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[Scene I.]


Cornets. Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, all the Gentry,

Cominius, Titus Latius, and other Senators.

Corio.
Tullus Auffidius then had made new head.

Latius.
He had, my Lord, and that it was which caus'd
Our ſwifter Compoſition.

Corio.
So then the Volces ſtand but as at firſt,
Readie when time ſhall prompt them, to make roade
Vpon's againe.

Com.
They are worne (Lord Conſull) ſo,
That we ſhall hardly in our ages ſee
Their Banners waue againe.

Corio.
Saw you Auffidius?

Latius.
On ſafegard he came to me, and did curſe
Againſt the Volces, for they had ſo vildly
Yeelded the Towne: he is retyred to Antium.

Corio.
Spoke he of me?

Latius.
He did, my Lord.

Corio.
How? what?

Latius.
How often he had met you Sword to Sword:
That of all things vpon the Earth, he hated
Your perſon moſt: That he would pawne his fortunes
To hopeleſſe reſtitution, ſo he might
Be call'd your Vanquiſher.

Corio.
At Antium liues he?

Latius.
At Antium.

Corio.
I wiſh I had a cauſe to ſeeke him there,
To oppoſe his hatred fully. Welcome home.
Enter Scicinius and Brutus.
Behold, theſe are the Tribunes of the People,
The Tongues o'th'Common Mouth. I do deſpiſe them:
For they doe pranke them in Authoritie,
Againſt all Noble ſufferance.

Scicin.
Paſſe no further.

Cor.
Hah? what is that?

Brut.
It will be dangerous to goe on-No further.

Corio.
What makes this change?

Mene.
The matter?

Com.
Hath he not paſs'd the Noble, and the Common?

Brut.
Cominius, no.

Corio.
Haue I had Childrens Voyces?

Senat.
Tribunes giue way, he ſhall toth'Market place.

Brut.
The People are incens'd againſt him.

Scicin.
Stop, or all will fall in broyle.

Corio.
Are theſe your Heard?
Muſt theſe haue Voyces, that can yeeld them now,
And ſtraight diſclaim their toungs? what are your Offices?
You being their Mouthes, why rule you not their Teeth?
Haue you not ſet them on?

Mene.
Be calme, be calme.

Corio.
It is a purpos'd thing, and growes by Plot,
To curbe the will of the Nobilitie:
Suffer't, and liue with ſuch as cannot rule,
Nor euer will be ruled.

Brut.
Call't not a Plot:
The People cry you mockt them: and of late,
When Corne was giuen them gratis, you repin'd,
Scandal'd the Suppliants: for the People, call'd them
Time-pleaſers, flatterers, foes to Nobleneſſe.

Corio.
Why this was knowne before.

Brut.
Not to them all.

Corio.
Haue you inform'd them fithence?

Brut.
How? I informe them?

Com.
You are like to doe ſuch buſineſſe.

Brut.
Not vnlike each way to better yours.

Corio.
Why then ſhould I be Conſull? by yond Clouds
Let me deſerue ſo ill as you, and make me
Your fellow Tribune.

Scicin.
You ſhew too much of that,
For which the People ſtirre: if you will paſſe
To where you are bound, you muſt enquire your way,
Which you are out of, with a gentler ſpirit,
Or neuer be ſo Noble as a Conſull,
Nor yoake with him for Tribune.

Mene.
Let's be calme.

Com.
The People are abus'd: ſet on, this paltring
Becomes not Rome: nor ha's Coriolanus
Deſeru'd this ſo diſhonor'd Rub, layd falſely
I'th' plaine Way of his Merit.

Corio.
Tell me of Corne: this was my ſpeech,
And I will ſpeak't againe.

Mene.
Not now, not now.

Senat.
Not in this heat, Sir, now.

Corio.
Now as I liue, I will.
My Nobler friends, I craue their pardons:
For the mutable ranke-ſented Meynie,
Let them regard me, as I doe not flatter,
And therein behold themſelues: I ſay againe,
In ſoothing them, we nouriſh 'gainſt our Senate
The Cockle of Rebellion, Inſolence, Sedition,
Which we our ſelues haue plowed for, ſow'd, & ſcatter'd,
By mingling them with vs, the honor'd Number,
Who lack not Vertue, no, nor Power, but that
Which they haue giuen to Beggers.

Mene.
Well, no more.

Senat.
No more words, we beſeech you.

Corio.
How? no more?
As for my Country, I haue ſhed my blood,
Not fearing outward force: So ſhall my Lungs
Coine words till their decay, againſt thoſe Meazels
Which we diſdaine ſhould Tetter vs, yet ſought
The very way to catch them.

Bru.
You ſpeake a'th'people, as if you were a God,
To puniſh; Not a man, of their Infirmity.

Sicin.
'Twere well we let the people know't.

Mene.
What, what? His Choller?

Cor.
Choller? Were I as patient as the midnight ſleep,
By Ioue, 'twould be my minde.

Sicin.
It is a minde that ſhall remain a poiſon
Where it is: not poyſon any further.

Corio.
Shall remaine?
Heare you this Triton of the Minnoues? Marke you
His abſolute Shall?

Com.
'Twas from the Cannon.

Cor.
Shall? O God! but moſt vnwiſe Patricians: why
You graue, but wreakleſſe Senators, haue you thus
Giuen Hidra heere to chooſe an Officer,
That with his peremptory Shall, being but
The horne, and noiſe o'th'Monſters, wants not ſpirit
To ſay, hee'l turne your Current in a ditch,
And make your Channell his? If he haue power,
Then vale your Ignorance: If none, awake
Your dangerous Lenity: If you are Learn'd,
Be not as common Fooles; if you are not,
Let them haue Cuſhions by you. You are Plebeians,
If they be Senators: and they are no leſſe,
When both your voices blended, the great'ſt taſte
Moſt pallates theirs. They chooſe their Magiſtrate,
And ſuch a one as he, who puts his Shall,
His popular Shall, againſt a grauer Bench
Then euer frown'd in Greece. By Ioue himſelfe,
It makes the Conſuls baſe; and my Soule akes
To know, when two Authorities are vp,
Neither Supreame; How ſoone Confuſion
May enter 'twixt the gap of Both, and take
The one by th'other.

Com.
Well, on to'th'Market place.

Corio.
Who euer gaue that Counſell, to giue forth
The Corne a'th'Store-houſe gratis, as'twas vs'd
Sometime in Greece.

Mene.
Well, well, no more of that.

Cor.
Thogh there the people had more abſolute powre
I ſay they noriſht diſobedience: fed, the ruin of the State.

Bru.
Why ſhall the people giue
One that ſpeakes thus, their voyce?

Corio.
Ile giue my Reaſons,
More worthier then their Voyces. They know the Corne
Was not our recompence, reſting well aſſur'd
They ne're did ſeruice for't; being preſt to'th'Warre,
Euen when the Nauell of the State was touch'd,
They would not thred the Gates: This kinde of Seruice
Did not deferue Corne gratis. Being i'th'Warre,
There Mutinies and Reuolts, wherein they ſhew'd
Moſt Valour, ſpoke not for them. Th'Accuſation
Which they haue often made againſt the Senate,
All cauſe vnborne, could neuer be the Natiue
Of our ſo franke Donation. Well, what then?
How ſhall this Boſome-multiplied, digeſt
The Senates Courteſie? Let deeds expreſſe
What's like to be their words, We did requeſt it,
We are the greater pole, and in true feare
They gaue vs our demands. Thus we debaſe
The Nature of our Seats, and make the Rabble
Call our Cares, Feares; which will in time
Breake ope the Lockes a'th'Senate, and bring in
The Crowes to pecke the Eagles.

Mene.
Come enough.

Bru.
Enough, with ouer meaſure.

Corio.
No, take more.
What may be ſworne by, both Diuine and Humane,
Seale what I end withall. This double worſhip,
Whereon part do's diſdaine with cauſe, the other
Inſult without all reaſon: where Gentry, Title, wiſedom
Cannot conclude, but by the yea and no
Of generall Ignorance, it muſt omit
Reall Neceſſities, and giue way the while
To vnſtable Slightneſſe. Purpoſe ſo barr'd, it followes,
Nothing is done to purpoſe. Therefore beſeech you,
You that will be leſſe fearefull, then diſcreet,
That loue the Fundamentall part of State
More then you doubt the change on't: That preferre
A Noble life, before a Long, and Wiſh,
To iumpe a Body with a dangerous Phyſicke,
That's ſure of death without it: at once plucke out
The Multitudinous Tongue, let them not licke
The ſweet which is their poyſon. Your diſhonor
Mangles true iudgement, and bereaues the State
Of that Integrity which ſhould becom't:
Not hauing the power to do the good it would
For th'ill which doth controul't.

Bru.
Has ſaid enough.

Sicin.
Ha's ſpoken like a Traitor, and ſhall anſwer
As Traitors do.

Corio.
Thou wretch, deſpight ore-whelme thee:
What ſhould the people do with theſe bald Tribunes?
On whom depending, their obedience failes
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 houre,
Let what is meet, be ſaide it muſt be meet,
And throw their power i'th'duſt.

Bru.
Manifeſt Treaſon.

Sicin.
This a Conſull? No.
Enter an Ædile.

Bru.
The Ediles hoe: Let him be apprehended:

Sicin.
Go call the people, in whoſe name my Selfe
Attach thee as a Traitorous Innouator:
A Foe to'th'publike Weale. Obey I charge thee,
And follow to thine anſwer.

Corio.
Hence old Goat.

All.
Wee'l Surety him.

Com.
Ag'd ſir, hands off.

Corio.
Hence rotten thing, or I ſhall ſhake thy bones
Out of thy Garments.
Sicin, Helpe ye Citizens.
Enter a rabble of Plebeians with the Ædiles.

Mene.
On both ſides more reſpect.

Sicin.
Heere's hee, that would take from you all your
power.

Bru.
Seize him Ædiles.|

All.
Downe with him, downe with him.

2 Sen.
Weapons, weapons, weapons:
They all buſtle about Coriolanus.
Tribunes, Patricians, Citizens: what ho:
Sicinius, Brutus, Coriolanus, Citizens.

All.
Peace, peace, peace, ſtay, hold, peace.

Mene.
What is about to be? I am out of Breath,
Confuſions neere, I cannot ſpeake. You, Tribunes
To'th'people: Coriolanus, patience: Speak good Sicinius.

Scici.
Heare me, People peace.

All.
Let's here our Tribune: peace, ſpeake, ſpeake,
ſpeake.

Scici.
You are at point to loſe your Liberties:
Martius would haue all from you; Martius,
Whom late you haue nam'd for Conſull.

Mene.
Fie, fie, fie, this is the way to kindle, not to
quench.

Sena.
To vnbuild the Citie, and to lay all flat.

Scici.
What is the Citie, but the People?

All.
True, the People are the Citie.

Brut.
By the conſent of all, we were eſtabliſh'd the
Peoples Magiſtrates.

All.
You ſo remaine.

Mene.
And ſo are like to doe.

Com.
That is the way to lay the Citie flat,
To bring the Roofe to the Foundation,
And burie all, which yet diſtinctly raunges
In heapes, and piles of Ruine.
Scici. This deſerues Death.

Brut.
Or let vs ſtand to our Authoritie,
Or let vs loſe it: we doe here pronounce,
Vpon the part o'th'People, in whoſe power
We were elected theirs, Martius is worthy
Of preſent Death.

Scici.
Therefore lay hold of him:
Beare him toth' Rock Tarpeian, and from thence
Into deſtruction caſt him.

Brut.
Ædiles ſeize him.

All Ple.
Yeeld Martius, yeeld.

Mene.
Heare me one word, 'beſeech you Tribunes,
heare me but a word.

Ædiles.
Peace, peace.

Mene.
Be that you ſeeme, truly your Countries friend,
And temp'rately proceed to what you would
Thus violently redreſſe.

Brut.
Sir, thoſe cold wayes,
That ſeeme like prudent helpes, are very poyſonous,
Where the Diſeaſe is violent. Lay hands vpon him,
And beare him to the Rock. Corio. drawes his Sword.

Corio.
No, Ile die here:
There's ſome among you haue beheld me fighting,
Come trie vpon your ſelues, what you haue ſeene me.

Mene.
Downe with that Sword, Tribunes withdraw
a while.

Brut.
Lay hands vpon him.

Mene.
Helpe Martius, helpe: you that be noble, helpe
him young and old.

All.
Downe with him, downe with him. Exeunt.
In this Mutinie, the Tribunes, the Ædiles, and the
People are beat in.

Mene.
Goe, get you to our Houſe: be gone, away,
All will be naught elſe.

2. Sena.
Get you gone.

Com.
Stand faſt, we haue as many friends as enemies.

Mene.
Shall it be put to that?

Sena.
The Gods forbid:
I prythee noble friend, home to they Houſe,
Leaue vs to cure this Cauſe.

Mene.
For 'tis a Sore vpon vs,
You cannot Tent your ſelfe: be gone, 'beſeech you.

Corio.
Come Sir, along with vs.

Mene.
I would they were Barbarians, as they are,
Though in Rome litter'd: not Romans, as they are not,
Though calued i'th' Porch o'th' Capitoll:
Be gone, put not your worthy Rage into your Tongue,
One time will owe another.

Corio.
On faire ground, I could beat fortie of them.

Mene.
I could my ſelfe take vp a Brace o'th' beſt of
them, yea, the two Tribunes.

Com.
But now 'tis oddes beyond Arithmetick,
And Manhood is call's Foolerie, when it ſtands
Againſt a falling Fabrick. Will you hence,
Before the Tagge returne? whoſe Rage doth rend
Like interrupted Waters, and o're-beare
What they are vs'd to beare.

Mene.
Pray you be gone:
Ile trie whether my old Wit be in requeſt
With thoſe that haue but little: this muſt be patcht
With Cloth of any Colour.

Com.
Nay, come away. Exeunt Coriolanus and
Cominius.

Patri.
This man ha's marr'd his fortune.

Mene.
His nature is too noble for the World:
He would not flatter Neptune for his Trident,
Or Ioue, for's power to Thunder: his Heart's his Mouth:
What his Breſt forges, that his Tongue muſt vent,
And being angry, does forget that euer
He heard the Name of Death. A Noiſe within.
Here's goodly worke.

Patri.
I would they were a bed.

Mene.
I would they were in Tyber.
What the vengeance, could he not ſpeake 'em faire?
Enter Brutus and Sicinius with the rabble againe.

Sicin.
Where is this Viper,
That would depopulate the city, & be euery man himſelf

Mene.
You worthy Tribunes.

Sicin.
He ſhall be throwne downe the Tarpeian rock
With rigorous hands: he hath reſiſted Law,
And therefore Law ſhall ſcorne him further Triall
Then the ſeuerity of the publike Power,
Which he ſo ſets at naught.

1 Cit.
He ſhall well know the Noble Tribunes are
The peoples mouths, and we their hands.

All.
He ſhall ſure ont.

Mene.
Sir, ſir. Sicin. Peace.

Me.
Do not cry hauocke, where you ſhold but hunt
With modeſt warrant.

Sicin.
Sir, how com'ſt that you haue holpe
To make this reſcue?

Mene.
Heere me ſpeake? As I do know
The Conſuls worthineſſe, ſo can I name his Faults.

Sicin.
Conſull? what Conſull?

Mene.
The Conſull Coriolanus.

Bru.
He Conſull.

All.
No,no,no,no,no.

Mene.
If by the Tribunes leaue,
And yours good people,
I may be heard, I would craue a word or two,
The which ſhall turne you to no further harme,
Then ſo much loſſe of time.

Sic.
Speake breefely then,
For we are peremptory to diſpatch
This Viporous Traitor: to eiect him hence
Were but one danger, and to keepe him heere
Our certaine death: therefore it is decreed,
He dyes to night.

Menen.
Now the good Gods forbid,
That our renowned Rome, whoſe gratitude
Towards her deſerued Children, is enroll'd
In Ioues owne Booke, like an vnnaturall Dam
Should now eate vp her owne.

Sicin.
He's a Diſeaſe that muſt be cut away.

Mene.
Oh he's a Limbe, that ha's but a Diſeaſe
Mortall, to cut it off: to cure it, eaſie.
What ha's he done to Rome, that's worthy death?
Killing our Enemies, the blood he hath loſt
(Which I dare vouch, is more then that he hath
By many an Ounce) he dropp'd it for his Country:
And what is left, to looſe it by his Countrey,
Were to vs all that doo't, and ſuffer it
A brand to th'end a'th World.

Sicin.
This is cleane kamme.

Brut.
Meerely awry:
When he did loue his Country, it honour'd him.

Menen.
The ſeruice of the foote
Being once gangren'd, is not then reſpected
For what before it was.

Bru.
Wee'l heare no more:
Purſue him to his houſe, and plucke him thence.
Leaſt his infection being of catching nature,
Spred further.

Menen.
One word more, one word:
This Tiger-footed-rage, when it ſhall find
The harme of vnskan'd ſwiftneſſe, will (too late)
Tye Leaden pounds too's heeles. Proceed by Proceſſe,
Leaſt parties (as he is belou'd) breake out,
And ſacke great Rome with Romanes.

Brut.
If it were ſo?

Sicin.
What do ye talke?
Haue we not had a taſte of his Obedience?
Our Ediles ſmot: our ſelues reſiſted: come.

Mene.
Conſider this: He ha's bin bred i'th'Warres
Since a could draw a Sword, and is ill-ſchool'd
In boulted Language: Meale and Bran together
He throwes without diſtinction. Giue me leaue,
Ile go to him, and vndertake to bring him in peace,
Where he ſhall anſwer by a lawfull Forme
(In peace) to his vtmoſt perill.

1. Sen.
Noble Tribunes,
It is the humane way: the other courſe
Will proue to bloody: and the end of it,
Vnknowne to the Beginning.

Sic.
Noble Menenius, be you then as the peoples officer:
Maſters, lay downe your Weapons.

Bru.
Go not home.

Sic.
Meet on the Market place:wee'l attend you there:
Where if you bring not Martius, wee'l proceede
In our firſt way.

Menen.
Ile bring him to you.
Let me deſire your company: he muſt come,
Or what is worſt will follow.

Sena.
Pray you let's to him. Exeunt Omnes.

load focus Notes (Horace Howard Furness, Jr., A. B.; Litt. D.)
load focus Notes (Horace Howard Furness, Jr., A. B.; Litt. D.)
load focus English (W. G. Clark, W. Aldis Wright)
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