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Boy. Grandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphosis :
For love of her that's gone,
Tit. Soft ! see how busily she turns the leaves!
Mar. See, brother, see! note, how she quotes the leaves.
Tit. Lavinia, wert thou thus surpriz’d, sweet girl,
Mar. Oh! why should nature build so foul a den,
Tit. Give signs, sweet girl, for here are none but friends, What Roman lord it was durst do the deed : Or slunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst, That left the camp to sin in Lucrece' bed ?
Mar. Sit down, sweet niece :-brother, sit down by me.Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury, Inspire me, that I may this treason find ! My lord, look here ;-look here, Lavinia : This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thou canst, This after me. [He writes his name with his staff, and guides
it with feet and mouth.
I have writ my name
· Soft! see how busily she turns the leaves !] In all the old copies this line stands,
“ Soft ! so busily she turns the leaves!” it is clearly defective, and our emendation is that of the corr. fo. 1632: it cures the halting measure, and clears the sense.
1 I have writ my name] The corr. fo. 1632 inserts where—“ Where I have writ my name;" but it should seem that There would be more proper ; and, in this uncertainty, we leave the old text unaltered.
Heaven guide thy pen to print thy sorrows plain,
[She takes the staff in her mouth, and guides it
with her stumps, and writes. Tit. Oh! do you read, my lord, what she hath writ? Stuprum-Chiron-Demetrius.
Mar. What, what !—the lustful sons of Tamora
Tit. Magni dominator poli,
Mar. Oh! calm thee, gentle lord, although, I know,
Tit. 'Tis sure enough, an you knew how to do it';
2 - as with the woful FEERE,] “ Feere” or “fere" is companion, from the Sax. fera: it is used by Chaucer (in his “ Troilus and Cressida"), where he speaks of “Orpheus and Eurydice, his fere," and by Sir Thomas More for a wife; and by other poets for a husband or wife.
3 'Tis sure enough, an you knew how to DO IT;] The three last words are from the corr. fo. 1632 : they are not absolutely necessary, but they complete the line, and probably had dropped out in the press. For "good advice," three lines above, perhaps we ought to read “ by good device."
* And with a GAD of steel] Malone correctly informs us that " gad" in A. S. means the point of a spear, but according to some etymologists, it ought rather to be translated a club. (See Todd's Johnson's Dict. : v. gad.) It is very evident that it here means a steel point, with which Andronicus was to engrave on the “ leaf of brass."
Will blow these sands, like Sybil's leaves, abroad,
Boy. I say, my lord, that if I were a man,
Mar. Ay, that's my boy! thy father hath full oft For his ungrateful country done the like.
Boy. And, uncle, so will I, an if I live.
Tit. Come, go with me into mine armoury;
Boy. Ay, with my dagger in their bosoms, grandsire.
Tit. No, boy, not so; I'll teach thee another course.
[Exeunt Titus, LAVINIA, and Boy.
The Same. A Room in the Palace.
Enter AARON, DEMETRIUS, and CHIRON, 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 us.
Aar. Ay, some mad message from his mad grandfather.
* Revenge, ye heavens, for old Andronicus !] Another instance in which ye" has always been misprinted the in the old editions. The is amended to "ye" in the corr. fo. 1632. See also “ Coriolanus,” A. i. sc. 6, Vol. iv. p. 620.
Boy. My lords, with all the humbleness I may,
Dem. Gramercy, lovely Lucius. What's the news ?
[Exeunt Boy and Attendant. Dem. What's here ? A scroll, and written round about ? · Let's see;
Integer vitae, scelerisque purus,
Chi. Oh! 'tis a verse in Horace. I know it well:
Aar. Ay, just !-a verse in Horace ;-right, you have it. [Aside.] Now, what a thing it is to be an ass! Here's no sound jest ! the old man hath found their guilt, And sends them weapons? wrapp'd about with lines, That wound, beyond their feeling, to the quick; But were our witty empress well a-foot, She would applaud Andronicus' conceit: But let her rest in her unrest awhile.[To them.] 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 ?
6 That you are both decipher'd, that's the news,] This line, preserved in both the 4tos, is omitted in the folio. Seven lines lower down in the same speech, “that," necessary to the sense, was left out in all the old copies.
? And sends THEM weapons] The 4to, 1600, alone reads, “And sends them weapons :" other editions, “ the weapons."
Did you not use his daughter very friendly?
Dem. I would, we had a thousand Roman dames
Chi. A charitable wish, and full of love.
Dem. Come, let us go, and pray to all the gods
Tere Aaron gentle hetide tb
Enter a Nurse, with a Black-a-moor Child in her arms. Nur. Good morrow, lords. Oh! tell 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. Oh gentle Aaron ! we are all undone. Now help, or woe betide thee evermore!
Aar. Why, what a caterwauling dost thou keep.
Nur. Oh! that which I would hide from heaven's eye,
I mean she's brought to bed.
Well, God Give her good rest! What hath he sent her ? Nur.
Nur. A joyless, dismal, black, and sorrowful issue.
& At such a bay,] So in a sonnet in “ The Passionate Pilgrim," 1599:
“Ah! that I had my lady at this bay." Amongst the fairest BREEDERS of our clime.) Unless we are to take “ breeders" as things bred, there is an error in this line, and the corr. fo. 1632 has burdens instead of “breeders," a not improbable misprint; but we do not alter the text, because it is not impossible that the poet intended “ breeders” to be understood as the consequence of breeding.