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“ O earth, I will befriend thee more with rain,
Enter Lucius, with his Sword drawn.
Luc. O, noble father, you lament in vain;
Tit. Ah, Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead : Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you. Luc. My gracious lord, no tribune hears you
speak. Tit. Why,'tis no matter, man: or if they did mark, They would not pity me, yet plead I must',
two ancient URNS,] Oxford editor.-Vulg. ancient ruins.” JOHNSON.
Edition 1600-ruines, as in other old copies. Todd.
O, reverend tribunes ! oh gentle aged men.” Todd.
or if they did marke,
“ Therefore,” &c.
The quarto 1600 reads as in the text, except that for—" All bootless,” it reads—“ And bootless." The editor of the folio, finding the passage corrupt in the quarto of 1611, mended it thus :
All bootless unto them.
death. But wherefore stand'st thou with thy weapon
drawn ? Luc. To rescue my two brothers from their
Tir. O happy man! they have befriended thee.
they would not mark, “ All bootless unto them, they would not pity me,” &c. The original is certainly the true reading. In the quarto 1611, an entire line
They would not pity me,” &c. was omitted by the carelessness of the printer; an error which, I have no doubt, has often happened in those plays of which we have only the folio copy. MALONE.
1 A stone is soft as wax, tribunes more hard than stones :) The author, we may suppose, originally wrote:
“ Stone's soft as wax,” &c. STEEVENS.
Enter MARCUS and LAVINIA.
Tit. Will it consume me ? let me see it then.
2 Speak, my Lavinia,] My, which is wanting in the first folio, was supplied by the second. Steevens. 3 — in thy father's sight?] We should read-spight?
WARBURTON. - I'll chop off my hands too ;] Perhaps we should read :
or chop off,” &c. It is not easy to discover how Titus, when he had chopped off one of his hands, would have been able to have chopped off the other. STEEVENS,
I have no doubt but the text is as the author wrote it. Let him answer for the blunder. In a subsequent line Titus supposes himself his own executioner ;
** Now all the service I require of them,
'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 varied notes, enchanting every ear! Luc. O, say thou for her, who hath done this
deed ? 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 deero; 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 sons 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 ?
5 O, that delightful ENGINE OF HER THOUGHTS,] This piece furnishes scarce any resemblances to Shakspeare's works; this one expression, however, is found in his Venus and Adonis : “Once more the engine of her thoughts began."
MALONE. 6 It was my DEER;] This play upon deer and dear has been used by Waller, who calls a lady's girdle
“The pale that held my lovely deer." Johnson.
Thou hast no hands, to wipe away thy tears;
Upon a gather'd lily almost wither'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 sister makes.Gentle Lavinia, let me kiss thy lips; Or make some sign how I may do thee ease : Shall thy good uncle, and thy brother Lucius, And thou, and I, sit round about some fountain; Looking all downwards, to behold our cheeks How they are stain'd; like meadows?, yet not dry With miry slime left on them by a flood ? 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 wonder'd at in time to come. Luc. Sweet father, cease your tears; for, at your
grief, See, how my wretched sister sobs and weeps.
7 — Like meadows,] Old copies-in meadows. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone.