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    Not Peer Reviewed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. 19
    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.
    2425They all shout, and throw vp their Caps.