E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
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.
The belly has no ears. A hungry man will not listen to advice or arguments. The Romans had the same proverb, Venter non habet aures; and in French, Ventre affamé na point doreilles.