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Vir. Indeed, no, by your patience : I will not over the threshold, till my lord return from the wars.

Val. Fye, 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 fili Ithaca full of moths. . Come; I would, your

cambric sensible as your finger, that you might leave pricking it for pity. Čome, 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 true, mine honour; and so, I pray, go with us.

Vir. Give me excuse, good madam ; I will obey 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 with us.

Vir. No: at a word, madam ; indeed, I must not.
I wish you much mirth.
Val. Well, then farewell.

Before Corioli. Enter, with drum and colours, MARCIUS, TI.
Tus Lartius, Officers, and Soldiers. To them a Messenger.
Mar. Yonder comes news :--A wager, they have met.
Lart. My horse to yours, no.
Mar. 'Tis done.


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Lart. Agreed.
Mar. Say, has our general met the


? Mes. 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

For half a hundred years.-Summon the town.

Mar. How far off lies these armies ?
Mes. Within this mile and half.

Mar. Then shall we hear their 'larum, and they ours
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 ?

1 Sen. No, nor a man that fears you less than he, That's lesser than a little. Hark, our drums

[Alarums afar of 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, far 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 felHe that retires, I'll take him for a Volce, [lows; And he shall feel mine edge. Alarum, and exeunt Romans and Volces, fighting. The Ro

mans are beaten back to their Trenches. Re-enter MARCIUS.

Mar. All the contagion of the south light on you, You shames of Rome! you herd of-Boils and plagues Plaster you o'er; that you may be abhorr’d


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Further than seen, and one insect another
Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese,
That bear the shapes of men, how have you run
From slaves that apes would beat ? Pluto and hell !
All hurt behind ; backs red, and faces pale
With flight and agued 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 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 :
'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 I. 2 Sol. Nor I.

3 Sol. See, they Have shut him in.

[Alarum continues. All. To the pot, I warrant him.

Enter Titus LARTIUS.
Lart. What is become of Marcius ?
All. Slain, sir, doubtless.

1 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,
And, when it bows, stands up! Thou art left, Marcius :
A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,
Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier
Even to Cato's wish,' not fierce and terrible
Only in strokes ; but, with thy grim looks, and
The thunder-like percussion of thy sounds,
Thou mad'st thine enemies shake, as if the world
Were feverous, and did tremble.

Re-enter Marcius bleeding, assaulted by the enemy.
1 Sol. Look, sir.
(1) Plutarch, in The Life of Coriolanus, relates this as his opinion of Cato the
Elder, that a great soldier should carry terror in his looks and tone of voice ; and
the poet, hereby following the historian, is fallen into a great chronological Impro-


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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. Enter certain Romans, with

spoils. 1 Rom. This will I 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.

Mar. See here these movers, that do prize their hours At a crack'd drachm! 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 bark, what noise the general makes !—To him ; There is the man of my soul's hate, Aufidius, Piercing our Romans : Then, valiant Titus, take Convenient numbers to make good the city ; Whilst I, with those that have the spirit, will haste To help Cominius.

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.
The blood I drop is rather physical
Than dangerous to me:
To Aufidius thus I will appear, and fight.

Lart. 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!

Mar. Thy friend no less
Than those she placeth highest! So, farewell.
Lart, Thou worthiest Marcius!

[Exit MAR -Go, sound thy trumpet in the market-place ; Call thither all the officers of the town, Where they shall know our mind : Away, [Exeunt. [2] Make remain--is an old manner of speaking, which means no more than



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SCENE VI. Near the Camp of COMINIUS. Enter COMINIUS and Forces,

retreating Com. Breathe you, my friends ; well fought. We are Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands,

[come off
Nor cowardly in retire : Believe me, sirs,
We shall be charg'd again. Whiles we have struck,
By interims, and conveying gusts, we have heard
The charges of our friends :-The Roman gods, .
Lead their successes as we wish our own ;
That both our pow'rs, with smiling fronts encountering,

Enter a Messenger.
May give you thankful sacrifice !-Thy news ?

Mes. The citizens of Corioli have issued,
And given to Lartius and to Marcius battle :
I saw our party to their trenches driven,
And then I came away.

Com. Though thou speak'st truth, Methinks, thou speak’st not well. How long is't since !

Mes. Above an hour, my lord.

Com. 'Tis not a mile : Briefly, we heard their drums :
How could'st thou in a mile confound an hour,
And bring thy news so late ?

Mes. Spies of the Volces
Held me in chase, that I was forc'd to wheel
Three or four miles about ; else had I, sir,
Half an hour since brought my report.

Com. Who's yonder,
That does appear as he were flay'd ? O gods !
He has the stamp of Marcius ; and I have
Before-time seen him thus.

Mar. Come I too late ?

Com. The shepherd knows not thunder from a tabor, More than I know the sound of Marcius' tongue From every meaner man's.

Mar. Come I too late ?

Com. Ay, if you come not in the blood of others,
But mantled in your own.

Mar. Oh! let me clip you
In arms as sound, as when I woo'd ; in heart
As merry, as when our nuptial day was done,
And tapers burnt to bedward.

Com. Flower of warriors,


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