Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 3

page Act 3 Scene 3 Page 5

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BRUTUS

But since he hath
Served well for Rome,—

BRUTUS

But since he has served Rome so well—

CORIOLANUS

105What do you prate of service?

CORIOLANUS

Why do you talk about service?

BRUTUS

I talk of that, that know it.

BRUTUS

I talk about what I know.

CORIOLANUS

You?

CORIOLANUS

What do you know about service?

MENENIUS

Is this the promise that you made your mother?

MENENIUS

Is this the promise that you made your mother?

COMINIUS

Know, I pray you,—

COMINIUS

Listen, I beg you—

CORIOLANUS

110I know no further:
Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,
Vagabond exile, raying, pent to linger
But with a grain a day, I would not buy
Their mercy at the price of one fair word;
115Nor cheque my courage for what they can give,
To have’t with saying ‘Good morrow.’

CORIOLANUS

I’ll listen no more. Let them throw me from the steep Tarpeian rock, make me a wandering exile, skin me alive, or condemn me to live on just a grain a day. I wouldn’t buy their mercy at the cost of the truth, nor would I hold back my beliefs for the freedom they can give me, if I had to say to them, “Good day.”

SICINIUS

For that he has,
As much as in him lies, from time to time
Envied against the people, seeking means
120To pluck away their power, as now at last
Given hostile strokes, and that not in the presence
Of dreaded justice, but on the ministers
That do distribute it; in the name o’ the people
And in the power of us the tribunes, we,
125Even from this instant, banish him our city,
In peril of precipitation
From off the rock Tarpeian never more
To enter our Rome gates: i’ the people’s name,
I say it shall be so.

SICINIUS

As much as he could, he has continually conspired against the people, looking for ways to take away their power, and now he’s finally taken violent measures, and not only in front of justice itself but also those who attempt to carry it out.
In the name of the people and by our power as tribunes, from this moment forward we banish him from our city. If he ever enters the gates of Rome again, he will be thrown off the Tarpeian rock. I declare this on behalf of the people.