Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mar. Why dost thou laugh ? it fits not with this hour.

Tit. Why, I have not another tear to shed :
Besides, this sorrow is an enemy,
And would usurp upon my watery eyes,
And make them blind with tributary tears ;
Then, which way shall I find revenge's cave?
For these two heads do seem to speak to me,
And threat me, I shall never come to bliss,
Till all these mischiefs be return'd again,
Even in their throats that have committed them.
Come, let me see what task I have to do.-
You heavy people, circle me about,
That I may turn me to each one of you,
And swear unto my soul to right your wrongs.-
The vow is made.-Come, brother, take a head;
And in this hand the other will I bear. -
Lavinia, thou shalt be employed in these things';
Bear thou my hand, sweet wench, between thy teeth.-
As for thee, boy, go, get thee from my sight:
Thou art an exile, and thou must not stay.
Hie to the Goths, and raise an army there;
And, if you love me, as I think you do?,
Let's kiss and part, for we have much to do.

[Exeunt TITUS, MARCUS, and LAVINIA.
Luc. Farewell, Andronicus, my noble father;
The woeful'st man that ever liv'd in Rome.
Farewell, proud Rome: till Lucius come again,
He leaves his pledges dearer than his life.
Farewell, Lavinia, my noble sister;

Lavinia, thou shalt be employed in these things;] So the folio, 1623; but we omit “And," there found at the commencement of the line, on the authority of the folio, 1632. The two 4tos. have arms for “ things :” “ things" is certainly a poor word; but if we read “arms" aims (as proposed by the Rev. Mr. Dyce), we gain little or nothing by the change: the measure is still wofully bad. We have no authority for it, but we might restore " And” from the folio, 1623, and, leaving out “ Lavinia,” read thus :

" And thou shalt be employed in these things." ? And, if you love me, as I think you do,] The old corrector of the fo. 1632, tells us to read,

“And, if you love me, as I think 'tis true," in order that it may rhyme with the next line,

“Let's kiss and part, for we have much to do;" but, even if a rhyme were required, it not very unfrequently happens, in poems of that date, that the same word is made its own rhyme. Therefore, if for no other reason, we decline to make a change.

3 He LEAVES, &c.] All the old copies, " He loves :" corrected by Rowe.

Oh, would thou wert as thou 'tofore hast been!
But now nor Lucius, nor Lavinia lives,
But in oblivion, and hateful griefs.
If Lucius live, he will requite your wrongs,
And make proud Saturnine and his empress
Beg at the gates, like Tarquin and his queen.
Now will I to the Goths, and raise a power,
To be reveng'd on Rome and Saturnine.

[Exit.

SCENE II.

A Room in Titus's House. A Banquet set out.

Enter Titus, MARCUS, LAVINIA, and young LUCIUS, a Boy.

Tit. So, so, now sit; and look, you eat no more Than will preserve just so much strength in us As will revenge these bitter woes of our's.Marcus, unknit that sorrow-wreathen knot: Thy niece and I, poor creatures, want our hands, And cannot passionate our tenfold grief With folded arms. This poor right hand of mine Is left to tyrannize upon my breast; And when my heart', all mad with misery, Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh, Then, thus I thump it down.Thou map of woe, that thus dost talk in signs, [TO LAVINIA. When thy poor heart beats with outrageous beating, Thou canst not strike it thus to make it still. Wound it with sighing, girl, kill it with groans ; Or get some little knife between thy teeth, And just against thy heart make thou a hole, That all the tears that thy poor eyes let fall, May run into that sink, and soaking in, Drown the lamenting fool in sea-salt tears.

* Scene ii.] This scene is not found in the impressions of 1600 or 1611. IL was, probably, not an omission in the 4tos, but a subsequent addition in the folio . it may have been by a different hand on some revival. The portion of it from the stage-direction * Marcus strikes the dish with a knife," down to the line, " That comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor,” is struck out in the corr. fo. 1632: perhaps it was the practice of the stage to omit it.

5 And when my heart, &c.] The reading till the time of Rowe was "Who when my heart."

Mar. Fie, brother, fie! teach her not thus to lay
Such violent hands upon her tender life.

Tit. How now! has sorrow made thee dote already ?
Why, Marcus, no man should be mad but I.
What violent hands can she lay on her life?
Ah! wherefore dost thou urge the name of hands?
To bid Æneas tell the tale twice o'er,
How Troy was burnt, and he made miserable ?
Oh! handle not the theme, to talk of hands,
Lest we remember still, that we have none.
Fie, fie ! how franticly I square my talk!
As if we should forget we had no hands,
If Marcus did not name the word of hands.—
Come, let's fall to; 'and, gentle girl, eat this.-
Here is no drink. Hark, Marcus, what she says;
I can interpret all her martyr'd signs :
She says, she drinks no other drink but tears,
Brew'd with her sorrow, mesh'd upon her cheeks.—
Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought;
In thy dumb action will I be as perfect,
As begging hermits in their holy prayers :
Thou shalt not sigh, nor hold thy stumps to heaven,
Nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a sign,
But I of these will wrest an alphabet,
And by still practice learn to know thy meaning.

Boy. Good grandsire, leave these bitter deep laments :
Make my aunt merry with some pleasing tale.

Mar. Alas! the tender boy, in passion mov'd, Doth weep to see his grandsire's heaviness.

Tit. Peace, tender sapling : thou art made of tears, And tears will quickly melt thy life away.

[MARCUS strikes the dish with a knife. What dost thou strike at, Marcus, with thy knife?

Mar. At that that I have kill'd, my lord-a fly.

Tit. Out on thee, murderer! thou kill'st my heart;
Mine eyes are cloy'd with view of tyranny:
A deed of death, done on the innocent,
Becomes not Titus' brother. Get thee gone;
I see, thou art not for my company.

Mar. Alas! my lord, I have but kill'd a fly. 0 — with the knife ?] “Thy” is obtained from the second folio: the first folio omits it. In the next line but two, “are" is also wanting in the first, but in no other folio.

Tit. But how, if that fly had a father and mother,
How would he hang his slender gilded wings,
And buz lamenting doings in the air ?
Poor harmless fly!
That with his pretty buzzing melody,
Came here to make us merry; and thou hast kill'd him.

Mar. Pardon me, sir: it was a black ill-favour'd fly,
Like to the empress' Moor; therefore, I kill'd him.

Tit. Oh, oh, oh!
Then pardon me for reprehending thee,
For thou hast done a charitable deed.
Give me thy knife, I will insult on him;
Flattering myself, as if it were the Moor
Come hither purposely to poison me.-
There's for thyself, and that's for Tamora. Ah, sirrah !-
Yet I think we are not brought so low,
But that between us we can kill a fly,
That comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor.

Mar. Alas, poor man! grief has so wrought on him,
He takes false shadows for true substances.

Tit. Come, take away'.—Lavinia, go with me: I'll to thy closet; and go read with thee Sad stories, chanced in the times of old.Come, boy, and go with me: thy sight is young, And thou shalt read, when mine begins to dazzle. [Exeunt.

ACT IV. SCENE I.

The Same. Before TITUS's House.

Enter Titus and MARCUS. Then enter young LUCIUS, LAVINIA

running after him.
Boy. Help, grandsire, help! my aunt Lavinia
Follows me every where, I know not why.-
Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes !
Alas! sweet aunt, I know not what you mean.

7 Tit. Come, take away.] In the folio of the Earl of Ellesmere, this speech has no prefix; but the conjunction "And” for And. was mistakenly put before “Come.” This error is corrected in the Duke of Devonshire's folio.

Mar. Stand by me, Lucius : do not fear thine aunt.
Tit. She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.
Boy. Ay, when my father was in Rome, she did.
Mar. What means my niece Lavinia by these signs?

Tit. Fear her not, Lucius -somewhat doth she mean.
See, Lucius, see, how much she makes of thee :
Somewhither would she have thee go with her.
Ah, boy! Cornelia never with more care
Read to her sons, than she hath read to thee,
Sweet poetry, and Tully's Orator.
Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus ?

Boy. My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
Unless some fit, or frenzy do possess her;
For I have heard my grandsire say full oft,
Extremity of griefs would make men mad;
And I have read that Hecuba of Troy
Ran mad through sorrow: that made me to fear;
Although, my lord, I know, my noble aunt
Loves me as dear as e'er my mother did,
And would not, but in fury, fright my youth;
Which made me down to throw my books, and fly,
Causeless, perhaps.—But pardon me, sweet aunt;
And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go,
I will most willingly attend your ladyship.
Mar. Lucius, I will.

[LAVINIA turns over the books, which Lucius had

let fall.
Tit. How now, Lavinia !-Marcus, what means this?
Some book there is that she desires to see.-
Which is it, girl, of these 2-Open them, boy.-
But thou art deeper read, and better skill'd;
Come, and take choice of all my library,
And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens
Reveal the damn'd contriver of this deed.
What book ®
Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus ?

Mar. I think, she means, that there was more than one
Confederate in the fact.-Ay, more there was;
Or else to heaven she heaves them to revenge.

Tit. Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?

8 What book ?] This interrogatory is not in the 4tos, nor does it seem very necessary; but as we find it in the folio, 1623, we insert it. It is clearly not a stage-direction.

« PreviousContinue »