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Quin. Aaron is gone; and my compassionate heart
Mart. Lord Bassianus lies embrewed here,
3 A precious ring,] There is supposed to be a gem carbuncle, which emits not reflected but native light. Mr. Boyle believes the reality of its existence. Johnson.
So, in The Gesta Romanorum, history the sixth: "He farther beheld and saw a carbuncle in the hall that lighted all the house." Again, in Lydgate's Description of King Priam's Palace, L. II: "And for most chefe all dirkeness to confound,
"A carbuncle was set as kyng of stones all,
Again, in the Muse's Elysium, by Drayton:
"The carbuncle that 's named;
"That in the very darkest night
"The eye to it directeth."
Chaucer, in the Romaunt of the Rose, attributes the same properties to the carbuncle :
"Soche light ysprang out of the stone." Steevens.
4 all the hole,] The 4to. 1600, reads-all this hole. Todd. So pale did shine the moon &c.] Lee appears to have been indebted to this image in his Massacre of Paris: "Looks like a midnight moon upon a murder." Steevens.
Quin. Reach me thy hand, that I may help thee out; Or, wanting strength to do thee so much good,
I may be pluck'd into the swallowing womb
Of this deep pit, poor Bassianus' grave.
I have no strength to pluck thee to the brink.
Mart. Nor I no strength to climb without thy help. Quin. Thy hand once more; I will not lose again, Till thou art here aloft, or I below:
Thou canst not come to me, I come to thee.
Enter SATURNINUS and AARON.
Sat. Along with me:-I'll see what hole is here, And what he is, that now is leap'd into it.
Say, who art thou, that lately didst descend
Into this gaping hollow of the earth?
Mart. The unhappy son of old Andronicus; Brought hither in a most unlucky hour,
To find thy brother Bassianus dead.
Sat. My brother dead? I know, thou dost but jest: He and his lady both are at the lodge,
Upon the north side of this pleasant chase;
'Tis not an hour since I left him there.
Mart. We know not where you left him all alive, But, out alas! here have we found him dead.
Enter TAMORA, with Attendants; TITUS ANDRONICUS, and LUCIUS.
Tam. Where is my lord, the king?
Sat. Here, Tamora; though griev'd with killing grief. Tam. Where is thy brother Bassianus ?
Sat. Now to the bottom dost thou search my wound; Poor Bassianus here lies murdered.
Tam. Then all too late I bring this fatal writ,
The complot of this timeless? tragedy;
6 left him there.] Edition 1600 reads:-left them there.
timeless] i. e. untimely. So, in King Richard II: Steevens.
"The bloody office of his timeless end."
Thou know'st our meaning: Look for thy reward
Aar. My gracious lord, here is the bag of gold.
[Showing it.. Sat. Two of thy whelps, [to TIT.] fell curs of bloody
Have here bereft my brother of his life :-
Tam. What, are they in this pit? O wondrous thing * How easily murder is discovered!
Tit. High emperor, upon my feeble knee
Sat. If it be prov'd! you see, it is apparent.
Sat. Thou shalt not bail them; see, thou follow me.
Tam. Andronicus, I will entreat the king;
Fear not thy sons, they shall do well enough.
Tit. Come, Lucius, come; stay not to talk with them.
Enter DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, with LAVINIA, ravish-
Dem. See, how with signs and tokens she can scowl.8 Chi. Go home, call for sweet water, wash thy hands. Dem. She hath no tongue to call, nor hands to wash; And so let's leave her to her silent walks.
Chi. An 'twere my case, I should go hang myself. Dem. If thou hadst hands to help thee knit the cord. [Excunt Dem. and CHI.
Mar. Who's this,-my niece, that flies away so fast? Cousin, a word; Where is your husband?—
If I do dream, 'would all my wealth would wake me !9
Have lopp'd, and hew'd, and made thy body bare
Whose circling shadows kings have sought to sleep in ;
As half thy love? Why dost not speak to me?
Alas, a crimson river of warm blood,
Like to a bubbling fountain stirr'd with wind,
And, lest thou should'st detect him, cut thy tongue.1
she can scowl.] Edition 1600 reads: she can scrowle This, I apprehend, is the true reading. Todd.
If I do dream, 'would all my wealth would wake me!] If this be a dream, I would give all my possessions to be delivered from it by waking. Johnson.
1 ·lest thou should'st detect him, &c.] Old copies- detect them. The same mistake has happened in many other old plays. The correction was made by Mr. Rowe.
Ah, now thou turn'st away thy face for shame
And make the silken strings delight to kiss them
Which that sweet tongue hath made,
He would have dropp'd his knife, and fell asleep,
Tereus having ravished Philomela, his wife's sister, cut out her tongue, to prevent a discovery. Malone.
2 three issuing spouts,] Old copies-their issuing &c. Corrected by Sir Thomas Hanmer. Steevens.
hast thou met withal,] The word withal, is wanting in edition 1600.
Thracian poet's —] Orpheus. Steevens: