ACT I
Scene 2
 

Corioli. The Senate House.

[Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS and certain SENATORS.]

FIRST SENATOR
So, your opinion is, Aufidius,
That they of Rome are enter'd in our counsels
And know how we proceed.

AUFIDIUS
Is it not yours?
What ever have been thought on in this state,
That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome
Had circumvention! 'Tis not four days gone
Since I heard thence; these are the words: I think
I have the letter here;yes, here it is:
[Reads.]
'They have pressed a power, but it is not known
Whether for east or west: the dearth is great;
The people mutinous: and it is rumour'd,
Cominius, Marcius your old enemy,--
Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,--
And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,
These three lead on this preparation
Whither 'tis bent: most likely 'tis for you:
Consider of it.'

FIRST SENATOR
Our army's in the field:
We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
To answer us.

AUFIDIUS
Nor did you think it folly
To keep your great pretences veil'd till when
They needs must show themselves; which in the hatching,
It seem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery
We shall be shorten'd in our aim; which was,
To take in many towns ere, almost, Rome
Should know we were afoot.

SECOND SENATOR
Noble Aufidius,
Take your commission; hie you to your bands;
Let us alone to guard Corioli:
If they set down before's, for the remove
Bring up your army; but I think you'll find
They've not prepared for us.

AUFIDIUS
O, doubt not that;
I speak from certainties. Nay, more,
Some parcels of their power are forth already,
And only hitherward. I leave your honours.
If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet,
'Tis sworn between us we shall ever strike
Till one can do no more.

ALL
The gods assist you!

AUFIDIUS
And keep your honours safe!

FIRST SENATOR
Farewell.

SECOND SENATOR
Farewell.

ALL
Farewell.

[Exeunt.]