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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.

(1) Rich.

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,
When you curse them as enemies.
You, my good friends, (this says the belly,) mark

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 whole-
some 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.
you must

Men. Either

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 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 fitly4
As you malign our senators, for that
They are not such 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 petty helps
In this our fabric, if that they-


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 o'the

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.


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 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.6 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

Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you

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,

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No, Caius Marcius;

I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other,
Ere stay behind this business.

(2) Heap of dead.

O, true bred!

1 Sen. Your company to the Capitol; where I know,

Our greatest friends attend us.
Lead you on:
Follow, Cominius; we must follow you;
Right worthy your priority.6


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
Bru. He has no equal.

Sic. When we were chosen tribunes for the

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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.

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The gods assist you! Auf. And keep your honours safe! 1 Sen.

2 Sen.

All. Farewell.

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.

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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,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.
Vir. A crack,6 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.
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.

excellent news of your husband.
Val. In truth, la, go with me; and I'll tell you

(5) Tore.

(6) Boy.

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

with us.


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.

'Tis done.


Lart. My horse to yours, no.
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

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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,
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.

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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.

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