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Fast foe to the plebeii, your voices might
Be curses to yourselves? You should have said,
That, as his worthy deeds did claim no less
Than what he stood for; so his gracious nature
Would think upon you for your voices, and
Translate his malice towards you into love,
Standing your friendly lord.

Thus to have said,
As you were fore-advis'd, had touch'd his spirit,
And try'd his inclination; from him pluck'd
Either his gracious promise, which you might,
As cause had call'd you up, have held him to;
Or else it would have gall'd his surly nature,
Which easily endures not article

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


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


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Have you,

Ere now, deny'd the asker? and now again,
On him, that did not ask, but mock, bestow
Your su'd-for tongues?

3 Cit. He's not confirm'd, we may deny him yet.
2 Cit. And will deny him:

I'll have five hundred voices of that sound.

1 Cit. I twice five hundred, and their friends to piece 'em.

Bru. Get you hence instantly; and tell those

They have chose a consul, that will from them take
Their liberties; make them of no more voice
Than dogs, that are as often beat for barking,
As therefore kept to do so.

Let them assemble;
And, on a safer judgment, all revoke
Your ignorant election: Enforce? his pride,
And his old hate unto you: besides, forget not
With what contempt he wore the humble weed;
How in his suit he scorn'd you: but your loves,
Thinking upon his services, took from
The apprehension of his present portance,3
Which gibingly, ungravely he did fashion
After the inveterate hate he bears you.



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

We will so: almost all

[Several speak. [Exeunt Citizens.

Let them go on;

This mutiny were better put in hazard,
Than stay, past doubt, for greater:
If, as his nature is, he fall in rage
With their refusal, both observe and answer
The vantage of his anger.
To the Capitol :
Come; we'll be there before the stream o'the people;
And this shall seem, as partly 'tis, their own,
Which we have goaded? onward.



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Cor. I wish, I had a cause to seek him there,

How youngly he began to serve his country,
How long continued: and what stock he springs of, To oppose his hatred fully.--Welcome home.

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,

(1) Plebeians, common people.
(2) Object.
(3) Carriage.

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(4) Weighing.

Enter Sicinius and Brutus.

[To Lartius.

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Have I had children's voices?

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Bru. As if you were a god to punish, not

1 Sen. Tribunes, give way; he shall to the mar-A man of their infirmity.

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Becomes not Rome; nor has Coriolanus

Deserv'd this so dishonour'd rub, laid falsely2 I'the plain way of his merit.

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Tell me of corn!

Cor. 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,3 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 scatter'd,

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

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Sic. We let the people know't. Men.

Cor. Choler!

'Twere well,

What, what? his choler?

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O good, but most unwise patricians, why,
You grave, but reckless 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 take
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,

Men. W Cor. (Though there to lute power,)

well, no more of that. people had more abso

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

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Which they have often made against the senate,
All cause unborn, could never be the nativel
Of our so frank donation. Well, what then?
How shall this bosom multiplied digest
The senate's courtesy? Let deeds express
What's like to be their words :-We did request it;
We are the greater poll,2 and in true fear
They gave us our demands:-Thus we debase
The nature of our seats, and make the rabble
Call our cares, fears: which will in time break ope
The locks o'the senate, and bring in the crows
To peck the eagles.-

Come, enough.

Bru. Enough, with over-measure.
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, wis-

Cannot conclude, but by the yea and no
Of general ignorance,—it must omit
Real necessities, and give way the while

To unstable slightness: purpose so barr'd, it follows,
Nothing is done to purpose: Therefore, beseech


You that will be less fearful than discreet;
That love the fundamental part of state,
More than you doubt3 the change of't; that prefer
A noble life before a long, and wish

To jump a body with a dangerous physic
That's sure of death without it,-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 the power to do the good it would,
For the ill which doth control it.

He has said enough.

Seize him, ædiles.
Cit. Down with him, down with him!

[Several speak. 2 Sen. Weapons, weapons, weapons [They all bustle about Coriolanus. Tribunes, patricians, citizens !--what, ho!— Sicinius, Brutus, Coriolanus, citizens !


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Cit. Peace, peace, peace; stay, hold, peace! Men. What is about to be?-I am out of breath; Confusion's near: I cannot speak :--You, tribunes To the people,-Coriolanus, patience :Speak, good Sicinius. Sic. Hear me, people ;-Peace. Cit. Let's near our tribune:-Peace. Speak, speak, speak.

Sic. You are at point to lose your liberties: Marcius would have all from you; Marcius, Whom late you have nam'd for consul.


Fie, fie, fie!

This is the way to kindle, not to quench.
1 Sen. To unbuild the city, and to lay all flat.
Sic. What is the city, but the people?

The people are the city.


Bru. By the consent of all, we were establish'd
The people's magistrates.

You so remain.
Men. And so are like to do.
Cor. That is the way to lay the city flat;
To bring the roof to the foundation;
And bury all, which yet distinctly ranges,
In heaps and piles of ruins.

This deserves death.
Bru. Or let us stand to our authority,
Or let us lose it :-We do here pronounce,
Upon the part o'the people, in whose power
We were elected theirs, Marcius is worthy
Of present death,
Therefore, lay hold of him;


Sic. He has spoken like a traitor, and shall an-Bear him to the rock Tarpeian,5 and from thence
Into destruction cast him.


As traitors do.

Cor. Thou wretch! despite o'erwhelm thee!-
What should the people do with these bald tribunes?
On whom depending, their obedience fails
To the 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 it must be meet,
And throw their power i'the dust.
Bru. Manifest treason.
Bru. The ædiles, ho!-Let him be apprehended.
Sic. Go, call the people; [Exit Brutus.] in
whose name, myself

This a consul? no.

Attach thee, as a traitorous innovator,

A foe to the public weal: Obey, I charge thee, And follow to thine answer.


Hence, old goat! Sen. & Pat. We'll surety him. Com.

Aged sir, hands off. Cor. Hence, rotten thing, or I shall shake thy


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Sir, those cold ways, That seem like prudent helps, are very poisonous Where the disease is violent:-Lay hands upon him, And bear him to the rock. Cor.

No; I'll die here. [Drawing his sword. There's some among you have beheld me fighting; Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me. Men. Down with that sword;-Tribunes, withdraw a while.

Bru. Lay hands upon him.

Help, Marcius! help,
You that be noble; help him, young, and old!
Cit. Down with him, down with him!

[In this mutiny, the Tribunes, the Ediles, and the People, are all beat in. Men. Go, get you to your house; be gone away, All will be naught else.

Sic. Here's he, that would Take from you all your power.

2 Sen. Cor.

(1) Motive, no doubt, was Shakspeare's word. (2) Number. (3) Fear. (4) Risk.

Get you gone.

We have as many friends as enemies.

Stand fast

(5) From whence criminals were thrown, and dashed to pieces,

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Com. But now 'tis odds beyond arithmetic;
And manhood is call'd foolery, when it stands
Against a falling fabric.-Will you hence,
Before the tag return? whose rage doth rend
Like interrupted waters, and o'erbear
What they are us❜d to bear.

Pray you, be gone:
I'll try whether my old wit be in request
With those that have but little; this must be patch'd
With cloth of any colour.

Nay, come away.
[Exeunt Cor. Com. and others.
1 Pat. This man has marr'd his fortune.
Men. His nature is too noble for the world:
He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
Or Jove for his power to thunder. His heart's his

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Could he not speak them fair?

Re-enter Brutus and Sicinius, with the Rabble.
Where is this viper,
That would depopulate the city, and
Be every man himself?


You worthy tribunes,

Sic. He shall be thrown down the Tarpeian rock||
With rigorous hands; he hath resisted law,
And therefore law shall scorn him further trial
Than the severity of the public power,
Which he so sets at nought.

1 Cit.
He shall well know,
The noble tribunes are the people's mouths,
And we their hands.




Consul?-what consul?

He a consul?

Men. The consul Coriolanus.
Cit. No, no, no, no, no.

Men. If, by the tribunes' leave, and yours, good

I may be heard, I'd crave a word or two;
The which shall turn to you no further harm,
Than so much loss of time.

Speak briefly then;
For we are peremptory, to despatch
This viperous traitor: to eject him hence,
Were but one danger; and, to keep him here,
Our certain death; therefore it is decreed,
He dies to-night.

That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude
Towards her deserved4 children is enroll'd
In Jove's own book, like an unnatural dam
Should now eat up her own!

Now the good gods forbid,

Sic. He's a disease, that must be cut away.
Men. O, he's a limb, that has but a disease;
Mortal, to cut it off; to cure it, easy.

What has he done to Rome, that's worthy death?
Killing our enemies? The blood he hath lost,
(Which, I dare vouch, is more than that he hath,
By many an ounce,) he dropp'd it for his country;
And, what is left, to lose it by his country,
Were to us all, that do't, and suffer it,
A brand to the end o'the world.
This is clean kam $
Bru. Merely6 awry: when he did love his

It honour'd him.


The service of the foot
Being once gangren'd, is it not then respected
For what before it was?
We'll hear no more :-
Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence;
Lest his infection, being of catching nature,
Spread further.


One word more, one word.
This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find
The harm of unscann'd swiftness,7 will, too late,
Tie leaden pounds to his heels. Proceed by process;
Lest parties (as he is belov'd) break out,
And sack great Rome with Romans.

If it were so,

Sic. What do ye talk?
Have we not had a taste of his obedience?
Our ædiles smote? ourselves resisted?-Come :-

Men. Consider this;-He has been bred i'the wars
Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school'd
In boulted language; meal and bran together
He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
I'll go to him, and undertake to bring him
Where he shall answer, by a lawful form,
(In peace) to his utmost peril.

He shall, sure on't.2
1 Sen.
Noble tribunes,
[Several speak together. It is the humane way: the other course
Sir,- Will prove too bloody; and the end of it
Peace. Unknown to the beginning.
Noble Menenius,

Men. Do not cry, havoc,3 where you should but
With modest warrant.

Sir, how comes it, that you
Have holp to make this rescue?


Hear me speak :

As I do know the consul's worthiness,
So can I name his faults :-


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Be you then as the people's officer:
Masters, lay down your weapons.

Go not home.
Sic. Meet on the market-place :-We'll attend
you there :

Where, if you bring not Marcius, we'll proceed
In our first way.


I'll bring him to you :

(4) Deserving. (5) Quite awry. (6) Absolutely. (7) Inconsiderate haste. (8) Finely sifted.

Let me desire your company. [To the Senators.] That they combine not there.

He must come,
Or what is worst will follow.

1 Sen.

Pray you, let's to him. [Exeunt. SCENE II-A room in Coriolanus's house. Enter Coriolanus, and I atricians.

Cor. Let them pull all about mine ears; present

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I would have had you put your power well on,
Before had worn it out.


Let go.

Vol. You might have been enough the man you


With striving less to be so: Lesser had been
The thwartings of your dispositions, if
You had not show'd them how you were dispos'd
Ere they lack'd power to cross you.

Vol. Ay, and burn too.

Let them hang.

Enter Menenius, and Senators.

something too rough; You must return, and mend it.



Tush, tush!
A good demand.

Vol. If it be honour, in your wars, to seem
The same you are not, (which, for your best ends,
You adopt your policy,) how is it less, or worse,
That it shall hold companionship in peace
With honour, as in war; since that to both
It stands in like request?

Why forces you this?
Vol. Because that now it lies you on to speak
To the people; not by your own instruction,
Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you to,
But with such words that are but roted in
Your tongue, though but bastards, and syllables
Of no allowance, to your bosom's truth.
Now, this no more dishonours you at all,
Than to take in4 a town with gentle words,
Which else would put you to your fortune, and
The hazard of much blood.-

I would dissemble with my nature, where
My fortunes, and my friends, at stake, requir'd,
I should do so in honour: I am in this,
Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles;
And you will rather show our general lowts5
How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon them,
For the inheritance of their loves, and safeguard
Of what that want might ruin.


Noble lady!-
Come, go with us; speak fair: you may salve so,
Not what is dangerous present, but the loss
Of what is past.


I pr'ythee now, my son,
Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand;
And thus far having stretch'd it (here be with them,)
Thy knee bussing the stones (for in such business
Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant
More learned than the ears,) waving thy head,
Which often, thus, correcting thy stout heart,
That humble, as the ripest mulberry,
Now will not hold the handling: Or, say to them,
Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils,
Hast not the soft way, which, thou dost confess,

Men. Come, come, you have been too rough, Were fit for thee to use, as they to claim,
In asking their good loves; but thou wilt frame
Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far
1 Sen.
There's no remedy; As thou hast power, and person.
Unless, by not so doing, our good city
Cleave in the midst, and perish.

Pray be counsell'd:
I have a heart as little apt as yours,
But yet a brain, that leads my use of anger,
To better vantage.

Before he should thus stoop to the herd, but that
The violent fit o'the time craves it as physic
For the whole state, I would put mine armour on,
Which I can scarcely bear.

Well said, noble woman:

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Repent what you have spoke.
Cor. For them?-I cannot do it to the gods;
Must I then do't to them?

You are too absolute;
Though therein you can never be too noble,
But when extremities speak. I have heard you say,
Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends,
I'the war do grow together: Grant that, and tell
In peace, what each of them by th' other lose,

(1) Wonder. (2) Rank.
(4) Subdue.

(3) Urge. (5) Common clowns.

This but done,
Even as she speaks, why, all their hearts were yours:
For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free
As words to little purpose.
Pr'ythee now,

Go, and be rul'd: although, I know, thou hadst

Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf,

Than flatter him in a bower. Here is Cominius

Enter Cominius.

Com. I have been i'the market-place: and, sir,
'tis fit

You make strong party, or defend yourself
By calmness, or by absence; all's in anger.
Men. Only fair speech.

I think, 'twill serve, if he

Can thereto frame his spirit.

He must, and will:-
Pr'ythee now, say, you will, and go about it.
Cor. Must I go show them my unbarb'd sconce ?
Must I,

me,With my base tongue, give to my noble heart
A lie, that it must bear? Well, I will do't:
Yet were there but this single plot to lose,

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