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Rome and her rats are at the point of battle,
The one side must have bale,8 Hail, noble Marcius!

Enter CAIUS MARCIUS. · Mar. Thanks.-What's the matter, you dissentious

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

ness, Deserves your hate : and your affections 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!

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

are

With every

Bane.

Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else
Would feed on one another ? - What's their seeking?

Men. For corn at their own rates; 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 Capitol: 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,9
And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry'
With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high
As I could pick a my lance.

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 pro-

verbs ;-
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 an-

swer'd,
And a petition granted them, a strange one,

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1

9 Pity, compassion.

Heap of dead.

2 Pitch.

(To break the heart of generosity,
And make bold powerlook pale,) they threw their caps
As they would hang them on the horns o'the moon,
Shouting their emulation.3
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-'Sdeath!
The rabble should have first unroofd the city,
Ere so prevail'd with me : it will in time
Win upon power, and throw forth greater themes
For insurrection's arguing. 4
Men.

This is strange. Mar. Go, get you home, you fragments !

Enter a Messenger. Mess. Where's Caius Marcius ? Mar.

Here : What's the matter? Mess. The news is, sir, the Volces are in arms. Mar. I am glad on't; then we shall have means to

vent Our musty superfluity: See, our best elders. Enter COMINIUS, Titus LARTIUS, and other Sena

tors; JUNIUS BRUTUS, and SICINIUS VELUTUS, 1 Sen, Marcius, 'tis true, that you have lately told

us ;

The Volces are in arms.
Mar.

They have a leader,
Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to't.
I sin in envying his nobility :

3 Faction 4 For insurgents to debate upon.

And were I any thing but what I am,
I would wish me only he.
Com.

You have fought together. Mar. Were half to half the world by the ears, and

he Upon my party, I'd revolt, to make Only my wars with him : he is a lion That I am proud to hunt. 1 Sen.

Then, worthy Marcius, Attend

upon

Cominius to these wars.
Com. It is your former promise.
Mar.

Sir, it is;
And I am constant.--Titus Lartius, thou
Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face:
What, art thou stiff? stand'st out?
Tit.

No, Caius Marcius;
I'll lean upon one crutch, and fight with the other,
Ere stay behind this business.
Men,

0, true bred! i Sen. Your company to the Capitol; where, I

know,
Our greatest friends attend us.
Tit.

Lead you on :
Follow, Cominius; we must follow you;
Right worthy you priority.s
Com.

Noble Lartius! 1 Sen. Hence! To your homes, be gone.

[To the Citizens. Mar,

Nay, let them follow : The Volces have much corn; 'take these rats thither, To gnaw their garners :-Worshipful mutineers,

s Right worthy of precedence.

6 Granaries.

NEN.

Your valour puts? well forth: pray, follow. [Exeunt Senators, Com. MAR. Tir. and ME

Citizens steal away. Sic. Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius? Bru. He has no equal. Sic. When we were chosen tribunes for the peo

ple, Bru. Mark'd you his lip, and eyes? Sic.

Nay, but his taunts. Bru. Being mov'd, he will not spare to gird: the

gods. Sic. Be-mock the modest moon.

Bru. The present wars devour him: he is grown
Too proud to be so valiant.
Sic.

Such a nature,
Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow
Which he treads on at noon: But I do wonder,
His insolence can brook to be commanded
Under Cominius.
Bru.

Fame, at the which he aims,
In whom already he is well grac'd, -cannot
Better be held, nor more attain'd, than by
A place below the first: for what miscarries
Shall be the general's fault, though he perform
To the utmost of a man; and giddy censure
Will then cry out of Marcius, 0, if he
Had borne the business !
Sic.

Besides, if things go well,
Opinion, that so sticks on Marcius, shall
Of his demerits 9 rob Cominius.

7 Shows itself. 8 Sneer. , Demerits and merits had anciently the same meaning.

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