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Than foe-men's marks upon his batter'd shield: But yet so just, that he will not revenge:Revenge the heavens5 for old Andronicus! [Exit.


The same. A Room in the Palace.

Enter AARON, CHIRON, and DEMETRIUS, at one Door; at another Door, young Lucius, and an Attendant, with a Bundle of Weapons, and Verses writ upon them.

CHI. Demetrius, here's the son of Lucius; He hath some message to deliver to us.

AAR. Ay, some mad message from his mad grandfather.

Bor. My lords, with all the humbleness I may, I greet your honours from Andronicus ;

And pray the Roman gods, confound

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you both. [Aside. DEM. Gramercy, lovely Lucius: What's the


Revenge the heavens-] We should read:

Revenge thee, heavens!.

It should be:

Revenge, ye heavens!


Ye was by the transcriber taken for ye, the. JOHNSON.

I believe the old reading is right, and signifies-may the heavens revenge, &c. STEEVENS.

I believe we should read:


Revenge then heavens. TYRWHITT.

Gramercy,] i. e. grand merci; great thanks. STEEVENs.

Boy. That you are both decipher'd, that's the


For villains mark'd with rape. [Aside.] May it please you,

My grandsire, well-advis'd, hath sent by me
The goodliest weapons of his armoury,
To gratify your honourable youth,

The hope of Rome; for so he bade me say;
And so I do, and with his gifts present
Your lordships, that whenever you have need,
You may be armed and appointed well:

And so I leave you both, [Aside.] like bloody vil. lains. [Exeunt Boy and Attendant. DEM. What's here? A scroll; and written round about?

Let's see;

Integer vitæ, scelerisque purus,

Non eget Mauri jaculis, nec arcu.

CHI. O, 'tis a verse in Horace; I know it well: I read it in the grammar long ago.

AAR. Ay, just!-a verse in Horace;-right, you have it.

Now, what a thing it is to be an ass! Here's no sound jest!"-the old man hath found their guilt;

And sends the weapons wrapp'd about

with lines,


"Here's no sound jest!] Thus the old copies. This mode of expression was common formerly; so, in King Henry IV. P. I: "Here's no fine villainy !"-We yet talk of giving a sound drubbing. Mr. Theobald, however, and the modern editors, read-Here's no fond jest. MALONE.

The old reading is undoubtedly the true one. So, in King Richard III:

"Good Catesby, go, effect this business soundly." See also Romeo and Juliet, Act IV. sc. v. STEEVENS.

-the weapons-] Edit. 1600,-them weapons. TODD.

That wound, beyond their feeling, to the



But were our witty empress well a-foot,
She would applaud Andronicus' conceit.
But let her rest in her unrest awhile.-
And now, young lords, was't not a happy star
Led us to Rome, strangers, and, more than so,
Captives, to be advanced to this height?
It did me good, before the palace gate
To brave the tribune in his brother's hearing.
DEM. But me more good, to see so great a lord
Basely insinuate, and send us gifts.

AAR. Had he not reason, lord Demetrius?
Did you not use his daughter very friendly?
DEM. I would, we had a thousand Roman dames
At such a bay, by turn to serve our lust.

CHI. A charitable wish, and full of love.

AAR. Here lacks but your mother for to say


CHI. And that would she for twenty thousand


DEM. Come, let us go; and pray to all the gods For our beloved mother in her pains.

AAR. Pray to the devils; the gods have given us [Aside. Flourish.


DEM. Why do the emperor's trumpets flourish


CHI. Belike, for joy the emperor hath a son.
DEM. Soft; who comes here?

Enter a Nurse, with a Black-a-moor Child in her


O, tell


Good morrow, lords:

me, did you see Aaron the Moor. AAR. Well, more, or less, or ne'er a whit at all, Here Aaron is; and what with Aaron now?

NUR. O gentle Aaron, we are all undone ! Now help, or woe betide thee evermore!

AAR. Why, what a caterwauling dost thou keep? What dost thou wrap and fumble in thine arms? NUR. O, that which I would hide from heaven's


Our empress' shame, and stately Rome's disgrace;She is deliver'd, lords, she is deliver'd.

AAR. To whom?



I mean, she's brought to bed.

Well, God

Give her good rest! What hath he sent her?


A devil. AAR. Why, then she's the devil's dam; a joyful


NUR. Ajoyless, dismal, black, and sorrowful issue: Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad Amongst the fairest breeders of our clime. The empress sends it thee, thy stamp, thy seal, And bids thee christen it with thy dagger's point. AAR. Out, out, you whore! is black so base a hue?

• Out, out,] The second interjection, which is wanting in the old copies, I have inserted for the sake of metre. STEEVENS.

Sweet blowse, you are a beauteous blossom, sure. DEM. Villain, what hast thou done?


Canst not undo.2


Done! that which thou1

Thou hast undone3 our mother.

AAR. Villain, I have done thy mother.+

DEM. And therein, hellish dog, thou hast undone.

Woe to her chance, and damn'd her loathed choice! Accurs'd the offspring of so foul a fiend!

CHI. It shall not live.


It shall not die.5

NUR. Aaron, it must: the mother wills it so. AAR. What, must it, nurse? then let no man but I, Do execution on my flesh and blood.

Out, out, you whore !] The edition 1600 reads,-Zounds, ye whore. TODD.

'Done! that which thou-] Done! which is wanting in the old copies, was very properly added, for the sake of measure, by Mr. Capell. STEEVENS.

2 Done! that which thou

Canst not undo.] The edition 1600 reads:

Dem. Villaine, what hast thou done?
Aar. That which thou canst not vndoe.


3 Thou hast undone-] Edition 1600 reads:-thou hast undone her. TODD.

Villain, I have done thy mother.] To do is here used obscenely. So, in Taylor the Water Poet's character of a Prosti


"She's facile fieri; (quickly wonne,)

"Or, const❜ring truly, easy to be done." COLLINS.

See Vol. VI. p. 203, n. 5. REED.

It shall not die.] We may suppose that the measure here was originally perfect and stood thus:

I say, it shall not die. STEEVENS.

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