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Thine own particular wrongs, and stop those maims'
Of shame seen through thy country, speed thee straight,
And make my misery serve thy turn; so use it,
That my revengeful services may prove

As benefits to thee; for I will fight

Against my canker'd country with the spleen
Of all the under fiends. But if so be

Thou dar'st not this, and that to prove more fortunes
Thou art tir'd, then, in a word, I also am
Longer to live most weary, and present

My throat to thee, and to thy ancient malice:
Which not to cut, would show thee but a fool;
Since I have ever follow'd thee with hate,
Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country's breast,
And cannot live but to thy shame, unless
It be to do thee service.

O Marcius, Marcius,

Auf. Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter

[heart Should from yon cloud speak divine things, and say, 'Tis true; I'd not believe them more than thee, All noble Marcius.-O, let me twine

Mine arms about that body, where against
My grained ash a hundred times hath broke,

And scar'd the moon with splinters! Here I clip'
The anvil of my sword; and do contest
As hotly and as nobly with thy love,
As ever in ambitious strength I did

Contend against thy valour. Know thou first,
I lov'd the maid I married; never man

Sigh'd truer breath; but that I see thee here,
Thou noble thing! more dances my rapt heart,
Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars! I tell thee,
We have a power on foot; and I had purpose

1 maims, diminutions of territory.

clip, embrace.

[COR. 84]

3 Meaning, the hero's person.

Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,'
Or lose mine arm for't: Thou hast beat me out
Twelve several times, and I have nightly since
Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and me;
We have been down together in my sleep,
Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat,
And wak'd half dead with nothing. Worthy Marcius,
Had we no quarrel else to Rome, but that
Thou art thence banish'd, we would muster all
From twelve to seventy; and, pouring war
Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,

Like a bold flood o'er-beat. O, come, go in,
And take our friendly senators by the hands;
Who now are here, taking their leaves of me,
Who am prepar'd against your territories,
Though not for Rome itself.


You bless me, Gods! Auf. Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou wilt have The leading of thine own revenges, take

Th' one half of my commission; and set down,—
As best thou art experienc'd, since thou know'st
Thy country's strength and weakness,-thine own

Whether to knock against the gates of Rome,
Or rudely visit them in parts remote,

To fright them, ere destroy. But come in:

Let me commend thee first to those, that shall

Say, yea, to thy desires. A thousand welcomes!
And more a friend than e'er an enemy;

Yet, Marcius, that was much. Your hand! Most welcome!

[Exeunt CORIOLANUS and AUFIdius. 1 Serv. [Advancing.] Here's a strange alteration! 2 Serv. By my hand, I had thought to have strucken him with a cudgel; and yet my mind gave me, his clothes made a false report of him.

1 Serv. What an arm he has!

He turned me about

1 brawn, lusty arm.

[COR. 85]

with his finger and his thumb, as one would set up a


2 Serv. Nay, I knew by his face that there was something in him: He had, sir, a kind of face, methought, I cannot tell how to term it.

1 Serv. He had so; looking as it were,

-'Would I were hanged, but I thought there was more in him than I could think.

2 Serv. So did I, I'll be sworn: He is simply the rarest man i' th' world.

1 Serv. I think he is: but a greater soldier than he, you wot one.

2 Serv. Who? my master?

1 Serv. Nay, it's no matter for that.

2 Serv. Worth six of him.

1 Serv. Nay, not so neither; but I take him to be the greater soldier.

2 Serv. 'Faith, look you, one cannot tell how to say that: for the defence of a town, our general is excel


1 Serv. Ay, and for an assault too.

Re-enter third Servant.

3 Serv. O, slaves, I can tell you news: news, you rascals.

1&2 Serv. What, what, what? let's partake.

3 Serv. I would not be a Roman, of all nations; I had as lieve be a condemned man.

1&2 Serv. Wherefore? wherefore?

3 Serv. Why, here's he that was wont to thwack our general,-Caius Marcius.

1 Serv. Why do you say, thwack our general? 3 Serv. I do not say, thwack our general; but he was always good enough for him.

2 Serv. Come, we are fellows and friends: he was ever too hard for him; I have heard him say so himself.

1 Serv. He was too hard for him directly, to say [COR. 86]

the truth on't: before Corioli, he scotched him and notched him like a carbonado.

2 Serv. An he had been cannibally given, he might have broiled and eaten him too.

1 Serv. But, more of thy news?

3 Serv. Why, he is so made on here within, as if he were son and heir to Mars: set at upper end o' th' table: no question asked him by any of the senators, but they stand bald before him: Our general himself makes a mistress of him; sanctifies himself with's hand,' and turns up the white o' th' eye to his discourse. But the bottom of the news is, our general is cut i' th' middle, and but one half of what he was yesterday; for the other has half, by the entreaty and grant of the whole table. He'll go, he says, and sowle the porter of Rome gates by the ears: He will mow down all before him, and leave his passage poll'd.3

2 Serv. And he's as like to do't, as any man I can imagine.

3 Serv. Do't? he will do't; For, look you, sir, he has as many friends as enemies: which friends, sir, (as it were,) durst not (look you, sir,) show themselves (as we term it,) his friends, whilst he's in directitude.1 1 Serv. Directitude! what's that?

3 Serv. But when they shall see, sir, his crest up again, and the man in blood, they will out of their burrows, like conies after rain, and revel all with him. 1 Serv. But when goes this forward?

3 Serv. To-morrow; to-day; presently. You shall have the drum struck up this afternoon: 'tis, as it were, a parcel of their feast, and to be executed ere they wipe their lips.

2 Serv. Why, then we shall have a stirring world

'Alluding to the act of crossing upon any strange event. 2 drag him down by the ears into the dirt.

3 poll'd, bared, cleared.


directitude, for discredit, a word coined in ridicule of the


[COR. 87]

again. This peace is nothing, but to rust iron, increase tailors, and breed ballad-makers.

1 Serv. Let me have war, say I; it exceeds peace, as far as day does night; it's spritely, waking, audible, and full of vent.1 Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible: and it makes men hate one another.

3 Serv. Reason; because they then less need one another. The wars, for my money. I hope to see Romans as cheap as Volcians. They are rising, they are rising.

All. In, in, in, in.


SCENE VI.-Rome. A publick place.


Sic. We hear not of him, neither need we fear him; His remedies are tame i' th' present peace

And quietness o' th' people, which before

Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends
Blush, that the world goes well; who rather had,
Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold
Dissentious numbers pestering streets, than see
Our tradesmen singing in their shops, and going
About their functions friendly.


Bru. We stood to't in good time. Is this Menenius?

Sic. 'Tis he, 'tis he: O, he is grown most kind Of late.-Hail, sir!


Hail to you both!

Sic. Your Coriolanus, sir, is not much miss'd, But with his friends; the common-wealth doth stand; And so would do, were he more angry at it.

1vent, rumour, materials for discourse.

[COR. 88]

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