Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)


The Tragedie of Coriolanus.
13
Their needlesse Vouches: Custome calls me too't.
What Custome wills in all things, should we doo't?
1510The Dust on antique Time would lye vnswept,
And mountainous Error be too highly heapt,
For Truth to o're-peere. Rather then foole it so,
Let the high Office and the Honor go
To one that would doe thus. I am halfe through,
1515The one part suffered, the other will I doe.
Enter three Citizens more.
Here come moe Voyces.
Your Voyces? for your Voyces I haue fought,
Watcht for your Voyces: for your Voyces, beare
1520Of Wounds, two dozen odde: Battailes thrice six
I haue seene, and heard of: for your Voyces,
Haue done many things, some lesse, some more:
Your Voyces? Indeed I would be Consull.
1. Cit. Hee ha's done Nobly, and cannot goe without
1525any honest mans Voyce.
2. Cit. Therefore let him be Consull: the Gods giue him
ioy, and make him good friend to the People.
All. Amen, Amen. God saue thee, Noble Consull.
Corio. Worthy Voyces.

1530
Enter Menenius, with Brutus and Scicinius.

Mene. You haue stood your Limitation:
And the Tribunes endue you with the Peoples Voyce,
Remaines, that in th' Officiall Markes inuested,
You anon doe meet the Senate.
1535Corio. Is this done?
Scicin. The Custome of Request you haue discharg'd:
The People doe admit you, and are summon'd
To meet anon, vpon your approbation.
Corio. Where? at the Senate-house?
1540Scicin. There, Coriolanus.
Corio. May I change these Garments?
Scicin. You may, Sir.
Cori. That Ile straight do: and knowing my selfe again,
Repayre to th'Senate-
1545house.
Mene. Ile keepe you company. Will you along?
Brut. We stay here for the People.
Scicin. Fare you well.
Exeunt Coriol. and Mene.
He ha's it now: and by his Lookes, me thinkes,
'Tis warme at's heart.
1550Brut. With a prowd heart he wore his humble Weeds:
Will you dismisse the People?
Enter the Plebeians.
Scici. How now, my Masters, haue you chose this man?
1. Cit. He ha's our Voyces, Sir.
1555Brut. We pray the Gods, he may deserue your loues.
2. Cit. Amen, Sir: to my poore vnworthy notice,
He mock'd vs, when he begg'd our Voyces.
3. Cit. Certainely, he flowted vs downe-right.
1. Cit. No, 'tis his kind of speech, he did not mock vs.
15602. Cit. Not one amongst vs, saue your selfe, but sayes
He vs'd vs scornefully: he should haue shew'd vs
His Marks of Merit, Wounds receiu'd for's Countrey.
Scicin. Why so he did, I am sure.
All. No, no: no man saw 'em.
15653. Cit. Hee said hee had Wounds,
Which he could shew in priuate:
And with his Hat, thus wauing it in scorne,
I would be Consull, sayes he: aged Custome,
But by your Voyces, will not so permit me.
1570Your Voyces therefore: when we graunted that,
Here was, I thanke you for your Voyces, thanke you
Your most sweet Voyces: now you haue left your Voyces,
I haue no further with you. Was not this mockerie?
Scicin. Why eyther were you ignorant to see't?
1575Or seeing it, of such Childish friendlinesse,
To yeeld your Voyces?
Brut. Could you not haue told him,
As you were lesson'd: When he had no Power,
But was a pettie seruant to the State,
1580He was your Enemie, euer spake against
Your Liberties, and the Charters that you beare
I'th' Body of the Weale: and now arriuing
A place of Potencie, and sway o'th' State,
If he should still malignantly remaine
1585Fast Foe to th'Plebeij, your Voyces might
Be Curses to your selues. You should haue said,
That as his worthy deeds did clayme no lesse
Then what he stood for: so his gracious nature
Would thinke vpon you, for your Voyces,
1590And translate his Mallice towards you, into Loue,
Standing your friendly Lord.
Scicin. Thus to haue said,
As you were fore-aduis'd, had toucht his Spirit,
And try'd his Inclination: from him pluckt
1595Eyther his gracious Promise, which you might
As cause had call'd you vp, haue held him to;
Or else it would haue gall'd his surly nature,
Which easily endures not Article,
Tying him to ought, so putting him to Rage,
1600You should haue ta'ne th' aduantage of his Choller,
And pass'd him vnelected.
Brut. Did you perceiue,
He did sollicite you in free Contempt,
When he did need your Loues: and doe you thinke,
1605That his Contempt shall not be brusing to you,
When he hath power to crush? Why, had your Bodyes
No Heart among you? Or had you Tongues, to cry
Against the Rectorship of Iudgement?
Scicin. Haue you, ere now, deny'd the asker:
1610And now againe, of him that did not aske, but mock,
Bestow your su'd-for Tongues?
3. Cit. Hee's not confirm'd, we may deny him yet.
2. Cit. And will deny him:
Ile haue fiue hundred Voyces of that sound.
16151. Cit. I twice fiue hundred, & their friends, to piece 'em.
Brut. Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends,
They haue chose a Consull, that will from them take
Their Liberties, make them of no more Voyce
Then Dogges, that are as often beat for barking,
1620As therefore kept to doe so.
Scici. Let them assemble: and on a safer Iudgement,
All reuoke your ignorant election: Enforce his Pride,
And his old Hate vnto you: besides, forget not
With what Contempt he wore the humble Weed,
1625How in his Suit he scorn'd you: but your Loues,
Thinking vpon his Seruices, tooke from you
Th' apprehension of his present portance,
Which most gibingly, vngrauely, he did fashion
After the inueterate Hate he beares you.
1630Brut. Lay a fault on vs, your Tribunes,
That we labour'd (no impediment betweene)
But that you must cast your Election on him.
Scici. Say you chose him, more after our commandment,
Then as guided by your owne true affections, and that
1635Your Minds pre-occupy'd with what you rather must do,
Then what you should, made you against the graine
To Voyce him Consull. Lay the fault on vs.
bb
Brut. I,