Enter MENENIUS and SICINIUS
MENENIUS. See you yond coign o' th' Capitol, yond cornerstone?
SICINIUS. Why, what of that?
MENENIUS. 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 sentenc'd, and stay upon execution.
SICINIUS. Is't possible that so short a time can alter the
condition of a man?
MENENIUS. 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.
SICINIUS. He lov'd his mother dearly.
MENENIUS. 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 with
his eye, talks like a knell, and his hum is a battery. He sits in
his state as a thing made for Alexander. What he bids be done is
finish'd with his bidding. He wants nothing of a god but
eternity, and a heaven to throne in.
SICINIUS. Yes- mercy, if you report him truly.
MENENIUS. 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.
SICINIUS. The gods be good unto us!
MENENIUS. No, in such a case the gods will not be good unto us.
When we banish'd him we respected not them; and, he returning to
break our necks, they respect not us.
Enter a MESSENGER
MESSENGER. 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 home
They'll give him death by inches.
Enter another MESSENGER
SICINIUS. What's the news?
SECOND MESSENGER. 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 th' expulsion of the Tarquins.
Art thou certain this is true? Is't most certain?
SECOND MESSENGER. 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 th' gates. Why, hark you!
[Trumpets, hautboys, drums beat, all together]
The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes,
Tabors and cymbals, and the shouting Romans,
Make the sun dance. Hark you! [A shout within]
MENENIUS. 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!
[Sound still with the shouts]
SICINIUS. First, the gods bless you for your tidings; next,
Accept my thankfulness.
SECOND MESSENGER. Sir, we have all
Great cause to give great thanks.
SICINIUS. They are near the city?
MESSENGER. Almost at point to enter.
SICINIUS. We'll meet them,
And help the joy. Exeunt
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