Sidor som bilder

Enter AARON.

Aar. Titus Andronicus, my lord the emperor
Sends thee this word,-That, if thou love thy sons,
Let Marcus, Lucius, or thyself, old Titus,
Or any one of you, chop off your hand,
And send it to the king: he for the same,
Will send thee hither both thy sons alive;
And that shall be the ransome for their fault.
Tit. O, gracious emperor! O, gentle Aaron!
Did ever raven sing so like a lark,

That gives sweet tidings of the sun's uprise?
With all my heart, I 'll send the emperor
My hand;

Good Aaron, wilt thou help to chop it off?

Luc. Stay, father; for that noble hand of thine,
That hath thrown down so many enemies,

Shall not be sent; my hand will serve the turn:
My youth can better spare my blood than you;
And therefore mine shall save my brothers' lives.
Mar. Which of your hands have not defended Rome,
And rear'd aloft the bloody battle-axe,

Writing destruction on the enemy's castle?

9 Writing destruction on the enemy's castle?] Thus all the edi tions. But Mr. Theobald, after ridiculing the sagacity of the former editors at the expense of a great deal of aukward mirth, corrects it to casque, and this, he says, he 'll stand by: And the Oxford editor taking his security, will stand by it too. But what a slippery ground is critical confidence! Nothing could bid fairer for a right conjecture; yet 'tis all imaginary. A close helmet, which covered the whole head, was called a castle, and, I suppose, for that very reason. Don Quixote's barber, and, at least as good a critick as these editors, says (in Shelton's translation, 1612): "I know what is a helmet, and what a morrion, and what a close castle, and other things touching warfare." Lib. IV, cap. xviii. And the original, celada de encaxe, has something of the same signification. Shakspeare uses the word again in Troilus and Cressida:

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and, Diomede,

"Stand fast, and wear a castle on thy head." Warburton. "Dr. Warburton's proof (says Mr. Heath) rests wholly on two mistakes, one of a printer, the other of his own. In Shelton's Don Quixote the word close castle is an error of the press for a close casque, which is the exact interpretation of the Spanish original, celada de encare, this Dr. Warburton must have seen, if he had understood Spanish as well as he pretends to do. For

O, none of both but are of high desert:
My hand hath been but idle; let it serve

To ransome my two nephews from their death;
Then have I kept it to a worthy end.

Aar. Nay, come agree, whose hand shall go along, For fear they die before their pardon come.

Mar. My hand shall go.


By heaven, it shall not go. Tit. Sirs, strive no more; such wither'd herbs as these Are meet for plucking up, and therefore mine.

Luc. Sweet father, if I shall be thought thy son, Let me redeem my brothers both from death.

Mar. And, for our father's sake, and mother's care, Now let me show a brother's love to thee.

Tit. Agree between you; I will spare my hand.
Luc. Then I'll go fetch an axe.

the primitive cara, from whence the word encaxe, is derived, signifies a box, or coffer; but never a castle. His other proof is taken from this passage in Troilus and Cressida :

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"Stand fast, and wear a castle on thy head." Wherein Troilus doth not advise Diomede to wear a helmet on his head, for that would be poor indeed, as he always wore one in battle; but to guard his head with the most impenetrable armour, to shut it up even in a castle, if it were possible, or else his sword should reach it."

After all this reasoning, however, it appears, that a castle did actually signify a close helmet. See Grose's Treatise of Ancient Armour, p. 12, from whence it appears that castle may only be a corruption of the old French word-casquetel. Thus also, in Holinshed, Vol. II, p. 815: " Then suddenlie with great noise of trumpets entered sir Thomas Knevet in a castell of cole blacke, and over the castell was written, The dolorous castell; and so he and the earle of Essex, &c. ran their courses with the kyng," &c.

A remark, however, of my late friend Mr. Tyrwhitt, has taught me to suspect the validity of my quotation from Holinshed; for one of the knights in the tournament described, made his entry in a fountain, and another in a horse-litter. Sir Thomas Knevet therefore might have appeared in a building formed in imitation of a castle. Steevens.

The instance quoted does not appear to me to prove what it was adduced for; wooden castles having been sometimes introduced in ancient tournaments. The passage in the text is itself much more decisive. Malone.

F 2


But I will use the axe.1 [Exeunt Luc. and MAR.

Tit. Come hither, Aaron; I'll deceive them both;
Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.
Aar. If that be call'd deceit, I will be honest,

And never, whilst I live, deceive men so:—
But I'll deceive you in another sort,

And that you'll say, ere half an hour can pass. [Aside. [He cuts off TITUS's hand.


Tit. Now, stay your strife; what shall be, is despatch'd.— Good Aaron, give his majesty my hand: Tell him, it was a hand that warded him From thousand dangers; bid him bury it; More hath it merited, that let it have. As for my sons, say, I account of them As jewels purchas'd at an easy price; And yet dear too, because I bought mine own. Aar. I go, Andronicus: and for thy hand, Look by and by to have thy sons with thee:Their heads, I mean.-O, how this villainy Doth fat me with the very thoughts of it! Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace, Aaron will have his soul black like his face. Tit. O, here I lift this one hand up to heaven, And bow this feeble ruin to the earth:

If any power pities wretched tears,



To that I call:-What, wilt thou kneel with me? [To Lav.
Do then, dear heart; for heaven shall hear our prayers;
Or with our sighs we 'll breathe the welkin dim,
And stain the sun with fog, as sometime clouds,
When they do hug him in their melting bosoms.
Mar. O! brother, speak with possibilities,2
And do not break into these deep extremes.
Tit. Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom?
Then be my passions bottomless with them.
Mar. But yet let reason govern thy lament.

1 But I will use the axe.] Metre requires us to read:

But I will use it.


tie. Todd


with possibilities,] Edition 1600 reads:-with possibíli

Tit. If there were reason for these miseries, Then into limits could I bind my woes:

When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth o'erflow?
If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad,
Threat'ning the welkin with his big-swoln face?
And wilt thou have a reason for this coil?
I am the sea; hark, how her sighs do blow !3
She is the weeping welkin, I the earth:
Then must my sea be moved with her sighs;
Then must my earth with her continual tears
Become a deluge, overflow'd and drown'd:
For why? my bowels cannot hide her woes,
But like a drunkard must I vomit them.
Then give me leave; for losers will have leave
To ease their stomachs with their bitter tongues.
Enter a Messenger, with Two Heads and a Hand.
Mess. Worthy Andronicus, ill art thou repaid
For that good hand thou sent'st the emperor.
Here are the heads of thy two noble sons;
And here's thy hand, in scorn to thee sent back;
Thy griefs their sports, thy resolution mock'd:
That woe is me to think upon thy woes,
More than remembrance of my father's death.
Mar. Now let hot Etna cool in Sicily,

And be my heart an ever-burning hell!
These miseries are more than may be borne!


To weep with them that weep doth ease some deal,
But sorrow flouted at is double death.

Luc. Ah, that this sight should make so deep a wound, And yet detested life not shrink thereat!

That ever death should let life bear his name,
Where life hath no more interest but to breathe!
[LAV. kisses him.
Mar. Alas, poor heart, that kiss is comfortless,
As frozen water to a starved snake.

Tit. When will this fearful slumber have an end?
Mar. Now, farewel, flattery: Die, Andronicus;
Thou dost not slumber: see, thy two sons' heads;
Thy warlike hand; thy mangled daughter here;
Thy other banish'd son, with this dear sight


do blow!] Old copies-do flow. Corrected in the second folio. Malone.

Struck pale and bloodless; and thy brother, I,
Even like a stony image, cold and numb.
Ah! now no more will I control thy griefs:4
Rent off thy silver hair, thy other hand
Gnawing with thy teeth; and be this dismal sight
The closing up of our most wretched eyes!
Now is a time to storm; why art thou still?

Tit. Ha, ha, ha!

Mar. Why dost thou laugh? it fits not with this hour.
Tit. Why, I have not another tear to shed:
Besides, this sorrow is an enemy,

And would usurp upon my watʼry eyes,
And make them blind with tributary tears;
Then which way shall I find revenge's cave ?
For these two heads do seem to speak to me;
And threat me, I shall never come to bliss,
Till all these mischiefs be return'd again,
Even in their throats that have committed them.
Come, let me see what task I have to do.-
You heavy people, circle me about;
That I may turn me to each one of you,
And swear unto my soul to right your wrongs.
The vow is made,-Come, brother take a head;
And in this hand the other will I bear:

Lavinia, thou shalt be employed in these things;5
Bear thou my hand, sweet wench, between thy teeth.
As for thee, boy, go, get thee from my sight;
Thou art an exile, and thou must not stay:
Hie to the Goths, and raise an army there:
And, if you love me, as I think you do,
Let's kiss and part, for we have much to do.

[Exeunt TIT. MAR. and LAV.

thy griefs:] The old copies--my griefs. The cor

rection was made by Mr. Theobald. Malone.

5 Lavinia, shou shalt be employed in these things;] Thus the folio, 1623. The quarto, 1611, thus:

And Lavinia thou shalt be employed in these arms. Perhaps we ought to read:


Thou too shalt be employed in these things;


The folio also reads-And Lavinia; the rest as above. The compositor probably caught the word—And from the preceding line. Malone.

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