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I CIT. And to make us no better thought of, a little help will serve; for once we stood up about the corn, he himself stuck not to call us-the manyheaded multitude.

3 CIT. We have been called so of many; not that our heads are some brown, some black, some auburn, some bald, but that our wits are so diversely coloured and truly I think, if all our wits were to issue out of one skull, they would fly east, west, north, south; and their consent of one direct way should be at once to all the points 'o' the compass. 2 CIT. Think you so? which way do you judge my wit would fly?

I CIT. You have been a scourge to her enemies, you have been a rod to her friends; you have not, indeed, loved the common people.

COR. You should account me the more virtuous, that I have not been common in my love. I will, sir, flatter my sworn brother, the people, to earn a dearer estimation of them; 'tis a condition they account gentle and since the wisdom of their choice is rather to have my hat than my heart, I will practise the insinuating nod, and be off to them most counterfeitly; that is, sir, I will counterfeit the bewitchment of some popular man, and give it bountiful to the desirers. Therefore, beseech you, I may be consul,

3 CIT. Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another man's will,-'tis strongly wedged up in a block- 2 CIT. We hope to find you our friend; and therehead but if it were at liberty, 'twould, sure, south-fore give you our voices heartily. ward. I CIT. You have received many wounds for your country.

2 CIT. Why that way?

3 CIT. To lose itself in a fog; where being three parts melted away with rotten dews, the fourth would return for conscience sake, to help to get thee a wife.

2 CIT. You are never without your tricks :-you may, you may.

3 CIT. Are you all resolved to give your voices? But that's no matter, the greater part carries it. I say, if he would incline to the people, there was never a worthier man.-Here he comes, and in the gown of humility: mark his behaviour. We are not to stay all together, but to come by him where he stands, by ones, by twos, and by threes. He's to make his requests by particulars; wherein every one of us has a single honour, in giving him our own voices with our own tongues: therefore follow me, and I'll direct you how you shall go by him. ALL. Content, content.



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you to't.

COR. Mine own desert.

2 CIT. Your own desert ?

COR. Ay, not my own desire.

I CIT. How! not your own desire? COR. No, sir: 'twas never my desire yet, to trouble the poor with begging.

I CIT. You must think, if we give you anything, we hope to gain by you. COR. Well then, I pray, your price o' the consulship?

i CIT. The price is, to ask it kindly. COR. Kindly! Sir, I pray, let me ha't: I have wounds to show you, which shall be yours in private. -Your good voice, sir; what say you? 2 CIT. You shall ha't, worthy sir.

COR. I will not seal your knowledge with showing them. I will make much of your voices, and so trouble you no farther.

Re-enter MENENIUS, with BRUTUS and SICINIUS. MEN. You have stood your limitation; And the tribunes endue you with the people's voice: Remains that, in the official marks invested, You anon do meet the senate. COR. Is this done? SIC. The custom of request you have discharg'd: The people do admit you; and are summon'd To meet anon, upon your approbation. COR. Where? at the senate-house? SIC. There, Coriolanus. COR. May I change these garments?


You may, sir.
COR. That I'll straight do; and, knowing myself
Repair to the senate-house.

MEN. I'll keep you company.-Will you along? BRU. We stay here for the people. SIC. Fare you well. [Exeunt CORIOL. and MENEN. He has it now; and by his looks, methinks, [Excunt. 'Tis warm at's heart.

BOTH CIT. The gods give you joy, sir, heartily!

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COR. Most sweet voices !-
Better it is to die, better to starve,
Than crave the hire which first we do deserve.
Why in this woolvish gown should I stand here,
To beg of Hob and Dick, that do appear,
Their needless vouches? Custom calls me to't :-
What custom wills, in all things should we do't,
The dust on antique time would lie unswept,
And mountainous error be too highly heap'd
For truth to over-peer.-Rather than fool it so,
Let the high office and the honour go

To one that would do thus.-I am half through;
The one part suffer'd, the other will I do.-
Here come more voices.-

Enter three other Citizens.

COR. A match, sir?-There's in all two worthy Your voices! for your voices I have fought; voices begged:-I have your alms; adieu.

I CIT. But this is something odd.

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Watch'd for your voices; for your voices bear
Of wounds two dozen odd; battles thrice six
I have seen, and heard of; for your voices have
Done many things, some less, some more :
Your voices! Indeed, I would be consul.

I CIT. He has done nobly, and cannot go without any honest man's voice.

2 CIT. Therefore let him be consul: the gods give him joy, and make him good friend to the people! ALL. Amen, amen.. -God save thee, noble [Exeunt Citizens.


COR. Worthy voices !

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Your most sweet voices:-now you have left your voices,

I have no further with you :—was not this mockery?
SIC. Why, either were you ignorant to see't,
Or, seeing it, of such childish friendliness

To yield your voices?
Could you not have told him,
As you were lesson'd,-when he had no power,
But was a petty servant to the state,
He was your enemy; ever spake against

Your liberties, and the charters that you bear
I' the body of the weal: and now, arriving
A place of potency, and sway o' the state,
If he should still malignantly remain
Fast foe to the plebeii, your voices might

Be curses to yourselves? You should have said,
That as his worthy deeds did claim no less
Than what he stood for, so his gracious nature
Would think upon you for your voices,

And translate his malice towards you into love,
Standing your friendly lord.

Thus to have said,
As you were fore-advis'd, had touch'd his spirit
And tried his inclination; from him pluck'd
Either his gracious promise, which you might,
As cause had call'd you up, have held him to;
Or else it would have gall'd his surly nature,
Which easily endures not article

Tying him to aught; so, putting him to rage,
You should have ta'en the advantage of his choler,
And pass'd him unelected.

Did you perceive,
He did solicit you in free contempt,
When he did need your loves; and do you think
That his contempt shall not be bruising to you,
When he hath power to crush? Why, had your

No heart among you? or had you tongues to cry
Against the rectorship of judgment?

SIC. Have you, ere now, denied the asker?
And now again, of him that did not ask, but mock,
Bestow your su'd-for tongues?

3 CIT. He's not confirm'd; we may deny him yet. 2 CIT. And will deny him :

I'll have five hundred voices of that sound.

I CIT. I twice five hundred, and their friends to piece 'em.

BRU. Get you hence instantly; and tell those friends,

They have chose a consul, that will from them take
Their liberties; make them of no more voice
Than dogs, that are as often beat for barking,
As therefore kept to do so.
Let them assemble;
And, on a safer judgment, all revoke
Your ignorant election: enforce his pride,
And his old hate unto you: besides, forget not
With what contempt he wore the humble weed;
How in his suit he scorn'd you: but your loves,
Thinking upon his services, took from you
The apprehension of his present portance,
Which most gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion
After the inveterate hate he bears you.

BRU. Lay a fault on us, your tribunes;
That we labour'd (no impediment between)
But that you must cast your election on him.
SIC. Say, you chose him more after our command-


Than as guided by your own true affections; and that,

Your minds, pre-occupied with what you rather must do,

Than what you should, made you against the grain To voice him consul: lay the fault on us.

BRU. Ay, spare us not. Say we read lectures to you

How youngly he began to serve his country,
How long continued; and what stock he springs

The noble house o' the Marcians; from whence came
That Ancus Marcius, Numa's daughter's son,
Who, after great Hostilius, here was king;
Of the same house Publius and Quintus were,
That our best water brought by conduits hither;
[And Censorinus, darling of the people,]
And nobly nam'd so, twice being censor,
Was his great ancestor.
One thus descended,
That hath beside well in his person wrought
To be set high in place, we did commend
To your remembrances: but you have found,
Scaling his present bearing with his past,
That he's your fixed enemy, and revoke
Your sudden approbation.

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Say, you ne'er had done't, (Harp on that still) but by our putting on: And presently, when you have drawn your number, Repair to the Capitol.

CITIZENS. We will so: almost all repent in their election. [Exeunt Citizens.

BRU. Let them go on;
This mutiny were better put in hazard,
Than stay, past doubt, for greater :
If, as his nature is, he fall in rage
With their refusal, both observe and answer
The vantage of his anger.
To the Capitol :
Come; we'll be there before the stream o' the

And this shall seem, as partly 'tis, their own,
Which we have goaded onward.


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As for my country I have shed my blood,
Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs
Coin words till their decay against those meazels,
Which we disdain should tetter us, yet sought
The very way to catch them.

BRU. You speak o' the people as if you were a god

To punish, not a man of their infirmity.

Sic. 'Twere well, we let the people know't.
MEN. What, what? his choler?

COR. Choler! Were I as patient as the midnight
By Jove, 'twould be my mind!
It is a mind
That shall remain a poison where it is,
Not poison any further.


Shall remain

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O, good, but most unwise patricians, why!
You grave, but reckless senators, have you thus
Given Hydra here to choose an officer,
That with his peremptory shall, being but
The horn and noise o' the monster, wants not spirit

COм. The people are abus'd.-Set on.-This To say he'll turn your current in a ditch,


Becomes not Rome; nor has Coriolanus
Deserv'd this so dishonour'd rub, laid falsely

I' the plain way of his merit.

Tell me of corn!
This was my speech, and I will speak't again,-
MEN. Not now, not now.
Not in this heat, sir, now.
COR. Now, as I live, I will.-My nobler friends,
I crave their pardons:-

And make your channel his? If he have power,
Then vail your ignorance; if none, awake
Your dangerous lenity. If you are learn'd,
Be not as common fools; if you are not,

Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians,
If they be senators; and they are no less,
When, both your voices blended, the great'st taste
Most palates theirs. They choose their magistrate;
And such a one as he, who puts his shall,
His popular shall, against a graver bench

Than ever frown'd in Greece! By Jove himself,

It makes the consuls base! and my soul aches
To know, when two authorities are up,
Neither supreme, how soon confusion

May enter 'twixt the gap of both, and take
The one by t'other.

Well,-on to the market-place.
COR. Whoever gave that counsel, to give forth
The corn o' the storehouse gratis, as 'twas us'd
Sometime in Greece,--
Well, well, no more of that.
COR. Though there the people had more absolute

I say, they nourish'd disobedience,
Fed the ruin of the state.

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Why, shall the people give One that speaks thus their voice? COR.

I'll give my reasons, More worthier than their voices. They know the


Was not our recompense, resting well assur'd

To unstable slightness: purpose so barr'd, it follows, Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore, beseech


You that will be less fearful than discreet ;
That love the fundamental part of state,
More than you doubt the change on't; that prefer
A noble life before a long, and wish
To jump a body with a dangerous physic
That's sure of death without it,-at once pluck out
The multitudinous tongue; let them not lick
The sweet which is their poison: your dishonour
Mangles true judgment, and bereaves the state
Of that integrity which should become't;
Not having the power to do the good it would,
For the ill which doth control it.
H'as said enough.
SIC. H'as spoken like a traitor, and shall answer
As traitors do.

COR. Thou wretch, despite o'erwhelm thee!What should the people do with these bald tri


They ne'er did service for't: being press'd to the On whom depending, their obedience fails
To the greater bench: in a rebellion,


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Did not deserve corn gratis: being i' the war Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they show'd Most valour, spoke not for them: the accusations Which they have often made against the senate, All cause unborn, could never be the motive Of our so frank donation; well, what then? How shall this bisson multitude digest The senate's courtesy? Let deeds express What's like to be their words :-We did request it; We are the greater poll, and in true fear They gave us our demands:-thus we debase The nature of our seats, and make the rabble Call our cares fears; which will in time break ope The locks o' the senate, and bring in the crows To peck the eagles.


Come, enough.
BRU. Enough, with over-measure.
No, take more:
What may be sworn by, both divine and human,
Seal what I end withal !-This double worship,-
Where one part does disdain with cause, the other
Insult without all reason; where gentry, title,

Cannot conclude but by the yea and no
Of general ignorance,-it must omit

Real necessities, and give way the while

Let what is meet be said it must be meet,
And throw their power i' the dust.
BRU. Manifest treason!

This a consul? no.
BRU. The ædiles, ho!-Let him be apprehended.
SIC. Go, call the people;-[Exit BRUTUS.] in
whose name, myself

Attach thee, as a traitorous innovator,

A foe to the public weal: obey, I charge thee,
And follow to thine answer.

Hence, old goat!
SEN. AND PAT. We'll surety him.
Ag'd sir, hands off.
COR. Hence, rotten thing! or I shall shake thy
Out of thy garments.

Help, ye citizens !

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This deserves death.

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No; I'll die here. [Drawing his sword. There's some among you have beheld me fighting; Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me. MEN. Down with that sword!-Tribunes, withdraw awhile.

BRU. Lay hands upon him! MEN. Help Marcius, help, You that be noble ! help him, young and old! CITIZENS. Down with him, down with him! [In this mutiny, the Tribunes, the Ediles, and the People, are beat out. MEN. Go, get you to your house; be gone, away!All will be nought else.

2 SEN.


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We have as many friends as enemies. MEN. Shall it be put to that?

I Sen.

I pr'ythee, noble friend, home to thy house;
Leave us to cure this cause.
For 'tis a sore upon us,
You cannot tent yourself: begone, 'beseech you.
COм. Come, sir, along with us.

COR. I would they were barbarians, (as they are,
Though in Rome litter'd) not Romans, (as they are not,
Though calv'd i' the porch o' the Capitol)--
Be gone;
Put not your worthy rage into your tongue;
One time will owe another.


COR. On fair ground, I could beat forty of them.
MEN. I could myself take up a brace o' the best
of them; yea, the two tribunes.
COм. But now 'tis odds beyond arithmetic;

Re-enter BRUTUS, with the Ediles, and a rabble of And manhood is call'd foolery, when it stands

MEN. On both sides more respect.

Against a falling fabric.-Will you hence, Before the tag return? whose rage doth rend SIC. Here's he, that would take from you all your Like interrupted waters, and o'erbear power. What they are us'd to bear. BRU. Seize him, Ediles! ΜΕΝ. Pray you, be gone : I'll try whether my old wit be in request With those that have but little: this must be patch'd With cloth of any colour.

2 SEN.

CITIZENS. Down with him! down with him! Weapons, weapons, weapons! [They all bustle about CORIOLANUS.

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Speak briefly, then;
For we are peremptory to despatch
This viperous traitor: to eject him hence,
Were but one danger; and to keep him here
Our certain death; therefore, it is decreed,
He dies to-night.
Now the good gods forbid
That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude
Towards her deserved children is enroll'd
In Jove's own book, like an unnatural dam
Should now eat up her own!

SIC. He's a disease that must be cut away.
MEN. O, he's a limb that has but a disease;
Mortal, to cut it off; to cure it, easy.
What has he done to Rome that's worthy death?
Killing our enemies, the blood he hath lost,
(Which, I dare vouch, is more than that he hath,
By many an ounce) he dropp'd it for his country:
And what is left, to lose it by his country,

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VOL. You are too absolute: though therein you can never be too noble.

You worthy tribunes,

SIC. He shall be thrown down the Tarpeian rock.
With rigorous hands he hath resisted law,
And therefore law shall scorn him further trial
Than the severity of the public power,
Which he so sets at nought.


The noble tribunes are the people's mouths,
And we their hands.

He shall well know,


He shall, sure on't.

MEN. Sir, sir,—

[Several speak together.

SIC. Peace!

MEN. Do not cry, Havoc, where you should but With modest warrant.

SIC. Sir, how comes't that you have holp To make this rescue ?


Were to us all, that do't and suffer it,
A brand to the end o' the world.

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Pray, be counsell'd:
This is clean kam. I have a heart as little apt as yours,
BRU. Merely awry: when he did love his country, But yet a brain that leads my use of anger,
It honour'd him.
To better vantage.
The service of the foot
Being once gangren'd, is not then respected
For what before it was?
We'll hear no more..
Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence,
Lest his infection, being of catching nature,
Spread further.

One word more, one word.
This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find
The harm of unscann'd swiftness, will, too late,
Tie leaden pounds to's heels. Proceed by process;
Lest parties (as he is belov'd) break out
And sack great Rome with Romans.
SIC. What do ye talk?
Consul!-what consul? Have we not had a taste of his obedience?
Our Ediles smote ! ourselves resisted!-come,-
MEN. Consider this ;-he has been bred i' the

Hear me speak

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MEN. If, by the tribunes' leave, and yours, good Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school'd


I may be heard, I'd crave a word or two;
The which shall turn you to no further harm,
Than so much loss of time.

In boulted language; meal and bran together
He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
I'll go to him, and undertake to bring him
Where he shall answer, by a lawful form,

Well said, noble woman!
Before he should thus stoop to the herd, but that
The violent fit o' the time craves it as physic
For the whole state, I'd put mine armour on,
Which I can scarcely bear.


What must I do?

MEN. Return to the tribunes.

COR. Well, what then? what then?

MEN. Repent what you have spoke.

COR. For them?-I cannot do it to the gods;
Must I, then, do't to them?

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,
In peace, what each of them by the other lose,
That they combine not there.

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

Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles;
And you will rather show our general louts

How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon 'em,
For the inheritance of their loves, and safeguard
Of what that want might ruin.

Noble lady!

Come, go with us; speak fair: you may salve so,
Not what is dangerous present, but the loss
Of what is past.
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)
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,
Which 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
Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far
As thou hast power and person.

This but done,

Even as she speaks, why, their hearts were yours: For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free

As words to little purpose.


Pr'ythee now,

Go, and be rul'd; although I know thou hadst rather

Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf,

Than flatter him in a bower. Here is Cominius.


COM. I have been i' the market-place; and, sir,
'tis fit

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

I think 'twill serve,
If he can thereto frame his spirit.
He must, and will :-
Pr'ythee now, say you will, and go about it.
COR. Must I go show them my unbarbed sconce ?
Must I with my base tongue give to my noble

A lie, that it must bear ! Well, I will do't:
Yet were there but this single plot to lose,
This mould of Marcius, they to dust should grind

And throw't against the wind.-To the marketplace :

You have put me now to such a part, which never
I shall discharge to the life.


Come, come, we'll prompt you. VOL. I pr'ythee now, sweet son,—as thou hast said

My praises made thee first a soldier, so,
To have my praise for this, perform a part
Thou hast not done before.

Well, I must do't:
Away, my disposition, and possess me
Some harlot's spirit! my throat of war be turn'd,
Which quired with my drum, into a pipe
Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice
That babies lulls asleep! the smiles of knaves
Tent in my cheeks; and schoolboys' tears take up
The glasses of my sight! a beggar's tongue
Make motion through my lips; and my arm'd

Who bow'd but in my stirrup, bend like his
That hath receiv'd an alms-I will not do't;
Lest I surcease to honour mine own truth,
And, by my body's action, teach my rind
A most inherent baseness.


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 me; But owe 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 belov'd

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MEN. A noble wish.


Re-enter ÆDILE, with Citizens.
Draw near, ye people.
ED. List to your tribunes; audience! peace, I

COR. First, hear me speak.

Well, say.-Peace, ho!
COR. Shall I be charg'd no further than this
Must all determine here?
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?

I am content.
MEN. Lo, citizens, he says he is content.
The warlike service he has done, consider; think
Upon the wounds his body bears, which show
Like graves i' the holy churchyard.

Scars to move laughter only.

Scratches with briers,

Consider further.

COR. The word is, mildly :—pray you, let us go: That when he speaks not like a citizen,
Let them accuse me by invention, I
Will answer in mine honour.

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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.


Well, well, no more. COR. What is the matter,

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


Answer to us.

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Call me their traitor !--Thou injurious tribune!
Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths,
In thy 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!

Mark you this, people?
CITIZENS. To the rock! to the rock with him!
We need not put new matter to his charge:
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 criminal, and in such capital kind,
Deserves the extremest death.

BRU. But since he hath serv'd well for Rome,-
What do you prate of service?
BRU. I talk of that, that know it.

MEN. Is this the promise that you made your

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I'll know no further: Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,

SIC. Make them be strong, and ready for this Vagabond exile, flaying, pent to linger hint,

When we shall hap to give't them.

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.

SIC. Well, here he comes.

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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,
To have't with saying, Good morrow.
For that he has
(As much as in him lies) from time to time
Envied against the people, seeking means
To pluck away their power; has now at last
Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers
That do distribute it; in the name o' the people,
Even from this instant, banish him our city;
And in the power of us the tribunes, we,
In peril of precipitation

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

CITIZENS. It shall be so! it shall be so! let him away!

He's banish'd, and it shall be so !

COм. Hear me, my masters, and my common friends,

SIC. He's sentenc'd; no more hearing.

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