Imatges de pÓgina
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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 in many towns, ere, almost, Rome
Should know we were afoot.

2 Sen. Take

Noble Aufidius,

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.

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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

• To subdue.

were my husband, I should freelier rejoice in that absence wherein he won honour, than in the embracements where he would show most love. When yet he was but tender-bodied, and was my only son ; 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 be holding; 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 man-child, than now, in first seeing he had proved himself a

man.

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Vir. But had he died in the business, madam? how then?

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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,
Come on, you cowards, you were born in fear,
Though you were born in Rome: His bloody brow

With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes;
Like to a harvest-man, that's task'd to mow
Or all, or lose his hire.

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Vir. His bloody brow! O, Jupiter, no blood ! Vol. Away, you fool! it more becomes a man, Than gilt his trophy: The breasts of Hecuba, When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier Than Hector's forehead, when it spit forth blood At Grecian swords' contending.-Tell Valeria,. We are fit to bid her welcome. [Exit Gent. Vir. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius! Vol. He'll beat Aufidius' head below his knee, And tread upon his neck.

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 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, 'tis a very pretty boy. 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, 'tis a noble child.

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Vir. A crack, madam.

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. 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. Fye, 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?

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 cambrick 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, 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.

SCENE IV.

Before Corioli.

Enter, with Drum and Colours, MARCIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, Officers and Soldiers. To them a Mes

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Agreed.

Mar. Say, has our general met the enemy?
Mess. They lie in view; but have not spoke as yet.
Lart. So, the good horse is mine.

Mar.

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.

Mar. How far off lie these armies?

Mess.

Within this mile and half. Mar. Then shall we hear their larum, and they

ours.

Now, Mars, I pr'ythee make us quick in work; That we with smoking swords may march from hence,

To help our fielded friends! — Come, blow thy blast.

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