Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

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, than now, in first seeing he had proved himself a man.

Virgilia. But had he died in the business, madam, how then?

Volumnia. 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. Gentlewoman. Madam, the lady Valeria is come to

visit you.

Virgilia. 'Beseech you, give me leave to retire myself.

Volumnia. Indeed, you shall not.
Methinks, I hear hither 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 born 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.

Virgilia. His bloody brow! O, Jupiter, no blood!

Volumnia. 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, We are fit to bid her welcome. [Exit GENTLEWOMAN.

Virgilia. Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius!.

Volumnia. He'll beat Aufidius' head below his knee, And tread upon his neck.

7 Gilding.

nance.

Re-enter GENTLEWOMAN, with VALERIA and her Usher.

Valeria. My ladies both, good day to you.
Volumnia. Sweet madam,
Virgilia. I am glad to see your ladyship.

Valeria. How do you do, both? you are manifest housekeepers. What are you sewing here? A fine spot, in good faith.—How does your little son?

Virgilia. I thank your ladyship: well, good madam.

Volumnia. He had rather see the swords, and hear a drum, than look

upon

his school-master. Valeria. О' my word, the father's son: I'll swear, 'tis a very pretty boy. I looked upon him o' Wednesday half an hour together: he has such a confirmed counte

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; O, I warrant, how he mammocked 3 it!

Volumnia. One of his father's moods.
Valeria. Indeed, 'tis a noble child.
Virgilia. A crack, madam.

Valeria. Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have you play the idle huswife with me this afternoon.

Virgilia. No, good madam: I will not out of doors.
Valeria. Not out of doors ?
Volumnia. She shall, she shall.

Virgilia. Indeed, no, by your patience: I will not over the threshold, till my lord return from the wars.

Valeria. Fye, you confine yourself most unreasonably; Come, you

must go visit the good lady that lies in. Virgilia. I will wish her speedy strength, and visit her with my prayers; but I cannot go thither.

Volumnia. Why, I pray you!
Virgilia. 'Tis not to save labour, nor that I want love.
Valeria. You would be another Penelope: yet, they

yarn
she

spun, in Ulysses' absence, did but

say, all the

[blocks in formation]

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.

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

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

husband.
Virgilia. 0, 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 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.

Virgilia. Give me excuse, good madam; I will obey you in every thing, 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.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV.Before CORIOLI, Enter, with Drum and Colours, MARCIUS, TITUS LARTIUS,

OFFICERS, and SOLDIERS. To them a MESSENGER. Marcius. Yonder comes news:--A wager, they have

met. Lartius. My horse to yours, no. Marcius.

'Tis done. Lartius.

Agreed.

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 lies these armies?
Messenger.

Within this mile and half. Marcius. Then shall we hear their 'larum, and they

ours.

Now, Mars, I prythee 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? 1 Senator. No, nor a man that fears you less than he, That's lesser than a little. Hark, our drums

[Alarums afar off. 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. Hark, you, far off;

[Other Alarums. 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 VOLCES enter and pass over the Stage. 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 Volce,
And he shall feel mine edge.
Alarum, and exeunt ROMANS and VOLCES, fighting. The

ROMANS are beaten back to their Trenches. Re-enter
MARCIUS.

Marcius. All the contagion of the south light on yoa, You shames of Rome! that you may be abhorr'd Further than seen; you coward 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 agu'd 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 followed. Another Alarum. The VOLCES and ROMANS re-enter,

and the Fight is renewed. The VOLCES retire into

CORIOLI, and MARCIUS 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.

[He enters the Gates, and is shut in. 1 Soldier. Fool-hardiness; not I. 2 Soldier.

Nor I. 3 Soldier.

See, they Have shut him in.

[Alarum continues. All.

To the pot, I warrant him.

Enter TITUS LARTIUS. Lartius. What is become of Marcius? All.

Slain, sir, doubtless, 1 Soldier. 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.
Lartius.

O noble fellow!

« AnteriorContinuar »