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A field of battle.
A battlefield.
Alarum as in battle. Enter, from opposite sides, MARTIUS and AUFIDIUS
A trumpet sounds from the battle. MARTIUS and AUFIDIUS enter from opposite sides.


MARTIUS
I’ll fight with none but thee; for I do hate thee
Worse than a promise-breaker.
MARTIUS
I’ll fight only against you, because I hate you worse than a traitor.



5
AUFIDIUS
We hate alike:
Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor
More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.
AUFIDIUS
We feel the same hatred. There’s not a snake in Africa that I hate more than your fame and envy. Prepare to fight.


MARTIUS
Let the first budger die the other’s slave,
And the gods doom him after!
MARTIUS
Whoever runs away from this fight first must become the other’s slave until death, and after that may the gods curse him!


AUFIDIUS
If I fly, Martius,
Holloa me like a hare.
AUFIDIUS
If I run, Martius, hunt me like a hare.

10



MARTIUS
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.
MARTIUS
Less than three hours ago, Tullus, I fought alone inside the walls of Corioles, and I killed whoever I wanted. It’s not my own blood you see me covered in. For your revenge, fight me with your fullest force.

15

AUFIDIUS
Wert thou the Hector
That was the whip of your bragg’d progeny,
Thou shouldst not scape me here.
AUFIDIUS
If you’re anything like Hector, the failed champion of your ancestors whom you’re so proud of, you won’t escape me here.
They fight, and certain Volsces come to the aid of AUFIDIUS. MARTIUS fights till they be driven in breathless
They fight, and some Volsces come to the aid of AUFIDIUS. MARTIUS fights until they’re out of breath.

Officious, and not valiant, you have shamed me
In your condemned seconds.
You’re intrusive, not brave. You’ve shamed me with your assistance, and I condemn you for it.
Exeunt
All exit.