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The SCENE' is partly in Rome; and partly in the Territories of the Volfscians and Antiates.


A Street in Rome.


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

All. We know't, we know't.

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

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

2 Cit. One word, good citizens.


Iwe become rakes 3: for the gods know, I speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge, 2 Cit. Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius?

All. Against him firft; he's a very dog to the commonalty.

2 Cit. Confider you what fervices he has done for his country?

1 Cit. Very well; and could be content to give 10 him good report for't, but that he pays himself with being proud.

All. Nay, but speak not maliciously.

1 Cit. I fay unto you, what he hath done famously, he did it to that end: though foft-con15 fcienc'd men can be content to say, it was for his country, he did it to please his mother, and to be partly proud; which he is even to the altitude of his virtue.

2 Cit. What he cannot help in his nature, you

1 Cit. We are accounted poor citizens; the pa-20account a vice in him: You must in no way say,

tricians, good: What authority surfeits on, would
relieve us: If they would yield us but the fuper-
fluity, while it were wholefome, we might guefs,
they relieved us humanely: but they think, we
are too dear: the leannefs that afflicts us, the 25
object of our mifery, is as an inventory to particu-
larize their abundance; our sufferance is a gain to
them. Let us revenge this with our pikes, ere

he is covetous.

1 Cit. If I must not, I need not be barren of accufations; he hath faults, with furplus, to tire in repetition. [Shouts within.] What shouts are these? The other fide the city is rifen: Why stay we prating here to the Capitol ?

All. Come, come.

1 Cit. Soft; who comes here?

! The whole history is exactly followed, and many of the principal speeches exactly copied from the Life of Coriolanus in Plutarch. 2 Good is here ufed in the mercantile fenfe. 3 Alluding to the proverb, as lean as a rake; which perhaps owes its origin to the thin taper form of the inftrument made ufe of by hay-makers. Dr. Johnfon obferves, that Rakel, in Inlandick, is faid to mean a cur-dog, and this was probably the first ufe among us of the word rake. As lean as a rake is, therefore, as lean as a dog too worthlefs to be fed.


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2 Cit. Our bufinefs is not unknown to the 10 fenate; they have had inkling, this fortnight, what we intend to do, which now we'll fhew 'em in deeds. They fay, poor fuitors have strong breaths; they shall know, we have ftrong arms too.

And mutually participate, did minister
Unto the appetite and affection common
Of the whole body. The belly answer'd,-
2 Cit. Well, fir, what anfwer made the belly?
Men. Sir, I fhall tell you. With a kind of

Which ne'er came from the lungs 4, but even thus?
(For, look you, I may make the belly fmile,
As well as fpeak) it tauntingly reply'd
To the difcontented members, the mutinous parts
That envy'd his receipt; even so most fitly 5
As you malign our fenators, for that
They are not fuch as you.

2 Cit. Your belly's anfwer: What!

Men. Why, mafters, my good friends, mine 15 The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye,

honest neighbours,

Will you undo yourselves?

2 Cit. We cannot, fir, we are undone already.
Men. I tell you, friends, most charitable care
Have the patricians of you. For your wants,
Your fuffering in this dearth, you may as well
Strike at the heaven with your ftaves, as lift them
Against the Roman ftate; whofe course will on
The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs
Of more strong link afunder, than can ever
Appear in your impediment: For the dearth,
The gods, not the patricians, make it; and
Your knees to them, not arms, muft help. Alack,
You are tranfported by calamity



Thither where more attends you; and you flander 3c
The helms o'the ftate, who care for you like fathers,
When you curfe them as enemics.

The counsellor heart, the arm our foldier,
Our feed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter,
With other muniments and petty helps

In this our fabrick, if that they

Men. What then?

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If you'll beftow a fmall (of what you have little) Patience, a while, you'll hear the belly's answer. 2 Cit. You are long about it.

2 Cit. Care for us!-True, indeed!-They
ne'er car'd for us yet. Suffer us to famifh, and
their store-houfes cramm'd with grain; make 35"
edicts for ufury, to fupport ufurers; repeal daily
any wholsome act established against the rich; and
provide more piercing ftatutes daily, to chain up
and reftrain the poor. If the wars eat us not up,
they will; and there's all the love they bear us.
Men. Either you must

Confefs yourfelves wond'rous malicious,
Or be accus'd of folly. I fhall tell you

A pretty tale; it may be, you have heard it;
But, fince it ferves my purpofe, I will venture
To fcale't a little more.

2 Cit. Well, I'll hear it, fir; yet you must not think to fob off our difgrace 2 with a tale: but, an't please you, deliver.



Men. There was a time, when all the body's 50|| members

Rebell'd against the belly; thus accus'd it :

That only like a gulf it did remain

I' the midft o' the body, idle and unactive,

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Men. Note me this, good friend;
Your moft grave belly was deliberate,
Not rafh like his accufers, and thus anfwer'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 ftore-houfe, and the shop
"Of the whole body: But, if you do remember,
"I fend it through the rivers of your blood,
"Even to the court, the heart, to the feat o' the

"And, through the cranks and offices of man,
"The strongest nerves, and small inferior veins,
"From me receive that natural competency
"Whereby they live: And though that all at once
"You, my good friends," (this fays the belly) mark
2 Cit. Ay, fir; well, well.


Men. "Though all at once cannot
See what I do deliver out to each;
Yet I can make my audit up, that all
From me do back receive the flour of all,
And leave me but the bran." What say you to't?
2 Cit. It was an answer: How apply you this?
Men. The fenators of Rome are this good belly,
And you the mutinous members: For examine
Their counfels, and their cares; digeft things


To feale is to difperft. The word is ftill ufed in the North. The meaning is, Though fome of you have heard the story, I will fpread it yet wider, and diffufe it among the rest.

Ships, injuries.

si, e. exactly.

2 Difgraces are bard

3 Where for whereas. 4 i. e. with a smile not indicating pleasure, but contempt. The heart was anciently esteemed the feat of prudence. 7 Seat for throne.


Touching the weal o' the common; you shall find,|
No public benefit, which you receive,
But it proceeds, or comes, from them to you,
And no way from yourselves :--What do you think?
You, the great toe of this affembly?-

2 Cit. I the great toe? Why the great toe?

Men. For that, being one o' the loweft,, bafeft, poorest,

Of this moft wife rebellion, thou go'ft foremost :
Thou rafcal, that art worst in blood, to run
Lead'ft first, to win fome vantage 1.

But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs;
Rome and her rats are at the point of battle,
The one fide must have bale .-Hail, noble

Enter Caius Marcius.

Mar. Thanks.-What's the matter, you diffentious rogues,

That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Make yourselves fcabs?


Men. Nay, thefe are almost thoroughly perfuaded; For though abundantly they lack difcretion, Yet are they paffing cowardly. But, I beseech you, What fays the other troop?


Mar. They are diffolv'd: Hang 'em! They faid, they were an-hungry; figh'd forth proThat, hunger broke ftone walls; that, dogs muft eat;[fent not That, meat was made for mouths; that, the gods 10 Corn for the rich men only :-With thefe fhreds They vented their complainings; which being anfwer'd,

And a petition granted them, a ftrange one, (To break the heart of generofity 5,

[caps 15 And make bold power look pale) they threw their As they would hang them on the horns o' the moon, Shouting their emulation.

Men. What is granted them?


Mar. Five tribunes, to defend their vulgar wif20 Of their own choice: One's Junius Brutus, Sicinius Velutus, and I know nots'death!. The rabble fhould have first unroof'd the city, Ere fo prevail'd with me: it will in time Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes For infurrection's arguing.

2 Cit. We have ever your good word. [flatter
Mar. He that will give good words to thee, will
Beneath abhorring.-What would have, you curs,
That like nor peace, nor war? the one affrights you, 25
The other makes you proud. He that trufts to you,
Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
Where foxes, geefe: You are no furer, no,
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
Or hailstone in the fun. Your virtue is,


To make him worthy, whofe offence subdues him,
And curfe that juftice did it. Who deferves great-
Deferves your hate: and your affections are [nefs,
A fick man's appetite, who defires most that
Which would increase his evil. He that depends 35
Upon your favours, fwims with fins of lead, [ye?
And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Truft
With every minute you do change a mind;
And call him noble, that was now your hate,
Him vile, that was your garland. What's the matter, 40|
That in these feveral 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 feek-


Men. For corn at their own rates; whereof, The city is well stor'd.

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Men. 'This is ftrange.

Mar. Go, get you home, you fragments!
Enter a Meffenger.

Mef. Where's Caius Marcius?

Mar. Here: What's the matter?

Mef. The news is, fir, the Volces are in arms. Mar. I am glad on't; then we shall have means

to vent

Our musty superfluity:-See, our best elders. Enter Cominius, Titus Lartius, with other Senators; Junius Brutus, and Sicinius Velutus.

1 Sen. Marcius, 'tis true, that you have lately The Volces are in arms. 6 [told us;

Mar. They have a leader,
Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to 't.

1 fin in envying his nobility:

And were I any thing but what I am,

I would with me only he.

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Mar. Hang 'em! They say?
They'll fit by the fire, and prefume to know
What's done i' the Capitol: who's like to rife,
Who thrives, and who declines: fide factions, and
give out

Conjectural marriages; making parties ftrong,
And feebling fuch as stand not in their liking,
Below their cobbled shoes. They say, there's grain 55
Would the nobility lay afide their ruth3, [enough?
And let me ufe my fword, I'd make a quarry
With thoufands of thefe quarter'd slaves, as high
As I could pitch 4 my lance.

1 Sen. Then, worthy Marcius,

Attend upon Cominius to thefe wars.

Cem. It is your former promife.
Mar. Sir, it is;

And I am conftant.-Titus Lartius, thou
Shalt fee me once more strike at Tullus' face:
What, art thou stiff? ftand'st out?

Tit. No, Caius Marcius;

I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other, Ere ftay behind this business.

I The meaning is, Thou that art a hound, or running dog of the lowest breed, lead'st the pack, when any thing is to be gotten. 2 Bale is an old Saxon word for misery or calamity. 3 i. e. their pity, compaffion. 4 The old copy reads-picke my lance; and fo the word is ftill pronounced in Staffordshire, where they say-picke me fuch a thing, that is, throw any thing that the demander wants. 5 Meaning, To give the final blow to the nobles. Generefity is bigh birth. viz. that the Voices are in

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That could be brought to bodily a& 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:
"They have prefs'd a power, but it is not known
Whether for eaft, or weft: The dearth is great;
The people mutinous: and it is rumour'd,
Cominius, Marcius your old enemy,
(Who is of Rome worse hated than of you)
And Titus Lartius, a moft valiant Roman,
Thefe three lead on this preparation
Whither 'tis bent: most likely, 'tis for you
"Confider of it."


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Tickled with good fuccefs, difdains the shadow
Which he treads on at noon: But I do wonder,
His infolence can brook to be commanded
Under Cominius.

Bru. Fame, at the which he aims,
In whom already he is well grac'd,—cannot
Better be held, nor more attain'd, than by
A place below the firft: for what mifcarries
Shall be the general's fault, though he perform
To the utmost of a man; and giddy cenfure
Will then cry out on Marcius, O, if be
Had borne the business!

Sic. Befides, if things go well,

Opinion, that fo fticks on Marcius, shall
Of his demerits 3 rob Cominius.

Bru. Come:

Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius,

Though Marcius earn'd them not; and all his faults
To Marcius fhall he honours, though indeed,

In aught he merit not.

Sic. Let's hence, and hear

How the difpatch is made; and in what fashion,
More than his fingularity, he goes

Upon this prefent action.

Bru. Let's along.


The Senate-Houfe in Corioli.

Enter Tullus Aufidius, with Senators.

1 Sen. So, your opinion is, Aufidius,

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

Auf. Nor did you think it folly,

To keep your great pretences veil'd, 'till when
They needs muft fhew themfelves; which in the

It feem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery,
We fhall be fhorten'd in our aim; which was,
To take in many towns, ere, almoft, Rome
25 Should know we were afoot.

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Enter Volumnia, and Virgilia: They fit down on two lorv ftools, and few.

Vol. I pray you, daughter, fing; or exprefs [Exeunt. 50 yourself in a more comfortable fort: If my son were my husband, I fhould freelier rejoice in that abfence wherein he won honour, than in the embracements of his bed, where he would fhew most love. When yet he was but tender-body'd, and 55 the only fon of my womb; when youth with comelinefs pluck'd all gaze his way; when, for a day of king's entreaties, a mother should not fell him an hour from her beholding; I,-confidering how honour would become fuch a perfon; that it

That they of Rome are enter'd in our counfels,
And know how we proceed.

Auf. Is it not yours?

What ever hath been thought on in this state,

To fneer, to gibe. 2 The fenfe is, that the prefent wars annihilate bis gentler qualities.

and demerits had anciently the fame meaning.

3 Merits

i. e. We will learn what he is to do, befides going bimfelf; what are his powers, and what is his appointment. 5 That is, If the Romans befiege us, bring up your army to remove them.


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was no better than picture-like to hang by the wall, if renown made it not ftir,was pleas'd to let him feek danger where he was like to find fame. To a cruel war I fent him; from whence he returned, his brows bound with oak: I tell thee, daughter, I fprang not more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child, than now in firft feeing he had proved himself a man.

Vir. But had he died in the business, madam? how then?


let it go again; and after it again; and over and over he comes, and up again; catch'd it again: or whether his fall enrag`d him, or how 'twas, he did fo fet his teeth, and tear it; 0, I warrant, how he mammock'd it!

Vol. One of his father's moods.

Val. Indeed la, 'tis a noble child.
Vir. A crack, madam.

Val. Come, lay afide your ftitchery; I must 10 have you play the idle hufwife with me this after

Vol. Then his good report should have been my fon; I therein would have found iffue. Hear me profefs fincerely :-Had I a dozen fons,-each in my love alike, and none lefs dear than thine and my good Marcius,-I had rather had eleven die 15 nobly for their country, than one voluptuously furfeit out of action.

Enter a Gentlewoman.

Gent. Madam, the lady Valeria is come to vifit


Vir. 'Befeech you, give me leave to retire myself.
Vel. Indeed, you shall not.

Methinks, I hither hear your husband's drum;
See him pluck down Aufidius by the hair;
As children from a bear, the Volces fhunning him:
Methinks, I fee him stamp thus, and call thus,s
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 lofe his hire.

Vr. His bloody brow! O, Jupiter, no blood! Vol. Away, you fool! it more becomes a man, Than gilt his trophy: The breasts of Hecuba, When fhe did fuckle Hector, look'd not lovelier Than Hector's forehead, when it spit forth blood At Grecian fwords' contending.-Tell Valeria, We are fit to bid her welcome.

[Exit Gent.

Vir. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius! Vol. He'll beat Aufidius' head below his knee, And tread upon his neck.

Enter Valeria, with an Usher, and a Gentlewoman.
Val. My ladies both, good day to you.
Val. Sweet madam,-


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

Val. Not out of doors!

Vol. She fhall, she shall.

Vir. Indeed, no, by your patience: I will not over the threshold, 'till my lord return from the


Val. Fie, you confine yourself most unreason20ably: Come, you must go visit the good lady that lies in.


Vir. I will with her fpeedy ftrength, and visit her with my prayers; but I cannot go thither. Vol. Why, I pray you?

Vir. 'Tis not to fave labour, nor that I want love.

Val. You would be another Penelope : yet, they fay, all the yarn, the spun in Ulyffes' absence, did but fill Ithaca full of moths. Come; I would, 30 your cambrick were fenfible as your finger, that you might leave pricking it for pity. Come, you fhall go with us.

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Val. In earnest, it's true; I heard a fenator fpeak it. Thus it is :-The Volces have an army forth; against whom Cominius the general is gone, with one part of our Roman power: your lord 45 and Titus Lartius are fet down before their city Corioli; they nothing doubt prevailing, and to make it brief wars. This is true, on mine honour; and fo, I pray, go with us.

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Vir. Give me excufe, good madam; I will obey you in every thing hereafter.

Vol. Let her alone, lady; as she is now, the will but difeafe our better mirth.

Val. In troth, I think, fhe would :-Fare you well then.-Come, good fweet lady.-Pr'ythee, Virgilia, turn thy folemnnefs out o' door, and go along with us.

Vir. No: at a word, madam; indeed, I must not. I wish you much mirth. Val. Well, then farewel.


The crown given by the Romans to him that faved the life of a citizen, and was accounted more honourable than any other. 2 Gilt is an obfolete word, meaning a fuperficial difplay of gold. 3 To mammock is a phrafe still used in Staffordshire, and implies to cut in pieces, or to tear. fignifies a boy child.

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