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Caius Marcios CORIOLANUs, a noble Roman. A Citizen of Antium.
Virgilia, Wife to Coriolanus.
Valeria, Friend to Virgilia. Young Marcius, Son to Coriolanus.
Gentlewoman attending Virgilia. A Roman Herald. Tulus AUFIDIUS, General of the Volscians. Roman and Volscian Senators, Patricians, Ædi. Lieutenant to Aufidius.
les, Lictors, Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, Ser. Conspirators with Aufidius.
vants to Aufidius, and other Attendants. SCENE, partly in Rome, and partly in the Territories of the Volscians and Antiates.
SCENE I.-Rome. A Street.
him good report for't, but that he pays himself with Enter a Company of mutinous Citizens, with
being proud. Staves, Clubs, and other Weapons.
2 Cit. Nay, but speak not maliciously.
i Cit. I say unto you, what he hath done famously, 1 Cit. Before we proceed any further, hear me he did it to that end: though soft conscienced men speak.
can be content to say it was for his country, he did Cit. Speak, speak. [Several speaking at once. it to please his mother, and to be partly proud;
1 Cit. You are resolved rather to die, than to which he is, even to the altitude of his virtue. famish?
2 Cit. What he cannot help in his nature, you Cit. Resolved, resolved.
account a vice in him: You must in no way say, i Cit. First, you know, Caius Marcius is chief he is covetous. enemy to the people.
I Cit. If I must not, I need not be barren of Cit. We know't, we know't.
accusations; he hath faults with surplus, to tire in i Cit. Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at repetition. [Shouts within.] What shouts are these? our own price. Is't a verdict ?
The other side o' the city is risen: Why stay we Cit. No more talking on't; let it be done: away, prating here? To the Capitol. away.
Cit. Come, come. 2 Cit. One word, good citizens.
i Cit. Soft; who comes here? i Cit. We are accounted poor citizens; the pa
Enter MENENIUS AGRIPPA. tricians, good: What authority surfeits on, would relieve us: If they would yield us but the super 2 Cit. Worthy Menenius Agrippa: one that hath fuity, while it were wholesome, we might guess, always loved the people. they relieved us humanely! but they think, we are i Cit. He's one honest enough; 'Would, all the too dear: the leanness that afflicts us, the object of rest were so! our misery, is an inventory to particularize their Men. What work's, my countrymen, in hand ? abundance; our sufferance is a gain to them.
Where go you Let us revenge this with our pikes, ere we become With bats and clubs! The matter speak, I pray you. rakes:' for the gods know, I speak this in hunger 1 Cit. Our business is not unknown to the senate; for bread, not in thirst for revenge.
they have had inkling, this fortnight, what we in2 Cit. Would you proceed especially against tend to do, which now we'll show 'em in deeds. Caius Marcius ?
They say, poor suitors have strong breaths; they Cit. Against him first; he's a very dog to the shall know, we have strong arms too. commonalty.
Men. Why, masters, my good friends, mine bo2 Cit. Consider you what services he has done
nest neighbors, for his country?
Will you undo yourselves? 1 Cit. Very well; and could be content to give i čit. We cannot, sir, we are undone already. 1 Rich.
Men. I tell you, friends, most charitable care
- Thin as rakes.
Have the patricians of you. For your wants, True is it, my incorporate friends, quoth he,
From me receive that natural competency Thither where more attends you: and you slander Whereby they live: and though that all at once, The helms o' the state, who care for you like fathers, You, my good friends, (this says the belly,) mark When you curse them as enemies.
1 Cit. Care for us!—True, indeed !-- They ne'er 1 Cit. Ay, sir, well, well. cared for us yet. Suller us to famish, and their Men.
Though all at once cannot storehouses crammed with grain; make edicts for See what I do deliver out to each; usury to support usurers: repeal daily any whole- | Yet I can make
that all some act established against the rich; and provide From me do back receive the flour of all, more piercing statutes daily, to chain up and re- And leave me but the bran. What say you to't? strain the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they 1 Cit. It was an answer. How apply you this? will; and there's all the love they bear us.
Men. The senators of Rome are this good belly, Men. Either you must
And you the mutinous members: For examine Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,
Their counsels, and their cares; digest things rightly, Or be accus'd of folly. I shall tell you
Touching the weal o' the common; you shall find, A pretty tale; it may be you have heard it; No public benefit which you receive, But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture But it proceeds, or comes, from them to you, To scale't a little more.
And no way from yourselves.- What do you think? 1 Cit. Well, I'll hear it, sir: yet you must not You, the great toe of this assembly ?think to fob off our disgrace with a tale: but, an't 1 Cit. I the great toe! Why the great toe? please you, deliver.
Men. For that being one o' the lowest, basest, Men. There was a time when all the body's
Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost: Rebell’d against the belly; thus accus'd it: Thou rascal, that art worst in blood to run, That only like a gulf it did remain
Lead'st first to win some vantage.l'the midst o' the body, idle and inactive,
But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs; Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing
Rome and her rats are at the point of battle,
Enter Caius MARCIUS.
Mar. Thanks.- What's the matter, you dissenOf the whole body. The belly answered,
tious rogues, 1 Cit. Well, sir, what answer made the belly? That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Men. Sir, I shall tell you.— With a kind of smile, Make yourselves scabs ? Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus,
We have ever your good word. (For, look you, I may make the belly smile, Mar. He that will give good words to thee, will As well as speak.) it tauntingly replied
fatter To the discontented members, the mutinous parts Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs, That envied his receipt; even so most fitly That like nor peace, nor war? the one affrights you, As you malign our senators, for that
The other makes you proud. He that trusts you, They are not such as you.
Where he should find you lions, finds you hares; 1 Cit.
Your belly's answer: What! Where foxes, geese : You are no surer, no, The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye, Than is the coal of fire upon the ice, The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,
Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is, Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter, To make him worthy, whose offence subdues him, With other muniments and petty helps
And curse that justice did it. Who deserves greatIn this our fabric, if that they
Deserves your hate: and your affections are 'Fore me, this fellow speaks !—What then?—what A sick man's appetite, who desires most that then ?
Which would increase his evil. He that depends i Cit. Should by the cormorant body be re- Upon your favors, swims with fins of lead, strain'd,
And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Who is the sink o'the body,
Trust ye? Men. Well, what then?
With every minute you do change a mind; 1 Cit. The former agents, if they did complain, And call him noble, that was now your hate, What could the belly answer?
Him vile, that was your garland. What's the matter, Men.
I will tell you;
That in these several places of the city If you'll bestow a small (of what you have little) You cry against the noble senate, who, Patience, a while, you'll hear the belly's answer. Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else 1 Cit. You are long about it.
Would feed on one another!— What's their seeking? Men. Note me this, good friend;
Men. For corn at their own rates; whereof they Your most grave belly was deliberate,
say, Not rash like his accusers, and thus answered: The city is well stor'd. • Spread it. • Whereas. · Exactly.
Sir, it is;
No, Caius Marcius, Conjectural marriages; making parties strong, I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other, And feebling such as stand not in their liking, Ere stay behind this business! Below their cobbled shoes. They say there's grain Men.
0, true bred! enough?
1 Sen. Your company to the Capitol: where I Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,'
know, And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry' Our greatest friends attend us. With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high Tit.
Lead you on: As I could pick' my lance.
Follow, Cominius; we must follow you; Men. Nay, these are almost thoroughly per- Right worthy your priority. suaded;
Noble Lartius! For though abundantly they lack discretion, 1 Sen. Hence! to your homes, be gone. Yet are they passing cowardly. But I beseech you,
[To the Citizens. What says the other troop?
Nay, let them follow: Mar.
They are dissolved: Hang 'em! The Volces have much corn; take these rats thithet, They said they were an hungry; sigh'd forth pro- To gnaw their garners ::— Worshipful mutineers, verbs ;
Your valor puts well forth: pray, follow. That, hunger broke stone walls; that, dogs must eat; [Exeunt Senators, Com., MAR., Tit., and That, meat was made for mouths; that, the gods
MENEN. Citizens steal away. sent not
Sic. Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius! Corn for the rich men only :— With these shreds Bru. He has no equal. They vented their complainings; which being an Sic. When we were chosen tribunes for the swer'd,
people, And a petition granted them, a strange one, Bru. Mark'd you his lip, and eyes? (To break the heart of generosity,
Nay, but his taunts, And make bold power look pale,) they threw their Bru. Being mov'd, he will not spare to gird* the caps
gods. As they would hang them on the horns o'the moon, Sic. Bemock the modest moon. Shouting their emulation.”
Bru. The present wars devour him: he is grown Men.
What is granted them ? | Too proud to be so valiant. Mur. Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wis Sic.
Such a nature,
Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow
Fame, at the which he aims,Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes In whom already he is well graced,cannot For insurrection's arguing.
Better be held, nor more attain'd than by Men.
This is strange. A place below the first : for what miscarries Mar. Go, get you home, you fragments ! Shall be the general's fault, though he perform Enter a Messenger.
To the utmost of a man; and giddy censure
Will then cry out of Marcius, 0, if he
Had borne the business!
Besides, if things go well,
Opinion, that so sticks on Marcius, shall
Half all Cominius' honors are to Marcius,
tors; Junius Brutus, and Sicinius Velutus. faults
In aught he merit not.
Let's hence, and hear Mar.
They have a leader, How the despatch is made ; and in what fashion, Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to't.
More than in singularity, he goes I sin in envying his nobility:
Upon his present action. And were I any thing but what I am,
[Exeunt. I would wish me only he.
SCENE II.—Corioli. The Senate-House. Сот. .
You have fought together. Mar. Were half to half the world by the ears, Enter Tullts Aufidius, and certain Senators. and he
1 Sen. So, your opinion is. Aufidius, Upon my party, I'd revolt to make
That they of Rome are enter'd in our councils, Only my wars with him : he is a lion
And know how we proceed. That I am proud to hunt.
Is it not yours? 1 Sen.
Then, worthy Marcius, What ever hath been thought on in this state, Attend upon Cominius to these wars.
That could be brought to bodily act, ere Rome Com. It is your former promise.
Had circumvention? 'Tis not four days gone, • Pity, compassion.
• Heap of dead.
• Demerits and merits had anciently the same meaning.
Since I heard thence; these are the words: I think , for their country, than one voluptuously surfeit out
Enter a Gentlewoman.
Gent. Madam, the lady Valeria is come to visit The people mutinous: and it is rumor'd, Cominius, Marcius, your old enemy,
Vir. 'Beseech you, give me leave to retire myself. (Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,) And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,
Vol. Indeed you shall not. These three lead on this preparation
Methinks, I hear hither your husband's dram; Whither 'tis bent; most likely, 'tis for you;
See him pluck Aufidius down by the hair ;
As children from a bear, the Volces shunning him: Consider of it.
Methinks I see him stamp thus, and call thus,1 Sen. Our army's in the field: We never yet made doubt that Rome was ready
Come on, you cowards, you were got in fear, To answer us.
Though you were born in Rome: His bloody brow
With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes; Auf Nor did you think it folly,
Like to a harvest-man, that's task'd to mow
Vir. His bloody brow! 0, Jupiter, no blood ! It seem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery,
Vol. Away, you fool! it more becomes a man, We shall be shorten'd in our aim; which was,
Than gilt' his trophy: The breasts of Hecuba,
When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier To take in many towns, ere, almost, Rome
Than Hector's forehead, when it spit forth blood Should know we were afoot.
At Grecian swords' contending.–Tell Valeria, 2 Sen.
We are fit to bid her welcome. [Exit Gent. Take your commission; hie you to your bands:
Vir. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius! Let us alone to guard Corioli:
Vol. He'll beat Aufidius' head below his knee, If they set down before us, for the remove
And tread upon his neck.
Re-enter Gentlewoman, with VALERIA and her Auf 0, doubt not that;
Val. My ladies both, good day to you.
Vir. I am glad to see your ladyship.
Val. How do you both? you are manifest house'Tis sworn between us we shall never strike keepers. What, are you sewing here ? A fine spot, Till one can do no more.
in good faith.—How does your little son ? All.
The gods assist you ! Vir. I thank your ladyship: well, good madam. Auf. And keep your honors safe!
Vol. He had rather see the swords, and hear a 1 Sen.
drum, than look upon his school-master. 2 Sen.
Farewell. Val. O'my word, the father's son: I'll swear, 'tis All. Farewell.
[Exeunt. a very pretty boy. O'my troth, I looked upon him
o’Wednesday half an hour together: he has such SCENE III.-Rome. An Apartment in Mar a confirmed countenance. I saw him run after a cius' House.
gilded butterfly; and when he caught it, he let it go Enter Volumxia and Virgilia: They sit down again; and after it again; and over and over he on two low stools, and sew.
comes, and up again; catched it again: or whether
his fall enraged him, or how 'twas, be did so set his Vol. I pray you, daughter, sing; or express your teeth, and tear it; 0, I warrant, how he mammockself in a more comfortable sort. If my son were ed it! my husband, I should freelier rejoice in that absence
Vol. One of his father's moods. wherein he won honor, than in the embracements Val. Indeed, la, 'tis a noble child. of his bed, where he would show most love.
Vir. A crack, madam. When yet he was but tender-bodied, and the only
Val. Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have son of my womb; when youth with comeliness you play the idle huswife with me this afternoon. plucked all gaze his way; when for a day of kings'
Vir. No, good madam: I will not out of doors. entreaties, a mother should not sell him an hour
Val. Not out of doors! from her beholding; 1,-considering how honor
Vol. She shall, she shall. would become such a person; that it was no better
Vir. Indeed, no, by your patience: I will not than picture-like to hang by the wall, if renown
over the threshold, till my lord return from the wars. made it not stir,—was pleased to let him seek dan
Val. Fye, you confine yourself most unreasonably; ger where he was like to find fame. To a cruel war Come, you must go visit the good lady that lies in. I sent him; from whence he returned, his brows
Vir. I will wish her speedy strength, and visit bound with oak. I tell thee, daughter.—1 sprang her with my prayers; but I cannot go thither. not more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child,
Vol. Why, I pray you? than now, in first seeing he had proved himself a Vir. "Tis not to save labor, nor that I want love.
Val. You would be another Penelope: yet, they Vir. But had he died in the business, madam, say, all the yarn she spun, in Ulysses'absence, did how then ?
but fill Ithaca full of moths. Come; I would, your Vol. Then his good report should have been my cambric were sensible as your finger, that you son ; I therein would have found issue. Hear me might leave pricking it for pity. Come, you shall profess sincerely : Had I a dozen sons,-each in go with us. my love alike, and none less dear than thine and my
Vir. No, good madam, pardon me; indeed, I good Marcius,-I had rather had eleven die nobly will not forth. . To subdue.
Val. In truth, la, go with me; and I'll tell you With hearts more proof than shields.-Advance, excellent news of your husband.
brave Titus: Vir. O, good madam, there can be none yet. They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts,
Val. Verily, I do not jest with you; there came Which makes me sweat with wrath.-Come on news from him last night.
my fellows; Vir. Indeed, madam?
He that retires, I'll take him for a Volce, Val. In earnest, it's true; I heard a senator speak And he shall feel mine edge. it. Thus it is:— The Volces have an army forth; Alarum, and exeunt Romans and Volces, fighting against whom Cominius the general is gone, with
The Romans are beaten back to their Trenches. one part of our Roman power: your lord, and Titus
Re-enter Marcits. Lartius, are set down before their city, Corioli ; they nothing doubt prevailing, and to make it brief wars.
Mar. All the contagion of the south light on you. This is true, on mine honor: and so, I pray, go You shames of Rome! you herd of— Boils and with us.
plagues Vir. Give me excuse, good madam; I will obey Plaster you o'er; that you may be abhorr'd you in every thing hereafter.
Further than seen, and one infect another Vol. Let her alone, lady; as she is now, she will Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese, but disease our better mirth.
That bear the shapes of men, how have you run Val. In troth, I think, she would :-Fare you From slaves that apes would beat? Pluto and bel' well, then.—Come, good sweet lady.—Pr’ythee, All hurt behind; backs red, and faces pale Virgilia, turn tby solemness out o'door, and go along With flight and agu'd fear! Mend, and charge bome
Or, by the fires of heaven, I'll leave the foe, Vir. No; at a word, madam; indeed, I must
And make my wars on you: look to't: Come on, not. I wish you much mirth.
If you'll stand fast, we'll beat them to their wives, Val. Well, then, farewell.
[Exeunt. As they us to our trenches followed. SCENE IV.—Before Corioli.
Another Alarum. The Volces and Romans re-ente. Enter, with Drum and Colors, Marcits, Titus
and the Fight is renewed. The Volces retire iri LARTIUS, Officers, and Soldiers. To them a
Corioli, and Marcius follows them to the Geto. Messenger.
So, now the gates are ope :-Now prove gost Mar. Yonder comes news:
seconds: --A wager, they have
"Tis for the followers fortune widens them, Lart. My horse to yours, no.
Not for the fliers: mark me, and do the like. Mar. 'Tis done.
[He enters the Gates, and is shut in
1 Sol. Fool-hardiness; not I. Lart.
Agreed. Mar. Say, has our general met the enemy?
3 Sol. Mess. They lie in view; but have not spoke as
See, the Have shut him in.
[Alarum continue yet. Lart. So the good horse is mine.
To the pot, I warrant him. Mar. I'll buy him of you.
Enter Titus Lartius. Lart. No, I'll nor sell, nor give him: lend you Lart. What is become of Marcius? him, I will,
Slain, sir, doukiess For half a hundred years.-Summon the town.
1 Sol. Following the fliers at the very heels Mar. How far off lie these armies?
With them he enters: who, upon the sudden, Mess. Within this mile and half
. Clapp'd-to their gates; he is himself alone, Mar. Then shall we hear their 'larum, and they To answer all the city.
O noble fellow! Now, Mars, I pr’ythee make us quick in work; That we with smoking swords may march from And, when it bows, stands up! Thou art lett
Who, sensibly,' outdares his senseless sword. hence,
Marcius : To help our fielded friends !—Come, blow thy blast. A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art, They sound a Parley. Enter, on the Walls, some were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier Senators, and others.
Even to Cato's wish, not fierce and terrible Tullus Aufidius, is he within your walls? Only in strokes; but, with thy grim looks, and
1 Sen. No, nor a man that fears you less than he, The thunder-like percussion of thy sounds, That's lesser than a little. Hark, our drums
Thou mad'st thine enemies shake, as if the world
[Alarums afar off. Were feverous and did tremble. Are bringing forth our youth: We'll break our
Re-enter Marcius, bleeding, assaulted by the walls,
"Tis Marcius; rushes;
Let's fetch him off, or make remain alike. They'll open of themselves. Hark, you, far off'; [Other Alarums.
[They fight, and all enter the City. There is Aufidius; list what work he makes
SCENE V. Within the Town. A Street, Amongst your cloven army. Mar. 0, they are at it! Enter certain Romans, with Spoils
. Lart. Their noise be our instruction.- Ladders, i Rom. This will I carry to Rome. ho!
2 Rom. And I this. The Volces enter, and pass over the Stage. 3 Rom. A murrain on't! I took this for silver. Mar. They fear us not, but issue forth their city.
[Alarum continues still afar af. Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight
· Having sensation, feeling.