Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Near the camp of Cominius.
Near Cominius’s camp.
Enter COMINIUS, as it were in retire, with soldiers
COMINIUS enters with soldiers, appearing to retreat from battle.

COMINIUS

Breathe you, my friends: well fought;
we are come off
Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands,
Nor cowardly in retire: believe me, sirs,
5We shall be charged again. Whiles we have struck,
By interims and conveying gusts we have heard
The charges of our friends. Ye Roman gods!
Lead their successes as we wish our own,
That both our powers, with smiling
10fronts encountering,
May give you thankful sacrifice.

COMINIUS

Catch your breath, my friends. You fought well. We’ve cleared the enemy like Romans, neither foolish in our attacks nor cowardly in our retreat. Believe me, sirs, we’ll fight again. While we’ve been attacking, news has intermittently come to us, carried on the winds, about the battles fought by our friends. Oh, Roman gods! Grant them the success that we wish for as well, and may both our armies, with smiling faces, then gratefully offer you a sacrifice.
Enter a Messenger
A Messenger enters.
Thy news?
What news do you have?

MESSENGER

The citizens of Corioli have issued,
And given to Lartius and to Martius battle:
15I saw our party to their trenches driven,
And then I came away.

MESSENGER

The citizens of Corioles have left the city and are fighting with Lartius and Martius. Our group was driven to their trenches, and then I got away.

COMINIUS

Though thou speak’st truth,
Methinks thou speak’st not well.
How long is’t since?

COMINIUS

You’re telling the truth, but you’re leaving something out. How long ago did this happen?

MESSENGER

20Above an hour, my lord.

MESSENGER

More than an hour ago, my lord.