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} Tribunes of the People.
Caius MARCIUS CORIOLANUS, a noble Roman.
Generals against the Volscians.
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.
SCENE I.-ROME. A Street.
Enter a company of mutinous Citizens, with staves, clubs, and other weapons.
1 Cit. Before we proceed any further, hear me speak. Citizens. Speak, speak.
1 Cit. You are all resolved rather to die than to famish? Citizens. Resolved, resolved.
1 Cit. First, you know Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the people.
Citizens. 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?
Citizens. 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 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?
1 Cit. 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. VOL. V.
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! Citizens. Come, come.
1 Cit. Soft! who comes here?
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!
Enter MENENIUS AGRIPPA.
Men. What work 's, my countrymen, in hand? where go
With bats and clubs? the matter? speak, I pray you.
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
Men. Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest neighbours,
Will you undo yourselves?
1 Cit. We cannot, sir, we are undone already.
Thither where more attends you; and you slander
1 Cit. Care for us! True, indeed! They ne'er cared for