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His wife is in Corioli, and his child
Like him by chance.—Yet give us our despatch :
I am hush'd until our city be afire,
And then I'll speak a little.
Cor. [after holding VOLUMNIA by the hands in silence.]

O mother, mother!
What have you done? Behold, the heavens do ope,
The gods look down, and this unnatural scene
They laugh at. O my mother, mother! O!
You have won a happy victory to Rome;
But for your son,-believe it, 0, believe it,
Most dangerously you have with him prevail'd,
If not most mortal to him. But let it come. -
Aufidius, though I cannot make true wars,
I'll frame convenient peace. Now, good Aufidius,
If you were in my stead, would you have heard
A mother less? or granted less, Aufidius?

Auf. I was mov'd withal.

I dare be sworn you were:
And, sir, it is no little thing to make
Mine eyes to sweat compassion. But, good sir,
What peace you'll make, advise me: for my part,
I'll not to Rome, I'll back with you; and, pray you,
Stand to me in this cause.—O mother! wife!

Auf. I am glad thou hast set thy mercy and thy honour
At difference in thee: out of that I'll work
Myself a former fortune.

[Aside. [T'he Ladies make signs to CORIOLANUS. Cor.

Ay, by and by;

[ņo VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, dc. But we'll drink together; and you shall bear A better witness back than words, which we, On like conditions, will have counter-seal’d. Come, enter with us. Ladies, you deserve To have a temple built you: all the swords In Italy, and her confederate arms, Could not have made this peace.


SCENE IV.-ROME. A public Place.

Enter MENENIUS and SICINIUS. Men. See you yond coigne o' the Capitol, -yond cornerstone?

Sic. Why, what of that?
Men. If it be possible for you to displace it with your

little finger, there is some hope the ladies of Rome, especially his mother, may prevail with him. But I say there is no hope in't: our throats are sentenced, and stay upon execution.

Sic. Is't possible that so short a time can alter the condition of a man?

Men. There is differency between a grub and a butterfly; yet your butterfly was a grub.

This Marcius is grown from man to dragon: he has wings; he 's more than a creeping thing Sic. He loved his mother dearly.

Men. So did he me: and he no inore remembers his mother now than an eight-year-old horse. The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes: when he walks, he moves like an engine, and the ground shrinks before his treading: he is able to pierce a corslet with his eye; talks like a knell, and his hum is a battery. He sits in his state as a thing made for Alexander. What he bids be done is finished with his bidding. He wants nothing of a god but eternity, and a heaven to throne in.

Sic. Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.

Men. I paint him in the character. Mark what mercy his mother shall bring from him: there is no more mercy in him than there is milk in a male tiger; that shall our poor city find: and all this is 'long of you.

Sic. The gods be good unto us!
Men. No, in such a case the gods will not be good unto

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 a second Messenger.

What's the news? 2 Mess. Good news, good news ;-the ladies have prevail’d, The Volscians are dislodg’d and Marcius gone: A merrier day did never yet greet Rome, No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins. Sic.

Friend, Art thou certain this is true? is it most certain?

2 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 you!

[Trumpets and hautboys sounded, drums

beaten, and shouting 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 music. Sic. First, the gods bless you for your tidings; next, Accept my thankfulness. 2 Mess.

Sir, we have all
Great cause to give great thanks.

They are near the city? 2 Mess. Almost at point to enter. Sic.

We will meet them, And help the joy.


SCENE V.-ROMEA Street near the Gate.

Enter VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, VALERIA, &c., accompanied

by Senators, Patricians, and Citizens. 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! AU.

Welcome, ladies, Welcome! [4 flourish with drums and trumpets. Exeunt.

SCENE VI.--ANTIUM. A public Place.

Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, with Attendants.
Auf. Go tell the lords of the city I am here:
Deliver them this paper; having read it,
Bid them repair to the market-place: where I,
Even in theirs and in the commons' ears,


Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse
The city ports by this hath enter'd, and
Intends to appear before the people, hoping
To purge himself with words : despatch. [Esceunt Attendants.

Enter three or four Conspirators of AUFIDIUS's faction. Most welcome!

1 Con. How is it with our general?

Even so
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 made all his; 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,

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

There was it;
For 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.

Say no more:
Here come the lords.

Enter the Lords of the City. Lords. You are most welcome home.

I have not deservd it. But, worthy lords, have you with heed perus’d What I have written to you? Lords.

We have. 1 Lord.

And grieve to hear't.
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, answering us
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

soldier; No more infected with my country's love Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting



your great command. You are to know


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