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Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred 4. 'Tis true, 'tis true; witness my knife's sharp point.
[Killing TAMORA. Sat. Die, frantick wretch, for this accursed deed.
[Killing Titus. Luc. Can the son's eye behold his father bleed? There's meed for meed, death for a deadly deed. [Kills SATURNINUS. A great Tumult. The
People in confusion disperse. MARCUS,
Steps before Titus's House.
Sen. Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself; And she, whom mighty kingdoms court'sy to, Like a forlorn and desperate castaway, Do shameful execution on herself. But if my frosty signs and chaps of age, Grave witnesses of true experience, Cannot induce you to attend my words,Speak, Rome's dear friend; [To Lucius.] as erst
our ancestor, When with his solemn tongue he did discourse To lovesick Dido's sad attending ear, The story of that baleful burning night, When subtle Greeks surpris'd King Priam's Troy; Tell us, what Sinon hath bewitch'd our ears,
4 The additions made by Ravenscroft to this scene are much of a piece with it:
• Thus cramm’d, thou’rt bravely fatten'd up for hell,
And thus to Pluto I do serve thee up.' [Stabs the Empress. And then ‘A curtain drawn discovers the heads and hands of Demetrius and Chiron hanging up against the wall; their bodies in chairs in bloody linen.'
Or who hath brought the fatal engine in,
Luc. Then, noble auditory, be it known to you,
Of this was Tamora delivered;
any living man could bear. Now you have heard the truth, what say you,
poor remainder of Andronici
Æmil. Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome, And bring our emperor gently in thy hand, Lucius our emperor; for, well I know, The common voice do cry, it shall be so. Rom. [Several speak.] Lucius, all hail; Rome's royal emperor!
LUCIUS, 8c, descend. Mar. Go, go into old Titus' sorrowful house;
[To an Attendant. And hither hale that misbelieving Moor, To be adjudg’d some direful slaughtering death, As punishment for his most wicked life. Rom. [Several speak.] Lucius, all bail; Rome's
gracious governor! Luc. Thanks, gentle Romans; May I govern so, To heal Rome's harms, and wipe away her woe! But, gentle people, give me aim awhile,
6 i. e. we the poor remainder, &c. will cast us down.
For nature puts me to a heavy task ;-
[Kisses Titus. These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain'd face, The last true duties of thy noble son!
Mar. Tear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss,
yet would I
them! Luc. Come hither, boy; come, come, and learn,
To melt in showers: Thy grandsire lov'd thee well:
if I Enter Attendants, with A ARON. 1 Rom. You sad Andronici, have done with woes; Give sentence on this execrable wretch, That hath been breeder of these dire events.
Luc. Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish him; There let him stand, and rave and cry for food : If any one relieves or pities him,
ope my mouth,
For the offence he dies. This is our doom :
Aar. O, why should wrath be mute, and fury dumb?
emperor hence, And give him burial in his father's grave : My father, and Lavinia, shall forthwith Be closed in our household's monument. As for that heinous tiger, Tamora, No funeral rite, nor man in mournful weeds, No mournful bell shall ring her burial; But throw her forth to beasts, and birds of prey : Her life was beast-like, and devoid of pity ; And, being so, shall have like want of pity. See justice done to Aaron, that damn’d Moor, By whom our heavy haps had their beginning: Then, afterwards, to order well the state; That like events may ne'er it ruinate. [Exeunt.
7 That justice and cookery may go hand in hand to the conclusion of the play, in Ravenscroft's alteration of it, Aaron is at once racked and roasted on the stage.
All the editors and criticks agree in supposing this play spurious. I see no reason for differing from them; for the colour of the style is wholly different from that of the other plays, and there is an attempt at regular versification, and artificial closes, not always inelegant, yet seldom pleasing. The barbarity of the spectacles, and the general massacre which are here exhibited, can scarcely be conceived tolerable to any audience, yet we are told by Jonson that they were not only borne but praised. That Shakspeare wrote any part, though Theobald declares it incontestable, I see no reason for believing.