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1 Crt. Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.
CITIZENS. Speak, speak !
1 Cır. You are all resolved rather to die than to famish?
CITIZENS. Resolved, resolved !
1 Crt. First, you know Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the people. CITIZENS. We know we know't !
1 Cır. Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at i
Enter MENENIUS AGRIPPA. our own price. Is't a verdict ? CITIZENS. No more talking on 't; let it be MEN. What work's, my countrymen, in hand ? done : away, away!
Where go you with bats and clubs? The matter 2 Crr. One word, good citizens.
Speak, I pray you. 1 Cit. We are accounted poor citizens; the 1 Cit. Our business is not unknown to the patricians good. What authority surfeits on would senate;o they have had inkling, this fortnight, what relieve us : if they would yield us but the super we intend to do, wbich now we'll show 'em in fluity, while it were wholesome, we might guess deeds. They say poor suitors have strong breaths ; they relieved us humanely ; but they think we are they shall know we have strong arms too. too dear: the leanness that afflicts us, the object MEN. Why, masters, my good friends, mine of our misery, is as an inventory to particularize
honest neighbours, their abundance; our sufferance is a gain to them. Will you undo yourselves ? Let us revenge this with our pikes, ere we become 1 Crt. We cannot, sir, we are undone already. rakes :) for the gods know, I speak this in hunger MEN. I tell you, friends, most charitable care for bread, not in thirst for revenge.
Have the patricians of you. For your wants, 2 Cır. Would you proceed especially against Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well Caius Marcius ?
Strike at the heaven with your staves, as lift them CITIZENS. Against him first : he's a very dog Against the Roman state ; whose course will on to the commonalty.
The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs 2 Crt. Consider you what services he has done Of more strong link asunder than can ever for his country ?
Appear in your impediment: for the dearth, 1 Cır. Very well; and could be content to give The gods, not the patricians, make it ; and him good report for 't, but that he pays himself Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack, with being proud.
You are transported by calamity 2 Crt. Nay, but speak not maliciously.
Thither where more attends you ; and you slander 1 Cir. I say unto you, what he hath done The helms o' the state, who care for you like famously, he did it to that end : though soft
fathers, conscienced men can be content to say it was for When you curse them as enemies. his country, he did it to please his mother, and to l 1 Cit. Care for us! — True, indeed, they be partly proud ;a which he is, even to the altitude ne'er cared for us yet. Suffer us to famish, and of his virtue.
| their store-houses crammed with grain; make edicts 2 Cir. What he cannot help in his nature, you for usury, to support usurers ;(1) repeal daily any account a vice in him. You must in no way say, wholesome act established against the rich; and he is covetous.
provide more piercing statutes daily, to chain up 1 Crr. If I must not, I need not be barren of and restrain the poor. If the wars eat us not up, accusations : he hath faults, with surplus, to tire they will; and there's all the love they bear us. in repetition. [Shouts without.] What shouts are Mex. Either you must those: The other side of the city is risen : why Confess yourselves wondrous malicious, star we prating here! to the Capitol !
Or be accus'd of folly. I shall tell you CITIERNS. Come, come!
A pretty tale; it may be, you have heard it; I C'rr. Soft! who comes here!
But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture 2 Chr. Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that To stale 't' a little more. hath alwars lored the prople.
1 Cor. Well, I'll hear it, sir : yet you must I rr. He's one honest enough; would, all the not think to fob off our disgrace with a tale: but, ruist were so!
an't please you, deliver.
Men. There was a time, when all the body's | And, through the cranks and offices of man, members
The strongest nerves and small inferior veins, Rebell'd against the belly; thus accus'd it:- :| From me receive that natural competency That only like a gulf it did remain
Whereby they live : and though that all at once, I' the midst o the body, idle and unactive, You, my good friends,—this says the belly, mark Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing
me, Like labour with the rest, where the other in- 1 Cır. Ay, sir; well, well. struments
Though all at once cannot Did see, and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel, See what I do deliver out to each, And, mutually participate, did minister
Yet I can make my audit up, that all Unto the appetite and affection common
From me do back receive the flour of all, Of the whole body. The belly answer'd,
And leave me but the bran.(2)—What say you 1 Cit. Well, sir, what answer made the belly ?
to't ? Mer. Sir, I shall tell you.— With a kind of 1 Ort. It was an answer : how apply you this? smile,
MEN. The senators of Rome are this good Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus,
belly, For, look you, I may make the belly smile, | And you the mutinous members : for, examine As well as speak, -it tauntingly replied
Their counsels and their cares; digest things To the discontented members, the mutinous parts
rightly, Tbat envied his receipt; even so most fitly
Touching the weal o' the common; you shall find, As you malign our senators for that
No public benefit which you receive, They are not such as you.
But it proceeds or comes from them to you, 1 Cor. Your belly's answer? What ! And no way from yourselves. What do you The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye,
think, The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,
You, the great toe of this assembly ?Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter,
1 Cit. I the great toel Why the great toe? With other muniments and petty helps
MEN. For that, being one o' the lowest, basest, In this our fabric, if that they
What then ?- | Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost : *Pore me, this fellow speaks !-what then? what Thou rascal, that :irt worst in blood to run, then ?
(strain'd, Lead'st first to win some vantage.1 CIT.-Should by the cormorant belly be re But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs ; Who is the sink of the body,
Rome and her rats are at the point of battle ; MEN.
Well, what then? | The one side must have bale. -
Enter Carus MARCIUS.
Hail, noble Marcius ! 1 Cor. You're long about it.
MAR. Thanks. What's the matter, you disMEN, Note me this, good friend;
sentious rogues, Your most grave belly was deliberate,
That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion, Not rash like his accusers, and thus answered : Make yourselves scabs ? True is it, my incorporate friends, quoth he,
1 Cit. We have ever your good word. That I receive the general food at first,
Mar. He that will give good words to thee will Which you do live upon; and fit it is,
flatter Beatuse I am the store-house and the shop
Beneath abhorring.–What would you have, you Of the whole body : but, if you do remember,
curs, I send it through the rivers of your blood,
That like nor peace nor war? the one affrights Even to the court, the heart to the seat o' the
The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,
() ola text, laintingly.
(1) old text, you'st Thou rascal, that art worst in blood to run,
Lead'st first, to win somne vantage.] Rascal" and "in blood” being ancient terms of the chase, the mer applicable to a deer, lean and out of condition, the latter streifying one full of vigour and dangerous to his hunters, Mesenkes is supposed to mean," thou, meagre wretch, least in keart and resolution, art prompt enough to lead when profit points
the way." Yet, if nothing better can be extracted from these words
Lead'st first to win some vantage."
Where he should find you lions, finds you hares ; | You cry against the noble senate, who, Where foxes, geese : you are no surer, no, | Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
| Would feed on one another ?—What's their Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is,
seeking? To make him worthy whose offence subdues him, Men. For corn at their own rates ; whereof, And curse that justice did it. Who deserves
they say, greatness,
The city is well stor’d. Deserves your hate; and your affections are
Hang 'em! They say ! A sick man's appetite, who desires most that They'll sit by the tire, and presume to know Which would increase his evil. He that depends What's done i' the Capitol ; who's like to rise, Upon your favours, swims with fins of lead, Who thrives, and who declines; side factions, and And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye !
Conjectural marriages ; making parties strong, With every minute you do change a mind; And feebling such as stand not in their liking And call him noble that was now your hate, Below their cobbled shoes. They say there's Him vile that was your garlaad. What's the
grain enough! matter,
Would the nobility lay aside their ruth, That in these several places of the city
And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry a
I'd make a quarry
A "quarry," in the language of the forest, meant a pile of slaughtered game.
With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high / Mar.
They have a leader, As I could pick my lance.
Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to't.
You have fought together. What says the other troop?
MAR. Were half to half the world by the ears, MAR. They are dissolv'd: hang 'em !
and he They said they were an-hungry; sigh’d forth Upon my party, I'd revolt, to make proverbs,
[eat;—. Only my wars with him : he is a lion That hunger broke stone walls ;—that dogs must That I am proud to hunt. That meat was made for mouths ;—that the gods 1 SEN.
Then, worthy Marcius, sent not
Attend upon Cominius to these wars. Corn for the rich men only :-with these shreds Com. It is your former promise. They rented their complainings; which being Mar.
Sir, it is ; answer'd,
And I am constant.—Titus Lartius,* thou And a petition granted them, a strange one, Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face. (To break the heart of generosity,
What, art thou stiff? stand'st out? And make bold power look pale) they threw their Tir.
No, Caius Marcius ; caps
(moon, I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other, As they would hang them on the horns o'the | Ere stay behind this business. Shouting their emulation.
0, true bred ! MEN.
What is granted them? 1 Sen. Your company to the Capitol ; where, Mar. Five tribunes to defend their vulgar
I know, wisdoms,
Our greatest friends attend us. Of their own choice: one's Junius Brutus,
Lead you on : Sicinius Velutus, and I know not-'sdeath! Follow, Cominius; we must follow you ; The rabble should have first unroof'd + the city, Right worthy you priority. Ere so prevaild with me: it will in time
Noble Marcius ! Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes 1 Sen. Hence! To your homes, be gone! For insurrection's arguing.
To the Citizens. MEN. This is strange.
Nay, let them follow : MAR. Go, get you home, you fragments ! The Volsces have much corn; take these rats
thither, Enter a Messenger.
To gnaw their garners.—Worshipful mutiners,
Your valour puts well forth: pray, follow. Mess. Where's Cains Marcius ?
[Exeunt Senators, Com. Mar. Tit. and Here: what's the matter?
MENEN. Citizens steal away. Mess. The news is, sir, the Volsces are in Sic. Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius? arms.
(to vent BRU. He has no equal. MAR. I am glad on't; then we shall have means Sic. When we were chosen tribunes for the Our musty superfluity.-See, our best elders.
Nay, but his taunts. Enter COMINIUS, Titus LARTIUS, and other Bru. Being moy'd, he will not spare to gird Senators; JUNIUS BRUTUS and SICINIUS
the gods. TELUTUS.
Sic. Be-mock the modest moon.
Bru. The present wars devour him! he is 1 Sex. Marcius, 't is true that you have lately
grown told us;
Too proud to be so valiant. The Volsces are in arms.
Such a nature,
- pick my lance. That is, pilch my lanoe. The word piek int pitch is in common use still in many parts of England.
To break the heart of generosity,-) To crush the privileges the pobly-born. Generosity is used in its primary sense. So **Orbello," Act III. Sc. 3:
the generous islanders
The present wars devour him! he is grown
Too proud to be so valiant.) The beginning of this speech, which has been explained,-his pride of military prowess in these wars devours him, we prefer to read, with Warburton, as an imprecation. The latter words appear to import, -He is grown too proud of being so valiant.