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Cor. Most sweet voices
Better it is to die, better to starve,
Than crave the hire, which first we do deserve.
Why in this woolvilh Gown should I stand here,
To beg of Hob and Dick, that do appear,
Their needless Voucher ? Custom calls me to't-
What Custom wills in all things, should we do't,
The dust on antique time would lie unswept,
And mountainous error be too highly heapt,
For truth to o'er-peer. Rather than fool it so,
Let the high Office and the Honour go
To one that would do thus.- I am half through;
The one part suffer'd, the other will I do.
Three Citizens more.
Here come more voices.
Your voices for your voices I have fought,
Watch'd for your voices ; for your voices, bear
Of wounds two dozen and odd : battels thrice fix
I've seen, and heard of: for your voices, have
Done many things, some less, some more :
- your voices : Indeed, I would be Conful.
i Cit. He has done nobly, and cannot go without any honest man's voice.
2 Cit. Therefore let him be Consul, the Gods give him joy, and make him a good friend to the People. All, Amen, amen. God save thee, noble Consul.
[Exeunt. Cor. Worthy voices !
Enter Menenius, with Brutus and Sicinius.
Men. You've stood your limitation: and the Tri-
Endue you with the people's voice. Remains,
That in th' official marks invested, you
Anon do meet the Senate,
Cor. Is this done?
Sic. The Cuftom of Request you have discharg'd:
The people do admit you, and are summond
To meet anon, upon your approbation.
Cor. Where? at the Senate-house?
Sic. There, Coriolanus.
Cor. May I change these garments ?
Sic. You may, Sir.
Cor. That I'll straight do : and, knowing my self
Repair to th' Senate-house.
Men. I'll keep you company. Will you along ?
Bru. We stay here for the people.
Sic. Fare you
well. [Exeunt Coriol. and Men.
He has it now, and by his looks, methinks,
'Tis warm at's heart.
Bru. With a proud heart he wore
His humble Weeds : will you dismiss the people ?
Sic. How now, my masters, have you chose this
1 Cit. He has our voices, Sir.
Bru. We pray the Gods, he may deserve your
2 Cit. Amen, Sir: to my poor unworthy notice, i
He mock'd us, when he begg'd our voices.
3 Cit. Certainly, he flouted us down-right.
i Cit. No, 'tis his kind of speech, he did not mock
2 Cit. Not one amongst us, Lave your self, but
He us'd us scornfuily: he should have shew'd us
His marks of merit, wounds receiv'd for's Country.
Sic. Why, so he did, I am sure..
All. No, no man saw 'em.
3 Cit. He faid, he'd wounds, which he could shew
And with his cap, thus waving it in scorn,
I would be Conful, says he: aged Custom,
But by your voices, will not so permit me ;
Your voices therefore : when we granted thatz,
voices thank you Your most sweet voices now you have left your
voices, I have nothing further with you. Wa’n't this mockery?
Sic. Why, either, were you ignorant to see't ?
Or, seeing it, of such childish friendliness
To yield your voices ?
Bru. Could you not have told him,
As you were leffon'd; when he had no Power,
But was a petty servant to the State,
He was your enemy ; Aill spake against
Your liberties, and charters that you bear
I'th' body of the weal: and now arriving
At place of potency, and sway o'th' State,
If he should still malignantly remain
Fast foe to the Plebeians, your voices might
Be curses to your selves. You should have said,
That as his worthy deeds did claim no less
Than what he stood for ; so his gracious Nature
Would think upon you
your voices, and Translate his malice tow'rds you into love, Standing your friendly lord.
Sic. Thus to have said,
As you were fore-advis'd, had touch'd his fpirit,
And try'd his inclination ; from him pluckt
Either his gracious promise, which you might,
As cause had call'd you up, have held him to ;
Or else it would have galld his surly nature ;
Which easily endures not article,
Tying him to aught; so, putting him to rage,
You ħhould have ta'en th' advantage of his choler,
And pass'd him unelected.
Bru. Did you perceive,
He did sollicit
in free contempt,
When he did need your loves ? and do you think,
That his contempt shall not be bruising to you,
When he hath power to crush? why, had your
bo dies No heart among you ? or had you tongues, to cry
Against the rectorship of judgment?
Sic. Have you,
Ere now, deny'd the asker? and, now again
On him that did not ask, but mock, bestow
Your su'd-for tongues ?
3 Cit. He's not confirm'd, we may deny him yet.
2 Cit. And will deny him : I'll have five hundred voices of that found. i Cit. I, twice five hundred, and their friends to
Bru. Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends,
They've chose a Consul that will from them take
Their Liberties; make them of no more voice
Than dogs that are as often beat for barking,
As therefore kept to do so.
Sic. Let them assemble ;
And on a safer Judgment all revoke
Your ignorant election : enforce his Pride,
And his old hate to you : besides, forget not,
With what contempt he wore the humble Weed ;
How in his suit he scorn'd
you : but
Thinking upon his services, took from you
The apprehension of his present portance ;
gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion After th' inveterate hate he bears to you.
Bru. Nay, lay a fault on us, your Tribunes, that We labour'd (no impediment between) But that you must caft your election on him. Sic. Say, you chose him, more after our commands
Than guided by your own affections ;
And that your minds, pre-occupied with what
You rather must do, than what you should do,
Made you against the grain to voice him Consul.
Lay the fault on us.
Bru. Ay, spare us not: fay, we read lectures to
How youngly he began to serve his Country,
How long continued ; and what stock he springs of,
The noble House of Marcius ; from whence came
That Ancus Marcius, Numa's daughter's son,
Who, after great Hostilius, here was King :
Of the same house Publius and Quintus were,
That our best water brought by conduits hither.
And Cenforinus, darling of the people,
(And nobly nam'd so for twice being Censor)
Was his great Ancestor.
Sic. One thus descended,
That hath beside well in his person wrought
To be set high in place, we did commend
To your remembrances; but
have found, Scaling his present Bearing with his past, That he's your fixed enemy, and revoke Your sudden approbation.
Bru. Say, you ne'er had don't, (Harp on that still) but by our putting on ; And presently, when you have drawn your number, Repair to th' Capitol. All. We will so; almost all repent in their election.
Bru. Let them go on :
This mutiny were better put in hazard,
Than ftay paft doubt for greater :
If, as his nature is, he fall in rage
With their refusal, both observe and answer
The vantage of his anger.
Sic. To th’ Capitol, come;
We will be there before the stream o'th' people :
And this shall seem, as partly 'tis, their own,
Which we have goaded onward.