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Sat. Ay, but the citizens favor Lucius; And will revolt from me, to succor him.
Tam. King, be thy thoughts imperious, like thy
Is the sun dimned, that gnats do fly in it ?
Then cheer thy spirit; for know, thou emperor,
Sat. But he will not entreat his son for us.
Tam. If Tamora entreat him, then he will ;
Sat. Æmilius, do this message honorably;
1 i. e. imperial.
it stinted, and cried—ay.” 3 If by honey-stalks clover flowers are meant, it is an error to suppose that they produce the rot in sheep. Cows and oxen will indeed overcharge themselves with clover, and die.
And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again,
SCENE I. Plains near Rome.
Enter Lucius and Goths, with drum and colors. 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 Andron
icus, Whose name was once our terror, now our comfort ; Whose high exploits, and honorable 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 flowered fields,And be avenged 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
2 Goth. Renowned Lucius, from our troops I strayed, To gaze upon a ruinous monastery;
1 Scath is harm. 2 " Shakspeare has so perpetually offended against chronology, that no to ascend.
And as I earnestly did fix mine eye
Luc. O worthy Goth! this is the incarnate devil,
word ? A halter, soldiers ; hang him on this tree, And by his side his fruit of bastardy.
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 is brought, which Aaron is obliged
very conclusive argument can be deduced from the particular absurdity of these anachronisms relative to the authenticity of Titus Andronicus.”— Steevens.
1 Alluding to the proverb, “A black man is a pearl in a fair woman's eye.”
Lucius, save the child ; And bear it from me to the emperess. If thou do this, I'll show thee wondrous 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 nourished.
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; villanies Ruthful to hear, yet piteously performed." And this shall all be buried by my death, Unless thou swear to me my child shall live.
Luc. Tell on thy mind; I say thy child shall live. Aar. Swear that he shall, and then I will begin.
Luc. Who should I swear by? thou believ'st no god; That granted, how canst thou believe an oath ?
Aar. What if I do not ? as, indeed, I do not ;
Luc. Even by my god, I swear to thee I will.
1 i. e. performed in a manner exciting commiseration. 2 i. e. lascivious.
Aar. Tut, Lucius ! this was but a deed of charity,
and 'twas Trim sport for them that had the doing of it.
Luc. O barbarous, beastly villains, like thyself!
Aar. Indeed, I was their tutor to instruct them!
Goth. What! canst thou say all this, and never blush?
1 An allusion to bull-dogs ; whose generosity and courage are always shown by meeting the bull in front.
2 The verb to swound, which we now write swoon, was anciently in common use.