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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 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.

1 Off. If he did not care whether he had their love, or no, he waved indifferently 'twixt doing them Sir, I hope, neither good, nor harm; but he seeks their hate My words disbench'd you not. with greater devotion than they can render it him; Cor. No, sir: yet oft, and leaves nothing undone, that may fully discover When blows have made me stay, I fled from words. him their opposite. Now, to seem to affect the mal-You sooth'd not, therefore hurt not: But, your ice and displeasure of the people, is as bad as that which he dislikes, to flatter them for their love.

2 Off 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, bonnetted,2 without any further deed to heave them at all 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 ingrateful injury; to report otherwise were a malice, that, giving itself the lie, 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, with Lictors before them, minius, the Consul, Menenius, Coriolanus, many other Senators, Sicinius, and Brutus. The Senators take their places; the Tribunes take theirs also by themselves.

Men. Having determin'd of the Volces, and
To send for Titus Lartius, it remains,
As the main point of this our after-meeting,
To gratify his noble service, that
Hath thus stood for his country: Therefore, please


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
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 state's defective for requital,
Then we do stretch it out. Masters o'the people,
We do request your kindest ears: and, after,
Your loving motion toward the common body,
To yield what passes here.

We are convented
Upon a pleasing treaty; and have hearts
Inclinable to honour and advance
The theme of our assembly.

Which the rather
We shall be bless'd to do, if he remember

A kinder value of the people, than

He hath hereto priz'd them at.

That's off, that's off,3
I would you rather had been silent; Please you

To hear Cominius speak?

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


He loves your people;

(1) Adversary.

(2) Took off caps.

(3) Nothing to the purpose.
(4) Summons to battle. (5) Possessor.
(6) Without a beard. (7) Bearded.

Co-Most dignifies the haver :5 if it be,

The man I speak of cannot in the world
Be singly counterpois'd. At sixteen years,
When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought
Beyond the mark of others: our then dictator,
Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight,
When with his Amazonian chin6 he drove
The bristled lips before him: he bestrid
An o'er-press'd Roman, and i'the consul's view
| 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,8
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 sea;
And, in the brunt of seventeen battles since,
He lurch'do all swords o'the garland. For this last,
Before and in Corioli, let me say,

I cannot speak him home: He stopp'd the fliers;
And, by his rare example, made the coward
Turn terror into sport: as waves 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
He was a thing of blood, whose every motion!!
Was timed12 with dying cries: alone he enter'd
The mortal gate o'the city, which he painted
With shunless destiny, aidless came off,
And with a sudden reinforcement struck
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,1
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 stood
To ease his breast with panting.

Worthy man!
1 Sen. He cannot but with measure fit the honours
Which we devise him.

But tie him not to be their bedfellow.-
Worthy Cominius, speak.-Nay, keep your place.
[Coriolanus rises, and offers to go away.
1 Sen. Sit, Coriolanus: never shame to hear
What you have nobly done.

Your honours' pardon;
I had rather have my wounds to heal again,
Than hear say how I got them.


I love them as they weigh.

Pray now, sit down.
Cor. I had rather have one scratch my head i'the


When the alarum were struck,4 than idly sit
To hear my nothings monster'd. [Exit Coriolanus.
Masters o'the people,
Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter
(That's thousand to one good one,) when you now



He had rather venture all his limbs for honour,
Than one of his ears to hear it?-Proceed, Cominius.

Com. I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus
Should not be utter'd feebly.-It is held,
That valour is the chiefest virtue, and

(8) Smooth-faced enough to act a woman's part.
(9) Reward.
(10) Won.
(11) Stroke.
(12) Followed.
(13) Wearied.

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about the corn, he himself stuck not to call us the many-headed multitude.

3 Cit. We have been called so of many; not that our heads 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 scull, they would fly east, west, north, south; and their consent of one direct way should be at once to all the points o'the compass.

2 Cit. Think you so? Which way, do you judge, my wit would fly?

3 Cit. Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another man's will, 'tis strongly wedged up in a block-head: but if it were at liberty, 'twould, sure, southward.

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

2 Cit. Why that way?

3 Cit. 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.

2 Cit. You are never without your tricks :- You may, you may.

3 Cit. 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.

Enter Coriolanus and Menenius.

Here he comes, and in the gown of humility; mark his behaviour. We are not to stay all together, but to come by him where he stands, by ones, by twos, and 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'll direct you how you shall go by him.

All. Content, content.

Mark you that?
Cor. To brag unto them,-Thus I did, and thus;
Show them the unaching scars which I should

As if I had received them for the hire

Of their breath only :

Do not stand upon't.-
We recommend to you, tribunes of the people,
Our purpose to them;-and to our noble consul
Wish we all joy and honour.

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.


Sen. To Coriolanus come all joy and honour!
[Flourish. Then exeunt Senators.
Bru. You see how he intends to use the people.
Sic. May they perceive his intent! He that will
require them,
As if he did contemn what he requested
Should be in them to give.
Come, we'll inform them
Of our proceedings here: on the market-place,
I know, they do attend us.
SCENE III.-The same. The Forum. Enter
several Citizens.

1 Cit. Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him.

2 Cit. We may, sir, 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 show us his wounds, and tell us his deeds, we are to put our tongues into those wounds, and speak for them; so, if 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 multi-Mine own desire. tude; of the which, we being members, should 1 Cit. bring ourselves to be monstrous members. Cor. No, sir: 'Twas never my desire yet,

1 Cit. And to make us no better thought of, a little help will serve: for once, when we stood up

To trouble the poor with begging.

1 Cit. You must think, if we give you any thing, We hope to gain by you,

(1) Avarice.

[Exeunt. Men. O sir, you are not right: have you not known


The worthiest men have done it?
What must I say?-
I pray, sir,-Plague upon't! I cannot bring
My tongue to such a pace:- -Look, sir;-

wounds ;


O me, the gods!
You must not speak of that; you must desire them
To think upon you,

Think upon me? hang 'em!
I would they would forget me, like the virtues
Which our divines lose by them.

You'll mar all;
I'll leave you: Pray you, speak to them, I pray you,
In wholesome manner.


Enter two Citizens.

Bid them wash their faces,
And keep their teeth clean.-So, here comes a

You know the cause, sir, of my standing here.
1 Cit. We do, sir; tell us what hath brought you
Cor. Mine own desert.
2 Cit.


Your own desert?
Ay, not

How! not your own desire?

Cor. Well then, I pray, your price o'the consul-give him joy, and make him good friend to the ship?

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


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?

2 Cit. You shall have it, worthy sir. Cor. A match, sir :—


There is in all two worthy voices begg'd:-
I have your alms; adieu.
1 Cit.

But this is something odd. 2 Cit. An 'twere to give again,—But 'tis no matter. [Exeunt two Citizens. Enter two other Citizens.

Cor. Pray you now, if it may stand with the tune of your voices, that I may be consul, I have here the customary gown.

3 Cit. You have deserved nobly of your country, and you have not deserved nobly. Cor. Your enigma?

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

Cor. 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 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 bountifully to the desirers. Therefore, beseech you, I may be consul.

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

3 Cit. You have received many wounds for your country.

Cor. I will not seal your knowledge with showing them. I will make much of your voices, and so trouble you no further.

Both Cit. The gods give you joy, sir, heartily! [Exeunt.

Cor. Most sweet voices!

Better it is to die, better to starve,
Than crave the hire, which first we do deserve.
Why in this woolvish gown should I stand here,
To beg of Hob and Dick, that do appear,
Their needless vouches? Custom calls me to't:
What custom wills, in all things should we do't,
The dust on antique time would lie unswept,
And mountainous error be too highly heap'd
For truth to over-peer.1-Rather than fool it so,
Let the high offices and the honour go
To one that would do thus.-I am half through;
The one part suffer'd, the other will I do.

Enter three other Citizens.

Here come more voices,


Your voices for your voices I have fought;
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.

5 Cit. He has done nobly, and cannot go without any honest man's voice.

6 Cit. Therefore let him be consul: The gods

(1) Over-look.


All. Amen, Amen.-
God save thee, noble consul!

[Exeunt Citizens. Worthy voices!

Re-enter Menenius, with Brutus, and Sicinius.
Men. You have stood your limitation; and the

Endue you with the people's voice: Remains,
That, in the official marks invested, you
Anon do meet the senate.

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He flouted us down-right.

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


2 Cit. Not one amongst us save yourself, but says,

He us'd us scornfully: he should have show'd us
His marks of merit, wounds receiv'd for his country.
Sic. Why, so he did, I am sure.
No; no man saw 'em.
[Several speak.
3 Cit. He said, he had wounds, which he could
show in private;
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,
Here was,-I thank you for your voices,—thank

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Tying him to aught; so, putting him to rage,
You should have ta'en the advantage of his choler,
And pass'd him unelected.

Bru. Did you perceive, He did solicit you in free contempt, When he did need your loves; and do you think, That his contempt shall not be bruising to you, When he hath power to crush? Why, had your bodies

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Lay A fault on us, your tribunes; that we labour'd (No impediment between) but that you must Cast your election on him.

Sic. Say, you chose him More after our commandment, than as guided By your own true affections: and that, your minds Pre-occupy'd with what you rather must do Than what you should, made you against the grain To voice him consul: Lay the fault on us.

Bru. 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,
The noble house o'the Marcians; from whence came
That Ancus Marcius, Numa's daughter's son,
Who, after great Hostilius, here was king:
Of the same house Publius and Quintus were,
That our best water brought by conduits hither;
And Censorinus, darling of the people,

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What makes this change?
The matter?
Com. Hath he not pass'd the nobles, and the

Bru. Cominius, no.

Bru. The people are incens'd against him.

Or all will fall in broil.

Are these your herd?—
Must these have voices, that can yield them now,
And straight disclaim their tongues?-What are
your offices?

Have I had children's voices? 1 Sen. Tribunes, give way; he shall to the mar-A man of their infirmity.


We let the people know't.

Cor. Choler!
Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,
By Jove, 'twould be my mind.

You being their mouths, why rule you not their teeth?

Have you not set them on?


Be calm, be calm. Cor. It is a purpos'd thing, and grows by plot, To curb the will of the nobility:

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Suffer it, and live with such as cannot rule,
Nor ever will be rul'd.

Each way to better yours.
Cor. Why then should I be consul?
Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me
Your fellow-tribune.


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; call'd them
Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness.
Cor. Why, this was known before.
Not to them all.
Cor. Have you inform'd them since?
How? I inform them?
Cor. You are like to do such business.

Not unlike,

By yon

You show too much of that,
For which the people stir : If you will pass
To where you are bound, you must inquire yourway,
Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit;
Or never be so noble as a consul,
Nor yoke with him for tribune.

(1) Shuffling. (3) Populace. VOL. II,


Let's be calm.

Com. The people are abus'd:-Set on.-This

Becomes not Rome; nor has Coriolanus
Deserv'd this só dishonour'd rub, laid falsely2
I'the plain way of his merit.

Tell me of corn!
This was my speech, and I will speak't again ;-
Men. Not now, not now.
1 Sen.
Not in this heat, sir, now.
Cor. Now, as I live, I will.—My nobler friends,
I crave their pardons:-
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,
Which we ourselves have plough'd for, sow'd and

By mingling them with us, the honour'd number;
Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that

(2) Treacherously.
(4) Lepers.

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You speak o'the people,
As if you were a god to punish, not

'Twere well,

What, what? his choler?

It is a mind;
That shall remain a poison where it is,
Not poison any further.

Shall remain!—
Hear you this Triton of the minnows?6 mark you
His absolute shall?

"Twas from the canon.7



O good, but most unwise patricians, why,
You grave, but reckless8 senators, have you thus
Given Hydra here to choose an officer,
That with his peremptory shall, being but
The horn and noise o'the monsters, wants not spirit
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 learned,
Be not as common fools; if you are not,
Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians,
If they be senators: and they are no less,
When both your voices blended, the greatest taste
Most palates theirs. They choose their magistrate;
And such a one as he, who puts his shall,
His popular shall, against a graver bench
Than ever frown'd 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
May enter 'twixt the gap of both, and takė
The one by the other.

Well-on to the market-place.
Cor. Whoever gave that counsel, to give forth
The corn o'the store-house gratis, as 'twas us'd
Sometime in Greece,-

We well, no more of that.
Cor. (Though there people had more abso-
lute power,)

I say, they nourish'd disobedience, fed
The ruin of the state.

Why, shall the people give
One, that speaks thus, their voice?
I'll give my reasons,
More worthier than their voices. They know, the

1 corn

Was not our recompense; resting well assur'd They 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 thread9 the gates: this kind of

Did not deserve corn gratis: being i'the war,
Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they show'd
Most valour, spoke not for them: The accusation

(5) Scab. (6) Small fish. (7) According to law.
(8) Careless. (9) Pass through.
2 R

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