Ah, Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead.—
Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you—
My gracious lord, no tribune hears you speak.
Why, ’tis no matter, man. If they did hear,
They would not mark me; if they did mark,
They would not pity me. Yet plead I must,
And bootless unto them.
Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones,
Who, though they cannot answer my distress,
Yet in some sort they are better than the Tribunes,
For that they will not intercept my tale.
When I do weep, they humbly at my feet
Receive my tears and seem to weep with me,
And were they but attirèd in grave weeds,
Rome could afford no tribunes like to these.
A stone is soft as wax, tribunes more hard than stones;
A stone is silent and offendeth not,
And tribunes with their tongues doom men to death.