Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

SICINIUS

This is clean kam.

SICINIUS

That’s totally wrong.

BRUTUS

Merely awry: when he did love his country,
It honour’d him.

BRUTUS

That’s missing the point. When he served his country, it rewarded him.

MENENIUS

385The service of the foot
Being once gangrened, is not then respected
For what before it was.

MENENIUS

When a foot becomes infected with gangrene, is it no longer respected for the service it had done previously?

BRUTUS

We’ll hear no more.
Pursue him to his house, and pluck him thence:
390Lest his infection, being of catching nature,
Spread further.

BRUTUS

We’ll hear no more. Go take him from his house, before his contagious infection spreads any further.

MENENIUS

One word more, one word.
This tiger-footed rage, when it shall find
The harm of unscann’d swiftness, will too late
395Tie leaden pounds to’s heels. Proceed by process;
Lest parties, as he is beloved, break out,
And sack great Rome with Romans.

MENENIUS

One word more, one word. When this fast-moving rage realizes the consequences of acting quickly without thinking, it will be too late to slow it down. Let the legal system solve this dispute, otherwise factions will form, as there are those who support him, and Rome will be destroyed by Romans.

BRUTUS

If it were so,—

BRUTUS

If that were true—

SICINIUS

What do ye talk?
400Have we not had a taste of his obedience?
Our aediles smote? ourselves resisted? Come.

SICINIUS

What are you talking about? Haven’t we experienced his obedience? Haven’t our aediles been struck by him? Haven’t our own efforts been resisted? Come.

MENENIUS

Consider this: he has been bred i’ the wars
Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school’d
In bolted language; meal and bran together
405He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
I’ll go to him, and undertake to bring him
Where he shall answer, by a lawful form,
In peace, to his utmost peril.

MENENIUS

Consider that he’s been brought up in wars since he was old enough to draw a sword. He doesn’t know how to use refined language. He can’t tell the difference between meal and bran. Let me go to him and try to convince him to answer your questions peacefully in court. Legal judgment may still cost him his life.