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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 yourfelves :--What do you think?
You, the great toe of this affembly?.

2 Cit. I the great toe? Why the great toe?

Men. For that, being one o' the loweft,, bafeft,

Of this moft wife rebellion, thou go'ft foremost:
Thou rafcal, that art worst in blood, to run
Lead'ft first, to win fome vantage 1.-
But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs;
Rome and her rats are at the point of battle,
The one fide must have bale 2.-Hail, noble

Enter Caius Marcius. ·

Mar. Thanks.-What's the matter, you diffen-
tious rogues,

That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Make yourfelves scabs?


Men. Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded;
For though abundantly they lack difcretion,
Yet are they paffing cowardly. But, I befeech you,
What fays the other troop?

Mar. They are diffolv'd: Hang 'em! [verbs;
They faid, they were an-hungry; figh'd forth pro-
That, hunger broke ftone walls; that, dogs muft
[fent not
That, meat was made for mouths; that, the gods
10 Corn for the rich men only :-With thefe fhreds
They vented their complainings; which being

And a petition granted them, a ftrange one,
(To break the heart of generofity 5,

[caps 15 And make bold power look pale) they threw their As they would hang them on the horns o' the moon, Shouting their emulation.

Men. What is granted them?


Mar. Five tribunes, to defend their vulgar wif-
20 Of their own choice: One's junius Brutus,
Sicinius Velutus, and I know not-s'death!
The rabble fhould have first unroof'd the city,
Ere fo prevail'd with me: it will in time
Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes
For infurrection's arguing.

2 Cit. We have ever your good word. [flatter
Mar. He that will give good words to thee, will
Beneath abhorring.-What would have, you curs,
That like nor peace, nor war? the one affrights you, 25
The other makes you proud. He that trufts to you,
Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
Where foxes, geefe: You are no furer, no,
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
Or hailstone in the fun. Your virtue is,



To make him worthy, whose offence subdues him,
And curfe that juftice did it. Who deferves great-
Deferves your hate: and your affections are [ness,
A fick man's appetite, who defires most that
Which would increase his evil. He that depends 35
Upon your favours, fwims with fins of lead,
And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Truft
With every minute you do change a mind;
And call him noble, that was now your hate,
Him vile, that was your garland. What's the matter, 40
That in thefe feveral places of the city
You cry against the noble senate, who,
Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else
Would feed on one another?-What's their feek-


Men. 'This is ftrange.

Mar. Go, get you home, you fragments!
Enter a Miffenger.

Mef. Where's Caius Marcius?

Mar. Here: What's the matter?

Mef. The news is, fir, the Volces are in arms.
Mar. I am glad on't; then we shall have means

to vent

Our musty fuperfluity:-See, our best elders.
Enter Cominius, Titus Lartius, with ether Senators;
Junius Brutus, and Sicinius Velutus.

1 Sen. Marcius, 'tis true, that you have lately
The Volces are in arms.
[told us;

Mar. They have a leader,

Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to 't.

1 fin in envying his nobility:

And were I any thing but what I am,

I would with me only he.

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Men. For corn at their own rates; whereof, The city is well ftor'd.

Mar. Hang 'em! They say?

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That I am proud to hunt.

1 Sen. Then, worthy Marcius,
Attend upon Cominius to thefe wars.

Ccm. It is your former promife.
Mar. Sir, it is;

And I am conftant.-Titus Lartius, thou
Shalt fee me once more like at Tullus' face:
What, art thou stiff? fland'st out?

Tit. No, Caius Marcius;

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

I The meaning is, Thou that art a hound, or running dog of the lowest breed, lead'ft the pack, when any thing is to be gotten. 2 Bale is an old Saxon word for misery or calamity. 3 i. e. their pity, compaffion. 4 The old copy reads-picke my lance; and fo the word is ftill pronounced in Staffordshire, where they fay-picke me fuch a thing, that is, throw any thing that the demander wants. 5 Meaning, To give the final blow to the nobles. Generefity is bigh birth. 6 viz. that the Vultes are in

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That could be brought to bodily at 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:

5 "They have prefs'd a power, but it is not known
Whether for eaft, or weft: The dearth is great;
The people mutinous: and it is rumour'd,
"Cominius, Marcius your old enemy,

10" (Who is of Rome worfe hated than of you)
"And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,

Citizens fteal away. Manent Sicinius, and Brutus. 15
Sic. Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius?
Bru. He has no equal.
Sic. When we were chosen tribunes for the peo-
Eru. Mark'd you his lip, and eyes?
Sic. Nay, but his taunts.

[gods. 20

Bru. Being mov'd, he will not spare to 'gird the
Sic. Be-mock the modeft moon.

Bru. The prefent wars devour him2 ! he is grown
Too proud to be so valiant.

Sic. Such a nature,

Tickled with good fuccefs, difdains the shadow
Which he treads on at noon: But I do wonder,
His infolence can brook to be commanded
Under Cominius,

Bru. Fame, at the which he aims,→→→
In whom already he is well grac'd,—cannot
Better be held, nor more attain'd, than by
A place below the firft: for what miscarries
Shall be the general's fault, though he perform
To the utmost of a man; and giddy cenfure
Will then cry out on Marcius, O, if be
Had borne the bufinefs!

Sic. Befides, if things go well,
Opinion, that fo fticks on Marcius, fhall
Of his demerits 3 rob Cominius.

Bru. Come:

Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius,

Though Marcius earn'd them not; and all his faults
To Marcius fhall he honours, though indeed,
In aught he merit not.

Sic. Let's hence, and hear

How the difpatch is made; and in what fashion,
More than his fingularity, he goes

Upon this prefent action.

Bru. Let's along.

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The Senate-Houfe in Corioli.

Enter Tullus Aufidius, with Senators.

1 Sen. So, your opinion is, Aufidius,

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Enter Volumnia, and Virgilia: They fit down on two low ftools, and few.

Vol. I pray you, daughter, fing; or exprefs [Exeunt. 50 yourself in a more comfortable fort: If my fon were my husband, I should freelier rejoice in that abfence wherein he won honour, than in the embracements of his bed, where he would fhew most love. When yet he was but tender-body'd, and 55 the only fon of my womb; when youth with comelinefs pluck'd all gaze his way; when, for a day of king's entreaties, a mother thould not fell him an hour from her beholding; I,-confidering how honour would become fuch a perfon; that it

That they of Rome are enter'd in our counfels,
And know how we proceed.

Auf. Is it not yours?

What ever hath been thought on in this state,

To fneer, to gibe.

2 The fenfe is, that the prefent vars annihilate his gentler qualities. 3 Merits and demerits had anciently the fame meaning. i. e. We will learn what he is to do, befides going bimflf; what are his powers, and what is his appointment. 5 That is, If the Romans befiege us, bring up your army to remove them.


was no better than picture-like to hang by the wall, if renown made it not ftir,was pleas'd to let him feek danger where he was like to find fame. To a cruel war I fent him; from whence he returned, his brows bound with oak: I tell thee, daughter, I fprang not more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child, than now in firft feeing he had proved himself a man.

Vir. But had he died in the business, madam? how then?

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Vol. Then his good report should have been my fon; I therein would have found iffue. Hear me profefs fincerely:-Had I a dozen fons,-each in my love alike, and none lefs dear than thine and my good Marcius, I had rather had eleven die 15 nobly for their country, than one voluptuously furfeit out of action.

Enter a Gentlewoman.

Gent. Madam, the lady Valeria is come to vifit


Vir. 'Beseech you, give me leave to retire myself. Vel. Indeed, you fhall not. Methinks, I hither hear your husband's drum; See him pluck down Aufidius by the hair; As children from a bear, the Volces fhunning him : Methinks, I fee him ftamp 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 lofe his hire.

Vr. 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 the did fuckle Hector, look'd not lovelier Than Hector's forehead, when it spit forth blood At Grecian fwords' 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.

Enter Valeria, with an Uber, and a Gentlewoman.
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 manifeft houfe-keepers. What, are you fewing here? A fine fpot, in good faith.-How does your little


Vir. I thank your ladyship; well, good madam. Vol. He had rather fee the fwords, and hear a drum,

Than look upon his school-mafter.

let it go again; and after it again; and over and over he comes, and up again; catch'd it again : or whether his fall enrag`d him, or how 'twas, he did fo fet his teeth, and tear it; 0, I warrant how he mammock'd 3 it!

Vol. One of his father's moods.

Val. Indeed la, 'tis a noble child.
Vir. A crack, madam.

Vai. Come, lay afide your ftitchery; I must have you play the idle hufwife with me this after


Vir. No, good madam; I will not out of doors.

Val. Not out of doors!

Vol. She fhall, fhe hall.

Vir. Indeed, no, by your patience: I will not over the threshold, 'till my lord return from the


Val. Fie, you confine yourself most unreafon20ably: Come, you must go visit the good lady that lies in.


Vir. I will with her fpeedy ftrength, and visit her with my prayers; but I cannot go thither. Vol. Why, I pray you?

Vir. 'Tis not to fave labour, nor that I want love.

Val. You would be another Penelope : yet, they fay, all the yarn, the fpun in Ulyffes' absence, did but fill Ithaca full of moths. Come; I would, 30 your cambrick were fenfible as your finger, that you might leave pricking it for pity. Come, you fhall 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 jeft with you; there came news from him last night.

Vir. Indeed, madam?

Val. In earneft, it's true; I heard a fenator fpeak 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 45 and Titus Lartius are fet down before their city Corioli; they nothing doubt prevailing, and to make it brief wars. This is true, on mine honour; and fo, I pray, go with us. Vir. Give me excufe, good madam; I will 50obey you in every thing hereafter.

Val. O' my word, the father's fon: I'll fwear, 55 'tis a very pretty boy. O'my troth, I look'd upon bim o' Wednesday half an hour together: he has fuch a confirm'd countenance. I faw him run after a gilded butterfly; and when he caught it, he

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The crown given by the Romans to him that faved the life of a citizen, and was accounted more honourable than any other. 2 Gilt is an obfolete word, meaning a fuperficial difplay of gold. 3 To mammock is a phrase still used in Staffordshire, and implies to cut in pieces, or to tear. fignifies a boy child."

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Before Corioli.

Enter Marcius, Titus Lartius, with drum and co-
lours, Captains, and Soldiers. To them a Mef

Mar. Yonder comes news:-A wager, they
have met.

Lart. My horfe to yours, no.

Mar. 'Tis done.

Lart. Agreed.

Max. Say, has our general met the enemy?

Mef. They lie in view; but have not spoke as yet.
Lart. So, the good horfe is mine.

Mar. I'll buy him of you.

Lart. No, I'll not fell, nor give him: lend you
him, I will,

For half a hundred years.-Summon the town.
Mar. How far off lie these armies?
Mef. Within this mile and half.

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10Tis for the followers fortune widens them, Not for the fliers: Mark me,

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[ours. 20

Mar. Then fhall we hear their 'larum, and they
Now, Mars, I pr'ythee, make us quick in work;
That we with smoking swords may march from

To help our fielded friends!-Come, blow thy blaft. 25
They found a parley. Enter Senators, with others, on
the walls.

Tullus Aufidius, is he within your walls?

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I Sen. No, nor a man that fears you lefs than he, That's leffer than a little. Hark, our drums

30 [Drum afar off. Are bringing forth our youth: We'll break our walls,

Rather than they shall pound us up: our gates,
Which yet feem fhut, we have but pinn'd with 35


They'll open of themselves. Hark you, far off;
[Alarum far off.

There is Aufidius: lift, what work he makes
Amongst your cloven army..

Mar. O, they are at it!

Lart. Their noife be our inftruction.--Ladders,ho!

Enter the Volces.

Mar. They fear us not, but iffue forth their city. Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight|45| With hearts more proof than shields.-Advance,

brave Titus:

They do difdain as much beyond our thoughts,
Which makes me fweat with wrath.-Come on,

my fellows;

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

[Alarum; the Romans beat back to their trenches.
Re-enter Marcius.

Mar. All the contagion of the fouth light on you, You shames of Rome, you! Herds of boils and plagues

Plafter you o'er; that you may be abhorr'd
Farther than feen, and one infect another
Against the wind a mile! You fouls of geefe,
That bear the shapes of men, how have you run
From flaves that apes would beat? Pluto and hell!
All hurt behind; backs red, and faces pale



and do the like.
[He enters the gates.

Sol. See, they have shut him in.

[Alarum continues.

All. To the pot, I warrant him.

Enter Tirus Lartius.

Lart. What is become of Marcius?
All. Slain, fir, doubtless.

1 Sol. Following the fliers at the very heels,
With them he enters: who, upon the sudden,
Clapt-to their gates; he is himself alone,
To answer all the city.

Lart. O noble fellow!

Who, fenfible, out-dares his fenfelefs fword,
And, when it bows, ftands up! Thou art left,

A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,
Were not fo rich a jewel. Thou waft a foldier
Even to Cato's wifh: not fierce and terrible
Only in ftrokes; but, with thy grim looks, and
The thunder-like percuffion of thy founds,
Were feverous, and did tremble.
Thou mad'ft thine enemies shake, as if the world

Re-enter Marcius bleeding, affaulted by the enemy.
1 Sol. Look, fir.

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3 Rom. A murrain on't! I took this for filver. Enter Marcius, and Titus Lartius, with a trumpet. [Alarum continues ftill afar eff. Mar. See here these movers, that do prize their hours

At a crack'd drachm! Cushions, leaden spoons,
Bury with thofe that wore them, these base slaves,
Irons of a doit, doublets that hangmen would
Ere yet the fight be done, pack up :-Down
with them.
And hark, what noife the general makes!-To
[him :-
There is the man of my foul's hate, Aufidius,
60 Piercing our Romans: Then, valiant Titus, take
Convenient numbers to make good the city; [hafte
Whilft I, with thofe that have the fpirit, will
To help Cominius.

Make remain is an old manner of speaking, which means no more than remain.


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Mf. Spies of the Volces

Held me in chafe, that I was forc'd to wheel
Three or four miles about; elfe had I, fir,
Half an hour fince brought my report.
Enter Marcius.

Com. Who's yonder,

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Com. But how prevail'd you?


Mar. Will the time ferve to tell? I do not Where is the enemy? Are you lords o' the field? If not, why cease you 'till you are so?

Com. Marcius, we have a disadvantage fought, And did retire, to win our purpose.


Mar. How lies their battle? Know you on what They have plac'd their men of trust?

Cem. As I guess, Marcius,

Their bands i' the vaward are the Antiates,
Of their best truft: o'er them Aufidius,
Their very heart of hope.

Mar. I do befeech you,

By all the battles wherein we have fought,
35 By the blood we have fhed together, by the vows
We have made to endure friends, that you directly
Set me against Aufidius, and his Antiates :
And that you not delay 3 the prefent; but,

Filling the air with fwords advanc'd4, and darts, 40 We prove this very hour.

Com. Though I could wish

You were conducted to a gentle bath,

And balms applied to you, yet dare I never Deny your afking; take your choice of thofe 45 That beft can aid your action.

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Mar. Those are they

That most are willing:-If any fuch be here,
(As it were fin to doubt) that love this painting
Wherein you fee me smear'd; if any fear

5 Leffer his perfon than an ill report;
If any think, brave death outweighs bad life,
And that his country's dearer than himself;
Let him, alone, or so many, fo minded,
Wave thus, to express his difpofition,
55 And follow Marcius.

[Waving bis band..
[They all fhout, and wave their fwords, take bim
up in their arms, and caft up their caps.
O me, alone! Make you a fword of me?
If thefe fhews be not outward, which of you
60 But is four Volces? None of you, but is

Able to bear against the great Aufidius
A fhield as hard as his. A certain number,


2 i. e. remitting his ransom. 3 Delay for Though

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