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And hale him up and down; all swearing, if
The Roman ladies bring not comfort home,
They'll give him death by inches.


Enter another Messenger.

What's the news?

Mess. Good news, good news.-The ladies have


The Volces are dislodged, and Marcius gone:
A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins.



Art thou certain this is true? Is it most certain?
Mess. As certain as I know the sun is fire.
Where have you lurked, that you make doubt of it?
Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide,'
As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark you;
[Trumpets and hautboys sounded, and drums
beaten, all together. Shouting also within.
The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes,
Tabors, and cymbals, and the shouting Romans,

Make the sun dance. Hark you! [Shouting again.


This is good news;

I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia

Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians,

A city full; of tribunes, such as you,

A sea and land full. You have prayed well to-day ; This morning, for ten thousand of your throats

I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!

[Shouting and music. Sic. First, the gods bless you for your tidings; next, Accept my thankfulness.


Sir, we have all

They are near the city?

Great cause to give great thanks.

Mess. Almost at point to enter.

1 "As through an arch the violent, roaring tide
Outruns the eye that doth behold his haste."

Rape of Lucrece.


And help the joy.

We will meet them,


Enter the Ladies, accompanied by Senators, Patricians, and People. They pass over the stage.

1 Sen. Behold our patroness, the life of Rome. Call all your tribes together, praise the gods, And make triumphant fires; strew flowers before them;

Unshout the noise that banished Marcius,
Repeal him with the welcome of his mother:
Cry,-Welcome, ladies, welcome!-

All. Welcome!

Welcome, ladies!

[A flourish with drums and trumpets. [Exeunt.

SCENE V. Antium. A public Place.

Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, with Attendants.
Auf. Go tell the lords of the city, I am here.
Deliver them this paper: having read it,
Bid them repair to the market-place; where I,
Even in theirs and in the commons' ears,
Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse,2
The city ports by this hath entered, and
Intends to appear before the people, hoping
To purge himself with words. Despatch.

[Exeunt Attendants

Enter three or four Conspirators of Aufidius' faction. Most welcome!

Even so,

1 Con. How is it with our general?
As with a man by his own alms empoisoned,
And with his charity slain.

2 Con.

Most noble sir,

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You wished us parties, we'll deliver you
Of your great danger.


Sir, I cannot tell; We must proceed as we do find the people.

3 Con. The people will remain uncertain, whilst 'Twixt you there's difference; but the fall of either Makes the survivor heir of all.

I know it:
And my pretext to strike at him admits

A good construction. I raised him, and I pawned
Mine honor for his truth; who being so heightened,
He watered his new plants with dews of flattery,
Seducing so my friends; and, to this end,

He bowed his nature, never known before
But to be rough, unswayable, and free.
3 Con. Sir, his stoutness,

When he did stand for consul, which he lost
By lack of stooping,-

That I would have spoke of.
Being banished for't, he came unto my hearth;
Presented to my knife his throat. I took him;
Made him joint servant with me; gave him way
In all his own desires; nay, let him choose
Out of my files, his projects to accomplish,
My best and freshest men; served his designments
In mine own person; holp to reap the fame,
Which he did end all his; and took some pride
To do myself this wrong: till, at the last,
I seemed his follower, not partner; and
He waged me with his countenance,' as if
I had been mercenary.

1 Con.

So he did, my lord;

The army marvelled at it. And, in the last,
When he had carried Rome; and that we looked
For no less spoil, than glory,-


There was it ;

1 The verb to wage was formerly in general use for to stipend, to reward. The meaning is, "The countenance he gave me was a kind of wages."

For which my sinews shall be stretched upon him.1
At a few drops of women's rheum, which are
As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labor
Of our great action; therefore shall he die,
And I'll renew me in his fall. But, hark!

[Drums and trumpets sound, with great
shouts of the people.

1 Con. Your native town you entered like a post, And had no welcomes home; but he returns,

Splitting the air with noise.

2 Con.

And patient fools,

Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tear, With giving him glory.

3 Con.

Therefore, at your vantage,

Ere he express himself, or move the people

With what he would say, let him feel your sword,
Which we will second. When he lies along,
After your way his tale pronounced, shall bury
His reasons with his body.


Here come the lords.

Say no more;

Enter the Lords of the city.

I have not deserved it.

Lords. You are most welcome home.


But, worthy lords, have you with heed perused
What I have written to you?


1 Lord.

We have.

And grieve to hear it.

What faults he made before the last, I think,
Might have found easy fines; but there to end
Where he was to begin; and give away
The benefit of our levies, answering us
With our own charge; making a treaty, where
There was a yielding; this admits no excuse.
Auf. He approaches; you shall hear him.


1 "This is the point on which I will attack him with all my energy." 2 "Rewarding us with our own expenses, making the cost of the war its recompense.'


Enter CORIOLANUS, with drums and colors; a crowd of Citizens with him.

Cor. Hail, lords! I am returned your soldier; No more infected with my country's love, Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting Under your great command. You are to know, That prosperously I have attempted, and With bloody passage, led your wars, even to The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought home, Do more than counterpoise, a full third part, The charges of the action. We have made peace With no less honor to the Antiates,

Than shame to the Romans. And we here deliver,
Subscribed by the consuls and patricians,

Together with the seal o' the senate, what
We have compounded on.


Read it not, noble lords;

But tell the traitor, in the highest degree
He hath abused your powers.

Cor. Traitor!-How now?



Ay, traitor, Marcius.


Auf. Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius. Dost thou think grace thee with that robbery, thy stolen name Coriolanus in Corioli?


You lords and heads of the state, perfidiously

He has betrayed your business, and given up,

For certain drops of salt, your city Rome,

(I say, your city,) to his wife and mother;
Breaking his oath and resolution, like
A twist of rotten silk; never admitting
Counsel o' the war; but at his nurse's tears
He whined and roared away your victory;
That pages blushed at him, and men of heart
Looked wondering each at other.

Hear'st thou, Mars?

Auf. Name not the god, thou boy of tears,

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