Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

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.