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Pray you, go fit you to the custom; and
It is a part
That I shall blush in acting, and might well
Be taken from the people.
Mark you that?
Cor. To brag unto them,-Thus I did, and thus ;— Show them th' unaking scars which I should hide, As if I had receiv'd them for the hire
Of their breath only:
Do not stand upon't—
We recommend to you, tribunes of the people,
Sen. To Coriolanus come all joy and honour!
Bru. You see how he intends to use the people. Sic. May they perceive his intent! He that will reAs if he did contemn what he requested [quire them, Should be in them to give.
Come, we'll inform them
Of our proceedings here: on th' 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 shows us his wounds, and tell us his deeds, we are to put our tongues into those wounds, and speak for
If he require our voices only.
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 multitude; of the which, we being members, should bring ourselves to be monstrous members.
1 Cit. And to make us no better thought of, a little help will serve: for once, when we stood up about the corn, he himself stuck not to call us the manyheaded 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 skull, they would fly east, west, north, south; and their consent of one direct way should be at once to all the points o' th' 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 blockhead: but if it were at liberty, 'twould, sure, south2 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 behavior. 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 how you
All. Content, content.
Men. O sir, you are not right:
The worthiest men have done it?
I pray, sir,-Plague upon't! I
have you not known
got them in my country's service, when
Some certain of your brethren roar'd, and ran
To think upon you.
You'll mar all;
Men. 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 brace, You know the cause, sir, of my standing here.
1 Cit. We do, sir; tell us what hath brought you Cor. Mine own desert.
Mine own desire.
Cor. No, sir:
"Twas never my desire yet,
To trouble the poor with begging.
Throw away upon them, in recommending what their hearers
do not practise.
1 Cit. You must think, if we give you any thing, We hope to gain by you.
Cor, Well then, I pray, your price o' th' consulship? 1 Cit. The price is, sir, to ask it kindly.
Cor. Kindly? Sir, I pray, let me ha't: I have wounds to show you, Which shall be yours in private.-Your good voice, What say you?
You shall have it, worthy sir.
Cor. A match, sir:
There is in all two worthy voices begg'd:
I have your alms; adieu.
But this is something odd.
[Exeunt two Citizens.
2 Cit. An 'twere to give again,—But 'tis no matter.
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, 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
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!
Cor. Most sweet voices!—
Better it is to die, better to starve,
Than crave the hire which first we do deserve.
To one that would do thus.-I am half through;
Enter three other Citizens.
Here come more voices,
Your voices for your voices I have fought;
5 Cit. He has done nobly, and cannot go without honest man's voice.
6 Cit. Therefore let him be consul: The gods give him joy, and make him good friend to the people!
I will not strengthen or complete your knowledge. The seal is that which gives authenticity to a writing.
This rough hirsute gown.
3 Our poet here has strangely given the names of Englishmen to Romans.