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To doubt th' equivocation of the fiend,
That lies like truth: "Fear not, till Birnam wood
Do come to Dunsinane;"— and now a wood
Comes toward Dunsinane. Arm, arm, and out! —
If this, which he avouches, does appear,
There is no flying hence, nor tarrying here.
I 'gin to be aweary of the sun,
And wish th' estate o' the world were now undone.
Ring the alarum bell! — Blow, wind! come, wrack!
CORIOLANUS AND AUFIDIUS.
Coriolanus. I plainly, Tullus, by your looks perceive,
Aufidius. I mean not to assail thee with the clamor
Cor. Speak, I hear thee.
Auf. I need not tell thee, that I have perform'd
Cor. With safety ? — Heavens !— and think'st thou Coriolanus Will stoop to thee for safety ? — No! my safeguard
Is in myself, a bosom void of fear.
O, 'tis an act of cowardice and baseness,
Auf. Thou speak'st the truth: it had not.
Cor. Till I have cleared my honor in your council,
I would before thee fly, and howl for mercy,
Auf. Thou canst not hope acquittal from the Volscians.
Cor. I do : — Nay, more, expect their approbation,
Auf. What would I more, proud Roman? This I would —
Against the liberty of human kind,
The genuine seed of outlaws and of robbers.
Cor. The seed of gods. — 'Tis not for thee, vain boaster, — 'Tis not for such as thou, — so often spared By her victorious sword, to speak of Rome, But with respect, and awful veneration.— Whate'er her blots, whate'er her giddy factions, There is more virtue in one single year Of Roman story, than your Volscian annals Can boast through all their creeping, dark duration.
Auf. I thank thy rage : — This full displays the traitor.
Cor. Traitor ! — How now 1
Auf. Ay, traitor, Marcius.
Auf. Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius: dost thou think
Cor. Hear'st thou, Mars?
Auf. Name not the god, thou boy of tears.
Cor. Measureless liar I thou hast made my heart
Lest my rash hand should do a hasty deed
Auf. I court
Cor. O, that I had thee in the field,
It must be so — Plato, thou reason'st well!
Else, whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality?
Or, whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul,
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
'Tis the Divinity that stirs within us;
'Tis Heaven itself that points out — a hereafter,
And intimates — Eternity, to man.
Eternity ! — thou pleasing — dreadful thought!
Through what variety of untried being,
Through what new scenes and changes must we pass;
The wide, the unbounded prospect, lies before me,
But shadows, clouds, and darkness, rest upon it.
Here will I hold. If there's a Power above us —
And that there is, all nature cries aloud
Through all her works — He must delight in virtue;
And that which He delights in, must be happy.
But when? or where? This world was made for Caesar. —
I'm weary of conjectures — this must end them. (Laying his hand
on his sword.)
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.