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Com. Where is that slave,
Which told me they had beat you to your trenches?
Where is he?' call him hither.
Mar. 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 thinkWhe the enemy? Are you lords o'the field? If not, why cease you till you are so ?
We have at disadvantage fought, and did
Retire, to win our purpose.
Mar. How lies their battle? know you on which side
They have plac'd their men of trust?
Com. As I guess, Marcius,
Their bands in the vaward are the Antiates,
Of their best trust: o'er them Aufidius,
Their very heart of hope.
Mar. I do beseech you,
By all the battles wherein we have fought,
By the blood we have shed together, by the vows
We have made to endure friends, that you directly
Set me against Aufidius, and his Antiates:
And that you not delay the present; but,
Filling the air with swords advanced, and darts
We prove this very hour.
Com. Though I could wish
You were conducted to a gentle bath,
And balms applied to you, yet dare I never
Deny your asking; take your choice of those
That best can aid your action.
Mar. Those are they
That most are willing:-If any such be here,
(As it were sin to doubt), that love this painting
Wherein you see me smear'd; if any fear
Lesser his person than an ill report;
If any think, brave death outweighs bad life,
And that his country's dearer than himself;
Let him, alone, or so many, so minded,
Wave thus [waving his hand], to express his disposition,
And follow Marcius,
[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 Volces? 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: the rest Shall bear the business in some other fight, * Let slip the present time.
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.
SCENE VII.-The gates of Corioli.
TITUS LARTIUS, having set a guard upon Corioli, going with a
drum and trumpet toward COMINIUS and CAIUS MARCIUS,
enters with a IEUTENANT, 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
Those centuries † to our aid; the rest will serve
For a short holding: If we lose the field,
We cannot keep the town.
Lieu. Fear not our care, Sir.
Lart. Hence, and shut your gates upon us.Our guider, come; to the Roman camp conduct us.
SCENE VIII.-A field of battle between the Roman and the Volcian camps.
Alarum. Enter MARCIUS and AUFIDIUS.
Mar. I'll fight with none but thee; for I do hate thee Worse than a promise-breaker.
Auf. We hate alike;
Not Afric owns a serpent, I abhor
More than thy fame and envy: Fix thy foot.
Mar. Let the first budger die the other's slave,
And the gods doom him after !
Auf. If I fly, Marcius,
Halloo me like a hare.
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 should'st 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 condemn'd seconds. §
[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 other Romans.
Com. If I should tell thee o'er this thy day's work,
Thou'lt not believe thy deeds: but I'll report it,
+ Companies of a hundred men.
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 dull Tribunes,
That, with the fusty plebeians, hate thine honours,
Shall say, against their hearts-We thank the gods,
Our Rome hath such a soldier!-
Yet cam'st thou to a morsel of this feast,
Having fully dined before.
Enter TITUS LARTIUS, with his power, † from the pursuit. Lart. O general,
Here is the steed, we the caparison:
Hadst thou beheld-
Mar. Pray now, no more: my mother, Who has a charter to extol her blood,
When she does praise me, grieves me. I have done,
As you have done; that's what I can; induc'd
As you have been; that's for my country:
He, that has but effected his good will,
Hath overta'en mine act.
Com. You shall not be
The grave of your deserving; Rome must know
The value of her own: 'twere a concealment
Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement,
To hide your doings; and to silence that,
Which to the spire and top of praises vouch'd,
Would seem but modest: Therefore, I beseech you,
(In sign of what you are, not to reward
What you have done), before our army hear me.
Mar. I have some wounds upon me, and they smart
To hear themselves remember'à.
Com. 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,
We render you the tenth; to be ta'en forth,
Before the common distribution, at
Your only choice.
Mar. I thank you, general;
But cannot make my heart consent to take
A bribe to pay my sword: I do refuse it;
And stand upon my common part with those
That have beheld the doing.
[Along flourish. They all cry Marcius! Marcius! cast up their caps and lances: COMINIUS and LARTIUS stand bare.
Mar. May these same instruments, which you profane,
Never sound more! When drums and trumpets shall
I' the field prove flatterers, let courts and cities be
Made all of false-fac'd soothing: When steel grows
* Thrown into grateful trepidation.
Has done as much as I.
Soft as the parasite's silk, let him be made
An overture for the wars! No more, I say;
For that I have not wash'd my nose that bled,
Or foil'd some debile* wretch,-which, without note,
Here's many else have done, you shout me forth
In acclamations hyperbolical;
As if I loved my little should be dieted
In praises sauc'd with lies.
Com. Too modest are you;
More cruel to your good report, than grateful
To us that give you truly by your patience,
If 'gainst yourself you be incens'd, we'll put you
(Like one that means his proper harm), in manacles,
Then reason safely with you. Therefore, be it known,
As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius
Wears this war's garland: in token of the which
My noble steed, known to the camp, I give him,
With all his trim belonging; and, from this time,
For what he did before Corioli, call him,
With all the applause and clamour of the host,
CAIUS MARCIUS CORIOLANUS.-
Bear the addition nobly ever!
[Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums. All. Caius Marcius Coriolanus! Cor. I will go wash;
And when my face is fair, you shall perceive
Whether I blush, or no: Howbeit, I thank you :-
I mean to stride your steed; and, at all times,
To undercrest your good addition,
To the fairness of my power.
Com. So, to our tent:
Where, ere we do repose us, we will write
To Rome of our success.-You, Titus Lartius,
Must to Corioli back: send us to Rome
The best § with whom we may articulate, ||
For their own good, and ours.
Lart. I shall, my lord.
Cor. The gods begin to mock me. I that now
Refus'd most princely gifts, am bound to beg
Of my lord general.
Com. Take it: 'tis yours.-What is 't?
Cor. I sometime lay, here in Corioli,
At a poor man's house, he us'd me kindly:
He cried to me; I saw him prisoner;
But then Aufidius was within my view,
And wrath o'erwhelm'd my pity: I request you
To give my poor host freedom.
Com. O, well begg'd!
Were he the butcher of my son, he should
Be free, as is the wind. Deliver him, Titus.
Lart. Marcius, his name?
Cor. By Jupiter, forgot :
*Weak, feeble. § Chief men.
Add more by doing his best. Enter into articles.
I am weary; yea, my memory is tired.--
Have we no wine here?
Com. Go we to our tent:
The blood upon your visage dries: 'tis time
It should be look'd to: come.
SCENE X-The camp of Volces.
A Flourish. Cornets. Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, bloody, with two or three SOLDIERS.
Auf. The town is ta'en !
1 Sol. "Twill be deliver'd back on good condition.
Auf. Condition ?
I would, I were a Roman; for I cannot,
Being a Volce, be that I am.-Condition!
What good condition can a treaty find
I' the part that is at mercy? Five times, Marcius,
I have fought with thee; so often hast thou beat me;
And would'st do so, I think, should we encounter
As often as we eat.-By the elements,
If e'er again I meet him beard to beard,
He is mine, or I am his: Mine emulation
Hath not that honour in't, it had; for where *
I thought to crush him in an equal force,
(True sword to sword), I'll potch† at him some way;
Or wrath, or craft, may get him.
1 Sol. He's the devil.
Auf. Bolder, though not so subtle: My valour's poison'd,
With only suffering stain by him; for him
Shall fly out of itself: nor sleep nor sanctuary,
Being naked, sick: nor fane, nor Capitol,
The prayers of priests, nor times of sacrifice,
Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up
Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst
My hate to Marcius: where I find him, were it
At home, upon § my brother's guard, even there
Against the hospitable canon, would I
Wash my fierce hand in his heart. Go you to the city;
Learn, how 'tis held; and what they are, that must
Be hostages for Rome.
1 Sol. Will not you go?
Auf. I am attended || at the cypress grove:
I pray you
('Tis south the city mills), bring me word thither
How the world goes; that to the pace of it
I may spur on my journey.
1 Sol. I shall, Sir.
A Public Place.
Enter MENENIUS, SICINIUS, and BRUTUS.
Men. The augurer tells me, we shall have news to-night.
† Poke, push. § I. e. under.
Embarments, i. e. prohibitions.
I Waited for.