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Warrants these words in princely courtesy.
Sat. Thanks, sweet Lavinia.-Romans, let us go: Ransomeless here we set our prisoners free: Proclaim our honours, lords, with trump and drum. Bas. Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine. [Seizing LAV. Tit. How, sir? Are you in earnest then, my lord? Bas. Ay, noble Titus; and resolv'd withal,
To do myself this reason and this right.
[The Emperor courts TAM. in dumb show.
Mar. Suum cuique is our Roman justice:
This prince in justice seizeth but his own.
Sat. Surpriz'd! By whom?
By him that justly may Bear his betroth'd from all the world away.
[Exeunt MAR. and BAs. with Lav.
Mut. Brothers, help to convey her hence away,
And with my sword I'll keep this door safe.
[Exeunt Luc. QUIN. and MAR.
Tit. Follow my lord, and I 'll soon bring her back. Mut. My lord, you pass not here.
Luc. My lord, you are unjust; and, more than so,
My sons would never so dishonour me:
Luc. Dead, if you will; but not to be his wife,
Lavinia. Saturninus, who has just promised to espouse her, already wishes he were to choose again; and she who was engaged to Bassianus (whom she afterwards marries) expresses no reluctance when her father gives her to Saturninus. Her subsequent raillery to Tamora is of so coarse a nature, that if her tongue had been all she was condemned to lose, perhaps the author (whoever he was) might have escaped censure on the score of poetick justice. Steevens.
Sat. No, Titus, no; the emperor needs her not,
I'll trust, by leisure, him that mocks me once;
Was there none else in Rome to make a stale of,4
Agree these deeds with that proud brag of thine,
Tit. O monstrous! what reproachful words are these?
One fit to bandy with thy lawless sons,
To ruffle in the commonwealth of Rome."
Tit. These words are razors to my wounded heart.
3 Not her,] Edition 1600-Nor her. Todd.
4 Was there &c.] The words, there, else, and of, are not found in the old copies. This conjectural emendation was made by the editor of the second folio.
Dele the word of, which was inserted by the editor of the second folio, from ignorance of ancient phraseology. See the last Act of Cymbeline, Vol. XVI. Malone.
I must excuse myself from ejecting any one of these monosyllables, being convinced that they were all inserted from an authorized copy, and by a judicious hand. Steevens.
changing piece-] Spoken of Lavinia. Piece was then, as it is now, used personally as a word of contempt. Johnson. So, in Britannia's Pastorals, by Brown, 1613:
her husband, weaken'd piece,
"Must have his cullis mix'd with ambergrease;
"Grated with gold."
Again, in the old play of King Leir, 1605:
when did you see Cordella last,
"That pretty piece?
6 To ruffle in the commonwealth of Rome.] A ruffler was a kind of cheating bully; and is so called in a statute made for the punishment of vagabonds in the 27th year of King Henry VIII. See Greene's Groundwork of Coneycatching, 1592. Hence, I suppose, this sense of the verb, to ruffie. Rufflers are likewise enumerated among other vagabonds, by Holinshed, Vol. I, p. 183. Steevens.
To ruffle meant, to be noisy, disorderly, turbulent. A ruffler was a boisterous swaggerer. Malone.
Sat. And therefore, lovely Tamora, queen of Goths,
Speak, queen of Goths, dost thou applaud my choice?
And tapers burn so bright, and every thing
I will not re-salute the streets of Rome,
Or climb my palace, till from forth this place
I lead espous'd my bride along with me.
Tam. And here, in sight of heaven, to Rome I swear, If Saturnine advance the queen of Goths,
She will a handmaid be to his desires,
Sat. Ascend, fair queen, Pantheon :-Lords,
Your noble emperor, and his lovely bride,
[Exeunt SAT. and his followers; TAM. and her Sons; AARON and Goths. Tit. I am not bids to wait upon this bride ;Titus, when wert thou wont to walk alone, Dishonour'd thus, and challenged of wrongs
Re-enter MARCUS, LUCIUS, QUINTUS, and MARTIUS. Mar. O, Titus, see, O, see, what thou hast done!
That, like the stately Phoebe 'mongst her nymphs,
Dost overshine the gallant'st dames of Rome,]
Micat inter omnes
Julium sidus, velut inter ignes
"Luna minores." Hor. Malone.
From Phaer's Virgil, 1573: [Æneid, B. I.]
"Most like unto Diana bright when she to hunt goth
"Whom thousands of the ladie nymphes awaite to do her
"She on her armes her quiuer beres, and al them ouershynes." Ritson.
I am not bid i. e. invited. Malone.
In a bad quarrel slain a virtuous son.
Tit. No, foolish tribune, no; no son of mine,-
Luc. But let us give him burial, as becomes;
Tit. Traitors, away! he rests not in this tomb.
Here none but soldiers, and Rome's servitors,
My nephew Mutius' deeds do plead for him;
Quin. Mart. And shall, or him we will accompany.
To pardon Mutius, and to bury him.
Tit. Marcus, even thou hast struck upon my crest, And, with these boys, mine honour thou hast wounded: My foes I do repute you every one;
So trouble me no more, but get you gone.
Mart. He is not with himself; let us withdraw.?
[MAR. and the sons of TIT. kneel.
His noble nephew here in virtue's nest,
9 He is not with himself; let us withdraw.] Read:
He is not now himself;
Perhaps the old reading is a mere affected imitation of Roman phraseology. See Eneid XI, 409, though the words there are otherwise applied:
-habitet tecum, & sit pectore in isto." Steevens.
Thou art a Roman, be not barbarous.
Let not young Mutius then, that was thy joy,
Rise, Marcus, rise:
[MUT. is put into the Tomb. Luc. There lie thy bones, sweet Mutius, with thy friends,
Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb!—
All. No man shed tears for noble Mutius;2 He lives in fame that died in virtue's cause.
Mar. My lord, to step out of these dreary dumps,*How comes it, that the subtle queen of Goths Is of a sudden thus advanc'd in Rome?
Tit. I know not, Marcus; but, I know, it is;
That brought her for this high good turn so far?
1 The Greeks, upon advice, did bury Ajax
That slew himself; and wise Laertes' son
Did graciously plead for his funerals.] This passage alone would sufficiently convince me, that the play before us was the work of one who was conversant with the Greek tragedies in their original language. We have here a plain allusion to the Ajax of Sophocles, of which no translation was extant in the time of Shakspeare. In that piece, Agamemnon consents at last to allow Ajax the rites of sepulture, and Ulysses is the pleader, whose arguments prevail in favour of his remains. Steevens.
No man shed tears &c.] This is evidently a translation of the distich of Ennius:
"Nemo me lacrumeis decoret: nec funera fletu
"Facsit, quur? volito vivu' per ora virûm." Steevens. *See Mr. Steevens's note on doleful dumps. Vol. II. p. 205, n. 6. Am. Ed.
3 Yes, &c.] This line is not in the quarto. I suspect, when it was added by the editor of the folio, he inadvertently omitted to prefix the name of the speaker, and that it belongs to Marcus. In the second line of this speech the modern editors read -If by device, &c. Malone.