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SCENE VIII.--A Field of Battle between the Roman
and the Volcian Camps. Alarum. Enter Marcius and AUPIDIUS. Mar. I'll fight with none but thee; for I do hate thee Worse than a promise-breaker. Auf.
"We hate alike;
Mar. Let the first budger die the other's slave,
If I fly, Marcius,
Within these three hours, Tullus,
Wert thou the Hector That was the whip of your bragg’d progeny, Thou shouldst not scape me here.
[They fight, and certain Volces come to the
aid of AUFIDIUS. Officious, and not valiant-you have sham'd me In your condemned seconds.
[Exeunt fighting, driven in by Marciug.
SCENE IX.-The Roman Camp. Alarum. A retreat is sounded. Flourish. Enter at
one side, COMINIUS, and Romans; at the other side, Marcius, with his arm in a scarf, and other Romans.
Com. If I should tell thee o'er this thy day's work, Thou 'lt not believe thy deeds : but I'll report it Where senators shall mingle tears with smiles;
Where great patricians shall attend, and slırug,
Pray now, no more : my mother,
You shall not be
Mar. I have some wounds upon me, and they smart
Should they not,
Before the common distribution,
I thank you, general ;
[A long flourish. They all cry, Marcius !
Marcius! cast up their caps and lances :
COMINIUS and LARTius stand bare. Mar. May these same instruments, which you pro
fane, Never sound more, when drums and trumpets shall l' the field prove fíatterers! Let courts and cities be Made all of false-fac'd soothing, where steel grows soft As the parasite's silk! Let them be made an overture for the wars! a. No more, I say! For that I have not wash'd My nose that bled, or foil'd some debile wretch, Which without note here 's many else have done, You shout me forth In acclamations hyperbolical : As if I lov'd my little should be dieted In praises sauc'd with lies.
a We here venture to make an important change in the generally received reading of this passage. It is invariably printed thus :
“ May these same instruments, which you profane, Never sound more! When drums and trumpets shall l' the field prove flatterers, let courts and cities be Made all of false-fac'd soothing! When steel grows Soft as the parasite's silk, let him be made
An overture for the wars!” The commentators have long notes of explanation; and they leave the matter more involved than they found it. The slight change we have made gives a perfectly clear meaning. Opposed as we are to editorial licence, we hold ourselves keeping within due bounds in substituting where for when, and them for him; for there are several instances of these words having been misprinted in the original copies.
Too modest are you; More cruel to your good report tban grateful To us that give you truly : by your patience, If 'gainst yourself you be incens'd, we 'll put you (Like one that means his proper harm) in manacles, Iben reason safely with you. Therefore, be it known, As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius Wears this war's garland : in token of the which My noble steed, known to the camp, I give him, With all his trim belonging; and, from this time, For what he did before Corioli, call him, With all the applause and clamour of the host, Caius MARCIUS CORIOLANUS. — Bear the addition nobly ever!
[Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums, All. Caius Marcius Coriolanus !
Cor. I will go wash;
So, to our tent :
I shall, my lord.
Take it: 't is yours.—What is 't ?
And wrath o'erwhelm'd my pity : I request you
O, well begg'u!
Lart. Marcius, his name?
By Jupiter, forgot!
Go we to our tent :
[Exeunt. SCENE X.-- The Camp of the Volces. A flourish. Cornets. Enter Tullus Aufidius, bloody,
with Two or Three Soldiers. Auf. The town is ta’en! 1 Šol. 'T will be deliver'd back on good condition.
Auf. Condition ? I would I were a Roman; for I cannot, Being a Volce, be that I am.-Condition ! What good condition can a treaty find l' the part that is at mercy ? Five times, Marcius, I have fought with thee; so often hast thou beat me, And wouldst do so, I think, should we encounter As often as we eat.--By the elements, If e'er again I meet him beard to beard, He is mine, or I am his : Mine emulation Hath not that honour in 't it had : for where I thought to crush him in an equal force, (True sword to sword,) I 'll potch at him some way; Or wrath, or craft, may get him. 1 Sol.
He's the devil. Auf. Bolder, though not so subtle: My valour 's
poison'd, With only suífering stain by him; for him