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PERSONS OF THE DRAMA.
Cajus MARCIUS 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. Tullus Aufidius, general of the Volscians. Roman and Volscian Senators, Patricians, Ædiles, Lieutenant to Aufidius.
Lictors, Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, SerConspirators 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.
Cit. No more talking on't; let it be done :
away, away. Enter a Company of mutinous Citizens, with
2 Cit. One word, good citizens. staves, clubs, and other weapons.
1 Cit. We are accounted poor citizens ; the 1 Cit. Before we proceed any farther, hear me patricians, good: What authority surfeits on, speak.
would relieve us ; If they would yield us but the Cit. Speak, speak. [Several speaking at once. superfluity, while it were wholesome, we might
1 Cit. You are all resolved rather to die, than guess, they relieved us humanely; but they to famish?
think, we are too dear : the leanness that alCit. Resolved, resolved.
flicts us, the object of our misery, is as an in1 Cit. First you know, Caius Marcius is chief ventory to particularize their abundance ; our enemy to the people.
sufferance is a gain to them.-Let us revenge Cil. We know't, we know't.
this with our pikes, ere we become rakes : for 1 Cit
. Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at the gods know, I speak this in hunger for bread, our own price. Is't a verdict ?
not in thirst for revenge.
2 Cit. Would you proceed especially against | ne'er cared for us yet. Suffer us to famish, and 1 PM Caius Marcius ?
their store-houses crammed with grain; make Cit. Against him first; he's a very dog to the edicts for usury, to support usurers ; repeal daily commonalty.
any wholesome act established against the rich; 2 Cit. Consider you what services he has done and provide more piercing statutes daily, to chain for his country?
up and restrain the poor. If the wars eat us not 1 (it. Very well ; and could be content to up, they will; and there's all the love they bear *** give him good report for't, but that he pays him- us. self with being proud.
Men. Either you must 2 Cit. Nay, but speak not maliciously. Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,
i Cit. I say unto you, what he hath done fa- Or be accus'd of folly. I shall tell you mously, he did it to that end : though soft con- A pretty tale; it may be, you have heard it; scienc'd men can be content to say, it was for his But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture country, he did it to please his mother, and to To scale't a little more. be partly proud; which he is, even to the alti- 1 Cit. Well, I'll hear it, sir : yet you must tude of his virtue.
not think to fob off our disgrace with a tale: but, 2 Cit. What he cannot help in his nature, an't please you, deliver. you account a vice in him: You must in no way Men. There was a time, when all the body's say, he is covetous.
members 1 Cit. If I must not, I need not be barren of Rebell’d against the belly; thus accus'd it:accusations ; he hath faults, with surplus, to That only like a gulf it did remain tire in repetition. [Shouts within.] What shouts I'the midst o'the body, idle and inactive, are these? The other side o’the city is risen: Still cupboarding the viand, never hearing Why stay we prating here? to the Capitol. Like labour with the rest; where the other inCit. Come, come.
struments 1 Cit. Soft; who comes here?
Did see, and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
And, mutually participate, did minister
Unto the appetite and affection common 2 Cit. Worthy Menenius Agrippa ; one that of the whole body. The belly answer'd, -, hath always loved the people.
1 Cit. Well, sir, what answer made the belly? i Cit. He's one honest enough ; 'Would, all Men. Sir, I shall tell you.-With a kind of the rest were so !
smile, Men. What work's, my countrymen, in hand? Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus, Where go you
(For, look you, I may make the belly smile
, With bats and clubs ? The matter? Speak, I As well as speak,) it tauntingly replied pray you.
To the discontented members, the mutinous parts 1 Cit. Our business is not unknown to the That envied his receipt; even so most fitly senate; they have had inkling, this fortnight, As you malign our senators, for that what we intend to do, which now we'll show They are not such as you. 'em in deeds. They say, poor suitors have strong 1 Cit. Your belly's answer: What! breaths; they shall know, we have strong arms The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye, too.
The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier, Men. Why, masters, my good friends, mine Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter
, honest neighbours,
With other muniments and petty helps Will you undo yourselves ?
In this our fabric, if that they 1 Cit. We cannot, sir, we are undone already. Men. What then ?
Men. I tell you, friends, most charitable care 'Fore me, this fellow speaks !—what then? what Have the patricians of you. For your wants,
then ? Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well i Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be reStrike at the heaven with your staves, as lift them strain'd, Against the Roman state ; whose course will on Who is the sink o'the body,-The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs Men. Well, what then? Of more strong link asunder, than can ever 1 Cit. The former agents, if they did complain, Appear in your impediment: For the dearth, What could the belly answer? The gods, not the patricians, make it; and
Men. I will tell you ; Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack, If you'll bestow a small (of what you have little
) You are transported by calamity
Patience, a while, you'll hear the belly's answer. Thither where more attends you; and you slan- I Cit. You are long about it. der
Men. Note me this, good friend; The helms o'the state, who care for you like fa- | Your most grave belly was deliberate, thers,
Not rash like his accusers, and thus answer'd. When you curse them as enemies.
True is it, my incorporate friends, quoth he, i Cit. Care for us!—True, indeed !-They ! That I receive the general food at first,
Which you do live upon : and fit it is;
Which would increase his evil. He, that deBecause I am the storehouse, and the shop
pends of the whole body: But if you do remember, Upon your favours, swims with fins of lead, I send it through the rivers of your blood, And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye ! Even to the court, the heart,—to the seat o'the
Trusť ye? brain ;
With every minute you do change a mind; And, through the cranks and offices of man, And call him noble, that was now your bate, The strongest nerves, and small inferior veins, Him vile, that was your garland. What's the From me receive that natural competency,
matter, Whereby they live : And though that all at once, That in these several places of the city You, my good friends, (this says the belly,) mark You cry against the noble senate, who, me,
Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else 1 Cit. Ay, sir ; well, well.
Would feed on one another ? - What's their Men. Though all at once cannot
seeking? See what I do deliver out to each ;
Men. For corn at their own rates ; whereof, Yet I can make my audit up, that all
they say, From me do back receive the flower of all, The city is well stor’d. And leave me but the bran. Á hat say you to't? Mar. Hang 'em! They say ?
1 Cit. It was an answer : How apply you this? They'll sit by the fire, and presume to know Men. The senators of Rome are this good What's done i'the Capitol : who's like to rise, belly,
Who thrives, and who declines : side factions, And you the mutinous members : For examine and give out Their counsels, and their cares ; digest things Conjectural marriages : making parties strong, rightly,
And feebling such as stand not in their liking, Touching the weal o'the common; you shall find, Below their cobbled shoes. They say, there's No public benefit which you receive,
grain enough? But it proceeds, or comes, from them to you, Would the nobility lay aside their ruth, And no way from yourselves. What do you And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry think?
With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high You, the great toe of this assembly?
As I could pick my lance. 1 Cit. I the great toe? Why the great toe? Men. Nay, these are almost thoroughly perMen. For that being one o'the lowest, basest, suaded ; poorest,
For though abundantly they lack discretion, of this most wise rebellion, thou go’st foremost : Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech Thou rascal, that art worst in blood, to run
you, Lead'st first to win some vantage.
What says the other troop? But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs ; Mar. They are dissolv'd: Hang 'em ! Rome and her rats are at the point of battle, They said, they were an-hungry; sigh'd forth The one side must have bale.- Hail, noble Mar- proverbs; cius!
That, hunger broke stone walls; that, dogs
must eat ; Enter Caius MARCIUS.
That, meat was made for mouths; that, the Mar. Thanks.—What's the matter, you dis- gods sent not sentious rogues,
Corn for the rich men only :-With these shreds That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion, They vented their complainings; which being Blake yourselves scabs?
answer'd, 1 Cit. We have ever your good word. And a petition granted them, a strange one, Mar. He, that will give good words to thee, (To break the heart of generosity, will flatter
And make bold power look pale,) they threw Beneath abhorring:-What would you have, you curs,
As they would hang them on the horns o'the That like nor peace, nor war? the one affrights moon, you,
Shouting their emulation. The other makes you proud. He that trusts you, Men. What is granted them? Where he should find you lions, finds you hares; Mar. Five tribunes, to defend their vulgar Where foxes, geese: You are no surer, no,
wisdoms, Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
Of their own choice: One's Junius Brutus, Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is, Sicinius Velutus, and I know not-'Sdeath! Tomake him worthy, whose offence subdues him, The rabble should have first unroof'd the city, And curse that justice did it. Who deserves Ere so prevail'd with me: it will in time greatness,
Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes Deserves your hate : and your affections are For insurrection's arguing. A sick man's appetite, who desires most that,
Men. This is strange.
told us ;
Mar. Go, get you home, you fragments ! Sic. Be-mock the modest moon.
Bru. The present wars devour him : he is Enter a Messenger.
grown Mess. Where's Caius Marcius ?
Too proud to be so valiant. Mar. Here: What's the matter?
Sic. Such a nature, Mess. The news is, sir, the Volces are in arms. Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow Mar. I am glad on't; then we shall have Which he treads on at noon : But I do wonder, means to vent
His insolence can brook to be commanded Our musty superfluity See, our best elders. Under Cominius.
Bru. Fame, at the which he aims,Enter Cominius, Titus Lartius, and other in whom already he is well grac’d, --cannot Senators ; Junius Brutus, and Sıcınius Ve- Better be held, nor more attain'd, than by
A place below the first
: for what miscarries 1 Sen. Marcius, 'tis true, that you have lately Shall be the general's fault, though he perform
To the utmost of a man; and giddy censure The Volces are in arms.
Will then cry out of Marcius, 0, if he Mar. They have a leader,
Had borne the business ! Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to't.
Sic. Besides, if things go well, I sin in envying his nobility :
Opinion, that so sticks on Marcius, shall And were I any thing but what I am,
of his demerits rob Cominius. I would wish me only he.
Bru. Come : Com. You have fought together.
Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius, Mar. Were half to half the world by the ears, Though Marcius earn'd them not; and all his and he
faults Upon my party, I'd revolt, to make
To Marcius shall be honours, though, indeed, Only my wars with him : he is a lion
In aught he merit not. That I am proud to hunt.
Sic. Let's hence, and hear 1 Sen. Then, worthy Marcius,
How the despatch is made ; and in what fashion, Attend upon Cominius to these wars.
More than in singularity, he goes Com. It is your former promise.
Upon his present action. Mar. Sir, it is ;
Bru. Let's along.
[Exeunt. And I am constant. Titus Lartius, thou Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face : SCENE II.--Corioli. The Senate-House. What, art thou stiff? stand'st out? Tit. No, Caius Marcius;
Enter Titus Aufidius, and certain Senators. I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other, 1 Sen. So, your opinion is, Aufidius, Ere stay behind this business.
That they of Rome are enter'd in our counsel, Men. 0, true bred !
And know how we proceed. 1 Sen. Your company to the Capitol ; where, Auf. Is it not yours? I know,
What ever hath been thought on in this state, Our greatest friends attend us.
That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome Tit. Lead you on :
Had circumvention? 'Tis not four days gone, Follow, Cominius; we must follow you ; Since I heard thence; these are the words: I Right worthy you priority.
think, Com. Noble Lartius !
I have the letter here ; yes, here it is: [Reads. 1 Sen. Hence! to your homes, be gone. They have press'd a power, but it is not known
[To the Citizens. Whether for east, or west: The dearth is great; Mar. Nay, let them follow :
The people mutinous : and it is rumour'd, The Volces have much corn ; take these rats Cominius, Marcius your old enemy, thither,
(Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,) To gnaw their garners :-Worshipful mutineers, And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman, Your valour puts well forth : pray, follow. These three lead on this preparation,
[Exeunt Senators, Com. Mar. Tit. and Whither 'tis bent: most likely, 'tis for you:
Consider of it.
We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready Sic. When we were chosen tribunes for the To answer us. people,
Auf. Nor did you think it folly, Bru. Mark'd you his lip, and eyes ? To keep your great pretences veil'd, till when Sic. Nay, but his taunts.
They needs must show themselves; which in Bru. Being mov'd, he will not spare to gird
the hatching, the gods.
It seem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery
We shall be shorten'd in our aim ; which was, Methinks I hear hither your husband's drum ; To take in many towns, ere, almost, Rome See him pluck Aufidius down by the hair ; Should know we were afoot.
As children from a bear, the Volces shunning 2 Sen. Noble Aufidius,
him : Take your commission ; hie you to your bands: Methinks, I see him stamp thus, and call thus,Let us alone to guard Corioli:
Come on, you cowards, you were got in fear, If they set down before us, for the remove Though you were born in Rome : His bloody brow Bring up your army; but, I think, you'll find With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes; They have not prepar'd for us.
Like to a harvest-man, that's task'd to mow Auf. O, doubt not that ;
Or all, or lose his hire. I speak from certainties. Nay, more,
Vir. His bloody brow! 0, Jupiter, no blood ! Some parcels of their powers are forth already, Vol. Away, you fool ! it more becomes a man, And only hitherward. I leave your honours. Than gilt his trophy : The breasts of Hecuba, If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet, When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier 'Tis sworn between us, we shall never strike, Than Hector's forehead, when it spit forth blood Till one can do po more.
At Grecian swords contending.- Tell Valeria, All. The gods assist you !
We are fit to bid her welcome. [Exit Gent. Auf. And keep your honours safe !
Vir. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius ! 1 Sen. Farewell.
Vol. He'll beat Aufidius' head below his knee, 2 Sen. Farewell.
And tread upon his neck.
Val. My ladies both, good day to you.
Vol. Sweet madam,Enter VOLUMNIA, and Virgilia: They sit Vir. I am glad to see your ladyship. down on two low stools, and sew.
Val. How do you both ? you are manifest Vol. I pray you, daughter, sing; or express house-keepers. What, are you sewing here? yourself in a more comfortable sort : If my son A fine spot, in good faith.-How does your litwere my husband, I should freelier rejoice in tle son ? that absence wherein he won honour, than in Vir. I thank your ladyship; well, good madam. the embracements of his bed, where he would Vol. He had rather see the swords, and hear show most love. When yet he was but tender- a drum, than look upon his school-master. bodied, and the only son of my womb; when Val. O’my word, the father's son: I'll swear, youth with comeliness plucked all gaze his way; 'tis a very pretty boy. O’my troth, I looked when, for a day of kings' entreaties, a mother upon him o'Wednesday half an hour together : should not sell him an hour from her beholding; he has such a confirmed countenance. I saw 1,-considering how honour would become such him run after a gilded butterfly; and when he a person ; that it was no better than picture-like caught it, he let it go again ; and after it again; to hang by the wall, if renown made it not stir, and over and over he comes, and up again; -was pleased to let him seek danger where he catched it again : or whether his fall enraged was like to find fame. To a cruel war I sent him, or how 'twas, he did so set his teeth, and him ; from whence he returned, his brows tear it; 0, I warrant, how he mammocked it ! bound with oak. I tell thee, daughter,-I Vol. One of his father's moods. sprang not more in joy at first hearing he was Val. Indeed la, 'tis a noble child. a man-child, than now in first seeing he had Vir. A crack, madam. proved himself a man.
Val. Come, lay aside your stitchery ; I must Vir. But had he died in the business, madam? have you play the idle liuswife with me this afhow then ?
ternoon. Vol. Then his good report should have been Vir. No, good madam ; I will not out of my son ; I therein would have found issue. doors. Hear me profess sincerely :-Had I a dozen sons, Val. Not out of doors ! -each in my love alike, and none less dear than Vol. She shall, she shall. thine and my good Marcius, I had rather had Vir. Indeed, no, by your patience: I will not eleven die nóbly for their country, than one vo- over the threshold, till my lord return from the luptuously surfeit out of action.
Val. Fye, you confine yourself most unreaEnter a Gentlewoman.
sonably ; Come, you must go visit the good lady Gent. Madam, the lady Valeria is come to vi- that lies in.
Vir. I will wish her speedy strength, and viVir. 'Beseech you, give me leave to retire my- sit her with my prayers ; but I cannot go thither. self.
Vol. Why, I pray you? Vol. Indeed, you shall not.
Vir. 'Tis not to save labour, nor that I want love.