• A highway between Rome and Antium.
    Enter a Roman and a Volsce, meeting

    ROMAN

    I know you well, sir, and you know
    me: your name, I think, is Adrian.

    VOLSCE

    It is so, sir: truly, I have forgot you.

    ROMAN

    I am a Roman; and my services are,
    5as you are, against ’em: know you me yet?

    VOLSCE

    Nicanor? no.

    ROMAN

    The same, sir.

    VOLSCE

    You had more beard when I last saw you; but your
    favour is well approved by your tongue. What’s the
    10news in Rome? I have a note from the Volscian state,
    to find you out there: you have well saved me a
    day’s journey.

    ROMAN

    There hath been in Rome strange insurrections; the
    people against the senators, patricians, and nobles.

    VOLSCE

    15Hath been! is it ended, then? Our state thinks not
    so: they are in a most warlike preparation, and
    hope to come upon them in the heat of their division.

    ROMAN

    The main blaze of it is past, but a small thing
    would make it flame again: for the nobles receive
    20so to heart the banishment of that worthy
    Coriolanus, that they are in a ripe aptness to take
    all power from the people and to pluck from them
    their tribunes for ever. This lies glowing, I can
    tell you, and is almost mature for the violent
    25breaking out.
  • A highway between Rome and Antium.
    A Roman and a Volsce enter and meet.

    ROMAN

    I know who you are, sir, and you know me. I think your name is Adrian.

    VOLSCE

    That is my name, sir. I’m sorry, but I’ve forgotten yours.

    ROMAN

    I’m a Roman, but like you, I work against the Romans. Do you remember me yet?

    VOLSCE

    Nicanor? No.

    ROMAN

    That’s it, sir.

    VOLSCE

    You had a fuller beard the last time I saw you, but your speech gives you away. What’s happening in Rome? I have instructions from the Volscian state to look for you there. You’ve saved me a day’s journey.

    ROMAN

    There’s been an unusual uprising in Rome: the people against the senators, patricians, and nobles.

    VOLSCE

    Has been? You mean it’s over? Our state doesn’t think so. They’re preparing to attack and hope to surprise them in the middle of the chaos.

    ROMAN

    Most of it’s over, but one small thing would make it erupt again: if the nobles take the news of Coriolanus’s banishment so personally that they themselves decide to take all power from the people and do away with their tribunes forever. This could easily happen, and it would definitely lead to violence.