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Speak, I pray
With bats and clubs? the matter
2 Cit. Our bufinefs is not unknown to the Senate; they have had inkling, this fortnight, what we intend to do, which now we'll fhew 'em in deeds: they fay, poor Suiters have strong breaths; they shall know, we have ftrong arms too.
Men. Why, Mafters, my good Friends, mine honest Neighbours, Will you undo your
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 fufferings in this Dearth, you may as well Strike at the Heaven with your ftaves, as lift them 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) muft help. Alack, You are tranfported by Calamity Thither, where more attends you; and you flander The Helms o'th' State, who care for you, like Fa
When you curfe them as Enemies.
2 Cit. Care for us! true, indeed!- they ne'er car'd for us yet. Suffer us to famish, and their Storehouses cramm'd with Grain: make Edicts for Ufury, to fupport Ufurers; repeal daily any wholefome A& established against the Rich, and provide more piercing Statutes daily to chain up and reftrain the Poor. If the Wars eat us not up, they will; and there's all the love they bear us.
Men. Either you must
Confefs your felves wond'rous malicious,
(1) To ftale't a little more.
I'll hear it, Sir yet you must not think
Men. There was a time, when all the body's members
(1) To fcale't a little more.] Thus all the Editions, but without any Manner of Senfe, that I can find out. The Poet must have wrote, as £ 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 over "again." And nothing is more common than the Verb in this Sense, with our three Capital Dramatic Poets. To begin, with our own Author. Anth. and Cleop.
Age cannot wither her, nor Custom stale
Were I a common Laugher, or did ufe
Which out of Ufe, and staled by other Men,
So B. Jonfon, in his Every Man in his Humour.
and not content
To ftale himself in all Societies,
He makes my House here common as a Mart.. Cynthia's Revels.
I'll go tell all the Argument of his Play aforehand, and fo ftale his Invention to the Auditory, before it come forth. And fo Beaumont and Fletcher, in their Beggar's Bufb.
But I foould lofe my felf to speak him further,
I'll not ftale 'em,
By giving up their Characters; but leave You
Wit at feveral Weapons.
You shall not be feen yet, we'll ftale your Friend firft,
Did fee, and hear, devife, inftruct, walk, feel,
2 Cit. Well, Sir, what anfwer made the belly?
Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus-
To th' difcontented Members, th' mutinous Parts,
2 Cit. Your belly's anfwer-what!
Men. What then?-'Fore me, this fellow speaks. What then? what then?
2 Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be reftrain'd, Who is the Sink o'th' body,
Men. 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 beftow a fmall (of what you have little)
Men. Note me this, good Friend;
(2) Sir, I shall tell you with a kind of Smile,
Which ne'er came from the Lungs,] Thus all the Editors, moft ftupidly, hitherto; as if Menenius were to fmile in telling his Story, tho' the Lines, which immediately follow, make it evident that the Belly was meant to smile.
That I receive the general food at first,
Men. Though all at once cannot
See what I do deliver out to each,
Yet I can make my audit up, that all
2 Cit. I the great toe! why, the great toe?
Men. For that, being one o'th' lowest, baseft, pooreft, Of this most wife Rebellion, thou goeft formoft: Thou rafcal, that are worst in blood to run, Lead'At first, to win fome vantage.But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs, Rome and her rats are at the point of battel: (3) The one fide muft have Bale.
(3) The one Side must have Bail.] It must be the vanquifht Side, fure, that could want it; and who were likely to be their Bail? But it is endlefs to queftion with Negligence and Stupidity. The Poet, undoubtedly wrote, as I have restor'd;
The one Side must have Bale.
i. c. Sorrow, Misfortune, must have the worst of it, be difcomfited. I
Enter Caius Marcius.
Hail, noble Marcius!
Mar. Thanks. What's the matter, you diffentious rogues,
itch of your opinion,
That, rubbing the poor
2 Cit. We have ever your good word.
Mar. He, that will give good words to thee, will flatter
Beneath abhorring. What would you have, ye Curs,
have reftor'd this Word in fome other Paffages of our Author; and we meet with it in a Play, attributed to him, call'd Locrine:
Yea, with thefe Eyes thou haft feen her, and therefore pull them aut, for they will work thy Bale.
Mr. Rowe, indeed, in his Editions of our Poet, has erroneously printed Bail too in this Paffage; but in the old Quarto which I have of Locrine, printed in 1595, we find the Word fpelt as it ought. And it was a Term familiar both with Authors prior in Time, and Contemporaries with Shakespeare.
and eke her Fingirs long and fmale
Chaucer's Troil. and Crefeide. Book IV. verse 738.
Said He, what have I Wretch deferv'd, that thus
Thus greatest Blifs is prone to greatest Bale.
First Chorus of Hercules Oetæus from Seneca; printed in 1581. And leaft my Foe, falfe Promos here,
Do interrupt my Tale;
Grant, gracious King, that, uncontroul'd,
I may report my Bale.
Promos and Caffandra, (a Play,) printed in 1578.