Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

The Tragedie of Coriolanus.
Mes. Sir, if you'ld saue your life, flye to your House,
3605The Plebeians haue got your Fellow Tribune,
And hale him vp and downe; all swearing, if
The Romane Ladies bring not comfort home,
They'l giue him death by Inches.
Enter another Messenger.
3610Sicin. What's the Newes?
Mess. Good Newes, good newes, the Ladies haue
The Volcians are dislodg'd, and Martius gone:
A merrier day did neuer yet greet Rome,
No, not th' expulsion of the Tarquins.
3615Sicin. Friend, art thou certaine this is true?
Is't most certaine.
Mes. As certaine as I know the Sun is fire:
Where haue you lurk'd that you make doubt of it:
Ne're through an Arch so hurried the blowne Tide,
3620As the recomforted through th' gates. Why harke you:
Trumpets, Hoboyes, Drums beate, altogether.
The Trumpets, Sack-buts, Psalteries, and Fifes,
Tabors, and Symboles, and the showting Romans,
Make the Sunne dance. Hearke you.
A shout within
3625Mene. This is good Newes:
I will go meete the Ladies. This Volumnia,
Is worth of Consuls, Senators, Patricians,
A City full: Of Tribunes such as you,
A Sea and Land full: you haue pray'd well to day:
3630This Morning, for ten thousand of your throates,
I'de not haue giuen a doit. Harke, how they ioy.
Sound still with the Shouts.
Sicin. First, the Gods blesse you for your tydings:
Next, accept my thankefulnesse.
3635Mess. Sir, we haue all great cause to giue great thanks.
Sicin. They are neere the City.
Mes. Almost at point to enter.
Sicin. Wee'l meet them, and helpe the ioy.
Enter two Senators, with Ladies, passing ouer
the Stage, with other Lords.
Sena. Behold our Patronnesse, the life of Rome:
Call all your Tribes together, praise the Gods,
And make triumphant fires, strew Flowers before them:
Vnshoot the noise that Banish'd Martius;
3645Repeale him, with the welcome of his Mother:
Cry welcome Ladies, welcome.
All. Welcome Ladies, welcome.
A Flourish with Drummes & Trumpets.
Enter Tullus Auffidius, with Attendants.
3650Auf. Go tell the Lords a'th' City, I am heere:
Deliuer them this Paper: hauing read it,
Bid them repayre to th' Market place, where I
Euen in theirs, and in the Commons eares
Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse:
3655The City Ports by this hath enter'd, and
Intends t'appeare before the People, hoping
To purge himselfe with words. Dispatch.
Enter 3 or 4 Conspirators of Auffidius Faction.
Most Welcome.
36601. Con. How is it with our Generall?
Auf. Euen so, as with a man by his owne Almes im-
poyson'd, and with his Charity slaine.
2. Con. Most Noble Sir, If you do hold the same intent
Wherein you wisht vs parties: Wee'l deliuer you
3665Of your great danger.
Auf. Sir, I cannot tell,
We must proceed as we do finde the People.
3. Con. The People will remaine vncertaine, whil'st
'Twixt you there's difference: but the fall of either
3670Makes the Suruiuor heyre of all.
Auf. I know it:
And my pretext to strike at him, admits
A good construction. I rais'd him, and I pawn'd
Mine Honor for his truth: who being so heighten'd,
3675He watered his new Plants with dewes of Flattery,
Seducing so my Friends: and to this end,
He bow'd his Nature, neuer knowne before,
But to be rough, vnswayable, and free.
3. Consp. Sir, his stoutnesse
3680When he did stand for Consull, which he lost
By lacke of stooping.
Auf. That I would haue spoke of:
Being banish'd for't, he came vnto my Harth,
Presented to my knife his Throat: I tooke him,
3685Made him ioynt-seruant with me: Gaue him way
In all his owne desires: Nay, let him choose
Out of my Files, his proiects, to accomplish
My best and freshest men, seru'd his designements
In mine owne person: holpe to reape the Fame
3690Which he did end all his; and tooke some pride
To do my selfe this wrong: Till at the last
I seem'd his Follower, not Partner; and
He wadg'd me with his Countenance, as if
I had bin Mercenary.
36951. Con. So he did my Lord:
The Army marueyl'd at it, and in the last,
When he had carried Rome, and that we look'd
For no lesse Spoile, then Glory.
Auf. There was it:
3700For which my sinewes shall be stretcht vpon him,
At a few drops of Womens rhewme, which are
As cheape as Lies; he sold the Blood and Labour
Of our great Action; therefore shall he dye,
And Ile renew me in his fall. But hearke.
Drummes and Trumpets sounds, with great
showts of the people.
1. Con. Your Natiue Towne you enter'd like a Poste,
And had no welcomes home, but he returnes
Splitting the Ayre with noyse.
37102. Con. And patient Fooles,
Whose children he hath slaine, their base throats teare
With giuing him glory.
3. Con. Therefore at your vantage,
Ere he expresse himselfe, or moue the people
3715With what he would say, let him feele your Sword:
Which we will second, when he lies along
After your way. His Tale pronounc'd, shall bury
His Reasons, with his Body.
Auf. Say no more. Heere come the Lords,
Enter the Lords of the City.
All Lords. You are most welcome home.
Auff. I haue not deseru'd it.
But worthy Lords, haue you with heede perused
What I haue written to you?
3725All. We haue.
1. Lord. And greeue to heare't:
What faults he made before the last, I thinke
Might haue found easie Fines: But there to end
Where he was to begin, and giue away
3730The benefit of our Leuies, answering vs
With our owne charge: making a Treatie, where
There was a yeelding; this admits no excuse.