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2 Cit. One word, good citizens.

scienc'd men can be content to say, it was for his country, he did it to please his mother, and to be partly proud; which he is, even to the altitude of

his virtue.

2 Cit. What he cannot help in his nature, you account a vice in him: You must in no way say, he is covetous.

1 Cit. If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations; he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition. [Shouts within.] What shouts are these? The other side o'the city is risen: Why stay we prating here? to the Capitol.

Cit. Come, come.

1 Cit. Soft; who comes here?

Enter Menenius Agrippa.

2 Cit. Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that hatn always loved the people.

1 Cit. He's one honest enough; 'Would, all the rest were so!

Men. What work's, my countrymen, in hand?
Where go you

1 Cit. We are accounted poor citizens: the patricians, good: What authority surfeits on, would relieve us; If they would yield us but the super- With bats and clubs? The matter? Speak, I pray fluity, while it were wholesome, we might guess,


they relieved us humanely; but they think, we are 1 Cit. Our business is not unknown to the senate; too dear: the leanness that afflicts us, the object they have had inkling, this fortnight, what we inof our misery, is as an inventory to particularize tend to do, which now we'll show 'em in deeds. their abundance; our sufferance is a gain to them. They say, poor suitors have strong breaths; they Let us revenge this with our pikes, ere we become shall know, we have strong arms too. rakes: for the gods know, I speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.

2 Cit. Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius?

Cit. Against him first; he's a very dog to the commonalty.

2 Cit. Consider you what services he has done for his country?

1 Cit. Very well; and could be content to give him good report for't, but that he pays himself with being proud.

2 Cit. Nay, but speak not maliciously. 1 Cit. I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did it to that end: though soft-con(2) Thin as rakes,

(1) Rich.

Men. Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest neighbours,

Will you undo yourselves?

1 Cit. We cannot, sir, we are undone already.
Men. I tell you, friends, most charitable care
Have the patricians of you. For your wants,
Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well
Strike at the heaven with your staves, as lift them
Against the Roman state; whose course will on
The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs
Of more strong link asunder, than can ever
Appear in your impediment: For the dearth,
The gods, not the patricians, make it; and
Your knees to them, not arms, must help, Alack,
You are transported by calamity

Thither where more attends you; and you slander

The helms o'the state, who care for you like fathers,
When you curse them as enemies.

1 Cit. Care for us!-True, indeed!-They ne'er cared for us yet. Suffer us to famish, and their store-houses crammed with grain; make edicts for usury, to support usurers: repeal daily and wholesome act established against the rich; and provide more piercing statutes daily, to chain up and restrain the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will; and there's all the love they bear us.

Men. Either you must

Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,
Or be accus'd of folly. I shall tell you
A pretty tale; it may be, you have heard it;
But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture
To scale't' a little more.

1 Cit. Well, I'll hear it, sir; yet you must not think to fob off our disgrace2 with a tale: but, an't please you, deliver.

Men. There was a time, when all the body's

Rebell'd against the belly; thus accus'd it :-
That only like a gulf it did remain
I'the midst o'the body, idle and inactive,
Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing
Like labour with the rest; where the other

Whereby they live: And though that all at once,
You, my good friends, (this says the belly,) mark


1 Cit. Ay, sir; well, well.

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 flower of all,
And leave me but the bran. What say you to't?
1 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

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,

Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost:
Thou rascal, that are worst in blood, to run
Lead'st first to win some vantage.-

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

Did see, and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
And, mutually participate, did minister
Unto the appetite and affection common
Of the whole body. The belly answered,―

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1 Cit. Well, sir, what answer made the belly?
Men. Sir, I shall tell you.-With a kind of smile,
Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus
(For, look you, I may make the belly smile,
As well as speak,) it tauntingly replied

To the discontented members, the mutinous parts
That envied his receipt: even so most fitly
As you malign our senators, for that
They are not such as you.

1 Cit.
Your belly's answer: What!
The kingly crowned head, the vigilant eye,
The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,
Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter,
With other muniments and pretty helps
In this our fabric, if that they—

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What then? 'Fore me, this fellow speaks!-what then? what then?

1 Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be restrain'd Who is the sink o'the body


Well, what then? 1 Cit. The former agents, if they did complain, What could the belly answer?


I will tell you;
If you'll bestow a small (of what you have little,)
Patience a while, you'll hear the belly's answer."
1 Cit. You are long about it.
Note me this, good friend;
Your most grave belly was deliberate,
Not rash like his accusers, and thus answer'd:
True is it, my incorporate friends, quoth he,
That I receive the general food at first,
Which you do live upon: and fit it is;
Because I am the store-house, 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

And, through the cranks and offices of man,
The strongest nerves, and small inferior veins,
From me receive that natural competency


(1) Spread it. (2) Hardship, (3) Whereas,

The one side must have bale. Hail, noble Marcius!
Enter Caius Marcius.

Mar. Thanks.-What's the matter, you dissen-
tious 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

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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,
And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye? Trust

With every minute you do change a mind;
And call him noble, that was now your hate,
Him vile, that was your garland. What's the

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

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Below their cobbled shoes. They say,


there's grain

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 pick3 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 say the other troop?

They are dissolved: Hang em!
They said, they were hungry; sigh'd forth pro-
verbs ;-

That hunger broke stone walls; that, dogs must eat; That meat was made for mouths; that, the gods

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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

Wit upon power, and throw forth greater themes Fo insurrection's arguing. 5


This is strange. Mar. Go, get you home, you fragments! Enter a Messenger.

Mess, Where's Caius Marcius?

Here: What's the matter?
Mess. 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.
Enter Cominius, Titus Lartius, and other Senators;
Junius Brutus, and Sicinius Velutus.

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


They have a leader,

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

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


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.


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?

(1) Pity, compassion. (2) Heap of dead.
(3) Pitch.
(4) Faction.

(5) For insurgents to debate upon.
(6) Right worthy of precedence. (7) Granaries. |

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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.

[Exeunt Senators, Com. Mar. Tit. and Menen. Citizens steal away. Sic. Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius? Bru. He has no equal.

Sic. When we were chosen tribunes for the people,

Bru. Mark'd you his lip, and eyes?
Nay, but his taunts.
Bru. Being mov'd, he will not spare to gird' the


Sic. Be-mock the modest moon. Bru. The present wars devour him: he is grown Too proud to be so valiant.

Such a nature,

Sic. 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.


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.



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SCENE II.-Corioli. The Senate-house. Enter Tullus Aufidius, and certain Senators.

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: [Reads. They have press'd a power, but it is not knowa

(8) Shows itself. (9) Sneer.

(10) Demerits and merits had anciently the same meaning.

(11) Pre-occupation.

Scene III.

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.

Nor did you think it folly,

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


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.

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.


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 more.


The gods assist you!

Auf. And keep your honours safe!

1 Sen.

2 Sen.

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,-
Come on, you cowards, you were got in fear,
Though you were born in Rome: His bloody brow
With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes;
Like to a harvest-man, that's task'd to mow
Or all, or lose his hire.

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.

[Exit Gent,
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

Val. My ladies both, good day to you.
Vol. Sweet madam,-

Vir. I am glad to see your ladyship.

Val. How do you both? you are manifest housekeepers. 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, that look upon his school-master.

Farewell. Val. O'my word, the father's son: I'll swear, 'tis Farewell. a very pretty boy. O'my troth, I look'd upon him [Exeunt. o'Wednesday half an hour together: he has such All. Farewell. a confirmed countenance. I saw him run after a SCENE III-Rome. An apartment in Marcius' gilded butterfly; and when he caught it, he let it house. Enter Volumnia, and Virgilia: They go again; and after it again; and over and over sit down on two low stools, and sew. he comes, and up again; catched it again: or

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. I pray you, daughter, sing; or express your-whether his fall enraged him, or how 'twas, he did self in a more comfortable sort: If my son were so set his teeth, and tear it; O, I warrant, how he my husband, I should freelier rejoice in that ab-mammocked' it! sence wherein he won honour, that 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 plucked all gaze his way;2 when, for a day of king's 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 secing he had proved himself a

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Vir. No, good madam; I will not out of doors.
Val. Not out of doors?
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 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.

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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 brief1 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 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.

[Exeunt. SCENE IV.-Before Corioli. Enter, with drum and colours, Marcius, Titus Lartíus, Officers and Soldiers. To them a Messenger.

Mar. Yonder comes news:-A wager, they have


Lart. My horse to yours, no.



'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.
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?

Within this mile and half. Mar. Then shall we hear their 'larum, and they


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 off.
Are bringing forth our youth: We'll break our


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.
O, they are at it!
Lart. Their noise be our instruction.-Ladders,

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:

Short. (2) In the field of battle. Having sensation, feeling.

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Mar. All the contagion of the south light on you,
You shames of Rome! you herd of Boils and
Plaster you o'er; that you may be abhorr'd
Further than seen, and one infect 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

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 reenter, 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. 3 Sol. Have shut him in. All.

Nor I.

See, they [Alarum continues.

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. A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art, Marcius: Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier Only in strokes; but, with thy grim looks, and Even to Cato's wish, not fierce and terrible 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. 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 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

(4) When it is bent.

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