Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

The Tragedie of Coriolanus.
tell how to tearme it.
1 He had so, looking as it were, would I were hang'd
but I thought there was more in him, then I could think.
28202 So did I, Ile be sworne: He is simply the rarest man
i'th' world.
1 I thinke he is: but a greater soldier then he,
You wot one.
2 Who my Master?
28251 Nay, it's no matter for that.
2 Worth six on him.
1 Nay not so neither: but I take him to be the greater
2 Faith looke you, one cannot tell how to say that: for
2830the Defence of a Towne, our Generall is excellent.
1 I, and for an assault too.
Enter the third Seruingman.
3 Oh Slaues, I can tell you Newes, News you Rascals
Both. What, what, what? Let's partake.
28353 I would not be a Roman of all Nations; I had as
liue be a condemn'd man.
Both. Wherefore? Wherefore?
3 Why here's he that was wont to thwacke our Ge-
nerall, Caius Martius.
28401 Why do you say, thwacke our Generall?
3 I do not say thwacke our Generall, but he was al-
wayes good enough for him
2 Come we are fellowes and friends: he was euer too
hard for him, I haue heard him say so himselfe.
28451 He was too hard for him directly, to say the Troth
on't before Corioles, he scotcht him, and notcht him like a
2 And hee had bin Cannibally giuen, hee might haue
boyld and eaten him too.
28501 But more of thy Newes.
3 Why he is so made on heere within, as if hee were
Son and Heire to Mars, set at vpper end o'th' Table: No
question askt him by any of the Senators, but they stand
bald before him. Our Generall himselfe makes a Mistris
2855of him, Sanctifies himselfe with's hand, and turnes vp the
white o'th' eye to his Discourse. But the bottome of the
Newes is, our Generall is cut i'th' middle, & but one halfe
of what he was yesterday. For the other ha's halfe, by
the intreaty and graunt of the whole Table. Hee'l go he
2860sayes, and sole the Porter of Rome Gates by th' eares. He
will mowe all downe before him, and leaue his passage
2 And he's as like to do't, as any man I can imagine.
3 Doo't? he will doo't: for look you sir, he has as ma-
2865ny Friends as Enemies: which Friends sir as it were, durst
not (looke you sir) shew themselues (as we terme it) his
Friends, whilest he's in Directitude.
1 Directitude? What's that?
3 But when they shall see sir, his Crest vp againe, and
2870the man in blood, they will out of their Burroughes (like
Conies after Raine) and reuell all with him.
1 But when goes this forward:
3 To morrow, to day, presently, you shall haue the
Drum strooke vp this afternoone: 'Tis as it were a parcel
2875of their Feast, and to be executed ere they wipe their lips.
2 Why then wee shall haue a stirring World againe:
This peace is nothing, but to rust Iron, encrease Taylors,
and breed Ballad-makers.
1 Let me haue Warre say I, it exceeds peace as farre
2880as day do's night: It's sprightly walking, audible, and full
of Vent. Peace, is a very Apoplexy, Lethargie, mull'd,
deafe, sleepe, insensible, a getter of more bastard Chil-
dren, then warres a destroyer of men.
2 'Tis so, and as warres in some sort may be saide to
2885be a Rauisher, so it cannot be denied, but peace is a great
maker of Cuckolds.
1 I, and it makes men hate one another.
3 Reason, because they then lesse neede one another:
The Warres for my money. I hope to see Romanes as
2890cheape as Volcians. They are rising, they are rising.
Both. In, in, in, in.
Enter the two Tribunes, Sicinius, and Brutus.
Sicin. We heare not of him, neither need we fear him,
His remedies are tame, the present peace,
2895And quietnesse of the people, which before
Were in wilde hurry. Heere do we make his Friends
Blush, that the world goes well: who rather had,
Though they themselues did suffer by't, behold
Dissentious numbers pestring streets, then see
2900Our Tradesmen singing in their shops, and going
About their Functions friendly.
Enter Menenius.
Bru. We stood too't in good time. Is this Menenius?
Sicin. 'Tis he, 'tis he: O he is grown most kind of late:
2905Haile Sir.
Mene. Haile to you both.
Sicin. Your Coriolanus is not much mist, but with his
Friends: the Commonwealth doth stand, and so would
do, were he more angry at it.
Mene. All's well, and might haue bene much better,
2910if he could haue temporiz'd.
Sicin. Where is he, heare you?
Mene. Nay I heare nothing:
His Mother and his wife, heare nothing from him.
Enter three or foure Citizens.
2915All. The Gods preserue you both.
Sicin. Gooden our Neighbours.
Bru. Gooden to you all, gooden to you all.
1 Our selues, our wiues, and children, on our knees,
Are bound to pray for you both.
2920Sicin. Liue, and thriue.
Bru. Farewell kinde Neighbours:
We wisht Coriolanus had lou'd you as we did.
All. Now the Gods keepe you.
Both Tri. Farewell, farewell.
Exeunt Citizens
2925Sicin. This is a happier and more comely time,
Then when these Fellowes ran about the streets,
Crying Confusion.
Bru. Caius Martius was
A worthy Officer i'th' Warre, but Insolent,
2930O'recome with Pride, Ambitious, past all thinking
Sicin. And affecting one sole Throne, without assistāce
Mene. I thinke not so.
Sicin. We should by this, to all our Lamention,
2935If he had gone forth Consull, found it so.
Bru. The Gods haue well preuented it, and Rome
Sits safe and still, without him.
Enter an Ædile.
Ædile. Worthy Tribunes,
2940There is a Slaue whom we haue put in prison,
Reports the Volces with two seuerall Powers
Are entred in the Roman Territories,
And with the deepest malice of the Warre,
Destroy, what lies before 'em.
2945Mene. 'Tis Auffidius,
Who hearing of our Martius Banishment,
Thrusts forth his hornes againe into the world
Which were In-shell'd, when Martius stood for Rome,