« AnteriorContinuar »
(When I have walked like a private man,). That Lucius' banishment was wrongfully, And they have wish'd that Lucius were their em
peror. Tam. Why should you fear ? is not your city
strong? Sat. Ay, but the citizens favour Lucius; And will revolt from me, to succour him. Tam. King, be thy thoughts imperious, like thy
name 8. Is the sun dimm'd, that gnats do fly in it? The eagle suffers little birds to sing, And is not careful what they mean thereby; Knowing that with the shadow of his wings, He can at pleasure stint their melodyo: Even so may'st thou the giddy men of Rome. Then cheer thy spirit: for know, thou emperor, I will enchant the old Andronicus, With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous, Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep'; When as the one is wounded with the bait, The other rotted with delicious feed.
IMPERIOUS, like thy name.] Imperious was formerly used for imperial. See Cymbeline, Act IV. Sc. II.:
“ The imperious seas, &c. MALONE. Again, in Troílus and Cressida :
“ I thank thee, most imperious Agamemnon.” Steevens. 9 – STINT their melody:] i, e. stop their melody. Malone. So, in Romeo and Juliet : it stinted, and cried-ay.".
STEEVENS. HONEY-STALKs to sheep;] Honey-stalks are clover flowers, which contain a sweet juice. It is common for cattle to overcharge themselves with clover, and die. Johnson.
Clover has the effect that Johnson mentions, on black cattle, but not on sheep. Besides, these honey-stalks, whatever they may be, are described as rotting the sheep, not as bursting them; whereas clover is the wholesomest food you can give them.
M. Mason. Perhaps, the author was not so skilful a farmer as the commentator. MALONE.
Sat. But he will not entreat his son for us.
Tam. If Tamora entreat him, them he will: For I can smooth, and fill his aged ear With golden promises ; that were his heart Almost impregnable, his old ears deaf, Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue.Go thou before, be our embassador ? :
[To Emilius. Say that the emperor requests a parley Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting, Even at his father's house, the old Andronicus.
Sat. Emilius, do this message honourably: And if he stand on hostage for his safety, Bid him demand what pledge will please him best. Emil. Your bidding shall I do effectually.
[Exit EMILIUS. TAM. Now will I to that old Andronicus; And temper him, with all the art I have, To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths. And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again, And bury all thy fear in my devices. Sat. Then go successfully *, and plead to him.
2 — Be our embassador :] The old copies readto be, &c. Corrected by Mr. Steevens. MALONE,
3 - on hostage-] Old copies--in hostage. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.
4 successfully,] The old copies read-successantly; a mere blunder of the press. Steevens.
Whether the author of this play had any authority for this word, I know not; but I suspect he had not. In the next Act he with equal licence uses rapine for rape. By successantly, I suppose, he meant successfully. "MALONE.
ACT V. SCENE I.
Plains near Rome.
Enter Lucius, and Goths, with Drum and Colours.
Luc. Approved warriors, and my faithful friends, I have received letters from great Rome, Which signify, what hate they bear their emperor, And how desirous of our sight they are. Therefore, great lords, be, as your titles witness, Imperious, and impatient of your wrongs ; And, wherein Rome hath done you any scath', Let him make treble satisfaction. 1 Goth. Brave slip, sprung from the great An
dronicus, Whose name was once our terror, now our comfort; Whose high exploits, and honourable deeds, Ingrateful Rome requites with foul contempt, Be bold in us : we'll follow where thou lead'st, — Like stinging bees in hottest summer's day, Led by their master to the flower'd fields,And be aveng'd on cursed Tamora.
Goths. And, as he saith, so say we all with him.
Luc. I humbly thank him, and I thank you all. But who comes here, led by a lusty Goth? Enter a Goth, leading Aaron, with his Child in
his Arms. 2 Goth. Renowned Lucius, from our troops I
stray'd, To gaze upon a ruinous monasteryo;
scath,] i. e. harm. See vol. xv. p. 225, n. 9.
STEEVENS. 6 To gaze upon a ruinous monastery;] Shakspeare has so perpetually offended against chronology in all his plays, that no very conclusive argument can be deduced from the particular absurdity
And as I earnestly did fix mine eye.
Luc. O worthy Goth! this is the incarnate devil,
of these anachronisms, relative to the anthenticity of Titus Andronicus. And yet the ruined monastery, the popish tricks, &c. that Aaron talks of, and especially the French salutation from the mouth of Titus, are altogether so very much out of place that I cannot persuade myself even our hasty poet could have been guilty of their insertion, or would have permitted them to remain, had he corrected the performance for another. Steevens.
7 This is the pearl that pleas'd your empress' eye ;] Alluding to the proverb, “A black man is a pearl in a fair woman's eye."
MALONE. - No :) This necessary syllable, though wanting in the first folio, is found in the second. STEEVENS.
A halter, soldiers ; hang him on this tree,
AAR. Touch not the boy, he is of royal blood.
Luc. Too like the sire for ever being good.First, hang the child, that he may see it sprawl ; A sight to vex the father's soul withal. Get me a ladder. [A Ladder brought, which Aaron is obliged to
Lucius, save the child And bear it from me to the emperess. If thou do this, I'll show thee wond'rous things, That highly may advantage thee to hear: If thou wilt not, befall what may befall, I'll speak no more; But vengeance rot you all! Luc. Say on; and, if it please me which thou
speak’st, Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish’d. AAR. An if it please thee? why, assure thee,
Lucius, 'Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak; For I must talk of murders, rapes, and massacres, Acts of black night, abominable deeds, Complots of mischief, treason ; villainies Ruthful to hear, yet píteously perform’d'
9 Get me a ladder. Aar.
Lucius, save the child ;] All the printed editions have given this whole verse to Aaron. But why should the Moor ask for a ladder, who earnestly wanted to have his child saved ? THEOBALD.
“Get me a ladder,” may mean, hang me. Steevens.
These words,—“Get me a ladder,” are given to Aaron, in edit. 1600. Todd.
· Ruthful to hear, yet PitEOUSLY perform'd :) I suppose we should read-pitilessly, not piteously. M. Mason.
Is there such a word as that recommended ? Piteously means, in a manner exciting pity. Steevens.