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Sec. Cit. Worthy Menenius Agrippa ; one that hath always loved the people.

First 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. First Cit. Our business is not unknown to the senate; they have had inkling, this fortnight, what we intend to do, which now we'll show 'em in 60 deeds. 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 yourselves? First Cit. We cannot, sir, we

are undone already

Men. I tell you, friends, most charitable care
Have the patricians of you. For your wants,

Your suffering 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 link 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, must help. Alack,
You are transported by calamity
Thither where more attends you,


slander The helms o' the state, who care for you like

fathers, When you curse them as enemies. First Cit. Care for us! True, indeed! They


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ne'er cared for us yet: suffer us to famish, and their store-houses crammed with grain; make edicts for usury, to support usurers ; repeal daily any wholesome act established against the rich, and provide more piercing statutes daily, to chain

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 accused of folly. I shall tell you
A pretty tale : it may be you have heard it;
But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture
To stale 't a little more.

First Cit. Well, I'll hear it, sir : yet you must not think to fob off our disgrace with a tale : but, an 't please you, deliver. Men. There was a time when all the body's

Rebell’d against the belly; thus accused it:
That only like a gulf it did remain
I'the midst o' the body, idle and unactive,
Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing
Like our with the rest, where the other instru-

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-

First Cit. Well, sir, what answer made the belly ? Men. Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of

smile, Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus97. fob off, jest away.

lungs. The lungs were regarded 112. Which ne'er came from the as the seat of joyous laughter.

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For, look you, I may make the belly smile
As well as speak—it taintingly replied
To the discontented members, the mutinous parts
That envied his receipt; even so most fitly
As you malign our senators for that
They are not such as you.
First Cit.

Your belly's answer? What!
The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye,
The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,
Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter,
With other muniments and petty helps
In this our fabric, if that they-

What then? 'Fore me, this fellow speaks! What then? what

then ? First Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be

restrain'd, Who is the sink o' the body, Men.

Well, what then? First Cit. The former agents, if they did com

plain, What could the belly answer? Men.

I will tell you ; If you 'll bestow a small-of what you have

Patience awhile, you 'll hear the belly's answer.

First Cit. Ye're long about it.

Note me this, good friend; Your most 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,


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114. taintingly. So F. taunting, and 'taintingly' may Most modern edd. substitute well mean 'attaintingly,' i.e. ' tauntingly,' from F& But the indicting (them in turn). belly's reply (v. 134 f.) is not





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 the seat o' the

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, First 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 flour of all, And leave me but the bran.' What say you to 't? First 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, digest things

Touching the weal o' the 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 assembly?

First Cit. I the great toe ! why the great toe?
Men. For that, being one o' the lowest, basest,

Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost :
Thou rascal, that art worst in blood to run,

163. rascal, deer unfit for 163. in blood, in sound conhunting



Lead'st first to win some vantage.
But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs :
Rome and her rats are at the point of battle ;
The one side must have bale.


Enter Caius MARCIUS.

Hail, noble Marcius ! Mar. Thanks. What's the matter, you dis

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

First Cit. We have ever your good word.
Mar. He that will give good words to thee will

Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you

That like nor peace nor war ? the one affrights you,
The other makes you proud. He that trusts to

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

Deserves your hate; and your affections are
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?
With every minute you do change a mind,


179. To make him worthy, execrate the justice which etc., to rehabilitate the criminal sentenced him. justly condemned, and to VOL. X



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