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    Act 5. Scene IV

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    Chapter 27
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    SCENE IV. Rome. A public place.

    Enter MENENIUS and SICINIUS
    MENENIUS
    See you yond coign o' the Capitol, yond
    corner-stone?

    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
    sentenced 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 loved 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 finished 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 banished him, we respected not them;
    and, he returning to break our necks, they respect not us.

    Enter a Messenger

    Messenger
    Sir, if you'ld 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 a second Messenger

    SICINIUS
    What's the news?

    Second Messenger
    Good news, good news; the ladies have prevail'd,
    The Volscians are dislodged, and Marcius gone:
    A merrier day did never yet greet Rome,
    No, not the expulsion of the Tarquins.

    SICINIUS
    Friend,
    Art thou certain this is true? is it 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 the gates. Why, hark you!

    Trumpets; hautboys; drums beat; all together

    The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries and fifes,
    Tabours 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!

    Music still, with 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?

    Second Messenger
    Almost at point to enter.

    SICINIUS
    We will meet them,
    And help the joy.

    Exeunt
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