Page images

With my more noble meaning, not a man
Shall pass his quarter, or offend the stream
Of regular justice in your city's bounds;
But shall be remedied by publick laws
At heaviest answer.

Both. 'Tis most nobly spoken.
Alc. Descend, and keep your words.

Enter a Soldier.
Sold. My noble General, Timon is dead;
Entomb'd upon the very hem o'th' sea;
And on the grave-stone this Insculpture, which
With wax I brought away ; whose soft impression
Interpreteth for my poor ignorance.

[Alcibiades reads the epitaph.] Here lyes a wretched coarse, of wretched foul bereft : (43) Seek not my name : a plague consume you caitiffs left · Here lye I Timon, wbo all living men did bate, Pass by, and curfe thy fill, but fay not bere thy gaite. :

These well express in thee thy latter spirits :
Tho' thou abhorr'dft in uś our human griefs,
Scorn'dit our brains flow, and those our droplets, which

(43) Here lies a wretched Coarse,] This Epitaph the Poet has form'd out of two separate Distichs quoted by Plutarch in his Life of M. Antony : the first, said to have been compos'd by Timon himself; the other is an Epitaph on him made by Callimachus, and extant among his Epigrams. The Version of the latter, as our Author has transmitted it to us, avoids those Blunders which Leonard Aretine, the Latin Translator of the above quoted Life in Plutarch, committed in it. I once imagin'd, that Shakespeare might possibly have corrected this Translator's Blunder from his own Acquaintance with the Greek Original: but, I find, he has transcrib'd the four Lines from an old English Version of Plutarch, extant in his Time, I have not been able to trace the Time, when this Play of our Author's made its first Appearance; but I believe, it was written before the Death of Q. Elizabeth ; because I take it to be hinted at in a Piece, calld, Jack Drum's Entertainment ; or, The Comedy of Pasquill and Katherine, play'd by the Children of Powles, and printed in 1601. . Come, come, now I'll be as fociable as Timon of Athens.


From niggard nature fall; yet rich conceit (44)
Taught thee to make vast Neptune weep for aye
On thy low grave. On: faults forgiven, Dead
Is noble Timon, of whose memory
Hereafter more- Bring me into your City,
And I will use the Olive with my Sword; . seach
Make War breed Peace; make Peace stint War; make
Prescribe to other, as each other's Leach.
Let our drums strike. -

(Exeunt. (44)

- yet rich Conceit
Taught thee to make vaft Neptune weep for aye !
On thy low Grave, on faults forgiven. Dead
Is noble Timon, of whose Memory

Hereafter more. - ] All the Editors, in their Learning and Sagacity, have suffer'd an unaccountable Absurdity to pass them in this Passage. Why was Neptune to weep on Timon's Faults forgiven? Or, indeed, what Faults had Timon committed, except against his own Fortune and happy Situation in Life? But the Corruption of the Text lies only in the bad Pointing, which I have disengag'd, and restor'd to the true Meaning. Alcibiades's whole Speech, as the Editors might have obferv'd, is in Breaks, betwixt his Reflections on Timon's Death, and his Addresses to the Athenian Senators : and as soon as he has commented on the Place of Timon's Grave, he bids the Senate set forward ; tells 'em, he has forgiven their Faults; and promises to use them with Mercy. The very fame Manner of Expresfion occurs in Antony, and Cleopatra.. .

Anto. Well ; what worst?"
Meff. The Nature of bad News infeets the Teller.
Anto. When it concerns the Fool or Coward: On;

Things, that are past, are done with Me.

Worft ?

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Saturninus, Son to the late Emperor of Rome, and after.

wards declard Emperor himself. Bassianus, Brother to Saturninus, in Love with Lavinia. Titus Andronicus, a Noble Roman, General against the

Goths. Marcus Andronicus, Tribune of the People, and Brother to

Marcus, 3
Quintus, ( Sons to Titus Andronicus.
Mutius. S
Young Lucius, a Boy, Son to Lucius. .
Publius, Son to Marcus the Tribune, and Nephew to Titus

Alarbus, )
Chiron, Sons to Tamora. . . -
Demetrius, .)
Aaron, a Moor, belovd by Tamora.
Captain, from Titus's Camp.
Æmilius, à Messenger.
Goths, and Romans.

Tamora, Queen of the Goths, and afterwards married to

Saturninus. Lavinia, Daughter to Titus Andronicus. Nurse, with a Black-a-moor Child. Senators, Judges, Officers, Soldiers, and other Attendants.

SCENE, Rome ; and the Country near it.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

SCE N E, before the Capitol in ROME.

Enter the Tribunes and Senators aloft, as in the Senate.

Enter Saturninus and his followers, at one door; and Bassianus and his followers, at the other, with Drum and Colours."

i n SATURNINU S. S L OBLE Patricians, Patrons of my Right,

Defend the justice of my Cause with arms :

And Countrymen, my loving followers,
O Plead my succesive title with your swords.

B I am the first-bořn Son of him, that last
Wore the imperial Diadem of Rome:
Then let my father's honours live in me,
Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.



(1) Titus Andronicus.] This is one of those Plays, which I have al. ways thought, with the better Judges, ought not to be acknowledgod in the Lift of Shakespeare's genuine Pieces. And, perhaps, I may give a Proof to strengthen this Opinion, that may pat the Matter out of Question. Beri


« PreviousContinue »