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Than camels in the war, who have their provand
Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows

For sinking under them.


This, as you say, suggested
At some time when his soaring insolence
Shall touch the people-which time shall not want,
If he be put upon 't; and that's as easy

As to set dogs on sheep-will be his fire

To kindle their dry stubble; and their blaze
Shall darken him for ever.



Enter a Messenger.

What's the matter?

Mess. You are sent for to the Capitol. 'Tis


That Marcius shall be consul:

I have seen the dumb men throng to see him and
The blind to hear him speak: matrons flung


Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchers,

Upon him as he pass'd: the nobles bended,

As to Jove's statue, and the commons made

A shower and thunder with their caps and shouts :
I never saw the like.


Let's to the Capitol;

And carry with us ears and eyes for the time,

But hearts for the event.


Have with you. [Exeunt.


The same.

The Capitol.

Enter two Officers, to lay cushions.

First Off. Come, come, they are almost here. How many stand for consulships?

267. provand, provender.


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Sec. Off Three, they say: but 'tis thought of every one Coriolanus will carry it.

First Off. That's a brave fellow; but he's vengeance proud, and loves not the common people.

Sec. Off Faith, there have been many great men that have flattered the people, who ne'er loved them; and there be many that they have 10 loved, they know not wherefore: so that, if they love they know not why, they hate upon no better a ground: therefore, for Coriolanus neither to care whether they love or hate him manifests the true knowledge he has in their disposition; and out of his noble carelessness lets them plainly see 't.

First Off. If he did not care whether he had their love or no, he waved indifferently 'twixt doing them neither good nor harm: but he seeks 20 their hate with greater devotion than they can render it him, and leaves nothing undone that may fully discover him their opposite. Now, to seem to affect the malice and displeasure of the people is as bad as that which he dislikes, to flatter them for their love.

Sec. Off. He hath deserved worthily of his country and his ascent is not by such easy degrees as those who, having been supple and courteous to the people, bonneted, without any 30 further deed to have them at all into their estimation and report: but he hath so planted his honours in their eyes, and his actions in their hearts, that for their tongues to be silent, and not confess so much, were a kind of ingrateful injury; to report otherwise, were a malice, that,

19. he waved, he would wave.
23. discover, prove.

30. bonneted, saluted.
31. have, get.

giving itself the lie, would pluck reproof and rebuke from every ear that heard it.

First Off. No more of him; he's a worthy man: make way, they are coming.

A sennet. Enter, with Lictors before them,
Senators, SICINIUS and BRUTUS. The Senators
take their places; the Tribunes take their
places by themselves. CORIOLANUS stands.
Men. Having determined of the Volsces and
To send for Titus Lartius, it remains,

As the main point of this our after-meeting,
To gratify his noble service that

Hath thus stood for his country: therefore, please


Most reverend and grave elders, to desire

The present consul, and last general
In our well-found successes, to report
A little of that worthy work perform'd

By Caius Marcius Coriolanus, whom

We met here both to thank and to remember
With honours like himself.

First Sen.

Speak, good Cominius:

Leave nothing out for length, and make us think
Rather our state's defective for requital

Than we to stretch it out. [To the Tribunes]
Masters o' the people,

We do request your kindest ears, and after,
Your loving motion toward the common body,

To yield what passes here.


We are convented

Upon a pleasing treaty, and have hearts.

Inclinable to honour and advance

The theme of our assembly.




Which the rather

We shall be blest to do, if he remember
A kinder value of the people than
He hath hereto prized them at.


That's off, that's off;
Please you

I would you rather had been silent.
To hear Cominius speak?


Most willingly;

He loves your people;

But yet my caution was more pertinent
Than the rebuke you give it.


But tie him not to be their bedfellow.

Worthy Cominius, speak. [Coriolanus offers to go away.] Nay, keep your place.

First Sen. Sit, Coriolanus; never shame to hear What you have nobly done.


Your honours' pardon:

I had rather have my wounds to heal again

Than hear say how I got them.


My words disbench'd you not.

Sir, I hope

No, sir: yet oft,

Cor. When blows have made me stay, I fled from words. You soothed not, therefore hurt not: but your


I love them as they weigh.


Pray now, sit down. Cor. I had rather have one scratch my head

i' the sun

When the alarum were struck than idly sit

To hear my nothings monster'd.




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Your multiplying spawn how can he flatterThat's thousand to one good one-when you now


He had rather venture all his limbs for honour

Than one on 's ears to hear it? Proceed, Cominius.

Com. I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus
Should not be utter'd feebly. It is held

That valour is the chiefest virtue, and
Most dignifies the haver: if it be,

The man I speak of cannot in the world

Be singly counterpoised. At sixteen years,
When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought
Beyond the mark of others: our then dictator,
Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight,
When with his Amazonian chin he drove
The bristled lips before him: he bestrid
An o'er-press'd Roman and i' the consul's view
Slew three opposers: Tarquin's self he met,
And struck him on his knee: in that day's feats,
When he might act the woman in the scene,
He proved best man i' the field, and for his meed
Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age
Man-enter'd thus, he waxed like a sea,

And in the brunt of seventeen battles since

He lurch'd all swords of the garland. For this last,
Before and in Corioli, let me say,

I cannot speak him home: he stopp'd the fliers ;
And by his rare example made the coward

Turn terror into sport: as weeds before

A vessel under sail, so men obey'd

And fell below his stem: his sword, death's stamp,
Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot
He was a thing of blood, whose every motion
Was timed with dying cries: alone he enter'd
The mortal gate of the city, which he painted
With shunless destiny; aidless came off,
And with a sudden re-inforcement struck
Corioli like a planet: now all's his :

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who entered it alone,-in the thought of those who looked


116. shunless, inevitable,

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