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Coriolanus - Act 1, scene 4
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workCoriolanus - Act 1, scene 4
Act 1, scene 4
Before the Romans can besiege Corioles, the Volscians emerge to attack them. Martius rallies the troops to beat the Volscians back through their city gates. He then goes through the gates with them and is shut in to fight them alone. Covered in blood, he reopens the gates and admits the Romans.Enter Martius, Titus Lartius, with ⌜Trumpet,⌝ Drum,
and Colors, with Captains and Soldiers, as before
the city ⌜of⌝ Corioles. To them a Messenger.
0486 Yonder comes news. A wager they have met.
0487 My horse to yours, no.
MARTIUS 0488 ’Tis done.
LARTIUS 0489 Agreed.
MARTIUS, ⌜to Messenger⌝
0490 5 Say, has our general met the enemy?
0491 They lie in view but have not spoke as yet.
0492 So the good horse is mine.
MARTIUS 0493 I’ll buy him of you.
0494 No, I’ll nor sell nor give him. Lend you him I will
0495 10 For half a hundred years.—Summon the town.
MARTIUS 0496 How far off lie these armies?
MESSENGER 0497 Within this mile and half.
0498 Then shall we hear their ’larum and they ours.
0499 Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work,
0500 15 That we with smoking swords may march from
0502 To help our fielded friends!—Come, blow thy blast.
They sound a parley.
p. 41Enter two Senators with others on the walls of Corioles.
0503 Tullus Aufidius, is he within your walls?
0504 No, nor a man that fears you less than he:
0505 20 That’s lesser than a little.Drum afar off.
0506 Hark, our drums
0507 Are bringing forth our youth. We’ll break our walls
0508 Rather than they shall pound us up. Our gates,
0509 Which yet seem shut, we have but pinned with
0510 25 rushes.
0511 They’ll open of themselves.Alarum far off.
0512 Hark you, far off!
0513 There is Aufidius. List what work he makes
0514 Amongst your cloven army.
⌜They exit from the walls.⌝
MARTIUS 0515 30 O, they are at it!
0516 Their noise be our instruction.—Ladders, ho!
Enter the Army of the Volsces ⌜as through the city gates.⌝
0517 They fear us not but issue forth their city.—
0518 Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight
0519 With hearts more proof than shields.—Advance,
0520 35 brave Titus.
0521 They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts,
0522 Which makes me sweat with wrath.—Come on, my
0524 He that retires, I’ll take him for a Volsce,
0525 40 And he shall feel mine edge.
Alarum. The Romans are beat back to their trenches.
⌜They exit, with the Volsces following.⌝
Enter Martius cursing, ⌜with Roman soldiers.⌝
0526 All the contagion of the south light on you,
0527 You shames of Rome! You herd of—Boils and
0529 Plaster you o’er, that you may be abhorred
0530 45 Farther than seen, and one infect another
0531 Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese,
0532 That bear the shapes of men, how have you run
0533 From slaves that apes would beat! Pluto and hell!
0534 All hurt behind. Backs red, and faces pale
0535 50 With flight and agued fear! Mend, and charge home,
0536 Or, by the fires of heaven, I’ll leave the foe
0537 And make my wars on you. Look to ’t. Come on!
0538 If you’ll stand fast, we’ll beat them to their wives,
0539 As they us to our trenches. Follow ’s!
Another alarum. ⌜The Volsces re-enter and are driven
back to the gates of Corioles, which open to admit
0540 55 So, now the gates are ope. Now prove good
0542 ’Tis for the followers fortune widens them,
0543 Not for the fliers. Mark me, and do the like.
Martius follows ⌜the fleeing Volsces through⌝
the gates, and is shut in.
FIRST SOLDIER 0544 Foolhardiness, not I.
SECOND SOLDIER 0545 60Nor I.
FIRST SOLDIER 0546 See they have shut him in.
ALL 0547 To th’ pot, I warrant him.
Enter Titus Lartius.
0548 What is become of Martius?
ALL 0549 Slain, sir, doubtless.
p. 45FIRST SOLDIER
0550 65 Following the fliers at the very heels,
0551 With them he enters, who upon the sudden
0552 Clapped to their gates. He is himself alone,
0553 To answer all the city.
LARTIUS 0554 O, noble fellow,
0555 70 Who sensibly outdares his senseless sword,
0556 And when it bows, stand’st up! Thou art left,
0558 A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,
0559 Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier
0560 75 Even to ⌜Cato’s⌝ wish, not fierce and terrible
0561 Only in strokes, but with thy grim looks and
0562 The thunderlike percussion of thy sounds
0563 Thou mad’st thine enemies shake, as if the world
0564 Were feverous and did tremble.
Enter Martius, bleeding, ⌜as if from Corioles,⌝ assaulted
by the enemy.
FIRST SOLDIER 0565 80Look, sir.
LARTIUS 0566 O, ’tis Martius!
0567 Let’s fetch him off or make remain alike.
They fight, and all enter the city, ⌜exiting the stage.⌝