Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

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MENENIUS

He loves your people
But tie him not to be their bedfellow.
75Worthy Cominius, speak.

MENENIUS

He cares about the common people. Just don’t expect him to be closely involved with them. Worthy Cominius, speak.
CORIOLANUS offers to go away
CORIOLANUS tries to get up and leave.
Nay, keep your place.
No, stay where you are.

FIRST SENATOR

Sit, Coriolanus; never shame to hear
What you have nobly done.

FIRST SENATOR

Sit, Coriolanus. Never be embarrassed to hear of your noble deeds.

CORIOLANUS

Your horror’s pardon:
80I had rather have my wounds to heal again
Than hear say how I got them.

CORIOLANUS

I’m sorry, your honor. I’d rather let my wounds heal than hear how I got them.

BRUTUS

Sir, I hope
My words disbench’d you not.

BRUTUS

Sir, I hope my words didn’t cause you to get up.

CORIOLANUS

No, sir: yet oft,
85When blows have made me stay, I fled from words.
You soothed not, therefore hurt not: but
your people,
I love them as they weigh.

CORIOLANUS

No, sir. While I don’t run from fights, I do often run from praise. But you didn’t flatter me, so I wasn’t offended. But the people you represent are worth so little, so I care so little about them.

MENENIUS

Pray now, sit down.

MENENIUS

Please, sit down.

CORIOLANUS

90I had rather have one scratch my head i’ the sun
When the alarum were struck than idly sit
To hear my nothings monster’d.

CORIOLANUS

I’d rather let someone scratch my head in the sun when the trumpet summons me to battle than sit here and listen to my small deeds be over-embellished.
Exit
He exits.

MENENIUS

Masters of the people,
Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter—
95That’s thousand to one good one—when you now see
He had rather venture all his limbs for honour
Than one on’s ears to hear it? Proceed, Cominius.

MENENIUS

Representatives of the people, your constituents reproduce all the time, and there’s only one good man among every thousand of them—how can he flatter them? You see now he’d rather risk his whole life for honor than risk one of his ears to hear about it. Go on, Cominius.