Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

AUFIDIUS

Say no more:
70Here come the lords.

AUFIDIUS

Say no more. Here come the lords.
Enter the Lords of the city
The Lords of the city enter.

ALL THE LORDS

You are most welcome home.

ALL THE LORDS

This celebration welcomes you home.

AUFIDIUS

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

AUFIDIUS

I don’t deserve it. But, worthy lords, have you carefully read the letter I wrote you?

LORDS

75We 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
80The 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’re sad to hear it. Whatever mistakes he made before this last one, I think
we could have forgiven with light punishment. But stopping the attack when it was about to begin, squandering the advantage of our army’ position, leaving us to pay the cost of raising that army, and making a peace treaty when the enemy was weak and could have been conquered—there’s no excuse for this.

AUFIDIUS

He approaches: you shall hear him.

AUFIDIUS

Here he comes. You’ll hear how he tells it.
Enter CORIOLANUS, marching with drum and colours; commoners being with him
CORIOLANUS enters, marching with drum and colors; commoners enter with him.

CORIOLANUS

Hail, lords! I am return’d your soldier,
85No 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
90The 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,
95Subscribed by the consuls and patricians,
Together with the seal o’ the senate, what
We have compounded on.

CORIOLANUS

Hail, lords! I have returned as your soldier, no more loyal to my country than when I left here. I remain under your great command. You should know that I have successfully won the bloody battles that brought your army to the gates of Rome. The spoils we’ve brought home outweigh the bodies of those we killed by more than a third. We’ve made peace, which brings honor to the people of Antium as much as it shames the people of Rome. And we here present, signed by the Roman consuls and patricians, and with the seal of the Senate, the treaty we’ve agreed to.