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Act IV, Scene 4

Antium. Before Aufidius’s house.


[Enter CORIOLANUS in mean apparel, disguised] [p]and muffled]

  • Coriolanus. A goodly city is this Antium. City,
    'Tis I that made thy widows: many an heir
    Of these fair edifices 'fore my wars
    Have I heard groan and drop: then know me not,
    Lest that thy wives with spits and boys with stones 2720
    In puny battle slay me.
    [Enter a Citizen]
    Save you, sir.
  • Coriolanus. Direct me, if it be your will, 2725
    Where great Aufidius lies: is he in Antium?
  • Citizen. He is, and feasts the nobles of the state
    At his house this night.
  • Citizen. This, here before you. 2730
  • Coriolanus. Thank you, sir: farewell.
    [Exit Citizen]
    O world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn,
    Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart,
    Whose house, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise, 2735
    Are still together, who twin, as 'twere, in love
    Unseparable, shall within this hour,
    On a dissension of a doit, break out
    To bitterest enmity: so, fellest foes,
    Whose passions and whose plots have broke their sleep, 2740
    To take the one the other, by some chance,
    Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends
    And interjoin their issues. So with me:
    My birth-place hate I, and my love's upon
    This enemy town. I'll enter: if he slay me, 2745
    He does fair justice; if he give me way,
    I'll do his country service.