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Rome. Before a gate of the city.
Enter CORIOLANUS, VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, MENENIUS, COMINIUS, with the young Nobility of Rome.

Come, leave your tears: a brief farewell: the beast

With many heads butts me away. Nay, mother,

Where is your ancient courage? you were used

To say extremity was the trier of spirits;

That common chances common men could bear;

That when the sea was calm all boats alike

Show'd mastership in floating; fortune's blows,

When most struck home, being gentle wounded, craves

A noble cunning: you were used to load me (10)

With precepts that would make invincible

The heart that conn'd them.

O heavens! O heavens!

Nay, I prithee, woman,—

Now the red pestilence strike all trades in Rome,

And occupations perish!

What, what, what!

I shall be loved when I am lack'd. Nay, mother,

Resume that spirit, when you were wont to say,

If you had been the wife of Hercules,

Six of his labours you 'ld have done, and saved

Your husband so much sweat. Cominius, (20)

Droop not; adieu. Farewell, my wife, my mother:

I'll do well yet. Thou old and true Menenius,

Thy tears are salter than a younger man's,

And venomous to thine eyes. My sometime general,

I have seen thee stern, and thou hast oft beheld

Heart-hardening spectacles; tell these sad women

'Tis fond to wail inevitable strokes,

As 'tis to laugh at 'em. My mother, you wot well

My hazards still have been your solace: and

Believe 't not lightly—though I go alone, (30)

Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen

Makes fear'd and talk'd of more than seen—your son

Will or exceed the common or be caught

With cautelous baits and practice.

My first son,

Whither wilt thou go? Take good Cominius

With thee awhile: determine on some course,

More than a wild exposture to each chance

That starts i' the way before thee.

O the gods!

I'll follow thee a month, devise with thee

Where thou shalt rest, that thou mayst hear of us (40)

And we of thee: so if the time thrust forth

A cause for thy repeal, we shall not send

O'er the vast world to seek a single man,

And lose advantage, which doth ever cool

I' the absence of the needer.

Fare ye well:

Thou hast years upon thee; and thou art too full

Of the wars' surfeits, to go rove with one

That's yet unbruised: bring me but out at gate.

Come, my sweet wife, my dearest mother, and

My friends of noble touch, when I am forth,

Bid me farewell, and smile. I pray you, come.

While I remain above the ground, you shall

Hear from me still, and never of me aught

But what is like me formerly.

That's worthily

As any ear can hear. Come, let's not weep.

If I could shake off but one seven years

From these old arms and legs, by the good gods,

I'ld with thee every foot.

Give me thy hand:

Come. Exeunt.


The same. A street near the gate.
Enter SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and an Ædile.

Bid them all home; he's gone, and we'll no further.

The nobility are vex'd, whom we see have sided

In his behalf.

Now we have shown our power,

Let us seem humbler after it is done

Than when it was a-doing.

Bid them home:

Say their great enemy is gone, and they

Stand in their ancient strength.

Dismiss them home. Exit Ædile.

Here comes his mother.

Let's not meet her.


They say she's mad. (10)

They have ta'en note of us: keep on your way. Enter VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, and MENENIUS.

O, ye're well met: the hoarded plague o' the gods

Requite your love!

Peace, peace; be not so loud.

If that I could for weeping, you should hear,—

Nay, and you shall hear some. To Brutus

Will you be gone?

To Sicinius
You shall stay too: I would I had the power

To say so to my husband.

Are you mankind?

Ay, fool; is that a shame? Note but this fool.

Was not a man my father? Hadst thou foxship

To banish him that struck more blows for Rome

Than thou hast spoken words?

O blessed heavens! (21)

More noble blows than ever thou wise words;

And for Rome's good. I'll tell thee what; yet go:

Nay, but thou shalt stay too: I would my son

Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him,

His good sword in his hand.

What then?

What then!

He'ld make an end of thy posterity.

Bastards and all.

Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome!

Come, come, peace.

I would he had continued to his country (31)

As he began, and not unknit himself

The noble knot he made.

I would he had.

'I would he had'! 'Twas you incensed the rabble:

Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth

As I can of those mysteries which heaven

Will not have earth to know.

Pray, let us go.

Now, pray, sir, get you gone:

You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear this:— (39)

As far as doth the Capitol exceed

The meanest house in Rome, so far my son—

This lady's husband here, this, do you see?—

Whom you have banish'd, does exceed you all.

Well, well, we'll leave you.

Why stay we to be baited

With one that wants her wits?

Take my prayers with you. Exeunt Tribunes.

I would the gods had nothing else to do

But to confirm my curses! Could I meet 'em

But once a-day, it would unclog my heart

Of what lies heavy to't.

You have told them home;

And, by my troth, you have cause. You'll sup with me?

Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself. (51)

And so shall starve with feeding. Come, let's go:

Leave this faint puling and lament as I do,

In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come.

Fie, fie, fie! Exeunt.


A highway between Rome and Antium.
Enter a Roman and a Volsce, meeting.

I know you well, sir, and you know
me: your name, I think, is Adrian.

It is so, sir: truly, I have forgot you.

I am a Roman; and my services are,
as you are, against 'em: know you me yet?

Nicanor? no.

The same, sir.

You had more beard when I last saw
you; but your favour is well approved by your
tongue. What's the news in Rome? I have a
note from the Volscian state, to find you out
there: you have well saved me a day's journey.

There hath been in Rome strange insurrections;
the people against the senators,
patricians, and nobles.

Hath been! is it ended, then? Our
state thinks not so: they are in a most war-like
preparation, and hope to come upon them
in the heat of their division. (20)

The main blaze of it is past, but a
small thing would make it flame again: for
the nobles receive so to heart the banishment
of that worthy Coriolanus, that they are in a
ripe aptness to take all power from the people
and to pluck from them their tribunes for
ever. This lies glowing, I can tell you, and is
almost mature for the violent breaking out.

Coriolanus banished!

Banished, sir.

You will be welcome with this intelligence,

The day serves well for them now.
I have heard it said, the fittest time to corrupt
a man's wife is when she's fallen out with her
husband. Your noble Tullus Aufidius will appear
well in these wars, his great opposer,
Coriolanus, being now in no request of his

He cannot choose. I am most fortunate,
thus accidentally to encounter you: you
have ended my business, and I will merrily
accompany you home.

I shall, between this and supper, tell
you most strange things from Rome; all tending
to the good of their adversaries. Have you
an army ready, say you?

A most royal one; the centurions
and their charges, distinctly billeted, already
in the entertainment, and to be on foot at an
hour's warning. (51)

I am joyful to hear of their readiness,
and am the man, I think, that shall set
them in present action. So, sir, heartily well
met, and most glad of your company.

You take my part from me, sir; I
have the most cause to be glad of yours.

Well, let us go together. Exeunt.


Antium. Before Aufidius's house.
Enter CORIOLANUS in mean apparel, disguised and muffled.

A goodly city is this Antium. City,

'Tis I that made thy widows: many an heir

Of these fair edifices 'fore my wars

Have I heard groan and drop: then know me not,

Lest that thy wives with spits and boys with stones

In puny battle slay me. Enter a Citizen.

Save you, sir.

And you.

Direct me, if it be your will,

Where great Aufidius lies; is he in Antium?

He is, and feasts the nobles of the state

At his house this night. (10)

Which is his house, beseech you?

This, here before you.

Thank you, sir: farewell. Exit Citizen.

O world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn,

Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart,

Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise,

Are still together, who twin, as 'twere, in love

Unseparable, shall within this hour,

On a dissension of a doit, break out

To bitterest enmity: so, fellest foes,

Whose passions and whose plots have broke their sleep (20)

To take the one the other, by some chance,

Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends

And interjoin their issues. So with me:

My birth-place hate I, and my love's upon

This enemy town. I'll enter: if he slay me,

He does fair justice; if he give me way,

I'll do his country service. Exit.


The same. A hall in Aufidius's house.
Music within. Enter a Servingman.

First Serv.
Wine, wine, wine! What service
is here! I think our fellows are asleep. Exit. Enter a second Servingman.

Sec. Serve.
Where's Cotus? my master calls
for him. Cotus! Exit. Enter CORIOLANUS.

A goodly house: the feast smells well; but I

Appear not like a guest. Re-enter the first Servingman.

First Serv.
What would you have, friend?
whence are you? Here's no place for you:
pray, go to the door. Exit.

I have deserved no better entertainment, (11)

In being Coriolanus. Re-enter second Servingman.

Sec. Serv.
Whence are you, sir? Has the
porter his eyes in his head, that he gives entrance
to such companions? Pray, get you out.


Sec. Serv.
Away! get you away.

Now thou'rt troublesome.

Sec. Serv.
Are you so brave? I'll have you
talked with anon. Enter a third Servingman. The first meets him. (20)

Third Serv.
What fellow's that?

First Serv.
A strange one as ever I looked
on: I cannot get him out o' the house:
prithee, call my master to him. Retires.

Third Serv.
What have you to do here,
fellow? Pray you, avoid the house.

Let me but stand; I will not hurt
your hearth.

Third Serv.
What are you?

A gentleman. (30)

Third Serv.
A marvellous poor one.

True, so I am.

Third Serv.
Pray you, poor gentleman,
take up some other station; here's no place
for you; pray you, avoid: come.

Follow your function, go, and batten
on cold bits. Pushes him awAy.

Third Serv.
What, you will not? Prithee,
tell my master what a strange guest he has here.

Sec. Serv.
And I shall. Exit. (40)

Third Serv.
Where dwellest thou?

Under the canopy.

Third Serv.
Under the canopy?


Third Serv.
Where's that?

I' the city of kites and crows.

Third Serv.
I' the city of kites and crows!
What an ass it is! Then thou dwellest with
daws too?

No, I serve not thy master.

Third Serv.
How, sir! do you meddle with
my master? (52)

Ay; 'tis an honester service than to
meddle with thy mistress.
Thou pratest, and pratest; serve with thy trencher,hence! Beats him away. Exit third Servingman. Enter AUFIDIUS with the second Servingman.

Where is this fellow?

Sec. Serv.
Here, sir: I'ld have beaten him
like a dog, but for disturbing the lords within. Retires.

Whence comest thou? what wouldst thou? thy name?
60Why speak'st not? speak, man: what's thy name?

If, Tullus, Unmuffling.

Not yet thou knowest me, and, seeing me, dost not

Think me for the man I am, necessity

Commands me name myself.

What is thy name?

A name unmusical to the Volscians' ears,

And harsh in sound to thine.

Say, what's thy name?

Thou hast a grim appearance, and thy face

Bears a command in't; though thy tackle's torn,

Thou show'st a noble vessel: what's thy name ?

Prepare thy brow to frown: know'st thou me yet? (70)

I know thee not: thy name?

My name is Caius Marcius, who hath done

To thee particularly and to all the Volsces

Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may

My surname, Coriolanus: the painful service,

The extreme dangers and the drops of blood

Shed for my thankless country are requited

But with that surname; a good memory,

And witness of the malice and displeasure

Which thou shouldst bear me: only that name remains; (80)

The cruelty and envy of the people,

Permitted by our dastard nobles, who

Have all forsook me, hath devour'd the rest;

And suffer'd me by the voice of slaves to be

Whoop'd out of Rome. Now this extremity

Hath brought me to thy hearth; not out of hope—

Mistake me not—to save my life, for if

I had fear'd death, of all the men i' the world

I would have 'voided thee, but in mere spite,

To be full quit of those my banishers,

Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast

A heart of wreak in thee, that wilt revenge

Thine own particular wrongs and stop those maims

Of shame seen through thy country, speed thee straight,

And make my misery serve thy turn: so use it

That my revengeful services may prove

As benefits to thee, for I will fight

Against my canker'd country with the spleen

Of all the under fiends. But if so be

Thou durst not this and that to prove more fortunes (100)

Thou 'rt tired, then, in a word, I also am

Longer to live most weary, and present

My throat to thee and to thy ancient malice;

Which not to cut would show thee but a fool,

Since I have ever follow'd thee with hate,

Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country's breast,

And cannot live but to thy shame, unless

It be to do thee service.

O Marcius, Marcius!

Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my heart (109)

A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter

Should from yond cloud speak divine things,

And say ‘’Tis true,’ I'ld not believe them more

Than thee, all noble Marcius. Let me twine

Mine arms about that body, where against

My grained ash an hundred times hath broke,

And scarr'd the moon with splinters: here I clip

The anvil of my sword, and do contest

As hotly and as nobly with thy love

As ever in ambitious strength I did

Contend against thy valour. Know thou first, (120)

I loved the maid I married; never man

Sigh'd truer breath; but that I see thee here,

Thou noble thing! more dances my rapt heart

Than when I first my wedded mistress saw

Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars! I tell thee,

We have a power on foot; and I had purpose

Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,

Or lose mine arm for't: thou hast beat me out

Twelve several times, and I have nightly since

Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and me: (130)

We have been down together in my sleep,

Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat,

And waked half dead with nothing. Worthy Marcius,

Had we no quarrel else to Rome, but that

Thou art thence banish'd, we would muster all

From twelve to seventy, and pouring war

Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,

Like a bold flood o'er-bear. O, come, go in,

And take our friendly senators by the hands;

Who now are here, taking their leaves of me, (140)

Who am prepared against your territories,

Though not for Rome itself.

You bless me, gods!

Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou wilt have

The leading of thine own revenge, take

The one half of my commission; and set down—

As best thou art experienced, since thou know'st

Thy country's strength and weakness,—thine own ways;

Whether to knock against the gates of Rome,

Or rudely visit them in parts remote,

To fright them, ere destroy. But come in:

Let me commend thee first to those that shall

Say yea to thy desires. A thousand welcomes!

And more a friend than e'er an enemy;

Yet, Marcius, that was much. Your hand: most welcome! Exeunt Coriolanus and Aufidius. The two Servingmen come forward.

First Serv.
Here's a strange alteration!

Sec. Serv.
By my hand, I had thought to
have strucken him with a cudgel: and yet my
mind gave me his clothes made a false report
of him.

First Serv.
What an arm he has! he turned
me about with his finger and his thumb, as
one would set up a top.

Sec. Serv.
Nay, I knew by his face that
there was something in him: he had, sir, a
kind of face, methought,— I cannot tell how to
term it.

First Serv.
He had so; looking as it were
—would I were hanged, but I thought there
was more in him than I could think.

Sec. Serv.
So did I, I'll be sworn: he is
simply the rarest man i' the world.

First Serv.
I think he is: but a greater soldier
than he you wot one. (172)

Sec. Serv.
Serv. Who, my master?

First Serv.
Nay, it's no matter for that.

Sec. Serv.
Worth six on him.

First Serv.
Nay, not so neither: but I take
him to be the greater soldier.

Sec. Serv.
Serv. Faith, look you, one cannot tell
how to say that: for the defence of a town,
our general is excellent. (180)

First Serv.
Ay,and for an assault too. Re-enter third Servingman.

Third Serv.
O slaves, I can tell you news. —
news, you rascals!

First and Sec. Serv.
What, what, what?
let's partake.

Third Serv.
I would not be a Roman, of all
nations; I had as lieve be a condemned man.

First and Sec. Serv.
Wherefore? wherefore?

Third Serv.
Why, here's he that was wont
to thwack our general, Caius Marcius.

First Serv.
Why do you say 'thwack our
general'? (192)

Third Serv.
I do not say 'thwack our general;'
but he was always good enough for

Sec. Serv.
Come, we are fellows and
friends: he was ever too hard for him; I have
heard him say so himself.

First Serv.
He was too hard for him directly,
to say the troth on 't: before Corioli he
scotched him and notched him like a carbonado.

Sec. Serv.
An he had been cannibally given,
he might have broiled and eaten him too. (202)

First Serv.
But, more of thy news?

Third Serv.
Why, he is so made on here
within, as if he were son and heir to Mars;
set at upper end o' the table; no question
asked him by any of the senators, but they
stand bald before him: our general himself
makes a mistress of him; sanctifies himself
with's hand and turns up the whites o' the eye
to his discourse. But the bottom of the news
is, our general is cut i' the middle and but one
half of what he was yesterday; for the other
has half, by the entreaty and grant of the whole
table. He'll go, he says, and sowl the porter
of Rome gates by the ears: he will mow all
down before him, and leave his passage polled.

Sec. Serv.
And he's as like to do 't as any
man I can imagine.

Third Serv.
Do't! he will do't; for, look
you, sir, he has as many friends as enemies;
which friends, sir, as it were, durst not, look
you, sir, show themselves, as we term it, his
friends whilst he's in directitude.

First Serv.
Directitude! what's that?

Third Serv.
But when they shall see, sir,
his crest up again, and the man in blood, they
will out of their burrows, like conies after rain,
and revel all with him.

First Serv.
But when goes this forward?

Third Serv.
To-morrow; to-day; presently;
you shall have the drum struck up this
afternoon: 'tis, as it were, a parcel of their
feast, and to be executed ere they wipe their

Sec. Serv.
Why, then we shall have a stirring
world again. This peace is nothing, but
to rust iron, increase tailors, and breed

First Serv.
Let me have war, say I; it exceeds
peace as far as day does night; it's
spritely, waking, audible, and full of vent.
Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mulled,
deaf, sleepy, insensible; a getter of more
bastard children than war's a destroyer of
men. (242)

Sec. Serv.
'Tis so: and as war, in some
sort, may be said to be a ravisher, so it cannot
be denied but peace is a great maker of cuckolds.

First Serv.
Ay, and it makes men hate one another.

Third Serv.
Reason; because they then less
need one another. The wars for my money.
I hope to see Romans as cheap as Volscians.
They are rising, they are rising.


In, in, in, in! Exeunt.


Rome. A public place.

We hear not of him, neither need we fear him;

His remedies are tame i' the present peace

And quietness of the people, which before

Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends

Blush that the world goes well, who rather had,

Though they themselves did suffer by 't, behold

Dissentious numbers pestering streets than see

Our tradesmen singing in their shops and going

About their functions friendly. (10)

We stood to 't in good time. EnterMenenius.
Is this Menenius?

'Tis he, 'tis he: O, he is grown most kind of late.

Both Tri.
Hail, sir!

Hail to you both!

Your Coriolanus

Is not much miss'd, but with his friends:

The commonwealth doth stand, and so would do,

Were he more angry at it.

All's well; and might have been much better, if

He could have temporized.

Where is he, hear you?

Nay, I hear nothing: his mother and his wife

Hear nothing from him. Enter three or four Citizens.

The gods preserve you both! (20)

God-den, our neighbours.

God-den to you all, god-den to you all.

First Cit.
Ourselves, our wives, our children, on our knees,

Are bound to pray for you both.

Live, and thrive!

Farewell, kind neighbours: we wish'd Coriolanus

Had loved you as we did.

Now the gods keep you

Both Tri.
Farewell, farewell. Exeunt Citizens.

This is a happier and more comely time

Than when these fellows ran about the streets,

Crying confusion.

Calus Marcus was (30)

A worthy officer i' the war; but insolent,

O'ercome with pride, ambitious past all thinking,


And affecting one sole throne,

Without assistance.

I think not so.

We should by this, to all our lamentation,

If he had gone forth consul, found it so.

The gods have well prevented it, and Rome

Sits safe and still without him. Enter an Ædile.

Worthy tribunes,

There is a slave, whom we have put in prison,

Reports, the Volsces with two several powers (40)

Are enter'd in the Roman territories,

And with the deepest malice of the war

Destroy what lies before 'em.

'Tis Aufidius,

Who, hearing of our Marcius' banishment,

Thrusts forth his horns again into the world;

Which were inshell'd when Marcius stood for Rome,

And durst not once peep out.

Come, what talk you

Of Marcius?

Go see this rumourer whipp'd. It cannot be

The Volsces dare break with us.

Cannot be!

We have record that very well it can, (50)

And three examples of the like have been

Within my age. But reason with the fellow,

Before you punish him, where he heard this,

Lest you shall chance to whip your information

And beat the messenger who bids beware

Of what is to be dreaded.

Tell not me:

I know this cannot be.

Not possible. Enter a Messenger.

The nobles in great earnestness are going

All to the senate-house: some news is come

That turns their countenances.

'Tis this slave;— (60)

Go whip him 'fore the people's eyes:—his raising;

Nothing but his report.

Yes, worthy sir,

The slave's report is seconded; and more,

More fearful, is deliver'd.

What more fearful?

It is spoke freely out of many mouths—

How probable I do not know—that Marcius,

Join'd with Aufidius, leads a power 'gainst Rome,

And vows revenge as spacious as between

The young'st and oldest thing.

This is most likely!

Raised only, that the weaker sort may wish

Good Marcius home again. (70)

The very trick on 't.

This is unlikely:

He and Aufidius can no more atone

Than violentest contrariety. Enter a second Messenger.

Sec. Mess.
You are sent for to the senate:

A fearful army, led by Caius Marcius

Associated with Aufidius, rages

Upon our territories; and have already

O'erborne their way, consumed with fire, and took

What lay before them. Enter COMINIUS.

O, you have made good work? (80)

What news? what news?

You have holp to ravish your own daughters and

To melt the city leads upon your pates,

To see your wives dishonour'd to your noses,—

What 's the news? what 's the news?

Your temples burned in their cement, and

Your franchises, whereon you stood, confined

Into an auger's bore.

Pray now, your news?

You have made fair work, I fear me.—Pray, your news?—

If Marcius should be join'd with Volscians,—

If! (91)

He is their god: he leads them like a thing

Made by some other deity than nature,

That shapes men better; and they follow him,

Against us brats, with no less confidence

Than boys pursuing summer butterflies,

Or butchers killing flies.

You have made good work,

You and your apron-men; you that stood so much

Upon the voice of occupation and

The breath of garlic-eaters!

He will shake

Your Rome about your ears.

As Hercules (100)

Did shake down mellow fruit. You have made fair work!

But is this true, sir?

Ay; and you'll look pale

Before you find it other. All the regions

Do smilingly revolt; and who resist

Are mock'd for valiant ignorance,

And perish constant fools. Who is't can blame him?

Your enemies and his find something in him.

We are undone, unless

The noble man have mercy.

Who shall ask it?

The tribunes cannot do't for shame; the people (110)

Deserve such pity of him as the wolf

Does of the shepherds: for his best friends, if they

Should say 'Be good to Rome,' they charged him even

As those should do that had deserved his hate

And therein show'd like enemies.

'Tis true:

If he were putting to my house the brand

That should consume it, I have not the face

To say 'Beseech you, cease.' You have made fair hands,

You and your crafts! you have crafted fair!

You have brought

A trembling upon Rome, such as was never
20So incapable of help.

Both Tri.
Say not we brought it.

How! Was it we? we loved him; but, like beasts

And cowardly nobles, gave way unto your clusters,

Who did hoot him out o' the city.

But I fear

They'll roar him in again. Tullus Aufidius,

The second name of men, obeys his points

As if he were his officer: desperation

Is all the policy, strength and defence,

That Rome can make against them. Enter a troop of Citizens.

Here come the clusters.

And is Aufidius with him? You are they (130)

That made the air unwholesome, when you cast

Your stinking greasy caps in hooting at

Coriolanus' exile. Now he's coming;

And not a hair upon a soldier's head

Which will not prove a whip: as many coxcombs

As you threw caps up will he tumble down,

And pay you for your voices. 'Tis no matter;

If he could burn us all into one coal,

We have deserved it.

Faith, we hear fearful news.

First Cit.
For mine own part,

When I said, banish him, I said, 'twas pity. (141)

Sec. Cit.
And so did I.

Third Cit.
And so did I; and, to say the
truth, so did very many of us: that we did,
we did for the best; and though we willingly
consented to his banishment, yet it was against
our will.

Ye're goodly things, you voices!

You have made

Good work, you and your cry Shall's to the Capitol ?

O, ay, what else? Exeunt Cominius and Menenius.

Go, masters, get you home; be not dismay'd:

These are a side that would be glad to have

This true which they so seem to fear. Go home,

And show no sign of fear.

First Cit.
The gods be good to us! Come,
masters, let's home. I ever said we were i' the
wrong when we banished him.

Sec. Cit.
So did we all. But, come, let's home. Exeunt Citizens.

I do not like this news.

Nor I. (160)

Let's to the Capitol. Would half my wealth

Would buy this for a lie!

Pray, let us go. Exeunt.


A camp, at a small distance from Rome.
Enter AUFIDIUS and his Lieutenant.

Do they still fly to the Roman?

I do not know what witchcraft's in him, but

Your soldiers use him as the grace 'fore meat,

Their talk at table, and their thanks at end;

And you are darken'd in this action, sir,

Even by your own.

I cannot help it now,

Unless, by using means, I lame the foot

Of our design. He bears himself more proudlier,

Even to my person, than I thought he would

When first I did embrace him: yet his nature

In that's no changeling; and I must excuse

What cannot be amended.

Yet I wish, sir—

I mean for your particular,—you had not

Join'd in commission with him; but either

Had borne the action of yourself, or else

To him had left it solely.

I understand thee well; and be thou sure,

When he shall come to his account, he knows not

What I can urge against him. Although it seems, (20)

And so he thinks, and is no less apparent

To the vulgar eye, that he bears all things fairly,

And shows good husbandry for the Volscian state,

Fights dragon-like, and does achieve as soon

As draw his sword; yet he hath left undone

That which shall break his neck or hazard mine,

Whene'er we come to our account.

Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry Rome?

All places yield to him ere he sits down;

And the nobility of Rome are his: (30)

The senators and patricians love him too:

The tribunes are no soldiers; and their people

Will be as rash in the repeal, as hasty

To expel him thence. I think he'll be to Rome

As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it

By sovereignty of nature. First he was

A noble servant to them; but he could not

Carry his honours even: whether 'twas pride,

Which out of daily fortune ever taints

The happy man; whether defect of judgement, (40)

To fail in the disposing of those chances

Which he was lord of; or whether nature,

Not to be other than one thing, not moving

From the casque to the cushion, but commanding peace

Even with the same austerity and garb

As he controll'd the war; but one of these—

As he hath spices of them all, not all,

For I dare so far free him—made him fear'd,

So hated, and so banish'd: but he has a merit,

To choke it in the utterance. So our virtues (50)

Lie in the interpretation of the time:

And power, unto itself most commendable,

Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair

To extol what it hath done.

One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail;

Rights by rights falter, strengths by strengths do fail.

Come, let's away. When, Caius, Rome is thine,

Thou art poor'st of all; then shortly art thou mine. Exeunt.

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