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Or lose mine arm for't: Thou hast beat me out
Twelve several times, and I have nightly since
Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and me;
We have been down together in my sleep,
Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat,.
And waked half dead with nothing. Worthy Marcius,
Had we no quarrel else to Rome, but that
Thou art thence banish'd, we would muster all
From twelve to seventy; and, pouring war
Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,
Like a bold flood o'er-beat. O, come, go in,
And take our friendly senators by the hands;
Who now are here, taking their leaves of me,
Who am prepared against your territories,
Though not for Rome itself.

Cor. You bless me, gods!

Auf. Therefore, most absolute Sir, if thou wilt have
The leading of thine own revenges, take
The one half of my commission; and set down,—
As best thou art experienced, since thou know'st

Thy country's strength and weakness, thine own ways:
Whether to knock against the gates of Rome,
Or rudely visit them in parts remote,

To fright them, ere destroy. But come in:
Let me commend thee first to those, that shall
Say, yea, to thy desires. A thousand welcomes !
And more a friend than e'er an enemy;
Yet, Marcius, that was much. Your hand. Most welcome!
1 Serv. [advancing]. Here's a strange alteration!

2 Serv. By my hand, I had thought to have strucken him with a cudgel; and yet my mind gave me, his clothes made a false report of him.

1 Serv. What an arm he has! He turned me about with his finger and his thumb, as one would set up a top.

2 Serv. Nay, I knew by his face that there was something in him: He had, Sir, a kind of face, methought,-I cannot tell how to term it.

1 Serv. He had so: looking as it were, 'Would I were hanged, but I thought there was more in him than I could think.

2 Serv. So did I, I'll be sworn: He is simply the rarest man i' the world.

1 Serv. I think, he is: but a greater soldier than he, you wot one. 2 Serv. Who? my master?

1 Serv. Nay, it's no matter for that.

2 Serv. Worth six of him.

1 Serv. Nay, not so neither; but I take him to be the greater soldier.

2 Serv. 'Faith, look you, one cannot tell how to say that; for

the defence of a town, our general is excellent.

1 Serv. Ay, and for an assault too.

Re-enter third SERVANT.

3 Serv. O, slaves, I can tell you news; news, you rascals.

1, 2 Serv. What, what, what? let's partake.

3 Serv. I would not be a Roman, of all nations; I had as lieve be a condemned man.

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1, 2 Serv. Wherefore? wherefore ?

3 Serv. Why, here's he that was wont to thwack our general,Caius Marcius.

1 Serv. Why do you say thwack our general?

3 Serv. I do not say, thwack our general; but he was always good enough for him.

2 Serv. Come, we are fellows, and friends: he was ever too hard for him; I have heard him say so himself.

1 Serv. He was too hard for him directly, to say the truth on't: before Corioli, he scotched him and notched him like a carbonado.* 2 Serv. An he had been cannibally given, he might have broiled and eaten him too.

1 Serv. But, more of thy news?

3 Serv. Why, he is so made on here within, as if he were son and heir to Mars: set at upper end o' the table: no question asked him by any of the senators, but they stand bald before him: Our general himself makes a mistress of him; sanctifies himself with's hand, and turns up the white o' the eye to his discourse. But the bottom of the news is, our general is cut i' the middle, and but one half of what he was yesterday; for the other has half, by the entreaty and grant of the whole table. He'll go, he says, and sowlet the porter of Rome gates by the ears: He will mow down all before him, and leave his passage polled. I

2 Serv. And he's as like to do't, as any man I can imagine. 3 Serv. Do't? he will do't: For, look you, Sir, he has as many friends as enemies: which friends, Sir (as it were), durst not (look you, Sir) show themselves (as we term it) his friends, whilst he's in directitude.

1 Serv. Directitude! what's that?

3 Serv. But when they shall see, Sir, his crest up again, and the man in blood, they will out of their burrows, like conies after rain, and revel all with him.

1 Serv. But when goes this forward?

3 Serv. To-morrow, to-day, presently. You shall have the drum struck up this afternoon: 'tis as it were, a parcel of their feast, and to be executed ere they wipe their lips.

2 Serv. Why, then we shall have a stirring world again. This peace is nothing, but to rust iron, increase tailors, and breed ballad-makers.


1 Serv. Let me have war, say I; it exceeds peace, as far as day does night; it's sprightly, waking, audible, and full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mulled, § deaf, sleepy, insensible; getter of more bastard children, than war's a destroyer of men. 2 Serv. 'Tis so: and as wars, in some sort may be said to be a ravisher; so it cannot be denied, but peace is a great maker of cuckolds.

1 Serv. Ay, and it makes men hate one another.

3 Serv. Reason; because they then less need one another. The wars, for my money. I hope to see Romans as cheap as Volcians. They are rising, they are rising.

All. In, in, in, in.


SCENE VI-Rome. A public place.
Sic. We hear not of him, neither need we fear him;
His remedies are tame i' the present peace

*Meat cut across to be broiled. + Pull.

+ Cleared. § Softened.

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And quietness o' the people, which before
Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends
Blush, that the world goes well; who, rather had,
Though they themselves did suffer by't, behold
Dissentious numbers pestering streets, than see
Our tradesmen singing in their shops, and going
About their functions friendly.


Bru. We stood to't in good time. Is this Menenius?
Sic. 'Tis he, 'tis he: O, he is grown most kind
Of late. Hail, Sir!

Men. Hail to you both!

Sic. Your Coriolanus, Sir, is not much miss'd,
But with his friends; the commonwealth doth stand;
And so would do, were he more angry at it.

Men. All's well; and might have been much better, if
He could have temporized.

Sic. Where is he, hear you?

Men. Nay, I hear nothing; his mother and his wife
Hear nothing from him.

Enter three or four CITIZENS.

Cit. The gods preserve you both.
Sic. Good-e'en, our neighbours.

Bru. Good-e'en to you all, good-e'en to you all.

1 Cit. Ourselves, our wives, and children, on our knees, Are bound to pray for you both.

Sic. Live, and thrive!

Bru. Farewell, kind neighbours: we wish'd Coriolanus
Had loved you as we did.

Cit. Now the gods keep you!

Both Tri. Farewell, farewell.

Sic. This is a happier and more comely time,
Than when these fellows ran about the streets,
Crying, Confusion.

Bru. Caius Marcius was

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A worthy officer i' the war; but insolent,
O'ercome with pride, ambitious past all thinking,

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Sic. And affecting one sole throne,
Without assistance.


Men. I think not so.

Sic. We should by this, to all our lamentation,
If he had gone forth consul, found it so.

Bru. The gods have well prevented it, and Rome
Sits safe and still without him.

Enter EDILE.

Ed. Worthy tribunes,

There is a slave, whom we have put in prison,
Reports, the Volces with two several powers
Are enter'd in the Roman territories;
And with the deepest malice of the war
Destroy what lies before them.

Men. "Tis Aufidius,

Who, hearing of our Marcius' banishment,
Thrusts forth his horns again into the world:

Which were inshell'd, when Marcius stood for Rome, And durst not once peep out.

Sic. Come, what talk you

Of Marcius ?

Bru. Go see this rumourer whipp'd. It cannot be, The Volces dare break with us.

Men. Cannot be !

We have record, that very well it can;
And three examples of the like have been
Within my age. But reason with the fellow,
Before you punish him, where he heard this:
Lest you should chance to whip your information,
And beat the messenger who bids beware
Of what is to be dreaded.

Sic. Tell not me:

I know this cannot be.
Bru. Not possible.


Mess. The nobles, in great earnestness, are going
All to the senate-house; some news is come,
That turns their countenances.

Sic. 'Tis this slave;

Go whip him 'fore the people's eyes :-his raising!
Nothing but his report!

Mess. Yes, worthy Sir,

The slave's report is seconded; and more,
More fearful is deliver'd.

Sic. What more fearful?

Mess. It is spoke freely out of many mouths
(How probable, I do not know), that Marcius,
Join'd with Aufidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome;
And vows revenge as spacious, as between
The young'st and oldest thing.

Sic. This is most likely !

Bru. Raised only, that the weaker sort may wish
Good Marcius home again.

Sic. The very trick on't.
Men. This is unlikely:

He and Aufidius can no more atone, *
Than violentest contrariety.

Enter another MESSENGER.

Mess. You are sent for to the senate:
A fearful army, led by Caius Marcius,
Associated with Aufidius, rages
Upon our territories; and have already,
O'erborne their way, consumed with fire, and took
What lay before them.


Com. O, you have made good work!
Men. What news? what news?

Com. You have holp to ravish your own daughters, and

To melt the city leads upon your pates;

To see your wives dishonour'd to your noses;

Men. What's the news? what's the news?

* Be reconciled.

Com. Your temples burn'd in their cement; and
Your franchises, whereon you stood, confined
Into an auger's bore.

Men. Pray now, your news?

You have made fair work, 1 fear me:-Pray, your news?
If Marcius should be join'd with Volcians,-

Com. If!

He is their god; he leads them like a thing
Made by some other deity than nature,
That shapes man better: and they follow him,
Against us brats, with no less confidence,
Than boys pursuing summer butterflies,
Or butchers killing flies.

Men. You have made good work,

You, and your apron men; you that stood so much
Upon the voice of occupation, and
The breath of garlic-eaters!

Com. He will shake

Your Rome about your ears.

Men. As Hercules

Did shake down mellow fruit: You have made fair work!
Bru. But is this true, Sir?

Com. Ay; and you'll look pale

Before you find it other. All the regions

Do smilingly revolt; and, who resist,

Are only mock'd for valiant ignorance,

And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame him?
Your enemies, and his, find something in him.

Men. We are all undone, unless

The noble man have mercy.

Com. Who shall ask it?

The tribunes cannot do't for shame; the people
Deserve such pity of him, as the wolf

Does of the shepherds: for his best friends, if they
Should say, Be good to Rome, they charged him even
As those should do that had deserved his hate,
And therein show'd like enemies.

Men. 'Tis true:

If he were putting to my house the brand
That should consume it, I have not the face

To say, 'Beseech you, cease.-You have made fair hands,
You, and your crafts! you have crafted fair!

Com. You have brought

A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
So incapable of help.

Tri. Say not, we brought it.

Men. How! Was it we? We loved him; but, like beasts,
And cowardly nobles, gave way to your clusters,
Who did hoot him out o' the city.

Com. But, I fear,

They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,
The second name of men, obeys his points
As if he were his officer :-Desperation

* Mechanics.

2 N


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