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Enter Sicinius and Brutus. .
Behold, these are the Tribunes of the people,
The tongues o'th' common mouth: 1 do despise them,
For they do prank them in authority
Against all noble sufferance.
Sic. Pass no further.
Cor. Hah!- what is that!
Bru. It will be dangerous to go on - no further.
Cor. What makes this change?
Men. The matter?
Com. Hath he not pass'd the Nobles and the Commons
Bru. Cominius, no.
Cor. Have I had children's voices ?
Sen. Tribunes, give way, he shall to th’market-place.
Bru. The people are incens'd against him.
Or all will fall in broil.
Cor. Are these your herd ?
Muft these have voices, that can yield them now,
And straight disclaim their tongues? what are your offices?
You being their mouths, why rule you not their teeth?
Have you not set them on?
Men. Be calm, be calm.
Cor. It is a purpos'd thing, and grows by plot,
To curb the will of the Nobility :
Suffer't, and live with such as cannot rule,
Nor ever will be rul'd.
Bru, Call’t not a plot,
The people cry you mock'd them ; and of late,
When corn was given them gratis, you repin'd,
Scandal'd the suppliants for the people, callid them
Time-pleasers, Aatterers, foes to nobleness.
Cor. Why, this was known before.
Bru. Not to them all.
Cor. Have you inform'd them since ?
Bru. How! I inform them!
Cor, s'Yes, you are like enough to do such business, Bru, Not unlike, kleither way, to better you.'
Cor. Why then should I be Consul? by yond clouds,
Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me
Sic. You shew too much of that,
For which the people stir ; if you will pass
To where you're bound, you must enquire your way,
Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit,
Or never be so noble as a Conful,
Nor yoke with him for Tribune.
Men. Let's be calm.
Com. The people are abus’d, set on ; this palering
Becomes not Rome : nor has Coriolanys
Deserv'd this so dishonour'd rub, laid fally
l'th' plain way of his merit.
Cor. Tell me of corn!
This was my speech, and I will speak’t again
Men. Not now, not now.
Sen. Not in this heat, Sir, now,
Cor. Now as I live, I will
As for my nobler friends, I crave their pardons :
But for the mutable rank-scented Many,
Let them regard me, as I do not flatter,
And there behold themselves: I say again,
In soothing them, we nourish 'gainst our Senate
The cockle of rebellion, insolence, fedition,
Which we our felves have plow'd for, sow'd and scatter'd,
By mingling them with us, the honour'd number;
Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that
Which we 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
I have shed my blood,
Not fearing outward force; fo shall my lungs
Coin words 'till their decay, against those mealles
You are like to 6 each way, to better yours.
Which we disdain should tetter us, yet seek
The very way to catch them.
Bru. You speak o'th' people, ''Sir, as if you
A God to punish, s'not as being a man'
of their infirmity.
Sic. 'Twere well we let The people know't.
Men. What, what! his choler?
Were I as patient as the midnight neep,
By Jove, 'twould be my mind.
Sic. It is a mind.
That shall remain a poison where it is,
Not poison any further.
Cor. Shall remain ?
Hear you this Triton of the minnows? mark you
His absolute fall ?
Com. 'Twas from the canon.
Cor. Sball ?
O good but most unwise Patricians, why,
You grave but reckless Senators, have you thus
Given Hydra here to chuse an officer,
That with his peremptory fall, being but
The horn and noise oth' monsters, wants not spirit
To say, he'll turn your current in a ditch,
And make your channel his? 9'if they have power,
Let them have cushions by you: if none, awake
Your dangerous lenity : if you are learned,
Be not as common fools : if
Then vail your ignorance.' You are plebeians
If they be Senators; and they are no less,
When both your voices blended, the greatest taste
7 as you were 8 not a man
If he have power,
Then vail your ignorance; if none, awake
Your dangerous lenity: if your are learned,
Be not as common fools ; if you are not,
Let them have cushions by you,
Most palates theirs. They chuse their magistrate,
And such a one as he, who puts his shall,
His popular fall, againft a graver bench
Than ever frown'd in Greece. By Jove himself,
It makes the Consuls base; and my foul akes
To know, when two authorities are up,
Neither supreme, how soon confusion
May enter 'twixt the gap of both, and take
The one by th' other.
Com. Well — on to th' market-place,
Cor. Whoever gave that counsel, to give forth The corn oʻth' storehouse gratis, as 'twas us’d Sometime in Greece
Men. Well, well, no more of that.
Cor. Though there the people had more absolute powers I say, they nourish'd disobedience, fed The ruin of the state.
Bru. "Shall th' people give,
One that speaks thus, their voice ?
Cor. I'll give my reasons,
More worthy than their voice. They know the corn
Was not their recompence, resting well assur'd
They ne'er did service for't ; being prest to th' 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'th' war,
Their mutinies and revolts wherein they shew'd
Most valour, spoke not for them. Th' accusation
Which they have often made against the Senate,
All cause unborn, could never be the native
Of our fo frank donation. Well, what then?
How shall this bosom multiplied digeft
The Senate's courtesie? 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
I Why shall
Call our cares, fears ; which will in time break ope
The locks o'th' Senate, and bring in the crows
To peck the eagles
Men. 3'Come, enough, enough.'
Bra. Enough, with over measure.
Cor. 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,
Cannot conclude but by the yea and no
Of gen’ral ignorance, it must omit
Real necessities, and give way the while
T' unstable Nightness; purpose fo barr’d, it follows
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 + 'do the change of 't ; that prefer
A noble life before a long, and wish
To vamp a body with a dangerous physick,
That's sure of death without,) 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
Of that integrity which should become it:
Not having power to do the good it would
For th' ill which doth controul it,
Bru. H'as said enough.
Sic, Hồas spoken like a traitor, and shall answer As traitors do.
Cor. Thou wretch! despight o'er-whelm thee! What should the people do with these bald Tribunes ? On whom depending, their obedience fails To th' greater bench. In a rebellion, When what's not meet, but what must be, was law, Then were they chosen ; in a better hour, Let what is meet, be said, ş'That must be law,
And 3 Come, enough. doubt s it muft be meet,