Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

The Tragedie of Coriolanus.
Your Wife, your Sonne: These Senators, the Nobles,
2165And you, will rather shew our generall Lowts,
How you can frowne, then spend a fawne vpon 'em,
For the inheritance of their loues, and safegard
Of what that want might ruine.
Menen. Noble Lady,
2170Come goe with vs, speake faire: you may salue so,
Not what is dangerous present, but the losse
Of what is past.
Volum. I pry thee now, my Sonne,
Goe to them, with this Bonnet in thy hand,
2175And thus farre hauing stretcht it (here be with them)
Thy Knee bussing the stones: for in such businesse
Action is eloquence, and the eyes of th' ignorant
More learned then the eares, wauing thy head,
Which often thus correcting thy stout heart,
2180Now humble as the ripest Mulberry,
That will not hold the handling: or say to them,
Thou art their Souldier, and being bred in broyles,
Hast not the soft way, which thou do'st confesse
Were fit for thee to vse, as they to clayme,
2185In asking their good loues, but thou wilt frame
Thy selfe (forsooth) hereafter theirs so farre,
As thou hast power and person.
Menen. This but done,
Euen as she speakes, why their hearts were yours:
2190For they haue Pardons, being ask'd, as free,
As words to little purpose.
Volum. Prythee now,
Goe, and be rul'd: although I know thou hadst rather
Follow thine Enemie in a fierie Gulfe,
2195Then flatter him in a Bower.
Enter Cominius.
Here is Cominius.
Com. I haue beene i'th' Market place: and Sir 'tis fit
You make strong partie, or defend your selfe
By calmenesse, or by absence: all's in anger.
2200Menen. Onely faire speech.
Com. I thinke 'twill serue, if he can thereto frame his
Volum. He must, and will:
Prythee now say you will, and goe about it.
2205Corio. Must I goe shew them my vnbarb'd Sconce?
Must I with my base Tongue giue to my Noble Heart
A Lye, that it must beare well? I will doo't:
Yet were there but this single Plot, to loose
This Mould of Martius, they to dust should grinde it,
2210And throw't against the Winde. To th' Market place:
You haue put me now to such a part, which neuer
I shall discharge to th' Life.
Com. Come, come, wee'le prompt you.
Volum. I prythee now sweet Son, as thou hast said
2215My praises made thee first a Souldier; so
To haue my praise for this, performe a part
Thou hast not done before.
Corio. Well, I must doo't:
Away my disposition, and possesse me
2220Some Harlots spirit: My throat of Warre be turn'd,
Which quier'd with my Drumme into a Pipe,
Small as an Eunuch, or the Virgin voyce
That Babies lull a-sleepe: The smiles of Knaues
Tent in my cheekes, and Schoole-boyes Teares take vp
2225The Glasses of my sight: A Beggars Tongue
Make motion through my Lips, and my Arm'd knees
Who bow'd but in my Stirrop, bend like his
That hath receiu'd an Almes. I will not doo't,
Least I surcease to honor mine owne truth,
2230And by my Bodies action, teach my Minde
A most inherent Basenesse.
Volum. At thy choice then:
To begge of thee, it is my more dis-honor,
Then thou of them. Come all to ruine, let
2235Thy Mother rather feele thy Pride, then feare
Thy dangerous Stoutnesse: for I mocke at death
With as bigge heart as thou. Do as thou list,
Thy Valiantnesse was mine, thou suck'st it from me:
But owe thy Pride thy selfe.
2240Corio. Pray be content:
Mother, I am going to the Market place:
Chide me no more. Ile Mountebanke their Loues,
Cogge their Hearts from them, and come home belou'd
Of all the Trades in Rome. Looke, I am going:
2245Commend me to my Wife, Ile returne Consull,
Or neuer trust to what my Tongue can do
I'th way of Flattery further.
Volum. Do your will.
Exit Volumnia
Com. Away, the Tribunes do attend you: arm your self
2250To answer mildely: for they are prepar'd
With Accusations, as I heare more strong
Then are vpon you yet.
Corio. The word is, Mildely. Pray you let vs go,
Let them accuse me by inuention: I
2255Will answer in mine Honor.
Menen. I, but mildely.
Corio. Well mildely be it then, Mildely.
Enter Sicinius and Brutus.
Bru. In this point charge him home, that he affects
2260Tyrannicall power: If he euade vs there,
Inforce him with his enuy to the people,
And that the Spoile got on the Antiats
Was ne're distributed. What, will he come?

Enter an Edile.
2265Edile. Hee's comming.
Bru. How accompanied?
Edile. With old Menenius, and those Senators
That alwayes fauour'd him.
Sicin. Haue you a Catalogue
2270Of all the Voices that we haue procur'd, set downe by'th
Edile. I haue: 'tis ready.
Sicin. Haue you collected them by Tribes?
Edile. I haue.
Sicin. Assemble presently the people hither:
2275And when they heare me say, it shall be so,
I'th' right and strength a'th' Commons: be it either
For death, for fine, or Banishment, then let them
If I say Fine, cry Fine; if Death, cry Death,
Insisting on the olde prerogatiue
2280And power i'th Truth a'th Cause.
Edile. I shall informe them.
Bru. And when such time they haue begun to cry,
Let them not cease, but with a dinne confus'd
Inforce the present Execution
2285Of what we chance to Sentence.
Edi. Very well.
Sicin. Make them be strong, and ready for this hint
When we shall hap to giu't them.
Bru. Go about it,
2290Put him to Choller straite, he hath bene vs'd
Euer to conquer, and to haue his worth
Of contradiction. Being once chaft, he cannot
Be rein'd againe to Temperance, then he speakes