Графични страници
PDF файл

Luc. Away, inhuman dog! unhallow'd slave!Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in.

[Exeunt Goths, with AARON. Flourish. The trumpets show, the emperor is at hand.

Enter SATURNINUS and TAMORA, with Tribunes, Senators, and Others.

SAT. What, hath the firmament more suns than one?

Luc. What boots it thee, to call thyself a sun? MAR. Rome's emperor, and nephew, break the parle ;1

These quarrels must be quietly debated.
The feast is ready, which the careful Titus
Hath ordain'd to an honourable end,

For peace, for love, for league, and good to Rome: Please you, therefore, draw nigh, and take your places.

SAT. Marcus, we will.

[Hautboys sound. The Company sit down at Table.

Enter TITUS, dressed like a Cook, LAVINIA, veiled, young LUCIUS, and Others.

Dishes on the Table.

TITUS places the

TIT. Welcome, my gracious lord; welcome, dread queen;

Welcome, ye warlike Goths; welcome, Lucius; And welcome, all: although the cheer be poor, 'Twill fill your stomachs; please you eat of it.


break the parle;] That is, begin the parley. We yet say, he breaks his mind. JOHNSON.

[blocks in formation]

SAT. Why art thou thus attir'd, Andronicus? TIT. Because I would be sure to have all well, To entertain your highness, and your empress. TAM. We are beholden to you, good Androni


TIT. An if your highness knew my heart, you


My lord the emperor, resolve me this;
Was it well done of rash Virginius,

To slay his daughter with his own right hand,
Because she was enforc'd, stain'd, and deflour'd?
SAT. It was, Andronicus.

TIT. Your reason, mighty lord!

SAT. Because the girl should not survive her shame,

And by her presence still renew his sorrows.
TIT. A reason mighty, strong, and effectual;
A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant,
For me, most wretched to perform the like:—
Die, die, Lavinia, and thy shame with thee;

[He kills LAVINIA. And, with thy shame, thy father's sorrow die! SAT. What hast thou done, unnatural, and unkind?

TIT. Kill'd her, for whom my tears have made me blind.

Was it well done of rash Virginius,

To slay his daughter with his own right hand, &c.] Mr. Rowe might have availed himself of this passage in The Fair Penitent, where Sciolto asks Calista:

"Hast thou not heard what brave Virginius did?

"With his own hand he slew his only daughter" &c. Titus Andronicus, however, is incorrect in his statementof this occurrence, for Virginia died unviolated. STEEVENS.

I am as woful as Virginius was:

And have a thousand times more cause than he To do this outrage;—and it is now done.

SAT. What, was she ravish'd? tell, who did the deed.

TIT. Will't please you eat? will't please your highness feed?

TAM. Why hast thou slain thine only daughter thus?

TIT. Not I; 'twas Chiron, and Demetrius: They ravish'd her, and cut away her tongue, And they, 'twas they, that did her all this wrong. SAT. Go, fetch them hither to us presently. TIT. Why, there they are both, baked in that pye;

Whereof their mother daintily hath fed, Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.3 'Tis true, 'tis true; witness my knife's sharp point.

[Killing TAMora. SAT. Die, frantick wretch, for this accursed deed. [Killing TITUS.

Luc. Can the son's eye behold his father bleed?
There's meed for meed, death for a deadly deed.
[Kills SATURNINUS. A great Tumult. The
People in confusion disperse. MARCUS,

LUCIUS, and their Partisans, ascend the
Steps before TITUS's House.

Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.] The additions made by Ravenscroft to this scene, are so much of a piece with it, that I cannot resist the temptation of showing the reader how he continues the speech before us:

"Thus cramm'd, thou'rt bravely fatten'd up for hell,
"And thus to Pluto I do serve thee up.

[Stabs the emperess." And then-" A curtain drawn discovers the heads and hands of

MAR. You sad-fac'd men, people and sons of

By uproar sever'd, like a flight of fowl
Scatter'd by winds and high tempestuous gusts,
O, let me teach you how to knit again
This scatter'd corn into one mutual sheaf,
These broken limbs again into one body.

SEN. Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself;" And she, whom mighty kingdoms court'sy to, Like a forlorn and desperate cast-away,

Do shameful execution on herself.

But if my frosty signs and chaps of age,
Grave witnesses of true experience,

Demetrius and Chiron hanging up against the wall; their bodies in chairs in bloody linen." STEevens.

Sen. Lest Rome &c.] This speech and the next, in the quarto 1611, are given to a Roman lord. In the folio they both belong to the Goth. I know not why they are separated. I believe the whole belongs to Marcus; who, when Lucius has gone through such a part of the narrative as concerns his own exile, claims his turn to speak again, and recommend Lucius to the empire.


I have followed the quarto, where the words Roman lord, [i. e. Senator,] are prefixed to this speech. The copy, however, reads-Let Rome &c. which I have no doubt was an error of the press for Lest. The editor of the folio finding the sentiment as exhibited in the quarto, in consequence of this error, not proper in the mouth of a Roman, for Roman lord substituted Goth. In correcting the errors of the quartos, the editor of the folio appears often to have only looked on the surface, and to have consequently made several injudicious emendations beside the present.

Mr. Capell, I find, has made the same emendation.

The error here corrected has likewise happened in the quarto copies of Hamlet, Act I. sc. ii: "let my extent to the players should more appear like entertainment than yours:" -instead of "Lest my extent," &c.

As this speech proceeds in an uniform tenor with the foregoing, the whole (as Mr. Steevens has observed,) probably belongs to Marcus. MALONE.

Cannot induce you to attend my words,-
Speak, Rome's dear friend; [To LUCIUS.] as erst
our ancestor,

When with his solemn tongue he did discourse,
To love-sick Dido's sad attending ear,
The story of that baleful burning night,
When subtle Greeks surpriz'd king Priam's Troy;
Tell us, what Sinon hath bewitch'd our ears,
Or who hath brought the fatal engine in,
That gives our Troy, our Rome, the civil wound.-
My heart is not compact of flint, nor steel;
Nor can I utter all our bitter grief,

But floods of tears will drown my oratory,
And break my very utterance; even i'the time
When it should move you to attend me most,
Lending your kind commiseration:

Here is a captain, let him tell the tale;
Your hearts will throb and weep to hear him speak.

Luc. Then, noble auditory, be it known to you, That cursed Chiron and Demetrius

Were they that murdered our emperor's brother;
And they it were that ravished our sister:
For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded;
Our father's tears despis'd; and basely cozen'd5
Of that true hand, that fought Rome's quarrel out,
And sent her enemies unto the grave.
Lastly, myself unkindly banished,

The gates shut on me, and turn'd weeping out,
To beg relief among Rome's enemies;
Who drown'd their enmity in my true tears,
And op'd their arms to embrace me as a friend :
And I am the turn'd-forth, be it known to you,
That have preserv'd her welfare in my blood;


and basely cozen'd-] i, e. and he basely cozened. MALONE.

« ПредишнаНапред »