William Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Coriolanus

10. SCENE X. The camp of the Volsces.

[A flourish. Cornets. Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, bloody, with two or
three soldiers.]

The town is ta'en.

'Twill be delivered back on good 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.

He's the devil.

Bolder, though not so subtle. My valour's poisoned
With only suffering stain by him; for him
Shall fly out of itself: nor sleep nor sanctuary,
Being naked, sick; nor fane nor Capitol,
The prayers of priests nor times of sacrifice,
Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up
Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst
My hate to Marcius: where I find him, were it
At home, upon my brother's guard, even there,
Against the hospitable canon, would I
Wash my fierce hand in's heart. Go you to the city;
Learn how 'tis held; and what they are that must
Be hostages for Rome.

Will not you go?

I am attended at the cypress grove: I pray you,--
'Tis south the city mills,--bring me word thither
How the world goes, that to the pace of it
I may spur on my journey.

I shall, sir.


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