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SCENE, a publick Street in Rome.
Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, Cominius,
Titus Lartius, and other Senators,
Ullus Aufidius then had made new head ?
Lart. He had, my Lord; and that it was, which
Our swifter composition.
Cor. So then the Volscians stand but as at first,
Ready, when time shall prompt them, to make road
Com. They're worn, Lord Consul, fo,
That we shall hardly in our ages see
Their Banners wave again.
Cor. Saw you Aufidius?
Lart. On safe-guard he came to me, and did curse
Against the Volscians, for they had so vilely
Yielded the Town; he is retir'd'to Antium.
Cor. Spoke he of me?
Lart. He did, my
Cor. How what?
Lart. How often he had met you, sword to sword:
That of all things upon the earth he hated
Your person most: that he would pawn his fortunes
To hopeless reftitution, so he might
Be cali'd your vanquisher.
Cor. At Antium lives he
Lart. At Antium.
Cor. I wish, I had a cause to seek him there;
To oppose his hatred fully. Welcome home.
Enter Sicinius and Brutus. Behold! these are the Tribunes of the people, The tongues o'th' common mouth : I do despise them; For they do prank them in authority Against all noble sufferance.. Sic. Pass no further. Cor. Hah! - -what is that! Bru. It will be dangerous to go on - no further. Cor. What makes this change? Men. The matter? Com. Hath he not pafs'd the Nobles and the Com
mons ? Bru. Cominius, no. Cor. Have I had childrens' voices ? Sen. Tribunes, give way; he shall to th' market
Bru. The people are incens'd against him.
Or all will fall in broil.
Cor. Are these your herd ?
Must these have voices, that can yield them now,
And straight disclaim their tongues? what are your
offices ? You being their mouths, why rule you not their teeth? Have you not set them on?
Men. Be calm, be calm.
Cor. It is a purpos'd thing, and grows by plot,
To curb the will of the Nobility :
Suffer’t, and live with such as cannot rule,
Nor ever will be rul'd.
Bru. Call't not a plot ;
The people cry, you mock'd them; and, of late,
When corn was given them gratis, you repin'd;
Scandal'd the suppliants for the people ; call’d them
Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to Nobleness.
Cor. Why, this was known before.
Bru. Not to them all.
Cor. Have you inform'd them fince?
Bru. How! I inform them!
Cor. You are like to do such business.
Bru. Not unlike, each way, to better yours.
Cor. Why then should I be Consul? by yond clouds,
Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me
Sic. You shew too much of That,
For which the people stir; if you will pass
To where you're bound, you must enquire your way
Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit ;
Or never be so noble as a Consul,
Nor yoke with him for Tribune.
Men. Let's be calm.
Com. The people are abus'd.- -Set on; - this
Becomes not Rome : nor has Coriolanus
Deserv'd this so dishonour'd Rub, laid fally
I'th' plain way of his merit.
Cor. Tell me of corn!
This was my speech, and I will speak't again
Men. Not now, not now.
Sen. Not in this heat, Sir, now.
Cor. Now as I live, I will-
As for my nobler friends, I crave their pardons:
But for the mutable rank-scented Many,
Let them regard me, as I do not flatter,
And there behold themselves : I say again,
In soothing them, we nourish 'gainst our Senate
The cockle of rebellion, infolence, fedition,
Which we our selves have plow'd for, fow'd and fcat-
By mingling them with us, the honour'd number :
Who lack not Virtue, no, nor Power, but that
(14) The People are abus’d, set on; ] This is pointed, as if the Sense were, the People are set on by the Tribunes: but I don't take That to be the Poet's Meaning. Cominius makes a single Reflexion, and then bids the Train set forward, as again afterwards ;
Well, On to th' Market place,
And so in Julius Casar;
Set on, and leavG HO Cerensony onto
Which we have given to beggars.
.Men. Well, no more
Sen. No more words, we beseech you-
Cor. How ! no more!
As for my Country I have shed
Not fearing outward force ; fo fhall my lungs
Coin words 'till their decay, against those measles,
Which we disdain should tetter us, yet seek
The very way to catch them.
Bru. You speak o'th' people, as you were a God To punish, not a man of their infirmity,
Sic. 'Twere well, we let the people know't.
Men. What, what! his choler ?
Cor. Choler! were I as patient as the midnight sleep, By Jove, 'twould be
Sic. It is a mind
That shall remain a poison where it is,
Not poison any further.
Cor. Shall remain ?
Hear you this Triton of the minnows ? mark you
His absolute hall?
Com. 'Twas from the canon.
O good, but most unwise Patricians, why,
You grave, but wreakless Senators, have you thus
Given Hydra here to chuse an officer,
That with his peremptory shall, being but
The horn and noise o'th' monsters, wants not spirit
To say, he'll turn your current in a ditch,
And make your channel his ? If he have power,
Then vail your ignorance; If none,
Your dangerous lenity: if you are learned,
Be not as common fools; if you are not,
Let them have cushions by you. You're Plebeians,
If they be Senators; and they are no less,
When, both your voices blended, the great'st taste
Most palates theirs. They chuse their magistrate!
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 himself,
It makes the Consuls base; and my soul akes
To know, when two authorities are up,
Neither supream, how soon Confusion
May enter 'twixt the gap of Both, and take
The one by th' other.
Com. Well-On to th' market-place.
Cor. Who ever gave that counsel, to give forth
The corn o'th' store-house, gratis, as 'twas us'd
Sometime in Greece
Men. Well, well, no more of that.
Cor. Though there the People had more absolute
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 worthy than their voice. They know, the corn
Was not our recompence; refting assur'd,
They ne'er did service for't; being prest to th' war,
Even when the navel of the State was touchd,
They would not thread the gates: this kind of service
Did not deserve corn gratis: Being i'th' war,
Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they shew 'd
Most valour, spoke not for them. Th' accusation,
Which they have often made against the Senate,
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 courtesie? let deeds express,
What's like to be their words." We did request it
“ We are the greater poll, and in true fear
They gave us our demands.”_ Thus we debase
The nature of our Seats, and make the rabble
Call our cares, fears ; which will in time break
The locks o'th' Senate, and bring in the crows
To peck the eagles.
Men. Come, enough.'
Bru. Enough, with over measure.
Cor. No, take more.