Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

aa2 Enter
4The Tragedie of Coriolanus.
360Enter Volumnia and Virgilia, mother and wife to Martius:
They set them downe on two lowe stooles and sowe.
Volum. I pray you daughter sing, or expresse your selfe
in a more comfortable sort: If my Sonne were my Hus-
band, I should freelier reioyce in that absence wherein
365he wonne Honor, then in the embracements of his Bed,
where he would shew most loue. When yet hee was but
tender-bodied, and the onely Sonne of my womb; when
youth with comelinesse pluck'd all gaze his way; when
for a day of Kings entreaties, a Mother should not sel him
370an houre from her beholding; I considering how Honour
would become such a person, that it was no better then
Picture-like to hang by th' wall, if renowne made it not
stirre, was pleas'd to let him seeke danger, where he was
like to finde fame: To a cruell Warre I sent him, from
375whence he return'd, his browes bound with Oake. I tell
thee Daughter, I sprang not more in ioy at first hearing
he was a Man-child, then now in first seeing he had pro-
ued himselfe a man.
Virg. But had he died in the Businesse Madame, how
Volum. Then his good report should haue beene my
Sonne, I therein would haue found issue. Heare me pro-
fesse sincerely, had I a dozen sons each in my loue alike,
and none lesse deere then thine, and my good Martius, I
385had rather had eleuen dye Nobly for their Countrey, then
one voluptuously surfet out of Action.
Enter a Gentlewoman.
Gent. Madam, the Lady Valeria is come to visit you.
Virg. Beseech you giue me leaue to retire my selfe.
390Volum. Indeed you shall not:
Me thinkes, I heare hither your Husbands Drumme:
See him plucke Auffidius downe by th' haire:
(As children from a Beare) the Volces shunning him:
Me thinkes I see him stampe thus, and call thus,
395Come on you Cowards, you were got in feare
Though you were borne in Rome; his bloody brow
With his mail'd hand, then wiping, forth he goes
Like to a Haruest man, that task'd to mowe
Or all, or loose his hyre.
400Virg. His bloody Brow? Oh Iupiter, no blood.
Volum. Away you Foole; it more becomes a man
Then gilt his Trophe. The brests of Hecuba
When she did suckle Hector, look'd not louelier
Then Hectors forhead, when it spit forth blood
405At Grecian sword. Contenning, tell Valeria
We are fit to bid her welcome. Exit Gent.
Vir. Heauens blesse my Lord from fell Auffidius.
Vol. Hee'l beat Auffidius head below his knee,
And treade vpon his necke.
410Enter Valeria with an Vsher, and a Gentlewoman.
Val. My Ladies both good day to you.
Vol. Sweet Madam.
Vir. I am glad to see your Ladyship.
Val. How do you both? You are manifest house-kee-
415pers. What are you sowing heere? A fine spotte in good
faith. How does your little Sonne?
Vir. I thanke your Lady-ship: Well good Madam.
Vol. He had rather see the swords, and heare a Drum,
then looke vpon his Schoolmaster.
420Val. A my word the Fathers Sonne: Ile sweare 'tis a
very pretty boy. A my troth, I look'd vpon him a Wens-
day halfe an houre together: ha's such a confirm'd coun-
tenance. I saw him run after a gilded Butterfly, & when
he caught it, he let it go againe, and after it againe, and o-
425uer and ouer he comes, and vp againe: catcht it again: or
whether his fall enrag'd him, or how 'twas, hee did so set
his teeth, and teare it. Oh, I warrant how he mammockt
Vol. One on's Fathers moods.
430Val. Indeed la, tis a Noble childe.
Virg. A Cracke Madam.
Val. Come, lay aside your stitchery, I must haue you
play the idle Huswife with me this afternoone.
Virg. No (good Madam)
435I will not out of doores.
Val. Not out of doores?
Volum. She shall, she shall.
Virg. Indeed no, by your patience; Ile not ouer the
threshold, till my Lord returne from the Warres.
440Val. Fye, you confine your selfe most vnreasonably:
Come, you must go visit the good Lady that lies in.
Virg. I will wish her speedy strength, and visite her
with my prayers: but I cannot go thither.
Volum. Why I pray you.
445Vlug. 'Tis not to saue labour, nor that I want loue.
Val. You would be another Penelope: yet they say, all
the yearne she spun in Vlisses absence, did but fill Athica
full of Mothes. Come, I would your Cambrick were sen-
sible as your finger, that you might leaue pricking it for
450pitie. Come you shall go with vs.
Vir. No good Madam, pardon me, indeed I will not
Val. In truth la go with me, and Ile tell you excellent
newes of your Husband.
455Virg. Oh good Madam, there can be none yet.
Val. Verily I do not iest with you: there came newes
from him last night.
Vir. Indeed Madam.
Val. In earnest it's true; I heard a Senatour speake it.
460Thus it is: the Volcies haue an Army forth, against whō
Cominius the Generall is gone, with one part of our Ro-
mane power. Your Lord, and Titus Lartius, are set down
before their Citie Carioles, they nothing doubt preuai-
ling, and to make it breefe Warres. This is true on mine
465Honor, and so I pray go with vs.
Virg. Giue me excuse good Madame, I will obey you
in euery thing heereafter.
Vol. Let her alone Ladie, as she is now:
She will but disease our better mirth.
470Valeria. In troth I thinke she would:
Fare you well then. Come good sweet Ladie.
Prythee Virgilia turne thy solemnesse out a doore,
And go along with vs.
Virgil. No
475At a word Madam; Indeed I must not,
I wish you much mirth.
Val. Well, then farewell. Exeunt Ladies.