Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 6

page Act 4 Scene 6 Page 8

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Enter a troop of Citizens
A troop of Citizens enter.

MENENIUS

Here come the clusters.
165And is Aufidius with him? You are they
That made the air unwholesome, when you cast
Your stinking greasy caps in hooting at
Coriolanus’ exile. Now he’s coming;
And not a hair upon a soldier’s head
170Which will not prove a whip: as many coxcombs
As you threw caps up will he tumble down,
And pay you for your voices. ’Tis no matter;
if he could burn us all into one coal,
We have deserved it.

MENENIUS

Here come the crowds. Is Aufidius with him? You’re the ones that made the air unwholesome when you tossed up your stinking greasy caps, hooting at
Coriolanus’s exile. Now he’s coming, and there’s not a hair on a soldier’s head that won’t become a whip. He’ll cut off every fool’s head that had tossed up a hat to repay you for your votes. If he could burn us all into one coal, we would deserve it.

CITIZENS

175Faith, we hear fearful news.

CITIZENS

Wait, we hear frightening news.

FIRST CITIZEN

For mine own part,
When I said, banish him, I said ’twas pity.

FIRST CITIZEN

At least for me, when I said banish him, I said it out of pity.

SECOND CITIZEN

And so did I.

SECOND CITIZEN

And so did I.

THIRD CITIZEN

And so did I; and, to say the truth, so did very
180many of us: that we did, we did for the best; and
though we willingly consented to his banishment, yet
it was against our will.
THIRD CITIZEN 
And so did I. In truth, so did most of us. What we did, we did for the best. And
though we agreed to his banishment, it wasn’t what we wanted.

COMINIUS

Ye are goodly things, you voices!

COMINIUS

You’re making excuses for yourselves!

MENENIUS

You have made
185Good work, you and your cry! Shall’s to the Capitol?

MENENIUS

You’ve made a mess, you and your pack! Should we go to the capitol?