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    Act 3. Scene III

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    Chapter 16
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    SCENE III. The same. The Forum.

    Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS
    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,
    And that the spoil got on the Antiates
    Was ne'er distributed.

    Enter an AEdile

    What, will he come?

    AEdile
    He's coming.

    BRUTUS
    How accompanied?

    AEdile
    With old Menenius, and those senators
    That always favour'd him.

    SICINIUS
    Have you a catalogue
    Of all the voices that we have procured
    Set down by the poll?

    AEdile
    I have; 'tis ready.

    SICINIUS
    Have you collected them by tribes?

    AEdile
    I have.

    SICINIUS
    Assemble presently the people hither;
    And when they bear me say 'It shall be so
    I' the right and strength o' the 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' the truth o' the cause.

    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
    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

    Put him to choler straight: he hath been used
    Ever to conquer, and to have his worth
    Of contradiction: being once chafed, he cannot
    Be rein'd again to temperance; then he speaks
    What's in his heart; and that is there which looks
    With us to break his neck.

    SICINIUS
    Well, here he comes.

    Enter CORIOLANUS, MENENIUS, and COMINIUS, with Senators and Patricians

    MENENIUS
    Calmly, I do beseech you.

    CORIOLANUS
    Ay, as an ostler, that for the poorest piece
    Will bear the knave by the volume. The honour'd 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,
    And not our streets with war!

    First Senator
    Amen, amen.

    MENENIUS
    A noble wish.

    Re-enter AEdile, with Citizens

    SICINIUS
    Draw near, ye people.

    AEdile
    List to your tribunes. Audience: peace, I say!

    CORIOLANUS
    First, hear me speak.

    Both Tribunes
    Well, say. Peace, ho!

    CORIOLANUS
    Shall I be charged no further than this present?
    Must all determine here?

    SICINIUS
    I do demand,
    If you submit you to the people's voices,
    Allow their officers and are content
    To suffer lawful censure for such faults
    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' the 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,
    Rather than envy you.

    COMINIUS
    Well, well, no more.

    CORIOLANUS
    What is the matter
    That being pass'd for consul with full voice,
    I am so dishonour'd 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 season'd office and to wind
    Yourself into a power tyrannical;
    For which you are a traitor to the people.

    CORIOLANUS
    How! traitor!

    MENENIUS
    Nay, temperately; your promise.

    CORIOLANUS
    The fires i' the lowest hell fold-in the people!
    Call me their traitor! Thou injurious tribune!
    Within thine eyes sat twenty thousand deaths,
    In thy hand clutch'd as many millions, in
    Thy lying tongue both numbers, I would say
    'Thou liest' unto thee with a voice as free
    As I do pray the gods.

    SICINIUS
    Mark you this, people?

    Citizens
    To the rock, to the rock with him!

    SICINIUS
    Peace!
    We need not put new matter to his charge:
    What you have seen him do and heard him speak,
    Beating your officers, cursing yourselves,
    Opposing laws with strokes and here defying
    Those whose great power must try him; even this,
    So criminal and in such capital kind,
    Deserves the extremest death.

    BRUTUS
    But since he hath
    Served well for Rome,--

    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 know no further:
    Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,
    Vagabond exile, raying, pent to linger
    But with a grain a day, I would not buy
    Their mercy at the price of one fair word;
    Nor cheque my courage for what they can give,
    To have't with saying 'Good morrow.'

    SICINIUS
    For that he has,
    As much as in him lies, from time to time
    Envied against the people, seeking means
    To pluck away their power, as now at last
    Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
    Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers
    That do distribute it; in the name o' the people
    And in the power of us the tribunes, we,
    Even from this instant, banish him our city,
    In peril of precipitation
    From off the rock Tarpeian never more
    To enter our Rome gates: i' the people's name,
    I say it shall be so.

    Citizens
    It shall be so, it shall be so; let him away:
    He's banish'd, 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,
    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 banish'd,
    As enemy to the people and his country:
    It shall be so.

    Citizens
    It shall be so, it shall be so.

    CORIOLANUS
    You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
    As reek o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
    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
    To banish your defenders; till at length
    Your ignorance, which finds not till it feels,
    Making not reservation of yourselves,
    Still your own foes, deliver you as most
    Abated captives to some nation
    That won you without blows! Despising,
    For you, the city, thus I turn my back:
    There is a world elsewhere.

    Exeunt CORIOLANUS, COMINIUS, MENENIUS, Senators, and Patricians

    AEdile
    The people's enemy is gone, is gone!

    Citizens
    Our enemy is banish'd! he is gone! Hoo! hoo!

    Shouting, and throwing up their caps

    SICINIUS
    Go, see him out at gates, and follow him,
    As he hath followed you, with all despite;
    Give him deserved vexation. Let a guard
    Attend us through the city.

    Citizens
    Come, come; let's see him out at gates; come.
    The gods preserve our noble tribunes! Come.

    Exeunt
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