Act I, Scene 1 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Rome. A street. (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
[Enter a company of mutinous Citizens, with staves,] [p]clubs, and other weapons]
- First Citizen. Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.
- All. Speak, speak.
- First Citizen. You are all resolved rather to die than to famish? 5
- All. Resolved. resolved.
- First Citizen. First, you know Caius CORIOLANUS is chief enemy to the people.
- All. We know’t, we know’t.
- First Citizen. Let us kill him, and we’ll have corn at our own price.
Is’t a verdict? 10
- All. No more talking on’t; let it be done: away, away!
- Second Citizen. One word, good citizens.
- First Citizen. We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians good.
What authority surfeits on would relieve us: if they
would yield us but the superfluity, while it were 15
wholesome, we might guess they relieved us humanely;
but they think we are too dear: the leanness that
afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an
inventory to particularise their abundance; our
sufferance is a gain to them Let us revenge this with 20
our pikes, ere we become rakes: for the gods know I
speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.
- Second Citizen. Would you proceed especially against Caius CORIOLANUS?
- All. Against him first: he’s a very dog to the commonalty.
- Second Citizen. Consider you what services he has done for his country? 25
- First Citizen. Very well; and could be content to give him good
report fort, but that he pays himself with being proud.
- Second Citizen. Nay, but speak not maliciously.
- First Citizen. I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did
it to that end: though soft-conscienced men can be 30
content to say it was for his country he did it to
please his mother and to be partly proud; which he
is, even till the altitude of his virtue.
- Second Citizen. What he cannot help in his nature, you account a
vice in him. You must in no way say he is covetous. 35
- First Citizen. If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations;
he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition.
What shouts are these? The other side o’ the city
is risen: why stay we prating here? to the Capitol! 40
- All. Come, come.
- First Citizen. Soft! who comes here?
[Enter MENENIUS AGRIPPA]
- Second Citizen. Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that hath always loved
the people. 45
- First Citizen. He’s one honest enough: would all the rest were so!
- Menenius Agrippa. What work’s, my countrymen, in hand? where go you
With bats and clubs? The matter? speak, I pray you.
- First Citizen. Our business is not unknown to the senate; they have
had inkling this fortnight what we intend to do, 50
which now we’ll show ’em in deeds. They say poor
suitors have strong breaths: they shall know we
have strong arms too.
- Menenius Agrippa. Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest neighbours,
Will you undo yourselves? 55
- First Citizen. We cannot, sir, we are undone already.
- Menenius Agrippa. I tell you, friends, most charitable care
Have the patricians of you. For your wants,
Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well
Strike at the heaven with your staves as lift them 60
Against the Roman state, whose course will on
The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs
Of more strong link asunder than can ever
Appear in your impediment. For the dearth,
The gods, not the patricians, make it, and 65
Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack,
You are transported by calamity
Thither where more attends you, and you slander
The helms o’ the state, who care for you like fathers,
When you curse them as enemies. 70
- First Citizen. Care for us! True, indeed! They ne’er cared for us
yet: suffer us to famish, and their store-houses
crammed with grain; make edicts for usury, to
support usurers; repeal daily any wholesome act
established against the rich, and provide more 75
piercing statutes daily, to chain up and restrain
the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will; and
there’s all the love they bear us.
- Menenius Agrippa. Either you must
Confess yourselves wondrous malicious, 80
Or be accused of folly. I shall tell you
A pretty tale: it may be you have heard it;
But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture
To stale ‘t a little more.
- First Citizen. Well, I’ll hear it, sir: yet you must not think to 85
fob off our disgrace with a tale: but, an ‘t please
- Menenius Agrippa. There was a time when all the body’s members
Rebell’d against the belly, thus accused it:
That only like a gulf it did remain 90
I’ the midst o’ the body, idle and unactive,
Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing
Like labour with the rest, where the other instruments
Did see and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
And, mutually participate, did minister 95
Unto the appetite and affection common
Of the whole body. The belly answer’d—
- First Citizen. Well, sir, what answer made the belly?
- Menenius Agrippa. Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of smile,
Which ne’er came from the lungs, but even thus— 100
For, look you, I may make the belly smile
As well as speak—it tauntingly replied
To the discontented members, the mutinous parts
That envied his receipt; even so most fitly
As you malign our senators for that 105
They are not such as you.
- First Citizen. Your belly’s answer? What!
The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye,
The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,
Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter. 110
With other muniments and petty helps
In this our fabric, if that they—
- Menenius Agrippa. What then?
‘Fore me, this fellow speaks! What then? what then?
- First Citizen. Should by the cormorant belly be restrain’d, 115
Who is the sink o’ the body,—
- Menenius Agrippa. Well, what then?
- First Citizen. The former agents, if they did complain,
What could the belly answer?
- Menenius Agrippa. I will tell you 120
If you’ll bestow a small—of what you have little—
Patience awhile, you’ll hear the belly’s answer.
- First Citizen. Ye’re long about it.
- Menenius Agrippa. Note me this, good friend;
Your most grave belly was deliberate, 125
Not rash like his accusers, and thus answer’d:
‘True is it, my incorporate friends,’ quoth he,
‘That I receive the general food at first,
Which you do live upon; and fit it is,
Because I am the store-house and the shop 130
Of the whole body: but, if you do remember,
I send it through the rivers of your blood,
Even to the court, the heart, to the seat o’ the brain;
And, through the cranks and offices of man,
The strongest nerves and small inferior veins 135
From me receive that natural competency
Whereby they live: and though that all at once,
You, my good friends,’—this says the belly, mark me,—
- First Citizen. Ay, sir; well, well.
- Menenius Agrippa. ‘Though all at once cannot 140
See what I do deliver out to each,
Yet I can make my audit up, that all
From me do back receive the flour of all,
And leave me but the bran.’ What say you to’t?
- First Citizen. It was an answer: how apply you this? 145
- Menenius Agrippa. The senators of Rome are this good belly,
And you the mutinous members; for examine
Their counsels and their cares, digest things rightly
Touching the weal o’ the common, you shall find
No public benefit which you receive 150
But it proceeds or comes from them to you
And no way from yourselves. What do you think,
You, the great toe of this assembly?
- First Citizen. I the great toe! why the great toe?
- Menenius Agrippa. For that, being one o’ the lowest, basest, poorest, 155
Of this most wise rebellion, thou go’st foremost:
Thou rascal, that art worst in blood to run,
Lead’st first to win some vantage.
But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs:
Rome and her rats are at the point of battle; 160
The one side must have bale.
[Enter CAIUS CORIOLANUS]
Hail, noble CORIOLANUS!
- Coriolanus. Thanks. What’s the matter, you dissentious rogues,
That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion, 165
Make yourselves scabs?
- First Citizen. We have ever your good word.
- Coriolanus. He that will give good words to thee will flatter
Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,
That like nor peace nor war? the one affrights you, 170
The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,
Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
Where foxes, geese: you are no surer, no,
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is 175
To make him worthy whose offence subdues him
And curse that justice did it.
Who deserves greatness
Deserves your hate; and your affections are
A sick man’s appetite, who desires most that 180
Which would increase his evil. He that depends
Upon your favours swims with fins of lead
And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust Ye?
With every minute you do change a mind,
And call him noble that was now your hate, 185
Him vile that was your garland. What’s the matter,
That in these several places of the city
You cry against the noble senate, who,
Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else
Would feed on one another? What’s their seeking? 190
- Menenius Agrippa. For corn at their own rates; whereof, they say,
The city is well stored.
- Coriolanus. Hang ’em! They say!
They’ll sit by the fire, and presume to know
What’s done i’ the Capitol; who’s like to rise, 195
Who thrives and who declines; side factions
and give out
Conjectural marriages; making parties strong
And feebling such as stand not in their liking
Below their cobbled shoes. They say there’s 200
Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,
And let me use my sword, I’ll make a quarry
With thousands of these quarter’d slaves, as high
As I could pick my lance. 205
- Menenius Agrippa. Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded;
For though abundantly they lack discretion,
Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you,
What says the other troop?
- Coriolanus. They are dissolved: hang ’em! 210
They said they were an-hungry; sigh’d forth proverbs,
That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat,
That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent not
Corn for the rich men only: with these shreds
They vented their complainings; which being answer’d, 215
And a petition granted them, a strange one—
To break the heart of generosity,
And make bold power look pale—they threw their caps
As they would hang them on the horns o’ the moon,
Shouting their emulation. 220
- Menenius Agrippa. What is granted them?
- Coriolanus. Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms,
Of their own choice: one’s Junius Brutus,
Sicinius Velutus, and I know not—’Sdeath!
The rabble should have first unroof’d the city, 225
Ere so prevail’d with me: it will in time
Win upon power and throw forth greater themes
For insurrection’s arguing.
- Menenius Agrippa. This is strange.
- Coriolanus. Go, get you home, you fragments! 230
[Enter a Messenger, hastily]
- Messenger. Where’s Caius CORIOLANUS?
- Coriolanus. Here: what’s the matter?
- Messenger. The news is, sir, the Volsces are in arms.
- Coriolanus. I am glad on ‘t: then we shall ha’ means to vent 235
Our musty superfluity. See, our best elders.
[Enter COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, and other Senators;]
JUNIUS BRUTUS and SICINIUS VELUTUS]
- First Senator. CORIOLANUS, ’tis true that you have lately told us;
The Volsces are in arms. 240
- Coriolanus. They have a leader,
Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to ‘t.
I sin in envying his nobility,
And were I any thing but what I am,
I would wish me only he. 245
- Cominius. You have fought together.
- Coriolanus. Were half to half the world by the ears and he.
Upon my party, I’ld revolt to make
Only my wars with him: he is a lion
That I am proud to hunt. 250
- First Senator. Then, worthy CORIOLANUS,
Attend upon Cominius to these wars.
- Cominius. It is your former promise.
- Coriolanus. Sir, it is;
And I am constant. Titus TITUS, thou 255
Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus’ face.
What, art thou stiff? stand’st out?
- Titus Lartius. No, Caius CORIOLANUS;
I’ll lean upon one crutch and fight with t’other,
Ere stay behind this business. 260
- Menenius Agrippa. O, true-bred!
- First Senator. Your company to the Capitol; where, I know,
Our greatest friends attend us.
- Titus Lartius. [To COMINIUS] Lead you on.
[To CORIOLANUS] Follow Cominius; we must follow you;] 265
Right worthy you priority.
- Cominius. Noble CORIOLANUS!
- First Senator. [To the Citizens] Hence to your homes; be gone!
- Coriolanus. Nay, let them follow:
The Volsces have much corn; take these rats thither 270
To gnaw their garners. Worshipful mutiners,
Your valour puts well forth: pray, follow.
[Citizens steal away. Exeunt all but SICINIUS]
- Sicinius Velutus. Was ever man so proud as is this CORIOLANUS? 275
- Junius Brutus. He has no equal.
- Sicinius Velutus. When we were chosen tribunes for the people,—
- Junius Brutus. Mark’d you his lip and eyes?
- Sicinius Velutus. Nay. but his taunts.
- Junius Brutus. Being moved, he will not spare to gird the gods. 280
- Sicinius Velutus. Be-mock the modest moon.
- Junius Brutus. The present wars devour him: he is grown
Too proud to be so valiant.
- Sicinius Velutus. Such a nature,
Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow 285
Which he treads on at noon: but I do wonder
His insolence can brook to be commanded
- Junius Brutus. Fame, at the which he aims,
In whom already he’s well graced, can not 290
Better be held nor more attain’d than by
A place below the first: for what miscarries
Shall be the general’s fault, though he perform
To the utmost of a man, and giddy censure
Will then cry out of CORIOLANUS ‘O if he 295
Had borne the business!’
- Sicinius Velutus. Besides, if things go well,
Opinion that so sticks on CORIOLANUS shall
Of his demerits rob Cominius.
- Junius Brutus. Come: 300
Half all Cominius’ honours are to CORIOLANUS.
Though CORIOLANUS earned them not, and all his faults
To CORIOLANUS shall be honours, though indeed
In aught he merit not.
- Sicinius Velutus. Let’s hence, and hear 305
How the dispatch is made, and in what fashion,
More than his singularity, he goes
Upon this present action.
- Junius Brutus. Lets along.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act I, Scene 2 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Corioli. The Senate-house.
[Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS and certain Senators]
- First Senator. So, your opinion is, Aufidius,
That they of Rome are entered in our counsels
And know how we proceed.
- Tullus Aufidius. Is it not yours? 315
What ever have been thought on in this state,
That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome
Had circumvention? ‘Tis not four days gone
Since I heard thence; these are the words: I think
I have the letter here; yes, here it is. 320
‘They have press’d a power, but it is not known
Whether for east or west: the dearth is great;
The people mutinous; and it is rumour’d,
Cominius, CORIOLANUS your old enemy, 325
Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,
And Titus TITUS, a most valiant Roman,
These three lead on this preparation
Whither ’tis bent: most likely ’tis for you:
Consider of it.’ 330
- First Senator. Our army’s in the field
We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
To answer us.
- Tullus Aufidius. Nor did you think it folly
To keep your great pretences veil’d till when 335
They needs must show themselves; which
in the hatching,
It seem’d, appear’d to Rome. By the discovery.
We shall be shorten’d in our aim, which was
To take in many towns ere almost Rome 340
Should know we were afoot.
- Second Senator. Noble Aufidius,
Take your commission; hie you to your bands:
Let us alone to guard Corioli:
If they set down before ‘s, for the remove 345
Bring your army; but, I think, you’ll find
They’ve not prepared for us.
- Tullus Aufidius. O, doubt not that;
I speak from certainties. Nay, more,
Some parcels of their power are forth already, 350
And only hitherward. I leave your honours.
If we and Caius CORIOLANUS chance to meet,
‘Tis sworn between us we shall ever strike
Till one can do no more.
- All. The gods assist you! 355
- Tullus Aufidius. And keep your honours safe!
- First Senator. Farewell.
- Second Senator. Farewell.
- All. Farewell.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act I, Scene 3 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Rome. A room in CORIOLANUS’ house.
[Enter VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA. they set them down] [p]on two low stools, and sew]
- Volumnia. I pray you, daughter, sing; or express yourself in a
more comfortable sort: if my son were my husband, I
should freelier rejoice in that absence wherein he 365
won honour than in the embracements of his bed where
he would show most love. When yet he was but
tender-bodied and the only son of my womb, when
youth with comeliness plucked all gaze his way, when
for a day of kings’ entreaties a mother should not 370
sell him an hour from her beholding, I, considering
how honour would become such a person. that it was
no better than picture-like to hang by the wall, if
renown made it not stir, was pleased to let him seek
danger where he was like to find fame. To a cruel 375
war I sent him; from whence he returned, his brows
bound with oak. I tell thee, daughter, I sprang not
more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child
than now in first seeing he had proved himself a
- Virgilia. But had he died in the business, madam; how then?
- Volumnia. Then his good report should have been my son; I
therein would have found issue. Hear me profess
sincerely: had I a dozen sons, each in my love
alike and none less dear than thine and my good 385
CORIOLANUS, I had rather had eleven die nobly for their
country than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.
[Enter a Gentlewoman]
- Gentlewoman. Madam, the Lady Valeria is come to visit you.
- Virgilia. Beseech you, give me leave to retire myself. 390
- Volumnia. Indeed, you shall not.
Methinks I hear hither your husband’s drum,
See him pluck Aufidius down by the hair,
As children from a bear, the Volsces shunning him:
Methinks I see him stamp thus, and call thus: 395
‘Come on, you cowards! you were got in fear,
Though you were born in Rome:’ his bloody brow
With his mail’d hand then wiping, forth he goes,
Like to a harvest-man that’s task’d to mow
Or all or lose his hire. 400
- Virgilia. His bloody brow! O Jupiter, no blood!
- Volumnia. Away, you fool! it more becomes a man
Than gilt his trophy: the breasts of Hecuba,
When she did suckle Hector, look’d not lovelier
Than Hector’s forehead when it spit forth blood 405
At Grecian sword, contemning. Tell Valeria,
We are fit to bid her welcome.
- Virgilia. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius!
- Volumnia. He’ll beat Aufidius ‘head below his knee 410
And tread upon his neck.
[Enter VALERIA, with an Usher and Gentlewoman]
- Valeria. My ladies both, good day to you.
- Volumnia. Sweet madam.
- Virgilia. I am glad to see your ladyship. 415
- Valeria. How do you both? you are manifest house-keepers.
What are you sewing here? A fine spot, in good
faith. How does your little son?
- Virgilia. I thank your ladyship; well, good madam.
- Volumnia. He had rather see the swords, and hear a drum, than 420
look upon his school-master.
- Valeria. O’ my word, the father’s son: I’ll swear,’tis a
very pretty boy. O’ my troth, I looked upon him o’
Wednesday half an hour together: has such a
confirmed countenance. I saw him run after a gilded 425
butterfly: and when he caught it, he let it go
again; and after it again; and over and over he
comes, and again; catched it again; or whether his
fall enraged him, or how ’twas, he did so set his
teeth and tear it; O, I warrant it, how he mammocked 430
- Volumnia. One on ‘s father’s moods.
- Valeria. Indeed, la, ’tis a noble child.
- Virgilia. A crack, madam.
- Valeria. Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have you play 435
the idle husewife with me this afternoon.
- Virgilia. No, good madam; I will not out of doors.
- Valeria. Not out of doors!
- Volumnia. She shall, she shall.
- Virgilia. Indeed, no, by your patience; I’ll not over the 440
threshold till my lord return from the wars.
- Valeria. Fie, you confine yourself most unreasonably: come,
you must go visit the good lady that lies in.
- Virgilia. I will wish her speedy strength, and visit her with
my prayers; but I cannot go thither. 445
- Volumnia. Why, I pray you?
- Virgilia. ‘Tis not to save labour, nor that I want love.
- Valeria. You would be another Penelope: yet, they say, all
the yarn she spun in Ulysses’ absence did but fill
Ithaca full of moths. Come; I would your cambric 450
were sensible as your finger, that you might leave
pricking it for pity. Come, you shall go with us.
- Virgilia. No, good madam, pardon me; indeed, I will not forth.
- Valeria. In truth, la, go with me; and I’ll tell you
excellent news of your husband. 455
- Virgilia. O, good madam, there can be none yet.
- Valeria. Verily, I do not jest with you; there came news from
him last night.
- Virgilia. Indeed, madam?
- Valeria. In earnest, it’s true; I heard a senator speak it. 460
Thus it is: the Volsces have an army forth; against
whom Cominius the general is gone, with one part of
our Roman power: your lord and Titus TITUS are set
down before their city Corioli; they nothing doubt
prevailing and to make it brief wars. This is true, 465
on mine honour; and so, I pray, go with us.
- Virgilia. Give me excuse, good madam; I will obey you in every
- Volumnia. Let her alone, lady: as she is now, she will but
disease our better mirth. 470
- Valeria. In troth, I think she would. Fare you well, then.
Come, good sweet lady. Prithee, Virgilia, turn thy
solemness out o’ door. and go along with us.
- Virgilia. No, at a word, madam; indeed, I must not. I wish
you much mirth. 475
- Valeria. Well, then, farewell.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act I, Scene 4 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
[Enter, with drum and colours, CORIOLANUS, TITUS LARTIUS, Captains and Soldiers. To them a Messenger]
- Coriolanus. Yonder comes news. A wager they have met.
- Titus Lartius. My horse to yours, no. 480
- Coriolanus. ‘Tis done.
- Titus Lartius. Agreed.
- Coriolanus. Say, has our general met the enemy?
- Messenger. They lie in view; but have not spoke as yet.
- Titus Lartius. So, the good horse is mine. 485
- Coriolanus. I’ll buy him of you.
- Titus Lartius. No, I’ll nor sell nor give him: lend you him I will
For half a hundred years. Summon the town.
- Coriolanus. How far off lie these armies?
- Messenger. Within this mile and half. 490
- Coriolanus. Then shall we hear their ‘larum, and they ours.
Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work,
That we with smoking swords may march from hence,
To help our fielded friends! Come, blow thy blast.
[They sound a parley. Enter two Senators with others] 495
on the walls]
Tutus Aufidius, is he within your walls?
- First Senator. No, nor a man that fears you less than he,
That’s lesser than a little.
[Drums afar off] 500
Hark! our drums
Are bringing forth our youth. We’ll break our walls,
Rather than they shall pound us up: our gates,
Which yet seem shut, we, have but pinn’d with rushes;
They’ll open of themselves. 505
[Alarum afar off]
Hark you. far off!
There is Aufidius; list, what work he makes
Amongst your cloven army.
- Coriolanus. O, they are at it! 510
- Titus Lartius. Their noise be our instruction. Ladders, ho!
[Enter the army of the Volsces]
- Coriolanus. They fear us not, but issue forth their city.
Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight
With hearts more proof than shields. Advance, 515
They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts,
Which makes me sweat with wrath. Come on, my fellows:
He that retires I’ll take him for a Volsce,
And he shall feel mine edge. 520
[Alarum. The Romans are beat back to their]
trenches. Re-enter CORIOLANUS cursing]
- Coriolanus. All the contagion of the south light on you,
You shames of Rome! you herd of—Boils and plagues
Plaster you o’er, that you may be abhorr’d 525
Further than seen and one infect another
Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese,
That bear the shapes of men, how have you run
From slaves that apes would beat! Pluto and hell!
All hurt behind; backs red, and faces pale 530
With flight and agued fear! Mend and charge home,
Or, by the fires of heaven, I’ll leave the foe
And make my wars on you: look to’t: come on;
If you’ll stand fast, we’ll beat them to their wives,
As they us to our trenches followed. 535
[Another alarum. The Volsces fly, and CORIOLANUS]
follows them to the gates]
So, now the gates are ope: now prove good seconds:
‘Tis for the followers fortune widens them,
Not for the fliers: mark me, and do the like. 540
[Enters the gates]
- First Soldier. Fool-hardiness; not I.
- Second Soldier. Nor I.
[CORIOLANUS is shut in]
- First Soldier. See, they have shut him in. 545
- All. To the pot, I warrant him.
[Re-enter TITUS LARTIUS]
- Titus Lartius. What is become of CORIOLANUS?
- All. Slain, sir, doubtless. 550
- First Soldier. Following the fliers at the very heels,
With them he enters; who, upon the sudden,
Clapp’d to their gates: he is himself alone,
To answer all the city.
- Titus Lartius. O noble fellow! 555
Who sensibly outdares his senseless sword,
And, when it bows, stands up. Thou art left, CORIOLANUS:
A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,
Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier
Even to Cato’s wish, not fierce and terrible 560
Only in strokes; but, with thy grim looks and
The thunder-like percussion of thy sounds,
Thou madst thine enemies shake, as if the world
Were feverous and did tremble.
[Re-enter CORIOLANUS, bleeding, assaulted by the enemy]
- First Soldier. Look, sir.
- Titus Lartius. O,’tis CORIOLANUS!
Let’s fetch him off, or make remain alike.
[They fight, and all enter the city]
Act I, Scene 5 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Corioli. A street.
[Enter certain Romans, with spoils]
- First Roman. This will I carry to Rome.
- Second Roman. And I this.
- Third Roman. A murrain on’t! I took this for silver.
[Alarum continues still afar off]
[Enter CORIOLANUS and TITUS LARTIUS with a trumpet]
- Coriolanus. See here these movers that do prize their hours
At a crack’d drachm! Cushions, leaden spoons,
Irons of a doit, doublets that hangmen would
Bury with those that wore them, these base slaves,
Ere yet the fight be done, pack up: down with them! 580
And hark, what noise the general makes! To him!
There is the man of my soul’s hate, Aufidius,
Piercing our Romans: then, valiant Titus, take
Convenient numbers to make good the city;
Whilst I, with those that have the spirit, will haste 585
To help Cominius.
- Titus Lartius. Worthy sir, thou bleed’st;
Thy exercise hath been too violent for
A second course of fight.
- Coriolanus. Sir, praise me not; 590
My work hath yet not warm’d me: fare you well:
The blood I drop is rather physical
Than dangerous to me: to Aufidius thus
I will appear, and fight.
- Titus Lartius. Now the fair goddess, Fortune, 595
Fall deep in love with thee; and her great charms
Misguide thy opposers’ swords! Bold gentleman,
Prosperity be thy page!
- Coriolanus. Thy friend no less
Than those she placeth highest! So, farewell. 600
- Titus Lartius. Thou worthiest CORIOLANUS!
Go, sound thy trumpet in the market-place;
Call thither all the officers o’ the town,
Where they shall know our mind: away! 605
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act I, Scene 6 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Near the camp of Cominius.
[Enter COMINIUS, as it were in retire,] [p]with soldiers]
- Cominius. Breathe you, my friends: well fought;
we are come off 610
Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands,
Nor cowardly in retire: believe me, sirs,
We shall be charged again. Whiles we have struck,
By interims and conveying gusts we have heard
The charges of our friends. Ye Roman gods! 615
Lead their successes as we wish our own,
That both our powers, with smiling
May give you thankful sacrifice.
[Enter a Messenger] 620
- Messenger. The citizens of Corioli have issued,
And given to TITUS and to CORIOLANUS battle:
I saw our party to their trenches driven,
And then I came away. 625
- Cominius. Though thou speak’st truth,
Methinks thou speak’st not well.
How long is’t since?
- Messenger. Above an hour, my lord.
- Cominius. ‘Tis not a mile; briefly we heard their drums: 630
How couldst thou in a mile confound an hour,
And bring thy news so late?
- Messenger. Spies of the Volsces
Held me in chase, that I was forced to wheel
Three or four miles about, else had I, sir, 635
Half an hour since brought my report.
- Cominius. Who’s yonder,
That does appear as he were flay’d? O gods
He has the stamp of CORIOLANUS; and I have
Before-time seen him thus. 640
- Coriolanus. [Within] Come I too late?
- Cominius. The shepherd knows not thunder from a tabour
More than I know the sound of CORIOLANUS’ tongue
From every meaner man.
- Coriolanus. Come I too late?
- Cominius. Ay, if you come not in the blood of others,
But mantled in your own.
- Coriolanus. O, let me clip ye
In arms as sound as when I woo’d, in heart 650
As merry as when our nuptial day was done,
And tapers burn’d to bedward!
- Cominius. Flower of warriors,
How is it with Titus TITUS?
- Coriolanus. As with a man busied about decrees: 655
Condemning some to death, and some to exile;
Ransoming him, or pitying, threatening the other;
Holding Corioli in the name of Rome,
Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash,
To let him slip at will. 660
- Cominius. Where is that slave
Which told me they had beat you to your trenches?
Where is he? call him hither.
- Coriolanus. Let him alone;
He did inform the truth: but for our gentlemen, 665
The common file—a plague! tribunes for them!—
The mouse ne’er shunn’d the cat as they did budge
From rascals worse than they.
- Cominius. But how prevail’d you?
- Coriolanus. Will the time serve to tell? I do not think. 670
Where is the enemy? are you lords o’ the field?
If not, why cease you till you are so?
- Cominius. CORIOLANUS,
We have at disadvantage fought and did
Retire to win our purpose. 675
- Coriolanus. How lies their battle? know you on which side
They have placed their men of trust?
- Cominius. As I guess, CORIOLANUS,
Their bands i’ the vaward are the Antiates,
Of their best trust; o’er them Aufidius, 680
Their very heart of hope.
- Coriolanus. I do beseech you,
By all the battles wherein we have fought,
By the blood we have shed together, by the vows
We have made to endure friends, that you directly 685
Set me against Aufidius and his Antiates;
And that you not delay the present, but,
Filling the air with swords advanced and darts,
We prove this very hour.
- Cominius. Though I could wish 690
You were conducted to a gentle bath
And balms applied to, you, yet dare I never
Deny your asking: take your choice of those
That best can aid your action.
- Coriolanus. Those are they 695
That most are willing. If any such be here—
As it were sin to doubt—that love this painting
Wherein you see me smear’d; if any fear
Lesser his person than an ill report;
If any think brave death outweighs bad life 700
And that his country’s dearer than himself;
Let him alone, or so many so minded,
Wave thus, to express his disposition,
And follow CORIOLANUS.
[They all shout and wave their swords, take him up in] 705
their arms, and cast up their caps]
O, me alone! make you a sword of me?
If these shows be not outward, which of you
But is four Volsces? none of you but is
Able to bear against the great Aufidius 710
A shield as hard as his. A certain number,
Though thanks to all, must I select
from all: the rest
Shall bear the business in some other fight,
As cause will be obey’d. Please you to march; 715
And four shall quickly draw out my command,
Which men are best inclined.
- Cominius. March on, my fellows:
Make good this ostentation, and you shall
Divide in all with us. 720
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act I, Scene 7 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
The gates of Corioli.
[TITUS LARTIUS, having set a guard upon] [p]Corioli, going with drum and trumpet toward [p]COMINIUS and CAIUS CORIOLANUS, enters with [p]Lieutenant, other Soldiers, and a Scout]
- Titus Lartius. So, let the ports be guarded: keep your duties,
As I have set them down. If I do send, dispatch
Those centuries to our aid: the rest will serve
For a short holding: if we lose the field,
We cannot keep the town. 730
- Lieutenant. Fear not our care, sir.
- Titus Lartius. Hence, and shut your gates upon’s.
Our guider, come; to the Roman camp conduct us.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act I, Scene 8 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
A field of battle.
[Alarum as in battle. Enter, from opposite sides,] [p]CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS]
- Coriolanus. I’ll fight with none but thee; for I do hate thee
Worse than a promise-breaker.
- Tullus Aufidius. We hate alike:
Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor 740
More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.
- Coriolanus. Let the first budger die the other’s slave,
And the gods doom him after!
- Tullus Aufidius. If I fly, CORIOLANUS,
Holloa me like a hare. 745
- Coriolanus. Within these three hours, Tullus,
Alone I fought in your Corioli walls,
And made what work I pleased: ’tis not my blood
Wherein thou seest me mask’d; for thy revenge
Wrench up thy power to the highest. 750
- Tullus Aufidius. Wert thou the Hector
That was the whip of your bragg’d progeny,
Thou shouldst not scape me here.
[They fight, and certain Volsces come to the aid of]
AUFIDIUS. CORIOLANUS fights till they be driven in 755
Officious, and not valiant, you have shamed me
In your condemned seconds.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act I, Scene 9 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
The Roman camp.
[Flourish. Alarum. A retreat is sounded. Flourish.] [p]Enter, from one side, COMINIUS with the Romans; from [p]the other side, CORIOLANUS, with his arm in a scarf]
- Cominius. If I should tell thee o’er this thy day’s work,
Thou’ldst not believe thy deeds: but I’ll report it
Where senators shall mingle tears with smiles, 765
Where great patricians shall attend and shrug,
I’ the end admire, where ladies shall be frighted,
And, gladly quaked, hear more; where the
That, with the fusty plebeians, hate thine honours, 770
Shall say against their hearts ‘We thank the gods
Our Rome hath such a soldier.’
Yet camest thou to a morsel of this feast,
Having fully dined before.
[Enter TITUS LARTIUS, with his power,] 775
from the pursuit]
- Titus Lartius. O general,
Here is the steed, we the caparison:
Hadst thou beheld—
- Coriolanus. Pray now, no more: my mother, 780
Who has a charter to extol her blood,
When she does praise me grieves me. I have done
As you have done; that’s what I can; induced
As you have been; that’s for my country:
He that has but effected his good will 785
Hath overta’en mine act.
- Cominius. You shall not be
The grave of your deserving; Rome must know
The value of her own: ’twere a concealment
Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement, 790
To hide your doings; and to silence that,
Which, to the spire and top of praises vouch’d,
Would seem but modest: therefore, I beseech you
In sign of what you are, not to reward
What you have done—before our army hear me. 795
- Coriolanus. I have some wounds upon me, and they smart
To hear themselves remember’d.
- Cominius. Should they not,
Well might they fester ‘gainst ingratitude,
And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses, 800
Whereof we have ta’en good and good store, of all
The treasure in this field achieved and city,
We render you the tenth, to be ta’en forth,
Before the common distribution, at
Your only choice. 805
- Coriolanus. I thank you, general;
But cannot make my heart consent to take
A bribe to pay my sword: I do refuse it;
And stand upon my common part with those
That have beheld the doing. 810
[A long flourish. They all cry ‘CORIOLANUS! CORIOLANUS!’]
cast up their caps and lances: COMINIUS and TITUS
- Coriolanus. May these same instruments, which you profane,
Never sound more! when drums and trumpets shall 815
I’ the field prove flatterers, let courts and cities be
Made all of false-faced soothing!
When steel grows soft as the parasite’s silk,
Let him be made a coverture for the wars!
No more, I say! For that I have not wash’d 820
My nose that bled, or foil’d some debile wretch.—
Which, without note, here’s many else have done,—
You shout me forth
In acclamations hyperbolical;
As if I loved my little should be dieted 825
In praises sauced with lies.
- Cominius. Too modest are you;
More cruel to your good report than grateful
To us that give you truly: by your patience,
If ‘gainst yourself you be incensed, we’ll put you, 830
Like one that means his proper harm, in manacles,
Then reason safely with you. Therefore, be it known,
As to us, to all the world, that Caius CORIOLANUS
Wears this war’s garland: in token of the which,
My noble steed, known to the camp, I give him, 835
With all his trim belonging; and from this time,
For what he did before Corioli, call him,
With all the applause and clamour of the host,
CAIUS CORIOLANUS CORIOLANUS! Bear
The addition nobly ever! 840
[Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums]
- All. Caius CORIOLANUS Coriolanus!
- Coriolanus. I will go wash;
And when my face is fair, you shall perceive
Whether I blush or no: howbeit, I thank you. 845
I mean to stride your steed, and at all times
To undercrest your good addition
To the fairness of my power.
- Cominius. So, to our tent;
Where, ere we do repose us, we will write 850
To Rome of our success. You, Titus TITUS,
Must to Corioli back: send us to Rome
The best, with whom we may articulate,
For their own good and ours.
- Titus Lartius. I shall, my lord. 855
- Coriolanus. The gods begin to mock me. I, that now
Refused most princely gifts, am bound to beg
Of my lord general.
- Cominius. Take’t; ’tis yours. What is’t?
- Coriolanus. I sometime lay here in Corioli 860
At a poor man’s house; he used me kindly:
He cried to me; I saw him prisoner;
But then Aufidius was within my view,
And wrath o’erwhelm’d my pity: I request you
To give my poor host freedom. 865
- Cominius. O, well begg’d!
Were he the butcher of my son, he should
Be free as is the wind. Deliver him, Titus.
- Titus Lartius. CORIOLANUS, his name?
- Coriolanus. By Jupiter! forgot. 870
I am weary; yea, my memory is tired.
Have we no wine here?
- Cominius. Go we to our tent:
The blood upon your visage dries; ’tis time
It should be look’d to: come. 875
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act I, Scene 10 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
The camp of the Volsces.
[A flourish. Cornets. Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS,] [p]bloody, with two or three Soldiers]
- Tullus Aufidius. The town is ta’en!
- First Soldier. ‘Twill be deliver’d back on good condition. 880
- Tullus Aufidius. Condition!
I would I were a Roman; for I cannot,
Being a Volsce, be that I am. Condition!
What good condition can a treaty find
I’ the part that is at mercy? Five times, CORIOLANUS, 885
I have fought with thee: so often hast thou beat me,
And wouldst do so, I think, should we encounter
As often as we eat. By the elements,
If e’er again I meet him beard to beard,
He’s mine, or I am his: mine emulation 890
Hath not that honour in’t it had; for where
I thought to crush him in an equal force,
True sword to sword, I’ll potch at him some way
Or wrath or craft may get him.
- First Soldier. He’s the devil. 895
- Tullus Aufidius. Bolder, though not so subtle. My valour’s poison’d
With only suffering stain by him; for him
Shall fly out of itself: nor sleep nor sanctuary,
Being naked, sick, nor fane nor Capitol,
The prayers of priests nor times of sacrifice, 900
Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up
Their rotten privilege and custom ‘gainst
My hate to CORIOLANUS: where I find him, were it
At home, upon my brother’s guard, even there,
Against the hospitable canon, would I 905
Wash my fierce hand in’s heart. Go you to the city;
Learn how ’tis held; and what they are that must
Be hostages for Rome.
- First Soldier. Will not you go?
- Tullus Aufidius. I am attended at the cypress grove: I pray you— 910
‘Tis south the city mills—bring me word thither
How the world goes, that to the pace of it
I may spur on my journey.
- First Soldier. I shall, sir.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act II, Scene 1 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Rome. A public place.
[Enter MENENIUS with the two Tribunes of the people,] [p]SICINIUS and BRUTUS.
- Menenius Agrippa. The augurer tells me we shall have news to-night.
- Junius Brutus. Good or bad?
- Menenius Agrippa. Not according to the prayer of the people, for they 920
love not CORIOLANUS.
- Sicinius Velutus. Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.
- Menenius Agrippa. Pray you, who does the wolf love?
- Sicinius Velutus. The lamb.
- Menenius Agrippa. Ay, to devour him; as the hungry plebeians would the 925
- Junius Brutus. He’s a lamb indeed, that baes like a bear.
- Menenius Agrippa. He’s a bear indeed, that lives like a lamb. You two
are old men: tell me one thing that I shall ask you.
- Both. Well, sir. 930
- Menenius Agrippa. In what enormity is CORIOLANUS poor in, that you two
have not in abundance?
- Junius Brutus. He’s poor in no one fault, but stored with all.
- Sicinius Velutus. Especially in pride.
- Junius Brutus. And topping all others in boasting. 935
- Menenius Agrippa. This is strange now: do you two know how you are
censured here in the city, I mean of us o’ the
right-hand file? do you?
- Both. Why, how are we censured?
- Menenius Agrippa. Because you talk of pride now,—will you not be angry? 940
- Both. Well, well, sir, well.
- Menenius Agrippa. Why, ’tis no great matter; for a very little thief of
occasion will rob you of a great deal of patience:
give your dispositions the reins, and be angry at
your pleasures; at the least if you take it as a 945
pleasure to you in being so. You blame CORIOLANUS for
- Junius Brutus. We do it not alone, sir.
- Menenius Agrippa. I know you can do very little alone; for your helps
are many, or else your actions would grow wondrous 950
single: your abilities are too infant-like for
doing much alone. You talk of pride: O that you
could turn your eyes toward the napes of your necks,
and make but an interior survey of your good selves!
O that you could! 955
- Junius Brutus. What then, sir?
- Menenius Agrippa. Why, then you should discover a brace of unmeriting,
proud, violent, testy magistrates, alias fools, as
any in Rome.
- Sicinius Velutus. Menenius, you are known well enough too. 960
- Menenius Agrippa. I am known to be a humorous patrician, and one that
loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying
Tiber in’t; said to be something imperfect in
favouring the first complaint; hasty and tinder-like
upon too trivial motion; one that converses more 965
with the buttock of the night than with the forehead
of the morning: what I think I utter, and spend my
malice in my breath. Meeting two such wealsmen as
you are—I cannot call you Lycurguses—if the drink
you give me touch my palate adversely, I make a 970
crooked face at it. I can’t say your worships have
delivered the matter well, when I find the ass in
compound with the major part of your syllables: and
though I must be content to bear with those that say
you are reverend grave men, yet they lie deadly that 975
tell you you have good faces. If you see this in
the map of my microcosm, follows it that I am known
well enough too? what barm can your bisson
conspectuities glean out of this character, if I be
known well enough too? 980
- Junius Brutus. Come, sir, come, we know you well enough.
- Menenius Agrippa. You know neither me, yourselves nor any thing. You
are ambitious for poor knaves’ caps and legs: you
wear out a good wholesome forenoon in hearing a
cause between an orange wife and a fosset-seller; 985
and then rejourn the controversy of three pence to a
second day of audience. When you are hearing a
matter between party and party, if you chance to be
pinched with the colic, you make faces like
mummers; set up the bloody flag against all 990
patience; and, in roaring for a chamber-pot,
dismiss the controversy bleeding the more entangled
by your hearing: all the peace you make in their
cause is, calling both the parties knaves. You are
a pair of strange ones. 995
- Junius Brutus. Come, come, you are well understood to be a
perfecter giber for the table than a necessary
bencher in the Capitol.
- Menenius Agrippa. Our very priests must become mockers, if they shall
encounter such ridiculous subjects as you are. When 1000
you speak best unto the purpose, it is not worth the
wagging of your beards; and your beards deserve not
so honourable a grave as to stuff a botcher’s
cushion, or to be entombed in an ass’s pack-
saddle. Yet you must be saying, CORIOLANUS is proud; 1005
who in a cheap estimation, is worth predecessors
since Deucalion, though peradventure some of the
best of ’em were hereditary hangmen. God-den to
your worships: more of your conversation would
infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly 1010
plebeians: I will be bold to take my leave of you.
[BRUTUS and SICINIUS go aside]
[Enter VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, and VALERIA]
How now, my as fair as noble ladies,—and the moon,
were she earthly, no nobler,—whither do you follow 1015
your eyes so fast?
- Volumnia. Honourable Menenius, my boy CORIOLANUS approaches; for
the love of Juno, let’s go.
- Menenius Agrippa. Ha! CORIOLANUS coming home!
- Volumnia. Ay, worthy Menenius; and with most prosperous 1020
- Menenius Agrippa. Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee. Hoo!
CORIOLANUS coming home!
- Volumnia. [together with Virgilia] Nay, ’tis true.
- Virgilia. Nay, ’tis true. 1025
- Volumnia. Look, here’s a letter from him: the state hath
another, his wife another; and, I think, there’s one
at home for you.
- Menenius Agrippa. I will make my very house reel tonight: a letter for
- Virgilia. Yes, certain, there’s a letter for you; I saw’t.
- Menenius Agrippa. A letter for me! it gives me an estate of seven
years’ health; in which time I will make a lip at
the physician: the most sovereign prescription in
Galen is but empiricutic, and, to this preservative, 1035
of no better report than a horse-drench. Is he
not wounded? he was wont to come home wounded.
- Virgilia. O, no, no, no.
- Volumnia. O, he is wounded; I thank the gods for’t.
- Menenius Agrippa. So do I too, if it be not too much: brings a’ 1040
victory in his pocket? the wounds become him.
- Volumnia. On’s brows: Menenius, he comes the third time home
with the oaken garland.
- Menenius Agrippa. Has he disciplined Aufidius soundly?
- Volumnia. Titus TITUS writes, they fought together, but 1045
Aufidius got off.
- Menenius Agrippa. And ’twas time for him too, I’ll warrant him that:
an he had stayed by him, I would not have been so
fidiused for all the chests in Corioli, and the gold
that’s in them. Is the senate possessed of this? 1050
- Volumnia. Good ladies, let’s go. Yes, yes, yes; the senate
has letters from the general, wherein he gives my
son the whole name of the war: he hath in this
action outdone his former deeds doubly
- Valeria. In troth, there’s wondrous things spoke of him. 1055
- Menenius Agrippa. Wondrous! ay, I warrant you, and not without his
- Virgilia. The gods grant them true!
- Volumnia. True! pow, wow.
- Menenius Agrippa. True! I’ll be sworn they are true. 1060
Where is he wounded?
[To the Tribunes]
God save your good worships! CORIOLANUS is coming
home: he has more cause to be proud. Where is he wounded?
- Volumnia. I’ the shoulder and i’ the left arm there will be 1065
large cicatrices to show the people, when he shall
stand for his place. He received in the repulse of
Tarquin seven hurts i’ the body.
- Menenius Agrippa. One i’ the neck, and two i’ the thigh,—there’s
nine that I know. 1070
- Volumnia. He had, before this last expedition, twenty-five
wounds upon him.
- Menenius Agrippa. Now it’s twenty-seven: every gash was an enemy’s grave.
[A shout and flourish]
Hark! the trumpets. 1075
- Volumnia. These are the ushers of CORIOLANUS: before him he
carries noise, and behind him he leaves tears:
Death, that dark spirit, in ‘s nervy arm doth lie;
Which, being advanced, declines, and then men die.
[A sennet. Trumpets sound. Enter COMINIUS the] 1080
general, and TITUS LARTIUS; between them, CORIOLANUS,
crowned with an oaken garland; with Captains and
Soldiers, and a Herald]
- Herald. Know, Rome, that all alone CORIOLANUS did fight
Within Corioli gates: where he hath won, 1085
With fame, a name to Caius CORIOLANUS; these
In honour follows Coriolanus.
Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus!
- All. Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus! 1090
- Coriolanus. No more of this; it does offend my heart:
Pray now, no more.
- Cominius. Look, sir, your mother!
- Coriolanus. O,
You have, I know, petition’d all the gods 1095
For my prosperity!
- Volumnia. Nay, my good soldier, up;
My gentle CORIOLANUS, worthy Caius, and
By deed-achieving honour newly named,— 1100
What is it?—Coriolanus must I call thee?—
But O, thy wife!
- Coriolanus. My gracious silence, hail!
Wouldst thou have laugh’d had I come coffin’d home,
That weep’st to see me triumph? Ay, my dear, 1105
Such eyes the widows in Corioli wear,
And mothers that lack sons.
- Menenius Agrippa. Now, the gods crown thee!
- Coriolanus. And live you yet?
[To VALERIA] 1110
O my sweet lady, pardon.
- Volumnia. I know not where to turn: O, welcome home:
And welcome, general: and ye’re welcome all.
- Menenius Agrippa. A hundred thousand welcomes. I could weep
And I could laugh, I am light and heavy. Welcome. 1115
A curse begin at very root on’s heart,
That is not glad to see thee! You are three
That Rome should dote on: yet, by the faith of men,
We have some old crab-trees here
at home that will not 1120
Be grafted to your relish. Yet welcome, warriors:
We call a nettle but a nettle and
The faults of fools but folly.
- Cominius. Ever right.
- Coriolanus. Menenius ever, ever. 1125
- Herald. Give way there, and go on!
- Coriolanus. [To VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA] Your hand, and yours:
Ere in our own house I do shade my head,
The good patricians must be visited;
From whom I have received not only greetings, 1130
But with them change of honours.
- Volumnia. I have lived
To see inherited my very wishes
And the buildings of my fancy: only
There’s one thing wanting, which I doubt not but 1135
Our Rome will cast upon thee.
- Coriolanus. Know, good mother,
I had rather be their servant in my way,
Than sway with them in theirs.
- Cominius. On, to the Capitol! 1140
[Flourish. Cornets. Exeunt in state, as before.]
BRUTUS and SICINIUS come forward]
- Junius Brutus. All tongues speak of him, and the bleared sights
Are spectacled to see him: your prattling nurse
Into a rapture lets her baby cry 1145
While she chats him: the kitchen malkin pins
Her richest lockram ’bout her reechy neck,
Clambering the walls to eye him: stalls, bulks, windows,
Are smother’d up, leads fill’d, and ridges horsed
With variable complexions, all agreeing 1150
In earnestness to see him: seld-shown flamens
Do press among the popular throngs and puff
To win a vulgar station: or veil’d dames
Commit the war of white and damask in
Their nicely-gawded cheeks to the wanton spoil 1155
Of Phoebus’ burning kisses: such a pother
As if that whatsoever god who leads him
Were slily crept into his human powers
And gave him graceful posture.
- Sicinius Velutus. On the sudden, 1160
I warrant him consul.
- Junius Brutus. Then our office may,
During his power, go sleep.
- Sicinius Velutus. He cannot temperately transport his honours
From where he should begin and end, but will 1165
Lose those he hath won.
- Junius Brutus. In that there’s comfort.
- Sicinius Velutus. Doubt not
The commoners, for whom we stand, but they
Upon their ancient malice will forget 1170
With the least cause these his new honours, which
That he will give them make I as little question
As he is proud to do’t.
- Junius Brutus. I heard him swear,
Were he to stand for consul, never would he 1175
Appear i’ the market-place nor on him put
The napless vesture of humility;
Nor showing, as the manner is, his wounds
To the people, beg their stinking breaths.
- Sicinius Velutus. ‘Tis right. 1180
- Junius Brutus. It was his word: O, he would miss it rather
Than carry it but by the suit of the gentry to him,
And the desire of the nobles.
- Sicinius Velutus. I wish no better
Than have him hold that purpose and to put it 1185
- Junius Brutus. ‘Tis most like he will.
- Sicinius Velutus. It shall be to him then as our good wills,
A sure destruction.
- Junius Brutus. So it must fall out 1190
To him or our authorities. For an end,
We must suggest the people in what hatred
He still hath held them; that to’s power he would
Have made them mules, silenced their pleaders and
Dispropertied their freedoms, holding them, 1195
In human action and capacity,
Of no more soul nor fitness for the world
Than camels in the war, who have their provand
Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows
For sinking under them. 1200
- Sicinius Velutus. This, as you say, suggested
At some time when his soaring insolence
Shall touch the people—which time shall not want,
If he be put upon ‘t; and that’s as easy
As to set dogs on sheep—will be his fire 1205
To kindle their dry stubble; and their blaze
Shall darken him for ever.
[Enter a Messenger]
- Junius Brutus. What’s the matter?
- Messenger. You are sent for to the Capitol. ‘Tis thought 1210
That CORIOLANUS shall be consul:
I have seen the dumb men throng to see him and
The blind to bear him speak: matrons flung gloves,
Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchers,
Upon him as he pass’d: the nobles bended, 1215
As to Jove’s statue, and the commons made
A shower and thunder with their caps and shouts:
I never saw the like.
- Junius Brutus. Let’s to the Capitol;
And carry with us ears and eyes for the time, 1220
But hearts for the event.
- Sicinius Velutus. Have with you.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act II, Scene 2 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
The same. The Capitol.
[Enter two Officers, to lay cushions]
- First Officer. Come, come, they are almost here. How many stand 1225
- Second Officer. Three, they say: but ’tis thought of every one
Coriolanus will carry it.
- First Officer. That’s a brave fellow; but he’s vengeance proud, and
loves not the common people. 1230
- Second Officer. Faith, there had been many great men that have
flattered the people, who ne’er loved them; and there
be many that they have loved, they know not
wherefore: so that, if they love they know not why,
they hate upon no better a ground: therefore, for 1235
Coriolanus neither to care whether they love or hate
him manifests the true knowledge he has in their
disposition; and out of his noble carelessness lets
them plainly see’t.
- First Officer. If he did not care whether he had their love or no, 1240
he waved indifferently ‘twixt doing them neither
good nor harm: but he seeks their hate with greater
devotion than can render it him; and leaves
nothing undone that may fully discover him their
opposite. Now, to seem to affect the malice and 1245
displeasure of the people is as bad as that which he
dislikes, to flatter them for their love.
- Second Officer. He hath deserved worthily of his country: and his
ascent is not by such easy degrees as those who,
having been supple and courteous to the people, 1250
bonneted, without any further deed to have them at
an into their estimation and report: but he hath so
planted his honours in their eyes, and his actions
in their hearts, that for their tongues to be
silent, and not confess so much, were a kind of 1255
ingrateful injury; to report otherwise, were a
malice, that, giving itself the lie, would pluck
reproof and rebuke from every ear that heard it.
- First Officer. No more of him; he is a worthy man: make way, they
are coming. 1260
[A sennet. Enter, with actors before them, COMINIUS]
the consul, MENENIUS, CORIOLANUS, Senators,
SICINIUS and BRUTUS. The Senators take their
places; the Tribunes take their Places by
themselves. CORIOLANUS stands] 1265
- Menenius Agrippa. Having determined of the Volsces and
To send for Titus TITUS, it remains,
As the main point of this our after-meeting,
To gratify his noble service that
Hath thus stood for his country: therefore, 1270
Most reverend and grave elders, to desire
The present consul, and last general
In our well-found successes, to report
A little of that worthy work perform’d 1275
By Caius CORIOLANUS Coriolanus, whom
We met here both to thank and to remember
With honours like himself.
- First Senator. Speak, good Cominius:
Leave nothing out for length, and make us think 1280
Rather our state’s defective for requital
Than we to stretch it out.
[To the Tribunes]
Masters o’ the people,
We do request your kindest ears, and after, 1285
Your loving motion toward the common body,
To yield what passes here.
- Sicinius Velutus. We are convented
Upon a pleasing treaty, and have hearts
Inclinable to honour and advance 1290
The theme of our assembly.
- Junius Brutus. Which the rather
We shall be blest to do, if he remember
A kinder value of the people than
He hath hereto prized them at. 1295
- Menenius Agrippa. That’s off, that’s off;
I would you rather had been silent. Please you
To hear Cominius speak?
- Junius Brutus. Most willingly;
But yet my caution was more pertinent 1300
Than the rebuke you give it.
- Menenius Agrippa. He loves your people
But tie him not to be their bedfellow.
Worthy Cominius, speak.
[CORIOLANUS offers to go away] 1305
Nay, keep your place.
- First Senator. Sit, Coriolanus; never shame to hear
What you have nobly done.
- Coriolanus. Your horror’s pardon:
I had rather have my wounds to heal again 1310
Than hear say how I got them.
- Junius Brutus. Sir, I hope
My words disbench’d you not.
- Coriolanus. No, sir: yet oft,
When blows have made me stay, I fled from words. 1315
You soothed not, therefore hurt not: but
I love them as they weigh.
- Menenius Agrippa. Pray now, sit down.
- Coriolanus. I had rather have one scratch my head i’ the sun 1320
When the alarum were struck than idly sit
To hear my nothings monster’d.
- Menenius Agrippa. Masters of the people,
Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter— 1325
That’s thousand to one good one—when you now see
He had rather venture all his limbs for honour
Than one on’s ears to hear it? Proceed, Cominius.
- Cominius. I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus
Should not be utter’d feebly. It is held 1330
That valour is the chiefest virtue, and
Most dignifies the haver: if it be,
The man I speak of cannot in the world
Be singly counterpoised. At sixteen years,
When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought 1335
Beyond the mark of others: our then dictator,
Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight,
When with his Amazonian chin he drove
The bristled lips before him: be bestrid
An o’er-press’d Roman and i’ the consul’s view 1340
Slew three opposers: Tarquin’s self he met,
And struck him on his knee: in that day’s feats,
When he might act the woman in the scene,
He proved best man i’ the field, and for his meed
Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age 1345
Man-enter’d thus, he waxed like a sea,
And in the brunt of seventeen battles since
He lurch’d all swords of the garland. For this last,
Before and in Corioli, let me say,
I cannot speak him home: he stopp’d the fliers; 1350
And by his rare example made the coward
Turn terror into sport: as weeds before
A vessel under sail, so men obey’d
And fell below his stem: his sword, death’s stamp,
Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot 1355
He was a thing of blood, whose every motion
Was timed with dying cries: alone he enter’d
The mortal gate of the city, which he painted
With shunless destiny; aidless came off,
And with a sudden reinforcement struck 1360
Corioli like a planet: now all’s his:
When, by and by, the din of war gan pierce
His ready sense; then straight his doubled spirit
Re-quicken’d what in flesh was fatigate,
And to the battle came he; where he did 1365
Run reeking o’er the lives of men, as if
‘Twere a perpetual spoil: and till we call’d
Both field and city ours, he never stood
To ease his breast with panting.
- Menenius Agrippa. Worthy man! 1370
- First Senator. He cannot but with measure fit the honours
Which we devise him.
- Cominius. Our spoils he kick’d at,
And look’d upon things precious as they were
The common muck of the world: he covets less 1375
Than misery itself would give; rewards
His deeds with doing them, and is content
To spend the time to end it.
- Menenius Agrippa. He’s right noble:
Let him be call’d for. 1380
- First Senator. Call Coriolanus.
- Officer. He doth appear.
- Menenius Agrippa. The senate, Coriolanus, are well pleased
To make thee consul. 1385
- Coriolanus. I do owe them still
My life and services.
- Menenius Agrippa. It then remains
That you do speak to the people.
- Coriolanus. I do beseech you, 1390
Let me o’erleap that custom, for I cannot
Put on the gown, stand naked and entreat them,
For my wounds’ sake, to give their suffrage: please you
That I may pass this doing.
- Sicinius Velutus. Sir, the people 1395
Must have their voices; neither will they bate
One jot of ceremony.
- Menenius Agrippa. Put them not to’t:
Pray you, go fit you to the custom and
Take to you, as your predecessors have, 1400
Your honour with your form.
- Coriolanus. It is apart
That I shall blush in acting, and might well
Be taken from the people.
- Junius Brutus. Mark you that? 1405
- Coriolanus. To brag unto them, thus I did, and thus;
Show them the unaching scars which I should hide,
As if I had received them for the hire
Of their breath only!
- Menenius Agrippa. Do not stand upon’t. 1410
We recommend to you, tribunes of the people,
Our purpose to them: and to our noble consul
Wish we all joy and honour.Senators. To Coriolanus come all joy and honour!
[Flourish of cornets. Exeunt all but SICINIUS]
and BRUTUS] 1415
- Junius Brutus. You see how he intends to use the people.
- Sicinius Velutus. May they perceive’s intent! He will require them,
As if he did contemn what he requested
Should be in them to give.
- Junius Brutus. Come, we’ll inform them 1420
Of our proceedings here: on the marketplace,
I know, they do attend us.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act II, Scene 3 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
The same. The Forum.
[Enter seven or eight Citizens]
- First Citizen. Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him. 1425
- Second Citizen. We may, sir, if we will.
- Third Citizen. We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a
power that we have no power to do; for if he show us
his wounds and tell us his deeds, we are to put our
tongues into those wounds and speak for them; so, if 1430
he tell us his noble deeds, we must also tell him
our noble acceptance of them. Ingratitude is
monstrous, and for the multitude to be ingrateful,
were to make a monster of the multitude: of the
which we being members, should bring ourselves to be 1435
- First Citizen. And to make us no better thought of, a little help
will serve; for once we stood up about the corn, he
himself stuck not to call us the many-headed multitude.
- Third Citizen. We have been called so of many; not that our heads 1440
are some brown, some black, some auburn, some bald,
but that our wits are so diversely coloured: and
truly I think if all our wits were to issue out of
one skull, they would fly east, west, north, south,
and their consent of one direct way should be at 1445
once to all the points o’ the compass.
- Second Citizen. Think you so? Which way do you judge my wit would
- Third Citizen. Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another man’s
will;’tis strongly wedged up in a block-head, but 1450
if it were at liberty, ‘twould, sure, southward.
- Second Citizen. Why that way?
- Third Citizen. To lose itself in a fog, where being three parts
melted away with rotten dews, the fourth would return
for conscience sake, to help to get thee a wife. 1455
- Second Citizen. You are never without your tricks: you may, you may.
- Third Citizen. Are you all resolved to give your voices? But
that’s no matter, the greater part carries it. I
say, if he would incline to the people, there was
never a worthier man. 1460
[Enter CORIOLANUS in a gown of humility,]
Here he comes, and in the gown of humility: mark his
behavior. We are not to stay all together, but to
come by him where he stands, by ones, by twos, and 1465
by threes. He’s to make his requests by
particulars; wherein every one of us has a single
honour, in giving him our own voices with our own
tongues: therefore follow me, and I direct you how
you shall go by him. 1470
- All. Content, content.
- Menenius Agrippa. O sir, you are not right: have you not known
The worthiest men have done’t?
- Coriolanus. What must I say? 1475
‘I Pray, sir’—Plague upon’t! I cannot bring
My tongue to such a pace:—’Look, sir, my wounds!
I got them in my country’s service, when
Some certain of your brethren roar’d and ran
From the noise of our own drums.’ 1480
- Menenius Agrippa. O me, the gods!
You must not speak of that: you must desire them
To think upon you.
- Coriolanus. Think upon me! hang ’em!
I would they would forget me, like the virtues 1485
Which our divines lose by ’em.
- Menenius Agrippa. You’ll mar all:
I’ll leave you: pray you, speak to ’em, I pray you,
In wholesome manner.
- Coriolanus. Bid them wash their faces
And keep their teeth clean.
[Re-enter two of the Citizens]
So, here comes a brace.
[Re-enter a third Citizen] 1495
You know the cause, air, of my standing here.
- Third Citizen. We do, sir; tell us what hath brought you to’t.
- Coriolanus. Mine own desert.
- Second Citizen. Your own desert!
- Coriolanus. Ay, but not mine own desire. 1500
- Third Citizen. How not your own desire?
- Coriolanus. No, sir,’twas never my desire yet to trouble the
poor with begging.
- Third Citizen. You must think, if we give you any thing, we hope to
gain by you. 1505
- Coriolanus. Well then, I pray, your price o’ the consulship?
- First Citizen. The price is to ask it kindly.
- Coriolanus. Kindly! Sir, I pray, let me ha’t: I have wounds to
show you, which shall be yours in private. Your
good voice, sir; what say you? 1510
- Second Citizen. You shall ha’ it, worthy sir.
- Coriolanus. A match, sir. There’s in all two worthy voices
begged. I have your alms: adieu.
- Third Citizen. But this is something odd.
- Second Citizen. An ’twere to give again,—but ’tis no matter. 1515
[Exeunt the three Citizens]
[Re-enter two other Citizens]
- Coriolanus. Pray you now, if it may stand with the tune of your
voices that I may be consul, I have here the
customary gown. 1520
- Fourth Citizen. You have deserved nobly of your country, and you
have not deserved nobly.
- Coriolanus. Your enigma?
- Fourth Citizen. You have been a scourge to her enemies, you have
been a rod to her friends; you have not indeed loved 1525
the common people.
- Coriolanus. You should account me the more virtuous that I have
not been common in my love. I will, sir, flatter my
sworn brother, the people, to earn a dearer
estimation of them; ’tis a condition they account 1530
gentle: and since the wisdom of their choice is
rather to have my hat than my heart, I will practise
the insinuating nod and be off to them most
counterfeitly; that is, sir, I will counterfeit the
bewitchment of some popular man and give it 1535
bountiful to the desirers. Therefore, beseech you,
I may be consul.
- Fifth Citizen. We hope to find you our friend; and therefore give
you our voices heartily.
- Fourth Citizen. You have received many wounds for your country. 1540
- Coriolanus. I will not seal your knowledge with showing them. I
will make much of your voices, and so trouble you no further.
- Both Citizens. The gods give you joy, sir, heartily!
- Coriolanus. Most sweet voices! 1545
Better it is to die, better to starve,
Than crave the hire which first we do deserve.
Why in this woolvish toge should I stand here,
To beg of Hob and Dick, that do appear,
Their needless vouches? Custom calls me to’t: 1550
What custom wills, in all things should we do’t,
The dust on antique time would lie unswept,
And mountainous error be too highly heapt
For truth to o’er-peer. Rather than fool it so,
Let the high office and the honour go 1555
To one that would do thus. I am half through;
The one part suffer’d, the other will I do.
[Re-enter three Citizens more]
Here come more voices.
Your voices: for your voices I have fought; 1560
Watch’d for your voices; for Your voices bear
Of wounds two dozen odd; battles thrice six
I have seen and heard of; for your voices have
Done many things, some less, some more your voices:
Indeed I would be consul. 1565
- Sixth Citizen. He has done nobly, and cannot go without any honest
- Seventh Citizen. Therefore let him be consul: the gods give him joy,
and make him good friend to the people!
- All Citizens. Amen, amen. God save thee, noble consul! 1570
- Coriolanus. Worthy voices!
[Re-enter MENENIUS, with BRUTUS and SICINIUS]
- Menenius Agrippa. You have stood your limitation; and the tribunes
Endue you with the people’s voice: remains 1575
That, in the official marks invested, you
Anon do meet the senate.
- Coriolanus. Is this done?
- Sicinius Velutus. The custom of request you have discharged:
The people do admit you, and are summon’d 1580
To meet anon, upon your approbation.
- Coriolanus. Where? at the senate-house?
- Sicinius Velutus. There, Coriolanus.
- Coriolanus. May I change these garments?
- Sicinius Velutus. You may, sir. 1585
- Coriolanus. That I’ll straight do; and, knowing myself again,
Repair to the senate-house.
- Menenius Agrippa. I’ll keep you company. Will you along?
- Junius Brutus. We stay here for the people.
- Sicinius Velutus. Fare you well. 1590
[Exeunt CORIOLANUS and MENENIUS]
He has it now, and by his looks methink
‘Tis warm at ‘s heart.
- Junius Brutus. With a proud heart he wore his humble weeds.
will you dismiss the people? 1595
- Sicinius Velutus. How now, my masters! have you chose this man?
- First Citizen. He has our voices, sir.
- Junius Brutus. We pray the gods he may deserve your loves.
- Second Citizen. Amen, sir: to my poor unworthy notice, 1600
He mock’d us when he begg’d our voices.
- Third Citizen. Certainly
He flouted us downright.
- First Citizen. No,’tis his kind of speech: he did not mock us.
- Second Citizen. Not one amongst us, save yourself, but says 1605
He used us scornfully: he should have show’d us
His marks of merit, wounds received for’s country.
- Sicinius Velutus. Why, so he did, I am sure.
- Citizens. No, no; no man saw ’em.
- Third Citizen. He said he had wounds, which he could show 1610
And with his hat, thus waving it in scorn,
‘I would be consul,’ says he: ‘aged custom,
But by your voices, will not so permit me;
Your voices therefore.’ When we granted that, 1615
Here was ‘I thank you for your voices: thank you:
Your most sweet voices: now you have left
I have no further with you.’ Was not this mockery?
- Sicinius Velutus. Why either were you ignorant to see’t, 1620
Or, seeing it, of such childish friendliness
To yield your voices?
- Junius Brutus. Could you not have told him
As you were lesson’d, when he had no power,
But was a petty servant to the state, 1625
He was your enemy, ever spake against
Your liberties and the charters that you bear
I’ the body of the weal; and now, arriving
A place of potency and sway o’ the state,
If he should still malignantly remain 1630
Fast foe to the plebeii, your voices might
Be curses to yourselves? You should have said
That as his worthy deeds did claim no less
Than what he stood for, so his gracious nature
Would think upon you for your voices and 1635
Translate his malice towards you into love,
Standing your friendly lord.
- Sicinius Velutus. Thus to have said,
As you were fore-advised, had touch’d his spirit
And tried his inclination; from him pluck’d 1640
Either his gracious promise, which you might,
As cause had call’d you up, have held him to
Or else it would have gall’d his surly nature,
Which easily endures not article
Tying him to aught; so putting him to rage, 1645
You should have ta’en the advantage of his choler
And pass’d him unelected.
- Junius Brutus. Did you perceive
He did solicit you in free contempt
When he did need your loves, and do you think 1650
That his contempt shall not be bruising to you,
When he hath power to crush? Why, had your bodies
No heart among you? or had you tongues to cry
Against the rectorship of judgment?
- Sicinius Velutus. Have you 1655
Ere now denied the asker? and now again
Of him that did not ask, but mock, bestow
Your sued-for tongues?
- Third Citizen. He’s not confirm’d; we may deny him yet.
- Second Citizen. And will deny him: 1660
I’ll have five hundred voices of that sound.
- First Citizen. I twice five hundred and their friends to piece ’em.
- Junius Brutus. Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends,
They have chose a consul that will from them take
Their liberties; make them of no more voice 1665
Than dogs that are as often beat for barking
As therefore kept to do so.
- Sicinius Velutus. Let them assemble,
And on a safer judgment all revoke
Your ignorant election; enforce his pride, 1670
And his old hate unto you; besides, forget not
With what contempt he wore the humble weed,
How in his suit he scorn’d you; but your loves,
Thinking upon his services, took from you
The apprehension of his present portance, 1675
Which most gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion
After the inveterate hate he bears you.
- Junius Brutus. Lay
A fault on us, your tribunes; that we laboured,
No impediment between, but that you must 1680
Cast your election on him.
- Sicinius Velutus. Say, you chose him
More after our commandment than as guided
By your own true affections, and that your minds,
Preoccupied with what you rather must do 1685
Than what you should, made you against the grain
To voice him consul: lay the fault on us.
- Junius Brutus. Ay, spare us not. Say we read lectures to you.
How youngly he began to serve his country,
How long continued, and what stock he springs of, 1690
The noble house o’ the Marcians, from whence came
That Ancus CORIOLANUS, Numa’s daughter’s son,
Who, after great Hostilius, here was king;
Of the same house Publius and Quintus were,
That our beat water brought by conduits hither; 1695
And [Censorinus,] nobly named so,
Twice being [by the people chosen] censor,
Was his great ancestor.
- Sicinius Velutus. One thus descended,
That hath beside well in his person wrought 1700
To be set high in place, we did commend
To your remembrances: but you have found,
Scaling his present bearing with his past,
That he’s your fixed enemy, and revoke
Your sudden approbation. 1705
- Junius Brutus. Say, you ne’er had done’t—
Harp on that still—but by our putting on;
And presently, when you have drawn your number,
Repair to the Capitol.
- All. We will so: almost all 1710
Repent in their election.
- Junius Brutus. Let them go on;
This mutiny were better put in hazard,
Than stay, past doubt, for greater: 1715
If, as his nature is, he fall in rage
With their refusal, both observe and answer
The vantage of his anger.
- Sicinius Velutus. To the Capitol, come:
We will be there before the stream o’ the people; 1720
And this shall seem, as partly ’tis, their own,
Which we have goaded onward.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act III, Scene 1 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Rome. A street.
[Cornets. Enter CORIOLANUS, MENENIUS, all the] [p]Gentry, COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, and other Senators]
- Coriolanus. Tullus Aufidius then had made new head?
- Titus Lartius. He had, my lord; and that it was which caused
Our swifter composition.
- Coriolanus. So then the Volsces stand but as at first,
Ready, when time shall prompt them, to make road. 1730
- Cominius. They are worn, lord consul, so,
That we shall hardly in our ages see
Their banners wave again.
- Coriolanus. Saw you Aufidius? 1735
- Titus Lartius. On safe-guard he came to me; and did curse
Against the Volsces, for they had so vilely
Yielded the town: he is retired to Antium.
- Coriolanus. Spoke he of me?
- Titus Lartius. He did, my lord. 1740
- Coriolanus. How? what?
- Titus Lartius. How often he had met you, sword to sword;
That of all things upon the earth he hated
Your person most, that he would pawn his fortunes
To hopeless restitution, so he might 1745
Be call’d your vanquisher.
- Coriolanus. At Antium lives he?
- Titus Lartius. At Antium.
- Coriolanus. I wish I had a cause to seek him there,
To oppose his hatred fully. Welcome home. 1750
[Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS]
Behold, these are the tribunes of the people,
The tongues o’ the common mouth: I do despise them;
For they do prank them in authority,
Against all noble sufferance. 1755
- Sicinius Velutus. Pass no further.
- Coriolanus. Ha! what is that?
- Junius Brutus. It will be dangerous to go on: no further.
- Coriolanus. What makes this change?
- Menenius Agrippa. The matter? 1760
- Cominius. Hath he not pass’d the noble and the common?
- Junius Brutus. Cominius, no.
- Coriolanus. Have I had children’s voices?
- First Senator. Tribunes, give way; he shall to the market-place.
- Junius Brutus. The people are incensed against him. 1765
- Sicinius Velutus. Stop,
Or all will fall in broil.
- Coriolanus. Are these your herd?
Must these have voices, that can yield them now
And straight disclaim their tongues? What are 1770
You being their mouths, why rule you not their teeth?
Have you not set them on?
- Menenius Agrippa. Be calm, be calm.
- Coriolanus. It is a purposed thing, and grows by plot, 1775
To curb the will of the nobility:
Suffer’t, and live with such as cannot rule
Nor ever will be ruled.
- Junius Brutus. Call’t not a plot:
The people cry you mock’d them, and of late, 1780
When corn was given them gratis, you repined;
Scandal’d the suppliants for the people, call’d them
Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness.
- Coriolanus. Why, this was known before.
- Junius Brutus. Not to them all. 1785
- Coriolanus. Have you inform’d them sithence?
- Junius Brutus. How! I inform them!
- Coriolanus. You are like to do such business.
- Junius Brutus. Not unlike,
Each way, to better yours. 1790
- Coriolanus. Why then should I be consul? By yond clouds,
Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me
Your fellow tribune.
- Sicinius Velutus. You show too much of that
For which the people stir: if you will pass 1795
To where you are bound, you must inquire your way,
Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit,
Or never be so noble as a consul,
Nor yoke with him for tribune.
- Menenius Agrippa. Let’s be calm. 1800
- Cominius. The people are abused; set on. This paltering
Becomes not Rome, nor has Coriolanus
Deserved this so dishonour’d rub, laid falsely
I’ the plain way of his merit.
- Coriolanus. Tell me of corn! 1805
This was my speech, and I will speak’t again—
- Menenius Agrippa. Not now, not now.
- First Senator. Not in this heat, sir, now.
- Coriolanus. Now, as I live, I will. My nobler friends,
I crave their pardons: 1810
For the mutable, rank-scented many, let them
Regard me as I do not flatter, and
Therein behold themselves: I say again,
In soothing them, we nourish ‘gainst our senate
The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition, 1815
Which we ourselves have plough’d for, sow’d,
By mingling them with us, the honour’d number,
Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that
Which they have given to beggars. 1820
- Menenius Agrippa. Well, no more.
- First Senator. No more words, we beseech you.
- Coriolanus. How! no more!
As for my country I have shed my blood,
Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs 1825
Coin words till their decay against those measles,
Which we disdain should tatter us, yet sought
The very way to catch them.
- Junius Brutus. You speak o’ the people,
As if you were a god to punish, not 1830
A man of their infirmity.
- Sicinius Velutus. ‘Twere well
We let the people know’t.
- Menenius Agrippa. What, what? his choler?
- Coriolanus. Choler! 1835
Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,
By Jove, ‘twould be my mind!
- Sicinius Velutus. It is a mind
That shall remain a poison where it is,
Not poison any further. 1840
- Coriolanus. Shall remain!
Hear you this Triton of the minnows? mark you
His absolute ‘shall’?
- Cominius. ‘Twas from the canon.
- Coriolanus. ‘Shall’! 1845
O good but most unwise patricians! why,
You grave but reckless senators, have you thus
Given Hydra here to choose an officer,
That with his peremptory ‘shall,’ being but
The horn and noise o’ the monster’s, wants not spirit 1850
To say he’ll turn your current in a ditch,
And make your channel his? If he have power
Then vail your ignorance; if none, awake
Your dangerous lenity. If you are learn’d,
Be not as common fools; if you are not, 1855
Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians,
If they be senators: and they are no less,
When, both your voices blended, the great’st taste
Most palates theirs. They choose their magistrate,
And such a one as he, who puts his ‘shall,’ 1860
His popular ‘shall’ against a graver bench
Than ever frown in Greece. By Jove himself!
It makes the consuls base: and my soul aches
To know, when two authorities are up,
Neither supreme, how soon confusion 1865
May enter ‘twixt the gap of both and take
The one by the other.
- Cominius. Well, on to the market-place.
- Coriolanus. Whoever gave that counsel, to give forth
The corn o’ the storehouse gratis, as ’twas used 1870
Sometime in Greece,—
- Menenius Agrippa. Well, well, no more of that.
- Coriolanus. Though there the people had more absolute power,
I say, they nourish’d disobedience, fed
The ruin of the state. 1875
- Junius Brutus. Why, shall the people give
One that speaks thus their voice?
- Coriolanus. I’ll give my reasons,
More worthier than their voices. They know the corn
Was not our recompense, resting well assured 1880
That ne’er did service for’t: being press’d to the war,
Even when the navel of the state was touch’d,
They would not thread the gates. This kind of service
Did not deserve corn gratis. Being i’ the war
Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they show’d 1885
Most valour, spoke not for them: the accusation
Which they have often made against the senate,
All cause unborn, could never be the motive
Of our so frank donation. Well, what then?
How shall this bisson multitude digest 1890
The senate’s courtesy? Let deeds express
What’s like to be their words: ‘we did request it;
We are the greater poll, and in true fear
They gave us our demands.’ Thus we debase
The nature of our seats and make the rabble 1895
Call our cares fears; which will in time
Break ope the locks o’ the senate and bring in
The crows to peck the eagles.
- Menenius Agrippa. Come, enough.
- Junius Brutus. Enough, with over-measure. 1900
- Coriolanus. No, take more:
What may be sworn by, both divine and human,
Seal what I end withal! This double worship,
Where one part does disdain with cause, the other
Insult without all reason, where gentry, title, wisdom, 1905
Cannot conclude but by the yea and no
Of general ignorance,—it must omit
Real necessities, and give way the while
To unstable slightness: purpose so barr’d,
it follows, 1910
Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore, beseech you,—
You that will be less fearful than discreet,
That love the fundamental part of state
More than you doubt the change on’t, that prefer
A noble life before a long, and wish 1915
To jump a body with a dangerous physic
That’s sure of death without it, at once pluck out
The multitudinous tongue; let them not lick
The sweet which is their poison: your dishonour
Mangles true judgment and bereaves the state 1920
Of that integrity which should become’t,
Not having the power to do the good it would,
For the in which doth control’t.
- Junius Brutus. Has said enough.
- Sicinius Velutus. Has spoken like a traitor, and shall answer 1925
As traitors do.
- Coriolanus. Thou wretch, despite o’erwhelm thee!
What should the people do with these bald tribunes?
On whom depending, their obedience fails
To the greater bench: in a rebellion, 1930
When what’s not meet, but what must be, was law,
Then were they chosen: in a better hour,
Let what is meet be said it must be meet,
And throw their power i’ the dust.
- Junius Brutus. Manifest treason! 1935
- Sicinius Velutus. This a consul? no.
- Junius Brutus. The aediles, ho!
[Enter an AEdile]
Let him be apprehended.
- Sicinius Velutus. Go, call the people: 1940
in whose name myself
Attach thee as a traitorous innovator,
A foe to the public weal: obey, I charge thee,
And follow to thine answer. 1945
- Coriolanus. Hence, old goat!
- Cominius. Aged sir, hands off.
- Coriolanus. Hence, rotten thing! or I shall shake thy bones
Out of thy garments. 1950
- Sicinius Velutus. Help, ye citizens!
[Enter a rabble of Citizens (Plebeians), with]
- Menenius Agrippa. On both sides more respect.
- Sicinius Velutus. Here’s he that would take from you all your power. 1955
- Junius Brutus. Seize him, AEdiles!
- Citizens. Down with him! down with him!
[They all bustle about CORIOLANUS, crying]
‘Tribunes!’ ‘Patricians!’ ‘Citizens!’ ‘What, ho!’
‘Sicinius!’ ‘Brutus!’ ‘Coriolanus!’ ‘Citizens!’ 1960
‘Peace, peace, peace!’ ‘Stay, hold, peace!’
- Menenius Agrippa. What is about to be? I am out of breath;
Confusion’s near; I cannot speak. You, tribunes
To the people! Coriolanus, patience! 1965
Speak, good Sicinius.
- Sicinius Velutus. Hear me, people; peace!
- Citizens. Let’s hear our tribune: peace Speak, speak, speak.
- Sicinius Velutus. You are at point to lose your liberties:
CORIOLANUS would have all from you; CORIOLANUS, 1970
Whom late you have named for consul.
- Menenius Agrippa. Fie, fie, fie!
This is the way to kindle, not to quench.
- First Senator. To unbuild the city and to lay all flat.
- Sicinius Velutus. What is the city but the people? 1975
- Citizens. True,
The people are the city.
- Junius Brutus. By the consent of all, we were establish’d
The people’s magistrates.
- Citizens. You so remain. 1980
- Menenius Agrippa. And so are like to do.
- Cominius. That is the way to lay the city flat;
To bring the roof to the foundation,
And bury all, which yet distinctly ranges,
In heaps and piles of ruin. 1985
- Sicinius Velutus. This deserves death.
- Junius Brutus. Or let us stand to our authority,
Or let us lose it. We do here pronounce,
Upon the part o’ the people, in whose power
We were elected theirs, CORIOLANUS is worthy 1990
Of present death.
- Sicinius Velutus. Therefore lay hold of him;
Bear him to the rock Tarpeian, and from thence
Into destruction cast him.
- Junius Brutus. AEdiles, seize him! 1995
- Citizens. Yield, CORIOLANUS, yield!
- Menenius Agrippa. Hear me one word;
Beseech you, tribunes, hear me but a word.
- Aedile. Peace, peace!
- Menenius Agrippa. [To BRUTUS] Be that you seem, truly your 2000
And temperately proceed to what you would
Thus violently redress.
- Junius Brutus. Sir, those cold ways,
That seem like prudent helps, are very poisonous 2005
Where the disease is violent. Lay hands upon him,
And bear him to the rock.
- Coriolanus. No, I’ll die here.
[Drawing his sword]
There’s some among you have beheld me fighting: 2010
Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me.
- Menenius Agrippa. Down with that sword! Tribunes, withdraw awhile.
- Junius Brutus. Lay hands upon him.
- Cominius. Help CORIOLANUS, help,
You that be noble; help him, young and old! 2015
- Citizens. Down with him, down with him!
[In this mutiny, the Tribunes, the AEdiles, and the]
People, are beat in]
- Menenius Agrippa. Go, get you to your house; be gone, away!
All will be naught else. 2020
- Second Senator. Get you gone.
- Cominius. Stand fast;
We have as many friends as enemies.
- Menenius Agrippa. Sham it be put to that?
- First Senator. The gods forbid! 2025
I prithee, noble friend, home to thy house;
Leave us to cure this cause.
- Menenius Agrippa. For ’tis a sore upon us,
You cannot tent yourself: be gone, beseech you.
- Cominius. Come, sir, along with us. 2030
- Coriolanus. I would they were barbarians—as they are,
Though in Rome litter’d—not Romans—as they are not,
Though calved i’ the porch o’ the Capitol—
- Menenius Agrippa. Be gone;
Put not your worthy rage into your tongue; 2035
One time will owe another.
- Coriolanus. On fair ground
I could beat forty of them.
- Cominius. I could myself
Take up a brace o’ the best of them; yea, the 2040
But now ’tis odds beyond arithmetic;
And manhood is call’d foolery, when it stands
Against a falling fabric. Will you hence,
Before the tag return? whose rage doth rend 2045
Like interrupted waters and o’erbear
What they are used to bear.
- Menenius Agrippa. Pray you, be gone:
I’ll try whether my old wit be in request
With those that have but little: this must be patch’d 2050
With cloth of any colour.
- Cominius. Nay, come away.
[Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, and others]
- Patrician. This man has marr’d his fortune.
- Menenius Agrippa. His nature is too noble for the world: 2055
He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
Or Jove for’s power to thunder. His heart’s his mouth:
What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent;
And, being angry, does forget that ever
He heard the name of death. 2060
[A noise within]
Here’s goodly work!
- Second Patrician. I would they were abed!
- Menenius Agrippa. I would they were in Tiber! What the vengeance!
Could he not speak ’em fair? 2065
[Re-enter BRUTUS and SICINIUS, with the rabble]
- Sicinius Velutus. Where is this viper
That would depopulate the city and
Be every man himself?
- Menenius Agrippa. You worthy tribunes,— 2070
- Sicinius Velutus. He shall be thrown down the Tarpeian rock
With rigorous hands: he hath resisted law,
And therefore law shall scorn him further trial
Than the severity of the public power
Which he so sets at nought. 2075
- First Citizen. He shall well know
The noble tribunes are the people’s mouths,
And we their hands.
- Citizens. He shall, sure on’t.
- Menenius Agrippa. Sir, sir,— 2080
- Sicinius Velutus. Peace!
- Menenius Agrippa. Do not cry havoc, where you should but hunt
With modest warrant.
- Sicinius Velutus. Sir, how comes’t that you
Have holp to make this rescue? 2085
- Menenius Agrippa. Hear me speak:
As I do know the consul’s worthiness,
So can I name his faults,—
- Sicinius Velutus. Consul! what consul?
- Menenius Agrippa. The consul Coriolanus. 2090
- Junius Brutus. He consul!
- Citizens. No, no, no, no, no.
- Menenius Agrippa. If, by the tribunes’ leave, and yours, good people,
I may be heard, I would crave a word or two;
The which shall turn you to no further harm 2095
Than so much loss of time.
- Sicinius Velutus. Speak briefly then;
For we are peremptory to dispatch
This viperous traitor: to eject him hence
Were but one danger, and to keep him here 2100
Our certain death: therefore it is decreed
He dies to-night.
- Menenius Agrippa. Now the good gods forbid
That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude
Towards her deserved children is enroll’d 2105
In Jove’s own book, like an unnatural dam
Should now eat up her own!
- Sicinius Velutus. He’s a disease that must be cut away.
- Menenius Agrippa. O, he’s a limb that has but a disease;
Mortal, to cut it off; to cure it, easy. 2110
What has he done to Rome that’s worthy death?
Killing our enemies, the blood he hath lost—
Which, I dare vouch, is more than that he hath,
By many an ounce—he dropp’d it for his country;
And what is left, to lose it by his country, 2115
Were to us all, that do’t and suffer it,
A brand to the end o’ the world.
- Sicinius Velutus. This is clean kam.
- Junius Brutus. Merely awry: when he did love his country,
It honour’d him. 2120
- Menenius Agrippa. The service of the foot
Being once gangrened, is not then respected
For what before it was.
- Junius Brutus. We’ll hear no more.
Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence: 2125
Lest his infection, being of catching nature,
- Menenius Agrippa. One word more, one word.
This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find
The harm of unscann’d swiftness, will too late 2130
Tie leaden pounds to’s heels. Proceed by process;
Lest parties, as he is beloved, break out,
And sack great Rome with Romans.
- Junius Brutus. If it were so,—
- Sicinius Velutus. What do ye talk? 2135
Have we not had a taste of his obedience?
Our aediles smote? ourselves resisted? Come.
- Menenius Agrippa. Consider this: he has been bred i’ the wars
Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school’d
In bolted language; meal and bran together 2140
He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
I’ll go to him, and undertake to bring him
Where he shall answer, by a lawful form,
In peace, to his utmost peril.
- First Senator. Noble tribunes, 2145
It is the humane way: the other course
Will prove too bloody, and the end of it
Unknown to the beginning.
- Sicinius Velutus. Noble Menenius,
Be you then as the people’s officer. 2150
Masters, lay down your weapons.
- Junius Brutus. Go not home.
- Sicinius Velutus. Meet on the market-place. We’ll attend you there:
Where, if you bring not CORIOLANUS, we’ll proceed
In our first way. 2155
- Menenius Agrippa. I’ll bring him to you.
[To the Senators]
Let me desire your company: he must come,
Or what is worst will follow.
- First Senator. Pray you, let’s to him. 2160
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act III, Scene 2 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
A room in CORIOLANUS’S house.
[Enter CORIOLANUS with Patricians]
- Coriolanus. Let them puff all about mine ears, present me
Death on the wheel or at wild horses’ heels,
Or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock, 2165
That the precipitation might down stretch
Below the beam of sight, yet will I still
Be thus to them.
- Patrician. You do the nobler.
- Coriolanus. I muse my mother 2170
Does not approve me further, who was wont
To call them woollen vassals, things created
To buy and sell with groats, to show bare heads
In congregations, to yawn, be still and wonder,
When one but of my ordinance stood up 2175
To speak of peace or war.
I talk of you:
Why did you wish me milder? would you have me
False to my nature? Rather say I play 2180
The man I am.
- Volumnia. O, sir, sir, sir,
I would have had you put your power well on,
Before you had worn it out.
- Coriolanus. Let go. 2185
- Volumnia. You might have been enough the man you are,
With striving less to be so; lesser had been
The thwartings of your dispositions, if
You had not show’d them how ye were disposed
Ere they lack’d power to cross you. 2190
- Coriolanus. Let them hang.
- Patrician. Ay, and burn too.
[Enter MENENIUS and Senators]
- Menenius Agrippa. Come, come, you have been too rough, something
too rough; 2195
You must return and mend it.
- First Senator. There’s no remedy;
Unless, by not so doing, our good city
Cleave in the midst, and perish.
- Volumnia. Pray, be counsell’d: 2200
I have a heart as little apt as yours,
But yet a brain that leads my use of anger
To better vantage.
- Menenius Agrippa. Well said, noble woman?
Before he should thus stoop to the herd, but that 2205
The violent fit o’ the time craves it as physic
For the whole state, I would put mine armour on,
Which I can scarcely bear.
- Coriolanus. What must I do?
- Menenius Agrippa. Return to the tribunes. 2210
- Coriolanus. Well, what then? what then?
- Menenius Agrippa. Repent what you have spoke.
- Coriolanus. For them! I cannot do it to the gods;
Must I then do’t to them?
- Volumnia. You are too absolute; 2215
Though therein you can never be too noble,
But when extremities speak. I have heard you say,
Honour and policy, like unsever’d friends,
I’ the war do grow together: grant that, and tell me,
In peace what each of them by the other lose, 2220
That they combine not there.
- Coriolanus. Tush, tush!
- Menenius Agrippa. A good demand.
- Volumnia. If it be honour in your wars to seem
The same you are not, which, for your best ends, 2225
You adopt your policy, how is it less or worse,
That it shall hold companionship in peace
With honour, as in war, since that to both
It stands in like request?
- Coriolanus. Why force you this? 2230
- Volumnia. Because that now it lies you on to speak
To the people; not by your own instruction,
Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you,
But with such words that are but rooted in
Your tongue, though but bastards and syllables 2235
Of no allowance to your bosom’s truth.
Now, this no more dishonours you at all
Than to take in a town with gentle words,
Which else would put you to your fortune and
The hazard of much blood. 2240
I would dissemble with my nature where
My fortunes and my friends at stake required
I should do so in honour: I am in this,
Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles;
And you will rather show our general louts 2245
How you can frown than spend a fawn upon ’em,
For the inheritance of their loves and safeguard
Of what that want might ruin.
- Menenius Agrippa. Noble lady!
Come, go with us; speak fair: you may salve so, 2250
Not what is dangerous present, but the loss
Of what is past.
- Volumnia. I prithee now, my son,
Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand;
And thus far having stretch’d it—here be with them— 2255
Thy knee bussing the stones—for in such business
Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant
More learned than the ears—waving thy head,
Which often, thus, correcting thy stout heart,
Now humble as the ripest mulberry 2260
That will not hold the handling: or say to them,
Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils
Hast not the soft way which, thou dost confess,
Were fit for thee to use as they to claim,
In asking their good loves, but thou wilt frame 2265
Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far
As thou hast power and person.
- Menenius Agrippa. This but done,
Even as she speaks, why, their hearts were yours;
For they have pardons, being ask’d, as free 2270
As words to little purpose.
- Volumnia. Prithee now,
Go, and be ruled: although I know thou hadst rather
Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf
Than flatter him in a bower. Here is Cominius. 2275
- Cominius. I have been i’ the market-place; and, sir,’tis fit
You make strong party, or defend yourself
By calmness or by absence: all’s in anger.
- Menenius Agrippa. Only fair speech. 2280
- Cominius. I think ’twill serve, if he
Can thereto frame his spirit.
- Volumnia. He must, and will
Prithee now, say you will, and go about it.
- Coriolanus. Must I go show them my unbarbed sconce? 2285
Must I with base tongue give my noble heart
A lie that it must bear? Well, I will do’t:
Yet, were there but this single plot to lose,
This mould of CORIOLANUS, they to dust should grind it
And throw’t against the wind. To the market-place! 2290
You have put me now to such a part which never
I shall discharge to the life.
- Cominius. Come, come, we’ll prompt you.
- Volumnia. I prithee now, sweet son, as thou hast said
My praises made thee first a soldier, so, 2295
To have my praise for this, perform a part
Thou hast not done before.
- Coriolanus. Well, I must do’t:
Away, my disposition, and possess me
Some harlot’s spirit! my throat of war be turn’d, 2300
Which quired with my drum, into a pipe
Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice
That babies lulls asleep! the smiles of knaves
Tent in my cheeks, and schoolboys’ tears take up
The glasses of my sight! a beggar’s tongue 2305
Make motion through my lips, and my arm’d knees,
Who bow’d but in my stirrup, bend like his
That hath received an alms! I will not do’t,
Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth
And by my body’s action teach my mind 2310
A most inherent baseness.
- Volumnia. At thy choice, then:
To beg of thee, it is my more dishonour
Than thou of them. Come all to ruin; let
Thy mother rather feel thy pride than fear 2315
Thy dangerous stoutness, for I mock at death
With as big heart as thou. Do as thou list
Thy valiantness was mine, thou suck’dst it from me,
But owe thy pride thyself.
- Coriolanus. Pray, be content: 2320
Mother, I am going to the market-place;
Chide me no more. I’ll mountebank their loves,
Cog their hearts from them, and come home beloved
Of all the trades in Rome. Look, I am going:
Commend me to my wife. I’ll return consul; 2325
Or never trust to what my tongue can do
I’ the way of flattery further.
- Volumnia. Do your will.
- Cominius. Away! the tribunes do attend you: arm yourself 2330
To answer mildly; for they are prepared
With accusations, as I hear, more strong
Than are upon you yet.
- Coriolanus. The word is ‘mildly.’ Pray you, let us go:
Let them accuse me by invention, I 2335
Will answer in mine honour.
- Menenius Agrippa. Ay, but mildly.
- Coriolanus. Well, mildly be it then. Mildly!
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act III, Scene 3 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
The same. The Forum.
[Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS]
- Junius Brutus. In this point charge him home, that he affects
Tyrannical power: if he evade us there,
Enforce him with his envy to the people,
And that the spoil got on the Antiates
Was ne’er distributed. 2345
[Enter an AEdile]
What, will he come?
- Aedile. He’s coming.
- Junius Brutus. How accompanied?
- Aedile. With old Menenius, and those senators 2350
That always favour’d him.
- Sicinius Velutus. Have you a catalogue
Of all the voices that we have procured
Set down by the poll?
- Aedile. I have; ’tis ready. 2355
- Sicinius Velutus. Have you collected them by tribes?
- Aedile. I have.
- Sicinius Velutus. Assemble presently the people hither;
And when they bear me say ‘It shall be so
I’ the right and strength o’ the commons,’ be it either 2360
For death, for fine, or banishment, then let them
If I say fine, cry ‘Fine;’ if death, cry ‘Death.’
Insisting on the old prerogative
And power i’ the truth o’ the cause.
- Aedile. I shall inform them. 2365
- Junius Brutus. And when such time they have begun to cry,
Let them not cease, but with a din confused
Enforce the present execution
Of what we chance to sentence.
- Aedile. Very well. 2370
- Sicinius Velutus. Make them be strong and ready for this hint,
When we shall hap to give ‘t them.
- Junius Brutus. Go about it.
Put him to choler straight: he hath been used 2375
Ever to conquer, and to have his worth
Of contradiction: being once chafed, he cannot
Be rein’d again to temperance; then he speaks
What’s in his heart; and that is there which looks
With us to break his neck. 2380
- Sicinius Velutus. Well, here he comes.
[Enter CORIOLANUS, MENENIUS, and COMINIUS,]
with Senators and Patricians]
- Menenius Agrippa. Calmly, I do beseech you.
- Coriolanus. Ay, as an ostler, that for the poorest piece 2385
Will bear the knave by the volume. The honour’d gods
Keep Rome in safety, and the chairs of justice
Supplied with worthy men! plant love among ‘s!
Throng our large temples with the shows of peace,
And not our streets with war! 2390
- First Senator. Amen, amen.
- Menenius Agrippa. A noble wish.
[Re-enter AEdile, with Citizens]
- Sicinius Velutus. Draw near, ye people.
- Aedile. List to your tribunes. Audience: peace, I say! 2395
- Coriolanus. First, hear me speak.
- Both Tribunes. Well, say. Peace, ho!
- Coriolanus. Shall I be charged no further than this present?
Must all determine here?
- Sicinius Velutus. I do demand, 2400
If you submit you to the people’s voices,
Allow their officers and are content
To suffer lawful censure for such faults
As shall be proved upon you?
- Coriolanus. I am content. 2405
- Menenius Agrippa. Lo, citizens, he says he is content:
The warlike service he has done, consider; think
Upon the wounds his body bears, which show
Like graves i’ the holy churchyard.
- Coriolanus. Scratches with briers, 2410
Scars to move laughter only.
- Menenius Agrippa. Consider further,
That when he speaks not like a citizen,
You find him like a soldier: do not take
His rougher accents for malicious sounds, 2415
But, as I say, such as become a soldier,
Rather than envy you.
- Cominius. Well, well, no more.
- Coriolanus. What is the matter
That being pass’d for consul with full voice, 2420
I am so dishonour’d that the very hour
You take it off again?
- Sicinius Velutus. Answer to us.
- Coriolanus. Say, then: ’tis true, I ought so.
- Sicinius Velutus. We charge you, that you have contrived to take 2425
From Rome all season’d office and to wind
Yourself into a power tyrannical;
For which you are a traitor to the people.
- Coriolanus. How! traitor!
- Menenius Agrippa. Nay, temperately; your promise. 2430
- Coriolanus. The fires i’ the lowest hell fold-in the people!
Call me their traitor! Thou injurious tribune!
Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths,
In thy hand clutch’d as many millions, in
Thy lying tongue both numbers, I would say 2435
‘Thou liest’ unto thee with a voice as free
As I do pray the gods.
- Sicinius Velutus. Mark you this, people?
- Citizens. To the rock, to the rock with him!
- Sicinius Velutus. Peace! 2440
We need not put new matter to his charge:
What you have seen him do and heard him speak,
Beating your officers, cursing yourselves,
Opposing laws with strokes and here defying
Those whose great power must try him; even this, 2445
So criminal and in such capital kind,
Deserves the extremest death.
- Junius Brutus. But since he hath
Served well for Rome,—
- Coriolanus. What do you prate of service? 2450
- Junius Brutus. I talk of that, that know it.
- Coriolanus. You?
- Menenius Agrippa. Is this the promise that you made your mother?
- Cominius. Know, I pray you,—
- Coriolanus. I know no further: 2455
Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,
Vagabond exile, raying, pent to linger
But with a grain a day, I would not buy
Their mercy at the price of one fair word;
Nor cheque my courage for what they can give, 2460
To have’t with saying ‘Good morrow.’
- Sicinius Velutus. For that he has,
As much as in him lies, from time to time
Envied against the people, seeking means
To pluck away their power, as now at last 2465
Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers
That do distribute it; in the name o’ the people
And in the power of us the tribunes, we,
Even from this instant, banish him our city, 2470
In peril of precipitation
From off the rock Tarpeian never more
To enter our Rome gates: i’ the people’s name,
I say it shall be so.
- Citizens. It shall be so, it shall be so; let him away: 2475
He’s banish’d, and it shall be so.
- Cominius. Hear me, my masters, and my common friends,—
- Sicinius Velutus. He’s sentenced; no more hearing.
- Cominius. Let me speak:
I have been consul, and can show for Rome 2480
Her enemies’ marks upon me. I do love
My country’s good with a respect more tender,
More holy and profound, than mine own life,
My dear wife’s estimate, her womb’s increase,
And treasure of my loins; then if I would 2485
- Sicinius Velutus. We know your drift: speak what?
- Junius Brutus. There’s no more to be said, but he is banish’d,
As enemy to the people and his country:
It shall be so. 2490
- Citizens. It shall be so, it shall be so.
- Coriolanus. You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
As reek o’ the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
As the dead carcasses of unburied men
That do corrupt my air, I banish you; 2495
And here remain with your uncertainty!
Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
Fan you into despair! Have the power still
To banish your defenders; till at length 2500
Your ignorance, which finds not till it feels,
Making not reservation of yourselves,
Still your own foes, deliver you as most
Abated captives to some nation
That won you without blows! Despising, 2505
For you, the city, thus I turn my back:
There is a world elsewhere.
[Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, MENENIUS, Senators,]
- Aedile. The people’s enemy is gone, is gone! 2510
- Citizens. Our enemy is banish’d! he is gone! Hoo! hoo!
[Shouting, and throwing up their caps]
- Sicinius Velutus. Go, see him out at gates, and follow him,
As he hath followed you, with all despite;
Give him deserved vexation. Let a guard 2515
Attend us through the city.
- Citizens. Come, come; let’s see him out at gates; come.
The gods preserve our noble tribunes! Come.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act IV, Scene 2 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
The same. A street near the gate.
[Enter SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and an AEdile]
- Sicinius Velutus. Bid them all home; he’s gone, and we’ll no further.
The nobility are vex’d, whom we see have sided
In his behalf. 2590
- Junius Brutus. Now we have shown our power,
Let us seem humbler after it is done
Than when it was a-doing.
- Sicinius Velutus. Bid them home:
Say their great enemy is gone, and they 2595
Stand in their ancient strength.
- Junius Brutus. Dismiss them home.
Here comes his mother.
- Sicinius Velutus. Let’s not meet her. 2600
- Junius Brutus. Why?
- Sicinius Velutus. They say she’s mad.
- Junius Brutus. They have ta’en note of us: keep on your way.
[Enter VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, and MENENIUS]
- Volumnia. O, ye’re well met: the hoarded plague o’ the gods 2605
Requite your love!
- Menenius Agrippa. Peace, peace; be not so loud.
- Volumnia. If that I could for weeping, you should hear,—
Nay, and you shall hear some.
[To BRUTUS] 2610
Will you be gone?
- Virgilia. [To SICINIUS] You shall stay too: I would I had the power
To say so to my husband.
- Sicinius Velutus. Are you mankind?
- Volumnia. Ay, fool; is that a shame? Note but this fool. 2615
Was not a man my father? Hadst thou foxship
To banish him that struck more blows for Rome
Than thou hast spoken words?
- Sicinius Velutus. O blessed heavens!
- Volumnia. More noble blows than ever thou wise words; 2620
And for Rome’s good. I’ll tell thee what; yet go:
Nay, but thou shalt stay too: I would my son
Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him,
His good sword in his hand.
- Sicinius Velutus. What then? 2625
- Virgilia. What then!
He’ld make an end of thy posterity.
- Volumnia. Bastards and all.
Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome!
- Menenius Agrippa. Come, come, peace. 2630
- Sicinius Velutus. I would he had continued to his country
As he began, and not unknit himself
The noble knot he made.
- Junius Brutus. I would he had.
- Volumnia. ‘I would he had’! ‘Twas you incensed the rabble: 2635
Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth
As I can of those mysteries which heaven
Will not have earth to know.
- Junius Brutus. Pray, let us go.
- Volumnia. Now, pray, sir, get you gone: 2640
You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear this:—
As far as doth the Capitol exceed
The meanest house in Rome, so far my son—
This lady’s husband here, this, do you see—
Whom you have banish’d, does exceed you all. 2645
- Junius Brutus. Well, well, we’ll leave you.
- Sicinius Velutus. Why stay we to be baited
With one that wants her wits?
- Volumnia. Take my prayers with you.
[Exeunt Tribunes] 2650
I would the gods had nothing else to do
But to confirm my curses! Could I meet ’em
But once a-day, it would unclog my heart
Of what lies heavy to’t.
- Menenius Agrippa. You have told them home; 2655
And, by my troth, you have cause. You’ll sup with me?
- Volumnia. Anger’s my meat; I sup upon myself,
And so shall starve with feeding. Come, let’s go:
Leave this faint puling and lament as I do,
In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come. 2660
- Menenius Agrippa. Fie, fie, fie!
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act IV, Scene 3 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
A highway between Rome and Antium.
[Enter CORIOLANUS, VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, MENENIUS,] [p]COMINIUS, with the young Nobility of Rome]
- Coriolanus. Come, leave your tears: a brief farewell: the beast
With many heads butts me away. Nay, mother,
Where is your ancient courage? you were used
To say extremity was the trier of spirits; 2525
That common chances common men could bear;
That when the sea was calm all boats alike
Show’d mastership in floating; fortune’s blows,
When most struck home, being gentle wounded, craves
A noble cunning: you were used to load me 2530
With precepts that would make invincible
The heart that conn’d them.
- Virgilia. O heavens! O heavens!
- Coriolanus. Nay! prithee, woman,—
- Volumnia. Now the red pestilence strike all trades in Rome, 2535
And occupations perish!
- Coriolanus. What, what, what!
I shall be loved when I am lack’d. Nay, mother.
Resume that spirit, when you were wont to say,
If you had been the wife of Hercules, 2540
Six of his labours you’ld have done, and saved
Your husband so much sweat. Cominius,
Droop not; adieu. Farewell, my wife, my mother:
I’ll do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius,
Thy tears are salter than a younger man’s, 2545
And venomous to thine eyes. My sometime general,
I have seen thee stem, and thou hast oft beheld
Heart-hardening spectacles; tell these sad women
‘Tis fond to wail inevitable strokes,
As ’tis to laugh at ’em. My mother, you wot well 2550
My hazards still have been your solace: and
Believe’t not lightly—though I go alone,
Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen
Makes fear’d and talk’d of more than seen—your son
Will or exceed the common or be caught 2555
With cautelous baits and practise.
- Volumnia. My first son.
Whither wilt thou go? Take good Cominius
With thee awhile: determine on some course,
More than a wild exposture to each chance 2560
That starts i’ the way before thee.
- Coriolanus. O the gods!
- Cominius. I’ll follow thee a month, devise with thee
Where thou shalt rest, that thou mayst hear of us
And we of thee: so if the time thrust forth 2565
A cause for thy repeal, we shall not send
O’er the vast world to seek a single man,
And lose advantage, which doth ever cool
I’ the absence of the needer.
- Coriolanus. Fare ye well: 2570
Thou hast years upon thee; and thou art too full
Of the wars’ surfeits, to go rove with one
That’s yet unbruised: bring me but out at gate.
Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and
My friends of noble touch, when I am forth, 2575
Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you, come.
While I remain above the ground, you shall
Hear from me still, and never of me aught
But what is like me formerly.
- Menenius Agrippa. That’s worthily 2580
As any ear can hear. Come, let’s not weep.
If I could shake off but one seven years
From these old arms and legs, by the good gods,
I’ld with thee every foot.
- Coriolanus. Give me thy hand: Come. 2585
[Enter a Roman and a Volsce, meeting]
- Roman. I know you well, sir, and you know
me: your name, I think, is Adrian. 2665
- Volsce. It is so, sir: truly, I have forgot you.
- Roman. I am a Roman; and my services are,
as you are, against ’em: know you me yet?
- Volsce. Nicanor? no.
- Roman. The same, sir. 2670
- Volsce. You had more beard when I last saw you; but your
favour is well approved by your tongue. What’s the
news in Rome? I have a note from the Volscian state,
to find you out there: you have well saved me a
day’s journey. 2675
- Roman. There hath been in Rome strange insurrections; the
people against the senators, patricians, and nobles.
- Volsce. Hath been! is it ended, then? Our state thinks not
so: they are in a most warlike preparation, and
hope to come upon them in the heat of their division. 2680
- Roman. The main blaze of it is past, but a small thing
would make it flame again: for the nobles receive
so to heart the banishment of that worthy
Coriolanus, that they are in a ripe aptness to take
all power from the people and to pluck from them 2685
their tribunes for ever. This lies glowing, I can
tell you, and is almost mature for the violent
- Volsce. Coriolanus banished!
- Roman. Banished, sir. 2690
- Volsce. You will be welcome with this intelligence, Nicanor.
- Roman. The day serves well for them now. I have heard it
said, the fittest time to corrupt a man’s wife is
when she’s fallen out with her husband. Your noble
Tullus Aufidius will appear well in these wars, his 2695
great opposer, Coriolanus, being now in no request
of his country.
- Volsce. He cannot choose. I am most fortunate, thus
accidentally to encounter you: you have ended my
business, and I will merrily accompany you home. 2700
- Roman. I shall, between this and supper, tell you most
strange things from Rome; all tending to the good of
their adversaries. Have you an army ready, say you?
- Volsce. A most royal one; the centurions and their charges,
distinctly billeted, already in the entertainment, 2705
and to be on foot at an hour’s warning.
- Roman. I am joyful to hear of their readiness, and am the
man, I think, that shall set them in present action.
So, sir, heartily well met, and most glad of your company.
- Volsce. You take my part from me, sir; I have the most cause 2710
to be glad of yours.
- Roman. Well, let us go together.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act IV, Scene 4 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Antium. Before Aufidius’s house.
[Enter CORIOLANUS in mean apparel, disguised] [p]and muffled]
- Coriolanus. A goodly city is this Antium. City,
‘Tis I that made thy widows: many an heir
Of these fair edifices ‘fore my wars
Have I heard groan and drop: then know me not,
Lest that thy wives with spits and boys with stones 2720
In puny battle slay me.
[Enter a Citizen]
Save you, sir.
- Citizen. And you.
- Coriolanus. Direct me, if it be your will, 2725
Where great Aufidius lies: is he in Antium?
- Citizen. He is, and feasts the nobles of the state
At his house this night.
- Coriolanus. Which is his house, beseech you?
- Citizen. This, here before you. 2730
- Coriolanus. Thank you, sir: farewell.
O world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn,
Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart,
Whose house, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise, 2735
Are still together, who twin, as ’twere, in love
Unseparable, shall within this hour,
On a dissension of a doit, break out
To bitterest enmity: so, fellest foes,
Whose passions and whose plots have broke their sleep, 2740
To take the one the other, by some chance,
Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends
And interjoin their issues. So with me:
My birth-place hate I, and my love’s upon
This enemy town. I’ll enter: if he slay me, 2745
He does fair justice; if he give me way,
I’ll do his country service.
[Exit] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act IV, Scene 5 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
The same. A hall in Aufidius’s house.
[Music within. Enter a Servingman]
- First Servingman. Wine, wine, wine! What service 2750
is here! I think our fellows are asleep.
[Enter a second Servingman]
- Second Servingman. Where’s Cotus? my master calls
for him. Cotus! 2755
- Coriolanus. A goodly house: the feast smells well; but I
Appear not like a guest.
[Re-enter the first Servingman]
- First Servingman. What would you have, friend? whence are you?
Here’s no place for you: pray, go to the door.
- Coriolanus. I have deserved no better entertainment,
In being Coriolanus. 2765
[Re-enter second Servingman]
- Second Servingman. Whence are you, sir? Has the porter his eyes in his
head; that he gives entrance to such companions?
Pray, get you out.
- Coriolanus. Away! 2770
- Second Servingman. Away! get you away.
- Coriolanus. Now thou’rt troublesome.
- Second Servingman. Are you so brave? I’ll have you talked with anon.
[Enter a third Servingman. The first meets him]
- Third Servingman. What fellow’s this? 2775
- First Servingman. A strange one as ever I looked on: I cannot get him
out of the house: prithee, call my master to him.
- Third Servingman. What have you to do here, fellow? Pray you, avoid
the house. 2780
- Coriolanus. Let me but stand; I will not hurt your hearth.
- Third Servingman. What are you?
- Coriolanus. A gentleman.
- Third Servingman. A marvellous poor one.
- Coriolanus. True, so I am. 2785
- Third Servingman. Pray you, poor gentleman, take up some other
station; here’s no place for you; pray you, avoid: come.
- Coriolanus. Follow your function, go, and batten on cold bits.
[Pushes him away]
- Third Servingman. What, you will not? Prithee, tell my master what a 2790
strange guest he has here.
- Second Servingman. And I shall.
- Third Servingman. Where dwellest thou?
- Coriolanus. Under the canopy. 2795
- Third Servingman. Under the canopy!
- Coriolanus. Ay.
- Third Servingman. Where’s that?
- Coriolanus. I’ the city of kites and crows.
- Third Servingman. I’ the city of kites and crows! What an ass it is! 2800
Then thou dwellest with daws too?
- Coriolanus. No, I serve not thy master.
- Third Servingman. How, sir! do you meddle with my master?
- Coriolanus. Ay; ’tis an honester service than to meddle with thy
mistress. Thou pratest, and pratest; serve with thy 2805
[Beats him away. Exit third Servingman]
[Enter AUFIDIUS with the second Servingman]
- Tullus Aufidius. Where is this fellow?
- Second Servingman. Here, sir: I’ld have beaten him like a dog, but for 2810
disturbing the lords within.
- Tullus Aufidius. Whence comest thou? what wouldst thou? thy name?
Why speak’st not? speak, man: what’s thy name?
- Coriolanus. If, Tullus, 2815
Not yet thou knowest me, and, seeing me, dost not
Think me for the man I am, necessity
Commands me name myself.
- Tullus Aufidius. What is thy name? 2820
- Coriolanus. A name unmusical to the Volscians’ ears,
And harsh in sound to thine.
- Tullus Aufidius. Say, what’s thy name?
Thou hast a grim appearance, and thy face
Bears a command in’t; though thy tackle’s torn. 2825
Thou show’st a noble vessel: what’s thy name?
- Coriolanus. Prepare thy brow to frown: know’st
thou me yet?
- Tullus Aufidius. I know thee not: thy name?
- Coriolanus. My name is Caius CORIOLANUS, who hath done 2830
To thee particularly and to all the Volsces
Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may
My surname, Coriolanus: the painful service,
The extreme dangers and the drops of blood
Shed for my thankless country are requited 2835
But with that surname; a good memory,
And witness of the malice and displeasure
Which thou shouldst bear me: only that name remains;
The cruelty and envy of the people,
Permitted by our dastard nobles, who 2840
Have all forsook me, hath devour’d the rest;
And suffer’d me by the voice of slaves to be
Whoop’d out of Rome. Now this extremity
Hath brought me to thy hearth; not out of hope—
Mistake me not—to save my life, for if 2845
I had fear’d death, of all the men i’ the world
I would have ‘voided thee, but in mere spite,
To be full quit of those my banishers,
Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast
A heart of wreak in thee, that wilt revenge 2850
Thine own particular wrongs and stop those maims
Of shame seen through thy country, speed
And make my misery serve thy turn: so use it
That my revengeful services may prove 2855
As benefits to thee, for I will fight
Against my canker’d country with the spleen
Of all the under fiends. But if so be
Thou darest not this and that to prove more fortunes
Thou’rt tired, then, in a word, I also am 2860
Longer to live most weary, and present
My throat to thee and to thy ancient malice;
Which not to cut would show thee but a fool,
Since I have ever follow’d thee with hate,
Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country’s breast, 2865
And cannot live but to thy shame, unless
It be to do thee service.
- Tullus Aufidius. O CORIOLANUS, CORIOLANUS!
Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my heart
A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter 2870
Should from yond cloud speak divine things,
And say ‘Tis true,’ I’ld not believe them more
Than thee, all noble CORIOLANUS. Let me twine
Mine arms about that body, where against
My grained ash an hundred times hath broke 2875
And scarr’d the moon with splinters: here I clip
The anvil of my sword, and do contest
As hotly and as nobly with thy love
As ever in ambitious strength I did
Contend against thy valour. Know thou first, 2880
I loved the maid I married; never man
Sigh’d truer breath; but that I see thee here,
Thou noble thing! more dances my rapt heart
Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars! I tell thee, 2885
We have a power on foot; and I had purpose
Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,
Or lose mine arm fort: thou hast beat me out
Twelve several times, and I have nightly since
Dreamt of encounters ‘twixt thyself and me; 2890
We have been down together in my sleep,
Unbuckling helms, fisting each other’s throat,
And waked half dead with nothing. Worthy CORIOLANUS,
Had we no quarrel else to Rome, but that
Thou art thence banish’d, we would muster all 2895
From twelve to seventy, and pouring war
Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,
Like a bold flood o’er-bear. O, come, go in,
And take our friendly senators by the hands;
Who now are here, taking their leaves of me, 2900
Who am prepared against your territories,
Though not for Rome itself.
- Coriolanus. You bless me, gods!
- Tullus Aufidius. Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou wilt have
The leading of thine own revenges, take 2905
The one half of my commission; and set down—
As best thou art experienced, since thou know’st
Thy country’s strength and weakness,—thine own ways;
Whether to knock against the gates of Rome,
Or rudely visit them in parts remote, 2910
To fright them, ere destroy. But come in:
Let me commend thee first to those that shall
Say yea to thy desires. A thousand welcomes!
And more a friend than e’er an enemy;
Yet, CORIOLANUS, that was much. Your hand: most welcome! 2915
[Exeunt CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS. The two]
Servingmen come forward]
- First Servingman. Here’s a strange alteration!
- Second Servingman. By my hand, I had thought to have strucken him with
a cudgel; and yet my mind gave me his clothes made a 2920
false report of him.
- First Servingman. What an arm he has! he turned me about with his
finger and his thumb, as one would set up a top.
- Second Servingman. Nay, I knew by his face that there was something in
him: he had, sir, a kind of face, methought,—I 2925
cannot tell how to term it.
- First Servingman. He had so; looking as it were—would I were hanged,
but I thought there was more in him than I could think.
- Second Servingman. So did I, I’ll be sworn: he is simply the rarest
man i’ the world. 2930
- First Servingman. I think he is: but a greater soldier than he you wot on.
- Second Servingman. Who, my master?
- First Servingman. Nay, it’s no matter for that.
- Second Servingman. Worth six on him.
- First Servingman. Nay, not so neither: but I take him to be the 2935
- Second Servingman. Faith, look you, one cannot tell how to say that:
for the defence of a town, our general is excellent.
- First Servingman. Ay, and for an assault too.
[Re-enter third Servingman]
- Third Servingman. O slaves, I can tell you news,— news, you rascals!
- First Servingman. [together] What, what, what? let’s partake.
- Second Servingman. [together] What, what, what? let’s partake.
- Third Servingman. I would not be a Roman, of all nations; I had as
lieve be a condemned man. 2945
- First Servingman. [together] Wherefore? wherefore?
- Second Servingman. [together] wherefore?
- Third Servingman. Why, here’s he that was wont to thwack our general,
- First Servingman. Why do you say ‘thwack our general ‘? 2950
- Third Servingman. I do not say ‘thwack our general;’ but he was always
good enough for him.
- Second Servingman. Come, we are fellows and friends: he was ever too
hard for him; I have heard him say so himself.
- First Servingman. He was too hard for him directly, to say the troth 2955
on’t: before Corioli he scotched him and notched
him like a carbon ado.
- Second Servingman. An he had been cannibally given, he might have
broiled and eaten him too.
- First Servingman. But, more of thy news? 2960
- Third Servingman. Why, he is so made on here within, as if he were son
and heir to Mars; set at upper end o’ the table; no
question asked him by any of the senators, but they
stand bald before him: our general himself makes a
mistress of him: sanctifies himself with’s hand and 2965
turns up the white o’ the eye to his discourse. But
the bottom of the news is that our general is cut i’
the middle and but one half of what he was
yesterday; for the other has half, by the entreaty
and grant of the whole table. He’ll go, he says, 2970
and sowl the porter of Rome gates by the ears: he
will mow all down before him, and leave his passage polled.
- Second Servingman. And he’s as like to do’t as any man I can imagine.
- Third Servingman. Do’t! he will do’t; for, look you, sir, he has as
many friends as enemies; which friends, sir, as it 2975
were, durst not, look you, sir, show themselves, as
we term it, his friends whilst he’s in directitude.
- First Servingman. Directitude! what’s that?
- Third Servingman. But when they shall see, sir, his crest up again,
and the man in blood, they will out of their 2980
burrows, like conies after rain, and revel all with
- First Servingman. But when goes this forward?
- Third Servingman. To-morrow; to-day; presently; you shall have the
drum struck up this afternoon: ’tis, as it were, a 2985
parcel of their feast, and to be executed ere they
wipe their lips.
- Second Servingman. Why, then we shall have a stirring world again.
This peace is nothing, but to rust iron, increase
tailors, and breed ballad-makers. 2990
- First Servingman. Let me have war, say I; it exceeds peace as far as
day does night; it’s spritely, waking, audible, and
full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy;
mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible; a getter of more
bastard children than war’s a destroyer of men. 2995
- Second Servingman. ‘Tis so: and as war, in some sort, may be said to
be a ravisher, so it cannot be denied but peace is a
great maker of cuckolds.
- First Servingman. Ay, and it makes men hate one another.
- Third Servingman. Reason; because they then less need one another. 3000
The wars for my money. I hope to see Romans as cheap
as Volscians. They are rising, they are rising.
- All. In, in, in, in!
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act IV, Scene 6 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Rome. A public place.
[Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS]
- Sicinius Velutus. We hear not of him, neither need we fear him;
His remedies are tame i’ the present peace
And quietness of the people, which before
Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends
Blush that the world goes well, who rather had, 3010
Though they themselves did suffer by’t, behold
Dissentious numbers pestering streets than see
Our tradesmen with in their shops and going
About their functions friendly.
- Junius Brutus. We stood to’t in good time. 3015
Is this Menenius?
- Sicinius Velutus. ‘Tis he,’tis he: O, he is grown most kind of late.
- Both Tribunes. Hail sir!
- Menenius Agrippa. Hail to you both! 3020
- Sicinius Velutus. Your Coriolanus
Is not much miss’d, but with his friends:
The commonwealth doth stand, and so would do,
Were he more angry at it.
- Menenius Agrippa. All’s well; and might have been much better, if 3025
He could have temporized.
- Sicinius Velutus. Where is he, hear you?
- Menenius Agrippa. Nay, I hear nothing: his mother and his wife
Hear nothing from him.
[Enter three or four Citizens]
- Citizens. The gods preserve you both!
- Sicinius Velutus. God-den, our neighbours.
- Junius Brutus. God-den to you all, god-den to you all.
- First Citizen. Ourselves, our wives, and children, on our knees,
Are bound to pray for you both. 3035
- Sicinius Velutus. Live, and thrive!
- Junius Brutus. Farewell, kind neighbours: we wish’d Coriolanus
Had loved you as we did.
- Citizens. Now the gods keep you!
- Both Tribunes. Farewell, farewell. 3040
- Sicinius Velutus. This is a happier and more comely time
Than when these fellows ran about the streets,
- Junius Brutus. Caius CORIOLANUS was 3045
A worthy officer i’ the war; but insolent,
O’ercome with pride, ambitious past all thinking,
- Sicinius Velutus. And affecting one sole throne,
Without assistance. 3050
- Menenius Agrippa. I think not so.
- Sicinius Velutus. We should by this, to all our lamentation,
If he had gone forth consul, found it so.
- Junius Brutus. The gods have well prevented it, and Rome
Sits safe and still without him. 3055
[Enter an AEdile]
- Aedile. Worthy tribunes,
There is a slave, whom we have put in prison,
Reports, the Volsces with two several powers
Are enter’d in the Roman territories, 3060
And with the deepest malice of the war
Destroy what lies before ’em.
- Menenius Agrippa. ‘Tis Aufidius,
Who, hearing of our CORIOLANUS’ banishment,
Thrusts forth his horns again into the world; 3065
Which were inshell’d when CORIOLANUS stood for Rome,
And durst not once peep out.
- Sicinius Velutus. Come, what talk you
- Junius Brutus. Go see this rumourer whipp’d. It cannot be 3070
The Volsces dare break with us.
- Menenius Agrippa. Cannot be!
We have record that very well it can,
And three examples of the like have been
Within my age. But reason with the fellow, 3075
Before you punish him, where he heard this,
Lest you shall chance to whip your information
And beat the messenger who bids beware
Of what is to be dreaded.
- Sicinius Velutus. Tell not me: 3080
I know this cannot be.
- Junius Brutus. Not possible.
[Enter a Messenger]
- Messenger. The nobles in great earnestness are going
All to the senate-house: some news is come 3085
That turns their countenances.
- Sicinius Velutus. ‘Tis this slave;—
Go whip him, ‘fore the people’s eyes:—his raising;
Nothing but his report.
- Messenger. Yes, worthy sir, 3090
The slave’s report is seconded; and more,
More fearful, is deliver’d.
- Sicinius Velutus. What more fearful?
- Messenger. It is spoke freely out of many mouths—
How probable I do not know—that CORIOLANUS, 3095
Join’d with Aufidius, leads a power ‘gainst Rome,
And vows revenge as spacious as between
The young’st and oldest thing.
- Sicinius Velutus. This is most likely!
- Junius Brutus. Raised only, that the weaker sort may wish 3100
Good CORIOLANUS home again.
- Sicinius Velutus. The very trick on’t.
- Menenius Agrippa. This is unlikely:
He and Aufidius can no more atone
Than violentest contrariety. 3105
[Enter a second Messenger]
- Second Messenger. You are sent for to the senate:
A fearful army, led by Caius CORIOLANUS
Associated with Aufidius, rages
Upon our territories; and have already 3110
O’erborne their way, consumed with fire, and took
What lay before them.
- Cominius. O, you have made good work!
- Menenius Agrippa. What news? what news? 3115
- Cominius. You have holp to ravish your own daughters and
To melt the city leads upon your pates,
To see your wives dishonour’d to your noses,—
- Menenius Agrippa. What’s the news? what’s the news?
- Cominius. Your temples burned in their cement, and 3120
Your franchises, whereon you stood, confined
Into an auger’s bore.
- Menenius Agrippa. Pray now, your news?
You have made fair work, I fear me.—Pray, your news?—
If CORIOLANUS should be join’d with Volscians,— 3125
- Cominius. If!
He is their god: he leads them like a thing
Made by some other deity than nature,
That shapes man better; and they follow him,
Against us brats, with no less confidence 3130
Than boys pursuing summer butterflies,
Or butchers killing flies.
- Menenius Agrippa. You have made good work,
You and your apron-men; you that stood so up much
on the voice of occupation and 3135
The breath of garlic-eaters!
- Cominius. He will shake
Your Rome about your ears.
- Menenius Agrippa. As Hercules
Did shake down mellow fruit. 3140
You have made fair work!
- Junius Brutus. But is this true, sir?
- Cominius. Ay; and you’ll look pale
Before you find it other. All the regions
Do smilingly revolt; and who resist 3145
Are mock’d for valiant ignorance,
And perish constant fools. Who is’t can blame him?
Your enemies and his find something in him.
- Menenius Agrippa. We are all undone, unless
The noble man have mercy. 3150
- Cominius. Who shall ask it?
The tribunes cannot do’t for shame; the people
Deserve such pity of him as the wolf
Does of the shepherds: for his best friends, if they
Should say ‘Be good to Rome,’ they charged him even 3155
As those should do that had deserved his hate,
And therein show’d like enemies.
- Menenius Agrippa. ‘Tis true:
If he were putting to my house the brand
That should consume it, I have not the face 3160
To say ‘Beseech you, cease.’ You have made fair hands,
You and your crafts! you have crafted fair!
- Cominius. You have brought
A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
So incapable of help. 3165
- Both Tribunes. Say not we brought it.
- Menenius Agrippa. How! Was it we? we loved him but, like beasts
And cowardly nobles, gave way unto your clusters,
Who did hoot him out o’ the city.
- Cominius. But I fear 3170
They’ll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
The second name of men, obeys his points
As if he were his officer: desperation
Is all the policy, strength and defence,
That Rome can make against them. 3175
[Enter a troop of Citizens]
- Menenius Agrippa. Here come the clusters.
And is Aufidius with him? You are they
That made the air unwholesome, when you cast
Your stinking greasy caps in hooting at 3180
Coriolanus’ exile. Now he’s coming;
And not a hair upon a soldier’s head
Which will not prove a whip: as many coxcombs
As you threw caps up will he tumble down,
And pay you for your voices. ‘Tis no matter; 3185
if he could burn us all into one coal,
We have deserved it.
- Citizens. Faith, we hear fearful news.
- First Citizen. For mine own part,
When I said, banish him, I said ’twas pity. 3190
- Second Citizen. And so did I.
- Third Citizen. And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did very
many of us: that we did, we did for the best; and
though we willingly consented to his banishment, yet
it was against our will. 3195
- Cominius. Ye re goodly things, you voices!
- Menenius Agrippa. You have made
Good work, you and your cry! Shall’s to the Capitol?
- Cominius. O, ay, what else?
[Exeunt COMINIUS and MENENIUS]
- Sicinius Velutus. Go, masters, get you home; be not dismay’d:
These are a side that would be glad to have
This true which they so seem to fear. Go home,
And show no sign of fear.
- First Citizen. The gods be good to us! Come, masters, let’s home. 3205
I ever said we were i’ the wrong when we banished
- Second Citizen. So did we all. But, come, let’s home.
- Junius Brutus. I do not like this news. 3210
- Sicinius Velutus. Nor I.
- Junius Brutus. Let’s to the Capitol. Would half my wealth
Would buy this for a lie!
- Sicinius Velutus. Pray, let us go.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act IV, Scene 7 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
A camp, at a small distance from Rome.
[Enter AUFIDIUS and his Lieutenant]
- Tullus Aufidius. Do they still fly to the Roman?
- Lieutenant. I do not know what witchcraft’s in him, but
Your soldiers use him as the grace ‘fore meat,
Their talk at table, and their thanks at end; 3220
And you are darken’d in this action, sir,
Even by your own.
- Tullus Aufidius. I cannot help it now,
Unless, by using means, I lame the foot
Of our design. He bears himself more proudlier, 3225
Even to my person, than I thought he would
When first I did embrace him: yet his nature
In that’s no changeling; and I must excuse
What cannot be amended.
- Lieutenant. Yet I wish, sir,— 3230
I mean for your particular,—you had not
Join’d in commission with him; but either
Had borne the action of yourself, or else
To him had left it solely.
- Tullus Aufidius. I understand thee well; and be thou sure, 3235
when he shall come to his account, he knows not
What I can urge against him. Although it seems,
And so he thinks, and is no less apparent
To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly.
And shows good husbandry for the Volscian state, 3240
Fights dragon-like, and does achieve as soon
As draw his sword; yet he hath left undone
That which shall break his neck or hazard mine,
Whene’er we come to our account.
- Lieutenant. Sir, I beseech you, think you he’ll carry Rome? 3245
- Tullus Aufidius. All places yield to him ere he sits down;
And the nobility of Rome are his:
The senators and patricians love him too:
The tribunes are no soldiers; and their people
Will be as rash in the repeal, as hasty 3250
To expel him thence. I think he’ll be to Rome
As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it
By sovereignty of nature. First he was
A noble servant to them; but he could not
Carry his honours even: whether ’twas pride, 3255
Which out of daily fortune ever taints
The happy man; whether defect of judgment,
To fail in the disposing of those chances
Which he was lord of; or whether nature,
Not to be other than one thing, not moving 3260
From the casque to the cushion, but commanding peace
Even with the same austerity and garb
As he controll’d the war; but one of these—
As he hath spices of them all, not all,
For I dare so far free him—made him fear’d, 3265
So hated, and so banish’d: but he has a merit,
To choke it in the utterance. So our virtues
Lie in the interpretation of the time:
And power, unto itself most commendable,
Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair 3270
To extol what it hath done.
One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail;
Rights by rights falter, strengths by strengths do fail.
Come, let’s away. When, Caius, Rome is thine,
Thou art poor’st of all; then shortly art thou mine. 3275
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act V, Scene 1 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Rome. A public place.
[Enter MENENIUS, COMINIUS, SICINIUS, BRUTUS,] [p]and others]
- Menenius Agrippa. No, I’ll not go: you hear what he hath said
Which was sometime his general; who loved him 3280
In a most dear particular. He call’d me father:
But what o’ that? Go, you that banish’d him;
A mile before his tent fall down, and knee
The way into his mercy: nay, if he coy’d
To hear Cominius speak, I’ll keep at home. 3285
- Cominius. He would not seem to know me.
- Menenius Agrippa. Do you hear?
- Cominius. Yet one time he did call me by my name:
I urged our old acquaintance, and the drops
That we have bled together. Coriolanus 3290
He would not answer to: forbad all names;
He was a kind of nothing, titleless,
Till he had forged himself a name o’ the fire
Of burning Rome.
- Menenius Agrippa. Why, so: you have made good work! 3295
A pair of tribunes that have rack’d for Rome,
To make coals cheap,—a noble memory!
- Cominius. I minded him how royal ’twas to pardon
When it was less expected: he replied,
It was a bare petition of a state 3300
To one whom they had punish’d.
- Menenius Agrippa. Very well:
Could he say less?
- Cominius. I offer’d to awaken his regard
For’s private friends: his answer to me was, 3305
He could not stay to pick them in a pile
Of noisome musty chaff: he said ’twas folly,
For one poor grain or two, to leave unburnt,
And still to nose the offence.
- Menenius Agrippa. For one poor grain or two! 3310
I am one of those; his mother, wife, his child,
And this brave fellow too, we are the grains:
You are the musty chaff; and you are smelt
Above the moon: we must be burnt for you.
- Sicinius Velutus. Nay, pray, be patient: if you refuse your aid 3315
In this so never-needed help, yet do not
Upbraid’s with our distress. But, sure, if you
Would be your country’s pleader, your good tongue,
More than the instant army we can make,
Might stop our countryman. 3320
- Menenius Agrippa. No, I’ll not meddle.
- Sicinius Velutus. Pray you, go to him.
- Menenius Agrippa. What should I do?
- Junius Brutus. Only make trial what your love can do
For Rome, towards CORIOLANUS. 3325
- Menenius Agrippa. Well, and say that CORIOLANUS
Return me, as Cominius is return’d,
Unheard; what then?
But as a discontented friend, grief-shot
With his unkindness? say’t be so? 3330
- Sicinius Velutus. Yet your good will
must have that thanks from Rome, after the measure
As you intended well.
- Menenius Agrippa. I’ll undertake ‘t:
I think he’ll hear me. Yet, to bite his lip 3335
And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me.
He was not taken well; he had not dined:
The veins unfill’d, our blood is cold, and then
We pout upon the morning, are unapt
To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff’d 3340
These and these conveyances of our blood
With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls
Than in our priest-like fasts: therefore I’ll watch him
Till he be dieted to my request,
And then I’ll set upon him. 3345
- Junius Brutus. You know the very road into his kindness,
And cannot lose your way.
- Menenius Agrippa. Good faith, I’ll prove him,
Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge
Of my success. 3350
- Cominius. He’ll never hear him.
- Sicinius Velutus. Not?
- Cominius. I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye
Red as ‘twould burn Rome; and his injury 3355
The gaoler to his pity. I kneel’d before him;
‘Twas very faintly he said ‘Rise;’ dismiss’d me
Thus, with his speechless hand: what he would do,
He sent in writing after me; what he would not,
Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions: 3360
So that all hope is vain.
Unless his noble mother, and his wife;
Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him
For mercy to his country. Therefore, let’s hence,
And with our fair entreaties haste them on. 3365
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act V, Scene 2 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Entrance of the Volscian camp before Rome.
Two Sentinels on guard.
[Enter to them, MENENIUS]
- First Senator. Stay: whence are you?
- Second Senator. Stand, and go back. 3370
- Menenius Agrippa. You guard like men; ’tis well: but, by your leave,
I am an officer of state, and come
To speak with Coriolanus.
- First Senator. From whence?
- Menenius Agrippa. From Rome. 3375
- First Senator. You may not pass, you must return: our general
Will no more hear from thence.
- Second Senator. You’ll see your Rome embraced with fire before
You’ll speak with Coriolanus.
- Menenius Agrippa. Good my friends, 3380
If you have heard your general talk of Rome,
And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks,
My name hath touch’d your ears it is Menenius.
- First Senator. Be it so; go back: the virtue of your name
Is not here passable. 3385
- Menenius Agrippa. I tell thee, fellow,
The general is my lover: I have been
The book of his good acts, whence men have read
His name unparallel’d, haply amplified;
For I have ever verified my friends, 3390
Of whom he’s chief, with all the size that verity
Would without lapsing suffer: nay, sometimes,
Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground,
I have tumbled past the throw; and in his praise
Have almost stamp’d the leasing: therefore, fellow, 3395
I must have leave to pass.
- First Senator. Faith, sir, if you had told as many lies in his
behalf as you have uttered words in your own, you
should not pass here; no, though it were as virtuous
to lie as to live chastely. Therefore, go back. 3400
- Menenius Agrippa. Prithee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius,
always factionary on the party of your general.
- Second Senator. Howsoever you have been his liar, as you say you
have, I am one that, telling true under him, must
say, you cannot pass. Therefore, go back. 3405
- Menenius Agrippa. Has he dined, canst thou tell? for I would not
speak with him till after dinner.
- First Senator. You are a Roman, are you?
- Menenius Agrippa. I am, as thy general is.
- First Senator. Then you should hate Rome, as he does. Can you, 3410
when you have pushed out your gates the very
defender of them, and, in a violent popular
ignorance, given your enemy your shield, think to
front his revenges with the easy groans of old
women, the virginal palms of your daughters, or with 3415
the palsied intercession of such a decayed dotant as
you seem to be? Can you think to blow out the
intended fire your city is ready to flame in, with
such weak breath as this? No, you are deceived;
therefore, back to Rome, and prepare for your 3420
execution: you are condemned, our general has sworn
you out of reprieve and pardon.
- Menenius Agrippa. Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, he would
use me with estimation.
- Second Senator. Come, my captain knows you not. 3425
- Menenius Agrippa. I mean, thy general.
- First Senator. My general cares not for you. Back, I say, go; lest
I let forth your half-pint of blood; back,—that’s
the utmost of your having: back.
- Menenius Agrippa. Nay, but, fellow, fellow,— 3430
[Enter CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS]
- Coriolanus. What’s the matter?
- Menenius Agrippa. Now, you companion, I’ll say an errand for you:
You shall know now that I am in estimation; you shall
perceive that a Jack guardant cannot office me from 3435
my son Coriolanus: guess, but by my entertainment
with him, if thou standest not i’ the state of
hanging, or of some death more long in
spectatorship, and crueller in suffering; behold now
presently, and swoon for what’s to come upon thee. 3440
The glorious gods sit in hourly synod about thy
particular prosperity, and love thee no worse than
thy old father Menenius does! O my son, my son!
thou art preparing fire for us; look thee, here’s 3445
water to quench it. I was hardly moved to come to
thee; but being assured none but myself could move
thee, I have been blown out of your gates with
sighs; and conjure thee to pardon Rome, and thy
petitionary countrymen. The good gods assuage thy 3450
wrath, and turn the dregs of it upon this varlet
here,—this, who, like a block, hath denied my
access to thee.
- Coriolanus. Away!
- Menenius Agrippa. How! away! 3455
- Coriolanus. Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs
Are servanted to others: though I owe
My revenge properly, my remission lies
In Volscian breasts. That we have been familiar,
Ingrate forgetfulness shall poison, rather 3460
Than pity note how much. Therefore, be gone.
Mine ears against your suits are stronger than
Your gates against my force. Yet, for I loved thee,
Take this along; I writ it for thy sake
[Gives a letter] 3465
And would have rent it. Another word, Menenius,
I will not hear thee speak. This man, Aufidius,
Was my beloved in Rome: yet thou behold’st!
- Tullus Aufidius. You keep a constant temper.
[Exeunt CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS]
- First Senator. Now, sir, is your name Menenius?
- Second Senator. ‘Tis a spell, you see, of much power: you know the
way home again.
- First Senator. Do you hear how we are shent for keeping your
greatness back? 3475
- Second Senator. What cause, do you think, I have to swoon?
- Menenius Agrippa. I neither care for the world nor your general: for
such things as you, I can scarce think there’s any,
ye’re so slight. He that hath a will to die by
himself fears it not from another: let your general 3480
do his worst. For you, be that you are, long; and
your misery increase with your age! I say to you,
as I was said to, Away!
[Exit] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
- First Senator. A noble fellow, I warrant him. 3485
- Second Senator. The worthy fellow is our general: he’s the rock, the
oak not to be wind-shaken.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act V, Scene 3 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
The tent of Coriolanus.
[Enter CORIOLANUS, AUFIDIUS, and others]
- Coriolanus. We will before the walls of Rome tomorrow 3490
Set down our host. My partner in this action,
You must report to the Volscian lords, how plainly
I have borne this business.
- Tullus Aufidius. Only their ends
You have respected; stopp’d your ears against 3495
The general suit of Rome; never admitted
A private whisper, no, not with such friends
That thought them sure of you.
- Coriolanus. This last old man,
Whom with a crack’d heart I have sent to Rome, 3500
Loved me above the measure of a father;
Nay, godded me, indeed. Their latest refuge
Was to send him; for whose old love I have,
Though I show’d sourly to him, once more offer’d
The first conditions, which they did refuse 3505
And cannot now accept; to grace him only
That thought he could do more, a very little
I have yielded to: fresh embassies and suits,
Nor from the state nor private friends, hereafter
Will I lend ear to. Ha! what shout is this? 3510
Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow
In the same time ’tis made? I will not.
[Enter in mourning habits, VIRGILIA, VOLUMNIA,]
leading young CORIOLANUS, VALERIA, and Attendants] 3515
My wife comes foremost; then the honour’d mould
Wherein this trunk was framed, and in her hand
The grandchild to her blood. But, out, affection!
All bond and privilege of nature, break!
Let it be virtuous to be obstinate. 3520
What is that curt’sy worth? or those doves’ eyes,
Which can make gods forsworn? I melt, and am not
Of stronger earth than others. My mother bows;
As if Olympus to a molehill should
In supplication nod: and my young boy 3525
Hath an aspect of intercession, which
Great nature cries ‘Deny not.’ let the Volsces
Plough Rome and harrow Italy: I’ll never
Be such a gosling to obey instinct, but stand,
As if a man were author of himself 3530
And knew no other kin.
- Virgilia. My lord and husband!
- Coriolanus. These eyes are not the same I wore in Rome.
- Virgilia. The sorrow that delivers us thus changed
Makes you think so. 3535
- Coriolanus. Like a dull actor now,
I have forgot my part, and I am out,
Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh,
Forgive my tyranny; but do not say
For that ‘Forgive our Romans.’ O, a kiss 3540
Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!
Now, by the jealous queen of heaven, that kiss
I carried from thee, dear; and my true lip
Hath virgin’d it e’er since. You gods! I prate,
And the most noble mother of the world 3545
Leave unsaluted: sink, my knee, i’ the earth;
Of thy deep duty more impression show
Than that of common sons.
- Volumnia. O, stand up blest! 3550
Whilst, with no softer cushion than the flint,
I kneel before thee; and unproperly
Show duty, as mistaken all this while
Between the child and parent.
- Coriolanus. What is this?
Your knees to me? to your corrected son?
Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach
Fillip the stars; then let the mutinous winds
Strike the proud cedars ‘gainst the fiery sun; 3560
Murdering impossibility, to make
What cannot be, slight work.
- Volumnia. Thou art my warrior;
I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady?
- Coriolanus. The noble sister of Publicola, 3565
The moon of Rome, chaste as the icicle
That’s curdied by the frost from purest snow
And hangs on Dian’s temple: dear Valeria!
- Volumnia. This is a poor epitome of yours,
Which by the interpretation of full time 3570
May show like all yourself.
- Coriolanus. The god of soldiers,
With the consent of supreme Jove, inform
Thy thoughts with nobleness; that thou mayst prove
To shame unvulnerable, and stick i’ the wars 3575
Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,
And saving those that eye thee!
- Volumnia. Your knee, sirrah.
- Coriolanus. That’s my brave boy!
- Volumnia. Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself, 3580
Are suitors to you.
- Coriolanus. I beseech you, peace:
Or, if you’ld ask, remember this before:
The thing I have forsworn to grant may never
Be held by you denials. Do not bid me 3585
Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate
Again with Rome’s mechanics: tell me not
Wherein I seem unnatural: desire not
To ally my rages and revenges with
Your colder reasons. 3590
- Volumnia. O, no more, no more!
You have said you will not grant us any thing;
For we have nothing else to ask, but that
Which you deny already: yet we will ask;
That, if you fail in our request, the blame 3595
May hang upon your hardness: therefore hear us.
- Coriolanus. Aufidius, and you Volsces, mark; for we’ll
Hear nought from Rome in private. Your request?
- Volumnia. Should we be silent and not speak, our raiment
And state of bodies would bewray what life 3600
We have led since thy exile. Think with thyself
How more unfortunate than all living women
Are we come hither: since that thy sight,
Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance 3605
Constrains them weep and shake with fear and sorrow;
Making the mother, wife and child to see
The son, the husband and the father tearing
His country’s bowels out. And to poor we 3610
Thine enmity’s most capital: thou barr’st us
Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort
That all but we enjoy; for how can we,
Alas, how can we for our country pray.
Whereto we are bound, together with thy victory, 3615
Whereto we are bound? alack, or we must lose
The country, our dear nurse, or else thy person,
Our comfort in the country. We must find
An evident calamity, though we had
Our wish, which side should win: for either thou 3620
Must, as a foreign recreant, be led
With manacles thorough our streets, or else
triumphantly tread on thy country’s ruin,
And bear the palm for having bravely shed
Thy wife and children’s blood. For myself, son, 3625
I purpose not to wait on fortune till
These wars determine: if I cannot persuade thee
Rather to show a noble grace to both parts
Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner
March to assault thy country than to tread— 3630
Trust to’t, thou shalt not—on thy mother’s womb,
That brought thee to this world.
- Virgilia. Ay, and mine,
That brought you forth this boy, to keep your name
Living to time. 3635
- Young Coriolanus. A’ shall not tread on me;
I’ll run away till I am bigger, but then I’ll fight.
- Coriolanus. Not of a woman’s tenderness to be,
Requires nor child nor woman’s face to see.
I have sat too long. 3640
- Volumnia. Nay, go not from us thus.
If it were so that our request did tend
To save the Romans, thereby to destroy
The Volsces whom you serve, you might condemn us, 3645
As poisonous of your honour: no; our suit
Is that you reconcile them: while the Volsces
May say ‘This mercy we have show’d;’ the Romans,
‘This we received;’ and each in either side
Give the all-hail to thee and cry ‘Be blest 3650
For making up this peace!’ Thou know’st, great son,
The end of war’s uncertain, but this certain,
That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit
Which thou shalt thereby reap is such a name,
Whose repetition will be dogg’d with curses; 3655
Whose chronicle thus writ: ‘The man was noble,
But with his last attempt he wiped it out;
Destroy’d his country, and his name remains
To the ensuing age abhorr’d.’ Speak to me, son:
Thou hast affected the fine strains of honour, 3660
To imitate the graces of the gods;
To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o’ the air,
And yet to charge thy sulphur with a bolt
That should but rive an oak. Why dost not speak?
Think’st thou it honourable for a noble man 3665
Still to remember wrongs? Daughter, speak you:
He cares not for your weeping. Speak thou, boy:
Perhaps thy childishness will move him more
Than can our reasons. There’s no man in the world
More bound to ‘s mother; yet here he lets me prate 3670
Like one i’ the stocks. Thou hast never in thy life
Show’d thy dear mother any courtesy,
When she, poor hen, fond of no second brood,
Has cluck’d thee to the wars and safely home,
Loaden with honour. Say my request’s unjust, 3675
And spurn me back: but if it be not so,
Thou art not honest; and the gods will plague thee,
That thou restrain’st from me the duty which
To a mother’s part belongs. He turns away:
Down, ladies; let us shame him with our knees. 3680
To his surname Coriolanus ‘longs more pride
Than pity to our prayers. Down: an end;
This is the last: so we will home to Rome,
And die among our neighbours. Nay, behold ‘s:
This boy, that cannot tell what he would have 3685
But kneels and holds up bands for fellowship,
Does reason our petition with more strength
Than thou hast to deny ‘t. Come, let us go:
This fellow had a Volscian to his mother;
His wife is in Corioli and his child 3690
Like him by chance. Yet give us our dispatch:
I am hush’d until our city be a-fire,
And then I’ll speak a little.
[He holds her by the hand, silent]
- Coriolanus. O mother, mother! 3695
What have you done? Behold, the heavens do ope,
The gods look down, and this unnatural scene
They laugh at. O my mother, mother! O!
You have won a happy victory to Rome;
But, for your son,—believe it, O, believe it, 3700
Most dangerously you have with him prevail’d,
If not most mortal to him. But, let it come.
Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
I’ll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius,
Were you in my stead, would you have heard 3705
A mother less? or granted less, Aufidius?
- Tullus Aufidius. I was moved withal.
- Coriolanus. I dare be sworn you were:
And, sir, it is no little thing to make
Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good sir, 3710
What peace you’ll make, advise me: for my part,
I’ll not to Rome, I’ll back with you; and pray you,
Stand to me in this cause. O mother! wife!
- Tullus Aufidius. [Aside] I am glad thou hast set thy mercy and
thy honour 3715
At difference in thee: out of that I’ll work
Myself a former fortune.
[The Ladies make signs to CORIOLANUS]
- Coriolanus. Ay, by and by;
[To VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, &c] 3720
But we will drink together; and you shall bear
A better witness back than words, which we,
On like conditions, will have counter-seal’d.
Come, enter with us. Ladies, you deserve
To have a temple built you: all the swords 3725
In Italy, and her confederate arms,
Could not have made this peace.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act V, Scene 4 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Rome. A public place.
[Enter MENENIUS and SICINIUS]
- Menenius Agrippa. See you yond coign o’ the Capitol, yond 3730
- Sicinius Velutus. Why, what of that?
- Menenius Agrippa. If it be possible for you to displace it with your
little finger, there is some hope the ladies of
Rome, especially his mother, may prevail with him. 3735
But I say there is no hope in’t: our throats are
sentenced and stay upon execution.
- Sicinius Velutus. Is’t possible that so short a time can alter the
condition of a man!
- Menenius Agrippa. There is differency between a grub and a butterfly; 3740
yet your butterfly was a grub. This CORIOLANUS is grown
from man to dragon: he has wings; he’s more than a
- Sicinius Velutus. He loved his mother dearly.
- Menenius Agrippa. So did he me: and he no more remembers his mother 3745
now than an eight-year-old horse. The tartness
of his face sours ripe grapes: when he walks, he
moves like an engine, and the ground shrinks before
his treading: he is able to pierce a corslet with
his eye; talks like a knell, and his hum is a 3750
battery. He sits in his state, as a thing made for
Alexander. What he bids be done is finished with
his bidding. He wants nothing of a god but eternity
and a heaven to throne in.
- Sicinius Velutus. Yes, mercy, if you report him truly. 3755
- Menenius Agrippa. I paint him in the character. Mark what mercy his
mother shall bring from him: there is no more mercy
in him than there is milk in a male tiger; that
shall our poor city find: and all this is long of
- Sicinius Velutus. The gods be good unto us!
- Menenius Agrippa. No, in such a case the gods will not be good unto
us. When we banished him, we respected not them;
and, he returning to break our necks, they respect not us.
[Enter a Messenger]
- Messenger. Sir, if you’ld save your life, fly to your house:
The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune
And hale him up and down, all swearing, if
The Roman ladies bring not comfort home,
They’ll give him death by inches. 3770
[Enter a second Messenger]
- Sicinius Velutus. What’s the news?
- Second Messenger. Good news, good news; the ladies have prevail’d,
The Volscians are dislodged, and CORIOLANUS gone:
A merrier day did never yet greet Rome, 3775
No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins.
- Sicinius Velutus. Friend,
Art thou certain this is true? is it most certain?
- Second Messenger. As certain as I know the sun is fire:
Where have you lurk’d, that you make doubt of it? 3780
Ne’er through an arch so hurried the blown tide,
As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark you!
[Trumpets; hautboys; drums beat; all together]
The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries and fifes,
Tabours and cymbals and the shouting Romans, 3785
Make the sun dance. Hark you!
[A shout within]
- Menenius Agrippa. This is good news:
I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia
Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians, 3790
A city full; of tribunes, such as you,
A sea and land full. You have pray’d well to-day:
This morning for ten thousand of your throats
I’d not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!
[Music still, with shouts]
- Sicinius Velutus. First, the gods bless you for your tidings; next,
Accept my thankfulness.
- Second Messenger. Sir, we have all
Great cause to give great thanks.
- Sicinius Velutus. They are near the city? 3800
- Second Messenger. Almost at point to enter.
- Sicinius Velutus. We will meet them,
And help the joy.
[Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act V, Scene 5 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
The same. A street near the gate.
[Enter two Senators with VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA,] [p]VALERIA, &c. passing over the stage, [p]followed by Patricians and others]
- First Senator. Behold our patroness, the life of Rome!
Call all your tribes together, praise the gods,
And make triumphant fires; strew flowers before them: 3810
Unshout the noise that banish’d CORIOLANUS,
Repeal him with the welcome of his mother;
Cry ‘Welcome, ladies, welcome!’
- All. Welcome, ladies, Welcome!
[A flourish with drums and trumpets. Exeunt] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Act V, Scene 6 (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)
Antium. A public place.
[Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, with Attendants]
- Tullus Aufidius. Go tell the lords o’ the city I am here:
Deliver them this paper: having read it,
Bid them repair to the market place; where I,
Even in theirs and in the commons’ ears, 3820
Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse
The city ports by this hath enter’d and
Intends to appear before the people, hoping
To purge herself with words: dispatch.
[Exeunt Attendants] 3825
[Enter three or four Conspirators of AUFIDIUS’ faction]
- First Conspirator. How is it with our general?
- Tullus Aufidius. Even so
As with a man by his own alms empoison’d, 3830
And with his charity slain.
- Second Conspirator. Most noble sir,
If you do hold the same intent wherein
You wish’d us parties, we’ll deliver you
Of your great danger. 3835
- Tullus Aufidius. Sir, I cannot tell:
We must proceed as we do find the people.
- Third Conspirator. The people will remain uncertain whilst
‘Twixt you there’s difference; but the fall of either
Makes the survivor heir of all. 3840
- Tullus Aufidius. I know it;
And my pretext to strike at him admits
A good construction. I raised him, and I pawn’d
Mine honour for his truth: who being so heighten’d,
He water’d his new plants with dews of flattery, 3845
Seducing so my friends; and, to this end,
He bow’d his nature, never known before
But to be rough, unswayable and free.
- Third Conspirator. Sir, his stoutness
When he did stand for consul, which he lost 3850
By lack of stooping,—
- Tullus Aufidius. That I would have spoke of:
Being banish’d for’t, he came unto my hearth;
Presented to my knife his throat: I took him;
Made him joint-servant with me; gave him way 3855
In all his own desires; nay, let him choose
Out of my files, his projects to accomplish,
My best and freshest men; served his designments
In mine own person; holp to reap the fame
Which he did end all his; and took some pride 3860
To do myself this wrong: till, at the last,
I seem’d his follower, not partner, and
He waged me with his countenance, as if
I had been mercenary.
- First Conspirator. So he did, my lord: 3865
The army marvell’d at it, and, in the last,
When he had carried Rome and that we look’d
For no less spoil than glory,—
- Tullus Aufidius. There was it:
For which my sinews shall be stretch’d upon him. 3870
At a few drops of women’s rheum, which are
As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labour
Of our great action: therefore shall he die,
And I’ll renew me in his fall. But, hark!
[Drums and trumpets sound, with great shouts of] 3875
- First Conspirator. Your native town you enter’d like a post,
And had no welcomes home: but he returns,
Splitting the air with noise.
- Second Conspirator. And patient fools, 3880
Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tear
With giving him glory.
- Third Conspirator. Therefore, at your vantage,
Ere he express himself, or move the people
With what he would say, let him feel your sword, 3885
Which we will second. When he lies along,
After your way his tale pronounced shall bury
His reasons with his body.
- Tullus Aufidius. Say no more:
Here come the lords. 3890
[Enter the Lords of the city]
- All Lords. You are most welcome home.
- Tullus Aufidius. I have not deserved it.
But, worthy lords, have you with heed perused
What I have written to you? 3895
- All Lords. We have.
- First Lord. And grieve to hear’t.
What faults he made before the last, I think
Might have found easy fines: but there to end
Where he was to begin and give away 3900
The benefit of our levies, answering us
With our own charge, making a treaty where
There was a yielding,—this admits no excuse.
- Tullus Aufidius. He approaches: you shall hear him.
[Enter CORIOLANUS, marching with drum and] 3905
colours; commoners being with him]
- Coriolanus. Hail, lords! I am return’d your soldier,
No more infected with my country’s love
Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting
Under your great command. You are to know 3910
That prosperously I have attempted and
With bloody passage led your wars even to
The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought home
Do more than counterpoise a full third part
The charges of the action. We have made peace 3915
With no less honour to the Antiates
Than shame to the Romans: and we here deliver,
Subscribed by the consuls and patricians,
Together with the seal o’ the senate, what
We have compounded on. 3920
- Tullus Aufidius. Read it not, noble lords;
But tell the traitor, in the high’st degree
He hath abused your powers.
- Coriolanus. Traitor! how now!
- Tullus Aufidius. Ay, traitor, CORIOLANUS! 3925
- Coriolanus. CORIOLANUS!
- Tullus Aufidius. Ay, CORIOLANUS, Caius CORIOLANUS: dost thou think
I’ll grace thee with that robbery, thy stol’n name
Coriolanus in Corioli?
You lords and heads o’ the state, perfidiously 3930
He has betray’d your business, and given up,
For certain drops of salt, your city Rome,
I say ‘your city,’ to his wife and mother;
Breaking his oath and resolution like
A twist of rotten silk, never admitting 3935
Counsel o’ the war, but at his nurse’s tears
He whined and roar’d away your victory,
That pages blush’d at him and men of heart
Look’d wondering each at other.
- Coriolanus. Hear’st thou, Mars? 3940
- Tullus Aufidius. Name not the god, thou boy of tears!
- Coriolanus. Ha!
- Tullus Aufidius. No more.
- Coriolanus. Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart
Too great for what contains it. Boy! O slave! 3945
Pardon me, lords, ’tis the first time that ever
I was forced to scold. Your judgments, my grave lords,
Must give this cur the lie: and his own notion—
Who wears my stripes impress’d upon him; that
Must bear my beating to his grave—shall join 3950
To thrust the lie unto him.
- First Lord. Peace, both, and hear me speak.
- Coriolanus. Cut me to pieces, Volsces; men and lads,
Stain all your edges on me. Boy! false hound!
If you have writ your annals true, ’tis there, 3955
That, like an eagle in a dove-cote, I
Flutter’d your Volscians in Corioli:
Alone I did it. Boy!
- Tullus Aufidius. Why, noble lords,
Will you be put in mind of his blind fortune, 3960
Which was your shame, by this unholy braggart,
‘Fore your own eyes and ears?
- All Conspirators. Let him die for’t.
- All The People. ‘Tear him to pieces.’ ‘Do it presently.’ ‘He kill’d
my son.’ ‘My daughter.’ ‘He killed my cousin 3965
Marcus.’ ‘He killed my father.’
- Second Lord. Peace, ho! no outrage: peace!
The man is noble and his fame folds-in
This orb o’ the earth. His last offences to us
Shall have judicious hearing. Stand, Aufidius, 3970
And trouble not the peace.
- Coriolanus. O that I had him,
With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe,
To use my lawful sword!
- Tullus Aufidius. Insolent villain! 3975
- All Conspirators. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him!
[The Conspirators draw, and kill CORIOLANUS:]
AUFIDIUS stands on his body]
- All Lords. Hold, hold, hold, hold!
- Tullus Aufidius. My noble masters, hear me speak. 3980
- First Lord. O Tullus,—
- Second Lord. Thou hast done a deed whereat valour will weep.
- Third Lord. Tread not upon him. Masters all, be quiet;
Put up your swords.
- Tullus Aufidius. My lords, when you shall know—as in this rage, 3985
Provoked by him, you cannot—the great danger
Which this man’s life did owe you, you’ll rejoice
That he is thus cut off. Please it your honours
To call me to your senate, I’ll deliver
Myself your loyal servant, or endure 3990
Your heaviest censure.
- First Lord. Bear from hence his body;
And mourn you for him: let him be regarded
As the most noble corse that ever herald
Did follow to his urn. 3995
- Second Lord. His own impatience
Takes from Aufidius a great part of blame.
Let’s make the best of it.
- Tullus Aufidius. My rage is gone;
And I am struck with sorrow. Take him up. 4000
Help, three o’ the chiefest soldiers; I’ll be one.
Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully:
Trail your steel pikes. Though in this city he
Hath widow’d and unchilded many a one,
Which to this hour bewail the injury, 4005
Yet he shall have a noble memory. Assist.
[Exeunt, bearing the body of CORIOLANUS. A dead march sounded] (Coriolanus Shakespeare Darma)