Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Coriolanus
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
Act I. Scene II.
Corioli.  The Senate-house.
Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS and Senators.
  First Sen.  So, your opinion is, Aufidius,
That they of Rome are enter’d in our counsels,
And know how we proceed.        5
  Auf.        Is it not yours?
What ever have been thought on in this state,
That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome
Had circumvention? ’Tis not four days gone
Since I heard thence; these are the words: I think        10
I have the letter here; yes, here it is.
They have press’d a power, but it is not known
Whether for east, or west: the dearth is great;
The people mutinous; and it is rumour’d,
Cominius, Marcius, your old enemy,        15
Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,
And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,
These three lead on this preparation
Whither ’tis bent: most likely ’tis for you:
Consider of it.        20
  First Sen.  Our army’s in the field:
We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
To answer us.
  Auf.        Nor did you think it folly
To keep your great pretences veil’d till when        25
They needs must show themselves; which in the hatching,
It seem’d, appear’d to Rome. By the discovery
We shall be shorten’d in our aim, which was
To take in many towns ere almost Rome
Should know we were afoot.        30
  Sec. Sen.        Noble Aufidius,
Take your commission; hie you to your bands;
Let us alone to guard Corioli:
If they set down before’s, for the remove
Bring up your army; but, I think you’ll find        35
They’ve not prepared for us.
  Auf.        O! doubt not that;
I speak from certainties. Nay, more;
Some parcels of their power are forth already,
And only hitherward. I leave your honours.        40
If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet,
’Tis sworn between us we shall ever strike
Till one can do no more.
  All.        The gods assist you!
  Auf.  And keep your honours safe!        45
  First Sen.        Farewell.
  Sec. Sen.                Farewell.
  All.        Farewell.  [Exeunt.

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