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On a dissension of a doit, break out
To bitterest enmity; So, fellest foes,
Whose passions and whose plots 'have broke their

To take the one the other, by some chance,
Some trick not worth an egg,


dear friends,
And interjoin their issues. So with me:
My birth-place hate I, and my love's upon
This enemy town.—I'll enter: if he slay me,
He does fair justice; if he give me way,
I'll do his country service.



The same.

A Hall in Aufidius's House.

Musick within. Enter a Servant. 1 Serv. Wine, wine, wine! What service is here! I think our fellows are asleep.

[Exit. Enter another Servant. 2 Serv. Where's Cotus! my master calls for him. Cotus!

[Exit. Enter CORIOLANUS. Cor. A goodly house: The feast smells well:

but I Appear not like a guest.

Re-enter the first Servant. 1 Serv. What would you have, friend? Whence are you? Here's no place for you: Pray, go to the door.

Cor. I have desery'd no better entertainment, In being Coriolanus 1.

1 i. e. in having derived that surname from the sack of Corioli.

Re-enter second Servant. 2 Serv. Whence are you, sir? Has the porter his

eyes in his head, that he gives entrance to such companions ? Pray, get you out.

Cor. Away!
2 Serv. Away? Get you away.
Cor. Now thou art troublesome.
2 Serv. Are you so brave? I'll have


talked with anon.

Enter a third Servant. The first meets him. 3 Serv. What fellow's this?

1 Serv. A strange one as ever I looked on: I cannot get him out o’the house: Pr’ythee, call my master to him.

3 Serv. What have you to do here, fellow? Pray you, avoid the house. Cor. Let me but stand; I will not hurt your

3 Serv. What are you?
Cor. A gentleman.
3 Serv. A marvellous poor one.
Cor. True, so I am.

3 Serv. Pray you, poor gentleman, take up some other station; here's no place for you; pray you, avoid :

Cor. Follow your function, And batten? on cold bits. [Pushes him away.

3 Serv. What, will you not? Pr’ythee, tell my master what a strange guest he has here. 2 Serv. And I shall.

[Exit. 3 Serv. Where dwellest thou? Cor. Under the canopy. 3 Serv. Under the canopy

y? 2 Feed.

: come.


Cor. Ay.
3 Serv. Where's that?
Cor. I'the city of kites and crows.

3 Serv. I'the city of kites and crows ?—What an ass it is!—Then thou dwellest with daws too?

Cor. No, I serve not thy master.

3 Serv. How, sir! Do you meddle with my master? Cor. Ay; ’tis 'an honester service than to meddle

with thy mistress : Thou prat'st, and prat'st; serve with thy trencher, hence!

[Beats him away.

Enter AUFIDIUS and the second Servant. Auf. Where is this fellow?

2 Serv. Here, sir; I'd have beaten him like a dog, but for disturbing the lords within. Auf. Whence comest thou? what wouldest thou ?

Thy name? Why speak’st not? Speak, man: What's thy name? Cor.

If, Tullus, [Unmuffling. Not yet thou know’st me, and seeing me, dost not Think me for the man I

am, necessity Commands me name myself. Auf

What is thy name?

[Servants retire. Cor. A name unmusical to the Volcians' ears, And harsh in sound to thine. Auf.

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? Cor. Prepare thy brow to frown: Know'st thou

me yet? Auf. I know thee not:--Thy name?

Cor. My name is Caius Marcius, who hath done To thee particularly, and to all the Volces,

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 should'st bear me: only that name re-

The cruelty and envy of the people,
Permitted by our dastard nobles, who
Have all forsook me, hath devour'd the rest;
And suffered 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 4 in thee, that will revenge
Thine own particular wrongs, and stop those maims
Of shame 5 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 dar’st not this, and that to prove more fortunes Thou art tir’d, then, in a word, I also am Longer to live most weary, and present My throat to thee, and to thy ancient malice:

3 Memory for memorial. See vol. iii. p. 133, note 1. 4. Wreak is an old term for revenge. So in Titus Andronicus:

• Take wreak on Rome for this ingratitude.' i. e. disgraceful diminutions of territory.

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.

O, Marcius, Marcius, Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my

heart A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter Should from yon cloud speak divine things, and say, 'Tis true; I'd not believe them more than thee, All noble Marcius.—0, 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 love 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

6 To clip is to embrace. He calls Coriolanus the anvil of his sword, because he had formerly laid as heavy blows on him as a smith strikes on his anvil. Thus in Hamlet :

* And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall
On Mars's armour-
With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword

Now falls on Priam.' 7 Shakspeare was unaware that a Roman bride, on her entry into her husband's house, was prohibited from bestriding his threshold; and that, lest she should even touch it, she was always lifted over it. Thus Lucan, lib. ii. 359 :• Tralata vetuit contingere limine planta.'


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