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Therefore away with her, and use her as you will; The worse to her, the better lov'd of me.
LAV. O Tamora, be call'd a gentle queen, And with thine own hands kill me in this place: For 'tis not life, that I have begg'd so long; Poor I was slain, when Bassianus died.
TAM. What begg'st thou then? fond woman, let me go.
LAV. 'Tis present death I beg; and one thing
That womanhood denies my tongue to tell:
TAM. So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee: No, let them satisfy their lust on thee.
DEM. Away, for thou hast staid us here too long. LAV. No grace? no womanhood? Ah, beastly
The blot and enemy to our general name!
CHI. Nay, then I'll stop your mouth:-Bring thou her husband;
[Dragging off LAVINIA. This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him.
[Exeunt. TAM. Farewell, my sons: see, that you make her
Ne'er let my heart know merry cheer indeed,
with her,] These useless syllables, which hurt the metre, might well be omitted. STEEVENS.
Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor,
Enter AARON, with QUINTUS and MARTIUS.
AAR. Come on, my lords; the better foot before:
Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit,
QUIN. My sight is very dull, whate'er it bodes. MART. And mine, I promise you; wer't not for shame,
Well could I leave our sport to sleep awhile. [MARTIUS falls into the Pit. QUIN. What, art thou fallen? What subtle hole is this,
Whose mouth is cover'd with rude-growing briars;
MART. O, brother, with the dismallest objéct That ever eye, with sight, made heart lament.
AAR. [Aside.] Now will I fetch the king to find them here; That he thereby may give a likely guess, How these were they that made away his brother.
MART. Why dost not comfort me, and help me out From this unhallow'd3 and blood-stained hole?
QUIN. I am surprized with an uncouth fear: A chilling sweat o'er-runs my trembling joints; My heart suspects more than mine eye can see.
MART. To prove thou hast a true-divining heart, Aaron and thou look down into this den, And see a fearful sight of blood and death.
QUIN. Aaron is gone; and my compassionate heart
Will not permit mine eyes once to behold
MART. Lord Bassianus lies embrewed here,
QUIN. If it be dark, how dost thou know 'tis he? MART. Upon his bloody finger he doth wear A precious ring, that lightens all the hole,"
From this unhallow'd &c.] Edition 1600:-From this vnhallow &c. TODD.
A precious ring,] There is supposed to be a gem called a carbuncle, which emits not reflected but native light. Mr. Boyle believes the reality of its existence. JOHNSON.
So, in The Gesta Romanorum, history the sixth: "He farther beheld and saw a carbuncle in the hall that lighted all the house." Again, in Lydgate's Description of King Priam's Palace, L. II: "And for most chefe all dirkeness to confound, "A carbuncle was set as kyng of stones all, "To recomforte and gladden all the hall. "And it to enlumine in the black night "With the freshnes of his ruddy light."
Which, like a taper in some monument,
QUIN. Reach me thy hand, that I may help thee out;
Or, wanting strength to do thee so much good,
Again, in the Muse's Elysium, by Drayton :
"Which from it such a flaming light
"That in the very darkest night
Chaucer, in the Romaunt of the Rose, attributes the same properties to the carbuncle:
"Soche light ysprang out of the stone."
So, in King Henry VIII:
a gem "To lighten all this isle." So also, Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. VI. c. xi:
66 like diamond of rich regard,
all the hole,] The 4to. 1600, reads-all this hole.
So pale did shine the moon &c.] Lee appears to have been indebted to this image in his Massacre of Paris:
"Looks like a midnight moon upon a murder."
MART. Nor I no strength to climb without thy help.
QUIN. Thy hand once more; I will not loose again,
Till thou art here aloft, or I below:
Enter SATURNINUS and AARON.
SAT. Along with me :-I'll see what hole is here, And what he is, that now is leap'd into it. Say, who art thou, that lately didst descend Into this gaping hollow of the earth?
MART. The unhappy son of old Andronicus; Brought hither in a most unlucky hour, To find thy brother Bassianus dead.
SAT. My brother dead? I know, thou dost but jest:
He and his lady both are at the lodge, Upon the north side of this pleasant chase; 'Tis not an hour since I left him there."
MART. We know not where you left him all alive, But, out alas! here have we found him dead.
Enter TAMORA, with Attendants; TITUS ANDRONICUS, and LUCIUS.
TAM. Where is my lord, the king?
SAT. Here, Tamora; though griev'd with killing grief.
TAM. Where is thy brother Bassianus ?
left him there.] Edition 1600 reads:-left them there.