Enter a Company of Mutinous Citizens, |with Staues,
Clubs, and other weapons.
Before we proceed any further, heare me ſpeake.
You are all reſolu'd rather to dy then
Firſt you know, Caius Martius is chiefe enemy
to the people.
We know't, we know't.
Let vs kill him, and wee'l haue Corne at our own
price. Is't a Verdict?
No more talking on't; Let it be done, away, away
One word, good Citizens.
We are accounted poore Citizens, the Patri-
cians good: what Authority ſurfets one, would releeue
vs. If they would yeelde vs but the ſuperfluitie while it
were wholſome, wee might gueſſe they releeued vs hu-
manely: But they thinke we are too deere, the leanneſſe
that afflicts vs, the obiect of our miſery, is as an inuento-
ry to particularize their abundance, our ſufferance is a
gaine to them. Let vs reuenge this with our Pikes, ere
we become Rakes. For the Gods know, I ſpeake this in
hunger for Bread, not in thirſt for Reuenge.
Would you proceede eſpecially againſt Caius
Againſt him firſt: He's a very dog to the Com-
Conſider you what Seruices he ha's done for his
Very well, and could bee content to giue him
good report for't, but that hee payes himſelfe with bee-
Nay, but ſpeak not maliciouſly.
I ſay vnto you, what he hath done Famouſlie,
he did it to that end: though ſoft conſcienc'd men can be
content to ſay it was for his Countrey, he did it to pleaſe
his Mother, and to be partly proud, which he is, euen to
the altitude of his vertue.
What he cannot helpe in his Nature, you ac-
count a Vice in him: You muſt in no way ſay he is co-
If I muſt not, I neede not be barren of Accuſa-
tions he hath faults (with ſurplus) to tyre in repetition.
What ſhowts are theſe? The other ſide a'th City is riſen:
why ſtay we prating heere? To th'Capitoll.
Soft, who comes heere?
Enter Menenius Agrippa.
Worthy Menenius Agrippa, one that hath Al-
wayes lou'd the people.
He's one honeſt enough, wold Al the reſt wer ſo.
What work's my Countrimen in hand?
Where go you with Bats And Clubs? The matter
Speake I pray you.
Our buſines is not vnknowne to th'Senat, they
haue had inkling this fortnight what we intend to do, wc
now wee'l ſhew em in deeds: they ſay poore Suters haue
ſtrong breaths, they ſhal know we haue ſtrong arms too.
Why Maſters, my good Friends, mine honeſt
Neighbours, will you vndo your ſelues?
We cannot Sir, we are vndone already.
I tell you Friends, moſt charitable care
Haue the Patricians of you for your wants.
Your ſuffering in this dearth, you may as well
Strike at the Heauen with your ſtaues, as lift them
Againſt the Roman State, whoſe courſe will on
The way it takes: cracking ten thouſand Curbes
Of more ſtrong linke aſſunder, then can euer
Appeare in your impediment. For the Dearth,
The Gods, not the Patricians make it, and
Your knees to them (not armes) muſt helpe. Alacke,
You are tranſported by Calamity
Thether, where more attends you, and you ſlander
The Helmes o'th State; who care for you like Fathers,
When you curſe them, as Enemies.
Care for vs? True indeed, they nere car'd for vs
yet. Suffer vs to famiſh, and their Store-houſes cramm'd
with Graine: Make Edicts for Vſurie, to ſupport Vſu-
rers; repeale daily any wholſome Act eſtabliſhed againſt
the rich, and prouide more piercing Statutes daily, to
chaine vp and reſtraine the poore. If the Warres eate vs
not vppe, they will; and there's allthe loue they beare
Either you muſt
Confeſſe your ſelues wondrous Malicious,
Or be accus'd of Folly. I ſhall tell you
A pretty Tale, it may be you haue heard it,
But ſince it ſerues my purpoſe, I will venture
To ſcale't a little more.
Ile heare it Sir: yet you muſt not thinke
To fobbe off our diſgrace with a tale:
But and't pleaſe you deliuer.
There was a time, when all the bodies members
Rebell'd againſt the Belly; thus accus'd it:
That onely like a Gulfe it did remaine
I,th midd'ſt a th'body, idle and vnactiue,
Still cubbording the Viand, neuer bearing
Like labour with the reſt, where th'other Inſtruments
Did ſee, and heare, deuiſe, inſtruct, walke, feele,
And mutually participate, did miniſter
Vnto the appetite; and affection common
Of the whole body, the Belly anſwer'd.
Well ſir, what anſwer made the Belly.
Sir, I ſhall tell you with a kinde of Smile,
Which ne're came from the Lungs, but euen thus:
For looke you I may make the belly Smile,
As well as ſpeake, it taintingly replyed
To'th'diſcontented Members, the mutinous parts
That enuied his receite: euen ſo moſt fitly,
As you maligne our Senators, for that
They are not ſuch as you.
Your Bellies anſwer: What
The Kingly crown'd head, the vigilant eye,
The Counſailor Heart, the Arme our Souldier,|
Our Steed the Legge, the Tongue our Trumpeter,
With other Muniments and petty helpes
In this our Fabricke, if that they———
What then? Foreme, this Fellow ſpeakes.
What then? What then?
Should by the Cormorant belly be reſtrain'd,
Who is the ſinke a th'body.
Well, what then?
The former Agents, if they did complaine,
What could the Belly anſwer?
I will tell you,
If you'l beſtow a ſmall (of what you haue little)
Patience awhile; you'ſt heare the Bellies anſwer.
Y'are long about it.
Note me this good Friend;
Your moſt graue Belly was deliberate,
Not raſh like his Accuſers, and thus anſwered.
True is it my Incorporate Friends (quoth he)
That I receiue the generall Food at firſt
Which you do liue vpon: 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 Riuers of your blood
Euen to the Court, the Heart, to th'ſeate o'th'Braine,
And through the Crankes and Offices of man,
The ſtrongeſt Nerues, and ſmall inferiour Veines
From me receiue that naturall competencie
Whereby they liue. And though that all at once
(You my good Friends, this ſayes the Belly) marke me.
I ſir, well, well.
Though all at once, cannot
See what I do deliuer out to each,
Yet I can make my Awdit vp, that all
From me do backe receiue the Flowre of all,
And leaue me but the Bran. What ſay you too't?
It was an anſwer, how apply you this?
The Senators of Rome, are this good Belly,
And you the mutinous Members: For examine
Their Counſailes, and their Cares;diſgeſt things rightly,
Touching the Weale a'th Common, you ſhall finde
No publique benefit which you receiue
But it proceeds, or comes from them to you,
And no way from your ſelues. What do you thinke?
You, the great Toe of this Aſſembly?
I the great Toe? Why the great Toe?
For that being one o'th loweſt, baſeſt, pooreſt
Of this moſt wiſe Rebellion, thou goeſt formoſt:
Thou Raſcall, that art worſt in blood to run,
Lead'ſt firſt to win ſome vantage.
But make you ready your ſtiffe bats and clubs,
Rome, and her Rats, are at the point of battell,
The one ſide muſt haue baile.
Enter Caius Martius.
Hayle, Noble Martius.
Thanks. What's the matter you diſſentious rogues
That rubbing the poore Itch of your Opinion,
Make your ſelues Scabs.
We haue euer your good word.
He that will giue good words to thee, wil flatter
Beneath abhorring. What would you haue, you Curres,
That like nor Peace, nor Warre? The one affrights you,
The other makes you proud. He that truſts to you,
Where he ſhould finde you Lyons, findes you Hares:
Where Foxes, Geeſe you are: No ſurer, no,
Then is the coale of fire vpon the Ice,
Or Hailſtone in the Sun. Your Vertue is,
To make him worthy, whoſe offence ſubdues him,
And curſe that Iuſtice did it. Who deſerues Greatnes,
Deſerues your Hate: and your Affections are
A ſickmans Appetite; who deſires moſt that
Which would encreaſe his euill. He that depends
Vpon your fauours, ſwimmes with finnes of Leade,
And hewes downe Oakes, with ruſhes. Hang ye:truſt ye?
With euery Minute you do change a Minde,
And call him Noble, that was now your Hate:
Him vilde, that was your Garland. What's the matter,
That in theſe ſeuerall places of the Citie,
You cry againſt the Noble Senate, who
(Vnder the Gods) keepe you in awe, which elſe
Would feede on one another? What's their ſeeking?
For Corne at their owne rates, wherof they ſay
The Citie is well ſtor'd.
Hang 'em: They ſay?
They'l ſit by th'fire, and preſume to know
What's done i'th Capitoll: Who's like to riſe,
Who thriues, & who declines: Side factions, & giue out
Coniecturall Marriages, making parties ſtrong,
And feebling ſuch as ſtand not in their liking,
Below their cobled Shooes. They ſay ther's grain enough?
Would the Nobility lay aſide their ruth,
And let me vſe my Sword, I'de make a Quarrie
With thouſands of theſe quarter'd ſlaues, as high
As I could picke my Lance.
Nay theſe are almoſt thoroughly perſwaded:
For though abundantly they lacke diſcretion
Yet are they paſsing Cowardly. But I beſeech you,
What ſayes the other Troope?
They are diſſolu'd: Hang em;
They ſaid they were an hungry, ſigh'd forth Prouerbes
That Hunger-broke ſtone wals: that dogges muſt eate
That meate was made for mouths. That the gods ſent not
Corne for the Richmen onely: With theſe ſhreds
They vented their Complainings, which being anſwer'd
And a petition granted them, a ſtrange one,
To breake the heart of generoſity,
And make bold power looke pale, they threw their caps
As they would hang them on the hornes a'th Moone,
Shooting their Emulation.
What is graunted them?
Fiue Tribunes to defend their vulgar wiſdoms
Of their owne choice. One's Iunius Brutus,
Sicinius Velutus, and I know not. Sdeath,
The rabble ſhould haue firſt vnroo'ſt the City
Ere ſo preuayl'd with me; it will in time
Win vpon power, and throw forth greater Theames
For Inſurrections arguing.
This is ſtrange.
Go get you home you Fragments.
Enter a Meſſenger haſtily.
Where's Caius Martius?
Heere: what's the matter?
The newes is ſir, the Volcies are in Armes.
I am glad on't, then we ſhall ha meanes to vent
Our muſtie ſuperfluity. See our beſt Elders.
Enter Sicinius Velutus, Annius Brutus Cominisn, Titus
Lartius, with other Senatours.
Martius 'tis true, that you haue lately told vs,
The Volces are in Armes.
They haue a Leader,
Tullus Auffidius that will put you too't:
I ſinne in enuying his Nobility:
And were I any thing but what I am,
I would wiſh me onely he.
You haue fought together?
Were halfe to halfe the world by th'eares, & he
vpon my partie, I'de reuolt to make
Onely my warres with him. He is a Lion
That I am proud to hunt.
Then worthy Martius,
Attend vpon Cominius to theſe Warres.
It is your former promiſe.
Sir it is,
And I am conſtant: Titus Lucius, thou
Shalt fee me once more ſtrike at Tullus face.
What art thou ſtiffe? Stand'ſt out?
No Caius Martius,
Ile leane vpon one Crutch, and fight with tother,
Ere ſtay behinde this Buſineſſe.
Your Company to'th'Capitoll, where I know
Our greateſt Friends attend vs.
Lead you on: Follow Cominius, we muſt followe
you, right worthy you Priority.
Hence to your homes, be gone.
Nay let them follow,
The Volces haue much Corne: take theſe Rats thither,
To gnaw their Garners. Worſhipfull Mutiners,
Your valour puts well forth: Pray follow. Exeunt .
Citizens ſteale away. Manet Sicin. & Brutus.
Was euer man ſo proud as is this Martius?
He has no equall.
When we were choſen Tribunes for the people.
Mark'd you his lip and eyes.
Nay, but his taunts.
Being mou'd, he will not ſpare to gird the Gods.
Bemocke the modeſt Moone.
The prefent Warres deuoure him, he is growne
Too proud to be ſo valiant.
Such a Nature, tickled with good ſucceſſe, diſ-
daines the ſhadow which he treads on at noone, but I do
wonder, his inſolence can brooke to be commanded vn-
Fame, at the which he aymes,
In whom already he's well grac'd, cannot
Better be held, nor more attain'd then by
A place below the firſt: for what miſcarries
Shall be the Generals fault, though he performe
To th'vtmoſt of a man, and giddy cenſure
Will then cry out of Martius: Oh, if he
Had borne the buſineſſe.
Beſides, if things go well,
Opinion that ſo ſtickes on Martius, ſhall
Of his demerits rob Cominius.
Come: halfe all Cominius Honors are to Martius
Though Martius earn'd them not: and all his faults
To Martius ſhall be Honors, though indeed
In ought he merit not.
Let's hence, and heare
How the diſpatch is made, and in what faſhion
More then his ſingularity, he goes
Vpon this preſent Action.
Let's along. Exeunt