Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

The Tragedie of Coriolanus.
Brut. I, spare vs not: Say, we read Lectures to you,
How youngly he began to serue his Countrey,
1640How long continued, and what stock he springs of,
The Noble House o'th' Martians: from whence came
That Ancus Martius, Numaes Daughters Sonne:
Who after great Hostilius here was King,
Of the same House Publius and Quintus were,
1645That our best Water, brought by Conduits hither,
And Nobly nam'd, so twice being Censor,
Was his great Ancestor.
Scicin. One thus descended,
That hath beside well in his person wrought,
1650To be set high in place, we did commend
To your remembrances: but you haue found,
Skaling his present bearing with his past,
That hee's your fixed enemie; and reuoke
Your suddaine approbation.
1655Brut. Say you ne're had don't,
(Harpe on that still) but by our putting on:
And presently, when you haue drawne your number,
Repaire to th'Capitoll.
All. We will so: almost all repent in their election.
Exeunt Plebeians.
Brut. Let them goe on:
This Mutinie were better put in hazard,
Then stay past doubt, for greater:
If, as his nature is, he fall in rage
1665With their refusall, both obserue and answer
The vantage of his anger.
Scicin. To th'Capitoll, come:
We will be there before the streame o'th' People:
And this shall seeme, as partly 'tis, their owne,
1670Which we haue goaded on-ward.

Actus Tertius.

Cornets. Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, all the Gentry,
Cominius, Titus Latius, and other Senators.
Corio. Tullus Auffidius then had made new head.
1675Latius. 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.
1680Com. 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
1685Against 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?
1690Latius. 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.
1695Corio. 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.
1700Behold, 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.
1705Cor. 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?
1710Brut. Cominius, no.
Corio. Haue I had Childrens Voyces?
Senat. Tribunes giue way, he shall to th'Market place.
Brut. The People are incens'd against him.
Scicin. Stop, or all will fall in broyle.
1715Corio. 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?
1720Mene. 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.
1725Brut. 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.
1730Corio. Why this was knowne before.
Brut. Not to them all.
Corio. Haue you inform'd them sithence?
Brut. How? I informe them?
Com. You are like to doe such businesse.
1735Brut. 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,
1740For 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.
1745Mene. 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.
1750Corio. 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.
1755My 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
1760The 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.
1765Mene. Well, no more.
Senat. No more words, we beseech you.
Corio. How? no more?