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Thou map of woe, that thus dost talk in signs!

[TO LAVINIA. When thy poor heart beats with outrageous beating,

Thou canst not strike it thus to make it still.
Wound it with sighing, girl, kill it with groans;
Or get some little knife between thy teeth,
And just against thy heart make thou a hole;
That all the tears that thy poor eyes let fall,
May run into that sink, and soaking in,
Drown the lamenting fool in sea-salt tears.

MAR. Fye, brother, fye! teach her not thus to lay Such violent hands upon her tender life.


TIT. How now! has sorrow made thee dote already?

Why, Marcus, no man should be mad but I.
What violent hands can she lay on her life!
Ah, wherefore dost thou urge the name of hands;-
To bid Æneas tell the tale twice o'er,
How Troy was burnt, and he made miserable?
O, handle not the theme, to talk of hands; 5
Lest we remember still, that we have none.-
Fye, fye, how frantickly I square my talk!
As if we should forget we had no hands,
If Marcus did not name the word of hands!-
Come, let's fall to; and, gentle girl, eat this :-
Here is no drink! Hark, Marcus, what she says;-
I can interpret all her martyr'd signs;-

says, she drinks no other drink but tears,"

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"Handlest in thy discourse, O, that her hand-"

⚫ O, handle not the theme, to talk of hands;] So, in Troilus and Cressida:


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she drinks no other drink but tears,] So, in King Henry VI. P. III:

Brew'd with her sorrows,mesh'd upon her cheeks:7-
Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought;
In thy dumb action will I be as perfect,
As begging hermits in their holy prayers:
Thou shalt not sigh, nor hold thy stumps to heaven,
Nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a sign,
But I, of these, will wrest an alphabet,
And, by still practice, learn to know thy meaning.
Bor. Good grandsire, leave these bitter deep


"Ye see, I drink the water of my eyes.”

Make my aunt merry with some pleasing tale.

MAR. Alas, the tender boy, in passion mov'd, Doth weep to see his grandsire's heaviness.

TIT. Peace, tender sapling; thou art made of tears,9

And tears will quickly melt thy life away.[MARCUS strikes the Dish with a Knife. What dost thou strike at, Marcus, with thy knife? MAR. At that that I have kill'd, my lord; a fly. TIT. Out on thee, murderer! thou kill'st my heart;1

Again, in Venus and Adonis:

"Dost thou drink tears, that thou provok'st such weeping?" MALONE.

her cheeks:] A very coarse allusion to

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mesh'd upon brewing. STEEVENS.

• by still practice,] By constant or continual practice.


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Peace, tender sapling; thou art made of tears,] So, in Coriolanus:


"The king hath kill'd his heart.”

thou boy of tears." STEEVENS.

Out on thee, murderer! thou kill'st my heart;] So, in King Henry V:

Again, in Venus and Adonis:

"That they have murder'd this poor heart of mine."


Mine eyes are cloy'd with view of tyranny:
A deed of death, done on the innocent,
Becomes not Titus' brother: Get thee gone;
I see, thou art not for my company.

MAR. Alas! my lord, I have but kill'd a fly. TIT. But how, if that fly had a father and mother??

How would he hang his slender gilded wings,
And buz lamenting doings in the air?3
Poor harmless fly!

That with his pretty buzzing melody,
Came here to make us merry; and thou hast kill'd

MAR. Pardon me, sir; 'twas a black ill-favour'd fly,

Like to the empress' Moor; therefore I kill'd him.
TIT. 0, 0, 0,
Then pardon me for reprehending thee,

a father and mother?] Mother perhaps should be omitted, as the following line speaks only in the singular number, and Titus most probably confines his thoughts to the sufferings of a father. STEEVENS.

Mr. Steevens judiciously conjectures that the words and mother, should be omitted. We might read:

But!-How if that fly had a father, brother?

The note of exclamation seems necessary after-But, from what Marcus says, in the preceding line:

"Alas! my lord, I have but kill'd a fly." RITSon.

And buz lamenting doings in the air?] Lamenting doings is a very idle expression, and conveys no idea. I read-dolings. The alteration which I have made, though it is but the addition of a single letter, is a great increase to the sense; and though, indeed, there is somewhat of tautology in the epithet and substantive annexed to it, yet that's no new thing with our author. THEOBALD.

There is no need of change. Sad doings for any unfortunate event, is a common though not an elegant expression. STEEVENS.


For thou hast done a charitable deed.
Give me thy knife, I will insult on him;
Flattering myself, as if it were the Moor,
Come hither purposely to poison me.-
There's for thyself, and that's for Tamora.-
Ah, sirrah!

Yet I do think we are not brought so low,5
But that, between us, we can kill a fly,
That comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor.

MAR. Alas, poor man! grief has so wrought on him,

He takes false shadows for true substances.

TIT. Come, take away.-Lavinia, go with me: I'll to thy closet; and go read with thee Sad stories, chanced in the times of old.Come, boy, and go with me; thy sight is young, And thou shalt read, when mine begins to dazzle. [Exeunt.


The same. Before Titus's House.

Then enter young
LUCIUS, LAVINIA running after him.

Bor. Help, grandsire, help! my aunt Lavinia Follows me every where, I know not why :Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes! Alas, sweet aunt, I know not what you mean.

Ah, sirrah!] This was formerly not a disrespectful expression. Poins uses the same address to the Prince of Wales. See Vol. XI. p. 210, n. 7. MALONE.

Yet I do think &c.] Do was inserted by me for the sake of the metre. STEEVENS.

MAR. Stand by me, Lucius; do not fear thine


TIT. She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.

Bor. Ay, when my father was in Rome, she did.

MAR. What means my niece Lavinia by these signs?

TIT. Fear her not, Lucius :-Somewhat doth she


See, Lucius, see, how much she makes of thee:
Somewhither would she have thee go with her.
Ah, boy, Cornelia never with more care
Read to her sons, than she hath read to thee,
Sweet poetry, and Tully's Orator.“
Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?

Bor. My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess, Unless some fit or frenzy do possess her: For I have heard my grandsire say full oft, Extremity of griefs would make men mad; And I have read that Hecuba of Troy Ran mad through sorrow: That made me to fear; Although, my lord, I know, my noble aunt Loves me as dear as e'er my mother did, And would not, but in fury, fright my youth: Which made me down to throw my books, and


Tully's Orator.] The moderns-oratory. The old copies read-Tully's oratour; meaning, perhaps, Tully De STEEVENS.


-Tully's Orator.] Tully's Treatise on Eloquence, addressed to Brutus, and entitled Orator. The quantity of Latin words was formerly little attended to. Mr. Rowe and all the subsequent editors read-Tully's oratory. MALONE.

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