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The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind,
And make a checquer'd shadow on the ground.
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit,
And, whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
Replying shrilly to the well-tun'd horns,
As if a double hunt were heard at once,
Let us sit down, and mark their yelping noise :
And after conflict, such as was suppos'd
The wandering prince and Dido once enjoy'd,
When with a happy storm they were surpris’d,
And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave,-
We may, each wreathed in the other's arms,
Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber;
Whiles hounds, and horns, and sweet melodious birds,
Be unto us, as is a nurse's song
Of lullaby to bring her babe asleep.

Aar. Madam, though Venus govern your desires,
Saturn is dominator over mine.
What signifies my deadly-standing eye,
My silence, and my cloudy melancholy?
My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls,
Even as an adder, when she doth unrol
To do some fatal execution ?
No, madam, these are no venereal signs :
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
Hark, Tamora, the empress of my soul,
Which never hopes more heaven than rests in thee,
This is the day of doom for Bassianus;
His Philomel must lose her tongue to-day:
Thy sons make pillage of her chastity,
And wash their hands in Bassianus' blood.
Seest thou this letter? take it up I pray thee,
And give the king this fatal plotted scroll. —
Now question me no more; we are espied :
Here comes a parcel of our hopeful booty,
Which dreads not yet their lives' destruction.

Tam. Ah, my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than life!
Aar. No more, great empress. Bassianus comes :

and if the versification be a little formal, and the terminations monotonous, we must bear in mind that the lines were certainly written before he was well aware of the capabilities of our language. He had then only composed his “Venus and Adonis," wbich is full of passages painting external nature.

Be cross with him; and I'll go fetch thy sons
To back thy quarrels, whatsoe'er they be.


Bas. Whom have we here? Rome's royal empress,
Unfurnish'd of her well-beseeming troop'?
Or is it Dian, habited like her ;
Who hath abandoned her holy groves,
To see the general hunting in this forest ?

Tam. Saucy controller of my private steps !
Had I the power, that, some say, Dian had,
Thy temples should be planted presently
With horns, as was Actæon's; and the hounds
Should dine upon thy new-transformed limbs,
Unmannerly intruder as thou art.

Lav. Under your patience, gentle empress,
'Tis thought you have a goodly gift in horning;
And to be doubted, that your Moor and you
Are singled forth to try experiments.
Jove shield your husband from his hounds to-day !
'Tis pity, they should take him for a stag.

Bas. - Believe me, queen, your swart Cimmerian *
Doth make your honour of his body's hue,
Spotted, detested, and abominable.
Why are you sequester'd from all your train ?
Dismounted from your snow-white goodly steed,
And wander'd hither to an obscure plot,
Accompanied but with a barbarous Moor',
If foul desire had not conducted you?

Lav. And being intercepted in your sport,

7 Unfurnish'd of her well-beseeming troop?] All the old copies, excepting the 4to, 1600, have our for “her.” In the next speech, the 4to, 1600, has “my private steps” for “our private steps," and “thy new-transformed limbs" for his new-transformed limbs,” of the later impressions. The earliest copy appears to afford the better reading in these instances; but the corr. fo. 1632 supplies a farther emendation, viz. “ dine” for drive, which, considering the character of the speech, and the incidents of the fable, there is every reason to approve. The speculations upon the point have been numerous.

8 — your SWART Cimmerian] The two 4tos. have swarty. Shakespeare uses swart in “The Comedy of Errors,” A. iii. sc. 2, in “ King John," A. iii. sc. 1, Vol. iii. p. 155, and in “ Henry VI., Pt. I.," A. i. sc. 2, Vol. iii. p. 657. In this place alone in the tragedy before us it is spelt swarth. It is from the A. S. sweart, and means inclining to black, dark, dusky.

' Accompanied But with a barbarous Moor,] The folio, following the reading of the 4to, 1611, omits “but;" it is found in the 4to, 1600.

Great reason that my noble lord be rated
For sauciness !-I pray you, let us hence,
And let her 'joy her raven-colour'd love:
This valley fits the purpose passing well.

Bas. The king, my brother, shall have note of this'.

Lav. Ay, for these slips have made him noted long, Good king! to be so mightily abus'd.

Tam. Why have I patience to endure all this??


Dem. How now, dear sovereign, and our gracious mother! Why doth your highness look so pale and wan?

Tam. Have I not reason, think you, to look pale ?
These two have 'tic'd me hither to this place,
A barren detested vale, you see, it is :
The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean,
O'ercome with moss, and baleful misletoe:
Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds,
Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven.
And, when they show'd me this abhorred pit,
They told me, here, at dead time of the night,
A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins",
Would make such fearful and confused cries,
As any mortal, barely hearing it“,
Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.
No sooner had they told this hellish tale,
But straight they told me, they would bind me here

1 The king, my brother, shall have NOTE of this.] It is "notice of this” in the 4tos. and folios; but the versification, as well as the corr. fo. 1632, detects the error, even if the next line did not come to our assistance :

“Ay, for these slips have made him noted long." 2 Why have I patience to endure all this?] So the second folio: the first folio and both the 4tos, make it merely an observation, "Why, I have patience," &c. which may be right. Tamora may say that she has patience, because she knows that her revenge is so near at hand.

3 - urchins,] i. e. Hedgehogs. The word " urchin " seems sometimes to have meant an evil spirit or fairy : see " The Tempest,” A. i. sc. 2, and “The Merry Wives of Windsor," A. iv. sc. 4.

* As any mortal, BARELY hearing it,] We cannot refuse the emendation here offered in the corr. 1632, viz. " barely" for body: the line has always been given with this vulgarism,

“ As any mortal body hearing it;" which must be an error of the old printer : Tamora means, of course, that the bare hearing of the sound produced madness or death.

Unto the body of a dismal yew,
And leave me to this miserable death :
And then they call’d me foul adulteress,
Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms
That ever ear did hear to such effect;
And, had you not by wondrous fortune come,
This vengeance on me had they executed.
Revenge it, as you love your mother's life,
Or be ye not henceforth call'd my children. .
Dem. This is a witness that I am thy son.

[Stabs BASSIANUS. Chi. And this for me, struck home to show my strength.

[Stabbing him likewise. Lav. Ay, come, Semiramis !—nay, barbarous Tamora ; For no name fits thy nature but thy own.

Tam. Give me thy poniard: you shall know, my boys,
Your mother's hand shall right your mother's wrong.

Dem. Stay, madam ! here is more belongs to her:
First, thrash the corn, then after burn the straw.
This minion stood upon her chastity, ,
Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty,

And with that painted shape she braves your might';
And shall she carry this unto her grave ?

Chi. An if she do, I would I were an eunuch. Drag hence her husband to some secret hole, And make his dead trunk pillow to our lust.

Tam. But when ye have the honey ye desire o,
Let not this wasp outlive us both to sting.

Chi. I warrant you, madam, we will make that sure.—
Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
That nice preserved honesty of your's.

Lav. 0 Tamora! thou bear'st a woman's face,-
Tam. I will not hear her speak: away with her!
Lav. Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a word.
Dem. Listen, fair madam: let it be your glory

s And with that painted Shape she braves your might;] Here again is an emendation from the corr. fo. 1632 which must be admitted into the text: the reading has always hitherto been

“And with that painted hope braves your mightiness;" but what can be the meaning of “ painted hope ?” “painted shape" is intelligible, viz. the external form of loyalty and chastity. The verse is also overloaded by mightiness, when“ might” is exactly fitted to the place.

ő - the honey ye desire,] “The honey we desire,” in all the old copies previous to the folio, 1632. VOL. V.


To see her tears; but be your heart to them,
As unrelenting flint to drops of rain.

Lav. When did the tiger's young ones teach the dam ?
Oh! do not learn her wrath; she taught it thee.
The milk, thou suck'dst from her, did turn to marble;
Even at her teat' thou hadst thy tyranny.
Yet every mother breeds not sons alike :
Do thou entreat her show a woman pity. [To Chiron.

Chi. What! wouldst thou have me prove myself a bastard ?

Lav. 'Tis true; the raven doth not hatch a lark:
Yet have I heard, oh, could I find it now!
The lion, mov'd with pity, did endure
To have his princely claws par'd all away'.
Some say that ravens foster forlorn children,
The whilst their own birds famish in their nests :
Oh! be to me, though thy hard heart say no,
Nothing so kind, but something pitiful.

Tam. I know not what it means.-Away with her!

Lav. Oh ! let me teach thee: for my father's sake,
That gave thee life, when well he might have slain thee,
Be not obdurate. Open thy deaf ears.

Tam. Hadst thou in person ne'er offended me,
Even for his sake am I pitiless.
Remember, boys, I pour'd forth tears in vain,
To save your brother from the sacrifice;
But fierce Andronicus would not relent.
Therefore, away, and use her as you will ':
The worse to her, the better lov'd of me.

Lav. 0 Tamora! be call'd a gentle queen, [Kneeling.
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.

7 Even‘at her teat] “At thy teat” in the old copies, but altered to "her teat” in the corr. fo. 1632 in consistency with the preceding line : " at the teat” would not have required change.

8 To have his princely claws par'd all away.] In the 4tos. and folios we have paws, for “ claws" of the corr. fo. 1632 : “claws" must be right, for the paws of the lion were not pared away, but his “claws.” Mr. Singer cannot decline this emendation, and acknowledges it. We are glad to give him credit for the admission of the source of the improvement.

• Therefore, away, and use her as you will :] So the line is given in the corr. fo. 1632 with the two needless and redundant syllables, with her, after “away," struck out. We may be sure that they were a corruption which had crept into the text; and in this play we have many examples of the same kind, which the old annotator has often left uncorrected.

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