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Act I, Scene 3

Rome. A room in Martius' house.
[Enter VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA they set them down on two low stools, and sew]
I pray you daughter sing, or express yourself in a more comfortable sort: if my son were my husband, I should freelier rejoice in that absence wherein he won honor, than in the embracements of his bed, where he would show most love. When yet he was but tender-bodied, and the only son of my womb; when youth with comeliness plucked all gaze his way; when for a day of kings' entreaties, a mother should not sell him an hour from her beholding; I considering how honor would become such a person, that it was no better than picture-like to hang by the wall, if renown made it not stir, was pleased to let him seek danger, where he was like to find fame: to a cruel war I sent him, from whence he returned, his brows bound with oak. I tell thee daughter, I sprang not more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child, than now in first seeing he had proved himself a man.
But had he died in the business madam, how then?
Then his good report should have been my son, I therein would have found issue. Hear me profess sincerely, had I a dozen sons each in my love alike, and none less dear than thine, and my good Martius, I had rather had eleven die nobly for their country than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.
[Enter a Gentlewoman]
Madam, the Lady Valeria is come to visit you.
Beseech you, give me leave to retire myself.
          ,               ,
      Indeed | you shall not:  \\
           ,         ,     ,             ,           ,
      Methinks,| I hear | hither | your hus|band's drum:
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      See him | pluck Au|fidius | down by | the hair,
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      (As child/ren from a | bear) the | Volces | shunning him:
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      Methinks | I see him | stamp thus, and call | thus,   ??
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      Come^on | you cow|ards, you | were got | in fear
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      Though you | were born | in Rome:| his bloo|dy brow
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      With his / mailed hand,| then wip|ing, forth | he goes
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      Like to | a harv|est-man,| that's tasked | to mow
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      Or all,| or lose | his hire.  \\
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      His bloo|dy brow?| O Jup|iter,/ no blood.
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      Away | you fool;| it more | becomes | a man
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      Than gilt | his troph|y. the | breasts of | Hecuba*,
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      When she | did suckle | Hector,| looked not^|lovelier
             ,         ,    ,       2       T    T     T
      Than Hect|or's fore|head, when it | spit forth blood
          ,         ,         ,          ,       ,   2 ->
      At Gre|cian sword.| Contem|ning, tell | Valer||ia,
       ,        ,        ,         ,        o
      We | are fit | to bid | her wel|come.
[Exit Gentlewoman]
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      Heavens | bless my | lord from | fell Au|fidius.
              ,       ,         ,       ,          ,
      He'll beat | Aufid|ius' head | below | his knee,
            ,       ,          ,
      And tread | upon | his neck.  \\
[Enter VALERIA, with an Usher and Gentlewoman]
My ladies both good day to you.
Sweet madam.
I am glad to see your ladyship.
How do you both? you are manifest house-keepers. What are you sewing here? A fine spot in good faith. How does your little son?
I thank your ladyship: well good madam.
He had rather see the swords, and hear a drum, than look upon his schoolmaster.
On my word, the father's son: I'll swear 'tis a very pretty boy. On my troth, I looked upon him on Wednesday half an hour together: has such a confirmed countenance. I saw him run after a gilded butterfly, and when he caught it, he let it go again, and after it again, and over and over he comes, and again; catched it again: or whether his fall enraged him, or how 'twas, he did so set his teeth, and tear it. Oh, I warrant it how he mammocked it.
One on his father's moods.
Indeed la, 'tis a noble child.
A crack madam.
Come, lay aside your stitchery, I must have you play the idle housewife with me this afternoon.
No (good madam)
I will not out of doors.
Not out of doors.
She shall, she shall.
Indeed no, by your patience; I'll not over the threshold, till my lord return from the wars.
Fie, you confine yourself most unreasonably: come, you must go visit the good lady that lies in.
I will wish her speedy strength, and visit her with my prayers: but I cannot go thither.
Why I pray you?
'Tis not to save labor, nor that I want love.
You would be another Penelope: yet they say, all the yarn she spun in Ulysses' absence did but fill Ithaca full of moths. Come, I would your cambric were sensible as your finger, that you might leave pricking it for pity. Come you shall go with us.
No good madam, pardon me, indeed I will not forth.
In truth la go with me, and I'll tell you excellent news of your husband.
Oh good madam, there can be none yet.
Verily I do not jest with you: there came news from him last night.
Indeed madam?
In earnest it's true; I heard a senator speak it. Thus it is: the Volces have an army forth, against whom Cominius the general is gone, with one part of our Roman power. Your lord, and Titus Lartius, are set down before their city Corioli, they nothing doubt prevailing, and to make it brief wars. This is true on mine honor, and so I pray go with us.
Give me excuse good madam, I will obey you in every thing hereafter.
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      Let her | alone | lady,| as she | is now:
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      She will | but di|sease our | better | mirth.
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      In troth | I think | she would:  \\
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      Fare you | well then*.| Come good sweet | lady.
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      Prithee Vir|gilia,| turn thy | solem|ness out || of door.
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      And go | along | with us.
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      At a | word mad/am; in|deed I | must not,
          ,          ,      T
      I wish | you much | mirth.
                                   T     T          ,
                                 Well, then | farewell.

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