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Enter the Lords of the City,

Lords. You are most welcome home.


I have not deserv'd it,

But, worthy lords, have you with heed perus'd
What I have written to you?


1 Lord.

We have.

And grieve to hear it.

What faults he made before the last, I think,
Might have found easy fines: but there to end,
Where he was to begin, and give away
The benefit of our levies, answering us
With our own charge7; making a treaty, where
There was a yielding; This admits no excuse.
Auf. He approaches, you shall hear him.

Enter CORIOLANUS, with Drums and Colours; a Crowd of Citizens with him.

Cor. Hail, lords! I am returned your soldier;
No more infected with my country's love,
Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting
Under your great command. You are to know,
That prosperously I have attempted, and
With bloody passage, led your wars, even to
The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought home,
Do more than counterpoise, a full third part,
The charges of the action. We have made peace,
With no less honour to the Antiates,

Than shame to the Romans: and we here deliver,
Subscrib'd by the consuls and patricians,
Together with the seal o'the senate, what

We have compounded on.


Read it not, noble lords;

But tell the traitor, in the highest degree

He hath abus'd your powers.

7 answering us

With our own charge;] That is, rewarding us with our own expences; making the cost of war its recompence.

Cor. Traitor!- How now? —



Ay, traitor, Marcius.

Auf. Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius; Dost thou think I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stol'n name Coriolanus in Corioli?

You lords and heads of the state, perfidiously
He has betray'd your business, and given up,
For certain drops of salt, your city Rome
(I say, your city,) to his wife and mother:
Breaking his oath and resolution, like
A twist of rotten silk; never admitting
Counsel o'the war; but at his nurse's tears
He whin'd and roar'd away your victory;
That pages blush'd at him, and men of heart
Look'd wondering each at other.


Hear'st thou, Mars?

Auf. Name not the god, thou boy of tears, -

Auf. No more.9

Cor. Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart Too great for what contains it. Boy! O slave!Pardon me, lords, 'tis the first time that ever


I was forc'd to scold. Your judgments, my grave lords, Must give this cur the lie: and his own notion

(Who wears my stripes impress'd on him; that must bear My beating to his grave;) shall join to thrust The lie unto him.

1 Lord.

Peace, both, and hear me speak.

Cor. Cut me to pieces, Volces; men and lads,
Stain all your edges on me. - Boy! False hound!
If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there,
That like an eagle in a dove-cote, I

Flutter'd your voices in Corioli:

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& For certain drops of salt,] For certain tears.

9 Auf. No more.] By these words Aufidius does not mean to put a stop to the altercation; but to tell Coriolanus that he was no more than a "boy of tears."


Why, noble lords,

Will you be put in mind of his blind fortune,

Which was your shame, by this unholy braggart, 'Fore your own eyes and ears?

Con. Let him die for't.

Cit. [speaking promiscuously.]

[Several speak at once.

Tear him to pieces,

do it presently. He killed my son;—my daughter;
He killed my cousin Marcus;-He killed my father.—
2 Lord. Peace, ho; no outrage; - peace.
The man is noble, and his fame folds in

This orb o'the earth. ' His last offence to us
Shall have judicious hearing. 2-Stand, Aufidius,
And trouble not the peace.


O, that I had him, With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe,

To use my lawful sword!


Insolent villain!

Con. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him.


[AUFIDIUS and the Conspirators draw, and kill CORIOLANUS, who falls, and AUFIDIUS stands on him.

Hold, hold, hold, hold.

Auf. My noble masters, hear me speak.

1 Lords.

O Tullus,

2 Lord. Thou hast done a deed whereat valour will


3 Lord. Tread not upon him.—Masters all, be quiet; Put up your swords.

Auf. My lords, when you shall know (as in this rage, Provok'd by him you cannot,) the great danger

Which this man's life did owe you, you'll rejoice,

That he is thus cut off. Please it

your honours

To call me to your senate, I'll deliver


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This orb o'the earth.] His fame overspreads the world.

judicious hearing.] Perhaps judicious, in the present instance, signifies judicial; such a hearing as is allowed to criminals in courts of judicature. Thus imperious is used by our author for imperial.

Myself your loyal servant, or endure

Your heaviest censure.

1 Lord.

Bear from hence his body,

And mourn you for him: let him be regarded
As the most noble corse, that ever herald

Did follow to his urn. 3

2 Lord.

His own impatience

Takes from Aufidius a great part of blame.
Let's make the best of it.

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My rage is gone,
And I am struck with sorrow. Take him up:
Help, three o' the chiefest soldiers; I'll be one.
Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully:
Trail your steel pikes. — Though in this city he
Hath widow'd and unchilded many a one,
Which to this hour bewail the injury,

Yet he shall have a noble memory.



[Exeunt, bearing the Body of CORIOLANUS. A Dead March sounded.5

that ever herald

Did follow to his urn.] This allusion is to a custom unknown, I believe, to the ancients, but observed in the publick funerals of English princes, at the conclusion of which a herald proclaims the style of the deceased. STEEVENS.

4 a noble memory.] Memory for memorial.

5 The tragedy of Coriolanus is one of the most amusing of our author's performances. The old man's merriment in Menenius; the lofty lady's dignity in Volumnia; the bridal modesty in Virgilia; the patrician and military haughtiness in Coriolanus; the plebeian malignity and tribunitian insolence in Brutus and Sicinius, make a very pleasing and interesting variety: and the various revolutions of the hero's fortune fill the mind with anxious curiosity. There is, perhaps, too much bustle in the first Act, and too little in the last. JOHNSON.



Printed by A. & R. Spottiswoode, New-Street-Square.

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