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  Act 5 Scene 6

page Act 5 Scene 6 Page 6

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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,
125Must 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

Incalculable liar, you make my heart swell beyond the bounds of my chest. “Boy”! Oh, slave! Forgive me, lords, this is the first time that I’ve ever been forced to scold. My grave lords, you must judge this lowlife to be the liar. Even his own version of events—he who has scars from my sword on his body and must carry the mark of my victory to his grave—will confirm that he’s the liar.

FIRST LORD

Peace, both, and hear me speak.

FIRST LORD

That’s enough, both of you. Hear me speak.

CORIOLANUS

130Cut 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:
135Alone I did it. Boy!

CORIOLANUS

Cut me to pieces, Volsces. Men and lads, stain your swords with my blood. “Boy”! Miserable liar! If you’ve written your histories accurately, it’s recorded there that like a wolf in a hen house, I destroyed your Volscians in Corioli. I did it alone. “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

Noble lords, remember that it was simply good luck that allowed this prideful sinner to cause you this shame, he who now stands before your own eyes and ears.

ALL CONSPIRATORS

140Let him die for’t.

ALL CONSPIRATORS

Let him die for it.

ALL THE PEOPLE

‘Tear him to pieces.’ ‘Do it presently.’ ‘He kill’d
my son.’ ‘My daughter.’ ‘He killed my cousin
Marcus.’ ‘He killed my father.’

ALL THE PEOPLE

Tear him to pieces! Do it now! He killed my son! My daughter! He killed my cousin Marcus! He killed my father!