Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)


The Tragedie of Coriolanus.
15
As for my Country, I haue shed my blood,
Not fearing outward force: So shall my Lungs
1770Coine 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.
1775Sicin. '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
1780Where 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.
1785Cor. 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
1790To 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,
1795Let 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,
1800His 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
1805May 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
1810Sometime 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
1815One 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,
1820Euen when the Nauell of the State was touch'd,
They would not thred the Gates: This kinde of Seruice
Did not deserue Corne gratis. Being i'th' Warre,
There Mutinies and Reuolts, wherein they shew'd
Most Valour spoke not for them. Th'Accusation
1825Which 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
1830What'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
1835Breake 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.
1840What 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
1845Of 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,
1850That 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
1855The 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
1860For 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:
1865What 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,
1870Let 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.
1875Bru. 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.
1880Corio. 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.
1885Sicin. 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.
1890Bru. 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:
1895Sicinius, 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.
Bb2
Sicin.