The belly and its members. The fable of Menenius Agrippa to the Roman people when they seceded to the Sacred Mount: “Once on a time the members refused to work for the lazy belly; but, as the supply of food was thus stopped, they found there was a necessary and mutual dependence between them.” Shakespeare introduces the fable in his Coriolanus, i. 1.
“And now, Dame Peveril, to dinner, to dinner. The old fox must have
his belly-timber, though the hounds have been after him the whole
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894