Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

inventory to particularize their abundance ; our fufferance 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 thirit for revenge.

2 Cit. Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius?

All. Againft him first: he's a very dog to the commonalty.

2 Cit. Consider you, what service he has done for his country?

i Cit. Very well; and could be content to give him good report for’t; but that he pays himself with being proud.

All. Nay, but speak not maliciously.

i Cit. I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did it to that end ; though soft-conscienc'd men can be content to fay, 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.

i 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 those ? the other fide o'ch city is risen ; why ftay we prating here? To the capitol. —

All. Come, come.
I Cit. Soft-who comes here?

Enter Menenius Agrippa. 2 Cit. Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that hath always lov'd the people.

i Cit. He's one honest enough ; 'would, all the rest

were fo!

Men. What work's, my countrymen, in hand ? where

go you With båts and clubs ? the matter--Speak, I pray you.

2 Cit. Our business is not unknown to the Senate ; they have had inkling, this fortnight, what we intend

to

to do, which now we'll shew 'em in deeds: they say, poor fuitors have strong breaths; they fhall know, we have strong arms too. Men. Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest

neighbours, Will you undo yourselves ?

2 Cit. 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 thêm:
Against the Roman State ; whose course will on
The
way

it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs
Of more strong links afunder, 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

you flander The helms o'th' ftate, who care for you, like fathers, When

you

curse them as enemies. 2 Cit. Care for us!-true, indeed !--they ne'er car'd for us yet. Suffer us to famish, and their store-houses. cramm'd with grain: make ediêts for ofury, to support usurers ; repeal daily any wholesome act established against the rich, and provide more piercing itatutes 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 you 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
(1) To Itale’t a litile more.

2 Cits (1) To scale't a little more.] Thug all the editions, but without manner of fense, that I can find out. The poet must have wrote, as I have corrected the text : and then the meaning will be plainly this. “ Perhaps, you may have heard my tale already, but for all that, " I'll venture to make it more ftale and familiar to you, by telling it

any

66 over

2 Cit. Well,
I'll hear it, Sir-yet you must not think
To fob off our disgraces with a tale :
But, and't please you, deliver.

Mer. There was a time, when all the body's members
Rebell'd against the belly; thus accus'd it ;-
That only, like a gulf, it did remain
V th' midit o' th’ body, idle and unactive,
Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing,
Like labour with the rest ; where th’ other inftruments
Did see, and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
And mutually participate, did minifter,
Unto the appetite, and affection common
Of the whole body. The belly answer'd

« over again.” And nothing is more common than the verb in this fenfe, with our three capital Dramatic poets. To begins with our ow? author.. Antb. and Cleop.

Age cannot wither her, nor custom ftale

Her infinite variety. Jul. Cas.

Were I a common laugher, or did use

To fale with ordinary oaths my love, & Co. And, again,

and imitations,
Which out of use, and fàled by other men,

Begin his fashion.
So B. Jobnfon, in his Every Man in his Humour,

and not content
To fale himself in al societies,

He makes:my house here common as a mart.. Cyntbia's Revels.

I'll go tell all the argument of his play aforehand, and so falk his. invention to the auditory, before it come forth. And so Beaumont and Fletcher, in their Beggar's Bufho

But I should lose myself to speak him further,
And fale, in my relation, the much good

You may be witness of.,
Queen of Corintb.

I'll not fale 'em,
By giving up their characters; but leave you

To make your own discov'ries.
Wit at several weapons.

You shall not be seen yet, we'll ftale your friend first;
So please. but him to Itand for th' anti-mask,

2: Cits

2 Git. Well, Sir, what answer made the belly?

Men. (2) Sir, I shall tell you.-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 reply'd
To th' discontented members, th' mutinous parts,
That envied his receipt; even so most fitly,
As you malign our fenators, for that
They are not such as you-

2 Cit. Your belly's answer-what!
The kingly crowned head, the vigilant eye,
The counsellor heart, the arm our foldier,
Our fteed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter ;-
With other muniments and petty helps
In this our fabrick, if that they-

Men. What then ?-Fore me, this fellow speaks.
What then? what then?

2 Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be restrain'den Who is the link o' th’ body,

Mer. 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 ;.
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,
Which

you.
do live
upon;

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 rivers of your blood,
(2) Sir, I mall tell you with a kind of smile,

Which ne'er came from tbe lungs,] Thus all the editors, molt Aupidly, hitherto; as if Menenius were to smile in telling his story, tho' the lines, which immediately follow, make it evident that the belly was meant to smile,

Even to the court, the heart; to th' feat o' th' brain;
And, through the cranks and offices of man,
The strongest nerves, and small inferior veins,
From me receive that natural competency,
Whereby they live. And though that all at once,
You, my good friends, (this says the belly), mark me

2 Cit. Ay, Sir, well, well.

Men. 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 flow'r of all,
And leave me but the bran.' What say you to't ?

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 publick benefit, which you receive, But it proceeds, or comes, from them to you,

from yourselves. What do you think? You, the great toe of this assembly!

2 Cit. I the great toe! why, the great toe?

Men. For that, being one o' th’lowest, basest, poorest, Of this moft wise rebellion, thou goeft foremost: Thou rascal, that are worst in blood to run, Lead'st first, to win some vantage.But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs, Rome and her rats are at the point of battle : (3) The one fide must have bale.

Enter (3) The one side must have bail.] It must be the vanquisht fide, fure, that could want it; and who were likely to be their bail but it is endless to question with negligence and stupidity. The poet, undoubtedly wrote, as I have restor’d;

The one side must have bale. i. e. Sorrow, misfortune, must have the worst of it, be discomfited. I have restor'd this word in fome other passages of our author ; and | we meet with it in a play, attributed to him, callid Locrine:

-Yea, with these eyes thou hast seen her, and therefore pull them out, for they will work thy bale. Mr. Rowe, indeed, in his editions of our pret, has erroneously printed bail too in this passage ; but in the old quarto which I have of Locrini,

printed

And no way

« ZurückWeiter »