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gument offered shore in † 187, for the pevanja Balac of the Jew of Venice may be admitoR, MOME the same kind may de ngoà here; the this doive fun me pay in severa, pactionlss, which a simple de Wine would be less likely to alter then on wordy Thus in the ballad is no mention of the done the empire between the two brothers, the win which makes the ungratefal treatment of Time scher the more flagrant: neither is there any notice alon sacrificing one of Tamora's sons, which the toggle assigned as the original cause of all her ertelfies. play, Titus loses twenty-one of his sons in war, wh another for assisting Bassianus to carry of Lancia: 1 reader will find it different in the ballad. In the lassor a is betrothed to the Emperor's son: in the play to his TEXA In the tragedy only two of his sons fall into the pit NIN third, being banished, returns to Rome with a Vis army, to avenge the wrongs of his house; in the bhava three are entrapped, and suffer death. In the

Percy. I.

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Emperor kills Titus, and is in return stabbed by Titus's sur viving son. Here Titus kills the Emperor, and afterwards himself.

Let the reader weigh these circumstances, and some others wherein he will find them unlike, and then pronounce for himself. After all, there is reason to conclude, that this play was rather improved by Shakspeare with a few fine touches of his pen, than originally writ by him; for not to mention that the style is less figurative than his others generally are, this tragedy is mentioned with discredit in the Induction to Ben Jonson's Bartholomew-fair, in 1614, as one that had then been exhibited "five and twenty or thirty years:" which, if we take the lowest number, throws it back to the year 1589, at which time Shakspeare was but 25: an earlier date than can be found for any other of his pieces1: and if it does not clear him entirely of it, shows at least it was a first attempt2.

The following is given from a copy in The Golden Garland, entitled as above; compared with three others, two of them in black letter, in the Pepys Collection, entitled The Lamentable and Tragical History of Titus Andronicus, &c. To the tune of Fortune. Printed for E. Wright.- Unluckily none of these have any dates.

You noble minds, and famous martiall wights,
That in defence of native country fights,

Give eare to me,

that ten yeeres fought for Rome, Yet reapt disgrace at my returning home

1 Mr. Malone thinks 1591 to be the era when our author commenced a writer for the stage. See, in his Shakspeare, the ingenious "attempt to ascertain the order in which the Plays of Shakspeare were written."

2 Since the above was written, Shakspeare's memory has been fully vindicated from the charge of writing the above Play by the best critics. See what has been urged by Steevens and Malone, in their excellent editions of Shakspeare, &c.

In Rome I lived in fame fulle threescore yeeres,
My name beloved was of all my peeres;
Full five and twenty valiant sonnes I had,
Whose forwarde vertues made their father glad.

For when Rome's foes their warlike forces bent,
Against them stille my sonnes and I were sent ;
Against the Goths full ten yeeres weary warre
We spent, receiving many a bloudy scarre.

Just two and twenty of my sonnes were slaine
Before we did returne to Rome againe:

5

10

Of five and twenty sonnes, I brought but three
Alive, the stately towers of Rome to see.

15

When wars were done, I conquest home did bring,
And did present my prisoners to the king,
The queene of Goths, her sons, and eke a moore,
Which did such murders, like was nere before.

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The emperour did make this queene his wife,
Which bred in Rome debate and deadlie strife;

The moore, with her two sonnes did growe soe proud,
That none like them in Rome might bee allowd.

The moore soe pleas'd this new-made empress' eie,
That she consented to him secretlye

25

For to abuse her husbands marriage bed,
And soe in time a blackamore she bred.

Then she, whose thoughts to murder were inclinde,
Consented with the moore of bloody minde

30

Against myselfe, my kin, and all my friendes,
In cruell sort to bring them to their endes.

Soe when in age I thought to live in peace,
Both care and griefe began then to increase:
Amongst my sonnes I had one daughter bright,
Which joy'd, and pleased best my aged sight:

35

My deare Lavinia was betrothed than
To Cesars sonne, a young and noble man:
Who in a hunting by the emperours wife,
And her two sonnes, bereaved was of life.

He being slaine, was cast in cruel wise,
Into a darksome den from light of skies:
The cruell moore did come that way as then
With my three sonnes, who fell into the den.

The moore then fetcht the emperour with speed,
For to accuse them of that murderous deed;
And when my sonnes within the den were found,
wrongfull prison they were cast and bound.

Rowe, behold! what wounded most my mind,
The compresses two sonnes of savage kind
daughter ravished without remorse,

away her honour, quite perforce.

Na they had tasted of soe sweete a flowre, Car is sweete should shortly turn to sowre, cut her tongue, whereby she could not tell eat dishonoure unto her befell.

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her hands they basely cutt off quite,

heir wickednesse she could not write;
her needle on her sampler sowe

e workers of her direfull woe.

Marcus found her in the wood,

rassie ground with purple bloud,

from her stumpes, and bloudlesse armes :
all she had to tell her harmes.

www her in that woefull case,
Houd I wet mine aged face:
lamented more

and twenty sonnes before.

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When as I sawe she could not write nor speake,
With grief mine aged heart began to breake;
We spred an heape of sand upon the ground,
Whereby those bloudy tyrants out we found.

For with a staffe, without the helpe of hand,
She writt these wordes upon the plat of sand:
"The lustfull sonnes of the proud emperèsse
Are doers of this hateful wickednesse."

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I tore the milk-white hairs from off mine head,
I curst the houre wherein I first was bred,
I wisht this hand, that fought for countrie's fame,
In cradle rockt, had first been stroken lame.

80

The moore delighting still in villainy

Did say, to sett my sonnes from prison free
I should unto the king my right hand give,

And then my three imprisoned sonnes should live.

The moore I caus'd to strike it off with speede,
Whereat I grieved not to see it bleed,
But for my sonnes would willingly impart,

85

And for their ransome send my bleeding heart.

But as my life did linger thus in paine,
They sent to me my bootlesse hand againe,
And therewithal the heades of my three sonnes,
Which filld my dying heart with fresher moanes.

Then past reliefe I upp and downe did goe,
And with my teares writ in the dust my woe:
I shot my arrowes 3 towards heaven hie,
And for revenge to hell often did crye.

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8 If the ballad was written before the play, I should suppose this to be only a metaphorical expression, taken from that in the Psalms, "They shoot out their arrows, even bitter words." Ps. lxiv. 3.

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