No Fear Act 2 Scene 1
No Fear Act 2 Scene 1 Page 3

Original Text

Modern Text

BRUTUS

Come, sir, come, we know you well enough.

BRUTUS

That’s enough, sir. We know your reputation well.

MENENIUS

65You know neither me, yourselves nor any thing. You
are ambitious for poor knaves’ caps and legs: you
wear out a good wholesome forenoon in hearing a
cause between an orange wife and a fosset-seller;
and then rejourn the controversy of three pence to a
70second day of audience. When you are hearing a
matter between party and party, if you chance to be
pinched with the colic, you make faces like
mummers; set up the bloody flag against all
patience; and, in roaring for a chamber-pot,
75dismiss the controversy bleeding the more entangled
by your hearing: all the peace you make in their
cause is, calling both the parties knaves. You are
a pair of strange ones.

MENENIUS

You don’t know anything about me, or about yourselves. Your ambition is to have poor citizens take off their hats and bow down to you. You’ll waste a whole morning listening to a dispute over three pence between an orange vendor and a wine tap seller and then postpone settling the issue until the next day. When you’re hearing a matter between two parties, if you’re feeling the tiniest bit sick, you become very dramatic: you violently refuse to be patient and, demanding a chamber pot, dismiss the controversy, leaving it even more entangled as a result of your hearing it. The only justice you show is in calling both parties scoundrels. You’re a pair of strange men.

BRUTUS

Come, come, you are well understood to be a
80perfecter giber for the table than a necessary
bencher in the Capitol.

BRUTUS

Come, come. You’re well known to be a better dinner-table conversationalist than a serious judge.

MENENIUS

Our very priests must become mockers, if they shall
encounter such ridiculous subjects as you are. When
you speak best unto the purpose, it is not worth the
85wagging of your beards; and your beards deserve not
so honourable a grave as to stuff a botcher’s
cushion, or to be entombed in an ass’s pack-
saddle. Yet you must be saying, Martius is proud;
who in a cheap estimation, is worth predecessors
90since Deucalion, though peradventure some of the
best of ’em were hereditary hangmen. God-den to
your worships: more of your conversation would
infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly
plebeians: I will be bold to take my leave of you.

MENENIUS

Even our priests would become mockers if they encountered anyone as ridiculous as you. When you stay on topic, what you say isn’t worth the wagging of your beards. And your beards don’t even deserve the honorable burial of being stuffed in a seamstress’s cushion or being entombed in the pack saddle of a donkey. You say Martius is proud, but even guessing conservatively, he’s worth all your predecessors since Deucalion, who survived the flood, even though some of them may have been hangmen. Good evening to you both. To keep talking with you would infect my brain, since you are the herdsmen of the beastly common people. I must go.