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Coriolanus

Coriolanus Translation Act 1, Scene 9

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Flourish. Alarum. A retreat is sounded. Flourish. Enter, from one side, COMINIUS with the Romans; from the other side, MARCIUS, with his arm in a scarf

COMINIUS

If I should tell thee o'er this thy day's work, Thou'ldst not believe thy deeds: but I'll report it Where senators shall mingle tears with smiles, Where great patricians shall attend and shrug, I' the end admire, where ladies shall be frighted, And, gladly quaked, hear more; where the dull tribunes, That, with the fusty plebeians, hate thine honours, Shall say against their hearts 'We thank the gods Our Rome hath such a soldier.' Yet camest thou to a morsel of this feast, Having fully dined before.

COMINIUS

If I told you again about the work you have already done today, you wouldn't believe your own deeds. Instead, I'll tell Rome's senators, who will laugh and cry, and the best among them will listen and shrug, but in the end they'll all admire you. Ladies will be scared and excited and will ask to hear more; the most average and the most senior men in the Senate, even if they're jealous, will say in spite of themselves: "We thank the gods our Rome has such a soldier." Yet all of this was just a snack for you; you ate earlier.

Enter TITUS LARTIUS, with his power, from the pursuit

LARTIUS

O general,Here is the steed, we the caparison:Hadst thou beheld—

LARTIUS

Oh, general, here is the one who carried the fight; we're just his ornaments. If you'd seen

MARCIUS

Pray now, no more: my mother, Who has a charter to extol her blood, When she does praise me grieves me. I have done As you have done; that's what I can; induced As you have been; that's for my country: He that has but effected his good will Hath overta'en mine act.

MARCIUS

Please, no more: even my own mother, who has more right to praise me than anyone else, grieves me when she does. I have done as you have done: that is, I've done my best. I have the same reasons as you: that is, I love my country. Any man who has acted as well as he can has done the same as me.

COMINIUS

You shall not be The grave of your deserving; Rome must know The value of her own: 'twere a concealment Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement, To hide your doings; and to silence that, Which, to the spire and top of praises vouch'd, Would seem but modest: therefore, I beseech you In sign of what you are, not to reward What you have done— before our army hear me.

COMINIUS

You shall not silence your own praise; Rome needs to know how valuable you are to our republic. Not to praise you would be worse than stealing your praise; it would be nothing less than to lie about your reputation, to hide your actions. Please, let me review your actions before our men, not as a reward, but simply in acknowledgement of who you are.

MARCIUS

I have some wounds upon me, and they smartTo hear themselves remember'd.

MARCIUS

I have some wounds upon me, and they hurt when I'm reminded of them.

COMINIUS

Should they not, Well might they fester 'gainst ingratitude, And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses, Whereof we have ta'en good and good store, of all The treasure in this field achieved and city, We render you the tenth, to be ta'en forth, Before the common distribution, at Your only choice.

COMINIUS

If they didn't, they might as well infect themselves against ingratitude and welcome death. In reward, take a tenth of all the horses, and all the goods plundered from the battle and the city. You and you alone will choose your tenth first, before the rest of us.

MARCIUS

I thank you, general; But cannot make my heart consent to take A bribe to pay my sword: I do refuse it; And stand upon my common part with those That have beheld the doing.

MARCIUS

I thank you, general, but I couldn't bear to accept payment for this fighting. I must refuse and stand with all the other soldiers who were there to see me fight.

A long flourish. They all cry 'Marcius! Marcius!' cast up their caps and lances: COMINIUS and LARTIUS stand bare

MARCIUS

May these same instruments, which you profane, Never sound more! when drums and trumpets shall I' the field prove flatterers, let courts and cities be Made all of false-faced soothing! When steel grows soft as the parasite's silk, Let him be made a coverture for the wars! No more, I say! For that I have not wash'd My nose that bled, or foil'd some debile wretch.— Which, without note, here's many else have done,— You shout me forth In acclamations hyperbolical; As if I loved my little should be dieted In praises sauced with lies.

MARCIUS

May these very trumpets, which you misuse by praising me, never blow again! When drums and trumpets are used for flattery at war, courts and cities will be home to calm deceit! When our weapons grow soft as spider's silk, may that silk be like a blanket for the wars. No more, I say! Merely because I haven't cleaned my bloody nose, or because I killed some foolish wretch—which many others here have done—you shout these wild praises of me, as if I enjoyed having what little praise I am entitled to covered up with lies.

COMINIUS

Too modest are you; More cruel to your good report than grateful To us that give you truly: by your patience, If 'gainst yourself you be incensed, we'll put you, Like one that means his proper harm, in manacles, Then reason safely with you. Therefore, be it known, As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius Wears this war's garland: in token of the which, My noble steed, known to the camp, I give him, With all his trim belonging; and from this time, For what he did before Corioli, call him, With all the applause and clamour of the host, CAIUS MARCIUS CORIOLANUS! Bear The addition nobly ever!

COMINIUS

You are too modest, and your modesty only tarnishes your reputation. Please, if you truly think so little of yourself, we'll restrain you like one restrains a man who wants to hurt himself—then we can talk reasonably with you. Therefore, be it known to all the world as it is clear to us, that Caius Marcius wears this war's garland. In token of his victory, I give him my noble steed along with his luxurious saddle and bridle, known to everyone in the camp. From this time forward, for what he did in Corioli, let us all call him—with the applause and approval of the whole army—[shouting, as though to the whole army] Caius Marcius Coriolanus! Bear that name nobly forever!

Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums

ALL

Caius Marcius Coriolanus!

ALL

Caius Marcius Coriolanus!

CORIOLANUS

I will go wash; And when my face is fair, you shall perceive Whether I blush or no: howbeit, I thank you. I mean to stride your steed, and at all times To undercrest your good addition To the fairness of my power.

CORIOLANUS

I will go wash, and when my face is clean, you will all see whether I blush or not. Either way, I thank you. I will try to ride your horse, and at all times to live up to the name you have given me as much as I can.

COMINIUS

So, to our tent; Where, ere we do repose us, we will write To Rome of our success. You, Titus Lartius, Must to Corioli back: send us to Rome The best, with whom we may articulate, For their own good and ours.

COMINIUS

So, to our tent, where before we rest, we will write to Rome of our success. You, Titus Lartius, must return to Corioli. From there, send the best of the Volscians to Rome so that we can negotiate the terms of their surrender, for their own good and ours. 

LARTIUS

I shall, my lord.

LARTIUS

I will, my lord.

CORIOLANUS

The gods begin to mock me. I, that nowRefused most princely gifts, am bound to begOf my lord general.

CORIOLANUS

The gods begin to mock me. I, who just refused the most lavish gifts, now have to beg something of my lord general. 

COMINIUS

Take't; 'tis yours. What is't?

COMINIUS

Take it; whatever you want is yours. What is it?

CORIOLANUS

I sometime lay here in Corioli At a poor man's house; he used me kindly: He cried to me; I saw him prisoner; But then Aufidius was with in my view, And wrath o'erwhelm'd my pity: I request you To give my poor host freedom.

CORIOLANUS

During the fight here in Corioli I hid for a bit in a poor man's house, and he was kind to me. When I saw Aufidius, wrath overwhelmed whatever pity I had, and so although the man begged me to be merciful, I made him a prisoner. Please, give my poor host his freedom.

COMINIUS

O, well begg'd!Were he the butcher of my son, he shouldBe free as is the wind. Deliver him, Titus.

COMINIUS

O, well begged! Were he to murder my own son, he would be free as the wind. Free him, Titus.

LARTIUS

Marcius, his name?

LARTIUS

Marcius, what's his name?

CORIOLANUS

By Jupiter! forgot.I am weary; yea, my memory is tired.Have we no wine here?

CORIOLANUS

By god! I've forgotten. I am tired; even my memory is tired. Don't we have any wine?

COMINIUS

Go we to our tent:The blood upon your visage dries; 'tis timeIt should be look'd to: come.

COMINIUS

Lets go to our tent. The blood is drying on your face; it's time we dealt with it. Come on.

Exeunt

Coriolanus
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