Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Rome. A public place.
A public place in Rome.
Enter SICINIUS and BRUTUS
SICINIUS and BRUTUS enter.

SICINIUS

We hear not of him, neither need we fear him;
His remedies are tame i’ the present peace
And quietness of the people, which before
Were in wild hurry. Here do we make his friends
5Blush that the world goes well, who rather had,
Though they themselves did suffer by’t, behold
Dissentious numbers pestering streets than see
Our tradesmen with in their shops and going
About their functions friendly.

SICINIUS

We haven’t heard about him, so we don’t need to fear him. It would be easy to deal with him now, given the peace and quietness of the people, who were in such chaos before. Now we’re making his friends blush because things are going so smoothly. His friends are the ones who would’ve chosen—to their own detriment—to see people arguing in the streets rather than have our tradesmen back in their shops and happily doing their jobs.

BRUTUS

10We stood to’t in good time.

BRUTUS

We turned things around quickly.
Enter MENENIUS
MENENIUS enters.
Is this Menenius?
Is this Menenius?

SICINIUS

’Tis he, ’tis he: O, he is grown most kind of late.

SICINIUS

It’s him, it’s him. He has become very kind lately.

BOTH TRIBUNES

Hail sir!

BOTH TRIBUNES

Greetings, sir!

MENENIUS

Hail to you both!

MENENIUS

Greetings to you both!

SICINIUS

15Your Coriolanus
Is not much miss’d, but with his friends:
The commonwealth doth stand, and so would do,
Were he more angry at it.

SICINIUS

Coriolanus is not missed much by anyone but his friends now. The people would rise up against him if he were still angry at them.

MENENIUS

All’s well; and might have been much better, if
20He could have temporized.

MENENIUS

That’s good. But things would have gone much better if he could have compromised.