Imatges de pÓgina


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SCENE, A Street in Rome. Enter a company of mutinous Citizens with flaves, clubs,

and other weapons.


Efore we proceed any further, hear me speak.

All. Speak, speak.

1 Cit. You are all resolv'd rather to die, than to familh ?

All. Resolv'd, resolv'd.

i Cit. First, you know, Caius Marcius is the chief enemy to the people,

All. We know't, we know'c.

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 Patrie cians, good; what authority furfeits on, would relieve us: if they would yield us but the superfluity, while it were wholesome, we might guess, they relieved us humanely: but they think, we are too dear; the leanness that afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an:


inventory to particularize their abundance ; our fuffe sance is a gain to them. Let us revenge this with our pikes, 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 Marcius ?

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 malicioufly.

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 be 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,

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 fide oth city is risen; why stay we prating here? To the capitol.

All. Come, come.
i Cit. Soft--who comes here?

Enter Menenius Agrippa. 2 Cit. Worthy Menenius Agritpa; one that hath always lov'd the people.

i 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.

2 Cit. Our businefs is not unknown to the Senate ; they have had inkling, this fortnight, what we intend


to do, which now we'll shew 'em in deeds: they fay,
poor suitors have strong breaths; they shall know, we
have strong arms too.
Men. Why, masters, my good friends, mine honeft

Will you undo yourselves ?

2 Cit. We cannot, Sir, we are undone already,
Men. I tell you, friends, most charitable care
Have the patricians of you:


your wants,
Your sufferings 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 links afunder, 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 attends you;


flander The helms o'th' state, who care for you, like fathers, When you curse them as enemies.

2 Gita Care for us!-true, indeed!-they ne'er car'd for us yet. Suffer us to famish, and their store-houses cramm’d with grain: make edicts for usury, to support usurers ; repeal daily any wholesome act establithed 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 wondrous malicious,
Or be accus'd of foly. I shall tell you
A pretty tale, (it may be, you have heard it;).
But since it ferves my purpose, I will venture
(1) To Itale’t a little more.

2 Cit. (1) To (cale't a litile more.) Thus all the editions, but without any manner of sense, that I can find out. The poet mut have wrote, as I have corrected the text: and then the meaning will be plainly this. “ Perhaps, you may have heard my tale already, but for all that, " I'll venture to make it more fale and familiar to you, by telling it

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2 Cit. Well, t'll hear it, Sir-yet you must not think To fob off our disgraces with a tale: But, and'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 oth’ body, idle and unactive, Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing, Like labour with the reft; where the other instruments Did fee, 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

over again.” And nothing is more common than the verb in this fense, with our three capital Dramatic poets. To begin, with our own author. Anth, and Cleop.

Age cannot wither ber, nor custom ftale

Her infinite variety. ful. Cæf.

Were I a common laugher, or did use

To fale with ordinary oaths my love &c. And, again,

and imitations, Which out of use, and faled by other men,

Begin his fa hion. so B. Fonfon, in his Every Man in his Humour.

- and not content To fale himself in all societies,

He makes my house trere common as a mart. Cynthia's Revels.

I'll go tell all the argument of his play aforehand, and so fale his invention to the auditory, before it come forth, And so Beaumont and Fletcber, in their Beggar's Bush.

But I Mould lose myself to speak him further,
And ftale, in my relation, the much good

You may be witness of.
Queen of Corintb.

-I'll pot fale 'em,
By giving up their characters; but leave you

To make your own discov'ries,
Wit at several weapons.

You shall not be seen yet, we'll fale your friend first,
So please but him to fand for th' anti-malk.

-2 Cit. Well, Sir, what answer made the belly?

Men. (2) Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of smiley
Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus
(For, look you, I may make the belly smile,
As well as speak) it tauntingly, reply'd
To th' discontented members, th’mutinoas parts
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 feed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter;
With other muniments and petty helps
In this our fabrick, if that theymon

Men. What then ?-'Fore me, this fellow speaks What then? what then ?

2 Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be restrain'd, Who is the link o' th’ body,

Men. Well, what then?

2 Cit. The former agents, if they did complaing 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..

2 Cit. Y' are long about it.

Men. Note me this, good friend ;
Your molt 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,

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,
(2) Sir, I shall tell you wiib a kind of (mile,

Which ne'er came from the lungs) Thus all the editors, molt Mupidly, hitherto; as if Minenius were to smile in telling his fory, Pho' the lines, which immediately follow, make it evident that the Belly was incant to smile,

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