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And give the king this fatal-plotted scroll :-
TAM. Ah, my sweet Moor, fweeter to me than
AAR. No more, great emprefs, Baffianus comes: Be cross with him; and I'll go fetch thy fons To back thy quarrels, whatfoe'er they be.
Enter BASSIANUS and LAVINIA.
BAS. Who have we here? Rome's royal emperess, Unfurnish'd of her well-befeeming troop?
Or is it Dian, habited like her;
Who hath abandoned her holy groves,
To see the general hunting in this forest?
TAM. Saucy controller of our private fteps!"
6 of her-] Old copies of our. Corrected by Mr. Rowe.
The edition 1600, reads exactly thus:
Vnfurnifht of her well befeeming troop? TODD. 7 our private fteps!] Edition 1600:-my private fteps.
Should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs,] Mr. Heath fufpects that the poet wrote:
Should thrive upon thy new-transformed limbs,as the former is an expreffion that fuggefts no image to the fancy. But drive, I think, may ftand, with this meaning: the hounds fhould pass with impetuous hafie, &c. So, in Hamlet:
Pyrrhus at Priam drives," &c.
i. e. flies with impetuofity at him. STEEVENS.
LAV. Under your patience, gentle emperefs,
Jove shield your husband from his hounds to-day!
BAS. Believe me, queen, your fwarth Cimmerian
Why are you fequefter'd from all your train?
LAV. And, being intercepted in your sport,
BAS. The king, my brother, fhall have note of this.2
The old copies have upon his new-transformed limbs. The emendation was made by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.
It is faid in a note by Mr. Malone, that the old copies read, upon his new-transformed limbs," and that Mr. Rowe made the emendation-thy. The edition of 1600 reads precifely thus: Should driue vpon thy new transformed limbes. TODD. fwarth Cimmerian] Swarth is black. The Moor is called Cimmerian, from the affinity of blackness to darkness.
fwarth Cimmerian-] Edition 1600:-fwartie Cyme
Accompanied with a barbarous Moor,] Edition 1600 reads :
have note of this,] Old copies-notice. STEEVENS. Thus alfo the 4to. 1600. TODD.
LAV. Ay, for these flips have made him noted long :3
Good king! to be so mightily abus'd!
TAM. Why have I patience to endure all this?
Enter CHIRON and DEMETRIUS.
DEM. How now, dear fovereign, and our gracious mother,
Why doth your highnefs look fo pale and wan?
TAM. Have I not reason, think you, to look pale?
The trees, though fummer, yet forlorn and lean,
And, when they show'd me this abhorred pit,
made him noted long :] He had yet been married but one night. JOHNSON.
The true reading may be made her, i. e. Tamora.
A barren detefted vale,] As the verfification of this play is by no means inharmonious, I am willing to fuppofe the author
Here never fhines the fun; &c.] Mr. Rowe feems to have thought on this paffage in his Jane Shore:
"This is the houfe where the fun never dawns,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,
Should straight fall mad, or elfe die fuddenly."
But ftraight they told me, they would bind me here
Unto the body of a difmal yew;
And leave me to this miferable death.
And, had you not by wondrous fortune come,
CHI. And this for me, ftruck home to fhow my ftrength. [Stabbing him likewife. LAV. Ay come, Semiramis,-nay, barbarous Ta
6 urchins, i. e. hedgehogs. See Vol. IV. p. 38, n. 3. STEEVENS. Should ftraight fall mad, or elfe die fuddenly.] This is faid in fabulous phyfiology, of thofe that hear the groan of the mandrake torn up. JOHNSON.
The fame thought and almoft the fame expreffions occur in Romeo and Juliet. STEEVENS.
Ay come, Semiramis,] The propriety of this addrefs will be beft understood from the following paffage in P. Holland's tranflation of the 8th Book of Pliny's Nat. Hift. ch. 42: "Queen Semiramis loved a great horfe that he had, fo farre forth, that fhe was content he thould doe his kind with her." The incontinence of this lady has been already alluded to in the Induction to the Taming of a Shrew, fcene the fecond. STEEVENS,
For no name fits thy nature but thy own!
TAM. Give me thy poniard; you shall know, my
Your mother's hand fhall right your mother's wrong.
DEM. Stay, madam, here is more belongs to her; First, thrash the corn, then after burn the straw: This minion ftood upon her chastity,
Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty,
And with that painted hope braves your mightinefs:9
And shall she carry this unto her grave?
CHI. An if the do, I would I were an eunuch. Drag hence her husband to fome fecret hole, And make his dead trunk pillow to our luft. TAM. But when you have the honey you defire,1 Let not this wafp outlive, us both to sting.
CHI. I warrant you, madam; we will make that
Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
LAV. O Tamora! thou bear'st a woman's face,-
9 And with that painted hope braves your mightiness :] Painted hope is only fpecious hope, or ground of confidence more plausible than folid. JOHNSON.
The ruggedness of this line perfuades me that the word-hope is an interpolation, the fenfe being complete without it: And with that painted, braves your mightiness.
So, in King Richard III: "Poor painted queen," &c.
-you defire,] Old copies-we defire. Corrected in the fecond folio.
The edit. 1600, reads, with the other old copies-we defire.