William Shakespeare: Coriolanus, Act I, Scene X

Scene X

The camp of the Volsces

A flourish. Cornets. Enter Tullus Aufidius, bloody, with two or three Soldiers

Aufidius

The town is ta'en!

First Soldier

'Twill be deliver'd back on good condition.

Aufidius

Condition! I would I were a Roman; for I cannot, Being a Volsce, be that I am. Condition! What good condition can a treaty find I' the part that is at mercy? Five times, Marcius, I have fought with thee: so often hast thou beat me, And wouldst do so, I think, should we encounter As often as we eat. By the elements, If e'er again I meet him beard to beard, He's mine, or I am his: mine emulation Hath not that honour in't it had; for where I thought to crush him in an equal force, True sword to sword, I'll potch at him some way Or wrath or craft may get him.

First Soldier

He's the devil.

Aufidius

Bolder, though not so subtle. My valour's poison'd With only suffering stain by him; for him Shall fly out of itself: nor sleep nor sanctuary, Being naked, sick, nor fane nor Capitol, The prayers of priests nor times of sacrifice, Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst My hate to Marcius: where I find him, were it At home, upon my brother's guard, even there, Against the hospitable canon, would I Wash my fierce hand in's heart. Go you to the city; Learn how 'tis held; and what they are that must Be hostages for Rome.

First Soldier

Will not you go?

Aufidius

I am attended at the cypress grove: I pray you— 'Tis south the city mills—bring me word thither How the world goes, that to the pace of it I may spur on my journey.

First Soldier

I shall, sir.

Exeunt