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CORI O L A N U S.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ. CAIUS MARCIUS CORIOLANUS, TULLUS AUFIDIUS, General of a noble Roman.

the Volscians.
TITUS LARTIUS, Generals against Lieutenant to Aufidius.
COMINIUS, the Volscians. Conspirators with Aufidius.
MENENIUS AGRIPPA, Friend to A Citizen of Antium.
Coriolanus.

Two Volscian Guards.
SICINIUS VELUTUS, Tribunes of
JUNIUS BRUTUS, the People. VOLUMNIA, Mother to Coriolanus.
YOUNG MARCIUS, Son to Corio- VIRGILIA, Wife to Coriolanus.
lanus.

VALERIA, Friend to Virgilia. A Roman Herald.

Gentlewoman, attending on Virgilia. 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.

ACT I. SCENE I.

Romc. A Street.

Enter a Company of mutinous Citizens, with Staves, Clubs,

and other Weapons.
1 Cit. Before we proceed any farther, hear me speak.
All. Speak, speak.
1 Cit. You are all resolved rather to die, than to famish?
AU. Resolved, resolved.

1 Cit. First you know, Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the people.

All. We know't, we know 't.

1 Cit. Let us kill him, and we 'll have corn at our own price. Is 't a verdict?

All. No more talking on 't; let it be done. Away, away! 2 Cit. One word, good citizens.

1 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?
All. Against him first: he's a very dog to the commonalty.
2 Cit. Consider you what services he has done for his country?

1 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.

1 Cit. I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did it to that end: though soft-conscienced 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.

1 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!

All. Come, come.
1 Cit. Soft! who comes here?

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Enter MENENIUS AGRIPPA. 2 Cit. Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that hath always loved the people.

1 Cit. He's one honest enough: would, all the rest were so!

Men. What work's, my countrymen, in hand? Where go you With bats and clubs? The matter? Speak, I pray you.

2 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 honest neigh

bours,

you; and

Will you undo yourselves?

2 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 Román 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
Your knees to thein, not arms, must help. Alack !
You are transported by calamity
Thither where more attends

you

slander The helms o’the state, who care for you like fathers, When you curse them as enemies.

2 Cit. Care for us? True, indeed! They ne'er cared for us yet. Suffer us to famish, and their store-houses crammed 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
Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,
Or be accus’d of folly. I shall tell you
A pretty tale: it may be, you have heard it;
But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture
To scale 't a little more.

2 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 th' other instruments
Did see, and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
And, mụtually participate, did minister
Unto the appetite, and affection common
Of the whole body. The belly answered,

2 Cit. Well, Sir, what answer made the belly?

Men. Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of smile,
Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus,
(For, look you, I may make the belly smile,
As well as speak) it tauntingly replied
T the discontented members, the mutinous parts
That envied his receipt; even so most fitly
As you malign our senators, for that.
They are not such as you.
2 Cit.

Your belly's answer? What!
The kingly crowned head, the vigilant eye,
The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,
Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter,
With other muniments and petty helps
In this our fabric, if that they –
Men.

What then? -
'Fore me, this fellow speaks! what then? what then ?

2 Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be restrain'd,
Who is the sink o'the body,
Men.

Well, what then?
2 Cit. The former agents, if they did complain,
What could the belly answer?
Men.

I will tell you,
If you 'll bestow a small (of what you have little)
Patience a while, you 'll hear the belly's answer.

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