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Coriolanus

Coriolanus Translation Act 5, Scene 6

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Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, with Attendants

AUFIDIUS

Go tell the lords o' the city I am here: Deliver them this paper: having read it, Bid them repair to the market place; where I, Even in theirs and in the commons' ears, Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse The city ports by this hath enter'd a nd Intends to appear before the people, hoping To purge himself with words: dispatch.

AUFIDIUS

Go tell the lords of the city that I am here. Deliver them this letter. Once they have read it, tell them to come to the market, where I will declare the truth of what it says to the ears of the public. Coriolanus, who I accuse in the letter, has entered the city and intends to appear before the people to pardon himself with words.

Exeunt Attendants

Enter three or four Conspirators of AUFIDIUS' faction

AUFIDIUS

Most welcome!

AUFIDIUS

You're very welcome here!

FIRST CONSPIRATOR

How is it with our general?

FIRST CONSPIRATOR

How's it going with our general?

AUFIDIUS

Even soAs with a man by his own alms empoison'd,And with his charity slain.

AUFIDIUS

He has poisoned himself with his own forgiveness, killed himself with his own charity.

SECOND CONSPIRATOR

Most noble sir, If you do hold the same intent wherein You wish'd us parties, we'll deliver you Of your great danger.

SECOND CONSPIRATOR

Most noble sir, if you still want us to be your allies, we'll help save you from great danger.

AUFIDIUS

Sir, I cannot tell:We must proceed as we do find the people.

AUFIDIUS

Sir, I don't know whether there will be danger. We will have to take things as they come and see how the people feel. 

THIRD CONSPIRATOR

The people will remain uncertain whilst'Twixt you there's difference; but the fall of eitherMakes the survivor heir of all.

THIRD CONSPIRATOR

The people will be uncertain how to feel while you and Coriolanus are opposed. But if either one of you falls, the survivor will win everything.

AUFIDIUS

I know it; And my pretext to strike at him admits A good construction. I raised him, and I pawn'd Mine honour for his truth: who being so heighten'd, He water'd his new plants with dews of flattery, Seducing so my friends; and, to this end, He bow'd his nature, never known before But to be rough, unswayable and free.

AUFIDIUS

I know, and I have a good reason to strike at him. I raised him up among the Volscians, and gave up my honor for his sake. Once he had power, he used flattery to win all my former friends to his side, and in this way, he made himself—always known to be rough—even more stubbornly powerful. 

THIRD CONSPIRATOR

Sir, his stoutnessWhen he did stand for consul, which he lostBy lack of stooping,—

THIRD CONSPIRATOR

Sir, his stubbornness was what cost him the Roman consulship, which he lost because he could not bow—

AUFIDIUS

That I would have spoke of: Being banish'd for't, he came unto my hearth; Presented to my knife his throat: I took him; Made him joint-servant with me; gave him way In all his own desires; nay, let him choose Out of my files, his projects to accomplish, My best and freshest men; served his designments In mine own person; holp to reap the fame Which he did end all his; and took some pride To do myself this wrong: till, at the last, I seem'd his follower, not partner, and He waged me with his countenance, as if I had been mercenary.

AUFIDIUS

I would bring that up. He was banished for stubbornness, came to my home, and put my knife at his throat. I took him in, made him equal to me, let him do whatever he desired—nay, let him choose from my own plans which projects to work on with my best and freshest men. I worked for him myself, and helped him to earn the fame which in the end all came to him, and even was proud of that, until, in the end, I was his follower and not his partner. He looked at me and treated me like I was just a soldier for hire.

FIRST CONSPIRATOR

So he did, my lord: The army marvell'd at it, and, in the last, When he had carried Rome and that we look'd For no less spoil than glory,—

FIRST CONSPIRATOR

Indeed, my lord. The army could barely believe it, and in the end, when he had conquered everything but Rome, and we were looking forward to treasures and glory—

AUFIDIUS

There was it: For which my sinews shall be stretch'd upon him. At a few drops of women's rheum, which are As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labour Of our great action: therefore shall he die, And I'll renew me in his fall. But, hark!

AUFIDIUS

That was it! For giving it up, all my muscles will strain upon him. For the price of a few women's tears, which are as cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labor of our great war. Therefore, he shall die, and I'll rise as he falls. But listen!

Drums and trumpets sound, with great shouts of the People

FIRST CONSPIRATOR

Your native town you enter'd like a post,And had no welcomes home: but he returns,Splitting the air with noise.

FIRST CONSPIRATOR

You came back to your hometown like a lowly messenger, and had no welcomes home. But he returns, and the air splits with noise.

SECOND CONSPIRATOR

And patient fools,Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tearWith giving him glory.

SECOND CONSPIRATOR

And these fools, whose children he has killed, will tear their throats apart cheering at his glory.

THIRD CONSPIRATOR

Therefore, at your vantage, Ere he express himself, or move the people With what he would say, let him feel your sword, Which we will second. When he lies along, After your way his tale pronounced shall bury His reasons with his body.

THIRD CONSPIRATOR

Therefore, when you are ready, before he has a chance to speak or bring the people to his side, let him feel your sword, and we will help. When he lies dead, you can tell the story and his reasons will be buried with his body.

AUFIDIUS

Say no more:Here come the lords.

AUFIDIUS

Say no more: here come the lords.

Enter the Lords of the city

ALL THE LORDS

You are most welcome home.

ALL THE LORDS

Welcome home!

AUFIDIUS

I have not deserved it.But, worthy lords, have you with heed perusedWhat I have written to you?

AUFIDIUS

I have not deserved it. But, worthy lords, have you looked at what I have written to you?

LORDS

We have.

LORDS

We have.

FIRST LORD

And grieve to hear't. What faults he made before the last, I think Might have found easy fines: but there to end Where he was to begin and give away The benefit of our levies, answering us With our own charge, making a treaty where There was a yielding,— this admits no excuse.

FIRST LORD

And we grieve to hear it. Were it not for his final mistake, I think his other errors would have been forgivable. But to end where he began, and to turn our terms of peace around and force us into our own treaty, where it is as though he surrendered—there can be no excuse for this.

AUFIDIUS

He approaches: you shall hear him.

AUFIDIUS

He's coming. You'll hear what he has to say.

Enter CORIOLANUS, marching with drum and colours; commoners being with him

CORIOLANUS

Hail, lords! I am return'd your soldier, No more infected with my country's love Than when I parted hence, but still subsisting Under your great command. You are to know That prosperously I have attempted and With bloody passage led your wars even to The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought home Do more than counterpoise a full third part The charges of the action. We have made peace With no less honour to the Antiates Than shame to the Romans: and we here deliver, Subscribed by the consuls and patricians, Together with the seal o' the senate, what We have compounded on.

CORIOLANUS

Honorable lords! I have returned again as your soldier, no more infected with my country's love than when I left, but still under your great command. You must know that I successfully led the army in your wars to the very gates of Rome. The spoils we brought home will pay for more than a third of the entire war. We have made peace with great honor to this city and great shame for the Romans. [Holding a paper] Here I deliver the treaty, agreed to by the consuls and the nobles and signed by the senate.

AUFIDIUS

Read it not, noble lords;But tell the traitor, in the high'st degreeHe hath abused your powers.

AUFIDIUS

Do not read it, noble lords, but tell the traitor how he has committed high treason and abused your powers.

CORIOLANUS

Traitor! how now!

CORIOLANUS

Traitor? What's going on?

AUFIDIUS

Ay, traitor, Marcius!

AUFIDIUS

Yes, traitor, Marcius!

CORIOLANUS

Marcius!

CORIOLANUS

Marcius?

AUFIDIUS

Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius: dost thou think I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stol'n name Coriolanus in Corioli? You lords and heads o' the state, perfidiously He has betray'd your business, and given up, For certain drops of salt, your city Rome, I say 'your city,' to his wife and mother; Breaking his oath and resolution like A twist of rotten silk, never admitting Counsel o' the war, but at his nurse's tears He whined and roar'd away your victory, That pages blush'd at him and men of heart Look'd wondering each at other.

AUFIDIUS

Yes, Marcius! Caius Marcius. Do you think I'll honor you with that robbery, that name you stole from Corioli—Coriolanus? You lords and heads of state, how disloyally he has betrayed us all, and given up your city Rome—I say "your city"—for a few drops of salt from wife and mother. He has broken his oath like he would tear a piece of rotten silk; at his nurse's tears he, like a complaining child, begged and sobbed away your victory. Servants blushed to see it, and brave men looked at each other in shock.

CORIOLANUS

Hear'st thou, Mars?

CORIOLANUS

[As though to the gods] Do you hear this, Mars?

AUFIDIUS

Name not the god, thou boy of tears!

AUFIDIUS

Don't name the god of war, you tearful boy!

CORIOLANUS

Ha!

CORIOLANUS

Ha!

AUFIDIUS

No more.

AUFIDIUS

That's enough.

CORIOLANUS

Measureless liar, thou hast made my heart Too great for what contains it. Boy! O slave! Pardon me, lords, 'tis the first time that ever I was forced to scold. Your judgments, my grave lords, Must give this cur the lie: and his own notion— Who wears my stripes impress'd upon him; that Must bear my beating to his grave— shall join To thrust the lie unto him.

CORIOLANUS

You impossible liar, you have made my heart break even as it swells in fury. Boy! Oh, you slave. Pardon me, lords, this is the first time I was ever forced to scold a man. Grave lords, you must use your judgements and see that this dog is lying. He wears honors that I have earned for him, and must remember to his grave all the times I beat him; these show he is lying.

FIRST LORD

Peace, both, and hear me speak.

FIRST LORD

Peace, both of you, and listen to me. 

CORIOLANUS

Cut me to pieces, Volsces; men and lads, Stain all your edges on me. Boy! false hound! If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there, That, like an eagle in a dove-cote, I Flutter'd your Volscians in Corioli: Alone I did it. Boy!

CORIOLANUS

Cut me to pieces Volsces, men and lads, stain all your edges on me. Boy! You false hound! If you have written your histories truthfully, you'll find there, that like an eagle in a dove's nest, I fluttered your Volscians in Corioli. Alone! I did it! Boy!

AUFIDIUS

Why, noble lords, Will you be put in mind of his blind fortune, Which was your shame, by this unholy braggart, 'Fore your own eyes and ears?

AUFIDIUS

Why, noble lords, will you be brought to shame by this damned bragger who has won fortune by killing our people?

ALL CONSPIRATORS

Let him die for't.

ALL CONSPIRATORS

Let him die for it.

ALL THE PEOPLE

'Tear him to pieces.' 'Do it presently.' 'He kill'dmy son.' 'My daughter.' 'He killed my cousinMarcus.' 'He killed my father.'

ALL THE PEOPLE

[Shouting individually, all at once] Tear him to pieces! Do it now! He killed my son! He killed my daughter! He killed my cousin Marcus! He killed my father!

SECOND LORD

Peace, ho! no outrage: peace! The man is noble and his fame folds-in This orb o' the earth. His last offences to us Shall have judicious hearing. Stand, Aufidius, And trouble not the peace.

SECOND LORD

Peace, everyone! No outrage, peace! This man is noble and he is famous around the world. His crimes against us will be heard in a military trial. Stand aside, Aufidius, and don't trouble the peace.

CORIOLANUS

O that I had him,With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe,To use my lawful sword!

CORIOLANUS

Oh that I had him, and six Aufidiuses more, on which to use my sword!

AUFIDIUS

Insolent villain!

AUFIDIUS

You disrespectful villain!

ALL CONSPIRATORS

Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him!

ALL CONSPIRATORS

Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him!

The Conspirators draw, and kill CORIOLANUS: AUFIDIUS stands on his body

LORDS

Hold, hold, hold, hold!

LORDS

Stop, stop, stop, stop!

AUFIDIUS

My noble masters, hear me speak.

AUFIDIUS

My noble masters, hear me speak.

FIRST LORD

O Tullus,—

FIRST LORD

Oh, Tullus—

SECOND LORD

Thou hast done a deed whereat valour will weep.

SECOND LORD

You have done a deed at which all bravery weeps.

THIRD LORD

Tread not upon him. Masters all, be quiet;Put up your swords.

THIRD LORD

Do not stand over him. Sirs, be quiet. Sheath your swords.

AUFIDIUS

My lords, when you shall know— as in this rage, Provoked by him, you cannot— the great danger Which this man's life did owe you, you'll rejoice That he is thus cut off. Please it your honours To call me to your senate, I'll deliver Myself your loyal servant, or endure Your heaviest censure.

AUFIDIUS

My lords, when you are more aware of the great danger this man's life posed to you, you'll be glad he's dead. If you want to call me to the senate, I'll go as your loyal servant, and there take your most serious condemnations.

FIRST LORD

Bear from hence his body;And mourn you for him: let him be regardedAs the most noble corse that ever heraldDid follow to his urn.

FIRST LORD

Carry his body out of here, and mourn for him. Let him be regarded as the most noble corpse that bards will ever sing about.

SECOND LORD

His own impatienceTakes from Aufidius a great part of blame.Let's make the best of it.

SECOND LORD

Coriolanus did provoke Aufidius, and so takes a great part of the blame. Let's make the best of it.

AUFIDIUS

My rage is gone; And I am struck with sorrow. Take him up. Help, three o' the chiefest soldiers; I'll be one. Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully: Trail your steel pikes. Though in this city he Hath widow'd and unchilded many a one, Which to this hour bewail the injury, Yet he shall have a noble memory. Assist.

AUFIDIUS

[Suddenly shocked by what he has done, and crying] My rage is gone, and I am struck with sorrow. Pick him up. Help, three of the strongest soldiers; I'll be one of the men who carries him. Beat the drum in a mournful way. Drag your pikes in the ground. Though he has made many widows in this city, and though many mothers still wail at their children which he killed, he will be noble in our memories. Assist me.

Exeunt, bearing the body of CORIOLANUS. A dead march sounded

Coriolanus
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