LAV. Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a


DEM. Liften, fair madam: Let it be your glory To fee her tears; but be your heart to them, As unrelenting flint to drops of rain.

LAV. When did the tiger's young ones teach the dam?

O, do not learn her wrath; fhe taught it thee: The milk, thou fuck'dft from her, did turn to marble:

Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny.-
Yet every mother breeds not fons alike;
Do thou entreat her fhow a woman pity.

[TO CHIRON. CHI. What! would'ft thou have me prove myself a baftard?

LAV. 'Tis true; the raven doth not hatch a lark: Yet I have heard, (O could I find it now!) The lion mov'd with pity, did endure To have his princely paws par'd all away. Some fay that ravens fofter forlorn children, The whilft their own birds famish in their nefts: O, be to me, though thy hard heart fay no, Nothing fo kind, but something pitiful!

TAM. I know not what it means; away with her. LAV. O, let me teach thee: for my father's fake, That gave thee life, when well he might have flain thee,

Be not obdurate, open thy deaf ears.

TAM. Had thou in perfon ne'er offended me,
Even for his fake am I pitilefs :→→→

Remember, boys, I pour'd forth tears in vain,
To fave your brother from the facrifice;
But fierce Andronicus would not relent.

Therefore away with her, and ufe her as you will;
The worse to her, the better lov'd of me.

LAV. O Tamora, be call'd a gentle queen,
And with thine own hands kill me in this place:
For 'tis not life, that I have begg'd fo long;
Poor I was flain, when Baffianus died.

TAM. What begg'ft thou then; fond woman, let me go.

LAV. 'Tis prefent death I beg; and one thing


That womanhood denies my tongue to tell :
O, keep me from their worse than killing luft,
And tuinble me into fome loathsome pit;
Where never man's eye may behold my body:
Do this, and be a charitable murderer,

TAM. So fhould I rob my fweet fons of their fee: No, let them fatisfy their luft on thee.

DEM. Away, for thou haft ftaid us here too long,
LAV. No grace? no womanhood? Ah, beaftly


The blot and enemy to our general name!
Confufion fall-

CHI. Nay, then I'll ftop your mouth :-Bring thou
her husband;

[Dragging off LAVINIA. This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him.


TAM. Farewell, my fons: fee, that you make her

fure :

Ne'er let my heart know merry cheer indeed,
Till all the Andronici be made away.

with her,] Thefe ufelefs fyllables, which hurt the

metre, might well be omitted. STEEVENS.

Now will I hence to feek my lovely Moor,
And let my spleenful fons this trull deflour. [Exit.


The fame.


AAR. Come on, my lords; the better foot be


Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit,
Where I efpy'd the panther faft afleep.

QUIN. My fight is very dull, whate'er it bodes.

MART. And mine, I promife you; wer't not for


Well could I leave our sport to fleep awhile.

[MARTIUS falls into the Pit. QUIN. What art thou fallen? What fubtle hole

is this,

Whofe mouth is cover'd with rude-growing briars;
Upon whofe leaves are drops of new-fhed blood,
As fresh as morning's dew diftill'd on flowers?
A very fatal place it seems to me :-

Speak, brother, haft thou hurt thee with the fall?
MART. O, brother, with the dismallest object
That ever eye, with fight, made heart lament.
AAR. [Afide.] Now will I fetch the king to find
them here;

That he thereby may give a likely guess,

How these were they that made away his brother. [Exit AARON.

MART. Why doft not comfort me, and help me


From this unhallow'd 3 and blood-ftained hole?

QUIN. I am furprized with an uncouth fear: A chilling fweat o'er-runs my trembling joints; My heart fufpects more than mine eye can fee. MART. To prove thou haft a true-divining heart, Aaron and thou look down into this den, And see a fearful fight of blood and death.

QUIN. Aaron is gone; and my compaffionate


Will not permit mine eyes once to behold
The thing, whereat it trembles by furmife:
O, tell me how it is; for ne'er till now
Was I a child, to fear I know not what.

MART. Lord Baffianus lies embrewed here,
All on a heap, like to a flaughter'd lamb,
In this detefted, dark, blood-drinking pit.
QUIN. If it be dark, how doft thou know 'tis he?
MART. Upon his bloody finger he doth wear
A precious ring, that lightens all the hole,5

3 From this unhallow'd &c.] Edition 1600:-From this vnhallow &c. TODD.

A precious ring,] There is fupposed to be a gem called a carbuncle, which emits not reflected but native light. Mr. Boyle believes the reality of its existence. JOHNSON.

So, in The Gefta Romanorum, history the fixth: "He farther beheld and faw a carbuncle in the hall that lighted all the house." Again, in Lydgate's Defcription of King Priam's Palace, L. II: "And for moft chefe all dirkenefs to confound, "A carbuncle was fet as kyng of stones all, "To recomforte and gladden all the hall. "And it to enlumine in the black night "With the freshnes of his ruddy light."

Which, like a taper in fome monument,
Doth fhine upon the dead man's earthy cheeks,
And fhows the ragged entrails of this pit:
So pale did thine the moon' on Pyramus,
When he by night lay bath'd in maiden blood.
O brother, help me with thy fainting hand,
If fear hath made thee faint, as me it hath,-
Out of this fell devouring receptacle,

As hateful as Cocytus' mifty mouth.

QUIN. Reach me thy hand, that I may help thee out;

Or, wanting ftrength to do thee fo much good,
I may be pluck'd into the fwallowing womb
Of this deep pit, poor Baffianus' grave.
I have no ftrength to pluck thee to the brink.

Again, in the Mufe's Elysium, by Drayton :

"Is that admired, mighty ftone,

"The carbuncle that's named;
"Which from it such a flaming light

"And radiancy ejecteth,

"That in the very darkest night

"The eye to it directeth."

Chaucer, in the Romaunt of the Rofe, attributes the fame pro

perties to the carbuncle :

"Soche light yfprang out of the stone." STEEVENS.

So, in King Henry VIII:


a gem

"To lighten all this ifle."

So alfo, Spenfer's Fairy Queen, B. VI. c. xi:


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like diamond of rich regard,

"In doubtful fhadow of the darksome night."


all the hole,] The 4to. 1600, reads-all this hole.


So pale did fhine the moon &c.] Lee appears to have been indebted to this image in his Maffacre of Paris:

"Looks like a midnight moon upon a murder."


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