A line-by-line translation

Coriolanus

Coriolanus Translation Act 5, Scene 2

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Two Sentinels on guard. Enter to them, MENENIUS.

FIRST SENATOR

Stay: whence are you?

FIRST Sentinel

Stop. Where are you from?

SECOND SENATOR

Stand, and go back.

SECOND SENTINEL

Stop where you are and go back.

MENENIUS

You guard like men; 'tis well: but, by your leave,I am an officer of state, and comeTo speak with Coriolanus.

MENENIUS

You are bold guards, as you should be. But please, hear me out—I am a statesman, and come to speak with Coriolanus.

FIRST SENATOR

From whence?

FIRST SENTINEL

From where?

MENENIUS

From Rome.

MENENIUS

From Rome.

FIRST SENATOR

You may not pass, you must return: our generalWill no more hear from thence.

FIRST SENTINEL

You may not pass, and you must return. Our general will not hear anything more from Rome.

SECOND SENATOR

You'll see your Rome embraced with fire beforeYou'll speak with Coriolanus.

SECOND SENTINEL

You'll see Rome embraced with fire before you'll speak with Coriolanus.

MENENIUS

Good my friends, If you have heard your general talk of Rome, And of his friends there, it is lots to blanks, My name hath touch'd your ears it is Menenius.

MENENIUS

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FIRST SENATOR

Be it so; go back: the virtue of your nameIs not here passable.

FIRST SENTINEL

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MENENIUS

I tell thee, fellow, The general is my lover: I have been The book of his good acts, whence men have read His name unparallel'd, haply amplified; For I have ever verified my friends, Of whom he's chief, with all the size that verity Would without lapsing suffer: nay, sometimes, Like to a bowl upon a subtle ground, I have tumbled past the throw; and in his praise Have almost stamp'd the leasing: therefore, fellow, I must have leave to pass.

MENENIUS

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FIRST SENATOR

Faith, sir, if you had told as many lies in his behalf as you have uttered words in your own, you should not pass here; no, though it were as virtuous to lie as to live chastely. Therefore, go back.

FIRST SENTINEL

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MENENIUS

Prithee, fellow, remember my name is Menenius,always factionary on the party of your general.

MENENIUS

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SECOND SENATOR

Howsoever you have been his liar, as you say youhave, I am one that, telling true under him, mustsay, you cannot pass. Therefore, go back.

SECOND SENTINEL

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MENENIUS

Has he dined, canst thou tell? for I would notspeak with him till after dinner.

MENENIUS

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FIRST SENATOR

You are a Roman, are you?

FIRSt SENTINEL

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MENENIUS

I am, as thy general is.

MENENIUS

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FIRST SENATOR

Then you should hate Rome, as he does. Can you, when you have pushed out your gates the very defender of them, and, in a violent popular ignorance, given your enemy your shield, think to front his revenges with the easy groans of old women, the virginal palms of your daughters, or with the palsied intercession of such a decayed dotant as you seem to be? Can you think to blow out the intended fire your city is ready to flame in, with such weak breath as this? No, you are deceived; therefore, back to Rome, and prepare for your execution: you are condemned, our general has sworn you out of reprieve and pardon.

FIRST SENTINEL

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MENENIUS

Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here, he woulduse me with estimation.

MENENIUS

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SECOND SENATOR

Come, my captain knows you not.

SECOND SENTINEL

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MENENIUS

I mean, thy general.

MENENIUS

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FIRST SENATOR

My general cares not for you. Back, I say, go; lestI let forth your half-pint of blood; back,—that'sthe utmost of your having: back.

FIRST SENTINEL

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MENENIUS

Nay, but, fellow, fellow,—

MENENIUS

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Enter CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS

CORIOLANUS

What's the matter?

CORIOLANUS

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MENENIUS

Now, you companion, I'll say an errand for you: You shall know now that I am in estimation; you shall perceive that a Jack guardant cannot office me from my son Coriolanus: guess, but by my entertainment with him, if thou standest not i' the state of hanging, or of some death more long in spectatorship, and crueller in suffering; behold now presently, and swoon for what's to come upon thee. [To CORIOLANUS] The glorious gods sit in hourly synod about thy particular prosperity and love thee no worse than thy old father Menenius does. O my son, my son! Thou art preparing fire for us. Look thee, here's water to quench it. I was hardly moved to come to thee but, being assured none but myself could move thee, I have been blown out of gates with sighs and conjure thee to pardon Rome and they petitionary countrymen. The good gods assuage thy wrath and turn the dregs of it upon this varlet here— this, who like a block hath denied my access to thee.

MENENIUS

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CORIOLANUS

Away!

CORIOLANUS

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MENENIUS

How! away!

MENENIUS

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CORIOLANUS

Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs Are servanted to others: though I owe My revenge properly, my remission lies In Volscian breasts. That we have been familiar, Ingrate forgetfulness shall poison, rather Than pity note how much. Therefore, be gone. Mine ears against your suits are stronger than Your gates against my force. Yet, for I loved thee, Take this along; I writ it for thy sake And would have rent it. Another word, Menenius, I will not hear thee speak. This man, Aufidius, Was my beloved in Rome: yet thou behold'st!

CORIOLANUS

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AUFIDIUS

You keep a constant temper.

AUFIDIUS

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Exeunt CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS

FIRST SENATOR

Now, sir, is your name Menenius?

FIRST SENTINEL

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SECOND SENATOR

'Tis a spell, you see, of much power: you know theway home again.

SECOND SENTINEL

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FIRST SENATOR

Do you hear how we are shent for keeping yourgreatness back?

FIRST SENTINEL

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SECOND SENATOR

What cause, do you think, I have to swoon?

SECOND SENTINEL

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MENENIUS

I neither care for the world nor your general: for such things as you, I can scarce think there's any, ye're so slight. He that hath a will to die by himself fears it not from another: let your general do his worst. For you, be that you are, long; and your misery increase with your age! I say to you, as I was said to, Away!

MENENIUS

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Exit

FIRST SENATOR

A noble fellow, I warrant him.

FIRST SENTINEL

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SECOND SENATOR

The worthy fellow is our general: he's the rock, theoak not to be wind-shaken.

SECOND SENTINEL

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Exeunt

Coriolanus
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