A line-by-line translation

Coriolanus

Coriolanus Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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Enter MENENIUS, COMINIUS, SICINIUS, BRUTUS, and others

MENENIUS

No, I'll not go: you hear what he hath said Which was sometime his general; who loved him In a most dear particular. He call'd me father: But what o' that? Go, you that banish'd him; A mile before his tent fall down, and knee The way into his mercy: nay, if he coy'd To hear Cominius speak, I'll keep at home.

MENENIUS

No, I will not go. You've heard what he said to someone who was once his general, someone who dearly loved him. He called me "father," but so what? You, who banished him, should go; fall to your knees a mile from his tent, and crawl into his mercy. No, if he wouldn't hear Cominius speak, there's no use in me going.

COMINIUS

He would not seem to know me.

COMINIUS

He acted as though he did not know me.

MENENIUS

Do you hear?

MENENIUS

Hear that?

COMINIUS

Yet one time he did call me by my name: I urged our old acquaintance, and the drops That we have bled together. Coriolanus He would not answer to: forbad all names; He was a kind of nothing, titleless, Till he had forged himself a name o' the fire Of burning Rome.

COMINIUS

Just once, he called me by my name. I reminded him of our old friendship, and the blood that we've spilled together. He refused to answer to the name "Coriolanus"—in fact, he wouldn't answer to anything. He was a kind of nothing, as though nameless until he'd make himself a name in the fires of burning Rome.

MENENIUS

Why, so: you have made good work!A pair of tribunes that have rack'd for Rome,To make coals cheap,—a noble memory!

MENENIUS

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COMINIUS

I minded him how royal 'twas to pardon When it was less expected: he replied, It was a bare petition of a state To one whom they had punish'd.

COMINIUS

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MENENIUS

Very well:Could he say less?

MENENIUS

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COMINIUS

I offer'd to awaken his regard For's private friends: his answer to me was, He could not stay to pick them in a pile Of noisome musty chaff: he said 'twas folly, For one poor grain or two, to leave unburnt, And still to nose the offence.

COMINIUS

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MENENIUS

For one poor grain or two! I am one of those; his mother, wife, his child, And this brave fellow too, we are the grains: You are the musty chaff; and you are smelt Above the moon: we must be burnt for you.

MENENIUS

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SICINIUS

Nay, pray, be patient: if you refuse your aid In this so never-needed help, yet do not Upbraid's with our distress. But, sure, if you Would be your country's pleader, your good tongue, More than the instant army we can make, Might stop our countryman.

SICINIUS

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MENENIUS

No, I'll not meddle.

MENENIUS

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SICINIUS

Pray you, go to him.

SICINIUS

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MENENIUS

What should I do?

MENENIUS

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BRUTUS

Only make trial what your love can doFor Rome, towards Marcius.

BRUTUS

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MENENIUS

Well, and say that Marcius Return me, as Cominius is return'd, Unheard; what then? But as a discontented friend, grief-shot With his unkindness? say't be so?

MENENIUS

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SICINIUS

Yet your good willmust have that thanks from Rome, after the measureAs you intended well.

SICINIUS

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MENENIUS

I'll undertake 't: I think he'll hear me. Yet, to bite his lip And hum at good Cominius, much unhearts me. He was not taken well; he had not dined: The veins unfill'd, our blood is cold, and then We pout upon the morning, are unapt To give or to forgive; but when we have stuff'd These and these conveyances of our blood With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls Than in our priest-like fasts: therefore I'll watch him Till he be dieted to my request, And then I'll set upon him.

MENENIUS

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BRUTUS

You know the very road into his kindness,And cannot lose your way.

BRUTUS

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MENENIUS

Good faith, I'll prove him,Speed how it will. I shall ere long have knowledgeOf my success.

MENENIUS

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Exit

COMINIUS

He'll never hear him.

COMINIUS

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SICINIUS

Not?

SICINIUS

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COMINIUS

I tell you, he does sit in gold, his eye Red as 'twould burn Rome; and his injury The gaoler to his pity. I kneel'd before him; 'Twas very faintly he said 'Rise;' dismiss'd me Thus, with his speechless hand: what he would do, He sent in writing after me; what he would not, Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions: So that all hope is vain. Unless his noble mother, and his wife; Who, as I hear, mean to solicit him For mercy to his country. Therefore, let's hence, And with our fair entreaties haste them on.

COMINIUS

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Exeunt

Coriolanus
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