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Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought;
Mar. Alas, the tender boy, in passion mov'd, Doth weep to see his grandsire's heaviness. Tit. Peace, tender sapling; thou art made of
tears, And tears will quickly melt thy life away:
[MARCUS strikes the Dish with a knife. What dost thou strike at, Marcus, with thy knife?
Mar. At that that I have kill’d, my lord; a fly.
Tit. Out on thee, murderer! thou kill'st my heart; 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 see, thou art not for my company,
Mar. Alas, my lord, I have but kill'd a fly.
by still practice,] By constant or continual practice.
a father and mother?] Mother perhaps should be omitted, as the following line speaks only in the singular number, and Titus most probably confines his thoughts to the sufferings of a father. STEEVENS. VOL. VIII.
Mar. Pardon me, sir; 'twas a black ill-favour'd
fly, Like to the empress' Moor; therefore I kill'd him.
Tit. 0, 0, 0, Then pardon me for reprehending thee, For thou hast done a charitable deed. Give me thy knife, I will insult on him ; Flattering myself, as if it were the Moor, Come hither purposely to poison me.There's for thyself, and that's for Tamora.Ah, sirrah ! Yet I do think we are not brought so low, 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 false shadows for true substances.
Tit. Come, take away.-Lavinia, go with me : I'll to thy closet ; and go read with thee Sad stories, chanced in the times of old. Come, boy, and go with me; thy sight is young, And thou shalt read, when mine begins to dazzle.
SCENE.I. The same. Before Titus's House. Enter Titus and Marcus. Then enter young
Lucius, LAVINIA running after him. Boy. Help, grandsire, help! my aunt Lavinia Follows me every where, I know not why :
? Ah, sirrah!] This was formerly not a disrespectful expression. Poins uses the same address to the Prince of Wales.
Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes !
signs? Tit. Fear her not, Lucius:--Somewhat doth she
See, Lucius, see, how much she makes of thee :
Boy. My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
has let fall. Tit. How now, Lavinia ?-Marcus, what means
this? Some book there is that she desires to see : Which is it, girl, of these? -Open them, boy.-But thou art deeper read, and better skill'd; Come, and take choice of all my library,
And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens
Tit. Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?
For love of her that's gone, Perhaps she cull'd it from among the rest.
Tit. Soft! see, how busily she turns the leaves ! Help her:What would she findi-Lavinia, shall I read? This is the tragic tale of Philomel, And treats of Tereus' treason, and his rape ; And rape, I fear, was root of thine annoy. Mar. See, brother, see ; note, how she quotes
the leaves. Tit. Lavinia, wert thou thus surpriz’d, sweet girl, Ravish'd, and wrong'd, as Philomela was, Forc'd in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods See, see! Ay, such a place there is, where we did hunt, (O, had we never, never, hunted there !) Pattern’d by that the poet here describes, By nature made for murders, and for rapes.
Mar. O, why should nature build so foul a den,
- how she quotes the leaves.] To quote is to observe.
Mar. Sit down, sweet niece ;-brother, sit down
by me.-Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury, Inspire me, that I may this treason find ! My lord, look here ;-Look here, Lavinia : This sandy plot is plain ; guide, if thou canst, This after me, when I have writ my name Without the help of any hand at all. [He writes his name with his Staff, and guides
it with his Feet and Mouth. Curs'd be that heart, that forc'd us to this shift! Write thou, good niece; and here display, at last, What God will have discover'd for revenge: Heaven guide thy pen to print thy sorrows plain, That we may know the traitors, and the truth! [She takes the Staff in her Mouth, and guides
it with her Stumps, and writes. Tit. O, do you read, my lord, what she hath writ? Stuprum-Chiron-Demetrius.
Mar. What, what !-the lustful sons of Tamora Performers of this heinous, bloody deed ?
Tit. Magne Dominator poli, Tam lentus audis scelera ? tam lentus vides? Mar. 0, calm thee, gentle lord ! although, I
know, There is enough written upon this earth, To stir a mutiny in the mildest thoughts, And arm the minds of infants to exclaims. My lord, kneel down with me; Lavinia, kneel; And kneel, sweet boy, the Roman Hector's hope; And swear with me, -as with the woful feere, And father, of that chaste dishonour'd dame,
• Magne Dominator poli, &c.] Magne Regnator Deum, &c. is the exclamation of Hippolytus when Phædra discovered the secret of her incestuous passion in Seneca's tragedy. STEEVENS.
s And swear with me,--as with the woful feere,] Feere signifies a companion, and here metaphorically a husband.