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Which you do live upon and fit it is;
Because I am the storehouse, and the shop
Of the whole body: But if you do remember,
I send it through the rivers of your blood,
Even to the court, the heart,-to the seat o'the brain;
And, through the cranks* and offices of man,
The strongest nerves, and small inferior veins,
From me receive that natural competency,
Whereby they live: And though that all at once,
You, my good friends (this says the belly) mark me,-
1 Cit. Ay, Sir; well, well.

Men. Though all at once cannot

See what I do deliver out to each;

Yet I can make my audit up, that all,
From me do back receive the flour of all,
And leave me but the bran. What say you to 't?

Cit. It was an answer: How apply you this?
Men. The senators of Rome are this good belly,
And you the mutinous members: For examine
Their counsels, and their cares; digest things rightly,
Touching the weal o'the common? you shall find,
No public benefit which you receive,
But it proceeds, or comes, from them to you,
And no way from yourselves.-What do you think?
You the great toe of this assembly?

1 Cit. I the great toe? Why the great toe?

Men. For that being one o'the lowest, basest, poorest,
Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost:
Thou rascal, thou art worst in blood, to run
Lead'st first to win some vantage.-

But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs;
Rome and her rats are at the point of battle,

The one side must have bale. Hail! noble Marcius!


Mar. Thanks.-What's the matter, you dissentious rogues, That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion, Make yourselves scabs ?

1 Cit. We have ever your good word.

Mar. He that will give good words to thee, will flatter
Beneath abhorring.-What would you have, you curs,
That like nor peace, nor war? the one affrights you,
The other makes you proud. He that trusts you,
Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
Where foxes, geese: You are no surer, no,
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is,
To make him worthy, whose offence subdues him,
And curse that justice did it. Who deserves greatness,
Deserves your hate: and your affections are
A sick man's appetite, who desires most that
Which would increase his evil. He that depends
Upon your favours, swims with fins of lead,

* Windings.

+ Bane.

What's the matter,

And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust ye?
With every minute you do change a mind;
And call him noble, that was now your hate,
Him vile, that was your garland.
That in these several places of the city
You cry against the noble senate, who,
Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else
Would feed on one another ?-What's their seeking?
Men. For corn at their own rates; whereof, they say,
The city is well stored.

Mar. Hang 'em! They say?

They'll sit by the fire, and presume to know
What's done i' the Capitol: who's like to rise,

Who thrives, and who declines: side factions, and give out
Conjectural marriages; making parties strong,
And feebling such as stand not in their liking,
Below their cobbled shoes. They say, there's grain enough?
Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,
And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry †
With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high
As I could pick my lance.


Men. Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded;
For though abundantly they lack discretion,
Yet are they passing cowardly. But I beseech you,
What says the other troop?

Mar. They are dissolved: Hang 'em!

They said, they were an hungry: sigh'd forth proverbs ;-
That hunger broke stone walls; that, dogs must eat;
That meat was made for mouths; that, the gods sent not
Corn for the rich men only :-With these shreds

They vented their complainings; which being answer'd,
And a petition granted them, a strange one,

(To break the heart of generosity S

And make bold power look pale), they threw their caps
As they would hang them on the horns o' the moon,
Shouting their emulation. ||

Men. What is granted them?

Mar. Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms,
Of their own choice: One's Junius Brutus,
Sicinius Velutus, and I know not-'Sdeath!
The rabble should have first unroof'd the city;
Ere so prevail'd with me: it will in time
Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes
For insurrection's arguing.T

Men. This is strange.

Mar. Go, get you home, you fragments!


Mes. Where's Caius Marcius?
Mar. Here: What's the matter?

Mes. The news is, Sir, the Volces are in arms.

Mar. I am glad on't: then we shall have means to vent
Our musty superfluity:-See, our best elders.

+ Heap of dead.
Factious triumph.

Pity, compassion.
I. e. of the patricians.

+ Pitch. Topic.


1 Sen. Marcius, 'tis true, that you have lately told us; The Volces are in arms.

Mar. They have a leader,

Tullus Anfidius, that will put you to't.
I sin in envying his nobility:

And were I anything but what I am,
I would wish me only he.

Com. You have fought together.

Mar. Were half to half the world by the ears, and he
Upon my party, I'd revolt, to make
Only my wars with him: he is a lion
That I am proud to hunt.

1 Sen. Then, worthy Marcius,
Attend upon Cominius to these wars.
Com. It is your former promise.
Mar. Sir, it is;

And I am constant.-Titus Lartius, thou
Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face:

What, art thou stiff? stand'st out?

Tit. No, Caius Marcius;

I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other,
Ere stay behind this business.

Men. O, true bred!

1 Sen. Your company to the Capitol; where, I know, Our greatest friends attend us.

Tit. Lead you on:

Follow, Cominius; we must follow you;

Right worthy you priority.


Com. Noble Lartius!

1 Sen. Hence! To your homes, be gone. [To the CITIZENS Mar. Nay, let them follow:

The Volces have much corn; take these rats thither,
To gnaw their garners:-Worshipful mutineers,
Your valour puts well forth: pray, follow.

CITIZENS steal away.

Sic. Was ever man so proud as this Marcius?
Bru. He has no equal.

Sic. When we were chosen tribunes for the people,—
Bru. Mark'd you his lip and eyes?

Sic. Nay, but his taunts.

Bru. Being moved, he will not spare to gird the gods.
Sic. Be-mock the modest moon.

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

Sic. 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.

* (Of.)

Bru. Fame, at the which he aims,-
In whom already he is well graced, cannot
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 Marcius, O, if he
Had borne the business!

Sic. Besides, if things go well; Opinion, that so sticks on Marcius, shall Of his demerits* rob Cominius.

Bru. Come:

Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius,
Though Marcius earn'd them not; and all his faults
To Marcius shall be honours, though, indeed,
In aught he merit not.

Sic. Let's hence, and hear

How the despatch is made; and in what fashion,
More than in singularity, he goes
Upon his present action.

Bru. Let's along.

SCENE II-Corioli.

The Senate-House.


1 Sen. So, your opinion is, Aufidius, That they of Rome are enter'd in our counsels, And know how we proceed.

Auf. Is it not yours?

What ever hath been thought on in this state,
That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome
Had circumvention!+ "Tis not four days gone,
Since I heard thence; these are the words: I think,
I have the letter here; yes, here it is:
They have press'd a power, but it is not known
Whether for east, or west: The dearth is great;
The people mutinous: and it is rumour'd,
Cominius, Marcius your old enemy,

(Who is of Rome worse hated than of you),
And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,
These three lead on this preparation
Whither 'tis bent: most likely, 'tis for you:
Consider of it.

1 Sen. Our army's in the field:

We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
To answer us.



Auf. Nor did you think it folly,

To keep your great pretences veil'd, till when
They needs must show themselves; which in the hatching,

It seem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery,
We shall be shorten'd in our aim; which was,
To take in † many towns, ere, almost, Rome
Should know we were afoot.

* Demerits and merits had anciently the same meaning.
† Pre-occupation.
To subdue.

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2 Sen. Noble Aufidius,

Take your commission; hie you to your bands:
Let us alone to guard Corioli:

If they set down before us, for the remove
Bring up your army; but, I think, you'll find
They have not prepared for us.

Auf. O, doubt not that;

I speak from certainties. Nay, more.

Some parcels of their powers are forth already,
And only hitherward. I leave your honours.
If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet,
"Tis sworn between us, we shall never strike
Till one can do no more.

All. The gods assist you!

Auf. And keep your honours safe! 1 Sen. Farewell.

2 Sen. Farewell.

All. Farewell.


SCENE III-Rome. An Apartment in MARCIUS' House. 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 my husband, I should freelier rejoice in that absence wherein he won honour, than in the embracements 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 pluck'd all gaze his way; when, for a day of kings' entreaties, a mother should not sell him an hour from her beholding; I,-considering how honour would become such a person; that it was no better 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 man.

Vir. But had he died in the business, Madam? 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.


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,-

* Attracted all attention to him.

† Withdraw.

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