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ACT III.....SCENE I.
Rome. A Street.
Enter Senators, Tribunes, and Officers of Justice, with
Whose souls are not corrupted as 'tis thought!
[Throwing himself on the ground. My heart's deep languor, and my soul's sad tears.
Let my tears stanch the earth's dry appetite;
My sons' sweet blood will make it shame and blush.
Enter LUCIUS, with his Sword drawn.
5 For these, these tribunes,] The latter these was added for the sake of the metre, by the editor of the second folio. Malone.
two ancient urns,] Oxford editor.-Vulg. two ancient ruins. Johnson.
Edition 1600,-ruines, as in other old copies. Todd.
And let me say, that never wept before,
Luc. O, noble father, you lament in vain;
Tit. Ah, Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead : Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you.
Luc. My gracious lord, no tribune hears you speak. Tit. Why, 'tis no matter, man: if they did hear, They would not mark me; or, if they did mark, All bootless to them, they 'd not pity me. Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones; Who, though they cannot answer my distress, Yet in some sort they 're better than the tribunes, For that they will not intercept my tale: When I do weep, they humbly at my feet Receive my tears, and seem to weep with me; And, were they but attired in grave weeds, Rome could afford no tribune like to these.
A stone is soft as wax, tribunes more hard than stones:"
And tribunes with their tongues doom men to death.
Tit. O happy man! they have befriended thec.
or, if they did mark.
All bootless to them, they'd not pity me.
They would not pitty me, yet pleade I must,
This I conceive to be the right reading. Todd.
9A stone is soft as wax, tribunes more hard than stones:] The author, we may suppose, originally wrote:
Stone's soft as wax, &c. Steevens
But who comes with our brother Marcus here?
Mar. Titus, prepare thy noble eyes to weep;
I bring consuming sorrow to thine age.
Tit. Will it consume me? let me see it then.
Tit. Why, Marcus, so she is.
Luc. Ah me! this object kills me!
Tit. Faint-hearted boy, arise, and look upon her :Speak, my Lavinia,' what accursed hand
Hath made thee handless in thy father's sight??
Luc. Speak, gentle sister, who hath martyr'd thee? Mar. O, that delightful engine of her thoughts,
Speak, my Lavinia,] My, which is wanting in the first folio, was supplied by the second. Steevens.
in thy father's sight?] We should read—spight ?
- I'll chop off my hands too;] Perhaps we should read: or chop off &c.
It is not easy to discover how Titus, when he had chopped off one of his hands, would have been able to have chopped off the other. Steevens.
I have no doubt but the text is as the author wrote it. Let him answer for the blunder. In a subsequent line Titus supposes himself his own executioner:
"Now all the service I require of them" &c. Malone. 4 O, that delightful engine of her thoughts,] This piece fur
That blab'd them with such pleasing eloquence,
Luc. O, say thou for her, who hath done this deed?
Tit. It was my deer;5 and he, that wounded her,
Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave,
Thou hast no hands, to wipe away thy tears;
Mar. Perchance, she weeps because they kill'd her
Perchance, because she knows them innocent.
Tit. If they did kill thy husband, then be joyful, Because the law hath ta'en revenge on them.
nishes scarce any resemblances to Shakspeare's works; this one expression, however, is found in his Venus and Adonis :
"Once more the engine of her thoughts began." Malone. 5 It was my deer;] The play upon deer and dear has been used by Waller, who calls a lady's girdle
"The pale that held my lovely deer." Johnson.
No, no, they would not do so foul a deed;
Or make some sign how I may do thee ease:
What shall we do? let us, that have our tongues,
To make us wonder'd at in time to come.
Luc. Sweet father, cease your tears; for, at your grief, See, how my wretched sister sobs and weeps.
Mar. Patience, dear niece:-good Titus, dry thine
Tit. Ah, Marcus, Marcus! brother, well I wot,
For thou, poor man, hast drown'd it with thine own.
As far from help as limbo is from bliss !8
like meadows,] Old copies-in meadows. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone.
with his true tears-] Edition 1600 reads with her true tears. Todd.
as limbo is from bliss.] The Limbus patrum, as it was called, is a place that the schoolmen supposed to be in the neighbourhood of hell, where the souls of the patriarchs were detained, and those good men who died before our Saviour's resurrection. Milton gives the name of Limbo to his Paradise of Fools. Reed.