Actus Secundus.

Enter Menenius with the two Tribunes of the people, Sicinius & Brutus.

Men. The Agurer tels me, wee shall haue Newes to night

Bru. Good or bad? Men. Not according to the prayer of the people, for they loue not Martius

Sicin. Nature teaches Beasts to know their Friends

Men. Pray you, who does the Wolfe loue? Sicin. The Lambe

Men. I, to deuour him, as the hungry Plebeians would the Noble Martius

Bru. He's a Lambe indeed, that baes like a Beare

Men. Hee's a Beare indeede, that liues like a Lambe. You two are old men, tell me one thing that I shall aske you

Both. Well sir

Men. In what enormity is Martius poore in, that you two haue not in abundance? Bru. He's poore in no one fault, but stor'd withall

Sicin. Especially in Pride

Bru. And topping all others in boasting

Men. This is strange now: Do you two know, how you are censured heere in the City, I mean of vs a'th' right hand File, do you? Both. Why? how are we censur'd? Men. Because you talke of Pride now, will you not be angry

Both. Well, well sir, well

Men. Why 'tis no great matter: for a very little theefe of Occasion, will rob you of a great deale of Patience: Giue your dispositions the reines, and bee 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

Brut. We do it not alone, sir

Men. I know you can doe very little alone, for your helpes are many, or else your actions would growe wondrous single: your abilities are to Infant-like, for dooing much alone. You talke of Pride: Oh, that you could turn your eyes toward the Napes of your neckes, and make but an Interiour suruey of your good selues. Oh that you could

Both. What then sir? Men. Why then you should discouer a brace of vnmeriting, proud, violent, testie Magistrates (alias Fooles) as any in Rome

Sicin. Menenius, you are knowne well enough too

Men. I am knowne to be a humorous Patritian, and one that loues a cup of hot Wine, with not a drop of alaying Tiber in't: Said, to be something imperfect in fauouring the first complaint, hasty and Tinder-like vppon, to triuiall motion: One, that conuerses more with the Buttocke of the night, then with the forhead of the morning. What I think, I vtter, and spend my malice in my breath. Meeting two such Weales men as you are (I cannot call you Licurgusses,) if the drinke you giue me, touch my Palat aduersly, I make a crooked face at it, I can say, your Worshippes haue deliuer'd the matter well, when I finde the Asse in compound, with the Maior part of your syllables. And though I must be content to beare with those, that say you are reuerend graue men, yet they lye deadly, that tell you haue good faces, if you see this in the Map of my Microcosme, followes it that I am knowne well enough too? What harme can your beesome Conspectuities gleane out of this Charracter, if I be knowne well enough too

Bru. Come sir come, we know you well enough

Menen. You know neither mee, your selues, nor any thing: you are ambitious, for poore knaues cappes and legges: you weare out a good wholesome Forenoone, in hearing a cause betweene an Orendge wife, and a Forfetseller, and then reiourne the Controuersie of three-pence to a second day of Audience. When you are hearing a matter betweene party and party, if you chaunce to bee pinch'd with the Collike, you make faces like Mummers, set vp the bloodie Flagge against all Patience, and in roaring for a Chamber-pot, dismisse the Controuersie bleeding, the more intangled by your hearing: All the peace you make in their Cause, is calling both the parties Knaues. You are a payre of strange ones

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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