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Generals against the Volscians.
Tribunes of the People.
Volumnia, Mother to Coriolanus.
tors, Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, Servants to Auf
dius, and other Attendants. SCENE, partly in Rome; and partly in the Territories
of the Volscians and Antiates.
SCENE 1. ROME. A Street. Enter a Company of mutinous Citizens, with Staves,
Clubs, and other Weapons. 1 Cit. BEFORE
we proceed any further, hear me speak.
Cit. Speak, speak. *[Several speaking at once.
1 Cit. “You are all resolved rather to die, than to famish?
Cit. Resolved, resolved.
1 Cit. First, you know, Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the people.
Cit. 'We know't, we know't.
1 Cit. Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at our own price. Is't a verdict?
Cit. No more talking on't; let it be donesi away, away.
2 Cit. One word, good citizens.
1 Cit. We are accounted poor citizens; the patricians, good: What authority surfeits on, would relieve us: If they would yield us but the superfluity, while it were wholesome, we might guess, they relieved us humanely; but they think, we are too dear: the leanness that afllicts us, the object of our misery, is as an inventory to particularise their abundance; our sufferance is a gain to them.- Let us revenge this with our pikes, ere we become rakes: for the gods know, I speak This in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.
2 Cit. Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius?
Cit. Against him first; he's a very dog to the commonality
2 Cit. Consider you what services he has done for his country?
1 Cit. Very well; and could be content to give him good report for't, but that he pays himself with being proud.
2 Cit. Nay, but speak not maliciously:
1 Cit. I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did it to that end: though soft-conscienced men can be content to say, it was for his country, he did it to please his mother, and to be partly proud; which he is, even to the altitude of his virtue.
2 Cit. What he cannot help in his nature, you account a vice in him: You must in no way say, he is covetous.
1 Cit. If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations; he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition. [Shouts within] What shouts are these? The other side o'the city is risen: Why stay we prating here? to the Capitol.
Cit. Come, come.
Enter MENÉNIUS AGRIPPA. 2 Cit. Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that hath always loved the people.
1 Čit. He's one honest enough; 'Would all the rest were so! Men. What work's, my countrymen, in hand? Where
go you bats and ? The matter? Speak, I pray you. 1 Cit. Our business is not unknown to the senale;
they have had inkling, this fortnight, what we intend to do, which now we'll show 'em in deeds. They say, poor suitors have strong breaths; they shall know, we have strong arms too.
Men. Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest Will you undo yourselves?
[neighbours, 1 Cit. We cannot, sir, we are undone already.
Men. I tell you, friends, most charitable care
slander The helms o'the state, who care for you like fathers, When you curse them as enemies.
1 Cit. Care for us !—True, indeed !- They 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 up and restrain the poor. li the wars eat us not up, they will; and there's all the love they bear us.
Men. Either you must
1 Cit. Well, I'll hear it, sir: yet you must not think to fob off our disgrace with a tale: but, an't please
Men. There was a time, when all the body's members Rebell’d against the belly; thus accus'd it:
That only like a golf it did remain
1 Cit. Well, sir, what answer made the belly? Men. Sir; I shall tell yon.-With a kind of smile, Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus (For, look you, I may make the belly smile, As well as speak), it tauntingly 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..
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 Men.
What then? 'Fore me, this fellow speaks !—what then? what then?
1 Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be restrain’d, Who is the sink o'the body, Men.
Well, what then?
I will tell you;
1 Cit. You are long about it.
Note me this, good friends;