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Coriolanus

Coriolanus Translation Act 5, Scene 4

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Enter MENENIUS and SICINIUS

MENENIUS

See you yond coign o' the Capitol, yondcorner-stone?

MENENIUS

Do you see that corner of the Capitol, that cornerstone?

SICINIUS

Why, what of that?

SICINIUS

Why, what about it?

MENENIUS

If it be possible for you to displace it with your little finger, there is some hope the ladies of Rome, especially his mother, may prevail with him. But I say there is no hope in't: our throats are sentenced and stay upon execution.

MENENIUS

If you can move that with your little finger, there is some hope the ladies of Rome, especially his mother, will convince Coriolanus not to attack. But I say there's really no hope; we have been sentenced to death and are just waiting for the execution.

SICINIUS

Is't possible that so short a time can alter thecondition of a man!

SICINIUS

Is it possible that a man can change so much in so little time?

MENENIUS

There is differency between a grub and a butterfly; yet your butterfly was a grub. This Marcius is grown from man to dragon: he has wings; he's more than a creeping thing.

MENENIUS

There is a difference between a caterpillar and a butterfly, but butterflies do start out as caterpillars. Marcius has grown from man to dragon: he has wings, he is more than a creeping thing.

SICINIUS

He loved his mother dearly.

SICINIUS

He loved his mother dearly.

MENENIUS

So did he me: and he no more remembers his mother now than an eight-year-old horse. The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes: when he walks, he moves like an engine, and the ground shrinks before his treading: he is able to pierce a corslet with his eye; talks like a knell, and his hum is a battery. He sits in his state, as a thing made for Alexander. What he bids be done is finished with his bidding. He wants nothing of a god but eternity and a heaven to throne in.

MENENIUS

He loved me dearly, too. He no more remembers his mother now than an old horse does. The fury of his face turns grapes sour. When he walks, he moves like a great machine, and the ground cowers before him. He is able to pierce armor with his eyes; his voice is like a funeral bell and his very hum is an assault. He sits on his throne like a statue of Alexander. What he orders to be done is done by very order itself. He is a god, except that he lacks eternity and a heaven in which to rule.

SICINIUS

Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.

SICINIUS

Yes, god have mercy if you are describing him truthfully.

MENENIUS

I paint him in the character. Mark what mercy his mother shall bring from him: there is no more mercy in him than there is milk in a male tiger; that shall our poor city find: and all this is long of you.

MENENIUS

I paint him just as he is. Watch what mercy his mother will bring from him. There is no more mercy in him than there is milk in a male tiger. That's what our poor city will learn. And all of this is your fault.

SICINIUS

The gods be good unto us!

SICINIUS

The gods be good to us!

MENENIUS

No, in such a case the gods will not be good untous. When we banished him, we respected not them;and, he returning to break our necks, they respect not us.

MENENIUS

No, in this case the gods will not be good to us. When we banished him, we did not respect the gods, and when he returns to break our necks, the gods will not respect us.

Enter a Messenger

MESSENGER

Sir, if you'ld save your life, fly to your house: The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune And hale him up and down, all swearing, if The Roman ladies bring not comfort home, They'll give him death by inches.

MESSENGER

[To SICINIUS] Sir, if you value your life, flee to your house. The commoners have got the other tribune and are running him through the streets, all swearing that if the Roman ladies do not bring good news back, they will torture him to death.

Enter a second Messenger

SICINIUS

What's the news?

SICINIUS

What's the news?

SECOND MESSENGER

Good news, good news; the ladies have prevail'd, The Volscians are dislodged, and Marcius gone: A merrier day did never yet greet Rome, No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins.

SECOND MESSENGER

Good news, good news! The ladies have succeeded! The Volscians are packing up their camp, and Marcius has gone. No happier day has ever dawned on Rome, no, not even the retreat of the Tarquins.

SICINIUS

Friend,Art thou certain this is true? is it most certain?

SICINIUS

Friend, are you certain this is true? Are you absolutely certain?

SECOND MESSENGER

As certain as I know the sun is fire: Where have you lurk'd, that you make doubt of it? Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide, As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark you!

SECOND MESSENGER

As certain as I know the sun is fire. Where have you been, that you doubt it? News has never flown so quickly through the city as this, straight through the front gates. Why, listen!

Trumpets; hautboys; drums beat; all together

SECOND MESSENGER

The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries and fifes,Tabours and cymbals and the shouting Romans,Make the sun dance. Hark you!

SECOND MESSENGER

The trumpets and bugles, organs and flutes, tambourines and cymbals and the shouting Romans make the very sun dance. Listen!

A shout within

MENENIUS

This is good news: I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians, A city full; of tribunes, such as you, A sea and land full. You have pray'd well to-day: This morning for ten thousand of your throats I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!

MENENIUS

This is good news indeed. I'll go meet the ladies. Volumnia is worth a city full of consuls, senators, and nobles. She's worth an ocean and a continent of tribunes such as you. You have prayed well today. This morning I would not have given a cent to save ten thousand of your throats. Listen to how joyful they are!

Music still, with shouts

SICINIUS

First, the gods bless you for your tidings; next,Accept my thankfulness.

SICINIUS

First, may the gods bless you for this news. Next, allow me to thank you.

SECOND MESSENGER

Sir, we have allGreat cause to give great thanks.

SECOND MESSENGER

Sir, we all have great reason to give great thanks.

SICINIUS

They are near the city?

SICINIUS

The women are near the city?

SECOND MESSENGER

Almost at point to enter.

SECOND MESSENGER

They are about to enter it.

SICINIUS

We will meet them,And help the joy.

SICINIUS

We will meet them, and contribute to this joy.

Exeunt

Coriolanus
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