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The Tragedie of Coriolanus by William Shakespeare

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Deserue such pitty of him, as the Wolfe
Doe's of the Shepheards: For his best Friends, if they
Should say be good to Rome, they charg'd him, euen
As those should do that had deseru'd his hate,
And therein shew'd like Enemies

Me. 'Tis true, if he were putting to my house, the brand
That should consume it, I haue not the face
To say, beseech you cease. You haue made faire hands,
You and your Crafts, you haue crafted faire

Com. You haue brought
A Trembling vpon Rome, such as was neuer
S' incapeable of helpe

Tri. Say not, we brought it

Mene. How? Was't we? We lou'd him,
But like Beasts, and Cowardly Nobles,
Gaue way vnto your Clusters, who did hoote
Him out o'th' Citty

Com. But I feare
They'l roare him in againe. Tullus Affidius,
The second name of men, obeyes his points
As if he were his Officer: Desperation,
Is all the Policy, Strength, and Defence
That Rome can make against them.
Enter a Troope of Citizens.

Mene. Heere come the Clusters.
And is Auffidius with him? You are they
That made the Ayre vnwholsome, when you cast
Your stinking, greasie Caps, in hooting
At Coriolanus Exile. Now he's comming,
And not a haire vpon a Souldiers head
Which will not proue a whip: As many Coxcombes
As you threw Caps vp, will he tumble downe,
And pay you for your voyces. 'Tis no matter,
If he could burne vs all into one coale,
We haue deseru'd it

Omnes. Faith, we heare fearfull Newes

1 Cit. For mine owne part,
When I said banish him, I said 'twas pitty

2 And so did I

3 And so did I: and to say the truth, so did very many
of vs, that we did we did for the best, and though wee
willingly consented to his Banishment, yet it was against
our will

Com. Y'are goodly things, you Voyces

Mene. You haue made good worke
You and your cry. Shal's to the Capitoll?
Com. Oh I, what else?

Exeunt. both.

Sicin. Go Masters get you home, be not dismaid,
These are a Side, that would be glad to haue
This true, which they so seeme to feare. Go home,
And shew no signe of Feare

1 Cit. The Gods bee good to vs: Come Masters let's
home, I euer said we were i'th wrong, when we banish'd

2 Cit. So did we all. But come, let's home.

Exit Cit.

Bru. I do not like this Newes

Sicin. Nor I

Bru. Let's to the Capitoll: would halfe my wealth
Would buy this for a lye

Sicin. Pray let's go.

Exeunt. Tribunes.

Enter Auffidius with his Lieutenant.

Auf. Do they still flye to'th' Roman?
Lieu. I do not know what Witchcraft's in him: but
Your Soldiers vse him as the Grace 'fore meate,
Their talke at Table, and their Thankes at end,
And you are darkned in this action Sir,
Euen by your owne

Auf. I cannot helpe it now,
Vnlesse by vsing meanes I lame the foote
Of our designe. He beares himselfe more proudlier,
Euen to my person, then I thought he would
When first I did embrace him. Yet his Nature
In that's no Changeling, and I must excuse
What cannot be amended

Lieu. Yet I wish Sir,
(I meane for your particular) you had not
Ioyn'd in Commission with him: but either haue borne
The action of your selfe, or else to him, had left it soly

Auf. I vnderstand thee well, and be thou sure
When he shall come to his account, he knowes not
What I can vrge against him, although it seemes
And so he thinkes, and is no lesse apparant
To th' vulgar eye, that he beares all things fairely:
And shewes good Husbandry for the Volcian State,
Fights Dragon-like, and does atcheeue as soone
As draw his Sword: yet he hath left vndone
That which shall breake his necke, or hazard mine,
When ere we come to our account

Lieu. Sir, I beseech you, think you he'l carry Rome?
Auf. All places yeelds to him ere he sits downe,
And the Nobility of Rome are his:
The Senators and Patricians loue him too:
The Tribunes are no Soldiers: and their people
Will be as rash in the repeale, as hasty
To expell him thence. I thinke hee'l be to Rome
As is the Aspray to the Fish, who takes it
By Soueraignty of Nature. First, he was
A Noble seruant to them, but he could not
Carry his Honors eeuen: whether 'twas Pride
Which out of dayly Fortune euer taints
The happy man; whether detect of iudgement,
To faile in the disposing of those chances
Which he was Lord of: or whether Nature,
Not to be other then one thing, not moouing
From th' Caske to th' Cushion: but commanding peace
Euen with the same austerity and garbe,
As he controll'd the warre. But one of these
(As he hath spices of them all) not all,
For I dare so farre free him, made him fear'd,
So hated, and so banish'd: but he ha's a Merit
To choake it in the vtt'rance: So our Vertue,
Lie in th' interpretation of the time,
And power vnto it selfe most commendable,
Hath not a Tombe so euident as a Chaire
T' extoll what it hath done.
One fire driues out one fire; one Naile, one Naile;
Rights by rights fouler, strengths by strengths do faile.
Come let's away: when Caius Rome is thine,
Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine.


Actus Quintus.

Enter Menenius, Cominius, Sicinius, Brutus, the two Tribunes,

Menen. No, ile not go: you heare what he hath said
Which was sometime his Generall: who loued him
In a most deere particular. He call'd me Father:
But what o'that? Go you that banish'd him
A Mile before his Tent, fall downe, and knee
The way into his mercy: Nay, if he coy'd
To heare Cominius speake, Ile keepe at home

Com. He would not seeme to know me

Menen. Do you heare?
Com. Yet one time he did call me by my name:
I vrg'd our old acquaintance, and the drops
That we haue bled together. Coriolanus
He would not answer too: Forbad all Names,
He was a kinde of Nothing, Titlelesse,
Till he had forg'd himselfe a name a'th' fire
Of burning Rome

Menen. Why so: you haue made good worke:
A paire of Tribunes, that haue wrack'd for Rome,
To make Coales cheape: A Noble memory

Com. I minded him, how Royall 'twas to pardon
When it was lesse expected. He replyed
It was a bare petition of a State
To one whom they had punish'd

Menen. Very well, could he say lesse

Com. I offered to awaken his regard
For's priuate Friends. His answer to me was
He could not stay to picke them, in a pile
Of noysome musty Chaffe. He said, 'twas folly
For one poore graine or two, to leaue vnburnt
And still to nose th' offence

Menen. For one poore graine or two?
I am one of those: his Mother, Wife, his Childe,
And this braue Fellow too: we are the Graines,
You are the musty Chaffe, and you are smelt
Aboue the Moone. We must be burnt for you

Sicin. Nay, pray be patient: If you refuse your ayde
In this so neuer-needed helpe, yet do not
Vpbraid's with our distresse. But sure if you
Would be your Countries Pleader, your good tongue
More then the instant Armie we can make
Might stop our Countryman

Mene. No: Ile not meddle

Sicin. Pray you go to him

Mene. What should I do?
Bru. Onely make triall what your Loue can do,
For Rome, towards Martius

Mene. Well, and say that Martius returne mee,
As Cominius is return'd, vnheard: what then?
But as a discontented Friend, greefe-shot
With his vnkindnesse. Say't be so?
Sicin. Yet your good will
Must haue that thankes from Rome, after the measure
As you intended well

Mene. Ile vndertak't:
I thinke hee'l heare me. Yet to bite his lip,
And humme at good Cominius, much vnhearts mee.
He was not taken well, he had not din'd,
The Veines vnfill'd, our blood is cold, and then
We powt vpon the Morning, are vnapt
To giue or to forgiue; but when we haue stufft
These Pipes, and these Conueyances of our blood
With Wine and Feeding, we haue suppler Soules
Then in our Priest-like Fasts: therefore Ile watch him
Till he be dieted to my request,
And then Ile set vpon him

Bru. You know the very rode into his kindnesse,
And cannot lose your way

Mene. Good faith Ile proue him,
Speed how it will. I shall ere long, haue knowledge
Of my successe.

Com. Hee'l neuer heare him

Sicin. Not

Com. I tell you, he doe's sit in Gold, his eye
Red as 'twould burne Rome: and his Iniury
The Gaoler to his pitty. I kneel'd before him,
'Twas very faintly he said Rise: dismist me
Thus with his speechlesse hand. What he would do
He sent in writing after me: what he would not,
Bound with an Oath to yeeld to his conditions:
So that all hope is vaine, vnlesse his Noble Mother,
And his Wife, who (as I heare) meane to solicite him
For mercy to his Countrey: therefore let's hence,
And with our faire intreaties hast them on.


Enter Menenius to the Watch or Guard.

1.Wat. Stay: whence are you

2.Wat. Stand, and go backe

Me. You guard like men, 'tis well. But by your leaue,
I am an Officer of State, & come to speak with Coriolanus
1 From whence?
Mene. From Rome

I You may not passe, you must returne: our Generall
will no more heare from thence

2 You'l see your Rome embrac'd with fire, before
You'l speake with Coriolanus

Mene. Good my Friends,
If you haue heard your Generall talke of Rome,
And of his Friends there, it is Lots to Blankes,
My name hath touch't your eares: it is Menenius

1 Be it so, go back: the vertue of your name,
Is not heere passable

Mene. I tell thee Fellow,
Thy Generall is my Louer: I haue beene
The booke of his good Acts, whence men haue read
His Fame vnparalell'd, happely amplified:
For I haue euer verified my Friends,
(Of whom hee's cheefe) with all the size that verity
Would without lapsing suffer: Nay, sometimes,
Like to a Bowle vpon a subtle ground
I haue tumbled past the throw: and in his praise
Haue (almost) stampt the Leasing. Therefore Fellow,
I must haue leaue to passe

1 Faith Sir, if you had told as many lies in his behalfe,
as you haue vttered words in your owne, you should not
passe heere: no, though it were as vertuous to lye, as to
liue chastly. Therefore go backe

Men. Prythee fellow, remember my name is Menenius,
alwayes factionary on the party of your Generall

2 Howsoeuer you haue bin his Lier, as you say you
haue, I am one that telling true vnder him, must say you
cannot passe. Therefore go backe

Mene. Ha's he din'd can'st thou tell? For I would not
speake with him, till after dinner

1 You are a Roman, are you?
Mene. I am as thy Generall is

1 Then you should hate Rome, as he do's. Can you,
when you haue pusht out your gates, the very Defender
of them, and in a violent popular ignorance, giuen your
enemy your shield, thinke to front his reuenges with the
easie groanes of old women, the Virginall Palms of your
daughters, or with the palsied intercession of such a decay'd
Dotant as you seeme to be? Can you think to blow
out the intended fire, your City is ready to flame in, with
such weake breath as this? No, you are deceiu'd, therfore
backe to Rome, and prepare for your execution: you are
condemn'd, our Generall has sworne you out of repreeue
and pardon

Mene. Sirra, if thy Captaine knew I were heere,
He would vse me with estimation

1 Come, my Captaine knowes you not

Mene. I meane thy Generall

1 My Generall cares not for you. Back I say, go: least
I let forth your halfe pinte of blood. Backe, that's the vtmost
of your hauing, backe

Mene. Nay but Fellow, Fellow.
Enter Coriolanus with Auffidius.

Corio. What's the matter?
Mene. Now you Companion: Ile say an arrant for you:
you shall know now that I am in estimation: you shall
perceiue, that a Iacke gardant cannot office me from my
Son Coriolanus, guesse but my entertainment with him: if
thou stand'st not i'th state of hanging, or of some death
more long in Spectatorship, and crueller in suffering, behold
now presently, and swoond for what's to come vpon
thee. The glorious Gods sit in hourely Synod about thy
particular prosperity, and loue thee no worse then thy old
Father Menenius do's. O my Son, my Son! thou art preparing
fire for vs: looke thee, heere's water to quench it.
I was hardly moued to come to thee: but beeing assured
none but my selfe could moue thee, I haue bene blowne
out of your Gates with sighes: and coniure thee to pardon
Rome, and thy petitionary Countrimen. The good
Gods asswage thy wrath, and turne the dregs of it, vpon
this Varlet heere: This, who like a blocke hath denyed
my accesse to thee

Corio. Away

Mene. How? Away?
Corio. Wife, Mother, Child, I know not. My affaires
Are Seruanted to others: Though I owe
My Reuenge properly, my remission lies
In Volcean brests. That we haue beene familiar,
Ingrate forgetfulnesse shall poison rather
Then pitty: Note how much, therefore be gone.
Mine eares against your suites, are stronger then
Your gates against my force. Yet for I loued thee,
Take this along, I writ it for thy sake,
And would haue sent it. Another word Menenius,
I will not heare thee speake. This man Auffidius
Was my belou'd in Rome: yet thou behold'st

Auffid. You keepe a constant temper.


Manet the Guard and Menenius.

1 Now sir, is your name Menenius?
2 'Tis a spell you see of much power:
You know the way home againe

1 Do you heare how wee are shent for keeping your
greatnesse backe?
2 What cause do you thinke I haue to swoond?
Menen. I neither care for th' world, nor your General:
for such things as you. I can scarse thinke ther's any, y'are
so slight. He that hath a will to die by himselfe, feares it
not from another: Let your Generall do his worst. For
you, bee that you are, long; and your misery encrease
with your age. I say to you, as I was said to, Away.


1 A Noble Fellow I warrant him

2 The worthy Fellow is our General. He's the Rock,
The Oake not to be winde-shaken.

Exit Watch.

Enter Coriolanus and Auffidius.

Corio. We will before the walls of Rome to morrow
Set downe our Hoast. My partner in this Action,
You must report to th' Volcian Lords, how plainly
I haue borne this Businesse

Auf. Onely their ends you haue respected,
Stopt your eares against the generall suite of Rome:
Neuer admitted a priuat whisper, no not with such frends
That thought them sure of you

Corio. This last old man,
Whom with a crack'd heart I haue sent to Rome,
Lou'd me, aboue the measure of a Father,
Nay godded me indeed. Their latest refuge
Was to send him: for whose old Loue I haue
(Though I shew'd sowrely to him) once more offer'd
The first Conditions which they did refuse,
And cannot now accept, to grace him onely,
That thought he could do more: A very little
I haue yeelded too. Fresh Embasses, and Suites,
Nor from the State, nor priuate friends heereafter
Will I lend eare to. Ha? what shout is this?

Shout within

Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow
In the same time 'tis made? I will not.
Enter Virgilia, Volumnia, Valeria, yong Martius, with Attendants.

My wife comes formost, then the honour'd mould
Wherein this Trunke was fram'd, and in her hand
The Grandchilde to her blood. But out affection,
All bond and priuiledge of Nature breake;
Let it be Vertuous to be Obstinate.
What is that Curt'sie worth? Or those Doues eyes,
Which can make Gods forsworne? I melt, and am not
Of stronger earth then others: my Mother bowes,
As if Olympus to a Mole-hill should
In supplication Nod: and my yong Boy
Hath an Aspect of intercession, which
Great Nature cries, Deny not. Let the Volces
Plough Rome, and harrow Italy, Ile neuer
Be such a Gosling to obey instinct; but stand
As if a man were Author of himself, & knew no other kin
Virgil. My Lord and Husband

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

Virg. The sorrow that deliuers vs thus chang'd,
Makes you thinke so

Corio. Like a dull Actor now, I haue forgot my part,
And I am out, euen to a full Disgrace. Best of my Flesh,
Forgiue my Tyranny: but do not say,
For that forgiue our Romanes. O a kisse
Long as my Exile, sweet as my Reuenge!
Now by the iealous Queene of Heauen, that kisse
I carried from thee deare; and my true Lippe
Hath Virgin'd it ere since. You Gods, I pray,
And the most noble Mother of the world
Leaue vnsaluted: Sinke my knee i'th' earth,


Of thy deepe duty, more impression shew
Then that of common Sonnes

Volum. Oh stand vp blest!
Whil'st with no softer Cushion then the Flint
I kneele before thee, and vnproperly
Shew duty as mistaken, all this while,
Betweene the Childe, and Parent

Corio. What's this? your knees to me?
To your Corrected Sonne?
Then let the Pibbles on the hungry beach
Fillop the Starres: Then, let the mutinous windes
Strike the proud Cedars 'gainst the fiery Sun:
Murd'ring Impossibility, to make
What cannot be, slight worke

Volum. Thou art my Warriour, I hope to frame thee
Do you know this Lady?
Corio. The Noble Sister of Publicola;
The Moone of Rome: Chaste as the Isicle
That's curdied by the Frost, from purest Snow,
And hangs on Dians Temple: Deere Valeria

Volum. This is a poore Epitome of yours,
Which by th' interpretation of full time,
May shew like all your selfe

Corio. The God of Souldiers:
With the consent of supreame Ioue, informe
Thy thoughts with Noblenesse, that thou mayst proue
To shame vnvulnerable, and sticke i'th Warres
Like a great Sea-marke standing euery flaw,
And sauing those that eye thee

Volum. Your knee, Sirrah

Corio. That's my braue Boy

Volum. Euen he, your wife, this Ladie, and my selfe,
Are Sutors to you

Corio. I beseech you peace:
Or if you'ld aske, remember this before;
The thing I haue forsworne to graunt, may neuer
Be held by you denials. Do not bid me
Dismisse my Soldiers, or capitulate
Againe, with Romes Mechanickes. Tell me not
Wherein I seeme vnnaturall: Desire not t' allay
My Rages and Reuenges, with your colder reasons

Volum. Oh no more, no more:
You haue said you will not grant vs any thing:
For we haue nothing else to aske, but that
Which you deny already: yet we will aske,
That if you faile in our request, the blame
May hang vpon your hardnesse, therefore heare vs

Corio. Auffidius, and you Volces marke, for wee'l
Heare nought from Rome in priuate. Your request?
Volum. Should we be silent & not speak, our Raiment
And state of Bodies would bewray what life
We haue led since thy Exile. Thinke with thy selfe,
How more vnfortunate then all liuing women
Are we come hither; since that thy sight, which should
Make our eies flow with ioy, harts dance with comforts,
Constraines them weepe, and shake with feare & sorow,
Making the Mother, wife, and Childe to see,
The Sonne, the Husband, and the Father tearing
His Countries Bowels out; and to poore we
Thine enmities most capitall: Thou barr'st vs
Our prayers to the Gods, which is a comfort
That all but we enioy. For how can we?
Alas! how can we, for our Country pray?
Whereto we are bound, together with thy victory:
Whereto we are bound: Alacke, or we must loose
The Countrie our deere Nurse, or else thy person
Our comfort in the Country. We must finde
An euident Calamity, though we had
Our wish, which side should win. For either thou
Must as a Forraine Recreant be led
With Manacles through our streets, or else
Triumphantly treade on thy Countries ruine,
And beare the Palme, for hauing brauely shed
Thy Wife and Childrens blood: For my selfe, Sonne,
I purpose not to waite on Fortune, till
These warres determine: If I cannot perswade thee,
Rather to shew a Noble grace to both parts,
Then seeke the end of one; thou shalt no sooner
March to assault thy Country, then to treade
(Trust too't, thou shalt not) on thy Mothers wombe
That brought thee to this world

Virg. I, and mine, that brought you forth this boy,
To keepe your name liuing to time

Boy. A shall not tread on me: Ile run away
Till I am bigger, but then Ile fight

Corio. Not of a womans tendernesse to be,
Requires nor Childe, nor womans face to see:
I haue sate too long

Volum. Nay, go not from vs thus:
If it were so, that our request did tend
To saue the Romanes, thereby to destroy
The Volces whom you serue, you might condemne vs
As poysonous of your Honour. No, our suite
Is that you reconcile them: While the Volces
May say, this mercy we haue shew'd: the Romanes,
This we receiu'd, and each in either side
Giue the All-haile to thee, and cry be Blest
For making vp this peace. Thou know'st (great Sonne)
The end of Warres vncertaine: but this certaine,
That if thou conquer Rome, the benefit
Which thou shalt thereby reape, is such a name
Whose repetition will be dogg'd with Curses:
Whose Chronicle thus writ, The man was Noble,
But with his last Attempt, he wip'd it out:
Destroy'd his Country, and his name remaines
To th' insuing Age, abhorr'd. Speake to me Son:
Thou hast affected the fiue straines of Honor,
To imitate the graces of the Gods.
To teare with Thunder the wide Cheekes a'th' Ayre,
And yet to change thy Sulphure with a Boult
That should but riue an Oake. Why do'st not speake?
Think'st thou it Honourable for a Nobleman
Still to remember wrongs? Daughter, speake you:
He cares not for your weeping. Speake thou Boy,
Perhaps thy childishnesse will moue him more
Then can our Reasons. There's no man in the world
More bound to's Mother, yet heere he let's me prate
Like one i'th' Stockes. Thou hast neuer in thy life,
Shew'd thy deere Mother any curtesie,
When she (poor Hen) fond of no second brood,
Ha's clock'd thee to the Warres: and safelie home
Loden with Honor. Say my Request's vniust,
And spurne me backe: But, if it be not so
Thou art not honest, and the Gods will plague thee
That thou restrain'st from me the Duty, which
To a Mothers part belongs. He turnes away:
Down Ladies: let vs shame him with him with our knees
To his sur-name Coriolanus longs more pride
Then pitty to our Prayers. Downe: an end,
This is the last. So, we will home to Rome,
And dye among our Neighbours: Nay, behold's,
This Boy that cannot tell what he would haue,
But kneeles, and holds vp hands for fellowship,
Doe's reason our Petition with more strength
Then thou hast to deny't. Come, let vs go:
This Fellow had a Volcean to his Mother:
His Wife is in Corioles, and his Childe
Like him by chance: yet giue vs our dispatch:
I am husht vntill our City be afire, & then Ile speak a litle

Holds her by the hand silent.

Corio. O Mother, Mother!
What haue you done? Behold, the Heauens do ope,
The Gods looke downe, and this vnnaturall Scene
They laugh at. Oh my Mother, Mother: Oh!
You haue wonne a happy Victory to Rome.
But for your Sonne, beleeue it: Oh beleeue it,
Most dangerously you haue with him preuail'd,
If not most mortall to him. But let it come:
Auffidius, though I cannot make true Warres,
Ile frame conuenient peace. Now good Auffidius,
Were you in my steed, would you haue heard
A Mother lesse? or granted lesse Auffidius?
Auf. I was mou'd withall

Corio. I dare be sworne you were:
And sir, it is no little thing to make
Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But (good sir)
What peace you'l make, aduise me: For my part,
Ile not to Rome, Ile backe with you, and pray you
Stand to me in this cause. Oh Mother! Wife!
Auf. I am glad thou hast set thy mercy, & thy Honor
At difference in thee: Out of that Ile worke
My selfe a former Fortune

Corio. I by and by; But we will drinke together:
And you shall beare
A better witnesse backe then words, which we
On like conditions, will haue Counter-seal'd.
Come enter with vs: Ladies you deserue
To haue a Temple built you: All the Swords
In Italy, and her Confederate Armes
Could not haue made this peace.


Enter Menenius and Sicinius.

Mene. See you yon'd Coin a'th Capitol, yon'd corner stone?
Sicin. Why what of that?
Mene. If it be possible for you to displace it with your
little finger, there is some hope the Ladies of Rome, especially
his Mother, may preuaile with him. But I say, there
is no hope in't, our throats are sentenc'd, and stay vppon

Sicin. Is't possible, that so short a time can alter the
condition of a man

Mene. There is differency between a Grub & a Butterfly,
yet your Butterfly was a Grub: this Martius, is
growne from Man to Dragon: He has wings, hee's more
then a creeping thing

Sicin. He lou'd his Mother deerely

Mene. So did he mee: and he no more remembers his
Mother now, then an eight yeare old horse. The tartnesse
of his face, sowres ripe Grapes. When he walks, he moues
like an Engine, and the ground shrinkes before his Treading.
He is able to pierce a Corslet with his eye: Talkes
like a knell, and his hum is a Battery. He sits in his State,
as a thing made for Alexander. What he bids bee done, is
finisht with his bidding. He wants nothing of a God but
Eternity, and a Heauen to Throne in

Sicin. Yes, mercy, if you report him truly

Mene. I paint him in the Character. Mark what mercy
his Mother shall bring from him: There is no more
mercy in him, then there is milke in a male-Tyger, that
shall our poore City finde: and all this is long of you

Sicin. The Gods be good vnto vs

Mene. No, in such a case the Gods will not bee good
vnto vs. When we banish'd him, we respected not them:
and he returning to breake our necks, they respect not vs.
Enter a Messenger.

Mes. Sir, if you'ld saue your life, flye to your House,
The Plebeians haue got your Fellow Tribune,
And hale him vp and downe; all swearing, if
The Romane Ladies bring not comfort home
They'l giue him death by Inches.
Enter another Messenger.

Sicin. What's the Newes?
Mess. Good Newes, good newes, the Ladies haue preuayl'd.
The Volcians are dislodg'd, and Martius gone:
A merrier day did neuer yet greet Rome,
No, not th' expulsion of the Tarquins

Sicin. Friend, art thou certaine this is true?
Is't most certaine

Mes. As certaine as I know the Sun is fire:
Where haue you lurk'd that you make doubt of it:
Ne're through an Arch so hurried the blowne Tide,
As the recomforted through th' gates. Why harke you:

Trumpets, Hoboyes, Drums beate, altogether.

The Trumpets, Sack-buts, Psalteries, and Fifes,
Tabors, and Symboles, and the showting Romans,
Make the Sunne dance. Hearke you.

A shout within

Mene. This is good Newes:
I will go meete the Ladies. This Volumnia,
Is worth of Consuls, Senators, Patricians,
A City full: Of Tribunes such as you,
A Sea and Land full: you haue pray'd well to day:
This Morning, for ten thousand of your throates,
I'de not haue giuen a doit. Harke, how they ioy.

Sound still with the Shouts.

Sicin. First, the Gods blesse you for your tydings:
Next, accept my thankefulnesse

Mess. Sir, we haue all great cause to giue great thanks

Sicin. They are neere the City

Mes. Almost at point to enter

Sicin. Wee'l meet them, and helpe the ioy.


Enter two Senators, with Ladies, passing ouer the Stage, with other

Sena. Behold our Patronnesse, the life of Rome:
Call all your Tribes together, praise the Gods,
And make triumphant fires, strew Flowers before them:
Vnshoot the noise that Banish'd Martius;
Repeale him, with the welcome of his Mother:
Cry welcome Ladies, welcome

All. Welcome Ladies, welcome.

A Flourish with Drummes & Trumpets.

Enter Tullus Auffidius, with Attendants.

Auf. Go tell the Lords a'th' City, I am heere:
Deliuer them this Paper: hauing read it,
Bid them repayre to th' Market place, where I
Euen in theirs, and in the Commons eares
Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse:
The City Ports by this hath enter'd, and
Intends t' appeare before the People, hoping
To purge himselfe with words. Dispatch.
Enter 3 or 4 Conspirators of Auffidius Faction.

Most Welcome

1.Con. How is it with our Generall?
Auf. Euen so, as with a man by his owne Almes impoyson'd,
and with his Charity slaine

2.Con. Most Noble Sir, If you do hold the same intent
Wherein you wisht vs parties: Wee'l deliuer you
Of your great danger

Auf. Sir, I cannot tell,
We must proceed as we do finde the People

3.Con. The People will remaine vncertaine, whil'st
'Twixt you there's difference: but the fall of either
Makes the Suruiuor heyre of all

Auf. I know it:
And my pretext to strike at him, admits
A good construction. I rais'd him, and I pawn'd
Mine Honor for his truth: who being so heighten'd,
He watered his new Plants with dewes of Flattery,
Seducing so my Friends: and to this end,
He bow'd his Nature, neuer knowne before,
But to be rough, vnswayable, and free

3.Consp. Sir, his stoutnesse
When he did stand for Consull, which he lost
By lacke of stooping

Auf. That I would haue spoke of:
Being banish'd for't, he came vnto my Harth,
Presented to my knife his Throat: I tooke him,
Made him ioynt-seruant with me: Gaue him way
In all his owne desires: Nay, let him choose
Out of my Files, his proiects, to accomplish
My best and freshest men, seru'd his designements
In mine owne person: holpe to reape the Fame
Which he did end all his; and tooke some pride
To do my selfe this wrong: Till at the last
I seem'd his Follower, not Partner; and
He wadg'd me with his Countenance, as if
I had bin Mercenary

1.Con. So he did my Lord:
The Army marueyl'd at it, and in the last,
When he had carried Rome, and that we look'd
For no lesse Spoile, then Glory

Auf. There was it:
For which my sinewes shall be stretcht vpon him,
At a few drops of Womens rhewme, which are
As cheape as Lies; he sold the Blood and Labour
Of our great Action; therefore shall he dye,
And Ile renew me in his fall. But hearke.

Drummes and Trumpets sounds, with great showts of the people.

1.Con. Your Natiue Towne you enter'd like a Poste,
And had no welcomes home, but he returnes
Splitting the Ayre with noyse

2.Con. And patient Fooles,
Whose children he hath slaine, their base throats teare
With giuing him glory

3.Con. Therefore at your vantage,
Ere he expresse himselfe, or moue the people
With what he would say, let him feele your Sword:
Which we will second, when he lies along
After your way. His Tale pronounc'd, shall bury
His Reasons, with his Body

Auf. Say no more. Heere come the Lords,
Enter the Lords of the City.

All Lords. You are most welcome home

Auff. I haue not deseru'd it.
But worthy Lords, haue you with heede perused
What I haue written to you?
All. We haue

1.Lord. And greeue to heare't:
What faults he made before the last, I thinke
Might haue found easie Fines: But there to end
Where he was to begin, and giue away
The benefit of our Leuies, answering vs
With our owne charge: making a Treatie, where
There was a yeelding; this admits no excuse

Auf. He approaches, you shall heare him.
Enter Coriolanus marching with Drumme, and Colours. The
Commoners being
with him.

Corio. Haile Lords, I am return'd your Souldier:
No more infected with my Countries loue
Then when I parted hence: but still subsisting
Vnder your great Command. You are to know,
That prosperously I haue attempted, and
With bloody passage led your Warres, euen to
The gates of Rome: Our spoiles we haue brought home
Doth more then counterpoize a full third part
The charges of the Action. We haue made peace
With no lesse Honor to the Antiates
Then shame to th' Romaines. And we heere deliuer
Subscrib'd by'th' Consuls, and Patricians,
Together with the Seale a'th Senat, what
We haue compounded on

Auf. Read it not Noble Lords,
But tell the Traitor in the highest degree
He hath abus'd your Powers

Corio. Traitor? How now?
Auf. I Traitor, Martius

Corio. Martius?
Auf. I Martius, Caius Martius: Do'st thou thinke
Ile grace thee with that Robbery, thy stolne name
Coriolanus in Corioles?
You Lords and Heads a'th' State, perfidiously
He ha's betray'd your businesse, and giuen vp
For certaine drops of Salt, your City Rome:
I say your City to his Wife and Mother,
Breaking his Oath and Resolution, like
A twist of rotten Silke, neuer admitting
Counsaile a'th' warre: But at his Nurses teares
He whin'd and roar'd away your Victory,
That Pages blush'd at him, and men of heart
Look'd wond'ring each at others

Corio. Hear'st thou Mars?
Auf. Name not the God, thou boy of Teares

Corio. Ha?
Aufid. No more

Corio. Measurelesse Lyar, thou hast made my heart
Too great for what containes it. Boy? Oh Slaue,
Pardon me Lords, 'tis the first time that euer
I was forc'd to scoul'd. Your iudgments my graue Lords
Must giue this Curre the Lye: and his owne Notion,
Who weares my stripes imprest vpon him, that
Must beare my beating to his Graue, shall ioyne
To thrust the Lye vnto him

1 Lord. Peace both, and heare me speake

Corio. Cut me to peeces Volces men and Lads,
Staine all your edges on me. Boy, false Hound:
If you haue writ your Annales true, 'tis there,
That like an Eagle in a Doue-coat, I
Flatter'd your Volcians in Corioles.
Alone I did it, Boy

Auf. Why Noble Lords,
Will you be put in minde of his blinde Fortune,
Which was your shame, by this vnholy Braggart?
'Fore your owne eyes, and eares?
All Consp. Let him dye for't

All People. Teare him to peeces, do it presently:
He kill'd my Sonne, my daughter, he kill'd my Cosine
Marcus, he kill'd my Father

2 Lord. Peace hoe: no outrage, peace:
The man is Noble, and his Fame folds in
This Orbe o'th' earth: His last offences to vs
Shall haue Iudicious hearing. Stand Auffidius,
And trouble not the peace

Corio. O that I had him, with six Auffidiusses, or more:
His Tribe, to vse my lawfull Sword

Auf. Insolent Villaine

All Consp. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him.

Draw both the Conspirators, and kils Martius, who falles,
Auffidius stands
on him

Lords. Hold, hold, hold, hold

Auf. My Noble Masters, heare me speake

1.Lord. O Tullus

2.Lord. Thou hast done a deed, whereat
Valour will weepe

3.Lord. Tread not vpon him Masters, all be quiet,
Put vp your Swords

Auf. My Lords,
When you shall know (as in this Rage
Prouok'd by him, you cannot) the great danger
Which this mans life did owe you, you'l reioyce
That he is thus cut off. Please it your Honours
To call me to your Senate, Ile deliuer
My selfe your loyall Seruant, or endure
Your heauiest Censure

1.Lord. Beare from hence his body,
And mourne you for him. Let him be regarded
As the most Noble Coarse, that euer Herald
Did follow to his Vrne

2.Lord. His owne impatience,
Takes from Auffidius a great part of blame:
Let's make the Best of it

Auf. My Rage is gone,
And I am strucke with sorrow. Take him vp:
Helpe three a'th' cheefest Souldiers, Ile be one.
Beate thou the Drumme that it speake mournfully:
Traile your steele Pikes. Though in this City hee
Hath widdowed and vnchilded many a one,
Which to this houre bewaile the Iniury,
Yet he shall haue a Noble Memory. Assist.

Exeunt. bearing the Body of Martius. A dead March Sounded.

FINIS. The Tragedy of Coriolanus.

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