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Enter Senators on the walls.
Till now you have gone on, and fill'd the time
With all licentious measure, making your wills
The scope of justice; till now, myself, and such
As slept within the shadow of your power,
Have wander'd with our travers'd arms, and breath'd
Our sufferance vainly: Now the time is flush,
When crouching marrow, in the bearer strong,
Cries, of itself, No more: now breathless wrong
Shall sit and pant in your great chairs of ease;
And pursy insolence shall break his tind,
With fear, and horrid flight.

1 Sen.
Noble, and young,
When thy first griefs were but a mere conceit,
Ere thou hadst power, or we had cause of fear,
We sent to thee; to give thy rages balm,
To wipe out our ingratitude with loves
Above their quantity.

2 Sen.

So did we woo

Transformed Timon to our city's love,

By humble message, and by promis'd means:
We were not all unkind, nor all deserve
The common stroke of war.

1 Sen.

These walls of ours Were not erected by their hands, from whom You have receiv'd your griefs: nor are they such That these great towers, trophies, and schools should

fall

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2 Sen.

Throw thy glove;

Or any token of thine honour else,
That thou wilt use the wars as thy redress,
And not as our coafusion, all thy powers
Shall make their harbour in our town, till we
Have seal'd thy full desire.

Alcib.
Then there's my glove;
Descend, and open your uncharged ports;
Those enemies of Timon's, and mine own,
Whom you yourselves shall set out for reproof,
Fall, and no more: and,-to atone your fears
With my more noble meaning,—not a man
Shall pass his quarter, or offend the stream
Of regular justice in your city's bounds,
But shall be remedied, to your publick laws
At heaviest answer.
Both.

'Tis most nobly spoken.
Alcib. Descend, and keep your words.
The Senators descend, and open the gates.
Enter a Soldier.

Sol. My noble general, Timon is dead;
Entomb'd upon the very hem o' the sea:
And, on his grave-stone, this insculpture; which
With wax I brought away, whose soft impression
Interprets my poor ignorance.

Alcib. [Reads.] Here lies a wretched corse, of wretched soul bereft :

Seek not my name: A plague consume you wicked caitiff's left!

Here lie I, Timon; who, alive, all living men did hate : Pass by, and curse thy fill; but pass, and stay not here thy gait.

These well express in thee thy latter spirit:
Though thou abhorr'dst in us our human griefs,
Scorn'dst our brain's flow, and those our droplets

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CORIOLANUS.

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dance; our sufferance is a gain to them-Let us revenge this with our pikes, ere we become 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?

1 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-conscienc'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.

2 Cit. Come, come.

1 Cit. Soft; who comes here?

Enter MENENIUS AGRIPPA.

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

1 Cit. He's one honest enough; 'Would, all the

Enter a company of mutinous Citizens, with staves, rest were so! clubs, and other weapons.

1 Cit. Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.

Cit. Speak, speak. [Several speaking at once. 1 Cit. You are all resolved rather to die, than to famish?

Cit. Resolved, resolved.

1 Cit. First you know, Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the people.

Cit. We know't, we know't.

1 Cit. Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at our own price. Is't a verdict?

Cit. No more talking on't: let it be done: away,

away.

2 Cit. One word, good citizens.

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

[you With bats and clubs? The matter? Speak, I pray 1 Cit. Our business is not unknown to the senate; they have had inkling, this fortnight, what we intend to do, which now we'll show 'em in deeds. They say, poor suitors have strong breaths; they shall know, we have strong arms too.

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 1 Cit. We are accounted poor citizens; the patri- Against the Roman state; whose course will on cians, good: What authority surfeits on, would re- The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs lieve us; If they would yield us but the superfluity, Of more strong link asunder, than can ever while it were wholesome, we might guess they re- Appear in your impediment: For the dearth, lieved us humanely; but they think, we are too The gods, not the patricians, make it; and dear: the leanness that afflicts us, the object of our Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack, misery, is an inventory to particularize their abun-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 any 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 disgrace with a tale; but, an't please you, deliver.

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

:

Rebell'd against the belly; thus accus'd it :That only like a gulf it did remain

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I' the midst o'the body, idle and inactive,
Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing
Like labour with the rest; where the other instru-
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,-

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.

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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 petty helps

In this our fabrick, if that they

Men.

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,

Men.

Well, what then?

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

I will tell you;
If you'll bestow a small (of what you have little,)
Patience, awhile, you'll hear the belly's answer.
1 Cit. You are long about it.
Men.

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 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, si; 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 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 rightly,
Touching the weal o'the common; you shall find,
No publick 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, that 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!
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 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 great-

ness,

[ye?

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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 mat-
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 stor'd.

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

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Upon my party, I'd revolt, to make Ouly my wars with him: he is a lion That I am proud to hunt.

1 Sen.

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?
Sic.

Nay, but his taunts. Bru. Being mov'd, 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.

Bru.

Fame, at the which he aims,In whom already he is well grac'd,-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 g (well, Opinion, that so sticks on Marcius, shall Of his demerits rob Cominius.

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What ever hath been thought on in this state,

Then, worthy Marcius, That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome

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?

Had circumvention? "Tis not four days gone, Since I heard thence; these are the words: I think,

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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 wore hated than of you,)
And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Reman,
O, true bred! These three lead on this preparation
Capitol; where, I | Whither 'tis bert: mort likely, 'tis for you:
Consider of it.

Tit. No, Caius Marcius; I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other, Ere stay behind this business. Men.

1 Sen. Your company to the know,

Our greatest friends attend us.

Tit.

Lead you on:

Noble Lartius!

Follow, Cominius; we must follow you; Right worthy you priority.

Com.

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When

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
Usher.

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, than look upon his school-master.

'tis

Val. O' my word, the father's son: I'll swear,
a very pretty boy. O' my troth, I looked upon him
o' Wednesday half an hour together: he has such a
confirmed countenance. I saw him run after a
gilded butterfly; and when he caught it, he let it go
again; and after it again; and over and over he
comes, and up again; catched it again or whether
his fall enraged him, or how 'twas, he did so set his
teeth, and tear it; O, I warrant, how he mammocked

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

Vol. I pray you, daughter, sing; or express your-it! self 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. yet he was but tender-bodied, and the only son of iny womb; when youth with comeliness plucked 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.

En er a Gentlewoman.

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 down Aufidius 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.

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. 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 fill Ithaca full of moths. Come; I would, your cambrick were sensible as your finger, that you might leave pricking it for pity. Come, you shail go with us.

Vir. No, good madam, pardon me; indeed, I wil 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 carnest, 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 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.

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