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My heart is not compact of flint, nor steel;
Luc. Then, noble auditory, be it known to you,
blood And from her bosom took the enemy's point, Sheathing the steel in my advent'rous body. Alas! you know, I am no vaunter, I ; My scars can witness, dumb although they are, That my report is just, and full of truth. But, soft; methinks, I do digress too much, Citing my worthless praise: 0, pardon me; For when no friends are by, men praise themselves.
Mar. Now is my turn to speak; Behold this child,
[Pointing to the Child in the arms of an Attendant. Of this was Tamora delivered ; The issue of an irreligious Moor,
and basely cozen'd-] 1. e. and he basely cozenedo 0.8
Chief architect and plotter of these woes ;
Have we done aught amiss ? Show us wherein,
Æmil. Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome,
Lucius, &c. descend.
Mar. Go, go into old Titus' sorrowful house ;
[To an Attendant. And hither hale that misbelieving Moor, To be adjudg'd some direful slaughtering death, As punishment for his most wicked life. Rom. [Several speak.] Lucius, all hail; Rome's
gracious governor! Luc. Thanks, gentle Romans; May I govern so, To heal Rome's harms, and wipe away her woe! But, gentle people, give me aim awhile, For nature puts me to a heavy task ;Stand all aloof;--but, uncle, draw you near,
To shed obsequious tears upon this trunk:
Kisses Titus. These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain'd face, The last true duties of thy noble son !
Mar. Tear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss,
pay Countless and infinite, yet would I pay them!
Luc. Come hither, boy; come, come, and learn
To melt in showers: Thy grandsire lov'd thee well :
grave; Do him that kindness, and take leave of him. Boy. O grandsire, grandsire ! even with all my
heart 'Would I were dead, so you did live again! O lord, I cannot speak to him for weeping; My tears will choke me, if I ope my mouth.
Enter Attendants, with AARON.
Some stay to see him fasten'd in the earth.2
hence, And give him burial in his father's grave: My father, and Lavinia, shall forthwith Be closed in our household's monument. As for that heinous tiger, Tamora, No funeral rite, nor man in mournful weeds, No mournful bell shall ring her burial; But throw her forth to beasts, and birds of prey: Her life was beast-like, and devoid of pity; And, being so, shall have like want of pity. See justice done to Aaron, that damn'd Moor, By whom our heavy haps had their beginning : Then, afterwards, to order well the state; That like events may ne'er it ruinate. [Exeunt.
to see him fastend in the earth.] That justice and cookery may go hand in hand to the conclusion of this play, in Ravenscroft's alteration of it, Aaron is at once racked and roasted on the stage.
3 All the editors and criticks agree with Mr. Theobald in supposing this play spurious. I see no reason for differing from them; for the colour of the style is wholly different from that of the other plays, and there is an attempt at regular versification, and artificial closes, not always inelegant, yet seldom pleasing. The barbarity of the spectacles, and the general massacre, which are here exhibited, can scarcely be conceived tolerable to any audience; yet we we are told by Jonson, that they were not only borne but praised. That Shakspeare wrote any part, though Theobald declares it incontestible, I see no reason for believing. The testimony produced at the beginning of this play, by which
it is ascribed to Shakspeare, is by no means equal to the argument against its authenticity, arising from the total difference of conduct, language, and sentiments, by which it stands apart from all the rest. Meres had probably no other evidence than that of a titlepage, which, though in our time it be sufficient, was then of no great authority; for all the plays which were rejected by the first collectors of Shakspeare's works, and admitted in later editions, and again rejected by the critical editors, had Shakspeare's name on the title, as we must suppose, by the fraudulence of the printers, who, while there were yet no gazettes, nor advertisements, nor any means of circulating literary intelligence, could usurp at pleasure any celebrated name. Nor had Shakspeare any interest in detecting the imposture, as none of his fame or profit was pro. duced by the press.
The chronology of this play does not prove it not to be Shakspeare's. If it had been written twenty-five years, in 1614, it might have been written when Shakspeare was twenty-five years old. When he left Warwickshire I know not, but at the age
of twenty-five it was rather too late to fly for deer-stealing.
Ravenscroft, who in the reign of James II. revised this play, and restored it to the stage, tells us, in his preface, from a theatrical tradition, I suppose, which in his time might be of sufficient authority, that this play was touched in different parts by Shakspeare, but written by some other poet. I do not find Shakspeare's touches very discernible. Johnson.