Coriolanus

Folger Shakespeare Library

http://www.folgerdigitaltexts.org


From the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library

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Director, Folger Shakespeare Library



Textual Introduction
By Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine

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Synopsis

As Coriolanus begins, two Roman patricians, Menenius and Martius, calm a revolt by the city’s famished plebians. Martius, who despises the plebians, announces that their petition to be represented by tribunes has been granted. When Volscian invaders attack Roman territories, Martius helps lead the Roman forces, and almost single-handedly conquers the Volscian city of Corioles, winning the name “Coriolanus.” The Volscian leader, Aufidius, swears revenge.

Victorious in battle, Coriolanus expects to be made a consul, but by custom he must ask for votes from the plebians. He does this so contemptuously that he is rejected as a consul. The tribunes later charge Coriolanus with treason and banish him from Rome. He seeks his former enemy, Aufidius.

Coriolanus and Aufidius join forces to conquer Rome. On the brink of success, Coriolanus is persuaded by his mother, Volumnia, to spare the city, though he knows it may cost him his life. Aufidius and his fellow conspirators plot Coriolanus’s death. Coriolanus returns to Corioles, where he is assassinated. Rome honors Volumnia for saving the city.


Characters in the Play
Caius Martius, later Caius Martius Coriolanus
Volumnia, his mother
Virgilia, his wife
Young Martius, their son
Valeria, friend to Volumnia and Virgilia
A Gentlewoman, Volumnia’s attendant
Menenius Agrippa, patrician
Cominius, patrician and general
Titus Lartius, patrician and military officer
Sicinius Velutus, tribune
Junius Brutus, tribune
Roman Senators, Patricians, Nobles
Roman Lieutenant
Roman Officers
Roman Aediles
Roman Herald
Roman Soldiers
Roman Citizens or Plebeians
Roman Messengers
A Roman defector, Nicanor
Tullus Aufidius, general of the Volscians
Volscian Conspirators of his faction
Three of his Servingmen
Volscian Senators, Lords
Volscian Lieutenant
Volscian Soldiers
Two of the Volscian Watch
Volscian People
A Volscian spy, Adrian
Citizen of Antium
Roman Lords, Gentry, Captains, Lictors, Trumpeters, Drummers, Musicians, Attendants, and Usher

ACT 1
Scene 1
Enter a company of mutinous Citizens with staves,
clubs, and other weapons.


FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 0001Before we proceed any further, hear me
FTLN 0002 speak.
ALL  FTLN 0003Speak, speak!
FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 0004You are all resolved rather to die than to
FTLN 00055 famish?
ALL  FTLN 0006Resolved, resolved!
FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 0007First, you know Caius Martius is chief
FTLN 0008 enemy to the people.
ALL  FTLN 0009We know ’t, we know ’t!
FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 001010Let us kill him, and we’ll have corn at
FTLN 0011 our own price. Is ’t a verdict?
ALL  FTLN 0012No more talking on ’t; let it be done. Away, away!
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 0013One word, good citizens.
FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 0014We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians
FTLN 001515 good. What authority surfeits on would
FTLN 0016 relieve us. If they would yield us but the superfluity
FTLN 0017 while it were wholesome, we might guess they
FTLN 0018 relieved us humanely. But they think we are too
FTLN 0019 dear. The leanness that afflicts us, the object of our
FTLN 002020 misery, is as an inventory to particularize their
FTLN 0021 abundance; our sufferance is a gain to them. Let
FTLN 0022 us revenge this with our pikes ere we become
7

9
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 1

FTLN 0023 rakes; for the gods know I speak this in hunger for
FTLN 0024 bread, not in thirst for revenge.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 002525Would you proceed especially against
FTLN 0026 Caius Martius?
ALL  FTLN 0027Against him first. He’s a very dog to the
FTLN 0028 commonalty.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 0029Consider you what services he has
FTLN 003030 done for his country?
FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 0031Very well, and could be content to give
FTLN 0032 him good report for ’t, but that he pays himself
FTLN 0033 with being proud.
editorial emendationSECOND CITIZENeditorial emendation  FTLN 0034Nay, but speak not maliciously.
FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 003535I say unto you, what he hath done
FTLN 0036 famously he did it to that end. Though soft-conscienced
FTLN 0037 men can be content to say it was for
FTLN 0038 his country, he did it to please his mother and to be
FTLN 0039 partly proud, which he is, even to the altitude of
FTLN 004040 his virtue.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 0041What he cannot help in his nature you
FTLN 0042 account a vice in him. You must in no way say he
FTLN 0043 is covetous.
FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 0044If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations.
FTLN 004545 He hath faults, with surplus, to tire in
FTLN 0046 repetition.  (Shouts within.) What shouts are these?
FTLN 0047 The other side o’ th’ city is risen. Why stay we prating
FTLN 0048 here? To th’ Capitol!
ALL  FTLN 0049Come, come!

Enter Menenius Agrippa.

FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 005050Soft, who comes here?
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 0051Worthy Menenius Agrippa, one that
FTLN 0052 hath always loved the people.
FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 0053He’s one honest enough. Would all the
FTLN 0054 rest were so!

11
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 1

MENENIUS 
FTLN 005555 What work ’s, my countrymen, in hand? Where go
FTLN 0056 you
FTLN 0057 With bats and clubs? The matter? Speak, I pray you.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 0058Our business is not unknown to th’
FTLN 0059 Senate. They have had inkling this fortnight what
FTLN 006060 we intend to do, which now we’ll show ’em in
FTLN 0061 deeds. They say poor suitors have strong breaths;
FTLN 0062 they shall know we have strong arms too.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 0063 Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest
FTLN 0064 neighbors,
FTLN 006565 Will you undo yourselves?
SECOND CITIZEN 
FTLN 0066 We cannot, sir; we are undone already.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 0067 I tell you, friends, most charitable care
FTLN 0068 Have the patricians of you. For your wants,
FTLN 0069 Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well
FTLN 007070 Strike at the heaven with your staves as lift them
FTLN 0071 Against the Roman state, whose course will on
FTLN 0072 The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs
FTLN 0073 Of more strong link asunder than can ever
FTLN 0074 Appear in your impediment. For the dearth,
FTLN 007575 The gods, not the patricians, make it, and
FTLN 0076 Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack,
FTLN 0077 You are transported by calamity
FTLN 0078 Thither where more attends you, and you slander
FTLN 0079 The helms o’ th’ state, who care for you like fathers,
FTLN 008080 When you curse them as enemies.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 0081Care for us? True, indeed! They ne’er
FTLN 0082 cared for us yet. Suffer us to famish, and their
FTLN 0083 storehouses crammed with grain; make edicts for
FTLN 0084 usury to support usurers; repeal daily any wholesome
FTLN 008585 act established against the rich, and provide
FTLN 0086 more piercing statutes daily to chain up and restrain

13
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 1

FTLN 0087 the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will;
FTLN 0088 and there’s all the love they bear us.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 0089 Either you must confess yourselves wondrous
FTLN 009090 malicious
FTLN 0091 Or be accused of folly. I shall tell you
FTLN 0092 A pretty tale. It may be you have heard it,
FTLN 0093 But since it serves my purpose, I will venture
FTLN 0094 To editorial emendationstaleeditorial emendation ’t a little more.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 009595Well, I’ll hear it, sir; yet you must not
FTLN 0096 think to fob off our disgrace with a tale. But, an ’t
FTLN 0097 please you, deliver.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 0098 There was a time when all the body’s members
FTLN 0099 Rebelled against the belly, thus accused it:
FTLN 0100100 That only like a gulf it did remain
FTLN 0101 I’ th’ midst o’ th’ body, idle and unactive,
FTLN 0102 Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing
FTLN 0103 Like labor with the rest, where th’ other instruments
FTLN 0104 Did see and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
FTLN 0105105 And, mutually participate, did minister
FTLN 0106 Unto the appetite and affection common
FTLN 0107 Of the whole body. The belly answered—
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 0108Well, sir, what answer made the belly?
MENENIUS 
FTLN 0109 Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of smile,
FTLN 0110110 Which ne’er came from the lungs, but even thus—
FTLN 0111 For, look you, I may make the belly smile
FTLN 0112 As well as speak—it editorial emendationtauntinglyeditorial emendation replied
FTLN 0113 To th’ discontented members, the mutinous parts
FTLN 0114 That envied his receipt; even so most fitly
FTLN 0115115 As you malign our senators for that
FTLN 0116 They are not such as you.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 0117Your belly’s answer—what?
FTLN 0118 The kingly crownèd head, the vigilant eye,
FTLN 0119 The counselor heart, the arm our soldier,

15
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 1

FTLN 0120120 Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter,
FTLN 0121 With other muniments and petty helps
FTLN 0122 In this our fabric, if that they—
MENENIUS  FTLN 0123 What then?
FTLN 0124 ’Fore me, this fellow speaks. What then? What then?
SECOND CITIZEN 
FTLN 0125125 Should by the cormorant belly be restrained,
FTLN 0126 Who is the sink o’ th’ body—
MENENIUS  FTLN 0127 Well, what then?
SECOND CITIZEN 
FTLN 0128 The former agents, if they did complain,
FTLN 0129 What could the belly answer?
MENENIUS  FTLN 0130130 I will tell you,
FTLN 0131 If you’ll bestow a small—of what you have little—
FTLN 0132 Patience awhile, you’st hear the belly’s answer.
SECOND CITIZEN 
FTLN 0133 You’re long about it.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0134 Note me this, good friend;
FTLN 0135135 Your most grave belly was deliberate,
FTLN 0136 Not rash like his accusers, and thus answered:
FTLN 0137 “True is it, my incorporate friends,” quoth he,
FTLN 0138 “That I receive the general food at first
FTLN 0139 Which you do live upon; and fit it is,
FTLN 0140140 Because I am the storehouse and the shop
FTLN 0141 Of the whole body. But, if you do remember,
FTLN 0142 I send it through the rivers of your blood
FTLN 0143 Even to the court, the heart, to th’ seat o’ th’ brain;
FTLN 0144 And, through the cranks and offices of man,
FTLN 0145145 The strongest nerves and small inferior veins
FTLN 0146 From me receive that natural competency
FTLN 0147 Whereby they live. And though that all at once,
FTLN 0148 You, my good friends”—this says the belly, mark
FTLN 0149 me—
SECOND CITIZEN 
FTLN 0150150 Ay, sir, well, well.

17
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 1

MENENIUS  FTLN 0151 “Though all at once cannot
FTLN 0152 See what I do deliver out to each,
FTLN 0153 Yet I can make my audit up, that all
FTLN 0154 From me do back receive the flour of all,
FTLN 0155155 And leave me but the bran.” What say you to ’t?
SECOND CITIZEN 
FTLN 0156 It was an answer. How apply you this?
MENENIUS 
FTLN 0157 The senators of Rome are this good belly,
FTLN 0158 And you the mutinous members. For examine
FTLN 0159 Their counsels and their cares, digest things rightly
FTLN 0160160 Touching the weal o’ th’ common, you shall find
FTLN 0161 No public benefit which you receive
FTLN 0162 But it proceeds or comes from them to you
FTLN 0163 And no way from yourselves. What do you think,
FTLN 0164 You, the great toe of this assembly?
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 0165165I the great toe? Why the great toe?
MENENIUS 
FTLN 0166 For that, being one o’ th’ lowest, basest, poorest,
FTLN 0167 Of this most wise rebellion, thou goest foremost.
FTLN 0168 Thou rascal, that art worst in blood to run,
FTLN 0169 Lead’st first to win some vantage.
FTLN 0170170 But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs.
FTLN 0171 Rome and her rats are at the point of battle;
FTLN 0172 The one side must have bale.

Enter Caius Martius.

FTLN 0173 Hail, noble Martius.
MARTIUS 
FTLN 0174 Thanks.—What’s the matter, you dissentious rogues,
FTLN 0175175 That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
FTLN 0176 Make yourselves scabs?
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 0177We have ever your good word.
MARTIUS 
FTLN 0178 He that will give good words to thee will flatter
FTLN 0179 Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,

19
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 1

FTLN 0180180 That like nor peace nor war? The one affrights you;
FTLN 0181 The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,
FTLN 0182 Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
FTLN 0183 Where foxes, geese. You are no surer, no,
FTLN 0184 Than is the coal of fire upon the ice
FTLN 0185185 Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is
FTLN 0186 To make him worthy whose offense subdues him,
FTLN 0187 And curse that justice did it. Who deserves greatness
FTLN 0188 Deserves your hate; and your affections are
FTLN 0189 A sick man’s appetite, who desires most that
FTLN 0190190 Which would increase his evil. He that depends
FTLN 0191 Upon your favors swims with fins of lead,
FTLN 0192 And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang you! Trust
FTLN 0193 you?
FTLN 0194 With every minute you do change a mind
FTLN 0195195 And call him noble that was now your hate,
FTLN 0196 Him vile that was your garland. What’s the matter,
FTLN 0197 That in these several places of the city
FTLN 0198 You cry against the noble senate, who,
FTLN 0199 Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else
FTLN 0200200 Would feed on one another?—What’s their seeking?
MENENIUS 
FTLN 0201 For corn at their own rates, whereof they say
FTLN 0202 The city is well stored.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0203 Hang ’em! They say?
FTLN 0204 They’ll sit by th’ fire and presume to know
FTLN 0205205 What’s done i’ th’ Capitol, who’s like to rise,
FTLN 0206 Who thrives, and who declines; side factions and
FTLN 0207 give out
FTLN 0208 Conjectural marriages, making parties strong
FTLN 0209 And feebling such as stand not in their liking
FTLN 0210210 Below their cobbled shoes. They say there’s grain
FTLN 0211 enough?
FTLN 0212 Would the nobility lay aside their ruth
FTLN 0213 And let me use my sword, I’d make a quarry

21
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 1

FTLN 0214 With thousands of these quartered slaves as high
FTLN 0215215 As I could pick my lance.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 0216 Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded;
FTLN 0217 For though abundantly they lack discretion,
FTLN 0218 Yet are they passing cowardly. But I beseech you,
FTLN 0219 What says the other troop?
MARTIUS  FTLN 0220220 They are dissolved. Hang
FTLN 0221 ’em!
FTLN 0222 They said they were an-hungry, sighed forth
FTLN 0223 proverbs
FTLN 0224 That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat,
FTLN 0225225 That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent
FTLN 0226 not
FTLN 0227 Corn for the rich men only. With these shreds
FTLN 0228 They vented their complainings, which being
FTLN 0229 answered
FTLN 0230230 And a petition granted them—a strange one,
FTLN 0231 To break the heart of generosity
FTLN 0232 And make bold power look pale—they threw their
FTLN 0233 caps
FTLN 0234 As they would hang them on the horns o’ th’ moon,
FTLN 0235235 Shouting their emulation.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0236 What is granted them?
MARTIUS 
FTLN 0237 Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms,
FTLN 0238 Of their own choice. One’s Junius Brutus,
FTLN 0239 Sicinius Velutus, and I know not. ’Sdeath!
FTLN 0240240 The rabble should have first editorial emendationunroofededitorial emendation the city
FTLN 0241 Ere so prevailed with me. It will in time
FTLN 0242 Win upon power and throw forth greater themes
FTLN 0243 For insurrection’s arguing.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0244This is strange.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0245245Go get you home, you fragments.

Enter a Messenger hastily.


23
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 1

MESSENGER 
FTLN 0246 Where’s Caius Martius?
MARTIUS  FTLN 0247 Here. What’s the matter?
MESSENGER 
FTLN 0248 The news is, sir, the Volsces are in arms.
MARTIUS 
FTLN 0249 I am glad on ’t. Then we shall ha’ means to vent
FTLN 0250250 Our musty superfluity.

Enter Sicinius Velutus, Junius Brutus, editorial emendation(two Tribunes);editorial emendation
Cominius, Titus Lartius, with other Senators.


FTLN 0251 See our best elders.
FIRST SENATOR 
FTLN 0252 Martius, ’tis true that you have lately told us:
FTLN 0253 The Volsces are in arms.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0254 They have a leader,
FTLN 0255255 Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to ’t.
FTLN 0256 I sin in envying his nobility,
FTLN 0257 And, were I anything but what I am,
FTLN 0258 I would wish me only he.
COMINIUS  FTLN 0259 You have fought together?
MARTIUS 
FTLN 0260260 Were half to half the world by th’ ears and he
FTLN 0261 Upon my party, I’d revolt, to make
FTLN 0262 Only my wars with him. He is a lion
FTLN 0263 That I am proud to hunt.
FIRST SENATOR  FTLN 0264 Then, worthy Martius,
FTLN 0265265 Attend upon Cominius to these wars.
COMINIUS 
FTLN 0266 It is your former promise.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0267 Sir, it is,
FTLN 0268 And I am constant.—Titus editorial emendationLartius,editorial emendation thou
FTLN 0269 Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus’ face.
FTLN 0270270 What, art thou stiff? Stand’st out?

25
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 1

LARTIUS  FTLN 0271 No, Caius Martius,
FTLN 0272 I’ll lean upon one crutch and fight with t’ other
FTLN 0273 Ere stay behind this business.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0274 O, true bred!
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation SENATOR 
FTLN 0275275 Your company to th’ Capitol, where I know
FTLN 0276 Our greatest friends attend us.
LARTIUS , editorial emendationto Cominiuseditorial emendation  FTLN 0277 Lead you on.—
FTLN 0278  editorial emendationTo Martius.editorial emendation Follow Cominius. We must follow you;
FTLN 0279 Right worthy you priority.
COMINIUS  FTLN 0280280 Noble Martius.
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation SENATOR , editorial emendationto the Citizenseditorial emendation 
FTLN 0281 Hence to your homes, begone.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0282 Nay, let them follow.
FTLN 0283 The Volsces have much corn; take these rats thither
FTLN 0284 To gnaw their garners.
Citizens steal away.
FTLN 0285285 Worshipful mutineers,
FTLN 0286 Your valor puts well forth.—Pray follow.
They exit. Sicinius and Brutus remain.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 0287 Was ever man so proud as is this Martius?
BRUTUS  FTLN 0288He has no equal.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 0289 When we were chosen tribunes for the people—
BRUTUS 
FTLN 0290290 Marked you his lip and eyes?
SICINIUS  FTLN 0291 Nay, but his taunts.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 0292 Being moved, he will not spare to gird the gods—
SICINIUS  FTLN 0293Bemock the modest moon.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 0294 The present wars devour him! He is grown
FTLN 0295295 Too proud to be so valiant.

27
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 2

SICINIUS  FTLN 0296 Such a nature,
FTLN 0297 Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow
FTLN 0298 Which he treads on at noon. But I do wonder
FTLN 0299 His insolence can brook to be commanded
FTLN 0300300 Under Cominius.
BRUTUS  FTLN 0301 Fame, at the which he aims,
FTLN 0302 In whom already he’s well graced, cannot
FTLN 0303 Better be held nor more attained than by
FTLN 0304 A place below the first; for what miscarries
FTLN 0305305 Shall be the General’s fault, though he perform
FTLN 0306 To th’ utmost of a man, and giddy censure
FTLN 0307 Will then cry out of Martius “O, if he
FTLN 0308 Had borne the business!”
SICINIUS  FTLN 0309 Besides, if things go well,
FTLN 0310310 Opinion that so sticks on Martius shall
FTLN 0311 Of his demerits rob Cominius.
BRUTUS  FTLN 0312 Come.
FTLN 0313 Half all Cominius’ honors are to Martius,
FTLN 0314 Though Martius earned them not, and all his faults
FTLN 0315315 To Martius shall be honors, though indeed
FTLN 0316 In aught he merit not.
SICINIUS  FTLN 0317 Let’s hence and hear
FTLN 0318 How the dispatch is made, and in what fashion,
FTLN 0319 More than his singularity, he goes
FTLN 0320320 Upon this present action.
BRUTUS  FTLN 0321 Let’s along.
They exit.


editorial emendationScene 2editorial emendation
Enter Tullus Aufidius with Senators of Corioles.

FIRST SENATOR 
FTLN 0322 So, your opinion is, Aufidius,
FTLN 0323 That they of Rome are entered in our counsels
FTLN 0324 And know how we proceed.

29
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 2

AUFIDIUS  FTLN 0325 Is it not yours?
FTLN 03265 Whatever have been thought on in this state
FTLN 0327 That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome
FTLN 0328 Had circumvention? ’Tis not four days gone
FTLN 0329 Since I heard thence. These are the words—I think
FTLN 0330 I have the letter here. Yes, here it is.
FTLN 033110  editorial emendation(He reads.)editorial emendation They have pressed a power, but it is not
FTLN 0332 known
FTLN 0333 Whether for east or west. The dearth is great.
FTLN 0334 The people mutinous; and, it is rumored,
FTLN 0335 Cominius, Martius your old enemy,
FTLN 033615 Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,
FTLN 0337 And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,
FTLN 0338 These three lead on this preparation
FTLN 0339 Whither ’tis bent. Most likely ’tis for you.
FTLN 0340 Consider of it.

FIRST SENATOR  FTLN 034120Our army’s in the field.
FTLN 0342 We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
FTLN 0343 To answer us.
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 0344 Nor did you think it folly
FTLN 0345 To keep your great pretenses veiled till when
FTLN 034625 They needs must show themselves, which, in the
FTLN 0347 hatching,
FTLN 0348 It seemed, appeared to Rome. By the discovery
FTLN 0349 We shall be shortened in our aim, which was
FTLN 0350 To take in many towns ere almost Rome
FTLN 035130 Should know we were afoot.
SECOND SENATOR  FTLN 0352 Noble Aufidius,
FTLN 0353 Take your commission; hie you to your bands.
FTLN 0354 Let us alone to guard Corioles.
FTLN 0355 If they set down before ’s, for the remove
FTLN 035635 Bring up your army. But I think you’ll find
FTLN 0357 They’ve not prepared for us.
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 0358 O, doubt not that;
FTLN 0359 I speak from certainties. Nay, more,

31
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 3

FTLN 0360 Some parcels of their power are forth already,
FTLN 036140 And only hitherward. I leave your Honors.
FTLN 0362 If we and Caius Martius chance to meet,
FTLN 0363 ’Tis sworn between us we shall ever strike
FTLN 0364 Till one can do no more.
ALL  FTLN 0365The gods assist you!
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 036645And keep your Honors safe!
FIRST SENATOR  FTLN 0367Farewell.
SECOND SENATOR  FTLN 0368Farewell.
ALL  FTLN 0369Farewell.
All exit.


editorial emendationScene 3editorial emendation
Enter Volumnia and Virgilia, mother and wife
to Martius. They set them down on two low stools
and sew.


VOLUMNIA  FTLN 0370I pray you, daughter, sing, or express yourself
FTLN 0371 in a more comfortable sort. If my son were my
FTLN 0372 husband, I should freelier rejoice in that absence
FTLN 0373 wherein he won honor than in the embracements
FTLN 03745 of his bed where he would show most love. When
FTLN 0375 yet he was but tender-bodied and the only son of
FTLN 0376 my womb, when youth with comeliness plucked
FTLN 0377 all gaze his way, when for a day of kings’ entreaties
FTLN 0378 a mother should not sell him an hour from her beholding,
FTLN 037910 I, considering how honor would become
FTLN 0380 such a person—that it was no better than picture-like
FTLN 0381 to hang by th’ wall, if renown made it not
FTLN 0382 stir—was pleased to let him seek danger where he
FTLN 0383 was like to find fame. To a cruel war I sent him,
FTLN 038415 from whence he returned, his brows bound with
FTLN 0385 oak. I tell thee, daughter, I sprang not more in joy
FTLN 0386 at first hearing he was a man-child than now in
FTLN 0387 first seeing he had proved himself a man.

33
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 3

VIRGILIA  FTLN 0388But had he died in the business, madam, how
FTLN 038920 then?
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 0390Then his good report should have been my
FTLN 0391 son; I therein would have found issue. Hear me
FTLN 0392 profess sincerely: had I a dozen sons, each in my
FTLN 0393 love alike and none less dear than thine and my
FTLN 039425 good Martius, I had rather had eleven die nobly
FTLN 0395 for their country than one voluptuously surfeit out
FTLN 0396 of action.

Enter a Gentlewoman.

GENTLEWOMAN  FTLN 0397Madam, the Lady Valeria is come to
FTLN 0398 visit you.
VIRGILIA 
FTLN 039930 Beseech you, give me leave to retire myself.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 0400Indeed you shall not.
FTLN 0401 Methinks I hear hither your husband’s drum,
FTLN 0402 See him pluck Aufidius down by th’ hair;
FTLN 0403 As children from a bear, the Volsces shunning him.
FTLN 040435 Methinks I see him stamp thus and call thus:
FTLN 0405 “Come on, you cowards! You were got in fear,
FTLN 0406 Though you were born in Rome.” His bloody brow
FTLN 0407 With his mailed hand then wiping, forth he goes
FTLN 0408 Like to a harvestman editorial emendationthat’seditorial emendation tasked to mow
FTLN 040940 Or all or lose his hire.
VIRGILIA 
FTLN 0410 His bloody brow? O Jupiter, no blood!
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 0411 Away, you fool! It more becomes a man
FTLN 0412 Than gilt his trophy. The breasts of Hecuba,
FTLN 0413 When she did suckle Hector, looked not lovelier
FTLN 041445 Than Hector’s forehead when it spit forth blood
FTLN 0415 At Grecian sword, contemning.—Tell Valeria
FTLN 0416 We are fit to bid her welcome. Gentlewoman exits.

35
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 3

VIRGILIA 
FTLN 0417 Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius!
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 0418 He’ll beat Aufidius’ head below his knee
FTLN 041950 And tread upon his neck.

Enter Valeria with an Usher and a Gentlewoman.

VALERIA  FTLN 0420My ladies both, good day to you.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 0421Sweet madam.
VIRGILIA  FTLN 0422I am glad to see your Ladyship.
VALERIA  FTLN 0423How do you both? You are manifest housekeepers.
FTLN 042455 What are you sewing here? A fine spot, in
FTLN 0425 good faith. How does your little son?
VIRGILIA  FTLN 0426I thank your Ladyship; well, good madam.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 0427He had rather see the swords and hear a
FTLN 0428 drum than look upon his schoolmaster.
VALERIA  FTLN 042960O’ my word, the father’s son! I’ll swear ’tis a
FTLN 0430 very pretty boy. O’ my troth, I looked upon him o’
FTLN 0431 Wednesday half an hour together. H’as such a confirmed
FTLN 0432 countenance. I saw him run after a gilded
FTLN 0433 butterfly, and when he caught it, he let it go again,
FTLN 043465 and after it again, and over and over he comes,
FTLN 0435 and up again, catched it again. Or whether his fall
FTLN 0436 enraged him or how ’twas, he did so set his teeth
FTLN 0437 and tear it. O, I warrant how he mammocked it!
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 0438One on ’s father’s moods.
VALERIA  FTLN 043970Indeed, la, ’tis a noble child.
VIRGILIA  FTLN 0440A crack, madam.
VALERIA  FTLN 0441Come, lay aside your stitchery. I must have
FTLN 0442 you play the idle huswife with me this afternoon.
VIRGILIA  FTLN 0443No, good madam, I will not out of doors.
VALERIA  FTLN 044475Not out of doors?
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 0445She shall, she shall.
VIRGILIA  FTLN 0446Indeed, no, by your patience. I’ll not over the
FTLN 0447 threshold till my lord return from the wars.

37
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 3

VALERIA  FTLN 0448Fie, you confine yourself most unreasonably.
FTLN 044980 Come, you must go visit the good lady that lies in.
VIRGILIA  FTLN 0450I will wish her speedy strength and visit her
FTLN 0451 with my prayers, but I cannot go thither.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 0452Why, I pray you?
editorial emendationVIRGILIAeditorial emendation  FTLN 0453’Tis not to save labor, nor that I want love.
VALERIA  FTLN 045485You would be another Penelope. Yet they say
FTLN 0455 all the yarn she spun in Ulysses’ absence did but fill
FTLN 0456 Ithaca full of moths. Come, I would your cambric
FTLN 0457 were sensible as your finger, that you might leave
FTLN 0458 pricking it for pity. Come, you shall go with us.
VIRGILIA  FTLN 045990No, good madam, pardon me; indeed, I will
FTLN 0460 not forth.
VALERIA  FTLN 0461In truth, la, go with me, and I’ll tell you excellent
FTLN 0462 news of your husband.
VIRGILIA  FTLN 0463O, good madam, there can be none yet.
VALERIA  FTLN 046495Verily, I do not jest with you. There came
FTLN 0465 news from him last night.
VIRGILIA  FTLN 0466Indeed, madam!
VALERIA  FTLN 0467In earnest, it’s true. I heard a senator speak it.
FTLN 0468 Thus it is: the Volsces have an army forth, against
FTLN 0469100 whom Cominius the General is gone with one
FTLN 0470 part of our Roman power. Your lord and Titus Lartius
FTLN 0471 are set down before their city Corioles. They
FTLN 0472 nothing doubt prevailing, and to make it brief
FTLN 0473 wars. This is true, on mine honor, and so, I pray, go
FTLN 0474105 with us.
VIRGILIA  FTLN 0475Give me excuse, good madam. I will obey you
FTLN 0476 in everything hereafter.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 0477Let her alone, lady. As she is now, she will
FTLN 0478 but disease our better mirth.
VALERIA  FTLN 0479110In troth, I think she would.—Fare you well,
FTLN 0480 then.—Come, good sweet lady.—Prithee, Virgilia,
FTLN 0481 turn thy solemness out o’ door, and go along with
FTLN 0482 us.

39
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 4

VIRGILIA  FTLN 0483No, at a word, madam. Indeed, I must not. I
FTLN 0484115 wish you much mirth.
VALERIA  FTLN 0485Well, then, farewell.
Ladies exit.


editorial emendationScene 4editorial emendation
Enter Martius, Titus Lartius, with editorial emendationTrumpet,editorial emendation Drum,
and Colors, with Captains and Soldiers, as before
the city editorial emendationofeditorial emendation Corioles. To them a Messenger.


MARTIUS 
FTLN 0486 Yonder comes news. A wager they have met.
LARTIUS 
FTLN 0487 My horse to yours, no.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0488 ’Tis done.
LARTIUS  FTLN 0489 Agreed.
MARTIUS , editorial emendationto Messengereditorial emendation 
FTLN 04905 Say, has our general met the enemy?
MESSENGER 
FTLN 0491 They lie in view but have not spoke as yet.
LARTIUS 
FTLN 0492 So the good horse is mine.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0493 I’ll buy him of you.
LARTIUS 
FTLN 0494 No, I’ll nor sell nor give him. Lend you him I will
FTLN 049510 For half a hundred years.—Summon the town.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0496How far off lie these armies?
MESSENGER  FTLN 0497Within this mile and half.
MARTIUS 
FTLN 0498 Then shall we hear their ’larum and they ours.
FTLN 0499 Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work,
FTLN 050015 That we with smoking swords may march from
FTLN 0501 hence
FTLN 0502 To help our fielded friends!—Come, blow thy blast.
They sound a parley.

41
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 4

Enter two Senators with others on the walls of Corioles.

FTLN 0503 Tullus Aufidius, is he within your walls?
FIRST SENATOR 
FTLN 0504 No, nor a man that fears you less than he:
FTLN 050520 That’s lesser than a little. Drum afar off.
FTLN 0506 Hark, our drums
FTLN 0507 Are bringing forth our youth. We’ll break our walls
FTLN 0508 Rather than they shall pound us up. Our gates,
FTLN 0509 Which yet seem shut, we have but pinned with
FTLN 051025 rushes.
FTLN 0511 They’ll open of themselves. Alarum far off.
FTLN 0512 Hark you, far off!
FTLN 0513 There is Aufidius. List what work he makes
FTLN 0514 Amongst your cloven army.
editorial emendationThey exit from the walls.editorial emendation
MARTIUS  FTLN 051530 O, they are at it!
LARTIUS 
FTLN 0516 Their noise be our instruction.—Ladders, ho!

Enter the Army of the Volsces editorial emendationas through the city gates.editorial emendation

MARTIUS 
FTLN 0517 They fear us not but issue forth their city.—
FTLN 0518 Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight
FTLN 0519 With hearts more proof than shields.—Advance,
FTLN 052035 brave Titus.
FTLN 0521 They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts,
FTLN 0522 Which makes me sweat with wrath.—Come on, my
FTLN 0523 fellows!
FTLN 0524 He that retires, I’ll take him for a Volsce,
FTLN 052540 And he shall feel mine edge.
Alarum. The Romans are beat back to their trenches.
editorial emendationThey exit, with the Volsces following.editorial emendation

Enter Martius cursing, editorial emendationwith Roman soldiers.editorial emendation


43
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 4

MARTIUS 
FTLN 0526 All the contagion of the south light on you,
FTLN 0527 You shames of Rome! You herd of—Boils and
FTLN 0528 plagues
FTLN 0529 Plaster you o’er, that you may be abhorred
FTLN 053045 Farther than seen, and one infect another
FTLN 0531 Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese,
FTLN 0532 That bear the shapes of men, how have you run
FTLN 0533 From slaves that apes would beat! Pluto and hell!
FTLN 0534 All hurt behind. Backs red, and faces pale
FTLN 053550 With flight and agued fear! Mend, and charge home,
FTLN 0536 Or, by the fires of heaven, I’ll leave the foe
FTLN 0537 And make my wars on you. Look to ’t. Come on!
FTLN 0538 If you’ll stand fast, we’ll beat them to their wives,
FTLN 0539 As they us to our trenches. Follow ’s!

Another alarum. editorial emendationThe Volsces re-enter and are driven
back to the gates of Corioles, which open to admit
them.editorial emendation


FTLN 054055 So, now the gates are ope. Now prove good
FTLN 0541 seconds!
FTLN 0542 ’Tis for the followers fortune widens them,
FTLN 0543 Not for the fliers. Mark me, and do the like.
Martius follows editorial emendationthe fleeing Volsces througheditorial emendation
the gates, and is shut in.

FIRST SOLDIER  FTLN 0544Foolhardiness, not I.
SECOND SOLDIER  FTLN 054560Nor I.
FIRST SOLDIER  FTLN 0546See they have shut him in.
Alarum continues.
ALL  FTLN 0547To th’ pot, I warrant him.

Enter Titus Lartius.

LARTIUS 
FTLN 0548 What is become of Martius?
ALL  FTLN 0549 Slain, sir, doubtless.

45
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 5

FIRST SOLDIER 
FTLN 055065 Following the fliers at the very heels,
FTLN 0551 With them he enters, who upon the sudden
FTLN 0552 Clapped to their gates. He is himself alone,
FTLN 0553 To answer all the city.
LARTIUS  FTLN 0554 O, noble fellow,
FTLN 055570 Who sensibly outdares his senseless sword,
FTLN 0556 And when it bows, stand’st up! Thou art left,
FTLN 0557 Martius.
FTLN 0558 A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,
FTLN 0559 Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier
FTLN 056075 Even to editorial emendationCato’seditorial emendation wish, not fierce and terrible
FTLN 0561 Only in strokes, but with thy grim looks and
FTLN 0562 The thunderlike percussion of thy sounds
FTLN 0563 Thou mad’st thine enemies shake, as if the world
FTLN 0564 Were feverous and did tremble.

Enter Martius, bleeding, editorial emendationas if from Corioles,editorial emendation assaulted
by the enemy.


FIRST SOLDIER  FTLN 056580Look, sir.
LARTIUS  FTLN 0566O, ’tis Martius!
FTLN 0567 Let’s fetch him off or make remain alike.
They fight, and all enter the city, editorial emendationexiting the stage.editorial emendation



editorial emendationScene 5editorial emendation
Enter certain Romans, with spoils.

FIRST ROMAN  FTLN 0568This will I carry to Rome.
SECOND ROMAN  FTLN 0569And I this.
THIRD ROMAN  FTLN 0570A murrain on ’t! I took this for silver.

Enter Martius, and Titus editorial emendationLartiuseditorial emendation with a Trumpet.

MARTIUS 
FTLN 0571 See here these movers that do prize their hours
FTLN 05725 At a cracked drachma. Cushions, leaden spoons,

47
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 5

FTLN 0573 Irons of a doit, doublets that hangmen would
FTLN 0574 Bury with those that wore them, these base slaves,
FTLN 0575 Ere yet the fight be done, pack up. Down with them!
editorial emendationThe Romans with spoilseditorial emendation exit.
Alarum continues still afar off.
FTLN 0576 And hark, what noise the General makes! To him!
FTLN 057710 There is the man of my soul’s hate, Aufidius,
FTLN 0578 Piercing our Romans. Then, valiant Titus, take
FTLN 0579 Convenient numbers to make good the city,
FTLN 0580 Whilst I, with those that have the spirit, will haste
FTLN 0581 To help Cominius.
LARTIUS  FTLN 058215 Worthy sir, thou bleed’st.
FTLN 0583 Thy exercise hath been too violent
FTLN 0584 For a second course of fight.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0585 Sir, praise me not.
FTLN 0586 My work hath yet not warmed me. Fare you well.
FTLN 058720 The blood I drop is rather physical
FTLN 0588 Than dangerous to me. To Aufidius thus
FTLN 0589 I will appear and fight.
LARTIUS  FTLN 0590Now the fair goddess Fortune
FTLN 0591 Fall deep in love with thee, and her great charms
FTLN 059225 Misguide thy opposers’ swords! Bold gentleman,
FTLN 0593 Prosperity be thy page!
MARTIUS  FTLN 0594 Thy friend no less
FTLN 0595 Than those she placeth highest! So farewell.
LARTIUS  FTLN 0596Thou worthiest Martius! editorial emendationMartius exits.editorial emendation
FTLN 059730 Go sound thy trumpet in the marketplace.
FTLN 0598 Call thither all the officers o’ th’ town,
FTLN 0599 Where they shall know our mind. Away!
They exit.




49
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 6

editorial emendationScene 6editorial emendation
Enter Cominius as it were in retire, with Soldiers.

COMINIUS 
FTLN 0600 Breathe you, my friends. Well fought! We are come
FTLN 0601 off
FTLN 0602 Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands
FTLN 0603 Nor cowardly in retire. Believe me, sirs,
FTLN 06045 We shall be charged again. Whiles we have struck,
FTLN 0605 By interims and conveying gusts we have heard
FTLN 0606 The charges of our friends. The Roman gods
FTLN 0607 Lead their successes as we wish our own,
FTLN 0608 That both our powers, with smiling fronts
FTLN 060910 encount’ring,
FTLN 0610 May give you thankful sacrifice!

Enter a Messenger.

FTLN 0611 Thy news?
MESSENGER 
FTLN 0612 The citizens of Corioles have issued
FTLN 0613 And given to Lartius and to Martius battle.
FTLN 061415 I saw our party to their trenches driven,
FTLN 0615 And then I came away.
COMINIUS  FTLN 0616 Though thou speakest truth,
FTLN 0617 Methinks thou speak’st not well. How long is ’t
FTLN 0618 since?
MESSENGER  FTLN 061920Above an hour, my lord.
COMINIUS 
FTLN 0620 ’Tis not a mile; briefly we heard their drums.
FTLN 0621 How couldst thou in a mile confound an hour
FTLN 0622 And bring thy news so late?
MESSENGER  FTLN 0623 Spies of the Volsces
FTLN 062425 Held me in chase, that I was forced to wheel

51
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 6

FTLN 0625 Three or four miles about; else had I, sir,
FTLN 0626 Half an hour since brought my report. editorial emendationHe exits.editorial emendation

Enter Martius, editorial emendationbloody.editorial emendation

COMINIUS  FTLN 0627 Who’s yonder,
FTLN 0628 That does appear as he were flayed? O gods,
FTLN 062930 He has the stamp of Martius, and I have
FTLN 0630 Before-time seen him thus.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0631 Come I too late?
COMINIUS 
FTLN 0632 The shepherd knows not thunder from a tabor
FTLN 0633 More than I know the sound of Martius’ tongue
FTLN 063435 From every meaner man.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0635 Come I too late?
COMINIUS 
FTLN 0636 Ay, if you come not in the blood of others,
FTLN 0637 But mantled in your own.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0638 O, let me clip you
FTLN 063940 In arms as sound as when I wooed, in heart
FTLN 0640 As merry as when our nuptial day was done
FTLN 0641 And tapers burnt to bedward! editorial emendationThey embrace.editorial emendation
COMINIUS 
FTLN 0642 Flower of warriors, how is ’t with Titus Lartius?
MARTIUS 
FTLN 0643 As with a man busied about decrees,
FTLN 064445 Condemning some to death and some to exile;
FTLN 0645 Ransoming him or pitying, threat’ning th’ other;
FTLN 0646 Holding Corioles in the name of Rome
FTLN 0647 Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash,
FTLN 0648 To let him slip at will.
COMINIUS  FTLN 064950 Where is that slave
FTLN 0650 Which told me they had beat you to your trenches?
FTLN 0651 Where is he? Call him hither.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0652 Let him alone.
FTLN 0653 He did inform the truth. But for our gentlemen,

53
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 6

FTLN 065455 The common file—a plague! Tribunes for them!—
FTLN 0655 The mouse ne’er shunned the cat as they did budge
FTLN 0656 From rascals worse than they.
COMINIUS  FTLN 0657 But how prevailed you?
MARTIUS 
FTLN 0658 Will the time serve to tell? I do not think.
FTLN 065960 Where is the enemy? Are you lords o’ th’ field?
FTLN 0660 If not, why cease you till you are so?
COMINIUS 
FTLN 0661 Martius, we have at disadvantage fought
FTLN 0662 And did retire to win our purpose.
MARTIUS 
FTLN 0663 How lies their battle? Know you on which side
FTLN 066465 They have placed their men of trust?
COMINIUS  FTLN 0665 As I guess,
FTLN 0666 Martius,
FTLN 0667 Their bands i’ th’ vaward are the editorial emendationAntiates,editorial emendation
FTLN 0668 Of their best trust; o’er them Aufidius,
FTLN 066970 Their very heart of hope.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0670 I do beseech you,
FTLN 0671 By all the battles wherein we have fought,
FTLN 0672 By th’ blood we have shed together, by th’ vows we
FTLN 0673 have made
FTLN 067475 To endure friends, that you directly set me
FTLN 0675 Against Aufidius and his Antiates,
FTLN 0676 And that you not delay the present, but,
FTLN 0677 Filling the air with swords advanced and darts,
FTLN 0678 We prove this very hour.
COMINIUS  FTLN 067980 Though I could wish
FTLN 0680 You were conducted to a gentle bath
FTLN 0681 And balms applied to you, yet dare I never
FTLN 0682 Deny your asking. Take your choice of those
FTLN 0683 That best can aid your action.
MARTIUS  FTLN 068485 Those are they
FTLN 0685 That most are willing. If any such be here—

55
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 7

FTLN 0686 As it were sin to doubt—that love this painting
FTLN 0687 Wherein you see me smeared; if any fear
FTLN 0688 editorial emendationLessereditorial emendation his person than an ill report;
FTLN 068990 If any think brave death outweighs bad life,
FTLN 0690 And that his country’s dearer than himself;
FTLN 0691 Let him alone, or so many so minded,
FTLN 0692 Wave thus to express his disposition
FTLN 0693 And follow Martius. editorial emendationHe waves his sword.editorial emendation
They all shout and wave their swords,
take him up in their arms, and cast up their caps.

FTLN 069495 O, me alone! Make you a sword of me?
FTLN 0695 If these shows be not outward, which of you
FTLN 0696 But is four Volsces? None of you but is
FTLN 0697 Able to bear against the great Aufidius
FTLN 0698 A shield as hard as his. A certain number,
FTLN 0699100 Though thanks to all, must I select from all.
FTLN 0700 The rest shall bear the business in some other fight,
FTLN 0701 As cause will be obeyed. Please you to march,
FTLN 0702 And editorial emendationIeditorial emendation shall quickly draw out my command,
FTLN 0703 Which men are best inclined.
COMINIUS  FTLN 0704105 March on, my fellows.
FTLN 0705 Make good this ostentation, and you shall
FTLN 0706 Divide in all with us.
They exit.


editorial emendationScene 7editorial emendation
Titus Lartius, having set a guard upon Corioles, going
with Drum and Trumpet toward Cominius and Caius
Martius, enters with a Lieutenant, other Soldiers,
and a Scout.


LARTIUS 
FTLN 0707 So, let the ports be guarded. Keep your duties
FTLN 0708 As I have set them down. If I do send, dispatch
FTLN 0709 Those centuries to our aid; the rest will serve

57
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 8

FTLN 0710 For a short holding. If we lose the field,
FTLN 07115 We cannot keep the town.
LIEUTENANT  FTLN 0712 Fear not our care, sir.
LARTIUS  FTLN 0713Hence, and shut your gates upon ’s.
FTLN 0714  editorial emendation(To the Scout.)editorial emendation Our guider, come. To th’ Roman
FTLN 0715 camp conduct us.
editorial emendationTheyeditorial emendation exit, editorial emendationthe Lieutenant one way, Lartius another.editorial emendation


editorial emendationScene 8editorial emendation
Alarum, as in battle.
Enter Martius and Aufidius at several doors.


MARTIUS 
FTLN 0716 I’ll fight with none but thee, for I do hate thee
FTLN 0717 Worse than a promise-breaker.
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 0718 We hate alike.
FTLN 0719 Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor
FTLN 07205 More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.
MARTIUS 
FTLN 0721 Let the first budger die the other’s slave,
FTLN 0722 And the gods doom him after!
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 0723 If I fly, Martius,
FTLN 0724 Hollo me like a hare.
MARTIUS  FTLN 072510 Within these three hours,
FTLN 0726 Tullus,
FTLN 0727 Alone I fought in your Corioles’ walls
FTLN 0728 And made what work I pleased. ’Tis not my blood
FTLN 0729 Wherein thou seest me masked. For thy revenge,
FTLN 073015 Wrench up thy power to th’ highest.
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 0731 Wert thou the
FTLN 0732 Hector
FTLN 0733 That was the whip of your bragged progeny,
FTLN 0734 Thou shouldst not scape me here.

Here they fight, and certain Volsces come in
the aid of Aufidius.


59
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 9

FTLN 073520  editorial emendation(To the Volsces.)editorial emendation Officious and not valiant, you have
FTLN 0736 shamed me
FTLN 0737 In your condemnèd seconds.
Martius fights till they be driven in breathless.
editorial emendationAufidius and Martius exit, separately.editorial emendation



editorial emendationScene 9editorial emendation
Alarum. A retreat is sounded. Flourish. Enter, at one
door, Cominius with the Romans; at another door
Martius, with his arm in a scarf.


COMINIUS , editorial emendationto Martiuseditorial emendation 
FTLN 0738 If I should tell thee o’er this thy day’s work,
FTLN 0739 Thou ’t not believe thy deeds. But I’ll report it
FTLN 0740 Where senators shall mingle tears with smiles;
FTLN 0741 Where great patricians shall attend and shrug,
FTLN 07425 I’ th’ end admire; where ladies shall be frighted
FTLN 0743 And, gladly quaked, hear more; where the dull
FTLN 0744 tribunes,
FTLN 0745 That with the fusty plebeians hate thine honors,
FTLN 0746 Shall say against their hearts “We thank the gods
FTLN 074710 Our Rome hath such a soldier.”
FTLN 0748 Yet cam’st thou to a morsel of this feast,
FTLN 0749 Having fully dined before.

Enter Titus editorial emendationLartiuseditorial emendation with his power, from the pursuit.

LARTIUS  FTLN 0750 O general,
FTLN 0751 Here is the steed, we the caparison.
FTLN 075215 Hadst thou beheld—
MARTIUS  FTLN 0753 Pray now, no more. My mother,
FTLN 0754 Who has a charter to extol her blood,
FTLN 0755 When she does praise me grieves me. I have done
FTLN 0756 As you have done—that’s what I can;
FTLN 075720 Induced as you have been—that’s for my country.
FTLN 0758 He that has but effected his good will
FTLN 0759 Hath overta’en mine act.

61
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 9

COMINIUS  FTLN 0760 You shall not be
FTLN 0761 The grave of your deserving. Rome must know
FTLN 076225 The value of her own. ’Twere a concealment
FTLN 0763 Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement,
FTLN 0764 To hide your doings and to silence that
FTLN 0765 Which, to the spire and top of praises vouched,
FTLN 0766 Would seem but modest. Therefore, I beseech you—
FTLN 076730 In sign of what you are, not to reward
FTLN 0768 What you have done—before our army hear me.
MARTIUS 
FTLN 0769 I have some wounds upon me, and they smart
FTLN 0770 To hear themselves remembered.
COMINIUS  FTLN 0771 Should they not,
FTLN 077235 Well might they fester ’gainst ingratitude
FTLN 0773 And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses—
FTLN 0774 Whereof we have ta’en good and good store—of all
FTLN 0775 The treasure in this field achieved and city,
FTLN 0776 We render you the tenth, to be ta’en forth
FTLN 077740 Before the common distribution
FTLN 0778 At your only choice.
MARTIUS  FTLN 0779 I thank you, general,
FTLN 0780 But cannot make my heart consent to take
FTLN 0781 A bribe to pay my sword. I do refuse it
FTLN 078245 And stand upon my common part with those
FTLN 0783 That have beheld the doing.
A long flourish. They all cry “Martius, Martius!”
editorial emendationandeditorial emendation cast up their caps and lances.
Cominius and Lartius stand bare.

FTLN 0784 May these same instruments, which you profane,
FTLN 0785 Never sound more! When drums and trumpets shall
FTLN 0786 I’ th’ field prove flatterers, let courts and cities be
FTLN 078750 Made all of false-faced soothing! When steel grows
FTLN 0788 Soft as the parasite’s silk, let him be made
FTLN 0789 An editorial emendationovatoreditorial emendation for th’ wars! No more, I say.
FTLN 0790 For that I have not washed my nose that bled,
FTLN 0791 Or foiled some debile wretch—which, without note,

63
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 9

FTLN 079255 Here’s many else have done—you shout me forth
FTLN 0793 In acclamations hyperbolical,
FTLN 0794 As if I loved my little should be dieted
FTLN 0795 In praises sauced with lies.
COMINIUS  FTLN 0796 Too modest are you,
FTLN 079760 More cruel to your good report than grateful
FTLN 0798 To us that give you truly. By your patience,
FTLN 0799 If ’gainst yourself you be incensed, we’ll put you,
FTLN 0800 Like one that means his proper harm, in manacles,
FTLN 0801 Then reason safely with you. Therefore be it known,
FTLN 080265 As to us to all the world, that Caius Martius
FTLN 0803 Wears this war’s garland, in token of the which
FTLN 0804 My noble steed, known to the camp, I give him,
FTLN 0805 With all his trim belonging. And from this time,
FTLN 0806 For what he did before Corioles, call him,
FTLN 080770 With all th’ applause and clamor of the host,
FTLN 0808 Martius Caius Coriolanus! Bear
FTLN 0809 Th’ addition nobly ever!

Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums.

ALL 
FTLN 0810 Martius Caius Coriolanus!
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 0811 I will go wash;
FTLN 081275 And when my face is fair, you shall perceive
FTLN 0813 Whether I blush or no. Howbeit, I thank you.
FTLN 0814 I mean to stride your steed and at all times
FTLN 0815 To undercrest your good addition
FTLN 0816 To th’ fairness of my power.
COMINIUS  FTLN 081780 So, to our tent,
FTLN 0818 Where, ere we do repose us, we will write
FTLN 0819 To Rome of our success.—You, Titus Lartius,
FTLN 0820 Must to Corioles back. Send us to Rome
FTLN 0821 The best, with whom we may articulate
FTLN 082285 For their own good and ours.
LARTIUS  FTLN 0823 I shall, my lord.

65
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 10

CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 0824 The gods begin to mock me. I, that now
FTLN 0825 Refused most princely gifts, am bound to beg
FTLN 0826 Of my lord general.
COMINIUS  FTLN 082790 Take ’t, ’tis yours. What is ’t?
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 0828 I sometime lay here in Corioles
FTLN 0829 At a poor man’s house; he used me kindly.
FTLN 0830 He cried to me; I saw him prisoner;
FTLN 0831 But then Aufidius was within my view,
FTLN 083295 And wrath o’erwhelmed my pity. I request you
FTLN 0833 To give my poor host freedom.
COMINIUS  FTLN 0834 O, well begged!
FTLN 0835 Were he the butcher of my son, he should
FTLN 0836 Be free as is the wind.—Deliver him, Titus.
LARTIUS 
FTLN 0837100 Martius, his name?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 0838 By Jupiter, forgot!
FTLN 0839 I am weary; yea, my memory is tired.
FTLN 0840 Have we no wine here?
COMINIUS  FTLN 0841 Go we to our tent.
FTLN 0842105 The blood upon your visage dries; ’tis time
FTLN 0843 It should be looked to. Come.
A flourish editorial emendationofeditorial emendation cornets. They exit.


editorial emendationScene 10editorial emendation
Enter Tullus Aufidius bloody, with two or three Soldiers.

AUFIDIUS  FTLN 0844The town is ta’en.
SOLDIER 
FTLN 0845 ’Twill be delivered back on good condition.
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 0846Condition?
FTLN 0847 I would I were a Roman, for I cannot,
FTLN 08485 Being a Volsce, be that I am. Condition?
FTLN 0849 What good condition can a treaty find

67
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 10

FTLN 0850 I’ th’ part that is at mercy? Five times, Martius,
FTLN 0851 I have fought with thee; so often hast thou beat me
FTLN 0852 And wouldst do so, I think, should we encounter
FTLN 085310 As often as we eat. By th’ elements,
FTLN 0854 If e’er again I meet him beard to beard,
FTLN 0855 He’s mine, or I am his. Mine emulation
FTLN 0856 Hath not that honor in ’t it had; for where
FTLN 0857 I thought to crush him in an equal force,
FTLN 085815 True sword to sword, I’ll potch at him some way
FTLN 0859 Or wrath or craft may get him.
SOLDIER  FTLN 0860 He’s the devil.
AUFIDIUS 
FTLN 0861 Bolder, though not so subtle. My valor’s poisoned
FTLN 0862 With only suff’ring stain by him; for him
FTLN 086320 Shall fly out of itself. Nor sleep nor sanctuary,
FTLN 0864 Being naked, sick, nor fane nor Capitol,
FTLN 0865 The prayers of priests nor times of sacrifice,
FTLN 0866 Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up
FTLN 0867 Their rotten privilege and custom ’gainst
FTLN 086825 My hate to Martius. Where I find him, were it
FTLN 0869 At home, upon my brother’s guard, even there,
FTLN 0870 Against the hospitable canon, would I
FTLN 0871 Wash my fierce hand in ’s heart. Go you to th’ city;
FTLN 0872 Learn how ’tis held and what they are that must
FTLN 087330 Be hostages for Rome.
SOLDIER  FTLN 0874 Will not you go?
AUFIDIUS 
FTLN 0875 I am attended at the cypress grove. I pray you—
FTLN 0876 ’Tis south the city mills—bring me word thither
FTLN 0877 How the world goes, that to the pace of it
FTLN 087835 I may spur on my journey.
SOLDIER  FTLN 0879 I shall, sir.
editorial emendationThey exit, Aufidius through one door,
Soldiers through another.editorial emendation





ACT 2
editorial emendationScene 1editorial emendation
Enter Menenius with the two Tribunes of the people,
Sicinius and Brutus.


MENENIUS  FTLN 0880The augurer tells me we shall have news
FTLN 0881 tonight.
BRUTUS  FTLN 0882Good or bad?
MENENIUS  FTLN 0883Not according to the prayer of the people,
FTLN 08845 for they love not Martius.
SICINIUS  FTLN 0885Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0886Pray you, who does the wolf love?
SICINIUS  FTLN 0887The lamb.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0888Ay, to devour him, as the hungry plebeians
FTLN 088910 would the noble Martius.
BRUTUS  FTLN 0890He’s a lamb indeed, that baas like a bear.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0891He’s a bear indeed, that lives like a lamb.
FTLN 0892 You two are old men; tell me one thing that I shall
FTLN 0893 ask you.
BOTH  FTLN 089415Well, sir.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0895In what enormity is Martius poor in, that
FTLN 0896 you two have not in abundance?
BRUTUS  FTLN 0897He’s poor in no one fault, but stored with all.
SICINIUS  FTLN 0898Especially in pride.
BRUTUS  FTLN 089920And topping all others in boasting.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0900This is strange now. Do you two know how
FTLN 0901 you are censured here in the city, I mean of us o’
FTLN 0902 th’ right-hand file, do you?
71

73
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 1

BOTH  FTLN 0903Why, how are we censured?
MENENIUS  FTLN 090425Because you talk of pride now, will you not
FTLN 0905 be angry?
BOTH  FTLN 0906Well, well, sir, well?
MENENIUS  FTLN 0907Why, ’tis no great matter; for a very little
FTLN 0908 thief of occasion will rob you of a great deal of patience.
FTLN 090930 Give your dispositions the reins, and be
FTLN 0910 angry at your pleasures, at the least, if you take it
FTLN 0911 as a pleasure to you in being so. You blame Martius
FTLN 0912 for being proud.
BRUTUS  FTLN 0913We do it not alone, sir.
MENENIUS  FTLN 091435I know you can do very little alone, for
FTLN 0915 your helps are many, or else your actions would
FTLN 0916 grow wondrous single. Your abilities are too infantlike
FTLN 0917 for doing much alone. You talk of pride. O,
FTLN 0918 that you could turn your eyes toward the napes
FTLN 091940 of your necks and make but an interior survey of
FTLN 0920 your good selves! O, that you could!
BOTH  FTLN 0921What then, sir?
MENENIUS  FTLN 0922Why, then you should discover a brace of
FTLN 0923 unmeriting, proud, violent, testy magistrates, alias
FTLN 092445 fools, as any in Rome.
SICINIUS  FTLN 0925Menenius, you are known well enough, too.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0926I am known to be a humorous patrician and
FTLN 0927 one that loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of
FTLN 0928 allaying Tiber in ’t; said to be something imperfect
FTLN 092950 in favoring the first complaint, hasty and tinder-like
FTLN 0930 upon too trivial motion; one that converses
FTLN 0931 more with the buttock of the night than with the
FTLN 0932 forehead of the morning. What I think I utter,
FTLN 0933 and spend my malice in my breath. Meeting two
FTLN 093455 such wealsmen as you are—I cannot call you
FTLN 0935 Lycurguses—if the drink you give me touch my
FTLN 0936 palate adversely, I make a crooked face at it. I editorial emendationcannoteditorial emendation
FTLN 0937 say your Worships have delivered the matter
FTLN 0938 well when I find the ass in compound with the

75
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 1

FTLN 093960 major part of your syllables. And though I must
FTLN 0940 be content to bear with those that say you are reverend
FTLN 0941 grave men, yet they lie deadly that tell you
FTLN 0942 have good faces. If you see this in the map of my
FTLN 0943 microcosm, follows it that I am known well enough
FTLN 094465 too? What harm can your bisson conspectuities
FTLN 0945 glean out of this character, if I be known well
FTLN 0946 enough, too?
BRUTUS  FTLN 0947Come, sir, come; we know you well enough.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0948You know neither me, yourselves, nor anything.
FTLN 094970 You are ambitious for poor knaves’ caps
FTLN 0950 and legs. You wear out a good wholesome forenoon
FTLN 0951 in hearing a cause between an orange-wife
FTLN 0952 and a faucet-seller, and then rejourn the controversy
FTLN 0953 of threepence to a second day of audience.
FTLN 095475 When you are hearing a matter between party and
FTLN 0955 party, if you chance to be pinched with the colic,
FTLN 0956 you make faces like mummers, set up the bloody
FTLN 0957 flag against all patience, and, in roaring for a
FTLN 0958 chamber pot, dismiss the controversy bleeding,
FTLN 095980 the more entangled by your hearing. All the peace
FTLN 0960 you make in their cause is calling both the parties
FTLN 0961 knaves. You are a pair of strange ones.
BRUTUS  FTLN 0962Come, come. You are well understood to be a
FTLN 0963 perfecter giber for the table than a necessary
FTLN 096485 bencher in the Capitol.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0965Our very priests must become mockers if
FTLN 0966 they shall encounter such ridiculous subjects as
FTLN 0967 you are. When you speak best unto the purpose, it
FTLN 0968 is not worth the wagging of your beards, and your
FTLN 096990 beards deserve not so honorable a grave as to
FTLN 0970 stuff a botcher’s cushion or to be entombed in an
FTLN 0971 ass’s packsaddle. Yet you must be saying Martius is
FTLN 0972 proud, who, in a cheap estimation, is worth all
FTLN 0973 your predecessors since Deucalion, though peradventure
FTLN 097495 some of the best of ’em were hereditary

77
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 1

FTLN 0975 hangmen. Good e’en to your Worships. More of
FTLN 0976 your conversation would infect my brain, being
FTLN 0977 the herdsmen of the beastly plebeians. I will be
FTLN 0978 bold to take my leave of you.
editorial emendationHe begins to exit.editorial emendation Brutus and Sicinius editorial emendationstandeditorial emendation aside.

Enter Volumnia, Virgilia, and Valeria.

FTLN 0979100 How now, my as fair as noble ladies—and the
FTLN 0980 moon, were she earthly, no nobler—whither do
FTLN 0981 you follow your eyes so fast?
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 0982Honorable Menenius, my boy Martius approaches.
FTLN 0983 For the love of Juno, let’s go!
MENENIUS  FTLN 0984105Ha? Martius coming home?
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 0985Ay, worthy Menenius, and with most prosperous
FTLN 0986 approbation.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0987Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee!  editorial emendation(He
 throws his cap in the air.)editorial emendation 
FTLN 0988Hoo! Martius coming
FTLN 0989110 home?
editorial emendationVALERIA, VIRGILIAeditorial emendation  FTLN 0990Nay, ’tis true.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 0991Look, here’s a letter from him.  editorial emendationShe produces
 a paper.editorial emendation 
FTLN 0992The state hath another, his wife another,
FTLN 0993 and I think there’s one at home for you.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0994115I will make my very house reel tonight. A
FTLN 0995 letter for me?
VIRGILIA  FTLN 0996Yes, certain, there’s a letter for you; I saw ’t.
MENENIUS  FTLN 0997A letter for me? It gives me an estate of
FTLN 0998 seven years’ health, in which time I will make a lip
FTLN 0999120 at the physician. The most sovereign prescription
FTLN 1000 in Galen is but empiricutic and, to this preservative,
FTLN 1001 of no better report than a horse drench. Is he not
FTLN 1002 wounded? He was wont to come home wounded.
VIRGILIA  FTLN 1003O no, no, no!
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 1004125O, he is wounded, I thank the gods for ’t.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1005So do I too, if it be not too much. Brings he
FTLN 1006 victory in his pocket, the wounds become him.

79
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 1

VOLUMNIA  FTLN 1007On ’s brows, Menenius. He comes the third
FTLN 1008 time home with the oaken garland.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1009130Has he disciplined Aufidius soundly?
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 1010Titus Lartius writes they fought together,
FTLN 1011 but Aufidius got off.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1012And ’twas time for him too, I’ll warrant him
FTLN 1013 that. An he had stayed by him, I would not have
FTLN 1014135 been so ’fidiused for all the chests in Corioles and
FTLN 1015 the gold that’s in them. Is the Senate possessed of
FTLN 1016 this?
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 1017Good ladies, let’s go.—Yes, yes, yes. The
FTLN 1018 Senate has letters from the General, wherein he
FTLN 1019140 gives my son the whole name of the war. He hath
FTLN 1020 in this action outdone his former deeds doubly.
VALERIA  FTLN 1021In troth, there’s wondrous things spoke of
FTLN 1022 him.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1023Wondrous? Ay, I warrant you, and not without
FTLN 1024145 his true purchasing.
VIRGILIA  FTLN 1025The gods grant them true.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 1026True? Pow waw!
MENENIUS  FTLN 1027True? I’ll be sworn they are true. Where is
FTLN 1028 he wounded?  editorial emendation(To the Tribunes.)editorial emendation God save your
FTLN 1029150 good Worships! Martius is coming home; he has
FTLN 1030 more cause to be proud.—Where is he wounded?
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 1031I’ th’ shoulder and i’ th’ left arm. There will
FTLN 1032 be large cicatrices to show the people when he
FTLN 1033 shall stand for his place. He received in the repulse
FTLN 1034155 of Tarquin seven hurts i’ th’ body.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1035One i’ th’ neck and two i’ th’ thigh—there’s
FTLN 1036 nine that I know.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 1037He had, before this last expedition, twenty-five
FTLN 1038 wounds upon him.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1039160Now it’s twenty-seven. Every gash was an
FTLN 1040 enemy’s grave.  (A shout and flourish.) Hark, the
FTLN 1041 trumpets!

81
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 1

VOLUMNIA  FTLN 1042These are the ushers of Martius: before him
FTLN 1043 he carries noise, and behind him he leaves tears.
FTLN 1044165 Death, that dark spirit, in ’s nervy arm doth lie,
FTLN 1045 Which, being advanced, declines, and then men die.
A sennet.

Enter Cominius the General and Titus Lartius, between
them Coriolanus crowned with an oaken garland, with
Captains and Soldiers and a Herald. Trumpets sound.


HERALD 
FTLN 1046 Know, Rome, that all alone Martius did fight
FTLN 1047 Within Corioles’ gates, where he hath won,
FTLN 1048 With fame, a name to Martius Caius; these
FTLN 1049170 In honor follows “Coriolanus.”
FTLN 1050 Welcome to Rome, renownèd Coriolanus.
Sound flourish.
ALL 
FTLN 1051 Welcome to Rome, renownèd Coriolanus!
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1052 No more of this. It does offend my heart.
FTLN 1053 Pray now, no more.
COMINIUS  FTLN 1054175 Look, sir, your mother.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1055 O,
FTLN 1056 You have, I know, petitioned all the gods
FTLN 1057 For my prosperity. Kneels.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 1058 Nay, my good soldier, up.
editorial emendationHe stands.editorial emendation
FTLN 1059180 My gentle Martius, worthy Caius, and
FTLN 1060 By deed-achieving honor newly named—
FTLN 1061 What is it? Coriolanus must I call thee?
FTLN 1062 But, O, thy wife—
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1063 My gracious silence, hail.
FTLN 1064185 Wouldst thou have laughed had I come coffined
FTLN 1065 home,
FTLN 1066 That weep’st to see me triumph? Ah, my dear,

83
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 1

FTLN 1067 Such eyes the widows in Corioles wear
FTLN 1068 And mothers that lack sons.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1069190 Now the gods crown
FTLN 1070 thee!
editorial emendationCORIOLANUSeditorial emendation 
FTLN 1071 And live you yet?  editorial emendation(To Valeria.)editorial emendation O, my sweet lady,
FTLN 1072 pardon.
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 1073 I know not where to turn. O, welcome home!—
FTLN 1074195 And, welcome, general.—And you’re welcome all.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 1075 A hundred thousand welcomes! I could weep,
FTLN 1076 And I could laugh; I am light and heavy. Welcome.
FTLN 1077 A curse begin at very root on ’s heart
FTLN 1078 That is not glad to see thee! editorial emendationYoueditorial emendation are three
FTLN 1079200 That Rome should dote on; yet, by the faith of men,
FTLN 1080 We have some old crab trees here at home that will
FTLN 1081 not
FTLN 1082 Be grafted to your relish. Yet welcome, warriors!
FTLN 1083 We call a nettle but a nettle, and
FTLN 1084205 The faults of fools but folly.
COMINIUS  FTLN 1085Ever right.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1086Menenius ever, ever.
HERALD 
FTLN 1087 Give way there, and go on!
CORIOLANUS , editorial emendationto Volumnia and Virgiliaeditorial emendation  FTLN 1088 Your hand
FTLN 1089210 and yours.
FTLN 1090 Ere in our own house I do shade my head,
FTLN 1091 The good patricians must be visited,
FTLN 1092 From whom I have received not only greetings,
FTLN 1093 But with them change of honors.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 1094215 I have lived
FTLN 1095 To see inherited my very wishes
FTLN 1096 And the buildings of my fancy. Only
FTLN 1097 There’s one thing wanting, which I doubt not but
FTLN 1098 Our Rome will cast upon thee.

85
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 1

CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1099220 Know, good mother,
FTLN 1100 I had rather be their servant in my way
FTLN 1101 Than sway with them in theirs.
COMINIUS  FTLN 1102 On, to the Capitol.
Flourish editorial emendationofeditorial emendation cornets. They exit in state, as before.

Brutus and Sicinius editorial emendationcome forward.editorial emendation

BRUTUS 
FTLN 1103 All tongues speak of him, and the blearèd sights
FTLN 1104225 Are spectacled to see him. Your prattling nurse
FTLN 1105 Into a rapture lets her baby cry
FTLN 1106 While she chats him. The kitchen malkin pins
FTLN 1107 Her richest lockram ’bout her reechy neck,
FTLN 1108 Clamb’ring the walls to eye him. Stalls, bulks,
FTLN 1109230 windows
FTLN 1110 Are smothered up, leads filled, and ridges horsed
FTLN 1111 With variable complexions, all agreeing
FTLN 1112 In earnestness to see him. Seld-shown flamens
FTLN 1113 Do press among the popular throngs and puff
FTLN 1114235 To win a vulgar station. Our veiled dames
FTLN 1115 Commit the war of white and damask in
FTLN 1116 Their nicely-gauded cheeks to th’ wanton spoil
FTLN 1117 Of Phoebus’ burning kisses. Such a pother,
FTLN 1118 As if that whatsoever god who leads him
FTLN 1119240 Were slyly crept into his human powers
FTLN 1120 And gave him graceful posture.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1121 On the sudden
FTLN 1122 I warrant him consul.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1123 Then our office may,
FTLN 1124245 During his power, go sleep.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 1125 He cannot temp’rately transport his honors
FTLN 1126 From where he should begin and end, but will
FTLN 1127 Lose those he hath won.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1128 In that there’s comfort.

87
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 1

SICINIUS  FTLN 1129250 Doubt
FTLN 1130 not
FTLN 1131 The commoners, for whom we stand, but they
FTLN 1132 Upon their ancient malice will forget
FTLN 1133 With the least cause these his new honors—which
FTLN 1134255 That he will give them make I as little question
FTLN 1135 As he is proud to do ’t.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1136 I heard him swear,
FTLN 1137 Were he to stand for consul, never would he
FTLN 1138 Appear i’ th’ marketplace nor on him put
FTLN 1139260 The napless vesture of humility,
FTLN 1140 Nor showing, as the manner is, his wounds
FTLN 1141 To th’ people, beg their stinking breaths.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1142 ’Tis right.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 1143 It was his word. O, he would miss it rather
FTLN 1144265 Than carry it but by the suit of the gentry to him
FTLN 1145 And the desire of the nobles.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1146 I wish no better
FTLN 1147 Than have him hold that purpose and to put it
FTLN 1148 In execution.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1149270 ’Tis most like he will.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 1150 It shall be to him then as our good wills,
FTLN 1151 A sure destruction.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1152 So it must fall out
FTLN 1153 To him, or our authority’s for an end.
FTLN 1154275 We must suggest the people in what hatred
FTLN 1155 He still hath held them; that to ’s power he would
FTLN 1156 Have made them mules, silenced their pleaders, and
FTLN 1157 Dispropertied their freedoms; holding them
FTLN 1158 In human action and capacity
FTLN 1159280 Of no more soul nor fitness for the world
FTLN 1160 Than camels in their war, who have their provand
FTLN 1161 Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows
FTLN 1162 For sinking under them.

89
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 2

SICINIUS  FTLN 1163 This, as you say, suggested
FTLN 1164285 At some time when his soaring insolence
FTLN 1165 Shall editorial emendationtoucheditorial emendation the people—which time shall not want
FTLN 1166 If he be put upon ’t, and that’s as easy
FTLN 1167 As to set dogs on sheep—will be his fire
FTLN 1168 To kindle their dry stubble, and their blaze
FTLN 1169290 Shall darken him forever.

Enter a Messenger.

BRUTUS  FTLN 1170 What’s the matter?
MESSENGER 
FTLN 1171 You are sent for to the Capitol. ’Tis thought
FTLN 1172 That Martius shall be consul. I have seen
FTLN 1173 The dumb men throng to see him, and the blind
FTLN 1174295 To hear him speak; matrons flung gloves,
FTLN 1175 Ladies and maids their scarves and handkerchiefs,
FTLN 1176 Upon him as he passed; the nobles bended
FTLN 1177 As to Jove’s statue, and the Commons made
FTLN 1178 A shower and thunder with their caps and shouts.
FTLN 1179300 I never saw the like.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1180 Let’s to the Capitol,
FTLN 1181 And carry with us ears and eyes for th’ time,
FTLN 1182 But hearts for the event.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1183 Have with you.
They exit.


editorial emendationScene 2editorial emendation
Enter two Officers, to lay cushions, as it were
in the Capitol.


FIRST OFFICER  FTLN 1184Come, come. They are almost here. How
FTLN 1185 many stand for consulships?
SECOND OFFICER  FTLN 1186Three, they say; but ’tis thought of
FTLN 1187 everyone Coriolanus will carry it.

91
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 2

FIRST OFFICER  FTLN 11885That’s a brave fellow, but he’s vengeance
FTLN 1189 proud and loves not the common people.
SECOND OFFICER  FTLN 1190’Faith, there hath been many great
FTLN 1191 men that have flattered the people who ne’er loved
FTLN 1192 them; and there be many that they have loved they
FTLN 119310 know not wherefore; so that, if they love they
FTLN 1194 know not why, they hate upon no better a ground.
FTLN 1195 Therefore, for Coriolanus neither to care whether
FTLN 1196 they love or hate him manifests the true knowledge
FTLN 1197 he has in their disposition and, out of his noble
FTLN 119815 carelessness, lets them plainly see ’t.
FIRST OFFICER  FTLN 1199If he did not care whether he had their
FTLN 1200 love or no, he waved indifferently ’twixt doing them
FTLN 1201 neither good nor harm; but he seeks their hate with
FTLN 1202 greater devotion than they can render it him and
FTLN 120320 leaves nothing undone that may fully discover him
FTLN 1204 their opposite. Now, to seem to affect the malice
FTLN 1205 and displeasure of the people is as bad as that
FTLN 1206 which he dislikes, to flatter them for their love.
SECOND OFFICER  FTLN 1207He hath deserved worthily of his
FTLN 120825 country, and his ascent is not by such easy degrees
FTLN 1209 as those who, having been supple and courteous to
FTLN 1210 the people, bonneted, without any further deed to
FTLN 1211 have them at all into their estimation and report;
FTLN 1212 but he hath so planted his honors in their eyes and
FTLN 121330 his actions in their hearts that for their tongues to
FTLN 1214 be silent and not confess so much were a kind of
FTLN 1215 ingrateful injury. To report otherwise were a malice
FTLN 1216 that, giving itself the lie, would pluck reproof
FTLN 1217 and rebuke from every ear that heard it.
FIRST OFFICER  FTLN 121835No more of him; he’s a worthy man.
FTLN 1219 Make way. They are coming.

A sennet. Enter the Patricians and the Tribunes of the
people, Lictors before them; Coriolanus, Menenius,
Cominius the consul. editorial emendationThe Patricians sit.editorial emendation Sicinius

93
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 2

and Brutus take their places by themselves.
Coriolanus stands.


MENENIUS 
FTLN 1220 Having determined of the Volsces and
FTLN 1221 To send for Titus Lartius, it remains,
FTLN 1222 As the main point of this our after-meeting,
FTLN 122340 To gratify his noble service that
FTLN 1224 Hath thus stood for his country. Therefore please
FTLN 1225 you,
FTLN 1226 Most reverend and grave elders, to desire
FTLN 1227 The present consul and last general
FTLN 122845 In our well-found successes to report
FTLN 1229 A little of that worthy work performed
FTLN 1230 By Martius Caius Coriolanus, whom
FTLN 1231 We met here both to thank and to remember
FTLN 1232 With honors like himself. editorial emendationCoriolanus sits.editorial emendation
FIRST SENATOR  FTLN 123350 Speak, good Cominius.
FTLN 1234 Leave nothing out for length, and make us think
FTLN 1235 Rather our state’s defective for requital,
FTLN 1236 Than we to stretch it out.  editorial emendation(To the Tribunes.)editorial emendation
FTLN 1237 Masters o’ th’ people,
FTLN 123855 We do request your kindest ears and, after,
FTLN 1239 Your loving motion toward the common body
FTLN 1240 To yield what passes here.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1241 We are convented
FTLN 1242 Upon a pleasing treaty and have hearts
FTLN 124360 Inclinable to honor and advance
FTLN 1244 The theme of our assembly.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1245 Which the rather
FTLN 1246 We shall be blest to do if he remember
FTLN 1247 A kinder value of the people than
FTLN 124865 He hath hereto prized them at.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1249 That’s off, that’s off!
FTLN 1250 I would you rather had been silent. Please you
FTLN 1251 To hear Cominius speak?

95
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 2

BRUTUS  FTLN 1252 Most willingly,
FTLN 125370 But yet my caution was more pertinent
FTLN 1254 Than the rebuke you give it.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1255 He loves your people,
FTLN 1256 But tie him not to be their bedfellow.—
FTLN 1257 Worthy Cominius, speak.
Coriolanus rises and offers to go away.
FTLN 125875 Nay, keep your place.
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation SENATOR 
FTLN 1259 Sit, Coriolanus. Never shame to hear
FTLN 1260 What you have nobly done.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1261 Your Honors, pardon.
FTLN 1262 I had rather have my wounds to heal again
FTLN 126380 Than hear say how I got them.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1264 Sir, I hope
FTLN 1265 My words disbenched you not?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1266 No, sir. Yet oft,
FTLN 1267 When blows have made me stay, I fled from words.
FTLN 126885 You soothed not, therefore hurt not; but your
FTLN 1269 people,
FTLN 1270 I love them as they weigh.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1271 Pray now, sit down.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1272 I had rather have one scratch my head i’ th’ sun
FTLN 127390 When the alarum were struck than idly sit
FTLN 1274 To hear my nothings monstered. Coriolanus exits.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1275 Masters of the people,
FTLN 1276 Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter—
FTLN 1277 That’s thousand to one good one—when you now
FTLN 127895 see
FTLN 1279 He had rather venture all his limbs for honor
FTLN 1280 Than one on ’s ears to hear it.—Proceed, Cominius.
COMINIUS 
FTLN 1281 I shall lack voice. The deeds of Coriolanus
FTLN 1282 Should not be uttered feebly. It is held
FTLN 1283100 That valor is the chiefest virtue and

97
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 2

FTLN 1284 Most dignifies the haver; if it be,
FTLN 1285 The man I speak of cannot in the world
FTLN 1286 Be singly counterpoised. At sixteen years,
FTLN 1287 When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought
FTLN 1288105 Beyond the mark of others. Our then dictator,
FTLN 1289 Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight
FTLN 1290 When with his Amazonian chin he drove
FTLN 1291 The bristled lips before him. He bestrid
FTLN 1292 An o’erpressed Roman and i’ th’ Consul’s view
FTLN 1293110 Slew three opposers. Tarquin’s self he met
FTLN 1294 And struck him on his knee. In that day’s feats,
FTLN 1295 When he might act the woman in the scene,
FTLN 1296 He proved best man i’ th’ field and for his meed
FTLN 1297 Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age
FTLN 1298115 Man-entered thus, he waxèd like a sea,
FTLN 1299 And in the brunt of seventeen battles since
FTLN 1300 He lurched all swords of the garland. For this last,
FTLN 1301 Before and in Corioles, let me say,
FTLN 1302 I cannot speak him home. He stopped the flyers
FTLN 1303120 And by his rare example made the coward
FTLN 1304 Turn terror into sport. As weeds before
FTLN 1305 A vessel under sail, so men obeyed
FTLN 1306 And fell below his stem. His sword, Death’s stamp,
FTLN 1307 Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot
FTLN 1308125 He was a thing of blood, whose every motion
FTLN 1309 Was timed with dying cries. Alone he entered
FTLN 1310 The mortal gate o’ th’ city, which he painted
FTLN 1311 With shunless destiny; aidless came off
FTLN 1312 And with a sudden reinforcement struck
FTLN 1313130 Corioles like a planet. Now all’s his,
FTLN 1314 When by and by the din of war gan pierce
FTLN 1315 His ready sense; then straight his doubled spirit
FTLN 1316 Requickened what in flesh was fatigate,
FTLN 1317 And to the battle came he, where he did
FTLN 1318135 Run reeking o’er the lives of men as if
FTLN 1319 ’Twere a perpetual spoil; and till we called

99
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 2

FTLN 1320 Both field and city ours, he never stood
FTLN 1321 To ease his breast with panting.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1322 Worthy man!
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation SENATOR 
FTLN 1323140 He cannot but with measure fit the honors
FTLN 1324 Which we devise him.
COMINIUS  FTLN 1325 Our spoils he kicked at
FTLN 1326 And looked upon things precious as they were
FTLN 1327 The common muck of the world. He covets less
FTLN 1328145 Than misery itself would give, rewards
FTLN 1329 His deeds with doing them, and is content
FTLN 1330 To spend the time to end it.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1331 He’s right noble.
FTLN 1332 Let him be called for.
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation SENATOR  FTLN 1333150Call Coriolanus.
OFFICER  FTLN 1334He doth appear.

Enter Coriolanus.

MENENIUS 
FTLN 1335 The Senate, Coriolanus, are well pleased
FTLN 1336 To make thee consul.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1337 I do owe them still
FTLN 1338155 My life and services.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1339 It then remains
FTLN 1340 That you do speak to the people.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1341 I do beseech you,
FTLN 1342 Let me o’erleap that custom, for I cannot
FTLN 1343160 Put on the gown, stand naked, and entreat them
FTLN 1344 For my wounds’ sake to give their suffrage. Please
FTLN 1345 you
FTLN 1346 That I may pass this doing.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1347 Sir, the people
FTLN 1348165 Must have their voices; neither will they bate
FTLN 1349 One jot of ceremony.
MENENIUS , editorial emendationto Coriolanuseditorial emendation  FTLN 1350 Put them not to ’t.
FTLN 1351 Pray you, go fit you to the custom, and

101
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 3

FTLN 1352 Take to you, as your predecessors have,
FTLN 1353170 Your honor with your form.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1354 It is a part
FTLN 1355 That I shall blush in acting, and might well
FTLN 1356 Be taken from the people.
BRUTUS , editorial emendationto Siciniuseditorial emendation  FTLN 1357 Mark you that?
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1358175 To brag unto them “Thus I did, and thus!”
FTLN 1359 Show them th’ unaching scars, which I should hide,
FTLN 1360 As if I had received them for the hire
FTLN 1361 Of their breath only!
MENENIUS  FTLN 1362 Do not stand upon ’t.—
FTLN 1363180 We recommend to you, tribunes of the people,
FTLN 1364 Our purpose to them, and to our noble consul
FTLN 1365 Wish we all joy and honor.
SENATORS 
FTLN 1366 To Coriolanus come all joy and honor!
Flourish cornets. Then they exit. Sicinius and
Brutus remain.

BRUTUS 
FTLN 1367 You see how he intends to use the people.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 1368185 May they perceive ’s intent! He will require them
FTLN 1369 As if he did contemn what he requested
FTLN 1370 Should be in them to give.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1371 Come, we’ll inform them
FTLN 1372 Of our proceedings here. On th’ marketplace
FTLN 1373190 I know they do attend us.
editorial emendationThey exit.editorial emendation


editorial emendationScene 3editorial emendation
Enter seven or eight Citizens.

FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 1374Once, if he do require our voices, we
FTLN 1375 ought not to deny him.

103
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 3

SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 1376We may, sir, if we will.
THIRD CITIZEN  FTLN 1377We have power in ourselves to do it, but
FTLN 13785 it is a power that we have no power to do; for, if
FTLN 1379 he show us his wounds and tell us his deeds, we
FTLN 1380 are to put our tongues into those wounds and
FTLN 1381 speak for them. So, if he tell us his noble deeds, we
FTLN 1382 must also tell him our noble acceptance of them.
FTLN 138310 Ingratitude is monstrous, and for the multitude to
FTLN 1384 be ingrateful were to make a monster of the multitude,
FTLN 1385 of the which, we being members, should
FTLN 1386 bring ourselves to be monstrous members.
FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 1387And to make us no better thought of, a
FTLN 138815 little help will serve; for once we stood up about
FTLN 1389 the corn, he himself stuck not to call us the many-headed
FTLN 1390 multitude.
THIRD CITIZEN  FTLN 1391We have been called so of many; not that
FTLN 1392 our heads are some brown, some black, some
FTLN 139320 abram, some bald, but that our wits are so diversely
FTLN 1394 colored; and truly I think if all our wits were to
FTLN 1395 issue out of one skull, they would fly east, west,
FTLN 1396 north, south, and their consent of one direct way
FTLN 1397 should be at once to all the points o’ th’ compass.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 139825Think you so? Which way do you
FTLN 1399 judge my wit would fly?
THIRD CITIZEN  FTLN 1400Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another
FTLN 1401 man’s will; ’tis strongly wedged up in a blockhead.
FTLN 1402 But if it were at liberty, ’twould sure
FTLN 140330 southward.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 1404Why that way?
THIRD CITIZEN  FTLN 1405To lose itself in a fog, where, being three
FTLN 1406 parts melted away with rotten dews, the fourth
FTLN 1407 would return for conscience’ sake, to help to get
FTLN 140835 thee a wife.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 1409You are never without your tricks. You
FTLN 1410 may, you may.

105
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 3

THIRD CITIZEN  FTLN 1411Are you all resolved to give your voices?
FTLN 1412 But that’s no matter; the greater part carries it. I
FTLN 141340 say, if he would incline to the people, there was
FTLN 1414 never a worthier man.

Enter Coriolanus in a gown of humility, with Menenius.

FTLN 1415 Here he comes, and in the gown of humility. Mark
FTLN 1416 his behavior. We are not to stay all together, but to
FTLN 1417 come by him where he stands, by ones, by twos,
FTLN 141845 and by threes. He’s to make his requests by particulars,
FTLN 1419 wherein every one of us has a single honor
FTLN 1420 in giving him our own voices with our own tongues.
FTLN 1421 Therefore follow me, and I’ll direct you how you
FTLN 1422 shall go by him.
ALL  FTLN 142350Content, content. editorial emendationCitizens exit.editorial emendation
MENENIUS 
FTLN 1424 O sir, you are not right. Have you not known
FTLN 1425 The worthiest men have done ’t?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1426 What must I say?
FTLN 1427 “I pray, sir?”—plague upon ’t! I cannot bring
FTLN 142855 My tongue to such a pace. “Look, sir, my wounds!
FTLN 1429 I got them in my country’s service when
FTLN 1430 Some certain of your brethren roared and ran
FTLN 1431 From th’ noise of our own drums.”
MENENIUS  FTLN 1432 O me, the gods!
FTLN 143360 You must not speak of that. You must desire them
FTLN 1434 To think upon you.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1435 Think upon me? Hang ’em!
FTLN 1436 I would they would forget me, like the virtues
FTLN 1437 Which our divines lose by ’em.
MENENIUS  FTLN 143865 You’ll mar all.
FTLN 1439 I’ll leave you. Pray you, speak to ’em, I pray you,
FTLN 1440 In wholesome manner. He exits.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1441 Bid them wash their faces
FTLN 1442 And keep their teeth clean.

107
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 3

Enter three of the Citizens.

FTLN 144370 So, here comes a brace.—
FTLN 1444 You know the cause, sir, of my standing here.
THIRD CITIZEN 
FTLN 1445 We do, sir. Tell us what hath brought you to ’t.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1446Mine own desert.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 1447Your own desert?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 144875Ay, but editorial emendationnoteditorial emendation mine own desire.
THIRD CITIZEN  FTLN 1449How, not your own desire?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1450No, sir, ’twas never my desire yet to trouble
FTLN 1451 the poor with begging.
THIRD CITIZEN  FTLN 1452You must think if we give you anything,
FTLN 145380 we hope to gain by you.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1454Well then, I pray, your price o’ th’
FTLN 1455 consulship?
FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 1456The price is to ask it kindly.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1457Kindly, sir, I pray, let me ha ’t. I have
FTLN 145885 wounds to show you, which shall be yours in
FTLN 1459 private.—Your good voice, sir. What say you?
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 1460You shall ha ’t, worthy sir.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1461A match, sir. There’s in all two worthy
FTLN 1462 voices begged. I have your alms. Adieu.
THIRD CITIZEN , editorial emendationto the other Citizenseditorial emendation  FTLN 146390But this is something
FTLN 1464 odd.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 1465An ’twere to give again—but ’tis no
FTLN 1466 matter. editorial emendationThese citizenseditorial emendation exit.

Enter two other Citizens.

CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1467Pray you now, if it may stand with the
FTLN 146895 tune of your voices that I may be consul, I have
FTLN 1469 here the customary gown.
editorial emendationFOURTH CITIZENeditorial emendation  FTLN 1470You have deserved nobly of your
FTLN 1471 country, and you have not deserved nobly.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1472Your enigma?

109
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 3

editorial emendationFOURTH CITIZENeditorial emendation  FTLN 1473100You have been a scourge to her enemies;
FTLN 1474 you have been a rod to her friends. You have
FTLN 1475 not indeed loved the common people.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1476You should account me the more virtuous
FTLN 1477 that I have not been common in my love. I will, sir,
FTLN 1478105 flatter my sworn brother, the people, to earn a
FTLN 1479 dearer estimation of them; ’tis a condition they account
FTLN 1480 gentle. And since the wisdom of their choice
FTLN 1481 is rather to have my hat than my heart, I will practice
FTLN 1482 the insinuating nod and be off to them most
FTLN 1483110 counterfeitly. That is, sir, I will counterfeit the bewitchment
FTLN 1484 of some popular man and give it bountiful
FTLN 1485 to the desirers. Therefore, beseech you, I may
FTLN 1486 be consul.
editorial emendationFIFTH CITIZENeditorial emendation  FTLN 1487We hope to find you our friend, and
FTLN 1488115 therefore give you our voices heartily.
editorial emendationFOURTH CITIZENeditorial emendation  FTLN 1489You have received many wounds for
FTLN 1490 your country.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1491I will not seal your knowledge with showing
FTLN 1492 them. I will make much of your voices and so
FTLN 1493120 trouble you no farther.
BOTH  FTLN 1494The gods give you joy, sir, heartily.
editorial emendationCitizens exit.editorial emendation
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1495Most sweet voices!
FTLN 1496 Better it is to die, better to starve,
FTLN 1497 Than crave the editorial emendationhireeditorial emendation which first we do deserve.
FTLN 1498125 Why in this woolvish editorial emendationtogeeditorial emendation should I stand here
FTLN 1499 To beg of Hob and Dick that does appear
FTLN 1500 Their needless vouches? Custom calls me to ’t.
FTLN 1501 What custom wills, in all things should we do ’t?
FTLN 1502 The dust on antique time would lie unswept
FTLN 1503130 And mountainous error be too highly heaped
FTLN 1504 For truth to o’erpeer. Rather than fool it so,
FTLN 1505 Let the high office and the honor go
FTLN 1506 To one that would do thus. I am half through;
FTLN 1507 The one part suffered, the other will I do.

111
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 3

Enter three Citizens more.

FTLN 1508135 Here come more voices.—
FTLN 1509 Your voices! For your voices I have fought;
FTLN 1510 Watched for your voices; for your voices bear
FTLN 1511 Of wounds two dozen odd. Battles thrice six
FTLN 1512 I have seen and heard of; for your voices have
FTLN 1513140 Done many things, some less, some more. Your
FTLN 1514 voices!
FTLN 1515 Indeed, I would be consul.
editorial emendationSIXTHeditorial emendation CITIZEN  FTLN 1516He has done nobly, and cannot go
FTLN 1517 without any honest man’s voice.
editorial emendationSEVENTHeditorial emendation CITIZEN  FTLN 1518145Therefore let him be consul. The
FTLN 1519 gods give him joy, and make him good friend to
FTLN 1520 the people!
ALL  FTLN 1521Amen, amen. God save thee, noble consul.
editorial emendationCitizens exit.editorial emendation
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1522Worthy voices!

Enter Menenius, with Brutus and Sicinius.

MENENIUS 
FTLN 1523150 You have stood your limitation, and the Tribunes
FTLN 1524 Endue you with the people’s voice. Remains
FTLN 1525 That in th’ official marks invested, you
FTLN 1526 Anon do meet the Senate.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1527 Is this done?
SICINIUS 
FTLN 1528155 The custom of request you have discharged.
FTLN 1529 The people do admit you, and are summoned
FTLN 1530 To meet anon upon your approbation.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1531 Where? At the Senate House?
SICINIUS  FTLN 1532 There, Coriolanus.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1533160 May I change these garments?
SICINIUS  FTLN 1534 You may, sir.

113
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 3

CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1535 That I’ll straight do and, knowing myself again,
FTLN 1536 Repair to th’ Senate House.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 1537 I’ll keep you company.—Will you along?
BRUTUS 
FTLN 1538165 We stay here for the people.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1539 Fare you well.
Coriolanus and Menenius exit.
FTLN 1540 He has it now; and by his looks, methinks,
FTLN 1541 ’Tis warm at ’s heart.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1542 With a proud heart he wore
FTLN 1543170 His humble weeds. Will you dismiss the people?

Enter the Plebeians.

SICINIUS 
FTLN 1544 How now, my masters, have you chose this man?
FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 1545He has our voices, sir.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 1546 We pray the gods he may deserve your loves.
SECOND CITIZEN 
FTLN 1547 Amen, sir. To my poor unworthy notice,
FTLN 1548175 He mocked us when he begged our voices.
THIRD CITIZEN 
FTLN 1549 Certainly, he flouted us downright.
FIRST CITIZEN 
FTLN 1550 No, ’tis his kind of speech. He did not mock us.
SECOND CITIZEN 
FTLN 1551 Not one amongst us, save yourself, but says
FTLN 1552 He used us scornfully. He should have showed us
FTLN 1553180 His marks of merit, wounds received for ’s country.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1554Why, so he did, I am sure.
ALL  FTLN 1555No, no. No man saw ’em.
THIRD CITIZEN 
FTLN 1556 He said he had wounds, which he could show in
FTLN 1557 private,

115
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 3

FTLN 1558185 And with his hat, thus waving it in scorn,
FTLN 1559 “I would be consul,” says he. “Agèd custom,
FTLN 1560 But by your voices, will not so permit me;
FTLN 1561 Your voices therefore.” When we granted that,
FTLN 1562 Here was “I thank you for your voices. Thank you.
FTLN 1563190 Your most sweet voices! Now you have left your
FTLN 1564 voices,
FTLN 1565 I have no further with you.” Was not this mockery?
SICINIUS 
FTLN 1566 Why either were you ignorant to see ’t
FTLN 1567 Or, seeing it, of such childish friendliness
FTLN 1568195 To yield your voices?
BRUTUS  FTLN 1569 Could you not have told him
FTLN 1570 As you were lessoned? When he had no power,
FTLN 1571 But was a petty servant to the state,
FTLN 1572 He was your enemy, ever spake against
FTLN 1573200 Your liberties and the charters that you bear
FTLN 1574 I’ th’ body of the weal; and, now arriving
FTLN 1575 A place of potency and sway o’ th’ state,
FTLN 1576 If he should still malignantly remain
FTLN 1577 Fast foe to th’ plebeii, your voices might
FTLN 1578205 Be curses to yourselves. You should have said
FTLN 1579 That as his worthy deeds did claim no less
FTLN 1580 Than what he stood for, so his gracious nature
FTLN 1581 Would think upon you for your voices, and
FTLN 1582 Translate his malice towards you into love,
FTLN 1583210 Standing your friendly lord.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1584 Thus to have said,
FTLN 1585 As you were fore-advised, had touched his spirit
FTLN 1586 And tried his inclination; from him plucked
FTLN 1587 Either his gracious promise, which you might,
FTLN 1588215 As cause had called you up, have held him to;
FTLN 1589 Or else it would have galled his surly nature,
FTLN 1590 Which easily endures not article
FTLN 1591 Tying him to aught. So putting him to rage,

117
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 3

FTLN 1592 You should have ta’en th’ advantage of his choler
FTLN 1593220 And passed him unelected.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1594 Did you perceive
FTLN 1595 He did solicit you in free contempt
FTLN 1596 When he did need your loves, and do you think
FTLN 1597 That his contempt shall not be bruising to you
FTLN 1598225 When he hath power to crush? Why, had your
FTLN 1599 bodies
FTLN 1600 No heart among you? Or had you tongues to cry
FTLN 1601 Against the rectorship of judgment?
SICINIUS 
FTLN 1602 Have you ere now denied the asker? And now
FTLN 1603230 Again, of him that did not ask but mock,
FTLN 1604 Bestow your sued-for tongues?
THIRD CITIZEN  FTLN 1605 He’s not confirmed.
FTLN 1606 We may deny him yet.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 1607 And will deny him.
FTLN 1608235 I’ll have five hundred voices of that sound.
FIRST CITIZEN 
FTLN 1609 I twice five hundred, and their friends to piece ’em.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 1610 Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends
FTLN 1611 They have chose a consul that will from them take
FTLN 1612 Their liberties, make them of no more voice
FTLN 1613240 Than dogs that are as often beat for barking
FTLN 1614 As therefor kept to do so.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1615 Let them assemble
FTLN 1616 And, on a safer judgment, all revoke
FTLN 1617 Your ignorant election. Enforce his pride
FTLN 1618245 And his old hate unto you. Besides, forget not
FTLN 1619 With what contempt he wore the humble weed,
FTLN 1620 How in his suit he scorned you; but your loves,
FTLN 1621 Thinking upon his services, took from you
FTLN 1622 Th’ apprehension of his present portance,
FTLN 1623250 Which most gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion
FTLN 1624 After the inveterate hate he bears you.

119
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 3

BRUTUS  FTLN 1625 Lay
FTLN 1626 A fault on us, your tribunes, that we labored,
FTLN 1627 No impediment between, but that you must
FTLN 1628255 Cast your election on him.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1629 Say you chose him
FTLN 1630 More after our commandment than as guided
FTLN 1631 By your own true affections, and that your minds,
FTLN 1632 Preoccupied with what you rather must do
FTLN 1633260 Than what you should, made you against the grain
FTLN 1634 To voice him consul. Lay the fault on us.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 1635 Ay, spare us not. Say we read lectures to you,
FTLN 1636 How youngly he began to serve his country,
FTLN 1637 How long continued, and what stock he springs of,
FTLN 1638265 The noble house o’ th’ Martians, from whence came
FTLN 1639 That Ancus Martius, Numa’s daughter’s son,
FTLN 1640 Who after great Hostilius here was king,
FTLN 1641 Of the same house Publius and Quintus were,
FTLN 1642 That our best water brought by conduits hither;
FTLN 1643270 editorial emendationAnd Censorinus, that was so surnamed,editorial emendation
FTLN 1644 And nobly namèd so, twice being censor,
FTLN 1645 Was his great ancestor.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1646 One thus descended,
FTLN 1647 That hath besides well in his person wrought
FTLN 1648275 To be set high in place, we did commend
FTLN 1649 To your remembrances; but you have found,
FTLN 1650 Scaling his present bearing with his past,
FTLN 1651 That he’s your fixèd enemy, and revoke
FTLN 1652 Your sudden approbation.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1653280 Say you ne’er had done ’t—
FTLN 1654 Harp on that still—but by our putting on.
FTLN 1655 And presently, when you have drawn your number,
FTLN 1656 Repair to th’ Capitol.
ALL  FTLN 1657 We will so. Almost all
FTLN 1658285 Repent in their election. Plebeians exit.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1659 Let them go on.

121
Coriolanus
ACT 2. SC. 3

FTLN 1660 This mutiny were better put in hazard
FTLN 1661 Than stay, past doubt, for greater.
FTLN 1662 If, as his nature is, he fall in rage
FTLN 1663290 With their refusal, both observe and answer
FTLN 1664 The vantage of his anger.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1665 To th’ Capitol, come.
FTLN 1666 We will be there before the stream o’ th’ people,
FTLN 1667 And this shall seem, as partly ’tis, their own,
FTLN 1668295 Which we have goaded onward.
They exit.




ACT 3
editorial emendationScene 1editorial emendation
Cornets. Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, all the Gentry,
Cominius, Titus Lartius, and other Senators.


CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1669 Tullus Aufidius then had made new head?
LARTIUS 
FTLN 1670 He had, my lord, and that it was which caused
FTLN 1671 Our swifter composition.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1672 So then the Volsces stand but as at first,
FTLN 16735 Ready, when time shall prompt them, to make road
FTLN 1674 Upon ’s again.
COMINIUS  FTLN 1675 They are worn, lord consul, so,
FTLN 1676 That we shall hardly in our ages see
FTLN 1677 Their banners wave again.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 167810 Saw you Aufidius?
LARTIUS 
FTLN 1679 On safeguard he came to me, and did curse
FTLN 1680 Against the Volsces, for they had so vilely
FTLN 1681 Yielded the town. He is retired to Antium.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1682 Spoke he of me?
LARTIUS  FTLN 168315 He did, my lord.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1684 How? What?
LARTIUS 
FTLN 1685 How often he had met you sword to sword;
125

127
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 1

FTLN 1686 That of all things upon the earth he hated
FTLN 1687 Your person most; that he would pawn his fortunes
FTLN 168820 To hopeless restitution, so he might
FTLN 1689 Be called your vanquisher.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1690 At Antium lives he?
LARTIUS  FTLN 1691At Antium.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1692 I wish I had a cause to seek him there,
FTLN 169325 To oppose his hatred fully. Welcome home.

Enter Sicinius and Brutus.

FTLN 1694 Behold, these are the tribunes of the people,
FTLN 1695 The tongues o’ th’ common mouth. I do despise
FTLN 1696 them,
FTLN 1697 For they do prank them in authority
FTLN 169830 Against all noble sufferance.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1699Pass no further.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1700Ha? What is that?
BRUTUS 
FTLN 1701 It will be dangerous to go on. No further.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1702What makes this change?
MENENIUS  FTLN 170335The matter?
COMINIUS 
FTLN 1704 Hath he not passed the noble and the common?
BRUTUS 
FTLN 1705 Cominius, no.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1706 Have I had children’s voices?
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation SENATOR 
FTLN 1707 Tribunes, give way. He shall to th’ marketplace.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 170840 The people are incensed against him.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1709 Stop,
FTLN 1710 Or all will fall in broil.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1711 Are these your herd?
FTLN 1712 Must these have voices, that can yield them now

129
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 1

FTLN 171345 And straight disclaim their tongues? What are your
FTLN 1714 offices?
FTLN 1715 You being their mouths, why rule you not their
FTLN 1716 teeth?
FTLN 1717 Have you not set them on?
MENENIUS  FTLN 171850 Be calm, be calm.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1719 It is a purposed thing, and grows by plot,
FTLN 1720 To curb the will of the nobility.
FTLN 1721 Suffer ’t, and live with such as cannot rule
FTLN 1722 Nor ever will be ruled.
BRUTUS  FTLN 172355 Call ’t not a plot.
FTLN 1724 The people cry you mocked them; and, of late,
FTLN 1725 When corn was given them gratis, you repined,
FTLN 1726 Scandaled the suppliants for the people, called them
FTLN 1727 Timepleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 172860 Why, this was known before.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1729 Not to them all.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1730 Have you informed them sithence?
BRUTUS  FTLN 1731 How? I inform
FTLN 1732 them?
COMINIUS  FTLN 173365You are like to do such business.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 1734 Not unlike, each way, to better yours.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1735 Why then should I be consul? By yond clouds,
FTLN 1736 Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me
FTLN 1737 Your fellow tribune.
SICINIUS  FTLN 173870 You show too much of that
FTLN 1739 For which the people stir. If you will pass
FTLN 1740 To where you are bound, you must inquire your
FTLN 1741 way,

131
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 1

FTLN 1742 Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit,
FTLN 174375 Or never be so noble as a consul,
FTLN 1744 Nor yoke with him for tribune.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1745 Let’s be calm.
COMINIUS 
FTLN 1746 The people are abused, set on. This palt’ring
FTLN 1747 Becomes not Rome, nor has Coriolanus
FTLN 174880 Deserved this so dishonored rub, laid falsely
FTLN 1749 I’ th’ plain way of his merit.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1750 Tell me of corn?
FTLN 1751 This was my speech, and I will speak ’t again.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 1752 Not now, not now.
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation SENATOR  FTLN 175385 Not in this heat, sir, now.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1754Now, as I live, I will.
FTLN 1755 My nobler friends, I crave their pardons. For
FTLN 1756 The mutable, rank-scented meiny, let them
FTLN 1757 Regard me, as I do not flatter, and
FTLN 175890 Therein behold themselves. I say again,
FTLN 1759 In soothing them, we nourish ’gainst our senate
FTLN 1760 The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition,
FTLN 1761 Which we ourselves have plowed for, sowed, and
FTLN 1762 scattered
FTLN 176395 By mingling them with us, the honored number,
FTLN 1764 Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that
FTLN 1765 Which they have given to beggars.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1766 Well, no more.
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation SENATOR 
FTLN 1767 No more words, we beseech you.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1768100 How? No more?
FTLN 1769 As for my country I have shed my blood,
FTLN 1770 Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs
FTLN 1771 Coin words till their decay against those measles
FTLN 1772 Which we disdain should tetter us, yet sought
FTLN 1773105 The very way to catch them.

133
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 1

BRUTUS  FTLN 1774 You speak o’ th’ people
FTLN 1775 As if you were a god to punish, not
FTLN 1776 A man of their infirmity.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1777 ’Twere well
FTLN 1778110 We let the people know ’t.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1779 What, what? His choler?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1780Choler?
FTLN 1781 Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,
FTLN 1782 By Jove, ’twould be my mind.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1783115 It is a mind
FTLN 1784 That shall remain a poison where it is,
FTLN 1785 Not poison any further.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1786 “Shall remain”?
FTLN 1787 Hear you this Triton of the minnows? Mark you
FTLN 1788120 His absolute “shall”?
COMINIUS  FTLN 1789 ’Twas from the canon.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1790 “Shall”?
FTLN 1791 O editorial emendationgoodeditorial emendation but most unwise patricians, why,
FTLN 1792 You grave but reckless senators, have you thus
FTLN 1793125 Given Hydra here to choose an officer,
FTLN 1794 That with his peremptory “shall,” being but
FTLN 1795 The horn and noise o’ th’ monster’s, wants not spirit
FTLN 1796 To say he’ll turn your current in a ditch
FTLN 1797 And make your channel his? If he have power,
FTLN 1798130 Then vail your ignorance; if none, awake
FTLN 1799 Your dangerous lenity. If you are learned,
FTLN 1800 Be not as common fools; if you are not,
FTLN 1801 Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians,
FTLN 1802 If they be senators; and they are no less
FTLN 1803135 When, both your voices blended, the great’st taste
FTLN 1804 Most palates theirs. They choose their magistrate,
FTLN 1805 And such a one as he, who puts his “shall,”
FTLN 1806 His popular “shall,” against a graver bench
FTLN 1807 Than ever frowned in Greece. By Jove himself,
FTLN 1808140 It makes the consuls base! And my soul aches
FTLN 1809 To know, when two authorities are up,

135
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 1

FTLN 1810 Neither supreme, how soon confusion
FTLN 1811 May enter ’twixt the gap of both and take
FTLN 1812 The one by th’ other.
COMINIUS  FTLN 1813145 Well, on to th’ marketplace.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1814 Whoever gave that counsel to give forth
FTLN 1815 The corn o’ th’ storehouse gratis, as ’twas used
FTLN 1816 Sometime in Greece—
MENENIUS  FTLN 1817 Well, well, no more of that.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 1818150 Though there the people had more absolute power,
FTLN 1819 I say they nourished disobedience, fed
FTLN 1820 The ruin of the state.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1821 Why shall the people give
FTLN 1822 One that speaks thus their voice?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1823155 I’ll give my reasons,
FTLN 1824 More worthier than their voices. They know the
FTLN 1825 corn
FTLN 1826 Was not our recompense, resting well assured
FTLN 1827 They ne’er did service for ’t. Being pressed to th’ war,
FTLN 1828160 Even when the navel of the state was touched,
FTLN 1829 They would not thread the gates. This kind of
FTLN 1830 service
FTLN 1831 Did not deserve corn gratis. Being i’ th’ war,
FTLN 1832 Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they showed
FTLN 1833165 Most valor, spoke not for them. Th’ accusation
FTLN 1834 Which they have often made against the Senate,
FTLN 1835 All cause unborn, could never be the native
FTLN 1836 Of our so frank donation. Well, what then?
FTLN 1837 How shall this bosom multiplied digest
FTLN 1838170 The Senate’s courtesy? Let deeds express
FTLN 1839 What’s like to be their words: “We did request it;
FTLN 1840 We are the greater poll, and in true fear
FTLN 1841 They gave us our demands.” Thus we debase
FTLN 1842 The nature of our seats and make the rabble
FTLN 1843175 Call our cares fears, which will in time

137
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 1

FTLN 1844 Break ope the locks o’ th’ Senate and bring in
FTLN 1845 The crows to peck the eagles.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1846 Come, enough.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 1847 Enough, with over-measure.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1848180 No, take more!
FTLN 1849 What may be sworn by, both divine and human,
FTLN 1850 Seal what I end withal! This double worship—
FTLN 1851 editorial emendationWhere oneeditorial emendation part does disdain with cause, the other
FTLN 1852 Insult without all reason, where gentry, title,
FTLN 1853185 wisdom
FTLN 1854 Cannot conclude but by the yea and no
FTLN 1855 Of general ignorance—it must omit
FTLN 1856 Real necessities and give way the while
FTLN 1857 To unstable slightness. Purpose so barred, it follows
FTLN 1858190 Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore, beseech
FTLN 1859 you—
FTLN 1860 You that will be less fearful than discreet,
FTLN 1861 That love the fundamental part of state
FTLN 1862 More than you doubt the change on ’t, that prefer
FTLN 1863195 A noble life before a long, and wish
FTLN 1864 To jump a body with a dangerous physic
FTLN 1865 That’s sure of death without it—at once pluck out
FTLN 1866 The multitudinous tongue; let them not lick
FTLN 1867 The sweet which is their poison. Your dishonor
FTLN 1868200 Mangles true judgment and bereaves the state
FTLN 1869 Of that integrity which should become ’t,
FTLN 1870 Not having the power to do the good it would
FTLN 1871 For th’ ill which doth control ’t.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1872 ’Has said enough.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 1873205 ’Has spoken like a traitor and shall answer
FTLN 1874 As traitors do.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1875 Thou wretch, despite o’erwhelm thee!
FTLN 1876 What should the people do with these bald tribunes,
FTLN 1877 On whom depending, their obedience fails

139
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 1

FTLN 1878210 To th’ greater bench? In a rebellion,
FTLN 1879 When what’s not meet but what must be was law,
FTLN 1880 Then were they chosen. In a better hour,
FTLN 1881 Let what is meet be said it must be meet,
FTLN 1882 And throw their power i’ th’ dust.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1883215Manifest treason.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1884This a consul? No.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1885The aediles, ho! Let him be apprehended.

Enter an Aedile.

SICINIUS 
FTLN 1886 Go, call the people;  editorial emendationAedile exits.editorial emendation in whose name
FTLN 1887 myself
FTLN 1888220 Attach thee as a traitorous innovator,
FTLN 1889 A foe to th’ public weal. Obey, I charge thee,
FTLN 1890 And follow to thine answer.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1891 Hence, old goat.
ALL editorial emendationPATRICIANSeditorial emendation 
FTLN 1892 We’ll surety him.
COMINIUS , editorial emendationto Siciniuseditorial emendation  FTLN 1893225 Agèd sir, hands off.
CORIOLANUS , editorial emendationto Siciniuseditorial emendation 
FTLN 1894 Hence, rotten thing, or I shall shake thy bones
FTLN 1895 Out of thy garments.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1896 Help, you citizens!

Enter a rabble of Plebeians with the Aediles.

MENENIUS  FTLN 1897On both sides more respect!
SICINIUS 
FTLN 1898230 Here’s he that would take from you all your power.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1899Seize him, aediles.
ALL editorial emendationPLEBEIANSeditorial emendation  FTLN 1900Down with him, down with him!
SECOND SENATOR  FTLN 1901Weapons, weapons, weapons!
They all bustle about Coriolanus.
FTLN 1902 Tribunes, patricians, citizens, what ho!
FTLN 1903235 Sicinius, Brutus, Coriolanus, citizens!

141
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 1

ALL  FTLN 1904Peace, peace, peace! Stay, hold, peace!
MENENIUS 
FTLN 1905 What is about to be? I am out of breath.
FTLN 1906 Confusion’s near. I cannot speak. You, tribunes
FTLN 1907 To th’ people!—Coriolanus, patience!—
FTLN 1908240 Speak, good Sicinius.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1909 Hear me, people! Peace!
ALL editorial emendationPLEBEIANSeditorial emendation 
FTLN 1910 Let’s hear our tribune. Peace! Speak, speak, speak.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 1911 You are at point to lose your liberties.
FTLN 1912 Martius would have all from you, Martius,
FTLN 1913245 Whom late you have named for consul.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1914 Fie, fie, fie!
FTLN 1915 This is the way to kindle, not to quench.
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation SENATOR 
FTLN 1916 To unbuild the city and to lay all flat.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 1917 What is the city but the people?
ALL editorial emendationPLEBEIANSeditorial emendation  FTLN 1918250 True,
FTLN 1919 The people are the city.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 1920 By the consent of all, we were established
FTLN 1921 The people’s magistrates.
ALL editorial emendationPLEBEIANSeditorial emendation  FTLN 1922You so remain.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1923255And so are like to do.
editorial emendationCORIOLANUSeditorial emendation 
FTLN 1924 That is the way to lay the city flat,
FTLN 1925 To bring the roof to the foundation
FTLN 1926 And bury all which yet distinctly ranges
FTLN 1927 In heaps and piles of ruin.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1928260 This deserves death.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 1929 Or let us stand to our authority
FTLN 1930 Or let us lose it. We do here pronounce,
FTLN 1931 Upon the part o’ th’ people, in whose power

143
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 1

FTLN 1932 We were elected theirs, Martius is worthy
FTLN 1933265 Of present death.
SICINIUS  FTLN 1934 Therefore lay hold of him,
FTLN 1935 Bear him to th’ rock Tarpeian, and from thence
FTLN 1936 Into destruction cast him.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1937 Aediles, seize him!
ALL PLEBEIANS 
FTLN 1938270 Yield, Martius, yield!
MENENIUS  FTLN 1939 Hear me one word.
FTLN 1940 Beseech you, tribunes, hear me but a word.
AEDILES  FTLN 1941Peace, peace!
MENENIUS 
FTLN 1942 Be that you seem, truly your country’s friend,
FTLN 1943275 And temp’rately proceed to what you would
FTLN 1944 Thus violently redress.
BRUTUS  FTLN 1945 Sir, those cold ways,
FTLN 1946 That seem like prudent helps, are very poisonous
FTLN 1947 Where the disease is violent.—Lay hands upon him,
FTLN 1948280 And bear him to the rock.
Coriolanus draws his sword.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1949 No, I’ll die here.
FTLN 1950 There’s some among you have beheld me fighting.
FTLN 1951 Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 1952 Down with that sword!—Tribunes, withdraw awhile.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 1953285 Lay hands upon him!
MENENIUS  FTLN 1954 Help Martius, help!
FTLN 1955 You that be noble, help him, young and old!
ALL editorial emendationPLEBEIANSeditorial emendation  FTLN 1956Down with him, down with him!

In this mutiny, the Tribunes, the Aediles, and the People
are beat in.


MENENIUS , editorial emendationto Coriolanuseditorial emendation 
FTLN 1957 Go, get you to editorial emendationyoureditorial emendation house. Begone, away.
FTLN 1958290 All will be naught else.

145
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 1

SECOND SENATOR  FTLN 1959 Get you gone.
editorial emendationCORIOLANUSeditorial emendation  FTLN 1960 Stand fast!
FTLN 1961 We have as many friends as enemies.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 1962 Shall it be put to that?
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation SENATOR  FTLN 1963295 The gods forbid!—
FTLN 1964 I prithee, noble friend, home to thy house;
FTLN 1965 Leave us to cure this cause.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1966 For ’tis a sore upon us
FTLN 1967 You cannot tent yourself. Begone, beseech you.
editorial emendationCOMINIUSeditorial emendation  FTLN 1968300Come, sir, along with us.
editorial emendationCORIOLANUSeditorial emendation 
FTLN 1969 I would they were barbarians, as they are,
FTLN 1970 Though in Rome littered; not Romans, as they are
FTLN 1971 not,
FTLN 1972 Though calved i’ th’ porch o’ th’ Capitol.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1973305 Begone!
FTLN 1974 Put not your worthy rage into your tongue.
FTLN 1975 One time will owe another.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 1976 On fair ground
FTLN 1977 I could beat forty of them.
MENENIUS  FTLN 1978310 I could myself
FTLN 1979 Take up a brace o’ th’ best of them, yea, the two
FTLN 1980 tribunes.
COMINIUS 
FTLN 1981 But now ’tis odds beyond arithmetic,
FTLN 1982 And manhood is called foolery when it stands
FTLN 1983315 Against a falling fabric.  editorial emendationTo Coriolanus.editorial emendation Will you
FTLN 1984 hence,
FTLN 1985 Before the tag return, whose rage doth rend
FTLN 1986 Like interrupted waters and o’erbear
FTLN 1987 What they are used to bear?
MENENIUS , editorial emendationto Coriolanuseditorial emendation  FTLN 1988320 Pray you, begone.
FTLN 1989 I’ll try whether my old wit be in request
FTLN 1990 With those that have but little. This must be patched
FTLN 1991 With cloth of any color.

147
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 1

COMINIUS  FTLN 1992Nay, come away.
Coriolanus and Cominius exit.
PATRICIAN  FTLN 1993325This man has marred his fortune.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 1994 His nature is too noble for the world.
FTLN 1995 He would not flatter Neptune for his trident
FTLN 1996 Or Jove for ’s power to thunder. His heart’s his
FTLN 1997 mouth;
FTLN 1998330 What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent,
FTLN 1999 And, being angry, does forget that ever
FTLN 2000 He heard the name of death. A noise within.
FTLN 2001 Here’s goodly work.
PATRICIAN  FTLN 2002I would they were abed!
MENENIUS 
FTLN 2003335 I would they were in Tiber. What the vengeance,
FTLN 2004 Could he not speak ’em fair?

Enter Brutus and Sicinius with the rabble again.

SICINIUS  FTLN 2005 Where is this viper
FTLN 2006 That would depopulate the city and
FTLN 2007 Be every man himself?
MENENIUS  FTLN 2008340 You worthy tribunes—
SICINIUS 
FTLN 2009 He shall be thrown down the Tarpeian rock
FTLN 2010 With rigorous hands. He hath resisted law,
FTLN 2011 And therefore law shall scorn him further trial
FTLN 2012 Than the severity of the public power
FTLN 2013345 Which he so sets at naught.
FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 2014 He shall well know
FTLN 2015 The noble tribunes are the people’s mouths
FTLN 2016 And we their hands.
ALL editorial emendationPLEBEIANSeditorial emendation  FTLN 2017He shall, sure on ’t.
MENENIUS  FTLN 2018350Sir, sir—
SICINIUS  FTLN 2019Peace!

149
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 1

MENENIUS 
FTLN 2020 Do not cry havoc where you should but hunt
FTLN 2021 With modest warrant.
SICINIUS  FTLN 2022 Sir, how comes ’t that you
FTLN 2023355 Have holp to make this rescue?
MENENIUS  FTLN 2024 Hear me speak.
FTLN 2025 As I do know the Consul’s worthiness,
FTLN 2026 So can I name his faults.
SICINIUS  FTLN 2027Consul? What consul?
MENENIUS  FTLN 2028360The consul Coriolanus.
BRUTUS  FTLN 2029He consul?
ALL editorial emendationPLEBEIANSeditorial emendation  FTLN 2030No, no, no, no, no!
MENENIUS 
FTLN 2031 If, by the Tribunes’ leave, and yours, good people,
FTLN 2032 I may be heard, I would crave a word or two,
FTLN 2033365 The which shall turn you to no further harm
FTLN 2034 Than so much loss of time.
SICINIUS  FTLN 2035 Speak briefly then,
FTLN 2036 For we are peremptory to dispatch
FTLN 2037 This viperous traitor. To eject him hence
FTLN 2038370 Were but one danger, and to keep him here
FTLN 2039 Our certain death. Therefore it is decreed
FTLN 2040 He dies tonight.
MENENIUS  FTLN 2041 Now the good gods forbid
FTLN 2042 That our renownèd Rome, whose gratitude
FTLN 2043375 Towards her deservèd children is enrolled
FTLN 2044 In Jove’s own book, like an unnatural dam
FTLN 2045 Should now eat up her own.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 2046 He’s a disease that must be cut away.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 2047 O, he’s a limb that has but a disease—
FTLN 2048380 Mortal to cut it off; to cure it easy.
FTLN 2049 What has he done to Rome that’s worthy death?
FTLN 2050 Killing our enemies, the blood he hath lost—
FTLN 2051 Which I dare vouch is more than that he hath

151
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 1

FTLN 2052 By many an ounce—he dropped it for his country;
FTLN 2053385 And what is left, to lose it by his country
FTLN 2054 Were to us all that do ’t and suffer it
FTLN 2055 A brand to th’ end o’ th’ world.
SICINIUS  FTLN 2056 This is clean cam.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 2057 Merely awry. When he did love his country,
FTLN 2058390 It honored him.
editorial emendationSICINIUSeditorial emendation  FTLN 2059 The service of the foot,
FTLN 2060 Being once gangrened, is not then respected
FTLN 2061 For what before it was.
BRUTUS  FTLN 2062 We’ll hear no more.
FTLN 2063395 Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence,
FTLN 2064 Lest his infection, being of catching nature,
FTLN 2065 Spread further.
MENENIUS  FTLN 2066One word more, one word!
FTLN 2067 This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find
FTLN 2068400 The harm of unscanned swiftness, will too late
FTLN 2069 Tie leaden pounds to ’s heels. Proceed by process,
FTLN 2070 Lest parties—as he is beloved—break out
FTLN 2071 And sack great Rome with Romans.
BRUTUS  FTLN 2072 If it were so—
SICINIUS  FTLN 2073405What do you talk?
FTLN 2074 Have we not had a taste of his obedience?
FTLN 2075 Our aediles smote! Ourselves resisted! Come.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 2076 Consider this: he has been bred i’ th’ wars
FTLN 2077 Since he could draw a sword, and is ill schooled
FTLN 2078410 In bolted language; meal and bran together
FTLN 2079 He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
FTLN 2080 I’ll go to him and undertake to bring him
FTLN 2081 Where he shall answer by a lawful form,
FTLN 2082 In peace, to his utmost peril.
FIRST SENATOR  FTLN 2083415 Noble tribunes,
FTLN 2084 It is the humane way: the other course

153
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 2

FTLN 2085 Will prove too bloody, and the end of it
FTLN 2086 Unknown to the beginning.
SICINIUS  FTLN 2087 Noble Menenius,
FTLN 2088420 Be you then as the people’s officer.—
FTLN 2089 Masters, lay down your weapons.
BRUTUS  FTLN 2090 Go not home.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 2091 Meet on the marketplace.  editorial emendationTo Menenius.editorial emendation We’ll
FTLN 2092 attend you there,
FTLN 2093425 Where if you bring not Martius, we’ll proceed
FTLN 2094 In our first way.
MENENIUS  FTLN 2095I’ll bring him to you.
FTLN 2096  editorial emendationTo Senators.editorial emendation Let me desire your company. He must
FTLN 2097 come,
FTLN 2098430 Or what is worst will follow.
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation SENATOR  FTLN 2099 Pray you, let’s to him.
All exit.


editorial emendationScene 2editorial emendation
Enter Coriolanus with Nobles.

CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 2100 Let them pull all about mine ears, present me
FTLN 2101 Death on the wheel or at wild horses’ heels,
FTLN 2102 Or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock,
FTLN 2103 That the precipitation might down stretch
FTLN 21045 Below the beam of sight, yet will I still
FTLN 2105 Be thus to them.
NOBLE  FTLN 2106You do the nobler.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2107I muse my mother
FTLN 2108 Does not approve me further, who was wont
FTLN 210910 To call them woolen vassals, things created
FTLN 2110 To buy and sell with groats, to show bare heads
FTLN 2111 In congregations, to yawn, be still, and wonder

155
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 2

FTLN 2112 When one but of my ordinance stood up
FTLN 2113 To speak of peace or war.

Enter Volumnia.

FTLN 211415 I talk of you.
FTLN 2115 Why did you wish me milder? Would you have me
FTLN 2116 False to my nature? Rather say I play
FTLN 2117 The man I am.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 2118 O sir, sir, sir,
FTLN 211920 I would have had you put your power well on
FTLN 2120 Before you had worn it out.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2121Let go.
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 2122 You might have been enough the man you are
FTLN 2123 With striving less to be so. Lesser had been
FTLN 212425 The editorial emendationthwartingseditorial emendation of your dispositions if
FTLN 2125 You had not showed them how you were disposed
FTLN 2126 Ere they lacked power to cross you.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2127 Let them hang!
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 2128Ay, and burn too.

Enter Menenius with the Senators.

MENENIUS , editorial emendationto Coriolanuseditorial emendation 
FTLN 212930 Come, come, you have been too rough, something
FTLN 2130 too rough.
FTLN 2131 You must return and mend it.
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation SENATOR  FTLN 2132 There’s no remedy,
FTLN 2133 Unless, by not so doing, our good city
FTLN 213435 Cleave in the midst and perish.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 2135 Pray be counseled.
FTLN 2136 I have a heart as little apt as yours,
FTLN 2137 But yet a brain that leads my use of anger
FTLN 2138 To better vantage.
MENENIUS  FTLN 213940 Well said, noble woman.
FTLN 2140 Before he should thus stoop to th’ editorial emendationherdeditorial emendation—but that
FTLN 2141 The violent fit o’ th’ time craves it as physic

157
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 2

FTLN 2142 For the whole state—I would put mine armor on,
FTLN 2143 Which I can scarcely bear.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 214445 What must I do?
MENENIUS 
FTLN 2145 Return to th’ Tribunes.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2146 Well, what then? What then?
MENENIUS  FTLN 2147Repent what you have spoke.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 2148 For them? I cannot do it to the gods.
FTLN 214950 Must I then do ’t to them?
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 2150 You are too absolute,
FTLN 2151 Though therein you can never be too noble
FTLN 2152 But when extremities speak. I have heard you say
FTLN 2153 Honor and policy, like unsevered friends,
FTLN 215455 I’ th’ war do grow together. Grant that, and tell me
FTLN 2155 In peace what each of them by th’ other lose
FTLN 2156 That they combine not there?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2157 Tush, tush!
MENENIUS  FTLN 2158 A good
FTLN 215960 demand.
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 2160 If it be honor in your wars to seem
FTLN 2161 The same you are not, which for your best ends
FTLN 2162 You adopt your policy, how is it less or worse
FTLN 2163 That it shall hold companionship in peace
FTLN 216465 With honor as in war, since that to both
FTLN 2165 It stands in like request?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2166 Why force you this?
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 2167 Because that now it lies you on to speak
FTLN 2168 To th’ people, not by your own instruction,
FTLN 216970 Nor by th’ matter which your heart prompts you,
FTLN 2170 But with such words that are but roted in
FTLN 2171 Your tongue, though but bastards and syllables
FTLN 2172 Of no allowance to your bosom’s truth.

159
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 2

FTLN 2173 Now, this no more dishonors you at all
FTLN 217475 Than to take in a town with gentle words,
FTLN 2175 Which else would put you to your fortune and
FTLN 2176 The hazard of much blood.
FTLN 2177 I would dissemble with my nature where
FTLN 2178 My fortunes and my friends at stake required
FTLN 217980 I should do so in honor. I am in this
FTLN 2180 Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles;
FTLN 2181 And you will rather show our general louts
FTLN 2182 How you can frown than spend a fawn upon ’em
FTLN 2183 For the inheritance of their loves and safeguard
FTLN 218485 Of what that want might ruin.
MENENIUS  FTLN 2185 Noble lady!—
FTLN 2186 Come, go with us; speak fair. You may salve so,
FTLN 2187 Not what is dangerous present, but the loss
FTLN 2188 Of what is past.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 218990 I prithee now, my son,
FTLN 2190 Go to them with this bonnet in thy hand,
FTLN 2191 And thus far having stretched it—here be with
FTLN 2192 them—
FTLN 2193 Thy knee bussing the stones—for in such business
FTLN 219495 Action is eloquence, and the eyes of th’ ignorant
FTLN 2195 More learnèd than the ears—waving thy head,
FTLN 2196 Which often thus correcting thy stout heart,
FTLN 2197 Now humble as the ripest mulberry
FTLN 2198 That will not hold the handling. Or say to them
FTLN 2199100 Thou art their soldier and, being bred in broils,
FTLN 2200 Hast not the soft way, which thou dost confess
FTLN 2201 Were fit for thee to use as they to claim,
FTLN 2202 In asking their good loves; but thou wilt frame
FTLN 2203 Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far
FTLN 2204105 As thou hast power and person.
MENENIUS  FTLN 2205 This but done
FTLN 2206 Even as she speaks, why, their hearts were yours;
FTLN 2207 For they have pardons, being asked, as free
FTLN 2208 As words to little purpose.

161
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 2

VOLUMNIA  FTLN 2209110 Prithee now,
FTLN 2210 Go, and be ruled; although I know thou hadst rather
FTLN 2211 Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf
FTLN 2212 Than flatter him in a bower.

Enter Cominius.

FTLN 2213 Here is Cominius.
COMINIUS 
FTLN 2214115 I have been i’ th’ marketplace; and, sir, ’tis fit
FTLN 2215 You make strong party or defend yourself
FTLN 2216 By calmness or by absence. All’s in anger.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 2217 Only fair speech.
COMINIUS  FTLN 2218 I think ’twill serve, if he
FTLN 2219120 Can thereto frame his spirit.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 2220 He must, and will.—
FTLN 2221 Prithee, now, say you will, and go about it.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 2222 Must I go show them my unbarbèd sconce? Must I
FTLN 2223 With my base tongue give to my noble heart
FTLN 2224125 A lie that it must bear? Well, I will do ’t.
FTLN 2225 Yet, were there but this single plot to lose,
FTLN 2226 This mold of Martius, they to dust should grind it
FTLN 2227 And throw ’t against the wind. To th’ marketplace!
FTLN 2228 You have put me now to such a part which never
FTLN 2229130 I shall discharge to th’ life.
COMINIUS  FTLN 2230 Come, come, we’ll prompt
FTLN 2231 you.
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 2232 I prithee now, sweet son, as thou hast said
FTLN 2233 My praises made thee first a soldier, so,
FTLN 2234135 To have my praise for this, perform a part
FTLN 2235 Thou hast not done before.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2236 Well, I must do ’t.
FTLN 2237 Away, my disposition, and possess me
FTLN 2238 Some harlot’s spirit! My throat of war be turned,

163
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 2

FTLN 2239140 Which choirèd with my drum, into a pipe
FTLN 2240 Small as an eunuch or the virgin voice
FTLN 2241 That babies lull asleep! The smiles of knaves
FTLN 2242 Tent in my cheeks, and schoolboys’ tears take up
FTLN 2243 The glasses of my sight! A beggar’s tongue
FTLN 2244145 Make motion through my lips, and my armed knees,
FTLN 2245 Who bowed but in my stirrup, bend like his
FTLN 2246 That hath received an alms. I will not do ’t,
FTLN 2247 Lest I surcease to honor mine own truth
FTLN 2248 And, by my body’s action, teach my mind
FTLN 2249150 A most inherent baseness.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 2250 At thy choice, then.
FTLN 2251 To beg of thee, it is my more dishonor
FTLN 2252 Than thou of them. Come all to ruin. Let
FTLN 2253 Thy mother rather feel thy pride than fear
FTLN 2254155 Thy dangerous stoutness, for I mock at death
FTLN 2255 With as big heart as thou. Do as thou list.
FTLN 2256 Thy valiantness was mine; thou suck’st it from me,
FTLN 2257 But owe thy pride thyself.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2258 Pray be content.
FTLN 2259160 Mother, I am going to the marketplace.
FTLN 2260 Chide me no more. I’ll mountebank their loves,
FTLN 2261 Cog their hearts from them, and come home
FTLN 2262 beloved
FTLN 2263 Of all the trades in Rome. Look, I am going.
FTLN 2264165 Commend me to my wife. I’ll return consul,
FTLN 2265 Or never trust to what my tongue can do
FTLN 2266 I’ th’ way of flattery further.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 2267 Do your will.
Volumnia exits.
COMINIUS 
FTLN 2268 Away! The Tribunes do attend you. Arm yourself
FTLN 2269170 To answer mildly, for they are prepared
FTLN 2270 With accusations, as I hear, more strong
FTLN 2271 Than are upon you yet.

165
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 3

CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 2272 The word is “mildly.” Pray you, let us go.
FTLN 2273 Let them accuse me by invention, I
FTLN 2274175 Will answer in mine honor.
MENENIUS  FTLN 2275 Ay, but mildly.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2276Well, mildly be it, then. Mildly.
They exit.


editorial emendationScene 3editorial emendation
Enter Sicinius and Brutus.

BRUTUS 
FTLN 2277 In this point charge him home, that he affects
FTLN 2278 Tyrannical power. If he evade us there,
FTLN 2279 Enforce him with his envy to the people,
FTLN 2280 And that the spoil got on the Antiates
FTLN 22815 Was ne’er distributed.

Enter an Aedile.

FTLN 2282 What, will he come?
AEDILE  FTLN 2283He’s coming.
BRUTUS  FTLN 2284How accompanied?
AEDILE 
FTLN 2285 With old Menenius, and those senators
FTLN 228610 That always favored him.
SICINIUS  FTLN 2287 Have you a catalogue
FTLN 2288 Of all the voices that we have procured,
FTLN 2289 Set down by th’ poll?
AEDILE  FTLN 2290 I have. ’Tis ready.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 229115 Have you collected them by tribes?
AEDILE  FTLN 2292 I have.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 2293 Assemble presently the people hither;
FTLN 2294 And when they hear me say “It shall be so

167
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 3

FTLN 2295 I’ th’ right and strength o’ th’ commons,” be it either
FTLN 229620 For death, for fine, or banishment, then let them
FTLN 2297 If I say “Fine,” cry “Fine,” if “Death,” cry “Death,”
FTLN 2298 Insisting on the old prerogative
FTLN 2299 And power i’ th’ truth o’ th’ cause.
AEDILE  FTLN 2300 I shall inform them.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 230125 And when such time they have begun to cry,
FTLN 2302 Let them not cease, but with a din confused
FTLN 2303 Enforce the present execution
FTLN 2304 Of what we chance to sentence.
AEDILE  FTLN 2305 Very well.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 230630 Make them be strong and ready for this hint
FTLN 2307 When we shall hap to give ’t them.
BRUTUS  FTLN 2308 Go about it.
editorial emendationAedile exits.editorial emendation
FTLN 2309 Put him to choler straight. He hath been used
FTLN 2310 Ever to conquer and to have his worth
FTLN 231135 Of contradiction. Being once chafed, he cannot
FTLN 2312 Be reined again to temperance; then he speaks
FTLN 2313 What’s in his heart, and that is there which looks
FTLN 2314 With us to break his neck.

Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, and Cominius, with
others editorial emendation(Senators).editorial emendation


SICINIUS  FTLN 2315 Well, here he comes.
MENENIUS , editorial emendationaside to Coriolanuseditorial emendation  FTLN 231640Calmly, I do beseech
FTLN 2317 you.
CORIOLANUS , editorial emendationaside to Meneniuseditorial emendation 
FTLN 2318 Ay, as an hostler that editorial emendationfor th’editorial emendation poorest piece
FTLN 2319 Will bear the knave by th’ volume.—Th’ honored
FTLN 2320 gods
FTLN 232145 Keep Rome in safety and the chairs of justice
FTLN 2322 Supplied with worthy men! Plant love among ’s!

169
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 3

FTLN 2323 editorial emendationThrongeditorial emendation our large temples with the shows of peace
FTLN 2324 And not our streets with war!
FIRST SENATOR  FTLN 2325 Amen, amen.
MENENIUS  FTLN 232650A noble wish.

Enter the Aedile with the Plebeians.

SICINIUS  FTLN 2327Draw near, you people.
AEDILE 
FTLN 2328 List to your tribunes. Audience! Peace, I say!
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2329First, hear me speak.
BOTH TRIBUNES  FTLN 2330Well, say.—Peace, ho!
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 233155 Shall I be charged no further than this present?
FTLN 2332 Must all determine here?
SICINIUS  FTLN 2333 I do demand
FTLN 2334 If you submit you to the people’s voices,
FTLN 2335 Allow their officers, and are content
FTLN 233660 To suffer lawful censure for such faults
FTLN 2337 As shall be proved upon you.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2338 I am content.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 2339 Lo, citizens, he says he is content.
FTLN 2340 The warlike service he has done, consider. Think
FTLN 234165 Upon the wounds his body bears, which show
FTLN 2342 Like graves i’ th’ holy churchyard.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2343 Scratches with
FTLN 2344 briars,
FTLN 2345 Scars to move laughter only.
MENENIUS  FTLN 234670 Consider further,
FTLN 2347 That when he speaks not like a citizen,
FTLN 2348 You find him like a soldier. Do not take
FTLN 2349 His rougher editorial emendationaccentseditorial emendation for malicious sounds,
FTLN 2350 But, as I say, such as become a soldier
FTLN 235175 Rather than envy you.
COMINIUS  FTLN 2352 Well, well, no more.

171
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 3

CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2353What is the matter,
FTLN 2354 That, being passed for consul with full voice,
FTLN 2355 I am so dishonored that the very hour
FTLN 235680 You take it off again?
SICINIUS  FTLN 2357Answer to us.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2358Say then. ’Tis true, I ought so.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 2359 We charge you that you have contrived to take
FTLN 2360 From Rome all seasoned office and to wind
FTLN 236185 Yourself into a power tyrannical,
FTLN 2362 For which you are a traitor to the people.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 2363 How? Traitor?
MENENIUS  FTLN 2364 Nay, temperately! Your promise.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 2365 The fires i’ th’ lowest hell fold in the people!
FTLN 236690 Call me their traitor? Thou injurious tribune!
FTLN 2367 Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths,
FTLN 2368 In thy hands clutched as many millions, in
FTLN 2369 Thy lying tongue both numbers, I would say
FTLN 2370 “Thou liest” unto thee with a voice as free
FTLN 237195 As I do pray the gods.
SICINIUS  FTLN 2372 Mark you this, people?
ALL editorial emendationPLEBEIANSeditorial emendation  FTLN 2373To th’ rock, to th’ rock with him!
SICINIUS  FTLN 2374Peace!
FTLN 2375 We need not put new matter to his charge.
FTLN 2376100 What you have seen him do and heard him speak,
FTLN 2377 Beating your officers, cursing yourselves,
FTLN 2378 Opposing laws with strokes, and here defying
FTLN 2379 Those whose great power must try him—even this,
FTLN 2380 So criminal and in such capital kind,
FTLN 2381105 Deserves th’ extremest death.
BRUTUS  FTLN 2382 But since he hath
FTLN 2383 Served well for Rome—
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2384 What do you prate of service?
BRUTUS  FTLN 2385I talk of that that know it.

173
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 3

CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2386110You?
MENENIUS 
FTLN 2387 Is this the promise that you made your mother?
COMINIUS  FTLN 2388Know, I pray you—
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2389I’ll know no further.
FTLN 2390 Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,
FTLN 2391115 Vagabond exile, flaying, pent to linger
FTLN 2392 But with a grain a day, I would not buy
FTLN 2393 Their mercy at the price of one fair word,
FTLN 2394 Nor check my courage for what they can give,
FTLN 2395 To have ’t with saying “Good morrow.”
SICINIUS  FTLN 2396120 For that he has,
FTLN 2397 As much as in him lies, from time to time
FTLN 2398 Envied against the people, seeking means
FTLN 2399 To pluck away their power, as now at last
FTLN 2400 Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
FTLN 2401125 Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers
FTLN 2402 That doth distribute it, in the name o’ th’ people
FTLN 2403 And in the power of us the Tribunes, we,
FTLN 2404 Even from this instant, banish him our city
FTLN 2405 In peril of precipitation
FTLN 2406130 From off the rock Tarpeian, never more
FTLN 2407 To enter our Rome gates. I’ th’ people’s name,
FTLN 2408 I say it shall be so.
ALL editorial emendationPLEBEIANSeditorial emendation 
FTLN 2409 It shall be so, it shall be so! Let him away!
FTLN 2410 He’s banished, and it shall be so.
COMINIUS 
FTLN 2411135 Hear me, my masters and my common friends—
SICINIUS 
FTLN 2412 He’s sentenced. No more hearing.
COMINIUS  FTLN 2413 Let me speak.
FTLN 2414 I have been consul and can show editorial emendationforeditorial emendation Rome
FTLN 2415 Her enemies’ marks upon me. I do love
FTLN 2416140 My country’s good with a respect more tender,
FTLN 2417 More holy and profound, than mine own life,

175
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 3

FTLN 2418 My dear wife’s estimate, her womb’s increase,
FTLN 2419 And treasure of my loins. Then if I would
FTLN 2420 Speak that—
SICINIUS  FTLN 2421145 We know your drift. Speak what?
BRUTUS 
FTLN 2422 There’s no more to be said, but he is banished
FTLN 2423 As enemy to the people and his country.
FTLN 2424 It shall be so.
ALL editorial emendationPLEBEIANSeditorial emendation  FTLN 2425It shall be so, it shall be so!
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 2426150 You common cry of curs, whose breath I hate
FTLN 2427 As reek o’ th’ rotten fens, whose loves I prize
FTLN 2428 As the dead carcasses of unburied men
FTLN 2429 That do corrupt my air, I banish you!
FTLN 2430 And here remain with your uncertainty;
FTLN 2431155 Let every feeble rumor shake your hearts;
FTLN 2432 Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
FTLN 2433 Fan you into despair! Have the power still
FTLN 2434 To banish your defenders, till at length
FTLN 2435 Your ignorance—which finds not till it feels,
FTLN 2436160 Making but reservation of yourselves,
FTLN 2437 Still your own foes—deliver you
FTLN 2438 As most abated captives to some nation
FTLN 2439 That won you without blows! Despising
FTLN 2440 For you the city, thus I turn my back.
FTLN 2441165 There is a world elsewhere.
Coriolanus, Cominius, with others editorial emendation(Senators)editorial emendation exit.
AEDILE 
FTLN 2442 The people’s enemy is gone, is gone.
ALL editorial emendationPLEBEIANSeditorial emendation 
FTLN 2443 Our enemy is banished; he is gone. Hoo, hoo!
They all shout and throw up their caps.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 2444 Go see him out at gates, and follow him,
FTLN 2445 As he hath followed you, with all despite.

177
Coriolanus
ACT 3. SC. 3

FTLN 2446170 Give him deserved vexation. Let a guard
FTLN 2447 Attend us through the city.
ALL editorial emendationPLEBEIANSeditorial emendation 
FTLN 2448 Come, come, let’s see him out at gates! Come!
FTLN 2449 The gods preserve our noble tribunes! Come!
They exit.




ACT 4
editorial emendationScene 1editorial emendation
Enter Coriolanus, Volumnia, Virgilia, Menenius,
Cominius, with the young nobility of Rome.


CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 2450 Come, leave your tears. A brief farewell. The beast
FTLN 2451 With many heads butts me away. Nay, mother,
FTLN 2452 Where is your ancient courage? You were used
FTLN 2453 To say extremities was the trier of spirits;
FTLN 24545 That common chances common men could bear;
FTLN 2455 That when the sea was calm, all boats alike
FTLN 2456 Showed mastership in floating; fortune’s blows
FTLN 2457 When most struck home, being gentle wounded
FTLN 2458 craves
FTLN 245910 A noble cunning. You were used to load me
FTLN 2460 With precepts that would make invincible
FTLN 2461 The heart that conned them.
VIRGILIA 
FTLN 2462 O heavens! O heavens!
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2463 Nay, I prithee,
FTLN 246415 woman—
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 2465 Now the red pestilence strike all trades in Rome,
FTLN 2466 And occupations perish!
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2467 What, what, what!
FTLN 2468 I shall be loved when I am lacked. Nay, mother,
FTLN 246920 Resume that spirit when you were wont to say
FTLN 2470 If you had been the wife of Hercules,
181

183
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 1

FTLN 2471 Six of his labors you’d have done and saved
FTLN 2472 Your husband so much sweat.—Cominius,
FTLN 2473 Droop not. Adieu.—Farewell, my wife, my mother.
FTLN 247425 I’ll do well yet.—Thou old and true Menenius,
FTLN 2475 Thy tears are salter than a younger man’s
FTLN 2476 And venomous to thine eyes.—My sometime
FTLN 2477 general,
FTLN 2478 I have seen thee stern, and thou hast oft beheld
FTLN 247930 Heart-hard’ning spectacles. Tell these sad women
FTLN 2480 ’Tis fond to wail inevitable strokes
FTLN 2481 As ’tis to laugh at ’em.—My mother, you wot well
FTLN 2482 My hazards still have been your solace, and—
FTLN 2483 Believe ’t not lightly—though I go alone,
FTLN 248435 Like to a lonely dragon that his fen
FTLN 2485 Makes feared and talked of more than seen, your
FTLN 2486 son
FTLN 2487 Will or exceed the common or be caught
FTLN 2488 With cautelous baits and practice.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 248940 My first son,
FTLN 2490 Whither editorial emendationwilteditorial emendation thou go? Take good Cominius
FTLN 2491 With thee awhile. Determine on some course
FTLN 2492 More than a wild exposure to each chance
FTLN 2493 That starts i’ th’ way before thee.
editorial emendationVIRGILIAeditorial emendation  FTLN 249445 O the gods!
COMINIUS 
FTLN 2495 I’ll follow thee a month, devise with thee
FTLN 2496 Where thou shalt rest, that thou mayst hear of us
FTLN 2497 And we of thee; so if the time thrust forth
FTLN 2498 A cause for thy repeal, we shall not send
FTLN 249950 O’er the vast world to seek a single man
FTLN 2500 And lose advantage, which doth ever cool
FTLN 2501 I’ th’ absence of the needer.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2502 Fare you well.
FTLN 2503 Thou hast years upon thee, and thou art too full
FTLN 250455 Of the wars’ surfeits to go rove with one
FTLN 2505 That’s yet unbruised. Bring me but out at gate.—

185
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 2

FTLN 2506 Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and
FTLN 2507 My friends of noble touch. When I am forth,
FTLN 2508 Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you, come.
FTLN 250960 While I remain above the ground, you shall
FTLN 2510 Hear from me still, and never of me aught
FTLN 2511 But what is like me formerly.
MENENIUS  FTLN 2512 That’s worthily
FTLN 2513 As any ear can hear. Come, let’s not weep.
FTLN 251465 If I could shake off but one seven years
FTLN 2515 From these old arms and legs, by the good gods,
FTLN 2516 I’d with thee every foot.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2517 Give me thy hand.
FTLN 2518 Come.
They exit.


editorial emendationScene 2editorial emendation
Enter the two Tribunes, Sicinius, and Brutus,
with the Aedile.


SICINIUS 
FTLN 2519 Bid them all home. He’s gone, and we’ll no further.
FTLN 2520 The nobility are vexed, whom we see have sided
FTLN 2521 In his behalf.
BRUTUS  FTLN 2522 Now we have shown our power,
FTLN 25235 Let us seem humbler after it is done
FTLN 2524 Than when it was a-doing.
SICINIUS  FTLN 2525 Bid them home.
FTLN 2526 Say their great enemy is gone, and they
FTLN 2527 Stand in their ancient strength.
BRUTUS  FTLN 252810 Dismiss them home.
editorial emendationAedile exits.editorial emendation
FTLN 2529 Here comes his mother.

Enter Volumnia, Virgilia, and Menenius.

SICINIUS  FTLN 2530Let’s not meet her.
BRUTUS  FTLN 2531Why?

187
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 2

SICINIUS  FTLN 2532They say she’s mad.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 253315 They have ta’en note of us. Keep on your way.
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 2534 O, you’re well met. The hoarded plague o’ th’ gods
FTLN 2535 Requite your love!
MENENIUS  FTLN 2536 Peace, peace! Be not so loud.
VOLUMNIA , editorial emendationto the Tribuneseditorial emendation 
FTLN 2537 If that I could for weeping, you should hear—
FTLN 253820 Nay, and you shall hear some.  editorial emendation(To Sicinius.)editorial emendation Will
FTLN 2539 you be gone?
VIRGILIA , editorial emendationto Brutuseditorial emendation 
FTLN 2540 You shall stay too. I would I had the power
FTLN 2541 To say so to my husband.
SICINIUS , editorial emendationto Volumniaeditorial emendation  FTLN 2542 Are you mankind?
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 254325 Ay, fool, is that a shame? Note but this, fool.
FTLN 2544 Was not a man my father? Hadst thou foxship
FTLN 2545 To banish him that struck more blows for Rome
FTLN 2546 Than thou hast spoken words?
SICINIUS  FTLN 2547 O blessèd heavens!
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 254830 More noble blows than ever thou wise words,
FTLN 2549 And for Rome’s good. I’ll tell thee what—yet go.
FTLN 2550 Nay, but thou shalt stay too. I would my son
FTLN 2551 Were in Arabia and thy tribe before him,
FTLN 2552 His good sword in his hand.
SICINIUS  FTLN 255335 What then?
VIRGILIA  FTLN 2554 What then?
FTLN 2555 He’d make an end of thy posterity.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 2556Bastards and all.
FTLN 2557 Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome!
MENENIUS  FTLN 255840Come, come, peace.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 2559 I would he had continued to his country

189
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 2

FTLN 2560 As he began, and not unknit himself
FTLN 2561 The noble knot he made.
BRUTUS  FTLN 2562 I would he had.
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 256345 “I would he had”? ’Twas you incensed the rabble.
FTLN 2564 Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth
FTLN 2565 As I can of those mysteries which heaven
FTLN 2566 Will not have Earth to know.
BRUTUS , editorial emendationto Siciniuseditorial emendation  FTLN 2567Pray, let’s go.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 256850Now, pray, sir, get you gone.
FTLN 2569 You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear this:
FTLN 2570 As far as doth the Capitol exceed
FTLN 2571 The meanest house in Rome, so far my son—
FTLN 2572 This lady’s husband here, this, do you see?—
FTLN 257355 Whom you have banished, does exceed you all.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 2574 Well, well, we’ll leave you.
SICINIUS  FTLN 2575 Why stay we to be baited
FTLN 2576 With one that wants her wits? Tribunes exit.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 2577 Take my prayers with
FTLN 257860 you.
FTLN 2579 I would the gods had nothing else to do
FTLN 2580 But to confirm my curses. Could I meet ’em
FTLN 2581 But once a day, it would unclog my heart
FTLN 2582 Of what lies heavy to ’t.
MENENIUS  FTLN 258365 You have told them home,
FTLN 2584 And, by my troth, you have cause. You’ll sup with
FTLN 2585 me?
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 2586 Anger’s my meat. I sup upon myself
FTLN 2587 And so shall starve with feeding.
FTLN 258870  editorial emendation(To Virgilia.)editorial emendation Come, let’s go.
FTLN 2589 Leave this faint puling, and lament as I do,
FTLN 2590 In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come. They exit.
MENENIUS  FTLN 2591Fie, fie, fie!
He exits.




191
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 3

editorial emendationScene 3editorial emendation
Enter a Roman editorial emendation(Nicanor)editorial emendation and a Volsce editorial emendation(Adrian).editorial emendation

ROMAN  FTLN 2592I know you well, sir, and you know me. Your
FTLN 2593 name I think is Adrian.
VOLSCE  FTLN 2594It is so, sir. Truly, I have forgot you.
ROMAN  FTLN 2595I am a Roman, and my services are, as you are,
FTLN 25965 against ’em. Know you me yet?
VOLSCE  FTLN 2597Nicanor, no?
ROMAN  FTLN 2598The same, sir.
VOLSCE  FTLN 2599You had more beard when I last saw you, but
FTLN 2600 your favor is well editorial emendationapprovededitorial emendation by your tongue.
FTLN 260110 What’s the news in Rome? I have a note from the
FTLN 2602 Volscian state to find you out there. You have well
FTLN 2603 saved me a day’s journey.
ROMAN  FTLN 2604There hath been in Rome strange insurrections,
FTLN 2605 the people against the senators, patricians,
FTLN 260615 and nobles.
VOLSCE  FTLN 2607Hath been? Is it ended, then? Our state thinks
FTLN 2608 not so. They are in a most warlike preparation and
FTLN 2609 hope to come upon them in the heat of their
FTLN 2610 division.
ROMAN  FTLN 261120The main blaze of it is past, but a small thing
FTLN 2612 would make it flame again; for the nobles receive
FTLN 2613 so to heart the banishment of that worthy Coriolanus
FTLN 2614 that they are in a ripe aptness to take all power
FTLN 2615 from the people and to pluck from them their tribunes
FTLN 261625 forever. This lies glowing, I can tell you, and
FTLN 2617 is almost mature for the violent breaking out.
VOLSCE  FTLN 2618Coriolanus banished?
ROMAN  FTLN 2619Banished, sir.
VOLSCE  FTLN 2620You will be welcome with this intelligence,
FTLN 262130 Nicanor.
ROMAN  FTLN 2622The day serves well for them now. I have heard

193
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 4

FTLN 2623 it said the fittest time to corrupt a man’s wife is
FTLN 2624 when she’s fall’n out with her husband. Your noble
FTLN 2625 Tullus Aufidius editorial emendationwilleditorial emendation appear well in these wars, his
FTLN 262635 great opposer Coriolanus being now in no request
FTLN 2627 of his country.
VOLSCE  FTLN 2628He cannot choose. I am most fortunate thus
FTLN 2629 accidentally to encounter you. You have ended my
FTLN 2630 business, and I will merrily accompany you home.
ROMAN  FTLN 263140I shall between this and supper tell you most
FTLN 2632 strange things from Rome, all tending to the good
FTLN 2633 of their adversaries. Have you an army ready, say
FTLN 2634 you?
VOLSCE  FTLN 2635A most royal one. The centurions and their
FTLN 263645 charges, distinctly billeted, already in th’ entertainment,
FTLN 2637 and to be on foot at an hour’s warning.
ROMAN  FTLN 2638I am joyful to hear of their readiness and am
FTLN 2639 the man, I think, that shall set them in present action.
FTLN 2640 So, sir, heartily well met, and most glad of
FTLN 264150 your company.
VOLSCE  FTLN 2642You take my part from me, sir. I have the most
FTLN 2643 cause to be glad of yours.
ROMAN  FTLN 2644Well, let us go together.
They exit.


editorial emendationScene 4editorial emendation
Enter Coriolanus in mean apparel, disguised,
and muffled.


CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 2645 A goodly city is this Antium. City,
FTLN 2646 ’Tis I that made thy widows. Many an heir
FTLN 2647 Of these fair edifices ’fore my wars
FTLN 2648 Have I heard groan and drop. Then, know me not,

195
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 4

FTLN 26495 Lest that thy wives with spits and boys with stones
FTLN 2650 In puny battle slay me.

Enter a Citizen.

FTLN 2651 Save you, sir.
CITIZEN 
FTLN 2652 And you.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2653 Direct me, if it be your will,
FTLN 265410 Where great Aufidius lies. Is he in Antium?
CITIZEN 
FTLN 2655 He is, and feasts the nobles of the state
FTLN 2656 At his house this night.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2657 Which is his house, beseech
FTLN 2658 you?
CITIZEN 
FTLN 265915 This here before you.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2660 Thank you, sir. Farewell.
Citizen exits.
FTLN 2661 O world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn,
FTLN 2662 Whose double bosoms seems to wear one heart,
FTLN 2663 Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal and exercise
FTLN 266420 Are still together, who twin, as ’twere, in love
FTLN 2665 Unseparable, shall within this hour,
FTLN 2666 On a dissension of a doit, break out
FTLN 2667 To bitterest enmity; so fellest foes,
FTLN 2668 Whose passions and whose plots have broke their
FTLN 266925 sleep
FTLN 2670 To take the one the other, by some chance,
FTLN 2671 Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends
FTLN 2672 And interjoin their issues. So with me:
FTLN 2673 My birthplace editorial emendationhateeditorial emendation I, and my love’s upon
FTLN 267430 This enemy town. I’ll enter. If he slay me,
FTLN 2675 He does fair justice; if he give me way,
FTLN 2676 I’ll do his country service.
He exits.




197
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 5

editorial emendationScene 5editorial emendation
Music plays. Enter a Servingman.

FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2677Wine, wine, wine! What service is
FTLN 2678 here? I think our fellows are asleep. editorial emendationHe exits.editorial emendation

Enter another Servingman.

SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2679Where’s Cotus? My master calls
FTLN 2680 for him. Cotus! He exits.

Enter Coriolanus.

CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 26815 A goodly house. The feast smells well, but I
FTLN 2682 Appear not like a guest.

Enter the First Servingman.

FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2683What would you have, friend?
FTLN 2684 Whence are you? Here’s no place for you. Pray, go
FTLN 2685 to the door. He exits.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 268610 I have deserved no better entertainment
FTLN 2687 In being Coriolanus.

Enter Second editorial emendationServingman.editorial emendation

SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2688Whence are you, sir?—Has the
FTLN 2689 porter his eyes in his head, that he gives entrance
FTLN 2690 to such companions?—Pray, get you out.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 269115Away!
SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2692Away? Get you away.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2693Now th’ art troublesome.
SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2694Are you so brave? I’ll have you
FTLN 2695 talked with anon.

Enter Third Servingman; the First, editorial emendationentering,editorial emendation
meets him.


THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 269620What fellow’s this?

199
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 5

FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2697A strange one as ever I looked on. I
FTLN 2698 cannot get him out o’ th’ house. Prithee, call my
FTLN 2699 master to him. editorial emendationHe steps aside.editorial emendation
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2700What have you to do here, fellow?
FTLN 270125 Pray you, avoid the house.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2702Let me but stand. I will not hurt your
FTLN 2703 hearth.
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2704What are you?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2705A gentleman.
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 270630A marv’llous poor one.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2707True, so I am.
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2708Pray you, poor gentleman, take up
FTLN 2709 some other station. Here’s no place for you. Pray
FTLN 2710 you, avoid. Come.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 271135Follow your function, go, and batten on
FTLN 2712 cold bits. Pushes him away from him.
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2713What, you will not?—Prithee, tell
FTLN 2714 my master what a strange guest he has here.
SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2715And I shall.
Second Servingman exits.
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 271640Where dwell’st thou?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2717Under the canopy.
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2718Under the canopy?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2719Ay.
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2720Where’s that?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 272145I’ th’ city of kites and crows.
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2722I’ th’ city of kites and crows? What
FTLN 2723 an ass it is! Then thou dwell’st with daws too?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2724No, I serve not thy master.
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2725How, sir? Do you meddle with my
FTLN 272650 master?
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2727Ay, ’tis an honester service than to meddle
FTLN 2728 with thy mistress. Thou prat’st and prat’st. Serve
FTLN 2729 with thy trencher. Hence! Beats him away.
editorial emendationThird Servingman exits.editorial emendation

201
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 5

Enter Aufidius with the editorial emendationSecondeditorial emendation Servingman.

AUFIDIUS  FTLN 2730Where is this fellow?
SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 273155Here, sir. I’d have beaten him like
FTLN 2732 a dog, but for disturbing the lords within.
editorial emendationHe steps aside.editorial emendation
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 2733Whence com’st thou? What wouldst thou?
FTLN 2734 Thy name? Why speak’st not? Speak, man. What’s
FTLN 2735 thy name?
CORIOLANUS , editorial emendationremoving his mufflereditorial emendation  FTLN 273660If, Tullus,
FTLN 2737 Not yet thou know’st me, and seeing me, dost not
FTLN 2738 Think me for the man I am, necessity
FTLN 2739 Commands me name myself.
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 2740 What is thy name?
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 274165 A name unmusical to the Volscians’ ears
FTLN 2742 And harsh in sound to thine.
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 2743 Say, what’s thy name?
FTLN 2744 Thou hast a grim appearance, and thy face
FTLN 2745 Bears a command in ’t. Though thy tackle’s torn,
FTLN 274670 Thou show’st a noble vessel. What’s thy name?
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 2747 Prepare thy brow to frown. Know’st thou me yet?
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 2748I know thee not. Thy name?
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 2749 My name is Caius Martius, who hath done
FTLN 2750 To thee particularly and to all the Volsces
FTLN 275175 Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may
FTLN 2752 My surname Coriolanus. The painful service,
FTLN 2753 The extreme dangers, and the drops of blood
FTLN 2754 Shed for my thankless country are requited
FTLN 2755 But with that surname, a good memory
FTLN 275680 And witness of the malice and displeasure
FTLN 2757 Which thou shouldst bear me. Only that name
FTLN 2758 remains.
FTLN 2759 The cruelty and envy of the people,

203
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 5

FTLN 2760 Permitted by our dastard nobles, who
FTLN 276185 Have all forsook me, hath devoured the rest,
FTLN 2762 And suffered me by th’ voice of slaves to be
FTLN 2763 editorial emendationWhoopededitorial emendation out of Rome. Now this extremity
FTLN 2764 Hath brought me to thy hearth, not out of hope—
FTLN 2765 Mistake me not—to save my life; for if
FTLN 276690 I had feared death, of all the men i’ th’ world
FTLN 2767 I would have ’voided thee, but in mere spite,
FTLN 2768 To be full quit of those my banishers,
FTLN 2769 Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast
FTLN 2770 A heart of wreak in thee, that wilt revenge
FTLN 277195 Thine own particular wrongs and stop those maims
FTLN 2772 Of shame seen through thy country, speed thee
FTLN 2773 straight
FTLN 2774 And make my misery serve thy turn. So use it
FTLN 2775 That my revengeful services may prove
FTLN 2776100 As benefits to thee, for I will fight
FTLN 2777 Against my cankered country with the spleen
FTLN 2778 Of all the under fiends. But if so be
FTLN 2779 Thou dar’st not this, and that to prove more fortunes
FTLN 2780 Thou ’rt tired, then, in a word, I also am
FTLN 2781105 Longer to live most weary, and present
FTLN 2782 My throat to thee and to thy ancient malice,
FTLN 2783 Which not to cut would show thee but a fool,
FTLN 2784 Since I have ever followed thee with hate,
FTLN 2785 Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country’s breast,
FTLN 2786110 And cannot live but to thy shame, unless
FTLN 2787 It be to do thee service.
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 2788 O Martius, Martius,
FTLN 2789 Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my
FTLN 2790 heart
FTLN 2791115 A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter
FTLN 2792 Should from yond cloud speak divine things
FTLN 2793 And say ’tis true, I’d not believe them more
FTLN 2794 Than thee, all-noble Martius. Let me twine

205
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 5

FTLN 2795 Mine arms about that body, whereagainst
FTLN 2796120 My grainèd ash an hundred times hath broke
FTLN 2797 And scarred the moon with splinters.
editorial emendationThey embrace.editorial emendation
FTLN 2798 Here I clip
FTLN 2799 The anvil of my sword and do contest
FTLN 2800 As hotly and as nobly with thy love
FTLN 2801125 As ever in ambitious strength I did
FTLN 2802 Contend against thy valor. Know thou first,
FTLN 2803 I loved the maid I married; never man
FTLN 2804 Sighed truer breath. But that I see thee here,
FTLN 2805 Thou noble thing, more dances my rapt heart
FTLN 2806130 Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
FTLN 2807 Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars, I tell thee
FTLN 2808 We have a power on foot, and I had purpose
FTLN 2809 Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn
FTLN 2810 Or lose mine arm for ’t. Thou hast beat me out
FTLN 2811135 Twelve several times, and I have nightly since
FTLN 2812 Dreamt of encounters ’twixt thyself and me;
FTLN 2813 We have been down together in my sleep,
FTLN 2814 Unbuckling helms, fisting each other’s throat,
FTLN 2815 And waked half dead with nothing. Worthy Martius,
FTLN 2816140 Had we no other quarrel else to Rome but that
FTLN 2817 Thou art thence banished, we would muster all
FTLN 2818 From twelve to seventy and, pouring war
FTLN 2819 Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,
FTLN 2820 Like a bold flood editorial emendationo’erbear ’t.editorial emendation O, come, go in,
FTLN 2821145 And take our friendly senators by th’ hands,
FTLN 2822 Who now are here, taking their leaves of me,
FTLN 2823 Who am prepared against your territories,
FTLN 2824 Though not for Rome itself.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 2825 You bless me, gods!
AUFIDIUS 
FTLN 2826150 Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou wilt have
FTLN 2827 The leading of thine own revenges, take

207
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 5

FTLN 2828 Th’ one half of my commission and set down—
FTLN 2829 As best thou art experienced, since thou know’st
FTLN 2830 Thy country’s strength and weakness—thine own
FTLN 2831155 ways,
FTLN 2832 Whether to knock against the gates of Rome,
FTLN 2833 Or rudely visit them in parts remote
FTLN 2834 To fright them ere destroy. But come in.
FTLN 2835 Let me commend thee first to those that shall
FTLN 2836160 Say yea to thy desires. A thousand welcomes!
FTLN 2837 And more a friend than ere an enemy—
FTLN 2838 Yet, Martius, that was much. Your hand. Most
FTLN 2839 welcome! editorial emendationCoriolanus and Aufidiuseditorial emendation exit.

Two of the Servingmen editorial emendationcome forward.editorial emendation

FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2840Here’s a strange alteration!
SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2841165By my hand, I had thought to
FTLN 2842 have strucken him with a cudgel, and yet my mind
FTLN 2843 gave me his clothes made a false report of him.
FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2844What an arm he has! He turned me
FTLN 2845 about with his finger and his thumb as one would
FTLN 2846170 set up a top.
SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2847Nay, I knew by his face that there
FTLN 2848 was something in him. He had, sir, a kind of face,
FTLN 2849 methought—I cannot tell how to term it.
FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2850He had so, looking as it were—
FTLN 2851175 Would I were hanged but I thought there was
FTLN 2852 more in him than I could think.
SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2853So did I, I’ll be sworn. He is simply
FTLN 2854 the rarest man i’ th’ world.
FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2855I think he is. But a greater soldier
FTLN 2856180 than he you wot one.
SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2857Who, my master?
FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2858Nay, it’s no matter for that.
SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2859Worth six on him.
FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2860Nay, not so neither. But I take him
FTLN 2861185 to be the greater soldier.

209
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 5

SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2862Faith, look you, one cannot tell
FTLN 2863 how to say that. For the defense of a town our general
FTLN 2864 is excellent.
FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2865Ay, and for an assault too.

Enter the Third Servingman.

THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2866190O slaves, I can tell you news, news,
FTLN 2867 you rascals!
BOTH  FTLN 2868What, what, what? Let’s partake!
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2869I would not be a Roman, of all nations;
FTLN 2870 I had as lief be a condemned man.
BOTH  FTLN 2871195Wherefore? Wherefore?
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2872Why, here’s he that was wont to
FTLN 2873 thwack our general, Caius Martius.
FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2874Why do you say “thwack our
FTLN 2875 general”?
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2876200I do not say “thwack our general,”
FTLN 2877 but he was always good enough for him.
SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2878Come, we are fellows and friends.
FTLN 2879 He was ever too hard for him; I have heard him
FTLN 2880 say so himself.
FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2881205He was too hard for him directly, to
FTLN 2882 say the truth on ’t, before Corioles; he scotched
FTLN 2883 him and notched him like a carbonado.
SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2884An he had been cannibally given,
FTLN 2885 he might have boiled and eaten him too.
FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2886210But, more of thy news.
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2887Why, he is so made on here within
FTLN 2888 as if he were son and heir to Mars; set at upper end
FTLN 2889 o’ th’ table; no question asked him by any of the
FTLN 2890 senators but they stand bald before him. Our general
FTLN 2891215 himself makes a mistress of him, sanctifies
FTLN 2892 himself with ’s hand, and turns up the white o’ th’
FTLN 2893 eye to his discourse. But the bottom of the news is,
FTLN 2894 our general is cut i’ th’ middle and but one half of

211
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 5

FTLN 2895 what he was yesterday, for the other has half, by
FTLN 2896220 the entreaty and grant of the whole table. He’ll go,
FTLN 2897 he says, and sowl the porter of Rome gates by th’
FTLN 2898 ears. He will mow all down before him and leave
FTLN 2899 his passage polled.
SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2900And he’s as like to do ’t as any
FTLN 2901225 man I can imagine.
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2902Do ’t? He will do ’t! For, look you,
FTLN 2903 sir, he has as many friends as enemies, which
FTLN 2904 friends, sir, as it were, durst not, look you, sir, show
FTLN 2905 themselves, as we term it, his friends whilest he’s
FTLN 2906230 in directitude.
FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2907Directitude? What’s that?
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2908But when they shall see, sir, his
FTLN 2909 crest up again, and the man in blood, they will out
FTLN 2910 of their burrows like coneys after rain, and revel
FTLN 2911235 all with him.
FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2912But when goes this forward?
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2913Tomorrow, today, presently. You
FTLN 2914 shall have the drum struck up this afternoon. ’Tis,
FTLN 2915 as it were, a parcel of their feast, and to be executed
FTLN 2916240 ere they wipe their lips.
SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2917Why then, we shall have a stirring
FTLN 2918 world again. This peace is nothing but to rust iron,
FTLN 2919 increase tailors, and breed ballad-makers.
FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2920Let me have war, say I. It exceeds
FTLN 2921245 peace as far as day does night. It’s sprightly walking,
FTLN 2922 audible, and full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy,
FTLN 2923 lethargy; mulled, deaf, editorial emendationsleepy,editorial emendation insensible; a getter
FTLN 2924 of more bastard children than war’s a destroyer of
FTLN 2925 men.
SECOND SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2926250’Tis so, and as wars in some sort
FTLN 2927 may be said to be a ravisher, so it cannot be denied
FTLN 2928 but peace is a great maker of cuckolds.

213
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 6

FIRST SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2929Ay, and it makes men hate one
FTLN 2930 another.
THIRD SERVINGMAN  FTLN 2931255Reason: because they then less
FTLN 2932 need one another. The wars for my money! I hope
FTLN 2933 to see Romans as cheap as Volscians.  editorial emendation(Noise
 within.)editorial emendation 
FTLN 2934They are rising; they are rising.
editorial emendationFIRST AND SECOND SERVINGMENeditorial emendation  FTLN 2935In, in, in, in!
They exit.


editorial emendationScene 6editorial emendation
Enter the two Tribunes. Sicinius and Brutus.

SICINIUS 
FTLN 2936 We hear not of him, neither need we fear him.
FTLN 2937 His remedies are tame—the present peace,
FTLN 2938 And quietness of the people, which before
FTLN 2939 Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends
FTLN 29405 Blush that the world goes well, who rather had,
FTLN 2941 Though they themselves did suffer by ’t, behold
FTLN 2942 Dissentious numbers pest’ring streets than see
FTLN 2943 Our tradesmen singing in their shops and going
FTLN 2944 About their functions friendly.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 294510 We stood to ’t in good time.

Enter Menenius.

FTLN 2946 Is this Menenius?
SICINIUS 
FTLN 2947 ’Tis he, ’tis he. O, he is grown most kind
FTLN 2948 Of late.—Hail, sir.
MENENIUS  FTLN 2949 Hail to you both.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 295015 Your Coriolanus is not much missed
FTLN 2951 But with his friends. The commonwealth doth stand,
FTLN 2952 And so would do were he more angry at it.

215
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 6

MENENIUS 
FTLN 2953 All’s well, and might have been much better if
FTLN 2954 He could have temporized.
SICINIUS  FTLN 295520Where is he, hear you?
MENENIUS  FTLN 2956Nay, I hear nothing;
FTLN 2957 His mother and his wife hear nothing from him.

Enter three or four Citizens.

ALL editorial emendationCITIZENS , to the Tribuneseditorial emendation 
FTLN 2958 The gods preserve
FTLN 2959 you both!
SICINIUS  FTLN 296025 Good e’en, our neighbors.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 2961 Good e’en to you all, good e’en to you all.
FIRST CITIZEN 
FTLN 2962 Ourselves, our wives, and children, on our knees
FTLN 2963 Are bound to pray for you both.
SICINIUS  FTLN 2964 Live, and thrive!
BRUTUS 
FTLN 296530 Farewell, kind neighbors. We wished Coriolanus
FTLN 2966 Had loved you as we did.
ALL editorial emendationCITIZENSeditorial emendation  FTLN 2967 Now the gods keep you!
BOTH TRIBUNES  FTLN 2968Farewell, farewell. Citizens exit.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 2969 This is a happier and more comely time
FTLN 297035 Than when these fellows ran about the streets
FTLN 2971 Crying confusion.
BRUTUS  FTLN 2972 Caius Martius was
FTLN 2973 A worthy officer i’ th’ war, but insolent,
FTLN 2974 O’ercome with pride, ambitious, past all thinking
FTLN 297540 Self-loving.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 2976 And affecting one sole throne, without assistance.
MENENIUS  FTLN 2977I think not so.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 2978 We should by this, to all our lamentation,
FTLN 2979 If he had gone forth consul, found it so.

217
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 6

BRUTUS 
FTLN 298045 The gods have well prevented it, and Rome
FTLN 2981 Sits safe and still without him.

Enter an Aedile.

AEDILE  FTLN 2982 Worthy tribunes,
FTLN 2983 There is a slave, whom we have put in prison,
FTLN 2984 Reports the Volsces with two several powers
FTLN 298550 Are entered in the Roman territories,
FTLN 2986 And with the deepest malice of the war
FTLN 2987 Destroy what lies before ’em.
MENENIUS  FTLN 2988 ’Tis Aufidius,
FTLN 2989 Who, hearing of our Martius’ banishment,
FTLN 299055 Thrusts forth his horns again into the world,
FTLN 2991 Which were inshelled when Martius stood for Rome,
FTLN 2992 And durst not once peep out.
SICINIUS  FTLN 2993Come, what talk you of Martius?
BRUTUS 
FTLN 2994 Go see this rumorer whipped. It cannot be
FTLN 299560 The Volsces dare break with us.
MENENIUS  FTLN 2996 Cannot be?
FTLN 2997 We have record that very well it can,
FTLN 2998 And three examples of the like hath been
FTLN 2999 Within my age. But reason with the fellow
FTLN 300065 Before you punish him, where he heard this,
FTLN 3001 Lest you shall chance to whip your information
FTLN 3002 And beat the messenger who bids beware
FTLN 3003 Of what is to be dreaded.
SICINIUS  FTLN 3004 Tell not me.
FTLN 300570 I know this cannot be.
BRUTUS  FTLN 3006 Not possible.

Enter a Messenger.

MESSENGER 
FTLN 3007 The nobles in great earnestness are going

219
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 6

FTLN 3008 All to the Senate House. Some news is coming
FTLN 3009 That turns their countenances.
SICINIUS  FTLN 301075 ’Tis this slave—
FTLN 3011 Go whip him ’fore the people’s eyes—his raising,
FTLN 3012 Nothing but his report.
MESSENGER  FTLN 3013 Yes, worthy sir,
FTLN 3014 The slave’s report is seconded, and more,
FTLN 301580 More fearful, is delivered.
SICINIUS  FTLN 3016 What more fearful?
MESSENGER 
FTLN 3017 It is spoke freely out of many mouths—
FTLN 3018 How probable I do not know—that Martius,
FTLN 3019 Joined with Aufidius, leads a power ’gainst Rome
FTLN 302085 And vows revenge as spacious as between
FTLN 3021 The young’st and oldest thing.
SICINIUS  FTLN 3022 This is most likely!
BRUTUS 
FTLN 3023 Raised only that the weaker sort may wish
FTLN 3024 Good Martius home again.
SICINIUS  FTLN 302590The very trick on ’t.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3026This is unlikely;
FTLN 3027 He and Aufidius can no more atone
FTLN 3028 Than violent’st contrariety.

Enter editorial emendationa Secondeditorial emendation Messenger.

editorial emendationSECONDeditorial emendation MESSENGER  FTLN 3029You are sent for to the Senate.
FTLN 303095 A fearful army, led by Caius Martius
FTLN 3031 Associated with Aufidius, rages
FTLN 3032 Upon our territories, and have already
FTLN 3033 O’erborne their way, consumed with fire and took
FTLN 3034 What lay before them.

Enter Cominius.

COMINIUS , editorial emendationto the Tribuneseditorial emendation  FTLN 3035100 O, you have made good
FTLN 3036 work!
MENENIUS  FTLN 3037What news? What news?

221
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 6

COMINIUS , editorial emendationto the Tribuneseditorial emendation 
FTLN 3038 You have holp to ravish your own daughters and
FTLN 3039 To melt the city leads upon your pates,
FTLN 3040105 To see your wives dishonored to your noses—
MENENIUS  FTLN 3041What’s the news? What’s the news?
COMINIUS , editorial emendationto the Tribuneseditorial emendation 
FTLN 3042 Your temples burnèd in their cement, and
FTLN 3043 Your franchises, whereon you stood, confined
FTLN 3044 Into an auger’s bore.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3045110 Pray now, your news?—
FTLN 3046 You have made fair work, I fear me.—Pray, your
FTLN 3047 news?
FTLN 3048 If Martius should be joined with Volscians—
COMINIUS  FTLN 3049 If?
FTLN 3050115 He is their god; he leads them like a thing
FTLN 3051 Made by some other deity than Nature,
FTLN 3052 That shapes man better; and they follow him
FTLN 3053 Against us brats with no less confidence
FTLN 3054 Than boys pursuing summer butterflies
FTLN 3055120 Or butchers killing flies.
MENENIUS , editorial emendationto the Tribuneseditorial emendation  FTLN 3056 You have made good work,
FTLN 3057 You and your apron-men, you that stood so much
FTLN 3058 Upon the voice of occupation and
FTLN 3059 The breath of garlic eaters!
COMINIUS 
FTLN 3060125 He’ll shake your Rome about your ears.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 3061 As Hercules did shake down mellow fruit.
FTLN 3062 You have made fair work.
BRUTUS  FTLN 3063But is this true, sir?
COMINIUS  FTLN 3064Ay, and you’ll look pale
FTLN 3065130 Before you find it other. All the regions
FTLN 3066 Do smilingly revolt, and who resists
FTLN 3067 Are mocked for valiant ignorance
FTLN 3068 And perish constant fools. Who is ’t can blame him?
FTLN 3069 Your enemies and his find something in him.

223
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 6

MENENIUS  FTLN 3070135We are all undone, unless
FTLN 3071 The noble man have mercy.
COMINIUS  FTLN 3072 Who shall ask it?
FTLN 3073 The Tribunes cannot do ’t for shame; the people
FTLN 3074 Deserve such pity of him as the wolf
FTLN 3075140 Does of the shepherds. For his best friends, if they
FTLN 3076 Should say “Be good to Rome,” they charged him
FTLN 3077 even
FTLN 3078 As those should do that had deserved his hate
FTLN 3079 And therein showed like enemies.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3080145 ’Tis true.
FTLN 3081 If he were putting to my house the brand
FTLN 3082 That should consume it, I have not the face
FTLN 3083 To say “Beseech you, cease.”—You have made fair
FTLN 3084 hands,
FTLN 3085150 You and your crafts! You have crafted fair!
COMINIUS  FTLN 3086 You have
FTLN 3087 brought
FTLN 3088 A trembling upon Rome such as was never
FTLN 3089 S’ incapable of help.
TRIBUNES  FTLN 3090155 Say not we brought it.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 3091 How? Was ’t we? We loved him, but like beasts
FTLN 3092 And cowardly nobles, gave way unto your clusters,
FTLN 3093 Who did hoot him out o’ th’ city.
COMINIUS  FTLN 3094 But I fear
FTLN 3095160 They’ll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
FTLN 3096 The second name of men, obeys his points
FTLN 3097 As if he were his officer. Desperation
FTLN 3098 Is all the policy, strength, and defense
FTLN 3099 That Rome can make against them.

Enter a troop of Citizens.

MENENIUS  FTLN 3100165 Here come the
FTLN 3101 clusters.—
FTLN 3102 And is Aufidius with him? You are they

225
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 6

FTLN 3103 That made the air unwholesome when you cast
FTLN 3104 Your stinking, greasy caps in hooting at
FTLN 3105170 Coriolanus’ exile. Now he’s coming,
FTLN 3106 And not a hair upon a soldier’s head
FTLN 3107 Which will not prove a whip. As many coxcombs
FTLN 3108 As you threw caps up will he tumble down
FTLN 3109 And pay you for your voices. ’Tis no matter.
FTLN 3110175 If he could burn us all into one coal,
FTLN 3111 We have deserved it.
ALL editorial emendationCITIZENSeditorial emendation  FTLN 3112Faith, we hear fearful news.
FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 3113For mine own part,
FTLN 3114 When I said banish him, I said ’twas pity.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 3115180And so did I.
THIRD CITIZEN  FTLN 3116And so did I. And, to say the truth, so
FTLN 3117 did very many of us. That we did we did for the
FTLN 3118 best; and though we willingly consented to his
FTLN 3119 banishment, yet it was against our will.
COMINIUS  FTLN 3120185You’re goodly things, you voices!
MENENIUS 
FTLN 3121 You have made good work, you and your cry!—
FTLN 3122 Shall ’s to the Capitol?
COMINIUS  FTLN 3123 O, ay, what else? Both exit.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 3124 Go, masters, get you home. Be not dismayed.
FTLN 3125190 These are a side that would be glad to have
FTLN 3126 This true which they so seem to fear. Go home,
FTLN 3127 And show no sign of fear.
FIRST CITIZEN  FTLN 3128The gods be good to us! Come, masters,
FTLN 3129 let’s home. I ever said we were i’ th’ wrong when
FTLN 3130195 we banished him.
SECOND CITIZEN  FTLN 3131So did we all. But, come, let’s home.
Citizens exit.
BRUTUS  FTLN 3132I do not like this news.
SICINIUS  FTLN 3133Nor I.

227
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 7

BRUTUS 
FTLN 3134 Let’s to the Capitol. Would half my wealth
FTLN 3135200 Would buy this for a lie.
SICINIUS  FTLN 3136 Pray, let’s go.
Tribunes exit.


editorial emendationScene 7editorial emendation
Enter Aufidius with his Lieutenant.

AUFIDIUS  FTLN 3137Do they still fly to th’ Roman?
LIEUTENANT 
FTLN 3138 I do not know what witchcraft’s in him, but
FTLN 3139 Your soldiers use him as the grace ’fore meat,
FTLN 3140 Their talk at table, and their thanks at end;
FTLN 31415 And you are dark’ned in this action, sir,
FTLN 3142 Even by your own.
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 3143 I cannot help it now,
FTLN 3144 Unless by using means I lame the foot
FTLN 3145 Of our design. He bears himself more proudlier,
FTLN 314610 Even to my person, than I thought he would
FTLN 3147 When first I did embrace him. Yet his nature
FTLN 3148 In that’s no changeling, and I must excuse
FTLN 3149 What cannot be amended.
LIEUTENANT  FTLN 3150 Yet I wish, sir—
FTLN 315115 I mean for your particular—you had not
FTLN 3152 Joined in commission with him, but either
FTLN 3153 Have borne the action of yourself or else
FTLN 3154 To him had left it solely.
AUFIDIUS 
FTLN 3155 I understand thee well, and be thou sure,
FTLN 315620 When he shall come to his account, he knows not
FTLN 3157 What I can urge against him, although it seems,
FTLN 3158 And so he thinks and is no less apparent
FTLN 3159 To th’ vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly,
FTLN 3160 And shows good husbandry for the Volscian state,

229
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 7

FTLN 316125 Fights dragonlike, and does achieve as soon
FTLN 3162 As draw his sword; yet he hath left undone
FTLN 3163 That which shall break his neck or hazard mine
FTLN 3164 Whene’er we come to our account.
LIEUTENANT 
FTLN 3165 Sir, I beseech you, think you he’ll carry Rome?
AUFIDIUS 
FTLN 316630 All places yields to him ere he sits down,
FTLN 3167 And the nobility of Rome are his;
FTLN 3168 The Senators and Patricians love him too.
FTLN 3169 The Tribunes are no soldiers, and their people
FTLN 3170 Will be as rash in the repeal as hasty
FTLN 317135 To expel him thence. I think he’ll be to Rome
FTLN 3172 As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it
FTLN 3173 By sovereignty of nature. First, he was
FTLN 3174 A noble servant to them, but he could not
FTLN 3175 Carry his honors even. Whether editorial emendation’twaseditorial emendation pride,
FTLN 317640 Which out of daily fortune ever taints
FTLN 3177 The happy man; whether editorial emendationdefecteditorial emendation of judgment,
FTLN 3178 To fail in the disposing of those chances
FTLN 3179 Which he was lord of; or whether nature,
FTLN 3180 Not to be other than one thing, not moving
FTLN 318145 From th’ casque to th’ cushion, but commanding
FTLN 3182 peace
FTLN 3183 Even with the same austerity and garb
FTLN 3184 As he controlled the war; but one of these—
FTLN 3185 As he hath spices of them all—not all,
FTLN 318650 For I dare so far free him—made him feared,
FTLN 3187 So hated, and so banished. But he has a merit
FTLN 3188 To choke it in the utt’rance. So our editorial emendationvirtueseditorial emendation
FTLN 3189 Lie in th’ interpretation of the time,
FTLN 3190 And power, unto itself most commendable,
FTLN 319155 Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair
FTLN 3192 T’ extol what it hath done.
FTLN 3193 One fire drives out one fire, one nail one nail;

231
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 7

FTLN 3194 Rights by rights editorial emendationfaltereditorial emendation; strengths by strengths do
FTLN 3195 fail.
FTLN 319660 Come, let’s away. When, Caius, Rome is thine,
FTLN 3197 Thou art poor’st of all; then shortly art thou mine.
They exit.




ACT 5
editorial emendationScene 1editorial emendation
Enter Menenius, Cominius, Sicinius, Brutus (the two
Tribunes), with others.


MENENIUS 
FTLN 3198 No, I’ll not go. You hear what he hath said
FTLN 3199 Which was sometime his general, who loved him
FTLN 3200 In a most dear particular. He called me father,
FTLN 3201 But what o’ that? Go you that banished him;
FTLN 32025 A mile before his tent, fall down, and knee
FTLN 3203 The way into his mercy. Nay, if he coyed
FTLN 3204 To hear Cominius speak, I’ll keep at home.
COMINIUS 
FTLN 3205 He would not seem to know me.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3206 Do you hear?
COMINIUS 
FTLN 320710 Yet one time he did call me by my name.
FTLN 3208 I urged our old acquaintance, and the drops
FTLN 3209 That we have bled together. “Coriolanus”
FTLN 3210 He would not answer to, forbade all names.
FTLN 3211 He was a kind of nothing, titleless,
FTLN 321215 Till he had forged himself a name o’ th’ fire
FTLN 3213 Of burning Rome.
MENENIUS , editorial emendationto the Tribuneseditorial emendation 
FTLN 3214 Why, so; you have made good work!
FTLN 3215 A pair of tribunes that have wracked Rome
FTLN 3216 To make coals cheap! A noble memory!
235

237
Coriolanus
ACT 5. SC. 1

COMINIUS 
FTLN 321720 I minded him how royal ’twas to pardon
FTLN 3218 When it was less expected. He replied
FTLN 3219 It was a bare petition of a state
FTLN 3220 To one whom they had punished.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3221 Very well.
FTLN 322225 Could he say less?
COMINIUS 
FTLN 3223 I offered to awaken his regard
FTLN 3224 For ’s private friends. His answer to me was
FTLN 3225 He could not stay to pick them in a pile
FTLN 3226 Of noisome musty chaff. He said ’twas folly
FTLN 322730 For one poor grain or two to leave unburnt
FTLN 3228 And still to nose th’ offense.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3229For one poor grain or two!
FTLN 3230 I am one of those! His mother, wife, his child,
FTLN 3231 And this brave fellow too, we are the grains;
FTLN 323235 You are the musty chaff, and you are smelt
FTLN 3233 Above the moon. We must be burnt for you.
SICINIUS 
FTLN 3234 Nay, pray, be patient. If you refuse your aid
FTLN 3235 In this so-never-needed help, yet do not
FTLN 3236 Upbraid ’s with our distress. But sure, if you
FTLN 323740 Would be your country’s pleader, your good tongue,
FTLN 3238 More than the instant army we can make,
FTLN 3239 Might stop our countryman.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3240 No, I’ll not meddle.
SICINIUS  FTLN 3241Pray you, go to him.
MENENIUS  FTLN 324245What should I do?
BRUTUS 
FTLN 3243 Only make trial what your love can do
FTLN 3244 For Rome, towards Martius.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3245 Well, and say that
FTLN 3246 Martius
FTLN 324750 Return me, as Cominius is returned, unheard,

239
Coriolanus
ACT 5. SC. 1

FTLN 3248 What then? But as a discontented friend,
FTLN 3249 Grief-shot with his unkindness? Say ’t be so?
SICINIUS  FTLN 3250Yet your good will
FTLN 3251 Must have that thanks from Rome after the measure
FTLN 325255 As you intended well.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3253 I’ll undertake ’t.
FTLN 3254 I think he’ll hear me. Yet to bite his lip
FTLN 3255 And hum at good Cominius much unhearts me.
FTLN 3256 He was not taken well; he had not dined.
FTLN 325760 The veins unfilled, our blood is cold, and then
FTLN 3258 We pout upon the morning, are unapt
FTLN 3259 To give or to forgive; but when we have stuffed
FTLN 3260 These pipes and these conveyances of our blood
FTLN 3261 With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls
FTLN 326265 Than in our priestlike fasts. Therefore I’ll watch him
FTLN 3263 Till he be dieted to my request,
FTLN 3264 And then I’ll set upon him.
BRUTUS 
FTLN 3265 You know the very road into his kindness
FTLN 3266 And cannot lose your way.
MENENIUS  FTLN 326770 Good faith, I’ll prove him,
FTLN 3268 Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledge
FTLN 3269 Of my success. He exits.
COMINIUS  FTLN 3270 He’ll never hear him.
SICINIUS  FTLN 3271 Not?
COMINIUS 
FTLN 327275 I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye
FTLN 3273 Red as ’twould burn Rome; and his injury
FTLN 3274 The jailor to his pity. I kneeled before him;
FTLN 3275 ’Twas very faintly he said “Rise”; dismissed me
FTLN 3276 Thus with his speechless hand. What he would do
FTLN 327780 He sent in writing after me; what he
FTLN 3278 Would not, bound with an oath to yield to his
FTLN 3279 Conditions. So that all hope is vain
FTLN 3280 Unless his noble mother and his wife,
FTLN 3281 Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him

241
Coriolanus
ACT 5. SC. 2

FTLN 328285 For mercy to his country. Therefore let’s hence
FTLN 3283 And with our fair entreaties haste them on.
They exit.


editorial emendationScene 2editorial emendation
Enter Menenius to the Watch, or Guard.

FIRST WATCH  FTLN 3284Stay! Whence are you?
SECOND WATCH  FTLN 3285Stand, and go back.
MENENIUS 
FTLN 3286 You guard like men; ’tis well. But by your leave,
FTLN 3287 I am an officer of state and come
FTLN 32885 To speak with Coriolanus.
FIRST WATCH  FTLN 3289From whence?
MENENIUS  FTLN 3290From Rome.
FIRST WATCH 
FTLN 3291 You may not pass; you must return. Our general
FTLN 3292 Will no more hear from thence.
SECOND WATCH 
FTLN 329310 You’ll see your Rome embraced with fire before
FTLN 3294 You’ll speak with Coriolanus.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3295 Good my friends,
FTLN 3296 If you have heard your general talk of Rome
FTLN 3297 And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks
FTLN 329815 My name hath touched your ears. It is Menenius.
FIRST WATCH 
FTLN 3299 Be it so; go back. The virtue of your name
FTLN 3300 Is not here passable.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3301 I tell thee, fellow,
FTLN 3302 Thy general is my lover. I have been
FTLN 330320 The book of his good acts, whence men have read
FTLN 3304 His fame unparalleled happily amplified;
FTLN 3305 For I have ever verified my friends—
FTLN 3306 Of whom he’s chief—with all the size that verity
FTLN 3307 Would without lapsing suffer. Nay, sometimes,

243
Coriolanus
ACT 5. SC. 2

FTLN 330825 Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground,
FTLN 3309 I have tumbled past the throw, and in his praise
FTLN 3310 Have almost stamped the leasing. Therefore, fellow,
FTLN 3311 I must have leave to pass.
FIRST WATCH  FTLN 3312Faith, sir, if you had told as many lies in
FTLN 331330 his behalf as you have uttered words in your own,
FTLN 3314 you should not pass here, no, though it were as virtuous
FTLN 3315 to lie as to live chastely. Therefore, go back.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3316Prithee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius,
FTLN 3317 always factionary on the party of your
FTLN 331835 general.
SECOND WATCH  FTLN 3319Howsoever you have been his liar, as
FTLN 3320 you say you have, I am one that, telling true under
FTLN 3321 him, must say you cannot pass. Therefore, go back.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3322Has he dined, can’st thou tell? For I would
FTLN 332340 not speak with him till after dinner.
FIRST WATCH  FTLN 3324You are a Roman, are you?
MENENIUS  FTLN 3325I am, as thy general is.
FIRST WATCH  FTLN 3326Then you should hate Rome as he does.
FTLN 3327 Can you, when you have pushed out your gates the
FTLN 332845 very defender of them, and, in a violent popular
FTLN 3329 ignorance given your enemy your shield, think to
FTLN 3330 front his revenges with the easy groans of old
FTLN 3331 women, the virginal palms of your daughters, or
FTLN 3332 with the palsied intercession of such a decayed
FTLN 333350 dotant as you seem to be? Can you think to blow
FTLN 3334 out the intended fire your city is ready to flame in
FTLN 3335 with such weak breath as this? No, you are deceived.
FTLN 3336 Therefore, back to Rome and prepare for
FTLN 3337 your execution. You are condemned. Our general
FTLN 333855 has sworn you out of reprieve and pardon.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3339Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, he
FTLN 3340 would use me with estimation.
FIRST WATCH  FTLN 3341Come, my captain knows you not.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3342I mean thy general.

245
Coriolanus
ACT 5. SC. 2

FIRST WATCH  FTLN 334360My general cares not for you. Back, I say,
FTLN 3344 go, lest I let forth your half pint of blood. Back!
FTLN 3345 That’s the utmost of your having. Back!
MENENIUS  FTLN 3346Nay, but fellow, fellow—

Enter Coriolanus with Aufidius.

CORIOLANUS  FTLN 3347What’s the matter?
MENENIUS  editorial emendationto First Watcheditorial emendation  FTLN 334865Now, you companion, I’ll
FTLN 3349 say an errand for you. You shall know now that I
FTLN 3350 am in estimation; you shall perceive that a Jack
FTLN 3351 guardant cannot office me from my son Coriolanus.
FTLN 3352 Guess but editorial emendationbyeditorial emendation my entertainment with him
FTLN 335370 if thou stand’st not i’ th’ state of hanging or of some
FTLN 3354 death more long in spectatorship and crueler in
FTLN 3355 suffering; behold now presently, and swoon for
FTLN 3356 what’s to come upon thee.  editorial emendation(To Coriolanus.)editorial emendation The
FTLN 3357 glorious gods sit in hourly synod about thy particular
FTLN 335875 prosperity and love thee no worse than thy old
FTLN 3359 father Menenius does! O my son, my son!  editorial emendation(He
 weeps.)editorial emendation 
FTLN 3360Thou art preparing fire for us; look thee,
FTLN 3361 here’s water to quench it. I was hardly moved to
FTLN 3362 come to thee; but being assured none but myself
FTLN 336380 could move thee, I have been blown out of your
FTLN 3364 gates with sighs, and conjure thee to pardon Rome
FTLN 3365 and thy petitionary countrymen. The good gods
FTLN 3366 assuage thy wrath and turn the dregs of it upon
FTLN 3367 this varlet here, this, who, like a block, hath denied
FTLN 336885 my access to thee.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 3369Away!
MENENIUS  FTLN 3370How? Away?
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 3371 Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs
FTLN 3372 Are servanted to others. Though I owe
FTLN 337390 My revenge properly, my remission lies
FTLN 3374 In Volscian breasts. That we have been familiar,
FTLN 3375 Ingrate forgetfulness shall poison rather

247
Coriolanus
ACT 5. SC. 3

FTLN 3376 Than pity note how much. Therefore, begone.
FTLN 3377 Mine ears against your suits are stronger than
FTLN 337895 Your gates against my force. Yet, for I loved thee,
FTLN 3379 Take this along; I writ it for thy sake,
editorial emendationHe gives Menenius a paper.editorial emendation
FTLN 3380 And would have sent it. Another word, Menenius,
FTLN 3381 I will not hear thee speak.—This man, Aufidius,
FTLN 3382 Was my beloved in Rome; yet thou behold’st.
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 3383100You keep a constant temper. They exit.
The Guard and Menenius remain.
FIRST WATCH  FTLN 3384Now, sir, is your name Menenius?
SECOND WATCH  FTLN 3385’Tis a spell, you see, of much power. You
FTLN 3386 know the way home again.
FIRST WATCH  FTLN 3387Do you hear how we are shent for keeping
FTLN 3388105 your Greatness back?
SECOND WATCH  FTLN 3389What cause do you think I have to
FTLN 3390 swoon?
MENENIUS  FTLN 3391I neither care for th’ world nor your general.
FTLN 3392 For such things as you, I can scarce think
FTLN 3393110 there’s any, you’re so slight. He that hath a will to
FTLN 3394 die by himself fears it not from another. Let your
FTLN 3395 general do his worst. For you, be that you are,
FTLN 3396 long; and your misery increase with your age! I say
FTLN 3397 to you, as I was said to, away! He exits.
FIRST WATCH  FTLN 3398115A noble fellow, I warrant him.
SECOND WATCH  FTLN 3399The worthy fellow is our general. He’s
FTLN 3400 the rock, the oak not to be wind-shaken.
Watch exit.


editorial emendationScene 3editorial emendation
Enter Coriolanus and Aufidius.

CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 3401 We will before the walls of Rome tomorrow
FTLN 3402 Set down our host. My partner in this action,

249
Coriolanus
ACT 5. SC. 3

FTLN 3403 You must report to th’ Volscian lords how plainly
FTLN 3404 I have borne this business.
AUFIDIUS  FTLN 34055 Only their ends
FTLN 3406 You have respected, stopped your ears against
FTLN 3407 The general suit of Rome, never admitted
FTLN 3408 A private whisper, no, not with such friends
FTLN 3409 That thought them sure of you.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 341010 This last old man,
FTLN 3411 Whom with a cracked heart I have sent to Rome,
FTLN 3412 Loved me above the measure of a father,
FTLN 3413 Nay, godded me indeed. Their latest refuge
FTLN 3414 Was to send him, for whose old love I have—
FTLN 341515 Though I showed sourly to him—once more offered
FTLN 3416 The first conditions, which they did refuse
FTLN 3417 And cannot now accept, to grace him only
FTLN 3418 That thought he could do more. A very little
FTLN 3419 I have yielded to. Fresh embassies and suits,
FTLN 342020 Nor from the state nor private friends, hereafter
FTLN 3421 Will I lend ear to. Shout within.
FTLN 3422 Ha? What shout is this?
FTLN 3423 Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow
FTLN 3424 In the same time ’tis made? I will not.

Enter Virgilia, Volumnia, Valeria, young Martius,
with Attendants.


FTLN 342525 My wife comes foremost, then the honored mold
FTLN 3426 Wherein this trunk was framed, and in her hand
FTLN 3427 The grandchild to her blood. But out, affection!
FTLN 3428 All bond and privilege of nature, break!
FTLN 3429 Let it be virtuous to be obstinate. editorial emendationVirgilia curtsies.editorial emendation
FTLN 343030 What is that curtsy worth? Or those doves’ eyes,
FTLN 3431 Which can make gods forsworn? I melt and am not
FTLN 3432 Of stronger earth than others. editorial emendationVolumnia bows.editorial emendation
FTLN 3433 My mother bows,
FTLN 3434 As if Olympus to a molehill should
FTLN 343535 In supplication nod; and my young boy

251
Coriolanus
ACT 5. SC. 3

FTLN 3436 Hath an aspect of intercession which
FTLN 3437 Great Nature cries “Deny not!” Let the Volsces
FTLN 3438 Plow Rome and harrow Italy, I’ll never
FTLN 3439 Be such a gosling to obey instinct, but stand
FTLN 344040 As if a man were author of himself,
FTLN 3441 And knew no other kin.
VIRGILIA  FTLN 3442 My lord and husband.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 3443 These eyes are not the same I wore in Rome.
VIRGILIA 
FTLN 3444 The sorrow that delivers us thus changed
FTLN 344545 Makes you think so.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 3446 Like a dull actor now,
FTLN 3447 I have forgot my part, and I am out,
FTLN 3448 Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh,
FTLN 3449 Forgive my tyranny, but do not say
FTLN 345050 For that “Forgive our Romans.” editorial emendationThey kiss.editorial emendation
FTLN 3451 O, a kiss
FTLN 3452 Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!
FTLN 3453 Now, by the jealous queen of heaven, that kiss
FTLN 3454 I carried from thee, dear, and my true lip
FTLN 345555 Hath virgined it e’er since. You gods! I editorial emendationprateeditorial emendation
FTLN 3456 And the most noble mother of the world
FTLN 3457 Leave unsaluted. Sink, my knee, i’ th’ earth; Kneels.
FTLN 3458 Of thy deep duty more impression show
FTLN 3459 Than that of common sons.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 346060 O, stand up blest,
editorial emendationHe rises.editorial emendation
FTLN 3461 Whilst with no softer cushion than the flint
FTLN 3462 I kneel before thee and unproperly
FTLN 3463 Show duty, as mistaken all this while
FTLN 3464 Between the child and parent. editorial emendationShe kneels.editorial emendation
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 346565 What’s this?
FTLN 3466 Your knees to me? To your corrected son?
editorial emendationHe raises her up.editorial emendation
FTLN 3467 Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach

253
Coriolanus
ACT 5. SC. 3

FTLN 3468 Fillip the stars! Then let the mutinous winds
FTLN 3469 Strike the proud cedars ’gainst the fiery sun,
FTLN 347070 Murdering impossibility to make
FTLN 3471 What cannot be slight work.
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 3472 Thou art my warrior;
FTLN 3473 I editorial emendationholpeditorial emendation to frame thee. Do you know this lady?
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 3474 The noble sister of Publicola,
FTLN 347575 The moon of Rome, chaste as the icicle
FTLN 3476 That’s curdied by the frost from purest snow
FTLN 3477 And hangs on Dian’s temple!—Dear Valeria.
VOLUMNIA , editorial emendationpresenting young Martiuseditorial emendation 
FTLN 3478 This is a poor epitome of yours,
FTLN 3479 Which by th’ interpretation of full time
FTLN 348080 May show like all yourself.
CORIOLANUS , editorial emendationto young Martiuseditorial emendation  FTLN 3481 The god of soldiers,
FTLN 3482 With the consent of supreme Jove, inform
FTLN 3483 Thy thoughts with nobleness, that thou mayst prove
FTLN 3484 To shame unvulnerable, and stick i’ th’ wars
FTLN 348585 Like a great seamark standing every flaw
FTLN 3486 And saving those that eye thee.
VOLUMNIA , editorial emendationto young Martiuseditorial emendation  FTLN 3487 Your knee, sirrah.
editorial emendationHe kneels.editorial emendation
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 3488That’s my brave boy!
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 3489 Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself
FTLN 349090 Are suitors to you. editorial emendationYoung Martius rises.editorial emendation
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 3491 I beseech you, peace;
FTLN 3492 Or if you’d ask, remember this before:
FTLN 3493 The thing I have forsworn to grant may never
FTLN 3494 Be held by you denials. Do not bid me
FTLN 349595 Dismiss my soldiers or capitulate
FTLN 3496 Again with Rome’s mechanics. Tell me not
FTLN 3497 Wherein I seem unnatural; desire not
FTLN 3498 T’ allay my rages and revenges with
FTLN 3499 Your colder reasons.

255
Coriolanus
ACT 5. SC. 3

VOLUMNIA  FTLN 3500100 O, no more, no more!
FTLN 3501 You have said you will not grant us anything;
FTLN 3502 For we have nothing else to ask but that
FTLN 3503 Which you deny already. Yet we will ask,
FTLN 3504 That if you fail in our request, the blame
FTLN 3505105 May hang upon your hardness. Therefore hear us.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 3506 Aufidius, and you Volsces, mark, for we’ll
FTLN 3507 Hear naught from Rome in private.  editorial emendationHe sits.editorial emendation Your
FTLN 3508 request?
VOLUMNIA 
FTLN 3509 Should we be silent and not speak, our raiment
FTLN 3510110 And state of bodies would bewray what life
FTLN 3511 We have led since thy exile. Think with thyself
FTLN 3512 How more unfortunate than all living women
FTLN 3513 Are we come hither; since that thy sight, which
FTLN 3514 should
FTLN 3515115 Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with
FTLN 3516 comforts,
FTLN 3517 Constrains them weep and shake with fear and
FTLN 3518 sorrow,
FTLN 3519 Making the mother, wife, and child to see
FTLN 3520120 The son, the husband, and the father tearing
FTLN 3521 His country’s bowels out. And to poor we
FTLN 3522 Thine enmity’s most capital. Thou barr’st us
FTLN 3523 Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort
FTLN 3524 That all but we enjoy. For how can we—
FTLN 3525125 Alas, how can we—for our country pray,
FTLN 3526 Whereto we are bound, together with thy victory,
FTLN 3527 Whereto we are bound? Alack, or we must lose
FTLN 3528 The country, our dear nurse, or else thy person,
FTLN 3529 Our comfort in the country. We must find
FTLN 3530130 An evident calamity, though we had
FTLN 3531 Our wish, which side should win, for either thou
FTLN 3532 Must as a foreign recreant be led
FTLN 3533 With manacles through our streets, or else

257
Coriolanus
ACT 5. SC. 3

FTLN 3534 Triumphantly tread on thy country’s ruin
FTLN 3535135 And bear the palm for having bravely shed
FTLN 3536 Thy wife and children’s blood. For myself, son,
FTLN 3537 I purpose not to wait on fortune till
FTLN 3538 These wars determine. If I cannot persuade thee
FTLN 3539 Rather to show a noble grace to both parts
FTLN 3540140 Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner
FTLN 3541 March to assault thy country than to tread—
FTLN 3542 Trust to ’t, thou shalt not—on thy mother’s womb
FTLN 3543 That brought thee to this world.
VIRGILIA  FTLN 3544 Ay, and mine,
FTLN 3545145 That brought you forth this boy to keep your name
FTLN 3546 Living to time.
YOUNG MARTIUS  FTLN 3547 He shall not tread on me.
FTLN 3548 I’ll run away till I am bigger, but then I’ll fight.
CORIOLANUS 
FTLN 3549 Not of a woman’s tenderness to be
FTLN 3550150 Requires nor child nor woman’s face to see.—
FTLN 3551 I have sat too long. editorial emendationHe rises.editorial emendation
VOLUMNIA  FTLN 3552 Nay, go not from us thus.
FTLN 3553 If it were so, that our request did tend
FTLN 3554 To save the Romans, thereby to destroy
FTLN 3555155 The Volsces whom you serve, you might condemn
FTLN 3556 us
FTLN 3557 As poisonous of your honor. No, our suit
FTLN 3558 Is that you reconcile them, while the Volsces
FTLN 3559 May say “This mercy we have showed,” the Romans
FTLN 3560160 “This we received,” and each in either side
FTLN 3561 Give the all-hail to thee and cry “Be blest
FTLN 3562 For making up this peace!” Thou know’st, great son,
FTLN 3563 The end of war’s uncertain, but this certain,
FTLN 3564 That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit
FTLN 3565165 Which thou shalt thereby reap is such a name
FTLN 3566 Whose repetition will be dogged with curses,
FTLN 3567 Whose chronicle thus writ: “The man was noble,
FTLN 3568 But with his last attempt he wiped it out,

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ACT 5. SC. 3

FTLN 3569 Destroyed his country, and his name remains
FTLN 3570170 To th’ ensuing age abhorred.” Speak to me, son.
FTLN 3571 Thou hast affected the editorial emendationfineeditorial emendation strains of honor
FTLN 3572 To imitate the graces of the gods,
FTLN 3573 To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o’ th’ air
FTLN 3574 And yet to editorial emendationchargeeditorial emendation thy sulfur with a bolt
FTLN 3575175 That should but rive an oak. Why dost not speak?
FTLN 3576 Think’st thou it honorable for a noble man
FTLN 3577 Still to remember wrongs?—Daughter, speak you.
FTLN 3578 He cares not for your weeping.—Speak thou, boy.
FTLN 3579 Perhaps thy childishness will move him more
FTLN 3580180 Than can our reasons.—There’s no man in the world
FTLN 3581 More bound to ’s mother, yet here he lets me prate
FTLN 3582 Like one i’ th’ stocks. Thou hast never in thy life
FTLN 3583 Showed thy dear mother any courtesy
FTLN 3584 When she, poor hen, fond of no second brood,
FTLN 3585185 Has editorial emendationcluckededitorial emendation thee to the wars and safely home,
FTLN 3586 Loaden with honor. Say my request’s unjust
FTLN 3587 And spurn me back; but if it be not so,
FTLN 3588 Thou art not honest, and the gods will plague thee
FTLN 3589 That thou restrain’st from me the duty which
FTLN 3590190 To a mother’s part belongs.—He turns away.—
FTLN 3591 Down, ladies! Let us shame him with our knees.
FTLN 3592 To his surname Coriolanus ’longs more pride
FTLN 3593 Than pity to our prayers. Down! An end.
editorial emendationThey kneel.editorial emendation
FTLN 3594 This is the last. So, we will home to Rome
FTLN 3595195 And die among our neighbors.—Nay, behold ’s.
FTLN 3596 This boy that cannot tell what he would have,
FTLN 3597 But kneels and holds up hands for fellowship,
FTLN 3598 Does reason our petition with more strength
FTLN 3599 Than thou hast to deny ’t.—Come, let us go.
editorial emendationThey rise.editorial emendation
FTLN 3600200 This fellow had a Volscian to his mother,
FTLN 3601 His wife is in Corioles, and his child

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ACT 5. SC. 3

FTLN 3602 Like him by chance.—Yet give us our dispatch.
FTLN 3603 I am hushed until our city be afire,
FTLN 3604 And then I’ll speak a little.
editorial emendationHeeditorial emendation holds her by the hand, silent.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 3605205 O mother, mother!
FTLN 3606 What have you done? Behold, the heavens do ope,
FTLN 3607 The gods look down, and this unnatural scene
FTLN 3608 They laugh at. O, my mother, mother, O!
FTLN 3609 You have won a happy victory to Rome,
FTLN 3610210 But, for your son—believe it, O, believe it!—
FTLN 3611 Most dangerously you have with him prevailed,
FTLN 3612 If not most mortal to him. But let it come.—
FTLN 3613 Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
FTLN 3614 I’ll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius,
FTLN 3615215 Were you in my stead, would you have heard
FTLN 3616 A mother less? Or granted less, Aufidius?
AUFIDIUS 
FTLN 3617 I was moved withal.
CORIOLANUS  FTLN 3618 I dare be sworn you were.
FTLN 3619 And, sir, it is no little thing to make
FTLN 3620220 Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good sir,
FTLN 3621 What peace you’ll make advise me. For my part,
FTLN 3622 I’ll not to Rome. I’ll back with you; and pray you,
FTLN 3623 Stand to me in this cause.—O mother!—Wife!
editorial emendationHe speaks with them aside.editorial emendation
AUFIDIUS , editorial emendationasideeditorial emendation 
FTLN 3624 I am glad thou hast set thy mercy and thy honor
FTLN 3625225 At difference in thee. Out of that I’ll work
FTLN 3626 Myself a former fortune.
CORIOLANUS , editorial emendationto the Womeneditorial emendation  FTLN 3627 Ay, by and by;
FTLN 3628 But we will drink together, and you shall bear
FTLN 3629 A better witness back than words, which we,
FTLN 3630230 On like conditions, will have countersealed.
FTLN 3631 Come, enter with us. Ladies, you deserve
FTLN 3632 To have a temple built you. All the swords

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ACT 5. SC. 4

FTLN 3633 In Italy, and her confederate arms,
FTLN 3634 Could not have made this peace.
They exit.


editorial emendationScene 4editorial emendation
Enter Menenius and Sicinius.

MENENIUS  FTLN 3635See you yond coign o’ th’ Capitol, yond
FTLN 3636 cornerstone?
SICINIUS  FTLN 3637Why, what of that?
MENENIUS  FTLN 3638If it be possible for you to displace it with
FTLN 36395 your little finger, there is some hope the ladies of
FTLN 3640 Rome, especially his mother, may prevail with
FTLN 3641 him. But I say there is no hope in ’t. Our throats
FTLN 3642 are sentenced and stay upon execution.
SICINIUS  FTLN 3643Is ’t possible that so short a time can alter the
FTLN 364410 condition of a man?
MENENIUS  FTLN 3645There is differency between a grub and a
FTLN 3646 butterfly, yet your butterfly was a grub. This Martius
FTLN 3647 is grown from man to dragon. He has wings;
FTLN 3648 he’s more than a creeping thing.
SICINIUS  FTLN 364915He loved his mother dearly.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3650So did he me; and he no more remembers
FTLN 3651 his mother now than an eight-year-old horse. The
FTLN 3652 tartness of his face sours ripe grapes. When he
FTLN 3653 walks, he moves like an engine, and the ground
FTLN 365420 shrinks before his treading. He is able to pierce a
FTLN 3655 corslet with his eye, talks like a knell, and his hum
FTLN 3656 is a battery. He sits in his state as a thing made for
FTLN 3657 Alexander. What he bids be done is finished with
FTLN 3658 his bidding. He wants nothing of a god but eternity
FTLN 365925 and a heaven to throne in.
SICINIUS  FTLN 3660Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3661I paint him in the character. Mark what
FTLN 3662 mercy his mother shall bring from him. There is

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ACT 5. SC. 4

FTLN 3663 no more mercy in him than there is milk in a male
FTLN 366430 tiger. That shall our poor city find, and all this is
FTLN 3665 long of you.
SICINIUS  FTLN 3666The gods be good unto us.
MENENIUS  FTLN 3667No, in such a case the gods will not be good
FTLN 3668 unto us. When we banished him, we respected not
FTLN 366935 them; and he returning to break our necks, they
FTLN 3670 respect not us.

Enter a Messenger.

MESSENGER , editorial emendationto Siciniuseditorial emendation 
FTLN 3671 Sir, if you’d save your life, fly to your house.
FTLN 3672 The plebeians have got your fellow tribune
FTLN 3673 And hale him up and down, all swearing if
FTLN 367440 The Roman ladies bring not comfort home,
FTLN 3675 They’ll give him death by inches.

Enter another Messenger.

SICINIUS  FTLN 3676 What’s the news?
editorial emendationSECONDeditorial emendation MESSENGER 
FTLN 3677 Good news, good news! The ladies have prevailed.
FTLN 3678 The Volscians are dislodged and Martius gone.
FTLN 367945 A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
FTLN 3680 No, not th’ expulsion of the Tarquins.
SICINIUS  FTLN 3681 Friend,
FTLN 3682 Art thou certain this is true? Is ’t most certain?