Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)


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
What's in his heart, and that is there which lookes
2295With vs to breake his necke.
Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, and Comi-
nius, with others.
Sicin. Well, heere he comes.
Mene. Calmely, I do beseech you.
2300Corio. I, as an Hostler, that fourth poorest peece
Will beare the Knaue by'th Volume:
Th' honor'd Goddes
Keepe Rome in safety, and the Chaires of Iustice
Supplied with worthy men, plant loue amongs
2305Through our large Temples with ye shewes of peace
And not our streets with Warre.
1 Sen. Amen, Amen.
Mene. A Noble wish.
Enter the Edile with the Plebeians.
2310Sicin. Draw neere ye people.
Edile. List to your Tribunes. Audience:
Peace I say.
Corio. First heare me speake.
Both Tri. Well, say: Peace hoe.
2315Corio. Shall I be charg'd no further then this present?
Must all determine heere?
Sicin. I do demand,
If you submit you to the peoples voices,
Allow their Officers, and are content
2320To suffer lawfull Censure for such faults
As shall be prou'd vpon you.
Corio. I am Content.
Mene. Lo Citizens, he sayes he is Content.
The warlike Seruice he ha's done, consider: Thinke
2325Vpon the wounds his body beares, which shew
Like Graues i'th holy Church-yard.
Corio. Scratches with Briars, scarres to moue
Laughter onely.
Mene. Consider further:
2330That when he speakes not like a Citizen,
You finde him like a Soldier: do not take
His rougher Actions for malicious sounds:
But as I say, such as become a Soldier,
Rather then enuy you.
2335Com. Well, well, no more.
Corio. What is the matter,
That being past for Consull with full voyce:
I am so dishonour'd, that the very houre
You take it off againe.
2340Sicin. Answer to vs.
Corio. Say then: 'tis true, I ought so
Sicin. We charge you, that you haue contriu'd to take
From Rome all season'd Office, and to winde
Your selfe into a power tyrannicall,
2345For which you are a Traitor to the people.
Corio. How? Traytor?
Mene. Nay temperately: your promise.
Corio. The fires i'th' lowest hell. Fould in the people:
Call me their Traitor, thou iniurious Tribune.
2350Within thine eyes sate twenty thousand deaths
In thy hands clutcht: as many Millions in
Thy lying tongue, both numbers. I would say
Thou lyest vnto thee, with a voice as free,
As I do pray the Gods.
2355Sicin. Marke you this people?
All. To'th' Rocke, to'th' Rocke with him.
Sicin. Peace:
We neede not put new matter to his charge:
What you haue seene him do, and heard him speake:
2360Beating your Officers, cursing your selues,
Opposing Lawes with stroakes, and heere defying
Those whose great power must try him.
Euen this so criminall, and in such capitall kinde
Deserues th' extreamest death.
2365Bru. But since he hath seru'd well for Rome.
Corio. What do you prate of Seruice.
Brut. I talke of that, that know it.
Corio. You?
Mene. Is this the promise that you made your mother.
2370Com. Know, I pray you.
Corio. Ile know no further:
Let them pronounce the steepe Tarpeian death,
Vagabond exile, Fleaing, pent to linger
But with a graine a day, I would not buy
2375Their mercie, at the price of one faire word,
Nor checke my Courage for what they can giue,
To haue't with saying, Good morrow.
Sicin. For that he ha's
(As much as in him lies) from time to time
2380Enui'd against the people; seeking meanes
To plucke away their power: as now at last,
Giuen Hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
Of dreaded Iustice, but on the Ministers
That doth distribute it. In the name a'th' people,
2385And in the power of vs the Tribunes, wee
(Eu'n from this instant) banish him our Citie
In perill of precipitation
From off the Rocke Tarpeian, neuer more
To enter our Rome gates. I'th' Peoples name,
2390I say it shall bee so.
All. It shall be so, it shall be so: let him away:
Hee's banish'd, and it shall be so.
Com. Heare me my Masters, and my common friends.
Sicin. He's sentenc'd: No more hearing.
2395Com. Let me speake:
I haue bene Consull, and can shew from Rome
Her Enemies markes vpon me. I do loue
My Countries good, with a respect more tender,
More holy, and profound, then mine owne life,
2400My deere Wiues estimate, her wombes encrease,
And treasure of my Loynes: then if I would
Speake that.
Sicin. We know your drift. Speake what?
Bru. There's no more to be said, but he is banish'd
2405As Enemy to the people, and his Countrey.
It shall bee so.
All. It shall be so, it shall be so.
Corio. You common cry of Curs, whose breath I hate,
As reeke a'th' rotten Fennes: whose Loues I prize,
2410As the dead Carkasses of vnburied men,
That do corrupt my Ayre: I banish you,
And heere remaine with your vncertaintie.
Let euery feeble Rumor shake your hearts:
Your Enemies, with nodding of their Plumes
2415Fan you into dispaire: Haue the power still
To banish your Defenders, till at length
Your ignorance (which findes not till it feeles,
Making but reseruation of your selues,
Still your owne Foes) deliuer you
2420As most abated Captiues, to some Nation
That wonne you without blowes, despising
For you the City. Thus I turne my backe;
There is a world elsewhere.
Exeunt Coriolanus, Cominius, with Cumalijs.
2425
They all shout, and throw vp their Caps.
Edile. The peoples Enemy is gone, is gone.
All. Our enemy is banish'd, he is gone: Hoo, oo.
Sicin. Go see him out at Gates, and follow him
As he hath follow'd you, with all despight
2430Giue him deseru'd vexation. Let a guard
Attend vs through the City.
All. Come, come, lets see him out at gates, come:
The Gods preserue our Noble Tribunes, come.
Exeunt.