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  Act 4 Scene 5

page Act 4 Scene 5 Page 5

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AUFIDIUS

O Martius, Martius!
105Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my heart
A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter
Should from yond cloud speak divine things,
And say ‘’Tis true,’ I’ld not believe them more
Than thee, all noble Martius. Let me twine
110Mine arms about that body, where against
My grained ash an hundred times hath broke
And scarr’d the moon with splinters: here I clip
The anvil of my sword, and do contest
As hotly and as nobly with thy love
115As ever in ambitious strength I did
Contend against thy valour. Know thou first,
I loved the maid I married; never man
Sigh’d truer breath; but that I see thee here,
Thou noble thing! more dances my rapt heart
120Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars! I tell thee,
We have a power on foot; and I had purpose
Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,
Or lose mine arm fort: thou hast beat me out
125Twelve several times, and I have nightly since
Dreamt of encounters ’twixt thyself and me;
We have been down together in my sleep,
Unbuckling helms, fisting each other’s throat,
And waked half dead with nothing. Worthy Martius,
130Had we no quarrel else to Rome, but that
Thou art thence banish’d, we would muster all
From twelve to seventy, and pouring war
Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,
Like a bold flood o’er-bear. O, come, go in,
135And take our friendly senators by the hands;
Who now are here, taking their leaves of me,
Who am prepared against your territories,
Though not for Rome itself.

AUFIDIUS

Oh, Martius, Martius! Each word that you’ve spoken has weeded from my heart a root of longstanding hatred. If from that far cloud Jupiter should speak divine things and say, “It’s true,” I would believe him no less than I believe you, noble Martius. Let me wrap my arms around this body of yours, which my wooden lance has beaten and been splintered against a hundred times. You are the anvil that my sword used to strike, and now I embrace you. Now I strive to gain your comradeship with as much ferocity and honor as I used to fight you. You should know: I loved the woman I married, that’s the truth, but seeing you here, you noble thing, makes my heart more enraptured than when I first saw my new bride walk across my threshold. You are the god of war! I tell you, our army is ready to deploy, and now I have reason again to force your shield off of your strong arm, or lose my own arm instead. You’ve defeated me twelve different times, and every night since I have dreamed of encounters between us. We’d fight down on the ground, taking off our helmets, forcing our fists into each other’s throats. Then I wake up, half dead, and it was all a dream. Worthy Martius, even if we had no reason to attack Rome other than the fact that you’ve been banished, we would assemble every man from ages twelve to seventy and flood ungrateful Rome with our fury. Come inside now and shake hands with our senators. They are just now saying goodbye to me, as I was about to attack Roman territories, though not Rome itself.