by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

The Roman camp.
The Roman camp.
Flourish. Alarum. A retreat is sounded. Flourish. Enter, from one side, COMINIUS with the Romans; from the other side, MARTIUS, with his arm in a scarf
Trumpets blast to announce Roman victory. A retreat signal is also sounded. COMINIUS and the Romans enter from one side. MARTIUS, with his arm in a sling, enters from the other side.
If I should tell thee o’er this thy day’s work,
Thou’ldst not believe thy deeds: but I’ll report it
Where senators shall mingle tears with smiles,
Where great patricians shall attend and shrug,
5I’ the end admire, where ladies shall be frighted,
And, gladly quaked, hear more; where the
dull tribunes,
That, with the fusty plebeians, hate thine honours,
Shall say against their hearts ‘We thank the gods
10Our Rome hath such a soldier.’
Yet camest thou to a morsel of this feast,
Having fully dined before.
If I told you about all you did today, you wouldn’t believe it. But when I tell the senators, they’ll both cry and smile. Great noblemen will pause, shrug their shoulders in bewilderment, and wonder. Ladies will be frightened, happily frightened, and ask to hear more. The somber tribunes, who along with the moldy peasants hate it when you triumph, will say under their breath: “We thank the gods that Rome has a soldier like you.” But for you this victory was only like a small bite, since you had already had a feast of victory before.
Enter TITUS LARTIUS, with his power, from the pursuit
TITUS LARTIUS, with his army, enters, returning from the pursuit.
O general,
Here is the steed, we the caparison:
15Hadst thou beheld—
Oh, general, Martius was like the horse, and we were only along for the ride. If you had seen—
Pray now, no more: my mother,
Who has a charter to extol her blood,
When she does praise me grieves me. I have done
As you have done; that’s what I can; induced
20As you have been; that’s for my country:
He that has but effected his good will
Hath overta’en mine act.
Please, say no more. My mother, who has a right to praise me since I am her son, irritates me when she does so. I’ve done what you’ve done: I’ve done the best I can. I was trained as you were: to serve my country. Whoever who has done what he intended to do has accomplished more than I have.