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Enter la company of mutinous Citizens with staves, clubs,
and other weapons.
1 CITIZEN. EFORE we proceed any further, hear me speak.
All. Speak, speak.
i Cit. You are all resolu'd rather to die
than to familh ? All. Resolv'd, refolv'd.
1 Cit. First, you know, Caius Martius is the chief enemy to the people.
All. We know't.
i Cit. Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at our own price. Is’t a verdict ?
All. No more talking on’t, let't be done ; away, away! 2 Cit. One word, good citizens.
i Cit. We are accounted poor citizens'; the Patricians good : what authority surfeits on would relieve us : if they would yield us but the superfuity, while it were whólfome, we might guess they reliev'd us humanely : but they think we are too dear ; the leanness that aftiets us, the F 2
object of our misery, is as an inventory to particularize their abundance ; our fufferance is a gain to them. Lec us revenge this with our ''pitchforks,' ere we become rakes: for the Gods know, I speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.
2 Cit. Would you proceed especially against Caius Martius?
All. Against him first: he's a very dog to the commonalty.
2 Cit. Consider you what services he has done for his country?
i Cit. Very well : and could be content to give him good report for't, but that he pays himself with being proud.
All. 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 partly to be 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 ways say he is covetous.
i 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 those? the other side o'th' city is risen ; why stay we prating here? to th' Capitol
Aj. Come, come.
who comes here?
S с E N E II.
Enter Menenius Agrippa. 2 Cit. Worthy Menenius Agrippa ; one that hath always lov'd the people.
i Cit. He's one honest enough; would all the rest
were so !
2 to be partly
Men. What work's, my countrymen, in hand? where go you with your bats and clubs? 'the matter
speak, I pray you.
2 Cit. Our business is not unknown to the senate ; they have had inkling, this fortnight, what we intend to do, which now we'll shew 'em indeeds: 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 your selves?
2 Cit. We cannot, Sir, we are undone already.
2 Cit. Care for us! - true indeed! they 'ne'er car'd for us yet. Suffer us to familh, and their store-houses cramm'd with grain : make edicts for usury, to support usurers; repeal daily any wholsome 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
pretty tale ; it may be you have heard it : But since it serves my purpose, I will venture
To 3 stale't a little more.
2 Cit. Well, 4/We'll hear it, Sir, but yet you must not think To fob off our disgraces with a tale : 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 l'th' midst o'th' body, idle and unactive, Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing Like labour with the rest, where th’ 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 answer'd
2 Cit. Well, Sir, what answer made the belly ?
Men. Sir, I shall tell you : with a kind of smile,
Men. What then? - for me this fellow speaks.
2 Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be restrain'd, Who is the sink o'th' body
Men. Well, what then ? :
2 Cit. The former agents, if they did complain, What could the belly answer ?
Men, 3 scale't ... old edit. Theob, emend.
Men. I will tell you,
2 Cit. - Y’are long about it.
Men. Note me this, good friend ; Your most grave belly was deliberate, Not rash, like his accusers, and thus anfwer'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 th' feat o'th' 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
2 Cit. Ay, Sir, well, well.
Men. Though all at once cannot
2 Cit. It was an answer -- how apply you this?
Men. The fenators of Rome are this good belly,
2 Cit. I the great coe! why the great toe?
Men. For that being one o'th' lowest, basest, poorest Of this moft wife rebellion, thou goeft foremost :