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  • Title: Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

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    Author: William Shakespeare
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    Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Tragedie of Coriolanus.
    The rabble should haue first vnroo'st the City
    Ere so preuayl'd with me; it will in time
    Win vpon power, and throw forth greater Theames
    235For Insurrections arguing.
    Menen. This is strange.
    Mar. Go get you home you Fragments.
    Enter a Messenger hastily.
    Mess. Where's Caius Martius?
    240Mar. Heere: what's the matter?
    Mes. The newes is sir, the Volcies are in Armes.
    Mar. I am glad on't, then we shall ha meanes to vent

    Our mustie superfluity. See our best Elders.
    Enter Sicinius Velutus, Annius Brutus Cominius, Titus
    245Lartius, with other Senatours.

    1. Sen. Martius 'tis true, that you haue lately told vs,
    The Volces are in Armes.
    Mar. They haue a Leader,
    Tullus Auffidius that will put you too't:
    250I sinne in enuying his Nobility:
    And were I any thing but what I am,
    I would wish me onely he.
    Com. You haue fought together?
    Mar. Were halfe to halfe the world by th' eares, & he
    255vpon my partie, I'de reuolt to make
    Onely my warres with him. He is a Lion
    That I am proud to hunt.
    1. Sen. Then worthy Martius,
    Attend vpon Cominius to these Warres.
    260Com. It is your former promise.
    Mar. Sir it is,
    And I am constant: Titus Lucius, thou
    Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus face.
    What art thou stiffe? Stand'st out?
    265Tit. No Caius Martius,
    Ile leane vpon one Crutch, and fight with tother,
    Ere stay behinde this Businesse.
    Men. Oh true-bred.
    Sen. Your Company to'th' Capitoll, where I know
    270Our greatest Friends attend vs.
    Tit. Lead you on: Follow Cominius, we must followe
    you, right worthy you Priority.
    Com. Noble Martius.
    Sen. Hence to your homes, be gone.
    275Mar. Nay let them follow,
    The Volces haue much Corne: take these Rats thither,
    To gnaw their Garners. Worshipfull Mutiners,
    Your valour puts well forth: Pray follow.
    Citizens steale away. Manet Sicin. & Brutus.
    280Sicin. Was euer man so proud as is this Martius?
    Bru. He has no equall.
    Sicin. When we were chosen Tribunes for the people.
    Bru. Mark'd you his lip and eyes.
    Sicin. Nay, but his taunts.
    285Bru. Being mou'd, he will not spare to gird the Gods.
    Sicin. Bemocke the modest Moone.
    Bru. The present VVarres deuoure him, he is growne
    Too proud to be so valiant.
    Sicin. Such a Nature, tickled with good successe, dis-
    290daines the shadow which he treads on at noone, but I do
    wonder, his insolence can brooke to be commanded vn-
    der Cominius?
    Bru. Fame, at the which he aymes,
    In whom already he's well grac'd, cannot
    295Better be held, nor more attain'd then by
    A place below the first: for what miscarries
    Shall be the Generals fault, though he performe
    To th' vtmost of a man, and giddy censure
    Will then cry out of Martius: Oh, if he
    300Had borne the businesse.
    Sicin. Besides, if things go well,
    Opinion that so stickes on Martius, shall
    Of his demerits rob Cominius.
    Bru. Come: halfe all Cominius Honors are to Martius
    305Though Martius earn'd them not: and all his faults
    To Martius shall be Honors, though indeed
    In ought he merit not.
    Sicin. Let's hence, and heare
    How the dispatch is made, and in what fashion
    310More then his singularity, he goes
    Vpon this present Action.
    Bru. Let's along.

    Enter Tullus Auffidius with Senators of Coriolus.

    1. Sen. So, your opinion is Auffidius,
    315That they of Rome are entred in our Counsailes,
    And know how we proceede,
    Auf. Is it not yours?
    What euer haue bin thought one in this State
    That could be brought to bodily act, ere Rome
    320Had circumuention: 'tis not foure dayes gone
    Since I heard thence, these are the words, I thinke
    I haue the Letter heere: yes, heere it is;
    They haue prest a Power, but it is not knowne
    Whether for East or West: the Dearth is great,
    325The people Mutinous: And it is rumour'd,
    Cominius, Martius your old Enemy
    (Who is of Rome worse hated then of you)
    And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,
    These three leade on this Preparation
    330Whether 'tis bent: most likely, 'tis for you:
    Consider of it.
    1. Sen. Our Armie's in the Field:
    We neuer yet made doubt but Rome was ready
    To answer vs.
    335Auf. Nor did you thinke it folly,
    To keepe your great pretences vayl'd, till when
    They needs must shew themselues, which in the hatching
    It seem'd appear'd to Rome. By the discouery,
    We shalbe shortned in our ayme, which was
    340To take in many Townes, ere (almost) Rome
    Should know we were a-foot.
    2. Sen. Noble Auffidius,
    Take your Commission, hye you to your Bands,
    Let vs alone to guard Corioles
    345If they set downe before's: for the remoue
    Bring vp your Army: but (I thinke) you'l finde
    Th'haue not prepar'd for vs.
    Auf. O doubt not that,
    I speake from Certainties. Nay more,
    350Some parcels of their Power are forth already,
    And onely hitherward. I leaue your Honors.
    If we, and Caius Martius chance to meete,
    'Tis sworne betweene vs, we shall euer strike
    Till one can do no more.
    355All. The Gods assist you.
    Auf. And keepe your Honors safe.
    1. Sen. Farewell.
    2. Sen. Farewell.
    All. Farewell.
    Exeunt omnes.