Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

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.
Auf. He approaches, you shall heare him.
Enter Coriolanus marching with Drumme, and Colours. The
Commoners being with him.
Corio. Haile Lords, I am return'd your Souldier:
No more infected with my Countries loue
Then when I parted hence: but still subsisting
Vnder your great Command. You are to know,
3740That prosperously I haue attempted, and
With bloody passage led your Warres, euen to
The gates of Rome: Our spoiles we haue brought home
Doth more then counterpoize a full third part
The charges of the Action. We haue made peace
3745With no lesse Honor to the Antiates
Then shame to th' Romaines. And we heere deliuer
Subscrib'd by'th' Consuls, and Patricians,
Together with the Seale a'th Senat, what
We haue compounded on.
3750Auf. Read it not Noble Lords,
But tell the Traitor in the highest degree
He hath abus'd your Powers.
Corio. Traitor? How now?
Auf. I Traitor, Martius.
3755Corio. Martius?
Auf. I Martius, Caius Martius: Do'st thou thinke
Ile grace thee with that Robbery, thy stolne name
Coriolanus in Corioles?
You Lords and Heads a'th' State, perfidiously
3760He ha's betray'd your businesse, and giuen vp
For certaine drops of Salt, your City Rome:
I say your City to his Wife and Mother,
Breaking his Oath and Resolution, like
A twist of rotten Silke, neuer admitting
3765Counsaile a'th' warre: But at his Nurses teares
He whin'd and roar'd away your Victory,
That Pages blush'd at him, and men of heart
Look'd wond'ring each at others.
Corio. Hear'st thou Mars?
3770Auf. Name not the God, thou boy of Teares.
Corio. Ha?
Aufid. No more.
Corio. Measurelesse Lyar, thou hast made my heart
Too great for what containes it. Boy? Oh Slaue,
3775Pardon me Lords, 'tis the first time that euer
I was forc'd to scoul'd. Your iudgments my graue Lords
Must giue this Curre the Lye: and his owne Notion,
Who weares my stripes imprest vpon him, that
Must beare my beating to his Graue, shall ioyne
3780To thrust the Lye vnto him.
1 Lord. Peace both, and heare me speake.
Corio. Cut me to peeces Volces men and Lads,
Staine all your edges on me. Boy, false Hound:
If you haue writ your Annales true, 'tis there,
3785That like an Eagle in a Doue-coat, I
Flatter'd your Volcians in Corioles.
Alone I did it, Boy.
Auf. Why Noble Lords,
Will you be put in minde of his blinde Fortune,
3790Which was your shame, by this vnholy Braggart?
'Fore your owne eyes, and eares?
All Consp. Let him dye for't.
All People. Teare him to peeces, do it presently:
He kill'd my Sonne, my daughter, he kill'd my Cosine
3795Marcus, he kill'd my Father.
2 Lord. Peace hoe: no outrage, peace:
The man is Noble, and his Fame folds in
This Orbe o'th' earth: His last offences to vs
Shall haue Iudicious hearing. Stand Auffidius,
3800And trouble not the peace.
Corio. O that I had him, with six Auffidiusses, or more:
His Tribe, to vse my lawfull Sword.
Auf. Insolent Villaine.
All Consp. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him.
Draw both the Conspirators, and kils Martius, who
falles, Auffidius stands on him.
Lords. Hold, hold, hold, hold.
Auf. My Noble Masters, heare me speake.
1. Lord. O Tullus.
38102. Lord. Thou hast done a deed, whereat
Valour will weepe.
3. Lord. Tread not vpon him Masters, all be quiet,
Put vp your Swords.
Auf. My Lords,
3815When you shall know (as in this Rage
Prouok'd by him, you cannot) the great danger
Which this mans life did owe you, you'l reioyce
That he is thus cut off. Please it your Honours
To call me to your Senate, Ile deliuer
3820My selfe your loyall Seruant, or endure
Your heauiest Censure.
1. Lord. Beare from hence his body,
And mourne you for him. Let him be regarded
As the most Noble Coarse, that euer Herald
3825Did follow to his Vrne.
2. Lord. His owne impatience,
Takes from Auffidius a great part of blame:
Let's make the Best of it.
Auf. My Rage is gone,
3830And I am strucke with sorrow. Take him vp:
Helpe three a'th' cheefest Souldiers, Ile be one.
Beate thou the Drumme that it speake mournfully:
Traile your steele Pikes. Though in this City hee
Hath widdowed and vnchilded many a one,
3835Which to this houre bewaile the Iniury,
Yet he shall haue a Noble Memory. Assist.
Exeunt bearing the Body of Martius. A dead March