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Hear you this Triton of the minnows? mark
His absolute shall?

Com. "Twas from the canon.t
Cor. Shall!


O good, but most unwise patricians, why, You grave, but reckless; senators, have you thus

Given Hydra here to choose an officer,
That with his peremptory shall, being but
The horn and noise o'the monsters, wants not

To say, he'll turn your current in a ditch,
And make your channel his? If he have

Then veil your ignorance: if none, awake
Your dangerous lenity. If you are learned,
Be not as common fools; if you are not,
Let them have cushions by you. You are


If they be senators: and they are no less,
When both your voices blended, the greatest
Most palates theirs. They choose their ma-
And such a one as he, who puts his shall,
His popular shall, against a graver bench.
Than ever frown'd in Greece! By Jove him-

It makes the consuls base: and my soul akes,
To know, when two authorities are up,
Neither supreme, how soon confusion
May enter 'twixt the gap of both, and take
The one by the other.

Com. Well-on to the market-place.

Cor. Whoever gave that counsel, to give forth

The corn o'the storehouse gratis, as 'twas us'd Sometime in Greece,

Men. Well, well, no more of that.
Cor. (Though there the people had more
absolute power,)

I say, they nourish'd disobedience, fed
The ruin of the state.

Bru. Why, shall the people give
One, that speaks thus, their voice?
Cor. I'll give my reasons,

More worthier than their voices. They know,

the corn

Was not our recompence; resting well assur'd They ne'er did service for't: Being press'd to

the war,

Even when the navel of the state was touch'd, They would not threads the gates: this kind

of service

Did not deserve corn gratis: being i'the war, Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they show'd [tion Most valour, spoke not for them: The accusaWhich they have often made against the


All cause unborn, could never be the native||
Of our so frank donation. Well, what then?
How shall this bosom multiplied digest
The senate's courtesy? Let deeds express

* Small fish.

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Men. Come, enough.

Bru. Enough, with over-measure. Cor. No, take more:


What may be sworn by, both divine and hu-
Seal what I end withal!-This double wor-
Where one part does disdain with cause, the
Insult without all reason; where gentry, title,

Cannot conclude, but by the yea and no
Of general ignorance, it must omit
Real necessities, and give way the while
To unstable slightness: purpose so barr'd, it

Nothing is done to purpose: Therefore, beseech you,

You that will be less fearful than discreet;
That love the fundamental part of state,
More than you doubt the change of't; that

A noble life before a long, and wish
To jump; a body with a dangerous physic
That's sure of death without it,-at once pluck

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On whom depending, their obedience fails
To the greater bench: In a rebellion,
When what's not meet, but what must be,
was law,

Then were they chosen; in a better hour,
Let what is meet, be said it must be meet,
And throw their power i'the dust.

Bru. Manifest treason.
Sic. This a consul? no.

Bru. The Ediles, ho!-Let him be apprehended.

Sic. Go, call the people; [Exit BRUTUS.] in whose name, myself

Attach thee, as a traitorous innovator,
A foe to the public weal: Obey, I charge thee,

And follow to thine answer.

Cor. Hence, old goat!
Sen. & Pat. We'll surety him.
Com. Aged Sir, hands off.

Cor. Hence, rotten thing, or I shall shake
thy bones

Out of thy garments.

Sic. Help, ye citizens.

Re-enter BRUTUS, with the Ediles, and a Rabble of CITIZENS.

Men. On both sides more respect.

↑ Careless.

* Number.

+ According to law. Pass through. Motive, no doubt was Shakspeare's word.

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Sic. Here's he, that would Take from you all your power. Bru. Seize him, Ediles.

Cit. Down with him, down with him! [Several speak. 2 Sen. Weapons, weapons, weapons!

[They all bustle about CORIOLANUS. Tribunes, patricians, citizens!-what ho! Sicinius, Brutus, Coriolanus, citizens!

Cit. Peace, peace, peace; stay, hold, peace! Men. What is about to be?-I am out of breath; [bunes Confusion's near: I cannot speak :-You, triTo the people,-Coriolanus, patience :Speak, good Sicinius.

Sic. Hear me, people;-Peace.

Cit. Let's hear our tribune:-Peace. Speak, speak, speak.

Sic. You are at point to lose your liberties: Marcius would have all from you; Marcius, Whom late you have nam'd for consul.

Men. Fie, fie, fie!

This is the way to kindle, not to quench.
1 Sen. To unbuild the city, and to lay all flat.
Sic. What is the city, but the people?
Cit. True,

The people are the city.

Bru. By the consent of all, we were estabThe people's magistrates. Cit. You so remain.

Men. And so are like to do.


Cor. That is the way to lay the city flat; To bring the roof to the foundation; And bury all, which yet distinctly ranges, In heaps and piles of ruins.

Sic. This deserves death.

Bru. Or let us stand to our authority, Or let us lose it:-We do here pronounce, Upon the part o'the people, in whose power We were elected theirs, Marcius is worthy Of present death.

Sic. Therefore, lay hold of him;


Bear him to the rock Tarpeian, and from Into destruction cast him.

Bru. Ediles, seize him.

Cit. Yield, Marcius, yield.
Men. Hear me one word.

'Beseech you, tribunes, hear me but a word. Edi. Peace, peace.

Men. Be that you seem, truly your country's friend,

And temperately proceed to what you would Thus violently redress.

Bru. Sir, those cold ways,


That seem like prudent helps, are very poison-
Where the disease is violent:-Lay hands upon
And bear him to the rock.

Cor. No; I'll die here. [Drawing his Sword. There's some among you have beheld me fighting;


Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen Men. Down with that sword;-Tribunes, withdraw a while.

Bru. Lay hands upon him.
Men. Help, Marcius! help,

You that be noble; help him, young, and old!
Cit. Down with him, down with him!

[In this Mutiny, the TRIBUNES, the EDILES, and the People are all beat in. Men. Go, get you to your house; be gone, All will be naught else.

2 Sen. Get you gone.

Cor. Stand fast;

We have as many friends as enemies. Men. Shall it be put to that?


* From whence criminals were thrown, and dashed to


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Cor. On fair ground,

I could beat forty of them.
Men. I could myself

Take up a brace of the best of them; yea, the two tribunes.

Com. But now 'tis odds beyond arithmetic; And manhood is call'd foolery, when it stands Against a falling fabric.-Will you hence, Before the tag return? whose rage doth rend Like interrupted waters, and o'erbear What they are used to bear.

Men. Pray you, be gone:

I'll try whether my old wit be in request
With those that have but little; this must be
With cloth of any colour.

Com. Nay, come away.

[Exeunt COR. COM. and others. 1 Pat. This man has marr'd his fortune. Men. His nature is too noble for the world: He would not flatter Neptune for his trident, Or Jove for his power to thunder. His heart's [vent;

his mouth:

What his breast forges, that his tongue must
And, being angry, does forget that ever
He heard the name of death. [A noise within.
Here's goodly work!

2 Pat. I would they were a-bed! Men. I would they were in Tyber!-What, the vengeance, Could he not speak them fair?

Re-enter BRUTUS and SICINIUS, with the Rabble.

Sic. Where's this viper,

That would depopulate the city, and
Be every man himself?

Men. You worthy tribunes,

Sic. He shall be thrown down the Tarpeian rock

With rigorous hands; he hath resisted law,
And therefore law shall scorn him further trial
Than the severity of the public power,
Which he so sets at nought.
1 Cit. He shall well know,
The noble tribunes are the people's mouths,
And we their hands.

Cit. He shall sure on't.t

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Men. If, by the tribunes' leave, and yours, good people,

I may be heard, I'd crave a word or two; The which shall turn you to no further harm, Than so much loss of time.

Sic. Speak briefly then;

For we are peremptory, to despatch
This viperous traitor: to eject him hence,
Were but one danger; and, to keep him here,
Our certain death; therefore it is decreed,
He dies to-night.

Men. Now the good gods forbid,

That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude
Towards her deserved children is enroll'd
In Jove's own book, like an unnatural dam
Should now eat up her own!

Sic. He's a disease, that must be cut away.
Men. O, he's a limb, that has but a disease;
Mortal, to cut it off; to cure it, easy.
What has he done to Rome, that's worthy

Killing our enemies? The blood he hath lost, (Which, I dare vouch, is more than that he hath, [try: By many an ounce,) he dropp'd it for his counAnd, what is left, to lose it by his country, Were to us all, that do't, and suffer it, A brand to the end o'the world.

Sic. This is clean kam.t

Bru. Merely awry: when he did love his It honour'd him.


Men. The service of the foot Being once gangren'd, is not then respected For what before it was?

Bru. We'll hear no more:

Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence; Lest his infection, being of catching nature, Spread further.

Men. One word more, one word. This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find The harm of unscann'd swiftness, will, too



Tie leaden pounds to his heels. Proceed by
Lest parties (as he is belov'd) break out,
And sack great Rome with Romans.

Bru. If it were so,

Sic. What do ye talk?

Have we not had a taste of his obedience? Our Ediles smote? ourselves resisted?

Come :

Men. Consider this;-He has been bred i'the


Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school'd
In boulted|| language; meal and bran together
He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
I'll go to him, and undertake to bring him
Where he shall answer, by a lawful form,
(In peace) to his utmost peril.

1 Sen. Noble tribunes,

It is the humane way: the other course
Will prove too bloody; and the end of it
Unknown to the beginning.

Sic. Noble Menenius,

Be you then as the people's officer:
Masters, lay down your weapons.
Bru. Go not home.

Sic. Meet on the market-place:-We'll at-
tend you there:

Where, if you bring not Marcius, we'll proceed In our first way.

Men. I'll bring him to you:

Let me desire your company. [To the SENA-
TORS.] He must come,
Or what is worst will follow.

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Vol. Pray be counsel'd":

have a heart as little apt as yours, But yet a brain, that leads my use of anger, To better vantage.

Before he should thus stoop to the herd, but
Men. Well said, noble woman:
The violent fit o'the time craves it as physic
For the whole state, I would put mine armour
Which I can scarcely bear.

Cor. What must I do?

Men. Return to the tribunes.
Cor. Well,

What then? what then?


Men. Repent what you have spoke. Cor. For them?-I cannot do it to the gods; Must I then do't to them?

Vol. You are too absolute;

Though therein you can never be too noble, But when extremities speak. I have heard you


Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends, I'the war do grow together: Grant that, and tell me,

In peace, what each of them by th'other lose,
That they combine not there.
Cor. Tush, tush!

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Men. A good demand.

Vol. If it be honour, in your wars, to seem The same you are not, (which, for your best ends,

You adopt your policy,) how is it less, or worse,
That it shall hold companionship in peace
With honour, as in war; since that to both
It stands in like request?

Cor. Why force* you this?

Vol. Because that now it lies you on to speak To the people; not by our own instruction, Nor by the matter which your heart prompts

you to,

But with such words that are but roted in Your tongue, though but bastards, and syllables

Of no allowance, to your bosom's truth.
Now, this no more dishonours you at all,
Than to take int a town with gentle words,
Which else would put you to your fortune, and
The hazard of much blood.-

I would dissemble with my nature, where,
My fortunes, and my friends, at stake, requir'd,
I should do so in honour: I am in this,
Your wife, your sou, these senators, the nobles;
And you will rather show our general lowts
How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon
For the inheritance of their loves, and safe-
Of what that want might ruin.

Men. Noble lady!

Come, go with us; speak fair: you may salve So,

Not what is dangerous present, but the loss Of what is past.

Vol. I pr'ythee now, my son,

Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand; And thus far having stretch'd it, (here be with them,)


Thy knee bussing the stones, (for in such busi[rant Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignoMore learned than the ears,) waving thy head, Which often, thus, correcting thy stout heart, That humble, as the ripest mulberry, [them, Now will not hold the handling: Or, say to Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils, Hast not the soft way, which, thou dost confess,

Were fit for thee to use, as they to claim,
In asking their good loves; but thou wilt

Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far
As thou hast power, and person.

Men. This but done,

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Com, I have been i'the market-place: and, Sir, tis fit

You make strong party, or defend yourself By calmness, or by absence; all's in anger. Men. Only fair speech.

Com. I think, 'twill serve, if he

Can thereto frame his spirit.
Vol. He must, and will:-

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With my base tongue, give to my noble heart
A lie, that it must bear? Well, I will do't:
Yet were there but this single plot to lose,
This mould of Marcius, they to dust should
grind it,
And throw it against the wind.-To the market-
You have put me now to such a part, which
I shall discharge to the life.
Com. Come, come, we'll prompt you.
Vol. I pr'ythee now, sweet son; as thou
hast said,

My praises made thee first a soldier, so,
To have my praise for this, perform a part
Thou hast not done before.

Cor. Well, I must do't:

Away, my disposition, and possess me
Some harlot's spirit! My throat of war be

Which quired with my drum, into a pipe
Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice
That babies lulls asleep! The smiles of knaves
Tent in my cheeks; and school-boys' tears
take up

The glasses of my sight! A beggar's tongue
Make motion through my lips; and my arm'd
Who bow'd but in my stirrup, bend like his
That hath receiv'd an alms!-I will not do't:
Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth,
And, by my body's action, teach my mind'
A most inherent baseness.

Vol. At thy choice then :

To beg of thee, it is my more dishonour,
Than thou of them. Come all to ruin; let
Thy mother rather feel thy pride, than fear
Thy dangerous stoutness; for I mock at death
With as big heart as thou. Do as thou list.
Thy valiantness was mine, thou suck'dst it from
But owet thy pride thyself.

Cor. Pray, be content;
Mother, I am going to the market-place;
Chide me no more. I'll mountebank their
Cog their hearts from them, and come home
Of all the trades in Rome. Look, I am going:
Commend me to my wife. I'll return consul;
Or never trust to what my tongue can do
I'the way of flattery, further.

Vol. Do your will.
Com. Away, the tribunes do attend you:
arm yourself

To answer mildly; for they are prepar'd
With accusations, as hear, more strong

Than are upon you yet.

Cor. The word is, mildly:-Pray you, let us Let them accuse me by invention, I Will answer in mine honour.

Men. Ay, but mildly.

Cor. Well, mildly be it then; mildly.



SCENE 111.-The same.-The Forum.

Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS. Bru. In this point charge him home, that he affects

Tyrannical power: If he envade us there,
Enforce him with his envy to the people;
And that the spoil, got on the Antiates,
Was ne'er distributed.-

Enter an EDILE.

Pr’ythee, now, say, you will, and go about it. What, will he come ?

* Urge.

+ Subdue.

+ Common clowns.

Unshaven bead. + Dwell. Object his hatred.


Ed. He's coming.

Bru. How accompanied?

Men. Consider further, That when he speaks not like a citizen,

Ed. With old Menenius, and those senators You find him like a soldier: Do not take

That always favour'd him.

Sic. Have you a catalogue

Of all the voices that we have procur'd
Set down by the poll?

Ed. I have; 'tis ready, here.

Sic. Have you collected them by tribes?
Æd. I have.

Sic. Assemble presently the people hither:
And when they hear me say, It shall be so
I'the right and strength o'the commons, be it
For death, for fine, or banishment, then let
If I say, fine, cry fine; if death, cry death;
Insisting on the old prerogative
And power i'the truth o'the cause.

Ed. I shall inform them.

Bru. And when such time they have begun to cry,

Let them not cease, but with a din confus'd
Enforce the present execution

Of what we chance to sentence.

Ed. Very well.

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Cor. Say then: 'tis true, I ought so. Sic. We charge you, that you have contriv'd to take

From Rome all season'dt office, and to wind
Yourself into a power tyrannical;

For which, you are a traitor to the people.
Cor. How! Traitor?

Men. Nay; temperately: Your promise. Cor. The fires i'the lowest hell fold in the people!

Call me their traitor.-Thou injurious tribune! Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths, In thy hands clutch'd; as many millions, in

Sic. Make them be strong, and ready for Thy lying tongue both numbers, I would say,

this hint,

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Cor. First, hear me speak.

Both Tri. Well, say.-Peace, ho.

Thou liest, unto thee, with voice as free
As I do pray the gods.

Sic. Mark you this, people?

Cit. To the rock with him; to the rock with him!

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(As much as in him lies) from time to time Envied against the people, seeking means To pluck away their power; as now at last

Cor. Shall I be charg'd no further than this Given hostile strokes, and that not|| in the


Must all determine here?

Sic. I do demand,

If you submit you to the people's voices,
Allow their officers, and are content
To suffer lawful censure for such faults
As shall be prov'd upon you?

Cor. I am content.

Men. Lo, citizens, he says, he is content: The warlike service he has done, consider; Think on the wounds his body bears, which Like graves i'the holy churchyard. Cor. Scratches with briers,

Scars to move laughter only."

• Will bear being called a knave.



Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers
That do distribute it; In the name o'the peo-


And in the power of us the tribunes, we,
Even from this instant, banish him our city;
In peril of precipitation

From off the rock Tarpeian, never more

To enter our Rome gates: I'the people's name
I say, it shall be so.

Cit. It shall be so,

It shall be so; let him away: he's banish'd,
And so it shall be.

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