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Therefore away with her, and use her as you will; The worse to her, the better lov'd of me.

LAV. O Tamora, be call'd a gentle queen, And with thine own hands kill me in this place: For 'tis not life, that I have begg'd so long; Poor I was slain, when Bassianus died.

TAM. What begg'st thou then? fond woman, let me go.

LAV. 'Tis present death I beg; and one thing


That womanhood denies my tongue to tell:
O, keep me from their worse than killing lust,
And tumble me into some loathsome pit;
Where never man's eye may behold my body:
Do this, and be a charitable murderer.

TAM. So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee: No, let them satisfy their lust on thee.

DEM. Away, for thou hast staid us here too long. LAV. No grace? no womanhood? Ah, beastly


The blot and enemy to our general name!
Confusion fall-

CHI. Nay, then I'll stop your mouth:-Bring thou her husband;

[Dragging off LAVINIA. This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him.

[Exeunt. TAM. Farewell, my sons: see, that you make her


Ne'er let my heart know merry cheer indeed,
Till all the Andronici be made away.

with her,] These useless syllables, which hurt the metre, might well be omitted. STEEVENS.

Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor,
And let my spleenful sons this trull deflour. [Exit.


The same.


AAR. Come on, my lords; the better foot before:

Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit,
Where I espy'd the panther fast asleep.

QUIN. My sight is very dull, whate'er it bodes. MART. And mine, I promise you; wer't not for shame,

Well could I leave our sport to sleep awhile. [MARTIUS falls into the Pit. QUIN. What, art thou fallen? What subtle hole is this,

Whose mouth is cover'd with rude-growing briars;
Upon whose leaves are drops of new-shed blood,
As fresh as morning's dew distill'd on flowers?
very fatal place it seems to me :-
Speak, brother, hast thou hurt thee with the fall?

MART. O, brother, with the dismallest objéct That ever eye, with sight, made heart lament.

AAR. [Aside.] Now will I fetch the king to find them here; That he thereby may give a likely guess, How these were they that made away his brother.

[Exit AARON.

MART. Why dost not comfort me, and help me out From this unhallow'd3 and blood-stained hole?

QUIN. I am surprized with an uncouth fear: A chilling sweat o'er-runs my trembling joints; My heart suspects more than mine eye can see.

MART. To prove thou hast a true-divining heart, Aaron and thou look down into this den, And see a fearful sight of blood and death.

QUIN. Aaron is gone; and my compassionate heart

Will not permit mine eyes once to behold
The thing, whereat it trembles by surmise:
O, tell me how it is; for ne'er till now
Was I a child, to fear I know not what.

MART. Lord Bassianus lies embrewed here,
All on a heap, like to a slaughter'd lamb,
In this detested, dark, blood-drinking pit.

QUIN. If it be dark, how dost thou know 'tis he? MART. Upon his bloody finger he doth wear A precious ring, that lightens all the hole,"

From this unhallow'd &c.] Edition 1600:-From this vnhallow &c. TODD.

A precious ring,] There is supposed to be a gem called a 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, "To recomforte and gladden all the hall. "And it to enlumine in the black night "With the freshnes of his ruddy light."


Which, like a taper in some monument,
Doth shine upon the dead man's earthy cheeks,
And shows the ragged entrails of this pit:
So pale did shine the moon on Pyramus,
When he by night lay bath'd in maiden blood.
O brother, help me with thy fainting hand,―
If fear hath made thee faint, as me it hath,-
Out of this fell devouring receptacle,
As hateful as Cocytus' misty mouth.-

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.

Again, in the Muse's Elysium, by Drayton :
"Is that admired, mighty stone,
"The carbuncle that's named;

"Which from it such a flaming light
"And radiancy ejecteth,

"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."


So, in King Henry VIII:


a gem "To lighten all this isle." So also, Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. VI. c. xi:

66 like diamond of rich regard,
"In doubtful shadow of the darksome night."


all the hole,] The 4to. 1600, reads-all this hole.



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."


MART. Nor I no strength to climb without thy help.

QUIN. Thy hand once more; I will not loose again,

Till thou art here aloft, or I below:
Thou canst not come to me, I come to thee.

[Falls in.


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 ?

left him there.] Edition 1600 reads:-left them there.


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