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Men. Why, Masters, my good friends, mine honeft Neighbours, Will you undo yourselves ?
2 Čit. We cannot, Sir, we are undone already. Men. I tell
you, Friends, most charitable care Have the Patricians of you: For your wants, Your sufferings 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 Links 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; and The Helms o'th' State, who care for you like Fathers, When
curse them as Enemies. 2 Git. Care for us!-true, indeed! they ne'er car'd for us yet. Suffer us to familh, and their Store-houses cramm'd with grain : make Edi&s for Usury, to support Usurers ; repeal daily any wholesome Act established against the Rich, and provide more piercing Statutes daily to chain up and restrain the Poor. If the Wars eat us not up, they will; and there's all the love they bear us. Men. Either
must Confess yourselves wond'rous malicious, Or be accus'd 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 scale't a little more.
2 Cit. Well,
* To scale't a little morej Thus all the Editions as Mr. Theobald confesses, who alters it to state't. And for a good Reason, because he can find no Sense (he says) in the common Reading. For as good a Reason, I who can, have reftor'd the old one to its Place. To scali't fignifying to weigh, examine and apply it.
I'll hear it, Sir yet you must not think
2 Cit. Well, Sir, what answer made the belly ?
Men. Sir, I shall tell you.--.With a kind of smile,
2 Cit. Your belly's answer—what!
Men. What then?--'Fore me, this fellow speaks.
2 Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be restrain'd, Who is the fink 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 small (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 ;
you do live upon; and fit it is,
2 Cit. Ay, Sir, well, well.
Men. Though all at once cannot See what I do deliver out to each, Yet can make my audit up, that all From me do back receive the flow'r of all, And leave me but the bran. What say you to'ı?
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 ; digest things rightly, Touching the weal o'th' 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 Affembly!-
2 Cit. I the great toe! why, the great toe? Men. For that, being one o' th' lowest, baseft,
poorest, Of this most wife Rebellion, thou goeft foremoft: A 5
Thou rascal, that art worft in blood to run,
S CE N E III.
Enter Caius Marcius.
2 Cit. We have ever your good word.
With every minute you do change a mind,
Would feed on one another ? what's their seeking ?
Men. For corn at their own rates, whereof they say, The city is well stor'd.
Mar. Hang 'em : they say ! They'll fit by th' fire, and perfume to know What's done i'th' Capitol ; who's like to rise ; Who thrives, and who declines: fide factions, and
give out Conjectural marriages ; making parties strong, And feeble such, as stand not in their Liking, Below their cobled 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 pitch my lance.
Men. Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded : For though abundantly they lack discretion, Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you, What says the other troop?
Mar. They are diffolv'd ; hang 'em, They said they were an hungry, figh'd forth Proverbs; That hunger broke Aone walls—that dogs must eat,That meat was made for mouths—that the Gods fent not Corn for the rich men only— With these shreds They vented their complainings : which being an
fwer'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'th' Moon, Shouting their emulation.
Men. What is granted them ?
Mar. Five Tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms, Of their own choice. One's Junius Brutus, Sicinius Velutus, and I know not
s' death, The rabble should have firft unroof'd the City,