Coriolanus

Select or Print the text

Original text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Coriolanus, Volumnia, Virgilia, Menenius,
Cominius, with the yong Nobility of Rome.

Corio.
Come leaue your teares: a brief farwel: the beast
With many heads butts me away. Nay Mother,
Where is your ancient Courage? You were vs'd
To say, Extreamities was the trier of spirits,
That common chances. Common men could beare,
That when the Sea was calme, all Boats alike
Shew'd Mastership in floating. Fortunes blowes,
When most strooke home, being gentle wounded, craues
A Noble cunning. You were vs'd to load me
With Precepts that would make inuincible
The heart that conn'd them.

Virg.
Oh heauens! O heauens!

Corio.
Nay, I prythee woman.

Vol.
Now the Red Pestilence strike al Trades in Rome,
And Occupations perish.

Corio.
What, what, what:
I shall be lou'd when I am lack'd. Nay Mother,
Resume that Spirit, when you were wont to say,
If you had beene the Wife of Hercules,
Six of his Labours youl'd haue done, and sau'd
Your Husband so much swet. Cominius,
Droope not, Adieu: Farewell my Wife, my Mother,
Ile do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius,
Thy teares are salter then a yonger mans,
And venomous to thine eyes. My (sometime) Generall,
I haue seene the Sterne, and thou hast oft beheld
Heart-hardning spectacles. Tell these sad women,
'Tis fond to waile ineuitable strokes,
As 'tis to laugh at 'em. My Mother, you wot well
My hazards still haue beene your solace, and
Beleeu't not lightly, though I go alone
Like to a lonely Dragon, that his Fenne
Makes fear'd, and talk'd of more then seene: your Sonne
Will or exceed the Common, or be caught
With cautelous baits and practice.

Volum.
My first sonne,
Whether will thou go? Take good Cominius
With thee awhile: Determine on some course
More then a wilde exposture, to each chance
That start's i'th' way before thee.

Corio.
O the Gods!

Com.
Ile follow thee a Moneth, deuise with thee
Where thou shalt rest, that thou may'st heare of vs,
And we of thee. So if the time thrust forth
A cause for thy Repeale, we shall not send
O're the vast world, to seeke a single man,
And loose aduantage, which doth euer coole
Ith' absence of the needer.

Corio.
Fare ye well:
Thou hast yeares vpon thee, and thou art too full
Of the warres surfets, to go roue with one
That's yet vnbruis'd: bring me but out at gate.
Come my sweet wife, my deerest Mother, and
My Friends of Noble touch: when I am forth,
Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you come:
While I remaine aboue the ground, you shall
Heare from me still, and neuer of me ought
But what is like me formerly.

Menen.
That's worthily
As any eare can heare. Come, let's not weepe,
If I could shake off but one seuen yeeres
From these old armes and legges, by the good Gods
I'ld with thee, euery foot.

Corio.
Giue me thy hand, come.
Exeunt
Original text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter the two Tribunes, Sicinius, and Brutus,
with the Edile.

Sicin.
Bid them all home, he's gone: & wee'l no further,
The Nobility are vexed, whom we see haue sided
In his behalfe.

Brut.
Now we haue shewne our power,
Let vs seeme humbler after it is done,
Then when it was a dooing.

Sicin.
Bid them home:
say their great enemy is gone, / And they,
stand in their ancient strength.

Brut.
Dismisse them home.
Here comes his Mother.
Enter Volumnia, Virgilia, and Menenius.

Sicin.
Let's not meet her.

Brut
Why?

Sicin.
They say she's mad.

Brut.
They haue tane note of vs: keepe on your way.

Volum.
Oh y'are well met: / Th'hoorded plague a'th' Gods
requit your loue.

Menen.
Peace, peace, be not so loud.

Volum.
If that I could for weeping, you should heare,
Nay, and you shall heare some. Will you be gone?

Virg.
You shall stay too: I would I had the power
To say so to my Husband.

Sicin.
Are you mankinde?

Volum.
I foole, is that a shame. Note but this Foole,
Was not a man my Father? Had'st thou Foxship
To banish him that strooke more blowes for Rome
Then thou hast spoken words.

Sicin.
Oh blessed Heauens!

Volum.
Moe Noble blowes, then euer yu wise words.
And for Romes good, Ile tell thee what: yet goe:
Nay but thou shalt stay too: I would my Sonne
Were in Arabia, and thy Tribe before him,
His good Sword in his hand.

Sicin.
What then?

Virg.
What then?
Hee'ld make an end of thy posterity

Volum.
Bastards, and all.
Good man, the Wounds that he does beare for Rome!

Menen.
Come, come, peace.

Sicin.
I would he had continued to his Country
As he began, and not vnknit himselfe
The Noble knot he made.

Bru.
I would he had.

Volum.
I would he had? Twas you incenst the rable.
Cats, that can iudge as fitly of his worth,
As I can of those Mysteries which heauen
Will not haue earth to know.

Brut.
Pray let's go.

Volum.
Now pray sir get you gone.
You haue done a braue deede: Ere you go, heare this:
As farre as doth the Capitoll exceede
The meanest house in Rome; so farre my Sonne
This Ladies Husband heere; this (do you see)
Whom you haue banish'd, does exceed you all.

Bru.
Well, well, wee'l leaue you.

Sicin.
Why stay we to be baited
With one that wants her Wits.
Exit Tribunes.

Volum.
Take my Prayers with you.
I would the Gods had nothing else to do,
But to confirme my Cursses. Could I meete 'em
But once a day, it would vnclogge my heart
Of what lyes heauy too't.

Mene.
You haue told them home,
And by my troth you haue cause: you'l Sup with me.

Volum.
Angers my Meate: I suppe vpon my selfe,
And so shall sterue with Feeding: Come, let's go,
Leaue this faint-puling, and lament as I do,
In Anger, Iuno-like: Come, come, come.
Exeunt

Mene.
Fie, fie, fie.
Exit.
Original text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter a Roman, and a Volce.

Rom.
I know you well sir, and you know mee: your
name I thinke is Adrian.

Volce.
It is so sir, truly I haue forgot you.

Rom.
I am a Roman, and my Seruices are as you are,
against 'em. Know you me yet.

Volce.
Nicanor: no.

Rom.
The same sir.

Volce.
You had more Beard when I last saw you, but your
Fauour is well appear'd by your Tongue. What's the Newes
in Rome: I haue a Note from the Volcean state to finde
you out there. You haue well saued mee a dayes iourney.

Rom.
There hath beene in Rome straunge Insurrections:
The people, against the Senatours, Patricians, and Nobles.

Vol.
Hath bin; is it ended then? Our State thinks not
so, they are in a most warlike preparation, & hope to
com vpon them, in the heate of their diuision

Rom.
The maine blaze of it is past, but a small thing
would make it flame againe. For the Nobles receyue so to
heart, the Banishment of that worthy Coriolanus, that
they are in a ripe aptnesse, to take al power from the
people, and to plucke from them their Tribunes for euer.
This lyes glowing I can tell you, and is almost mature
for the violent breaking out.

Vol.
Coriolanus Banisht?

Rom.
Banish'd sir.

Vol.
You will be welcome with this intelligence
Nicanor.

Rom.
The day serues well for them now. I haue heard it
saide, the fittest time to corrupt a mans Wife, is when shee's
falne out with her Husband. Your Noble Tullus Auffidius
well appeare well in these Warres, his great Opposer Coriolanus
being now in no request of his countrey.

Volce.
He cannot choose: I am most fortunate, thus
accidentally to encounter you. You haue ended my Businesse,
and I will merrily accompany you home.

Rom.
I shall betweene this and Supper, tell you most
strange things from Rome: all tending to the good of
their Aduersaries. Haue you an Army ready say you?

Vol.
A most Royall one: The Centurions, and their
charges distinctly billetted already in th' entertainment,
and to be on foot at an houres warning.

Rom.
I am ioyfull to heare of their readinesse, and am the
man I thinke, that shall set them in present Action. So
sir, heartily well met, and most glad of your Company.

Volce.
You take my part from me sir, I haue the most
cause to be glad of yours.

Rom.
Well, let vs go together.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act IV, Scene IV
Enter Coriolanus in meane Apparrell, Disguisd, and muffled.

Corio.
A goodly City is this Antium. Citty,
'Tis I that made thy Widdowes: Many an heyre
Of these faire Edifices fore my Warres
Haue I heard groane, and drop: Then know me not,
Least that thy Wiues with Spits, and Boyes with stones
In puny Battell slay me.
Enter a Citizen.
Saue you sir.

Cit.
And you.

Corio.
Direct me, if it be your will,
where great Auffidius lies: Is he in Antium?

Cit.
He is, and Feasts the Nobles of the State,
at his house this night.

Corio.
Which is his house, beseech you?

Cit.
This heere before you.

Corio.
Thanke you sir, farewell.
Exit Citizen
Oh World, thy slippery turnes! Friends now fast sworn,
Whose double bosomes seemes to weare one heart,
Whose Houres, whose Bed, whose Meale and Exercise
Are still together: who Twin (as 'twere) in Loue,
Vnseparable, shall within this houre,
On a dissention of a Doit, breake out
To bitterest Enmity: So fellest Foes,
Whose Passions, and whose Plots haue broke their sleep
To take the one the other, by some chance,
Some tricke not worth an Egge, shall grow deere friends
And inter-ioyne their yssues. So with me,
My Birth-place haue I, and my loues vpon
This Enemie Towne: Ile enter, if he slay me
He does faire Iustice: if he giue me way,
Ile do his Country Seruice.
Exit.
Original text
Act IV, Scene V
Musicke playes. Enter a Seruingman.

1 Ser.
Wine, Wine, Wine: What seruice is
heere? I thinke our Fellowes are asleepe.
Enter another Seruingman.

2 Ser.
Where's Cotus: my M. cals
for him: Cotus.
Exit
Enter Coriolanus.

Corio.
A goodly House: / The Feast smels well: but I
appeare not like a Guest.
Enter the first Seruingman.

1 Ser.
What would you haue Friend?
whence are you? Here's no place for you: Pray go to the
doore?
Exit

Corio.
I haue deseru'd no better entertainment,
in being Coriolanus.
Enter second Seruant.

2 Ser.
Whence are you sir? Ha's the
Porter his eyes in his head, that he giues entrance to such
Companions? / Pray get you out.

Corio.
Away.

2 Ser.
Away? Get you away.

Corio.
Now th'art troublesome.

2 Ser.
Are you so braue: Ile haue you
talkt with anon
Enter 3 Seruingman, the 1 meets him.

3
What Fellowes this?

1
A strange one as euer I look'd on:
I cannot get him out o'th' house: Prythee call my Master
to him.

3
What haue you to do here fellow?
Pray you auoid the house.

Corio.
Let me but stand, I will not hurt your Harth.

3
What are you?

Corio.
A Gentleman.

3
A maru'llous poore one.

Corio.
True, so I am.

3
Pray you poore Gentleman, take vp
some other station: Heere's no place for you, pray you
auoid: Come.

Corio.
Follow your Function, go, and batten on
colde bits.
Pushes him away from him.

3
What you will not? Prythee tell
my Maister what a strange Guest he ha's heere.

2
And I shall.
Exit second Seruingman.

3
Where dwel'st thou?

Corio.
Vnder the Canopy.

3
Vnder the Canopy?

Corio.

I.
Where's that?

Corio.
I'th City of Kites and Crowes.

3
I'th City of Kites and Crowes? What
an Asse it is, then thou dwel'st with Dawes too?

Corio.
No, I serue not thy Master.

3
How sir? Do you meddle with my
Master?

Corio.
I, tis an honester seruice, then to meddle
with thy Mistris: Thou prat'st, and prat'st, serue with
thy trencher: Hence.
Beats him away
Enter Auffidius with the Seruingman.

Auf.
Where is this Fellow?

2
Here sir, I'de haue beaten him
like a dogge, but for disturbing the Lords within.

Auf.
Whence com'st thou? What wouldst yu? Thy name?
Why speak'st not? Speake man: What's thy name?

Corio.
If Tullus
not yet thou know'st me, and seeing me, dost not
thinke me for the man I am, necessitie
commands me name my selfe.

Auf.
What is thy name?

Corio.
A name vnmusicall to the Volcians eares,
And harsh in sound to thine.

Auf.
Say, what's thy name?
Thou hast a Grim apparance, and thy Face
Beares a Command in't: Though thy Tackles torne,
Thou shew'st a Noble Vessell: What's thy name?

Corio.
Prepare thy brow to frowne: knowst yu me yet?

Auf.
I know thee not? Thy Name?

Corio.
My name is Caius Martius, who hath done
To thee particularly, and to all the Volces
Great hurt and Mischiefe: thereto witnesse may
My Surname Coriolanus. The painfull Seruice,
The extreme Dangers, and the droppes of Blood
Shed for my thanklesse Country, are requitted:
But with that Surname, a good memorie
And witnesse of the Malice and Displeasure
Which thou should'st beare me, only that name remains.
The Cruelty and Enuy of the people,
Permitted by our dastard Nobles, who
Haue all forsooke me, hath deuour'd the rest:
And suffer'd me by th' voyce of Slaues to be
Hoop'd out of Rome. Now this extremity,
Hath brought me to thy Harth, not out of Hope
(Mistake me not) to saue my life: for if
I had fear'd death, of all the Men i'th' World
I would haue voided thee. But in meere spight
To be full quit of those my Banishers,
Stand I before thee heere: Then if thou hast
A heart of wreake in thee, that wilt reuenge
Thine owne particular wrongs, and stop those maimes
Of shame seene through thy Country, speed thee straight
And make my misery serue thy turne: So vse it,
That my reuengefull Seruices may proue
As Benefits to thee. For I will fight
Against my Cankred Countrey, with the Spleene
Of all the vnder Fiends. But if so be,
Thou dar'st not this, and that to proue more Fortunes
Th'art tyr'd, then in a word, I also am
Longer to liue most wearie: and present
My throat to thee, and to thy Ancient Malice:
Which not to cut, would shew thee but a Foole,
Since I haue euer followed thee with hate,
Drawne Tunnes of Blood out of thy Countries brest,
And cannot liue but to thy shame, vnlesse
It be to do thee seruice.

Auf.
Oh Martius, Martius;
Each word thou hast spoke, hath weeded from my heart
A roote of Ancient Enuy. If Iupiter
Should from yond clowd speake diuine things,
And say 'tis true; I'de not beleeue them more
Then thee all-Noble Martius. Let me twine
Mine armes about that body, where against
My grained Ash an hundred times hath broke,
And scarr'd the Moone with splinters: heere I cleep
The Anuile of my Sword, and do contest
As hotly, and as Nobly with thy Loue,
As euer in Ambitious strength, I did
Contend against thy Valour. Know thou first,
I lou'd the Maid I married: neuer man
Sigh'd truer breath. But that I see thee heere
Thou Noble thing, more dances my rapt heart,
Then when I first my wedded Mistris saw
Bestride my Threshold. Why, thou Mars I tell thee,
We haue a Power on foote: and I had purpose
Once more to hew thy Target from thy Brawne,
Or loose mine Arme for't: Thou hast beate mee out
Twelue seuerall times, and I haue nightly since
Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thy selfe and me:
We haue beene downe together in my sleepe,
Vnbuckling Helmes, fisting each others Throat,
And wak'd halfe dead with nothing. Worthy Martius,
Had we no other quarrell else to Rome, but that
Thou art thence Banish'd, we would muster all
From twelue, to seuentie: and powring Warre
Into the bowels of vngratefull Rome,
Like a bold Flood o're-beate. Oh come, go in,
And take our Friendly Senators by'th' hands
Who now are heere, taking their leaues of mee,
Who am prepar'd against your Territories,
Though not for Rome it selfe.

Corio.
You blesse me Gods.

Auf.
Therefore most absolute Sir, if thou wilt haue
The leading of thine owne Reuenges, take
Th'one halfe of my Commission, and set downe
As best thou art experienc'd, since thou know'st
Thy Countries strength and weaknesse, thine own waies
Whether to knocke against the Gates of Rome,
Or rudely visit them in parts remote,
To fright them, ere destroy. But come in,
Let me commend thee first, to those that shall
Say yea to thy desires. A thousand welcomes,
And more a Friend, then ere an Enemie,
Yet Martius that was much. Your hand: most welcome.
Exeunt
Enter two of the Seruingmen.

1
Heere's a strange alteration?

2
By my hand, I had thoght to
haue stroken him with a Cudgell, and yet my minde gaue
me, his cloathes made a false report of him.

1
What an Arme he has, he turn'd me
about with his finger and his thumbe, as one would set vp
a Top.

2
Nay, I knew by his face that
there was some-thing in him. He had sir, a kinde of face
me thought, I cannot tell how to tearme it.

1
He had so, looking as it were,
would I were hang'd but I thought there was more in
him, then I could think.

2
So did I, Ile be sworne: He is
simply the rarest man i'th' world.

1
I thinke he is: but a greater soldier
then he, / You wot one.

2
Who my Master?

1
Nay, it's no matter for that.

2
Worth six on him.

1
Nay not so neither: but I take him
to be the greater Souldiour.

2
Faith looke you, one cannot tell
how to say that: for the Defence of a Towne, our Generall
is excellent.

1
I, and for an assault too.
Enter the third Seruingman.

3
Oh Slaues, I can tell you Newes,
News you Rascals

Both.
What, what, what? Let's partake.

3
I would not be a Roman of all
Nations; I had as liue be a condemn'd man.

Both.
Wherefore? Wherefore?

3
Why here's he that was wont to
thwacke our Generall, Caius Martius.

1
Why do you say, thwacke our
Generall?

3
I do not say thwacke our Generall,
but he was alwayes good enough for him

2
Come we are fellowes and friends:
he was euer too hard for him, I haue heard him say so
himselfe.

1
He was too hard for him directly,
to say the Troth on't before Corioles, he scotcht him,
and notcht him like a Carbinado.

2
And hee had bin Cannibally giuen,
hee might haue boyld and eaten him too.

1
But more of thy Newes.

3
Why he is so made on heere within,
as if hee were Son and Heire to Mars, set at vpper end
o'th' Table: No question askt him by any of the Senators,
but they stand bald before him. Our Generall himselfe
makes a Mistris of him, Sanctifies himselfe with's hand,
and turnes vp the white o'th' eye to his Discourse. But the
bottome of the Newes is, our Generall is cut i'th' middle, &
but one halfe of what he was yesterday. For the other ha's
halfe, by the intreaty and graunt of the whole Table. Hee'l
go he sayes, and sole the Porter of Rome Gates by th' eares.
He will mowe all downe before him, and leaue his passage
poul'd.

2
And he's as like to do't, as any
man I can imagine.

3
Doo't? he will doo't: for look you
sir, he has as many Friends as Enemies: which Friends
sir as it were, durst not (looke you sir) shew themselues
(as we terme it) his Friends, whilest he's in Directitude.

1
Directitude? What's that?

3
But when they shall see sir, his
Crest vp againe, and the man in blood, they will out of their
Burroughes (like Conies after Raine) and reuell all with him.

1
But when goes this forward:

3
To morrow, to day, presently, you
shall haue the Drum strooke vp this afternoone: 'Tis as it
were a parcel of their Feast, and to be executed ere they
wipe their lips.

2
Why then wee shall haue a stirring
World againe: / This peace is nothing, but to rust Iron,
encrease Taylors, / and breed Ballad-makers.

1
Let me haue Warre say I, it exceeds
peace as farre as day do's night: It's sprightly walking,
audible, and full of Vent. Peace, is a very Apoplexy,
Lethargie, mull'd, deafe, sleepe, insensible, a getter of
more bastard Children, then warres a destroyer of men.

2
'Tis so, and as warres in some sort
may be saide to be a Rauisher, so it cannot be denied, but
peace is a great maker of Cuckolds.

1
I, and it makes men hate one
another.

3
Reason, because they then lesse
neede one another: / The Warres for my money. I hope to see
Romanes as cheape as Volcians. They are rising, they are
rising.

Both.
In, in, in, in.
Original text
Act IV, Scene VI
Enter the two Tribunes, Sicinius, and Brutus.

Sicin.
We heare not of him, neither need we fear him,
His remedies are tame, the present peace,
And quietnesse of the people, which before
Were in wilde hurry. Heere do we make his Friends
Blush, that the world goes well: who rather had,
Though they themselues did suffer by't, behold
Dissentious numbers pestring streets, then see
Our Tradesmen singing in their shops, and going
About their Functions friendly.

Bru.
We stood too't in good time.
Enter Menenius.
Is this Menenius?

Sicin.
'Tis he, 'tis he: O he is grown most kind
of late: / Haile Sir.

Mene.
Haile to you both.

Sicin.
Your Coriolanus is not much mist,
but with his / Friends: the Commonwealth doth stand,
and so would do, were he more angry at it.

Mene.
All's well, and might haue bene much better, if
he could haue temporiz'd.

Sicin.
Where is he, heare you?

Mene.
Nay I heare nothing: / His Mother and his wife,
heare nothing from him.
Enter three or foure Citizens.

All.
The Gods preserue you both.

Sicin.
Gooden our Neighbours.

Bru.
Gooden to you all, gooden to you all.

1
Our selues, our wiues, and children, on our knees,
Are bound to pray for you both.

Sicin.
Liue, and thriue.

Bru.
Farewell kinde Neighbours: / We wisht Coriolanus
had lou'd you as we did.

All.
Now the Gods keepe you.

Both Tri.
Farewell, farewell.
Exeunt Citizens

Sicin.
This is a happier and more comely time,
Then when these Fellowes ran about the streets,
Crying Confusion.

Bru.
Caius Martius was
A worthy Officer i'th' Warre, but Insolent,
O'recome with Pride, Ambitious, past all thinking
Selfe-louing.

Sicin.
And affecting one sole Throne,
without assistãce

Mene.
I thinke not so.

Sicin.
We should by this, to all our Lamention,
If he had gone forth Consull, found it so.

Bru.
The Gods haue well preuented it, and Rome
Sits safe and still, without him.
Enter an Adile.

Adile.
Worthy Tribunes,
There is a Slaue whom we haue put in prison,
Reports the Volces with two seuerall Powers
Are entred in the Roman Territories,
And with the deepest malice of the Warre,
Destroy, what lies before 'em.

Mene.
'Tis Auffidius,
Who hearing of our Martius Banishment,
Thrusts forth his hornes againe into the world
Which were In-shell'd, when Martius stood for Rome,
And durst not once peepe out.

Sicin.
Come, what talke you of Martius.

Bru.
Go see this Rumorer whipt, it cannot be,
The Volces dare breake with vs.

Mene.
Cannot be?
We haue Record, that very well it can,
And three examples of the like, hath beene
Within my Age. But reason with the fellow
Before you punish him, where he heard this,
Least you shall chance to whip your Information,
And beate the Messenger, who bids beware
Of what is to be dreaded.

Sicin.
Tell not me:
I know this cannot be.

Bru.
Not possible.
Enter a Messenger.

Mes.
The Nobles in great earnestnesse are going
All to the Senate-house: some newes is comming
That turnes their Countenances.

Sicin.
'Tis this Slaue:
Go whip him fore the peoples eyes: His raising,
Nothing but his report.

Mes.
Yes worthy Sir,
The Slaues report is seconded, and more
More fearfull is deliuer'd.

Sicin.
What more fearefull?

Mes.
It is spoke freely out of many mouths,
How probable I do not know, that Martius
Ioyn'd with Auffidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome,
And vowes Reuenge as spacious, as betweene
The yong'st and oldest thing.

Sicin.
This is most likely.

Bru.
Rais'd onely, that the weaker sort may wish
Good Martius home againe.

Sicin.
The very tricke on't.

Mene.
This is vnlikely,
He, and Auffidius can no more attone
Then violent'st Contrariety.
Enter Messenger.

Mes.
You are sent for to the Senate:
A fearefull Army, led by Caius Martius,
Associated with Auffidius, Rages
Vpon our Territories, and haue already
O're-borne their way, consum'd with fire, and tooke
What lay before them.
Enter Cominius.

Com.
Oh you haue made good worke.

Mene.
What newes? What newes?

Com.
You haue holp to rauish your owne daughters, &
To melt the Citty Leades vpon your pates,
To see your Wiues dishonour'd to your Noses.

Mene.
What's the newes? What's the newes?

Com.
Your Temples burned in their Ciment, and
Your Franchises, whereon you stood, confin'd
Into an Augors boare.

Mene.
Pray now, your Newes:
You haue made faire worke I feare me: pray your newes,
If Martius should be ioyn'd with Volceans.

Com.
If?
He is their God, he leads them like a thing
Made by some other Deity then Nature,
That shapes man Better: and they follow him
Against vs Brats, with no lesse Confidence,
Then Boyes pursuing Summer Butter-flies,
Or Butchers killing Flyes.

Mene.
You haue made good worke,
You and your Apron men: you, that stood so much
Vpon the voyce of occupation, and
The breath of Garlicke-eaters.

Com.
Hee'l shake your Rome about your eares.

Mene.
As Hercules did shake downe Mellow Fruite:
You haue made faire worke.

Brut.
But is this true sir?

Com,
I, and you'l looke pale
Before you finde it other. All the Regions
Do smilingly Reuolt, and who resists
Are mock'd for valiant Ignorance,
And perish constant Fooles: who is't can blame him?
Your Enemies and his, finde something in him.

Mene.
We are all vndone, vnlesse
The Noble man haue mercy.

Com.
Who shall aske it?
The Tribunes cannot doo't for shame; the people
Deserue such pitty of him, as the Wolfe
Doe's of the Shepheards: For his best Friends, if they
Should say be good to Rome, they charg'd him, euen
As those should do that had deseru'd his hate,
And therein shew'd like Enemies.

Me.
'Tis true,
if he were putting to my house, the brand
That should consume it, I haue not the face
To say, beseech you cease. You haue made faire hands,
You and your Crafts, you haue crafted faire.

Com.
You haue brought
A Trembling vpon Rome, such as was neuer
S'incapeable of helpe.

Tri.
Say not, we brought it.

Mene.
How? Was't we? We lou'd him, / But like Beasts,
and Cowardly Nobles, / Gaue way vnto your Clusters,
who did hoote / Him out o'th' Citty.

Com.
But I feare
They'l roare him in againe. Tullus Auffidius,
The second name of men, obeyes his points
As if he were his Officer: Desperation,
Is all the Policy, Strength, and Defence
That Rome can make against them.
Enter a Troope of Citizens.

Mene.
Heere come the Clusters.
And is Auffidius with him? You are they
That made the Ayre vnwholsome, when you cast
Your stinking, greasie Caps, in hooting
At Coriolanus Exile. Now he's comming,
And not a haire vpon a Souldiers head
Which will not proue a whip: As many Coxcombes
As you threw Caps vp, will he tumble downe,
And pay you for your voyces. 'Tis no matter,
If he could burne vs all into one coale,
We haue deseru'd it.

Omnes.
Faith, we heare fearfull Newes.

1 Cit.
For mine owne part,
When I said banish him, I said 'twas pitty.

2
And so did I.

3
And so did I: and to say the truth, so
did very many of vs, that we did we did for the best,
and though wee willingly consented to his Banishment,
yet it was against our will.

Com.
Y'are goodly things, you Voyces.

Mene.
You haue made good worke
You and your cry. Shal's to the Capitoll?

Com.
Oh I, what else?
Exeunt both.

Sicin.
Go Masters get you home, be not dismaid,
These are a Side, that would be glad to haue
This true, which they so seeme to feare. Go home,
And shew no signe of Feare.

1 Cit.
The Gods bee good to vs: Come Masters
let's home, I euer said we were i'th wrong, when we
banish'd him.

2 Cit.
So did we all. But come, let's home.
Exit Cit.

Bru.
I do not like this Newes.

Sicin.
Nor I.

Bru.
Let's to the Capitoll: would halfe my wealth
Would buy this for a lye.

Sicin.
Pray let's go.
Exeunt Tribunes.
Original text
Act IV, Scene VII
Enter Auffidius with his Lieutenant.

Auf.
Do they still flye to'th' Roman?

Lieu.
I do not know what Witchcraft's in him: but
Your Soldiers vse him as the Grace 'fore meate,
Their talke at Table, and their Thankes at end,
And you are darkned in this action Sir,
Euen by your owne.

Auf.
I cannot helpe it now,
Vnlesse by vsing meanes I lame the foote
Of our designe. He beares himselfe more proudlier,
Euen to my person, then I thought he would
When first I did embrace him. Yet his Nature
In that's no Changeling, and I must excuse
What cannot be amended.

Lieu.
Yet I wish Sir,
(I meane for your particular) you had not
Ioyn'd in Commission with him: but either
haue borne / The action of your selfe, or else
to him, had left it soly.

Auf.
I vnderstand thee well, and be thou sure
When he shall come to his account, he knowes not
What I can vrge against him, although it seemes
And so he thinkes, and is no lesse apparant
To th' vulgar eye, that he beares all things fairely:
And shewes good Husbandry for the Volcian State,
Fights Dragon-like, and does atcheeue as soone
As draw his Sword: yet he hath left vndone
That which shall breake his necke, or hazard mine,
When ere we come to our account.

Lieu.
Sir, I beseech you, think you he'l carry Rome?

Auf.
All places yeelds to him ere he sits downe,
And the Nobility of Rome are his:
The Senators and Patricians loue him too:
The Tribunes are no Soldiers: and their people
Will be as rash in the repeale, as hasty
To expell him thence. I thinke hee'l be to Rome
As is the Aspray to the Fish, who takes it
By Soueraignty of Nature. First, he was
A Noble seruant to them, but he could not
Carry his Honors eeuen: whether 'was Pride
Which out of dayly Fortune euer taints
The happy man; whether detect of iudgement,
To faile in the disposing of those chances
Which he was Lord of: or whether Nature,
Not to be other then one thing, not moouing
From th'Caske to th'Cushion: but commanding peace
Euen with the same austerity and garbe,
As he controll'd the warre. But one of these
(As he hath spices of them all) not all,
For I dare so farre free him, made him fear'd,
So hated, and so banish'd: but he ha's a Merit
To choake it in the vtt'rance: So our Vertue,
Lie in th' interpretation of the time,
And power vnto it selfe most commendable,
Hath not a Tombe so euident as a Chaire
T'extoll what it hath done.
One fire driues out one fire; one Naile, one Naile;
Rights by rights fouler, strengths by strengths do faile.
Come let's away: when Caius Rome is thine,
Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine.
exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Coriolanus, Volumnia, Virgilia, Menenius,
Cominius, with the young Nobility of Rome

CORIOLANUS
Come, leave your tears. A brief farewell. The beast
With many heads butts me away. Nay, mother,
Where is your ancient courage? You were used
To say extremities was the trier of spirits;
That common chances common men could bear;
That when the sea was calm all boats alike
Showed mastership in floating; fortune's blows
When most struck home, being gentle wounded craves
A noble cunning. You were used to load me
With precepts that would make invincible
The heart that conned them.

VIRGILIA
O heavens! O heavens!

CORIOLANUS
Nay, I prithee, woman –

VOLUMNIA
Now the red pestilence strike all trades in Rome,
And occupations perish!

CORIOLANUS
What, what, what!
I shall be loved when I am lacked. Nay, mother,
Resume that spirit when you were wont to say,
If you had been the wife of Hercules,
Six of his labours you'd have done, and saved
Your husband so much sweat. Cominius,
Droop not. Adieu. Farewell, my wife, my mother.
I'll do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius,
Thy tears are salter than a younger man's
And venomous to thine eyes. My sometime general,
I have seen thee stern, and thou hast oft beheld
Heart-hardening spectacles. Tell these sad women
'Tis fond to wail inevitable strokes,
As 'tis to laugh at 'em. My mother, you wot well
My hazards still have been your solace, and
Believe't not lightly – though I go alone,
Like to a lonely dragon that his fen
Makes feared and talked of more than seen – your son
Will or exceed the common or be caught
With cautelous baits and practice.

VOLUMNIA
My first son,
Whither wilt thou go? Take good Cominius
With thee awhile. Determine on some course
More than a wild exposture to each chance
That starts i'th' way before thee.

CORIOLANUS
O the gods!

COMINIUS
I'll follow thee a month, devise with thee
Where thou shalt rest, that thou mayst hear of us
And we of thee. So if the time thrust forth
A cause for thy repeal, we shall not send
O'er the vast world to seek a single man,
And lose advantage, which doth ever cool
I'th' absence of the needer.

CORIOLANUS
Fare ye well.
Thou hast years upon thee, and thou art too full
Of the wars' surfeits to go rove with one
That's yet unbruised. Bring me but out at gate.
Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and
My friends of noble touch; when I am forth,
Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you come.
While I remain above the ground you shall
Hear from me still, and never of me aught
But what is like me formerly.

MENENIUS
That's worthily
As any ear can hear. Come, let's not weep.
If I could shake off but one seven years
From these old arms and legs, by the good gods,
I'd with thee every foot.

CORIOLANUS
Give me thy hand.
Come.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter the two Tribunes, Sicinius and Brutus, with the
Aedile

SICINIUS
Bid them all home. He's gone, and we'll no further.
The nobility are vexed, whom we see have sided
In his behalf.

BRUTUS
Now we have shown our power,
Let us seem humbler after it is done
Than when it was a-doing.

SICINIUS
Bid them home.
Say their great enemy is gone, and they
Stand in their ancient strength.

BRUTUS
Dismiss them home.
Exit Aedile
Here comes his mother.
Enter Volumnia, Virgilia, and Menenius

SICINIUS
Let's not meet her.

BRUTUS
Why?

SICINIUS
They say she's mad.

BRUTUS
They have ta'en note of us. Keep on your way.

VOLUMNIA
O, y'are well met. Th' hoarded plague o'th' gods
Requite your love!

MENENIUS
Peace, peace, be not so loud.

VOLUMNIA
If that I could for weeping, you should hear –
Nay, and you shall hear some. (To Brutus) Will you be gone?

VIRGILIA
(To Sicinius)
You shall stay too. I would I had the power
To say so to my husband.

SICINIUS
Are you mankind?

VOLUMNIA
Ay, fool, is that a shame? Note but this, fool:
Was not a man my father? Hadst thou foxship
To banish him that struck more blows for Rome
Than thou hast spoken words?

SICINIUS
O blessed heavens!

VOLUMNIA
More noble blows than ever thou wise words,
And for Rome's good. I'll tell thee what – yet go.
Nay, but thou shalt stay too. I would my son
Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him,
His good sword in his hand.

SICINIUS
What then?

VIRGILIA
What then!
He'd make an end of thy posterity.

VOLUMNIA
Bastards and all.
Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome!

MENENIUS
Come, come, peace.

SICINIUS
I would he had continued to his country
As he began, and not unknit himself
The noble knot he made.

BRUTUS
I would he had.

VOLUMNIA
‘ I would he had!’ 'Twas you incensed the rabble –
Cats that can judge as fitly of his worth
As I can of those mysteries which heaven
Will not have earth to know.

BRUTUS
Pray, let's go.

VOLUMNIA
Now, pray, sir, get you gone.
You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear this:
As far as doth the Capitol exceed
The meanest house in Rome, so far my son –
This lady's husband here, this, do you see? –
Whom you have banished does exceed you all.

BRUTUS
Well, well, we'll leave you.

SICINIUS
Why stay we to be baited
With one that wants her wits?
Exeunt Tribunes

VOLUMNIA
Take my prayers with you.
I would the gods had nothing else to do
But to confirm my curses. Could I meet 'em
But once a day, it would unclog my heart
Of what lies heavy to't.

MENENIUS
You have told them home,
And, by my troth, you have cause. You'll sup with me?

VOLUMNIA
Anger's my meat. I sup upon myself,
And so shall starve with feeding. (To Virgilia) Come, let's go.
Leave this faint puling and lament as I do,
In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come.
Exeunt Volumnia and Virgilia

MENENIUS
Fie, fie, fie.
Exit
Modern text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter a Roman and a Volsce

ROMAN
I know you well, sir, and you know me. Your
name, I think, is Adrian.

VOLSCE
It is so, sir. Truly, I have forgot you.

ROMAN
I am a Roman; and my services are, as you are,
against 'em. Know you me yet?

VOLSCE
Nicanor, no?

ROMAN
The same, sir.

VOLSCE
You had more beard when I last saw you, but your
favour is well approved by your tongue. What's the news
in Rome? I have a note from the Volscian state to find
you out there. You have well saved me a day's journey.

ROMAN
There hath been in Rome strange insurrections:
the people against the senators, patricians, and nobles.

VOLSCE
Hath been? Is it ended then? Our state thinks not
so. They are in a most warlike preparation, and hope to
come upon them in the heat of their division.

ROMAN
The main blaze of it is past, but a small thing
would make it flame again. For the nobles receive so to
heart the banishment of that worthy Coriolanus that
they are in a ripe aptness to take all power from the
people and to pluck from them their tribunes for ever.
This lies glowing, I can tell you, and is almost mature
for the violent breaking out.

VOLSCE
Coriolanus banished?

ROMAN
Banished, sir.

VOLSCE
You will be welcome with this intelligence,
Nicanor.

ROMAN
The day serves well for them now. I have heard it
said the fittest time to corrupt a man's wife is when she's
fallen out with her husband. Your noble Tullus Aufidius
will appear well in these wars, his great opposer, Coriolanus,
being now in no request of his country.

VOLSCE
He cannot choose. I am most fortunate thus
accidentally to encounter you. You have ended my business,
and I will merrily accompany you home.

ROMAN
I shall between this and supper tell you most
strange things from Rome, all tending to the good of
their adversaries. Have you an army ready, say you?

VOLSCE
A most royal one. The centurions and their
charges distinctly billeted, already in th' entertainment,
and to be on foot at an hour's warning.

ROMAN
I am joyful to hear of their readiness, and am the
man, I think, that shall set them in present action. So,
sir, heartily well met, and most glad of your company.

VOLSCE
You take my part from me, sir. I have the most
cause to be glad of yours.

ROMAN
Well, let us go together.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene IV
Enter Coriolanus in mean apparel, disguised and muffled

CORIOLANUS
A goodly city is this Antium. City,
'Tis I that made thy widows. Many an heir
Of these fair edifices 'fore my wars
Have I heard groan and drop. Then know me not,
Lest that thy wives with spits and boys with stones
In puny battle slay me.
Enter a Citizen
Save you, sir.

CITIZEN
And you.

CORIOLANUS
Direct me, if it be your will,
Where great Aufidius lies. Is he in Antium?

CITIZEN
He is, and feasts the nobles of the state
At his house this night.

CORIOLANUS
Which is his house, beseech you?

CITIZEN
This here before you.

CORIOLANUS
Thank you, sir. Farewell.
Exit Citizen
O world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn,
Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart,
Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal and exercise
Are still together, who twin, as 'twere, in love
Unseparable, shall within this hour,
On a dissension of a doit, break out
To bitterest enmity. So, fellest foes,
Whose passions and whose plots have broke their sleep
To take the one the other, by some chance,
Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends
And interjoin their issues. So with me.
My birthplace hate I, and my love's upon
This enemy town. I'll enter. If he slay me,
He does fair justice. If he give me way,
I'll do his country service.
Exit
Modern text
Act IV, Scene V
Music plays. Enter a Servingman

FIRST SERVINGMAN
Wine, wine, wine! What service is
here? I think our fellows are asleep.
Exit
Enter another Servingman

SECOND SERVINGMAN
Where's Cotus? My master calls
for him. Cotus!
Exit
Enter Coriolanus

CORIOLANUS
A goodly house. The feast smells well, but I
Appear not like a guest.
Enter the First Servingman

FIRST SERVINGMAN
What would you have, friend?
Whence are you? Here's no place for you. Pray go to the
door
Exit

CORIOLANUS
I have deserved no better entertainment
In being Coriolanus.
Enter Second Servingman

SECOND SERVINGMAN
Whence are you, sir? Has the
porter his eyes in his head that he gives entrance to such
companions? Pray, get you out.

CORIOLANUS
Away!

SECOND SERVINGMAN
Away? Get you away.

CORIOLANUS
Now th'art troublesome.

SECOND SERVINGMAN
Are you so brave? I'll have you
talked with anon.
Enter Third Servingman. The First meets him

THIRD SERVINGMAN
What fellow's this?

FIRST SERVINGMAN
A strange one as ever I looked on.
I cannot get him out o'th' house. Prithee, call my master
to him.

THIRD SERVINGMAN
What have you to do here, fellow?
Pray you avoid the house.

CORIOLANUS
Let me but stand – I will not hurt your hearth.

THIRD SERVINGMAN
What are you?

CORIOLANUS
A gentleman.

THIRD SERVINGMAN
A marvellous poor one.

CORIOLANUS
True, so I am.

THIRD SERVINGMAN
Pray you, poor gentleman, take up
some other station. Here's no place for you. Pray you
avoid. Come.

CORIOLANUS
Follow your function, go and batten on
cold bits.
He pushes him away from him

THIRD SERVINGMAN
What, you will not? Prithee tell
my master what a strange guest he has here.

SECOND SERVINGMAN
And I shall.
Exit Second Servingman

THIRD SERVINGMAN
Where dwell'st thou?

CORIOLANUS
Under the canopy.

THIRD SERVINGMAN
Under the canopy?

CORIOLANUS
Ay.

THIRD SERVINGMAN
Where's that?

CORIOLANUS
I'th' city of kites and crows.

THIRD SERVINGMAN
I'th' city of kites and crows? What
an ass it is! Then thou dwell'st with daws too?

CORIOLANUS
No, I serve not thy master.

THIRD SERVINGMAN
How, sir? Do you meddle with my
master?

CORIOLANUS
Ay, 'tis an honester service than to meddle
with thy mistress. Thou prat'st and prat'st. Serve with
thy trencher, Hence!
He beats him away from the stage
Enter Aufidius with the Second Servingman

AUFIDIUS
Where is this fellow?

SECOND SERVINGMAN
Here, sir. I'd have beaten him
like a dog, but for disturbing the lords within.
Servingmen stand aside

AUFIDIUS
Whence com'st thou? What wouldst thou? Thy name?
Why speak'st not? Speak, man. What's thy name?

CORIOLANUS
(unmuffling)
If, Tullus,
Not yet thou know'st me, and, seeing me, dost not
Think me for the man I am, necessity
Commands me name myself.

AUFIDIUS
What is thy name?

CORIOLANUS
A name unmusical to the Volscians' ears,
And harsh in sound to thine.

AUFIDIUS
Say, what's thy name?
Thou hast a grim appearance, and thy face
Bears a command in't. Though thy tackle's torn,
Thou show'st a noble vessel. What's thy name?

CORIOLANUS
Prepare thy brow to frown. Know'st thou me yet?

AUFIDIUS
I know thee not. Thy name?

CORIOLANUS
My name is Caius Martius, who hath done
To thee particularly and to all the Volsces
Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may
My surname, Coriolanus. The painful service,
The extreme dangers, and the drops of blood
Shed for my thankless country, are requited
But with that surname – a good memory,
And witness of the malice and displeasure
Which thou shouldst bear me. Only that name remains.
The cruelty and envy of the people,
Permitted by our dastard nobles, who
Have all forsook me, hath devoured the rest,
And suffered me by th' voice of slaves to be
Whooped out of Rome. Now this extremity
Hath brought me to thy hearth, not out of hope –
Mistake me not – to save my life; for if
I had feared death, of all the men i'th' world
I would have 'voided thee; but in mere spite,
To be full quit of those my banishers,
Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast
A heart of wreak in thee, that wilt revenge
Thine own particular wrongs and stop those maims
Of shame seen through thy country, speed thee straight
And make my misery serve thy turn. So use it
That my revengeful services may prove
As benefits to thee. For I will fight
Against my cankered country with the spleen
Of all the under fiends. But if so be
Thou dar'st not this, and that to prove more fortunes
Th'art tired, then, in a word, I also am
Longer to live most weary, and present
My throat to thee and to thy ancient malice;
Which not to cut would show thee but a fool,
Since I have ever followed thee with hate,
Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country's breast,
And cannot live but to thy shame, unless
It be to do thee service.

AUFIDIUS
O Martius, Martius!
Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my heart
A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter
Should from yond cloud speak divine things,
And say ‘ 'Tis true,’ I'd not believe them more
Than thee, all-noble Martius. Let me twine
Mine arms about that body, whereagainst
My grained ash an hundred times hath broke
And scarred the moon with splinters. Here I clip
The anvil of my sword, and do contest
As hotly and as nobly with thy love
As ever in ambitious strength I did
Contend against thy valour. Know thou first,
I loved the maid I married; never man
Sighed truer breath. But that I see thee here,
Thou noble thing, more dances my rapt heart
Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars, I tell thee
We have a power on foot, and I had purpose
Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,
Or lose mine arm for't. Thou hast beat me out
Twelve several times, and I have nightly since
Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and me –
We have been down together in my sleep,
Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat –
And waked half dead with nothing. Worthy Martius,
Had we no quarrel else to Rome but that
Thou art thence banished, we would muster all
From twelve to seventy, and pouring war
Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,
Like a bold flood o'erbear't. O, come, go in,
And take our friendly senators by th' hands,
Who now are here, taking their leaves of me
Who am prepared against your territories,
Though not for Rome itself.

CORIOLANUS
You bless me, gods!

AUFIDIUS
Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou wilt have
The leading of thine own revenges, take
Th' one half of my commission, and set down –
As best thou art experienced, since thou know'st
Thy country's strength and weakness – thine own ways,
Whether to knock against the gates of Rome,
Or rudely visit them in parts remote
To fright them ere destroy. But come in
Let me commend thee first to those that shall
Say yea to thy desires. A thousand welcomes!
And more a friend than e'er an enemy;
Yet, Martius, that was much. Your hand. Most welcome!
Exeunt
First and Second Servingmen come forward

FIRST SERVINGMAN
Here's a strange alteration!

SECOND SERVINGMAN
By my hand, I had thought to
have strucken him with a cudgel, and yet my mind gave
me his clothes made a false report of him.

FIRST SERVINGMAN
What an arm he has! He turned me
about with his finger and his thumb as one would set up
a top.

SECOND SERVINGMAN
Nay, I knew by his face that
there was something in him. He had, sir, a kind of face,
methought – I cannot tell how to term it.

FIRST SERVINGMAN
He had so, looking as it were –
Would I were hanged, but I thought there was more in
him than I could think.

SECOND SERVINGMAN
So did I, I'll be sworn. He is
simply the rarest man i'th' world.

FIRST SERVINGMAN
I think he is. But a greater soldier
than he you wot one.

SECOND SERVINGMAN
Who, my master?

FIRST SERVINGMAN
Nay, it's no matter for that.

SECOND SERVINGMAN
Worth six on him.

FIRST SERVINGMAN
Nay, not so neither. But I take him
to be the greater soldier.

SECOND SERVINGMAN
Faith, look you, one cannot tell
how to say that. For the defence of a town our general
is excellent.

FIRST SERVINGMAN
Ay, and for an assault too.
Enter the Third Servingman

THIRD SERVINGMAN
O slaves, I can tell you news –
news, you rascals!

BOTH
What, what, what? Let's partake.

THIRD SERVINGMAN
I would not be a Roman, of all
nations. I had as lief be a condemned man.

BOTH
Wherefore? Wherefore?

THIRD SERVINGMAN
Why, here's he that was wont to
thwack our general, Caius Martius.

FIRST SERVINGMAN
Why do you say ‘ thwack our
General?’

THIRD SERVINGMAN
I do not say ‘thwack our general',
but he was always good enough for him.

SECOND SERVINGMAN
Come, we are fellows and friends.
He was ever too hard for him, I have heard him say so
himself.

FIRST SERVINGMAN
He was too hard for him, directly
to say the truth on't. Before Corioles he scotched him
and notched him like a carbonado.

SECOND SERVINGMAN
An he had been cannibally given,
he might have boiled and eaten him too.

FIRST SERVINGMAN
But more of thy news!

THIRD SERVINGMAN
Why, he is so made on here within
as if he were son and heir to Mars; set at upper end
o'th' table; no question asked him by any of the senators
but they stand bald before him. Our general himself
makes a mistress of him, sanctifies himself with's hand,
and turns up the white o'th' eye to his discourse. But the
bottom of the news is, our general is cut i'th' middle and
but one half of what he was yesterday, for the other has
half by the entreaty and grant of the whole table. He'll
go, he says, and sowl the porter of Rome gates by th' ears.
He will mow all down before him, and leave his passage
polled.

SECOND SERVINGMAN
And he's as like to do't as any
man I can imagine.

THIRD SERVINGMAN
Do't! He will do't, for look you,
sir, he has as many friends as enemies; which friends,
sir, as it were, durst not – look you, sir – show themselves,
as we term it, his friends whilst he's in directitude.

FIRST SERVINGMAN
Directitude? What's that?

THIRD SERVINGMAN
But when they shall see, sir, his
crest up again and the man in blood, they will out of their
burrows like conies after rain, and revel all with him.

FIRST SERVINGMAN
But when goes this forward?

THIRD SERVINGMAN
Tomorrow, today, presently. You
shall have the drum struck up this afternoon. 'Tis as it
were a parcel of their feast, and to be executed ere they
wipe their lips.

SECOND SERVINGMAN
Why, then we shall have a stirring
world again. This peace is nothing but to rust iron,
increase tailors, and breed ballad-makers.

FIRST SERVINGMAN
Let me have war, say I. It exceeds
peace as far as day does night. It's spritely walking,
audible, and full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy,
lethargy; mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible; a getter of
more bastard children than war's a destroyer of men.

SECOND SERVINGMAN
'Tis so. And as wars in some sort
may be said to be a ravisher, so it cannot be denied but
peace is a great maker of cuckolds.

FIRST SERVINGMAN
Ay, and it makes men hate one
another.

THIRD SERVINGMAN
Reason: because they then less
need one another. The wars for my money. I hope to see
Romans as cheap as Volscians. They are rising, they are
rising.

BOTH
In, in, in, in.
Modern text
Act IV, Scene VI
Enter the two Tribunes, Sicinius and Brutus

SICINIUS
We hear not of him, neither need we fear him.
His remedies are tame – the present peace
And quietness of the people, which before
Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends
Blush that the world goes well, who rather had,
Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold
Dissentious numbers pestering streets than see
Our tradesmen singing in their shops and going
About their functions friendly.

BRUTUS
We stood to't in good time.
Enter Menenius
Is this Menenius?

SICINIUS
'Tis he, 'tis he. O, he is grown most kind
Of late. Hail, sir!

MENENIUS
Hail to you both!

SICINIUS
Your Coriolanus is not much missed
But with his friends. The commonwealth doth stand,
And so would do, were he more angry at it.

MENENIUS
All's well, and might have been much better if
He could have temporized.

SICINIUS
Where is he, hear you?

MENENIUS
Nay, I hear nothing. His mother and his wife
Hear nothing from him.
Enter three or four Citizens

CITIZENS
The gods preserve you both!

SICINIUS
Good-e'en, our neighbours.

BRUTUS
Good-e'en to you all, good-e'en to you all.

FIRST CITIZEN
Ourselves, our wives and children, on our knees
Are bound to pray for you both.

SICINIUS
Live and thrive!

BRUTUS
Farewell, kind neighbours. We wished Coriolanus
Had loved you as we did.

CITIZENS
Now the gods keep you!

BOTH TRIBUNES
Farewell, farewell.
Exeunt Citizens

SICINIUS
This is a happier and more comely time
Than when these fellows ran about the streets,
Crying confusion.

BRUTUS
Caius Martius was
A worthy officer i'th' war, but insolent,
O'ercome with pride, ambitious past all thinking,
Self-loving –

SICINIUS
And affecting one sole throne
Without assistance.

MENENIUS
I think not so.

SICINIUS
We should by this, to all our lamentation,
If he had gone forth Consul, found it so.

BRUTUS
The gods have well prevented it, and Rome
Sits safe and still without him.
Enter an Aedile

AEDILE
Worthy Tribunes,
There is a slave, whom we have put in prison,
Reports the Volsces with two several powers
Are entered in the Roman territories,
And with the deepest malice of the war
Destroy what lies before 'em.

MENENIUS
'Tis Aufidius,
Who, hearing of our Martius' banishment,
Thrusts forth his horns again into the world,
Which were inshelled when Martius stood for Rome,
And durst not once peep out.

SICINIUS
Come, what talk you of Martius?

BRUTUS
Go see this rumourer whipped. It cannot be
The Volsces dare break with us.

MENENIUS
Cannot be!
We have record that very well it can,
And three examples of the like hath been
Within my age. But reason with the fellow
Before you punish him, where he heard this,
Lest you shall chance to whip your information
And beat the messenger who bids beware
Of what is to be dreaded.

SICINIUS
Tell not me.
I know this cannot be.

BRUTUS
Not possible.
Enter a Messenger

MESSENGER
The nobles in great earnestness are going
All to the Senate House. Some news is coming
That turns their countenances.

SICINIUS
'Tis this slave –
Go whip him 'fore the people's eyes – his raising,
Nothing but his report.

MESSENGER
Yes, worthy sir,
The slave's report is seconded, and more,
More fearful is delivered.

SICINIUS
What more fearful?

MESSENGER
It is spoke freely out of many mouths –
How probable I do not know – that Martius,
Joined with Aufidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome,
And vows revenge as spacious as between
The young'st and oldest thing.

SICINIUS
This is most likely!

BRUTUS
Raised only that the weaker sort may wish
Good Martius home again.

SICINIUS
The very trick on't.

MENENIUS
This is unlikely.
He and Aufidius can no more atone
Than violent'st contrariety.
Enter a second Messenger

SECOND MESSENGER
You are sent for to the Senate.
A fearful army, led by Caius Martius
Associated with Aufidius, rages
Upon our territories, and have already
O'erborne their way, consumed with fire and took
What lay before them.
Enter Cominius

COMINIUS
O, you have made good work!

MENENIUS
What news? What news?

COMINIUS
You have holp to ravish your own daughters and
To melt the city leads upon your pates,
To see your wives dishonoured to your noses –

MENENIUS
What's the news? What's the news?

COMINIUS
– Your temples burned in their cement, and
Your franchises, whereon you stood, confined
Into an auger's bore.

MENENIUS
Pray now, your news? –
You have made fair work, I fear me. – Pray, your news? –
If Martius should be joined wi'th' Volscians –

COMINIUS
If?
He is their god. He leads them like a thing
Made by some other deity than Nature,
That shapes man better; and they follow him
Against us brats with no less confidence
Than boys pursuing summer butterflies,
Or butchers killing flies.

MENENIUS
You have made good work,
You and your apron-men, you that stood so up much
Upon the voice of occupation and
The breath of garlic-eaters!

COMINIUS
He'll shake your Rome about your ears.

MENENIUS
As Hercules did shake down mellow fruit.
You have made fair work!

BRUTUS
But is this true, sir?

COMINIUS
Ay; and you'll look pale
Before you find it other. All the regions
Do smilingly revolt, and who resists
Are mocked for valiant ignorance,
And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame him?
Your enemies and his find something in him.

MENENIUS
We are all undone unless
The noble man have mercy.

COMINIUS
Who shall ask it?
The Tribunes cannot do't for shame; the people
Deserve such pity of him as the wolf
Does of the shepherds. For his best friends, if they
Should say ‘ Be good to Rome,’ they charged him even
As those should do that had deserved his hate,
And therein showed like enemies.

MENENIUS
'Tis true.
If he were putting to my house the brand
That should consume it, I have not the face
To say ‘ Beseech you, cease.’ You have made fair hands,
You and your crafts! You have crafted fair!

COMINIUS
You have brought
A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
S'incapable of help.

TRIBUNES
Say not we brought it.

MENENIUS
How? Was't we? We loved him, but, like beasts
And cowardly nobles, gave way unto your clusters,
Who did hoot him out o'th' city.

COMINIUS
But I fear
They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
The second name of men, obeys his points
As if he were his officer. Desperation
Is all the policy, strength, and defence,
That Rome can make against them.
Enter a troop of Citizens

MENENIUS
Here come the clusters.
And is Aufidius with him? You are they
That made the air unwholesome when you cast
Your stinking greasy caps in hooting
At Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming,
And not a hair upon a soldier's head
Which will not prove a whip. As many coxcombs
As you threw caps up will he tumble down,
And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter.
If he could burn us all into one coal,
We have deserved it.

CITIZENS
Faith, we hear fearful news.

FIRST CITIZEN
For mine own part,
When I said banish him, I said 'twas pity.

SECOND CITIZEN
And so did I.

THIRD CITIZEN
And so did I, and, to say the truth, so
did very many of us. That we did, we did for the best,
and though we willingly consented to his banishment,
yet it was against our will.

COMINIUS
Y'are goodly things, you voices!

MENENIUS
You have made good work,
You and your cry! Shall's to the Capitol?

COMINIUS
O, ay, what else?
Exeunt both

SICINIUS
Go, masters, get you home. Be not dismayed;
These are a side that would be glad to have
This true which they so seem to fear. Go home,
And show no sign of fear.

FIRST CITIZEN
The gods be good to us! Come, masters,
Let's home. I ever said we were i'th' wrong when we
banished him.

SECOND CITIZEN
So did we all. But come, let's home.
Exeunt Citizens

BRUTUS
I do not like this news.

SICINIUS
Nor I.

BRUTUS
Let's to the Capitol. Would half my wealth
Would buy this for a lie!

SICINIUS
Pray, let's go.
Exeunt Tribunes
Modern text
Act IV, Scene VII
Enter Aufidius, with his Lieutenant

AUFIDIUS
Do they still fly to th' Roman?

LIEUTENANT
I do not know what witchcraft's in him, but
Your soldiers use him as the grace 'fore meat,
Their talk at table and their thanks at end,
And you are darkened in this action, sir,
Even by your own.

AUFIDIUS
I cannot help it now,
Unless by using means I lame the foot
Of our design. He bears himself more proudlier,
Even to my person, than I thought he would
When first I did embrace him. Yet his nature
In that's no changeling, and I must excuse
What cannot be amended.

LIEUTENANT
Yet I wish, sir –
I mean for your particular – you had not
Joined in commission with him, but either
Had borne the action of yourself, or else
To him had left it solely.

AUFIDIUS
I understand thee well, and be thou sure,
When he shall come to his account, he knows not
What I can urge against him. Although it seems,
And so he thinks, and is no less apparent
To th' vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly
And shows good husbandry for the Volscian state,
Fights dragon-like, and does achieve as soon
As draw his sword; yet he hath left undone
That which shall break his neck or hazard mine
Whene'er we come to our account.

LIEUTENANT
Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry Rome?

AUFIDIUS
All places yield to him ere he sits down,
And the nobility of Rome are his.
The senators and patricians love him too.
The tribunes are no soldiers, and their people
Will be as rash in the repeal, as hasty
To expel him thence. I think he'll be to Rome
As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it
By sovereignty of nature. First he was
A noble servant to them, but he could not
Carry his honours even. Whether 'twas pride,
Which out of daily fortune ever taints
The happy man; whether defect of judgement,
To fail in the disposing of those chances
Which he was lord of; or whether nature,
Not to be other than one thing, not moving
From th' casque to th' cushion, but commanding peace
Even with the same austerity and garb
As he controlled the war; but one of these –
As he hath spices of them all – not all,
For I dare so far free him – made him feared,
So hated, and so banished. But he has a merit
To choke it in the utterance. So our virtues
Lie in th' interpretation of the time;
And power, unto itself most commendable,
Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair
T' extol what it hath done.
One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail;
Rights by rights fuller, strengths by strengths do fail.
Come, let's away. When, Caius, Rome is thine,
Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine.
Exeunt
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL