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VOLUMNIA. Why, I pray you?

VIRGILIA. 'Tis not to save labour, nor that I want love.

VALERIA. 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 go with us.

VIRGILIA. No, good madam, pardon me; indeed I will not forth.

VALERIA. In truth, la, go with me; and I'll tell you excellent news of your husband.

VIRGILIA. O, good madam, there can be none yet.

VALERIA. Verily, I do not jest with you; there came news from him last night.

VIRGILIA. Indeed, madam?

VALERIA. In earnest, it's true; I heard a senator speak it. Thus it is:--the Volsces 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.

VIRGILIA. Give me excuse, good madam; I will obey you in everything hereafter.

VOLUMNIA. Let her alone, lady; as she is now, she will but disease our better mirth.

VALERIA. 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.

VIRGILIA. No, at a word, madam; indeed I must not. I wish you much mirth.

VALERIA. Well then, farewell.


SCENE IV. Before Corioli.

[Enter, with drum and colours, MARCIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, Officers, and soldiers.]

MARCIUS. Yonder comes news:--a wager they have met.

LARTIUS. My horse to yours, no.

MARCIUS. 'Tis done.

LARTIUS. Agreed.

[Enter a Messenger.]

MARCIUS. Say, has our general met the enemy?

MESSENGER. They lie in view; but have not spoke as yet.

LARTIUS. So, the good horse is mine.

MARCIUS. I'll buy him of you.

LARTIUS. No, I'll nor sell nor give him: lend you him I will For half a hundred years.--Summon the town.

MARCIUS. How far off lie these armies?

MESSENGER. Within this mile and half.

MARCIUS. Then shall we hear their 'larum, and they ours.-- Now, Mars, I pr'ythee, make us quick in work, That we with smoking swords may march from hence To help our fielded friends!--Come, blow thy blast.

[They sound a parley. Enter, on the Walls, some Senators and others.]

Tullus Aufidius, is he within your walls?

FIRST SENATOR. No, nor a man that fears you less than he, That's lesser than a little. [Drum afar off] Hark, our drums 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. [Alarum far off.] Hark you far off! There is Aufidius; list what work he makes Amongst your cloven army.

MARCIUS. O, they are at it!

LARTIUS. Their noise be our instruction.--Ladders, ho!

[The Volsces enter and pass over.]

MARCIUS. They fear us not, but issue forth their city. Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight With hearts more proof than shields.--Advance, brave Titus: They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts, Which makes me sweat with wrath.--Come on, my fellows: He that retires, I'll take him for a Volsce, And he shall feel mine edge.

[Alarums, and exeunt Romeans and Volsces fighting. Romans are beaten back to their trenches. Re-enter MARCIUS.]

MARCIUS. All the contagion of the south light on you, You shames of Rome!--you herd of--Boils and plagues Plaster you o'er, that you may be abhorr'd Farther than seen, and one infect another Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese That bear the shapes of men, how have you run From slaves that apes would beat! Pluto and hell! All hurt behind; backs red, and faces pale With flight and agued fear! Mend, and charge home, Or, by the fires of heaven, I'll leave the foe And make my wars on you: look to't: come on; If you'll stand fast we'll beat them to their wives, As they us to our trenches.

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