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Caius Marcius Coriolanus, a noble Roman.
Volumnia, Mother to Coriolanus.
Roman and Volscian Senators, Patricians, Ædiles, Lictors,
Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, Servants to Aufidius, and other Attendants.
Scene, partly in Rome; and partly in the Territories of
the Volscians and Antiates.
Enter a Company of mutinous Citizens, with staves,
clubs, and other weapons. i Cit. BEFORE we proceed any further, hear me
speak. Cit. Speak, speak. (several speaking at once.
i Cit. You are all resolv'd rather to die, than to famish?
Cit. Resolv’d, resoly’d.
i Cit. First, you know, Caius Marci”, is chief enemy to the people.
Cit. We know't, we know't.
i Cit. Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at our own price. Is’t a verdict? Cit. No more talking on’t; let it be done: away,
away. 2 Cit. One word, good citizens.
i Cit. We are accounted poor citizens; the patricians, good: What authority surfeits on, would relieve us: If they would yield us but the superfluity, while it were wholesome, we might guess,
they relieved us humanely; but they think, we are too dear: the leanness that afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an inventory to particularize their abundance; our sufferance is a gain to them. -Let us revenge this with our pikes, ere we become rakes: for the gods know, I speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.
2 Cit. Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius ?
Cit. Against him first; he's a very dog to the commonalty.
2 Cit. Consider you what services he has done for his country?
i Cit. Very well; and could be content to give him good report for't, but that he pays himself with being proud. . 2 Cit. Nay, but speak not maliciously.
i Cit. I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did it to that end: though soft-conscienc'd men can be content to say, it was for his country, he did it to please his mother, and to be partly proud; which he is, even to the altitude of his virtue. . .. .. . ;
2 Cit. What he cannot help in his nature, you account a vice in him: You must in no way say, he is covetous..
",,,, , i Cit. If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations; he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition. [Shouts within.] What shouts are these? The other side o’the city is risen : Why stay we prating here? to the Capitol. . . ....' · Cit. Come, come per u n correo
i Cit. Soft; who comes here?
Enter Menenius Agrippa. 2 Cit. Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that hath always loved the people.
i Cit. He's one honest enough; "Would, all the rest were so! Men. What works, my countrymen, in hand?
Where go you With bats and clubs? The matter? Speak, I pray
1 Cit. Our business is not unknown to the senate; they have had inkling, this fortnight, what we intend to do, which now we'll show 'em in deeds. They say, poor suitors have strong breaths; they shall know, we have strong arms too. . Men. Why, masters, my good friends, mine ho
nest neighbours, Will you undo yourselves?
i Cit. We cannot; sir, we are undone already. · Men. I tell you, friends, most charitable care Have the patricians of you. For your wants, Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well , Strike at the heaven with your staves, as lift them Against the Roman state; whose course will on, The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs . Of more strong link asunder, than can ever Appear in your impediment: For the dearth, The gods, not the patricians, make it; and i Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack, You are transported by calamity 11'i'. Thither where more attends you; and you slander The helms o’the state, who care for you like fathers, When you curse them as enemies.
1 Cit. Care for us!—True, indeed!—They ne'er car'd for us yet. Suffer us to famish, and their store-houses cramm’d with grain; make edicts for usury, to support usurers: repeal daily any wholesome act established against the rich; and provide more piercing statutes daily, to chain up and restrain the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will; and there's all the love they bear us.
Men. Either you must
i Cit. Well, I'll hear it, sir: yet you must not think to fob off our disgrace with a tale: but, an't please you, deliver. Men. There was a time, when all the body's
members Rebell’d against the belly; thus accus'd it:That only like a gulf it did remain l' the midst o' the body, idle and unactive, Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing Like labour with the rest; where the other instru
i Cit. Well, sir, what answer made the belly?