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Come on, you cowards, you were got in fear,
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.
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 USHER. Val. My ladies both, good day to you.
Vol. Sweet Madam,
Vir. No, good Madam; I will not out
Val. Not out of doors!
Vir. I am glad to see your ladyship.
Val. How do you both? you are manifest house-keepers. 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 mammocked † it!
Vol. One of his father's moods.
Val. Indeed la, 'tis a noble child.
Vir. A crack, Madam.
Val. Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have you play the idle huswife with me this afternoon.
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. Fie, you confine yourself most 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 labour, 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
* Piece (of work).
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 honour; and so, I pray, go with us.
Vir. Give me excuse, good Madam; I will obey you in everything 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 solemnness out o'door, and go along with us.
Vir. No: at a word, Madam; indeed, I must not. I wish you much mirth.
Val. Well, then farewell.
SCENE IV.-Before Corioli.
Enter, with drums and colours, MARCIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, Officers and Soldiers. To them a MESSENGER.
Mar. Yonder comes news:-A wager, they have met.
Mar. "Tis done.
Mar. Say, has our general met the enemy?
Mess. They lie in view; but have not spoke as yet.
Lart. So, the good horse is mine.
Mar. I'll buy him of you.
Lart. No, I'll nor sell nor give him: lend you him, I will, For half a hundred years.-Summon the town.
Mar. How far off lie the armies?
Mess. Within this mile and half.
Mar. Then shall we hear their larum, and they ours.
They sound a parley.—Enter, on the walls, some 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,
+ In the field of battle.
Which yet seem shut, we have but pinn'd with rushes;
Mar. O, they are at it!
Lart. Their noise be our instruction.-Ladders, ho!
Mar. They fear us not, but issue forth their city.
Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight
Which makes me sweat with wrath.-Come on, my fellows;
Alarum, and exeunt ROMANS and VOLCES, fighting. The ROMANS are beaten back to their trenches. Re-enter MARCIUS.
Mar. All the contagion of the south light on you.
With flight and agued fear! Mend, and charge home,
And make my wars on you: look to 't: Come on;
Another alarum. The VOLCES and ROMANS re-enter, and the fight is renewed. The VOLCES retire into Corioli, and MARCIUS follows them to the gates.
So, now the gates are ope :-Now prove good seconds:
[He enters the gates, and is shut in.
1 Sol. Fool-hardiness; not I. 2 Sol. Nor I.
3 Sol. See, they
Have shut him in.
All. To the pot, I warrant him.
Enter TITUS LARTIUS.
Lart. What is become of Marcius?
1 Sol. Following the flyers at the very heels,
Lart. O noble fellow !
Who, sensible,* outdares his senseless sword,
And, when it bows, † stands up! Thou art left, Marcius:
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 I will carry to Rome.
2 Rom. And I this.
3 Rom. A murrain on't! I took this for silver.
[Alarum continues still afar off.
Enter MARCIUS and TITUS LARTIUS, with a trumpet.
Lart. Worthy Sir, thou bleed'st;
Thy exercise hath been too violent for
A second course of fight.
Mar. Sir, praise me not:
My work hath yet not warm'd me: Fare you well.
Than dangerous to me; To Aufidius thus
I will appear, and fight.
Lart. Now the fair goddess, Fortune,
Mar. Thy friend no less
Than those she placeth highest! So farewell.
Go, sound thy trumpet in the market-place;
A Roman coin.
SCENE VI.-Near the camp of COMINIUS.
Enter COMINIUS and forces retreating.
Com. Breathe you, my friends; well fought, we are come off
That both our powers, with smiling fronts encountering,
Enter a MESSENGER.
May give you thankful sacrifice!-Thy news?
How long is❜t since ?
Com. Though thou speak'st truth,
Mess. Spies of the Volces
Held me in chase, that I was forc'd to wheel
Com. Who's yonder,
That does appear as he were flay'd? O gods!
Mar. Come I too late?
Com. The shepherd knows not thunder from a tabor,
Mar. Come I too late?
Com. Ay, if you come not in the blood of others, But mantled in your own.
Mar. O let me clip you
In arms as sound, as when I woo'd; in heart
Com. Flower of warriors,
How is't with Titus Lartius?
Mar. As with a man busied about decrees: