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Cor. I muse', my mother

Does not approve me further, who was wont
To call them woollen vassals, things created
To buy or sell with groats; to shew bare heads
In congregations, to yawn, be still, and wonder,
When one but of my ordinance stood up
To speak of peace, or war. [To Vol.] I talk of you;
Why did you wish me milder? Would you
False to my nature? Rather say, I play [me
The man I am.

Enter Menenius, with the Senators.
Men. Come, come, you have been too rough,
something too rough;
You must return and mend it.

Vol. O, sir, sir, sir,
I would have had you put your power well on,
Before you had worn it out.

Cor. Let go.


Vol. You might have been enough the man you 15
With striving less to be so: Lesser had been'
The thwartings of your dispositions, if
You had not shew'd them how you were dispos'd
Ere they lack'd power to cross you.

Cor. Let them hang.

Vol. Ay, and burn too.

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That now it lies on you to speak to the people:
Not by your own instruction, nor by the matter
Which your heart prompts you to; but with such


Cor. Tush, tush!

Men. A good demand.

Vol. If it be honour, in your wars, to seem
The same you are not, (which, for your best ends,
You adopt your policy) how is it less, or worse,
That it shall hold companionship in peace
With honour, as in war; since that to both
It stands in like request?

Cor. Why force you this?
Vol. Because,


That are but roated in your tongue, but bastards,
and syllables

Of no allowance', to your bosom's truth.
10 Now, this no more dishonours you at all,
Than to take in a town with gentle words,
Which else would put you to your fortune, and
The hazard of much blood.-


Before he should thus stoop to the herd', but that
The violent fit o' the time craves it as physick
For the whole state, I would put mine armour on,
Which I can scarcely bear.

Cor. What must I do?

Men. Return to the tribunes.

Vol. You are too absolute;

Though therein you can never be too noble.
But when extremities speak, I have heard you say,
Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends,
I' the war do grow together: Grant that, and

tell me,


Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles;-
And you will rather shew our general lowts'
How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon 'em,
20 For the inheritance of their loves, and safeguard
Of what that want' might ruin.
Men. Noble lady!

I would dissemble with my nature, where
My fortunes, and my friends, at stake, required,
I should do so in honour: I am in this,

Come, go with us; speak fair: you may salve so, Not what is dangerous present, but the loss 25 Of what is past.

Vol. I pr'ythee now, my son,

Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand;

And thus far having stretch'd it, (here be with them)

30 Thy knee bussing the stones, (for in such business
Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant
More learned than the ears) waving thy head,
With often, thus, correcting thy stout heart,
Now humble as the ripest mulberry,

That will not hold the handling: Or, say to them,
Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils,
Hast not the soft way, which, thou dost confess,
Were fit for thee to use, as they to claim,
In asking their good loves; but thou wilt frame
40 Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far
As thou hast power and person.

Men. This but done,

Even as she speaks, why, their hearts were yours: For they have pardons, being ask’d, as free 45 As words to little purpose.

Vol. Pr'ythee now,

[rather Go, and be rul'd: although, I know, thou hadst Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf,

T'han flatter him in a bower. Here is Cominius.

Enter Cominius.

Com. I have been i' the market-place: and, sir, 'tis fit

You make strong party, or defend yourself
55 By calmness, or by absence; all's in anger.
Men. Only fair speech.

Com. I think, 'twill serve, if he
Can thereto frame his spirit.

Vol. He must, and will:

60 Pr'ythee, now, say, you will, and go about it.

3 i. e. the people.


1i. e. I wonder. 2 i, e. my rank. no established rank, or settled authority. i. e. our common clowns. loves. In this place, not seems to signify not only.

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i.e. urge.
i. e. of
'i. e. the want of their


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Vol. At thy choice then :

To beg of thee, it is my more dishonour,
Than thou of them. Come all to ruin; let
Thy mother rather feel thy pride, than fear
Thy dangerous stoutness: for I mock at death
With as big heart as thou. Do as thou list.
Thy valiantness was mine, thou suck'dst it from
But own thy pride thyself.

Cor. Pray, be content;

Mother, I am going to the market-place;
Chide me no more. I'll mountebank their loves,
Cog their hearts from them, and come home be-



Tyrannical power: If he evade us there,
Inforce him with his envy to the people;
15 And that the spoil, got on the Antiates,
Was ne'er distributed.-What, will he come?
Enter an Edile.
Æd. He's coming.

Bru. How accompanied?

Ad. With old Menenius, and those senators
That always favour'd him.
Sic. Have you a catalogue


Of all the voices that we have procur'd,
Set down by the poll?

Ed. I have; 'tis ready.


The Forum.

Enter Sicinius, and Brutus.

Bru. In this point charge him home, that he affects

Of all the trades in Rome. Look, I am going:
Commend me to my wife. I'll return consul;
Or never trust to what my tongue can do
I' the way of flattery, further.

Vol. Do your will.

[Exit l'olumnia. Com. Away; the tribunes do attend you: armo


To answer mildly; for they are prepar❜d
With accusations, as I hear, more strong
Than are upon you yet.

Sic. Have you collected them by tribes?
Ed. I have.


Sic. Assemble presently the people hither;
And when they hear me say, It shall be so,
I'the right and strength o' the commons, be it either
For death, for fine, or banishment, then let them,
If I say fine, cry fine; if death, cry death;
Insisting on the old prerogative


And power i' the truth o' the cause.
Ad. I shall inform them.

[to cry, Bru. And when such time they have begun Let them not cease, but with a din confus'd Inforce the present execution


Of what we chance to sentence.
Ad. Very well.

Sic. Make them be strong, and ready for this


When we shall hap to give 't them.
Bru. Go about it.-
[Exit Edile.
Put him to choler straight: He hath been us'd
Ever to conquer, and to have his worth'

Of contradiction: Being once chaf'd, he cannot
Be rein'd again to temperance; then he speaks
What's in his heart; and that is there, which looks“
With us to break his neck.

Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, and Cominius,
with others.
Sic. Well, here he comes.

Mr. Hawkins explains unbarbed by bare, uncovered; and adds, that in the times of chivalry, when a horse was fully armed and accoutered for the encounter, he was said to be barbed; probably from the old word barbe, which Chaucer uses for a veil or covering. Mr. Steevens, however, says, unbarbed sconce is untrimm'd or unshaven head.-To barb a man was to shave him. 2 i. e. piece, portion; applied to a piece of earth, and here elegantly transferred to the body, carcase. i. e. which played in concert with my drum. * To tent is to take up residence. 1i. e. according to Mr. Malone, He has been used to his worth, or (as we should now say) his pennyworth of contradiction; his full quota or proportion. To look is to wait or expect.-The sense, I believe, is, What he has in his heart, is waiting there to help us to break his neck.


Men. Calmly, I do beseech you.

Cor. Ay, as an ostler, that for the poorest piece Will bear the knave by the volume 1.-The honour'd gods

Keep Rome in safety, and the chairs of justice
Supply'd with worthy men! plant love among us!
Throng our large temples with the shews of peace,
And not our streets with war!

1 Sen. Amen, amen!

Men. A noble wish.

Re-enter the Adile with the Plebeians.


Sic. Draw near, ye people.
Ed. List to your tribunes; audience: Peace, I

Cor. First, hear me speak.

Sic. I do demand,

If you submit you to the people's voices,
Allow their officers, and are content
To suffer lawful censure for such faults

As shall be prov'd upon you?

Cor. I am content.

[sent? 15

Both Tri. Well, say.—Peace, ho.
Cor. Shall I be charg'd no further than this pre-
Must all determine here?

That when he speaks not like a citizen,
You find him like a soldier: Do not take
His rougher accents for malicious sounds;
But, as I say, such as become a soldier,
Rather than envy you.


Com. Well, well, no more.

Cor. What's the matter,

That being past for consul with full voice,
I am so dishonour'd, that the very hour
You take it off again?

-Sic. Answer to us.

What you have seen him do, and heard him speak,
Beating your officers, cursing yourselves,
Opposing laws with strokes, and here defying
Those whose great power must try him; even this,
So critninal, and in such capital kind,
Deserves the extremest death.


Bru. But since he hath
Serv'd well for Rome,-

Cor. What do you prate of service?
Bru. I talk of that, that know it.
Cor. You?


Cor. Say then: 'tis true, I ought so.
Sic. We charge you, that you have contriv'd to
From Rome all season'd' office, and to wind
Yourself into a power tyrannical;
For which, you are a traitor to the people.
Cor. How! Traitor?


Men. Nay; temperately: Your promise.
Cor. The fires i' the lowest hell fold in the people!
Call me their traitor!—Thou injurious tribune!
Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths,
In thine hands clutch'd as many millions, in
Thy lying tongue both numbers; I would say,
Thou liest, unto thee, with a voice as free
As I do pray the gods.

Sic. Mark you this, people?

All.To the rock with him! to the rock with him!
Sic. Peace.

We need not lay new matter to his charge;

(As much as in him lies) from time to time Envy'd against the people, seeking means To pluck away their power; as ' now at last

Men. Lo, citizens, he says he is content:

The warlike service he has done, consider; think 25 Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
Upon the wounds his body bears, which shew
Like graves i' the holy church-yard. [only.
Cor. Scratches with briers,scars to move laughter
Men. Consider further,

Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers
That do distribute it; In the name o' the people,
And in the power of us the tribunes, we,
Even from this instant, banish him our city;
30 In peril of precipitation

From off the rock Tarpeïan, never more
To enter our Rome gates: I' the people's name,
I say, it shall be so.

All. It shall be so, it shall be so; let him away:
35 He's banish'd, and it shall be so. [friends;-
Com. Hear me, my masters, and my common
Sic. He's sentenc'd: no more hearing,
Com. Let me speak:


Men. Is this the promise that you made your
Com. Know, I pray you-

Cor. I'll know no further:

Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeïan death,
Vagabond exile, flaying: Pent to linger
But with a grain a day, I would not buy
Their mercy at the price of one fair word;
Nor check my courage for what they can give,
20 To have't with saying, Good morrow.
Sic. For that he has

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I have been consul, and can shew from Rome, 40 Her enemies' marks upon me. I do love My country's good, with a respect more tender, More holy, and profound, than mine own life, My dear wife's estimate', her womb's increase, And treasure of my loins: then if I would 45 Speak that

Sic. We know your drift: Speak what?
Bru. There's no more to be said, but he is banish'd
As enemy to the people, and his country:
It shall be so.


All. It shall be so, it shall be so.


Cor. You common cry of curs! whose breath I
As reek o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
As the dead carcasses of unburied men
That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
55 And here remain with your uncertainty!

Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
Fan you into despair! have the power still


1i. e. would bear being called a knave as often as would fill out a volume. Envy is here taken at large for malignity, or ill intention. i. e. all office established and settled by time. i. e. behaved with signs of hatred to the people. As, in this instance, would seem to have the power of as well Not stands again for not only. dear wife.


i. e. I love my country beyond the rate at which I value

as. my

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Sic. Go, see him out at gates, and follow him, 5 As he hath follow'd you, with all despight; Give him deserv'd vexation. Let a guard [come:Attend us through the city. All. Come, come, let us see him out at gates; The gods preserve our noble tribunes!-Come. [Exeunt.

[Exeunt Coriolanus, Comin'us, and others. The people shout, and throw up their caps./10



Ad. The people's enemy is gone,
All. Our enemy is banish'd! he is gone! Hoo!



Before the Gates of Rome.

Enter Coriolanus, Volumnia, Virgilia, Menenius,
Cominius, with the young Nobility of Rome.
Cor. COME, leave your tears: a brief farewell!


A noble cunning': you were us'd to load me
With precepts, that would make invincible
The heart that conn'd them.

With many heads butts me away.-Nay, mother, 25
Where is your ancient courage? You were us'd
To say, extremity was the trier of spirits;
That common chances common men could bear:
That, when the sea was calm, all boats alike
Shew'd mastership in floating: fortune's blows,
When most struck home, being gentle wounded,

With cautelous baits and practice.


Vol. My first son,

20 Whither wilt thou go! Take good Cominius
With thee a while: Determine on some course,
More than a wild exposture to each chance
That starts the way before thee.

Cor. O the gods!


Com. I'll follow thee a month, devise with thee
Where thou shalt rest, that thou may'st 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' the absence of the needer.
Cor. Fare ye
Thou hast years upon thee; and thou art too full
Of the war's surfeits, to go rove with one
35 That's yet unbruis'd: 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
40 Hear from me still; and never of me aught
But what is like me formerly.


Vir. O heavens! O heavens!


Cor. Nay, I pr'ythee, woman,-
Vol. Now the red pestilence strike all trades in
And occupations perish!

Cor. What, what, what!

I shall be lov'd,when I am lack'd. Nay, mother,
Kesume 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 sav'd
Your husband so inuch 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, [ral,
And venomous to thine eyes.--My sometime gene-
I have seen thee stern, and thou hast oft beheld 50
Heart-hard'ning spectacles; tell these sad women,
'Tis fond' to wail inevitable strokes,
As 'tis to laugh at them.-My mother, you wot
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 fear'd, and talk'd of more than seen) your
Will, or exceed the common, or be caught


Men. 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.

Cor. Give me thy hand:-Come.


A Street.

Enter Sicinius, and Brutus, with an Ædile. Sic. Bid them all home; he's gone, and we'll no further.

The nobility are vex'd, who, we see, have sided 55 In his behalf.

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

2 The sense is, When fortune strikes her 1 Abated is dejected, subdued, depressed in spirits. 3 i. e. foolish. i. e. by hardest blows, to be wounded, and yet continue calm, requires a generous policy. He calls this • i. e. of calmness cunning, because it is the effect of reflection and philosophy. First, i. e. noblest, and most eminent of men, artful and false tricks, and treason. Sic. true metal unallay'd: a metaphor taken from trying gold on the touchstone.



Sic. Bid them home:

Say, their great enemy is gone, and they
Stand in their ancient strength.

Bru. Dismiss them home.

[Exit Edile.

Enter Volumnia, Virgilia, and Menenius. Here comes his mother.

Sic. Let's not meet her.

Bru. Why?

Sic. They say she's mad.
Bru. They have ta'en note of us:

Keep on your way.

[o' the gods Vol. O, you're well met: The hoarded plague Requite your love!

Men. Peace, peace; be not so loud. [hear;-
Vol. If that I could for weeping, you should 15
Nay,and you shall hear some.-Will you be gone:
[To Brutus.
Vir. [To Sicin.] You shall stay too: I would,
I had the power
To say so to my husband.

Sic. Are you mankind'?

[fool.Vol. Ay, tool; Is that a shame?-Note but this Was not a man my father? Hadst thou foxship To banish him that struck more blows for Rome, Than thou hast spoken words?

Sic. O blessed heavens!


Vol. More noble blows, than ever thou wise And for Rome's good.-I'll tell thee what ;-Yet

Sic. What then?

Vir. What then?

He'd make an end of thy posterity.

Vol. Bastards, and all.

Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome!
Men. Come, come, peace,

Sic. I would he had continu'd to his country,
As he began; and not unknit himself
The noble knot he made.

Bru. I would he had.


Vol. I would he had?-'Twas you incens'd the
Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth,
As I can of those mysteries which heaven
Will not have earth to know.

But to confirm my curses! Could I meet 'em
But once a-day, it would unclog my heart
Of what lies heavy to 't.

Men. You have told them home, [with me? 5And, by my troth, you have cause. You'll sup

Vol, Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself,
And so shall starve with feeding.-Conre, let's go:
Leave this faint puling, and lament as I do,
In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come.
Men. Fie, fie, fie!





Nay, but thou shalt stay too:-I would my son
Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him,
His good sword in his hand.

Bru. Pray, let us go.

Vol. 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 banish'd, does exceed you
Bru. Well, well, we'll leave you.
Sic. Why stay we to be baited
With one that wants her wits?


Vol. Take my prayers with you.— I would the gods had nothing else to do, [Exeunt Tribunes.


Between Rome and Antium.

Enter a Roman, and a Folce.

Rom. I know you well, sir, and you know me: your name, I think, is Adrian.

Vol. It is so, sir: truly, I have forgot you.
Rom. I am a Roman; and my services are, as
you are, against 'em: Know you me yet?
Vol. Nicanor? No.


Rom. The same, sir.

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


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

Vol. 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.

Rom. The main blaze of it is past, but a small 35thing 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. 40 glowing, I can tell you, and is almost mature for the violent breaking out.

Vol. Coriolanus banish'd?

Rom. Banish'd, sir.

Vol. You will be welcome with this intelli45gence, Nicanor.

Rom. 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 50well in these wars, his great opposer Coriolanus being now in no request of his country.

Vol. He cannot choose. I am most fortunate, thus accidentally to encounter you: You have ended my business, and I will merrily accom55pany you home.

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

' Dr. Johnson here remarks, that the word mankind is used maliciously by the first speaker, and taken perversely by the second. A mankind woman is a woman with the roughness of a man, and, in an aggravated sense, a woman ferocious, violent, and eager to shed blood. In this sense Sicinius asks Volumnia, if she be mankind. She takes mankind for a human creature, and accordingly cries out; "Note but this fool.-Was not a man my father?" i. e. cunning enough.

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