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Act I, Scene 8

A field of battle.


[Alarum as in battle. Enter, from opposite sides,] [p]CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS]

  • Coriolanus. I'll fight with none but thee; for I do hate thee
    Worse than a promise-breaker.
  • Tullus Aufidius. We hate alike:
    Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor 740
    More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.
  • Coriolanus. Let the first budger die the other's slave,
    And the gods doom him after!
  • Coriolanus. 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. 750
  • Tullus Aufidius. Wert thou the Hector
    That was the whip of your bragg'd progeny,
    Thou shouldst not scape me here.
    [They fight, and certain Volsces come to the aid of]
    AUFIDIUS. CORIOLANUS fights till they be driven in 755
    Officious, and not valiant, you have shamed me
    In your condemned seconds.