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Now, Mars, I pr'ythee, 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, on the walls, some Senators and others.
Tullus Aufidius, is he within your walls?
I SEN. No, nor a man that fears you less than he, That's lesser than a little. Hark! our drums
[Drums 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;
All hurt behind; backs red, and faces pale With flight and agu'd fear! Mend, and charge home,
Or, by the fires of heaven, I'll leave the foe, And make my wars on you! look to't come on; If you'll stand fast, we'll beat them to their wives, As they us to our trenches followed. Another Alarum. The Volsces and Romans reenter, and the fight is renewed. The Volsces retire into Corioli, and MARCIUS follows them to the gates.
2 ROм. And I this.
3 ROM. A murrain on't! I took this for silver.
Enter MARCIUS and TITUS LARTIUS, with a
MAR. See here these movers, that do prize their hours At a crack'd dram! Cushions, leaden spoons, Irons of a doit, doublets that hangmen would Bury with those that wore them, these base slaves, Ere yet the fight be done, pack up :-down with them!
And hark, what noise the general makes !-To him!
Worthy sir, thou bleed'st;
Thy exercise hath been too violent for
Sir, praise me not;
My work hath yet not warm'd me: fare you well: The blood I drop is rather physical
Than dangerous to me: to Aufidius thus
I will appear, and fight.
Now the fair goddess, Fortune,
Fall deep in love with thee; and her great charms
Go, sound thy trumpet in the market-place; Call thither all the officers o' the town, Where they shall know our mind: away!
Plaster you o'er; that you may be abhorr'd
Enter TITUS LARTIUS. LART. What is become of Marcius? ALL.
Slain, sir, doubtless. I SOL. Following the fliers at the very heels, With them he enters: who, upon the sudden, Clapp'd-to their gates: he is himself alone, To answer all the city. LART. O noble fellow ! Who, sensible, outdares his senseless sword,
MESS. Above an hour, my lord.
COм. 'Tis not a mile; briefly we heard their drums:
How couldst thou in a mile confound an hour,
And bring thy news so late?
MESS. Spies of the Volsces Held me in chase, that I was forc'd to wheel
And, when it bows, stands up! Thou art left, Three or four miles about; else had I, sir,
A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,
More than I know the sound of Marcius' tongue
Re-enter MARCIUS, bleeding, assaulted by the enemy. From every meaner man.
[They fight, and all enter the city,
SCENE V.--Within Corioli. A Street.
I ROM. This will I carry to Rome,
Come I too late? COм. Ay, if you come not in the blood of others, But mantled in your own. MAR. O! let me clip ye In arms as sound as when I woo'd; in heart As merry as when our nuptial day was done, And tapers burn'd to bedward! COM.
Flower of warriors,
Let him alone;
Where is the enemy? Are you lords o' the field?
COм. Marcius, we have at disadvantage fought, And did retire to win our purpose.
MAR. How lies their battle? Know you on which They have plac'd their men of trust? COM. As I guess, Marcius, Their bands i' the vaward are the Antiates Of their best trust; o'er them Aufidius, Their heart of hope. very
I do beseech you,
By all the battles wherein we have fought,
By the blood we have shed together, by the vows
Those are they
That most are willing.-If any such be here,
[They all shout, and wave their swords; take him up in their arms, and cast up their caps. O me, alone! make you a sword of me! If these shows be not outward, which of you But is four Volsces? none of you but is
Able to bear against the great Aufidius
A shield as hard as his. A certain number,
Though thanks to all, must I select from all;
The rest shall bear the business in some other fight, As cause will be obey'd. Please you to march; And four shall quickly draw out my command, Which men are best inclin'd.
COM. March on, my fellows Make good this ostentation, and you shall Divide in all with us.
Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor
More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.
Holla me like a hare.
If I fly, Marcius,
MAR. 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 Volsces come to the aid of AUFIDIUS. Officious, and not valiant,-you have sham'd me In your condemned seconds.
[Exeunt fighting, driven out by MARCIUS.
LART. O general, Here is the steed, we the caparison: Hadst thou beheld
More cruel to your good report, than grateful
As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius
[Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums. ALL. Caius Marcius Coriolanus ! COR. I will go wash;
And when my face is fair, you shall perceive
So, to our tent;
Pray now, no more: my mother, I am weary; yea, my memory is tir'd.Who has a charter to extol her blood, Have we no wine here? When she does praise me, grieves me. I have done COM. Go we to our tent: As you have done,-that's what I can; induc'd The blood upon your visage dries; 'tis time As you have been,-that's for my country: It should be look'd to: come. He that has but effected his good will, Hath overta'en mine act.
To hear themselves remember'd.
Should they not,
I thank you, general;
[A long flourish. They all cry "MARCIUS!
I SOL. Twill be deliver'd back on good condi-
I would I were a Roman; for I cannot,
I' the part that is at mercy?-Five times, Marcius,
He's the devil.
With only suffering stain by him; for him
Enter MENENIUS, SICINIUS, and BRUTUS. MEN. The augurer tells me we shall have news to-night.
BRU. Good or bad?
MEN. Not according to the prayer of the people, for they love not Marcius.
SIC. Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.
MEN. Ay, to devour him; as the hungry plebeians would the noble Marcius.
BRU. He's a lamb indeed, that baes like a bear. MEN. He's a bear, indeed, that lives like a lamb. You two are old men : tell me one thing that I shall ask you.
BOTH TRI. Well, sir. MEN. In what enormity is Marcius poor in, that you two have not in abundance?
SCENE I.-Rome. A public Place. such weal's-men as you are, (I cannot call you Lycur guses) if the drink you give me touch my palate adversely, I make a crooked face at it. I cannot 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 have good faces. If you see this in the map of my microcosm, follows it that I am known well enough too? What harm can your bisson conspectuities glean out of this character, if I be known well enough too?
BRU. Come, sir, come, we know you well enough. MEN. 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 fossetseller; and then rejourn the controversy of threepence 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 chamberpot, dismiss MEN. This is strange now: do you two know how the controversy bleeding, the more entangled by your
BRU. He's poor in no one fault, but stored with
SIC. Especially in pride.
BRU. And topping all others in boasting.
MEN. Why, then you should discover a brace of unmeriting, proud, violent, testy magistrates.
you are censured here in the city, I mean of us o' the hearing all the peace you make in their cause is, right-hand file? do you? calling both the parties knaves. You are a pair of strange ones.
BOTH. Why, how are we censured? MEN. Because you talk of pride now,-will you not be angry?
BOTH. Well, well, sir, well?
MEN. 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 Marcius for being proud?
BRU. We do it not alone, sir.
MEN. 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!
BRU. What then, sir?
MEN. Why, then you should discover a brace of unmeriting, proud, violent, testy magistrates, (alias fools) as any in Rome.
BRU. Come, come, you are well understood to be a perfecter giber for the table, than a necessary bencher in the Capitol.
MEN. Our very priests must become mockers, if they shall encounter such ridiculous subjects as you are. When you speak best unto the purpose, it is not worth the wagging of your beards; and your beards deserve not so honourable a grave as to stuff a botcher's cushion, or to be entombed in an ass's pack-saddle. Yet you must be saying, Marcius is proud; who, in a cheap estimation, is worth all your predecessors since Deucalion; though, peradventure, some of the best of 'em were hereditary hangmen. God-den to your worships; more of your conversation would infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly plebeians; I will be bold to take my leave of you.[BRUTUS and SICINIUS retire.
Enter VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, and VALERIA,
How now, my as fair as noble ladies,-and the moon, were she earthly, no nobler,-whither do you follow your eyes so fast?
MEN. Ha! Marcius coming home?
SIC. Menenius, you are known well enough, too. MEN. I am known to be a humorous patrician, and one that loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop VOL. Honourable Menenius, my boy Marcius apof allaying Tiber in't; said to be something imper-proaches ;-for the love of Juno, let's go. fect 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
VOL. Ay, worthy Menenius; and with most prosperous approbation.
MEN. Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee ! Hoo! Marcius coming home!
VIR. Yes, certain, there's a letter for you; I saw
MEN. A letter for me! it gives me an estate of seven years' health; in which time I will make a lip at the physician: the most sovereign prescription in Galen is but empiricutic, and, to this preservative, of no better report than a horse-drench.-Is he not wounded? he was wont to come home wounded. VIR. O, no, no, no!
VOL. O, he is wounded,-I thank the gods for't. MEN. So do I too, if it be not too much :brings 'a victory in his pocket?-the wounds become him.
VOL. On's brows, Menenius, he comes the third time home with the oaken garland.
MEN. Has he disciplined Aufidius soundly? VOL. Titus Lartius writes,-they fought together, but Aufidius got off.
MEN. And 'twas time for him too, I'll warrant him that an he had stayed by him, I would not have been so 'fidiused for all the chests in Corioli, and the gold that's in them. Is the senate possessed
VOL. Good ladies, let's go.-Yes, yes, yes; the senate has letters from the general, wherein he gives my son the whole name of the war: he hath in this action outdone his former deeds doubly.
VAL. In troth, there's wondrous things spoke of him.
MEN. Wondrous! ay, I warrant you, and not without his true purchasing.
VIR. The gods grant them true!
VOL. True! pow, wow.
MEN. True! I'll be sworn they are true.-Where is he wounded? [To the Tribunes.] God save your good worships! Marcius is coming home: he has more cause to be proud.-Where is he wounded? VOL. I' the shoulder and i' the left arm there will be large cicatrices to show the people, when he shall stand for his place. He received in the repulse of Tarquin seven hurts i' the body.
MEN. One i' the neck, and two i' the thigh,there's nine that I know.
VOL. He had, before this last expedition, twentyfive wounds upon him.
MEN. Now it's twenty-seven: every gash was an enemy's grave. [A shout and flourish. Hark! the trumpets.
VOL. These are the ushers of Marcius: before him He carries noise, and behind him he leaves tears: Death, that dark spirit, in's nervy arm doth lie; Which, being advanc'd, declines; and then men die. A Sennet. Trumpets sound. Enter COMINIUS and
TITUS LARTIUS; between them, CORIOLANUS, crowned with an oaken garland; with Captains, Soldiers, and a Herald.
HER. Know, Rome, that all alone Marcius did fight Within Corioli gates; where he hath won, With fame, a name to Caius Marcius; these In honour follows, Coriolanus:Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus !
[Flourish. ALL. Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus ! COR. No more of this, it does offend my heart; Pray now, no more. Look, sir, your mother! You have, I know, petition'd all the gods For my prosperity! Kneels. VOL. Nay, my good soldier, up; My gentle Marcius, worthy Caius, and By deed-achieving honour newly nam'd,What is it ?-Coriolanus must I call thee? But O, thy wife!
COR. My gracious silence, hail! Wouldst thou have laugh'd had I come coffin'd home, That weep'st to see me triumph? Ah, my dear, Such eyes the widows in Corioli wear, And mothers that lack sons.
I warrant him consul.
During his power, go sleep.
On the sudden,
Then our office may,
SIC. He cannot temperately transport his honours
In that there's comfort.
The commoners, for whom we stand, but they,
Upon their ancient malice, will forget,
VOL. Nay, my good soldier, up.
And dispropertied their freedoms: holding them,
Of no more soul nor fitness for the world,
Which that he'll give them, make I as little As to set dogs on sheep) will be his fire
To kindle their dry stubble; and their blaze
Enter a Messenger.
What's the matter?
Have with you.
SCENE II.-The same. The Capitol.
I OFF. Come, come, they are almost here.
2 OFF. Three, they say: but 'tis thought of every one, Coriolanus will carry it.
I OFF. That's a brave fellow; but he's vengeance proud, and loves not the common people.
2 OFF. Faith, there have been many great men that have flattered the people, who ne'er loved them; and there be many that they have loved, they know not wherefore: so that, if they love they know not why, they hate upon no better a ground: therefore, for Coriolanus neither to care whether they love or hate him, manifests the true knowledge he has in their disposition; and, out of his noble carelessness, lets them plainly see't.
1 OFF. If he did not care whether he had their love or no, he waved indifferently 'twixt doing them neither good nor harm; but he seeks their hate with greater devotion than they can render it him; and leaves nothing undone that may fully discover him their opposite. Now, to seem to affect the malice and displeasure of the people, is as bad as that which he dislikes,-to flatter them for their love.
2 OFF. He hath deserved worthily of his country; and his ascent is not by such easy degrees as those who, having been supple and courteous to the people, bonneted, without any further deed to heave them at all into their estimation and report: but he hath so planted his honours in their eyes, and his actions in their hearts, that for their tongues to be silent, and not confess so much, were a kind of ingrateful injury; to report otherwise, were a malice, that, giving itself the lie, would pluck reproof and rebuke from every ear that heard it.
I OFF. No more of him; he's a worthy man : How make way, they are coming.
A Sennet. Enter, with Lictors before them, COMI
NIUS the Consul, MENENIUS, CORIOLANUS, many other Senators, SICINIUS and BRUTUS. The Senators take their places; the Tribunes take theirs also by themselves.
MEN. Having determined of the Volsces, And to send for Titus Lartius, 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,
In our well-found successes, to report
A little of that worthy work perform'd
By Caius Marcius Coriolanus; whom
We meet here, both to thank, and to remember
When the alarum were struck, than idly sit To hear my nothings monster'd. [Exit. MEN. Masters of the people, Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter, (That's thousand to one good one) when you now
He had rather venture all his limbs for honour
COR. You know the cause, sir, of my standing here.
Your loving motion toward the common body, To yield what passes here.
We are convented
Upon a pleasing treaty; and have hearts
Inclinable to honour and advance
The theme of our assembly.
Which the rather
We shall be bless'd to do, if he remember
A kinder value of the people than
COм. I shall lack voice: the deeds of Coriolanus Should not be utter'd feebly.-It is held, That valour is the chiefest virtue, And most dignifies the haver: if it be, The man I speak of cannot in the world Be singly counterpois'd. At sixteen years, When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought Beyond the mark of others: our then dictator, Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight, When with his Amazonian chin he drove The bristled lips before him: he bestrid An o'er-press'd Roman, and i' the consul's view Slew three opposers: Tarquin's self he met, And struck him on his knee: in that day's feats When he might act the woman in the scene, He prov'd best man i' the field, and for his meed He loves your people; Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil-age But tie him not to be their bedfellow.Worthy Cominius, speak.
He hath hereto priz'd them at.
That's off, that's off; I would you rather had been silent. Please you
To hear Cominius speak?
Turn terror into sport: as weeds before
And fell below his stem: his sword, Dean's stamp,
I CIT. Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him.
2 CIT. We may, sir, if we will.
3 CIT. We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a power that we have no power to do; for if he show us his wounds, and tell us his deeds, we are to put our tongues into those wounds, and speak for them; so, if he tell us his noble deeds, we must also tell him our noble acceptance of them. Ingratitude is monstrous; and for the multitude to be ingrateful, were to make a monster of the multitude; of the which we being members, should bring ourselves to be monstrous members.