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usury to support usurers: repeal daily any whole-
Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,
A pretty tale; it may be, you have heard it;
1 Cit. Well, I'll hear it, sir: yet you must not think to fob off our disgrace with a tale: but, an't please you, deliver.
Men. There was a time when all the body's
Rebell'd against the belly; thus accus'd it :-
I' the midst o' the body, idle and inactive,
Did see, and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
1 Cit. Well, sir, what answer made the belly?
To the discontented members, the mutinous parts
Your belly's answer: What!
I will tell you;
If you'll bestow a small (of what you have little)
Even to the court, the heart,-to the seat o' the brain;
1 Cit. Ay, sir; well, well. Men.
That like nor peace,nor war? the one affrights you,
Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is,
Deserves your hate: and your affections are
With every minute you do change a mind;
That in these several places of the city
Hang 'em! They say?
Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,8
And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry9
Men. Nay, these are almost thoroughly per-
For though abundantly they lack discretion,
They are dissolved: Hang 'em! They said they were an-hungry; sigh'd forth proverbs;
That, hunger broke stone walls; that,dogs must eat;
Corn for the rich men only:-With these shreds
And a petition granted them, a strange one,
See what I do deliver out to each;
1 Cit. I the great toe! Why the great toe?
⚫ Spread it. • Whereas. • Exactly. • Windings.
And make bold power look pale,) they threw theit
As they would hang them on the horns o' the moon,
What is granted them! Mar. Five tribunes to defend their vulgar 18. doms,
of their own choice: One's Junius Brutus,
This is strange.
Heap of dead
Upon my party, I'd revolt, to make
Then, worthy Marcius,
Sir, it is;
No, Caius Marcius;
I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other,
1 Sen. Your company to the
Our greatest friends attend us.
O, true bred!
SCENE II.-Corioli. The Senate House.
Our army's in the field:
It seem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery,
Lead you on:
1 Sen. Hence! to your homes, be gone.
[Exeunt Senators, CoM., MAR., TIT., and
Sic. When we were chosen tribunes for the
Nay, but his taunts.
Bru. Mark'd you his lip, and eyes?
Sic. Bemock the modest moon.
Bru. The present wars devour him: he is grown
Enter VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA: They sit down on two low stools, and sew.
Vol. I pray you, daughter, sing; or express yourself in a more comfortable sort. If my son were wherein he won honor, than in the embracements my husband, I should freelier rejoice in that absence of his bed, where he would show most love.When yet he was but tender-bodied, and the only son of my womb; when youth with comeliness plucked all gaze his way; when for a day of kings' entreaties, a mother should not sell him an hour would become such a person; that it was no better from her beholding; I,-considering how honor than picture-like to hang by the wall, if renown made it not stir,-was pleased to let him seek danger where he was like to find fame. To a cruel war I sent him; from whence he returned, his brows bound with oak. I tell thee, daughter,-I sprang not more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child, than now, in first seeing he had proved himself a
Half' all Cominius' honors are to Marcius,
To Marcius shall be honors, though, indeed,
Let's hence, and hear
How the despatch is made; and in what fashion,
More than in singularity, he goes
Upon his present action.
Let's along. [Exeunt.
• Sneer. * Demerits and merits had anciently the same meaning.
Vir. But had he died in the business, nadam, how then?
Vol. Then his good report should have been my son; I therein would have found issue. Hear me profess sincerely: Had I a dozen sons,-each in my love alike, and none less dear than thine and my good Marcius,-I had rather had eleven die nobly for their country, than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.
Enter a Gentlewoman.
Gent. Madam, the lady Valeria is come to visit you.
Vir. 'Beseech you, give me leave to retire myself.
Vol. Indeed you shall not. Methinks, I hear hither your husband's drum; See him pluck Aufidius down by the hair; As children from a bear, the Volces shunning him: Methinks I see him stamp thus, and call thus,Come on, you cowards, you were got in fear, Though you were born in Rome: His bloody brow With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes Like to a harvest-man, that's task'd to mow Or all, or lose his hire.
Vir. His bloody brow! O, Jupiter, no blood! Vol. Away, you fool! it more becomes a man, Than gilt his trophy: The breasts of Hecuba, When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier Than Hector's forehead, when it spit forth blood At Grecian swords' contending.-Tell Valeria, We are fit to bid her welcome.
[Exit Gent. Vir. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius! Vol. He'll beat Aufidius' head below his knee, And tread upon his neck.
Re-enter Gentlewoman, with VALERIA and her
Val. My ladies both, good day to you.
Vir. I am glad to see your ladyship.
Val. How do you both? you are manifest housekeepers. What, are you sewing here! A fine spot, in good faith.-How does your little son?
Vir. I thank your ladyship: well, good madam. Vol. He had rather see the swords, and hear a drum, than look upon his school-master.
Val. O' my word, the father's son: I'll swear, 'tis a very pretty boy. O' my troth, I looked upon him o' Wednesday half an hour together: he has such a confirmed countenance. I saw him run after a gilded butterfly; and when he caught it, he let it go again; and after it again; and over and over he comes, and up again; catched it again : or whether his fall enraged him, or how 'twas, he did so set his teeth, and tear it; O, I warrant, how he mammock
Vol. One of his father's moods.
Val. Indeed, la, 'tis a noble child.
Val. Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have you play the idle huswife with me this afternoon. Vir. No, good madam: I will not out of doors. Val. Not out of doors!
Vol. She shall, she shall.
Vir. Indeed, no, by your patience: I will not over the threshold, till my lord return from the wars. Val. Fye,you confine yourselfmost unreasonably; Come, you must go visit the good lady that lies in. Vir. I will wish her speedy strength, and visit her with my prayers; but I cannot go thither Vol. Why, I pray you?
Vir. 'Tis not to save labor, nor that I want love. Val. You would be another Penelope: yet, they say, all the yarn she spun, in Ulysses absence, did but fill Ithaca full of moths. Come; I would, your cambric were sensible as your finger, that you might leave pricking it for pity. Come, you shall go with us.
Vir. No, good madam, pardon me; indeed, I will not forth.
Val. In truth, la, go with me; and I'll tell you excellent news of your husband.
Vir. O, good madam, there can be none yet. Val. Verily, I do not jest with you; there came news from him last night.
Vir. Indeed, madam?
Val. In earnest, it's true; I heard a senator speak it. Thus it is:-The Volces have an army forth; against whom Cominius the general is gone, with one part of our Roman power: your lord, and Titus Lartius, are set down before their city Corioli; they nothing doubt prevailing, and to make it brief wars. This is true, on mine honor: and so, I pray, go
Now, Mars, I pr'ythee make us quick in work; That we with smoking swords inay march from hence,
To help our fielded friends!-Come, blow thy blast. They sound a Parley. Enter, on the Walls, sʊme Senators, and others.
Tullus Aufidius, is he within your walls?
1 Sen. No, nor a man that fears you less than he, That's lesser than a little. Hark, our drums [Alarums afar off. 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. Hark you, afar off; [Other Alarums. There is Aufidius; list, what work he makes Amongst your cloven army. Mar. O, they are at it! Lart. Their noise be our instruction.-Ladders, ho!
The Volces enter, and pass over the Stage. Mar. They fear us not, but issue forth their city. Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight With hearts more proof than shields.-Advance, brave Titus:
They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts, Which makes me sweat with wrath.-Come on, my fellows;
He that retires, I'll take him for a Volce,
Alarum, and exeunt Romans and Volces, fighting.
Mar. All the contagion of the south light on you You shames of Rome! you herd of-Boils and
Plaster you o'er; that you may be abhorr'd
Vir. Give me excuse, good madam; I will obey So, now the gates are ope:-Now prove good
you in every thing hereafter.
Vol. Let her alone, lady; as she is now, she will
but disease our better mirth.
Val. In troth, I think, she would:-Fare you well, then.-Come, good sweet lady.-Pr'ythee, Virgilia, turn thy solemness out o'door, and go along
'Tis for the followers fortune widens them,
Not for the fliers: mark me, and do the like. [He enters the Gates and is shut in. 1 Sol. Fool-hardiness; not 1. 2 Sol. 3 Sol.
Have shut him in.
See, they [Alarum contine es.
To the pot, I warrant him.
A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,
Re-enter MARCIUS, bleeding, assaulted by the Enemy. 1 Sol. Look, sir. Lart. 'Tis Marcius! Let's fetch him off, or make remain alike. [They fight, and all enter the City.
SCENE V.-Within the Town. A Street.
1 Rom. This will I carry to Rome.
3 Rom. A murrain on't! I took this for silver. [Alarum continues still afar off.
Enter MARCIUS, and TITUS LARTIUS, with a
There is the man of my soul's hate, Aufidius,
Worthy sir, thou bleed'st;
Thy exercise hath been too violent for
A second course of fight.
Mar. Sir, praise me not;
Mar. As with a man busied about decrees: Condemning some to death, and some to exile; Ransoming him, or pitying, threat'ning the other; Holding Corioli in the name of Rome, Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash, To let him slip at will.
Com. Where is that slave, Where is he? Call him hither. Which told me they had beat you to your trenches? Let him alone, He did inform the truth: But for our gentlemen, The common file, (A plague!-Tribunes for them!)
The mouse ne'er shunn'd the cat, as they did budge From rascals worse than they.
Com. But how prevail'd you? Mar. Will the time serve to tell? I do not thinkWhere is the enemy? Are you lords o' the field? If not, why cease you till you are so? Com.
We have at disadvantage fought, and did
My work hath yet not warm'd me: Fare you well. Retire to win our purpose.
The blood I drop is rather physical
Than dangerous to me: To Aufidius thus
Now the fair goddess, Fortune, Fall deep in love with thee; and her great charms Misguide thy opposers' swords! Bold gentleman, Prosperity be thy page!
[Exit MARCIUS. Go, sound thy trumpet in the market place; Call thither all the officers of the town,
Where they shall know our mind: Away. [Exeunt.
SCENE VI.-Near the Camp of Cominius.
Mar. How lies their battle? Know you on which side
They have placed their men of trust?
Though I could wish You were conducted to a gentle bath, And balms applied to you, yet dare I never Com. Breathe you, my friends; well fought, we Deny your asking; take your choice of those
are come off
Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands,
We shall be charged again. Whiles we have struck,
Enter a Messenger.
May give you thankful sacrifice!-Thy news?
1 Having sensation, feeling.
The best can aid your action.
If any think, brave death outweighs bad life,
And follow Marcius.
[They all shout, and wave their Swords; take him up in their Arms, and cast up their Caps.
2 A Roman coin.
• Soldiers of Antium.
• Front. Present time.
O me, alone! Make you a sword of me?
SCENE VII.-The Gates of Corioli. TITUS LARTIUS, having set a Guard upon Corioli, going with a Drum and Trumpet towards COMINIUS and CAIUS MARCIUS, enters with a Lieutenant, a party of Soldiers, and a Scout. Lart. So, let the ports? be guarded; keep your duties,
As I have set them down. If I do send, despatch
SCENE VIII-A Field of Battle between the
Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor
Halloo me like a hare.
If I fly, Marcius, Within these three hours, Tullus, Alone I fought in your Corioli walls, And made what work I pleas'd; 'Tis not my blood Wherein thou seest me mask'd: for thy revenge, Wrench up thy power to the highest. Auf. Wert thou the Hector, That was the whip of your bragg'd progeny, Thou shouldst not scape me here.
[They fight, and certain Volces come to the aid of AUFIDIUS.
Officious and not valiant,-you have sham'd me In your condemned seconds.9
[Exeunt fighting, driven in by MARCIUS.
SCENE IX.-The Roman Camp. Alarum. A Retreat is sounded. Flourish. Enter, at one side, COMINIUS and Romans; at the other side, MARCIUS, with his Arm in a Scarf, and
Com. If I should tell thee o'er this thy day's work, Thou'lt not believe thy deeds: but I'll report it, Where senators shall mingle tears with smiles; Where great patricians shall attend, and shrug, I' the end, admire; where ladies shall be frighted, And, gladly quak'd,' hear more; where the duli tribunes,
That, with the fusty plebeians, hate thine honors,
Yet cam'st thou to a morsel of this feast,
Enter TITUS LARTIUS, with his Power, from the
• Companies of a hundred men. 9 In affording such ill-timed help. Thrown into grateful trepidation.
The grave of your deserving; Rome must know
Should they not, Well might they fester 'gainst ingratitude, And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses, (Whereof we have ta en good, and good store,)of all The treasure, in this field achiev'd, and city, Before the common distribution, at We render you the tenth; to be ta'en forth, Your only choice. Mar.
I thank you, general;
But cannot make my heart consent to take
[A long Flourish. They all cry, Marcius! Mar-
Mar. May these same instruments, which you profane,
Never sound more! When drums and trumpets shall
As if I loved my little should be dieted
As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius
[Flourish. Trumpets sound, and Drums. All. Caius Marcius Coriolanus! Cor. I will go wash;
Whether I blush, or no : Howbeit, I thank you :-
O, well begg'd! Were he the butcher of my son, he should Be free, as the wind. Deliver him, Titus. Lart. Marcius, his name?