Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

The Tragedie of Coriolanus.
1 Cit. The Gods bee good to vs: Come Masters let's
home, I euer said we were i'th wrong, when we banish'd
2 Cit. So did we all. But come, let's home. Exit Cit.
3085Bru. I do not like this Newes.
Sicin. Nor I.
Bru. Let's to the Capitoll: would halfe my wealth
Would buy this for a lye.
Sicin. Pray let's go.
Exeunt Tribunes.
Enter Auffidius with his Lieutenant.
Auf. Do they still flye to'th' Roman?
Lieu. I do not know what Witchcraft's in him: but
Your Soldiers vse him as the Grace 'fore meate,
Their talke at Table, and their Thankes at end,
3095And you are darkned in this action Sir,
Euen by your owne.
Auf. I cannot helpe it now,
Vnlesse by vsing meanes I lame the foote
Of our designe. He beares himselfe more proudlier,
3100Euen to my person, then I thought he would
When first I did embrace him. Yet his Nature
In that's no Changeling, and I must excuse
What cannot be amended.
Lieu. Yet I wish Sir,
3105(I meane for your particular) you had not
Ioyn'd in Commission with him: but either haue borne
The action of your selfe, or else to him, had left it soly.
Auf. I vnderstand thee well, and be thou sure
When he shall come to his account, he knowes not
3110What I can vrge against him, although it seemes
And so he thinkes, and is no lesse apparant
To th' vulgar eye, that he beares all things fairely:
And shewes good Husbandry for the Volcian State,
Fights Dragon-like, and does atcheeue as soone
3115As draw his Sword: yet he hath left vndone
That which shall breake his necke, or hazard mine,
When ere we come to our account.
Lieu. Sir, I beseech you, think you he'l carry Rome?
Auf. All places yeelds to him ere he sits downe,
3120And the Nobility of Rome are his:
The Senators and Patricians loue him too:
The Tribunes are no Soldiers: and their people
Will be as rash in the repeale, as hasty
To expell him thence. I thinke hee'l be to Rome
3125As is the Aspray to the Fish, who takes it
By Soueraignty of Nature. First, he was
A Noble seruant to them, but he could not
Carry his Honors eeuen: whether 'was Pride
Which out of dayly Fortune euer taints
3130The happy man; whether detect of iudgement,
To faile in the disposing of those chances
Which he was Lord of: or whether Nature,
Not to be other then one thing, not moouing
From th' Caske to th' Cushion: but commanding peace
3135Euen with the same austerity and garbe,
As he controll'd the warre. But one of these
(As he hath spices of them all) not all,
For I dare so farre free him, made him fear'd,
So hated, and so banish'd: but he ha's a Merit
3140To choake it in the vtt'rance: So our Vertue,
Lie in th' interpretation of the time,
And power vnto it selfe most commendable,
Hath not a Tombe so euident as a Chaire
T'extoll what it hath done.
3145One fire driues out one fire; one Naile, one Naile;
Rights by rights fouler, strengths by strengths do faile.
Come let's away: when Caius Rome is thine,
Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine.

Actus Quintus.

Enter Menenius, Cominius, Sicinius, Brutus,
the two Tribunes, with others.
Menen. No, Ile not go: you heare what he hath said
Which was sometime his Generall: who loued him
In a most deere particular. He call'd me Father:
3155But what o'that? Go you that banish'd him
A Mile before his Tent, fall downe, and knee
The way into his mercy: Nay, if he coy'd
To heare Cominius speake, Ile keepe at home.
Com. He would not seeme to know me.
3160Menen. Do you heare?
Com. Yet one time he did call me by my name:
I vrg'd our old acquaintance, and the drops
That we haue bled together. Coriolanus
He would not answer too: Forbad all Names,
3165He was a kinde of Nothing, Titlelesse,
Till he had forg'd himselfe a name a'th' fire
Of burning Rome.
Menen. Why so: you haue made good worke:
A paire of Tribunes, that haue wrack'd for Rome,
3170To make Coales cheape: A Noble memory.
Com. I minded him, how Royall 'twas to pardon
When it was lesse expected. He replyed
It was a bare petition of a State
To one whom they had punish'd.
3175Menen. Very well, could he say lesse.
Com. I offered to awaken his regard
For's priuate Friends. His answer to me was
He could not stay to picke them, in a pile
Of noysome musty Chaffe. He said, 'twas folly
3180For one poore graine or two, to leaue vnburnt
And still to nose th' offence.
Menen. For one poore graine or two?
I am one of those: his Mother, Wife, his Childe,
And this braue Fellow too: we are the Graines,
3185You are the musty Chaffe, and you are smelt
Aboue the Moone. We must be burnt for you.
Sicin. Nay, pray be patient: If you refuse your ayde
In this so neuer-needed helpe, yet do not
Vpbraid's with our distresse. But sure if you
3190Would be your Countries Pleader, your good tongue
More then the instant Armie we can make
Might stop our Countryman.
Mene. No: Ile not meddle.
Sicin. Pray you go to him.
3195Mene. What should I do?
Bru. Onely make triall what your Loue can do,
For Rome, towards Martius.
Mene. Well, and say that Martius returne mee,
As Cominius is return'd, vnheard: what then?
3200But as a discontented Friend, greefe-shot
With his vnkindnesse. Say't be so?
Sicin. Yet your good will
Must haue that thankes from Rome, after the measure
As you intended well.
3205Mene. Ile vndertak't:
I thinke hee'l heare me. Yet to bite his lip,
And humme at good Cominius, much vnhearts mee.