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Coriolanus

Act II, Scene 1

Rome. A public place.
 
[Enter MENENIUS with the two Tribunes of the people, SICINIUS and BRUTUS.]
 
MENENIUS
The augurer tells me we shall have news tonight.
 
BRUTUS
Good or bad?
 
MENENIUS
Not according to the prayer of the people, for they love not Martius.
 
SICINIUS
Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.
 
MENENIUS
Pray you, who does the wolf love?
 
SICINIUS
The lamb.
 
MENENIUS
Aye, to devour him; as the hungry plebeians would the noble Martius.
 
BRUTUS
He's a lamb indeed, that baes like a bear.
 
MENENIUS
He's a bear indeed, that lives like a lamb. You two are old men: tell me one thing that I shall ask you.
 
BOTH
Well, sir.
 
MENENIUS
In what enormity is Martius poor in, that you two have not in abundance?
 
BRUTUS
He's poor in no one fault, but stored with all.
 
SICINIUS
Especially in pride.
 
BRUTUS
And topping all others in boasting.
 
MENENIUS
This is strange now: do you two know how you are censured here in the city, I mean of us of the right-hand file? do you?
 
BOTH
Why, how are we censured?
 
MENENIUS
Because you talk of pride now,--will you not be angry?
 
BOTH
Well, well, sir, well.
 
MENENIUS
Why, 'tis no great matter; for a very little thief of occasion will rob you of a great deal of patience: give your dispositions the reins, and be angry at your pleasures; at the least if you take it as a pleasure to you in being so. You blame Martius for being proud?
 
BRUTUS
We do it not alone, sir.
 
MENENIUS
I know you can do very little alone; for your helps are many, or else your actions would grow wondrous single: your abilities are too infant-like for doing much alone. You talk of pride: O that you could turn your eyes toward the napes of your necks, and make but an interior survey of your good selves! O that you could!
 
BRUTUS
What then, sir?
 
MENENIUS
Why, then you should discover a brace of unmeriting, proud, violent, testy magistrates, alias fools, as any in Rome.
 
SICINIUS
Menenius, you are known well enough too.
 
MENENIUS
I am known to be a humorous patrician, and one that loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying Tiber in it; said to be something imperfect in favoring the first complaint; hasty and tinder-like upon too trivial motion; one that converses more with the buttock of the night than with the forehead of the morning: what I think I utter, and spend my malice in my breath. Meeting two such wealsmen as you are--I cannot call you Lycurguses--if the drink you give me touch my palate adversely, I make a crooked face at it. I can't say your worships have delivered the matter well, when I find the ass in compound with the major part of your syllables: and though I must be content to bear with those that say you are reverend grave men, yet they lie deadly that tell you you have good faces. If you see this in the map of my microcosm, follows it that I am known well enough too? what barm can your bisson conspectuities glean out of this character, if I be known well enough too?
 
BRUTUS
Come, sir, come, we know you well enough.
 
MENENIUS
You know neither me, yourselves nor any thing. You are ambitious for poor knaves' caps and legs: you wear out a good wholesome forenoon in hearing a cause between an orange wife and a fosset-seller; and then rejourn the controversy of three pence to a second day of audience. When you are hearing a matter between party and party, if you chance to be pinched with the colic, you make faces like mummers; set up the bloody flag against all patience; and, in roaring for a chamber-pot, dismiss the controversy bleeding the more entangled by your hearing: all the peace you make in their cause is, calling both the parties knaves. You are a pair of strange ones.
 
BRUTUS
Come, come, you are well understood to be a perfecter giber for the table than a necessary bencher in the Capitol.
 
MENENIUS
Our very priests must become mockers, if they shall encounter such ridiculous subjects as you are. When you speak best unto the purpose, it is not worth the wagging of your beards; and your beards deserve not so honorable a grave as to stuff a botcher's cushion, or to be entombed in an ass's pack- saddle. Yet you must be saying, Martius is proud; who in a cheap estimation, is worth predecessors since Deucalion, though peradventure some of the best of 'em were hereditary hangmen. God-den to your worships: more of your conversation would infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly plebeians: I will be bold to take my leave of you.
 
[BRUTUS and SICINIUS go aside. Enter VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, and VALERIA]
How now, my as fair as noble ladies,--and the moon, were she earthly, no nobler,--whither do you follow your eyes so fast?
 
VOLUMNIA
Honorable Menenius, my boy Martius approaches; for the love of Juno, let's go.
 
MENENIUS
Ha! Martius coming home!
 
VOLUMNIA
Aye, worthy Menenius; and with most prosperous approbation.
 
MENENIUS
Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee. Hoo! Martius coming home!
 
VOLUMNIA VIRGILIA
 Nay,'tis true.
 
VOLUMNIA
Look, here's a letter from him: the state hath another, his wife another; and, I think, there's one at home for you.
 
MENENIUS
I will make my very house reel tonight: a letter for me!
 
VIRGILIA
Yes, certain, there's a letter for you; I saw it.
 
MENENIUS
A letter for me! it gives me an estate of seven years' health; in which time I will make a lip at the physician: the most sovereign prescription in Galen is but empiricutic, and, to this preservative, of no better report than a horse-drench. Is he not wounded? he was wont to come home wounded.
 
VIRGILIA
O, no, no, no.
 
VOLUMNIA
O, he is wounded; I thank the gods for it.
 
MENENIUS
So do I too, if it be not too much: brings he victory in his pocket? the wounds become him.
 
VOLUMNIA
On his brows: Menenius, he comes the third time home with the oaken garland.
 
MENENIUS
Has he disciplined Aufidius soundly?
 
VOLUMNIA
Titus Lartius writes, they fought together, but Aufidius got off.
 
MENENIUS
And 'twas time for him too, I'll warrant him that: an he had stayed by him, I would not have been so fidiused for all the chests in Corioli, and the gold that's in them. Is the senate possessed of this?
 
VOLUMNIA
Good ladies, let's go. Yes, yes, yes; the senate has letters from the general, wherein he gives my son the whole name of the war: he hath in this action outdone his former deeds doubly
 
VALERIA
In troth, there's wondrous things spoke of him.
 
MENENIUS
Wondrous! Aye, I warrant you, and not without his true purchasing.
 
VIRGILIA
The gods grant them true!
 
VOLUMNIA
True! pow, wow.
 
MENENIUS
True! I'll be sworn they are true. Where is he wounded? God save your good worships! Martius is coming home: he has more cause to be proud. Where is he wounded?
 
VOLUMNIA
In the shoulder and in the left arm there will be large cicatrices to show the people, when he shall stand for his place. He received in the repulse of Tarquin seven hurts in the body.
 
MENENIUS
One in the neck, and two in the thigh,--there's nine that I know.
 
VOLUMNIA
He had, before this last expedition, twenty-five wounds upon him.
 
MENENIUS
Now it's twenty-seven: every gash was an enemy's grave. Hark! the trumpets.
 
[A shout and flourish]
 
VOLUMNIA
        ,              ,       ,    ,
      These are | the ush|ers of | Martius:
          ,     ,         ,         ___
      Before | him, he | carries | noise;
       ,       ,              ,      ___
      And be|hind him,| he leaves | tears:  (tetra with prev two)
       ___           ,     ,         2     ,      ,          ,
      Death,| that dark | spirit,| in his ner|vy arm | doth^lie,
       ___      x         ,          ,            T   T   T
      Which | being ad|vanced, de|clines, and | then men die.  (hex with prev)
 
[A sennet. Trumpets sound. Enter COMINIUS the general, and TITUS LARTIUS; between them, CORIOLANUS, crowned with an oaken garland; with Captains and Soldiers, and a Herald]
 
HERALD
        ,    ,                 ,     ,              ,
      Know Rome,/ that all^|alone | Martius | did fight
          ,       ,   2     ,            ,         ,
      Within | Cori|oli's^gates:| where^he | hath won,
             ,        ,        ,        ,        ,
      With fame,| a name | to Mar|tius Cai|us: these
          ,      ,        ,        ,        ,   ,    ->
      In ho|nor fol|lows Mar|tius Cai|us Cori|ola||nus.
       ,      2     ,         ,        ,   ,     o
      Wel|come to Rome,| renowned | Cori|ola|nus.   (hex with prev)
 
[Flourish]
 
ALL
       ,     2       ,         ,       ,   ,
      Welcome to | Rome, re|nowned Co|rio|lanus.
 
CORIOLANUS
No more of this; it does offend my heart: pray now, no more.
 
COMINIUS
Look, sir, your mother.
 
CORIOLANUS
Oh you have, I know, petitioned all the gods for my prosperity.
 
[Kneels]
 
VOLUMNIA
      ___    T   T   T         ,   oo
      Nay,| my good sol|dier, up:|
          ,       ,         ,       ,       ,
      My gen|tle Mar|tius, wor|thy Cai|us, and
           ,       ,       ,      ,       ,
      By deed-|achie|ving ho|nor new|ly named,
             x        ,   ,          2      ,    ,
      What is it |(Cori|ola|nus) must I / call thee?   ??
           ,         ,
      But oh,| thy wife.
 
CORIOLANUS
                             ,         ,          ,
                         My gra|cious si|lence, hail:
         ,                   ,          ,          ,          ,
      Wouldst thou | have laughed,| had I | come* cof|fined home,
              ,         ,        ,         ,        ,
      That weepst | to see | me tri|umph? Ah | my dear,
             ,         ,       ,      ,  2    ,
      Such^eyes | the wi|dows in | Cori|oli wear,
           ,                ,    ,
      And mo|thers that / lack sons.
 
MENENIUS
                                         2      ,      ,
                                     Now* the gods | crown thee.
 
CORIOLANUS
            ,         ,     ,   2         ,      ,
      And live | you yet?| Oh my sweet | lady,| pardon.
 
VOLUMNIA
          ,          ,          ,
      I know | not where | to turn.  (pickup)
          ,         ,         ,        ,    ,
      Oh^wel|come home:| and wel|come ge|neral,
         2        ,        ,
      And you're wel|come all.  (picked up)
 
MENENIUS
         ,         ,        ,         o
      A hun|dred thou|sand wel|comes:
      ,           T    T  T           ,
      I could | weep, and I | could laugh,
      ,        ,           ,       ,
      I am | light, and | heavy;| welcome:  (tetra with prev two)
          ,        ,        ,      ,      2      ,
      A curse | begin | at ve|ry root | on his heart,
                 ,    ,        ,     __    oo
      That is / not glad | to see | thee.|
       T   T    T            ,             ,    __
      You are three,| that Rome | should dote | on:
       ,             ,         ,         ,
      Yet by | the faith | of men,| we have
            ,      T    T     T         ,
      Some old | crab-trees here | at home,
        ,          ,         ,         2      ,       ->
      That will | not be | grafted | to your re||lish.
       ,     ,         ,     ,
      Yet | welcome | warri|ors:
      <-        ,       ,        ,       ,
        We || call a | nettle,| but a | nettle;
       ,           ,          ,           ,
      And the | faults of | fools, but | folly.  (tetra with prev lines)
 
COMINIUS
      ,        ,
      Ever | right.
 
CORIOLANUS
                        ,  2    ,      ,
                    Me|nenius,| ever,| ever.
 
HERALD
            ,      ,              ,
      Give^way | there, and | go^on.
 
CORIOLANUS
                                       T    T    .    T
                                     Your hand, and yours?
       ,            ,      ,            ,          ,
      Ere in | our own | house I | do shade | my head,
            ,       ,          ,        ,    ,
      The good | patri|cians must | be vi|sited;
             ,    ,     2      ,          ,       ,
      From whom | I have re|ceived not | only | greetings,
            ,             ,         ,
      But with | them, change | of ho|nors.
 
VOLUMNIA
                                            ,          ,
                                            I | have lived,
          ,       ,          ,  ,      ,      ->
      To see | inhe|rited / my ve|ry wish||es,
       ,          ,         ,       ,      o
      And | the buil|dings of | my fan|cy:
       ,        T     T    T      ,
      Only | there's one thing | wanting,
        ,          T    T    T          ,
      Which (I | doubt not) but | our^Rome  (tetra with prev)
             ,    . T    T
      Will cast | upon thee.
 
CORIOLANUS
                              T           ,
                            Know,| good* mo|ther,
      <- ,         ,       ,          ,             ,  ,
         I || had ra|ther be | their ser|vant in / my way,
             ,           ,          ,
      Than sway | with them | in theirs.
 
COMINIUS
                                          ,    2       ,  2
                                         On, to the | Capitol.
 
[Flourish. Cornets. Exeunt in state, as before. BRUTUS and SICINIUS come forward]
 
BRUTUS
       T     T      T         ,                ,       ,
      All tongues speak | of him, and the / bleared sights
            ,      ,          x             ,          ,
      Are spec|tacled | to see him.| Your prat|tling nurse
       ,        ,         ,         ,     ,
      Into | a rap|ture lets | her ba|by cry
        ,           ,              ,        ,        ,
      While she | chats him:| the kit|chen mal|kin pins
            ,        ,         ,         ,        ,
      Her rich|est lock|ram 'bout | her ree|chy neck,
        ,   2            ,         ,         ,          ,
      Clambering | the walls | to eye | him:   ????
         T      T     T    ,          ,          __
      Stalls, bulks, win|dows, are | smothered | up,
        T      T     T     ,        ,
      Leads filled, and | ridges horsed  ????
            ,     ,         ,         ,       ,      2=>
      With va|riable | complex|ions; all | agree||ing
          ,        ,          x        T    T    T       2->
      In ear|nestness | to see him:| seld-shown fla||mens
           ,        ,         ,   2      ,            ,
      Do press | among | the pop|ular throngs | and puff
          ,       ,       ,                ,     ,
      To win | a vul|gar sta|tion: or / veiled dames
          ,         ,         ,          ,       ,
      Commit | the war | of white | and da|mask^in
              ,      ,         ,       2     ,        ,
      Their nice|ly-gau|ded cheeks,| to the wan|ton spoil
           ,        ,        ,         ,       ,      2->
      Of Phoe|bus' bur|ning kis|ses: such | a po||ther
          ,          ,    ,      ,             x
      As if | that what|soe|ver god,| who leads him,
            ,       ,        ,        ,        x
      Were sly|ly crept | into | his hu|man powers
            ,          ,        ,
      And gave | him grace|ful pos|ture.
 
SICINIUS
                                          ,          x
                                         On | the sudden,
         ,      2     ,
      I war|rant him con|sul.
 
BRUTUS
                               ,         ,       ,
                             Then | our of|fice may,
       ,             x     __    ___    oo
      During | his power,| go | sleep.|
 
SICINIUS
          ,       ,    2    ,         ,          ,      2->
      He can|not tem|perately | transport | his ho||nors
             ,           ,        ,         ,          ,
      From where | he should | begin,| and end,| but will
        ,    ,                ,
      Lose those / he hath | won.
 
BRUTUS
                                         ,             ,
                                  In | that there's | comfort.
 
SICINIUS
        ,         ,         ,         ,          ,
      Doubt not,
           ,      ,          ,         ,           ,
      The com|moners,| for whom | we stand,| but they
        ,           ,        ,        ,        ,
      Upon | their an|cient ma|lice will | forget
        ,          T     T      T          ,     ,
      With the | least cause, these | his new | honors,
              ,      2       ,            ,     2      x       ,
      Which^that | he will give | them, make | I as little | question,   ??
          ,        ,          x
      As he | is proud | to do it.
 
BRUTUS
                                       ,           ,
                                   I heard | him swear,
        ,    2       ,          ,        ,        ,
      Were he to | stand for | consul,| never | would he
          ,      2     ,        ,          ,        ,
      Appear | in the mar|ket-place | nor on | him put
           ,        ,        ,      ,    ,
      The nap|less ves|ture of | humi|lity,
            ,        ,        ,       ,          ,
      Nor show|ing (as | the man|ner is)| his wounds
        2     ,        ,            ,          ,
      To the peo|ple, beg | their stink|ing breaths.
 
SICINIUS
                                                           ,
                                                    'Tis right.
 
BRUTUS
          ,          ,
      It was | his word:  (pickup)
      __    ,             x     ,              ,   2
      Oh | he would | miss it, ra/ther than | carry it,
       T   T  .    T     ,        ,        ,
      But by the suit | of the | gentry | to him,
       ,     2     ,    2       ,
      And the de|sire of the | nobles.  (picked up)
 
SICINIUS
I wish no better, than have him hold that purpose, and to put it in execution.
 
BRUTUS
'Tis most like he will.
 
SICINIUS
           ,              ,    ,        ,            ,
      It shall | be to / him then | as our | good* wills,
          ,        ,
      A sure | destruc|tion.
 
BRUTUS
                             ,        ,          ,
                            So | it must | fall^out
          ,        ,       ,      ,       2    ,
      To him,| or our | autho|rities,| for an end.
       ,     2      ,         ,            ,     ,
      We must sug|gest the | people,| in what | hatred
           ,            ,            ,      2      x          ,
      He still | hath held | them: that | to his power | he would
             ,           ,      ,                 ,
      Have made | them mules,| silenced | their plea|ders,
      <-  ,         ,       ,            ,         ,         ,
         And || dispro|pertied | their free|doms; hol|ding them,
          ,      ,        ,       ,    ,
      In hu|man ac|tion, and | capa|city,
       .  T   T    T         ,        ,          ,
      Of no more soul,| nor fit|ness for | the world,
            ,       ,          ,          ,           ,       ->
      Than ca|mels in | their war,| who have | their pro||vand
       ,   2     ,        ,                ,    ,
      On|ly for bea|ring bur|dens, and / sore blows
            ,       ,    2
      For sink|ing un|der them.
 
SICINIUS
                                 ,      2     ,        ,      ->
                               This |(as you say)| sugges||ted,
       ,          ,        2     ,        ,     ,
      At | some^time,| when his soa|ring in|solence
              ,          ,         ,       ,                ,
      Shall teach | the peo|ple, which | time shall | not want,
       ,   2      ,       x             ,         ,
      If he be | put u|pon it, and | that's as | easy,
        2    ,      T   T   T           ,         ,
      As to set | dogs on sheep,| will be | his fire
          ,               ,    ,        ,            ,
      To kin|dle their / dry stub|ble: and | their blaze
             ,       ,        ,
      Shall dar|ken him | for e|ver.
 
[Enter a MESSENGER]
 
BRUTUS
                                        ,          ,       ->
                                     What's | the mat||ter?
 
MESSENGER
       ,          ,     ,            ,    ,
      You | are sent | for to | the Ca|pitol.
             ,            ,         ,         ,
      Tis thought,| that Mar|tius shall | be con|sul:
      <- ,           ,          ,     T     T    .  T         ,
         I || have seen | the dumb | men throng to see | him and
            ,          ,          ,      ,                 ,
      The blind | to hear | him speak:| matrons | flung^gloves,
       ,             ,              ,            ,       ,
      Ladies | and maids | their scarves | and hand|kerchers,
        ,     ,    2        ,           ,        ,
      Upon | him as he | passed: the | nobles | bended,
       ,         T    T  T       2     ,         ,
      As to | Jove's statue,| and the com|mons made
           x           ,         ,            ,           ,
      A shower,| and thun|der, with | their caps,| and shouts:
         ,      ,          ,
      I ne|ver saw | the like.
 
BRUTUS
                                ,     2       ,  2
                              Let's to the | Capitol,
           ,       ,         ,          ,       2      ,
      And car|ry with | us ears | and eyes | for the time,
             ,      ,           ,
      But hearts | for the | event.
 
SICINIUS
                                      T    T   T
                                    Have with you.
 
[Exeunt]

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