Coriolanus


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Flourish. Alarum. A retreat is sounded. Enter, at one

door, Cominius, with the Romans; at another door,

Martius, with his arm in a scarf


COMINIUS

If I should tell thee o'er this thy day's work,
scarf (n.) 2 sling

Thou't not believe thy deeds. But I'll report it

Where senators shall mingle tears with smiles;

Where great patricians shall attend and shrug,
attend (v.) 7 listen [to], pay attention [to]
shrug (v.) [shrug shoulders to] express disbelief

I'th' end admire; where ladies shall be frighted
admire (v.) 1 marvel, wonder, be astonished [at]
fright (v.), past form frighted frighten, scare, terrify See Topics: Frequency count

And, gladly quaked, hear more; where the dull tribunes,
dull (adj.) 6 obtuse, stupid
gladly (adv.) willingly, happily, pleasureably
quake (v.) cause to quake, make tremble, agitate

That with the fusty plebeians hate thine honours,
fusty (adj.) musty, mouldy, stale-smelling

Shall say against their hearts ‘ We thank the gods

Our Rome hath such a soldier.’

Yet cam'st thou to a morsel of this feast,
of (prep.) 8 in the form of

Having fully dined before.
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count

Enter Titus Lartius, with his power, from the pursuit


LARTIUS

                         O general,

Here is the steed, we the caparison.
caparison (n.) 1 trappings, adornments, trimmings

Hadst thou beheld –


MARTIUS

                         Pray now, no more. My mother,

Who has a charter to extol her blood,
charter (n.) 1 right, privilege, prerogative

When she does praise me grieves me. I have done

As you have done – that's what I can; induced
induce (v.) move, persuade, prevail upon

As you have been – that's for my country.

He that has but effected his good will
effect (v.) 3 carry out, accomplish
will (n.) 4 intent, purpose, design

Hath overta'en mine act.
overtake (v.) 3 surpass, outdo, rival


COMINIUS

                         You shall not be

The grave of your deserving. Rome must know

The value of her own. 'Twere a concealment

Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement,
traducement (n.) slander, calumny, defamation

To hide your doings and to silence that
doing (n.) action, performance, activity

Which, to the spire and top of praises vouched,

Would seem but modest. Therefore, I beseech you –
modest (adj.) 1 moderate, reasonable, mild, limited

In sign of what you are, not to reward
sign (n.) 2 token, witness, attestation

What you have done – before our army hear me.


MARTIUS

I have some wounds upon me, and they smart

To hear themselves remembered.


COMINIUS

                         Should they not,

Well might they fester 'gainst ingratitude
fester (v.) corrupt, putrify, rot

And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses –
tent (v.) 3 treat with a tent [linen for cleansing wounds]; cure, remedy

Whereof we have ta'en good and good store – of all
store (n.) 1 abundance, plenty, surplus, quantity

The treasure in this field achieved and city,
achieve (v.) 1 gain, obtain, procure
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count

We render you the tenth, to be ta'en forth

Before the common distribution at

Your only choice.
only (adj.) 2 sole, exclusive


MARTIUS

                         I thank you, general,

But cannot make my heart consent to take

A bribe to pay my sword. I do refuse it.

And stand upon my common part with those

That have beheld the doing.
doing (n.) action, performance, activity

A long flourish. They all cry ‘ Martius! Martius!’,

cast up their caps and lances. Cominius and Lartius

stand bare


MARTIUS

May these same instruments which you profane
profane (v.) 1 misuse, abuse, maltreat

Never sound more! When drums and trumpets shall

I'th' field prove flatterers, let courts and cities be
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count

Made all of false-faced soothing. When steel grows
false-faced (adj.) hypocritical, sanctimonious
soothing (n.) 1 flattery, adulation, sweet-talk

Soft as the parasite's silk, let him be made

An overture for th' wars. No more, I say.
coverture (n.) 3 covering, garment
ovator (n.) one who receives an ovation
overture (n.) 2 opening, aperture

For that I have not washed my nose that bled,

Or foiled some debile wretch, which without note
debile (adj.) feeble, weak, puny
foil (v.) 1 defeat, overcome; throw [in wrestling]
note (n.) 1 attention, notice, regard

Here's many else have done, you shout me forth
shout forth (v.) acclaim, hail, welcome with shouts

In acclamations hyperbolical,

As if I loved my little should be dieted
diet (v.) 1 feed, be given food, fatten
little (n.) small achievement, slight accomplishments

In praises sauced with lies.
sauce (v.) 1 spice, season, flavour


COMINIUS

                         Too modest are you,

More cruel to your good report than grateful

To us that give you truly. By your patience,
give (v.) 6 portray, report, represent

If 'gainst yourself you be incensed, we'll put you –

Like one that means his proper harm – in manacles,
harm (n.) 1 injury, hurt, pain
mean (v.) 1 intend, purpose, mean to act
proper (adj.) 2 very, own

Then reason safely with you. Therefore be it known,

As to us, to all the world, that Caius Martius

Wears this war's garland; in token of the which,

My noble steed, known to the camp, I give him,

With all his trim belonging; and from this time,
belonging (n.) 2 equipment, trappings
trim (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, smart
trim (n.) 2 trappings, equipment, outfit

For what he did before Corioles, call him,

With all th' applause and clamour of the host,

Caius Martius Coriolanus.

Bear th' addition nobly ever!
addition (n.) 1 title, name
th' (det.) shortened form of ‘the’

Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums


ALL

Caius Martius Coriolanus!


CORIOLANUS

I will go wash;

And when my face is fair you shall perceive
fair (adj.) 12 clean, unsoiled, not dirty

Whether I blush or no. Howbeit, I thank you.
howbeit (adv.) nevertheless, however See Topics: how and how

I mean to stride your steed, and at all times
stride (v.) 2 bestride, sit astride, straddle

To undercrest your good addition
addition (n.) 2 attribute, mark of honour, distinction [as if added to a coat of arms]
undercrest (v.) bear [as if on a crest], live up to

To th' fairness of my power.
fairness (n.) 2 honesty, uprightness, fair dealing
power (n.) 5 exercise of power, authoritative action


COMINIUS

                         So, to our tent,

Where, ere we do repose us, we will write

To Rome of our success. You, Titus Lartius,

Must to Corioles back. Send us to Rome

The best, with whom we may articulate
articulate (v.) 1 negotiate, deal, come to terms
best (n.) 4 leading citizens

For their own good and ours.


LARTIUS

                         I shall, my lord.


CORIOLANUS

The gods begin to mock me. I, that now

Refused most princely gifts, am bound to beg

Of my lord general.


COMINIUS

                         Take't, 'tis yours. What is't?


CORIOLANUS

I sometime lay here in Corioles
lie (v.) 1 live, dwell, reside, lodge
sometime (adv.) 1 formerly, at one time, once

At a poor man's house; he used me kindly.
use (v.) 2 treat, deal with, manage

He cried to me; I saw him prisoner;

But then Aufidius was within my view,

And wrath o'erwhelmed my pity. I request you

To give my poor host freedom.


COMINIUS

                         O, well begged!

Were he the butcher of my son, he should

Be free as is the wind. Deliver him, Titus.


LARTIUS

Martius, his name?


CORIOLANUS

                         By Jupiter, forgot!

I am weary; yea, my memory is tired.

Have we no wine here?


COMINIUS

                         Go we to our tent.

The blood upon your visage dries, 'tis time
visage (n.) 1 face, countenance See Topics: Frequency count

It should be looked to. Come.

Exeunt

 
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