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102

On like conditions will have counter-seal'd.
Come, enter with us. Ladies, you deserve
To have a temple built you: all the swords
In Italy, and her confederate arms,
Could not have made this peace.

SCENE IV.

Rome. A Public Place.

Enter MENENIUS and SICINIUS.

[Exeunt.

Men. See you yond' coign o' the Capitol; yond' cornerstenę? .

Sic. Why, what of that?

Men. If it be possible for you to displace it with your little finger, there is some hope the ladies of Rome, especially his mother, may prevail with him: but I say, there is no hope in 't. Our throats are sentenced, and stay upon execution.

Sic. Is 't possible, that so short a time can alter the condition of a man?

Men. There is differency between a grub, and a butterfly; yet your butterfly was a grub. This Marcius is grown from man to dragon: he has wings; he's more than a creeping thing.

Sic. He loved his mother dearly.

Men. So did he me; and he no more remembers his mother now, than an eight year old horse. The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes: when he walks, he moves like an engine, and the ground shrinks before his treading. He is able to pierce a corslet He sits with his eye; talks like a knell, and his hum is a battery. in his state, as a thing made for Alexander. What he bids be done, is finished with his bidding: he wants nothing of a god but eternity, and a heaven to throne in.

Sic. Yes, mercy, if you report him truly.

Men. I paint him in the character. Mark what mercy his mother shall bring from him: there is no more mercy in him, than there is milk in a male tiger; that shall our poor city find: and all this is 'long of you.

Sic. The gods be good unto us!

Men. No, in such a case the gods will not be good unto us. When we banished him, we respected not them; and, he returning to break our necks, they respect not us.

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. Sir, if you'd save your life, fly to your house.
The plebeians have got your fellow-tribune,

And hale him up and down; all swearing, if
The Roman ladies bring not comfort homé„°
They 'll give him death by inches.

Sic.

Enter another Messenger.

What's the news?

Mess. Good news, good news! - The ladies have prevail'd, The Volscians are dislodg'd, and Marcius gone.

A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins.

Sic.

Friend,

Art thou certain this is true? is it most certain?
Mess. As certain, as I know the sun is fire:
Where have you lurk'd, that you make doubt of it?
Ne'er through an arch so hurried the blown tide,

As the recomforted through the gates. Why, hark you!

[Trumpets and Hautboys sounded, and Drums beaten, all together. Shouting also within.

The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes,

Tabors, and cymbals, and the shouting Romans,
Make the sun dance. Hark you!

Men.

[Shouting again.

This is good news.

I will go meet the ladies. This Volumnia
Is worth of consuls, senators, patricians,
A city full; of tribunes, such as you,

A sea and land-full. You have pray'd well to-day:
This morning for ten thousand of your throats

I'd not have given a doit. Hark, how they joy!

[Shouting and Music.

Sic. First, the gods bless you for their tidings: next, Accept my thankfulness.

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Enter the Ladies, accompanied by Senators, Patricians, and People. They pass over the Stage.

1 Sen. Behold our patroness, the life of Rome! Call all your trikes together, praise the gods,

And make triumphant fires; strew flowers before them.
Unshout the noise that banish'd Marcius;

Repeal him with the welcome of his mother:

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Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, with Attendants.
Auf. Go tell the lords of the city, I am here.
Deliver them this paper: having read it,
Bid them repair to the market-place; where I,
Even in theirs' and in the commons' ears,
Will vouch the truth of it. Him I accuse,
The city ports by this hath enter'd, and
Intends t' appear before the people, hoping
To purge himself with words. Despatch.

[Exeunt Attendants.

Enter Three or Four Conspirators of AUFIDIUs' Faction. Most welcome!

Even so,

1 Con. How is it with our general?
Auf.
As with a man by his own alms empoison'd,
And with his charity slain.

2 Con.

Most noble Sir,

wherein

If you do hold the same intent,

You wish'd us parties, we'll deliver you

Of your great danger.
Auf.

Sir, I cannot tell:

We must proceed, as we do find the people.

3 Con. The people will remain uncertain, whilst 'Twixt you there 's difference; but the fall of either Makes the survivor heir of all.

Auf.

I know it; And my pretext to strike at him admits

A good construction. I rais'd him, and I pawn'd
Mine honour for his truth: who being so heighten'd,
He water'd his new plants with dews of flattery,
Seducing so my friends; and to this end,

He bow'd his nature, never known before
But to be rough, unswayable, and free.
Sir, his stoutness,

3 Con.

When he did stand for consul, which he lost
By lack of stooping, -

Auf.

That I would have spoke of.

Being banish'd for 't, he came unto my hearth;
Presented to my knife his throat: I took him;
Made him joint-servant with me; gave him way
In all his own desires; nay, let him choose
Out of my files, his projects to accomplish,
My best and freshest men; serv'd his designments
In mine own person; holp to reap the fame
Which he did end all his; and took some pride
To do myself this wrong: till, at the last,
I seem'd his follower, not partner; and
He waged me with his countenance, as if
I had been mercenary.

1 Con.

So he did, my lord;

The army marvell'd at it; and, in the last,
When he had carried Rome, and that we look'd
For no less spoil, than glory,-

Auf.

There was it;

For which my sinews shall be stretch'd upon him.
At a few drops of women's rheum, which are
As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labour
Of our great action: therefore shall he die,

And I'll renew me in his fall. But, hark!

[Drums and Trumpets sound, with great Shouts of the People.

1 Con. Your native town you enter'd like a post, And had no welcomes home; but he returns,

Splitting the air with noise.

2 Con.

And patient fools,

Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tear
With giving him glory.

3 Con.
Ere he express himself,
With what he would say,
Which we will second.

Therefore, at your vantage,
or move the people

let him feel your sword,
When he lies along,

After your way his tale pronounc'd shall bury

His reasons with his body.

Auf.

Here come the lords.

Say no more.

Enter the Lords of the City.

I have not deserv'd it.

Lords. You are most welcome home.
Auf.

But, worthy lords, have you with heed perus'd
What I have written to you?

Lords.

1 Lord.

We have.

And grieve to hear it.

What faults he made before the last, I think,
Might have found easy fines; but there to end,
Where he was to begin, and give away
The benefit of our levies, answering us
With our own charge, making a treaty where
There was a yielding; this admits no excuse.

Auf. He approaches: you shall hear him.

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