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Because the law hath ta'en revenge on them.
No, no, they would not do so foul a deed;
Witness the sorrow, that their fifter makes.
Gentle Lavinia, let me kiss thy lips,
Or make some signs how I may do thee ease:
Shall thy good uncle, and thy brother Lucius,
And thou, and I, fit round about some fountain,
Looking all downwards to behold our cheeks,
How they are stain'd like meadows yet not dry
With miry Aime left on them by a food ?
And in the fountain shall we gaze so long,
'Till the fresh taste be taken from that clearners,
And made a brine-pit with our bitter tears ?
Or shall we cut away our hands like thine ?
Or shall we bite our tongues, and in dumb shows
Pass the remainder of our hateful days?
What shall we do? let us, that have our tongues, ·
Plot some device of further misery,
To make us wondred at in time to come.

Luc. Sweet father, cease your tears; for, at your grief, See, how my wretched fifter sobs and weeps.

Mar. Patience, dear niece; good Titus, dry thine eyes.

Tit. Ah, Marcus, Marcus ! brother, well I wot, Thy napkin cannot drink a tear of mine, For thou, poor man, hast drown'd it with thine own,

Luc. Ah, my Lavinia, I will wipe thy cheeks.

Tit. Mark, Martus, mark; I understand her signs;
Had se a tongue to speak, now would she lay
That to her brother which I said to thee.
His napkin, with his true tears all bewet,
Can do no service on her forrowful cheeks.
Oh, what a sympathy of woe is this !
As far from help as Limbo is from bliss.

Enter Aaron.
Aar. Titus Andronicus, my Lord the Emperor
Sends thee this word; that if thou love thy fons,
Let Marcus, Lucius, or thyself, old Titus,
Or any one of you, chop off your hand,
And send it to the King; le for the same
Vol. VI.


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Will send thee hither both thy fons alive,
And that shall be the ransom for their fault.

Tit. Oh, gracious Emperor ! oh, gentle Aaron!
Did ever raven fing fo like a lark,
That gives sweet tidings of the sun's uprise ?
With all my heart, I'll send the Emperor my hand;
Good Aaron, wilt thou help to chop it off ?

Luc. Stay, father, for that noble hand of thine,
That hath thrown down so many enemies,
Shall not be sent; my hand will serve the turn.
My youth can better spare my blood than you,
And therefore mine shall save my brothers lives.

Mar. Which of your hands hath not defended Rome,
And rear'd aløft the bloody battle-ax,
Writing destruction on the enemies casque ? (17)
Oh, none of both but are of high desert :
My hand hath been but idle, let it serve
To ransom my two nephews from their death;
Then have I kept it to a worthy end.

Aar. Nay, come, agree, whose hand shall go along,
For fear they die before their pardon come.

Mar. My hand shall go.
Luc. By heav'n, it shall not go.
Tit. Sirs, strive no more, such wither'd herbs as these
(17) Which of your hands bath not defended Rome,

And rear'd aloft the bloody battle-axe,

Writing destruction on the enemies castle ?] This is a passage, which shows a most wonderful fagacity in our editors. They could not, sure, intend an improvement of the Art Military, by teaching us that it was ever a custom to hew down castles with the battle-axe. Or could they have a design to tell us, that they wore castles formerly on their heads for defensive armour ? there is, indeed, a passage in Troilus and Cresida, which such commentators might alledge in fupport of such a wise opinion.

And, Diomede,
Stand fast, and wear a castle on thy head, &c.
I ventur’d, some time ago, to correct the passage thus;

Writing deftrution on the enemies' cask,
i. e, an helmet; from the French word, une casque. A broken k in
the manuscript might easily be mistaken for tl, and thus a castle was
built at once.

think it is much more feisible to split an belmet with a battle-axe, than to cut down a castle with it, I shall continue to fand by my emendation,


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But as


Are meet for plucking up, and therefore mine.

Luc. Sweet father, if I Mall be thought thy son, Let me redeem


brothers both from death. Mar. And for our father's fake, and mother's care, Now let me shew a brother's love to thee.

Tit. Agree between you, I will spare my hand.
Luc. Then I'll go fetch an ax.
Mar. But I will use the ax. [Exe. Lucius and Marcus.

Tit. Come hither, Aaron, I'll deceive them both,
Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.

Aar. If that be call'd deceit, I will be honest, And never, whilst I live, deceive men so. But I'll deceive you in another sort, And that, you'll say, ere half an hour pass. [ Aside.

[He cuts off Titus's hand. Enter Lucius and Marcus again. Tit. Now ftay your strife;, what shall be, is dispatch'd : Good Aaron, give his Majesty my hand : Tell him, it was a hand that warded him From thousand dangers, bid him bury it: More hath it merited ; that let it have. As for

my sons, say, I account of them As jewels purchas'd at an easy price; And

yet dear too, because I bought mine own. Aar. I go, Andronicus; and for thy hand Look by and by to have thy sons with thee : Their heads, I mean.-Oh, how this villany [Afideo Doth fat me with the very thought of it! Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace, Aaron will have his soul black like his face. [Exit.

Tit. O hear!—I lift this one hand up to heav'n, And bow this feeble ruin to the earth ; If any power pities wretched tears, To that I call: What, wilt thou kneel with me? Do then, dear heart, for heav'n shall hear our prayers, Or with our fighs we'll breathe the welkin dim, And stain the fun with fogs, as sometime clouds, When they do hug him in their melting bosoms. Mar. Oh! brother, speak with poflibilities,

And do not break into these deep extremes.

Tit. Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom? Then be my passions bottomless with them,

Mar. But yet let reason govern thy lament.

Tit. If there were reason for these miseries, Then into limits could I bind my woes. When heav'n doth weep, doth not the earth o'erflow? If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad, Threatning the welkin with his big-fwoln face? And wilt thou have a reason for this coil ? I am the sea; hark, how her fighs do blow; She is the weeping welkin,' I the earth : Then must my sea be moved with her sighs, Then must my earth with her continual tears Become a deluge, overflow'd and drown'd: For why, my bowels cannot hide her woes, But, like a drunkard, must I vomit them; Then give me leave, for losers will have leave To ease their stomachs with their bitter tongues.

Enter a Mefsenger, bringing in two heads and a hand.

Mef. Worthy Andronicus, ill art thou repay'd For that good hand thou sent’st the Emperor ; Here are the heads of thy two noble fons, And here's thy hand in scorn to thee sent back; Thy grief's their sport, thy resolution mockt: That woe is me to think upon thy woes, More than remembrance of my father's death. [Exit.

Mar. Now let hot Ærna cool in Sicily, And be my heart an ever-burning hell; These miseries are more than may be borne ! To

weep with them that weep doth ease some deal, But forsow flouted at is double death.

Luc. Ah, that this fight should make so deep a wound, And yet derested life not shrink thereat; That ever death Nould let life bear his name, Where life hath no more interest but to breathe.

Mar. Alas, poor heart, that kiss is comfortless, As frozen waier to a starved snake, "it. When will this fearful Dumber have an end?


Mar. Now, farewel, flattery ! die, Andronicus ;
Thou doft not number ; see, thy two sons heads,
Thy warlike hand, thy mangled daughter here ;
Thy other banish'd son with this dear fight
Struck pale and bloodless; and thy brother I,
Even like a stony image, cold and numb.
Ah, now no more will I controul thy griefs; (18)
Rend of thy filver hair, thy other hand
Gnawing with thy teeth, and be this dismal fight
The closing up of your most wretched eyes ;
Now is a time to storm, why art thou still?

Tit. Ha, ha, ha.
Mar. Why doit thou laugh? it fits not with this hour.

Tit. Why, I have not another tear to shed;
Besides, this forrow is an enemy,
And would usurp upon my watry eyes,
And make them blind with tributary tears ;
Then which way shall I find revenge's cave?
For thefe two heads do seem to speak to me,
And threat me, I shall never come to bliss,
'Till all these mischiefs be return'd again,
Even in their throats that have committed them,
Come, let me see, what talk I have to do-
You heavy people, circle me about ;
That I may turn me to each one of you,
And swear unto my soul to right your wrongs.
The vow is made ;-come, brother, take a head,
And in this hand the other will I bear;
Lavinia, thou shalt be employ'd in these things ;
Bear thou my hand, sweet wench, between thy teeth;
As for thee, boy, go get thee from my fight,
Thou art an exile, and thou mut not stay.
Hie to the Goths, and raise an army there;
And if you love me, as I think you do,
Let's kiss and part, for we have much to do. [ Exeunt,

(18) Ab, now no more will I controul my grief: ;] I read, ---thy griefs. Marcus had before persuaded Titus to be reinperate and restrain the excess of his forrows : but now, says he, that so miferabl: an object is presented to your fight as a dear daughter fo heinously abusid, e’ea indulge your sorrows till they put an end to your miserable life.


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