log out

Coriolanus: Act III, Scene 1

Coriolanus
Act III, Scene 1

Scene 1

Rome. A street.

  1. Cornets. Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, all the Gentry,
  2. Cominius, Titus Lartius, and other Senators.

Coriolanus

1
  1. Tullus Aufidius then had made new head?

Lartius

2 - 3
  1. He had, my lord, and that it was which caus’d
  2. Our swifter composition.

Coriolanus

4 - 6
  1. So then the Volsces stand but as at first,
  2. Ready, when time shall prompt them, to make road
  3. Upon ’s again.

Cominius

7 - 9
  1.                They are worn, Lord Consul, so
  2. That we shall hardly in our ages see
  3. Their banners wave again.

Coriolanus

10
  1.                           Saw you Aufidius?

Lartius

11 - 13
  1. On safeguard he came to me, and did curse
  2. Against the Volsces for they had so vildly
  3. Yielded the town. He is retired to Antium.

Coriolanus

14
  1. Spoke he of me?

Lartius

15
  1.                 He did, my lord.

Coriolanus

16
  1.                  How? What?

Lartius

17 - 21
  1. How often he had met you, sword to sword;
  2. That of all things upon the earth he hated
  3. Your person most; that he would pawn his fortunes
  4. To hopeless restitution, so he might
  5. Be call’d your vanquisher.

Coriolanus

22
  1.                            At Antium lives he?

Lartius

23
  1. At Antium.

Coriolanus

24 - 29
  1. I wish I had a cause to seek him there,
  2. To oppose his hatred fully. Welcome home.
  3. Enter Sicinius and Brutus.
  4. Behold, these are the tribunes of the people,
  5. The tongues o’ th’ common mouth. I do despise them!
  6. For they do prank them in authority,
  7. Against all noble sufferance.

Sicinius Velutus

30
  1.                               Pass no further.

Coriolanus

31
  1. Hah? What is that?

Brutus

32
  1. It will be dangerous to go onno further.

Coriolanus

33
  1. What makes this change?

Menenius

34
  1. The matter?

Cominius

35
  1. Hath he not pass’d the noble and the common?

Brutus

36
  1. Cominius, no.

Coriolanus

37
  1.               Have I had children’s voices?

First Roman Senator

38
  1. Tribunes, give way, he shall to th’ market-place.

Brutus

39
  1. The people are incens’d against him.

Sicinius Velutus

40 - 41
  1.                                      Stop,
  2. Or all will fall in broil.

Coriolanus

42 - 46
  1.                            Are these your herd?
  2. Must these have voices, that can yield them now,
  3. And straight disclaim their tongues? What are your offices?
  4. You being their mouths, why rule you not their teeth?
  5. Have you not set them on?

Menenius

47
  1.                           Be calm, be calm.

Coriolanus

48 - 51
  1. It is a purpos’d thing, and grows by plot,
  2. To curb the will of the nobility.
  3. Suffer’t, and live with such as cannot rule,
  4. Nor ever will be ruled.

Brutus

52 - 56
  1.                         Call’t not a plot.
  2. The people cry you mock’d them; and of late,
  3. When corn was given them gratis, you repin’d,
  4. Scandall’d the suppliants for the people, call’d them
  5. Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness.

Coriolanus

57
  1. Why, this was known before.

Brutus

58
  1.                             Not to them all.

Coriolanus

59
  1. Have you inform’d them sithence?

Brutus

60
  1.                                  How? I inform them?

Cominius

61
  1. You are like to do such business.

Brutus

62 - 63
  1.                                   Not unlike
  2. Each way to better yours.

Coriolanus

64 - 66
  1. Why then should I be consul? By yond clouds,
  2. Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me
  3. Your fellow tribune.

Sicinius Velutus

67 - 72
  1.                      You show too much of that
  2. For which the people stir. If you will pass
  3. To where you are bound, you must inquire your way,
  4. Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit,
  5. Or never be so noble as a consul,
  6. Nor yoke with him for tribune.

Menenius

73
  1.                                Let’s be calm.

Cominius

74 - 77
  1. The people are abus’d, set on. This palt’ring
  2. Becomes not Rome; nor has Coriolanus
  3. Deserv’d this so dishonor’d rub, laid falsely
  4. I’ th’ plain way of his merit.

Coriolanus

78 - 79
  1.                                Tell me of corn!
  2. This was my speech, and I will speak’t again

Menenius

80
  1. Not now, not now.

First Roman Senator

81
  1.                   Not in this heat, sir, now.

Coriolanus

82 - 92
  1. Now, as I live, I will.
  2. My nobler friends, I crave their pardons.
  3. For the mutable, rank-scented meiny, let them
  4. Regard me as I do not flatter, and
  5. Therein behold themselves. I say again,
  6. In soothing them we nourish ’gainst our Senate
  7. The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition,
  8. Which we ourselves have plough’d for, sow’d, and scatter’d,
  9. By mingling them with us, the honor’d number,
  10. Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that
  11. Which they have given to beggars.

Menenius

93
  1.                                   Well, no more.

First Roman Senator

94
  1. No more words, we beseech you.

Coriolanus

95 - 100
  1.                                How? No more?
  2. As for my country I have shed my blood,
  3. Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs
  4. Coin words till their decay against those measles
  5. Which we disdain should tetter us, yet sought
  6. The very way to catch them.

Brutus

101 - 103
  1.                             You speak a’ th’ people
  2. As if you were a god, to punish; not
  3. A man of their infirmity.

Sicinius Velutus

104 - 105
  1.                           ’Twere well
  2. We let the people know’t.

Menenius

106
  1.                           What, what? His choler?

Coriolanus

107 - 109
  1. Choler?
  2. Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,
  3. By Jove, ’twould be my mind!

Sicinius Velutus

110 - 112
  1.                              It is a mind
  2. That shall remain a poison where it is;
  3. Not poison any further.

Coriolanus

113 - 115
  1.                         Shall remain?
  2. Hear you this Triton of the minnows? Mark you
  3. His absolute shall”?

Cominius

116
  1.                       ’Twas from the canon.

Coriolanus

117 - 139
  1.                       Shall”?
  2. O good but most unwise patricians! Why,
  3. You grave but reckless senators, have you thus
  4. Given Hydra here to choose an officer,
  5. That with his peremptory shall,” being but
  6. The horn and noise o’ th’ monster’s, wants not spirit
  7. To say he’ll turn your current in a ditch,
  8. And make your channel his? If he have power,
  9. Then vail your ignorance; if none, awake
  10. Your dangerous lenity. If you are learn’d,
  11. Be not as common fools; if you are not,
  12. Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians,
  13. If they be senators; and they are no less,
  14. When, both your voices blended, the great’st taste
  15. Most palates theirs. They choose their magistrate,
  16. And such a one as he, who puts his ’shall,
  17. His popular shall, against a graver bench
  18. Than ever frown’d in Greece. By Jove himself,
  19. It makes the consuls base; and my soul aches
  20. To know, when two authorities are up,
  21. Neither supreme, how soon confusion
  22. May enter ’twixt the gap of both, and take
  23. The one by th’ other.

Cominius

140
  1.                       Well, on to th’ market-place.

Coriolanus

141 - 143
  1. Whoever gave that counsel, to give forth
  2. The corn a’ th’ store-house gratis, as ’twas us’d
  3. Sometime in Greece

Menenius

144
  1.                     Well, well, no more of that.

Coriolanus

145 - 147
  1. Though there the people had more absolute pow’r,
  2. I say they nourish’d disobedience, fed
  3. The ruin of the state.

Brutus

148 - 149
  1.                        Why shall the people give
  2. One that speaks thus their voice?

Coriolanus

150 - 170
  1.                                   I’ll give my reasons,
  2. More worthier than their voices. They know the corn
  3. Was not our recompense, resting well assur’d
  4. They ne’er did service for’t; being press’d to th’ war,
  5. Even when the navel of the state was touch’d,
  6. They would not thread the gates. This kind of service
  7. Did not deserve corn gratis. Being i’ th’ war,
  8. Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they show’d
  9. Most valor, spoke not for them. Th’ accusation
  10. Which they have often made against the Senate,
  11. All cause unborn, could never be the native
  12. Of our so frank donation. Well, what then?
  13. How shall this bosom multiplied digest
  14. The Senate’s courtesy? Let deeds express
  15. What’s like to be their words: We did request it,
  16. We are the greater poll, and in true fear
  17. They gave us our demands.” Thus we debase
  18. The nature of our seats and make the rabble
  19. Call our cares fears; which will in time
  20. Break ope the locks a’ th’ Senate, and bring in
  21. The crows to peck the eagles.

Menenius

171
  1.                               Come, enough.

Brutus

172
  1. Enough, with over-measure.

Coriolanus

173 - 194
  1.                            No, take more!
  2. What may be sworn by, both divine and human,
  3. Seal what I end withal! This double worship,
  4. Where one part does disdain with cause, the other
  5. Insult without all reason; where gentry, title, wisdom,
  6. Cannot conclude but by the yea and no
  7. Of general ignoranceit must omit
  8. Real necessities, and give way the while
  9. To unstable slightness. Purpose so barr’d, it follows
  10. Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore beseech you
  11. You that will be less fearful than discreet;
  12. That love the fundamental part of state
  13. More than you doubt the change on’t; that prefer
  14. A noble life before a long, and wish
  15. To jump a body with a dangerous physic
  16. That’s sure of death without itat once pluck out
  17. The multitudinous tongue; let them not lick
  18. The sweet which is their poison. Your dishonor
  19. Mangles true judgment, and bereaves the state
  20. Of that integrity which should become’t;
  21. Not having the power to do the good it would,
  22. For th’ ill which doth control’t.

Brutus

195
  1.                                   H’as said enough.

Sicinius Velutus

196 - 197
  1. H’as spoken like a traitor, and shall answer
  2. As traitors do.

Coriolanus

198 - 205
  1.                 Thou wretch, despite o’erwhelm thee!
  2. What should the people do with these bald tribunes?
  3. On whom depending, their obedience fails
  4. To th’ greater bench. In a rebellion,
  5. When what’s not meet, but what must be, was law,
  6. Then were they chosen; in a better hour,
  7. Let what is meet be said it must be meet,
  8. And throw their power i’ th’ dust.

Brutus

206
  1. Manifest treason!

Sicinius Velutus

207
  1.                   This a consul? No!

Brutus

208 - 209
  1. The aediles ho!
  2. Enter Aediles.
  3.                 Let him be apprehended.

Sicinius Velutus

210 - 214
  1. Go call the people
  2. Exit Aediles.
  3.                    in whose name myself
  4. Attach thee as a traitorous innovator,
  5. A foe to th’ public weal. Obey, I charge thee,
  6. And follow to thine answer.

Coriolanus

215
  1.                             Hence, old goat!

Patricians

216
  1. We’ll surety him.

Cominius

217
  1.                   Ag’d sir, hands off.

Coriolanus

218 - 219
  1. Hence, rotten thing! Or I shall shake thy bones
  2. Out of thy garments.

Sicinius Velutus

220
  1.                      Help, ye citizens!
  1. Enter a rabble of Plebeians with the Aediles.

Menenius

221
  1. On both sides more respect.

Sicinius Velutus

222
  1. Here’s he that would take from you all your power.

Brutus

223
  1. Seize him, aediles!

Plebeians

224
  1. Down with him, down with him!

Second Roman Senator

225
  1. Weapons, weapons, weapons!
  1. They all bustle about Coriolanus.

Plebeians

226 - 228
  1. Tribunes!—Patricians!—Citizens!—What ho!—
  2. Sicinius!—Brutus!—Coriolanus!—Citizens!—
  3. Peace, peace, peace!—Stay, hold, peace!

Menenius

229 - 232
  1. What is about to be? I am out of breath,
  2. Confusion’s near, I cannot speak. You, tribunes
  3. To th’ people! Coriolanus, patience!
  4. Speak, good Sicinius.

Sicinius Velutus

233
  1.                       Hear me, people, peace!

Plebeians

234
  1. Let’s hear our tribune; peace! Speak, speak, speak!

Sicinius Velutus

235 - 237
  1. You are at point to lose your liberties.
  2. Martius would have all from you; Martius,
  3. Whom late you have nam’d for consul.

Menenius

238 - 239
  1.                                      Fie, fie, fie!
  2. This is the way to kindle, not to quench.

First Roman Senator

240
  1. To unbuild the city, and to lay all flat.

Sicinius Velutus

241
  1. What is the city but the people?

Plebeians

242 - 243
  1.                                  True,
  2. The people are the city.

Brutus

244 - 245
  1. By the consent of all, we were establish’d
  2. The people’s magistrates.

Plebeians

246
  1.                           You so remain.

Menenius

247
  1. And so are like to do.

Cominius

248 - 251
  1. That is the way to lay the city flat,
  2. To bring the roof to the foundation,
  3. And bury all, which yet distinctly ranges,
  4. In heaps and piles of ruin.

Sicinius Velutus

252
  1.                             This deserves death.

Brutus

253 - 257
  1. Or let us stand to our authority,
  2. Or let us lose it. We do here pronounce,
  3. Upon the part o’ th’ people, in whose power
  4. We were elected theirs, Martius is worthy
  5. Of present death.

Sicinius Velutus

258 - 260
  1.                   Therefore lay hold of him;
  2. Bear him to th’ rock Tarpeian, and from thence
  3. Into destruction cast him.

Brutus

261
  1.                            Aediles, seize him!

Plebeians

262
  1. Yield, Martius, yield!

Menenius

263 - 264
  1.                        Hear me one word,
  2. Beseech you, tribunes, hear me but a word.

Both Aediles

265
  1. Peace, peace!

Menenius

266 - 268
  1. To Brutus.
  2. Be that you seem, truly your country’s friend,
  3. And temp’rately proceed to what you would
  4. Thus violently redress.

Brutus

269 - 272
  1.                         Sir, those cold ways,
  2. That seem like prudent helps, are very poisonous
  3. Where the disease is violent.—Lay hands upon him,
  4. And bear him to the rock.
  1. Coriolanus draws his sword.

Coriolanus

273 - 275
  1.                           No, I’ll die here.
  2. There’s some among you have beheld me fighting;
  3. Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me.

Menenius

276
  1. Down with that sword! Tribunes, withdraw a while.

Brutus

277
  1. Lay hands upon him.

Menenius

278 - 279
  1.                     Help Martius, help!
  2. You that be noble, help him, young and old!

Plebeians

280
  1. Down with him, down with him!
  1. In this mutiny the Tribunes, the Aediles, and the People are
  2. beat in and exeunt.

Menenius

281 - 282
  1. To Coriolanus.
  2. Go, get you to your house; be gone, away!
  3. All will be naught else.

Second Roman Senator

283
  1.                          Get you gone.

Coriolanus

284 - 285
  1.               Stand fast,
  2. We have as many friends as enemies.

Menenius

286
  1. Shall it be put to that?

First Roman Senator

287 - 289
  1.                          The gods forbid!
  2. I prithee, noble friend, home to thy house;
  3. Leave us to cure this cause.

Menenius

290 - 291
  1.                              For ’tis a sore upon us
  2. You cannot tent yourself. Be gone, beseech you.

Cominius

292
  1. Come, sir, along with us.

Coriolanus

293 - 295
  1. I would they were barbarians, as they are,
  2. Though in Rome litter’d; not Romans, as they are not,
  3. Though calved i’ th’ porch o’ th’ Capitol!

Menenius

296 - 298
  1.                                            Be gone!
  2. Put not your worthy rage into your tongue;
  3. One time will owe another.

Coriolanus

299 - 300
  1.                            On fair ground
  2. I could beat forty of them.

Menenius

301 - 302
  1.                             I could myself
  2. Take up a brace o’ th’ best of them, yea, the two tribunes.

Cominius

303 - 308
  1. But now ’tis odds beyond arithmetic,
  2. And manhood is call’d foolery when it stands
  3. Against a falling fabric. Will you hence
  4. Before the tag return, whose rage doth rend
  5. Like interrupted waters, and o’erbear
  6. What they are us’d to bear?

Menenius

309 - 312
  1.                             Pray you be gone.
  2. I’ll try whether my old wit be in request
  3. With those that have but little. This must be patch’d
  4. With cloth of any color.

Cominius

313
  1.                          Nay, come away.
  1. Exeunt Coriolanus and Cominius with others.

Patrician

314
  1. This man has marr’d his fortune.

Menenius

315 - 321
  1. His nature is too noble for the world;
  2. He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
  3. Or Jove for’s power to thunder. His heart’s his mouth;
  4. What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent,
  5. And, being angry, does forget that ever
  6. He heard the name of death.
  7. A noise within.
  8. Here’s goodly work!

Patrician

322
  1.                     I would they were a-bed!

Menenius

323 - 324
  1. I would they were in Tiber! What the vengeance,
  2. Could he not speak ’em fair?
  1. Enter Brutus and Sicinius with the rabble again.

Sicinius Velutus

325 - 327
  1.                              Where is this viper
  2. That would depopulate the city and
  3. Be every man himself?

Menenius

328
  1.                       You worthy tribunes

Sicinius Velutus

329 - 333
  1. He shall be thrown down the Tarpeian rock
  2. With rigorous hands. He hath resisted law,
  3. And therefore law shall scorn him further trial
  4. Than the severity of the public power,
  5. Which he so sets at nought.

First Roman Citizen

334 - 336
  1.                             He shall well know
  2. The noble tribunes are the people’s mouths,
  3. And we their hands.

Plebeians

337
  1.                     He shall, sure on’t.

Menenius

338
  1.                      Sir, sir

Sicinius Velutus

339
  1. Peace!

Menenius

340 - 341
  1. Do not cry havoc where you should but hunt
  2. With modest warrant.

Sicinius Velutus

342 - 343
  1.                      Sir, how comes’t that you
  2. Have holp to make this rescue?

Menenius

344 - 346
  1.                                Hear me speak!
  2. As I do know the consul’s worthiness,
  3. So can I name his faults.

Sicinius Velutus

347
  1.                           Consul? What consul?

Menenius

348
  1. The consul Coriolanus.

Brutus

349
  1.                        He consul!

Plebeians

350
  1. No, no, no, no, no.

Menenius

351 - 354
  1. If, by the tribunes’ leave, and yours, good people,
  2. I may be heard, I would crave a word or two,
  3. The which shall turn you to no further harm
  4. Than so much loss of time.

Sicinius Velutus

355 - 360
  1.                            Speak briefly then,
  2. For we are peremptory to dispatch
  3. This viperous traitor. To eject him hence
  4. Were but one danger, and to keep him here
  5. Our certain death; therefore it is decreed
  6. He dies tonight.

Menenius

361 - 365
  1.                  Now the good gods forbid
  2. That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude
  3. Towards her deserved children is enroll’d
  4. In Jove’s own book, like an unnatural dam
  5. Should now eat up her own!

Sicinius Velutus

366
  1. He’s a disease that must be cut away.

Menenius

367 - 375
  1. O, he’s a limb that has but a disease:
  2. Mortal, to cut it off; to cure it, easy.
  3. What has he done to Rome that’s worthy death?
  4. Killing our enemies, the blood he hath lost
  5. (Which, I dare vouch, is more than that he hath
  6. By many an ounce) he dropp’d it for his country;
  7. And what is left, to lose it by his country
  8. Were to us all that do’t and suffer it
  9. A brand to th’ end a’ th’ world.

Sicinius Velutus

376
  1.                                  This is clean kam.

Brutus

377 - 378
  1. Merely awry. When he did love his country,
  2. It honor’d him.

Menenius

379 - 381
  1.                 The service of the foot,
  2. Being once gangren’d, is not then respected
  3. For what before it was.

Brutus

382 - 385
  1.                         We’ll hear no more.
  2. Pursue him to his house and pluck him thence,
  3. Lest his infection, being of catching nature,
  4. Spread further.

Menenius

386 - 391
  1.                 One word more, one word:
  2. This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find
  3. The harm of unscann’d swiftness, will (too late)
  4. Tie leaden pounds to ’s heels. Proceed by process,
  5. Lest parties (as he is belov’d) break out,
  6. And sack great Rome with Romans.

Brutus

392
  1.                                  If it were so

Sicinius Velutus

393 - 395
  1. What do ye talk?
  2. Have we not had a taste of his obedience
  3. Our aediles smote, ourselves resisted? Come.

Menenius

396 - 402
  1. Consider this: he has been bred i’ th’ wars
  2. Since ’a could draw a sword, and is ill school’d
  3. In bolted language; meal and bran together
  4. He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
  5. I’ll go to him, and undertake to bring him
  6. Where he shall answer, by a lawful form
  7. (In peace), to his utmost peril.

First Roman Senator

403 - 406
  1.                                  Noble tribunes,
  2. It is the humane way. The other course
  3. Will prove too bloody; and the end of it
  4. Unknown to the beginning.

Sicinius Velutus

407 - 409
  1.                           Noble Menenius,
  2. Be you then as the people’s officer.
  3. Masters, lay down your weapons.

Brutus

410
  1.                                 Go not home.

Sicinius Velutus

411 - 413
  1. Meet on the market-place. We’ll attend you there;
  2. Where if you bring not Martius, we’ll proceed
  3. In our first way.

Menenius

414 - 416
  1.                   I’ll bring him to you.
  2. To the Senators.
  3. Let me desire your company. He must come,
  4. Or what is worst will follow.

First Roman Senator

417
  1.                               Pray you let’s to him.
  1. Exeunt omnes.
© 2019 Unotate.comcontactprivacy policyCreative Commons text from PlayShakespeare.comAll illustrations are public domain or Creative CommonsHeader illustration by Byam Shaw