Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)


Flourish. Alarum. A Retreat is sounded. Enter at
745
one Doore Cominius, with the Romanes: At
another Doore Martius, with his
Arme in a Scarfe.
Com. If I should tell thee o're this thy dayes Worke,
Thou't not beleeue thy deeds: but Ile report it,
750Where Senators shall mingle teares with smiles,
Where great Patricians shall attend, and shrug,
I'th' end admire: where Ladies shall be frighted,
And gladly quak'd, heare more: where the dull Tribunes,
That with the fustie Plebeans, hate thine Honors,
755Shall say against their hearts, We thanke the Gods
Our Rome hath such a Souldier.
Yet cam'st thou to a Morsell of this Feast,
Hauing fully din'd before.
Enter Titus with his Power, from the Pursuit.
760Titus Lartius. Oh Generall:
Here is the Steed, wee the Caparison:
Hadst thou beheld---
Martius. Pray now, no more:
My Mother, who ha's a Charter to extoll her Bloud,
765When she do's prayse me, grieues me:
I haue done as you haue done, that's what I can,
Induc'd as you haue beene, that's for my Countrey:
He that ha's but effected his good will,
Hath ouerta'ne mine Act.
770Com. You shall not be the Graue of your deseruing,
Rome must know the value of her owne:
'Twere a Concealement worse then a Theft,
No lesse then a Traducement,
To hide your doings, and to silence that,
775Which to the spire, and top of prayses vouch'd,
Would seeme but modest: therefore I beseech you,
In signe of what you are, not to reward
What you haue done, before our Armie heare me.
Martius. I haue some Wounds vpon me, and they smart
780To heare themselues remembred.
Com. Should they not:
Well might they fester 'gainst Ingratitude,
And tent themselues with death: of all the Horses,
Whereof we haue ta'ne good, and good store of all,
785The Treasure in this field atchieued, and Citie,
We render you the Tenth, to be ta'ne forth,
Before the common distribution,
At your onely choyse.
Martius. I thanke you Generall:
790But cannot make my heart consent to take
A Bribe, to pay my Sword: I doe refuse it,
And stand vpon my common part with those,
That haue beheld the doing.
A long flourish. They all cry, Martius, Martius,
795
cast vp their Caps and Launces: Cominius
and Lartius stand bare.
Mar. May these same Instruments, which you prophane,
Neuer sound more: when Drums and Trumpets shall
I'th' field proue flatterers, let Courts and Cities be
800Made all of false-fac'd soothing:
When Steele growes soft, as the Parasites Silke,
Let him be made an Ouerture for th' Warres:
No more I say, for that I haue not wash'd
My Nose that bled, or foyl'd some debile Wretch,
805Which without note, here's many else haue done,
You shoot me forth in acclamations hyperbolicall,
As if I lou'd my little should be dieted
In prayses, sawc'st with Lyes.
Com. Too modest are you:
810More cruell to your good report, then gratefull
To vs, that giue you truly: by your patience,
If 'gainst your selfe you be incens'd, wee'le put you
(Like one that meanes his proper harme) in Manacles,
Then reason safely with you: Therefore be it knowne,
815As to vs, to all the World, That Caius Martius
Weares this Warres Garland: in token of the which,
My Noble Steed, knowne to the Campe, I giue him,
With all his trim belonging; and from this time,
For what he did before Corioles, call him,
820With all th' applause and Clamor of the Hoast,
Marcus Caius Coriolanus. Beare th' addition Nobly euer?
Flourish. Trumpets sound, and Drums.
Omnes. Marcus Caius Coriolanus.
Martius. I will goe wash:
825And when my Face is faire, you shall perceiue
Whether I blush or no: howbeit, I thanke you,
I meane to stride your Steed, and at all times
To vnder-crest your good Addition,
To th' fairenesse of my power.
830Com. So, to our Tent:
Where ere we doe repose vs, we will write
To Rome of our successe: you Titus Lartius
Must to Corioles backe, send vs to Rome
The best, with whom we may articulate,
835For their owne good, and ours.
Lartius. I shall, my Lord.
Martius. The Gods begin to mocke me:
I that now refus'd most Princely gifts,
Am bound to begge of my Lord Generall.
840Com. Tak't, 'tis yours: what is't?
Martius. I sometime lay here in Corioles,
At a poore mans house: he vs'd me kindly,
He cry'd to me: I saw him Prisoner:
But then Auffidius was within my view,
845And Wrath o're-whelm'd my pittie: I request you
To giue my poore Host freedome.
Com. Oh well begg'd:
Were he the Butcher of my Sonne, he should
Be free, as is the Winde: deliuer him, Titus.
850Lartius. Martius, his Name.
Martius. By Iupiter forgot:
I am wearie, yea, my memorie is tyr'd:
Haue we no Wine here?
Com. Goe we to our Tent:
855The bloud vpon your Visage dryes, 'tis time
It should be lookt too: come.
Exeunt.