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Now will I to the Goths, and raise a power,
SCENE II. A Room in Titus's House. A banquet
Enter Titus, MARCUS, LAVINIA, and young Lucius,
a Boy. Tit. So, so; now sit; and look, you eat no more Than will preserve just so much strength in us As will revenge these bitter woes of ours. Marcus, unknit that sorrow-wreathen knot Thy niece and I, poor creatures, want our hands, And cannot passionate 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 misery, Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh, Then thus I thump it down.Thou map of woe, that thus dost talk in signs!
[To LAVINIA. When thy poor heart beats with outrageous beating, Thou canst not strike it thus to make it still. Wound it with sighing, girl ; kill it with groans ; Or get some 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 sea-salt tears.
Mar. Fie, brother, fie! teach her not thus to lay Such violent hands upon her tender life.
Tit. How now! has sorrow made thee dote already ?
1 This scene is wanting in the quarto copies of 1600 and 1611, but found in the folio of 1623. 2 So in The Tempest :
sitting, His arms in this sad knot." 3 This obsolete verb is likewise found in Spenser.
Why, Marcus, no man should be mad but 1.
ments; Make my aunt merry with some pleasing tale.
Mar. Alas, the tender boy, in passion moved, 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 killed, my lord; a fly.
Tit. Out on thee, murderer! thou kill'st my heart; Mine eyes are cloyed 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 killed a fly.
1 A very coarse allusion to brewing.
Tit. But how, if that fly had a father and mother ? 1 How would he hang his slender, gilded wings, And buzz lamenting doings in the air ! Poor, harmless fly! That, with his pretty buzzing melody, Came here to make us merry; and thou hast killed him.
Mar. Pardon me, sir; 'twas a black, ill-favored fly, Like to the empress' Moor; therefore I killed him.
Tit. 0, 0, 0,
, as if it were the 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 Steevens conjectures that the words and mother" should be omitted. Ritson proposes to read the line thus :
“ But! How if that fly had a father, brother ?” 2 This was formerly not a disrespectful expression.
SCENE I. The same. Before Titus's House. .
Enter Titus and Marcus. Then enter young Lucius,
Lavinia running after him.
Mar. Stand by me, Lucius; do not fear thine aunt.
signs ? Tit. Fear her not, Lucius ;--somewhat doth she
Boy. My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
That made me to fear,
1 Tully's Treatise on Eloquence, entitled Orator.
Mar. Lucius, I will. [LAVINIA turns over the books which Lucius
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 skilled ; Come, and take choice of all my library, And so beguile thy sorrow, till the Heavens Reveal the damned contriver of this deed.Why lifts she up her arms in sequence? thus ?
Mar. I think she means that there was more than
Confederate in the fact. ---Ay, more there was.
Tit. Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?
Boy. Grandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphosis;
For love of her that's gone, Perhaps she culled it from among the rest.
Tit. Soft! see, how busily she turns the leaves ! Help her ;What would she find ?-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 surprised, sweet girl, Ravished and wronged, as Philomela was, Forced 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 !) Patterned by that the poet here describes, By nature made for murders, and for rapes.
Mar. O, why should nature build so foul a den, Unless the gods delight in tragedies !
2 To quote is to observe.