Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition
Editor’s NoteCornets. Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, all the gentry; Cominius, Lartius, and other SenatorsEditor’s Note1
coriolanus Tullus Aufidius then had made new head?2
lartius He had, my lord, and that it was which caused Editor’s Note3Our swifter composition.4
coriolanus So then the Volsces stand but as at first, Editor’s Note5Ready when time shall prompt them to make raid
Editor’s Note6Upon's again.
cominius They are worn, lord consul, so
7That we shall hardly in our ages see
8Their banners wave again.
coriolanus [to Lartius] Saw you Aufidius?Editor’s Note9
lartius On safeguard he came to me and did curse
10Against the Volsces, for they had so vilely
Editor’s Note11Yielded the town. He is retired to Antium.12
coriolanus Spoke he of me?
lartius He did, my lord.
coriolanus How? What?13
lartius How often he had met you sword to sword,
14That of all things upon the earth he hated
15Your person most; that he would pawn his fortunes
Editor’s Note16To hopeless restitution so he might
17Be called your vanquisher.
coriolanus At Antium lives he?
lartius At Antium.18
coriolanus I wish I had a cause to seek him there
19To oppose his hatred fully. Welcome home.Enter Sicinius and Brutus
20Behold, these are the tribunes of the people,
21The tongues o'th' common mouth. I do despise them,
Editor’s Note22For they do prank them in authority,
Editor’s Note23Against all noble sufferance.24
sicinius Pass no further.26
brutus It will be dangerous to go on. No further.27
coriolanus What makes this change?28
menenius The matter?Editor’s Note29
cominius Hath he not passed the noble, and the commons?30
brutus Cominius, no.
coriolanus Have I had children's voices?31
senator Tribunes, give way, he shall to th' market-place.32
brutus The people are incensed against him.
Editor’s Note33Or all will fall in broil.
coriolanus Are these your herd?
Editor’s Note34Must these have voices that can yield them now,
Editor’s Note35And straight disclaim their tongues? What are your offices?
36You being their mouths, why rule you not their teeth?
37Have you not set them on?
menenius Be calm, be calm.Editor’s Note38
coriolanus It is a purposed thing, and grows by plot
39To curb the will of the nobility.
40Suffer't, and live with such as cannot rule,
41Nor ever will be ruled.
brutus Call't not a plot.
42The people cry you mocked them, and of late,
Editor’s Note43When corn was given them gratis, you repined,
Editor’s Note44Scandalled the suppliants for the people, called them
Editor’s Note45Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness.46
coriolanus Why, this was known before.
brutus Not to them all.Editor’s Note47
coriolanus Have you informed them sithence?
brutus How? I inform them?48
coriolanus You are like to do such business.Editor’s Note49
brutus Not unlike each way to better yours.Editor’s Note50
coriolanus Why then should I be consul? By yon clouds,
51Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me
Editor’s Note52Your fellow tribune.
sicinius You show too much of that
Editor’s Note53For which the people stir. If you will pass
54To where you are bound, you must enquire your way,
Editor’s Note55Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit,
56Or never be so noble as a consul,
Editor’s Note57Nor yoke with him for tribune.
menenius Let's be calm.Editor’s Note58
cominius The people are abused, set on. This palt'ring
Editor’s Note60Deserved this so dishonoured rub, laid falsely
61I'th' plain way of his merit. Tell me of corn.62
coriolanus This was my speech, and I will speak't again.63
menenius Not now, not now.64
senator Not in this heat, sir, now.65
coriolanus Now as I live,
66I will. My nobler friends, I crave their pardons.
Editor’s Note67For the mutable rank-scented meinie,
Editor’s Note68Let them regard me—as I do not flatter—
69And therein behold themselves. I say again,
70In soothing them we nourish 'gainst our senate
Editor’s Note71The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition,
72Which we ourselves have plowed for, sowed, and scattered
73By mingling them with us, the honoured number
74Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that
75Which they have given to beggars.
menenius Well, no more.76
senator No more words, we beseech you.
coriolanus How, no more?
Link 77As for my country I have shed my blood,
78Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs
Editor’s Note79Coin words till their decay against those measles
Editor’s Note80Which we disdain should tetter us, yet sought
81The very way to catch them.82
brutus You speak o'th' people as if you were a god
83To punish, not a man of their infirmity.84
sicinius 'Twere well we let the people know't.85
menenius What, what? His choler?86
coriolanus Choler? Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,
Editor’s Note87By Jove, 'twould be my mind.88
sicinius It is a mind
That shall remain a poison where it is;
89Not poison any further.
coriolanus 'Shall remain'?
Editor’s Note90Hear you this Triton of the minnows? Mark you
Editor’s Note91His absolute 'shall'?
cominius 'Twas from the canon.92
O good but most unwise patricians why,
93You grave but reckless senators, have you thus
Editor’s Note94Given Hydra here to choose an officer,
95That with his peremptory 'shall', being but
Editor’s Note96The horn and noise o'th' monster's, wants not spirit
pg 2768Editor’s Note97To say he'll turn your current in a ditch,
98And make your channel his? If he have power,
Editor’s Note99Then vail your ignorance. If none, awake
Editor’s Note100Your dangerous lenity. If you are learned,
101Be not as common fools; if you are not,
Editor’s Note102Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians
103If they be senators, and they are no less
Editor’s Note104When, both your voices blended, the great'st taste
Editor’s Note105Most palates theirs. They choose their magistrate,
106And such a one as he who puts his 'shall',
107His popular 'shall', against a graver bench
108Than ever frowned in Greece. By Jove himself,
109It makes the consuls base, and my soul aches
Editor’s Note110To know, when two authorities are up,
111Neither supreme, how soon confusïon
112May enter 'twixt the gap of both, and take
113The one by th'other.
cominius Well, on to th' market-place.114
coriolanus Whoever gave that counsel to give forth
Editor’s Note115The corn o'th' storehouse gratis, as 'twas used
116Sometime in Greece—
menenius Well, well, no more of that.117
coriolanus Though there the people had more absolute power—
118I say they nourished disobedience, fed
119The ruin of the state.
brutus Why shall the people give
120One that speaks thus their voice?
coriolanus I'll give my reasons,
121More worthier than their voices. They know the corn
Editor’s Note122Was not our recompense, resting well assured
Editor’s Note123They ne'er did service for't. Being pressed to th' war,
Editor’s Note124Even when the navel of the state was touched,
Editor’s Note125They would not thread the gates. This kind of service
126Did not deserve corn gratis. Being i'th' war,
127Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they showed
Editor’s Note128Most valour, spoke not for them. Th'accusation
129Which they have often made against the senate,
Editor’s Note130All cause unborn, could never be the native
Editor’s Note131Of our so frank donation. Well, what then?
Editor’s Note132How shall this bosom multiplied digest
133The senate's courtesy? Let deeds express
134What's like to be their words: 'We did request it,
pg 2769Editor’s Note135We are the greater poll, and in true fear
136They gave us our demands.' Thus we debase
137The nature of our seats, and make the rabble
Editor’s Note138Call our cares fears, which will in time
139Break ope the locks o'th' senate, and bring in
Editor’s Note140The crows to peck the eagles.
menenius Come, enough.Editor’s Note141
brutus Enough with over-measure.
coriolanus No, take more.
142What may be sworn by, both divine and human,
Editor’s Note143Seal what I end withal! This double worship,
144Where one part does disdain with cause, the other
145Insult without all reason, where gentry, title, wisdom
Editor’s Note146Cannot conclude but by the yea and no
Editor’s Note147Of general ignorance, it must omit
148Real necessities, and give way the while
Editor’s Note149To unstable slightness. Purpose so barred, it follows
150Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore beseech you—
Editor’s Note151You that will be less fearful than discreet,
152That love the fundamental part of state
Editor’s Note153More than you doubt the change on't, that prefer
154A noble life before a long, and wish
Editor’s Note155To jump a body with a dangerous physic,
156That's sure of death without it—at once pluck out
Editor’s Note157The multitudinous tongue, let them not lick
158The sweet which is their poison. Your dishonour
159Mangles true judgement, and bereaves the state
Editor’s Note160Of that integrity which should become't,
161Not having the power to do the good it would
Editor’s Note162For th' ill which doth control't.163
brutus He's said enough.
sicinius He's spoken like a traitor, and shall answer
Editor’s Note164As traitors do.
coriolanus Thou wretch, despite o'erwhelm thee!
165What should the people do with these bald tribunes,
166On whom depending, their obedience fails
Editor’s Note167To th' greater bench? In a rebellïon,
Editor’s Note168When what's not meet but what must be was law,
169Then were they chosen. In a better hour
170Let what is meet be said it must be meet,172
brutus Manifest treason.173
sicinius This a consul? No.Editor’s Note174
brutus The aediles, ho!Enter an Aedile
Let him be apprehended.Editor’s Note175
sicinius Go call the people [exit an Aedile] , [to Coriolanus] in whose name myself
Editor’s Note176Attach thee as a traitorous innovator,
177A foe to th' public weal. Obey, I charge thee,
178And follow to thine answer.
coriolanus Hence, old goat!Editor’s Note179
patricians We'll surety him.
cominius [to Sicinius] Aged sir, hands off!180
coriolanus [to Sicinius] Hence, rotten thing, or I shall shake thy bones
181Out of thy garments!
sicinius Help ye, citizens!Enter a rabble of Plebeians, with the Aediles182
menenius On both sides more respect.
sicinius [pointing to Coriolanus] Here's he
183That would take from you all your power!
brutus Seize him, aediles.Editor’s Note184
all citizens Down with him, down with him!185
second senator Weapons, weapons, weapons!They all bustle about Coriolanus186
all Tribunes! Patricians! Citizens! What ho?
187Sicinius! Brutus! Coriolanus! Citizens!
188Peace! Peace! Peace! Stay! Hold! Peace!189
menenius What is about to be? I am out of breath,
190Confusion's near; I cannot speak. You, tribunes
191To th' people, Coriolanus, patience!
Link 192Speak, good Sicinius.
sicinius Hear me, people, peace.193
citizens Let's hear our tribune! Peace! Speak, speak, speak.Editor’s Note194
sicinius You are at point to lose your liberties.
195Martius would have all from you; Martius,
196Whom late you have named for consul.
menenius Fie, fie, fie,
197This is the way to kindle, not to quench.198
senator To unbuild the city, and to lay all flat.199
sicinius What is the city, but the people?
200The people are the city.
brutus By the consent of all,
201We were established the people's magistrates.202
citizens You so remain.
menenius And so are like to do.pg 2771 203
cominius That is the way to lay the city flat,
204To bring the roof to the foundatïon,
Editor’s Note205And bury all, which yet distinctly ranges
206In heaps and piles of ruin.
sicinius This deserves death.Editor’s Note207
brutus Or let us stand to our authority,
208Or let us lose it. We do here pronounce
209Upon the part o'th' people, in whose power
210We were elected theirs, Martius is worthy
211Of present death.
sicinius Therefore lay hold of him.
Editor’s Note212Bear him to th' rock Tarpeian, and from thence
213Into destruction cast him.
brutus Aediles, seize him.214
citizens Yield, Martius, yield!
menenius Hear me one word,
215Beseech you, tribunes, hear me but a word.216
aediles Peace, peace!Editor’s Note217
menenius Be that you seem, truly your country's friend,
218And temp'rately proceed to what you would
219Thus violently redress.
brutus Sir, those cold ways
Editor’s Note220That seem like prudent helps are very poisonous
221Where the disease is violent. [To Aediles] Lay hands upon him,
222And bear him to the rock.Coriolanus draws his sword
coriolanus No, I'll die here!
223There's some among you have beheld me fighting—
Editor’s Note224Come try upon yourselves what you have seen me.225
menenius Down with that sword! Tribunes, withdraw awhile.226
brutus Lay hands upon him!
menenius Help, Martius, help!
227You that be noble, help him, young and old.228
citizens Down with him! Down with him!Editor’s NoteIn this mutiny, the tribunes, the Aediles, and the people are beat in, [and exeunt]229
menenius [to Coriolanus] Go, get you to your house. Be gone, away.
230All will be naught else.
second senator [to Coriolanus] Get you gone.231
coriolanus Stand fast; we have as many friends as enemies.232
menenius Shall it be put to that?
senator The gods forbid![To Coriolanus]
233I prithee, noble friend, home to thy house.
Editor’s Note234Leave us to cure this cause.
menenius For 'tis a sore upon us
Editor’s Note235You cannot tent yourself. Be gone, beseech you.Editor’s Note237
coriolanus I would they were barbarians, as they are,
Editor’s Note238Though in Rome littered; not Romans, as they are not,
Editor’s Note239Though calved i'th' porch o'th' Capitol.
menenius Be gone;
Editor’s Note240Put not your worthy rage into your tongue.
Editor’s Note241One time will owe another.
coriolanus On fair ground
242I could beat forty of them.
menenius I could myself
Editor’s Note243Take up a brace o'th' best of them, yea, the two tribunes.244
cominius But now 'tis odds beyond arithmetic,
Editor’s Note245And manhood is called foolery when it stands
246Against a falling fabric. [To Coriolanus] Will you hence,
Editor’s Note247Before the tag return, whose rage doth rend
248Like interrupted waters, and o'erbear
249What they are used to bear?
menenius [to Coriolanus] Pray you be gone.
Editor’s Note250I'll try whether my old wit be in request
251With those that have but little. This must be patched
Editor’s Note252With cloth of any colour.
cominius Nay, come away.Exeunt Coriolanus and Cominius253
patrician This man has marred his fortune.254
menenius His nature is too noble for the world.
Editor’s Note255He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
256Or Jove for's power to thunder. His heart's his mouth;
257What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent,
258And, being angry, does forget that ever
259He heard the name of Death.Editor’s NoteA noise within
Here's goodly work.260
patrician I would they were abed.
menenius I would they were in Tiber.
Editor’s Note261What the vengeance, could he not speak 'em fair?Enter Brutus and Sicinius with the rabble againEditor’s Note262
sicinius Where is this viper
263That would depopulate the city and
264Be every man himself?
menenius You worthy tribunes—265
sicinius He shall be thrown down the Tarpeian rock
266With rigorous hands. He hath resisted law,
267And therefore law shall scorn him further trial
Editor’s Note269Which he so sets at naught.
first citizen He shall well know
270The noble tribunes are the people's mouths,
271And we their hands.
citizens He shall, sure on't.
menenius Sir, sir.272
sicinius Peace!Editor’s Note273
menenius Do not cry havoc where you should but hunt
274With modest warrant.
sicinius Sir, how comes't that you
Editor’s Note275Have holp to make this rescue?
menenius Hear me speak!
276As I do know the consul's worthiness,
277So can I name his faults.278
sicinius Consul? What consul?279
menenius The consul Coriolanus.280
brutus He? Consul?281
citizens No, no, no, no, no.282
menenius If by the tribunes' leave—and yours, good people—
283I may be heard, I would crave a word or two,
284The which shall turn you to no further harm
285Than so much loss of time.
sicinius Speak briefly then,
Editor’s Note286For we are peremptory to dispatch
287This viperous traitor. To eject him hence
Editor’s Note288Were but our danger, and to keep him here
289Our certain death. Therefore it is decreed
290He dies tonight.
menenius Now the good gods forbid
291That our renownèd Rome, whose gratitude
292Towards her deservèd children is enrolled
Editor’s Note293In Jove's own book, like an unnatural dam
294Should now eat up her own!Link 295
sicinius He's a disease that must be cut away.296
menenius O, he's a limb that has but a disease:
Editor’s Note297Mortal to cut it off; to cure it, easy.
298What has he done to Rome that's worthy death?
299Killing our enemies, the blood he hath lost—
300Which I dare vouch is more than that he hath
301By many an ounce—he dropped it for his country;
302And what is left, to lose it by his country
303Were to us all that do't and suffer it
Editor’s Note304A brand to th' end o'th' world.
sicinius This is clean cam.305
brutus Merely awry. When he did love his country,
306It honoured him.
sicinius The service of the foot
308For what before it was.
brutus We'll hear no more.
309Pursue him to his house and pluck him thence,
Editor’s Note310Lest his infection, being of catching nature,
menenius One word more, one word!
312This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find
Editor’s Note313The harm of unscanned swiftness, will too late
314Tie leaden pounds to's heels. Proceed by process,
Editor’s Note315Lest parties—as he is beloved—break out,
316And sack great Rome with Romans.317
brutus If it were so?318
sicinius [to Menenius] What do ye talk?
319Have we not had a taste of his obedience?
320Our aediles smote, ourselves resisted? Come.321
menenius Consider this: he has been bred i'th' wars
Editor’s Note322Since a could draw a sword, and is ill-schooled
Editor’s Note323In bolted language. Meal and bran together
324He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
325I'll go to him, and undertake to bring him
Editor’s Note326Where he shall answer by a lawful form—
327In peace—to his utmost peril.
first senator Noble tribunes,
328It is the humane way. The other course
329Will prove too bloody, and the end of it
330Unknown to the beginning.
sicinius Noble Menenius,
331Be you then as the people's officer.[To the Citizens]
332Masters, lay down your weapons.
brutus Go not home.333
sicinius Meet on the market-place. [To Menenius] We'll attend you there,
334Where if you bring not Martius, we'll proceed
335In our first way.
menenius I'll bring him to you.
Editor’s Note336Let me desire your company; he must come,
337Or what is worst will follow.
senator Pray you, let's to him.Exeunt [tribunes and Citizens at one door, Patricians at another door]