Imatges de pÓgina

With bats and clubs? the matter


Speak, I pray

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 fhew 'em in deeds: they fay, poor Suiters have strong breaths; they shall know, we have ftrong arms too.

Men. Why, Mafters, my good Friends, mine honest Neighbours,

Will you undo your felves?

2 Cit. 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 Courfe 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) muft help. Alack, You are tranfported by Calamity

Thither, where more attends you; 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 Storehouses cramm'd with Grain: make Edicts for Ufury, to fupport Ufurers; repeal daily any wholesome A& 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 your felves 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

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yet you must not think

To fob off our difgraces 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

I'th' midft o'th' body, idle and unactive,

Still cupboarding the Viand, never bearing

Like labour with the reft; where th'other inftruments

(1) To fcale't a little more.] Thus all the Editions, but without any Manner of Senfe, that I can find out. The Poet must 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'l "venture to make it more ftale and familiar to You, by telling it over again." And nothing is more common than the Verb in this Sense, with our three Capital Dramatic Poets. To begin, with our own Author. Anth. and Cleop.


Jul. Cæf.

Age cannot wither her, nor Cuftom stale
Her infinite Variety.

Were I a common Laugher, or did ufe
To ftale with ordinary Oaths my Love &c.

And, again,

and Imitations,

Which out of Ufe, and staled by other Men,
Begin his Fashion.

So B. Jonfon, in his Every Man in his Humour.

and not content

To ftale himself in all Societies,

He makes my Houfe here common as a Mart..

Cynthia's Revels.

I'll go tell all the Argument of bis Play aforehand, and fo ftale bis Invention to the Auditory, before it come forth.

And fo Beaumont and Fletcher, in their Beggar's Bufb.

But I fhould lofe my felf to speak him further,

And ftale, in my Relation, the much Good

You may be witness of

Queen of Corinth.

I'll not stale 'em,

By giving up their Characters; but leave You
To make your own Discov'ries.

Wit at feveral Weapons.

You shall not be feen yet, we'll ftale your Friend firft,
So please but him to fland for th' Anti mask.

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. (z) Sir, I fhall tell you. —


With a kind of

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 so most 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 counfellor heart, the arm our foldier,
Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter;
With other muniments and petty helps

In this our fabrick, 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 Sink 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 you'll bestow a fmall (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,

(2) Sir, I fall tell you with a kind of Smile,

Which ne'er came from the Lungs,] Thus all the Editors, moft ftupidly, hitherto; as if Menenius were to fmile in telling his Story, tho' the Lines, which immediately follow, make it evident that the Belly was meant to fmile.

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That I receive the general food at first,
Which you do live upon; and fit it is,
Because I am the ftore-houfe, and the fhop
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 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 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 I can make my audit up, that all

From me do back receive the flow'r of all,
And leave me but the bran. What fay you to't?
2 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; digeft things rightly,
Touching the weal o'th' Common; you shall find,
No publick benefit, which you receive,

But it proceeds, or comes, from them to you,
And no way from your felves. 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 most wife Rebellion, thou goeft formoft:
Thou rafcal, that are worst in blood to run,
Lead'At first, to win fome vantage.

But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs,
Rome and her rats are at the point of battel:
(3) The one fide muft have Bale.


(3) The one Side must have Bail.] It must be the vanquifht Side, fure, that could want it; and who were likely to be their Bail? But it is endlefs to question with Negligence and Stupidity. The Poet, undoubtedly wrote, as I have reftor'd;

The one Side must have Bale.

i. c. Sorrow, Misfortune, must have the worst of it, be difcomfited. I

Enter Caius Marcius.

Hail, noble Marcius!

Mar. Thanks. What's the matter, you diffentious rogues,

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

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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 like nor 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, geefe: You are no furer, no,
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,

Or hailstone in the Sun. Your virtue is,

have reftor'd this Word in fome other Paffages of our Author; and we meet with it in a Play, attributed to him, call'd Locrine:

Yea, with thefe Eyes thou haft feen her, and therefore pull them out, for they will work thy Bale.

Mr. Rowe, indeed, in his Editions of our Poet, has erroneously printed Bail too in this Paffage; but in the old Quarto which I have of Locrine, printed in 1595, we find the Word fpelt as it ought. And it was a Term familiar both with Authors prior in Time, and Contemporaries with Shakespeare.

and eke her Fingirs long and fmale

She wrong full oft, and bade God on her rue,

And with the Death to doe bote on her Bale: &c.

Chaucer's Troil. and Crefeide. Book IV. verse 738.

And the black Holme, that loves the watry Vale,

And the fweet Cypress, fign of deadly Bale.

And again,

Spenser's Tranflation of Virgil's Gnat.

Said He, what have I Wretch deferv'd, that thus

Into this bitter Bale I am out-caft.

Thus greatest Bliss is prone to greatest Bale.

Idem ibid.

Firft Chorus of Hercules Oetæus from Seneca; printed in 1581.

And leaft my Foe, falfe Promos here,

Do interrupt my Tale;

Grant, gracious King, that, uncontroul'd,

I may report my Bale.

Promos and Caffandra, (a Play,) printed in 1578.


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