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ACT I.

SCENE I.-Rome.-A Street.

Enter a Company of mutinous CITIZENS, with Staves, Clubs, and other Weapons.

1 Cit. Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.

Cit. Speak, speak. [Several speaking at once. 1 Cit. You are all resolved rather to die, than to famish?

Cit. Resolved, resolved.

1 Cit. First you know, Caius Marcius is chief enemy 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 as 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.

1 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

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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 famously, he did it to that end: though soft conscienc'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.

I 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!

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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 [on Against the Roman state; whose course will 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. Alack,

You are transported by calamity [slander Thither where more attends you; and you The helms o'the state, who care for you like When you curse them as enemies. [fathers, 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 scale't a little more.

1 Cit. Well, I'll hear it, Sir; yet you must not think to fob off our disgracef 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
instruments

Did see, and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
And, mutually participate, did minister
Unto the appetite and affection common
Of the whole body. The belly answered,-
1 Cit. Well, Sir, what answer made the
belly?

Men. Sir, I shall tell you.-With a kind of smile, [thus, Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even (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,
Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter,
With other muniments and petty helps
In this our fabric, if that they-

Men. What then?

'Fore me, this fellow speaks!-what then? what then?

1 Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be restrain'd,

Who is the sink o'the body,

Men. Well, what then?

1 Cit. The former agents, if they did comWhat could the belly answer? Men. I will tell you;

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[plain,

If you'll bestow a small (of what you have little,) [swer. Patience, a while, you'll hear the belly's an1 Cit. You are long about it.

Men. Note me this, good friend;
Your most grave belly was deliberate,
Not rash like his accusers, and thus answer'a.
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 me,-

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 flour 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,

[find, Touching the weal o'the common? you shall No public 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?

poorest,

1 Cit. I the great toe? Why the great toe? Men. For that being one o'the lowest, basest, [most: Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foreThou rascal, that art worst in blood, to run Lead'st first to win some vantage.But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs; Rome and her rats are at the point of battle, The one side must have bail. Hail, noble Marcius!

Enter CAIUS MARCIUS.

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

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

1 Cit. We have ever your good word. Mar. He that will give good words to thee, will flatter

you curs,

Beneath abhorring.-What would you have, [you, That like nor peace, nor war? the one affrights The other makes you proud. He that trusts you, [hares; Where he should find you lions, finds you Where foxes, geese: You are no surer, no, Than is the coal of fire upon the ice, Or hailstone in the sur. Your virtue is, To make him worthy, whose offence subdues him, [greatness, And curse that justice did it. Who deserves Deserves your hate: and your affections are A sick man's appetite, who desires most that Which would increase his evil. He that depends

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Upon your favours, swims with fins of lead, And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust ye?

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,

That in these several 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
seeking?

Men. For corn at their own rates; whereof, they say,

The city is well stor❜d.

Mar. 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 enough?

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
As I could pick my lance.

[bigh

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? [you, Mar. They are dissolved: Hang 'em! They said, they were an hungry; sigh'd forth proverbs;[eat; That hunger broke stone walls; that, dogs must That meat was made for mouths; that, the gods

sent not

Corn for the rich men only:-With these shreds They vented their complainings; which being answer'd,

And a petition granted them, a strange one, (To break the heart of generosity, And make bold power look pale,) they threw their caps

As they would hang them on the horns o'the Shouting their emulation.§ [moon,

Men. What is granted them?

Mur. Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms,

Of their own choice: One's Junius Brutus,
Sicinius Velutus, and I know not-'Sdeath!
The rabble should have first unroof'd the city;
Ere so prevail'd with me: it will in time
Win upon power, and throw forth greater
For insurrection's arguing.||
[themes

Men. This is strange.

Mar. Go, get you home, you fragments!

Enter a MESSENGER.

Mes. Where's Caius Marcius?
Mar. Here: What's the matter?

Mes. The news is, Sir, the Volces are in

arms.

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 VE

LUTUS.

The Volces are in arms.

Mar. 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.

Com. 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?

Tit. No, Caius Marcius;

[other, I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the Ere stay behind this business. Men. O, true bred!

1 Sen. Your company to the Capitol; where, I know,

Our greatest friends attend us.
Tit. Lead you on:

Follow, Cominius; we must follow you;
Right worthy you priority.*
Com. 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, [neers, To gnaw their garners:t-Worshipful mutiYour valour puts well forth: pray, follow.

[Exeunt SENATORS, COM. MAR. TIT. und MENEN. CITIZENS steal away.

Sic. Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius?

Bru. He has no equal,

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Sic. Be-mock the modest moon. Bru. The present wars devour him: he is Too proud to be so valiant.

[grown [dow

Sic. Such a nature, Tickled with good success, disdains the shaWhich he treads on at noon: But I do wonder, His insolence 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 first: for what miscarries Shall be the general's fault, though he perform To the utmost of a man; and giddy censure Will then cry out of Marcius, O, if he Had borne the business!

Sic. Besides, if things go well; Opinion, that so sticks on Marcius, shall Of his demerits rob Cominius.

Bru. Come:

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1 Sen. Marcius, 'tis true, that you have late-In
ly told us;
Pity, compassion.
Faction.

+ Heap of dead.
+ Pitch.
For insurgents to debate upon

Right worthy of precedence. Shows itself.

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+ Granaries. & Sneer. Demerits and merits had anciently the same meaning.

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than picture-like to hang by the wall, if renown what fa- made it not stir,-was pleased to let him seek [shion, danger where he was like to find fame. To a cruel war I sent him; from whence he returned, his brows bound with oak. 1 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.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II-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.

Auf. 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: [Reads.
They have press'd a power, but it is not known
Whether for east, or west: The dearth 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:

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.

Gent. Madam, the lady Valeria is come to visit you.

Vir. 'Beseech you, give me leave to retire
myself.

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,

We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready Come on, you cowards, you were got in fear,

To answer us.

Auf. Nor did you think it folly,
To keep your great pretences veil'd, till when
They needs must show themselves, which in
the hatching,

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

2 Sen. Noble Aufidius,

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.

Auf. 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.

All. The gods assist you!

Auf. And keep your honours safe! 1 Sen. Farewell.

2 Sen. Farewell.

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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 tenderbodied, 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 beholding; I,-considering how honour would become such a person; that it was no better

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Though you were born in Rome: His bloody

brow

[goes;
With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he
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

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Re-enter GENTLEWOMAN, with VALERIA and her
USHER.

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 manifest house-keepers. What, are you sewing here! A fine spot,t 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 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 'twas, he did so set his teeth, and tear it; O, I warrant, how he mammocked; it!

Vol. One of his father's moods.
Val. Indeed la, 'tis a noble child.
Vir. A crack, madam.

Val. Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must
* Withdraw. † of work. 1 Tore.
Boy.

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

Val. Not out of doors!

Vol. She shall, she shall.

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

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

That we with smoking swords may march from hence, [blast. To help our fielded* friends!-Come, blow thy They sound a parley.—Enter, on the walls, some SENATORS, and others.

Tullus Autidius, 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 afur off. Are bringing forth our youth: We'll break our walls,

Vir. I will wish her speedy strength, and visit her with my prayers; but I cannot go thi-Rather than they shall pound us up: our gates, ther. Which yet seem shut, we have but pinn'd with rushes; They'll open of themselves.

Vol. Why, I pray you?

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 cambric 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 Volces 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.

[Exeunt.

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Hark you, far off; [Other Alarums. work he makes

There is Aufidius; list, what
Amongst your cloven army.
Mar. O, they are at it!
Lart. Their noise be our instruction.-Lad-
ders, hɔ!

The VOLCES enter and pass over the Stage. Mar. They fear us not, but issue forth their oity.

[fight Now put your shields before your hearts, and With hearts more proof than shields.-Advance, brave Titus:

They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts,
Which makes me sweat with wrath.-Come
He that retires, I'll take him for a Volce,
on, my fellows;
And he shall feel mine edge.

Alarum, and exeunt ROMANS and VOLCES, fight.. ing. The ROMANS are beaten back to their trenches. Re-enter MARCIUS.

Mar. All the contagion of the south light on

you.

run

You shames of Rome! you herd of-Boils and
[plagues
Further than seen, and one infect another
Plaster you o'er; that you may be abhorr'd
That bear the shapes of men, how have you
Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese,
From slaves that apes would beat? Pluto and
[hell!
With flight and agued fear! Mend, and charge
All hurt behind; backs red, and faces pale
home,
Or, by the fires of heaven, I'll leave the foe,
And make my wars on you: look to't: Come
[wives,
If you'll stand fast, we'll beat them to their
As they us to our trenches followed.

on;

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