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Whither 'tis bent: most likely, 'tis for you:
Our army's in the field:
We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
Nor did you think it folly,
To take in many towns, ere, almost, Rome
Take your commission; hie you to your bands;
If they set down before us, for the remove
Some parcels of their powers are forth already,
The gods assist you!
Auf. And keep your honours safe!
ROME. An Apartment in MARCIUS' House.
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 were my husband, I should freelier rejoice in that absence wherein he won honour, than in the embracements of his bed,
where he would show most love. When yet he was but tender bodied, and the only son of my womb; when youth with comeliness plucked all gaze his way; when, for a day of king's entreaties, a mother should not sell him an hour from her beholding; 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.
Vir. But had he died in the business, madam? how then?
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.
Methinks, I hear hither your husband's drum;
As children from a bear, the Volces shunning him :
Vir. His bloody brow! O, Jupiter, no blood!
At Grecian swords' contending.-Tell Valeria,
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 schoolmaster.
Val. O'my word, the father's son: I'll swear, 'tis a very pretty boy. O'my troth, I look'd 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, la, 'tis a noble child.
Val. Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have
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, Fie, 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 cambric were sensible as your finger, that you might leave pricking it for pity. Come, you shall with us.
Vir. No, good madam, pardon me; indeed, I will not forth.
Val. In truth, la, 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.
SCENE IV. Before CORIOLI.
Enter, with Drum and Colours, MARCIUS, TITUS, LARTIUS, Officers, and Soldiers. To them a Messenger.
Mar. Yonder comes news:-A wager, they have met. Lart. My horse to yours, no.
Mar. Say, has our general met the enemy?
I'll buy him of you. Lart. No, I'll nor sell, nor give him: lend you him, For half a hundred years. Summon the town. [I will, Mar. How far off lie the armies?
Within this mile and half.
They sound a Parley. Enter, on the Walls, some
Tullus Aufidius, is he within your walls?
1 Sen. No, nor a man that fears you less than he, That's lesser than a little. Hark, our drums
[Alarums afar off. Are bringing forth our youth: We'll break our walls, Rather than they shall pound us up: our gates, Which yet seem shut, we have but pinn'd with rushes ; They'll open of themselves. Hark you, far off;
There is Aufidins; list, what work he makes
O, they are at it!
The VOLCES enter, and pass over the Stage.
They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts,