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This morning, for ten thousand of your throats
I'd not had given a doit. Hark, how they joy!

[Shouting and Musick.
Sic. First, the gods bless you for their tidings: next,
Accept my thankfulness.

Sir, we have all
Great cause to give great thanks.

They are near the city?
Mess. Almost at point to enter.

We will meet them,
And help the joy.


Enter the Ladies, accompanied by Senators, Patricians,

and People. They pass over the Stage.
i 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 banish'd Marcius,
Repeal him with the welcome of his mother;
Cry, - Welcome, ladies, welcome!

Welcome, ladies !
[A Flourish with Drums and Trumpets.


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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,
The city ports by this hath enter'd, and

Intends to appear before the people, hoping
To purge himself with words: Despatch.

[Exeunt Attendants.

Enter Three or Four Conspirators of Aufidius' Faction.

Even so,

Most welcome!

1 Con. How is it with our general ?

As with a man by his own alms empoison’d,
And with his charity slain.
2 Con.

Most noble sir,
If you do hold the same intent wherein
You wish'd 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, Auf:

I know it;
And my pretext to strike at him admits
A good construction. I rais’d him, and I pawn'd
Mine honour for his truth: Who being so heighten’d,
He water'd his new plants with dews of flattery,
Seducing so my friends : and, to this end,
He bow'd 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 banish'd 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; serv'd his designments

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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 seem'd his follower, not partner; and
He wag'd me with his countenance, as if
I had been mercenary.
1 Con.

So he did, my lord:
The army marvelld at it. And, in the last,
When he had carried Rome; and that we look'd
For no less spoil, than glory, -

There was it;
For which my sinews shall be stretch'd 6


At a few drops of women's rheum, which are
As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labour
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 enter'd 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 pronounc'd shall bury
His reasons with his body.

Say no more;
Here come the lords.

5 He wag'd me with his countenance,] This is obscure. The meaning, I think, is, he prescribed to me with an air of authority, and gave me his countenance for my wages ; thought me sufficiently rewarded with good looks. Johnson.

For which my sinews shall be stretch'd - This is the point on which I will attack him with my utmost abilities.

Enter the Lords of the City,
Lords. You are most welcome home.

I have not deserv'd it,
But, worthy lords, have you with heed perus’d
What I have written to you?

We have. 1 Lord.

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.

Enter CORIOLANUS, with Drums and Colours ; 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 honour to the Antiates,
Than shame to the Romans: and we here deliver,
Subscrib'd 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 abus'd your powers.


answering us With our own charge ;] That is, rewarding us with our own expences ; making the cost of war its recompence.

Cor. Traitor! - How now ? -

Ay, traitor, Marcius. Cor.

Marcius! Auf. Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius; Dost thou think I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stoln name Coriolanus in Corioli? You lords and heads of the state, perfidiously He has betray'd 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 whind and roar'd away your victory; That pages blush'd at him, and men of heart Look'd wondering each at other. Cor.

Hear'st thou, Mars? Auf. Name not the god, thou boy of tears, Cor.

Ha! Auf. No more. Cor. Measureless liar, thou hast made


heart Too great for what contains it. Boy! O slave!Pardon me, lords, 'tis the first time that ever I was forc'd to scold. Your judgments, my grave lords, Must give this cur the lie: and his own notion (Who wears my stripes impress'd on him; that must bear My beating to his grave;) shall join to thrust The lie unto him. 1 Lord.

Peace, both, and hear me speak.
Cor. Cut me to pieces, Volces; men and lads,
Stain all your edges on me. — Boy! False hound!
If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there,
That like an eagle in a dove-cote, I
Flutter'd your voices in Corioli:
Alone I did it. — Boy!


* For certain drops of salt,] For certain tears.

9 Auf. No more.] By these words Aufidiis does not mean to put a stop to the altercation ; but to tell Coriolanus that he was no nwre than a “boy of tears."

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