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2 Of Faith, there have been many great men that have flatter'd the people, who ne'er loved them; and there be many that they have loved, they know not wherefore: so that, if they love they know not why, they hate upon no better a ground: Therefore, for Coriolanus neither to care whether they love, or hate him, manifests the true knowledge he has in their disposition; and, out of his noble carelessness, lets them plainly see't.
i Off. If he did not care whether he bad their love, or no, he waved indifferently 'twixt doing them neither good, nor harm; but he seeks their hate with greater devotion than they can render it him; and leaves nothing undone, that may fully discover him their opposite. Now, to seem to affect the malice and displeasure of the people, is as bad as that which he dislikes, to flatter them for their love.
2 Off. He hath deserved worthily of his country: And his ascent is not by such easy degrees as those, who, having been supple and courteous to the people, bonnetted 25, without
further deed to heave them at all into their estimation and report: but he hath so planted his honours in their eyes, and his actions in their hearts, that for their tongues to be silent, and not confess so much, were a kind of ingrateful injury; to report otherwise, were a malice, that, giving itself the lie, would pluck reproof and rebuke from every ear that heard it.
i Off. No more of him; he is a worthy man: Make way, they are coming.
A Sennet. Enter, with Lictors before them, Comi
NIUS the Consul, MENENIUS, CORIOLANUS, many other Senators, SICINIUS and BRUTUS. The Senators take their places; the Tribunes take theirs also by themselves.
Men. Having determin'd of the Volces, and
Speak, good Cominius:
We are convented
Which the rather
That's off, that's off; I would
He loves your people :
[Coriolanus rises, and offers to ga away. i Sen. Sit, Coriolanus; never shame to hear What you have nobly done. Cor.
Your honours' pardon; I had rather have my wounds to heal again, Than hear
say how I got them. Bru.
Sir, I hope,
No, sir: yet oft, When blows have made me stay, I fled from words. You sooth'd not, therefore hurt not: But, your
people, I love them as they weigh.
Pray now, sit down. Cor. I had rather have one scratch my head i' the
When the alarum were struck, than idly sit
26 Masters o' the people, Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter, (That's thousand to one good one,) when you now
see, He had rather venture all his limbs for honour, Than one of his ears to hear it?-Proceed, Comi
nius. Com. I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus Should not be utter'd feebly.--It is held, That valour is the chiefest virtue, and Most dignifies the haver: if it be, The man I speak of cannot in the world Be singly counterpois'd. At sixteen years, When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought Beyond the mark of others: our then dictator, Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight, When with his Amazonian chino7 he drove The bristled lips before him: he bestrid An o'er-press'd Roman, and i' the consul's view Slew three opposers: Tarquin's self he met, And struck him on his knee: in that day's feats, When he might act the woman in the scene 2s, He prov'd best man i’ the field, and for his meed Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age Man-enter'd thus, he waxed like a sea; And, in the brunt of seventeen battles since, He lurch'd all swords o' the garland. For this last,
Before and in Corioli, let me say,
Worthy man! 1 Sen. He cannot but with measure fit the ho
nours Which we devise him. Com.
Our spoils he kick'd at; And look'd upon things precious, as they were The common muck o' the world: he covets less Than misery itself would give; rewards