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Coriolanus

Coriolanus Translation Act 4, Scene 4

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Enter CORIOLANUS in mean apparel, disguised and muffled

CORIOLANUS

A goodly city is this Antium. City, 'Tis I that made thy widows: many an heir Of these fair edifices 'fore my wars Have I heard groan and drop: then know me not, Lest that thy wives with spits and boys with stones In puny battle slay me.

CORIOLANUS

This Antium place is not so bad. [As though speaking to the city] City, I was the one who widowed your women; I killed many of the men who lived in your fair buildings. Do not know me, or your wives will spit on me and your boys will attack me with stones.

Enter a Citizen

CORIOLANUS

Save you, sir.

CORIOLANUS

God save you, sir.

CITIZEN

And you.

CITIZEN

And you. 

CORIOLANUS

Direct me, if it be your will,Where great Aufidius lies: is he in Antium?

CORIOLANUS

Could you please direct me to where the great Aufidius stays? Is he in Antium?

CITIZEN

He is, and feasts the nobles of the stateAt his house this night.

CITIZEN

He is, indeed, and is having a feast for nobles at his house tonight.

CORIOLANUS

Which is his house, beseech you?

CORIOLANUS

Please tell me, which is his house?

CITIZEN

This, here before you.

CITIZEN

This one, right here.

CORIOLANUS

Thank you, sir: farewell.

CORIOLANUS

Thank you, sir, good-bye. 

Exit Citizen

CORIOLANUS

O world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn, Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart, Whose house, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise, Are still together, who twin, as 'twere, in love Unseparable, shall within this hour, On a dissension of a doit, break out To bitterest enmity: so, fellest foes, Whose passions and whose plots have broke their sleep, To take the one the other, by some chance, Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends And interjoin their issues. So with me: My birth-place hate I, and my love's upon This enemy town. I'll enter: if he slay me, He does fair justice; if he give me way, I'll do his country service.

CORIOLANUS

Oh, world, your unexpected twists and turns! Even now there are best friends—friends so close they seem to have the same heart; friends whose house, whose bed, whose meal, whose hobbies are always the same, like inseparable twins—who within this very hour, over a tiny argument, will become the most bitter enemies. In the same way, the most dire foes, men who have lost sleep planning plots to take one another by some chance, some trick worth almost nothing, will become dear friends and work together. So it is with me. I hate my birthplace, and I love this enemy town. I'll enter Aufidius's house; if he slays me, that's fair; if he lets me stay, I'll fight on the Volscian side.

Exit

Coriolanus
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