Coriolanus Acts 1 and 2

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MARCIUS
I’ll fight with none but thee; for I do hate thee
Worse than a promise-breaker.
AUFIDIUS
We hate alike:
Not Afric owns a serpentI abhor
More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.
MARCIUS
Let the first budger die the other’s slave,
And the gods doom him after!
AUFIDIUS
If I fly, Marcius,
Holloa me like a hare.
MARCIUS
Within these three hours, Tullus,
Alone I fought in your Corioli walls,
And made what work I pleased: ’tis not my blood
Wherein thou seest me mask’d; for thy revenge
Wrench up thy power to the highest.
AUFIDIUS
Wert thou the Hector
That was the whip of your bragg’d progeny,
Thou shouldst not scape me here.

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“COMINIUS
You shall not be
The grave of your deserving; Rome must know
The value of her own: ’twere a concealment
Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement,
To hide your doings; and to silence that,
Which, to the spire and top of praises vouch’d,
Would seem but modest: therefore, I beseech you
In sign of what you are, not to reward
What you have done–before our army hear me.
MARCIUS
I have some wounds upon me, and they smart
To hear themselves remember’d.

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COMINIUS
Should they not,
Well might they fester ‘gainst ingratitude,
And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses,
Whereof we have ta’en good and good store, of all
The treasure in this field achieved and city,
We render you the tenth, to be ta’en forth,
Before the common distribution, at
Your only choice.
MARCIUS
I thank you, general;
But cannot make my heart consent to take
A bribe to pay my sword: I do refuse it;
And stand upon my common part with those
That have beheld the doing.”

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AUFIDIUS
Condition!
I would I were a Roman; for I cannot,
Being a Volsce, be that I am. Condition!
What good condition can a treaty find
I’ the part that is at mercy? Five times, Marcius,
I have fought with thee: so often hast thou beat me,
And wouldst do so, I think, should we encounter
As often as we eat. By the elements,
If e’er again I meet him beard to beard,
He’s mine, or I am his: mine emulation
Hath not that honour in’t it had; for where
I thought to crush him in an equal force,
True sword to sword, I’ll potch at him some way
Or wrath or craft may get him.

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Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus!
CORIOLANUS
No more of this; it does offend my heart:
Pray now, no more.
COMINIUS
Look, sir, your mother!
CORIOLANUS
O,
You have, I know, petition’d all the gods
For my prosperity!
Kneels
VOLUMNIA
Nay, my good soldier, up;
My gentle Marcius, worthy Caius, and
By deed-achieving honour newly named,–
What is it?–Coriolanus must I call thee?–
But O, thy wife!
CORIOLANUS
My gracious silence, hail!
Wouldst thou have laugh’d had I come coffin’d home,
That weep’st to see me triumph? Ay, my dear,
Such eyes the widows in Corioli wear,
And mothers that lack sons.
MENENIUS
Now, the gods crown thee!

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SICINIUS

On the sudden,
I warrant him consul.
BRUTUS
Then our office may,
During his power, go sleep.
SICINIUS
He cannot temperately transport his honours
From where he should begin and end, but will
Lose those he hath won.
BRUTUS
In that there’s comfort.
SICINIUS
Doubt not
The commoners, for whom we stand, but they
Upon their ancient malice will forget
With the least cause these his new honours, which
That he will give them make I as little question
As he is proud to do’t.
BRUTUS
I heard him swear,
Were he to stand for consul, never would he
Appear i’ the market-place nor on him put
The napless vesture of humility;
Nor showing, as the manner is, his wounds
To the people, beg their stinking breaths.
SICINIUS
‘Tis right.
BRUTUS
It was his word: O, he would miss it rather
Than carry it but by the suit of the gentry to him,
And the desire of the nobles.
SICINIUS
I wish no better
Than have him hold that purpose and to put it
In execution.
BRUTUS
‘Tis most like he will.
SICINIUS
It shall be to him then as our good wills,
A sure destruction

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Author: englishinspirationblog

Teacher, reader, dreamer, writer, traveller, wife, mother. I love books, wine, dancing, film, nature, and all things creative, thought provoking and inspirational.

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