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Cit. Against him first; he's a very dog to the commonalty.

2 Cit. Consider you what services he has done for his country.

1 Cit. Very well; and could be content to give him good report for't, but that he pays himself with being proud. 2 Cit. Nay, but speak not maliciously.

1 Cit. I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did it to that end: though soft conscienc'd men can be content to say, it was for his country, he did it to please his mother, and to be partly proud; which he is, even to the altitude of his virtue.

2 Cit. What he cannot help in his nature, you account a vice in him: You must in no way say, he is covetous.

1 Cit. If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations; he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition. [Shouts within.] What shouts are these? The other side o'the city is risen: Why stay we prating here? to the Capitol.

Cit. Come, come.

1 Cit. Soft; who comes here?


2 Cit. Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that hath always loved the people.

1 Cit. He's one honest enough; 'Would all the rest

were so !

Men. What work's, my countrymen, in hand? Where

go you

With bats and clubs? The matter? Speak, I pray you. 1 Cit. Our business is not unknown to the senate; they have had inkling, this fortnight, what we intend to do, which now we'll show 'em in deeds. They say, poor suitors have strong breaths; they shall know, we have strong arms too.

Men. Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest neighbours,

Will you undo yourselves?

1 Cit. We cannot, sir, we are undone already. Men. I tell you, friends, most charitable care Have the patricians of you. For your wants,

Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well
Strike at the heaven with your staves, as lift them
Against the Roman state; whose course will on
The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs
Of more strong link asunder, than can ever

Appear in your impediment: For the dearth,
The gods, not the patricians, make it ; and

Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack,
You are transported by calamity

Thither where more attend you; and you slander
The helms o'the state, who care for you like fathers,
When you curse them as enemies.

1 Cit. Care for us !-True, indeed!-They ne'er cared for us yet. Suffer us to famish, and their store-houses. crammed with grain; make edicts for usury, to support usurers repeal daily any wholesome act established against the rich; and provide more piercing statutes daily, to chain up and restrain the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will; and there's all the love they bear us.

Men. Either you must

Confess yourselves wond'rous malicious

Or be accus'd of folly. I shall tell you

A pretty tale; it may be, you have heard it ;
But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture
To scale 't a little more.

1 Cit. Well, I'll hear it, sir: yet you must not think to fob off our disgrace with a tale 5 but, an't please you, deliver.

Men. There was a time, when all the body's members Rebell'd against the belly; thus accus'd it :That only like a gulf it did remain

I' the midst o'the body, idle and inactive,

Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing

Like labour with the rest; where the other instruments
Did see, and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
And, mutually participate, did minister
Unto the appetite and affection common
Of the whole body. The belly answered,-

1 Cit. Well, sir, what answer made the belly?
Men. Sir, I shall tell you.-With a kind of smile,
Which ne'er came from the lungs,7 but even thus,
(For, look you, may make the belly smile,
As well as speak,) it tauntingly replied

To the discontented members, the mutinous parts

[4] To scale is to disperse. The word is still used in the North, where they say scale the corn, i. e. scatter it: scale the muck well, i. e. spread the dung well. STEEV.

[5] Disgraces are hardships, injuries. JOHNS.

[6] Where for whereas. JOHNS.

[7] With a smile not indicating pleasure, but contempt.


That envied his receipt; even so most fitly
As you malign our senators, for that
They are not such as you.


2 Cit. Your belly's answer: What!
The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye,
The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,
Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter,
With other muniments and petty helps
In this our fabric, if that they

Men. What then?

'Fore me, this fellow speaks !-what then? what then? 1 Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be restrain'd, Who is the sink o'the body,

Men. Well, what then?

1 Cit. The former agents, if they did complain, What could the belly answer?

Men. I will tell you;

If you'll bestow a small (of what you have little,) Patience, a while, you'll hear the belly's answer. 1 Cit. You are long about it.

Men. Note me this, good friend ;

Your most grave belly was deliberate,

Not rash like his accusers, and thus answer'd.
True is it, my incorporate friends, quoth he,
That I receive the general food at first,
Which you do live upon and fit it is;
Because I am the store-house, and the shop
Of the whole body: But if you do remember,
I send it through the rivers of your blood,


Even to the court, the heart,-to the seat o'the brain;
And, through the cranks and offices of man,
The strongest nerves, and small inferior veins,
From me receive that natural competency
Whereby they live: And though that all at once,
You, my good friends, (this says the belly,) mark me,-
Cit. Ay, sir; well, well.

Men. Though all at once cannot

See what I do deliver out to each ;

Yet I can make my audit up, that all

From me do back receive the flower of all,

And leave me but the bran. What say you to't?

[8] I suppose we should read-They are not as you. So, in St. Luke, xviii. 31: God, I thank thee, I am not as this publican." The pronoun-such, only disorders the measure. STEEV.

[9] The heart was anciently esteemed the seat of prudence. Homo cordatus is a prudent man. JOHNS.

[1] Cranks are the meandróus ducts of the human body. STEEV.

1 Cit. It was an answer: How apply you this?
Men. The senators of Rome are this good belly,
And you the mutinous members: For examine
Their counsels, and their cares; digest things rightly,
Touching the weal o'the common; you shall find,
No public benefit which you receive,

But it proceeds, or comes, from them to you,
And no way from yourselves.-What do you think?
You, the great toe of this assembly?—

Cit. I the great toe? Why the great toe?

Men. For that, being one o'the lowest, basest, poorest, Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost : Thou rascal, that art worst in blood, to run

Lead'st first to win some 'vantage.2.

But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs;
Rome and her rats are at the point of battle,

The one side must have bale. 3-Hail, noble Marcius!

Mar. Thanks.-What's the matter, you dissentious


That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Make yourselves scabs ?

1 Cit. We have ever your good word.

Mar. He that will give good words to thee, will flatter Beneath abhorring.-What would you have, you curs, That like nor peace, nor war? the one affrights you, The other makes you proud. He that trusts you, Where he should find you lions, finds you hares; Where foxes, geese: You are no surer, no, Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,

Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is,

To make him worthy, whose offence subdues him,
And curse that justice did it. Who deserves greatness,
Deserves your hate and your affections are

A sick man's appetite, who desires most that

Which would increase his evil. He that depends
Upon your favours, swims with fins of lead,

And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust ye?
With every minute you do change a mind;
And call him noble, that was now your hate,

Him vile, that was your garland. What's the matter,

[2] Both rascal and in blood are terms of the forest.


[3] Bale, as well as bane, signified poison in Shakspeare's days. STEEV. [4] That is, Your virtue is to speak well of him whom his own offences have subjected to justice; and to rail at those laws by which he whom you praise was punished. STEEV.

That in these several places of the city
You cry against the noble senate, who,

Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else

Would feed on one another?-What's their seeking? Men. For corn at their own rate; whereof, they say, The city is well stor❜d.

Mar Hang 'em! They say?

They'll sit by the fire, and presume to know

What's done i'the Capítol: who's like to rise,

Who thrives, and who declines: side factions, and give out
Conjectural marriages; making parties strong,
And feebling such as stand not in their liking,
Below their cobbled shoes. They say, there's grain enough?
Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,5

And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry 6
With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high
As I could pick my lance.7

Men. Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded ; For though abundantly they lack discretion,

Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you, What says the other troop?

Mar. They are dissolved: Hang 'em!

They said, they were an-hungry; sigh'd forth proverbs ;
That, hunger broke stone walls; that, dogs must eat ;
That, meat was made for mouths; that, the gods sent not
Corn for the rich men only :-With these shreds
They vented their complainings; which being answer'd,
And a petition granted them, a strange one,

(To break the heart of generosity,


And make bold power look pale,) they threw their caps As they would hang them on the horns o'the moon, Shouting their emulation.

Men. What is granted them?

Mar. Five tribunes, to defend their vulgar wisdoms, Of their own choice: One's Junius Brutus,

Sicinius Velutus, and I know not


The rabble should have first unroof'd the city,

Ere so prevail'd with me: it will in time

Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes

[5] Ruth-that is, their pity, compassion.


[6] Why a quarry? I suppose, not because he would pile them square, but because he would give them for carrion to the birds of prey. JOHNS. [7] And so the word (pitch] is still pronounced in Staffordshire, where they say-picke me such a thing, that is, pitch or throw any thing that the demander wants. TOLLET.

[8] To give the final blow to the nobles. Generosity is high birth. JOHN.

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