Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 3

page Act 2 Scene 3 Page 2

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SECOND CITIZEN

Think you so? Which way do you judge my wit would
fly?

SECOND CITIZEN

Do you think so? Which way do you think my opinion would go?

THIRD CITIZEN

25Nay, your wit will not so soon out as another man’s
will; ’tis strongly wedged up in a block-head, but
if it were at liberty, ’twould, sure, southward.

THIRD CITIZEN

You’re stubborn, so your opinion will stay stuck inside you until another man’s will expresses itself first. If yours could come out, though, it would surely go south.

SECOND CITIZEN

Why that way?

SECOND CITIZEN

Why that way?

THIRD CITIZEN

To lose itself in a fog, where being three parts
30melted away with rotten dews, the fourth would return
for conscience sake, to help to get thee a wife.

THIRD CITIZEN

To lose itself in the plague-ridden air. Three-quarters of it would melt away in the contagious dew, and the remaining quarter would have a conscience and return to help you get a wife.

SECOND CITIZEN

You are never without your tricks: you may, you may.

SECOND CITIZEN

You’re never without your jokes. It’s okay—you can laugh at me.

THIRD CITIZEN

Are you all resolved to give your voices? But
that’s no matter, the greater part carries it. I
35say, if he would incline to the people, there was
never a worthier man.

THIRD CITIZEN

Are you all ready to vote? It doesn’t actually matter, since the majority vote wins. If only he cared about the people, he would be the most deserving man there ever was.
Enter CORIOLANUS in a gown of humility, with MENENIUS
CORIOLANUS, in a gown of humility, and MENENIUS enter.
Here he comes, and in the gown of humility: mark his
behavior. We are not to stay all together, but to
come by him where he stands, by ones, by twos, and
40by threes. He’s to make his requests by
particulars; wherein every one of us has a single
honour, in giving him our own voices with our own
tongues: therefore follow me, and I direct you how
you shall go by him.
45ALL
Content, content.
Here he comes, wearing the gown of humility. Watch his behavior. We’re not supposed to all stay together but rather go up to him where he’s standing, either alone or in groups of two or three. He’s supposed to make his request to us individually, and each of us has the separate honor of giving him our own vote in our voice. Follow me. I’ll show you how to go up to him.
ALL
Okay, okay.