Coriolanus


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Sicinius and Brutus
affect (v.) 5 cultivate, aim at, seek out
home (adv.) 1 fully, thoroughly, unsparingly


BRUTUS

In this point charge him home, that he affects

Tyrannical power. If he evade us there,

Enforce him with his envy to the people,
enforce (v.) 1 emphasize, urge, lay stress upon
envy (n.) 1 malice, ill-will, enmity

And that the spoil got on the Antiates
spoil (n.) 2 plunder, booty

Was ne'er distributed.

Enter an Aedile

                         What, will he come?


AEDILE

He's coming.


BRUTUS

                         How accompanied?


AEDILE

With old Menenius and those sentors

That always favoured him.


SICINIUS

                         Have you a catalogue

Of all the voices that we have procured,
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count

Set down by th' poll?
poll (n.) 3 voting list, head-count


AEDILE

                         I have; 'tis ready.


SICINIUS

Have you collected them by tribes?


AEDILE

                         I have.


SICINIUS

Assemble presently the people hither.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

And when they hear me say ‘ It shall be so

I'th' right and strength o'th' commons,’ be it either

For death, for fine, or banishment, then let them

If I say ‘ Fine,’ cry ‘ Fine!’, if ‘ Death,’ cry ‘ Death.’

Insisting on the old prerogative

And power i'th' truth o'th' cause.
power (n.) 5 exercise of power, authoritative action


AEDILE

                         I shall inform them.


BRUTUS

And when such time they have begun to cry,

Let them not cease, but with a din confused

Enforce the present execution
execution (n.) 1 action, performance, doing

Of what we chance to sentence.


AEDILE

                         Very well.


SICINIUS

Make them be strong, and ready for this hint,

When we shall hap to give't them.


BRUTUS

                         Go about it.

Exit Aedile
hap (v.) happen, take place, come to pass

Put him to choler straight. He hath been used
choler (n.) anger, rage, wrath
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Ever to conquer and to have his worth
worth (n.) 4 pennyworth, fill

Of contradiction. Being once chafed, he cannot
contradiction (n.) answering back, speaking in opposition

Be reined again to temperance, then he speaks

What's in his heart, and that is there which looks
look (v.) 4 look likely, promise, tend

With us to break his neck.

Enter Coriolanus, Menenius, and Cominius, with others


SICINIUS

                         Well, here he comes.


MENENIUS

Calmly, I do beseech you.


CORIOLANUS

Ay, as an hostler, that for th' poorest piece
hostler (n.) ostler, stableman, groom
piece (n.) 8 coin, piece of money

Will bear the knave by th' volume. (Aloud) Th' honoured gods

Keep Rome in safety and the chairs of justice

Supplied with worthy men! Plant love among's!

Throng our large temples with the shows of peace,
show (n.) 2 spectacle, display, ceremony

And not our streets with war!


FIRST SENATOR

                         Amen, amen.


MENENIUS

A noble wish.

Enter the Aedile, with the Plebeians


SICINIUS

Draw near, ye people.


AEDILE

List to your Tribunes. Audience! Peace, I say!
audience (n.) 1 hearing, attention, reception See Topics: Attention signals


CORIOLANUS

First, hear me speak.


BOTH TRIBUNES

                         Well, say. Peace ho!


CORIOLANUS

Shall I be charged no further than this present?
present (n.) 1 present time, immediate moment, matter in hand

Must all determine here?
determine (v.) 3 be decided, be concluded, make an end


SICINIUS

                         I do demand

If you submit you to the people's voices,
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count

Allow their officers, and are content
allow (v.) 1 acknowledge, commend, receive [with praise]
content (adj.) 1 agreeable, willing, ready See Topics: Frequency count

To suffer lawful censure for such faults
censure (n.) 1 assessment, opinion, judgement, criticism

As shall be proved upon you?


CORIOLANUS

                         I am content.


MENENIUS

Lo, citizens, he says he is content.

The warlike service he has done, consider. Think

Upon the wounds his body bears, which show

Like graves i'th' holy churchyard.


CORIOLANUS

                         Scratches with briers,

Scars to move laughter only.


MENENIUS

                         Consider further,

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
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count

Rather than envy you.
envy, envy at (v.) 1 show malice [towards], hate, regard with ill will


COMINIUS

                         Well, well, no more.


CORIOLANUS

What is the matter

That being passed for consul with full voice,
voice (n.) 2 support, approval, good word

I am so dishonoured that the very hour

You take it off again?


SICINIUS

                         Answer to us.


CORIOLANUS

Say, then. 'Tis true, I ought so.


SICINIUS

We charge you that you have contrived to take

From Rome all seasoned office and to wind
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function
seasoned (adj.) established, settled, mature
wind (v.) 3 insinuate, pursue a devious course

Yourself into a power tyrannical,

For which you are a traitor to the people.


CORIOLANUS

How – traitor?
temperately (adv.) steadily, calmly, moderately


MENENIUS

                         Nay, temperately! Your promise.


CORIOLANUS

The fires i'th' lowest hell fold in the people!
fold in (v.) enfold, envelop, encompass

Call me their traitor, thou injurious Tribune!
injurious (adj.) 2 insulting, slanderous, offensive

Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths,

In thy hand clutched as many millions, in

Thy lying tongue both numbers, I would say

‘ Thou liest ’ unto thee with a voice as free
free (adj.) 9 frank, undisguised, open

As I do pray the gods.
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count


SICINIUS

                         Mark you this, people?


PLEBEIANS

To th' rock, to th' rock with him!


SICINIUS

                         Peace!

We need not put new matter to his charge.
matter (n.) 1 subject-matter, content, substance

What you have seen him do and heard him speak,

Beating your officers, cursing yourselves,

Opposing laws with strokes, and here defying
stroke (n.) 1 blow, attack, assault

Those whose great power must try him – even this,
power (n.) 3 authority, government

So criminal and in such capital kind,
capital (adj.) 3 worthy of the death penalty, punishable by death

Deserves th' extremest death.


BRUTUS

                         But since he hath

Served well for Rome –
prate (v.) prattle, chatter, blather See Topics: Frequency count


CORIOLANUS

                         What do you prate of service?


BRUTUS

I talk of that that know it.


CORIOLANUS

You!


MENENIUS

Is this the promise that you made your mother?


COMINIUS

Know, I pray you –


CORIOLANUS

                         I'll know no further.

Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,

Vagabond exile, flaying, pent to linger
pent (adj.) imprisoned, closely confined

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,
courage (n.) 1 spirit, disposition, nature

To have't with saying ‘ Good morrow.’
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count


SICINIUS

                         For that he has –

As much as in him lies – from time to time

Envied against the people, seeking means
envy, envy at (v.) 1 show malice [towards], hate, regard with ill will

To pluck away their power, as now at last

Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
stroke (n.) 1 blow, attack, assault

Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers

That do distribute it – in the name o'th' people

And in the power of us the Tribunes, we,
power (n.) 5 exercise of power, authoritative action

Even from this instant, banish him our city,

In peril of precipitation
precipitation (n.) 2 throwing headlong, hurling down

From off the rock Tarpeian, never more

To enter our Rome gates. I'th' people's name,

I say it shall be so.


PLEBEIANS

It shall be so, it shall be so! Let him away!

He's banished, and it shall be so.


COMINIUS

Hear me, my masters and my common friends –


SICINIUS

He's sentenced. No more hearing.


COMINIUS

                         Let me speak.

I have been Consul, and can show for 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,

My dear wife's estimate, her womb's increase
estimate (n.) 2 reputation, honour, respectability
increase (n.) 2 offspring, descendants, procreation

And treasure of my loins. Then if I would

Speak that –


SICINIUS

                         We know your drift. Speak what?


BRUTUS

There's no more to be said, but he is banished

As enemy to the people and his country.

It shall be so.


PLEBEIANS

                         It shall be so, it shall be so!


CORIOLANUS

You common cry of curs, whose breath I hate
cry (n.) 1 company, pack [as of hounds]

As reek o'th' rotten fens, whose loves I prize
reek (n.) foggy vapour, steam, fume, smoke

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
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

To banish your defenders, till at length

Your ignorance – which finds not till it feels,
feel (v.) 2 experience, live through [something]
find (v.) 3 discover, perceive, discern
ignorance (n.) 1 negligence, obtuseness, lack of understanding

Making but reservation of yourselves
reservation (n.) 1 keeping back, leaving aside

Still your own foes – deliver you

As most abated captives to some nation
abated (adj.) humbled, abject, subdued

That won you without blows! Despising

For you the city, thus I turn my back.

There is a world elsewhere.

Exeunt Coriolanus,

Cominius, Menenius, with the other Patricians


AEDILE

The people's enemy is gone, is gone!


PLEBEIANS

Our enemy is banished, he is gone! Hoo-oo!

They all shout, and throw up their caps


SICINIUS

Go see him out at gates, and follow him

As he hath followed you, with all despite;
despite (n.) 1 contempt, scorn, disdain

Give him deserved vexation. Let a guard
vexation (n.) 2 torment, affliction, mortification

Attend us through the city.
attend (v.) 4 accompany, follow closely, go with


PLEBEIANS

Come, come, let's see him out at gates, come!

The gods preserve our noble Tribunes! Come!

Exeunt

 
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