• Before Corioli.
    Enter, with drum and colours, MARTIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, Captains and Soldiers. To them a Messenger

    MARTIUS

    Yonder comes news. A wager they have met.

    LARTIUS

    My horse to yours, no.

    MARTIUS

    ’Tis done.

    LARTIUS

    Agreed.

    MARTIUS

    5Say, has our general met the enemy?

    MESSENGER

    They lie in view; but have not spoke as yet.

    LARTIUS

    So, the good horse is mine.

    MARTIUS

    I’ll buy him of you.

    LARTIUS

    No, I’ll nor sell nor give him: lend you him I will
    10For half a hundred years. Summon the town.

    MARTIUS

    How far off lie these armies?

    MESSENGER

    Within this mile and half.

    MARTIUS

    Then shall we hear their ’larum, and they ours.
    Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work,
    15That we with smoking swords may march from hence,
    To help our fielded friends! Come, blow thy blast.
    They sound a parley. Enter two Senators with others on the walls
    (to the Senators) Tutus Aufidius, is he within your walls?

    FIRST SENATOR

    No, nor a man that fears you less than he,
    That’s lesser than a little.
    Drums afar off
  • Outside the gates of Corioles.
    MARTIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, captains and soldiers enter, with a drummer and trumpeter. A Messenger comes toward them.

    MARTIUS

    Here comes news. I bet there’s been a battle.

    LARTIUS

    I bet you my horse for yours that there hasn’t been a battle.

    MARTIUS

    It’s a bet.

    LARTIUS

    Agreed.

    MARTIUS

    Tell us, has our general been in battle with the enemy?

    MESSENGER

    They can see each other, but they haven’t fought yet.

    LARTIUS

    So, your good horse is mine.

    MARTIUS

    I’ll buy him back from you.

    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 away are the armies?

    MESSENGER

    Within a mile and a half.

    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.
    The trumpet sounds. Two Volscian Senators enter, with others, on the walls of Corioles.
    (to the Senators) Is Tullus Aufidius inside these walls?

    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 are heard from far away.