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Rome. A public place.
A public place in Rome.
Enter MENENIUS and SICINIUS
MENENIUS and SICINIUS enter.


MENENIUS
See you yond coign o’ the Capitol, yond
corner-stone?
MENENIUS
Do you see, beyond the corner of the capitol, beyond the cornerstone?

SICINIUS
Why, what of that?
SICINIUS
What is that?


5


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.
MENENIUS
If you can block it with your little finger, there is some hope that the ladies of Rome, especially his mother, might prevail with him. But I don’t think there is any hope. Our fate is sealed. Our throats wait to be slit.


10
SICINIUS
Is’t possible that so short a time can alter the
condition of a man!
SICINIUS
Is it possible that a man can change so much in so short a time?




MENENIUS
There is differency between a grub and a butterfly;
yet your butterfly was a grub. This Martius is grown
from man to dragon: he has wings; he’s more than a
creeping thing.
MENENIUS
There’s a difference between a caterpillar and a butterfly, but butterflies were once caterpillars. This Martius has grown from man to dragon: he has wings—he’s more than a creeping thing.

15
SICINIUS
He loved his mother dearly.
SICINIUS
He loved his mother dearly.





20




25
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.
MENENIUS
He also loved me. He won’t remember his mother any more than an eight-year-old horse would. The tartness of his face makes ripe grapes go sour. When he walks, he moves like a war machine, and the ground sinks beneath his feet. He’s able to pierce armor with his eye, he talks like a death knell, and his voice itself is an assault. He sits on his throne, looking like a statue of Alexander the Great. His orders are carried out as soon as he gives them. All that he lacks to be a god is immortality and a heaven to rule.