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ACT IV. SCENE V. 


Antium. AUFIDIUS' house

Music plays. Enter A SERVINGMAN

 FIRST SERVANT.

Wine, wine, wine! What service is here! I think our
fellows are asleep

Exit

Enter another SERVINGMAN

 SECOND SERVANT.

Where's Cotus? My master calls for him.
Cotus! Exit

Enter CORIOLANUS

 CORIOLANUS.

A goodly house. The feast smells well, but I
Appear not like a guest.

Re-enter the first SERVINGMAN

 FIRST SERVANT.

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

Exit

 CORIOLANUS.

I have deserv'd no better entertainment
In being Coriolanus.

Re-enter second SERVINGMAN

 SECOND SERVANT.

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

 CORIOLANUS.

Away!

 SECOND SERVANT.

Away? Get you away.

 CORIOLANUS.

Now th' art troublesome.

 SECOND SERVANT.

Are you so brave? I'll have you talk'd with anon.

Enter a third SERVINGMAN. The first meets him

 THIRD SERVANT.

What fellow's this?

 FIRST SERVANT.

A strange one as ever I look'd on. I cannot get him
out o' th' house. Prithee call my master to him.

 THIRD SERVANT.

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

 CORIOLANUS.

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

 THIRD SERVANT.

What are you?

 CORIOLANUS.

A gentleman.

 THIRD SERVANT.

A marv'llous poor one.

 CORIOLANUS.

True, so I am.

 THIRD SERVANT.

Pray you, poor gentleman, take up some other
station; here's no place for you. Pray you avoid. Come.

 CORIOLANUS.

Follow your function, go and batten on cold bits.

[Pushes him away from him]

 THIRD SERVANT.

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

 SECOND SERVANT.

And I shall

Exit

 THIRD SERVANT.

Where dwell'st thou?

 CORIOLANUS.

Under the canopy.

 THIRD SERVANT.

Under the canopy?

 CORIOLANUS.

Ay.

 THIRD SERVANT.

Where's that?

 CORIOLANUS.

I' th' city of kites and crows.

 THIRD SERVANT.

I' th' city of kites and crows!
What an ass it is! Then thou dwell'st with daws too?

 CORIOLANUS.

No, I serve not thy master.

 THIRD SERVANT.

How, sir! Do you meddle with my master?

 CORIOLANUS.

Ay; 'tis an honester service than to meddle with thy
mistress. Thou prat'st and prat'st; serve with thy trencher;
hence! [Beats him away]

Enter AUFIDIUS with the second SERVINGMAN

 AUFIDIUS.

Where is this fellow?

 SECOND SERVANT.

Here, sir; I'd have beaten him like a dog, but for
disturbing the lords within.

 AUFIDIUS.

Whence com'st thou? What wouldst thou? Thy name?
Why speak'st not? Speak, man. What's thy name?

 CORIOLANUS.

[Unmuffling] If, Tullus,
Not yet thou know'st me, and, seeing me, dost not
Think me for the man I am, necessity
Commands me name myself.

 AUFIDIUS.

What is thy name?

 CORIOLANUS.

A name unmusical to the Volscians' ears,
And harsh in sound to thine.

 AUFIDIUS.

Say, what's thy name?
Thou has 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?

 CORIOLANUS.

Prepare thy brow to frown- know'st thou me yet?

 AUFIDIUS.

I know thee not. Thy name?

 CORIOLANUS.

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;
The cruelty and envy of the people,
Permitted by our dastard nobles, who
Have all forsook me, hath devour'd the rest,
An suffer'd me by th' 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' th' 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 cank'red country with the spleen
Of all the under fiends. But if so be
Thou dar'st not this, and that to prove more fortunes
Th'art tir'd, 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 followed 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.

 AUFIDIUS.

O Marcius, Marcius!
Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my heart
A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter
Should from yond cloud speak divine things,
And say ''Tis true,' I'd 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,
I lov'd 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 the
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-
We have been down together in my sleep,
Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat-
And wak'd half dead with nothing. Worthy Marcius,
Had we no other 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'erbeat. O, come, go in,
And take our friendly senators by th' hands,
Who now are here, taking their leaves of me
Who am prepar'd against your territories,
Though not for Rome itself.

 CORIOLANUS.

You bless me, gods!

 AUFIDIUS.

Therefore, most. absolute sir, if thou wilt have
The leading of thine own revenges, take
Th' one half of my commission, and set down-
As best thou art experienc'd, 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 SERVANT.

Here's a strange alteration!

 SECOND SERVANT.

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 SERVANT.

What an arm he has! He turn'd me about with his
finger and his thumb, as one would set up a top.

 SECOND SERVANT.

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 SERVANT.

He had so, looking as it were- Would I were hang'd,
but I thought there was more in him than I could think.

 SECOND SERVANT.

So did I, I'll be sworn. He is simply the rarest
man i' th' world.

 FIRST SERVANT.

I think he is; but a greater soldier than he you wot
on.

 SECOND SERVANT.

Who, my master?

 FIRST SERVANT.

Nay, it's no matter for that.

 SECOND SERVANT.

Worth six on him.

 FIRST SERVANT.

Nay, not so neither; but I take him to be the
greater soldier.

 SECOND SERVANT.

Faith, look you, one cannot tell how to say that;
for the defence of a town our general is excellent.

 FIRST SERVANT.

Ay, and for an assault too.

Re-enter the third SERVINGMAN

 THIRD SERVANT.

O slaves, I can tell you news- news, you rascals!

 BOTH.

What, what, what? Let's partake.

 THIRD SERVANT.

I would not be a Roman, of all nations;
I had as lief be a condemn'd man.

 BOTH.

Wherefore? wherefore?

 THIRD SERVANT.

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

 FIRST SERVANT.

Why do you say 'thwack our general'?

 THIRD SERVANT.

I do not say 'thwack our general,' but he was always
good enough for him.

 SECOND SERVANT.

Come, we are fellows and friends. He was ever too
hard for him, I have heard him say so himself.

 FIRST SERVANT.

He was too hard for him directly, to say the troth
on't; before Corioli he scotch'd him and notch'd him like a
carbonado.

 SECOND SERVANT.

An he had been cannibally given, he might have
broil'd and eaten him too.

 FIRST SERVANT.

But more of thy news!

 THIRD SERVANT.

Why, he is so made on here within as if he were son
and heir to Mars; set at upper end o' th' 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 white o' th' eye to his discourse.
But the bottom of the news is, our general is cut i' th' 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 th' ears; he will mow all
down before him, and leave his passage poll'd.

 SECOND SERVANT.

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

 THIRD SERVANT.

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 SERVANT.

Directitude? What's that?

 THIRD SERVANT.

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 an with him.

 FIRST SERVANT.

But when goes this forward?

 THIRD SERVANT.

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

 SECOND SERVANT.

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

 FIRST SERVANT.

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; mull'd, deaf, sleepy,
insensible; a getter of more bastard children than war's a
destroyer of men.

 SECOND SERVANT.

'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 SERVANT.

Ay, and it makes men hate one another.

 THIRD SERVANT.

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.

 BOTH.

In, in, in, in! Exeunt

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