Imatges de pÓgina
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Men. Why, Mafters, my good Friends, mine honeft Neighbours,

Will you undo yourselves?

2 Čit. We cannot, Sir, we are undone already. Men. I tell you, Friends, moft charitable care Have the Patricians of you: For your wants, Your fufferings in this Dearth, you may as well Strike at the Heaven with your ftaves, as lift them Against the Roman State; whofe Course will on The way it takes, cracking ten thousand Curbs Of more ftrong Links 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) muft help. Alack, You are tranfported by Calamity

Thither where more attends you; and you flander. The Helms o' th' State, who care for you like Fathers, When you curse them as Enemies.

2 Cit. Care for us!true, indeed! they ne'er car'd for us yet. Suffer us to famish, and their Store-houfes cramm'd with grain: make Edicts for Ufury, to fupport Ufurers; repeal daily any wholefome Act established against the Rich, and provide more piercing Statutes daily to chain up and reftrain the Poor. If the Wars eat us not up, they will; and there's all the love they bear us.

Men. Either you must

Confefs yourselves wond'rous malicious,

Or be accus'd of folly. I fhall tell you
A pretty Tale, (it may be, you have heard it ;)
But, fince it ferves my purpose I will venture
*To fcale't a little more.

2 Cit. Well,

To fcale't a little more] Thus all the Editions as Mr. Theobald confeffes, who alters it to ftate't. And for a good Reason, because he can find no Senfe (he fays) in the common Reading. For as good a Reason, I who can, have reftor'd the old one to its Place. To fcale't fignifying to weigh, examine and apply it. A 4

Warb.

I'll

I'll hear it, Sir-yet you must not think
To fob off our difgraces 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

I' th' midft o' th' body, idle and unactive,
Still cupboarding the Viand, never bearing

Like labour with the reft; where th 'other inftru

ments

Did fee, and hear, devife, inftruct, walk, feel,
And mutually participate, did minifter.
Unto the appetite, and affection common
Of the whole body. The belly anfwer'd

2 Cit. Well, Sir, what anfwer made the belly ? Men. Sir, I fhall tell you.-With a kind of smile, Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus(For look you, I may make the belly fmile, As well as fpeak) it tauntingly reply'd

To th' difcontented Members, th' mutinous Parts,
That envied his receit; even fo moft fitly,
As you malign our Senators, for that
They are not fuch as you-

2 Cit. Your belly's anfwer-what!
The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye,
The counsellor heart, the arm our foldier,
Or fteed 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 fpeaks. What then? what then?

2 Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be reftrain'd, Who is the fink o' th' body,

Men. Well,- -what then?

2 Cit. The former Agents, if they did complain, What could the belly answer?

Men. I will tell you,

If

If you'll beftow 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 moft grave belly was deliberate,

Not rafh, like his accufers; 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 ftore-house, and the shop
Of the whole body. But, if you do remember,
I fend 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 ftrongest nerves, and fmall inferior veins,
From me receive that natural competency
Whereby they live. And tho' that all at once,
You, my good Friends, (this fays the belly) mark

me

2 Cit. Ay, Sir, well, well.

Men. Though all at once cannot
See what I do deliver out to each,
Yet can make my audit up, that all
From me do back receive the
And leave me but the bran.

flow'r of all,

What fay you to't? -how apply you this?

2 Cit. It was an answer ;-
Men. The Senators of Rome are this good belly,
And you the mutinous Members; for examine
Their Counfels, and their Cares; digeft things rightly,
Touching the weal o' th' 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 Affembly!-

2 Cit. I the great toe! why, the great toe?
Men. For that, being one o' th' loweft, bafeft,

pooreft,

Of this moft wife Rebellion, thou goeft foremoft:

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Thou rafcal, that art worft in blood to run,
Lead'ft firft, to win fome 'vantage.

But make you ready your ftiff bats and clubs,
Rome and her rats are at the point of battle :
The one fide must have bale.

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That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Make yourfelves fcabs?

2 Cit. We have ever your good word.

Mar. He that will give good words to thee, will flatter

Beneath abhorring. What would you have, ye Curs,
That likes not peace, nor war? The one affrights you,
The other makes you proud. He that trufts to you,
Where he should find you lions, finds you hares:
Where foxes, geese: You are no furer, no,
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,

Or hailstone in the Sun. Your virtue is,

To make him worthy, whofe offence fubdues him, And curfe that justice, did it. Who deferves Greatnefs,

Deferves your Hate; and your affections are
A fick man's appetite, who defires moft That
Which would encrease his evil. He, that depends
Upon your favours, fwims with fins of lead,
And hews down oaks with rufhes. Hang ye

truft 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,
That in the feveral places of the City

You cry against the noble Senate, who

(Under the Gods) keep you in awe, which else B 6

Would

Would feed on one another? what's their feeking? Men. For corn at their own rates, whereof they fay, The city is well flor'd.

Mar. Hang 'em: they fay!

They'll fit by th' fire, and perfume to know
What's done i' th' Capitol; who's like to rise;
Who thrives, and who declines: fide factions, and
give out

Conjectural marriages; making parties strong,
And feeble fuch, as ftand not in their Liking,
Below their cobled fhoes. They fay, there's Grain
enough!

Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,

And let me use my fword, I'd make a quarry With thousands of thefe quarter'd Slaves, as high As I could pitch my lance.

Men. Nay, thefe are almoft thoroughly perfuaded: For though abundantly they lack difcretion, Yet are they paffing cowardly. But, I beseech you, What fays the other troop?

Mar. They are diffolv'd; hang 'em,

They faid they were an hungry, figh'd forth Proverbs; That hunger broke ftone walls—that dogs must eat,— That meat was made for mouths—that the Gods fent not Corn for the rich men only-With these shreds

They vented their complainings: which being anfwer'd,

And a Petition granted them, a ftrange one,
To break the heart of Generofity,

And make bold Power look pale; they threw their caps

As they would hang them on the horns o'th' 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

s' death,

The rabble fhould have firft unroof'd the City,
A 6

Ere

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