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Tit. I thank your majesty, and her, my lord :
Tam. Titus, I am incorporate in Rome,
friends and you.-For you,
Prince Bassianus, I have pass'd My word and promise to the emperor, That
you will be more mild and tractable.And fear not, lords,—and you,
Lavinia ; By my advice, all humbled on your knees, You shall ask pardon of his majesty.
Luc. Wedo; and vow to heaven and to his highness, That, what we did, was mildly, as we might, Tend'ring our sister's honour, and our own,
Mar. That on mine honour here I do protest. Sat. Away, and talk not; trouble us no more. Tam. Nay, nay, sweet emperor, we must all be
friends : The tribune and his nephews kneel for grace; I will not be denied. Sweet heart, look back.
Sat. Marcus, for thy sake, and thy brother's here, And at my lovely Tamora's entreats, I do remit these young men's heinous faults.
Lavinia, though you left me like a churl,
friends : This day shail be a love-day, Tamora.
Tit. To-morrow, an it please your majesty, To hunt the panther and the hart with me, With horn and hound, we'll give your grace bon jour.
Sat. Be it so, Titus, and gramercy too. (Exeunt.
SCENE I. Rome. Before the Palace.
Enter AARON. Aar. Now climbeth Tamora Olympus' top, Safe out of fortune's shot: and sits aloft, Secure of thunder's crack, or lightning's flash; Advanc'd above pale envy's threat’ning reach. As when the golden sun salutes the morn, And, having gilt the ocean with his beams, Gallops the zodiack in his glistering coach, And overlooks the highest-peering hills; So Tamora. Upon her wit doth earthly honour wait, And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown. Then, Aaron, arm thy heart, and fit thy thoughts To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress, And mount her pitch; whom thou in triumph long Hast prisoner held, fetter'd in amorous chains; And faster bound to Aaron's charming eyes, Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus. Away with slavish weeds, and servile thoughts ! I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold, To wait upon this new-made emperess. To wait, said I? to wanton with this queen, This goddess, this Semiramis ;---this nymph, This siren, that will charm Rome's Saturnine, And see his shipwreck, and his commonweal's. Holloa! what storm is this?
? In the quarto of 1600 the stage direction is . Sound trumpets, manet Moore.' 'In the quarto of 1611 the direction is * Manet Aaron,' and he is before made to enter with Tamora, though he says nothing. This scene ought to continue the first act.-Johnson.
Enter Chiron and DEMETRIUS, braving. Dem. Chiron, thy years want wit, thy wit wants
Chi. Demetrius, thou dost overween in all:
grace; And that my sword upon thee shall approve, And plead my passions for Lavinia's love.
Aar. Clubs, clubs?! these lovers will not keep
Dem. Why, boy, although our mother, unadvis'd,
sheath, Till you
know better how to handle it. Chi. Meanwhile, sir, with the little skill I have, Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare.
Dem. Ay, boy, grow ye so brave? [They draw. Aar.
Why, how now,
lords? So near the emperor's palace dare you draw, And maintain such a quarrel openly? Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge;
2 This was the usual outcry for assistance, when any riot in the street happened. See vol. i. p. 201, note 4.
3 It appears that a light kind of sword, more for show than use, was worn by gentlemen, even when dancing, in the reign of Elizabeth, So in All's Well that Ends Well :
no sword worn
But one to dance with.'
-One of them carrying his cutting sword of choller, the other his dancingrapier of delight.'
I would not for a million of gold,
Not I: till I have sheath'd
dishonour here. Chi. For that I am prepar'd and full resolv'd,— Foulspoken coward! that thunder'st with thy tongue', And with thy weapon nothing dar’st perform.
Aar. Away, I say.Now by the gods, that warlike Goths adore, This petty brabble will undo us all.Why, lords,-and think you not how dangerous It is to jut upon a prince's right? What, is Lavinia then become so loose, Or Bassianus so degenerate, That for her love such quarrels may be broach'd, Without controlment, justice, or revenge? Young lords, beware!-an should the empress know This discord's ground, the musick would not please.
Chi. I care not, I, knew she and all the world; I love Lavinia more than all the world. Dem. Youngling, learn thou to make some meaner
choice: Lavinia is thine elder brother's hope.
Aar. Why, are ye mad? or know ye not, in Rome How furious and impatient they be, And cannot brook competitors in love? I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths By this device.
4 This phrase appears to have been adopted from Virgil, Æneid xi. 383:
• Proinde tona eloquio, solitum tibi—'
Aaron, a thousand deaths Would I
propose, to achieve her whom I love 5. Aar. To achieve her!-How ? Dem.
Why mak'st thou it so strange ? She is a woman,
be woo'd; She is a woman,
[Aside. Dem. Then why should he despair, that knows
to court it
5 Chiron appears to mean, “ that, bad he a thousand lives, such was his love for Lavinia, he would propose to venture them all to achieve her.' Thus in the Taming of the Shrew :
* Tranio, I burn, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio,
If I achieve not this young modest girl.' 6 These two lines occur, with very little variation, in the First Part of King Henry VI.:
. She's beautiful, and therefore to be woo'd ;
She is a woman, therefore to be won.' This circumstance has given rise to a conjecture that the author of the present play was also the writer of the original King Henry VI. Ritson says that he should take Kyd to have been the author of Titus Andronicus, because he seems to delight in murders and scraps of Latin, though it must be confessed that in the first of those good qualities Marlowe's Jew of Malta may fairly dispute precedence with the Spanish Tragedy.'
7 There is a Scottish proverb,“Mickle water goes by the miller when he sleeps. Non omnem molitor quæ fluit unda videt. The subsequent line is also a northern proverb, ' It is safe taking a shive of a cut loaf.'
8 Mr. Holt is willing to infer that Titus Andronicus was one