• A field of battle.
    Alarum as in battle. Enter, from opposite sides, MARTIUS and AUFIDIUS

    MARTIUS

    I’ll fight with none but thee; for I do hate thee
    Worse than a promise-breaker.

    AUFIDIUS

    We hate alike:
    Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor
    5More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.

    MARTIUS

    Let the first budger die the other’s slave,
    And the gods doom him after!

    AUFIDIUS

    If I fly, Martius,
    Holloa me like a hare.

    MARTIUS

    10Within 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.

    AUFIDIUS

    15Wert thou the Hector
    That was the whip of your bragg’d progeny,
    Thou shouldst not scape me here.
    They fight, and certain Volsces come to the aid of AUFIDIUS. MARTIUS fights till they be driven in breathless
    Officious, and not valiant, you have shamed me
    In your condemned seconds.
    Exeunt
  • A battlefield.
    A trumpet sounds from the battle. MARTIUS and AUFIDIUS enter from opposite sides.

    MARTIUS

    I’ll fight only against you, because I hate you worse than a traitor.

    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

    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 run, Martius, hunt me like a hare.

    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.

    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 some Volsces come to the aid of AUFIDIUS. MARTIUS fights until they’re out of breath.
    You’re intrusive, not brave. You’ve shamed me with your assistance, and I condemn you for it.
    All exit.