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    Act 4. Scene V

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    Chapter 21
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    SCENE V. The same. A hall in Aufidius's house.

    Music within. Enter a Servingman
    First Servingman
    Wine, wine, wine! What service
    is here! I think our fellows are asleep.

    Exit

    Enter a second Servingman

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

    Exit

    CORIOLANUS
    I have deserved no better entertainment,
    In being Coriolanus.

    Re-enter second Servingman

    Second Servingman
    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 Servingman
    Away! get you away.

    CORIOLANUS
    Now thou'rt troublesome.

    Second Servingman
    Are you so brave? I'll have you talked with anon.

    Enter a third Servingman. The first meets him

    Third Servingman
    What fellow's this?

    First Servingman
    A strange one as ever I looked on: I cannot get him
    out of the house: prithee, call my master to him.

    Retires

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

    CORIOLANUS
    Let me but stand; I will not hurt your hearth.

    Third Servingman
    What are you?

    CORIOLANUS
    A gentleman.

    Third Servingman
    A marvellous poor one.

    CORIOLANUS
    True, so I am.

    Third Servingman
    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

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

    Second Servingman
    And I shall.

    Exit

    Third Servingman
    Where dwellest thou?

    CORIOLANUS
    Under the canopy.

    Third Servingman
    Under the canopy!

    CORIOLANUS
    Ay.

    Third Servingman
    Where's that?

    CORIOLANUS
    I' the city of kites and crows.

    Third Servingman
    I' the city of kites and crows! What an ass it is!
    Then thou dwellest with daws too?

    CORIOLANUS
    No, I serve not thy master.

    Third Servingman
    How, sir! do you meddle with my master?

    CORIOLANUS
    Ay; 'tis an honester service than to meddle with thy
    mistress. Thou pratest, and pratest; serve with thy
    trencher, hence!

    Beats him away. Exit third Servingman

    Enter AUFIDIUS with the second Servingman

    AUFIDIUS
    Where is this fellow?

    Second Servingman
    Here, sir: I'ld have beaten him like a dog, but for
    disturbing the lords within.

    Retires

    AUFIDIUS
    Whence comest thou? what wouldst thou? thy name?
    Why speak'st not? speak, man: what's thy name?

    CORIOLANUS
    If, Tullus,

    Unmuffling

    Not yet thou knowest 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 hast 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;
    And suffer'd me by the 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' the 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 canker'd country with the spleen
    Of all the under fiends. But if so be
    Thou darest not this and that to prove more fortunes
    Thou'rt tired, 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 follow'd 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'ld 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 loved 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 thee,
    We have a power on foot; and I had purpose
    Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,
    Or lose mine arm fort: 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 waked half dead with nothing. Worthy Marcius,
    Had we no 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'er-bear. O, come, go in,
    And take our friendly senators by the hands;
    Who now are here, taking their leaves of me,
    Who am prepared 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
    The one half of my commission; and set down--
    As best thou art experienced, 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 Servingman
    Here's a strange alteration!

    Second Servingman
    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 Servingman
    What an arm he has! he turned me about with his
    finger and his thumb, as one would set up a top.

    Second Servingman
    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 Servingman
    He had so; looking as it were--would I were hanged,
    but I thought there was more in him than I could think.

    Second Servingman
    So did I, I'll be sworn: he is simply the rarest
    man i' the world.

    First Servingman
    I think he is: but a greater soldier than he you wot on.

    Second Servingman
    Who, my master?

    First Servingman
    Nay, it's no matter for that.

    Second Servingman
    Worth six on him.

    First Servingman
    Nay, not so neither: but I take him to be the
    greater soldier.

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

    First Servingman
    Ay, and for an assault too.

    Re-enter third Servingman

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

    First Servingman Second Servingman
    What, what, what? let's partake.

    Third Servingman
    I would not be a Roman, of all nations; I had as
    lieve be a condemned man.

    First Servingman Second Servingman
    Wherefore? wherefore?

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

    First Servingman
    Why do you say 'thwack our general '?

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

    Second Servingman
    Come, we are fellows and friends: he was ever too
    hard for him; I have heard him say so himself.

    First Servingman
    He was too hard for him directly, to say the troth
    on't: before Corioli he scotched him and notched
    him like a carbon ado.

    Second Servingman
    An he had been cannibally given, he might have
    broiled and eaten him too.

    First Servingman
    But, more of thy news?

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

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

    Third Servingman
    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 Servingman
    Directitude! what's that?

    Third Servingman
    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 all with
    him.

    First Servingman
    But when goes this forward?

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

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

    First Servingman
    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;
    mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible; a getter of more
    bastard children than war's a destroyer of men.

    Second Servingman
    '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 Servingman
    Ay, and it makes men hate one another.

    Third Servingman
    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.

    All
    In, in, in, in!

    Exeunt
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    Chapter 21
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