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Before Corioli.
Outside the gates of Corioles.
Enter, with drum and colours, MARTIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, Captains and Soldiers. To them a Messenger
MARTIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, captains and soldiers enter, with a drummer and trumpeter. A Messenger comes toward them.

MARTIUS
Yonder comes news. A wager they have met.
MARTIUS
Here comes news. I bet there’s been a battle.

LARTIUS
My horse to yours, no.
LARTIUS
I bet you my horse for yours that there hasn’t been a battle.

MARTIUS
’Tis done.
MARTIUS
It’s a bet.

LARTIUS
Agreed.
LARTIUS
Agreed.

5
MARTIUS
Say, has our general met the enemy?
MARTIUS
Tell us, has our general been in battle with the enemy?

MESSENGER
They lie in view; but have not spoke as yet.
MESSENGER
They can see each other, but they haven’t fought yet.

LARTIUS
So, the good horse is mine.
LARTIUS
So, your good horse is mine.

MARTIUS
I’ll buy him of you.
MARTIUS
I’ll buy him back from you.


10
LARTIUS
No, I’ll nor sell nor give him: lend you him I will
For half a hundred years. Summon the town.
LARTIUS
No, I’ll won’t sell or give him away. I’ll lend him to you for fifty years. Alert the town.

MARTIUS
How far off lie these armies?
MARTIUS
How far away are the armies?

MESSENGER
Within this mile and half.
MESSENGER
Within a mile and a half.



15
MARTIUS
Then shall we hear their ’larum, and they ours.
Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work,
That we with smoking swords may march from hence,
To help our fielded friends! Come, blow thy blast.
MARTIUS
Then we’ll hear their call to arms, and they’ll hear ours. Now, Mars, god of war, I pray to you, make our attack quick, so that with victorious swords we may march from here to help our friends on the battlefield!
(to the trumpeter) Come, blow your blast.
They sound a parley. Enter two Senators with others on the walls
The trumpet sounds. Two Volscian Senators enter, with others, on the walls of Corioles.
(to the Senators) Tutus Aufidius, is he within your walls?
(to the Senators) Is Tullus Aufidius inside these walls?


FIRST SENATOR
No, nor a man that fears you less than he,
That’s lesser than a little.
FIRST SENATOR
No. And there isn’t a man here who fears you any less than he does, which is virtually not at all.
Drums afar off
Drums are heard from far away.