Search Menu

Original Text

Modern Text

A highway between Rome and Antium.
A highway between Rome and Antium.
Enter a Roman and a Volsce, meeting
A Roman and a Volsce enter and meet.


ROMAN
I know you well, sir, and you know
me: your name, I think, is Adrian.
ROMAN
I know who you are, sir, and you know me. I think your name is Adrian.

VOLSCE
It is so, sir: truly, I have forgot you.
VOLSCE
That is my name, sir. I’m sorry, but I’ve forgotten yours.


5
ROMAN
I am a Roman; and my services are,
as you are, against ’em: know you me yet?
ROMAN
I’m a Roman, but like you, I work against the Romans. Do you remember me yet?

VOLSCE
Nicanor? no.
VOLSCE
Nicanor? No.

ROMAN
The same, sir.
ROMAN
That’s it, sir.



10

VOLSCE
You had more beard when I last saw you; but your
favour is well approved by your tongue. What’s the
news in Rome? I have a note from the Volscian state,
to find you out there: you have well saved me a
day’s journey.
VOLSCE
You had a fuller beard the last time I saw you, but your speech gives you away. What’s happening in Rome? I have instructions from the Volscian state to look for you there. You’ve saved me a day’s journey.


ROMAN
There hath been in Rome strange insurrections; the
people against the senators, patricians, and nobles.
ROMAN
There’s been an unusual uprising in Rome: the people against the senators, patricians, and nobles.

15

VOLSCE
Hath been! is it ended, then? Our state thinks not
so: they are in a most warlike preparation, and
hope to come upon them in the heat of their division.
VOLSCE
Has been? You mean it’s over? Our state doesn’t think so. They’re preparing to attack and hope to surprise them in the middle of the chaos.



20




25
ROMAN
The main blaze of it is past, but a small thing
would make it flame again: for the nobles receive
so to heart the banishment of that worthy
Coriolanus, that they are in a ripe aptness to take
all power from the people and to pluck from them
their tribunes for ever. This lies glowing, I can
tell you, and is almost mature for the violent
breaking out.
ROMAN
Most of it’s over, but one small thing would make it erupt again: if the nobles take the news of Coriolanus’s banishment so personally that they themselves decide to take all power from the people and do away with their tribunes forever. This could easily happen, and it would definitely lead to violence.