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Corioli. The senate house.
Enter Tullus Aufidius, and certain Senators.
1 Sen. So, your opinion is, Aufidius,
Is it not yours?
Our army's in the field:
Nor did you think it folly,
hatching, It seem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery, We shall be shorten'd in our aim
; To take in t many towns, ere, almost, Rome Should know we were afoot.
+ To subdue.
0, doubt not that;
The gods assist you ! Auf. And keep your honours safe! 1 Sen.
Farewell. 2 Sen.
Farewell. All, Farewell.
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 your. self 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 bis way*; when, for a day of king's entreaties, a mother should not sell bim an hour from her be. holding; 1,-considering how honour would become
# Attracted attention.
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, thau 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. Vir. 'Bestech you, give me leave to retire* myself.
Vol. Indeed, you shall not. Methinks, I hear bither your husband's drum; See him pluck Aufidius down by the hair ; As children from a bear, the Volces shunning him : Methinks, I see him stamp thus, and call thus, Come on, you cowards, you were got in fear, Though you were born in Rome: His bloody brow With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes; Like to a harvest man, that's task'd to mow Or all, or lose his hire.
Vir. His bloody brow! 0, Jupiter, no blood !
Vol. Away, you fool! it more becomes a man, Than gilt his trophy: The breasts of Hecuba, When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier Than Hector's forehead, when it spit forth blood
At Grecian swords' contending -Tell Valeria,
Erit Gent. Vir. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius!
Vol. He'll beat Aufidius' head below his knee, And tread upon his beck.
Re-enter Gentlewoman, with Valeria and her Usher.
Val. My ladies both, good day to you.
Val. How do you both? you are manifest house. keepers. 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 bear a drum, than look upon his school-master.
Dal. O' my word, the father's son : I'll swear, 'tis a very pretty boy. Omy 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; 0, I warrant, how he mammocked + it!
Vol. One of his father's moods.
Val. Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have you play the idle huswife with me this afternoon.
Vir. No, good madam ; I will not out of doors.
Vir. Indeed, no, by your patience: I will not over the threshold, till my lord return from the wars.
• Of work.
Val. Fy, 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?
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 cambrick were sensible as your finger, that you might leave pricking it for pity. Come, you shall go 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 done yet.
Val. Verily, I do not jest with you ; there came news from bim last night.
Vir. Indeed, madam?
Val. In earnest, it's true; I heard a sepator 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.-Conie, good sweet lady.-Prythee, Vir. gilia, turn thy soleniness out o'door, and go along with us.