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Act I, Scene 10

The camp of the Volsces.


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

  • Tullus 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, CORIOLANUS, 885
    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 890
    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.
  • Tullus Aufidius. Bolder, though not so subtle. My valour's poison'd
    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, 900
    Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up
    Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst
    My hate to CORIOLANUS: where I find him, were it
    At home, upon my brother's guard, even there,
    Against the hospitable canon, would I 905
    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.
  • Tullus Aufidius. I am attended at the cypress grove: I pray you— 910
    '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.