A line-by-line translation

Coriolanus

Coriolanus Translation Act 1, Scene 2

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS and certain Senators

FIRST SENATOR

So, your opinion is, Aufidius,That they of Rome are entered in our counselsAnd know how we proceed.

FIRST SENATOR

So, Aufidius—you think that the Romans have spies among us, and know what we're going to do?

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.

AUFIDIUS

Don't you? When have we ever even thought of doing something that Rome didn't attempt to counter before we had the chance to even get started? Less than four days ago, I heard from Rome—this is what they said—I have the letter here somewhere . . . yes, here it is.

Reads

AUFIDIUS

'They have press'd 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.'

AUFIDIUS

"They have sent out a battalion of soldiers, but it is not known whether they went east or west. The city's famine is serious, and the people are mutinous. There are rumours that three men lead the battalion: Cominius, Marcius your rival (whom Rome hates even more than they hate you), and Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman. They are probably bound for you; be careful."

FIRST SENATOR

Our army's in the fieldWe never yet made doubt but Rome was readyTo answer us.

FIRST SENATOR

We've never yet sent out an army unless we were ready to have Rome fight with 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.

AUFIDIUS

But at the same time, you've never thought it was a mistake to hide your warlike aims until the last possible second. This time, Rome seems to have known from the start, so that our initial plan—to conquer towns secretly, without Rome getting word—has been ruined.

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 your army; but, I think, you'll find They've not prepared for us.

SECOND SENATOR

Honorable Aufidius, here are your orders: go out to your soldiers, and leave us to guard the city of Corioli. If they besiege us, come at them from behind. Still, I think you'll find that they underestimate our strength.

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.

AUFIDIUS

Oh, don't doubt for a minute that they plan to besiege Corioli. I am certain of it; some of their forces are headed this way already. I will leave you, sirs. If I meet Caius Marcius in battle, we have sworn to fight to the death.

ALL

The gods assist you!

ALL

May the gods assist you!

AUFIDIUS

And keep your honours safe!

AUFIDIUS

May they keep you safe, sirs!

FIRST SENATOR

Farewell.

FIRST SENATOR

Goodbye.

SECOND SENATOR

Farewell.

SECOND SENATOR

Goodbye.

ALL

Farewell.

ALL

Goodbye.

Exeunt

Coriolanus
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire Coriolanus Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 967 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 22,100 quotes covering 967 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms