Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)


The Tragedie of Coriolanus.
17
Sicin. He's a Disease that must be cut away.
Mene. Oh he's a Limbe, that ha's but a Disease
Mortall, to cut it off: to cure it, easie.
2035What ha's he done to Rome, that's worthy death?
Killing our Enemies, the blood he hath lost
(Which I dare vouch, is more then that he hath
By many an Ounce) he dropp'd it for his Country:
And what is left, to loose it by his Countrey,
2040Were to vs all that doo't, and suffer it
A brand to th' end a'th World.
Sicin. This is cleane kamme.
Brut. Meerely awry:
When he did loue his Country, it honour'd him.
2045Menen. The seruice of the foote
Being once gangren'd, is not then respected
For what before it was.
Bru. Wee'l heare no more:
Pursue him to his house, and plucke him thence,
2050Least his infection being of catching nature,
Spred further.
Menen. One word more, one word:
This Tiger-footed-rage, when it shall find
The harme of vnskan'd swiftnesse, will (too late)
2055Tye Leaden pounds too's heeles. Proceed by Processe,
Least parties (as he is belou'd) breake out,
And sacke great Rome with Romanes.
Brut. If it were so?
Sicin. What do ye talke?
2060Haue we not had a taste of his Obedience?
Our Ediles smot: our selues resisted: come.
Mene. Consider this: He ha's bin bred i'th' Warres
Since a could draw a Sword, and is ill-school'd
In boulted Language: Meale and Bran together
2065He throwes without distinction. Giue me leaue,
Ile go to him, and vndertake to bring him in peace,
Where he shall answer by a lawfull Forme
(In peace) to his vtmost perill.
1. Sen. Noble Tribunes,
2070It is the humane way: the other course
Will proue to bloody: and the end of it,
Vnknowne to the Beginning.
Sic. Noble Menenius, be you then as the peoples officer:
Masters, lay downe your Weapons.
2075Bru. Go not home.
Sic. Meet on the Market place: wee'l attend you there:
Where if you bring not Martius, wee'l proceede
In our first way.
Menen. Ile bring him to you.
2080Let me desire your company: he must come,
Or what is worst will follow.
Sena. Pray you let's to him.
Exeunt Omnes.
Enter Coriolanus with Nobles.
Corio. Let them pull all about mine eares, present me
2085Death on the Wheele, or at wilde Horses heeles,
Or pile ten hilles on the Tarpeian Rocke,
That the precipitation might downe stretch
Below the beame of sight; yet will I still
Be thus to them.
2090
Enter Volumnia.
Noble. You do the Nobler.
Corio. I muse my Mother
Do's not approue me further, who was wont
To call them Wollen Vassailes, things created
2095To buy and sell with Groats, to shew bare heads
In Congregations, to yawne, be still, and wonder,
When one but of my ordinance stood vp
To speake of Peace, or Warre. I talke of you,
Why did you wish me milder? Would you haue me
2100False to my Nature? Rather say, I play
The man I am.
Volum. Oh sir, sir, sir,
I would haue had you put your power well on
Before you had worne it out.
2105Corio. Let go.
Vol. You might haue beene enough the man you are,
With striuing lesse to be so: Lesser had bin
The things of your dispositions, if
You had not shew'd them how ye were dispos'd
2110Ere they lack'd power to crosse you.
Corio. Let them hang.
Volum. I, and burne too.
Enter Menenius with the Senators.
Men. Come, come, you haue bin too rough, somthing
2115too rough: you must returne, and mend it.
Sen. There's no remedy,
Vnlesse by not so doing, our good Citie
Cleaue in the midd'st, and perish.
Volum. Pray be counsail'd;
2120I haue a heart as little apt as yours,
But yet a braine, that leades my vse of Anger
To better vantage.
Mene. Well said, Noble woman:
Before he should thus stoope to'th' heart, but that
2125The violent fit a'th' time craues it as Physicke
For the whole State; I would put mine Armour on,
Which I can scarsely beare.
Corio. What must I do?
Mene. Returne to th' Tribunes.
2130Corio. Well, what then? what then?
Mene. Repent, what you haue spoke.
Corio. For them, I cannot do it to the Gods,
Must I then doo't to them?
Volum. You are too absolute,
2135Though therein you can neuer be too Noble,
But when extremities speake. I haue heard you say,
Honor and Policy, like vnseuer'd Friends,
I'th' Warre do grow together: Grant that, and tell me
In Peace, what each of them by th' other loose,
2140That they combine not there?
Corio. Tush, tush.
Mene. A good demand.
Volum. If it be Honor in your Warres, to seeme
The same you are not, which for your best ends
2145You adopt your policy: How is it lesse or worse
That it shall hold Companionship in Peace
With Honour, as in Warre; since that to both
It stands in like request.
Corio. Why force you this?
2150Volum. Because, that
Now it lyes you on to speake to th' people:
Not by your owne instruction, nor by'th' matter
Which your heart prompts you, but with such words
That are but roated in your Tongue;
2155Though but Bastards, and Syllables
Of no allowance, to your bosomes truth.
Now, this no more dishonors you at all,
Then to take in a Towne with gentle words,
Which else would put you to your fortune, and
2160The 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 Honor. I am in this
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