2 Cit. Care for vs? True indeed, they nere car'd for vs yet. Suffer vs to famish, and their Store-houses cramm'd with Graine: Make Edicts for Vsurie, to support Vsurers; repeale daily any wholsome Act established against the rich, and prouide more piercing Statutes daily, to chaine vp and restraine the poore. If the Warres eate vs not vppe, they will; and there's all the loue they beare vs

Menen. Either you must Confesse your selues wondrous Malicious, Or be accus'd of Folly. I shall tell you A pretty Tale, it may be you haue heard it, But since it serues my purpose, I will venture To scale't a little more

2 Citizen. Well, Ile heare it Sir: yet you must not thinke To fobbe off our disgrace with a tale: But and't please you deliuer

Men. There was a time, when all the bodies members Rebell'd against the Belly; thus accus'd it: That onely like a Gulfe it did remaine I'th midd'st a th' body, idle and vnactiue, Still cubbording the Viand, neuer bearing Like labour with the rest, where th' other Instruments Did see, and heare, deuise, instruct, walke, feele, And mutually participate, did minister Vnto the appetite; and affection common Of the whole body, the Belly answer'd

2.Cit. Well sir, what answer made the Belly

Men. Sir, I shall tell you with a kinde of Smile, Which ne're came from the Lungs, but euen thus: For looke you I may make the belly Smile, As well as speake, it taintingly replyed To'th' discontented Members, the mutinous parts That enuied his receite: euen so most fitly, As you maligne our Senators, for that They are not such as you

2.Cit. Your Bellies answer: What The Kingly crown'd head, the vigilant eye, The Counsailor Heart, the Arme our Souldier, Our Steed the Legge, the Tongue our Trumpeter, With other Muniments and petty helpes In this our Fabricke, if that they- Men. What then? Fore me, this Fellow speakes. What then? What then? 2.Cit. Should by the Cormorant belly be restrain'd, Who is the sinke a th' body

Men. Well, what then? 2.Cit. The former Agents, if they did complaine, What could the Belly answer? Men. I will tell you, If you'l bestow a small (of what you haue little) Patience awhile; you'st heare the Bellies answer

2.Cit. Y'are long about it

Men. Note me this good Friend; Your most graue Belly was deliberate, Not rash like his Accusers, and thus answered. True is it my Incorporate Friends (quoth he) That I receiue the generall Food at first Which you do liue vpon: 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 Riuers of your blood Euen to the Court, the Heart, to th' seate o'th' Braine, And through the Crankes and Offices of man, The strongest Nerues, and small inferiour Veines From me receiue that naturall competencie Whereby they liue. And though that all at once (You my good Friends, this sayes the Belly) marke me

2.Cit. I sir, well, well

Men. Though all at once, cannot See what I do deliuer out to each, Yet I can make my Awdit vp, that all From me do backe receiue the Flowre of all, And leaue me but the Bran. What say you too'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 Counsailes, and their Cares; disgest things rightly, Touching the Weale a'th Common, you shall finde No publique benefit which you receiue But it proceeds, or comes from them to you, And no way from your selues. What do you thinke? 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 most wise Rebellion, thou goest formost: Thou Rascall, that art worst in blood to run, Lead'st first to win some vantage. But make you ready your stiffe bats and clubs, Rome, and her Rats, are at the point of battell, The one side must haue baile. Enter Caius Martius.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book
A Yorkshire Tragedy
The Tragedie of Romeo and Juliet
The Lamentable Tragedy of Locrine
The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra
The Tragedie of Coriolanus
The Tragedie of Cymbeline
The Tragedie of Hamlet
The Tragedie of Julius Caesar
The Tragedie of King Lear
The Tragedie of Macbeth
The Tragedie of Othello
The Tragedie of Richard the Third
The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus