Act V, Scene 6
Antium. A public place.
- Enter Tullus Aufidius with Attendants.
Aufidius1 - 9
- Go tell the lords a’ th’ city I am here.
- Deliver them this paper. Having read it,
- Bid them repair to th’ market-place, where I,
- Even in theirs and in the commons’ ears,
- Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse
- The city ports by this hath enter’d, and
- Intends t’ appear before the people, hoping
- To purge himself with words. Dispatch.
- Exeunt Attendants.
- Enter three or four Conspirators of Aufidius’ faction.
- Most welcome!
- How is it with our general?
Aufidius11 - 13
- Even so
- As with a man by his own alms empoison’d,
- And with his charity slain.
Second Conspirator14 - 17
- Most noble sir,
- If you do hold the same intent wherein
- You wish’d us parties, we’ll deliver you
- Of your great danger.
Aufidius18 - 19
- Sir, I cannot tell,
- We must proceed as we do find the people.
Third Conspirator20 - 22
- The people will remain uncertain whilst
- ’Twixt you there’s difference; but the fall of either
- Makes the survivor heir of all.
Aufidius23 - 30
- I know it;
- And my pretext to strike at him admits
- A good construction. I rais’d him, and I pawn’d
- Mine honor for his truth; who being so heighten’d,
- He watered his new plants with dews of flattery,
- Seducing so my friends; and, to this end,
- He bow’d his nature, never known before
- But to be rough, unswayable, and free.
Third Conspirator31 - 33
- Sir, his stoutness
- When he did stand for consul, which he lost
- By lack of stooping—
Aufidius34 - 46
- That I would have spoke of:
- Being banish’d for’t, he came unto my hearth,
- Presented to my knife his throat. I took him;
- Made him joint-servant with me; gave him way
- In all his own desires; nay, let him choose
- Out of my files, his projects to accomplish,
- My best and freshest men; serv’d his designments
- In mine own person; holp to reap the fame
- Which he did end all his, and took some pride
- To do myself this wrong; till at the last
- I seem’d his follower, not partner, and
- He wag’d me with his countenance as if
- I had been mercenary.
First Conspirator47 - 50
- So he did, my lord.
- The army marvell’d at it, and in the last,
- When he had carried Rome and that we look’d
- For no less spoil than glory—
Aufidius51 - 56
- There was it;
- For which my sinews shall be stretch’d upon him:
- At a few drops of women’s rheum, which are
- As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labor
- Of our great action; therefore shall he die,
- And I’ll renew me in his fall. But hark!
- Drums and trumpets sounds, with great shouts of the people.
First Conspirator57 - 59
- Your native town you enter’d like a post,
- And had no welcomes home, but he returns
- Splitting the air with noise.
Second Conspirator60 - 62
- And patient fools,
- Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tear
- With giving him glory.
Third Conspirator63 - 68
- Therefore at your vantage,
- Ere he express himself or move the people
- With what he would say, let him feel your sword,
- Which we will second. When he lies along,
- After your way his tale pronounc’d shall bury
- His reasons with his body.
Aufidius69 - 70
- Say no more.
- Here come the lords.
- Enter the Volscian Lords.
All Volscian Lords71
- You are most welcome home.
Aufidius72 - 74
- I have not deserv’d it.
- But, worthy lords, have you with heed perused
- What I have written to you?
All Volscian Lords75
- We have.
First Volscian Lord76 - 82
- 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
- The benefit of our levies, answering us
- With our own charge, making a treaty where
- There was a yielding—this admits no excuse.
- He approaches, you shall hear him.
- Enter Coriolanus marching with Drum and Colors, the
- Commoners being with him.
Coriolanus84 - 97
- Hail, lords! I am return’d your soldier;
- No 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
- The gates of Rome. Our spoils we have brought home
- Doth more than counterpoise a full third part
- The charges of the action. We have made peace
- With no less honor to the Antiates
- Than shame to th’ Romans; and we here deliver,
- Subscrib’d by th’ consuls and patricians,
- Together with the seal a’ th’ Senate, what
- We have compounded on.
Aufidius98 - 100
- Read it not, noble lords,
- But tell the traitor, in the highest degree
- He hath abus’d your powers.
- “Traitor”? How now?
- Ay, traitor, Martius!
Aufidius104 - 116
- Ay, Martius, Caius Martius! Dost thou think
- I’ll grace thee with that robbery, thy stol’n name
- Coriolanus, in Corioles?
- You lords and heads a’ th’ state, perfidiously
- He has betray’d your business, and given up,
- For certain drops of salt, your city Rome,
- I say “your city,” to his wife and mother,
- Breaking his oath and resolution like
- A twist of rotten silk, never admitting
- Counsel a’ th’ war; but at his nurse’s tears
- He whin’d and roar’d away your victory,
- That pages blush’d at him, and men of heart
- Look’d wond’ring each at others.
- Hear’st thou, Mars?
- Name not the god, thou boy of tears!
- No more.
Coriolanus121 - 128
- 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 forc’d to scold. Your judgments, my grave lords,
- Must 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.
First Volscian Lord129
- Peace both, and hear me speak.
Coriolanus130 - 135
- Cut 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 Corioles.
- Alone I did it. “Boy”!
Aufidius136 - 139
- 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?
- Let him die for’t.
All Volscian Lords141 - 142
- Tear him to pieces! Do it presently!—He kill’d my son!—My
- daughter!—He kill’d my cousin Marcus!—He kill’d my father!
Second Volscian Lord143 - 147
- Peace ho! No outrage, peace!
- The man is noble, and his fame folds in
- This orb o’ th’ earth. His last offenses to us
- Shall have judicious hearing. Stand, Aufidius,
- And trouble not the peace.
Coriolanus148 - 150
- O that I had him,
- With six Aufidiuses, or more, his tribe,
- To use my lawful sword!
- Insolent villain!
- Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill him!
- Draw the Conspirators, and kills Martius, who falls;
- Aufidius stands on him.
All Volscian Lords153
- Hold, hold, hold, hold!
- My noble masters, hear me speak.
First Volscian Lord155
- O Tullus!
Second Volscian Lord156
- Thou hast done a deed whereat valor will weep.
Third Volscian Lord157 - 158
- Tread not upon him. Masters all, be quiet,
- Put up your swords.
Aufidius159 - 165
- My lords, when you shall know (as in this rage,
- Provok’d by him, you cannot) the great danger
- Which this man’s life did owe you, you’ll rejoice
- That he is thus cut off. Please it your honors
- To call me to your Senate, I’ll deliver
- Myself your loyal servant, or endure
- Your heaviest censure.
First Volscian Lord166 - 169
- Bear from hence his body,
- And mourn you for him. Let him be regarded
- As the most noble corse that ever herald
- Did follow to his urn.
Second Volscian Lord170 - 172
- His own impatience
- Takes from Aufidius a great part of blame.
- Let’s make the best of it.
Aufidius173 - 181
- My rage is gone,
- And I am struck with sorrow. Take him up.
- Help, three a’ th’ chiefest soldiers; I’ll be one.
- Beat thou the drum, that it speak mournfully;
- Trail your steel pikes. Though in this city he
- Hath widowed and unchilded many a one,
- Which to this hour bewail the injury,
- Yet he shall have a noble memory.
- Exeunt, bearing the body of Martius. A dead march sounded.