Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

!

Tır. But how, if that fly had a father and

mother??
How would he hang his slender gilded wings,
And buz lamenting doings in the air ?
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; 'twas a black ill-favour'd

fly,
Like to the empress' Moor; therefore I kill'd him.

Tir. O, O, O,
Then pardon me for reprehending thee,
For thou hast done a charitable deed.
Give me thy knife, I will insult on him;
Flattering myself, as if it were the Moor,
Come hither purposely to poison me.--
There's for thyself, and that's for Tamora.
Ah, sirrah 4 !

2

[ocr errors]

a father and MOTHER?] Mother perhaps should be omitted, as the foliowing line speaks only in the singular number, and Titus most probably confines his thoughts to the sufferings of a father. STEEVENS.

Mr. Steevens judiciously conjectures that the words-and mother, should be omitted. We might read:

But !-How if that fy had a father, brother?"
The note of exclamation seems necessary after-But, from what
Marcus says, in the preceding line :

“ Alas ! my lord, I have but kill'd a fly." Ritson.
3 And buz lamenting Dongs in the air?] Lamenting doings
is a very idle expression, and conveys no idea. I read-dolings.
The alteration which I have made, though it is but the addition
of a single letter, is a great increase to the sense ; and though,
indeed, there is somewhat of tautology in the epithet and sub-
stantive annexed to it, yet that's no new thing with our author.

THEOBALD. There is no need of change. Sad doings for any unfortunate event, is a common though not an elegant expression.

STEBVENS. * Ah, SIRRAH!] This was formerly not a disrespectful expres.

Yet I do think we are not brought so low,
But that, between us, we can kill a fly,
That comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor.
Mar. Alas, poor man! grief has so wrought on

him,
He takes false shadows for true substances.

Tır. Come, take away.-Lavinia, go with me: I'll to thy closet; and go read with thee Sad stories, chanced in the times of old.Come, boy, and go with me; thy sight is young, And thou shalt read, when mine begins to dazzle.

[Ereunt.

ACT IV. SCENE I.

The Same. Before Titus's House.

Enter Tirus and MARCUS.

Then enter young Lucius, Lavinia running after him. Boy. Help, grandsire, help! my aunt Lavinia Follows me every where, I know not why:Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes ! Alas, sweet aunt, I know not what you mean. Mar. Stand by me, Lucius; do not fear thine

aunt. Trr. She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee

harm. Boy. Ay, when my father was in Rome, she did. Mar. What means my niece Lavinia by these

signs ?

sion. Poins uses the same address to the Prince of Wales. See vol. xvi. p. 205, n. 7. Malone.

s Yet I do think, &c.] Do was inserted by me for the sake of the metre. Steevens.

Tit. Fear her not, Lucius Somewhat doth she

mean: See, Lucius, see, how much she makes of thee: Somewhither would she have thee go with her. Ah, boy, Cornelia never with more care Read to her sons, than she hath read to thee, Sweet poetry, and Tully's Orator. Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?

Boy. My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess, Unless some fit or phrenzy do possess her: For I have heard my grandsire say full oft, Extremity of griefs 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; Causeless, perhaps : But pardon me, sweet aunt: And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go, I will most willingly attend your ladyship. Mar. Lucius, I will. [Lavinia turns over the books which Lucius

has let fall. Tit. How now, Lavinia ?-Marcus, what means

this? Some book there is that she desires to see :Which is it, girl, of these ?-Open them, boy. But thou art deeper read, and better skill'd; Come, and take choice of all my library, 6 – Tully's ORATOR.] The moderns-oratory.

The old copies read-Tully's oratour; meaning, perhaps, Tully De Oratore.

STEEVENS. “ – Tully's Orator." Tully's Treatise on Eloquence, addressed to Brutus, and entitled Orator. The quantity of Latin words was formerly little attended to. Mr. Rowe, and all the subsequent editors, read-Tully's oratory. MALONE.

6

And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens
Reveal the damn'd contriver of this deed.
Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus ?
Mar. I think, she means, that there was more

than one
Confederate in the fact ;--Ay, more there was:
Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.

Tit. Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?

Boy. Grandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphosis;
My mother gav't me.
Mar.

For love of her that's gone,
Perhaps she culld it from among the rest.

Tit. Soft! see, 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 surpriz'd, sweet

girl, Ravish'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, (, 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 !

8

.

7 Soft! see, how busily, &c.] Old copies

“ Soft, so busily,” &c. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone. The edition 1600 also reads-Soft, so busilie. Todd.

: - how she quotes the leaves.] To quote, is to observe. See a note on Hamlet, Act II, Sc. II. Steevens.

Tır. Give signs, sweet girl, -for here are none

but friends, What Roman lord it was durst do the deed: Or slunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst, That left the camp to sin in Lucrece' bed ? Mar. Sit down, sweet niece;-brother, sit down

by me. Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury, Inspire me, that I may this treason find My lord, look here ;-Look here, Lavinia: This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thou canst, This after me, when I have writ my name Without the help of any hand at all. [He writes his Name with his Staff, and guides

it with his Feet and Mouth. Curs'd be that heart, that forc'd us to this shift!Write thou, good niece; and here display, at last, What God will have discover'd for revenge: Heaven guide thy pen to print thy sorrows plain, That we may know the traitors, and the truth! [She takes the Staff in her Mouth, and guides

it with her Stumps, and writes. Tır. O, do you read, my lord, what she hath

writ? Stuprum-Chiron-Demetrius.

MAR. What, what !- the lustful sons of Tamora Performers of this heinous, bloody deed ?

Tır. Magni Dominator poli', Tam lentus audis scelera? tam lentus vides? Mar. O, calm thee, gentle lord! although, I

know, There is enough written upon this earth,

9 Magne Dominator poli, &c.] Magne Regnator Deum, &c. is the exclamation of Hippolytus when Phædra discovers the secret of her incestuous passion in Seneca's tragedy. Steevens.

Magne Dominator poli.” The edition 1600 reads—“Magni Dominator poli.” Todd.

Such is also the reading of quarto 1611. Boswell.

« AnteriorContinua »