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Coriolanus: Act II, Scene 2

Coriolanus
Act II, Scene 2

Rome. The capitol.

  1. Enter two Officers to lay cushions, as it were in the
  2. Capitol.

First Officer

1 - 2
  1. Come, come, they are almost here. How many stand for
  2. consulships?

Second Officer

3 - 4
  1. Three, they say; but ’tis thought of every one Coriolanus
  2. will carry it.

First Officer

5 - 6
  1. That’s a brave fellow; but he’s vengeance proud, and loves
  2. not the common people.

Second Officer

7 - 14
  1. Faith, there hath been many great men that have flatter’d
  2. the people, who ne’er lov’d them; and there be many that
  3. they have lov’d, they know not wherefore; so that, if they
  4. love they know not why, they hate upon no better a ground.
  5. Therefore, for Coriolanus neither to care whether they love
  6. or hate him manifests the true knowledge he has in their
  7. disposition, and out of his noble carelessness lets them
  8. plainly see’t.

First Officer

15 - 21
  1. If he did not care whether he had their love or no, he wav’d
  2. indifferently ’twixt doing them neither good nor harm; but
  3. he seeks their hate with greater devotion than they can
  4. render it him, and leaves nothing undone that may fully
  5. discover him their opposite. Now, to seem to affect the
  6. malice and displeasure of the people is as bad as that which
  7. he dislikes, to flatter them for their love.

Second Officer

22 - 30
  1. He hath deserv’d worthily of his country, and his ascent is
  2. not by such easy degrees as those who, having been supple
  3. and courteous to the people, bonneted, without any further
  4. deed to have them at all into their estimation and report.
  5. But he hath so planted his honors in their eyes and his
  6. actions in their hearts that for their tongues to be silent
  7. and not confess so much were a kind of ingrateful injury; to
  8. report otherwise were a malice that, giving itself the lie,
  9. would pluck reproof and rebuke from every ear that heard it.

First Officer

31 - 32
  1. No more of him, he’s a worthy man. Make way, they are
  2. coming.
  1. A sennet. Enter the Patricians and the Tribunes of the
  2. people (Sicinius and Brutus), Lictors before them;
  3. Coriolanus, Menenius, Cominius the Consul.
  1. Sicinius and Brutus take their places by themselves.
  2. Coriolanus stands.

Menenius

33 - 44
  1. Having determin’d of the Volsces and
  2. To send for Titus Lartius, it remains,
  3. As the main point of this our after-meeting,
  4. To gratify his noble service that
  5. Hath thus stood for his country; therefore please you,
  6. Most reverend and grave elders, to desire
  7. The present consul and last general
  8. In our well-found successes, to report
  9. A little of that worthy work perform’d
  10. By Martius Caius Coriolanus, whom
  11. We met here both to thank and to remember
  12. With honors like himself.
  1. Coriolanus sits.

First Roman Senator

45 - 52
  1.                           Speak, good Cominius:
  2. Leave nothing out for length, and make us think
  3. Rather our state’s defective for requital
  4. Than we to stretch it out.
  5. To the Tribunes.
  6.                            Masters a’ th’ people,
  7. We do request your kindest ears, and after,
  8. Your loving motion toward the common body
  9. To yield what passes here.

Sicinius Velutus

53 - 56
  1.                            We are convented
  2. Upon a pleasing treaty, and have hearts
  3. Inclinable to honor and advance
  4. The theme of our assembly.

Brutus

57 - 60
  1.                            Which the rather
  2. We shall be blest to do, if he remember
  3. A kinder value of the people than
  4. He hath hereto priz’d them at.

Menenius

61 - 63
  1.                                That’s off, that’s off;
  2. I would you rather had been silent. Please you
  3. To hear Cominius speak?

Brutus

64 - 66
  1.                         Most willingly;
  2. But yet my caution was more pertinent
  3. Than the rebuke you give it.

Menenius

67 - 70
  1.                              He loves your people,
  2. But tie him not to be their bedfellow.
  3. Worthy Cominius, speak.
  4. Coriolanus rises and offers to go away.
  5.                         Nay, keep your place.

First Roman Senator

71 - 72
  1. Sit, Coriolanus; never shame to hear
  2. What you have nobly done.

Coriolanus

73 - 75
  1.                           Your honors’ pardon;
  2. I had rather have my wounds to heal again
  3. Than hear say how I got them.

Brutus

76 - 77
  1.                               Sir, I hope
  2. My words disbench’d you not?

Coriolanus

78 - 81
  1.                              No, sir; yet oft,
  2. When blows have made me stay, I fled from words.
  3. You sooth’d not, therefore hurt not; but your people,
  4. I love them as they weigh

Menenius

82
  1.                            Pray now, sit down.

Coriolanus

83 - 85
  1. I had rather have one scratch my head i’ th’ sun
  2. When the alarum were struck than idly sit
  3. To hear my nothings monster’d.
  1. Exit Coriolanus.

Menenius

86 - 90
  1.                                Masters of the people,
  2. Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter
  3. That’s thousand to one good onewhen you now see
  4. He had rather venture all his limbs for honor
  5. Than one on ’s ears to hear it? Proceed, Cominius.

Cominius

91 - 131
  1. I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus
  2. Should not be utter’d feebly. It is held
  3. That valor is the chiefest virtue, and
  4. Most dignifies the haver; if it be,
  5. The man I speak of cannot in the world
  6. Be singly counterpois’d. At sixteen years,
  7. When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought
  8. Beyond the mark of others. Our then dictator,
  9. Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight,
  10. When with his Amazonian chin he drove
  11. The bristled lips before him. He bestrid
  12. An o’erpress’d Roman, and i’ th’ consul’s view
  13. Slew three opposers. Tarquin’s self he met,
  14. And struck him on his knee. In that day’s feats,
  15. When he might act the woman in the scene,
  16. He prov’d best man i’ th’ field, and for his meed
  17. Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age
  18. Man-ent’red thus, he waxed like a sea,
  19. And in the brunt of seventeen battles since
  20. He lurch’d all swords of the garland. For this last,
  21. Before and in Corioles, let me say,
  22. I cannot speak him home. He stopp’d the fliers,
  23. And by his rare example made the coward
  24. Turn terror into sport; as weeds before
  25. A vessel under sail, so men obey’d
  26. And fell below his stem. His sword, death’s stamp,
  27. Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot
  28. He was a thing of blood, whose every motion
  29. Was tim’d with dying cries. Alone he ent’red
  30. The mortal gate of th’ city, which he painted
  31. With shunless destiny; aidless came off,
  32. And with a sudden reinforcement struck
  33. Corioles like a planet. Now all’s his,
  34. When by and by the din of war ’gan pierce
  35. His ready sense; then straight his doubled spirit
  36. Requick’ned what in flesh was fatigate,
  37. And to the battle came he, where he did
  38. Run reeking o’er the lives of men, as if
  39. ’Twere a perpetual spoil; and till we call’d
  40. Both field and city ours, he never stood
  41. To ease his breast with panting.

Menenius

132
  1.                                  Worthy man!

First Roman Senator

133 - 134
  1. He cannot but with measure fit the honors
  2. Which we devise him.

Cominius

135 - 140
  1.                      Our spoils he kick’d at,
  2. And look’d upon things precious as they were
  3. The common muck of the world. He covets less
  4. Than misery itself would give, rewards
  5. His deeds with doing them, and is content
  6. To spend the time to end it.

Menenius

141 - 142
  1.                              He’s right noble.
  2. Let him be call’d for.

First Roman Senator

143
  1.                        Call Coriolanus.

First Officer

144
  1. He doth appear.
  1. Enter Coriolanus.

Menenius

145 - 146
  1. The Senate, Coriolanus, are well pleas’d
  2. To make thee consul.

Coriolanus

147 - 148
  1.                      I do owe them still
  2. My life and services.

Menenius

149 - 150
  1.                       It then remains
  2. That you do speak to the people.

Coriolanus

151 - 155
  1.                                  I do beseech you,
  2. Let me o’erleap that custom; for I cannot
  3. Put on the gown, stand naked, and entreat them
  4. For my wounds’ sake to give their suffrage. Please you
  5. That I may pass this doing.

Sicinius Velutus

156 - 158
  1.                             Sir, the people
  2. Must have their voices; neither will they bate
  3. One jot of ceremony.

Menenius

159 - 162
  1.                      Put them not to’t.
  2. Pray you go fit you to the custom, and
  3. Take to you, as your predecessors have,
  4. Your honor with your form.

Coriolanus

163 - 165
  1.                            It is a part
  2. That I shall blush in acting, and might well
  3. Be taken from the people.

Brutus

166
  1.                           Mark you that.

Coriolanus

167 - 170
  1. To brag unto them, Thus I did, and thus!”
  2. Show them th’ unaching scars which I should hide,
  3. As if I had receiv’d them for the hire
  4. Of their breath only!

Menenius

171 - 174
  1.                       Do not stand upon’t.
  2. We recommend to you, tribunes of the people,
  3. Our purpose to them, and to our noble consul
  4. Wish we all joy and honor.

Roman Senators

175
  1. To Coriolanus come all joy and honor!
  1. Flourish cornets. Then exeunt. Manent Sicinius and Brutus.

Brutus

176
  1. You see how he intends to use the people.

Sicinius Velutus

177 - 179
  1. May they perceive ’s intent! He will require them
  2. As if he did contemn what he requested
  3. Should be in them to give.

Brutus

180 - 182
  1.                            Come, we’ll inform them
  2. Of our proceedings here on th’ market-place;
  3. I know they do attend us.
  1. Exeunt.
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