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Com. Take't, 'tis yours : what is't?
Mar. I sometime lay here in Corioli,
Com. O well begg'd!
Lar. Martius, his name?
Mar. By Jupiter, forgot :
Com. Go we to our tent;
The Camp of the Volsci. A flourish. Cornets. Enter Tullus Aufidius bloody, with
two or three Soldiers. Auf. THE town is ta’en.
Sol.'Twill be deliver'd back on good condition. Auf. Condition? I would I were a Roman, for I cannot, Being a Volscian, be that I am. Condition ? What good condition can a treaty find I'th' part that is at mercy ? Five times, Martius, I have fought with thee, so often hast thou beat me: And would'st do so, I think, should we encounter As often as we eat. By th' elements, If e'er again I meet him beard to beard, He's mine, or I am his: mine emulation
Hath not that honour in't it had; for where
Sol. He's the devil.
Auf. Bolder, though not so subtle: my valour (poison'd With only suffering stain by him) for him Shall fie out of it self: not sleep, nor sanctuary, Being naked, sick, nor fane, nor Capitol, The prayers of priests, nor times of facrifice, • Embankments all of fury, shall lift up Their rotten privilege and custom ’gainst My hate to Martius. Where I find him, were it At home, upon my brother's guard, even there, Against the hospitable canon, would I Wash my fierce hand in's heart. Go you to th' city, Learn how 'tis held, and what they are that must Be hostages for Rome.
Sol. Will not you go?
Auf. I am attended at the cypress grove. I 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. Sol. I shall, Sir.
R O M E.
Enter Menenius with Sicinius and Brutus.
MEN ENIU S.
Bru. Good or bad?
Men. Not according to the prayer of the people, for they love not Martius,
Sic. Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.
Men. Ay, to devour him, as the hungry Plebeians would the noble Martius.
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 Martius poor, that you two have not in abundance?
Bru. He's poor in no one fault, but stor'd with all.
Men. This is strange now! do you two know how you are censur’d here in the city, I mean of us o'ch' righthand file, do you?
Bru. Why-how are we censur'd ?
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 Martius 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 on that you could turn your eyes towards the napes of your necks, and make but an interior survey of your good selves! Oh that
Bru. What then, Sir?
Men. Why then you should discover a brace of as une meriting, proud, violent, tefty magistrates, alias fools, 25 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 weals-men as you are (I cannot call you Lycurgusses) if the drink you give me touch my palate adversely, I make a crooked face at it. I can't say, your Worships have deliver'd the matter well, when I find the ass in compound with the major part of your fyllables ; and tho' 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 2 'biffon conspectuities glean out of this character, if I be known well enough too?
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 orange-wife and a foffet-seller, and then adjourn a controversy of three-pence to a second day of audience. When you are hearing a matter between party and party, if you chance to be pinch'd with the cholick, you make faces like mummers, set up the bloody flag against all patience, and in roaring for a chamber-pot, dismiss the controversie bleeding, the more intangled 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 gyber for the table, than a neceflary bencher in the Capitol. Men. Our very priests must become mockers, if they
Thail 2 besom ... old edit. Warb. emend.
fhall 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 to honourable a grave as to stuff a botcher's cushion, or to be intomb'd in an ass's pack-faddle. Yet you must be faying, Martius is proud; who in a cheap estimation, is worth all your predecessors since Deucalion, though peradventure some of the best of them were hereditary hangmen. Good-e'en to your Worships; more of your conversation would infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly Plebeians. I will be bold to take my leave of you.
[Exeunt Brutus and Sicinius.
eyes so fast?
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
Vd. Honourable Menenius, my boy Martius ap: proaches ; for the love of Juno let's go.
Men. Ha! Martius coming home?
Vol. Ay, worthy Menenius, and with most prosperous approbation.
Men. Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee-hoo, Martius coming home!
Both. 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
Men. I will make my very house reel to-night: A letter for me!
Vir. Yes, certain, there's a letter for you, I saw'r.
Men. A letter for me! it gives me an estate of seven years health ; in which time I will make a lip at the phyfician: the most sovereign prescription in Galen is but Emperic, and to this preservative of no better report than