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Re-enter Ædile, with Citizens. Sic. Draw near, ye people.
Æd. List to your tribunes; audience: Peace, I say. · Cor. First, hear me speak. Both Tri.
Well, say.—Peace, ho.
Cor. Shall I be charg'd no further than this present?
Must all determine here?
I do demand,
If you submit you to the people's voices,
Allow their officers, and are content
To suffer lawful censure for such faults
As shall be prov'd upon you?
I am content.
Men. Lo, citizens, he says, he is content:
The warlike service he has done, consider;
Think on the wounds his body bears, which show
Like graves i' th' holy churchyard.
Scratches with briars,
Scars to move laughter only.
That when he speaks not like a citizen,
You find him like a soldier: Do not take
His rougher accents for malicious sounds,
But, as I say, such as become a soldier,
Rather thau envy you.'
Well, well, no more.
Cor. What is the matter,
That being pass'd for consul with full voice,
I am so dishonour'd, that the very hour
You take it off again?
Answer to us.
Cor. Say then : 'tis true, I ought so.
Sic. We charge you, that you have contriv'd to take From Rome all season'd' office, and to wind
Rather than spoken out of ill-will to you.
Yourself into a power tyrannical;
For which, you are a traitor to the people.
Cor. How! Traitor ? .
Nay; temperately: Your promise.
Cor. The fires i'th' lowest hell fold in the people!
Call me their traitor !—Thou injurious tribune!
Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths,
In thy hands clutch'd as many millions, in
Thy lying tongue both numbers, I would say,
Thou liest, unto thee, with a voice as free
As I do pray the gods.
Mark you this, people? Cit. To the rock with him ; to the rock with him! Sic.
We need not put new matter to his charge :
What you have seen him do, and heard him speak,
Beating your officers, cursing yourselves,
Opposing laws with strokes, and here defying
Those whose great power must try him; even this,
So criminal, and in such capital kind,
Deserves th' extremest death.
But since he hath
Serv'd well for Rome,-
What do you prate of service ?
Bru. I talk of that, that know it.
Is this The promise that you made your mother? Com.
I pray you, —
I'll know no further :
Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,
Vagabond exile, flaying; Pent to linger
But with a grain a day, I would not buy
Their mercy at the price of one fair word;
Nor check my courage for what they can give,
To have't with saying, Good morrow.
For that he has (As much as in him lies) from time to time
Envied against the people, seeking means, .
To pluck away their power; as' now at last :
Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers
That do distribute it; In the name o’th' pcople,
And in the power of us the tribunes, we,
Even from this instant, banish him our city;
In peril of precipitation
From off the rock Tarpeian, never more
To enter our Rome gates : I'th' people's name,
I say, it shall be so..
It shall be so,
It shall be so; let him away: he's banish'd,
And so it shall be.
Com. Hear me, my masters, and my common
Sic. He's sentenc'd: no more hearing.
Let me speak,
I have been consul, and can show from Rome,
Her enemies' marks upon me. I do love
My country's good, with a respect more tender,
More holy, and profound, than mine own life,
Then if I would speak that ----
Sic. - We know your drift: Speak what?
Bru. There's no more to be said, but he is banish’d,
As enemy to the people, and his country:
It shall be so.
Cit. It shall be so, it shall be so.
Cor. You common cry3 of curs! whose breath I
As reek o'th' rotten fens, whose loves I prize [hate
As the dead carcasses of unburied men
That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
And here remain with your uncertainty !
Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts !
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
Fan you into despair ! Have the power still
rus, as well as..
Act IV. To banish your defenders; till, at length, Your ignorance, (which finds not, till it feels,) Making not reservation of yourselves, (Still your own foes,) deliver you, as most Abated' captives, to some nation That won you without blows ! Despising, For you, the city, thus I turn my back: There is a world elsewhere.
[Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, MENENIUS,
Senators, and Patricians. Æd. The people's enemy is gone, is gone! Cit. Our enemy's banish'd! he is gone! Hoo! hoo!
[The People shout, and throw up their caps. Sic. Go, see him out at gates, and follow him, As he hath follow'd you, with all despite; Give him deserv’d vexation. Let a guard Attend us through the city.
Cit. Come, come, let us see him out at gates; come:The gods preserve our noble tribunes !-- Come.
SCENE I.-Before the gates of Rome.
Enter CORIOLANUS, VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, MENENTUS,
Cominius, and several young Patricians.
Cor. Come, leave your tears; a brief farewell :-
With many heads butts me away.-Nay, mother,
Where is your ancient courage? you were us'd
To say, extremity was the trier of spirits;
That common chances common men could bear;
That, when the sea was calm, all boats alike
Show'd mastership in floating: fortune's blows,
When most struck home, being gentle wounded, craves
A noble cunning :' you were us’d to load me
With precepts, that would make invincible
The heart that conn'd them.
Vir. O heavens! O heavens !
Nay, I pr’ythee, woman,-
Vol. Now the red pestilence strike all trades in
And occupations perish!
What, what, what!
I shall be lov’d, when I am lack’d. Nay, mother,
Resume that spirit, when you were wont to say,
If you had been the wife of Hercules,
Six of his labours you'd have done, and sav'd
Your husband so much sweat.-Cominius,
Droop not; adieu :-Farewell, my wife! my mother!
I'll do well yet.
My first son,
Whither wilt thou go? Take good Čominius
With thee a while: Determine on some course,
More than a wild exposture to each chance
That starts i'th' way before thee.
O the gods !
Com. I'll follow thee a month, devise with thee
Where thou shalt rest, that thou may'st hear of us,
And we of thee: so, if the time thrust forth
A cause for thy repeal, we shall not send
O’er the vast world, to seek a single man;
And lose advantage, which doth ever cool
I'th' absence of the needer.
Fare ye well:--
Thou hast years upon thee; and thou art too full
Of the wars' surfeits, to go rove with one
That's yet unbruis’d: bring me but out at gate.-
1 When Fortune strikes her hardest blows, to be wounded and yet continue calm, requires a generous policy.
• Noblest and most eminent of men. [Cor. 75]