« AnteriorContinuar »
Now judge what cause* had Titus to revenge
you have heard the truth, what say you, Romans ?
ÆMIL. Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome,
ROMANS. Lucius, all hail, Rome's royal emperor !*
MARC. Go, go into old Titus' sorrowful house,
[To Attendants, who go into the house. ROMANS. Lucius, all hail, Rome's gracious governor!
Luc. Thanks, gentle Romans: may I govern so,
[Kisses 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,
Luc. Come hither, boy; come, come, and learn of us
(*) Old text, course.
(1) Old text, bloud-slaine. • Romans. Lucius, all hail, Rome's royal emperor !) This and the subsequent line,
Lucius, all hail, Rome's gracious governor!” are in the old copies ascribed to Marcus; but surely in error.
Friends should associate friends in grief and woe:
Boy. O, grandsire, grandsire! even with all my heart
Re-enter Attendants, with Aaron.
LUC. Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish him,
AARON. O, why should wrath be mute, and fury dumb?
Luc. Some loving friends convey the emperor hence,
• No mournful bell-j Query, “No solemn bell,” &c.?
ACT II. (1) SCENE III.
Be unto us as is a nurse's song
Of lullaby, to bring her babe asleep.] Douce, in his “Illustrations of Shakspeare," has an interesting note on the burden lullaby.
“ It would be a hopeless task to trace the origin of the northern verb to lull, which means to sing gently; but it is evidently connected with the Greek Aadís, loquor, or Lásdom, the sound made by the beach at sea. Thus much is certain, that the Roman nurses used the word lalla to quiet their children, and that they feigned a deity called Lallus, whom they invoked on that occasion; the lullaby or tune itself was called by the same name. As lallare meant to sing lalla, to lull might in like manner denote the singing of the nurse's lullaby to induce the child to sleep. Thus in an ancient carol composed in the fifteenth century, and preserved among the Sloane MSS. No. 2693 :
“che song a slepe wt her lullynge
here dere sone our savyoure.'
“In another old ballad, printed by Mr. Ritson in his Ancient Songs, p. 198, the burden iş · lully, lully, lullaby, lullyby, sweete baby,' &c.; from which it seems probable that lullaby is only a comparatively modern contraction of lully baby, the first word being the legitimate offspring of the Roman lalla. In another of these pieces, still more ancient, and printed in the same collection, we have “lullay, lullow, lully, bewy, lulla baw baw.'
“ The Welsh appear to have been famous for their lullaby songs. Jones, in his Arte and science of preserving bodie and soul, 1579, 4to., says :— * The best nurses, but especially the trim and skilfull Welch women, doe use to sing some preaty sonets, wherwith their copious tong is plentifully stoared of divers pretie tunes and pleasaunt ditties, that the children disquicted might be brought to reste: but translated never so well, they want their grace in Englishe, for lacke of proper words : so that I will omit them, as I wishe they would theyr lascivious Dymes, wanton Lullies, and amorous Englins.'
"Mr. White, in reviewing his opinion of the etymology of good-by, will perhaps incline to think it a contraction, when properly written good b'ye, of God be with york, and not may your house prosper!'
“ To add to the stock of our old lullaby songs, two are here subjoined. The first is from a pageant of The slaughter of the innocents, acted at Coventry in the reign of Henry the Eighth, by the taylors and shearers of that city, and most obligingly communicated by Mr. Sharpe. The other is from the curious volume of songs mentioned before in p. 262. Both exhibit the simplicity of ancient manners :
(2) SCENE IV.-A precious ring, that lightens all the hole.) The gem supposed to possess a property of emitting native light was called a carbuncle, and is frequently men. tioned in early books; thus, in "The Gesta Romanorum,” b. vi. :-" He further beheld and saw a carbuncle in the hall that lighted all the house." So also in Lydgate's " Description of King Priam's Palace,” L. II. :
“ And for most chefe all derkeness to confound,
A carbuncle was set as kyng of stones all,
And so Drayton, in “The Muses' Elysium :".
“Is that admired mighty stone,
The carbuncle that's named;
But the best illustration of the passage we have met with occurs in a letter from Boyle, containing "Observations on a Diamond that shines in the dark :"_"Though Vortomannus was not an eye-witness of what he relates, that the King of Pegu had a true Carbuncle of that bigness and splendour, that it shined very gloriously in the dark; and though Garcias ab Horto, the Indian Vice-Roy's physician, speaks of another carbuncle only on the report of one that he discoursed with; yet as we are not sure that these men that gave themselves out to be eye-witnesses, speak true, yet they may have done so for aught we know to the contrary.
I must not omit that some virtuosi questioning me the other day at Whitehall, and meeting amongst them an ingenious Dutch genileman whose father was long embassador for the Netherlands in England, I learned of him that he is acquainted with a person who was admiral of the Dutch in the East Indies, and who assured this gentleman Monsieur Boreel, that at his return from thence, be brought back with him into Holland a stone which though it looked but like a pale dull diamond, yet it was a real carbuncle; and did without rubbing shine so much, that when the admiral had occasion to open a chest which he kept under deck in a dark place where it was forbidden to bring candles for fear of mischances, as soon as he opened the trunk, the stone would by its native light shine so as to illustrate a great part of it."-Boyle's Works, Vol. II. p. 82.
ACT V. (1) SCENE III.
Then, afterwards, to order well the state,
That like events may ne'er it ruinate.] The following is the ballad registered by Danton when he entered the " Historye of Tytus Andronicus on the Stationers' Rolls. It is extracted from Percy's “ Reliques of Antient Poetry," Vol. I. :
“ TITUS ANDRONICUS's COMPLAINT.
That in defence of native country fights,
Yet reapt disgrace at my returning home.
My name beloved was of all my peeres;
Whose forwarde vertues made their father glad.
Against them stille my sonnes and I were sent;
We spent, receiving many å bloudy scarre.
Before we did returne to Rome againe :
Alive the stately towers of Rome to see.
And did present my prisoners to the King.
Which did such murders, like was nere before.
Which bred in Rome debate and deadlie strife;
That none like them in Rome might be allowd."
That she consented to him secretlye
And soe in time a blackamore she bred.
Consented with the Moore of bloody minde
In cruell sort to bring them to their endes.
Both care and griefe began then to increase :
Which joy'd, and pleased best my aged sight:
To Cæsars sonne, a young and noble man:
And her two sonnes, bereaved was of life.
Into a darksome den from light of skies: