by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

The tent of Coriolanus.
Coriolanus’s tent.
Enter CORIOLANUS, AUFIDIUS, and others
CORIOLANUS, AUFIDIUS and others enter.
We will before the walls of Rome tomorrow
Set down our host. My partner in this action,
You must report to the Volscian lords, how plainly
I have borne this business.
Tomorrow we’ll lead our army to the walls of Rome. As my partner in this attack, you must report to the Volscian lords on how straightforwardly I’ve carried this out.
5Only their ends
You have respected; stopp’d your ears against
The general suit of Rome; never admitted
A private whisper, no, not with such friends
That thought them sure of you.
You have respected their aims entirely and blocked your ears against the general plea of Rome. You’ve never had even a private whisper with your old friends who thought they might persuade you.
10This last old man,
Whom with a crack’d heart I have sent to Rome,
Loved me above the measure of a father;
Nay, godded me, indeed. Their latest refuge
Was to send him; for whose old love I have,
15Though I show’d sourly to him, once more offer’d
The first conditions, which they did refuse
And cannot now accept; to grace him only
That thought he could do more, a very little
I have yielded to: fresh embassies and suits,
20Nor from the state nor private friends, hereafter
Will I lend ear to. Ha! what shout is this?
This last old man, whom with a broken heart I’ve sent back to Rome, loved me better than a father. Indeed, he treated me like a god. Their last resort was to send him. Though I turned him away, out of love for him I again offered the same terms they had previously refused and now cannot accept. That is all I have yielded to he who thought that he could do more. I’ll no longer listen to any more pleas, made either by the state or by my private friends. Ha! What shout is this?