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Sic. The gods be good unto us!

Men. No, in such a case the gods will not be good unto us. When we banished him, we respected not them; and, he returning to break our necks, they respect not us.

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. Sir, if you'd save your life, fly to your house; The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune, And hale him up and down; all swearing, if The Roman ladies bring not comfort home, They'll give him death by inches.


Enter another Messenger.

What's the news?

Mess. Good news, good news;-—The ladies have


The Volces are dislodg'd, and Marcius gone:
A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
No, not th' expulsion of the Tarquins.



Art thou certain this is true? is it most certain?
Mess. As certain, as I know the sun is fire:
Where have you lurk'd, that you make doubt of it?
Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide,
As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark

[Trumpets and hautboys sounded, and drums beaten, all together. Shouting also within.

The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes,
Tabors, and cymbals, and the shouting Romans,
Make the sun dance. Hark you! [Shouting again.
This is good news:

I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia

Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians,
A city full; of tribunes, such as you,

A sea and land full: You have pray'd well to-day;
This morning, for ten thousand of your throats
I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!
[Shouting and musick.

[COR. 110]

Sic. First, the gods bless you for their tidings: next, Accept my thankfulness.


Great cause to give great thanks.


Sir, we have all

They are near the city?

We will meet them,


Mess. Almost at point to enter.


And help the joy.

Enter the Ladies, accompanied by Senators, Patricians, and People. They pass over the stage.

1 Sen. Behold our patroness, the life of Rome: Call all your tribes together, praise the gods, And make triumphant fires; strew flowers before them :

Unshout the noise that banish'd Marcius,
Repeal him with the welcome of his mother;
Cry,-Welcome, ladies, welcome!-

All. Welcome!

Welcome, ladies!

A flourish with drums and trumpets.-Exeunt.

SCENE V.-Antium. A publick place.
Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, with Attendants.
Auf. Go tell the lords o' th' city, I am here:
Deliver them this paper: having read it,
Bid them repair to th' market-place; where I,
Even in theirs and in the commons' ears,
Will vouch the truth of it. He, I accuse,
The city ports by this hath enter'd, and
Intends to appear before the people, hoping
To purge himself with words: Despatch.

[Exeunt Attendants.

Enter three or four Conspirators of AUFIDIUS'

Most welcome!

1 Con. How is it with our general? Auf.

Even so,

[COR. 111]

As with a man by his own alms empoison'd,
And with his charity slain.

2 Con.

Most noble sir,
If you do hold the same intent wherein
You wish'd us parties, we'll deliver you
Of your great danger.


Sir, I cannot tell; We must proceed, as we do find the people. 3 Con. The people will remain uncertain, whilst 'Twixt you there's difference; but the fall of either Makes the survivor heir of all.


I know it; And my pretext to strike at him admits A good construction. I rais'd him, and I pawn'd Mine honour for his truth: Who being so heighten'd, He water'd his new plants with dews of flattery, Seducing so my friends: and, to this end, He bow'd his nature, never known before But to be rough, unswayable, and free.

3 Con. Sir, his stoutness,

When he did stand for consul, which he lost
By lack of stooping,


That I would have spoke of: Being banish'd for't, he came unto my hearth; Presented to my knife his throat: I took him; Made him joint-servant with me; gave him way In all his own desires; nay, let him choose Out of my files, his projects to accomplish, My best and freshest men; serv'd his designments In mine own person; holp to reap the fame, Which he did end all this; and took some pride To do myself this wrong: till, at the last, I seem'd his follower, not partner; and He wag'd' me with his countenance, as if I had been mercenary.

1 Con.

So he did, my lord: The army marvell'd at it. And, in the last,

Gave me his countenance for my wages; thought me sufficiently rewarded with good looks.

[COR. 112]

When he had carried' Rome; and that we look'd
For no less spoil, than glory,

There was it;

For 2 which my sinews shall be stretch'd upon him,
At a few drops of women's rheum, which are
As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labour
Of our great action; Therefore shall he die,
And I'll renew me in his fall. But, hark!

[Drums and trumpets sound, with great shouts of the people.

1 Con. Your native town you enter'd like a post, And had no welcomes home; but he returns, Splitting the air with noise.

2 Con.

And patient fools, Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tear, With giving him glory.

3 Con.

Therefore, at your vantage,

Ere he express himself, or move the people

With what he would say, let him feel your sword,
Which we will second. When he lies along,
After your way his tale pronounc'd shall bury
His reasons with his body.


Here come the lords.

Say no more;

Enter the Lords of the city.


I have not deserv'd it,

Lords. You are most welcome home.

But, worthy lords, have you with heed perus'd
What I have written to you?


We have.

1 Lord.

And grieve to hear it.

What faults he made before the last, I think,

Might have found easy fines: but there to end,
Where he was to begin; and give away
The benefit of our levies, answering3 us

' might have carried.

• The point on which I will attack him with the utmost of my


[COR. 113]

3 Rewarding us with our own expenses.

With our own charge; making a treaty, where
There was a yielding; This admits no excuse.
Auf. He approaches, you shall hear him.

Enter CORIOLANUS, with drums and colours; a crowd of Citizens with him.

Cor. Hail, lords! I am return'd your soldier;
No more infected with my country's love,
Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting
Under your great command. You are to know,
That prosperously I have attempted, and
With bloody passage, led your wars, even to
The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought home,
Do more than counterpoise, a full third part,
The charges of the action. We have made peace,
With no less honour to the Antiates,

Than shame to th' Romans: And we here deliver,
Subscrib'd by th' consuls and patricians,
Together with the seal o' th' senate, what
We have compounded on.


Read it not, noble lords; But tell the traitor, in the highest degree He hath abus'd your powers.

Cor. Traitor!-How now?—


Ay, traitor, Marcius.


Auf. Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius; Dost thou think grace thee with that robbery, thy stol'n name Coriolanus in Corioli?—


You lords and heads o' th' state, perfidiously
He has betray'd your business, and given up,
For certain drops of salt, your city Rome
(I say, your city,) to his wife and mother:
Breaking his oath and resolution, like
A twist of rotten silk; never admitting
Counsel o' th' war; but at his nurse's tears
He whin'd and roar'd away your victory;
That pages blush'd at him, and men of heart
Look'd wondering each at other.

COR. 114]

Hear'st thou, Mars?

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