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2 Off. He hath deferved worthily of his country: And his afcent is not by such easy degrees as thofe, who have been supple and courteous to the people ;| bonnetted, without any further deed to heave them at all into their estimation and report: but 5 he hath so planted his honours in their eyes, and his actions in their hearts, that for their tongues to be filent, and not confefs fo much, were a kind of ingrateful injury; to report otherwife, were a malice, that, giving itself the lye, 10 would pluck reproof and rebuke from every ear that heard it.

1 Off. No more of him; he is a worthy man : Make way, they are coming.

A Sennet. Enter the Patricians, and the Tribunes of 15
the people, Lictors before them; Coriolanus, Mene-
nius, Cominius the Conful: Sicinius and Brutus, as
Tribunes, take their places by themselves.

Men. Having determin'd of the Volces, and
To fend for Titus Lartius, it remains,
As the main point of this our after-meeting,
To gratify his noble service, that


Hath thus ftood for his country: Therefore, pleafe
Moft reverend and grave elders, to defire

The prefent conful, and last general

In our well-found fucceffes, to report

A little of that worthy work perform'd

By Caius Marcius Coriolanus; whom

We meet here, both to thank, and to remember
With honours like himself.

1 Sen. Speak, good Cominius:

Leave nothing out for length; and make us think,
Rather our ftate's defective for requital,

Than we to stretch it out.-Mafters o' the people,
We do request your kindest ear; and, after,
Your loving motion toward the common body,
To yield what passes here.

Sic. We are convented

Upon a pleafing treaty; and have hearts
Inclinable to honour and advance
The theme of our affembly.

Bru. Which the rather

We shall be bleft to do, if he remember

A kinder value of the people, than
He hath hereto priz'd them at.

Men. That's off, that's off 2;

I would you rather had been filent: Please you

To hear Cominius speak?

Bru. Moft willingly;

But yet my caution was more pertinent,
Than the rebuke you give it.

Men. He loves your people;


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Com. I fhall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus
Should not be utter'd feebly.—It is held,
That valour is the chiefeft virtue, and
Moft dignifies the haver: if it be,

The man I fpeak of cannot in the world
25 Be fingly counterpois'd. At fixteen years,
When Tarquin made a head for Rome 3, he fought
Beyond the mark of others: our then dictator,
Whom with all praise I point at, faw him fight,
When with his Amazonian 4 chin he drove

30 The briftled lips before him: he beftrid

An o'er-preft Roman, and i' the conful's view
Slew three oppofers; Tarquin's felf he met,
And ftruck him on his knee: in that day's feats,
When he might act the woman in the fcene,
35 He prov'd best man i' the field, and for his meed
Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age
Man enter'd thus, he waxed like a fea;
And, in the brunt of feventeen battles fince,
He lurch'd all fwords o' the garland. For this laft,
40 Before and in Corioli, let me fay,

I cannot fpeak him home: He ftopt the fliers;
And, by his rare example, made the coward
Turn terror into sport: as waves before
A veffel under fail, fo men obey'd,


45 And fell below his ftem: his fword (death's
Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot
He was a thing of blood, whofe every motion
Was tim'd with dying cries: alone he enter`d
The mortal gate o' the city, which he painted
50 With fhunlefs deftiny; aidlefs came off,
And with a fudden re-inforcement ftruck
Corioli, like a planet: Now all's his :
When by and by the din of war 'gan pierce
His ready fenfe: then straight his doubled fpirit
|•Re-quicken'd what in flesh was fatigate,
And to the battle came he; where he did
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 ftood

But tye him not to be their bed-fellow.--
Worthy Cominius, fpeak.-Nay, keep your place.
[Coriolanus rifes, and offers to go away | 55
1 Sen. Sit, Coriolanus; never fhame to hear
What you have nobly done.

Cor. Your honours' pardon;

I had rather have my wounds to heal again,

2 i. e. that is nothing to the purpose.

3 i. e. raised a

1 Bonneter, Fr. is, to pull off one's cap. power to recover Rome. 4 i. e. his chin on which there was no beard. 5 The parts of women were, in Shakspeare's time, reprefented by the most smooth-faced young men to be found among the players. i. e. the gate was made the scene of death,


To eafe his breaft with panting.

Men. Worthy man!


1 Sen. He cannot but with measure fit the hoWhich we devife him.

Com. Our fpoils he kick'd at ;

And look'd upon things precious, as they were
The common muck o' the world: he covets lefs
Than mifery' itself would give; rewards
His deeds with doing them; and is content
To spend his time, to end it.

Men. He's right noble;

Let him be called for.

1 Sen. Call Coriolanus.

Off. He doth appear.

Re-enter Coriolanus.

Men. The fenate, Coriolanus, are well pleas'd

To make thee conful.

Cor. I do owe them still

My life, and services.

Men. It then remains,

That you do speak to the people.

Cor. I do befeech you,

Let me o'er-leap that cuftom: for I cannot

Put on the gown, ftand naked, and entreat them

[Act 2. Scene 3.

2 Cir. We may, fir, if we will.

3 Cit. We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a power that we have no power to do: for if he fhew us his wounds, and tell us his deeds, we 5 are to put our tongues into those wounds, and fpeak for them; fo, if he tell us his noble deeds, we muft alfo tell him our noble acceptance of them. Ingratitude is monftrous: and for the multitude to be ingrateful, were to make a monster of the multitude; roof the which, we being members, should bring ourfelves to be monftrous members.

1 Cit. And to make us no better thought of, a little help will ferve: for once, when we ftood up about the corn, he himself stuck not to call us-the 15 many-headed multitude.

3 Cit. We have been call'd fo of many; not that our heads are fome brown, fome black, fome auburn, fome bald, but that our wits are so diverfly colour'd: and truly, I think, if all our wits were 20 to iffue out of one fcull, they would fly east, weft, north, fouth; and their confent of one direct way thould be at once to all the points o' the compafs.

2 Cit. Think you fo? Which way, do you judge,

For my wounds' fake, to give their fuffrage: please 25 my wit would fly?


That I may pass this doing.

Si. Sir, the people

Must have their voices; neither will they bate

One jot of ceremony.

Men. Put them not to 't:

Pray you, go fit you to the custom;


Take to you, as your predeceffors have,

Your honour with your form.

Cor. It is a part

That I shall blush in acting, and might well
Be taken from the people.

Bru. Mark you that?

Cor. To brag unto them,-Thus I did, and thus ;

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Shew them the unaking scars, which I should hide, 40 never a worthier man.
As if I had receiv'd them for the hire

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Enter Coriolanus, and Menenius.

Here he comes, and in the gown of humility; 45gether, but to come by him where he stands, by mark his behaviour. We are not to stay all toones, by twos, and by threes. He's to make his requests by particulars; wherein every one of us has a fingie honour, in giving him our own voices with our own tongues: therefore follow me, and

Bru. You fee how he intends to use the 50 I'll direct you how you shall go by him.

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Mifery for avarice. 2 Once here means the fame as when we say once for all.


Cor. Think upon me? Hang 'em!

I would they would forget me, like the virtues
Which our divines lofe by 'em.

Men. You'll mar all;

I'll leave you: Pray you, speak to 'em, I pray you, 5
In wholesome manner.

Citizens approach.

Cor. Bid them wash their faces,


And keep their teeth clean.-So, here comes a

You know the caufe, firs, of my standing here.
1 Cit. We do, fir; tell us what hath brought
you to't.

Cor. Mine own defert.

2 Cit. Your own defert?

Cor. Ay, not mine own defire.

1 Cit. How! not your own defire?

Cor. No, fir; 'Twas never my defire yet

To trouble the poor with begging.

Cor. I will not feal your knowledge with fhewing them. I will niake much of your voices, and fo trouble you no further.

Both. The gods give you joy, fir, heartily!

Cor. Moft fweet voices!
Better it is to die, better to ftarve,

Than crave the hire which first we do deserve. Why in this woolvish 2 gown fhould I ftand here, 10To beg of Hob, and Dick, that does appear,

Their needlefs vouches? Cuftom calls me to 't :-
What cuftom wills, in all things fhould we do 't,
The duft on antique time would lie unfwept,
And mountainous error be too highly heap'd

15 For truth to over-peer.-Rather than fool it fo,
Let the high office and the honour go

To one that would do thus.-I am half through;
The one part fuffer'd, the other will I do.
Enter three Citizens more.

1 Cit. You must think, if we give you any 20 Here come more voices.thing, we hope to gain by you.

Car. Well then, I pray, your price o' the confulfhip?

1 Cit. The price is, to ask it kindly. Cor. Kindly?

Sir, I pray, let me ha't: I have wounds to fhew you, Which fhall be yours in private.-Your good voice, fir;

What fay you?

Both Cit. You fhall have it, worthy fir.

Car. A match, fir:-There's in all two worthy voices begg'd:

I have your alms; adieu.

1 Cit. But this is something odd.

Your voices; for your voices I have fought;
Watch'd for your voices; for your voices bear
Of wounds two dozen odd; battles thrice fix

I have feen, and heard of; for your voices, have
25 Done many things, fome lefs, fome more: your
Indeed, I would be conful.
1 Cit. He has done nobly, and cannot go without
any honeft man's voice.

2 Cit. Therefore let him be conful: The gods 30give him joy, and make him good friend to the people!

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Endue you with the people's voice: Remains,
That, in the official marks invefted, you

40 Anon do meet the fenate.

1 Cit. You have been a scourge to her enemies, you have been a rod to her friends; you have not, 45 indeed, loved the common people.

Cor. You should account me the more virtuous, that I have not been common in my love. I will, fir, flatter my fworn brother the people, to earn a dearer eftimation of them; 'tis a condition they ac-50 count gentle and fince the wisdom of their choice is rather to have my hat than my heart, I will practise the infinuating nod, and be off to them moft counterfeitly; that is, fir, I will counterfeit the bewitchment of fome popular man, and give it 55 bountifully to the defirers. Therefore, befeech you, I may be conful.

2 Cit. We hope to find you our friend; and therefore give you our voices heartily.

1 Cit. You have received many wounds for 6c your country.

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1 I will not ftrengthen or compleat your knowledge. writing. 2 i. e. this rough hirfute gown.

Sic. How now, my mafters? have you chofe 1 Cit. He has our voices, fir. [this man? Bru. We pray the gods, he may deserve your loves.

The feal is that which gives authenticity to a

2 Cit.

2 Cit. Amen, fir: To my poor unworthy notice, He mock'd us, when he begg'd our voices.

Cit. Certainly, he flouted us down-right.

1 Cit. No, 'tis his kind of fpeech, he did not
mock us.

2 Cit. Not one amongst us, save yourself, but says,
He us'd us fcornfully: he fhould have fhew'd us
His marks of merit, wounds receiv'd for his coun-
Sic. Why, fo he did, I am fure.
All. No, no man faw 'em.


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Sic. Why, either, were you ignorant to fee 't * ? Or, feeing it, of fuch childish friendliness

To yield your voices?

Bru. Could you not have told him,

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Sic. Say, you chofe him

More after our commandment, than as guided
By your own true affections: and that, your minds

As you were leffon'd,--When he had no power, 25 Pre-occupy'd with what you rather must do
But was a petty fervant to the state,
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 ftill malignantly remain
Faft foe to the plebeii, your voices might
Be curfes to yourselves: You should have said,
That, as his worthy deeds did claim no lefs
Than what he stood for; fo his gracious nature
Would think upon you for your voices, and
Tranflate his malice towards you into love,
Standing your friendly lord.

Sic. Thus to have said,

Than what you should, made you against the grain
To voice him conful: Lay the fault on us. [you,
Bru. Ay, fpare us not. Say, we read lectures to
How youngly he began to ferve his country,
30 How long continued: and what stock he springs of,
The noble houfe o' the Marcians; from whence

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As you were fore-advis'd, had touch'd his fpirit, [40]
And try'd his inclination; from him pluck'd
Either his gracious promife, which you might,
As caufe had call'd you up, have held him to;
Or elfe it would have gall'd his furly nature,
Which eafily endures not article,
Tying him to aught; fo, putting him to rage,
You should have ta’en the advantage of his choler,
And pafs'd him unelected.

Bra. Did you perceive,

He did folicit you in free contempt 2,

When he did need your loves; and do you think,
This his contempt fhall not be bruifing to you,
When he hath power to crush? Why, had your

Bru. Say, you ne'er had done 't, (Harp on that still) but by our putting on : And prefently, when you have drawn your number, 50 Repair to the Capitol.

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All. We will fo: almost all
Repent in their election.

Bru. Let them go on;

[Exeunt Citizens.

This mutiny were better put in hazard,
Than stay, paft doubt, for greater:
If, as his nature is, he fall in rage
With their refufal, both obferve and answer
The vantage of his anger 6.

Sic. To the Capitol, come;

6cWe will be there before the ftream o' the people; And this fhall feem, as partly 'tis, their own, Which we have goaded onward.


i. e. did you want knowledge to difcern it? 3 Object his pride. 4. c. carriage. 5 i. e. weighing his past and present behaviour. mark, catch, and improve the opportunity which his hasty anger will afford us.

2 i. e. with contempt open and unrestrained.

• i. c.


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Lart. How often he had met you, fword to fword:

That, of all things upon the earth, he hated


Each way, to better yours.

Cor. Why then fhould I be conful? By yon

Let me deferve fo ill as you, and make me

Your fellow tribune.

Sic. You fhew too much of that,

For which the people ftir: If you will pafs

Your perfon moft: that he would pawn his fortunes 25 To where you are bound, you must enquire your

To hopeless reftitution, so he might

Be call'd your vanquisher.

Cor. At Antium lives he?

Lart. At Antium.

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The tongues o' the common mouth. I do defpife 35

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Com. Hath he not pafs'd the nobles, and the
Bru. Cominius, no.

Cor. Have I had children's voices?

Sen. Tribunes, give way; he fhall to the

Bru. The people are incens'd against him.
Sic. Stop,

Or all will fall in broil.

Cor. Are these your herd ?

Must thefe have voices, that can yield them now, And straight difclaim their tongues !-What are your offices?


You being their mouths, why rule you not their]

1 Plume, deck, dignify themselves. upon any one. 3 i. e. fhuffling.

with the corn.

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Which you are out of, with a gentler fpirit;

Or never be fo noble as a conful,

Nor yoke with him for tribune.

Men. Let's be calm.

[t'ring 3

Com.The people are abus'd :-Set on. This palBecomes not Rome; nor has Coriolanus

Deferv'd this fo difhonour'd rub, laid falfly 4

I' the plain way of his merit.

Cor. Tell me of corn!

This was my fpeech, and I will speak 't again;-
Men. Not now, not now.

Sen. Not in this heat, fir, now.

Cor. Now, as I live, I will.-My nobler friends, 40I crave their pardons :

For the mutable, rank-fcented many, let them
Regard me as I do not flatter, and

Therein behold themfelves: I fay again,

In foothing them, we nourish 'gainst our fenate 45 The cockle 5 of rebellion, infolence, fedition, Which we ourfelves have plough'd for, fow'd, and


By mingling them with us, the honour'd number;
Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that
So Which they have given to beggars,

Men. Well, no more.

Sen. No more words, we beseech you.
Cor. How! no more?

As for my country I have shed my blood,
55 Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs
Coin words 'till their decay, against those meazels",

2 The metaphor is from men's fetting a bull-dog or mastiff
4 Fallly for treacherously.
5 Cackle is a weed which grows up

Mefell is used in Pierce Plowman's Vision for a leper.


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