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2 Cit. One word, good citizens.
1 Cit. We are accounted poor citizens: the patricians, good: What authority surfeits on, would relieve us; If they would yield us but the superfluity, while it were wholesome, we might guess, they relieved us humanely; but they think, we are too dear: the leanness that afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an inventory to particularize their abundance; our sufferance is a gain to them. Let us revenge this with our pikes, ere we become rakes 2 for the gods know, I speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.
1 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.
Volumnia, mother to Coriolanus. Virgilia, wife to Coriolanus. Valeria, friend to Virgilia. Gentlewoman attending Virgilia.
Roman and Volscian Senators, Patricians, Ediles, Lictors, Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, Servants to Aufidius, and other Attendants.
Scene, partly in Rome; and partly in the terri tories of the Volscians and Antiates.
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, b 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 hath 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
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 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,|| Whereby they live: And though that all at once,
1 Cit. Care for us!-True, indeed!-They ne'er
Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,
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 :-
1 Cit. Well, sir, what answer made the belly?
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;
And, through the cranks and offices of man,
(1) Spread it. (2) Hardship. (3) Whereas.
1 Cit. Ay, sir; well, well.
Touching the weal o'the common; you shall find,
1 Cit. I the great toe? Why the great toe?
Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost :
Mar. Thanks.-What's the matter, you dissen-
That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you
That like nor peace, nor war? the one affrights you,
No, Caius Marcius;
I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other,
(2) Heap of dead.
O, true bred!
1 Sen. Your company to the Capitol; where I know,
Our greatest friends attend us.
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. this Marcius?
Sic. Was ever man so proud as
Sic. When we were chosen tribunes for the
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 demerits10 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. [Exeunt. SCENE II-Corioli. The senate-house. Enter Tullus Aufidius, and certain Senators.
The gods assist you! Auf. And keep your honours safe! 1 Sen.
SCENE III-Rome. An apartment in Marcius' house. Enter Volumnia, and Virgilia: They sit down on two low stools, and sew.
Vir. But had he died in the business, madam? how then?
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 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
Vol. One of his father's moods.
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, 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 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 seeing he had proved himself a
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.
Vir. 'Beseech you, give me leave to retire myself.
Vol. Indeed, you shall not.
Vir. His bloody brow! O, Jupiter, no blood!
Re-enter Gentlewoman, with Valeria and her
Val. My ladies both, good day to you.
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,4 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.
Val. Indeed, la, 'tis a noble child.
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. 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.
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 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
Vir. No: at a word, madam; indeed, 1 must I wish you much mirth. Val. Well, then farewell. [Exeunt. SCENE IV-Before Corioli. Enter, with drum and colours, Marcius, Titus Lartius, Officers and Soldiers. To them a Messenger.
Mar. Yonder comes news:-A wager, they have met.
Lart. My horse to yours, no.
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.
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 :
Alarum, and exeunt Romans and Volces, fighting. The Romans are beaten back to their trenches. Re-enter Marcius.
Mar. All the contagion of the south light on you,
Or, by the fires of heaven, I'll leave the foe,
Lart. O noble fellow! Who, sensible, outdares his senseless sword, And, when it bows,4 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. 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.