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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Your Wife, your Sonne: These Senators, the Nobles,
    2165And you, will rather shew our generall Lowts,
    How you can frowne, then spend a fawne vpon 'em,
    For the inheritance of their loues, and safegard
    Of what that want might ruine.
    Menen. Noble Lady,
    2170Come goe with vs, speake faire: you may salue so,
    Not what is dangerous present, but the losse
    Of what is past.
    Volum. I pry thee now, my Sonne,
    Goe to them, with this Bonnet in thy hand,
    2175And thus farre hauing stretcht it (here be with them)
    Thy Knee bussing the stones: for in such businesse
    Action is eloquence, and the eyes of th' ignorant
    More learned then the eares, wauing thy head,
    Which often thus correcting thy stout heart,
    2180Now humble as the ripest Mulberry,
    That will not hold the handling: or say to them,
    Thou art their Souldier, and being bred in broyles,
    Hast not the soft way, which thou do'st confesse
    Were fit for thee to vse, as they to clayme,
    2185In asking their good loues, but thou wilt frame
    Thy selfe (forsooth) hereafter theirs so farre,
    As thou hast power and person.
    Menen. This but done,
    Euen as she speakes, why their hearts were yours:
    2190For they haue Pardons, being ask'd, as free,
    As words to little purpose.
    Volum. Prythee now,
    Goe, and be rul'd: although I know thou hadst rather
    Follow thine Enemie in a fierie Gulfe,
    2195Then flatter him in a Bower.
    Enter Cominius.
    Here is Cominius.
    Com. I haue beene i'th' Market place: and Sir 'tis fit
    You make strong partie, or defend your selfe
    By calmenesse, or by absence: all's in anger.
    2200Menen. Onely faire speech.
    Com. I thinke 'twill serue, if he can thereto frame his
    Volum. He must, and will:
    Prythee now say you will, and goe about it.
    2205Corio. Must I goe shew them my vnbarb'd Sconce?
    Must I with my base Tongue giue to my Noble Heart
    A Lye, that it must beare well? I will doo't:
    Yet were there but this single Plot, to loose
    This Mould of Martius, they to dust should grinde it,
    2210And throw't against the Winde. To th' Market place:
    You haue put me now to such a part, which neuer
    I shall discharge to th' Life.
    Com. Come, come, wee'le prompt you.
    Volum. I prythee now sweet Son, as thou hast said
    2215My praises made thee first a Souldier; so
    To haue my praise for this, performe a part
    Thou hast not done before.
    Corio. Well, I must doo't:
    Away my disposition, and possesse me
    2220Some Harlots spirit: My throat of Warre be turn'd,
    Which quier'd with my Drumme into a Pipe,
    Small as an Eunuch, or the Virgin voyce
    That Babies lull a-sleepe: The smiles of Knaues
    Tent in my cheekes, and Schoole-boyes Teares take vp
    2225The Glasses of my sight: A Beggars Tongue
    Make motion through my Lips, and my Arm'd knees
    Who bow'd but in my Stirrop, bend like his
    That hath receiu'd an Almes. I will not doo't,
    Least I surcease to honor mine owne truth,
    2230And by my Bodies action, teach my Minde
    A most inherent Basenesse.
    Volum. At thy choice then:
    To begge of thee, it is my more dis-honor,
    Then thou of them. Come all to ruine, let
    2235Thy Mother rather feele thy Pride, then feare
    Thy dangerous Stoutnesse: for I mocke at death
    With as bigge heart as thou. Do as thou list,
    Thy Valiantnesse was mine, thou suck'st it from me:
    But owe thy Pride thy selfe.
    2240Corio. Pray be content:
    Mother, I am going to the Market place:
    Chide me no more. Ile Mountebanke their Loues,
    Cogge their Hearts from them, and come home belou'd
    Of all the Trades in Rome. Looke, I am going:
    2245Commend me to my Wife, Ile returne Consull,
    Or neuer trust to what my Tongue can do
    I'th way of Flattery further.
    Volum. Do your will.
    Exit Volumnia
    Com. Away, the Tribunes do attend you: arm your self
    2250To answer mildely: for they are prepar'd
    With Accusations, as I heare more strong
    Then are vpon you yet.
    Corio. The word is, Mildely. Pray you let vs go,
    Let them accuse me by inuention: I
    2255Will answer in mine Honor.
    Menen. I, but mildely.
    Corio. Well mildely be it then, Mildely.
    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