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Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, Cominius, Titus Lartius, Senators, and Patricians.

Cor. Tullus Aufidius then had made new head? Tit. He had, my lord; and that it was, which caus'd

Our swifter composition.

Cor. So then the Volces stand but as at first; Ready, when time shall prompt them, to make road Upon's again.

Com.
They are worn, lord consul, so,
That we shall hardly in our ages see
Their banners wave again.

Cor.

Saw you Aufidius? Tit. On safe-guard he came to me; and did

curse

Against the Volces, for they had so vilely
Yielded the town: he is retir'd to Antium.
Cor. Spoke he of me?

Tit.

He did, my lord.

Cor.

How? what? Tit. How often he had met you, sword to sword:

That, of all things upon the earth, he hated
Your person most: that he would
To hopeless restitution, so he might
Be call'd your vanquisher.

most: that he would pawn his fortunes

Cor.

Tit. At Antium.

Cor. I wish I had a cause to seek him there, To oppose his hatred fully.-Welcome home.

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At Antium lives he?

Enter Sicinius and Brutus.

Behold! these are the tribunes of the people, The tongues o' the common mouth. I do despise them;

For they do prank them in authority,

Against all noble sufferance.

Sic.

Cor. Ha! what is that?
Bru.

Go on: no further.

Pass no further.

It will be dangerous to

What makes this change?

Cor.

Men.

Com. Hath he not pass'd the nobles, and the commons?

Bru. Cominius, no.

Cor.

The matter?

Have I had children's voices? 1 Sen. Tribunes, give way; he shall to the mar

ket-place.

Bru. The people are incens'd against him.

Sic.

Or all will fall in broil.

Cor. Are these your herd?— Must these have voices, that can yield them now, And straight disclaim their tongues?-What are your offices?

Stop,

You being their mouths, why rule you not their

teeth?

Have you not set them on?

Be calm, be calm.

Men. Cor. It is a purpos'd thing, and grows by plot, To curb the will of the nobility:Suffer't, and live with such as cannot rule, Nor ever will be rul'd.

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Bru.
Call't not a plot:
The people cry, you mock'd them; and, of late,
When corn was given them gratis, you repin'd;
Scandal'd the suppliants for the people; call'd them
Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness.

Cor. Why, this was known before.
Bru.
Not to them all.
Cor. Have you inform'd them since?
Bru.

How! I inform them!

Cor. You are like to do such business.
Bru.

Not unlike,

Each way, to better yours.

Cor. Why then should I be consul? By yon

clouds,

Let me deserve so ill as you, and make me

Your fellow tribune.

Sic. You show too much of that, For which the people stir: If you will pass To where you are bound, you must inquire your

F

way,

Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit;
Or never be so noble as a consul,
Nor yoke with him for tribune.

Men.

Let's be calm.

Com. The people are abus'd:-Set on.-This palt'ring

Becomes not Rome; nor has Coriolanus.
Deserv'd this so dishonour'd rub, laid falsely
I' the plain way of his merit.

Cor.
Tell me of corn!
This was my speech, and I will speak't again;-
Men. Not now, not now.
1 Sen.

Not in this heat, sir, now. Cor. Now, as I live, I will.-My nobler friends, I crave their pardons:

For the mutable, rank-scented many, let them
Regard me as I do not flatter, and
Therein behold themselves: I say again,

In soothing them, we nourish 'gainst our senate
The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition,
Which we ourselves have plough'd for, sow'd and
scatter'd,

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By mingling them with us, the honour'd number; Who lack not virtue, no, nor power, but that Which they have given to beggars.

Men.

Well, no more. 1 Sen. No more words, we beseech you. Cor. How! no more? As for my country I have shed my blood, Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs Coin words till their decay, against those meazels, Which we disdain should tetter us, yet sought The very way to catch them.

Bru. You speak o' the people, As if you were a god to punish, not A man of their infirmity.

"Twere well,

Sic.

We let the people know't.

Men.

Cor. Choler!

Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,
By Jove, 'twould be my mind.

What, what? his choler?

It is a mind,

Sic,
That shall remain a poison where it is,
Not poison any further.

Cor.

Shall remain!

Hear you this Triton of the minnows? mark you His absolute shall?

'Twas from the canon.

Com.

Cor.

O good, but most unwise patricians, why,
You grave, but reckless senators, have you thus
Given Hydra here to choose an officer,
That with his peremptory shall, being but

The horn and noise o'the monsters, wants not spi

rit

Το say, he'll turn your current in a ditch,
And make your channel his? If he have power,
Then vail your ignorance: if none, awake
Your dangerous lenity. If you are learned,
Be not as common fools; if you are not,
Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians,
If they be senators: and they are no less,
When, both your voices blended, the greatest taste
Most palates theirs. They choose their magistrate;
And such a one as he, who puts his shall,

His popular shall, against a graver bench
Than ever frown'd in Greece! By Jove himself,

Shall!

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