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Home > Coriolanus > ACT I - SCENE VI. Near the camp of Cominius.

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ACT I - SCENE VI. Near the camp of Cominius.
COMINIUS
1    Breathe you, my friends: well fought;
2    we are come off
3    Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands,
4    Nor cowardly in retire: believe me, sirs,
5    We shall be charged again. Whiles we have struck,
6    By interims and conveying gusts we have heard
7    The charges of our friends. Ye Roman gods!
8    Lead their successes as we wish our own,
9    That both our powers, with smiling
10   fronts encountering,
11   May give you thankful sacrifice.
Enter a Messenger
12   Thy news?
Messenger
13   The citizens of Corioli have issued,
14   And given to Lartius and to Marcius battle:
15   I saw our party to their trenches driven,
16   And then I came away.
COMINIUS
17   Though thou speak'st truth,
18   Methinks thou speak'st not well.
19   How long is't since?
Messenger
20   Above an hour, my lord.
COMINIUS
21   'Tis not a mile; briefly we heard their drums:
22   How couldst thou in a mile confound an hour,
23   And bring thy news so late?
Messenger
24   Spies of the Volsces
25   Held me in chase, that I was forced to wheel
26   Three or four miles about, else had I, sir,
27   Half an hour since brought my report.
COMINIUS
28   Who's yonder,
29   That does appear as he were flay'd? O gods
30   He has the stamp of Marcius; and I have
31   Before-time seen him thus.
MARCIUS
Within
32    Come I too late?
COMINIUS
33   The shepherd knows not thunder from a tabour
34   More than I know the sound of Marcius' tongue
35   From every meaner man.
Enter MARCIUS

MARCIUS
36   Come I too late?
COMINIUS
37   Ay, if you come not in the blood of others,
38   But mantled in your own.
MARCIUS
39   O, let me clip ye
40   In arms as sound as when I woo'd, in heart
41   As merry as when our nuptial day was done,
42   And tapers burn'd to bedward!
COMINIUS
43   Flower of warriors,
44   How is it with Titus Lartius?
MARCIUS
45   As with a man busied about decrees:
46   Condemning some to death, and some to exile;
47   Ransoming him, or pitying, threatening the other;
48   Holding Corioli in the name of Rome,
49   Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash,
50   To let him slip at will.
COMINIUS
51   Where is that slave
52   Which told me they had beat you to your trenches?
53   Where is he? call him hither.
MARCIUS
54   Let him alone;
55   He did inform the truth: but for our gentlemen,
56   The common file--a plague! tribunes for them!--
57   The mouse ne'er shunn'd the cat as they did budge
58   From rascals worse than they.
COMINIUS
59   But how prevail'd you?
MARCIUS
60   Will the time serve to tell? I do not think.
61   Where is the enemy? are you lords o' the field?
62   If not, why cease you till you are so?
COMINIUS
63   Marcius,
64   We have at disadvantage fought and did
65   Retire to win our purpose.
MARCIUS
66   How lies their battle? know you on which side
67   They have placed their men of trust?
COMINIUS
68   As I guess, Marcius,
69   Their bands i' the vaward are the Antiates,
70   Of their best trust; o'er them Aufidius,
71   Their very heart of hope.
MARCIUS
72   I do beseech you,
73   By all the battles wherein we have fought,
74   By the blood we have shed together, by the vows
75   We have made to endure friends, that you directly
76   Set me against Aufidius and his Antiates;
77   And that you not delay the present, but,
78   Filling the air with swords advanced and darts,
79   We prove this very hour.
COMINIUS
80   Though I could wish
81   You were conducted to a gentle bath
82   And balms applied to, you, yet dare I never
83   Deny your asking: take your choice of those
84   That best can aid your action.
MARCIUS
85   Those are they
86   That most are willing. If any such be here--
87   As it were sin to doubt--that love this painting
88   Wherein you see me smear'd; if any fear
89   Lesser his person than an ill report;
90   If any think brave death outweighs bad life
91   And that his country's dearer than himself;
92   Let him alone, or so many so minded,
93   Wave thus, to express his disposition,
94   And follow Marcius.
95   O, me alone! make you a sword of me?
96   If these shows be not outward, which of you
97   But is four Volsces? none of you but is
98   Able to bear against the great Aufidius
99   A shield as hard as his. A certain number,
100  Though thanks to all, must I select
101  from all: the rest
102  Shall bear the business in some other fight,
103  As cause will be obey'd. Please you to march;
104  And four shall quickly draw out my command,
105  Which men are best inclined.
COMINIUS
106  March on, my fellows:
107  Make good this ostentation, and you shall
108  Divide in all with us.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT I, SCENE VACT I, SCENE VII (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII
  • SCENE VIII
  • SCENE IX
  • SCENE X


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE III


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI

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