A Room in Titus's Houfe. A Banquet fet out.

Enter TITUS, MARCUS, LAVINIA, and young LuCIUS, a Boy.

TIT. So, fo; now fit: and look, you eat no more
Than will preserve just so much strength in ust
As will revenge these bitter woes of ours.
Marcus, unknit that forrow-wreathen knot; *
Thy niece and I, poor creatures, want our hands
And cannot paffionate 3 our tenfold grief
With folded arms. This poor right hand of mine
Is left to tyrannize upon my breast;

And when my heart, all mad with mifery,
Beats in this hollow prifon of my flesh,
Then thus I thump it down.-

1 Scene II.] This fcene, which does not contribute any thing to the action, yet seems to have the fame author with the reft, is omitted in the quarto of 1611, but found in the folio of 1623. JOHNSON.

Scene II. is also wanting in edition 1600. TODD.

• Marcus, unknit that forrow-wreathen knot ;] So, in The Tempest:

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"His arms in this fad knot." MALONE.

And cannot paffionate &c.] This obfolete verb is likewise found in Spenfer:

"Great pleasure mix'd with pitiful regard,
"That godly king and queen did passionate.”


And when &c.] Old copies-Who when-. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.

Thou map of woe, that thus doft talk in figns! [TO LAVINIA. When thy poor heart beats with outrageous beat


Thou canst not strike it thus to make it ftill.
Wound it with fighing, girl, kill it with groans;
Or get fome little knife between thy teeth,
And just against thy heart make thou a hole;
That all the tears that thy poor eyes let fall,
May run into that sink, and soaking in,
Drown the lamenting fool in fea-falt tears.

MAR. Fye, brother, fye! teach her not thus to lay

Such violent hands upon her tender life.

TIT. How now! has forrow made thee dote al


Why, Marcus, no man fhould be mad but I.
What violent hands can fhe lay on her life!
Ah, wherefore doft thou urge the name of hands;-
To bid Æneas tell the tale twice o'er,

How Troy was burnt, and he made miferable?
O, handle not the theme, to talk of hands; 5
Left we remember still, that we have none.-
Fye, fye, how frantickly I fquare my talk!
As if we fhould forget we had no hands,
If Marcus did not name the word of hands!-
Come, let's fall to; and, gentle girl, eat this :-
Here is no drink! Hark, Marcus, what the fays;
I can interpret all her martyr'd figns;-
She fays, the drinks no other drink but tears,

5 O, handle not the theme, to talk of hands ;] So, in Troilus and Creffida:




Handleft in thy difcourfe, O, that her hand-."


The drinks no other drink but tears,] So, in King Henry VI. P. III :

Brew'd with her forrows, mefh'd upon her cheeks:7 Speechlefs complainer, I will learn thy thought; In thy dumb action will I be as perfect,

As begging hermits in their holy prayers:

Thou shalt not figh, nor hold thy ftumps to heaven, Nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a fign, But I, of thefe, will wreft an alphabet,

And, by still practice, learn to know thy meaning.

Bor. Good grandfire, leave these bitter deep laments :

Make my aunt merry with fome pleasing tale.
MAR. Alas, the tender boy, in paffion mov'd,
Doth weep to fee his grandfire's heaviness.

TIT. Peace, tender fapling; thou art made of tears,9

And tears will quickly melt thy life away.

[MARCUS ftrikes the Dish with a Knife. What doft thou ftrike at, Marcus, with thy knife? MAR. At that that I have kill'd, my lord; a fly. TIT. Out on thee, murderer! thou kill'ft my heart;'

"Ye fee, I drink the water of my eyes.”

Again, in Venus and Adonis :


"Doft thou drink tears, that thou provok'st such weeping?" MALONE.

·mesh'd upon her cheeks :] A very coarse allufion to brewing. STEEVENS.


by ftill practice,] By conftant or continual practice. JOHNSON.

9 Peace, tender Sapling; thou art made of tears,] So, in Coriolanus:

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thou boy of tears." STEEVENS.

Out on thee, murderer! thou kill'ft my heart;] So, in King Henry V:

"The king hath kill'd his heart."

Again, in Venus and Adonis:

"That they have murder'd this poor heart of mine."


Mine eyes are cloy'd with view of tyranny:
A deed of death, done on the innocent,
Becomes not Titus' brother: Get thee gone ;
I fee, thou art not for my company.

MAR. Alas, my lord, I have but kill'd a fly.

TIT. But how, if that fly had a father and mother ?2

How would he hang his flender gilded wings,
And buz lamenting doings in the air ?3

Poor harmless fly!

That with his pretty buzzing melody,

Came here to make us merry; and thou haft kill'd


MAR. Pardon me, fir; 'twas a black ill-favour'd


Like to the emprefs' Moor; therefore I kill'd him. TIT. 0, 0, 0,

Then pardon me for reprehending thee,


-a father and mother?] Mother perhaps fhould be omitted, as the following line fpeaks only in the fingular number, and Titus moft probably confines his thoughts to the sufferings of a father. STEEVENS.

Mr. Steevens judiciously conjectures that the words-and mo ther, fhould be omitted. We might read:

But!-How if that fly had a father, brother?

The note of exclamation feems neceffary after-But, from what Marcus fays, in the preceding line:

"Alas! my lord I have but kill'da fly." RITSON.

3 And buz lamenting doings in the air?] Lamenting doings is a very idle expreffion, and conveys, no idea. I read-dolings. The alteration which I have made, though it is but the addition of a fingle letter, is a great increase to the fense; and though, indeed, there is fomewhat of tautology in the epithet and fubftantive annexed to it, yet that's no new thing with our author. THEOBALD.

There is no need of change. Sad doings for any unfortunate event, is a common though not an elegant expreffion. STEEVENS, VOL. XXI.


For thou haft done a charitable deed.
Give me thy knife, I will infult on him;
Flattering myself, as if it were the Moor,
Come hither purposely to poifon me.-
There's for thyfelf, and that's for Tamora.-
Ah, firrah !4

Yet I do think we are not brought fo low,5
But that, between us, we can kill a fly,
That comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor.

MAR. Alas, poor man! grief has so wrought on him,

He takes falfe fhadows for true fubftances.

TIT. Come, take away.-Lavinia, go with me: I'll to thy clofet; and go read with thee Sad ftories, chanced in the times of old.— Come, boy, and go with me; thy fight is young, And thou fhalt read, when mine begins to dazzle. [Exeunt.


The fame. Before Titus's House.

Enter TITUS and MARCUS. Then enter young LUCIUS, LAVINIA running after him.

Bor. Help, grandfire, help! my aunt Lavinia Follows me every where, I know not why: Good uncle Marcus, fee how fwift fhe comes! Alas, fweet aunt, I know not what you mean.

Ah, firrah!] This was formerly not a difrefpectful expreffion. Poins ufes the fame addrefs to the Prince of Wales. See Vol. XI. p. 210, n. 7. MALONE.

5 Yet I do think &c.] Do was inserted by me for the fake of the metre. STEEVENS.

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