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Coriolanus

Coriolanus Translation Act 3, Scene 1

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Cornets. Enter CORIOLANUS, MENENIUS, all the Gentry, COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, and other Senators

CORIOLANUS

Tullus Aufidius then had made new head?

CORIOLANUS

[Already in the midst of debate] So Tullus Aufidius had assembled a new army?

LARTIUS

He had, my lord; and that it was which causedOur swifter composition.

LARTIUS

He had, my lord, which was what urged us to make our peace so quickly.

CORIOLANUS

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

CORIOLANUS

So then the Volsces are back to where they started: ready, whenever the time comes, to attack us again.

COMINIUS

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

COMINIUS

They are so worn out, lord consul, that I can't imagine we'll see them wave their banners again in our lifetimes.

CORIOLANUS

Saw you Aufidius?

CORIOLANUS

[To LARTIUS] Did you see Aufidius?

LARTIUS

On safe-guard he came to me; and did curseAgainst the Volsces, for they had so vilelyYielded the town: he is retired to Antium.

LARTIUS

He came to me in a truce, and cursed his own Volsces for so easily surrendering Corioli. He has gone back to Antium.

CORIOLANUS

Spoke he of me?

CORIOLANUS

Did he speak of me?

LARTIUS

He did, my lord.

LARTIUS

He did, my lord.

CORIOLANUS

How? what?

CORIOLANUS

How? What?

LARTIUS

How often he had met you, sword to sword; That of all things upon the earth he hated Your person most, that he would pawn his fortunes To hopeless restitution, so he might Be call'd your vanquisher.

LARTIUS

How he had often met you in battle, sword to sword; that of all things on earth he hated you most; that he would give anything he owned, hopelessly, to be known as the one who defeated you.

CORIOLANUS

At Antium lives he?

CORIOLANUS

And he lives at Antium?

LARTIUS

At Antium.

LARTIUS

At Antium.

CORIOLANUS

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

CORIOLANUS

I wish I had a reason to seek him out there, and to oppose his hatred fully.

[Directed toward the TRIBUNES, approaching from a distance, though said to LARTIUS]
Welcome back.

Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS

CORIOLANUS

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.

CORIOLANUS

Look, those are the tribunes of the people, their spokespeople. I do despise them, for they take on unearned authority beyond anyone's patience.

SICINIUS

Pass no further.

SICINIUS

[To CORIOLANUS] Stop here.

CORIOLANUS

Ha! what is that?

CORIOLANUS

What? What is that?

BRUTUS

It will be dangerous to go on: no further.

BRUTUS

It will be dangerous to go on: no further.

CORIOLANUS

What makes this change?

CORIOLANUS

Why, what's changed?

MENENIUS

The matter?

MENENIUS

What's the matter?

COMINIUS

Hath he not pass'd the noble and the common?

COMINIUS

Hasn't Coriolanus won the approval of nobles and commoners alike?

BRUTUS

Cominius, no.

BRUTUS

No, Cominius. 

CORIOLANUS

Have I had children's voices?

CORIOLANUS

Were the people back there children, then, whose voices don't count?

FIRST SENATOR

Tribunes, give way; he shall to the market-place.

FIRST SENATOR

Move, tribunes: Coriolanus will go to the marketplace.

BRUTUS

The people are incensed against him.

BRUTUS

The people are furious with him.

SICINIUS

Stop,Or all will fall in broil.

SICINIUS

Stop here, or everything will go to pieces. 

CORIOLANUS

Are these your herd? Must these have voices, that can yield them now And straight disclaim their tongues? What are your offices? You being their mouths, why rule you not their teeth? Have you not set them on?

CORIOLANUS

These furious people, did you herd them together? Do we listen to these voices, which only now are gotten together and make declarations on command? What is your role in this? If you are their spokesmen, why don't you control their impulses? Isn't it you who have put them up to this?

MENENIUS

Be calm, be calm.

MENENIUS

Be calm, be calm.

CORIOLANUS

It is a purposed 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 ruled.

CORIOLANUS

This is intentional; it's part of their plot to weaken the authority of the senate. If we don't push back, we'll not be fit to rule, nor will the people ever let themselves be ruled.

BRUTUS

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

BRUTUS

Don't call it a plot. The people say you mocked them, and that just recently, when they were given corn, you complained it was a scandal for the people to depend on the government. You called them lazy, flatterers, the enemies of the state.

CORIOLANUS

Why, this was known before.

CORIOLANUS

Why, this is old news.

BRUTUS

Not to them all.

BRUTUS

Not to them all.

CORIOLANUS

Have you inform'd them sithence?

CORIOLANUS

Oh, so you've informed them then?

BRUTUS

How! I inform them!

BRUTUS

Who, me? I inform them?

CORIOLANUS

You are like to do such business.

CORIOLANUS

You are the sort of person who would.

BRUTUS

Not unlike,Each way, to better yours.

BRUTUS

I'm not unlike you, but that I'm better in every way.

CORIOLANUS

Why then should I be consul? By yond clouds,Let me deserve so ill as you, and make meYour fellow tribune.

CORIOLANUS

Why then should I be consul? By heaven, let me be as lowly as you and just be a tribune instead.

SICINIUS

You show too much of that For which the people stir: if you will pass To where you are bound, you must inquire your way, Which you are out of, with a gentler spirit, Or never be so noble as a consul, Nor yoke with him for tribune.

SICINIUS

You show too much pride, which the people hate. If you want to continue on this path, you will need to ask for the people's approval more gently, or you'll never be either consul nor tribune.

MENENIUS

Let's be calm.

MENENIUS

Let's be calm.

COMINIUS

The people are abused; set on. This paltering Becomes not Rome, nor has Coriolanus Deserved this so dishonour'd rub, laid falsely I' the plain way of his merit.

COMINIUS

The people are abused; they've been put up to this. This backstabbing does not suit Rome, nor has Coriolanus deserved this dishonorable treatment, laid against his clear merit.

CORIOLANUS

Tell me of corn!This was my speech, and I will speak't again—

CORIOLANUS

Corn again? Tell me about it. Here's what I said, I'll say it again—

MENENIUS

Not now, not now.

MENENIUS

Not now, not now.

FIRST SENATOR

Not in this heat, sir, now.

FIRST SENATOR

Not in this conflict, sir, not now.

CORIOLANUS

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

CORIOLANUS

Now. As I live, I will speak now. To my noble friends, I beg your pardon. As for the disgusting, fickle masses, let them see me speak honestly, and in that speech see themselves. I say again: in soothing these masses, we are merely stirring up the forces of rebellion against the senate which we ourselves have plowed for, seeded, and tended. By treating them too well, we nobles are robbed of our virtue and power by beggars.

MENENIUS

Well, no more.

MENENIUS

Fine, enough.

FIRST SENATOR

No more words, we beseech you.

FIRST SENATOR

No more words, we beg you.

CORIOLANUS

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 measles, Which we disdain should tatter us, yet sought The very way to catch them.

CORIOLANUS

Oh! No more? Just as I have shed blood for my country with no fear of opposition, I'll speak here until my lungs decay from an infection we have brought upon ourselves.

BRUTUS

You speak o' the people,As if you were a god to punish, notA man of their infirmity.

BRUTUS

You speak of the people as if you were a vengeful god, not a mortal man like them. 

SICINIUS

'Twere wellWe let the people know't.

SICINIUS

We'd better let the people know.

MENENIUS

What, what? his choler?

MENENIUS

Know what—his fury?

CORIOLANUS

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

CORIOLANUS

Fury? If I were as patient as a man asleep, by god, it would still be in my mind!

SICINIUS

It is a mindThat shall remain a poison where it is,Not poison any further.

SICINIUS

It is a mind that shall remain poisonous, but which we will not allow to poison others.

CORIOLANUS

Shall remain!Hear you this Triton of the minnows? mark youHis absolute 'shall'?

CORIOLANUS

Shall remain! Do you hear this god of the minnows? Did you hear him declare "shall?" 

COMINIUS

'Twas from the canon.

COMINIUS

It was out of line.

CORIOLANUS

'Shall'! 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 monster's, wants not spirit To 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 learn'd, 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 great'st 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 in Greece. By Jove himself! It makes the consuls base: and my soul aches To know, when two authorities are up, Neither supreme, how soon confusion May enter 'twixt the gap of both and take The one by the other.

CORIOLANUS

"Shall!" Oh good but unwise senators! Why, you serious but reckless senators, have you allowed monstrous Hydra here to choose a leader, that with his rude "shall," only the monster's voice, already has the boldness to say he'll ruin your power and make your authority his? If he has power, then push down your ignorance; if he does not, awake from your dangerous politeness. If you are educated, don't behave like common fools; if you are not, let them sit beside you in the Senate. You are commoners, if they are senators, and if your voices are heard together, it is they who set the tastes of Rome. They choose their leaders, and and one like this, who puts his "shall," his commoner's "shall," against a more senior group of senators than ever served in Greece. By god himself! This makes the consuls common, and my soul aches to know how soon a system will break down when two groups have equal authority.

COMINIUS

Well, on to the market-place.

COMINIUS

Well, let's go to the market then.

CORIOLANUS

Whoever gave that counsel, to give forthThe corn o' the storehouse gratis, as 'twas usedSometime in Greece,—

CORIOLANUS

Whoever gave that advice, to give out the storehouse's corn for free, as they did sometimes in Greece—

MENENIUS

Well, well, no more of that.

MENENIUS

Come on, come on, enough of that.

CORIOLANUS

Though there the people had more absolute power,I say, they nourish'd disobedience, fedThe ruin of the state.

CORIOLANUS

There in Greece, where the people had more power, they grew disobedient and brought on the ruin of the state.

BRUTUS

Why, shall the people giveOne that speaks thus their voice?

BRUTUS

What, should the people really wish to be ruled by a man who thinks of their voices this way?

CORIOLANUS

I'll give my reasons, More worthier than their voices. They know the corn Was not our recompense, resting well assured That ne'er did service for't: being press'd to the war, Even when the navel of the state was touch'd, They would not thread the gates. This kind of service Did not deserve corn gratis. Being i' the war Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they show'd Most valour, spoke not for them: the accusation Which they have often made against the senate, All cause unborn, could never be the motive Of our so frank donation. Well, what then? How shall this bisson multitude digest The senate's courtesy? Let deeds express What's like to be their words: 'we did request it; We are the greater poll, and in true fear They gave us our demands.' Thus we debase The nature of our seats and make the rabble Call our cares fears; which will in time Break ope the locks o' the senate and bring in The crows to peck the eagles.

CORIOLANUS

I'll give my reasons, far better than their voices. They know the corn was not payment to them; they know every well they did nothing to deserve it. At war, even when the enemy was at our gates, they would not stand to fight. This kind of service does not earn corn out of generosity. And in the war, they showed the most bravery in their mutinies and revolts; these did not speak well of them. The accusations which they constantly make against the Senate, all without reason, could never be the reason behind giving them corn. So why did we? What do you think the public has learned from this? Here's what they are probably saying to themselves: "We asked for it, and since there are more of us, they gave in to our demands in true fear." By doing this, we  weaken our own position and make the rabble call our generosity fear. In time, this will break the senate open and bring in crows to peck the eagles.

MENENIUS

Come, enough.

MENENIUS

Come on, enough.

BRUTUS

Enough, with over-measure.

BRUTUS

Enough, and more than enough.

CORIOLANUS

No, take more: What may be sworn by, both divine and human, Seal what I end withal! This double worship, Where one part does disdain with cause, the other Insult without all reason, where gentry, title, wisdom, Cannot conclude but by the yea and no Of general ignorance,— it must omit Real necessities, and give way the while To unstable slightness: purpose so barr'd, it follows, Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore, beseech you,— You that will be less fearful than discreet, That love the fundamental part of state More than you doubt the change on't, that prefer A noble life before a long, and wish To jump a body with a dangerous physic That's sure of death without it, at once pluck out The multitudinous tongue; let them not lick The sweet which is their poison: your dishonour Mangles true judgment and bereaves the state Of that integrity which should become't, Not having the power to do the good it would, For the in which doth control't.

CORIOLANUS

No, take more—I'm not done. By everything, both god and man, I swear it. This double worship, in which the nobles disdain the people with good reason, the people insult the nobles without any reason—in which neither rank, title, nor wisdom can act without getting a yes or no from general ignorance—it must leave out what really matters, and instead give way to instability and whims. When good work is so restricted, it follows that no good work will be done. Therefore, I beg you—whoever would rather be careful than fearful, whoever loves the foundations of the state more than you doubt it is changing, whoever prefers a noble life more than a long, and would revive a dying man with dangerous medicine rather than do nothing—rob the public rabble of their voices. Do not let them lick the poison which they love: to dishonor yourselves mangles good judgement and cuts off the state from that integrity it ought to have, and those who would most benefit rob the state of the power to do good.

BRUTUS

Has said enough.

BRUTUS

He's said enough.

SICINIUS

Has spoken like a traitor, and shall answerAs traitors do.

SICINIUS

He has spoken like a traitor, and shall answer as traitors do.

CORIOLANUS

Thou wretch, despite o'erwhelm thee! What should the people do with these bald tribunes? On whom depending, their obedience fails To the greater bench: in a rebellion, When what's not meet, but what must be, was law, Then were they chosen: in a better hour, Let what is meet be said it must be meet, And throw their power i' the dust.

CORIOLANUS

You wretch; misery o'erwhelm you! What should the people do with these shameless tribunes? The more they depend on you, the less they will respect the Senate. These tribunes were chosen in the midst of a rebellion, when necessity prevailed over decency. Let us now say that time has passed, and take away their power.

BRUTUS

Manifest treason!

BRUTUS

That, right there—that's treason!

SICINIUS

This a consul? no.

SICINIUS

Is this the behavior of a consul? No.

BRUTUS

The aediles, ho!

BRUTUS

Soldiers, seize him!

Enter an AEdile

BRUTUS

Let him be apprehended.

BRUTUS

Let him be taken away.

SICINIUS

Go, call the people: [Exit AEdile] In whose name myself Attach thee as a traitorous innovator, A foe to the public weal: obey, I charge thee, And follow to thine answer.

SICINIUS

Go, call the people. [The guards exit].

[To CORIOLANUS]
 As for you, I call you a plotting traitor, a foe to the public good. Obey, I demand it, and go to your own trial. 

CORIOLANUS

Hence, old goat!

CORIOLANUS

Get out of here, you old fart!

COMINIUS

Aged sir, hands off.

COMINIUS

[To SICINIUS] Hands off, old man! 

CORIOLANUS

Hence, rotten thing! or I shall shake thy bonesOut of thy garments.

CORIOLANUS

Get out here, you rotten thing, or I will shake your bones out of your clothes.

SICINIUS

Help, ye citizens!

SICINIUS

Citizens, help me!

Enter a rabble of Citizens (Plebeians), with the AEdiles

MENENIUS

On both sides more respect.

MENENIUS

All of you, calm down!

SICINIUS

Here's he that would take from you all your power.

SICINIUS

[Pointing at CORIOLANUS] Here's the man who would take all your power!

BRUTUS

Seize him, AEdiles!

BRUTUS

Seize him, guards!

CITIZENS

Down with him! down with him!

CITIZENS

Down with him, down with him!

SECOND SENATOR

Weapons, weapons, weapons!

[They all bustle about Coriolanus]

Tribunes, Patricians, Citizens, what ho!
Sicinius, Brutus, Coriolanus, citizens!

SECOND SENATOR

Weapons, weapons, weapons!

[They all move nervously around CORIOLANUS for safety]

Tribunes, patricians, citizens, what are you doing! Sicinius, Brutus, Coriolanus, citizens! 

all

Peace, peace, peace! Stay, hold, peace!

ALL

Peace, peace, peace! Stop it! Calm down!


MENENIUS

What is about to be? I am out of breath;Confusion's near; I cannot speak. You, tribunesTo the people! Coriolanus, patience!Speak, good Sicinius.

MENENIUS

What is going on? I am out of breath, this is near a riot; I am not loud enough. You, tribunes to the people! Coriolanus, patience! Speak, good Sicinius.

SICINIUS

Hear me, people; peace!

SICINIUS

Hear me, people; calm down!

CITIZENS

Let's hear our tribune: peace Speak, speak, speak.

CITIZENS

Let's hear our tribune. Peace. Speak, speak, speak.

SICINIUS

You are at point to lose your liberties:Marcius would have all from you; Marcius,Whom late you have named for consul.

SICINIUS

You are at risk of losing all your freedom. Marcius wants everything you have; Marcius, the man you just named consul. 

MENENIUS

Fie, fie, fie!This is the way to kindle, not to quench.

MENENIUS

No, no, no! This the way to start a fire, not to put one out.

FIRST SENATOR

To unbuild the city and to lay all flat.

FIRST SENATOR

The way to unbuild the city and flatten it.

SICINIUS

What is the city but the people?

SICINIUS

What is the city if not the people?

CITIZENS

True,The people are the city.

CITIZENS

True, the people are the city

BRUTUS

By the consent of all, we were establish'dThe people's magistrates.

BRUTUS

By the republic's agreement, we were made the people's representatives. 

CITIZENS

You so remain.

CITIZENS

You still are!

MENENIUS

And so are like to do.

MENENIUS

And you will continue to be.

COMINIUS

That is the way to lay the city flat;To bring the roof to the foundation,And bury all, which yet distinctly ranges,In heaps and piles of ruin.

COMINIUS

That is the way to flatten the city, to bring the roof crashing down and to bury us all in heaps and piles of ruin.

SICINIUS

This deserves death.

SICINIUS

[Referring to CORIOLANUS] He deserves to be executed.

BRUTUS

Or let us stand to our authority, Or let us lose it. We do here pronounce, Upon the part o' the people, in whose power We were elected theirs, Marcius is worthy Of present death.

BRUTUS

Either let us stand up with our authority or we'll lose it. We hereby pronounce, by the power of the people by whom we were elected, that Marcius deserves to be executed.

SICINIUS

Therefore lay hold of him;Bear him to the rock Tarpeian, and from thenceInto destruction cast him.

SICINIUS

Therefore grab him, and take him to the Tarpeian rock, and there throw him to his death.

BRUTUS

AEdiles, seize him!

BRUTUS

Guards, seize him!

CITIZENS

Yield, Marcius, yield!

CITIZENS

Give yourself up, Marcius!

MENENIUS

Hear me one word;Beseech you, tribunes, hear me but a word.

MENENIUS

Just listen, tribunes, I beg you, listen!

AEDILE

Peace, peace!

Guard

Peace, peace!

MENENIUS

[To BRUTUS] Be that you seem, truly your country's friend, And temperately proceed to what you would Thus violently redress.

MENENIUS

[To BRUTUS] Be what you say you are—truly your country's friend—and proceed reasonably with this, rather than violently.

BRUTUS

Sir, those cold ways, That seem like prudent helps, are very poisonous Where the disease is violent. Lay hands upon him, And bear him to the rock.

BRUTUS

Sir: that slow actions which might seem reasonable are actually poisonous when things are bad enough. Lay hands upon him, and take him to the rock. 

CORIOLANUS

No, I'll die here. [Drawing his sword] There's some among you have beheld me fighting:Come, try upon yourselves what you have seen me.

CORIOLANUS

No, I'll die here. [Drawing his sword] Some of you have seen me fight. Come on, go ahead and subject yourselves to what you've seen me do to others.

MENENIUS

Down with that sword! Tribunes, withdraw awhile.

MENENIUS

Put your sword away! Tribunes, just lay off a while.

BRUTUS

Lay hands upon him.

BRUTUS

Capture him.

COMINIUS

Help Marcius, help,You that be noble; help him, young and old!

COMINIUS

All of you who are noble, help Marcius! Young and old, help him!

CITIZENS

Down with him, down with him!

CITIZENS

Down with him, down with him!

In this mutiny, the Tribunes, the AEdiles, and the People, are beat in

MENENIUS

Go, get you to your house; be gone, away!All will be naught else.

MENENIUS

Go, go to your house, be gone, go away! We'll lose everything if we can't get rid of them.

SECOND SENATOR

Get you gone.

SECOND SENATOR

Get out of here!

COMINIUS

Stand fast;We have as many friends as enemies.

COMINIUS

Don't run! We have as many friends as enemies.

MENENIUS

Sham it be put to that?

MENENIUS

Is our situation so dire that we should count our friends?

FIRST SENATOR

The gods forbid!I prithee, noble friend, home to thy house;Leave us to cure this cause.

FIRST SENATOR

God forbid!

 [To CORIOLANUS] Please, noble friend, get home to your house; leave us to fix this.

MENENIUS

For 'tis a sore upon us,You cannot tent yourself: be gone, beseech you.

MENENIUS

This is our problem; you can't cure your own disease. Go, please.

COMINIUS

Come, sir, along with us.

COMINIUS

Come, sir, come along with us.

CORIOLANUS

I would they were barbarians—as they are,Though in Rome litter'd—not Romans—as they are not,Though calved i' the porch o' the Capitol—

CORIOLANUS

I wish they were barbarians—I mean, they are barbarians, just scattered through Rome—not Romans—no, they're not Romans, though born like animals on the steps of the capital—

MENENIUS

Be gone;Put not your worthy rage into your tongue;One time will owe another.

MENENIUS

Go, don't talk about how angry you are; we'll deal with this on another occasion. 

CORIOLANUS

On fair groundI could beat forty of them.

CORIOLANUS

I could beat forty of them in a fair fight.

COMINIUS

I could myself Take up a brace o' the best of them; yea, the two tribunes: But now 'tis odds beyond arithmetic; And manhood is call'd foolery, when it stands Against a falling fabric. Will you hence, Before the tag return? whose rage doth rend Like interrupted waters and o'erbear What they are used to bear.

COMINIUS

I'd be happy to beat up a bunch of the best of them—those two tribunes, particularly. But this is well beyond a matter of odds, and boldness is called foolishness when it stands against a crumbling city. Will you get out of here, before the crowd returns? Their rage is like the deep sea and overwhelms them.

MENENIUS

Pray you, be gone:I'll try whether my old wit be in requestWith those that have but little: this must be patch'dWith cloth of any colour.

MENENIUS

I beg you, leave. I'll see if my old humor is still good for something with the poor. We must try everything in this situation.

COMINIUS

Nay, come away.

COMINIUS

[CORIOLANUS looks after the crowd as though hoping to fight them] No, come on; let's go.

Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, and others

A PATRICIAN

This man has marr'd his fortune.

Senator

This man has ruined himself.

MENENIUS

His nature is too noble for the world: He would not flatter Neptune for his trident, Or Jove for's power to thunder. His heart's his mouth: What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent; And, being angry, does forget that ever He heard the name of death.

MENENIUS

He is too noble for this world. He would not flatter Neptune for his riches, or Jupiter for thunderous power. He speaks whatever is in his heart; whatever feelings he has, he can't help but declare, and when he is angry, he forgets there's such a thing as death.

A noise within

MENENIUS

Here's goodly work!

MENENIUS

[Sarcastically] That sounds promising!

SECOND PATRICIAN

I would they were abed!

SECOND PATRICIAN

I wish they'd sleep this off!

MENENIUS

I would they were in Tiber! What the vengeance!Could he not speak 'em fair?

MENENIUS

I wish they were underwater! What a roar from them. Couldn't Coriolanus just be polite?

Re-enter BRUTUS and SICINIUS, with the rabble

SICINIUS

Where is this viperThat would depopulate the city andBe every man himself?

SICINIUS

Where is that viper who wants everyone in the city either dead or like himself?

MENENIUS

You worthy tribunes,—

MENENIUS

My dear tribunes—

SICINIUS

He shall be thrown down the Tarpeian rock With rigorous hands: he hath resisted law, And therefore law shall scorn him further trial Than the severity of the public power Which he so sets at nought.

SICINIUS

He'll be thrown down the Tarpeian rock yet! He has resisted the law, and therefore the law will deny him any more trial than the strength of the public itself, of which he thinks so little.

FIRST CITIZEN

He shall well knowThe noble tribunes are the people's mouths,And we their hands.

FIRST CITIZEN

He will know that the tribunes are the people's mouths, and we their hands.

CITIZENS

He shall, sure on't.

CITIZENS

He will, that's for sure.

MENENIUS

Sir, sir,—

MENENIUS

Sir, sir—

SICINIUS

Peace!

SICINIUS

Silence!

MENENIUS

Do not cry havoc, where you should but huntWith modest warrant.

MENENIUS

Do not let loose entirely, when you should still restrain yourselves.

SICINIUS

Sir, how comes't that youHave holp to make this rescue?

SICINIUS

Sir, how is it that you hope to rescue this situation?

MENENIUS

Hear me speak:As I do know the consul's worthiness,So can I name his faults,—

MENENIUS

Listen: just as I know the consul's worthiness, I'm well aware of his flaws.

SICINIUS

Consul! what consul?

SICINIUS

Consul! What consul?

MENENIUS

The consul Coriolanus.

MENENIUS

The consul Coriolanus.

BRUTUS

He consul!

BRUTUS

Him? Consul?

CITIZENS

No, no, no, no, no.

CITIZENS

No, no, no, no, no.

MENENIUS

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 further harm Than so much loss of time.

MENENIUS

If you, tribunes, and you, good people, will simply allow me to speak, I only need a moment or two; my words will do far less harm to you than that which you already pursue.

SICINIUS

Speak briefly then; For we are peremptory to dispatch 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.

SICINIUS

Speak briefly then, for we are more than ready to be rid of this poisonous traitor. To throw him out of power is just a moment of danger, and to keep him here would mean our certain death. Therefore, it is decided he should die tonight.

MENENIUS

Now the good gods forbid That our renowned Rome, whose gratitude Towards her deserved children is enroll'd In Jove's own book, like an unnatural dam Should now eat up her own!

MENENIUS

God forbid that Rome, which has famously done so much for her people, should now eat up her own child!

SICINIUS

He's a disease that must be cut away.

SICINIUS

He's a diseased limb that must be cut off.

MENENIUS

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 the end o' the world.

MENENIUS

Sure, then: he's Rome's diseased limb. To cut it off will kill all of Rome; to cure the disease, though, is easy. What has he done to Rome that makes him deserve death? In killing our enemies, the blood he has lost—which I bet is more than he has left—he shed that blood for his country. Whatever's left, if Rome were to take it from him, it would be to all of us as though the end of the world.

SICINIUS

This is clean kam.

SICINIUS

What twisted logic.

BRUTUS

Merely awry: when he did love his country,It honour'd him.

BRUTUS

It's simply nonsense. When he did love his country, it honored him.

MENENIUS

The service of the footBeing once gangrened, is not then respectedFor what before it was.

MENENIUS

The use of a diseased food is not judged equal to what it was in the past.

BRUTUS

We'll hear no more. Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence: Lest his infection, being of catching nature, Spread further.

BRUTUS

We'll hear no more. Chase him to his house, and pull him out of it, or his infection will spread further.

MENENIUS

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 beloved, break out, And sack great Rome with Romans.

MENENIUS

One more word, one word. This wild and hasty rage will prove dangerous, and when it does, it will be too late to slow down. Slow down while you still can, or an opposing side will break out into conflict, and it will be Romans pillaging Rome.

BRUTUS

If it were so,—

BRUTUS

So what?—

SICINIUS

What do ye talk?Have we not had a taste of his obedience?Our aediles smote? ourselves resisted? Come.

SICINIUS

What are you talking about? Haven't we felt his wrath already? Our guards attacked, and us resisting? Come on.

MENENIUS

Consider this: he has been bred i' the wars Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school'd In bolted language; meal and bran together He throws without distinction. Give me leave, I'll go to him, and undertake to bring him Where he shall answer, by a lawful form, In peace, to his utmost peril.

MENENIUS

Just consider: he has been a child of war since he was old enough to draw a sword, and is poorly schooled in polite language. He does not make fine distinctions. Just leave him alone; I'll go to him, and do my best to bring him to the senate so he can answer all this lawfully and without violence.

FIRST SENATOR

Noble tribunes, It is the humane way: the other course Will prove too bloody, and the end of it Unknown to the beginning.

FIRST SENATOR

Noble tribunes, this is the humane way to do it. The other course of action would prove too bloody, and who knows what would come of it. 

SICINIUS

Noble Menenius,Be you then as the people's officer.Masters, lay down your weapons.

SICINIUS

Noble Menenius, you will then act as the people's representative. Sirs, lay down your weapons.

BRUTUS

Go not home.

BRUTUS

But don't go home.

SICINIUS

Meet on the market-place. We'll attend you there:Where, if you bring not Marcius, we'll proceedIn our first way.

SICINIUS

Meet in the market. We'll find you there. If you do not bring Marcius, we'll go back and try the other way.

MENENIUS

I'll bring him to you. [To the senators] Let me desire your company. He must come, or what is worst will follow.

MENENIUS

I'll bring him to you.

 [To the SENATORS] Please, come with me. Coriolanus must come, or things will only get worse.

FIRST SENATOR

Pray you, let's to him.

FIRST SENATOR

Yes, let's go.

Exeunt

Coriolanus
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