« PreviousContinue »
Tam. O cruel, irreligious piety!
Chi. Was ever Scythia half so barbarous?
To tremble under Titus' threatening look.
Upon the Thracian tyrant in his tent,1
(When Goths were Goths, and Tamora was queen,)
Re-enter LUCIUS, QUINTUS, MARTIUS, and MUTIUS, with their Swords bloody.
Luc. See, lord and father, how we have perform'd
Whose smoke, like incense, doth perfume the sky.
1 The self-same gods, that arm'd the queen of Troy With opportunity of sharp revenge
Upon the Thracian tyrant in his tent, &c.] I read, against the authority of all the copies :
in her tent,
i. e. in the tent where she and the other Trojan captive women were kept for thither Hecuba by a wile had decoyed Polymnestor, in order to perpetrate her revenge. This we may learn from Euripides's Hecuba; the only author, that I can at present remember, from whom our writer must have gleaned this circumstance. Theobald.
Mr. Theobald should first have proved to us that our author understood Greek, or else that this play of Euripides had been translated. In the mean time, because neither of these particulars are verified, we may as well suppose he took it from the old story-book of the Trojan War, or the old translation of Ovid. See Metam. XIII. The writer of the play, whoever he was, might have been misled by the passage in Ovid: "vadit ad artificem," and therefore took it for granted that she found him in his tent. Steevens.
I have no doubt that the writer of this play had read Euripides in the original. Mr. Steevens justly observes in a subsequent note near the end of this scene, that there is "a plain allusion to the Ajax of Sophocles, of which no translation was extant in the time of Shakspeare." Malone.
Tit. Let it be so, and let Andronicus Make this his latest farewel to their souls.
[Trumpets sounded, and the Coffins laid in the Tomb. In peace and honour rest you here, my sons; Rome's readiest champions, repose you here,2 Secure from worldly chances and mishaps! Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells, Here grow no damned grudges; here, are no storms, No noise, but silence and eternal sleep:
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons!
Lo! at this tomb my tributary tears
I render, for my brethren's obsequies;
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, You that survive, and you that sleep in fame. Fair lords, your fortunes are alike in all,
2 repose you here,] Old copies, redundantly in respect both to sense and metre:
repose you here in rest. Steevens. The same redundancy in the edition 1600, as noted in other copies by Mr. Steevens. Todd.
3 And fame's eternal date, for virtue's praise!] This absurd wish is made sense of, by changing and into in. Warburton. To live in fame's date is, if an allowable, yet a harsh expres
To outlive an eternal date, is, though not philosophical, yet poetical sense. He wishes that her life may be longer than his, and her praise longer than fame. Johnson.
That in your country's service drew your swords:
And help to set a head on headless Rome.
Mar. Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery.6
That hath aspir'd to Solon's happiness,] The maxim of Solon here alluded to is, that no man can be pronounced to be happy before his death:
Expectanda dies homini; dicique beatus
"Ante obitum nemo, supremaque funera, debet." Ovid. Malone.
5 don this robe,] i. e. do on this robe, put it on. So, in Hamlet:
"Then up he rose, and don'd his clothes. Steevens.
6 Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery.] Here is rather too much of the 'orspov repov. Steevens.
7 Patience, prince Saturnine.] Edition 1600,
Patience prince Saturninus. Todd.
Romans, do me right;
Patricians, draw your swords, and sheathe them not
Luc. Proud Saturnine, interrupter of the good
That noble-minded Titus means to thee!
Tit. Content thee, Prince; I will restore to thee The people's hearts, and wean them from themselves. Bas. Andronicus, I do not flatter thee,
But honour thee, and will do till I die;
My faction if thou strengthen with thy friends,
Of noble minds, is honourable meed.
Tit. People of Rome, and people's tribunes here,
Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus?
Tit. Tribunes, I thank you: and this suit I make,
[A long Flourish.
Sat. Titus Andronicus, for thy favours done
I give thee thanks in part of thy deserts,
Thy name, and honourable family,
thy friends,] Old copies-friend.
fourth folio. Malone.
Corrected in the
Edition 1600, friend, as in other old copies noted by Mr. Ma
Lavinia will I make my emperess,
Rome's royal mistress, mistress of my heart,
Sat. Thanks, noble Titus, father of my
Tit. Now, madam, are you prisoner to an emperor;
To him, that for your honour and your state,
Sat. A goodly lady, trust me; of the hue
That I would choose, were I to choose anew.-
Though chance of war hath wrought this change of cheer,
Thou com'st not to be made a scorn in Rome:
Princely shall be thy usage every way.
Rest on my word, and let not discontent
Lav. Not I, my lord;2 sith true nobility
9 Pantheon] The quarto, 1611, and the first folioPathan; the second folio-Pantheon. Steevens.
Edition 1600-Pathan, as in other copies noted by Mr. SteeTodd.
imperial lord:] Edition 1600:
2 Lav. Not I, my lord;] It was pity to part a couple who seem to have corresponded in disposition so exactly as Saturninus and