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TULLUS AUFIDIUS, general of the Volscians. Lieutenant to Aufidius.

Conspirators with Aufidius.

A Citizen of Antium. Two Volscian Guards.

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 territories of the VOL.SCIANS and ANTIATES.

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Cit. Resolved, resolved.

2 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 fa

1 Cit. First you know, Caius Marcius is chief mously, he did it to that end; though soft conenemy 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.

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 an inventory to particularize their abundance; 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.


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, 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.

Cit. Come, come.

1 Cit. Soft; who comes here?


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

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

I' the midst o'the body, idle and inactive,
Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing

Like labour with the rest; where the other instru

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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.

1 Cit. Your belly's answer: What! The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye, The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,

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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 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


1 Cit. Ay, sir; 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?

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1 Cit. I the great toe? Why the great toe? Men. For that being one o'the lowest, basest,

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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,

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The city is well stor❜d.


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
give out

Conjectural marriages; making parties strong,
And feebling such as stand not in their liking,
Below their cobbled shoes. They say, there's grain

Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,
And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry
With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high
As I could pick my lance.

Men. Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded;
For though abundantly they lack discretion,
Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech,
What says the other troop?


They are dissolved: Hang 'em! They said, they were an-hungry; sigh'd forth pro

verbs ;

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Mar. I am glad on't; then we shall have means

to vent

Our musty superfluity: - See, our best elders. Enter COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, and other Senators; JUNIUS BRUTUS, and SICINIUS VELUTUS.

1 Sen. Marcius, 'tis true, that you have lately told


The Volces are in arms.


They have a leader,
Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to't.
I sin in envying his nobility:

And were I any thing but what I am,
I would wish me only he.


You have fought together.

Mar. Were half to half the world by the ears.

and he

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

1 Sen.

Then, worthy Marcius, 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?

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


1 Sen. Your company to the know,

Our greatest friends attend us.


O, true bred! Capitol; where, 1

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


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, Coм. MAR. TIT. and ΜΕΝΕΝ. 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?

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Opinion, that so sticks on Marcius, shall
Of his demerits rob Cominius.



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.
How the despatch is made; and in what fashion,
More than in singularity, he goes

Upon his present action.

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Besides, if things go well, 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 embrace...ents
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; when, for a day of kings' entreaties,
a mother should not sell him an hour from her be-
holding; 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.
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.

Let's hence, and hear

Let's along.


Corioli. The Senate-House.

Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, and certain Senators.
1 Sen. So, your opinion is, Aufidius,
That they of Rome are enter'd in our counsels,
And know how we proceed.


Is it not yours?
What ever hath been thought on in this state,
That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome
Had circumvention? 'Tis not four days gone,
Since I heard thence; these are the words: I think,
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 earth is great;
The people mutinous: and it is rumour'd,
Cominius, Marcius your old enemy,
(Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,)
And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,
These three lead on this preparation
Whither 'tis bent: most likely, 'tis for you:
Consider of it.

1 Sen.

Our army's in the field:

We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
To answer us.


Nor did you think it folly,

To keep your great pretences veil'd, till when
They needs must show themselves; which in the

It seem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery,
We shall be shorten'd in our aim; which was,
To take in many towns, ere, almost, Rome
Should know we were afoot.

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Take your commission; hie you to your bands:
Let us alone to guard Corioli:

If they set down before us, for the remove
Bring up your army; but, I think, you'll find
They have not prepar'd for us.

O, doubt not that;
I speak from certainties. Nay, more.
Some parcels of their powers are forth already,
And only hitherward. I leave your honours.
If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet,
'Tis sworn between us, we shall never strike
Till one can do no more.


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

1 Sen.

2 Sen.


All. Farewell.
SCENE III.-Rome. An Apartment in Marcius'

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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 bis 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.

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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.

Val. O' my word, the father's son: I'll swear, 'tis 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 Vol. I pray you, daughter, sing; or express your- let it go again; and after it again; and over and over

Enter VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA: They sit down on two low stools, and sew.

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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 shal go with us.

Vir. No, good madam, pardon me; indeed, I will 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.

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I'll buy him of you.

Mar. 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 these armies?
Within this mile and a half.
Mar. Then shall we hear their 'larum, and they


Now, Mars, I pr'ythee, make us quick in work; That we with smoking swords may march from hence,

To help our fielded friends!— Come, blow thy blast. They sound a parley. Enter, on the walls, some Senators, and others.

Tullus Aufidius, is he within your walls

1 Sen. No, nor a man that fears you less than he, That's lesser than a little. Hark, our drums [Alarums afar off.

Are bringing forth our youth: We'll break our walls,

Rather than they shall pound us up: Our gates, Which yet seem shut, we have but pinn'd with rushes;

They'll open of themselves.

Hark you, afar off; [Other alarums. work he makes

There is Aufidius; list, what
Amongst your cloven army.
O, they are at it!
Lart. Their noise be our instruction. — Ladders,

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:

They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts, Which makes me sweat with wrath. - Come on, my fellows;

He that retires, I'll take him for a Volce,
And he shall feel mine edge.

Alarums, 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 plagues

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.

Another alarum. The Volces and Romans re-enter
and the fight is renewed. The Volces retire into
Corioli, and MARCIUS follows them to the gates.
So, now the gates are ope: - Now prove good

seconds :

'Tis for the followers fortune widens them, Not for the fliers: mark me, and do the like.

[He enters the gates, vná is shut in.

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