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Re-enter BRUTUS and SICINIUS, with the Rabble.
Where is this viper,
That would depopulate the city, and
Be every man himself?
You worthy tribunes,
Sic. He shall be thrown down the Tarpeian rock
With rigorous hands: he hath resisted law,
And therefore law shall scorn him farther trial
Than the severity of the public power,
Which he so sets at nought.
He shall well know.
The noble tribunes are the people's mouths,
And we their hands.
Cit. He shall, sure on't.
Men. Sir, Sir,
Men. Do not cry havock, where you should but hunt
With modest warrant.
Sir, how comes 't, that you
Have holp to make this rescue?
Hear me speak.
As I do know the consul's worthiness,
So can I name his faults.
Consul! what consul?
Men. The consul Coriolanus.
He a consul!
Cit. No, no, no, no, no.
Men. If, by the tribunes' leave, and yours, good people,
I may be heard, I would crave a word or two;
The which shall turn you to no farther harm,
Than so much loss of time.
Speak briefly then;
For we are peremptory to despatch
This viperous traitor. To eject him hence,
Were but one danger, and to keep him here,
Our certain death: therefore, it is decreed
He dies to-night.
Now the good gods forbid,
That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude
Towards her deserved children is enrollid
In Jove's own book, like an unnatural dam
Should now eat up her own!
Sic. He's a disease, that must be cut away.
Men. O! he's a limb, that has but a disease;
Mortal, to cut it off; to cure it, easy.
What has he done to Rome that 's worthy death?
Killing our enemies? The blood he hath lost,
(Which, I dare vouch, is more than that he hath,
By many an ounce) he dropp'd it for his country:
And what is left, to lose it by his country,
Were to us all, that do 't and suffer it,
A brand to th' end o' the world.
This is clean kam.
Bru. Merely awry. When he did love his country,
It honour'd him.
The service of the foot,
Being once gangren’d, is not then respected
For what before it was.
We'll hear no more. -
Parsue him to his house, and pluck him thence,
Lest his infection, being of catching nature,
Men. One word more, one word.
This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find
The harm of unscann'd swiftness, will, too late,
Tie leaden pounds to 's heels. Proceed by process;
Lest parties (as he is belov'd) break out,
And sack great Rome with Romans.
If it were so,
Sic. What do ye talk ?
Have we not had a taste of his obedience?
Our Ædiles smote? ourselves resisted? - come! -
Men. Consider this: – he has been bred i' the wars Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school'd
In boulted language; meal and bran together
He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
I'll go to him, and undertake to bring him in peace
Where he shall answer, by a lawful form,
In peace, to his utmost peril.
It is the humane way: the other course
Will prove too bloody, and the end of it
Unknown to the beginning.
Be you, then, as the people's officer.
Masters, lay down your weapons.
Go not home.
Sic. Meet on the market-place. – We'll attend you there:
Where, if you bring not Marcius, we 'll proceed
Jo our first way.
I'll bring him to you. Let me desire your company. [To the Senators.] He must come, Or what is worst will follow. 1 Sen.
Pray you, let's to him. (Exeunt.
A Room in CORIOLANUS's House.
Enter CoriolaNUS, and Patricians.
Cor. Let them pull all about mine ears: present me
Death on the wheel, or at wild horses' heels;
Or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock,
That the precipitation might down stretch
Below the beam of sight, yet will I still
Be thus to them.
Re-enter VOLUMNIA. 1 Pat.
You do the nobler.
Cor. I muse my mother
Does not approve me farther, who was wont
To call them woollen vassals; things created
To buy and sell with groats; to show bare heads
In congregations, to yawn, be still, and wonder,
When one but of my ordinance stood up
To speak of peace, or war.
I talk of you:
[To VOLUMNIA. Why did you wish me milder? Would you have me False to my nature? Rather say, I play The man I am. Vol. 0, Sir, Sir,
I would have had you put your power well on,
Before you had worn it out.
Vol. You might have been enough the man you are,
With striving less to be so: lesser had been
The thwartings of your dispositions, if
You had not show'd them how you were dispos'd,
Ere they lack'd power to cross you.
Let them hang.
Vol. Ay, and burn too.
Enter MENENIUS, and Senators.
Men. Come, come; you have been too rough, something too
rough: You must return, and mend it. 1 Sen.
There's no remedy;
Unless, by not so doing, our good city
Cleave in the midst, and perish.
Pray be counsell’d.
I have a heart as little apt as yours,
But yet a brain, that leads my use of anger
To better vantage.
Well said, noble woman.
Before he should thus stoop to the berd, but that
The violent fit o' the time craves it as physic
For the whole state, I would put mine armour on,
Which I can scarcely bear,
What must I do?
Men. Return to the tribunes.
Well, what then? what then?
Men. Repent what you have spoke.
Cor. For them? , I cannot do it to the gods;
Must I then do 't to them?
You are too absolute;
Though therein you can never be too poble,
But when extremities speak. I have heard you say,
Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends,
l' the war do grow together: grant that, and tell me,
peace what each of them by th' other lose,
That they combine not there?
A good demand.
Vol. If it be honour in your wars to seem
The same you are not, (which for your best ends
You adopt your policy) how is it less, or worse,
That it shall hold companionship in peace
With honour, as in war, since that to both
It stands in like request!
Why force you this?
Vol. Because that now it lies you on to speak
To the people; not by your own instruction,
Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you,'
But with such words that are but roted in
Your tongue, though but bastards, and syllables
Of no allowance to your bosom's truth.
Now, this no more dishonours you at all,
Than to take in a town with gentle words,
Which else would put you to your fortune, and
The hazard of much blood.-
I would dissemble with my nature, where,
My fortunes and my friends at stake, requir'd
I should do so in honour: I am in this,
Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles;
And you will rather show our general Jowts
How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon ’em,
For the inheritance of their loves, and safeguard
Of what that want might ruin.