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Speeches (Lines) for Junius Brutus
in "Coriolanus"

Total: 91

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



Sicinius Velutus. Was ever man so proud as is this CORIOLANUS?

Junius Brutus. He has no equal.



Sicinius Velutus. When we were chosen tribunes for the people,—

Junius Brutus. Mark'd you his lip and eyes?



Sicinius Velutus. Nay. but his taunts.

Junius Brutus. Being moved, he will not spare to gird the gods.



Sicinius Velutus. Be-mock the modest moon.

Junius Brutus. The present wars devour him: he is grown
Too proud to be so valiant.



Sicinius Velutus. Such a nature,
Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow
Which he treads on at noon: but I do wonder
His insolence can brook to be commanded
Under Cominius.

Junius Brutus. Fame, at the which he aims,
In whom already he's well graced, can not
Better be held nor more attain'd than by
A place below the first: for what miscarries
Shall be the general's fault, though he perform
To the utmost of a man, and giddy censure
Will then cry out of CORIOLANUS 'O if he
Had borne the business!'



Sicinius Velutus. Besides, if things go well,
Opinion that so sticks on CORIOLANUS shall
Of his demerits rob Cominius.

Junius Brutus. Come:
Half all Cominius' honours are to CORIOLANUS.
Though CORIOLANUS earned them not, and all his faults
To CORIOLANUS shall be honours, though indeed
In aught he merit not.



Sicinius Velutus. Let's hence, and hear
How the dispatch is made, and in what fashion,
More than his singularity, he goes
Upon this present action.

Junius Brutus. Lets along.



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

Junius Brutus. Good or bad?



Menenius Agrippa. Ay, to devour him; as the hungry plebeians would the

Junius Brutus. He's a lamb indeed, that baes like a bear.



Menenius Agrippa. In what enormity is CORIOLANUS poor in, that you two
have not in abundance?

Junius Brutus. He's poor in no one fault, but stored with all.



Sicinius Velutus. Especially in pride.

Junius Brutus. And topping all others in boasting.



Menenius Agrippa. Why, 'tis no great matter; for a very little thief of
occasion will rob you of a great deal of patience:
give your dispositions the reins, and be angry at
your pleasures; at the least if you take it as a
pleasure to you in being so. You blame CORIOLANUS for
being proud?

Junius Brutus. We do it not alone, sir.



Menenius Agrippa. I know you can do very little alone; for your helps
are many, or else your actions would grow wondrous
single: your abilities are too infant-like for
doing much alone. You talk of pride: O that you
could turn your eyes toward the napes of your necks,
and make but an interior survey of your good selves!
O that you could!

Junius Brutus. What then, sir?



Menenius Agrippa. I am known to be a humorous patrician, and one that
loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying
Tiber in't; said to be something imperfect in
favouring the first complaint; hasty and tinder-like
upon too trivial motion; one that converses more
with the buttock of the night than with the forehead
of the morning: what I think I utter, and spend my
malice in my breath. Meeting two such wealsmen as
you are—I cannot call you Lycurguses—if the drink
you give me touch my palate adversely, I make a
crooked face at it. I can't say your worships have
delivered the matter well, when I find the ass in
compound with the major part of your syllables: and
though I must be content to bear with those that say
you are reverend grave men, yet they lie deadly that
tell you you have good faces. If you see this in
the map of my microcosm, follows it that I am known
well enough too? what barm can your bisson
conspectuities glean out of this character, if I be
known well enough too?

Junius Brutus. Come, sir, come, we know you well enough.



Menenius Agrippa. You know neither me, yourselves nor any thing. You
are ambitious for poor knaves' caps and legs: you
wear out a good wholesome forenoon in hearing a
cause between an orange wife and a fosset-seller;
and then rejourn the controversy of three pence to a
second day of audience. When you are hearing a
matter between party and party, if you chance to be
pinched with the colic, you make faces like
mummers; set up the bloody flag against all
patience; and, in roaring for a chamber-pot,
dismiss the controversy bleeding the more entangled
by your hearing: all the peace you make in their
cause is, calling both the parties knaves. You are
a pair of strange ones.

Junius Brutus. Come, come, you are well understood to be a
perfecter giber for the table than a necessary
bencher in the Capitol.



Cominius. On, to the Capitol!
[Flourish. Cornets. Exeunt in state, as before.]
BRUTUS and SICINIUS come forward]

Junius Brutus. All tongues speak of him, and the bleared sights
Are spectacled to see him: your prattling nurse
Into a rapture lets her baby cry
While she chats him: the kitchen malkin pins
Her richest lockram 'bout her reechy neck,
Clambering the walls to eye him: stalls, bulks, windows,
Are smother'd up, leads fill'd, and ridges horsed
With variable complexions, all agreeing
In earnestness to see him: seld-shown flamens
Do press among the popular throngs and puff
To win a vulgar station: or veil'd dames
Commit the war of white and damask in
Their nicely-gawded cheeks to the wanton spoil
Of Phoebus' burning kisses: such a pother
As if that whatsoever god who leads him
Were slily crept into his human powers
And gave him graceful posture.



Sicinius Velutus. On the sudden,
I warrant him consul.

Junius Brutus. Then our office may,
During his power, go sleep.



Sicinius Velutus. He cannot temperately transport his honours
From where he should begin and end, but will
Lose those he hath won.

Junius Brutus. In that there's comfort.



Sicinius Velutus. Doubt not
The commoners, for whom we stand, but they
Upon their ancient malice will forget
With the least cause these his new honours, which
That he will give them make I as little question
As he is proud to do't.

Junius Brutus. I heard him swear,
Were he to stand for consul, never would he
Appear i' the market-place nor on him put
The napless vesture of humility;
Nor showing, as the manner is, his wounds
To the people, beg their stinking breaths.



Sicinius Velutus. 'Tis right.

Junius Brutus. It was his word: O, he would miss it rather
Than carry it but by the suit of the gentry to him,
And the desire of the nobles.



Sicinius Velutus. I wish no better
Than have him hold that purpose and to put it
In execution.

Junius Brutus. 'Tis most like he will.



Sicinius Velutus. It shall be to him then as our good wills,
A sure destruction.

Junius Brutus. So it must fall out
To him or our authorities. For an end,
We must suggest the people in what hatred
He still hath held them; that to's power he would
Have made them mules, silenced their pleaders and
Dispropertied their freedoms, holding them,
In human action and capacity,
Of no more soul nor fitness for the world
Than camels in the war, who have their provand
Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows
For sinking under them.



(stage directions). [Enter a Messenger]

Junius Brutus. What's the matter?



Messenger. You are sent for to the Capitol. 'Tis thought
That CORIOLANUS shall be consul:
I have seen the dumb men throng to see him and
The blind to bear him speak: matrons flung gloves,
Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchers,
Upon him as he pass'd: the nobles bended,
As to Jove's statue, and the commons made
A shower and thunder with their caps and shouts:
I never saw the like.

Junius Brutus. Let's to the Capitol;
And carry with us ears and eyes for the time,
But hearts for the event.



Sicinius Velutus. We are convented
Upon a pleasing treaty, and have hearts
Inclinable to honour and advance
The theme of our assembly.

Junius Brutus. Which the rather
We shall be blest to do, if he remember
A kinder value of the people than
He hath hereto prized them at.



Menenius Agrippa. That's off, that's off;
I would you rather had been silent. Please you
To hear Cominius speak?

Junius Brutus. Most willingly;
But yet my caution was more pertinent
Than the rebuke you give it.



Coriolanus. Your horror's pardon:
I had rather have my wounds to heal again
Than hear say how I got them.

Junius Brutus. Sir, I hope
My words disbench'd you not.



Coriolanus. It is apart
That I shall blush in acting, and might well
Be taken from the people.

Junius Brutus. Mark you that?



Menenius Agrippa. Do not stand upon't.
We recommend to you, tribunes of the people,
Our purpose to them: and to our noble consul
Wish we all joy and honour.Senators. To Coriolanus come all joy and honour!
[Flourish of cornets. Exeunt all but SICINIUS]

Junius Brutus. You see how he intends to use the people.



Sicinius Velutus. May they perceive's intent! He will require them,
As if he did contemn what he requested
Should be in them to give.

Junius Brutus. Come, we'll inform them
Of our proceedings here: on the marketplace,
I know, they do attend us.



Menenius Agrippa. I'll keep you company. Will you along?

Junius Brutus. We stay here for the people.



Sicinius Velutus. Fare you well.
He has it now, and by his looks methink
'Tis warm at 's heart.

Junius Brutus. With a proud heart he wore his humble weeds.
will you dismiss the people?



First Citizen. He has our voices, sir.

Junius Brutus. We pray the gods he may deserve your loves.



Sicinius Velutus. Why either were you ignorant to see't,
Or, seeing it, of such childish friendliness
To yield your voices?

Junius Brutus. Could you not have told him
As you were lesson'd, when he had no power,
But was a petty servant to the state,
He was your enemy, ever spake against
Your liberties and the charters that you bear
I' the body of the weal; and now, arriving
A place of potency and sway o' the state,
If he should still malignantly remain
Fast foe to the plebeii, your voices might
Be curses to yourselves? You should have said
That as his worthy deeds did claim no less
Than what he stood for, so his gracious nature
Would think upon you for your voices and
Translate his malice towards you into love,
Standing your friendly lord.



Sicinius Velutus. Thus to have said,
As you were fore-advised, had touch'd his spirit
And tried his inclination; from him pluck'd
Either his gracious promise, which you might,
As cause had call'd you up, have held him to
Or else it would have gall'd his surly nature,
Which easily endures not article
Tying him to aught; so putting him to rage,
You should have ta'en the advantage of his choler
And pass'd him unelected.

Junius Brutus. Did you perceive
He did solicit you in free contempt
When he did need your loves, and do you think
That his contempt shall not be bruising to you,
When he hath power to crush? Why, had your bodies
No heart among you? or had you tongues to cry
Against the rectorship of judgment?



First Citizen. I twice five hundred and their friends to piece 'em.

Junius Brutus. Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends,
They have chose a consul that will from them take
Their liberties; make them of no more voice
Than dogs that are as often beat for barking
As therefore kept to do so.



Sicinius Velutus. Let them assemble,
And on a safer judgment all revoke
Your ignorant election; enforce his pride,
And his old hate unto you; besides, forget not
With what contempt he wore the humble weed,
How in his suit he scorn'd you; but your loves,
Thinking upon his services, took from you
The apprehension of his present portance,
Which most gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion
After the inveterate hate he bears you.

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



Sicinius Velutus. Say, 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
To voice him consul: lay the fault on us.

Junius 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
That Ancus CORIOLANUS, 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,
Twice being [by the people chosen] censor,
Was his great ancestor.



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

Junius Brutus. Say, you ne'er had done't—
Harp on that still—but by our putting on;
And presently, when you have drawn your number,
Repair to the Capitol.



(stage directions). [Exeunt Citizens]

Junius Brutus. Let them go on;
This mutiny were better put in hazard,
Than stay, past doubt, for greater:
If, as his nature is, he fall in rage
With their refusal, both observe and answer
The vantage of his anger.



Coriolanus. Ha! what is that?

Junius Brutus. It will be dangerous to go on: no further.



Cominius. Hath he not pass'd the noble and the common?

Junius Brutus. Cominius, no.



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

Junius Brutus. The people are incensed against him.



Coriolanus. It is a purposed thing, and grows by plot,
To curb the will of the nobility:
Suffer't, and live with such as cannot rule
Nor ever will be ruled.

Junius Brutus. Call't not a plot:
The people cry you mock'd them, and of late,
When corn was given them gratis, you repined;
Scandal'd the suppliants for the people, call'd them
Time-pleasers, flatterers, foes to nobleness.



Coriolanus. Why, this was known before.

Junius Brutus. Not to them all.



Coriolanus. Have you inform'd them sithence?

Junius Brutus. How! I inform them!



Coriolanus. You are like to do such business.

Junius Brutus. Not unlike,
Each way, to better yours.



Coriolanus. How! no more!
As for my country I have shed my blood,
Not fearing outward force, so shall my lungs
Coin words till their decay against those measles,
Which we disdain should tatter us, yet sought
The very way to catch them.

Junius Brutus. You speak o' the people,
As if you were a god to punish, not
A man of their infirmity.



Coriolanus. Though there the people had more absolute power,
I say, they nourish'd disobedience, fed
The ruin of the state.

Junius Brutus. Why, shall the people give
One that speaks thus their voice?



Menenius Agrippa. Come, enough.

Junius Brutus. Enough, with over-measure.



Coriolanus. No, take more:
What may be sworn by, both divine and human,
Seal what I end withal! This double worship,
Where one part does disdain with cause, the other
Insult without all reason, where gentry, title, wisdom,
Cannot conclude but by the yea and no
Of general ignorance,—it must omit
Real necessities, and give way the while
To unstable slightness: purpose so barr'd,
it follows,
Nothing is done to purpose. Therefore, beseech you,—
You that will be less fearful than discreet,
That love the fundamental part of state
More than you doubt the change on't, that prefer
A noble life before a long, and wish
To jump a body with a dangerous physic
That's sure of death without it, at once pluck out
The multitudinous tongue; let them not lick
The sweet which is their poison: your dishonour
Mangles true judgment and bereaves the state
Of that integrity which should become't,
Not having the power to do the good it would,
For the in which doth control't.

Junius Brutus. Has said enough.



Coriolanus. Thou wretch, despite o'erwhelm thee!
What should the people do with these bald tribunes?
On whom depending, their obedience fails
To the greater bench: in a rebellion,
When what's not meet, but what must be, was law,
Then were they chosen: in a better hour,
Let what is meet be said it must be meet,
And throw their power i' the dust.

Junius Brutus. Manifest treason!



Sicinius Velutus. This a consul? no.

Junius Brutus. The aediles, ho!
[Enter an AEdile]
Let him be apprehended.



Sicinius Velutus. Here's he that would take from you all your power.

Junius Brutus. Seize him, AEdiles!



Citizens. True,
The people are the city.

Junius Brutus. By the consent of all, we were establish'd
The people's magistrates.



Sicinius Velutus. This deserves death.

Junius Brutus. Or let us stand to our authority,
Or let us lose it. We do here pronounce,
Upon the part o' the people, in whose power
We were elected theirs, CORIOLANUS is worthy
Of present death.



Sicinius Velutus. Therefore lay hold of him;
Bear him to the rock Tarpeian, and from thence
Into destruction cast him.

Junius Brutus. AEdiles, seize him!



Menenius Agrippa. [To BRUTUS] Be that you seem, truly your
country's friend,
And temperately proceed to what you would
Thus violently redress.

Junius Brutus. Sir, those cold ways,
That seem like prudent helps, are very poisonous
Where the disease is violent. Lay hands upon him,
And bear him to the rock.



Menenius Agrippa. Down with that sword! Tribunes, withdraw awhile.

Junius Brutus. Lay hands upon him.



Menenius Agrippa. The consul Coriolanus.

Junius Brutus. He consul!



Sicinius Velutus. This is clean kam.

Junius Brutus. Merely awry: when he did love his country,
It honour'd him.



Menenius Agrippa. The service of the foot
Being once gangrened, is not then respected
For what before it was.

Junius Brutus. We'll hear no more.
Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence:
Lest his infection, being of catching nature,
Spread further.



Menenius Agrippa. One word more, one word.
This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find
The harm of unscann'd swiftness, will too late
Tie leaden pounds to's heels. Proceed by process;
Lest parties, as he is beloved, break out,
And sack great Rome with Romans.

Junius Brutus. If it were so,—



Sicinius Velutus. Noble Menenius,
Be you then as the people's officer.
Masters, lay down your weapons.

Junius Brutus. Go not home.



(stage directions). [Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS]

Junius Brutus. In this point charge him home, that he affects
Tyrannical power: if he evade us there,
Enforce him with his envy to the people,
And that the spoil got on the Antiates
Was ne'er distributed.
[Enter an AEdile]
What, will he come?



Aedile. He's coming.

Junius Brutus. How accompanied?



Aedile. I shall inform them.

Junius Brutus. And when such time they have begun to cry,
Let them not cease, but with a din confused
Enforce the present execution
Of what we chance to sentence.



Sicinius Velutus. Make them be strong and ready for this hint,
When we shall hap to give 't them.

Junius Brutus. Go about it.
[Exit AEdile]
Put him to choler straight: he hath been used
Ever to conquer, and to have his worth
Of contradiction: being once chafed, he cannot
Be rein'd again to temperance; then he speaks
What's in his heart; and that is there which looks
With us to break his neck.



Sicinius Velutus. Peace!
We need not put new matter to his charge:
What you have seen him do and heard him speak,
Beating your officers, cursing yourselves,
Opposing laws with strokes and here defying
Those whose great power must try him; even this,
So criminal and in such capital kind,
Deserves the extremest death.

Junius Brutus. But since he hath
Served well for Rome,—



Coriolanus. What do you prate of service?

Junius Brutus. I talk of that, that know it.



Sicinius Velutus. We know your drift: speak what?

Junius Brutus. There's no more to be said, but he is banish'd,
As enemy to the people and his country:
It shall be so.



Sicinius Velutus. Bid them all home; he's gone, and we'll no further.
The nobility are vex'd, whom we see have sided
In his behalf.

Junius Brutus. Now we have shown our power,
Let us seem humbler after it is done
Than when it was a-doing.



Sicinius Velutus. Bid them home:
Say their great enemy is gone, and they
Stand in their ancient strength.

Junius Brutus. Dismiss them home.
[Exit AEdile]
Here comes his mother.



Sicinius Velutus. Let's not meet her.

Junius Brutus. Why?



Sicinius Velutus. They say she's mad.

Junius Brutus. They have ta'en note of us: keep on your way.



Sicinius Velutus. I would he had continued to his country
As he began, and not unknit himself
The noble knot he made.

Junius Brutus. I would he had.



Volumnia. 'I would he had'! 'Twas you incensed the rabble:
Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth
As I can of those mysteries which heaven
Will not have earth to know.

Junius Brutus. Pray, let us go.



Volumnia. Now, pray, sir, get you gone:
You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear this:—
As far as doth the Capitol exceed
The meanest house in Rome, so far my son—
This lady's husband here, this, do you see—
Whom you have banish'd, does exceed you all.

Junius Brutus. Well, well, we'll leave you.



Sicinius Velutus. We hear not of him, neither need we fear him;
His remedies are tame i' the present peace
And quietness of the people, which before
Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends
Blush that the world goes well, who rather had,
Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold
Dissentious numbers pestering streets than see
Our tradesmen with in their shops and going
About their functions friendly.

Junius Brutus. We stood to't in good time.
Is this Menenius?



Sicinius Velutus. God-den, our neighbours.

Junius Brutus. God-den to you all, god-den to you all.



Sicinius Velutus. Live, and thrive!

Junius Brutus. Farewell, kind neighbours: we wish'd Coriolanus
Had loved you as we did.



Sicinius Velutus. This is a happier and more comely time
Than when these fellows ran about the streets,
Crying confusion.

Junius Brutus. Caius CORIOLANUS was
A worthy officer i' the war; but insolent,
O'ercome with pride, ambitious past all thinking,



Sicinius Velutus. We should by this, to all our lamentation,
If he had gone forth consul, found it so.

Junius Brutus. The gods have well prevented it, and Rome
Sits safe and still without him.



Sicinius Velutus. Come, what talk you

Junius Brutus. Go see this rumourer whipp'd. It cannot be
The Volsces dare break with us.



Sicinius Velutus. Tell not me:
I know this cannot be.

Junius Brutus. Not possible.



Sicinius Velutus. This is most likely!

Junius Brutus. Raised only, that the weaker sort may wish
Good CORIOLANUS home again.



Menenius Agrippa. As Hercules
Did shake down mellow fruit.
You have made fair work!

Junius Brutus. But is this true, sir?



(stage directions). [Exeunt Citizens]

Junius Brutus. I do not like this news.



Sicinius Velutus. Nor I.

Junius Brutus. Let's to the Capitol. Would half my wealth
Would buy this for a lie!



Menenius Agrippa. What should I do?

Junius Brutus. Only make trial what your love can do
For Rome, towards CORIOLANUS.



Menenius Agrippa. I'll undertake 't:
I think he'll hear me. Yet, to bite his lip
And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me.
He was not taken well; he had not dined:
The veins unfill'd, our blood is cold, and then
We pout upon the morning, are unapt
To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff'd
These and these conveyances of our blood
With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls
Than in our priest-like fasts: therefore I'll watch him
Till he be dieted to my request,
And then I'll set upon him.

Junius Brutus. You know the very road into his kindness,
And cannot lose your way.

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