William Shakespeare's Coriolanus in the complete original text.
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Act IV. Scene VI.

Scene VI.—Rome. A Public Place.


Sic. We hear not of him, neither need we
fear him;
His remedies are tame i' the present peace
And quietness o' the people, which before
Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his
Blush that the world goes well, who rather had,
Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold
Dissentious numbers pestering streets, than see
Our tradesmen singing in their shops and going
About their functions friendly.

Bru. We stood to't in good time. Is this
Sic. 'Tis lie, 'tis he. O! he is grown most kind
Of late. Hail, sir!
Men. Hail to you both!
Sic. Your Coriolanus is not much miss'd
But with his friends: the commonwealth doth
And so would do, were he more angry at it
Men. All'swell; and might have been much
better, if
He could have temporiz'd.
Sic. Where is he, hear you?
Men. Nay, I hear nothing: his mother and
his wife
Hear nothing from him.

Enter three or four Citizens.
Citizens. The gods preserve you both!
Sic. Good den, our neighbours.
Bru. Good den to you all, good den to you all.
First Cit. Ourselves, our wives, and children,
on our knees,
Are bound to pray for you both.
Sic. Live, and thrive!
Bru. Farewell, kind neighbours: we wish'd
Had lov'd you as we did.
Citizens. Now the gods keep you!
Sic. & Bru.} Farewell, farewell. [Exeunt Citizens.
Sic. This is a happier and more comely time
Than when these fellows ran about the streets
Crying confusion.
Bru. Caius Marcius was
A worthy officer i' the war; but insolent,
Overcome with pride, ambitious past all think-
Sic. And affecting one sole throne,
Without assistance.
Men, I think not so.
Sic. We should by this, to all our lamentation
If he had gone forth consul, found it so.
Bru. The gods have well prevented it, and
Sits safe and still without him.

Enter an Ædile.
Æd. Worthy tribunes,
There is a slave, whom we have put in prison,
Reports, the Volsces with two several powers
Are enter'd in the Roman territories,
And with the deepest malice of the war
Destroy what lies before them.
Men. 'Tis Aufidius,
Who, bearing of our Marcius' banishment,
Thrusts forth bis horns again into the world;
Which were inshell'd when Marcius stood for
And durst not once peep out.
Sic. Come, what talk you of Marcius?
Bru. Go see this rumourer whipp'd. It
cannot be
The Volsces dare break with us.
Men. Cannot be!
We have record that very well it can,
And three examples of the like have been
Within my age. But reason with the fellow,
Before you punish him, where he heard this,
Lest you shall chance to whip your information,
And beat the messenger who bids beware
Of what is to be dreaded.
Sic. Tell not me:
I know this cannot be.
Bru. Not possible.

Enter a Messenger.
Mess. The nobles in great earnestness are
All to the senate-house: some news is come,
That turns their countenances.
Sic. 'Tis this slave.—
Go whip him 'fore the people's eyes: his raising;
Nothing but his report.
Mess. Yes, worthy sir,
The slave's report is seconded; and more,
More fearful, is deliver'd.
Sic. What more fearful?
Mess. It is spoke freely out of many mouths—
How probable I do not know—that Marcius,
Join'd with Aufidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome,
And vows revenge as spacious as between
The young'st and oldest thing.
Sic. This is most likely.
Bru. Rais'd only, that the weaker sort may
Good Marcius home again.
Sic. The very trick on't.
Men. This is unlikely:
He and Aufidius can no more atone,
Than violentest contrariety.

Enter another Messenger.
Sec. Mess. You are sent for to the senate:
A fearful army, led by Caius Marcius,
Associated with Aufidius, rages
Upon our territories; and have already
O'erbome their way, consum'd with fire, and took
What lay before them.

Com. O! you have made good work!
Men. What news? what news?
Com. You have help to ravish your own
daughters, and
To melt the city leads upon your pates,
To see your wives dishonour'd to your noses,—
Men. What's the news? what's the news?
Com. Your temples burned in their cement,
Your franchises, whereon you stood, confin'd
Into an auger's bore.
Men. Pray now, your news?—
You have made fair work, I fear me. Pray, your
If Marcius should be join'd with Volscians,—
Com. If!
He is their god: he leads them like a thing
Made by some other deity than Nature,
That shapes man better; and they follow him,
Against us brats, with no less confidence
Than boys pursuing summer butterflies,
Or butchers killing flies.
Men. You have made good work,
You, and your apron-men; you that stood so
Upon the voice of occupation and
The breath of garlic-eaters!
Com. He will shake
Your Rome about your ears.
Men. As Hercules
Did shake down mellow fruit. You have made
fair work!
Bru. But is this true, sir?
Com. Ay; and you'll look pale
Before you find it other. All the regions
Do smilingly revolt; and who resist
Are mock'd for valiant ignorance,
And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame
Your enemies, and his, find something in him.
Men. We are all undone unless
The noble man have mercy.
Com. Who shall ask it?
The tribunes cannot do't for shame; the people
Deserve such pity of him as the wolf
Does of the shepherds: for his best friends, if
Should say, 'Be good to Rome,' they charg'd
him even
As those should do that had deserv'd his hate,
And therein show'd like enemies.
Men. 'Tis true:
If he were putting to my house the brand
That should consume it, I have not the face
To say, 'Beseech you, cease.'—You have made
fair hands,
You and your crafts! you have crafted fair!
Com. You have brought
A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
So incapable of help.
Sic. & Bru.} Say not we brought it.
Men. How! Was it we? We lov'd him; but,
like beasts
And cowardly nobles, gave way unto your clus-
Who did hoot him out o' the city.
Com. But I fear
They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
The second name of men, obeys his points
As if he were his officer: desperation
Is all the policy, strength, and defence,
That Rome can make against them.

Enter a troop of Citizens.
Men. Here come the clusters.
And is Aufidius with him? You are they
That made the air unwholesome, when you cast
Your stinking greasy caps in hooting at
Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming;
And not a hair upon a soldier's head
Which will not prove a whip: as many cox-
As you threw caps up will he tumble down,
And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter;
If he could burn us all into one coal,
We have deserv'd it.
Citizens. Faith, we hear fearful news.
First Cit. For mine own part,
When I said banish him, I said 'twas pity.
Sec. Cit. And so did I.
Third Cit. And so did I; and, to say the
truth, so did very many of us. That we did we
did for the best; and though we willingly con-
sented to his banishment, yet it was against our
Com. You're goodly things, you voices!
Men. You have made
Good work, you and your cry! Shall's to the
Com. O! ay; what else?
Sic. Go, masters, get you home; be not dis-
These are a side that would be glad to have
This true which they so seem to fear. Go home,
And show no sign of fear.
First Cit. The gods be good to us! Come,
masters, let's home. I ever said we were i' the
wrong when we banished him.
Sec. Cit. So did we all. But come, let's home.
[Exeunt Citizens.
Bru. I do not like this news.
Sic. Nor I.
Bru. Let's to the Capitol. Would half my
Would buy this for a lie!
Sic. Pray let us go. [Exeunt.
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