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Sound drums and trumpets, &c. Enter MARTIUS and MUTIUS:
after them, two Men bearing a coffin covered with black; then Lucius and QUINTUS. After them, TITUS ANDRONICUS; and then TAMORA, with ALARBUS, CHIRON, DEMETRIUS, AARON, and other Goths, prisoners; Soldiers and People, following'. The Bearers set down the coffin, and Trtus speaks.
Tit. Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds !
[The tomb is opened.
Luc. Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,
Soldiers and People, following.] “As many as can be," adds the stagedirection of the old copies, 4to. and folio.
1 -- HÉR fraught] All the old copies, " his fraught”-a frequent error of the press, corrected in the fourth folio : his and her were not, of old, always applied as we now use them.
Before this earthy prison of their bones;
Tit. I give him you; the noblest that survives,
Tam. Stay, Roman brethren !—Gracious conqueror, Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed, A mother's tears in passion for her son : And, if thy sons were ever dear to thee, Oh! think my son to be as dear to me. Sufficeth not, that we are brought to Rome, To beautify thy triumphs, and return Captive to thee, and to thy Roman yoke; But must my sons be slaughter'd in the streets, For valiant doings in their country's cause ? Oh! if to fight for king and common weal Were piety in thine, it is in these. Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood. Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods ? Draw near them, then, in being merciful: Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge. Thrice-noble Titus, spare my first-born son.
Tit. Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me.
? Before this EARTHY prison] The folio bas earthly; but the 4tos. of 1600 and 161 1 as in our text.
3 That so THEIR shadows] We have had their bones” in the preceding line, and “their shadows" in this line is probably correct : “their” is from the corr. fo. 1632; and we may readily imagine that in the MS., " their" having been expressed by the abbreviation y', it was read ye and printed the. We also have “their groaning shadows" farther on.
+ These are their brethren,] So the 4tos: the folio the. Steevens adduces several instances of the use of "patient" (in the preceding line) as a verb.
3 T' appease their groaning shadows that are gone.] “That are dust," says the old annotator of the corr. fo. 1632, which ends the speech -less flatly than the words " that are gone,” as the text appears in all the extant old editions, 4to. and folio. We apprehend that the MS. emendations in this play, at least such as appear to restore rhymes, whether in couplets or in stanzas, represent some older text than we have in the 4to, 1600—possibly that of 1594 mentioned by Langbaine, or even a still more antiquated copy. Blank-verse came into use for the stage soon after Shakespeare joined a theatrical company in London, and in order to adapt “ Titus Andronicus” to the improved taste of the town, he may
Luc. Away, with him! and make a fire straight;
[Exeunt Lucius, QUINTUS, MARTIUS, and MUTIUS,
Dem. Oppose not Scythia to ambitious Rome.
Re-enter LUCIUS, QUINTUS, MARTIUS, and MUTIUS, with their
Luc. See, lord and father, how we have perform’d
Tit. Let it be so; and let Andronicus
[Trumpets sounded, and the coffins laid in the tomb. In peace and honour rest you here, my sons ; [Kneeling.
ome's readiest champions, repose you here in rest,
have altered many of the rhyming lines, as well as other portions of the tragedy. It is not, however, beyond the range of possibility, that, when the old corrector of the folio, 1632, saw the drama, some of the rhymes had been restored; but this is not a question we are at all in a condition to decide, and our object is, as far as we can form a judgment, to present the play such as our great dramatist left it.
6 – the Thracian tyrant] Polymnestor, assailed by Hecuba.
7 Here grow no damned Grudges ;] So the 4to, 1611, and the folio : the 4to, 1600, bas drugs (spelt drugges) for "grudges."
No noise, but silence and eternal sleep.
Lav. In peace and honour live lord Titus long;
Tit. Kind Rome, that hast thus lovingly reserv'd
Enter Marcus ANDRONICUS, SATURNINUS, BASSIANUS, and
others. Mar. Long live lord Titus, my beloved brother, Gracious triumpher in the eyes of Rome!
Tit. Thanks, gentle tribune, noble brother Marcus.
Mar. And welcome, nephews, from successful wars,
Tit. A better head her glorious body fits,
8 Rising.] This stage-direction, and Kneeling, which precedes it, are from the corr. fo. 1632, and show what was the old custom of the stage.
What! should I don this robe, and trouble you?
Romans, do me right.-
Luc. Proud Saturnine, interrupter of the good That noble-minded Titus means to thee!
Tit. Content thee, prince: I will restore to thee
· Bas. Andronicus, I do not flatter thee,
. Be chosen with PROCLAMATIONS to-day;] The corr. fo. 1632 gives the line thus :
“Be chose with acclamations to-day;" and though we feel considerable confidence that it is right, since an emperor was not “chosen with proclamations,” yet we adhere to our rule of not altering where the sense does not, with some authority, require it. For the same reason, in the next line but one, we allow “abroad” to remain in the text, though the corr. fo. 1632 alters it to abroach, and the misprint was extremely easy and probable. Professor Mommsen renders “with acclamations" mit lautem Beifall.
1 Titus, thou shalt obtain the empery.) So the corr. fo. 1632: in the ordinary text and ask is made to follow “obtain," to the injury of the verse as well as of the sense; for if and ask be intruded into the line, at all events it ought to precede "obtain." Titus was not likely to obtain "the empery," until he had asked it, and Saturnine's question shows that and ask ought to be omitted.
with thy FRIENDS,] The two 4tos, and the folios of 1623 and 1632, have friend for “friends," a trifling correction made in the folio, 1664, and not in the fourth folio, as stated by Malone.