Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 3

page Act 2 Scene 3 Page 11

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BRUTUS

Lay
A fault on us, your tribunes; that we laboured,
No impediment between, but that you must
Cast your election on him.

BRUTUS

Blame us, your tribunes. Say that we pushed you not to let these obstacles stop you from voting for him, but that you must repeal your election of him.

SICINIUS

245Say, you chose him
More after our commandment than as guided
By your own true affections, and that your minds,
Preoccupied with what you rather must do
Than what you should, made you against the grain
250To voice him consul: lay the fault on us.

SICINIUS

Say that you chose him based more on our instructions than on your own true feelings, and that because you were preoccupied with what you thought was expected of you, you went against your own interest by voting him consul. Lay the fault on us.

BRUTUS

Ay, spare us not. Say we read lectures to you.
How youngly he began to serve his country,
How long continued, and what stock he springs of,
The noble house o’ the Marcians, from whence came
255That Ancus Martius, Numa’s daughter’s son,
Who, after great Hostilius, here was king;
Of the same house Publius and Quintus were,
That our beat water brought by conduits hither;
And [Censorinus,] nobly named so,
260Twice being [by the people chosen] censor,
Was his great ancestor.

BRUTUS

Indeed, don’t spare us. Say we told you all about him, about how young he was when he began to serve his country and how long he has done so, about the noble family he comes from—the same family as Ancus Martius, Numa’s daughter’s son, who was king after great Hostilius. He’s from the same family as Publius and Quintus, the ones who built our best water conduits. And his great ancestor, suitably named Censorinus, was chosen twice as censor by the people.

SICINIUS

One thus descended,
That hath beside well in his person wrought
To be set high in place, we did commend
265To your remembrances: but you have found,
Scaling his present bearing with his past,
That he’s your fixed enemy, and revoke
Your sudden approbation.

SICINIUS

We asked you to remember that he’s a man descended from a famous family, who also has earned his own high praise. But you have found, weighing his present behavior against his past, that he’s definitely your enemy, and you repeal your hasty approval.