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Embarkments all of fury, shall lift up
Sol. Will not you go?
Auf. I am attended at the cypress grove, I pray you, ('Tis fouth 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.
Enter Menenius, with Sicinius and Brutus.
Bru. Good or bad ? Men. Not according to the prayer of the people, for they love not Marcius.
Sic. Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.
Men, Ay, to devour him, as the hangry Plebeians would the noble Marcius.
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 as you.
Both. Well, Sir;
Men. In what enormity is Marcius poor, that you two bave 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' th' right hand 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 Marcius 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 fingle; your abilities are too infant-like, for doing much alone. You talk of pride-oh, that you could turn your eyes towards the napes
your necks, and make but an interior survey of your good selves ! Oh that
could ! Bru. What then, Sir ?
Men. Why, then you should discover a brace of as un meriting, proud, violent, tefty magiftrates, alias fools, as 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; hafty and tinderlike, upon too trivial motion : one that converses more with the buttock of the night, than with the fore-head 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 Lycurgufes) if the drink
you give me touch my palate adverfly, 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 syllables ; and tho' ( 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? (11) what harm can your 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 foffetseller, 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
chance to be pinch'd with the cholick, you make faces like mummers, fet up the bloody flag against all patience, and, in roaring for a chamber-pot, dismiss the controversy 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
(11) What barm can your befom conspectuities glean out of this cbarafter, &c.) If the editors have form'd any construction to themSelves, of this epithet befom, that can be a propos to the sense of the context;---Davus fum, non Oedipus: it is too hard a riddle for me to expound. Menenius, 'tis plain, is abusing the tribunes, and bantering them ironically. By conspectuities he must mean, their fagacity, clearfightedness; and that they may not think he's complimenting them, he tacks an epithet to it, which quite undoes that character; i. e. bison, blind, bleer-ey'd. Skinner, in his Etymologicon, explains this word, cæcus; vox agro lincoln. usitatissima. Ray concurs, in his north and south country words. And our author gives us this term again in his Hamlet, where the sense exactly corresponds with this interpretation.
Run barefoot up and down, threatning the flames,
With bifon rheum. i. e. blinding. It is spoken of Hecuba, whose eyes o’erflow and are blinded, both with tears, and the rheums of age.
perfecter gyber for the table, than a necessary bencher in the capitol.
Men. Our very priests must become mockers, if they fall 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 so honourable a grave, as to stuff a botcher's cushion, or to be intomb'd in an ass's pack-saddle. Yet you must be saying, Marcius is proud; who, in a cheap estimation, (12) 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 herdímen of the beastly plebeians. I will be bold to take my leave of you.
[Brutus and Sicinius fand aside. As Menenius is going out, Enter Volumnia, Virgilia,
and Valeria. How now my (as fair as noble) Ladies, and the moon, were the earthly, no nobler; whither do you follow your eyes so fast ?
Vol. Honourable Menenius, my boy Marcius approaches; for the love of Juno, let's go.
Men. Ha! Marcius coming home?
Vol. Ay, worthy Menenius, and with most prosperous approbation.
Men. Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee hoo, Marcius coming home!
Both. Nay, 'tis true.
(12)---who, in a cheap estimation, is worth all your predecessors fince Deucalion, tho' peradventure, some of the best of ibem were hereditary hangmen.] I won't pretend to affirm, this is an imitation of the close of Juvenal's 8th satire; though it has very much the same caft, only exceeds it, I think, in humour, and poignancy of satire.
Et tamen ut longè repetas, longéque revolvas
another, his wife another, and, I think, there's one at home for you.
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't.
Men. A letter for me! it gives me an estate of seven years health ; in which time I will make a lip at the physician; the most sovereign prescription in Galen is but emperic, and to this preservative of no better report than a horse-drench. Is he not wounded ? he was wont to come home wounded.
Vir. Oh no, no, no.
Men. So do I too, if he be not too much; brings a'victory in his pocket? the wounds become him.
Vol. On's brows, Menenius; he comes the third time home with the oaken garland. : Men. Hath he disciplin'd Aufidius foundly?
Vol. Titus Lartius writes, they fought together, but Aufidius got off.
Men. And 'twas time for him too, I'll warrant him that: if he had staid by him, I would not have been fo fidius'd for all the chefts in Corioli, and the gold that's in them. Is the Senate poffeft of this?
Vol. Good Ladies, let's go. Yes, yes, yes: the Senate has letters from the General, wherein he gives my son the whole name of the war: he hath in this action out-done his former deeds doubly.
Val. In troth, there's wondrous things spoke of him.
Men. Wondrous! ay, I warrant you, and not without his true purchasing.
Vir. The gods grant them true!
Where is he wounded? god save your good worships ;-Marcius is coming home; he has more cause to be proud :where is he wounded ?
[To the Tribunes. Vol. I'th' shoulder, and i'th' left arm; there will be large cicatrices to thew the people, when he shall stand