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Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue.-
Sat. Æmilius, do this message honourably :
[Erit Æmilius. Tam. Now will I to that old Andronicus; And temper him, with all the art I have, To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths. And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again, And bury all thy fear in my
devices. Sat. Then go successfully, and plead to him.
SCENE I. Plains near Rome.
Enter Lucius, and Goths, with Drum and Colours.
Luc. Approved warriors, and my faithful friends, I have received letters from great Rome, Which signify, what hate they bear their emperor, And how desirous of our sight they are. Therefore, great lords, be, as your titles witness, , Imperious, and impatient of your wrongs ; And, wherein Rome hath done you any scath, Let him make treble satisfaction. i Goth. Brave slip, sprung from the great An
9.-scath,] i.e. harm.
Whose name was once our terror, now our comfort;
Goths. And, as he saith, so say we all with him.
Luc. I humbly thank him, and I thank you all. But who comes here, led by a lusty Goth?
Enter a Goth, leading Aaron, with his Child in
his Arms, 2 Goth. Renowned Lucius, from our troops I
stray'd, To gaze upon a ruinous monastery ;' And as I earnestly did fix mine eye Upon the wasted building, suddenly I heard a child cry underneath a wall : I made unto the noise; when soon I heard The crying babe controll'd with this discourse : Peace, tawny slave; half me, and half thy dam! Did not thy hue bewray whose brat thou art, Had nature lent thee but thy mother's look, Villain, thou might'st have been an emperor ; But where the bull and cow are both milk-white, They never do beget a coal-black calf.
'To gaze upon a ruinous monastery;] Shakspeare has so perpe. tually offended against chronology in all his plays, that no very conclusive argument can be deduced from the particular absurdity of these anachronisms, relative to the authenticity of Titus Andronicus, And yet the ruined monastery, the popish tricks, &c. that - Aaron talks of, and especially the French salutation from the mouth of Titus, are altogether so very much out of place, that I cannot persuade myself even our hasty poct could have been guilty of their insertion, or would have permitted them to remain, had he corrected the performance for another. STEEVENS.
Peace, villain, peace leven thus he rates the
babe, For I must bear thee to a trusty Goth; Who, when he knows thou art the empress' babe, Will hold thee dearly for thy mother's sake. With this my weapon drawn, I rush'd upon him, Surpriz’d him suddenly; and brought him hither, To use as you think needful of the man.
Luc. O worthy Goth! this is the incarnate devil, That robb’d Andronicus of his good hand : This is the pearl that pleas'd your empress' eye ;? And here's the base fruit of his burning lust. Say, wall-ey'd slave, whither would'st thou convey This growing image of thy fiend-like face? Why dost not speak? What! deaf? No; not a
word? A halter, soldiers ; hang him on this tree, And by his side his fruit of bastardy.
Aar. Touch not the boy, he is of royal blood.
Luc. Too like the sire for ever being good.First, hang the child, that he may see it sprawl; A sight to vex the father's soul withal. Get me a ladder. [A Ladder brought, which Aaron is obliged to
Lucius, save the child; And bear it from me to the emperess. If thou do this, I'll show thee wond'rous things, That highly may advantage thee to hear: If thou wilt not, befall what may befall, I'll speak no more; But vengeance rot you all! Luc. Say on; and, if it please me which thou
speak'st, Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish'd.
a This is the pearl that pleas'd your empress' eye ;] Alluding to the proverb, " A black man is a pearl in a fair woman's eye.”
Aar. An if it please thee? why, assure thee,
Lucius, 'Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak; For I must talk of murders, rapes, and massacres, Acts of black night, abominable deeds, Complots of mischief, treason ; villainies Ruthful to hear, yet piteously perform'd : And this shall all be buried by my death, Unless thou swear to me, my child shall live. Luc. Tell on thy mind; I say, thy child shall
live. Aar. Swear, that he shall, and then I will begin. Luc. Who should I swear by? thou believ’st no
god; That granted, how canst thou believe an oath?
Aar. What if I do not ? as, indeed, I do not:
Luc. Even by my god, I swear to thee, I will.
Aar. Tut, Lucius! this was but a deed of charity, To that which thou shalt hear of ine anon. 'Twas her two sons that murder'd Bassianus :
luxurious woman!] i. e. lascivious woman.
They cut thy sister's tongue, and ravish'd her,
ming? Aar. Why, she was wash'd, and cut, and trimm'd;
and t'was Trim sport for them that had the doing of it.
Luc. 0, barbarous, beastly villains, like thyself?
Aar. Indeed, I was their tutor to instruct them; That codding spirit had they from their mother, As sure a card as ever won the set ; That bloody mind, I think, they learn’d of me, As true a dog as ever fought at head." Well, let my deeds be witness of my worth. I train'd thy brethren to that guileful hole, Where the dead corpse of Bassianus lay : I wrote the letter that thy father found, And hid the gold within the letter mention'd, Confederate with the queen, and her two sons; And what not done, that thou hast cause to rue, Wherein I had no stroke of mischief in it? I play'd the cheater for thy father's hand ; And, when I had it, drew myself apart, And almost broke my heart with extreme laughter. I pry'd me through the crevice of a wall, When, for his hand, he had his two sons' heads ; Beheld his tears, and laugh'd so heartily, That both mine eyes were rainy like to his; And when I told the empress of this sport, She swounded almost at my pleasing tale, And, for my tidings, gave me twenty kisses. Goth. What! canst thou say all this, and never
blush ? Aar. Ay, like a black dog, as the saying is. * As true a dog as ever fought at head.] An allusion to bulldogs, whose generosity and courage are always shown by meeting the bull in front, and seizing his nose.