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Caius Marcius Coriolanus, a noble Roman.
generals against the Volscians.
Menenius Agrippa, friend to Coriolanus.
Young Marcius, son to Coriolanus.
tribunes of the people.
A Roman Herald.
Tullus Aufidius, general of the Volscians.
Lieutenant to Aufidius.
A Citizen of Antium.
Volumnia, mother to Coriolanus.
Valeria, friend to Virgilia.
Roman and Volscian Senators, Patricians, Ediles, 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.
BEFORE we proceed any further, hear me speak. Cit. Speak, speak. [Several speaking at once. 1 Cit. You are all resolved rather to die, than to famish?
Cit. Resolved, resolved.
1 Cit. First you know, Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the people.
Cit. 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?
Cit. 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 particularise 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.
1 Cit. Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius?
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.
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-conscienc'd 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
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.
Cit. Come, come.
1 Cit. Soft; who comes here?
* Thin as rakes.