Page images


And make a mutual closure of our house.
Speak, Romans, speak, and if you say we shall,
Lo, hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall.

Æmil. Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome,
And bring our emperor gently in thy hand,
Lucius our emperor; for well I know
The common voice do cry it shall be so.

All. Lucius, all hail, Rome's royal emperor !
MARC. Go, go into old Titus' sorrowful house,

[To Attendants.
And hither hale that misbelieving Moor,
To be adjudged some direful slaughtering death,
As punishment for his most wicked life.

(Exeunt Attendants.

LUCIUS, MARCUS, and the others descend


ALL. Lucius, all hail, Rome's gracious governor !

Luc. Thanks, gentle Romans : may I govern so, To heal Rome's harms and wipe away her woe! But, gentle people, give me aim awhile,

134 closure) ending. 141 ALL. Lucius) The early editions give this speech to Marcus. 145 (stage direction) Lucius . . . descend] Thus the Cambridge editors,

following Capell. Lucius and the rest leave the balcony for the level of the stage. Cf. supra, V, iii, 66 and I, i, 1 (stage direction)

and note. 149 give me aim) give me scope or guidance, show me consideration. “To

give aim” is properly a term in archery, and means to suggest to the shooter the precise direction which his arrow should take. CE K. John, II, i, 196, “to cry aim," and note.


For nature puts me to a heavy task;
Stand all aloof; but, uncle, draw you near,
To shed obsequious tears upon this trunk.
O, take this warm kiss on thy pale cold lips,

[Kissing Titus. These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain'd face, The last true duties of thy noble son!

MARC. Tear for tear and loving kiss for kiss
Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy lips :
O, were the sum of these that I should pay
Countless and infinite, yet would I рау

Luc. Come hither, boy; come, come, and learn of us
To melt in showers: thy grandsire loved thee well:
Many a time he danced thee on his knee,
Sung thee asleep, his loving breast thy pillow;
Many a matter hath he told to thee,
Meet and agreeing with thine infancy;

161 170

164 matter] Thus all editions save the First Quarto, which reads storie. 165–169 Meet and agreeing ... in grief and woe) Thus all editions save

the First Quarto, which has quite a different reading for these five
lines, and transfers the last portion of this speech (lines 167–171)
from Lucius to Marcus. The five lines, which have been wholly
transformed in the Second Quarto and later editions, ran in the First
Quarto thus:
And bid thee beare his prettie tales in minde.
And talke of them when he was dead and

Marcus. How manie thousand times hath these poore lips,
When they were living warmd them selues on thine,
Oh now sweete boy, give them their latest kisse,
The First Quarto then continues Marcus's speech with Bid him
farewell, etc., as in the later texts, which give the whole speech to

In that respect then, like a loving child,
Shed yet some small drops from thy tender spring,
Because kind nature doth require it so:
Friends should associate friends in grief and woe:
Bid him farewell; commit him to the grave;
Do him that kindness, and take leave of him.

Boy. O grandsire, grandsire ! even with all my heart
Would I were dead, so you did live again!
O Lord, I cannot speak to him for weeping;
My tears will choke me, if I ope my mouth.

Re-enter Attendants with AARON

A ROMAN. You sad Andronici, have done with woes : Give sentence on this execrable wretch, That hath been breeder of these dire events.

Luc. Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish him; There let him stand and rave and cry for food: 180 If any one relieves or pities him, For the offence he dies. This is our doom: Some stay to see him fasten'd in the earth.

AAR. O, why should wrath be mute, and fury dumb ? I am no baby, I, that with base prayers I should repent the evils I have done: Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did Would I perform, if I might have my will: If one good deed in all my life I did, I do repent it from my very soul.


166 In that respect] On that account. 176 A Roman. You sad Andronici] Pope here makes a new scenic division (Scene vii).

Luc. Some loving friends convey the emperor hence, And give him burial in his father's grave: My father and Lavinia shall forth with Be closed in our household's monument. As for that heinous tiger, Tamora, No funeral rite, nor man in mourning weeds, No mournful bell shall ring her burial; But throw her forth to beasts and birds of prey: Her life was beastly and devoid of pity, And, being so, shall have like want of pity. See justice done on Aaron, that damn'd Moor, By whom our heavy haps had their beginning: Then, afterwards, to order well the state, That like events may ne'er it ruinate.



195 heinous) Thus all editions save the First Quarto, which reads rau

inous. Collier, who had no access to a copy of the First Quarto, by

a curious coincidence suggested ravenous. 200 And, being so . . pity) Thus all editions save the First Quarto,

which reads And being dead let birds on her take pittie. 203 Then state] Then will we apply ourselves to set the state in

order. 204 ruinate) ruin. The word is somewhat frequent in Shakespeare's early

work. Cf. Lucrece, 944, “To ruinate proud buildings"; and Sonnet, X, 7: "Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate;" and % Hen. VI, V, i, 83: “I will not ruinate my father's house."


« PreviousContinue »