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Chi. 0, 'tis a verse in Horace; I know it well:
found their guilt; And sends the weapons wrapp'd about with lines,
Dem. But me more good, to see so great a lord
Aar. Had he not reason, Lord Demetrius ? 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
[Aside. Flourish. Dem. Why do the emperor's trumpets flourish
? This mode of expression was common formerly. So in King Henry IV. Part 1.:- Here's no fine villany!'
Chi. Belike, for joy the emperor hath a son.
Dem. Soft; who comes here? Enter a Nurse, with a Black-a-moor Child in her
lords: 0, 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. O gentle Aaron, we are all undone! Now help, or woe betide thee evermore!
Aar. Why, what a caterwauling dost thou keep? What dost thou wrap and fumble in thine arms ?
Nur. O, that which I would hide from heaven's eye, Our empress’ shame, and stately Rome's disgrace;She is deliver'd, lords, she is deliver'd.
Aar. To whom?
A devil. Aar. Why, then she's the devil's dam; a joyful
issue. Nur. A joyless, dismal, black, and sorrowful issue: Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad Amongst the fairest breeders of our clime. The empress
sends it thee, thy stamp, thy seal, And bids thee christen it with thy dagger's point,
Aar. Out, out, you whore! is black so base a hue? Sweet blowse, you are a beauteous blossom, sure.
Dem. Villain, what hast thou done?
Done! that which thou
Thou hast undone our mother.. Aar. Villain, I have done thy mother. Dem. And therein, hellish dog, thou hast undone. VOL. IX.
Woe to her chance, and damnd her loathed choice!
Chi. It shall not live.
It shall not die.
Aar. What, must it, nurse ? then let no man but I, Do execution on my flesh and blood.
Dem. I'll broach 3 the tadpole on my rapier's point; Nurse, give it me; my sword shall soon despatch it. Aar. Sooner this sword shall plough thy bowels up,
[Takes the Child from the Nurse, and draws. Stay, murderous villains ! will you kill your brother? Now, by the burning tapers of the sky, That shone so brightly when this boy was got, He dies upon my scimitar's sharp point, That touches this my first-born son and heir ! I tell you, younglings, not Enceladus“, With all his threat’ning band of Typhon's brood, Nor great Alcides, nor the god of war, Shall seize this prey out of his father's hands. What, what; ye sanguine, shallow-hearted boys! Ye white-lim'd walls! ye alehouse painted signs! Coal black is better than another hue, In that it scorns to bear another hue: For all the water in the ocean Can never turn a swan's black legs to white, Although she lave them hourly in the flood.
3 In Lust's Dominion, by Marlowe, a play in its style bearing a near resemblance to Titus Andronicus, Eleazar, the Moor, a character of unmingled ferocity, like Aaron, and, like him, the paramour of a royal mistress, exclaims:
Run, and with a voice
Upon my falcbion's point.'
Tell the emperess from me, I am of age
Dem. Wilt thou betray thy noble mistress thus ?.
Aar. My mistress is my mistress; this, myself; The vigour, and the picture of my youth : This, before all the world, do I prefer; This, maugre all the world, will I keep safe, Or some of you
shall smoke for it in Rome. Dem. By this our mother is for ever sham’d. Chi. Rome will despise her for this foul escape 5. Nur. The emperor, in his rage, will doom her
death. Chi. I blush to think upon this ignomy.
Aar. Why, there's the privilege your beauty bears : Fye, treacherous hue! that will betray with blushing The close enacts and counsels of the heart?! Here's a young
lad fram'd of another leer 8: Look, how the black slave smiles upon the father; As who should say, Old lad, I am thine own. He is your brother, lords; sensibly fed Of that self-blood that first
gave And, from that womb, where you imprison'd were, He is enfranchised and come to light: Nay, he's your brother by the surer side, Although my seal be stamped in his face.
Nur. Aaron, what shall I say unto the empress ?
Dem. Advise thee, Aaron, what is to be done, And we will all subscribe to thy advice; Save thou the child, so we may all be safe.
Aar. Then sit we down, and let us all consult.
life to you;
5 i. e. this foul illegitimate child. So in King John:
• No scape of Nature.' 6 i. e. ignominy. 7 Thus also in Othello :-
They are close denotements working from the heart.' 8 Complexion. See vol. iii. p. 184, pote 6.
My son and I will have the wind of
you: Keep there: Now talk at pleasure of your safety.
[They sit on the Ground. Dem. How many women saw this child of his? Aar. Why, so, brave lords; When we all join in
Nur. Cornelia the midwife, and myself,
Aar. The emperess, the midwife, and yourself: Two may keep counsel, when the third's away9; Go to the empress; tell her, this I said:
[Stabbing her. Weke, weke!—so cries a pig, prepar'd to the spit. Dem. What mean’st thou, Aaron? Wherefore
didst thou this?
9 This proverb is introduced in Romeo and Juliet, Act ii.
10 The word lives, which is wanting in the old copies was supplied by Rowe. Steevens thinks Muliteus a corruption for Muly lives. 11 To pack is to contrive insidiously. So in King Lear:
• Snuffs and packings of the duke's.'