Open Source Shakespeare

Speeches (Lines) for First Senator
in "Coriolanus"

Total: 33

# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text



Coriolanus. I am glad on 't: then we shall ha' means to vent
Our musty superfluity. See, our best elders.
[Enter COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, and other Senators;]

First Senator. CORIOLANUS, 'tis true that you have lately told us;
The Volsces are in arms.



Coriolanus. Were half to half the world by the ears and he.
Upon my party, I'ld revolt to make
Only my wars with him: he is a lion
That I am proud to hunt.

First Senator. Then, worthy CORIOLANUS,
Attend upon Cominius to these wars.



Menenius Agrippa. O, true-bred!

First Senator. Your company to the Capitol; where, I know,
Our greatest friends attend us.



Cominius. Noble CORIOLANUS!

First Senator. [To the Citizens] Hence to your homes; be gone!



(stage directions). [Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS and certain Senators]

First Senator. So, your opinion is, Aufidius,
That they of Rome are entered in our counsels
And know how we proceed.



Tullus Aufidius. Is it not yours?
What ever have been thought on in this state,
That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome
Had circumvention? 'Tis not four days gone
Since I heard thence; these are the words: I think
I have the letter here; yes, here it is.
'They have press'd a power, but it is not known
Whether for east or west: the dearth is great;
The people mutinous; and it is rumour'd,
Cominius, CORIOLANUS your old enemy,
Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,
And Titus TITUS, a most valiant Roman,
These three lead on this preparation
Whither 'tis bent: most likely 'tis for you:
Consider of it.'

First Senator. Our army's in the field
We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
To answer us.



Tullus Aufidius. And keep your honours safe!

First Senator. Farewell.



Coriolanus. Then shall we hear their 'larum, and they ours.
Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work,
That we with smoking swords may march from hence,
To help our fielded friends! Come, blow thy blast.
[They sound a parley. Enter two Senators with others]
on the walls]
Tutus Aufidius, is he within your walls?

First Senator. No, nor a man that fears you less than he,
That's lesser than a little.
[Drums afar off]
Hark! our drums
Are bringing forth our youth. We'll break our walls,
Rather than they shall pound us up: our gates,
Which yet seem shut, we, have but pinn'd with rushes;
They'll open of themselves.
[Alarum afar off]
Hark you. far off!
There is Aufidius; list, what work he makes
Amongst your cloven army.



Menenius Agrippa. Having determined of the Volsces and
To send for Titus TITUS, it remains,
As the main point of this our after-meeting,
To gratify his noble service that
Hath thus stood for his country: therefore,
please you,
Most reverend and grave elders, to desire
The present consul, and last general
In our well-found successes, to report
A little of that worthy work perform'd
By Caius CORIOLANUS Coriolanus, whom
We met here both to thank and to remember
With honours like himself.

First Senator. Speak, good Cominius:
Leave nothing out for length, and make us think
Rather our state's defective for requital
Than we to stretch it out.
[To the Tribunes]
Masters o' the people,
We do request your kindest ears, and after,
Your loving motion toward the common body,
To yield what passes here.



Menenius Agrippa. He loves your people
But tie him not to be their bedfellow.
Worthy Cominius, speak.
[CORIOLANUS offers to go away]
Nay, keep your place.

First Senator. Sit, Coriolanus; never shame to hear
What you have nobly done.



Menenius Agrippa. Worthy man!

First Senator. He cannot but with measure fit the honours
Which we devise him.



Menenius Agrippa. He's right noble:
Let him be call'd for.

First Senator. Call Coriolanus.



Coriolanus. Have I had children's voices?

First Senator. Tribunes, give way; he shall to the market-place.



Menenius Agrippa. Not now, not now.

First Senator. Not in this heat, sir, now.



Menenius Agrippa. Well, no more.

First Senator. No more words, we beseech you.



Menenius Agrippa. Fie, fie, fie!
This is the way to kindle, not to quench.

First Senator. To unbuild the city and to lay all flat.



Menenius Agrippa. Sham it be put to that?

First Senator. The gods forbid!
I prithee, noble friend, home to thy house;
Leave us to cure this cause.



Menenius Agrippa. Consider this: he has been bred i' the wars
Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school'd
In bolted language; meal and bran together
He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
I'll go to him, and undertake to bring him
Where he shall answer, by a lawful form,
In peace, to his utmost peril.

First Senator. Noble tribunes,
It is the humane way: the other course
Will prove too bloody, and the end of it
Unknown to the beginning.



Menenius Agrippa. I'll bring him to you.
[To the Senators]
Let me desire your company: he must come,
Or what is worst will follow.

First Senator. Pray you, let's to him.



Menenius Agrippa. Come, come, you have been too rough, something
too rough;
You must return and mend it.

First Senator. There's no remedy;
Unless, by not so doing, our good city
Cleave in the midst, and perish.



Coriolanus. Ay, as an ostler, that for the poorest piece
Will bear the knave by the volume. The honour'd gods
Keep Rome in safety, and the chairs of justice
Supplied with worthy men! plant love among 's!
Throng our large temples with the shows of peace,
And not our streets with war!

First Senator. Amen, amen.



(stage directions). [Enter to them, MENENIUS]

First Senator. Stay: whence are you?



Menenius Agrippa. You guard like men; 'tis well: but, by your leave,
I am an officer of state, and come
To speak with Coriolanus.

First Senator. From whence?



Menenius Agrippa. From Rome.

First Senator. You may not pass, you must return: our general
Will no more hear from thence.



Menenius Agrippa. Good my friends,
If you have heard your general talk of Rome,
And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks,
My name hath touch'd your ears it is Menenius.

First Senator. Be it so; go back: the virtue of your name
Is not here passable.



Menenius Agrippa. I tell thee, fellow,
The general is my lover: I have been
The book of his good acts, whence men have read
His name unparallel'd, haply amplified;
For I have ever verified my friends,
Of whom he's chief, with all the size that verity
Would without lapsing suffer: nay, sometimes,
Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground,
I have tumbled past the throw; and in his praise
Have almost stamp'd the leasing: therefore, fellow,
I must have leave to pass.

First Senator. Faith, sir, if you had told as many lies in his
behalf as you have uttered words in your own, you
should not pass here; no, though it were as virtuous
to lie as to live chastely. Therefore, go back.



Menenius Agrippa. Has he dined, canst thou tell? for I would not
speak with him till after dinner.

First Senator. You are a Roman, are you?



Menenius Agrippa. I am, as thy general is.

First Senator. Then you should hate Rome, as he does. Can you,
when you have pushed out your gates the very
defender of them, and, in a violent popular
ignorance, given your enemy your shield, think to
front his revenges with the easy groans of old
women, the virginal palms of your daughters, or with
the palsied intercession of such a decayed dotant as
you seem to be? Can you think to blow out the
intended fire your city is ready to flame in, with
such weak breath as this? No, you are deceived;
therefore, back to Rome, and prepare for your
execution: you are condemned, our general has sworn
you out of reprieve and pardon.



Menenius Agrippa. I mean, thy general.

First Senator. My general cares not for you. Back, I say, go; lest
I let forth your half-pint of blood; back,—that's
the utmost of your having: back.



(stage directions). [Exeunt CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS]

First Senator. Now, sir, is your name Menenius?



Second Senator. 'Tis a spell, you see, of much power: you know the
way home again.

First Senator. Do you hear how we are shent for keeping your
greatness back?



(stage directions). [Exit]

First Senator. A noble fellow, I warrant him.



(stage directions). [Enter two Senators with VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA,]
VALERIA, &c. passing over the stage,
followed by Patricians and others]

First Senator. Behold our patroness, the life of Rome!
Call all your tribes together, praise the gods,
And make triumphant fires; strew flowers before them:
Unshout the noise that banish'd CORIOLANUS,
Repeal him with the welcome of his mother;
Cry 'Welcome, ladies, welcome!'