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Of Lucius, son to old Andronicus ;
Who threats, in course of this revenge, to do
As much as ever Coriolanus did.

Sat. Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths ?
These tidings nip me; and I hang the head
As flowers with frost, or grass beat down with storms.
Ay, now begin our sorrows to approach.
'Tis he the common people love so much :
Myself hath very often heard them sayo,
When I have walked like a private man,
That Lucius' banishment was wrongfully,
And they have wish'd that Lucius were their emperor.

Tam. Why should you fear? is not our city strong ?

Sat. Ay, but the citizens favour Lucius, And will revolt from me to succour him.

Tam. King! be thy thoughts imperious, like thy name. Is the sun dimm'd, that gnats do fly in it? The eagle suffers little birds to sing, And is not careful what they mean thereby; Knowing that, with the shadow of his wings, He can at pleasure stint their melody: Even so mayst thou the giddy men of Rome. Then cheer thy spirit; for know, thou emperor, I will enchant the old Andronicus, With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous, Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep; When as the one is wounded with the bait, The other rotted with delicious feed.

Sat. But he will not entreat his son for us.

Tam. If Tamora entreat him, then he will
For I can smooth, and fill his aged ear
With golden promises, that were his heart
Almost impregnable, his old ears deaf,
Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue.-
Go thou before ; be our embassador;

[To Æmilius. Say that the emperor requests a parley Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting,

3 Myself bath very often heard them say,] “Very” is not in the old impressions, and the line wants two syllables, which are found in the corr. fo. 1632. We feel so sure that “very” was the missing, and unobjectionable word, that we have inserted it in our text.

– that gnats do fly in it?] “Do fly in's flame" in the corr. fo. 1632, the line at one time rhyming with that which precedes it.

Even at his father's house, the old Andronicus.

Sat. Æmilius, do this message honourably :
And if he stand on hostage for his safety,
Bid him demand what pledge will please him best.
Æmil. Your bidding shall I do effectually.

[Exit Æmilius.
Tam. Now will I to that old Andronicus,
And temper him with all the art I have,
To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths.
And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again,
And bury all thy fear in my devices.

Sat. Then go incessantly, and plead 'fore him”. [Exeunt.


Plains near Rome.

Enter LUCIUS, and an army of Goths, with drum and colours.

Luc. Approved warriors, and my faithful friends,
I have received letters from great Rome,
Which signify what hate they bear their emperor,
And how desirous of our sight they are.
Therefore, great lords, be, as your titles witness,
Imperious, and impatient of your wrongs;
And, wherein Rome hath done you any scath,
Let him make treble satisfaction.

s Even at his father's house, the old Andronicus.] This line has been recovered from the 4to, 1600, where only it is found.

And if he stand on hostage] The old copies read “in hostage," a mere misuse of the preposition, set right in the corr. fo. 1632. ? Then go INCESSANTLY, and plead 'fore him.] In the 4tos. the line is

" Then go successantly, and plead to him." In the folios the only difference is that "to" is altered to for, i. e. “ 'fore" or before him. Successantly is amended to “incessantly" in the corr. fo. 1632, and so Mr. Singer prints it: he might, indeed, have mentioned that “incessantly” is the word in the corr. fo. 1632, but he does not. We should not have been surprised if the change there had been

“Then go thou instantly, and plead 'fore him," the word successantly having been blunderingly compounded by the old printer from thou and instantly. Supposing “incessantly" to have been the poet's word, the line ought rather to have run

“Then go, and plead incessantly 'fore him.”

1 Goth. Brave slip, sprung from the great Andronicus,
Whose name was once our terror, now our comfort;
Whose high exploits, and honourable deeds,
Ingrateful Rome requites with foul contempt,
Be bold in us : we'll follow where thou lead’st,
Like stinging bees in hottest summer's day,
Led by their master to the flower'd fields,
And be aveng'd on cursed Tamora.

Goths. And, as he saith, so say we all with him.

Luc. I humbly thank him, and I thank you all. But who comes here, led by a lusty Goth?

Enter a Goth, leading AARON, with his Child in his arms.

2 Goth. Renowned Lucius, from our troops I stray'd
To gaze upon a ruinous monastery,
And as I earnestly did fix mine eye
Upon the wasted building, suddenly
I heard a child cry underneath a wall.
I made unto the noise; when soon I heard
The crying babe controll’d with this discourse :-
“Peace, tawny slave; half me, and half thy dam!
Did not thy hue bewray whose brat thou art,
Had nature lent thee but thy mother's look,
Villain, thou might'st have been an emperor:
But where the bull and cow are both milk-white,
They never do beget a coal-black calf.
Peace, villain, peace !”—even thus he rates the babe, -
“For I must bear thee to a trusty Goth;
Who, when he knows thou art the empress' babe,
Will hold thee dearly for thy mother's sake.”
With this, my weapon drawn, I rush'd upon him,
Surpris'd him suddenly, and brought him hither,
To use as you think needful of the man.

Luc. Oh worthy Goth! this is the incarnate devil,
That robb’d Andronicus of his good hand :
This is the pearl that pleas'd your empress' eye,
And here's the base fruit of his burning lust.-
Say, wall-eye'd slave, whither wouldst thou convey

8 And, as he saith, so say we all with him.] This line, in all the old copies, is made the conclusion of the speech of 1 Goth, erroneously, as is shown by the context, as well as by the import of the line itself. “I humbly thank him," in the reply of Lucius, refers, of course, to the 1 Goth, who had just spoken of the resolution of his companions.

This growing image of thy fiend-like face?
Why dost not speak ? What! deaf? not a word ?
A halter, soldiers ! hang him on this tree,
And by his side his fruit of bastardy.

Aar. Touch not the boy ; he is of royal blood.

Luc. Too like the sire for ever being good.-
First, hang the child, that he may see it sprawl ;
A sight to vex the father's soul withal.
Get me a ladder': -

Lucius, save the child;
And bear it from me to the empress. [A ladder brought.
If thou do this, I'll show thee wond'rous things,
That highly may advantage thee to hear :
If thou wilt not, befall what may befall,
I'll speak no more; but vengeance rot you all!

Luc. Say on; and if it please me which thou speak’st, Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish'd.

Aar. And if it please thee'? why, assure thee, Lucius, 'Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak;

[Speaking from the ladder.
For I must talk of murders, rapes, and massacres,
Acts of black night, abominable deeds,
Complots of mischief, treason, villainies
Ruthful to hear, despiteously perform’d':
And this shall all be buried in my death,
Unless thou swear to me, my child shall live.

Luc. Tell on thy mind : I say, thy child shall live.
Aar. Swear that he shall, and then I will begin.
Luc. Whom should I swear by? thou believ'st no god :

• Get me a ladder.] The error of making Aaron speak these words is amended in the corr. fo. 1632, where A ladder brought is also added as a stage-direction.

And if it please thee?) Aaron takes up and repeats the very words of Lucius, but it has been usual to misprint them, An if it please thee.” The stagedirection, Speaking from the ladder, is in the margin of the corr. fo. 1632. Aaron had been compelled to mount the ladder, just after it had been brought.

? Ruthful to hear, DESPITEOUSLY perform’d:] The line, as formerly printed in ancient and modern editions, was

“ Ruthful to hear, yet piteously perform’d," which expresses exactly the contrary of what must have been intended. The corr. fo. 1632 sets the matter right by the mere alteration of yet to des-, “ despiteously perform’d.” Such must have been the word of the poet; and Mr. Singer, rather than follow the authority of the corr. fo. 1632, inserts in his text a word, we believe, not to be found in any author in our language-piteousless :

“Ruthful to hear, yet piteousless perform’d.” Here it seems as if Mr. Singer would rather print ungrammatical nonsense, than follow our corr. fo. 1632.

That granted, how canst thou believe an oath ?

Aar. What if I do not, as, indeed, I do not;
Yet, for I know thou art religious,
And hast a thing within thee, called conscience,
With twenty popish tricks and ceremonies,
Which I have seen thee careful to observe,
Therefore I urge thy oath :—for that, I know,
An idiot holds his bauble for a god,
And keeps the oath, which by that god he swears,
To that I'll urge him.-Therefore, thou shalt vow
By that same god, what god soe'er it be,
That thou ador’st and hast in reverence,
To save my boy, to nourish, and bring him up,
Or else I will discover nought to thee.

Luc. Even by my god, I swear to thee, I will.
Aar. First, know thou, I begot him on the empress.
Luc. Oh most insatiate, luxurious woman!

Aar. Tut! Lucius, this was but a deed of charity,
To that which thou shalt hear of me anon.
'Twas her two sons that murder'd Bassianus :
They cut thy sister's tongue, and ravish'd her,
And cut her hands, and trimm'd her as thou sawest.

Luc. Oh, detestable villain! call'st thou that trimming ?
Aar. Why, she was wash'd, and cut, and trimm'd; and


Trim sport for them that had the doing of it.

Luc. Oh, barbarous, beastly villains, like thyself!

Aar. Indeed, I was their tutor to instruct them.
That codding spirit had they from their mother,
As sure a card as ever won the set:
That bloody mind, I think, they learn'd of me,
As true a dog as ever fought at head.
Well, let my deeds be witness of my worth.
I train’d thy brethren to that guileful hole,
Where the dead corpse of Bassianus lay;
I wrote the letter that thy father found,
And hid the gold, within the letter mentioned,
Confederate with the queen, and her two sons ;
And what not done, that thou hast cause to rue,
Wherein I had no stroke of mischief in it?

3 An idiot holds his BAUBLE] See “ All's Well that Ends Well," A. iv. sc. 5, Vol. ii. p. 611, respecting the bauble of domestic fools and jesters: it is as often mentioned as their motley dress.

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