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I would you rather had been silent: Please you
To hear Cominius speak?


Most willingly:

But yet my caution was more pertinent,
Than the rebuke you give it.


He loves your people ;

But tie him not to be their bedfellow.

Worthy Cominius, speak.-Nay, keep your place. [Coriolanus rises, and offers to go away.

1 Sen. Sit, Coriolanus: never shame to hear What you have nobly done.


Your honours' pardon;

Sir, I hope,

I had rather have my wounds to heal again,
Than hear say how I got them.


My words disbench'd you not.

Cor. No, sir: yet oft, When blows have made me stay, I fled from words. You sooth'd not, therefore hurt not: But, your people, I love them as they weigh.


Pray now, sit down. Cor. I had rather have one scratch my head i'the sun, When the alarum were struck, than idly sit To hear my nothings monster'd. [Exit Coriolanus. Men. Masters o'the people,

Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter

(That's thousand to one good one), when you now


He had rather venture all his limbs for honour,

Than one of his ears to hear it?-Proceed, Cominius. Com. I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus Should not be utter'd feebly.-It is held,

That valour is the chiefest virtue, and

Most dignifies the haver: if it be,

The man I speak of cannot in the world
Be singly counterpois'd. At sixteen years,
When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought
Beyond the mark of others: our then dictator,
Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight,
When with his Amazonian chin he drove

The bristled lips before him: he bestrid
An o'er-press'd Roman, and i'the consul's view
Slew three opposers: Tarquin's self he met,
And struck him on his knee: in that day's feats,
When he might act the woman in the scene,
He prov'd best man i'the field, and for his meed
Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age
Man-enter'd thus, he waxed like a sea;

And, in the brunt of seventeen battles since,
He lurch'd all swords o'the garland. For this last,
Before and in Corioli, let me say,

I cannot speak him home: He stopp'd the fliers;
And, by his rare example, made the coward
Turn terror into sport: as waves before
A vessel under sail, so men obey'd,

And fell below his stem: his sword (death's stamp)
Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot
He was a thing of blood, whose every motion
Was timed with dying cries: alone he enter'd
The mortal gate o'the city, which he painted
With shunless destiny, aidless came off,
And with a sudden reinforcement struck/
Corioli, like a planet: Now all's his :
When by and by the din of war 'gan pierce
His ready sense; then straight his doubled spirit
Requicken'd what in flesh was fatigate,
And to the battle came he; where he did
Run reeking o'er the lives of men, as if
Twere a perpetual spoil: and, till we call'd
Both field and city ours, he never stood
To ease his breast with panting.


Worthy man!

1 Sen. He cannot but with measure fit the honours Which we devise him.

Our spoils he kick'd at;
And look'd upon things precious, as they were
The common mock o'the world: he covets less
Than misery itself would give; rewards
His deeds with doing them; and is content
To spend the time, to end it.


Let him be call'd for.

1 Sen.

Off. He doth appear.

He's right noble;

Call for Coriolanus.


Men. The senate, Coriolanus, are well pleas'd

To make thee consul.


My life, and services.

I do owe them still


It then remains,

I do beseech you,

That you do speak to the people.

Let me o'erleap that custom; for I cannot

Put on the gown, stand naked, and entreat them,

For my wounds' sake, to give their suffrage: please

[blocks in formation]

Put them not to't:

Pray you, go fit you to the custom; and
Take to you, as your predecessors have,
Your honour with your form.


It is a part

That I shall blush in acting, and might well

Be taken from the people.


Mark you that?

Cor. To brag unto them,-Thus I did, and thus;Show them the unaching scars which I should hide, As if I had receiv'd them for the hire

Of their breath only :

Do not stand upon't.-
We recommend to you, tribunes of the people,
Our purpose to them;-and to oup noble consul
Wish we all joy and honour.

Sen. To Coriolanus come all joy and honour!
[Flourish. Then exeunt Senators.
Bru. You see how he intends to use the people,

Sic. May they perceive his intent! He that will require them,

As if he did contemn what he requested

Should be in them to give.

Come, we'll inform them


Of our proceedings here: on the market-place,
I know, they do attend us.

SCENE 111. The same. The Forum.

Enter several Citizens.

1 Cit. Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him.

2 Cit. We may, sir, if we will.

3 Cit. We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a power that we have no power to do: for if he show us his wounds, and tell us his deeds, we are to put our tongues into those wounds, and speak for them; so, if he tell us his noble deeds, we must also tell him our noble acceptance of them. Ingratitude is monstrous: and for the multitude to be ingrateful, were to make a monster of the multitude; of the which, we being members, should bring ourselves to be monstrous members.

1 Cit. And to make us no better thought of, a little help will serve: for once, when we stood up about the corn, he himself stuck not to call us the many-headed multitude.

3 Cit. We have been called so of many; not that our heads are some brown, some black, some auburn, some bald, but that our wits are so diversely coloured: and truly, I think, if all our wits were to issue out of one scull, they would fly east, west, north, south; and their consent of one direct way should be at once to all the points o'the compass.

2 Cit. Think you go? Which way, do you judge, my wit would fly?

3 Cit. Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another man's will, 'tis strongly wedged up in a block-head: but if it were at liberty, 'twould, sure, southward.

2 Cit. Why that way?

3 Cit. To lose itself in a fog; where being three parts melted away with rotten dews, the fourth would return for conscience' sake, to help to get thee a wife. 2 Cit. You are never without your tricks:-You may, you may.

3 Cit. Are you all resolved to give your voices? But that's no matter, the greater part carries it. I say, if he would incline to the people, there was never a worthier man.


Here he comes, and in the gown of humility; mark his behaviour. We are not to stay altogether, but to come by him where he stands, by ones, by twos, and by threes. He's to make his requests by particulars; wherein every one of us has a single honour, in giving him our own voices with our own tongues: therefore follow me, and I'll direct you how you shall go by him. All. Content, content. [Exeunt. Men. O sir, you are not right: have you not known The worthiest men have done it?


What must I say?—

I pray, sir,-Plague upon't! I cannot bring

My tongue to such a pace :-Look, sir ;-my wounds ;I got them in my country's service, when

Some certain of your brethren roar'd, and ran

From the noise of our own drums.


O me, the gods!

You must not speak of that; you must desire them

To think upon you.


Think upon me? Hang 'em!

I would they would forget me, like the virtues

Which our divines lose by them.


You'll mar all;

I'll leave you: Pray you, speak to them, I pray you, In wholesome manner.



Enter two Citizens.

Bid them wash their faces,

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