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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    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
    What's in his heart, and that is there which lookes
    2295With vs to breake his necke.
    Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, and Comi-
    nius, with others.
    Sicin. Well, heere he comes.
    Mene. Calmely, I do beseech you.
    2300Corio. I, as an Hostler, that fourth poorest peece
    Will beare the Knaue by'th Volume:
    Th' honor'd Goddes
    Keepe Rome in safety, and the Chaires of Iustice
    Supplied with worthy men, plant loue amongs
    2305Through our large Temples with ye shewes of peace
    And not our streets with Warre.
    1 Sen. Amen, Amen.
    Mene. A Noble wish.
    Enter the Edile with the Plebeians.
    2310Sicin. Draw neere ye people.
    Edile. List to your Tribunes. Audience:
    Peace I say.
    Corio. First heare me speake.
    Both Tri. Well, say: Peace hoe.
    2315Corio. Shall I be charg'd no further then this present?
    Must all determine heere?
    Sicin. I do demand,
    If you submit you to the peoples voices,
    Allow their Officers, and are content
    2320To suffer lawfull Censure for such faults
    As shall be prou'd vpon you.
    Corio. I am Content.
    Mene. Lo Citizens, he sayes he is Content.
    The warlike Seruice he ha's done, consider: Thinke
    2325Vpon the wounds his body beares, which shew
    Like Graues i'th holy Church-yard.
    Corio. Scratches with Briars, scarres to moue
    Laughter onely.
    Mene. Consider further:
    2330That when he speakes not like a Citizen,
    You finde him like a Soldier: do not take
    His rougher Actions for malicious sounds:
    But as I say, such as become a Soldier,
    Rather then enuy you.
    2335Com. Well, well, no more.
    Corio. What is the matter,
    That being past for Consull with full voyce:
    I am so dishonour'd, that the very houre
    You take it off againe.
    2340Sicin. Answer to vs.
    Corio. Say then: 'tis true, I ought so
    Sicin. We charge you, that you haue contriu'd to take
    From Rome all season'd Office, and to winde
    Your selfe into a power tyrannicall,
    2345For which you are a Traitor to the people.
    Corio. How? Traytor?
    Mene. Nay temperately: your promise.
    Corio. The fires i'th' lowest hell. Fould in the people:
    Call me their Traitor, thou iniurious Tribune.
    2350Within thine eyes sate twenty thousand deaths
    In thy hands clutcht: as many Millions in
    Thy lying tongue, both numbers. I would say
    Thou lyest vnto thee, with a voice as free,
    As I do pray the Gods.
    2355Sicin. Marke you this people?
    All. To'th' Rocke, to'th' Rocke with him.
    Sicin. Peace:
    We neede not put new matter to his charge:
    What you haue seene him do, and heard him speake:
    2360Beating your Officers, cursing your selues,
    Opposing Lawes with stroakes, and heere defying
    Those whose great power must try him.
    Euen this so criminall, and in such capitall kinde
    Deserues th' extreamest death.
    2365Bru. But since he hath seru'd well for Rome.
    Corio. What do you prate of Seruice.
    Brut. I talke of that, that know it.
    Corio. You?
    Mene. Is this the promise that you made your mother.
    2370Com. Know, I pray you.
    Corio. Ile know no further:
    Let them pronounce the steepe Tarpeian death,
    Vagabond exile, Fleaing, pent to linger
    But with a graine a day, I would not buy
    2375Their mercie, at the price of one faire word,
    Nor checke my Courage for what they can giue,
    To haue't with saying, Good morrow.
    Sicin. For that he ha's
    (As much as in him lies) from time to time
    2380Enui'd against the people; seeking meanes
    To plucke away their power: as now at last,
    Giuen Hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
    Of dreaded Iustice, but on the Ministers
    That doth distribute it. In the name a'th' people,
    2385And in the power of vs the Tribunes, wee
    (Eu'n from this instant) banish him our Citie
    In perill of precipitation
    From off the Rocke Tarpeian, neuer more
    To enter our Rome gates. I'th' Peoples name,
    2390I say it shall bee so.
    All. It shall be so, it shall be so: let him away:
    Hee's banish'd, and it shall be so.
    Com. Heare me my Masters, and my common friends.
    Sicin. He's sentenc'd: No more hearing.
    2395Com. Let me speake:
    I haue bene Consull, and can shew from Rome
    Her Enemies markes vpon me. I do loue
    My Countries good, with a respect more tender,
    More holy, and profound, then mine owne life,
    2400My deere Wiues estimate, her wombes encrease,
    And treasure of my Loynes: then if I would
    Speake that.
    Sicin. We know your drift. Speake what?
    Bru. There's no more to be said, but he is banish'd
    2405As Enemy to the people, and his Countrey.
    It shall bee so.
    All. It shall be so, it shall be so.
    Corio. You common cry of Curs, whose breath I hate,
    As reeke a'th' rotten Fennes: whose Loues I prize,
    2410As the dead Carkasses of vnburied men,
    That do corrupt my Ayre: I banish you,
    And heere remaine with your vncertaintie.
    Let euery feeble Rumor shake your hearts:
    Your Enemies, with nodding of their Plumes
    2415Fan you into dispaire: Haue the power still
    To banish your Defenders, till at length
    Your ignorance (which findes not till it feeles,
    Making but reseruation of your selues,
    Still your owne Foes) deliuer you
    2420As most abated Captiues, to some Nation
    That wonne you without blowes, despising
    For you the City. Thus I turne my backe;
    There is a world elsewhere.
    Exeunt Coriolanus, Cominius, with Cumalijs.
    They all shout, and throw vp their Caps.
    Edile. The peoples Enemy is gone, is gone.
    All. Our enemy is banish'd, he is gone: Hoo, oo.
    Sicin. Go see him out at Gates, and follow him
    As he hath follow'd you, with all despight
    2430Giue him deseru'd vexation. Let a guard
    Attend vs through the City.
    All. Come, come, lets see him out at gates, come:
    The Gods preserue our Noble Tribunes, come.