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ACT I SCENE IV. Before Corioli.
[ Enter, with drum and colours, MARCIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, Captains and Soldiers. To them a Messenger ]
MARCIUSYonder comes news. A wager they have met.
LARTIUSMy horse to yours, no.
MARCIUS'Tis done.
MARCIUSSay, has our general met the enemy?5
MessengerThey lie in view; but have not spoke as yet.
LARTIUSSo, the good horse is mine.
MARCIUSI'll buy him of you.
LARTIUSNo, I'll nor sell nor give him: lend you him I will
For half a hundred years. Summon the town.10
MARCIUSHow far off lie these armies?
MessengerWithin this mile and half.
MARCIUSThen shall we hear their 'larum, and they ours.
Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work,
That we with smoking swords may march from hence,15
To help our fielded friends! Come, blow thy blast.
[ They sound a parley. Enter two Senators with others on the walls ]
Tutus Aufidius, is he within your walls?
First SenatorNo, nor a man that fears you less than he,
That's lesser than a little.
[Drums afar off]
Hark! our drums20
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.
[Alarum afar off]
Hark you. far off!25
There is Aufidius; list, what work he makes
Amongst your cloven army.
MARCIUSO, they are at it!
LARTIUSTheir noise be our instruction. Ladders, ho!
[Enter the army of the Volsces]
MARCIUSThey fear us not, but issue forth their city.30
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:35
He that retires I'll take him for a Volsce,
And he shall feel mine edge.
[ Alarum. The Romans are beat back to their trenches. Re-enter MARCIUS cursing ]
MARCIUSAll 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'd40
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 pale45
With flight and agued fear! Mend and charge home,
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.50
[ Another alarum. The Volsces fly, 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.
[Enters the gates]
First SoldierFool-hardiness; not I.
Second SoldierNor I.55
[MARCIUS is shut in]
First SoldierSee, they have shut him in.
AllTo the pot, I warrant him.
[Alarum continues]
LARTIUSWhat is become of Marcius?
AllSlain, sir, doubtless.
First SoldierFollowing the fliers at the very heels,60
With them he enters; who, upon the sudden,
Clapp'd to their gates: he is himself alone,
To answer all the city.
LARTIUSO noble fellow!
Who sensibly outdares his senseless sword,65
And, when it bows, stands up. Thou art left, Marcius:
A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,
Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier
Even to Cato's wish, not fierce and terrible
Only in strokes; but, with thy grim looks and70
The thunder-like percussion of thy sounds,
Thou madst thine enemies shake, as if the world
Were feverous and did tremble.
[Re-enter MARCIUS, bleeding, assaulted by the enemy]
First SoldierLook, sir.
LARTIUSO,'tis Marcius!75
Let's fetch him off, or make remain alike.
[They fight, and all enter the city]

Next: Coriolanus, Act 1, Scene 5


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