Page images
PDF

I play'd the cheater for thy father's hand,
And, when I had it, drew myself apart,
And almost broke my heart with extreme laughter.
I pry’d me through the crevice of a wall,
When for his hand he had his two sons' heads;
Beheld his tears, and laugh’d so heartily,
That both mine eyes were rainy, like to his:
And when I told the empress of this sport,
She swooned almost at my pleasing tale,
And for my tidings gave me twenty kisses.
Goth. What! canst thou say all this, and never blush P
Aar. Ay, like a black dog, as the saying is.
Luc. Art thou not sorry for these heinous deeds?
Aar. Ay, that I had not done a thousand more.
Even now I curse the day, (and yet, I think,
Few come within the compass' of my curse)
Wherein I did not some notorious ill:
As kill a man, or else devise his death;
Ravish a maid, or plot the way to do it;
Accuse some innocent, and forswear myself;
Set deadly enmity between two friends;
Make poor men's cattle ofttimes break their necks";
Set fire on barns and hay-stacks in the night,
And bid the owners quench them with their tears.
Oft have I digg’d up dead men from their graves,
And set them upright at their dear friends' doors,
Even when their sorrows almost were forgot;
And on their skins, as on the bark of trees,
Have with my knife carved in Roman letters,
“Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.”
Tut! I have done a thousand dreadful things,
As willingly as one would kill a fly;
And nothing grieves me heartily, indeed,
But that I cannot do ten thousand more.
Luc. Bring down the devil", for he must not die
So sweet a death as hanging, presently.

* Few come within the compass] The folio reads, “Few come within few compass;” and lower down, “the tears” for “their tears.”

• Make poor men's cattle ofttimes break their necks;] The 4tos. and folios omit “ofttimes” to the ruin of the verse: we may suppose that the word had escaped, and it is found in the margin of the corr. fo. 1632.

* Bring down the devil,] Hence we find, not only that the ladder had been brought, but that Aaron ascended it, and made his speeches while standing upon it, as stated in the margin of the corr, fo. 1632.

Aar. If there be devils, would I were a devil,
To live and burn in everlasting fire,
So I might have your company in hell,
But to torment you with my bitter tongue!

Luc. Sirs, stop his mouth, and let him speak no more.

Enter a Goth.

Goth. My lord, there is a messenger from Rome,
Desires to be admitted to your presence.
Luc. Let him come near.

Enter AEMILIUs.

Welcome, AEmilius ! what's the news from Rome?
AEmil. Lord Lucius, and you princes of the Goths,
The Roman emperor greets you all by me:
And, for he understands you are in arms,
He craves a parley at your father's house,
Willing you to demand your hostages,
And they shall be immediately deliver'd.
1 Goth. What says our general?
Luc. AEmilius, let the emperor give his pledges
Unto my father and my uncle Marcus,
And we will come.—March 1 away ! : [Ereunt.

SCENE II.

Rome. Before TITUs’s House.

Enter TAMORA, DEMETRIUs, and CHIRoN, disguised as Revenge, - Rapine, and Murder'.

Tam. Thus, in this strange and sad habiliment, I will encounter with Andronicus, And say, I am Revenge, sent from below, To join with him, and right his heinous wrongs.Knock at his study, where, they say, he keeps, To ruminate strange plots of dire revenge: Tell him, Revenge is come to join with him, And work confusion on his enemies. [They knock.

7 — as Revenge, Rapine, and Murder.] These words are an addition from the corr. fo. 1632: it might be gathered from what follows.

Titus opens his study door 8. Tit. Who doth molest my contemplation ? Is it your trick, to make me ope the door, That so my sad decrees may fly away, And all my study be to no effect ? You are deceiv'd; for what I mean to do, See here, in bloody lines I have set down, [Showing a paper. And what is written shall be executed.

Tam. Titus, I am come to talk with thee.

Tit. No; not a word. How can I grace my talk,
Wanting a hand to give it action'?
Thou hast the odds of me; therefore, no more.

Tam. If thou didst know me, thou wouldst talk with me.

Tit. I am not mad; I know thee well enough:
Witness this wretched stump, witness these crimson lines ;
Witness these trenches made by grief and care;
Witness the tiring day, and heavy night;
Witness all sorrow, that I know thee well
For our proud empress, mighty Tamora.
Is not thy coming for my other hand ?

Tam. Know, thou sad man, I am not Tamora :
She is thy enemy, and I thy friend.
I am Revenge; sent from th' infernal kingdom,
To ease the gnawing vulture of thy mind,
By working wreakful vengeance on thy foes '.
Come down, and welcome me to this world's light;
Confer with me of murder and of death.
There's not a hollow cave, or lurking-place,
No vast obscurity, or misty vale,
Where bloody murder, or detested rape,
Can couch for fear, but I will find them out;
And in their ears tell them my dreadful name,
Revenge, which makes the foul offender quake.

& Titus opens his study door.] From what ensues it appears that Titus came out into the elevated balcony at the back of the stage. The word "above" is added in the corr. fo. 1632.

9 Titus, I am come] It is Old Titus, I am come" &c. in the corr. fo. 1632, and though a syllable is wanting in the line, it may be doubted whether Tamora, even in her disguise, would address the hero as Old Titus.”

1- to give it ACTION?] Thus the folio. Both the 4tos, that accord. Respecting the “ action" of Andronicus, see the last sentence of our Introduction.

? — on the foes.] So the 4tos: the folio, “on my foes ;" and in the preceding line " the mind.”

ofore, come

come to therand;

Tit. Art thou Revenge ? and art thou sent to me, To be a torment to mine enemies ?

Tam. I am; therefore, come down and welcome me.

Tit. Do me some service, ere I come to thee.
Lo! by thy side where Rape, and Murder, stand ;
Now, give some 'surance that thou art Revenge :
Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot wheels,
And then I'll come, and be thy waggoner,
And whirl along with thee about the globes.
Provide thee two proper palfries, black as jet ?,
To hale thy vengeful waggon swift away,
And find out murderers in their guilty caves':
And when thy car is loaden with their heads,
I will dismount, and by the waggon wheel
Trot like a servile footman all day long,
Even from Hyperion's rising in the east,
Until his very downfall in the sea :
And day by day I'll do this heavy task,
So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there.

Tam. These are my ministers, and come with me.
Tit. Are they thy ministers ? what are they call’d!

Tam. Rape, and Murder; therefore called so,
'Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men.

Tit. Good lord ! how like the empress’ sons they are; And you, the empress : but we worldly men Have miserable, mad, mistaking eyes. Oh sweet Revenge ! now do I come to thee; And, if one arm's embracement will content thee, I will embrace thee in it by and by. (Exit Titus above.

Tam. This closing with him fits his lunacy.

3 Provide thee two proper palfries, black as jet,] The 4to, 1611, and the folio, 1623, read “as black as jet ;" but we omit as, on the authority of the earliest 4to, and the folio, 1632: “thee " is still too much for the line.

4 And find out MURDERERS in their guilty CAVES :] All the old editions (excepting the second folio, which alters cares to "caves '') read, “And find out murder in their guilty cares.” Steevens altered murder to “murderers," and such precisely is the emendation in the corr. fo. 1632: there could, in fact, be no doubt about it.

5 Even from Hyperion's rising] So the second folio : the first reads Epton's, and the 4tos, “ Epeon's rising."

Are they thy ministers?] It is curious bere to see a modern editor justi. fying one corruption by another : "they " having been ignorantly misprinted them in the old impressions, we are told to preserve it—" Are them thy ministers?

-because the same blunder was committed in a passage in another work of the time. There can be no doubt that it is just such a gross blunder as we are bound to remedy; but Mr. Singer's text is " Are them thy ministers ?

Whate'er I forge, to feed his brain-sick fits,
Do you uphold and maintain in your speeches,
For now he firmly takes me for Revenge;
And being credulous in this mad thought,
I'll make him send for Lucius, his son,
And, whilst I at a banquet hold him sure,
I'll find some cunning practice out of hand,
To scatter and disperse the giddy Goths,
Or, at the least, make them his enemies.
See! here he comes, and I must ply my theme”.

Enter Titus below.
Tit. Long have I been forlorn, and all for thee.
Welcome, dread fury, to my woeful house :-
Rapine, and Murder, you are welcome too.-
How like the empress and her sons you are !
Well are you fitted, had you but a Moor:-
Could not all hell afford you such a devil ?
For, well I wot, the empress never wags,
But in her company there is a Moor;
And would you represent our queen aright,
It were convenient you had such a devil.
But welcome, as you are. What shall we do?

Tam. What wouldst thou have us do, Andronicus ?
Dem. Show me a murderer, I'll deal with him.

Chi. Show me a villain that hath done a rape,
And I am sent to be reveng'd on him.

Tam. Show me a thousand that have done thee wrong, And I will be revenged on them all.

Tit. Look round about the wicked streets of Rome,
And when thou find'st a man that's like thyself,
Good Murder, stab him : he's a murderer.-
Go thou with him; and when it is thy hap
To find another that is like to thee,
Good Rapine, stab him: he is a ravisher.-
Go thou with them; and in the emperor's court
There is a queen, attended by a Moor:
Well mayst thou know her by thine own proportion,
For up and down she doth resemble thee.

1- I must PLY my theme. The folio only," play my theme."

& Enter Titus below.) The word “below" is from the corr. fo. 1632; and when Titus made his exit, on the preceding page, “Exit Titus above" is the stagedirection. “Below" means on the stage, where he joined Tamora and her sons.

« PreviousContinue »