most inherent Basenesse

Volum. At thy choice then:
To begge of thee, it is my more dis-honor,
Then thou of them. Come all to ruine, let
Thy Mother rather feele thy Pride, then feare
Thy dangerous Stoutnesse: for I mocke at death
With as bigge heart as thou. Do as thou list,
Thy Valiantnesse was mine, thou suck'st it from me:
But owe thy Pride thy selfe

Corio. Pray be content:
Mother, I am going to the Market place:
Chide me no more. Ile Mountebanke their Loues,
Cogge their Hearts from them, and come home belou'd
Of all the Trades in Rome. Looke, I am going:
Commend me to my Wife, Ile returne Consull,
Or neuer trust to what my Tongue can do
I'th way of Flattery further

Volum. Do your will.

Exit Volumnia

Com. Away, the Tribunes do attend you: arm your self
To answer mildely: for they are prepar'd
With Accusations, as I heare more strong
Then are vpon you yet

Corio. The word is, Mildely. Pray you let vs go,
Let them accuse me by inuention: I
Will answer in mine Honor

Menen. I, but mildely

Corio. Well mildely be it then, Mildely.


Enter Sicinius and Brutus.

Bru. In this point charge him home, that he affects
Tyrannicall power: If he euade vs there,
Inforce him with his enuy to the people,
And that the Spoile got on the Antiats
Was ne're distributed. What, will he come?
Enter an Edile.

Edile. Hee's comming

Bru. How accompanied?
Edile. With old Menenius, and those Senators
That alwayes fauour'd him

Sicin. Haue you a Catalogue
Of all the Voices that we haue procur'd, set downe by'th Pole?
Edile. I haue: 'tis ready

Sicin. Haue you collected them by Tribes?
Edile. I haue

Sicin. Assemble presently the people hither:
And when they heare me say, it shall be so,
I'th' right and strength a'th' 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 olde prerogatiue
And power i'th Truth a'th Cause

Edile. I shall informe them

Bru. And when such time they haue begun to cry,
Let them not cease, but with a dinne confus'd
Inforce the present Execution
Of what we chance to Sentence

Edi. Very well

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

Bru. Go about it,
Put him to Choller straite, he hath bene vs'd
Euer to conquer, and to haue his worth
Of contradiction. Being once chaft, he cannot
Be rein'd againe to Temperance, then he speakes
What's in his heart, and that is there which lookes
With vs to breake his necke.
Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, and Cominius, with others.

Sicin. Well, heere he comes

Mene. Calmely, I do beseech you

Corio. I, as an Hostler, that fourth poorest peece
Will beare the Knaue by'th Volume:
Th' honor'd Goddes
Keepe Rome in safety, and the Chaires of Iustice
Supplied with worthy men, plant loue amongs
Through our large Temples with y shewes of peace
And not our streets with Warre

1 Sen. Amen, Amen

Mene. A Noble wish.
Enter the Edile with the Plebeians.

Sicin. Draw neere ye people

Edile. List to your Tribunes. Audience:
Peace I say

Corio. First heare me speake

Both Tri. Well, say: Peace hoe

Corio. Shall I be charg'd no further then this present?
Must all determine heere?
Sicin. I do demand,
If you submit you to the peoples voices,
Allow their Officers, and are content
To suffer lawfull Censure for such faults
As shall be prou'd vpon you

Corio. I am Content

Mene. Lo Citizens, he sayes he is Content.
The warlike Seruice he ha's done, consider: Thinke
Vpon the wounds his body beares, which shew
Like Graues i'th holy Church-yard

Corio. Scratches with Briars, scarres to moue
Laughter onely

Mene. Consider further:
That when he speakes not like a Citizen,
You finde him like a Soldier: do not take
His rougher Actions for malicious sounds:
But as I say, such as become a Soldier,
Rather then enuy you

Com. Well, well, no more

Corio. What is the matter,
That being past for Consull with full voyce:
I am so dishonour'd, that the very houre
You take it off againe

Sicin. Answer to vs

Corio. Say then: 'tis true, I ought so
Sicin. We charge you, that you haue contriu'd to take
From Rome all season'd Office, and to winde
Your selfe into a power tyrannicall,
For which you are a Traitor to the people

Corio. How? Traytor?
Mene. Nay temperately: your promise

Corio. The fires i'th' lowest hell. Fould in the people:
Call me their Traitor, thou iniurious Tribune.
Within thine eyes sate twenty thousand deaths
In thy hands clutcht: as many Millions in
Thy lying tongue, both numbers. I would say
Thou lyest vnto thee, with a voice as free,
As I do pray the Gods

Sicin. Marke you this people?
All. To'th' Rocke, to'th' Rocke with him

Sicin. Peace:
We neede not put new matter to his charge:
What you haue seene him do, and heard him speake:
Beating your Officers, cursing your selues,
Opposing Lawes with stroakes, and heere defying
Those whose great power must try him.
Euen this so criminall, and in such capitall kinde
Deserues th' extreamest death

Bru. But since he hath seru'd well for Rome

Corio. What do you prate of Seruice

Brut. I talke of that, that know it

Corio. You?
Mene. Is this the promise that you made your mother

Com. Know, I pray you

Corio. Ile know no further:
Let them pronounce the steepe Tarpeian death,
Vagabond exile, Fleaing, pent to linger
But with a graine a day, I would not buy
Their mercie, at the price of one faire word,
Nor checke my Courage for what they can giue,
To haue't with saying, Good morrow

Sicin. For that he ha's
(As much as in him lies) from time to time
Enui'd against the people; seeking meanes
To plucke away their power: as now at last,
Giuen Hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
Of dreaded Iustice, but on the Ministers
That doth distribute it. In the name a'th' people,
And in the power of vs the Tribunes, wee
(Eu'n from this instant) banish him our Citie
In perill of precipitation
From off the Rocke Tarpeian, neuer more
To enter our Rome gates. I'th' Peoples name,
I say it shall bee so

All. It shall be so, it shall be so: let him away:
Hee's banish'd, and it shall be so

Com. Heare me my Masters, and my common friends

Sicin. He's sentenc'd: No more hearing

Com. Let me speake:
I haue bene Consull, and can shew from Rome
Her Enemies markes vpon me. I do loue
My Countries good, with a respect more tender,
More holy, and profound, then mine owne life,
My deere Wiues estimate, her wombes encrease,
And treasure of my Loynes: then if I would
Speake that

Sicin. We know your drift. Speake what?
Bru. There's no more to be said, but he is banish'd
As Enemy to the people, and his Countrey.
It shall bee so

All. It shall be so, it shall be so

Corio. You common cry of Curs, whose breath I hate,
As reeke a'th' rotten Fennes: whose Loues I prize,
As the dead Carkasses of vnburied men,
That do corrupt my Ayre: I banish you,
And heere remaine with your vncertaintie.
Let euery feeble Rumor shake your hearts:
Your Enemies, with nodding of their Plumes
Fan you into dispaire: Haue the power still
To banish your Defenders, till at length
Your ignorance (which findes not till it feeles,
Making but reseruation of your selues,
Still your owne Foes) deliuer you
As most abated Captiues, to some Nation
That wonne you without blowes, despising
For you the City. Thus I turne my backe;
There is a world elsewhere.

Exeunt. Coriolanus, Cominius, with Cumalijs. They all shout, and
throw vp
their Caps.

Edile. The peoples Enemy is gone, is gone

All. Our enemy is banish'd, he is gone: Hoo, oo

Sicin. Go see him out at Gates, and follow him
As he hath follow'd you, with all despight
Giue him deseru'd vexation. Let a guard
Attend vs through the City

All. Come, come, lets see him out at gates, come:
The Gods preserue our Noble Tribunes, come.


Actus Quartus.

Enter Coriolanus, Volumnia, Virgilia, Menenius, Cominius, with
the yong
Nobility of Rome.

Corio. Come leaue your teares: a brief farwel: the beast
With many heads butts me away. Nay Mother,
Where is your ancient Courage? You were vs'd
To say, Extreamities was the trier of spirits,
That common chances. Common men could beare,
That when the Sea was calme, all Boats alike
Shew'd Mastership in floating. Fortunes blowes,
When most strooke home, being gentle wounded, craues
A Noble cunning. You were vs'd to load me
With Precepts that would make inuincible
The heart that conn'd them

Virg. Oh heauens! O heauens!
Corio. Nay, I prythee woman

Vol. Now the Red Pestilence strike al Trades in Rome,
And Occupations perish

Corio. What, what, what:
I shall be lou'd when I am lack'd. Nay Mother,
Resume that Spirit, when you were wont to say,
If you had beene the Wife of Hercules,
Six of his Labours youl'd haue done, and sau'd
Your Husband so much swet. Cominius,
Droope not, Adieu: Farewell my Wife, my Mother,
Ile do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius,
Thy teares are salter then a yonger mans,
And venomous to thine eyes. My (sometime) Generall,
I haue seene the Sterne, and thou hast oft beheld
Heart-hardning spectacles. Tell these sad women,
Tis fond to waile ineuitable strokes,
As 'tis to laugh at 'em. My Mother, you wot well
My hazards still haue beene your solace, and
Beleeu't not lightly, though I go alone
Like to a lonely Dragon, that his Fenne
Makes fear'd, and talk'd of more then seene: your Sonne
Will or exceed the Common, or be caught
With cautelous baits and practice

Volum. My first sonne,
Whether will thou go? Take good Cominius
With thee awhile: Determine on some course
More then a wilde exposture, to each chance
That starts i'th' way before thee

Corio. O the Gods!
Com. Ile follow thee a Moneth, deuise with thee
Where thou shalt rest, that thou may'st heare of vs,
And we of thee. So if the time thrust forth
A cause for thy Repeale, we shall not send
O're the vast world, to seeke a single man,
And loose aduantage, which doth euer coole
Ith' absence of the needer

Corio. Fare ye well:
Thou hast yeares vpon thee, and thou art too full
Of the warres surfets, to go roue with one
That's yet vnbruis'd: bring me but out at gate.
Come my sweet wife, my deerest Mother, and
My Friends of Noble touch: when I am forth,
Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you come:
While I remaine aboue the ground, you shall
Heare from me still, and neuer of me ought
But what is like me formerly

Menen. That's worthily
As any eare can heare. Come, let's not weepe,
If I could shake off but one seuen yeeres
From these old armes and legges, by the good Gods
I'ld with thee, euery foot

Corio. Giue me thy hand, come.


Enter the two Tribunes, Sicinius, and Brutus, with the Edile.

Sicin. Bid them all home, he's gone: & wee'l no further,
The Nobility are vexed, whom we see haue sided
In his behalfe

Brut. Now we haue shewne our power,
Let vs seeme humbler after it is done,
Then when it was a dooing

Sicin. Bid them home: say their great enemy is gone,
And they, stand in their ancient strength

Brut. Dismisse them home. Here comes his Mother.
Enter Volumnia, Virgilia, and Menenius.

Sicin. Let's not meet her

Brut. Why?
Sicin. They say she's mad

Brut. They haue tane note of vs: keepe on your way

Volum. Oh y'are well met:
Th' hoorded plague a'th' Gods requit your loue

Menen. Peace, peace, be not so loud

Volum. If that I could for weeping, you should heare,
Nay, and you shall heare some. Will you be gone?
Virg. You shall stay too: I would I had the power
To say so to my Husband

Sicin. Are you mankinde?
Volum. I foole, is that a shame. Note but this Foole,
Was not a man my Father? Had'st thou Foxship
To banish him that strooke more blowes for Rome
Then thou hast spoken words

Sicin. Oh blessed Heauens!
Volum. Moe Noble blowes, then euer y wise words.
And for Romes good, Ile tell thee what: yet goe:
Nay but thou shalt stay too: I would my Sonne
Were in Arabia, and thy Tribe before him,
His good Sword in his hand

Sicin. What then?
Virg. When then? Hee'ld make an end of thy posterity
Volum. Bastards, and all.
Good man, the Wounds that he does beare for Rome!
Menen. Come, come, peace

Sicin. I would he had continued to his Country
As he began, and not vnknit himselfe
The Noble knot he made

Bru. I would he had

Volum. I would he had? Twas thou incenst the rable.
Cats, that can iudge as fitly of his worth,
As I can of those Mysteries which heauen
Will not haue earth to know

Brut. Pray let's go

Volum. Now pray sir get you gone.
You haue done a braue deede: Ere you go, heare this:
As farre as doth the Capitoll exceede
The meanest house in Rome; so farre my Sonne
This Ladies Husband heere; this (do you see)
Whom you haue banish'd, does exceed you all

Bru. Well, well, wee'l leaue you

Sicin. Why stay we to be baited
With one that wants her Wits.

Exit Tribunes.

Volum. Take my Prayers with you.
I would the Gods had nothing else to do,
But to confirme my Cursses. Could I meete 'em
But once a day, it would vnclogge my heart
Of what lyes heauy too't

Mene. You haue told them home,
And by my troth you haue cause: you'l Sup with me

Volum. Angers my Meate: I suppe vpon my selfe,
And so shall sterue with Feeding: come, let's go,
Leaue this faint-puling, and lament as I do,
In Anger, Iuno-like: Come, come, come.


Mene. Fie, fie, fie.

Enter a Roman, and a Volce.

Rom. I know you well sir, and you know mee: your
name I thinke is Adrian

Volce. It is so sir, truly I haue forgot you

Rom. I am a Roman, and my Seruices are as you are,
against 'em. Know you me yet

Volce. Nicanor: no

Rom. The same sir

Volce. You had more Beard when I last saw you, but
your Fauour is well appear'd by your Tongue. What's
the Newes in Rome: I haue a Note from the Volcean
state to finde you out there. You haue well saued mee a
dayes iourney

Rom. There hath beene in Rome straunge Insurrections:
The people, against the Senatours, Patricians, and

Vol. Hath bin; is it ended then? Our State thinks not
so, they are in a most warlike preparation, & hope to com
vpon them, in the heate of their diuision
Rom. The maine blaze of it is past, but a small thing
would make it flame againe. For the Nobles receyue so
to heart, the Banishment of that worthy Coriolanus, that
they are in a ripe aptnesse, to take al power from the people,
and to plucke from them their Tribunes for euer.
This lyes glowing I can tell you, and is almost mature for
the violent breaking out

Vol. Coriolanus Banisht?
Rom. Banish'd sir

Vol. You will be welcome with this intelligence Nicanor

Rom. The day serues well for them now. I haue heard
it saide, the fittest time to corrupt a mans Wife, is when
shee's falne out with her Husband. Your Noble Tullus
Auffidius will appeare well in these Warres, his great
Opposer Coriolanus being now in no request of his countrey

Volce. He cannot choose: I am most fortunate, thus
accidentally to encounter you. You haue ended my Businesse,
and I will merrily accompany you home

Rom. I shall betweene this and Supper, tell you most
strange things from Rome: all tending to the good of
their Aduersaries. Haue you an Army ready say you?
Vol. A most Royall one: The Centurions, and their
charges distinctly billetted already in th' entertainment,
and to be on foot at an houres warning

Rom. I am ioyfull to heare of their readinesse, and am
the man I thinke, that shall set them in present Action. So
sir, heartily well met, and most glad of your Company

Volce. You take my part from me sir, I haue the most
cause to be glad of yours

Rom. Well, let vs go together.


Enter Coriolanus in meane Apparrell, disguisd, and muffled.

Corio. A goodly City is this Antium. Citty,
'Tis I that made thy Widdowes: Many an heyre
Of these faire Edifices fore my Warres
Haue I heard groane, and drop: Then know me not,
Least that thy Wiues with Spits, and Boyes with stones
In puny Battell slay me. Saue you sir.
Enter a Citizen.

Cit. And you

Corio. Direct me, if it be your will, where great Auffidius
lies: Is he in Antium?
Cit. He is, and Feasts the Nobles of the State, at his
house this night

Corio. Which is his house, beseech you?
Cit. This heere before you

Corio. Thanke you sir, farewell.

Exit Citizen

Oh World, thy slippery turnes! Friends now fast sworn,
Whose double bosomes seemes to weare one heart,
Whose Houres, whose Bed, whose Meale and Exercise
Are still together: who Twin (as 'twere) in Loue,
Vnseparable, shall within this houre,
On a dissention of a Doit, breake out
To bitterest Enmity: So fellest Foes,
Whose Passions, and whose Plots haue broke their sleep
To take the one the other, by some chance,
Some tricke not worth an Egge, shall grow deere friends
And inter-ioyne their yssues. So with me,
My Birth-place haue I, and my loues vpon
This Enemie Towne: Ile enter, if he slay me
He does faire Iustice: if he giue me way,
Ile do his Country Seruice.


Musicke playes. Enter a Seruingman.

1 Ser. Wine, Wine, Wine: What seruice is heere? I
thinke our Fellowes are asleepe.

Enter another Seruingman.

2 Ser. Where's Cotus: my M[aster]. cals for him: Cotus.


Enter Coriolanus.

Corio. A goodly House:
The Feast smels well: but I appeare not like a Guest.
Enter the first Seruingman.

1 Ser. What would you haue Friend? whence are you?
Here's no place for you: pray go to the doore?


Corio. I haue deseru'd no better entertainment, in being
Enter second Seruant.

2 Ser. Whence are you sir? Ha's the Porter his eyes in
his head, that he giues entrance to such Companions?
Pray get you out

Corio. Away

2 Ser. Away? Get you away

Corio. Now th'art troublesome

2 Ser. Are you so braue: Ile haue you talkt with anon
Enter 3 Seruingman, the 1 meets him.

3 What Fellowes this?
1 A strange one as euer I look'd on: I cannot get him
out o'thhouse: Prythee call my Master to him

3 What haue you to do here fellow? Pray you auoid
the house

Corio. Let me but stand, I will not hurt your Harth

3 What are you?
Corio. A Gentleman

3 A maru'llous poore one

Corio. True, so I am

3 Pray you poore Gentleman, take vp some other station:
Heere's no place for you, pray you auoid: Come

Corio. Follow your Function, go, and batten on colde

Pushes him away from him.

3 What you will not? Prythee tell my Maister what
a strange Guest he ha's heere

2 And I shall.

Exit second Seruingman.

3 Where dwel'st thou?
Corio. Vnder the Canopy

3 Vnder the Canopy?
Corio. I

3 Where's that?
Corio. I'th City of Kites and crowes

3 I'th City of Kites and Crowes? What an Asse it is,
then thou dwel'st with Dawes too?
Corio. No, I serue not thy Master

3 How sir? Do you meddle with my Master?
Corio. I, tis an honester seruice, then to meddle with
thy Mistris: Thou prat'st, and prat'st, serue with thy trencher:

Beats him away

Enter Auffidius with the Seruingman.

Auf. Where is this Fellow?
2 Here sir, I'de haue beaten him like a dogge, but for
disturbing the Lords within

Auf. Whence com'st thou? What wouldst y? Thy name?
Why speak'st not? Speake man: What's thy name?
Corio. If Tullus not yet thou know'st me, and seeing
me, dost not thinke me for the man I am, necessitie commands
me name my selfe

Auf. What is thy name?
Corio. A name vnmusicall to the Volcians eares,
And harsh in sound to thine

Auf. Say, what's thy name?
Thou hast a Grim apparance, and thy Face
Beares a Command in't: Though thy Tackles torne,
Thou shew'st a Noble Vessell: What's thy name?
Corio. Prepare thy brow to frowne: knowst y me yet?
Auf. I know thee not? Thy Name:
Corio. My name is Caius Martius, who hath done
To thee particularly, and to all the Volces
Great hurt and Mischiefe: thereto witnesse may
My Surname Coriolanus. The painfull Seruice,
The extreme Dangers, and the droppes of Blood
Shed for my thanklesse Country, are requitted:
But with that Surname, a good memorie
And witnesse of the Malice and Displeasure
Which thou should'st beare me, only that name remains.
The Cruelty and Enuy of the people,
Permitted by our dastard Nobles, who
Haue all forsooke me, hath deuour'd the rest:
And suffer'd me by th' voyce of Slaues to be
Hoop'd out of Rome. Now this extremity,
Hath brought me to thy Harth, not out of Hope
(Mistake me not) to saue my life: for if
I had fear'd death, of all the Men i'th' World
I would haue voided thee. But in meere spight
To be full quit of those my Banishers,
Stand I before thee heere: Then if thou hast
A heart of wreake in thee, that wilt reuenge
Thine owne particular wrongs, and stop those maimes
Of shame seene through thy Country, speed thee straight
And make my misery serue thy turne: So vse it,
That my reuengefull Seruices may proue
As Benefits to thee. For I will fight
Against my Cankred Countrey, with the Spleene
Of all the vnder Fiends. But if so be,
Thou dar'st not this, and that to proue more Fortunes
Th'art tyr'd, then in a word, I also am
Longer to liue most wearie: and present
My throat to thee, and to thy Ancient Malice:
Which not to cut, would shew thee but a Foole,
Since I haue euer followed thee with hate,
Drawne Tunnes of Blood out of thy Countries brest,
And cannot liue but to thy shame, vnlesse
It be to do thee seruice

Auf. Oh Martius, Martius;
Each word thou hast spoke, hath weeded from my heart
A roote of Ancient Enuy. If Iupiter
Should from yond clowd speake diuine things,
And say 'tis true; I'de not beleeue them more
Then thee all-Noble Martius. Let me twine
Mine armes about that body, where against
My grained Ash an hundred times hath broke,
And scarr'd the Moone with splinters: heere I cleep
The Anuile of my Sword, and do contest
As hotly, and as Nobly with thy Loue,
As euer in Ambitious strength, I did
Contend against thy Valour. Know thou first,
I lou'd the Maid I married: neuer man
Sigh'd truer breath. But that I see thee heere
Thou Noble thing, more dances my rapt heart,
Then when I first my wedded Mistris saw
Bestride my Threshold. Why, thou Mars I tell thee,
We haue a Power on foote: and I had purpose
Once more to hew thy Target from thy Brawne,
Or loose mine Arme for't: Thou hast beate mee out
Twelue seuerall times, and I haue nightly since
Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thy selfe and me:
We haue beene downe together in my sleepe,
Vnbuckling Helmes, fisting each others Throat,
And wak'd halfe dead with nothing. Worthy Martius,
Had we no other quarrell else to Rome, but that
Thou art thence Banish'd, we would muster all
From twelue, to seuentie: and powring Warre
Into the bowels of vngratefull Rome,
Like a bold Flood o're-beate. Oh come, go in,
And take our friendly Senators by'th' hands
Who now are heere, taking their leaues of mee,
Who am prepar'd against your Territories,
Though not for Rome it selfe

Corio. You blesse me Gods

Auf. Therefore most absolute Sir, if thou wilt haue
The leading of thine owne Reuenges, take
Th' one halfe of my Commission, and set downe
As best thou art experienc'd, since thou know'st
Thy Countries strength and weaknesse, thine own waies
Whether to knocke 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, then ere an Enemie,
Yet Martius that was much. Your hand: most welcome.


Enter two of the Seruingmen.

1 Heere's a strange alteration?
2 By my hand, I had thoght to haue stroken him with
a Cudgell, and yet my minde gaue me, his cloathes made
a false report of him

1 What an Arme he has, he turn'd me about with his
finger and his thumbe, as one would set vp a Top

2 Nay, I knew by his face that there was some-thing
in him. He had sir, a kinde of face me thought, I cannot
tell how to tearme it

1 He had so, looking as it were, would I were hang'd
but I thought there was more in him, then I could think

2 So did I, Ile be sworne: He is simply the rarest man
i'th' world

1 I thinke he is: but a greater soldier then he,
You wot one

2 Who my Master?
1 Nay, it's no matter for that

2 Worth six on him

1 Nay not so neither: but I take him to be the greater

2 Faith looke you, one cannot tell how to say that: for
the Defence of a Towne, our Generall is excellent

1 I, and for an assault too.
Enter the third Seruingman.

3 Oh Slaues, I can tell you Newes, News you Rascals
Both. What, what, what? Let's partake

3 I would not be a Roman of all Nations; I had as
liue be a condemn'd man

Both. Wherefore? Wherefore?
3 Why here's he that was wont to thwacke our Generall,
Caius Martius

1 Why do you say, thwacke our Generall?
3 I do not say thwacke our Generall, but he was alwayes
good enough for him
2 Come we are fellowes and friends: he was euer too
hard for him, I haue heard him say so himselfe

1 He was too hard for him directly, to say the Troth
on't before Corioles, he scotcht him, and notcht him like a

2 And hee had bin Cannibally giuen, hee might haue
boyld and eaten him too

1 But more of thy Newes

3 Why he is so made on heere within, as if hee were
Son and Heire to Mars, set at vpper end o'th' Table: No
question askt him by any of the Senators, but they stand
bald before him. Our Generall himselfe makes a Mistris
of him, Sanctifies himselfe with's hand, and turnes vp the
white o'th' eye to his Discourse. But the bottome of the
Newes is, our Generall is cut i'th' middle, & but one halfe
of what he was yesterday. For the other ha's halfe, by
the intreaty and graunt of the whole Table. Hee'l go he
sayes, and sole the Porter of Rome Gates by th' eares. He
will mowe all downe before him, and leaue his passage

2 And he's as like to do't, as any man I can imagine

3 Doo't? he will doo't: for look you sir, he has as many
Friends as Enemies: which Friends sir as it were, durst
not (looke you sir) shew themselues (as we terme it) his
Friends, whilest he's in Directitude

1 Directitude? What's that?
3 But when they shall see sir, his Crest vp againe, and
the man in blood, they will out of their Burroughes (like
Conies after Raine) and reuell all with him

1 But when goes this forward:
3 To morrow, to day, presently, you shall haue the
Drum strooke vp this afternoone: 'Tis as it were a parcel
of their Feast, and to be executed ere they wipe their lips

2 Why then wee shall haue a stirring World againe:
This peace is nothing, but to rust Iron, encrease Taylors,
and breed Ballad-makers

1 Let me haue Warre say I, it exceeds peace as farre
as day do's night: It's sprightly walking, audible, and full
of Vent. Peace, is a very Apoplexy, Lethargie, mull'd,
deafe, sleepe, insensible, a getter of more bastard Children,
then warres a destroyer of men

2 'Tis so, and as warres in some sort may be saide to
be a Rauisher, so it cannot be denied, but peace is a great
maker of Cuckolds

1 I, and it makes men hate one another

3 Reason, because they then lesse neede one another:
The Warres for my money. I hope to see Romanes as
cheape as Volcians. They are rising, they are rising

Both. In, in, in, in.


Enter the two Tribunes, Sicinius, and Brutus.

Sicin. We heare not of him, neither need we fear him,
His remedies are tame, the present peace,
And quietnesse of the people, which before
Were in wilde hurry. Heere do we make his Friends
Blush, that the world goes well: who rather had,
Though they themselues did suffer by't, behold
Dissentious numbers pestring streets, then see
Our Tradesmen singing in their shops, and going
About their Functions friendly.
Enter Menenius.

Bru. We stood too't in good time. Is this Menenius?
Sicin. 'Tis he, 'tis he: O he is grown most kind of late:
Haile Sir

Mene. Haile to you both

Sicin. Your Coriolanus is not much mist, but with his
Friends: the Commonwealth doth stand, and so would
do, were he more angry at it

Mene. All's well, and might haue bene much better,
if he could haue temporiz'd

Sicin. Where is he, heare you?
Mene. Nay I heare nothing:
His Mother and his wife, heare nothing from him.
Enter three or foure Citizens.

All. The Gods preserue you both

Sicin. Gooden our Neighbours

Bru. Gooden to you all, gooden to you all

1 Our selues, our wiues, and children, on our knees,
Are bound to pray for you both

Sicin. Liue, and thriue

Bru. Farewell kinde Neighbours:
We wisht Coriolanus had lou'd you as we did

All. Now the Gods keepe you

Both Tri. Farewell, farewell.

Exeunt. Citizens

Sicin. This is a happier and more comely time,
Then when these Fellowes ran about the streets,
Crying Confusion

Bru. Caius Martius was
A worthy Officer i'th' Warre, but Insolent,
O'recome with Pride, Ambitious, past all thinking

Sicin. And affecting one sole Throne, without assista[n]ce
Mene. I thinke not so

Sicin. We should by this, to all our Lamention,
If he had gone forth Consull, found it so

Bru. The Gods haue well preuented it, and Rome
Sits safe and still, without him.
Enter an aedile.

Aedile. Worthy Tribunes,
There is a Slaue whom we haue put in prison,
Reports the Volces with two seuerall Powers
Are entred in the Roman Territories,
And with the deepest malice of the Warre,
Destroy, what lies before' em

Mene. 'Tis Auffidius,
Who hearing of our Martius Banishment,
Thrusts forth his hornes againe into the world
Which were In-shell'd, when Martius stood for Rome,
And durst not once peepe out

Sicin. Come, what talke you of Martius

Bru. Go see this Rumorer whipt, it cannot be,
The Volces dare breake with vs

Mene. Cannot be?
We haue Record, that very well it can,
And three examples of the like, hath beene
Within my Age. But reason with the fellow
Before you punish him, where he heard this,
Least you shall chance to whip your Information,
And beate the Messenger, who bids beware
Of what is to be dreaded

Sicin. Tell not me: I know this cannot be

Bru. Not possible.
Enter a Messenger.

Mes. The Nobles in great earnestnesse are going
All to the Senate-house: some newes is comming
That turnes their Countenances

Sicin. 'Tis this Slaue:
Go whip him fore the peoples eyes: His raising,
Nothing but his report

Mes. Yes worthy Sir,
The Slaues report is seconded, and more
More fearfull is deliuer'd

Sicin. What more fearefull?
Mes. It is spoke freely out of many mouths,
How probable I do not know, that Martius
Ioyn'd with Auffidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome,
And vowes Reuenge as spacious, as betweene
The yong'st and oldest thing

Sicin. This is most likely

Bru. Rais'd onely, that the weaker sort may wish
Good Martius home againe

Sicin. The very tricke on't

Mene. This is vnlikely,
He, and Auffidius can no more attone
Then violent'st Contrariety.
Enter Messenger.

Mes. You are sent for to the Senate:
A fearefull Army, led by Caius Martius,
Associated with Auffidius, Rages
Vpon our Territories, and haue already
O're-borne their way, consum'd with fire, and tooke
What lay before them.
Enter Cominius.

Com. Oh you haue made good worke

Mene. What newes? What newes?
Com. You haue holp to rauish your owne daughters, &
To melt the Citty Leades vpon your pates,
To see your Wiues dishonour'd to your Noses

Mene. What's the newes? What's the newes?
Com. Your Temples burned in their Ciment, and
Your Franchises, whereon you stood, confin'd
Into an Augors boare

Mene. Pray now, your Newes:
You haue made faire worke I feare me: pray your newes,
If Martius should be ioyn'd with Volceans

Com. If? He is their God, he leads them like a thing
Made by some other Deity then Nature,
That shapes man Better: and they follow him
Against vs Brats, with no lesse Confidence,
Then Boyes pursuing Summer Butter-flies,
Or Butchers killing Flyes

Mene. You haue made good worke,
You and your Apron men: you, that stood so much
Vpon the voyce of occupation, and
The breath of Garlicke-eaters

Com. Hee'l shake your Rome about your eares

Mene. As Hercules did shake downe Mellow Fruite:
You haue made faire worke

Brut. But is this true sir?
Com. I, and you'l looke pale
Before you finde it other. All the Regions
Do smilingly Reuolt, and who resists
Are mock'd for valiant Ignorance,
And perish constant Fooles: who is't can blame him?
Your Enemies and his, finde something in him

Mene. We are all vndone, vnlesse
The Noble man haue mercy

Com. Who shall aske it?
The Tribunes cannot doo't for shame; the people

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