The acclaimed Pelican Shakespeare series edited by A. R. Braunmuller and Stephen Orgel
 
The legendary Pelican Shakespeare series features authoritative and meticulously researched texts paired with scholarship by renowned Shakespeareans. Each book includes an essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare’s time, an introduction to the individual play, and a detailed note on the text used. Updated by general editors Stephen Orgel and A. R. Braunmuller, these easy-to-read editions incorporate over thirty years of Shakespeare scholarship undertaken since the original series, edited by Alfred Harbage, appeared between 1956 and 1967. With definitive texts and illuminating essays, the Pelican Shakespeare will remain a valued resource for students, teachers, and theater professionals for many years to come.
 
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The Tragedy of Coriolanus

¥    I.1 Enter a company of mutinous Citizens, with staves, clubs, and other weapons.

first citizen Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.

all Speak, speak.

first citizen You are all resolved rather to die than to famish?

all Resolved, resolved.

first citizen First, you know Caius Martius is chief enemy to the people.

all We know't, we know't.

first citizen Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at our own price. Is't a verdict?

10

11

all No more talking on't! Let it be done! Away, away!

12

second citizen  One word, good citizens.

first citizen We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians good. What authority surfeits on would relieve us. If they would yield us but the superfluity while it were wholesome, we might guess they relieved us humanely, but they think we are too dear. The leanness that afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an inventory to particularize their abundance; our sufferance is a gain to them. Let us revenge this with our pikes ere we become rakes; for the gods know I speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.

15

16

18

19

20

21

22

second citizen Would you proceed especially against Caius Martius?

all Against him first. He's a very dog to the commonalty.

26

second citizen Consider you what services he has done for his country?

27

first citizen Very well, and could be content to give him good report for't, but that he pays himself with being proud.

30

second citizen Nay, but speak not maliciously.

first citizen I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did it to that end. Though soft-conscienced men can be content to say it was for his country, he did it to please his mother and to be partly proud, which he is, even to the altitude of his virtue.

35

38

second citizen What he cannot help in his nature, you account a vice in him. You must in no way say he is covetous.

40

41

first citizen If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations. He hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition.

Shouts within.

What shouts are these? The other side o' th' city is risen.

Why stay we prating here? To th' Capitol!

46

all Come, come!

first citizen Soft, who comes here?

48

Enter Menenius Agrippa.

second citizen Worthy Menenius Agrippa, one that hath always loved the people.

50

first citizen He's one honest enough! Would all the rest were so!

menenius  

What work's, my countrymen, in hand? Where go you

With bats and clubs? The matter? Speak, I pray you.

first citizen Our business is not unknown to th' Senate. They have had inkling this fortnight what we intend to do, which now we'll show 'em in deeds. They say poor suitors have strong breaths; they shall know we have strong arms too.

58

menenius  

Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest neighbors,

60

Will you undo yourselves?

first citizen  We cannot, sir, we are undone already.

menenius  

I tell you, friends, most charitable care

Have the patricians of you. For your wants,

64

Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well

65

Strike at the heaven with your staves as lift them

Against the Roman state, whose course will on

67

The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs

Of more strong link asunder than can ever

Appear in your impediment. For the dearth,

70

The gods, not the patricians, make it, and

Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack,

You are transported by calamity

73

Thither where more attends you, and you slander

The helms o' th' state, who care for you like fathers,

75

When you curse them as enemies.

first citizen Care for us? True, indeed! They ne'er cared for us yet: suffer us to famish, and their storehouses crammed with grain; make edicts for usury, to support usurers; repeal daily any wholesome act established against the rich, and provide more piercing statutes daily to chain up and restrain the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will; and there's all the love they bear us.

78

79

80

81

menenius  

Either you must

Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,

86

Or be accused of folly. I shall tell you

A pretty tale. It may be you have heard it,

88

But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture

To stale't a little more.

90

first citizen Well, I'll hear it, sir; yet you must not think to fob off our disgrace with a tale. But, an't please you, deliver.

92

menenius  

There was a time when all the body's members

94

Rebelled against the belly, thus accused it:

That only like a gulf it did remain

I' th' midst o' th' body, idle and unactive,

Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing

98

Like labor with the rest, where th' other instruments

99

Did see and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,

100

And mutually participate, did minister

101

Unto the appetite and affection common

102

Of the whole body. The belly answered-

first citizen  Well, sir, what answer made the belly?

menenius  

Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of smile,

Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus-

106

For, look you, I may make the belly smile

As well as speak-it tauntingly replied

To th' discontented members, the mutinous parts

That envied his receipt; even so most fitly

110

As you malign our senators, for that

111

They are not such as you.

112

first citizen       Your belly's answer? What?

The kingly crownd head, the vigilant eye,

The counselor heart, the arm our soldier,

Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter,

With other muniments and petty helps

116

In this our fabric, if that they-

menenius      What then?

'Fore me, this fellow speaks! What then? what then?

118

first citizen  

Should by the cormorant belly be restrained,

119

Who is the sink o' th' body-

120

menenius      Well, what then?

first citizen  

The former agents, if they did complain,

What could the belly answer?

menenius      I will tell you,

If you'll bestow a small-of what you have little-

Patience awhile, you'st hear the belly's answer.

124

first citizen  

You're long about it.

menenius      Note me this, good friend;

Your most grave belly was deliberate,

126

Not rash like his accusers, and thus answered:

"True is it, my incorporate friends," quoth he,

128

"That I receive the general food at first,

Which you do live upon; and fit it is,

130

Because I am the storehouse and the shop

131

Of the whole body. But, if you do remember,

I send it through the rivers of your blood

Even to the court, the heart, to th' seat o' th' brain;

And, through the cranks and offices of man,

135

The strongest nerves and small inferior veins

136

From me receive that natural competency

137

Whereby they live. And though that all at once"-

You, my good friends! This says the belly. Mark me.

first citizen  

Ay, sir, well, well.

140

menenius      "Though all at once cannot

See what I do deliver out to each,

Yet I can make my audit up that all

142

From me do back receive the flour of all,

And leave me but the bran." What say you to't?

first citizen  

It was an answer. How apply you this?

menenius  

The senators of Rome are this good belly,

And you the mutinous members. For examine

Their counsels and their cares, disgest things rightly

148

Touching the weal o' th' common, you shall find

149

No public benefit which you receive

150

But it proceeds or comes from them to you,

And no way from yourselves. What do you think,

You, the great toe of this assembly?

first citizen  

I the great toe! Why the great toe?

menenius  

For that, being one o' th' lowest, basest, poorest

Of this most wise rebellion, thou goest foremost.

Thou rascal, that art worst in blood to run,

157

Lead'st first to win some vantage.

158

But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs:

Rome and her rats are at the point of battle;

160

The one side must have bale.

161

Enter Caius Martius.     Hail, noble Martius!

martius  

Thanks. What's the matter, you dissentious rogues,

162

That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,

Make yourselves scabs?

first citizen      We have ever your good word.

martius  

He that will give good words to thee will flatter

Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,

166

That like nor peace nor war? The one affrights you,

167

The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,

168

Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;

Where foxes, geese. You are no surer, no,

170

Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,

Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is

To make him worthy whose offense subdues him

173

And curse that justice did it. Who deserves greatness

174

Deserves your hate; and your affections are

A sick man's appetite, who desires most that

Which would increase his evil. He that depends

Upon your favors swims with fins of lead

And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust ye?

With every minute you do change a mind,

180

And call him noble that was now your hate,

Him vile that was your garland. What's the matter,

182

That in these several places of the city

183

You cry against the noble Senate, who,

Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else

Would feed on one another? What's their seeking?

186

menenius  

For corn at their own rates, whereof they say

The city is well stored.

martius      Hang 'em! They say?

They'll sit by th' fire and presume to know

What's done i' th' Capitol, who's like to rise,

190

Who thrives and who declines; side factions and give out

191

Conjectural marriages, making parties strong

192

And feebling such as stand not in their liking

193

Below their cobbled shoes. They say there's grain enough?

194

Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,

195

And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry

196

With thousands of these quartered slaves as high

197

As I could pick my lance.

198

menenius  

Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded;

For though abundantly they lack discretion,

200

Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you,

201

What says the other troop?

martius      They are dissolved. Hang 'em!

They said they were anhungry, sighed forth proverbs-

203

That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat,

That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent not

Corn for the rich men only. With these shreds

206

They vented their complainings, which being answered

And a petition granted them, a strange one,

To break the heart of generosity,

209

And make bold power look pale, they threw their caps

210

As they would hang them on the horns o' th' moon,

Shouting their emulation.

212

menenius      What is granted them?

martius  

Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms,

213

Of their own choice. One's Junius Brutus,

Sicinius Velutus, and I know not-'Sdeath!

215

The rabble should have first unroofed the city

Ere so prevailed with me; it will in time

Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes

218

For insurrection's arguing.

219

menenius      This is strange.

martius  

Go, get you home, you fragments!

220

Enter a Messenger hastily.

messenger  

Where's Caius Martius?

martius      Here. What's the matter?

messenger  

The news is, sir, the Volsces are in arms.

martius  

I am glad on't. Then we shall ha' means to vent

223

Our musty superfluity. See, our best elders.

224

Enter Sicinius Velutus, Junius Brutus, Cominius, Titus Lartius, with other Senators.

first senator  

Martius, 'tis true that you have lately told us:

225

The Volsces are in arms.

martius      They have a leader,

Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to't.

227

I sin in envying his nobility,

And were I any thing but what I am,

I would wish me only he.

230

cominius      You have fought together?

martius  

Were half to half the world by th' ears and he

231

Upon my party, I'd revolt, to make

232

Only my wars with him. He is a lion

That I am proud to hunt.

first senator      Then, worthy Martius,

Attend upon Cominius to these wars.

cominius  

It is your former promise.

martius      Sir, it is,

And I am constant. Titus Lartius, thou

Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face.

What, art thou stiff? Stand'st out?

239

titus      No, Caius Martius,

I'll lean upon one crutch and fight with t' other,

240

Ere stay behind this business.

menenius      O, true-bred!

first senator  

Your company to th' Capitol, where I know

Our greatest friends attend us.

243

titus [To Cominius]    Lead you on.

[To Martius]

Follow Cominius. We must follow you.

Right worthy you priority.

245

cominius      Noble Martius!

first senator  [To the Citizens]

Hence to your homes, be gone!

martius      Nay, let them follow.

The Volsces have much corn. Take these rats thither

To gnaw their garners. Worshipful mutineers,

248

Your valor puts well forth. Pray follow.

249

Exeunt. Citizens steal away. Manent Sicinius and Brutus.

sicinius  

Was ever man so proud as is this Martius?

250

brutus  

He has no equal.

sicinius  

When we were chosen tribunes for the people-

brutus  

Marked you his lip and eyes?

sicinius      Nay, but his taunts.

brutus  

Being moved, he will not spare to gird the gods.

254

sicinius  

Bemock the modest moon.

brutus  

The present wars devour him! He is grown

Too proud to be so valiant.

sicinius      Such a nature,

Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow

Which he treads on at noon. But I do wonder

His insolence can brook to be commanded

260

Under Cominius.

brutus      Fame, at the which he aims,

In whom already he's well graced, cannot

262

Better be held nor more attained than by

A place below the first; for what miscarries

264

Shall be the general's fault, though he perform

To th' utmost of a man, and giddy censure

266

Will then cry out of Martius, "O, if he

Had borne the business!"

sicinius      Besides, if things go well,

Opinion, that so sticks on Martius, shall

269

Of his demerits rob Cominius.

270

brutus      Come.

Half all Cominius' honors are to Martius,

271

Though Martius earned them not; and all his faults

To Martius shall be honors, though indeed

In aught he merit not.

274

sicinius      Let's hence and hear

How the dispatch is made, and in what fashion,

275

More than his singularity, he goes

276

Upon this present action.

brutus      Let's along.Exeunt.

*

¥    I.2 Enter Tullus Aufidius, with Senators of Corioles.

first senator  

So, your opinion is, Aufidius,

That they of Rome are entered in our counsels

2

And know how we proceed.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616) was a poet, playwright, and actor who is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers in the history of the English language. Often referred to as the Bard of Avon, Shakespeare's vast body of work includes comedic, tragic, and historical plays; poems; and 154 sonnets. His dramatic works have been translated into every major language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. View titles by William Shakespeare

About

The acclaimed Pelican Shakespeare series edited by A. R. Braunmuller and Stephen Orgel
 
The legendary Pelican Shakespeare series features authoritative and meticulously researched texts paired with scholarship by renowned Shakespeareans. Each book includes an essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare’s time, an introduction to the individual play, and a detailed note on the text used. Updated by general editors Stephen Orgel and A. R. Braunmuller, these easy-to-read editions incorporate over thirty years of Shakespeare scholarship undertaken since the original series, edited by Alfred Harbage, appeared between 1956 and 1967. With definitive texts and illuminating essays, the Pelican Shakespeare will remain a valued resource for students, teachers, and theater professionals for many years to come.
 
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Excerpt

The Tragedy of Coriolanus

¥    I.1 Enter a company of mutinous Citizens, with staves, clubs, and other weapons.

first citizen Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.

all Speak, speak.

first citizen You are all resolved rather to die than to famish?

all Resolved, resolved.

first citizen First, you know Caius Martius is chief enemy to the people.

all We know't, we know't.

first citizen Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at our own price. Is't a verdict?

10

11

all No more talking on't! Let it be done! Away, away!

12

second citizen  One word, good citizens.

first citizen We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians good. What authority surfeits on would relieve us. If they would yield us but the superfluity while it were wholesome, we might guess they relieved us humanely, but they think we are too dear. The leanness that afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an inventory to particularize their abundance; our sufferance is a gain to them. Let us revenge this with our pikes ere we become rakes; for the gods know I speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.

15

16

18

19

20

21

22

second citizen Would you proceed especially against Caius Martius?

all Against him first. He's a very dog to the commonalty.

26

second citizen Consider you what services he has done for his country?

27

first citizen Very well, and could be content to give him good report for't, but that he pays himself with being proud.

30

second citizen Nay, but speak not maliciously.

first citizen I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did it to that end. Though soft-conscienced men can be content to say it was for his country, he did it to please his mother and to be partly proud, which he is, even to the altitude of his virtue.

35

38

second citizen What he cannot help in his nature, you account a vice in him. You must in no way say he is covetous.

40

41

first citizen If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations. He hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition.

Shouts within.

What shouts are these? The other side o' th' city is risen.

Why stay we prating here? To th' Capitol!

46

all Come, come!

first citizen Soft, who comes here?

48

Enter Menenius Agrippa.

second citizen Worthy Menenius Agrippa, one that hath always loved the people.

50

first citizen He's one honest enough! Would all the rest were so!

menenius  

What work's, my countrymen, in hand? Where go you

With bats and clubs? The matter? Speak, I pray you.

first citizen Our business is not unknown to th' Senate. They have had inkling this fortnight what we intend to do, which now we'll show 'em in deeds. They say poor suitors have strong breaths; they shall know we have strong arms too.

58

menenius  

Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest neighbors,

60

Will you undo yourselves?

first citizen  We cannot, sir, we are undone already.

menenius  

I tell you, friends, most charitable care

Have the patricians of you. For your wants,

64

Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well

65

Strike at the heaven with your staves as lift them

Against the Roman state, whose course will on

67

The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs

Of more strong link asunder than can ever

Appear in your impediment. For the dearth,

70

The gods, not the patricians, make it, and

Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack,

You are transported by calamity

73

Thither where more attends you, and you slander

The helms o' th' state, who care for you like fathers,

75

When you curse them as enemies.

first citizen Care for us? True, indeed! They ne'er cared for us yet: suffer us to famish, and their storehouses crammed with grain; make edicts for usury, to support usurers; repeal daily any wholesome act established against the rich, and provide more piercing statutes daily to chain up and restrain the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will; and there's all the love they bear us.

78

79

80

81

menenius  

Either you must

Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,

86

Or be accused of folly. I shall tell you

A pretty tale. It may be you have heard it,

88

But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture

To stale't a little more.

90

first citizen Well, I'll hear it, sir; yet you must not think to fob off our disgrace with a tale. But, an't please you, deliver.

92

menenius  

There was a time when all the body's members

94

Rebelled against the belly, thus accused it:

That only like a gulf it did remain

I' th' midst o' th' body, idle and unactive,

Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing

98

Like labor with the rest, where th' other instruments

99

Did see and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,

100

And mutually participate, did minister

101

Unto the appetite and affection common

102

Of the whole body. The belly answered-

first citizen  Well, sir, what answer made the belly?

menenius  

Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of smile,

Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus-

106

For, look you, I may make the belly smile

As well as speak-it tauntingly replied

To th' discontented members, the mutinous parts

That envied his receipt; even so most fitly

110

As you malign our senators, for that

111

They are not such as you.

112

first citizen       Your belly's answer? What?

The kingly crownd head, the vigilant eye,

The counselor heart, the arm our soldier,

Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter,

With other muniments and petty helps

116

In this our fabric, if that they-

menenius      What then?

'Fore me, this fellow speaks! What then? what then?

118

first citizen  

Should by the cormorant belly be restrained,

119

Who is the sink o' th' body-

120

menenius      Well, what then?

first citizen  

The former agents, if they did complain,

What could the belly answer?

menenius      I will tell you,

If you'll bestow a small-of what you have little-

Patience awhile, you'st hear the belly's answer.

124

first citizen  

You're long about it.

menenius      Note me this, good friend;

Your most grave belly was deliberate,

126

Not rash like his accusers, and thus answered:

"True is it, my incorporate friends," quoth he,

128

"That I receive the general food at first,

Which you do live upon; and fit it is,

130

Because I am the storehouse and the shop

131

Of the whole body. But, if you do remember,

I send it through the rivers of your blood

Even to the court, the heart, to th' seat o' th' brain;

And, through the cranks and offices of man,

135

The strongest nerves and small inferior veins

136

From me receive that natural competency

137

Whereby they live. And though that all at once"-

You, my good friends! This says the belly. Mark me.

first citizen  

Ay, sir, well, well.

140

menenius      "Though all at once cannot

See what I do deliver out to each,

Yet I can make my audit up that all

142

From me do back receive the flour of all,

And leave me but the bran." What say you to't?

first citizen  

It was an answer. How apply you this?

menenius  

The senators of Rome are this good belly,

And you the mutinous members. For examine

Their counsels and their cares, disgest things rightly

148

Touching the weal o' th' common, you shall find

149

No public benefit which you receive

150

But it proceeds or comes from them to you,

And no way from yourselves. What do you think,

You, the great toe of this assembly?

first citizen  

I the great toe! Why the great toe?

menenius  

For that, being one o' th' lowest, basest, poorest

Of this most wise rebellion, thou goest foremost.

Thou rascal, that art worst in blood to run,

157

Lead'st first to win some vantage.

158

But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs:

Rome and her rats are at the point of battle;

160

The one side must have bale.

161

Enter Caius Martius.     Hail, noble Martius!

martius  

Thanks. What's the matter, you dissentious rogues,

162

That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,

Make yourselves scabs?

first citizen      We have ever your good word.

martius  

He that will give good words to thee will flatter

Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,

166

That like nor peace nor war? The one affrights you,

167

The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,

168

Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;

Where foxes, geese. You are no surer, no,

170

Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,

Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is

To make him worthy whose offense subdues him

173

And curse that justice did it. Who deserves greatness

174

Deserves your hate; and your affections are

A sick man's appetite, who desires most that

Which would increase his evil. He that depends

Upon your favors swims with fins of lead

And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust ye?

With every minute you do change a mind,

180

And call him noble that was now your hate,

Him vile that was your garland. What's the matter,

182

That in these several places of the city

183

You cry against the noble Senate, who,

Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else

Would feed on one another? What's their seeking?

186

menenius  

For corn at their own rates, whereof they say

The city is well stored.

martius      Hang 'em! They say?

They'll sit by th' fire and presume to know

What's done i' th' Capitol, who's like to rise,

190

Who thrives and who declines; side factions and give out

191

Conjectural marriages, making parties strong

192

And feebling such as stand not in their liking

193

Below their cobbled shoes. They say there's grain enough?

194

Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,

195

And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry

196

With thousands of these quartered slaves as high

197

As I could pick my lance.

198

menenius  

Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded;

For though abundantly they lack discretion,

200

Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you,

201

What says the other troop?

martius      They are dissolved. Hang 'em!

They said they were anhungry, sighed forth proverbs-

203

That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat,

That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent not

Corn for the rich men only. With these shreds

206

They vented their complainings, which being answered

And a petition granted them, a strange one,

To break the heart of generosity,

209

And make bold power look pale, they threw their caps

210

As they would hang them on the horns o' th' moon,

Shouting their emulation.

212

menenius      What is granted them?

martius  

Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms,

213

Of their own choice. One's Junius Brutus,

Sicinius Velutus, and I know not-'Sdeath!

215

The rabble should have first unroofed the city

Ere so prevailed with me; it will in time

Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes

218

For insurrection's arguing.

219

menenius      This is strange.

martius  

Go, get you home, you fragments!

220

Enter a Messenger hastily.

messenger  

Where's Caius Martius?

martius      Here. What's the matter?

messenger  

The news is, sir, the Volsces are in arms.

martius  

I am glad on't. Then we shall ha' means to vent

223

Our musty superfluity. See, our best elders.

224

Enter Sicinius Velutus, Junius Brutus, Cominius, Titus Lartius, with other Senators.

first senator  

Martius, 'tis true that you have lately told us:

225

The Volsces are in arms.

martius      They have a leader,

Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to't.

227

I sin in envying his nobility,

And were I any thing but what I am,

I would wish me only he.

230

cominius      You have fought together?

martius  

Were half to half the world by th' ears and he

231

Upon my party, I'd revolt, to make

232

Only my wars with him. He is a lion

That I am proud to hunt.

first senator      Then, worthy Martius,

Attend upon Cominius to these wars.

cominius  

It is your former promise.

martius      Sir, it is,

And I am constant. Titus Lartius, thou

Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face.

What, art thou stiff? Stand'st out?

239

titus      No, Caius Martius,

I'll lean upon one crutch and fight with t' other,

240

Ere stay behind this business.

menenius      O, true-bred!

first senator  

Your company to th' Capitol, where I know

Our greatest friends attend us.

243

titus [To Cominius]    Lead you on.

[To Martius]

Follow Cominius. We must follow you.

Right worthy you priority.

245

cominius      Noble Martius!

first senator  [To the Citizens]

Hence to your homes, be gone!

martius      Nay, let them follow.

The Volsces have much corn. Take these rats thither

To gnaw their garners. Worshipful mutineers,

248

Your valor puts well forth. Pray follow.

249

Exeunt. Citizens steal away. Manent Sicinius and Brutus.

sicinius  

Was ever man so proud as is this Martius?

250

brutus  

He has no equal.

sicinius  

When we were chosen tribunes for the people-

brutus  

Marked you his lip and eyes?

sicinius      Nay, but his taunts.

brutus  

Being moved, he will not spare to gird the gods.

254

sicinius  

Bemock the modest moon.

brutus  

The present wars devour him! He is grown

Too proud to be so valiant.

sicinius      Such a nature,

Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow

Which he treads on at noon. But I do wonder

His insolence can brook to be commanded

260

Under Cominius.

brutus      Fame, at the which he aims,

In whom already he's well graced, cannot

262

Better be held nor more attained than by

A place below the first; for what miscarries

264

Shall be the general's fault, though he perform

To th' utmost of a man, and giddy censure

266

Will then cry out of Martius, "O, if he

Had borne the business!"

sicinius      Besides, if things go well,

Opinion, that so sticks on Martius, shall

269

Of his demerits rob Cominius.

270

brutus      Come.

Half all Cominius' honors are to Martius,

271

Though Martius earned them not; and all his faults

To Martius shall be honors, though indeed

In aught he merit not.

274

sicinius      Let's hence and hear

How the dispatch is made, and in what fashion,

275

More than his singularity, he goes

276

Upon this present action.

brutus      Let's along.Exeunt.

*

¥    I.2 Enter Tullus Aufidius, with Senators of Corioles.

first senator  

So, your opinion is, Aufidius,

That they of Rome are entered in our counsels

2

And know how we proceed.

Author

William Shakespeare (1564–1616) was a poet, playwright, and actor who is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers in the history of the English language. Often referred to as the Bard of Avon, Shakespeare's vast body of work includes comedic, tragic, and historical plays; poems; and 154 sonnets. His dramatic works have been translated into every major language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. View titles by William Shakespeare

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