Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)


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
Selfe-louing.
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,
And durst not once peepe out.
2950Sicin. Come, what talke you of Martius.
Bru. Go see this Rumorer whipt, it cannot be,
The Volces dare breake with vs.
Mene. Cannot be?
We haue Record, that very well it can,
2955And three examples of the like, hath beene
Within my Age. But reason with the fellow
Before you punish him, where he heard this,
Least you shall chance to whip your Information,
And beate the Messenger, who bids beware
2960Of what is to be dreaded.
Sicin. Tell not me: I know this cannot be.
Bru. Not possible.
Enter a Messenger.
Mes. The Nobles in great earnestnesse are going
2965All to the Senate-house: some newes is comming
That turnes their Countenances.
Sicin. 'Tis this Slaue:
Go whip him fore the peoples eyes: His raising,
Nothing but his report.
2970Mes. Yes worthy Sir,
The Slaues report is seconded, and more
More fearfull is deliuer'd.
Sicin. What more fearefull?
Mes. It is spoke freely out of many mouths,
2975How probable I do not know, that Martius
Ioyn'd with Auffidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome,
And vowes Reuenge as spacious, as betweene
The yong'st and oldest thing.
Sicin. This is most likely.
2980Bru. Rais'd onely, that the weaker sort may wish
Good Martius home againe.
Sicin. The very tricke on't.
Mene. This is vnlikely,
He, and Auffidius can no more attone
2985Then violent'st Contrariety.
Enter Messenger.
Mes. You are sent for to the Senate:
A fearefull Army, led by Caius Martius,
Associated with Auffidius, Rages
2990Vpon our Territories, and haue already
O're-borne their way, consum'd with fire, and tooke
What lay before them.
Enter Cominius.
Com. Oh you haue made good worke.
2995Mene. What newes? What newes?
Com. You haue holp to rauish your owne daughters, &
To melt the Citty Leades vpon your pates,
To see your Wiues dishonour'd to your Noses.
Mene. What's the newes? What's the newes?
3000Com. Your Temples burned in their Ciment, and
Your Franchises, whereon you stood, confin'd
Into an Augors boare.
Mene. Pray now, your Newes:
You haue made faire worke I feare me: pray your newes,
3005If Martius should be ioyn'd with Volceans.
Com. If? He is their God, he leads them like a thing
Made by some other Deity then Nature,
That shapes man Better: and they follow him
Against vs Brats, with no lesse Confidence,
3010Then Boyes pursuing Summer Butter-flies,
Or Butchers killing Flyes.
Mene. You haue made good worke,
You and your Apron men: you, that stood so much
Vpon the voyce of occupation, and
3015The breath of Garlicke-eaters.
Com. Hee'l shake your Rome about your eares.
Mene. As Hercules did shake downe Mellow Fruite:
You haue made faire worke.
Brut. But is this true sir?
3020Com, I, and you'l looke pale
Before you finde it other. All the Regions
Do smilingly Reuolt, and who resists
Are mock'd for valiant Ignorance,
And perish constant Fooles: who is't can blame him?
3025Your Enemies and his, finde something in him.
Mene. We are all vndone, vnlesse
The Noble man haue mercy.
Com. Who shall aske it?
The Tribunes cannot doo't for shame; the people
3030Deserue such pitty of him, as the Wolfe
Doe's of the Shepheards: For his best Friends, if they
Should say be good to Rome, they charg'd him, euen
As those should do that had deseru'd his hate,
And therein shew'd like Enemies.
3035Me. 'Tis true, if he were putting to my house, the brand
That should consume it, I haue not the face
To say, beseech you cease. You haue made faire hands,
You and your Crafts, you haue crafted faire.
Com. You haue brought
3040A Trembling vpon Rome, such as was neuer
S'incapeable of helpe.
Tri. Say not, we brought it.
Mene. How? Was't we? We lou'd him,
But like Beasts, and Cowardly Nobles,
3045Gaue way vnto your Clusters, who did hoote
Him out o'th' Citty.
Com. But I feare
They'l roare him in againe. Tullus Auffidius,
The second name of men, obeyes his points
3050As if he were his Officer: Desperation,
Is all the Policy, Strength, and Defence
That Rome can make against them.
Enter a Troope of Citizens.
Mene. Heere come the Clusters.
3055And is Auffidius with him? You are they
That made the Ayre vnwholsome, when you cast
Your stinking, greasie Caps, in hooting
At Coriolanus Exile. Now he's comming,
And not a haire vpon a Souldiers head
3060Which will not proue a whip: As many Coxcombes
As you threw Caps vp, will he tumble downe,
And pay you for your voyces. 'Tis no matter,
If he could burne vs all into one coale,
We haue deseru'd it.
3065Omnes. Faith, we heare fearfull Newes.
1 Cit. For mine owne part,
When I said banish him, I said 'twas pitty.
2 And so did I.
3 And so did I: and to say the truth, so did very ma-
3070ny of vs, that we did we did for the best, and though wee
willingly consented to his Banishment, yet it was against
our will.
Com. Y'are goodly things, you Voyces.
Mene. You haue made good worke
3075You and your cry. Shal's to the Capitoll?
Com. Oh I, what else?
Exeunt both.
Sicin. Go Masters get you home, be not dismaid,
These are a Side, that would be glad to haue
This true, which they so seeme to feare. Go home,
3080And shew no signe of Feare.
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
him.
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.