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Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst
Will not you go?
pray you'Tis south the city mills—bring me word thither How the world goes, that to the pace of it I may spur on my journey. First Sol.
I shall, sir.
Enter MENENIUS with the two Tribunes of the
people, SICINIUS and BRUTUS. Men. The augurer tells me we shall have news to-night.
Bru. Good or bad ?
Men. Not according to the prayer of the people, for they love not Marcius.
Sic. Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.
31. In 1588 four corn mills of London, close to the Globe were built on the south side of Theatre. the Thames by the Corporation
Men. Pray you, who does the wolf love?
Men. Ay, to devour him; as the hungry plebeians would the noble Marcius.
Bru. He's a lamb indeed, that baes like a bear.
Men. He's a bear indeed, that lives like a lamb. You two are old men : tell me one thing that I shall ask you.
Both. Well, sir.
Men. In what enormity is Marcius poor in, that you two have not in abundance ?
Bru. He's poor in no one fault, but stored 30 with all.
Sic. Especially in pride.
Men. This is strange now: do you two know how you are censured here in the city, I mean of us o' the right-hand file? do you?
Both. Why, how are we censured ?
Men. Because you talk of pride now,—will you not be angry?
Both. Well, well, sir, well.
Men. Why, 'tis no great matter; for a very little thief of occasion will rob you of a great deal of patience : give your dispositions the reins, and be angry at your pleasures ; at the least, if you take it as a pleasure to you in being so. You blame Marcius for being proud ?
Bru. We do it not alone, sir.
Men. I know you can do very little alone; for your helps are many, or else your actions would grow wondrous single: your abilities are too infant-like for doing much alone. You talk of pride: O that you could turn your eyes toward
40. single, paltry, insignificant.
the napes of your necks, and make but an interior survey of your good selves! O that you could !
Bru. What then, sir ?
Men. Why, then you should discover a brace of unmeriting, proud, violent, testy magistrates, alias fools, as any in Rome.
Sic. Menenius, you are known well enough too.
Men. I am known to be a humorous patrician, and one that loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying Tiber in 't; said to be something imperfect in favouring the first complaint; hasty and tinder-like upon too trivial motion; one that converses more with the buttock of the night than with the forehead of the morning: what I think I utter, and spend my malice in my breath. Meeting two such wealsmen as you are- –I cannot call you Lycurguses—if the 60 drink you give me touch my palate adversely, I make a crooked face at it. I can't say your worships have delivered the matter well, when I find the ass in compound with the major part of your syllables : and though I must be content to bear with those that say you are reverend grave men, yet they lie deadly that tell you you have good faces. If you see this in the map of my microcosm, follows it that I am known well enough too? what harm can your bisson conspectuities 70 glean out of this character, if I be known well enough too?
51. humorous, capricious. macrocosm, or man on a grand
scale. Bacon (Ad. of Learning, 64. the ass in compound, etc., an element of the fool in all you
bk. ii.) mentions 'the ancient
opinion that man was microcossay.
mus, an abstract or model of 68. According to the theory the world.' of the early Mystic philosophers, 70. bisson conspectuities, purman was a microcosm or epitome
Conspectuities' is of creation ; and the universe a a coinage of Menenius'.
Bru. Come, sir, come, we know you well enough.
Men. You know neither me, yourselves, nor any thing. You are ambitious for poor knaves' caps and legs : you wear out a good wholesome forenoon in hearing a cause between an orangewife and a fosset-seller; and then rejourn the controversy of three pence to a second day of 80 audience. When you are hearing a matter between party and party, if you chance to be pinched with the colic, you make faces like mummers ; set up the bloody flag against all patience; and, in roaring for a chamber-pot, dismiss the controversy bleeding, the more entangled by your hearing: all the peace you make in their cause is, calling both the parties knaves.
You are a pair of strange ones.
Bru. Come, come, you are well understood to be a perfecter giber for the table than a necessary bencher in the Capitol.
Men. Our very priests must become mockers, if they shall encounter such ridiculous subjects as you are.
When you speak best unto the purpose, it is not worth the wagging of your beards; and your
beards deserve not so honourable a grave as to stuff a botcher's cushion, or to be entombed in an ass's pack-saddle. Yet you must be saying, Marcius is proud; who, in a cheap 100 estimation, is worth all your predecessors since Deucalion; though peradventure some of the best of 'em were hereditary hangmen. God-den to your worships : more of your conversation would
79. fosset - seller, seller of 102. Deucalion, the Noah faucets or wine-taps.
of classical legend.
infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly plebeians: I will be bold to take my leave of you.
[Brutus and Sicinius go aside.
Enter VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, and VALERIA. How now, my as fair as noble ladies,—and the moon, were she earthly, no nobler,—whither do you follow your eyes so fast?
Vol. Honourable Menenius, my boy Marcius 110 approaches; for the love of Juno, let's go.
Men. Ha! Marcius coming home!
Vol. Ay, worthy Menenius; and with most prosperous approbation.
Men. Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee. Hoo! Marcius coming home!
Vol. Vir. Nay, 'tis true.
Vol. Look, here's a letter from him : the state hath another, his wife another; and, I think, there's one at home for you.
Men. I will make my very house reel to-night : a letter for me !
Vir. Yes, certain, there's a letter for you; I
Men. A letter for me! it gives me an estate of seven years' health ; in which time I will make a lip at the physician: the most sovereign prescription in Galen is but empiricutic, and, to this preservative, of no better report than a horsedrench. Is he not wounded? he was wont to 130 come home wounded.
Vir. O, no, no, no.
Men. So do I too, if it be not too much :