Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Tragedie of Coriolanus.
    Senat. To Coriolanus come all ioy and Honor.
    Flourish Cornets.
    Then Exeunt. Manet Sicinius and Brutus.
    1380Bru. You see how he intends to vse the people.
    Scicin. May they perceiue's intent: he wil require them
    As if he did contemne what he requested,
    Should be in them to giue.
    Bru. Come, wee'l informe them
    1385Of our proceedings heere on th' Market place,
    I know they do attend vs.
    Enter seuen or eight Citizens.
    1. Cit. Once if he do require our voyces, wee ought
    not to deny him.
    13902. Cit. We may Sir if we will.
    3. Cit. We haue power in our selues to do it, but it is
    a power that we haue no power to do: For, if hee shew vs
    his wounds, and tell vs his deeds, we are to put our ton-
    gues into those wounds, and speake for them: So if he tel
    1395vs his Noble deeds, we must also tell him our Noble ac-
    ceptance of them. Ingratitude is monstrous, and for the
    multitude to be ingratefull, were to make a Monster of
    the multitude; of the which, we being members, should
    bring our selues to be monstrous members.
    14001. Cit. And to make vs no better thought of a little
    helpe will serue: for once we stood vp about the Corne,
    he himselfe stucke not to call vs the many-headed Multi-
    3. Cit. We haue beene call'd so of many, not that our
    1405heads are some browne, some blacke, some Abram, some
    bald; but that our wits are so diuersly Coulord; and true-
    ly I thinke, if all our wittes were to issue out of one Scull,
    they would flye East, West, North, South, and their con-
    sent of one direct way, should be at once to all the points
    1410a'th Compasse.
    2. Cit. Thinke you so? Which way do you iudge my
    wit would flye.
    3. Cit. Nay your wit will not so soone out as another
    mans will, 'tis strongly wadg'd vp in a blocke-head: but
    1415if it were at liberty, 'twould sure Southward.
    2 Cit. Why that way?
    3 Cit. To loose it selfe in a Fogge, where being three
    parts melted away with rotten Dewes, the fourth would
    returne for Conscience sake, to helpe to get thee a Wife.
    14202 Cit. You are neuer without your trickes, you may,
    you may.
    3 Cit. Are you all resolu'd to giue your voyces? But
    that's no matter, the greater part carries it, I say. If hee
    would incline to the people, there was neuer a worthier
    Enter Coriolanus in a gowne of Humility, with
    Heere he comes, and in the Gowne of humility, marke
    his behauiour: we are not to stay altogether, but to come
    1430by him where he stands, by ones, by twoes, & by threes.
    He's to make his requests by particulars, wherein euerie
    one of vs ha's a single Honor, in giuing him our own voi-
    ces with our owne tongues, therefore follow me, and Ile
    direct you how you shall go by him.
    1435All. Content, content.
    Men. Oh Sir, you are not right: haue you not knowne
    The worthiest men haue done't?
    Corio. What must I say, I pray Sir?
    Plague vpon't, I cannot bring
    1440My tongue to such a pace. Looke Sir, my wounds,
    I got them in my Countries Seruice, when
    Some certaine of your Brethren roar'd, and ranne
    From th' noise of our owne Drummes.
    Menen. Oh me the Gods, you must not speak of that,
    1445You must desire them to thinke vpon you.
    Coriol. Thinke vpon me? Hang 'em,
    I would they would forget me, like the Vertues
    Which our Diuines lose by em.
    Men. You'l marre all,
    1450Ile leaue you: Pray you speake to em, I pray you
    In wholsome manner.

    Enter three of the Citizens.
    Corio. Bid them wash their Faces,
    And keepe their teeth cleane: So, heere comes a brace,
    1455You know the cause (Sir) of my standing heere.
    3 Cit. We do Sir, tell vs what hath brought you too't.
    Corio. Mine owne desert.
    2 Cit. Your owne desert.
    Corio. I, but mine owne desire.
    14603 Cit. How not your owne desire?
    Corio. No Sir, 'twas neuer my desire yet to trouble the
    poore with begging.
    3 Cit. You must thinke if we giue you any thing, we
    hope to gaine by you.
    1465Corio. Well then I pray, your price a'th' Consulship.
    1 Cit. The price is, to aske it kindly.
    Corio. Kindly sir, I pray let me ha't: I haue wounds to
    shew you, which shall bee yours in priuate: your good
    voice Sir, what say you?
    14702 Cit. You shall ha't worthy Sir.
    Corio. A match Sir, there's in all two worthie voyces
    begg'd: I haue your Almes, Adieu.
    3 Cit. But this is something odde.
    2 Cit. And 'twere to giue againe: but 'tis no matter.
    Exeunt. Enter two other Citizens.
    Coriol. Pray you now, if it may stand with the tune
    of your voices, that I may bee Consull, I haue heere the
    Customarie Gowne.
    1. You haue deserued Nobly of your Countrey, and
    1480you haue not deserued Nobly.
    Coriol. Your Ænigma.
    1. You haue bin a scourge to her enemies, you haue
    bin a Rod to her Friends, you haue not indeede loued the
    Common people.
    1485Coriol. You should account mee the more Vertuous,
    that I haue not bin common in my Loue, I will sir flatter
    my sworne Brother the people to earne a deerer estima-
    tion of them, 'tis a condition they account gentle: & since
    the wisedome of their choice, is rather to haue my Hat,
    1490then my Heart, I will practice the insinuating nod, and be
    off to them most counterfetly, that is sir, I will counter-
    fet the bewitchment of some popular man, and giue it
    bountifull to the desirers: Therefore beseech you, I may
    be Consull.
    14952. Wee hope to finde you our friend: and therefore
    giue you our voices heartily.
    1. You haue receyued many wounds for your Coun-
    Coriol. I wil not Seale your knowledge with shewing
    1500them. I will make much of your voyces, and so trouble
    you no farther.
    Both. The Gods giue you ioy Sir heartily.
    Coriol. Most sweet Voyces:
    Better it is to dye, better to sterue,
    1505Then craue the higher, which first we do deserue.
    Why in this Wooluish tongue should I stand heere,
    To begge of Hob and Dicke, that does appeere