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Men. Sir, I shall tell you.--With a kind of smile, Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus, (For, look
make the belly smile, As well as speak,) it tauntingly reply'd To the discontented members, the mutinous parts That envy'd his receipt; even so most fitly As you malign our senators, for that They are not such as you. 1 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 fabrick, if that theyMen.
What then? Fore me, this fellow speaks!—what then? what
then? i Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be re
strain'd, Who is the sink o' the body,Men.
Well, what then? i Cit. The former agents, if they did complain, What could the belly answer?
Men. If you'll bestow a small (of what you have little,) Patience, a-while, you'll hear the belly's answer.
i Cit. You are long about it. Men.
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,
I will tell you;
Which you do live upon: and fit it is;
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 flower of all, And leave me but the bran. What
What say you to't? i 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
rightly, Touching the weal o' the common; you shall find, No publick 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
?. 1 Cit. I the great toe? Why the great toe? Men. For that being one o' the lowest, basest,
poorest, Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost : Thou rascal, that art worst in blood, to run
Lead'st first, to win some vantage.
Enter Caius Marcius. Mar. Thanks.----What's the matter, you dissen
That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
We have ever your good word. Mar. He that will give good words to thee, will
flatter Beneath abhorring.–What would you have, you
curs, That like nor peace, nor war? the one affrights you, The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you, 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 great
ness, Deserves your hate: and
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;
And call him noble, that was now your hate,
ing? Men. For corn at their own rates; whereof, they
say, The city is well stor’d. Mar.
Hang 'em! They say? They'll sit by the fire, and presume to know What's done i' the Capitol: who's like to rise, Who thrives, and who declines: side factions, and
give out Conjectural marriages; making parties strong, And feebling such as stand not in their liking, Below their cobbled shoes. They say, there's grain
enough? Would the nobility lay aside their ruth, And let me use my sword, I'd make a quarry With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high As I could pick my lance. Men. Nay, these are almost thoroughly per
suaded; For though abundantly they lack discretion, Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you, What says the other troop?. Mar.
They are dissolv’d: Hang 'em! They said, they were an-hungry; sigh'd forth pro
That, hunger broke stone walls; that, dogs must
eat; That, meat was made for mouths; that, the gods
sent not Corn for the rich men only:—With these shreds They vented their complainings; which being an
swer’d, And a petition granted them, a strange one, (To break the heart of generosity, And make bold power look pale,) they threw their
caps As they would hang them on the horns o'the moon, Shouting their emulation. Men.
What is granted them? Mar. Five tribunes, to defend their vulgar wis,
Of their own choice: One's Junius Brutus,
This is strange.
Enter a Messenger. Mes. Where's Caius Marcius? Mar.
Here: What's the matter? Mes. The news is, sir, the Volces are in arins. Mar. I am glad on't; then we shall have means
to vent Our musty superfluity:-See, our best elders.