Act I, Scene 4
- Enter Martius, Titus Lartius, with Drum and Colors, with
- Captains and Roman Soldiers, as before the city Corioli; to
- them a Messenger.
- Yonder comes news: a wager they have met.
- My horse to yours, no.
- ’Tis done.
- Say, has our general met the enemy?
- They lie in view, but have not spoke as yet.
- So, the good horse is mine.
- I’ll buy him of you.
Lartius9 - 10
- No, I’ll nor sell nor give him; lend you him I will
- For half a hundred years. Summon the town.
- How far off lie these armies?
- Within this mile and half.
Caius Martius13 - 17
- Then shall we hear their ’larum, and they ours.
- Now, Mars, I prithee 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 two Senators with others on the
- walls of Corioli.
- Tullus Aufidius, is he within your walls?
First Volscian Senator18 - 27
- 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.
- O, they are at it!
- Their noise be our instruction. Ladders ho!
- Enter the Army of the Volsces.
Caius Martius30 - 36
- 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.
- Alarum. The Romans are beat back to their trenches.
- Enter Martius cursing.
Caius Martius37 - 52
- All the contagion of the south light on you,
- You shames of Rome! You herd of—Biles 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. Follow ’s.
- Another alarum. The Volsces fly, and Martius follows them to
- the gates.
- So, now the gates are ope; now prove good seconds:
- ’Tis for the followers fortune widens them,
- Not for the fliers. Mark me, and do the like.
- Enter the gates.
First Roman Soldier53
- Foolhardiness, not I.
Second Roman Soldier54
- Nor I.
- Martius is shut in.
First Roman Soldier55
- See, they have shut him in.
- Alarum continues.
- To th’ pot, I warrant him.
- Enter Titus Lartius.
- What is become of Martius?
- Slain, sir, doubtless.
First Roman Soldier59 - 62
- Following the fliers at the very heels,
- With them he enters; who upon the sudden
- Clapp’d to their gates. He is himself alone,
- To answer all the city.
Lartius63 - 72
- O noble fellow!
- Who sensibly outdares his senseless sword,
- And when it bows, stand’st up. Thou art left, Martius—
- A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,
- Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier
- Even to Cato’s wish, not fierce and terrible
- Only in strokes, but, with thy grim looks and
- The thunder-like percussion of thy sounds,
- Thou mad’st thine enemies shake, as if the world
- Were feverous and did tremble.
- Enter Martius bleeding, assaulted by the enemy.
First Roman Soldier73
- Look, sir.
Lartius74 - 75
- O, ’tis Martius!
- Let’s fetch him off, or make remain alike.
- They fight, and all enter the city.