Page images
PDF
EPUB

From whence he circumscribed with his sword,
And brought to yoke the enemies of Rome..
Sound drums and trumpets, and then enter Mutius and Mars

cus: after them, two men bearing a coffin cover'd with black; then Quintus and Lucius. After them, Titus Andronicus; and then Tamora, the Queen of Goths, Alarbus, Chiron, and Demetrius, with Aaron the Moor, prisoners; Soldiers, and other Attendants. They Jet down the cofin, and Titus speaks.

Tit. Hail, Rome, victorious in thy. mourning weeds!(2) Lo,' as the bark, that hath discharg'd her freight, Returns with precious lading to the bay, From whence at first she weigh'd her anchorage ;, Comethi Andronicus with laurel boughs,. To re-salute his country with his tears ;; Tears of true joy for his return to Rome. Thou great defender of this capitol, Stand gracious to the rites that we intend!: Komans, of five and twenty valiant sons,, Half of the number that. King Priam had, Behold the poor remains, alive and dead.!. These, that survive, fet Rome reward with love ;: These, that I bring unto their latest home, With burial among their ancestors. Here Goths have given me leave to sheath my

sword: Titus, unkind, and careless of thine own, Why fuffer'it thou thy fons, unburied yet, To hover on the dreadful shore of Styx?? Make way to lay them by their brethren.

[They open the tombir (2) Hail, Rome, vi&torious in thy mourning weeds! ] Mr Wars Jurtez and I concurred to suspect that the Poet wrote ;

in my mourning weeds. i. e. Titus would say; “ Thou,, Rome, art victorious, though I amy

a mourner for those fons which I have left in obtaining that « victory.". But I have not ventured to disturb the text; becauseg. on a second reflection, mourning weeds may relate to Rome for this reason; the scene opens with Saturninus and Baffianus canvafling to be elected to the Empire: and consequently the fate be in grief for their laft Emperor just descaled...

There

There greet in silence, as the dead are wont,
And sleep in peace, flain in your country's wars:
O sacred receptacle of my joys,
Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,
How many sons of mine hast thou in store,
That thou wilt never render to me more ?

Luc. Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,
That we may hew his limbs, and on a pile,
Ad manes Fratrum sacrifice his flesh,
Before this earthly prison of their bones:
That so the shadows be not onappeas'd,
Nor we difturb’d with prodigies on earth.

Tit. I give him you, the noblest that survives.
The eldest son of this distressed Queen.

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 fons were ever dear to thee,
O, think my sons to be as dear to me.
Sufficeth not, that we are brought to Rome, (3)
To beautify thy triumphs and return,
Captive to thee and to thy Roman yoke?
But mult my fons be slaughter'd in the streets,
For valiant doings in their country's cause?
O! if to fight for King and common-weal
Were piety in thine, it is in these :
Andronicus, itain not thy tomb with blood.
Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods &
Dray near them then in being merciful;
Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge.

(3) Srificeth not, that we are brought to Rome, To beautify tby Triumpbs, and return Captive to tbee and to iby Roman yoke?] It is evident, as this Paffage has hitherto been pointed, none of the editors understood the true Meaning. If Tamora and her Family return captive to Rome, they must have been before prisoners of war to the Romans : and that is more than what is hinted, or suppos'd, any where in the play. But the truth is, return is not a Verb but a Subfiantive; and relates to Titus and not to Tamora : The regulation I have given the text, I dare warrant, restores the Author's intencion. To beautify i by triumphs and return.

Thrices

Thrice noble Titus, spare my first-born son.

Tit. Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me.
These are their brethren, whom you Goths behold
Alive and dead, and for their brethren llain
Religiously they ask a sacrifice ;
To this your son is markt, and die he muft,
T'appease their groaning shadows that are gone.

Luc. Away with him, and make a fire straight.
And with our swords, upon a pi'e of wood,
Let's hew his limbs, 'till they be clean consum'd.

[Exe. Mutius, Marcus, Quintus and Lucius with Alarbus.
Tam. O cruel, irreligious, piety!
Chi. Was ever Scythia half lo barbarous ?
Dem. Oppose me, Scythia, to ambitious Rome,
Alarbus, go to rest! and we survive
To tremble under Titus' threatning looks.
Then, madam, ftand resolv'd; but hope withal,
The felf-fame gods, that arm's the Queen of Troy (4)
With opportunity of sharp revenge
Upon the Thracian tyrant in her tent,
May favour Tamora, the Queen of Goths,
(When Goths were Goths, and Tamora was Queen)
To quit her bloody wrongs upon her foes.

Enter Mutius, Marcus, Quintus and Lucius. Luc. See, Lord and father, how we have perform’d Our Roman rites: Alarbus' limbs are lopt; And intrails feed the facrificing fire; Whose smoke, like incense, doth perfume the sky. Remaineth nought but to inter our brethren, And with loud 'larums welcome them to Rome,

Tit. Let it be so, and let Andronicus

(4) The self-fame 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 au. thority of all the copies, -in her tent ; i. e. in the tent where the and the other Trojan captive women were kept : for thither Hecuba by a wile had decoyed Polymneftor, 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.

Make

Make this his latest farewel to their souls.

[Then found trumpets, and lay the coffins in the tomb.
İn peace and honour reft you here, my sons,
Rome's readiest champions, repose you here,
Secure from worldly chances and mishaps:
Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells;
Here grow no damned grudges, here no storms,
No noise: but silence and eternal leep:
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons !

Enter Lavinia.
Lav. In peace and honour live Lord Titus long,
My noble Lord and father, live in fame!
Lo! at this tomb my tributary tears
I render, for my brethrens obsequies :
And at thy feet I kneel, with tears of joy
Shed on the earth, for thy return to Rome.
O, bless me here with thy victorious hand,
Whofe fortuné Rome's best citizens applaud.

Tit. Kind Rome, that haft thus lovingly reserv'd
The cordial of mine age, to glad mine heart!
Lavinia, live; out-live thy father's days, (5)
In fame's eternal date for virtue's praise !

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, (6)

That (5) Lavinia, live; out-live thy fatber's days :

And Fame's eternal date for Virtue's praise ? ] Were the text to be admitted genuine , nothing could be so abfurd as for Titus to with,' his daughter might ont-live the eternal date of Fame. This, as my friend Mr. Warburton merrily observes, is like the loyal patriot in the last reign, who wish'd, King George might reign for ever, and the Prince and Princess after him! I have, by the change of a single monosyllable refored the Passage to a senlible and kind with.

(6) Fair Lords, your fortunes are alike in all.] This is addressed by the tribune to all his brother's sons, well dead as alive. But how could it be then said, that their fortunes were all alike? The expression seems liable to an open absurdity. Perhaps, we may reconcile

ourselves

That in your country's service drew your fwords.
But fafer triumph is this funeral pomp,
That hath aspir'd to Salon's happiness
And triumphs over chance, in honour's bed.
Titus Andronicus, the people of Rome,
Whose friend in justice thoa hast ever been,
Send thee by me their tribune, and their trust,
This palliament of white and spotless hue;
And name thee in election for the empire,
With these our late-deceased Emperor's fons:
Be Candidatus then, and put it on;
And help to set a head on headless Rome.

Tit: A better head her glorious body fits,
Than his, that shakes for age and feebleness :
What! should I don this robe, and trouble you?
Be chose with proclamations to-day,
To-morrow yield up rule, resign my life,
And set abroach new business for

you

all? Rome, I have been thy soldier forty years, And led my country's strength successfully; And buried one and twenty valiant sons, Knighted in field, slain manfully in arms, In right and service of their noble country. Give me a staff of honour for mine age, But not a scepter to controul the world. Upright he held it, Lords, that held it last. Mar. litus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery. Sat. Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou tells Tit. Patience, Prince Saturninus.

Sat. Romans, do me right. Patricians, draw your swords, and sheath them not 'Till Saturninus be Rome's Emperor. Andronicus, would thou wert shipt to hell, Rather than rob me of the people's hearts.

Luc. Proud Saturnine, interrupter of the good Ourselves to it, thus: “ Some of you are returned fafe, and with “ glory; you, that have not lived to return, share the glory of your “ brethren's fortune, in having died for your country: And though

you cannot partake in the joy of their triumph; yet still you en. joy a safer triumph, exempt from chance and casualty."

That

« PreviousContinue »