Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

Act 2 Scene 1

page Act 2 Scene 1 Page 1

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Rome. A public place.
A public place in Rome.
Enter MENENIUS with the two Tribunes of the people, SICINIUS and BRUTUS.
MENENIUS enters with SICINIUS and BRUTUS, the two tribunes of the people.

MENENIUS

The augurer tells me we shall have news to-night.

MENENIUS

The fortuneteller tells me we’ll receive news tonight.

BRUTUS

Good or bad?

BRUTUS

Good news or bad?

MENENIUS

Not according to the prayer of the people, for they
love not Martius.

MENENIUS

Not the news people prayed for—they have no love for Martius.

SICINIUS

5Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.

SICINIUS

In nature, animals learn who their friends are.

MENENIUS

Pray you, who does the wolf love?

MENENIUS

Tell me, who does the wolf love?

SICINIUS

The lamb.

SICINIUS

The lamb.

MENENIUS

Ay, to devour him; as the hungry plebeians would the
noble Martius.

MENENIUS

Yes, to devour him, as the hungry citizens would love to devour the noble Martius.

BRUTUS

10He’s a lamb indeed, that baes like a bear.

BRUTUS

Martius is like a lamb, a lamb that roars like a bear.

MENENIUS

He’s a bear indeed, that lives like a lamb. You two
are old men: tell me one thing that I shall ask you.

MENENIUS

Martius is like a bear, a bear that lives like a lamb. You two have been around a long time, answer one question for me.

BOTH

Well, sir.

BOTH

What do you want to know, sir?

MENENIUS

In what enormity is Martius poor in, that you two
15have not in abundance?

MENENIUS

Tell me a quality that Martius lacks but that you two have in abundance.

BRUTUS

He’s poor in no one fault, but stored with all.

BRUTUS

He doesn’t have just one fault—he has every fault.

SICINIUS

Especially in pride.

SICINIUS

Especially pride.

BRUTUS

And topping all others in boasting.

BRUTUS

And boasting, above all.

MENENIUS

This is strange now: do you two know how you are
20censured here in the city, I mean of us o’ the
right-hand file? do you?

MENENIUS

One thing is strange though. Do you two know how you are regarded by the nobles of the city? Do you?