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Mar. Alas, my Lord, I have but kill'd a fly.
I it. But?-how if that fly had a father and mother? How would he hang his fender gilded wings, And buz lamenting dolings in the air? (19) Poor harmless fly, That with his pretty buzzing melody, Came here to make us merry; And thou hast kill'd him.
Mar. Pardon me, Sir, it was a black ill-favour'd fly, Like to the Empress' Moor; therefore I kill'd him.
Tit. O, O, O,
Mar. Alas, poor man, grief has so wrought on him,
(19) And buz lamenting doings in the air.] Lamenting doings is a very idle expression, and conveys no idea. The alteration, which I have made, tho' it is but the addition of a single letter, is a great encrease to the sense: and tho', indeed, there is somewhat of a tau. tology in the epitbet and substantive annext to it, yet that's no new thing with our author. I remember one of the very same kind in his Locrine;
And gnath your teeth with dulor dus lapients,
SCENE, Titus's House. Enter
young Lucius, and Lavinia running after him; and the boy flies from her, with his books under his arm. Enter Titus, and Marcas.
Follows me every where, I know not why.
Mar. Stand by me, Lucius, do not fear thy aunt.
Tit. Fear thou not, Lucius, somewhat doth she mean:
Boy. My Lord, I know not I, nor can I guess, Unless some fit or frenzy do posless her: For I have heard my grand fire fay full oft, Extremity of grief would make men mad. And I have read, that Hecuba of Troy Ran mad through sorrow; that made me to fear; Although, my Lord, I know my noble aunt Loves me as dear as e'er my mother did : And would not, but in fury, fright my youth; Which made me down to throw my books, and fly, Causeleis, perhaps; but pardon me, sweet aunt; And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go, I will most willingly attend your Ladyship.
Mar. Lucius, I will.
Tit. How now, Lavinia ? Marcus, what means this? Some book there is, that the defires to fee. Which is it, girl, of these? open them, boy. But thou art deeper read, and better skill'd: Come and make choice of all my library, And so beguile thy sorrow, 'till the heav'ns Reveal the damn'd contriver of this deed : Why lifts the up her arms in fequence thus ?
Mar. I think, the means, that there was more than one Confederate in the fact. Ay, more there was : Or else to heav'n the heares them, for revenge.
Tit. Lucius, what book is that the tosses so?
Boy. Grandfire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphoses';
gone, Perhaps, the cull'd it from among the reft.
Tit. Soft! fee, how busily she turns the leaves ! Help her: what would she find? Lavinia, shall I read? This is the tragick tale of Philomel, And treats of Tereus' treason and his rape ; And rape, I fear, was root of thine annoy.
Mar. See, brother, see; note, how she quotes the leaves.
Tit. Lavinia, wert thou thus furpriz’d, sweet girl, Ravilh'd and wrong'd as Philomela was, Forc'd in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods ? See, see; Ay, such a place there is, where we did hunt, (O had we never, never, hunted there !) Pattern'd by that the Poet here describes, By nature made for murders and for rapes.
Mar. O, why should nature build so foul a den, Unless the gods delight in tragedies !
Tit. Give figns, sweet girl, for here are none but friends, What Roman Lord it was durft do the deed; Or ilunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst, That left the camp to sin in Lucrece’ bed ?
Mar. Sit down, sweet niece; brother, fit' down by me. Apolo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury, Inspire me, that I may this treason find.
My Lord, look here; look here, Lavinia. [He writes his name with his staff, and guides it with his
feet and mouth. This fandy plot is plain; guide, if thou can'ít, This after me, when I have writ my name, Without the help of any hand at all. Curit be that heart, that forc'd us to this shift! Write thou, good niece; and here display, at least, What god will have discover'd for revenge ; Heav'n guide thy pen, to print thy forrows plain, That we may know the traitors, and the truth ! [She takes the staff in her mouth, and guides it with her
pumps, and writes. Tit. On, do you read, my Lord, what she hath writ? Stuprum, Chiron, Demetrius.
Mar. What, what!—the lustful fons of Tamora
Tit. Magne Dominator Poli, (20)
Mar. Oh calm, thee, gentle Lord; although, I know,
Magni Dominator Poli, Tam lentus audis Scelera! tam lentus vides! ] Thus this quotation has pass'd thro' all the printed copies, as well those put out by the players, as those by the more learned editors. The latter of these verses is copied from the Hippolytus of Seneca; but the address to Jupiter there, which precedes is, is in thefe terms Magne Regnator Deum,
Tam lentus audis fcelera! &c. Where Sbakespeare, (or whoever else was the author of this play) met with the hemiftich fubstituted in the place of Seneca's, I can't pretend to say. But were our poetical editors so little acquainted with the numbers of a common Tambic, as to let
Mag- ni Domi- nator | Poli, pass them without suspicion? have they ever observ'd a dactyl in the fourth foot of an Lambic verse, either in the Greek tragedians, or in Seneca ; if not, I must believe, our author found this bemiffich thus:
-Mag-t ne Domi-l nator | Poli, Thus the 4th foot is a Tribrachys, (and equal in time to an lambic,) a licence perpetually taken by all the tragic poets.
And kneel, sweet boy, the Roman Hector's hope,
blood, ere die with this reproach.
Boy. I say, my Lord, that if I were a man,
Mar. Ay, that's my boy! thy father hath full oft For this ungrateful country done the like.
Boy. And, uncle, so wiil I, an if I live.
Tit. Come, go with me into my armoury. Lucius, I'll fit thee; and withal, my boy (21) That we will prosecute (by good advice)
Mortal revenge upon these traiterous Goths;
And see their blood, or die with this reproach.) But if they endeavour'd to throw off the reproach, tho' they tell in the attempt, they could not be properly said to dye with that reproach. Marcus mult certainly mean, that they would have revenge on their enemies, and spill their blood, rather than they would tamely sit down, and die, under such injuries. For this reason I have corrected the text,
ere die with this reproach. And the same emendation I have made on a passage in Cymbeline, where it was as absolutely necessary. I am not to learn, that or formerly was equivalent to ere. ---- - Or, before, ere: Gloff. to Urrey's Chaucer. ---Or, for ere: quod etiamnum in agro Lincolnienfi frequen
patur. Skinner in bis Glossary of uncommon words. ---But this usage was too obolele for our Shakespeare's time.