Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

Act 1 Scene 4

page Act 1 Scene 4 Page 1

Original Text

Modern Text

Before Corioli.
Outside the gates of Corioles.
Enter, with drum and colours, MARTIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, Captains and Soldiers. To them a Messenger
MARTIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, captains and soldiers enter, with a drummer and trumpeter. A Messenger comes toward them.

MARTIUS

Yonder comes news. A wager they have met.

MARTIUS

Here comes news. I bet there’s been a battle.

LARTIUS

My horse to yours, no.

LARTIUS

I bet you my horse for yours that there hasn’t been a battle.

MARTIUS

’Tis done.

MARTIUS

It’s a bet.

LARTIUS

Agreed.

LARTIUS

Agreed.

MARTIUS

5Say, has our general met the enemy?

MARTIUS

Tell us, has our general been in battle with the enemy?

MESSENGER

They lie in view; but have not spoke as yet.

MESSENGER

They can see each other, but they haven’t fought yet.

LARTIUS

So, the good horse is mine.

LARTIUS

So, your good horse is mine.

MARTIUS

I’ll buy him of you.

MARTIUS

I’ll buy him back from you.

LARTIUS

No, I’ll nor sell nor give him: lend you him I will
10For half a hundred years. Summon the town.

LARTIUS

No, I’ll won’t sell or give him away. I’ll lend him to you for fifty years. Alert the town.

MARTIUS

How far off lie these armies?

MARTIUS

How far away are the armies?

MESSENGER

Within this mile and half.

MESSENGER

Within a mile and a half.

MARTIUS

Then shall we hear their ’larum, and they ours.
Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work,
15That we with smoking swords may march from hence,
To help our fielded friends! Come, blow thy blast.

MARTIUS

Then we’ll hear their call to arms, and they’ll hear ours. Now, Mars, god of war, I pray to you, make our attack quick, so that with victorious swords we may march from here to help our friends on the battlefield!
(to the trumpeter) Come, blow your blast.
They sound a parley. Enter two Senators with others on the walls
The trumpet sounds. Two Volscian Senators enter, with others, on the walls of Corioles.
(to the Senators) Tutus Aufidius, is he within your walls?
(to the Senators) Is Tullus Aufidius inside these walls?

FIRST SENATOR

No, nor a man that fears you less than he,
That’s lesser than a little.

FIRST SENATOR

No. And there isn’t a man here who fears you any less than he does, which is virtually not at all.
Drums afar off
Drums are heard from far away.