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Is that the one will help to cut the other :
'Tis well, Lavinia, that thou hast no hands,
For hands to do Rome service are but vain.
Luc. Speak, gentle sister, who hath martyr'd thee?
Mar, o, that delightful engine of her thoughts, That blab'd them with such pleasing eloquence, Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage, Where, like a sweet melodious bird, it sung Sweet various notes, inchanting every ear !
Luc. Oh, say thou for her, who hath done this deedi
Mar. O, thus I found her straying in the park,
Seeking to hide herself; as doth the deer,
That hath receiv'd some unrecuring wound.
Tit. It was my deer; and he, that wounded her,
Hath hurt me more than had he kill'd me dead :
For now I stand, as one upon a rock,
Environ'd with a wilderness of sea,
Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave ;
Expecting ever when some envious surge
Will in his brinish bowels swallow him.
This way to death my wretched fons are gone :
Here stands my other son, a banish'd man;
And here my brother, weeping at my woes.
But that, which gives my soul the greatest spurn,
Is dear Lavinia, dearer than my soul.
Had I but seen thy picture in this plight,
It would have madded me. What shall I do,
Now I behold thy lively body so?
Thou hast no hands to wipe away thy tears,
Nor tongue to tell me who hath martyr'd thee;
Thy husband he is dead; and for his death
Thy brothers are condemn'd, and dead by this.
Look, Marcus! ah, fon Lucius, look on her:
When I did name her brothers, then fresh tears
Stood on her cheeks; as doth the honey-dew
Upon a gather'd lilly almost wither'd.
Mar. Perchance, she weeps because they kill'd her
husband. Perchance, because she knows them innocent. Tit. If they did kill thy husband, then be joyful
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 flime left on them by a food ?
And in the fountain shall we gaze so long,
'Till the fresh taste be taken from that clearness,
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 filter sobs and weeps.
Mar. Patience, dear niece; good Titus, dry thine eyes. Tit. Ab, Marcus, Marcus! brother, well I wot, Thy napkin cannot drink a tear of mine, For thou, poor man, haft drown'd it with thine own.
Luc. Ah, my Lavinia, I will wipe thy cheeks.
Tit. Mark, Marcus, mark; I understand her signs;
Had le a tongue to speak, now would she say
That to her brother which I said to thee.
His napkin, with his true tears all bewet,
Can do no service on her sorrowful cheeks.
Oh, what a sympathy of woe is this!
As far from help as Limbo is from bliss.
Aar. Titus Andronicus, my Lord the Emperor
Sends thee this word; that if thou love thy sons,
Les Marcus, Lucius, or thyself, old Titus,
any one of you, chop off your hand, And send it to the King; he for the same VOL. VI.
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 sing so like a lark,
That gives sweet tidings of the sun's uprise ?
With all my heart, I'll send the Emperor my hand;
Good Auron, wilt thou help to chop it off ?
Luc. Stay, father, for that noble hånd of thine,
That hath thrown down so many enemies,
Shall not be fent; my hand will serve the turn.
My youth can better spare my blood than you,
And therefore mine shall save
Mar. Which of your hands hath not defended Rome,
And rear'd aloft the bloody battle-ax,
Writing destruction on the enemies casque? (17)
Oh, none of both but are of high defert :
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 teach 17s 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 casitles formerly on their heads for defensive armour? There is, indeed, a passage in Troilus and Cressica, which such commentators might alledge in support 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 destruction on the enemies 'cask, i. e, an helmet; from the Frencb word, une casque. A broken k in the nianuscript might easily be mistaken for tl, and thus a castle was built at once. But as I think it is much more feisible to split an belmet with a bat:le-axe, than to cut down a castle with it, I shall continue to stand-by my emendation.
Are meet for plucking up, and therefore mine.
Luc. Sweet father, if I shall be thought thy fon,
Let me redeem my brothers both from death.
Mar. And for our father's fake, and mother's care,
Now let me show 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, whilft I live, deceive men fo.
But I'll deceive you in another fort,
And that, you'll say, ere half an hour pafs. [Afde.
[He cuts off Titus's hand.
Enter Lucius and Marcus again.
Tit. Now ftay your ftrife; 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 fons, say, I account of them
As jewels purchas'd at an easy price;
yet dear too, because I bought mine own.
Aar. Igo, Andronicus ; and for thy hand
Look by and by to have thy fons with thee:
Their heads, I mean.-Oh, how this villany. [Afide.
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 Itain the fun with fogs, as sometime clouds,
When they do hug him in their melting bosoms.
Mar. Oh! brother, speak with possibilities,
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-fwol'n 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 fighs, Then must my earth with her continual tears Become a deluge, overflow'd and drown'd: For why, my howels cannot hide her woes, But, like a drunkard, muft I vomit them ; Then give me leave, for losers will have leave To ease their stomachs with their bitter tongues.
Enter a Mesenger, bringing in two heads and a hand.
Mes. 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 fcorn to thee seni 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 Ætna cool in Sicily,
And be my heart an ever-burning hell;
These miseries are more than may be borne !
weep with them that weep doth ease fome deal, But forrow flouted at is double death.
Luc. Ah, that this fight should make so deep a wound, And yet
deteited life not shrink thereat; That ever death should let life bear his name, Where life hath no more intereit but to breathe.
Mar. Alas, poor heart, that kiss is comfortless, As frozen water to a starved fnal
Tit When will this fearful Number have an end?