log out

Coriolanus: Act II, Scene 3

Coriolanus
Act II, Scene 3

Rome. The forum.

  1. Enter seven or eight Roman Citizens.

First Roman Citizen

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

Second Roman Citizen

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

Third Roman Citizen

3 - 11
  1. We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a power that
  2. we have no power to do; for if he show us his wounds and
  3. tell us his deeds, we are to put our tongues into those
  4. wounds and speak for them; so, if he tell us his noble
  5. deeds, we must also tell him our noble acceptance of them.
  6. Ingratitude is monstrous, and for the multitude to be
  7. ingrateful were to make a monster of the multitude; of the
  8. which we being members, should bring ourselves to be
  9. monstrous members.

First Roman Citizen

12 - 14
  1. And to make us no better thought of, a little help will
  2. serve; for once we stood up about the corn, he himself stuck
  3. not to call us the many-headed multitude.

Third Roman Citizen

15 - 20
  1. We have been call’d so of many, not that our heads are some
  2. brown, some black, some abram, some bald, but that our wits
  3. are so diversely color’d; and truly I think if all our wits
  4. were to issue out of one skull, they would fly east, west,
  5. north, south, and their consent of one direct way should be
  6. at once to all the points a’ th’ compass.

Second Roman Citizen

21
  1. Think you so? Which way do you judge my wit would fly?

Third Roman Citizen

22 - 24
  1. Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another man’s will;
  2. ’tis strongly wadg’d up in a block-head; but if it were at
  3. liberty, ’twould sure southward.

Second Roman Citizen

25
  1. Why that way?

Third Roman Citizen

26 - 28
  1. To lose itself in a fog, where being three parts melted away
  2. with rotten dews, the fourth would return for conscience’
  3. sake to help to get thee a wife.

Second Roman Citizen

29
  1. You are never without your tricks; you may, you may.

Third Roman Citizen

30 - 39
  1. Are you all resolv’d to give your voices? But that’s no
  2. matter, the greater part carries it, I say. If he would
  3. incline to the people, there was never a worthier man.
  4. Enter Coriolanus in a gown of humility, with Menenius.
  5. Here he comes, and in the gown of humility, mark his
  6. behavior. We are not to stay all together, but to come by
  7. him where he stands, by ones, by twos, and by threes. He’s
  8. to make his requests by particulars, wherein every one of us
  9. has a single honor, in giving him our own voices with our
  10. own tongues; therefore follow me, and I’ll direct you how
  11. you shall go by him.

All Roman Citizens

40
  1. Content, content.
  1. Exeunt Roman Citizens.

Menenius

41 - 42
  1. O sir, you are not right. Have you not known
  2. The worthiest men have done’t?

Coriolanus

43 - 48
  1.                                What must I say?
  2. I pray, sir”—Plague upon’t! I cannot bring
  3. My tongue to such a pace. Look, sir, my wounds!
  4. I got them in my country’s service, when
  5. Some certain of your brethren roar’d, and ran
  6. From th’ noise of our own drums.”

Menenius

49 - 51
  1.                                   O me, the gods!
  2. You must not speak of that. You must desire them
  3. To think upon you.

Coriolanus

52 - 54
  1.                    Think upon me? Hang ’em,
  2. I would they would forget me, like the virtues
  3. Which our divines lose by ’em.

Menenius

55 - 57
  1.                                You’ll mar all.
  2. I’ll leave you. Pray you speak to ’em, I pray you,
  3. In wholesome manner.
  1. Exit.
  1. Enter three of the Citizens.

Coriolanus

58 - 60
  1.                      Bid them wash their faces,
  2. And keep their teeth clean. So, here comes a brace.—
  3. You know the cause, sir, of my standing here.

Third Roman Citizen

61
  1. We do, sir, tell us what hath brought you to’t.

Coriolanus

62
  1. Mine own desert.

Second Roman Citizen

63
  1. Your own desert!

Coriolanus

64
  1. Ay, not mine own desire.

Third Roman Citizen

65
  1. How, not your own desire?

Coriolanus

66 - 67
  1. No, sir, ’twas never my desire yet to trouble the poor with
  2. begging.

Third Roman Citizen

68 - 69
  1. You must think, if we give you any thing, we hope to gain by
  2. you.

Coriolanus

70
  1. Well then, I pray, your price a’ th’ consulship?

First Roman Citizen

71
  1. The price is, to ask it kindly.

Coriolanus

72 - 74
  1. Kindly, sir, I pray let me ha’t. I have wounds to show you,
  2. which shall be yours in private. Your good voice, sir, what
  3. say you?

Second Roman Citizen

75
  1. You shall ha’t, worthy sir.

Coriolanus

76 - 77
  1. A match, sir. There’s in all two worthy voices begg’d. I
  2. have your alms, adieu.

Third Roman Citizen

78
  1. But this is something odd.

Second Roman Citizen

79
  1. And ’twere to give againbut ’tis no matter.
  1. Exeunt Citizens.
  1. Enter Fourth and Fifth Citizens.

Coriolanus

80 - 81
  1. Pray you now, if it may stand with the tune of your voices
  2. that I may be consul, I have here the customary gown.

Fourth Roman Citizen

82 - 83
  1. You have deserv’d nobly of your country, and you have not
  2. deserv’d nobly.

Coriolanus

84
  1. Your enigma?

Fourth Roman Citizen

85 - 86
  1. You have been a scourge to her enemies, you have been a rod
  2. to her friends; you have not indeed lov’d the common people.

Coriolanus

87 - 95
  1. You should account me the more virtuous that I have not been
  2. common in my love. I will, sir, flatter my sworn brother,
  3. the people, to earn a dearer estimation of them; ’tis a
  4. condition they account gentle. And since the wisdom of their
  5. choice is rather to have my hat than my heart, I will
  6. practice the insinuating nod and be off to them most
  7. counterfeitly; that is, sir, I will counterfeit the
  8. bewitchment of some popular man, and give it bountiful to
  9. the desirers. Therefore beseech you I may be consul.

Fifth Roman Citizen

96 - 97
  1. We hope to find you our friend; and therefore give you our
  2. voices heartily.

Fourth Roman Citizen

98
  1. You have receiv’d many wounds for your country.

Coriolanus

99 - 100
  1. I will not seal your knowledge with showing them. I will
  2. make much of your voices, and so trouble you no farther.

Both Fourth and Fifth Roman Citizens

101
  1. The gods give you joy, sir, heartily!
  1. Exeunt Citizens.

Coriolanus

102 - 121
  1. Most sweet voices!
  2. Better it is to die, better to starve,
  3. Than crave the hire which first we do deserve.
  4. Why in this woolvish toge should I stand here
  5. To beg of Hob and Dick, that does appear,
  6. Their needless vouches? Custom calls me to’t.
  7. What custom wills, in all things should we do’t,
  8. The dust on antique time would lie unswept,
  9. And mountainous error be too highly heap’d
  10. For truth to o’erpeer. Rather than fool it so,
  11. Let the high office and the honor go
  12. To one that would do thus. I am half through:
  13. The one part suffered, the other will I do.
  14. Enter three Citizens more.
  15. Here come more voices.—
  16. Your voices? For your voices I have fought;
  17. Watch’d for your voices; for your voices bear
  18. Of wounds two dozen odd; battles thrice six
  19. I have seen, and heard of; for your voices have
  20. Done many things, some less, some more. Your voices?
  21. Indeed I would be consul.

Sixth Roman Citizen

122 - 123
  1. He has done nobly, and cannot go without any honest man’s
  2. voice.

Seventh Roman Citizen

124 - 125
  1. Therefore let him be consul. The gods give him joy, and make
  2. him good friend to the people!

All Roman Citizens

126
  1. Amen, amen. God save thee, noble consul!
  1. Exeunt Citizens.

Coriolanus

127
  1. Worthy voices!
  1. Enter Menenius with Brutus and Sicinius.

Menenius

128 - 131
  1. You have stood your limitation, and the tribunes
  2. Endue you with the people’s voice. Remains
  3. That, in th’ official marks invested, you
  4. Anon do meet the Senate.

Coriolanus

132
  1.                          Is this done?

Sicinius Velutus

133 - 135
  1. The custom of request you have discharg’d.
  2. The people do admit you and are summon’d
  3. To meet anon, upon your approbation.

Coriolanus

136
  1. Where? At the Senate-house?

Sicinius Velutus

137
  1.                             There, Coriolanus.

Coriolanus

138
  1. May I change these garments?

Sicinius Velutus

139
  1.                              You may, sir.

Coriolanus

140 - 141
  1. That I’ll straight do; and, knowing myself again,
  2. Repair to th’ Senate-house.

Menenius

142
  1. I’ll keep you company. Will you along?

Brutus

143
  1. We stay here for the people.

Sicinius Velutus

144 - 146
  1.                              Fare you well.
  2. Exeunt Coriolanus and Menenius.
  3. He has it now; and by his looks, methinks,
  4. ’Tis warm at ’s heart.

Brutus

147 - 148
  1. With a proud heart he wore his humble weeds.
  2. Will you dismiss the people?
  1. Enter the Plebeians.

Sicinius Velutus

149
  1. How now, my masters, have you chose this man?

First Roman Citizen

150
  1. He has our voices, sir.

Brutus

151
  1. We pray the gods he may deserve your loves.

Second Roman Citizen

152 - 153
  1. Amen, sir. To my poor unworthy notice,
  2. He mock’d us when he begg’d our voices.

Third Roman Citizen

154 - 155
  1.                                         Certainly,
  2. He flouted us downright.

First Roman Citizen

156
  1. No, ’tis his kind of speech, he did not mock us.

Second Roman Citizen

157 - 159
  1. Not one amongst us, save yourself, but says
  2. He us’d us scornfully. He should have show’d us
  3. His marks of merit, wounds receiv’d for ’s country.

Sicinius Velutus

160
  1. Why, so he did, I am sure.

All Roman Citizens

161
  1.                            No, no; no man saw ’em.

Third Roman Citizen

162 - 169
  1. He said he had wounds, which he could show in private;
  2. And with his hat, thus waving it in scorn,
  3. I would be consul,” says he; aged custom,
  4. But by your voices, will not so permit me;
  5. Your voices therefore.” When we granted that,
  6. Here was I thank you for your voices, thank you,
  7. Your most sweet voices. Now you have left your voices,
  8. I have no further with you.” Was not this mockery?

Sicinius Velutus

170 - 172
  1. Why either were you ignorant to see’t,
  2. Or, seeing it, of such childish friendliness
  3. To yield your voices?

Brutus

173 - 187
  1.                       Could you not have told him
  2. As you were lesson’d: when he had no power,
  3. But was a petty servant to the state,
  4. He was your enemy, ever spake against
  5. Your liberties and the charters that you bear
  6. I’ th’ body of the weal; and now, arriving
  7. A place of potency and sway o’ th’ state,
  8. If he should still malignantly remain
  9. Fast foe to th’ plebeii, your voices might
  10. Be curses to yourselves? You should have said
  11. That as his worthy deeds did claim no less
  12. Than what he stood for, so his gracious nature
  13. Would think upon you for your voices, and
  14. Translate his malice towards you into love,
  15. Standing your friendly lord.

Sicinius Velutus

188 - 197
  1.                              Thus to have said,
  2. As you were fore-advis’d, had touch’d his spirit
  3. And tried his inclination; from him pluck’d
  4. Either his gracious promise, which you might,
  5. As cause had call’d you up, have held him to;
  6. Or else it would have gall’d his surly nature,
  7. Which easily endures not article
  8. Tying him to aught; so putting him to rage,
  9. You should have ta’en th’ advantage of his choler,
  10. And pass’d him unelected.

Brutus

198 - 204
  1.                           Did you perceive
  2. He did solicit you in free contempt
  3. When he did need your loves; and do you think
  4. That his contempt shall not be bruising to you
  5. When he hath power to crush? Why, had your bodies
  6. No heart among you? Or had you tongues to cry
  7. Against the rectorship of judgement?

Sicinius Velutus

205 - 208
  1.                                      Have you
  2. Ere now denied the asker; and now again,
  3. Of him that did not ask but mock, bestow
  4. Your su’d-for tongues?

Third Roman Citizen

209
  1. He’s not confirm’d, we may deny him yet.

Second Roman Citizen

210 - 211
  1. And will deny him.
  2. I’ll have five hundred voices of that sound.

First Roman Citizen

212
  1. I twice five hundred, and their friends to piece ’em.

Brutus

213 - 217
  1. Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends
  2. They have chose a consul that will from them take
  3. Their liberties, make them of no more voice
  4. Than dogs, that are as often beat for barking
  5. As therefore kept to do so.

Sicinius Velutus

218 - 227
  1.                             Let them assemble;
  2. And on a safer judgment all revoke
  3. Your ignorant election. Enforce his pride,
  4. And his old hate unto you; besides, forget not
  5. With what contempt he wore the humble weed,
  6. How in his suit he scorn’d you; but your loves,
  7. Thinking upon his services, took from you
  8. Th’ apprehension of his present portance,
  9. Which most gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion
  10. After the inveterate hate he bears you.

Brutus

228 - 231
  1.                                         Lay
  2. A fault on us, your tribunes, that we labor’d
  3. (No impediment between) but that you must
  4. Cast your election on him.

Sicinius Velutus

232 - 237
  1.                            Say you chose him
  2. More after our commandment than as guided
  3. By your own true affections, and that your minds,
  4. Preoccupied with what you rather must do
  5. Than what you should, made you against the grain
  6. To voice him consul. Lay the fault on us.

Brutus

238 - 248
  1. Ay, spare us not. Say we read lectures to you,
  2. How youngly he began to serve his country,
  3. How long continued, and what stock he springs of
  4. The noble house o’ th’ Martians; from whence came
  5. That Ancus Martius, Numa’s daughter’s son,
  6. Who after great Hostilius here was king;
  7. Of the same house Publius and Quintus were,
  8. That our best water brought by conduits hither,
  9. And Censorinus that was so surnam’d,
  10. And nobly named so, twice being censor,
  11. Was his great ancestor.

Sicinius Velutus

249 - 255
  1.                         One thus descended,
  2. That hath beside well in his person wrought
  3. To be set high in place, we did commend
  4. To your remembrances; but you have found,
  5. Scaling his present bearing with his past,
  6. That he’s your fixed enemy, and revoke
  7. Your sudden approbation.

Brutus

256 - 259
  1.                          Say you ne’er had done’t
  2. (Harp on that still) but by our putting on;
  3. And presently, when you have drawn your number,
  4. Repair to th’ Capitol.

Plebeians

260 - 261
  1.                        We will so. Almost all
  2. Repent in their election.
  1. Exeunt Plebeians.

Brutus

262 - 267
  1.                           Let them go on;
  2. This mutiny were better put in hazard
  3. Than stay, past doubt, for greater.
  4. If, as his nature is, he fall in rage
  5. With their refusal, both observe and answer
  6. The vantage of his anger.

Sicinius Velutus

268 - 271
  1.                           To th’ Capitol, come.
  2. We will be there before the stream o’ th’ people;
  3. And this shall seem, as partly ’tis, their own,
  4. Which we have goaded onward.
  1. Exeunt.
© 2019 Unotate.comcontactprivacy policyCreative Commons text from PlayShakespeare.comAll illustrations are public domain or Creative Commons