Coriolanus


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter seven or eight Citizens
once (adv.) 1 once and for all, in a word See Topics: Discourse markers
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count


FIRST CITIZEN

Once, if he do require our voices, we

ought not to deny him.


SECOND CITIZEN

We may, sir, if we will.


THIRD CITIZEN

We have power in ourselves to do it, but
power (n.) 5 exercise of power, authoritative action

it is a power that we have no power to do. For if he show

us his wounds and tell us his deeds, we are to put our

tongues into those wounds and speak for them. So, if he

tell us his noble deeds, we must also tell him our noble

acceptance of them. Ingratitude is monstrous, and for

the multitude to be ingrateful were to make a monster of
ingrateful (adj.) 1 ungrateful, unappreciative

the multitude; of the which we being members should

bring ourselves to be monstrous members.


FIRST CITIZEN

And to make us no better thought of a

little help will serve; for once we stood up about the
serve (v.) 2 suffice, be enough, do [for]
stand up (v.) confront boldly, make a stand

corn, he himself stuck not to call us the many-headed
stick (v.) 7 hesitate, linger, think twice

multitude.


THIRD CITIZEN

We have been called so of many; not

that our heads are some brown, some black, some abram,
abram (adj.) dark brown, golden brown [from ‘auburn’]

some bald, but that our wits are so diversely coloured.

And truly I think if all our wits were to issue out of one

skull, they would fly east, west, north, south, and their

consent of one direct way should be at once to all the
consent (n.) 1 agreement, accord, unanimity, compact

points o'th' compass.


SECOND CITIZEN

Think you so? Which way do you

judge my wit would fly?


THIRD CITIZEN

Nay, your wit will not so soon out as

another man's will – 'tis strongly wedged up in a blockhead;

but if it were at liberty 'twould sure southward.


SECOND CITIZEN

Why that way?


THIRD CITIZEN

To lose itself in a fog, where being three

parts melted away with rotten dews, the fourth would
dew (n.) dewfall, dampness, moisture
rotten (adj.) 1 unhealthy, corrupting, unwholesome

return for conscience' sake to help to get thee a wife.


SECOND CITIZEN

You are never without your tricks. You

may, you may!
may, you go on, carry on


THIRD CITIZEN

Are you all resolved to give your voices?
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count

But that's no matter, the greater part carries it. I say, if
part (n.) 2 side, camp, party

he would incline to the people, there was never a worthier

man.

Enter Coriolanus in a gown of humility, with

Menenius

Here he comes, and in the gown of humility. Mark his
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

behaviour. We are not to stay all together, but to come

by him where he stands, by ones, by twos, and by threes.

He's to make his requests by particulars, wherein every
particular (n.) 2 individual person, self

one of us has a single honour, in giving him our own

voices with our own tongues. Therefore follow me, and
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count

I'll direct you how you shall go by him.


ALL

Content, content.
content (adj.) 1 agreeable, willing, ready See Topics: Frequency count

Exeunt Citizens


MENENIUS

O sir, you are not right. Have you not known
right (adj.) 2 correct [in opinion], right-minded

The worthiest men have done't?


CORIOLANUS

                         What must I say? –

‘ I pray, sir ’ – Plague upon't! I cannot bring

My tongue to such a pace. ‘ Look, sir, my wounds!

I got them in my country's service, when

Some certain of your brethren roared and ran
certain (n.) number of people, particular members

From th' noise of our own drums.’


MENENIUS

                         O me, the gods!

You must not speak of that. You must desire them

To think upon you.
think upon (v.) think kindly about, remember well


CORIOLANUS

                         Think upon me? Hang 'em!

I would they would forget me, like the virtues

Which our divines lose by 'em.
divine (n.) 1 clergyman, priest, parson
lose (v.) 2 waste, throw away, give unprofitably


MENENIUS

                         You'll mar all.

I'll leave you. Pray you speak to 'em, I pray you,

In wholesome manner.

Exit
wholesome (adj.) 4 profitable, valuable, promoting well-being

Enter three of the Citizens


CORIOLANUS

                         Bid them wash their faces

And keep their teeth clean. So, here comes a brace.
brace (n.) 1 group of two, couple, pair See Topics: Numbers

You know the cause, sir, of my standing here.


THIRD CITIZEN

We do, sir. Tell us what hath brought you to't.


CORIOLANUS

Mine own desert.


SECOND CITIZEN

Your own desert?


CORIOLANUS

Ay, but not mine own desire.


THIRD CITIZEN

How not your own desire?


CORIOLANUS

No, sir,'twas never my desire yet to trouble

the poor with begging.


THIRD CITIZEN

You must think, if we give you anything,

we hope to gain by you.


CORIOLANUS

Well then, I pray, your price

o'th' consulship?


FIRST CITIZEN

The price is to ask it kindly.


CORIOLANUS

Kindly, sir, I pray let me ha't. I have

wounds to show you, which shall be yours in private.

(to the Second Citizen) Your good voice, sir. What say

you?


SECOND CITIZEN

You shall ha't, worthy sir.


CORIOLANUS

A match, sir. There's in all two worthy
match (n.) 1 bargain, contract, agreement

voices begged. I have your alms. Adieu.
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count


THIRD CITIZEN

But this is something odd.
something (adv.) 1 somewhat, rather See Topics: Frequency count


SECOND CITIZEN

An 'twere to give again – but 'tis no

matter.

Exeunt

Enter two other Citizens
stand (v.) 12 accord, agree, hold good, be compatible
tune (n.) 1 state of mind, mood


CORIOLANUS

Pray you now, if it may stand with the tune

of your voices that I may be consul, I have here the
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count

customary gown.


FOURTH CITIZEN

You have deserved nobly of your

country, and you have not deserved nobly.


CORIOLANUS

Your enigma?


FOURTH CITIZEN

You have been a scourge to her

enemies, you have been a rod to her friends. You have

not indeed loved the common people.


CORIOLANUS

You should account me the more virtuous

that I have not been common in my love. I will, sir, flatter
common (adj.) 4 cheap, vulgar, promiscuous

my sworn brother, the people, to earn a dearer estimation
brother, sworn companion-in-arms, devoted friend

of them. 'Tis a condition they account gentle;
condition (n.) 2 quality, behaviour, attribute, habit
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

and since the wisdom of their choice is rather to have my

hat than my heart, I will practise the insinuating nod and

be off to them most counterfeitly. That is, sir, I will
be off (v.) doff the hat
counterfeitly (adv.) feignedly, in a pretended manner

counterfeit the bewitchment of some popular man and
bewitchment (n.) magical appeal, ability to charm
counterfeit (v.) 1 copy, imitate, simulate See Topics: Frequency count
popular (adj.) 2 currying favour with the people

give it bountiful to the desirers. Therefore, beseech you,

I may be consul.


FIFTH CITIZEN

We hope to find you our friend, and

therefore give you our voices heartily.
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count


FOURTH CITIZEN

You have received many wounds for

your country.


CORIOLANUS

I will not seal your knowledge with showing
seal (v.) 1 confirm, ratify, approve

them. I will make much of your voices and so trouble
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count

you no farther.


BOTH

The gods give you joy, sir, heartily!

Exeunt


CORIOLANUS

Most sweet voices!
voice (n.) 6 voter, person offering support

Better it is to die, better to starve,

Than crave the hire which first we do deserve.
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count

Why in this wolvish toge should I stand here

To beg of Hob and Dick that does appear
Hob and Dick every Tom, Dick, and Harry

Their needless vouches? Custom calls me to't.
needless (adj.) 1 unnecessary, pointless, superfluous
vouch (n.) 3 warrant, guarantee, formal confirmation

What custom wills, in all things should we do't,

The dust on antique time would lie unswept
antic, antick(e), antique (adj.) 2 ancient, olden, former
time (n.) 1 (the) world, (the) age, society

And mountainous error be too highly heaped

For truth to o'erpeer. Rather than fool it so,
overpeer (v.) 2 rise above, tower over

Let the high office and the honour go
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function

To one that would do thus. I am half through;

The one part suffered, the other will I do.

Enter three Citizens more
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count

Here come more voices.

Your voices! For your voices I have fought,

Watched for your voices; for your voices bear
watch (v.) 2 keep the watch, keep guard, be on the look-out

Of wounds two dozen odd. Battles thrice six

I have seen and heard of; for your voices have

Done many things, some less, some more. Your voices!

Indeed, I would be consul.


SIXTH CITIZEN

He has done nobly, and cannot go without

any honest man's voice.
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count


SEVENTH CITIZEN

Therefore let him be consul. The

gods give him joy and make him good friend to the

people!


ALL

Amen, amen. God save thee, noble Consul!

Exeunt Citizens


CORIOLANUS

Worthy voices.
voice (n.) 6 voter, person offering support

Enter Menenius, with Brutus and Sicinius
limitation (n.) allotted time, appointed period


MENENIUS

You have stood your limitation, and the Tribunes

Endue you with the people's voice. Remains
indue, endue (v.) 1 endow, furnish, provide
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count

That in th' official marks invested you
mark (n.) 5 (plural) insignia, regalia

Anon do meet the Senate.
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count


CORIOLANUS

                         Is this done?


SICINIUS

The custom of request you have discharged.

The people do admit you, and are summoned

To meet anon upon your approbation.
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count
approbation (n.) 1 expression of approval, pleasurable confirmation, ready sanctioning


CORIOLANUS

Where? at the Senate House?


SICINIUS

                         There, Coriolanus.


CORIOLANUS

May I change these garments?


SICINIUS

                         You may, sir.


CORIOLANUS

That I'll straight do and, knowing myself again,
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Repair to th' Senate House.
repair (v.) 1 come, go, make one's way


MENENIUS

I'll keep you company. (To the Tribunes) Will you along?


BRUTUS

We stay here for the people.


SICINIUS

                         Fare you well.

Exeunt Coriolanus and Menenius

He has it now, and by his looks methinks
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

'Tis warm at's heart.


BRUTUS

                         With a proud heart he wore

His humble weeds. Will you dismiss the people?
weed (n.) 1 (plural) garments, dress, clothes

Enter the Plebeians


SICINIUS

How now, my masters, have you chose this man?


FIRST CITIZEN

He has our voices, sir.
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count


BRUTUS

We pray the gods he may deserve your loves.


SECOND CITIZEN

Amen, sir. To my poor unworthy notice,

He mocked us when he begged our voices.
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count


THIRD CITIZEN

                         Certainly,

He flouted us downright.


FIRST CITIZEN

No,'tis his kind of speech – he did not mock us.


SECOND CITIZEN

Not one amongst us, save yourself, but says

He used us scornfully. He should have showed us

His marks of merit, wounds received for's country.


SICINIUS

Why, so he did, I am sure.


CITIZENS

                         No, no! No man saw 'em.


THIRD CITIZEN

He said he had wounds which he could show in private,

And with his hat, thus waving it in scorn,

‘ I would be consul,’ says he. ‘ Aged custom

But by your voices will not so permit me;
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count

Your voices therefore.’ When we granted that,

Here was ‘ I thank you for your voices. Thank you,

Your most sweet voices. Now you have left your voices,

I have no further with you.’ Was not this mockery?


SICINIUS

Why either were you ignorant to see't,
ignorant (adj.) 1 dull, unwitting, simple-minded

Or, seeing it, of such childish friendliness

To yield your voices?


BRUTUS

                         Could you not have told him –

As you were lessoned – when he had no power,
lesson (v.) 1 instruct, teach, advise
power (n.) 3 authority, government

But was a petty servant to the state,

He was your enemy, ever spake against

Your liberties and the charters that you bear

I'th' body of the weal; and now, arriving
arrive (v.) reach, arrive at
body (n.) 2 corporate body, collective mass [of people]
weal 1 state, community, commonwealth

A place of potency and sway o'th' state,
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count
potency (n.) power, authority, command
sway (n.) 2 controlling influence, guiding power, direction

If he should still malignantly remain
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Fast foe to th' plebeii, your voices might
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count

Be curses to yourselves? You should have said

That as his worthy deeds did claim no less

Than what he stood for, so his gracious nature
stand for (v.) 3 be a candidate for, offer for election

Would think upon you for your voices and

Translate his malice towards you into love,
translate (v.) 1 transform, change, alter

Standing your friendly lord.
stand (v.) 9 act as, be, hold good as


SICINIUS

                         Thus to have said,

As you were fore-advised, had touched his spirit
fore-advise (v.) previously advise, instruct earlier
touch (v.) 6 test the quality [of], put to the test

And tried his inclination; from him plucked
try (v.) 1 prove, ascertain, find out

Either his gracious promise, which you might,

As cause had called you up, have held him to;
call up (v.) arouse, prompt, bring to mind
cause (n.) 3 occasion, circumstance

Or else it would have galled his surly nature,
gall (v.) 1 vex, annoy, irritate

Which easily endures not article
article (n.) 3 condition, stipulation, requirement

Tying him to aught. So putting him to rage,
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count

You should have ta'en th' advantage of his choler
choler (n.) anger, rage, wrath

And passed him unelected.


BRUTUS

                         Did you perceive

He did solicit you in free contempt
free (adj.) 9 frank, undisguised, open
solicit (v.) 2 court, chase after, pursue

When he did need your loves, and do you think

That his contempt shall not be bruising to you

When he hath power to crush? Why, had your bodies

No heart among you? Or had you tongues to cry
cry (v.) 3 protest, rebel, cry out
heart (n.) 1 courage, spirit, valour

Against the rectorship of judgement?
judgement (n.) 3 reason, discernment, good sense
rectorship (n.) rule, government, dominion


SICINIUS

                         Have you

Ere now denied the asker, and now again,

Of him that did not ask but mock, bestow
bestow (v.) 1 give, provide, grant

Your sued-for tongues?
sued-for (adj.) begged for, entreated, petitioned


THIRD CITIZEN

He's not confirmed; we may deny him yet.


SECOND CITIZEN

And will deny him:

I'll have five hundred voices of that sound.
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count


FIRST CITIZEN

I twice five hundred and their friends to piece 'em.
piece (v.) 1 add to, join to, augment


BRUTUS

Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends

They have chose a consul that will from them take

Their liberties; make them of no more voice
liberty (n.) 3 (plural) rights, prerogatives, privileges

Than dogs that are as often beat for barking

As therefore kept to do so.


SICINIUS

                         Let them assemble,

And on a safer judgement all revoke
safe (adj.) 3 sound, sensible, level-headed

Your ignorant election. Enforce his pride
enforce (v.) 1 emphasize, urge, lay stress upon
ignorant (adj.) 1 dull, unwitting, simple-minded

And his old hate unto you. Besides, forget not

With what contempt he wore the humble weed,
weed (n.) 2 garment, piece of clothing

How in his suit he scorned you; but your loves,
scorn (v.) 1 mock, jeer, express disdain [at]
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

Thinking upon his services, took from you

Th' apprehension of his present portance,
apprehension (n.) 1 powers of comprehension, understanding
portance (n.) behaviour, demeanour, bearing

Which most gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion
fashion (v.) 1 form, shape, make [into]
gibingly (adv.) sarcastically, tauntingly, in a mocking manner
ungravely (adv.) derisively, displaying ridicule

After the inveterate hate he bears you.


BRUTUS

                         Lay

A fault on us, your Tribunes, that we laboured,

No impediment between, but that you must
impediment (n.) obstruction, hindrance, obstacle

Cast your election on him.


SICINIUS

                         Say, you chose him

More after our commandment than as guided

By your own true affections, and that your minds,
affection (n.) 2 emotion, feeling

Pre-occupied with what you rather must do

Than what you should, made you against the grain

To voice him consul. Lay the fault on us.
voice (v.) 1 vote, elect, appoint


BRUTUS

Ay, spare us not. Say we read lectures to you,
lecture (n.) 1 lesson, instructive example

How youngly he began to serve his country,
youngly (adv.) in youth, early in life

How long continued, and what stock he springs of –

The noble house o'th' Martians, from whence came

That Ancus Martius, Numa's daughter's son,

Who after great Hostilius here was king.

Of the same house Publius and Quintus were,

That our best water brought by conduits hither;
conduit (n.) 2 channel, pipe, aqueduct

And Censorinus, nobly named so,

Twice being by the people chosen censor,

Was his great ancestor.


SICINIUS

                         One thus descended,

That hath beside well in his person wrought
work (v.), past form wrought 1 bring about, arrange, effect

To be set high in place, we did commend
commend (v.) 2 commit, entrust, hand over
commend (v.) 3 present, introduce, bring [for favourable acceptance]
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

To your remembrances. But you have found,
remembrance (n.) 1 memory, bringing to mind, recollection See Topics: Frequency count

Scaling his present bearing with his past,
scale (v.) 1 weigh, balance, compare

That he's your fixed enemy, and revoke

Your sudden approbation.
approbation (n.) 1 expression of approval, pleasurable confirmation, ready sanctioning
sudden (adj.) 2 hasty, impulsive, impetuous


BRUTUS

                         Say you ne'er had done't –

Harp on that still – but by our putting on.
putting on (n.) instigation, prompting, urging
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

And presently, when you have drawn your number,
draw (v.) 1 bring together, draw in, gather
presently (adv.) 2 after a short time, soon, before long

Repair to th' Capitol.
repair (v.) 1 come, go, make one's way


ALL

                         We will so. Almost all

Repent in their election.

Exeunt Plebeians


BRUTUS

                         Let them go on.

This mutiny were better put in hazard
hazard, in in peril, at risk

Than stay, past doubt, for greater.

If, as his nature is, he fall in rage

With their refusal, both observe and answer
answer (v.) 11 act along with, sustain, respond to

The vantage of his anger.
vantage (n.) 1 right moment, suitable opportunity


SICINIUS

                         To th' Capitol, come.

We will be there before the stream o'th' people;

And this shall seem, as partly 'tis, their own,

Which we have goaded onward.

Exeunt

 
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