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As if you were a god to punish, not
A man of their infirmity,
Sic. 'Twere well,
We let the people know't.
Men. What, what? his choler?
Cor. Choler !
Were I as patient as the midnight sleep,
By Jove, 'twould be my mind.
Sic. It is a mind
That shall remain a poison where it is,
Not poison any further.
Cor. Shall remain !
this Triton of the minnows mark you
His absolute shall ?
Com. 'Twas from the canon.
O gods!- But most unwise patricians, why,
You grave, but reckless senators, have you
Given Hydra here to choose an officer,
That with his peremptory shall, being but
The horn and noise o' the monsters, wants not spirit
To say, he'll turn your current in a ditch,
And make your channel his? If he have power,
Then vail your ignorance : if none, awake
Your dangerous lenity. If you are learned,
Be not as common fools; if you are not,
Let them have cushions by you. You are plebeians,
If they be senators : and they are no less, 129
When, both your voices blended, the greatest taste
Most palates theirs. They choose their magistrate ;
And such a one as he, who puts his shall,
His popular shall, against a graver bench
Than ever frown'd in Greece! By Jove himself,
It makes the consuls base : and my soul akes,
To know, when two authorities are up,
Neither supreme, how soon confusion
May enter 'twixt the gap of both, and take
The one by the other..
Com. Well-on to the market-place.
Cor. Whoever gave that counsel, to give forth
The corn o' the store-house gratis, as 'twas us'd
Sometime in Greece
Men. Well, well, no more of that.
Cor. (Though there the people had more absolute
I say, they nourish'd disobedience, fed
The ruin of the state.
Bru. Why, shall the people give One, that speaks thus, their voice ? Cor. I'll give my reasons,
150 More worthier than their voices. They know, the
Was not our recompence ; resting well assur'd
They ne'er did service for't: Being press'd to the
Even when the navel of the state was touch'd,
They would not thread the gates : this kind of service
Did not deserve corn gratis : Being i'the war,
Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they shew'd
Most valour, spoke not for them : The accusation
Which they have often made against the senate,
All cause unborn, could never be the native 160
Of our so frank donation. Well, what then?
How shall this bosom multiplied digest
The senate's courtesy? Let deeds express
What's like to be their words :-We did request it ;-
We are the greater poll, and in true fear
They gave us our demands :-Thus we debase
The nature of our seats, and make the rabble
Call our cares, fears: which will in time break ope
The locks o' the senate, and bring in the crows
To peck the eagles-
Men. Come, enough.
Bru. Enough, with over-measure.
Cor. No, take more :
may be sworn by, both divine and human,
Seal what I end withall This double worship-
Where one part does disdain with cause, the other
Insult without all reason; where gentry, title, wisdom
Cannot conclude, but by the yea
Of general ignorance it must omit
Real necessities, and give way the while
180 To unstable slightness: purpose so barr'd, it follows, Nothing is done to purpose : Therefore, beseech
You that will be less fearful than discreet ;
That love the fundamental part of state,
More than you doubt the change of 't ; that prefer
A noble life before a long, and wish
To jump a body with a dangerous physick,
That's sure of death without it-at once pluck out
The multitudinous tongue, let them not lick 189
The sweet which is their poison : Your dishonour
Mangles true judgment, and bereaves the state
Of that integrity which should become it;
Not having power to do the good it would,
For the ill which doth controul it.
Bru. He has said enough.
Sic. He has spoken like a traitor, and shall answer As traitors do.
Cor. Thou wretch! despight o'erwhelm thee!
What should the people do with these bald tribunes ?
On whom depending, their obedience fails
To the greater bench : In a rebellion,
When what's not meet, but what must be, was law,
Then were they chosen ; in a better hour,
Let what is meet, be said, it must be meet,
And throw their power i' the dust.
Bru. Manifest treason.
Sic. This a consul ? no.
Bru. The ædiles, ho!--Let him be apprehended.
Șic. Go, call the people: [Exit BRUTUS.] in whose
Attach thee, as a traiterous innovator,
A foe to the publick weal: Obey, I charge thee,
And follow to thine answer,
Cor. Hence, old goat!
All. We'll surety him.
Com. Aged sir, hands off.
Cor. Hence, rotten thing, or I shall shake thy bones
Out of thy garments.
Sic. Help me, citizens.
Re-enter BRUTUS, with a Rabble of Citizens, with the
Men. On both sides more respect.
Sic. Here's he, that would
220 Take from you all your power.
Bru. Seize him, ædiles.
All. Down with him, down with him!
2 Sen. Weapons, weapons, weapons !
[They all bustle about CORIOLANUS:
Tribunes, patricians, citizens ! -what he !
Sicinius, Brutus, Coriolanus, citizens !
All. Peace, peace, peace! stay, hold, peace !
Men. What is about to be ? -I am out of breath; Confusion's near; I cannot speak :-You, tribunes To the people-Coriolanus, patience :
230 Speak, good Sicinius.
Sic. Hear me, people ;- Peace.
dll. Let's hear our tribune: - Peace. Speak,
Sic. You are at point to lose your liberties :
Marcius would have all from you; Marcius,
Whom late you nam'd for consul.
Men. Fie, fie, fie!
This is the way to kindle, not to quench.
1 Sen. To unbuild the city, and to lay all flat.
Sic. What is the city, but the people ?