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Take your commission; hie you to your bands.
0! doubt not that;
The gods assist you!
SCENE III. Rome. An Apartment in MARCIUS' House. Enter VOLUMNIA, and VIRGILIA. They sit down on two low
Stools, and sew. Vol. I pray you, daughter, sing; or express yourself 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 embracements 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 king's entreaties, a mother should not sell him an hour from her beholding; 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. I tell thee, daughter, I sprang not more in joy at first hearing he was a manchild, than now in first seeing he had proved himself a man.
Vir. But had he died in the business, Madam? how then?
Vol. Then, his good report should have been my son: I therein would have found issue. Hear me profess sincerely:had I a dozen sons, - each in my love alike, and none less dear than thine and my good Marcius, I had rather had eleven die nobly for their country, than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.
Enter a Gentlewoman.
Vol. Indeed, you shall not.
Vir. His bloody brow? 0, Jupiter! no blood.
Vol. Away, you fool! it more becomes a man,
[Exit. Gent. Vir. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius!
Vol. He 'll beat Aufidius' head below his knee,
Re-enter Gentlewoman, with VALERIA and her Usher.
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, 't is 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 let it go again; and after it again; and over and over he comes, and
up again; catched it again: or whether his fall enraged him, or how 't was, he did so set his teeth, and tear it; 0! I warrant, how he mammocked it!
Vol. One of his father's moods.
Val. Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have you play the idle huswife with me this afternoon.
Vir. No, good Madam; I will not out of doors.
Vir. Indeed, no, by your patience: I will not over the threshold, till my lord return from the wars.
Vol. Fie! you confine yourself most unreasonably. Come; you must go visit the good lady that lies in.
Vir. I will wish her speedy strength, and visit her with my prayers; but I cannot go thither.
Vol. Why, I pray you?
Val. You would be another Penelope; yet, they say, all tbc yarn she spun in Ulysses' absence did but fill Ithaca full of moths. Come: I would, your cambr were sensible as your finger, that you might leave pricking it for pity. Come, you shall 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.
Vir. Indeed, Madam?
Val. In earnest, it's true; I heard a senator speak it. Thus it is: — The Volsces have an army forth, against whom Cominius the general is gone, with one part of our Roman power : your lord, and Titus Lartius, are set down before their city Corioli; they nothing doubt prevailing, and to make it brief wars. This is true on mine honour; and so, I pray, go with us.
Vir. Give me excuse, good Madam; I will obey you in every thing hereafter.
Vol. Let her alone, lady: as she is now, she will but disease our better mirth.
Val. In troth, I think, she would. — Fare you well then. Come, good sweet lady. — Pr’ythee, Virgilia , turn thy solemness out o' door, and go along with us.
Vir. No, at a word, Madam; indeed, I must not. I wish you much mirth. Val. Well then, farewell.
Officers, and Soldiers. To them a Messenger.
'T is done.
I'll buy him of you. Lart. No, I'll nor sell, nor give him: lend you him I will, For half a hundred years.
Summon the town.
Within this mile and half.
That we with smoking swords may march from hence,
1 Sen. No, nor a man that fears you less than he, That 's lesser than a little. Hark, our drums [Drums 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, far off; [Alarum afar off. There is Aufidius: list, what work he makes Amongst your cloven army. Mar.
0! they are at it. Lart. Their noise be our instruction.' – Ladders, ho!
The Volsces enter, and pass over the Stage.
Mar. All the contagion of the south light on you,